Healthy Living + Feeling Good

I've been conscious of of what I eat for a few years now. I am 34 and it was about 4 years ago when my sister introduced me to the website, "100 Days of Real Food" It was this very website that opened up a new chapter in my life. I learned so much about how wonderful food can be, but also how terrible it could be. The world of processed foods is a scary one and we are the only ones that can decide what we eat. It was truly inspiring and since then I have been making really healthy choices. While I am not perfect and still treat myself... I try to balance and indulge only in moderation. I am aware of everything I eat. I absolutely love to cook, so it has opened up many new eating adventures. I thought that's where it ended... and then I started to learn so much more. Not only do we need to be careful what we eat, we need to also look into out beauty products (I love Dessert Essence deodorant!) and what we put on our skin - including laundry detergent. Yikes, that's a lot to think about and a lot of changes I had to slowly make. When I became pregnant last January, I really made the effort to change some of my lifestyle habits. I got really into the Seventh Generation brand. I love their philosophy. Their products are plant based, and safe for us and our environment. Enough said. Also, I feel like the price is completely fair. And on a side note, as a designer, I have to add that I love the design and packaging of the products - BONUS! When I was looking for a detergent to use (before I discovered Seventh Generation), everyone kept telling me to use Dreft, the baby safe detergent. I looked at the label, and um, it was full of chemicals - what the heck? So, I started using Seventh Generation Free and Clear Laundry Detergent and am really happy. The product smells fresh, not an overpowering chemical, perfume scent. My clothes come out clean, which is obviously pretty important as well. Most importantly I feel good about washing my baby girl's clothes with this. It feels good to be taking care of myself, my family and the environment. 

It's a...........

My sister is pregnant and I am beyond excited. I flew into New York for the weekend for her gender reveal party. I made banners, place cards, and some cute stuff to make her and my brother-in-law's party extra special. They chose to reveal the gender of the little bundle to be by way of cake. You cut the cake and if it's blue inside, it's a boy. If it's pink, it's a girl. We couldn't eat dinner fast enough to get to the cake!

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what's it going to be? 

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A little glitz...

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We all wore pink or blue depending on our guess, we may have even gotten manicures to match ;)

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And... I'm having a niece!!! So happy :)

Trip to the plants

Recetly I traveled to Memphis, TN for my job at American Greeings. As some of you know I am a full time designer on the Target Brand team, designing trend forward product for the Target store (go target!!). I am also co-lead of the Color Source Group. The Color Source Group is the team responsible for developing a corporate palette of colors and finishings (glitter, hot stamp, flock, etc.). These standards allow for a consistent application of color to create a cohesive retail statement. Have I put you to sleep yet? ;) So, American Greetings has several national plants in the southern states that produce our cards. I was really lucky to have the opportunity to check them out. The experience was really amazing. The plants are enormous and it really blew my mind how many cards are printed, glittered, cut and packaged every single day. The people I met were some of the most dedicated people I've seen. They have such pride in their job, it was really special. I was also down there working on our flock (the fuzzy material on greeting cards) palette. We had to shut down the flock machine for the day and do some color testing. It was really cool. Here are some pictures:

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This picture above is all the ink involved in our testing. I thought it looked so pretty like this!

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These are rolls of foil hot stamp that will be applied to our greeting cards!

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This is the machine that applies the glitter to the cards on a conveyer. See the waterfall of glitter?

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Of course we had to check out Beale Street while we were in town. We had a blast, I loved the group I traveled with, we all got along great... On our last night we hit the town and got a world famous burger at Dyer's. Deep. Fried. Burgers. Yaa... Interesting fact about Dyer's is that they've been using the same grease to cook their burgers in since 1912. Sounds wierd and yes they continue to strain the grease and replenish as needed. It was awesome. The 75 degree weather also made the trip pretty great after this killer of a winter we've been having in Cleveland. 

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What's Cooking?

Happy Friday, everyone! It's SUPER BOWL weekend! What the means for me is an excuse to make awesome snacks. :) I can't tell you I love football, I wish I could. I have really really tried. I still love Football Sundays though... it's a great excuse to hop into sweatpants and make really tasty game snacks. It's all about snacks. So, I've been on this new health kick lately of eating unprocessed foods, SO I am going to attempt to make some delicious food that doesn't include food dyes, chemicals, etc. First on my list... CORN DOGS. Yep, they can be made using all organic ingreidents :)

photo credit: deciciouslyorganic

photo credit: deciciouslyorganic

Recipe: Homemade Whole Wheat Corn Dogs

(adapted from Deliciously Organic)

serving size: approx. 8 dogs

Ingredients

For the Corn Dogs:


  • 1 qt. peanut oil for frying
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur white whole wheat)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
 (please make sure you find this organically)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon light honey

  • 3/4 cup organic whole milk
 (I used original almond milk)
  • 1 large free range local egg

  • 10 hot dogs (nitrate free and local if possible)

  • 10 wooden skewers

  • Organic ketchup + mustard for dipping

Instructions

Pour oil in a large heavy pot and heat over medium-high heat. Whisk flour mix, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add honey, milk and egg and whisk until combined.

Thread hot dogs onto skewers. When oil reaches 360ºF dip each hot dog into batter, rolling until fully coated and quickly drop entire stick into oil. Fry, two at a time, until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining corn dogs. Serve warm.

Happy Super Bowl weekend everyone!!!