Fashionably M.French: 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fun In Frisco

At the start of the summer, Golan and I decided that we were going to make more of an effort to explore Colorado. We live in this wonderful place and we might as well see all that we can see! 

The first stop was the town of Frisco, Colorado. I have driven past Frisco too many times to count on my way out to other cities in the mountains. It always seemed like a pit stop on the way to bigger places. After walking down Main Street and sitting on the edge of the marina, I'm not quite sure how I ever overlooked it. This little town is brimming with charm, friendly natives and good food.

Last weekend was Frisco's Fall Fest- a little festival where local artists, craftsmen and restaurants showcased their wares. We saw some beautiful work but we found the perfect place just past the fest. And that place was the marina. 

I mean just look at it. Sitting at the edge of the dock was so calming. Golan and I both realized just how much we love being lakeside. As we reluctantly left late in the afternoon, we made a plan to one day own property on a lake, complete with a little boat and some Adirondack chairs on the shore. Doesn't that sound divine? 

Take some time to explore your own backyard. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Let me know if any of you have been to Frisco and leave suggestions for more Coloradan mountain towns for us to visit! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Chocolate Drizzle Salted Popcorn

September has always been a transitional time of year for me. You get the final days of summer mashed up with the beginnings of fall. Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations invade stores, pumpkin spice everything returns and the temperatures begin to cool. 

During this transition, it can be a little bit difficult to pick what sorts of foods to eat. At least it is for me. Part of me still craves light and fresh summer cuisine but another (slightly stronger) part of me is totally ready for the savory and warm-your-belly goodness of autumn. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have already gotten a sneak peak of this deliciousness. This snack is my current go-to for curbing my "fall" cravings. 

Popcorn is such a versatile snack and you can really customize it to suit your preferences. While it isn't particularly nutritious, it is better than greasy potato chips. This particular recipe reminds me of the Moose Munch I used to eat by the bucket-load as a kid. The mix of sweet and savory has always been a favorite of mine and this chocolate drizzle salted popcorn really hits the spot. 

The best part is that while it feels like I'm eating something very special, it is so easy to make. In less than five minutes you are left with a seriously delicious and filling snack. 

In the past, I have tried to drizzle melted chocolate and have failed. Miserably. I ended up with a clumpy mess that was less than pleasing to look at and therefore less appetizing. But I have come up with a solution.

The secret ingredient: Coconut Oil.

By adding coconut oil to the melted chocolate, the chocolate becomes smooth and silky and perfect for drizzling. But if you're not careful, you'll over do it (if it is possible to over do chocolate). What was a light and healthy snack will turn into basically a bowl of chocolate with a little bit of popcorn mixed in. While I'm sure that would be delicious, it isn't really the goal here. You've been warned!

The second secret ingredient is a handful of pepitas- shelled pumpkin seeds. Not only are these delicious enough to eat on their own but they add the perfect amount of crunch and texture. Plus, these little guys are packed with health benefits. They contain magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fats, protein and free-radical fighting antioxidants. And that's just the start. Google "health benefits of pumpkin seeds" and you will be seriously amazed. 


Chocolate Drizzle Salted Popcorn Recipe

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes



  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking the popcorn)
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Handful of roasted unsalted pepitas; approximately 1/8 to 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  1. Place olive oil and popcorn kernels in a medium sized saucepan (with a lid). Stir around to be sure that each kernel is coated in oil. Cook on medium heat. Everyone's stove is a little bit different but the key is to give enough heat to pop the kernels without burning the pieces on the bottom of the pan. Shake the saucepan to keep the kernels moving to avoid burning.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave for approximately 30 seconds. Stir. Place the mixture in the microwave for another 30 seconds, or until completely melted. 
  3. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the freshly popped popcorn to your heart's content.*
  4. Sprinkle pepitas and sea salt over popcorn and chocolate
  5. Enjoy!


* If the chocolate mixture begins to thicken, place the bowl back in the microwave in 10 second increments until desired texture is achieved. 

I'd love to see your popcorn creations! Be sure to tag me on Instagram or send me photos on Twitter. I rarely hear from you lovely readers but I love it when I do.

