LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

That Shimmery Moroccan Oil I Use At The Beach & Honestly Everywhere

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Hello, and welcome to my LOVE/HATE relationship with the sun.  

I don't hate, the sun, but I also don't love it either and I wouldn't consider myself a real beach person, per se.  I grew up on lakes and spent most of my childhood summers in Wisconsin running around without sunscreen and jumping in the water when I got hot.  That being said, as an adult, I really enjoy the beach and have gotten much better at sitting still and relaxing (two things, admittedly, I'm horrible at.) 

Which is funny, because given my skintone, you would think that I lay outside without sun protection on the regular.  And while I love to soak up some rays here and there, I'm actually pretty nervous about skin cancer and wrinkles. Helllllloooo SPF.  But, even as a kid, I was tan. I mean, I was actually really tan.  Probably more tan than I am now. 

EXHIBIT A: 

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Pleeeease note the difference in the potatoes on my legs, also known as "knees", compared to my Mother's arms.  Yes, I definitely get my skin tone from my Dad's Danish side of the family.  
Also, where can I get that bunny romper with ear as the straps in like, my size now. 

Moving on. Something I have been loving, while embracing most importantly, sun protection, is my summer glow and this oil that compliments it so so well. 

And by compliment, I mean, it's like "DAMN LIBBY LOOK AT THOSE SPARKLING SHOULDERS!" That kind of compliment. Anyway, Blue Mercury sent me this product last summer and I used it a little at the tail end. But this summer, I almost never leave the house without applying it. 

WHAT IT IS: Radiant body oil for touchable, healthy-looking skin in a proprietary formula powered by antioxidant-rich argan and sesame oils with soft pearlescent mineral to create a subtle shimmer on the skin. Delicately fragranced with the signature Moroccan oil scent. Paraben-free.

BENEFITS: Infuses skin instantly with a deeply nourishing blend of antioxidant-rich argan oil and sesame oil, absorbing quickly to moisturize lackluster skin, while soft pearlescent minerals shimmer for a radiant look and feel.

KEY INGREDIENTS:
Argan Oil: With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, it luxuriously hydrates and infuses skin with moisture.
Sesame Oil: For intense nourishment and moisturizing of the skin.

I love it so much I wanted to write this post about it solely, and HIGHLY encourage you to get some. It's a little on the pricier side, but it lasts a long time and only a few drops goes a long way.  Bonus: it moisturizes without feeling too oily.  

Now go show off that glow, baby. 

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*Disclaimer: This product was provided by Blue Mercury DC last year but did not sponsor this post. As always, all of my opinions are my own! 

The Beauty Products I Keep in the Fridge (& Freezer) and Why

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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If you take a peek into my fridge you’ll probably notice something, well two things:

  1. I have a lot of cheese

  2. I keep a lot of skincare in it

Here’s why...

A good friend of mine, @laurendurden swears by doing this, along with a zillion beauty writers so I thought I would give it a try. Refrigerating skincare is said to help with better absorption and calm your skin. Additionally, according to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, “Generally, but not always, refrigerating products will help extend their shelf life.”

Which leaves me to what I like to keep in my fridge:

Under-Eye Masks - I started using these VIIcode eye masks for 8-hours as an overnight treatment which is different from other sheet masks which only stay on for 20-30 minutes.  I love keeping these in the fridge before applying them because the gel-like material keeps them incredibly cool. The masks also use natural potent antioxidants:

A post shared by VIIcode (@viicodebeauty) on

  • Sodium Hyaluronate: Boosts skin’s moisture content, reduce inflammation, and help prevent moisture loss.
  • Sodium PCA: Helps to retain moisture, prevents our skin cells from losing water and drying out, reduces inflammation, and prevents skin from aging.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals, which damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • Allantoin: Helps to soften and protect, while actively soothing skin. It also stimulates cell regeneration, promoting healthy skin.
  • Aloe barbadensis, Algin: Helps to hydrate your skin.

I’ve used many different kinds of eye-masks, and to date, these VIIcode masks are easily my favorite. Even as a stomach sleeper, these eye masks manage to stay on overnight. And it’s easy - just peel, stick, and go to sleep.

Face Moisturizer - Remember the Pond’s Cold Cream your grandmother swore by? It’s a great blast from the past for sure, but also easy to replicate with your own favorite moisturizer. For me, I like to keep my Glossier Priming Moisturizer in the fridge to cool.  

Something that's great about keeping your skincare in the fridge: when you go to use it, you remember to drink a glass of water.  Another option, if you really want to get into this, is a mini fridge for skincare.  I mean, this is actually so cute. 

 Photo:  OR GOTHAM

Photo: OR GOTHAM

Lastly, one of my favorite things, Ice Rolling. Here's a little more about one of my favorite items to keep in the freezer. 

Honestly, keeping some of your skincare items cool, just feels great. It's not essential by any means, but if you're looking a way to cool and depuff, then pop them right in the fridge next to your cheese. Just like me!

Bra Fitting 101 and Other Things I Learned at Coup de Foudre Lingerie

DC, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Let's talk BRAS baby. Candidly, up until last week, I hadn't given much thought to. As a woman who is, ehem, pear-shaped, I've spent more time shopping for jeans and pants that fit my thighs and rear than what's on top. Is this a curse or a blessing? Well, for me, it's always kind of worked out in my favor. I haven't had to struggle with backaches, awkward high school gym class moments, or heartbreaking fittings at the mall. Life with bitty buds is kinda easy. I pretty much survive off of sticky bras, sticky petals, sticky tape, or honestly, no bra at all (full transparency, I am writing this blog post sans bra.)  It's been well, really nice.  But, I have been avoiding something important for every woman, a real bra fitting.  

So here's what I did. 

My good friend Sophie from Rosé Media reached out to me to stop by one of her client's lingerie shops, Coup de Foudre Lingerie, for a bra fitting.  Located next to Dry Bar (hellllo new bottle of dry shampoo) I immediately felt at ease when I met the owner, Kiersten Ballman. She's awesome. 

