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Why People Think I am So Weird

3 Jun

I have had my fair share of embarrassing moments in my life.

From loudly boofing during silent reading in 5th grade, to my bathing suit top falling off in a wave pool at my 8th grade end of the year swim party…

Some things you will just never forget.

And some people will never let you forget either.

Like the time in highschool when a couple of friends and I were reading a brochure on Hawaii, and learned what Pearl Harbor really was.

Thanks to everyone filling me in, I learned that Pearl Harbor was NOT a SHIP IN Japan that was BOMBED by the Japanese…

Or the time when I loudly shouted for all to hear that they should look at the birds sitting on the beach…When in reality they weren’t birds, they were rocks. I got glasses a couple weeks later.

Or maybe, we should talk about the time where someone told me I needed to change my blinker fluid in my car, and so I called a repair shop and asked if they had different colors for blinker fluid, because I really wanted pink.

And lastly, I’ll never forget being compared to Jessica Simpson for buying canned Tuna, only wanting Chicken..Because the dang bottle said Chicken of the Sea..

(And if you ask me, I think it’s rather stupid it says that. Chicken cans don’t say Fish of the Land)

I think you get the idea.

But recently, I haven’t been reminded of Flashing Teeny Boobes, or Fish in a can, it’s my cooking that tends to be the butt of every joke.

Everything from Vegan, to tree huggers, to organic freak, to heath nut..I’ve heard it all.

And for a while I was starting to worry that it was stopping people from being friends with me. I mean, who wants to hang out with someone that loves gaseous spinach and takes pictures of it…

Well my friends..Are you out there??

Because things are about to get a little more embarrassing when you find out what I put in these muffins…

Spinach and Squash Muffins w/ Lemon Glaze

*Despite the name, these are actually fairly sweet. No one would even guess they were good for you…AND that they contained Spinach and Squash.*

Ingredients:

Dry:

1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1/2 C Coconut Flour (or WHP)

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Ginger

Wet:

2 C. Fresh Spinach

2 Small Yellow Squash finely grated (about 1 C. worth)

1/3 C. Organic Cane Sugar

1/4 C. Applesauce

1/4 C. Canola Oil

1/4 C. Non Dairy Milk

Directions: 

1. Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.

2. Using a food processor, add spinach and pulse until finely pureed/chopped. Add spinach plus the rest of the wet ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined.

3. Add wet to dry and fold until combined. Do not over mix.

4. Preheat oven to 350, and when oven is hot and ready, scoop batter into muffin pan (Can top with coconut)  and bake for about 20 minutes, or until center comes out clean and edges are golden.

Lemon Glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp (maybe more) water

Directions:

Mix until combined. Drizzle on muffins.

Making/Keeping friends is getting more difficult every time I bake..

But if it’s any consolation, my Hubby had two of these fresh out of the oven smeared with butter…

And he still loves me..

And he loved the muffins..

And he also loves donuts…

Luckily for me, Hubby is stuck with me Forever..

He has no choice but to accept that if it involves me..

It ain’t gonna be normal!

Boof!

Rainy Soup for the Soul

27 May

Ready for a joke?

What do you get when you cross 3 days of rain + 1 Baby Boo + 1  Mama ??

Answer:

Little Helper in the Kitchen:

Broken dishes:

Broken Wisk-A-Mabober:

Yogurt in the Bathtub: (Don’t even go there)

Peeling the skins off Chickpeas: (P.S. I was doing a spell check and realized I almost left the L out of Peeling…)

And the most delicious soup I have had to date:

Zucchini, Sweet Potato, and Cilantro Soup

Recipe by: 101 cookbooks.

Changes I made from the original recipe:

-Instead of Potatoes I used Sweet Potatoes

-Added an extra 1/2 cup cilantro

-Added seasonings: Cumin, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper

-Topped with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Drizzled with “Cheeze Sauce”

-“Cheeze Sauce idea from OhShe Glows: 1/4 cup hummus, 1-2 TB non diary milk, and 2 TB nutritional yeast all mixed together.

Best. Soup.Ever.

Warm, inviting, delicious, comforting, creamy, and did I say delicious?!

Oh, and if you must know, the yogurt in the bath tub had to do with a dumb idea on the internet.

It was an “edible” finger painting activity that turned into an episode of wipeout..

and no not Baby Boo…

Rain Rain please go away..

Some of us are going crazy…okay?

Butternut Squash Pizza Crust-Healthy AND Gluten Free! :)

26 May

Let’s talk about Pizza.

I tried to make pizza one time when I was in middle school..

To this day my family hasn’t let me down from the shame. Want a little cooking tip?