Also, leave a comment down below with your favorite snack recipe and I can do my best to recreate them.

Thank you for reading- I can't wait to hear from you!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Protein Banana Bread

Well, it's happened again. As it's been a while since my last recipe and I was going through some pretty severe baking withdrawals, I decided to do some experimenting. Banana bread has always been one of my favorites. You can have banana bread for breakfast. You can have banana bread for a snack. You can have banana bread for dessert with a little cup of tea. It is basically the king of all (sweet) breads. 

While I do love banana bread, I sometimes feel a little guilty after chowing down on a big slice. Traditional banana bread recipes have a lot of sugar and butter. So what I've done is take this recipe from Pinch of Yum (one of my all-time favorite food bloggers) and I have made it my own- I replaced the butter with olive oil + swapped some of the flour for protein powder. Now I will admit that these changes made the bread a little dry in comparison to traditional banana bread. But overall, it was a delicious success! 

Let's talk protein powder for a minute. There are so many out there that it is virtually impossible for me to know if your specific protein powder will react the same when baked. From what I found in my research, whey protein powder is the best for baking. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to add more protein powder, you will need to add some sort of liquid to balance it out. When you use too much whey in a recipe the result is a rubbery, chewy mess. Not good. You can avoid this by making sure the amount of protein only makes up about 1/4 of your batter. This might not seem like enough protein, but in my mind it was just enough to get rid of the "banana bread guilt" in the morning.

Now, you're probably asking yourself "Why would anyone in their right mind use olive oil instead of butter?!". And normally I would agree with you. I was the kid who ate butter right off of the tray. Trust me when I say I love butter. Whenever Golan and I get butter, we get a higher quality Irish butter and it is amazing. But when I sat down to create this recipe, we had enough butter for about half a slice of banana bread. We did, however, have plenty of olive oil. If you have never baked with olive oil- try it. In every recipe I have used it in, the result was a fluffy and delicious baked good. It didn't mess with the texture much and it didn't leave an overpowering olive oil taste either. You can find a handy-dandy conversion chart here. Plus, olive oil has about 25 percent less fat (non of which is saturated) than butter and has zero cholesterol. Win, win in my book.

Now that I've covered all of the technical stuff, can we all just take a moment to appreciate the fact that this photo of the batter is just screaming "fall"? If you are in fall fever like me then this recipe will be perfect for you. Cinnamon, walnuts, vanilla, warm bread? What more could you need?

Now without further ado, the goods...

Protein Banana Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes



- 2 large very ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 scoops whey protein powder (roughly 60g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 crushed walnuts
- cinnamon to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and combine milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, protein powder, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix olive oil and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. This mixture will be much more of a liquid than what you may be used to because of the olive oil. Don't worry, it's meant to be that way.
  5. Slowly incorporate each of the small mixtures into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. You can use an electric mixer if you'd like but hand mixing works just as well.
  6. Add crushed walnuts
  7. Spray your pan with olive oil to prevent stick. You can use butter here or another type of oil if you prefer. 
  8. Bake for 35 minutes. Watch for a nicely browned, springy top. 

Now you have a delicious, "guilt free" breakfast treat to enjoy all week long. If you are looking for more breakfast options that don't taste or feel like breakfast then check out my Five Ingredient Breakfast Cookies. They are vegan, clean and can be eaten like candy. 

Have you ever baked using olive oil? Let me know in the comments- whether it worked for you or it didn't, I want to know! If you decide to give this recipe a try, be sure to take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@fashionablymfrench) and Twitter (@meagan_french). 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

5 Patio Garden Essentials

Meet my humble little garden. It resides inside three planter boxes on my cozy patio and consists of tomato plants, basil, African marigolds, ornamental peppers, zucchini, and rosemary. This is my second attempt at gardening and it has been much more fruitful. Last year wasn't terrible, just nothing to write home about. With four tomato harvests of about thirty to forty snacking tomatoes each, handfuls of basil, and all the rosemary I could ever want for cooking, you could say that my previously murky brown thumb has turned a nice shade of green. 

