When it comes to a fast and easy lunch, protein smoothies have long been a go-to for me. Lately I’ve been trying to find ways to make them a little different, as having the same type of meal often can become mundane. Today I’m sharing the recipe for one of my latest favorites, a gray protein smoothie.
5 minutes. Makes approximately 1-2 servings.
1.5 cups almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of your choice. I prefer this one.
1 handful of baby spinach
1/4c of blueberries. I just add them a few at a time until I get the color I want.
1. Place all ingredients into the blender, adding spinach last. I have a Vitamix Professional and love it.
2. Blend until smooth.
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy my recipe for a light spinach smoothie.
What is your go-to for a quick meal? Have you had a gray protein smoothie before?
Since I keep a minimal closet, the biggest thing I feel like I can invest in are pieces that can be worn multiple ways. I’ve shared a couple of favorites before, including a scarf and swimsuits that can be worn as tops. Today I’m sharing with you a simple v-neck sweater that can be worn 3 different ways with very little effort.
1. Wear the sweater forward. This is the normal way that you’d wear this sweater, and I think it’s a great casual look when paired with jeans, or you can pair with a skirt or slacks for a nicer look.
2. Wear the sweater backward. The simple act of turning the sweater around raises the neckline and makes it look much more fancy than it actually is. It also moves the V shape to the back, adding interest there so I’d suggest wearing your hair up. During our trip to Napa I simply turned my sweater around before our dinner date and added a bolder lip color for an easy evening look.
3. Wear the sweater off the shoulder. This look is a lot more casual and perhaps a bit sultry. Off the shoulder is not my favorite look for this piece, but since it’s a wide V cut, it can be done if it’s something you’d like. I think pairing it with casual (even ripped) jeans and flats will help it look as though your outfit is intentional instead of undone.
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Do you have items in your wardrobe that you wear more than one way?
It’s March, the month of spring, and California has finally decided that it’s time for winter weather. While I’m not ready to pull out any springtime dresses, I am ready to bundle up in some super soft athleisure. Ever since I started working out more I’ve been drawn to clothing that offers a little more softness and give when it comes to wear. Today I’m partnering with Lou & Grey to share some cozy athleisure pieces that definitely give me all the feels.
Hoodies are always a welcome part of a relaxed outfit and I love the fit of this one. I’m wearing the Lou & Grey Brushed Twill Hoodie. I’ve always been a fan of larger silhouettes and although the size I’m wearing is a small it has a nice relaxed fit. There is no elastic around the bottom and the straps are wide so it also feels more elevated than a traditional sweatshirt.
Over the hoodie I’ve layered a ribbed sweater to give my outfit more texture. I’m wearing the Lou & Grey Wooly Ribbed Dolman Sweater in the color marscarpone, which is a slightly off-white hue. The sweater is made from a wool-blend and has slightly oversized fit. One fit item to note is that the sleeves can be short if you have long arms like I do, so you might need to size up.
My favorite pants to wear lately have been sweatpants, and the Lou & Grey Zen Bounce Sweatpants no exception. These pants are ultra soft with a relaxed fit. I originally tried on a size small, but they were a little more relaxed than I’d like so I went with an extra small. I prefer a more tailored fit for my bottoms when I wear a larger top to help balance out my outfit. The color is winter frost melange, which has a textured look to it. It makes the white very forgiving if you happen to get anything on it by accident.
1. Try styling your athleisure look in a monochrome color palette to keep it from looking too much like the sweats you also wear around the house. I chose an all-white look because it feels more like spring and is still a little unexpected when it comes to sporty-styling. If color is your thing, you could try something navy or even poppy-hued.
2. Wear shoes that lean more casual with your outfit. If you try to pair sweats with shoes that feel too formal your look might not come together as well as if you pair them with casual shoes that are borderline athletic.
3. To elevate your look, try throwing a non-sporty jacket or coat over the top such as a leather jacket or wool overcoat.
Shop Spring Athleisure:
Do you like to wear athleisure on a day to day basis? What is your favorite way to wear an athletic inspired outfit?
This post is sponsored by Lou & Grey, a brand I’ve shopped at for years (seriously, it’s around the corner from me!). All opinions are my own. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that help make life here at Hej Doll a little sweeter.
My long blonde hair has become the most definable part of my image and often it receives the most questions, comments, and compliments. They range from how to grow your hair long, to how healthy it is, to how full and thick it is. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my hair, while it may be thick, it is also fine. Very fine. There are a few things I do to get more volume from my tiny strands, and today I’ve partnered with Hair Food to share them with you.
