Food & Drink

Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean Salad

March 29, 2017

The air is warm and I’m ready for some quick easy salads for lunches and even dinner. This Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean Salad will definitely going to be on repeat here in the McConnel house. It’s packed with lots of good stuff and definitely is not lacking in flavor. I love salads like this that make me feel like I’m eating a treat instead of depriving myself.Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean SaladAs you know, I was in Sweden last week. One thing I noticed about Swedes, is that they don’t have very much fast food. Everywhere you are, you are guaranteed to find a hearty salad and veggie loaded sandwiches. This salad was definitely inspired by the healthier choices that were readily available in Sweden.Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean SaladA touch sweet, tangy and loaded with crunch, every bite of this salad will make your mouth happy.

Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean Salad

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 a red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken and sprinkle it with the fresh rosemary. Cook 5-7 mins. on each side, or until the chicken breast is cooked through completely. While the chicken is cooking, make the dressing. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 mins.

In a large bowl combine all the veggies, garbanzo beans and farro. I like to by pre-cooked farro for convenience, but farro can be easily cooked on the stove top. Bring to a boil 3/4 cup farro with 2 cups of water. Reduce to low and simmer for 25-30.

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with the veggie mixture.

Lemon Garlic Dressing

  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender or food processor. Blend on high to mix the ingredients together well. Pour over the salad and toss.

Sprinkle the salad with a little extra feta and serve chilled.


Lemon Chicken Garbanzo Bean Salad

This salad gets better with time. So, you’ll definitely enjoy this salad the second day as well.

Food & Drink

Orange Mango Turmeric Tea

March 27, 2017

Oh my goodness, Sweden has been amazing! I’ve had an amazing trip with my mom. We’ve walked, visited, laughed, tourist-ed, and eaten WAY TOO MUCH!

Healthy eating starts are soon as I hit the ground. And this Orange Mango Turmeric Tea will be the perfect refreshing drink to get me through this week of getting back into normal life. Turmeric is a fun addition to this drink, it adds a yummy earthy flavor and also lots of anti-inflammatory benefits.

Orange Mango Turmeric Tea

Check out the full recipe HERE!

Orange Mango Turmeric TeaOrange Mango Turmeric TeaOrange Mango Turmeric Tea

Food & Drink

Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema

March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patty’s Day friends. I’m off on an adventure today.  I’m headed to Sweden with my Mom. We are so excited. My Grandpa was Swedish and a few years ago we went a visited all his extended family. We are going back to see them all again and of course doing a little site seeing. I’m pretty anxious about leaving my family, but I’m also very excited to spend this time with my mom. I feel very selfish taking this trip. But I really feel like I need a break. I’ll be sharing lots on Instagram and IG stories. I’m really excited to soak up all that awesome Swedish design and style. I’m hoping to come back super inspired and a lot little stressed out.

Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema

I thought I’d send you into the weekend with a yummy Spicy Spanish Rice and Lime Crema recipe. This easy recipe uses Natalie’s Carrot Tomato Celery Juice, but I know it’s not available were everyone lives. So, a good substitute is V8 juice. I love a good one pot recipe. And the Lime Crema might be one of the best things I’ve made in a while. I kind of want to drizzle it over EVERYTHING!

Get the full recipe HERE!

Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema Spicy Spanish Rice with Lime Crema

Have a great weekend!


Bathroom Art and 5 Tips to Keeping Your Bathroom Organized and Stylish

March 15, 2017


The bathroom might be the most under-styled room in the house. Would you agree? But, really everyday is started in this room. I am a firm believer that your surroundings can effect your mood. Waking up to disorganization and an uninspired space might be the wrong way to begin your day. Today I’m sharing some pretty bathroom art that might give you a little boost of encouragement (and yah, you can download all three pieces for FREE!). And I’ve also got some simple tips to help your keep your bathroom organized and stylish.


If you are going to love your bathroom, you might want to start with hanging something pretty on the walls. I recently spent time playing with my camera and some pretty Spring blooms. Then I framed these images as sleek, modern, acrylic prints at Mixbook. These prints are perfect for showing off crisp, detailed photographs. I also love these acrylic prints for the bathroom because they are frameless. There are no nooks and crannies where dust and moisture can collect. I chose to hang one on the walls and lean the other on a shelf. With easy to mount hardware, these are synch to hang.

If you like these prints, you can download them for free.

