10 Ways to Spring into Summer| by Jen Stout

“April Showers Bring May Flowers”

10 Ways to Help You Spring into Summer

 The long heavy nights, prostate knitted scarfs, no rx mud boots, and gloomy winter days feel like they are never going to end…how many more TV shows and movies can I watch? I tell myself that before next winter, “I’m moving somewhere warm.” This happens to be the main topic of conversation in my home. I have had enough of the frigid winter; fantasies for sandy white beaches, bikinis, sunglasses, blue skies, flip-flops and the smell of coconut oil pervade my mind. However, I live in the mountains so these fantasies may not come entirely true.

April presents the promise of spring with just a flirtation of summer. The senses become alive again; the world becomes vibrant with green grass, a deep blue sky, blooming daffodils, skipping chipmunks, chatty birds, warm kisses from the sun, rain showers, and the beginning bounties of berries and dark leafy greens. Ahhh spring, the time of re-birth and creation.

It’s time to pull ourselves out of winter slumber and into the promise of summer. This transition donates the time of schlepping off the old worn out layers to create space for a newly rested and revived self. Mother earth is energized, full of potent creative energy ready to take fruition. Enjoy these 10 tips to help you embrace the spring and bloom into summer.

  1. Get Up and Get Moving – Sleeping in cause’s lethargy, try rising with the sun.
  1. Make a Refreshing Ginger-Brew – Blend a thumb size piece of ginger, the juice of 2 lemons and 2 cups of water until very frothy, strain into a cup, add honey or maple syrup to taste and Enjoy!
  1. Hit up the Spring Bounty – Have a bowl of seasonal berries for breakfast. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all in season.
  1. Take a Yoga Class that will Challenge you and Make you Sweat – Creating heat and stimulating circulation throughout the body will help rid your body of mucus and stagnant toxins that may be lingering from the winter.
  1. Spice up Your Food – Adding chili peppers, ginger, garlic, or even black pepper to your meal will stimulate the digestive fire for quicker removal of toxins from the digestive tract.
  1. Do a Cleanse – Try an Ayurvedic cleanse which is both detoxifying and replenishing for the whole system.
  1. Make a New Playlist – Find songs that make you feel happy and make you wanna move.
  1. Tune up Your Bike – Be prepared for a spontaneous bike ride with your friends.
  1. Expose a Little Skin – Time to retire the boots and heavy sweaters and pull out the sandals, tank-tops and summer dresses.
  1. Buy Yourself a New Favorite Everyday Summer Dress – One that you can wear casually and also dress it up.

SoLowBlog Photo Me in my new French Terry Mini Dress by SOLOW, my everyday new spring favorite!

Happy May,

Jen Stout

Tips for Keeping Warm with Brand Ambassador Jennifer Drake

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“It officially feels like Winter in Chicago!  Brrrr…. Thankfully I have my SOLOW leggings to keep me warm!  And not only are they warm, but super comfy and stylish, with ruching down the side for a flattering flare.  They feel so great I’m inspired to do a high kick or 2 every time I wear them!”

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Here are a few tips to help you keep warm this winter:

  1. Dress in Layers: Wear several layers of clothing and peel them off if you get too warm. The heat captured in between the layers keeps you toasty. (Hint: mittens are warmer than gloves, because fingers retain more heat when they touch each other.)
  2. Stay Dry: Nothing chills you like wet skin. Your base layer should be made of a material that wicks sweat away from your body. Your outermost layer should be wind-proof.
  3. Keep Head, Neck, Hands and Feet Toasty: Your extremities let off the most heat — so keep them wrapped with warm scarves, hats, mittens or gloves, and thick socks!

– Tips curtsey of www.nwf.org

The Style Record & SOLOW part 2

The Style Record

SOLOW X The Style Record Part 2

Today I am sharing part 2 of my collaboration with SOLOW. Just like part 1, prostate I am showing you how versitile their pieces really are. You can wear them comfortably to work out and run errands, case and you can dress them up and for a great every day look. I love each of the items I have from them because they are so unique and great quality too! Be sure to check them out and also check out a few of my other SOLOW favorites down below.

Outfit 1:
Shirt: c/o SOLOW | Jacket: c/o SOLOW | Leggings: c/o SOLOW | Shoes: Vans

Outfit 2:
Shirt: Nordstrom | Jacket: c/o SOLOW | Leggings: c/o SOLOW | Shoes: Report | Hat: c/o H&M [similar] | Bag: c/o Chicastic | Necklace: Mintgem


Walking in Memphis In High Heels & SOLOW

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Fall Running Gear for Marathon Training

I’m training (yes, I use that term loosely) for my first marathon this December, the St. Jude Marathon.  I ran my first half back in April, and I am so excited to tackle this new feat by pushing myself even further.  I was originally planning on only doing the half, but after I found out my other 4 friends were running the full, I had no other choice but to suck it up and do the same (I am pretty competitive afterall!)  I haven’t been running as much this fall since school started back at the end of August, so I was definitely in for a shock this week when the temperature took a nosedive.
I apologize for the windblown look, but it was 40 degrees and windy today!  Luckily, the incredibly nice team at Solow sent me some running clothing that is just perfect for the cooler weather!  Blue is my favorite color, so I immediately fell in love with this entire outfit.  To my surprise though, they are even cuter in person!  The pants have mesh seams at the knees and pockets, and the top does too.  It also has puff sleeves- how cute is that?!  Also, the material is so soft and has just the right amount of stretch.  As evidenced on Instagram here andhere, I have been wearing this outfit quite a lot, and I can honestly say it has become my favorite cool weather running outfit.  Make sure you check Solow out; they have some really cute and fashionable pieces that can easily go from the gym to the street and still make you look put together.  For sizing reference, all 3 pieces are a size small.  Is anyone else marathon training?  Do you have any tips?

