My Go-To Green Smoothie

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When I’m in a pinch for time or simply want a super healthy meal on the go, green smoothies are one of my favorite breakfast options. They are packed with vitamins and can be made in minutes with minimal clean-up afterwards. Packed with chlorophyll and other essential plant-based nutrients, green smoothies have been praised for their many health and beauty benefits, such as glowing skin, shinier hair, a stronger immune system, and a decreased risk of heart disease. They are also a great way to sneak in extra greens without you even noticing them (kids love them)! There are a lot of great recipes out there that I enjoy, but this is my favorite green smoothie recipe of all time. Chock-full of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, this rich and creamy smoothie tastes like dessert but packs a serious nutritional punch. Plus it’s vegan!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Handfuls of Mixed Greens
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries, Peaches & Pineapple
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina
  • 2 tbsp Matcha Powder
  • 2 Cups of Vanilla Almond Milk

DIRECTIONS

1 // Add all of the fresh fruit and avocado into the blender and add one cup of almond milk. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

2 // Toss in the leafy greens and frozen fruit along with the almond milk, spirulina, and matcha powder. Blend on high until the smoothie is entirely mixed and has a frosty yet creamy consistency.

3 // If you prefer your smoothie to be sweeter, add a drizzle or honey or real maple syrup and blend on low to mix it in.

4 // Enjoy your delicious and super healthy green smoothie!

Have you tried green smoothies and, if so, are you a fan? If you give this recipe a try, let me know how you felt about it! It’s my fave but I’m curious about what others would think. Until next time!

xoxo,

Alicia

Designer Spotlight | Nicole Bridger

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about eco-chic and sustainable fashion without talking about Nicole Bridger. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has been in love with garment construction and nature from an early age. She graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1999 before interning with Vivienne Westwood. In 2006 she launched her own label and since then her self titled brand has become one of my favorite clothing companies in fashion today. Born and raised in Vancouver, a place renowned for its natural beauty and active lifestyle, Nicole has always designed her clothes with the well-being of the environment in mind. Her pieces are made locally out of natural and sustainable fabrics, so you can rest assured knowing that every piece you wear from her line is not only gorgeous, but karma-free. What I love about Nicole’s line is that every piece is made with attention to fit and detail. There’s nothing overtly trendy about her pieces. They aren’t avante-garde and they don’t reek of trends or fads from the latest high-fashion runway shows. They are made with real people and real life in mind. These are clothes that you put on and you feel comfortable and beautiful, whether you are heading to the grocery store or for date night with your sweetie. The magic is all in the quality and subtle luxury of her pieces. And really, it doesn’t get any better than that! Scroll on for a few of my favorite finds from her Summer/Spring 2017 Collection. 

NICOLE BRIDGER PICKS

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1 // Soulful Dress

2 // Honour Dress

3 // Journey Dress

4 // Appreciation Pant

5 // Bliss Shorts

6 // Flex Dress

7 // Inspire Dress

8 // Bliss Pants

9 // Honest Blouse

10 // Be Tank

xoxo,

Alicia Arruda

An Ode to Coral

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One of my favorite colours for summer is juicy coral. Not quite orange, not quite pink, this exotic shade instantly warms up the complexion and makes me feel like I’m beach-ready! Nothing looks better against a summer tan than this tropical hue. Whether it’s a swipe of coral gloss or a floor-length coral maxi-dress, adopt this gorgeous shade into your own wardrobe and beauty routine and pretend you’re vacationing in Tahiti (or a tropical destination of your choice)! So with that in mind, here are a few of my very favorite fashion and beauty picks in this sunny summer shade. Hello, sunshine.

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CORAL PICKS

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1 // Caroline Svedborn – Örhängen Alexandra Light Coral Earrings

2 // Kate Spade New York – Flights of Fancy Grapefruit Leather Crossbody Bag

3 // Wear All – Chiffon Gypsy Off Shoulder Top

4 // Sam Edelman – Rochester Flats

5 // Yves Saint Laurent Beauty – Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in Color 36 Corail Legende

6 // Fitbit – Alta HR Wireless Heart Rate & Fitness Tracker

7 // Gucci – Bold High-Gloss Lacquer in Crushed Coral

8 // Suzanna Dai РOmbr̩ Gumball Necklace

9 // Nordstrom Rack – Beauty Sleep Pillow

10 // Pretty Little Thing – Charis Coral Floral Embroidered Shorts

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Akazie by Frau Tonis


NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Akazie by Frau Tonis Parfum Berlin

NOTES | Acacia, Wood Notes, Mimosa, Moss, Powder

VIBE | Elegant, Sophisticated, Aldehydic, Luxurious, Chic, Vintage

A few months back I did a review on another perfume from Frau Tonis called Veilchen and I promised then that I would review the other two scents I bought in Berlin called Linde Berlin and Akazie. I’m finally getting around to reviewing Akazie, another scent out of my Frau Tonis trio, and so without further ado, here it goes.

