Figs are fantastic

 I am not sure why I suddenly have an obsession with figs. They just have this aura about  them–food for fine fanatics and those who appreciate flavors and health. They encompass  health and taste to me. And, they’re beautiful inside! I started by buying dried figs–I love  thinly slicing them and adding them to salads. Or, for some quick energy eat a dried fig  with 1/2 tbsp. of almond or peanut butter–it’s like a PB&J sammy without the carbs!

Then I decided to treat myself. I saw fresh figs at Whole Foods–#gottahaveit! I bought some organic mascarpone and munched on these delectable foods with some trader joe’s graham crackers. O M G…I hate that phrase but it

100% yum

describes my foodgasm very well–DELICIOUS! If you’ve never treated yourself to figs & mascarpone please do. They’re sweet and satisfying.

Figs have a lot of health benefits as well. These include:

  • One of the highest sources of fiber; great for weight control; great as a natural laxative.
  • Rich in potassium; helps regulate blood pressure and body’s electrical signals
  •  Fig leaves have a ton of benefits (cardiovascular, eye protection, cancer fighting, respiratory health) but I’ve never had them so I won’t discuss it.

Next I wanted to make fig jam. So I did–with a very simple recipe. I can’t wait to try a fig jam & almond butter sammy!
Here’s the recipe:

Fig Jam (from Nourish Your Roots)
(Keeps in refrigerator for up to one week) 

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Natural elements

My place has been feeling drab. It’s a bit dark so I can’t really grow plants well–I hate that. I love greenery. I love

(not weed)

nature, I love the outdoors–I’d sleep in a garden if I could. So I had an idea to bring a little nature inside without needing to ensure it’s health.

Crate & Barrel sells “raindeer moss” $9–it’s real (even smells mossy) so very natural looking and gives a great green pop to the room without needing to be watered or have sunlight. I love it! I need to figure out where else I can incorporate it into my apartment.

Check out theCrate & Barrel website here

Add some river rocks, natural wood, and ta-da...nature!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Face oil? I’m a fan!

For a long time I thought putting oil on your face was a HUGE no-no. I already have acne which means it’s oily right? Well, maybe not. Some oils actually serve to reduce inflammation, help soothe acne and rosacea as well as hydrate skin without making your glands over produce. I have been using Jojoba oil for awhile now and I like it. I use it as a make up remover, mix it with lotion for an extra shin on my legs when wearing shorts or skirts, and to moisturize my footies at night before bed. I’m not really comfortable slathering it all of my cheeks though.

This is the 100% pure Argan oil I'm purchasing from Spirit Beauty Lounge

In my good bag from a recent order from Spirit Beauty Lounge (my new pure beauty product go-to), I received a sample of Argan oil. I read the directions–“great for reducing redness and acne”–YES YES YES! I tried it one evening instead of my cream moisture. I woke up with glowing happy skin! Now I haven’t used it for an extended period of time so I cannot speak to long term benefits (yet), but I will be purchasing a bottle of this oil and using it every other evening before bed. Only $29!

I did some research on argan oil and this is what I learned: In Morocco it’s called the “Tree of Life” that’s definitely a good thing! It has properties which heal (scars), are anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties. As well as improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation and promote excellent moisture retention. Argan is considered an effective anti-aging oil due to properties such as the high levels of vitamin E and skin-softening agents.

This oil can also be ingested and used medicinally however I have not explored that usage and will not address it at this time.

Harvesting the argan seed

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Spur it, nurture it, crave it–creativity.

Great TED talk on nurturing creativity. I have yet to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s sensational book ‘Eat Pray Love’ but after enjoying her take on the need to bring creativity back into our lives and let it thrive I’ll surely be picking up a copy soon. And, I won’t judge her next work as the piece after the sensation…

 

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Pretty home things

My apartment is very manly–well, like a bachelor pad. Why you ask? Because I moved in with a man and his place (now ours) was already decorated. It’s been a little less than two years since I’ve lived here and I need a touch of feminity. I need to make the place pop a bit. We don’t have big windows, or a porch or balcony, no plants can really grow because we’re not facing the correct direction for sunlight. Kinda sad. So, I’m lusting after other goods to make my home prettier. Here are a few (some beyond my budget, some I’m eyeing):

Where to find the goods:
Succulant planter–Made by me; how to coming this weekend!
Linen Corigan Chair–Anthropologie $over 1000 = too much!
Cooled Globe Base–Anthropologie  $298 –> HaHaHa seriously?

Silver Martini Side Table–West Elm   $129
Silk Bullseye Pillows–West Elm $34

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Pumpkin-Sage Challah loaf

I love get-togethers, not only because they bring all my favorite people together but they are an excuse to bake! It’s been awhile since I’ve baked anything other than my favorite quick pumpkin bread. So staying with my favorite theme– pumpkin but wanting to add my new favorite flavor, sage, I decided to make a pumpkin-sage challah loaf. This is a yeast bread so definitely exploring new territory. I’ve made yeast breads in the form of bagels and rolls before but my loafs have never turned out too great.

This recipe looked too delicious to pass up. Plus my mom was in favor of making it so I could I say no? Here’s my adapted recipe below from: Savory Simple

Pumpkin-Sage Challah Loaf 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 T yeast
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 oz butter, melted but cooled
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 7.5 oz pumpkin puree
  • 3 T sugar (I used 1 T brown sugar + 2 T cane sugar)

    Try to use as many organic ingredients as possible, you'll get pure flavors that way.

  • .5 T salt
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten)

Create:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the warm water and yeast.  Allow the mixture to sit for 3 minutes.
  2. Add eggs, melted butter, salt, sugar, spices, pumpkin and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add 2 cups of flour and whisk until smooth.  Continue adding flour and combining, switching to your hands when the dough becomes too thick for the whisk.  Fold out onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead the dough for 5 minutes.  It should be soft and smooth, not sticky.  If the dough is sticky simply incorporate more flour while kneading, around 1/4 cup at a time until it’s no longer sticking.  You can use a small amount of canola oil on your hands as well.
  5. Round the dough into a ball and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl (use canola or vegetable oil, something neutral), cover, and allow to double in size.  This works well in a warm area, such as on top of your oven set to a low temperature.  Don’t rush this step, really let the dough rise.
  6. Remove the cover, punch the dough back down, cover again, and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

    Use your hands (covered in flour) to roll out three equal logs--then braid!

  7. Divide dough into 3 equal portions, join together at the top.
  8. Rub each inside edge with dry sage
  9. Braid the pieces together.
  10. Roll, pinch and turn under the ends under to close loaf.
  11. Proof until double in size.
  12. Brush with egg wash.
  13. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.
  14. Brush with butter (or honey butter) while hot.
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Sox or not?

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