Good Vibes at Madewell

August 29, 2015 by  
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I headed out to Ann Arbor Wednesday evening to host a little shopping event at Madewell and ate my weight in macarons, met some new faces and picked out some really great denim.
Dutch apple pie macarons were the
Loved Elise's look! 
Thanks again Madewell Ann Arbor for having me!

Playing Catch Up

August 28, 2015 by  
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I was so excited to get home by 6:30 last night with daylight to spare, an apartment to clean and dog cuddles to catch up on while I edited head shots I took after work. I parked my ass on the floor and cranked those out in no time and then grabbed Mexican food for dinner with Kyle. It's been a hectic couple of weeks orienting to the new job, Kyle's new job and just balancing life in general. 
I've been feeling quite a bit of guilt for James who's used to me working from home and pretty much always having someone at home with him. So now he goes to doggie daycare once a week and I found a pet sitter who will visit him and take him for walks while I'm at work. And once I get a baby gate to quarantine his little butt to my area, I will be able to take him with me from time to time.
[striped back zip pullover + bristol skinny jeans c/o Madewell, hat from Forever 21, Ankit]

Lemon Lavender Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe | #Channyskitchen

August 26, 2015 by  
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Lemon Lavender Whole Wheat Muffins

This week, I had some unexpected “at home” time when my little one got sick (boo!). In Michigan, we are experiencing some very cool, fall-like weather (much to the chagrin of summer worshippers like me who aren’t QUITE ready for that). Still, it put me in a major cooking and baking mood, and I thought I would create a new muffin recipe that was hearty, low in fat and low in sugar as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Recipe yields 12 muffins. Nutritional information below.


¾ tsp liquid stevia (or you could use ½ cup granulated sugar or sweetener of your choice, but remember, the calorie/macros in this recipe are adjusted for stevia. I use the handy conversion chart here.)

¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup plain applesauce (this is the same as one of the small, single servings which is what I always use. You’ll have about a spoonful left over. It can go directly in your mouth. J)

1 large egg (Vegan friends, check out this great article for replacement choices).

3 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp lemon oil or lemon extract

2/3 cup water

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup unbleached self-rising flour

¼ cup cornmeal (I used white)

3 tbsp. dried culinary lavender

2 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt


Purple Granulated Sugar Topping

(Yeah, I couldn’t resist a little drop of artificial color for this because it looks pretty! But skip that if it makes you uncomfortable.)

1/8 cup granulated or coarse sugar (I used granulated because I never have coarse on hand. Oh well.)

3 drops red, 1 drop blue food coloring

2 drops lemon oil or extract

Mix food coloring on spoon before adding to sugar. After you've added the food coloring, smash the sugar around until the color is incorporated. Then add the lemon oil or extract and do the same.


Preheat oven to 400º. Grease 12 count muffin tin.

Mix wet ingredients (stevia, yogurt, applesauce, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon oil or extract and water) together well and set aside.

Mix dry ingredients (flours, cornmeal, dried lavender, balking powder, baking soda and salt) together.

Carefully stir or fold in wet mixture to dry mixture. Batter should be fairly thick—spoonable. Fill each hole in muffin tin to almost full.

Bake around 15-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes clean, or your spider senses tell you the muffins are perfect. =)

When my muffins came out of the oven, I sprayed them lightly with butter flavored cooking spray, and sprinkled the sugar topping on them.

Then I ate one—while it was still steaming—with a big pat of butter. YUM!


Per serving size (1 muffin):

Calories:   103 calories
Fat:    .8g
Carbs:    19.8 g

Protein:    4.5 g

Insta Updates

August 26, 2015 by  
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I've been living a transient kind of summer and things are finally settling into a nice routine including donuts, light traveling and solid work days.
Lansing welcomed a new bakery to town called Glazed and Confused, not to be confused with Glazed and Infused in Chicago. My friend Ashley brought these to me last weekend when I had a shitty day of migraines. Sometimes when it seems like shit is falling a part, a red velvet donut makes things okay.
So much design inspiration from Create + Cultivate in Chicago a couple weekends ago.
Got a little help from my friend Liz to create floral arrangements for my bestie's bridal shower.
Clyde's Rebirth's Ermina necklace, the new love of my life and anything cowhide (some pretty options by Oliveve)
After heading back to Lansing from my hometown, I passed by this cute self serve produce stand. I popped by, grabbed two giant tomatoes for Kyle (only $1.50!) and went on my way.
If you live in the Ann Arbor area, I'll be at the Madewell store sharing my favorite picks along with treats and 20 percent off in-store with purchases over $125! Come say hi and shop with me if you're free!

