three ways to stay well besides a busy schedule via lauren kelp
It’s easy to dream about keeping a schedule that’s perfectly balanced between self-care and being productive on a calm Sunday afternoon. However, as soon as the work week starts and things get a little crazy, all of that self-care and balance usually tends to go out the window. Most of us almost always fall back into old habits as soon as things become a little bit challenging. So how do you combat that? How do you set yourself up for a successful week even when you’re super busy? Here are three simple tips that can make a world of difference.



Instead of waking up and immediately checking your email, pause and take a few deep breaths. This small change will make such a big difference in the way you feel throughout the day. If you want to take it a step further, try not to check your phone until you’ve gotten out of bed and stepped into the other room. Giving yourself space from the outside world and all of your responsibilities will help you feel more calm and grounded as you begin your day.



Eating well when you’re really busy can be challenging. That’s why it’s so important to have a little bit of foresight and to plan ahead, especially when you know you’re going to have a crazy week. Have your desk or bag stocked with a couple of healthy snack options at all times. This could be anything from fresh fruit to your favorite nut (preferably unsalted), or a minimally processed protein bar. Making sure you have healthy snacks allows you to make better choices when you get hungry in the middle of the day and you’re pressed for time. A little bit of planning can really go a long way here.



Amidst your busy schedule it can be really easy to forget the value of downtime, but don’t be mistaken, it’s incredibly important! Carving out a little bit of intentional downtime every night (yes, every night!) will absolutely help you be well and stay well. I say intentional downtime because it’s very different from mindlessly falling down an internet rabbit hole and staring at your phone for 30 minutes. When your resting time is intentional it allows your mind and body to get on board with one another which will help you really chill out. You can read, listen to music, even just spend time drinking a cup of tea and chatting with your partner or friend- the sky’s the limit as long as you feel relaxed.


There you have it! Three ways to be well even with a busy schedule. No matter how much you have going on, I’m confident you can make the time to take a deep breath in the morning, buy some healthy snacks, and take a few minutes to rest in the evening. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.


Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpHappy Fall, my fabulous entertainers! Are you ready for cozy sweaters, reading by the fireplaces, and lots of other deliciously autumnal things? I know I am! See ya later humidity, hello scarf weather! Here is the best part about fall – entertaining! Call me crazy, but it’s my favorite time to gather a bunch of friends, drink good wine, eat great food, and hang out all night. Gone are the hectic days of summer and the mania of holiday season hasn’t hit yet, it’s a sweet spot where schedules are free, the weather is great, and the stars align!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpToday we are talking all about why you should host a fall picnic (yes, outside) and what to serve at it! I mean, come on, just look at that spread above – who wouldn’t want to spend the evening with friends noshing on that? Guess what – it’s totally attainable, easier than you think, and won’t take up your whole Saturday prepping. Interested? Of course you are! Well pour yourself a glass of wine, scroll down, and let’s get this party started! Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpWe are talking all about my love for outdoor entertaining in the fall over here, but it deserves to be re-enforced. Having a bunch of friends over and dining outside with the crisp fall air in the trees, drinking wine, and catching up is just about as magical as the Midwest can get. So, now that we’ve convinced you that a) you need to host a dinner party this weekend and b) it has to be outside, it’s time to talk about the menu!

Here is the best part about a fall picnic – the spread! The small plate spread is totally undervalued and is a total show stopper. Pick a theme (for this we did mediterranean mezze) and if your guests ask what to bring, you can tell them something on theme.

When our guests asked, we had them bring olives, a few cucumbers, a bunch of carrots, or a packet of pitas. We put the olives into a cute little dish, sliced the carrots & cucumbers up (for dipping in the spreads), and voila! A fun spread that your guests helped curate!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpNow, it’s important to pair the menu with the perfect accompanying wine & let me tell you, nothing is more delicious than a cold glass of Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon-Blanc on a fall day with a delicious spread. Typically, a Sauvignon-Blanc is thought of as a summer wine, but with the rich flavors of the Mediterranean seasonings, the crispness of the white wines cools everything down a bit and makes for a really delicious pairing.  I love pairing foods with complex flavors or unique spices with K-J’s Sauvignon-Blanc because it doesn’t wash out the spices but almost enhances them.  Warm up those pitas, put out some spreads & accouterments, pour those glasses of wine & hop to it!

