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TRANSITION TO THOUGHTFUL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

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In our transition to all things ‘thoughtful living,’ we are making an effort to ditch our normal beauty products that for a regime that is much more friendly. Out with the weird ingredients, in with natural ingredients, stuff we can pronounce, and things that help repair our skin. Ya dig?First up – charcoal…okay, okay, and a little bit of coffee.

I have been on the charcoal train for a few months now & I am obsessed with every single on of these products. The Clinique gel & scrub are a part of my daily routine and every Sunday, during my little me-time pamper session, I bust out the mask & coffee scrub. All totally affordable & products that don’t break me out..and I don’t say that lightly because we all know what shit skin I used to have. So, party people, pour that glass of wine and let’s get to at-home spa-ing!


FRANK BODY SCRUB – i.e. the most amazing scrub ever

This is, and I mean it, the best body scrub around. It’s totally affordable, lasts forever, and smells amazing. I use this every other day (I even pack a little pouch of it in my gym bag) and my skin is constantly baby’s butt smooth. Plus, it cuts down on cellulite and eczema and a bunch of other beneficial stuff. I use it because it smells amazing and does wonders for my sluffy Chicago skin. Get it, you won’t regret it!

BOSCIA CHARCOAL MASK – basically magic

Again, another product I can’t live without. While it does make you look like Darth Vader when it’s on, it’s amazing and leaves your skin feeling all silky smooth. For $8 a pop, these are a totally affordable treat once or twice a month. Boscia has a bunch of different treatments – like sake or green tea – but the charcoal is my favorite.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CLEANSING GEL 

This is a new addition to the bunch, but I am really liking it. It cleanses my skin without drying it out, gets rid of the makeup & city grim, and leaves my face feeling fresh and comfortable. Clinique is a brand I keep coming back to because their products are gentle and way less harmful then other cleansers.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CITY BLOCK MASK

Sister, if you are looking for a good mud mask, this is it. I love it, I love it, I love it. It’s a scrub and a mask and it’s so good. It is great for a weekly mask, won’t dry your skin out, and has a nice little scrub at the end. I use this puppy once a week and my skin has never felt better. Plus, the natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture. Pretty nifty!


 

CLEAN UP YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE 4 simple steps to a healthier you

Healthy living- we all strive to do it on the regular and for the most part, you’re getting pretty good at choosing whole foods and cutting the junk and you’ve got the yoga thing down, but if you’re still not feeling like a million bucks, you may be missing a piece of the puzzle. A big piece!

Healthy living is about far more than just nourishing your body with nutrients and movement – it’s about cultivating healthy relationships, joyful and mindful living, plenty of good sleep and in today’s world, creating a less toxic living environment.

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As woman, we may slather a handful or more pricey beauty products all over our bodies before we even leave the house in the morning, many of which may contain toxic ingredients that have been linked to serious health issues like hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, and even cancer. Yah, I went there.

Cleansing your beauty routine can be just as important as cleansing that beautiful bod. In fact, think about it this way- what’s the point of detoxing if you continue to put the junk in?

Here are a few simple ways to cleanse your beauty routine and really rock out the healthy life…

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READ THE LABEL:

Just like when you’re grocery shopping, reading the labels on your skin care products can tell you a lot about what’s inside. Watch out for pthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, fragrance, and parabens, to name a few. Primally Pure is a great example of label purity. Their Deodorant, Lavender + Sage Body Butter and Fancy Face Serum are the real deal. Let’s just say you could literally eat your deodorant if it came down to it.

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CHOOSE A SAFE SKIN CARE BRAND:

Choosing a non-toxic option doesn’t mean you can only use crushed rose petals and coconut oil. Beautycounter, one of my favs, has banned over 1,500 ingredients from their makeup and skin care line and are leading the safe skincare movement. The best part- their products actually perform. Their Lip Sheer, Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Balancing Face Oil are must-haves!

