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Creamy Chicken with Kale and Mushrooms

I love chicken thighs. Like, seriously love chicken thighs. And so does my family.

Butter, cream and garlic… I’m in! 

In the past few months I’ve packed on a few extra pounds ( OKAY, a lotta extra pounds ) through the changes and things my family has recently endured. One thing that has always been the constant in my life is … food. I’m sure everyone relates to this in one way or another.

I am now on the road to shedding that weight and finding new versions of my beloved recipes.

This is a concoction of various recipes that I’ve always made throughout the years, and tonight I added kale and mushrooms. If you’re a Mama like me, I’m always trying to find ways to get my kiddos to eat the darkest leafy greens and other veggies that they hate otherwise and since my body has packed on the weight, my hormones have sky rocketed. I’ve really dedicated myself to balancing my body out and learning about foods that do specific things.

Soon you’re probably wondering how the heck I’m shedding weight using butter and cream, AND PLEASE, hold your judgment! I was diagnosed with PCOS years ago… my diet is low glycemic and I hold the carbs when I can. I’ve eliminated gluten and I try to buy organic as much as possible. I’ve also included essential oils into my routine. You can read about that here… Everything is a balance and although I could drink half and half by the gallon – I have learned that everything. is. about. balance!!!!!!  Knowing that this dish was on our menu for dinner, my breakfast and lunch were pretty light today! Enough about that and back to the recipe…

A side note of mushrooms… 

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat free, gluten free and low in sodium. They are a huge source of riboflavin ( this turns carbs from food into glucose and helps our bodies metabolize proteins and fat), niacin ( provides healthy skin and makes sure the digestive system is working properly), vitamin D, potassium and calcium.

And KALE: 

If you’re cool, you eat Kale. Period. It’s the cool thing to do these days. Kale is ridiculously high in antioxidants. In fact, it has the very highest than any other veggie. It’s also high in vitamins A, K and B6, riboflavin, niacin, iron, protein, fiber and I could go on and on and on. It’s insanely good for you. We’re pretty lucky that someone decided to throw this stuff in a pan instead of keeping it as a decorative piece. Even better, most grocery stores carry it always stemmed, washed and ready to go. And if you live in BFE like me, you can find it frozen if the fresh stuff isn’t available… but please, if the fresh stuff is there for you, get that! Fresh is always best!

You can adjust this accordingly. My husband will eat a couple plates of this and my son… at least 3 plates!!!! And we always love this the next day for lunch. If you’re going low carb like me, I take out a couple of servings before I add the pasta.

Meat:

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Produce:

2 boxes of mushrooms. ( I love the already sliced and cleaned brown mushrooms.)

2 bunches of fresh kale or 2lbs. OR 1 bag of frozen kale.

4-6 garlic cloves, peeled

1 sprig of rosemary

Baking and Spices:

Himalayan Salt

Black Pepper

Dairy:

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 stick of garlic and herb butter ( I love kerrygold )

2 cups of half and half

3-4 egg yolk, beaten

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Pastas and Grains:

1 box of Gluten Free Penne Pasta ( I also love using bowties with this recipe! ) Gluten free pasta can be tricky and it’s taken me some time to perfect this pesty pasta. Before I do anything, I start boiling the water for my pasta it has to be cooked in a rolling boil! (That’s a big big boil and it takes forever to get it to that.) By the time I’m half way through this recipe, the pasta water is typically ready for me to add to it. And just so you know – we’re pretty picky about our pastas… I promise, if you learn how to cook GF, you won’t know the difference!

Steps…

Start by browning your mushrooms over high heat with 2 tablespoons of the herb and garlic butter. Don’t crowd your mushrooms, otherwise, they won’t brown! One they are cooked through, set aside.

Add a couple tablespoons of the herb and garlic butter to the pan. I cook the chicken almost completely, each side about 4 – 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste before turning.

Add the kale, until heated through.

Set the chicken and kale aside.

Cream Sauce: 

Melt the remaining butter. Add the cream. Bring this to a slight boil and SLOWLY add your egg yolks. SLOWLY, you don’t want to scramble them. If you do, just pretend like you didn’t! This is a perfected task, and I’ve messed it up plenty of times! Heat this through and add the cheese, melting it through the sauce. Let this cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until it comes to a slight boil.

Add the chicken, kale, mushrooms, garlic and rosemary to the cream sauce. Toss together and continue to cook this on low for about 10 minutes. Add your pasta and a few tablespoons of pasta water. Let this sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

 

And, you’re welcome!

