Beauty Bites: Leafy Greens

Problematic skin can be a real bitch. And with the ridiculous number of beauty products on the market, crafting a skincare routine has become a freaking nightmare. The whole thing is overwhelming and expensive.

Naturally, the next step would be to do a tedious and extensive amount of research using my good friend google. The results….

“Cut out dairy!”

“Drink more water!”

“Stop using so many products!”

“Use more products!”

“Try sheet masks!”

“Korean Skincare!”

“Keep makeup wipes by your bed!”

“Makeup wipes cause breakouts!”

Yeah, the results were unrealistic and at times conflicting. I was already running to the ladies room all day long due to the amount of water I was chugging.

Image result for meme drinks glass of water and checks skin

Although the myriad of products were still annoying, the dietary concerns really caught my attention. It makes sense, right? We are what we eat. So, I thought I’d research which foods actually made a difference. If you could really get glowing skin from chomping on spinach, wouldn’t more people be doing it? Are more people doing it and I’m just not noticing? I suddenly feel the need to hop in the car, drive to the nearest Mustard Seed or Whole Foods, and inspect people’s complexions. That’s normal, right?

Anyway, lets talk about leafy, leafy greens and how they can give us all that Instagram glow. Greens contain the following beauty boosters:

  • Vitamin A – reduces the amount of sebum (oils that contribute to breakouts) the skin creates
  • Vitamin C – helps boost the skins natural collagen production
  • Vitamin E – protects against free radicals
  • Folate – helps produce and maintain new cells
  • Beta Carotene – an antioxidant that helps to renew and repair the skin
  • Phytochemicals – anti-aging chlorophyll helps prevent damage caused by free radicals
  • Lutein – an antioxidant that boosts hydration, improves elasticity, and protects against sun damage

Here a few recipes that incorporate dark leafy greens that are simple, healthy, and delicious.

Strawberry Peach Smoothie 2

Strawberry Peach Green Smoothie

carrot quinoa salad 7

Roasted Carrot & Quinoa Salad

Brushetta Turkey Burgers 2

Brushetta Turkey Burgers

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Turkey Kale Pasta Toss


xo Ali Taylor





Currently Craving

Just a few things that I am loving this summer…

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream with SPF 50+

When looking for a foundation or tinted moisturizer for every day, I always pick up one with a high SPF. I know that beauty bloggers will typically talk about how SPF is bad for pictures because it produces a “flashback”, but that doesn’t bother me. I wouldn’t wear this when I know I will be photographed, but that isn’t a daily thing for me. I like when my daily foundation or CC Cream contains SPF because that just means I can skip a step in my makeup routine.

I have been loving this CC Cream lately because it is relatively lightweight for the amount of coverage it provides. It dries down to a powder finish, but never looks cakey on my skin. Plus, it is filled with anti-aging peptides, collagen, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Keep in mind that it is a bit pricey, but I think its worth the money.

cc cream

Olive Green Romper

Rompers are one of my summer wardrobe staples. Just throw one on, add some accessories, and you are good to go. I love my olive green one that I picked up at TJ Maxx last summer. I haven’t seen it since, so I linked a similar one from LuLu’s.

olive romper

Fake Bake Flawless

I discovered this self tanner years ago and it is still my all time favorite. The first thing I look for in a self tanner is the color. No one wants to look like an oompa loompa. Fake Bake has never made me look orange or fake. It provides a natural, buildable tan.

The smell of self tanner is usually enough to make me skip it altogether. That’s why I love this one. It smells fresh with a hint of coconut. The smell doesn’t linger on your skin for a week either.

The next thing I look for is ease of application. If a product is a pain in the ass to use, it will end up in the back of my cabinet collecting dust. The Fake Bake Mitt makes application quick and I absolutely love that this product has a color guard. The color guard shows you immediately where the product has been applied. That means no patches or completely missed spots.

Lastly, this stuff dries super fast. No one wants to awkwardly stand around, avoiding all surfaces for 30 minutes after application. Fake Bake dries in minutes. It really is the best. Oh, and did I mention its affordable, too?

fake bake

The Good Place

The Good Place starts out as a fun, light comedy starring Kristen Bell and Ten Danson. Throughout it’s debut season, The Good Place continues to deliver a fast-paced drama filled storyline packed full of jokes.