‘When a recipe calls for a package of yeast, that means a little teeny tiny package…

NOT a costco size package.’


Ever since then, I just can’t get pizza dough right. I let it rise, but it never does.

I use whole grain flour but it’s too whole grainy.

And it’s never flaky..it’s more like a dense brick of carbs.

It really tickles me off, because I love pizza, but I most definitely don’t want to resort to a $5-10 Hot N’ Ready To Go To Your Thighs Pizza…

So what’s a diva to do..(Diva/Drama Queen-Same Thing)

This question, along with my prayers, were answered when I was on Jess from Healthy Exposures blog (Beautiful Girl.Beautiful Pics.Yummy Food.Check her out!) She talked about this sweet potato pizza crust that she found on Rawxy (Foxy Raw to be exact! She is amazing! Delicious Recipes too! Check her out also!!)

I was in AWE…To say the least. I had to make it.

So I did! I didn’t have sweet potato, but I had butternut squash, so I tweeked it just a tad…And You want to know the best parts!!

Completely Delicious!

SUPER easy!

Super Fast!

Delicious!!

Butternut Squash Pizza Crust with Veggie Toppings and Raw Parmesan Cheeze

Adapted from Rawxy

*Gluten Free, Vegan*

(For the crust:)

1 Cup Butternut Squash Puree

1/2 cup Coconut Flour (Can sub any other flour, but the amounts may be slightly different)

1 cup Brown Rice Flour

1 TB EVOO

1 TB Baking Powder

1 TB Dried Rosemary

Dash of salt

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into food processor with dough blade. Combine until a dough ball forms. Roll out dough on prepared baking sheet or pizza stone. You can use all the dough, or wrap half  up and save it for later.

2. Then top with desired toppings. I started with a homemade cilantro avocado hummus.

Then an array of veggies, and of coarse olives. I also included shredded zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and chickpeas.

Next, I added the most amazing and delicious Raw Parmesan Cheese, recipe also from the amazing Rawxy!

1/8 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/8 cup cashews + 1/4 cup nutritional yeast blended together into fine crumbs..A-maz-ing!

When ready, bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are brown/crispy.

Pretty much the only way I want to eat pizza from now on 🙂

Tonight was girls night since my Hubby is knee deep in studying, so I shared some with Baby Boo because the crust was perfect texture for her little gum-less mouth! She loved it!

Now we’re off to do more girly things..

I don’t care how little hair she has, I’m gonna find a way to curl it! 🙂

The Rules of Food and Market Inspired Wrap

23 May

People that know me, would probably say I am good at following the rules.

Scratch that..

I am good at following certain rules.

Scratch that again…

I am great at following the right rules, and it is I who determines which rules exactly are the right ones..

(You would think I wear the pants in my marriage…not yet I don’t…)

You see, I feel I am a good enough person where I can determine which rules are important in my life to hold on to, and which rules I feel I am able to slide on every once in a while..

Problem is, the rules I slide on, always come back to bite me in the bootay…

So technically, I really don’t know what I’m doing..I just am to stubborn to admit it.

And there is a certain someone constantly reminding me…

Today, I realized I have slacked in the Mama department.

I know I know, how can someone as perfect as me be any less than an amazing Mama??..

Let me explain.

People always told me, don’t pick up your baby every time she cries..

I thought, how cruel..of coarse I will pick her up, I love her..

10 months later, I have learned to put on mascara, chop vegetables, and get dressed all with one hand and a baby on my hip..

I heard rules about teaching your baby to put themselves to sleep…

But I enjoyed rocking Baby Boo at two in the morning, catching up on reruns of Family Matters..

10 months later..I no longer like Family Matters, and 2 a.m. infomercials for pajama jeans have never looked so sexy.

And last, but definitely not the least of them,

I was told to never give into pouty faces…

But somehow with each little curl of the bottom lip, I find myself holding a needy baby at two in the morning, wishing I was wearing Pajama Jeans…

And I have never been happier.. 🙂

Although, if there is ONE set of rules that I almost always follow, its the Rules of Food.

I am pretty strict when it comes to what I put into my body, unless Death by Chocolate is staring at me in the face..But other than that I consider my self a stickler. So when I came across THIS book at my local library, I JUMPED for joy, silently, and checked it out in a hurry! I love Michael Pollan, and I couldn’t wait to dig into it.

Source

What this book does is simply lay out the rules of eating..What, where, how much, what kind etc..

It’s a SUPER easy read, I finished it within 20 minutes, because it’s just a sentence a page.

