Friday, February 27, 2015

Two Twenty Seven Fifteen

This week has been great, productive, fun and busy, as always.

Now and then we try to take each kid on a date of some sort, just to be sure that each of the kids gets some quality time with both mom and dad. Cohen and I had a little bakery date at one of our favorite local places. It made me smile from ear to ear to see Cohen pick up the book on the shelf in the bakery and start reading. I even had to remind him to eat his chocolate croissant. 
Girl Scout Cookie season is in full affect here. Luckily, they've mostly all been delivered and we filled the freezer. These bright little boxes are dangerous though! What kind are your favorite?
When the temps are in the negatives, but you really want new shelves for the dining room, you build them in the living room. Cohen was a great helper too. I can't wait to finish them up and share our new shelves with you. They were SO easy to make.
It has been too long since I've worked out regularly and this week I finally jumped back on the wagon. It feels so good and I'm so glad that I did. Though I can't wait for it to warm up so that getting outside isn't so painful.
I'm excited about Door to Door Organics finally making it's way to Milwaukee. We received our first order this week and I can't wait to share all about the delicious food we're enjoying. Our boxes were filled with so many great eats. 
What are your weekend plans? Anything fun & exciting? Or are you relaxing and enjoying a couple of days off?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aloo Tikki: Recipe for a delicious Indian Snack

Inspired by the new movie The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I made Aloo Tikki and today I'm sharing the recipe with you all. We love International Food in our home and that includes Indian Food. Aloo Tikki are a traditional North Indian (and Pakistani) snack or appetizer. Our whole family enjoys them and I'm sure you will too!
Indian Food: Aloo Tikki Recipe



One of my favorite stores just happens to carry a huge assortment of International Food and I found all of the spices (and then some) that I needed for the Aloo Tikki right there in the store. If you enjoy Indian food (or any food really), you've got to check out the amazing selection of imported food from World Market. They've got everything from spices & sauces to noodles and candy from all over the world.

Indian Food: Aloo Tikki Recipe

Aloo Tikki Recipe


3 large (or 4 medium) Potatoes
3/4 cup peas
2 green chilies (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 tsp dried or grated ginger
1 tsp cumin
1tsp salt
Pinch of dried, crumbled coriander leaves
2 tsp breadcrumbs (and extras for frying)
Coconut Oil for frying

Boil and mash the potatoes. Mix peas, diced chilies, diced onion, ginger, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, salt, coriander and bread crumbs and combine well with mashed potatoes. 

Make patties with your mixture (about 3 tbsp) and coat with breadcrumbs. Fry patties in coconut oil for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve warm with some naan and maybe a Maria cookie afterward. 
Indian Food: Aloo Tikki Recipe 

Indian Food: Aloo Tikki Recipe
placemats // gold charger // decanter // cloth napkins // mercury votive

Our afternoon snack was completely inspired by the movie, from the food, down to the table decor. And if you haven't heard about the movie, read below..

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the dream of a young man, Sonny (Dev Patel), a dream that seems to be taking up a lot of his time. Sonny is soon to be married to the love of his life, Sunaina and has his eye on a new property because his other (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful) is running low on vacancy. This poses a problem with new arrivals (Richard Gere, Tamsin Greig, Judi Dench & Bill Nighy) who've joined the Jaipur workforce and are curious to see how their dates for Chilla pancakes will pan out. In the meantime another couple are navigating the waters of an exclusive, yet tricky relationship. Meanwhile another woman juggles wealthy and desirable suitors. The new co-manager of the hotel (played by Maggie Smith) may be the only one who knows the answers and is a keeper of the deepest secrets. The demands that come with a traditional Indian wedding are pressing on them all, but things might move forward in a surprising way still.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will be in theaters March 6th! 

Win an amazing trip to India inspired by the film! 
World Market Sweepstakes!  photo WM1.jpg  photo wm4.jpg  photo wm3.jpg  photo wm2.jpg
One Grand Prize Winner will win a trip for 2 to India (6 day trip includes airfare, accommodations & excursions), free movies for a year AND a $1K gift card to World Market! 
Three First Prize Winners will win a $500 gift card to World Market each!
The sweepstakes ends March 27, 2015. Click here to enter! 

Doesn't that movie look fabulous? I can't wait to take Brookelyn to see it!
What's your favorite Indian recipe to make & enjoy?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Essential Oil Blends for Kids & Adults

Last week I shared my favorite Essential Oils with you. And this week I'm going to talk about the blends that I've created for specific reasons for our family. There are a few just for kids and a couple just for adults. As always, be sure to do your research and make sure that you're diluting the oils properly and don't use oils on young children unless you've made sure that they're safe. There are some oils that can slow breathing in small children! I don't sell the oils or buy them from a MLM company, but rather I get all of mine from Native American Nutritionals. They're not paying me for this post, giving me a discount or free oils, I just love the oils that much!
Essential Oil Blends for Kids - Concentration, Calming, Cheer Up, Immunity  

Grab a few roller bottles, some carrier oil and your favorite Essential Oils and make some fabulous blends that your family is likely to love & benefit from like we have.

