Saturday, March 14

Recipe 4 of 50: Crock Pot Taco Chicken


A friend made this dish for our girls weekend last week. After the first bite I was addicted; we ate the chicken mix just about every day on tortillas. I made it Thursday once I was able to get all the ingredients and had time to throw it in the crock pot early since it cooks for 8 hours. The first night we ate them on tortillas. The boys added lettuce, shredded cheese and sour cheese but I didn't put anything mines because they're just that flavorful. My mom took some for lunch the next day and ate hers on crackers and I threw some over brown rice and topped it with cilantro (tons). You can really have fun with this stuff. Get the original recipe over at recipeknead.com

Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs. chicken breasts
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
  • ½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp cumin
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups dry rice
  • 8 oz. extra sharp cheddar
  • ½ bunch cilantro

Place chicken on the bottom and everything except the rice, cheese and cilantro on top. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Once finished use fork to shred chicken.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11

DIY: Whipped Body Butter

The cold temperatures these last few weeks have had a tremendous affect on me and the boys skin. Nothing was able to keep Kamari's dry skin moisturized and Auden's eczema got so bad that it started to bleed; despite using otc topical medication. I got fed up of reapplying lotion and coconut oil all day and whipped up some all-natural body butter for us. I'm so glad I did and regret not doing it earlier. Not only has the body butter dramatically improve Auden's eczema, but his scarring as well. I don't think his skin has ever recovered this fast without the aid of otc medication. So I had to share my new body butter recipe.


In a mixer I whip desired amount of Shea butter then add in melted cocoa butter, melted coconut oil and a few drops of lemon essential oil. I don't measure anything anymore because I tailor my recipe based on our skin needs. I always whip the Shea butter first and add my melted ingredients last so I can get an idea of how much of the body butter I'm making. Depending on my skin needs determines how much of each ingredient I'll add in. For instance, in the summer I'll use less Shea butter and more coconut oil so that my body butter isn't as heavy.
 
Shea butter benefits:
evens skin tone
absorbs quickly w/out leaving greasy residue
restore elasticity
rich in vitamins A, E and E

Cocoa butter benefits:
helps improve eczema*
absorbs easily and helps retain moisture
reduce dark marks
rich in vitamin k
contains antioxidants

Coconut oil benefits:
absorbs quickly
strengths skin
fights fungal infections
helps improve eczema
strengths and promotes healthy nail growth

 
 
If you have never made body butter and would prefer to follow a recipe, check out loveandcupcakesblog.com for a simple recipe. Before you know it you'll be making alterations and tailoring your body butter to fit your skin needs. Whether you want to try a natural approach to tackle a skin condition or you want to renew your skin, experimenting with natural butters and oils can be easy with just a little research and patience.


*Cocoa butter contains cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP), a substance that inhibits the production of the immuno globulin IgE. IgE is known to aggravate symptoms of both dermatitis and eczema.

Wednesday, March 4

DIY: Yarn Wall Hanging

Finally got around to making Auden's wall hanging following ispydiy.com instructions.


What you'll need:
Yarn
Rope
Scissors
Copper Tubing
Dowel
Painters tape
Tube Cutter


I purchased the yarn from micheal's and the rope, copper tubing, dowel, and cutter was from home depot.

Changes I made:
I had my husband cut about 1' off the dowel which was 4' long.
I burned the end of the rope that I cut so that it wouldn't unravel.
I used the painters tape to make the angle cut.
It wasn't mentioned in the ispydiy post but cutters are needed to cut the copper

DIY: Steam Facial



Facial Steaming Benefits:
  • Opens up pores so it's good for prepping your face before applying a mask; removing toxins; and unclogging pores.
  • Hydrates skin
  • Loosens blackheads and whiteheads
  • Helps shed dead skin
The facial should be done no more than once a week and no longer than 15 minutes.


Steps:
1. Cleanse or exfoliate your face w/ a gentle cleanser
2. Put water (just under boiling) into a basin
3. (Optional) Add herbs and essential oils (start w/ 1 drop) 
4. Drape towel over your head and basin and steam for about 10-15 minutes 
4. Cleanse and moisturize facial or apply a mask.


I added a bag of green tea, a handful of rose pedals and 2 drops of  lemongrass and lemon essential oils to my hot water (should have used 1 drop each). I draped a towel over my head and steamed my face for about 10 minutes. This facial is very relaxing so I waited until everyone was in bed to do it and unwind. To add to a calming atmosphere I dimmed the lights and played some SZA while waiting. I cleansed my with Cetaphil before and after making sure to rinse with cool water to close my pores and a light moisturizer.

I felt refreshed and serene afterwards. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed; which I did. I wish I could do this every night, unfortunately I can't but I will be adding this to my weekly routine. Ladies this is the most affordable spa-like facial you'll get a home. You can also find steam tabs at Lush if you don't have herbs and essentials.

Monday, February 23

Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread

We always have bananas in the house and occasionally there's always those 2 or 3 that become overripe and get tossed and I hate it. I try to incorporate them into our meals somehow like peanut butter and banana sandwiches or throw some in a bowl of oatmeal but since I've been baking lately I looked up some banana bread recipes. I love bananas but I'm not a fan of banana bread so I looked for recipes that included cinnamon (because cinnamon makes everything taste better) and found a Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread recipe that is to die for.


Ingredients

1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon


With a paddle attachment blend egg, sugar & vanilla. Next, margarine. Finally, buttermilk & bananas. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and slowly add to mixer. Once everything is well blended spray loaf pan with non stick spray and pour in batter.


Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

I mixed all the ingredients together with my hands so that it clump. The first time I tried this recipe I mixed it with a spoon and it became very smooth and I had to roll it to make it more Crumb like, if the makes any sense.

Bake at 350F.

 Remove the bread immediately from pan after removing from the oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle on some powdered sugar and you're done.

This recipe is great for beginners and tastes like its from the bakery. For the full recipe go to littlebitsof.com

Monday, February 16

DIY: Crate Bookcase

Auden needed a bookshelf bad. Half of his books would be stacked on his floor and the other half were on his brothers bookcase. I didn't want to get a plain white bookcase from Ikea so I searched periodically for a vintage one that had some character but had no success. So when I came across this pic on pinterest...
 It seemed simple enough to do and was the look I was going for. So I sent my husband a pic and he picked up the supplies from Home Depot that day.


I did one coat of the stain and let it dry overnight.


The books are on top to weigh down the back of the bookshelf some while the wood glue dried.




All products and tools were purchased at Home Depot.
Post any questions below in the comment box.


Sunday, February 15

Recipe 3 of 50: Cajun Spiced Tilapia w/ Tomatoes


Ingredients
  • 5 fillets of Tilapia
  • 2 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4C green peppers, diced
  • 3/4C onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of cajun seasoning
  • 1tsp olive oil
Full recipe is on www.skinnytaste.com

Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until soft.

Add green peppers, tomatoes and cajun seasoning. Cooked for about 3 minutes.

Lay fish over tomatoes and cover.

I flipped my fish after maybe 10 minutes then cooked for an additional 5-8 minutes. I sprinkled some parsley over fish and served immediately.

My mom joined us for dinner the night I made this and said she could eat it everyday. It has a nice kick but is not too spicy and I actually added extra cajun seasoning. This one is definitely a winner!