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Kissing Summer Goodbye

It’s never easy to say goodbye to summer, especially when our summers have been so full and fun the past few years.

During our first three years of marriage Luke and I have become a really great travel team. There’s nothing more fun or exciting to me than jumping on a plane heading to a new destination to explore with him.

This summer we’ll remember our trips to Santa Barbara, the amazing adventure we had in Alaska, my impromptu trip to Wind River Ranch, a work trip to Las Vegas and all of the fun we had with guests who visited!

I personally love the changing of the seasons. It gives me a fresh start and I love dreaming of what the future may hold.

Fall in Southern California is my absolute favorite. This year I’m looking to take more walks on the beach, longer hikes on Saturday mornings, and hope to continue to explore Los Angeles and all that surrounds it!

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall!”

What are you most looking forward to the season?

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5 SUMMER MUST HAVE READS

Whether you’re traveling around the world and need a book to keep your jet-lag at bay or you’re beach bound and ready to snuggle up on the sand, these summer must reads will keep you entertained all summer long! *This article was originally posted on Madison McKinley Designs, In The Saddle. Written by: Emily Landers

1. CRAZY RICH ASIANS

Chances are likely if you click through Instagram long enough this book will show up on one of your friends stories. A popular read for anyone looking for a storyline that keeps you hooked even after you put your bookmark in place.

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

As Nick’s plus one, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxing summer turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers. Another reason you’ll want to grab this book sooner than later? The making of a major motion picture is already on its way!

2. BIG LITTLE LIES

A murder…A tragic accident…Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

Another book you won’t want to put down. Big Little Lies (disclaimer, the movie is already out) takes readers on twists and turns no one expected. Chapter by chapter you read the different points of view of each main character and wonder what they might be leaving out… Madeline is funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years.

These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

3. PRESENT OVER PERFECT

Unlike some of the other books on this list, this sentimental and sweet read will have you thinking through how you stay present in your day to day life. Shauna’s fantastic way with words is undeniable and we love how she keeps us thinking about the things that truly matter.

With buddies like Brene Brown (who wrote the forward) and Oprah, don’t be surprised if Shauna’s writing inspires you to make real life changes in the pursuit of less, not more.

4. SISTERS FIRST

 

The Bush Twins, also known as Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, take you on a journey through their wild and wonderful life in this fun memoir. From their childhood in Texas to White House memories and years at The University of Texas, they touch on it all. One element of this book I found endearing was a look into the lesser known of their grandparents, Laura Bush’s family, The Hawkins of Midland, Texas.

The sisters love for their family, country and each other is heartwarming and will have you cheering for them all the way through.
If you’re traveling this summer, be sure to tag us with your favorite #MadisonMcKinleyJewels and your favorite #MMSummerReads

Wind River Ranch 2018

A week before my parents and brother, Travis, were headed to Wind River Ranch for our family’s 21st year I decided to join them and I am so glad I did! I wasn’t planning on going this summer because Luke and I have both been really busy with work but Luke was so sweet and really encouraged me to go. Luke loves Wind River as much as I do!

My flight to Denver from Los Angeles was cancelled while I was staying at the gate so my sister in law (who was headed home after a fun weekend with us) and I made the quick decision for me to jump on a flight to Vegas and catch another Denver flight there. The Denver airport had been shut down due to weather and I arrived at midnight…yikes! Not my favorite travel day but I’m proud to say I stayed calm, cool and collected with the change of plans.

If you have known our family for very long you have probably already heard about Wind River Ranch. Our family has been going to this Christian Dude Ranch, just outside of Estes Park, CO, every summer for the last 20 years, it has truly become our home away from home.

 

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I’m so thankful to my parents for making this such a special place and bringing us kids year after year. Whitney and I have both introduced our husband’s to this sacred space and it’s been so wonderful to share WRR with Luke the past three summers.