Cheer Up - I initially made blend with Brookelyn in mind. She's 11 and moody. After all, what 11 year old isn't moody? We use Cheer Up on both kids in the morning when they get up and sometimes after school, depending on their moods. Brookelyn also knows that she can use it when she feels necessary.
Blend: 4 drops of Lavender, 3 drops of Peppermint, 4 drops of Lemon and 4 drops of Red Mandarin in a 10 ml roller bottle and fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Kids - Cheer Up, Mood Enhancer 
Calming - As you can see, when I initially made our calming roller bottle I made it for Cohen. He's 6, need I say more? Calming helps to chill Cohen out a bit. We typically use it when he's being too wild, or when he's mad (because when he gets mad, he gets mad).
Blend: 3 drops Litsea Cubeba, 4 drops Red Mandarin, 2 drops Vetiver (I'd prefer to use 3, but it's strong and Cohen isn't a fan of the smell), 3 drops Lavender and fill the remainder of the bottle with a carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Kids - Calming, Focus, Relax
Kids Immunity - This blend speaks for itself. When we'll be around a lot of people, or people we know have been sick I use this on the kids before and again once we get home (and diffuse it when we get home too). Any time that we know the kids have been exposed to illness (at school, etc) we also put this on them at night before bed. 
Blend: 4 drops Immune Strength, 4 drops Lemon and fill the bottle with a carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Kids - Immunity, Keep colds away
Concentration - Both kids seem to have benefited from this blend greatly. Brookelyn especially loves it and wears it to school. It's our favorite oil for homework time too and if we don't put it on the kids, we diffuse the blend while they're doing homework. This blend helps keep the kids focused and Cohen will specifically ask for it each afternoon.
Blend: 4 drops Red Mandarin, 3 drops Vetiver, 3 drops Lavender and fill the remainder with carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Kids - Concentration, Focus, Oils for doing hoemwork
Lavender & Vetiver - The label should also say "Alyson's Oil". This is my favorite for at night and it's mine, all mine. I come from a family of women who don't sleep well and have a terrible time falling asleep at night. Luckily, my anxiety meds help tremendously but the addition of this oil has been wonderful! It's calming, soothing and helps me to relax. 
Blend: 5 drops Vetiver, 6 drops Lavender and fill the remainder with carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Better Sleep - Relax, Calm Down, Sleep 
Heartburn Help - Matt and both get heartburn now & then, mostly at night after we've had a spicy meal. While we always has a bottle of tums on his nightstand, we were eager to find a natural remedy for it. The Tummy Rub alone helps me, but not Matt. So, I came up with this blend for him and it seems to work really well. He rolls a bit on his chest down to his stomach when needed. 
Blend: 4 drops Peppermint, 4 drops Lemon and 6 drops Tummy Rub, fill the remainder of the bottle with carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Adults - Heartburn Help, Tummy Aches
Orange - I should really rename this bottle, but when I first made the label I was in a hurry & only cared about making sure that I knew it was mine and not one for the kids. This little bottle is like liquid gold to me! It's the blend that helps tremendously with my anxiety. When I feel like I need a little umph and my anxiety meds aren't doing their job, I can put this on and usually get through the situation I'm in with little worry. I'm also convinced that this blend has saved me from a few anxiety attacks recently, hence - liquid gold. If you suffer from anxiety, you might look into a blend like this and use it to help ease the anxious nerves. I use this at least 6 times a day or so! And, it smells fabulous.
Blend: 6 drops Pink Grapefruit, 6 drops Red Mandarin and fill the remainder with carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Adults - Women, Oils for Anxiety, Calm down
Breathe Ease - This isn't an actual blend, we buy the bottle (in the background) and dilute it just a bit for Matt. He wasn't crazy about putting the full strength oil on because the smell is a bit strong for his liking (think Vick's) and after diluting it with a carrier oil just a bit, we realized that it still worked for him. This is the magic roller bottle that has made him stop snoring. No, I'm not kidding. Since using this he has not snored in over 2 months now! It's been fabulous for both of us because he sleeps better and I'm not woken in the middle of the night from his loud snoring.
Blend: Breathe Ease 5 ml bottle and the remainder of the roller bottle with carrier oil.
Essential Oil Blends for Adults - Breathe Ease, Stop Snoring
Lavender Room Spray - We all love this simple spray. 10 drops of Lavender Oil and fill the remainder of the spray bottle with distilled water. I realize that in the photo is the bottle of fractionated Coconut Oil and I'm not sure why. But, this spray is fabulous for at night before bed. We spritz just a few sprays in our room above the head of our beds. During the day I'll spray a bit in the living room too occasionally, to freshen the air. I have another spray that I forgot to get photos of but the blend is 8 drops Lavender, 10 drops Red Mandarin and 8 drops of Lemon (rest of the bottle distilled water) and it smells amazing!
Essential Oil Blends Room Spray - Lavender

These blends all have their own use in our home and have worked so well for us the past couple of months. But, remember to do your research, read up and make sure that you're using (and diffusing) oils safely in your home. For some great info on oils, their uses & safety go here

Feel free to check out my post last week about our favorite Essential Oils

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dream. Create. Inspire. 19

Dream Create Inspire Party

Welcome to the week #19 of our Dream Create Inspire Party! Thanks so much for linking up with us. Each week you will come and share your favorite creative blog posts. You are more then welcome to link up to four posts each week. We do ask that you visit and comment on some of the other links. We will be featuring some of our favorites next week. I am looking forward to checking out your posts! Meet Your Party Hosts. 

Dream Create Inspire Party Hosts

Check out what we have been up to lately. 19-H

Our favorites from last weeks Dream. Create. Inspire Link Up.
Dream Create Inspire Party

Dream Create Inspire Party Guidelines

  • Link up posts that are diy, crafts, printables, tutorials, recipes, etc.
  • Leave a link to the specific post, and not just your blog.
  • You may link up to four posts each week.
  • Do not link up shops and other link ups, your entry will be deleted.
  • Add the button to your blog, or a text link directing back to the party.
  • Make sure to visit and comment on some of the other links.

Our favorites from Dream.Create.Inspire. Follow Sarah Halstead's board Dream Create Inspire on Pinterest.