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CLEAN BEAUTY part 1 - the 80/20 rule

What is this? A break from the cooking crusade? Why yes, my favorite reader, it is. I made a New Year’s resolution to clean up my beauty routine and I thought it would be fun to document the process here…and it would probably help keep me accountable. And who doesn’t love a little resolution accountability, eh?!

Long story short, I have no idea how to “do makeup.” Like, I still apply foundation with my fingers. I have been given a lot of makeup from brands as gifts or testers from various campaigns and mostly I have to watch YouTube videos to figure out what to do with it (like wtf is this whole “baking” technique?!) and a lot of it ends up just sitting in bins under the bathroom sink. This winter I went down a war path  (it is currently still happening) to purge our house of all the extra shit we have laying around. No closet, cabinet, drawer, or shelf is safe from my rampage. And that brings us to todays post – clean beauty.

We are all obsessed with ingredients in our food and it is pouring over into what we put on our skin. After spending a good 12 hours researching ingredients for this post, I can say with utter certainty that my beauty routine is about to get a whole lot cleaner. No more shark fats, parabens, guano (ie bat poop) phthalates, or other unpronounceable mystery ingredients are going on this skin any time soon.

Below I take a look at every beauty product that I own and rate it based on EWG & Think Dirty’s clean ingredient rating system. Both are free apps and both have pros and cons, but I like them and think when used together they paint a pretty good picture of what you are working with. The goal is to get 80% of my beauty products to have a clean rating (0-3 on both Think Dirty’s & EWG’s scale) while the other 20% can be in the 50/50 range. I know, I know, why not just go all the way? Who knows, maybe I will, but I have got to be honest, there are some really shitty clean mascaras out there, so I am leaving a little wiggle room.

Each product has a rating and a verdict, and all the products are tallied up at the end. Ideally, I want to switch these out over the next couple of months and do a little monthly recap on what works, what doesn’t, and progress made – what do you think?! Here’s to cutting out the clutter and cleaning up our act!

PERFUME:

COMMODITY:

Delicious, smokey, moody, and ooh so mysterious – I do love the fragrance wardrobe Commodity has built. That being said, how do they stand up to our dirty test? According to an interview with Commodity co-founders, their fragrance ingredients are sustainably sourced and paraben, phthalate, gluten free, and cruelty free. Since bringing on a new director in 2016, they have migrated their fragrances to become more sustainable and clean whenever possible…so do with that information what you will.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

PHLUR: 

My first “clean” fragrance and I AM OBSESSED. They don’t use harmful ingredients, are cruelty-free, proceeds from every fragrance go back to organizations committed to conservation, and they even have sustainable packaging. Read all about their story here. PLUS, they are based in my old stomping ground, Austin, TX, so I have en extra special love for them.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

DESIGNER SAMPLES:

I love these little guys because they are great to throw in a gym bag, purse, or travel bag and voila! You’ve got options that won’t weigh you down or get you stuck in the TSA line. BUUUUUT, after reading all about how fragrances are some of the dirtiest products out there…I am rethinking my love. After a little research, I discovered that perfume ingredients are protected under the U.S. Fair Packaging and Label Act because they are considered trade secrets, and thus, do not need to be disclosed – lovely.

There is a ton of literature on perfumes and fragrances, all of which are a quick Google search away – so read at your leisure. That being said, I will be ditching these little guys and swapping them out for something much cleaner.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

FACE:

VICHY Normaderm:

I read about this face wash in an Into the Gloss article about French girl skin care and was like, mmm yes please. But after a quick ingredient scan, my yes please has become a NO THANK YOU! According to EWG, this product poses a moderate concern for ingredient safety. While it rates a 9 (10 being the worst) on Think Dirty’s Dirty Meter for “Developmental & reproductive toxicity.” YIKES.

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: Not clean

BIO-OIL:

I picked this up at Target after reading about how it helps reduce scars and have honestly, never really used it. It just seemed really oily…which, yes I know it was oil, but it was like thick oil…any way, I didn’t use it and turns out, that was probably for the best. According to Think Dirty’s Dirty Meter, this product rates a 9/10 due to fragrance and posses a developmental & reproductive toxicity. no bueno.

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

POREspective Enzyme Mask:

When we lived in Austin, I had the most fantastic aesthetician – Alissa from POREspecitve – and she truly turned my skin around. I literally cried on her table and she was wonderful and amazing, and if you are in Austin, I cannot recommend her enough. She hooked me up with this Enzyme Mask and while it’s not rated on Think Dirty or EWG, I’ve researched all the ingredients and they all come up clean and clear – phew!

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

FRESH SUGAR LIP POLISH:

For these nasty Chicago winters, lip exfoliants are a must. While my trusty apps didn’t have ratings for this specific lip polish, the individual ingredients used in Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish rated about 50/50 – half clean, half not so clean.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: brand summary is a 5/10

VERDICT: 50/50

ADVANCED CLINICALS RAPID LIFT:

So, I have no idea if this stuff actually works, but I like to think it does. It is an anti-aging eye serum that I put around my outer eyes and forehead (the back of the tube says you can) and I like to think that it helps fight the good fight against wrinkles. That being said, I might have to find an alternative option. EWG & Think Dirty don’t have any ratings for the Rapid Lift, they do however have ratings for other Advanced Clinicals products and they are straight up nooooo bueno. 

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 10/10 (based on other AC products)

VERDICT: Not clean

BURT’S BEE’S FACIAL CLEANING TOWELETTES:

As much as I would love to be one of those gals who always washes her face before bed every night…I am not. I am working on it! It is actually a 2018 resolution of mine (don’t laugh), but that is where these bad boys come in handy. They are great to get the grime off and act as a quick face wash substitute for when I just can’t. 

