Friday Faves!

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ve made it to the gateway of the weekend! πŸ™‚ Man, it has been a long time since I’ve written one of these! It has been a long, busy and exciting week this week, and I’m looking forward to my hot date tonight: bad reality tv, wine, popcorn and comfy pants! Woohoo! Here is what I’ve been feeling this week:

  1. Naked Grape Pinot Grigio

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Once upon a time, I was extremely judgmental of my sister’s choice to regularly drink boxed wine when she lived in central PA. I, of course, was channeling my Bostonian snooty vibes hard, and felt I was above that shiz. Fast forward six years, and I was standing in a liquor store calling my sister and brother-in-law, consulting their professional opinion on the best boxed wine to serve for my happy hour (and newly minted #gradstudentlife – psh, I can’t afford those fancy bottles of wine!). They directed me towards this amazing choice for white wine by Naked Grape, and it was basically perfect. Let’s be real: I was serving this wine to a bunch of educated Food Science grad students, 50% of whom were studying wine and knew a little something about the subject. My choice did not fall flat; it ended up being a crowd-pleaser, and in my minutely-professional opinion, was EXCELLENT. It was very tasty and well-balanced. It was easy to shove the entire box into my fridge and leave it for people to serve themselves – no corkscrews required. I will definitely be a repeat offender purchasing this boxed wine for all future Happy Hour events. Bonus: since it’s in a box, it keeps for three weeks – score!

2.Β Spartan WODΒ 

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My trainer/sister from another mister Sarah told me about these workouts, and best of all – they are FREE! A lot of online workout programs require you to purchase them, but these are zero dollars. You can sign up to get the workout of the day sent to your email inbox, and you can also look at some of their previous workouts on their website. Most of them are super intense, so if you’re looking for a good butt kickin’, you’ve found it. I adapt these workouts to my abilities and what I’m feeling that day. Since I’m just getting back into my intensive workout routine, the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness, for all of you non-bros) is no joke. I am sore most of the time, which makes it nice to be able to use these workouts as a guideline to follow. Which brings me to the next thing…

3. Lululemon Yoga Mat

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I got legit rug burns on my elbows from planking on my carpeting last week, so my Lulu yoga mat has been getting some heavy usage. I bought the thinner version (3mm thickness) when it first came out so that it was easier to travel with, but it is still pretty heavy. This mat is no joke – mine has taken a lot of abuse over the past year and a half, and it’s still standing up well. I use a yogitoesΒ towel over it when things get really sweaty so I don’t go flying, but the grippiness and elasticity has held up well. When you’re living the #gradstudentlife, you really need to get bang for your buck, and so far so good – this mat has been a solid purchase.

4. Baskets, baskets everywhere.Β 

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My brother-in-law gives us a hard time, since the women in my family have a genetic predisposition to excessive basket buying tendencies, but they are seriously just SO HELPFUL. When I moved into my new place, I spent an inordinate amount of time wandering HomeGoods and studying various basket sizes/shapes; I eventually settled on three rectangular nesting baskets for $9.99. Not only was it a great deal, I found them super useful! I have the small one on my kitchen counter for my extra sets of keys, mail, and important things that need to be paid attention to (since I see it everyday on my way out the door): bills to be paid, mail requiring a response, coupons I’ll actually use, etc. I have the medium-sized one in my living room, on a shelf on my media console table. It holds TV/blu-ray player remotes (why are there so many?!) and coasters. A larger one in my bathroom wrangles a bottle of lotion and my cosmetics bag(s), so they aren’t just hanging out cluttering my counter, and it can be easily picked up and moved for a quick wipe-down before guests arrive.

