August, 2014

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Cashew Alfredo

photo 2Yes, it is exactly as delicious as it sounds!!! Like holy crap it’s good. This is one of my favorite quick cook meals. It is ridiculously easy and packed full of flavor!! When I’m in the mood for a delicious and real dinner, but only have the energy to pour a bowl of cereal this is the absolute perfect dinner. I like to stock up on Rising Moon products when Sprouts puts them on sale, which is often. I love their vegan butternut squash and the vegan spinach florentine. YUM! And dude, this Alfredo sauce is legit and really turns out brilliantly. It is great with spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini, or any of your favorite pasta. I love cooking up fettuccine and adding broccoli to the cooking water and topping with this sauce. Perfection! Who’s getting hungry???!

photo 1Serves 1 starving preggo or 2 normal people

1 package of Rising Moon Organics Butternut Squash Ravioli

1 bundle of thin asparagus, trimmed

Sauce

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least an hour, longer if you don’t have a sweet awesome blender

1/2 cup veggie stock

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

Boil water for ravioli and cook via package instructions and add asparagus the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Meanwhile, pop all sauce in ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Strain the pasta and veggies and toss with the alfredo. Boom. Enjoy.

photo 3

Game Face

DSC_0787-(ZF-0752-24041-1-007)Photos via Kelsey Erin Photography | [chambray] Banana Republic [graphic tee] Banana Republic [shorts] Jessica Simpson for Motherhood [shoes] DV by Dolce Vita, these are fab!! [hat] old Madewell, but this Old Navy one is fab!

So I’ve started a new thing, Blissful Happenings will be on a Tuesday-Thursday posting schedule because Momma can’t handle coming up with awesomeness 3 times a week… and dude, we only do straight awesome here at BH. Duh. I love this outfit. This is a real outfit. This is what real Lauren wears on the reg. I’m obsessed with my chambray and I wear it as often as the heat permits! I’m also freaking loving my new Rock, Paper, Scissors tee from the incredibly revamped Banana Republic. Marissa Webb, BR’s new creative director, is the former head designer over at J.Crew… yes, that’s right! THE J.Crew, the J,Crew that barely any normal person can afford these days… Yeah, what’s up with that!?! Well enter Banana Republic and their new FABULOUS Fall collection!! I want it all!! It’s super sophisticated and super affordable. Score. I can’t wait to pick up a pair of faux-leather Sloan pants, this amazing sweater, this awesome puffer vest, and just about everything else. You will definitely be seeing me in a ton of BR this Fall/Winter.

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Clothes I Can’t Live Without These Days…

Preggo Pieces 2.001[1] [2] [3] [4]

So these days it’s not particularly easy to dress myself in super cute clothes all the time, but I do what I can. I’m 8 and a half months pregnant in the dead of summer in Southern California and all I can say is that I would really like to just walk around naked all the time with a cooling towel and a fan. I honestly would prefer to never leave my house, but alas that is not a realistic dream.

When it comes to preggo fashion the 4 pieces above are about the only things I’ve bought “maternity” and I love them all! The jeans were a great purchase until about 6 months when the average temp began to hoover in the high 80’s, but for the fall/winter you absolutely must buy a few pairs! JBrand are so pricey, but I tell you they are amazing and they don’t look a bit like maternity! Love that. Now shorts, I’ve tried a few pairs and the ones I liked the most are shockingly Jessica Simpson. I know, right!? They are super comfy and look really stylish! Fab. I’ve bought a few colors of this dress and it’s great for layering with a kimono, I feel cute and they were super cheap. Winning. I also bought a similar baseball tee and I love it! I probably didn’t need to buy maternity, but I love that the hem curves and that it’s a bit longer. So those are my 4 maternity pieces.

Preggo Pieces.001[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

I honestly think it’s completely possible to not buy a single maternity piece when you are pregnant in the summer. So really what I’ve been sticking to are maxi dresses, leggings, and tshirts. Boom. I have found that you usually can wear your same size or just one size up in more body conscious pieces. The key to wearing non-maternity clothes is material, gotta have some stretch! I’ve bought a ton of maxis and really found that they are easiest thing to throw on when you are just hot and tired and feel like someone punched you in the vag. Gap, Old Navy, and Nordstrom Rack have been my go to shops for dresses. I refuse to spend a ton of money on anything I can’t be sure will fit after Rocco joins the world. Even with the heat I have been wearing leggings and my go to are the high-low pant for Lululemon which are just so crazy, comfy and make you feel super skinny! I also have a pair of liquid leggings similar to the pair above that I absolutely love for a night out! I think they look so cool with a bump. I am obsessed with v-neck tees from JCrew, I went up a size and they have lasted through out my whole pregnancy! Finally, I invested in a crazy comfy pair of leopard sneakers. Chic mom shoes, if you will… I will, thank you very much!

What are your go-to preggo pieces!?!? Do you buy a ton of maternity items or prefer to stick to adaptable regular clothes!?