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DIY IT:

A super simple and affordable way to cleanse your beauty routine is by making a few products on your own (think mouthwash, body butter and deodorant for the brave!). Adding pure essential oils like lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca can up your DIY beauty game big time! They have natural cleansing and beautifying properties and smell a-mazing! Hello home spa!

STOCK UP SLOWLY:

 Depending on your current beauty routine, switching over to safe skincare products can be pricey. An easy way to make the transition more affordable is to stock up on products as you run out, one by one. But if you’re ready to take the non-toxic plunge, dive right in girl!

One of my favorite ways to check out how my current products are ranking in terms of purity is through the Environmental Working Group. Plug your fav products into their new app, “Healthy Living”, to see their safety ratings

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Written by Justine Campbell, RD, NTP & Photography by Caroline Potter, NTP

TRAVEL LIKE A PRO little luxuries that make all the difference

Between traveling to meet clients, scoping out new locations for Tablemakers, and the occasional weekend get-away, my bags are packed more often then not. Luckily, I love traveling and feel very fortunate to be on the go so often, but it doesn’t come without it’s downsides. While certain things are out of your control (hello cancelled flights, long lines at the airport, or missed connections), I have found that it pays to be a savvy traveler. To me, that means packing multi-purpose pieces (like day to night slacks), always having snacks on hand (goodbye desperate vending machine trips), and bringing a few little luxuries along for the ride (sassy cheetah slippers, anyone?)

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Whether traveling for work or for pleasure, it’s important to bring a few things along that remind you of home. Look,  traveling can be exhausting so why not plan ahead and give yourself a break. After I land in a new place (if time allows), I throw on my sneakers and hit the hotel gym, or if the weather is nice enough, I go outside for a run.

I shake that airport funk right off, get my blood flowing, and give myself the excuse I needed to order a side of fries with dinner. That night, again, depending on the schedule, I treat myself to a little in-room spa time. I pack a face mask (specifically this one), a travel jar of coffee scrub, maybe a deep conditioning hair treatment, throw on my adorable Birdies and treat myself to a little alone time. This way I am refreshed for a full day of meetings and have a little extra pep in my step.
pack like a pro via lauren kelpOkay, let’s talk about these slippers for a second. Yes, those cheetah ones! Adorable right? They don’t even look like slippers and that is why I love them so much. They are part of the latest collection by Birdies, wildly comfortable, and the absolute best house shoes I have ever owned.

When we have people over, I always prefer if people take their shoes off, and because I love these slippers so much, I have a few extra pairs on hand for girlfriends to slip on when they come over. I rarely wear socks that match, so walking around someone’s house without shoes on makes me feel a little silly, but these slippers are legit cuter than most flats I own…and a lot more comfortable. PLUS, they don’t take up a ton of room in your suitcase, protect your feet from mystery hotel floors, and are just too cute not to pack.Ooh and if you are in the market for a good weekend bag, do yourself the biggest favor and treat yourself to this Chelsea bag by Mark & Graham. Put it on your wish list (Christmas is coming!), treat yourself after that promotion/new job/kick ass life goal accomplished and I promise you won’t regret it. The leather is stunning and it only gets better with age. Plus, it is surprisingly large without being big and bulky. Every girl needs a good travel tote, right?

pack like a pro via lauren kelpSo, quick run through, here are my quick and dirty travel tips to keep you fresh & on your toes, no matter where you are going.

Go for a quick run, walk, or do some yoga after you check in. Get that blood flowing and give your body a little extra boost.

When packing, throw in a fun face mask, body scrub, or other at-home spa treatments. Order room service, binge watch HGTV, and treat yourself to some you time.

Get, bring, and gift these adorable slippers – trust me, they will become your favorite comfy time accessory.

