• My Trader Joe's Favorites

    Before I moved to California I had never been to a Trader Joe's. When I got to LA, they were everywhere! I instantly fell in love with it! There are a ton of reasons I think people love Trader Joes. The biggest reason being everything is a lot cheaper there! (You can read more on their back story and on how they are able to keep such low prices here!) I think people also enjoy shopping at Trader Joe's because it's not overwhelming,(and yes we know the parking lot is very overwhelming!) but that's not what I mean. It's not overwhelming in the sense that there aren't twenty different options for each item. For most items there is one! It's easy shopping! (And it also makes the trip to the grocery store much shorter!) I frequent many different grocery stores. I don't have "my" grocery store that I go to every week. I like trying different products and seeing what's new out there, but for certain items I do come to Trader Joe's. Now I know there are so many favorites at TJ's, but these are a few great healthy staples to have in your kitchen! Here are some of my favorites!

    1. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil // This is a great pantry staple to have!

    2. Gluten Free Rolled Oats // These are great for hot cereal or even to bake with!

    3. Oatmeal Complete // This is one of my favorite oatmeals! It's plain, but I like to add toppings so I always try to get an oatmeal that has low sugar and sodium, this one is a great pick!

    4. Gluten Free All Purpose Flour // Here is another great pantry staple! Great to have if you like to bake and are gluten intolerent!

    5. Organic Coconut Flour // Another pantry staple!

    6. Coconut Oil Spray // And another pantry staple!

    7. Crunchy Almond Butter No Salt // Yum!

    8. Organice White Quinoa // Great to have in your pantry as well!

    9. Organic Power to the Greens // This has baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach. All organic!

  • Local Business Interview: Gina Ragnone of Gigi's Remix

    I'm so excited to finally share this interview with you all! I met Gina awhile back when I went to Fala Bar for her interview. (If you missed that post you can catch it here!) I met up with Gina again to talk about her company, Gigi's Remix. Gina has created one of the most delicious and healthiest "trail mixes" around! Although, Gigi's Remix isn't quite a trail mix, hence the name "remix." She's switched it up to make a sweet and salty (but not dry!) bag of yumminess! 

    Check out my itnerview with Gina and find out how Gigi's Remix was created and what is the piece of advice she would give to others who are thinking of starting their own company!

    How has your background in Holistic Health helped you create Gigi’s Remix?

    Being so interested in health and wellness from a young age has enriched my understanding and intuition of what should and should not go into our bodies for optimal health. I have carefully selected each ingredient used and they all contain health benefits of some kind. 

    How was Gigi’s Remix born?

    I used to wonder the bulk bin aisle at any Whole Foods store I would visit and you're supposed to put only one bulk item in each bag, do you know what I am talking about? And I've always hated that because I insist on making my own customized mixes. So one day while in the aisle breaking the rules, a delicious mix was born. I took it home and mixed it with coconut oil and raw honey, which I had learned previously from a friend of mine.  I added some Himalayan pink salt and voila! Unfortunately, the ingredients I chose were of course of the highest quality and therefore expensive! I may come out with another similar snack at a lower price point. 

    What ingredients are in your remix?

    I use several "superfood" ingredients such as coconut oil, mulberries, goji berries and cacao nibs. I use sprouted nuts because they are much easier on digestion and also make absorbing nutrients from the nuts more likely. I also simply prefer the taste of sprouted nuts over regular nuts. This is where my slogan "Sprout Your Day" comes from. There is also raw honey and a dash of Himalayan pink salt for added minerals and that sweet and salty flavor everyone loves in a trail mix type snack. 

    Can you tell us some of the benefits of each ingredient?

    Coconut oil is one of my favorite things ever! I consume it, oil pull with it, put it on my skin and hair…etc etc etc, so let's talk about that one! The medium chain triglycerides (MCT's) in coconut oil have been shown to increase energy expenditure helping you burn fat and the lauric acid in it can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, which helps stave off infections. It can also reduce your hunger due to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized. It's the "good" kind of fat and I find it helps me mentally as well, providing improved focus and balanced blood sugar levels. 

    What has been the most exciting part of starting your own business? What has been the biggest obstacle you were faced with during this process?

    I have always wanted to invent / create something of my own. I am fascinated with entrepreneurs and have only envisioned myself working for myself. There is nothing better than the feeling of a satisfied customer when starting your own business. I have just learned of this feeling, and it is truly lovely. I would say dealing with the licenses, permits, certifications etc. has been the most challenging for me. There is a whole world out there happening behind everything you purchase and it can be very daunting when starting out new. I would also say time management is one of the toughest obstacles. When you're working for yourself, it is much easier to procrastinate!    

