NYC Eats: The Cookshop

September 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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One of my long time blog dreams has been to share inside peaks of my favorite restaurants in the city. And as made clear by the survey, you’re hankering for more content around what to do and where to eat in New York, too! I’m thrilled to kick off the first of many posts to come that show my go to spots for dinner, grabbing drinks with friends, or enjoying lazy brunches on the weekends. I’ve teamed up with my sweet friend Sas of Sasithon Photography to capture all the beauty of the food and spaces. Her photos are going to blow your mind!

To kick things offwe dropped by The Cookshop last week, one of my absolute favorite spots in all of Manhattan. I’ve eaten there literally more times than I can count and never tire of the food. My love affair with this place becomes pretty clear when you discover that their entire restaurant philosophy is based around bringing honest, seasonal dining to New York City. You know how passionate I am about that! And the thing is, they do it so well. From the food to the cocktails and everything in between,  I always feel like each dish truly honors the ingredients.
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{The Heirloom Tomato Salad w/ Basil, Red Onions, Black Olives, and California Olive Oil}

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I love the way their dishes showcase the beauty of the natural ingredients. Pictured above is the Butterfield Sullivan County Brook Trout with green beans, chiles, scallions, ginger, and balsamic.

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It seems like everyday now there’s a new cocktail bar springing up in the city, but Cookshop consistently wows me with their creations. The bartenders, just like the chef and kitchen staff, are tasked with creating cocktails around what’s in season. Pictured above is the “Bee Sting”- a cocktail composed of Greenhook Gin (made locally in Brooklyn), cayenne honey, lemon, and a spicy raw sugar rim. This was so good!

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{Pictured above- the Berry Mojito and Jersey Peach Margarita}

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Can we talk about this BLT? It is literally the mother of all BLTs. It took every ounce of my self control not to chow down right in the middle of shooting! I love the way the sandwich is served on a rustic wood cutting board.

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The Cookshop is located at 157 10th Avenue, right next to The High Line. I usually end up stuffing myself to the brim, so it’s the perfect time for a leisurely post meal stroll on the High Line, around Chelsea, or along the Hudson River Greenway. If you live in the city or are visiting, this is definitely a not to miss spot for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

All photographs were taken by Sasithon Photography. Sas lives in New York City and travels locally and anywhere worldwide to shoot weddings, travel, lifestyle, and more. Check out more of here amazing work here! I so hope you’ve enjoyed this post, we can wait to show you more delicious-ness!

Girl Crush: Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen

September 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Visiting the blog Lark & Linen is like enjoying a cup of hot tea- warm, inviting, and oh so cozy. I’ve been following Jacquelyn’s beautiful blog for longer than I can remember, but every time I visit I get lost in her beautiful posts- whether it’s a gorgeous interior or delicious dish. So naturally, she had to be our next girl crush! Read on to learn about how she got the fabulous job of heading up Style Me Pretty Living (yep that’s her job!), how she decompresses from a social media fueled work life, the chapstick she can’t live without, and more…

I absolutely love the design and aesthetic of Lark & Linen! Did you design it yourself? When did you start your blog?
Thank you so much! I’ve been blogging for just over three years now (wow, saying that “out loud” is crazy! It feels like I just started). I actually hired graphic designer Aprile Elcich a year and a half ago to come up with the design. I still can’t believe how perfectly she captured the look I was after! She’s the best. Seriously.

What prompted you to get into blogging?
I feel like this is the most obvious answer and we’ve all heard it a hundred and one times, butI started Lark & Linen as a result of feeling under stimulated at work. At the time, I was only two years out of university and I was working for an architect in downtown Toronto. The office culture was amazing, the people I worked with are still some of my closest friends, but the work I was doing really just didn’t inspire me (I was working on government offices for the most part). I craved that creative outlet and instead of whining about it, decided to take matters into my own hands.

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You have the glorious job of working for Style Me Pretty! But before we dive into that- you used to be an interior designer- how did you get into that career?
I’m actually still practicing interior design on the side! I’m only taking on one client at a time due to time constraints (aka a serious lack of said time!), but I feel like it’s necessary for my sanity. I’ve been obsessed with all things design my entire life. I vividly remember getting excited about going to new friends birthday parties so that I could see how their homes were laid out and decorated. I would then race home and re-draw their floor plans (I’m still weirdly obsessed with floor plans). Yeah, I wasn’t the most “normal” seven year old around.