Have a few shades of lipstick and a roll-on perfume stick in your carry-on. There are few things a good shade of lipstick and a power fragrance can’t fix.

pack like a pro via lauren kelpOoh and if you are in the market for a good weekend bag, do yourself the biggest favor and treat yourself to this Chelsea bag by Mark & Graham. Put it on your wish list (Christmas is coming!), treat yourself after that promotion/new job/kick ass life goal accomplished and I promise you won’t regret it. The leather is stunning and it only gets better with age. Plus, it is surprisingly large without being big and bulky. Every girl needs a good travel tote, right?

pack like a pro via lauren kelp


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this post was sponsored by birdies slippers. all opinions are my own & seriously, get these slippers – they are amazing.

MARBLED ICE CREAM PARTY

As you know, we love any excuse to throw a party & we are always looking for fun, new ones! We have been big fans of Oh Happy Day (what party lover isn’t?!) for a long time & now that they launched a new party shop, it’s an endless source of party inspiration. Take these spunky marbled plates & cups for instance – they are so fun! Don’t they just scream ice cream party?!

We had friends over a few weeks ago & we thought it would be a fun surprise to serve up a spunky little dessert & these marbled accents did the trick! Who wouldn’t want their ice cream served in something as happy as these? Scroll down to see what you need to plan your own ice cream party surprise!
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WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

– Ice cream

– Ice cream cones

– Sprinkles, chocolate sauce, gummy bears, nuts, berries, and all of your other favorite toppings

Marbled napkins (we got ours in orange!)

Marbled cups (we want all of the colors!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

– Add some fruit, chocolate, or other larger toppings to the bottom of your cup. Scoop your ice cream on top & finish off with sprinkles & an upside down ice cream cone!

– Use your cone as a spoon, mix the sprinkles on top with the goodies at the bottom, or just dive in! No matter how you eat it, it’s always delicious!

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Photography by Aimée Mendez

 

HONEY STRAWBERRY MUFFINS

strawberrymuffins3There is something about summer that makes me want to eat fruit with every meal & thanks to this delicious honey strawberry muffin recipe by our fabulous food contributor Elizabeth, it’s beyond easy! xoxo, LK


Howdy, friends! Elizabeth here & last summer I tried to make muffins like once a weekend and it was the BEST. I feel like every house guest loves waking up to the smell of fresh muffins. They take me less than ten minutes to whip together and they taste delicious! Snag one warm and top with butter and honey. That’s serious perfection.

HONEY STRAWBERRY MUFFINS
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ Cups of flour
  • 1 Cup of diced strawberries
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Almond Milk
  • ¼ Canola Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray muffin/cupcake pan evenly with a non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set Aside.
  3. In a large bowl crack the egg and whisk with the sugar until just combined. Add in the canola oil, vanilla extract, almond milk and whisk together. Pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture in three equal parts, whisking after each addition. Do not over mix. The batter will be on the thicker side.
  4. Fold in the strawberries gently with a spatula. Pour the batter into your cupcake/ muffin tin sprayed with non-stick spray. I poured mine until the top of the cup and this made a large muffin, you can pour the cup half way for a smaller muffin (believe me, you'll want the larger muffin!).
  5. Place in the middle of the oven and bake at 425F for 5 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350F for an additional 20 minutes. Note: everyone's oven is different so your cooking time may vary. Place a knife or a toothpick inside the middle of a muffin, if the knife comes out cleanly they're finished. Wait about ten minutes and you've got yourself a delectable warm muffin!

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SUMMER FIESTA & HALF GALLON MARGARITAS

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Hi, friends – Elizabeth here! I am certainly the “you don’t need a reason to throw a party” person but graduation gave me a real bug to go all out and celebrate! My three best friends from California and a ton of my family flew in to Colorado to watch me move that tassel from the right to the left, so naturally I through them a soiree. Believe it or not this was set up in my apartment complex’s patio. I love transforming a shabby space into something gorgeous. I’m all about that Cinderella effect.

