I’m excited to partner with Dove for my post! I’ve been a big fan of their products since I was a little girl. My mom told me Dove was the only thing she was able to use on sensitive skin growing up. Some of you may have heard me complain about having dry or itchy skin in my videos over the last few years. It’s always been a nightmare trying to find a body wash that works for me. I have to be extra cautious with what I use or I’ll end up itching myself into a bloody mess. I know- not a pretty picture! That being said it is of extreme importance that I have gentle cleanser to protect my skin from getting dry. So many body washes are filled with harsh chemicals and fragrances- often times it’s the same ingredients found in dish soap. No thanks! I’ll keep my dish soap for the dirty dishes.
Having worked in the beauty biz for a decade I’ve gotten my hands (and body!) on a variety of cleansers. From the mega fancy ones sold at department stores to drugstore brands and everything in between. Dove Body Wash is totally different; it provides super gentle cleansers plus the unique care of NutriumMoisture technology. Your skin will be softer after one shower. Woohoo! Dove replaces the nutrients that are lost during cleansing while other body washes only add moisture after skin has been stripped of essential lipids and proteins during cleansing. Sounds good to me. I’m sure we can all agree that not all body washes are created equal. Having a gentle cleanser has always been a necessity for me and when I’m pregnant it’s even more important. I want my growing belly to be gently cleansed and moisturized at all times. You can get this magical body wash at any local drugstore around the country at really great price point.
Big thanks to Dove for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
My family and I hadn’t been on a proper trip together at all this year. (Going home to the Bay Area or Chicago where my hubby is from doesn’t count in my book!) There are a few American cities left that I’ve been dying to visit and Portland was one of them. We decided to fly from LA to Portland and spend a week driving through an area of the country none of us had explored- the North West. Our final destination was Bozeman, MT and we had tons of ground to cover in between. For starters, Portland is SO GREEN. As a Californian I’ve been deprived of grass for such a long and I didn’t realize it until I saw how lush Portland was. The vibe was so chill and I felt like the people were totally laid back and super cool. Below are some of the highlights from our trip. Keep in mind I was almost 7 months pregnant on this trip and traveling with a two year old. I can’t wait to hit up Portland when I can drink and do some fancy dinners, but even in my current “condition” I had a freakin blast and so did the fam.
We chose the River Place Hotel for a few reasons. It was historic and beautiful, had great reviews online and was along the river with easy access to everything. Every time we travel to a new city we check to see if our American Express offers rewards or perks at properties we’re interested in- sure enough River Place was one of them. I’ve mentioned my love for Amex perks several times in the past, but just to remind you, I love it because you can get room upgrades, food credits and sometimes spa credits (my personal fav).
When I posted on my Instagram account that I was in Portland I got a ton of recommendations on where to eat. There was one particular spot that EVERYONE agreed on: Voodoo Doughnuts. I’d heard of this place before and I knew I had to go. I’m not a donut person, but hot damn these were delish! Like SO SO good. Luckily the line was only about 20 people deep, so it wasn’t a nightmare trying to get our grub on. I was pleasantly surprised to see their huge variety of vegan donuts as well. A+ Voodoo Doughnuts. Totally worth the hype! Also, how do you actually spell donuts? Or is it doughnuts?
Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ: Umm. Wow. Just wow. I had a life changing burrito at their little food cart. It was definitely a trek from where we were staying, but so worth it. I got the “Buff Burrito” (thanks Margaret!) I was in heaven after the first bite. It had freakin mac and cheese in it!? Say what!?! Yup, and totally vegan. You guys may know I’m actually pescatarian, (a fish eating vegetarian- not a religion) but I can certainly appreciate when something is 100% plant based.
As I mentioned above I was traveling with my two year old son who, like many two year olds has an obscene amount of energy and it is of the utmost importance that he get’s his wiggles out. We headed to the International Rose Garden that was equipped with the most breathtaking roses I’ve ever seen AND a playground. Win win. Definitely pay this place a visit whether you’re rolling with a toddler or not.
Splash pads: This has been the summer of the splash pad for my family. From LA to Chicago and now Portland. After a hot day of exploring the city is was time once again for Idris to get his wiggles out in the water. Enter: splash pad on the river. Perfect!
