archive: January, 2012

valentines diy

planning a special valentine’s day dinner, luncheon or dessert? why not take it up a notch with some (really cute!!) painted plates? jessica from how about orange made this ‘paint’ from water, powdered sugar and a little bit of food coloring, so it’s perfectly edible. head on over to how about orange for the full diy instructions!

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tree of life

January 25, 2012

Posted by in handmade

tree of life

tree of life

this tree of life poster immediately caught my attention. as i love everything woodgrain, this beautiful slice of tree trunk was no exception. however upon a second glance, i noticed it was much more than that. the entire illustration is built of tiny animals, aimed to highlight the matter of animals losing their homes due to deforestation. a truly lovely reminder that we should take better care of the world around us.

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i love lentils by geninne

lentils. delicious, nutritious and oh, so colorful! lentils are extremely rich in fiber, folate, magnesium and lean protein. not only are they a great source for cholesterol-lowering fiber, but they also help in managing blood sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after a meal. they are also an excellent source of thiamine, vitamin b-6 and six important minerals. with 17 grams of lean protein in just one cup, 90% of our daily recommendation for folate and virtually no fat, lentils may just be the perfect addition to your meal!

how to cook: black and green lentils keep their shape better when cooked; red and yellow lentils cook faster and break down more. to cook, give them a thorough rinse and put in a pot with one part lentils to two parts water (you can also add in a chopped onion, bay leaf, garlic or carrot if you like!). bring to a boil, then simmer until tender 20-40 minutes (depending on variety). below are a few of my favorite lentil recipes, do you have any you would like to share?

a few favorite lentil recipes:

forgotten ingredients

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the lions laugh

January 24, 2012

lizzy stewart

lizzy stewart

 wonderful things (via oh, hello friend) | the lions laugh

two pieces by the lovely lizzy stewart that just made my day a happy happy day.

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Posted by in handmade

helen dardik as my eyes have been opened to the world of surface pattern design, i see beautiful images, patterns and artists everywhere i look. i find them to be an enormous inspiration, and i hope that you will too. :) here you see a few lovely pattern designs from helen dardik. aren’t they fun? for a little added joy, don’t miss her blog, orange you lucky!

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A Healthier Hot Chocolate

January 23, 2012

Posted by in cooking ideas

I have tried so many homemade hot chocolate recipes in the past, and yet it is the healthiest recipe that might actually be my favorite! This recipe contains no added white sugar – the sweetness comes from the banana and the semi-sweet chocolate chips. While it is true that sugar is sugar, with this recipe, you aren’t getting empty calories: bananas contain potassium, vitamin B6, and some dietary fiber; semi-sweet chocolate has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

Surprisingly, this recipe is also incredibly rich and sweet. I wrote the recipe fully expecting to need a drizzle of honey on top to sweeten it up, but it was so not necessary! In fact, it may border on too-sweet, so if you may find yourself adjust the number of chocolate chip tablespoons from four to three, or even just two tablespoons.

Serves 2.


1 cup of low fat milk, soy milk, or rice milk

4 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cocoa powder

pinch of chili powder*

dash of salt

1 small to medium banana, sliced

*The chili powder doesn’t add any actual spiciness, it just gives the hot chocolate a little bit of an edge. My husband and I weren’t able to detect any spiciness in our drinks, but if you really don’t like chili powder, it isn’t completely necessary.


Combine the milk, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla, chili powder and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until just before it begins to simmer. Stir often.

Meanwhile, slice a banana and place in a blender.

Once chocolate mixture is hot enough (you’ll start to see steam), remove from heat and pour into blender with bananas. Blend for about a minute, making sure all banana chunks have been smoothed out.

The end result will be very creamy. Pour into two mugs, and you’ll see some foam on top. The end result is a warm, deliciously sweet treat. Yum!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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dinner ideas 1.20.12

January 20, 2012

Posted by in dinner ideas

vegan dinner ideas vegan dinner ideas



roasted cauliflower | lemon cream with blackberries | polenta pizza | white bean and vegetable stew | tofu bay cakes | roasted cabbage

this week’s dinners were full of local flavors and hearty warm dishes. they are few ‘oldy favorites’ that you might recognize, but several newbies as well. and don’t forget, if it wasn’t delicious and totally hubby approved, it doesn’t make the list!

monday: potato quesadillas with roasted cauliflower
tuesday: white bean and vegetable stew
wednesday: tofu bay cakes (image via vegan dad) served with seasonal veggies and lemon cream with blackberries
thursday: potato cakes with roasted cabbage served with my new favorite carrot salad
friday: polenta pizza served with a seasonal salad

what was on your plate this week? any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

we follow a whole foods, plant based diet. the dinner ideas posts are a way for me to log our dinners, how we make eating this way easy, and hopefully inspire you to try some new things as well. they are always meat free, dairy free and often gluten free. you can follow the posts here, and i encourage you to share your favorite recipes with us as well!

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Posted by in holidays

aw yes, valentines day! one of my most favorite holidays. what could be more special than celebrating the love in your life? it’s only about 3 weeks away, which means it’s time to think about ordering any special valentine’s day goodies, so they arrive in time for your special occasion. instead of browsing you nearest super store for a valentine’s day card this year, why not support the handmade community with a handmade valentine’s day card? (they’re way cuter anyways!) here are some of my favorites:

valentine's day cards eco friendly robot card - $4.50

valentine's day cards you are the peanut butter to my jelly – $4.00

handmade valentine's day cards customizable QR code valentine’s day card – $4.25

handmade valentine's day cards mustache card – $3.25

handmade valentine's day cards you’re a little vintage – and i like you -$4.00

handmade valentine's day cards

hipster love - $8.00

handmade valentine's day cards i like you in the kissy kissy kind of way – $4.00

handmade valentine's day cards i love you more than knitting- $5.00

handmade valentine's day cards i miss you card – $4.00

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