Saturday, April 19, 2014

Avacado Cauliflower Tacos- a Plant Based Meal

The day I made these I was craving some yummy homemade corn tortillas and avocados.  So I decided to get creative and come up with a yummy ensemble.  Cauliflower you ask?  Yep.  I have been seeing so many cauliflower recipes out there that are pretty random and realizing all the great benefits of using cauliflower in my diet more so I thought, "heck, why not have my own cauliflower creation?".  This dish turned out so fantastic I was actually really surprised.  So impressed by my "skills" I though I would share with you all the recipe since so many of you asked when I posted pictures. 
Masa Flour for the corn tortillas (I used one batch for the recipe on the bag it made roughly around 16 tortillas so I had left overs for lunch the next day)
2 avocados or more if you want diced up
1 head of cauliflower
cooked brown rice
cooked lentils
cooked quinoa
chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges
your favorite hot sauce
diced red onion (optional)
While the brown rice quinoa and lentils are cooking in their separate pans, prepare your tortillas according to the package directions.  I bought the Great Value Brand of Corn Tortilla mix.  This is the first time I have bought corn tortilla flour, I like it so I think next time I will purchase the good authentic stuff, which I am sure is even more awesome.  If you don't have a tortilla press, don't fret.  Make your dough, take a golf ball size ball of dough and put it in between two pieces of parchment paper.  Get a heavy large glass bowl and press firmly down as much and as hard as you can.  IT will create a cute little round tortilla.  Immediately throw it on your skillet to cook til slightly browned on the edges.  Keep them warm in a tortilla dish, covered. 
dice and chop up your cilantro and avocado.  sprinkle lime juice on the avocados with a little lime juice to keep from turning brown.  cut some lime wedges.  dice your onion and put everything in litte serving dishes.  I use my ramekins they are the perfect size for all these fresh ingredients.  clean and break apart your cauliflower in small pieces and Sautee them in a little olive oil and garlic salt and pepper.  Put in a serving dish. 
Making your taco:
grab your warm fresh tortilla and put a small spoonful of rice on it.
sprinkle with lime juice
top with hot sauce
Oh my heck.  I was so impressed with my creation I had 6 tacos that night. :)
Let me know what you think.  Trust me you won't even miss the meet and cheese.
Did you know that not only does the lentils provide your protein you need for this dish, but the quinoa is packed full of protein!!!!  a great and hearty side for any plant based dish instead of meat.
If you are more interested in learning about the benefits of a Plant based Diet, head on over to Forks Over Knives.  If you have an Amazon Prime or Netflix account you can watch the amazing documentary as well.  This has changed my view on food and my health and has naturally gotten my children out of the picky kid eating stage. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hello! My name is Melissa!

Hey there!! My name is Melissa. I am a 27 year old wife and a mother and one of the few Arizona natives! I enjoy learning and trying out new skills whether it’s cooking, sewing, painting, decorating, and organizing. The list could go on!! I love crafts. When I’m not at the gym, running errands, or spending time with my son and husband, I love to be in my “craft room” working on my next project! 

I have known Tricia for 6 years now! She was actually the first person I met after being newly married in a new area.  While sitting next to her at a meeting in church she was asked to play the piano but had a 6 month old in her arms. She kindly, and quickly looked over at me and asked me to hold sweet Allisandria! That’s where it all began. She has been my confidant and friend through thick and thin and is truly one of the most amazing people I have met.

I am so excited and thrilled to officially become a part of Bellapia Clothing Company!! Over the years, Tricia has asked me to sew, cut, and create a few things for her company, especially during the busy holiday shopping and craft show times. It has been fascinating to watch her grow this business, little by little, each year! She has amazing talent and style and it is so fun to see it come out in a little toddler outfit worn by so many; I have loved helping her! I have watched her start this business from just ideas on paper and bring them all to reality in adorable colors and prints.  I absolutely love her style and all the creations she comes up with. Just like everyone else, I fall in love with everything she creates. I feel honored and excited to be a part of this company! I am thrilled to share the creativity of clothing and accessories from Tricia’s designs with you, the fans!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

10 Things to fill your soul

We women often times live in a cloudy haze of motherhood/wifehood and all that falls under those two things.  Sometimes I think I could even do some things literally with my eyes glued shut and my right arm tied behind my back.  There is something to be said about that, but sometimes we don't see the overall purpose or reason for the things we do.  We get so caught up in the loads of laundry and the never ending mopping after multiple spills (really???...SERIOUSLY??).  So we have to be reminded of little things that will allow us to escape to our dreams or that will bring back balance and harmony even if for a second.

1. No devices (moderation is best).  We are all so addicted to our mobile devices and various social media sites whether we like to admit it or not.  I know I am.  Ill raise my hand up way high on that one...its okay  you can too!  It's not the worst of addictions that are out there, but it can lead to some pretty serious matters.  Neglect... of a lot of things.  Do you ever find yourself upset when you get interrupted during these "checking up" times.  You can hear you kids in the background, your sure they are yelling at you or whining for something and when they literally try to pull the phone or ipad from you so you will see or hear them, you get up set.  Yep...Ill raise my hand again on that one.  Here is what sucks.  The realization of the problem.  I have told my kids that they don't play on mobile devices during the week because it keeps them from wanting and having the desire to play with their real toys.  So we moved it to 15-20 minute time limit on the weekends.  Before that they were so angry and lazy.  They got even bored of the ipad, just shuffling through all the games and apps every two seconds not really doing much with any of them, but then they didn't want to put it down to do anything else.  They would get so angry, and I mean really nasty angry when I would take it away from them.  It created the worst kind of couch potato in my kids.  So I set a rule.  Now I see it is time to set some rules for myself.  I hate the way it makes me feel staring at a screen for what adds up to hours and hours a day.  It takes away time from things I could be doing with my kids, or help enrich my home and family.

2. Sit outside.  If you know me then you know I am a lover of the sun and being out to enjoy it. I love living in AZ so much. I love my garden and I enjoy checking on it everyday.  Caring for the little flowers that will soon turn into tomatoes, going out and making sure my zucchini is being pollinated...sometimes I have to do that myself.  Enjoy the fresh air.  Take your activities out doors.  are you reading? answering emails? going through the mail? eating lunch?  do it out on that cute porch furnature you promised your husband when you bought it that it would "totally get used". Taking a deep breath of fresh air fills your body and your brain with fluffy clean goodness. 

3. Write it down.  There are so many people who don't keep a journal.  Journals can come in so many different ways.  You don't have to write down your days activities like you did when you were little.  Write your thoughts, your insecurities, your goals, your triumphs, major events, ideas.  It can even be an image.  If it help to have a super cute journal to write in, then do it.  Have you heard of a smash book?  well here are some inspirations from Pinterest HERE.  Having something cute to write in makes it easier.  Then when you write things down you will be amazed at how much more you will want to write down and it will just flow.  Get in touch with your senses and write about them. 
  Write Letters!!  I just had a small little conversation with my friend Melissa the other day.  We need to get back to good old snail mail.  Write a card, and a letter to someone.  Who doesn't like to get mail?  There are so many cute cards out there.  The Yellow Bungalow Shop has great cards and so does Floating Specks.  I love supporting my local AZ small businesses.

4. Read.  WE are an image loving society right now.  Always being stimulated by bright and moving images.  Which is great.  Its nice to appreciate the beauty around us, but lets not forget about the spoken word.  There are so many things that words say that images cannot.  Read something that will make your soul happy.  Read something that will allow you to escape to another place for a minute.  Doing that will also help you when your writing in your journal.

5.  Serve.  How many times a day or a week are we carving out time for doing selfless work for someone else outside your home?  There are so many ways you can serve.  It can be small sweet things even.  It can even be visiting someone who is lonely.  I know who I am adopting as my AZ grandma...Ill tell you more about her another time. :)  Get out and make someone else's day better.  Have you ever bought a bouquet of flowers and just handed out each individual flower to complete strangers?  Hmm me neither... but I am going to.  I want to show my girls that serving is fun and brings to joy to everyone. 

6.  Dance it out.  Whether it is delicious Adam Levine or Disney's Frozen, dance it up.  Shake it girl.  A good dance party brings smiles.  Especially on your kids.  Those are my favorite smiles to see on my kids.  It is complete joy.  And good for your heart.  There has been many days where that has been my cardio for the day.  Beats going out and hitting the pavement for me....which I don't ever. 

7. Clean your room.  When my room is clean, I feel like my whole house is clean.  Rooms can often just feel dirty and so sleepy.  Make that bed...brush up on your nurses corner.  Fluff your pillow, clear your night stand, wipe down your counters in the bathroom and throw in a load of laundry.  What about 20 minutes maybe and look how much better your room looks. 

8. Tame the Mane.  For goodness sakes people...get ready.  I understand there are days when no makeup and a pony tail are in order, but that is not all week long. Get ready for yourself.  Learn some quick dos for you hair and makeup if you don't have the time every day.  When you give your self 30 minutes in the bathroom, your self esteem is better. You know that when you have to drive that mini van around town you are gonna be rockin it.  Another good friend told me when I was telling her to wait as long as she could before joining the van club she said, "Girl," while pointing to her hair and face, "when this looks good, it doesn't matter what your driving."  Thanks Britt, for the words I live by almost every day.  Get your Eyebrows done.  Pencil them don't have to look like a cartoon character, but adding great shape and a little color can make the whole presentation look so much better.  Especially if it is just a lip gloss kind of day.  Make sure those eyebrows are done at all times.  and if you need, come to my waxing parties and get them done by me :)

9.Carrots and Peas.  Get those sweet sugar snaps and sweet little baby carrots out.  Put them in snack bags so they are ready to go.  Get those vitamins in you the nice raw way.  There are times that the only vegetables we have at the table at dinner are raw ones.  Then if you need to after...have a chocolate Cadbury egg.  It's important to follow cravings (in moderation of course) don't deprive your self from a sweet little treat just because you are trying to lose weight or whatever.  These are rewards.  It makes all the good food choices you make more meaningful and worth it, then there is not the guilt when you go and get  one of your favorite 31 flavors (jamoca almond fudge).  Make good food choices, then reward your self.  Have self control.  It goes a long way.

10. Support a cause.  Find something that speaks to your soul.  help out in whatever way you can.  Donate items, your time, your services.  There are so many great companies out there that make beautiful products that you may be needing anyway...but your money is going toward a purpose, a mission.  So when you have to purchase something for your mom for Mothers day coming up, support a business with a cause.  Wear your statement and BE THE CHANGE.  You can order your BE THE CHANGE shirt HERE. It will feel good knowing your money that you would be spending anyway is going towards a good cause.

I challenge you to implement as many of these things you can in your life.  Pick 1 a day if you can.  I promise you will feel better and find more time to do more.