you know how when you decide you finally want to work out and get in shape, you dedicate like 3 days of hard work and think you should have abs already? (ha, well i did) i finally realized that this is what i was doing with my healing journey for a long time. knowing what I needed to do and actually DOING it are two very different things. we are SO stuck in our ways, comfortable (even with our pain), that we continue our patterns and behaviors year after year, over and over…frustrated when we receive the same outcome. until we finally decide we are exhausted. and only WE can decide when that time is. someone can recommend all the books, podcasts, workouts, diets…and you still might not be ready. you might read this, and it might not resonate, and that’s ok! i just hope it helps even one person feel less alone.

the problem is, we have to get comfortable with the UNCOMFORTABLE. accepting parts of ourselves we have tried so desperately to stuff down and hide. we have to actually feel the pain that we’ve experienced in our lives, that we don’t even realize are completely running the show. we have to start to listen to our bodies when we get overwhelmed with emotion and we feel tense and scared and anxious and sad…instead of just numbing those with food, alcohol, shopping, working, relationships…really feeling it fully. that’s the only way they will go away for good.

it’s uncomfortable (VERY), and people have a hard time with that. i know i did! but there was a little voice inside of me that started to become stronger. i started to finally see results, and was able to experience real JOY. and after a lot of hurt, anxiety, trauma, resentment, shame, and guilt…JOY is something you do not want to stop searching for. get addicted to joy! once you commit yourself to actually healing those dark corners and really living your life with more peace (and i really think i am only 50% there!) it all feels so much easier. lighter. more manageable. because life is already hard, but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

i wrote this first post a few months ago when i started to truly break through and find my true self. (which you will see feels a lot like a younger, innocent you. for me that was building forts with so much excitement, climbing trees without a worry in the world, picking cherries off the tree at my grandparent’s farm, riding my bike to school and feeling the warm wind rushing over my body.)

now i feel excited to share PART 2 (and it’s LONG but stick with me, ok?). i want these posts to be a place you can come back to if you are on that edge with yourself and need support, need resources, need to feel understood. a place that will inspire people, encourage healing, and ultimately bring people back to their own pure joy (because i really believe we all have that inside of us! it just feels harder to access the more pain you have endured).

last note before i start. sometimes it can feel over the top (i have struggled with it feeling self indulgent) to read all these books, spend time and money going to therapy and meditation and working out. it can feel endless and exhausting when framed the wrong way. i want to remind you that even the smallest changes (cooking a meal and focusing on mindfulness, or meditating 5 mins in the morning, or quickly writing down something you are grateful for that day) will start to SHIFT your mind. out of your old patterns and into a new place. don’t allow that part of yourself that wants to keep you in pain to discourage you.

believe me, i was a person that watched tons of reality tv, never read books, didn’t really workout, ate badly, drank too many nights a week, had co-dependent relationships, had little boundaries, avoidance issues, i was a workaholic….i tried all the ways to hide from my pain. it was a slow shift, and will probably change for the rest of my life, but i promise if you start small you will see results!! haha, man, i sound like a motivational speaker, but i guess i just have to be ok with that.

and remember, this is just MY journey. we all have such different lives. we all feel and experience pain differently. i never want to come off as a know it all, or arrogant, or like i have it all figured out. because i most certainly don’t. but i also know the changes i have felt are too big not to share and start concersations around! nothing but love for you all!!!


ok let’s start with a helpful tip that changed the game for me. having a library card allows you to use apps like Libby, Hoopla and Kanopy to rent FREE books, audio books, and movies. you can literally take yourself back to school, for free! (my husband calls my kindle my pacifier haha) i really encourage this because something that i want to address is that sometimes it can feel really overwhelming and EXPENSIVE to do all of this. but it really doesn’t have to be. and resources like this really take away our own excuses. they are free and available to everyone. if you don’t have time to read a book? listen to an audio book while you drive to work. you will want to start prioritizing your time to feel better. because when we feel better, everyone around us benefits too.




cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest

we wanted to give the cauliflower pizza crust from TJ’s a whirl and see how it held up against their frozen organic pizza crust that i normally use. the cauliflower crust had a nice consistency, it’s made with corn and it almost has a polenta type taste and texture. if you’re looking for something gluten free than i think this is a great option but i personally prefer their other crust. regardless, any sort of crust with this combo on top is A+! everything we used was from trader joe’s. -joanie

cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest

what you’ll need: 

• 1 package pizza cauliflower crust (from trader joes)
• 2-3 small heirloom tomatoes
• 6oz sliced buffalo mozzarella (shredded mozzarella works great too!)
•  1 4oz package prosciutto (optional)

• 8 oz fresh basil (two containers from trader joes)
• olive oil
• 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1/3 cup raw walnuts
• 2 garlic cloves
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 lemon squeezed

to make: 

• bake the cauliflower crust by the instructions on the packaging.

cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest
cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest

• slice the heirloom tomatoes, salt them to release some of their juices and set aside. really juicy tomatoes can make the crust soggy!

