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Hey Loves!

Today is going to be a guest post by my husband, Christian. My husband and I have dug ourselves into debt to the point where it has started effecting our lives and our happiness. It's to the point where we want to get out of debt and stay away from credit cards for good. We've also been craving minimalism and self-sufficiency. We are tired of renting but we refuse to get into more debt so therefore were trying to pay off all of the bad debt and school loans before we starting looking for a house and get ready to start our family. So, without further ado, here is Mr. E.

I think we all get to the point where we realize that debt is a constricting monster. It starts small sometimes. You get a credit card with a low limit, maybe $300-$500, to build your credit as a teenager starting to go to college. You commit to building your credit and only use it for some groceries or gas here or there. Then, you figure "Well, I've got the limit. I can use it to buy that game console I really want and just pay it off quickly." or "It's just $300. I can go out with my friends and have a good time and then worry about paying it off later."

Hi, my name is Christian. My wife has mentioned me numerous times in this blog. I should know since I edit these posts for her before they make their way to the screens in front of you. Like many of you, I have made the same mistakes as above and more. Both of us have. We convinced ourselves that debt was a necessary evil. That you need credit to do anything of worth. Or even worse, that we can purchase this or that and we will pay it off later.

We found ourselves being constricted by this monster that is part societal pressure but mostly lack of personal discipline and direction. It's a bit difficult to admit that we have had trouble with finances, but they say that admitting that you have a problem is the first step. When you understand that there is a problem then you are in a position to start finding a solution. That understanding is what led me to pick up The Total Money Makeover by Mr. Dave Ramsey.

What I found when reading this seemingly generic, self-help-guru looking, book is that this is a fellow that gets it. According to his own website, Dave was a millionaire by age 26, making $250,000 a year with all of the bells and whistles coming along with it; beautiful house, new cars, etc. Along the way, he managed to dig himself into a massive debt hole that caused him to lose everything. Dave isn't the only one.

Let's see some numbers. I have gathered these all from
  • Total Revolving Debt (98% of which is Credit Cards) in the US: $798.3 Billion as of May 2011
  • Average Debt per household: $6,600.
  • Average Debt per household if you only count those that use credit: $15,799
  • Number of credit card holders in the US: 178.6 Million
A direct quote from the website: "Let’s say you have exactly the average credit card debt of $6600. You manage to get a balance transfer to a new credit card without any balance transfer fees at 12% interest – just below the national APR average right now. If you paid only the minimum payment which will start around $132, it will take you over 23 years to pay back your debt and you will pay $6144.87 in interest."

But that's just credit cards. Things look even more bleak when you consider consumer debt. Consumer debt is non-business related debt that is accrued without a credit card, such as lines of credit.

  •  Total Consumer Debt in the US: $2.43 Trillion as of May 2011 
  • Average Debt per household: $16,046.
  • Average Debt per household if you only count those that use credit: $54,000
  • The average college student graduates with $20,000 in student loan debt
  • In 2009, 1.4 Million bankruptcies were filed.
Those are a lot of numbers, the website has a few more if you're interested, and they illustrate the problem well enough. Debt is strangling many people and their families.

Maybe you have even found yourself stressing over reducing your own debt. If so, I want to help if I can. My suggestion for your first step is to buy or borrow a copy of The Total Money Makeover. If you aren't convinced then I will go over the 7 steps that Dave outlines in his book: the Baby Steps.

Before we get into it, I want to be clear. I know that many people use credit very responsibly and don't use more than they can pay off from their budgets each month. Many people like to use credit for the "benefits" that you accrue, such as points that can be redeemed for gift cards, air miles or even to pay off some of the balance on the credit card/line. Many people do see credit as at least a necessary evil. I get it. At the same time, my wife and I have come to disagree with folks that believe this way. For us, credit is not a positive thing, it is a pitfall. A pitfall that most people are conditioned to believe is wholly necessary in order to live in the modern world. Once we discovered that credit is actually unnecessary, it made it easier to commit to these steps.

Do you want a car? Save up for it or purchase what you can afford. You don't need a brand new car if you can't afford to bankroll it. If you're committed to dropping debt, then this is the reality. Buy a car for a few thousand or less that will last you for a couple years while you attack your debts.

Want a house? Don't take on the biggest payment you can afford a month. In Dave's method, he suggests finding a home that you can REALLY afford. That means getting a 15 year fixed rate mortgage in which the monthly payments don't exceed 25% of your monthly income.

It sounds difficult. That's because it is. It's hard to get out of debt. But if you really want to cut the credit noose once and for all, continue reading. Before you get into the Baby Steps, it is essential that you sit down and budget your money. Budget EVERY monthly cost and consider EVERY income. We use the EveryDollar app that you can download to your phone or tablet. If you're so inclined you can purchase a premium subscription and attach your bank account to the app and it will automatically populate the incoming and outgoing money for you and make it a bit easier. Once you have budgeted and know where your money is going, it's time to hit the Baby Steps for real. Let's get it started!

Baby Step #1: Save $1,000 for a beginnner emergency fund

This is how you get started. The goal is to dump all of your excess funds into paying down your debt. But what if life happens? That cheaper vehicle that you have may need repairs or you may need to fix some stuff in the house. Maybe you have to take a kid to the doctor. You will need SOME safety net. As quickly as you can, generate $1,000 and put it in a separate savings account. This an EMERGENCY fund. Don't make excuses to pull from it for Sunday night pizza or for entertainment.

To make it even harder to misuse, I suggest a Money Market Savings Account from Ally Bank. It's an online bank that has some of the highest APY's for savings accounts that I have seen. The money market savings account has a debit card but allows for only 6 transactions/withdrawals a month. This is good to discourage frivolous spending. It also makes your emergency fund easily accessible should an emergency arise. All you do is drop it in your lock box for that rainy day and your emergency fund is save and sound.

Baby Step #2: Pay off all debt but the house

Here is the big part. Only the second step but one of the biggest steps as it signals that you are turning your life around for the better. This is where the Debt Snowball comes into play. The Debt Snowball consists of a list of your debts, from the smallest balance to the largest. You will pay them off in this order. You make all of the minimum payments but you throw all of your excess money at the end of your budget into the smallest debt. When you pay that debt off, you take the extra money and throw it at the next largest debt. This way you make progressively larger payments to pay off the larger debts.

Here is a very simple example.

