L’s Spring Break Packing Must Haves

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Whether you’re off to spring break (in reality or in spirit) or planning a warm getaway, these travel essentials must make it into your suitcase. Get ready to get your tan on! ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Panana Hat

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This hat is pretty much my favorite thing ever. I wear it all summer long to shade my face from the sun, whether I’m laying on the beach or not. It’s cute, chic and goes with pretty much anything – and adds a little flair to your basics. You can also completely smush it in your suitcase and use damp water and a hair dryer set on low to reform the shape. If it’s good enough for Paul Newman and Ernest Hemingway, it’s good enough for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Panama Hat, J.Crew, $58

2. Tote Bag

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If anyone tries to tell you that anything other than L.L. Bean’s Boat and Tote bag is the best bag ever, they are clearly wrong. You can stop searching – this is seriously the best tote bag ever. It’s durable, strong, watertight and simply a classic (and you can monogram that sh*t). You can even use it to bail water out of your sinking canoe – I speak from personal experience. It’s made in Maine, and was originally made from builder’s canvas and used in the 1940’s to haul ice – it’s been tested to hold up to 500 lbs (so you can bring ALL the snacks to the beach with you). And, it’s incredibly reasonably priced. Win all around.

Large Open-top Boat and Tote, L.L. Bean, $34.95

3. Adorbs Bikini

swimI hate to dip in the same honey pot twice, but I love me some J. Crew. I’ve been buying their swimwear for years (you can get some great sales, too! Watch out for those 30% off coupons via email). This bikini (full disclosure: I have one in purple) is cute, flattering, retains its color/shape no matter what, and comes in more sizes and styles than you could possibly ever want (most of swim tops come in bra sizes, so you will get a near perfect fit for your girls every time). I love their solid colored suits because they are so easy to mix and match, and you can adjust the style based on how daring you’re feeling, since their bottoms come in a wide variety of cuts with varying degrees of bum coverage. This top has a great detail of boning at the sides and comes with a removable halter strap, so you can keep flashing to a minimum when you dive in the water to cool off.

Twist-bandeau Underwire Bikini Top, and Sport Hipster Bikini Bottom in Neon Pink, J. Crew, $50 and $40, respectively

4. Sunscreen

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Hi, have we met? I’m a beach ghost. If I laid down next to computer paper I would blend in. Thus, sunscreen is a MUST. It’s really a must for everyone, no matter what your skin tone (I’m shaking my finger at all of you non-sunscreen wearers). I will NOT leave the house/hotel room/shady spot until I am covered head-to-toe in SPF 70. No sunburns here folks! This sunscreen is a great one for your beach bag because, since it’s a spray, it’s so easy to apply (Warning: Not for use in windy areas! You’ll get blotchy coverage!). Or, if you’re me, apply/reapply a bagillion times out of sunburn paranoia. I’ve been using it since it came out, and I’ve always been happy with it.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheerยฎ Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70, $10.99

5. Bb Surf Spray

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Pretty much the best Spring Break hair product ever invented, Bumble and bumble surf spray gives your hair the perfect, glossy magazine-worthy beach waves, turning your post-pool party hair from yikes to yes in a few spritzes (so you can go from laying on the beach to happy hour without spending forever getting ready). Even my crazy curls get a beach-y, piece-y, matte texture that looks phenomenal with a newly acquired sun-kissed glow and brand new freckles. The. Best. And it works for all hair types, even my sister’s pin straight hair, if she would let me try it on her. ๐Ÿ˜›

Bumble and bumble surf spray, $27

6. Cute Dress

splendid dressI always like to bring a “cute enough for dinner but casual enough to throw on over my swimsuit” cotton (read: breathable) dress, because you never know where your next spring break adventure will take you. It’s perfect for packing in your tote bag and throwing over your suit to go out after the beach, and it can be dressed up with accessories to still look super cute and stylin’ over cocktails and a nice dinner. Versatility with vacation clothing is a big deal to me, and I do my best to make sure what I bring can be worn for multiple occasions. Simple, chic and versatile is where it’s at.

Splendid 2 x 1 Racerback Dress, Shopbop, $57

7. Wedges

wedgesSpeaking of dressing up/dressing down, it always serves you well to throw a pair of cute wedges into your suitcase. They can work with more of your casual pieces to dress them up a touch, and they (obvvv) make your legs look smokin’ hot. Work it, girl. I always like to wear wedges because they are super comfortable (and I want to be taller than 5’4), and they perfectly straddle the line between casual/chic that works especially well for spring break. These ones have a little metallic jazz that I could get into in order to amp my style game up a notch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Steve Madden Montaukk Wedges, Zappos.com, $79.95

8. Fun jewelery

gorjanaI adore Gorjana jewelery because it’s delicate, layer-able and always on-point (in a never-too-much kinda way). This lariat necklace would look equally cute over a maxi dress to style it up a little bit, and you can leave it on over your swimsuit if you want to rock it on the beach like a fashion blogger. Layer it with other necklaces over a flowy top (spoiler alert: one is coming up on this list next) and you have got yourself one hell of a cute outfit. I always find bringing accessories on vacation/Spring Break really does wonders to make your outfits looks intentional and chic instead of throw together from a suitcase. Win.

