oz recap part 3: eco beach + the wedding!
finally time to do another australia recap! today, i have a bit of a photo diary for you. i mentioned in my previous australia-related posts [here, here, here and here] that the main reason I was in australia was to attend my friend from college’s wedding. i love weddings to begin with, so imagine my excitement when i found out that this wedding would not only be in australia, but was going to take place at a secluded eco resort on the north western coast of australia.
the resort, eco beach, is located about an hour drive from broome and the place is actually paradise. they run on solar power, have an organic garden, chickens, a restaurant and bar serving amazing, fresh food, lots of activities [including yoga!] and, finally an infinity pool. we stayed in a four person villa, which was massive. it had one bedroom, a big bathroom, an oversized living room with bunk beds and a wrap-around garden view patio. this place was absolute heaven.
[garden view patio…perfect place to sit + drink a cup of coffee in the morning!]
[early morning yoga with a view]
between the beach, the cliffs, the color of the ocean and the infinity pool, the views at eco beach were like nothing I’ve ever seen before. the sunsets and sunrises? FORGET IT. the sky was so clear and there was no light pollution, so at night we could see the milky way. we even got to witness a staircase to the moon [which no photo i could take could do justice]. again … this place was absolute paradise.
[um, talk about the most epic sunset of all time. HASHTAG NO FILTER.]
[woke up early to catch the sunrise on our last morning in paradise. worth it.]
finally, i want to show you a few pictures from the wedding. the wedding took place on the beach, with the ocean and the cliffs as the back drop. the bride and the bridesmaids casually arrived via helicopter. yea, you read that right. the ceremony was beautiful and the party started right away, with the celebrations carrying on way into the early morning hours. shoes were not worn at any point during the evening, as the reception was also on the beach. there were twinkle lights, paper lanterns, a lounge area with a fire pit. everything was absolutely picture perfect. oh, and did i mention that the bride was stunning?!
[goofing around + drinking “champers” after the ceremony!]
[barefoot beach reception]
[drinks, food + dancing!]
[our table’s centerpiece]
[photo booth fun!]
[soul sisters. the end.]
sesame sweet potato fries
i don’t know about you, but sweet potatoes are one of my obsessions, only behind avocado toast, brussels sprouts and pizza. seriously. serve them to me in any form and I’ll be a happy camper. with that being said, sweet potatoes fries are without a doubt my favorite variety and are typically a great replacement for regular french fries [as long as they aren’t fried in vegetable oil, covered in brown sugar or served with a side of honey].
i found white sweet potatoes at the grocery store the other day [has anyone else ever seen these?!] and decided to do a little experimenting … what I ended up with were these [baked!] sesame sweet potato fries.
you will need:
- 3 large sweet potatoes [white sweet potatoes work, too!], peeled
- 1/4 c. toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. gomasio [i like this black + tan version from eden organics]
- pepper to taste
- preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- after you have peeled your sweet potatoes, chop them up into long chunks, the thickness can be up to you [you’ll want them to look similar to fries].
- place the chunks in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil and gomasio [if you find you need a little more than what the recipe calls for, you can add it here].
- spread the fries on the baking sheet, evenly distributing them the best you can.
- bake at 425°F for 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- remove from the oven and let cool. season with pepper [and a little extra salt if you would like] to taste.
- serve with a side of sriracha or ketchup and enjoy!
motivation mondays: week 40
good morning, ya’ll! sorry that I’ve been m.i.a. since bananas + bellinis officially turned the big o-n-e last week… i’ve been ever so slightly busy with the whole relocating process. today, i’m happy to say that as of last thursday, i’m officially in warm, sunny, absolutely perfect los angeles… finally!
i spent the weekend catching up with my friends who live out here, exploring the city a little bit, attending the grand opening of wanderlust hollywood [where I’ll be going this week for a class and a full tour of the new space, so stay tuned for that!] and, naturally, eating some really effing good food.
