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5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day!

22 Apr

Happy Earth Day!

I’m of the mindset that every day should be considered “Earth Day,” in that it’s important to be conscious of our impact on the planet all year long!  Much like the sentiments of many holidays  (the thoughts, feelings, and considerations that are brought to light) I feel would  ideally be best displayed every day, sometimes we lose focus and need the reminder of a “special day” to nudge us in the right direction!  In that case, I’m all for a holiday that brings our priorities back in line!


Today seemed like a really great day to get outside and enjoy the weather, the wildlife, and the sunshine.  I normally try to get outside for a walk or a jog down the street and back (2 miles, haha) every day, today it was way too toasty out to lug my camera with me.  So, for the sake of me returning alive, but also giving you a peek at some of the cool plants, animals, and scenery I get to appreciate every day, I decided to show you some pics from a few days ago when the weather was MUCH cooler!

I don’t like to be in too much of a hurry when I’m walking outside – there are too many interesting things going on that I’d probably miss out on if I rushed.  Long.  Straight. HILLY road!  When I do run, those hills get me every time!

The California Poppy is currently in full bloom!  Takes a lot for me not to pick a few for a vase on my way home….!

To date, this is my favorite horse in the world.  I have no idea what his name is, but we’ve developed a relationship that transcends the need for names.  It goes a little something like this: I bring him treats (carrots, apples, etc) and he runs to the fence, pretending he’s excited to see me.  See how that works?  I get the satisfaction of convincing myself we’re friends, and he gets a carrot.  Win-win, right?!


In reality, we get along because he’s exceedingly sarcastic and quick-witted.  We talk a lot.  He gets me!

This darling old man is Max.  Max has a lot of friends in the area (dog and otherwise) that he  visits regularly, stopping by to play or for a drink of water.  He wanders up to my garage occasionally and camps out for days at a time, or meets up with me while I’m on my way down the street.  Cutie pie!

This is Max’s friend, pretty adorable, right?!  They often travel together – bff?!  Look at those puppy dog eyes, major awww!

Chickens!  And a rooster.  Wild turkey and chicken are all over the place around here.  They cross the road, too, all the time, but I have yet to figure out why! =p

I had every intention of snapping photos of baby goats that appeared in a neighbor’s yard one day last week, but by the time I did manage to bring my camera with, they were gone!  I was under the impression they were permanent residents, but apparently that wasn’t the case.  Shoot!  I have to say, baby goats (kids!) are super duper cute, and these had collars on!  Another aww!


Worth protecting, right?!  I think so!  So, in keeping with the theme here, I’ve compiled a few ways for you to help the planet, and improve your own health at the same time!  Some of these ideas I’ve heard before, but I’ve tried to put my own twist on them where I see fit – often suggestions for helping the planet seem a little out there, and other times, require purchasing more or expensive resources or products to accomplish, which I sorta think often defeats the purpose!

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

1.  Reusable cold & hot cups for coffee & tea:

I know I said buying more products wasn’t going to help the planet, but if you’re going to be hitting up Starbucks every day for a coffee fix, or grabbing an ice tea in the afternoon and using their disposable cups, a reusable cup is the way to go.  A nice thermos is great for hot coffee and tea, very affordable and easy to find.  The problem used to be the elusive reusable cold travel cup, which used to be nearly impossible to find.  Now they’re everywhere!  Starbucks carries them at what I think is a bit high for my own price point, but I got one at Cost Plus for super cheap, and Walmart has them in practically every color imaginable!  Get one.  Bring it to the Bux on your next coffee run!

2.  Whip up your own natural, non-toxic cleaning products, or at least buy the friendly lines of products:

Ideally, you would use all-natural, non-toxic, kid and pet friendly cleaners for everything, all the time.  However, there is some grime, and some funk that just seems to be immune to baking soda and vinegar.  I get it.  Just try to use natural cleaners when you can – every little bit helps!  For most cleaning issues, I quickly Google it, and spend a few minutes looking through products I already have on-hand in my kitchen that will do the trick.  If you’re having a cleaning crisis, chances are good someone else has too, and you can probably find a green-cleaning tip about it online!  It’s true baking soda and vinegar won’t work for EVERYTHING, but they sure seem to work for 90% of messes!  If you MUST go the route of store-bought cleaning products (which I do, also – laundry detergent, and dish soap), try the lines that are known for being organic, naturally derived, not tested on animals, non-toxic, etc. such as Method (which is not ALL natural, but close), Simple Green, Green Works, etc.