Think Dirty: 5/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: 50/50

BEAUTYCOUNTER BRIGHTENING + VITAMIN C FACIAL MIST:

So we all know that Beautycounter is a leader in the whole clean beauty movement, and for good reason! They have helped educate a ton of people (including me) on why certain ingredients are bad, why the government regulations are archaic and kinda effed, and they just put a lot of care, effort, and research into what they are putting in their products. And their Founder & CEO is a woman and I just really like that. This Brightening + Vitamin C set was a gift and I have to be honest, I don’t use this a ton. I use the oil a lot more, but the mist makes me feel kind of like…wtf am I doing? Is this what a makeup person does? Am I a makeup person now? Let that stand as proof to how cool and skincare savvy I am…

Think Dirty:2/10

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

BEAUTYCOUNTER BRIGHTENING + VITAMIN C FACIAL OIL:

Okay, the oil – love this guy. I was using Kiehl’s oil but then I EWG’ed it and was like HOLY EFF THIS IS BAD and then I remembered I had this and was like OKAY I WILL SWITCH IT OUT. So that’s my story with this guy. It apparently helps with sun spots (don’t think I have those?)

Think Dirty: 2/10

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

HERBIVORE BLUE TANSY:

Herbivore is an ethically based, natural skin care line that was recommended to me a long time ago and this is again, another product that I don’t really use. But based on the reviews, recommendations, and ingredients list – I absolutely need to! Herbivore lists all of the ingredients in every product they produce on their website (which is amazing) and promises that every ingredient is food-grade, safe, non-toxic, and basically clean af. None of the Herbivore products are on Think Dirty or EWG apps, but based on the research I have done on the ingredients, this little masks is in the clear!

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

SUPERGOOP! LIP SUNSCREEN:

I bought this for when we were going to Cuba and I am realizing that I don’t use half of the shit that I have in my beauty arsenal. I mean, I have used this once or twice (mainly while we were in Havana) but living in Chicago doesn’t really give you a lot of reason to bust out the ol’ lip screen, know what I mean. That being said, this is some pretty clean block, so I am just going to go ahead and throw all the other junk away.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

SUPERGOOP! EVERY DAY SUNSCREEN (50 SPF):

Ditto above.

Think Dirty gives this a 5 out of 10 because of the MYRISTYL ALCOHOL ingredient. Basically, it is a binding agent that bonds oil and aqua substances. It is considered safe and a low possible carcinogen…

Think Dirty: 5/10

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

POND’S COLD CREAM:

I haven’t used this guy in many months and after reading about it’s toxicity report, I can’t throw this container away fast enough…

Think Dirty rates this product as dirty as it gets because of fragrance (9/10) and DMDM HYDANTOIN (10/10). DMDM is basically a formaldehyde releasing agent (ew) and can trigger eczema and is a know carcinogen. Duly noted. *throws cream into trash*

EWG rates this guy as a moderate concern overall, but high concern for allergies and immunotoxicity. EWG states, “HIGH concerns: Endocrine disruptionContamination concernsIrritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)” So yea, let’s jut give that *throws cream into trash* a big fat diiiiiitttto. 

Think Dirty: 10/10

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: Not clean

LIPS:

MAKE UP FOR EVER:

Yep, don’t worry about it, I threw it out…let’s not even look at the ingredients.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

HONEST BEAUTY (MARSALA KISS):

As you might have guessed, I have this thing for red lipsticks. This is half of my non-red collection and it’s lovely. The shade is perfect for everyday and I love wearing it with big earrings because it is perfectly understated, yet put together.

Think Dirty: 3/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

NARS:

I have wanted to love this lip gloss for a long time, but I just don’t think I have the complexion. I think you need more olive in your skin for this to work, luckily it’s an easy product to replace with a cleaner option which brings me one step closer to the 80/20 goal.

Think Dirty: 8/10

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: 50/50

BURT’S BEE’S (SCARLET SOAKED):

Okay, so what is the deal…I really thought Burt’s Bee’s was going to be a lot cleaner than a 5/10. Especially on EWG, which I am learning is the more conservative of the apps. While I love this red, I have to think about whether it goes in the ‘keep’ or ‘toss’ pile.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 5/10

VERDICT: 50/50

BEAUTYCOUNTER (SCARLET):

Yep, okay, let’s ditch the Burt’s Bee’s and keep the Beautycounter. With a clean rating like that, I am all in.

Think Dirty: 3/10

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!

TOM FORD (SOMETHING WILD):

My wallet and lipstick bag (yes, I have a separate bag for lipstick…and yes it weirdly looks like a wallet) got stolen last year and I have been slowly replenishing my haul ever since. While I adore this color, it gets a nasty wrap because of all of the fragrance used. Which I get, because there is some funky stuff in fragrance ingredients and we are talking about lipstick here, which means you are probably going to eat it at some point, so…maybe it is not the best idea to eat funky fragrance chemicals. Bye bye Tommy.

Think Dirty: 6/10

EWG: 5/10

VERDICT: Not clean

SEPHORA:

Yikes, threw this one out. Also, do you know they test on animals?! woof. Consider it tossed.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

VAPOUR (SIREN MADAM):

I just discovered this lipstick brand (thanks to a casual stop in at Credo) and am in loooove. Their shades are great and and the texture is creamy – j’adore.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!

VAPOUR (SIREN CHERE):

See above, big love.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!

100% PURE (PINK CANYON):

So I am digging this brand, but not crazy about this shade. I don’t ever really wear it – it kind of looks weird and fleshy with my skin tone. That being said, look at that freaking rating! I will absolutely be adding more of their hues to the ol’ kelp lipstick collection.

Think Dirty: 1/10

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!

HAIR:

BIG SEXY HAIRSPRAY:

Basically, if you have this, throw this out and never look back. Let’s not even talk about it…

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: 7/10

VERDICT: Not clean

DAVINES DRY TEXTURIZER SPRAY:

Well, I love this this spray but I couldn’t find it on EWG or Think Dirty. Davines has recently re-worked a lot of their formulas to include sustainable ingredients, which eco their commitment to sustainable packaging. That being said, the company rates between a 4-8 on EWG’s scale, so we are going to be conservative and put this spray in to 50/50 category.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: brand is a 4-8/10

VERDICT: 50/50

NOT YOUR MOTHER’S DRY SHAMPOO:

ehhh gahd. Well, basically this is a whole ton of really toxic fragrances all mixed together in one really funky concoction. Needless to say, this sucker is in the trash. Got any dry shampoo suggestions? Girl needs some help.