In terms of my career path, I studied Environmental Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. After interning at an architecture firm during my last year of University, I was lucky enough to be offered a full time job upon graduation. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Ok now we can talk about Style Me Pretty- how’d you start working there? What’s your job like?
I can confidently say that I have the best job in the entire world. The hours are long, the pace is ridiculous (we are constantly going a mile a minute), but it’s so rewarding, so creative and I’ve truly never been happier!

In terms of my involvement, I was actually travelling through Ireland last September when I received an email from THE Abby Larson (cue hyperventilation). She informed me of this new undertaking the Style Me Pretty brand was working on, told me she had been reading my blog (even more hyperventilation), thought I’d make a great fit and asked if I would be interested in being a part of it. It was the best blogging moment of my life! The thought of leaving the world of interior design in the traditional sense was slightly terrifying, but I just had a gut feeling that it was an opportunity I needed to take.

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Given you work from home, how how do balance work and personal life?
Honestly? It’s hard. Because my work, my computer and my office are so accessible (ahem, three steps away at all times, thank you condo living!) it’s so easy to work almost constantly. I’ve only been doing this for 10 months so I’m still trying to find that balance. So far I’ve determined that it’s imperative for me to get up, actually get dressed and sit at my desk (no matter HOW tempting it is to get cozy on the couch). Keeping that separation has really helped. In addition, when I am “offline” (i.e.: weekends), I’m learning to become very good at being in the moment and really shutting my work brain up.

Having a job that revolves around blogging and social media can be ever demanding. How do you decompress?
Is it weird that I decompress while working on Lark & Linen? I find it so relaxing! In addition, I don’t put pressure on myself to stay active on social media. You might notice that I go through phases where I tweet ten things and post four instagram photos in one day, and then you might not hear from me for a while. It’s easy to get sucked in and feel as if you need to be making your mark at every minute of every day, but I’d much rather post when I really have something to share. It feels more authentic and people typically respond better that way anyhow. Win-win!

What’s your daily routine like?
For the most part, I typically wake up around 7:45 and make myself a cup of tea before getting dressed. I’ll then log on around 8:30, check on my Lark & Linen post that had gone up earlier, and catch up on my favorite morning reads. From 9:00-1:00 I’m writing posts, responding to questions, setting up photo shoots, handling all things social media for SMP Living and any other multitude of different activities. I try to take a half an hour lunch most days (where I maybe kind of sort of watch the last half of The Young & the Restless – hello guilty pleasure!) before getting back to it. If I’m feeling stir crazy, I often head out to the coffee shop around the corner from me for the afternoon. It’s then much of the same thing, rinse, lather, repeat until 6:30-7:00 each evening! At that point, my boyfriend and I usually make dinner together and catch up on one of our shows (right now we’re completely obsessed with Orange is the New Black). I’ll then finish up my own post for Lark & Linen and work on anything outstanding I have to do for my freelance design job. I try to instill a “no electronics after 11:00 pm” rule but that doesn’t always work out. And I try to be fast asleep by midnight. This whole blogging thing isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem – ha!

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Three products you can’t live without: My computer, loose leaf tea and palmers cocoa butter swivel stick chapstick (obsessed!)

Something about you most people wouldn’t realize or know: I like to pride myself on my advice giving abilities! I seem to be my friends go-to for any life help and I love it. I’m good at doling it out, not so great at taking it myself though, I must admit.

 The thing you’re most looking forward to this fall: Ugh am I totally annoying if I say cozy scarves and knee-high boots? I know. I want to roll my eyes at myself. But they make me happy!

Thank you Jacquelyn! I loved learning more about you. Be sure to add Lark & Linen to your must read blog list- stat!

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All photos courtesy of Lark & Linen.

Dressed to Entertain: Farm to Table Dinner

September 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

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After five years of living in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country, the farm-to-table movement has become near and dear to my heart (like it has to Clara). We’re lucky enough that almost every restaurant in our city celebrates local ingredients, even prominently displaying a list of the farmers they work with–which is part of why Madison was recently touted as a top “foodie paradise.” And we’ve made a trip to the farmers’ market our Saturday routine for several years now, loading up on fresh produce, organic meat and eggs, locally-made jams and bread, and cheese (of course)!

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This time of year is the very best–the market is ripe with an amazing array that still includes summer favorites like heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn and peaches, but also now boasts fall crops like squashes, cauliflower and apples. It’s the time of year whenwe come home with our bags filled to the brim…

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To me there’s no better way to celebrate the start of fall and a bountiful season than with a farm-to-table meal, featuring local-only ingredients, a simple table setting, and great friends gathered round.