Credit Card #1
  • $300 balance
  • $35 minimum payment
Credit Card #2
  • $500 balance
  • $35 minimum payment
Student Loan #1
  • $2,000 balance
  • $100 minimum payment
Income for paying debt
  • $200 a month
Pay Card #2 and Student Loan #1 on the minimum payment. Put the extra $65 towards Card #1. Once Card #1 is paid off, roll over that $65 into the $35 you're already paying on Card #2 for $100 a month going into that balance. Once Card #2 is paid off, roll over that $100 into Student Loan #1 for a total monthly payment of $200. Make payments until all debt is paid off. Incidentally, this will take you about 14 months to pay off these debts at this rate. This doesn't take APR into account. It's just an example to show how this plan works.

Some might ask, why not pay the higher APR debts first? You could do that if you want, but by paying the smallest debt off first, it makes for a more progressively increasing monthly payment and it provides you with some encouragement. You can do this! It will take time but at the end of this hard work is a lifetime of debt-free living!

Before we move forward, a note on the Debt Snowball and your emergency fund. So, you get in an accident and you pull from your emergency fund to pay $500 for the insurance deductible. Now you don't have the full $1,000 in your savings. In this case, press Pause on the Debt Snowball and replenish your savings to $1,000. Once you've done that, resume the Snowball and get after it again. It will take some time but don't be discouraged, you're on the right path. 

Baby Step #3: Save 3 to 6 months of expenses

First off, Congratulations! You've paid off all of your debt, except for your house. Take a moment and breathe it in. No creditors calling, no debt collection, that much less stress in your life. It's good isn't it? However, you are far from done, so don't lose that intensity. Not only are you leaving debt in your rear view, but financial struggle in general. Every step moving forward is going to build on the foundation that you've laid by removing debt from your life.

In the first step, you saved up a bare minimum amount of money as an emergency fund. Now, you expand on it. Since you have no debt now, except for the house, it should be relatively easy to build up your emergency fund to cover 3 to 6 months of your expenses. Experts suggest 3 to 6 months of expenses because life happens. Cars break down, roofs get old and people get sick no matter what you do. The point behind saving up expenses by the month like this is also in case you and/or your spouse lose a job or becomes temporarily disabled. Yes, you might get lucky and find a job right away but sometimes it takes a while. By saving up according to your expenses, you ensure that you can keep the lights and heat and fill up your car and fridge while you are out of work.

Dave Ramsey recommends getting Disability insurance for these instances as well, but having this built up emergency fund will cover any eventuality.

Baby Step #4: Invest 15% of household income towards retirement

You never figured you'd get to this point did you? I mean, you thought about it, but never actually did anything about it right? Don't worry, we did the same thing. But there is a reason that all of the financial people and old folks say to start saving for retirement NOW. The more you contribute now, the more your money will grow before you start taking distributions when you get to a certain age.

If you aren't sure what to do about saving for a retirement, look to your company for your first step. Many companies have 401(k) plans in which they will match your contributions up to a certain percent or dollar amount. Take advantage of this if possible! I actually work for a company that makes contributions regardless of whether I make contributions so we were blessed.

If your company doesn't have any retirement or 401(k) plans, visit your bank or other financial institution to learn about the Roth IRA. The main difference between these two vehicles for retirement is in the taxes. With the 401(k) all of the contributions are made directly from an employees paycheck, by the employer, before any taxes are taken out. The annual limit for 401k contributions is $18,000 for those under the age of 50. Those over 50 may make an additional $6,000 in "catch-up" contributions.

With a Roth IRA, the first difference is that the individual seeking retirement investments goes directly to the investment firm to set up an account. There are no employer contributions but because the plan is not limited to what an employer determines, the investment opportunities can be greater. Also, the contributions made to the retirement account are done with after-tax income but annual contributions cannot exceed

Another difference is that investment gains made with a 401(k) are not taxed, however, distributions taken from the account after the individual turns 50 are considered taxable income. With a Roth IRA, no investment gains are taxed and no income taxes are levied.

If you want to invest more for retirement than what is allowed annually, you can look into other retirement plans. If you have a 401(k) with your employer, you can look into a Roth IRA to contribute the rest of your retirement funds.

Baby Step #5: Save for College

We all probably have some sort of student loan hanging over our heads. As mentioned above, the average college graduate will have a $20,000 student loan bill hanging over their heads at the end of their program. With that in mind, wouldn't you want your children to avoid that as much as possible?

There are mixed feelings on college. Some say that it is essential to make a decent living, others disagree. I find that both sides of the argument make good points on the matter. Regardless of whether your child goes to an actual college or not, it's a good idea to set aside funds for any kind of post-secondary education after high school. This is where Baby Step #5 comes into play.

If you have children or plan on having children, then look into starting a College 529 plan or an ESA. I'm sure you're asking what they are.

A College 529 is a post-secondary only savings plan that is good for parents who make more than a certain amount ($110,000 Single, $220,000 Married, Filing Jointly) and want to be able to save up a good chunk of change quickly for their children. Contributions made to the Plan are not taxed until after $14,000 has been reached for the year. In this instance, Gift Taxes may apply. The total plan limit is between $200,000 and $500,000 depending on the state of residence. And then, if the child in question does not go to college, the plan beneficiary may be changed to any other person, so long as they are a relative.

A Coverdell ESA (Education Savings Account) is an education savings plan that is good for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. This plan can only be used by parents who make less than $110,000 (Single) or $220,000 (Married, Filing Jointly) and the contribution requirements are a little tighter. Whereas the 529 plan is an account in the name of the parent (or someone whoever opened the account) with a named beneficiary, the ESA is in the name of the child and the bank is the custodian. Also, while there is no limit on lifetime contributions, there can be no more than $2,000 in contributions per year. Then if the child decides not to go to college, then the ESA beneficiary may be changed to another child or, when that child turns 30, they will receive the funds in a distribution, less income taxes and a 10% penalty.

There is more to these savings plans, so I strongly suggest looking into them. Even if your child doesn't go to a typical post-secondary school, you might be able to use these funds towards their education. If nothing works, you can always just start a simple savings account or invest in some mutual funds, anything to get your young ones off on the right foot without a debt burden!

Baby Step #6: Pay off your Home

So you've gone from hopeless and in debt to hopeful and in control of your finances. You've started to save for retirement and your children's futures. You even have an emergency fund for when Murphy comes for a sleepover. But you aren't QUITE out of debt completely. If you followed the Baby Steps tightly and have a house payment, it's time to tackle that. Every bit of excess money you have, throw it at that mortgage. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, interest only or even a 30 Year fixed rate, consider refinancing to a 15 year fixed rate. This will save you on interest and will encourage you to pay off faster.

If you don't own a home, I would think about getting into one. If you are smart about the home buying process, you should be able to find a house payment that doesn't exceed 25% of your monthly income or less. Try and stick to a 15 year fixed rate mortgage if you can, you don't want to be tempted to take your time to pay the place off. The goal is to be without any debt payments in as little time as possible. You're almost there! Maintain that intensity that brought you this far and get it done!