3. Re-purpoes items you already have:

This is a whole lot like recycling.  In fact, it IS recycling!  It doesn’t work for everything (some things truly must be discarded…and by discarded, I mean put in the recycle bin and sent out to those who know what to do with it – ex: thousands of old phone books!) but try to the items you have no need for anymore as they are, and turn them in to items you need or want!  Old t-shirts are great for cutting down and sewing into a blanket or throw pillows, mason jars work great as glassware or vases for flowers if you aren’t much for jam making.  Instead of going out and buying new furniture, old furniture sometimes just needs a new finish or fresh coat of paint to become special and useful again.  Martha Stewart or DIY shows are often my go-tos for things like this!

4.  Plant your own garden:

I said it!  Cultivate that green thumb of yours, and work to plant a lot of your own vegetables and even fruits.  It takes some work to set up the beds, and maybe a little more work if need to construct raised beds due to the lack of topsoil, but it’s worth it when those tomato plants of yours just won’t quit!  It’s often much more cost effective to grow your own produce (ahem, have you seen the prices of product at the store or Farmer’s Market?!), not to mention you know exactly where your food came from and that it’s not smothered with gross pesticides!  Lots of inspiration onmy sister site, if you need it!  If a whole garden seems like too much, or you have space restrictions (umm, that was me, in a tiny apartment!) consider growing a little window herb garden!  Pick up a few seed packets and plant them up in your re-purposed mason jars (yes, tip 3 in action!  Just be careful not to over-water!).  Great for cooking, and cleans your indoor air a bit!  My favorites are Basil, oregano, and mint!  Bonus points if you compost your fruit and veggie matter!

5.  Have a plan of attack when running errands:

Now, it’s one thing to live in a small town where you are able to walk or bike anywhere you need to go (hello, Davis!  I miss you!) – it makes running errands super efficient and planet-friendly, but most of the time, that just isn’t possible.  Everything seems to be so far away nowadays, and it’s just not realistic to think you won’t be taking your car out on a day of errand-running.  The key here is to be as efficient as possible with your car usage.  Plan ahead so you know where you’re headed, and travel the most efficient route so you don’t end up back-tracking, or getting half way home only to remember you forgot the dog at the groomer.  Wastes a lot of gas, as well as your precious time!  Oh, and while I’m on the subject, reusable grocery bags, FTW!

There you have it!  There are many MANY more ways you can help the planet and reduce your impact on a daily basis, these were just a few to get you started!


How do you like to celebrate Earth Day?  What are your favorite every day tips for being greener & more eco-friendly??  I’d love to know!


Going, Going Back to LA

19 Mar

It’s no surprise to me that I’m a private person, it’s how I’ve always been. I don’t like to announce big things going on in my life, I don’t like to point out to just anyone who is close to me in my life, and outside of my family, I prefer to surround myself with a very few, select, close friends rather than sharing the details of my life with acquaintances. I realize that all of these qualities make it difficult to write a blog for the world to read, knowing that everyone is getting an almost-firsthand glimpse into my life. That being said, my life isn’t all that interesting, and I think part of my tendency to hold back revolves around the fact that I just can’t imagine my daily life being all that enthralling to read about!

I get it, though, no one really comes to a blog expecting to see or read something that’s totally bat-sh*t crazy out of the norm (I feel like that’s what tabloids and reality show are for…I hope?), and generally people, myself included, just like to read blogs for the sense of community and to be part of something meaningful and impactful (is that a word?). It’s nice to have a group of like-minded individuals to gush over the newest recipes, food, and fitness crazes with, to be exposed to ideas and thoughts that others can relate to, and maybe even adopt some new lifestyle habits that will better our lives as a whole.