[hummus salad at kreation kafé]
[veggie tacos + ginger margaritas at blue plate taco]
[shakshuka + basil gimlet at the misfit]
and just for good measure… some beach/palm tree/sunset pictures [prepare yourself to start seeing a lot more of these]:
i typically find inspiration for my motivation mondays posts in my own life and this week is certainly no different. considering the big move i’m making this summer, i really connected to this quote:
honestly, i kind of have no choice but to believe this right now. making this big move, i’ve put a lot of faith in the universe. not that i’m totally plan-less… but, i am kinda wingin’ it. i have to believe that because i’m doing what i feel is right for me, that it’s all going to fall into place.
when you’re going against who you are or what you want to do, that’s when things don’t work out. don’t look at the roadblocks… look past them. you have to believe that if you’re listening to yourself and going after your dreams the universe will align for you so that it all works out in the end.
have an amazing week! see you on wednesday with a new recipe and on friday with another recap from my australia trip!
p.s. you may have noticed some of the new pictures that i mentioned before are now up! how amazing are they?! thanks again to the lovely and talented jess husted for making these happen!
photo courtesy of deena douglas
happy 1st birthday bananas + bellinis + a giveaway!
so, today is kind of a fun day because…
bananas + bellinis turns 1!
i can’t believe that it’s been exactly one year since i launched this site… it doesn’t seem like that can be right, but it definitely is! [also, how good does this birthday cake smoothie look?! definitely will be making this, like, a.s.a.p.]
it’s fun to see how far b+b has come and i’m so excited to see where it goes from here! i have a few updates for the site planned in the coming weeks, including some new pictures which the lovely, sweet and talented jess husted shot last night. they should be up within the next couple weeks, so be on the lookout for them… i’m looking forward to getting a sneak peek today!
and as always, i have lots of ideas floating around my head that i hope to refine and make into a reality soon, but like i always say, baby steps!
to celebrate b+b’s 1st birthday, here are some of my favorite [and most popular] posts from the past year!
finally, in honor of bananas + bellinis turning o-n-e, i’m doing a special giveaway! i am giving away a free 6-month health coaching program [a $1,000 value] to the first person who emails me telling me why they need a health coach and what their top three health and wellness goals are. my email address is email@example.com… don’t hesitate!
can’t wait to hear from you… cheers!
motivation mondays: week 39
wow, another summer weekend has passed… so happy we finally had nice weather in my neck of the woods! it allowed me to spend a lot of time outside, at presque isle state park on lake erie on saturday and canoeing down clarion lake for 10 miles in cook forest state park yesterday. one good thing about my hometown is all of the things you can do outside… the only problem is that usually the weather doesn’t allow for such things, but when it does, it’s great!
[lake erie, presque isle state park]
[canoeing down clarion lake, cook forest state park]
to backtrack for a minute, friday night we checked out a local brewery, voodoo, in meadville, pennsylvania… they had so many awesome beers [i had a flight, which was six beers, and loved the good vibes i.p.a.] and their veggie burger… also amazing]. really digging this whole brewery thing lately.
as my [one-way!] flight to l.a. slowly approaches, i’m kinda sorta starting to freak out a little bit. i saw this quote on pinterest and it just felt appropriate for today’s motivation mondays post.
pretty self-explanatory, right? it would be so easy for me to just stay put for a little while longer because it’s comfortable. and the idea has certainly crossed my mind and been presented to me on more than one occasion. but, it’s only delaying the inevitable, right? no matter what, moving across the country without a job, apartment or car [and nothing more than a general plan] is going to freak me out.
i’ve said it before, but let’s revisit it quickly: if there’s something you want to do… get. on it. a.s.a.p. baby steps work wonders and you have to start somewhere. what’s waiting going to do for you?
monday links! [thinking about making “links i love” a recurring, weekly post of its own…thoughts?!]
1. so…south africa anyone?!
2. i’m still pretty much obsessing over caitlyn jenner’s acceptance speech at the espys. it’s all about love, respect and equality. you’ve probably already seen it, but if you haven’t, you can watch it here.
