Recipes

Mouthwatering Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Hey Embarquers!

It’s Thursday- in case you forgot ;-)- woot woot!

I have a lovely recipe for cookies that are perfect for any type of day- rainy, sunny, windy, or snowy (for those in the North). This is a twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie that many adore.

Salivating yet?

cookie

Ingredients:

-1 stick and 6 Tbs of butter

-3/4 C of brown sugar

-1/2 C of sugar

-2 eggs

-1 tsp of vanilla

-1 1/2 C flour

-1/2 tsp of salt

-1 tsp of baking soda

-1 tsp on cinnamon

-3 C of Quaker Oats

-1 C semi sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

1.) Heat your oven to 350 degrees F

2.) In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and the butter

cookie1cookie2

3.) Add in your eggs and vanilla and beat together

cookie3cookie4

4.) In a separate bowl, mix together the salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and flour

cookie5cookie6

5.) Pour your dry ingredients mixture to the wet ingredients until thoroughly mixed

cookie7

6.) Add in your oatmeal and chocolate chips and combine all the ingredients together

cookie8

7.) Create 1.5″ balls and place on a greased baking sheet

cookie9

8.) Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is golden brown

cookie10cookie11

Channel your inner Betty Crocker, and enjoy!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

DIY Herb Garden

Happy Tuesday, Embarquers!

It feels like this is the time of the year when people start to get the mid-winter blues. The best way to relief this feeling is by adding some greenery to your home. This not only adds color to your home, but fresh oxygen as well.

Here in Texas, the home improvement stores are starting to get potted herbs. In the northern areas, there are seeds that are available for purchase (if there aren’t potted herbs available).

This is a simple project that only requires 30 minutes of active time. Below are the details:

 

Items needed:

herb5

-Wine crate (available at Total Wine for $10, but note there’s a limited supply- call ahead to see if there’s inventory)

-Minwax wood stain (I used English Chestnut)

-Paint brush

-Rag

-Organic potting soil

-Potted herbs, or herb seeds (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand of: basil, parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano)

 

Directions:

1.) Take your wine crate, and set on a painting blanket or canvas to protect your flooring. Make sure all of the surfaces on the crate are clean (if there are stickers present that you don’t wish to have present, simply take a wet paper towel, and allow for it to sit on the sticker for 15 minutes, and scrape off. (Note: Your crate may also have parts of the lid sticking out of the top…grab a Phillips Screwdriver and hammer and push out the piece of wood stuck in between the staple and the crate. Second, when your screwdriver is still in between the staple and the crate, push your screwdriver toward the bottom of the crate and the staple will release.)

herb6

2.) Paint on a coat for stain, and wipe off the excess stain with your rag. Stain all exterior surfaces of the crate. Stain the top quarter of the crate (to insure you’re not painting the area the soil will be touching and leaching into your herbs). Let the crate sit in the sun until fully dry.

Note: For those of you that have never stained before, the stain will not adhere to the wood the same in all areas… some areas will have a darker tint than others, but that adds the character to your piece, so it’s okay  😉

 

 

3.) Once your crate is dry, line the crate with newspaper. (The reason I do this is because I don’t want soil coming through the bottom cracks where the planks of wood meet, and it also keeps the wood from getting stained if you decide to use the crate for a later use.) Fill your crate 2/3 full of soil. Dig 6 deep holes (deep enough to fit your potted herbs). Place your herbs in the hole, and sprinkle on additional soil to hide all remains of the potted herbs soil. (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand because the planters the herbs come in are compostable. There’s no need to take your plants out of the container- simply place your plant in the ground and cover with soil.)

herb3herb4herb10

herb11

 

Note: If you’re using seeds, I recommend taking a wet paper towel, fold your seeds in the towel, place in an unsealed Ziploc bag overnight and allow the seeds to germinate. In the morning, you will see each set of seeds will be covered in mold (this is good). Plant your seeds in a quarter inch deep hole, cover and water.

herb13herb14

4.) Mark all of your herbs with the proper labels (feel free to get crafty with your labels), and attend with the recommended care.

herb17herb16herb18herb15

Get out there and find your inner green thumb.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

Make a Statement Collage Wall

Happy Thursday!

