Downton Abbey Cookbook Inspired Garden Cake


Garden Cake Recipe (revised by us, omitting some items and adding a few)


  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup caster sugar (or sugar substitute)
  • 3 eggs or Egg substitute
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour, GF flour or whole grain flours
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely grated carrot (about 1.5 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated apple (about 1 large apple)
  • 1 orange, zested, then juiced

Cook @ 350 in spring form pan for 1 hour, comes out moist and perfect! Check out my homemade Cream Cheese icing blog and video to go with this!

Perfect Summertime “Lemony Avocado Cilantro Pasta Salad”

So simple, healthy and tasty! Easy to throw together last minute for cookout or parties!

Recipe compliments of Hodgson Mill:

2 1/2 c. dry Hodgson Mill’s bowtie pasta

2 c. spinach

1 bunch cilantro

1/4 c. onion finely diced

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 avocados diced

1 can chickpeas (or navy beans) drained and rinsed

1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half

(For the Dressing:)

Juice of 1 med/lg or 2 small lemons

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp. olive oil

1 tsp. agave

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. cumin

dash of salt and pepper

Products I covet: Spring 2013

Manuka Honey is a MUST in any Holistic or Natural Gal’s home. It’s naturally tasty, antimicrobial and helps fight some serious infections. Great for reducing chances of catching colds, and shortening them when you are already sick. It’s amazing at healing acne QUICKLY, (see my blog on this with pictures!). It’s a wonderful cleanser, and has been shown to even treat some severe cases of staph! Instead of an antibiotic ointment, try swapping it out for this, I have found it actually keeps me from scarring. Just amazing.


Vitamix. I cannot tell you enough how much I LOVE my Vitamix. It makes cooking and preparing really great meals, super quick and super easy. Plus I end up making things I never attempted to before! I am certainly eating healthier and have maintained a steady healthy weight due to using this as a tool to help me live healthier. I drink more smoothies and juices now, and eat more soups. I literally use this everyday. This is a great tool to have when starting a raw food diet or a cleanse.

You are what you eat. I’ll say! This book has been read by me so many times it’s starting to bend all funny. oops. I love it. It’s no nonsense, lots of gorgeous food pictures and recipes and tips and tricks. Gillian McKeith is absolutely phenomenal and she has healed a lot of very sick and overweight people. Coconut oil. Good fats, skin benefits, high heat stable cooking. What more could you want? I use this in all my cooked dishes, a little goes a long way and as often as I cook, a jar lasts me a long while. It is totally worth the price, and the price of your health! Raw desserts. Healthy and dessert? Yes. Whole, uncooked foods made into delectable treats. This book was a great inspiration to me. I made so many things so quickly and easily. Aloe. Burns, cuts, scrapes, dry skin beware! This aloe is amazing for all skin types and boo-boo’s. Used in conjunction with the Manuka Honey, you will have soft, smooth supple scar free skin in no time! Glass jars. Perfect for craft stuff, but even better for storing your fresh made juices and smoothies from your vitamix! I use this kind because of the sealable and pretty much spill proof lid enclosure. Keeps my green smoothies fresh in the fridge and on quite a beautiful display!

Is this the NEW eating disorder?!


Wiki says:
“Orthorexia nervosa (also known as orthorexia) is not mentioned in the DSM[a], but was coined by Steven Bratman[1] to characterize people who develop an obsession with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy.[2][3] Orthorexia nervosa is believed to be a mental disorder.[4] Bratman claims that in rare cases, this focus may turn into a fixation so extreme that it can lead to severe malnutrition or even death.[5] Even in less severe cases, the attempt to follow a diet that cannot provide adequate nourishment is said to lower self-esteem as the orthorexics blame themselves rather than their diets for their constant hunger and the resulting cravings for forbidden foods.”

I recently was on a strictly RAW plant based diet. I got so incredibly wrapped up in the no grains, no meat, no diary, no non-organic, no this-that-or-the-other, that my perfect diet was making me perfectly sick. I went from 118 to 111 in about 2 weeks and was extremely anxious, couldn’t sleep, was always on edge and felt “buzzy” a lot.