Sun Dress for Thunderstorms

August 24, 2015 by  
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I spent the day cursing thunderstorms and coordinating my close friend Courtney's bridal shower back in our hometown. It was a torrential downpour as Courtney's Chicago friends attempted to navigate the cornfields of Ravenna, Michigan. But eventually everyone showed up and we ate turkey sliders and drank mimosas, forgetting the shitty weather. 
[jacket and dress c/o Lulu*s, wedges c/o PB&J Boutique, Rayban aviators c/o Shade Station]
Photos by mom

To V-Log or Not to V-Log…that is the question. =) Requesting reader feedback!

August 23, 2015 by  
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Can't see the video above? Please click HERE.

To V-Log or Not to V-Log...that is the question. 
Requesting reader feedback!

I've been slowly and steadily thinking about my (ever-so-late) rebranding to Mindful Grrl...and the type of content I'd like to offer from now on. Though the mission of my blog will be staying the same, I'm planning on adding some new features, but I'm having a hard time deciding what to tackle first.

That's where you come in...please watch the video above, and feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below, or on my Facebook page!

What do you think?

Back to [Grad] School Bag and Shoe Picks

August 22, 2015 by  
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Back to school deals are back and as I gear up for my FINAL year of grad school, I'm shopping some back to school deals myself online at Macy's while justifying that I'm a student so I should take advantage and use for school and work. Macy's is offering 20 percent off using code BTS starting this Sunday through Tuesday, so wait to do your shopping until tomorrow.
I've been focused on finding some new shoes and bags in neutral tones. What's on your back to school shopping list?
1. MICHAEL Michael Kors Cindy Bag, $222.99
1. Cole Haan Crossbody, $200.99
2. New Balance 620 Sneakers, $79.99
3. Dolce by Mojo Moxy Tall Boots, $99
MICHAEL Michael Kors Jet Set Crossbody, $158
Coach Mini Flap Crossbody, $318.75
American Rag Baxter Booties, $69.50

Thank you for supporting collaborations such as this one with Macy's!

Odds & Ends

August 21, 2015 by  
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When I was in Chicago last weekend, I checked out the Birchbox pop up. With a mimosa in one hand and snapchat filming in the other, I picked out an assortment of products for my custom Birchbox. I love the box print. It's just so pretty. I've been using the Kiehl's moisturizer and the Hello fragrance a lot this week and may need to pull the trigger and buy full size versions.
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I've been reorganizing my closets and realized how much I miss my sweater. Another or month or so and I'll be snuggled up in these. Some of my favorites are Soft JoieUnif and Acne Studios (out of my price range, but love.) I picked up these vintage dad jean levi's from Rawson last week the SHUDIO in Chicago. They take my butt to another level. 
Well, my skin is back to being a jerk again and so I've been incorporating some new products that are gentle and moisturizing while I still try to function with adult acne and dryness. Stemology's cell rescue gel toner is super gentle and great for sensitive skin and I've been using after cleanser the last week.

Neutral Tones

August 19, 2015 by  
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I pulled a super comfortable outfit together for a long day of workshops at Create + Cultivate, thanks to PB&J Boutique. I took some nuggets of inspo and advice home with me, but most importantly I got to see Toast and Muppet, two internet famous Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who were rescued from a puppy mill. I cried when I met them. I was so overwhelmed with emotions of meeting such precious pups. 
[sweater and Matisse wedges c/o PB&J Boutique, DL1961 jeans from Retail Therapy, necklace by Clyde's Rebirth, bag by Loeffler Randall (similar ones here)]
Photos by Sam

Sharing is Caring: The Need for Online Connection

August 18, 2015 by  
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A recent work-out selfie I shared with my current fitness progress on Instagram
Sharing is Caring: The Need for Online Connection
Paulo Coehlo, author of the novel The Alchemist, once said “It's part of the human condition to want to share things." As emotional beings, we are fundamentally wired with the desire to connect with others, and be validated by them. The support of our peers is truly integral to our success. Yet, sometimes, when we share our lives with others, we’re chastised for it. Particularly by those who claim that the acceptance and support of other human beings doesn’t mean much to them (an assertion I’m not buying for a moment).

