Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Happy Valentine's Day, Lovelies!  

Celebrate love every single day!

These are some of our favorite pics from last Valentine's Day on our Instagram!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Valentine's Day Popcorn & Family Fun!

Making popcorn is one of our favorite special treats for anytime - movie nights, holidays, after school fun!  Popcorn can make a boring snowy day turn into a fun and festive occasion!  I bought the Cuisinart popcorn maker for our family's gift over a year ago for the holidays and have used it multiple times a week since then.  My kids love it and honestly, my husband my like it more than they do.  Let the kids join in to pour the kernels into the popcorn maker.   Yes, teens love this too - never too old to enjoy popcorn popping!   Turn it on -  the laughs and "ohhs and ahh" when the popcorn starts flowing out is priceless!


You'll need - 

small sauce pan for butter warming
 small containers for the popcorn - we just love the red and white Susty paper cups - perfect for popcorn!

Ingredients - 
Organic popcorn kernels - Trader Joe's has a large bag of organic popcorn thats lasts!
Sea Salt
Grass Fed Butter
Valentine's Day sprinkles - we use pink hearts with no synthetic coloring
Ceylon Cinnamon

Optional:  A dash of peppermint oil



Melt 6 ounces of grass fed butter
Make 1 cup of popcorn according to Cuisinart instructions - no more than 1/2 cup of kernels at a time
Mix a teaspoon of sea salt into the butter
Pour the butter all around the popped corn
Let the kids stir the popcorn and butter with large spoon
Taste to see if you need more sea salt
Pour into individual bowls and sprinkle the Valentine's Day sprinkles on top!

If you would like the peppermint popcorn - pour 2 drops into the melted butter and stir. 
Then pour onto the popcorn.


We used Williams Sonoma pink heart - made in Belgium and no synthetic coloring!


Ways to say I love you on Valentine's Day!

Decorate a paper sandwich bag with bright markers and construction paper hearts and fill with home-baked cookies.
Write a note for their lunch or with their breakfast!
Make heart shaped pancakes - use a play-doh or cookie cutter.  Super easy and festive!
Make a date with them - read a story, play a game or just sit and chat.  Depending on the age and the child - be present! (turn phone OFF and put out of site)
Let the kids help with dinner!  Yes, it takes just a little bit longer but it is time well-spent and also nurtures their love of healthy food.

Happy Valentine's Day - 
celebrate LOVE every single day!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shop With Style & Like It Matters.

What we wear, eat, drink and spend our money on matters - now more than ever.  When you spend your money on a product or food you are saying -  you support it.  

You are essentially voting for it. 

 We must think with every purchase is this what I want to support?  What do I believe in?  Am I support child labor, factory farming, GMO pesticide foods?

It matters now more than ever before.

What you buy and vote for now will ultimately affect your children's future.


We can NO longer close our eyes and minds and tell ourselves it does not matter.  We have a world full of abusive child labor, horrific factory farming, animal testing and Cancer cause pesticides and GMOs - all from closing our minds because we think "others" will fix things or "others" are in charge of making things right.

WE MATTER.  WE, YOU AND I are going to fix it.  Every single day with every single purchase - WE, YOU and I are responsible!  "Others" are not getting it done.
It is up to YOU!

Here are some of my favorite organic, fair trade and sustainable products, places and foods!

prAna has a new line of hemp and organic cotton and the clothes are gorgeous, feel great are fair trade!

Baskets From Africa - My favorite market totes - they are members of the Fair Trade Federation

The Futon Shop has organic cotton and humanly harvested wool (zero sheep are harmed) - such a refreshing change in a world full of dangerous chemical sofas full of toxic flame retardant.

Tuk Watches - buy a watch from TUK Watches out of Austin and a clean water filtration system, hand made in Cambodia and is provided to families in need!  Gorgeous watches and clean water! What could be better?!

Zia's Cafe in Baltimore is doing things the right way.  Fresh juice, eco-centric vibes and clean food make Zia's the lunch spot in the Baltimore and Towson area!

100 Good Deeds Bracelet  - absolutely gorgeous bracelets and supports - The Abataka Foundation provides economic and educational opportunities to women and girls across Africa and elsewhere.

