Simple DELICIOUS Summer Side Dish

So simple in fact, you don’t need a recipe.

And just in time for your July 4th weekend festivities!

Who doesn’t love a caprese salad?  Am I right?  Super ripe, sweet, LOCAL summer tomatoes with slices of salty mozzarella and ribbons of crisp, fresh basil.  Splash on some good olive oil, maybe some balsamic and BOOM.


But when serving a crowd (which I do more in the summer when everyone can spread out outside) I like to serve up a chopped caprese with a twist. I add bread to put a little panzanella spin on the salad and spinach so it packs even more of a nutritional punch. Pine nuts give added crunch and texture-which to me is what takes a salad from boring to bright and something people will go back for seconds and thirds!

There is no need to measure, just add what you like in whatever amount. Here’s what you need:

  • Local cherry tomatoes, the more color variation the better. Slice in half.
  • Fresh buffalo mozzarella or burrata cheese. I will be using creamy burrata because it is INSANE. Tear into bitesize pieces.
  • Basil leaves. Either tear into pieces or slice into ribbons.
  • Organic spinach. Same as with the basil, tear or slice for easy eating.
  • Toasted pine nuts or any sort of nut you like.
  • Local, fresh bread from Lorraine’s if you live in Lynchburg or any other clean, whole wheat bread torn into bitesize pieces. Toss with olive oil and toast until lightly browned in the oven.

Put all of your ingredients into a large bowl and drizzle with GOOD, fruity olive oil and a little balsamic if you like. Dash generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately!


Happy holiday weekend y’all!

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I mean, what?

I know. If you follow goop or know what an adaptogen is, you’re probably familiar with ashwagandha. If you don’t and are not, let me attempt to break it down.

Ashwagandha is derived from the root and berry of a plant (so it’s “natural“) and is often taken in pill form.

But why?

People claim one little pill a day helps with a host of problems such as anxiety, stress,insomnia, tumors, tuberculosis, skin disorders, hiccups (say what?!), and chronic liver disease…just to name a few.

But I liked what I read on goop that sort of sums it up, “Like many adaptogens, ashwagandha can help with a number of different conditions, because they’re more about supporting the body systems overall, rather than fixing specific symptoms.”

OK, suits me. I take the below pill once a day with my morning smoothie and slew of other tonics and tinctures. Can I prove that this pill is contributing to the rebuilding of my body, strength, and overall health post baby? No. Am I an expert? NO!

But I have added it to my routine. Let me know if you take any adaptogens or have any thoughts on this one!


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plant photo:


Kiss My Face Sunscreen…A Review and a GIVEAWAY!

Have you guys read this hilarious post by Sarah Kallies about parenting and sunscreen?  Well, please do. It will cause belly aching laughter and resonate so true.  We are all just doing our best, right?

When perusing the sunscreen aisle on any given day at any given store, it is overwhelming to say the least.  Do we want zinc or do we not want zinc? What is it about minerals again? What are those bad chemicals called? Well let me help you zero in on a product my whole family uses.

I’m not an expert but I am a huge fan of Kiss My Face sunscreen.

The Dry Oil Air Powered Spray goes on super light, it isn’t gross and sticky like so many other spray ‘screens plus it smells delicious. I used this spray Memorial Day weekend at Smith Mountain Lake and got a nice, even tan with no burning. A few facts about the product:

Facts for Kiss My Face Dry Oil Air Powered Spray® Sunscreen spf 15

  • Vegan & cruelty free
  • Provides light weight non-greasy broad spectrum protection
  • Convenient air powered, eco-friendly spray sunscreen
  • Nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E and Coconut Oil
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, & artificial fragrances
  • Light Coconut scent
  • 80 minute water resistance

Practice Safe Sun:

  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outdoors
  • Reapply sunscreen after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating
  • Also reapply every two hours
  • Do not spray directly on face

If you’re looking for a safe baby specific ‘screen Kiss My Face makes one just for our little ones! I used the lotion on Aubrey’s arms, legs, face and actually all over his head; he never complained and his skin was completely protected. Some info about the baby sunscreen:

Kiss My Face Baby’s First Kiss Mineral Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • 100% mineral active ingredients
  • With moisturizing Aloe & Chamomile for your baby’s delicate skin
  • Tear Free & Fragrance Free
  • Made with non-nano minerals
  • Broad Spectrum spf 50
  • Water Resistant for 80 minutes
  • Free of parabens, oxybenzone, phthalates, gluten, & artificial fragrances

We actually keep the baby sunscreen in Aubrey’s stroller and use it on his legs daily for walks or blanket sitting or swinging…anytime we are outside in this hot Virginia sun!

