Wow! Guess where I went for lunch?

Pippin Hillphoto credit: Pippin Hill Farm

Pippin Hill Farm is where!!! Well… think this hidden gem is only 50 minutes away from my town of Lynchburg should make you madly jealous. Of course, unless you happen to live in the middle of Virginia like I do. Normally, I have to travel to DC, or LA or where I grew up….good ole NYC to find the perfect atmosphere, the most delicious food that is LOCAL AND ORGANIC, fantastic wine and fabulous service. But, my envy has officially ended and now—– it is your turn.

Pippin-Tiffany This is me…..being blown away by the insane view. I just couldn’t get enough. Just thinking about it this very second makes me want to jump in the car and head back to my little oasis of happiness. Okay, so it didn’t hurt that I was with amazing friends and got served one of the best glasses of ice-cold rose (not the nasty sweet kind) to sip on. And, I’m not even going to tell you which wine this is because you’ll just have to find out for yourself when you find your way to Pippin Hill Farm. It is open from 11-3 for lunch and from 3-5 for a small but worthy menu too, 11-5 for wine tastings. If you just got engaged, look no further. If you want to try a cooking class or have a retreat for 25 or more you would be crazy not to check this place out. Dang, it sounds like I own part of this place or something.(that would be nice, but I am just a paying customer)

Pippin-wine glassWhy did it take me so long to find my way here? Because it is the best kept secret in Virginia. (well, it was)  And if it wasn’t for my crazy blonde cohort Rachel torturing me with the best foodie pics and wine pics and more food pics and more wine pics…… I probably wouldn’t have ever known about this little gem of perfection.

Pippin HIll Farm Logo

Oh, and just in case you are wondering. The pics don’t even come close to doing justice to what this place looks like in real life. Find a way to get here. You won’t be disappointed.

Eat Clean, Eat Local, Smile With Friends,

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Blondes Eat Clean: Back to School Snacks

Okay guys. Kids are going back to school and what the heck do you pack to get them through the morning??? They get hungry, tired, and sometimes cranky at around 10 o’clock. Their bodies need nutrients and real food that can be converted into sustainable energy so they can focus and concentrate and make it to lunch without starving. The good ole Nutrigrain Bar, Quaker Granola Bar, Little Debbie snack, pretzels, Goldfish, Fritos, or potato chips are NOT GOING TO DO THIS! These are empty calories filled with no nutrition. They will give your child a quick burst of energy BUT they will soon lose their energy and crash even harder than before they had their snack. This trail mix will keep your child’s energy going for several hours. They will NOT get the sugar spike and then crash because it takes the body time to digest the trail mix and they will get consistent energy for the next few hours.

I went to Fresh Market and brought my son with me to pick out some of his favorite things to make a home made trail mix. (If you have your child be a part of the shopping they are more excited because it was THEIR choice.) We did buy all organic and it ended up costing about .75 cents per ¼ cup serving. That does add up in cost, so if you buy in bulk in the bins or non-organic you can save over half the money and bring your cost down to about .30 cents per ¼ cup serving. He is almost 17 years old so I give him almost a cup because he is an athlete and needs more calories. Keep this in mind when giving your kids their snack. Not all kids require the same amount of “energy/calories.” My 10-year-old son who is also very active and plays soccer after school might only eat a ½ cup. If you have a daughter who is in her teens and doesn’t play a sport but you want her to be able to focus in school and have an energizing snack, a ¼ cup is sufficient. For yourself, a ¼ cup is usually a good serving too because nuts and berries are very nutritious but also high in calories and healthy fats. Just eat in moderation.

trail mix
Here is the recipe we used that took about 2-3 minutes!

Connor's Fav Trail Mix
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Snack
  • 1 bag organic cranberries
  • 1 bag organic dark chocolate covered goji berries
  • 1 bag organic cashews
  • 1 bag organic coconut
  • 1 bag organic raisins
  • 1 bag organic banana chips
  • 1 bag organic Turkish apricots
  1. Put in a large bowl and mix with hands or wooden spoon and store in mason jars. I like to put mine in the one-cup mason jars so he can grab it quickly and put in his lunch box each day. It’s so easy. I promise.


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Juicing Part II

As I mentioned before, it took a bit of convincing to bite the bullet and buy a Breville Juicer but I have had it  for a week now and I. Am. Obsessed.  And you know what? I have barely even looked up any recipes.

breville juicer
I have had a ton of success (luck?) just winging it.  I will tell you, I am no juice expert but I am somewhat of a juice connoisseur.  WHENEVER I am traveling in addition to researching (stalking) fabulous restaurants, cool lounges, and fun workout studios, I always look for and frequent juice bars.  In Vegas this past spring I walked four miles to get a juice at The Canyon Ranch Grille at the Venetian.  It was $16.00.  SIXTEEN DOLLARS. After I tucked my bulging eyes back into my head I paid the SIXTEEN DOLLARS and drank my juice.  I am not proud of this purchase but in the midst of a debaucherous Vegas weekend, I thought it was a smart (stupid) choice.  Anyway, the point is I seek out juice everywhere.

When making my first juice run at the my grocery store, I picked up celery, ginger, jalapeno, cucumbers, parsley, APPLES, lemons, and limes.


A few things I have learned from Tiff, Mary and some I have discovered myself:

Do not EAT APPLE SEEDS.  They are bad.  Period.  Core your apples.  I do this roughly and quickly by slicing off four sides.
Drink your juice on an empty stomach.
CHEW your juice.  Like, for real.  Something about enzymes and absorption.  Whatever, you went to the trouble of making juice, just chew it. (I think I read this tip on food babe)
Don’t eat immediately after as it can result in an upset stomach.
With lemons and limes, I roughly ‘peel’ but leave a lot of the white on.  I do not de-seed either.
I wash cucumbers and then use the whole thing in its entirety, never cutting into it.
Jalapeno, I cut a small piece off and yes, I use the seeds.  I like heat.
Ginger, I cut a half thumb size chunk and leave peel on
Clean your machine immediately after juicing.  I can’t imagine letting all that crap dry onto my pretty, new machine and then having to deal with it later.

Once everything is rinsed and sitting next to your sink drying, the time has come to enjoy your amazing magical juice!  I pour mine over ice and drink it with a silicone straw.  Slowly, and I CHEW it.  Ahhhhhh!  So good!

Those ingredients are my staples but yesterday I had a pint of tomatoes I needed to use so I added the whole thing to my juicer with a piece of ginger, a lemon, a lime, celery, and romaine and it was DELISH.

The possibilities are like, for real, endless.   Another combo I tried Sunday night was an entire grapefruit (treated like a lemon regarding peeling) and a piece of jalepeno.  So refreshing and tasty.  I haven’t tried this yet but I am thinking I want to juice strawberry and basil?  Cucumber and mint?  Ginger and peach?

Inspire me!  What are some other combos?  Any juice fails?
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