Tag Archives: healthy living

Five New Favorites

Life is settling down…I think. Morning sickness is not something that I have ever had to struggle with during my pregnancies (sure, go ahead and hate me!), but fatigue is definitely one of them.

I thought that I’d take a moment to share a couple of new loves that I’ve discovered recently. New trinkets can sometimes make life easier and that is something that I am ALL for these days. However, I also like to keep things simple, so I try to only buy the basic necessities for operating and managing a home.

I love trying new things, don’t you? New recipes, new gadgets, new organizational tips, and lately, new foods. (I’m enjoying blaming it on the baby.) I also like to see and hear how it worked for others before I dole out the moolah. Perhaps you may feel the same way. If so, here’s my take on the following products. Enjoy.

ws epicurean pizza cutter

Williams Sonoma

#1 Epicurean Pizza Cutter

I fell in love with this pizza cutter for many reasons. 1) Our old {cheap} one had rusted very badly and we needed a new one. 2) It is eco-friendly which I am thrilled about- all natural and/or recycled materials. 3) It will obviously not rust. Yay! 4) It is easy to store since is flat and easy to find due to its size. 5) It is more kid-friendly than traditional cutters which are very sharp. 6) And last, but certainly not least, it was made in the U.S.A. Yes, I love the red, white, and blue. It is a bit more expensive than the average pizza cutter but worth every penny in my book.

white weave basket target target y-weave plastic basket
Target

#2 Room Essentials Y-Weave Plastic Storage Basket

The weave on this plastic storage bin makes this above and beyond ordinary bins. It gives detail and beauty while still offering  you the function and ease of a plastic bin.  I’m currently working on my “under the cabinet” areas (kitchen sink and bathrooms) and these are perfect for the task. I love the vibrant colors that you can choose from; however, I like the simplicity of the white in the kitchen. I may use something more cheery in the kids’ bathroom.

method hand wash tomato vine

Method hand wash (Tomato Vine)

 

#3 Method All-Natural Cleaners

For some, the tomato vine scent may not be the one for them, but I love it. I am a huge tomato fan. Huge. Every time I wash my hands, it reminds me of the outdoors and harvesting a garden that I don’t (and usually never!) have. I guess that you could say that I find my green thumb/ garden fulfillment vicariously through this hand soap. Ha! Whenever I feel guilty about my lack of farming skills, I simply wash my hands. It washes away the guilt. Seriously, I love this stuff. Target has it for a little over $2.00. Not bad for an all natural, plant-based hand wash.

YumEarth organic lollipops

YummyEarth Organic Lollipops

#4 YummyEarth Organics: Organic Lollipops

This is a total splurge and treat for the kids…and truthfully, for me as well. As I mentioned,I don’t typically experience morning sickness, however sucking on one of these yummies can chase away any possible queasiness for me. We try our best not to have artificial flavors or colors in our foods and this certainly fits the bill. They are 100% vegan, peanut, gluten, soy, high fructose corn syrup, articical coloring and MSG free. YummyEarth lollipops are made with organic cane sugar juice and real fruit juices/extracts. They are incredible. I’ve linked to their website; however, a friend of ours from church bought these for us from TJ Maxx. I would imagine that their price would be cheaper than the website. I will definitely be frequenting TJ Maxx for these goodies in the future. Yes siree, I will never go back to dum-dums. ;)

anchor glass storage containers

 

Target

#5 Glass storage containers

Hubs and I ditched plastic storage containers about two years ago and haven’t looked back. As my collection has grown over the months, I’ve fallen in love with storing in glass. I simply can’t get enough of them. I love seeing them all sparkly and clean in my cabinets, and also filled with delicious and colorful whole foods in our fridge. They can even make an otherwise grubby fridge interior look good. They’re magical, I tell you. I’m currently wanting to add these anchor glass containers for storing  snacks and such for the kids to my stash. They would be perfect for grabbing from the fridge for snack time.

So, what new things have you been enjoying lately? Any new products, snacks, and /or organizers to share?  I’d love to hear.

{I do not work with any of these companies or brands. I’m just sharing with you how much I honestly love these products. The opinions are 100% my own.}

XO,

Raspberry Orange Smoothies in the Dark

I am a disgraceful blogger.

raspberry orange smoothie

I let you down Monday and last Friday with my acronym series. I truly am sorry. My husband and I are transitioning into some new roles with his job {our church} and I am still sorting through my responsibilities in all of it. I’m trying to find the proper balance and schedule, so bear with me.

