Dessert Recipe | Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Who’s ready for Fall? I know I am! It’s been super hot here in Florida recently. And even though Florida’s Fall weather isn’t what I typically would picture when I think of the Fall season- you know, leaves changing and weather getting cooler-I am still excited for, well, Florida’s Fall. I know my hair will be enjoying the less humidity and I will be enjoying the  not so sweat drenching afternoon walk to my car when I leave work.

Other than the weather, it’s been a little more on the busy side in my family’s life lately. We have been looking at furniture and working in our yard a lot. My oldest daughter is finally potty trained during the day now!!  This has taken some time but I am so happy we have made it to this point. She was, and still is, such a stubborn little girl when it came to even give potty training a try and learning this all together. Let me know if you would be interested in hearing my tips and tricks on what I did to finally get her willing to even try potty training.

I have been on a lemon flavor craze recently. I think it may be because summer is coming to an end and in a few months I will be baking so much pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavored foods that the aroma inside my house will radiate out into the entire neighborhood!

But, hey, that’s ok Fall only comes once a year. For now, I’ll get my fill of Florida’s summer heat, cookouts, and lemons.

Anyways, for as long as I can remember, I have loved lemon poppyseed muffins or a fresh, warm slice of lemon poppyseed loaf. While poppyseed has a somewhat questionable history with it’s origin, they do make delicious bakery items.

The other day I had such a craving for one I decided to turn on Frozen for my girls, to keep them busy so I could focus on making these muffins. After they were baked and cooled off, I had to force myself not to eat them all right then and there. So, I caution you, they are delicious!

Also, this recipe is very easy to follow and uses only one bowl to keep clean-up easier! It’s a healthier version of your classic favorite lemon poppy seed muffins and I added a glaze to them to keep them moist. I hope you enjoy them as much my family and I did and let me know what you think.

Ingredients (muffins)

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp poppyseed

Ingredients (glaze topping)

    • 2 tbsp almond milk
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 6 tbsp powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In bowl add eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice, and almond milk mixing well
  3. Mix almond flour, coconut flour, and baking powder well
  4. Add lemon zest and poppyseed to mixture
  5. Pour evenly batter into 12 count muffin baking pan
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 28 minutes
  7. While muffins are baking, start on the glaze.
  8. Mix together almond milk and vanilla extract.
  9. Then, add powdered sugar until desired thickness for glaze. I used 6 tbsp of powdered sugar
  10. When muffins come out, let them cook 5 minutes then pour glaze all over muffins and enjoy!

Meal Planning | Chicken Spinach Quinoa Bowl

A year ago if you asked me if I liked quinoa, I probably would have replied with, “what the heck is quinoa?” I’ve always heard of it on and off but never tried it nor looked into what it was all about.

Well, now it has been about 4 months since I first tried quinoa, and I must say that it is now a staple in my pantry and one of my favorite meals. It’s super easy to heat up and there are so many different things you can do with it.

For those of you that are on the road to living a more healthy lifestyle life myself, quinoa is such a great alternative to many other foods especially rice. Quinoa has significantly less carbohydrates than rice does and it is filled with tons of amino acids and lots of fiber and protein. And quinoa is gluten free!

Quinoa is a great option for meal planning. You just have to cook a large enough batch and you can add so many different items to it depending on what you’re in the mood for and what is part of your diet. I personally love making enough to provide me with a handful of lunches and/or dinners for the upcoming work week.

Another healthy option I have recently stumbled upon in the last month is Kombucha. Kombucha is typically a black teat that has probiotic benefits due to it undergoing a fermentation process. There are so many benefits to drinking Kombucha and it is a great alternative to having a soda as it has significantly less sugar compared to sodas.

This is a favorite recipe and meal of mine that I have been making lately as I continue my journey onto a healthier lifestyle. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other ideas for using quinoa. Also, if you’ve given Kombucha a try as well!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of chicken breast or cutlets
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded spinach
  • 1/4 tbsp. of garlic powder for the chicken
  • 1/4 tbsp. of coriander
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder for the dressing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place chicken on greased baking sheet and evenly spread garlic powder, coriander, and pepper on top of the chicken.
  3. Bake chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes (this will depend on your chickens thickness)
  4. Cook the quinoa as directed on your package.
  5. For the spinach, heat 1 tsp olive oil on the stove top and sauté the spinache.
  6. For the dressing, mix olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and garlic powder completely.
  7. After the chicken is cooked and cooled down from the oven, chop the chicken or you may shred it.
  8. I put the quinoa and spinach in a bowl first and mix it up, then I add the dressing mixing it up completely.
  9. Add chicken and incorporate entirely.
  10. Enjoy with your favorite beverage, lately mine has been the Pomegranate flavor from Health-Ade Kombucha.

Recipe| Curry Chicken with Coconut Rice

Do you ever feel that there just isn’t enough time in the day to prepare a nice homemade dinner? I know I have been feeling that way lately. I work roughly 40 minutes from where we live and even though it is only part time, I find myself struggling to find the time some evenings to cook dinner.

