Healthy Eating: Banana Orange Breakfast Smoothie

breakfast smoothie with chia

My New Year’s resolution is to be more consistent in all aspects of my life; including diet and exercise.  Im trading in my cappuccino pancakes for healthier meals like this easy banana orange breakfast smoothie with chia seeds.

breakfast smoothie

Chia seeds are similar to poppy seeds in size but are jam packed with fiber and Omega-3.  Just one tablespoon gives you 4 grams of fiber.  They dont have a taste and can be added to almost anything.  The seeds absorb water and become gel-like which helps keep you full.

smoothie with chia

Pretty cool, right?  I added them to my smoothie and didnt even notice they were there.  My smoothie had:

one banana, one clementine, 1/2 cup of milk, one packet of sweetener, some ice and some chia seeds.


Mix in the blender and enjoy.  I like my smoothies to be on the thick side – makes me feel like Im drinking a milkshake.

breakfast smoothie with chia

Im excited to experiment with other fruit to create new smoothies.  I think I can be consistent in drinking one of these delicious smoothies every day.

What is your go to healthy breakfast?

Easy and Afforable Gift Wrapping!


Hey Grant Life readers! It’s Michaela again from Covered in Mod Podge. I’m stoked to be here with you today to talk about wrapping Christmas presents.

Let’s be honest…Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse. There are so many great ideas from so many talent people that you can get lost in Pinterest for days. It’s also very good at making you feel like a terrible mom, crafter, cook, etc. Everything just looks so dang perfect. What we don’t see are the giant piles of laundry and the naked children running around. It’s all about staging.

Today, I want to share some simple wrapping ideas. These ideas are quick, easy, and affordable. Most can be made with items you already have in your craft stash. My hope is that you’re inspired to wrap something pretty because you enjoy it…not because Pinterest is filled with a million beautiful packages. There is nothing wrong with good old fashion tissue and gift bags.

Last year, my dear friend Liz said she was just going to wrap all of her presents in kraft paper and add some homemade tags. Easy peasy. I loved the idea! So this year I hit the dollar store and picked up a roll of kraft paper. What could be better than a dollar for wrapping tons of presents?!?

Let’s start out with the tulle pouf bow. You’ll need some tulle, matching thread, and a needle.

I made this bow to cover nearly an entire 9 by 9 inch box. You can adjust your measurements based on the size of your box and how big you want your bow to be.

Cut two pieces of 10 inches by 20 inches of tulle. My tulle was left over from my daughter’s Halloween costume. You can get tulle by the yard for like $2/yd at places like Joann.

Stack the two pieces of tulle on top of each other. Double thread about 10 inches of matching thread through your needle and tie a knot at the end. I used white thread so it would be easier for you guys to see.

Stitch every inch or two down the middle of your tulle.

Pull the string tight to scrunch up your tulle.

Keeping your thread pulled very tight, wrap the thread around the middle of the bow. Then, tie it in a knot.

Fluff your tulle bow and trim as needed.

I used a small dab of hot glue to secure the bow to my kraft paper wrapped box.

Do you like the tag I used? Well, you’re in luck. Kelley made these very fun tags to share with all of you. Isn’t she just the greatest!

Now, for the felt gift bow…

I adapted this tutorial from 100 Layer Cake to make a quick and easy felt bow. You’ll need a sheet of craft felt, scissors, a ruler, and hot glue.

Start by cutting three 11.5 by 1 inch strips, three 10.5 by 1 inch strips, three 9.5 by 1 inch strips and one 2.5 by 1 inch strip.

Twist both ends of the strip to form a loop. Secure with hot glue. Repeat this process for the all but the 2.5 inch strip. Make the little strip into a circle, securing with hot glue.

Now, stack your bow layers starting with the longest. Mess around with positioning and number of loops. I ended up only using two of the medium and small ones. Once you get the bow the way you like it, use hot glue to secure. Finish the bow with the circle in the middle.

Secure the bow to your package using hot glue. This little bow can be used over and over again. Don’t forget a gift tag!

Finally, let’s talk circles and string.

To make this simple wrapping, you’ll need baker’s twine, string, or thin ribbon, patterned paper, and something to cut your circles with. I used my Silhouette. You could also use a circle punch or good old fashion scissors.

