Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Organic Eating

A great short video to show the effects of pesticides on our bodies and how long-term use may impact your health. Go organic when you can.

A family that does not eat organic does a two week study and switches to organic. The results are astounding.

View here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baby Bunnies

We found baby bunnies last week near the barn and we are watching them grow...



Sugar Skulls - 10 Ways To Add Them Into Your Life

By Lisa VanWilliams

A Calavera or Sugar Skull is used in the Mexican celebration called Day of the Dead. Sugar skulls are really a celebration of life and a way to remember friends and family who have passed away. These symbolic tributes are full of color, design, and intricate details and the ancient Mexican tradition is gaining exposure throughout the U.S. You can find art, jewelry, tattoos, clothing, and home decor in all different styles and colors. They say the bright colors are used because they want to capture the joy and spirit of their deceased loved ones. 

Here are ten Sugar Skull picks and where you can find them:

$3.99 Sugar Skull candy tin

$7.69 Print on upcycled vintage encyclopedia page

$21.75 Wall Decal

$25.97 Customized Girl Tank Top

$35.00 Society6 iphone case

$65.00 Rockabilly Purse

$78.00 Throw Pillow

$125.00 The Mad Cow Company - Necklace

$139.00 - $399.00 Depending on bedding set size

$649.00 Zappos Old Gringo Klakrazz

Friday, May 15, 2015

Meat Pies

By Lisa VanWilliams
We are on the hunt for a meat pie recipe. A cross between a Brit and Australian meat pie that you just can't find here in the States.  Once I find a combo and recipe that works together, I will be sure to share it with you all!

In the meantime, we found these great Steak & Ale Pies from Trader Joe's. If you like Ale, you will like this comfort food style pie. The crust is buttery and flaky with a great taste, and the steak and veggies are tender in a creamy ale sauce. Two thumbs up for a quick, no cook dinner, cheat night, when you don't feel like cooking. Nothing like eating a pub style favorite right in your kitchen.

You can find them in the frozen section for $6.49 for two. If you do not like beer, these might not be for you (it has a beer/ale twang to it in the sauce).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Maxi Dress Madness - 10 Styles

By Lisa VanWilliams

Spring is in the air and with Summer only a few weeks away, you wont be able to look far without seeing the ladies wearing one of this seasons essentials.  Breezy, flowing, cool, stylish, elegant and you don't need to spend a fortune. Find that print that makes you smile and feel like a million bucks. You can find a variety of styles available like no waist, belted, cropped and find what works best for your body type. Here are a few our top picks and where you can find them:

Lord & Taylor $38.90

Macy's $34.75

Gap $51.99

J,Crew $49.99

PacSun $69.50

Kohl's $47.60

Old Navy $36.00

Venus $46.00

Victoria's Secret $49.50

Urban Outfitters $29.99

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Creamy Dijon Chicken

Chicken bites coated in a creamy Dijon white wine sauce with fresh chopped garden thyme served over Fusilli pasta with a side of roasted sweet potatoes.

2 chicken breasts diced into thin pieces
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ onion finely diced
4 garlic cloves pressed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon corn starch or more until desired consistency
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter

I used a cast iron pan for this but a Dutch oven would work great as well. Add the onions and garlic to the olive oil butter mix and cook until they soften. Add the chicken broth, Dijon, thyme, and white wine. Simmer down for a few minutes. Add the corn starch to thicken the sauce and then drop in the chicken pieces. Simmer on the stove for 5 minutes and then put in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes while your pasta cooks. 

For the candied sweet potatoes, we peeled 4 small potatoes and chopped them into cubes. Add a teaspoon or so of butter,two tablespoons brown sugar, sprinkle with salt. Stir well and bake on 400 until soft and starting to brown. You can broil at the end to brown them a but if you prefer. Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Personal Trainers & Gym Trends

By Lisa VanWilliams

Last week I worked out with a Personal Trainer and it was a great change from my regular routine. It got me interested again from straying away from my comfort zones. I learned some new things to try and she challenged me more than I challenge myself...she pushed me. She kicked my butt and I think I want more ?!

U.S. News recently did an article called, 7 Steps for Choosing and Keeping the Right Personal Trainer, in which they make suggestions on how to find the find one for yourself:

  1. Get focused on your goals
  2. Make a short list (check out a few different ones based on friends, referrals, style, specialties, etc)
  3. Check credentials
  4. Check prices and know your budget
  5. Set up a consultation
  6. Keep communication open
  7. Know when to move on

We took a look at IHRSA -- The International Health, Racquet, & Sportsclub Association, which is the trade association serving the global health and fitness industry. Their mission is to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry.

Here are some facts on the latest health & fitness trends (2014's data):

  • The Health industry is booming with over 32,000 gyms in the US to pick from
  • There is an average of 52.9 million people that are currently "active" health club members
  • There are about 8 million people out there that use personal trainers in the US

Finding the right fit for yourself can be overwhelming with so many options to pick from. Take your time, try places out, try trainers out, find a place you feel comfortable. Then, FOCUS ON YOU.



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Salad Bowl All Summer

By Lisa VanWilliams

We found this awesome lettuce bowl at one of our local farms. They come with different varieties of lettuce or you could even get creative and make your own with the blends you prefer. These are a great way to eat fresh and local, and you'll need to trim this every week (so you kind of HAVE TO make a salad). For $12.99 it's the salad that just keeps giving. They are beautiful to look at, healthy to eat, and you would be contributing to a good cause.

Try to support your local farms by purchasing all your flowers, plants, & herbs there instead of commercialized big store chains.

If you live locally, we found this at Robert Treat Farms which is a family owned  and operated farm since 1948: http://www.roberttreatfarm.com/

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ground Beef Yorkshire Skillet

By Lisa VanWilliams

When you are tired of meatballs, meatloaf, and meat sauce try this tasty twist on a traditional British dish. It kind of reminds me of Moussaka texture without the eggplant.  It works best in cast iron because you can heat it up to a higher temp which makes your pudding rise higher.

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs whisked
1½ cups milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup onion
1 celery stalked diced
1 shaved carrot
½ teaspoon salt & pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons A1 steak sauce
¼ cup favorite barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, & salt. In another bowl mix together the eggs, milk, butter and parsley. Pour the egg mixture over the flour and mix well. Set aside.

In cast iron skillet, add the onion, celery, and carrot and saute until soft. Add in ground beef, salt&pepper, garlic powder, Montreal steak seasoning and cook until brown. Drain. Add all three sauces and mix well. Pour the batter over the meat and toss in oven. Bake for about 45 minutes until it turns a golden brown and rises. Enjoy!