If you happen to cook this deliciousness, send me a pic or two and tag me! xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YL Essential Oils

I’ve used essential oils for many many years.
I’ve also had a intriguing kind of infatuation with anything organic and natural. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still nothing like pine-sol and Philadelphia cream cheese, but with GMOS’ and preservatives, is what we eat every day real food? Either way, whether you’re a 90%-er organic,non gmo kind of person or you’re like me, just trying my best to create a world that is a good one for my babies to live in, I promise you too will love EO’s. More specifically, Young Living. Our world has been headed in a direction where people now want to know exactly what they’re eating and drinking and manufactures can no longer hide crap in our food without listing each and every ingredient on the label… ” natural ingredients” doesn’t cut it anymore. Young Living is the best of the best in the EO world.
Here’s a video you can watch if you’d like to learn more…
YL uses the highest quality botanicals for its essential oils and products. Their oils are non GMO and I promise,
they are the most purest oils out there.
These oils aren’t a fad. EO’s can have healing effects spiritually, mentally, and physically. You can use them directly on your skin, inhaling them right from the bottle,
ingesting them through capsules or diffusing them.
I have personally used YL Essential Oils for all of the above. I’d like to tell you that they have been my ” cure all” potion and answer to the things that aren’t exactly right in my life, but I’d be lying if I did. What I can tell you is that although they haven’t totally and completely saved me and my family, they have made dramatic changes in each of our lives. For me, my skin is on the very dry side so I’ve included frankincense and lavender to my nightly regimen. Since I was a teenager I’ve had insomnia, typically it’s worse around that time of the month… those two oils have helped with that too! For Cole, he has had pretty bad digestion issues. Digeze and Peppermint are his favs. Savannah is our wild child —  my go to oils for her are lavender and in the last week or so VALOR has been introduced to us. That has had a huge, positive impact for her. Immunity builder and our go to is the very popular THIEVES. I put that on the bottom of their feet everynight and diffuse it at least every other day. Lastly, for Paul… You might know he was diagnosed with severe PTSD, severe anxiety and severe depression. It’s brought on major changes to his personality and over all health! After months of doctors handing over prescriptions and dead ends that brought on even more stress, my search for ‘help’ really started there and that’s when I learned more about Essential Oils and that’s when I was introduced to Young Living by Tiffaney. She is my cousin from my Mom’s side. Her husband also suffers from PTSD. He was a Marine who was deployed several times. I’ve watched her journey for many years. She was my go to when Paul was diagnosed and has guided me through this new lifestyle of incorporating EO’s into my everyday living. Emotional burden, healthy skin, your body working its best from the inside, out … sleeping better, a child who is a little on the wild side,
you name it and we have an oil for it.
You might ask what’s the difference between YL and Doterra or any other major EO brand. I’m not here to discredit any other business. I’ll let you do your own research and reading to learn those differences. Young Living’s ” seed to seal” is what separates YL from every other EO company. I’ve personally tried other companies and I’ve gone right back to YL.
“Where do I start?”
” All of it seems great but a bit overwhelming… “
You have questions, thoughts, concerns… I get it, because I did to. Here’s some info on the Starter Kit. This retails at over $400. You get a ton of oils, a diffuser, and a ton of goodies all for $160.
Here’s what’s in the starter kit.
Lavender: Several studies throughout the world have concluded that this EO increases beta waves in the brain, heightening relaxation, reducing stress and increasing alertness. Reduces anxiety and emotional stress. Heals burns and wounds. Slows aging with powerful antioxidants. Improves sleep. Restores skin complexion and helps with eczema and psoriasis. Helps with headaches. Improves the circulation of blood and is useful for digestion. Diffuse it. Rub it in your hands and inhale… put it behind your ears, bottom of your feet.
Peppermint: Indigestion, upset stomach, and nausea. Raises energy levels. Cure for headaches and migraines. Helps with depression, mental exhaustion.
Lemon: Stimulating, calming, anti-infection, detoxifying, disinfect, fever reducer, obesity, insomnia, skin disorders, hair loss.
Copaiba: Pain reliever, helps with things like stretch marks, varicose veins, sagging skin and acne.
improves blood circulation. Lightens up tense moods. Can be taken in a capsule and is used as an immunity booster.
Frankincense: Calming and Centering. Relieves chronic stress and anxiety, pain reducer and immunity booster ( cancer fighter ) anti aging, reduces blemishes, helps with constipation, pms and cramps, decreases the appearances of scars. Helps with respiratory colds and muscle aches.
Thieves: Blend of Clove, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus EO’s. Boosts Immunity. MY FAVORITE OIL.
Purification: Blend of Lemongrass, Citronella, Rosemary, Lavender, Myrtle and Melaleuca EO’s. Use as an air purifier, carpet deodorizer, zit zapper, bug repellent. Helps with sore throats and stinky shoe odors!
R.C. Blend of Spruce, Cypress, Myrtle, Pine, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, Tsuga and three different types of Eucalyptus EO’s. Diffuse it directly before, during or after your daily workout. Energetic. Supports healthy lung function and respiratory system. Helps us be our better selves by releasing congestion in the lungs and lymphatic systems. You can apply it  ( dilute it first with a carrier oil ) directly to your ears, wrists, neck, forehead and feet. Directly inhale and diffuse it.
Digest: Blend of Tarragon, Ginger, Peppermint, Juniper, Fennel, Lemongrass, Anise, and Patchouli. Apply this topically. Relives digestive issues, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, morning sickness, fights candida, and kills parasites. Add two drops of this with peppermint to your water. Put a drop of it under your tongue or rub it on your belly for fast relief.
Panaway: Blend of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint EO’s. Apply topically with a carrier oil or use in a bath. Apply to your temples, bottom of your feet, back of your neck and shoulders. Helps with nerves, eases tight and sore muscles, relieves tension.
Some other oils that are my favorite… I could LIST A MILLION, but here are just a couple!!!!
Orange: Relaxes muscular and nervous spasms, boosts immunity, helps with anxiety, anger and depression. Helps with urination and eliminates toxins, treats constipation. It’s an antidepressant, a diuretic and other research and suggested that aromatherapy using orange may aid in improving cognitive function. I love blending this oil with frankincense and black pepper.
Black Pepper: Beneficial for digestion because it stimulates the digestive system from the salivary glands in the mouth to the large intestine. It’s warming, stimulating increases sweat and urination. Before I work out or on a bloated, yucky day, I put a couple of drops directly under my tongue.
 Carrier Oils: You can purchase the V-6 Enhanced Vegetable oil from YL ( this is my fav ) or you can use an all organic, pure coconut oil. Unrefined is the best!
If you purchase the Starter Kit, let me know because I’d like to add you on my Facebook group where Tiffaney leads in teaching more about oils and over all healthy living. I love getting the daily info on new oils and additional YL products like their skin care line that’s next on my list to try and their vitamin line. She has been an inspiration to me in more ways than I could list here and i know she’ll inspire you everyday!
I’m gifting everyone who purchase this starter kit a bottle of Orange too just so you can get a feel for an additional EO.
Here’s some info on how to sign up and get your kit.
Click here. 
Fill out your info.
Choose Starter kit ( CHOOSE WHOLE SALE, NOT RETAIL… )
Pay and Confirm.
Get back to me so I can send you that bottle of Orange.
Investing in your health should be priority!
I promise you, this will be a game changer my friends!
Oil on, 
xoxoxo