If you elect to go ahead and buy a home, we have read some good things about the FHA loans which are good for those with bad credit, no credit or unconventional credit, which might be the case since you've just gotten your debt taken care of.

Baby Step #7: Build Wealth and GIVE!

All of the hard stuff is over. Now it's time for the fun part! Enjoy your life! Set some savings aside and buy that awesome new(ish) car that you've wanted. Take your spouse on a celebratory vacation to whatever tropical paradise suits your fancy. Or, use your newfound financial freedom to build even more wealth.

You can invest in rental property and become a landlord or start your dream business. You can max out your retirement saving and live in comfort for your golden years or just give the grand-babies a full ride to their school of choice.

What many wealthy people say is the absolute most fun you can have with your money is by giving it away. Share your blessings and become an inspiration for others to take the same path and become financially free. It's all up to you now. As Dave Ramsey has said numerous times: "Live like no one else so that later you can live and give like no one else."


This concludes the Baby Steps as explained by Dave Ramsey. My explanations were by no means in depth or exhaustive. As I have said in the beginning of this post, seriously, get your hands on a copy of the Total Money Makeover and start listening to Dave's podcasts. He even has a radio show that you can catch every weekday. I strongly, strongly, STRONGLY recommend hearing the "Debt Free Screams" and the thousands of testimonials of people who have followed the guidelines listed above. This is not a gimmick. When you put these steps into practice and stick to them you will get out of debt. You can do it! I believe in you!

I hope that I've encouraged you and given you some sort of inspiration to get yourself into a place where finances are no longer a source of stress. This is your life and you will take control of it!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. If you have any questions or comments please give Shelly a message. If you have questions about what you have read here, let her know and I will get back to you as best as I can. Have a wonderful day and a prosperous year!

Shelvina E
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Hello Loves!

I hope this finds you all doing well. Today, I am going to bite the bullet and start to share about something that I don't feel altogether comfortable talking about. I'm going to talk about my Bipolar Disorder and what I am doing to cope with it. I'm usually fairly open but I also don't usually do heart-to-heart posts like this. Please bear with me as I go over the last couple of months.

Do you ever you feel like you're drowning, yet nobody to can save you? Even when you're surrounded by a ton of people?

That's how I feel pretty much every day or every other day. My mind races and races and rarely settles on ideas long enough to get something creative done. Which is sad because I feel that I am incredibly creative but I don't often have something to show for it. I also go from happy to sad or angry at the flip of a switch. I can have the best day ever, but someone might say something to me, my brain then over-analyzes what they said, and my emotions go through the wringer the rest of the day. I become impulsive; ask my husband how often I have cut my hair with a knife or a box cutter, even though he promised he would give me a hand when he gets home. I have such a strong sense of urgency that I can't stop myself from doing something. I struggle with money, I create all kinds of reasons why I need something, when I really don't, and end up buying what I feel like. Then there is the flip side, my depression. I have days where I literally can't wait to get out of bed because I want to get so much done, and then there are the days where I have this dark cloud hanging over my head and I don't even crawl out of bed. I don't eat, I don't drink, I watch videos on Youtube and pin things to my Pinterest boards and dream of all the things I want in life, then I realize I don't have those things and I sink even lower. I don't shower for days, barely brush my teeth. I won't discuss our sex life but let's just say that it, too, struggles. I don't work, I struggle to even think about leaving the apartment to go for a walk most days. I am constantly worried that the people around me are looking at me and thinking, "What the hell is her problem?", judging me at every opportunity.

Back in mid October, I was in the worst place in my life. My mania (the Bipolar term for when you feel "high") had gotten so bad that I hardly slept but maybe 8 hours A WEEK. I was so careless and impulsive. My husband was constantly asking "Why did you do this?" but I never had an answer other than I just felt the need to. But it was weird, I felt so great but I felt so out of control that I literally felt like I was drowning and no one could save me from myself. It was at that point that Christian decided that he couldn't do anything more to help me without us seeking out someone who knew how to handle Bipolar Disorder.

Does this sound familiar to any of you reading? If so, it might be time to see a professional, if you haven't already. I don't say that lightly, because I have been terrified to see a therapist or mental health doctor for the last 6+ years.

Those of you who know me or have read some of my posts  know that I was previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I lived back home in California, but the doctors I saw there just threw medication at me but rarely tried to help me work through the issues that I had that exacerbated my illness. I was on all kinds of medication that helped me stabilize my moods, helped me sleep, bring me up or down or just not worry about anything and walk around like a zombie all day. I was scared that seeing a doctor this time would be exactly the same. But I was more scared of breaking up our marriage after having just celebrated our first year as husband and wife. Granted, we have been together for over 6 years, living under the same roof, so Christian has become accustomed to my ups and downs. He also noticed how bad I was becoming. I could no longer rely on holistic and natural healing to live my day to day life.

So he got on the Psychology Today website and used their search engine to find a good therapist near us to get started with my healing. That is how we met my therapist, Denise. I've had about 6 sessions with her since we started visiting back in mid-October and we are just now starting to dive into the past issues that are affecting my present and future life. When you see a therapist, typically they will spend some time getting to know you, figuring out how you do things and generally why you do them. They will typically observe the way you answer questions, your demeanor, in addition to what you actually say. During this preliminary period, they get an idea of what you need and will likely recommend a psychiatrist or other medical doctor which is licensed to provide medication, if they feel you need it. In my case, Denise recommended a doctor that worked in the same building as her, Dr. L.

When I visited Dr. L., he started off by evaluating me to see if he agreed with Denise's own evaluation of my mental health. He agreed that I had Manic Bipolar Disorder, Type 1, which means that I suffer from the most severe form of Bipolar with a harder lean towards the manic side than the depressive. He and Denise also agreed that I have severe anxiety and some PTSD. I was in an accident back in January and I still haven't had the courage to get into a the driver's seat of a car, so I believe that is an accurate assessment.

Following a short discussion on medications, he decided to put me on some mood stabilizers: Divalproex ER and Aripiprazole, also known as Abilify. I was scared initially of being on medication but my life was being turned upside down without professional help so I figured we would give it a shot. I'm going to go ahead and plug for GoodRx and say that if you aren't checking them out for your medications, you should start. If any of you are acquainted with mental health medications at all, you will know that they can be crazy expensive. Depakote goes up to $265 retail price and Abilify can reach almost $800 for a month supply! But my husband looked into GoodRx at the suggestion of his insurance company and the total cost was $63.17 through Costco's pharmacy. That's amazing! Please check it out!