summerfiesta8summerfiesta4 (1)Setting a table up is kind of my favorite thing ever. I love getting to turn my kitchen into a green house the morning before a dinner and mix and match all of my fav tablescape decor items. Before I bore you too much with the nitty gritty details let’s get started on the fun stuff that you can bring to your own party to keep your guests entertained and having fun!summerfiesta30summerfiesta13I was lucky enough to have one killer sponsor for my table design! W&P Design creates these gorgeous pineapple tumblers! You can find em in gold, silver and copper. Who wouldn’t want to drink their margarita out of a gold pineapple?! I was lucky enough to have my parents attend this dinner and my Dad thoroughly enjoyed drinking from his gold pineapple, ha!summerfiesta9summerfiesta6

HALF GALLON MARGARITAS
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
 
This recipe was killer and everyone was feeling the right kind of happy. Serve these half gallon margs with PLENTY of ice, citrus slices, edible flowers and salted glasses for the ultimate DIY marg bar!
Ingredients
  • 750 ML of silver tequila
  • 1 Cup of orange juice
  • 2 Cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ Cup of agave nectar
  • +Ice
Instructions
  1. In a half gallon container or large pitcher add in juices, tequila, agave nectar and stir well. Keep cold in the refrigerator up to a few hours before your party. Mix well and add ice before serving! Cheers!

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PEACH BOURBON SMASH perfect for a warm summer night

Peach season is approaching & there are few things I love better than stone fruit cocktails. Between stone fruit sangria, peach & basil gin + tonics, lavender peach bellinis, and now this insanely delicious peach bourbon smash – your summer is about to get a whole lot sweeter!

Even if you aren’t typically a fan of fruit based cocktails, the bourbon buffs up this beauty & the fresh thyme gives her a hint of an herbal taste. The combination is undeniably delicious and the best part is that it takes less than 5 minutes to make!

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PEACH BOURBON SMASH
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 2 oz. Bourbon
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • Ripe peach
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
Instructions
  1. Add your bourbon, lemon juice, & simple syrup to your cocktail shaker.
  2. Cut your peach in half & squeeze the non-pit side into the shaker. Get all that good juice & pulp your can muster. Strip a few sprigs of your thyme leaves into the shaker as well.
  3. Shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds & pour into a bourbon glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with a wedge of peach & a sprig of thyme

So, what do you think? Ready to run out and get yourself some peaches? We’re stalking our local farmers market for a good haul & when it’s time, these peach bourbon smash will be on repeat all summer long!

What are your other favorite peach-based cocktails?


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HOME TOUR | CARRIE WALLER of Dream Green DIY

Andrea Pesca-3Meet Carrie – our latest home tour obsession  & the creative maven behind your favorite internet spots. Whether you are drooling over one of her fabulous features for the Glitter Guide or upgrading your space with one of her brilliant DIYs, Carrie is definitely someone you want to hang out with. Now that we’ve gotten a peek at her space, the girl crush has escalated to full-on love 😉 See what we mean below! 


Carrie Waller-22 HI! TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

My name is Carrie Waller, I am 30 & I live in Waynesboro, VA where I am the Founder of Dream Green DIY, Features Editor for Glitter Guide, and Freelance Writer.

Andrea Pesca-2Carrie Waller-02WHEN PEOPLE WALK INTO YOUR SPACE, WHAT IS THE FEELING YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE? 

I would love for people to think that they stepped back in time, and that we truly honored the era of our 1960s home. We just moved into our mid-century A-frame ranch last year, and have spent our free time working to really spruce things up, but to also pay homage to the original details of our home. The previous owners actually built the house back in 1962, and lived here for over half a century—we’re only the second owners! I often think about how they might react if they walked back into the space that we’ve created from what they left behind. I love to imagine that they’d be proud that we kept the original mid-century flair and personality intact.

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WE ARE OBSESSED WITH YOUR BASEMENT – TELL US ABOUT IT!

Thank you! I think that the expansive finished half of the basement in our house really sealed the deal when we toured the home last September. That said, a large room poses its fair share of challenges—namely layout. We have tried a number of different configurations in the last six months, and finally settled on a multi-zone layout. We’ve got a little movie-watching lounge area with a digital projector in one corner, a record cabinet and stacks of vinyls for easy listening off to one side with bean bag chairs nearby, and a more traditional living area with seating and a television near the fireplace. We were able to make the large space feel cohesive despite its multiple personalities thanks to a running bohemian-inspired color scheme throughout the entire room. It’s a great space for entertaining and relaxing any day of the week!

