Monday, August 5, 2013

Cherry, chocolate chip, carrot muffins

Hey y'all! As promised on Instagram and FaceBook this morning here is this delicious muffin recipe. I told ya you wouldn't believe what was in the muffins and let me tell ya you would never guess that these muffins were made with carrots! Better yet no oil/butter or milk! So lets get right to it shall we!

What you will need:
  • 1 and 1/4 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Organic sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp. Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 10 Cherries, roughly chopped 
  • 2 Small carrots, finely grated
  • 1/3 Cup Chocolate chips

What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil or use cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, organic sugar, and applesauce until together until no brown sugar lumps remain - a fork works well to break up the brown sugar here. 
  4. Add the beaten egg until fully incorporated. 
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined - do not overmix. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  7. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy! 
*Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days. Muffins can be frozen.
Recipe adapted from

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Berries, Cherries and Grapes Oh My!

Hey Loves!
Rissa here with a quick tip. I don't know about y'all but it seems like every time I buy berries or grapes they start getting soft and going bad by day 2 or 3. Well I snagged up a lil tip from Pinterest to help me with this pesky little problem. With a little time and preparation those berries will last up to a week if you don't eat them all first! So here's what ya need to do.

Get yo self the following items:

Bowls for soaking and storing

A strainer

Apple Cider Vinegar

A towel

And your berries, cherries and grapes of course!

Now here is what ya gonna do:

  1.  Fill your bowls with water, add about a cap-ful of apple cider vinegar to the water and stir it up. 
  2. Add your fruit to the water vinegar mix and let soak for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to soak them too long or the fruit WILL have a vinegar taste and that is not good at all. Trust me I know from experience! Yuck! 
  3. Drain the fruit in your strainer and rinse out the bowls. 
  4. Fill the bowls with just water to soak the fruit again for another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Drain the fruit and place it on a clean, dry, towel like the picture above to allow the fruit to dry completely. This step is very important, the fruit has to be completely dry before placing it in the fridge to avoid premature molding and softening.
  6. Once the fruit is completely dry place it in clean, dry, bowls for storing in the fridge.
All ready for the fridge!

That easy and now you can have tasty fruit that is clean and ready to eat!
How do you store your fruit to avoid molding? Leave your tip in the comment section below!
Enjoy and happy eating!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oh Snap Gingersnaps!

Oh Snap Gingersnaps! 
adapted from SkinnyMs

 Yields 2 dozen small cookies or 1 dozen large cookies

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Sucanat (or any sweetener of choice)
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground allspice, nutmeg, and sea salt


1.    Cream together oil and Sucanat. 

2.     Add Egg and molasses then mix in spices, baking soda and salt. 

3.     Add flour and mix well. If needed you may add up to 1/2 cup more flour to get a good  dough consistency. 

4.     Roll into walnut sized balls. May roll in Raw brown sugar in you want. 

5.     Place on cookie sheet press down gently with hand to flatten. 

6.     Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes longer if you like crunchy Ginger Snaps. 

7.     Let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.

Enjoy and Eat Clean! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Double Chocolate Coconut Muffins

Double Chocolate Coconut Muffins
adapted from Pastry Affair

These muffins are a great way to incorporate flax meal in your diet. Here's a little info about flax meal,  it provides fiber & Omega-3 Fats AND it's Gluten Free!!! Flaxseed Meal has a robust nutty flavor. Several studies show Flaxseed Meal may be one of the most powerful natural cholesterol controllers. One serving of Flaxseed Meal contains 2400 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids which is essential to our health. 
If you bake these in the evening it's makes for an easy grab-n-go breakfast in the morning!
Yields 1 dozen (or 6 jumbo) muffins

Ingredients needed:
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic Sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Coconut oil
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  •  1/4 cup finely shredded coconut flakes
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, flax meal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and milk, mixing until the batter is evenly incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
  4. Divide batter evenly between baking cups, filling each 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with chocolate chips and coconut flakes, if desired. 
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Enjoy and Eat Clean!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Photo Gallery

Hey y'all! Rissa here with another great tip! Today's tip is about hanging photos in a collage! Wanna see how I did it? Then keep reading...

