Drab Bathroom? Spruce It Up!

The bathroom is my least favorite room in our house.  Its old, small and generally blah. However, it’s visited often and is the one room in the house that you can be sure guests will visit, so of course you want it to look nice. So what can you do aside from a full remodel to spruce things up and make it more interesting and aesthetically pleasing? Heres what I did…..

1. Add a punch of color and pattern! It visually draws interest and focuses attention away from the rooms less than desirable features.

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This is my funky little shower curtain.

2. Add an interesting plant. Plants do a wonderful job of purifying the air and in addition usually do really well in bathrooms because of the amount of humidity they get everyday.  I have a Fittonia plant otherwise known as “the nerve plant” due to its leaves that resemble the human bodies network of branching nerves.  Considering I’m in the medical field, this plant is perfectly appropriate 🙂 In addition, it is a humidity and water hog and thrives in the bathroom environment with indirect light.

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My little Fittonia happily thriving on the bathroom countertop.

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Close up of the “nerves”.  How cool are these leaves?!

3. Add something unique. It can be a picture you took yourself of something you love. An interesting book. A relic you’ve picked up on a trip, or just something fun like this q-tip holder I picked up on a recent trip to Philadelphia.

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I crack up every time I look at this hedgehog. I think it’s so adorably cute!

4. If all else fails…..you can always add a cat! Hahaha, just kidding. I had to add that because my cat Feliks is looking ridiculously handsome in this picture and I needed a good excuse to post it 🙂

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Our Siberian cat Feliks. Isn’t he handsome?

Thats all for today! Happy sprucing up 🙂

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Modern Simple Succulents

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One of my favorite displays of potted succulents accenting our backyard dining table.

If you ask me, succulents are one of the most incredible looking plants around. They add unique pops of fresh color and texture to both pots and landscape. As an added bonus, they are super easy to care for! Many are intimidated by succulents because they think they require special care, but succulents are probably one of the easiest plants to keep and are very rewarding. If cared for correctly succulents will last a lifetime. No joke. Here are some simple tips for planting and keeping succulents.

Tips For Planting and Caring for Succulents:

  • Succulents can be purchased at almost any nursery and often can be found at big box outdoor stores as well.
  • When planting succulents make sure to use a pot with multiple drainage holes. Succulents will rot easily if they are left to sit in damp soil.
  • Use a potting mix formulated especially for succulents or cactus. You can also make your own by using regular potting soil mixed with sand and small stones for easy drying and drainage.
  • Now that you’re ready to pot, pot succulents as you would any other flower. Gently manipulate the roots, place in pot or ground and cover roots with soil up to the base of the succulent.
  • DO NOT WATER succulent immediately as you would regular potted plants. Wait 24 hours and then provide the succulent with a light watering. Thereafter you only need to provide a light soaking of water every 2-3 weeks.
  • Most succulents thrive in sunlight with the exception of a few varieties. So indirect sunlight is usually a safe bet.
  • Lastly, there is no need to fertilize your succulents they tend not to handle the excess nitrogen well.

There you have it, all you have to do now is enjoy!!!

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Some seriously large and old growth succulents I inherited from my husbands grandmother. Are they not stunning?!

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Here is a simple unassuming succulent display I have near my front door entrance.

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A close up of the rubbery leaves.

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Simple succulents resting on unfinished ash tree table in the backyard.

My favorite bunch of succulents making the backyard table (which my hubby made out of repurposed wood) look even more amazing.

Keep posted for a feature on our transformed backyard that my husband built himself from the ground up 🙂 

 

 

Paleo Pumpkin Custard Cups

Are you looking for a dessert that is quick, easy and nutritious?  Can’t be true right?  Nope, it’s true!! These pumpkin cups are amazing. You MUST try them. Pumpkin is a great source of dietary fiber and pure maple syrup (not the fake kind) is loaded with over 50 compounds that help regulate blood sugar, decrease inflammation and even help ward off cancer forming cells. Im not saying that you should chug pure maple syrup everyday, but you may want to consider replacing table sugar and other sweeteners for it (of course, if you are diabetic please consult your practitioner first). My mother in law first introduced me to these scrumptious desserts a few months ago and since then i’ve made countless batches tweaking the recipe each time till I found the best balance of flavors. Here it is 🙂

Paleo Pumpkin Custard Cups

1 can pumpkin

1 can coconut milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp cinnamon (you can add more if you really like it! I usually do.)

2 eggs

pinch of salt

*You will also need 4 or 5 small ramekins and a baking pan big enough to fit the ramekins in.

 Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

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 Mix away!

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Place ramekins inside baking dish and fill with the pumpkin mixture. After the ramekins are full, fill the baking dish with an inch of water. This helps to not dry them to a crisp in the oven 🙂

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Place in the oven uncovered and bake for 90 minutes. Keep in mind cooking times may be less if you have shallow ramekins. When they are done they should  be somewhat firm to the touch and have a very small amount of browning on top. I like to shave a little bit of maple sugar on top right before serving-yum! They can be served hot or cold. Enjoy!!

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One Pretty Awesome Sunscreen!

If you are anything like me, 20 minutes in the sun will leave you with some sweet tan lines and a nice burn. I guess thats what predominantly german genes buys me :). On a beautiful day you really don’t want to spend most of the day indoors, you want to enjoy it right?! Me too! With that said, we all know it’s pretty darn important (especially for the fair skinned) to slather up with sunscreen before enjoying some fun in the sun, even if its just sitting on your patio with a good read. Unfortunately, most sunscreens leave you either feeling massively sticky, greasy or white as a ghost (thank you zinc oxide). This is even more true if you like to stay away from the chemical based sunscreens and stick with the mineral based ones. I am all about natural, you all know this, but I just cannot get over the white look and the heavy feel of the mineral sunscreens which use a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to block UVA and UVB rays. If you feel the same way I’ve got a solution! I present below Coola Classic sunscreen for the body and for the face :). The only sunscreen I am willing to wear every single day.

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This sunscreen utilizes organic ingredients, is broad spectrum with an SPF of 30 and is oxybenzone free!!!  Whats oxybenzone you ask? Well, its a very common ingredient in mainstream sunscreens that has recently been suspected as hazardous to the body. It is correlated with endocrine disruption, cellular dysplasia and photoallergic skin reactions. Why use a sunscreen that contains it if one without works just as well?  In addition, Coolas sunscreen is NOT at all greasy and smells amazing! It offers a silky smooth feel, mostly organic ingredients and broad spectrum SPF coverage. It is a little pricey for a sunscreen but in my opinion is 100% worth it. Give it a try, you can thank me later 🙂 http://www.coolasuncare.com