Do It Yourself {Laundry Soap Edition}

7:35 PM

(Photo Credit:Natural Kids Team, Team Member: Unknown)

Where does your detergent come from? What's in it? How much does it cost? I don't know about you, but I like to know what's in mine. Especially with baby around. No, we aren't some hippy dippy crazy family, but yes, we do make our own detergent. And we do make an effort to go the more natural, less processed route. Ok, back to detergent! It takes 5 minutes to make and saves us money. Our clothes come out of the washer clean and deodorized.

Frugal? Maybe. Simple? Yes. Worth it? 100%

Here is how we make ours.

Will you give it a try?


Family Portrait

10:11 PM

…courtesy of photo booth. Yes, this is our first. Keeping it classy…

Clearly we are having one heck of a Saturday night. Studying, baby time, pandora, and some goof off time. Oh yeah, and photobooth of course. ;) Really though, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Saturday. And goodnight.  ♥


A few favorites.

7:45 PM

We've got a character on our hands. Can you tell?
P.s. I'll post a tutorial for the "my mom is blogging this" onesie. 
I felt it appropriate. 

We are loving our boy! 9 weeks and counting!


Recipe Share: Almond Granola Squares

6:41 PM

Happy Saturday!

Here is a delicious little granola bar (or squares) recipe. 

I don't know about you, but grocery store granola bars often tempt me. But 1. they are expensive and 2. they are loaded with sugar. We almost never buy them, but that isn't because we don't like them. It's just that we will gobble them all up. And generally, the nutritious content is little to none.

Our solution: make them at home where you get to control what goes in. These are quick, easy, and I bet you already have most if not all of the ingredients in your pantry.

Oh, and p.s. no baking necessary. 

Almond Granola Squares
yield: 16 squares

1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
In a medium saucepan, over low heat combine peanut or almond butter, maple syrup, butter, salt and cinnamon. Stir frequently.  Once fully melted take off heat. Add in oats, chia seeds, almonds and sunflower seeds.
Spread mixture in an 8×8 dish lined with parchment paper or foil.  Place in refrigerator to cool and set.
Once cool, turn the bars out onto a cutting board and cut into bars.  Store in an air tight container. And enjoy!


Recipe Share: Breakfast Rice

12:11 PM

Goodmorning, or afternoon rather.
I have a recipe to share with you, well sort of, I will give you the ingredients and some ideas, the portions are up to you. And whether you keep it a healthy dish or not. This dish could go either way, from health nut to well, rice pudding.

Lately, I've been making a big batch of this "breakfast rice" early in the week. I try to keep it fairly healthy. It keeps great in the fridge and makes for a quick, easy, warm breakfast, or I suppose you could eat it cold too.

So here it is…breakfast rice.

These are the must haves:

Cooked brown rice (if you're feeling fancy cook it in coconut milk for extra flavor)
Mashed ripe bananas, even over ripe. This is your sweetening agent in this recipe.
Milk. Coconut, almond, soy, whatever you use. We use coconut.

And here are the glorious add ins/options:

Grains and seeds (teff, chia seeds, flax)
Nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
Protein powder

So take your pick of any or all of the above.  Place your desired amount of brown rice, mashed banana, and milk into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil. Add in your choice of add-ins. :)
Stir and simmer together for 10 minutes or so to let all the flavors really come together.

Dish up what you want, store the rest in tupperware.

You can stop here if you want, by why not add in some toppings?

Topping ideas:

sliced banana
peanut butter
cocoa covered crushed nuts
coconut flakes
maple syrup

…you get the point

and well of course you can always add more coconut milk and/or butter (if you want something a little less healthful). My husband would add about 10 spoonfuls of brown sugar. ;)

We keep our rice base pretty thick, and thin it up to our likeness by adding coconut milk just before eating after reheating. Treat it like oatmeal. Make it to your taste and consistency.

And enjoy your new breakfast rice! Get creative.


Recipe Share: Brown Butter Oatmeal Blondies

6:39 PM

Are you guys ready for this one?

A few days ago I came across Martha Stewart's recipe for chewy oatmeal blondies, only they called for an every day baking mix that 1. I wouldn't use in any other recipe and 2. I didn't feel like making, so I came up with my own recipe. And my oh my, they are delicious. I think I even surprised myself a little. :)

Chewy, sweet, salty, buttery goodness. Yes please! Blondies are brownies cousin so to speak, and just as delicious. And that's coming from a big chocolate fan! Generally speaking, if a dessert doesn't have chocolate in it, I'm usually not all that excited. These are an exception. You don't even miss the chocolate. If you don't believe me, try them for yourself. And if you still can't get passed the fact, go ahead and throw in a few chocolate bits, or even toffee. Possibilities are endless. My mom commented these reminded her of the salted caramel gelato we indulged on the previous night. Caramel? Yes! Salt? Yes! Butter? Yes! Are you convinced yet? ;)

Without further ado...
Brown butter oatmeal blondies
Yield: 12 squares

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup self-rising white flour
1/4 cup oats plus small handful for sprinkling on top

Preheat your oven to 350F. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Occasionally give the pan a swirl. *Note: The mixture will bubble and double in size so make sure your saucepan is high enough. Keep swirling once the bubbling starts. Watch carefully as light brown specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma. Once the color has changed remove from heat.

Beat 1 cup of packed brown sugar with the brown butter. 

Once butter has cooled slightly ( we don't want scrambled eggs), add the egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until well combined.

Add in your flour and salt. Next, your oats. Mix until just combined.

Line an 8x8 pan with greased parchment paper. Pour mixture in, spread evenly. You will end up with an almost caramel like batter. 

Sprinkle remaining oats on top. Press down slightly to make them stick. 

Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.

Cool completely. 

Slice into squares and serve!


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