Declutter Challenge

Declutter Challenge: Go from being Domestically Disheveled to being a Dynamic Domestic Diva! ;) And the best part…we are going to do this in 15 minutes a day! Come join us!

How many times have you started off with fantastic intentions of actually getting organized? You just know this time will be different. With the arrival of March, I am in Spring cleaning mode, but this year I have decided to be a little more cautious with my enthusiasm and not jump into this project with full force.

Many people often begin tasks and projects with great intentions. They are excited about the new venture. They have a plan. They start full of energy and then somewhere along the way they get discouraged. The project is taking too long to complete. It’s bigger than they realized and lose their momentum. Or sometimes, they are not seeing any real progress and they throw in the towel.

Well friends, I’ve been there and done that more times than I would like to admit. Due to this, I am approaching my spring cleaning in a whole new way and I would love it if you would join me!

This year we are going to go from being Domestically Disheveled to being Dynamic Domestic Divas! 😉 And the best part…we are going to do this in 15 minutes a day! So how are we going to do it? I’m so glad you asked!

Let’s begin our decluttering challenge by using our Brain Purge system. Go through each room of your house and write down everything you want to address and declutter. Remember, this process takes a few days, so get started with this as soon as you can. You can check out the Brain Purge system here, in case you missed it.

Next, you will need to look at your list for each room and put a star next to the item (only one) that bothers you the most. What causes you anxiety when you go in that room? Is there something that is making your husband crazy when he sees it? Or is there an area of that room you cringe to have guests notice when they come over? Whatever that item is for you, put a star next to it.

We are going to do little projects room by room instead of tackling the entire room at once.  This will help you to see progress more quickly and you won’t get overwhelmed when we mix thing up a bit!

Great! Now let’s do the same thing for each additional list you have from your Brain Purge.

Now, once this is complete, you should have one starred item for each area of your home. I have 19 areas in my home, so I have 19 starred items (1 per area):

Family Room
Breakfast Nook
Kitchen
Storage Pantry
Guest Bathroom
Office
Entryway
Living Room
Dining Room
Game Closet
Linen Cabinets
Nicky’s Bedroom
Joey’s Bedroom
Boys’ Bathroom
Master Bathroom
Master Retreat
Master Closet
Master Bedroom
Storage Closet

These starred items will be where we begin our focus for decluttering.

My 19 items include:

Get rid of old DVDs
Purge the formal serving ware cabinet
Organize kitchen towels
Organize seasonings & spices
Declutter guest bathroom towel cabinet
Purge paper holders
Get rid of boys’ old shoes that no longer fit
Declutter mantle
Clean out old candles and replace with new
Purge old / broken/ or games with missing pieces
Remove all ripped or old towels
Donate Nicky’s clothes that no longer fit (dresser)
Organize toiletry items in boys’ bathroom
Donate Joey’s clothes that no longer fit (dresser)
Organize medicine cabinet
Declutter window seats
Remove all unwanted items from top shelf of master closet
Purge all unwanted / needed items from nightstand
Organize hat shelf

I’m going to transfer theses 19 items to a list of their own. I will keep it posted in my command center, in order to keep me on track.Declutter Challenge: Go from being Domestically Disheveled to being a Dynamic Domestic Diva! ;) And the best part…we are going to do this in 15 minutes a day! Come join us!

Now here comes the fun part…decluttering! But wait…there is one very important thing we need to focus on in order to achieve success and see progress! Are you ready? We are only going to declutter for 15 minutes each day! That’s it! Fifteen minutes is the perfect amount of time to make progress, but not overwhelm yourself. It’s also a manageable amount of time even if your schedule is already jam-packed!  Also, once you see how manageable it is to find 15 minutes in your day, you may be surprised that you can find a small time slot like this a couple of times each day.

As we begin our decluttering, we need to really look at each item that crosses our path and ask the following questions:

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Do I need it?
  3. Can I live without it?

If you don’t love it, don’t need it, or you can live without, it’s gone!  You cannot organize clutter, so we have to purge before we organize.  Which leads to our next step…what to do with the items we are getting rid of?

For this step, you will need 3 containers.  Label them as Keep, Trash, and Donate.

Declutter Challenge: Go from being Domestically Disheveled to being a Dynamic Domestic Diva! ;) And the best part…we are going to do this in 15 minutes a day! Come join us!

