Green Hummus

I love making hummus! It is such an easy, tasty, and healthy snack. I love to eat it with veggies, tortilla chips, or as a spread in wraps. This version is packed with healthy nutrients from spinach. Plus, it's also a very lovely green color. Some people mistake it for guacamole at first glance, although it doesn't taste like it at all.
I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of spinach. I know it's healthy, so I force myself to eat a spinach salad now and then, but I'm not a fan of the flavor and I can still taste it in a salad, even if smothered in salad dressing. This hummus, however tastes nothing like spinach! It's awesome! The lemon oil is really the key, I think. It has such a delicious  fresh lemon flavor! This is my new favorite way to eat spinach! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Herbed Green Hummus (Original recipe can be found here)
1 can (or approximately 2 cups cooked) garbanzo beans
2 handfuls of organic baby spinch
1 TB sesame oil
1TB tahini paste
1 TB olive oil
4 drops thyme essential oil
4 drops  lemon essential oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
water to achieve desired consistency

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve chilled with your choice of crackers chips, veggies, etc. I find that the flavors deepen after it's had some time to set, so make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours and it will taste even better!


Lavender Oatmeal Facial Scrub

Everyone knows that oatmeal is a heart-healthy food, but did you know it's good for your skin too? Colloidal oatmeal, or fine, powdered oats moisturizes, helps relieve itching, and soothes irritated skin. When my poor husband got a severe case of poison oak, the doctor had him soak in oatmeal baths to help relieve the painful rash. Oatmeal also has excellent exfoliation properties. It gently helps scrape away dead and dry skin cells from your body. Dead skin cells increase the appearance of fine lines, so exfoliating regularly will help your skin stay healthier and help you look younger.
This easy to make facial scrub also utilizes the many benefits of lavender. Lavender is well known for it's relaxing properties, but it also has many other desirable characteristics. It has long been used for a multitude of reasons. It's calming aroma is a perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day.

Lavender Oatmeal Scrub:
1/2 Cup Oatmeal 
Using a food processor, pulse until a fine-ground texture is achieved.
Stir in 7-10 drops of therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil
Package this in a pretty jar for an inexpensive and thoughtful gift, or enjoy using it yourself!

To use, take about a tablespoon full of the mix and place it in the palm of your hand. Add enough water to create a paste. Apply the paste to your skin in a gentle circular motion, paying particular attention to your T-zone (The area around your nose and your forehead). Use even pressure and avoid over-scrubbing. Allow the scrub to dry on your skin for a few minutes, then rinse well.

This scrub is also effective when used to exfoliate and soften the skin on the elbows, knees, and the bottoms of your feet. Enjoy!

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Snowy Window Display

I once worked at a cute little shop and one Christmas got to display some decorative panels made with fishing line and white pom poms. They were so cute and ever since, I've been wanting to recreate the idea.
This is the first Christmas living in my new home which has a large front window. I knew as soon as I saw this window that it wold be perfect! It was pretty simple to make, but it did take a little bit of time. Putting on a Christmas movie to watch while you string the pom poms is a great way to make things go more quickly. I found the pom poms on sale at Michaels and I used two different sizes. I also picked up a few inexpensive snowflake ornaments to mix in. I finished the look with fluffy fake snow on top of some decorative white lights along the windowsill I hope this inspires you to create something great for yourself!

(Do you see all those trails across the snow in my yard? Those are from a rooster pheasant who makes his rounds across my front porch and right through my yard, every afternoon lately! He's so beautiful! I keep trying to capture him in a photo, but he's very camera shy.)
I love how this turned out! I've had many compliments on it including one from a complete stranger who stopped by one afternoon to tell me how great it looked. It's really hard to capture in a photo, but I tried. Also, please excuse the very dirty windows. I ran out of time during the warm weather and there's no way I'm going outside to wash windows now! Brrr!


Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins

These pumpkin spice oatmeal muffins are perfect for an autumn breakfast, but why limit yourself? They are so easy to make and so delicious you might find yourself tempted to enjoy them any time of year and any time of day! If you love muffins and pumpkin as much as I do, then you'll eat them whenever you want!
I enjoyed these hot out of the oven (with a little warm butter) for lunch one day. It was the perfect treat to munch while wrapped in a cozy blanket watching the birds outside at my bird feeder. I love watching the birds! That's one of the things I love about this time of year!
Perhaps watching the birds was what inspired me to put sunflower seeds on top of my muffins... Whatever the reason, I found they went perfectly with the pumpkin flavor. Next time I might even mix a few into the batter!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Muffins:
2 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup pumpkin (or winter squash) puree
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
Optional: sunflower seeds and extra oats for top garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, place all ingredients into a food processor (except optional garnish) and blend until smooth. Divide batter into muffin tins. Sprinkle with extra oats and sunflower seeds if desired. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
These are delicious warm, right out of the oven! Try them with a little jam, honey, or some warm butter. Click HERE for a recipe to make delicious wild orange honey butter. Yum! These muffins also make excellent left overs for a quick snack or to pack in a lunch. Enjoy!

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