Looking for some good spreads to whip up? How about a batch of homemade hummus! Super easy, delicious, and everyone loves a good homemade spread. Five minutes in the kitchen and a small stockpile of hummus later & you’ve got yourself a party!
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups drained well-cooked or canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
  • ½ cup tahini (sesame paste), optional, with some of its oil
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin or paprika, or to taste, plus a sprinkling for garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus more as needed
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  1. Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid or water as needed to allow the machine to produce a smooth puree.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning (I often find I like to add much more lemon juice). Serve, drizzled with the olive oil and sprinkled with a bit more cumin or paprika and some parsley.

Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren KelpSo, what are you waiting for?! Let’s get this party started! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Host an outdoor picnic this fall! Fall entertaining tips via Lauren Kelp

photography by Constance Higley & recipe by Brendan McCaskey
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Hi LK readers! My name is Chloe Mackintosh, you can usually find me at Boxwood Avenue where I share my journey as a girl relocated from Miu Miu to moo moo. I live on a ranch in a dusty old cow town of 99 people, with nothing more than a general store and a whole lot of cowboy hats. I started Boxwood Avenue as a way to share old-world traditions that have been forgotten in modern day life – things like preserving, sewing, and gardening.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpOver the past year, I have become friends with Lauren, and she was kind enough to invite me over to share a little bit of Boxwood Avenue with all of you! I am so very excited to meet you all!

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpEvery Friday, I share a cocktail recipe and call it #ToastingFromAfar, since I am literally toasting from afar, usually with a goat in my lap. I like to get inspired by seasonal ingredients depending on what can be found around the ranch, but I almost always stay away from gin. The strong flavor of a gin and tonic makes my stomach turn, I’ve only ever had one gin & tonic, but it was enough to turn me away from them forever.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

But, it was a Friday, and I was out of vodka, wine, rum, and tequila, and the gin was calling my name. So I gave it a shot; skipping the tonic (which, in my opinion, has a terrible flavor) and opting for fresh honey from our hives. As I took my first cautious sip, I thought, “I hope I don’t have to chug this,” but dare I say, the gin was good.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelpI could taste a prominent flavor of honey – one of my favorites – whose sweetness was cut with the lemon juice. The faint flavors of gin lingered only in the background, and didn’t overpower the cocktail. I guess you can say I am now a fan of gin, but then again, anything mixed with honey is sure to be a hit. This is one of my new favorite cocktails, and with only three ingredients, it’s just as easy to make, as it is to drink.The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 oz quality gin
  • 1 oz honey
  • Optional: Lemon LaCroix
  1. Warm honey in a saucepan or microwave.
  2. Pour the honey into a cocktail shaker and shake very well with the gin. Do not add ice yet!
  3. Use a spoon or wire whisk to scrape any honey that may have settled at the bottom of the shaker. Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
  4. Finally, add the lemon juice and a few ice cubes, and re-shake.
  5. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve. Top with lemon LaCroix if desired.

The Rodeo Honey - perfect fall gin cocktail via lauren kelp

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IMG_3915Natalie here! Today I’m talking about nighttime routines and why it’s so important to have one. Do you have a nighttime routine? Are there consistent things you do every night before you go to bed? Personally, I go through phases where I have a nighttime routine that’s really healthy and then phases where I completely abandon it. When I’m not on top of my nighttime routine, I typically notice a pretty dramatic slump in my overall wellbeing.

When I work with clients that are perpetually stressed I always start by taking a look at their morning and nighttime routines because what we do first thing in the morning and right before we go to sleep can have such a great impact on how we feel in general.

The good news is, creating an awesome nighttime routine can help you sleep more deeply, wake up feeling rested, and even improve your mood and productivity throughout the entire next day.

When creating a nighttime routine it’s important to start where you are instead of setting overly ambitious goals. Don’t let a nighttime routine intimidate you. A good routine can look so many different ways, there’s no one way to do anything!