5. Cards Against Humanity

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If you find inappropriate and non-PC humor right in your wheelhouse, I think that you need to own this game, if you don’t already. This game combines a wicked sense of humor with an anonymous fill-in-the-blank situation. It uses an eyebrow-raising answer (chosen by each of the players from their hand of cards) to funny phrase (chosen by the “Judge,” who changes each round) that is guaranteed to get your party rockin’. I find it to be the perfect way to end your week – just add a little social alcoholic lubrication, and you will soon know just how non-PC your friends really are. It’s super fun to play, helps break the ice/get the conversation flowing, and always results in a laughter-filled night. However, if you are easily offended, this game is not for you – but if you find being inappropriate terribly entertaining, this game is up your alley! πŸ˜€

I hope that you guys all have had a great week – I know that I’ve definitely enjoyed myself, even thought it was crazy busy! I can’t believe it’s already February – can you believe it?! We had a little peek of warmer temps earlier this week, and I am now looking forward to the fresh air and mud on my trail runners – the first signs that spring is just around the corner. What have you guys got planned this weekend? Any big Superbowl plans? I’ll be the lone vegan at my friend’s house party, I can’t wait to make my friends try whatever crazy vegan thing I make! πŸ™‚ Tell me all about your plans in the comments, you know I love to hear what you’re up to!Β 

Happy weekend!

With warmth,

L

Sun Goddess Bowl

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Hey everyone! This weekend in preparation for my race, I made a bowl bursting with flavor and nutrients, to give me a good kick in the pants and get amped up. This one was really good – I’m stoked to share it with you guys! At the end of last week, I headed to my local farm stand and grabbed a whole bunch of fresh, locally grown veggies to create something awesome, including fresh kale, broccoli and cilantro. To make these veggies shine, I combined tahini, lemon, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cayenne and liquid aminos into a bangin’ and spicy sauce that tastes (and looks!) like sunshine. I tossed my sunshine sauce with gently steamed kale and broccoli, chickpeas and soba noodles to create a one-of-a-kind and incredibly nutrient dense meal to give me energy for race day. It was beyond stellar. Best of all? It’s completely egg, dairy, nut, soy and gluten free. πŸ˜€ Without further ado:

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All the ingredients for the Sun Goddess Bowl.

Sun Goddess Bowl

Ingredients

For Sunshine Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 – 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp liquid aminos
  • 1 inch cube of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp water (as needed, to create a smooth texture)

For Bowl:

  • Soba noodles (or your favorite grain/pasta)
  • 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 crowns of broccoli
  • 1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups of cooked chickpeas)
  • Fresh cilantro, a handful roughly cropped
  • Hemp seeds
  • Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. First, I created my sunshine sauce. I combined all of the ingredients into a mini food processor and blended until it was mixed. Be sure to stop and scrape the sides of the food processor with a spatula to incorporate the dry spices into the sauce – they tend to get flung to the edges of the food processor in the early stages of blending. I had to add about 2 Tbsp of water to get a nice smooth consistency with the sauce. You could also use veggie broth to thin the sauce if you have some on hand. Set the sauce aside while you steam your veggies.
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    Sunshine sauce in the food processor.

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    It makes quite a bit. I transferred to an airtight jar and stored the remainder in the refrigerator.

  2. Steam the veggies! I steamed the kale for one minute, and the broccoli for 3 minutes. I like it just barely steamed, with the veggie retaining a little bit of texture. When they were done, I set them aside with the rinsed and drained chickpeas.

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    I allowed to steamed veggies to rest for a minute before incorporating them into the dish.

  3. Cook the soba noodles! Soba noodles only take 4 minutes to cook, so I left that step for the very end. When your sobas are done, toss your warm noodles with a large dollop (~1 – 2 tbsp) of sunshine sauce to better incorporate it into the dish.

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    The soba noodles tossed with about 2 tbsp of sauce.

  4. Top with steamed veggies, chickpeas, fresh cilantro, hemp and sesame seeds. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

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    The finished product!

Wow, was this GOOD. I really enjoyed it: the spiciness of the sauce was warming, the tahini and aminos added a nice, earthy balance and the turmeric added a really unique element to the overall taste. Since I was making a single serving, I only cooked a single serving of soba noodles, tossed the hot noodles with the sauce and then topped with the steamed veggies. If you’re making for a crowd, feel free to toss all the ingredients together before serving. I also ate this for lunch yesterday, and served the sauce and steamed veggies over red quinoa. It was delicious!

