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DIY Homemade Makeup Brush Cleaner
body care, natural living4 Responses »Sep 182013

I would love to say, “I can do it all!”  That I keep up with every part of my life… My house is perfectly clean, that I am a perfect mother, wife, we have perfectly healthy home cooked meals every night on the table, that my children are never sick or misbehave, that I spend every morning with Jesus and every night I pray before I go to sleep, etc. For some reason, society and FACEBOOK paints this picture, which is much more of a façade that every ones life is and should be picture perfect! Well guess what… this is NOT my life.
Well, we all know that we live in a fallen world and just being human causes us to fail.  I know I fail daily.  I sometimes become short fused, I don’t always take a shower every day, and sometimes we have leftovers for dinner, because I am just too exhausted from the day to cook another meal or even think about doing MORE DISHES.  But, ONLY by Gods grace do I have the strength to keep going… I am human.
This blog has been a great creative outlet for me.  Where life isn’t just consumed with poopy diapers and cleaning up the constant messes that are going on around me.  I do have two two-year olds, you know!?
But, here is what I do know, after each fail, I keep going, keep trying, and maybe I will fail again or maybe I will once and for all, learn from my mistakes.  My passion has alway been in the health arena.  Right now my focus is for the health of my family… and yours!  I strive for us all to live the life that we were created to live.  God needs us to be healthy so he can use us in creating his Kingdom.  Our purpose on this earth is to help others find Christ and grow.  How can we do that if we are sick?  And yes, I do know God can use our sicknesses for good.  I truly believe he is using mine.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Since there are toxic chemicals in every nook and cranny, it is crucial that we educate our selves to be aware of them. Health is not just the size of our pants, it is also the air we breath, the products we clean with, the foods we choose to eat and the cosmetics we use (and many more!).  Women, unfortunately, are in taking the biggest amount of toxins, due to the ones found in our cosmetics… and we use a lot of cosmetics, right ladies?  Some of our favorite and expensive makeups are full of cancer causing substances that can build up in our systems!  Who wants that!?  I sure don’t!
One easy switch to make for more natural living and cleaning, is investing in a big jug of white distilled vinegar for about $3.  It is the best non-toxic cleanser for so many things!.
Homemade Makeup Brush Cleaner
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs olive oil (optional)

Gather all of your brushes and lay them out.

Mix together the vinegar and water in a recycled jar. I used an old and clean pickle jar since it already smelled like vinegar 😉  Swish each brush around a few times to really soak up the mixture.  You will begin to see the color of the water change as you go on.  Rinse with fresh water and lay out on a clean dry kitchen towel.

squeeze out any excess water and lightly dip into a little dish of olive oil and massage into the bristles with your fingers. I used 1 Tbs for all of my brushes to condition them.
Let dry for about 12 hours.

As someone who has struggled with acne their whole life, it is crucial to wash those brushes.  It keeps bacteria away, you will protect your brushes by maintaining their “health” and your make up will go on much better!  Try keeping up by doing this once a month!  Pencil it in or save it to your phone… I will be doing this to remember as well!
As always, Enjoy and God Bless 🙂
CHEMICALS, chemicals to avoid, Natural living, recipes, toxins, White vinegarEasy and Delicious Superfood Trail Mix Recipe
recipes, snacksNo Responses »Sep 112013 
 One of my favorite snacks of all time include some concoction of nuts with dried fruit.  I literally eat them daily, whether they are in the form of a lara bar, nut butter, or trail mix, they are my go-to snack of choice.  Nuts are filling, satisfying, nutritious, help curb cravings, and are full of amazing and healthful properties, such as, monounsaturated fat (healthy fat), protein, fiber and antioxidants. Dried fruit also has its benefits. Although each fruit is unique, most are full of blood pumping iron and vital minerals and vitamins.
Some of my favorites 
Goji Berries grow on an evergreen shrub from China and have been used for centuries for their various health benefits…
protect the liver
help eyesight
improve sexual function and fertility
strengthen the legs
boost immune function
improve circulation
promote longevity

White Mulberries are native to China and Turkey and also have been used for centuries for…
 controlling insulin levels in those who are Diabetic
have high blood pressure
heart disease
high cholesterol
nourish the blood
treat anemia (they contain 23% iron!)
fight fatigue

This mix I through together is packed full of vital nutrients that will provide our bodies with what is craves… mega nutrition!  Plus it is delicious!
Superfood Trail Mix
1 cup Raw Cashews
1 cup Raw Almonds
1 cup Raw cacao nibs
1 cup Dried Mulberries
1 cup Dried Goji Berries
1 cup Raw pumpkin seeds, pepitas, or sunflower seeds (not pictured.  I would have added them if I had them on hand)

In a large bowl add the dried Mulberries

Add the Goji Berries

Add the raw almonds

Add the Cashews, seeds (if you are going to add them) and Cacao nibs

Mix with your hands.