Over the next few weeks I’ll continue to share my road trip of the North West. Stay tuned!
TWO INGREDIENT VEGAN COOKIES!?! Say what!? Yes, it’s true. They are also VERY Weight Watchers friendly. The best part about these bad boys is they are easily customizable. On the latest episode of My Dancing Kitchen my mom and I made tons of varieties and variations- experimenting with banana to oatmeal ratios and adding other ingredients like cinnamon, peaches, peanut butter- the list goes on. We played with egg whites one day and turned them into pancakes and topped them with fresh berries- AMAZING! Obviously if you add egg whites they are no longer vegan, but still super Weight Watcher friendly and delicious. Have fun with your creations and let me know if you make any at home or have a version that’s particularly BOMB.
This is SUCH an easy recipe. It’s RAW, VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE and ZERO smart points on Weight Watchers. Hello perfect dish. I promise it’s tasty and the best part is you can customize it to your liking. This is a great staple in the summer. I hope you enjoy it and please let me know if you make it.
This is what I did and it made enough for about 4 people.
3-4 cups watermelon or 1/2 of a small/medium watermelon
1 Persian cucumber to be blended
1 Persian cucumber to be diced and added to the soup
1/2 Red Onion to be blended
1/2 Red Onion to be diced and added to the soup
Jalapeno if you like heat!
Dill (as much or as little as you want)
Salt/Pepper and Lemon to taste
The last few weeks have been rough with the passing of my uncle. I don’t think I’ve ever been this drained in my life- dealing with a death while your pregnant is a roller coaster ride I hope never to be on again. When the Four Seasons Westlake and the California Health & Longevity Institute invited me to experience their Taste of Wellness “Relax & Rewind” package I jumped at the chance. It included a massage, Soma Dome, life strategies consultation and a sustained living lunch in the Lobby Lounge. Yes please!
Spending the day getting my mind off of everything and being pampered was EXACTLY what I needed. My morning kicked off with a life consultation session with Dr. Illana Kukoff, Ph.D. The last time I spoke to a professional about my problems I was an angry brat in Jr. High. I had no idea what to expect when I walked in this time. After some brief introductions we began with an actual session. I started by telling her what my family was going through followed by my current ups and downs with work and then venting about my level of exhaustion. In a short period of time we covered everything from dealing with the loss of a loved one to career advice. I left with an action plan for my life and was super pumped. It was equal parts therapeutic and motivational. Thanks Dr. K!
After lunch it was time to experience the Soma Dome. I’m a hug fan of unique beauty and wellness treatments. (If you’ve seen my show The SASS than you know what I’m talking about!) What is a Soma Dome you ask? It’s a meditation pod that you relax in for about 20 minutes. It is designed to help you get rid of all the noise and distractions in your life, all while sitting under healing light. You can have a voice guide you through a variety of mediations or you can guide yourself. I chose a guided manifestation session. I’m not sure if I was actually meditating, but I can tell you I was in a peaceful place and it went by way too fast.
The maternity massage was nothing short of amazing. I’ve been lucky to have several maternity massages in the past and I always favor the ones that have a special pregnancy pillow so I can lay on my stomach as opposed to my side. I was in such a mellow state of relaxed bliss when I left the FS Westlake.
If you need to hit restart on your life for whatever reason, I urge you to check out the wellness packages offered at FS Westlake. For even more of a wellness geared individual they offer a ton of programming options and are the only Four Seasons with a full dedicated medical center on site. You can receive anything from a full physical, your teeth cleaned, a mammogram, a massage and end the day with a Wine Wed cooking demo in the Wellness Kitchen.