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I hope that whatever way you enjoy it, you love it as much as I did! It’s definitely one of my favorite concoctions thus far. Happy eating, booyahville!

With warmth,

L

Vegan No-Bake Brownies

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L’s Vegan No-Bake Brownies topped with hazelnuts. YUM.

The weather in Boston doesn’t know it’s September yet. Or, it’s on Team L and is in complete denial that Labor Day came and went and it’s now back to school/back to the grind time – summer’s over. To help me cope with that, I turned to chocolate. Not just any ol’ chocolate but these awesome vegan no-bake brownies that I created over the long weekend. They are way healthier than regular brownies, and full of fiber and nutrients and deliciousness. YUM. Not only that, they are are super easy and can be made on the fly, as most of the ingredients should be laying around your pantry. The recipe takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and there’s no need to turn your oven on (so when it’s 95 degrees, like it will be here today, you don’t have to turn your kitchen into an inferno). They are dairy, egg, soy, gluten* and refined sugar free. And, you can substitute sunflower seeds for the nuts if you’d like to make these bad boys nut free. If you are paleo you can omit the oats and roll them into balls and enjoy them as “power bites.” There are a million and one ways to change this recipe up to suit your own needs, so feel free to do so!

*They are only gluten free if you use gluten free oats.

Vegan No-Bake Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 12 dates
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup of pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup of hazelnuts and/or coconut flakes for topping

Directions

  1. Add oats, nuts, cacao powder and dates in a food processor. Blend thoroughly – this will be your “flour” base of your brownies, so make it as fine or a chunky as you’d like the final brownie texture to be.

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    Here are all the “dry” ingredients in the food processor before blending

  2. Add the bananas and pumpkin to the food processor and blend until you form a “dough.”

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    Here is the “brownie batter” after mixing all of the ingredients.

  3. Spray a 7 x 11 inch pan lightly with baking spray (this makes the brownies easy to remove). Using your hands, press the “dough” into the pan to the edges, trying to remove any air bubbles.

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    The brownies spread out using a spatula (and fingers) into a 7 x 11 pan.

  4. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the top, lightly pressing the nuts into the top of the brownies and flattening out the top.

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    Top with hazelnuts or coconut, and lightly press the toppings into the brownies so they stay put. Cover and place into the fridge!

  5. Stick in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Enjoy! πŸ˜€

This is the perfect dessert to pack in your kid’s lunch, your take-to-work lunch, or indulge in after dinner. They are chocolate-y and fudge-y without being overly sweet, nourishing and filling (so you don’t feel the need to eat the entire pan while watching Netflix in your bathrobe). They taste best cold, so keep them in the fridge until right before serving. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

I hope you guys had a great Labor Day weekend!! I did a whole boatload of fun stuff: training, wandering around Boston, long bike ride, yoga, and a full day at the beach. It was perfection.

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Boston on Saturday night.

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Biking all over Massachusetts πŸ™‚

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Mango Sorbet in Lexington, MA

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Literally the best $42 I’ve ever spent – the infamous sun shelter! C and I spent all day at the beach lounging/reading/eating/chatting in the shade – no sunburns here πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

How did you guys celebrate Labor Day? What did you guys do this weekend? Tell me about it in the comments!

Hope your week zooms by! I’ve got my first race in my six fall races this weekend – here we go Fall racing season! So stoked πŸ˜€

Race countdown:

Fells – 6 days

Rochester Half – 13 days

Tough Mudder – 19 days

Tufts 10K – 35 days

Narragansett Half – 41 days

Seacoast Half – 61 days

With warmth,

L

Weekend Recap!

Good morning all, and happy Monday! Here’s to the start of a great week. As you know from my Things I’m Loving Thursday post, I spent the weekend in Connecticut with my sister, bro-in-law and 17 month old nephew. We made a ton of good food, did some projects around the house and generally had a good time.

