Crock Pot Honey Glazed Carrots

We all desire to feed our families less processed foods, so we have been experimenting with making meals and dishes, using as many natural ingredients as possible. Cooking with crockpots this time of year is easy and nice to have a hot meal waiting for you when you get home, as the weather is cooling. Using a crock pot requires little prep and is easy to clean up. All of this lead to the creation of our honey glazed carrots; which are a perfect side to meals on cold winter days!

2 Pounds Baby Carrots
¼ Cup Honey
½ Cups Brown Sugar
¾ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
½ Cup Orange Juice – *Note, Squeezing fresh orange juice is a way to cut back the amount of preservatives in this dish.
¼ Cup Melted Butter
In a large mixing bowl add the baby carrots and then the honey. Mix well so that the carrots have an even coating of honey. Then add the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix contents well.
Transfer the contents of the mixture into the crock pot. Lastly add the orange juice and butter and mix. Cook on high for 3-4 hours; until the carrots are tender and easy to bite.


Backyard Luncheon

Hosting a luncheon is the perfect way to transition into fall with one last get together with friends and family. It’s one last hurrah gathered around your patio furniture and a great way to casually enjoy your back yard. The best part of a luncheon is how easy it is to put together. Its casual nature means that you don’t have to fuss too much ahead of time trying to throw together the perfect get together.

One of the advantages to luncheons is that often times friends will have plans for their evenings over their weekends but lunch time tends to be free! Lunch is also a more casual time and this means it is more family friendly for the kiddos—another added bonus for those of you with friends who have children.

A few rules of thumb to follow when planning your luncheon—keep the lunch recipes light and easy. You’ll thank yourself when you have less work to do ahead of time and these types of recipes are usually preferred for lunch any way. Think of putting things together such as salads and light sandwiches. You might also consider some easy snacking such as chips and a couple of your favorite dips. These are especially nice because they setup and clean up tends to be a breeze making your life easier.

Try and plan ahead of time if you think any of your guests will be bringing their children. Get a few fun games together for the kids to play while you entertain your guests. Put together an easy lunch option for the children in case there is a particularly picky eater. Usually in those cases a simple peanut butter and jelly will suffice. Or if you have a grill, go ahead and get some hot dogs ready for them.

Finally, set the stage! You won’t want to go overboard here, luncheons are casual and with the natural light from hosting your event midday, as opposed to when it is dark out, means the landscape will work for you as your decorations. Use this your advantage and see just how easy throwing together a luncheon can be.

Making the Most out of Your Island

We all know that kitchen islands make a kitchen look complete, add more countertop space and are essentially needed in a big kitchen. However we can make our kitchen island more efficient and really make it work for you. All that’s required is a little extra planning in the design process.

In this photo the, island is the home for the cooktop as well as added storage for dishware. The storage is actually built into the unit to provide safe shelving for dishware. The look that is created from essentially having cut outs, is a pleasing architectural effect. The island has the appearance of a cantilevered structure and depth is added when the dishes are placed in the actual island. This is done by creating positive and negative space. The positive space is the white island itself. Negative space is the cut out shelves within the island.

Having a cooktop, sink or combination of both in the kitchen island frees up vast amounts of countertop space. Free space in other areas of the kitchen can be used for more prep space, organizing groceries or even placing food out as a serving station. Sure this requires a little extra work from an electrician or plumber but it is well worth it. It makes it easier to use your kitchen by being able to go back and forth, from your island and the rest of your kitchen equipment. It makes it easy to work when you have added countertop space to work on.

We mentioned earlier that an island is needed in a large kitchen. This is because large kitchens have a lot of open floor space. An island breaks this vast space up and makes it more useable. Also small kitchens can benefit from having an island. This is especially true if the sink or range is placed in the island.

Utilize the people and tools put into place to help you plan and design your newest kitchen project!

Make the Most out of Household Items

The truth is there are ways to make household items last longer. These little tricks will help you save money and trips to the store!

Buy foam hand soap dispensers. Get the regular hand soap refill bottles. Fill the dispenser up ¼ of the way with hand soap. Fill the rest with water. Shake the dispenser and voila, now you have foam hand soap. This will definitely save you some money in the long run and the soap works just as good as liquid hand soap.