Step One
Layout the photo's on the floor first to get an idea of how you want them hung on the wall.

Step two
Use craft paper or packing paper to trace the frames and layout. *When tracing the frames remember to mark where the nail goes for easier hanging

Step Three

Use the cut outs to put the layout onto the wall and this makes it easier to hang the photo's also.

Step Four

Hang em up! It's much easier to do with all the prep work that was done! Just use the cutouts for accurate placement of the the nail then remove the paper before hanging the photo.
 How easy was that!?! I will be posting soon about how to organize your photo's so stay tuned!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is a great tip for making up toddler beds!

Hey Loves!
Rissa here with another great tip! Today's tip is all about making late night bedding changes much  easier!

With Jack's recent obsession of taking his diaper off at bed time (I have NO idea?!?!) we have had our fair share of wet beds in the middle of the night. Well to avoid the dreaded task of changing the sheets and possible waking him I thought to myself, well what if I make the babies beds in a way that would just allow me to only have to remove the wet sheet and keep it moving. After several ideas and trials here is what I came up with:

Step 1. Start with your crib mattress
Step 2. Put your 1st fitted sheet on as usual
Step 3. Turn the mattress over to the back
Step 4. Add the 2nd fitted sheet to the back of the mattress
Step 5. Now put on a mattress pad to protect the sheet from leaks
Step 6. Add the 3rd and final fitted sheet

Now the point of this is to avoid having to dig through and get a clean sheet for the bed when your child has an accident in the middle of the night. If there is an accident just remove the sheet and mattress pad and there is a clean, dry sheet already in place! Now if there happens to be ANOTHER accident in the middle of the night then you can flip the mattress over for a clean, dry sheet! Great right?!?! This is especially good if your child is sick with a stomach bug or something and there may be multiple accidents in a day. I hope this is useful and if you have a tip for making a toddler bed please comment below!

My silly bug! She loves her bed. Isn't that the cutest bedding?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Food scams!!!

Hey loves! Rissa here with another tip!
Today's tip is all about health foods and how we are being scammed! Yes I said scammed. I personally am outraged about what I have learned and felt that it is important to share this. So, yesterday Dr. Oz was talking about counterfeit foods and how we are being ripped off at the grocery stores. Well this just made me think twice about the things I buy, thinking that I am making healthy choices for my family and in the end I'm getting tricked! This is infuriating and overwhelming!!!

So here is what I gathered from the show and I will be sure to link the articles and videos below. Scientist believe that 10% of the items we buy are likely tampered with by adding fillers, swapping ingredients or using misleading labels. This is especially true with fish, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, spices, milk and tea.

photo credit

Oceana conducted a study revealing that about 38% of the fish (mainly cod, wild salmon, red snapper and grouper) we buy is mislabeled by being swapped with a less expensive fish that have a similar appearance and taste. This was proven through a DNA analysis so the results are accurate. What it comes down to is it's all about PROFIT! It starts with the farmers, then the distributors and finally with the grocery stores, restaurants, etc.

Not only is this frustrating because you are not getting what you paid for but this can also be harmful to ones health or cause sickness. For example Albacore tuna a very popular fish choice especially in sushi is being swapped with Escolar. What is Escolar you make be asking, well let me tell ya. Escolar is also known as snake makeral and has be called the "Ex-Lax of fish"!!!! What tha! This substitute for Albacore tuna has a toxin in it that causes diarrhea, intestinal distress and many more sicknesses. It is advised not to consume more that 6oz of Escolar at a time and the FDA advises against eating it AND it is BANNED in Italy and Japan but still legal here in the US! Huh? Makes ya think twice about those tuna rolls down at the sushi bar doesn't it?!
Tip: In restaurants if the menu advertises the Tuna as "White Tuna" avoid it!

Other common swaps are using tilefish as red snapper which is a health danger due to the amount of mercury in tilefish  (this is very important for pregnant women), the FDA has listed tilefish on the Do Not Eat list. This just gets more disturbing. Catfish is being disguised as grouper which is just totally ripping you off in the wallet department. In fact the most common counterfeit fishes are tuna, snapper, salmon and grouper. C'mon now you know that is just dead wrong!  Fortunately Oceana is campaigning to stop fish fraud.