Things I learned this weekend:

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You can make bomb VEGAN waffles using Log Cabin All Natural Pancake Mix. All you need to do is follow the directions for the pancake mix (even for the waffles, according to my bro-in-law they turn out better), substitute soy milk for dairy milk and use the flax egg substitute (you can find my demo for flax eggs here). SO DELICIOUS.

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Pulling weeds is an excellent grip strength work out. I’ll be cranking out those pull-ups in no time!

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Sometimes, all you need is rest (and a bowl of dairy free ice cream with sprinkles). My quads and hip flexors were still super sore following my intense small group training with Sarah (we did long jumps and DUDE those bad boys took it out of me), so I passed on my long run this weekend. I’ve learned that not taking a rest day is a dumb idea over and over, but for once I actually listened to my body. I’m not really looking forward to having to do a long run before or after work this week, but I figured it was way better to rest my muscles then push it too hard and injure myself before all the races I have lined up this fall. Go Team Booyah!

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Grilling peaches is an AMAZING IDEA. We did a supermarket sweep-level shop at the local farmer’s market on Friday, and bought stellar peaches (among tons of delicious veggies we grilled and sweet corn that rivaled the corn you can get in Western New York). My bro-in-law grilled them up for dessert on Saturday night, and my sister and I ate them with cinnamon sprinkled on top and a few scoops of vanilla soy ice cream on the side. I have no words for how delicious it was. YUM!

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These Gardenburger Black Bean Chipotle Burgers are delicious! I topped mine with El Diablo spicy mustard, mango chutney, lettuce, tomato, sriracha and a pickle. So good. I ate two without regret. πŸ˜‰

I hope you guys had a great weekend! What did you get up to? Tell me in the comments. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

With warmth,

L

Momma Booyah’s Un-Boring Hummus

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Chickpeas. Tahini. Lemon.

Blah, blah, blah.

Hummus is easy to get bored of.

HOWEVER, this classic hummus recipe was curated by my mom, Hippie Flower Child Extraordinaire, and is as far from boring as you can get. I grew up helping her make this in our O.G. food processor (that you may have noticed still works like a charm and is regularly featured on Bubbles and Booyah) – juicing lemons, picking fresh parsley from her garden, and being the Litmus test for acidity, garlic and spice level. Needless to say, I have honed my palate for this vegetarian classic for decades (ok, just two decades but whatever). You must have this recipe in your arsenal. It was originally based on the Humus recipe found on page 91 in the original Moosewood cookbook, but we have added our own Booyah Family flair over the years to perfect it. Not only easy, but inexpensive and so, so versatile: (Ok, I feel it’s fair to assume that the majority of my readers have encountered hummus before so I don’t really need to tell you, but…) use it as a spread, dip, put it on pasta, eat it with a spoon – there are endless possibilities. You can create an entire meal around a plate of hummus, veggies and pita bread, a la my Ah-MEZE-ing plate featured yesterday – it’s full of protein, fiber and nutrients and is super filling! And as per usual, way healthier (and cheaper) to make fresh than to buy in a tub at Whole Foods. So go ahead, get your own O.G. food processor out and get blending with me. πŸ™‚

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Here is what you need: parsley, tahini, lemons, chickpeas, cayenne. Simple.

Un-Boring Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • juice from 2 – 3 lemons
  • 3/4 cup of tahini
  • a handful of roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp (or more) cayenne pepper
  • 1 drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Step One: Put ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add water as needed to achieve desired consistency, adjust any seasonings. Some people like to add salt or black pepper, but I find it to be unnecessary. I usually add a little extra garlic to mine because I like it super garlic-y. You can add lemon zest as well if you’d like it a little zippier.
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Unblended hummus.

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Hummus after blending.

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I added about 1/3 cup of water to get the consistency right. You want to make sure it’s smooth for spreading and dipping.

