Loving Lately

1) From House of Earnest: How to cut your hydrangeas to keep them from wilting (it works!)
2) Champagne flavored gummies. WHAT THE WHAT?! Life may never be the same again...
3) This issue of G&G is full of recipes I can't wait to try from updated, classic cocktails to cast-iron green tomato pie.
4) The only thing better than a pretty dress is impeccable customer service. I can’t recommend Social Dress Shop enough!
5) For the calligraphy enthusiast- different nibs and their end result.
Until next time-
It has been awhile...


Stone Platters

I'm all about getting more bang for your buck- especially when it comes to irrational/unnecessary purchases. Enter the Kiva platter from Rablabs. The moment I saw this thing of beauty I knew I had to have one but I about choked when I saw the price tag- a large platter will set you back nearly $500, and a medium nearly $400. Really? I mean...really?!
{High Street Market Large, Small// Rablabs Kiva Large, Medium}
I scoured the internet to try and find a similar product for less and just about gave up until I stumbled upon a version sold by High Street Market. They offer a similar product (though you lose color options here) for much, MUCH less. A large platter will set you back about $85 and a small option is also available for about $65. Sure, you lose the natural edge and 24K gold rim, but are those two qualities really worth the extra $$$? Not in my book. I don't know about you, but I'd take an equally glitzy/glam option at 1/5 of the price any day!
Until next time-
Here's to those irresistable, unnecessary purchases,


French 75 + Lavender

In the last of my three week cocktail series (you can find links to the first two recipes here: week 1, week 2) I thought I'd share my favorite drink with a little twist: behold, the Lavender French 75.

 I like that the only change to this recipe is infusing the simple syrup with lavender- it keeps it simple and doesn't veer too far from the original drink. 
{Ingredients: Lemon juice, Gin, lavender simple syrup & Bubbles- optional: flowers for garnish}
In a shaker with ice, add about 1 oz lemon juice, 1.5 oz gin and about 2 tbsp lavender syrup. Shake to chill ingredients. Add to a champagne flute and top off with bubbles. Its that easy! 
To make the lavender simple syrup: add a few sprigs of lavender to 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for about five minutes. 
The slight variation on this drink makes it even more girly.  It's also proof that flowers make everything a little more beautiful and special.

Happy weekend! 


Cleanse Review

After wrapping up the Nourish 3 day kick-start cleanse last week, I thought I'd do a quick review of my experience. First off, the actual drinks themselves...
Drink 1: A green drink- not my favorite, especially if you've just brushed your teeth// Drink 2: A refreshing, tart and spicy lemonade// Drink 3: the most indulgent of them all, this one tastes like a chocolate/peanut butter/banana shake// Drink 4: a sweet, mostly pineapple tasting drink which I loved// Drink 5: another green drink... gulp, gulp, gulp// Drink 6: A delicious berry drink to wrap up the day. 
{Image from Nourish Drink Cafe's Website}
If you're considering the cleanse, here are a few of my thoughts and comments on the process:
-Save the almonds for the end of the day, or at the very least, have a couple at a time throughout the course of the day. You'll miss chewing on food and whether or not you're hungry you'll need that occasional crunch. You will regret eating them all early on in the day. Trust me.
-Drink a ton of water/green tea between blends. The schedule provided by Nourish has you drinking a blend about every two hours. I tried to sip on a blend over an hour then have either a bottle of water or a glass of tea over the next hour. It keeps you drinking and running to the restroom all day, but it also helps keep you from getting hungry.
-Speaking of hungry, drink the blends on schedule. You might think you could wait another 30 minutes to an hour since you're not feeling hungry. Don't wait. Those hunger pains are miserable and will remind you how much you miss chewing. Stick to the schedule.
-Take the recommended epsom salt baths, drink the chamomile tea, and exfoliate. The cleanse is about doing something good for yourself and your body. Treat it to a relaxing bath, hot tea and a good scrub down at the end of each day. I even wrapped up the week with a massage (my back has been bugging me) and I felt like a new person by Friday.
-If you've never had a green drink before, try one prior to beginning the cleanse. The taste of green drinks can be shocking- especially if they arent sweet. Do yourself a favor and get to Whole Foods, Nourish, etc. and try a kale/spinach based green drink that hasnt been sweetend up with a ton of apple or pineapple juice. It will save you from a lot of shock when you take your first sip on day one.
Meal times look a lot more like this now- salads loaded with veggies. I made this "tuna" salad to add too which is actually really great. The best thing about this cleanse for me? I usually end up with a cramped stomach by the end of the day. I did not experience this while on the cleanse so I've kept with a (mostly) plant-based diet. I figured out I'm lactose intolerant and really got to see how milk/yogurt/cheese etc. affect me and my body. I've cut them drastically and have been feeling HEAPS better. Ultimately, the 3 day kick-start cleanse was a kick in the rear that I desperately needed. I did loose weight and have kept it off- it wasn't just a quick, temporary loss.
If I ever hit a wall, start to feel sluggish or need to reset again, Nourish will be the first stop I make- I would do the cleanse again in a heartbeat.
Until next time-
Here's to your health!