Creating a lovely patio garden of your own isn't always easy. It takes more time and planning than most people realize to get the results you see on Instagram and Pinterest (#homegrown, anyone?). I am by no means an expert, but I would like to share a few things I have learned along the way. A garden is only as good as the gardener. And a gardener needs the right tools to get themselves started! 

I have compiled a list of five essentials for building a strong and healthy patio garden. You might be asking yourself if some of these essentials are absolutely necessary for what you have planned. There is only one way to find out, which leads me into my number one essential...

1. Research, Research, Research

This has to be the most important part of growing your own garden. If you just go buy a bunch of plants that sound and look good, you will more than likely end up with one of two things- an overgrown mess that you won't enjoy or the more likely option of a patio full of wilted and dying plants. Make a list of the plants that you think you might want to grow and then do your research. Find out if any of the plants on your list would make good companion plants- or alternately, if they would not do well sitting in the same pot. Research your region to decide what would grow well in your climate. Research preferred soils, water requirements, etc. 

The internet is a good resource, as is your local library, but remember that there are experts- real people - who have made it their job to know all of this information. Utilize your local nursery or garden center! There will be plenty of staff who will not only be able to help you, but most of the time they are excited to help you. Small Plug- if you are in the Denver area, go to Tagawa Gardens. They are absolutely wonderful- they will walk around with you and help you plan your garden, give you tips and tricks,  and they even have weekly classes (most of which are free). And if you sign up for their Purr-ferred members program (free) then you get 20% off a full-priced item. Oh and you can find August's coupon here.Tagawa has become my little happy place and I love it. Gushing over. 

Once you have your game plan solidified, you can get on to the really fun bits! 

2. Basic Tools

Because we are talking patio gardens, that means that everything is on a smaller scale. There is no need for big heavy spade or even a garden hose for that matter. All you need are a few simple, compact tools that will help you properly take care of your plants. Look for a set, like the one pictured above, that includes a hand trowel, a small rake (sometimes called a cultivator, from what I've found), and a small hoe. You might also want a pair of gloves for any not-so-soft plants or plants that react to the oils on our fingers as well as a pair of sheers. For added comfort, you can find knee pads or a kneeling mat at your local garden center. And don't forget a hat for sun protection- a few minutes a day in the bright sun can do its damage.

One of the most important tools is a good watering can. You might be saying to yourself, "Oh, I'll just use a cup or a pitcher. Water is water, right?" Unfortunately, no. Using a watering can is much better for your plants. If you use a watering can, you will not only avoid drowning your garden but you will also be sparing them the beating of a waterfall coming out of your pitcher. Watering cans are inexpensive and last a while- get one for the plants.

If you aren't sure where to look for these tools, you can head over to my shop where I have found some great options. I threw in a few cheap options and a few that are a little nicer and will last longer.

3. Age Old Bloom

Age Old Bloom is a little powerhouse, as is its sibling below. This is a natural fertilizer that is high is phosphorus- which will aid flower and fruit production as well as develop a stronger root system. According to the product description, it encourages flower and bud formation, increased fruit set and will help overcome stress. I have no reason to displace these claims. This product has been great! Not only does it follow through on the claims, but it lasts forever. It is a concentrated formula that you can add to water and can even use as a treatment.

One thing to bear in mind is that you can over-fertilize your garden. If you use too much fertilizer or the wrong fertilizer, you can essentially burn out your garden. This goes back to the number one essential, research, research, research.

4. Age Old Grow

 As I said, this little guy doesn't disappoint either. This is a natural based fertilizer that is high in nitrogen- which aids in healthy plant growth above the ground. According to Age Old Organics, Age Old Grow encourages early growth, greater flowering and better fruit set for indoor and outdoor plants. They recommend you use Age Old Grow on your plants during the vegetative stage.

This is also a concentrated formula to be used with water. If you plan on using both Age Old Grow and Age Old Bloom, stagger their use and follow the instructions on each bottle. Remember that less is more- you don't want to over do it.

5. Stakes and Poles

Now that you've nurtured your little loves, it's time to give them a little support. Even the strongest plants can be susceptible to wind and even a day without water can have a drastic effect on a garden in a planter box or pot. Coming home to find your tall and proud tomato plant snapped in half is devastating. Trust me.