Here are some of my favorites 🙂

  1. DON’T EAT ANYTHING YOUR GRANDMOTHER WOULDN’T RECOGNIZE AS FOOD. (EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING LIKE GO-GURT)
  2. AVOID FOOD PRODUCTS THAT NO ORDINARY HUMAN WOULDN’T KEEP IN THE PANTRY. (ANYONE ELSE NOT HAVE AMMONIUM SULFATE?)
  3. AVOID FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING INGREDIENTS A THIRD GRADER COULDN’T READ
  4. AVOID FOODS ADVERTISED ON TELEVISION
  5. EAT ONLY FOODS THAT HAVE BEEN COOKED BY HUMANS
  6. IF IT CAME FROM A PLANT, EAT IT. IF IT WAS MADE IN A PLANT, DON’T.
  7. EAT ANIMALS THAT HAVE THEMSELVES EATEN WELL.
  8. EAT LIKE AN OMNIVORE
  9. DON’T EAT BREAKFAST CEREALS THAT CHANGE THE COLOR OF YOUR MILK
  10. PAY MORE, EAT LESS
There are a total of 64 rules, that are all, I believe, important to follow.
One of my favorites was that he talked about getting out of the grocery store, and buying food, fruits, veggies,and snacks from local farmers markets. Supporting our local farmers, all the while eating fresh and wholesome food. 🙂
So I took dear old Pollan’s advice, and went to the farmers market on Saturday!
And I actually didn’t spend the Hubby’s life savings, despite what he says..
I only spent 30 dolla’s!! I got a 3 pack of strawberries, two HUGE bunches of Swiss chard, 2 lemons, 4 zucchinis, HUGE bunch of cilantro, 2 lb bag of cherries, 2 tubs of hummus, bag of vegan pesto, and broccoli the size of my head times three! Pretty good I think. All organic, all locally grown 🙂
And when I got home, I made my self a market inspired wrap.
Start with a Hugh Jass piece of Chard…
Then add your desired dressings.
I did Beet hummus and vegan chipotle pesto from the farmers market.
Then add your abundance of veggies,
I used carrots, tomatoes, apple slices, cucumbers, bell peppers,cilantro, squeeze of lemon, walnuts, and avocado.
Then roll that bad boy up…
Biggest Beefy (not really) veggie wrap known to man…
I enjoyed these with some SUPER sweet cherries and strawberries!
And the possibilities are endless. You can add meat, garbanzo beans, any other veggies, goat cheese…
What ever your precious little ba-donk-a-donk desires!
Now despite all that I said about rules I should have listened to, Baby Boo and I make a pretty good team…
Because we follow the most important rule of them all…
Just.Have.Fun.

Treadmill Workout & Detox Friendly Gluten Free Muffins

19 May

Life has dramatically changed for me since high school.

And everything that I once thought I would be and do…Didn’t really happen.

I wanted to be a marine biologist and swim with the dolphins and wear a wet suit.

That didn’t happen.

I can’t jump in the water without plugging my nose, and wet suits really don’t flatter me.

I used to be a bad driver.

This is true. Too true. I have crashed every car that I have owned…all stupidity. One time I ran into my parents house..No Joke.

I was 15.

My music was loud.

That’s all you need to know.

Now, I am much better, all though I have to convince others, I drive safely because I have a Baby Boo, and I am a Mama and a Wifey.

Way more important than blasting ‘Hot In Herr’ with the windows rolled down pretending that your ‘sick wit it.’

Also something I thought would never change..

I couldn’t exercise for the life of me.

I would go to the gym..run for 5 minutes…get bored..do a little weights…bend and stretch by hot boys..And then go home.

Now..I still bend and stretch by hot boys..kidding kidding

But I can definitely run longer, work harder, and not quit! And if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that you have to do what keeps you motivated when working out…stick to the stuff you love, and run from the stuff you hate.

Meaning..

If you HATE gyms and they just drive the crap crazy-ness out of you..don’t do them. If you love to be outside, dance, run in fresh air, and play sports..Do that. Stick with what keeps you motivated.

As for me, I really love being outside, and dance, and aerobics, and zumba, and I can pretty much handle gyms. But you won’t catch me doing HOT yoga, or yoga period. It has never been a favorite. It bores me..and I need fast pace! And since my Hubby is a hard working student, I am only allowed a certain time period to exercise, and I most often will go to the gym. But after a while the routine can get pretty boring. Running on a treadmill for 30minutes…

Boring.

Spicing that treadmill workout up…

Priceless..I mean..Not boring…

OK, so IF your a runner, and can handle a treadmill, you can try this little workout out. I have been doing it lately, and it’s kept me focused and determined longer, all the while going by faster!

