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IT’S LIKE YOUR NORMAL YOGA, BUT WITH GOATS the most hysterical workout of your life

goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpLast week I got to gallivant around Mesa & Phoenix, Arizona going on hot air balloon rides, learning how to fly on a trapeze, and lots of other fabulous adventures that I can’t wait to tell you about. But maybe the most hysterical and unique experience of the week was a morning goat yoga class…

All you American Ninja Warrior fans, remember April Gould the “Goat Whisperer” from 2015 & 2016? Well she has partnered with long-time friend, Sarah Williams (who, if you ever visit Arizona, has one of the best SUP companies around – Desert Paddleboards) to bring you one of two goat yoga experiences in the country.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelp

Truthfully, the experience is hysterical and unlike anything I have ever done. You drive out to April’s farm just outside Phoenix, let yourself into the gated field, and check your normal notions about yoga at the door.

It starts off normally enough, everyone doing some stretches and some basic poses to warm up, the only thing that might be different from your normal class at the gym, is that there are a bunch of goats running around in tiaras, feather boas, and crowns.
goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpSarah leads the group in beginner yoga poses while April walks around with the goats. She places dried fig leaves in front of your mat so the goats will come over, hang out, and munch a little. They share their story, talk about why goats are awesome, and just encourage you to relax and have a little fun.

Between you and me, I was totally confused. I live in the city, I don’t casually interact with goats on a regular basis, and I think the last time I pet an animal outside of a dog was at my grade school field trip to the petting zoo. I had no idea what to expect. Don’t they bite? I think I am afraid of them jumping on me? What if I can’t hang? I had a series of questions…goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpAbout 15 minutes in, Sarah leads us into a downward dog & that is when things start to get crazy. Starting at one end and working around the circle, April leads one of the smaller goats up on your back and the goat just kind of hangs out there. If you are close enough to your partner, the goat will hop from person to person quite happily.

It was a freaking riot! At the point, all intentions of practicing yoga go out the window, and all eyes are on the goat. Not to mention that there was a little kid (less than a week old) running around, so naturally all I cared about was snuggling the hell out of it.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelpIf you are there with a group (which we had a birthday party & a bachelorette party in the group) April & Sarah will lead you in group poses and the goat joins right in. Hoping up on the top of the pyramid or right on top of you while doing a partner plank. Don’t worry, everyone is happy to take a picture and capture the hilarious scene.

When you visit Arizona (and you should absolutely visit) you’ve got to stop by Arizona Goat Yoga. The classes are basically free ($10) & you have to sign up in advance on their website, but I promise, it will be one of the most hysterical things you’ve done in a long time. Going with friends or a family vacation? This is an absolute must! Nothing says next years holiday card, like a human pyramid with a goat on top of dear old Dad.goat yoga in arizona via lauren kelp


photos by Kristen Carter Photography
This experience was in collaboration with Visit Mesa & Visit Phoenix. As always, hosts have no editorial influence on articles.

GINGERBREAD LATTE

If the Pumpkin Spice Latte is the drink of fall, then this Gingerbread Latte is absolutely the winter version. Nice and cozy with all the spices and fragrances of the season and perfect to serve warm or over ice (and easy to adapt for a happy hour twist) – what could be better? If you are looking to spice up your morning coffee order, this is absolutely it!
Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelpAs much as I love spend $6 every time I walk into a coffee shop (said no one ever….), it’s nice to keep your wallet tucked away and play living room barista. This sassy little coffee order totally plays into my fantasy of being a rockstar barista. I get to play with spices, froth some milk (okay, it’s totally unnecessary for the recipe, but it’s fun, so I do it), and serve it up in a fun glass. Plus, you know how much I love when things can get a little boozy & this is an adorable drink to serve at your next home happy hour. Everyone will be like, oohmygosh, you are such a rockstar barista slash mixologist, what do I even bring to this friendship cause you are so cool and good at everything awesome.

I mean, what could be better?!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp

GINGERBREAD LATTE
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee
Instructions
  1. In a small pan, heat your almond milk over medium heat. Once warm (just under boiling), add spices, brewed coffee, and honey & mix well
  2. Serve in a fun mug & top off with a little ground cinnamon, or for a happy hour twist, add a shot of your favorite libation!

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp Well, snow bunnies, what do you think? Ready to cozy up by the fire with one of these delicious Gingerbread Lattes? I mean, let’s be real, what’s not to like! Can’t wait to hear what you think! xo, LK

Gingerbread Latte recipe via lauren kelp


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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

HOST A CRAFTERNOON PARTY in 3 easy steps

crafternoon0001Have you ever hosted a Crafternoon party? I used to think they were for chilly days in the wintertime, but I was sorely mistaken. We got some friends together & hosted a little summer Crafternoon get-together & had an absolute blast!

We all brought crafts we were working on (or wanted to start), a few bottles of our favorite wine, and some little snacks to munch on & it was one of the best ways to spend an afternoon I could have ever imagined.

I love them because a) you get to hang out with friends b) you get to work on crafts and c) they almost always turn into a dinner party with spouses, boyfriends, or people who couldn’t make it to the craft portion – it’s so fun! So, as evident in my enthusiasm, we want to spread the summer Crafternoon love & show you some tips, tricks, and a fun DIY to get things started.
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STEP ONE: Prep the space

A Crafternoon is a get-together that works best with a big space. Grab a few card tables, clean off the dining room table, or pull out the picnic table in the backyard. Depending on how many friends you have over, each person should have enough space to spread out a little, comfortably.

Now, don’t go crazy, but provide some options. We held ours in our living room where people could sit at the dining room table, on the sofa, around the coffee table, or on the floor – whatever works, you know?

crafternoon0011STEP TWO: Gather the supplies

Next up in our little Crafternoon bash 101 is to gather the supplies! We are big fans of crafting with wine, so we made sure to stock up on a few of our favorite bottles (we’ve been loving Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Merlot for summer-time).