So how can you avoid being scammed?
  1. Ask questions. If your retailer or restaurant is not able to answer questions about the seafood they are selling, you may want to make a different choice.
  2. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. If a price seems unreasonably low, it may be a sign it’s a mislabeled fish.
  3. Popular fish are commonly swapped. The four fish you need to be extra careful about buying due to frequent mislabeling are some of the most popular species: tuna, snapper, salmon and grouper. Consumers should make sure to ask extra questions when buying these fish.
  4. Buy traceable seafood. Some retailers and restaurants are making commitments to only sell traceable seafood. By supporting traceable seafood, consumers can have more confidence in the seafood they eat. 
  5. Buy the whole fish whenever possible. You can ask for it to be cut into fillets at the store. The more processed your fish and the more hands it passes through, the more opportunities for a bait and switch.
  6. Be extra careful when ordering fish at sushi bars. In every city we tested, sushi venues had the highest rates of seafood fraud, with 100% of the sushi bars visited in New York City selling at least one piece of mislabeled fish. And remember, most everything labeled as “white tuna,” is more than likely escolar, as only albacore tuna is allowed to be called “white tuna” and only when it is sold in a can.
  7. Buy your fish from larger chain supermarkets instead of smaller grocery stores when possible, as your odds of getting a mislabeled fish are much lower. Oceana’s New York City testing revealed 12% of seafood purchased was mislabeled in larger supermarkets versus a whopping 40% for smaller markets.
photo credit

Olive Oil
Scientist have conducted studies showing that 70% of the Extra Virgin Olive Oils that we purchase are FAKE! ***gasp*** I personally enjoy using EVOO for the health benefits and I really just like the taste of it. So when I found this out I was just so upset. Its reported that 65% of imported oils doesn't even meet the standards of EVOO. So how are we being fooled by these fake oils? Well these oils can be sunflower seed, hazelnut or even industrial oils that are being passed off as EVOO by adding ingredients to make them appear, smell and taste like a real olive oil.
Again it is all about the MONEY here. Using cheaper ingredients and passing them off as something it's not. Saddens me.
So here are some tips to make sure your extra virgin olive oil is real:
  1. Look for dark glass bottles that protect the oil from light and avoid clear bottles.
  2. Look for the harvest dates this lets you know when the oil was made. Buy the oil within 15 months of that date for best use by date.
  3. Look for a Quality seal. California Olive Oil Council requires EVOO's to pass strict testing to get their seal.
  4. For imported oils avoid brands that advertise a combination of oils from multiple countries, instead look for a specific producer.
  5. This is not 100% accurate but you can put your EVOO in the fridge and if it freezes then it's most likely pure.

This is just some of the ways we are being scammed! Take a look at the following links for even more information.

What are your thoughts on this disturbing news? Feel free to comment with your thoughts!

Happy eating!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Organizing folded clothes.

Hey Loves!
Rissa here with another great tip!

Today's tip is all about organizing those folded clothes. I have battled with the dresser drawers for a long time now and I think I have finally won this dreaded battle...well lets give it a few weeks and several loads of laundry before I can say that for know how it goes, you get a new system going then all of sudden you go to look for that particular item and the drawer looks like a 2 year old has been involved with the folding of things. I know I'm not the only one.

Well after looking around on the very addicting Pinterest I found some ideas and this is what I came up with for our things. Remember this is just what I like to do so take this info and use it the way that suits you.  So the big tip of the day is a folding method called the 5 Second Japanese Fold. Here's a video demonstration of what I did.


Here is another video with more details that should be helpful as well.

So of course you guys know I had to take it step further and organize all of my drawers after seeing this easy folding method. SO everything has been refolded and moved around in our dresser drawers and I couldn't be happier! I even free'd up 2 extra drawers, how about that! Now I can make some more space in my closet by folding some of those items...but that is a whole 'nother post y'all!

So how do you organize your folded clothes? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

Happy Organizing!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hey! What's cooking?

Hey Loves!
Rissa here with another great tip!