We are incredibly busy, but very happy and blessed. And that’s a good feeling, right?

______________________________

Anyway, last Thursday, Hubs and I had our 3T Evening {Time Together Thursday}. We had it all planned out and put the kids in bed early. The agenda for the evening was exercise and homemade smoothies. I had found a really delicious recipe that I wanted to try out. Just between you and me, I really just wanted to play with another new toy that I’d received for Christmas: my Ninja pulse blender.

The evening was totally about the smoothies and not the exercising. =)

I innocently suggested to my husband that he take the first round of exercising on our Xbox. I thought that I would make the smoothies while he began a grueling workout and then I would exercise. I was being kind. Others first was drilled into me as a kid.

He was huffing and puffing. The YourShape can be fierce. If you even try to step away, the machine will ask you where you are going. The Xbox lady is relentless, I tell you.

raspberry orange smoothie

While he was sweating and groaning, I was mixing up the best. smoothies. ever. How could anything that is this easy taste so delicious? I found the original recipe here and tweaked it just a bit.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Enjoy the tart of raspberries with the tang of orange in a delicious blend of fruity goodness in your cup.
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • 1 c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. yogurt
  • 1 banana (can be frozen)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure all of the ingredients and place in blender. Mix until smooth. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

 

I was just finishing the smoothies when the power went out. Complete and utter darkness. Hubs quickly grabbed a big ol’ flashlight and went around lighting candles throughout the house. He gave me one in the kitchen so I could serve up our icy, fruity goodness into glasses.. The electricity going out could not have been timed better- in more ways than one.

raspberry orange smoothie

After giving little LED tea lights to our girls- who were freaking out over the absence of their nightlight, we settled down with our cold treats.

Scrumptious. Truly it was.

It was like sipping raspberry sherbet through a straw.  Mmmmm-mmmm.

*sigh* I think that it was my favorite 3T time thus far. No lights, no TV, no internet, no computer work, nothing. Just listening to the voice of your sweetie intermingled with the occasional sounds of slurping. Smoothies in the dark = relaxing evening.

raspberry orange smoothie

Perhaps it also had something to do with the fact that I never took my turn dueling with the vicious Xbox lady. I typically have evil thoughts of the woman as she’s pushing my body through necessary pain and contortions. The fact that it’s really just a voice on a machine never fully registers during my workout. At that point, reality slips away and she’s merely a relentless lady who is oblivious to my current affliction.  Sadly, no pain, no gain is not always a happy, motivating thought as I’m in physical agony and short of breath.

raspberry orange smoothie

 

Not so on Thursday.

My mind {and body} were at peace. I totally enjoyed sipping my frozen treat in the flickering candlelight, chatting with Hubs. Whose idea was it to exercise anyways?

Oh yeah. That would be me, I guess.

Sitting in the dark, however, made you focus more on the pure deliciousness of the blend of the smoothie in your hand. It was tart,tangy, and sweetness all wrapped up in one frosty glass. I added 3-4 Tbsp of sugar to cancel out some of the tartness of the orange and raspberry to make my sweet tooth happy. For me, it created the perfect balance for the smoothie. You may just enjoy it with the fruit, OJ and yogurt. Natural goodness, so to speak. All in all, it was a wonderful evening together.

raspberry orange smootheie

Hmmmm…I wonder if Hubs ever realized that I never had my turn sweating through YourShape.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell him, ok? Remember, I just shared this awesome recipe with you in exchange for your silence.

Enjoy. =)

So what have you been up to over the past few days? Make a commitment to exercise this year? Are you keeping up with it? Ever have a power outage work in your favor? Or we could forget about the necessary evil {a.k.a. exercising} and just talk smoothies. What fruity concoctions do you blend together? Share. I’d love to hear.

 

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup

I am putting my Christmas present to good use. I love my crock pots. Anything that cooks my meals without needing me nearby checking and stirring it often is a winner in my book.

Those of you that follow me on facebook may remember the status where I shared that we were having glazed ham with homemade mac n cheese for dinner. Later that weekend, we had ham and cheese sliders for dinner as well as ham and eggs for breakfast. We had just about had all of the ham that we could handle, so I stuck the rest of the ham in the freezer.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I remembered my split pea and ham soup crock pot recipe earlier this week and thought that it would be something different to enjoy on a cold evening. Who knows? The kids may actually appreciate something out of the ordinary in their soup bowls.

