Monday Mantra: Joy!

“Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, “Did you bring joy?” The second was, “Did you find joy?” 

~ Leo Buscalgia

{Image from Mister Hobbes}

Spread Joy!  Happy Monday.

~ Jillian

Crazy for Coconut…Oil

*This is a repeat performance of one of our most popular posts…read it and enjoy.  To your Health!!

So i’m just going to come out and say it…no sense in hiding it any longer…I’m in LOVE with Coconut Oil!  Its true…i’m not afraid to admit it.  Coconut Oil is…well…aWeSoMe!  It’s not just for cooking {which it is totally fantastic for…by the way} but there are sooo many more uses for it!

I started my love affair with Coconut Oil while researching a Candida Cleanse {more about that in future posts}.  The cleanse called for taking 1 spoonful of Coconut oil a day…which at first sounded…well gross…but actually its sort of yummy {i think} and wasn’t gross at all!  Because Coconut Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral, its basically anti all the bad stuff!  So not only does it taste yummy {not at all a sweet coco-nutty flavor like you might be used to…its very mild} but its health benefits make it a great choice for all your cooking needs!  A lot of the recipes included in this cleanse called for Coconut oil in place of olive or vegetable oil.  It’s a much more stable oil {its room temperature state is actually as a solid} and can be used at higher cooking temperatures without any concern.

So now we’ve mastered cooking with it {I’ve literally used it in place of other oils for almost all types of cooking} Let’s talk other uses.  Actually just this past month i decided to try out another one of its many uses {that i found reading this blog post}.  When the seasons change my skin tends to go a little haywire.  Parts are dry and itchy, other parts over moisturized and oily; its almost impossible to find a balance so my face ends up looking like a grease ball and a dry flake ball all at the same time?!?!?  Enter the lovely Coconut oil.  After reading about its moisturizing benefits i thought…what the heck.  It can’t hurt right.  So i gave it a whirl and spread it all over my face and neck.  To my surprise it wasn’t overly greasy {although it did take a few minutes to really soak in} and my skin instantly felt better {and smelled pretty yummy too!}  So fast forward to today and my skin is sooo happy!  Its finding its natural balance…no more greasy flaky ball…and my pores have actually cleared up and less blemishes too!  Who would have thought spreading oil all over your face could actually make you break out less?!

So moral of this story…Why not give Coconut oil a shot…

  • try it out in your favorite recipe
  • slather it on your dry skin
  • put a <little> in your palm and use to tame those crazy frizzy fly aways
  • swallow a spoonful to aid digestion and help with an upset stomach
  • remove chewing gum from your hair after that crazy gum tossing war?!
  • clean and polish your finest pair of leather shoes

Seriously i could go on forever…check out this blog for 80 different uses for this wondrous oil!!

Cheers

~ Jillian

{this post was done of my own free will…there were no coconuts hurt in the making…and I was not threatened by any evil coconut oil pushers…i really do just enjoy the stuff}

P.s. It’s usually pretty easy to find in most grocery stores and health stores.  In my local Kroger I actually found it in the green section with all the natural vitamins and supplements.  The brand I am currently enjoying is Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil {Pure Extra Virgin}.  So don’t be discouraged if you don’t see it right away…ask someone at the store, it might be hiding!

P.s. s. Make sure to always buy food grade Coconut oil {even if you aren’t actually eating it}; its just a cleaner and healthier option!

{Giveaway}: Special Someone

Happy Friday!  Today we are bringing you a special treat…and a GIVEAWAY!!  We’ve teamed up with our friends at CardsandGiftcards.com for an extra special Friday surprise.  Check out the giveaway details below…

Wouldn’t it be awesome to give $100 to someone who really deserves it? Well here is your chance to actually make a difference… No, seriously it is.

All you have to do is NOMINATE SOMEONE…

No gimmicks, no puns about it.

We want you to nominate someone who really deserves it. May it be a teacher, a policeman, a single parent that does it all. Whatever it is, we want to hear your stories. We’ll announce the winner on March 25th, 2016

cards

Rules:
1. In a few thoughtful words, jump to this Facebook Post and tell us why this person deserves this prize. (The person nominated must have a valid U.S. address.)
2. Share this Facebook Post
3. Like our Page https://www.facebook.com/cardsandgiftcards/

The Nominated Winner will receive:
-A Congratulations Card attached with your special message and a $100 Gift Card of your choice from our store (http://www.cardsandgiftcards.com/) enclosed in our awesome handmade envelopes finished off with a vintage wax seal.

Cheers and Good Luck!

Be sure to check out Cardsandgiftcards.com today and enter to win. 

Cheers
~ Jillian

(HSE loves this giveaway…but is not providing the cash prize or gift card…we can thank cardsandgiftcards.com for that!!)

What’s for Dinner?

We are going thru some changes over here!  In an attempt to clean all the junk out of our systems…we are making some major changes to what we eat.  I’ve done a lot of food things over the years and have already cut out a lot of stuff.  I am 100% gluten free, eat minimal meat and whenever possible go for organic and unprocessed foods.  The boy followed some of my eating ways (mainly because I usually cook the dinners…so he had no choice) but he still loved his carbs and dairy and wasn’t too crazy about veggies.

The  theory behind our change is that most health issues in our bodies are caused from some form of inflammation.  So if you can reduce or eliminate the inflammation…your symptoms should go away!!  So what kinds of foods to you have to avoid in order to help you body naturally reduce inflammation:

  • Dairy
  • SUGAR!!!!!!!
  • Carbohydrates (especially Wheat based or overly processed grains)

Another big requirement to our list is that anything we make has to be easy, minimal ingredients and fast cooking. Usually I get things started…then take a break to put our little munchkin down to bed while the husband finishes preparing so we can sit down for a somewhat relaxing meal and rest for the evening.  So far…GREAT SUCCESS!  We have discovered some yummy, super healthy and easy to make dinners!!

