Thursday, January 15, 2015

Green Resolutions of 2015

We're halfway through the first month of the new year and hoping it's off to a great start for everyone.  If you've set a resolution, we hope you are still working towards it...if you didn't, you can still aim to improve quality of life one way or another.  We're hoping to engage in more eco-friendly living and hope that's on your bucket list too.

Going green doesn't have to be a complete lifestyle change, of course, it certainly can be.  Trying to do one or two small things on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis can help your community, and ultimately the world.

In our household, we're trying our best to be on top of recycling any material we possibly can.  We've even purchased a larger bin to help contain some of the recycled items as we found we ended up throwing more things in the trash once our bins were topped off.  Of course this makes us cringe every time we do it, but was felt to be of necessity, as storage is at a premium in our garage.  We've got a memo on our family bulletin board that shows all the items our trash service will pick up, and it helps encourage our kids to be self sufficient and aid in the recycling process.  We're not 100% perfect recyclers, but we're doing our best! created these adorable DIY recycling bins/
We use a 32 gallon trashcan on wheels and end up filling it up each week.  Figure out what your household recycling needs are and find a bin that suites just over that capacity to ensure a hearty recycling effort!
For items that aren't approved to be recycled through our trash service, we try to collect and take to the appropriate recycling facility in our area.  Little things like styrofoam egg cartons can be brought back to our grocery store, where they feature bins outside of the store.  Same goes for plastic bags.  We alternate between plastic bags and our own fabric ones as we tend to reuse the plastic ones as trash bags for small trash cans throughout our house, or as catch-all bags for our cars.

Publix Recycling Bins
Another effort we're looking to make is decreasing plastic water bottles.  We're comparing a filter system for our kitchen sink vs a filtered pitcher.  We've used the pitcher in the past, and are leaning towards the sink faucet attachment this time around.  If you live in an area where your quality of water is not so great, consider investing in one of these to help remove impurities and contaminants. 

Brita features a multitude of water filtering products ranging from $20-$40

The last thing we've begun paying more attention to, to live a greener lifestyle, are purchasing items made from recycled goods.  More and more items of all types are being created using some or all recycled materials.  Paper goods, office supplies, apparel, and even sports equipment has found a way to embark on sustainable manufacturing and it's quite impressive to see.  Below are some items we've recently come across that happen to be great examples (that we would have never guessed) of consumer goods made from recycled materials.

New Era makes hats from 74% recycled cotton
photo courtsey of
Beats headphones are made from 31% recycled goods
photo courtsey of
Reynolds aluminum foil is made from 100% recycled aluminum
photo courtsey of
No matter what attempt you make, large or small, being green is possible.  Start with one idea and go from there-let us know how being green is working out for you!

Monday, December 15, 2014

We're Stuffed!

What's better than a few ingredients you love?  Stuffing those ingredients into something else you love!

Today we're bring you 3 delicious stuffed recipes featuring 3 vessels that are even more delicious when you stuff something in them.  These recipes offer a great way to hide delicious and nutritious ingredients for the picky eaters in the family.

Our first dish, brought to you by Dishing Up Dirt via Bloglovin, is a whole-lotta-goodness!  Chickpea Stuffed Eggplant with Couscous and Tahini Sauce, brings Mediterranean flavors to the forefront.  This elegant dish looks like it came from the most executive chef's kitchen, but can be easily created in your own home.  Give it a go, and let us know what you think!

Next up, a veggie favorite of ours, Stuffed Mushrooms with Farro.  Vegetarian Times brings this tasty recipe to you, with an Italian whole grain, you may not be familiar with.  Farro gives a great texture and flavor to this dish and can be incorporated into your diet along with brown rice, or quinoa as a healthy, starchy alternative.

Let's introduce another stuffed recipe featuring a plethora of flavors, this time, of the southwestern variety, with Stuffed Zuchini from Kalyn's Kitchen.  This thing has cheese, black beans, and green chilies mixed with brown rice for a fantastic new dish with the option to spice it up even more with green Tabasco sauce.

Such amazing flavors in all three of these dishes-which is your favorite?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Very Cranberry Monday

Cranberries are one of the fall's seasonal favorites and most commonly thought to be used in juice or sauce form, but today we're bringing 4 delicious recipes featuring these disease-fighting, antioxidant carrying, did-we-mention-delicious, fruit.  In fact, according to WebMD, this fruit ranks higher than almost every fruit and vegetable on the list when it comes to its advantages due to antioxidants.

Our first cranberry delight, comes in bar form, perfect for breakfast on the go, or a quick snack.  And get this...they're no bake!  Collecting Memories' Chewy No Bake Oatmeal Bars have 6 healthy, natural ingredients, to create these perfect little bars.

The next recipe we're featuring is another easy recipe, perfect for on the go.  Cranberry Craze Salad from My Slice of Sunday, would be excellent for lunch, or just after a trip to the gym.  They feature a hard boiled egg on the side for extra protein.  With crunchy almonds and cashews, the dried cranberries gives another delightful texture to this simple salad.

Speaking of great texture, the next dish from Inspired Taste, is sure to knock your socks off!  With the smooth roasted squash, paired with chewy cranberries and crunchy walnuts that have been sweetened by delicious brown sugar, you might want to include this dish in your family's Thanksgiving feast too!

And we couldn't let you off without a dessert!  Healthy Seasonal Recipes features this fresh fall favorite in their Cranberry Maple Apple Crumb Pie.  It's sweet, it's tart, it's wonderful!