I’m sure you’ve seen collage walls on Pinterest and how to create one of your own. I think all of the tutorials have great valid pointers, but quite frankly, most people don’t have the time for the long tutorials given. An example would be to trace every frame on butcher paper, lay out a variety of designs, pick one you like, tape it to the wall, then find where the nail hook is on the paper, mark it, hammer the nails, put up the pictures and if you don’t like it, START ALL OVER 😦 … Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea if you have an entire afternoon to play around and like to see the spacing before putting up the pictures (Click here for an awesome tutorial on a tutorial that uses butcher paper).

Personally, I like to wing my projects. It always ends up in a different direction I didn’t anticipate, but enjoy the outcome much more than the original plan (you’ll see that I end up playing around with the collage a little bit).

Let’s get to it!

 

What you need:

-Level with a measuring stick

-Nails (as many as it takes)

-Toothpaste (yes, I’m serious)

-Hammer

-Pictures and accessories to hang (don’t be afraid to add quirky items- this is about you and your story)

 

Directions:

1.) Lay out your collage on the floor. Remember to have fun with it and play around- this isn’t a something on The Amazing Race where you need to complete a task as quickly as possible and solve a puzzle. Relax, pour yourself a glass of wine if it helps the creative juices flow 😉 (and you’re 21+).

Keep in mind:

  • When you’re laying out your photos, try to keep them within a certain range of inches from one another. Almost every image is within 1 to 2 inches or another item.
  • Another way to keep cohesion is the have one or two colors in each piece, I went with the black frames and gold as an accent color.
  • Every item (with an exception or two) is in line with at least two items. This is easier to see in the finished product, but at least two edges will line up with two other items. Scroll to the bottom if you’re a little confused.

 

photo

2.) I started with the piece that made the largest statement (which is the skull of course), and put the pictures up around from there. Now is the time for the toothpaste! Take a frame, and put an itty bitty dot on the back of the frame where you’re going to be hooking the nail. Once you arrange where you want the picture, press your picture against he wall, set your frame to the side, and your toothpaste will mark where you’ll hammer your nail.

photo1

3.) Start to build around your statement piece. Notice, your statement piece doesn’t have to be in the middle of your wall. I put mine to the lefthand side because I wanted to make it a little less predictable. Do whatever works for your style.

photo2

photo3

Yes, I do notice some of the pictures were crooked during the hanging process 😛 the vibration from the hammer hitting the wall will do that, but simple correct your pictures once you’re done.

photo4

I got to this point, and didn’t like where the wall was going, so I added in some art my sister and brother-in-law gave me.

photo7

photo8

Know that it’s okay to change your mind during this process. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time you go through. I suggest altering small sections until it meets the look your aspiring to create.

This project is really much less daunting than it can appear.

Note: When looking for frames, I like to go to stock up on dollar frames at Walmart or the Dollar Store. Pick different frames and paint them to match one another.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself and the time you spend creating this work of art.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor

Bedroom Oasis Makeover

Hey, Embarquers!

I hope your week is off to an awesome start.

I’m sure that many of you have been to Target since the new year- can we take a moment of silence and a have a slow clap for Target’s new home decor line that’s out? I think this line captures what many of us have been waiting for- an eclecticism of mid-century modernism with bohemian and natural elements.

Anyway, let’s get back on track… I was jaunting down the aisles of Target and felt a swell of inspiration to make my bedroom into a space that feels more of a sanctuary than a place the fall asleep after a long day at work. I thoroughly enjoy my duvet set, but since the main color is white and the accent color it navy blue, why not spruce it up and give my room a different vibe?

