S.W. Basics

S.W. Basics

You know I love a good ‘night time facial routine’ and sometimes it doesn’t have to be expensive. I actually have a six-step routine.

I know, I know, who has time for that?

Definitely not a full time working Mom in the midst of signing her four-year-old up for Kindergarten, meeting with schools, taking him to Gymnastics, Swimming, and JuJitsu, maintaining a household… Oh wait, that’s me! AND I totally have time.

I look at different factors when searching for skin care products including the ingredients (obviously) and I want them to be vegan or cruelty-free.

I am in love with great products that actually work.

I use Arbonne products for most of my routine (that’s for another post) but I just found this A-MAZING brand at – you guessed it – CVS!

I use a toner that is apple cider vinegar based and an oil serum made from coffee beans. In the morning I use a Rosewater spritz toner to change it up a little and really start my morning with something sweet.

What I love most about this brand is that its ingredients are organic and clearly written on the label.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 9.51.59 PM

Ingredients of the Oil Serum:

  • Organic Avocado
  • Organic Geranium Oil
  • Organic Tumeric Oil
  • Organic Coffee Bean Oil

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 9.52.32 PM

Ingredients Rose Water Toner:

  • Organic Rosewater

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 9.54.00 PM

Ingredients Toner (Apple Cider):

  • Water
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Organic witch hazel
  • Organic clay and sage & sandalwood oils

[NYE] Easy as 1-2-3

[NYE] Easy as 1-2-3

Every year we have a party for New Year’s Eve. I love NYE! In fact, anytime I can celebrate the ‘New Year’ I do. From Jewish New Year [Rosh Hashana], my birthday [my own personal ‘new year], and actual New Year, I consider them all a time where I can reflect on what I’ve accomplished, what I want to change, and be thankful for everything I have.

We ‘do’ the New Year thing much differently than others. There are no reservations, there is no dressing up, and there is definitely no driving allowed. We host a NYE Party called “Pajama’s and Pearls” every year. Essentially it’s a pajama party but fancy; Men wear bow ties or ties and ladies wear pearls or some sort of fancy necklace with their most comfortable jam jams.

We eat… a lot, drink and lounge around. Kids are welcome, and the slumber party is awesome.

Over the years, our friends and our neighbors have all wandered over to our place to ring in the New Year. It’s a blast!

So to help ring in your New Year, here are [3] party essentials that are a MUST.

Cranberry Orange Champagne



  • Champagne
  • Orange Juice
  • Cranberries
  • Cuties


  1. Use a food processor or blender to puree cranberries
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Cranberry to a champagne flute
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of Orange Juice
  4. Fill with champagne
  5. Garnish with Orange peel and whole cranberries


Slow Cooked Chili

Screen Shot 2017-12-30 at 10.09.17 PM.png


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes 
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Serve topped with:

  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onions, cilantro, roasted peppers, or hot sauce


  1. Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add onion and saute. Add garlic and onions.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Pour into the slow cooker.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, 1/2 cup water or beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.


Chocolate Covered Energy Balls



  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 table spoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon soy butter
  • 2 bags enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coconut


  1. Rinse and melt coconut butter with sugar in a rice cooker. Cook quinoa according to the directions. [1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water].
  2. Once cooked, add soy butter and quinoa to a bowl. Mix with a spatula until all soy butter is melted.
  3. Add cranberries and finely chopped coconut and mix together.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before making them into small balls.
  5. Melt 2 bags of chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a boiling pot and add quinoa balls to the melted chocolate.
  6. Freeze balls for an hour before serving.

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon buns have always been something I thought I could never concur. I was extremely intimidated by the ingredients and the process, then having the thought of making them allergy free was even scarier!

After searching and discovering tons of recipes to alter, I found one by “the minimalist baker” that I really liked. I altered the recipe to be nut free since the recipe calls for almond flour and almond milk.

After going through the process and coming out with amazing cinnamon buns, I am shocked with my result and I am literally so proud of Dyl and me!

So behold the recipe of recipes! Gluten-free, Vegan and nut free!!!