Susty Party - Sustainable party supplies and provides jobs to the blind! 

TOMS Roasting Coffee - drink coffee like people are depending on you!  Drink fair trade, organic and biodynamic coffee.  You already know TOMS gives shoes to kids in need. But did you know they have coffee (really yummy coffee)?  Try TOMS Roasting Co - they give clean water (not pharmaceuticals) to people in need!

Vapour Beauty - A girl needs lip gloss without the nasties!

The above bag is from Jade Tribe - purchased at TOMS Market Place

What are you voting for today?

Shop like it matters.

What are your favorite fair trade, sustainable and ethical companies / products?  Let me know, I'll add them!  Follow us on Instagram for food, fun and style!

this is not a sponsored post.  Please email me or leave a comment to add your favorites!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Weekend Freshly Loaded Nachos!

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Weekends are made for snacking!  There is no reason snacking or comfort food should be unhealthy.  These nachos are absolutely amazing, fresh and easy to make with the kids.


Ingredients:

Love Beets has already cooked, shredded Non-GMO beets marinated in delicious vinegars and ready to use.
Organic Corn Tortillas Chips
Red Onion
Ripe Avocado
Chia Sees - we use Nutiva
Red and Orange Sweet Peppers
Mango
Cilantro
Himalayan Sea Salt
Pepper
Grass Fed Cheddar - we use Kerrygold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line your baking sheet with unbleached parchment and add your tortilla chips.
Finely grate cheese over the top of the chips.
Bake until cheese has melted.
Dice your mango, cilantro, peppers, avocado
Take out of oven and add your onion, mango, cilantro, spices, peppers, avocado, shredded Love beets and top with chia seed.
Bake for about two minutes.  Just enough to warm up your toppings.

Take out and enjoy right away!  


If you think they look good, just wait until you taste them!
Chips never had it SOOO good! 


We used Love Beets to make our humus delicious...and hot pink!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Bridge Of Spies On Blu-Ray Now! #BridgeOfSpies


We are so happy to partner with Disney and Dreamworks and their new movie with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg - Bridge Of Spies! 

Bridge Of Spies is just came out on Blu-Ray and is now available through streaming and it is absolutely incredible!  Staring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg - how could you go wrong?  Based on a series of historical events it is non-stop suspense and action.  Bridge Of Spies is easily one of the year's best films and a must-see for your next movie night sans kiddos.  My husband saw Bridge Of Spies in theaters and said that I had to see it.  I watched with my teen and she and I both thought is was outstanding and an important movie!  


A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, Bridge of Spiestells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on a near impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. High stakes and suspense power a story inspired by true events that capture the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life. 




The main movie trailer for Bridge Of Spies with Tom Hanks!




Disney and Dreamworks invite you to take a step back into an era of espionage and Cold War. Steven Spielberg directs a dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, Bridge of Spies tells the story of James Donovan (Tom Hanks), a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on a near impossible mission to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot. Bring home this high stakes  suspense story on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and Digital HD February 2, 2016.



Steven Spielburg and Bridge Of Spies - behind the scene. 

Bridge Of Spies is available on Blu-Ray and streaming through Amazon, Apple and other Streaming devices.

This is sponsored by Dreamworks.  Opinions are our own.  YES! The movie is outstanding! Enjoy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cuties Sweet Sunrise Smoothie!


We are so pleased to have delicious Cuties Citrus Non-GMO Citrus for today's sponsor, as part of  #SweetAsCandy!  You're welcome!

Hello Morning!


It is citrus season and we couldn't be happier!  There is nothing more delightful than waking up to the brilliant colors of citrus - yellow, green and all the hues of orange!  Absolutely amazing little orbs of sweetness, which make Cuties perfect for Valentine's Day!  Around here we start celebrating Valentine's Day right after the holidays.   Valentine's Day is about sweetness and the celebration of love, but there is no reason sugar has to be a part of it!  Moms, instead of passing out sugar and synthetic colored candy for Valentine's Day, hand out fresh and fabulous Cuties citrus.  The perfect snack - real food and fast, gluten and allergy free - as nature intended.  How completely lovely!

