A Little Place Called Aspen

Or Vail, or Big Sky, or Telluride, or really anywhere that has lots of outdoor fireplaces, jacuzzis with views, and oh yeah great skiing because that's SUPER important to me obviously. I'm so sporty. While we will be tackling the treacherous slopes of Wisconsin this weekend, maybe some of you are using the next few days to ski your little hearts out in any of the fun left coast locations I mentioned. Regardless of your weekend plans, I think anyone will appreciate these amaze ski destinations. These homes all have views like whoa and cozy fireplaces that basically demand you sit around nursing a bottle of red (or pineapple schnapps, whatever you're into) all night. And because looking like you could be coming home to one of these ski chalet's is half the battle (fake it until you make it right?), I've gone ahead and found the perfect ski weekend threads. Lots and lots of sweaters on sale!

Aerin Lauder's view of the Aspen Highlands

Aerin Lauder's view of the Aspen Highlands

Chalet Angora

Chalet Angora

Big Sky cozy modern vibes

Big Sky cozy modern vibes

Aspen with a view

Aspen with a view

Chalet in Megeve, France

Chalet in Megeve, France

SCROLL FOR APRES WEAR

💋 SHARING THE LOVE 💋

As previously stated, I ❤️❤️❤️ Valentines Day and having kiddos around makes the holiday all the sweeter. What makes it so sweet you ask? All the fun crafts, duh. We love making our own Valentines for the kids classes around here. Forget those princess and super hero sign your name valentines of old, I've got some super adorable DIY valentines that won't drive you crazy constructing. Ain't no one got time for that. Your kids friends probably won't care, but you and your little ones will have lots of fun crafting these guys. I mean, it's February, what the hell else are you going to do?

via sugar lander

via sugar lander

Materials:

Plastic animals (buy in bulk here)

Bakers twine (here)s

PVA glue or glue gun (here)

Card stock (here)

Pen (duh)

Method:

Tie twine around your lil' animal in a bow.

Glue animal to card stock

You or your little one write, "I'm wild about you," and sign their name. Et voila you're crafty.

VALENTINE NUMERO DOS

via Dandee Designs

via Dandee Designs

This one is admittedly more crafty and if I am being real, I would never take the time to cut out these mason jars. I would however venture to the Paper Source and buy card stock hearts and glue the bugs on them. If you were a preschool/ kindergarten teacher/ a would be Martha Stewart, you go ahead and craft those mason jar cutouts and I hope you Instagram the shit out of them.

Materials:

Plastic bugs (buy in bulk here)

Brown card stock or pink heart shaped card stock (here and here)

PVA glue or glue gun (here)

Pen

Method:

Write your valentines day message, "Happy Valentine's Day Love Bug"

Glue bugs to your hearts or super mom made mason jar card stock

Have your kiddo sign away

VALENTINE NUMERO TRES

via love and lion

via love and lion

One of our friend's did these one year and they turned out oh so cute. They wrote "I wheely like you" and it was adorable and kids inexplicably love these little cars.

Materials:

Toy cars in bulk (here). If you can find, I think it would be super cute to use pink and red toy cars.

White card stock (here)

Washi tape (here)

Pen

Method:

Write your chosen message. "I wheely like you" or "we're the perfect match"

Tape toy car to card stock with washi tape.

Have your little guy or gal sign

VALENTINE NUMERO QUATRO

via love and lion

via love and lion

We made these last year with my three year old. We chose to use heart shaped card stock from Paper Source, but you could obviously use whatever ya want.

Materials:

Red and pink balloons (here)

Heart shaped card stock (here)

Washi tape

Gold pen or black marker

Method:

Write message, "you make my heart pop"

Affix balloon with washi tape

Have your little one sign card.

Congrats, you're a great mom.

 


TAKE ME TO TULUM

I have a major life decision to make, are you ready for this? Should I go to Tulum at the end of February? Y or N. This invitation has seriously been haunting me for months but there are just so many obligatory life costs these days. Like do my kids really need to eat 3 times a day- this seems excessive. JK, but between ballet, gymnastics, and weddings I think I am going to have to go N on this one. If I do decide to go, my Instagram will be flooded with pictures like this. Still exploring the possibility of a Go Fund Me Page. Stay tuned.

