Friday Favorites – Summer Essentials


1. Cynthia Cazort Collins Ponchos and Tunics – These babies are absolute perfection for summer time!! Their Turkish Towel seen in above picture is so thick, soft and luxurious it doubles as beach towel and a perfect tunic cover up.

Her black cotton and linen blend poncho is a best seller and my go-to, light weight, cover up that’s way too easy to pack for any and every trip to the beach or the pool. They are available online or at shops like H. Audrey in Nashville, By George in Austin and Pied Nu in New Orleans.  http://cynthiacazortcollins.com/pocket-ponchos/poncho-black 

This poncho was even included in the Billboard Awards swag bags for all female nominees!


2. Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self Tabning Oil in Tahitian Orchid – Current favorite self tanner on the market. It is as natural as a sunless tanner can get formulated without any parabens, sulfates or phalates.  Many thanks to my friend Anna for introducing me to this product! Follow the directions and use the mit for easy application. In addition to Argan oil it contains coconut water and aloe making it moisturizing as becomes the most perfect (i.e. not orange) color! One bottle will last you all season and for $38 it’s about the same price as one spray tan, completely worth it.

http://m.sephora.com/product/P395245


3. Beautycounter Protect Stick SunscreenI’ve talked about this product several times but I can’t get enough of it – truly a necessity in my home. This little stick lives in my purse year round, but gets extra use while the sun is shining. It is a safe, zinc based sunscreen that goes on clear without leaving the usual white, zinc residue. It is great for every member of your family and for face or body. It has an almost sweet smell so kids really love it too. 


http://www.beautycounter.com/carolineclark

4. Krewe du Optic, Franklin Sunglasses – I’m obsessed with this New Orleans based brand of sunnies. Once you’re on the lookout for them you will see them everywhere – Gigi has multiple pairs and dons them often, Selena, Allesandra and Reese are big fans too! I picked up mine from their flagship store on Royal in the French Quarter, but you can grab them from local retailers and their website as well. Besides the Franklin my favorite styles are the St. Louis, Julia and  CL-10.

http://www.kreweduoptic.com/


Spa Day selfie wearing Franklin sunglasses, Cynthia Cazort Collins navy Turkish towel cover up and Beautycounter stick sunscreen.

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Cinco de Mayo!

Is everyone getting as excited about Cinco de Mayo as I am?  Yes, we know that Cinco is barely even celebrated in Mexico, but around here we love any excuse for a good party–especially if that party includes loads of margaritas and guacamole.  Tomorrow you can try to weather the crowds at your favorite taco joint, but why not stay home and make some of our favorite Tex-Mex recipes for your friends?  Amazing taste, leftovers, and no Uber required. Here is a round up of our favorite Mexican posts throughout the last year. ¡Happy Cinco!

1. Classic Margaritas

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Starting off strong with a classic margarita.

2. Spicy Chicken Tacos with Corn and Black Bean Salsa

The corn salsa gives a little freshness and crunch to this spicy chicken taco.

3. Mexican Street Corn Salad

A take on the traditional elote, this corn salad is the perfect side for your Mexican feast.

4. Slow Roasted Pork Tacos with Salsa Verde

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Let the oven and a jar of salsa do all of the work for you–your friends will never know!

 

5. Mahi Tacos with Mango Salsa and Mexican Slaw

The grilled fish along with the sweet slaw gives a little baja flair to this taco.

6. Mexican Chicken Soup

The best take on a comfort food classic. This lightened-up version has lots of fresh lime and cilantro, yum!

7. Healthy Tex-Mex Tostadas with Tomatillo Cilantro Lime Dressing

Loaded up with veggies and a creamy dressing that’s surprisingly healthy, you can get away with eating these tostadas every day of the week.

8. Mexican Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers

Easy weeknight stuffed peppers with a kick from our favorite Mexican seasoning.

9. Creamy Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Green salsa, cream sauce, and tons of melted cheese?  Sign me up!

10. Tacos al Pastor

Pork, pineapple, and spice make these my favorite tacos on the list!

11. Watermelon Agua Fresca and Popsicles

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Bright, refreshing, and the perfect cool end for your fiesta.

Hope everyone has the happiest of Cinco de Mayos! What are your plans for the big day?

 

Four Faves

Spring Sangria – I’m a fan of pretty much all sangria, but there’s something about a fizzy, bright sangria full of fresh fruit that really gets me in the mood for spring!  Here’s our basic recipe:  one bottle of wine, 2 cups fruit, 1/2 cup liquor, 1/2 cup fruit juice, 1 cup mixer, 1/2 cup sweetener (if desired).

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Check out this gorgeous Peach Strawberry Sangria from Bon Appetit


Funky Sunglasses – It’s finally bright outside again!  So it’s time to whip out some funky shades.  I love these cool rounded ones that don’t go full on Lennon. Not to mention they’re the perfect, not scary price point of $50!

Our recipe of Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Energy Bites from last spring. I found myself wanting to make a sweet treat, but also needing a filling snack to get me through afternoon hunger. Instead of making some sort of cookie or relying on excessive little snacks of fruit, chips and candy I decided to make a batch of our energy bites. Boy do these do the trick, they take mere minutes to whip up, require no baking, and they are also a treat without being packed full of processed sugar, gluten or dairy. One batch makes about 15 and they keep easily in Tupperware in the fridge.   

Rounding out our favorites for the week is The Master’s this weekend. Grant and I love watching this quitensential spring golf tournament. This year we are using it as an excuse to have friends over Sunday afternoon to “watch the Master’s and cook out.” Such an easy get together that will inevitably involve lots of time spent on our porch watching the gorgeous greens.. and golfers (kidding!) at Augusta – Hey Jordan! Hi Rory! As well as pimento cheese in some form or fashion, see the pimento cheese recipe from the Junior League of Augusta pictures below.  

   
 

Four Faves

-Buddha Bowls:  These happy bowls full of hearty grains, protein, and veggies are insanely good for you and taste amazing.  I like to make mine with quinoa, lentils, roasted vegetables, and crunchy chickpeas, but they can really be made with anything you have in your fridge.  Recipe to come!

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-DIY Reading Lists:  I am a shameless fan of chick lit.  I mean, who doesn’t love Bridget Jones’s Diary?  But this year, I decided to step up my reading game and create my own reading list.  You can obviously pick any books you like or check out guides like this or this to help you get started with creating a well rounded list.  I’m 3 books in and loving it.

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-Siggi’s Yogurt:  Yummm this yogurt is seriously delicious!  Just a few things about it:  high protein, low sugar, real fruit and sweeteners, and milk that’s only from grass-fed cows.  But most importantly it tastes awesome!

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-Flowering Branches:  Spring is only 10 days away, and I can’t wait!  So to get in the mood a little early, we’re starting to decorate with beautiful flowering branches.  You get big impact from just a few branches, and they give a little twist to a normal bouquet.  Check out forsythia, quince, almond, and cherry blossoms.  Find them at florists, Trader Joe’s, and your neighbors’s yards  😉

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