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To fit the relaxed vibe after a morning at the market and an afternoon in the kitchen, my look is a compilation of simple, pared-down favorites. Navy is my favorite color, and one I often like to wear full-on–in this case in the form of a crepe tank and dark denim, paired with a hint of brass and a fun kilim slipper (just brought these back from our trip to Turkey!) for a little global flair.

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How are you guys celebrating the fall season?

GET THE LOOK: J.Crew tank | J.Crew jeans | Kilim Arts slippers (similar) | H&M horn necklace (similar)

Results from the Survey & Your FAQs

September 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Good morning! How was your weekend? It felt glorious to get out of the city and do something good. As I mentioned last week I volunteered to assist with Farm Aid‘s annual event, a benefit concert that works to support small family farms through funding and really more so educating the public on why we need these farms that grow quality food in a sustainable fashion. These are the farmers taking care of our land through farming, not flooding it with chemicals. If you know me, you know this is something that is near and dear to my heart and why I take shopping at the farmer’s market so seriously. These farmers are facing all sorts of political and economic pressures, and it felt good to do something truly active to support this cause. Plus it didn’t hurt getting to see Dave Matthews perform. Swoon!

Now, the blog. First off, you are awesome. The feedback I received from the survey was incredible. And the cool thing? We are all on the same page! You want food, you want the dets on where to eat and what to do in NYC, you want to know how I started my business (from soup to nuts), and you want more on blogging- how I grew this blog and what I recommend to newbie bloggers. I have covered some of these topics before, especially the latter two (here here), but I’ll be getting back into them. On the food, I hear you on the recipes! And especially those of you who want more full meals. I’m working to get as many to you as possible. In order to do that, food will likely switch to the middle of the week. Monday was proving to be a bit of a challenge for me, so look out for food posts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the next few weeks.

Beyond that, it’s clear you have some general questions about my life- everything from my daily routine, to how I stay in shape and handle my taxes. It became clear as day that I need an FAQ section! So grab your coffee and cozy up, I’ve answered the most asked questions below,and will also be storing those answers up in the sidebar. I will be diving into most of these further over the next few weeks/months. If you have one you really want to hear about or other general qs- let me know in the comments!

Where should I eat and what should I do in Manhattan and Brooklyn? I created a Williamsburg food guide that shared 10 of my favorite spots to eat in my neighborhood. The second portion of that guide will be coming out at the end of September. In early October I’ll start sharing behind the scenes profiles of my favorite spots in the city (in Brooklyn and beyond). In terms of what to do, look out for posts like this and follow along on instagram! I’m always sharing where I’m eating and what I’m doing in the city there.

How do you stay in shape?  While extremely flattered by this question, know that I don’t have one fix all solution and often ask friends or bloggers I follow the same question. For me I’ve found eating a primarily clean diet (i.e. very little to zero processed foods) with a limited amount of meat, and exercising 3-4 times per week with a focus on strength training are what work for me. Some weeks I don’t make it to the gym at all, and some weeks I eat horribly. This often leaves me feeling pretty crappy and motivates me to get back on the wagon. On a daily basis, I try to eat as many vegetables, drink a ton of water, and limit my sugar intake (something I just started doing thanks to the suggestion of a friend and it’s making me feel insanely good).

How did you grow your blog? What are your best tips for new bloggers? Big picture, it’s been a focus on creating truly original content (posts like this), consistently maintaining that level and quality of content (which has lead to some super helpful press), and networking with other bloggers. More tips can be found here and each subsequent post I write about this will be linked to on the FAQ page.

How do you balance work and life? I try to maintain pretty strict hours in front of the computer (8 am to 6:30/7 or so), make time for exercise, enjoy an iPhone free home cooked meal with my boyfriend every night, and take at least one day on the weekend where we get away from our computers and explore a new part of the city.

What do you do outside of blogging and cooking? I love working out and try to make that a priority. I love listening to podcasts or cozying up on the couch for my favorite shows (Breaking Bad, Scandal, Homeland, The Newsroom, Nashville, and Glee), and I usually have a book on my Kindle (currently reading this) and a stack of magazines to get through. Other than that, I love exploring the city and living life like a tourist on the weekends!

How did you start your business and grow it over time? Big picture- network, network, network. This post shares my career history and how I got to where I am today, and this post and this post go into more detail on networking. I’ll be revisiting this topic in the fall of 2013.