The Style Record & SOLOW

The Style Record

SOLOW x The Style Record Part 1

Today I am sharing the first part of my collaboration with SOLOW. They are a casual contemporary lifestyle brand that features active, street to gym and lounge wear. I decided to share how their pieces can be taken from gym to the streets and how versatile their brand really is. I hope you like, and be sure to check them out.
Outfit 1:
Top: c/o SOLOW | Leggings: c/o SOLOW | Shoes: Nike
Outfit 2:
Top: c/o H&M | Jacket: Forever 21 | Leggings c/o SOLOW | Shoes: Steve Madden
-Original Post From Lauren Denny’s www.thestylerecord.com 

Solow @ Nordstrom

We had such a great time at our events over the last few weeks and everyone here at SOLOW wants to send a special thanks out to Nordstrom, click our brand ambassadors, sale and everyone involved in making this such a succes!

Check out some shots from the festivities below….

Irvine Spectrum with Angela Leigh:Nordstrom-EVENT-FLYER-Irvine


IMG_1592The Grove with Emilie Perz:

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The American with Joan Hyman:


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June Tastemaker: Ashley Turner


Elevating personal growth as a lifestyle, Ashley Turner is a yoga/meditation teacher, registered Marriage + Family Therapist Intern, writer and Ordained Priestess.  Did we mention a Solow brand ambassador and one of our all around favorite people?

Deep, witty, and laser focused, she draws on the source texts of yoga while incorporating the best of Neurobiology, Jungian Psychology, Ayurveda, Tantra, Shamanism and Priestess work – vigorously challenging students and clients from the inside out. She is known for her ability to translate complex themes into practical, real-life tools accessible to all.

This month, we asked Ashley to share her list of must have Solow pieces with us. No one knows better how these pieces perform under pressure. Ashley’s yoga is strong, flexible and downright impressive, and challenges gear to keep up with her. Enjoy 15% off Ashley’s picks, or any item on our site,  with the code ashley15 for the month of June. Take your practice to the next level!
For more on Ashley, visit www.AshleyTurner.org, her page on Aroma Yoga Guide or her site Live Your Truth.Love Your Life. 

Ashley’s Picks:


Lace-Up Mesh Waistband Pilates Pant: Eclon lace up mesh waist band. $108


Back Twist Pullover: Zuma French terry pullover with back twist detail. $84.00


One Shoulder Mesh Tank with Contrast Sports Bra. Two tone or solid white. $84


Colorblock Workout Bra
Comfortable and contoured bust line. Great for yoga, pilates & barre. $55



Elastic Wide Strap Crop
Jersey crop legging with wide colorblock stripe. $66


Basic Layering Cami: A must-have staple to any wardrobe. Wear alone or layer it up. $35


Supima Modal Boxy Tee with Laser Cut Back. Boxy tee. $26


Front Slit Maxi with Mesh Underlayer & Belt
Supima modal maxi dress with front slit and mesh underlay. Cinched at center front and waist with removable belt $147


Vegan BBQ

06fa1af431891cbd86da5cca10b1e4dbAs the longer, warmer days of summer approach, culinary efforts invariably turn to BBQs and dining alfresco.

But if you aren’t a meat eater, the pickings can be slim (to none) at summer grill fests.  Believing there must be good alternatives, surely, we did some research. Low and behold we found a bevy of delicious, smoky and very bbq-esque alternatives for the vegetarians and vegans in the crowd. A few of our favorites are listed below…and who knows, with recipes this good we might convert a few meat eaters along the way.


Salsa: No BBQ (or, if you ask us, gathering of any kind) is complete without a few good appetizers, and this summer pico is one of our favorites.  Brought to us by brand ambassador and yogi Jo Beth Richards it takes a second to whip up, and can be added to a whole host of recipes:

Nothing says summer like a cook out, hanging out on the porch or patio enjoying the sweet night air with sweet friends! This Summer Pico is the perfect addition to any cookout, summer lunch, or just alone as a snack. Garnish a salad, place on tacos, eat with some yummy blue corn chips or just have a spoon full all to yourself! And it is SO easy to make…

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Jo Beth’s Summer Pico

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
½ of one large red onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup cilantro, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl & enjoy!



veganbbqGrilled Veggies

Portobello mushrooms with their meaty texture and umami flavor are a favorite, along with artichokes, sunchokes, summer squash & zuchinni, onions, and orange, red and yellow bell peppers. Marinated in balsamic vinegar with fresh herbs, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, these are delicious grilled.  Or try pesto sauce–basil is the essence of summer after all!  For easy clean up and full flavor, use a zip-lock bag and mariante over night. We also like to cook pineapple on the grill. The sweetness is a perfect balance to the vinegar saltiness of the vegetables.

