Yogurt Bark with Berries

I kind of stumbled across making this recipe today when I realized that my pint of yogurt was practically full and was about to go to waste because the expiration date was quickly approaching.

My son loves yogurt and loves berries and the occasional granola every now and again, I had just finished making some Chia seed pudding for the next morning so I was already on a roll for some healthy delicious snacks and breakfast alternatives for the next morning.

So I started off with cutting up some berries that I had on hand, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Next I put my yogurt in a bowl ,maple syrup and vanilla extract with a of salt and lemon juice and I mixed all my wet ingredients together.

Then I lined my cookie sheet with some parchment paper or if you don’t have that on hand you can use aluminum foil.

I then pour the yogurt mixture on the cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper and distribute evenly. Once the yogurt is evenly distributed, I then add the sliced berries along with a handful of granola and sprinkle it all over.

Once you add the berries and granola you will now put The cookie sheet in The freezer for the next 3 to 4 hours until the bark is hard. After the 3 to 4 hours and it’s hard, you can now break up the yogurt park and enjoy this little refreshing healthy snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Strawberries sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Granola
  • Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine yogurt, honey, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer yogurt mixture to the previously prepared baking sheet and spread it around to an even thickness.
  • Top with berries.
  • Garnish with granola.
  • Freeze for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  • Break into pieces.
  • Keep in the freezer before serving,
  • Serve and enjoy!

My least favorite room just became one of my favorites

I feel like we all have that one room in our home that is just a thorn in our side. Well for the past six years I’ve lived in my home my front room which is a living room has been just that for me.

I have seriously lost count of how many chairs and couches I have purchased for that room along with throw pillows. I can tell you however, that every time I decorated that room I never felt like it was done complete. I always knew I wanted to add or take away something.

Before shiplap

One fateful day about two months ago, I talked with my husband and I said I just feel like I cannot get this room right I just wanna start over from scratch. So that’s basically what I did, as much as I loved the dark color on my walls I was starting to get tired of it and felt pigeonholed in designs. I thought maybe wallpaper was going to be the answer I even made a few polls on Instagram and almost pulled the trigger on a particular pattern but then one morning when I was up before anyone in the house even before the birds, I just had a stare down at my wall in the room itself it finally hit me… Shiplap.

Yes! I said it, shiplap, it’s pretty much all the rage right now and in every Instagramers home and I wanted it, I wanted it bad guys! However when you have a husband that says whatever you want you can do it but you need to figure it out, you figure out a way to do it. So I went on some home-improvement websites, and purchased the material that I would need for a faux shiplap that I would be able to install on my own.

Since we are in quarantine I had to purchase these items and have it shipped to me otherwise this project probably would’ve been done the minute that I came up with the idea.

I had some of the supplies on hand and of course some of it I needed purchase.The materials that you will need to complete a faux shiplap wall along with the cost break down are below.

Materials

  • A package of 1 inch 18 gauge finishing nails
  • Nail gun
  • (4) Utility Panel 1/8 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.
  • (1) Gallon of Behr, Marquee Simply White paint
  • Chop saw to make cuts
  • Table saw to rip boards to board width for wall
  • Caulk
  • Caulk gun

I love that the faux shiplap gives you the look and appearance of real shiplap but for far less money!

As mentioned above some of the materials I had on hand such as my chopsaw, my tablesaw, caulk, the caulk gun and nail gun. The materials that I needed to purchase were the 1 inch nails ($4), (4) boards ($45 in total), and gallon paint ($32). Which means this whole wall transformation is less than $100!

For more DIY‘s and current and previous projects that I’ve worked on follow me on Instagram, @urbanhippieCT .

The famous Banana Nutella Bread

My most famous banana Nutella bread, it’s a hit every single time I make it and it literally cannot stay in my house longer than five hours before it’s completely devoured! My recipe makes two loaves one for now and hopefully one for later or you can share it with another banana Nutella lover!

The ingredients are listed below along with the directions. You’re going to be everyone’s favorite with this recipe!! 