Keep fresh cut flowers fresher longer by adding a cap full of vodka to the water!

Keep left over salad or bags of spinach and lettuce fresh by adding a dry paper towel to the leafy greens. This will soak up the moisture that is released from the greens; which also makes the greens spoil.

Have you ever wondered why Starbucks has already separated the bananas for purchase? Probably not, but separating them from the bunch keeps them fresher for days longer.

Keep cheese fresh for longer by these two simple tricks. Do not touch the cheese when cutting it. Wrap the end in plastic wrap. Bacteria from your hands will speed up the process of your cheese molding. Keeping your hands off, when cutting will add at least a week to its life. Smear butter on the end of the cheese. This will provide adequate moisture to keep the cheese from drying out so soon.

Sharpen razor blades by rubbing them on some jeans. This will make the dulling razor last for several more uses. Have no fear the razor will do no damage to your jeans!

Keep batteries in the freezer to help prevent them from losing charge before you actually use them. It saves you money when you buy batteries in bulk. This little trick will add plenty of shelf life to purchased batteries.

Easy Meatball Marinara Dish

This dish is the perfect comfort food that is simple to make and only requires five ingredients. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. This dish is a perfect meal for weeknight dinner that tastes great as left overs.

What You Will Need:

3 lb. bag of frozen meatballs

1 large jar of marinara (any brand)

1 Can of biscuit dough

1 Clove of garlic

½ bag of shredded mozzarella

9”x13” casserole dish


Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Using a knife cut the biscuits into six pieces. We like to cut the little circles like a pie. Line the bottom of the dish with the dough pieces.

Pour half of the marinara sauce over the dough pieces. Dice the garlic clove into tiny pieces and evenly spread on top of the marinara. Evenly place the frozen meatballs around the dish.

Pour the rest of the marinara over the meatballs and use a spoon or paint brush to make sure the meatballs are evenly coated.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the entire dish. Use as much cheese as you like. If you are keeping calories in mind, simply evenly cover the dish with the shredded cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees, until the cheese around the edge is slightly brown.

Corner Shelves and their Benefits

Corner shelves can be a great way to organize many different storage spaces. It is also a wonderful way to display smaller accessories. Find out where in the home to utilize this aspect of design.

Corner shelves can be easily incorporated to any custom cabinet job. These shelves can be as deep as the cabinets themselves. Place corner shelves in areas such as the pantry to create a neatly organized spice rack.

Store smaller closet items like purses and shoes in corner shelf units. Storage in this area of the closet leaves more hanging and shelf space for clothing. Extend the shelf from the floor to the top of the hanging clothes bar. Use a shelf or two to lay out jewelry that you use regularly such as watches and necklaces. Having your accessories near your clothing makes it easier and more efficient to put an outfit together. Keep valuables out of sight as a safety precaution.

Shelves in a corner create a smaller shelf and is perfect for storing smaller items like toiletries and makeup. This is a great place to gain extra storage space in a smaller bathroom. Keep rolled up hand towels and decorative jars here. This will make a custom spa look that has the added feature of providing extra space. Accessorize one shelf to make the shelves look even more unique and aesthetically pleasing. Place tooth brushes and toothpaste on a corner that is next to the sink in a small bathroom.

Kitchens are a great place to install corner shelving. Keep spices that are used daily on a shallow corner shelf near the stove. Salt, pepper, garlic cloves and other small produce go well in a corner kitchen shelf. Keep knives in a corner shelf and make sure the placement is as close to the counter top as possible.

Easy and Healthy Snacks When the Heat is On

Fall is on the way, but there’s still plenty of heat ahead!  In this read you will discover several refreshing snacks that only require two to three ingredients each. These snacks are perfect to make for one person or many people.

The most refreshing treat is sliced tomatoes, with fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Add some fresh basil for an added kick of freshness. This dish is so easy it can be prepared in merely minutes. Choose this dish to help you cool off on a sweltering day!

Sweet and savory is a delightful combination. Take a fig and cut it in half. Add a small spoonful of goat cheese. Wrap the fig and cheese with a small slice of prosciutto and hold it all together by placing a toothpick through the bite sized snack.

For another sweet and savory combination, slice green apples and top with a white cheese, such as white cheddar, Gouda or brie. The savory cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweet freshness of the apple. Feel free to add some fresh turkey to this little snack, to transform it into a bite sized savory sandwich, sans the bread.

Make a simple summer salad with diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers and toss in Italian dressing. After tossing the mix, refrigerate for thirty minutes then serve. Feel free to add fresh chopped basil to the mix. This can be eaten with a spoon or spread on a crispy crostini.

Throw some fresh berries in a bowl. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries work nicely together. Drizzle with honey and serve with plain yogurt. This is a healthy snack that taste like a treat. It taste even better if the honey is warmed up a bit. The coolness of the berries taste great with warm and sweet honey!

Never Buy Dryer Sheets Again


With school starting back, you are going to want to keep clothes smelling extra fresh after laundering them! Find out how to make your own dryer sheets, so you never have to buy dryer sheets again. The only thing you will need to buy to make this is washcloths, fabric softener and a container with an air tight lid to keep them in.

What You Will Need:

4 old washcloths

¼ Cup Fabric softener

2 Cups Water

Round container with an air tight lid


Start off by cutting each washcloth in half. This will leave you eight washcloths to transform into dryer sheets.

In the container you intend to store the washcloths, mix together the water and fabric softener. Place the washcloth halves into the container. Place container somewhere handy that is near the dryer.

When ready to dry clothes. Squeeze out extra liquid from the washcloth. Lastly throw the washcloth into the dryer and dry clothes as normal.

Once the load is dry place the washcloth back into the solution, for later use. You will have multiple washcloths available if you are doing multiple loads.

That’s it, quick and easy. This method will save you money and help the environment by re-using the washcloth, instead of throwing the chemically treated dryer sheet in the trash after each use.

Fall Inspired Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Now is the perfect time to start saving recipes for the upcoming fall season. This is one of our favorites! This soup is warm and comforting with fresh, yet savory flavor! This recipe will feed several people for at least two days!

What You Will Need:

1 Pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

5-7 Cups chicken broth

2 cups skim milk

5 Oz. Bag baby spinach

1 Lemon

3 Cloves Garlic

1 Tsp. Salt

½ Tsp. Cracked black pepper

½ Diced Yellow onion

1 Cup dried orzo pasta

½ cup fresh basil, diced up into small shreds

1 Tsp. Coconut oil

Fresh shredded parmesan for garnish


Precook the chicken and shred it before making the soup.

In a large pot, set the burner heat to medium and add all liquid ingredients, except for the skim milk.

Turn the heat up to a medium high and add the juice squeezed from the fresh lemon. Make sure to squeeze the lemon first into a separate container so you can remove the seeds, before pouring it into the soup.

Add the garlic, basil, diced onion, coconut oil and shredded chicken.


Turn the heat down to medium. Add the milk, orzo pasta, spinach, salt and pepper. Cook the soup at this temperature for about 20 minutes

Sprinkle with fresh parmesan for garnish and enjoy! 

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

When the craving strikes for homemade chocolate chip cookies, consider this healthier alternative. These muffins make easy items to grab and go! Find out how to make these delicious treats that will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth!

What You Will Need:

Muffin Pan

Olive Oil Non Stick Spray

3 Bananas

1 Egg

1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

¼ Cup Honey

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

¼ Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp. Coconut Milk


First you are going to mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder). Use a fork or whisk to mix these three ingredients together.

In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas up. Then add the honey, vanilla, yogurt, coconut oil and coconut milk. Mix well by hand and then use a hand held or counter top mixer, to thoroughly mix the wet ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and use your hands to mix up the batter. At this time add the chocolate chips and continue to use your hands to distribute the chips into the batter.

Spray the muffin cups with the nonstick spray. Using a spoon, add the batter to each muffin cup. Fill up each cup about ¾ of the way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes, use a tooth pick to check to see if the muffins are done. If the toothpick comes out a little wet, bake for five more minutes.

Let the muffins cool for ten minutes, then remove from the muffin tray and place them on a serving plate.