3. i think i’ve found my dream home slash vacation home on the lake slash potential retreat center. i could d.i.y. the sh*t out of this place.
have a great week everyone! AND SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER ALREADY! next installment goes out on thursday!
my favorite green juice
as you might already know, my motto/tagline/mantra here at bananas + bellinis is “because it’s okay to chase that shot with green juice”. and I wholeheartedely believe this.
it’s all about finding the balance that works for you. balance is never going to look the same for two people because everyone’s bodies react differently to different types of food, exercise and lifestyle habits.
my tagline was born for a simple reason: i love being healthy and taking care of myself. many healthy foods are also delicious, i’m a yoga junkie and i’m really into natural, holistic wellness and beauty sh*t. but, it’s so important to remember that being healthy and eating a “perfect” diet 100% of the time isn’t exactly reasonable [or very fun] and for me, eating pizza every once in a while, celebrating a special occasion with some cupcakes and going out and drinking [sometimes a little more than i should] with my friends are things i’m just not willing to give up. it works for me, and that’s really all that matters.
so, today, in honor of my personal mantra, i’m sharing my favorite green jucie recipe. it’s packed with leafy greens, but still as delicious as a fruit juice. i always recommend using organic fruits and veggies for any juice or smoothie recipe, and this one is no different!
for one glass you will need:
- 2 handfuls of kale
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 green apple
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 lemon
- 1″ of fresh ginger
first, you will need to prep the fruits and veggies:
- cucumber: leave the skin on, but chop into large chunks.
- apple: leave the skin on, but slice so that seeds and core are removed. [i don’t have an apple corer, but if you do – use it!]
- lemon: peel, slice and remove seeds.
- kale, spinach + ginger: no prep necessary!
next, run all ingredients through the juicer according to the appropriate settings [these should be listed in your juicer’s instruction manual and can vary from juicer to juicer].
don’t own a juicer? make it a smoothie! using all of the same ingredients, throw them into a blender with 3/4 c. of your favorite nut or seed milk, blend and enjoy!
photo courtesy of steph brescia photography
motivation mondays: week 38
wow, what a morning! today, i taught my very first yoga class at a studio here in erie, so i apologize for the delay in getting today’s post up! i spent most of yesterday prepping for that [i was a little nervous!] so i’m appreciative of your understanding. also, if you’re an erie resident, i definitely recommend checking out plasha yoga if you ever have the chance. the studio even holds beach classes out on presque isle in the summer… and beach yoga of any kind is as close to paradise as it gets!
since i’m spending some time at home before moving to l.a., i’m getting to know places in the area that i’ve never had a chance to check out before, which has actually been fun, even though there isn’t a whole lot to do in this neck of the woods. yesterday, i went to the southern tier brewery in lakewood, new york. they have a really nice outdoor area where you can sit and enjoy a beer [or two or three] as well as a pretty decent food menu. the veggie tacos were on point.
as much as i enjoy talking about yoga and tacos [i do really love both of those things like, a lot] it’s time to get the week started on a positive note with a little motivation mondays [in case you didn’t know that’s where i was going with all of this already].
this concept has come up in a few of the yoga classes i’ve taken over the past several weeks, and after teaching this morning, i thought sticking with the natural themes of life would be perfect a good way to kick off the week. this whole concept can be a hard thing to wrap your head around [it definitely was for me at first… and still is], but i really love the idea and want to share it here, but i’ll do my best to keep it simple!
everything you experience in the world, everything you see, hear, feel, do, etc., is an expression of you. and in turn, you, just as you are, are an expression of the universe. it goes both ways. not quite following? here’s how i like to look at it:
because you are an expression of the universe, you have everything you need within you to be who and what you want to be.
you don’t need to seek approval from others because they too are an expression of the universe, whether they realize and act like it or not. when we seek our happiness, our inner peace, from outside sources it doesn’t usually end well or last very long, and the reason for this is because we can’t find these things anywhere except within.
ponder that this week and let me know what you think.
1. yea, i was a big fan of the hills and this “where are they now?” article kinda made me really happy [team l.c. for lyfe]. i’m also still holding out hope that brody and l.c. will end up together. i mean, stranger things have happened…
2. because dogs. obviously.
