Category: Books


My cookbook obsession: pure delicious

At my daughters’ pediatric practice, there’s only one doctor who looks at the body holistically. One out of a total of ten doctors and she just happens to be the head of the practice. I’m not trying to pick on them by any means as my girls receive good care there but this narrow view on how to treat the body is my ongoing issue with Western medicine.

For many years, I’ve been trying to incorporate healthier food choices into our lives for various reasons–from my ongoing issues with indigestion, bloating and IBS, to Natalya’s chronic ear infections and eczema, Sasha’s chronic ear and respiratory infections and constipation, and Eric’s chronic sinus infections. While this might seem like a lot for one family, we are hardly unique knowing that nearly one in five households have at least one member who suffers from a food allergy or intolerance.

From age one to almost age two, Sasha was allergic to eggs. During that year of our lives, I was forced to move out of my comfort zone as eggs have always been a daily staple in our lives. Just when I got comfortable and felt like we had a whole new arsenal of options, Sasha outgrew the allergy and decided she wasn’t going to eat anything but eggs, cheese, noodles, bread and tortillas. Hence, her constipation issues that still exist today.

While we’re not completely gluten-free or dairy-free (how can you be with kids who like hot lunch at school and a husband who loves burritos?), we’ve made significant strides in this past year thanks to the incredible amount of resources out there that are making it easier and less time consuming to make healthier choices.

My current obsession is a relatively new cookbook by Heather Christo called “Pure Delicious.” Heather is a mother and a chef who decided to take control of her family’s health by completely revising the way they ate due to chronic illnesses many of which are the same ones I’ve listed above.

I love everything about this cookbook. Everything. The recipes are simple and easy to make and the ingredients needed are minimal which saves us money at the grocery store. Most importantly, I don’t feel like we’re giving up anything–in fact, I think we’ve gained more than we’ve given up in terms of taste.

It’s hard to narrow down my favorite recipes but here are some of our “Pure Delicious” staples:

  • Pumpkin muffins
  • Lemon-artichoke hummus
  • Spicy Thai curry noodle soup
  • Penne with creamy tomato-vodka sauce
  • Grilled skirt steak with chimichurri
  • Chocolate zucchini bundt cake

“Pure Delicious” also has an eight week elimination challenge which I’m hoping to start this January. I don’t know how realistic it will be for Natalya and Sasha to fully participate but I’ll take anything that helps us keep inching toward more consistency when it comes to healthier food choices!

With love, lavender and lipstick,




What’s on my nightstand: You are a badass!

While I love to read, I haven’t had much time to do it during the past eight years. I’m not complaining as I wouldn’t have it any other way, just stating a fact.

When I do find a few minutes at night before my head hits the pillow, you’ll always find me with a self-love book in hand. I prefer not to use the term “self-improvement” as I feel like it has a negative connotation even though it shouldn’t since life is one big playground for us to continuously learn and grow on.

Right now, I have three self-love books sitting on my nightstand:”Carry On Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton, “E3” by Pam Grout, and of course “You are a Badass!” by Jen Sincero. If you know me well, then you know I don’t believe in accidents which is the case with “You Are a Badass.” This badass book could’t have made a more timely entrance into my life.

About a month ago, I started to go down what I refer to as the “rabbit hole,” otherwise known as that dark place when fear overcomes your body. I started second guessing my decision to launch my own business, starting rethinking every option I could pursue, and starting driving everyone crazy around me including myself! Thankfully, my good friend and birthday twin, BethAnn, came to my rescue by encouraging me to run not walk to our local Barnes and Noble.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of self-love looks, I was curious to see if I would learn anything new. Talk about a moment of glass half empty mentality! But the author had me at the introduction with this profound nugget: “You’ll have to believe in things you can’t see as well as things that you have full-on proof are impossible. You’re gonna have to push past your fears, fail over and over again and make a habit of doing things you’re not so comfy doing. You’re going to have to let go of old, limiting beliefs and cling to your decision to create the life you desire like your life depends on it.”

As for learning something new, if you could see my copy right now, you’d probably laugh at how many pages have the corners turned in and/or are highlighted. Yes, it’s that GOOD. Admittedly, there are some insights and advice that I have heard before but I think it’s Jen’s approach and unique point of view that made them hit home a bit different this time around.

I seriously can’t get enough of this book and have a feeling it will be a staple on my nightstand for years to come. Nothing like a little self-love, essential oils, friends and family to get you through the rough patches!

With love, lipstick and lavender,





Starting Your Spiritual Journey

When I meet people who are interested in exploring spirituality, the first question I get asked is “where should I start?”

Over the past 10 years, I’ve come across so many amazing resources it’s hard for me to refrain from spewing out a laundry list of my favorite things. For those of you who know me personally, I could talk about this stuff ALL. DAY. LONG.

While I try to tailor my recommendations based on what little I might know about each individual’s interests and needs, I always find myself coming back to one of the first resources I was turned on to—a book called Spirited by Rebecca Rosen.

Rebecca is a psychic medium who is a modern gal just like me. In the first paragraph of her book, she says: “I’m not your stereotypical woo-woo. No flowing robes, no lingering scent of patchouli. I look and talk just like many of my ‘normal’ clients.” (For the record, I couldn’t stand the smell of patchouli until I started using Young Living. In its purest form, patchouli smells completely different than what you’d find in the products sold at hippie boutiques and is one of the key ingredients in my favorite roller).

While I haven’t had the opportunity to meet or work with Rebecca, I can’t tell you how central this book has been to developing my understanding of spirituality, and learning how to tap into my own intuition. As Rebecca says, “Spirited is all about you learning to find the answers within and around yourself.”

To this day, Spirited still has its place on my nightstand and I recently started re-reading it with two girlfriends who are just starting to dip their toes into the world of spirituality. We’re meeting soon to discuss it, and I can’t wait to report back on their experience!

With love, lipstick and lavender,