Internal Bug Repellent

Now that the bugs are biting again, it’s a good idea to have a natural bug repellent on hand, but there are also 2 things you can add to your diet to hopefully prevent the bugs from biting:

  1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar to your daily diet (buy a good quality one like BRAGG). You can add the ACV to a glass of hot or cold water (quick but not the tastiest option), to homemade salad dressings in place of other vinegars, or to homemade soups (I do this for almost every soup I make).
  2. GARLIC: Eat more garlic each day. The list of meals you can add cooked or raw garlic to goes on and on, but some of my favorites include sauteed vegetables, pasta dishes, and baked fish.

acv&garlicphoto credit:

I actually made a delicious homemade salad dressing last night that includes both of these mosquito-deterrents. Simply combine the following, mix well, and enjoy it on your next salad:

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Makes about 8 servings and will last in the fridge up to 4 days. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients depending on your taste buds. I always adjust it a few times before I get it just right.

Hope the bugs leave you alone this 4th of July weekend!


Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Coconut Almond Granola

I finally tried making granola last night and I’m happy to say that it turned out really legit! My favorite granola as a kid was from this restaurant called Peaches in Florida so I wanted to recreate that one, which meant it had to have cinnamon + raisins + coconut + almond. There are lot of different things you can add to a general granola base, but I HIGHLY recommend this combo – it’s just SO tasty.



  • 3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea or kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup honey (or a little more if you like your granola on the sweeter side)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Mix oats, cinnamon & salt in a bowl.
  3. Combine honey, oil & vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until dried ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for an additional 10 minutes (or until granola looks golden brown).
  7. Let the granola cool for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (you will notice it starts to get harder).
  8. Add raisins, coconut & almonds.
  9. You just made granola! Now put it in an airtight container and it should be good for about 2 weeks.
  10. Enjoy! :)


Bean & Broccoli Soup

All Natural Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves (or more if you like) garlic chopped
  • half onion chopped
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen broccoli (I had frozen around so I used that and it turned out great)
  • 2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans
  • 1 box (32 fl oz) of all natural chicken stock + 2 cups good quality water
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a few dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper and/or red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Pour olive oil into large pot on medium-high heat
  2. Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and saute until tender and translucent (about 5 minutes)
  3. Pour in chicken stock + water
  4. Add broccoli + beans
  5. Add apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, cayenne/red pepper flakes, additional salt + pepper to taste
  6. Let simmer for at least 1 hour
  7. Enjoy!

photo credit:

Sweet Potato Breakfast Smoothie

I recently saw Tracy Anderson on the Dr. Oz show and she was talking about this delicious-sounding smoothie recipe that Gwyneth Paltrow helped her to create. With a couple of small tweaks and no microwave involved, I’m happy to say that this smoothie turned out to be the most decadent yet healthy smoothie I have tasted to date.

Photo Credit:

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

  • 2 peeled sweet potatoes boiled or baked
  • 2 cups organic whole milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet/scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Garden of Life’s Vanilla Chai Protein Powder. I’m not a big proponent of protein powders in general, but this one is a raw, vegan, organic protein made from over a dozen sprouted seeds and grains – so it’s actually real food and very high quality)
  • handful of walnuts
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric

It turned out like a pudding! I really liked it that way, but if you don’t want it as thick, simply add more milk. This smoothie is loaded with vitamin A, protein, and healthy fat. It also has the added bonuses of being anti-inflammatory (turmeric) and blood sugar stabilizing (cinnamon). I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

A.N.A. featured on WebMD

I recently had the opportunity to provide some of my favorite homemade, natural beauty recipes to WebMD. I’m really excited to have three of my recipes now featured on the site and I’m even more excited to see WebMD’s interest in the realm of natural beauty!

Here are a few recipes to try at home that will help you get 2013 started off on a naturally beautiful foot:

Soothing Oatmeal Face Mask

Purifying Lemon Ginger Foot Soak

Rejuvenating Coconut Oil Hair Mask

A belated Happy New Year everyone! I hope it’s a very happy and healthy year for you. I want to thank you for being a reader of This blog started out as an outlet for my love of holistic health and natural beauty back in 2008. While I’m still just as passionate about these topics, I know my posts have been a lot less frequent this past year. I truly appreciate everyone who continues to be a reader and I plan on having posts be a lot more frequent in 2013!

