Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Inspiration

I have quite a few food allergies and intolerances but that has never stopped me from experimenting in the kitchen and enjoying meals to the fullest. If anything, cooking became more fun for me when I needed to figure out ways to make dishes that were allergy-friendly and tasted delicious. Thanksgiving is next week and today I am sharing recipes that would be a hit for everyone, restricted or not. The gravy recipe from Happy Herbivore is a favorite in my house, my fiancé asks for it regularly, the cornbread from Free People is both gluten free and vegan (and you wouldn’t even know it) and the apple crisp recipe is my go-to dessert. Side dishes always steal the show for me and this year will be no exception.

How do you handle food allergies? Do you bring your own dish or just figure out what you can eat when you get there? Let me know in the comments!

potato leek soup
roasted garlic brussel sprouts
butternut squash
vibrant tasty green beans
happy herbivore gravy
cornbread
cauliflower, parsnip & apple puree
grain-free pumpkin pie
apple crisp with maple finish

Jewels of the Week

1. My mouth is watering just thinking about making this grain-free apple upside-down cake. Perfect allergy friendly dessert from the always inspirational Free People blog.

2. Video on proper cuticle care from the nail master Deborah Lippmann (Bydrie).

3. My obsession with essential oils continues with a very helpful guide from Into the Gloss.

4. I have been looking for a more appealing way to store laundry and this DIY from DesignLoveFest would be perfect.

5. Mane Addicts has quickly become a daily read.

6. While staying organized and being paperless is a top priority of mine, my love of stationery is stronger than ever. Will be signing up for this monthly subscription and can’t wait to get my first box (A Beautiful Mess).

Jewelry Spotlight: Samantha Wills

This weeks jewelry spotlight is a brand that evokes bohemian luxury in every detail, Samantha Wills. This post is extra special because the gorgeous Samantha took the time to answer questions about her life, brand and style for us.

Samantha completely encompasses her brand inside and out. She is a go-getter in every sense of the word moving from her home on Australia’s East Coast to Sydney at age 21. Without any formal training she would sell handmade jewelry on the weekends while working a retail job during the week. When she got invited to showcase at Australia’s Fashion Week she jumped on the opportunity hoping to break even and made over $17,000 worth of orders in just four days. Her story is an inspiration to everyone who hears it and a lesson that if you put positive energy out, you will get positive energy back.

I was lucky enough to receive a few pieces from her collection which I styled below. Inspired by the bohemian brand I paired the turquoise ring and earrings with a fringe skirt I purchased at a boutique in Florida, a chunky sweater from Vince that falls of the shoulder and Rag & Bone booties for a relaxed weekend outfit. I have been wearing the beautiful mantra necklace that says “live, laugh, love” as a layering piece every day and it goes with everything.

To enter the SW world of jewelry, eyewear, housewares and more go to SamanthaWills.com

Jewelry Spotlight: Samantha Wills #jewelsofadreamer

1. Your jewelry is the perfect mix of bohemian and luxury. Where does the inspiration for new pieces come from?
Every one of my designs is inspired by the SW woman. She is my muse. I think as we move into more FINE within our collections, that dials the luxe in the bohemian-luxe up, and the core of the mainline is more bohemian. Its like a meeting of masculine and feminine, you can see that styling throughout our brand, from apparel styling to my personal interiors.

2. Do you have a process for creating mood boards? Could you tell us a bit about it?
My core, ongoing moodboard is my tumblr account worldofSW.tumblr.com – I use this to archive (as not to shut my computer hard drive down!) & then when I am sitting down to bring a creative brief together, I trawl back through those images. I ceate moodboards with the muse in mind by placing her in a location & time.

3. What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made?
Cowrie shell necklaces for my friends at school… I actually sold the necklaces to them! What an awful, opportunistic friend I was!

4. How do you define the Samantha Wills girl?
Designed for the SW Woman. She is the muse. She is creative. She is strong. She is adventurous & marches to the beat of her own drum, charting a life of extraordinary moments. Samantha Wills is a lifestyle brand founded on the notion of bohemian luxury. The brand explores a raw femininity, inspired by Samantha’s Wanderlust and globe trotting lifestyle.

5. How would you define your personal style? What are your go-to pieces?
I am definitely bohemian luxe. I live between Sydney & NYC and my personal style reflects this – I think you can see elements of my Sydney style in my NYC outfits & also a bit of NYC when I am back home in Sydney. My staples are black skinny leg jeans, a leather jacket, a cape jacket, a few camisoles, rocker booties, leather sandals and black heels. If I am crossing seasons & contents, and have to pack light – that’s the mix, it will get me thru any occasion, its just how you mix & match them.

6. Traveling between Sydney and New York, does your style change depending where you are?
Only because of the seasons being polar opposite. I am at a stage in life, where I am very clear on my own style & that feels good – so my style is the same in the Australian summer as it is in the North American summer, as in winter – except in a New York winter I dress for polar eclipses! Sydney barely has a winter!