I know I can’t possibly be the only mom, or dad, out there that has this same issue. So, I’ve been researching and trying to come up with more simple and easy meals to make to help myself and others in the same boat out. I’ve found one thing that makes the world of a difference for me is having a sauce or seasonings already prepared.

The meal I am going to share with you today is becoming one of my family’s favorite go to meal nowadays. It’s a super simple and quick to make curry dish. It tastes delicious and you can control the level of spicy.

I use curry sauce made by Sharwood’s. The one that both our girls like the most is the Tikka Masala flavor. This one is not spicy and they enjoy eating it.

I always pair the curry with a favorite side dish of coconut rice. This gives it a nice sweet flavor and of course, our girls love this flavored rice!

My husband loves naan bread with his curry so it has become a staple now for whenever I am cooking this meal for dinner. I hope you enjoy this easy weeknight dinner idea and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of chicken
  • 1 tbsp. of coconut oil for chicken
  • 1 tbsp. of coconut margarine for chicken
  • Your choice curry, I used Sharwood’s Tikka Masala
  • 4 cups of white rice
  • 2 tbsp. of coconut oil for rice
  • 2 tbsp. of coconut margarine for rice
  • 1/4 cup of granulate sugar
  • Naan bread (optional)

Directions

  1. Start cooking your rice over the stovetop.
  2. Take chicken and chop it up into bite sized pieces.
  3. In a saute pan, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and coconut margarine and the chicken.
  4. Let chicken get completely cooked, then add curry sauce over, mixing, and simmer
  5. Drain rice, and in same pan add the coconut oil, coconut margarine, and sugar, mix entirely
  6. Serve and enjoy with naan bread if you’d like!

Recipe| Fiesta Style Guacamole

Are you aware that September 16th is national guacamole day?? Guacamole is a great dip for any party. This dip has been around since the 1500s and it’s so simple to make. If I could I would thank the first Aztecs that came up with this dip. It’s a favorite of mine and is so easy to make. All you really need is avocados and various spices.

No matter the theme, it’s a great dip to serve at your party. But, if you are throwing a Mexican themed party such as Cinco de Mayo, this is your dip.

Nowadays, I’m looking for ways to fix food quickly but still have it tasting amazing. It takes maybe 15 min for me to make. So, if you’re a busy mom like me or don’t always have the time to focus and need to make something quickly, I recommend you give this a try.

I hope you enjoy it and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients

  • 4 Avocados
  • ~ 7 ounces of canned corn; I used half a can
  • 1 can of Rotel; I used the Mexican style with lime and cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • 1 package of guacamole mix; I use Concord’s brand

Directions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a skillet on the stovetop
  2. Add the corn, garlic powder, and pepper and mix entirely
  3. Cook on medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes, set aside
  4. Cut avocados half, remove outer skin, and mash them using a knife and/or fork
  5. Add the guacamole mix to the avocados and mix entirely
  6. Drain Rotel, and add that to the avocados along with the corn
  7. Mix everything completely and then enjoy!

Drink Recipe| Sweet Apple Lemonade

One of my favorite past times from when I was a kid, is drinking an ice cold glass of lemonade. Also, did you ever whip up some lemonade when you were a kid to sell to your neighbors out in your front yard? Me and my siblings did! It was such a fun thing we would do towards the end of summer when we were bored and looking for something to do before starting back at school. Neighbors love this especially the elderly!

You see in Florida, August can be such a hot and sticky month. While the neighbors would go on their afternoon walks, we would have our lemonade stand set up out front. Since we lived on the corner where 4 streets came together, we actually would get a lot of traffic.

It was a very neat experience for me as a kid and I got to see and meet a lot of people. I look forward to doing this with my girls. And if you are in need of ideas for your kids I highly recommend this one.

While August is technically a summer month, it does remind me that we are getting closer to one of my favorite seasons-Fall! Pumpkin spiced latte anyone?? So needless to say, I am getting very excited for what is about to come.

I decided to make a fun twist on the lemonade recipe we would use in honor of summer coming to an end, kids going back to school, and Fall just around the corner.

This is my version of a Sweet Apple Lemonade. I think it turned out great and has already gotten me excited for my Fall baking!

Let me know what you think and if you try it out!

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple thinly chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 ounces of maple syrup
  • 4 lemons juiced- ~ 3/4 cup of lemon juice

Directions

  1. Chop apples up into thin pieces.
  2. Place chopped apple and 6 cups of water over stovetop and bring to a boil.
  3. Let steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into pitcher and add lemon juice and maple syrup mixing it all together.
  5. Let it refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Home Improvement|Saying Goodbye to the Formal Living Room

As times have changed in recent years with floor plans and homes, what can you do with your outdated floor plan? It makes it tough when a room that was designed and intended for one purpose you have no use for or want to use for an entirely different purpose. Tearing down walls and rebuilding an entire floor plan, is not cheap by any means.