Start by cutting out three different sized circles from your patterned paper.

Wrap your twine around your package multiple times, overlapping until you like the look. Secure with a small amount of tape or hot glue.

Now, use hot glue to attach the circles to the string. Add one of Kelley’s fun tag and you’re good to go!

Remember, this time of year is about unconditional love, joy and family…not perfection. Don’t stress if you don’t have the time or energy to make every present a masterpiece!

Have a wonderful week! I’ll be back later in the month to share another great wrapping idea.

Right click to save your tags.  Print, cut out and enjoy!

Easy Homemade Recipe: Salted Caramel Eggnog Shake


Im not a big fan of eggnog but every year I buy some thinking this is the year Im going to like it.  And every year I dont like it.  Until now.  I combined my absolute favorite treat with eggnog and wam- bam.. I love eggnog.  Ok I love salted caramel eggnog shakes.  Close enough, right?

Maybe I was drinking the wrong eggnog but I can assure you I have found the right one.

To make your own shake you will need:

Eggong of your choise

Caramel syrup

Whipped Cream

Sea Salt

Mine is actually a salted caramel macchiato eggnog shake because I added a little of the powder to it.  But salted caramel macchiato eggnog shake is a mouthful so I just left that part out.  Its really good with or without the macchiato powder.  Trust me – I tried both ways.

I blended all my ingredients then added homemade whipped cream, caramel syrup and sea salt.  Heaven!  Plus I love any excuse to make homemade whipped cream.

Im pretty sure salted caramel bark is the perfection addition to your salted caramel eggnog shake.  Not the best for the diet but definitely worth the extra gym time.

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Easy Homemade Recipe: Salted Caramel Bark


A few weekends ago I was hanging out at World Market with my mom and the babies.  We wandered over to the wine section and I was excited because they had wine tasting going on.  They also had some samples of dips and some chocolate.  Of course I grabbed the chocolate first and found out it was salted caramel bark.  It was good but instead of buying it I wanted to make my own.  [Ya know.. to keep on hand.]

Not only is it delicious but you only need three ingredients.  Yes, really!  You need chocolate bark, a few caramel bars [I used these yummy Wether’s ones!] and coarse sea salt.

Melt your bark in a double boiler [or faux double boiler like mine] and spread it on a cookie sheet lined with freezer paper.  Melt your caramel and spread that over the bark.  Sprinkle your sea salt on top of the gooey chocolate.

Once it dries break it into pieces and hide it.  [In a spot only you know.]  Ok you can eat a few pieces.. then hide it.  

This would make a great gift and you might become someones new bff.  Or if you want to hoard it and eat it yourself that works too.  

Are you a fan of salted caramel?  It seems to be everywhere lately.  Most notably in my belly.

Maroon and Blue Christmas Mantel


Last year we lived in a small townhouse and I wasnt able to decorate much for the holidays.  We had a small tree and a few other minor things but our new house is big and perfect for decorating!  Of course our gorgeous mantel is the first place that I start.

I started with the left over banner from my Thanksgiving mantel and when I say I started I mean I didnt take it down.  [Lazzzzy!]  I added the JOY burlap picture that I made and I really liked how the two colors looked together.  So I went with it.

I needed a few other accessories so I grabbed a few maroon books from the shelf [double points for them being Christmas themed reading material!] and put Ryley’s birdhouse on top along with a pine cone.

The ‘banner’ is re-used ribbon and doilies folded in half.  Im pretty much in love with lace this year so the doilies are perfect.

For the top part of the mantel I re-purposed my brown frames with blue accents I cut from my Silhouette.  The garland has faux cranberries and helps tie in all the colors.  Im pretty much in love with this mantel.  Oh.. I already said that?  Dang.

What is your favorite part of the house to decorate for Christmas?

Christmas Tree Contest! #TweetYourTree


Im kind of a creeper – I love seeing how people decorate for the holidays!  And because Im such a creeper I want to see YOUR tree!  I’ve partnered with my best bloggy buddies for a super fun contest!  Here’s how it works:

Follow all of us hosting on twitter and instagram– @thegrantlife, @candypo, @boldbutterbaby, @mommayoung and @jenniferintexas

Share a picture of your beautiful tree and use hashtag #tweetyourtree.  You are entered in the contest just by tweeting.  [How cool is that?]