7. What are the “jewels” in your life? (i.e. what are the most important things in your life)?
My friends & my boyfriend, and obviously my family. As I am an only child, my best friends are like siblings to me, and this is incredibly important to me. I also have great appreciation for being near the ocean – I have always loved the ocean, but since moving to NYC & not being near it all the time, I have such a great appreciation for it.

8. What is the future for the Samantha Wills brand?
We hope to expand to many different categories. We have just released eyewear & a small handbag collection – We hope to one day have apparel. I admire greatly what Tory Burch has done with her brand. The way she has structured it & the way it tells a story, a lifestyle. It’s incredible.

Thank you Samantha!!

Jewelry Spotlight: Samantha Wills #jewelsofadreamer

Jewelry Spotlight: Samantha Wills #jewelsofadreamer

Mid-Week Inspiration

Using envelope liners for unexpected beauty (Oak and Orchid).

Denim on denim layering (love the nude heels).

Feeling inspired by the colors of fall.

Trying on frames for a new pair of glasses.

What is inspiring you this week?

Green Beauty Wishlist

This green beauty journey has been extremely enlightening in terms of realizing what high quality ingredients are out there. My skin has never felt better and every product I try feels like a new, exciting journey. Now that I have seen such great results by incorporating a few organic and natural products into my routine, I can’t wait to evolve into using more green beauty and experimenting with make-up. As with everything this takes time so I am being realistic and sampling products slowly to get the full experience.

With that being said, I feel like my wishlist is never ending because there are SO many products to try and endless amounts I want to learn. Here is what I am currently dreaming about. I feel these products would continue to help me build a solid foundation for my green beauty routine and allow me try everything from organic sunless tanning to non-toxic nail polish and natural eyeliner. What is on your natural beauty wishlist? Let me know in the comments!

1. Soapwalla Kitchen Deodorant Cream $14
2. RGB Nailpolish in Oxblood $18
3. Alima Pure Bronzer in Maracaibo $20
4. Chocolate Sun Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream $40
5. Vapour Organic Beauty Mesmerize Eyeliner in Truffle $20
6. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer $38
7. Kahina 100% Organic Argan Oil $36
8. ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady $26

Jewels of the Week

Top Row:

1. Adding this book on my wishlist so I can learn to make beautiful flower arrangements like this one

2. Love this new activewear brand via The Cut

3. After following @Viewfromthetopp on Instagram for quite some time I love that I can now shop her looks on the brand new Viewfromthetopp.com

Bottom Row:

1. I have been switching up my part lately, a helpful breakdown from The Beauty Department on where to part your hair

2. Six stretches for people who sit at desks from A Cup of Jo

3. Wrapped ponytail inspiration (Le Fashion)

One Love Organics Review

This week’s green beauty review is about a company whose packaging is just as beautiful as the products themselves, One Love Organics. I first discovered One Love Organics during my research to find natural products to add to my daily routine. I felt instantly drawn to the ethical and environmentally driven message of the company as well as the problem solving nature of the products.

The founder of the company, Suzanne LeRoux studied holistic nutrition, herbs and aromatherapy. After five years of maintaining her career as a lawyer while moonlighting as a beauty alchemist, she turned to cosmetics full time and started One Love Organics.

Each and every product creates an experience within itself. From the gorgeous packaging to the endless benefits, a little goes a very long way. All the products are 100% natural and hand crafted with love off the coast of Georgia. The goal of OLO is to create a more simple approach to beauty, and they do just that. These products contain high quality, effective ingredients that provide wonderful results (and smell delicious while doing it).

After corresponding with the owner and creator of the brand, Suzanne, she recommended I try two of the bestsellers, skin savior and vitamin b cleanser. I have been using the products for a few weeks and noticed numerous benefits immediately. One Love Organics is a leader in the green beauty industry and for very good reason, their products produce results.

One Love Organics Review #jewelsofadreamer

The first product I tried was the vitamin b active moisture cleansing oil and makeup remover. As with most OLO products it can be used in a variety of ways. I used it as a cleanser by massaging it into my face with warm water and rinsing off. It can also be used with a cotton square to remove make-up (no water is needed). This product restores the natural moisture in the skin and pH balance. It is an exfoliator, detoxifier and toner all in one. Seriously, this product is magic! It includes papain, a fruit enzyme used to soften the skin as well as Vitamin B to detoxify. It is sensitive enough to use for all skin types.

My thoughts: This was the first natural cleanser I had ever used and I was beyond thrilled by how effective it was. The first time I used it, I actually gasped with excitement. Prior to my natural beauty adventure I would use cleanser and there would be a feeling of residue left on my face (with make-up still on after multiple attempts). With two pumps into my hand this cleanser created a silky texture on my face that left me feeling cleansed and nourished. All my make-up immediately came off, even the usually hard to get eye shadow and liner. It smelled wonderful and left my skin feeling soft with no irritation whatsoever. I have sensitive skin so this was a huge win for me. I highly recommend this product and with one to two pumps being all you need, it is sure to last a while.