Step Two: Enjoy! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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I topped mine off with a few kalamata olives and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

See? I told you it was easy. This recipe is delicious. You can, of course, substitute cooked chickpeas for the can above – I usually just use canned chickpeas because it’s more convenient. You do you, boo. πŸ˜‰

ALSO: Happy #GratiTuesday! This week I’m grateful for my geographical proximity to the ocean. Not only am I a Cancer, so it’s my natural mermaid habitat, but there is something about spending the day next to the waves that helps adjust your perspective. I always feel immense gratitude when I’m floating in the ocean and the sunshine is beaming down on me – that’s my happy place. It’s the little things that can bring you the most joy. What are you guys grateful for this week?? Tell me in the comments!! πŸ˜€Β 

With warmth,

L ❀

Friday Faaaaaves!

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Happy Friday, everyone! Last night I hung out with the ever fabulous C, a friend I met through my sis and bro-in-law who just moved to the area (and by area, I mean literally two streets away from me, we could string together two cans and play telephone, so basically the universe is telling us we are meant to have a great summer hanging out together – woot!). Clearly, I had take C on a micro tour of some of my fave spots, so right out of the gate I brought her to Christopher’s in Cambridge and got burgers (vegan for me and Southwest for her – NOMS):

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My vegan veggie burger at Christopher’s Cambridge. We even got to sit outside! It was a perfect day weather-wise in Boston yesterday. πŸ˜€

And then we tromped over to Davis Square for a delicious cocktail and lots of people watching (literally everyone was on a first date and it was uber amusing to observe their dating behavior):

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Our cocktails at Saloon in Davis Square. πŸ™‚ Cheers!

All in all, a great start to the weekend! Now, as for my faves:

1. The Nalge.

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How has this NEVER made it on my list of Friday Faves?! I have no idea. If you met me from the years 2000 – 2010, I was def toting a Nalgene bottle with me. And if you’re cool, you’d know to properly refer to a Nalgene bottle as a “Nalge” – the L method of abbrev-ing just about every word known to man. These are the OG of water bottles, and you must have one! Perfect for when lightweight matters (hiking, camping, lugging your junk to the beach in a tote bag, going to a party with your pre-made cocktail in your purse), these bad boys usually make up the lion’s share of my portable water bottle avalanche when I open that certain cabinet in my kitchen. Sad for me (and my normally large but now dwindling Nalge collection), I recently started toting these everywhere and abandoning them. So, if we are really good friends and you live within a 5 mile radius, you probably have one rolling around in the back of your car (Kad), forgotten on your kitchen counter (Eeyore) or underneath your couch (who knows- but there’s a 67% chance that it’s pink). Thus, I have to replenish and will be going to EMS tonight to get one. πŸ™‚

2. Cocomama Honey Quinoa Cereal

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This pre-cooked, soy/dairy/gluten free and vegetarian (I’d say vegan but the honey! I always forget) quinoa cereal was a life saver this week! My sister introduced me to this when she snuck a pack into my lunch for me to eat on one of the Monday mornings I drove from her home in Southern Connecticut straight to work in Massachusetts (it’s a nice 2.5 hour commute against traffic). I was saving this packet of cereal for a “rainy day” (you know, one where I shoot myself in the foot and am too lazy to assemble my Overnight Oats that literally takes about 5 minutes the night before) and I was not disappointed. You heat this bad boy up for 20 seconds in the microwave and BAM – you have a delicious, filling and flavorful breakfast at your fingertips. It was so good that I bought the rest of the flavors to try. And interestingly enough, it introduced me toΒ kaΓ±iwa (another high-protein Peruvian food similar to quinoa), which I had never heard of and am chomping at the bit to incorporate into future recipes – stay tuned. πŸ™‚

3. Lightlife Tempeh Fakin’ Bacon

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I have yet to try this (have any of you tried it?) but I am SO, SO, SOOOO excited about this!!! No offense to Morning Star Farms, but their fake bacon is diiiiiisgusting and I just can’t hang with it. I found this at Whole Foods this past week when I went to “get a few things” and spent $158.67 (including a probably $37 prepared foods salad from their salad bar – no regrets), and immediately threw three packages of this into my cart in a fit of optimism. The last delicious fake bacon I ate was when my co-worker Jan made an out-of-this-world Eggplant Bacon in his dehydrator, but I have neither the counter space or patience to get on his level with the faux bacon scene. I’m really hoping this is as good as my expectations because I cannot wait to make the most bangin’ vegan BLT (TLT?) this weekend. Yasssss Queeeeeeen.