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Kiersten didn't skip a beat.  We chatted about what I was looking for, and she grabbed some beautiful pieces, and we got straight to the point, the bra fitting. 

 

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I learned a lot during this fitting:

1. I'm not wearing the right size - so I figured Kiersten was going to tell me this. But her answer wasn't what I was expecting.  Like many women, I was told, I make the mistake of sizing up in the band when a bra feels uncomfortable.  Looser is better, right? Wrong. The brand should, in fact, be tight because bras are meant to, well, lift and support you. Duh Libby. 

2. I'm wearing my bra too low - another point that surprised me.  After I was given my proper bra size, I was shown exactly where on my back my bra should fall. LOL, my old bra lines on my back showed just how low low low my strapless was sitting on my back. No bueno. We got me up where I should be and it really did change the way I looked and even the way I stand. 

3. No, you don't need 25 bras - "A woman really only needs 3-5 bras for her everyday rotation." Kiersten explained. The key word here, ROTATION.  I like many women, get into the habit of wearing my bras to death. Literally death. And then forgetting that different bras serve different purposes.  You should have a great strapless bra for sure, and 2-3 everyday bras in black and nude. And then, all of the fun stuff that you want to integrate. 

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4. Not all bras are made the same - this may seem like a no-brainer, but I really didn't think about it until I saw the beautifully framed piece (below) in the shop.  It displays all of the beautiful and important materials that go into making a high-quality brassiere. Spoiler alert: you won't find this quality in your Victoria's Secret bra. Coup de Foudre carries a high line of affordable lingerie that will last you for quite a while.  

5. They accept bra donations! Woohoo! I loved this.  You can bring in your used bras and Coupe de Foudre will donate them to women in need of support.  

6. Bra Fittings at Coup de Foudre are FREE! Can't beat that. 

After trying on a few fun pieces, and wow, it actually was more fun than I thought, I made my selection. I wanted something that felt like me but also felt like spoiling myself. I decided on Coupe de Foudre's most popular set, The Marie Joe Jane.  It's super elegant and sexy with just the right amount of intricate embroidery over the black tulle. 
The best part, it's so comfortable.   

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Special thanks to Sophie, Kiersten and the team at Coup de Foudre Lingerie for answering all of my questions, and making me feel comfortable and sexy.  *Disclaimer: the pieces I selected were gifted to me. Thank you thank you thank you! 

Make sure to pop into Coup de Foudre Lingerie soon and follow them on Instagram for the latest and greatest. And remember, all bra fittings are FREE! 

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My Thoughts on the NEW Glossier Mascara - An Honest Review & 10% Discount Off Your Purchase

Beauty, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment
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So it's no secret that I love Glossier's products.  I've written about before here and here. I was, like many of you, skeptical of the new mascara when it came out a month ago.  I'm a mascara FANATIC. Lashes are everything, I mean, everything to me. As you know, I occasionally get lash extensions, when I don't want to apply the endless coats of mascara every day (which I admittedly, love to do, time permitting.) But, this month, I've been giving my lashes a little break and am working on conditioning them regularly and having a more natural look.  

Enter the Glossier mascara, Lash Slick.  

MY THOUGHTS 

I love it. Really. It's a really great mascara. Especially for those who love more natural, separated lashes. Important: this is a big deal coming from me, Queen of the Chunky, Layered, Spider Lashes.  I typically love my mascara, dark, thick, and heavy.  This isn't that. But, it CAN be if you let the coats dry in between.

Application: I start by curling my lashes, though I don't do this every time. I then use the Lash Slick to carefully comb out my lashes.  The fibers in it help coat each lash nicely without it smudging or bleeding onto my lids or under eyes. I like to wait a few seconds between coats to let the previous coats dry and have the strength to be layered on with another coat - just like you would when you're painting your nails. 

If you want a little extra...
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, and will probably write it on my damn tombstone at this point.  IF YOU WANT THICK, LONG LASHES, YOU NEED TO USE A LASH PRIMER. I love love love L'Oreal's lash primers and so does my HERO, Lara Pia Arribio. 

LPA swears by GrandeLash, a lash conditioner and enhancing serum which, I'm going to buy before I even finish writing this post. 

Any who, back to Lash Slick. Let's talk about the removal process because I'm sure like all of you, nothing erks me more than hopping out of the shower with raccoon eyes that I need to remove with a makeup wipe.  Not here.  If you have the Glossier Milky Jelly, or really any face wash that you can use on your eyes (some use baby shampoo) you can easily remove the Lash Slick. I've never had any bleeding or smudging with this mascara and for that alone, it's worth the purchase.   

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Glossier's Key Ingredients (as listed on their site):

Japanese Fiber Technology: One and two millimeter-long curved fibers hook onto lashes, adding length. Consider these your lash “extensions.”

Vegan Biotin: Conditions and strengthens for healthier, softer lashes over time.

Natural Shine Polymers: Enhances the formula’s black pigments so lashes are extra shiny and sleek.

Tapered Comb Brush: The tiered bristles and precise tip separate top and bottom lashes at the root, ensuring even application.

**Side note - did you see that Glossier now has GIPHY stickers on Instastories? Fun Fun Fun. 

What do you think of the new Glossier Lash Slick? Let me know!
I'm giving away a tube! Check out my latest insta for deets. 

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That Super Easy Braided Crust Quiche Recipe

FoodLibby RasmussenComment
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I recently teamed up with Campbell's soup to post one of my favorite recipes on Instagram. Growing up in the Midwest, it's actually more difficult to find a recipe that like, DOESN'T have condensed soup somewhere in it. Hellllllooooo Casserole Country.  My Mother didn't really make many traditional dishes like that but she is KNOWN, and I mean, known for her quiche.  

