Stan’s Donuts

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When I lived in LA, one of the things I noticed and thought was so odd was that there were no Dunkin’ Donuts shops around. While I enjoyed going to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (wish we had one in Chicago) and the local bakery, Porto’s (Oh.Em.Gee! Soooooo delicious!), I was perplexed as to why there were no Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere.

But then, I noticed all of the local donut shops around. I tried a few, but wasn’t too impressed (not that Dunkin’ Donuts is impressive at all, nor was I comparing them to DD). I guess because Porto’s was so extraordinary that it really beat out any other place (they are not really known for their donuts, but they are a local bakery and serve bakery goods as well as other food). Of course, I probably should have sought locals’ advice, but did not. And, not to name any names, but I’ve been burned one too many times by a certain website with “real people reviews” to trust anything on there. I haven’t been back to LA since moving from there in 2011, but next time I go, I have a list of donut shops to hit up.

So, that brings us to Stan’s Donuts. My hubby told me about Stan’s as he was working nearby. It’s in our neighborhood, so we decided to give it a try. (Disclosure: We had not gone before because there is an amazing donut shop near us and because I’m trying to be more healthy and donuts and health really don’t go hand-in-hand. LolSob.). Here are a few pics from our visit and some of my thoughts on Stan’s, which, btw, is from Westwood, California. Circle complete.

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I was really excited to try it because look at how cute this place is. I was impressed with the color palette and the retro, yet mid-century modern decor. It was nice and clean and very welcoming.

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I loved the subway tiles and their curated collection of KitchenAid mixers as decor.

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The pink and white stripes packaging is adorable, as you can see. The coffee was nothing extraordinary. Let’s just say, I would not stop in just for coffee.

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We ordered the Nutella (left) and glazed (right) donuts. I really love nutella, but wasn’t too impressed with the donut. The glazed was tasty, light and fluffy.

Overall, I think my other beloved donut shop is more superior in comparison, but it wouldn’t stop me from trying a different kind of donut if I were within close proximity to Stan’s again.

Are you a donut person? Are you a doughnut or donut person? What’s your favorite type of donut? Where is the best donut you’ve ever had?

Now back to that healthy thing…

10 Tasty Paleo Treats to Make for Your Oscars Party

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{“Awards Night” cookies via Bakerella – her recipe is not paleo, but you can make paleo friendly versions. I just adore Bakerella and her creations.}

Hollywood’s biggest night is coming up. I love the Oscars, or excuse me, the Academy Awards. It’s my Superbowl. From the announcement of the nominees to the red carpet events leading up to the awards show.

{Confession: I do not always watch all the nominated films beforehand. }

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I plan to sit on my sofa this coming Sunday and watch with excitement as the newcomers and veterans march down the red carpet, anticipating what designers they chose. Oh, yeah, and, of course, see who the “Oscar goes to…”

{Another confession: I may or may not have pretended to be a winner and made a speech using a hairbrush as my mic during my childhood.}

Do you watch the Oscars? How do you celebrate it? Whether you plan to have a gathering or not, here are some fun treats you can make to sustain you throughout the event.

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These paleo and gluten-free “Meringues” by Elana’s Pantry look so divine. I love the way meringue just melts in your mouth.

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Another recipe from Elana’s Pantry are these “Star Cookies”. So fitting for the occasion, don’t you think? They are gluten-free and vegan!

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I scream and you will too for these “Sugar Detox Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts” made by PaleOMG.

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I cannot wait to try these “Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple” treats from Nom Nom Paleo. Sweet and savory is the way to my heart!

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How about some “Cheesy Egg Muffins” by Nom Nom Paleo? They would be a great addition, just put them in gold muffin tin cups.

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I could sure go for one or ten of these “Mexican Chocolate Pots de Créme” by Nom Nom Paleo right about now.

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These “Paleo Snickerdoodle Cupcakes” by My Natural Family look so sweet and tasty.

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Bingo! I think I hit the jackpot with these “‘Fried’ Honey Bananas” by Rachel Schultz. My mom makes an amazing fried banana, so I’ve been on the lookout for a paleo-friendly recipe and this one fits the bill.

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This “Paleo Sex in a Pan” by Grok Grub looks sexy and scrumptious.

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Cupcakes are always a good idea and these “Paleo Cardamom Cupcakes with Lemon Mousse Frosting” by Empowered Sustenance look like one of the best cupcake ideas I’ve seen recently.

10 Delicious Valentine’s Day Treats to Make for Your Sweethearts

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{These girls take their Valentine’s Day baking very, very seriously.}

My sister sent me a picture of my nieces baking Valentine’s Day treats, which prompted me to set out to find some recipes that I could make that would be paleo and/or gluten-free friendly. These treats look easy enough to make and package to give away to those special people in your life, or treat yourself. Enjoy and let me know if you make any of these! I’d love to know how they turned out.

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1. Strawberry Raspberry Milkshape Fudge Hearts via PaleOMG – Dying over these cute heart-shaped treats! How adorable would they look in a cellophane bag with punched out mini heart tags?

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2. Paleo Pancakes via Mark’s Daily Apple – Why not make heart-shaped ones?

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3. Dark Chocolate and Citrus Macadamia Balls via Mark’s Daily Apple – These would look wonderful wrapped in a cellophane bag with a ribbon and tag attached.

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4. Chunky Monkey “Ice Cream” Bon Bons via Nom Nom Paleo – How cute would these be packaged in ice cream cartons with your own labels?

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5. Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles via Nom Nom Paleo – Sensing a theme with chocolate and round things here? You can take wrapping paper and wrap these individually.

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6. Tropical Paleo Granola via Nom Nom Paleo – Tropical anything sounds delicious. These would look great packaged in cellophane bags with personalized tags.

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7. Butter Cookies via Elana’s Pantry – These would be great to make with heart-shaped cookie cutters and packaged in Chinese cartons with Valentine’s stickers.

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8. Gluten-free Coconut Macaroons via Elana’s Pantry – I love macaroons and better yet, these are gluten-free!

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9. Chocolate Chip Espresso Banana Bread Muffins via PaleOMG – How adorable are these mini muffins made in silicone muffin cups? I would hug you if I received these treats. Banana + chocolate = winning combo.

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10. Easy Chocolate Almond Butter Cups via PaleOMG –  I love a good Reese’s’ peanut butter cup recipe (but, who doesn’t?) and these look tempting. So easy to wrap up in a pretty package.