As you go through each area of your home, place the corresponding items in each basket.  At the end of each 15 minute round, discard all of the items in the trash basket.  Place your keep items back where they go and place your donate box in a closet, out-of-the-way, until you need it for your next 15 minute purge.

Each time you complete an item on your declutter list, be sure to cross it off.

Declutter Challenge: Go from being Domestically Disheveled to being a Dynamic Domestic Diva! ;) And the best part…we are going to do this in 15 minutes a day! Come join us!

Once you have completed your entire list, it’s time to start a new list until all of the items from your Brain Purge are complete.  I will be doing this Declutter Challenge for all of March and sharing my progress here.  If I haven’t finished all of my items by the end of the month, I will keep going and I would encourage you to do the same.

I’ll be posting my progress here on Fridays and I’ll also share some of my decluttering successes on Instagram as well.

So, who’s with me? Come and join the fun! Just 15 minutes each day can make such a huge impact. Not only will you feel successful, but you will see progress and that will motivate you to keep going!! You CAN do this!

What area will you start decluttering first? Share below!



Friend Fellowship – Nacho Party

A few times a year, I love to invite the boys’ friends over for a fun gathering. There is no special reason for this gathering except to enjoy each others company and make my children and their friends aware that our home is welcoming, safe environment and we are glad to have them be a part of it.  We call these parties friend fellowship.

Each boy is given the opportunity to invite five friends. Before they create their invitations, the boys and I sit down and pick a food theme and day and time to have the get together. This year we have decided that Fridays after school tend to be the best day. The boys have a half day of school and get out at 12 pm. Our house is close enough to school that the whole group can walk to our home together. Then they can have lunch and some fun as well!

Our most recent themed gathering was a nacho bar. Yummy! This is what we decided to include:

  • Chips
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce
  • Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Green Onion
  • Sliced Jalapeños (these are Joey’s favorite)

For beverages, we offered homemade apple juice and water.

Dessert consisted of small fruit cups topped with a little whipped cream.

We started prepping the night before and by “we” I do mean the boys and I. If they are having friends over then I strongly feel they need to participate in the preparations and clean up.

When we decided to have a nacho bar we discussed making our own homemade cheese sauce. Now this is something I have never done, but I’m an adventurous kind of gal, so I researched recipes and decided to try this one.

The night before the party they helped to run the apple pieces through the juicer, scoop the cut up fruit into the small cups and slice the cheese into cubes. The last part of the preparation they helped with was setting out the paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and plastic forks.

In the morning while the boys were at school, I finished cutting and then decantered all of the condiments for the nachos. I also placed the ingredients in the crock pot for the cheese sauce.

The boys arrived home from school with their friends and were very gracious hosts.

Everyone seemed to love the nachos and really enjoyed themselves. After the boys ate, they went outside and played handball, came in and had dessert, and then it was time to go home.
After their friends left, the boys helped clean up without being asked and expressed how grateful they were to share their home and their time with their friends.

I love having people in my home and showering them with hospitality, especially the boys’ friends. Can’t wait for our next get together!

Do you enjoy having people over? How do you encourage your children to become generous hosts?



2017 Goals for Domestically Disheveled

 

Wow, it has been a long time…more than 9 months since my last post. I have truly missed blogging, but duty called and my wife and mama responsibilities required my full-time attention. Now as we seem to be heading into a calmer season of life, I am looking forward to getting back to what I love…hanging out with you in my little corner of the internet. So without further ado, let’s see what goals Domestically Disheveled has planned for the year ahead.

In 2017, this is what posts you have to look forward to:

Faith: God has taught me so much this past year about my ministry in my home and what He wants that to look like. I will be sharing some new and practical ways that we can encourage our husbands and children on a daily basis. Also, we will take a look at where God is during seasons of physical pain and sickness and how we can endure those challenging times with great joy.

Food: After some significant health issues, food and diet have become a challenge in my life, but have no fear…Amazing recipes will still be coming your way! While I am slowly transitioning back to my vegan diet, my family still insists on eating meat. With that said, you will be getting the best of both worlds. Whether you are a carnivore or a herbivore, you will definitely find some great recipes here in the up coming weeks!

Homemaking: Improving my homemaking abilities to provide a loving, nurturing, and welcoming environment is a main goal of mine for the year to come and I am looking forward to sharing that adventure with you. This year will include several renovation projects and implementing new systems to help our home run more smooth.