Los Angeles Wedding Photographer ; Gabby and Andrew

Gabby and Andrew met me at a Starbucks on a sunny, late summers afternoon. I arrived a bit early and bought my latte. It’s typical for inquiring brides and grooms to arrive a bit late… but these two walked in 10 minutes early. Just as I sat down, Gabby’s beautiful smile and warm eyes immediately grabbed my attention. I knew it was them without having ever met them or even seeing a picture. They are both are kind, inviting and down to earth people.

Over coffee, we talked about their January 2017 wedding. Gabby had visions of purple and incorporating old with new. Classic.

They would get married in the church Gabby grew up in.

Surrounded by their favorite people, Gabby and Andrew’s vision all came to life on a beautiful day in January.

That old with the new look, yeah… it was exactly how she described, actually it was better! Purple, burgundy, with blush pinks and pretty greens. They danced and laughed and I was so happy to have captured it.

And Gabby… gahhhhhh was she stunning!

.enjoy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles Newborn Photographer; Baby Owen, 6 weeks

This family, ah! What can I say about these beautiful people…

I have now documented these stunning people for their maternity session and their newborn session.

You can see their Orange County Baby Bump session here!

These two are the real deal. Funny, loving, down to earth and just good hearted people.

I am so thankful for the good ones I meet… and these guys are some of the few.

Baby Owen … you are lucky to have some pretty wonderful people as parents.

This little guy was amazing for his newborn session when he was only a few days old and again at his

6 week mark when we documented this new family of three. 

I’ve included a few from his newborn session too, but you can see his full blog post here!

Karina, Mike and Baby Owen…

Thank You for choosing me to document is amazing time in your lives.

I hope these images always bring you happiness! xoxoxo

.love. 

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