If you have ever attempted to put Ikea furniture together you are probably aware that the process can be tough enough to dissolve even the strongest of relationships. Ikea’s new REGISSÖR line is an attempt to address this pain point. The company promises that its new bookshelf, cabinets, and coffee table can be constructed in a mere five minutes. We are eagerly awaiting pricing and release dates!

 

We love fall because it means that its PUMPKIN SEASON. This pumpkin and sage soup is on of our favorite fall recipes from Foodie Crush.

FoodieCrush-Pumpkin-Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 sugar pie pumpkins
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 pound butter or 2 cubes, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 bunch sage, reserving a dozen leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Over medium heat, heat oil in a large stockpot, add onions and bring temperature down to medium-low to sweat onions until translucent. Meanwhile, cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds.

3. Place sage leaves in each pumpkin half and place on a baking sheet, skin side down. Brush with a 1 tablespoon melted butter and roast for 45 minutes.

4. When softened and pumpkins can be pierced with a fork, remove from oven and peel skin from pumpkins.

5. Combine pumpkin with remaining ingredients into stock pot, except butter with onions. Simmer for 1/2 hour.

6. Remove from heat and add mixture to blender in batches, incrementally adding butter and onions. Adjust seasoning to taste.

7. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons reserved butter and add reserved sage leaves. Sauté until lightly browned.

8. Serve soup with a dollop of mascarpone, fried sage leaves and a whirl of olive oil if desired.

 

Our friends over at  Just a Taste posted this deliciously treat that we just had to share. It will curb your cravings with out all the guilt! Try this one before it gets too cold out!

5-minute-healthy-strawberry-frozen-yogurtIngredients:

  • 4 cups frozen strawberries
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (non-fat or full fat)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • Add the frozen strawberries, agave nectar (or honey), yogurt and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve the frozen yogurt immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  • Kelly’s Notes:
  • I prefer a more tart frozen yogurt, but you can add additional agave nectar or honey if you want a sweeter-tasting dessert.
  • Fresh strawberries can be used in place of frozen, however the fresh strawberries must be frozen solid.

 

If you can’t remember then it’s probably time to give them a good cleaning. Pillows collect dust, dirt and skin and we recommend that you wash them about once every two months. The Frugal Adventurer has some great tips on how to clean your pillows at home.

Tips to Clean Microfiber or Feather Pillows:

1. First check the pillow.  If it is yellowed or stained, you want to treat the pillow (see tip #4).  If your pillow seems pretty floppy and thin, it is probably time to just replace the pillow.  You should get fresh pillows about once a year or at least once every two years.

(Give your pillow a karate chop in the center and fold it over. If it stays in the folded position it is for sure time to replace.  If it bounces back to a flat position you have a nice pillow and no need to replace.)

2. Pillows should be washed in the washing machine every 3 months.  Check the care instructions first on your pillow but if you cut off that tag you should be able to just pop them in the washing machine.  You want to wash with hot or warm water and it is very important to get the moisture out from washing the pillow (or it can get moldy inside and seriously how gross is that?)   A second spin cycle on the washing machine is a great idea to really push out a lot of moisture.

If you feel fancy you can put a few drops of essential oils (lavender is nice or maybe rosemary or something calming) in the rinse cycle to give them a hint of fragrance.  Your face will be smooshed into the pillow so if fragrances bother you or you have any skin issues don’t do this.

3. When you are ready to put the pillow in the washing machine, try to push all the air out of your pillows first and add 2 pillows at a time to balance the load.   If you have a top load washing machine, try to fit the pillows in vertically instead of horizontally so they don’t get wrapped around the thing-y in the middle of the washing machine.    If you really smash the pillows down to get all the air out it will help to fit them in the washing machine.  (I have King size pillows on our bed so I have to go Crocodile Dundee style on my pillows to squish them enough to fit nicely inside our front load washer.)

4. If you have yellowed pillows or pillows that are a tiny bit smelly- you can try a few things.  First you can add 1/2 cup baking soda or 1/2 cup vinegar with your laundry soap to the machine.  The vinegar is for odor and the baking soda helps with both odor and stains.   If your pillows are really in need of TLC from staining and such I would use the hot water for sure on your load.