Sunny Weather Beverage

It’s the perfect time of year to start making Sun Tea, which is basically any kind of tea you brew using the power of the sun. As long as you have water, tea bags and sunshine you can make yourself some delicious tea.  Yesterday, I decided to make a mix of green and black tea with some fresh mint (pic below).

How to:

  1. Fill a large glass container with some good quality water (cool or room temperature)
  2. Add teabags (about 3-4 bags per half-gallon of H20)
  3. Add a few slices of lemon/lime or a few sprigs of mint (optional)
  4. Cover the container and place it in a location that gets full sunlight (this spot can be indoors or outdoors)
  5. Let the tea brew for at least 3 hours
  6. Refrigerate or pour over ice to drink immediately
  7. Enjoy!

{taken with instagram}

Mango Smoothie Recipe

Last night I tried this delicious, refreshing combo:  MANGO + COCONUT WATER + LIMES

 Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 1 ripe mango (skin removed & chopped into pieces) I especially love champagne mangoes
  • 11 oz coconut water
  • juice of 2 limes

How to:

  1. Combine ingredients in the blender
  2. Blend for a minute (or until all mango is liquified)
  3. Enjoy!




Mango – high in vitamins A & C. Also a great source of potassium and fiber.

Coconut Water aka Nature’s Gatorade – naturally high in 5 essential electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus)

Limes – high vitamin C content

Good Morning Smoothie

This was my very quick, very tasty and very nutritious breakfast today. I especially like having smoothies when I’m not particularly hungry in the morning, but don’t want to skip breakfast. I hope you’ll love it as much as I do and feel great all morning after starting your day with this combo!

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 1 cup organic plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 8 organic blackberries
  • 10 walnuts
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed


  1. Combine all ingredients in blender
  2. Blend for about 1 minute
  3. Enjoy!

Natural Beauty Recipes

If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet (thanks again to my friend, Abby, who exposed me in the early days) then welcome to my favorite online past time – well next to blogging, of course.

Today I thought I would share one of my Pinterest boards that is highly relevant to this blog – NATURAL BEAUTY RECIPES <– Click there to see some of the recipes I’ve collected so far from a DIY Color Booster for Blondes to a Mocha-Frappuccino Facial Mask .

{Whole Living’s DIY Color Booster for Blondes}

On Pinterest already? Follow me here:

Today’s Guest Blogger – Lauren of Crumb Bums

I’m so excited for Lauren of Crumb Bums to be my guest blogger today (especially since it’s been forever since I’ve had a guest blogger). And especially since it’s Lauren!

Lauren is the wife of one of my old co-workers who I became fast friends with (mainly virtually since they now live in St. Louis).  I’m happy to say that since she and Andrew moved away over a year ago, our blogs and common interests (including natural child birth, healthy eating/cooking, and many more) have kept us in regular contact.

If you read her blog, you will quickly see what an incredibly energetic, loving, fun, creative and thoughtful mom she is to her three ridiculously cute boys (see the little Crumb Bums below). Lauren, you truly make me look forward to being a mom one day. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your life and bread with us this morning!


Healthy Snacks for Kids

With 3 boys under the age of 5, we go through our share of snacks around here. And though we occasionally indulge in some not-so-healthy munchies, there are so many healthy options that are just as easy that we can feel good about giving our boys. Not only are we nourishing little growing bodies, we are also responsible for culturing a taste for healthy, nourishing foods for when our kids are adults.

This past weekend, be made a super-healthy banana bread with chia powder (if you’re not familiar with the health benefits of chia, check out Annie’s past post about it!) and whole wheat flour. It’s texture is dense and sweet, perfect for an afternoon snack!
My four-year-old Milo helped me with this one!

Banana Bread with Chia Powder (Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Flaxseed Banana Bread)


1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt (you can use any flavor- this time we used banana mango)
3 ripe bananas (if you like yours less dense, omit one banana)
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into flour
1/4 cup chia seeds, ground into flour (we used chia powder, but you can also use ground flaxseeds)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (bread flour works great too)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Oil a 5×9-inch bread pan
  • In a mixing bowl, mash bananas.

  • Add oil and brown sugar. Add eggs and beat well.