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: 6/10

VERDICT: Not clean

DAVINES NATURALTECH NOURISHING SHAMPOO:

I love this shampoo for cold Chicago days when your hair needs a little extra love. The formula is nice and creamy and it just feels like a mask for your hair and especially when used in tandem with the Nourishing Conditioner – it really feels like a spa day. And while it doesn’t have the best (nor the worst) rating on EWG, the concerns are mainly allergy related and not cancer — which is always a plus.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 5/10

VERDICT: 50/50

DAVINES NATURALTECH NOURISHING CONDITIONER:

Ditto conditioner! Although this weird rates a point better than the shampoo…so there’s that? Maybe it’s a sign I need to condition my hair more?

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: 50/50

 

DAVINES SOLU SHAMPOO:

Okay, so yeah, I am going to go ahead and just throw this the eff out. I started using Davines because it is an environmentally sustainable company, but after some research, their ingredients are less than lovely. EWG gives them a moderate to high overall usage hazard and with ratings like these i am outta here. 

Think Dirty: 10/10

EWG: 9/10

VERDICT: Not clean

BODY:

MARVIS TOOTHPASTE:

I think I picked up every tube of this toothpaste while we were in France. They were in all the Pharmacies and I JUST COULDN’T HELP MYSELF! Look at them, they are so cute and so French! EWG gives them about a 4/10 with some allergy concerns, while Think Dirty gives them a 10/10 due to three fragrance ingredients. I would list them but they have about a million letters in each of them and honestly, the app’s explanation of the ingredients is way better than my paraphrasing.

Think Dirty: 10/10

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: 50/50

AESOP HAND SOAP:

If you want your bathroom to feel fancy AF, Aesop is the way to go. Our apartment in Paris was stocked with Aesop and since I love anything and everything that makes me feel even slightly French, this was a “must have” when we came back to Chicago. While neither Think Dirty or EWG have ratings for Aesop products (that I could find), I can say that no Aesop products have parabens (which is a great thing) and their ingredients have been reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel (CIRP) and found safe for use.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

AESOP HAND CREAM:

Ditto hand soap. No ratings found, but their ingredients have been reviewed by CIRP and found safe to use, so that is good enough to pass as “clean!” in my book.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

SMITH & CULT NAIL POLISH:

While EWG or Think Dirty don’t have ratings for Smith & Cult (that I could find), I have to give this one the “clean!” pass because their are 5-free. Meaning, they are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor – which are some of the biggest dirty offenders found most commonly in nail polish.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

BURT’S BEE’S BODY LOTION:

When I began dipping my toe into this whole clean beauty pool, I thought everything that Burt’s Bee’s produced was clean, clean, clean. After all, they tote that their products are paraben, phthalates, and petrolatum (SLS) free – and not knowing what 2/3rds of those ingredients were, I thought, well, yea okay…phthaltes sound bad, so I went with the Burt’s Bee’s option. But after looking a little longer at their ingredients list, it turns out that Burt isn’t as clean as I thought after all…

Think Dirty gives this a 50% due to it’s use of PHENOXYETHANOL, or in other words, a common preservative used in cosmetics. Actually kind of surprising for Burt’s Bee’s  – don’t you think?

EWG gives it a 50% as well, but for it’s high allergy concern due to their use of fragrance ingredients.

Think Dirty: 5/10

EWG: 5/10

VERDICT: 50/50

THIEVES MOUTHWASH:

Have you ever heard of this? It is a relatively new product in Young Living’s (yes, the essential oil company) cleaning line, Thieves. I was given their cleaning concentrate solution, toothpaste, and mouthwash as a gift, and truthfully, haven’t used the mouthwash much. Young Living claims that Thieves products are non-toxic, free of alcohol, synthetic dyes, and artificial flavors. And based on all of the research I have done, I have no reason to doubt the claim.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

THIEVES TOOTHPASTE:

Ditto mouthwash. Slightly different ingredients, but same clean concept.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

TOM’S DEODORANT (LEMONGRASS):

I have tried just about every natural deodorant on the market, some with more success than others, but I always have a Tom’s in my “back up bin” under the bathroom sink. EWG says that this deodorant posses a moderate concern due to ingredient safety and has a high allergy concern. Some of the ingredients tip toe the 50/50 line, but overall it is a good option for a cleaner deodorant.

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 3/10

VERDICT: clean!

 

MEOW MEOW TWEET BODY LOTION:

I absolutely adore this company. They are a small-batch skin care company that makes vegan products with pure, all natural and organic ingredients. All products are made with organic, unrefined plant oils and butters, steam-distilled and cold-pressed essential oils and organic and wild-crafted botanicals. EWG & Think Dirty don’t have ratings on them because they are a small company, but I highly (HIGHLY) recommend checking them out

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

MAKEUP:

NEUTROGENA NOURISHING LONG WEAR MAKEUP:

This has served as my back-up coverup in my “back up bin” under the bathroom sink. It’s not my primary but it is also nice because it is a shade lighter than I normally wear, so it’s nice to have a slightly lighter shade for when my skin is really nice and pasty in those winter months.

So, overall EWG says this product has a modern concern for sun protection and  ingredient safety — which is maybe slightly concerning. And Think Dirty shows a handful of ingredients at 50/50…so overall, not the best, not the worst.

Think Dirty: 5/10

EWG: 4/10

VERDICT: 50/50

NARS BLUSH (ORGASM):

As far as the look of this blush, it’s stunning. It’s got a lovely gold shimmer in it & it is just stunning on the skin. As for what is in the blush…maybe less than orgasmic (sorry! I had to!) EWG doesn’t love this stuff and flags it high for allergy, immunotoxicity, and developmental concerns. Think Dirty on the other hands, hates this blush because of it’s use of BUTYLPARABEN – a preservative and used in fragrances. Also, I don’t know if you know this, but the problem with parabens is that they mimic estrogen and can cause hormonal disruptions…

Think Dirty: 10/10

EWG: 5/10

VERDICT: 50/50

TARTE FACE PALETTE (CLAY PLAY):

I adore this palette…well, as much as you can love a palette that you only use like 1/3rd of, but hey, I am just becoming a makeup person, so what do I know? Tarte products rate between a 4-6 on both EWG & Think Dirty and since I can’t find any rating on the face palette, we are going to give this guy a 50/50. Do you like my wildly scientific rating system?