And once they are nice and clean it is time to dry the pillows:

1. As mentioned above it is super important to get all the moisture out.  It is best to dry the pillows on a low setting for a long time as opposed to a short time on a hot setting.

2. I like to add two tennis balls to my dryer and the bouncing motion of the tennis balls does two things- it helps fluff the pillows and it also helps to beat the heck out of the moisture inside the pillows. Depending on your tennis balls- if they have that yucky plastic-y smell to them or they are a bright color, you might want to pop the tennis balls inside a clean, white sock first.  That will protect your pillow against any odor and discoloration.

(Side note–I have tennis balls on hand because they are awesome for working out tight shoulder muscles or pain from exercise.  Just position your back against a wall and put the tennis ball where it hurts and push.  Almost like a mini massage.)

3. Once you think the pillows have dried long enough take them out and give them a giant hug.  You are feeling for any moisture and you might as well push your head into the pillow and smell.  (My family already thinks I am crazy so they wouldn’t bat an eye at this, but if you have yours fooled into thinking you are normal you might do this in a private place.)  You are smelling for any dampness and if it does still smell damp just toss back in the dryer.

All done!  You can hit the hay tonight knowing you have perfectly washed and clean pillows.  Yeah!

 

Banana Republic and Finnish fashion house Marimekko announce the Banana Republic Marimekko Collection – a limited-edition capsule that uniquely marries Banana Republic’s modern, American style with some of Marimekko’s most iconic textile designs – offering a spirited collection of dresses, separates and accessories for women that will make her summer wardrobe “pop.” The women’s capsule collection launches exclusively at select Banana Republic locations worldwide and online in late May 2014.

“Marimekko’s unique design of pattern and colour has always inspired me as a designer,” says Banana Republic Vice President of Women’s Design, Melloney Birkett. “With this summer capsule, we wanted to create a collection that marries Marimekko’s iconic prints with our signature silhouettes. We were inspired by Marimekko founder Armi Ratia’s motto of, ‘Stand out from the rest,’ and we designed a collection of must-have summer standouts.”

We can’t wait to see the rest of the collection!

A fresh cup of green juice is a great way to start your day. There are many health benefits to homemade cold pressed juice.

  1.  Nutrients are absorbed quickly and efficiently
  2. Nutrient intake is increased exponentially
  3. A larger variety of vegetables are consumed
  4. Helps improve hydration
Image from lunchbox.com

Here are some of our favorite juicing recipes to try at home:

The Best Green Juice

  • 5 large leaves of kale, ribs discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and pith removed
  • 1 large apple, roughly chopped
  • A 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint

Martha Stewards Morning Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 green pear, such as Anjou, halved
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger
  • 2 sections of orange, rind left on

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Breakfast Juice

  • 75g chopped kale (discard the thick rib in the centre of the leaf)
  • 240ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp soaked raw almonds
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Cucumber Basil and Lime Juice

  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ lime, zest and pith removed
  • 1 apple, cut into wedges

This recipe from Women’s Running is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without packing in too many calories. Fruit, nuts and protein-rich quinoa team up to create a supercharged dessert!

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. honey, divided
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1-inch piece ginger, finely minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for at least 4 hours
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp. nutmeg

Place quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until quinoa is tender and water has absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool. Fluff quinoa with a fork, place in a large mixing bowl and toss with blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, nuts and mint. In a small saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp. honey, lime zest, lime juice and ginger over low heat until honey has liquefied. Pour honey mixture over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk without shaking it, and scoop the thick cream that has risen to the top into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the cornstarch until it has a whipped consistency. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, and beat in the remaining honey, vanilla and nutmeg. To serve, place quinoa fruit salad in serving bowls and top with cream.

This recipe from 100 Days of Real Food is perfect for your holiday table. Healthy and delicious. What more could you ask for?

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups torn kale leaves, big ribs removed and discarded
  • ½ an apple, cut into thin, 1- inch pieces (I went with Honey Crisp, but Gala would be good as well)
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
 INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a small jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Place the kale leaves into a large salad bowl and, using your hands, sort of massage the olive oil mixture into the leaves.
  3. Throw the apples, walnuts, and blue cheese on top of the kale and lightly toss to combine.