Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clean Eating Stuffed Apple "Pies"

Yes, huh.  You read that right.  Clean Eating Stuffed Apple Pies.  Because?  Because.  Because since starting my Beachbody journey, I have made a big effort to create delicious meals and desserts that you want to eat.  That are realistic.  That don't contain a thousand weird ingredients.  That tastes good.  Made out of ingredients you have in your pantry and don't have to order from Amazon.  Also, because I had granny smith apples sitting so prettily in a bowl on my table and were about to go bad so I had to think of something quick to do with them.  And because I wanted apple pie.

I'm sorry to say I don't have any after pictures.  But I don't think you need them.  All you need to see is before.  Why don't I have them?  Well, let me tell ya.  It was all apart of my plan to include them.  But then I cooked them for just a little longer than I should have and the skins exploded and peeled back leaving the flesh of the apple exposed and soft and full of flavor from the crumble.  It actually turned out to be a good thing as far as eating goes, but not as far as pictures go!  Don't worry, I have adjusted the baking times for the recipe so hopefully you don't have explosive apple skin.  :)


3 large granny smith apples
3/4 cup quick cook oats
3 T melted coconut oil
3 T raw cane sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 t apple pie spice
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c walnuts


1.  Using an apple core or paring knife, core the apples down the center, removing the seeds.  Don't core all the way through, once you have the seeds removed, stop to leave a base so the crumble stays in the apple.
2.  Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
3.  Take the mixture and stuff apples and place in a baking dish.  It's okay that the crumble overflows into the me.
4.  Add 1 cup of water to the base of your cooking dish.
5.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving.  Though it's not clean, I couldn't resist serving these alongside some vanilla ice cream...because I wanted to!  My husband and boys devoured every last bite.  And yes, of course I did too!

So after they baked, the oatmeal in the bottom of the pan completely absorbed the water creating the most delicious baked apple pie oatmeal ever.  We scooped it up and served it with the ice cream...omg.  It was amazing!  This dessert inspired me to create a new baked oatmeal recipe for breakfast.  I can't wait to try it...can you have ice cream for breakfast though?  Because I feel like you might need to serve it with ice cream.  I think, yes.

Granny smith apples are on my shopping list because we will be having this again in the very near future.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Front Porch Makeover

Sometimes, I love to be original and sometimes I feel no desire to reinvent the wheel, especially when projects are this cute!  I saw this idea on Unoriginal Mom and LOVED it.  I've wanted to do something on my front door for the longest time, but I'm not really a wreath maker, unless it involves pages from an atlas, like my DIY Book Page Wreath.  My MIL makes killer wreaths, but I haven't acquired that skill from her yet.  But this, this I could do and I happened to have extra mason jars and wood laying around so I only needed to purchase a few of the items making it incredibly inexpensive...which is my kind of project.

I pretty much duplicated exactly what she did, but made a few changes to each piece as I went.  I had burlap left from my Vintage Farm Nursery that made a return wrapped around this stunning bouquet of flowers.   

For the label, I probably created more work than what was necessary for myself (as always) but I used my wood transfer technique to create the outline and then painted it in with chalkboard paint.  I should have done two coats, but I was too excited to hang it!

I accidentally spilled my stain ALL OVER the garage floor and didn't notice until it was dry (awesome...sorry honey).  So to create a stained look, I watered down black acrylic paint and it worked PERFECTLY!  I'm glad I have a new technique to add the the book of ideas.  I may try it with a colored acrylic paint to see what different paint effects I can make.  (posts to come I'm sure)

What I love about the front porch is that it has patterns and details that you will see throughout the house so it creates a welcoming flow.  I have mason jars hanging in my living room and you can see the chevron pattern on the shelf in the entry way.  Just through the foyer, is my gallery wall which displays another chalkboard, similar to the one on the porch.  Even the color of the chalkboard appears in the wreath.  Makes me happy :)  

Oh, I love it.  I keep looking at pictures and fall in love all over again!  Now everytime I drive by, I slow down and admire the beauty!  Along with the mounted mason jar pallet, I wanted to hang a colorful chalkboard, apparently I'm obsessed with chalkboards.  I had my husband make this one but I made it the same way I made the one hanging on my Gallery Wall.

I have wanted something this color of blue for the longest time but I wasn't able to quite find the place for something that color in my house.  So when I decided to make a chalkboard, this color had no other contenders!

