Foodie Friday: A New Paleo Adventure + Fresh Tomato Salsa

I am starting on a new diet or as the Paleo powers-that-be call it: a new “lifestyle”.  For me, it’s not about losing weight or being super thin; it’s about just being healthy.  I have always been interested in food and cooking; but recently, I’ve been bitten by the proverbial health bug!  The Paleo diet is all about going back to basics and eating real, whole foods that our bodies were made to process and digest easily.  If you’d like to learn more about the Paleo diet visit www.realfoodliz.com authored by Liz Wolfe or www.nomnompaleo.com authored by Michelle Tam.  I have learned a lot from these two ladies over the past several weeks while researching about Paleo.

Starting on Monday, I am going to ATTEMPT, with great effort, to start the 21 day sugar detox created by Diane Sanfilippo!  They have a group starting on August 4th, and I am all in!  I am officially addicted to sugar, so I have got to quit!  I crave sweets during the day and after dinner every night, and when one piece of chocolate turns into 5, we have an issue.  So I wanted to include y’all on my adventure to let you know how amazingly awesome it’s going (because we all know, there will be no mistakes)!  Plus I am going to post a new recipe on Fridays that I have tried out during that week!  Which brings us to my fresh tomato salsa!!

salsa (1)

This stuff tastes like summer, especially if you can make a trip to the farmer’s market for some garden-ripe tomatoes!  It’s super quick, too!  I have made 2 batches this week because my husband can’t stop eating it!  I can always stop, because I definitely have willpower.  The great thing about this salsa, is that the ingredients are fresh so there is no blanching and peeling tomatoes whatsoever, and it doesn’t have sugar, so it’s 21dsd friendly!

salsa3 (1)

Fresh Tomato Salsa (makes 2 8 oz jars)

  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeño (depending on heat preferences)
  • small handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 cloves of garlic (may also use 2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt

Rough chop all veggies and place in a food processor (a blender will work, too, just scrape down the sides with a spatula).  Pulse until desired consistency is reached.  I usually pulse until chunks are about the size of a pencil eraser.

If you like your salsa juicy, you are done! Eat and enjoy!

If you like your salsa a bit chunkier, place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour salsa in to allow juices to drain.  I place cheesecloth over the strainer (2-3 paper towels will also work) so I don’t lose any tomato goodness.  Then I like to save the spicy tomato juice for when I make chili!  When the water has drained off, store the salsa in 8 oz glass jars.  If you don’t eat it all at first, you will want to finish this up in about 10 days since all the ingredients are fresh and not cooked.

salsa2

Hope y’all enjoy!  I am looking forward to sharing more of my new “lifestyle” adventure with y’all! Has anyone else been interested in the Paleo diet?

 

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What’s in my Bag – Mexico

What's in my Bag - Mexico

What to Wear: 4th of July

Who’s excited that the 4th of July is on a Friday this year?  It feels like the universe is in alignment and saying, “Go have your 3-day weekend.  You deserve it!”  Normally, my family goes to the lake every year for the 4th.  This year, we are scattered all across North America.  My husband and I will be in Mexico for a destination wedding, my brother and his wife will be in Ohio, and my parents, sister and brother-in-law will be in Virginia (for a wedding as well)!  My husband’s parents will be up in Chicago visiting my brother-in-law who is serving our country in the Navy!  AND my cousin, Mikayla (a regular at the lake), will be in Minnesota for yet another wedding.  Lots of weddings!  Normally I spend a lot of time planning my outfits for this weekend because, you know, it’s Independence Day.  But this year, I had to plan a whole different packing list for an all-inclusive in Mexico (“What’s in my Bag: Mexico” coming later this week)!  Soooo, I thought I’d plan outfits for everyone else!  Hooray!  Now I don’t feel sad to be leaving the country on the 4th of July.  Almost.

Let’s get started.  When I plan outfits for the 4th, I either choice one foundation color and then accent with the other 2 colors (I’m envisioning a little white dress with blue espadrille flats and some red Kendra Scott earrings) OR build my outfit around 2 colors and keep the third color out (for example, blue and red but no white).  I think this is a good rule of thumb to avoid looking cheesy or overdone.  This girl has got it going on…

4th

(Unsure of Photo Source)

As you can see, she is wearing mainly white (really, it’s an ivory top) and red shorts with a navy beaded necklace.  Super cute!