Divalproex is primarily used as an anti-seizure medication but is also commonly used to treat the manic stage of Bipolar Disorder. It's also good for treating migraines. Aripiprazole is an anti-psychotic that is used to treat Schizophrenia and manic episodes of Bipolar Disorder. My doctor also suggested to take Benadryl to further take the edge off and help me sleep (I was already doing that because the week before I started to take the medication I slept 8 hours in 5 days.) The main reason for all of these medications was because I was worried about becoming addicted, like can happen with medications like Zanax or Valium or some sleeping medications. So my doctor guided me towards non-habit-forming medications, which I really appreciate.

As of this posting, I have been on my medications for over 2 months. My husband and I, as well as our friends, all notice a gradual change. When I first met my doctors, I was going weeks without consistent sleep schedules, staying awake for 24 or 48 hours and crashing for 14 hours for sleep, if I was lucky. Now, I sleep pretty much when we go to bed and sleep through the night. When I was being evaluated by Dr. L. he had trouble understanding me because of how fast and erratic my speaking was. Now, I have an easier time slowing down my speech and getting my thoughts out of my mouth gradually. I had crazy, 0-to-60 style attitudes. I would be depressed one minute, the next I would be bouncing around and hyper. Now, I feel much more evened out than before.

Are all of the issues dealt with? No. Not by a long shot. Many of the issues are still there and still affect my day to day life. But I feel like my mind is better able to sort through them when we go over them in therapy.

Do I still practice holistic health? Yes, to a degree. I still enjoy good things like golden milk, essential oils, crystal healing, general healthy eating. I just no longer rely on it as a whole treatment of my Bipolar because it didn't help enough that it made my life improve. I have always believed in both holistic and conventional, or modern, medicine and I feel like having both in my life have helped significantly.

That was a lot to divulge and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. If you are reading this and going through a similar problem, I just want you to know that you aren't alone. I am here for you if you need me. I know that this journey of mental illness is a tough one, but it is one that we can all overcome. With just a little hope, a little faith and a big village, it's possible to live in such a way that you can be happy. You rule your illness, not the other way around.

To help you on your way, I've put together 5 ways that I cope with my Bipolar Disorder.


When I am having a rough time with anxiety, my go-to method of combating the racing mind and heart is meditation. Whether I have the presence of mind to get a whole station set up or if I am in a hurry, I make sure to sit up straight, cross my legs with my arms on my knees, and breathe deep in through my nose and out through my mouth. The goal is to focus all of your mind and energy on your lungs and breathing and detouring your thoughts into that central location. When I can, I set up my diffuser to pump out lavender essential oils, I grab a few healing crystals and really amp up my anxiety neutralizing power. Sometimes my meditation turns into a Yoga session. When I'm done, I'll move on to my next coping method:


My absolute favorite thing to do when I'm feeling a little manic is to cozy up with a nice steamy cup of tea. My favorites are lavender and chamomile, bumped up with some lavender essential oil. Like meditation, it helps to just focus on the heat, vapor and flavor of the tea. I also enjoy my family's recipe for ginger chai that helps ease the stomach as well. This is especially lovely if it's cool out and you can cuddle up on the outside chairs and enjoy the warmth from the tea.


Yes, it's that thing that everyone suggests but we never really love doing until we've already done it. If you're feeling stressed, and have anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of free time, throw on the sports bra, your favorite active leggings and get after it! Studies show that exercise releases endorphins which are natural painkillers. If you are struggling with a racing mind, then exercise has another beneficial effect: if you're focused on trying to kill it at your workout, you aren't worried about your other problems. Exercise helps you lose weight and improve your overall health which also helps with your mental health. A healthier body is more hormone balanced and, if you're like me and have PCOS, that's a very good thing! Burning the excess energy also helps get a more consistent sleep pattern. I personally like just cleaning up the living room, throwing in a DVD from Shaun T's Insanity workouts and getting it done. When I'm done, I feel SO much better! Give it a try!


This one is probably considered even more unfun than the previous. I have a big problem because I love to eat my feelings. My personal weakness is sweets. My husband's is salty food. When we feel lazy, we hit up Wendy's and come home with big burgers and big soft drinks with a big frosty. Afterwards we usually feel like crap and we can even feel our blood pressure spiking. When I am consistent with my diet, I feel amazing and my health problems are significantly reduced. Last year, my husband and I stuck to a ketogenic diet for several months. During those months, we felt better than we ever have because we were losing weight and putting real nutrients into our bodies. ANY diet can work wonders if you discipline yourself and stick to it. I don't care if you are ketogenic, vegan, vegetarian, atkins, paleo, they all can make you lose weight and improve your health. Make sure that you are taking in as many vegetables as possible and limiting processed foods. And, of course, be sure to get a good amount of water to stay hydrated at all times.


It's absolutely important to keep yourself busy. No, you don't need to be going 100 miles an hour every day and then crash a midnight to do it again in the morning. That can have the opposite effect. What I am talking about is keep your mind occupied so you are less likely to become anxious. When I was involved in my car accident in 2017, I was stuck doing very little while I waiting for my arm to heal. Since then, I haven't worked aside from working on this blog. I also haven't made myself work harder in my day to day life. Many days this led to all sorts of anxiety problems. On days that I kept myself busy, working on the blog or cleaning or coming up with new recipes or crafts, I felt so much better and more distracted. When you are sitting still, watching TV all day, you're not burning energy, you're not occupying your mind and you're not treating your mental health. Get up, put together a to-do list, and get it done. Do this every day and actually schedule some down time for some intentional thinking so you can become more proficient at lowering your anxiety.

And that wraps it up for this post. I hope that it helps if you're going through trials like I am. Remember that we can all help each other. You are not alone! Dealing with Bipolar Disorder is a fight but one where it's okay to bring some friends to help. If you have questions or comments, please let me know! Have a great day!

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Hi Loves!

Any who know me fairly well know that I suffer badly from anxiety. One of the things that really helps to bring me down from my anxiety is the scent of lavender. It really helps calm my nerves! What I usually like is putting couple drops of lavender essential oil, mixed with some coconut oil, on my wrist so I have an immediate source of calm on hand. Or, rather, on wrist. I also like putting plain Young Living Essential Oil on the rest of my pulse points. I have found that this particular brand is gentle enough to put on my bare skin without any irritation.

Sometimes, you need a little more immersion into the lavender love. So I put together this Honey Lavender Body Scrub. With most of the items already in your pantry, this is a remarkably simple recipe. I used my favorite Young Living brand essential oil but you can certainly use whatever brand you prefer. I buy a lot of Fresh Thyme and Now brands which are both great but I still prefer Young Living for ingestion and dermal use.

