Coffee Lovers Dream!

Note to self, take the before picture.

Maybe one day I will remember that.

Let me back up… Last night I was deep cleaning our kitchen floor when, during a break, I came across a video of a woman using coffee beans to get rid of her dark circles under her eyes… DID YOU HEAR ME?!?!  COFFEE!  (which happens to be one of my favorite things in the world!)  Needless to say, I stopped cleaning my floor to watch this video.IMG_2363

It seemed so simple, I was intrigued.  So the next morning, I grabbed my coffee grinder and pulsed some coffee beans 2 times. This made the kitchen smell amazing.  Who does not like the smell of fresh ground coffee?

Next, I grabbed the black pepper and the coconut oil, the other ingredients called for in the video.

I mixed the pepper in with the coffee.  I went with a couple of twists on my pepper grinder and maybe a tablespoon of freshly ground coffee.

Then I mixed in the coconut oil.  My suggestion, use just enough coconut oil to make the coffee and the pepper bind.  I use a cold pressed, organic coconut oil.

If you use too much it melts down the side your face. I may have learned this lesson the hard way.

Finally, apply your mask and let it do its magic.

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I spread the mix under my eyes and enjoyed the wonderful aroma.  Personally, the aroma therapy was just as enjoyable as the mask working on my dark, puffy eyes.

Remember how I mentioned to only use enough coconut oil to bind the coffee and pepper?  OneWell, I think I used a little too much oil because the mask enjoyed melting and running down my face… which led me to think that one could use this mask on their entire face. Check out the oil running down my face –>

I left this on for 15 minutes.

During this time, I wondered if this mask would really get rid of even some of the wonderful dark circles that have shown up recently.

After washing away my mask, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Not only were my dark circles diminished greatly, but my eyes that had been feeling so tired were now perky! I think this was the best part of the mask—Rejuvenated eyes! SEE!

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I almost look cross-eyed in this picture. Hey, cut me some slack, taking a selfie of one’s eyes and not looking goofy is harder than one would think 😉

Let’s recap the lessons learned:

  • Take before pictures.
  • Use less coconut oil when applying to face—less streaking!

Note: all pictures are unfiltered.

Everything you own in a box to the left: Creating your hippie tool kit for work!

Okay, I started this post back in October when my team first moved our work location.  Since then, I have moved 3 times to 3 new  locations.  Every time we moved, I would hear Beyoncé’s song: Irreplaceable, play in my head.  Anyway, back to my October post with the song playing in the background ;P.

I am a little dumbfounded.

My life fits in one box.

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Okay, one partially filled box.

Well, my work life fills part of a box.  This box is actually pretty cool– I think it’s cool because it is what held my birthday present from my parents & brother.  I will share that with you soon 😉 You see at work my team is homeless (kind of). At the end of last week, we packed up our work areas to move into a temporary home.  I was a little shocked to find that after almost 2 years at my employer, all of my personal belonging fit into the box my convection oven arrived in.

What’s even better, most of the objects in my box are relate to food! I mean if you want to live a healthy, hippie lifestyle you can’t count on others to provide the essentials for you.  BUT, I can help you build your own kit healthy, hippie kit of essentials.  I really should come up with a cool name for my kit.  Maybe you can help?   I have by no means perfected the essential items that should be part of every health nut toolbox health-box and mine are always changing.   I have slowly added items that make living a hippie life at work EASY!  Yes you read that right… you can live a HEALTHY, HIPPIE Lifestyle and work in the corporate world!

I know this because I live a hippie life at work.   The best part is, I absolutely LOVE my hippie life!

What’s in my box?  Well, let me tell you.

IMG_0277Probably my favorite thing is my mini crockpot.   Winter is the perfect time to enjoy soup and is there a better way to heat it up?  All I have to do is toss the soup in the crockpot, plug it in and it does it’s thing.  I do stop by and stir my soup to make sure it heats up evenly.  I know, I know, winter is quickly disappearing, but I still love my crockpot.

 

What’s next?

How about my stash of spices and seasonings 🙂

I have 2 cute jars, one recycled from a previous purchase, that hold coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. I love having a coconut oil sitting near me.  I will toss a sweet potato into my BIRTHDAY present (my cooker!) and once it’s all cooked, I grab the coconut oil and toss a dollop on, let it melt and enjoy my treat! IMG_0278 The apple cider vinegar I keep around to make my quick salad dressing!  I will give you a hint, keep mustard in the fridge and your stevia handy.

