Life Lately & Links 6

Happy Friday and Memorial Day Weekend! Is it just me, or is there a palpable excitement and energy in the air this weekend? Summer finally seems close and it’s exciting.

This past week can be best characterized with the following phrase: “taking care of business.” I’ve been cooking a ton, updating a lot of old posts on the site, getting dental visits out of the way for the whole family (note: when taking a 2-year old to get his teeth cleaned, bring ear plugs), testing out new skin care products as we transition seasons, and tons more. Maybe I’m trying to be extra productive before summer truly hits.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but lately I have been experimenting with low carb and sugar-free desserts. A past Joanne would never have foreseen such a statement being made, but with all the reading, testing, and personal experimentation I’ve been doing since September around different types of eating, I’ve naturally become curious to explore this new territory.

Specifically around this: many low carb, sugar-free, and other health-ified foods can really suck. I know that’s harsh, but from many of the recipes I have tried, this feels like the truth. For me, taste will always be important, and there’s a very fine line where health food can cross over into “this isn’t worth eating” territory.

So lately I’ve been trying to answer this question: are there low carb, sugar-free desserts and foods that are truly delicious? For my admittedly slightly snobby palette, the answer seems to be yes. My favorite recipe I’ve cooked so far are these low carb, sugar-free nanaimo bars:

Low Carb Nanaimo Bars

They’re indulgent and delicious, but with no sugar and very few carbs. I’ve definitely lost a bit of weight recently and it’s nice to occasionally indulge in treats like this that still allow me to do that.

My extended time in the kitchen this week has an extra motivation behind it, which is that I’m currently nursing a terrible allergic reaction to a new skin product I tried a few days ago, and therefore hiding from the world. My entire face is red, splotchy, and swollen beyond belief, and I’m really regretting venturing outside my usual Beautycounter regimen. I was trying a product that Beautycounter doesn’t currently carry, but lesson learned.

Speaking of which: They’re having a memorial day sale through Monday and I’m giving away free face masks alongside their holiday sale, so check the details out if you are interested. They make the best skin and body stuff using safer ingredients, and I learned my lesson to be patient in waiting for them to expand their line.

This Week’s Links:

I always suspected that it doesn’t do much.

This really does look like the best hummus.

Last week we booked a $350 direct flight to Madrid. Is that crazy or what? This is the daily flight deal site I like best.

If you’re having watermelon this weekend, here are my tips for how to pick the best watermelon, and how to cut it up.

But Shake Shack is so much better!

German buttercream sounds really delicious. I want to try it!

I shouldn’t be surprised that this exists. I’m not a brunch person, but I know a lot are.

Yes they should indeed be cooked like steaks.

I love every single one of these combinations.

Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, and since they’re $$$, making them last longer sounds good to me.

I have the hardest time with this. The struggle is real!

So, is this an exaggeration or should I basically avoid the pool?


This food art is pretty fun.

I’m new to the SMART goal idea, but it makes a lot of sense.

This resonates so deeply. I went through a similar journey with my grueling spine surgery and tumor saga.

One of my top 3 favorite things about my trip to London was eating Yotam Ottolenghi’s food. This new recipe looks SO good.

I can’t believe this isn’t a joke. And I don’t know why this makes my eyes roll so much, haha.

Have a great holiday weekend,