Feeling a little nostalgic today. Growing up, my parents always made a big deal over breakfasts. Very midwestern, I know. Each item we had could be a meal on its own. I’m serious. A typical Rasmussen breakfast could include the following: 2-3 different kinds of quiche, a homemade fruit smoothie, Nueske's pepper bacon (with additional pepper added to it, thanks Dad), fruit and granola (in addition to the smoothies) cinnamon rolls or a Danish Kringle, toast and/or English muffins, orange juice, pomegranate juice, and milk (always.) Important: we only had 4 people in our household. Anyway, the desire to replicate the beautiful breakfasts I remember as a kid is still strong. It’s a big reason why I periodically try to take time in the morning to treat myself to a nice meal. This morning I whipped up a quiche using cream of chicken soup for moisture. Hear me out, and if you’re from the Midwest, you know that Campbell's a key ingredient in many recipes but I still think it’s one of the best ways to add great texture and moisture to egg dishes. Sometimes, you just can’t replace what makes a meal feel like home, even in dishes you give your own modern twist on. #breakfastquiche #eggbake #notyourmotherssoup #giftedbyMavrck, #sponsored #CampbellsSoup *While this post was done in collaboration, I stand by my recipe and regularly use Campbell’s soup when I make it. #YUM #braidedcrust #piecrust #edibledc

A post shared by ʟɪʙʙʏ ʀᴀsᴍᴜssᴇɴ (@libbylivingcolorfully) on

INGREDIENTS 

  •  2 Sheets of store-bought pie crust (kinda sorry)
  •  4 eggs
  •  1 can of Campbell’s condensed soup (I used cream of chicken)
  •  ½ cup milk or water
  • Asparagus chopped
  • Onion chopped
  • Turkey or regular bacon
  •  ½ or 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
  • Chives to and an extra egg to top
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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) 
  2. Lay down a layer of pie crust for the base. Don't worry, this part doesn't need perfection
  3. Take the other crust and roll a little flatter. Use a pizza cutter to make 1/2 strips. 
  4. Braid the stripes carefully (see video below) 
  1. I like to pre-bake my crust first for 5 or so minutes so it's extra crispy 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk until frothy, stir in soup until well combined.
  3. Arrange half of your cheese, meat, and veggies in the bottom of the pie shell.
  4. Pour liquid mixture into pie shell until ¾ full then add remaining cheese, meat, and veggies.
  5. Transfer to the middle rack of preheated oven. When quiche is on oven rack pour in remaining egg mixture to top of crust. I like to crack an extra egg on the top for looks. 
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving **THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART** 
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Did you grow up in the Midwest? Or have a favorite breakfast recipe?

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The Perfect Rainbow Wrap Dress for PRIDE

Shopping, DCLibby RasmussenComment

DC Pride has come and gone and I can truly say it was one of the best weekends of my life. Nothing I did was really planned per say, but the concerts, events, and parties I went to will be cherished in my memory forever.  That being said, the parade was incredible and I had the best time wearing this Aqua dress from Bloomingdale's.  It was heavy enough to carry some beautiful movement but also light enough that I wasn't super warm.  I know that NYC Pride is coming up, and if you still don't have anything to wear, or if you just really want a fun dress for the summer, I can't recommend this number enough.  Check out my other favorite Pride outfits below. Most importantly, show love and kindness to one another EVERY DAY, not just during Pride month. 

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The Easiest DIY Turmeric Mask for Better Skin

Beauty, DIYLibby RasmussenComment
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On days that I work from home, I try to make skincare a priority. I'm not wearing makeup and have time to sit, decompress, and get what I need to get done, while of course, using a barrage of masks and serums. Today I wanted to try something new - a DIY turmeric mask. 

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Four Simple Ingredients

  • Flour

  • Turmeric 

  • Face oil or almond or olive oil

  • 2 tbls almond milk 

For application, I love using these super soft mask brushes from Hansderma

**Important - make sure you're careful with this mask. Turmeric Stains Everything. So proceed with caution. I recommend washing the mask off in the shower before you're ready to hit the town.  

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Let's Get Real - Some Thoughts on Overproduced Blogs & Social Media

SocialLibby RasmussenComment
 Photo:  Kate Headley  

Photo: Kate Headley 

Let's Get Real

I have a confession. I’ve been a bad blogger recently. Part of it is being too busy and just living in the moment of early summer and the other half of it is getting a little bogged down.

What I mean is this struggle we all have with social media perfection.  And there’s always a lot of talk about the way social media skews our ideas of reality and the pressures we put on ourselves to produce photos and narratives that people will “like” yet, not much is changing.

Admittedly, for the most part, I really try not to care. I don’t hire photographers to take 3-4 hours of staged #outfitoftheday photos. I don’t get invited to every fabulous event or party. And I certainly don’t have the most followers or likes. And I really mean it; these things don’t keep me awake at night or dictate my day to day, like, at all.

Sure, I’m lucky to have talented friends who snap some shots of me or my apartment from time to time. I try my best to attend events and be in “the know” about what’s happening in DC, all while having fun with my friends.  And, I’m proud of the social media following I’ve established over the years without buying or “selling out” (more on that later.) Especially those connections that have turned into friendships. 

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What I am guilty of, is not blogging more than I want to because, well shit, in my opinion, things on social media have gotten SO. OUT. OF. CONTROL. 

The outfits. The poses. The locations. The staging.

Remember when people were bloggers or influencers because they were just “doing them” and people admired them for that? They were “gals about town” and knew the people around them, without the internet. They went to new places; they had great advice and recommendations galore.

I know. I’m re-reading this after typing and could argue both ways here. Those movers and shakers are still doing those things, and many of them are choosing to document them in a curated and well-produced way. Sometimes that means showcasing an outfit, a product, or a meal they love in a beautiful setting, with a talented photographer.  And a lot of them (and sometimes me) are cashing in on this content, which they totally should, as long as there’s transparency of course.  *Cough Cough* Shout out to those who influence and actually comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s Endorsement Guidelines.