The long and short of it it’s just a slice of heaven and I feel the need to provide you your little slice of heaven too! The recipe is super easy and is below!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2cupsall-purpose flour
  • 1½teaspoonsbaking soda
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • ½cupvegetable oil
  • 2eggs
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 4medium ripe bananas(mashed (about 1⅓ cups or 303 grams))
  • 1cupcoarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup of Nutella

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8×4-inch loaf pans; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the bananas and stir gently to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until completely blended. Using a rubber spatula add your Nutella and mix completely in then add in the walnuts.
  3. Divide the mixture into the two loaf pans. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the loaves begin to get too dark before they are done in the middle, cover with foil. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. The bread can be stored, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Please make sure to tag me if you do make this delicious banana Nutella bread, I would love to see your version! @UrbanHippieCT

For all things DIY please make sure to follow me on Instagram! http://www.Instagram.com/UrbanHippieCT

A Change in Seasons

From this title you would assume I am talking about the weather, but I’m not. I am talking about the a change in seasons within relationships.

Have you ever found yourself wondering how things got so different? How one day the path you are on seems bright, sunny, and full of possibilities and then within days that bright sunny path has now turned dark and gloomy? I would like to call that the change in seasons. Just like the weather it can happen gradually or within days. It can leave you feeling scared and uncertain. I have had many relationships within my own life that have stayed for a season or two, or even thirty and then all of a sudden like the leaves falling off the tree on a cool autumn day, that relationship got swept away by the cool breeze too.

Recently, I have experienced a few of these change of seasons in my relationships and at times it has shaken me to my core, people that I have cherished, people I didn’t think would hurt me, and people that didn’t hurt me at all and stayed for days, months, years, and even decades have blown away into another “season” in someone else life.

There are different roles that people play throughout your life and give you life lessons. For example, I had a relationship that I had cherished for years and they unfortunately hurt me and I may never know the true reason for their actions but their actions shaped me from the moment of deception to present day. Their actions didn’t change my feelings towards how I treat others but it did remind me that even the most cherished people in our lives have a way of hurting us. Now that does not mean to build a wall and never show anyone the vulnerable side of yourself it just means to always have in the back of your mind, you are giving someone your heart and hoping they don’t hurt it, but the truth is, they may hurt you intentionally or unintentionally, either way, be on the look out for the life lesson. Don’t dwell on the reasons on WHY they did it. I try to look for how you can learn from it.

To go a little more in depth on the above statement and provide another example, I was in a relationship with a man a few years back, I say man but truly his actions were of a boy. We dated for a few years, he was what I thought I deserved. He was very loving to my face but behind my back he was deceitful. Over the course of the few years we dated, he was not honest with me and our relationship, a woman’s intention is always right, but the truth of the matter was, every “sign” I was given I did not want to believe and I kept living in this fantasy world. The demise to our relationship came when I was forced into a situation and had to make the best decision for myself. At the time I did not know why this was happening to me, I of course replayed everything in my head and how and why this sort of thing could of happened.

Years later I was given the ability to fully understand why I was “tested”, why I was given this life lesson.

Remember what I said earlier, “he was what I thought I deserved” He may have been what I thought I deserved, but he was not worthy of deserving me. We sometimes forget that what we want is not always what is good for us. That wasn’t the only lesson I learned from that relationship but it was one of my first “take away’s”.

Life can be funny, life lessons can come in all forms of relationships and it doesn’t even have to be from romantic relationships. I’ve learned some lessons from friendships that I’ve had also. Anytime you put your heart, energy, and time into something, the chance of having your feelings hurt are all the same.

I say all of this because it’s sometimes best to know it’s not the quantity of year it’s the quality of the relationship, it’s a give and take, and not every time will relationships be fair but the respect and loyalty should be reciprocated. Communication is key too! You should be able to be as transparent as you could be with the relationships you are within and not feel afraid to express yourself and emotions. I know there are so many times when you have an agreement/disagreement and the last thing you want to do is to rehash something, sometimes it feels just “safe” to not acknowledge the issue at hand and just sweep it under the rug.

