A Birthday

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When i was 39 weeks pregnant my main goal was not to go into labor. I laid in bed and scrapbooked for a full week while my husband was gone. While I was scrapbooking I realized we were really lame birthday picture taking people -if that’s a thing. So when my husbands birthday came around I tried extra hard to make it something special and picture worthy. Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I had ordered a LOT of balloons from Balloon Celebrations in Santa Monica and thought I would follow with a colorful balloon theme for the cake and cupcakes. I found these awesome photos on pinterest and took inspiration from them.

I’m definitely the sweet lover in the relationship. He could care less about a chocolate molten cake or chocolate covered coconut almonds (they’re my newest love), he prefers one cake and one cake only, which is a white cake his mother makes. My mom always told me never try to beat what the mother makes because it’ll never be as good as theirs… so i left that to her.

I made a 3 layer white cake with vanilla buttercream and added sprinkles to the batter for a homemade ‘funfetti’ cake. I used cookie cutters to get the number onto the top of the cake and voila! A super cute and festive cake!

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I also found the cutest ‘Happy Birthday’ candles on Amazon, and saved those for the main event. The cupcakes were just mini versions of the cake since I thought that would be easier than cutting a gazillion pieces of cake for the party.

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Thanks to Kelley James for the surprise musical performance in our garage and all of our friends that came out to celebrate.

 

 

 

Almond Milk Protein Smoothie

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One of my favorite smoothies as of last week is this delicious concoction that mimics the Almond Milk from the Juice Pressery in flavor. It contains all of the same ingredients such as almond milk, vanilla, sea salt, and dates but adds almond butter and oats and Vanilla protein powder for a boost of protein and satiation. I have this after a good workout and my husband loves it.

Almond Milk Protein Smoothie

1 cup almond milk (preferably homemade)
1 tsp vanilla (vanilla bean would be delish)
2 dates
2.5 Tbs oats
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp almond butter
5 ice cubes
1 scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder (optional)

Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

Xoxo from beautiful California

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No Bake Almond Joy Granola Bars by ohsheglows.com

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I made a lot of granola bars to prepare for the baby’s arrival. I even made my friend, Nicole Bianchi some for her pregnancy and called them “Mama Bars”. They’re perfect to store in your purse or in your freezer or fridge for whenever you need a quick snack.

This recipe was one of my favorites though it’s not from the above photo. If you love Almond Joy’s you will love them! Making your own granola bars is really so simple and the best part is knowing exactly what’s in them. Au Revoir!

No Bake Almond Joy Granola Bars
from ohsheglows.com

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups rolled oats (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 cup rice crisp cereal
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup roasted almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar syrup (or brown rice syrup – see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons non-dairy mini chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand, optional)

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way so it’s easy to lift out.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, rice crisp cereal, sliced almonds, coconut, and chia seeds.
  3. In a medium pot over low heat, melt the coconut oil. Remove from heat and stir in the almond butter, coconut nectar, and vanilla, until smooth.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir well until thoroughly combined. Add a pinch of salt to taste and stir again.
  5. Spoon mixture into the pan and roughly spread out (but don’t pack down yet). Sprinkle on the chocolate chips in an even layer. Wet hands lightly and then press down the mixture until even. Use a pastry roller to roll it out and pack it in even more.
  6. Transfer pan to the freezer for about 10 minutes until firm. Slice into bars, wrap, and store in the fridge or freezer. These bars fall apart easily so I don’t recommend leaving them at room temperature for longer than a few minutes.

Nutritional info: (based on 14 servings, per bar with chocolate chips): 193 cals, 12.6 grams fat, 16.5 grams carbs, 3.5 grams fibre, 5.8 grams sugar, 5 grams protein.

Note: I do not recommend swapping the coconut nectar or brown rice syrup for any other liquid sweetener. Other sweeteners won’t be sticky enough to bind the bars.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2014/05/23/no-bake-almond-joy-granola-bars/#ixzz3GjMqrm2G

Hey Hey… I had a baby

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Hello World,

It’s been a good couple of months and i’ve missed blogging so… I had my little baby girl, Celine 6.5 weeks ago and to say my life hasn’t changed would be a complete lie. It’s been the most amazing time in my life thanks to this little life that I hold in my arms multiple times during the night.

