Wellegance

Cultivate a Life of Vitality, Pleasure, Passion and Purpose


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Soulful Simplicity: Interview with Author and Blogger, Courtney Carver

As I shared in yesterday’s post, I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to chat with author and blogger, Courtney Carver, about her work and her journey toward simplicity. As someone who is always striving for simplicity (and encountering the roadblocks the most of us on this path do), I was thrilled to talk about these things with Courtney and draw on her wisdom and experiences.

Courtney’s new book, Soulful Simplicity, hit bookstores in December. I highly recommend the book (It’s this week’s ‘Weekly Wellegant Find’) as a roadmap of sorts, to help us navigate a world that certainly does NOT seem to value simplicity, and stay on a path that leads toward greater health, fulfillment and contentment.

Below is a link to the interview s; be sure to listen in and to check out all of Courtney’s work (links below the video).

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

xo,

Karen

Links to Courtney’s Work:

Blog, Be More With Less

Project 333

Tiny Wardrobe Tour

Courtney’s Courses

Book Tour Schedule

email Courtney at courtney@bemorewithless.com

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Weekly Wellegant Find: Soulful Simplicity (Book)

I have been a longtime fan of author Courtney Carver. Courtney and her blog, Be More With Less, first came across my radar year ago, when I was searching for information about creating a capsule wardrobe. I was riveted by her story. Courtney, having been diagnosed with MS, knew that she had to find a ‘better way’ and she that the path was through simplicity.

Not only did I find the information I sought about capsule wardrobes (which Courtney is a HUGE proponent of), but I found much wisdom in Courtney’s approach and her kinder, gentler approach to ‘minimalism’. At a time when most women are on a quest to do, have and be more, Courtney encourages us to pursue less, but better. (Has kind of a Wellegant ring to it, doesn’t it?!)

Soulful Simplicity is Courtney’s most recent book and, in it, she offers practical advice and strategies on how to  eliminate the physical and psychological clutter that keeps so many women stuck and discontented. She shows readers the power that simplicity has to “improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our personal and professional lives.”

And if this book calls to you, be sure to check the blog tomorrow for my interview with Courtney. Our conversation explores this concept in greater depth and I’m super excited to introduce you to this smart, interesting woman and her work!

Have a wonderful, Wellegant week, friends!

Xo,

Karen

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

Wellegant™ Mind, Body, Life: Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!

 

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Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Bark (GF)

Each year, before Valentine’s Day, I try my hand at making some sort of sweet treat. Last year, I made Chocolate Dipped Dried Apricots (which were fantastic!) and, this year, I decided to make this Cranberry-Walnut Bark.

All I have to say is…YUM!!!

I melted the dark chocolate (you can do this in a double boiler, but I use the microwave method described below), spread it onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and pressed walnut halves and dried cranberries into the chocolate. After a few minutes in the fridge, I melted some white chocolate and drizzled it over top. A few minutes more in the fridge, cut with a sharp knife and…Voila!

The key with any of these confections is to purchase the best chocolate that you can find; I love the Ghirardelli brand and I just discovered a new favorite, these Hershey’s Special Dark Chips. And while I love the combination of walnuts and dried cranberries, any dried fruit and nuts may be used, so go with whatever you prefer.

It’s an elegant little treat that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day 🙂  You can stack the pieces in small boxes lined with red tissue paper or wrap in cellophane bags tied with a pretty ribbon. What could be sweeter?!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Xo,

Karen

Cranberry-Walnut Chocolate Bark

The key with any of these chocolate confections is to purchase the best chocolate that you can find; I love the Ghirardelli brand. And while I love the combination of walnuts and dried cranberries, any dried fruit and nuts may be used, so go with whatever you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips for best results, use high quality chocolate
  • ¼ cup walnut halves
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place the dark chocolate chips in a medium (microwave safe) bowl and place in the microwave for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds is up, stir the chips and microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue until the chocolate chips are fully melted (be careful not to burn the chocolate).
  2. Spread the chocolate in a thin layer (about ⅛-¼ inch thick) on the aluminum foil. Press the walnut halves and the dried cranberries into the chocolate, then refrigerate for approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the chocolate bark from the fridge. Place the white chocolate chips in a small (microwave safe) bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, just as you did with the dark chocolate.
  4. When the white chocolate is fully melted, scrape it into a small ziploc bag. Snip a tiny bit off of the corner, so that the chocolate may be squeezed out of the bag in a thin stream.
  5. Drizzle the white chocolate over the dark chocolate bark. Place the bark back into the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the bark from the fridge and cut into 2 inch squares. Store the bark in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Recipe Notes

Serves 8-10.

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

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It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!

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What it Really Means to be a Romantic

“ ‘A romantic,’ said Nightingale much, much later. ‘The most dangerous people on Earth.’”

(Ben Aaronovitch)

For years, I’ve considered myself a romantic. I love music, chocolate, perfume, flowers,, Valentine’s Day, and all things ‘love.’ I’m an optimist who tends to see the good in people and situations, and who believes in the transformational power of kindness and beauty. It seems to me that the recipe for a happy and fulfilled life is a daily dose of joy, pleasure and dark chocolate. Clearly, I’m a romantic, right?