I also keep cumin, turmeric and cinnamon in box.  They are great add-ons for almost any meal.  One of my favorite IMG_0279treats is so simple.  I cut up an apple and sprinkle cinnamon on it and enjoy! Yummy… hmmm I am getting hungry, I wonder if I have any apples handy 😉

Alright, we are getting to the end of my box.  The last thing I want to share with you today, is my duck!  It’s a slingshot that quacks! I am learning that relaxing and not taking myself too seriously is a good thing.

What’s do you keep on your desk for a stress reliever and to encourage you to have fun and enjoy your job & life?

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Do you have a stash of healthy things at work?  What’s in yours?  I would <3 to hear!

 

 

Hugs From a Skillet

This last week was a week I had to just put my head down and fight through it; good thing I am a fighter!  Okay, not a boxer or someone that actually punches a co-worker in the face, but mainly because I would end up in jail.  No one wants to go to jail, not really… Anyway, by the end of the day Friday, I was out of energy & out of fight. I needed a hug. OR Warm,  yummy, comfort food. I was late getting out of work, and after driving home I was in need of getting food into me fast. What sounded good was a BIG stack of fluffy pancakes.  In my opinion, pancakes are the perfect feel better food. But there was one minor problem, I have not been eating any flour lately, and did not want to start last night. Oh, but wait for it…

This week, while visiting my sister at college my mom (Banana Bev) learned a new recipe from one of my sister’s teammates. Mom got the nickname, Banana Bev one night when she made my sister and her teammates ice cream out of a frozen banana.  She was super excited over her new find. Somehow the name has stuck.  My sister’s friends love passing her banana recipes.  So thanks to my sister’s friend: A, Banana Bev and I now have an awesome, comfy banana pancake recipe.
“Banana Bev Pancakes” Ingredients: (Her version of the 2 ingredient pancakes)
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
Add on’s:

  • Cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter
  • Blue Berries
Smash your banana.  I did this on a plate.
Smashed Banana

 Crack 2 eggs & beat them.

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Mix in your banana
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Add a splash of vanilla and beat/mix it well
IMG_2249 This is your core batter.  I am sure you could add some cinnamon or mix in peanut butter to the batter, and it would be fantastic.  In fact, I may have to try that tomorrow when we get snowed in :o. If you want to make your batter a little smoother, you could toss it into a blender. Now grab your coconut oil (I used the coconut oil that had the coconut flavor still in it which gave a great tropical flavor. Once your oil and skillet are warm, drop a dollop of batter in. When I asked Banana Bev, when I should flip it, she responded with, “When it’s ready.”  That’s not super helpful!, but since this recipe is similar to a real pancake, you will know when it’s ready.
IMG_2250 My first flip was a little rough and my pancake separated, but we made it.  In fact, with each pancake I made they got a little better. By the end of the batch– I think I had it down. IMG_2251

Instead of using syrup or Agave, I grabbed a blueberry and date jam(ish) yumminess that was in the fridge and topped the pancake off.  I will have to get the recipe and post it for you.
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I am pretty sure that after my first bite I heard the angels break out in a chorus of Hallelujah– just for me 😉 This was the perfect comfort food, that gave me a hug at the end of a tough week. IMG_2253 I am sure this recipe has been around for a while and after running into it a couple of times, I am so glad I tried it.  I think my cleaned plate says it all! IMG_2254 So if you need a good, comfy food that willingly gives hugs and is healthy?  Just give this simple recipe a try! IMG_2255
Other places I found this recipe or similar versions:

http://ourbestbites.com/2014/02/2-ingredient-pancakes/
http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2013/01/2-ingredient-healthy-pancakes-gluten-free-dairy-free.html http://www.recipegirl.com/2013/01/26/2-ingredient-pancakes/

Mud, Mayhem and Murder!

What?  You did not spend your weekend playing in mud and mayhem and maybe a little murder?

I did!

I have a pretty good, “honey do” list for the horses.  One of the items on my list was to run a water line and electric line to the barn.   After last year’s brutal winter I learned my lesson, water lines need to be buried going to the barn.  You see in Dec 2010, we added onto a lean-to for the horses making it into a barn.  Since it was so late into the season, we were not able to get a proper water line to the barn.

What’s a proper water line?  It’s when the pipes are buried under the ground, at a depth of at least 4 feet so it is less likely to freeze. It became apparent last winter when the windchill was  -45* degrees.  Our makeshift, above ground water line did not stand a chance at being helpful in the delivery of water to the barn in those temps.  After hauling water in 5 gallon buckets  or in 55 gallon barrels from the trough to the barn, I decided that I was not going to do that again… Well, I should probably not say never, because you never know when a water line will break. This coming winter… there would be a water line installed, even if I had to hand dig it.  That might be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture.