Anyone who has participated in social media over the last two or three years has likely been assaulted by supposed compulsory social rules, and soul-sucking “list articles” with titles like “Ten Things Never to Do On Facebook”. I’ve always been a little anti-establishment so I will admit, that kind of headline turns me off from the get go. Still, so do the sentiments behind the writing. Who am I to try and control what people like to share? Even if someone's habits are offensive, racist or marginalizing, I have options. Defriend. Buh-bye.
From people griping about too many pictures of children (I LOVE seeing cute babies and sticky ice cream cones in my Facebook feed and I’m being totally serious) to complaints about friends who are going through emotional struggles and need a little more validation than usual (think about the close friend experiencing a divorce or loss of a loved one), people seem to expect that other’s sharing habits should please them, and by no means make their own private worlds feel threatened. They are the first in line to sit back and make snap judgments, and they are also often guilty of projecting their own insecurities onto those they may feel are happier, more successful, etc.
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Give it a rest, Judge Judy.

Jade Mazarin, a board certified counselor and writer for PsychCentral, claims that humans are “looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level”. That desire for acceptance often extends to our friends online. We care about having their support; their understanding of our journey.
And it’s ok.
Yep, I’m talking about statuses, and selfies—and all of it. Contrary to popular belief and the viral outbreak of shared parody articles like the one claiming that excessive selfies are a psychological disorder (which is totally false), there’s nothing wrong with you if you enjoy sharing the beautiful pie you made for Thanksgiving dinner, your son’s A+ report card, or your recent weight loss transformation. In fact, as suggested by a 2013 article by Time, “Selfies Matter” for our sense of self in this modern world. Guess what? I’m high fiving you on the other side of the screen. I’m happy for you. I can be happy for you…
Because I’m happy with me.
Image from
I’ve loved sharing my updates about body image, my honest and transparent progress with weight loss and increased fitness, and in general, my zest for life right now. Why wouldn’t I post a gym selfie? I’m loving #fitlife! I receive such wonderful support from friends and families. But once in a while, I’ll hear a passive aggressive comment or backhanded compliment about how I’m “seeking attention” for my accomplishments.
Yes, sharing can become problematic when a person’s only validation comes from external sources. In these cases, folks aren’t just looking for acceptance through Snapchat or Instagram. The trouble goes deeper than that. We see individuals in abusive and co-dependent relationships, getting manipulated by their employers, or disrespecting themselves in some fundamental way. People with mental illnesses like Narcissism might have concerning behaviors online. Perhaps, on a deep internal level, they just don't value themselves. And there’s always room for more exceptions.
But what about the rest of us, plugging away in our every day lives, trying to grow, and achieve new things? Whether it’s a Couch to 5k challenge or the cultivation of your new band, I’m rooting for you. On Bandcamp. And Facebook. And Instagram. And MyFitnessPal.  Furthermore, I refuse to feel guilty for sharing my accomplishments simply because it might make someone else feel insecure about their world. I can’t thrive in a space that requires me to place those kinds of limits on myself, for fear that I’ll snag someone else’s tripwire. It’s unrealistic. It stifles my own growth and positive vibes, which I enjoy extending to other human beings as part of a cycle of love that I’m manifesting.
So please, share away. And know that as I partake in that same activity, I wish you well and validate you as another human who feels an intrinsic desire to connect, meaningfully, through social networks.
Unless you’re trying to sell me something.
Please don't try to sell me something.
That changes everything. ;)
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Seeking to Be Understood: The Need for Approval
Taking Too Many Selfies? Don’t Worry, It’s Not a Disorder
Why Selfies Matter

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