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August 2016

Glam Kitchen: Berry Muffins

Glam Kitchen - Gluten Free, Low Carb Berry Muffins by

If you’ve hung around Paper & Glam for any length of time, then you’ve run into my freebie seasonal living lists: 18 reasons to celebrate every month of the year and their matching planner kits. I love to mark time and celebrate each season of the year with festive traditions. The cyclical nature of our seasons is comforting and reassuring in a world that’s well, not. I remain convinced this is the most wholesome way to stop time for a few minutes, and refuse to allow another day, month, or season to rush by us.

Each monthly list includes a way to celebrate with a seasonal culinary creation, which often begs the question: How do we instill a deep sense of balance alongside celebration, in the way we feed ourselves— without a sense of deprivation or stifling regulation?

As usual, Shauna says it best:

The word that helps me these days is fasting, although I’ll plead permission to use it loosely. I’m using the word fasting these days as an opposite term to feasting — yin and yang, up and down, permission and discipline, necessary slides back and forth along the continuum of how we feed ourselves.

Maybe certain people can develop a food perspective that they maintain seamlessly twelve months a year. Good for them. Maybe that’s something I’ll be able to do when I’m all grown-up and filled with moderation and wisdom. Probably not, though. I think I just might be one of those people who will always need some guardrails along the way.

I love the feasting part of life. I don’t want Thanksgiving without stuffing or Christmas without cookies and champagne. I don’t want to give up our family traditions of [peach cobbler in August and apple pie in September]. But I’m learning that feasting can only exist healthfully — physically, spiritually, and emotionally — in a life that also includes fasting. — Savor, Feasting & Fasting

So how does this feasting and fasting work in my day to day life in LA, city of delights and beach bodies?

After I moved on July 10th, I transitioned to a low-carb lifestyle. What better way to begin a new lifestyle than a move, right? With some give and take, my routine is 5 days of low carb (very little, if any bread, pasta, etc.) and two days of treat yo’ self. Life lived well is a balance of treat yo’ self and summer is coming, amen?

In real-time, this usually works out to strict adherence to low-carb Monday through Wednesday, and widening of the guardrails for a fun dinner out Thursday night, Friday Happy Hour, a Saturday Sabbath, and family dinner on Sunday. It may seem like that’s a lot of lax without much room for progress, but I haven’t found that to be the case. The flexibility bred freedom; and progress came with it.

At the outset of low-carb, one thing was certain, the transition would not omit even one monthly celebration, the enjoyment of seasonal fruit fresh from the Farmer’s Market, Thursdays out on the town, or Sunday dinners with my mom.

In July, our list included “Make a berry treat,” and so my mission to make a low-carb berry treat was born! 

Meet the Glam Kitchen: Berry Muffins!

Gluten Free, Low Carb Berry Muffins by

Glam Kitchen - Berry Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Serving Size: 2 muffins


1/2 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil, melted
5 tbsp Xyla <— I use this in everything from cooking to coffee!
1 teaspoon Vanilla Txtract
1/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups Blanched Almond Flour <— This one is best!
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries, Blackberries, and/or Raspberries
(Frozen will do the job but there’s no comparison to the flavor of fresh!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 8 muffin cups with parchment liners (or grease muffin cups very well).
  2. Add yogurt, butter, sweetener, vanilla and apple cider vinegar to a blender.
  3. Then add almond flour, baking soda, and salt on top. Blend on low for 10 to 15 seconds until combined.
  4. Add eggs and blend on low for another 15 to 20 seconds, then blend on hight for 20 to 30 seconds, until eggs are just incorporated into the batter.
  5. Add all but 2 tbsp of the frozen berries to blender and stir in by hand (do not blend!).
  6. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups and then place a few remaining berries in the top of each.
  7. Bake 18-20 minutes, until slightly golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove and let cool in pan for a few minutes. 

Glam Kitchen Notes: Hold half the berries back from the batter to press a few into the top of each muffin so they look berry bountiful. Pour the bulletproof coffee and you’ve got breakfast, or the ready-to-rock snack for glam kitchen on the go. Be sure to enjoy your muffins within 2-3 days, if they last that long!

*This recipe was adapted from Carolyn’s Grab-n-Go Pancake Muffins over at her blog, All Day I Dream About Food.

If you enjoyed this first installment of Glam Kitchen, I’m so glad!

I plan to make low-carb, gluten free versions of all of our monthly treats. While I missed creating a low-carb, gluten-free version of a peach cobbler (the full-sugar, full-fat version was delicious), I’ve already got the September’s apple recipe on lock!