That's where stakes and poles come in. You can use either one, it depends on preference. If you use poles, be sure to tie the twine securely and in a place where it won't hinder plant growth. I prefer to use these little metal stakes with open hoops to support my tall plants. They are easy to move to different areas and loosely hug the stalk of the plant to help keep it upright. These are small and often forgotten but are an important essential to have on hand.

I would love for this to be a very interactive post- as I said before, I am no expert. Please do comment down below with any tips and tricks you may have for a successful patio garden. There is very little that is more informative than someone else's experiences. If you decide to use these essentials in your own patio garden then take a picture and tag me on social media. If you are looking for more patio garden inspiration, check out #homegrown #patiogarden and even my own Instagram for beautiful mouth-watering snaps.

Also, don't forget to head on over to my shop to find great patio garden essentials!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Home Reno Round-Up

I would like to start this post with a little bragging. I love where I live. I am fortunate enough to live in roughly 800 square feet with a swoon-worthy view, a lovely little garden on the patio and the man of my dreams.

Now, that being said, this place could benefit from some upgrades. Whoever built it didn't seem to take much stock in their work and couldn't have been bothered with concepts like "longevity" and "quality workmanship" and "up to code".  G and I will be living in this place for at least another few years, so we will be reaping the benefits of any home renovation we do. (Eventually we would like to rent the place out and take on the role of landlord- but that's another blog post entirely!)

Our goal is to create a little oasis that balances the money spent and the return on investment. The last thing we want to do is spend gobs of money on a high end product just to find out that it doesn't actually increase the value of the home. I am not sure if I will be documenting the financials of each project but if you would like to know where we are finding everything and how much we are spending then do let me know in the comments!

Below is a list of the home renovations Golan and I plan to execute over the next year or so. We hope to be able to do most of it ourselves to save on labor and, quite frankly, we really enjoy the whole process! First thing's first, it would probably be beneficial if you had a bit of an idea of the layout of our place. A few things to note: The orange structure jutting out from the lower wall of the main living room is a large column that houses the fireplace, the orange line cutting off the kitchen is a bar that has to go, and the ship-wheel image is actually a spiral staircase that leads up to a small loft above the kitchen. Without further ado, the list!

1. New Floors Throughout

 Includes ripping up carpet + linoleum and replacing it with hardwood throughout the main living spaces. We will also be ripping out the linoleum in the bathroom.

2. Replace Dated Lighting Fixtures

We have a true beast beauty hanging from our vaulted ceilings that was transported from the Golden Girls set.

3. New Kitchen

The most important room in the house deserves a little TLC. We will be ripping out the bar to open up the space and will be installing the new kitchen ourselves. IKEA might win out in the kitchen race.

4. Remove Popcorn Ceiling

Our entire apartment is covered in popcorn ceiling. It looks like we have cob webs everywhere because there is no easy way to clean popcorn. The only room I have made progress in so far is the kitchen and that is only because I had to for a drywall patch. While this project isn't difficult, it can be time consuming and it is incredibly messy. I used a tarp and I am still cleaning remnants of dried plaster.

And there we have it. This list might seem short and sweet but I have a feeling it will be the haunt me until every last project is complete. Again, do comment down below with your experiences! I'd love to hear from you and gather and tips I can get my hands on. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Five Ingredient Breakfast Cookies

Every few weeks or so, Golan and I find new resolve and get back on the clean eating wagon. We cut out processed foods and sugars and stick to fresh healthy foods. While I love eating clean, it can be incredibly difficult to kick cravings.This recipe has come about as a result of my experiments for finding a breakfast muffin/pancake/bread alternative. It was adapted from this recipe by Oh She Glows.

The best part? This recipe has five ingredients and NO ADDED SUGAR. Clean eaters rejoice! Now, I won't say that this recipe is particularly groundbreaking. I'm almost certain I have had this breakfast cookie in some form or fashion in the past. But it is so simple and quick that I just had to share.

I kept my recipe very basic so that you can tailor it to your tastes. Like cranberries? You can add them. Feeling like adding some chocolate? Mix in mini chocolate chips. Like most recipes, the cookie itself won't really be affected if you want to add in a little something extra.

