Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We've Moved!

Creatively Lu has Moved to CreativelyLu.com!! 

Hello Readers and Visitors!

Creatively Lu has moved! This Blogspot space will no longer be updated. Please visit the new home:  CreativelyLu.com, and be sure to bookmark the new website! 

See you soon!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Make it Mondays: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

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It feels like acorn squash has been displayed on-sale at the grocery store since October. As a result, I have made a lot of recipes that have starred this hearty vegetable throughout these last few months. Two in which I've featured On the blog: roasted sweet potato and acorn squash soup & acorn squash french fries...

 So when I bought yet another on-sale, acorn squash this week at the grocery store, I realized it was about time I switch things up with a new recipe. I decided to get fancy...why not feature the acorn squash as the "bowl" component for the meal? 
Savory Acorn Squash Bowl
Photo Courtesy of: Sweet Peas and Soybeans
The acorn squash bowls take maybe 5 extra minutes to make, yet make a typical meal of quinoa so much more savory and a whole fancier. 

This is a great dish to serve at a dinner party or simply as a delicious lunch for yourself. And the great thing about working with quinoa is that you can add anything to it. You can experiment with different flavors of quinoa, add turkey sausage, apple slices... the skies the limit. So without further ado, here is your "fancy", yet easy recipe for quinoa stuffed acorn squash.
Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash, adapted from Fitness magazine
  • 2  medium acorn squash
  • 1/3 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp. 
  •  olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts (toasted)
 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash in half horizontally and remove the seeds with an ice cream scoop. Place squash  on a baking sheet & drizzle with olive oil & sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a sharp knife easily pierces squash.
Photo Courtesy of: Olive This

 Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to box directions. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes. Add cumin, garlic , and salt. Cook 2 minutes; stir in quinoa. 
Photo Courtesy of: Stay Classy Fit
 Transfer squash halves to a dry baking dish, cut side up. Pack each with an even amount of filling and bake 20 minutes. Press shredded cheese into each filled half and bake 5 minutes more, or until cheese has just melted. Top with toasted walnuts. 
Create a tasty Monday everyone!

And now for your daily dose of inspiration...
Quote By: Bassam Tazari
Photo Courtesy of: Tory Stone

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Favorites: Wear Love

Today, I am excited to feature the very special company, wearLove®, which is right out of my home base of Easton MA. wearLove® is much more than another clothing company. Rather, it is a lifestyle brand that has devoted itself to spreading the beautiful message to "wear love" everyday. And with today being Valentine's Day, I can't think of a better company to feature .

Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
The company was created as a movement to spread the two special words; "wear love". Founder, Lynne Payne, had been working on a photo shoot with her friend when they decided to print the words "wear love" on t-shirts for the shoot. Soon, people began inquiring about the shirts in the photos and so Lynne began selling the t-shirts out of her home in Easton. Within weeks, she began receiving orders from  people across the world who were eager to adorn the loving message.

As word of mouth spread, incredible stories began to unfold across the web of how people were "wearing the love". One, in particular, involved a father returning from the war who wore his wearLove® t-shirt to greet his wife and children for homecoming.
Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
Love at home
Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®

A few weeks later, Lynne received another message from someone who wanted to "wear the love". It was the Today Show alerting Lynne that  Kathie Lee would be featuinrg Wear Love® as her "favorite thing" that morning. (Check out the Today Show clip here. Within minutes of shirts airing on the Today Show, Lynne's website sold out of inventory.

Since then, the company has re-stocked and has created many different designs and styles to choose from. While meeting with Lynne, I had the pleasure to tour her workroom and it was incredible to get a first eye experience of Lynne's creative process. One of my best friend Kelsey always says to me "when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life" and this is immediately what I thought of when watching Lynne discuss her passion for wearLove®. She is so authentic in spreading her message to "wear love" that  it is no surprise to me how quickly the company has become a success.

Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
Another huge reason as to why I am a big fan of wearLove® is due to all of the philanthropic work they do. A few years back, Lynne and her husband traveled to one of the poorest communities in Africa and were humbled by what they saw. An estimated 30,000 boys in Sengal are abandoned by their families at age 5, where they are placed into schools until the age of 15. Somewhere around age 15, after a lost decade of use and abuse by their street masters, the boys are once again abandoned to a future without hope and promise.

wearLove® has helped to build a vocational school for these boys in which they can build life skills that can combat poverty. In my opinion, there is no better way to give back then to encourage others to find their strengths. I firmly believe in the saying; "Give a man a fish and you feed him for the day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". By building a school for the children of Senegal, wearLove® was able to inspire the children to create a sense of self-love and empowerment from within themselves. To this day, wear Love® continues to support the children of Senegal, and other impoverished nations, by donating  $3 of every shirt to Restore International, a worldwide organization committed to restoring justice to children around the world by

In addition to partnering with Restore International, wearLove® has  partnered with numerous other philanthropic organizations including School on Wheels, a nonprofit for children experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts, and the Adam Brown Legacy Fund, a nonprofit that was formed in honor of fallen Navy Seal Chief (SOC) Adam Brown.

