Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gluten-Free/Lactose-Free, Homemade Mac-N-Cheese!

Last week, I was craving Mac & Cheese and headed to the grocery store with full intentions of buying a gluten-free/dairy-free boxed version. I looked at the back of the box to read the ingredients and immediately felt discouraged (many of the ingredients I could not pronounce). I decided I would make it myself, using items I felt comfortable with - the fewer ingredients on the list, the better. 

As someone trying to navigate a healthy diet while enjoying a normal lifestyle, I find balance really important. I don't want to be a slave to junk food, but I also don't want to be a slave to healthy/raw/organic/non-gmo/paleo food. When I dine out, I try to enjoy the experience while not worrying if my food was cooked in canola oil. When I'm home, I find joy out of cooking with healthy ingredients that I chose for myself and my family.  

This mac n'cheese recipe isn't paleo, or whole30, or even that healthy. But it's gluten free/soy free/lactose free and its DELICIOUS.  The recipe (which is at the end of the post) isn't perfect, I literally made it up and I'm not a trained chef so I encourage you to tweak it to your taste - more cheese, different brands, more toppings? Have fun with it!

So simple!
I've been preferring this New Barn brand of Almond milk because of the short list in the ingredient section. I would never drink a glass of it (not enough taste for me), but it's a great addition to smoothies/cooking/baking.
Grass-fed is best, and ghee is lactose free!
I chose jarlsberg cheese as it is naturally lactose free, as well as a grass-fed sharp, well-aged dubliner, the longer a cheese is aged, the longer the lactose has to break-down and become more tolerable (over 18 months). You could also use gruyere, almond ricotta, or a sharp cheddar.
Remember all that balance I was talking about? yeah...I added ketchup to my mac-n-cheese because, pregnancy.

Recipe //

1 1/2 cups brown rice pasta
1/2 cup Almond Milk
3/4 cup Jarlsberg 
3/4 cup Cheddar
2 tbsp Ghee

Cook pasta according to the package. Combine cheese, milk, and ghee in sauce pan until melted completely, stirring often. Strain pasts and add to cheese sauce. Salt & Pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Newborn Portraits: Baby Cameron Michael

Baby Cameron Michael was born to my friends, Tara and Todd, on Thanksgiving Day last year. Their joy, pride, and love for Cameron, and each other, is infectious. He will be supported and cherished...and a Bruins hockey fan :) 

If you would like to contact me for a newborn photo shoot - email me at saralaurenw@gmail.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Prep for Yourself!

Over the weekend, we traveled to Paul's parents house to lock down some babysitting (so thankful GiGi & Pops are always willing to watch Roswelle) while Paul and I went out to dinner & a movie, for an early valentine's celebration.

This will be our 7th valentine's together, and while I'm not going to purchase a new dress or get a hair blowout for the date, I did want to do something special (and free) to make myself feel like I put in a little extra effort for my valentine. 
{I pulled out a heart locket from my childhood, I believe my parents gave me this when I was 10 or 11. The sweet sentiment and obvious shape felt appropriate.}
{I typically only wear chapstick or an understated lip color, but for Valentine's I think pink or red is always a good choice}

{Tonight, while watching the Bachelor, give yourself a manicure or pedicure. Make use of the two hour long show and take your time applying a pink or red hue to your nails, giving them plenty of time to dry}

{I didn't wear this slip dress on Saturday night, it was just too cold here in Boston, but I plan to wear this combo in the future. Adding a lace camisole so that it slightly shows under any garment, even a sweater, adds a special element to the outfit}
 {I'm usually not a fan of fragrance on my skin, but Saturday night I added the smallest amount on my wrists. It made the pizza and a movie seem like a very fancy occasion. I was recently gifted Tory Burch Love Relentlessly and have really enjoyed the light scent.}

Whether you are celebrating with your partner, heading out for a "Galentine's" dinner, or staying in with your pets, doing a little something for self-care is never a bad choice. And of course, more ideas such as false lashes, a spray tan, fancy stilettos, or lingerie would be valuable additions for celebrating Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Styling Around the House

I love the color pink, always have and probably always will. So naturally, I really enjoy styling our home in the month of February. I have to demonstrate some restraint when it comes to adding the color in our house - I have yet to use a pink rug in our house, although I think they are fabulous!

This year I went up into Roswelle's room and grabbed a few pink things that would transition well throughout the main floor - a frame, a throw, and some of her books. I grabbed a few candles and bowls from the attic which gave me a good start for styling. The only purchase made this year was the wool garland from Target which I laid on our new storage bench as well as some roses with a pink hue. 

It really doesn't take much to make your house festive, I hope you feel inspired to give it a try! 

Roswelle and I are going to make her Valentine's cards with some stickers (which I've used as a decorative confetti on the kitchen table this week), markers, and craft paper. I may even take a stab at making some paper garland for our mantel.