A pic from Coqui Coqui, because this where people stay when they go to Tulum apparently. One day I shall see for myself, but until then I will plan outfits for my fictional trip. They will go as follows.

BEACH



Blizzard Essentials

Ok, so it is not blizzarding in Chicago, BUT this wall to wall snowmaggedon coverage has me thinking about what I would do with a couple of house bound days. I feel like I would just cook. And eat. A lot. And probs drink lots of red wine. Ugh that sounds real nice. For those of you that are actually stuck inside (I can't believe this blizzard is actually happening btw, east coast blizzards are so hyped) here is some recipe inspo for your days as a shut-in. 

CHEESY TRUFFLED POPCORN

via James Beard 

via James Beard 

I feel like if there's a blizzard, it's a foregone conclusion that at some point you're going to be watching a movie. If by any chance you were obsessed with Making A Murderer like everyone else that I know including myself, The Covetuer gathered up some similar who- done- it documentaries to fill that void in your Netflix cue. In any case, movie, Netflix and chill, or whatever, you're going to want to make this popcorn ASAP. 

1/2 c popcorn kernels popped. Click here if you want to know how to do that without a microwave. It's worth it.

1/2 stick unsalted butter melted

2 T truffle oil

1 c freshly grated Pecorino cheese (Parmesan is fine too)

2 T chopped, fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to your liking

Pinch of sugar

Toss popcorn with butter and oil. Add cheese and chopped parsley. Add your salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar and mix it up. 

CROCKPOT CARNITAS 

via Pinch of Yum

via Pinch of Yum

I made these for my husband's bday party a couple of years ago and they were a major crowd- pleaser. I feel like you can't really screw up pork in a crockpot. It just has to taste good. If you have no crock, these can most definitely be done in a dutch oven on the stove. Just an FYI this makes A LOT of pork. Could probably serve 10 so def feel free to half this recipe. Adapted from a Pinch of Yum recipe.

4-5 Lbs. pork shoulder

7 garlic cloves 

1.5 t cumin

1.5 t chili powder

1 t black pepper

1/2 t cinnamon

1.5 t oregano

1/2 t - 1 t cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)

juice of 2 limes

1/2 c orange juice

12 oz beer 

1/2 c salsa or alternatively if you're feeling very motivated, you could add a chopped jalapeño, 1 chopped onion, and a 14 oz can of tomatoes.  

Place your meat in the slow cooker and cover with the garlic and seasonings. Rub all of the seasonings into the meat a little bit if that doesn't freak you out. Now add your oj, lime juice, and salsa. Cook on low for 8 hours or let it hang on low on the stove in a dutch over for about that time. After the meat has cooked through, shred it with a fork in the slow cooker or put it on a cutting board and shred it,  adding it back into the sauce when you're through. It should fall apart super easily. Preheat the broiler on the oven. While that's preheating, spread your shredded meat out on a foil lined baking sheet (easier clean-up). Put it in the oven and let it get crispy around the edges, about 4 minutes. Ready to serve either by itself, in tortillas, over greens (think taco salad), or I think over rice with the juices would be super good too. 

BREAKFAST QUINOA

via Cup of Joe

via Cup of Joe

This is such a warming winter breakfast and a unique use of that good old super food quinoa. This and some coffee make for a fantastic leisurely breakfast. Adapted from A Cup of Joe recipe.

1/2 c quinoa

1 c unsweetened nut milk (I used cashew milk when I tried but almond is great)

1 chai tea bag

1/2- 1 T coconut sugar, maply syrup, or honey

1/2 t vanilla 

Pinch of salt 

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Your choice of nuts for topping but coconut flakes, pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds would be great. Toasted or un-toasted, your call. 

