Friday, May 8, 2015

small batch flourless gluten free chewy chocolate cookies...


Sometimes you need a chewy chocolate cookie like, yesterday. You don't have time to sit there and let butter come to room temperature, don't want to whip out the stand mixer, or heck- even your hand mixer. You just want to throw ingredients into a bowl, mix them together, and make a dang cookie.

These cookies are just that. They're quick, SUPER easy to make, use very little ingredients and ingredients you most likely already have at that. You know, because you rock. 

They're crispy around the edges, super chewy in the center- almost meringue like even. They're very chocolaty and even better with a few semi-sweet chocolate chips added to the mix. They're flourless which means they're also gluten free. Score. Share with your gluten free friends. Or not. Light, fluffy, gooey, quick, yummy and packed full of chocolate? Yes please. Yes. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

gluten free, grain free + dairy free chocolate drizzled honey graham crackers...


Guys, I'm totally having a blastie playing around with grain free and gluten free cooking and baking! No, we Mains don't need to eat this way, but gosh- when it's easy and fun (and yummy), why not incorporate it every so often!? Plus it sort of reminds me of science experiments I used to do in elementary and Jr High school. There's all these "weird" components; you mix them together and create something awesome! 

Like these graham crackers for example. I know what traditionally goes into a graham cracker but when one can't eat those particular ingredients because it could possibly harm their bodies, substitutions need to be made. Flour becomes coconut flour (or in some cases almond flour), sugar or brown sugar becomes honey (mmmm or maple syrup) and so on. I was so intrigued when I read this recipe that I quickly added it to the other 100 tabs in the Against All Grain cookbook.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

guest post // diy hanging jars with the lady jane...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Sara of The Lady Jane Shop take over. 


Hello Friends!!

Though Christina and I have never had the chance to meet in person, I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her through mutual friends (and SLBS, of course!). It’s a lovely treat to be a guest here. I’m Sara, vintage-enthusiast and tea addict! During the day I work at my little vintage shop, The Lady Jane.  I'm also often on the road hunting down furniture and decor, or doing side projects for the shop blog.

Image: J Ellis Photography

It’s been a long winter here, so I wanted to share with you a sweet and simple DIY to bring some sunshine indoors. For those of you who keep every glass jar and bottle (like me!), this one’s for you!

Below are some hanging jars that I’ve sold at the shop --- there were so many creative ideas customers thought up for these, from drying herbs to hanging water-living clippings. The jars were special order, but it would be so simple to make your own!

Image: J Ellis Photography

Materials
  • Recycled glass jars or bottles, rinsed + dried
  • Twine or thin rope
  • Scissors
  • Thick gauge craft wire
  • Small jewelry pliers

1. Wrap a section of wire tightly around the neck of your jar. Using the pliers, create two loops on opposite ends, wide enough for your twine (or thin rope). Twist each loop closed.

2. Loop and tie a sturdy knot of twine in one wire loop. Eyeball desired length of twine and cut.  Loop and tie a second knot in opposite wire loop.

3. Optional: Tie a knot about 8 inches from the neck of your jar. This will help your jar to hang straight.

Depending on the width of your jar, you can create a variety of hanging arrangements.  These would be great party decorations, or simply a pretty bit of glass and greenery for over the kitchen sink. The jars look beautiful hung individually or in a cluster. A few plants that are perfect for growing in water are members of the ivy family and a variety of herbs. Evergreen clippings (cyprus, boxwood, pine) will last for months in water too!  Below are a few pretty arrangements:



Thanks a bunch!  If you’re ever in Harrisonburg, do stop by and say “hello”!!

Warmly,
Sara

Thank you so much Sara! This is such a sweet (and easy) diy! I so love it! For more amazing diys and inspirations, please check out The Lady Jane Shop!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!



Friday, April 24, 2015

guest post // chai tea concentrate with oh simple thoughts...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Rachel of Oh Simple Thoughts take over. 



Hi there, I am Rachel and I blog over at Oh Simple Thoughts. I write about my marriage, my passion for being in the kitchen, and my relationship with Jesus. I am thrilled to be sharing with you today as Christina is enjoying much needed time with her new little babe! What an exciting thing to become a mom. 

I don't know about you but I LOVE hot drinks. I am a sipper by nature and always have to have a drink in my hand to sip on throughout the day. Lately I have been on quite the chia tea kick. I drink it cold, hot, in latte form, and even order dirty lattes (lattes with a shot of espresso). So rather than continuing to spend almost all of my "fun money" every week on fancy chai drinks I wanted to try to make my own concentrate. And it worked. 


