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Bikini Ready Recipes: Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

IT’S BIKINI AFTER BABY WEEK #10! I’m happy to say that I’ve lost almost all of my baby weight following Kelly’s plan. I’m one happy girl!

Here’s another delicious Fab 4 recipe that will keep you full and satisfied while shedding off those last few pre-summer pounds: 

Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken bone broth (vegetable broth optional)

2 Tbsp avocado oil or algae oil

1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee (avocado oil optional)

1 cup of chopped onion

2 cloves of minced garlic

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 cups chopped Tuscan kale (ribs removed)

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1 can whole peeled tomatoes (chopped with seeds removed)

2 cans cannellini beans

1 lemon, juiced

salt to taste

Directions:

1. Heat the avocado oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add thyme and oregano and salt and stir for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the broth and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the kale, tomatoes, carrots, celery, white beans and the broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are warm, approximately 20 minutes.

For more of my favorite Fab 4 recipes of Kelly’s, check out these links here

And make sure to stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By Kelly. WEEK 11, HERE WE COME! 

Watch: How To Master The Modern Pony

Whether it’s sleek and straight or full of volume…everyone knows I love a good pony. Over the years, I’ve learned some tips on how to make a ponytail good for any occasion.

Click the video below to get all the steps for this chic and modern pony: 

The Products: 

1. Dove Style + Care Flexible Hold Hairspray 

2. Dry Bar Triple Sec 3-In-1 Spray

3. A Paddle Brush 

4. A Teasing Comb

5. IGK Broken Dreams Texturizing Paste 

6. Blow Dry Clips 

For more beauty tips + tricks, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here!

The Beauty Products You Can Actually Wear To The Gym

I’ve been in #BikiniAfterBaby mode so I’ve been working out a lot. As much as I would love to always hit the gym bare faced, there are times when I need a little something. But, what do you get when you mix certain beauty products and sweat? A complete and utter skincare disaster!

To avoid clogged pores and irritation (and major streaking, of course!) it’s all about choosing the right products.

Here are some of my must-haves for sweatproof and gym-ready beauty:

An Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer:

The key words here are oil-free. The worst feeling in the entire world is sweating with a heavy face product. It normally results in clogged pores and irritation. Not cute!

Instead of wearing a full coverage product, I switch up my routine with a tinted moisturizer. I actually have a few in my rotation depending on what type of workout I’ll be doing. If it’s something less strenuous like yoga, I’ll use a mid-coverage product like Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint. It gives me a little color but it’s still light enough so it doesn’t irritate my skin. For those super sweaty workouts, I stick to the classic Embryolisse Emulsion Hydra-Mat. A model favorite! It’s colorless but if your workout is hard enough, you won’t need that much color anyway.

A Full-Coverage Concealer:

Okay, I know I just said to skip the full coverage but keep reading. If you really feel that you need some spot correction, go ahead. You can use your heavy matte concealer! I know this sounds a little counter intuitive but those light and luminous concealers are just going to sweat off and streak.

With that said, I still wouldn’t put concealer on the areas of your face that are prone to clog (forehead, around the nose, cheeks.) The heavy product should only go under your eyes or maybe for any hyperpigmentation. For dark circles, Laura Mercier’s High Coverage Concealer for under eye is everything.

If you’re trying to cover up acne, be careful. The wrong product can be like adding fuel to the already huge fire. Bare Minerals has a special Blemish Remedy Concealer that is non-comedogenic and heals redness with aloe. I would still only use for a pimple emergency, though. Bare is best!

A Water-Based Blush

An oil-free and lightweight blush is better than a cream if you are sweating. I’ve made this mistake many times. Cream blush ends up melting all the way down your face…literally. Recently, I discovered a new watercolor blush that I’m OBSESSED with. It’s from Stila’s Aqua Glow collection. This product adds just a splash of color like it was meant to be there anyway. Oh, and it’s waterproof and buildable which means you can add a bit more while leaving the gym. Love it!