Lastly, wearLove® makes t-shirts for everyone and I'm really not just saying that. They seriously have a style that fits anyone I can think of in my life. From making tshirts for Jenna's (Tone it Tuesday contributor) little man Henry to being my mom's "go-to" t-shirt company and the designers of my favorite, lightweight hoodie, wear Love® is certainly worn and loved by all.
Henry sporting his Wear Love T-Shirt
Photo Courtesy of: Jenna Klane Nelson
Lynne's daughter Jordan and her bridal party sporting the Wear Love t-shirts
Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
Fourth of July Cookout, Easton MA
Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
You can't help but feel that you are a part of a much larger, loving community when wearing their apparel. Even just by going to yoga class in my favorite wearLove® pullover, I feel as though I am setting a loving intention for the class and inspiring others to do the same.

And so I encourage you to head over to their website so that you too can "Wear Love. Put it on. Wear it out".

Create a loving Valentine's Day everyone!

And now for your daily dose of inspiration inspired by wearLove®...
"Use your words for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity,
 your mind for truth, and your heart for love"
Photo Courtesy of: wearLove®
*For more information about wearLove®, check out their website, Facebook page, Twitter page, & Pinterest.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thrifty Thursdays: DIY Valentines

It's the day before Valentine's Day which means CVS and every other drug-store in the nation is preparing themselves for a "Black Friday" type of atmosphere tomorrow. But I have created the most adorable homemade Valentine's for you to make. And I bet you already have the supplies at your house to make them...

Will you O"fishally" be my valentine?
DIY Swedish Valentine by Colin, age 3
(with a little help from his aunt Kelly)
In my opinion, there is no better way to show your love then with a homemade gift. I also think that Goldfish and Swedish fish make great allergy-safe snacks for classrooms.

Colin was so excited to give the gift to his mom. Despite his fondness for swedish fish, he waited for "Mama" to open the bag. Now that's true love...

Create a Thrifty Thursday, 

And now for your dose of inspiration inspired by love...
Quote by: Karen Kostyla
Photo Courtesy of: Squidoo

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesdays: Spread the Love

"Spread your love everywhere you go"
Port Au Prince, Haiti February 2014
Quote: Mother Theresa Photo: Jaclyn Tillinghast

"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder"
Photo Courtesy of: Kristin Joyce
Chatham Barrs Inn, Summer 2013
Today's Wordless Wednesday photo features a moment from Jaclyn Tillinghast's recent trip to Haiti. The kids were learning to braid and Jaclyn sweetly agreed to be their test model. Jaclyn traveled to Haiti with her church, Church of Emanuel Christian & Missonary Alliance located in Foxborough, MA last week. She, along with a team of 7 other church members, were on a mission trip to rebuild houses. 
Create a beautiful Wednesday!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

On-Trend Tuesday: 5 Inspired Looks from NYC Fashion Week

I have found myself checking my Instagram account a little more often these past few days as I have been "oohing and aahing" over all of the pictures from NYC Fashion Week. 

Each day, I have really enjoyed the mini runway shows happening on my Instagram feed as fashion designers, editors, and style bloggers share their favorite moments.
Instagram: Style Cusp

Instagram: The Courtney Kerr

Instagram: Dallas Shaw

Instagram: Emily Jackson

Instagram: Something Navy

Therefore, it felt only fitting that February's "On Trend" Tuesday feature trends fresh off of the runway.

 Here's a look at the 3 fashion trends that I am digging the most, along with a little inspiration for how to wear the look day to day...

Rolled Oversized Updos


Christian Sariano Fall 2014
Photo Courtesy of InStyle
At Home
Sweep hair into a headband for the "overside-undo" effect
Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

That's a Wrap


With the 40th anniversary of Diane von Furstenberg,
 the wrap dress just keeps getting better with age.

At Home

Tied Wrap Dress in Plum
NastyGal.com, $58

Chain, Chain, Chain

On the Runway

Victoria Beckham Fall 2014
Photo Courtesy of Snob Essentials

At Home

From left to right: 1. threaded-chain sleeve on sweater 2. chain necklace 
3. chain-belt 4. chain-lined jacket
Inspired Chains Looks found on Pinterest

Hopefully, these fashionable trends looks have inspired you to get a little more creative with your own closet. Create a fashionable Tuesday everyone!

Below is your daily dose of inspiration...
"And then I realized Adventure was the Best Way to Learn"
Photo Courtesy of: Ashley Sofia

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Make It Mondays: Sweet Potato, Turkey Bacon, and Avocado Hash

This dish is my kind of breakfast. It reminds me of waking up late on the weekends in college and headed to the local diner for some eggs & homefries. Yet, this dish is very different in that, it doesn't leave me feeling sluggish and ready to curl back in bed for the remainder of the day. 

By roasting the sweet potatoes prior to throwing them in the skillet with everything else, it gives them that hard outer crispiness (while still remaining soft and moist on the inside) of a home fry that’s difficult to imitate. And adding the avocado on top at the end, well that’s just a straight-up game-changer.