Today's tip is about freezer cooking and meal planning. What exactly is freezer cooking and meal planning you ask? Well they kind of go hand in hand with each other and as I mentioned in a previous post on organizing recipes, these things were a must in our household while I was in Cosmetology school.

Freezer cooking is when you prepare 4-10 meals at one time and freeze them for use throughout the week/month. This method helps with planning your meals as well as saves you money. I have found that I spend less money in the grocery store because I shop from the grocery store sales ad along with clipping coupons for those on-sale items (if you live in the southeast region of the U.S. check out Freezer cooking also saves time because you don't have to cook on a day to day basis. I try to do my cooking twice a month so, I choose a day every 2 weeks and block out 2-4 hours to cook and freeze my meals. This makes dinner time a breeze! Just pull the meal out of the freezer, reheat, cook a side dish or two and Voila!

Meal planning is when you make a menu for a week/month based on your freezer cooking or based on your grocery list. Even if you don't freezer cook, meal planning is also a great way to save some cash at the grocery store and it also helps you more efficiently use the food you buy. There is nothing worse than spending time doing all of that shopping and spending all of that money on food just for it to go to waste.

So here are the steps to freezer cooking:
  1. Make a list of items you have at home
  2. Make a grocery list of items needed (I base my list on the sales)
  3. Go grocery shopping
  4. Plan meals you want to cook
  5. Make a "master plan" to breakdown what needs to be done
    • Items to prep (i.e. how many onions to chop)  
    • What order to cook each meal (i.e. ground beef, bake chicken, etc.) 
  6. Prep and cook meals
  7. Separate foods accordingly and pop em in the freezer
Here are some printouts as well as tips on freezer cooking/meal planning from

Some of my favorite things to freezer cook are:
  • Soups
  • Casseroles
  • Crockpot meals
  • Ground beef (I brown the beef with onions so it's ready for any recipe that calls for ground beef)
  • Hamburger patties (I just season and roll the patties and freeze them uncooked)
  • Any type of baked chicken recipe
  • Breakfast burritos
  • French toast
  • Biscuits (I make the dough, cut the biscuits out and freeze uncooked)
Do you freezer cook or plan your meals? What is your method?    
Happy cooking! 

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    How I organize my Cleaning and Beauty Products.

    Hey Loves!
    Rissa here with another great tip!
    With all of the recent post on homemade cleaning and beauty products, I couldn't help but notice how unorganized my recipes are! As well as how tattered and torn they had become from using them over and over again.
    This is what happened to the recipes I use often...not a good look.

    I did a recent post on a recipe binder that I use to organize my food recipes. Well originally I was going to include cleaning and beauty recipes in that binder but I felt that they needed their own space.

    After contemplating several options I finally decided to try a tool that we used in Cosmetology school. This tool is what we at Regency Beauty Institute  called "Procedure Cards" which is basically using a photo album (with divided pages) along with index cards to write down cosmetology procedures. So I pretty much did the same thing and replaced the "procedures" with my recipes!

    Here's what you need:
    • Index cards (I used 4x6)
    • Photo album with divided pages
    • Your favorite pen / computer & printer 
    • Your cleaning and beauty recipes

    My 4x6 index cards

    My little photo album. Got this from Tarjay (Target) for about 4 bucks!

    What to do:
    Just jot down your recipes on separate index cards and slide them into the photo album.
    You can type and print them if you prefer but I like to hand write mine just to get it all done in one step.

    *Tip: organize them by recipe type i.e. hair, skin, face, cleaners, etc. to locate them better.

    My finished binder I organized recipes!

    How do you organize your homemade cleaning and beauty recipes? Share in the comment section!
    Happy organizing

    Monday, January 7, 2013

    Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener

    Hey Loves!
    Rissa here with another great tip!
    So now that you all have made your very own Powder Laundry Detergent  you guys could use a recipe for homemade Fabric Softener!

    Here's what you'll need: 
    • 1-2 Qts. Distilled White Vinegar
    • 1 tsp. Vegetable Glycerin
    • 1 tsp. Essential Oil of your choice (lavender, lemongrass, orange)
    • 1 Empty bottle (I used an empty fabric softener bottle)
    Distilled White Vinegar

    Vegetable Glycerin (Available here )

    Lavender E.O. (Available here)

    An empty bottle

    Here's what to do: 

    1. Combine all the ingredients in the bottle.
    2. Shake the bottle to mix well.
    Adding the Glycerin

    Shake, shake, shake...shake, shake, shake...shake your bottle!

