Thursday, 26 February 2015

Diggin' DIY

Make a Sharpie Mug

Use Bookends as Floating Bookshelves

DIY Heart Knot 

Easy and very cute 

DIY: How To Make Tiny Pom Poms With A Fork!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, not packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup boiling water or coffee
For the Chocolate Greek Yogurt Buttercream:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons Half and Half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 12-cup cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners and lightly spray the liners with non-stick spray (optional, but it does help them peel right off).
  2. Melt the oil, butter,and chocolate together in the microwave, heating in 30 second increments, and stirring between increments each time. You may also melt the oil, butter, and chocolate over very low heat on the stovetop, but I find the microwave option to be much easier. Whisk mixture until completely smooth; set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt; stir together until thoroughly combined; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, sugars, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add the cooled oil/butter/chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the Greek yogurt. Repeat the process until everything is added, and be sure to mix until JUST combined - then quickly stir in the hot water or coffee (depending on which you're using). It's important not to over mix, here! Just stir until evenly combined.
  5. Divide the batter among the 12 liners in your prepared pan. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool *completely before frosting.
For the Chocolate Greek Yogurt Buttercream:
  1. Sift together the confectioners sugar and cocoa powder, whisking well to ensure it's bump and lump free!
  2. Using a handheld mixer OR a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy; about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder, alternating with the Greek yogurt and half and half, then add the salt. Once all of the ingredients have been added, beat on high speed until light and creamy and combined; beat for at least 1 minute on high.
  3. Frost cooled cupcakes and top with any decorations if desired.
  4. Cupcakes stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

*Half and half is sold in the dairy isle at most grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you can make your own by mixing 1 part whole milk with one part heavy cream.


Apple Almond Energy Bites

  • 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 T hemp hearts
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • optional: 2 T maple syrup
  1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor. If the mixture looks a little wet, you can add in some more oats. Take a taste. If it's not sweet enough for you, feel free to add a little maple syrup or raw honey.
  2. Roll into balls or use a cookie scoop to drop balls onto a lined baking sheet.
  3. Set in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
  4. Store these in the fridge. You can also freeze them! Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

DIY ideas!

Save their favorite t-shirt..

Life hack to save space in your closet.

love this idea 

I love this idea..

Chocolate Pumpkin Cups What a cute idea. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Diy, its easier than you think!

Basket - much easier to make than it first looks!

DIY Miu Miu Jeweled Heels

Toilet Paper Roll Holder

Floral Centerpiece 

Make A Bird Feeder With Cups And Saucers

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

New York City

Winter time in New York

NYC holiday lights

Chinatown, New York City. 

Manhattan Bridge

Vintage yellow cabs - Greenwich Village - New York 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Backyard Ideas!

Fire Pit

Tires as a swings

Cute idea if you have a tree stump to re-purpose. 

DIY wood stools ~ super easy and super cheap.

Amazing outdoor nest bed 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Walking Taco Casserole

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
  • Fritos
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  1. Brown 1 1/2 lbs ground beef. Mix in taco seasoning and cook according to directions on package.
  2. Layer in a casserole dish in the following order: Fritos chips, meat mixture, shredded cheese. Repeat layers once again.
  3. Bake at 350° for about 15-20 min or until cheese is bubbly.
  4. After removing from oven I added more cheese on the top.
  5. I really liked this and so did Marley until she got up from the table and Zeus ate it. The only downside is when you reheat it the next day the chips are all soggy. Maybe next time I’ll do a half size so that way I don’t have soggy chips.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Let's Go Places!

Venezia, Italia

Blogging with a view !

Moorea, French Polynesia

Scotland winter 

Lake Oeschinen, Switzerland 

Wonderfull Christmas!

Cranberry Ice Wreath


Ana Rosa 

Christmas wreath 



Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Outdoor Opportunities


Create -Led walkway lighting 

Cocoon Patio Swing Chair 

Outdoor Wood Fired Oven 

S'mores Grilling Rack 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Mini Egg and Cheese Tortilla Cups

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream (or milk, or heavy cream)
  • ½ cup shredded cheese (you can use any type, I used cheddar and mozzarella)
  • diced veggies (I used a mixture of bell peppers and onions)
  • 1 extra large tortilla or 4 small
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Stack tortillas and cut out 4 small (about 3.5 inch) round circles out of the tortillas, you can use anything that has a rim, can, cup, bowl. If you are using big tortillas cut the four circles out of one tortilla. If you are using small tortillas you will only be able to cut one out of each tortillas. Press each wrap circle into 4 greased muffin tins using your fingers. It's okay if it doesn't fit perfectly, it will balance out after you add the eggs. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whip the eggs and sour cream until fully combined, it's okay if it's a little lumpy, the sour cream will bake into the eggs. Add half of the cheese and set half aside, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the equally into the prepared muffin tins ( into the tortillas), then sprinkle the veggies as desired. Bake for 10 minutes, after 10 minutes sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the eggs, continue baking for 3-5 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and tortilla crust is golden. Serve warm, eat using a fork or grab one and bite right in!