Above is a photo of me flattening the cookie dough with a fork prior to baking. Below is a photo of the cookies after sitting in the oven for roughly 20 minutes. The shape and color of these breakfast cookies barely changes. You might see some slight browning, but that is just about it. Despite the slightly crisped exterior, they are soft and chewy on the inside. Pretty much perfect. 

I have loved dipping them into my English Breakfast tea and G has been popping them like candy. The oats and golden flax help keep you full and provide lasting energy throughout the morning and the banana gives you that perfect subtle sweetness. These little guys are ideal for those mornings when you just can't be bothered to cook up breakfast or simply don't have the time. We will definitely have a small batch of these on hand most weeks!

Five Ingredient Breakfast Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 5-10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 Minutes *

Yield: 10 Cookies



- 1 cup rolled oats, blended
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1.5 tablespoons golden flax
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Put rolled oats into blender and pulse until roughly half of the oats reach a consistency of flour. ** Pour newly blended oats into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add banana into bowl and mash together with the oats. This might take a few minutes and a little bit of elbow grease. The dough will appear dry.
  4. Add the golden flax and cinnamon to the dough and mix thoroughly.
  5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. There is no need to spread out the cookie dough as the cookie does not expand during baking.
  6. Use fork to flatten each dough ball evenly to roughly 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Sprinkle sea salt over each breakfast cookie.
  8. Bake cookies for 15 minutes.
  9. Place on cooling rack for 5 minutes and enjoy!


This is where preference comes in. I like my breakfast cookies after 15 minutes when they are more on the softer side. Golan prefers that I leave his in for another 5 minutes or so to crisp them up.

** What I mean by this is that there will be pieces of rolled oats that slip through and stay relatively whole and this is perfect for this recipe. It gives great texture while still replacing the need for flour.

And there we have it- a delicious andhealthy breakfast option that feels more like an indulgence. Be sure to post photos of your Five Ingredient Breakfast Cookies on social media and tag me! I'd love to see how you get on. Also, don't be afraid to share your thoughts in the comments.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Guest Room Essentials

Summer is prime time for vacations. Everyone seems to be booking flights, packing up and shipping out to soak up the sun. 

Last summer was the first time I hosted a friend in my humble little abode and let me be frank and say that I was not prepared. To be fair, it was a complete surprise for my birthday. However, I realized that I had no plan in place for when unexpected guests arrive. 

That same friend is coming again this summer and I am determined to make a better impression! There are a few basics that should be covered when hosting a guest. This can include grocery shopping to fit their tastes, keeping things clean and tidy and making them feel right at home with little bits and bobs.

This doesn't have to equate to tons of effort and hours of rushing around the house, which would wear you out before your guest has even arrived. I have compiled a short list of small things that will make your guest feel welcome and at ease during their stay.

1. Fresh Flowers

If you weren't already aware, I love fresh flowers. A lot. 

Fresh flowers are the easiest way to brighten up a space. I will say that some stores really mark up the price of flowers (even seasonal flowers- I mean come on, people, work with me here!) but you can usually find a great little bouquet at your local grocery store for under ten bucks. You can personalize the space with your guest's favorite blooms. This small gesture will make them feel welcomed and considered.

2. Serving Tray

A serving tray is the perfect addition to a guest space. This is where you can leave a reusable water bottle, snacks and even a small stack of books you think your guest might enjoy. You can even put an adult beverage for anyone who might want to wind down after a long day of travel. 

Get creative and pile on the goodies! I have a small chest of drawers in my guest space that I can place a serving tray on but if you don't have anything similar, you can simply place the tray on the center of the mattress or couch where they will be staying.

3. Bathroom Basket

If your guest is staying for more than just a day. then chances are they will want to get cleaned up in the bathroom. That's where the bathroom basket comes in. 

In this basket you will want to put fresh bathroom linens such as towels and washcloths. I like the idea of using separate "guest" linens with a fun pattern that can be distinguished from the everyday towels. 

You can also include a toiletries bag full of sample sized shampoo and conditioner, body wash and other skincare products.Who wouldn't love feeling like they are in a spa or a hotel? Plus, that gives your guest one less thing to worry about when they realize they have forgotten something while packing.  