1. The right haircut is essential.
This is such an important part of having good hair. The longer your hair is, the heavier it is. If you have fine and thick hair like mine, especially if it’s longer, you will need to have layers so your hair is not pulled downward. You can ask any good stylist for well-blended layers and explain your hair goals and they can get you there.
2. Shampoo only.
I used to be very diligent about using both shampoo and conditioner, then leave-in conditioner, then oil on top of it. I’ve recently switched to only shampoo in an effort to avoid products containing oils that weigh my hair down. I love the Hair Food Volume Shampoo because it’s free of mineral oil, silicones and parabens. They have a matching conditioner if your hair is not like mine and you need extra moisture.
3. Use thickening hair treatment.
Add thickening hair treatment to your crown area before you start to blow dry your hair. I like to add mine before I comb my hair out so it helps distribute it better. Hair Food has a Thickening Hair Treatment that, like the shampoo, is mineral oil and paraben-free.
4. Add dry shampoo.
This is going to sound crazy, but the more texture your hair has, the less flat it will lay. Add dry shampoo to your hair while wet and before blow drying to help add texture and pre-coat it to avoid any oil later in the day.
5. Dry hair upside down.
I always, always dry my hair upside down. Starting at the back of my head and working my way to the front I rough-dry. This means without a brush, same as finger-dry my hair to about 95%, then follow up with a half-round brush to keep it a little smoother. I try to blow dry my hair with a part that is opposite of what I’d like to wear. That way when I’m ready to finalize my hairstyle it helps to add more volume to it.
6. Curl in opposite directions.
What I mean by this is if you’d like to add waves to your hair instead of curling them all toward or away from your face, alternate with each new section. When you do this it doesn’t give the curls a chance to bunch up since they all have a different pattern. I like to use a curling wand on my hair because it is the fastest method for me.
7. Flip your part & finish.
If you’ve been working on your hair with a part on the left side of your head, switch your part to your right side for a little instant pick-me-up. You can also do this throughout the day if your hair needs extra oomph. Afterward do your final fluff and spray with the finishing spray of your choice.
Hair Food is available at your local Ulta. Click here for more information!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hair Food. The opinions and text are all mine.
Last month we got to visit one of my favorite nearby destinations, Downtown Napa. During our stay we were hosted by Archer Hotel Napa. I had it on my wishlist for a long time so I was really excited to get to stay there, and from the photos I’m sure you can see why. The decor of the hotel was right up my alley and I’ve always loved to find home decor inspiration from hotels. Today I’m sharing a few more photos of our room and some tips to get the same look in your own home.
Bedroom & Living Space:
I think we can all agree that the superstar in this space is the bed. I’ve never really been a huge fan of canopy beds but the way the light filtered through the sheer curtains was pretty magical. I’m also madly in love with the modern tufted leather bench. The whole space came together beautifully to create a modern and inviting space to enjoy during our time in Downtown Napa. As a cute little bonus, the room offered both The Little Prince and The 24 Hour Wine Expert as bedtime stories.
Fontanne Leather Bench
Adding this to my home decor wishlist pronto. SHOP NOW
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Bathroom & Relaxation:
I really loved the enormous tub in the bathroom. Though it likely wouldn’t work in my tiny house, a girl can dream right? The plush Frette robe would be my second best pick, and the his & hers slippers were adorable.
A plush favorite you’ll want to take home for yourself. SHOP NOW
Malin + Goetz
All of the essentials you’ll need for your stay. SHOP NOW
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To learn more about my trip to Downtown Napa, click here.
Archer Hotel Napa 1230 1st Street
Napa, California 94559
Our one-night stay at Archer Hotel Napa was sponsored by Archer Hotels, all thoughts and images are my own. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make life here at Hej Doll a little sweeter.
Do you draw home decor inspiration from places you’ve stayed?
Years ago I purchased my first reusable bag for groceries. Shortly thereafter plastic bags were banned in my area, and now they’re banned in all of California. It really got me thinking about the type of waste I create, and for a long time now I’ve become more focused on my efforts to reduce the waste I create and bring home with my groceries. Today I’m sharing my favorite and the easiest way to create less waste, by using reusable bags for shopping. I’m sharing some of my favorites for buying different items (you’d be amazed at what you can find in bulk), as well as a few other common wasteful items to replace.