Organization: Ah, yes…one of the main reasons I started Domestically Disheveled! As time as passed, I have definitely improved in this area, but now face new challenges as I am also teaching part-time a few days a week. This year I will be sharing some great new ideas to help your home run smoother whether you work in the home or work outside of the home.

Also, this year, I will be adding a new component to our organization quest…organization for your classroom or homeschool program! I can’t wait for you to come on this adventure with me. Since going back to the classroom, I have found new ways of organizing my teaching materials, along with new classroom management and organizational techniques. I have also encountered incredible strategies for your homeschool programs. So be sure to stay tuned!

Parenting: I will never stop my quest to be a better mom, a mom who strives to do God’s will with the boys He entrusted to me. As my oldest son has started junior high this year, many parenting challenges have arisen and there are many things we are still working through, but we do so with God’s grace and love. My youngest still struggles with anxiety and each new school year provides a new environment which always requires adjustments. I am looking forward to sharing how we have addressed some of these issues and I am excited to receive your feedback too.

Health: Health and Wellness will be a new topic for me this year, but it is a subject I have become extremely passionate about. I will be sharing several ideas here regarding spiritual, physical, and emotional health. I will also be addressing healing my health problems using a natural approach.

So there you have it…2017 in a nutshell. I am looking very forward to the upcoming year and all of the promise each day holds.

Thank you for joining me it my little Domestically Disheveled part of cyber space!  Don’t forget to join us on Pinterest and Instagram.

What are you looking forward to in 2017? Share in the comments below.



Jicama Black Bean Tacos

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

The other day I was craving tacos in a big way. I have made lentil tacos before, but the recipe still needs some tweaking and honestly, I wasn’t in the mood for lentils. So, I began to ponder what else I could use as my “meat. ”Ideally I wanted something that I had on hand, and that was already prepared.  Yes, it was one of those days. I was really hungry but didn’t want to put a lot of effort into my meal. 😉 A quick survey of the refrigerator and I was set!

These tacos far surpassed my expectations! They are delicious, easy, and they also worked for my 21-day fix meal plan! I’ll be sharing more on the 21-day fix program soon, as it is amazing, but for today, let’s talk tacos!

Come join me in the kitchen!

After a quick peek in the refrigerator, I found these yummy ingredients…

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

Fresh tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and shallots.

 

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

I had also cooked a large batch of black beans the day before, so this became my “meat.”

 

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

I took all of these ingredients and placed them in a small pot and add 3 tbs. of water. I then took some cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, and some cayenne pepper for some kick, mixed it all together and let it heat through (approx. 5-10 minutes).

While the taco filling was simmering, I got to work on my taco shells. I decided to use thinly sliced jicama in lieu of tortillas. I love the crispy texture of jicama and it also has a variety of health benefits as well. It contains phytonutrients, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and a small amount of protein. It tastes good and is good for you, that’s a win in my book!

 

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

I peeled the jicama and used my mandolin to thinly slice it. If you don’t have a mandolin, I highly recommend investing in one. It’s such an awesome tool and I love the fact that I can thinly slice fruits and veggies evenly while keeping all of my digits intact! 😉

Once you’ve sliced your jicama, the taco filling should be ready.

Place a small amount of taco filling on each slice of jicama and severe with toppings of your choice (salsa, guacamole, avocado, sliced jalapeños, etc).

Black Bean Jicama Tacos - Vegan jicama black bean taco are quick and easy to make and sure to be a crowd pleaser! Come check out this delicious dish! You will not be disappointed!

I like to keep mine super simple and just squeeze a little lime juice over each taco!

Delicious!

What are your favorite taco toppings? Share below!

Jicama Black Bean Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
These easy, yet flavorful vegan tacos will have you coming back for more. Quick and easy to prepare, these tacos are sure to be a hit.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup corn
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp, chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp. onion powder
  • ⅛ tsp. garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • thinly sliced jicama
  • sliced limes
Instructions
  1. Chop tomatoes, cilantro, and shallots.
  2. Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and shallots to a small pot and mix together.
  3. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, and cayenne to bean mixture.
  4. Add 3 Tbs of water and turn heat on low.
  5. While bean mixture is warming through, peel and thinly slice jicama. (I highly recommend using a mandolin.)
  6. Once jicama is sliced and bean mixture is heated through, spoon bean mixture onto thinly sliced jicama and serve with your favorite toppings and sliced lime.
  7. Eat and enjoy!