Vitamin B Pricing: $38

One Love Organics Review #jewelsofadreamer

One Love Organics Review #jewelsofadreamer

One Love Organics Review #jewelsofadreamer

The second product I used was the skin savior balm. A multi-tasking product to the highest degree. This balm can be used as a cleanser, lip balm, moisturizer, eye cream, to tame hair and so much more. It is waterless and made of pure and rich, cold-pressed plant oils such as mango butter and coconut oil. The extracts break down dirt and oil while keeping the skins natural protective layer. This product cleanses, moisturizers, illuminates and smells fantastic while doing it.

My thoughts:
As a cleanser: I used it daily on my eye make-up and it immediately came off with almost no effort. I put a small amount in my hands and gently pressed into my skin, with a damp washcloth I wiped the area clean. The best part is that it caused no irritation or dryness.

As a lip balm: In the morning, evening and throughout the day I dabbed a bit on my lips and even with the cold brisk air they felt nourished and did not crack at all. I had already started to feel my lips getting dry prior to using the skin savior balm so this is definitely going to save my lips this winter.

As a moisturizer and eye cream: I used the balm every night as a moisturizer on my face, eyes and neck and when I woke up my skin felt moisturized and smooth. I loved putting a decent amount before bedtime (a little does go a long way but I liked to make sure I was getting maximum benefit during sleep). When I used it in the morning I applied a much smaller amount compared to night and only put in a few select areas like under my eyes and cheeks, I then got dressed and let it absorb before using any make-up. OLO has a wonderful video that can be found here on how to mix your skin savior with mineral based powder to create a custom foundation.

I am so excited to continue to explore the many uses of the skin savior balm and will definitely be adding this product to my daily routine indefinitely.

Skin Savior Pricing: $39-$68

Final thoughts: I was very impressed by the capabilities of these products and will continue to use them daily. Not only were they highly effective but I also love to look at them in my bathroom. It is clear that Suzanne puts a lot of love and thought into each and every product. You also get a lot of use for your money which is always appreciated. I can’t wait to make my way through more One Love Organics products and feel so thankful to have found this company. If you can only buy one product this winter, definitely buy the skin savior. It will quickly become your favorite beauty tool.

Mid-Week Inspiration

Adding fresh flowers to gifts.

Daily stretching.

Remembering to breathe (sometimes easier said than done).

Light sweaters and hats for fall.

The Art of Doing Nothing

This past weekend I did nothing, absolutely nothing. And to be perfectly honest, it was hard. Truly relaxing really is an art within itself.

Being Type A, I am constantly challenging the notion of impossible perfection. Feeling like I have to do it all and do it to my absurdly high standards. But as any overachiever knows, this is just not reality.

I have been feeling incredibly exhausted lately and I knew that if I kept pushing it, I would make myself sick. To avoid this I decided to stay home and rest. I slept, read books, binge watched movies and totally vegged out. I was surprised by how much trouble I had fully letting myself relax. The little voice in my head kept saying, come on, there are things to do, people to see. I should be writing a blog post, seeing friends, exploring NYC with my fiancé, ANYTHING. I ignored that voice and by Sunday night I was finally fully relaxed.

We as a society are so connected, documenting every aspect of our lives to create a series of photos we deem to be appropriate to show on social media. With this feeling of being constantly connected comes a feeling of burnout. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love social media, Instagram is my favorite medium. Sharing photos is fun and I love knowing what is going on with friends and family that I don’t talk to every day. Sharing my life, my blog, outfits and more.

This got me thinking, I can’t be the only one to feel this way. The truth is, most people don’t have the option to completely veg out. Many had to work this weekend, take care of their kids or uphold responsibilities. I am lucky that I even had the option to rest in the comfort of my home.

I feel that this is an emotion that comes along with the connected generation and I for one plan on fighting it and giving myself “me time” whenever my body calls for it. The truth is, everything can wait. Mental and physical well being will always be my number one priority.

Do you let yourself fully relax or do you find it difficult? Let me know in the comments below!

Ode To Scarves

Scarves are my favorite accessory year-round. Throughout the seasons they can be tied around your neck, hair, bag or wrist in seemingly unlimited ways. Once fall and ultimately winter comes along I look forward to wrapping myself up in scarves to avoid getting sick of the few coats I have on rotation.

I tend to gravitate towards neutral scarves in different patterns and colors so they can work with a variety of outfits, day and night. Here are the scarves that I am currently coveting.

1. Madewell cabletwist scarf $65
2. ASOS oversized black check square scarf $34
3. Madewell diamond bandana triangle scarf $50
4. J.Crew cashmere wrap $320
5. Zara checked scarf $30
6. ASOS faux fur infinity scarf $42
7. Madewell mountain shadow scarf $60