3. wanderlusting hard for Zanzibar after discovering this place the other day. i mean come on.
bonus link this week… to sign up for my newsletter! go ahead, just click here… you know you wanna!
have an amazing, peaceful [both outer and inner!] week… see you on wednesday with a recipe post!
photo courtesy of caged canary
oz recap part 2: broome
time for another australia recap! i love doing these posts and honestly, if i had more time and money and less responsibilities, i would definitely be a travel blogger. so, any chance i have to share some pictures from a trip… whether it’s a big one or just a small weekend getaway, i jump at… hope that’s okay with all of you!
i posted a mini-recap of the 15 hours i spent in perth a few weeks ago, which was my accidental first stop on the trip due to flight delays. today, we’re talking about broome, a small coastal town in western australia where i was headed to see my friend get married!
i arrived at the broome airport [one gate, one baggage carousel, etc.] to find my friend, désirée [and the bride!] waiting for me right inside the gate… such a surprise to see her right there. air travel in australia is so much more relaxed than it is in the u.s. and europe… not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing… but, anyways. it had been seven years since we had last seen each other [seven!]… what a reunion, right?! definitely cried a little. whatever.
we headed straight to the house that a bunch of the girls who were in town for the wedding were renting, which was being referred to as the hen’s mansion and wow, was this place was amazing. not only was it a gorgeous, open space with literally everything we needed, but we also had an amazing pool in the backyard that the sun hit all. day. long. it’s safe to say we spent a large amount of our time lounging poolside, drinking champagne and behaving exactly the way you would expect ten girls on vacation in australia for a friend’s wedding to behave. look at this pool… our own private paradise!
after getting settled in house, we drove to gantheaume point, a coastal area of broome known for its sandstone cliffs and scenic views. guys… this place was just un.real. i have never seen sand this red or water this blue. i’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
[a few of the ladies at gantheaume point]
the other thing that is really noteworthy about broome is the sunsets. my friend’s hen’s night [what they call bachelorette parties in oz] was held at a beach bar, zander’s, where we sat outside and had a perfect view of the beach as the sun went down. and obviously we had the best time ever at the hen’s night. again… is this real life?
[a selfie just for good measure, because DUH]
finally, the day before the wedding, we decided to partake in some tourist sh*t and take a morning camel ride down cable beach. when in rome, right? while this wasn’t the most exciting thing i’ve ever done, it was super relaxing and you can really tell that the company we went through, red sun camels, loves and cares for the animals, which always makes me feel good. our camel, juan, was hilarious and had so much personality… i mean how cute are they?!
[juan the camel… so cute]
[me + anna, enjoying the view!]
[again, when in rome.]
while broome is a place i would say most people haven’t heard of before [i definitely hadn’t!], in my opinion, it’s one of australia’s hidden gems and was certainly the highlight of my trip based on the landscape and scenery alone. also, keep in mind that i was here during australia’s winter and it was still 90-95° every day… so to everyone who questioned why i was going to australia in winter… well, haters gonna hate.
class review: bfx studio burn + flow
guys. okay. i’m really excited about today’s class reviews for a few reasons. first, i can’t say that i ever thought i would find myself actually enjoying the type of class that i’m about to rave about, but i’ve become obsessed. seriously, i’m going to miss not having this as an option now that i’m no longer living in new york! second [and most importantly] my good friend melissa is the instructor and she’s pretty much the sh*t [i promise i’ll try to be as unbiased as possible].
so, bfx studio is a fairly new studio in new york with a location in chelsea and an even newer location in thefinancial district. it’s a luxury gym with options for personal training sessions and a variety of group classes, but today, we’re specifically going to talk about their new burn + flow class, exclusively taught by my friend melissa!
i can best describe this class as a boot camp style class with a twist. you start off with a little warm up and then get right to it, performing eight sets of different exercises for 50 minutes, getting a full body workout and sweating like crazy. within the eight sets, the exercises range anywhere from tabatas to plyometrics… a lot of plyometrics…. to simple toning and weight training. i’m talking squats, push-ups, ab bikes, tuck jumps, bicep curls… you should probably just show up to class prepared for anything. melissa bumps the music, which i personally love during a fitness class, because it keeps me going when things start getting difficult.
