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Lately: Cookies, A Christmas Cactus and Collagen

Hey guys! I’m happy to hear that you are eagerly awaiting my sourdough tutorial. The comment, “It’s like waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to start! 😜” kind of made my week.

sourdough rounds

I have been baking test loaves and going out of my way to do as much wrong as possible to make sure the process is as fool-proof as possible for you guys. These two loaves spread and didn’t rise as much as usual (due to the way I treated them in the proofing process) but they still turned out and tasted amazing.

I’m doing my final test batch in the next couple of days to photograph and share!

That’s a lot of sourdough talk for one week.

flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

I’ve also been baking cookies. A yoga friend recently had a baby so I brought her some food to help get them through the week. I can say it’s now a tradition to bake my new mom friends my flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. The first batch was a little over baked thanks to Siri not alerting me when my timer was done (Alexa is much more reliable with kitchen timers). I baked my friends a new batch but of course I kept the other one on hand for us. πŸ™‚

meal for a new mom

I also baked paleo banana bread muffins and made a big batch of this amazing vegan soup that I loosely adapted from Oh She Glows. (The momma is a vegetarian.) On the side was a kale and quinoa salad.

christmas cactus

I have to tell you about my Christmas cactus. I brought it home with me from my grandmother’s house when we moved her out in November 2015. The cactus has only had a few blooms and I’ve been telling my mom I need to separate it and repot it. When we lived at our other house it was so sad, limp and droopy. It’s been in the new house for less than two weeks and look at it! I wish I could show you a before because it seems so much happier and perkier now. I think it’s so cool how plants can do that!

golden retriever

As long as Zoey is inside, I am never alone. She follows me everywhere I go (including the bathroom) and loves to tuck herself into little nooks. This is her new favorite spot next to my desk.

vitamin e cream and collagen

I ordered a few things from Amazon yesterday afternoon and they were delivered by noon today. (Three cheers for Prime.) A reader recommended this Vitamin E Swiss Collagen Complex Creme to help with my burns. They are healing slowly but I still have to keep them covered all the time. I’m starting to worry about scarring so I’m researching how to treat it once I don’t have to do the antibiotic ointment and dressings any longer.

I mentioned to my plastic surgeon friend that I got the cream and he told me he actually doesn’t recommend Vitamin E for scars and that it would weaken the scar. I am so confused! Maybe this cream will be okay since it’s not like breaking a Vitamin E capsule open on your skin and also includes Vitamins A and D. I also finally caved and ordered a collagen supplement in hopes that it will help my skin repair itself. So many of my blogger friends swear by it and here’s a great article from Well + Good.

collagen in tea

I added it to my tea today. It made it a little creamier than normal and the taste was slightly noticeable but I think in a smoothie or coffee that I wouldn’t taste it. Verdict is definitely out on this one. I’ll keep you posted.

And finally on the burn note, I’m trying to pick out a dress that has a high neckline and will cover them for a beach wedding next weekend. Thoughts on option 1, option 2, option 3 or option 4? I’m also open to any and all suggestions from my fashionista readers! πŸ™‚

Oh one more thing…I have a lot of shares today. My weekend workshop at Studio B Power Yoga in Harrisburg, PA is less than a month away. It’s going to be three days of power yoga, backbends, inversions and fun. You can register for the whole weekend or drop-in for sessions. I’d love to see my DC, Philly and Baltimore-area readers there!!!!

Do you have any scar tips?

Have you tried collagen?

Any go-to meals for when you take food to friends?

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{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Miche March 30, 2017, 5:01 pm

    option 4

  • Samantha March 30, 2017, 5:07 pm

    Option 1 for the dress is gorgeous! I love the halter neck and the floral patter is lovely! The pleating on the front makes it slightly different than all the other styles which is something I typically look for in a dress πŸ™‚

  • clare March 30, 2017, 5:19 pm

    I have also had a dermatologist tell me not to use Vitamin E on scars so I would be really careful.

  • Kaci March 30, 2017, 5:33 pm

    Option 1 for sure!!