 



Coconut Breakfast Quinoa

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

Breakfast time in our house is pretty simple. During the week, we are all rushing to get out the door and weekends can be pretty busy too. So, I was thrilled to come up with this Coconut Breakfast Quinoa.

In case you aren’t familiar, quinoa is a gluten-free plant food that contains iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E, and fiber. It is one of only a few plant foods that are considered to be a complete protein and it’s also made up of essential amino acids. (source)

It is such a versatile food. Quinoa can be served as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, as a snack, a side dish, an appetizer, or even a main course. But today, let’s focus on breakfast.

Off to the kitchen!

Before you boil the quinoa, you will need to rinse it thoroughly. Do not rush this step. It is an important one. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin, which can cause the cooked quinoa to taste bitter. If you rinse it well, this won’t be a problem at all.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

After rinsing, you will need to boil your quinoa. When it is cooked it will look like it has little sprouts.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

Let’s add the almond milk and maple syrup and gently stir.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

Top the quinoa with the flaked and toasted coconut.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

Now, add some raw cacao nibs.

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

Finish this beauty off with the almond butter and you have a simple breakfast fit for a king or queen!

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa- Looking for a healthy and delicious breakfast? Come and join us as we make Coconut Breakfast Quinoa!

 

I hope you enjoy!

What’s your favorite breakfast food?  Tell me in the comments below!

Coconut Breakfast Quinoa
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This delicious vegan coconut quinoa is sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater! Coconut, raw cacao nibs, and almond butter come together in a perfect melody of flavors.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbs. toasted coconut
  • 2 Tbs. shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • Raw cacao nibs to taste
  • 2 Tbs. almond butter
  • ½ cup almond milk- more or less depending on your preference
Instructions
  1. Begin by thoroughly rinsing the quinoa.
  2. Add rinsed quinoa and water to pot. Bring to an easy simmer and cover.
  3. Cook quinoa for approximately 15 minutes until it appears to look sprouted and all of the water has been absorbed.
  4. Once quinoa is cooked, move to a bowl and add almond milk and maple syrup.
  5. Top quinoa with both types of coconut and raw cacao nibs.
  6. Complete the quinoa by topping with the almond butter.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 



Chickpea Rainbow Salad

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Today the weather is beautiful, here in California! It’s 83 degrees, clear skies, and breezy. I am no longer craving comfort food, but the weather has inspired this bowl of loveliness!

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

 

Chickpea Rainbow Salad! It’s like a painting in a bowl…full of color, absolutely gorgeous! It’s super easy to put together and would be great as a main dish, or could be served as a side dish as well. And guess what? It tastes fantastic too!

So without further ado, let’s head to the kitchen.

You will start by rinsing a can of chickpeas in a strainer, then toss them in a large bowl.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Next, grab a can of dark red kidney beans, rinse, and add to your bowl.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Then you will need to drain and rinse a can of corn. Toss in the bowl.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

So far we have some great color…red and yellow…let’s add some orange too with 2 shredded carrots. Beautiful!

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Now you will need to seed and chop a tomato. Add it to your bowl.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Now we need to add a little green to the mix. Grab a zucchini and chop it into bite-sized pieces.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

For our next ingredient, you will need a peeler, grater, and a pair of food handling gloves. Yes, you guessed it, we are going to add some shredded beets! As a side note, if you add the beets right after you shred them, it will turn all of your other veggies pink. I love pink so I’m ok with this, but if you would like to cut down on the pink hue, you can always place the shredded beets on a paper towel and allow the beets to dry off a bit.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Now let’s take our green onions, chop them up, and toss them in! Doesn’t that look so pretty?

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

After you have tossed in the green onions, let’s drain the sliced olives and toss those in too.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

I’m a girl who loves to add a bit of crunch to her salads, so I added some chopped nuts. This time, I used walnuts, but any nut will do.

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

 

Ok, here is the fun part…dressing! I kept it super simple this time, and just used apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Honestly, it’s delicious! You can finish it off with some salt, pepper, maybe even a few fresh herbs (basil, thyme, etc). Stir it up, garnish with hemp seeds and green onions and you’re ready to go!