Hope you enjoy these cranberry creations!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Repurpose Without Work

I have a small collection of items in my garage, sitting, waiting to be used again.  These items can no longer be used for their initial purpose, but I just can't bring myself to throw them out.  The problem is, as crafty as I can be...I just don't have the time to repurpose these items.  The DIYer in my begs for me to wait until next weekend, then the next weekend, then the next.  As I'm constantly pushing back my repurpose list for a much more priority driven weekend to-do list, I'm hit with the hard question-will I ever find the time?

In my life, right now, the answer is simple...NO.  So I'm at a cross road-do I get rid of these things that I've been hanging on to, or by chance, can I repurpose them in another way, that requires less work?  I choose the latter.

The first item I have, is an old pallet.  I found it a year ago and thought up a million different cool things I could do with it.  I don't have the time to take it apart, so I'll leave it intact.  And now that old pallet, will become a pallet with a new life.  It will become my new herb garden.  All I have to get is landscape fabric, which I can find when I go to get my new herb plants at my local nursery...a few staples-DONE!

Inspired by this vertical garden from RecycleART
And while I'm at my local nursery, I've decided to pick up some bird seed so I can reuse my plastic bottles like this...

Inspired by this bird feeder from RunnerDuck

A few less bottles in my recycling bin, a few happier birds for the winter.

And then there is this little table my neighbor was throwing out.  Fine condition, and I just knew it could be used for something.  So now my son is going to have a new drawing table after this weekend.

Inspired by this table from Jill Of Most Trades
A few less pieces in my garage, a few new additions to the house and yard, and a feeling of accomplishment.  I'd say that makes for a happy weekend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Passion for Pumpkin

Pumpkin-a pretty color, a fun decoration for fall, and a heavenly flavor.  Usually the craze comes when a certain coffee chain unleashes their popular drink on the masses and any and everything pumpkin related starts to trend.  Well, we're here to jump on the bandwagon with these amazing recipes featuring pumpkin, plus a super sweet treat we found on Pinterest, that we just had to share!

We're bringing a Brady Bunch variety of different pumpkin recipes, and we're fairly sure you'd never even think of trying pumpkin these ways, but you'll be happy you did.

1. Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from Roxana's Home Baking
2. Pumpkin Hummus from the ever-amazing Kevin at Closet Cooking
3. Skinny Pumpkin Pasta Bake from The Kitchen Paper
4. Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites from Paleo Grubs
5. Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans from Julia's Album
6. Roasted Pumpkin Soup from the one and only, Martha Stewart
7. Cheesy Pumpkin Orzo from Table for Two
8. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge from Crazy for Crust
9.Pumpkin Wontons found on Tablespoon from Girl Versus Dough

And if somehow you just haven't quite had your fill of pumpkin inspired recipes, check out Running on Real Food's 35 Vegan Pumpkin Recipes to Make This Fall featuring 35 sweet treats for breakfast, snacks, and dessert!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Flavors of Fall

Welcome back for this week's edition of Meatless Monday, Flavors of Fall.  We're bringing seasonal favorites like pumpkin, apple, and squash to satisfy your taste buds and give a healthy dose of vitamins and other nutritional perks that are good for you and your family.

Today, we'll start things off sweetly, with some Mini Cinnamon Rolls, brought to you by Two Peas and Their Pod.  The fall favorite, delicious pumpkin butter, is hidden between the soft bread, cinnamon, and ooey gooey frosting.  Pumpkin is known for having large doses of vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, so you can feel better about having one of these delicious rolls.

Another fall favorite, apples, come in quite a variety, but we're here to talk about the ever enticing, Honey Crisp variety.  Ingrid, from A Cozy Apron, shares a crispy, crunchy salad that is brought together with her lovely spiced cider vinaigrette.  You must try it!

We've brought you the sweet, the slightly sour, and now, the savory.  Butternut Skillet Shells from How Sweet It Is, is a creamy, cheesy, hearty dish that features a bevy of health benefits, from vitamins A, B6, and C to fiber, folate, and potassium.  Did we mention it's absolutely delicious?  Try it out tonight and we're sure you'll have another family favorite on your hands.  *To speed up the cooking time, throw the cubed squash and vegetable stock in a microwave safe dish, and cook for 6-7 minutes.  Return to the skillet and follow the rest of the directions accordingly.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Add A Pop With Peppers-Meatless Monday Edition

Peppers can really pump up a dish with their burst of flavor, be it sweet or spicy.  Today we're bringing you 3 delectable dishes featuring several different varieties of peppers that are sure to please your palette.

We're kicking things off on a spicy note with Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers from Can You Stay For Dinner?  The ever adorable, Andie Mitchell uses sweet red peppers, but believes you can stuffed whatever pepper you fancy the most.  The aroma that will emit from your kitchen while cooking these, will lure spouses and children alike!

Staying with the spice for a second, if you're a fan of jalapenos, then you'll love Closet Cooking's Jalapeno Popper Quiche.  This dish is fabulous for a meal any time of the day, but would make you belle of the ball if you brought it to your next brunch.

Calming things down (a bit), our next recipe has a subtle spice with a pinch of red pepper flakes, but can definitely be kicked up while creating the sauce. Simply Recipes offer a fabulous Asian Noodle Salad filled with colorful veggies that can be whipped up in a half hour or less.  Elise warns the sauce is made to just coat the noodles and it's so very true.  We recommend adding a little more soy sauce and cutting back a hair on the sugar as we found it a little too sweet for us.  The raw bell pepper really brightens this dish and adds a fresh flavorful bite.

Stay tuned next week for some flavorful fall favorites!