I personally love to read blogs about everyday lives. I love all of the creative energy surrounding food and baking experiences, the new fitness programs I read about from personal trainers and fitness gurus, and the experiences that other people have that they consider to be plain old nothing out of the ordinary happenings, but are actually something that others have never been exposed to. I feel like I really get to know other bloggers reading their posts regularly, and it has come to my attention that maybe I am not allowing others to get to know me enough on here! Anyway, all of this is just to say, I do care, I am here in the blog world and would love to continue to contribute and to get to know all of you further! I’m especially thankful for all of you who have the ability to open up and allow others to see into your world, and for those who come back and visit me on Say It With Sprinkles and take interest in what I have to say; I will try my hardest to let you all in a little more, in addition to sharing my culinary creations.

Am I a self-proclaimed cheeseball? You bet! Am I the most honest, loving and sincere, tell-it-to-you straight kind of person out there? To a fault, at times. Do I love with all my heart, and would I do anything for the people I love? Without question. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a work in progress, though, and I’m learning how to be a better, more giving, and kind person every single day. Life is too short to hold grudges, and it’s infinitely too short to be without the ones you love. I like to surround myself with those I trust the most, and who trust and know me best!

With that in mind, the first thing I must tell you all is that I’m headed on a road-trip to LA this week, and I’m not looking back (at least until I come back home the following week, ha!) Los Angeles is my second home, and has been the love of my life since I packed it all up and moved down to beautiful Newport Beach, CA in 2004…only to return to Nor Cal several years later, where my family lives and I just finished school. The day I can move back to LA, I will…unfortunately that time hasn’t come just yet, so in the mean time, I’ll take the chance to visit whenever I can!

Talk with you all soon! XOXO

Chewy Lime Zest Sugar Cookies (Dairy Free)

15 Mar

I spoke too soon and jinxed myself when I mentioned wanting the weather to stay sunny and awesome…so much for 70 degree t-shirt weather, now it’s rain, rain, rain!  We need it, but I’m still no ray of sunshine myself in the midst of all the gloom, if you know what I mean.  I took one look out my window today at the gray and drizzle and wanted to burrow under my blankets and cuddle the day away, only emerging for mug a few steamy mugs of coffee or hot chocolate.


Fall and winter before last, while I was still in school, I devised the most brilliant plan I’ve ever had to this very day.  One morning while untangling myself from the warm cozy depths of my 18 blanket-clad bed in search of the elusive coffee that feeds my spirit and brings my limp, sleepy body to life in the morning, I realized the absurdity of just what I’d been a slave to all these years.  No, the coffee is not the enemy here, if that’s where you think I’m going with this (it’s the giver of life).  Instead of going to the coffee, the coffee should be coming to me.  And so it happened- I promptly relocated my coffee pot to my bedside table.  The very next morning, I had coffee at the reach of an arm.  Done.

Now, I wish I could say this story was leading up to a declaration that I was able to accomplish the very same coffee situation with such ease on this particular dreary morning, but alas, I didn’t have the foresight.  Bedside coffee may be making a long-overdue return if the weather keeps up this way!  I realize this story has absolutely nothing to do with limes.  Coffee doesn’t even taste good at all with lime in it.  Also, at this moment all I can think about is chocolate, so there’s that.


Not only is there no coffee in this recipe, there is also no chocolate.  Ooof.

This weather is really doing a number on me!

 Chewy Lime Zest Sugar Cookies


* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 cup non-dairy margarine
* 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1-2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
* Juice of 1 lime
* Zest from 1 lime
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with zest of 1 lime (for rolling)


Preheat oven to 350*F. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Cream together the margarine and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla, and then lime juice, 1 Tbsp non-dairy milk, and zest.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low speed between additions. If the dough seems too dry, add the second Tbsp of non-dairy milk, or a little more vanilla.

Scoop out 1-2 Tbsp size portions of dough and roll into balls. Roll in the sugar/lime zest mixture and place on baking sheet, about 1-2″ apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine needed almost exactly 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.


I can happily say, however, that these little cookies fit the bill for my green food-themed month perfectly!  What I really like about these cookies is that unlike most sugar cookies, they don’t require all of that rolling pin and cookie cutter drama.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place – Christmas cookies, heart-shaped Valentine’s day sugar cookies, my Noah’s Ark Frosted Animal Cookies *cough, cough*…

But this is not that time.  Nor that place.


