Looking Back on 2018 + Looking Ahead at 2019!!

As the new year approaches it’s always useful to take some time to slow down and reflect on the year. It’s also a useful time to gear up and set intentions for the new year and in this post we are going to do all of that!

Lexi 2018

Reflecting on 2018

If you’ve read my 2016 year in review and my 2017 year in review, you may remember they were both jam-packed years filled with milestones like a cookbook release,  marriage, personal growth, and much more. Let’s look at 2018, shall we?

2018 was quite a year. I learned so much about myself personally, about how I can better help all of you, and so much more!

  • We have a team! We have Kelli (get to know Kelli below) and newly we have Gabby (our expert nutritionist who you’ll get to know in 2019)! We also have Nicki (our Pinterest expert and manager), Brita (who makes our amazing videos) and Laurie (our Facebook manager)! LCK runs smoothly because of each of these ladies.
  • We shared 3 new posts every week!
  • We shared 1-2 new cooking videos every single week!
  • I got personal here.
  • We started an LCK Book Club!
  • I grew my Beautycounter business and have an amazing team of 40+ women changing the beauty industry!!! It’s one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever had, which says a lot because being a teacher was SO rewarding, and my day-in-day-out job of helping you live a healthy and happy life is BEYOND rewarding. I am so grateful I get to do this every day and I do not take for granted. Want to learn more about this opportunity? Email me! Beauty@lexiscleankitchen.com!
  • I started seeing a therapist and it was the best decision I could have made. More on this in 2019!
  • We connected with so many different brands who are creating amazing and delicious products.
  • I traveled to a lot of places! Italy, Missouri, Charleston, Atlanta, Maine, Texas, Arizona, many New York trips, Aruba, and more.

Top 10 Posts This Year:

  1. Lettuce Wrap Sandwiches
  2. Everything Bagel Cauliflower Rolls
  3. Paleo Chicken and Broccoli
  4. Instant Pot Lemon Vegetable Risotto
  5. Italian Style Spaghetti Squash Bake
  6. Keto Buffalo Chicken Tenders
  7. Sausage Peppers and Onions
  8. 3 Ingredient Breakfast Skillet
  9. Fluffy Paleo Pancakes
  10. Easy Blueberry Jam

Our Favorite Recipes of 2018:

  1. The BEST Taco Meat
  2. Instant Pot Mongolian Beef
  3. Hot and Sour Soup
  4. The BEST Gluten-Free Birthday Cakes – Vanilla & Chocolate
  5. Cookie Truffles
  6. 30 Smoothie Freezer Packs
  7. Homemade Pop Tarts
  8. Easy Meringue Cookies
  9. Cauliflower Parmesan
  10. Sheet pan Marinated Steak Tips & Veggies

Meet Kelli:

Meet Kelli Avila

You might already know Kelli if you are in our Private Facebook Group, or if you follow me Instagram and Instagram stories, but let’s meet her, because she is a huge part of the LCK team and you will just absolutely love her so much! Kelli has been working here for over a year, and she has not only become a huge asset and part of LCK, but also a dear friend.

Kelli’s Title:  Kelli is our Food Editor and newly works on Brand Relations. She heads up our recipe development in collaboration with me which includes cooking, testing, tasting, researching, and so much more. In addition, Kelli also helps with writing, editing, overseeing projects, and planning out content and strategy here at LCK. Man, she wears a lot of hats here! What’s amazing about this is Kelli’s background: she is a trained baker and chef, has a degree in marketing and political communication, a love for helping others, and a real vision for the growth and future of our brand. And that’s the short version! Kelli resides in Boston with her husband John and two children, Lilia (5) and Joaquin (3).

Meet Kelli:

Hello everyone!

I started at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen last fall as a seasoned cook and baker but was very new to the gluten-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free world. I had joined the team in a very part-time capacity while I took a break for the winter season from my pie business.  After a few months working alongside Lexi in the kitchen, after suffering severe symptoms for quite a while, I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies that would change the course of my life and professional career. While on a personal level these food allergies were devastating to accept (and I’ve only just now started to talk publicly about it), it was just so serendipitous that I was working at a job that already accommodated the swaps I needed to make in my own personal life and accordingly I already had those tools I needed in my back pocket to implement those changes thanks to unending support and teaching by Lexi.