Do you get the feeling that I am getting ready to share my experience with adding in a water line to the horse pasture?

You’re right and so smart!

I am so thankful that this past weekend was so nice out because it made this project enjoyable.

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 Unloading the equipment… getting ready to break ground

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We broke ground just about 10:30 am.  The sun was shining, it was warm, and the farmers were just starting to harvest the field next to our property.    With the excavator chewing up the ground, leaving the first piles of MUD behind,  I started my first job for this, which was to breakdown the “shelter” that protected the hydrant next to the horse trough.   So now I have the mud starting to show, the mayhem will come later in the adventure.  I am sure you are wondering about the murder; hang on,  I am getting there.

I had just picked up on of the last five bricks that I needed to move, when a mouse mom with what seemed like 500 babies hanging on her back flew out at me.  Okay, it may have been 6-8 but when facing off with a flying mouse and her babies, they multiply.  I half dropped– half threw the brick at the mice, jumped, and screamed… Once I thought the coast was clear, I poked around the brick evaluating the damage.  I am sad to report that  I committed my first mouse murder.  I won’t lie, I did not shed any tears over the lives lost in that fateful moment, or as I tossed the baby mice bodies into the trench that was just dug.

The very beginning!

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As the day progressed, the project continued to run smoothly… that is until the trench was almost opened all the way.  Dad had about a 2 foot section of ground to remove, when the ditch collapsed on itself!  It happened in a slow motion and yet fast at the same time… the excavator tipped over and sank down.  For a brief moment, I was not sure if we would get dad out of the excavator before the door was pinned shut.

What was my first reaction?  Take a picture for the wall of shame? Cough, cough, cough… I mean wall of Fame.  You see my father is very capable of getting the farm equipment stuck.  Most of the time the adventure ends with multiple trucks hooked up to the “stuck” piece of equipment, pulling it out of whatever precarious situation he got it in!

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One time when I was 14ish, dad came running into the house looking for help.  When mom and I walked outside; we looked at each other; looked at dad and told him to call an employee to help.  Why?  Because he had one of the business John Deere tractors being picked up by a larger Kubota tractor and dangling over the bed of a truck… No big deal. But the John Deere flipped upside down and was leaking fuel.  Mom and I really like living, so we decided that dad needed to get a guys help to flip his tractor right side up.  Do you blame me?IMG_0900

Anyway, back to the Mayhem– we hooked chains up to excavator and I climbed into the bobcat to provide tension to help support the sinking excavator. We were able to get the excavator to stabilize a little bit, but it was still pretty well stuck in the trench.  We changed the angle of the chains, and we were able to walk the excavator out of the ditch!  THANK YOU GOD!  The mayhem of the project only lasted 45 minutes, no one was hurt, and nothing broke!

The project continued on!

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With the trench fully dug, it was on to gluing the pipe together and putting it into the trench.  The goal: glue the pipes and attach the facet before dark.

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Well, the Mayhem delayed the project, so new goal: get the pipe glued before heading into the house for the night.  This would prevent us from having to rework much in the morning if the trench collapsed.   Mom was a trouper, and she held flashlights while dad and I glued.  New goal met… now it was time to find food and warm up!

Setting pipes by phone flashlights!

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Sunday morning came way too fast! I really did not want get up, but daylight was burning, and we had an open trench, a field tile broken and a brother’s lacrosse game to get to if possible.   Nash came out to check on the progress with me first thing Sunday.

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We fixed the field tile and dad back filled the trench, while I cleaned up and started to fix the fence.  Soon, Mud and Mayhem struck again.  Dad pulled up next to me with the bobcat full of dirt in the cab.  For the first time in my life, I dug out the cab of the bobcat and then vacuumed it out.   I was amazed at the places that the dirt got into in that small cab.
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As the project was nearing an end, dad looked at me and said, “All this hard work, and all there is to show for it is a pile of dirt and a facet in the barn– that gives you lots of water.”  I am okay with that!

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By 6:30 pm, the fence was fixed, the water line was considered complete, all the tools and supplies were put away, and I was heading back to the house to clean up and get food. So there you have it… my weekend was spent playing in the mud, a little mayhem and a few mice murders… almost the perfect weekend, if you ask me!

I’ll catch you soon.

H.C._J.

