Our Favorite Gut Healthy Summer Dinner

OK – I’ll have to admit one of the reasons we’ve been able to be so successful with our gut healthy journey and change of lifestyle is there have been some amazingly delicious and super easy recipes – like our go-to grass-fed burgers (or bison) with an easy coleslaw, fermented pickles and avocado. Yum!

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS

Once you’ve had this, there will be no surprise why it’s quickly become one of our favorites. There is one ‘weird’ ingredient that you may not be used to eating or cooking with is fennel. We have never had fennel prior to our gut health journey — but there are a handful of recipes that’ve called for it like this one. And it does have a distinct taste, but it tastes good! Fennel is oddly shaped and a member of the carrot family, but it is not considered a root vegetable. A few other ‘gut healthy’ pointers when buying some of your ingredients:

Yogurt – Make sure to get greek yogurt that has live cultures with at least 1 million CFUs (colony-forming units). Also, when possible look for pasture-raised cows so that you don’t have any extra hidden evils in there.

Meat – It’s crucial to purchase and eat grass-fed beef or bison, this ensures you’re not eating any additional antibiotics and getting the freshest and safest meat. We are always stocked on grass-fed beef thanks to Meatboxlocal.

Ingredients:
– (4) carrots, peeled and shredded
– (1) fennel bulb, shredded
– 3-cups of sliced red cabbage
– Juice from one whole lemon,
– 1 teaspoon of celery seed
– 1-cup of 2% plain greek yogurt
– For Serving: avocado, fermented pickles, grass-fed beef or bison burgers.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Wash and prep your carrots, shred them with a cheese grater into a bowl — add your red cabbage.
2. Next, prep your fennel – wash and cut the greens off. Then shred overtop your carrots and cabbage. Next up shred half of your lemon peel and pour lemon juice over top.
3. Top with your 1-cup of greek yogurt and teaspoon of fennel seeds. Mix well, refrigerate until ready to serve!
4. Serving size is 1-cup of coleslaw, use as your base and stack burger, quarter avocado and a few pickle slices for your final meal!

Serving Size: (1 burger, 1 cup of slaw, quarter of an avocado, 3 sliced pickles) 284 calories, 31g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 9g total fat,

And that is really it! I promise you it’ll be a go-to and it’s so easy to pull together. The coleslaw recipe would be great on it’s own as a side and a healthy alternative to bring to your next backyard bbq or family gathering. We make this at least once a week and love every bit of it – you don’t even miss the burger buns because the flavor between the coleslaw, avocado and pickles paired with the burger is just soooo good!

3 Ingredient Frozen Dog Treat Recipe

I love to make my little Moz homemade dog treats – that way we know exactly what she is eating! And although I make these easy pumpkin and peanut butter treats throughout the year – I thought finding something frozen with some other ingredients for Moz would be easy and fun to have all Summer long.

ingredients & directions

These frozen dog treats are so easy and simple because of the ingredients! Also, if you don’t have silicone molds, you can easily make smaller one off treats using cookie cutters on a plate to freeze as well – I just did that before making this batch to help celebrate Moz’s 8th birthday – it was perfect for a larger special treat in a pinch!

Ingredients:
– 2 Ripe Bananas
– Peanut Butter – not containing Xylitol
– Ground Cinnamon
Silicone Molds

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Using a mini food processor, first mash up your bananas – they can still be a little chunky. Next, add in 3 large spoonfuls of peanut butter and sprinkle some cinnamon overtop.
2. Continue to mash in the food processor until it’s thick and creamy. Once it’s well mixed, pour into the molds.
3. Fill up the molds, almost to the top and place in the freezer. Freeze for a minimum of 3-hours, if not over night.
4. Push out of molds and store for those hot summer days, to treat your pup! (or yourself!)

Seriously, so easy! And they’re Moz approved — they’re not to thick that she can bite them (although it gives me a brain freeze just watching her eat them) or she can lick them as they melt away. They’re easy to store away, plus the molds were seamless for taking them out and it was no fuss at all, easy clean up and ready for the next batch.

I definitely am going to try a few other flavors – keeping it simple with a couple ingredients will make other options just as easy to make and throw into the rotation. Other, easy dog friendly ingredients with berries or pumpkin can also be mixed with peanut butter or bananas as other flavor alternatives.

