Month: December 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Black + White + Blue Skies

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The other day, the sky was so blue and so sharp against the desert landscape that I had to stay out along the rocks a little longer.  And it was a bonus to only have a jacket wrapped around my waist at the end of December instead of needing one to bundle up in.

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This black and white combination has become somewhat of a uniform for me lately.  While black and white have always been two of my favorite colors to wear separately, and monochromatically, I’ve been wearing them together more this winter.  The two never go out of style, pair classically together, and can easily look just as dressed up as they do casual.  Add a cozy sweater and flat riding boots to the mix and chances are this outfit will be staying in my rotation until the spring.

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IMG_2531{FOREVER 21 colorblock sweater, sold out, similar HERE and HERE / 7 FOR ALL MANKIND skinny in black / MACKAGE for ARITZIA kenya jacket / TORY BURCH junction riding boot}

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xo gina

NuMe Style Curling Wand

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If you know me, you probably know that I am the least capable person to style hair.  I don’t own a blow dryer.  And the best I can pull off for my daughter is a simple, messy braid.  You may also know that among the long list of abilities I wish I possessed, this would be somewhere at the top.  So, when I came across a killer deal, right before Christmas, on these curling wands that I have seen and read so much about on social media, I ordered one on the spot.

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I got the 32mm magic wand from NuMe Style, perfect for bigger, looser waves, and can honestly say it is the easiest product to use hands down.  Although I am still getting better results each time I use it, I saw success right off the bat.  In a few minutes, my hair was given the life it was lacking.  It polished and refined my natural waves and gave me added volume all over.  These products are perfect for gift-giving or for yourself, great for holiday parties and events, and for making getting ready so easy.

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These wands normally run anywhere from $139-$149, but click HERE to save or use the coupon code DEC39 now to get any curling wand for only $39.99.

xo gina

Pink + Gray

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There are a few new color combinations that have made their way into my wardrobe rotation lately and one of my favorites has to be the pairing of pink and gray.  The soft hues are pretty neutral, but not as overdone as my typical blacks and whites and light beige.  And the pale pink was a pretty color against the desert, which has been my backdrop as of late as I am spending the holidays with family out west.

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These gray jeans are super soft and amazingly low priced at T.J. Maxx.  And as an added bonus, I love how they match perfectly with my favorite new over-the-knee boots in the same shade.

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Stay tuned for some more of my favorite color combinations of late 😉

IMG_2423{BANANA REPUBLIC mixed-stitch turtleneck sweater / T.J. MAXX jeans, similar HERE / STUART WEITZMAN lowland over the knee boot}

xo gina

Christmas Morning Blueberry Crumb Bars

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Traveling and a serious case of the stomach bug that made its way through our family has delayed this post by a few days, but it’s still a quick and ridiculously delicious recipe to whip up on lazy weekend mornings or other special occasions.  I like to bake for every reason I can find and sometimes for no reason at all, all throughout the year, but even most around the holidays.  This year, the night before Christmas, when everyone went to bed, I stayed up way too late and made a batch of snickerdoodle cookies for Santa, THIS cookie butter cheesecake for Christmas day, and a pan of blueberry crumb bars for Christmas morning.  It had all night to set, which is best for these bars, that if eaten too soon after baking, will be more of a blueberry crumble.  Still just as tasty, but too crumbly to hold the consistency of the bars.  This is a fool-proof, no-mixer-required recipe that is easy to make and perfect for baking ahead of time if you are heading to someone’s home for brunch or spending the holidays with family.  Christmas day can be hectic enough, so it was great that this left us more time to relax and watch the kids open their gifts without having to cook up something for breakfast.  And although it is not overly sweet, it doubles as a favorite dessert.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned whole-rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 light brown sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 12 ounces or 2 cups frozen blueberries (I didn’t thaw them)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or the juice squeezed from one large lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

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Instructions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a square pan (an 8-inch or 9-inch pan will do just fine) with aluminum foil and grease with unsalted butter.
  2.  In a large bowl, melt the butter about 1 minute.  Add the flour, oats, sugars and pinch of salt.  Stir to combine.  Set one generous cup of the mixture aside to be used for the crumb topping.
  3.  Transfer the remaining mixture to the prepared pan and pack it down to create an even, flat crust.
  4.  In the same large bowl that you used for the crust and crumble mixture, add the frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and toss to combine.  Evenly distribute this blueberry mixture over the crust.
  5.  Sprinkle the reserved one generous cup of the crumb mixture over the blueberries, making sure to keep some of the pieces bigger.
  6.  Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the edges are just set and the top is pale golden in color.  Allow the bars to cool for at least 1 hour before serving, or overnight to hold their shape the best.

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Enjoy!

xo gina

Weighing In On The Purium Cleanse

A few weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and tried a cleanse, after years of going back and forth about wanting to try one, but never having had the nerve to bite the bullet.  As a busy mom of two little girls, I’m constantly on the go.  Sometimes going without breakfast or grabbing a quick lunch that’s lacking in nutrients when we’re pressed for time.  My long overdue desire to test out a cleanse was a combination of wanting to get a jump-start on a healthier lifestyle, and needing a relatively quick re-boot.  I went into this not looking to lose any weight.  I went into it looking to find a better, cleaner me on the other side.  A detox.

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I read so much about the first day being the easiest as it’s often the most anticipated and the most exciting, but this one was probably the hardest for me.  Instead, the first day left me wondering if I would make it the whole week that I set as my initial goal.  But it truly got easier to stick with each and every day.  And the routine that turned into regimen spilled over into other facets of my every day life, giving me the energy to focus more clearly on household chores and schedules, and pushed me to keep everything else around me as organized as my diet.  And even though I still continued to complain to my husband for much of the cleanse about the taste of the green drink, the craving I had to devour a whole bowl of ice cream, the moment I eased off of the cleanse, I realized that I only had an appetite for fresh, whole, lean foods, leafy greens and bright-colored veggies.  It took two whole days and nights, which is a big deal for me, to indulge in any dessert.  And I have cut-back on giving in to my sweet tooth even still.  I actually missed those green drinks and not because they tasted like a milkshake, because they didn’t, but I missed the energy they gave me and the fulfillment of knowing they were packed with superfoods that were the absolute best things I could put in my body.  This cleanse is vegan and dairy-free and contains only a handful of ingredients that you can actually pronounce, like wheat grass juice and organic carrot juice and organic raspberry.

While I did go back to my normal schedule eventually, the cleanse has made me be more conscious about what I eat and how often I hydrate my body.  I ended up only losing one pound, which was for me, the goal, but I felt lighter and more toned, more fit overall.  And I have to admit that I have never felt better than that one little week that I went on this cleanse.  I know that it is not completely realistic for me to think I could maintain that each day forever, but I have already planned to do it again right after the holidays and have found ways to incorporate some of the practices of the cleanse into my everyday.

If you are thinking about doing a cleanse for yourself or giving the gift of a cleanse to someone else, contact me via email at gina@pumpkinandrose.com or comment on this post with your email address and I will reach out to you right away!  Join me after the holidays as I complete another round of this feel-good, get-fit cleanse.

xo gina

 

 

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