This is a simple recipe that is so flavorful. The most challenging part of this recipe is finding all the ingredients, and the way grocery stores are these days even that part should not be too difficult. 

CHAI TEA CONCENTRATE 
For printable recipe, click here

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2-3″ fresh ginger, sliced
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 15 cloves
  • 5 allspice pods
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds
  • 5 black tea bags
  • milk of your choice 


1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add water and honey until sweetener is completely dissolved. Add all of the spices and continue to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. 

2. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the tea bags, and let them steep for 10 minutes.

3. Strain out the spices and tea bags and store your chai concentrate in the fridge (it will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge).


To serve:
1. Using a 1:1 ratio, add milk to concentrate and warm in a saucepan over low heat. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon! Enjoy (daily). 

This is a warming drink not just because it is served hot, but all the spices make it a drink that warms up your insides as well as your outsides! I love it, and drink this almost as fast as I can make it. It is a must try! 

What is your favorite hot drink? 


Thank you so much Rachel! Gawwww! I seriously love chai tea, lattes, iced chai, etc. Love it so much! I've never heard of a dirty chai before, though! I'm so intrigued! May have to try that next. MmMmm, so craving chai now :) I am totally making a batch of this and keeping it in my fridge for all my chai needs. For more amazing recipes and inspirations, please check out Oh Simple Thoughts!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

guest post // essential apps with mane message...

Friends! As you know I'm currently taking some much needed mommy/baby/daddy time after the birth of our little one :) Aggg guys, we're parents!!!! So during this transition into our new season of life, I've invited some of my most beloved and dear blog friends to help me out, in the form of unique and wonderful guest posting! Today, I'm honored to have Olivia of Mane Message take over. 


Charm & Gumption print | Mane Message hair ties 

Let's be honest for a second, we are all constantly on our various devices. Whether it's a smart phone, tablet or computer it's seems almost impossible to unplug completely. Especially if you're running an online business like me. I'm not here to judge you. There's no shame it in. Hey, it's 2015 after all. These devices have become vital tools that enable us reach people around globe, stay organized and learn. 

I wanted to share a few of my favorite apps with you. I'm going to skip over obvious choices, such as, Instagram + Pinterest, and hone in on some gems that have become essential to my daily life. I tried to choose apps that can be used across various platforms and are not exclusively for the iPhone (although that's where I primarily use them). 


Timehop - I'm sentimental beyond belief and this is one of my favorites hands down. Timehop gathers your social media updates from the current day throughout history. I check it over coffee every morning without fail. I love seeing what I was up to/thinking about 6+ years ago.

Evernote - It took me ages to commit to using Evernote on a regular basis. I will say now that I completely understand people's obsession with it. I rely on it heavily and use it on all of my devices. You'll find me using Evernote to snap photos of business receipts, log my day dreams and bookmark articles I want to read later. 

Todoist - Great to-do list app with a clean design. I love that you can assign tasks to other people. I use this to collaborate with my employees. It helps us keep track of projects and complete daily tasks. My boyfriend and I also use it for meal planning and grocery lists. 

IFTTT - This might be the nerdiest of the bunch, but it's amazing. Trust me. IFTTT stands for If This Then That. Basically, you can make "if" to connect different online platforms to each other. Example: Every time I Instagram it copies the image to my Dropbox folder. Or if the weather forecast calls for rain it tells ToDoist to remind me to bring an umbrella. Pretty nifty. 

Vsco Cam - Hands down my favorite photo editing app. I can get lost in the different film settings.  

Audible - I'm dyslexic, so reading can be challenging for me. Audible has without a doubt changed my life. It allows me to listen to books on tape easily. The app syncs your position across devices (even on your Kindle!), so you can listen anywhere. I love listening to books while I'm making hair ties, doing dishes or driving. On average I listen to a book a week.


There you go! There are tons of others, but these are the ones that I'm currently obsessed with. I hope these add organization + fun to your online life. 


Thank you so much Olivia! I have to admit, I'm such a sucker for the VSCO and Evernote Apps! My dad actually got me hooked on Evernote and I haven't switched back to normal note taking since! I love that I can make a note on my iPhone and it will be automatically synced to all my devices! So much better than the old note app which comes standard on iPhones/iPads. For the best and cutest hair ties ever (believe me, I have about 100) please check out Mane Message!

Although I'm not around here as much as I'd like to be, you can still stay in touch (and ooooh and ahhhhh with me at HOW CUTE OUR BUNDLE OF JOY IS!!!) via FacebookTwitter and my favorite- Instagram!