• take the buffalo mozzarella slices pat dry until some of the moisture has been removed. (this will avoid a soggy pizza as it bakes!)

cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest

• to make the pesto, add all the pesto ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil. turn the food processor on and slowly pour the olive oil until you get a smooth consistency.

• spread the pesto onto the cauliflower crust and add the mozzarella slices (and prosciutto if you are adding a meat option). broil the pizza an additional 5 minutes or according to the packaging directions.

• once baked add the sliced heirloom tomatoes and garnish with basil leaves.

cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest
cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest
cauliflower crust pizza | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis



styled | designlovefest

a few weeks back when we were scouting the rooftop at ROW for our tiki party. a happy windblown colorful shot. bri is wearing this colorful floral blouse by sezane, with these ace&jig pants (that are currently on sale!) madewelland metalic loffler randall shoes. i’m wearing a vintage silk dress from the 80’s and sandals (in my experience madewell shoes are very comfortable!) 

a few more colorful things that caught my eye!



blueberry crumb cake | designlovefest

i learned how to make blueberry crumb cake during my college summers working at coffee shop. it was the item that people returned day after day for (even at $5/slice!), and when the pastry chef had a conflict with the owner and quit, it became by job to make the cake. i made 50+ one summer and the process of making one became second nature to me. in a way, it was where i really learned how to bake, by being thrown into the pastry kitchen and making all the cookies and cakes and pies, day after day. my mom told me to write down the crumb cake recipe and i laughed and told her i didn’t need to, i could never forget it. but she was right, after several years the recipe specifics faded and i’m grateful that she forced me to say the recipe out loud so that summer she could write it down for the both of us.

we featured this cake 5 years ago, it was my first recipe post on designlovefest (you can see the original post, here). this cake is a crowd pleaser and so very simple to make. i made it this morning for the first time in a long time because i had a mountain of blueberries that were on their way to going bad and i suggest you do the same. – joanie

notes: i have made this with peaches and strawberries as well, it works but blueberry remains my favorite. it feels like a coffeecake, great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Blueberry Crumb Cake
yield: 8 servings

• 2 cup flour + 1/4 cup flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 6 ounce cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces. (i like a european style butter)
• 1 teaspoon zest of either a lemon or orange
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 1/2 cups blueberries
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp (if you don’t have buttermilk, milk with a squeeze of lemon works great!)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• Preheat your oven to 400°.
• Cut the cold butter into small pieces and place in a medium size bowl with 2 cups flour, sugar and salt. Use your hand to mix the ingredients together, working the butter into the mixture using your fingers so that it has a course texture, it will be lumpy and not feel like a dough, that’s what you want.
• Take out 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and set it aside to use as the topping.
• In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup flour, with baking soda, and zest add that to the remaining mixture in the bowl and mix by hand.
• In a small bowl whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Make sure that both the egg and the buttermilk are at room temperature. Once combined, fold in 1 cup of fruit and then add to the dry mixture and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
• Prepare a 9″ round pan by cutting a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom. spray or butter the bottom of the pan, add the parchment paper, spray and butter on top of the paper and the sides.
• Pour the mixture with the fruit into the bottom of the pan, top with 3/4 more berries, add the set aside topping mixture and cover with the remaining berries, pressing them lightly into the batter.
• Bake on middle rack at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. It can be longer depending on how moist your berries were. You will know the cake is done when it’s golden brown on the top and slightly firm to the touch. You can also insert a knife into the center, it is done when the knife comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it.
• Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cake will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

blueberry crumb cake | designlovefest



i’m working on a style post right now but i wanted to send out a quick thumbs up on these pants (the stella trousers from LACAUSA). i picked up my friend from the airport last weekend and she was also wearing them and looking very chic. i’ve lived in them this summer, they’re perfectly high waisted, comfortable and don’t stretch out or look frumpy. i’ve gotten tons of compliments on them. i have the brushed version which has a little more structure, a bit more fitted through the waist, they’re 100% cotton (pictured above) but they also come in the lighter version that is a 60% Tencel/40% cotton (pictured below). highly recommend! they fit true to size, i have the size 4 in navy but they come in so many pretty colors, it’s hard to choose!

i’ve been attempting to up my pant game, i wear a lot of dresses and realized that several of the jeans i have are from college and are looking really worn in, especially around the knees. so i donated a bunch of them and i’m slowly working to add in new pairs. i just ordered these from Zara and also these from AGOLDE, my first pair by them but i’ve heard great things so i’ll keep you posted. – joanie