Another option for 4th of July dressing is to find a tasteful or vintage American flag-printed clothing item or accessory. Now, when I say tasteful, I mean please no rips or tears.  It’s a flag, people!  Things like bandanas, button-up shirts, or a clutch would be really fun!  But try and keep it to one flagged item per outfit.

Here are a few items I saw this year that I would love to get my hands on!

Well, I had fun putting this stuff together for y’all!  Now I am really looking forward to 7-4-15 (btw, it’s on a Saturday so we still get that 3 day weekend)! I hope you enjoy your picnics, light some sparklers, and “ooh” and “ahh” at the beautiful fireworks, all the while remembering what a great country we live in!  Go America!

Closet Classics, Tall Sizes: The Espadrille

A few years back, the only wedge espadrilles I could find in a size 12 weren’t really even an espadrille – these Toms wedges just sort of fit the bill. So I bought them, desperate to bring that late-1970s/1980s preppy aesthetic into my wardrobe rotation.  (I still really like these Toms – they are very, very comfortable.) Nowadays, espadrilles seems ubiquitous. Everyone has a pair – you can buy them as slippers, you can buy them in the traditional style – with ankle binding, or you can find them as wedges.

But there’s a reason espadrilles are a classic. They have such a casual cool vibe that is just perfect for summer. Mentioned in 1980’s The Official Preppy Handbook, a quick Google search attests to their long-time appeal. One 1981 article noted, “It seems women have developed a special relationship with espadrilles – those usually square-throated, closed-back casual shoes with fabric uppers and woven hemp bottoms. They love them, they hate them. And they keep buying them.”

Of course, this pair of wedge espadrilles by J.Crew is my favorite. It evokes a classic, Jacques Cohen vibe. I have a pair in the vintage sandstone color, and they are really comfortable.  However, they only go up to a size 12.

espadrillesI also really like these sandal-style espadrilles, also from J.Crew, in black or flax.  Long Tall Sally has a pair of red slipper espadrilles that are really cute. If you like the slipper look, and can stomach buying men’s shoes, I also like these Zabattigli’s espadrilles – a couple colors go to a men’s size 13. Finally, Zappos is selling a Fitzwell espadrille that comes in black, tan, navy and white – and that goes up to a size 16!

Let us know how you feel about espadrilles in the comments!

Product Review: Long Tall Sally Camden Skinny Jeans

I am so excited to be doing this post because this is my first pair of jeans from Long Tall Sally! (A special thanks to LTS for gifting me this product to try out.)  And let me tell you, these jeans did not disappoint!  LTS describes the Camden Skinny Jean as “the ultimate skinny,” which is right on the money! I received the Dark Indigo Subtle Blue in a 36″ inseam, which has zip detailing on the pockets.

LTSfront (1)

The color and fit are great.  I really liked the gentle wash and minimal contrast between light and dark that these jeans have.  I am not a fan of jeans with a stark contrast because I don’t like how they can accentuate the hips in an unflattering way.  I have worn these jeans several times without washing them to test out for any stretching, and they definitely stayed true to size.  It’s nice to finally see some bunching at the ankles, as well.  That is a feature I like about skinny jeans, but finding the right length is so hard!  A 36″ inseam is great, and these also come in a 38″ inseam!  Wow!!

LTS_Jeans_BackHere is a side-by-side of the jeans from the back with a tucked and untucked shirt to show off the zipper detail.  The pocket placement is flattering, and the zippers on the pockets are fun and different!  I typically prefer a waist that is about an inch lower than these are; the waist on these skims just above my hip bones, so that would be my one design tweak. But it is nice not worrying about a potential muffin-top fiasco.

Overall, I give these jeans a thumbs up!  I like that the color allows me to dress them up for cocktails or down for a casual weekend trip to the farmers market!  Another great thing about these jeans is that they also come in black, red or turquoise.  So fun!