Chickpea Rainbow Salad-This super easy and protein packed chickpea salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Chickpea Rainbow Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Super easy and protein packed salad that will not leave you disappointed! Colorful and nutritious, this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Ingredients
  • 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas
  • 1 14.5 can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can whole kernel corn
  • 2 carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 roma tomato seeded and chopped
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1 medium beet peeled and grated
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (your choice)
  • 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped herbs (basil or thyme)-optional
  • hemp seeds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse chickpeas. Add to large bowl
  2. Rinse dark red kidney beans. Add to bowl.
  3. Drain corn. Add to bowl.
  4. Peel carrots. Grate and place in bowl.
  5. Seed and chop tomato. Place in bowl.
  6. Chop zucchini and add to bowl.
  7. Peel and grate beet. Place grated beets on paper towels to help remove excess juice. Once beets grated beets are dry, place in bowl.
  8. Chop green onions. Reserve 2 tbs to use as garnish before serving. Add rest to bowl.
  9. Add ½ cup of nuts to salad.
  10. Add 3 tbs apple cider vinegar and 2 tbs of olive oil.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Add fresh chopped herbs. (optional)
  13. Garnish with chopped green onion and hemp seeds.
  14. Mix, serve, devour!

 



Beet Fennel Soup

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

If you hang around my Instagram, then you are probably aware of the fact that I love beets!  My husband is also a beet aficionado and was very excited when I came up with my most recent creation… Beet Fennel Soup.

Not only are beets beautiful (I’m quite a fan of pink! 😉 ), but they offer a wide variety of health benefits.  Beets are high in vitamin C and fiber.  They also contain beneficial minerals like potassium and manganese.  Beets may also help to lower your blood pressure, increase your stamina, and they may even help to fight inflammation.  But most importantly, they taste great, who could ask for more?

All of this beet talk is making me hungry!  Shall we head to the kitchen?

Let’s begin by roasting your beets and an onion. Wash the beets, drizzle each one with some olive oil and wrap each beet in foil.  After peeling the onion, quarter it, sprinkle it with fresh cracked pepper, Himalayan sea salt, and some more olive oil.  Carefully wrap your onion in foil as well.

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

 

Place the beets and onion on a baking sheet and place in a preheated (375 degree) oven and roast for 1 hour.

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

While the beets and onion are roasting, go ahead and coarsely chop 1 fennel bulb.  Save the fronds to use as a garnish later, if you want to make your soup look extra pretty! 😉

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

Next, you’ll shred 1/2 of a small head of green cabbage.  I used my food processor and it worked great!

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add garlic. I prefer this kind, as its extremely flavorful and already chopped.  Stir garlic until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

At this point, you will add the shredded cabbage and chopped fennel.  Stir often until cabbage and fennel soften, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

Next, add the vegetable stock and water.  Turn on a low heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beets and onion are done roasting.

When the beets are done roasting, take them out of the oven and open the foil. This will allow the beets to cool a bit, so they can be easily handled when peeling.  When they are cool enough to hold go ahead and peel them. I usually wear food handling gloves, otherwise I end up with pink hands for a couple of days.

Now here is the point where you get to customize your soup experience.  My husband prefers his soup to be smooth and not chunky.  Because of this I place the cabbage, onion, fennel, and roasted beets back into my food processor and bring it to a smooth and creamy texture.  I add broth from the pot to thin it out and bring it to bring it to just the right consistency.  After you have the soup at the desired thickness, pour it back into the large pot.

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

If you prefer your soup to be chunky, then you can chop your roasted beets and onion into bite sized pieces and add it to the simmering cabbage and fennel.  Either way it will be delicious!

Once the soup is back in the pot you will add the white wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, Himalayan sea salt, garam masala, coriander, and fresh cracked pepper.  Stir in all ingredients until they are evenly distributed.  Bring soup back to a simmer.  Cover and cook for an additional 20 minute.

Now it’s time to eat!!  Serve immediately and garnish soup with fennel fronds. My non-vegan, dairy eating husband enjoys his soup with a dollop of sour cream.  This vegan girl prefers her soup au natural, just pure veggie goodness!  However you prefer, I hope you love this soup as much as we do!

 

Beet Fennel Soup -If you love beets, this Beet Fennel Soup is for you! Simple, healthy, filling, and delicious! You can serve it as an appetizer or main dish. Enjoy!