It isn’t until its two-part season finale that Kristen Bell’s character reveals the twist. I won’t ruin it for you. However, it sets the viewer up for season two perfectly while leaving us all saying, “What the fork?!”

Season 2 is scheduled to premiere September 28th on NBC.


MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Fiesta Peel

MyChelle’s Fruit Fiesta peel sounds too good to be true. Just take a look at the product description:

Fruit Fiesta Peel delivers both immediate and long-term rejuvenating benefits. A potent Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) blend of multi-fruit acids and 7% Lactic Acid plus nourishing vitamins and antioxidants help promote skin’s natural cell renewal process for a radiant, revived complexion.

After reading this, and seeing the product on the clearance shelf, I knew I needed to try it out. After all, it was only a couple of bucks, compared the normal $28 price tag.

Full disclosure: peels have always freaked me out. I have combination acne prone skin and anything outside of my normal routine can have disastrous results. Therefore, I was apprehensive to try this one, but I am so happy that I did.

I always, always, always do a patch test with new products. The skin below your ear reacts much like your face. Apply the product there to make sure it will jive with your skin. I would much rather have redness behind my ear than all over my face. Not cute.

After I patch tested, I applied the peel to my face leaving it on for 1 minute. (the directions call for 1-3 minutes, so I decided to err on the side of caution)

The results: my skin was glowing, radiant, and super soft. It washes away any dry spots, leaving my skin smooth without using a harsh scrub.

I also love that this peel, along with the entire MyChelle line, is free of junk.

Made without GMO, Gluten, Parabens, Petroleum, Phthalates, Silicones, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances, and Artificial Colors. Vegan. Cruelty-free. 

I use this 1-2 times per week, depending on what my skin needs. I have also worked my way up to the 3 minute mark.

fiesta fruit peel

Sunshine Salad

Sunshine salad is bright, colorful, and fresh. It’s filled with some of my favorite salad toppers like craisins, feta, and roasted veggies. Its a great way to use up left over veggies from last night’s dinner. Toss it with a zippy, homemade vinaigrette and you are all set for lunch.

What are you Currently Craving?

Autumn Sweet Potato Salad 2

xo Ali Taylor
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Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette


Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a beautiful week!

I have to say, as much as I love the warm sunny days we have been having, I welcome the occasional rainy day. You see, the rainy days are perfect for binge watching shows without feeling guilty about wasting a nice day. Lately, we have been re-watching Game Of Thrones in anticipation of the season 7 premiere July 16th. It is insane how much I missed the first time around!

Which shows do you love to re-watch?

Okay, now let’s move on to this gorgeous salad. I love a bright, hearty spring salad. I wanted something substantial and healthy, but needed to go to the store. I decided to make a clean out the fridge salad. First, I tossed some carrots with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, and smoked paprika. Then, baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

carrot quinoa salad 3

While the carrots were cooking, I made some quinoa. Make sure to rinse the quinoa well before you cook it. I use a fine mesh sieve and run water through until it runs clear. This will take away any bitterness from the quinoa. I find that the quinoa turns out the best if I cook it plain, without any seasonings. Then, once it is cooked I fluff it with a fork and add seasoning.

carrot quinoa salad

Next, to assemble the salad, I lay down a bed of fresh spinach.

carrot quinoa salad 8

Then, put the cooked quinoa over the spinach.

carrot quinoa salad 2

The next layer is the beautifully cooked carrots.

carrot quinoa salad 5

carrot quinoa salad 4

Finish the salad with a drizzle of Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette and some fresh chopped cilantro. Dig in!

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Carrot Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chili Lime Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Print

A bright and hearty spring salad


1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water

1lb carrots, peeled and sliced into coins on a diagonal

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups spinach

1/2 cup fresh cilantro


1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, drop the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, and garlic. Add to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping hallway through.
  4. Vinaigrette: whisk together the garlic, chili powder, lime juice, honey, and apple cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil. Toss in the jalapenos and season with salt and pepper. The easy way: Put all ingredients into a jar with a lid that seals completely. Shake until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble: Layer the spinach, quinoa, and carrots. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with fresh cilantro.


xo Ali Taylor

carrot quinoa salad 10

Spring Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

spring potato salad 3

Spring food brings to mind colorful produce and lots of green. I wanted to combine some of my spring produce favorites in a simple salad with a zippy herby vinaigrette. Its an easy side dish for any meal.