Since then I’ve really fallen in love with developing the best possible recipes for our readers and exploring what it means to help out in all the different capacities that I am able to here at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I love developing, cooking and tasting recipes alongside Lexi in the kitchen and look forward to all the exciting growth that is to come here at this site over the next year!

I also love getting to know you all more in our private facebook group and look forward to continuing to grow with you all!

Wishing you all a health-filled happy New Year!

What to Expect in 2019:

2019 is going to be an amazing year over here! We are going to have some MAJOR (awesome) growth that we know you all will love, more recipes, more lifestyle content, sharing more about our lives that will he helpful for you, more nutrition based content, and so much more. A new and improved website, new branding (hint hint), new team members, and some things we cannot yet reveal! Stay tuned, we are so excited for you to see what we’ve been working on!

Personally: I want to read more, meditate daily, say no when it’s not a hell yes, say yes when it’s exciting even if it’s out of my comfort zone, get organized, commit to exercising 4x week, take time for myself, and shut off at night! What are your goals for 2019?

Connect with us!

Do you reflect on the previous year and set goals and intentions for the new? I’d love to hear some of yours!

What We Read in 2018

It’s the end of the year and we’re going to round up all the books Team LCK and beyond read in 2018! If you are looking for an eclectic list of new and old books to add to your reading list, scroll down!

Lexi Sitting

2018 Reading List

I am excited to round up our 2018 reading list filled with the books we’ve read, and loved, in 2018! We’ve rounded up an eclectic list of books by including reading list from myself, Kelli (a member of the LCK team), my husband Mike and my brother Adam. Everybody has such different books lists! It’s safe to say there is a bit of something for everyone here!

P.S. Did you know we have a virtual book club? We started it this year in 2018, and basically we read a book and chat in the Facebook group on a specific date about it! Interested? Join the Facebook group here.

Lexi’s Top Book Picks of 2018:

So many of these books were real page-turners that I couldn’t put down. I highly recommend them all! They are largely fiction books.

  • The Light We Lost: I could not put this book down! “Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.” This book keeping me up wanting to read more and more of it. A really unique, beautiful story.
  • The Silent Wife: Another quick, suspenseful read.
  • The Perfect Stranger: I LOVED this book. It has twist and turns, makes you second guess characters, and was a quick, great read.
  • The Marsh Kings Daughter: Totally suspenseful. “Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature–fishing, tracking, hunting. And despite her father’s odd temperament and sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too … until she learned precisely how savage a person he could be.” I couldn’t put this one down.
  • The Great Alone: A must read. Takes place in Alaska and really is a unique book that shows you life in a totally different way. I really loved this book!
  • The Last Mrs. Parrish: It took me a bit to get into this book because I really didn’t like one of the characters, but once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down.
  • The Woman In The Window: I was deep into this story from the beginning. What you assume is totally not the case, and worth the read.
  • The Wife Between Us: The title is not what you think! Twist and turns that will keep you guessing the whole time. I loved this book. A total page turner.
  • Still Me: If you’ve read Me Before You and After You, read this last sequel. I really enjoyed it to tie together the story.
  • Behind Closed Doors: Dark! Totally suspenseful. I read this in two days flat. If you love a good dark page-turner, grab this book!
  • Little Fires Everywhere: I really liked this book, but it took me a bit to get into. It’s not in my top 5, but I think it’s worth a read!
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F—: A great book for some life perspective!
  • The Power of Vulnerability (Audiobook): A great listen. If you love Brene Brown, you’ll love this listen.

Currently reading (on the beach):

Kelli’s top picks that she read this year:

These are largely non-fiction books, with a bend toward women in the work place and parenting.