Now your pups can stay cool on those hot days and be happy Summer pups! ☀️

Old Navy Summer Haul – Latest Obsessions

The weather has been full on Summer and with Memorial Day and an upcoming vacay to the beach on the horizon – we have been on full Summer mode, which meant giving our wardrobe a little upgrade! Yes, I’m going to share some of my hubby B’s Old Navy Summer pieces too, cause they’re super fun. From the beach or pool, to exploring the town or lounging at home – we’re beach vacation ready thanks to Old Navy. #NotSponsored

his & her swim

For Her: I always love to get a few new separates each summer season, I also love Old Navy’s high-rise bikini bottoms, so when I saw this floral pattern and leopard print, I ordered both immediately. The floral is no longer available, but they have so many cute colors and prints! Fun bottoms are an easy way to mix up your suit with your favorite neutral top! Although, I feel like I need these pink bottoms now – they would look super cute with B’s flamingo print bottoms.

For Him: I couldn’t resist upgrading B with some fun suits, the prints offered for the men are also fun! Plus, Old Navy is our go-to, especially for B because he is 6’6″ and we are able to order in Tall for a majority of pieces, including their swim trunks. We got these black and white palm print and then a fun pink flamingo print.

Shop: Leopard High-Rise Bottom, Pink High-Rise Bottoms, Black & White Men’s Palm Trees, Men’s Pink Flamingo

his & her daywear & Date Night

For Her: I got a few high-waisted shorts last year from Old Navy, so this year I focused on adding in some more tops and other pieces – like a white jean skirt. I was having some flashbacks to my adolescence when jean skirts were a thing, and I love this new addition to the wardrobe and it can be dressed up or down from day to night. I also ordered the Oversized Boyfriend Shirt in Pink (no longer available in pink) – as it would be great over a bathing suit, tank or even a dress at dinner. Finally, I love the linen-blend maxi t-shirt shift dress in black, the mountain dusk color is also stunning. This is another great piece to dress up and down as you transfer from shopping to cocktails.

For Him: For B, we kept it simple but love to add a few button down t-shirts into his rotation, especially for vacation! Whether you like some a little more bold or subtle – the printed short sleeve shirts offer both and again we’re able to order these in a Large Tall, which fit B perfectly. We added a fun Lobster print tee to the rotation and then a brighter multicolor palm tree print, he can rock both of them.

Shop: Linen-Blend Maxi T-Shirt Shift Dress, High-Waisted Button Fly Cut Off Jean Skirt, Oversized Boyfriend Shirt, Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve for Men, Built-In Flex Everyday Printed Short-Sleeve Shirt for Men

his & her loungewear

It wouldn’t be vacay without a little lounging! These are also just classic pieces that we love to get from Old Navy each year.

For Her: The crewneck sweatshirts are a favorite year round – as soon as I saw this tan sweatshirt with pink and green palm trees, I was instantly swooning and wishing we were on a plane to Palm Springs. I immediately Added to Cart. I also love the ‘Be The Love’ gear, and had to grab the crop tank top to match the sweatshirt I already have. I ordered a Large and love how this crop is roomy and fits so nicely. The everyday tank is just a basic piece that you need in every color – so comfy and just works for everything.

For Him: Again, we love Old Navy’s tank tops for me – no farmer’s tans are allowed in this house! Plus, they’re perfect for a beach vacay and can be dressed up or perfect for lounging around post pool and before dinner. The flamingo print was too fun and subtle not to pass up, we also snagged a plain black and a black and white palm print for B. And not to be TMI, but we grabbed B some fun Summer patterned boxer briefs – again we couldn’t pass up the flamingos and even a fun lemon print!

Shop: Vintage Crewneck Women’s Sweatshirt, Be the Love Crop Tank, Everyday Women’s Tank, Soft-Washed Boxer Briefs, Soft-Washed Men’s Tank Top

A few other finishing pieces that we got were flip flops, dressy and casual – some fun pairs of sunglasses and a few other nice tops that just scream Summer! It’s fun to actually shop for going places vs. a dooming future of no plans and staying at home.

Funfetti Cake Bars – Recipe

It’s birthday week, and it wouldn’t be a birthday without some Funfetti 🎉! Funfetti is one of my favorites, I even got a Funfetti birthday cake last year – which I was able to snag just in time the bakery closed for a few months. So this year to get my Funfetti fix, I wanted to try something new and make my own Funfetti cake bars. The verdict? Amazing!