Store in an air tight jar.

It makes a perfect snack to share with friends!
This mix is great to have out for a party, keep on hand for your family, send with your kids to school for a snack, or whenever!  Trail mix is great any time! Enjoy!
If you missed it, check out my Raw Superfood Energy Bar Recipe  too 🙂

natural, organic, recipe, snack, superfoodsNo Potato Salad
recipes, Side Dish1 Response »Sep 062013
I don’t know if you noticed, but I have not been adding too many grains or starchy foods in my recipes lately.  I have been doing a little experimenting with how foods react to my body, so I hope you don’t mind and join in the fun!  As someone who has issues with blood sugar, I am always looking for ways to manage my symptoms as well as including as many healing foods (fruits and vegetables) as possible. Everyone can benefit.
Cauliflower, although not very colorful, is still considered to be one of the worlds healthiest foods.  It is full of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, is also packed with fiber, and obviously low in carbohydrates. Cauliflower is a great choice to have each week as part of your diet and can be very versatile.  Steaming can get boring!  That is why I’m excited to share this new and healthy Potato Salad Recipe.
No Potato Salad (serves 4-5) (The pictures are a double batch)
Ingredients (organic, free-range) 
1 head of Cauliflower
2 large celery stalks
2 Tbs Fresh Parsley Chopped
3 Tbs Diced yellow onion
1/2 cup Tbs all natural Mayo
1-2 Tbs dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
6 hard-boiled eggs

Begin by chopping rinsing and steaming cauliflower in a steaming basket in an inch or water on medium heat. I have learned to cook on a much lower heat to preserve nutrients and not over cook. You should only steam for about 10 minutes max once the water begins to boil. You do not want the cauliflower mushy.

Drain cauliflower and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking in a colander and drain all water.In a large bowl add the cauliflower, parsley, chopped onion, chopped celery, and four of the eggs chopped.In a separate bowl mix the mayo, mustard and salt to taste. Add to Cauliflower bowl and toss gently to combine.

Add to a serving bowl and decorate with the remaining two hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle with a little paprika for color (optional). Cover and chill for an hour or more before serving.
There are events we go to where there are not always the healthiest options. I always try to bring something I know we can feel good about eating. This is a great dish to bring to any get together, party, BBQ, or just to have with your family!
Happy weekend!! Enjoy!!
Healthy, natural, organic, real food, recipe, Whole food“Healthier” White Sangria
Drinks, recipes1 Response »Sep 032013
I love wine.  Honestly, if someone told me that it was terribly bad and caused cancer.  I don’t think I could give it up (well maybe!)!
Eating clean does not mean that mean you can’t enjoy life a little. Life is all about living… and enjoying!  God made food… and wine to be pleasurable! Sip, savor, and enjoy with your loved ones!
“Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18
Benefits of Drinking Wine
Promotes Longevity – Wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than spirit or beer drinkers.
Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – 30 percent less risk than non-drinkers of developing type 2 diabetes.
Reduces Risk of Heart Attack-Moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30 percent less likely to have a heart attack than non-drinkers.
Lowers Heart Disease  Red – wine tannins contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease… Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Pinot Nior!
Lowers Risk of Stroke – The possibility of suffering a blood clot–related stroke drops by about 50 percent in people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol.
Cuts Risk of  Cataracts – wine drinkers are 32 percent less likely to get cataracts than non-drinkers.  Also, those who consume wine are 43 percent less likely to develop cataracts than those drinking mainly beer
Cuts Risk of Colon Cancer- By 45 %!
Slows Brain Decline-Brain function declines at a markedly faster rate in non-drinkers than in moderate drinkers.
This is such good news!  But it doesn’t mean we should drink a whole bottle!  Enjoy a glass to two every now and again!  Make sure you eat clean and healthy… Enjoy your Life!  Each day is such a blessing.  Try my favorite and healthier Sangria…
Healthier White Wine Sangria
Ingredients (For less, just cut the ingredients in half or double ingredients for more!)
2 bottles of Dry White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup Peach Brandy
1/4 to 1/3 cup Agave nectar (depending on your taste… Some like it sweeter!)
2 peaches
2 cups green grapes
2 oranges
3 cups of Sparkling water like San Pallegrino.

