Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

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Hello friends!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Super-Bowl weekend filled with all of your favorite yummy foods– I know we did for sure.  That’s why I was so glad to get my butt to the grocery store today to buy all the healthy foods I could find. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one that will cure your sweet tooth, and you don’t have to be guilty about it!  I have tried sooo many “healthy” cookie recipes, and this by far is the best I have tasted.  My friends have made theses cookies and love them too!

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The recipe came from Emily Didonato, and I’ll link her video here.  She is such an adorable person to follow, so if you’ve never checked out her youtube channel, I recommend that you do!

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Anyways, here is the wonderful recipe 🙂

  •  1 cup all natural creamy almond butter
  •  1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  •  1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  •  1 egg
  •  1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp sea salt     ( this is super important IMO, do not skip!)
  •  1 bar of dark chocolate chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together in a mixing bowl. No need to refrigerate, I scooped the batter right onto the cookie sheet (My cookies were larger, and it made about 10).  Cook for 10 minutes! Enjoy!

 

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I hope that y’all enjoy this recipe.  Let me know if you are interested in other healthy recipes that I use every day, and also if you try this one! I’d love to hear from you.  Cheers y’all. 🙂

 -Olivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Counter–My Honest Opinion

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Hello there! My first beauty product review coming rightttt up. Many of you have heard of Beauty Counter, and some of you haven’t! Basically, it is a nontoxic skincare/makeup brand that holds themselves to the highest standard with their ingredients.  They even use nontoxic packaging to prevent harmful leaching into their products, pretty awesome! I love brands that truly care about the health of our skin, and don’t just market terms like “glowy” and “healthy-looking,” without having the ingredients to back that up.

I learned about Beauty Counter through a good friend of mine who recently became a consultant.   She educated me a little bit about the lack of regulation in the cosmetic industry when it comes to what goes into our products (pretty scary).  Beauty Counter is working towards changing that, which is a wonderful thing for us all! They have a list of ingredients that they call the “Never” list.  This is a list of ingredients you should stay away from, and they are in many products on shelves everywhere.  I’ll put a picture of the list below, and you can see if your products pass the test!

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I’ll link their website here in case you’d like to read a little bit more about the company.

Now, I’ll tell you what I thought about the products so far! Are they worth the hype??

I used nothing but Beauty Counter creams, cleansers, and rosewater facial spray for a solid week.  Here’s a picture of the lineup: (Essential Nourishing Collection)

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What I noticed:

  •  My skin was so much more hydrated, and stayed that way throughout the day.  (I have VERY dry skin in the winter.)
  • The texture of my skin was smoother, and fine lines around my eyes were much less noticeable. My makeup applied better, and also looked smoother–no need for primer!
  • My skin had less redness, and looked brighter.  I got away with wearing less makeup for sure.

Since these products are definitely on the pricier side, I’ll let you know what I decided to purchase so far:

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  •  Sleep Cream – A step above the night cream that I tested originally (I felt like my skin could use the extra moisture this provides.)  I LOVE this product. I didn’t know how much my skin needed this–I wake up with my skin feeling much softer. Worth the money for sure.
  • Eye rescue cream –  Also a step above in hydration from the eye cream I originally tested from the nourishing line.  I’ve tried a lot of eye creams out there, and I honestly have to say this is my favorite so far.
  • Nourishing cream exfoliator – This stuff does a great job at getting rid of dead skin while still being emollient and not harsh.  I have been looking for a really good exfoliator safe to use multiple times a week, so this is perfect for that.

Overall, I am excited to add these products to my routine mainly because I am confident that every ingredient is healthy for my skin (no nonsense toxic chemicals).  At the end of the day, I believe that what we use to nourish our skin should be a priority over many other beauty products we get caught up in (makeup, tanners, lashes, etc.) Great skin = Wearing less of everything else. 🙂

I hope this helps those of you who are interested in trying Beauty Counter or any other nontoxic skincare!   As always, thanks for reading and talk to you soon.