Tiny Cuties mandarins are my kiddo's favorite and go-to quick food snack - they are as sweet as candy!  Usually for a morning or mid-morning snack we make a smoothie and lately we have been making orange smoothies with Cuties mandarins - of course - Good morning!


As always, ingredients matter.  Food matters.  Choose fresh, Non-GMO and eat often!
Cuties are Non-GMO and that is a must for my family!  
Food Matters.

Grab a bag of Cuties mandarins and peel four of them and snack on the rest.
We use fresh ginger root instead of powder form for maximum results.  We choose organic beets and carrots, as they grow in the earth and soak up pesticides quickly.  We use frozen mango for it's convenience and to keep our smoothie cold.  
Grab some ice and you're all set!


Top with shredded unsweetened coconut for an extra kick!  
We love it!


Good Morning, indeed! 


Smoothie:  Peel a small beet and two small carrots.  Peel four Cuties mandarins.  Zest your ginger root for 2 teaspoons.  Add 1/2 of the beet, 2 small carrots, 4 Cuties mandarins, ginger, 1/2 turmeric root, 1 teas of Ceylon Cinnamon and 1 1/2 cups of frozen mango.  Add in 1 cup of ice.  Blend well starting at 2 on your Vitamix and move up to 5 speed.  Blend well.  Taste and tweak to taste.  Add in the rest of your beet - it always depends on how big it is.  So I start with 1/2 of a small one and go from there.  

Isn't this the happiest picture?!  
I simply love everything full of color and orange is my most favorite!


Drink well, lovelies!

Make the pledge to swap candy for Cuties this Valentine’s Day by downloading their sweet anthem here: http://bit.ly/1SWfPRQ. Cuties announced that if they get to 10,000 song downloads the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, a city with top downloads will be taken over by Cuties, spreading sweetness and love. The takeover will be broadcasted live on Periscope, so everyone can follow along as Cuties spreads the love!


This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Cuties & Mighties blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Happy Weekend Fun!


  Happy Weekend, Lovelies!  


Don't forget to play with your food this weekend! 

Don't forget to follow  little island studios on Instagram for family fun, healthy living and style!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

God, Love & Food - Part 2


We are called on to love one another.  Love being the greatest of hope, faith and love.



I just wrote God, Love & Food, Part 1 - did you read it?  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

There is nothing that is more disheartening to me than Christians (or people in general) that are so quick to judge and condem sins.  Now, please keep in mind picking and choosing the sins that are not relating to yourself is not acceptable, yet this is what is done.

For example:

A three hundred pound obese woman condemning a person for smoking pot.

A man that is adamantly and out-spoken against the "evils" of homosexuality all-the-while committing adultery.

Is this who Christians have become?  Have we always been like this?

Religion is a people thing.  People mess things up.  God is love.  Love is kinda His thing.  The New Testament alone is full of love more than anything else.

So you know...these are examples.  I am actually okay with the hemp and gay couples.  Not so much, the adultery and judgmental attitudes.  

Love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. - Corinthians 13:4-8

Let all that you do be done in love.

Love is not co-dependent, hateful, harsh or vengeful or "teaching" others their wrongful and sinful ways.

The older I get, the more I see that everything is connected - nature, real food, kindness, mother earth and love.  Always love.  I see love everywhere and it is beautiful and I believe it is of God.  Love is expressed in a million ways but it is still love.  

                                                    Passion for helping people - love.



Passion for food, wellness and taking care of your body - love.

A man that has been with the same partner for twenty years and that is completely devoted to him in love and still smiles warmly when he walks in the room - LOVE.

Hiking in the woods, admiring the wonder of it all and thanking God for his goodnesss - love.

Mothers sitting on the floor playing and laughing with their children.

Fathers coming in from working all day and kissing their wives.

Adopting.

Buying a homeless person a hot sandwich and a drink, looking them in the eyes with kindness - LOVE.

A mother showing kindness for another mother, despite their differences in beliefs about raising children. 

Helping without expectations of what you may receive in return.