How do you handle taxes, health insurance, etc? Look out for a post on this in October 2013!

What’s your daily routine like? I wake up around 7:30 and get to work around 8 am. Some days I’m at home all day, working on client projects until about 6:30/7 pm. Other days I’m running around the city to meetings and sneaking into coffee shops with internet to stay on top of email when I can. I’ll workout in the late mornings or over lunch on the days I’m home all day, and in the evenings on the days I’m out and about. I start dinner around 7:30, eat around 8 pm, do a little more blog work after dinner, and try to relax with TV or a book before bed. By 11 pm, I’m completely beat and crawling into bed!

How do you make ends meet living in an expensive city and working for yourself? There’s sort of no one way to answer this, but for me it was about figuring out how much money I needed to live the kind of life I wanted and then working furiously to achieve that number, being extremely intentional about my purchases (I don’t shop a ton and only buy things I truly need and love, and will use for a long time), and removing excess from my life- which means spending on the things that really matter to me. I’ll shell out $37.00 for a Soul Cycle class because it’s worth it to me, but I rarely eat lunch out and we don’t have cable. It’s all about balance. In addition, before I ventured out on my own I made sure I had enough savings built up to support myself for several months in case I struggled to find work.

How did you learn to photograph food? Can you do more photography posts? Largely trial and error, and some Photoshop tricks. I also highly recommend this book. I’d love to do more posts, but at this time I don’t really feel comfortable speaking at length on the subject since I’ve simply learned by doing. There are other amazing tutorials online- definitely check those out!

Will you share more ethnic food recipes? This blog is meant to be a reflection of what I’m actually making in the kitchen, hence my style of cooking. While I love ethnic food, I prefer to eat it out and don’t make it at home too often. I may venture more into this category in the coming months, but if I do, the recipes will be pretty basic.

That’s about it! Like I said, more details to come on all of the above- and be sure to let me know if you have any more specific questions about my life, work, etc. Would be thrilled to answer them.

Image by Emily Anderson for Apartment 34

Life Lately | September 20th |

September 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Yesterday a friend sent me a short but really sweet email to applaud me for all that I’d accomplished in the last two years. It was completely unexpected, but (of course) really made my day. All too often I focus solely on the future- on ways I can grow or be better. I rarely step back to take in how far I’ve come or even allow myself to feel good about what I’ve done. We don’t do this enough for ourselves! That email set the tone for my entire day, and it probably took my friend less than five minutes to write.

It’s kind of  ironic because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationships and friendships in my life- which ones are most important and where I should be investing my time. And also how the smallest of gestures can really make a world of difference. I’m always the first to say… I don’t have time! I’m too busy! But I’ve found making the time to write a thoughtful comment on a blog I admire, send a handwritten note, or take an hour out of my day to catch up with a friend over the phone makes me personally feel so much better (and actually better at my job).  It’s totally worth the time away from my desk. I sent six handwritten notes this week and it felt amazing! Plus sitting on my living room rug surrounded by pretty stationary is kind of the best way to unwind after a long day at the computer. Know what I mean?

I’m off to Saratoga for the weekend to assist with the annual Farm Aid concert (hello John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews Band!)- you can follow along on instagram as I chronicle my travels. I’ll see you back here on Monday for some state of the blog talk and changes thanks to the feedback on the survey. You still have until this Sunday to fill it out, so if you haven’t already done so- you can do so right here. Remember, all constructive criticism welcome!

Here are a few fun links… have a great weekend! xx

Image by Mike Gilger for Raleigh Simple Evening, found via wit+delight

 

Behind the Scenes with One Love Organics

September 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

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At the beginning of August I posed a few questions to you- one of which was about organic beauty products. I was ready to make the switch for my skincare regime, and wasn’t really sure where to start. After a resounding “One Love! One Love! One Love!” I decided to give their line a try. That’s really where my love affair started. After ordering a few samples of their products I was completely hooked. I now look forward to my morning and evening skincare routines (and actually feel like I’m doing something good for my face). Their cleanser is the most gentle face wash I’ve ever experienced, they’ve helped me discover the magic that is skin serums, and their waterless beauty balm has blown my mind- a product that can clean and moisturize your face ?!? Amazing.