Ready? Let’s get to it!

bed1

This is an image from my room “as is”. I look at this room and don’t think it looks horrible by any means, but it wasn’t capturing who I am at this moment or where I strive to be. You’re room should always capture who you are or who you want to be. Let’s say your day is always incredibly hectic, and you want something that relaxes you, then that’s where your bedroom should be.

Let’s start off fresh. Remove the euro shams and pillows as well as the coverlet to begin a new slate.

bed2

Pick a color or two that embodies the vibe you’re aiming at achieving.

This was a euro pillow I had on my living room couch. It captured the relaxed feeling you need in your room of rest.

bed5

bed3

Pick a coverlet that coordinates with your euro sham (for a coverlet, a thin quilt is a wonderful option- it adds a thin but warm layer to your bed).

From there add a throw blanket (with varying texture) on top of the coverlet that doesn’t blend in or match, give a little contrast for depth.

bed6

Toss on a harmonizing throw pillow and fall in love with your bed again.

bed11

Similar Throw Pillows

bed7

$19.99 Buy Here

bed8

$29.99 Buy Here

Coverlets:

bed9

$59.47- $67.99 Buy Here

bed16

$59.47- $67.99 Buy Here

Blankets:

bed17

$29.99 Buy Here

bed20

$29.49 Buy Here

Time to get off the couch, and make your bedroom the oasis you’ve always dreamed of having.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Recipes

5 Minute Healthy Breakfast to Go

Hey, Embarquers!

A constant struggle I hear about is getting a heathy breakfast to go in the morning. I was speaking to a personal trainer recently, and I was telling her I also have a difficult time getting a balanced healthy breakfast. She recommended to me that I should microwave eggs in the microwave for two minutes and I’m good to go.

She went on to tell me that it’s vital to get protein in the morning to keep you full and quick start your metabolism. The recommendation starts at 80 grams per day of protein, and can get as high as your body weight in pounds equated to grams. This means if you’re 140 lbs, and working out avidly, you should be eating 140 grams of protein per day, that is A LOT!

I love eggs, but I don’t like eating them on their own (personally, I think they need more flavor). I picked some items I found in my fridge and freezer to add and made a delicious and hearty breakfast.

Bacon Egg Onion and Avocado in a Cup

Ingredients:

eggs

-2 eggs

-a splash or two of milk

-a green onion, chopped (I use a kitchen scissors)

-2 pieces of bacon chopped (already cooked bacon stored in the freezer)

-half an avocado

-salt and pepper to taste

Note: If you don’t enjoy onion, feel free to add in something else, i.e. celery or bell peppers. Also, it cuts down on time if you cut your veggie ahead of time. During the weekends, I like to cut up a plethora of veggies so I can prepare meals in a more efficient fashion during the week.

 

Directions:

1.) Grab a mug, microwave your frozen bacon for 10 seconds

2.) Crack your eggs in the mug, add a splash of milk (or two), sprinkle on green onion on top and whip together with a fork until thoroughly mixed.

 

3.) Microwave for 2 minutes. While your eggs are in the microwave, take your avocado, cut it in half, slice the avocado (not piecing the skin), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and scoop out the avocado half. Place the avocado on top of your egg soufflé. Grab a spoon, and get on your way!

eggs7

eggs5

eggs8

This is a quick and easy breakfast that will keep you full all morning as well as help you get the nutrition your body needs.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Projects

New Year, New Start- Part 2

Happy Thursday!

 

I hope you’re all having quick-moving week. This is part two that will also help you improve your daily life by getting yourself organized.

Personally, I didn’t realize this space was unorganized until my parents made a comment about… the pantry. I recognize that not every kitchen has a pantry, so you have the ability to do this in any of your kitchen cabinets.

Let’s get organized!