    How to use:

    We have been using this homemade fabric softener for a few months now and I am pleased with how it works. Now if you like the way that store bought softeners make your clothes smell then this may not be for you. I particularly don't care for the fragrance of store bought softeners so it works for me.

    Here are some interesting facts about the Homemade Fabric Softener:
    -The vinegar helps to remove residue from store bought detergents/fabric softener
    -Makes clothes soft and wrinkle free
    -Safe for sensitive skin and babies

    Do you make your own Fabric Softener? Share your recipe in the comment section.

    Happy Laundry Doing!

    Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    My "Theme" for 2013

    Hey Loves!

    With the New Year kicking off I thought that I would share with you all my "Theme" for 2013! No resolutions for this girly I'm focusing on a better me all the time! So my "Theme" this year is simply
    To Be The Best Me I Can Be!

     I even created couple of printouts that I have framed and put on my vanity and nightstand! I thought it would be nice to share them with y'all and if you would like your own feel free to print one out for ya self!
    What is your 2013 "Theme"? Share them in the comment section! 
    Happy New Year!


    Homemade Laundry Detergent

    Hey Loves!

    Rissa here with another great tip!

    So for over a year now I have been making my own powder laundry detergent and I have to say it's been working pretty good for us! Now I will be completely honest though and say that I do have sort of a love/hate relationship with making my own detergent, mainly because I just don't care for grating the soap (you'll see what I mean when you read the steps).  Now as far as the reasons why I decided to start making my own laundry detergent....well for starters I know what's in it, there are no hidden ingredients and harsh chemicals that are not only bad for our skin but are also bad for the environment. The next reason is because it saves money. In my opinion I feel this recipe is less expensive than store bought natural/organic laundry detergents especially with the amount of laundry we do around here, having two toddlers in the house means LOTS of laundry. Matter of fact it's something that I have to do DAILY yes I said daily!

    So enough blabbering lets get into this recipe! (recipe adapted from

    What you'll need:
    • 2 Cup Borax
    • 2 Cup Washing Soda
    • 1 Bar Laundry Soap i.e. Fels Naptha Laundry Soap *Dr. Bronners Castille Bar soap and Ivory soap good options too
    • 10-15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    • Cheese Grater and Bowl
    • Wide Mouth Container and 1 Tbsp. Scoop
    Borax $4-$5 at Ace Hardware or Target

    Washing Soda $4-$5 at Ace Hardware

    Laundry Soap $3-$4 at Ace Hardware

    Lavender EO $5-$15 at Vitacost

    Box grater I think I got this from Target but here's one on Amazon for $12

     My container of choice is an old Similac Formula container it's perfect because it has an attached lid as well as an attached 1 Tbsp scoop that conveniently fastens to the inside of the lid! *Tip: Write the instructions on the front of the container and the ingredients needed on the back for quick referencing when it is time to do laundry and replenish your stash*

    What to do:
    1. Grate the bar of soap (uggh I'm getting annoyed just thinking about it LOL) *I normally do this tedious step while watching t.v. and sipping on a glass of Merlot yes it is that serious.
    2. Combine Borax and Washing Soda in your container and shake to mix well
    3. Add grated soap and shake again to mix it all up
    4. Add Lavender EO and shake well again

    How to use:
    • 1 Tbsp - small load
    • 2 Tbsp - medium load
    • 3 Tbsp - large load

    Price Breakdown:
    • Borax $5
    • Washing Soda $5
    • Laundry Soap $5
    • Lavender EO $5
    Total Cost= $20
    So that's about  17 cents per load after using the entire box of both the Borax and Washing Soda.
    *Ecover Laundry Detergent averages about 45cents per load

    This recipe makes 4 Cups of detergent that's an average of about 22 large loads of laundry and you will have tons of Borax and Washing Soda left over to replenish your stash!

    So there ya have it! I hope this helps you.
    Happy laundry doing!

    Do you make your own laundry detergent?