And they absolutely did.

We ate every drop of the soup in the crock pot.  We all enjoyed seconds and some requested thirds…only the pot was empty by then. *sigh*

Fuzz has already requested it for dinner again.

This soup is very rich and hearty, filled with a number of different veggies, chicken broth, rice, and spices. The flavor is absolutely delicious. We were nearly salivating as we smelled it cooking all day long. Tantalizing, I tell you. Your taste buds are more than ready by dinner time.  =)

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
A rich and hearty soup that is packed with delicious veggies, spices, rice and of course, ham. However, if desired, smoked turkey sausage can be substituted for the ham. Either way, this recipe will not disappoint.
Ingredients
  • 2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 c. dry split peas
  • 1 c. chopped onion (I used one whole small to medium-sized onion.)
  • 1 c. shredded organic carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly snipped parsley ( I used dried parsley)
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. organic chicken broth (I used one 32 oz. carton, it was just a tad more than 4 cups)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. quick-cooking rice (I made 1 cup of regular rice on the stove and dumped it in....using what you have is my motto!)
Instructions
  1. Combine ham, peas, onion, carrot, parsley, and pepper in slow cooker. Pour chicken broth and water over everything.
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Stir in rice. Cover; let stand 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I cooked mine for 8 hours and it was just perfect. (The crock pot that I used is one that has  four buttons: 4 hrs. and 6 hrs [high settings] and 8 hrs. and 10 hrs. [low settings]. It is not one with a dial for low, high, and warm.) Just a little extra info for those that may be interested. I know that crock pots can sometimes cook differently.

What have you been slow cooking lately?  Soup? Dessert?  Believe it or not, I’ve never attempted a sweet dish in my beloved crock pot. That’s about to change though.  I’ll keep you posted.  Share what you enjoy cooking.  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Join in tomorrow as we continue with out S.O.S. journey.  Get ready to work. =)

S. O. S.  {Saturday Organization Series}

 

Easy {Crock Pot} White Chili

Brrrrr.  I don’t know about where you live, but here on the ol’ NC homestead, I’m just about frozen solid. It’s been bitter cold and windy.

In my book, however, soup is the perfect remedy to ward off a chill. This is a recipe that we have been enjoying for years now and the entire family loves it.  The other day I had Hubs drop an entire bag of chicken breasts into the crock pot for me.  Once it was cooked, I shredded/cubed all of the meat and divided it into two bowls.  I used half of it to make the Southwestern Chicken Wraps and oh my, I had forgotten how good they were. The girls loved them.

Yesterday I used the rest of the cubed chicken to make white chili.  Have you ever had it before? Deliciousness.

easy {crock pot} white chili

Again the girls gobbled it up.  I’m thrilled to have two more recipes that they will happily eat of their own accord. We mothers like that, don’t we?  Life-specifically meal times- becomes so much easier.

Here’s the recipe.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 15-oz. cans great northern beans, pinto, or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2½ c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1½ c. chopped red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 3½ c. chicken broth
  • sharp shredded cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and oregano. Stir in chicken broth.
  2. Cover; cook on low for about 8-10 hours or on high for about 4-5 hours.
  3. Serve soup into bowls. Top with cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips, if desired.

 

easy {crock pot} white chili

This was so incredibly simple especially since the chicken had already been cooked and cubed the day before. This stuff is good.  Really. We all wanted the leftovers for lunch today.  Tears would have been shed, but I slowly handed the last bowl to my husband. That was true love in action, I tell you. Just wait until you taste this stuff.

After serving three bowls to Hubs, Bunny, and Fuzz, I poured the last of the broth out of the pan over leftover cooked rice (from the chicken wraps).  It was actually a rather yummy and filling concoction not to mention it finished up leftovers from the fridge.  I love it when that happens.

easy {crock pot} white chili

However instead of leftover white rice, we usually enjoy white chili with a bag of tortilla chips.  We have been known to set our spoons down and simply eat our entire bowls as a dip with said chips. Then we slurp up all the broth-when no ones looking. Or listening.

Add a dollop of sour cream? *sigh*

It’s perfection.

easy {crock pot} white chili

So tell me, what do you serve on cold days?  Soup?  Wrap up in a blanket and have pizza delivered? Please share. I’d love to know. I need new recipes for this cold spell.  =)

Thanks for reading.