The combination between the teal and pink is perfect and makes an awesome statement on my front porch!

And yes, my American flag still sits on my front porch.  I hope to keep it there but it doesn't fit in too well with my new additions so I will be working on how I tie all of them together.  We are adding planters with perennials in the fall so I'm sure we'll come up with something by then!  But for now, I'm happy just as it is!

I hope you found some inspiration in these pictures!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Froyo

Since I've started on my Beachbody journey, I've enjoyed exploring new ways to cook foods.  We've always been pretty clean eaters but I'm now making a big effort to create new ways for everyone to easily enjoy healthy meals.  I am getting ready to start the 21 Day Fix Challenge with an awesome group of challengers!  It's a program designed to help you get the results you want in just 21 days through working out, controlling your portions and drinking Shakeology.  I've been drinking Shakeology for 2 months now, and have LOVED it!  This stuff is no joke. 

So this summer there was a 21 Day Fix recipe contest and people were encouraged to create clean and healthy frozen desserts.  I couldn't decide what to do so while throwing around ideas with my family, my cousin decided that Oatmeal Raisin would be good, so that's what I decided on. I still have a long list of ideas that I will be making to share too!  

I'm not gonna lie, I really wanted to make a custard with milk and eggs and add brown sugar and cinnamon to make this delectable...but it's not clean!  Beachbody has empowered me to make the right decision.  I'm completely satisfied, have no regrets and am developing some pretty amazing self discipline!  So I came up with a recipe I knew would be delicious and no guilt involved.  Always a good thing ;)


32 ounces of plain yogurt (not greek)
1 T cinnamon
1/3 c maple syrup
1 scoop vanilla Shakeology (optional)
1 t vanilla
1 cup gluten free granola
1/2 c raisins


1.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowls and stir until combined.
2.  Pour into ice cream maker using manufacture's directions.
3.  5 minutes before frozen yogurt is done, add raisins and granola.
4.  Turn off machine and move frozen yogurt to a freezer container. 
5.  Serve immediately for soft serve, or place in freezer for 1-2 hours for a more solid yogurt.

It's imperative that you serve this frozen yogurt in cute jars and adorable wooden spoons.  I'm serious.  It tastes that way.

This stuff is so addicting.  You'd think the raisins would be frozen solid, but they are in fact perfectly cold and chewy, so you keep digging for more.  And more.

And more.  The raisins are so addicting.  Sorry, did I already say that?

You can see the little ones coming after the frozen yogurt in the background.  I had to move fast before it was too late.  Of course I gave them a healthy serving of this frozen yogurt completely guilt-free and they devoured it! 


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dining Room Gallery Wall

I have been working on this gallery wall for about a month now but it's finally finished!  I don't know what comes over me but I get these ideas in my head of what I want to do and I don't stop thinking about it until it's done.  I've had a few obstacles along the way, mostly health, that slowed me down but we have company coming this weekend so I set a deadline for myself to get it done!

Except for a few pieces, everything was made from scratch.  As we go through the pictures, I'll break it down and explain how I did it all.  I hope you find some inspiration and motivation to do one for yourself!

First of all, let's see what the wall looked like BEFORE the transformation.  

It's a side view, I know, but I was in my pajamas and was most certainly not going to stand in front of the mirror.  You get the idea, big black Ikea mirror with lanterns hanging on the sides.  It worked for a while but I'm starting to feel claustrophobic in our living area because we have dark cabinets, dark furniture and darkish walls (compared to the light gray I have picked out, they are dark).  The mirror has been moved to our bedroom which I know will just give me motivation to finally complete our bedroom.  

On to more important things, like frames.  Now I have tell you, I made the frames.  I know not everyone will be able to make frames but they are actually easy to find at places like Hobby Lobby.  We were working pretty much on a $0 budget so I used what wood I had sitting on the side of my house to make the frames.  I  used a miter saw to cut the 45 degree angles and wood glue to hold them together.  Funny story, we were going to use shallow depth staples to secure them on the back and when we bought them to put in the stapler, we discovered we didn't actually have a stapler.  Ha!  

We started with a 2x4 from a pallet and cut it down to make the frames.  It was quite dangerous so I wouldn't recommend you doing this if you are a rookie.  My husband cut these for me as I am terrified of a table saw.  Terrified.  He actually found a few nails deep in the middle of the wood, but thankfully he found them before he sent them through the saw.  Below is what they look like on the back side.  I didn't stain or finish these frames, just sanded, cut and glued.