But where do we draw the line? When does curation start to spiral out of control? Like, why are you wearing stilettos in your post about traveling tips in New Orleans (as a friend of mine mentioned below) on cobblestone streets???

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Sure, sometimes it takes 48 damn selfies to get “the one” but at what point are you just wasting your time or other’s time getting that perfect-candid-mural-shot-on-your-tip-toes or letting dinner get cold??? I hope you know, I’m saying this to myself too.

If you’re getting paid for nearly every single post you do, when does it stop becoming you? When does YOUR voice shine through? What about the unsponsored drugstore blush you’ve loved for years? Or what about the less-than-grammable coffee shop you frequent because you just love it? I really don’t want to go down the rabbit hole about “selling out” because, honey, some of these bloggers make millions, yes millions, from these collaborations and I’m all about getting what’s yours.

What I will say is what I personally want to do.  I want to produce more content and no, it’s not always going to be beautifully photographed or staged.  But maybe sometimes it will be, because, I like to be creative and create visually appealing things. What I will say is, I will never mislead you into thinking I like something, when I truly don’t, just for profit or perfection. 

I started this blog because I wanted an escape from my previous legal job. I wanted to get to know people in my city and establish relationships and friendships with those around me.  There are perks of course of being an “influencer” - from gifts showing up on my door to an occasional complimentary meal. Even having the privilege to participate in a room makeover challenge (still not over this, clearly.)  But, I also try my best every day to establish GENUINE connections and feature relatable content.

So I suppose this is me saying, I’m going to do more of it from now on. Imperfectly.  

Thanks for reading,

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Colorful Gay PRIDE Outfits and Accessories I'm Loving

Shopping, DCLibby RasmussenComment

It's PRIDE month baby and there's nothing I love more than supporting ALL LOVE! If I could have 100 outfit changes next weekend for DC Pride, I would. There's still time to snag an outfit or two. Here are a few things I'm loving! 

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The Gina Julian Piece That Completed My Bedroom

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

Instagram is incredible. We all know this. The positive connections I’ve established thanks to this social media platform completely outweigh the occasional jealousy that it can simultaneously create.  But long before insta, blogs were my primary source of finding artists and designers I loved.   One of the very first, was Roxy Te Owens, from Society Social or, as some of you may know her from the HGTV show, “Carolina Reno.”

 Photo:  David A. Land  

Photo: David A. Land 

Roxy’s blog and more importantly, online shop, was one of my most visited sites. It’s not difficult to see why either.  Roxy’s style is fun, colorful, and still classic.  So naturally, when I got Instagram in spring 2013 (I was actually very late in the game) Roxy was one of the first people I followed.

Fast forward to earlier this year, when Roxy posted this photo with a giveaway promoting the one and only, Gina Julian’s incredible paintings. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t win the giveaway, but I did gain a new favorite artist and hoped that someday, I too would have a Gina Julian piece.

A post shared by ROXY TE (@societysocial) on

That dream came true when Shannon and I decided we were going to completely redo my bedroom.  We had a theme, well kind of, enter “retro-Palm-Springs-groovy-den-meets-Grandma-chic-sexy-coffin-esq.”  Yes we are crazy and no, we don’t regret a damn thing about this design.

When I say Gina is incredible, I mean it. We were looking to tie in a piece that would capture this #vibe and also integrate the colors of the room.  So we sent a mood board off to Gina, and VOILA, she created this masterpiece.

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Titled, “Get Your Groove On”, my mouth was wide open the entire time I was unboxing it and for about 48 minutes after and then another 5 hours after that.

Shannon and I knew that the piece needed to be the first thing people noticed when they walked through the door, so placing it right in the entry of my room was a no-brainer.

 Photo:  Laura Metlzer

Currently, Gina just launched her new Op Art on her site.  She has an amazing variety of colors and sizes that are perfect for any room. Get yourrrrrs! Also, make sure to follow Gina on Instagram for more beautiful art in your life, and feed. 

ONE ROOM CHALLENGE - WEEK TWO - With Shannon Claire Interiors

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment
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We’re well-past WEEK TWO of the One Room Challenge but I wanted to highlight some of the fun things that happened the second week of ORC.  As always, be sure to read my designer, Shannon’s posts on the challenge.  Here is her post from WEEK TWO.

At week two, Shannon created the most incredible mood board for the room. Exhibit A:

Shannon also created design boards for the bedroom, bathroom, and hallway.  AND THEY’RE AMAZING.

BEDROOM

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I told Shannon that I really wanted a seating area in front of the windows in my room. Then I regretted it because I was worried about said chairs becoming a dumping ground for clothes and clutter. And then she sent me the link to these STUNNING velvet persimmon chairs and I immediately took back my reservations. I couldn't fathom putting anything on these beauties other than chic pillows.  

I also went CRAZY for this retro-inspired Deny Designs credenza from Overstock which would look perfect with this Gray Malin Lemonade print from the Parker Palm Springs.  

BATHROOM

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Yes yes yes. The bathroom is going to look sooooo clean and fresh. Currently, the bathroom is a horrible cream color that is everything but fun.  Shannon found this incredible wallpaper from Bellacor and I am in love. 

Additionally, there will be a lot of fantastic artwork from Minted. I love this Hold My Hand piece that Shannon selected. It's romantic and interesting and I would have never thought of it here but of course, SHANNON IS GOD AND KNOWS ALL. Duh. 

HALLWAY

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This cracks me up every time, but if you've been in my apartment, you know that I have some verrrrrrry inttttteresting-shaped stains on the floor of my apartment, particularly in the hallway. Shannon and I cannot stop laughing about floors and knew that a runner in the hall was essential.  Shannon found this stunning peacock runner from Bellacor which did the trick for hiding the silly stains.  