Let my start by saying that Akazie is not a perfume that will appeal to everyone. It’s very powdery and aldehydic, two olfactory qualities that are usually associated with the phrase ‘smells like an old lady’. Other examples of aldehydic perfumes (if you’re unsure what I mean) include Chanel No. 5 and Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds. If you have smelled these scents you know that while they are classics, they’re not to everyone’s taste. Some aldehydic perfumes are very heavy and overpowering, choking you out with the synthetic smell of abstract florals and powder. Others, like Akazie, use this chemical note in a beautifully subtle way that enhances the other flowers in the perfume’s composition. If they are done right, the aldehydes add a vintage charm and complexity to an otherwise simple array of notes. Akazie has been blended beautifully and the florals and powdery notes are perfectly balanced.

When I first spray on Akazie, the mimosa and oak moss stand out the most. At this point the fragrance is incredibly feminine and elegant. It reminds me of a perfume that an Old-Hollywood starlet would wear. Mimosa is the star of the show here and remains the most prominent note throughout the entire fragrance experience. I’ve always loved mimosa, and it smells true to nature in this scent. When Akazie dries down (after around five hours), all that’s left on my skin is a soft, mossy floral smell and this is the part of the fragrance I love the most. It’s just so soft and delicate. Chypre-floral fragrances are my favorite perfume genre and this one is a real gem. 

Frau Tonis makes truly stunning scents and Akazie is no exception. Centering around the sweet perfume of mimosa, this chypre-floral fragrance is utterly unique and timelessly elegant. Because of its aldehydic undertones, it may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer super sweet, fruity confections, this may not be your cup of tea. If you love florals and perfume classics like Chanel 5, then this will be right up your alley. It’s not an everyday perfume but is perfect for special and more formal occasions. Like a luxe strand of pearls, Akazie has a refined beauty that is absolutely timeless. 

Alicia

5 Piece Summer Wardrobe

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I recently finished a very entertaining novel called Elegance where the protagonist aims to pick up the pieces of her messy life and failing marriage by following the advice of a book (also called Elegance) that has been written to guide women on the ways that they can become more poised, stylish, and confident, improving their lives in the process.One of the chapters in the book focuses on the idea of having a small but carefully curated wardrobe of only a few well-chosen, high-quality pieces. I don’t know about you guys, but my wardrobe is completely cluttered with pieces I haven’t worn in years, whether it’s because they no longer fit, they are out of date, or they are falling apart (but I have the delusional idea that I will one day have them repaired). The idea of trimming down my wardrobe to a handful of beautiful, well-made items intrigues me. Rome wasn’t built in a day so I doubt that I will be tossing out half my closet anytime soon, but I will be going through my clothes and donating pieces that no longer serve me. My new mantra going forward is that I will only choose pieces that truly bring me joy. For me this means beautiful cuts, luxe fabrics, with just a touch of contemporary sex appeal. I want my clothes to make me look and feel good regardless of the occasion. With this in mind I have selected five key pieces for a summer wardrobe. I’ve picked three options for each item with the idea that (almost) all of the pieces could be mixed and matched. The five piece wardrobe equates to effortless elegance and light packing – two closet characteristics that are perfect for the hotter months of the year.

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SUNDRESSES

Breezy sundresses are so ideal when the temperatures rise. Simply step in, zip up, and throw on some sandals before heading out. They are easy to dress up with a statement necklace and a pair of heels or dress down with some espadrilles and a denim jacket. 

1 // OUGES – Halter Neck Floral Casual Summer Sundress 

2 // Gamiss – Flower Printed Sleeveless A-Line Sundress 

3 // J.Crew – Off The Shoulder Tie-Waist Dress 

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JERSEY TROUSERS

Unlike a pair of jeans or distressed cut-offs, trousers made of lightweight cotton or silk jersey are suitable for casual and formal occasions. They look polished and feel comfy – a must when it comes to summer dressing. Pair with a slinky cami and a pair of stiletto sandals for a night out with your favorite ladies. 

1 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Chiffon Pajama Trousers 

2 // Fleur Du Mal – Fox Silk-Lined Pants 

3 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Trousers 

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SILK T-SHIRT

Instead of throwing on yet another wrinkled, cotton tee, why not upgrade to a luxe silk or satin version? Pick one in a neutral colour (think pearl grey, taupe, navy or blush) and you’ll be have a piece that you can wear with literally everything. Plus, as far as clothing goes, nothing feels better on a hot, muggy day than a breathable silk shirt. 