Kula Project | For the Farmer

kula2all photos via Bobby Neptune 

Every once and awhile you come across a person or a cause that is just so beautiful and real that you can’t deny the awesomeness and you just have to tell everyone. That is definitely how I feel about Sarah and the brilliant Kula Project! Seeing all the amazing things they are doing has really just warmed my heart and I thought it was about time that I shared the Kula Project with you. It’s an amazing non-profit, co-founded by Sarah, that helps small-scale farmers create sustainable communities in Rwanda. Awesome-sauce!!! It is such a wonderful cause that I wanted to do anything I could to get the word out. I asked Sarah to just answer a few questions to share with you all and she graciously obliged. I’m so honored to have her take the time to share with us her passion!!! She is truly inspiring!!! Read on!!!Kula1What inspired you to start the Kula Project? I went to Kenya with a dental team in 2009, and it was the first time that I saw true poverty. It wrecked me, so I come home and changed my major to focus on International Development. It was through my studies and further travels that I saw the link between agriculture and poverty. Agriculture wasn’t my driving passion, I was passionate about these children that I continued to see that weren’t in school, that were malnourished, or children dying because their parents can’t afford a $7 pill that would treat their malaria. I wanted to fix all of this, but I knew I couldn’t do it, but that these kid’s parents could, if they were simply given the opportunity. If I decided to work with small-scale farmers, I knew I can reach over 80% of the developing world, so that’s what I did.

kula5What’s been the most exciting part about watching the Kula Project grow? I think when you start doing what I do, you have this big, gigantic picture of what your work will be, but you fail to realize that these are actual people you are trying to help with unique stories. So, now that we have been going for two years and in Rwanda for year, I have the enormous privilege to have relationships, friendships really, and I get to bring people into that. This fall, the families in our program will plant over 6,000 coffee and banana trees. 6,000! Those trees will make elementary school graduations and Sunday suppers possible. Moving forward, malaria will no longer be a death sentence because they will be able to afford the medicine and we get to be a part of all this!

kula3What do you think would surprise people to find out about the work KP does? The people of the communities we work in are just as much involved in the program development process as we are. So often people go into countries with the best intentions of helping but end not providing what is needed because they never thought to ask, they just assumed they knew. We sit down with the families we work with to get their opinion, find out what they think their community needs, and we combine that input with the input of some local experts and develop the programs with that information.

For example, I had a laundry list tools I thought our farmers would need to implement this upcoming program. As I was reading the list, I realized no one was getting excited, which they usually do. Finally, JMV, one of our farmers, says, “You know, we really just need wheelbarrows with strong tires that can handle these hills.” I just laughed and nodded “okay, we’ll just go with wheelbarrows.”kula6What’s next for the Kula Project? This November will be the biggest month of our organization thus far. We have worked for almost year building this program and it’s finally about to happen! Our farmers will start “intercropping plots” with coffee and banana trees. These plots will help protect their land from rising temperatures and diminishing rains while almost doubling their current family income.

kula7How can people help? To make November happen, we need to raise $50,000 more dollars, so people can help by supporting one of our farmers. We like for people to be as much of a part of their lives and we are, so we do a pretty job at keeping people connected with the families they support. If you can’t give funds, buy some of our merchandise, or simply spread the word to people you think might be able to support our work.

tankI bought this awesome tank at the Kula Market and not only is it legit fabulous the money goes to the help this amazing cause!  I also picked up Rocco his first For The Farmer onesie!! Go buy a shirt, a bow tie, some coffee, or heck, just go donate money!!! If you feel the least bit inclined to donate, don’t hesitate, don’t wait! If not now, when!? I’m so excited for what the future holds for the Kula Project! Get involved!!!

Cauliflower Wings, say whaaaa!?

photo 5So I’ve wanted to make these “wings” for a while now and at a recent wifey event I decided to try it out. I based my recipe off of A Simply Raw Life’s recipe found on Pinterest. I kept pretty much everything the same, but I did switch up the dipping sauce. Let me tell you, this was a MASSIVE hit. Veggies and non-veggies alike were stuffing their faces with these things!! I mean the outside was spicy and crunchy and inside was soft and delicious. I really seriously can’t say enough amazing things about these things!! I think football season is getting ready to start soon [right!?] and these would be perfect even for the manliest crowd! I can’t wait to make them for The Captain. Awesome for any get together or even a quick and yummy dinner.

Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup buffalo sauce, I used the Trader Joe’s

2 tablespoons of earth balance, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix milk, flour, garlic powder in a bowl and then add the cauliflower and coat all of the pieces. Place evenly on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 25ish minutes until good and crunchy. Mix hot sauce and melted earth balance and pour all over cauliflower. Pop back into the oven for 5 minutes. They taste amazing right out of the oven. Proceed to stuff face.

photo 4Dipping Sauce

1 box of silken tofu

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Juice of 1-2 lemons [I like it with more lemon]

Toss all ingredients in a blender and pop into the fridge for at least an hour.

Earth Goddess

DSC_0145-(ZF-7445-37833-1-002) DSC_0143-(ZF-7445-37833-1-004)photos by Kelsey Erin Photography | [dress] from Metaphor in Vista [headband] Anthro this is similar [bracelets] Lenny & Eva Ali and Alex Honesty

Hello 33 weeks!!! Say whaaaaaa!?!?! Can you believe it? ‘lieve it!?!?!? I can’t! Rocco is on his way to the world people! The Captain and I are just getting so stinking excited because it’s definitely getting really real. All that second trimester energy is officially peace’d out and now I just want to take naps and eat waffles and avocado rolls. I am forcing myself to go on walks and do my Tracy dvds as often as my poor lil’ hips can take it!! I have to admit much to my dismay I HATE wearing clothes these days. I love clothes!!!! But alas, I don’t want to wear anything and the idea of jeans or pants in this summer soCal heat is just cray. I am living in maxi dresses and skirts. I found this one at a spectacular little boutique, Metaphor, in downtown Vista which is between San Marcos and Oceanside San Diego peeps. I have managed to only purchase 5 items that are actually maternity throughout this pregnancy and I think I’ve managed to look pretty cute!!! So, I’ll be talking about my favorite preggo clothes next week!! Stay tuned!

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