DIY Wedding Welcome Bags/How We Made Our Hotel Wedding Welcome Bags Personal!

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This past June, I got married!

It was everything I ever dreamed of.  Surrounded by our closest friends and family it was a weekend we will never forget.

One of the most important things to me throughout the whole wedding planning process was how to make our wedding feel personal. I didn’t need my wedding to be “different” or over the top, I just wanted people to walk away from the weekend h  aving 1) danced their booties off 2) ate too much 3) felt our love for each other and 4) felt the personal touches that made our wedding feel like “Us”

So over the next couple of weeks I will share the ways we really strived to make our wedding personal and how you can too! I think a lot of people put focus on how to make their wedding different, but what makes your wedding different is that it’s YOU. There will be no

I Scream for (Dairy-Free) Ice-Cream!

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Some people are cake people. For others it’s cupcakes. Or cheesecake (looking at you, husband) Or pie.

I’m 100% an ice-cream/frozen yogurt (and chocolate chip cookie/scone) kind of girl.

Case in point: during my first summer hiatus at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I got a job working at a frozen yogurt shop. While all of my other co-workers spent their time off traveling & relaxing – I spent my summer spooning mochi balls and fruity pebbles on top of tart yogurt for $11 an hour at Berry Chill (RIP):

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It’s how I first discovered I was allergic to dairy. After consuming fro yo all day everyday for 3 months, my skin looked worse than a 14 year old in the midst of puberty and I felt awful.

So, after my Dr. delivered the devastating news, I cut out dairy and go figure,  my skin cleared up.

Flash forward to 2016.

Kicking off Pumpkin Season… On My Face!

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Is there anything better than the start of pumpkin season? For some reason as soon as August hits, everyone is jonesing for some of the orange stuff.

The annual return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte might as well be a national holiday- there are currently countless articles on the interwebs speculating the release date of  the OG Starbucks beverage, and Dunkin Donuts just announced their PSL will return August 29th! Pumpkin recipes (bars! pies! muffins! scones! soups!) are already flooding your Instagram feed and while every year you TRY to fight off the pumpkin frenzy because, well it’s still SUMMER and like 85 degrees outside, you can’t help but feel the need for some pumpkin.

But since I can’t get my hands on a Pumpkin Spice Latte just yet,  I kicked off pumpkin season in a whole new way. Besides, I’m trying to save that beloved sugary PSL (and the calories that come with it) for the first brisk day

Improvised Scones (as inspired by the Jersey Shore)

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Ok so Scones aren’t the first thing you thing of when you think Jersey Shore, I know

Drinking, gambling, screen printed touristy t-shirts and Snooki come to mind, sure.  But devouring gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, dairy free & Paleo scones? Yeah… not even in the top 250 list of “Things you MUST do when visiting the Jersey Shore”

Unless you’re reading my list. In that case, it’s number one.

I discovered the gem of a coffee shop that is No. 7311 in Ventnor city last year, their almond milk lattes, small batch baking and overall cuteness made a major impact on my soul. (Be warned: You will want all of the things)  So when I returned with the Husband (ah, how weird is THAT to type?!) it was at the top of my list.

The almond milk latte? still delicious.

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But this year they had a new addition.

Tried It! Freezing My A*$ Off With The Latest Wellness Trend: Cryotherapy

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By now you’ve likely heard of Cryotherapy. A freezing cold (read: between -200 and -260 degrees Fahrenheit) chamber where you stand naked (well you DO wear socks and gloves, and if you’re a dude, your boxers- so there’s that) for anywhere from 90 seconds to three minutes while someone on staff cheers you on (and if you’re lucky, as in my case, your mom) while blasting a favorite song and trying not to think about how cold it is because it’s supposed to be good for you. The pamphlet says it is, the internet says it is, and a whole lot of celebs who are obsessed with it also tout it’s supposed benefits: great for pain and inflammation, alleviates sore muscles after a workout in an instant, better sleep, clearer skin, more energy, weight loss and the list goes on.