This is the place of simple, yummy, chewy, lime-spiked sugar cookies that melt in your mouth and clear the clouds from the sky…

Ok, let’s not push it.  They’re just cookies, they can’t change the weather!

….But they will put a smile on your face! :))))

Super Bowl XLVI (aka Tom Brady Bowl) Guacamole & Baked Sweet Potato Fries

5 Feb


I think by now you can tell I’m a bit of a New England Patriots/Tom Brady fan, and by a “bit” of a fan, I mean I could care less about the team and feel like my heart is breaking right along with Tom’s.

I was so hopeful that history wouldn’t repeat itself and I wouldn’t end up once again typing on my computer as it short-circuits from the tears streaming from my eyes as I try to muster a congratulatory smirk in the general direction of all the Giants fans out there.  Hey, I never said I was a GOOD sport, per say…;p

Anyway, the one good thing that came out of the Super Bowl, and I mean aside from getting to stare at Tom Brady for several hours in tight, butt-hugging spandex, was the food!  I had some pretty awesome snacks lined up, and although they did nothing for the Patriots, at least I got to drown my anxiety in yummy treats like guacamole dip and baked sweet potato fries.  I know what you’re thinking, but game day snacks can be both delicious AND healthy, and you’ll never convince me that they have to be one or the other!  I know what you’re thinking again, and you’re about to throw this post in my face and say game day is over and you can’t use any of these recipes during the Super Bowl…but I assure you, you can eat this dip and these fries any dang time you want!  And also, there will be other games, duh!

Fresh Guacamole

Bursting with flavor and healthy ingredients, this guac is as perfect with veggies or crackers as it is with traditional tortilla chips!  I’m pretty heavy-handed with the garlic and lime juice because I love the bold flavors, but feel free to amp it up even more or tone it down if you prefer.


* 3 avocados
* 1/4 cup salsa, or fresh-chopped tomato and jalapeno
* 1/8 finely chopped onion
* 2 cloves finely minced garlic
* 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
* Juice from 1/4 of a lime
* Salt & pepper to taste
* Pinch of cumin


Scoop out the “meat” of the avocado and mash into a bowl with a fork. Add in the salsa or fresh tomato and jalapeno, and onion. Stir in the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cumin.

That’s it – simple! Enjoy with chips, crackers, veggies, whatever your little heart desires!

And now, on to the spuds!

 Martha Stewart’s Baked Sweet Potato Fries

These are slightly adapted from the baked fries on the Martha Stewart website here!  They’re more like a thick-cut steak fry than a thin, flimsy fry, in that they’re hunkier and  don’t get crispy all the way through.  Trust me, I don’t usually like fries, and won’t touch a regular potato “Jo-Jo”…and I think these are super delish!


* 3 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ sections
* 3 egg whites
* salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, & basil to taste (I used Italian seasoning)


Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Lay out cut sweet potatoes on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave another 2 minutes. Allow to cool while preparing the egg whites.

Separate 3 egg whites into a bowl and whisk until frothy. Once cool to the touch, dip each fry into the egg whites and allow to drain before arranging on lined pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the fries. Bake another 10-15 minutes. Test for fork-tenderness, and crispiness, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool before enjoying!

True, they’re not the most photogenic little fries around, but they sure are DELICIOUS!  They get the job done and are super healthy!


I snapped a few pics of the most important part of this whole Super Bowl thing.  Look at the concentration, the determination, the anxiety?! :

And of course for dessert, I suggest Tom Brady Martha Stewart’s coconut cupcakes & my awesome coconut buttercream frosting!!

Congratulations or whatever, I guess, New York Giants!…I still love you, Tom Brady!

Gluten & Dairy Free Eggnog Spice Granola

6 Dec

Last night I watched this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show online for nearing on the 5th time since it aired on November 29th.  I can’t help it, it’s one of my favorite things about the holiday season!  I wait all year for it, wondering what lingerie hybrids will come down the runway on impossibly thin, fit & toned, not to mention LUCKY models who get to call themselves angels. #SignMeUpForThat

Favorite outfit the of the night? As it happened, it was the outfit that opened the show during the Ballet Segment, and it only 35% had to do with the fact that it was worn by Candice.  Probably going to have to sport some of those red ballet wrap pumps at some point in my life this season! Thoughts?  Ya, they’re amazing.