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: 50/50

 

L’ORÉAL VOLUMINOUS LASH PARADISE:

Okay, I know, I know, I know, this isn’t the cleanest product in my arsenal, but IT IS THE BEST MASCARA EVER. Truly! I learned about it from the podcast Fat Mascara and after hearing about them gush about it for 20 minutes, I went out and treated myself to this $8 mascara. Haven’t looked back since, just looked fabulous…okay, bad pun, but you get it.

Think Dirty: 7/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

 

AIRSPUN LOOSE FACE POWDE (NATURALLY NEUTRAL):

Naturally neutral my ass. It’s basically loose toxins you powder on your face. I got this as a gift as well and apparently it is used in “baking” – which is apparently a makeup technique I am not cool enough to understand. Clearly, I am not missing out cause this dirty technique I can do without. Adios Airpsun!

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: 7/10

VERDICT: Not clean

 

ILIA HIGHLIGHTER (POLKA DOTS & MOONBEAMS):

I LOVE THIS HIGHLIGHTER! It is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates and I think they do a really good job at keeping the quality of a high-end makeup without including all the toxic mumbo jumbo. Truthfully, finding clean products that do the job as well as your dirty ones is hard. But if you are in the market for a highlighter I cannot recommend this one enough!

Think Dirty: 3/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

MAYBELLINE INSTANT AGE REWIND ERASER DARK CIRCLES:

I use this guy to help with my baggage…my under eye baggage, that is. Truthfully, it does a great job. It has a nice little spongey applicator and it just helps me feel like a more put together person, haha. Think Dirty gives this a 9/10 on their dirty meter because of the use of ETHYLPARABEN. While EWG gives is a moderate rating across the board

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: 3/10

VERDICT: 50/50

 

100% PURE MATTIFYING PRIMER:

Okay, so I was also given this as a gift and after reading more about 100% Pure and their company, I AM ALL IN. This stuff looks awesome and I can honestly say anything that rates at a “0” on Think Dirty’s Dirty Meter is worth a shot in my book. Have your tried it? I don’t even think I have ever even used a primer. For having a lot of product, I am a shitty makeup person.

Think Dirty: 0/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: clean!

 

MAKE UP FOREVER ULTRA HD FOUNDATION:

Yeahhhh, let’s just toss this out….

Think Dirty: 9/10

EWG: n/a

VERDICT: Not clean

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER COLOR SWEEP BLUSH DUO:

This little duo is great for a gym, work, on-the-go bag, or just to conserve some space. Annnnd, it’s clean as a whistle. HOORAY!

Think Dirty: n/a

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER TINT SKIN:

So, due to my skin issues, I usually opt for a higher coverage when I am applying my face layer (don’t I sound like I know what I am talking about?) but when my skin is in rare form and looking lovely, the tint skin works great. It’s like the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, jsut without the shark fat (yes, it really does have shark fat in it) So…this is a keeper!

Think Dirty: 2/10

EWG: 3/10

VERDICT: clean!

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER TOUCHUP SKIN:

I just recently finished up my Neutrogena coverup stick and this was in my back up bin and so far it’s been great. It is lighter than my normal shade, but since my skin is a lovely shade of translucent these days, it is working out perfectly. Plus, GET A LOAD OF THAT RATING!!

Think Dirty: 3/10

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER NOURISHING EYE CREAM:

I mean, just look at the rating…it speaks for itself. Apparently people are on the fence about eye creams – or so the internet tells me – but I really am enjoying this little guy. It makes me feel like I know what I am doing, instead of playing dress-up in my mom’s closet.

Think Dirty: 2/10

EWG: 2/10

VERDICT: clean!

 

BEAUTYCOUNTER DEW SKIN:

In the summer months this Dew Skin is a lovely little helper, outside of that it is not a mainstay in my makeup bag. Again, those spots are reserved for putty-like caulking that cover up my Casper like complexion. That being said, I can’t wait to bust this bad boy out when ol’ Casper gets a tan.

Think Dirty: 2/10

EWG: 1/10

VERDICT: clean!



THE RESULTS:

Not clean:

  1. designer perfume samples
  2. VICHY Normaderm
  3. Bio-Oil
  4. Advanced Clinicals Rapid Lift
  5. Pond’s Cold Cream
  6. Big Sexy Hairspray
  7. Davines Solu shampoo
  8. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo
  9. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation
  10. Make Up For Ever lipstick
  11. Sephora lipstick
  12. Tom Ford lipstick

50/50:

  1. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
  2. Burt’s Bee’s Facial Cleaning Towelettes
  3. Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Shampoo
  4. Davines NaturalTech Nourishing Conditioner
  5. Davines Dry Texturizer
  6. Marvis toothpaste
  7. Burt’s Bee’s Body Lotion
  8. NARS blush (orgasm)
  9. Tarte face palette (clay play)
  10. Maybelline Instant Rewind Eraser Dark Circles
  11. Nars lipgloss
  12. Burt’s Bee’s lipstick

clean!

  1. Commodity fragrance
  2. PHLUR fragrance
  3. POREspective Enzyme Mask
  4. Beautycounter Brightening + Vitamin C Facial Mist
  5. Beautycounter Brightening + Vitamin C Facial Oil
  6. Supergoop! sunscreen
  7. Supergoop! lip screen
  8. Aesop hand cream
  9. Aesop hand wash
  10. Smith & Cult nail polish
  11. Thieves mouthwash
  12. Tom’s deodorant
  13. Meow Meow Tweet Body Lotion
  14. Beautycounter blush duo
  15. Beautycounter tinted moisturizer
  16. Beautycounter touchup skin
  17. Beautycounter dew skin
  18. 100% Pure mattifying primer
  19. Honest Beauty lip crayon
  20. Beautycounter lipstick
  21. Vapour lipsticks (2)
  22. 100% Pure lipstick

THE GOAL: replace 30% of the products on the Not clean and 50/50 list with clean alternatives. Think I can do it?

