Saturday, May 31, 2014

BANANA ALMOND PANCAKES (GLUTEN FREE)..YUM!



Greetings my fellow 'good eaters'...After a morning viewing all of the yummy eats in Trader Joes, I was craving some pancakes...but not just any cakes, something hearty and healthy, topped with fruit, almonds, granola and yummy maple syrup..So, why not some Banana Pancakes. Want to know all the 'hows' of this yummy goodness...check it out below!


WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • 3 small bananas (9.5 ounces), mashed (the riper the better, I found..much easier to mash)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted ( I used Coconut Oil)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup 
  • 2 eggs (for vegans, you can leave this out or use apple sauce)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
LET'S COOK!!

  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, coconut oil (or butter), lemon juice and honey (or maple syrup).
  2. Beat in the eggs, or add the applesauce. (If your coconut oil goes back to its solid state, just warm the mixture for short 20 second bursts in the microwave, stirring between each, until it is melted again.)
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix!
  5. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes. You may want to thin out the batter a bit with a touch of almond milk or water.
  6. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface with coconut oil, butter or cooking spray. (If you're using a non-stick electric griddle, you might not need any oil at all.)
  7. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the pan. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake. (The times can vary, just be sure to allow to cook thoroughly)
  8. Once the underside of the pancake is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  9. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.
  10. Add toppings of your choice. I added Fresh blue berries, banana, granola, almond shavings and Grade B Maple Syrup
  11. ENJOY with a smile!!!





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SO..WHAT'S THE RAVE ABOUT OIL PULLING...DO YOU YOU DO IT?


It's What We Love Wednesday!! 
And what we are loving...OIL PULLING!!
This is a method that we use in our household as we continuously strive for a holistic lifestyle. Testimony: My husband had became distracted from oil pulling and about a few months after, his gums began to bother him..so, he once again, rekindled his journey of oil pulling and within DAYS his gums gave him nooo issues. So, once again, he is a firm believer in oil pulling

WHAT IS OIL PULLING EXACTLY..

For those who may be unfamiliar, Oil pulling is a method that's been around for thousands of years in Ayurvedic practices by East Indians, that requires the use of 1 TBSP of a natural beneficial oil (usually Coconut or Sesame Oil) and swished around in the mouth for 20 minutes which aids in pulling the toxins found in our mouth from our mouth. Recently, it's widely used as a tool for detoxification of your whole body..And as I always believe, the whole body entails mind, body and spirit. From the foods we eat, to the chemicals we put on our skin, to how we think all work together as a team to form a holistic lifestyle. Our bodies are exposed to so many toxins and it's beneficial to help minimize the toxins that we are exposed to and that attempt to remain in our bodies. 


THE BENEFITS OF OIL PULLING...

Studies have shown that it reduces the issues of tooth decay, plaque and gum disease by minimizing most strains of the bacteria Streptococcus. How it works, is the fatty acid of coconut oil turns into acid, which in turn is toxic to certain bacteria. It is also known to be beneficial to destroying the yeast found in our mouths. Oil Pulling may help to lessen the overall toxic burden (as mentioned above) on your immune system by preventing the spread of these organisms from your mouth to the rest of your body. 

In terms of oral health, It has been known to possibly:
  • Strengthen gums and teeth
  • Prevent bad breath
  • Aid in preventing bleeding gums
  • Prevent dryness of lips, mouth and throat
  • Naturally whitens teeth

In terms of overall health, it has been known to possibly aid in:

  • Migraine relief
  • Correcting hormone balances
  • reducing inflammation of arthritis
  • Reducing eczema
  • Relieve sinus congestion
  • Reduce insomnia
  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces symptoms of allergies
  • Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms

