The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Hemming

For most of my life, I have been considered vertically challenged. Now, I LOVE my height, but I am always needing to hem my pants. It can get old real fast. So, I have the lazy way to hem pants. This makes the process so much easier, and it takes less than 10 minutes.

Here is the perfect example of pants that are WAY too long. So, we are going to fix them.

Long Pants
Long Pants
Pre-Hemmed.jpg
Pre-Hemmed

This whole process is three steps, and so simple. I used a sewing machine, but you could also do the sewing by hand. Here we go:

Step One: Put on pants INSIDE out. Pin just above where you want the pants to sit. Be extremely careful when removing the pans with pins in them. You do not want to accidentally stab yourself (definitely speaking from experience here)

Pinned Pants

Step Two: Sew around the bottom edge.

Step Three (Optional): For skinny jeans, you will need to take in the sides to get that perfect slim pant leg. Once again, put the pants on inside out. This time pin along the outer edge. Careful when removing.

Taking In the Outer Edge

Then you are DONE! So easy.

20190525_213011.jpg

I hope this helps you, and makes your life A TON easier.

Love, Liv

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

Another snow storm, another soup. We are preparing for life to get shut down again this weekend as more snow get dumped on us here in Wisconsin. Whenever the weather starts to look gloomy, I start to crave soup. Because we have a record breaking year of snow fall, we have been eating soup by the gallon. I have for you a Sweet Potato Curry Soup. It is sure to fill you up, and warm your soul.

This recipe is SO easy. It is perfect for a week night meal. You dump everything in a pot, and wait about 30 minutes. I love recipes you put in one big container, let it hang out while you get homework with the kids done or a quick load of laundry, and BAM! Dinner is ready. Plus, everything is in one pot, so clean up is a breeze!

Introducing

Ingredients

  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 5 medium yellow potatoes
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable broth

Sweet potatos, yellow potatoes, and onion

Directions

  1. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large stock pot over low heat.
  2. Add two minced cloves of garlic.
  3. Roughly chop: sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, and onion into cubes. Add to the stock pot.
  4. Raise heat to medium. Stir frequently for 5-10 minutes, or until the onions start to release their juices.
  5. Add 8 cups of vegetable broth. 2 tsp curry, 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender, and reduce to medium low heat.
  7. Roughly chop red, yellow, and orange bell peppers into 1/2 pieces. Add to soup.
  8. Simmer for 10-15 more minutes.
  9. Remove Bay Leaves, and Enjoy!

You can top with coconut cream at the last second to tone down the heat if needed.

This is a new household favorite-I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Love, Liv

Vegan Sand Dollar Cookies

I am really excited for this recipe. It makes me dream of a warm place without 6 feet of snow, digging my feet in the sand, a over sized, floppy hat, and those fun drinks with little umbrellas in them. We are making Vegan Sand Dollar cookies today. Now, this recipe is not an every day cookie recipe. This is one of the recipes we have on special occasions because of how much sugar is in the cookies. You could substitute the sugar for maple syrup or agave, but it just does not have the same taste. Plus, it makes the dough extra wet, and you need so much extra flour. SO. Once in a while, we all need a “treat yo’self” recipe, and this is a house hold favorite.

Vegan Sand Dollar Cookies
Let’s talk about this raw dough. It is AMAZING. If you have an upcoming girl’s night or just need some raw cookie dough to eat, this is the cookie dough for you. It reminds me of eating full tubes of Pillsbury’s cookie dough when I was in college with my roommates. I would not advise eating the full batch of batter, but it is so easy to in this recipe.
Make sure to use organic sugar to ensure it is vegan
Dry Ingredients:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds (you could use chia seeds, but they leave little dots in the cookies. Flax seeds blend into the batter, and are undetectable)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup room temperature vegan butter

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine all dry ingredients. Put through a sieve/strainer. Make sure all the lumps are out.
  3. Add vanilla, almond, and butter. Mix thoroughly
  4. Place ping pong sized dough balls on a greased cookie sheet
  5. Press 4-5 silvered almonds into each cookie
  6. Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until cookies start to tun golden brown around the edges.
  7. Combine sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Once the cookies are done baking, coat in the sugar cinnamon mixture..
  9. ENJOY!

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

I hope you love these cookies!

Love, Liv

 

 

Pasta Salad

I am going to give you a super simple pasta salad recipe here. It is perfect for any potluck, family gathering. Plus, it is so simple. The homemade dressing is a basic Italian dressing seasoning. I was looking in the store at ingredients in most Italian dressings, and they contain everything from processed sugar to dyes. WHY?! So, if you want to ditch the processed ingredients, this will be your new favorite dressing.