A Waterproof Mascara

If you work out and you wear makeup, you’ve had raccoon eyes. That’s just how it is. I’ve actually had to stop a workout because of the stinging pain of mascara in my eye. It should go without saying that waterproof mascara is a lifesaver.

The only downfall of waterproof? It can damage your lashes. Most formulas are designed to stay on through anything which means the removal of the product can cause some wear and tear. Luckily, some beauty brands have come out with their own waterproof mascara with vitamins that actually promote healthy lash growth. Tarte Cosmetics Lifted Sweatproof Mascara is a great pick (even for everyday use!)

If you want to stick to your same waterproof formula, just make sure you are removing it correctly. A lot of people assume that their cleanser will take care of it but that’s not usually the case. It’s important to use a gentle remover such as micellar water (I like Garnier’s Waterproof version or Bioderma!) and a cotton pad. Pour the water on the pad, press in the product continuously, and wipe downward. This allows the mascara to dissolve quicker and not cause as much damage.

A Shadow Stick

Put down the powder eyeshadows! If you wear them to work out, you will probably end up with color down to your chin. Instead, use a long-wear shadow stick that stays in place even during a major sweat sesh. Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Shadow Sticks are the easiest to use. I can tell you for a fact that I’ve gotten through an hour long cardio workout and I still have a pretty gold sheen on my lids. My favorite and most natural pick is the Dual-Ended stick from Bobbi Brown in Peach Mimosa or Truffle. Add a bit at the water line for an even bolder look, if needed.

A Light Brow Gel

I’m a firm believer that brows frame the face. I’m also one of those types of people who wears brow gel even when they are just hanging around the house. When I work out, I use a sweatproof version like Glossier’s Boy Brow because it also has a subtle tint to it. Not only does it keep my brows in place but I’ve also realized it helps sweat not run into my eyes as much. I know, it’s super weird but true.

You’ll actually find that if you just use a brow gel you might not need any other product. It truly makes a difference to the face.

Extra tip: when you are applying brow gel, always brush the direction the hair is growing! 

An Invisible Setting Powder

I love a nice glow but there’s a difference between looking dewy and looking sweaty. If I’m done with my workout and I’m not able to cleanse my face right away, I always have an anti-shine product on hand. It’s the next best thing to avoid excess oil and clogged pores.

I’ve always been a huge fan of blotting papers because of how convenient they are. The black charcoal blotting linens from Boscia are some of the best. Charcoal is one of the best ingredients to detoxify the skin post-workout. The budget-friendly brand, NYX Cosmetics, also has a charcoal version that does the same job.

NEW PRODUCT ALERT! I was at Sephora recently (not a surprise!) and saw that Supergoop! has a translucent setting powder with a built-in brush. It actually sets the makeup so you can avoid shine before it happens.

Nourishing Lip Balm

My lips always get chapped when I work out even if I’m constantly sipping water. It can be really painful. I normally would just grab one of my favorite thick balms (I live and die by By Terry Baume de Rose!) but they don’t work as well when you are sweating. Not only do they slide right off but the stickiness isn’t the best feeling either.

The key is to use a lighter balm that will stay on and sink in. Stila Cosmetics has a great Color Calm lipstick in neutral colors that match the color of your lips. It’s honestly just like an Instagram filter for your lips. You won’t even be able to tell you have anything on!  If you’re the type that likes to wear a bit of color, try the Color Balm in the shade Misty.

A Heat Mask

As you know, I’m all about the double-duty products. This particular product is an actual game changer. One of my favorite new brands, Yuni, has come out with a Hot Head Microveil Hair Treatment, which is a heat-activated leave-in conditioning mist that actually treats and repairs your hair while you’re working out. Ummm, how amazing is that?! You don’t even need to rinse it out afterward.

What are your favorite sweatproof products? Comment below! I’ll need some suggestions for summer, too!