I also created a little print that says “You Look Great!”. I like the idea of this being small enough to fit into a medicine cabinet. It’s a nice little surprise with you open the cabinet to reach for your toothbrush. I printed this as a 4×6 photo print at Mixbook, which are only $0.15 each to print. I framed this little print in a inexpensive brass frame to add to the gold and brass accents in the bathroom.


And don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you.  Mixbook is giving Oleander + Palm readers 40% off anything on their site!!!!! Just enter the code OP40  and get 40% off sitewide. (Expires May 14th Midnight PST). Now how cool is that?

Once you get something pretty on the walls it’s time to get organized. Here are my 5 tips to keeping a organized and stylish bathroom:

1. TRAYS – I might own more then a couple trays. I think I use them in every room in my house. They are the perfect landing spot for odds and ends. Instead of loose items floating around on surfaces without a purpose, a tray gives these items a place to belong. In the bathroom, I keep a lot of my most-used toiletries out on the counter.

2. WHITE LINENS – I’ve decided that white towels are the only way to go. They really are easy to keep clean, unlike colorful or patterned towels, they can be bleached back to snowy white. White towels hung in a bathroom don’t clutter the space. For me, clutter creates chaos, so having white towels is one simple step to creating a little less chaos. Now don’t get me wrong, I love trendy, patterned towels. So, my exception to the white towel rule is that hand towels can be any color or pattern. These are the least expensive towel to replace, so why not?

3. ONLY PRETTY BOTTLES – Yep, it seams like a stupid rule, but it will help make for a prettier space. I’m not saying you can’t buy the budget or bulk soap (I definitely do) but if you do, transfer the product to pretty bottles. I did this in our shower years ago. I made simple 1-2-3 bottles and filled them with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. And then, if you have pretty bottles, put them on display. I don’t know about you, but clean branding and pretty packaging makes me happy. 
4. CONTAINERS – Jars, glasses, bowls, baskets – these are all your friends in the bathroom. Keeping like objects together is the best way for my kids to stay organized. Inside drawers and medicine cabinets I keep hair ties and clips within easy reach. I like using glasses and bowls for combs, make-up, toothbrushes and cotton buds. They can easily be cleaned by putting them through the dishwasher from time to time. If you buy bathroom specific items, often they can’t be washed in the dishwasher.

5 tips for keeping an organized and stylish bathroom

5. SILVERWARE TRAYS – Again, the kitchen section of the department store saves the day. Perfectly compartmentalized for make-up, medicine and all the unmentionables that are stored in the bathroom. I’m not a huge make-up girl. Yes, I need make-up to look somewhat presentable in public, but really I wear pretty much the same thing everyday. So one tray is plenty for me.

Be sure to take advantage of Mixbooks awesome discount code for O + P readers. There products are really high quality and I can’t recommend them enough. Remember the pretty Mocktail Calendar I made? Ya Mixbook does that as well.

Free Downloadable Art for You Bathroom

This post is sponsored by Mixbook, thank you for supporting the awesome companies that help make this blog possible. 


Guesthouse Bedroom Reveal

March 14, 2017

Oleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom Reveal

I’ve shared a lot of pictures of this fun space on my Instagram feed, but I’m finally ready to share all the reveal pics here on the blog. So, get ready for the Oleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom Reveal! I’ve got so many pictures, because I don’t want you to miss any of the details. If you missed the guesthouse bathroom reveal, you’ll want to go check that out as well.

Oleander + Palm Guesthouse RevealOleander + Palm Guesthouse RevealOleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedrroom RevealOleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom RevealGuesthouse Bedroom Reveal

I teamed up with one of my favorite online stores, AllModern. Remember the plan, I think it looks even better in person. I kept this little space feeling modern and fresh with lots of white and geometric patterns. To keep the space from becoming stark and cold, I added touches of pale pink. I also believe that geometric shapes can feel very masculine, so nothing softens a look like a little pink.

Oleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom RevealOleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom RevealGuesthouse Bedroom Reveal

The walls got a coat of my favorite white paint, Sherwin Williams Alabaster. We refinished the original floors and I love the warm honey color of them. I’m a huge fan of warm wood tones and white. So, my vintage dresser, that I refinished a few years ago, and this gorgeous new headboard are a perfect pair for this room. Modern design doesn’t have to be just molded plastic and glossy surfaces.

The bed needed to go in front of the windows, which it not ideal, but I think this tall headboard really anchors the bed. I love the mid century shape to the simple bed frame. It’s clean, simple shape feels timeless in this 1918 building.