Now, think about it, when was the last time that helped and worked out for you? I know personally, it has NEVER worked out for me.

Maybe I should stick with what I know, DIYs and painting furniture but nonetheless I truly hope this blog post finds you well. Now let me get back to what I’m good at❣️

The front porch redesign

A couple weeks ago the weather was unexpectedly warm I’ve been selfishly wishing for warmer type of weather so I can paint my front door. I didn’t necessarily want to wait till spring and unfortunately (due to climate change) but fortunately I did not have to wait until spring to transform my front door.

On a warmer Saturday morning s few weeks back I decided to take out my royal blue paint that I purchased at my local Hobby Lobby in hopes to be able to to transform my teal door sometime in the new future.

The paint color I chose was “Midnight Wave “ by Diamond Hard it cost only $10, but make sure to use the 40% off coupon that Hobby Lobby offers you for $4 savings.

I painted three coats and let it fully dry before I put a protective wax over it.

Once the door was completely dry I then started to add some of the decor pieces on the door itself.

I purchased on clearance a wicker basket from target, from the brand Threshold in the color espresso brown. This one isn’t on clearance, but its still a great price! 

I added some faux greenery garland that I had purchased at hobby lobby, again use that 40% off coupon that they offer on their website or wait until florals are 50% off, you could always guarantee that it will happen at least once in the month!

I then purchased the Half Circle Braided Coir Mat by Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia. I’m simply obsessed with this doormat it’s so adorable and gives off the right work that I was going for!

I paired it with a black and white buffalo plaid rug that I purchased off Amazon, it’s such a great big size 24” x 51” and only $18!

This front porch is far from being complete but I am so happy that I was able to get at least a little bit of it done because I was itching to do it!! I can’t wait to add more stuff when the spring time hits but until then I’m going to love what I have if you have any questions or want to know more please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, @urbanhippiect

 

Links

Mightnight Wave Paint for Front Door 

Mini Round Decorative Basket 11.25″x 8.75″, whicker basket 

Half Circle Braided Door Mat

Black and White Buffalo Plaid rug

 

Homemade Italian Raviolis

A couple of years back for Christmas I asked for a bunch of baking and kitchen appliances, I was determined to become the master chef in the kitchen! And what drove this new passion for me was my new favorite show, Top Chef kids edition,so if they could do it I could do it!

I was obsessed with my new KitchenAid mixer and all the attachments that came along with that one being the pasta roller/maker! For the first couple weeks all I did was make pasta, I probably gained at least 15 pounds! And then after a while it got old and new appliance took the front seat in my cooking obsession.

A couple weeks back I rediscovered my love of the pasta maker and i’ve been whipping up new macaroni types, the rigatoni, penne, and my all time favorite Fusilli’s and most recently the raviolis!

Below is my homemade ravioli recipe I used fresh spinach and ricotta cheese and of course my famous red meat sauce to tell you that it’s good is it understatement, The silence of everybody eating it is just proof enough that it’s delicious.

RAVIOLI DOUGH INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups flour
1 egg
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 teaspoon salt

HOW TO MAKE RAVIOLI DOUGH FROM SCRATCH

First, make the ravioli dough according to the recipe instructions below and let it sit for 1 hour.

  1. Mix flour with salt.
  2. Stir water with egg until well mixed.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour and egg-water mixture together and mix until well incorporated. Knead the ravioli dough until well-textured and firm.The dough should not be too wet or too sticky. It should only stick to itself, but not to your hands. However, it should not be too dry, either.
  4. Make the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap. Let the ravioli dough stand for 1 hour at room temperature before using. This allows gluten to work.

HOW TO MAKE SPINACH AND RICOTTA CHEESE FILLING

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat, add spinach and cook covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilted, about 15 minutes.
  2. Cook for 5 or 10 more minutes uncovered until all liquid evaporates.
  3. Chop cooked spinach finely and move to a bowl.   Add Parmesan cheese and ricotta cheese, salt to taste and mix well.  Add more salt if necessary.