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, Pineapple and Peppers

Chicken Breading
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 ½ pounds), cut in bite-size pieces)**
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from 20 oz. pineapple tidbits can below)
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ketchup (6 tablespoons)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced as THIN as possible (2-3 carrots)
  1. Add "Sweet and Sour Sauce" ingredients to a medium/large saucepan, stir and bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer while you prepare the chicken and dice the vegetables, stirring occasionally (turn off if longer than 20 minutes). Note, the sauce will not thicken, simmering is to soften the onions and blend flavors.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, set aside. Add ½ cup flour to a large freezer bag; set aside next to eggs. Whisk cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ginger powder and onion powder in medium bowl; set aside next to flour.
  4. Add chicken to eggs and coat, then remove, allowing excess to drip off, then add to freezer bag with flour. Toss until evenly coated then discard any extra flour. Add cornstarch/spices to the chicken in the freezer bag and shake until evenly coated.
  5. Over high heat, heat enough oil (any kind) to generously cover the bottom of a large skillet until hot and rippling. Add chicken and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until browned but not cooked through. (You may need to cook in 2 batches depending on size of your skillet). Transfer chicken to prepared 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Add carrots pineapple and peppers to the sweet and sauce and mix until well combined. Pour sauce over chicken and stir until sauce/chicken/vegetables are evenly combined. Cook, uncovered for 50 minutes or until sauce, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve over rice. Enjoy!
**If your chicken breasts are extra thick (like the ones from Costco), I recommend tenderizing/flattening with a meat mallet or the side of a large can beforehand)


Skillet Pizza

  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Toppings of Choice
  • 10 inch non-stick skillet
  1. Set skillet over medium high heat. Add a layer of Mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the pan. When the cheese starts bubbling, add toppings (don't overload it or you'll have a tough time later). Here I just added pepperoni.
  2. Start watching the edges of the cheese. Once the edges start to brown, you can use a spatula to lift the them, as seen below.
  3. Once the edges are browned all the way around, you can carefully slide the spatula under the pizza and slide it off onto a plate.
  4. Let the pizza cool just a bit so the cheese will firm up. Then you can use a pizza cutter to slice it up. Now you can pick it up with your hands and eat it just like a regular pizza. It gives you all the taste, but leaves out all the carbs! 

Chicken Alfredo Garlic Bread Pizza

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • ½ cups Half And Half, Regular Or Fat Free
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pinch Parsley Flakes
  • 1 pinch Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 loaf Italian Bread
  • ½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Parsley Flakes
  • 1-½ cup Cooked Chicken Shredded
  • 2 cups Cooked Broccoli Florets (a Steamable Bag Works Great)
  • 3 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
For the Alfredo sauce:
  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add garlic and cook for about one minute longer. Gradually stir in half-and-half followed by Parmesan cheese and continue stirring until blended and sauce thickens.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley flakes, pepper and salt.
For the pizza:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Slice Italian bread in half lengthwise. Put the bread halves onto the sheet, cut side up.
  2. In a medium bowl mix butter, garlic powder and parsley flakes until blended. Generously spread over bread.
  3. In a medium bowl toss chicken with prepared Alfredo sauce. Spread evenly over the Italian bread slices. Top with broccoli then sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cheese is melted. Cut into desired slices and serve.
Note: Leftover chicken, store bought rotisserie chicken works great for this recipe.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Julie’s Fiesta Chicken Bites


