Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Palm Springs!

I love me some Palm Springs!
Such a fun, local getaway for a weekend trip!

A couple weeks ago some girlfriends and I headed out to the desert to celebrate our good friend Rebecca and throw her a proper Bachelorette Party!

We were ready for some fun in the sun!

...what we didn't anticipate was...this.

A serious storm on the drive there.  Like, a, going 30mph on the freeway, storm. Yikes.
Not quite the 120 degree pool days we were expecting.

But, it did clear up long enough to get in some pool time, and it actually was nice that it wasn't so hot.

We stayed at the Riviera Hotel this time, and it was great!

I was obsessed with this real grass wall! Sooo cool!

We finished off the night dancing at The Hard Rock that just opened out there.

Such a fun weekend with my friends!!

Check out my Palm Springs posts from last year below:

Palm Springs 1

Palm Springs 2

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Laila's Charming Pieces Contest - an Etsy shop you are going to want to follow!

When I attended the Elevate Blog Conference earlier this year, I met so many amazing, talented, sweet girls!
Tara over at Laila's Charming Pieces was one of them! Such a sweetheart, and she makes amazing crochet accessories for sale on Etsy.

Tara is currently hosting a really fun contest over on her blog this week!  
If you purchase her adorable, trendy Crochet boho tie back headband with wooden beads and Guinea feathers from this Etsy link here, and then post a photo of you wearing it on Instagram, you will be entered to win!

Details below:

To enter (you must have purchased this piece) post a picture of you styled in this piece and upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #styledcontest. If you don't have an Instagram account you can email me taraphilipp(at)yahoo(dot)com with your photos. The contest will be held from August 1st - August 31st, you may post a new photo once a day(Whether you wear a different outfit with the pieces or style it in a different way).  From August 1st - August 15 shipping will be free for all US orders as a gift for purchasing and entering the contest. Once the contest is over (August 31) I will go through all the photos a pick a winner. The winner will receive a scarf of your choice valued at $30.00, good luck!

Check out her Full Post here and get to styling!

You know you want to frolick in the park for a little photoshoot! ...No? just me? ;)

 Etsy Shop: Laila's Charming Pieces
Blog: Laila's Charming Pieces
Tara's Instagram

I hope you purchase this piece and enter her contest!  She has so many other great items on her Etsy site, as well! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

OC Fair 2014!

My sister and I have an annual tradition of going to the OC Fair, riding Tilt-A-Whirl, eating our weight in fried foods, winning some tiny-ass stuffed animal prizes, and just having a grand ol' time!

After quite the indecisive parking disaster, we finally made it in and headed straight for the (ok, for the bathroom first!, then for the) Australian Battered Potatoes with cheese and ranch!
If you've never had these before, you must make them a fair staple! They are amazing! 

The Cheesy Bacon Bombs, caught my eye next, and were the greatest decision ever! Basically croissant biscuit balls stuffed with cheese and bacon. Ain't nothin' wrong with that!! They were, like, actually legit good. Like, appetizer at a party good. I might have to make them someday! I actually Googled them, and apparently they are a real thing. Outside of the fair world.

We found the Deep Fried Doritos I wanted to try this year, but, honestly, they looked kind of lame.  They looked just like a plain Dorito chip.  Barely any batter or anything...looked dry and boring. So we passed.

Then, we walked around a bit through all the infomercial booths to get our appetite back, after stuffing our faces with "dinner".

We always have to get our photo booth on!

This yellow background was everything this year! Changin' it up from our usual black and white photos.

We decided on a little roller coaster in place of our usual Tilt-a-Whirl ride, because, let's be serious, we are getting old, and there is always a huge risk of an instant migraine and/or nausea from fair rides these days.  Boo.  

Games were next, which are all too expensive lately! But worth it! So worth it.
Even for these sad, sad, tiny prizes.  Didn't the boobie prizes used to be a little better?!
Sigh.  Womp Womp...

Next up was dessert!!
Obviously, I couldn't decide between a few last fried options, so we got two to share!
We chose the deep fried cheesecake, and deep fried slice of red velvet cake!
OMG you guys.  a whole, huge slice of cake. With frosting and all. Straight up battered and fried.  It was amaaaazing!!!   So was the cheesecake, as it got all melty and delish.  Oh man.  These were a great decision. No matter how full we may have been.

A quick stop to see the leetle goats, and other animals, and we were on our way!
They actually had the Budweiser Clydesdale horses there, and even the Dalmatian dog from the commercial! Gah! So cute! Except it's always sad how small the cages are :(  Ugh.  

They also had oxen and camels which was really cool. And those dang Alpacas are so cute!

Ah! I love this tradition. I look forward to the fair every year! So much fun!

Love you, Seester!!!

Did you get to go to the fair this year?
What was your favorite food??

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Zucchini Fritters - Vegan and Healthful. Plus The Benefits of Chia Seeds!

So, I made these zucchini fritters once, and they were amazing.

But, I don't always keep eggs in the house, and a lot of times I will use flax or chia seeds as a replacement for eggs in baking.  Soaked in water for a bit, they "gel" up, and thicken, into a substance that definitely resembles raw egg whites.

I have been trying to eat more chia seeds lately, because they are so good for you!
Chia seeds are tiny black and white seeds (Ch-ch-ch-chia!), that can absorb a ton of liquid, and soften into a gel-like substance when soaked.
They contain tons of:
omega-3 fatty acids
and more!

You can use them in baking, add them in smoothies, or sprinkle them raw/dry on top of yogurt or oatmeal.

For these fritters:

Soak 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed and 1 Tablespoon chia seeds in 6 Tablespoons water for about 10 minutes until thickened.  Whisk a couple times while it is sitting.

Slice up 1 large zucchini into 1/8" - 1/4" thick slices.

**Note, you can refer back to my original recipe here and soak the zucchini slices for a couple hours, to overnight, in a sprinkling of salt, if desired.  They release their water and soften.  Otherwise, they will be slightly more firm and undercooked - which is quicker, and tastes just as great! Your choice! Try either; or both!**

To thickened chia/flax mixture, add 1/8 cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free flour, coconut flour, etc.) and 1/8 cup almond meal (finely ground almonds), then whisk in more water (or plain almond milk) until thick batter consistency is achieved.  Add salt, pepper, and a bit of fresh or powdered garlic. (Omit salt if zucchini slices were salted, using optional method above)

Heat a heaping Tablespoon of virgin coconut oil over medium heat in a saute pan.

Dip each zucchini slice into the batter, coating well, then carefully drop into the pan.
Cook, and flip until browned on both sides.

Set aside on paper towel to cool. Sprinkling with a touch more sea salt while hot, if desired.

If you have batter leftover, feel free to batter and fry and other item you have leftover in your fridge!
A few brussels sprouts.

And a couple avocado cubes! Omg those are good.

I topped a plate of these fritters with freshly sliced avocado and called it dinner!

Lots of protein from the chia and flax, as well as almond meal, AND avocado.