Going Veg*n: Lots of Protein, Little Stress

I’m inspired by how many friends, family, and others I’ve come across recently who are considering going vegetarian or vegan. In particular, it’s been interesting to note how many children of non-vegetarian families have decided to forgo meat.  To those of us in the yogic and spiritual communities, this is a wonderful sign of the ascension of the collective consciousness, naturally drawing to a state of greater harmony, connection with others, and ultimately, ahimsa, or non-harming.  Not only is this a more compassionate and healthy path, I’m here to tell you there is plenty of protein to be had within a plant-based diet.

That being said, non-veg Mamas (& Papas!) are asking for a little help figuring out how to feed newly veg*n kids in a wholesome way, and perhaps begin to move into more veg lifestyles themselves… so here are my top tips! Continue reading

How to Make Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, and Skyr

yogurt-small-jarsThere’s almost nothing easier than making your own yogurt! With the back to school and back-to-serious season now in swing, you may be tempted to stock up on the Go-gurt style tubes for kids or even some of those new, beautiful little artisan yogurt tubs for you, to appease your healthy-slash-convenient sensibilities.  But nay nay!  Here’s a fun project for your weekend.

You can make your very own super delicious and wholesome regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, and even Icelandic-style Skyr Scandinavian yogurt right at home.  It’s not only less expensive and more holistic, but good for the environment, too, producing far less waste.  Let me walk you through the traditional stovetop method for making your very own homemade yogurt.   Continue reading

Stars, an Angel Wing and Whitewashed Beadboard

Beadboard Hallway Wall Stars Beadboard After CloseupOne long, dark hallway, yards of knotty pine beadboard with chair rail, plus a few of the most frequently used rooms in the house… and Houston, we have a project!  So what’s a DIY girl to do?  Gather up lots of white paint, an angel wing or two, and bunches of stars… of course!

My everlasting kitchen cabinet painting endeavor changed course and became more intensive since I first started, so I’ve been taking a break by finishing up this space instead, which is basically the super highway of the house.   It was so dark and claustrophobic, I loathed to even run to the powder room, so I knew it had to be brighter and more inviting, especially for guests.  I also wanted to incorporate some whimsy, to give this ol’ gal some flavor and personality in an unexpected way. Continue reading

Organization on the Run: 1000% Better Under the Kitchen Sink

Organization Kitchen Sink Tension RodIt’s been a busy time here, with projects large and small under way every which way you look, and nary a moment to post about any of them!  Needless to say, I’ll have a lot of catch up in the WOILA! department to come… though in the meantime, thought I’d at least keep the good juju flowing by sharing my latest life-changing, super-easy, why-didn’t-I-do-this-10-years-ago quick and dirty organization revelation. Continue reading

3 Steps to Super Cute Storage: Adding Rustic Style to Glass Jars in Just 2 Minutes

Ribbon Jars 3 FinalMy mantra over the last few years has been “Simplify.” Each time the New Year rolls around, I renew my dedication to this principle – and this year is no exception.  This journey is very much a work in progress, though the more I get down this road, the more I realize that the key to simplifying successfully is to find just a few things that work in my home and life for a number of different purposes.

Using up and whittling down the excess starts to get more clear and a whole lot easier this way. As I identify the hard-core multi-taskers of daily life, it’s helping me have to manage less, buy less, and be able to do the things I enjoy a lot more.  This concept seems to apply well across the board, whether it’s wardrobe, cleaning products, cooking ingredients, or what have you.  I’ve found that one of the most effective tools to rise to the top of my utility scale are glass jars.   Continue reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning: Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins

Cranberry Banana MuffinMuffins are the handiest treats around!  They’re quick and relatively fool-proof – and so easy to make healthy and wholesome without tons of sugar like you might find in packaged or bakery varieties.  I love to stock extra muffins in the freezer for quick grab-and-go breakfasts and snacks, too.

This cranberry banana oat recipe is mildly sweet, and makes a light-tasting muffin that’s gluten-free.  It’s also a great way to use overripe bananas, which are always in rotating stock at our house. I love using ingredients that are naturally abundant and in season, so I threw in some cranberries for Fall flair.   Continue reading

Easiest Thing Ever: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Homemade Coffee Creamer Ball JarWhen I first heard about making your own coffee creamer (beyond plain ol’ half and half ;), I figured it would be complicated and possibly time-consuming. Turns out, it is literally one of the quickest, easiest things you can make at home – and one of the healthiest switches from an otherwise highly processed, preservative-laden product.   Not to mention, the homemade version is just SUPER delicious!!!  You’ll never go back to that store stuff once you try this.

So here goes- let’s do this thing. Continue reading

Quickest Update for an Outdated Fireplace

Family Room Fireplace Work Set UpIt seems too obvious now, but in all my DIY-ing about the house, this quick and easy fireplace update took quite a lot of consideration to figure out.  What was it?  Painting the old, outdated shiny ’80s brass fireplace door surround – fast, cheap, and looks SO much better!

We started out with this giant built-in bookshelf/wall surrounding the family room fireplace in that go-to late-1980s/early ’90s builder-grade honey oak cabinetry and shelving.  The wood is in great shape, and solid, though it strikes me why such a significant wall unit would be custom-made in a builder-standard style like this.  I never remember this finish being “all the rage” – it just seemed like what every builder put in every new kitchen and bathroom at the time…  it was everywhere.  Oy vey.   Continue reading