  • Mix in yogurt.
  • Grind rolled oats and chia seeds (or flaxseeds, if using)

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then stir with a whisk until combined.

  • Add dry mixture to banana mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Pour batter into bread pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you don’t have an hour or more to spare, here are some good quick snacks to whip up in no time for the youngins!

Avocado on whole wheat toast with sea salt
Sesame tahini on a honey rice cake
“Ants on a log” (celery filled with natural peanut butter, with raisins)
Apple slices to dip into almond butter mixed with honey and wheat germ
A cheese plate with grapes and crackers
Veggie sticks and hummus

Enjoy your snacking! ~Lauren

Simple Strawberry Smoothie

A friend and I were recently venting to each other how we just can’t seem to find a flavored yogurt with a more reasonable amount of sugar – almost all of the brands have 20-something grams of sugar or more per 6-8 oz serving. That is a lot of sugar for such a small amount of food. Of course, some of the sugar (about 11 grams) is naturally occurring and plain yogurt will have about that much, but we’re talking about another 10-20 grams per serving! (Yogurts with artificial sweeteners were not even considered in the convo since they’re definitely not on the healthy list.)

Our talk inspired me to make a yogurt smoothie with just the right amount of natural sweetness last night.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 16 oz plain whole milk organic yogurt
  • 4-5 large ripe strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of honey (or less if you like)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. Mix for about 30 seconds
  3. Enjoy!

This smoothie turned out tasting SO similar to strawberry ice cream. It was really delicious, but it was also light and refreshing (unlike ice cream). Simple yet really satisfying. I thought it was worth mentioning. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product – I was too busy guzzling it down :)

Drink to Your Health

Whether you have your own juicer or you get your fresh juices prepared for you, you must try this delicious combination next time around:


It is SO delicious! Even more delicious than I expected. And of course it’s super healthy — this combo is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A. Perfect for the cold/flu season.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • 6 chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped grapefruits (peeled of course)
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger (amount depends on how spicy you like it. I opt for 2 inches)

Photo Credit: Dylan T Price

Quick Apple Walnut Bran Mufins


  • Bran Muffin Mix — I like Hodgson Mills – good quality ingredients and very cheap (around $1.35/box)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup organic whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • 15-20 walnuts chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Line or grease 6 muffin cups
  3. Combine muffin mix and oil
  4. Add milk and egg
  5. Add apple, walnuts and cinnamon
  6. Mix well until moist
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes
  8. Spoon batter into muffin cups
  9. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top each muffin
  10. Bake for 14 minutes
  11. Enjoy!


Fall Face Mask


  • 2 tsp canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp organic heavy whipping cream

How to:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl
  2. Cover entire face minus the area directly around your eyes
  3. Leave on for 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Rinse face with warm water

Photo Credit: Dylan Price

This mask is perfect for fall with a therapeutic mix of vitamin A to heal skin and reduce fine lines, cream to moisturize and reduce redness, and honey for an extra dose of moisture and antiseptic properties (great for breakouts). If you’re going to have these ingredients on hand, you might as well make my favorite dessert aka a delicious pumpkin pie too. If you haven’t tried using honey instead of sugar before, I would highly recommend it, but just make sure to decrease the amount of honey (use ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey in place of 1 cup sugar, and reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons).

Natural beauty is always about what we put into our bodies as well as what we put on them so don’t forget to eat lots of delicious fall produce and try out some new beauty treatments with them as well!

More Uses for Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts are such a great inexpensive and therapeutic addition to a bath. But don’t stop there because they can also be used as:

  • a Body Scrub – add a spoonful of crushed epsom salts to a palm full of body wash and exfoliate damp skin.

  • to create Wavy Hair – mix a teaspoon of salts + a few drops of olive or jojoba oil + 1/4 cup H20 in a spritzer bottle and mist on damp hair. Results will vary (especially if your hair is normally extremely straight), but you should hopefully see some difference in the form of additional waves and texture! {via}
  • Winter Decor – put a candle and “snow” (Epsom salt) in a pretty glass jar like this one below. {Photo Credit: The Inspired Room}

DIY Air Freshener

Everyone loves a nice smelling space, but unfortunately so many of those lovely smelling air refresheners truly aren’t so lovely at all. Most air fresheners actually contain hormone-disrupting chemicals (like VOCs) and since disrupting your hormones is definitely not on a healthy agenda, I highly suggest making a switch to natural fragrances. One really easy way to make a delicious smelling home fragrance involves just 2 ingredients: essential oil + water.