 

Beet Fennel Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 8
 
Refreshing and satisfying Beet Fennel Soup!
Ingredients
  • 4 medium beets
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • ½ head of green cabbage
  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash beets, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil.
  3. Quarter onion, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh cracked pepper, and Himalayan sea salt, wrap in foil.
  4. Place beets and onion on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 1 hour.
  5. While beets and onion are roasting, shred cabbage using food processor.
  6. Roughly chop fennel bulb.
  7. Heat olive oil in large pot. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  8. Add cabbage and fennel to pot and sauté until soft. Once soft add vegetable broth and water.
  9. Cover and allow to simmer while beets and onion are roasting.
  10. After beets and onion are done roasting, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  11. Once cool, peel beets (I recommend wearing food handling gloves so your hand don't turn pink).
  12. If you want your soup smooth and creamy, add cabbage, fennel, beets, and broth to food processor and blend until desired texture and then add back to pot.
  13. If you prefer chunky soup, cut beets into bite sized pieces and add to pot.
  14. Add coriander, garam masala, sea salt, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir well to fully incorporate all ingredients into soup.
  15. Cover and simmer an additional 20 minutes.
  16. Serve and enjoy!

 



This entry was posted in Food.

How To Organize Thank You Notes

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

After Christmas this year, the boys sat down to write their thank you notes. However, there was one problem. Their mom is domestically disheveled. 😉 Nicky couldn’t find the thank you notes he wanted to use. Joey wanted to use a particular pen but had no idea where it was. Needless to say, my thoughts of a happy time sharing memories with my boys quickly faded as their moods went from bad to worse. They were grumpy, I was irritated, and it was not turning out to be a very good time.

Then when it came time to address the cards, both boys handed me their stack and went happily on their way. Here I should probably mention that they had both licked each and every envelope and failed to write who the note was going to. Arrrgghhh!

Something needed to be done. I needed to turn this chaos into calm and that’s when I came up with the idea of a thank you note station.

This quick and easy organizational tool is simple to put together and very cost-effective!

I started at the Dollar Store. Here I bought several packs of thank you notes and blank note cards.

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

Next, I purchased some special pens and a pen holder. You could also use a small plastic cup or an old soup can.

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

I wanted a basket or container that would hold the cards, pens, stamps, and a small address book. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I searched the sales at several stores. I found this cute basket at Michael’s. It was 40% off and I had a gift card. SCORE!Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

I also purchased a small address book and wrote the names and addresses of family members and friends.

I decided to use a cute clip to hold a book of stamps. I found this clip in a 3-pack, in the dollar section at Target. I attached it to the basket using small, circular pieces of velcro.

 

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

I wanted to make sure that the note cards stayed organized inside of the basket, so I placed them in see-through jewelry bags.

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

Ahh…organization. It feels so good!

Easy to assemble and cost-effective way to organize your thank you notes!

 

Do  you have a special way to organize your thank you notes? Share below!



Coconut Dreams

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

Oh, Coconut Dreams, where have you been all of my life?! Friends, are you ready this? You are about to embark on a tantalizing, delectable coconut journey. My son devoured them, as he is a huge coconut fan. My husband who isn’t a big fan of sweets, asked for seconds. So I guess you could say these were a big hit in our house!

Since going back to my vegan lifestyle, I have consumed very little sugar, but I was in the mood for a treat. I wanted something sweet, but not processed. I began poking around the pantry and found some dates, vegan chocolate chips, some unsweetened coconut flakes and some finely shredded coconut. When you put these things together and add a blond with a sweet tooth, you get Coconut Dreams!

These are simple to make, will satisfy the need for a treat, and have your family praising your culinary skills! Are you ready? Let’s go to the kitchen!

To start, you will need to grab the dates and add them to your food processor.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

After the dates are coarsely chopped, add the coconut water and continue to chop them in the food processor.  While the dates are being chopped, line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Once you have a thick paste you are ready to shape the dates into balls.  I used my cookie scooper.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Next, place each ball into the shredded coconut and cover completely.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Once the balls are covered, place them on the cookie sheet, and put them in the freezer for approximately an hour or so, just so they firm up a bit.Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Next, its time for these babies to go for a chocolate bath!  After you have melted the chocolate, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a bit, just for a few minutes.  You can either use a toothpick or spoon to help cover each ball in chocolate.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Once it is completely covered, remove it and place it  in the flaked coconut, then  place it back on the baking sheet.

