Keep it Organized!

I am a self proclaimed product junkie and have a love for organizing!   I love finding the BEST gadget, product, anything that makes my life easier or simpler!  I love feeling decluttered and organized because it makes my brain less cluttered and helps me sleep better and enjoy life fully!  Here’s just what’s on my mind today!   What are YOUR favorite organizing products?  Here are a few of mine!

 

  1.  Travel Cubes.  I admit it.. These things are fantastic for packing and unpacking and keeping your suitcase tidy!  I like being able to pack the way it makes sense to me…. pajamas or work out clothes together…. or all my pants together and all my tops together….Pack a cube of shoes!   However you choose to pack, I think you’ll like it!   AND… on the way home, your dirty clothes can go in a cube as to not “mix” with your clean ones!

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2.  Pursen Jewelry Organizer – I like to accessorize and I do travel with lots of jewelry because it can really change up my look when I need to take an outfit from day to play!  This little gem (no pun intended) is TRULY the best one I have tried and trust me… I have tried a lot of different ones!   They come small to large for all your needs!

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3.  Neat Desk Organizer – It’s a scanner and it’s AMAZING!!!   I hate paper all over the place and sometimes you need to access something from the road like a business card or a frequent flyer number or hotel rewards number.    You can download the NEAT app on your phone and have instant access to everything you scan and all you have to do is search a word or a name.    Anything that is PRINTED like a business card or form get’s pre-read so you don’t have to type in anything… so when you search for them, you can in an instant…. You can even scan recipes and receipts….. and they can be reprinted…. and shared electronically.   This thing is a MUST have in my opinion!   People think I should sell these!  I love it THAT much!

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4. Go Strap!  This is a silly little gadget that sticks on the back of your phone case and allows you to hold your phone securely and safely!   I no longer worry about dropping my phone!    Women don’t always have pockets to put their phones in….. but they sometimes need them accessible because we are keeping up with kids or work for example…. THIS little gadget is stellar in allowing you to have your hands full yet still have your phone ON you.  You can carry your coffee and your phone in one hand without worrying about dropping your phone!  Outstanding!

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I can’t wait to hear what YOUR favorite gadgets are!

Best Gluten Free Brownie Ever!

I’ve recently tried to eliminate Gluten from my diet.  Not because I’m intolerant, but because I needed to lose weight!   One of my friends asked for Gluten Free Recipes today and so I got inspired to post a great and VERY easy recipe here on my blog!    I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  Would love your feedback!

img_5965  fullsizeoutput_3d8a Ingredients

1 cup paleo-friendly almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, syrup, egg, ghee, and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the brownie is done, but still soft in the middle.

 

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Happy New Year

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Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”?   I am.  It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer.  Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive.  It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove!  Crazy!

So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts)  should be the NEW YEAR!    It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured.   Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again.   Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business!   Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or  academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!

I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September?  How about you?

I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house.   September seems to be MY new year!

So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better!   I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.

Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off?  What do you want to hear more of?  Here are my passions:  Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel,  some DIY projects, and Organization and business!   I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life!  Tell me what you want to hear more of!  I’d love to share!

Spiralized!

This winter… I decided to cut out the crap and eat nothing but REAL food… Yep… basically protein, veggies and fruit.  That is it.   No Gluten… no Sugar… no dairy.    I had to get creative with my eating….. so I wouldn’t get bored!   SOOOO I bought a Spiralizer!    How fun is this?    This made eating veggies so much more interesting!    Here you see my spiralized Zucchini  that I could saute in onions and garlic OR…. use as a zucchini noodle for my tomato sauce!  Yum!

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I discovered how fun it was to spiral things… like onions (thinly sliced,)  potatoes, cucumbers, and squash!

Think about it… thinly sliced red onion for salads, burgers or sandwiches…. thinly sliced yellow onion for french onion soup, spiraled cucumber for an interesting cucumber salad with rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds or apple cider vinegar, dill and pepper…. OR Zucchini “pasta” to satiate even the worst pasta craving!    It worked!   Potatoes also work great in the spiralizer…. for great home fries!   Oh my goodness!   So yummy!