So there you have it! Those are a few things that I will always have on hand for when a guest decides to pop in, whether expected or not. 

What are some of your guest room essentials? Is there anything special that you like to do to make your guests feel right at home? 

Don't be shy- leave a comment down below. Also, be sure to share this post with anyone you know who might be hosting a guest sometime soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Distracted Girl's Guide to Being Productive

There is nothing like a good rainstorm to help clear your thoughts. The past few weeks brought a constant drizzle - and I am loving it. My little seedlings have begun to sprout and my mint and tomato plants are doing better than ever. Everything looks so lush and fresh after the rain. Some see rain as a nuisance. I see rain as an opportunity. An opportunity to slow down, reflect and enjoy. I am sitting next to an open window as I type this, listening to the pitter patter, and I could not be more content.

This is the perfect time to sit back with a pen and paper and get yourself sorted. Think about where you are now, what your goals are (whether long-term or short-term) and begin to write down everything that comes to mind. Personally, my issue is that I have so many things I want to get done and so many ideas floating in my head that none of them actually get accomplished. This may or may not be why I go so long in between blog posts. Getting all of these things written down in one place allows me to clear my mind and really focus on a game plan for accomplishing each task. Here are my favorite ways to reorganize, re-energize and be more productive than ever.

1. Printables

One thing that has helped me stay on track is printables! Personally, I hated the idea of printing off a new one every day. So to save paper and my sanity (can you say clutter? My desk is messy enough), I slip each printable into a plastic sleeve. That way I can use dry erase markers and simply wipe them down when I want to start again.

I have been using this daily to-do list from Just a Girl and Her Blog. My favorite part of this printable is the section with each hour blocked out. This is incredibly helpful for all of those procrastinators out there. It also comes in handy if, like me, you are always starting another task before you have even finished the first one. Don't hesitate to schedule in everything down to doing the dishes so that you can establish an effective routine for yourself. 

It is important to not only focus on the day to day but to also have a game plan for the big stuff like finances and house projects. I recommend keeping a rolling list that you can go back and reference any time you have a spare moment.

2. Planners

Planners are a distracted girl's dream. If I am ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I go out and buy myself a fresh new planner (or two), There are so many varieties out there today that if you do a little research, you are bound to find one to meet your needs. There are your standard weekly and monthly planners or you can splurge a bit and get one with sections covering finances, shopping, and more! I tend to go for the classic weekly/monthly layout in a smaller size so that I can carry it with me in my bag or purse. Planners and agendas are no longer just for students and business professionals. 

You can find agendas and planners just about anywhere. I usually find mine at Target, they have a great selection and price point. However, if you are more of an online shopper then Minted is the place for you. They have a wide range of unique designs and are incredibly affordable! Last fall, I wrote a blog post with my agenda picks for school. Check out my Parsel Shop for a few of my recent favorites.

3. Calendar

I know what you're thinking- Another piece of paper with little boxes labeled with dates? Yes. I love having a separate calendar so that I can see what I have in for the month at a glance. This is great for birthdays, holidays, major deadlines, bills, etc. I like one that hangs on the wall but desk calendars are great too! Also, anyone else in the house can add anything they like as it comes up. If you want to get really nerdy fancy, then you can color code your entries.

4. The Right Environment

Most of us know what type of environment works best for us. Your ideal working environment might be in a cafe surrounded by strangers and comfort of caffeine. It could be curled up under a blanket on the couch with the television on for background noise. Personally, I need solitude and structure. If I am on the couch or in bed then I will more than likely go to sleep. Occasionally a cafe will work but only if I have a good pair of headphones to drown out the excess noise. I have found that I work best sitting at my desk or my dining room table, windows open to the cool breeze and silence.

Occasionally, I will play music on my Sonos player. If I do decide to have background noise, I will generally stick to Pandora radio stations without lyrics (my favorites are the 2cellos station or celtic station) or old french music (Edith Piaf is the absolute best). Whatever your ideal working environment, be sure to do everything you can to achieve it so that you have one less thing to worry about when working.

