Shop My Favorites
Shop Now!

Things I can’t fly without: a peak inside my travel bag

Come fly with me! After what seems like an eternity of staying pretty close to home, we’re back in the air. I love to travel and luckily, so does my family. Since a lot of us are taking trips again I thought I’d give you a peak inside my bag, these are the things I can’t take-off without!

1.) A baggie of organic tea bags – just ask the flight attendant for hot water. These are also helpful in your hotel room.

2.) @omicaorganics stevia drops, these keep me from reaching for the dreaded yellow, pink or blue packets full of chemicals.

3.) Hand wipes and mini spray, I’m a big fan of @eoproducts which is a healthy and toxin free sanitizer line. I basically clean everything, the seatbelt buckle, tray, armrest, TV screen, EVERYTHING!

4.) Stain remover stick and pads. @tidelaundry and @shout are both awesome.

5.) 3 earpiece options: 1 for cell, 1 for watching TV through the airplane outlet and an adapter to use with my iPad. I store them in a cute hot pink pouch which is easy to spot in my bag.

6.) Travel size lavender hand cream, because few things dry you out like a plane flight. The lavender not only smells great, but is nice and calming.

7.) Bars and nuts, because you never know what, if anything, the airline will be passing out as snacks.

8.) This last one isn’t physically useful, but I love the good energy my pink quartz crystal symbolizes. I’m not really superstitious, but it makes me smile knowing I’m carrying good vibes with me.

Is there something special you always pack? DM me, I’d love to know!

Eat pecans, lower cholesterol?

Can eating this nut lower your cholesterol? Researchers in Georgia think pecans may be one of the tricks to reducing your chances of coronary heart disease. As a huge fan of nuts and nut butters, this study caught my attention and I just had to share.

Professor Jamie Cooper explains what they discovered to @mindbodygreen after adding pecans to the participants diets:

“We had some people who actually went from having high cholesterol at the start of the study to no longer being in that category after the intervention”

Folks in the 8 week study were told to eat just under 3/4 cup of pecans a day. Whether they added them to their regular diet or swapped them out, both groups saw an improvement.

Here’s Cooper again: “…we still saw improvements and pretty similar responses in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in particular”

If you’re looking to add pecans to your daily routine, try tossing them in yogurt, salads and smoothies. For on the go, grab a handful or a scoop of pecan nut butter. Like other nuts, they are full of good fat, fiber and antioxidants.

LORAfied Brownie Cake Recipe

It’s Scooter’s birthda ! As you might imagine, he’s not interested in having a “healthy” dessert, which is difficult for me, as I’m all about “good for you” treats. So today, I split the baby down the middle, offering Scooter something, while not completely going off the rails.

If that wasn’t enough of a struggle, we have an ongoing battle in the Peterson house about cake vs. brownies. Jack won’t touch a piece of cake and Emmy thinks brownies are for breakfast, so I came up with a solution: The Brownie Cake!

Honestly, it’s a little too rich for me, but it’s GF and a massive hit with my crew, so thought I’d share. I almost didn’t post this because it’s just not in keeping with my food philosophy, but in the spirit of “live a little”, today I’m making a rare exception.

LORAfied Brownie Cake:

1 box GF chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding mix (large box)
1 1/2 cups organic sour cream
1 cup (2 sticks) of grass-fed butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup coffee (just use what you have left from the morning)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350F
Toss everything (except the chocolate chips) in a large bowl and use a mixer to combine. This is a pretty thick batter, so doing it by hand may be a challenge.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Divide between 2 prepared 9” pans.
Bake for 40 mins. These babies are dense, the perfect cake/brownie hybrid, so expect a little settling and for them to be heavy.
Let cool and top with homemade buttercream frosting.

*DO NOT make the pudding, just use it in it’s dry powder form.
*I rarely use dairy, but when I do, it must be organic. Industrialized dairy is full of icky stuff, is awful for your gut and has been linked to some scary health issues. Make sure it’s grass-fed and organic…it also makes your end product taste way better.

Shop the Post

Are you washing your bath towels enough?

How often and how should you wash your bath towels to keep germs and bacteria off your face and body? I can tell you, I was only doing it 2x a week, but have now moved up to 3x here’s why:

According to @mindbodygreen we should be swapping for clean ones every 3 days! And as often as every day if you have sensitive or acne prone skin. Microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D. discovered some shocking results during his towel testing.

“In a towel study Gerba did a few years back, he and his team found [really gross] bacteria on 80% of towels that hadn’t been washed for three days or longer”

Although cold wash cycles work for most other items and are better for the planet, Gerba suggests washing towels with hot water (and also drying on high) for best results.