HOW TO DO...OIL PULLING

On an empty stomach and before drinking anything (so early in the morning), Take 1 TBSP of Sesame Oil or Coconut Oil (we have used both, but prefer coconut,due to it primarily consisting of lauric acid, which is an antimicrobial which aids in effectively destroying fungi, bacteria and some viruses...It also gave quicker results than the sesame oil, but be sure to test for yourself and see which works better for you) and swish around in your mouth, as if using a mouth wash, for 20 minutes (for beginners, if 20 minutes is a long time, try 10 first, but 20 minutes gives you a head start to experiencing the benefits). Be sure NOT to swallow and if you feel you may swallow, spit out and start again. After 20 minutes, spit oil out (it should be white and foamy and no longer clear, this is a sign that the oil holds toxins within). Rinse mouth thoroughly with salt water, then brush. It may seem unusual at first, but once you get used to it, you grow to love it and incorporate it into your daily routine. 
Newbie tip: if this is your first time oil pulling, understand that it is a detoxification process for the body as a whole. As a first time, you may experience what is called Herx Reaction, which is a reaction where you may feel worse before feeling better because your body is going through a detoxification process. It's your body's way of telling you that the fungus, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens are effectively dying off. Since our bodies are filled with so many toxins, many of which enter through the mouth and skin, once these nasties die off, your body will react. 


MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY EXPERIENCE

Within the first 2 weeks, I noticed my teeth appeared whiter and absolutely no bleeding from my gums. After 2 weeks, I noticed my skin clearing from any breakouts. I don't suffer with headaches, allergies or congestion, so I can't truly say on those. After 3 1/2 weeks, I noticed my breath is fresher, even in the early morning and my lips were a lot less dry. And ole dentist said, 'whatever it is you're doing, keep doing it as your teeth and gums are in great condition). For my husband, who suffers with allergies from time to time, noticed a difference in his allergies once he rekindled oil pulling. He also had a lump in his wrist that I felt was toxin buildup that went away after about a week and a half. So, while we can't vouch for all things that are claimed to become reduced, helped or healed with oil pulling, we can definitely vouch for our personal experience of ailments we may have experienced from oil pulling. We also recently introduced to our 8 year old and will introduce to our other 3 once they reach an age where they understand that you do not SWALLOW the nasty mixture..yukkers! Until next time..A Bientot!
HERE:  Dr. Mercola discusses the scoop on Oil Pulling



**Note: This information is not intended to diagnose, cure or heal any health illnesses. For any health issues, please consult your local practitioner. 


Sunday, May 4, 2014

CRATE FAUX WINDOW SEAT..NO TOOLS NEEDED


Greetings, Lovelies!! I pray all is well..Ok, so here is another awesome DIY project that requires No Tools!!!
Super simple, all you need are some crates, pillows or accessories of your choice, and that's all. This is now our kids favorite places to do artwork, play on the computer, do school work or simply lounge around. When I say it's super simple, watch this!


Depending on how wide or long will determine the amount of crates needed. I grabbed some additional crates and had a few left over from the Crate Coffee Table I made about a few months ago. To check out that tutorial, click here. Meanwhile, here's a quick pic:


So, as you can see, I'm a fan of crates and because my design style is Rustic Chic, I love incorporating wood and earth elements juxtaposed with interesting fabrics and chic furniture and accessories. Ok, ok, back to the tutorial...I used a total of 6 crates. At Walmart, these will run about $9.97 ea, but you can find them at Michaels and use a coupon code that you can find online. Again, you do not have to use this many, it truly depends on your desired look. Because I love layering pillows, this amount worked perfect for me and it fit perfectly in the window. 

So, I simply paired the crates together handle side to handle side and achieved this look. (Again, I used a total of 6, because I felt 4 was not large enough to incorporate pillows and for the kids to be able to do work, reading, play or computer time). No tools, simply pair them together...Note, should you choose to sit on the crates as an adult or teen, then I would definitely recommend using tools and applying a piece of plywood on the top and bottom of the crates to be able to support the weight. But, if you don't mind creating this faux look of a window seat, then no tools.


Once you have all the crates paired together, add some pillows and enjoy. In this room, we usually enjoy floor seating, so we have many pillows for floor seating. Check out the pics below for the finished look. Hope you enjoyed DIY Sunday!! Until next time, go out, my creative ones and DO-IT-YOURSELF (DIY).










Sunday, April 6, 2014

FAUX SCONCES USING PAPER TOWEL ROLLS




Greetings, Ladies and Gents!! I pray all is well..
Ok, here is an awesome DIY project that's under $8. My inspiration for these was my longing to have some wall art lighting, but to incorporate true sconces would entail electrical wiring and the Frugal Frieda in me put my mind into action as to how to achieve the look I wanted for little money. So, I finally thought of an awesome way to get what I wanted using basic items I had around the house. Stay tuned below for the details.