Well that’s all for now! Stay tuned for my next One Room Challenge recap of WEEK 3. And as always, make sure to follow Shannon on Instagram for more One Room Challenge updates!

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Why I’m doing W30 Again, With a Twist

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

Before you get defensive (I know you W30 people out there will, understandably) know that I have done Whole30 three times before and obeyed by (most) of the rules. Read my Whole30 roundup here!

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It’s been a long winter, and I’ve essentially been eating whatever I want. WHICH ISN’T A BAD THING. But, I know myself, and when I eat healthier, I exercise more; I drink more water, and I take better care of myself overall, and vice-versa.  

So I’m doing things a little differently this month, I’m going to do Whole30 until 6 pm each day.  Why? Well, I once read a book called, VB6” by Mark Bittman, about eating vegan before 6 PM.  It was a way for him to restore his health throughout the day, and enjoy that steak dinner or dessert from time to time in the evening. 

Why am I doing this with Whole30?  Because I LOVED the way I felt when I did W30. My skin was clear, on not just on my face, but my entire body.  I was hydrated and just felt lighter.  I know that’s an overused term when people are vegan or do W30, but it’s true.  Even after one day of doing Whole30 before 6, or we can just shorten it to, “W30B6”  (looks like a chemical compound to me) I feel so much better.

 My W30 staple, roasted cauliflower coconut turmeric soup (recipe)

My W30 staple, roasted cauliflower coconut turmeric soup (recipe)

This is because most of my unhealthy eating happens during the day.  I know, not really the typical move for most.  I’m a BIG breakfast gal and snack quite a bit and work.  But the snacks aren’t the veggies and fruits that I should be noshing on.  Hellllllooo Sun Chips. Yikes.

So I’m going to change that for the next month, with the hopes that it sticks through the summer and maybe into fall. Whole foods throughout the day and then, if I’m at a happy hour or having dinner with friends, I’ll allow myself to stray with the reminder not to go overboard.

We could all use the reminders, so here’s a list of goals and intentions for the month:

  • Water Water Water
  • Leafier greens - helllloooo Sweetgreen
  • Take the time to make breakfast at home
  • Cut ALL the sugar
  • Collagen Peptides daily
  • Healthier meat alternatives - like Jackfruit
  • Vitamin D daily
  • Alllll the pasture-raised eggs
  • Bike to or from work
  • Smile lots

What do you think about Whole30 or eating Vegan Before 6? 

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The Velvet Persimmon Chairs I Can't Stop Talking About

Interiors, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

These velvet persimmon chairs.  All I can really say is wow. 

Something I’ve always wanted in my room was a grown-ass sitting area.  A place where I could unwind in the evening, read, blog, or have a martini. (lol half kidding) I mean, we all want this right? But most of the time, if you have room for a chair in your bedroom, it becomes ‘the everything chair’ and you know what I’m talking about.  It’s where you pile up all of your clothes, dirty or clean, higher than your own self. Or maybe it’s where you throw all of your purses or mail. Go ahead and pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I know the truth.  

So when I told Shannon, my interior designer (and idol) for the One Room Challenge that I envisioned said chairs, I almost took it back immediately.  Was I ready to commit to keeping a chair clean or rather, TWO CHAIRS?! While I realize this is sounding a tad bit dramatic, I am actually totally serious. 

While the goal to keep them pristine 24/7 is up in the air, what isn’t, is my obsession with them.  When Shannon sent me the link for these velvet persimmon chairs from HomePop, I audibly gasped in the grocery store.  Not totttttalllly unusual for me considering how horrible my local Giant’s produce is. But, hello, these chairs are stunning. 

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So, I knew they were going to be pretty, but I didn’t realize they were going to be this damn good.  They arrived just last week and I immediately assembled them after my event with Fiverr. Took me a whopping 7 minutes to assemble and about another 47 to get my chill back after taking them out of the plastic.  

The velvet on them is SO soft and the color is incredible. Persimmon.

What a fun word right? Fun fact actually: this summer I learned why unripe persimmons make your tongue numb.  Persimmons are full of tannins (like wine) and the tannins in the skins make your tongue and cheeks feel like your chewing on chalk. Yum right? Actually yes, they are so good when ripe. Check out this yummy persimmon recipe below by Alison Roman. 
A few of us gals made it for our Fifth Annual Fall Fete on Fairview and it was a hittttt. 

 Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Photo: Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott, Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Persimmons and Pears With Blue Cheese and Spicy Pecans

1 cup pecans
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced
2 persimmons, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3 ounces firm blue cheese, such as Valdeón or Bayley Hazen Blue, thinly sliced or crumbled

Combine the pecans, maple syrup, and Aleppo pepper in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup bubbles, reduces, and crystallizes around the pecans, 5 to 8 minutes. They will look all white and fuzzy with an even layer of crystallized sugar coating each nut—this is what you want. Add the olive oil and remove from the heat; season with salt and pepper, and let cool completely before coarsely chopping the pecans.

Scatter the pears and persimmons around a large serving platter or bowl and drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and finish with the pecans and blue cheese.

 When we made the recipe for our girl's weekend 

When we made the recipe for our girl's weekend 

Okay back to the chairs – I love them. Did I say that already? When I’m sitting in them I feel like I’m on a talk show and my five-year-old self is twirling at that daydream. Anyway, highest recommendation for these chairs.  I’m so excited to feature them in the room for the One Room Challenge.  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, refer to this post of mine or this post from my designer, Shannon’s blog for details!
Yay! 
 

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ONE ROOM CHALLENGE - WEEK ONE - With Shannon Claire Interiors

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment
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THIS  IS SO LATE BUT I HAVE SOMETHING SO EXCITING TO SHARE! I'm Shannon Claire Smith's design client and we get to participate in the One Room Challenge and it's easily the Top 10 Best Things to Ever Happy to Libby Rasmussen.

Alright – let’s get started on what the One Room Challenge is, shall we?  

