Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative


Another week in the books!


I really tested my will power during Week 2. Between coming down with some sort of nasty cold virus and the Fourth of July weekend, there were more than a few times when convenience and comfort almost trumped any desire I had to stick with it. However, I pushed through. Here are the things that I struggled with this past week: (more…)


So, I made it through the first week of the Whoel30! So far, so good.

The Obstacles

The last two days I’ve been exhausted. Luckily, it was the weekend because I took some serious naps, one of which followed an extremely bad stomach ache after lunch yesterday. However, according to the Whole30 timeline these are normal reactions as the body starts to adjust to not being able to rely on easy access energy sources (aka sugar). I believe the stomach ache could have been from my increase in fat intake, which I’ll be monitoring moving forward. There IS such a thing as too many avocados and too much coconut oil! (more…)


Before committing to the Whole30, one of the things that I was feeling really reluctant to change was my coffee. I love coffee, usually with cream and sugar, early in the morning when the house is quiet and everyone else is sleeping. It was my little sanctuary. My little calm before the storm, not to mention it’s delicious! Since sugar and dairy are not allowed on the Whole30 and I don’t enjoy my coffee black, I decided to at least figure out a compromise without feeding my sugar craving. I’d heard about using canned coconut milk as creamer, and in my research came across this recipe for Primal Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer and I have to say that it’s pretty wonderful stuff.



After my 40 Days of Being Active, I’ve felt a lot of motivation to keep the momentum going. So, I’ve decided to spend the next 30 days following The Whole30 program. After a week of preparation, I kicked off the 30 days starting yesterday. I’d heard a lot about The Whole30 through different blogs I read and through people I follow on Instagram but never really felt the need to try it, until now. We usually take a common sense approach to eating in our house, and to use the phrase coined by Michael Pollan, we “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” and this has worked for us. (more…)


At the end of 2013, as part of my creative coaching session with Kathleen of Braid Creative I did a 40 day commitment to one aspect of my dream day. I chose waking up earlier. I had been craving some alone time to do productive work (mainly writing and creating) and the early morning hours were my only viable option. So, I made the commitment to wake up earlier – even if it was only 10 minutes. And now, almost six months later, I consistently wake up at least an hour and a half earlier than I had been before the 40 day commitment.

Because that technique seemed to work really well for me, I decided to use it to tackle another aspect of my life that I’ve been wanting to change for a long time with the goal of making it a routine:


I decided to make a daily commitment to being active for 40 days straight.



Thanks to our brother-in-law, we got hooked on kombucha a few months back. And thankfully, our last batch just wrapped up its 10-day ferment. We didn’t time our previous batch with our vacation which resulted in a a short, yet torturous, kombucha-less existence upon our return. Ha! But in all seriousness, this stuff is really good, despite looking like an alien baby floating in formaldehyde. (more…)

On Being

Slow & Steady


Whew. It’s been a wild couple of weeks… or months, I should say.

And with all that’s been going on, I’ve been doing some self-reflection and it seems that after many years of plugging away I’ve come to realize that not being hasty has worked greatly in mine and Andrew’s favor.

There has been an avalanche of action happening right now in our lives as I’ve been working through the launch of Wild Daughters and Andrew explores future ventures and we work to put ourselves in optimal positioning to hopefully, eventually build a house; many of our plans that we’ve been slowly working towards all these years are finally coming to fruition. Slowly, but surely. Pretty much goes against all notions that moving up in the world has to be accompanied by this fast paced, high-aiming trajectory, that moves at ever increasing speeds. Well, I’m here to tell you that perseverance and small-moves can be powerful work horses. (more…)


You know what I love? The fact that more and more people are talking about natural health and beauty. I think there are a cast of characters that people automatically lump into the “natural” category when it comes to health and beauty products and they are usually crunchy, hippie, granola types or hipster urban homesteaders (two genres that I straddle, easily.) But I’ve been noticing more and more within my diverse pool of friends and family (hippie and non-hippie alike) that natural alternatives are coming to the forefront of people’s consciousness when they consider their routines, and that is really awesome.

I wrote a couple years ago about No More Dirty Looks, a website that has clean healthy and beauty at its core and how much that site changed my approach to the personal products I use (and might I mention that these ladies are a far cry from being what most people would consider “dirty hippies”). The great thing about their site is that they are highlighting brands that are fighting the good fight to keep things clean. You don’t have to resort to cooking up all your own homemade concoctions to avoid all the bad stuff in a lot of products these day.

However, with that said, I’ve already done a post in the past with brands that I’ve tried and like and wanted to focus on all those homemade remedies that have made it into my regular routine: (more…)


I think I’m on to something. Recently, at Dewey’s Pizza (a local pizzeria) I had the seasonal Harvest Salad that has a soft cheese, candied walnuts and figs as three of the ingredients. And it was amazing. It inspired me to mix things up when it comes to salads, since I fall into the rut of making the same one over and over, then getting sick of it, then not having any desire to eat salads.

So as the title of this post reveals, the three things that have been taking my salads to a new level lately are: Goat Cheese, Dried Figs and Candied Walnuts. (more…)

welcome to

If you’re making your way over here from my old site, or coming here for the first time: Welcome!

I’m still working out some kinks and such, but hopefully we’ll be smooth sailing eventually. Thanks for stopping in for a visit.