Not only did this recipe turn out tasty, it’s also pretty easy! And my favorite kind of dessert recipe is one that is easy and delicious. I did end up having to bake it a little longer than the recipe I was inspired by to get it golden brown and not gooey in the middle.

Cake Bar Ingredients List:
– 1 pouch Sugar Cookie Mix
– 1 box White Cake Mix
– 3 Large Eggs
– 1 Cup Melted Butter (aka 2 sticks)
– 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Rainbow Sprinkles

Frosting Ingredients List:
– 4ish Cups of Confectionary Sugar
– 6 Teaspoons of Butter, Softened
– 2-3 Tablespoons of Almond Milk (if you use cow’s milk, use 4-5 TBSP.)
– 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray your 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Grab a large mixing bowl and add the (1) dry sugar cookie mix, (2) dry cake mix, (3) three large eggs, (4) melted butter, and (5) vanilla extract. I use a spoon to hand mix, my dough was super thick and hard to mix after awhile, it might mess up your hand blender. Mix together until ingredients are well blended with no clumps.
3. Time for some fun! Pour sprinkles over top of your mix – I did not measure – and just eye balled what looked good. *grins* Then, with a spatula or wooden spoon mix in your sprinkles to the batter – add more sprinkles as needed.
4. Pour your batter into the baking dish, as I mentioned my batter was pretty thick. Spread evenly throughout the pan.
5. Cook for 30-35 minutes (or according to your oven) the main thing is making sure the edges are golden brown and the center should not be wiggly – make sure a tooth pick comes out clean from the middle. Not clean? Add 5-minute increments and keep testing, until center is clean. Once center is clean, take out and let cool in pan.

Frosting Instructions:
1. Pour powdered sugar and almond extract into a bowl.
2. Beat butter in a mixing bowl until creamy, and add to your powdered sugar and almond extract. Now add your almond milk and mix with a hand blender. Add more powdered sugar as needed to thicken or to taste better – to be safe, only add 2-tablespoons of almond milk to start and add more as needed for a thicker consistency.
3. Once your funfetti cake bar is cool, spread frosting all over the top. Add sprinkles over top to finish this off! Serve right away or refrigerate – I opted to refrigerate, which helped the frosting set a bit more.

The edges and bottom were nice and brown with a nice crunch, and the middle of the bars were a bit softer but still cooked. The sprinkles in the cookie bars add a nice crunch and the homemade frosting is the perfect compliment to these bars. These would be a perfect party treat, when birthday parties are acceptable again!






This recipe was inspired by Together As A Family.

Pandemic Approved Birthday Apparel

I’m quickly approaching my second pandemic birthday, well given that last year on my dreaded 30th birthday the world literally came to a screeching halt. All of my grandiose plans to distract from turning 30 last year got cancelled one by one — so I’ve come to realize and accept normal bday fun is a thing of the past, at least for another trip around the sun. So I’m ditching the heels and glittery skirts and swapping them in for glam sweatshirts and obnoxiously cute accessories for a birthday celebration in.

Since we’re still sort of living in a pandemic of weird times, the way to rock your birthday is with some glammed up, comfy and super cute sweatshirts – jeans are optional. I shopped a few super cute and most affordable sweatshirt options that can make a fun statement for your special day. Also, a few of my latest obsessions from February are also perfect for having a nice birthday at home. One trend that has come out of this pandemic, that I absolutely love is these cute sweatshirts with puffy sleeves, bejewels, or ruffles – like finally! Why has this taken so long?

Shop Sweatshirts: H&M Black Ruffle Sweatshirt, Beaded Puffy Sleeve Sweatshirt, Old Navy Be The Love Sweatshirt, H&M Pink Love Sweatshirt, Old Navy Cream Floral Sweatshirt

Okay, now that we have options for a cute staple sweatshirt – it’s time to add on some accessories and little more personal flair. Whether it’s a statement tee, a splurge on a chunky gold necklace or a keepsake of your zodiac sign – treat yourself with something special that brings out your personality. I am all about sharing love, drinking bubbles, loving on the pups and letting my pisces pride shine. Wearing some beaded or oversized earrings is another way to dress up a more casual look to help you stand out and feel extra special for your birthday.