Carrie Waller-17Andrea Pesca-10WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR SPACE?

That we are finally living in a single family home. I have spent the last decade moving from apartment to apartment, and my husband and I most recently lived in a cookie cutter townhouse. Although we have loved every space that we’ve lived in, this home feels really special. Sure, there’s no telling where life will take us and what opportunities or challenges will crop up in the future, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this rambling old ranch will be our forever and ever house.

Carrie Waller-07Andrea Pesca-1WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

Taking things slow! I’m a perpetual impulse designer, so I’m trying to break my track record with this house by taking things one room and one design decision at a time. I have to keep reminding myself that we’ve only been here for six months, and that we need to really live in the spaces to know how they need to work for us. Right now, my biggest challenge is definitely patience and waiting to see how the design unfolds organically and intentionally.

Carrie Waller-08Andrea Pesca-7IF YOUR HOUSE HAD A SPIRIT COCKTAIL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Something simple but significant

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WE LOVE A GOOD ENTERTAINING TIP. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE?

I have a running collection of party supplies that I keep on hand at a moments notice (think: patterned paper plates, celebratory napkins, striped paper straws, confetti in all shapes and colors). By having these things at the ready, I am able to welcome people over for a fun impromptu celebration anytime without the stress of having to go out and buy party supplies! Oh, and vintage glasses. Always buy the fabulous vintage glasses you see at antique stores and estate sales! There’s no prettier way to serve a cocktail than in a retro glass.

Carrie Waller-23 Carrie Waller-06WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR HOUSE?

Choosing my favorite piece would be like asking a mother to choose her favorite child—it’s impossible! I love every single piece of vintage furniture, glassware, art, and textile we have in our house. They all tell a unique story and remind me of times like when my husband and I went to that little converted farmhouse antique store in Covesville, or when my sister and I braved the ratty old thrift store at the beach to uncover hidden treasures. Our collection of retro secondhand furniture and accessories are much more than just “things”—together, they’re a collection of palpable memories that are priceless to me.

Carrie Waller-35Carrie Waller-05WHO INFLUENCED YOUR INTERIOR STYLE?

My interior style is unabashedly retro and mid-century, with a hint of bohemianism thrown in for good measure. I love the sleek lines and edgy patterns of the 1960s, but also can’t get enough of the layered textiles of the boho aesthetic. I get a lot of inspiration from designers like Emily Henderson, Justina Blakeney, and Amber Interiors.

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Photography by Andrea Pesce & Carrie Waller

3 OPEN-FACED SUMMER SANDWICHES healthy & perfect for picnics

Who is excited for picnics, bike rides, hanging by the lake, and spending every waking moment of their weekend outdoors?! With warmer weather here to stay (fingers crossed!) we’re ready to spend every moment of daylight outside soaking up the sun & going on adventures. If you are anything like me, you a) don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen preparing meals and b) try to be a little more conscious of what you eat in the summertime. Well friends, I am here to share the gospel of open-faced sandwiches. Perfect for picnics, snacks, on the porch with friends – basically anywhere – these sandwiches are my go-to summertime meal and it’s easy to see why. The key is the bread. No one wants gross soggy bread or this chemically-engineered nonsense. You (and the rest of the world) want bread that is flavorful, totally free of weird stuff, and is good for you. Meet our latest obsessed – eureka!® Organic Bread, specifically their SEEDS THE DAY® loaves. Um, yum. Packed full of seeds & really fluffy, this bread is our jam 😉 Okay, okay, now it’s time for the good stuff – scroll down to see our 3 go-to open-faced summer sandwiches!

ONE: The Sassy Radish

I have not always been the biggest fan of radishes, but their crisp texture and mild flavor is perfect in the summertime when you are looking for a little crunch. Pair it with a few slices of avocado over a lightly toasted, never boring, always delicious SEEDS THE DAY® toast & you are well on your way to a delicious & healthy treat!