Not to mention – snacks! You can’t get your besties together without a good cheese board. Pick up your favorite cheese, some fresh summer fruit, a baguette, a good bar of chocolate, and maybe a spread or two & you’ve got the fixings for an all afternoon-hang session.

crafternoon0023STEP THREE: Kick things off with an easy DIY

Now comes the fun part! Not everyone is a big “crafter” so to help everyone get their feet wet, we started off with a fun & super easy wine glass DIY. Hop on over to Kendall-Jackson’s blog to see this two step craft that will have you seriously addicted!

Another fun option is to make stamps out of your corks. Mark the non-wine side of your cork with a shape (basic shapes are best), carve the negative space out, dip in some paint & play around. This is fun for wrapping paper, cards, or even on extra cocktail napkins. Adorable & super easy!

crafternoon0016So, what do you think? Ready to gather the gals this weekend & craft your buns off? I mean, it sounds like a pretty great way to spend an afternoon to me – drinkin’, craftin’, probably hangin’ out and doing an impromptu potluck. Count us in!

Have any other fun & easy Crafternoon crafts? Let us know if the comment section – we can’t wait to try them out!crafternoon_1


lauren buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

THROW A WINE TASTING BIRTHDAY PARTY

KJWineTasting0013Hello, hello, hello! Today we are mixing things up a bit and talking about how to throw a party that is very near and dear to everyone’s hearts – a birthday party! If you are like me, you might not be the biggest fan of your birthday. The older you get, the more pressure there seems to be to do something really fun, or not do anything at all. We say, ditch the pressure and throw a fun event that just so happens to coincide with your birthday.

For us, it was a wine tasting party this year! We loved it because it took the pressure off of being the center of attention, gave everyone something to do, and was interactive in the best way. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to drink wine and eat yummy bites?

KJWineTasting0017So, today, we are showing you, step by step, how to throw the most fun wine tasting birthday party. Who knows, you might have to keep the theme going annually, it will be such a hit!

STEP ONE:

 It’s all about the wine! As you know, we can’t say ‘no’ to a good bottle of Kendall-Jackson wine, so we decided to stick with our favorites and try a bunch of different varietals in their portfolio. We got a good mix of white, a hearty variety of red (those are my favorite) and some fun dessert wines to spice things up.

It is important to get a variety of wines, even some that are outside your comfort zone. For example, I don’t really drink Chardonnay’s, but after this party, the Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is my new favorite. The goal is that you find some new pairing, whether it is food or wine, that you like. So have some fun!

wine tasting 2STEP TWO:

Build the perfect spread! What is a wine tasting party without the magnificent cheese board that goes with it? Again, if you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve never met a cheese board we didn’t like. The more sliced fruit, roasted nuts, and varieties of cheese – the better in our book!

So go a little wild and have some fun!

I recommend pulling out a series of boards and placing them around your space. Have a board in reach no matter where your guests is sitting, sipping, or mingling. On the sofa, on the coffee and side tables, and definitely a few on your breakfast or dining room tables. This allows the guests to pair their wines with a new snack wherever they are.

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STEP THREE:

It wouldn’t be a party without the cake! For (seriously) the most delicious birthday cake, hop on over to Kendall-Jackson’s blog and read all about our Dark Chocolate Olive Oil cake. It’s the best thing since sliced bread and, in the spirit of wine pairing, it is made even better with a crisp glass of Kendall-Jackson’s Merlot.

Don’t believe me? Hop on over and see!

wine tasting 1STEP FOUR:

Have fun! Yep, that’s it. Three easy steps and you are well on your way to having the most fun birthday party yet. If you want to make your wine pairing party a bit more difficult, feel free to have your guests sip out of black glasses (so they can’t see what they are sipping) or tie a brown paper bag around the bottle to prevent user bias (me with white wine!).

Or, do what we did and just let your guests guide the experience. No matter how it’s thrown, this bash is always a good time had by all and it is absolutely a party for the books!

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lauren kelp author buttonconstance buttonThis post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

HOMEMADE PASTA SAUCE

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Babe-trons! Lauren here and I am particularly excited for what we have in store for you today! We recently had a new neighbor move in to the condo and it got me thinking – should we bring them something?! My answer is (and will always be) YES! Because moving is rough and everyone loves a good neighbor, plus giving feels good, so why not?!

Here is the tricky part, you want to make a nice gesture, but you don’t know what they like. Luckily, we’ve come up with the fool proof gift for gifting any new neighbor! What does everyone love? Fixings for a homemade meal! Specifically, fixings for a delicious spaghetti dish with homemade pasta sauce!

sauce_1
INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs. tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/4 cup chopped onion
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp good olive oil
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tsp lemon juice

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INSTRUCTIONS:

-In a large sized sauce pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil
-Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Using a hand blender, puree the tomato mixture.
-Strain the tomato mixture to remove seeds and peel.
-Combine tomato puree and basil in the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until volume is reduced to half. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
-Add lemon juice
Let cool and pour into a large mason jar. Screw on the lid tight & voila! The most delicious homemade pasta sauce you could ever imagine.

sauce_2Want to see the rest of the gorgeous welcome to the neighborhood basket we put together? Well, you have to pop over to the Kendall-Jackson blog to see the full DIY! No, but for real, it’s really cute and I might be giving them out as Christmas gifts I liked this one so much.

Take a peek and let us know what you think! Made your own? Make sure you share! Tag @laurenkelp and @kjwines to share your gift baskets with us. Who knows, we might move into the house next to you so we can receive one 😉

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lauren kelp author buttonconstance button

This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

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