Gorjana Mika Lariat Necklace, Shopbop, $75

9. Flowy Top

20150326092903If you’ve read B & B before, you would know my undying love for anything and everything Free People (that’s my jam right there). I always love a little hippie vibe thrown into the style mix, and this cute flowy top is super adorbs and super versatile (yessss!). You can wear this tunic over your swimsuit straight to beach if you’re willing to flash a little cheek in the case of a gusty wind (hey, it happens) and you can also dress this up/down appropriately for dinner, wandering/seeing the sights or hittin’ the flea market. The gauzy cotton keeps you cool and comfortable, and looking hella cute.

Take Me to the Beach Woven Tunic, Free People, $78

10. Jean Shorts

hudsonLet’s be honest: Spring Break is nothing without jean shorts. I know my denim, and Hudson jean back pockets are like a Brazilian Butt Lift for your booty. They make your butt look super cute, and the rolled up hem gives your stems a nice leg lengthening situation so you fit right in with Cindy, Naomi, Christy and Claudia (we know my 5’4 self is into it). These ones are especially soft and have the perfect amount of stretch (enough so you can wear them all day but not so stretchy they get baggy and loose by cocktail hour) so you can even take them for a day-long hike in the jungle/shopping at the flea market and be perfectly comfortable.

Hudson Hampton Cuffed Short in Hackney, $128

11. Sunnies

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Sunglasses! A vaca must if there ever was one! You’ll def need a chic pair to go from the beach to sight-seeing to hiking to lounging to happy hour and all over again. If I had an exorbitant amount of money to drop on a pair of shades, it would be this pair. I love the cat-eye look, and I’m obsessed with MK&A’s Elizabeth and James brand. So chic, so flawless – perfection. Want!

Elizabeth and James Fairfax Sunglasses, $185

I hope this list of must-haves helps you to pack for your next Spring Break Adventure! Enjoy it. And wooohoo, it’s almost Friday! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ What are your Spring Break Must Haves?? Tell me all about it in the comments! ๐Ÿ˜‰

With warmth,

L

spring break

Spring Break Booyah Workout

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Greetings from your Friendly New England Beach Ghost!

Spring Break means spending all day in a swimsuit on the beach in the sunshine, with a frosty bev in hand and surrounded by your friends (okay, and for me personally, with SPF 100 and a hat on to reflect all those UV rays back into the atmosphere – I may be partially responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer). Seeing that it is about 36ยฐF / 2ยฐC in Boston right now, that sounds pretty damn fantastic. In the spirit of Spring Break V, I came up with a fun Spring Break themed workout that you can do at the gym or at home. I know that a lot of these spring break workouts focus on “achieving your perfect beach body” but I really think that is a bunch of crap (get that sh*t outta here). I’d much rather focus on how great I feel when I can accomplish something awesome, like doing a super high box jump or swinging from the monkey bars (SO HARD – which seems so unfair because I was the ultimate monkey bar boss at age 8!!). I’ve said it so many times before (if you need a reminder, please check out my Driving a Fleet of Struggle Buses post), but fitness is about improving yourself (not comparing yourself to others, or getting down on yourself because you don’t look like a 19 year old swimsuit model – what a gigantic waste of time!). I want everyone to focus on how absolutely fabulous they are RIGHT NOW, like right this minute (I am telling myself this as I write it because I’m feeling a little fluffy after eating like I’ll never see food again this week – I’m human just like everyone else and bumming out happens, but sometimes you’ve got to take a step back and realize how utterly ridiculous it is, and push that thought right out of your head – BYE). So get down with your fabulous self and get your booty ready for this stellar Spring Break workout by yours truly – bikini tops and sunglasses optional! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

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This workout combines a lot of tried-and-true basics, and depending on how you’re feeling, you can cut the rounds down by doing each exercise for :30 seconds right out of the gate and repeating each round three times. I’m not going to lie – this is not an easy one – so get ready to put on your big boy/big girl Beast Mode Pants. If you’re looking for a solid challenge, it’s a good way to blast out a full-body workout, with both strength training and cardio components (now, just remember I am not a certified trainer! I’m a chemist. I just like to share what I do in order to give you guys new ideas and creative ways to mix up your own workout. So, don’t do anything crazy or beyond your fitness level, k? And always seek the advice of a certified trainer, yadda yadda – gotta throw it out there). Ready?! Here we go!