  • Meghan March 30, 2017, 5:34 pm

    I like option 1 and 4! Also, I am totally in love with all Show me your Mumu and am constantly adding to my collection. This dress is perfect with the slit, low back and high neck line (http://www.showmeyourmumu.com/heather-halter-dress-best-friend-floral). There are other patterns, too! Collagen is amazing, I hope it helps with your burn and I can assure you it will do amazing things to your hair and nails πŸ™‚

  • Rachael March 30, 2017, 5:34 pm

    You’d look gorgeous in just about anything, but I say option 1! Option 4 is lovely but I have side-boob fears.

  • Christina @ montessoriishmom.com March 30, 2017, 5:37 pm

    I am no fashionista, but I like dress number two. I think that color would look so pretty on you!

  • Jess (will run for cheeseburgers) March 30, 2017, 5:41 pm

    Hi! I usually never comment but had to say option 4! I own it and in that color and wore it to a beach wedding. So so flattering and so lovely on. Got a ton of compliments!

  • Lauren C March 30, 2017, 5:42 pm

    Both option 1 and option 4 are beautiful!

    It’s so kind of you to bring food to your new mama friend. If there’s anything you want/ need (other than sleep and a shower) with a newborn, it’s yummy food! And I’ve made those cookies before and they are amazing (thanks for sharing that one on the blog)! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. πŸ™‚

  • Melissa March 30, 2017, 5:51 pm

    I love Option 1! So colorful and perfect for a beach wedding. Option 4 is pretty too though. The cookies you made look delicious. πŸ™‚ Hoping that your burns heal quickly.

  • Lizzie March 30, 2017, 5:54 pm

    I’ve been a Philly reader for years and am hoping to make one of the classes that weekend! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley March 30, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Option 4

  • Katy March 30, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Option 4!

  • Ashley March 30, 2017, 6:11 pm

    Options 1 and 4 are gorgeous!

  • Alexandra March 30, 2017, 6:27 pm

    I’m currently in Philly (although I’ve been a reader in many cities over the years!), but I’ll be in Dallas for a wedding that weekend. I hope you come back to the Philly area soon!

  • KT March 30, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Long time reader, first time commenter here… I can’t believe my first comment is on a dress choice but I absolutely LOVE maxi dresses.

    I vote for either Option 1 or 4!

  • Colleen March 30, 2017, 7:20 pm

    I see you in option 4. I think the color would be great with your dark hair!

  • Emily Watson March 30, 2017, 7:23 pm

    All the dresses are beautiful and you would look great in any of them, too. But I think option one not only has the WOW factor but I think it would be the least likely to show any creases of the bandages. Hope your burn heals fast!

  • Kelly March 30, 2017, 7:25 pm

    I have seen physicians (I’m in my final year of Med school) recommend vitamin E after the area has been completely covered by new skin.- Meaning don’t apply the cream to any denuded areas because it can disrupt granulation tissue from moving in (new skin formation). Also the studies I’ve looked at have not shown any difference in outcomes and you might have a reaction to the cream if you have sensitive skin. So the cream is probably not bad, but maybe not helpful.
    And on a less serious note I’m impressed by your bread making skills and think dress 1 is awesome

  • Erin March 30, 2017, 7:49 pm

    Option 1 is my favorite. 4 would be second. Not a fan of the other 2. Can’t wait to see what you end up with!

    No advice on the scar other than lots of sunblock and keeping it out of the sun.

  • Jenn March 30, 2017, 8:40 pm

    1 or 4 depending on how much back/side boon you’re comfortable with. Both would be beautiful.

  • Jackie March 30, 2017, 8:44 pm

    Hi Jen, I like dress option 1! Very cute. About the scar, my daughter had a surgery on her face with a plastic surgeon, and he also said not to do vitamin e.

  • Elisa March 30, 2017, 8:51 pm

    I’ve used collagen in smoothies and pretty much anywhere I’d use protein powder. I find it doesn’t always sit well with my digestion though. Also if you use it in a smoothie be prepared for it to get really foamy and double in size! I find that leaving it out until the end and pulsing it in after the rest of the smoothie is blended keeps it at a manageable size. I also get unflavored gelatin and mix it with fruit juice to make healthy “jigglers” for a good dose of collage. Good luck and I hope it helps with healing!