I first came across this crazy sounding trend while researching Mandy Moore (yes, the Mandy Moore who drove a green VW bug while

Dust Off That Waffle Iron… And Other Fun Kitchen Hacks From My Appearance on Windy City Live!

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In case you missed it – I had a blast sharing more kitchen hacks on Chicago’s Windy City Live!  You can watch it here!

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Over the years through work and through falling in love with baking and cooking, I’ve amassed a plethora of kitchen gadgets. Couple that with The Boy moving in AND this whole registering thing that you’re supposed to do before you get married and let’s just say my cabinets and kitchen drawers are looking like a very messy and overstocked Bed Bath & Beyond…. mostly the Beyond section.

Spend five minutes in that Beyond section staring at the walls and walls and walls of kitchen gadgets, and you quickly convince yourself that your life will not and cannot be complete without every single one. Of COURSE I need both an Avo Saver, Hard Boiled Egg Slicer and Melon Baller. How did I exist up until this point without one? What kind

En Route To Chicago: Raising the bar with RX Bar and a Tune In Alert!

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Hello there!

I’m currently writing to you from above the clouds on my way to Chicago for a few days on my old stomping grounds. So excited about some quality time with friends and undoubtedly, great food. I still think that Wi-Fi on planes is just about the coolest thing ever. Am I the only one that not’s over it yet?!

Also, I forgot my jacket back in LA sooo this should be really fun.

Before I get to the whole foods and friends part of my Chicago trip, I’ll be stopping by Chicago’s Windy City Live on ABC tomorrow morning at 11am (CST) for some fun! I had such a blast last time and can’t wait to visit again to share some more kitchen hacks to save you time in the kitchen! If you aren’t in Chicago, you can watch it live here!

I spent the day yesterday down in San Diego so

Easy to make, Easy to Eat: Paleo Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches!

You will HEART these Grain Free, Dairy Free and Paleo Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches! I’ll be whipping up a batch of the cookies for my friends Baby Shower this weekend. She’s currently on the dairy and soy free train and I know these are so good they will fool even all of the Team Pro Gluten & Diary attendees! so while I’m prepping the batter, I figured I would share how to turn a delicious dairy free cookie into an even more delicious dairy free ice cream sandwich. These store really well in the freezer, the cookie stays soft (that is, if you can resist not eating them all before the whole freezing them part comes along!)

I used Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter for half of these and their Cherry Amaretto flavor for the other but any ice cream flavor would work! I particularly would enjoy a coffee flavor! 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

xoJ

HOW TO MAKE… GLUTEN FREE CANDY STUFFED BROOKIES!

Hi Folks!!

A while back I posted about the homemade Brookies I made and I’ve been asked by a lot of people how I make them. Others have told me they’ve since made them and brought them to parties and that they were a hit- I LOVE hearing this!! The whole reason I started this blog in the first place is to share what I love in hopes that you and your friends, families, and strangers you meet on the street, love it just as much as I do! And really, what’s better than sharing the love of cookies meeting brownies meeting (gluten free) oreos and a whole lot of other chocolate goodness?! That is real, true love!

For me, back in the days of Lisa Frank folders and Kipling backpacks, I loved a good old visual aid to help my learning. So I figured why not make a fun visual aid on how to make these Brookies even easier for you

Classic Comfort Food, Gluten Free, Paleo Style!

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You guys!

How are you? Am I the only person who feels like this week might just be the loooooongest week in the history of loooong feeling weeks? I’m ready for some TGIF action. If only there was still that amazing lineup on ABC of Full House, Family Matters, Step by Step and Perfect Stranger #amIRight?

ah the good old days.

Speaking of good old days, even though I’m gluten free, paelo-ish and (mostly) dairy free, sometimes I just want the comfort of some ooey gooey delicious pasta. There is nothing better than warm, baked tomato sauce and a pasta that has crusty golden goodness on top.

But, there’s nothing worse than the bloating, breakouts and squeezing into my pants after eating said ooey gooey delicious pasta.

So, sunday night I finally made a healthy adaptation of a childhood comfort food classic. And while I didn’t have my TGIF lineup to go with it, I did have Grease