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Spring Break Booyah Workout

Warm up: Jog for 5 minutes

Round One: Legs

Repeat each round three times for (1) One minute; (2) 45 seconds; (3) 30 seconds, with a quick cardio segment after.

  • Box Jump
  • Squats
  • Lunges

After completing the circuit three times, do some sprints for cardio.

Round Two: Core

Repeat each round three times for (1) One minute; (2) 45 seconds; (3) 30 seconds, with a quick cardio segment after.

  • V-Ups
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Plank

After completing the circuit three times, run some stairs for cardio.

Round Three: Arms

Repeat each round three times for (1) One minute; (2) 45 seconds; (3) 30 seconds, with a quick cardio segment after.

  • Shoulder press
  • Bicep curls
  • Overhead tricep extensions

After completing the circuit three times, do cardio of your choice for a minute or two (or just go straight to the cool down ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Bonus Round: If you’re not dead yet…

  • 25 Burpees
  • 25 Push-Ups
  • 25 Sit-Ups
  • YOU DID ITTTT!! BOOYAH!!

Cool Down: Walk until your heart rate slows. Do lots of stretching and drink water!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Action shot mid box jump! Wooohoooo!

This workout kicked my butt! I hope that you guys truly enjoy your hump day today, and get out there and get it! And yes, I 100% wore those sunglasses and bikini top at my gym at 5:30 am just to bring you guys a true Booyah Spring Break workout experience, from the front lines (I wish I could have taken pictures of people’s reactions to me wearing a bikini top and sunglasses inside the gym in March when it was like 20 degrees outside – aaaamazing! Just use your imagination). So, I hope you guys have as much fun today as I did goofing around at the gym (let’s get weirddd!) – we are already halfway through our week! Booyah!

With warmth and bikini tops,

L

PS: The sun never sets on a badass. Make sure you rock your sunnies today. ๐Ÿ˜‰

spring break

Vegan Fettuccine alla Puttanesca

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Fettuccine alla Puttanesca – literally, “fettuccine of the whores” in Italian. Rumor has it that the ladies of the night would whip up this dish with their windows wide open, with the spicy/tangy/garlic-y aroma of the sauce used to lure men into their establishment off the street. Another version says that the ladies of the night favored this dish because all ingredients were pantry storeable and a batch could be quickly whipped up in between appointments (how delightfully convenient!). Regardless, this classic Italian dish is one of my absolute faaaaves (and that’s coming from a half-Italian chick who cannot talk without using her hands and likes pasta a lot). Fettuccine alla Puttanesca combines pasta tossed in a delicious sauce of tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers and red pepper flakes (yum!). Traditionally, it also includes the use of anchovy paste, but since your girl don’t roll like that, I amped up the flavor instead by using fresh parsley and lemon, and added my own vegan friendly twist: roasted cauliflower, which adds an earthy, nutty flavor. Not only is this dish astoundingly delish, but it’s easy (heh ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), quick and you can pull it all together with just a few pantry items. I added a little bit of extra fiber and protein by swapping regular pasta with whole wheat fettuccine with milled flax seeds (which I found in the pasta aisle of my grocery store). If you really want to go for it, add a can of chickpeas/diced tempeh or swap the cauliflower for a roasted vegetable of your choice – I’m hard pressed to think of something that wouldn’t taste phenomenal in a puttanesca sauce. It’s full of flavor and bold, and incredibly satisfying; perfect for a crowd. Now that you know how good it is, let’s get slutty! (Sorry, Mom).

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Everything you need for Fettuccine alla Puttanesca: cauliflower, kalamata olives, garlic, capers, olive oil, fettuccine, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon (those eggplants got prepped for roasting but never made it into the oven because L had to bounce and get a gel manicure).

Vegan Fettuccine alla Puttanesca

Ingredients

For the cauliflower:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fettuccine:

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chile flakes, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces (3/4 lb) of whole wheat fettuccine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole plum tomatoes, juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400ยฐF. Heat a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove top. While things are heating up, prep your cauliflower by quartering and coring it. Discard the core, and cut your cauliflower into 1/2-inch thick slices and place onto a lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, and then sprinkle with about two pinches of kosher salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper. Roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes (flipping halfway through), or until tender and golden in spots.
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Cauliflower, ready for roasting! ๐Ÿ™‚

Step Two: Once the water has come to a boil, start the sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, and saute the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 1 – 2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes fragrant, stirring constantly.
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Do not burn the garlic! It will not taste as awesome if it’s a little crispy.