Will this change your routine or how you wash? LMK

New York City Food: Where and what to eat for kids, teens & adults


Ralph’s coffee – Little known fact, Ralph Lauren doesn’t only make gorgeous clothes, he also makes excellent coffee! We stopped by @ralphscoffee located inside his upper East side store to grab an iced mocha and iced vanilla latte – divine! They even have the good ice cubes, in case the designer coffee wasn’t enough of an incentive 🤗

Starbucks Reserve – This isn’t your daughters Starbucks, it’s one of only 4 @starbucksreserve the world. Here they offer “coffee experiences”, like espresso tastings, barrel-aged coffee and jackets made out of coffee bean bags. I ordered the dark chocolate mocha (almond milk and only 1 scoop of cocoa powder), you could literally see it was made with love.

The Plaza – afternoon tea at @theplazahotel – This is a must! The world famous Palm Court, which opened in 1907, is still a stunner today! It’s an amazing experience that will have you peeking around the corner looking for Eloise.


Liberty Bagels – NYC has more bagel shops than you can image, so when it comes to finding “the one” it’s pretty subjective. With that said, @libertybagelsny is among the top contenders on most all lists. We stopped by their store near Times Square to try their famous rainbow bagel w/birthday cake cream cheese – OH MY WORD! We also sampled their salt bagel, egg bagel and 4 other cream cheese flavors: maple bacon, chipotle, peanut butter/Nutella and cinnamon/walnut/raisin, while all were delicious, the rainbow 🌈 birthday cake 🎂 cream cheese thing IS A MUST!

H & H Bagel – You can tell a place is good when the line is out the door! Consistently ranked as one of the top bagel shops in NYC, add @hhbagels to your list And be ready to order, patience runs thin here with crowds like these!

.99 cent Pizza by the slice – Had to be done to check the box. It was just okay, honestly, I don’t recommend it…we didn’t finish our slices, but a hungry teenage boy would have for sure! Fun to say we did it.


Big Gay Ice Cream – There are no words for the ice cream @biggayicecream – featured on the @foodnetwork Best Thing I Ever Ate, this spot came highly recommended by @alwaysmeliss who used to live in NYC and it did not disappoint! It’s almost hard to describe how insanely good this ice cream is! We ordered two of their speciality cones: American Globs and the Dorothy. Take your digestive enzymes, I promise this stop is worth it!

– Imagine an ice cream shop where all the flavors have been replaced with cookie dough! Yep, @cookiedonyc is a cookie dough scoop shop! And it’s just as amazing as it sounds!
Fluffernutter – peanut butter, dark chocolate chips & marshmallow fluff.
Nuts for nuts – peanut butter reese’s cup and reese’s pieces

Serendipity 3 – Although it’s been around since the 1950’s @serendipity3nyc catapulted to fame after Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack shared dessert in the 2001 movie of the same title. It’s also home to the worlds most expensive french fries ($200.), which we did NOT order. Reservations highly suggested!
Order: Frozen hot chocolate and humble pie.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop – @littlecupcakebakeshop is home to the best chocolate cake in the US according to @foodandwine magazine. Luckily, they make it in cupcake form, too!



Tavern on the Green – One of the most iconic restaurants in NYC, @tavernonthegreen has a fairytale setting in Central Park making it extra special. Order: chopped vegetable salad with salmon, it’s gorgeous and delicious.

BG Restaurant – Lunch at @bergdorfs is truly uptown in every way, this place never disappoints. Order the lobster salad and Croque monsieur, they are both a 10 out of 10! This is a spot for sightings and today didn’t disappoint, the incredibly talented fashion designer @imisaacmizrahi Mizrahi was just 3 tables away. It’s a small, intimate restaurant and I didn’t want to bother him, so no pic of him, I’m sorry!


Buddakan NYC –  if this Asian restaurant @buddakannyc looks familiar, you’ve probably seen the Sex In The City movie…this is where Miranda told Mr. Big that marriage ruins everything! In fact, here’s the table where that famous rehearsal dinner was shot. We sat right next to it and ordered way too much food…I mean WAY TOO MUCH! Make sure to ask for the main room, it’s gorgeous, I couldn’t fully capture it. Just know, in person, it’s looks exactly like it does in the movie.