Here are three steps to creating a nighttime routine that works for you:


Going to bed around the same time every night helps your body get into a natural rhythm with sleep. This can help with insomnia and it can even make it easier to become a morning person! I say consistent (ish) because we’re humans, and it’s important to leave wiggle room for life to happen. Remember it’s never about being perfect, it’s just about doing what’s best for you in the present moment.


This one can be challenging for most people, especially because a lot of us fall asleep, Phones in hand, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Signing offline 30 minutes to an hour before bed gives you a chance to disconnect from the outside world and allows your nervous system to calm down. If you’ve ever laid in bed with your mind racing when you should be sleeping, too much social media at night could be the culprit. Get offline and do something that soothes your mind. Maybe read a book, drink a hot cup of tea or listen to some relaxing music. This might be the most challenging tip I’m offering, but it’s also probably the most potent. If this sounds overwhelming start small and work your way up to doing this daily.


This can look like lighting a candle or incense before bed, taking time to meditate, and it can also look like applying moisturizer to your face or body. There’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s really just about spending time doing something that feels good to you.

Applying these tips will help you sleep better, and feel more centered and grounded throughout the day. Who doesn’t want that? Cheers to peaceful nights and more restful sleep!


WEEKEND PARTY PLAYLISTS Labor Day weekend, anyone?

Well all know that music can absolutely make or break a party. Whether it is a dinner party with friends, a big backyard hang, or a weekend celebration – music is totally the unsung hero of any event. Don’t have time to curate the perfect party playlist in between cooking, cleaning, and all those last minute details? Of course you don’t. Avoid playing DJ during the event (or even worse, having that one friend take over….it’s okay, we all have one) try out these four perfect curated party playlists. Looking for an ambient anthem vibe? Yep, we’ve got it. Need something more sophisticated but not sleepy? Got that too. Trust us, if it’s one thing we know – it’s how to throw a party!



This is one of all time favorite playlists. Perfect for the evening dinner party where you just want to sit back, relax, get a little tipsy and catch up with friends. This playlist is packed full of feel good rhythms that you can’t help but bob your head to. No one will want to change this station because it’s got a little something for everyone. Cat Power, Otis Redding, Dawes, and Johnny Cash – how could it get any better than that?


This guy is perfect for the weekend house party. Grilling out in the backyard, people mingling throughout the house, everyone just doing their own thing & having a good time – this is the playlist you want. It’s upbeat and full of remix tracks and positive vibes & keeps any party going. Plus, if you are hoping hour house party turns into a dance party, this is a pretty good warm up playlist.


This is also a fan favorite in our office. It’s the perfect playlist for drinking on a boat, hanging out on the lake, or sitting poolside. Curated by #TeamSia, so how can it not be amazing? Pop baselines and catchy hooks make this playlist super fun and a total mood booster. It’s also a really fun playlist to dance to — just saying!


Throwing a party, having some drinks with friends, or just hanging out on the porch – this playlist is the ultimate weekend hangout mashup. While there isn’t anything too mainstream on this playlist, there is a good mix of tunes you’ve heard of stuff you can’t pronounce.  If you are looking for a little bit of lounge music that isn’t lame or Miami-esque, this is it!

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PIMM’S CUP the perfect transition cocktail

Every year my family goes up to the east coast & spends a week or two in Martha’s Vineyard. When we were kids, it used to be the whole summer, and slowly, as time has passed and with summer camps, traveling sports, college schedules, and now jobs, our time on the Vineyard has been whittled down to just a few days.

One of my favorite memories of this island is sitting outside on the deck with my parents & sipping Pimm’s Cups. My father has British roots and there is something still very English about the island, so fixing a Pimm’s Cup at the end of the day and sipping it on the porch watching the sun set was a fun little family homage.

Now that summer is slowly winding down, I wanted to share one of my favorite end of summer cocktails – the delicious & oh-so-easy Pimm’s Cup. Enjoy!


Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • Pimm's
  • Ice
  • Ginger Ale
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced lemon
  • Mint
  1. Add a handful of ice to a tall Collins glass & pout in one jigger of Pimm's, 3 of Ginger Ale, a slice of cucumber. Stir to combine.
  2. Add mint & lemon as a garnish

illustration by Rebecca Bradley


Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelpHey pals! Elizbeth here and I’ve got a fun little cocktail twist for you! Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not one to mess with the classics. I like a gin and tonic just like the next person but I do think it is begging for a little twist. Maybe I’m wrong but you might just want to give this a try. The grapefruit juice compliments the gin so nicely! It’s worth a try!

Perfect for the weekend with friends, after a long, hot day, or for sipping by the pool. Thirty-seconds & a little juicing and you’ve got yourself one heck of a cocktail! Enjoy Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelp

Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 4 Ounces of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Ounce of Gin
  • 1 Tablespoon of grenadine
  • Tonic Water
  • Crushed Ice
  1. In a glass jar fill with crushed ice.
  2. Add in grapefruit juice, gin and grenadine.
  3. Top the rest of the glass with tonic water and stir well.
  4. *Note diet tonic water is great for a skinny cocktail!

Grapefruit gin and tonic cocktail recipe via lauren kelp

THE CASE FOR THE COOKING CLASS cook your way into heaven

LKChoppingBlock26Y’all! We had the opportunity to take a cooking class at The Chopping Block the other day & if you live in the Chicago area & haven’t done this yet – we highly recommend! While you can choose from a variety of courses based on different seasons & taste palates, we went with the hands-on Wine & Dine class & Oh – Em – Gee – it was spectacular & nothing short of a reminder of why food is our favorite.

LKChoppingBlock08Here’s a quick breakdown of the four-course meal we made from start to finish:

  • Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus with Tarragon Aioli (like, whaaat, homemade aioli!)
  • Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs 
  • Risotto with Sweet Peas & Parmesan
  • Rhubarb Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We were blown away by all of the above, especially the aioli (made with zero mayo!) and the rhubarb cupcakes (um, yum). Have y’all ever eaten rhubarb by itself before? They are strong & sour but oh so good! The cream cheese frosting was sweet & divine & the cupcake itself turned out fluffy & heavenly – & it’s all because of Chef Erin Patsiopoulos. She taught us how to mix cake batter & determine cake doneness like a true pro and totally deserves a big shout out for that (Thank you Chef Erin!).

LKChoppingBlock25Here’s the recipe for all my fellow fruit-in-dessert lovers!

Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ rhubarb, stalked trimmed & cut into ¼-inch cubes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 to 1½ cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 & line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Measure the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light & fluffy (3-4 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in vanilla extract.
  3. On low speed, add the flour in two batches, alternating with the sour cream. Stir in the diced rhubarb.
  4. Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and bake for about 25 minutes (or until cake tester comes out clean). Set aside & let cool.
  5. While the cupcakes are cooling, use your electric mixer & beat the cream cheese, vanilla bean paste, and butter (from cream cheese frosting ingredient list) in a large bowl until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy & smooth.
  6. Once cupcakes are cooled, ice 'em & serve 'em up!

Chef Erin also got us more familiar with spring produce, cold-emulsion sauces (for the aioi – we used egg yolk + extra virgin olive oil!), determining meat doneness and working with arborio rice for the risotto!

LKChoppingBlock11All in all, the food was fantastic, the tips & tricks were superb, and Chef Erin was phenomenal. She taught us the tricks of the trade with enthusiasm & made the experience as memorable as it was delicious. The Chopping Block is truly your one-stop shop for learning new, sensational recipes and picking up uber-amazing, super useful kitchen supplies. We hope you explore their classes & have as much fun as we did!


Photography by Aimée Mazzenga

CINNAMON & SUGAR EBELSKIVERS or stuffed pancakes!