Now, Don’t get me wrong, a MORE plant based diet is great. We all could stand to incorporate more greens. But is the new “joy of cooking”, the “misery of eating”? I’m starting to think so.

It’s called Orthorexia. Basically it is an eating disorder characterized by your constant striving for perfectionism of your health and health food diet and letting it rule your life. I don’t personally feel that my diet rules my life. Some of my family and friends, sometimes even my Husband think i’m a little overzealous. But I truly enjoy reading about nutrition, blogging about it and eating the best possible, most organic, and sustainably farmed foods I humanly can. I believe it’s our right as Americans. We live in a free and rich country, we can get clean water, antibiotic and pesticide free foods. And we should!

I also believe that we are destroying our beautiful planet and resources with unsustainable farming practices. If we help local and organic farms remain in business by buying local and organic, then we can literally help save the world.
Back to Orthorexia. Now, regardless of how “perfect” my diet was, I was under so much stress about eating the wrong things that it stressed me out a lot. I also started worrying way too much about what my family was eating and friends too. I found myself feeling more judgmental then ever, and less forgiving. This stress, alongside my perfectness, led to my ultimate downfall.

I started having severe muscle cramping, sleeplessness, nightmares, hair shedding, heart palpitations, dehydration issues, and muscle tone loss. I also had a lot of panic attacks, and was always sick to my stomach. I recently saw my Naturopath and he told me I was very malnourished and that a lot of it was from stress.( we know I am not Orthorexic because I had no problem going back to eating cooked foods, etc.).

Stress is a killer. It will suck up all the good stuff in your body, regardless of how perfect and healthy you are. It will wreak havoc on your skin, your mind and the people around you. It makes digestion and sleep harder, which can lead to weight gain and anxiousness, leading to even more stress. The key is to work on meditation, even if it’s repeating a mantra to yourself in the car on your way home, taking a hot bath with relaxing music a few times a week, or doing something you enjoy regularly and making time for YOU.
No one wants to age quickly, pack on pounds, be covered in stress acne or hives and be exhausted from lack of restful sleep. Be sure to make wise choices in your food, but don’t seek for perfection, be kind to yourself and others,try hard not to judge them but offer wisdom. I am going to get into Yoga soon hopefully.

What are some of your favorite ways to decompress?
I love hot tea, snuggled up under my heat blanket. I also like nighttime drives with the windows down with friends and loved ones. Of course baths with soothing music, duh.

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Super Quick, Super Easy, 3 ingredient Gluten-Free Flour!



1C. Rice flour (brown or white, there is no prejudice available in this recipe)

1/2 C. cornstarch

1/2 C. Tapioca flour

Make sure to sift this together really well and …..VIOLA! You can make a huge batch of your OWN GF flours without paying a huge price

Enjoy ❤

Let me know how you like this recipe

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SAVE YOUR ORANGE PEELS: How to “Candied Orange Peels”

candiedorangeslicesYou know those orange slices candies, the bagged ones that are bright orange and are sugar covered? These are the homemade, less awful for you version of those.
These are yes, covered in sugar. But not as bad for you as bagged candy and fun to create!
I used the granule kind, unbleached minimally processed.
First try to get the pith off as much as you can, the white part inside the peel. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
Toss the rinds into a pot of boiling water and boil down for about 30-45 minutes on rolling boil.
On another burner have a pot with 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water coming to a boil.
After the rinds are nice and soggy from the boiling water, strain and toss them into some ice water! This helps avoid the bitterness taste of the peel.
I let these simmer in the sugar/water with a lid for about 30-40 minutes again.
Remove, let cool, and roll in sugar granules.
You can now lay these on a tray to dry further, eat them now all gummy like and sticky gooey (yum), OR do like I did and pop them in a dehydrator at 100 degrees for about 3 hours.
These are good for avoiding bagged candy cravings, and to top ice-cream.
THOUGHT: I figured these would be fun to save and use on desserts as garnish sometime, maybe even grated as a sugary orange zest!

Let me know how you like these and how you change up the recipe if you do!

