be HAPPIER in your HOME

I really loved this post. Small things we should actively do to make our lives happier.  Little things wear us down. I feel frustrated when the house is a mess and lonely when I haven’t talked to friends or family. It´s easy to get caught up in life´s frustrations and problems. Accepting things that we can´t change and somehow finding something we can appreciate in it, is something I’ve learned is so necessary to stay positive. I nodded in agreement for every one of these points.

Found this list on apartmenttherapy.com and was inspired! Hopefully it will inspire you t00!

1. Make your bed.

The book The Happiness Project, explains that this three minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adopt to positively impact your happiness.

2. Bring every room back to “ready.”

I learned this trick from Marilyn Paul’s clever book, It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys. It’s a known fact: Clutter causes stress; order creates a haven from it. This mood-boosting routine is simple: Take about three minutes to bring each room back to “ready” before you depart it. (Unless you have a toddler, or a partner who likes to simulate earthquakes, three minutes should be sufficient.)

3. Display sentimental items around your home.

One reason that experiences (and memories of those experiences) make us happier than material things is due to the entire…

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Make a good thing even better

I recently found a few YouTube videos that have changed me. 🙂 Do you ever make mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs? Please… please watch these videos. Simple steps to make these dishes perfectly every time.

Mashed Potatoes

Scrambled Eggs

I love brown rice but never can make it just right. I tried out this recipe today and it was perfect! Take a look- Alton Brown´s perfect brown rice- Baked Brown Rice Recipe

Alkaline Vs Acid diet

This was a post that I did for our Natural Homeopathic Health blog and it has really stuck with me. Take a look at it here . I am trying to avoid processed, prepackaged foods. More vegetables and fruits. Less sugar. I try to keep this chart in mind when I am making food choices.

I try hard to make sure that the foods we eat every single day are alkaline such as onions, olive oil, garlic, green tea, stevia, lemons and apples. After understanding this concept and how acid causing foods are so bad for your body, I decided to give up artificial sweeteners.  I really loved saccharine or other artificial sweeteners because I thought it was a great way to have a sweetener but not the sugar to help to loose weight. Here is an article about Aspartame- Aspartame is linked to leukemia and lymphoma in new landmark study on humans. Now I use honey or stevia in teas, yogurt, and coffee. I make a point of buying plain natural yogurt. This way I know we are avoiding white sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Of the more acid causing foods, I have made a point of cutting out soft drinks, milk, and white flour as much as possible.

Bone Broth

We have just celebrated Eid and had an entire lamb that we shared between three families. I decided to utilize the bones from the meat that we had cooked that day. We steamed the ribs and cooked the leg of lamb in the oven. I put all the bones in a huge pot with coarsely chopped onion and garlic. I brought it to a boil and let it simmer for 2 days. I turned it off at night and started again in the morning. I scooped out the bones and poured the broth through a metal mesh strainer. After letting it cool I scooped off the hardened layer of fat on top and saved that to use for cooking vegetables or eggs. I saved a bottle of the broth and reduced the rest down. The broth gelled and the reduced broth was really thick- to be used as bouillon. It tastes fantastic! Totally worth the time and much tastier than bouillon cubes.

Here is a great post about the health benefits of the broth.

“… many benefits of bone broth and how it can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health and much more.

What isn’t as well know is that broth can help reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth/strength, improve digestive issues and remineralize teeth.

Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating.”

Read the rest of this post here at Wellness Mama. She has a great tutorial and a lot more information.

Lemon, Ginger, Honey Tea

Every morning I like to drink hot water with lemon, ginger, and honey. Initially I started doing this when I read that hot water and lemon is good for weight loss.  Normally I wouldn’t eat or drink anything until I got back from taking my son to school and a morning walk which is around 10am. I’ve found that this gives me energy first thing in the morning and is warming. I physically feel better by having something in my tummy and emotionally it is calming. I try to take a moment while I drink this to feel gratitude.

Get Well with Jo- Why I Drink Lemon Water For Weightloss

Marcus Samuelsson- Health Benefits of Lemon Water

Mind Body Green- Why You Should Drink Warm Water and Lemon 

Here´s a link to a website dedicated to Honey  Honey is nature’s energy booster, builds our immune system and is a natural remedy for many ailments.

Healthy Recipes

I have been finding new recipes that are healthier versions of classic favorites

The Detoxinista- Chocolate Bark – This is perfect for chocolate cravings. Simple healthy ingredients.

Coconut truffles– These are like little almond joys. Love.

I have tried to cut out regular milk and found a few yummy alternatives

Coconut milk

Almond milk

My Favorite Recipes

I love cooking and finding that perfect recipe. There are many foods that I like that aren’t available here in Spain or if I do happen to find it… it is a poor imitation and usually expensive. This led me to learn how to make all those foods that I normally would have bought back in the US. I love the homemade versions. They taste better, are cheaper and I know it´s healthier.  I have a rule that only tried and approved recipes make it into my little cookbook. I admit that these aren’t my own recipes but after trial and error… these are my favorites!

from Joy the Baker-

Lemon Drenched Lemon Cake This lemon pound cake is fantastic. It´s a huge hit at our house. 

Vanilla Cupcakes that are versatile, quick and taste wonderful.

Peanut Butter Blondies with Milk chocolate frosting– These are requested a lot around here.

Dark Chocolate Brownies– Decadent. So good.

Caramel Pudding– Never buy store bought pudding again.

Home made Vanilla Extract –  I buy alcohol for this purpose alone 🙂

from Pioneer Woman-

Pizza Crust – Lasts in the fridge for a few days. Versatile and easy.

from Smitten Kitchen-

Pumpkin butter – I make this every year for as long as pumpkins are in season. Love it

Roasted Eggplant soup– Perfect for fall. So yummy

Other sites-

Goldfish crackers– We don’t have goldfish crackers here in Spain so we made these one afternoon. They were wonderful!

Tortillas  These are amazing and are so so easy to make. They turn out great every time.

Skillet Cookie This is so good and easy.

Fluffy Chocolate chip cookies For when you want individual cookies. The secret ingredient makes these wonderful!

Onion Soup– Easy soup and simple ingredients but so good.