Let’s do this.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset



  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or other dairy-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp Fleischmann’s active dry


  • 2 1/4 cup Gluten free flour blend
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 Tbsp (scoopable, not melted) coconut oil


  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil or vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

FROSTING optional

  • Simple Powdered Sugar
  • Coconut Milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and use coconut oil or vegan butter to very lightly coat a pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut milk in the microwave or on the stovetop to the temperature of warm bath water – Be careful not to exceed that temperature or it can kill the yeast.
  3. To the coconut milk, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter and stir melt. Then add yeast and sugar. Stir briefly to mix. Then set aside (uncovered) to proof for 10 minutes or until it appears puffy on the surface (this indicates that the yeast is activating. If it hasn’t activated at this point, either your yeast was expired or the liquid was too hot or not hot enough).
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour blend (including xanthan gum), baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt until well combined.
  5. Add scoopable (not melted) coconut oil or vegan butter and use a fork to mix or “cut” into the dry mixture. It should resemble the texture of wet sand.
  6. To the dry ingredients, add the coconut milk-yeast mixture and stir. It should form a dough that resembles cookie dough. Set aside.Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
  7. Get a large cutting board and cover the surface with plastic wrap (secure the plastic wrap around the edges so it stays in place). Then dust generously with gluten-free flour.
  8. Place the dough in the center of the cutting board and sprinkle with more gluten-free flour. Then top with another sheet of plastic wrap and tuck down around the edges of the cutting board (so it stays in place).
  9. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large, thin rectangle. The dough should be about 1/8th-inch thick.Processed with VSCO with s2 preset
  10. Carefully remove the top layer of plastic wrap and brush with 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil or vegan butter. Then sprinkle with organic cane sugar and cinnamon. Then untuck the bottom layer of plastic wrap from the cutting board and use it to tightly roll the dough lengthwise into a cylinder.
  11. Use a serrated knife to cut into 8 even pieces. Then carefully transfer to the prepared pie dish or cake pan. (It won’t fill the whole plate yet!)
  12. Cover with plastic wrap a towel, set on top of the warm oven, and let rise for 15-30 minutes or until the rolls have risen slightly and are almost touching – they won’t get as voluminous as gluten-containing rolls, but they will expand a bit.
  13. Place rolls in prepared dish on the center rack of your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and the rolls have risen/expanded quite a bit.
  14. While the rolls bake, you can prepare a frosting/glaze (optional).Processed with VSCO with s1 preset

The Perfect Holiday Stock

The Perfect Holiday Stock

So, not all of these can fit in stockings but I love the concept of these small gift giving ideas. Here are my top [5] five ideas for easy stocking stuffers, neighbor gifts, teacher gifts or anything else you can come up with. Basically, it’s another awesome way for you to spend money! You know I love spending money.

First on the list is LipStick. This is not just any lipstick, this is LipSense… it’s vegan and it stays on all day. I am now addicted. To start your collection with [1] Color, [1] Gloss, and [1] Oops Remover, is $55. After that, you’re all set, each color is $25 and Gloss is $20.IMG_3752.jpg

Next up we have these fun cups from thelovebombco . They have tons of options but the basic concept is that they drop LOVE Bombs all over the world with fun quotes on cups, totes etc. My fav is the coffee cup that says “Coffee so I can Mom Hard” – it’s basically the quote of my life.

As stocking stuffers go, this is a good one. A MommyBlogger friend of mine makes these amazing roller oil blends that are amazing for tons of things like sleep, feeling under the weather etc. You’ve got to stop by her blog The Modern Mamahood to grab some.


My favorite stocking stuffer this year and a gift I gave one of my coworkers is from ‘No Nuts Beauty‘. The concept of this brand is not just ‘no nuts’ but it’s actually top 8 allergens free – Perfect for my fam. This amazing allergy Momma makes products that are safe for our kiddos with allergies and I am so glad I bought extra products because I love using it for myself. You have to stop by her site to get some for yourself.


Last up are these beautiful succulents that FennyFlowers makes in North Tustin. I’m addicted to these beautiful displays and have started my own little collection. I bought these succulents for all of my neighbors this year and one special one for my momma. Check out her Instagram page ‘fennysflowers’.


#MCM – Elena Piercey

#MCM – Elena Piercey

I walked up to a 13-year-old girl at school one day and questioned her about her boyfriend’s validity in a relationship I knew nothing about. I knew he wasn’t a great guy and I felt compelled to tell her at that moment. This girl immediately looked at me sideways wondering to herself “and who are you?” – After a series of really funny events like asking for her phone number and just assuming we were friends immediately and singing show tunes over the phone to her from New York City, she began to kind of like me.

In high school, having a best friend is pretty awesome. Elena was the person I could count on for everything. We fought like sisters, were complete opposite personalities in EVERY way, and were inseparable.

Elena grew up having a Peanut and Tree Nut allergy, in addition to having asthma. From the time I was 13 I was extremely aware of how life threatening these things were but never understood how difficult it must have been in the era in which we grew up in. My son is so lucky that there is more awareness around this subject, an opportunity that was never afforded to Elena.

We joke now that I had her child and she had mine. Her daughter Eloise (one of two) should be my little one. She’s tall, thin, precocious, into really girly clothes and has a personality for days. My son, loves skateboards, the beach, swimming, playing outside and has food allergies.