BBQ Bowl with Tofu:  We found this recipe on the Sweet Life, a great foodie blog full of easy tutorials, beautiful pictures (aka, food porn) and delicious recipes. The BBQ sauce recipe snagged our attention and several hours later we emerged with a long list of “must make” recipes.

Barbecue Sauce (adapted from Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson)

bbq31/4 cup white onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp liquid smoke
pinch of cayenne
makes about 2 cups

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onions and saute until translucent. Let cool. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Store in the refrigerator.

Barbecue Tofu:
bbq4Cut tofu into 1” cubes and place in a shallow container. Add 1 cup of barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Allow tofu to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove tofu from excess barbecue sauce, saving extra sauce, and transfer to a small bowl. Add nutritional yeast and mix to coat. Place tofu on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip tofu over, top with remaining barbecue sauce, and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes until browned and chewy.

bbq2Finally, prepare the bowl:
1. Heat up black eye peas in a saucepan over medium heat. Add about 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and stir to coat.
2. Steam kale until slightly soft. Mix with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Assemble bowl by placing rice on the bottom. Top with black eyed peas, BBQ tofu, and steamed kale. Finish with a few slices of avocado.
4. Add extra barbecue sauce, hot sauce, or nutritional yeast to taste.

Cooking Tofu on the grill:
The last recipe called for baking the tofu, which is much easier than handling it on the grill.  Anyone who has tried it before will tell you that tofu and the grill rarely get along well. Tofu can break apart and make a big, burned mess. Not so yum. We found some tips for keeping your tofu together and avoiding a grill disaster.

  • Prepare your barbecue with a non-stick cooking spray or by rubbing it with oil.28413a04d2fde286b2adc6f13f5b8cc5
  • Use firm, or if possible, extra firm tofu and always press it well before grilling.
  • Freeze and then thaw your tofu. This will allow the tofu to absorb more of the marinade flavors.
  • Marinate tofu in for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Try a zip lock bag in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Use a little sugar to caramelize and give tofu a nice and crispy and crunchy on the outside (or try rice wine vinegar, honey or maple syrup in your marinade.)
  • Use soaked bamboo skewers rather than placing your tofu right on the grill.
  • Grill over a pre-heated grill for 6-7 minutes on each side, brushing occasionally with extra marinade.


Once you have grilled your tofu, try stacking it with some grilled vegetables and pesto.  Add mint for complete summer nirvana for the palate.

The marinade for this tower of veggie goodness includes: white wine vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper and canola oil.

Recipe courtesy of Cookincanuk.com.




Voila, a vegan bbq is an oxymoron no more!
Tell us your grilling favorites in the comments section.  Try the recipes and let us know how they turned out.


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Solow Guest Chef

VMeet Solow Guest Chef: Vavine “V” Tahapehi

FeedingChickensTell us a little about yourself:

I am a Venice-Beach-based Aussie foodie, and inventor of a food product called “Cup Cup”. I also moonlight as a private chef and help out at my friends’ fantastic new restaurant, The Hart and the Hunter in the PaliHotel in Los Angeles.. I live with my Aussie musician husband–Matt Ellis (in whose band I also sing) and my rescue-mutt Banjo.  I grow my own herbs and vegetables and raise chickens for fresh eggs with yolks so orange you can’t believe it (we have seen them, and no, we can’t.) I worked for “Farmer of the Year” award winner James Birch, of Flora Bella Farm — a well known, organic farmer from Three Rivers, California, who provides most of the top-tier Los Angeles restaurants with produce. Under his mentor-ship I learned much about growing produce in California and volunteered in setting up school gardens.

Our little home in Venice is perpetually filled with good food, good music and good friends (not to mention the passing pot belly pig and gaggle of chickens.)


As a private chef, V has experimented with developing vegan versions of some of our favorite recipes for her clients.  Her banana bread is the best banana bread we have ever tasted (hands down–vegan or not) so we asked her (there was some begging) to share it with us.  Here is the recipe.  Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think (better yet, bring it over and we can share!)

V’s Banana bread:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup maple sugar
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1 t. apple cider vinegar
4 large, very ripe, mashed bananas
1/4 cup canola oil
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
Crushed Marcona almonds


1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly spray dozen mini-muffin pans with oil. Should make four pans – or do in batches.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk and cider vinegar and let stand for 2 minutes, allowing time for it to curdle. Add the mashed banana, canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, whisking until well combined.
4) Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined.
5) Pour the batter into each muffin receptacle, just above 2/3 full.
6) Sprinkle crushed Marcona almonds on the top of each muffin batter.
7) Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Allow the muffins to cool on a wire cooling rack for 20 minutes before serving.

*Black and white picture of V and Matt by Paddy Wilkins.

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