The white frames are old frames I bought from Goodwill and repainted white.  I have a pile sitting in my craft closet I use for various things. They come in handy to use frame labels for birthday parties or seasonal prints.  It's so nice to have a variety of sizes on hand! 

I guess this whole idea got started when I decided I wanted to make a chalkboard.  God has been laying some pretty awesome Scripture verses on our hearts and we wanted a way to be reminded of them on a daily basis.  Sometimes you just need a big fat reminder sticking in your face to hold on to His promises. 

I took a simple piece of plywood and painted it with chalkboard paint then built a frame out of 1x3s.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the back of the frame so you could see how I secured it.  I used a Kreg jig which made the process so much easier.  If you don't have one, GO BUY ONE!

The plywood was actually pretty warped from the wet paint and from the fact that it's thin plywood so we had to screw it down in a few places.  We secured the rest with finishing nails and added a picture hanger on the back which was way easier to do than I though.  

Okay, let's talk about how awesome this awesome sign is!  As always, I visited Pinterest as part of research for how I wanted my wall to look.  One glorious day, I found this pin.  I used the same technique as from my DIY Wood Transfer Sign.  Because it is such a bold statement, I decided to stick with a thin font.  It showed up really light at first so I painted over it with black paint.  Be careful not to drag your hands across the ink as you're painting over the letters, when transferred on top of paints, it can smear.

I made the sign from my stock pile of pallet wood I have on the side of my house.  Couldn't have been easier to make.  I found 3 pieces the same size, removed staples and nails, sanded, secured and painted.

I fell in love with this Be Kind print as soon as I saw it and knew I needed to incorporate it somehow!  The best part is that it's a FREE PRINTABLE!  That's always the best kind.  I transferred the sign onto a thin piece of plywood and framed it with my DIY frames. This time instead of painting over the letters, I retraced them using a black permanent marker.  It's up to you whether you want to use a marker or paint (if you have to use anything at all).  

This may be one of my favorite pieces.  This is the same wood I used to make my frames.  As I was sorting through my wood pile I found these two beautiful 2x4s in perfect shabby chic condition.  I used part of them to make these chevrons and the rest to make the frames!  I still can't believe that from 2 4 ft 2x4s we were able to create so many items!  I used my handy dandy miter saw to cut the 45 degree angles and secured them using a Kreg jig.  I put a really light coat of gold paint on top and sanded it down.

 I was browsing through Rodworks one day looking for inspiration when I happened to come across their section of beautiful knobs.  I started thinking of all the ways I could use them.  I continued shopping through the store when I found these adorable number labels and it hit me.  In other gallery walls, I had seen the number of family members displayed in different ways and while I had originally thought I would paint the number on wood, this was even better.  I immediately saw the whole thing come together in my mind as I was standing there in the store!  The best part is the knob was 20% off and the label was only $2.


For the record, I am totally on board with this Hello fad.  I love the simplicity and the font.  I found this at Hobby Lobby in the paper crafting section, right there with the chipboards and pendant garlands.  I wasn't sure if I was going to buy it because I wasn't exactly sure how I would display it but it still made it's way into my cart!

That same trip, as with every trip, I visited the clearance section where I found this sign for $4.  When something is $4, I'm pretty sure there is no debate about whether or not to get it.  I'm not exactly sure what was happening because the twine was in fact glued in the random fashion you see below but that didn't stop me from seeing it's potential.  I yanked it all off (after I purchased it of course) and sanded it down.  I lightly brushed it with white paint, then finished it off with a few gold streaks.  I love when ideas just magically come together.  It made the perfect backdrop for my hello.  I painted the hello to watch the knob by mixing blue and green paint and lightly brushing gold on top.

In any gallery wall, a framed monogram is necessary.  This was of course a paper mache letter that I painted to match the knob and hello.  I just lightly brushed on the gold paint and then took a paper towel to help blend.

This wall was so fun to make.  I absolutely love the difference it made in our home.  It's one of the first things people see when the walk in and makes such an awesome statement!  Gallery walls are really one of a kind and so easy to customize to your home and design style.  There is never one gallery wall that is the same which is why I love them!  They are great representations of you and your family while reflecting the latest style and trends in home design.  I hope you were inspired by my wall.  Good luck as you design your own!

A big shout out to my husband for helping me hang everything!  

Thank you, too Rowen. :)