You can get the dry oil spray on Amazon here, the baby lotion here, OR you can get the product AND do something good by ordering through Amazon Smile here.  What’s Amazon smile you ask?

Automatically make a donation to Beagle Freedom Project (Animal Rescue Media & Education) when purchasing Kiss My Face sunscreen and other products through Amazon Smile.  When you shop at, Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price: Learn more at  Just do it!  What a great cause and you’re getting a fantastic product to boot!

OR WIN A FREE BOTTLE FROM ME!  Just share this post on Facebook or Twitter and tag Blondes Eat Clean!

Must be 18 years or older and US residents only please.

Happy Summer and good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway!

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P.S. Kiss My Face provided me with a free product to honestly review.

How to Keep It Clean on Vacation

Summer (aka Open Season for Rosé) is upon us; long beach days with seafood and drawn butter, naps instead of workouts, Chardonnay instead of smoothies, sunning instead of swimming, tan lines instead of TRX, the list goes on. It’s part of what we all love about summer right?  Kids are out of school, alarms don’t have to be set, life is slower. But that doesn’t mean we want to undo all of our hard work; after all it’s also bikini season.

I have a few ideas to help us all stay on track this summer.  Let me know if you have any for me to add to the list!

  1. HYDRATE– Like for real, y’all.  I cannot explain to you how much better I feel when I drink TONS of water. Throw in some cucumbers or citrus for added hydration and flavor. Note: seltzer, la croix, iced tea…these are NOT replacements for the real deal h20.  So make sure you have water in you and on you always.
  2. Exercise– I know, I know. You’re on VACATION. But I always feel SO much better when I start every day, even vacation days with some sort of sweat session. Mix it up this summer.  If you’re in a new city, try a new studio or workout. If you’re at the beach, go for a run, swim in the ocean, standup paddle board or give surfing a try. Go on a hike, walk, or just hit the gym for a bit everyday and you will thank me (especially when you’re DONE and those endorphins are flowing!)
  3. Stick to Your Healthy Routine– I needed to remember this on a recent six day trip with my husband. I came home feeling so sluggish and couldn’t understand why. I slept a lot (no baby!), ate well, and exercised regularly. I thought about it later and it must be because I broke from my usual healthy morning routine and my body got a little out of whack wondering what was going on. I start every morning with a TON of liquids. I chase a shot of chlorella and coconut water with warm lemon water mixed with cayenne and turmeric. This is followed by a big glass of ice water, hot green and dandelion tea with Vital Proteins collagen, and finally, a green smoothie with Apple Cider Vinegar.  Well, I didn’t have ANY of these on my trip and started each day with bottled water and the buffet at our resort…not my smartest move. So my advice is if you have some healthy, daily routines and rituals, bring them with you on vacation.
  4. Drink with Caution– It’s vacay, duh, you’re going to want to booze a little (lot).  But be smart about it.  Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris look so good whizzing by your pool chair on a silver platter BUT DON’T DO IT. They are full of sugar, chemicals AND alcohol and loaded with tons of crap and calories. Opt for your liquor of choice mixed with ice water and fresh citrus (detox!) or a white wine spritzer (half wine, half sparkling water). Also see rule 1, HYDRATE while you booze.
  5. Eat What’s Fresh– This is a good rule of thumb for every day life but especially on vacation.  We were in Turks and Caicos where the local delicacy is conch. Sure, you can get it fried but we chose to have conch ceviche everyday. Loaded with veggies, citrus, and conch, it was cold and refreshing and super healthy.
  6. Wear Sunscreen– I had to throw this in there. Y’all.  WEAR SUNSCREEN.  That is all.
  7. Jump right back into your fitness and clean eating routine when you get home. I used to think I needed (deserved) a day or two to ease back into the crazy of life after a vacation. Maybe that meant ordering pizza the night after we return. NO! Try to get back to “the real world” and head straight to the grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up on your healthy essentials so you have no excuses!

I only nag you because I love you!  <——-I say this to my husband, what a lucky guy!

Happy Summer and thanks for all the love!


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