Looking for healthy recipes to ward off these dark and cold nights? Our go-to is a delicious and hearty soup, like this Wild Mushroom and Thyme Soup from The Holistic Ingredient.

We have to admit, the fact it includes mushrooms had us sold from the beginning!

Enjoy this delicious soup and let us know what you make on these cold nights.

 

Ingredients

For garnish:

 

Directions:

  1. Place the dried porcini in a small bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Set aside to soak.
  2. Place a casserole dish on the stove on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
  3. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of sea salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the porcini mushrooms with the water they are soaking in and saute for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  7. While soup is simmering prepare the garnish. First, heat a small frying pan on the stove on medium heat, add the walnuts and toast until browning.
  8. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the mushrooms. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until cooked. Stir through the parsley and walnuts. Set aside.
  9. Pour the soup into a high powered blender with the lemon juice and blend until smooth. Season further if required.
  10. Pour into bowls and top with the mushroom and walnut garnish and a dollop of sour cream or mascarpone

 

 

My dad was in the Army, he retired after 29 years of serving our country. (Thank you, Dad!)

In that time, I moved with my family to 8 different homes within 4 different states. Before I came along, my family had moved an additional 5 times.

To say my parents are experts on packing and unpacking homes may be an understatement. Here, I’m sharing a few tips and tricks I picked up along the way. Hopefully these assist you in your next move!

 

1) Measure all doors

When I say all, I mean all. Front doors, side doors, garage doors into the house, archways into rooms, bedroom doors, etc. Then measure your stairwells and finally measure your current furniture. You’ll need these measurements to plan ahead with how to bring your furniture in.

If a furniture piece measures too large, you should chuck it now.

It will be upsetting to part with a couch you know has a few good years left, but believe me when I say it’s ten times worse to bring the couch to your new home and end up leaving it on the curb, while it’s raining. (Yes, learn from my mistake! or Ross from Friends and the “Pivot!” that didn’t work.)

 

2) Create a Packing List

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t label their boxes with numbers or names of the rooms the items came from.

My parents used pad and pen to make their lists, but luckily with tablets and smart phones, there are plenty of apps to create worksheets and lists for easy referencing.

Make sure to add sizes and detailed descriptions for each item. For example, instead of “frame” write, “4×6″ silver frame with picture of kids”. With a description like this, you’ll know where to put the items before opening the box.

The worst part about unpacking is when half empty boxes sit in your home for days. If you know exactly what is in each box, you can empty it quicker!

 

2) Pack Each Room Separately

Packing your entire home can become overwhelming when you find the boxes stacking higher and higher. The lessen the load, you may search for the perfectly sized item to place in that empty space of the box, but don’t!

When items are randomly in boxes the unpacking process is much more difficult. Having to move from room to room in order to empty a box will cost you more (in time and effort) than just adding a new box.

 

3) Packing Boxes

Here are a few tips for the best packed boxes:

4) Essentials First
Make sure to pack your essentials last, and unpack them first. It’s helpful to have these items in (1-2) boxes or (1) box per room (bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
These essentials may include the following:
  • scissors
  • tape
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • set of linens for each bed
  • bath towels (for the first morning in your new home)
This also relates to unpacking. Make sure to layout your furniture first, especially your beds. Believe me, after a long day of unpacking boxes, you won’t want to make your bed.
If all your furniture is in the correct location, it will be easier to unpack boxes and put items away.

) Appreciate the Art of Stenciling

Although not directly related to packing and unpacking, our family found stenciling as a blessing during all of our moves. If you aren’t sure how long you will spend at your new home, stenciling allows you to personalize rooms without making a large clean-up job for when you eventually leave.

Stenciling a small area of a wall still adds a design while providing a small section to repaint when you move out.

Invest in an Art Piece

Another sound piece of advice is to invest in an art piece you love. When moving, layouts for rooms change and wall space may not always be prominent.

With a significant art piece, you can reuse the same old items while still making the room look different.

 

We hope this helps on your next move or if you choose to redecorate.

 

Since many consider coconuts as just an ice cream topping or ingredient in candy bars, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of health benefits of coconut oil.

 

Good Saturated Fats

Although you may have heard about the high source of saturated fats in coconut oil, what you don’t hear is that these saturated fats are actually good for you.

Coconut oil has medium-chain fatty acids instead of the long-chain fatty acids in cheeses or Oreos. Your body metabolizes these medium-chain fatty acids differently. For example:

 

Lauric Acids and Preventing Infections

Coconut oil holds lauric acids which can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. Thus, coconut oil can potentially prevent infections.

 

Beauty

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your body. Here are just a few ways it can be used for beauty:

 

There are several other benefits of coconut oil outlined here on Wellness Mama.

 

Share the ways you use coconut oil!

With fall in full force and the holidays just around the corner, we went on the hunt for stuffing recipes and found this gem from Applegate Farms.

Who can say no to a stuffing that includes bacon and apples?

Bread Stuffing with Bacon and Apples

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

1. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and keep out overnight to dry. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a large gratin dish.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally until leeks are softened and bacon is crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Add the apples and thyme leaves, cover and cook until the apples soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add the bacon mixture to the bread and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. In a bowl, whisk together the stock and eggs, then pour evenly over the bread mixture. Toss together until evenly moistened. Transfer the stuffing to the buttered gratin dish and cover tightly with a piece of buttered aluminum foil.

7. Bake the stuffing for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 15 additional minutes.

8. Garnish with parsley and serve.

 

We hope you enjoy this recipe but be sure to share your favorite stuffing recipes with us!

 

For this post of our juicing series, we bring you Kid-Friendly juicing recipes. These recipes will give your children a tasty way to drink those fruits and veggies. We all know how quick those juice boxes can go at a summer barbecue, so add this to the menu and watch your children drink healthy!

A few tips when juicing for children:

 

“Ready, Steady, Go!” from The Juice Master 

2 apples (Golden Delicious or Royal Gala)

1 small raw beetroot

1 small broccoli stem

1/2 celery stick

1 inch slice cucumber

1/2 inch slice pineapple

1 lime peeled

ice

Directions: Put one apple in your juicer’s chute followed by beetroot, broccoli, celery, cucumber, pineapple, lime and second apple. Juice everything and pour over ice to cool.

 

The Red (yields 8oz)

1 cup spinach

2 carrots

1 tomato

1 apple

Directions: Wash spinach and cut carrot, tomato and apple into manageable juicing pieces. Juice ingredients together and serve.

 

Apple-Grape Juice (yields 1 cup)

2 apples

small bunch of grapes

 

Cucumber Pear

small handful of watercress or arugula

1 cucumber (with skin)

2 pears

Directions: Wash watercress or arugula and cut cucumber and pears into manageable juicing pieces. Juice ingredients together and serve.

 

Green Citrus

1 small handful of spinach

2 sticks of celery

2 oranges

Directions: Peel oranges, wash spinach and cut celery into manageable juicing pieces. Juice ingredients together and serve. If you think this is too green tasting for your kids, add more orange or dilute it with sparkling water to make it bubbly like soda.

 

Another tip for those green juices, tell your children it’s like the Nickelodeon green slime, or “monster juice”. A creative name can go a long way to get them even more excited to drink these healthy recipes!

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