Step 1: Take EVERYTHING out of your pantry (I cheated a little and kept the top shelf items because I knew I wasn’t going to touch them and they were food-free). Mark my words, you will find  food in there that you had no idea that you had. In addition, you will find many items have expired. For some reason, I had two boxes of graham crackers that were… expired (don’t judge 😉 ). Then, throw away everything that’s expired, stale or not going to get eaten. I know it’s difficult to throw food, and it feels like a complete waste, but it’s not as it you can un-expire the food by holding on to it… let’s be real.

pantry2

Step 2: Put your food into groupings. This means, all of your canned food items together, baking ingredients, snacks, etc…you get the point. Take not on how many categories you have, and how much space each category takes up. (Don’t forget to clean your shelves with kitchen cleaner.)

Step 3: Get your booty on over to HomeGoods, Marshalls or T.J. Maxx and buy up these handy dandy refrigerator bins. You don’t have to buy the Frigidaire brand, but I liked the shape and handles on these bins. These are only $7 per bin. Walmart had similar bin was $13, so I could buy almost twice as many at HomeGoods!

pantry1

Step 4: Place your items from each category in your bins, and place in your pantry according to how frequently you use a specific bin. If you want to take it to the next level like I did, print labels for each bin. You don’t need a label maker. You can simply type and print the categories on a piece of paper, and tape it on your bins.

pantry5

pantry4

 

Take the time to organize your pantry. This is going to not only save you time when it comes to food prep, but also make you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, I promise.

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

New Year, New Start

Happy New Year, Embarquers!

I’m so excited what this new year has in store for you. It’s a fresh new start where the possibilities are endless. I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for you and ways to improve your daily life. I want to start by organizing you bathroom.

I believe your bathroom should be a spa-like atmosphere- free of clutter.

Now, that being said, I am going to be quite vulnerable with each of you- please don’t judge. Before I started this project, my bathroom was a little chaotic, disheveled, and… messy…

 

mbath2

mbath3

mbath4

 

mbath1

I’m showing you this because I always want to be authentic with all of you, and not pretend that I have everything together. This is a journey for all of us to go through, and I’m excited to improve my life with each of you.

In order to get your place organized and a more relaxing environment, I would follow these three simple steps:

1.) De-Junk: This is a very important step. Go through all of your toiletries, and throw out everything that’s used, but not with your current skincare and beauty routine (this is true for the males just as much as the females). If some products aren’t going to be used and haven’t been opened, feel free to donate them to your friends. This can be a very freeing feeling, getting rid of all the clutter and items you’ll never use. Also, check the expiration dates. This may surprise you, but many items do have a date of expiration.

2.) Clean: I bleached every surface in my bathroom to create a clean and fresh space. You can use whatever must-purpose cleaner you like to use, but I prefer bleach because I know everything is getting as clean as possible (plus I enjoy the scent- I know… it’s not good for me 😦 ).

3.) Organize: I purchased this large linen cabinet at Lowes for $95, it has been a complete game changer. The best way to justify this is by considering this an investment in the bathroom. You’re putting equity in your home by adding in this storage (it’s similar to a custom built-in). You can either keep this as a piece of furniture, or screw it to the studs in your wall (if it matches your cabinets). I kept my white because the trim and doors in my home are white, but I white isn’t you color, I would paint the cabinet a fun accent color  (a nice neutral gray would coordinate with almost any cabinet).

mbath8

For counter organization, I went to Target and purchased an awesome toiletry organizer for $25, and it’s definitely my favorite organizer I’ve purchased. I also bought the matching soap dispenser at Target for $13. It’s better to buy a soap dispenser rather than a disposable dispenser because it’s much more economical to buy the refill pack and (my favorites are Pecksniff’s England Lavender and White Tea Soap (available at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods), and Method Soap French Lavender at Target).

makeup

 

I put only the items on my counter are the ones I use every day, so please keep in mind, the less the better.

mbath11

mbath9

mbath10

This should help you get your motivation and just do it! Set aside a day and get your bathroom organized.

With Love,

Jenna