1 // Reiss Ki – Silk Front T-Shirt

2 // Equipment – Prescott Striped Silk T-Shirt 

3 // CLU – Pleated Organza Trimmed Silk Jersey T-Shirt 

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LINEN SHORTS

Stay cool and chic in a crisp pair of linen shorts. This plant-based fabric is incredibly light and breathable, making it the perfect choice for summer. While I adore bright colours, a loose-fitting pair in an earthy hue will take you everywhere, from brunch to an office barbecue. 

1 // Zimmerman – Zephyr Striped Cotton & Linen Blend Shorts

2 // Vince – Linen and Silk Shorts 

3 // Venroy – Lounge Drawstring Shorts 

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BREEZY CARDIGAN

One of the best things about summer is not having to lug around a heavy coat or jacket. That being said, a lightweight cardigan or poncho (for cool summer nights) is an absolute essential. Choose two or three options – at least one in a luxurious fabric (think silk or thin cashmere) and one casual poncho for camping or hanging out on the beach. Right now I’m loving pieces with nautical stripes and oceanic colours – navy and pale periwinkle blue go with everything! 

1 // Mat Blue – Cream Striped Open Cardigan 

2 // French Connection – Milano Mozart Cardigan

3 // Outdoor & Country – Barbour Harewood Cardigan 

What do you think of these pieces? Would you ever adopt a five piece wardrobe? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

DIY Stress Relieving Whipped Body Butter


Photo via Poppy Talk 

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s a little tidbit of information about me – I’m as high strung as they come and have battled varying degrees of anxiety for years. I’ve been a chronic worrier since I was a kid, and while some days are more challenging than others, I do feel that over the years I have found a few things that make me feel better and keep me calm. Some of these things include yoga, going for a brisk walk, painting, or lighting scented candles and taking a bath. These are little comforts for me and I believe that self-pampering and aromatherapy really help to soothe my mind and body. I love essential oils and I find that certain scents have an especially positive effect on my mood. Lavender, rose, ylang-ylang, and vanilla are my favorites and when they are combined, they instantly send me to dreamland. Essential oils also have a lot of effective beautifying properties as well, so what better way is there to reap their stress-relieving benefits than by using them to make an all natural body butter? This particular recipe results in a rich, whipped texture that reminds me of white chocolate mousse, although trust me, you don’t want to eat it. With only two ingredients comprising the actual body butter, it is really easy to make, and you can totally customize this recipe with your own essential oil combinations if you’re not a fan of my soothing blend. It’s totally up to you! Read on for a stress-free mind and super soft skin!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Shea Butter
  • 3 Drops Rose Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Rose Water
  • 1 Drop Frankincense Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1 Drop Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Drop Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil

DIRECTIONS

1 // Measure the coconut oil (it should be solid) and shea butter into a medium bowl. Add rose water and stir with a spoon until well blended.

2 // Blend the buttery mixture with egg beaters or a hand mixer until soft peaks start to form. Set aside. 

3 // Add essential oils to your partially whipped mixture. Blend further until stiff peaks form.

4 // Spoon mixture into an empty and clean mason jar. Store in a cool dry place. If you’re giving it away as a gift, feel free to dress the jar up with dried rose petals, lavender buds, ribbon, and/or twine. Get creative! 

5 // Enjoy your gorgeously floral scented, silky smooth skin!

If you give this a try, let me know what your verdict is! Also, I’m always on the lookout for beauty DIYs, so please let me in on a few of your favorites!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Callahan

If cozy sweaters and Cali-girl inspired slouchy fits are your jam, you are sure to fall in love with this L.A label. If you’re anything like me, the word ‘knitwear’ bring to mind cuddly pullovers and the thick, wooden sweaters your grandma would knit you. And while you can find these cuddly pieces in a Callahan collection, you’ll find them alongside more contemporary styles – think an edgy batwing dress knit out of super fine yarn, or a fringed crochet maxi. Designer Michelle Callahan created her eponymous label with the desire to offer women beautiful, versatile knitwear that they can wear all year long. Each piece is made to transition from season to season, and although the brand’s aesthetic favours the odd sexy detail here and there (cut-outs, dropped waists, scooped backs), each collection stays true to Callahan’s signature penchant for clean lines and classic silhouettes. Whether you’re on the hunt for a breezy and lightweight sweater dress or a cute pair of crochet shorts, look to this label for those kind of easy-to-wear wardrobe staples that California brands seem to do so well. Here are ten pieces from Callahan’s Spring 2017 collection that I am seriously in love with.

 

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CALLAHAN PICKS

1 // Crochet Maxi

2 // Fringe Column Dress

3 // Enzyme Batwing Mini

4 // Open Weave Off The Shoulder Top

5 // Stripe Off Shoulder Dress

6 // Fringe Crop Sweater

7 // Slinky Mini Tank

8 // Enzyme Shortie Short

9 // Crochet Fringe Top

10 // Stripe Crop Off Shoulder Top

xoxo,

Alicia