Rinse your quinoa and then put it in a small sauce pot with your nut milk and chai tea bag. Bring to a boil. Remove the tea bag, add your sweetener and vanilla, and reduce the heat to low. Cover your pot and cook for about 20 minutes. Off the heat and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt, and nuts. 

BEST (GRAIN- FREE) CHOCO CHIP COOKIES

Yeah, yeah I get it deserts without gluten don't taste as good. Zero chill (really hope I used that appropriately. I've been dying to get in somewhere). These are great cookies and there is plenty of butter and sweeter in these to make up for the lack of flour. Fat + sugar > Gluten. Eat up my friends. Adapted from an Elana's Pantry recipe. 

2 c almond flour

1/2 t sea salt 

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c SALTED butter @ room temp

1 T vanilla extract 

1/2 c maple syrup

1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor (or mix by hand). Add in the butter, vanilla, and maple syrup and continue to mix until your dough is formed. Off the food processor if you are using and mix in the choco chips by hand. With a tablespoon, scoop dough on to sheet pressing down lightly. Bake for 7-10 minutes. YOU MUST LET THESE COOL. If they don't for at least 15 minutes they will fall apart. No bueno. 

 

Best in Bath

Does anyone else dream of ending their day in their own personal, kid- free, spa-like bathroom suite? I don't think I am alone in my visions of face masks, bath salts, candles, and Norah Jones tunes (kind of kidding about Norah playing but not really). If you are having trouble envisioning, take a gander at Damsel In Dior's snap chat, she's doing it all of the freaking time in her brand new bathroom, champs in hand. Jeal.

Anyhow, after our super fun bedtime routine of five thousand glasses of water, stories, and "special tuck-in's" that was exactly what I was looking to do. My dilemma you ask? No such bathroom in my house exists. Our tub is routinely covered with Barbie hair, strewn with rubber ducky like animal toys, and any dreams I have of bath salts are promptly dumped out in one false swoop by my 3 year old. I get it, they do look like pink sparkles. Instead I settled for a quick shower and some Vanderpump Rules before my husband got home. It was fine, and Jax's uncanny sociopath-esque ability to fool girl after girl into thinking that he is a good guy almost made up for the fact that I wasn't soaking away, encased by white marble. I did however take some time between my Bravo cramming to find the baths of my dreams and here they are. 

Honest Company - Generic - 468x60banner
c03337a4094db818eb07e1dd01d37360.jpg
71245cf0a0b82a1c0d9fcf988272397f.jpg


Soup for the Win

In our house, soups are the thing. They are basically the only dinner option that EVERYONE in my family will eat. Even my 1 year old can't say no to a steaming bowl of chicken soup, so more often than not (at least twice a week) I slave over a hot stove brewing up some soup for the fam to enjoy. Scratch that, I don't slave because soups are the easiest, mess-up proof meal ever. You can make in the morning and put it in the slow cooker or closer to dinner time, whichever you prefer. Bonus, as long as you aren't pouring buckets of cream into your pot, soups are amazingly healthy. Such a great vehicle to eat lots of veg that normally would rot away in your fridge. My fave recipes are below.  

image via himself and hemsley

image via himself and hemsley

Chicken Tinola

ADAPTED FROM HEMSLEY AND HEMSLEY THE ART OF EATING WELL

This one is on repeat at my house. Such a great twist on chicken soup and packed with good for you foods. 

2 T coconut oil, ghee, or butter

3 large onions, diced

8 garlic cloves, diced

a thumb sized piece of ginger

6 large chicken thighs

2 quarts bone or chicken broth

3 large zucchinis, chopped into medium

1 large green or white cabbage, shredded

sea salt and white or black pepper

4 T tamari (or soy sauce)

4 T lemon juice

a large pinch of black pepper

Heat your oil/ butter in a large sauce pan (I use my dutch oven). Saute garlic, onion and ginger over medium heat until soft not brown. Add the chicken and carrot to the pot and pour your broth over to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about a half an hour so the chicken can cook through. At this point you can either remove your chicken and shred it or I just break it up with a fork in the pot. Add your chopped zucchini and shredded cabbage cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Off the heat and in a separate bowl mix your tamari, lemon, and pepper. You can put a little bit on top of every bowl. Makes for a tasty addition. 