  • wonton wrappers
  • chicken breasts
  • fajita seasoning
  • mild salsa
  • half an onion, sliced into strips
  • Mexican rice blend with orzo
  • black beans, rinsed well
  • corn niblets (grilled and cut from the cob)
  • shredded cheese blend
  • cumin
  • butter flavored cooking spray
  1. Trim and season chicken breasts heavily with fajita seasoning and add them to the crock pot. Add onions, about a cup of salsa, cover, and cook for several hours on high in a crock pot until fork tender. Remove the chicken from the crock pot, shred with forks, and add the juice from the crock pot back over the chicken to keep it moist. I removed all the "chunky" stuff from the sauce because I didn't need them in the final product.
  2. Cut the corners off of the wonton wrappers, making them into little octagons. Fit them into "mini" muffin tins allowing the edges to stick up. Spray them with butter flavored cooking spray to help them crisp up and brown. Cook in a 350 F oven for about 5-7 minutes to get them "mostly" crisped... or go ahead and get them totally crisp and brown if you want.
  3. Layer the wonton "shells" with prepared Mexican rice of your choice (I like the one with the orzo), shredded and chopped chicken, rinsed black beans and corn niblets. Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle with cumin.
  4. Bake at 350 F until cheese is melted and wonton shells are golden and crispy (up to probably 10 min) and serve with condiments of choice - guacamole, sour cream with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice added, cilantro, pico de gallo, etc.Most importantly - set them out on a plate, call the kids and watch them disappear!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Gluten Free Homemade Ding Dongs

Ingredients: (For the Cake)

  • 1 c. Bob’s gluten free flour (or whole wheat pastry for non GF)
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. applesauce (room temperature)
  • 1/2 c. non dairy milk(room temperature)
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup(room temperature)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. dates + 1/4 c. water pureed together to form a paste. (you can do this with a blender or food processor)
Ingredients: (For the Filling)
  • One can full fat coconut milk, top open and covered with plastic wrap, that has been sitting in the fridge over night
  • sweetener of choice-maple syrup, stevia, honey, agave, powdered sugar
  • Ingredients: (For the Coating) (Double amount for thicker coating)
  • 1 -85% cocoa chocolate bar (you can do sweeter if you prefer, but I love dark chocolate) (3.5 ounces) (about 1/2 c. chocolate)
  • 1/8 c. coconut oil
  • 1 TB. sweetener of choice (I used agave) (optional)
Directions: (for the cake)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl, and wet ingredients together in another. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until incorporated. Don’t overmix.
  2. Spray a cake pan/square pan(8×8) etc. with non stick spray and pour batter into cake pan. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, or until center comes out clean. *Note: These aren’t going to rise super high, so for a higher cake, you can use a smaller pan or use a cupcake muffin pan.)
  3. Once cake is done and cooled and released from pan and placed on cookie sheet, use a glass/circle cookie cuter and cut out circles.
  4. Set aside and make filling.
Directions: For the Filling
  1. After can of coconut has been sitting in the fridge overnight, remove it. With a spoon, scoop out the full fat cream that thickened overnight and put it in a bowl. Add a few TB. of your sweetener of choice and whisk together. Put back in the fridge while you make the chocolate coating.
Directions: For the Coating:
  1. Add your chocolate, oil, and sweetener in a bowl that is sitting over a pot of simmering water. (double broiler.) Continue to stir until melted. Set aside. (You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave.)
Directions: For the assembly:
  1. Take your cream filling and put it in a pastry bag fitted with any tip that has a smaller hole. I use this long skinny one that has gotten in a few fights with the garbage disposal.
  2. You can also cut out a center of the ding dong if you would like, if you don’t have a tip.
  3. With your pastry bag, poke a hole in the cake a squeeze a bunch of cream into the cupcake. Squeeze hard…
  4. I like a lot of cream in the center of my Diva Dong.
  5. You can also poke more than one hole in the cake so filling get’s through out the middle.
  6. Once all the cupcakes are filled, it’s time to coat them.
  7. Make sure your chocolate is sitting in a deep bowl so it will be easy to dip them. Simply hold the bottom of the cake with two fingers and dip into the chocolate. Set down and let the chocolate drip down to coat the sides.
  8. It’s really messy, and not very pretty. You may have to lick your fingers a few times…darn.
  9. If you feel it isn’t coated enough around the bottom, take a spoon or cooking brush and brush some more chocolate coating around the cake.
  10. Set in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let the chocolate set, and then they are ready to eat.
  11. The chocolate will stay hardened after and you won’t have to leave it in the refrigerator.

Watermelon Spritzers

  • 2-½ pounds Fresh Watermelon (seedless If You Can Find It), Rind Removed And Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 whole Lemons (seedless If You Can Find It), Juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 cups Chilled Seltzer Water (more Or Less)
  • 6 sprigs Lemon Balm Or Mint, For Garnish (optional!)
  1. Place the watermelon, lemon juice and honey into a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Strain the mixture into a large bowl, pressing the juice out of any seeds or pulp that remains in the strainer.
  3. Pour the juice into a large pitcher and chill until you’re ready to drink.
  4. Serve with a splash of seltzer water and lemon balm or mint, if using.