Zero Waste Reusable Favorites
Standard Reusable Bags
A word of warning, collect these slowly because it can be quite fun to grow your collection. These bags not only 2-3 standard grocery bags worth of food, they are strong enough to hold 50 pounds and are machine washable. A word to the wise when ordering online, those neons will stop traffic. SHOP NOW
FLIP & TUMBLE
Flip & Tumble Reusable Produce Bags
I have 2 sets of these for shopping and use them both for produce and for many of my bulk item buys. They are made from a very fine mesh so I would not recommend them for finer items like flour, but they work very well for rolled oats, produce, nuts, snacks, etc. SHOP NOW
Korken Glass Jars
Once you bring home all of your bulk purchases, you’re going to need somewhere to put them, right? Cue the Ikea Korken jars. I keep everything from trail mixes to even homemade pickles and leftovers in mine. They are dishwasher safe and you can buy new gaskets for them if you need to. While they are clear, you can even use a chalk pen to write what is inside in case it’s easily confused (powdered sugar / flour anyone?). SHOP NOW
Food Storage Wrap
Ahh, plastic wrap. I haven’t used it in years and usually lean toward glass storage with lids (see jars above), but if you’re going somewhere this is the way to go. This Bee’s Wrap is coated fabric and will function the same as plastic wrap would and can be reused time after time again. SHOP NOW
Years and years ago I was introduced to goodbyn. When I worked away from home I packed my lunch in one of these, and when Aiden started school he started using one of these. He still uses one to this day! These leak-proof lunchboxes are BPA and phthalate free, recyclable, and can be used for years and years. They come with the main container, plus 2 smaller ones and offer more than enough space to hold a delicious lunch. SHOP NOW
For years (like 8) we’ve been using these coffee cups when we take our coffee in the morning. To work, on trips, etc. They’re dishwasher safe and not hideous. They hold up to 16oz and are insulated to keep your drink warmer longer. I originally found them at Paper Source but have included a link to buy them online. If the other link sells out, you can get them at Big Cat Coffee here. SHOP NOW
Clear Reusable Bags
I use these in place of any other normal gallon plastic bag. We don’t have an ice-maker so I keep one in our freezer filled with ready-to-go cubes of ice. I keep one in my son’s backpack for school with his extra clothes. For travel the quart size comes in handy for liquids. The one drawback I’d say is that I wouldn’t trust them with liquids, and if you do make a sticky mess in them cleaning them out isn’t fun. SHOP NOW
Large Net Bag
Don’t be fooled by the produce in the bag on the left, it really works great for carrying towels, sand toys, and other items around the beach. I know they have holes in them, but hear me out. Because they have holes in them, all you need to do is give them a really good shake to get the sand out. No more finding sand in your bag and all over your carpet or the rest of your house a week later. SHOP NOW
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Do you use reusable bags? Which are your favorites?
Last year the North Bay area was ravaged by fires, including many parts of Napa Valley. As a place close to both my heart and home, I felt so deeply for so many of my fellow Californian’s in trouble. Many of my friends and family personally donated their time and resources to helping rebuild the area. This year Downtown Napa reached out to me to come check the area out and there’s no way I could say no. My last visit to Downtown Napa was one of my favorites, and I learned how walkable it actually was. This time was no different, so today I’ve teamed up with Downtown Napa to sharing my 24 hours there with you!
Saturday, 11AM: My husband and I packed up and left the house around 11. Traffic is always a little iffy to navigate through the bay area, but luckily we made it to Napa in good time, traveling up highway 880, then over to 680.
Saturday, 1PM: We made it to downtown after a stop for gas and were able to check in to our hotel early, yay! We were lucky to be hosted by one of my wishlist hotels, Archer Hotel. After settling into our room, we did some walking around the hotel. The rooftop isn’t open yet, but I’m hoping to return when it does.
Archer Hotel Napa
Located in the heart of Downtown Napa, Archer Hotel has been on my wishlist since long before it opened. Not only does it have an amazing and central location, the hotels decor is so dreamy, I promise I’ll share more later!
1230 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 (www)
Saturday, 2PM: We took a walk down first street to one of my favorite places downtown, Oxbow Public Market.
Oxbow Public Market
A large indoor market near the riverside with food vendors, local produce, and more.
