Girls' Trip to Ojai

It’s hard to put into words how amazing our girls' trip to Ojai was.  If you follow us on Instagram, you probably saw some beautiful pictures of a whimsical cabin and four girls enchanted by things like orange trees.  

As I’ve been sorting through the photos for this post, I can’t help but dream about returning to this peaceful place.  It was probably one of my first trips where I didn’t come home feeling like I needed a vacation from the vacation.  You know those trips where you come home more tired than when you left?  Not the case with this one.  There was something magical and soothing about this hidden gem.  The air was crisp, clean and fresh, the food was delicious, the people were incredibly friendly, and the company was perfect.  

The house we stayed at was an adorable guest cabin with a fireplace (in which I failed to keep a flame going for longer than 10 minutes), enough cozy crochet blankets for all of us, and a huge front deck complete with granny rocking chairs.  The property was filled with flowers, fruit trees, avocado trees, a vineyard, chickens, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Most of our mornings were spent drinking coffee on the front porch while munching on Amber’s homemade biscotti and granola, chatting about anything from funny childhood stories to deep thoughts on life.  Then we would slowly get ready to venture out to the little town and see where the day took us.  

I think all of us girls agreed to go on this trip with our only agenda being to relax, explore and enjoy.  It created an environment of carefree adventures.  We went to the beach, cute cafes, local restaurants, charming bookstores, went for walks around the neighborhood and spent a lot of time on that front porch. 

My favorite part of each day was, without question, the sunset.  On the property there was a cozy seating area for us to drink some wine (or a mama-to-be “mocktail”) and sit in awe of the sun setting into the ocean.  There’s something soothing about taking in the immense ocean that makes my problems feel so unimportant.  

Needless to say, we had an incredible time.  Ojai, we will be back.

Photos by Amber & myself.


Red (Purple) Velvet Vegan Donuts with Cream Cheeze Icing

One of the many awesome gifts I received from Amber for Christmas was a heart-shaped donut pan.   *SWOON!*  This bad boy had Valentine’s Day baking written all over him.  Well, I woke up yesterday morning and realized that February 14th was fast approaching and I still hadn't used it!  The first thing I did when I got out of bed (after drinking some coffee) was research some recipes and then got myself to a grocery store.  I didn’t even get out of my pajamas (you think I'm joking, but I'm not).  

I knew I wanted to make red velvet donuts with a cream cheese icing, but had a few things I was specifically looking for in a recipe.  One, I wanted it to be vegan.  Two, I didn’t want to use food coloring (because it isn’t exactly filled with good-for-you things).  And three, I didn’t want to use vegan cream cheese for the icing (because it’s also not filled with very-good-for-you things). 

I managed to find 3 different recipes that I adapted and formed into one giant recipe.  

Follow along for the goodness!

First up is “natural” red food coloring.  I’ve read a lot about people using beets to dye their baked goods and have always been curious about it.  I decided this would be the perfect time to test it out.  I’ll admit, the finished product is exactly red, rather purple, BUT there isn’t anything fake or processed about these donuts, so I’m okay with it.  If you want to use red food coloring, just skip this whole beet process.    

Roasted Beet Puree (Red food coloring)  


  • 2 Fist-Sized Beets
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice


1.  Preheat oven to 400 F.
2.  Trim off the root stems and rinse/scrub your beets.
3.  Cover each beet individually with tin foil and place on a baking sheet.
4.  Roast for 60 minutes (or until tender).
5.  When the beets have finished roasting, let them cool for a bit until you are able to handle them.
6.  Gently remove the skin by scraping the beets.  I tried to avoid getting my hands all red by using the tinfoil they were wrapped in. (Key word here is “tried).
7.  Chop the beets into chunks and puree in a blender.  
8.   Measure and seperate 1 cup of the pureed beets into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice.  

Now that you have your natural red food coloring, it’s time to make your Red (Purple) Velvet Donuts.

Vegan Red (Purple) Velvet Donuts


  • 1/2 cup of Beet Puree
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBS Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1/3 cup Almond Milk 
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
  • 3/4 tsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
2.  Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to curdle for 10 minutes.  
3.  Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
4.  Once the almond milk & apple cider vinegar combo has sat for 10 minutes, add it to the large bowl of dry ingredients, along with the egg replacer and melted Earth Balance.
5.  In a separate small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda (it’s going to fizz like a volcano experiment) then add in the vanilla extract.  Once combined, add it to the the large bowl.
6.  Mix in your beet puree.
7. Grease your donut pan.  Using a spoon (or pipe it using a zip-loc bag), add the batter to the pan (about 3/4 full).
8.  Bake for about 10 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
9.  Let cool for 5 minutes and then pop out.

Now it’s time to frost your adorable donut hearts. 

Cream Cheeze Frosting


  • 3 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5 tsp Almond Milk


1.  Place all ingredients in a big bowl and mix together using an electric mixer.  I found it was a bit too thick, so I slowly added more almond milk, 1 tsp at a time, until it was a bit thinner.

2. You can also separate the finished icing into a few batches and add some of the beet puree to make it a purple/pink color (depending on how much you add).

 All in all, I would say this was a success!  No, they aren't red, but they are vegan and free of artificial dyes and chemicals.  Also I think the purple is kind of cool!

Happy almost Valentine's Day!


Granny Girls + Shop Gracie B.

Disclaimer: The curated items and post seen below have been sponsored by Gracie B. as part of their Guest Stylist program. However, these items were chosen by Granny Girls and therefore, all opinions are our own.

One of the best things about having a blog is getting to meet and collaborate with a whole bunch of awesome people. This month we're super excited to be the featured Guest Stylists over at the gorgeous online shop, Gracie B.  We were first introduced to Gracie B. when we did our Thanksgiving shoot with Zooey Magazine.  They sent over a bunch of amazing clothes and accessories that we got to wear while (super stylishly) making caramel corn.

When the gals from Gracie B. contacted us asking if we wanted to be Guest Stylists we jumped at the chance. Their stuff is beautiful, totally affordable, and they cater to all different styles (after Amanda & I chose our favorite items we both exclaimed, "Those are so you!"  Haha).

So hop on over to Gracie B. to check out our style-picks for this month - and then pick out a few of your own!

Amber's Picks:

Amanda's Picks:

You can also visit our Pinterest page that we're sharing with Gracie B. to read about our favorite items and why we love them.  Happy shopping!