Cheers,

Olivia

25 (very) Random Things About Me

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  1. The first thing I ever learned how to drive was a tractor! (I grew up on a farm).
  2. I eat cereal every single morning for breakfast–It’s my fav.
  3. I met my husband in high school.  (10 years together now.)
  4. The first time I flew on a plane was when I was 22, and I was absolutely terrified! Now, I have flown so many different places, and I love to travel!
  5. I’m a terrible sleeper. I take melatonin and sometimes wear ear plugs (until recently b/c ear infection, yikes).
  6. My favorite food is Mexican food. My favorite Mexican restaurant in the area is Mi Cancun! $5 Margs on Saturdays, you’re welcome.
  7. I cannot stand ketchup–It’s the worst.
  8. My favorite show is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’m embarrassed at how many times I have seen every single episode.
  9. There are streets all over my hometown named after my family–My maiden name is Carpenter! We have so much family history here in Cary.
  10. I love to bake.
  11. I do not watch The Bachelor lol.
  12. I have never lived outside of NC.
  13. Country music is my favorite (Particularly, Alan Jackson and older stuff)
  14. I have a doberman named Josie, whom I am obsessed with. Clearly.
  15. Coffee of choice: Iced almond milk latte or cold brew no matter what the season is.
  16. Wine of choice: Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet!
  17. Coke > Pepsi
  18. My favorite city to visit is Charleston.
  19. I’m going to Europe for the first time in just a couple months! (Switzerland and Germany.)
  20. I dyed my hair brown one time in high school, and it turned orange–FAIL.
  21. I didn’t know how to pronounce “acai” bowl until about 3 months ago. Also, Ive never had one until today!
  22. Favorite season: Fall
  23. I didn’t have braces as a kid, but I got invisalign when I was 20–best decision ever!
  24. I’ve never been in a tanning bed.
  25. A quote that I love: “Experience is the teacher of all things.” I can’t wait to see what experiences and knowledge year 25 brings!

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning some very random things about me! Maybe let me know in a comment below something random about yourself lol. 🙂 I love to hear from y’all!

Cheers,

Olivia

Pink Magnolia Christmas Gift Guide

 

If you have missed out on online orders shipping before Christmas (like me), no worries! I have put together this gift guide, and you can purchase everything right from one of Pink Magnolia’s stores (Cary or Morrisville)!  There are certainly so many more options, however, these five items are my personal favorites and I highly recommend them! The best part of these gifts is that they are no brainers–You don’t have to worry about purchasing the right size! All of these items are so versatile for any age as well. I own and love several of these gift options, and my mom and grandmother do too.  Pink Magnolia makes shopping for all of the special ladies in your life easy. 🙂

I hope this helps spark some ideas for your Christmas shopping!

Cheers,

Olivia

5 Nourishing Products for Winter Skin

I have been working mostly from home the past two days due to snow here in Apex (if you’re local, you know that everything here is shut down when it snows lol), and I thought I would write a quick post on winter skin care items that I have loved and used for years now!  I really enjoy posts about beauty products, and I hope y’all do too!

These products will all be great for winter time, or if you’re like me, you can use them year-round (I have very dry skin).  Also–I wanted to note that none of these products have ever broken me out!

  1.  CeraVe Lotion:  I have been using this for years now. It is what my dermatologist suggested when I told her I wanted something rich and nourishing without being heavy and greasy. I put this on my face and body every day.

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2.  Mario Badescu Facial Spray:  This product is so cooling and hydrating.  I spray this product after washing my face in the morning (before moisturizer), and throughout the day if I feel like I need it.  The aloe in it is very soothing as well. IMG_5716MB Facial Spray

3.  Smashbox Primer Oil:  Y’all, this stuff is so amazing.  It is so much more than a primer.  I mix a few drops of this with my cerave moisturizer morning and night.  I also pat extra product around my eyes to act as a serum/eye cream.  This stuff sinks in really well. I tested a different face oil in place of this when I ran out of it last month, and I noticed my skin was getting so dull and dry.  I repurchased this, and I will continue to do so!                                                                           IMG_5717   SB Primer Oil

4.  Bareminerals Complexion Rescue: This is not a tinted moisturizer or bb cream.  This is a hydrating tinted gel cream, and it is so good for your skin! It really does improve your skin’s hydration level, and makes your skin look so radiant!  I love to wear this on “no makeup” makeup days or underneath my powders as a hydrating base when I need it. It does give you a bit of coverage, and it also has spf 30! IMG_5714BM Complexion Rescue

5.  Vaseline Lip Therapy:  The most old school product on this list, and it works so well. I put this on my lips before bed because it is thicker than normal chapstick, and most lip oils I have tried are too sticky. I for sure cannot skip this during the winter, or my lips become so chapped. IMG_5718Vaseline Lip Therapy

Alright, those are my must-have products for the Winter time! I hope this helps y’all out with dry winter skin! Stay warm out there!

Cheers,

Olivia

Charleston Recommendations

Alright y’all, this will be a longer post.  Grab a snack, and stay a while. 🙂 I know that there are so many wonderful options of where to eat and what to do in Charleston, so I hope you enjoy reading about my personal favs! I had the pleasure of bringing my Meme to Charleston for her 70th bday, and showing her around–She absolutely adored it!  This is my favorite blog post yet, mainly because I am so in love with this wonderful place. I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

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Where to stay:

We stayed at the Francis Marion, the oldest hotel in Charleston, located on King Street. This was such an elegant, vintage hotel. You can feel that you are in a historic building the moment you walk in.  The grand lobby with crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and antique blue carpet was decorated in the classiest Christmas decor. (We enjoyed hanging out in the lobby in the mornings drinking coffee before our adventures!) Our hotel room had the same antique-feel as the lobby–It was lovely. 🙂

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Another really great historic hotel is the Mills House–My mom and dad love to stay here when they come to Charleston. This is a smaller hotel than Francis Marion with a beautiful lobby as well.  It is pink on the outside with a gorgeous wrought iron balcony!