So if you are looking for a fun kitchen tool this summer that inspires healthy eating…. Enjoy getting your Spiralizer!    I’m not even sure if that is a word… but… I’m sticking with it!

Cheers!

Calorie Free Yumminess 

Do you love a little treat in the evening? But the glass of wine or bowl of ice cream in the evening is doing a number on your weight?   Try my calorie free Mojito!  This is my new favorite concoction!    Seltzer, Lime, Mint and a little liquid Stevia!  Stevia takes the place of simple syrup.. and gives you that sweet taste!   Since good Mint is hard to find… I buy a lot of it, wash, remove the leaves from the stems and freeze!

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When I want a little mint in my drink, I simply remove from the freezer… crush a few leaves and enjoy!    Now… if you want to turn this into a cocktail for the weekend… add a little Titos Vodka or Organic cucumber Vodka for a little something low carb!

I’ve been enjoying my mocktails every evening…. and if you don’t have mint… just do lime, seltzer and stevia…. Let me know what you think!

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Eating Healthy For Spring

 

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Are you working on your Spring Slimdown for bathing suit season?   Almost every woman I know…. and some men, are trying to exercise and eat healthier for Spring!

For the last 30 days or so, I’ve eliminated sugar, carbs/gluten and even fat from my diet… except good fats like nuts, coconut oil, avocado etc.   I have not had anything to drink but water, tea and coffee and have basically eaten WHOLE foods!  Lean protein, vegetables and limited fruit.

First 7 days were hard!  I admit it!    The natural inclination to grab a cheese stick, a piece of chocolate, a chip or two was super strong!  Now… I’m almost reformed although I admit I crave an occasional bagel, cookie or pasta, I’m really doing well!

Just thought I would share some of my favorite new healthy recipes with you over the next few weeks…. I would love to hear some of yours!

One of my favorite lunches is tuna with onions and dijon mustard wrapped in lettuce and topped with chopped tomatoes!   Lunch is under 200 calories and is filling and delicious!  Add salt and pepper to taste!   Leave out that mayo!  It’s packed with unnecessary calories!

Getting slim doesn’t mean not eating….. it just means you can eat REAL food … delicious food!   Here’s to our heath!

What do home decor, Campbell soup, football, royalty, Scouts, military, sororities and fraternities all have in common?

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This little symbol… is the Fleur de Lis!    Do you recognize it?   You have probably seen it in home decor accents, The New Orleans Saints, scepters,  and crowns and flags of royalty and of european countries, the Scouts… the military, some sororities and fraternities and even vintage Campbell’s Soup labels used to have this little symbol on it!  It’s a super star!    It’s French in origin…. Fleur means “flower” and Lis means “Lily”.

If you are curious in nature… click on the link to learn more!   Fleur de Lis

Anyway… I just LIKE it!  I LOVE it in the new eSBe Designs Mardi Gras collection!!!   It’s timeless….and detailed per our designer!  It truly is a piece of art to be worn proudly and timelessly for years.. but for now… Enjoy it’s beauty…. and if you happen to relate to the organizations or nationalities that it represents, even better!

These pieces can make a great addition to any jewelry wardrobe or make a great gift for someone who identifies with this symbol!   Enjoy!

Where else have you seen this little symbol?  I’d love to know!

Mardi Gras Gold Necklace ($99) with Sundial Collection Agate necklace ($85)

  
 

Look skinnier without dieting!

I am actually trying to lose some holiday weight that’s accumulated over many holidays I think…. but in the meantime, while I am NOT purchasing clothing since I do plan on being thinner….. I can accessorize my current wardrobe with some jewelry and look thinner in the process!  It also helps me to feel complete when I go out… even if I’m wearing an outfit I’ve had a while,  jewelry simply dresses things up a bit… even a t-shirt as shown below!  (great for travel too)

Women typically wear a pendant necklace… usually something meaningful to them or just simply trendy or nothing at all.   Notice how adding a few longer thin and lightweight necklaces can actually draw your eye vertically…. making you not only look thinner but even taller than you are!   Your visual lines are vertical not horizontal.

Layering jewelry is also very trendy right now… but it can be intimidating at best!   You want to know how to do it right… and that is what I sincerely love about eSBe Designs Jewelry!  