  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: All of Brene Brown’s books are really fantastic if you are interested in understanding yourself and other humans a bit more empathetically and honestly, and this one is no different. Daring Greatly means leaning in to the hard and heavy stuff in your life to live more whole-heartedly. I found the section on raising kids also really game changing and self-affirming as well. Pick this one up if you’d like to be a better human.
  • How to Get Sh*t Done by Erin Falconer: This book isn’t about adding more items to your t0-do list, it’s actually about how to reduce what is on your to do list so you can truly get more (and meaningful) stuff done in your life. It is geared towards woman in the working world but also is just a great manifesto for woman living in this current day and age.
  • Know Your Value by Mike Brzezinski: If you are a woman living in 2018, you should read this book. This book talks about everyday struggles that woman living now face, especially in the working world, and how to know your value and overcome them. This is a large statement but I would say this book was probably the most pivotal book I’ve read in my adult life.
  • Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids by Laura Markham: This book I’ve slowly been reading for about a year and during the rough cycles of parenting two toddlers I reread old chapters to remind myself of what is important. It’s a nice handbook to have to help have peaceful interactions in your home, without being preachy. And it offers great advice on how to truly connect with your children and empathize with them in a meaningful way.
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish: This book should be given out to all parents when their children are born. It offers extremely practically advice on how to respect your children as whole beings that really creates a positive meaningful relationship with your children. If you are struggling with how to talk with your kids, or  are in need of some behavioral changes at home this is definitely a must read for all ages of kids. We all want to do better as parents and this is such a practical book to help you get there.

Currently Reading:

Adam’s top picks that he read this year:

My brother Adam Kornblum is one of the most interesting, creative, intellectual, hard-working guys I know! I’m not just saying that because he’s my brother! Learn more about him through his LinkedIn here! His books reflect him so perfectly with a mix of history, education, psychology and more.

  • The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene: This author (famous for The 48 Laws of Power, 33 Strategies of War and more) offers real insight into human behavior, and provides interesting historical stories to show you how he derived at the insight, and then provides action steps to utilize each law. You can read the book in a linear fashion or through individual chapters. Both are utterly rewarding.
  • Principles by Ray Dalio: Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater, one of the largest financial hedgefunds in the world. He shares the principles that helped him succeed both personally and professionally.  One of the differentiators of his business principles is his “radical transparency” environment. In short, everything is recorded and feedback is swift and brutally honest. It’s not for everyone but it certainly is an interesting concept. You can also follow Ray on social media—he provides the key points of each of his Principles.
  • A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume: If you ever had thoughts on why people behave the way they do but feel you just can’t articulate how to say it, read David Hume. He’s an 18th century philosopher and truly deciphers human nature in an easy-to-digest way. Hume defines laws of human nature, specially analyzing what governs human behavior—concluding that passion trumps reason. It has been said that Hume is responsible for cognitive science and is one of the most influential figures in the history of philosophy.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a must-read for me every year! Some of what Carnegie shares are things which you know but truly need to be reminded of. For example, simply remembering someone’s name or legitimately caring about what others care about makes the difference. In the end, you’ll realize influencing people happens when you care. And, when you care, you find yourself winning friends which builds prosperous relationships. When both parties win in a relationship, it’s less about influencing by itself.
  • Ogilvy on Advertising in the Digital Age by Miles Young: Ogilvy is one of the largest advertising agencies in the world and I’m proud to have worked there for six and half years. Miles Young, Ogilvy’s former Chairman & CEO, and now the Warden of New College, picks up where the great David Ogilvy left off [in his book Ogilvy on Advertising]. Young shares key marketing principles in the digital age highlighting some of the best marketing and communications work in the last decade. He explains digital marketing easily and very clearly.
  • Re-reading Influence by Robert Cialdini: In college I read Philosophical Explanation by Robert Nozick, that breaks down the difference between coercion and influence. It read as if he viewed the world in black and white. You are either influencing to convince people or coercing (or failing at both, of course). Coercing someone is as bad as it sounds which led me on a quest to understand what influencing behavior actually means. Robert Cialdini’s Influence doesn’t solely tell you why people react like they do,  but he advises you to look out for the tricks so you don’t fall for them yourself. I also recommend Cialdini’s sequel Pre-Suasion, too. When I started my career, I created a game and was able to sell it to Hasbro. Having no knowledge of the business world, I relied heavily on this book, as well as others,  to help me avoid a few traps. I re-read Influence every year.
  • Walt Disney by Neil Gabler: Walt Disney had a lot of struggles from when he started his career as an animator to the early days of The Walt Disney Company. Disney proves that with intense focus, a strive for pure excellence, and to act with the utmost conviction whether you’re right or wrong are keys to success and purpose in life.
  • Republic by Plato: What I love about philosophy is despite reading this book at least 20 times, I discover something new each time. As another Greek philosopher once closely remarked, No person ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he/she not the same person. If you only read one excerpt, you should read The Allegory of the Cave (VII). The movie The Matrix’s illustrates the meaning. Both the passage and the movie ask the same metaphysical question around ‘what is real?’

