Author Archives: Drea - Co-Owner

Organic Whole Grain Bagel Recipe

Today it rained. Something about rainy mondays makes me want to bake. Not sure why but the smell of freshly baked goods in the oven when you are trapped inside, only makes the day better. I decided today I would brave trying to bake up some home made bagels! I have wanted to attempt this recipe for some time… but kept putting it off.


ED9A2792

I got out my trusted Bread Becker Cookbook (which btw everyone should purchase, I use it weekly – best of all its only $5). Their recipe was easy to follow and came out great. Below is the recipe with a few snazzy photos to show you the yumminess it created. Hope you enjoy :)

ED9A2799Ingredients:

2 1/4 cup warm water
2 Tbs. honey
2 1/4 tsp. salt
5 cups freshly milled hard white wheat
2 tsp. yeast
1/3 cup honey (for boiling later in recipe)
1 egg (for topping cooked bagels)
topping of choice (see instructions below)

Directions:

Combine honey, water and salt together in large mixing bowl. Once blended together add in half the flour and yeast. Add in the remaining flour and yeast and knead into a stiff dough ball.

Let this rise until doubled (keeping it covered with a wash cloth).

Once risen, divide dough into 12 pieces. Shape it into balls.

Once shaped into balls fill up a large stock pot with at least a gallon of water and 1/3 cup of honey. Get it hot enough that it begins to boil. Once water is ready you will then take those dough balls you made and punch your thumb through the middle… using your thumb as a guide to shape a hole into the middle of the ball of dough. Keep doing this until hole is at least an inch wide.

Allow shaped bagel dough to sit for about 5 minutes then place into the prepped boiling water. Allow it to boil for 1 minute. If the bagel sinks, thats ok. It will begin to float. Make sure both sides of the bagel are cooked for at least 1 minute each side.

The bagel will not looked done btw… it will feel wet to the touch but firmed up slightly. Place your boiled bagels onto a greased baking sheet or pampered chef stone (what I prefer). Bake them at 425F for 35 minutes. Turn them half way through the baking process.


ED9A2797

Once baked brush them with 1 beaten egg and 2 Tbs. water. Sprinkle them with topping of choice. You can use poppy seeds, garlic, sesame seeds or even cinnamon sugar (which is what I chose to use).

Cut in half, toast, serve warm, lather with butter or cream cheese and enjoy :)

ED9A2798

She {hearts} JANE

One thing I think most of us moms enjoy doing, is shopping online. At least I do. While I am the type to go out and thrift for almost everything I buy… there are times I do like to purchase things new… and enjoy finding fun places to shop without having to leave the house. After all, as a mom of 4, my “free time” to shop as I please is far and few these days.

I was introduced to Jane.com way before Christmas! They were sweet to gift me with a few tops and have been so patient in waiting for my review on their company. Which honestly may have worked out in their favor… because as each month passed since I was first introduced to them, the more I grow to like their website.

It is filled with such awesome deals and fun products. With such variety. You can log on and find outfits for you but also for your children. You can find great decor items or gift items for friends and family. Practical pieces as well, such as USB readers, cell phone cases and recipe cards.

Check out this cute top they had listed this week.

As well as this adorable chevron diaper bag for under $15.00. I thought this bag would make a great nursery bag for a baby girl or boy! Looks really easy to monogram too, for an even more personal touch.

I love the yellow top they sent me. Light weight and great for summer or team with a skinny jean and layers in the fall.

sidebysidejane

{heart} It

So if you are in the market place for a fun gift for yourself or loved one, check out jane.com. You will enjoy browsing each time you log on.

She {hearts} Freebies

Jane.com would like to giveaway a $50.00 gift certificate to one of our readers!
To Enter:

Fill out Mr. Rafflecopter below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
A winner from the U.S. & Canada will be chosen on 2/11/14 at 7PM CST. Please see our Giveaway Rules for further details. Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} The Litter Robot

Litter-Robot Logo
Litter Robot 27974Many years ago I was introduced to a product called the Litter Robot after we got our first indoor cat. Since that time we moved… found our cat a nice new home and have since settled down in Georgia (for now) and rescued the sweetest cat ever, Toby! He was in the Animal Shelter for 6 long months… a stray that was up next to be killed… but due to his good temperament he was kept a while longer. Thankful we found him when we did, he has been the sweetest cat we’ve ever met.

I knew as soon as we got him that getting another Litter Robot was high on my priority list.

I decided to just do a video review on this product even though I HATE MYSELF on camera… It always helps to see the product working to give you an idea on how it works… although its pretty self explanatory.

So enjoy, be kind – Im so bad at videos! :-)

 

 

{heart} It

So if you are like me and very much dislike the litter box… invest in a Litter Robot. Look around youtube. You will see praise after praise over this product. Amazon as well has review after review on how much people love this litter box. One guy in fact on youtube altered his Litter-Robot in order to house MORE cats, his video can be viewed HERE. Pretty darn cool if you ask me. You can learn more about the Litter Robot on their website.

Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} Shop Miss A

missa

I tend to be a youtube stalker on occasion… watching fun tutorial’s online and following a select few off and on. One day I logged in and saw a video up by one of the bargain fashion guru’s, who was showcasing a company called Miss A. It immediately got my attention because she started her video by saying everything on their shop cost a $1.

ED9A6137So! I of course logged onto the Miss A website and began browsing.

I spent way to much time :) – they sucked me in and I got to clicking through their entire site and thought their selection was great and had to showcase them.

I got to try out 30 of their items and it sure was fun. A box full of goodies just for me :) and possibly 1 or 2 for my boys. (yes they have some kid stuff too).

Some of my favorite item’s that I tried were their lip balms, both very simple and so me. Another favorite was their nail polish remove pads! They worked better than any other nail polish remove I have ever used. What was nice about them as well is that they didn’t involve a big bottle of liquid or cotton balls. Everything came in a nice compact little container. I highly recommend those. Also their owl jewelry, as well as their numerous number of small zip tote bags. Their hair clips are fantastic too! I stocked up on bobby pins like crazy.

belts2

You could easily stock up on just the variety of bags they had for fun Christmas gifts to give out at a school function for your daughter.

{heart} It

Miss A not only carriers great deals on ELF make up brushes and other cosmetics, they also carry a wide variety of jewelry, sun glasses, hair accessories and many more misc. items. Perfect place to shop, avoid crowds this Christmas and stock up on great smaller items and stocking stuffers!

Oh and did I mention shipping is only $3.95! No matter how big your order.

She {hearts} Freebies

Miss A would like to giveaway TWO $15.00 Gift Certificates to two randomly selected readers. That means you’d get to pick 15 items for free, since everything is just $1.00.

To Enter:

Fill out the Raffle Copter Widget Below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner from the U.S. will be chosen on Dec 1st at 7PM CST. Please see our Giveaway Rules for further details.

Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} HayBugDesigns Camera Bags

haybug
ED9A8113You all know I love a good hand bag. You know even more so that I love a good camera bag. Cause well, ya know, photographers got to have accessories too, besides their rad cams.

HayBugDesigns about a month ago, maybe longer? shipped me one of their adorably trendy hand made camera bags. I was super pumped to get an email from them, one because I love camera bags but also because I’m a huge supporter of smaller shops on Etsy. They take pride in their products and this camera bag shows it.

I have a few camera bags, most of them are leather type materials. So it is nice to mix it up and tote a light weight and softer cotton bag.

These bags do come with thick padding to protect your gear. Although if I’m super honest I will say, it isn’t as padded as some of my camera bags, but it is plenty padded for every day use. I am a bit rough on my gear, so sometimes I feel more comfortable with my thicker bag. For those who want a great every day camera bag for park trips with the kids, zoo trips, vacation, a social event, etc..etc… this is a great choice.

I have dragged this bag with me to paid gigs where I am carrying gear for hours, it fits my shoulder well and rids perfectly on me. I love that is doesnt stick out and is a slim design, not bulky.

Typically I carry my 5D Mark III with a 50mm lens on it, an 85mm, 28mm and some spare cards/battery. It all fits, as well as my keys and cell phone.

ED9A8116
ED9A8120

This bag is totally washable too, so if you use it as a diaper bag/camera bag, the ability to wash it is an extra perk.

strap

{heart} It

HayBugDesigns offers a variety of great camera bags and even diaper bags. Not only do they have bags but they also have matching camera straps, clutches and more.

bag1

She {hearts} Freebies

Now a camera bag showcase would be a tease if I didn’t offer you all the chance to win one!

HayBugDesigns would like to give a randomly drawn winner the chance to win not only a camera bag of their choice but also a matching strap!

To Enter:

Fill out the Rafflecopter below :) – note the giveaway does not open until noon today.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner from the U.S. will be chosen on 8/19/13 at 7PM CST. Please see our Giveaway Rules for further details.

Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} Little Green Pouch & Eco Ditty

littlegreen

I am sure anyone out there with a little one beginning to eat, has experienced the “baby food pouches” available at almost any store around. These pouches are filled with a large variety of baby food’s and most of them are organic…. the one thing about them though that isn’t fantastic is their steep price tag. At over $1.20 a pouch, the cost of keeping these around can add up.

greenpouchWith my youngest Reed, who is just now 8 months, I have experienced some “eating” challenges. He honestly has very little interested in any sort of baby food. I have tried all sorts and even tried some sweeter types in order to “get his attention.” Nothing worked. If I fed him with a spoon he’d gag and refused to eat another bite.

One way I found he would eat, is by using these pouches. As long as he was given the ability to “feed himself” – he was good to go. He makes a royal mess but he enjoys it and has fun.

I love that Little Green Pouch gives those who enjoy making their own baby food an option to use it in this way. With a 6 ounce pouch to fill that is BPA free, freezer safe and dishwasher safe, it was an awesome item to have on hand or stored for convenience sake.

