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The Power of Scent With Mirada de Provence

mirada-de-provence-power-of-scent-aromatherapy-lavender-orange-body-care-beauty

While I often share tidbits here about my family and personal life, one thing I haven’t discussed is my battle with anxiety. I have suffered with sometimes debilitating anxiety since I was a child and wasn’t properly treated until I was about 30 years old. For years thought my anxiety was something that I could control. I believed I was strong enough to deal with it on my own. Continue Reading

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: 7/22-8/7 and IT’S GOOD || #NSale

If You’re In The Know, You’ll Go. It’s back guys, and its GOOD. Early access for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale starts today and this is a sale like no other. Rather than your typical department store clearance sale that we’re used to seeing as the seasons change, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale features NEW products for a discounted price for a limited time. Continue Reading

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NORDSTROM HALF YEARLY SALE

How was your Christmas? We spent Christmas Eve with family and then kept things low key on Christmas day unpacking the kids new toys and watching movies. We’ve both grown up traveling to both sides of our parents for the holidays and decided it was important to make relaxing a priority on Christmas day. Not going to lie, it’s quite nice. Anyway, if any of you waited to shop for yourself during the after-Christmas sales (like I did), the Nordstrom Half-Yearly sale has your name written all over it. I have my eye on this plaid coatthis fringe turtleneckthis faux fur scarfthis bucket bag and this cozy sweater. For those of you wanting to try the flare jean trend, now’s the time to get a great deal (I love these). J.Crew also has some amazing deals right now. I’m loving this adorable tee.

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Merry Christmas + Weekly Round Up {Vol. 12}

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to those celebrating today! 2015 has been such an incredible year in so many ways and I am so thankful to have this corner of the world to be free to indulge in the things that I am passionate about. I hope that part of the reason that you read is that you feel you have gotten to know me a little bit. One of the best things about blogging by far has been getting to know some of you and for that I am so grateful. Enjoy today, take the good and hold onto that. For me, the holidays are a huge source of anxiety, but this year I am I am doing my best to focus on the wonder of it all as my children see it.

And with that, here is a little behind the scenes Instagram peek…

similar sweater || similar boots herehere and here || similar sunglasses
pillows here and here
similar dress here and here
sweater || similar top || similar jeans || clutch

mugs herehere and here

May your day be merry and bright!

Xo,

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Paleo Holiday Desserts with The JOYful Table

Not that I don’t love to cook, but my usual holiday role has involved preparing an appetizer or sides. This year however, I am in charge of desserts. Initially, this terrified me as I have been trying to stick to whole ingredients and paleo-friendly recipes, and I was unsure how where desserts would fit in. Enter Susan Joy, from The JOYful Table, who provides accessible, easy to follow recipes for those new to the paleo lifestyle. See below for a variety of easy to share desserts sure to please even the pickiest and all paleo-friendly.


White Chocolate Christmas Fudge

Ingredients
1 cup cashews,
soaked
80g cacao butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
extract
1 cup coconut,
desiccated
1/2 cup pistachios,
roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried
cranberries
1/3 cup dried
apricots, chopped
A pinch of pink
himalayan salt
Directions
Line a 27x17cm slice
tin with baking paper, leave a small overhang of paper for easy
removal.
Soak cashews in
filtered water for 2 – 3 hours, drain and rinse well. (Don’t skip
this stage). 
Add cashews to a food processor and process for
appropriately 3 minutes, stopping a couple of times to scrape down
sides of bowl. It’s ready when you have a smooth creamy paste/butter.
Meanwhile, heat a
small saucepan over medium – low heat, melt cacao butter and coconut
oil, stirring often, take off heat as soon as melted.
Add honey, vanilla
and melted oils to the cashew butter, blend in the food processor
until mixture is well incorporate.
To a large bowl add
the coconut, pistachios, cranberries, apricots and salt, mix well.
Pour in the cashew and oil mixture, stir well making sure the
ingredients is all moist and well incorporated.
Transfer mixture
into the lined tin and spread out evenly using a water dampened
spatula to prevent sticking. 
Place a piece of baking paper over the
mixture and use a glass to roll over the surface to make a smooth
finish.
Place in the fridge
or freezer to set. Once set remove by using the paper overhang and
place on a large chopping board. 
Use a large knife to cut 8×4 rows,
making 32 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge,
serve cold straight from the fridge.
Pecan Shortbread Bars