Slice oranges in large rings

Cut peaches in half and then slice.
Place fruit into your container of choice. Or you can place into a large pitcher, if you plan on using a serving bowl later.
Slice grapes in half to release flavors in the wine.

Add Grapes to the container

Measure agave and Brandy and stir to combine.

Pour Wine into the container with the fruit.

Pour agave brandy mixture into the wine and fruit.

Chill For at least two to three hours in Refrigerator. Let the fruit infuse with the wine!
Add the sparkling water when you are ready to serve! Enjoy! I left a large ladle next to this container for guests to add the fruit to their glasses.  Next time I will just use a large bowl.  I think it works a little better 🙂

I wish I got a picture of the beautiful glasses, but I am sure you can imagine what a beautiful presentation they were!  As much as I love red wine, it is always fun to mix it up with a pretty drink!  I hope everyone enjoying their summer, and I hope you have one more day to make this refreshing drink!  Salute!
Do you have a favorite summer drink? I’m sure our readers would love your recipe! Please share! Also I love feed back!  Let me know what you think 🙂
drinks, wineFail to Plan… Plan to Fail! Meal Planning 101
Health5 Responses »Aug 272013
We have all been there.  We have great plans to once and for all “Get healthy,” “lose weight,” “have family dinners at home,” etc. But, for some reason, we fail.  We get tired from a long day at work.  The kids are screaming and are hungry.  Its “easier” to pick something up at the drive-thru then stopping by the grocery store for items to cook. So what are you supposed to do? Keep failing? Absolutely not!
The key here is planning.  
There are several reasons why meal planning is so awesome… and effective!
Planning SAVES MONEY! We aren’t buying things we don’t need and we aren’t tempted to eat out (which can cost half your weeks grocery bill for a family of four!).
To PREPARE for the week!  Sundays are SHOP, CHOP, PREP days!  We menu plan, one of us shops and then we prep for the week… making muffins, bars, cutting up veggies, or even grilling meat for easy to grab lunches
It Saves time!  No need to question each day what to make for dinner that evening and no need to run to the store multiple times during the week!  You have it all laid out for you!  One plan, one trip to the store and done!
Improves nutrition for the Family!  You can plan healthy and nourishing meals for your family.  You will have all the ingredients you need on hand, which will help increase the consumptions of fruits and vegetables, by making easy side dishes and salads to accompany the main dish.
Strengthens the Family.  Families who eat together stay together. Sit down and talk.  Enjoy a family meal with no technology.  Build  your relationships.
I have tried several “official” methods of meal planning in the past, but to be honest, they haven’t worked for me.  We have staples we eat every week, we try to eat in season, and buy whats on sale.  So using a master list is just too time consuming and EXPENSIVE!  I don’t have hours to do my shopping each week, I like to be in and out of the store (I’m shopping between nap time here).
I also really like simple dishes.  When I do try sometime new, I look for the least amount of ingredients possible (is it just me?).  Time is everything.  So think about your family favorites add them to the list. Plan to make extra for leftovers, so you can pack them for lunches.  Shop for fruit, veggies, dried fruits, nuts, string cheese, natural beef jerky and natural yogurt for easy snacks to have on hand.   Also, plan on making a few Homemade Snacks for the week!
I know couponing is big right now, but I do NOT coupon for food or anything for that matter.  I have found that the only coupons are for highly processed, sugar filled foods that do nothing for us, but actually harm our bodies.  So tread lightly there and make sure you are reading ingredients of the things you are buying.
I am super excited because I have created a  FREE TEMPLATE  for you to download!  Check out this easy guide to help make your weeks not only easier, but HEALTHIER!
Download and Save…
Weekly Meal Planner
dinner, Healthy meals, Menu PlanningMake your plate colorful with this Real Food… Homemade Pepper Steak
Dinner, recipes11 Responses »Aug 222013