for the last 10 minutes of class, you cool down with a little yoga flow to stretch, relax and let your body settle after a really intense workout. [this is definitely my favorite part of class.]
i have to mention that melissa is an amazing instructor. she knows what she’s talking about and gets you working hard right away. most importantly, she keeps you motivated without being annoying about it. she’s energetic, positive, friendly, super approachable and obviously loves what she does… and she’s like… really pretty [sorry, i just can’t resist the opportunity to reference mean girls when it’s presented to me].
it’s also worth noting that bfx’s fi.di location is brand new and gorgeous, which i’m not ashamed to admit really helps to keep me motivated during an intense workout.
so, if you haven’t already guessed which way this was going…
5/5 bananas for bfx burn + flow!
like I mentioned before, melissa is currently the only instructor teaching the burn + flow class, but their signature class, bfx burn, is also worth checking out if you can’t fit burn + flow into your schedule. they are also currently on classpass, so if that’s your kinda thing, definitely look into it!
motivation mondays: week 37
good morning! how is everyone?! i hope you all had an amazing 4th of july weekend [you know, if you celebrate that kinda thing!] and are feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to go after a day of r+r yesterday. i know i wish i had an extra day, but what can you do?
after a crazy couple of weeks, i will be using this week to get back into my routine, reset and do some much needed detoxing. cleaning my diet back up, hitting the gym and making time for more yoga are my main priorities… no excuses!
i want to get right down to it today, but before we talk about motivation mondays this week, let’s just pause for a minute here to let whatever sh*t we’re dealing with go. close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose and then let it all out through your mouth. imagine that thing that’s bugging you leave with your breath out and know that…
here’s the thing [and i’m pretty sure we’ve talked about this before]: what you believe becomes your reality. so you have to believe that good things are going to happen if you want them to. you can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself, hating the situation you’re in and expect things to just change. it does. not. work like that.
let today, this moment, be the day that you change the way you think. get rid of the negative thoughts and start thinking about what you want and how it will happen. all you need is the right attitude, the willpower and a plan. they often say that getting in the right mindset is half the battle… which makes sense, as this can sometimes be the hardest thing to change about ourselves… they way we think. negative thought patterns are pesky little things, which is why so many people have trouble shaking them off.
so how can we change our mindset? i have a little method that has worked pretty well for me and it’s not hard to start doing right now. first, you begin by acknowledging every. single. negative thought you have… write it down or just take notice of it. then, simply just ask it to leave. once you’ve sent it it on it’s way, turn it around and make it a positive thought. finally, believe it. say it again, write it down on a post-it note and stick it somewhere that you can see it every day. a daily reminder can be pretty powerful. and that’s it! pretty easy, right? i encourage you to give it a try and see how you feel.
do you have any tips for staying positive? i would love to hear them, so share in the comments section below… or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
a few links for today…
1. i mean OKAY. i just really need to know why I’m not beyoncé. could someone help me with this?
2. believe it or not, the struggle of straight hair is REAL. so happy someone is finally acknowledging this and bringing awareness to the issue.
3. i found this list of america’s 20 best ice cream shoppes and it’s stirring up some serious summer-inspired wanderlust! LOOK AT SOME OF THESE PLACES!
have an amazing week everyone! it’s back to the regular post schedule this week since I’m a little less busy with the big move. wednesday, i’ve got another class review for you and friday I’ll be posting another recap from my australia trip!
also, if you’re not subscribing to my newsletter, please sign up! i offer exclusive content to my subscribers [recipes, health tips, special discounts, etc] and this month i’m changing it up a bit. in last week’s newsletter, i challenged everyone to disconnect from any device with a screen for one hour before bed every night this month. to keep everyone motivated and inspired, i’m starting a second, limited time mailing list for those interested in joining in where i’ll share tips and ideas for making this an easy transition. if you wanna get in on it, sign up for my newsletter and then email me at email@example.com letting me know you’re ready for the sleep challenge!
talk to you soon!
photo courtesy of the berry
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