I had a ridiculously long labor and by the 30th hour I was just thinking, I need to get her out so I can sleep… Little did I know that once the baby is out it’s the beginning of not sleeping for a good couple of months/years. I’m used to it by now but it’s incredible to think that 4-5 total hours of sleep is a ‘good night’. Our house is a constant disaster. We are super tidy and clean people so looking at it in it’s current state really stresses me out but I would rather spend my spare time sleeping or making myself a green smoothie.

Anyway, in terms of weight gain… i gained 24 pounds. I was a bit disappointed I didn’t gain more when I was trying to embrace the fact that pregnancy is the one time in your life it’s acceptable/encouraged to gain weight but I found it a little hard to fully throw caution to the wind. I drank green smoothies twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening… I found it really curved all of my cravings. However, when I went into labor I baked a chocolate cake (I must share that recipe with you all … it was a naturally gluten free, chocolate pudding cake from The Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Lindon. YUM.), called it Celine’s Birthday Cake, and ate it while I was waiting for my husband to return home from Chicago so we could go to the hospital. It was basically my last hurrah before the super healthy eating would start.

After the birth I lost all but 3 pounds but gained 2 pounds eating copious amounts of chocolate trying to stay awake the first couple of weeks. So… now begins the struggle of trying to cut sugar-even natural forms- and working out at a normal level again.

Horrah Horrah… baby is awake and I must go. Look for my new favorite post workout smoothie recipe I’ll be posting soon… maybe in a couple minutes or tomorrow. Haven’t decided! xx

The White House Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

So today we actually visited the White House and took a tour. I was a bit disappointed they hid the west wing from us but what can you do.

One of my favorite parts, besides seeing a pic of princess Diana and John Travolta dancing, was the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe they shared with us! I feel like I’ve been let in on such a secret!

These aren’t gluten free or dairy free but maybe you have some friends that would love these. I can’t wait to try baking them!

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Peach Summer Salad

I’m in DC and It is beautiful here!
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I’ve discovered why pregnant girls really gain so much weight. People see that you are pregnant and immediately want to feed you. They don’t feed you fruit or vegetables but immediately assume you want cookies, ice cream, or anything else dirty they can think of.

Hence, this sunday I had on the plane:20140718-170848-61728076.jpg
In an effort to make up for that delicious ice cream Sunday-with all of the toppings- I found this wonderful spot here called ‘Sweet Greens’ with a mouth watering menu of fresh salads with local ingredients, juices, and frozen yogurt. This salad is their ‘seasonal salad’ for the summer which I’ll be using as inspiration for our Sunday dinner salad.

I’m a peach lover so this salad sold me at the mention of local peaches. Try making it yourself by combining: mixed greens, chopped peaches, slivered almonds, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.

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Vanilla Almond Milk, Inspired by Pressed Juicery

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One of my favorite treats in LA can be found at the Pressed Juicery food truck. If you get the chance to try any one of their ‘Milk’s’ you will not regret it. My all time favorite is their coconut cinnamon which I miss dearly and couldn’t order online :(.

This week I had a few of our favorite juices/milks delivered and I realized their Vanilla Almond Milk is ridiculously easy to recreate (not to mention much cheaper).

The only thing I had to adjust was the thickness of my milk. I usually make my Almond Milk pretty thin (4:1 water:almonds) but Pressed Juicery’s is thicker and indulgent (3 to 1). You can play around with the thickness of your almond milk depending on your preferences.

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Vanilla Almond Milk
Inspired by Pressed Juicery

4 cups of Homemade Almond Milk
3-4 Mejdool Dates (the softer the better, but you can soak them in the milk before blending)
2 tsp vanilla extract (or seeds from half of a vanilla bean if you have one)
1/4 tsp of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth and luscious. (Don’t be afraid to blend it for even a minute depending on your blender and softness of the dates)