Pretty Little Packages

I started today pretty excited & happy.  I found a recipe from Young & Raw on facebook recently that I wanted to try.  Iced Green Matcha…. mmm yummy!  I like hot Matcha; so I thought that I would try it cold.  Plus, since I am no longer drinking coffee– I was missing a morning drink. So I thought I would give this drink a try.

I mixed up the recipe quickly, (It’s fast & easy) ,tossed it in my mason jar, and ran out the door to work.

During my 45 minute commute to work, I sipped on my drink– enjoying the fun color. I would say about halfway to work, I realized I had to make an important decision regarding my Matcha.  Down the rest of my drink, so my co-workers would not have to see my green drink or proudly rock the Matcha in a Mason Jar.  I really wanted to sip on my drink and enjoy it most of the morning.  While I debated my predicament, I realized that if I carried my mason jar in, I was sure to get comments and questions. Perfect!  I get to tell people about my awesome healthy drink, my coworkers  already think I am nutty! So why not give people something to talk about and enjoy my crazy healthy drink!

StarbucksAs I approached work, I wondered if my drink was in a Starbucks cup or a cup from a local coffee shop, would they even think twice about it being green? Probably not. But make your drink at home, put it in a mason jar, and you will have their attention.  I mean, they have a drink that looks a lot like mine. Check it out straight from their site: Starbucks Iced Green Tea  Photo from http://so–hi.blogspot.com/2013/05/diy-starbucks-iced-green-tea-latte.html

My decision was made- take it in with me and enjoy it. Heck it looks a lot like the Starbucks version as is.

IMG_0568I was ready to have some fun!  The way I look at it, if people are noticing my green drink– then I can tell them about it. If I can share, people may start to get interested in living a healthier life.  Once someone is interested and is curious, then they might start making an attempt to living a cleaner lifestyle.  Once you start living a cleaner lifestyle, then you realize that it is not hard and might start cleaning up more in their lives.  I love watching someone become interested in nutrition and health!  I am not sure that there is much more that makes me happy.

Anyway, back to this morning.  I pulled into my work, popped my backpack on (which I still owe you a post about 😉 ) and off I went into the building.  I decided to swing through the cafeteria to top off the ice in my drink.  In the cafeteria there were a couple of coworkers and, sure enough, we struck up a conversation about my green drink…………………in a mason jar.

This was great!  I had the opportunity to share with them 2 healthy ideas!  We talked for a minute about how I drink out of glass and why it’s healthy for you AND my healthy green matcha!

Mission accomplished… I was able to share my green drink recipe with another 4 people before I left the cafeteria and more throughout the day.  Overall, I think personally getting the chance to talk with 10 people about my green drink in one day is pretty awesome.  So don’t be afraid to make your own pretty packages or to carry them in public.  You never know when you influence someone to change their life.

So I tip my pretty green glass to you!  I hope that you will try Matcha in a Mason Jar soon! 

 

Matcha in a Mason Jar

Mmmmmmmm…. this is soooo good you HAVE to try it!

Recently, my body decided it did not like coffee, but I was still missing my morning drink. Tea just has not been cutting it.  Then I saw this recipe on facebook from Young & Raw  and my mornings seem complete again. I have adjusted this recipe a little from the original that Young & Raw posted.  I really liked it and wanted to share with you.  I did make a small change to the recipe.  For the original recipe: click here.

Ingredients:
photo 12 tsp. Matcha-  I chose organic

8 oz. Milk – I use Organic Almond Milk, unsweetened. (it’s only 30 calories for 8 ounces!) You can use any milk.

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Almond Extract

1 tbs. Maple Syrup (you can use more or less… my sweet tooth shows)

Stevia-  Use this after you try your drink if you need to sweeten it more

Okay, here is how you can whip up your own Matcha in a Mason Jar.

I toss all the ingredients in the blender and mix.

Once mixed, pour over ice and ENJOY!  If you need to sweeten it more, add stevia to taste.

You will have a awesome Iced Matcha in a Mason Jar!

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Day 19: Awesome Sauce… I mean Awesome Hummus

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chips + Chick Peas = AWESOME SAUCE.. Okay you might be thinking, peanut butter and hummus? Do they really go together? Answer: YES!

Let me back up a second and give yoe the background. We have an awesome family friend that challenged me to bring healthy sweet stuff to our 4th of July bash. I take sweet challenges seriously, VERY SERIOUSLY. I played around on my favorite food blogs and scoured my computer; until I had a couple of good ideas, I was sure would not disappoint the group. It was on this journey that I found my new favorite recipe.