And yet, when one considers where the word ‘romantic’ comes from and what it really means, it goes much deeper than candy hearts and cupid. A true romantic has more than just optimism and a belief in love and beauty. A true romantic is quite powerful and, in fact, pretty dangerous, as  Aronovitch points out in the quote above. Here’s why…

Romanticism was an “artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, partly as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment.” (Source). When the world seemed obsessed with knowledge and science and business and productivity, some people (mostly those dedicated to the arts) rose up to remind people where REAL power, truth and intelligence come from, thus the Romantic movement began.

Romantics, the followers of this movement, are characterized by the following traits:

  • They value emotion, imagination, the senses and spiritual truth over reason, science and the intellect.
  • They value the individual over society as a whole, and believe that every person should strive to be self-referenced and self-actualized.
  • They reject all forms of materialism and, instead, recognize the abundance of the natural world.
  • They appreciate beauty over usefulness (particularly as it applies to nature).
  • They turn inward for guidance, believing that all answers lie in our individual passions and struggles.
  • They honor the creative spirit more than the rules, traditions and dictates of society.
  • They have a deep appreciation for the exotic, remote and mysterious. They know how little they know.
  • Rather than strictly adhering to what came before, Romantics dream of a better future and believe in the possibilities and strength of the human spirit.

(Source)

So you see why Romantics may be considered dangerous; they follow their hearts and their intuition and are, therefore, hard to control and manipulate. They won’t blindly follow rules and settle for the status quo, but instead they question, imagine, dream and create. If there is beauty to be found (and there always is), they will find it and appreciate it fully. And perhaps most important (and most dangerous of all!), the Romantic honors him/herself above all else and will not compromise his/her character and integrity. Ever. For anyone or anything.

So this Valentine’s Day and always, let’s fully embrace what a beautiful thing it is to call ourselves a Romantic 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves!

Karen

Image: Source

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

Wellegant™ Mind, Body, Life: Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!


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Weekly Wellegant Find: Josie Natori (Long Sleeved) Empire Pajama

In a post written earlier this year, I wrote about how I finally decided to “up” my pajama game. It was springtime and I invested in a couple of pair of Josie Natori pajamas. They are pure heaven – a super soft and silky fabric, bright and colorful patterns and a lovely sleeveless silhouette. I LOVED wearing them! But then,  late fall rolled around and it simply became too chilly for sleeveless pj’s.

So, back to Josie I went, this time in search of some long sleeved pajamas. And, once again, Josie did not disappoint! (Please keep in mind that Josie Natori has several different product lines, some of which are quite expensive. The line that I love, which is a bit more reasonably priced, is the “Josie” line). I ordered two beautiful pair. Here is one of my favorites, called the Empire Pajama and, right now, the Josie Natori website has most winter styles marked down considerably.

Happy Shopping!

Karen

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

Wellegant™ Mind, Body, Life: Nourish Your Body and Feed Your Soul

It contains my best healthy living tips, recipes and other resources to help you live your most Wellegant life. Enjoy!


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Recipe: Salmon and Caper Spread (GF)

While searching for an appetizer recipe to make for a recent family gathering, I came across one recipe after another for Salmon Spread (or Salmon Paté). That seemed like a great choice for this particular group, but the problem is that nearly every recipe out there contains an entire block of cream cheese and you know me – I usually prefer to keep it light and healthy. So I drew inspiration from some of the recipes out there and played ‘mad scientist’ in the kitchen until I came up with a version of it that I like.

This Salmon and Caper Spread has a bit of mayonnaise (I used avocado mayo, but any mayo you like will do) and the bright flavors of lemon, capers, scallion and dill. A quick ‘whiz’ in the blender and the whole thing came together in minutes!

I served it with water crackers, but it’s also delicious with raw veggies (which also makes it gluten free). It’s certainly, much lighter and more flavorful than the cream cheese versions.

I hope that you’ll keep this easy appetizer in mind for your next gathering. And please be sure to snap a photo and tag me on social media, using the hashtag #wellegance. I love to see your creations!

Buon Appetit!

Karen

Salmon and Caper Spread

This Salmon Spread has a bit of mayonnaise (I used avocado mayo, but any mayo you like will do) and the bright flavors of lemon, capers, scallion and dill. A quick ‘whiz’ in the blender and the whole thing came together in minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 6 ounce cans of salmon (boneless)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp. Onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 scallion sliced
  • ¼ tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Capers drained
  • 2 Tbsp. Dill chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the first 9 ingredients into the blender jar and pulse until the mixture is well-combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in half of the capers and half of the chopped dill. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Garnish with the remaining capers and chopped dill. Serve with little slices of pumpernickel bread, crackers and/or raw vegetables.

Recipe Notes

Serves 10-12.

DID YOU GET YOUR GIFT YET ?  CLICK HERE to Grab your (FREE) guide –

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Cozy Winter Hats

As I write this post, it’s 5 degrees outside!? I live on Long Island where, not only did we just have a snowstorm called a “bomb cyclone” (who’s even heard of such a thing??), but the temperatures have stayed below 15 degrees for days. Clearly, in this weather, a hat is not merely a fashion accessory but an absolute necessity!

I happen to love hats and wear them often. Yes, a bit of confidence is required to pull them off. And yes, you have to find hats that are well suited to your hairstyle. But the right hat can pull an entire outfit together, bring some polish and style to your look, and command attention.

Not to mention the fact that it can keep your head warm and cozy in frigid temperatures (which is important, too).

Here is a sampling of my favorite winter hats and some fun and chic ways to wear them. I hope that you find some style inspiration here and that you stay toasty warm in the coming weeks!

Buon weekend!

Karen

Images: (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12)(13)(14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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