Sea Salt & Coconut Popcorn


"Pop! Pop! POP!!!" That's what Elle says whenever I make popcorn. She can't eat it fast enough. It's definitely her favorite snack and my go-to healthy snack when I'm craving something salty. I usually make popcorn with olive oil and sea salt, but AVE Styles Intern, Alyssa Hodson, gave me the great idea to try it with coconut oil. Oh. My. Gosh! Game changer! This sea salt and coconut popcorn is the perfect salty, sweet snack for movie nights and road trips this summer. Add some coconut flakes and chocolate chips, and you have one decadent treat.



Yields  16 cups of popcorn

1/2 c Popcorn Kernels

3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Teaspoon of sea salt
1)  Heat the stove to medium and throw in the coconut oil and sea salt. Toss in at least two kernels into the pan with the oil and when they pop, then the heat is right.  Take out those two kernels.
2) Add in the rest of the popcorn kernels until they are all popped. Remove from stove. Sprinkle more salt to taste.
If you have a sweet tooth, add 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and a 1/4 cup of coconut flakes to the popcorn after it is cool. Toss and serve!



It's 95 degrees and it's April. Oh my gosh! Spring may have just arrived for most places in the U.S., but I'm declaring it summer. To me, summer means wearing bright colors and cooking with fresh foods. 42a0dffaf228eef478e82a390095521d(watermelon tacos)

Lately, I have had watermelon on the brain. I love wearing the punchy color. It makes me so happy.

2bb24cf3036975f569d9e57cb2fbf239 (savory watermelon salad)

I have also been wanting to eat it a lot, and these yummy recipes on Pinterest aren't helping. If only it were in season right this minute.

Is anyone else out there obsessed with this color and food?

watermelonGet the look: watermelon cardigan from Old Navy, shirt dress from Old Navy, belt from Old Navy

Style photos by Kym Ventola

Pinterest Meals Part 3

Want to know something funny? I'm a much better stylist than cook, but my most followed board on pinterest is my "Recipes to Try" board with a total of 1,392,764 followers. I hope that means I at least know how to pick a good recipe. The execution...Well, that's another story. Here are a couple of recipes I have recently tried and loved.

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches - These were amazing and suuuuper easy. I'd recommend toasting the buns and spreading a bit of extra dressing on them. I also ate this for leftovers, and just put the chicken on a bed of lettuce with some extra dressing and croutons. YUM!

Broccoli and Ramen Noodle Salad - This cold, refreshing salad was a great pairing with a hot Asian dish. I prepared this salad hours before, and then made some broccoli beef with brown rice at dinner time. To make it even faster for yourself just buy the broccoli slaw in the bag at Target or bagged coleslaw mix.

Red Potato Salad with Yogurt, Basil and Shallots - I was intrigued by this potato salad recipe because it uses one of my favorite ingredients in the world - LEMON. It also is healthier approach to the timeless side-dish with a substitution of Greek or plain yogurt. I definitely recommend this for your next picnic!

Tortellini and Garden Vegetable Bake - This was a HUGE hit with my husband, and I loved it too. It made plenty of left-overs, which is always nice for lunch. When I make it again, I'm going to substitute the snap peas for broccoli, and possibly add in some summer squash to make it more colorful. It's a great dish for when you have a lot of company.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili - This chili is OFF THE HOOK! It's the first chili I've ever made that uses so many wonderful veggies. I actually added some ground turkey to this recipe and it was even BETTER! Of course, then it's no longer vegetarian. =) It's also an easy recipe because you just chop up a bunch of stuff, open up cans, put it in a pot...Then BAM! You have chili.

Spinach Chicken Pasta Casserole - This recipe is perfect when you just want some comfort food. It's incredibly rich and not the healthiest, but you know what that means...It tastes sooooo good! If you ever have to bring a meal to someone that is sick or just out of the hospital this is a great option. They can just reheat it in their oven and it tastes just as good as when it first came out.

Want to see more recipes that I've tried and loved? Click here and here for past posts.

Pinterest Meals

I've talked plenty about how much I love Pinterest, and it's pretty obvious how it's impacted my business - I can create inspiration boards for styled shoots, for clients, hone in on my personal style, etc. What you may not know about me is that I don't enjoy cooking or baking. It's just something that tends to stress me out mostly because of timing everything perfectly. BUT there are two things that have made it more enjoyable recently:

1. I LOVE my spacious kitchen and appliances.

2. Pinterest meal ideas!!!

I have plenty of cookbooks on my shelves, but either I just don't have the right ones or I'm not selecting the best recipes because I haven't really LOVED anything I've made from them. Even has failed me plenty in the past.

So, I was reluctant to pin recipe ideas to my Pinterest board, but after seeing some super yummy meal ideas in my feed I decided to give some of them a whirl. I'm sure glad I did because EVERY single recipe I've tried has been fantastic. No joke! I'm thinking it's because people tend to pin the best of the best.

So, although this has NOTHING to do with fashion, this has completely changed my personal life and I had to share it with you. Here are some of the recipes that I have come to adore, and my husband and dinner guests can totally attest to them!

Apple & Brie Melts - Um, need I say more? With this recipe I actually use wheat bread and a bit of honey instead of apple butter.

Tastes Like Lasagna Soup - I made this last night is it's dreamy good! Instead of bits of lasagna noodles I used campanelle. It looks just like mini lasagna bites and is easier.

A Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip - THIS IS THE BEST DIP IN THE WORLD. I love spinach artichoke dip, but it's so terrible for you. When I saw this recipe I was intrigued by it, but I thought it would taste terrible because it's less fat. NOPE! It's AWESOME! I used the Greek yogurt option and skim mozzarella cheese. Oh, and make sure to use the white wine. It really makes the dish to me. I served it with pita chips.

Lemon Parsley Chicken with Couscous - I'm Greek, so I obviously love lemon on everything. haha! I also enjoy couscous, and it's one of those super easy things that make a dinner more special over something like brown rice or pasta. It's ridiculously easy and fresh tasting.

Autumn Chopped Salad - Salads are an easy go-to for me because I know I can't screw it up. I actually microwaved my bacon to make it faster, and it came out extra crispy. Perfect!

Baked Lemon Pasta - Okay, so this recipe isn't so great for you, but it's SOOOOOOOO yummy. Another one of those dreamy yummy ones that looks super pretty for dinner guests.

I'll be sure to share more as I discover them! In the meantime you can follow my recipe pins here,