The One Room Challenge is a six-week design challenge where 20 designers document the progress of completely redesigning a room.  Yes, you heard me, re-do an entire room in just SIX WEEKS.  

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How did I get involved with this? Well, it all started a few years ago when I became utterly obsessed with a designer and blogger, Shannon Claire Smith. ISN'T SHE PERFECT?!

 You guys, I don’t think Shannon really even knows this (or maybe I confessed it to her once when I was a few glasses of bubbles in) but Shannon was the person who inspired me to start a blog before we had ever even met.  See, she used to have a blog called Burlap and Lace wayyyyy back in the day and I couldn’t handle how much I loved it.  

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Anyway, I finally met her at an event just two years ago in April and have been calling her “Mom” ever since.  I consult her for almost every interior or styling trick in the book and have an uncomfortable, and I mean uncomfortable, crush on her husband, Nick. Hi Nick. Hi. 

Yes, I did just creep all the way from 2015 for this picture of the two of them that I love. Hi again Nick. 

Ehem, moving on. So when Shannon called me and asked if I wanted to be her client for the One Room Challenge, I actually felt like I won the lottery and honestly, I really have. I really won the interior design lottery with this. 

Shannon knows me pretty well. I don’t think there’s a single day that goes by where we don’t DM each other about SZA, the gays we love, candles, curse words, and oh, yeah, Nick. I like to talk about Nick a lot. Now, as her client, for the ORC, we probably text 5 times a day and I AM LOVING IT. 

So, here we go, a few weeks late, but here’s a little overview of what we did the first week of the one room challenge.  I’m currently shouting this. PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME FOR MY VACANT ROOM. PLEASE. I just moved in a month or two prior and decorating wasn’t a priority at the time. I know, I can’t believe it either. 

So I forgot to mention this above, but we're also doing my bathroom and hallway! HELLLOOOO opportunities! 

Curious to see what Shannon had to say about WEEK ONE? Check out her post here! 
Until the next! XOXO

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A Few Jumpsuits For Spring

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Ask and you shall receive.  Here a few jumpsuits I'm currently coveting for Spring (if it ever shows up for more than a day!) Click on the photos to shop!

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What It's Been Like to Have Rose Gold Hair - Kristin Ess Review

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Alright – let’s discuss this pink hair situation, shall we?  Let me begin with this, having pink hair has been one of the most fun beauty trends I’ve participated in to date.  I’ve wanted to have pink hair a la Gwen Stefani since the ripe age of 6 but like many of us, never had the guts, or more importantly, the job that would allow me to look like circus candy.

So here I am, with pink hair, and thankfully, an event planning job that allows me to have it, or strategically hide it in a bun.  But that’s not the important part, so let’s get to the questions.

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What did I use?

For my temporary hair tint, I used Kristin Ess’s latest and greatest Rose Gold Temporary Tint.  I ordered it from Target online to have picked up in the store closest to me.  Easy Easy Easy.  And the best part, it’s only $12, yeah, TWELVE DOLLARS. 

So, what exactly is it?

It’s temporary tint that you can spray on wet or dry hair, then rinse out and dry.  According to Kristin Ess, “I’m always looking for ways to play with pastel tones in the hair. This is the first ever in-shower watercolor that creates a temporary tone when sprayed on wet hair and then rinsed out. The intensity is up to you. When you spray it on damp, towel-dried hair it will soak up more color and last longer. If you spray it on wet hair it will give you a more subtle tone and will rinse out faster. The pink tone is most visible on pre-lightened/highlighted or blonde hair and washes out in 1-3 shampoos depending on the porosity of your hair.”

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Okay, but how long did it last on my hair?

Admittedly, I became a little addicted and each time it would start to fade a little bit, I’d spray a little more in.  Right now, after about 4 days washing it every day, there’s still a pretty light light pink to it.  The sections that faded the quickest, were the areas around my face, makes sense. Also, the dark hair I have on the underside of my head didn’t “take” the color as well as the blonde. 

How blonde do you need to be for it to work?

My hair is far from platinum, but I also just got it highlighted the week before (shout-out to Smitten for this.) Sadly, the color will really only appear on light hair.  But, here is a #rosegoldhair hashtag for reference.  Honestly, if you’re even considering it, I say just get it and try on a small piece of hair. It cost less than a DC cocktail or sandwich, sad.

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Ready to take the pink plunge? Here’s how you do it according to Kristin herself:

1. Shampoo your hair and rinse.

2. Apply spray in the shower on wet hair. For a more intense pink color, towel dry the hair before you spray. For a more subtle hint of pink, spray it directly on freshly rinsed hair. (The less water there is on the hair, the more tone the hair will soak up. Think of your hair as a sponge! If it's full of water it can only absorb a little color.)

3. Once you feel you've covered the hair you want to color, wait 1-2 minutes and then rinse. 

4. Follow it up with your favorite conditioner or mask.
Tip: Do a small test piece in the sink and then blow dry it. You'll know how much color your hair will soak up and how quickly it will rinse out.

PATCH TEST: Apply a small amount of product to dry, cleansed inner side of elbow. Wait for 48 hours. Do not use this product if you experience any burning, redness, swelling or itching.

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Alright, what are the pros and cons?

Pros:  

With how temporary it is, there’s really no going wrong.  It’s incredibly easy to apply and there’s little room for error.

It smells fantastic.  The spray is light and floral, I really can’t get enough of the scent TBH.

Living out your childhood dream of being a badass, I suppose.


Cons:

Sorry brunettes, but it just won’t work for ya – but you SHOULD consider midnight blue hair

Might not be work-place suitable but also, it’s 2018, challenge that.

Sells out quickly so if you buy it, get two bottles!

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What did I learn from having pink hair?