It doesn't apply to this post, since it's a scrub, but if you want to you can generally ingest Young Living brand essential oils, such as Peppermint oil in your tea or Lemon in your chicken or fish dish. The brand representatives that we have spoken with all agree that this brand is okay to ingest, as long as they are derived from plants that you would typically eat. You would eat Basil or Cinnamon but you wouldn't generally eat Frankincense and Myrrh. Other brands are usually better for aromatherapy or limited skin use when mixed with some coconut oil. With ANY brand of essential oil, you should try very limited use at first to determine if your body will have any reactions.

So, without further ado, here is the soothing scrub for your aching everything!

Here is the list of ingredients:

Sugar - 1 Cup
Coconut Oil - 1/2 Cup
Young Living Lavender Essential Oil - 30 Drops
Honey - 2 Tbsp.
Dried Lavender - 3 Tbsp.

And here are the directions:

It's very simple. Gather all of your ingredients and mix them together in a glass or ceramic bowl. It's important that you don't use plastic as it's possible that it can become damaged by the essential oils. Certain properties in the oils can degrade the plastic and the plastics can destroy the oils and nobody wants that, especially since some oils can be pretty costly.

The ingredients should be very evenly mixed, no big clumps of anything. When you're done, deposit the mixture into your favorite glass container. I got a few of these little glass jars from the container store! To make it pretty, sprinkle some leftover dried lavender over the top and there you have it! This is perfectly placed next to the sink to give yourself a quick scrub before washing your hands.

So I hope you love this scrub. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to let me know! Have a wonderful day!

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Hey Loves!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Last year many of you absolutely loved my wreath and tree. I got such a warm reception that I decided to do a mini photo tour of the holiday decor around our home. I truly love this time of year. The lights, the decorations, the gifts, the food; I adore all of those things! I especially enjoy the process of decorating my home while listening to some Christmas music. It's such a stressful activity while I'm doing it but I can't get enough of the atmosphere that the holidays bring.

I'm going to apologize in advance for the mini-ness of this tour but with getting ready to see my family for Christmas for the first time in 6 years and getting the apartment decorated it's been a very busy month. I just wanted to make sure to share at least a few pictures to sprinkle some holiday joy for all my loves that follow me!

In addition to showing you some of my decor, I'm going to share with you 5 of our holiday traditions towards the end of the post.

So, go on and see!

So, this was a very exciting year. How so? Well, my wonderful father-in-law bought Christian and I a brand new, full sized tree! No more 3 foot tall tree for me! Don't get me wrong, I could make that little tree sparkle like a diamond for Christmas. But now I can decorate a Big Girl tree! We raided Hobby Lobby, Michaels, TJ Maxx, Homegoods and Lowes finding new ornaments to fully deck out our tree. We made sure to get one special ornament (one of our traditions) to commemorate Christmas as a married couple. It's that lovely white and gold ball in the picture above. If you look carefully near the top, you can see the golden heart ornament that we got for our first Christmas.

I expanded my decor to other parts of the apartment this year besides just the tree and the wreath. I put together this beautiful garland piece on our entertainment dresser. The garland is from Lowes, the flocked picks are from Hobby Lobby, the bulbs are from Michael's and the stockings and deer bust stocking hangers are from Homegoods. Can you believe that those stockings are UGGs and we found them at Homegoods for under $15 a piece? My point is to not be afraid to shop around for your decor. There are all sorts of options out there and you don't need to break the bank to make your house look good!

Of course, the holidays aren't complete without a creative coffee and tea station! Unfortunately we couldn't do a crazy amount of decorating to this area but I found a few pieces to tie it in to the rest of the home. We have had the Mr. and Mrs. mugs for a while but I dressed the cake stand that they sit on with the JOY sign. I also kicked up my artistic side with the chalkboard above.

On a side note, if you want to flavor your coffee or tea, I really recommend checking out Homegoods. We found all of those syrups there. Such things as S'mores, Pumpkin Spice, GLAZED DONUT, Peppermint Mocha and Salted Caramel can be found for under $6. I am obsessed with Peppermint Mocha flavor at this time of year!

And this is one of my favorites. I'm so proud of this centerpiece you see above. Unlike 95% of the greenery you see around the apartment, this is composed entirely of REAL greenery that we found at Trader Joe's. The candles and jars are from Goodwill. The mirrored base is actually an embossed four piece mirror that goes on the wall. We never put it up after we moved and I found them while I was digging up Christmas decorations. The place mats, plates, bowls, napkins, napkin rings and silverware were all dug up at Homegoods. Oh, and the wine glasses we found at Goodwill as well.

Of course, since I set the  table, we haven't touched it because we don't want to mess it up!

And that about does it for the photos that I have. I hope that you've enjoyed them and I hope they give you some inspiration for next year!

Oh yeah! I'm not going to forget about our Christmas traditions! Some of these we are going to start this year and some we have already started.

  • Buy A Special New Ornament! We've been doing this since before we got married but we've focused on getting even nicer ornaments to celebrate the holidays together.
  • Leaving Out Cookies For Santa! Yes, we don't have children yet. But I am a child at heart and I want to pretend that Santa actually exists. If you encourage your young ones to believe in Saint Nicholas then it's always fun to preserve the magic of Christmas in this way. And it's a valid excuse to make some delicious cookies!
  • Incorporate As Much Real Greenery As Possible! This isn't so much a tradition as a determination of mine to move away from using as much plastic. We already throw away so much garbage and I feel that it's a great way to be green and enjoy your greenery.
  • Go And Look At Lights! Some people might think it's creepy of us to slowly drive through neighborhoods. But we like to appreciate the beauty and hard work that goes into decorating the outside of your house for the holidays. A place called Reynolds Farm Equipment up in Fishers always has a huge setup! So pretty! 
  • Buy A Simple, Meaningful Gift For Eachother! We seem to get wrapped up in the holidays every year but we forget to actually get eachother an actual Christmas present. We are going to start making it a tradition to get eachother at least one simple and affordable gift.
 That's all for now but we will do more in the future, I have no doubt. Especially when we have children!

What do you think? Do you have interesting Holiday Traditions? How does you decor look this year? Leave comments and share! I hope you enjoyed this mini tour of our Christmas decorations! Have a great day Loves!
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Hey Loves,

Even though it's getting chilly outside, I am back with another way to make your outdoor space look amazing and be functional on a budget!

If I can share anything with you, it's to not be afraid of considering things that other folks throw away. My husband and I live in an apartment and on our way to an evening out we found a very nice, yet damaged, trunk dumped out near a dumpster. We saw it and thought how easily we could fix it and add it to our small apartment patio.

This is just one example of things that you can find that some folks are only interested in throwing out.

Isn't it pretty cool? Of course, you should investigate thrown out or otherwise used items with some care. You want to inspect them to make sure there are no pests, like bed bugs or termites, or that there are no other health hazards, like black mold. A rule of thumb that my husband and I have is that, if we find something that someone has thrown out, it shouldn't have fabric or padding on it. That helps lower the risk of health hazards that you can't see. Of course, it's all up to you but this is just our own rule. Some folks don't mind reusing old couches, chairs and even mattresses. Not us.

You also want to make sure that it is, after all, okay for you to be grabbing someone's old, thrown out furniture in the first place. Since this was next to an apartment community dumpster, we didn't feel odd about grabbing it. If it were out on the curb in front of someone's house, then it's still technically their property. It's also, most likely ON their property so it then becomes a matter of trespassing. So just be careful and if you have any concerns, try and ask the owners.

Don't take this to mean that you should go roll around in the garbage, but that you could definitely find some hidden gems if you care to take a look.

So, without further ado, here is our little coffee table/storage bin project. I'll describe some of the ways that we fixed it up to make it fit our space!

The first step is to repair the damage. In the photo before the one above you can see that everything looks to be in pretty good shape. But the photo directly above shows that one of the legs with a wheel has been broken off. It's difficult to see but there was also alot of dirt and grime coating the other three wheels. You could barely see the heads of the screws that held the legs on. It was a bit of a mess. But one what we decided to get cleaned up.

To clear up the grime around the screw heads that kept the legs on, we just scraped at it with an old butter knife that was nearby. You could use a pick or a box cutter. We tried using a flathead screwdriver at first. We got the grime cleared up enough that we could get a good grip on the screws and draw them out. There was so much crud in there that a couple of the screws really didn't like leaving their home. Unfortunately one of the screws was so insistent on remaining where it was that we ended up breaking some of the wood slightly.

When you have things like this happen, get some wood glue and try and stick the broken off piece back where it came from. If it's not a major structural piece then don't worry too much about it. We just want it to look good.

Now that we've removed the old legs, and buttoned up the damage, we will get it cleaned up and ready for paint.

The first thing you want to do when dealing with old wooden items like this trunk is to strip it of the old coats of paint, or in this case, the clear coat/sealant. This trunk just had to be cleaned and roughed up for the paint. You can either just grab a few slices of sandpaper or, if you're like my husband, use this project as a new excuse to buy a new sander. We used the rotary sander to strip the surface off of the trunk. Typically, you'd use at least two different types of grit to do this. A more coarse grit is good for getting the cleaning up done quickly. Once all of the old surface is sanded off, use a finer grit to even out the wood and make it nice and smooth. This will help the paint adhere smoothly to the trunk.

The same principles apply to sanding this by hand. It will get done but it will likely take longer.

The next thing we did was to add legs to the table to keep it off of the ground and well within reach of the patio seating that my husband made earlier this year. You can glue some legs to your furniture, figure out a way to attach them to it, but we got lazy when we hit Lowe's. We found out that other folks had dealt with the same issue and the market had replied with an easy way to add some legs to our trunk.

As you can see in the above photo, we found these metal attachment points right next to the legs that were pre-threaded to screw right into them. They only cost $15 for the plates and the legs so it's not expensive in the least. The plates have their own screws to attach them to the bottom of the trunk then you just screw in the legs good and tight. Of course, being such a quick and easy method of affixing some legs to furniture, they might be a little crooked. Ours were but the metal is soft so you can gently bend them a little in whatever direction you need to straighten them out.

Once the legs are screwed in place and you've made sure that they are straight, turn the trunk over and check for it to be level. If it is a little off, use your sander or sand paper to remove some of the material from the longest leg or legs. Remove a little material at a time and constantly check for levelness. When it's level, go ahead and turn it over. We are going to do one more thing before we paint.

One thing about old pieces of wooden furniture is that they are definitely NOT weatherproof. They have cracks and crevices that hold onto water and that leads to mold and damage. We want to get rid of those so that it helps keep out water. For that, we will use a wood filler and a scraper tool to press it into the cracks and smooth it out. We got a nifty tube of it which made application really easy. Just make sure that, when you use the filler in the tube, you squeeze it around to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly. When the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, squeeze it out over the crack or damage. In the photo above, we fixed a spot where the trim was separating from the lid. In the photo below, you can see my husband pressing the filler into the crack. Let the filler dry for the prescribed length of time on the container then sand the location to smooth it out. If needed, apply more filler until it is filled completely. This will allow the paint to completely coat the trunk and seal water out.

We had a much deeper cut in the front of the lid. In the below photos you can see the rough fill then how it was cleaned up before we painted.

When you're done applying the wood filler, make sure you sand the areas around the repairs. Now you can paint! Put down 2 or more coats of your favorite color. We were lazy so we used some spray paint. We put down 2 coats of the color and 2 coats of satin clear.

Note: With older furniture like this, the sealant or whatever oils that were originally used can seep through the paint job and ruin your hard work. Even with 4 coats of protection. I am speaking from experience because the old chemicals came through some spots. To fix this problem, first lay down a couple thick coats of primer that is made for covering up old oils. THEN use your paint and clear coat of your choice.

And that's it! All that we spent on this project was ~$35 for the legs, paint and wood filler. This resulted in a table/storage solution that would have cost nearly $100 in some stores. Of course, I realize that this is coming as temperatures are dropping and being outside isn't as often an order of business, but it can serve as a place to put your hot chocolate while you curl up under a big blanket to watch the frost melt off in the mornings. For us, it does exactly that and also gives us a place to put some of the blankets that we want easier access to. However you do a project like this, I hope it comes in good use for you! I hope you also learned a few things to help in fixing up some old furniture instead of tossing it away!

Enjoy the Fall while it lasts because we have Thanksgiving coming up this week and Christmas soon after that. I hope you all have a wonderful day Loves!

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Hi Loves!

Today I bring to you some delicious muffins on this beautiful, crisp fall morning!

Maybe it's a little annoying to some but I love everything pumpkin when this time of year hits. The natural sweetness is like eating vegetable candy to me! My grandma likes to cook pumpkin all the time and she makes it with love and Indian spices. I like pumpkin baked goods myself most of all. While I don't mind the traditional favorite: pumpkin pie, pumpkin spiced latte, pumpkin loaf, etc., I love to create new recipes for myself. I usually get a can of unsweetened, pureed pumpkin and play around with different ideas.