And lastly my husband Mike’s top picks he read this year:

Mike’s list, much like Adam, reflects a varied range of non-fiction, spirituality and history!

  • Sapiens and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari: Unbelievable perspectives of understanding out history as a human species and where we may be going in the future. Sapiens should is a must read for anyone.
  • Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins: A no-nonsense book about cutting through the bullshit of your mind that says you can’t do something. Also an incredibly moving memoir of someone who has experience incredibly deep struggle in their life.
  • A Theory of Everything by Ken Wilbur: An introduction to Integral theory, which is an incredible way of understanding the world. If you often listen to opposing perspectives and think they are both right, this book is for you.
  • Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa: Embarking on a spiritual path can always lead to you thinking that you are a “spiritual person” This ends up being a massive pitfall. This book is the best antidote to that.
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: An incredibly emotional and eyeopening memoir about the medical system.
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear: The best and most complete advice for creating habits and properly sticking to them.

Lexi’s Reading List for 2019:

  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
  • Then She Was Gone
  • YOU
  • The Kind Worth Killing
  • Into the Water
  • The Perfect Nanny
  • Tempting Fate
  • Ghosted
  • Educated, A Memoir
  • Into the Darkest Corner
  • The Good Girl
  • Everything We Left Behind
  • This Was Not the Plan
  • A Stranger in the House
  • One Day in December
  • Slight Change of Plans
  • He Will be my Ruin
  • All We Ever Wanted
  • Still Missing
  • Our Kind 0f Cruelty
  • Leaving Time
  • House Rules
  • Before We Were Yours
  • Firefly Lane

Recommended by you (via Instagram!):

  • The Four Agreements
  • Michelle Obama’s Becoming
  • The Dinner List
  • Calypso
  • Verity
  • When Life Gives you Lululemons
  • Girl’s Night Out
  • The Story Ends with Us
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • The Simple Favor
  • Homegoing
  • Eight Hundred Grapes
  • The Perfect Couple
  • The Nightingale (read this)
  • The Help (read this)

P.S. This post may contain affiliate links. By shopping through these links, we make a (very small) percentage of your sale. You don’t pay any more! This helps support the growth of LCK and our team, so thank you in advance! All our love!

What books did you read this year that you loved?

Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Something for EVERYONE!)

My 2018 holiday gift guide is HERE and it’s jam-packed with my favorite products for him, for her, for the cook, for the fitness lover, for the traveler, for the teen, for the cookbook collector, and STOCKING stuffers!! Aside from the standard links and prices for you, I’ve also included a virtual shop area for each one! SO helpful and easy. So, if you’ve loved my 2014, 20152016, and 2017 gift guides, this one takes the cake!

Holiday Gift Guide 2018 (Something For EVERYONE!)

Holiday Gift Guide FOR HER 2018

For your mom, sister, MIL, wife, girlfriend, friend, and so on!

  1. Ugg Slippers ($129)
  2. Mini Lip Gloss Valut ($89)
  3. PJ Pants ($44) or PJ Set ($59)
  4. Silk Pillowcase ($85)
  5. Necklace ($48)
  6. Hair Wand ($60)
  7. Dyson Hair Dryer ($400)
  8. Shimmer and Shine Body Set ($59)
  9. Beanie ($24.95)
  10. Scarf ($29)
  11. Robe ($130)
  12. Hanging Earring Gift Set ($58) or Stud Earring Gift Set ($68)
  13. Ugg Boots ($120)
  14. Limited Edition Cleansing Balm ($89)
  15. Ugg Blanket ($98)

Bonus Favorites:

Click an image below to shop!

Holiday Gift Guide Stocking Stuffers 2018

For Coworkers, Teacher gifts, friend gifts, etc.

