paleo gf coconut sugar donuts (chocolate + raspberry)

One of the things I've missed most since giving up gluten and cane sugar is donuts. There's a really yummy donut place right by my house that I used to frequent, and love Whole Foods jelly donuts. Not to mention, they're EVERYWHERE: meetings at school, around the house, from my friends.  So, when I got packages from Hannah's Healthy Bakery and Vivoo, I decided to combine them into a delicious donut I can eat. They're loaded with benefits from the raw cacao chunks, including antioxidants and added magnesium + vitamin c. Here's how I did it:

*you can sub your preferred brownie recipe with coconut sugar

  1. follow ingredients for brownies, adding the water if the batter is too thick to be smooth in the pan
  2. fold in chocolate
  3. pour into donut pan, and bake according to your brownie recipe 
  4. place the juice of 1 clementine and the half cup of raspberries in a small saucepan over high heat
  5. once boiling and the raspberries are thawed, reduce heat to simmer and simmer uncovered until most of the juice is evaporated
  6. cool the raspberry reduction, remove donuts from pan, and use a small spoon to put the reduction in the middle of the donut
  7. store in an airtight container or freeze

stay sunny


spring outfit post

I'm happy to kick off spring by getting back in front of Rachel's camera for an outfit post. I mean, I haven't done one since LAST YEAR (omg). Granted, it was a New Year's Eve post, but it's still been a while! 

The inspiration for this outfit came when I had to wear a professional outfit but wanted to put my own spin on it. So, I added a striped t-shirt and fun earrings from BaubleBar. I love the idea of layering a crisp button down over a soft tee for when you need to dress nicely, but don't want to lose your personal flair. 

Rachel even brought along this fun vintage suitcase!
baublebar earrings | tshirt (on sale!) | oxford | skirt | shoes

stay sunny & happy spring


swimsuits under $50

On spring break and during summer, I live in swimsuits. But, when I got my box of swimsuits down from my closet to see how many I need for Mexico, a ton of them were gross. They were worn out because, as I said, I lived in them! They've been though sun, salt water, chlorine, and sand. Not that I'm mad about it...I love an excuse to shop for more.

When I was shopping online I found a bunch at great prices, most of them around $20! So, I thought I would share them with you all :-)

Enjoy and stay sunny!


you go, girls

1. Girls Do Science

Last week, I was babysitting a 7-year-old girl named Sadie. I casually asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" She looked up from her project, constructing a cardboard house, and said, "Oh, I want to be an architect and a designer, and invent lots of things." And she went back to working. At her age, she hasn't been exposed to the stigma that science is for boys, and the fact that the field of science is dominated by men. She likes building and science, so why wouldn't she pursue it as a career?

7 of 10 girls are like Sadie: they're interested in science. However, only 2 out of 10 of these girls will defy stereotypes and have a science-based career. Microsoft asked bright young girls about their thoughts on this, in their video Girls Do Science. (This one is also really good!)

2. Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection

I read an article on Psychology Today about how being a bright young girl can hinder you in the long run. I clicked on it, a little bit scared as to what I would read. I learned that there is an issue in the way girls are educated at school: they are praised for their perfection in a certain area, or for their innate goodness. All the while, rowdy little boys are told they can do something "if they would just apply themselves." Through no fault of their own, this leads women to think their abilities are unchangeable: that they are good in one field and bad in another. On the other hand, boys see the opportunity to improve in a field by how hard they focus or work. In the same way, this makes women believe they are to be perfect. As women feel the need to be perfect, they shy away from risks or challenges. Reshma Saujani explores this in her TED Talk, and tells us what we can do about it.

3. Tory Burch Embrace Ambition

This video, recently released by the Tory Burch foundation, was made on the basis that "ambition" in the business world is a positive for men: meaning successful or powerful. But for women, it can be used as a negative: meaning greedy, selfish, or pushy. The video is a call to action to women (and men) to "own your power, own your drive, own your dreams...embrace ambition."


Too often women shy away from embracing what they're passionate about, the very thing that sets us apart. Passion is not something to bury; but rather we should wear our passions like the clothes on our back. Our dreams are not embarrassing or "too ambitious," we should spread them like wildfire.