First, roast the potatoes and asparagus. I like to toss the veggies separately, because the potatoes will take longer to cook. I use a good drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and some fresh garlic. That is it

Next, make the vinaigrette. I wanted to use some fresh dill, parsley, and lemon. To round out the dressing, I added some honey, apple cider vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust if needed.

To serve, toss the potatoes, asparagus, and radishes together with the vinaigrette. I like this best warm or at room temperature. If you are making it ahead of time, make sure you bring it to room temperature before serving. The dressing may harden a little when chilled.

spring potato salad 6

spring potato salad

spring potato salad 4

spring potato salad 5

Spring Salad with Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

A light and fresh spring salad full of color and flavor



1-1.5 lb bag baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered

1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed and cut into

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 bunch radishes, sliced as thin as you can

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/2 lemon, zest and juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss the potatoes with olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic. Add to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping hallway through.
  3. Chop each asparagus stem into 3. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Roast on a separate sheet pan lined in parchment for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.
  4. Vinaigrette: whisk together the honey, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, and apple cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil. Toss in the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper. The easy way: Put all ingredients into a jar with a lid that seals completely. Shake until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To assemble: Toss together the potatoes, asparagus, radishes and dress with vinaigrette.

xo Ali Taylor

Bittersweet Fudge Brownies


Chocoholics of the world, listen up!

These are the most bittersweet chocolatey brownies ever baked. Yeah, I said it. These brownies are so fudgy and dark chocolate filled, that I made them twice in as many days. They were downed that quick.

And, they have a secret healthy ingredient. Shhh…..

I will never look at a leftover roasted sweet potato the same ever again. I thought my favorite use was to whip the leftover sweet potato with peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon; but these brownies have knocked that into second place. Sure, I still love my whipped pb sweet potatoes, but chocolate desserts are the best desserts. So, if I have the time to make them, these are the new go-to recipe.

bittersweet triple chocolate brownies

I love healthy secret ingredients. In this case, the sweet potato gives the brownies sweetness and moisture without adding oil or regular white sugar. I can’t take all of the credit here, though. I was inspired by this recipe by Daphne Oz.

In order to make these brownies triple chocolate, I used chocolate three different ways. I melted dark chocolate chips with some hot coffee and poured it into the batter, used 100 percent unsweetened cacao powder, and sprinkled the top with even more dark chocolate chips.

This recipe is super simple and super satisfying. Melt the chocolate chips and butter with some strongly brewed fresh coffee and set aside until cool. I like to do this in a liquid measuring cup. Pour yourself a cup with a splash of vanilla creamer.

Then, beat together the sweet potato, sugar, vanilla, and eggs with a hand mixer. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and salt. By now, the chocolate should be cool enough to add to the sweet potato mixture. We just don’t want scrambled eggs here, that would kind of ruin it. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the sweet potato mixture, beating with the hand mixer.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Try not to overmix, please!

Pour the brownie batter into a pie dish sprayed with coconut oil, sprinkle the top with chocolate chips, and pop into the oven. Check the brownies at 25 minutes to see if they are done. If they are a little under, that’s okay. They will carry over a little bit as they cool. If you choose to bake until a toothpick comes out clean, the brownies go from fudgy to cakey. Still delicious.

Bittersweet Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies

  • Servings: makes 24 brownies
  • Print

The most decadent and chocolatey brownie bites ever.


1 large sweet potato, roasted

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup coconut sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a liquid measuring cup with 1/3 cup hot coffee and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir to melt the chips and set aside to cool.
  3. Using a hand mixer, blend the sweet potato with the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Once the melted chocolate and coffee is cool enough, add it to the sweet potato mixture.
  4. Mix together flour, cacao powder, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a spoon or rubber spatula until JUST combined. Overmixed brownies are the worst.
  6. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  7. Pour into a pie plate because we don’t like to follow all of the rules.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes.  I like to under-bake brownies for the fudgiest result, but if you’re not into that, bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.


xo Ali Taylor

Bittersweet Brownies

Bittersweet Brownies 3