My skin has been insanely dry the past couple of weeks due to my constant barfing. Hi morning sickness- I hate you. Please go away. Luckily I live in LA and there are fabulous treatments like the Pregnancy Facial from Kate Somerville to help restore my sad skin. If you live here or plan on visiting you have to check out Kate Somerville. It’s the most beautiful skin clinic I’ve ever been to. I’ve shot two episodes of The SASS there, you can watch one them by clicking here. The second one comes out in a few weeks and I actually got to chat with Kate Somerville herself. It’s safe to say I’m a fan. Fun fact, the Kate Somerville clinic used to be Sean Connery’s townhouse. It’s located right above Alfred Coffee on Melrose where the trendiest people in all of LA lounge, sip expensive coffee and most importantly look very cool doing it. Ok, back to the facial. My girl Laura Kay had magic hands and gave me an incredible treatment that was equal parts relaxing, hydrating and calming. The pregnancy facial is designed keeping mamas to be in mind. There are no harsh chemicals (everything is baby safe!) and it addresses hormonal fluctuations, puffiness and dehydration- my personal fav. If you are a mama to be and you want to pamper yourself, check it out.
*Images courtesy of Kate Somerville
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Mom 2.0 Summit for the first time. I was asked to speak on a panel on Friday about all things YouTube. Hopefully I shed some light on how to navigate a YouTube path for up and coming content creators and brands. Here’s a hint about what a said: it’s all about STARTING. Just do it. Done is better than perfect. Don’t get hung up on the idea of perfection, and definitely don’t let perfection stand in the way of putting yourself and/or ideas out into the cyber world. With time, you’ll learn to grow and get better. No one starts out perfect. Make sense? Hope so!
The conference is part vacay (um hi Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel- can you be any prettier!?!) it also serves as an incredible networking opportunity and a place for overall inspiration. I got to hear Rita Wilson speak and perform. Did you know she sings? She’s pretty badass and some how remains humble as can be. It’s always a blast to meet so many mamas who are moving and shaking in this crazy online world. Thanks Mom 2.0 for a great time!
North Carolina! C’mon and raise up. Take your shirt off, twist it ’round yo head. Spin it like a helicopter. Petey Pablo anyone? Ok, I’ll move on. I went to NC last weekend to attend the High Point Market, an industry trade show for all things furniture and design. It’s kinda like fashion week but for interior designers. New collections are being showcased, buyers from around the world fly into to see them and some how little ol me was in the mix of it all this year. Why you ask? Well, I’m co-hosting a brand spanking new show called Design Smackdown with Thom Filicia, who happens to be a BIG DEAL in the design world and a hilarious human. The purpose of my trip was to promote my show and meet my fellow Design Network peeps. It was a blast. Southern hospitality is alive and well in North Carolina my friends. Love it! The trip was a whirlwind of parties, shmoozing and being blown away by all the incredible designers and artists I met. I stayed at the Grandover Resort that was located on a stunning golf course. We had an insane brunch on Sunday that I’m still recovering from. I think I got carried away with the biscuits. Oopsies. I ate most of my meals at either the resort or at Market. One night we had dinner in the Theodore Alexander showroom- that was pretty awesome! It was a bit of a challenge finding vegetarian meals, let alone vegan, but luckily the last day I got the best vegan wrap from Jerusalem Market in Greensboro. The sweetest Palestinian family runs it and they make fresh, flavorful food all day er’y day. If you find yourself in Greensboro- check ’em out. Below is a snapshot of my trip and at the bottom of the post is a sneak peek of my new show. Enjoy!
Watch a preview of Design Smackdown below!
Good things are bound to happen when you combine a Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen with My Dancing Kitchen! Recently my friend Kathy Patalsky came over to share this easy, delicious vegan chocolate pudding recipe. It’s SO SO SO freaking good. My fam and I love this guilt free treat. Kathy is one of the top (if not THE TOP) vegan influencers on the internet and dare I say the WORLD. She has a vegan cookbook with killer recipes and multiple websites about all things vegan. She’s such a pleasure to collaborate with and her dance moves are always on point. Check out all her info below including this fabulous recipe.
Here is the RECIPE:
Double batch Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
4 avocados (medium), peel removed
1 cup maple syrup (add about another 1/3 cup to taste if desired)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (add 1/3 cup more for extra chocolate-y results)
2 Tbsp Virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean pod, scraped) – optional
Salt to taste (1/8 tsp is minimal)
Add avocado and maple and vanilla to blender.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in microwave until silky smooth (heat at 30 second intervals and stir).
Add chocolate mixture to blender.
Blend until silky smooth.
Salt and add additional sweetener to taste.
Serve warm and freshly blended or chilled!
Consume within a few days – slight darkening will occur next day as avocado oxidizes.