Pasta Salad

For my pasta salads, I use an organic rigatoni pasta. I think the dressing coats the noodles best, and it has the best noodle-vegetable ratio.

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp paprika or turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian Herbs (or 1/4 tsp of each: basil, marjoram, oregano 1/8 tsp of each: rosemary, thyme)
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (balsamic, apple cider, white, really any vinegar works here)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

And get creative with your Vegetables, throw whatever you have in the fridge in with the pasta. All of the measurements are for 1 box of pasta worth of noodles. I prefer the vegetables to be dices in about 1/2 inch cubes

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 7-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 bag snap peas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 box rigatoni pasta (or gluten free pasta)

You really cannot mess up this recipe. It is perfect to use up left over vegetables, or to have a fresh side salad for dinner. I hope you love the dressing!

Love, Liv

Roasted Carrot Hummus

I am not going to lie, I did not plan on posting this recipe. There was a recent potluck I needed to bring a finger food to pass. So, I just threw a bunch of ingredients into a food processor, prayed over it, and it turned out amazing!  Long story short, I knew I wanted to share the recipe with all of you. You probably have everything you need in your pantry right now.

CAITLIN BLAKE

Disclaimer. I used canned carrots. I NEVER BUY CANNED CARROTS. One day, I was cleaning deep in the back of my cabinet where we have our cans, and back in Narnia, I found a can of carrots. I had no idea how to eat them. Basically, they are mush anyways; so, I decided to make them into hummus. It is super easy, next time I will probably roast fresh carrots. But hey, go with what you have.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup chickpea liquid
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced carrots (or 1 can)
  • Turmeric (2 drops essential oil or 1 tsp)
  • Lemon (5 drops essential oil or you can use the juice from 1 lemon)
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Roast carrots and garlic at 400 degrees until they are fork tender. (15-20 minutes) Watch and make sure the garlic does not burn
  2. Strain chickpeas, keep the liquid
  3. Put roasted carrots, garlic, chickpeas, turmeric, lemon, 1/2 cup of chickpea liquid, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a food processor
  4. Blend until creamy. You may need some extra liquid if you need it
  5. Garnish with red pepper flakes

Serves 6-8

Try not to eat it all in one sitting, but I totally understand if you do.

Love, Liv

Hearty Sweet Potato Soup

People. It is cold out. I am over this polar vortex. It has been colder in Wisconsin over the past few days than it has been in Antarctica. You read that right. Colder than the place that has snow year round. I think people live here because they are frozen to the ground, and cannot leave. I need a warm an sunny beach vacation, because I am not about this cold life.

Since, we are all frozen, and cannot leave our houses; I have been making lots and lots and lots of soup to keep warm. This is one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink creations, and is sure to warm you up. Plus, it is super easy to dump everything in, let it simmer, and in 30-45 minutes you have dinner. YAY!

taxietiquettetips

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can black beans
  • kale
  • 1 1/2 tbsp herbs de province
  • 2 tsp each: rosemary, basil, tumeric, marjoram (or 1 drop of essential oil if you have them)
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup quinoa

Directions:

  1. Place a large soup pot over medium heat
  2. Add sweet potato, squash, onion, garlic, quinoa, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock
  3. Let simmer until the sweet potatoes and squash are fork tender
  4. Add herbs, black beans, and kale. Simmer for 10-15 more minutes
  5. EAT!

It is perfect for a busy weeknight dinner, or a make ahead meal to eat throughout the week. This soup is hearty, and keeps you full. Plus it tastes delicious.

Stay warm, and send me warm thoughts!

Love, Liv

 

 

 

Refrigerator Pickles

Who does not love fresh pickles? My husband and I love anything pickled. Seriously anything. A few weeks ago, we were craving those salty, crunchy, delicious bites. So, I have a recipe for you all that requires NO sugar, fresh dill, or crazy ingredients.

For this recipe, I used dill seed, not dill weed. They are definitely not the same thing.  Dill seed are the little seed of the plant. While, dill weed, are the leaves of the plant. Dill weed goes great in potato salad, and dill seed is great for this recipe. It is not too hard to find dill seed in your local grocery store. Next year, I plan on drying the heads of dill, and making my own dill seed and sill weed. Stay tuned for the journey.

