6.28.2016

Lemon Chia Seed Pound Cake

 
This easy lemon chia seed pound cake has been a favorite of mine for so long. It tastes amazing (I kinda want to eat the whole loaf haha) and doesn't really take long to throw in the oven at all. I love recipes like that, don't you? The kind that taste like you spent all day on them... but you really didn't. I've had several people ask for the recipe awhile back and I decided to share it with you all!
 
WHAT YOU'LL NEED | CAKE:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup oil
zest of one lemon


WHAT YOU'LL NEED | CHIA SEEDS:

2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup water
[combine and let set in fridge for 15 minutes or until they have doubled in size]

 
WHAT YOU'LL NEED | GLAZE:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
[whisk to combine]


INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 bread pan. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon juice, oil and lemon zest and mix until well blended. Combine the wet ingredients and dry ingredients, add your chia seeds and stir until smooth. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour [depending on your oven], until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Once it has cooled, transfer to a plate and pour glaze over top. Slice and enjoy!

6.17.2016

Father's Day Gift Guide | 6 Unique Gifts For The Dad In Your LIfe

Ahhh... Father's Day, the perfect time to celebrate the Dads in our lives, give them recognition for all their hard work, give them the day off of diaper duty and give them gifts... oh, but wait... hold up here... we all know that men are practically impossible to shop for, right?! So I've teamed up with a few amazing brands to bring you a Father's Day Gift Guide! I think I may be just as in love with all of these gorgeous gifts as my hubby will be (when they're finally his). All of these items make perfect gifts because they're such unique gifts and lets face it, cool gifts. There is something here sure to put a smile on the face on any Dad in your life! Happy Father's Day Dads!

1 | BACONFIREWOOD MAN CANDLES | HARVEST HILLS CANDLE CO.
Seriously these things smell AMAZING! My hubby loves candles, I mean who doesn't? But I didn't want to get him anything floral, ya know? So man candles it was. Bacon. Bacon. Bacon. It literally smells exactly like bacon cooking up in a frying pan. I mean, when was the last time you met a guy who didn't love bacon? Hungry anyone? And the firewood candle? It smells just like it's namesake. Firewood. Think  warm crackling fire scent, sitting on a blanket around a campfire (perhaps toasting a s'more or two lol). It has that rich earthy, kind of musky and a touch of cologne type scent. So much goodness from both of these. These candles are made from 100% Soy Wax, contain a wood wick (I love these) and have an approximate burn time of 50+ hours each! And they come in adorable candle sized gift boxes! Oh! And the MAN CANDLES are on SALE(!!!) right now and you don't want to miss this! Buy 2 get 1 FREE!

Gah! Where do I even start with this gorgeous thing?! It can be used as a cutting board, or a serving board and even art when it's not in use! Yep, this piece will definitely be hanging up for display whenever its not being used. But since my hubby loves to cook (and I do too), I anticipate this cutting/serving board is going to be used quite a lot. Sometimes he shoo's me out of the kitchen so he can cook, and he also makes some of the most mouthwatering meals ever created too. This board is made from solid American black walnut and this beautiful thing was crafted and completely handmade in the sunny state of California! I just love the look and feel of it's natural wood. No stain, only covered in clear food safe butcher block oil, this is the natural color of this wood, and how pretty it is. It is such a high quality and so durable, I definitely see this becoming a family heirloom piece, being passed down for many future generations of our little family. I wonder what my hubby will cook up first using this?

We are such big fans of Turkish towels in our home. Both Bella and I already own one each. But what could be better than matching mommy and me towels? Why, matching family towels of course! This Gray and white Fouta towel will match perfectly alongside my pink and white towel and Bella's purple and white one, don't you think? A few reasons to love this towel even more are... It's ethically sourced and fair trade and made from the softest 100% eco cotton! And, it  only gets softer and more absorbent with time! Towels like this have been used for hundreds of years in the spas and baths of Turkey due to their unmatched softness and absorbency, plus they're kinda pretty to look at. I love that it is sold by The Fair Line (a part of Education & More, a Christian nonprofit organization). They believe, as I do, that what and where you purchase really can  make a difference in the world. They offer a wide selection of accessories for you AND for your home that are sourced directly from artisans in Guatemala who weave and craft the products by hand, making sure that the artisans make both a fair income (+ benefits) and are treated fairly! This helps to not only preserve the culture and arts of the artisans, but also to fight poverty! I can't wait to take a trip to Lake Erie later this summer so hubby can break this towel out for a try.

Can you tell I'm all about that matching family life over here? Lol. I have the matching tee made for mama's, the blush "la mère" tee (seriously, it's so pretty). And Bella has the most adorable "la fleur" toddler tee (in white). We love them and wear them constantly, so it was only fitting that Frank be able to match with us too! "la père" in French means "The Father". And since my hubby also has a little bit of French blood running through his veins this is pretty much the best Father's Day gift ever, since duh, FATHER's day. It's so soft and is the most perfect, most flattering fit on him. It comes in both heather grey (the one we have) and white, and runs through in sizes XS all the way through 4X. I can't wait to see him wear it again once it's officially his. haha.

