Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Flourless Black Bean Brownies

Ok, so by the name they sound pretty, well, disgusting. BUT, let me tell you they are not! I got this recipe from work when my co-workers and clients made them and I was a bit skeptical but I am usually open to trying new things (to a certain extent..not so much in the meat department though). When I got the chance to try it I was rather shocked at how good they tasted for having black beans in them. Honestly, you can't even taste the black beans.

I don't by any means follow a gluten-free diet but I am trying to eat clean and less processed. And with these brownies definitely being a bit more "clean" than say box brownies and less in the fat department than other brownies I was sold. And to me...they taste delish!

So, I thought I would share this recipe. Eating clean has become very popular and honestly it does make you feel better when you don't put all that processed junk in your body. I can't give up certain processed things and there is no way at being perfect with eating clean, but you can be more aware and watch what you put in your mouth. Now, these aren't the "cleanest" brownies being that they have sugar and canola oil in them and chocolate chips, but I feel a lot better about eating these than eating some of the other desserts you can buy or make. I did find some other recipes that use alternatives such as raw honey and applesauce to add sweetness, but I haven't made those yet so I can't say how they taste (but I'm sure they are just as good). But do some research and try new things and you will be surprised with what you come up with!

I dug into the brownies before I took a picture...oops!

1 15oz Can Black Beans - Rinsed and Drained
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (Divided)
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
3 Eggs
2/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Baking Cocoa
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Salt

1. Place beans, 1/4 C chocolate chips and oil in a food processor - process till blended. Add eggs, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Process till smooth.

2. Pour mixture into a 9" baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick come out clean. Makes 12 bars.

Nutritional Info:

1 Brownie = 167 calories, 7g fat, 131mg sodium, 2g fiber, 4g protein

Here are some other links to more "clean" brownies that I will be trying soon.

Black Bean Brownies - Green Plate Rule

Black Bean Brownies - Mom Colored Glasses

Give any of these recipes a try and Im sure you will be more than surprised!

My workout partner!!! The best one ever!!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kids N' Krafts {Freezer Bag Art}

This past week we had our second crafty playdate. This time around we did a much faster craft and we involved the kiddos in it too!

Saying "Good Morning" to their friends.

Each Mommy brought a canvas or two that could be placed into a gallon size freezer bag. We squirted whatever color paints we wanted into the bag (no special technique...just squirt away!) and sealed up the bag trying to get most of the air out. We then showed the kiddos how to move the paint around inside the bag by placing their hands on top and helping them with hand-over-hand. When they were all finished we took out the canvas and let it dry and you have a Baby Picasso Painting!

The nice thing is it is pretty much mess-free other than when you have to take it out of the bag which us Mommies got some paint on us but none that a little water couldn't cure. It was a fun, easy and quick craft and a little piece of art to put in the house that was made with love! I love hand made things especially when it has to do with my little family!

 Hollyn working on her Masterpiece

Riley was quite the Little Picasso

Stella listening intently on how to do it

The finished products!!!

You can get creative with this craft too! Hollyn lost the attention span to keep doing it with her hands so I put the bag on the ground and would lift her up and down on it like she was hopping. If you do it with a little baby use their feet, hands, even their booties could work! There is no way to "screw" this up so be creative and most of all...have fun with your little one doing it!

After the craft...the kids got their play time on!!!

Happy Kids, Happy Krafting!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Painted Decorative Sticks {Easy Peasy}

My friend and I had been shopping one day on 2nd Street and we went into a boutique and I commented on how cute their vases with black and white bamboo-like sticks were. Then we both said..."That would be so easy to do!"

So, still having the idea in my head off to Hobby Lobby I went (my new FAV craft store). I bought plain wood round dowels in different sizes.

I then wrapped tape around them from bottom to top not measuring at all between pieces of tape. I like it better when it isn't so perfect. 

 Let me tell you though holding that dowel between my knees was a real inner thigh workout...just an FYI if you want to kill two birds with one stone...workout and crafting...heck yes!

Next step...you guessed it! Whip out the can of spray paint and go to town. I chose to stick with a flat black, but ultimately you could do any color. 

Once they are dry peel off your tape and....


You can then cut them all different heights if you want to stagger them in a vase. I added mine to the branches I already had, but I think I am going to put them into a clear vase so you can really see them.

See...Easy Peasy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Adorable Little Girl, A Handsome Man That I Call Hubby And A Beautiful Weekend

This past weekend was great to say the least. It was relaxing and we had beautiful Southern Cali weather. It was spent with my little family, extended family and friends.

I've been trying to do Friday Fun Days with Miss Hollyn and do something fun together. I usually try to get out of the house and go do something other than run errands since she doesn't quite enjoy that...or shopping for that matter. This past Friday we went to the La Habra Children's Museum. It was a great time! First, it only cost $8 to get in; Second, kids under 2 are free; Third, Hollyn got to run around like a crazy woman without hearing the word "NO." Well, maybe that was an exaggeration...she heard it a couple times when she tried to take a toy from another kid or tried to move a kid out of the way so she could "drive" the car. But for the most part she got to do what she wanted, climb on what she wanted and full-on have a field day in a completely kid zone! Now, Hollyn is only one, so I could see where this place could get boring for older kids, but for her it works. And its cheap and she hasn't even come into the phase of really playing so I think we will be getting a lot of use of this place and their cars, grocery shopping, and dress up!

We started our Friday Fun Day out right!

Her favorite...banging on the piano and making music. Loved listening to it. 

Look! A dinosaur! 

This is what happens when I try to use the family bathroom and I can't see her for a split second...ahh!!! I may be going grey soon!

On Saturday we had a nice breakfast with my mom and my aunt at Mimi's. It was spent most of the time trying to keep Hollyn entertained (not as much fun to take a toddler to a restaurant these days). We then got to go do some shopping! Woo Hoo! And I actually bought myself something instead of Hollyn, because she is always way more fun to shop for!

Sunday was the perfect day with my little family. We went to church and heard a great sermon, came home, had some snacks and then headed to Centennial Farm at the OC Fairgrounds. So I thought the Children's Museum was a great deal....this place is FREE!!! That's right...FREE!!!! What can you get for free these days? Well, let me tell you! You get a wonderful day with your family looking at so many cute farm animals from llamas, to goats, to pigs, to baby cows (my favorite)! They have calfs there that you can pet and did I say that that was my favorite part?! I kinda have a thing for cows! And I may have had more fun than Hollyn. But Hollyn was pretty intrigued with petting them and looking into the chicken coup. They also have a garden there with all different veggies planted and we sat on a brick wall and Hollyn had lunch and we enjoyed the beautiful day and scenery. After we went across to the swap meet and walked around.



We came home and washed the dogs...Hollyn was helping.

Our Sunday ended with a good night with friends playing a really fun new game called Knock 31. Try it...you will love it!

I couldn't have asked for a better weekend! Now...until next weekend!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Kids N' Krafts

So, today we had our first Mommy Craft Play Date where we let the kiddos play and us Mommies got our craft on! It was a lot of fun, but somewhat chaotic...apparently 11:30 is close to many of their nap times!

All in all it was a good time. We enjoyed some salad, girl talk, seeing all the kids play, and did a craft...or at least started one! This week we did Spring Time door wreaths...we each brought our own supplies whether it was a foam wreath to wrap with yarn (FYI: takes forever!) or a branch-style wreath to decorate and let the kiddos run in the backyard, play in the sand box, watch Mickey Mouse Club House and get a little mischievous (ahem...Hollyn and Stella!!! We caught them trying to steal the Twin's bottles!).

My finished product.

Thank you ladies for joining in the craft today...I hope you enjoyed yourselves. We may not get a craft done each time but at least we get to grow in our friendships and watch our children have friendships that will also continue to grow!

So, what I learned from this one:

  • We need to do it earlier before the kids start crashing and getting delirious for nap time...say 9:30-10?
  • Yarn wrapped wreaths take more time than I thought but are totally worth it!
  • My Hubby needs to make a sun cover for our sandbox before all of our children come home with better tans than we will have. 
  • We occasionally need to incorporate Mimosas! Wink Wink!!!
Our next Kids N' Krafts day is going to be painted antlers! I have been eyeing these for a while on Etsy and would you believe that people want $80 for them?! Yikes! They may sound weird but they are totally cute when put on a shelf or dresser...Im very excited to do these...stay tuned for the finished product!

Totally CUTE right?!

So excited for this next one!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

HOLLYN {1 Years Old}

I can't believe my baby is already one...well actually almost 13 months. I meant to take her 1 year pics as soon as she turned one, but time slipped away and we are about 4 weeks past her birthday and I just now finally took them. They are not what I had planned in my head, but I like how they turned out anyways.

She has a rocking chair that was mine as a kid and now resides in her room which she loves to climb up on, sit and then climb off and repeat it all over again. We took the rocker outside to capture some fun photos since it is one of her favorite items right now.

HOLLYN's Favorites:

  • Mommy's old rocking chair
  • Kicking a ball
  • Mac n' cheese
  • Nutrigrain Breakfast Bars
  • Her Lovey...can't sleep without it!
  • Blocks (mainly just knocking them all down)
  • Playing outside
  • Cozy Coupe push car
  • Doggies
  • Veggies
  • Tampons (yes that is right!) - The kid loves to find my tampons in the bathroom and drag them all through the house...so if you come over to visit and find random tampons hidden around this is why!
  • Tooth brushes and hair brushes - she carries them everywhere...Target, Trader Joe's, The Dr's, etc.
  • SMILING!!! My favorite thing about her! 

HOLLYN's Not-So-Favorites:
  • Getting dressed 
  • Eating meat (she is a partial vegetarian right now)
  • Being told NO - I think this goes for most kids
  • Being in a shopping cart for more than 15 minutes

HOLLYN'S 1 Year Pictures (sorry for the abundance of pictures...I just can't get enough of her): 

We love you Hollyn with all our hearts! Now stop growing sooo fast!!!! Love, Mommy.