Refrigerator Pickles

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dill seed
  • 2 1/4 tsp pickling spices
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 dried chilies (or 1 and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp salt

This is probably one of my easiest recipes yet.

  1. Bring vinegar and water to a boil.
  2. Add salt, dill seeds, and pickling spices.
  3. Place garlic, cucumber, chilies into a jar.
  4. Pour liquid into the jar. Mix.
  5. Shake jar once per day.
  6. Let sit at least 3 days. For the best flavor wait at least 7 days.

I hope you find this recipe delicious as we do. Let me know how your batch turns out!

Love, Liv

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste

You guys. If you are late to the game, 2019 is here. If you are like most people, you make a resolution, and give up right around this time. If one of your resolutions is to reduce waste in 2019, or if you just want to start reducing your environmental foot print; I want to help! So, I have compiled 10 of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental foot print-no need to give up! They are just that easy.

  1. Meatless Mondays.  There are so many benefits to cutting out meat for one day per week. You lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Plus, a side benefit, studies are showing that people who participated in meatless Mondays lost weight, and stabilized their weight. There are numerous environmental benefits to meatless Mondays as well. By eliminating one burger per week out of your diet, it is the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles. The list continues; there are countless benefits to meatless Monday.
  2. Reusable Napkins. You can make them at home! The average American spends almost $120 on napkins, paper towel, and toilet paper per year. Now, I am not to the point of using reusable toilet paper, but you can save money by making napkins. I went to my local fabric store, and bought fat quarters for just under .50 cents each. Then, I cut them in half, and sewed edges. They were so easy to make, my husband even jumped in on the action and sewed a few.
  3.  Reusable paper towels. Just get towels to use around your home, or you can cut up old towels. In the U.S. there is more than 13 billion pounds created of paper towel every year, and that number just keeps growing.  If families in the U.S used one less roll of 70 sheet paper towel, it could help eliminate up to 120,000 tons of waste.
  4. Get reusable glass products. This is one of the best way to reduce plastic in your life. Thus, reducing your toxic load. I love glass food storage containers. Most are microwaveable safe, and I have been finding so many in local stores it is awesome. When you microwave in glass, you do not have to risk BPA or other harsh chemicals hidden in plastic. I travel everywhere with my glass water bottle. They are safe to use when you add essential oils to your water. Glass is best.
  5. Make the coffee at home. I am not talking in single serve pods. In 2015, the U.S. consumed enough single serve pods to wrap around the globe 10.5 times. THAT IS INSANE. Get a reusable filter for your single serve coffee maker. Make your coffee at home, and use your own mugs. It takes up to 20 years for the standard to go up to break down in the environment. Let’s all save time and money, and make the coffee at home.
  6. Thrift/shop at second hand stores. Guys. One of my favorite things to do ever is to go thrifting. There are so many more options for uniqueness and creativity. If the clothing is the wrong size, there are several quick fixes to make that perfect fit. This is one of those options that can help save you a ton of money in the long run. Plus, you save the clothing from the land fill.
  7. Get a smart power strip/Unplug things. This is another one of those easy things that does not take much effort on your part, but can help save you money. Most smart power strips turn off energy to things that go into standby mode. It will turn the light off in the corner of the TV, and overall just helps conserve energy around the house. You can get smart power strips on Amazon. They are well worth the purchase.
  8. Reusable bags.  This is probable the easiest way to cut down on your waste. Approximately 10% of the garbage that washes up on the U.S. coastline.  Most reusable bags have a longer life span than 700 plastic bags. It just makes sense. Get the reusable bags. There are even bags small enough to keep in your car or purse for unexpected trips to the store.
  9. Line dry. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh line dried laundry. This is one small thing that will save you money in the long run. Plus, your clothes will smell amazing without using dryer sheets.
  10. Eat Local. This should be a no brainer. I love shopping at local farmer’s markets because you can ask questions to the person who comes in direct contact with your food. What sort of fertilizers do they use? When were these vegetables picked? What is the growing season? It can all be answered by the person in front of you! I get excited just thinking about farmer’s markets. As an added bonus, sometimes the farmer’s will even give you a tour of their facilitates. So, you can see your food before it is picked. How exciting is that?! Go experience your local food growing culture.

I hope these tips help you!