Letting a spider or bug out of your house safely.  
(not roaches...they must all die)

Love one another today, lovelies.  Let your children and others see you be kind to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or social status.

Love.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

God, Love & Food. Part 1


I have told myself that I would not post or discuss several things in my blogging and religion is one of them.  So, this may or may not come out as intended.  But in today's age and our current health situation, I feel I must.  No, not regularly...but allow me this once. 


I have seen so many articles, posts and comments regarding God, food and religion lately, that I just wanted to express my feelings.  This is not meant to ruffle feathers, but make us think about exactly who we are and who God may be.


I believe Christians are getting (or have had all along) a bad image.  Christians, or at least the outspoken ones seem to be very vocal and quite frankly judgmental.  And at times completely deluded.   I know they (sometimes me) mean well.  

These are my thoughts in no certain order.  I recently had several moms post their "healthy" foods and suggest that others eat healthy too.  While that is great advice, I did mention to them that the food they posted was in fact not healthy but full of GMOs, factory farmed animals and pesticide laden chemicals.  (yes, I know that's obnoxious but, food is what I do).  

They were not at all offended and seemed to know all of this and suggested to me that they prayed over the food and therefore it would not harm them.  I asked about my loved ones who had gotten Cancer.  They suggested that my loved ones were not faithful enough.  Seriously? 

It is completely insulting to even suggest that if my husband and other loved ones had prayed harder over their pesticide processed food, they would not have gotten Cancer (and autoimmune and other food related diseases).  

Faith is key to Christianity, but ignorance is not.  

God did not give us minds and intelligence to not use them.  It is talked about in the new testament about meat and whether or not is ok.  I believe it is Paul in Romans 14: 1-23, who says it is fine to eat meat as long as it does not go against his conscience.  The Jewish people had so many rules about food back then, that Paul was simply saying meat or no meat - just honor God.   So, I am not here to debate meat or no meat.   That is none of my business, that is between you and God.

What I am here debating is the fact that our food system is poisoned and as Christians, we should be aware of that.  Treat your body like a temple.  Have you heard that?  This means take care of your body.  Be aware and educated of what you are eating.  I find it hard to believe that God finds our current food system of His standards.  Hardly.  We are to be good stewards of the earth.

Think.

We are to treat animals, each other and our planet with respect.  Factory farming, dumping billions of dangerous Cancer causing pesticides and GMOs (genetically engeeered seeds that are patented through big ag corporations) are all completely against God.
Think about it.

Picture this:  A Sunday school class watching a factory farmed video about where your hamburger meat comes from.  The cows are side by side, diseased and sick.  In pain from the physical abuse by their "care takers".  Living in their own feces.  And off to the slaughter they go.  Where they are cut up - alive.  Your dinner - Cancer riden and tortured before arriving to you neatly packaged in your local grocer.  Yum?

Apologies for the somewhat graphic description, but that is accurate.   

As a Christian, do you approve?  Is this treatment "as unto God"? 

Proverbs 12:10  

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. 

Is this as God intended when he said in Genesis 1: 21-31 - And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

You make a choice every single time you buy food for your body and your family's.

Whether you eat meat, pork, drink wine (yes, please) or eat only plants, do so to glorify God.

Are you for or against God?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Good Morning Broiled Grapefruit!

Hello, Morning! 

Quite possibly the most refreshing breakfast you can make for yourself is broiled grapefruit.  In the middle of winter snow and dreariness is citrus season.  Enjoy it - citrus season is mother earth's gift for our well-being - mind and body!


Grab some organic pink grapefruit the next time you are at the market.  Include some navels and any other citrus that looks amazing (which is all of it, this time of year) and get cooking.

Quite simply this is the most refreshing breakfast, but also the easiest.  Slice your grapefruit.  Turn on the oven broiler.  Top your grapefruit halves with Manuka honey, Ceylon cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.  Broil for 2 minutes, or until warmed.
Enjoy!

Mornings are my favorite part of the day!
Pure happiness!  
If you follow little island studios on Instagram, you already know this!


You're welcome!

Other options for toppings - pure maple syrup, ginger root, chia seeds or sea salt.  

What do you like to add on top of your broiled grapefruit?