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Chia Seed Ice-Cream (Sugar Free and Vegan)

My favorite commercial right now is the Geico one where ex-NFL player Ickey Woods is waiting in line to buy cold cuts, and gets ridiculou...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Glamour Bar Denver Review

Don't you love it when your to-do list involves pampering and glamour?  Me too.
 Recently I was invited to check out a salon in Denver, called Glamour Bar.  With a name like that it was a no brainer.... sign me up.  Glamour Bar is Denver's premier beauty bar, offering services for hair, nails, and lashes.  Owner Lyndsay Wilson was very welcoming and has extensive knowledge about everything related to beauty.

My hair was starting to show the effects of a dry, Colorado winter, so I chose a deep conditioning treatment, along with one of their signature blow outs. 
The first thought that came to my mind when I arrived, was that I wanted to move in.  The d├ęcor is clean and modern, yet glamorous.  Think white, Lucite, gold, and crystal chandeliers.  I was already getting ideas to redo my house while my hair was being washed.  (And my poor husband thought he was finally done with my remodeling projects!) 
The next thing that impressed me was the Unite products that they used.  When my hair was washed, my stylist had me feel my hair to see if I could tell a difference after using Unite shampoo.  It was instantly silky.  Not only is it free of sulfates, parabens and sodium chloride, but it's super concentrated and volumizing as well as conditioning  - a combination I'm always searching for.  Of course I left with a bottle of that, as well as the Smoothing Conditioner, and 7 Seconds, which is a leave in conditioner. 

Since using the products at home, I have become obsessed with all of them, but particularly the 7 seconds product.  I have about one day a week while I am detangling my wet hair after a shower that I declare, "that's it!  I'm cutting off my long hair!"  It is ALWAYS full of tangles, and takes me forever to comb out.  I have tried all different kinds of detanglers, but they never work.  This stuff works -  I spray it on and my comb glides effortlessly through my hair.  It's kind of amazing.   It also works as a UV and thermal heat protectant, so bonus for combining 2 of my daily steps into 1. 

Drinks were offered, my blow out was relaxing, my hair ended up looking healthy and full of bouncy waves.... and then it was time to leave.  Bummer.  This is the type of place that you want to hang out in all day with your girlfriends.  And you easily could, with plenty of treatments such as mani/pedis, spray tans, custom lip bar, and lash extensions, which is what I'm trying next!  Plan a visit to Glamour Bar, you will not be disappointed! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Healthy Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Everyone has their favorite holiday treat, the one that they have to make every year.  Mine is chocolate peppermint whoopie pies.  I love the combination of the flavors, as well as the soft, cake-like cookie and the sweet, creamy filling. 
Every year I make them a couple different times throughout December.  This year, I wanted to get rid of the refined sugar, gluten, and filling made out of marshmallow fluff.  I don't mind eating treats like that in moderation.  But since my husband hates peppermint, and therefore doesn't help me eat them, and I can't stay out of them if they are in my house, I certainly don't enjoy them in moderation! 
I tried a couple of different versions:  the first one I made super clean and healthy, with almond flour, vegan flax eggs, no sugar at all (only xylitol and stevia), and a vegan cream made from cashews and coconut milk.  Although the flavor was delicious,  the almond flour, cashews, and flax made them heavy.  I would consider them more of a energy bar, since they were a little dense to be considered a whoopie pie. 
So I decided to meet halfway between decadent treat, and clean and healthy, and this time the results were perfect.  Soft, rich chocolate cookies, and sweet, minty cream.  And the ingredients are all things I'm comfortable with.  Gluten free baking mix, refined sugar free sweeteners, and vegan options.  Cheers to a healthy twist on a holiday favorite!
1/2 cup xylitol
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 egg (or 1 flax egg)
1 stevia packet
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp of salt1 1/2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk
2 cups Gluten free baking mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder

8 oz. vegan cream cheese (or regular dairy cream cheese if not vegan)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 stevia packet
3/4 tsp peppermint oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut flour
red food coloring

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg, coconut oil, xylitol, stevia, honey, vanilla and peppermint extracts, and salt.  Beat until combined.  Add the baking mix, cocoa, and almond milk, and mix until well combined. 
2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto the sheet.  Press down on the cookies with fingers or the back of a spoon, to flatten slightly.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3.  Clean the bowl of the mixer.  Add all filling ingredients, and blend 2-3 minutes until combined and fluffy.  Add a drop or two of the red food coloring to turn the filling pink, if desired.
4.  Once the cookies have cooled, spread a layer of filling on one cookie, topping it with another.  Roll in crushed candy canes, or leave plain.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or wrap individually and freeze.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Green Smoothie Protein Balls

With 3 busy little boys, there are days that we live on protein balls.  It seems like I'm constantly making them.  Not only do the boys need snacks in their bags for school, my husband takes them to work since he travels, and we all end up eating them in the car running between sports practices and errands.  Quick, portable, and full of healthy fats and fiber, they are the perfect on the go snack.   

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad

Ahhh, summer has finally arrived.  I'm not the biggest fan of heat, but the past month of rain and cold temps may have been enough to change my mind.  This week has finally been hot enough for long days spent at the pool with my boys.  After all that exhausting lounging around,(ha ha)I am not in the mood for a complicated dinner.  My husband has been in charge of the grill, while I've been making easy sides.  This week we picked up some pretty green tomatoes at the store, and I thought I'd try a twist on Caprese salads that we love so much in the summer. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Smoky Ranch Deviled Eggs

Since the boys wanted to dye tons of eggs for Easter this year, I had quite a few hard boiled eggs leftover in my fridge.  I decided to make deviled eggs for the first time in my life.  They aren't exactly my favorite, so I knew I wanted to add a little more kick to them.  Of course I didn't have any mayo on hand, so I got creative and threw this recipe together.  I ended up loving them and have made them several times since.  Try this easy recipe next time you need a quick, high protein snack!