Needless to say, since then I’ve been perusing the Victoria’s Secret Site for the Runway Ready Video features that have been popping up in my Facebook queue, forcing me to face the idea of forgoing holiday sweets in attempts to acquire something similar to the angels’ fit physiques.   Upon further investigation, I’ve discovered that much like sitting in the lobby of the gym rather than working out won’t get you in shape, watching girls with the hottest bodies on the planet over and over without working out will also probably not cut it.  Unforch.  About to step it up, big time!

Ironically, (especially after just talking about busting my butt to look  like a  VS Angel Re: Wishful thinking, haha! ;p ) I also look forward to the Trader Joe’s Holiday Edition of the Fearless Flyer!  I stopped in the other day JUST to pick one of these up, regardless of the fact that it can be easily found and read, and perused online.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s dedication.  It’s filled with the yummiest holiday treats one could dream up, and I couldn’t help but see eggnog-flavored goodies dancing through my head.  It’s one of my all-time favorite holiday flavors!  It’s possible, even, that I look forward to it more than the TJ’s Flyer.  Gasp!  One problem- dairy hates me.  Time to take matters into my own hands!

First, though, let’s take a step back, I’ve got one more…

Another favorite aspect of the holiday season?  It’s pretty simple, but then again, it often doesn’t take much more than a festive holiday coffee cup to get me humming holiday tunes the rest of the day.  Starbucks holiday cups!  Pop in and get yourself a hot cup of Joe, tea, or you know, even water, so long as you ask for it in their hot to-go cups!  I mean, check it out….SO CUTE!  Worth it.

So where was I?  Probably talking about eggnog because it’s delicious!  I’ve been obsessed with it as far back as I can remember, and now I feel it’s my duty to incorporate it into as many baked goodies as possible this holiday season!

TA DA!  Eggnog Granola.

Eggnog Spice Granola

While this granola definitely has a yummy hint of eggnog, I was hoping for even more.  Next time, I might up the Eggnog Syrup and the SoyNog, and decrease the honey a little to let it really stand out.  That being said, if you are a nutmeg and eggnog lover, you will still enjoy this granola!  Dairy free, and can definitely be made gluten free if you make sure to use gluten-free oats! It’s a must-make for the holiday season!


* 5 Cups Gluten Free Old-Fashioned Oats
* 3 Cups Crispy Rice Cereal
* 1 Cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
* 1 Cup Almonds, roughly chopped
* 1/2 Cup Whole Golden Flax Seeds
* 1/2 Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut
* 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
* 1 tsp Salt
* 1 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
* 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

* 3/4 Cup Honey
* 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
* 1/2 Cup Torani Italian Eggnog Syrup
* 1/4 Cup SoyNog (I used Silk Brand)
* 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
* 2 Tbsp Canola Oil
* 1 tsp Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 325*F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the wet ingredients, except for the vanilla extract, together in a separate, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring at 1 minute intervals, making sure the mixture comes to a boil by the end of 5 minutes. If it has not, heat an additional minute or 2, stirring between minutes and then add in the vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir well to combine. Pour out on the cookie sheet, spreading into an even layer and packing down slightly with a spatula or spoon.

Bake 20 minutes, then remove and push edge pieces inward to keep from burning. Bake an additional 20 minutes, removing at 10 minute increments to remove pieces that look brown. Make sure you bake the granola for at least 45 minutes total, adding 5 minute increments to the end if it does not seem golden brown enough.

Remove from oven and allow the granola to sit on the pan without stirring until COMPLETELY COOLED! This part is important, since it needs to cool as a solid sheet. Once cooled, break apart into large chunks and enjoy! (Obviously at this point you can break it into smaller pieces instead if you’d prefer)


Yummy, crunchy, and perfectly paired with a coffee or latte served in the cutest holiday cups of all time!

Kicking off the holidays in the best way possible! =)