4. This Jumpsuit

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K so I love jumpsuits but literally own 0, so I’m dying to get this to wear and I’m so excited about it. I’m normally not that trendy but it’s less than $100, looks super cute and I love the bright blue color!!! DYINGGG.

Also, just think of the intense dance party you can have when your pants and shirt are ATTACHED to one another. Boooo-YAH!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

PS: Do any of you have jumpsuits??

Nasty Gal Jeslina Jumpsuit, $88

5. Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Facial Serum

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I’d like to thank the Academy, and this face serum, for causing someone to improperly identify me as 22 years old this past weekend (in fairness to them, they may not have been sober). Thank you, Kate Somerville for plumping my fine lines, and totally making it worth paying the outrageous price tag – based solely on the fact that some rando thought I had just graduated from college. That made my life. Bravo!

(Seriously though, I’ve used this product for a few years now and I swear by it. Stay out of the sun, drink water and put retinol on your face at night – BOOM. You’ll have great skin.)

Soooooo…what are you guys up to this weekend??Β I’ll be heading up (waaaaaaay up!) to the White Mountains in New Hampshire for a full-day hike with my cousin and his super rad girlfriend tomorrow and then seeing my sister for her b-day!! Tell me what you’re up in the comments!

I hope that you guys all have a fabulous day and an even better weekend!!! Happy Friday, all! πŸ˜€

With warmth,

L

Friday Faves

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Wuuuut? My first fave “F” word is French Fries πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

Happy Friday, darlings! It’s finally here! This week has been a big one of getting back into the swing of things. Also, it’s been wicked cold in Boston this week and I’m looking forward to some sunshine and temperatures above 60Β°F / 15Β°C this weekend. Also, my fourth half marathon is on Sunday! Since I’m about as prepared as I was for the NYC Midnight Half I ran last weekend, I’m taking it slow and casual. Sometimes you just have to be chill about things. Super pumped! πŸ˜€

1. It’s National Donut Day! That means you can get a free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts when you buy a coffee. You guys better believe that I got a chocolate glazed stick donut this morning.

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Also, here’s a list of all the places you get a free donut today.

2. Reef Ginger Drift Flip Flops

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I am writing this while crying because one of my favorite ever flip flops was a casualty to post-race celebrations this past weekend. It was lost inside an apartment, and furniture was moved in order to find it, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone forever. RIP Flip Flop. Anyway, these flip flops are the literal BEST. I’ve been wearing them since I wore low-rise jeans and Abercrombie and Fitch only. They float, so if you get thrown into a pool or lake at a party, you won’t lose them. They are lightweight and perf for carrying in your satchel as your back up pair of shoes when you’re wearing super cute but not super comfortable 4 inch heels, and they go with everything. Must-have.

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I put Mo in charge of finding the long lost flip flop. So I sent him a phot of it so he could properly identify it. πŸ™‚

3. To Go Salad Dressing Container

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This little guy was a life changer. My sister packed a salad for me to take to work for lunch when I left her house after Memorial Day, along with this dressing container and I’m obsessed! Not a drop of dressing spilled in my lunch box, and it was the perfect amount/size to take. Plus, it’s silicone so it’s dishwasher safe and super easy to clean. It’s also stellar for condiments – if you want to bring ketchup or mustard to go. A+

You can get one here: To Go Salad Dressing Container

4. Fruit Punch Gatorade

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Thank you, Gatorade, for saving my life before the Midnight Half last weekend. I owe you big time. And I just might partake in some of you on Sunday before half #4.

5. These people…

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…for making my weekend in NYC spectacular.

I hope you guys have super dope and stellar weekends! What are you guys up to this weekend?? Tell me all about it in the comments.

With warmth,

L

xoxox