  1. Letter Mug ($10) or Plaid Letter Mug ($5)
  2. Lip Balm Set ($18 + 10% off with code LEXI)
  3. Stainless Steel Straws ($7.99)
  4. Hand Cream Trio ($30: great gift to break apart and have for 3 gifts)
  5. Diamond Pop Socket ($13)
  6. Nude Lip Gloss Trio ($49: great gift to break apart and have for 3 gifts)
  7. Monogram Travel Jewelry Case ($59)
  8. Agate Coasters ($14)
  9. Two Minute Gratitude Journal ($11.91)
  10. Candle ($36)
  11. Transforming Lip Duo ($30)
  12. Warm & Cozy Mug ($14.99)
  13. Touchscreen Gloves ($39)
  14. Cable Knit Beanie ($29)
  15. Bluetooth Speaker ($99)

Bonus Favorites under $30:

Click an image below to shop!


Holiday Gift Guide For HIM 2018For dad, FIL, husband, brother, boyfriend, friend, coworker, etc.

  1. Adidas UltraBOOST Sneakers ($200)
  2. Ugg Jogger Pants ($85)
  3. Counterman Travel Set ($45)
  4. Ugg Zip Hoodie ($95)
  5. Bose Ear Buds ($199)
  6. Charcoal Set ($49)
  7. Slippers ($39)
  8. Mizzen & Main Shirt ($145)
  9. Men’s Nail Set ($14.88)
  10. Mike’s Favorite Long Sleeve Tee ($59.50)
  11. Shinola Watch ($700)
  12. Apple AirPods ($144)
  13. Ted Baker Belt ($65)

Bonus Favorites:

Click an image below to shop!

Holiday Gift Guide For The Cook 2018

  1. Le Creuset Dutch Oven ($379)
  2. Vitamix (this link for a discount + FREE Shipping)
  3. All-Clad Roasting Pan ($129)
  4. Two Set Green Pan Ceramic Non-Stick Pan ($99)
  5. Instant Pot Pressure Cooker ($69) — Best deal so far is here!
  6. Thermoworks Thermapen (Our kitchen BFF) ($99)
  7. Citrus Juicer ($199)
  8. Hand Mixer ($99.99)
  9. Stand Mixer ($227)
  10. Le Creuset Skillet ($149.95)
  11. Air Fryer ($299)
  12. Pie Pans ($59.95)
  13. Slow Cooker ($139.99)
  14. Shun Knife Set ($249)
  15. Green Pan Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set ($399)

Bonus Favorites:

  1. The Inspiralizer ($34.95)
  2. Silicone Baking Mats ($8.38)
  3. Espresso Machine ($499)
  4. Salad Serving Set ($39)
  5. Recipe Cocktail Shaker ($39)

Click an image below to shop!

Holiday Gift Guide For The Traveler 2018

  1. Travel Body Wash Essentials Set ($35)
  2. Sony A6000 ($650) + 50mm Lens ($248)
  3. Portable Steamer ($30.99)
  4. Ugg Blanket and Eye Mask ($79)
  5. Reusable Mug and Water Bottle Combo ($24.99)
  6. Neck Pillow ($30)
  7. Lip Conditioner ($22)
  8. Passport and Luggage Tag ($25)
  9. Wireless Headphones ($149)
  10. Luggage Set ($223)
  11. Eye Masks ($5)
  12. Portable Charger ($48.79)
  13. Travel Jewelry Case ($104.50)
  14. Cozy Sweatshirt ($49)
  15. Slip On Sneakers ($39)

Click an image below to shop!

Want a few more guides?

For the TEEN:



Other favorite places to shop for the holidays:

  1. *Beautycounter
  2. *Primally Pure – 10%-off with code LEXI
  3. *ButcherBox– FREE BACON FOR LIFE!
  4. 23andMe
  5. Abercrombie
  6. Nordstrom
  7. Amazon Cookbooks
  8. Anthropologie
  9. Madewell
  10. Crate and Barrel
  11. Amazon
  12. Bloomingdales
  13. J Crew
  14. Loft
  15. Kohl’s
  16. Ann Taylor
  17. Express
  18. Macy’s
  19. Old Navy
  20. Wayfair
  21. Francesca’s
  22. Urban Outfitters
  23. West Elm
  24. Dicks Sporting Goods
  25. Ulta
  26. Nordstrom Rack
  27. H&M
  28. Banana Republic
  29. Gap
  30. Bauble Bar

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Every item is something I truly love and think you will, too!