Wine and Design Anyone?

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     There really couldn't be a more beautiful place to have lunch. Sure, Restoration Hardware is a furniture and design center but did you know some of their larger locations have a restaurant on the rooftop? It's an epicurean's dream, marrying fine dining and luxury ambiance.  

     Maybe you're not ready for a full meal after shopping? Grab a cappuccino from the barista bar and bask in the glow of 360-degrees of chandeliers. Just walking into the rooftop cafe makes you feel famous. Like you are about to grab a glass of wine with a Kardashian. The place oozes sexy! 

     I was lucky enough to indulge in this extraordinary dining experience with a group of friends (and Cashton) in Palm Beach when I visited Florida this past December. So, you can imagine my excitement when I heard the news that Charlotte was getting one too! That's right! We are getting this 41,000 square foot gem dropped into our own back yard of South Park. 

     Remember the old Dean and Deluca? (RIP D&D) I was destroyed inside when I found out they closed their doors for good. A little piece of me died when I heard my girls nights would have to find a new home. (I know, so dramatic) However, out of the ashes something new is ready to rise and I couldn't be more excited for Charlotte to experience their kale salad, truffle grilled cheese and delectable banana splits! 

     Construction has already begun and you know I am hot on the case, driving by weekly to see if they will keep their promise to open doors this fall! 

My Love For Cold Brew

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     Hi. My name is LauRen and I have an obsession with Cold Brew. No, not a cold brew (although I do love beer too). I love Cold Brew coffee and I've had it about everywhere. Starbucks, Dunkin, Kona Snow, and the list goes on. 

      However, for me, no one's Cold Brew can compare to Clean Juice. I know, you see them on my Instagram stories all the time and I am even a Clean Juice booster, but make no mistake. My love for clean juice began LONG ago. That's why I became a juice booster. I wanted to share what I loved with YOU! 

      Of course, I have my favorite drinks from Clean Juice. The Hardcore, the Yellow and the Cold Brew are my top 3! All Organic, and the Yellow and Cold Brew are pre-bottled so I can grab and go! 

I prefer Cold Brew to regular coffee for a couple reasons. 

1) Hot coffee is just that. Too hot to drink in the summer. 
2) When I drink hot coffee I find myself putting all kinds of crap in it (milk and sugar). 
3) I get a bigger burst of energy from Cold Brew. 
4) Clean Juice's Cold Brew is organic. Thus, I don't have to worry about what I'm ingesting.  

     So, next time you're feeling sluggish instead of grabbing your old "go to" try a cold brew from Clean Juice and see the difference. 


Apple Cider Old Fashion

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Yesterday I was on our MRL Show Brewery Tour and I found the most amazing drink! An apple cider old fashion! Now if that doesn't get you in the mood for fall I'm not sure what will?

I have to be honest I am NOT a huge bourbon fan like my husband but I am a fan of anything different. I am always on the lookout for new cocktails especially because my Mom is a bartender and we love to share new ideas.

The apple cider is what caught my eye here and it definitely cuts the bite of the bourbon. Thus you get the bourbon flavor without the "I just took a shot" face!

Ingredients:
Bourbon
Pressed Apple Cider
Bitters
Brown Sugar
Lemon Twist


Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

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A healthy Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino ?!?! Say WHATTTT???? Yep, now you can have your cake (or frap ) and eat it too! After finding out how many sugars, preservatives, artificial flavors and carrgeenan stabilizers (that have been linked to intestinal inflammation and cancers) are in my little slice of fall heaven I’ve decided to bail. Well, not a full fledged break up, just a “Let’s see other people”. 
              (Photo provided by “Food Babe Amy” via Pinterest) 
   See, I still wanted to enjoy my sweet treat but I needed to find a way to make it fit into my healthy life style. After much brain storming here’s what I came up with.:

LauRen’s Power Pumpkin Smoothie 
1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protient powder
1 individual packet of instead coffee
2 tablespoons of canned organic pumpkin puree
A pinch of nutmeg
and sprinkle of cinnamon
Ice
Water
Blend  

Mrs Dash Tacos

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I believe that “beauty” is more than what we put on our skin, it is also affected by what we put into our bodies! Thus my “beauty blog” will include a health and fitness aspect  too! Listen, bottom line is … You get out of your body what you put in. If you drink a ton of sugary drinks ( ice teas, juices, sodas) you may fall victim to acne, wavering weight issues and be at a higher risk for Diabetes.  If you drink lots of water and consume preservative free and fresh foods ( Fruits, veggies, hormone free meats) you will see your skin improve, your energy levels sky rocket and you will decrease the amount off time you spend sick. 
It’s sad to think how much food has changed since we were little and our parents passed on their eating habits to us. It use to be that you ate the 7 food groups ( or food pyramid) and colors of the rainbow and all was fine and dandy. Now, it’s so much more than that! After sifting through years of fad diets and quick tricks to reach my “target weight” I’ve realized my health is more than just a number. 
About 3 years ago I met with fitness and nutrition guru, Brook Eneas,  to discuss a life style change I knew I needed. Since I thought I was already eating pretty clean , Eneas had me track my current dietary habits via the “Livestrong” app on my phone. After about a week, we met again to go through my food log line by line. Not only was I lacking vital nutrients ( which I am now taking a multi vitamin, vitamin C and B-complex as well as a wheat grass supplement to help with my irregularity) I was consuming foods I THOUGHT were healthy. Things like fat free milk (that are enhanced with hormones and pasteurized), and lean cuisens (which are full of sodium and preservatives)  I was about to cut all of my favorite foods out of my diet … or so i thought! 
Over the next few months I decided to get a little creative. While Eneas taught me to shop on the outside of the grocery store to avoid many of the preservative rich foods that make us hold weight , I wasn’t ready to give up on tacos, pastas and pizzas for good. lol So I set out to create healthy versions of these foods I could enjoy on a normal basis. First up was pasta! After a little research I realized I could sub pasta for zucchini and a veggie shredder. I also learned that you can make pizza crust out of quinoa or cauliflower!  It was these simple changes that would allow me to have the best of BOTH worlds! 
Today l want to share some simple swaps for one of my favorite meals… Tacos. First lets trade ground beef for lean ground turkey and instead of traditional taco mix, which is loaded with sodium, let’s grab a Mrs Dash Taco mix from the spice isle. (Ps Mrs Dash’s -no sodium spices may change your life but thats a whole other blog ;) ) Now lets exchange the sour cream for greek yogurt. Finally, kill those hard taco shells and replace then with a romain lettuce wrap. Then load that puppy up with all the veggies, beans and avocado you like!

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