Combine in a spray bottle:

  • 40-45 drops total of your favorite essential oil(s)
  • 1 cup H2o

And that’s it! You now have your very own homemade, all natural air freshener to mist around your rooms, on your sheets, etc.










Some essential oil combinations I highly recommend (all essential oils mentioned are under $10 per 0.5 fl oz bottle and a little goes a really long way):

  • sweet orange + cinnamon
  • lavender + sage
  • peppermint + tangerine

Your home will smell lovely and your mood will be positively impacted by the aromatherapy benefits of the essential oils — definitely a win-win!

Quick & Healthy Pasta Stir Fry

This recipe started out as an attempt to make a new, simple salad using some of my favorite ingredients. However,  I wasn’t loving how it turned out – not that it was bad, but it just wasn’t great  – and so I decided to turn it into the heart of a pasta stir fy… 

 Ingredients (for 2):

  • 1 small can cannelini beans
  • 10-12 artichoke hearts (whole or cut in half)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or red vinegar

I combined the above ingredients the night before and refrigerated it until last night when I simply added it to the following:

  • cooked pasta  (enough for 2)
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a splash (about 4 tbsp) of tomato sauce
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper/red pepper flakes
  • salt & fresh pepper to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients and sauté on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes (or until salad ingredients are hot and everything has combined nicely)
  2. Enjoy!

So you can prep the “salad” portion beforehand or combine everything in one shot — either way, it’s a really quick and healthy meal.

 Happy Friday! :)

Time for Some Cocktails…

Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for the weekend. We still have a little unpacking left to do, but the bulk of it is done. Time to buy new plants and have some friends over to see the new place. We’re thinking of making one of these cocktails tomorrow night. I’m loving all the fresh ingredients and sweetness compliments of fruit, honey and/or agave.

What’s your vote?

{Peach Lemonade Coolers}

{Raspberry Beer Cocktail}

{The Salted Tarragon Greyhound}

{Peach & Blackberry Muddle}

Tomato & Basil Frittata

My husband hands down makes the best frittatas I’ve ever tasted. After he made another delicious one this weekend, I asked if I could share his recipe with my readers…and here it is!



  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • handful fresh basil (or cilantro is great too)
  • 3 tbs chives or green onions
  • 1 shallot
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp organic butter
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Photo Credit: Dylan T Price

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Put pan (11″ is ideal and oven-safe, of course) in the oven while it’s preheating
  3. Chop all veggies & herbs
  4. Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper to taste (give it a try to see if you need to add more oil or vinegar)
  5. Add half of herbs, shallot, & chives to dressing mixture, set aside
  6. Whisk eggs with water and a of pinch of salt and  pepper
  7. Remove pan from oven and grease with olive oil/butter (we opt for a little of each)
  8. Place pan on stove-top on medium heat and toss in the rest of the shallots, chives and garlic
  9. Once shallots, chives and garlic have softened, add tomatoes and dash of paprika
  10. After a few minutes, pour out veggie mixture into a dish
  11. Add egg mix to pan
  12. Once eggs being to separate from the sides a bit, sprinkle the veggie mix back in as well as the rest of the basil
  13. Put pan back in oven until frittata gets slightly golden brown on top (about 8-10 minutes usually)
  14. Remove pan from oven and “give it a whack” (husband’s words) on the bottom (*with an oven mitt on*) to loosen the frittata from the pan
  15. Place frittata on a large dish, pour the reserved herb vinaigrette on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper (we love Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground black pepper)
  16. Let it sit for a few minutes before eating since frittatas are best served warm/closer to room temp rather than right out of the oven. Cold is an option too. I definitely vote for warm.
  17. ENJOY!

Please bare with the fact that neither of us are great about measuring things exactly. Just let me know if you have any questions! Cheese is a great addition to this recipe and if you like spice, I recommend some cayenne pepper. Frittatas are like omelets – any combination will work! I thought this one was really delicious, especially with veggies and herbs fresh from a local farmer’s market or your own garden :)