Here is what I used: 

  • 4 slices of turkey bacon 
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tsp. of olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 yellow onion 
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder 
Dice the sweet potato & throw it in a ziplock bag with olive oil & seasalt. Shake out the sweet potato mixture onto an lined baking sheet & roast for 20 minutes at 425 (flipping halfway).

In a skillet, cook up the turkey bacon until slightly browned. Remove bacon from skillet & pat dry. (Do not toss your bacon drippings though!)

Cook the onion in the bacon drippings for roughly 3 minutes on low heat. Turn up the stove to medium-high and toss in the roasted sweet potatoes. Add in all of your seasonings.

Pour the sweet potato mixture into the bowl and top with your turkey bacon (crumbled) and fresh avocado. Season to taste and enjoy!

As Heather mentioned in her post for last week’s Make it Mondays featuring the Clothes Make the Girl's Chocolate Chili, we have embarked on the Whole 30 Journey. This is my second time following the program and Heather’s first and I have to say it’s been nice this time around having someone to talk to about it each day. In addition, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have two people on the lookout for delicious Whole-30 recipes to make our palettes a little more excited.

After I cooked up this sweet potato hash scramble, I ran to my phone to text Heather. I snapped picture after picture and described the richness of the avocado mixed with the crunch of the onion & spicy-sweetness combo of the sweet potato.

This is definitely the type of recipe that you can easily store for the week (if you can make it last that long). Just store the potato mixture in a tupperware container and cook it up with eggs in the morning, enjoy it as your side with a turkey burger, or even throw it in a chicken dish. 

I know that even after my Whole 30 program is complete, I will still continue to add this to my weekly meals. 

Create a delicious Monday everyone!

Below is your daily dose of inspiration...
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Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites-Fashion Edition: I've Got a Crush

Today's Friday Favorites comes at just the perfect time because it's almost Valentine's day and I have a major CRUSH on the amazing Boston fashion boutique Crush. Let me explain how I came to be matched with my fashion crush..

A few week's ago, I received an email from the fashion startup company, Boutikey. Boutikey is a new mobile app that launched yesterday!  (Lookout for a Friday Favorite Feature on them soon!) that connects fashion boutiques with their customers. It's sort of like an Instagram for boutiques, where there is a fashion trend page, sales and promo announcements, and you can acquire store credit points for shopping.

 Boutikey asked to feature my favorite looks from a Boston boutique on their mobile app and it was a no brainer that I chose my long-time favorite, Crush.

Crush Boutique is located on Newbury Street and in Boston's Beacon Hill. They specialize in providing customers with a well-edited collection of the best in women's contemporary fashion. From celebrity loved lines like Alex + Olivia, J Brand, and House of Harlow to a variety of up-and-comping designers like Yumi Kim and Rory Beca, Crush offers an unmatched, fashion forward experience. In addition to the two stores, they also offer an expansive online store.

As a result, it is no surprise that Crush has received quite a lot of awards in Boston these past few years. From Best of the New for 2008 by Boston Globe Magazine, Boston's Best for Women's Moderate Clothing in 2011 by The Improper Bostonian, Boston's Best for Party Dresses in 2012 by The Improper Bostonian, Boston's Best for Women's Moderate Clothing in 2013 by The Improper Bostonian, and was nominated for Boston Magazine's Best of Boston 2013 Reader's Choice in the Best Clothing - Women's Casual category, I guess you could say that I'm not the only one with a major fashion crush on Crush.

This past week I got to fulfill my fashion dream. I partnered with Boutikey to do a photo-shoot at Crush wearing my favorite outfits from the store. To top it all off, I got to bring along my best friend, Jackie. Talk about two kids in a candy store!

So without further ado, here are my 5 favorite looks from Crush...

Look #1: the Animal Skirt that Makes me Want to Twirl

 Amanda Uprichard Forever Shirt Skirt in Black Skirt and Purple Leopard skirt

Look #2: The Lace Open Back Stunner

Alice & Olivia Open-Back Stunner

Look #3: Comfy,Warm Sweater & Red Infinity Scarf

Dolta Vita Dorid Sweater with 7 for all Mankind leather-like Skinnies
and Paula Bianco Chunky Knit Infinity Scarf

Look #4: Open Back Sweater & Leather Skinnies

Twelth Street Leather Strap Tank, BB Dakota Sweater, & Joes Jeans, The Skinny in Dorothy

Look #5: The Black Leather Maxi Dress & Chunky Cardigan

Alice & Olivia Black leather Maxi and Olive & Oak NYC Sweater with A Mano Trading Pendant Necklace

*For more on Crush, check out their websiteFacebookTwitterPinterest, & Instagram pages.
*Download the Boutikey app here!

Below is your daily dose of inspiration inspired by Crush & Boutikey...

Create a Fashionable Friday!

I also just want to give another big ol' shoutout to my bestie, hairdresser, stylist, and makeup artist Jackie Angelos who did my hair and makeup for the shoot. Below is a closer look at the subtle blonde ombre hair she did.

*If you live in the South-Boston area, I encourage you to visit Jackie at LA Express in Stoughton, MA where she is an incredible hair dresser. You can contact her through Style Seat or via email: jckangelos@yahoo.com.
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