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond
meal
1/4 cup arrowroot
flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink
himalayan salt
1/3 cup ghee
3 Tbsp maple syrup,
100%
1/3 cup pecans,
chopped and roasted
70 – 85% dark
chocolate, melted (optional)
Directions
Preheat oven to
160c. Finely chop pecans and roast on a baking tray until just
changing colour (don’t over roast and dry them out). Line a 27x17cm
slice tin with baking paper and set aside.
To a food process,
add almond meal, arrowroot flour, baking soda and salt. Process to
mix and help make a finer texture, approximately 15 seconds.
Add ghee and maple
syrup, process until mixture is smooth and starting to clump
together.
Transfer dough to a
bowl, add roasted pecans. Mix well using your hands, dough should
come together in a ball with pecans evenly distributed.
Press dough evenly
into the lined slice tin. To create a smooth surface, place a piece
of baking paper over mixture and use a glass to roll over the top.
Using a knife score the mixture 3/4 way through, 2 x 8 rows to make
16 fingers. If you would prefer not to add the chocolate topping,
after scoring use a fork to decorate, by pressing holes into the
dough to look like traditional shortbread.
Bake for
approximately 18 minutes or until lightly browning, turn during
baking for even colour. Allow to cool in tin for 15 minutes, then cut
through scoring marks while still slightly warm. If decorating with
chocolate, allow to cool completely after cutting.
Melt dark chocolate
in a double saucepan. Place shortbread fingers on a tray and pipe or
drizzle chocolate over the fingers. Place tray in the fridge to set
chocolate.
Store in an airtight
container in the fridge, serve at room temperature.
Raw Chocolate Mint Bars

Ingredients
10 lge/1 cup Medjool
date(s), pitted
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup macadamia
nuts
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp peppermint
extract, for pure oil use less (approx. 15 drops)
1/8 tsp pink
himalayan salt, fine
1/3 cup dark
chocolate, chips
CHOCOLATE ICING:
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp honey, or
maple syrup
Pinch pink himalayan
salt, fine
1/4 tsp peppermint
extract, for pure oil use 2 drops
Optional: 2/3 cup
dark chocolate, chips & add peppermint extract
Directions
Line a 22cm(8.5in)
baking tin with baking paper.
To a food processor
add dates. Process until broken up and forming a ball.
Add pecans,
macadamias, almond meal, cacao powder, coconut oil, peppermint
extract/oil and salt.
Process until the
nuts are ground and mixture sticks together when squeezed between
your fingers.
Transfer to prepared
baking tin and spread mixture out evenly, smooth and press down
firmly with the back of a spoon. Set aside at room temperature.
To make chocolate
icing: Place all ingredients in a double saucepan over simmering
water. Whisk continually while melting to emulsify the oil with the
other ingredients. Spread mixture evenly over the top of the mint
chocolate mixture. (Optional, melt dark chocolate chips with
peppermint extract, mix well.)
Refrigerate until
set. Lift out of tin using the edges of the baking paper, cut into
squares.
Store and serve
straight from the fridge.
Rich Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients
4 Medjool date(s),
pitted
1 ripe avocado
1 Tbsp honey, or
coconut nectar
2 tsp vanilla
extract
1/3 – 1/2 cup cacao
powder, or to your taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch pink himalayan
salt, fine
1 cup coconut cream,
canned full fat
Directions
Add dates and
avocado flesh to a high speed blender. Blend on a low speed for 20
seconds, using the tamper to push the ingredients onto the blades.
Stop and scrape down sides.
Add honey, vanilla,
cacao powder, cinnamon and salt. Blend on low to incorporate for 10
seconds. Add coconut cream and blend.
Remove tamper and
scrape down sides. Gradually turn blender to high speed and blend for
40 seconds or until mousse is creamy, silky and fluffy. Using a
blender will aerate the mousse and produce a light texture. Taste and
adjust flavours if needed. (Makes approximately 2 cups)
Spoon mousse into 4
small dessert glasses or ramekins. Refrigerate for 2 hours before
serving.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xo<

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Holiday Outfit: Sequined Pants and A Chunky Knit

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sweater: Old Navy, love this option

pants: H&M sequined leggings, also love these

heels: Madden Girl Darrlin

bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Love‘ crossbody

fur bag charm: Etsy

sunglasses: Amazon

ring: Stella & Dot

Finding the perfect holiday outfit can be a little frustrating. You want to be party-ready, but also comfortable and warm. The holidays are all about spending quality time with family and friends and of course about eating a lot of really great food. Its tough to enjoy either of these things if you are uncomfortable. That’s why I think pairing sequins with a chunky knit sweater and a great pair of heels is the perfect holiday pairing! Comfy meets glam. I mean we all want to put our best self forward this time of year, but feel great while doing it. 