Also, just as a side note. You can even fill these pouches with YOUR SMOOTHIES!! So even if you aren’t a baby or kid, you can totally use these, freeze them with your healthy organic smoothies… then pack them up for lunch and by lunch time they will be thawed and ready to enjoy.

PouchPop_baby_grande

ecoditttylogoNow! to go with these adorable green pouches, you of course need a cute eco-friendly lunch bag to store them in while traveling… or if you are like me and have older kids, some reusable pouches to store sandwiches and other snacks is a must.

Eco Ditty is a great company as well that specializes in reusable sandwich and lunch bags.

Their bags are made of 100% organic cotton. Even the tag is organic! They are printed with low-impact inks and dyes. The liners are un-dyed with no synthetics, plastics or chemicals touching your food. You can wash them by hand or throw them in your dish washer and even washing machine.

ecoditty2Eco Ditty even has a fun option that allows you to personalize your own pouches with fun stencil print outs and fabric markers (they provide for you).

One of my favorite items they sent was their “lunch ditty.” It is a great size and stores A LOT yet isn’t to big or bulky that you couldn’t shove it in a diaper bag along with your other every day items.

The Lunch Ditty I honestly have used more for carrying Reed’s baby items more than anything. I love how I can attach it to a clip on my bag and be on my way, keeping his things organized… but I also love how it has a divide inside it to store food on one side and drinks on the other.

I hope to update this post with a photo of mine in use. It currently is waiting to be washed after using it on a pool playdate the other day and Reed deciding he’d spit up all over it :) – cool thing is, its totally washable.

{heart} It

littlegreen2The Little Green Pouch pays for itself in about a week. Enjoy the convenience and fun of these yet save and enjoy using your homemade baby foods at the same time. The Little Green Pouch even has a silicone attachment that makes it even easier for your kids/babies to eat from.

Eco Ditty offers snack, sandwich and lunch bags all in great organic fabrics. Reduce the use of plastic in your home but still enjoy the practicality of these great bags.

She {hearts} Freebies

The Little Green Pouch and Eco Ditty wanted to give away a few things on She {hearts} It.

ecodittyThe Little Green Pouch is giving away a 4-pack of their Little Green Pouches as well as a pack of their new Pouch Pops (4 pack as well). These items go hand and hand so you whoever wins will enjoy having both.

Eco Ditty is giving away one snack and one sandwich size pouch. In a winners choice print.

To Enter:

Fill out the Raffle Copter Widget Below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner from the U.S. will be chosen on 6-17-13 at 7PM CST. Please see our Giveaway Rules for further details.

Product Sample Provided

She {hearts} Homemade Chocolate Milk Syrup

One thing that my kids adore is a big glass of chocolate milk. I am thankful two out of my three older children, will drink just plain raw milk… but as a treat chocolate milk is a must.

I for a long time used what pretty much everyone I knew used… Nesquick.

Who knew there was so much in this powdered chocolate substance… One being overly processed white sugar…. but also SOY, which is genetically modified, Carrageenan, which is a carcinogen linked to inflammation and cancer…. Artificial flavors…. and you can read up on the rest.

(SUGAR, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SOY LECITHIN, CARRAGEENAN, SALT, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SPICE. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: CALCIUM CARBONATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ZINC OXIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), COPPER GLUCONATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, BIOTIN.)

So, what is an easy fix for this staple in many homes…

I have a recipe that a dear friend gave me and is now allowing me to share. She is an amazing cook and has been cooking organically and from scratch for many many years.

We have used this recipe for over a year now and our boys love it. Its super easy to make.

Making up a batch of our chocolate milk syrup :) - the boys love this and it's only 5 simple ingredients. All nongmoIngredients:

2 cups Sucanat (sugar cane natural) – if you do not have a source of this, you could use brown sugar…. but Sucanat is preferred…. also you could experiment using something like agave nectar.

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

A dash of real salt (I just do a pinch)

A tsp. of real vanilla

and 1 cup of filtered water

Directions:

Place water into a medium sized sauce pan…. and heat at medium heat. While it heats stir in the Sucanat with a whisk…. and then the cocoa powder… once well mixed, put in your dash of salt and vanilla… then begin turning up the heat until it begins to boil and rise… Do take into consideration when this boils up, it rises a good bit… so don’t use a tiny sauce pan :)… allow to boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally with whisk… then remove from heat. Allow it to cool slightly, then pour it into a glass jar or pour bottle. I actually use a glass SALAD dressing bottle a friend gave me to mix up my own dressings, it works great!

For a 8 ounce glass of raw milk (or almond milk, white milk…etc…) you would put in about a tsp. or so, or to taste. Shake up well and enjoy! Also store this in your fridge. It should keep a good while. Ours last about 3 weeks? sometimes less if the boys go crazy with it… but we typically only allow them a glass every other day… so it last a while.