Girl you better OWN it.  I’ve realized that there really isn’t much room for self-doubt when you’re sporting pink locks.  There were definitely occasions where I forgot about it and then would catch someone giving me a double take.  Eventually I got used to it and reminded myself that confidence is key, with or out without this look.  It’s been really fun, and I think honestly, I’m going to do it again very very soon.

SHOP THIS POST

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Blonde, Without Breaking The Bank With Smitten Salon

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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I’ve been blonde forever.  As a little kid I had blonde hair and contrasting, dark eyebrows. Some things truly never change I guess.  Being a blonde is tough. I’m serious, ask any blonde in DC where they get their hair done and far too many will roll their eyes and begrudgingly say “Ughhh I go to (salon XYZ) but it literally costs me an arm and a leg” or, “Oh, I just get my hair done in my home state!”  And I have totally been both of these girls.  During college, it was FAR less expensive for me to fly home to Wisconsin, get highlights and fly back, than it was for me to get my hair highlighted at a quality salon in DC. Yes, you heard me; a FLIGHT was less expensive than getting my hair done in DC.  I tried cutting costs by going to an Aveda Institute here and there, but honestly, the anxiety of the whole process was just all too much. Then, I started branching out, and looking at salons outside of DC. I’ve posted before about another salon in Bethesda that I love, and I totally stand by this.  Full transparency, I find that it’s a good idea to switch things up once in a while for different colorist and stylist techniques.

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This brings me to Smitten Salon; located in Arlington. It’s not too far outside of DC and it’s a place that I’ve been to many times before.  I love it. I love their products. I love their stylists. I love their prices, (so reasonable, I’m serious.) Everything, really.

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Partnering with Smitten couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was giving my hair a little break from highlighting for the fall and winter to help repair and restore but it left be feeling a little drab with the lack of dimension and color.  I also knew, as you’ve seen lately, that I would want to go pink for a little bit (post on that coming soon) and getting more highlights would help bring that rose pink color through.

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Honestly, above everything that is amazing at Smitten, Ashley is easily my (new) favorite part.  This was our first time together and now I adore her! We talked about what I envisioned for the color and she described her technique.  We decided to go with a light, spring, blonde, with very small pieces blended, leaving the highlights looking incredibly natural.  She also placed a lot of highlights in the front of my face – which I LOVE, especially now when I pull it back.

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I know I might have a little pink at the moment, but I am so in love with my blonde from Ashley and Smitten.   Highest recommendations!  Make sure you keep up with their Instagram @smittenboutiquesalon for updates and their latest hair creations!  Also, they are expanding and redecorating soon. Can’t wait to see what they have planned!

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**As always, my opinions are 100% genuine and are my own. I was a previous client with Smitten before this partnership and will continue to go back.

(Some) Of the DC Concerts I'm Going To This Spring - And You Should Too

DC, MusicLibby RasmussenComment
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A few years ago, I had someone ask me if I would rather wait 3 hours in line for an amazing meal, or concert. And while I love question, because I think it says a lot about a person, I am becoming to feel like my answer is more 50/50 than it used to be.  “Oh, dinner, of course!” I announced. Don’t get me wrong, I love music. Bob Dylan was my first concert in middle school after begging my parents to take me. And I had my fair share of Lollapalooza in high school and college. But something kind of faded for me, I was sick of seeing artists at large venues with massive crowds so I stopped going.  

Fast forward to early last year, I made it a goal of mine to see more shows at my favorite venues; U Street Music Hall, 9:30 Club, and Flash. It was great, and I knew that this year, I would want more. I’ve kept up with this list since the new year and have been added to it weekly. I am so excited for the newer DC venues, like The Anthem (amazing by the way) and Union Stage. 

Upcoming Shows

January 23 – Darius, Cashmere Cat, MØ at 9:30
January 24 – Gilligan Moss, Toro y Moi at Flash
February 10 - Steve Aoki at Echostage
February 13 – Børns at Anthem
February 15 – Youngr, Elephante, Matoma at 9:30 Club
February 16 - Don Diablo at Echostage
February 22 - Lane 8 at 9:30 Club
March 5 - LP at 9:30 Club

March 10 - Tycho at Flash
March 10 - Beth Ditto at 9:30 Club
March 17 - Courtship at UHall
March 20 – Billie English at Black Cat
March 21 – Betty Who at 9:30 Club
April 7 – Vérité at 9:30 Club
April 18 - Sofi Tukker at 9:30 Club
April 19 – Clean Bandit at 9:30 Club
April 20 – Gramatik at Echostage
May 6 – Bahamas at 9:30 Club
May 8 – Kygo and Blackbear at Anthem
May 13 – Jorja Smith Union Stage
May 16 - Darius at Flash
May 27 - Chad Valley at Black Cat

See any that I’m missing? PLEASE TELL ME! I love hearing new suggestions, especially at the smaller venues in DC.   

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Thinking About Glossier? Save 10% On Your Next Order

Libby RasmussenComment
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If you follow me on Instagram, you know it's no secret that I'm a fan of Glossier's products. See my review of their products here below.  Well if you're still not sure, or maybe you are and you want to save 10% on your next order, follow my BFF link here and it will automatically give you the discount.  I just used it for myself and got the brown Boy Brow and the Glossier You Solid
Anyone considering the perfume, just try it. I love the floral scent on my skin mixed with some more masuline notes that I wasn't expecting but, love. 

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*disclaimer: I make a small profit from affiliate links I post. I also only post and promote sh!t I actually love, and use myself. 

What is Whole30 and Why Did I Do It?

Food, How ToLibby RasmussenComment
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I love food. Period.  I feel very fortunate to have a healthy relationship with it. I don't have any food allergies, disordered eating habits, or even any real aversions to any kind of food.  There isn't a food item I won't try or likely, enjoy.  I do however, love a good challenge, especially when it comes to changing the way I think about what I'm putting in my body.  