Which brings me to the other side of dressing for the holidays that no one really ever mentions: undergarments. You can have the perfect outfit on, but if your shape wear is ill fitting and overly constricting, it really doesn’t matter how well your clothes fit or how cute your outfit is. I have struggled to find shape wear that makes me feel like its doing its job, while also being comfortable enough to wear all day. So for those of us who don’t want to squeeze into a tiny tube, I’ve discovered Sta Body, or shape wear LITE. Its a bodysuit created to provide immovable coverage of the tummy area but give the look of a tank and the comfort of separates. Never have I worn shape wear and not ended up supremely uncomfortable, but I honestly forgot I was even wearing the Sta Body bodysuit. Its definitely been my best friend this holiday season!



Thanks so much to Sta Body for sponsoring this post. As alway, all opinions are my own.



Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xo,

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Check out Holiday DIY: Make a Bespoke Statement This Season
by Glam Editor at Mode

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Last Minute Gift Guide for Her + Weekly Round Up {Vol. 12} + Some Insta Love

similar sweater || similar dress || jeans, also similar here || bag || similar booties

Happy Friday friends! How can we be just a week from Christmas?! I don’t know about you but I have been a major procrastinator when it comes to holiday shopping this year! I plan to spend the weekend wrapping things up as I still need to buy for some family and a couple of friends. The pressure is on! Today I have rounded up some behind the scenes shots from Instagram, as well as a last minute gift guide for her with a ton of stuff, all under $150 and most under $50. I guess I have the girls on my mind because the only guy I have left to buy for is my brother and he is super easy…a 12 pack of beer and the boy is happy!
sweater || scarf || similar jeans || clutch
Mid-Afternoon hot cocoa break;)
sweater {comes in 4 colors} || lace top || jeans || similar bag || bag charm
Pretty pink roses help me get through these dreary days! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I miss the snow!

similar coat here and here || similar jeans || booties

I also want to take a minute and share with you a couple of other lovely bloggers that I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past year as friends. They are not only super stylish, but some of the kindest and supportive girls in my life. It’s always nice to know the people that you love to follow are “real” and these girls are that and so much more! 

Anna Baun of A Lily Love Affair

Jaime Shrayber of The Real Fashionista
Katie Niemiec of Little Black Blog

And now the gift guide…

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xo,

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Casual Holiday Outfit Idea

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sweater: Zara, super similar here {I love everything from this shop!}

other options herehere and here

jeans: c/o True Religion

booties: via JustFab, similar here

necklace: c/o Lalo + Rae

bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Love‘ crossbody

bag charm: via Etsy

otk boots: Chinese Laundry ‘Riley‘ boots

For a casual holiday party, look no further than a pair of black or dark wash flared jeans {last seen here}. Its a bonus when they are so comfy they feel like your favorite yoga pants! You can style these is no many ways but for this look, I added an asymmetrical sweater. Mine is sadly sold out, but I linked a bunch that are equally cute! Bonus points if they can also be worn as a dress! And how fun is this fur bag charm? Michael Kors has some really cute options, but I ordered mine from this Etsy shop and recently added this blue one to my collection as well. Such a fun way to add a little something extra!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Xo,

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Winter Outfit Idea: Chunky Turtleneck Poncho and Faux Leather Leggings

||details||

Poncho: Forever 21, also love thisthisthis and this

top: Zara, similar here

leggings: Nordstrom faux leather leggings

boots: Chinese Laundry Riley over the knee boots here and here

hat: Old Navy, also love this one

bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Love’ crossbody

sunglasses: via Amazon and under $10

I snapped these pictures when Chicago actually had snow a couple of weeks ago. This past weekend it rained. And rained. And was 62 degrees. In December. In Chicago. Bizarre. Anyway, I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours whizzed by. Four birthday parties and drinks with friends. And I am no where near done Christmas shopping but instead going broke buying toys for kids’ parties! I digress. The outfit…I actually bought this poncho last year from Forever 21, but have linked several options that I love {this one is in my cart}. I love pairing chunky knits with more glam pieces like these faux leather leggings; I feel like it makes them more daytime appropriate. This particular pair has a great rise and are super comfortable and breathable which often times faux leather is not. This would even be a great holiday outfit by switching out the boots for heels. 

Happy Monday and thanks so much for stopping by!

Xo,

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