diy: geometric mini-planter

diy: geometric mini-planter
This little planter is perfect for Valentine's Day without being over-the-top and cliche. Make one for yourself, or one for a friend who thinks Valentine's Day succs.

what you need: mini terra-cotta pot, paint & brush, tape, succulent & soil
diy: geometric mini-planter diy: geometric mini-planter  diy: geometric mini-planter
Tape off the section you want to paint (I decided on three triangle shapes) and paint it completely. Allow to dry and then add your next shape. Continue until you are happy with the design. Lastly, plant your succulent and voila! A mini-planter.
diy: geometric mini-planter

essential oils

essential oils essential oils
Essential oils. Until about a month ago, I reacted like this every time I heard someone use those two buzz words in a sentence. I cringed when people bragged about how 3 drops of eucalyptus cured their child's asthma and fear of the dark, or how they handmade a batch of deodorant with equal parts patchouli, lavender and dirt.

I'll admit it, I was a skeptic. Until one day I found myself in our local health food co-op looking for some fancy cheese. Before I knew it I'd fallen into a rabbit hole of yoga mats and healing stones, two of essential oils' best friends. They had 20 oil samples out, all of which I read up on and inhaled. Suddenly I was home on the couch eating cheese while ordering oils and a diffuser on Amazon. I didn't even know who I was anymore. As I clicked purchase I thought, "Am I an oiler? Should I hide this from Kevin and only diffuse in the closet?"

While I'm not going to be throwing away our Lysol wipes and Tylenol anytime soon, I must admit that I'm impressed by how well the oils have helped cure common ailments and uplift my spirits. Diffusing some peppermint in the morning really does help me wake up, lavender helps me relax, and sweet orange makes me feel less moody on off-days (then again, so does this stuff called 'chocolate' which has been used for years). I really like this diffuser because it's super quiet, you can control the night-light on it and the speed it diffuses, and it blends into our house nicely (not an eyesore like some diffusers).

If you are a skeptic like I was, I suggest you give essential oils a try for yourself!
essential oils

recipe: 3-bean chili + jalapeno cornbread

recipe: 3-bean chili + jalapeno cornbread
When it gets chilly, it's time for chili! I've been making this vegetarian version for years and it's a household favorite. You can play around with the ingredients to make it spicier or more mild.

chili ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 anaheim pepper, diced
1 package soyrizo
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. cumin
cornbread ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 jalapenos, chopped
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 eggs

recipe: 3-bean chili + jalapeno cornbread  recipe: 3-bean chili + jalapeno cornbread
To make the chili: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, then add the garlic, peppers and soyrizo and cook about 10 minutes. Add the beans and crushed tomatoes, then stir in the quinoa. Season with spices and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve warm and garnish with sour cream, green onions, avocado, jalapeno, chips/crackers, etc. Whatever you like!
To make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 375. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together separately. Then combine together by folding in the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Stir until moist. Scoop into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
recipe: 3-bean chili + jalapeno cornbread