Enter Whole30.  What started as a personal challenge to go "Sugar-Free For a Week" turned into a decision to try it out for a month.  So, let's talk about it, because a lot of people have some seeeeerious opinions about "diets" or "eating habits" without really listening to the person who is trying it out.  

What is Whole30?

According to Whole30.com, Whole30 (we'll call it W30 from now on) is a way to change the way you think and eat for 30 days.  "Think of it as a short-term nutrition reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system."  What could be wrong with that?  The W30 theory is that many food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it.

Again, I don't have any stomach issues, I sleep like a baby each night, and don't have any food allergies.  I do, however, tend to get a little off-balance from time to time and am easily convinced (by myself) that what I'm eating, seemingly healthy, or not, isn't thaaaat bad for me. 

So I like to reset - which for me, is what Whole30 does. It puts things back into perspective for me and challenges me to think more.  Am I reading the labels? Are the foods I'm eating truly, "whole"? Or are there 13+ ingredients on the label, half of which I can't pronounce? Am I drinking that coffee because I love the taste of the coffee? No, it's because I want the cream and sugar.  When I do W30, I basically decide to take the plunge, and push the “reset” button with my metabolism and take a hard look at the food choices I made in the past and what I plan on doing with them in the future. 

Okay, So What Do I Eat on W30?

Probably the first question I get when I tell people that I'm cutting out sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes for 30 days is, "Okay, well what CAN you eat then?" and my answer, well, a lot of things actually. Rather than think about the foods I CANT have, I try to think of W30 as a way to eat more fruits, vegetables, seafood, with the occasional red meat and a lot of eggs.  HERE is my favorite Whole 30 Trader Joe's Grocery list and HERE is my favorite Whole Foods W30 compliant list. 

If I had to break down my top W30 foods it would be:

1. More green veggies.. hellllllooooo Sweetgreen salads
2. Pasture Raised Eggs (see here why I only eat these kind)
3. Clementines & other citrus fruits
4. Plantain chips
5. RXBars (here's their Whole30 pack)
6. Avocados 

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...And What Can't You Eat

Straight from the experts at Whole30.com here is the official list of no no's. "Omitting all of these foods and beverages 100% for 30 days will help you eliminate cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract, reduce systemic inflammation, and discover how these foods are truly impacting how you look, how you feel, and your quality of life."

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And ideally, no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat, or sheep’s milk products like milk, cream, cheese, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not consume baked goods, junk foods, or treats with “approved” ingredients. Recreating or buying sweets, treats, and foods-with-no-brakes (even if the ingredients are technically compliant) is totally missing the point of the Whole30, and will compromise your life-changing results.  These are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, even if it is made with coconut flour.
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What Makes W30 So Hard?

HUMMUS guys.  I missed it so much.  Probably of all the foods, not having legumes when cooking for myself is a particular challenge.  As someone who doesn't really drink soda (unless I'm getting fast food) or is a habitual coffee drinker (other than Colada Shop) cutting out the sugar wasn't really that hard.  One exception though, I LOVE LOVE LOVE condiments and sauces and guess what, pretty much every condiment has sugar in it.  Ketchup, Sriracha, Ranch, BBQ sauce, Honey mustard, tartar sauce, they all have sugar.  

My affinity for hummus and sauces aside, eating out tends to be a bit of a challenge.  If you're planning on going on a trip to Europe or long trip back home, don't do Whole30. Unless you really have the determination, it would just be far too hard.  This is why a lot of people choose to do W30 in January.  It can be a great way to kick off the new year, and rid your body of the holiday weight and poor decisions you may have made in the early winter months. Plus, many choose to participate in Dry January which leads me to the next topic of W30, alcohol...

So What About Alcohol? 

This is where I chose to "opt-out" and no it has nothing to do with needing alcohol. I've gone weeks and months at a time without drinking alcohol and take no issue with cutting it out.  However, I did my second round of Whole30 in July and much of my social life revolves around eating and drinking. So when I'm needing to be cautious about my food choices, simply opting out of alcohol didn't feel like something I wanted to do.  Did I avoid mixed drinks? Yes, if I could help it.  My intent was to have mostly clear, low sugar alcohols like vodka and gin.  If I was a guest at an event where wine is served or a mixed drink is prepared for me, I wasn't necessarily going to turn it down. Overall, I did make an effort though to consume less alcohol during W30.  

Why less? Well we all know what happens when we drink, and I know it's not just me here, we make poor choices, especially when it comes to food.  What has been a great personal "challenge" of having alcohol while on W30 is coming home from an event or a bar and making the decision to pass on the pizza or Chinese food and go straight for the cold bowl of watermelon in the fridge or dried (sugar-free) mango. The next day I wake up feeling guilt-free and refreshed.

If you do decide to consume alcohol during W30, be prepared to get a little heat from the W30 pros, and (somewhat) rightfully so.  They are doing it 100% and you're not.  But, I think I'll keep my sanity and social life! #chinchin #thanks

Did I Lose Any Weight?

Of course I did. Do you even know how much gluten I eat on a regular basis? (Hint: I was on Buzzfeed for it lol.)  So yes, I lost a few lbs' and this was pretty noticeable by week 2. I looked and felt lighter, my clothes fit better and yes, my skin was great too.  Strangely enough, my fingernails grew a lot.  I'm a fidgety nail-biter, and I didn't find myself doing that while on W30 for some reason.  This was also the case a few years ago when I went vegan for a few months, but we'll talk about that some other time...

Girl kneels at the altar of gluten @libby_livingcolorfully #girlswithgluten

A post shared by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

Will I Do It Again?

Easy answer. 100% yes.  I'm not particularly sure when, but definitely in the near future.  I've also considered doing small stints, like a Whole15 or 20. Just going long enough to feel refreshed and cleansed. Next year I will probably partake in Dry January along with my W30 just for kicks.


Have any of you done Whole 30 before? What did you like? What didn't you like? Will you do it again? 

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Photography by: Kara Schab of Right Foot Creative