Disclaimer: 100% of the credit for these recipes AND these images goes to the source i’ve included in the links.  I’ve indicated any revisions or changes that we might have made when we cooked them but I take NO credit for the recipe creativity or the fabulous photography below!!!

Night 1: Pecan Crusted Chicken with Garlic Green Beans & a Sweet Potato.  This was super easy and yummy!  Normally I don’t love just a chicken breast (i prefer it shredded or cut up in things) but this one came out super moist and delicious.  You “bread” the chicken with ground up pecans and bake!

pecan chicken

Night 2: Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs over Basmati Rice and a Kale salad w/ mandarin organes pecans and miso ginger dressing.  These were amaze-balls.  The sauce is so delicious and would be good on ANYTHING.  I ate the leftovers with Quinoa and it was also super yummy!

thai turkey meatballs

Night 3: Chickpea Moroccan Stew over Red quinoa w/ Balsamic Brussel Sprouts.  This is one that I changed up a bit.  I had a use what’s in the pantry moment…so while it calls for butternut squash and red potatoes…I used sweet potato instead (added extra chickpea to make the proportions right).  The Brussel Sprouts are super easy to.  Simple bake them until they are crispy (or as cooked as you like) then add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.
chickpea stew

Night 4: Spicy Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash with Scrambled Goat Cheese Eggs.  As you can see in the pic this one called for over easy eggs which aren’t a favorite in this house.  So instead we paired the potato and sausage hash with scrambled eggs cooked with goat cheese (the only dairy item on our list). I added avocado and a little cholula hot sauce to finish it off.

sweet potato hash

On another fabulous note…all of these were great as left overs too (hello healthy lunches and crazy busy night bonus!).

Yumm-O

~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: confined

These days its easy to get caught up in the shuffle of our busy lives.  Pushing things we want to do, aspire to achieve or wish we could overcome to the back burner.  If this past year has taught me anything its to embrace every moment (even the tough ones) because you never know what opportunity is waiting for you around the corner.  Push fear and doubt aside and just be!

” You are confined only by the walls you build yourself “

walls(image source)

Namaste
~ Jillian

Chairish: Vintage Furniture Fabulousness

There is just something so wonderful about vintage pieces.  They add so much character and history to a space and there are so many different ways that you can incorporate them into a room that you love.  But finding vintage pieces can be a challenge!  What could be better than an online resource that brings fabulous vintage pieces right to your fingertips!

Chairish is an online marketplace for design lovers to buy and sell vintage furniture and decor to one another.  The super creative folks at Chairish asked me to create a mood board inspired by one of their beautiful armoires.  I was so inspired by this armoire on their site that I couldn’t resist creating TWO looks.  (…so many options…s0 hard to make a decision!)

Option 1: Modern Classic with a twist

Slide1

Option 2: mid-century Vintage

Slide2

Be sure to check out Chairish…and be prepared to fall in love with all of the vintage loveliness it has to offer!

Happy Shopping
~ Jillian

 

Monday Mantra: emerge

I hope this week has helped to remind you that there are so many things to be thankful for in your life!  This time of year can get so crazy preparing for the holidays, visiting with friends and family and dealing with the general hustle and bustle.  Its easy to get so wrapped up!  This marks just about a year that I ventured into a career change and I could not be more Thankful!  What seemed like a terribly stressful time in my life has turned out to be the biggest blessing.  With so many changes happening in the past year I can barely remember what life was like just a year ago.  We have turned a corner in our lives and oh what a beautiful life it is!

“Some changes look negative on the surface
but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life
for something new to emerge”

sprout

Thankful!
~ Jillian

Monday Mantra: purpose

Happy mOnday to you.  I promise that I haven’t completely fallen off the face of the earth (although by my super sporadic posts…you might just think it!)  We are still just settling into life as a family of 3 (well 3 + the doodle that is).

As it is for all women…juggling the different roles we take on in life can be a challenge.  We take on so many different responsibilities sometimes it seems like there is no time.  Balance is forever the challenge.  But I must admit…although my house is not perfectly clean, and i’ve missed out on catching up with my sweet girlfriends lately…juggling this new life is more fun and rewarding then I ever could have imagined!!

“The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be 
compassionate,
to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

let go

Cheers to a messy, tiring and sometimes overwhelming but WONDERFUL life.
~ Jillian

Yummo: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes you just need a yummy treat…right?!?  And what’s even better is when you get that sweet treat fix and its not so horrible for you!  These little babies are flourless, packed with protein and super duper yumm-o!  (there is a healthy dose of sugar so…let’s not go as far as to say they are healthy…ha!)  I especially love them with a little dark chocolate chip in the center…cuz what is not made better with a little bit o’ dark chocolate?  AND even a non-baker like myself was able to pull this one off.  (be sure to follow step 2 and cool the batter or you will have a sheet tray mess…this comes from personal experience!)

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe Source)

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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Stir together all ingredients (batter will be thick and not perfectly smooth)
  2. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, form small mounds of dough on a cookie sheet or plate and refrigerate for 3 hours-isn (Don’t Skip this step…I did the first time and my dough melted into each other and made a giant mess!)
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.  If NOT already on a cookie sheet; place the dough on a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Slightly flatten using a fork and add a chocolate chip in the center (if desired).  Bake for approx 8 minutes.  Cookies will crisp up as they cool so don’t leave them in the oven too long!!
  4. Cool cookies for about 10 minutes and then…devour!!

Yumm-O
~ Jillian

P.s. I’m currently doing a no sugar diet…so putting this post together was literally torture…PURE torture!!!