(*Consult with your Doctor before starting any exercise program*)

No Snoozin’ on the Movin’  Treadmill Workout

-5 minute warm up (This can be whatever type of warmup you prefer. I usually just walk)

-4 minutes light jog (this is a slow jog pace, just light and brisk)

-3 minutes run (I adjust my MPH 1 up each time..so this would be at 6 for me, but do at your own level)

-2 minutes sprint (your working harder! Again, I adjusted up 1 MPH, so I was at 7)

-1 minute faster sprint (Run your heart out! I was at 8)

30 seconds fastest you can run sprint ( I was at 9)

-1 minute slower sprint (I went back down to 8)

-2 minutes sprint (I was at 7)

-3 minute run

-4 minute light jog

-5 minute cool down

Total Time: 30 minutes and 30 seconds 🙂

You can adjust you speed to whatever preference you feel, and each week or each time, increase your speed more an more.

I never thought in a million years I would last on a treadmill for 30 minutes.

It’s amazing how far you can go when you push your self..Hopefully soon I can conquer 45 minutes.

It’s not like I couldn’t, I would just much rather be doing some sort of other exercise :)..stubborn much?

You know what else I never thought I would be doing…

I never thought the words Vegan, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, and Detox Friendly would ever be in my vocabulary.

I don’t even think I knew what Vegan meant..

But I am SO glad I do know, because without them…

I probably would FAIL at this Detox.

Chocolate Raspberry Banana Muffins

*Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Detox Friendly*

Adapted from: Coco-A-Nana Bread

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups GF baking flour

1/2 cup ground Almond Meal

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp. Xanthan Gum

2 tsp. Baking Powder

4 ripe bananas

10 pitted dates

3/4 cup rice milk

2 TB water

2 tsp. Vanilla

1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Directions:

1. For my GLuten Free flours I did a combo of 1 cup Brown Rice FLour and 1 cup Garbanzo Bean FLour. 

Then from that I used 1 1/2 cups.

2. Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and stir together. Set aside.

3. In a food processor or blender combine bananas, dates, milk, water, and vanilla. Puree until creamy and smooth.

4. Pour wet into dry and carefully fold ingredients. Do not over-mix batter. Then gently fold in coconut and raspberries.

5. Pour into prepared (greased) desired pan, (I used a large muffin pan) and scoop batter into pan. Top with a little shredded coconut.

6. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes (give or take)

These saved my life.

They were moist, just the right amount of sweetness and enough chocolatey flavor to feel I was sinning 🙂

I guess this goes with out saying,

“Never say Never.”


New Beginning-Detox

18 May

About a month before Baby Boo was born, I quite my job. I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home Mom, so there was no need for me to continue working. My plan was to take that time off and get ready for my new Baby, as well as rest as much as possible, because I knew I would have lack their of in the coming future. (Little did I know a lack their off would continue ten months later.)

Before I knew it I was bored. I had folded and refolded new born onesies, read more than enough about what to expect when the baby was born, and I wasn’t even getting any sleep since Baby Boo found the right side of my rib cage the most comfortable position.

I called my mom complaining, saying how much I wished Baby Boo would get here just so I could have something to do.

My mom told me to enjoy my time, because I would never.be.bored.again.

I laughed.

‘haha Mom what do you know??’

Ten months later…

My mom knows everything.

I have complained before about the lack of showers, lack of sleep, lack of clean house, lack of sleep, lack of cut clothes, lack of sleep..

So you obviously know I am no longer bored.

Tired..Not bored.

And although I wouldn’t have my life any other way, time flies, and before you know it your way behind in laundry, haven’t had a solid workout in a while, and your food is less than stellar..

So that is why I decided it was time for a..

New Beginning

Sometimes we just need to rejuvenate and refresh ourselves, all the while, starting over.

I need to repair my self and strengthen my mentality, my spirituality, my physicality, my emotions(lord knows I have many), and my overall health and wellness.

I re-evaluated and re-adjusted some of my goals, and I am ready to move forward and make myself a better Ari 🙂

Today I am going to talk about Goal Number 1:

Personal Detox/Cleanse

The reason I say ‘personal’ is because I have adapted this detox plans to fit my own personal needs that are best for me and my body. If you are considering a Detox, talk with a doctor, and weigh out all your options. Remember, I am not a doctor.. 🙂