I was so in love with their products, I had to learn more. Where did this all begin? How do you make natural beauty products? And why does a beauty balm not make my oily skin break out? Nosy me, I reached out to OLO founder, Suzanne Leroux, with a few questions that she happily agreed to answer. Discover how she transitioned from law to beauty, the secret to why OLO’s coconut oil based beauty balm actually clears your skin, the story behind her husband’s equation for a better life (“consume less + spend less = freedom”) and more after the jump!

Where does your passion for beauty come from?

I have always loved beauty products-it was always my first choice for a treat. I absolutely love the textures, scents, packaging and the way I feel after treating myself to a beauty treatment or new product. Over time, I found that I wanted to learn more about ingredients and how to make these products with the highest grade and healthiest ingredients available. In fact, the day my husband called for our first date was the same day my first set of essential oils for a course in aromatherapy arrived. Over the next eleven years, I studied aromatherapy, herbology, holistic skin care and created natural beauty products. It became so consuming that my husband suggested I pursue my passion full time.

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You transitioned from law to entrepreneurship in the beauty industry. What was that transition like? How did you make the entrepreneurial jump?

I did what was expected of me throughout college and law school. After I passed the bar, I allowed myself to indulge in my real passion-creating beauty products. I loved mixing concoctions and learning chemistry and alchemy along the way. After my two children were born, I really allowed myself to explore my creativity and to try new things. The transition was easy for me. My parents ran multiple businesses and I have been exposed at an early age to the highs and lows of business ownership. My husband (an attorney) joined One Love Organics this past spring and we both are excited to pursue opportunities outside of the practice of law. I am however truly thankful that I have legal experience as we encounter legal issues on a weekly basis.

Where does the name “One Love” come from and what lead you to specifically want to develop an organic, all natural, beauty line?

I created One Love Organics to offer a simpler approach to beauty. After the birth of my two sons, I felt an overwhelming need to simplify everything, including my beauty routine. I wanted to get back to the essentials. For me, the essentials needed to be effective, pure, safe for my whole family, of the highest quality and serve multiple purposes to earn a spot on my bathroom counter. For example, I dreamed of a cleanser that was great for my face that I could also use in the tub with my babies. I imagined a moisturizer that worked not only for me, but also my husband and my boys. As I studied formulation and ingredients, I learned that pure plant oils, rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, are vital to well being, health and beauty and are perfect for all skin types. So I based my formulas on pure plant oils and that is how we came up with the name One Love Organics. Our products are inclusive-everyone can use them.

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As someone with naturally oily skin, I never in a million years thought a beauty balm would actually help clear my skin. How did you come up with this product?

I absolutely have oily, acne prone and very temperamental skin. I also live in a very humid environment (we are on a barrier island, St. Simons Island, off the coast of Georgia) and my skin was always quite irritable. During my studies, I learned something that was quite groundbreaking for me: water-based products, like lotions, creams and moisturizers, by necessity contain emulsifiers. Cosmetic emulsifiers are usually (soap-based) surfactants. When used in cleansing gel or shampoo, emulsifiers do not pose much of a problem because they are washed off during use. However, when moisturizing is the goal, water-based/emulsion preparations tend to interfere with the natural restorative function of the skin. The water-based ingredients in the product evaporate, while the oil-based ingredients are absorbed, leaving the emulsifiers on the skin’s surface. These alkaline, soap-like substances then combine with the lipid content of the skin, removing precious oils the next time we wash, as well as disturbing the natural pH balance of the skin, leaving it more susceptible to microbial growth.

Once I learned this, I knew I needed to find a different way to moisturize. I studied plant oils in depth and learned that they deeply nourish, strengthen and balance all skin types. Plant oils are the best choice for oily and acne prone skin. The strong bactericidal properties of lauric acid, a nutrient found in virgin organic coconut oil (the base of our Skin Savior Waterless Multi-balm), helps to create an antiseptic layer on the skin that discourages the growth of acne. The most basic cause of acne is excess sebum coupled with the presence of bacteria. Coconut oil discourages overproduction of sebum by providing natural moisture to the skin, while the high lauric acid content helps to fight surface bacteria. The U.S. National Library of Medicine actually highlighted lauric acid, which is found in coconut oil, as a potential alternative treatment to replace antibiotic therapies used to treat acne. I have seen the biggest improvement in my fussy, breakout-prone skin since I eliminated water-based products that contain preservatives, fragrances and emulsifiers.

One Love is a family business! And you have two kids. How do you balance your work and your family?

