Gluten Free Vegan Sugar Cookies | Recipe Review

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It officially feels like autumn! The leaves have started to change and there’s a crisp chill to the air. Fall weather always puts me in the mood to bake, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing the past week. Rummaging through recipes online, I’ve tried a lot that didn’t make the cut, but when I find an incredible recipe I want to share it with you!

Something I’ve missed from going vegan is warm, buttery sugar cookies. I love dunking them in my coffee in the morning. I’ve tried many recipes from countless cookbooks, but nothing has ever come close to the original (until now).

The problem I’ve had with most recipes comes down to texture. Almond flour and coconut flour left the cookies soft and gummy. However, this recipe is crunchy, dunk-able, and delectable!

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This recipe is adapted from Lexie’s Kitchen and Living.

Ingredients:

1 tbs. white chia seeds, ground in coffee grinder
3 tbs. cold water
1 tbs. gluten free vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold earth balance vegan butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-2 tbs. lemon zest

Instructions:

  1. Whisk chia meal, water, and vanilla in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  3. In separate larger bowl, beat buttery spread and sugar on high until fluffy.
  4. Add chia mixture and beat on high until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and beat on high for about 30 seconds or until all ingredients combined.
  6. Roll dough in a long in plastic wrap.
  7. Freeze for one hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  9. Slice cookies and place on non-stick tinfoil on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes until slightly golden.

Let cool and enjoy! :)

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Gluten Free + Vegan Burrito Bowl Recipe | Vegan Queso, Guacamole, Pico De Gallo, and Corn Salsa!

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Love the chipotle burrito bowl and want to make it at home? Here’s how! 

Guacamole:

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3 Ripe Avocados

1 small-medium shallot

Juice of one vine-ripe tomato

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Mash avcados in a bowl. Add in lemon juice to prevent from browning. Throw in all other ingredients and stir well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Vegan Sriracha Queso (recipe from The Simple Veganista):

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1/2 cup of raw cashews

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Sriracha chili sauce + more or less to taste

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 water + more if needed

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Taste periodically. For a spicier flavor, add more sriracha. For more thickness, add cashews. For a runnier consistency, add more water. Store in fridge, lasts up to 5 days. 

Corn Salsa

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2 corn on the cob (or frozen)

1 small jalapeño

1/4 of a red onion

juice of 2 times

cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 357. Roast corn on a non-stick baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. You can sprits with a little coconut oil if you’d like.
Finely chop onion and jalapeño and mix with corn. Add in cilantro and lime juice. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

Pico De Gallo:

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4 plump tomatos

1/4 of a red onion

1 small jalapeño

juice of 2 limes

pinch of salt

Instructions:
Chop tomatoes, jalapeño, and onion and toss in a bowl. Add in cilantro and lime.

Finally, rinse and drain black beans, cook brown rice, and finely chop lettuce. Add everything in a bowl, and enjoy!

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For more details, check out my video!

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss | Review

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My local RiteAid just added a small selection of NYX products. Needless to say, I’m overjoyed! They were having a buy one, get one 50% off sale and I had to take advantage of it! I decided to snag two Mega Shine Lip Glosses, in the shades Sugar Pie and Tea Rose. I can’t believe I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon until now. 

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I’ve been obsessed with these lip glosses since I purchased them! The non-sticky formula is as close to perfect as it gets, and I don’t have to smell a crayon-like scent when applying. Packaging is sleek, convenient, and small enough to throw in my pocket. I’ve had way too many lip glosses open in my purse, but I definitely don’t have to worry about it with these.

I love the color selection. I actually spent a half hour in the drugstore trying to decide which shades to buy. The swatches on the NYX display were very accurate. I couldn’t be happier. 

The Bottom Line: The consistency is smooth and creamy. It’s not sticky at all. The color is long-lasting and fades evenly. It doesn’t have an unpleasant oder, and actually smells like a cherry starburst. It’s one of the best lip glosses on the market (and only $4.99)! 

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Styling | High Waisted

HIGHWAISTED

I love a good pair of high waisted bottoms. You don’t have to worry about bending over and showing a little more than you intended. The higher waistline sucks you in and defines your shape. It’s a win-win.

Here are my top four shirts to pair with high waisted bottoms! Be sure to watch my video where I go into detail and mention where I purchased everything. 

PEPLUM

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High wasted pants with a peplum top is my go-to night outfit. It’s figure flattering and feminine. Pairing a dainty lace top with faux leather pants adds some softness to an edgy piece.

TIED

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Effortless, and an easy go-to style when running out the door. Knotting an otherwise baggy top will give it some shape and accentuate the high waisted pants perfectly. 

CLASSIC BUTTON DOWN

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You can never go wrong with a classic, white button down. It goes with virtually everything. Tuck it  in, tie it at the waist, leave it open. It’ll always polish off any outfit. 

CROP

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This is probably one of the easiest tops to pair with high waisted bottoms. You’re able to show a little skin without being too reviling, and can pick up some trendy tops for pretty inexpensive at places like Forever21 and TJMAXX. 