IMG_6924Have you ever had a stuffed pancake? I just discovered them and I am embarrassed to admit that when G and I were getting married we registered for this funky pan with all these wells in it because we thought it looked cool (sadly, that is still how I pick out most of my kitchen tools). We had every intention of making stuffed pancakes, or ebelskivers, every weekend & making it a little weekend tradition, but we’ve been married for close to four years and I just broke out the pan last week 😐

I would like to think that my future self whispered in my young, newly engaged ear and told my younger self that this pan was indeed a necessity in every grown-ups kitchen and that I haaaaad to register for it. Regardless of why we ended up with this stuffed pancake pan, I am so thankful because (as my future self predicted) I AM OBSESSED WITH IT!
IMG_6979You guys, you can make little adorable pancake balls & stuff them with anything from cinnamon sugar (which we will be learning below) to bacon, sprinkles, chocolate, fruit mixture, probably even booze if you tried hard enough.

While they do have a little bit of a learning curve (the flipping takes some practice), they are well worth the trial & error. Perfect for a fun Saturday morning breakfast in bed, a happy breakfast if you are entertaining guests, or even as a little weekend tradition. Here are the tools you need:

IMG_6707So, before we get started, a little history lesson on the old ebelskivers. They are sassy little pancakes from Denmark that are soft & fluffy on the inside & crispy and browned on the outside (basically heaven). Traditionally, they are served with powdered sugar, topped with jam, and served with coffee for a mid-morning snack. While I would love to be that indulgent, we are going to repurpose these bad boys for a lovely little breakfast treat!

Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Dutch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40 ebelskivers
  • 2 cups Silk Unsweetened Almond milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • 1 tbs. of granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tbs. of unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 tbs. of all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tbs. of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. of salt
  • 4 tbs. of unsalted butter, room temperature
  1. In a bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, & salt.
  2. Mash in the butter to the flour mixture until all of it is absorbed into the butter, forming a paste.
  3. Set the filling aside.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, & granulated sugar.
  2. In a smaller bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks & slowly whisk in the milk and the 4 tablespoons of melted butter.
  3. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. Batter should be lumpy.
  4. Use a mixer to beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  5. Put a little melted butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan & set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble.
  6. Pour a spoonful of batter into each well.
  7. Spoon a small spoonful of the cinnamon filling into the center of each pancake and top with another spoonful of batter.
  8. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy (about 3 minutes).
  9. Using 2 skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy (3 more minutes)
  10. Transfer the pancakes to a plate & repeat until the remaining batter and filling are used up.
  11. Serve, eat, and enjoy!


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

ARTIST PROFILE | SARA BERKS your favorite home décor find

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

What’s the best advice for an aspiring creative? Sara Berks, founder of a MINNA – an ethically made home textile brand – simply states,  “keep going,” which could be the most pure & unvarnished answer we’ve ever gotten to that question. And that’s who Sara is: an honest artist with an utterly beautiful talent for traditional craft techniques. Admiring her cultural perspective and a minimalist aesthetic, we are so excited to share Sara’s story as well as her handmade, woven home goods with y’all!


Hello! My name is  Sara Berks and I live in Germantown, NY and I am the Founder / MINNA.  MINNA is a line of ethically made textiles for the home. I started MINNA about 3 years ago as an exploration in tapestry weaving. I now collaborate with artisans in Mexico, Guatemala and Uruguay to produce hand-woven pillows, rugs, blankets and kitchen textiles.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA


Music, the Bauhaus, minimalist art, finding patterns in everything (life, visually, stories), my partner.


 Looking at things differently. Making things. Trying to figure out how things were made.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA


That’s a hard question, because in reality, not everything, every day, can be inspiring. Some days are really long and hard and arduous, and filled with boring or difficult life tasks. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to look for inspiration or just be satisfied with what is in front of you.


I have a background in Graphic Design and after several years of feeling un-inspired and un-fulfilled in the design world, I left my full-time job to freelance and take time to see if I could find something I truly loved and cared about. I’d always had an interest in textiles, and started to explore that further. I fell in love with weaving and decided I wanted to start creating functional textiles. I knew I wanted to pursue artisan craft production and that’s something I’ve become very passionate about.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA


I tend to have many projects going at once, so usually if I’m stuck with one, I jump onto the other. Some may call this ADHD, but I think it’s just how I’ve learned to function.


Keep going.


Check out my website or my Instagram.

Home Decor guru Sara Berks from MINNA

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