INGREDIENTS:

  • A few radishes, thinly sliced
  • Olive Oil
  • Micro greens (or spinach, arugula, whatever you like best)
  • SEEDS THE DAY® eureka!® Organic Bread 
  • Half an avocado, sliced
  • Optional: salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Toast up your SEEDS THE DAY® slice of bread & add a handful of greens on top. Slice up your avocado & radishes and place over the bed of greens. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt & pepper & voila!

TWO: The Californian

Dreaming of sunny skies, winding vineyards, and California beaches? This baby is for you! Meet my go-to open-faced sandwich on days when I am feeling a little extra gourmet. Between the sun-dried tomatoes, the avocado, and the delicious texture of the seeds baked into the bread, this sandwich can’t help but be a staple in a summer diet.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Greens (micro greens, spinach, kale, whatever you like best)
  • Half an avocado, sliced
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
  • SEEDS THE DAY® eureka!® Organic Bread
  • Optional: salt, pepper, & olive oil to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Side note: I prefer this sandwich un-toasted, but to each his own! 1. Grab a slice of your bread & pile on those greens! Slice your avocado & sun dried tomatoes to your preferred thickness & width & place on top. If it gets a little bulky, gently press down with the back of your knife. 2. Top off with a few extra micro greens, a pinch of salt, and, if you want, a little drizzle of olive oil. And your perfectly delicious sandwich is served!

THREE: Sunny Side Up

For those days when you just have a hankering for breakfast for every meal, the Sunny Side Up sandwich can’t be beat. Wonderfully toasted & topped with fresh greens, farm fresh tomatoes, and a perfect egg – hubba hubba!

INGREDIENTS:

  • SEEDS THE DAY® eureka!® Organic Bread, toasted
  • 1 egg
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Micro greens

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. While you are toasting up a piece of your new favorite bread, crack your egg & fix it sunny side up. 2. Gently place egg on your toast & top with micro greens, sliced cherry tomatoes, salt & pepper to the taste and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese. 3. Dig in & enjoy!


For more information on eureka!® Organic Bread, visit them on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

What’s your favorite summertime sandwich? Share it with me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available hereThis sweepstakes runs from 5/27/16 – 6/27/15. Be sure to visit the eureka!® Organic Bread brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

OLIVE OIL & SAGE MINI LOAVES

26530763070_4619c063f2_bLooking for a perfect snack or something to bring to a get-together? How about an Olive Oil & Sage loaf? Don’t write them off, these little loaves are adorable & totally loav-able 😉 – xoxo, LK


Lately, I’ve not only allowed myself as many hosting opportunities as my calendar can manage, but have fortunately received many invites by other hosts as well. I never like to show up empty handed and prefer to leave a thoughtful impression upon my host to show my gratitude. This is why I try to choose less common gifts such as handmade table linens or a salt scrub I’ve made in a scent they like.

Sometimes though, the hostess will ask you to bring something such as dessert. For the occasions where something specific has been requested, like dessert, I still try to find a creative treat. This is how I came up with the Olive Oil & Sage Mini Loaves, which were a combination of several recipes I’d made before. The flavors are extremely subtle and pair well with most every meal being served.

This recipe, which you can find below, will allow you to make 3 mini loaves. Two of the loaves you can wrap nicely for your host to keep and then one can be shared after the meal.26530778420_6e7eab8109_h

OLIVE & SAGE MINI LOAVES
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • ¾ cup Whole Milk
  • 1½ tablespoons Fresh Sage, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • Coconut Oil for coating the pan
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 mini bread loaf pans using coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, and Salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl beat the eggs. Mix the Olive Oil, Whole Milk, and Sage into the eggs. Using a spatula gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until fully combined. Stir in the chocolate.
  4. Divide the batter between the 3 loaf pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before moving to a wire rack. Enjoy!

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Written & Photographed by Aimee Mars