Don’t forget to check out my video where I go more in detail about these outfits and where I got everything!

Closet Clean-Out | #WardrobeWeek

ViviannaDoesMakeup is doing a mini series on her channel entitled #WardrobeWeek. Her first video was filled with closet organization tips and tricks. I’ve been putting off de-cluttering my closet for months, so it was the perfect inspiration I needed.

I thought I’d film some clips of the process (because I love seeing what other people have in their closet). I put Anna’s tips to good use, so hopefully this is helpful for you!

Be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel so you never miss out on a video! :) 

Liebster Award + Nominations

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Thank you, Hannah, for nominating me for the Liebster Award! If you haven’t been to her blog, be sure to check it out and follow her! She has some amazing beauty posts and finds great products, too! 

I’ve answered her questions and also nominated 5 other bloggers below to answer some questions of my own! 

What’s your morning routine like?

Every morning at 5:40am, my puppy wakes me up and I stumble over to my Keurig for a few cups of coffee. I’ll catch up on my favorite youtube subscriptions. After my second or third cup I’m able to function enough to make my fiancé breakfast and pack his lunch for work. Once he heads out the door, I put on some makeup (usually just mascara, blush, and lipstick if I’m in a rush). Then I’m ready for the day!

Are there any words that you always misspell? (Really looking forward to these answers, btw!)

I actually have a two year degree in Children’s Lit, but I can never remember how to spell restaurant. In fact, spell check just corrected me. 

What is your favorite social media platform?

Instagram! I’m very visual, so I prefer scrolling through pictures as oppose to status updates.

Do you have an accent based on where you’re from?

I’m from Florida, so no accent here. I secretly always wished I was British!

How many days of the week do you wear lipstick?

Usually 3-4 depending on what’s going on that day.

What was the best thing about your day today?

I filmed a couple videos for my youtube channel, so that’s always exciting and slightly nerve-racking!

What is your favorite drugstore to shop at for makeup?

Rite Aid, you can buy JulieG nail polish there! :) 

Do you have a favorite high-end brand of makeup?

The highest-end brand I have is Bare Essentials, so I’d have to go with that. I’m more of a drugstore kinda gal. 

What’s the first thing you would do with $100,000?

I’d donate a good portion to Love146, an anti-human trafficking organization. After that I’d probably use some for a down payment on a house, and save the rest for an emergency fund!

Sandals, flats, or heels for everyday summer wear?

Sandals. Definitely.

What’s the be-all and end-all makeup/skincare product you recommend to all of your friends and family?

AnnMarie Gianni’s all natural, tinted sun protection. It’s a huge splurge at $40 for a tiny tube… but so worth it!

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 5.
  2. My natural hair color is blonde.
  3. My dream is to own and restore a 1957 Chevy Bel Air.
  4. I was named after my Dad.
  5. I graduated high school a year and a half early.
  6. I’d be happy eating Mexican food the rest of my life.
  7. I’m half Greek.
  8. 100% introvert.
  9. I’m always the designated driver. Drinking is not enjoyable for me.
  10. The only country I’ve visited outside the U.S. is Bolivia.
  11. I got a tattoo when I was 16 and have been waiting more ever since. 

I nominate…

… to answer these questions:
  1. Why did you start a blog?
  2. Who has been your biggest supporter?
  3. Name some of your favorite bloggers.
  4. Describe yourself in 3 words.
  5. Is there something about yourself you never liked, but grew to love?
  6. Name something you’ve always wanted to do but never tried.
  7. If you could only use one drugstore brand the rest of your life, which would you choose?
  8. What’s your ideal home decor style?
  9. If you had to live in another decade for a day, which would it be and why?
  10. Describe the best day of your life so far.
  11. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

For the official rules of the Liebster Award, click here!

lovesamantha

One Pan Mexican Quinoa | Recipe Review from DamnDelicious

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I’ve decided to start a new weekly series on my blog called Recipe Review. I’m not the best at creating unique dishes, but I sure do love testing out tasteful recipes. I’m always looking for a new Mexican meal to try, and this one from DamnDelicious was next on my list! I love the quick one-pan concept, and it’s the perfect leftover meal to send with my fiancé to work. It was so delicious, I’d definitely give it an A+! 

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I tweaked it ever so slightly from the original recipe and added a few ingredients of my own.

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 plumb tomatos, chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste, the more the merrier for me)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado chopped (I didn’t have any ripe avocados, so I had to skip this)

Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free | Vegan | Easy

Directions:

Instead of sautéing traditionally with oil, I like to water sauté. It saves on calories and tastes exactly the same. 

Use a large skillet over medium heat, add garlic, jalapeño, onion, and pepper. Frequently pour a little water to prevent from sticking (until garlic and onion slightly start to golden). 

Add in quinoa, veggie broth, beans, tomatos, corn, spices, and bring to a boil; cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked. 

Stir in lime, cilantro, avacado and serve! :)

Let me know if you tried this meal in the comments, or if you have any other recipe recommendations for me to try. Happy Recipe Trying! _DSC8152