WHAT I USED:

 Paper Towel and Toilet Paper rolls. This will give the varying sizes I used to create the art.
I had these spray paint colors on hand and to achieve the metal look I wanted, I layered all three.
  • Blue Lagoon
  • Metallic Gold
  • Gloss Black


  • A hot glue gun will also be handy for securing the pieces.
  • To adhere the sconce to the wall, I used adhesive dots.



THE HOW TO:

  • I layered the colors first beginning with the base color of the Blue Lagoon, then the metallic gold, then the black to give it a rusted metal look.
  • Once the rolls are dry, I placed the rolls in the manner I wanted the design and used my hot glue gun to secure the pieces together. Be sure to layer your rolls at varying heights to create the layered look. I loved the finished look!! They actually turned out better than expected and look O'Mazing on the wall.. So, go, my fellow DIY artists, create beautiful art. 




THE FINISHED LOOK:







Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LET'S MAKE..SHRIMP N PASTA (GLUTEN FREE)


Greetings, EVeryone!! I hope you're hungry. 
Today's good eats are: Shrimp N Pasta and lightly sauteed Kale w/tomato and red onion.
So, let's dive right into it


INGREDIENTS:
  • WILD CAUGHT SHRIMP or the freshest shrimp possible (1 lb)
  • GLUTEN FREE PASTA or pasta of your choice.
  • FRESH KALE (as much as you like)
  • TOMATO (at least 6)
  • RED ONION (1 rough chopped)
  • BELL PEPPER (1, diced)
  • FRESH BASIL (handful, rough chopped)
  • FRESH GARLIC (3 bulbs diced)
  • SEA SALT (to taste)
  • FRESH GROUND PEPPER (to taste)
  • CAPERS (3 table spoons)
  • CAYAN PEPPER (dash)
  • TUMERIC (dash)
  • EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (5 tbsp)
  • BRAGG'S LIQUID AMINOS
SIDE NOTE..SPICE BRANDS I LOVE

I absolutely LOVE the 'Real Salt' Brand of Sea Salt and Seasoning Salt..They use dried herbs, no preservatives, additives nor MSG..LOVE.. And we purchase our fresh herbs and spices from the Farmer's Market. I simply transferred them to little mason jars and created labels so our cabinets could be organized.




THE NITTY GRITTY...LET'S COOK

Now, before we begin, my husband and I love to cook to some awesome music. Today, my music of choice was Nina Simone 'SinnerMan'..It truly put me into the groove and I wanted to put all my love into this dish. The music was perfect as the wonderful aroma seduced our senses.  

 In a medium sauce pan, heat 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and add your onion, garlic, green pepper and capers and allow to saute for about 3-5 minutes. The blend of items are an o'mazing burst of flavor. The surprise of the capers truly bring out the other flavors of the herbs and spices.
Bring a nice sized pot of water to boil for your pasta. Add a dash of sea salt and 1 tbsp of Olive Oil to the water. Once your water is boiling, add your pasta and allow to fully cook until tender.

Add your shrimp and cook until pink, then add your fresh basil and tomato.  

















The tomatoes will begin to soften and produce a natural sauce making the wonderful topping for the pasta. Use a fork or your hands to mash up the tomatoes, allowing it to have remains of slight chunks combined with the sauce.
For the Kale: In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, add your Kale and allow to lightly saute. Add your onion and tomato, a dash of Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste.










SERVE HOT AND ENJOY!!

Grab a bottle of Cabernet or a glass of Reisling or Pinot Grigio and allow the O'Mazing flavors burst in your mouth. Enjoy











Monday, March 31, 2014

USING HEAT..DAY 2 (SLEEPING AND WORKING OUT WITH STRAIGHT HAIR)


Greetings, Everyone!! Ok, so it's Day 2 and I wanted to stop in and note how I kept my hair in tact while sleeping and even working out. Again, I try to take note of the questions asked so I can be mindful of how I care for my hair in its straightened state and make mention. Keep in mind, everyone may experience different results and may use different methods, this is what is working for me and because of that, I'm excited to share. So, let's get to it!!