I have learned a lot by representing our  designer and well, it’s like Garanimals!    Everything mixes and matches flawlessly… because we have ONE designer.. not a design team but one talented American designer that designs every single piece!  

So while you are exercising and eating healthy to shed a few pounds to get into that swimsuit….the right jewelry can transition you flawlessly into the next size down.

I love helping my clients select just the right pieces to suit their jewelry style and wardrobe!   I’d love to help you to either locally or electronically through messaging!   Send me photos and I’ll provide  custom jewelry wardrobe selections  for you based on your preferences!  Visit www.esbedesigns.com/theda to view the entire collection.

Gluten free pancakes

  

I love carbs! I love a good pancake breakfast but being at an age where carbs seem to make a difference… I’ve been trying to cut them out. Can I tell you I love carbs? These pancakes have literally nothing bad in them. A banana, two eggs, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and real maple syrup .  They taste “real”

The key to making him look good is just a little bit of cooking spray in the bottom of the nonstick pan. I use coconut oil spray to be healthier.

Just mash up One banana, mix in two eggs, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and sprinkle Pumpkin pie spice in!   Whisk together and pour into a hot non-stick skillet.   Use real maple syrup and and there’s no artificial sugar or carbs in this decadent breakfast. Easy and a totally enjoyable treat!!

Christmas Cookies

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How many of you still bake Christmas cookies?   I know sometimes you don’t feel like it…. the busyness… the time it takes.    I totally get it!   Besides, we don’t need those calories anyway, right?Well, all that may be true, but when it comes to Christmas cookies…. it’s a tradition passed down from generation to generation…. it may even have significance to family heritage.   For example, my side of the family is mostly German… so a cookie I grew up with is Pfeffernusse.    It’s a spice pepper nut cookie covered in powdered sugar!  I think I appreciate the cookie more and more as I get older….. it’s a familiar taste… its something that reminds me of my childhood.  I also noticed my kids devouring them with excitement over the taste of our traditional home baked cookies!   Gosh… remember when we REALLY made homemade cookies every week because they didn’t come in the store?   Well anyway……

It’s always fun is to create new traditions with new cookies that you enjoy too!  For example…. my mother made a persimmon cookie… which was delicious…. it was like a spice cake cookie of sorts with a green or red candied cherry on top but this cookie is dreadfully hard to make since you have to find persimmons and also get the pulp out of them.  I honestly prefer something different… so I created a new tradition sticking with the German theme…. a Butter/almond cookie that is much like a shortbread.   Oh how simple and delicious….

Per request…. I’m sharing my recipes…   Maybe they’ll make it to your kitchen as a new favorite!

 

Pffefernusse cookies before confectioners sugar

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Pfeffernusse

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp ground anise seed

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/2 c unsalted butter

3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 c molases (unsulfered)

1 egg

2 c confectioners sugar for dusting

  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, anniseeds, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg and cloves
  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar and molasses until light and fluffy – about 4 min
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture
  • Cover and refrigerate dough for several hours
  • Position rack in the middle of the overn and pre-heat to 350 degrees.
  • Scoop up about a tablespoon of dough and form into balls between your palms and place 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or non-stick cookie sheet.
  • Bake until cookies are golden brown – approximately 14 min.
  • Transfer the sheets to racks to let cookies cool slightly on the sheets
  • Place the confectioners sugar in a sturdy paper bag and drop a few cookies into the bag.  Close the top securely and shake gently to coat the warm cookies in the sugar.
  • Transfer to cooling racks to let cool completely.
  • Store in air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Vanille Hoernchen (German Christmas Butter cookie)

1 1/3 C flour

2 1/4 C finely ground almonds 

2 1/3 C butter

1 1/3 C sugar

1 TBS vanilla extract

1 1/2 C powered sugar for coating after baking

  • Mix all ingredients ( except powdered sugar) in a bowl.  Knead dough just until it is mixed.
  • Divide dough into managable sections and rool loogs or snakes and cut into even sections to about 1 1/2 inch balls.  Shape into horns or crescents and flatten a little with your hand or use a cookie cutter.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 min or until golden brown.
  • Cool a bit on the cookie sheet and then dust with powdered sugar and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Store in airtight container for up to a week.