Do you have a formal living room? If so, do you even really use it? Maybe you do and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just have no use for it in our home. Thats why I decided to show you how I have transformed our formal living room into an what I am terming an “open door” office.

The room today, though I have much more planned for it coming up is intended to be used as a formal living room. Well I don’t need two living rooms. I need a study. That’s beauty in life and getting these older homes. You really can make them work for you. I’m transforming this formal living room into an open door office.

I, of course, did not take a before picture prior to painting the walls. However, I did find an old photo from when the home was first built and put up for sale.

It does not look like it, but when we bought the home, the carpet in here was quite disgusting. Also, that blue chair in the upper left corner is strategically placed over a large piece of missing carpet. Apparently, the previous owners cat tore up the carpet in the upper left corner……

With the intention set to replace the flooring in this room, I decided the first step was to paint the walls in the room. Which, by the way, if you’re debating whether or not you would be able to paint your home, do it! It’s really not a horrible project at all to do. It can also save you quite a bit of money especially if you are on a tight budget. It just takes time and patience but it’s worth it in the end.

I recommend you do one room at a time. I painted, just me- no help from my husband or anyone else for that matter- our entire house. I started off painting one room at a time. It turned out to almost be quite therapeutic for me.

1a85427b-5bcd-4d92-9496-460460af6464

I chose to go with Sherwin William’s Silverplate for the walls in this room and then the same paint 20% lighter on the ceiling. I am so happy I went with that color for this room. I remember when I began painting the walls with Silverplate in this room, I started to regret my decision and had planned that down the road, I would be changing the paint color again in the room.

After seeing the results, especially with the new wood plank tile in the room, I have to admit that Sherwin William’s Silverplate has turned out to be one of my favorite paints!

It took a lot of time and research before we decided on the flooring that we would be replacing the carpet in this room with. I’m very happy we stumbled upon this at the flooring warehouse. It’s a porcelain tile made by Emotions.

It’s amazing what a difference a fresh coat paint can do along with choosing different colors to help update a room.

I was going to put in Roman Shades, though I have since changed my mind. I am leaning more towards to putting in plantation shutters. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve always grown up with plantation shutters and love the look they give.

Here’s what I have done so far. I’m currently searching for the perfect rug to help complete the room until my budget can allow me to invest in wall decor and a light fixture. Stay tuned because there is so much more coming to this room!

Paleo Recipe| Almond Butter Blondies with Chocolate Chips

*This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I only recommend brands I use and trust.

Can you believe it, Fall will be here before we know it! I must say I’m looking forward to a little cooler weather since it’s been extra hot lately in Florida.

On a side note, things are starting to get very exciting around our house. It seems like every other day I am getting something delivered to my doorstep. We’ve ordered samples for cabinet doors and have received a handful of estimates and design renderings back from various companies.

The hardest part right now is picking out which door style for the cabinets we want. I’m leaning more towards a white shaker style cabinet door.

I’m more drawn to a transitional style. And when it comes to cabinet door styles, I’m looking for a style that will be timeless.

I spend a lot of time in our kitchen already from my love to always be baking and cooking something. Not to mention the cleaning up dishes part. I want to make sure everything will turn out great.

When your life gets busier or stressful, do you find that you start snacking more? I certainly do! Whenever I start feeling more pressure or have a lot on my mind, I began craving sweets. Fortunately, I have two toddler girls to keep up with that somewhat help balance out the sweets I eat.

However, I am always looking for healthier desserts to make that will be somewhat better for me when I go in these sugar craving modes. That’s why this past weekend, I decided to make healthier and delicious almond butter blondies.

I’m all about simple, quick, and easy recipes and this one is no exception. I hope you enjoy them and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of Almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of milk chocolate morsels

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In bowl, mix egg and Almond butter
  3. Add vanilla extract, mixing completely
  4. Mix in the coconut sugar and baking soda
  5. Add 1/2 cup of milk chocolate morsels
  6. Pour mixture into an 8×8 glass pan and spread evenly
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and allow to cool completely
  8. Enjoy!

Flatbread Recipe| Spinach, Chicken Pesto topped with Tomato

Aren’t weekends the best? Sometimes they feel like they fly by though. What do you usually do on the weekends? Are they spent catching up on household chores or yard work? Maybe you spend it with family and friends? Whatever it is, let’s give a toast to weekends!

I came up with this recipe one mid-Saturday morning after having an unusually early craving for something a little more filling than a snack. It’s super easy to make and tastes amazing!

*This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. I only recommend brands I use and trust.

Ingredients

  • 1 Toufayan Naan bread
  • 1 cup Publix frozen spinach
  • 1-2 small chicken cutlets chopped
  • Pesto- I used Pesto Alla Genovese
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small- medium tomato chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. On low-medium heat on the stove top, heat the olive oil with spinach and chopped chicken with the garlic powder and red pepper flakes
  3. Spread the pesto all over the Naan bread
  4. Take the spinach and chicken mixture and place on top of the pesto and Naan bread
  5. Take the chopped tomato and place all over the chicken and pesto
  6. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy!