Monday, January 30, 2012

Wine Cork Board

When I saw a wine cork board at my friends house I just had to have one. I asked her where I could purchase one and she told me that she made it and showed me how easy it was to do. Ever since, I have been collecting corks so that I could have one of my very own. I ordered the Wine Cork Board Kit from Wine Enthusiast and have been saving corks and asking for even more corks from anyone that would share them with me. 

This is the kit from Wine Enthusiast (it comes with the frame, glue, and hardware to hang it): 

My bowl of corks (I needed approximately 150 for this project):

Instructions come with the kit and it's really easy to make. You may have to cut some of the corks to fit correctly. Here is the finished product:

Didn't it turn out great? I love it!

I even have enough corks to make Wine Cork Coasters and Wine Cork Herb Markers (click for more information). There are so many fun ideas for re-using corks on Pinterest, too. Just do a search for "Wine Corks." Cheers!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lip Therapy

It's that time of year when lips turn from pouty and pretty to dry and cracked. I don't know about you but winter wrecks havoc on my skin, hair, and lips. This is the first winter I can remember that I have not had to slather on some kind of lip moisturizer hourly to keep my lips from becoming chapped. I have discovered some great products and home remedies that have kept my lips looking their best during these dry, cold winter months. Here are my healthy lip remedies: 

I stopped wearing lipstick in the winter which would always dry out my lips. I use lipgloss instead and it's made a big difference. 

MAC Cosmetics Dazzleglass Like Venus - My new favorite

I finally discovered a perfect lip balm - Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. It's all natural and it works so much better than the petroleum-based lip balms I used to use.  It also has peppermint oil in it that gives it that cooling and refreshing feeling.

A natural home remedy that I love is a lip scrub which will help exfoliate the dead skin on your lips, leaving them soft and moisturized. One of my favorite blogs, Pink Pistachio, has a delicious lip scrub that uses raw honey, raw sugar, lemon juice, and coconut oil. Click here for the recipe.

Picture from Pink Pistachio 

Speaking of coconut oil, it is another natural home remedy I use for soothing and healing dry lips. You can find it near the other cooking oils at your local grocery store (I use Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - it smells heavenly). Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E & K, polyphenols, and fatty acids that moisturize your skin without causing breakouts. Just put a small amount on your lips as needed to help heal and protect. 

This is a little off subject, but coconut oil is also great for your skin and hair. It helps heal damaged skin and restore your body's natural oils. It is a solid oil, so place it in a jar of warm water to liquify it and then massage it into your skin.

When Coconut oil is applied to your hair will make it shiner, stronger, and may even promote growth. It is also a natural dandruff treatment. Apply a quarter size amount throughout damp hair then wrap with a towel or cover hair with a shower cap for about 30-60 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Apple Butter Pork Chops (A Husband Favorite)

Last night I made super delicious Vegetable Enchiladas, remember? Well, I forgot to mention that my meat-and-potatoes, extremely picky husband wouldn't touch the enchiladas with a 10-foot pole. For one, he doesn't like anything with the word "vegetable/vegetarian" in it and he isn't a huge fan of Mexican food. How did the two of us end up together? I love Mexican food. It must be the "opposites attract" thing. 

So tonight I made it up to him by making something he loves and that I am not a huge fan of - pork chops. I found a recipe for Apple Butter Pork Chops from a website called Our Best Bites. Our neighbor gave us a homemade bottle of apple butter for Christmas so I was excited to try out this recipe. 

Photograph from Our Best Bites

The verdict is in and my food critic of a husband LOVED them. They are sweet and savory and covered in caramelized onions. He ate two large pork chops with steamed red potatoes. I will definitely make them again for him.

You can find the recipe, here. I cut the recipe in half but still added all the apple butter it called for - I think the more the better. Also, I cooked the pork chops in a dutch oven instead of a skillet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vegetable Enchiladas

I decided that since I have over 500 pins on Pinterest that I need to start baking, cooking, and crafting some of the things I have pinned. So, tonight I made Vegetable Enchiladas from my Delicious Food pinboard. The recipe and the beautiful photo come from a food blog called The Novice Chef. All of the recipes on this blog look delicious - check out all of them out, here

Photograph from The Novice Chef

These enchiladas were seriously so delicious. I can't wait to make them again. They had just the right amount of spice, filling, and cheese. Plus, they had a lot of cilantro which I LOVE. I can honestly say they were the best enchiladas I have ever had.

I made just a few adjustments to the ingredients to make them a little less spicy (since I am the only one in my family that likes spicy food) and reduce the calories. I will share the recipe with my changes. I also cut the recipe in half and will post those measurements.