610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 (www)
Saturday, 3PM: Do you ever forget to eat lunch because you’re having such a good time? Us too. We stopped in to one of our local favorites, Gott’s Roadside for a quick bite. On the way back to the hotel we stopped by Back Room Wines to grab a souvenir (Hint: Wine!) for later.
Burgers, beer, and wine, what more could you ask for? Casual and cool inside, their giant neon “EAT” sign makes for a really good instagram photo.
644 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 (www)
Back Room Wines
A casual no-pressure wine store and bar located on First Street. We picked up a bottle of Riesling to enjoy later on.
1000 Main St Suite 120, Napa, CA 94559 (www)
Saturday, 5PM: The sun set on the west end of First Street in Downtown Napa and it made for a memorable sight from our balcony. I don’t feel like I’m a big “steak eater”, but every now and then I really crave a good steak. After watching the sunset we headed downstairs to Charlie Palmer Steak and it did not disappoint. We sat tucked into one of the booths while we enjoyed our dinner.
Charlie Palmer Steak
Sleek and sophisticated, located on the first floor of Archer Hotel, the steakhouse serves seafood, steak(duh), and more.
1260 1st St, Napa, CA 94559 (www)
Saturday, 8PM: In the mood to stroll downtown after our delicious dinner, we took a walk around downtown admiring various works along the Napa Art Walk and enjoying the beautiful weather. The rest of the night was spent with a delicious bottle of wine, a warm fire, and a relaxing bath.
Sunday, 11AM: One thing I never can resist is sleeping in. I also can’t resist room service breakfast. I never used to go for it but now I just can’t resist. It always makes getting ready in the morning easy, especially if you’re going to check out. The valet brought our car around quickly, and the drive home was painless. 24 hours doesn’t seem like a long time to stay somewhere, but our short and sweet adventure in Downtown Napa was just the break we needed from the usual Bay Area hustle we’re used to.
This post is a part of my City Guide series, click here to see them all.
Have you been to Downtown Napa? Any places you would add to this list? I’d love to hear!
This post is sponsored by Downtown Napa, a favorite place of mine in California. Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make life here at Hej Doll a little sweeter.
Have you ever heard of the hanger trick? It’s the easiest way to clean out your closet and requires very little effort, though it does take a lot of (passive) time. If you’re bad at making decisions the hanger trick can help you. I do it every year for fun, so today I’m sharing how to do it, and some questions you should ask yourself once it’s done.
The Hanger Trick Guidelines:
1. Start with your clothes hanging on all of their hangers facing backwards (the wrong way). This will be a pain at first but as you wear them it will become easier.
2. As you wear each item, turn the hanger forward (the right way), so that you know you’ve worn the item.
3. At the end, you will see which items you wear, and which you don’t.
This will help you to see which items you’re not wearing regularly and perhaps both encourage you to wear the item more, or to make a decision to remove it from your wardrobe. Here are some helpful tips for cleaning out your closet, and here is what to do after you clean out your closet.
Before you remove something, ask yourself questions.
1. Does this item fit? Try it on. Does it fit? If not, consider putting it in the “to go” bin.
2. Was the weather right to wear this item? Clearly you don’t want to clean out winter items in the middle of Summer.
3. Did I have ample opportunities to wear this item? Did you have the right occasion to wear it? Consider if you ever will.
Have you tried the hanger trick for cleaning out your closet?
Since we’re in the middle of winter where I live, most of my travel dreaming right now is of a warm beach somewhere. October seems to be my month for warm trips including Grand Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, and Hawaii. Going from somewhere that is cool to a warmer place isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Today I’m sharing some of my best travel light tips for cold to warm climate packing, starting first with what to wear for travel…
Cold to Warm Travel Outfit
Lightweight Cashmere Scarf
A lightweight scarf can be used both as a wrap to help keep you warm on the plane, and as a swimsuit cover-up on the beach! It’s my favorite item to bring on a warm trip, aside from my swimsuit of course. SHOP NOW
Slim Cotton Long-Sleeve Crew
I have a similar top and love the light feeling of it. It’s not too warm but still can help keep you from feeling a chill when you’re in transit. I would recommend one to two sizes larger than normal for looser fit. Another tip is to wear a rashguard or long sleeve beach cover-up on the flight to help keep you warm. SHOP NOW
Silk Slip Dress
Sometimes I like to layer a dress with leggings and a top so that when I get to my destination I can simply remove the leggings and top to cool off. Since this one is silk it will be easy to hand wash and hang dry. SHOP NOW
Studio Skin Legging
The feel of these is so nice, and as a bonus you can wear them should you decide to hit the gym or do some yoga while on vacation as well! SHOP NOW
The Point Shoe
Not only are these shoes made from recycled water bottles, they’re OK to get wet. That means that if you’re somewhere with a warm downpour, you won’t have to worry about your shoes being destroyed. They’re also closed-toe to help keep some of the airport and travel germs off of your feet. SHOP NOW
Travel Light Cold to Warm Packing Tips
Wear light layers! A long sleeve shirt and leggings are all you really need. Sometimes I add a slip dress because I can remove the leggings and shirt if I get too hot when we land.