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How to create beautiful and simple SEAGLASS at home


This is a great idea to keep the kids busy and end up with something beautiful for yourself and your home. You can easily make these for parties or occasions by adding flair or changing color themes. I also rolled some of them in Epsom salts, but that’s another project altogether.

First thing you want to do is gather your items, most of us have these lying around even if we don’t have children. Grab some Glue (school glue) or mod podge, food coloring, a few small bowls and a few paint brushes…and newspaper…seriously, you WILL drip the glue and be very sad that it got on the carpet, or lovely wood table.


Pour the glue into the small dishes and create color mixtures you’d like to see on the jars. Keep in mind that the color is going to be painted on thinly and that you need to make the color a little more vibrant than you’d like it to be on the jar. For that beautiful minty green color that’s so poular I ended up making it a few shades darker in the bowl before painting it on.








Make sure you have a place to set this down once it’s dried like newspaper or paper plates. Paint the outside of the jar in even strokes until fully covered. Set to dry in a place where it will nto be disturbed by small hands or cats.

It’s that simple! You can roll them in glitter or confetti before they dry or anything cool you can think of!

Enjoy! If you send me pictures of you doing your projects and the finished result I will post them 😉

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Cron-o-meter: Easily and thoroughly measuring your daily intake of vitamins, calories and more!

cronometer lets you enter in your food item intake for the day and easily shows you an array of valuable information from your calorie count, to fat intake and carbs and shows you a ratio graph of carbs to fats to protein.

This is perfect for anyone on the paleo or raw diet as you have a balance of low or high carb etc.. I never thought of some of the vitamins or minerals that I wasn’t getting daily! This is a good tool to avoid deficiency, or even to treat it!
It also forces you to eat a bigger variety. I found myself low in some areas so I would try to balance it out with different foods I wouldn’t typically eat. I found myself eating an array of veggies and fruits everyday, easily!


Monave: 95% Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oganic Botanical beauty products




I am always very careful about my foundation purchases online. Is that the right color? Is this computer screen showing me the actual color? It’s a trying process. I have tried quite a few different companies and so far this one is way up there.
I ordered the LIGHT sampler for the Mineral Foundation. What I received was freakin AMAZINGLY flawless coverage! Most mineral foundations make you look too dry or are cakey or just don’t have great color output and coverage. This had it all! I am getting oiler since the weather is getting warmer so I am hoping it holds up, but if it doesn’t I know they have a matte foundation that I could layer underneath. Too perfect right?
I also had a chance to try some mineral cheek color in Desert Rose. What a color, it’s gorgeous, pinky plumy tones and went with almost any eye shadows I used throughout the week. It’s a very versatile color and I only use a tiny bit since I am so fair, a lot goes a long way. This would also be GORGEOUS on a deep skin tone. It has a tiny hint of glow to it, which makes you look healthier.

The Oatmeal Honey Breakfast bar went fast, I used it on my face and body everyday. Smells so good and natural. Most things break me out. Guess what? no breakout. Just good clean fun 😉

I also tried the oil control humectant. I LOVE the smell, it’s so light and ofcourse, not artificial at all. I believe it’s the ylang ylang and Myrrh I smelled, so lovely. I used this everyday for a week, as I didn’t notice much difference in oil control since it was cooler then and I wasn’t very oily, I did notice it made my skin dewy and so glowy and fresh looking. I used a tiny bit with my mineral foundation and got a make shift tinted moisturizer! It helped to keep the tinted moisturizer on longer since most of those slide off my oily skin easily. I will be testing out the oil control of this one through the harsher summer days and I will be sure to update you.
Overall, this was a great experience and I am very pleased with the company as well as the products I tried.
Below are some of their newest updates, be sure to visit their website as well

Spring is here in Baltimore, and we’ve added up some fabulous new liquid glosses: www/ they’re on sale!)

Interested in being part of the Spring Fun? Check out our ‘Build Your Own Sale’ contest going on on our Facebook Group Page; Monave Friends!

Back in stock! Moisture Mousse Foundations, Rose Daily Cream, Vegan Flat Top Brushes, Angled Liner Brushes, and Shea Butter Lotion.