Step Three: Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water, and cook until al dente (follow the instructions on the box, but make sure the pasta still has a little bit of chew left to it). Add the tomatoes (including juices), olives and capers to the skillet and crush the tomatoes by hand using a spoon or spatula. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes, or the amount of time it takes the pasta to reach al dente.
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Tomatoes, olives and capers added to the skillet.

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Puttanesca sauce, ready to rumble (smells soooo good right about now! I would def creep into someone’s house off the street for this dish).

Step Four: Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water and set aside before draining the pasta. Drain your fettuccine (no need to rinse), and then transfer to the skillet with the puttanesca sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce, along with the roasted cauliflower. Add just a splash of the starchy water to start (add more if a thinner sauce consistency is desired) and toss well to combine.
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Throw that steaming hot fettuccine right on there and toss it well to combine.

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Add the roasted cauliflower right into the skillet with the pasta.

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Once all ingredients are added, give it a taste and add any additional red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper to adjust the flavor to your taste.

Step Five: Remove the pasta puttanesca from heat and transfer to a serving dish. Top off with freshly chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

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photo 5 (2)This dish truly speaks for itself. Last night I met R to get a mani/pedi before our respective weekend adventures (I’m heading to DC on Friday to hang out before my trail half marathon this Sunday), and I brought her a big ol’ Tupperware container of it to try out for dinner (seeing that every time I cook, I make enough for my imaginary Italian family of 8, I had plenty to spare, and really wanted to get her take on it – she’s one of my Omnivore Approvers). Her reaction: “SUCH GOOD PASTA!! It was so flavorful…didn’t even add parm ;).” See? Even the omnivores approve. This dish is pretty much the best/most delicious way ever to start carbo-loading for my half (5 days! Eeeeeeeeee!). And, seeing that it’s Spring Break and all, this is the perfect dish to whip up on the fly for your besties while vacationing somewhere warm and sunny (and you’ll still be able to rock that bikini the next day). Plus, the aroma will lure all the hotties your way. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰ Count it! ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Tuesday, all!!

With warmth,

L

xoxoxo

spring break

Wooohooo, it’s SpRiNg BrEaK!!

Don’t worry, I won’t type this whole post in dELiA’s/sixth grade AOL Instant Message profile quote font. Promise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

spring break

It’s SPRING BREAAAAK!!

Dude, who did not LIVE for MTV Spring Break back in the day?! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to take a little trip down memory lane, here’s this:

Top 40 Most Iconic MTV Spring Break Performances

I know you’re loving it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, anyway – I got a little off track there. B & B is participating in Spring Break V, basically one big blog party organized by Aileen at Morsels and Moonshine, and everyone is invited. It involves less red Solo cups and string bikini tops, and is more of a week-long collaboration where a whole bunch of your fave vegan and veg-friendly bloggers post some super dope spring break-themed recipes, travel/fitness tips and fashion advice. If you’d like to know more, you can read about it here.

Wooohooo! Let’s do some shots! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Okay, okay it’s Monday morning – no shots. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Over here on B & B, I’ll be kicking it off by sharing my new fave Go-To post-workout smoothie. It’s cool, refreshing, and the perfect way to start your day or refuel after an intense workout. It’s vegan, gluten-free and full of protein, fiber and antioxidants to start your day off on the right foot.

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L’s Purple Power Smoothie

L’s Purple Power Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use Vega)
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp matcha
  • a few shakes of cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

Directions

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

Nommmmmsssss! I had one of these after my uber intense Sweaturday workout and it was so delicious. It’s the perfect breakfast on the go (or second breakfast, as it was in my case). I hope you enjoy it!

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Lsmoo

My arms were so tired from my workout I did not feel like holding my liter-sized mason jar. #lazypants

I definitely needed something great to refuel as I was up way too late and dancing my socks off at the Galactic concert at the House of Blues in Boston on Friday night. They are a really sweet funk band from NOLA, and have an amazing vocalist touring with them. It was EPIC (and it got prettyyyy funkyyy, so I was really feeling it Saturday morning). If their tour stops at a venue near you, I highly recommend checking them out (I had a BLAST, they have great energy and a rad vibe). You can see a short clip of their music on my Instagram. Also, check out more info about them/their tour stops here.

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Galactic at House of Blue Boston

It was also my nephew’s first birthday party on Saturday! My sister put together an amazing St. Patty’s Day themed spread (my nephew is a St. Patty’s Day baby) for the party. She made a vegan Apple Spice “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”-themed birthday cake (recipe to come!) and had tons of healthy party snacks, in rainbow order:

EBD

Rainbow themed healthy snacks (wagon wheels and Cheerios as “pots of gold”), and E’s Very Hungry Caterpillar first birthday cake ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope that you guys had a stellar weekend! What did you get up to? Anything epic? Tell me all about it in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Hope you all have a great Monday today! Happy Spring Break, woo woo!!

With warmth,

L โค

xoxox