  • Kate March 30, 2017, 11:05 pm

    Love those dresses! Have you tried Rent the Runway before? It’s great to get a dress without having to commit to wanting to wear it multiple times. Highly recommend! And let me know if you need a code for a discount off your first order πŸ™‚

  • Zoe March 31, 2017, 8:06 am

    I think option 4 is simple yet elegant!

  • Ally March 31, 2017, 8:22 am

    Option 4!

  • Kimberly March 31, 2017, 8:22 am

    I love #1 and #4! Also I use collagen (the same great lakes brand you bought) and really like it, although I never noticed any difference when I add it to my tea.

  • Mikki March 31, 2017, 8:32 am

    Dress 1 would look so pretty with you hair and skin tone. I like 4 too. I use collagen every day to help my digestion and my joints. The other awesome side effects are great nails and hair!

  • Marion March 31, 2017, 9:12 am

    I have also jumped on the collagen bandwagon! Vital proteins brand is what I use and it does not taste at all. I put one scoop in my coffee every morning. So far loving the results I am seeing…stronger nails, helps with joint pain and recovery, etc.

  • Christy March 31, 2017, 9:25 am

    All of the dresses are super cute. I’m planning to use Rent the Runway soon to try it out…I love this one https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/cynthia_steffe/light_blue_monte_dress. Could be a good option if you aren’t wanting to actually buy a new dress and just wear once.

  • Victoria A Ramonis-rafacz March 31, 2017, 9:26 am

    Option 1! Though your figure is amazing & any choice will look fabulous!

  • Katie H March 31, 2017, 9:48 am

    Option 1! It’s beautiful and beachy πŸ™‚ Option 4 is lovely too. I love the pic of Zoey in the corner- what a doll.

  • Kat March 31, 2017, 10:08 am

    Option 1 or 3 for sure!!

  • Aimee March 31, 2017, 10:23 am

    My fur baby does the same thing – just follows me around all day. Eventually, he’ll get tired of me moving around and he’ll try to “pin me down” by sitting on my lap and refusing to move.

    I love PB cookies. They are my favorite and I always have some dough frozen, ready to go. I like recipes with no or very little flour. They just taste better!

  • Tamara March 31, 2017, 11:45 am

    I love option #1…..#4 is a close second. I think the colour would look gorgous with your dark hair ! Have you ever looked into colloial silver for burns? A friend of mine had severe burns from falling into a camp fire, and that what helped her heal. Might be worth looking into anyways! I cant wait for your sourdough post….I have a starter I am itching to use!

  • Jill March 31, 2017, 12:31 pm

    As an Amazon employee, I love this post! πŸ™‚ So glad you love your Prime and Alexa. And I vote for Option 4!

  • Courtney B March 31, 2017, 1:38 pm

    I work in a skin cancer surgery center and we recommend silicone gel for scar care. You want to make sure the burn (or any wound) is fully healed before using any product on it (except ointment like aquaphor, vaseline, antibiotic ointments). You can find silicone gel pads in the bandage section at any drug store/pharmacy. Our office does not recommend Vitamin E to scars for the same reason your plastic surgeon friend said.

    I vote for dress 1 for the beach wedding!

  • Katie Grace March 31, 2017, 1:38 pm

    A long time ago I fell down a flight of stairs outside and scraped the side of my face on the sidewalk. I was so worried about scarring and once I was done with wound care I bought Mederma and I have literally no scars. Maybe ask your doc about that…..it’s based on some sort of onion extract I think.

  • Candice March 31, 2017, 1:58 pm

    Absolutely option 4!!

  • Laura March 31, 2017, 2:08 pm

    I think option 4 would look the best on you. You have a sexy back and should show it off!! If you want to be more conservative, option one πŸ™‚ But I think you’d get more wear out of option 4 post-wedding… and it’s the cheapest option!

    I had a terrible burn on my leg and I used aloe from a plant… and there was minimal scarring. Good luck–I’m so sorry for you that that happened, especially during a very stressful week!!