    What do you think sets apart your product from other granolas and trail mixes?

    My product is 100% raw, whereas most granolas and trail mixes are toasted, it contains sprouted nuts and the consistency is a bit wet rather than dry like most others. 

    What are you future goals for Gigi’s Remix?

    I have my eyes set on Whole Foods. I would also like to create more items incorporating Gigi's Remix, which you'll have to wait to learn about ;) Next up is a smaller $5 single serving version of the Remix. Giving back is also of upmost importance to me and I am excited to keep growing so that I am able to soon donate to certain charities. I oftentimes give my snack (or any snacks I have on hand) to the homeless whenever I see someone in need. 

    What is one piece of advice you would give others that are considering starting their own business?

    Make sure you're prepared to work very hard! Do not wait until you're ready because we are never truly ready. Just dive in head first! I have learned this from my entrepreneur boyfriend. It has benefited me in many ways since I am the type who would usually prefer to wait until it is "perfect" to begin. There is no perfect! 

    Where can people find Gigi’s Remix?

    So far Gigi"s Remix is sold at the following coffee and juice shops in the LA area:

    • Alfred Coffee
    • L.A. Juice Shop
    • Fala Bar
    • Clover Juice 
    • Larchmont Juicery 

    Coming soon:

    • Erewhon Market 
    • P.C. Greens (Malibu) 
    • Online ordering 

    Interviewed, Styled and Photographed by: Kristen Tola Hettich

  • Pinspiration: Sweet Tooth

    Vegan Chai Ice Cream // By Minimalist Baker // Recipe here!

    I'm a huge fan of sweets but obviously majority of sweets aren't that great for us but there are so many ways to get natural sugar and have "healthy" alternatives to traditonal desserts. Here are a few that I like!

    Italian Sodas // By A Cozy Kitchen // Recipe here!

    Vegan Whipped Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding // By Better with Cake // Recipe here!

    Dairy Free Black Forest Popsicles // Recipe and Photo by Gabriel Coco of Artful Desperado // Recipe here!

    Coconut Ice Cream via Kara Rosenlund

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding // By Minimalist Baker // Recipe here!

  • McGrath Family Farm Roadside Farmer's Market

    Last week Bethany and I stopped at the McGrath Family Farm to check out their Roadside Farmer's Market. You can pick pumpkins from their field and when in season you can come to pick berries! All of their produce is organic. You can find McGrath Roadside Farmer's Market off the 101 freeway in Camarillo, California. (Off the Central Ave. exit.) They are open from 9AM - 6PM daily! (That is until we set the clocks back on November 2nd! Then they will be open until 5PM!) Check out more info here!

    Credits:

    Photographed by: Bethany Nauert

  • Bowls

    I came across these photos of Turkish ceramic bowls on Pinterst, and immediately was wondering where I could get them. I have this thing for bowls. (and plates, cups and clothes ;P) I love beautiful, bright color dishes. Here are some bowls that I really like!

    *photos from decor8

    1.  Floral Bowl // Anthropologie 2. Stacked Bowls // Anthropologie 3. Color Glaze Bowl // West Elm 4. Teal Pattern Bowl // Anthropologie 5. Swirled Symmetry Bowl // Anthropologie 6. Striped Berry Bowl // Robert Siegel

  • Pumpkin Patch

    If you're looking for something to do today or this week, (And are in the Southern California area.) there is a great pumpkin patch in Camarillo, where you can go into the patch and pick your own pumpkin! Bethany and I came here and had a really fun time! Her little dog tagged along with us too! Here is how you can get to Pete's Pumpkin Patch!

  • Pinspiration: Halloween Party

    Here are some pictures to get you inspired for a Halloween party! I believe entertaining and food go hand in hand. You could be throwing a Halloween party where everyone comes dressed up to hang out, you could be throwing a small dinner party with a Halloween theme or you could be having a pumpkin carving party or a non carving pumpkin decorating party, either way there are endless ideas!

    Picture above via Stylizimo

    Pumpkin Name / Sign Holder photo via A Fabulous Fete

    Decorated Pumpkins Photo via Glitter Guide

    Chevron Painted Pumpkins Photo via My Sweet Savannah

    Pumpkin Pie Pudding Photo via Dora Daily

    Halloween Dinner Party Treats //  Photo via Style Me Pretty

    Candy Apples // Photo via The Perfect Palette

    Pumpkin Carving Station // Photo via Lindsy Steinberg Events