Any low-carb seasonal recipes I need to add to the Glam Kitchen arsenal? I'd love to know in the comments!

Cheers, to feasting and fasting, and enjoying both without regret!

Happiness is pleasure without regret. — Leo Tolstoy

Glam Fall

Glam Fall Planner Stickers by Paper & Glam

Happy Weekend Glam Fam,

Today we're talking shop!

As a seasonal living guru trying her best to live in the moment, I'm in no hurry to rush us out of summer. And yet, I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to talk about the glam greatest hit here on the blog: Glam Fall! At the moment, there are less than two dozen Glam September Kits (Glam Fall) left in the shop. She is going fast and will surely sell out soon!

This "Sweather Weather" sticker received quite a bit of commentary! Yes, my glam girlfriends, this is just a cute play on words, not a typo. Only the finest for my glam fam. ;) 100 hours of work goes into the design and execution of each monthly kit from dreaming it all up, creating the wholly original art, to getting those cut files just right for Team Digital.  Glam September Planner Stickers by Paper & Glam 

Speaking of digital glam, if you prefer to print and cut your own stickers, those offerings never sell out and perpetual updates are included with each digital purchase. Yes, next year's collection will be e-mailed automagically as soon as it goes live in the shop!

Another low stock alert for my readers, Glam Fall & Holiday Reads is also down to 21 kits!

Glam Fall & Holiday Reads Planner Stickers by Paper & Glam

If you're a Glam Mailer and you miss Glam September, remember to subscribe (recurring monthly purchase) or pre-order (one-time purchase) the Glam October Kit (Glamoween Kit) so I can ensure every gal gets her glam. Teaser: There will be a Glamoween treat going out to my Glam Mail Monthly Kit subscribers. Think the planner equivalent of handing out full-size candy bars to trick-or-treats! ;)

Remember the subscription/pre-order window closes on the 8th of every month (September 8th for October) and kits ship between the 8th and the 15th. This allows me to plan accordingly, get every girl her glam, and keeps the shop's shipping lightening fast. We're talking same-day in most cases, my friends. So if you haven't snagged your September Glam, get your order in by Monday and you'll have it in plenty of time for September 1st. 

Glam Basics Planner Sticker Bundle by Paper & Glam

With the July collection, we began creating coordinating basics (functional stickers) as well as matching headers for each month. These are available as separates or as a bundle!

If you're a first time customer the promo code INSTAGLAM gets you 15% off your first order. And for P&G junkies stocking up, orders over $100 receive 20% off with the code HOTGLAM. Quick point of clarification, subscriptions are not eligible for discounts so the promo code box will not appear at checkout. 

I know my fruglistas love a deal! And now there is now an Outlet Glam section in the shop featuring stickers 50% off! While these stickers are from prior month's releases, they'll work beautifully all year. Or, if you want to save them for next year like we do with our after-season home decor deals, they'll be nice surprises come summer 2017.

That's a wrap on shop updates for fall. Up next on the blog, I've got a Glam Kitchen recipe coming for you next week! Remember these berry muffins?! Plus get ready for the first looks at Glamoween!

Thank you for all the support of Paper & Glam, it means the world. 

Love from LA,

On Margin & Real Life

On Margin & Real Life by Paper & Glam

It's been a long time since I wrote about how I'm learning to live well. Those of you who are long-time Glam Fam will remember that in the beginning, when I had little to no margin to indulge my love of paper, we chatted about living well here regularly. 

This morning I woke up at 5 AM craving candles, books, coffee, and reflection, so let's rock it old school and talk about life, shall we? 

Last week I got a note from Elise, a long time member of the Paper & Glam community asking, "Would you talk in either a future vlog or blog post about your steps to create margin this year (what has or has not worked for you). I would love to hear if you have found anything that helped!"

At the outset of the year, I talked about my word for 2016: MARGIN. In my How To Set Goals & Reach Them video, I made a resolution for every area of my life, but the one that sits paramount above them all is my resolve to create more margin.

What is margin?

Margin refers to the space on the edge of a page where there is no text.

Dr. Richard Swenson, wrote an excellent book on margin called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives as well as a devotional. He defines a marginless life as, “Marginless living is being 30 minutes late to the doctor's office because you were 20 minutes late to the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from the gas station — and you forgot your purse. Marginless is not having time to finish the book you're reading on stress: margin is having time to read it twice." 

In my own words, a marginless life is a life without white space for leisure, rest, play, family, fitness, creating and hearing from God.

A prime example is how often I'm told someone wants to join our book club, but doesn't have the time or discipline to read. No one has the time or disciple to read (or insert your goal here), we either plan and execute something in our lives or not. And remember, there will not be more time in the future, don't take that bait.