5 MINUTE DRIZZLE SAUCE i.e. becoming a kitchen goddess

Now that your knives are all freshly sharpened, it’s time to get saucy – 5 minute drizzle sauce-y to be exact! Don’t be frightened my comrade in cooking, I only set the fire alarm off THREE times while making dinner this week and zero of those times were while making this delicious, perfect, precociously simple sauce.

We will get to the sauce in a minute but let’s just take a moment to raise a glass and call “setting off the fire alarm less times than you did last week” a win. CHEERS ALL AROUND!

Okay, so this sauce…it’s life-changing. No, no, really. It is wickedly simple, wildly customizable (like, you literally can’t feck it up), and it goes with EVERYTHINNNNNNG.

Yo, again, no joke.

I put it over some chicken (my very first!) (and, no, no one got food poisoning) and mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon!) and it was a lot of “OH MY GOD, LAUREN YOU MADE THIS?!” and several “Jesus this is good.”

So…there’s that.

You can spice this sauce up by adding in a pinch of cumin, coriander, or saffron. Or give it a bit of an herbaceous note, add in two tablespoons of herbs like basil, chives, or cilantro at the last minute.

I’ve made this sauce several times since – storing various varieties in small, glass Ball jars in the fridge – and we’ve been using it on everything. Pasta, rice, chicken, fish – you name it. It is basically a warm vinaigrette and, while that may sound simple to some, it was legit life changing to moi. 

5 MINUTE DRIZZLE SAUCE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: ½ cup
 
from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook.
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When oil is warm, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens (about a minute or two)
  3. TIP: If the onions start to color, turn the heat down
  4. Once onions have softened, stir in 2 Tbsp of water, lemon juice, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Maintain the heat so it bubbles gently for a minute or two.
  5. Taste, adjust seasoning to preference, and serve.


 

BLOGGING BREAK what it was, why I took it, & why it saved my sanity

pc: aimée mendez

Last summer I took a blogging sabbatical. I know that sounds dramatic and not actual accurate because I don’t think you can take a sabbatical if you aren’t a university professor, but go with me on this…

I took a sabbatical because I began to hate blogging.

It’s hard being on the internet, man. It is a weird place, sometimes a truly wonderful place, but sometimes a mean and ugly and troll-y and psychologically damaging place. I would compare myself to people I didn’t know, would never met, and who weren’t even in the same INDUSTRY as me. I would get envious of people’s lives and I didn’t know the first thing about them. It was insane and dumb and negative and draining…and let’s be honest, we get drained by enough shit daily and I didn’t really want to put up with it any more.

I stopped posting on LaurenKelp.com, barely posted on my Instagram, deleted my Facebook, alerted my clients, and even put an away message on my email that said I was breaking up with blogging so take me off your press list please & thank you. It was delightful.

Ooh, all the free time! I didn’t style everything I touched, I left my phone in my purse on coffee dates and dinners out to new, cool, very ‘grammable spots. I took vacations and didn’t post a single photo. And the kicker – ready for it –  I deleted Instagram off my phone for weeks at a time AND DIDN’T MISS IT. It was bliss, pure bliss.

I re-learned that my worth wasn’t about a GD ‘like,’ and I really, really learned it. I stopped shopping because I didn’t feel this weird pressure to ‘dress like a blogger.’ I wore my hair in scrunchies because that is what felt right in the moment, I didn’t stress about a perpetually well styled home or the latest collection of anything. Basically, I allowed myself to stop caring so much.

I gave myself permission to chill the fuck out. And it was the single best thing I have done for myself in my adult life. That and invest in the box set of Harry Potter DVDs. and marring Griffin. Okay, well it’s high on a short list of very amazing adult things to be proud of.

Okay, so you are blogging again…what changed?

Honestly, I realized that I was doing something I liked (being creative) but on someone else’s terms. I thought that being a “blogger” meant that I had to style photos a certain way, dress well, or buy things that I could get an affiliate kickback from. I changed what I wrote about to get more likes and views, and totally let the “algorithm” become the driving voice. Am I proud of that? Absolutely not, but to be real with you…it was incredibly easy to lose sight of why I started.

You get given so much “free” stuff, get to go on so many “free” dinners or events, and get treated like this weird demi-celebrity that, honestly, you get kind of caught up in it. Who doesn’t love getting boxes & boxes of “free” product. Who doesn’t love free dinners, cutting lines, and press trips to cool places? No one. Absolutely no one doesn’t love that. It’s easy to get drunk on this weird micro-celebrity sense of power  and you lose sight of the reason why you put yourself out on the internet in the first place.

BUT NO MORE I SAY! NO MORE!

You want to know what changed? I decided that I loved being creative and the pro sides of the internet community were bigger than the weird negative shit that I let creep in and take over. So, I decided to take blogging back. I decided to put boundaries up, lay down perimeters, and instate a little personal manifesto. How is that for being determined and dramatic?

If you made it this far, I seriously commend the shit out of you. Thank you, it was a long-winded road, but you packed your windbreaker and I appreciate that.

Now, to see the next chapter of LK click this lovely little link to take you to the second installment of the “does she have a breakdown or has she always been this way?” story.…it’s a good one #nospoilers

SHE’S BACK and apparently cooking 2,000 recipes

I know you’ve been laying awake at night, tossing and turning asking yourself, “where oh wherrrre has my favorite blog gone?” No, you smart, saucy reader you, no, you’ve been too busy trying to eat right, have a good career, be social, balance work and personal life, work out, be involved in social change, read, fight the patriarchy, and watch all the Netflix, and all that other stuff on your never ending to-do list. I get it, 2017 was a do00ozie of a year and maybe you are a better person than I am, but it made me pull back and take stock of who I am, what matters, and frankly…what doesn’t.

So…I stopped blogging. For more on all that, read this – it will explain everything.