Lets be real… How many vegetables are you truly eating per day?  I am not talking about the piece of lettuce or tomato on your sandwich either.  I mean cups of leafy dark greens, bright oranges and reds, deep purples and yellows.  According to the CDC Only 32.5 percent of the population eats two servings of fruit daily and the stats of eating vegetables is even worse; only 26.6 percent of Americans are eating three servings of veggies per day. We need to be eating at least NINE servings a day! What are we filling up on? Refined carbohydrates that have absolutely no nutritional value, less than ideal protein sources, processed foods and more processed foods.   I mean it is really no wonder our country is so sick! We need real food.
Vegetables and fruit provide our bodies with the nutrition it craves.  The more nutrition you provide your body, the more satisfied you are, the less cravings you will have.  That is one reason we like Green Smoothies so much in this house.  They are packed full of vital and alive nutrients!
Fruits and Vegetables are God’s gifts to us to fend off disease and sickness… and people aren’t eating them!  So many of us are eating the wrong foods and then wondering why they have high blood pressure or diabetes.  We rely on prescription medication to fix the problem when ultimately we are just putting a band-aid over the real problem, our diet.
We need to start providing the right foods for our families.  We need to be their health advocates and teach our kids the importance and value of REAL FOOD, nutrient dense  powerhouses that are going to prevent disease!  Our government and school systems sure are not doing that.  Health starts at home, in our kitchens.  Lets get back to the basics, let get back to good old fashion home cooking, and change the direction this country is heading!
Naturally Made Pepper Steak with Carrots (serves four)
Ingredients (always try to choose organic)
2 lbs of round steak
4 Tbs coconut oil
1 sm yellow onion or 1/2 large onion
4 medium bell peppers
1/2 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
6 large washed and unpeeled carrots

Wash peppers and slice into long strips along with the onion.

Shred carrots. My food processor is the easiest and I highly recommend purchasing one if you do not have one!

Using a sharp knife, slice beef into 1/4 inch strips

Heat pan and melt coconut oil over medium heat. Once it is hot, add onion and beef. Sauté for three to five minutes or until onions are slightly translucent.  Add bell peppers, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cover and occasionally stir for 5 to 7 more minutes.  You want to peppers cooked, but still crisp.

Place a serving of carrots onto a plate and then add some of the peppered steak on top. Enjoy!

It makes a beautiful presentation. This meal is full of healthy fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates to FEED your body what it truly craves.

It is simple.  Fill up on healthy vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and quality protein.  Live a quality life, one that the Lord created us to live, one that is healthy, one that is whole.

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
III John 1:2

dinner, real food, unprocessed, Whole foodSeasoning Your Best Sweet Potato Fries
condiments, recipes, Side Dish2 Responses »Aug 192013

We all know yams are good, they are really good for you and are full of mega nutrition… fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6 (hello energy), and potassium (great for blood pressure!).  Baked yams with a little homemade smart butter and cinnamon, yes please!  But, I love sweet potato fries because they take half the time to make, are easy to eat, and who doesn’t like fries!?  But to make good sweet fries at home, that is an art!
I know fries are usually in strips, but for some reason, I have had much better success baking mine like this (my mother-in-laws idea!).  They turn out so much better and have a decent crisp to them.  But the seasoning… I finally realize the seasoning MAKES a good fry a GREAT fry!  I make a large amount and keep it in a small recycled jar ready to go.
The Best Sweet Potato Fry Seasoning EVER!
2 Tbs Chili Powder
2 Tbs Garlic Powder
2 Tbs Sea Salt
2 Tbs Cumin

Slice yams and add all ingredients to a small bowl or jar.

Stir seasonings together. In a large bowl, add sliced yams, olive oil and 1- 2 Tbs of seasoning.

Lay out on a greased baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20- 30 mins flipping them over half-way through.

Serve with a grass-fed beef burger (top with natural ketchup) wrapped in lettuce, and some grilled vegetables for a balanced and healthy meal!
Enjoy!  I love feedback let me know what you think! 🙂

clean eating, natural, real food, recipe, seasoning, yams

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