I feel like I’m always playing with finding a balance between the age of our home (1918) and the modern day life we live. It’s a fun challenge. I want to preserve the character of the house, but I also don’t want to live in a museum. I like to keep things uncluttered so that the details and finishes of the home shine through. If you can’t tell already, I LOVE old houses.

Oleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom Reveal Oleander + Palm Guesthouse Bedroom RevealGuesthouse Bedroom RevealGuesthouse Bedroom Reveal

This room has no shortage of great lighting. I chose to keep the bedside tables clutter free and mounted two gorgeous brass swing arm sconces on either side of the bed.

Guesthouse Bedroom Reveal

This post is sponsored by AllModern, thank you for supporting the companies that help make this blog possible. 


The 15 Best Neck Scarves For Any Outfit

March 9, 2017

As you are probably fully aware, I am not a style icon and fashion blogging is not my expertise. But, I do LOVE a cute outfit and feeling a somewhat on-trend and up-to-date. The neck scarf, bandanna, or neckerchief is one accessory I’ve been wearing quite consistently for over a year now. So, I’ve rounded up the 15 best neck scarves to any outfit for you today.

This trend is a throw back for me. Yes, I am that old. In the late 90’s (my college years) I could be found wearing a silk neck scarf from time to time. And last year, after some pre-cancerous sun damage treatments, I decided that wearing a scarf while hiking and enjoying the outdoors was a good idea. Tying a scarf around my neck helped protect both my neck and chest from the sun. Sometimes sunscreen just isn’t enough. And it turns out, bandannas are cute again.

So, a couple times a week I sport a little scarf around my neck. Sometimes I roll it up tight and tie the scarf off to one side and sometimes I just fold the scarf in half to make a big triangle and then tie it in the back. The pair with almost everything in my closet. Neck scarves look great with a denim shirt, a little dress and they pair well with other patterns and textures.The 15 BEST Neck Scarves for Any Outfit

  1. Army Green Bandanna
  2. Classic Red
  3. Blush and Burgundy
  4. Black Floral
  5. Peach Bandanna
  6. Colorful Floral
  7. Patchwork Bandanna
  8. Pretty Flowers
  9. Cream and Navy Bandanna
  10. Vintage Blue
  11. Peach and Ivory
  12. Tiny Dots on Black
  13. Bold Floral
  14. Pretty Peach
  15. Green Silk

If you recall, in the new year, I decided that we were going to try to go the whole year without buying any new clothes. So far, so good! I’ve taken Denali (my 15 year old) thrifting and she scored about 4 pairs of mom jeans that all her friends are jealous of. Olivia has grown a few inches since Christmas, so I ordered her 5 pairs of shorts from Thred Up.  I’m enjoying having a paired down wardrobe, but worry that it all my get kind of boring. So, a couple of new pairs of earrings have been purchased and I’m thinking a new neck scarf might also help to spice things up. This year is going to be a stretch. But, I think I’m up for the challenge.

Now, which neck scarf do I add to my collection? Do you have a favorite for these 15 I found? I probably need 1 or 15, every red head looks good in green. Number 14 seems pretty special, the colors feel super Spring-y.

Food & Drink

Mango Ginger Mocktail

March 7, 2017

This mocktail is definitely influenced by my South Pacific childhood. I grew up with a huge mango tree in our yard. It had so many mangos, that we just couldn’t eat them all. And ginger – well I think it’s my favorite flavor in sweet or savory food.

Mango Ginger MocktailThis fun mocktail is dressed up with edible flowers floating in eat glass. Did you know that pansies were edible, well they are (most varieties). Just be sure to buy them from an organic grower, you don’t want to put a whole bunch of chemicals and pesticides into your pretty drinks.
Mango Ginger Mocktail

Perfect for a Spring Brunch or Easter Dinner, this recipe can be made in a large pitcher to serve a crowd. Go check out the recipe over on Natalie’s Orchid Juice Company’s site.

Mango Ginger MocktailMango Ginger Mocktail


The Week’s End

March 3, 2017

Mid Century Modern Planter

Lately the week’s have flown by in a blur. I’m reading Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, and I’m learning a lot about myself. Turns out I might be addicted to being busy. I really don’t want to be this busy, but life just rarely seems to slow down. There is always something I should be doing, making, trying or seeing. The last couple of nights, I’ve chosen to close my laptop and just take a bath or read a book instead of falling asleep editing pictures or planning out my next blog post. Can you relate? I feel guilty when I stop, that’s not a good place to be. So, I’m going to try to take an hour each evening to just do something besides housework or blog work. It’s a baby step, but I need to be able to slow down and process all that’s going on around me and in my head sometimes.