Over my little blogging sabbatical one of the things I realized was that I LOVE COMMUNITY. I mean, I really love it. It has informed cross-country moves, is a central point to G and my marriage, and has broken my heart and saved my life too many times to count. One of my favorite ways of creating and building community is to…drum roll please…HAVE A DINNER PARTY. Who is surprised?

You know what you need at a dinner party (usually, but I think in Europe this is optional)? FOOD!

Know what I really, severally didn’t like doing? COOKING!

I am not good at it. I don’t have any confidence in the kitchen and, truthfully, I have a weird relationship with food so finding shit that I can eat and not feel icky afterward is harder than finding a reason to watch POIROT on the BBC. Sidenote: I got in a dark place about a year ago and pretended to be an Anglophile and watched everything on the BBC, including Poirot. Yes, as in Hercule Poirot, as in the leading character in Agatha Christie’s detective novels. Yes they made a show out of it (several, I am sure) and YES I WATCHED MORE THAN ONE SEASON. Judge away. It was a dark time.

But, I digress…

Here is the deal, I love having people over, I love entertaining, I love having people at my dinner table for hours on end, talking about anything and everything, with the sound of laughter, witty banter, and the clinking of wine glasses filling my house. It fills me up, warms my soul, and nurtures everything good inside me. Do you see the problem yet? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK.

I have been a vegetarian for a decade, avoided dairy at all costs, I have turned my back on gluten…while in FRANCE (ultimate sacrifice), and I have even tried on the whole “I’m just not a drinker” hat (which was my personal hell. You try going through a Chicago winter sober…it’s Brothers K material)

The truth is, I want to love food. And it’s not that I don’t love food (gahd my thighs are a dead ringer for that) but I want to love good food. I want to cook good food. Food that makes your belly warm and your heart happy. Food that brings people together and keeps them there well after the plates are cleared. I want to know how to heal my body through food without having to buy a million supplements.

In a world where everything comes in a box or is sold as “ready in under 30!” I want to be the anti-30 minute dinner. Not that anything is innately wrong with quick and easy dinners, it’s just that when everything in your life is so fast and immediate and easily available sometimes it’s nice to take a dang minute and make something with your own two hands…even if you don’t know what you are doing. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing!

So, with that little rally cry, I have decided to get over my fear of cooking and teach myself how to cook. So here officially starts my journey it teaching myself how to cook by working through my personal OG cookbook, How to Cook Everything (10th edition) by Mark Bittman. If you don’t know it, you should. It’s like the cooking lessons you always wanted to have with your Grandmother growing up or all those cooking lessons you wanted to take but never did. I like to think of this book as the guiding voice in my head in the whole “don’t burn the house down” cooking thing.

CLIFF NOTES:
  • Stopped blogging, but started again
  • Decided to teach myself how to cook, because I love to entertain and want to do it more because I truly believe in the power of community through food — especially in today’s…situation
  • Emailed Mark Bittman, and yes, he is okay with this and no, it’s not a Julie & Julia thing. It’s way better because this isn’t about cooking for cookings sake, it’s about food as a medium for community.

Right, now that we are all caught up…ready to start learning how to cook? Let’s pray that we don’t burn the house down!

APPARENTLY KNIFE SHARPENING IS IMPORTANT *and how to not feel murder-y while doing it*

Don’t let the title fool you – if you have never sharpened a knife before (like moi) you will more than likely feel murder-y on your first attempt. No, not “murder-y” like you want to kill someone, but “murder-y” like if you’ve seen any action/thriller/non-romcom movie in the fast five years, there is usually some guy who sharpens a knife and that creep ends up being all murder-y and stab-y later on — that’s what I mean…naturally. 

ANYWAY…let me back up

Today marks the journey of teaching myself how to cook (if you don’t get it, read this) and what a better place to start then the beginning?

Chapter One of How to Cook Everythingà la, lauren’s life for the next while) talks all about kitchen basics. What pots and pans to invest in, where to save your money, what tools you actually need, and which ones are just going to take up space in your drawer. It’s a very helpful chapter if you want to learn to be comfortable in your kitchen.

There is also a bit in there about knife sharpening with a very helpful graphic that, if I am being honest, totally freaked me out. I have seen chefs and home chefs use that little Harry Potter wand to sharpen knives (you know what I am talking about, it’s that rod-like thing that sits in your knife block that you never use) and have always looked away because it seems like the fastest way to lose a finger and I just haven’t been mentally prepared enough to see that. But apparently, it is important and easy, and so…I set out to learn. After reading his instructions a million times, several failed attempts, and a Lagunita’s IPA later – I have officially become semi-competent at sharpening our knives. In fact, I felt so embolden by my success, I recorded a rather terrible iPhone video…but hey, a win is a win and I WILL TAKE IT. Also, Lagunitas IPA’s are strong!

We all know that cooking with dull knives is no bueno, so take it from me, it’s time to sharpen those babies up. G and I got our knife set as a wedding present and haven’t sharpened them once…we’ve been married for five years (whoops). 

This was ridiculously easy, made me feel like I was auditioning for Top Chef, and absolutely no fingers were harmed in the process. Not bad for someone who called the steel a Harry Potter wand a minute ago, huh?

HOW TO SHARPEN A KNIFE WITH A STEEL:

1 – Hold your steel out in front of you at about a 45 degree angle

2 – Hold your knife at a 15 degree angle towards you and pull across the top of the steel, pulling the blade from base to tip.

3 – Repeat on the other side of the knife across the bottom of the steel. Alternate pulling the blade across the top and bottom of the steel five or six times.

NOTE: Remember to always pull towards you and maintain a consistent 15 degree angle

See what I mean? Freakishly easy…

THE SEXIEST HEADBOARD YOU’VE EVER SEEN #tinykelphouse update

We bought the #tinykelphouse in November of 2016 & it’s now almost November of 2017 and we are just getting around to revealing a piece of the “final” (as final as houses can ever be) product – INSANE, right? We thought we would start things off with a bang and show you the sexiest headboard there ever was. I mean…look at her!

This sassy babe is from Erika Upholstered Platform bed in Navy Velvet from Joss & Main and it is maybe the most luxe thing about my whole house!

