Shortbread Cookies


Shortbread cookies are one of my favorites & sometimes I add a few chocolate chips to change it up a bit!

3/4 cup real butter (softened)

1 3/4 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

chocolate chips (optional)


Directions – 

Cream butter & sugar together until fully combined. Add vanilaa

Slowly add flour.

Stir in chocolate chips or split the batch – 1/2 with chocolate & 1/2 without!

Bake for 10-13 at 350 degrees depending on altitude.

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Adapted from Betty Crockers Christmas Cookbook


Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently I started following a gluten free diet, not a strict one but the main bulk of my diet is gluten free. And for someone who bakes often, I was on the hunt for a flour substitute. While at Costco I found a gluten free flour mix called, Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend by Namaste Foods. This was about $9 for 5 lb. so it isn’t the cheapest but it works and I don’t use it for all of my baking.

GF Flour

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes that I found on another blog – that was adapted from Alton Brown. I have made these both with regular flour and this GF flour.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter

2  1/4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup + 1/8 cup of sugar

1  1/4 cups brown sugar

1 egg (room temperature)

1 egg yolk (room temperature)

2 tblsp milk

1  1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


Melt butter in saucepan over low/medium heat. Mix together flour, salt, & baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside.

In large mixing bowl pour in melted butter and add sugars, cream together on medium speed. Add egg, egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover dough and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees – time & temperature may vary depending on oven and altitude.

Scoop dough using a cookie scoop or tablespoon onto sheet. Make sure the cookie sheets are not warm, especially when making sugar cookies so they keep their shape. Using parchment paper helps keep the cookie sheets clean & makes the cookies not stick.

Once oven has reached the temperature, bake cookies for 11 minutes. Adjust time as needed – if you like a doughier cookie or a crispier cookie =)



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DIY Vanilla Bean Carpet Freshener

Have you ever wondered just how many toxins are in the carpet freshener that you find at the stores? The smell may be lovely but you’re doing more harm than good, especially if you have children or pets that have consistent contact with the carpet.

A simple at home solution: Vanilla Bean Carpet Freshener

  • Fill up a mason jar with Borax – found in the laundry aisle
  • Add one vanilla bean
  • Add a few drops of organic vanilla extract
  • Shake – the longer it sits the more powerful it smells
  • Sprinkle sparingly onto carpet, let sit a few minutes then vacuum.

Borax is a natural odor fighter and can be used for many cleaning tasks around the house.



*Substitute with different essential oils to your liking!

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Are You Suffering From Arthritis?

An estimated 50 million adults in the United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. (CDC, 2013). Arthritis is the inflammation in one or more of your joints causing stiffness, aches, & pain. The most common types are rheumatoid arthritis & osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto immune disorder where the body attacks the lining of the joint capsule resulting in swelling and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can have an early onset, with joint damage within the first two years. (Arthritis Foundation, 2008). Osteoarthritis is mainly caused by wear and tear on the joints. Extensive damage results in loss of joint cartilage leaving the bones to grind against one another. The knee joints are a common area to become affected. (Mayo Clinic, 2013).


  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Loss of motion

Risk Factors:

  • Family history – some types of arthritis are hereditary. My Mother & Grandmother both have osteoarthritis.
  • Age – Risk increases with age, typically over 50.
  • Your sex – Women are more prone then men.
  • Previous joint injury – Sports injury or over use of joints, previous accident, or previous broken bones.
  • Obesity – Extra weight puts pressure on the joints increasing aches & pains.

Foods that help reduce inflammation:

  • Fruits – pineapple, cherries, blueberries, apples, strawberries
  • Nuts
  • Green tea
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric, ginger, thyme
  • Fish
  • Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa

Herbs that help reduce pain & swelling:

  • Turmeric
  • Cats Claw
  • Boswellia
  • Aloe Vera
  • Ginger

Exercising lightly with low impact movements will help keep your body flexible, reduce pain, and keep bones strong. Stretching is one of the best exercises for people suffering from arthritis. Aerobics & walking help strengthen the muscles, increase your heart rate, and release endorphins to make you feel happy!


Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to treat or cure a medical condition. I am not a doctor, please consult your personal physician before starting, stopping, or changing your routine. All content provided is for informational purposes only.