Sunday, March 8, 2015

I've Moved!

Ok, so not me physically.
That hasn't happened yet.
But I'll keep you posted when it does.

I'm now a .com!!!!

You can find me and all of my random baking, fitness, and diy at

Friday, March 6, 2015

Vegetable Polenta Bake

Hi, friends. I hope all of you are having a great week.

Life of voluntary unemployment is fun so far. I've been spending the week in a Substitute Teacher training class (because it could be useful someday) and doing all sorts of things I never got around to doing, like visiting the gardens again, painting pottery, and spending afternoons taking pictures. Here's to bigger and better adventures!

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the "Casserole Club" at my local Whole Foods. I've been in a dinner rut lately and desperately needed some new ideas, so when I saw that I would be coming home with three meals I just had to sign up. The woman who led the class, Leilani, is the Demo Specialist at Whole Foods Wilmington. Along with the other ladies in the group, she was so welcoming and fun to work with. It was nice to spend the evening sipping on a glass of wine and playing with food!

The meal I'm sharing (with Leilani's permission) today is a super easy Vegetable Polenta Bake. I totally admit that I didn't know what the heck polenta was before this class. FYI: It's basically grits made from cornmeal.

If you're looking for something new to try for dinner, look no further. This dish is full of veggie goodness and hello, it's topped with cheese... my favorite food group :)

Vegetable Polenta Bake


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
26 ounces diced tomatoes in their juices
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish if desired
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch kale, center stems removed and roughly chopped
1 (18-ounce) roll precooked polenta
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the tomatoes, spices, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 20 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil and garlic in a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped kale and a pinch of salt and saute until wilted and softened, about 5 minutes.

Cut the polenta into 10 rounds. Arrange 9 slices on the bottom of an 8" baking dish, cutting the remaining round to fill in gaps. Top with the kale mixture, then top with the tomato sauce mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until the cheese has melted, about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

What are your plans for this weekend?
Do you like polenta?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Homemade Bath Bombs

Good Morning, friends! I hope all of you are well ;)

The past few days have been pretty great! Lots of relaxing, a little learning, and a little crafting. There's no better way to spend time!

In the spirit of trying to eat cleaner and to be more conscious of what's in my foods, I thought that I should be more aware of what's in my beauty products as well. What I put on my body should be just as important as what I put in my body, right??

These Homemade Bath Bombs are a much better alternative to many store-bought bath fizzies. No crazy chemicals or funky dyes here! They're so easy to make and can be so easily customized for any occasion or taste. Use any shape of silicone mold and use any scent or essential oil. The possibilities are truly endless.

Homemade Bath Bombs

Recipe from Dixie Crystals

What you need:

1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
1/ 4 cup extra fine granulated sugar
Witch hazel (in a squirt bottle)
Fragrance/essential oil
Silicone mold

How to make them:

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Break apart any clumps with a spoon. Add the essential oil/fragrance, just a few drops at a time. FYI: a few drops go a long way. Mix up the mixture evenly. Squirt in the witch hazel, a little at a time, stirring to combine. Only add a few drops at a time so that the mixture to start the fizzing process. Once the mixture seems moist enough to pack together like damp sand, distribute the mixture evenly between your molds, but only fill the molds about 1/2 full. Press the mixture firmly into the mold. The more compacted the mixture is, the better the bath bomb will hold up. Let the bath bombs set up and dry for at least 2 hours to overnight, depending on how wet your mixture is.

Tips & Tricks:

To be on the safe side, I let mine sit for well over 24 hours to dry. They just seemed too damp after a few hours! And they turned out pretty great! I also halved the recipe because I didn't have enough baking soda. I ended up with four bath bombs, so if you follow the recipe as-is, you will get at least 8. I used Now Foods Lemongrass Essential Oil that I picked up at Whole Foods, but it's available on Amazon too.

So go make these, take a bath, and relax :)
Does anyone else wish they enjoyed baths more than they actually do?? Ha!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Body-Weight Blast Workout

Hello, hello! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend are well on your way to a great week. I've had my coffee fix, so I know it's going to be a good day :)

I spent the weekend on Hatteras Island with my parents and celebrated my dad's birthday (which is actually tomorrow) and made him a Boston Creme Pie (cake?) for dessert. Happy Birthday Daddy!!! Though I never look forward to the driving part, it was nice to be spoiled by my parents and to spend time with my friend, Mary Beth. I miss them all so much! The weather this weekend was less than glorious (as was most of February), but I'm so excited that spring will soon be here.

And speaking of spring... it's already March!! Time to get my butt in gear and get ready for summer! Time to get back to a more plant-based diet and more consistent workouts. I'm ready and I'm excited.

With that in mind, here's a super fun workout inspired by the Insanity classes that I've been taking at 02 Fitness. Jana is the instructor and she rocks! She is so motivational and inspiring. Even though I feel like I'm going to die in the middle of her class, I leave feeling so refreshed and alive.

As always, please listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. Modify the intensity as needed and be sure to hydrate! If you have questions about any of the exercises I've listed, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below :)

Cheers to a healthy and happy week! 
I'll be back on Wednesday with a fun diy beauty project.