Beauty and Essex – You enter what appears to be a pawn shop, complete with vintage jewelry and old guitars, which leaves you wondering if you’re in the right place. But once you open the back door @beautyandessexnyc you’re whisked away to another world, the transition feels a lot like a scene from a James Bond film. Chef Chris Santos: @santoscooks – whom you likely know as a judge from the popular show Chopped on the @foodnetwork opened this one-of-a-kind dining experience and it’s insanely good, in every way! Add this to your list, it’s not to be missed!
Make sure to order:
•Grilled cheese tomato soup dumplings
•Beef Wellington
•Sweet corn gelato



New York City: Things to see & do with kids & teens

Empire State Building Observatory – make sure to get the ticket that takes you all the way to the top deck, floor 102 of the @empirestatebldg – If you purchase main deck tickets (which only take you to floor 86) you will be upgrading, trust me!

The Vessel –  @hudsonyards – this relatively new site opened a couple of years ago as interactive artwork. 16 stories high, this beehive looking structure was originally built for folks to stair climb and explore, while it’s currently closed for that, it’s still worth to stopping by and snapping a pic. As you can see, Emmy and I did our best to try and snap a selfie with it

911 Memorial & Museum – a must see for all Americans, @911memorial is an emotional and moving experience. September will mark the 20th anniversary of the attack. Put this at the top of your NYC list.

The Oculus – There’s nothing like this architectural masterpiece anywhere in world. Just steps from where the twin towers once stood, this is the new transportation hub for the lower Manhattan area. The designer’s hope was for it to look like a dove leaving a child’s hands.

St. Paul’s chapel – Although it’s just across the street from the World Trade Center site, it didn’t even lose a window during the attack, earning it the nickname “the little chapel that stood”. It’s also the oldest remaining church building in NYC.

Wall Street – Good for a quick selfie at the New York Stock Exchange. You’re not allowed inside, but the @nyse building and many surrounding it are gorgeous and full of history, it’s worth the detour.

George Washington Statue – located at the Federal Hall National Memorial. This is the place where George Washington was sworn in 1789, at the time this spot served as our US capital building. The statue has been there since 1883. Neat piece of history.

Chinatown – Fun to walk through. If you haven’t been to China, the fish and fruit markets give you a pretty good idea of what it’s it’s like in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Little Italy – We went here for dinner and it was just okay, so I’m not going to recommend nor diss the restaurant. I should have listened to the hotel conceirge, he tried to talk us out of eating there, but Emmy wanted the experience. This is good to see, but the food wasn’t as great as I had remembered. No pic for this one, just wanted to share the info. If you’re planning a trip to NYC soon.  

Seaglass Carousel – This was of my favorite stops with Emmy. The beautiful @seaglasscsrousel is featured on the TV Land show “Younger” and looks just as ethereal in person, you feel like you’re in a human aquarium!

Jessie Building – Calling all @disneychannel fans! If you’ve ever seen the show “Jessie” this is where she lived: 320 Central Park West – this was a must for Emmy. Best of all, it’s quick, fun and free! Even the doorman was incredibly nice and welcomed the excitement, I suspect he sees a lot of Emmy’s this time of year.

Catbird – Get zapped at Catbird NYC! If you haven’t heard about this yet, you will! @catbirdnyc is home to the forever bracelet, which they weld it on you! If you haven’t heard of this place, you will, it’s following is growing so fast they can’t keep up…next available appointment isn’t until September. So far, they are only in New York.

Stoney Clover Lane – @stoneyclover is a great place for darling little travel bags and totes. Emmy is obsessed with this place! Had to make a stop here so she could customize her pencil case for school!

Eat your way to better blood pressure?

Can the answer to lowering your blood pressure be found in your gut? It just might be according to a group of researchers out of Belfast. @mindbodygreen explains the positive connection between foods packed with flavonoids – basically plants with high concentrations of pigmentation:

“They found that participants who had the highest flavonoid intake—measured by their intake of foods such as berries, red wine, apples, and pears—had lower (healthier) systolic blood pressure and a more diverse gut microbiome than those who did not consume as many flavonoid-rich foods. The researchers attribute at least 15% of the link between flavonoids and blood pressure to the health of the gut microbiome, specifically by that diversity of bacteria they found.”

Chocolate and tea also made their good for your gut/blood pressure list!

Bottom line: yet another study reminding us all to eat more of the plant rainbow.

Note: you have to love that both wine and chocolate were found to be positive in this study, although I’m pretty sure those aren’t the main “plants” they want us to focus on.

Never buy chives again with this simple herb hack!


Do you have a green thumb? None needed for this fun herb hack! In fact, you don’t even need dirt! Make the next time chives appear on your grocery list your last! This kitchen trick will have you regrowing chives again and again.

3 easy steps:
1.) After you’re done using the chives for a recipe, don’t toss the nubs! Group the leftover bottoms, with their little hairs (roots) together and wrap with a rubber band.
2.) Place in a glass of water and leave them out on the counter.
3.) That’s it! All you do now is sit back and watch them regrow.