Girls: know that this is your life, and no one can tell you what to do with it. So go, build that robot, build that empire, wear that outfit that makes you feel strong. Be ambitious, be confident, be kind (but take no sh*t).



5 Day Food Journal: No Gluten, Dairy, Sugar or Additives

Here's what's up: I've been working with a nutritionist to get rid of harmful inflammation in my body and gut! Basically, I got my blood tested for what foods I've developed sensitivities to: those that my immune system "attacks" and create toxins in my body. I cut those out, and now I'm on a diet change plan where I only eat "safe" foods that work with my body for 30 days. Eventually, the diet change re-acclimates me to foods I'm sensitive to.

Before I get into my food journal, I want to make it clear that I am not on a "diet." Rather, I'm taking initiative to be well: to utilize meals to give my body what it needs. I'm using my food in service of creating a vibrant, healthy, life.  Never before have I realized how important it is to use food to nourish and energize yourself, to be intentional in what you eat, and to understand how what you put in your body affects how you feel. I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm trying to feel good!

When I was told not to eat gluten, dairy, or sugar, (among 70+ other things) and to be completely "clean" by eating only whole, unprocessed foods, I was nervous. I didn't know what I could eat. However nervous, I was excited to see what this change brought and to be creative with my meals. I've been feeling so much better. I like eating again because it doesn't make me feel horrible, and I have tons more energy. 

Here's a sample of 5 days worth of meals thus far, in case you need some new, healthy, clean options for any meal!

breakfast: quinoa breakfast bar (made with gf oats) with raspberries, coffee

lunch: roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, chicken with Tamari, 1/2 banana, almonds

snack: sunflower seeds and crunchy chickpeas

dinner: toasted pb&j on oat bread with puffed millet and raspberries, sweet potatoes and avocado
snack: simple mills banana bread

breakfast: smoothie with coconut water, raspberries, mango, and spinach; avocado toast on oat bread with carrots; coffee 

snack: almonds

lunch: salad with romaine, chicken, chickpeas, quinoa, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, liquid aminos; grapes; soy latte

dinner: soup with chicken broth, chicken, hot sauce, avocado, sauteed carrots; toasted oat bread
snack: mint tea and cashews

breakfast: coffee, 1/2 banana and peanut butter with honey on toasted oat bread

lunch: 1/2 avocado, toasted oat bread, carrots and sweet potatoes, chicken, 1/2 apple

snack: almonds, 1/2 apple and 1/2 banana sautéed in coconut oil and coconut sugar

dinner: grilled chicken sandwich on oat bread with spinach/avocado/pickle, avocado oil potato chips, apple

breakfast: gluten free oatmeal and 1/2 apple with peanut butter, coffee

lunch: pb toast, coconut chips, sweet potato, chickpeas and avocado salad, grapes

snack: homemade avocado hummus & simple mills crackers

dinner: grilled steak with tamari, spinach salad with cucumbers and carrots

bedtime snack: green tea, tahini "cookie"

breakfast: 2 mango muffins, 1/2 banana, coffee

snack: crunchy chickpeas

lunch: 1/2 avocado, sweet potato, egg sunny-side up (of course)
snack: 1/2 banana and pb with coconut chips
dinner: frittata with spinach, potatoes, and chicken

snack: cashews, mint tea

stay sunny


My Simple Morning Makeup Routine

I won't lie to you, I'm far from a makeup pro. On special events my friends do my makeup for me, I can't operate a Beauty Blender in the least, and I don't watch any type of Youtube tutorials. That said, I truly care about keeping my skin healthy, I think have a strong brow game, and I use makeup as a tool towards confidence. Do I go to school without makeup on sometimes? Of course. Do I shame people who spend 30 minutes doing their makeup every morning? Of course not!

I have a simple morning routine, mostly because I like to get as much sleep as possible :-) 

Every morning I use Glossier Face Wash on a Clarisonic to wash my face. I like the exfoliation of the Clarisonic to wake up my skin, along with the gentle face wash that smells like warm laundry and a field of wildflowers. If you order with this link, you can get 20% off your first order!

After that, I spritz with Mario Badescu Face Mist to help give my face a dewy look and eliminate any tightness. Plus, again, it smells amazing.