    • Laura March 31, 2017, 2:10 pm

      Oh! and that’s so thoughtful about bringing food to your friend. Also LOVE that you thought to bring something she can eat for breakfast. We got SO many dinners, but never any thing for other meals–that was very smart/thoughtful of you! My advice–don’t stay more than 15-20 minutes… haha… I hated feeling like I had to entertain people when they’d stop by with food. πŸ™‚

  • C March 31, 2017, 2:21 pm

    I have only commented once about it was about getting a golden retriever – your posts made me see that we could do it, busy life and all, thank you!

    I was badly burned by boiling water pouring on to the top of my hand. Once the bubbling on my skin subsided, I used a colloidal silver cream for several months and it really worked to reduce scarring and the discoloration. It’s fairly expensive so you may want to ask your doc’s opinion before buying it. Wishing you a speedy recovery, C

  • Mary w March 31, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Use mederma scar cream! I had ACL surgery a few months ago and had huge incisions and have used mederma on them and it has helped tremendously

  • Meg March 31, 2017, 6:48 pm

    Option #4!!! You would look absolutely incredible!

  • Beth April 1, 2017, 12:26 am

    I agree about the collagen.
    I’ve read about people putting in their coffee and tea and not tasting it and I cannot hardly believe that!! The moment I add it to my tea I smell it and I think it smells yuck.
    I chug the tea once it’s cooled and then Chase it with some oj or anything to get the taste out.
    I wish I couldn’t taste it… Maybe I should try a brand other than Great Lakes…?

    • Jen April 1, 2017, 8:52 am

      I am sitting here drinking coffee with collagen now and I can smell and taste it in every sip! Definitely going to have to either get used to it or figure out a different way!

  • Jessica April 1, 2017, 10:38 am

    Option 1 or 4!

  • JennyV April 1, 2017, 5:13 pm

    Love the dress options – #4 is so cute — I definitely want to get it in the emerald green color, plus you can’t beat the price! You’ll look amazing.

    Love the Christmas cactus — my parents have my grandma’s and it’s massive! I have a cute one from Trader Joe’s from about 4 years ago that ALWAYS blooms just after Thanksgiving.

  • Lindsay April 2, 2017, 8:02 am

    I’m so bummed you’re going to Studio B!! I’m from Harrisburg but moved to Winston-Salem a year ago for grad school, I’m trying to make it to Charlotte one of these weekends to take your class πŸ™‚
    Have fun in PA!!

  • Rebecca April 3, 2017, 3:30 pm

    I had scar revision surgery a few years ago (had to get a big chunk of skin taken out after a biopsy came back with melanoma– wear sunscreen!). The plastic surgeon told me to use Mederma or vitamin E oil but that was after the scar had finished healing. The told me not to use anything but my antibiotic ointment on the scar before it had healed over.

    They also had me use this tape stuff to keep the area flat while it was healing. I can’t remember the name of it, they gave me a bunch of it at the office. That at least helped the scar from becoming raised.

  • Lindsay April 3, 2017, 5:24 pm

    Well this seems to be the consensus, but I like #4 the best! And #1 is 2nd. I think both would be perfect for a beach wedding…wishing I had one to go to now too! Lol

  • mandy April 4, 2017, 4:33 pm

    option one or four

  • Abby April 4, 2017, 8:31 pm

    option 1. option 4 is pretty but has WAYYY to much side boob showing.

  • anna April 6, 2017, 1:10 am

    not to bring things down, but amazon continues to run ads on breitbart.

  • Hillary April 6, 2017, 7:36 pm

    I take that same Great Lakes collagen supplement every day πŸ™‚

    Oooh, dress #4!!

  • Hillary May 25, 2017, 8:51 pm

    aNY UPDATE on how collagen is going? Looking for one that is reasonably priced

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:35 pm

      HEY! Okay, so I’m totally hooked on it in a way that I haven’t been hooked to any supplement kind of thing in a long time. I literally feel like I HAVE to have it every day. I usually either add it to my smoothies or coffee. I could really taste it at first but now I can’t at all.

      I would definitely say that my nails are stronger. My hair guy said my hair seemed a lot healthier this appointment and I hadn’t had it cut in 5 months! RE: skin…can’t say I’ve seen a big improvement there but I’m only a couple of months in. I just ordered two new containers of it so I’ll keep testing it out! πŸ™‚

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