Vegetable Enchiladas 

4 tsp olive oil 
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp ground coriander
2 T all purpose flour
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 can corn kernels, drained
1 cup reduced-fat four cheese blend (or Mexican blend)
1/2 cup grated pepper Jack cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 
8 corn tortillas, 6-inch (I used La Tortilla Factory's handmade corn tortillas that are half flour/half corn - they are fabulous)

The Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of the cumin, garlic powder, white pepper, coriander, flour, and tomato paste. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Set aside. 

The Filling: In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until it becomes transparent. Add spinach and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in the black beans, corn kernels, cilantro, 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1/2 cup four-cheese blend, and 1/4 cup of the pepper Jack cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 7x11 baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the enchilada filling into each tortilla and roll up. Place in the baking dish, seam side down. Pack the filled tortillas tightly in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas to cover. Sprinkle remaining cheeses over the enchiladas. Bake uncovered until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve. 

Serves 4 (2 enchiladas per serving)

Slightly adapted from The Novice Chef. Originally from Martha Stewart.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Delicious Post-Workout Green Smoothie

Last night after a very intense step class (I burned almost 600 calories in 60 minutes!), I came home and whipped up a very delicious post-workout smoothie known as a "Green Monster." I have found many variations of the Green Monster on Pinterest, but this one is made with fruit, Greek yogurt, ice, and spinach - which is obviously the reason it is green. But I must assure you, it is DELICIOUS! You can't taste the spinach at all. Even my baby loves it and it's such an easy way to sneak more greens in her diet. Plus, the Greek yogurt adds lots of protein. 

Here are some facts on why you should include spinach in your diet;
  • Spinach is low in calories, and is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and minerals like iron. 
  • The high amount of vitamin A promotes healthy skin by allowing proper moisture retention, which helps fight acne and even wrinkles.
  • Leutin is an antioxidant that promotes good eye health, and may help prevent cancer of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate, and even dementia. 
  • Dole lab tests found spinach has twice the chlorophyl, eight times the calcium, six times magnesium, 10 times the potassium, 15 times the vitamin C, and 43 times the vitamin A of wheatgrass juice. 
Some of these fantastic facts are from Iowa Girl Eats

Post-Workout Green Smoothie

1/2 Orange, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup Mango, frozen chunks (or you can use 1/4 cup pineapple)
5-6 large Strawberries, frozen
1 Banana
1 cup Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani, Plain, Non-Fat)
1-2 cups Baby Spinach (I used Organic Girl)

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Serves 1

Update: I started adding 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds to my smoothie. They have no taste and have great health benefits. Read more about Chia, here.

Well, I am off to Spinning so I can come home and have another one of these refreshing gems. I hope you try one soon - they are so yummy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


You may not know this about me, but I am a really indecisive person. I completely blame the Libra in me. When it comes to certain things it takes me forever to make a decision. I just always want to make sure I am making the right choice. For example, my husband and I will FINALLY decide what to do for date night and then on the way there I say "we could do __________ instead." It drives him crazy. Or when I was picking out a new pancake syrup at the store (because I was carelessly giving my family pure nasty syrup for breakfast with the first ingredient being High Fructose Corn Syrup). It took me about five minutes to look at all of the bottles and make a decision. It doesn't sound that bad but my choice was between just a few brands - a few brands and it took five full minutes. Finally I did decide on a bottle of organic 100% pure maple syrup. It was so worth it, instead of it tasting like sickly sweet sugar, it tastes sweet and it actually tastes like maple! Go figure. Best decision ever.

But the real reason for this post is because before the new year I was going back on forth on if I should stop blogging. It seems like 80-90% of my blogging friends have stopped blogging and I just wasn't sure if I wanted to continue. I finally decided that I would keep my Slice of Lime blog but would stop my The Girl Loves Cupcakes blog. I was happy with that decision until I was contacted this week from an Editor at Woman's World Magazine asking for my "expert" opinion on cupcake mixes. I told her I was no expert but did give her my opinion on my absolute favorite cupcake mix. Guess what? My advice will be published in March. I will keep you posted. But now I am thinking I need to continue my cupcake blog. I just don't know what to do.

If you are wondering what my favorite cupcake mix is you will have to stay tuned - cause I'm not telling. Or maybe I will. No, I won't. Or maybe...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cleaning and Organizing Tips

I don't know what it is about taking down Christmas decorations that makes me want to clean and organize everything. January is my time to spring clean. I am a very clean person anyway (you say OCD, I say neat and organized), but during the first week of January I like everything to sparkle. I used to be a huge neat freak, but since my little tornado (aka 18 month old) started walking I have been so much more relaxed about "everything needs to be in it's place" - I just couldn't clean up as fast as she was destroying. So, now I just sit back and enjoy watching her play and make huge messes. 

Anyway, on Pinterest I created a pinboard dedicated to cleaning and organizing and I will share a couple of my favorite pins with you:

Store Sheets In Their Own Pillowcase

This idea comes from Martha Stewart, go figure. She is seriously the queenbee of domestic diva's. To make your sheets look this nice you must learn how to correctly fold a fitted sheet which Martha will teach you, here

 Picture from

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaners

DIY Window/Mirror Cleaner - Another tip from Martha Stewart is making your own window/mirror cleaner with equal parts vinegar and water. 