This time, I decided to make a dressed up version of a pumpkin muffin! On top of the usual spices, I brought brown sugar and pumpkin seeds, one to give it that molasses-y sweetness and the other to bring texture to the sometimes mushy party.

The result was a perfectly moist muffin that was sweet but not too much so. Perfect for a snack or breakfast on the go. So let's get started.


Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree - 1 Cup
Eggs - 2 Large
Unsweetened Almond Milk - 1 Cup
Ginger - 1 Tablespoon, freshly grated
Light Brown Sugar - 1/2 Cup, lightly packed
Butter - 3 Tablespoons, melted
Flour - 1 1/2 Cup, sifted
Baking Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Allspice - 3 Teaspoons
Nutmeg - 1/2 Teaspoon, grated
Ground Cinnamon - 3 Teaspoons
Himalayan Pink Salt - 1/2 Teaspoon


Raw Pumpkin Seeds - 1/3 Cup
Light Brown Sugar - 2 Tablespoon

This is really easy to do. First, set the oven to preheat to 350 degrees.

Then, get all of the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, almond milk, ginger, brown sugar and melted butter and get the ingredients in to the bowl. Using a whisk, mix until the eggs are scrambled into the mixture and everything is smooth.

Then pour all of the dry ingredients in a bowl (the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt) and mix them slowly with a fork to incorporate everything. Then start whisking the wet ingredients and slowly add the dry ingredients a scoop at a time. You can just use a spoon or a measuring cup if you like, it's just good to slowly add the dry ingredients to prevent lumping.

When the batter is mixed, it should be good and thick. Not as thick as a dough but thicker than pancake batter. If it is too thick, add a little water or almond milk to thin it out, about 1 tablespoon at a time. If you need it to thicken up, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

So, your batter is done. Grab your muffin tray and line it with the paper muffin cup liners then spray a little nonstick spray before pouring in the batter. Stop pouring batter when you get near the top of the liner so it doesn't spill over. I used a tray that was about 8 cups and those cups were about 1/2 Cup sized or normal muffin sized.

When you've finished filling all of your cups, sprinkle brown sugar and the pumpkin seeds, slide the pan into the oven and let the muffins bake for about 35 minutes. You'll know your muffins are done when they have expanded over the cup liners and if you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.

That does it for this recipe. I hope it helps to quell the NEED for pumpkin flavored bake goods as the temperature outside starts to go low and the leaves start to turn. If you enjoy this, please leave a comment and share with your friends! Thank you and have a lovely day as always!

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Hello Loves!

Today I bring you all a very delicious, perfect for fall, stuffed pork tenderloin. Normally, I don't care for pork. My husband, who was raised in the country in the Midwest, absolutely loves it.  A couple years ago, I made spicy pork with cheese polenta for my husband's birthday. Ever since, he's tried to goad me into making my own recipes for pork. I don't do it often and when I do, it's smothered in soy sauce and ginger and powerful flavors to hide the porky flavor from my tongue. This was one of those exceptions. A very delectable exception indeed!

The idea for this combination came when I sat down and started thinking of good dinner ideas for Fall. I knew that I wanted to make some pork to treat my husband with but I wasn't sure what to do. He suggested a pork tenderloin because it isn't terribly strong flavored in and of itself but it takes on flavors pretty well. From there, it was pretty easy to come up with the plan to butterfly the tenderloin and stuff it with good things.

Those good things I settled on were fennel and apples. The light flavor of the fennel and the sweet and crisp from the red delicious and granny smith apples are fairly common porcine companions but I decided to combine them with some butter, garlic and tarragon.

Tarragon is not usually recommended for pork dishes, to my knowledge, but it goes well with it's sweet, anise-like flavor. It helps tie in the flavors of the stuffing. And of course the garlic and butter are always welcome to the party. This makes for a wonderful trip from sweet to savory and back.

These flavors really reminded me of a Fall harvest and would go beautifully with some mashed sweet potatoes or roasted butternut squash. So what time to share better than in the first week of Fall when everything is starting to be harvested and apples are coming off of the trees.

Speaking of apples, we recently went to visit one of Chris's friends who has several apple trees in his back yard and he was only too pleased that we were clearing out the apples so he didn't have to clean them up later off of the ground. In the end, we came away with a 5 gallon bucket full of delicious red apples that are going into some future recipes for y'all to enjoy. For now, let's get to it so you can enjoy some amazing pork tenderloin!

Pork Tenderloin - 1 to 2 pounds.
Fennel - 1 Cup, sliced
Granny Smith Apple - 1/2 Cup, diced
Red Delicious Apple - 1/2 Cup, diced
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Fresh Tarragon -  1 Tbsp., chopped finely
Kerrygold Butter - 1 Tbsp.
Salt - 1/4 tsp.

For a butter sauce to go over the finished dish, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add 2 tablespoon of freshly chopped tarragon to a bowl. Set aside until ready.

To get started, set your oven to preheat to 375 degrees.

Then prepare your fruits and vegetables according to the above list. Take out a saute pan and melt the tablespoon of butter in it over medium-high heat. When the butter has completely melted, add the apples, fennel, garlic, 1 tablespoon of tarragon and salt. Stir often to get all of the ingredients mixed together. Saute until the apples and fennel start to turn brown on the very edges, as you can see in the photo below. When they are done, set them aside in the pan, off of the heat. The pan will keep the vegetables and fruits warm until you need them.

Now, prepare your tenderloin. With a very sharp knife, slice down the center of the tenderloin, stopping short of the last 1/2 to 1/4 inch before you cut through completely. You want to butterfly the tenderloin, not slice it in half. When you've got it cut open, transfer it to a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Open the tenderloin up and spoon in the fennel and apples. Then close up the tenderloin and seal it. You can either wrap it up with butcher's twine or, if you're like me and forgot to get some, you can use toothpicks like I did in the photo below.

Yeah, it doesn't look elegant but it definitely works. When you're done securing the tenderloin, flip it over onto the seam which will help the seam sear shut while it cooks.

With all of that done, go ahead and use half of the tarragon and melted butter mixture to coat the top of the tenderloin. Now it's ready for its tanning session in the lovely preheated oven!

Slide the baking tray into the middle rack of the oven and close it up, letting it cook for 25 minutes. I strongly urge you to check in on the tenderloin at about 20 minutes with a meat thermometer. Remove the tenderloin from the oven when it reaches about 145-160 degrees. Once removed from the oven, allow the tenderloin to rest for 3 - 5 minutes to recover some of the moisture.

And that does it! Make sure to pour the remaining tarragon butter over the tenderloin before serving while it's still warm. I can't wait to make another one of these, my tastebuds are already dying for another delicious dinner. Please let me know how you like it and share this with your friends if you do. Have a wonderful day!