Here is the deal, our little lake house is small – it’s not itty bitty – but it is small enough for us to be smart about what pieces we bring in and how we use our space. That being said, I am a huge believer in making the bedroom a sacred place. We have a no phone rule in the bedroom (I know, I know, you guys are like, shut up Lauren we get ittt… but seriously, if you still need convincing read here), we indulge in really comfortable pillows, and we don’t clutter the bedroom with extra mess and junk.

Our goal (I say “ours” but really I mandate it and G is nice enough to follow along) is to make the bedroom as stress free and relaxing as possible. Your life is busy enough, why bring in added stress to a place that is supposed to be comfortable and safe?

So when we saw the Erika we both were like, yep. that’s the one.

With a small house, you have to be mindful of space (obviously) and this bed frame is space conscience without feeling tiny. She is tall, so it adds a bit of drama. She isn’t wide, so she doesn’t take up a lot of space, and her frame is low without feeling like you are sleeping on the floor.

The Navy Velvet is deep and gorgeous and gives the room a perfectly moody vibe without leaving the room feeling dark and brooding. Plus, in my opinion, navy is acts almost like a neutral because it is super easy to decorate alongside. There are so many complimentary colors, accents, and textures you can use when styling around navy to make it timeless and unique all at the same time.

Basically, all this to say – headboards are back and fabulous and if you are in the market, you probably need the Erika. Pluuuus, she comes in some good colors! It’s never to early to start that wishlist…and you’ll probably need a project this Fall, maybe redecorating your bedroom is it! Can’t wait to hear what you think!


this post was in partnership with Joss & Main, all opinions are my own

WHY THESE BLINDS MAKE OUR HOME MAGICAL #tinykelphouse update

First of all, this is the first #tinykelphouse post!! That is a big freaking deal. We bought our little 700-sq.ft loveshack in New Buffalo just before Thanksgiving and are just now, JUST NOW, able to sleep in their with running water, a functioning bathroom, no doors yet, but hey…it’s no longer yellow and it’s ours! We did about 80% of the renovations ourselves (which…plaster dust is not for the faint of heart or those looking to test their relationship) and while I now go shopping for power tools more than shoes, I can honestly say it was way more fun than not.

Besides the dramatic impact of the house no longer being yellow, these blinds are INSANE. They legit make the house.
First of all, they come with a magical remote control.

Okay, wait, wait, wait…let’s back up to the beginning.

When researching blinds I came across The Shade Store & feel in love. Fast. If you live in Chicago, you’ve probably heard of them or seen their showroom at the Merchandise Mart and let me tell you…it’s magical. I worked with Carol (or as I like to call her, the magical unicorn) at the showroom and she answered all of my questions. Like, “I feel like window treatments are an adult purchase?” Also, “how the eff do I get started?”

We walked around the showroom, talking about paint colors, I showed her pictures of the space, a general design plan for the house, and the overall vibe of the place. Ultimately, we decided on these gorgeous linen roller shades for the living room and kitchen french doors. Guys, they are magical. I mean….LOOK AT THEM.

They are a perfect “not aggressive white but calm white” shade of linen, they keep out the heat of the sun without blocking the light completely, and they roll up to almost nothing. Besides that narrow bar at the top, there isn’t anything to them. No cords or thick bars, just narrow little strip at the top that rolls up like nothing.

Best part? Besides making my house look finished, refined, and totally chic? EVERYTHING IS ON A REMOTE!

Our magical installer programmed all four roller blinds on to a combined channel, so now if I want to roll all of them up or down, all I do is hit “0” on the remote & magiiiic. They each have their own channel too, so if I wanted to roll the main front door shade up, but keep the rest down, I hit channel “2” – WIZARDRY I TELL YOU.

Here is the deal – if you are looking to update your window treatments or just want to give your home a refresh – hit up The Shade Store. They are beyond helpful, kind, and informative plus the shades are absolutle magic. If you are local, ask for Carol, she is a wizard.


thanks to the shade store for sponsoring this post

BLUE BIRD BRUNCH plus a Le Creuset giveaway

Is there anything better than a warm weather brunch? The sun is out, every one is in a good mood, the champagne is flowing – it’s just magic all around. As you know, I love any (and all) excuses to throw a get together and hosting a brunch around a fabulous new serving dish is right up my alley. This weekend it was all about this gorgeous new Fleur Cocotte from Le Creuset.

Normally, I am very minimal and utilitarian about my dishes, but there is something about the embossed flowers on the lid and base of the cocotte that I couldn’t resist. Plus, it has a lovely matte finish that makes me feel all sexy and European when I am cooking.

IN FACT, I love it so much we are going to GIVE ONE AWAY!! Hop on over to @Lauren_Kelp and enter to win.

That way we can be cooking twinzies and make all sorts of delicious fun things in our fancy new Fleur Cocotte

Speaking of delicious things, have you tried a carrot ginger soup? Sister, I am hooked! We made one a few months ago and they have been on steady repeat ever since. I love this recipe (don’t worry, it’s below) because it’s light, fresh, super good for you, and wildly easy to make. PLUS, it is a dream for entertaining. It’s pretty and tasty – what could be better?

Keep scrollin’ on down for the recipe…

CARROT & GINGER SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: SOUP
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Heat ½ cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. In batches, carefully puree in a blender.
  5. Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency.
  6. Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with chives.

Are you convinced yet that you need the Fleur Cocotte in your life? Don’t forget to head over to @Lauren_Kelp for your chance to win one! Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) and we will be picking the winner tomorrow!

SHOP THE BRUNCH

thank you Le Creuset for sponsoring this post. all thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own

7 WAYS I AM SIMPLIFYING THINGS THIS WEEK wellness challenge

If I am being honest – and we are all friends here, so of course I am being honest – this end of winter/beginning of spring in between season always kind of gets me down. Call it the wacky weather or maybe because the skies tend to be more gray than blue, either way, I get bummed out. So, in an effort to simplify things, I am trying to make some small changes with big results. So…for this weeks challenge….

Here are several ways I am trying to simplify my life this week. Some of these might be up your alley, some maybe not so much, but I would love to hear your thoughts!