I believe that this recipe originally comes from Chocolate Covered Katie… if you have not checked out her site, you should. Some of my favorite recipes are from her. I highly recommend the Mushroom Stroganoff. Recipe: HereIMG_7581

Anyway I found this recipe on Veggierettie’s site and like Veggierettie, I am obsessed with it! In fact, as I type this I am sitting in the back of the dually truck as we are heading to brothers lacrosse game, I will be munching on some just as soon.  Well  as I remove the Teague, who is well over 50 lbs. off my lap and the computer.

You should note a few things before I give you the recipe.

  1. I am not a food blogger.
  2. I am not a food photographer, I simply shot these pics off of my iphone.

Alright here is the recipe…

Ingredients:

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Here is how I make this incredible hummus.

I pit the date and toss them in water so they are just covered. Veggierettie suggests soaking them for at least a half hour. I soaked them overnight the first time I made this hummus. Pick a time frame that works for you.

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Open your garbanzo beans can, drain the water and rinse them. Remove the excess water.

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Toss in the food processor. Add your peanut butter, vanilla and dates. At this point, I do not add much of the soaking water.

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Begin to process the ingredients. I stop several times to mix in the stuff on the sides of the processor.

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I add the soaking water to make the consistency how I want it. Once you have the consistency correct, hand mix the chocolate chips in. Veggierettie suggest 2-3 tablespoons, I eyeball it. You can never have too much chocolate in my opinion.

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Now comes the hardest part… Putting it in the fridge for a little while to let it sit. I found that it is 1000’s better the next day, but I don’t always have the patience to wait until the next day to start digging in to the sweet treat.

Recommended things to eat with this hummus:

IMG_7551Apples
Banana
Chips—if I eat chips I try to get the Chia Seeds, Sprouted chips . They are fantastic with this hummus.

 

Oh did I mention… this treat is HEALHTY?  According to the friend that challenged me to bring some sweet treats to the 4th of July bash, this recipe rocked it!

Okay, so know you have my new favorite HEALTHY, SWEET, recipe… what’s yours?

Day 17: Life smells better when you make your own detergent…

I guess better late than never! Sorry guys I did not get this to you yesterday… I am making up for it today with Day 17 and 18’s post.

Who said a food processor is just for processing food? Not me! I have used mine for a few different things. One of which is making my favorite natural homemade product: LAUNDRY DETERGENT. I mean, I am a pretty big nerd and hippie to get excited about homemade laundry detergent! I am okay with it.

Reasons I love homemade detergent:

  1. It’s healthy… Free of the bad chemicals in commercially processed detergent.
  2. CHEAP!
  3. It’s a great way to get your food processor clean.
  4. You can make it smell pretty with essential oils. If you leave the majority unscented in a big box then you can change the scent at any point in time.

 

Making detergent is so easy, especially with a food processor. A couple of years ago, many of my friends were posting online about making their own laundry detergent. All you have to do is a quick google search to find just how popular making your own detergent is. (Note, below are a couple of links to other sites that highlight how easy it is to make your own detergent.) It was about the same time that I was trying to cut out fragrances that were not essential oil based, so I thought why not try making my own detergent. You only need a couple of ingredients and a food processor to make it easier on yourself. You can do it by hand, but the processor makes breaking up the bar of soap much easier.

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Ingredients:

* 1 cup of Borax
* 1 cup of Washing Soda
* 1 bar of castile soap – you can buy a scented version but if you want to scent your soap by essential oils buy the plain bar

 

Here is how I make detergent in a food processor.  I would love it if you tried it too!

  1. Cut bar of Castile soap into 1 inch and place in the food processor.

Note: if you do not have a food processor, you will need to grate the bar of soap by hand.

  1. Pulse the food processor to start. Eventually, I turn the food processor on until the soap is close to a powdered consistency.
  2. Add the borax and castile soap. Mix until all ingredients are blended together.
  3. Add several drops of essential oil and pulse. I like lavender, or cedar wood, or a lemon scent. Be creative at this point, add oils that you love smelling!
  4. Place your homemade detergent in a container and wash your food processor! It should it should be super clean, smell amazing, and ready for your next “food” processing adventure.

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I hope you have fun taking on this new adventure and try making your own, HEALTHY, smell good, cheap laundry detergent soon!

Google search for homemade detergents: http://wellnessmama.com/462/homemade-laundry-detergent/ http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/ http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/05/homemade-laundry-detergents.html