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Tarragon Pork Tenderloin Stuffed With Fennel and Apples
Enjoy a delightful pork tenderloin, stuffed with harvest fruits and veggies, smothered with tarragon-infused butter.
  • 1 to 2 pounds Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 Cup, sliced Fennel
  • 1/2 Cup, diced Granny Smith Apple
  • 1/2 Cup, diced Red Delicious Apple
  • 2 Cloves, minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped finely Fresh Tarragon
  • 3 Tbsp., melted Kerrygold Butter
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
Start with the tarragon butter. Take 2 tablespoons of the butter and melt it in a small pot. Add the tarragon and stir it until it's wilted into the butter.Prepare the vegetables according to the ingredient directions.Butterfly the pork tenderloin by slicing down through the middle, stopping about 1/4 to 1/2 inch before it's all the way through.Place the tenderloin, open side up, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Before going further, set your oven to preheat to 375 degrees.Take out a saute pan and set it on medium-high heat. Melt the remaining butter in the pan then add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining tarragon. Saute the ingredients until the apples and fennel are slightly brown on the edges. Turn the heat off and set the pan aside to let the ingredients cool slightly.Once the stuffing ingredients have cooled, spoon them into the middle of the tenderloin and wrap it up around them. Use butchers twine or toothpicks to secure the tenderloin closed and lay the tenderloin, opening down, onto the tray. Pour half of the tarragon butter over the top.Place the baking tray into the heated oven and let the tenderloin cook for about 25 minutes. Start checking the tenderloin with a meat thermometer. You want the internal temperature to be between 145 and 160 degrees.Remove the tenderloin from the oven and spoon the remaining tarragon butter mixture over it before serving.Enjoy!Nutrition (based on 1 pound tenderloin:

Calories: 225
Protein: 23.4g
Net Carbs: 6.6g
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings
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Because who DOESN'T need a little pumpkin in their bread!

Hey Loves!

FALL is here!! YAY!! My favorite season and what says fall more than spiced pumpkin bread? Delicious and moist, melt in your mouth GOODNESSS!! I've made various different recipes in the past and this has been my go to in fall. Unlike many goodies that float around this time of year, these aren't incredibly sweet, which is what me and my husband typically enjoy.

I used to bake a lot in my early 20's, but now, not as much. Stopping was always something that I've regretted so I've been pushing myself to bake more these days. I used to bake all of the birthday cakes and sweets for my family and I was really good with baking and decorating wonderful things. This sucks for my husband because he hasn't had the chance, until recently, to try my baked goods. Now he says I need to do this more often, considering we made 4 loaves, gave 2 away and ate the rest in a matter of a couple days.

So, without further ado, here is my version of a pumpkin bread!


Unbleached Flour - 2 Cups, sifted
Baking Powder - 1 Tablespoon
Pumpkin Pie Spice - 2 Tablespoons
Cinnamon - 1 Tablespoon
Eggs - 3, medium
Raw Cane Sugar - 1 Cup
Canned Pumpkin - 2 Cups (make sure it's unsweetened or be prepared for the sweetness)
Butter - 1/4 Cup, softened
Unsweetened Almond Milk - 1/2 Cup (I used vanilla flavored but it doesn't matter too much)
Himalayan Pink Salt - 1/4 Teaspoon
Cinnamon Chips - 2 Cups

The first thing to do is to get the oven to preheat to 350 degrees.

Next, put all of the wet ingredients into the bowl of your mixer: the eggs, canned pumpkin, butter and almond milk. Using the whisk attachment, get it all nice and incorporated. The whisk will help whip the mixture slightly and lighten it up.

Now, in a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a fork or whisk: the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, sugar and salt. When everything is mixed, now it's the time to add it to the wet ingredients.

Turn the mixer on and set it to a low-medium speed. Pour in about half of the dry ingredients. Let the whisk mix the dry and wet ingredients until they are fully mixed. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and let it mix until that is incorporated and you have a cohesive batter.

Once you're satisfied with the batter consistency, flip up the mixer and remove the whisk attachment to give yourself some room. Then dump in the cinnamon chips and fold them into the batter with a spatula.

About this time, the oven should be heated up or nearly there. That means we are almost done. Get out some loaf pans, this will either make 2 normal sized loaves or 4 mini loaves, like I have done. Whichever you go with, make sure you grease the inside well with a non-stick spray or butter. When the pans are greased, spoon in batter until the pans are full. You can tap the pans against the counter to make sure the batter fills the spaces.

Go ahead and put the loaf pans in the oven. If you are using the mini loaves, I suggest placing them on a larger tray to make the easier to handle. Once the pans are in the oven, they will bake for about 45 minutes. At that time, stick a toothpick into the loaves to check for doneness. The toothpick should come away clean. If the toothpick has dough stuck to it, let the loaves bake for an extra 5 to 10 minutes.

When the loaves are done, remove them from the oven and set the pans on top of a cooling rack for about 5 to 10 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle. When they are, go ahead and remove the loaves from the pans and let them cool for a few more minutes on the cooling rack by themselves.

Now, the moment you've been waiting for! Cut yourself off a slice and spread some butter on it and tell me that isn't fall in one beautiful bite!

You can enjoy this with simple butter, jams and jellies, maybe some peanut butter. You could even make some simple frosting like for a cinnamon roll and pour it over a slice of this and make it more sweet. What do you like to eat with something like this? Please leave a comment and share this recipe with your friends. Enjoy and have a great day!

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Best Spiced Pumpkin Bread With Cinnamon Chips
In celebration of the coming Fall, here is a delicious pumpkin bread that's not too sweet and flavored with some good cinnamon chips. Enjoy!
  • 2 Cups, sifted Unbleached Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
  • 1/4 Cup, softened Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/4 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 2 Cups Cinnamon Chips
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. In the stand mixer bowl, add the wet ingredients: eggs, pumpkin, butter and almond milk. Mix them together with the whisk attachment until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a fork: flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, sugar and salt.With the mixer running at low-medium speed, add half of the dry ingredients until completely mixed in. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated with the wet and the batter is smooth.Remove the attachment and dump in the cinnamon chips. Fold them into the batter with a spatula.Grease your loaf pans. Either two regular loaf pans or 4 mini loaf pans. Pour equal amounts of batter into them. Tap the pans against the counter to fill in the spaces evenly.Bake the loaves for 45 minutes or until a toothpick is stuck in them and comes out clean.Remove loaves from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 5 to 15 minutes.Nutrition:

Calories: 313
Fat: 12g
Protein: 5.5g
Net Carbs: 42.5g
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Full size Loaves or 4 Mini Loaves
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