  • Why A Personal Detox/Cleanse: It’s not just the overload of Sugar that has encountered my life in the past few days, but I have also recently felt bloated and crampy. I always eat well, but I feel it’s best to give my digestive system, as well as my whole body a good clean out, and a break. There is a great website that talks about the benefits of a Detox, Alaina Rose shared this with me and you can check it out HERE.
  • What’s the Plan: The plan for me is to stay away from Dairy, Meat, Gluten/Wheat, refined sugars, processed foods, and soy. Oh and Chocolate. (Tear). Most of these will be pretty easy to stay away from, but what I have noticed the most difficult to be is Wheat, Chocolate, and Soy.
  • How is it coming? : I didn’t realize how much my diet often consisted of carbs and…chocolate, until now. I am so happy I am doing this, because it’s helping me realize what I have been putting in my body, even when I thought I was doing a great job.
  • What have you been eating: Delicious.Delicious.Food. I am here to say that you can eat yummy clean food, all the while not sacrificing hunger and taste.
To start of I have had a fresh squeezed juice every day.
Sweet Blackberries Juice
3 carrots, 1 cucumber, 2 apples, 1/2 cup blackberries


Fresh squeezed juice can be kind of scary, but this one I feel would be GREAT for Newbies!
Newbies like Baby Boo..
She loved it! She kept wanting more..Little juice hog!
There also has been PLENTY of Green Smoothies 🙂
I cannot live a day with out one..
Chocolate Covered Berry Smoothie
1 cup rice milk
2 cups spinach (or greens of choice)
1/4 frozen raspberries
1/4 cup frozen Blackberries
1 frozen banana
chocolate protein powder(raw/vegan)
2 TB chia seeds


P.S. My favorite Protein Powder to date:
 Thank you to Liz who sent me these samples, I am in LA LA LOVE!
Want another Green Smoothie?
PB & Blueberry Green Smoothie
1 cup rice milk
2 cups spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp. Peanut Butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
2 TB Chia Seeds


This one taste like a PB & Jelly Sandwhich crossed with Blueberry muffin!
For snacks I have stuck with alot of fruits and raw veggies, but every once in a while I’ll crave something a little different.
Rice cake with a little bit of PB and homemade sugarless jelly!
Sugar-less Jelly?
How do you do that??
Quick Homemade Sugar Free Jam
1/4 cup raspberries
1 TB Chia Seeds
Mash together…and spread!
*If you want something a little sweeter like Jelly, feel free to add a little of agave/maple syrup.*


For main meals such as dinner and lunches, I try my best to include lots of veggies, protein sources from lentils and nuts and seeds, and a little bit of Gluten Free Carbs.
A salad I enjoyed today was a Kale Salad.
Kale can be somewhat scary, but I promise you it’s not. Kale is known to help aid in the detoxification process 🙂 It also has tons of nutrients, antioxidants, aids in digestion, and tons of vitamins.
Lemony Kale Salad
2 cups Kale
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Massage ingredients into kale until coated. Top with desired salad toppings. I did:
Blackberries
Tomatoes
Almonds
Carrots
Cranberries

*Goat cheese would be YUM YUM on this salad as well..Or some lemony chicken…Or Both!*
I have also been roasting a bunch of veggies to have on hand when needed.
I have even cooked up some brown rice, lentils and beans, and quinoa to throw in salads, wraps, and soups.
Like this salad, which is a bed of spinach, italian spiced quinoa, and roasted veggies!
I topped it with THIS sauce, but instead of using the pepper the recipe called for, I replaced it with sweet corn.
I loved it!! Sweet, yet Savory!
(P.S. Ashley From the Edible Perspective has great sources and recipes for doing a Detox! Definitely check her out!)
Hubby and Baby Boo even got in on the action.
Hubby’s dinner:
Spinach, Quinoa, Veggies, and Chicken.
Baby Boo’s:
Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potato.
Happy Healthy Family 🙂
For now at least 🙂 Hubby made me make him homemade Mac N’ Cheese tonight to make up for his abundance of veggies last night…
I’ll get him someday 🙂
As for now I’ll continue to sneak hidden healthy tid bits in his food every so often…Kind of like what you do with 5 year olds..
Probably the hardest part of this whole detox has been the lack of sweets. It’s not like I pig out on sweets every day, but I always grab a bite of dark chocolate here and there to satisfy my craving..
I was beginning to worry I wasn’t going to be able to do it for two weeks..
That was until I created this little angel…
Vegan.
Gluten Free.
No Sugar.
No Dairy.
Detox Friendly.
And taste like chocolate..
.
🙂 Me Likey…
Recipe coming soon! 🙂 Have a great week!
*I am not a doctor. If you are considering a cleanse please consult a Doctor to establish the best choices for YOU personally :)*


Skinny Minny Carrot Cake Milkshakes

6 May

When I found out I was pregnant, right away I started preparing for a girl, even before I knew the gender.

I believed, in my little head, that my precious little fetus was going to come into this world wearing a crown, tutu, and baby high heels.

Call me excentric, but I am 150% girly, and I have high hopes for Baby Boo.

My Hubby on the other hand has different dreams.