DIY Non-Toxic Tub Scrub - And another tip from Martha on making a tub cleaner from dish soap, essential oil, and baking soda. Click here for the exact amounts. 

DIY Drain Cleaner - I have used baking soda and vinegar for years to unclog drains - but this tidy Mom has it down to a science. You can get the how-to on unclogging your drain, here

Other tips on cleaning without chemicals from Martha can be found here.

Picture from  

Spring Cleaning Tips

If you are getting ready for spring cleaning, you can find a spring cleaning checklist, here. You can also find a really fun organizing checklist, here.

Since we are on the topic I just had to share my favorite cleaning products - Method. They are non-toxic, they work great, and smell fabulous. I also love that Method is helping in the effort to retrieve some of the ocean plastic to recycle into Method bottles. They are a green product and healthy for my family and that's why I love them.

To read a little more on ocean plastic and Method's latest clean-up efforts in Hawaii, click here.

You can find and follow my cleaning and organizing pinboard, here. (You can find and follow all of my pinboards, here.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Spinach Salad w/ Poppyseed Dressing

Tonight we made a fabulous salad for dinner. It had bacon, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and veggies topped mixed with a sweet poppyseed dressing. It was very filling and satisfying. I loved this salad and thought I would spread the love - here's the recipe:

Spinach Salad w/ Poppyseed Dressing

2 cups baby spinach (I used Organic Girl Baby Spinach and Arugula Mix)
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
1 slice of bacon, broken into pieces
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a four cheese blend)
1 roma tomato, diced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 white onion, diced
2 T poppyseed dressing (I used Annie's All-Natural Lite Poppyseed Dressing)

Mix together and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!

9 Points+ (for whole recipe)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Top Five: Cookies

Today I made a batch of some of my favorite cookies, peanut butter no-bake cookies (which were made with mostly organic ingredients). I know, it's only the 4th day of January and most people are well on their way to healthier eating, but I was craving something sweet. And sweets are okay in moderation. One cookie with a glass of skim-milk totally hit the spot. Before I share the no-bake cookie recipe with you, I thought I would share my top five favorite bakery cookies. I personally think they are the best cookies you will find in Salt Lake City. So, here they are in no particular order:

RubySnap Vivianna Cookie: It has mangos and dark chocolate in a citrus dough and it is truly mouthwatering. I actually love all the cookies at RubySnap. They are all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. I also love that you can buy the dough frozen and bake them at home. 

Nordstrom Coffee Bar Sugar Cookie: This cookie can be found at the Fashion Place Mall location. It is a delicious sugar cookie with an absolutely fabulous buttercream frosting. I heart them! 

Schmidt's Pastry Cottage Mint Sandwich Cookie: Two chocolate cookies dipped in chocolate with mint frosting sandwiched in between. They are minty deliciousness.

Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate Chip Cookie: Who hasn't had one of these cookies? Right up there with the best chocolate chip cookies ever. 

The Sweet Tooth Fairy Small Sugar Cookie: I love this cookie because it's baked to perfection. It's a tiny bit doughy which I love and it has an amazingly tasty buttercream frosting that tastes like it has a hint of coconut in it.

Now, as promised, here is my favorite no-bake cookie recipe:

Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla 
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal (I like to use quick oats)

Mix the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from stove and add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix quickly until peanut butter melts, then add the oatmeal and mix until well blended. Drop spoonfuls onto wax or parchment paper. Allow time to set and cool completely. (Note: Cookies may not set up on a humid day.)
Makes 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

And next week I am making these cookies found on Pinterest: New York Times Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. Don't they look amazing? I think so.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Wow, where did 2011 go? Seriously? This past year just flew by for me. I think it's because I was having fun raising my little one and just enjoying life.

Did you make any 2012 New Years resolutions? Every January I make a list of several different goals I would like to achieve in he upcoming year. Sometimes I meet them, sometimes I don't. But I always try. 

I thought this was interesting - half of the people that resolve to lose weight, exercise regularly, or eat healthy stop around three months. Only one in every ten people keep their resolution for a full year. I think this chart could probably apply to most New Years resolutions. 

This year I resolve to continue improving my lifestyle (meaning it will need to last for the rest of my life, not just this year), which will include; eat even more healthy less-processed and organic foods, exercise more regularly, travel, work on becoming a Yogi (one who practices Yoga), learn something new, hike more, run a couple of 5K's, drink tons of water, do something kind every day, and laugh more. Sounds like pretty manageable goals, don't you think? I can totally be that one person standing at the end of the year (see the little green person above that feels accomplished and proud).

Good luck with your 2012 resolutions!