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We also got a tour of The Vendue, a more modern hotel. I am for sure staying here when I come back to Charleston with Jordan.  It is so chic and classy.  The rooms have exposed brick and lots of windows, which I love!  Also– There is live music in the “drawing room” at night.   The staff is also so wonderful, and we were treated like queens while we hung out there!

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What to See:

Rainbow Row:  This is pretty much a given when coming to Charleston.  It is the most iconic and colorful street to walk down. The whole street of houses is just so charming to look at.

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The Battery: If you are going to walk down Rainbow Row, you may as well walk down the battery too–it is very close by! The Battery is a defensive sea wall, and also a landmark that stretches along the lower shores of Charleston.  Also a gorgeous scene with grande antebellum homes to view along the way.

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King Street: The ultimate street for shopping! Tons of high end shops, and simply another  very pleasant street to walk down.  There really is no avoiding King Street when going to Charleston.

The Historic City Market: Make sure to walk through the city market as well! (Another historic building of course).  Mostly open on the weekends–not sure about during the week.  So many local vendors come to the city market to sell their goods (paintings, historic tiles, snacks, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, etc). Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s a neat part of Charleston to see.

Rooftop bars:  For sure go to a rooftop around sunset to get a view of the city!  My two favorite rooftop bars are the rooftop at the Market Pavilion Hotel (you can still go to this rooftop if you aren’t a guest at the hotel) and The Vendue Rooftop!

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Plantation home:  I loveeee plantation homes, and I highly recommend going to see one if you have time while you are visiting.  My favorite one to visit is Boone Hall–The oak trees are so incredible to look at, and its a lovely spot for pictures! (It’s actually America’s most photographed plantation and featured as the backdrop in several movies).

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Okay, finally, where to eat!!

Breakfast/Lunch:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: You’ll eat a lot of biscuits in Charleston, but these are unique and a must.  It’s the cutest little shop on King Street, and always has a line out the door.  Since the place is so small, there is pretty much only standing room during peak season. I recommend grabbing some biscuits, and then walking down King Street to shop!

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Poogan’s Porch: Located in an old historic home. As classic as a southern breakfast gets. Biscuits, whipped honey butter, eggs, home fries (fried in duck fat), bacon, sausage, grits, and mimosas :).

Dinner:

Magnolias:  Very southern, charming upscale restaurant.  It’s a calm and quiet place to dine.  Order the down south egg roll and brussel sprout salad!

82 Queen: Lowcountry cuisine. This place felt the most private of any place that we ate at–wonderful for a special date night. Also the best filet I have ever had (a very bold statement, I know). You will not regret ordering it.

Revival: This place is only 5 months old!! It used to be a coffee shop, but now is a very modern restaurant (but still southern).  The only place that did not feed us biscuits before the meal lol! They serve an “edible terrarium” instead (olive paste base with an assortment of veggies to dip), which was delicious! See picture below. Order the lowcountry pirlou.  The service here is wonderful–We were served complimentary champagne and a custom dessert from the chef for Meme’s bday.

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Husk Bar:  This bar also serves food, and it is such a cool place to have a few drinks after dinner as well–Go upstairs! Super cozy-feel, brick barn-looking building.  We walked over here from 82 queen to have a few drinks after dinner.

 

I hope that y’all try some of these places when you visit Charleston next! Let me know what you think of them! 🙂

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

 

Charleston– What I wore

I got a lot of questions about different items I wore on my Charleston trip, so I thought I would compile them all in a blog post for y’all!  A few of the items are older, and I added links to similar or newer versions of them! I’m working on a traveling guide of all the food and views that I love in Charleston as well! I’ll have it up by the end of the week! 🙂

I hope y’all enjoy!

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Leopard Skirt:   New Version — Express (Very few sizes left)  /  Another Option — Forever 21  / Midi Option — Zara

Black Turtleneck:   Exact Express Turtleneck  (wearing size xxs) On sale!

Over The Knee Boots:  New Version of My Steve Madden Boots — Currently 20% off!

Crossbody:  Exact Marc Jacobs Bag — Available in so many colors!

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Faux Fur Scarf: Exact Target Scarf –No longer available in grey! 😦

Maroon Turtleneck:  Exact Express Turtleneck (same as above/also on sale, wearing size xxs)

Jeans:  Exact Madewell Jeans

Slides:  VERY Similar Marc Fisher Mules — only $40!

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Tie Waist Dress Coat:  Exact Calvin Klein Coat — Currently 30% off!

Boots:  Exact Marc Fisher Boots — Also 30% off!

Scarf:  Burberry Scarf

 

Cheers,

Olivia