5 | GUATEMALA LOS CARRILLOS ROASTKILLER ROASTING CO.
If you know my hubby at all you know of his great love for coffee. Coffee is a staple in our home and for good reason. He starts his day with a piping hot cup of coffee every morning when he wakes up and hops out of bed, and my special little thing for him that I do every single night before bed is get his coffee all ready for him. All he has to do is flip the switch (yep, we have an old fashioned coffee maker at the moment lol) and turn the coffee maker on! That's why when I had the opportunity to showcase this amazing roast from Killer Roasting Co., I jumped at the chance. Now his morning coffee will be even that much more special. And goodness, I can't get over the smell of this stuff, it's invigorating! It smells so amazing, and a few of the notes you'll catch while inhaling the aroma of beans are tea, milk chocolate, tropical fruit, oh and coffee of course. I may even have to sneak a cup for myself when he's not looking to see how it is... and I especially can't wait for him to taste it! I'll post an update on instagram here in the next week or so talking about how is tastes!
This watch is seriously THE most beautiful watch I have ever laid eyes on. Made from koa wood, it's light, but also well made. I love being able to see the gears inside, moving the hands, keeping time, it's really quite mesmerizing. Probably one of the coolest features, besides the wood itself and the visible gears, is the fact that if you hold the watch up to light you can see right through it! I mean how cool is that? The rustic qualities of the wood and the industrial look of the visible gears give this skeleton watch such a classy masculine charm and it's pretty much perfection for my husband. I can't wait to see him wear this on date nights and though he modeled it for a few photos for me, I can't wait to officially give it to him on Father's Day! Another awesome feature of this watch is that it is self winding, which means no trips to the jeweler because of the battery dying, seriously genius.  And the glass front and back are made of sapphire crystal glass, which is second in glass strength only to diamond! Every man needs a nice watch so it may as well be a JORD wood watch. JORD sells both men's watches and women's watches,  and in my opinion some of the best watches for men! It'll make a statement like no other and I guarantee he'll receive a ton of compliments.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DADS!
(especially my wonderful husband, my awesome dad and my great father in law)


6.13.2016

A Healthy Toddler Lunch with PlanetBox

 
So mealtime with Bella used to be rather challenging, since she ONLY wanted milk. But earlier this year, Bella decided to give up milk, and has been loving food ever since! And what better way to keep her interested in food than an adorable and eco friendly, metal lunchbox! Planet Box! It fits so much yumminess inside, and the carrier for it has so many little pockets for stashing other snacks too! WE chose the "Rover" lunchbox and we are love, love, loving it.
 
Even though she won't drink milk anymore, she still gets plenty of calcium because she's become a yogurt and cheese fanatic, we love mixing fresh fruit into her organic yogurt too, adding blueberries gives her yogurt a sweet pop of color and antioxidants! A 4 ounce pod of yogurt fits perfectly in Big Dipper, with room for any toppings you want to add. I mean we all know that toppings are the funnest (that's a word, right?). The string cheese she loves also fits perfectly into the long compartment of the Rover.
 
Who doesn't love dipping carrot sticks too? Carrots are another favorite of hers. And nope, that's not peanut butter, but WOWbutter! Since she has food allergies we steer clear of all peanut and other nut butters but WOWbutter (made from soy) and Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds) are both two safe and delicious options that we love for dipping. It fits perfectly in the tiny middle compartment.
 
 
Goodness, where do I even begin to start with Broccoli. Steamed broccoli is everything in our home. She loves it, I love it, hubby loves it. Broccoli was my absolute favorite thing to eat when I was growing up so it's so cute seeing that it's also Bella's favorite thing to eat as well. We eat it fresh, steamed with salt and pepper, steamed with lemon pepper, steamed with parmesan cheese... we're even growing some in our garden so I can't wait to steam some of our very own once it's ready for harvesting! When asked what her favorite food is her response is "umm, broccoli and chicken", I mean the cutest, right?!
 
Okay, so for her main dish... we are pasta obsessed, but for the most part we've switched to gluten free pasta since we've noticed we feel better after eating it than we do regular pasta. I also make my own pasta sauce, for a few reason... it tastes better, it doesn't contain nasty preservatives and other additives AND its cheaper since I make it in large batches and freeze it for whenever we need it. Sometimes I love to add something extra to the sauce though, so I finely chopped an onion and a bell pepper in the food processor and sautéed them with a little olive oil. I added a container of my homemade pasta sauce to it, cooked it a little longer and added it to the pasta. So much yum. A nice size portion fits perfectly into the large area of the Rover Planet Box. (you can find my pasta sauce recipe here).
 
And we can't forget to have a little sweets... the Little Dipper that also comes with the Rover is pretty much perfect to throw a few of her favorite cookies from Skeeter Nut Free in! They fit adorably great and its sized to satisfy that little sweet tooth.
 
 
Still not completely convinced? Here are a few reasons you should consider the Planet Box:
 
1. It's easy to remember healthy portion sizes and to pack a variety of things to eat and snack on.
 
2. It's eco friendly! By packing your own lunch it keeps tons of trash out of landfills. Ever seen how much waste a Lunchable makes? That big plastic container with a plastic film over top? I wonder how long it takes for something like that to break down and become dirt again? Though I don't know the exact number I'm sure it's longer than you or I will ever live. Let's not forget to remember that we're leaving this planet for our children and our children's children and beyond.
 
3. It's safe! Planet Box takes safety to a whole new level when it comes to a lunchbox. Non-toxic,  non-leaching, no BPA, no phthalates and no lead. Just good old fashioned stainless steel. It is honestly very retro in feel and extremely durable and quality made. I feel like it will probably last for pretty much forever! Oh and did I mention that it's dishwasher safe and doesn't retain smells or stains? WIN-WIN!
 
4. It's fun and customizable! Kids love to help out. Especially when it comes to food and things that involve them. Kids can enjoy helping choose what to pack for their lunches and  enjoy customizing their Planet Boxes with magnets and carry bags to match their unique personalities!
 
It's summer now, but all of the kiddos will be heading back to school here in just a couple short months, so now is the time to get a head start on that back to school shopping. We seriously love our Planet Box and we know you will too! Head on over to www.planetbox.com to find out more and choose yours!