This year, I'm planning and executing margin. Running late, overwhelm, and exhaustion are no longer permissible in my life. At times, exhaustion and the clock get the best of all of us, but those times will be the exception, not the rule. Those states of being don't allow me to soak in the blood and bones of my life. When I'm tired, late, and overwhelmed, I miss the moment entirely. 

How am I creating margin?

What I've done this year to create margin is simply do less, and expect less of myself. I know, super anti-climactic when you wanted my secret for doing it all, and then more, but hang with me.
First, let's tackle expecting less. Managing the expectations we set for ourselves is half the battle. In my ideal world, I maintain a sparkling clean, seasonal home, well-tended abs from 5 AM workouts, a thriving business featuring wholly original art, a thought-provoking blog, and a lifestyle YouTube channel dedicated to all things Paper & Glam. In addition, I make space for time with family and close friends as well as a deeply-rooted community here in Los Angeles. Plus, I'd cross a book a week off my to-read list (well-read goals!), my scrapbooks and planners would be beautifully styled and current, because memory keeping is enjoying life a second time, in reverse...all while crushing it in the Fortune 500 IT world.
The math of my expectations versus my time will never add up.
If I'm honest with you, those are the unattainable expectations I lived by for all of my 20s. Not surprisingly, I grew tired of coming up short. It was never about doing it all or earning love, approval, significance, or anything you'd hear in a counselor's office (and trust me, I did my time in that chair). Some of us are innately wired with a Type Awesome Operating System. We want it all, from life and from ourselves. In my 30s, I'm laying down all that and taking up God's highest and best for my life; nothing more, nothing less.
In The Good & Beautiful God (a perennial favorite), James Bryan Smith writes, "When we lack margin, it is our own doing and is a sure sign we have stepped outside the kingdom [of God]. So be honest and be ruthless with your schedule. Your spiritual, relational, and physical health depend on it. [At the core] holiness is essentially wholeness -- a life that works. Sin is dysfunction or sickness. Margin restores balance and restores our soul, thus increasing our capacity for joy. Joy is a bulwark against temptation." 
As Dallas Willard infamously said, "Ruthlessly eliminate hurry."
Do you find yourself overeating, undersleeping, overspending, or all of the above, and generally feeling like you're missing out? When I find myself doing the same, margin always comes up lacking.
How does margin look in my life?
Margin looks like doing the needful to pay my bills and service my customers, and creating content (vlogs, blogs, etc.) as a hobby within the time I've set aside for it. Then living IRL (in real life, not online) the rest of the time. This means I pass on opportunities left and right to build my business and my brand, and I'm missing in action here on the blog and on YouTube more often than not these days.
Is this ideal? Not at all, and I miss connecting with you when I'm not here, but that’s a better option than missing my real life. I’ve done enough of that in my 20s. In my 30s, I’m committed to cultivating balance: less work, more love. The 20s are the time of becoming - put your head down and get there, professionally, financially, physically, and spiritually. For a great book on this topic, I cannot recommend The Defining Decade highly enough. 
In my 30s, I’m taking my foot off the gas and investing in my community here in Los Angeles and the rest of my life that exists outside of my career and the internet. Now hear me right, this does not mean that vlogs and blogs will always be infrequent or I no longer intend to create content for Paper & Glam regularly, etc. It means that when other priorities arise or opportunities to invest in my real life in LA arise, I let the internet things go as opposed to giving up sleep or sanity, or producing something that doesn't reflect authentic work.
This year the God & Glam community is reading Savor together and as usual, Shauna's words resonate deeply:

I know plenty of people who give the very best of themselves to what they’re putting on the internet, and their church, their friends, and their family gets the scraps. I know that there is never enough time, never enough energy, never enough of everything to go around.

There’s only one way I’m going to make the math work in my life: IRL (In Real Life) above all else. If I can’t be present and available every second to the great and powerful vortex that is the internet, that’s going to have to be okay. You can trust that I’m [curled up with Sunday, a new book and a steaming mug or traipsing down an LA street with my mom or my cousins.] I’m with my family and my friends, people who know me well and keep my sane. When things get crazy, I’ve learned to dig even more deeply into IRL.

The best of me is not in my videos and not on my blog. My first priority is, and will always be, IRL.

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing…no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. — 1 Corinthians 13:1,3, MSG

How are you creating more margin in your life or struggling to do so? I'd love to continue this dialogue in the comments. 

Here's to taking life at our own pace, with peace, purpose, and joy.

With much love and gratitude for all the time you spend with me,