He ‘believes’ our daughter is going to be the first girl to ever play in the NFL. This is not a joke my friends, because I so wish it was. I try and put my husbands “dreams,” or as I like to call them ‘imaginations’, in the back of my mind, but he insist that 20+ years from now we will all have matching Jersey’s with the name Boo on the back, as we cheer for our little quarter back…

I really think he just wants Season Tickets, and he will go to any measure to get them..

As much as I would love and support my daughter in whatever career she chose (besides a few minor ones…), I think it really stems down to the fact that I definitely couldn’t handle another person throwing and bouncing balls around this household..

Bonk…Bonk…Bonk..

“Hubby…Hubby..Hubby..”

Bonk…Bonk…Bonk..

You get the idea.

Let’s top that off with this precious chickpea who has so gracefully discovered her voice..

And by gracefully, I mean the complete opposite, because screaming is far from grace.

And at the end of the day, after the noises have gone to sleep, I find it MOST crucial to reward myself in a little Mama Treat.

Milkshakes cure everything..Especially when they don’t make your butt bigger 🙂

Skinny Minny Carrot Cake Milkshake

Ingredients:

1 banana

6 frozen hemp milk ice cubes

2 TB hemp milk

1 large slice Whole Grain Carrot Cake Bread

Directions:

Blend all ingredients into blender until creamy

Remember this amazing bread from the bridal shower I threw this weekend…

Who knew it could get even better…

With each bite, the noises of bouncing balls and shrills from Baby Boo seemed to get quieter and quieter.

Then by the end everything was silent.

But it was too silent for me…

And that’s when I realized that Bonks on walls from my studdly Hubby and happy screams from my sweet angel are nothing less than my favorite noises in the world..

Because with out them, it would be all to quiet..

That is unless Baby Boo started to say words like Hike, and Punt, and 22..47..68..

I don’t think even Milkshakes would be able to solve my problem.

Bridal Showers and Giveaway Winner!

2 May

There are certain words in our vocabulary that have opposites.

For example…

Smelly and Not Smelly

Happy and Not Happy

Tired and Not Tired

and

Martha Stewart and Not Martha Stewart.

OK, so maybe I struggle when it comes to the correct antonyms, (p.s. I just had to look that word up), but if there was a correct word for the opposite of Martha Stewart it would be Ari.

Doubt all you want but I have your pretty little selves fooled with my Cupcakes and my pretty pictures. Looks can be deceiving, and behind my camera lens photographing an oh so pretty Glass filled with blended greens, is a mom wearing grey sweats.

Grey sweats are the no no of all sweats..Not too mention my bright yellow gym shirt and unshaved underarms to go along with the oh so not flattering grey sweats. Grey Sweats that were not purchased at Victoria’s either.

And although these sweats should be kept secret, they are far too worn through out my daily activities. Like trips to the grocery store. Luckily for me people look at my cute Baby Boo, and ignore  that I may in fact be a homeless person walking around with an adorable baby…

But that is besides the point.

What I am trying to get at here is that I am nowhere near good ol’ Martha, but I can sure pretend to be. That’s why I was super excited to throw a Bridal Shower for one of my good friends this weekend. First party I have ever thrown. (Wow-looser?)

Let’s just say I definitely cute-sified it for sure 🙂

There were flowers and butterflies everywhere. This shower had to be 100% girly…No if’s and or Booty’s.

And I wasn’t about to skimp on food either, especially since I knew I wasn’t feeding my husband, and I had to do more than frozen tacquitos.

Fizzy Lemon Drink

4 large bottles sparkling water-lemon flavored

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup honey/agave

sugar, lemon zest

Directions:

In a saucepan heat fresh squeezed lemon juice and honey until honey becomes melted. Remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl and let cool. Once ready to serve drinks, mix honey and lemon mixture with bottles of sparkling water. Take classes and run a lemon around the edge and dip in sugar and lemon zest.


We also had chips and guacamole, which I think is a must have at every party…Probably because I can’t contain my self when it comes to those little triangles of goodness..and that green mush..DELISH!

For the guacamole recipe, I used the one I ALWAYS use from The Pioneer Women.

Guacamole Recipe Here

I also had a Whole Grain Vegan Carrot Cake Loaf

The most MOIST loaf cake I have ever had. No Butter. No eggs. No Big Booty.

And I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but I can’t. It is too amazing. All credit goes to the amazing Angela from OhSheGlows.

You can find that amazing recipe HERE, and thank her, and I, later 🙂

For our main entrée we had a Curry Chicken Salad which I definitely plan to re-create using healthier ingredients. But my husband tried it, as well as the guest and said it was delicious!

For the Curry Chicken Salad recipe, you can find it HERE.