It definitely has roots as a family business! When I started working on formulations, my children were babies. My husband worked 12 hour days so most of my initial feedback and help came from my two sons. I would hold up my hands to test scents and they would smile or wriggle their nose. I got a lot more nose wriggles than smiles in the beginning. Their favorites are Skin Savior Balm and Easy Does It Cleanser. It is not always easy balancing a start-up with a family. I will admit that we eat yogurt and fruit on many nights. It doesn’t all get done but I try to focus on important things like giving them my undivided attention so we read, play, listen to music and have long tuck-ins in the evening.

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One Love’s got its mainstay products, but you also just recently came out with a line in partnership with Elizabeth Dehn of Beauty Bets. How do you grow the business while continuing to stay on brand?

We are absolutely passionate about making products. That is the basis of our business and it is what makes us unique. Most companies hire a third party manufacturer but we wanted to be intimately involved with the process, ingredients and the final outcome. So we put a lot of time, effort and resources into building a great facility where we craft each piece we sell on St. Simons Island, Georgia and we love it. I think it is a natural extension for us to team up with experts to create the most exciting, highest quality products on the market. Working with Elizabeth has been really good for the business and our customers so we think this is a natural way to grow our brand and our operations as skincare artisans-which is our true passion and the heart of what we do. Look out for more exciting things to come!

I love your husband’s equation for a better life:  “consume less + spend less = freedom” Is there a story behind that?

Yes! My husband and I practiced law together for 5 years before we had children. When we had children, we did it like we do everything-with gusto! Suddenly we had a busy law practice and two babies. We were completely overwhelmed and wanted to find our “key” to life. We read The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs and it was very inspirational for us. The book shares the principles and joys of living mindfully. Janet gave up a law career to simplify her life. We learned that living simply is not about being frugal, living on a tight budget, a minimalist aesthetic or denying pleasure. Rather, living simply is about being fully aware of the choices you make and the life you live and seeing the relationship between the two. So there is less. Less clutter. Less debt. Less stress. But also more. More joy. More freedom. More of the things that really matter. It became the basis of our line, which we were working on while reading this book and experiencing a transformation in our thoughts. Chase absolutely wanted to offer a solution rather than what he calls “smoke and mirrors”. We created One Love Organics to offer a simpler approach to beauty. We focus on a few supreme products, not up-selling a medicine cabinet full of mysterious jars. Women have really responded to and appreciate our honesty. Favorite quote from Janet: “Simple living is about living deliberately. That’s all.”
- Janet Luhrs

Thank you so much, Suzanne! All images courtesy of One Love Organics. Please note, this is NOT a sponsored post- I simply love the brand.

Fresh Corn & Bacon Hash Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crema

September 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

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People often ask me how I make time to cook during the week and it really comes down to three things- having a handful of easy recipes in my arsenal, counting a huge hearty salad as a dinner about once or twice a week, and doing some weekend prep. Nine times out of ten on Sunday nights I’m prepping a dish that will serve as multiple meals or has components that can be repurposed into other dishes across the week. That is these stuffed sweet potatoes in a nutshell. I prepped the hash on Sunday, let it cool, and threw it in the fridge. Last  night we the sweet potatoes pictured above (I just reheated the hash right before I served it), and I’m planning to serve the rest of the hash under some poached eggs or over some quinoa later this week. You could even make it the basis of a big Southwestern inspired salad-just add romaine, avocado, black beans, diced tomato, and whatever else you like! See where I’m going with this? That’s my secret to weeknight meal planning. And in terms of the dishes as of late, I’m using as much fresh corn as possible- it’s literally like candy this time of year. In fact, prepare to see another easy weeknight dish featuring corn coming your way soon!

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Fresh Corn and Bacon Hash Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crema
serve 4

  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 2 ears fresh corn, corn cut from cob
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into a small dice
  • 1 jalapeño (seeds and ribbing removed), minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp (heaping) cumin
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1/2 a small lime
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped green onions and fresh cilantro for serving

Preheat your oven to 400°. Once heated, add in the potatoes and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until you can press a paring knife very easily into the center of the potato.

Place the bacon in a large frying pan. Set to medium low heat and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Increase the heat to medium, add in the jalapeño and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes until soft. At this point if the pan feels a little dry, add a splash of olive oil. Next, mix in the corn, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Stir to combine. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until flavors meld.

Make the crema: Mix together the sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.

One the potatoes are cooked, let cool until easy to handle. Place them on a large platter and split down the center. Break up the potato on the interior a bit. Generously fill potatoes with hash. Top with green onions, cilantro, and crema. Serve immediately.