Love, Liv

Vegan French Toast Bake

Fall is in full swing here in Wisconsin. With a chill in the air and the leaves changing color, it reminds me of cozy Saturday mornings inside by the fire place in my parent’s house. My parents are both amazing cooks. Since going vegan, I have been trying to convert their delicious meals into their vegan sister dishes. Today I have for you a family  favorite Vegan. French. Toast. Bake. Talk about all the fall feels. BESIDES, WHO DOESN’T LOVE FRENCH TOAST?! Enjoy this easy recipe for you and your family. This recipe can be made gluten free by using gluten free bread.

Vegan French Toast Bake

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. almond milk
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar packed (organic to ensure it’s vegan)
  • 1/2 c. vegan “buttermilk”
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds ground
  • 1 loaf vegan day-old vegan bread (I used a vegan sourdough)
  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter

I have talked about the vegan “buttermilk” in my lemon blueberry muffin-top recipe found here. But-for a refresher, whisk 1/2 cup of almond milk with 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar and let sit for 5-10 minutes. The vinegar will cause the almond milk to slightly curdle, and make the buttermilk.

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut the loaf of bread into 3/4 or 1 inch pieces. Place in large bowl for later.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix together 1/2 cup almond milk with 2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Put aside.
  4. Take 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds, and grind them. I used a coffee grinder
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine: almond milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground clove, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, brown sugar, ground chia seeds, and vegan buttermilk.

    Chopped Chia Seeds
    Chopped Chia Seeds
  6. Pour 1/3 of the liquid mixture over the bread, and carefully mix. Repeat until the liquid mixture is combined into the bread.
  7. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add the bread and liquid mixture into the baking dish.
  8. Chop the 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, and place sporadically over the top.

    Chopped Butter on top French Toast Bake
    Place chopped butter on top the French Toast Bake
  9. Bake covered for 35-40 minutes
  10. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  11. Top with candied pecans and pure maple syrup.

Serves 6-8

BUT WAIT! 

If you need a recipe for candied pecans, look no further!

Candied Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (organic to ensure it is vegan)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat
  2. Add vegan butter to the skillet, and wait until you see bubbles start to form
  3. Toast pecans for 2-3 minutes in the skillet
  4. Add brown sugar
  5. Stir continuously until the sugar melts
  6. Remove from heat, and cool on a baking sheet

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Love, Liv

Zero-Waste Moving

Wow. Summer this year seemed to fly past. Among all the craziness of summer winding down, my husband and I spontaneously moved. We did not plan on moving this quickly, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Long story short, we wanted to move with as little environmental impact as possible. At first this seemed like an impossible task, but with a little persistence, it was manageable. Here are some of the tips and tricks we learned:

Zero Waste Moving.png

1.) Reuse bins and boxes. We asked to borrow several friends moving bins. We also reached out to local stores to get a few extra boxes. They were free, and the stores were happy to give them to us. Pro-tip: use your suit cases to move books. Books are heavy, and the suit case makes them easier to move.

2.) Unload as you go. Now, this might seem like common sense, but I have always packed everything up and moved in one day. This time around, my husband and I  did not have that option. Instead, we would pack up as many bins that would fit in our vehicles, take them to the new place, unload, and repeat the next day. In the long run, it required less moving materials. Plus, our new place is right down the road from where we work; so, we did not add any extra fuel emissions.

3.) Get creative with packing material. You don’t need bubble wrap, or other packing material. YOU ALREADY HAVE IT! Put down the bubble wrap. Now, step away. Use your sweatshirts, other clothing items, towels, scarves, really anything fabric, to pack away valuables. I found, we could fit 3 plates per 1 sweatshirt. We used blankets to wrap small decorations. Use sham covers to move your extra blankets and pillow cases. Get creative. You already have all the packing material you need. Plus the stuff you have is free.

4.) Pack lunches/snacks. Bring a box with a few plates, eating utensils,  and a way to wash your dishes in one of the first boxes you unpack. This way, you have all you need to eat at your new place  Plus, packing your own food helps you save money during the process, and cuts down on your waste.  BRING YOUR REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE. That is just a pro-tip for life.

5.) Donate. Donate. Donate. Nothing makes you feel more like a hoarder than trying to downsize. Have a “donate box” in every room. Get yo’ self that tax deduction! Pro-tip: get some friends together and organize a clothing swap. You can bring your old, unwanted clothes, and get new-to-you stuff for free! Donate the unwanted items after the event.

BONUS TIP: Save ripped, old jeans to make a rug for your new home. That will be featured in one of my up coming blogs. So, stay tuned.

Anyways, I hope this was helpful, and your moving is quick and painless.

 

Love, Liv