Monday, December 30, 2013

5 Ideas: Super Start for 2014

Happy Monday to you! (Last Monday for 2013)

Looking for ideas to start 2014 in a positive way? Not too interested in resolutions (that you may or may not keep throughout the year), but would like to make positive moves toward an awesome and healthy year?

Here are some ideas for you...

1.  Invest in a water bottle that you LOVE. Drink MORE water. I highly recommend Takeya brand.
2. Make time for relaxation. Life can be stressful. It is important to find methods of relaxation. Take a yoga class, make time to quiet your mind, begin a journal, use THIS lotion, take a walk in a quiet place outdoors (notice nature), treat yourself to a massage.
3. Clear the clutter. Clean out your refrigerator and pantry, your closet full of clothes, your "junk" area of your home. Donate the things that someone else might find useful. Throw away the trash.
4. Make your sleep a priority. Rest.
5. Plan something exciting for 2014. It could be a vacation or it could be a sports tournament with your friends. It doesn't have to cost any money. It doesn't have to be fancy. Get creative and plan something amazing for yourself.

Wishing you the happiest and exciting 2014!
Desiree

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Few of my Favorite (Food) Things...


Hello Friends!

Wow. We had a very busy holiday season. I hope you had the best time with the ones you love.

Here are a few of my favorite food things....

1. THIS Recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. SO delicious. If you are in the mood for Chicken and Dumplings, you won't be disappointed with the recipe.
2. Ice Box Cookies. I have never made cookie dough ahead of time and put it in the freezer until this Christmas season. I followed a recipe for Ice Box Cookies and put it in my freezer. When we were ready to bake and decorate cookies it was super easy. Remove from freezer, slice, bake, decorate, enjoy. EASY. (and fun)
3. Custom Cinnamon Rolls. I have a confession. I really wanted to make homemade dough. The real deal. Well, I ran out of time. So I decided to go somewhat homemade Cinnamon Rolls. I found Pistachio-Orange-Dark Chocolate- Cinnamon Rolls Recipe. I really wanted to make it. So I went to the store and bought THESE Cinnamon Rolls. I unrolled the dough, placed the extra ingredients (Pistachios, Dark Chocolate, Orange Zest), carefully rolled it back into place, arranged the rolls in pan, baked it, mixed in freshly squeezed juice from one orange into the icing, then finally drizzled the icing over the freshly baked rolls. It was unbelievably good. A MUST TRY.


Sending a wonderful day to you,
Desiree

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cranberry Cashew Chocolate Granola



Cranberry Cashew Chocolate Granola
Recipe Created By: My Project Bliss

Ingredients
1 Cup Oats
1/3 Cup Apple Juice
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Cashews
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chunks

Directions
-Turn oven on to 350 degrees
-Line a cookie sheet with foil, lightly spray with a non-stick cooking spray, and set aside
-Add 1 cup of oats to a medium sized bowl and set aside
-In a small sauce pan stir apple juice, maple syrup, vanilla, whole cinnamon stick, brown sugar until smooth and melted all together
-Remove cinnamon stick and discard
-Pour mixture from sauce pan onto the oats in the medium sized bowl. 
-Stir well and coat all of the oats
-Pour coated oats in a single layer onto a cookie sheet that is lined with foil and lightly sprayed with Canola (or any other type of non-stick cooking spray) 
-Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the oats
-Bake for 20 minutes
-Remove from oven and carefully mix in cashews and dried cranberries with a spatula 
-Place back in the oven for an additional 10-12 minutes
-Let cool completely
-Mix in chocolate chunks
-Store in glass mason jar

Enjoy!
Desiree

Monday, December 16, 2013

Toddler Activity: Oat Box

Hello Friend! 

Looking for indoor activities to do with your little one? Try an Oat Box. It will provide the entertainment similar to a sandbox plus it is a great way for a toddler to practice using their hands (scooping, pouring, etc) Remember always to watch your little one while playing. 

TIPS:
-I used baking tools such as measuring cups rather than the plastic cups/dishes I use for feeding my daughter. (I did not want her to think the oats were meant for eating!) 
-Set up play area outside or on tile (Easy clean up by sweeping.)
-Store the oats in a plastic storage bag labeled "Play Oats" so they can be used multiple times. 


Supplies: 
-1 medium to large plastic tub. 
- Oats
-Toys (plastic scoops/cups, plastic cookie cutters, etc) 


Happy Exploring!
Desiree

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Take The First Step.


If a problem or a task seems so BIG you don't know where to start, begin slowly. Find a pace that is comfortable for you and take that first step. It is much easier to tackle a big project or issue once you begin that much needed momentum. The longer you take the steps in the direction you want to go, the closer you will be toward your goal or resolution. The task may seem endless. The problem might be a big one. However, with patience and effort, you will find your way.

Sending small steps today for a better tomorrow,
Desiree

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cinnamon Smashed Jewel Yams

Happy Monday! 

Have you ever tried a jewel yam? How about with cinnamon? I was never a fan of sweet potatoes or yams until I had my daughter. The first time I made yams was to smash up for her baby food. I decided to give it a taste and I was so surprised how much I loved it! I am a pumpkin pie lover. My Cinnamon Smashed Jewel Yams reminds me of pumpkin pie. It is creamy, sweet and much better for my health than having a piece of pie. Best of all it is easy to make. Want the details? Here we go! 


Ingredients:
-Jewel Yams
-Water
-Cinnamon
-Butter

Supplies:
Slow Cooker

Directions:
-Rinse the yams throughly with water
-Use fork and pierce several times (Like you would a potato)
-Place yam in slow cooker, add about 1/2 inch water in the bottom, cover with lid
-Cook until very soft (Time will depend on your cooker and the size of yam) Give yourself an hour or two. TIP: When yams are done you can easily cut the thickest part of yam in half with a fork
-Carefully remove yam from slow cooker
-Remove Skin of Yam
-Smash and mash with fork or masher
-Add butter if you would like your yams extra creamy (1 tablespoon or so per yam)
-Add Cinnamon (I use a cinnamon+sugar grinder I found at Trader Joes by the spices)
-Give it a final stir with fork
-Top with an extra little sprinkle of cinnamon
-Enjoy as a side dish!

Click HERE for nutritional information on the Jewel Yam.

 Happy Cooking!
Desiree

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lovely List


1. Fossil cross body bags. I recently decided to switch my "every day purse" to a cross body bag. I found the perfect cobalt blue color while shopping last weekend with my mother-in-law. She bought it for me as a special treat. I love it because my hands are free for my daughter when we are "on the go".
2. Tiny Prints is a GREAT website to order holiday cards! I was so impressed with the fast delivery time. I selected standard delivery, but it was on my doorstep two days later. The quality is awesome too! I highly recommend this company.
3. THIS Monogrammed Tote
4. Outdoor Pizza Oven
5. THIS Christmas Wreath. I absolutely love wreaths.

Sending a lovely day to you,
Desiree