October 24, 2014

I Like Toast by Stephanie Strowbridge

One day, I was browsing Instagram, and I came across the cover image of a new cookbook. I Like Toast, it read across the front. The cartoon image of toast with a heart cut out in the center was so cute and lively. I was really interested in this book. But what really drew me in was not the cute illustration, nor was it the title (though who doesn't like toast?!). The subheading of I Like Toast reads "Every morning is a GOOD morning!" That is what initially drew me in to this awesome cookbook by Stephanie Strowbridge.

Image courtesy of the author

I love that this book emphasizes the importance of morning routine in combination with a nutritious breakfast. I've found that there are a lot of things that can help deal with chronic illness, especially when beginning on the path to wellness or when reaching one of those frustrating healing plateaus. Creating a morning routine, having some structure to ease myself into a happy, productive day (whatever that means for each day is different), that's one of the biggest keys to not losing myself to the depressing things in this life.

A few really great points in the book:

  • Take care of yourself. Self-care is a practice. So keep practicing!
  • Honor your body. Acknowledge that what it needs will change through time. Be in tune with these shifts to best nourish yourself.
  • Get your kids involved. Learn and grow together in a fun way.

The book is filled with the most adorable illustrations as well as pictures of toast and toppings that will make your mouth water. Aside from the eye candy, I love that at the bottom of some of the recipes, there's a tiny blurb explaining why it is so nutritious. That gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about what they're eating and why.

The first part of the book outlines some ways to create a supportive morning routine as well as some ways that we may be sabotaging our day with unsupportive morning routines. Strowbridge gives a good deal of examples, so you can pick and choose what may work for you.

The recipe section is divided into 3 parts: Toast Creations, Jams and Conserves, and Breakfast Sandwiches. I like the variety of the recipes in this book; there's literally something for everyone. Plus, the toast recipes aren't only for breakfast. They can be eaten at any time. Using toast as a vehicle for nutritious foods is a great way to begin to healthify one's diet.

You can put pretty much anything on toast and it tastes amazing. It's no wonder that toast was the chosen focal point for this cookbook. I tried a lot of scrumptious recipes from the book including:


Cocoa Nut

Banana Nut Bread

Toast with Orange, Apricot, Banana Jam (my personal favorite)

Toast with Carrot Cake Jam

What is really great about this cookbook is that it's very relatable and most of the ingredients are easily accessible. Strowbridge's tone is very down-to-earth, and she comes across as very in touch with the realities of having a busy life.

image courtesy of the author

In addition to authoring this cool cookbook, she is also a hair and makeup artist. (I'm hooked on the retro chic pictures she posts on Instagram!) If you're interested in learning more about the author, I really enjoyed this interview with her on Chic Vegan. And definitely check out this book. It's one that you'll keep coming back to!

I received this cookbook in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

October 09, 2014

August Petit Vour Box

So, you've seen me sing the praises of Petit Vour, as a company and for their beauty boxes. It's definitely fun to get a box of surprises in the mail every month. I admit though that I was a bit worried about what the August box would look like since the July box had my favorite everything in it. Had the bar been set too high?

Of course it hadn't. I loved this box (almost) as much as the last. Once again, I felt that there was a great range of products featured, and the value was high.

I love this eyeliner by Beauty Without Cruelty. Black eyeliner was a staple of my teenage life. I loved the way it made my eyes pop with intensity. I did on occasion still use eyeliner around the time I got sick. That and a whimsical eye shadow palette were all I had left of my dwindling makeup collection, but I have since thrown them all away. This eyeliner goes on so smooth and looks awesome. The black can be very delicate on my eyelids, but I can make it bold, too, if I want. I'm really into the softer looks, so this is a really appealing item for me.

Mi-Me is a brand I've seen here and there in bloggy land. Their tangerine lip butter was in the box. The scent of this lip butter is so uplifting and cheery. Let me tell you how excited I was that this was included in this month's box since I had just run out of my favorite tangerine lip balm. I knew I loved it right away. I could instantly feel it hydrating my lips, and they stayed soft and supple all day even when the product was long gone. And really, isn't that the point of products like this; to rehydrate our lips so we don't have to be constantly reapplying?

The Journey perfume by Harvey Prince was one thing that I wasn't too excited about. I could smell it when I opened the box and thought it was just too much for me. I kept an open mind though, and considered that it might smell differently when I spritzed it on. J loved how it smelled on me, but I wasn't quite convinced. I think it may be too "mature" smelling for me. I may still use it for certain occasions or I may gift it to someone who will love it. I'm undecided as of right now. One (massive) positive about this product is that it doesn't make me feel dizzy and sick the way that people's synthetic perfumes do. I'm sure that speaks to the quality of the ingredients.

The Earthbody Brighten cleanser and mask caught my interest right away. They included an insert with the ingredient list and description of the product. It's made of Moroccan lava clay, plant powders, and essential oils were made with Ayurvedic principles in mind. Yes, please! My skin is really loving this mask!

The Rose Mira Organics sweet coconut body butter gives me silky skin and smells like I'm on a tropical vacation. What's not to love about that? I use a lot of coconut oil to moisturize in the winter, so I knew this would hydrate dry spots on my skin very well. What was different about this vs. using coconut oil alone is that it soaked into my skin much faster and it had a bright fruity scent (the addition of the mango butter, no doubt) that I found really pleasing. Since winter will soon be here, I may have to invest in a full size of this one!

All in all, the August Petit Vour box was incredible. I still can't believe how much value they pack into one $15 box, and by value I don't mean monetarily but quality-wise. I'm quite happy with these monthly beauty boxes!