Bikini Ready Recipes: Green Apple Smoothie

Smoothies have always been my go-to. The only issue? Many of them are loaded with sugar and hidden calories. Some store bought options are fine but I’ve always found it better to make them at home so I know what’s exactly in them.

My nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque is all about a smoothie. A Be Well Smoothie, to be exact. Before I share one of my new sweet favorites with you, here’s a recap on what makes a good smoothie for both weight loss and health. It all comes down to a simple formula so it’s easy to mix and match with whatever your taste preferences are.

BeWELL SMOOTHIE: 

1 serving PROTEIN + 1 serving FIBER+ unlimited GREENS + 1/4 cup FRUCTOSE +2 tbsp FAT + LIQUID + SUPERFOOD 

Protein: Look for a clean sprouted vegetarian protein or an organic grass fed whey. Servings will vary depending on your selected protein, read the directions and add one serving per smoothie.

Fiber: Raw fiber powder, chia seeds, flax seeds or avocado are great choices. Kelly recommends keeping your smoothie psyllium husk free.

Greens: Get creative, anything green! Kale, spinach, romaine, basil, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, fennel or any other vegetables, herbs or leafy greens. The list goes on and on.

Fruit/or High Fructose Vegetables: Berries, lemons, limes, mango, banana, pears, peaches, beets or even carrots. Frozen fruit is a fun option to replace ice if you like your smoothie thick and chunky. Slice your bananas and freeze them so that you can easily grab a 1/4-1/2 cup and don’t over do it. Limit items that contain Fructose/Glucose to keep blood sugar manageable.

Fat: Avocado, Coconut Oil, MCT oil, Nut Butter, Walnuts, Coco Butter, Cocoa Butter or Ghee at room temperature.

Liquid: Water, Almond Milk, Coconut Water, Cashew Milk, Flax Milk, Walnut Milk, Hemp Milk or cold pressed green juice. Take note of the sugar content in your green juice and avoid added fructose. Depending on your preference for a thin or thick smoothie you can add liquid accordingly. Sometimes it takes one cup to get the blender moving.

Superfoods/Additives: Greens powder, Collagen, Tumeric, Bee Pollen, Goji Berries, Raw Gluten Free Granola, Cocoa Nibs, Ginger, Chia Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Coconut flakes, Sea Salt. Superfoods can be used as a fun topping or add to your smoothie for supplemental needs. Many of these additions can be glucose spiking and change the nutritional makeup for our formula. Take caution to avoid the blood sugar spike.

And, now for the recipe…

Green Apple Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 serving Vanilla Protein powder

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1-2 tbsp chia

1 tbsp Best of Greens Green Apple Powder

1 c nut milk

Directions: 

1. Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth

For more of Kelly’s Be Well Smoothie recipes, check out the links below: 

Mojito Smoothie // Blueberry Muffin Smoothie // Green Acai Smoothie // Spa Smoothie

Watch: Real Talk About Body After Baby With Jen Chae

Your life isn’t the only thing that changes after pregnancy. Your body definitely goes through some major changes, too. I’m so excited to be finally filming with the adorable #supermomma, Jen Chae from From Head To Toe. We’re getting as real as we can possibly get about the changes we went through and how we’re getting our groove back!

Click on the video below to get ALL of the details:

Want more post-baby realness? Check out our collab on Jen’s channel! We’re talking all about things we NEVER knew about having the actual baby. Click here and also make sure to subscribe to her channel. Tons of great momma content + more! 

By the way…how adorable is this little playdate?! 

Stay tuned for more fun collabs and content right here on the blog & my YouTube channel. Subscribe here for all my updates!

Bikini Ready Recipes: Pesto Spinach Turkey Burgers With Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

I’m officially on WEEK 8 of my #BikiniAfterBaby program with my nutritionist, Kelly Leveque. Let me tell you–I am feelin’ reaaaaaal good! I’m only about 9 pounds away from my goal weight for summer. It’s definitely been easier this time around.