(Notice I don’t have alot of pictures of the food…Well I felt weird taking a bunch of pictures with everyone there. haha. “Umm Ari, why are you taking a picture of those rolls?”

We also had a salad, which I made, meaning basically threw a bunch of delicious things in a bowl and called it good.

Here is what was in it: Baby Greens, Black Berries, Pears, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Goat Cheese, Pecans, and a vinegar dressing.

Then dessert consisted of the following;

Cake Pops for the guest to take home.

Oreo Cake Pops to be exact. My husband ate about 75 of these. He said they were ok… 🙂

And then behold…

Heaven.

You wouldn’t guess it, but there are avocados in the top portion.

Kind of Reminds me of a certain food I once ate.

Rich.Fudgy.Foodgasmic.Heavenly.Perfect.

Whole Wheat and natural Ingredients. So if Your going to indulge, this is a perfect way to do so.

And again, I can’t take credit for this.

Flippen Angela and her AMAZING talent 🙂

For the Vegan Chilled Double Chocolate Torte Recipe go HERE.

Overall we had a fun time. We did the usual make the wedding dress out of TP, and other silly games which every body secretly loves to play.

Mini flower Bouquet our of TP?! Genius!!

And along with everything else, I found time to even get a little crafty.

Want to know what you can do with an empty bottle of canola oil??

Simply Wrap that ‘brown yarn stuff'(what is it called lol) while hot glueing every so often, and eventually you will get a vase!

Cute? 🙂

Ok…Ok…

I have dragged this on LOOONG enough. We all know why your reading this post..

Because you want to see who won My GIVEAWAY!!

AM I right?? 🙂

Ok, here it goes..

The winner of the FIRST giveaway EVER is:

Kate Horning from A Healthy Passion!

Kate is a super cute girl with an awesome blog, so I suggest you check her out ASAP 🙂

As for you Kate, send me your info in an e-mail: thedivadish@yahoo.com!

An additional thanks to all those who entered, because I loved reading everything you guys said about what you loved about YOU!

And I will be doing giveaways in the future so don’t be sad 🙂 I want each and every one of you to WIN!

Thanks loveys! Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got a pair of grey sweats of Chocolate Torte Cake calling my name 🙂

A Far From Royal Life

30 Apr

**Have you entered my GIVEAWAY?? Do so HERE, deadline ends MONDAY!!**

My life is far from royalty.

And although I do live with a princess…and my Hubby is king of the throne…(and we all know what throne I am talking about)

I am nowhere near living the life of a Queen.

In fact, if someone asked me what I did for a living, they would get a list of about 47 different things…

One of them being Throne cleaner.

And another being short order cook.

It just so happens that each person in our ‘Royal Household’ has different taste preferences, and when it comes to any meal of the day, we all want different things.

Of course neither of us is willing to budge, thus dinner may look something like this…

My Hubby, King of the Royal Throne, goes through food phases. I make something that he likes one night, so he request it every night of the week until he get’s bored. (King of the Royal Throne switches to Picky Princess)

This week it’s an egg Sammy.

My plating is also nowhere near Royalty, but considering this was eaten in the manner of a pig at a trough, I would say it looks about right.

It’s really a simple dinner, just some whole grain rolls topped with avocado, humus, and Franks Red Hot Sauce.

My Hubby could swim in a pool of Frank’s Sauce. It probably wouldn’t feel good though, because I am assuming certain things would sting..Which is why swimming in a pool of chocolate would be so much better.

Don’t forget the carton of eggs scrambled with spinach and goat cheese to go on top.

Then comes Ma.

As much as a carton of eggs doused in Franks sounds delicious, I figure I didn’t want to clean another throne anytime soon.

My original plan was the make this meal for all three of us, but when the picky eaters decided otherwise, I decided to make it just for me. 🙂

Layered Cous Cous Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

adapted from the incredible OhSheGlows

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant shredded and thinly sliced

1 large zucchini thinly sliced

2 cups tomato sauce

1 – 1 1/2 cups prepared cous cous

2 TB prepared pesto

1 can drained and rinsed navy beans

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup fresh basil

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp.dried parsly

1 tsp. paprika

2 TB nutritional yeast

2 TB olive oil

2 tsp chopped garlic

Salt and Pepper  

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450. On a baking sheet coated with paper or mat, spread sliced eggplants around and bake in the oven for about 13-15 minutes, or until wilted.

2. While eggplants are baking, using a food processor, blend beans, spinach, basil, spices, nutritional yeast, EVOO, and garlic until creamy. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl add cous cous and pesto and mix until combined. Set aside.

4. Take eggplant out and remove and asseble the rest of the ingredients and get ready to layer casserole dish. I used a circle dish that was deep.