HOW TO MAKE RAVIOLI FROM SCRATCH

  1. Divide the ravioli dough (instructions on how to make ravioli dough from scratch are above) into 2 equal halves and roll each half into a very thin sheet with a rolling pin.
  2. Make sure to have flour on hand and dust the working surface or rolling pan when necessary, because the dough will be sticky. It’s important that the ravioli dough be rolled very thinly (paper-thin), to achieve paper thin, I use my KitchenAid pasta maker the attachment is great!
  3. Spoon scant tablespoons of filling onto one of the pasta sheets like you’d put cookie dough on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between scoops. You should be able to fit 12-16 tablespoons on each sheet in two rows.
  4. With a pastry brush, brush a bit of water between the scoops of filling and around the outside of the sheet so that the two sheets of pasta will stick together.
  5. Lay the second sheet of pasta on top, and press down between the filling mounds to seal the sheets together and eliminate any air pockets.
  6. Cut the ravioli into rectangles using a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or sharp knife, or into rounds with a cookie cutter. Press any edges again to make sure they’re sealed. I use a fork, it helps to adhere them together and also give the look of a traditional ravioli.
The raviolis before getting boiled.

To serve:

  1. Bring a large (6-8 quart) pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Add the ravioli and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water returns to a boil and the ravioli float easily to the top of the pot.

I hope you enjoyed my easy how to on making delicious raviolis for more DIYs, recipes and lifestyle content follow me on Instagram!

DIY: Toy Storage Bench

Never would I have imagined that I would be living in my own toy store! I mean that’s what it sure feels like when you live with a one year old and they have toys coming out of every part of your house.

To combat this every day struggle of toys in any crevice of my house I needed a solution but I also needed this solution to go with the design elements in my home along with my “vision”. Before I looked into building anything I did what I normally do prior to spending $$. I looked at Facebook Marketplace. You would be amazed at what some people throw away/give away/ or simply sell way under price.

Well, I checked the Marketplace and found a bunch of toy boxes and storage cubes, but nothing was “speaking” to me. I decided to come up with my own design and get to purchasing my supplies.

I originally wanted a window seat that my son can one day sit on and read his books, wishful thinking aye! So with that idea, I thought of a wooden crate trick I’ve seen on Pintrest before, they are wooden crates that can be purchased at your local home improvement store. I picked up 3 because as mentioned earlier I originally wanted this bench to go under my window but couldn’t because my son has a tent in his playroom as well and the tent just didn’t look right anywhere else, so we had to move the bench to make it all work.

Once I picked up these three wooden crates, I also picked up (2) 10×12 of Pine wood one to put on the top for the ledge to sit and one to put on the bottom to attach wooden legs to give the bench a few inches off the ground.

I predrilled the holes for the screws to attach the three wooden crates together and I screwed them together with 1 1/4 screws. Once they were all screwed together, I then sanded the crates and the boards themselves to get them smooth to the touch, after all this bench is for a one year old so we need the bench to be as smooth as possible.

After everything was sanded, I took my favorite Dark Walnut stain, I prefer dark walnut because I have a lot of that stain on other areas in my house and just love the look of it. It only took about 2 hours for the stain to settle and the smell to subside.

Now that the stain is dried, it was time for assembly. I connected the first 10×12 Pine wood to to the bottom of the wood crates and then moved on to the second 10×12 Pine wood and connected that one to the top. I used a nailgun to give it a seamless look as well as prevent any screws causing any injury in the future. Once the boards were connected, it was time to add the feet to the bottom to give it a few inches off the ground. Once those were screwed in, the toy storage bench was complete and it was now time to add it into my son’s playroom and store all the toys.

Tools needed for this DIY Toy Storage Bench:

  • (2) 10 x 12 Pine Wood
  • (3) Wooden Crates (already assembled)
  • (4) Wooden Peg legs (height is up to you)
  • Stain (of your choice)
  • 1/8 Drill Bit to predrill
  • 1 1/4 Screws
  • Nail Gun with Finishing Nails
  • Screw Gun

For more DIY’s on a dime and other home decor check out my instagram page. Make sure you give it a follow.

There is also a step by step in my highlights on my IG page.