This year was really sweet because I had so much one on one time with Travis, which is rare with our growing family. I am so impressed and inspired by him. He is so talented, handsome, thoughtful and kind. I am blessed to be his big sister. 🙂

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Having lived in Los Angeles for almost three years, I welcome the change in weather! We enjoyed beautiful light showers in the afternoons and it’s always fun to watch the rain come in over the mountains. You can see a wall of rain coming before it ever gets to you.

I loved tagging along with my parents. They are my biggest cheerleaders, best friends and role models. I love to see how God is continuing to use them in Dallas to further His kingdom. My mom is one of my best friends and we always have so much fun together. This year that included hiking Ouzel Falls, kayaking in Lily Lake and morning walks to find cell phone service.

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One of the coolest things about Wind River is that you get to know the other guests that are there and see them fall in love with it as much as we have. We made friends this year from all over the world, including the UK!

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This summer I truly embraced ranch life with some laidback looks I love to create year after year; I have a WRR wardrobe I pull out every summer. Like the above, hair by altitude :). On most trips, including this week long one, I travel with a carry on and a backpack.

Since returning from Wind River, we’ve been on another amazing trip, which I’ll write about shortly, but I always try to pull from my memories moments at the ranch that bring such peace to my day to day life. Like this one below, stopping for some water and a refreshing view on a 6 mile hike to Ouzel Falls. Life is good!

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Ouzel Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Summer Skincare Tips

Summer is for long days outside. Whether it’s on the beach, playing tennis, at the lake or in the pool, more likely than not, your skin is more exposed during this season than any other, making the summer season the perfect time to revamp your skincare routine- or create one! *This article was originally posted on Madison McKinley Designs, In The Saddle. Written by: Emily Landers

Here are our favorite summer tips to help you create a perfect facial routine that can last all year round.

PASS THE SUNSCREEN

Mom usually knows best and when it comes to summer skincare tips, we’re resorting back to our younger years when lathering sunscreen on was a prerequisite for a beach day. Consider this an encouragement to lather up this summer, as there’s no greater reversal for skin damage than covering up BEFORE it happens. Try out Coola Sunscreen, they use as many natural and organic ingredients as possible to bring you the purest, most eco-conscious products.

 

Don’t forget your lips! This Coola lip balm will keep your lips soft and smooth during a dry summer.

 

COOL OFF WITH A MIST

Stash a bottle of face mist in your cooler so you can mist your face and body when you’re by the pool.

 

WEAR A WIDE-BRIM HAT

As much as we love baseball caps for a summer walk or lake day, they won’t protect your face from sun coming at an angle. Opt for a hat with a brim for full protection.

 

 

MAKE YOUR OWN BODY SCRUB

This DIY recipe makes use of firming caffeine, nourishing sesame oil, and purifying eucalyptus.

Beach Body Scrub
Makes 1 1/2 cups, three treatments
• 1/2 cup fine-grain sea salt
• 1/2 cup finely ground coffee beans
• 1/4 cup sesame oil
• 1/2 teaspoon (about 20 drops) eucalyptus essential oil

In a small bowl, mix the salt, coffee, and sesame and eucalyptus oils. Use the scrub in the shower, massaging it into damp skin. Rinse well.

 

 

KEEP YOUR PHONE CLEAN AND SKIN CLEAR

Surprised to see this one on the list? We were surprised to add it! Recent studies show because our phones are always on hand, they’re loaded with dirt, sweat and bacteria. So, if you’re like us and you’re constantly take calls, texting and scrolling through Instagram, you may find that your jaw and cheeks can break out from touching your phone to your face. Opt for earphones (so you can keep chatting), wash your hands regularly, and cleanse your skin as soon as you get home!

Malibu Weekend

Summertime is upon us and while most of us live where summer comes and goes, those lucky enough to call Malibu home, have a different approach on summer- it’s endless! Whether you are looking for a secluded beach to relax on, beautiful waves to surf, a delicious brunch with stunning views or a hike to get your heart rate up, you can find it all in The Bu.