1 – No more falling asleep with the TV on

I know, I know, it’s a bad habit, but some nights my mind is racing so much that the only thing that will help me go to sleep is watching mindless TV shows (Arrow, anyone?) But, as we all know, falling asleep to the TV doesn’t exactly provide the foundation for rest, now does it? This week, I am putting down the remote and picking up a good book.

2 – No more waking up & checking emails

Do you do this? It’s the first thing I do when I turn the alarm off at 5 a.m. It’s like clockwork. I turn off the alarm, refresh my email, check the news (depressing), and Instagram. Immediately I feel stressed and rushed and it’s no bueno. This week I am putting my phone on airplane mode and giving myself a little extra time in the morning to ease into things.

Airplane mode keeps all your notifications from coming through (i.e. no emails, calls, texts, Instagram notifications, and all the other nonsense you get notified about). Here is to hoping this small change makes a BIG difference.

3 – No more chips and salsa for dinner

Tell me I am not alone in the weeknight meal struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to whip up a meal after a long day, you know what I mean? And once the pizza guy knows your name, that relationship has to end ASAP.

For those of you who meal plan, I envy you. While it’s not hard, it is just a bit time-consuming which is always the hurdle. This week, my goal is to meal plan for three dinners, nothing crazy, just something basic and easy to work into being a fully functioning adult.

4 – No more double booking

Scheduling every moment of every day is exhausting and a fool-proof way to set your plans up for failure. Happy hours and catching up with friends are meant to be fun, not stressful. Try limiting your hangouts and catch-ups to two days or swapping the happy hour for a walk outside or spin class. This week I am opting for a fewer hangouts of higher quality – you in?

5 – No more stuffing & cramming

By no means am I a hoarder, but there are just certain things that I can’t seem to organize. Random match books, receipts, random screws, you know, normal things. And don’t even get me started about the chair. You know when clothes aren’t dirty enough for the hamper, but not clean enough for the hamper — it’s the chair. So between the chair, the random junk drawer, and the other corner piles, something has got to go. This week, it’s time to tackle the chair…

6 – No more elaborate morning routines

When I was in college I was all about the elaborate morning routine. I woke up, stretched, journaled, had some quiet time, made breakfast, showered AND blow dired my hair, plus probably singing to the plants and talking to the birds because that is how much freaking free time I had. Who the eff has that kind of time now? Not I, said the over scheduled fly, not I.

While I am still a huge proponent of a morning routine (we talked all about it here), mine looks way, way different. It is all about waking up 10 minutes early, leaving my phone on DND, meditating for a few minutes, and giving myself a little extra love – maybe some mornings that means actually make a breakfast, or taking time to do my hair, or hey, here’s a big one, trying to make that morning meeting on time.

This goes for evening routines too! 

7 – No more multiple outfit changes per morning

I am notorious for changing multiple times in a morning, are you that way? Even if I think I know what I want to wear, majority of the time I spend half the morning picking out shoes or switching a top – it’s a nightmare. Your decision making skills begin to decline once you’ve made a certain amount of decisions in a day (it takes a lot of energy to make decisions all day and your brain gets tired), so spending a lot of time and energy on choosing an outfit takes away strong decision-making skills from something else.

This week I am giving my brain a hand and selecting outfits ahead of time, that way I don’t have to worry about it!

What about you? What changes have you made in your life to feel less stressed?


photography by Iron & Honey

KALE & AVOCADO SALAD lovely for a spring housewarming party

Party people, what’s happening?! Is this warm weather not the absolute best? Every time spring rolls around all I want to do is entertain. The windows are open, the grill gets fired up, and it’s a non-stop open house!

We recently moved in to a new space, so naturally we had to throw a housewarming party! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE housewarming get-togethers. Home ownership is a big deal and so it absolutely deserves to be celebrated and y’all know how I love to celebrate. But I also think that moving is a big deal and should be celebrated (congrats, you made it through a move….real life, that’s a big deal) so why not throw a housewarming party for a new apartment?! All the house parties!!

We are sharing four fabulous tricks to hosting a stress free housewarming party over on the Kendall Jackson blog, so head on over and get you some pointers. Real talk though, housewarming parties shouldn’t be stressful – don’t let them be. Who cares if you haven’t unpacked all your boxes and if the house isn’t perfect? There is something charming and refreshing about a space that isn’t perfect, you know?

Last week we hosted our little housewarming bash and I made my absolute favorite seasonal salad. I call it seasonal because it sounds like it won’t always be there, but truthfully, we have it in the dead of winter, so it’s really an all year round salad, it just tastes better in the spring-time. Meet the kale & avocado salad!

It’s got delicious chickpeas, yummy kale (that you rub a lemon vinaigrette on the leaves and it tastes like magic), and lots of avocado (because, hellllllo). It is perfect for a crowd and tastes like absolute heaven with a glass of crisp white wine. That is why we served K-J AVANT by the boatload. Salads and wine are like the grown up peanut butter and jelly and deserve to be enjoyed just as often.

Here is what I love about pairing a really healthy, delicious salad with K-J AVANT the earthy taste from the salad is sweetened by the vibrant fruity notes from the wine. The Chardonnay is crisp and cool and when it meets the avocado and chickpeas it is like a magical garden party. Plus, the price point is wildly affordable, so I always have it on hand for parties so we never run out!

Kale & Avocado Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Dressing
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup EVOO
Salad
  • 8 cups Kale (rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 15oz can Chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 ripe Avocado (diced)
Instructions
  1. For the dressing, combine lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Once thoroughly mixed, slowly add in the olive oil while whisking until creamy.
  3. Add your kale to a large bowl and pour the dressing over the leaves and gently massage the dressing in to the leaves (this takes the bitterness out of the leaves and ensures a nice lemon flavor with every bite)
  4. Rinse and drain your chickpeas and dice your avocado into little cubes and gently fold in to the salad.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate util ready.

So, what do you think? Ready to host a fabulous stress free housewarming party and with a delicious salad and Chardonnay pairing as the menu? We thought so!


this post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson, all thoughts and opinions are my own