If you’ve been following along with me, I have another delicious Fab 4 recipe from Kelly to share. These turkey burgers are perfect to throw on the grill this weekend! The red pepper tomato sauce is EVERYTHING!

Scroll down below for the full recipe!

Pesto Spinach Turkey Burgers With Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

Ingredients & Directions:

1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey

3-4 tablespoons basil pesto

1 cup chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons Pink Himalayan or sea salt

1/2 cup flax meal

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

2. Mix together ground turkey, pesto, garlic, flax meal and spinach in a bowl until evenly blended. Form into 4 patties. Grill pesto burgers for about 5 minutes per side to make sure they are no longer pink in the middle. Optional: Add 1/2 cup feta to burger mix

1/2 cup whole natural almonds (about 3 ounces), toasted

1 cup drained roasted red peppers from jar or freshly roasted

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, peeled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Chopped Mini Heirloom Tomatoes (or Cherry)

3. Very finely chop almonds in processor. Add roasted peppers, vinegar, and garlic; process to coarse puree. With machine running, pour olive oil through feed tube and process until puree thickens slightly. Move Sauce to a bowl and salt to taste.

4. Plate burger on a bed or arugula or mixed greens and top with red pepper sauce and tomatoes

For some of my favorite Fab 4 recipes of Kelly’s, check out these links here. I have tried all of them and let me tell you…you’ll be OBSESSED! 

And make sure to stay tuned for more tips from Kelly on both my blog and Kelly’s, Be Well By KellyFor the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing all our recipes and tips. WEEK 9, HERE I COME!! 

#MOMGOALS: Dinnertime Tips For Kids With Catherine McCord

I consider myself lucky. My kids LOVE to eat! Especially my little “chunky monkey” Scarlett. That girl can double fist a chicken tender like no one’s business! Dinnertime can still be a hassle though. Can anyone else relate!?

Just to give you an example, here are just a few of the most recent “dinner table-isms” that have almost driven me to the brink of insanity: 

1. The night that Brooks decided he randomly didn’t like chicken. And, guess what? Monkey see monkey do. So, Scarlett decided she also didn’t like chicken. What was for dinner? Chicken tenders. What did they want the next day? Chicken tenders. OH, HELP ME!

2. Out of ALL the plates in the entire kitchen, Brooks and Scarlett always want the same one. It’s a wooden one that’s shaped like a monkey. This plate has caused quite a brawl before. So, what did momma have to do? Buy a second monkey plate. You gotta do what you gotta do! Compromise.

photo credit: Erica Hampton Photography

Luckily, there are ways to make dinnertime less of a hassle on anyone. You just have to learn from the professionals! On this month’s #MOMGOALS, Catherine McCord of Weelicious and One Potato is sharing her tips. I’ve known Catherine for YEARS and her cookbook + recipes on Weelicious are a life saver with kids. Simple, delicious, and easy! As someone who didn’t really know how to cook before she got married, I needed all the help I could get!

Catherine, take it away…

Dinnertime is a cherished time in our home. Between 3 children with totally different schedules, 2 parents working and everyone having varied food preferences it’s enough to make you go a bit crazy. Over the past 9 years, one of my biggest goals has been to make meals a relaxing, enjoyable experience for all of us. Here are a few tips that are a great start to meal time success:
1. Have A Plan: 
Whether it’s menu planning for the week, prepping on the weekends to make sure you have a few favorites on hand, or having dinner sent to your front door, knowing what you’ll serve is key. Keep a list of your families favorite meals on your phone or notebook with grocery lists attached, so there’s no guess work involved in what you’ll make for dinner.
2. Get Everyone Involved: 
Getting everyone in the kitchen doesn’t mean your kitchen will turn into mayhem, but it can build habits that will last a lifetime. Give everyone a “fun” job like chopping, stirring, setting the table, pouring water or drawing place cards for your dinner party. Every night should somehow feel special and fun. Most important get the phones off the table, turn the tv off and make mealtime quality time to catch up on each other’s days.
3. Keep Everyone Engaged: 
Dinnertime can be especially challenging for little kids who don’t have long attention spans. Create fun games like the “machine game” where everyone has to pick a machine in the house and let each other take turns guessing clues until someone figures it out. It can be a funny way to keep everyone at the table eating, laughing and engaging with one another.
To make dinnertime even easier, make sure to check out Catherine’s meal box from One Potato! It takes the grocery shopping out of the prep which is definitely my least favorite part! (More info here!) To get $25 off your first box, use the code MOLLY25! 
 How do you make dinnertime easier with kids? Comment below! I’d love to read your tips! 