I smooth on Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue using the Bare Minerals Smoothing Brush. I don't like complete coverage, mostly because I'm partial to freckles, so using a tiny bit of this is perfect for me. On top of the face mist, it goes on evenly and adds a little glow to your skin.

Onto the eyes, I curl my eyelashes with Tarte Eyelash Curler. My eyelashes are naturally pretty straight, so this is essential for me: it's really difficult to put mascara on without it. Plus, the product lasts a really long time. I've had the same one for a few years. The mascara I usually use is Benefit Mascara or Elizabeth Moss, and apply that on my top lashes.

As I said, I like to keep my brow game strong. I use an Eyebrow Pencil that has a brush on one side and a brown pencil on the other. I lightly line the natural shape of my brow on the bottom, and just fill in wherever they're looking sparse.

That's it! It usually takes about 5-7 minutes.


stay sunny


Best of January

The other day, one of my readers sent in the question "what are your favorite posts to write?" I immediately thought of monthly recap posts. Not only are they fun to write, they're so fun to look back on-- almost like a scrapbook! They make me appreciate the happy times and little things of the past month, especially in a culture where we're always looking ahead to the next thing and trying to get the next task done. It made me realize how much I like doing these, and how I hadn't done one in a while, so I did for January. They can get wordy, so I decided to break it up into a "best of:" things I ate, saw, read, did, and bought.

1. dragonfruit bowl from Rooted Juicery- I decided to try this smoothie bowl because of the ingredients, but I loved it because of the color [insert heart eyes]
2. avocado toast- I made the MOST EPIC avocado toast EVER and shared it in this post
3. angry beekeeper from Old Scratch Pizza- My parents' friends opened a new pizza place near us, and ITS SO GOOD. I had the Angry Beekeeper which gets its name because it's drizzled in spicy honey (and I'm a sucker for anything with honey). #savethebees

1. the lumineers- I got to see one of my favorite bands, The Lumineers, and it was everything I'd ever dreamed it'd be! I loved how they told tons of stories throughout the concert, played different instruments, and had a Cleopatra photobooth at the entrance.
2. lala land- In case you haven't heard... everyone ever should see Lala Land. I have the soundtrack on repeat!
3. milk & honey (here)- the most VSCO-able book ever. It's a heavy, deep read (and all poems), so if you're into that you'll love it. (or just buy it for the VSCO). (jk).

1. went to the cincinnati contemporary arts center- something new I tried in January was going to a Contemporary Arts museum. I loved it! The top floor is an "un-museum," meaning everything is touch-able and interactive, including a giant fuzzy egg. I'm pretty sure it was for little children but the adults seemed to be having fun too :-)
2. painted this jacket (as seen here)- I followed a charcoal transfer tutorial to paint something sassy on a denim jacket.
3. the wedding- my friend Megan's dad got re-married on New Years Eve! (what a fun wedding date) & we had so much fun being on the dance floor when the ball dropped.

1. glossier cleanser (here)- after hearing all the hype about Glossier, I decided to try their milky jelly cleanser. I like it a lot! It's pretty gentle so I use it in the mornings and use something stronger at night. The best part? It smells like flowers and clean laundry. Use this link to get 20% off your first purchase!
2. adidas originals sweatshirt (here)- I know this is literally just a gray hoodie, but it's super warm and it's been nice to throw on while studying or running errands.
3. himalayan salt lamp (here)- I'd always wanted a salt lamp, so I got one to put on my side table in my room. It's a nice little accent piece and the one I have works great with essential oils.

Recently, my bff Caroline and I were chosen to speak at TEDxDayton's youth conference. We've been super busy preparing our TED talk, but it's been SO FUN, guys.  I can't wait for it to be online for all of you to see! It's super close to my heart, all about empowering yourself through what you wear and allowing fashion to be a daily celebration of you!!

I also started a diet change to help with some chronic GI and inflammatory issues. It includes no sugar, wheat, or dairy... so we'll see how this goes! So far, I feel really good about it and I know it will be so worth it. More to come.

I hope you enjoyed this round-up of my January, and that February brings tons of sunshine to you all!

stay sunny