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

 

Place these dreamy bites back in the freezer for at least an hour and then sit back and ENJOY!!!

Coconut Dreams - Looking for a mouthwatering treat? Look no further, coconut dreams have arrived Shredded coconut, dates, and chocolate, what could be better?

Coconut Dreams
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole pitted dates
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • ½ cup finely shredded coconut
  • ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips or chunks
Instructions
  1. Coarsely chop dates in food processor.
  2. Add coconut water and continue chopping dates into a thick paste.
  3. Scoop date paste into small balls.
  4. Roll each date ball in finely shredded coconut until completely covered.
  5. Place coconut covered balls onto parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for approximately 1 hour or until firm.
  6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or on lowest heat in a small sauce pan.
  7. Once chocolate is melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  8. Dip each date ball into chocolate until completely covered.
  9. Roll chocolate covered ball in the flaked coconut. Once covered, remove and place back on baking sheet.
  10. Place Coconut Dreams back in the freezer until firm.
  11. Remove from freezer.
  12. Eat and enjoy!

 



Protecting Your Marriage From An Emotional Affair

Protecting Your Marriage Against Emotional Affairs - Emotional affairs are all too common in today's society.  They seem to be happening all around us, but there are ways you can protect your marriage.

Emotional affair…I don’t know about you, but those words turn my stomach. What is an emotional affair you may ask? According to Wikipedia, an emotional affair is an affair between two people that mimics the closeness and emotional intimacy of an affair while never being physically consummated. An emotional affair is often colloquially referred to as an affair of the heart.

An affair of the heart…those words leave an irrefutable sting as I say them aloud. And unfortunately in our society, this is all too common of an occurrence. Some will even call it “no big deal.” I have to say, I strongly disagree.

It may start as a new work friendship. The two of you connect. Soon the text messages begin. Next, you’re thinking about this person all the time. You make excuses so that you can see them more. Every annoying habit your spouse has seems to have multiplied in number and offense. You physically push them away and lean into your new friend. Soon you are sharing all of your problems with you new friend and they share their marital struggles as well. Before you know it, your hearts have strayed.

When a spouse has an emotional affair they give a part of their heart to another person, leaving an empty hole for their husband or wife to deal with. While even if the physical act of adultery has not been committed, emotional adultery has. And it hurts. It stings. Some have even said it was worse than a physical betrayal.

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you been impacted by a situation similar to the one I’ve described? Maybe a girlfriend has shared a similar story and you wondered how you could prevent an emotional affair from happening in your marriage.

While affairs of the heart may be common, they are preventable. Here are 5 ways to safeguard your marriage from an emotional affair.

Do not spend time alone with a member of the opposite sex, especially someone you have a history with. While this may sound silly to some, it’s a good rule to have. If you have dated someone previously, let’s be honest, there was a reason you were attracted to them in the first place. That attraction can easily be rekindled, especially if you are having a difficult time in your own marriage.

Do not share your marital problems with a member of the opposite sex. This is a big no-no! When you share difficulties in your marriage with a member of the opposite sex, you are opening up the door for trouble. Sharing this type of information can forge a closeness between the two of you. That is an emotional closeness that belongs ONLY to your spouse.

Make sure you have a like-minded group of friends that will be there to support you and your marriage. Attitudes are infectious and contagious. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with like-minded friends that are committed to their marriages no matter how tough things get. All too often people get sucked into the negativity another person is projecting. Before you know it, you have a plague of marital unhappiness and spousal discontent.

If you are uncomfortable with a friendship your spouse is having, discuss it immediately in a non-confrontational way. My husband and I have made a commitment to each other to discuss if we are ever uneasy with friends the other has. We also have a clear understanding of what boundaries we each need to have in order to protect our marriage.

Pray! Yes, that’s right! Pray! Pray for your spouse and your marriage every day. Ask God to protect your hearts and your relationship.

Your spouse is an amazing gift from God. The emotional intimacy between a husband and wife belongs only to them. Guard yours well. Pray for it and appreciate it every single day, no matter how tough it gets. No one ever said marriage would be easy, but my friends it is so worth it!!

How do you protect your marriage? Share in the comments below!