5. Start with a couple TB of tomato sauce on the bottom of a greased casserole bowl.

Then add eggplant,

Then bean puree.

Next add half of zucchini slices and more tomato sauce.

and half of cous cous,

Then repeat process over until all ingredients are gone. Top layer should be couscous.

6. Sprinkle a little bit extra of nutritional yeast on top for good measure. Turn down oven temp to 425 and bake casserole for about 30-40 minutes.

Get ready to drool.

I love casseroles. They are so filling and warm and remind me of sunday dinners with my family.

Only problem is Casseroles usually contains ToNs of fat and cream and cheese…which is the main reason why after Sunday dinners, everybody takes a quick 5 hour nap.

This dish is also good for babies because it mashes easily and is soft  enough to chew. Babies meaning Hubby’s who are scared to try new foods.

“Little bites for the Baby Waby. Just chew..common you can do it..Seee?? It isn’t that bad”

You want to talk about what’s bad…

Princess Fluffy Ball of Mohawk

Her hair continues to grow but only in the mohawk/Joe dirt Mullet form..

I can see it now. Pretty soon I’ll be called Ma and Hubby will be Pa..And she will request overalls and roadkill for dinner..

My life is quickly drifting farther and farther away from Royalty.

A Thankful Giveaway!

28 Apr

There are different types of Gratitude.

One type of Gratitude may be that the previous owner of your home never un-suscribed to their People magazine.

Another may be like this…

I just want to say how extremely grateful I am for the enormous amount of kind, thoughtful, loving, sweet, and amazing comments and emails from everyone!

After I posted about how I almost stupidly deleted my blog, there were many of you who reached out to me with kind words that made me feel SO MUCH better! It was so nice to know that I am not the only one who goes through times not feeling good about one self, and having struggles with self confidence. With that being said, I know how important it is for me to appreciate my self for who I am, and recognize that I am an amazing person….

As are ALL OF YOU!!

And since I am SO extremely grateful for all the amazing friends that I have made, and ones that have stuck with me on this journey to living a healthy and happy life, I wanted to show my gratitude by doing a little giveaway of some of my favorite things! 🙂

The very FIRST giveaway on ThE DiVa DiSh!!

Want to know what the prize is??

Ok, well it isn’t just ONE thing..

First off:

Chia Seeds

I have been wanting to giveaway Chia Seeds for a LONG time because they are seriously So.Amazing!

They have so many amazing and incredible benefits.

-They have a great source of Fiber, Omega 3s, Antioxidants, Vitamins, Minerals, and Calcium.

– They are great for easy digestion and help aid digestion in the process, as well as easily absorbed in liquid, they give you energy, they are filling, and can be used as a thickening agent (like replacing eggs in baking)

-You can add chia seeds to yogurt, cereal, granola, salads, green drinks, smoothies, make chia pudding, add them in breads, crackers, sauces, etc…

Are you convinced??

Moving on…

Coconut Oil

I love coconut oil.

I use it when I cook things in a saucepan, add it to homemade nut butters, use it for the fat in baking, and you can even add it in smoothies. (You know I love me some smoothies!)

It is a healthy fat. “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc. (source)

My Favorite Larabars

Many Bloggers I have to thank for my love of the Larabars.

They have practically every flavor, they are natural, made with whole ingredients, some including dates, nuts,and natural sugars..

Oh and some of them have chocolate.

Definitely a plus 🙂

Justin’s Nut Butters

An assortment of nut butters. Delicious nut butters.

There is Almond butter, Honey Peanut Butter, Classic Peanut Butter, and TWO Chocolate Peanut Butters (Because I heart you!)

Did I mention they use all natural ingredients?!

Oh…and they are freakin’delish!

You will basically have a taste, smear all over your face, and then wish you could lick your face..

(yea that’s right!)

Would you like to win this package of delicious edibles?!?

Here is how to enter: You can do one or all! Each one counts as one entry. US Residents only 😦

1. Leave a comment telling me 3 favorite things about your self 🙂

2. Follow ThE DiVa DiSh on Twitter HERE, then leave a comment telling me that you do!

3. Tweet about the giveaway then leave a comment telling me that you did!

4. Link my giveaway on your blog, if you have one, then leave a comment telling me you did!

Easy as Peanut Butter Right??! 🙂

Want to know three things I am grateful for?

1. My Body-It’s healthy, beautiful, and amazing

2. My family-Especially this little princess who finds joy playing in the pantry with cans of beans..

3. And I am grateful for you my friends!!

Now go enter the giveaway :)!

**Winner will be chosen at Random**

**Deadline is 12 p.m PST on Monday!**

CONTEST CLOSED!!