Watch: 3 Tips To Treat + Conceal Dark Circles

Ugh, dark circles are the WORST! As a momma of three, they are pretty inevitable for me. The key is to treat AND conceal…not one or the other!

Click on my YouTube tutorial below to watch how I fake a night’s sleep when I really, really need it: 

The Products:

1. Jade Roller 

2. Klorane Smoothing Eye Patches 

3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer 

4. MAC Cosmetics Brush

5. Nars Cosmetics Radiant Creamy Concealer 

6. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

For more beauty tips + tricks, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here!

A Gift Guide For Every Type Of Momma

Being a MOMMA is hard work! We all need a little me time every now and again. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a momma who needs it, scroll below for my top picks! Happy Mother’s Day!

For The Momma Who’s Obsessed With Beauty:

1. Dr. Barbara Sturm & Monika Blunder Anti-Aging Primer 

2. Tom Ford Soleil Eye & Cheek Palette 

3. DNA EFG Restoring Mask 

4. Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer 

5. GLAMGLOW Gravity Mud Firming Treatment 

6. Bobbi Brown Dual-Ended Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick 

7. Saguara Perfumes Desert Lavender 

8. Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask 

For The Momma Who Needs To Relax & Recharge:

1. REN Skincare Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil 

2. Beauty Counter Sugar Body Scrub 

3. Dirty Lemon Energy

4. LoRox Aligned Foam Roller 

5. Eberjey Pajama Set 

6. Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask

7. Overose Nudesse Candle

8. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

For The Momma Who Loves To Entertain:

1. Williams Sonoma Marble & Copper Ice Bucket 

2. Le Labo Palo Santo 14 Candle 

3. Serena & Lily Marble Serving Tray 

4. MATCH Pewter Bedside Carafe And Tumbler 

5. Heather Taylor Home Napkin Set

6. An American Girl In London By Marissa Hermer 

Watch: Frozen Blueberry Bites For Your Sweet Tooth

blueberry bites

Even though I’m on my #BikiniAfterBaby program, I still like to enjoy a healthy treat. You can’t completely deprive yourself, right!? It’s all about fighting that sweet tooth with something that will satisfy your cravings without completely derailing your diet.

This Frozen Blueberry Bite recipe is extremely simple. The best part is you can make ahead of time and store for later. I catch myself going to grab a few when I’m needing a little something. But, don’t feel guilty! Even if you eat 12 of these bites in one sitting, you’re only consuming around 38 calories. I mean, can it get any better?

I’m sharing this recipe right now on my YouTube channel. Click the video below for details on how to make your own: 

Ingredients:

blueberry bites

1-pint container blueberries

1 cup vanilla, nonfat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions:

STEP 1: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

STEP 2: In a mixing bowl, stir together the agave nectar and yogurt

STEP 3: Once thoroughly mixed, add blueberries into the mixture and gently spoon around making sure to coat the berries evenly

blueberry bites

STEP 4: Place blueberries on a baking sheet. Make sure to keep them separated as much as possible so they don’t freeze together.

blueberry bites

STEP 5: Place baking sheet in your freezer for about 1 hour. Once they are completely frozen, take out and enjoy! Store your leftovers in an airtight container.

blueberry bites

Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here for weekly videos and updates. If there’s anything you’d like me to talk about, please comment below. I love to hear from you guys!