Shop these pieces: Dog Mom Tee on Etsy, J. Crew Chunky Gold Chain Necklace, Love Tee from H&M, On Sale: Pisces Ring Set from Anthropology

As I continue to embrace another pandemic birthday, I’m going to keep enjoying the finer things, sip on plenty of bubbles and eat way to much cake — and I’m going to be comfy and cute while I’m doing it! Speaking of the finer things, if you are looking for a little more something special, here is some inspo from last year’s pre-pandemic looks. Here’s to the official birthday countdown, another pandemic birthday, which actually doesn’t officially count.

Valentine Reese’s Chocolate Chip Skillet – Recipe

Last Valentine’s Day we were ahead of the stay-at-home curve and enjoyed a night in making our favorite Taco Pizza and a chocolate chip skilled filled with reese’s cups! YUM! It was as good as it sounds, and I’m here to help you save your Valentine’s day with this easy and delicious sweet treat that’ll blow you and your significant other away.

Ok, let’s get into the good stuff – you only need two ingredients for an easy sweet treat for your Valentine.

Shopping List:
– Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Roll
– 9-10 Reese’s Cups/Hearts
– Case Iron Skillet
– Ice Cream, optional for serving

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Press half of your cookie down into the bottom of your cast iron skillet.
2. Next fill your skillet with your Reese’s hearts — you can use normal Reese’s too.
3. Use your remaining cookie dough to form a top over your Reese’s hearts and press to cookie base.
4. Ready to bake! With your oven preheated to 350 — you’re ready to pop this cookie in. Recommended recipes say to bake for 20-minutes until golden brown, we had to bake a little extra (maybe 15-20 minutes) since it hadn’t cooked all the way through. If you cut into your cookie and the dough doesn’t look cooked, pop the skillet back in and keep checking every 5-minutes pending your dough density.
5. Serve up with some ice cream, sprinkles or extra peanut butter sauce for a sweet Valentine treat!

This cookie skillet is as delicious as it sounds and looks and is well worth the calories! It would also be delicious if you topped with some ice cream and chocolate syrup for a little extra, YUM. Just because you might be staying home this Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean it hasn’t to be boring or simple — put a spin and make it special with this delicious dish.

From my sweet tooth to yours, enjoy!

Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Supporting our local small businesses, whether they be adorable boutiques, a coffee spot or favorite bakery, has never been more critical than it has been this year. Many of these businesses were forced to shut down, adapt and maneuver through new restrictions, cleaning requirements and much more. So, I’ve been trying to support my favorite spots as much as possible, whether it’s an extra $20 into the tip jar, or opting to spend a little more money at a boutique vs. going to a bigger box store. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a shopping guide to help support local Cleveland businesses this Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and throughout the holiday season!

Brewella’s is a neighborhood favorite for us because it’s so close to home and delivers delicious treats, like crepes, and always have incredible seasonal menus — I’m anxiously awaiting their Christmas menu to drop! Brewella’s is also home to an incredible vibe with lots of fun and unique collectibles available for purchase. When in doubt, a gift-card is always a great stocking stuffer and easy way to support local.

Two Cafe & Boutique is truly a treat, for more than one reason! First, it employs individuals with exceptionalities to help bridge them into local workforce. Two, its cafe is farm-to-fork, serving breakfast and lunch with seasonal menus and the freshest ingredients. Three, the boutique sources lines that are for a cause while supporting other businesses in the US. The boutique is also the perfect spot for that hard to get person, a show stopper gift and stocking stuffers.

Meatboxlocal brings local, Ohio farmed meats to your front door. This is a great gift that you can ship to friends and family you might not be seeing this season. With a variety of beef and chicken options, this is the perfect way to stay stocked on those meats – while ordering from the comfort of your own home. Plus, the meat is hormone free, grass-fed with free deliveries made weekly within a 50-mile radius from CLE.

Home for the Holidays. This pop-up shop always makes a splash each year — and this year you can even shop online and do curbside pick-up! Home for the Holidays curates local vendors and goodies into one place, making it a shop small, shop on steroids. And they’re stocked with gifts for everyone including your furry friends. My personal fave is finding hand painted Cleveland-themed ornaments!

I’ve been shopping at Lovely Paperie & Gifts and sister store Babycakes Children’s Boutique this entire pandemic — even more than previous years. Why? When I’ve popped in-store to shop, it’s never crowded like big box stores, making this a place I feel safe shopping at! Both of these stores offer special keepsakes, thoughtful gifts and the perfect card for any milestone, holiday or just because. Plus nationwide shipping, in-store or curbside pick-up are available!