Wear one pair of shoes and pack the other. I love Rothy’s shoes because they are closed-toe, machine washable, and not too warm for hot weather.
Pack a scarf that can be used as a beach wrap. I love thin scarves that double as a swimsuit coverup for keeping warm on the plane.
I always find that I don’t wear as much makeup in warmer or more humid destinations. Save yourself the load and bring only the basics!
Leave your large jacket at home or in the car if you can. Decide whether or not you find more value in paying for a ride to the airport or losing precious luggage space.
Make a list of must-have or don’t-forget items so that you don’t leave anything behind. I do this for special items I might not always pack.
Never underestimate a good maxi dress and scarf combo for travel. It will help keep your legs bundled up but moves and allows air to flow once you’re someplace warmer.
Don’t be afraid to wear a couple of layers to stay warm, once you get to your destination you can remove them to adjust to the temperature there.
Consider choosing shoes for your second (packed) pair that are made from waterproof materials. When we went to Turks & Caicos my shoes were not waterproof and I chose to walk around barefoot during a tropical downpour to save them.
Don’t scrimp on undergarments. Let’s be real here, you might sweat in places you don’t want to be sweaty and underwear are the one item I don’t really want to hand wash in a sink.
Last year if you had asked me if I wanted to move to a smaller space my answer would have been, “No”. A firm one. Our office was in our closet, how much smaller could we really go? With two boys and two dogs I never really pictured us in a smaller space, but here we are! Today I’m sharing some of my thoughts on downsizing before, during, and after our move to a smaller space. And no, I’m not talking about the movie.
1. Many people live in small spaces, why can’t I? Why can’t you?
Just as I mentioned above, the thought of moving to a smaller space was daunting to me, but I felt like it was do-able. Other people do it all the time and thrive, so why couldn’t we? Letting go of unnecessary clutter in our life started to apply to every decision we made.
2. Try to pre-measure and plan your layout ahead of time.
We made a to-scale model of the new place and tried to work out which furniture would fit beforehand. When I went to tour it I took a measuring tape and drew a rough floor plan.
3. Get rid of excess before you move.
This. Is. So. Important. We downsized and sold off a lot of our stuff. We cleaned out the house and garage quite a few times before the move and had quite a few yard sales, even a free sale. Our goal was to get rid oas much as we could that
4. Determine a function for each space.
I’ve mentioned this many times before, but determining the best way a space will serve you is one of the easiest ways to plan out your space. Think less of what rooms are supposed to be there, and more of the way each area of the house can serve you best.
5. Label your boxes and items correctly.
Don’t label items according to where they were in the old place, label them for where they will go in the new place.
6. Unpack and organize quickly.
The sooner you dive into unpacking and organizing your space, the sooner you will learn what works best for your smaller space and the more settled you’ll feel in it.
7. Ditch any pieces that might not fit.
The move was stressful for us, mostly because we still had a lot of pieces that we knew might not fit in our new space. I was holding onto larger items for sentimental value to see if they could work in the new space. Spoiler alert: They didn’t work out.
8. Be ruthless with your post-move clean-out.
I’ve found that in our new smaller space I’ve become more serious about which items to declutter. If we haven’t used it recently or I don’t see us using it anytime soon, it’s gone. When the holidays started I cleaned out over half of our decorations and came to appreciate a much more simple approach to holiday decor.
9. Reevaluate what you keep.
Are the items you kept ones that are serving you? Do they serve multiple uses? Do they fit in the space nicely and not make it feel cramped or small?
10. Stop it at the door. All of it.
Use your front door as a stopping point for any type of clutter or unnecessary items that try to enter your home. I even go through my mail the second that I pick it up and delivery boxes now go out almost immediately after we know we won’t need them for a return.