The gift of... Simple Mills Coffee Cake!

December 2, 2016

You've heard me talk about sales and gift guides a lot over the past few weeks... but of course, how much money you spend should have very little to do with the holiday season. I'll admit, I usually shy away from DIY projects, but homemade gifts can be a great way to keep your budget down AND show someone that you were thinking about them! From a host/hostess gift to an extra something for a family member, this coffee cake jar is my new favorite DIY gift EVER :)

As you guys know, I'm not a huge dessert person, which is why you rarely see me bake on this little blog - woops! But one of my favorite food brands, Simple Mills, makes these amazing cake/bread mixes with almond flour. GAME CHANGER. Yes, that means that their mixes, like this Vanilla Cake Mix, is gluten free, paleo friendly AND has less than half the sugar of other cake mixes. Clean ingredients, great taste, way less guilt. I'll take it!

Which is why I looove this gift idea! It's really fun to give people homemade cookies, but part of me always hates receiving them. You want me to eat ALL of these things that are terrible for me all by myself?! What are you thinking?! But with this, I used coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar, so the worst ingredient is butter! And most health fanatics don't even consider that all bad, especially if you use grass fed butter, so... have I justified this enough yet? Let's get to the recipe!

To start, you'll need a 32 oz mason jar, some ribbon and a plastic bag. Open up your box of Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix and set 2 tbsp aside. Add the rest of your mason jar.

Stuff a bag into the mason jar with the ziplock at the top. Add the 2 tbsp of mix, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, 3 heaping tsp of cinnamon (can never have enough!), and 2 tbsp raisins. Seal the bag and screw the cap back on your jar. Tie a bow around it and voila! The cutest little gift ever.

You'll also need a card or cute tag for the instructions! 
Once they've got the jar, this is what they need to know:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Remove the bag from your mason jar. (You might need to spoon some of it out into a bowl in order to get the bag out. Don't hesitate to do that - you absolutely do not want to rip the bag!)
3) Pour the cake mix in the jar into a mixer with 3 eggs, 1/3 cup of milk, 1 tbsp vanilla, and 6 tbsp butter. Mix until smooth. 

4) Pour into a greased 9x13" pan.
5) Take the mixture from the bag and pour it all into a bowl. Cut 4 tbsp of butter into small cubes and add that to the bowl. Now, crumble it all together - don't by shy! Use your hands!

6) Add the crumble on top of the cake as evenly as possible.

Ohh yeaaaa.

7) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes up clean.

If you are making this as a gift, you can print the instructions right HERE.

If you're just makin the cake, you can print the recipe right HERE.

And if you're curious about what this actually tastes like - the answer is DELICIOUS :) Seriously, I tested the recipe for my family on Thanksgiving morning and my mom asked me if we could make it an annual tradition! I served it here with some Pistachio Halo Top for a little extra sweetness and color, but it really doesn't even need it. It's so freaking good, you guys. I know you're gonna love it!!

PS. Not sure where to find Simple Mills products? Don't worry! They're available at Whole Foods, Target, Sprouts, Amazon and For other locations check out their store locator, too!

*This post was sponsored by Simple Mills, but (as always) all opinions are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands that make Lake Shore Lady possible!

Never Coast

You guys know I'm a big fan of yoga... but what you might not know, is that going through teacher training actually burned me out a little bit. Eeep! I know I know, I was surprised, too! Going to yoga has always been about more than just exercise - it was my favorite time of day, the "me time" I crave without cell phones and emails, my opportunity to clear my head. But after going to the studio nearly every single day, it started to feel like a chore... and as soon as I recognized that feeling, I knew I had to nip that in the bud. I want yoga to be a part of my life forever!

So, I took note of what I was missing and realized that I missed the challenge of trying something new. I had plateaued in my practice a little bit - I mastered a lot of really cool poses on my list during training, but the next level to strive for seemed oh so far away. Bottom line: I needed to switch it up and get stronger. 

Enter: Flywheel.

Okay, I'll be honest - I like their cycling classes, but their barre classes are the real star for me. I've tried barre before, but I've never enjoyed them like I enjoy these! Their varieties (60 minutes, 45 minutes, Sport, Arms & Abs) keep me interested, there is a focus on calm and steady breathing (which reminds me of yoga), and the moves are super targeted on specific muscle groups, which leaves me sore! The clear sign of gaining strength, right?!

My personal favorite is their new Arms & Abs class. I've always liked working on my core because that helps my yoga practice so much, but arms are tough for me. I mean, I may or may not have asked God to PLEASE give me toned arms for once in my life haha - and this class might help answer my prayers! Seriously, the first time I took it, I was sore for 2 full days. Woo! Progress!

Above all, I've really been enjoying the mix in my routine. Start the week with yoga, take a barre class, then a spin, then back to yoga, then back to barre! This time of year is so busy that fitting workouts in can be tough, so I love that I'm finding a way to get excited and motivated when I do have time. That's the way to do it, y'all.

Have you guys tried Flybarre or Flywheel? They're doing a gift card promotion right now, so it's a great time to test it out!

What are your favorite workouts? Do you guys like to mix it up?

Photos by Julie Kennedy!

Beanies + Frenchies

December 1, 2016

Sweater: Alice & Wonder (borrowed) | Shirt: similar | Hat: Alice & Wonder (borrowed) | Jeans: Alice & Wonder (borrowed) | Booties: Madewell

A few weeks ago, I did a really fun shoot with Alice & Wonder, VO Jewelry and a couple of my favorite blogger babes. It was the morning after the election and like many, I was having trouble shaking the feeling of sadness... but I had committed to this shoot! AH! I texted Ali to let her know I was going to be a few minutes late, in order to make 100% SURE I wasn't showing up with a terribly puffy face. Being the lovely wonder woman she is, she said no problem, and greeted me with a big ole hug when I arrived. I swear, I'm so lucky I get to work with such wonderful people on a regular basis. It's the best.


The other Ali (from These White Walls!) had brought her dog Obie, and all of a sudden it was an excellent afternoon! You all know I'm obsessed with pups, so when he ran up to be during this outfit shoot, I had to let him stay and be a part of it - duh!

And yes, of course I wanted to steal him, but Ali is too great - I couldn't do that to her! Especially when she told me she'd hook me up with her breeder when I'm ready to get a frenchie of my own... uh oh... the temptation is strong right now...

But back to the outfit! This is the perfect outfit for when you want to look put together, but you also want to be cozy AF as cozy as possible ;)

Photography by Iron & Honey

Most of the exact pieces are on Alice & Wonder (and under $100!), but you can shop my booties and similar items below, too! 

Blueberry Brandy Cider

November 29, 2016

A few weeks back, I was challenged by the Blueberry Council to create a winter cocktail using, you guessed it - BLUEBERRIES! Since I loooove bluebs (who doesn't?!), I was 100% on board. We came up with this warm Blueberry Brandy Cider that smells and tastes just as pretty as it looks!! Seriously, this is such a comforting cold weather cocktail - you're going to want to make it at all of your parties!

Want to make it at home?! Get the recipe right HERE!

2016 Gift Guide: For Her

*Click the images above to shop!*

Happy Tuesday! I don't know about you, but Cyber Monday really lit a fire under my booty - it's time to get goin on those Christmas lists, huh?! Luckily, a few sales and markdowns last all week long, so grab your lists and start checking loved ones off! Staring with the ladies...

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