Besides finding the perfect gift at any of these spots, grabbing a gift card is another super easy way to instantly support your favorite small biz, and gifting your favorite spot to your favorite people! I’m planning on grabbing smaller amount gift cards from a few other favorite local spots to gift to friends/family and stuff stockings like Nature’s Oasis, Milo & Me, and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. I’m also hoping to shop a few new local spots this year that I’ve been following on Instagram!

And if you’re shopping in person this season, don’t forget your mask, hand sanitizer and a little extra space to those shopping around you!

A Thanksgiving Table for Two

Anyone else staying home this Thanksgiving and keeping it small? B and I are planning to have a traditional feast for two! But we have this giant dining room table, and usually I’m prepping and styling the table for a larger family feast, but it’s different this year. So if any one else is having a dilemma about making a cozier dinner table for two, I’m sharing our transformed dining room, and a few tips to help create a more intimate space at your larger dining room table!

We are planning on cooking half of our meal, while also getting a little help from Whole Foods and a few other local small businesses with some pre-ordered food and desserts — which I’m super excited about! Ok, now to the fun, transforming your dining room…

Cut Your Table in Thirds. First thing I did, was took our pumpkin centerpiece and table runner and basically split the table in thirds. This gave me a smaller space to work with, while still enjoying our fall-centerpiece! This also allows for you to have some additional space for wine, side dishes and other treats, while creating a more intimate space for dinner.

Set-up Place Settings. Next, I set-up our table settings to help designate where B and I would be sitting. I utilized placemats, napkins, plates and silverware that I already had, so it was easy to bring these spaces to life. And of course brought out my new Monique Lhuillier Gabrielle Etched Flutes and coupes, to finish the space for our adult beverages.

Add Finishing Touches. From the gravy boat (so excited to finally use ours for the first time!), to fresh flowers in your favorite glass and candles sprinkled throughout — the only thing left for the day of is the bird and all the delicious sides! Set your radio to some Peggy Lee radio and you’ll be in for a nice, relaxing evening for two.

I must admit, I’m super excited to have our actual Thanksgiving day… and weekend all to ourselves. We signed up to run our local Turkey Trot, virtually so we’ll be able to partake in a quick morning run, before lounging around, eating delicious food and sipping on drinks throughout the day. Then, I think we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit!

What new traditions are you looking forward to this Thanksgiving?

Bee’s Champagne Coven Cocktail – Recipe

With Halloween just a few days away, I wanted an easy, delicious and festive halloween cocktail, to sip the night away! And in sticking to my bee routes, I kept it bubble based — and found a recipe that I adapted to give me everything I was looking for, not to mention perfect to serve up to your entire coven.

This creation is essentially a puree for your bubbles, that will add some fun flavors to your cocktail, while giving your bubbles an evil poition-y look! Not to mention it has ginger, fresh lemon and blueberries, so it’s like adding a healthy cleanse to your bubbles, right?

Ingredients:
– 1 Lemon
– 3/4 cup of Blueberries
– 2 TSP of Sugar
– 1 TBS of Ginger (minced)

You’ll also need, a muddler, fine wire strainer and handheld juicer.

Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. In a measuring bowl, add your blueberries, sugar, and freshly squeezed lemon – do this by cutting it in have and juice each half into bowl.
2. Prep your ginger by cutting off the skin so that it’s completely bare — then utilize a garlic mincer to get juice out, finely cut the rest of your ginger – add this to the rest of the ingredients.
3. Once all the ingredients are in your mixing bowl, use a muddler to crush blueberries and mix ingredients together – it will still be a little chunky, but you should have a nice purple color of juice (see middle picture above).
4. This is when you can get your fine mesh strainer, to strain your mixture into a new bowl. I do not have one, so B had the brilliant idea of using the top of a cocktail shaker — this helped strain the puree pretty well!
5. Once it’s all strained, you’re ready to serve! Add a splash of your puree to your champagne flute before adding the bubbles — this helps get a nice mixture. Next, slowly pour your bubbles in, I say slowly because the puree will have a reaction to the bubbles and will overflow. Continue until you’re topped off and then garnish with blueberries to serve!

Cheers witches!






This recipe was inspired by Self Proclaimed Foodie’s Recipe