Sweet potato, black bean and Turkey chili

ADAPTED FROM IT'S ALL GOOD

I am not a chili person. Too mushy for me usually, but this one is so good! I made it for my 1 year old's 1st birthday with some cornbread muffins and jalapeño butter and it was a major hit. This recipe can very easily be doubled and can be done in a slow cooker as well. 

1 lb ground turkey (I usually do half white meat and half dark)

2 sweet potatoes diced (get them precut at Trader Joe's for Whole Foods if you're busy or just feeling lazy. I hate dicing.) - roast these guys on a sheet pan, tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven @ 425 for about 30 minutes.

1 large onion diced

3 garlic cloves minced 

2 t smoked paprika (its also called pimenton)

2 t cumin

2 t chili powder

28 oz can diced tomatoes, juices too 

1 14 oz can of black beans, drained 

1/2 c water or chicken stock

chopped cilantro (optional)

chopped scallion (optional)

shredded cheese (optional)

avocado (optional)

jalapeno (optional)

Heat a dutch oven or large sauce pot over medium heat. Put a little olive oil, butter or coconut oil in to warm. Add your onion and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes or until translucent. Add you spices (chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika). Cook for a minute or so and then add your ground turkey. Brown and break up ground turkey with a wooden spoon. When all sides are browned add in your tomatoes, beans and stock. At this point season with a good pinch of salt. Let the pot come to a boil and then cover and turn down to simmer for a half an hour or until you are ready to serve. Add in your roasted sweet potatoes at any point. Serve with toppings like cilantro, chopped scallion, or cheese. 

via Smitten Kitchen

via Smitten Kitchen

ANY VEGETABLE MINESTRONE

This is the best soup to make when you have lots of random vegetables hanging out that are about to go bad. I listed vegetables below, but you can really keep the seasoning profile the same and use any vegetables you have on hand. 

2 T olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 carrots chopped

2 celery chopped

3- 4 garlic cloves minced

2 beets peeled and diced into bite sized pieces

2 T tomato paste

1 large parsnip chopped

2-3 t herbs of provence seasoning 

1 t fennel seeds crushed with something heavy if you don't have a mortar

1/2 c dry white wine

sea salt and pepper for seasoning

4 c chopped cabbage 

4 c chicken broth 

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes

Parmesan rind (optional but really makes any soup taste better)

1 15 oz can cannellini beans or garbanzo beans

1 bunch kale, leaves torn into smaller pieces

Red pepper flakes for seasoning 

Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large sauce pot. Saute garlic, onion, carrot and celery with the crushed fennel seed. Let the vegetables brown on medium heat, but make sure to stir frequently so nothing burns. Add the tomato past and spread throughout pan. and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the parsnip, beets, and herbs de provence and add the white wine deglazing the bottom of the pot. Cook stirring frequently until the white wine is evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the cabbage, can of tomatoes, and 4 cups of chicken stock and the parmesan rind, Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Mix in the drained beans, kale, and red pepper flakes . Add more broth if necessary. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. 

 

Outfits That Motivate

So it's January.  I no longer have an excuse to not work out. I keep really trying to find one, but no dice. I'm in desperate need of motivation and I am pretty certain that as usual, it's going to come in the form of new clothes. I'm feeling pretty luke warm about my workout wear. All of my Lulu pants have that white stuff all over them because I don't wash them separately (does anyone actually do that?) and the spandex on my tops is getting grossly lose. Like you can see way too much skin. Lucky for me, everyone and their mom is selling really cute activewear these days so I've got lots of options! Whether running, barre, or yoga is your thing, I've got an outfit for ya! xx. 

RUNNING/ CROSSFIT/ WHATEVER CRAZY ENDURANCE ACTIVITY YOU LOVE

// Live the Process Bra // Monrow Destroyed Tee // Live the Process Legging // Shashi Barre Socks //

WHEN YOU WANT TO LOOK LIKE YOU WORKED OUT