Part of why this week was so crazy was because we finally listed our guesthouse on Airbnb. And in the first 24 hours, it booked up for 10 nights. That’s exciting! But, it was a scramble to get everything sorted out and ready to go. I’m really looking forward to this experience and hoping that it will generate a little income so I can feel less like I need to hustle all the time. Ya, in case you just thought this was a hobby, this blog is my full-time job and we need the little income that I bring in. I love this job, but it’s a lot of work for a pretty small pay check. Yes, it’s flexible and I can be home when my kids are off school. But, like I said earlier, there is always something I should be working on. I’m not complaining at all, please understand that.  I’m just explaining our thought process for making the guesthouse an Airbnb.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’m just blabbing on now. Being a woman is no easy task. So, take some time to take care of yourself this weekend. Try to find a few minutes to slow down. I’m definitely going to try. I think maybe a pedicure is on the list.

So when you do find a few minutes to chill, here’s some things you should check out:

Happy Friday Friends!


Food & Drink

Whole 15 – Day 1

March 1, 2017

As you may no, this January I completed my 3rd Whole 30. On Monday I mentioned that I would be starting a Whole 15 on the 1st of March. So, here we are!  And I’m not sure if I’m mentally prepared, but I’m diving in. The thing with Whole 30 or any plan that involves you really thinking about what you are putting into your body, is that it takes time and effort. Meals have to be planned ahead and a lot of grocery shopping and cooking has to take place. There are very few shortcuts. So, to help you get started (if you want to join me), I’m sharing Day 1 of my Whole 15 and a whole bunch of great sources for good recipes.

Whole 15 - a 15 version of the popular Whole 30 Program

Day 1

Breakfast (as seen in the pictures)

  • Bullet Proof Coffee
  • Poached Eggs
  • Greens tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Roasted Beets



  • Baked Sweet Potato, rubbing in coconut oil and sea salt and then baked
  • Spinach, sautéed in garlic and ghee
  • Steak, grilled and thinly sliced


  • Apple and Almond Butter

Whole 15 - a 15 day version of the popular Whole 30 Program

I am headed on another trip March 17th, so this is a good way to combat some of the damage I may do while traveling. It’s just a great reset for my body after having a month of slowly slipping back into my bad habits.

Who wants to join me? I’m sharing lots of what I’m eat over on Instagram Stories.

Food & Drink

Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts

February 27, 2017

Let’s call this my last hurrah. And I’m telling you, these Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts were sooooo good. On March 1st, I’m going to take on a Whole 15. It’s really just a 15 days of eating the Whole 30 plan.

Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts

As you know, I finished a Whole 30 in January and I’ve been trying to eat healthy all February, but it’s easy to make a yummy treat and then want to enjoy it with the rest of the family. So, to give myself a little reset, I’m taking on a 15 days of clean eating. If you’d never tried to tackle a Whole 30, this might be a great place for you to start. I’ll be sharing my experience and recipes here and on Instagram stories. So, if you’d like to join me, I think it could be nice to have some moral support and accountability.

Lemon Old Fashioned DonutsLemon Old Fashioned Donuts

But, until Wednesday is here, let’s just talk about these yummy homemade donuts. Really, there is nothing better then a fresh donut. They are always best still warm and a little crunchy on the outside. Our lemon tree is still going strong, so we are making lemonade everyday and baking and cooking with them A LOT!

Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying

With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon juice , lemon zest, milk and vanilla well.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour salt and baking powder to remove any lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix on low until the dough comes together. This will be a very wet, sticky dough. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on a well floured surface.

Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts

Place the cut donuts into oil that is heated to 190 C. I used a candy thermometer to help me keep the heat regulated. Fry the donuts about 2 minutes on each side, or just until they are a nice dark golden brown. Place the fried donuts on paper towel lined cooling racks. While the donuts are still warm, dip them in the lemon glaze and place on another cooling rack to drip. Garnish each donut with a little fresh lemon zest.  Lemon Old Fashioned Donuts      Lemon glaze

  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

With a whisk, mix until there are no lumps and the glaze is a nice smooth, thick consistency. Add more powdered sugar if the glaze is too thin. Lemon Old Fashioned DonutsLemon Old Fashioned Donuts

I hope your Monday is off to a great start! And here’s to eat well, even if there are a few treats along the way. (wink, wink)

Lemon Old Fashioned Homemade Donuts