DESTINATIONS/THINGS TO DO:
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If you’re planning a visit to Malibu, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. June is the perfect month to see vibrant hillside filled with wildflowers after ‘May Gray’ brings afternoon showers.
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Planning a lunch meeting in Malibu? Malibu Beach Inn’s menu will satisfy any craving! With ocean views and a picture perfect backdrop of Malibu’s famous pier, this lunch might last longer than you planned on.

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Head south to Marina Del Ray and take a catamaran north to see Malibu from the sea! We did this for a special and it’s still a trip our family talks about. Don’t forget your SPF.
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A day trip into the city isn’t complete without a stop at The Pink Palace, Beverly Hills Hotel that is! The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel is just a quick trip into the city from Malibu. If you’re looking to grab a bite, The Polo Lounge is the perfect option to get dressed up to see and be seen.
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Malibu Farm at sunrise. Explore the beaches of Malibu at dawn or dusk and prepare to be amazed at the movement in the water, surfers, dolphins, seals and even seasonal whales all come out to play. There is simply no better way to begin the day.
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Cozy overcast afternoons in Malibu are better at Surfrider! This is boutique hotel is the first of its kind in Malibu. It’s the perfect spot for a walk able vacation, just steps away from shopping on the pier, Aviator Nation and some of Malibu’s most famous beaches.

 

 

 

Whole30 Sweet Potato Toast

If you’re following me on Instagram you’ve probably seen me posting more recipes and food photos as a result of Luke and I diving into the Whole30 on January 1st! We’re on Day 21 today…wahoo! Wrapping it up 🙂

It’s been so fun to share recipes on Instagram because the feedback has been bananas, pun intended :). I’ve had so many people message me for this specific recipe and after I shared the above picture, many of my friends have since sent me pictures of theirs… and they all look delicious!

Without further ado, here is my Whole30 Sweet Potato Toast Recipe!

INGREDIENTS

• 1-2 Large sweet potatoes (thinly sliced)

• 1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Avocado Oil

• Toppings very

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Wash potatoes and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Line a baking sheet.

4. Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 1/4″ an inch slices.

5. Coat both sides of sweet potato with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt.

6. Cook for 30 minutes (Flip after 20 minutes).

7. Set oven to broil and continue to cook for one minute on each side, until toasty! (Just keep an eye on them, they can burn easily).

8. Add your favorite toast toppings.

 

TOPPINGS

Feel free to mix up your toppings! The images posted above include:

  • Grilled chicken, mashed avocado with olive oil and Everything but The Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s

You can also try:

  • Almond butter with blueberries, walnuts and honey
  • Almond butter with banana

Let me know what you think!

Emily’s Bulletproof Coffee

Earlier this year my husband and I tried bulletproof coffee for the first time. My main reason was to try and kick my french vanilla coffee creamer addiction and Luke’s reasoning was out of pure curiosity. To our surprise, we both loved it!

There are lots of different recipes for bulletproof coffees and ours has a few extras that make it just a tiny bit sweeter, and more latte like!

Why bulletproof coffee?

You’re probably wondering why were putting all these crazy things in our coffee. There’s a number reasons actually! And the biggest reason is energy. Not only are you benefiting from the caffeine in the coffee but you’re also getting an energy burst from the MCT oil, which is the fastest absorbed oil you can get your hands on, which makes it a perfect addition to coffee. Reason number two? This coffee is made to make you feel fuller longer. You’re energized and ready to take on the day!

What are the ingredients?

 

In it’s purest form bullet proof coffee is a combination of butter, coconut oil OR MCT oil in coffee. In recent years it’s basically any kind of coffee with lots of fat in it through a variety of sources like heavy cream, ghee, coconut milk etc. You’ll see my recipe has added a few things.

Begin with a cup of your favorite coffee and then add in these nutritional bonuses:

Ingredients

Then blend in a blender for a frothy delicious cup of coffee!