HOW I PROTECTED AT NIGHT

MOISTURIZING: To give my hair a dab of moisture, I separated my hair into two sections then I applied a little of my Natty Creme to each section. This was perfect because it had a nice blend of water, butters and oils. You can use a moisturizing cream of your choice



















Once I moisturized my hair, on one section at a time, I single twisted my hair and coiled into a bantu/bun. Then secured with a small goody band. I ended up with two Princess Laia buns.








I made sure to moisturize my edges











And my nape and voila!











Once my hair was moisturized and buns in place, I tied a 100% silk scarf around to secure everything. ( I purchased this from Marshalls a few years back. Be sure you use a good fabric, such as silk or satin.








I then placed my Charmeuse Satin Bonnet from EboniCurls and headed to bed. I must say, this bonnet is amazing for helping to keep moisture into the hair.










Working Out...So, because my hair is straightened, I still wanted to get my workout in and figured since my hair was nicely secured, I could simply remove the Ebonnet bonnet and workout with my hair still secure from the satin scarf. What I have found is when the hair is bonded together, it holds on to moisture better and it also helps to keep my hair in place after a workout. Spin Bike here I come!!



Voila!! After my workout and showering, I took my hair down once it was dry from the workout and steam from the shower and this is what I got. My hair was extremely soft, bouncy and had a hint of a body wave from being in the buns.I really didn't have to do much to it, but shake and go. If your hair is shorter, simply wrap the hair around your head and secure with a silk or satin scarf. What I found is that the tight bantu buns helped to keep my hair stretched as well. Hope this helps..Have a Happy Natty Day!




THE RESULTS




Sunday, March 30, 2014

FROM KINKY COILY TO STRAIGHT..LIGHT FLAT IRONING MY NATURAL HAIR


Greetings, Everyone!!! I pray all is well with you and your wonderful household. 
Ahhh, the versatility of natural hair...Ok, so I decided to do a light blow out and flat iron on my tresses. Now, I've only used heat in my 4th month post BC and a little on my bang in 2012 as a demonstration on how to use heat properly on natural hair. For my complete post on the 'Do's and Don't s on Using Heat', click here . So, it's been quite awhile since the ole gal has had fire to the flame. 

I truly wanted to experiment with straight hair this week because as a page operator, I receive questions in regards to caring for natural hair while flat ironed or straightened. And, honestly, I love to speak by experience. So, this week, I want to document how I cared for my tresses while flat ironed: through workout, protecting at night, moisturizing, detangling, you know, the good stuff that helps keep our hair healthy. Now, I will say, I don't think excessive use of heat is a great go, simply because the more heat applied over and over gradually breaks down the protein bond in the hair and overtime, could potentially prevent the hair from reverting back to its normal curly, kinky or coily texture. Excessive heat use can also aid in dryness. So, with everything, I definitely encourage moderation. 

MY REGIMEN AND PRODUCTS USED ON DAY 1:







  • Twist: Once my hair was 70-80% dry, I placed in twists to prep for blow drying and flat ironing the next day.  I had 16 total twists. 

THE METHOD: DAY 2

On Hair that was completely dry, working one twist at a time, I untwist, dampen just a little using my Natty ACV Hair & Scalp Mist then applied my Natty Butter to lock in the moisture. This helped with retaining more moisture into my hair to avoid dryness. Using a paddle brush, I detangled and Blow dried on medium heat, low setting. Taking smaller sections, I applied a little Natty Butter as my heat protectant then I proceeded to flat iron on temp setting of 325. Hair will burn at a temp of 450 degrees and above, so please be mindful. And because I did not want to risk burning or damaging my hair, I kept the heat setting low for a light flat iron. This allowed my hair to maintain the fullness that I achieved. I repeated until my entire head was done. Took about 3.5 - 4 hours for the entire process (this included resting for 3 minutes..hey, I'm not used to taking this much time on my hair unless I'm mini twisting my hair, which takes a loooonnnngggg time). I also trimmed about 2.5 inches off of my hair to rid my hair of dead ends. I didn't shape my hair or anything, for some reason, my hair grows out in a shaped mode all on its own. 

THE RESULTS: I DO LOVE IT!!