About every 1 – 2 days, I change out the water and rinse off the roots to keep them from getting yimmey.

This simple DIY will have you looking for reasons to use more chives! Best of all, you’ll never run out of fresh chives again!

Who’s going to try this one? I personally love this little project, emphasis on little effort….it’s so neat to watch something grow, especially inside!

How to order a healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte

I often joke, the only way we know it’s Fall in Los Angeles is because Starbucks tell us by launching their infamous pumpkin spice latte. Although both major coffee chains, Starbucks and Dunkin, could offer these flavors year ’round, they don’t. Waiting for its launch each year is like Linus waiting for the great pumpkin to arrive. Simply waiting for the coffee giants to announce the date their drinks will drop is an event itself, I consider it the unofficial 5th season of the year, the PSL season.

While these drinks are fun and festive, think cozy sweater vibes, they are also packed and I mean packed with sugar! It’s something all the fancy ads don’t mention and I can’t blame them, who would actually order one knowing a grande (Starbucks fancy term for medium) PSL with 2% milk has 52 carbs! Yes, 52! It’s an alarming amount for any drink, especially when you consider it’s about the same as drinking a piece of apple pie.

So, how do we still have our cake, I mean PSL, and drink it to without regrets?

Step 1: switch to almond milk, as dairy is looked with sugar. Starbucks and Dunkin offer other non-dairy options, like oat and soy, but those, too are packed with carbs. At both coffeeshops, their almond milk is the best choice.

Step 2: dial down your flavor shots, these drinks are way too sweet they way the are made anyway…if you need it a little more sweet, add a stevia and ask for extra cinnamon or pumpkin spice seasoning on top.

Step 3: size matters here, a lot! Order the small and drink it slowly.

I’ve been crafting my order at both Starbucks and Dunkin for year and here’s exactly what I order:

Starbucks PSL:
Tall, almond milk, 1 pump pumpkin spice, no whip cream, extra almond milk foam.
Note: The hot version is better here.

Dunkin PSL:
Small, almond milk, 1 pump, no whip cream.
Note: I order this one iced.

If 3pm or later, I order decaf.

Note: I don’t get these very often, I’d say may 1 or 2 a month. But, when I do, I want to enjoy it and for me, enjoyment comes from knowing I’m not drinking a sugar bomb. I’d rather eat my big carbs and calories, how about you?

Back pain got you down? Try a little trick called legs up the wall

Does your back hurt? Mine, too! Here’s a quick and easy trick to ease the pain: put your legs up the wall for at least 5 minutes! That’s it!

@doyouyoga lists severals benefits to this simple pose:
Helps with lower back tension
Stretches hamstrings in lower back
Reduce swelling/cramping in feet and legs

Yoga instructor @brooke_blocker notes:
“Try not to bring the body to a full 90 degree angle as this can impede circulation at the hips. Instead slide your hips a few inches from the wall and/or elevate your hips by placing a cushion under your sacrum.”

Can doing the dishes lead to a healthier brain?

News Flash: Dishwashing is good for your brain! Yes, simply doing the dishes, something you and I do ALL. THE. TIME. has benefits beyond clean coffee cups in the morning. But don’t try watching TV or having an in-depth conversation with your spouse while stacking plates, focusing on the actual task needs to be your only focus.

@mindbodygreen shares their conversation with neurologist Dr. Dean Sherzai of @sherzaimd –

“We say there’s no such thing as multitasking; it’s doing multiple things badly,” says Dean. Your attention becomes compromised as you multitask…keeping your attention sharp is key for optimizing brain function as you age.”

Don’t care for doing the dishes? You can try this focus technique with lots of daily chores or hobbies, just make sure you’re not distracted, your mind should only be set on the task at hand

Candles are toxic! Here’s how to make sure you’re burning clean

Candles can set the mood, smell great and release toxic soot into the air…wait, what? Toxic air? Yep, according to @greenamerica_ if you’re burning the wrong kind of candle you can be doing damage to your health and home. To help take the mystery out of what to look for when buying a non-toxic candle, @mindbodygreen has some tips:
1. Wick size matters, buy medium size wicks. Too large can cause soot and residue. Too small won’t produce scent.
2. Know your wax – 100% soy or beeswax, not a mix because it may contain paraffin.
3. Watch out for “Fragrance”- term used on candles by FDA to protect “trade secrets”. These are linked to allergens and may contain toxic ingredients. Look for candles that further explain the “fragrance” or use 100% naturally derived essential oils.

Here are a few of the non-toxic candles I use, starting around 18 bucks: