DIY: Spooky Halloween Books

Last weekend I was lucky to spend some time with my sister and daughter up in Utah.  It was the perfect break from desert life and we were able to be outside experiencing fall and even a little snow!  My sister and I love Halloween so we made sure to add in some fun, festive activities together. We went to Gardner’s Village, where it is all festively decorated with witches.  There were also some Halloween crafting projects and trips to the craft store for decor.  While at Michaels, I saw some ceramic, spooky books for sale.  Since I love a good DIY, I thought these would be perfect to make using old books found at Goodwill.  Follow along to see how to create your own Spooky Halloween Books!   Continue reading “DIY: Spooky Halloween Books”

5 Fall Dinner Ideas

There is so much excitement when fall comes around: changing colors of the trees, apple picking, carving pumpkins, and cooler temperatures!  Living in the south, you miss so much of the traditional fall activities that we had so much of up north.  That doesn’t mean we can’t feel it here, it is just different.  Our mornings have slowly gotten cooler and the evenings have a bit of a breeze to them.  I will take what I can get!  Now is often the time that we start to crave warm, comforting meals.

Today I wanted to share 5 Fall Dinner Ideas to inspire your next trip to the grocery store!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas:  These enchiladas by Minimalist Baker are pretty tasty!  They are wonderfully spicy and perfect to warm you up on a crisp evening.  They are also vegetarian and dairy free!

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup:  I crave soup once the weather cools down.  This butternut squash soup by The Defined Dish is on my list to make soon.  I love that it has a thai twist to it and I swear anything Alex shares is amazing!

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner:  I love sheet pan dinners.  Anything that only utilizes one pan and cooks everything all at the same time is a winner for me!  This recipe by Cooking Classy looks amazing and I love the addition of the apples to the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.

Shredded Chicken Tortilla Soup:  This soup by Amy Green is often on rotation in our household.  What I love about this soup is that it is delicious plain, but when you add hot sauce and avocado, or your favorite toppings, the flavor gets even better!  I have been making this soup for years and it never disappoints.  It is also delicious as a vegetarian soup by swapping the chicken for black beans and using vegetable broth!  This is a great recipe for all you slow cooker fans.

Roasted Autumn Vegetables:  There are some evenings when I all I want are some vegetables.  No Crumbs Left shares an easy way to prepare your favorite Autumn vegetables!

Do you have a favorite fall activity or meal you can’t get enough of?  Let us know in the comments below.

bananas with chocolate almond butter on childs plate

Benefits of Cooking With Kids

child stirring brownie batter
© Eclectically K & L 2018

One thing that I really love is when my daughter sees me cooking and asks if she can help.  She is only 5, but has been helping me in the kitchen from time to time since a very early age.   Cooking with kids can be extra messy, take a lot of extra time, and the end result isn’t always pretty, but the experience that I am giving my daughter is something that I hope translates as she gets older.  I promise if you have give it some extra time, it can be a fun experience for you and your kiddos!

5 Benefits to cooking with kids:

Continue reading “Benefits of Cooking With Kids”

Top 5 Friday Fun

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” — Mother Teresa

Today is the International Day of Peace, a day devoted to strengthening the ideal of peace among all countries and people.  We hope you take time to spread a little kindness and love to others today.

For some weekend reading material, check out our Top 5 Friday Fun links below! Enjoy!

  1.  We live in a time where it is so easy to get wrapped up in what other people have or are doing.  It is hard to scroll social media without seeing these extravagant vacations, perfect bodies, and new purchases.  Scary Mommy shares 8 Instagram accounts to follow that inspire saving money and living a more frugal, minimalist lifestyle.
  2. Tomorrow is the first day of Fall!  For a simple ritual to incorporate every year on Fall Equinox, read this post on Refinery 29
  3. Why should you hug it out?  Check out Well and Good to read about 9 health benefits of hugs.
  4. I love watching people get scared, which is weird because I get scared from everything.  Too many scary movies as kid as made me quite the wimp!  Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, shares her experience going through a virtual reality haunted house.  It is even more comical because you can’t see what she sees!
  5. These raw nutella bars from The Healthy Maven look like a yummy treat to make this weekend!
Vision Board

Vision Board

A couple of years ago for my birthday, my mom gave me two plates to hang on my wall.  One of a chicken and one of a goat.  You see my mom knows how much I want to have some land and to be able to raise my own chickens and goats.  She thought that if I hung these on my walls, that visualization would help me make this come true.  I still don’t have my chickens and goats, but I look at those plates daily and think about how we can make that happen.   Our life and my husband’s career took us on a unexpected detour to Arizona for a couple years so I am using this time to manifest my goals and dreams and to figure out what I want in life.  In addition to those plates, I decided to create a vision board in order to make that happen.

Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.  -Oprah Winfrey

Vision boards can be powerful visualization tools and can be a great way to help invoke feelings to help you manifest those goals and dreams.  If have never heard of Gaby Bernstein, I encourage you to check out her books or website.  She talks a lot about tapping into your energy and love to help manifest the life that you want, not just by visual cues, but actually feeling it.   As she says “The key to manifesting is to dwell in the feeling you want.”  You can read more on this here.

I am a very visual person so for me, having a vision board that I can look at daily will help me focus on my dreams and goals.  Here are some tips to create a vision board of your own.

1.  Ask yourself some questions about your life and write down your goals.

What do you want for your life?
How do you want to feel?
What do you want to change about your life?

Having your goals clearly written down will help you to stay focused as you build your vision board.  Try to answer these questions honestly without thinking of barriers that may stand in the way.

2.  Think about words to describe how you want to feel. 

Loved, happy,  at peace, couragious, blissful, etc.

© Eclectically K & L 2018

3.  Gather your supplies.

-Something to affix your materials too: white craft board, bulletin board, book, etc
-Pins, glue, or clips to attach clippings
-Colorful paper

Magazines, markers, cork board
© Eclectically K & L 2018

4.  Find your inspiration. 

Cut, print, or draw photos, sayings, and words that coincide with what you wrote for your goals and dreams above. Choose pictures that really invoke the feelings that you want to manifest in your life.  Make sure those photos apply specifically to a goal.  For instance, I have a strong desire to see Orcas in the wild.  Not only do I want to see them in the wild, but I would also love to encounter them in Norway, where my grandfather’s family came from.  So I chose a photo taken from Norway to help manifest that goal.

Vision Board process

5.  Design your vision board and create your collage.

I personally chose to keep mine a little more simple and clean.  It is easier for me to really look at each goal/dream when it doesn’t feel so cluttered.  Everyone is different so do what works best for you!

Vision board - close
© Eclectically K & L 2018

6.  Hang or place in a location that you will see daily. 

I decided to hang my vision board in our office/craft room, next to my chicken and goat plate.  Since this is a room that I work in often, I know that I will see it daily.  I look at it and think about how these pictures and words make me feel.  I try to envision each one and put that energy into my daily life.  It also helps me to have the visual reminder so that I can figure out how I can make these dreams a reality.

Vision Board
© Eclectically K & L 2018
wood photo ledge with photos

Wood Photo Ledge

wood photo ledge with photos
© Eclectically K & L 2018

I love everything about pictures: taking them, looking through my phone at memories made, and having them displayed throughout our house.  I love the conversations that pictures invoke within our family.  My daughter often asks about where photos were taken, if she was alive at the time, and why we might look different!  It is fun to be able to tell stories and relive all the fun we have had.  We live so far away from our family right now so it is also so nice to be surrounded by our loved ones in some form.  They bring smiles and laughter to each and every one of us.   Continue reading “Wood Photo Ledge”

Going Green: 5 Products I am loving now

going green: 5 products
© Eclectically K & L 2018

It has been amazing to me to see that so many people are bringing more awareness to going green and being more eco-conscious.  Whether it is on social media or big companies making changes to their products, it is inspiring to see people really trying to make a change.  In our house,  I have been making small changes to help reduce our waste and environmental impact in any way that I can.  I wanted to share 5 eco-friendly products that our family is loving right now to help us with going green.   Continue reading “Going Green: 5 Products I am loving now”

Top 5 Friday Fun

Happy Friday everyone!  I have noticed that social media is starting to fill with all things fall now that school is back in session and September has hit.  We have a ways to go here in Arizona as it is still in the 100s and feeling very toasty so our family will be taking it easy this weekend.  We were lucky to escape to California last weekend.  It is amazing what a little water and cooler temperatures will do for this soul!

Here are our top 5 Friday fun links for the week to help you settle into a nice, relaxing weekend!   Continue reading “Top 5 Friday Fun”

Why We Choose Non-GMO and Organic Products

It seems like these days there are so many conflicting opinions on the things to eat.  Which diet is best? Do GMOs benefit or do they do more harm?  Should we buy all organic?  It can be really overwhelming and hard to know what is best.  Both Lisa and are very passionate about what we feed our families and looking at what will best benefit our overall health.  I would say that after I got pregnant, I did a lot more research into food choices.  I am not sure if it was because more information has become more prevalent or if it was because I wanted more for my daughter, but my guess is that it was a combination of both.

I know there are many different sides to the Non-GMO debate and people feel very passionately about that, but I wanted to share the reasons why we personally choose Non-GMO and organic when we can.    Continue reading “Why We Choose Non-GMO and Organic Products”