5. Have Healthy Snacks Ready and Waiting

This is a big one for me, I am the queen of snacking. My mother used to tell me that I would turn into a bowl and chips and salsa. Unfortunately, I have yet to break this habit. But I have found a solution! I can snack all I want as long as I am snacking on the right things. A bag of chips might taste incredible but the empty carbs slow me down (and certainly isn't doing my skin any favors either). You should also be weary of the types of sugar you are putting in your body. Sugar from fruit is okay as long as you don't over do it. The processed sugar in your favorite chocolate bar or ice cream is usually not okay.

A few of my favorite options are sliced bell peppers, apple slice with almond butter, a few olives, and basically any vegetable with tahini. Get creative just be sure it is something that can be pre-made and kept in the fridge or something that only takes a minute to throw together. I currently have a high fat diet so I still get to have a little fun (hence the olives, tahini and almond butter).

Those are a few of my go-to tricks for staying on track and getting things done! I am currently coveting the Day Designer by Whitney English but I am waiting for the August edition. I am sure you will see a lot of it on my social media as soon as I get my hands on one.

What are some of your tips and tricks for staying productive? I am always on the hunt for anything that might help.

Also, don't be shy when it comes to commenting down below- no captcha, just interaction! Receiving comments on posts is by far one of the best parts of blogging. I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last weekend, Golan and I had the pleasure of spending Memorial Day at our friends' house in Elizabeth. We had a lovely day out at their place filled with sunshine, animal lovin', and amazing food. Although I live in the suburbs and rarely venture into Denver, it is always a treat to head in the opposite direction and relax in the country.

As our friend's were providing most of the good eats, it was only right that I bring some sort of dessert. There were a few variables in play here: Our host doesn't eat eggs and we weren't sure just how many people were actually going to be there. Neither of these things are a big deal but I decided to keep things simple with a classic chocolate chip cookie. These are great because you can make as little or as many as you need (unlike a pie or cake which takes a little more work to meet a large range of attendees) and you can switch out ingredients as necessary.

These cookies were particularly exciting for me. I got my inspiration from this crispy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies recipe on Oh! She Glows. As I am not vegan- I only needed the egg free solution- I didn't follow this recipe too closely. Instead, I created my own recipe loosely based on the inspiration. GUYS- I CREATED MY OWN RECIPE! This is a big deal. I have tried to do this in the past and let's just say that no one was asking me how I made them.

And yes- that is my measure of success in cooking and baking. If someone has a genuine interest in your recipe after they have eaten the food, you have succeeded. But seriously all modesty aside, these little guys are the best cookies I have made in a long time. They are chewy and buttery without losing their shape when you pick them up. Great on their own but with the firm (not hard) texture they would be ideal for dipping into a tall glass of milk.

Without further ado- I give you my first cookie recipe! 

Egg Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Yield: 22 Cookies



- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 teaspoons water)
- 1/4 cup butter (slightly softened unless you want to spend 10 minutes creaming it later)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup almond flour (I found mine in the bulk bins at Sprouts but this is pretty easy to find)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Splash of milk (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 F and prep baking sheet *
2. Mix your flax egg in a small bowl and let sit for five minutes
3. Cream together butter and both sugars **
4. When butter and sugar are fully combined, add flax egg and vanilla extract.
5. Mix in all remaining dry ingredients until fully combined. It was at this point that I realized my dough was a little dry so I added a splash of milk. 
6. Mix chocolate chips into batter.
7. Roll out 1-inch thick balls of dough and place on baking sheet roughly two inches apart.
8. Bake for 12 minutes. Cookies will be puffier while in the oven but will flatten out as they begin to cool.
9. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

* I like to use parchment paper for the easy clean up but you can use a spray oil or whatever it is that you prefer.
** This is where you would use an electric mixer if you have one. I do not have one so I simply used the flat of my wooden spoon to thoroughly cream together the butter and sugars. While this does take longer and your arms might be a bit sore, it will still work just fine to do this step by hand.

 And there you have it! My very first recipe. Whip up a batch any time and be sure to send me photos on social media and comment down below if you try it out. Also, please share any of your favorite egg free recipes or baking experiences! This is my first experience with it and I would love to know more. As I am fairly new at this, any and all suggestions or comments are welcome.

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