Thankfully going into our allergy situation, I knew what we were in for. I was always sensitive to it, always had awareness, and had a clear understanding of the difficulty surrounding the allergy subject.

I call Elena for everything allergy related. She is my allergy guru (among other things). Elena is also the daughter of an amazing Spanish Chef so she can cook her ass off.

For this #MCM Elena is sharing one of her favorite recipes. Sheryl’s Famous Apple Pie (her late mother-in-law). She’s converted the recipe to an #allergyfree option (based on Dylan’s Allergies) – The only substitution that’s been made is the flour (everything else was already allergy free)

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Apple Pie Mix:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbls Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Fresh Lemon
  • 6-8 apples pared, cored & sliced (6 cups)

Combined the first three ingredients and set aside. Cut apples thinly and squeeze lemon on top of them. Place apples on your pie plate and sprinkle the set-aside dry ingredients all over the apples. Get the mixture in between the apples.


Crumb topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Butter Alternative

Combined all ingredients with your hands to make the texture crumbles. Spoon all the crumble on top of your pies.


Place in your over at 400 for 70minutes.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

**Note: I used premade gluten free pie crust for the bottom of the pie as an addition. (Wholly Wholesome Brand)

[8] Crazy Nights

[8] Crazy Nights

The Holiday’s are my favorite time of year. I’m Jewish. I grew up going to temple for Shabbat, Religious School on Sunday mornings, I was Bat Mitzvahed at 12 and had a beautiful wedding under the most beautiful Chuppah.

Growing up, the first night of Chanukah was the most special night for my family. We always had the ‘big gift’ on night one. We also randomly celebrated Christmas, but that’s for another post (coming soon!)

Now that I have a little one, I realize that I truly want to have all 8 Crazy Night’s of Chanukah, not just night one; but don’t fret, our night one will still be the ‘big gift’ night.

Most Jewish food is centered around allergens. Keeping Kosher for many Jews could prove to add another set of challenges for allergy free kids. Dairy, gluten, and egg wash are all parts of the eight crazy nights of Chanukah. (and many other Jewish events)

Latkas are the center of Chanukah’s food selection. Latkes of Potato Pancakes are shallow fried ‘pancakes’ made from ground potato, flour, and egg. They are often topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from sour cream, cottage cheese, and applesauce.

Here is a recipe you’ll love for latkas no one would suspect are allergy friendly. Just a few quick ingredients, about 15 minutes of time, and you’re done.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 1.35.25 PM


  • Potatoes
  • Egg Replacer (for 3 Eggs)
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Vegan Butter (cold – so you can use as a binder)
  •  4 Scallop Onions
  • Canola Oil


I’ve chosen golden potatoes for this recipe but you can use anything you’d like. You can even buy store bought frozen hash browns if peeling potatoes isn’t your jam. The frozen hash brown brand I like is ‘Alexia’. (Shop Here)

Make sure that you drain your potatoes of moisture so that they aren’t soggy. The dryer the better. I peel mine into the sink and then squeeze the moisture out every 5 minutes with a paper towel.

Mix your ingredients together in a bowl (leave some green onions out so you can garnish) – use the butter as a bonding agent (note* yes it will melt but it will get your latkas from the bowl to the pan)

Form you potato latkas into flat pancakes and fry in your choice of oil. I like canola oil because it can get very HOT.

Add more garlic salt/pepper on the top of your latkas as they fry. Flip after a few minutes (roughly 5 minutes on each side)

Serve warm!



Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

It’s about to be Thanksgiving and everyone is scrambling! Well, never fear – this recipe is easy as pie. Ha!

Pumpkin is basically a signature this time of year. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread, and of course pumpkin pie.

Let’s do this –

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset



  • 6 Tbsp cold vegan butter
  • 1 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp ice cold water
  • 2 3/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
 Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
  • To prepare crust, add flour and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Slice the cold butter in and work gently with your fingers.
  • Add ice cold water a little at a time and mix. Only add as much water as needed
  • Once a loose dough is formed, wrap and cover in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes.
  • Once your dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare pie filling
  • Add all pie ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • To roll out the crust, unwrap the plastic and use wax paper on both sides of the dough. and place it between two sizable layers of wax paper (plastic wrap will work OK, but is a little more difficult to work with). Use a rolling pin to gently roll it into the shape of your pie pan. If it cracks, don’t stress, you can reform once you get it in the pan
  • Gently use your hands to form it into the pan, working the crust up along the sides.
  • Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 55-65 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.

**You can also buy Gluten Free premade crust that tastes amazing and follows the steps for the filling. This makes things even easier! I like Wholly Wholesome the best – tastes perfect!