We will pick our winner on Christmas Eve!

Easy and fun!

I cant wait to see your tree!  [In a totally non-creepy way of course.]

Being More Eco-Friendly #TheHonestCo


There are many things I wish I was better at – one of the biggest ones is to be more eco-friendly at home.  We do our best to recycle, compost and cut back on things like electricity and water, but sometimes I wish we did more.  Sometimes I wish I was a cloth diapering, breatfeeding, organic eating momma.  I wish I was crunchy.  [Which by the way I had to look up the meaning.. shows how hip I am.]

I think its important to raise your child to be the best they can be and I feel like respecting this planet goes along with that.  We have started small with the kids – things like don’t waste and don’t litter.  We also spend a lot of time outside as a family and as they get older we will continue to show them the benefits of being eco-friendly.

We recently received a sample pack from the Honest Company that came with eco-friendly diapers and wipes and I was so excited to try them.  The diapers have the most adorable prints on them and I squealed when I saw a certain one.  Can you guess which one made me the most giddy?

Anchors!  I was immediately in lust with the designs but the fact they the diapers are all natural, free from any toxins made me fall in love with them.  The wipes were just as amazing.  I have tried other brands and they are rough and have a horrible smell.  These wipes were soft, sturdy and had no smell.  I may not be a cloth diapering type of momma but the Honest Company created products that make it easy to be more eco-friendly.

Plus, they make little tushies look oh so cute!  And yes, he is wearing the anchor print!

What do you do to be more eco-friendly?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Honest Company was started by a mom and a dad who, like many modern parents, were increasingly worried about products made with questionable chemical ingredients. But the alternatives they found were often expensive, inaccessible, bland, or ineffective. In response to this clear need for something better, they created The Honest Company to ensure that parents (or anyone for that matter!) could easily find natural and non-toxic eco-friendly products that are beautiful, effective, and affordable. From customized product bundles to diapers and wipes to an ever-expanding line of cleaning and personal care products, you can find everything you need at and have it delivered directly to your front door.

Give it a try! Click here to become a member of The Honest Company community and start your free trial today.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Honest Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

Black Friday – Grant Style #deliciouspairings


I was one of the many people that went shopping shopping on Black Friday but I was after something other then reduced electronics – something waaaay better.  I headed to Sam’s Club to purchase Starbucks limited edition Holiday Blend coffee.  Yes, seriously.

Ryley and I left the house a little before seven.  I knew people were probably not going for the coffee like us but I didnt want to risk missing the free coffee demo they were having.  We still had to wait in line for 15 minutes but thats ok because my little lady kept me entertained.

Once we got in I bee lined for the Starbucks display to snag my free cup of coffee and cinnamon roll.  [Priorities people!]

I grabbed a roll for Ryley and we strolled around the store eating and chatting.  I really enjoyed the girl time with my baby.

Fun fact about me – I am a quarter thief.  If I see a quarter laying around I claim it as mine and dont look back.  Ryley has started doing the same thing and she likes to put them in her jean pockets.  She had a few in her pockets and when we left she dropped them in the Salvation Army bin.  Didnt even think twice about it and waved to the gentlemen ringing the bell.  Talk about melt your heart moment.

When we got home I was greeted by a house full of hungry bellies so I brewed some coffee and heated the cinnamon rolls.  I was excited to try the Holiday Blend because I dont usually buy Starbucks in the bag.  Im more of a one cup at a time, drive through kinda girl.

While the Artisan Fresh cinnamon rolls were in the oven I sipped on my coffee and chatted with my family that had stayed the night.  I made a few eggs and some leftover ham to go along with the coffee and rolls and relaxed and enjoyed our company.

After drinking the coffee with the cinnamon rolls I think that they really brought out the hints of ginger, pumpkin, nutmeg and cloves in the Holiday Blend.  It was like drinking a cup full of holiday cheer.


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Double Chocolate Holiday Mint Cookies

Double chocolate holiday mint cookies
Hey yall!  I have a real treat for everyone [double meaning!] – my sweet friend Jayna is going to share a delicious recipe with us today.  I met Jayna at Bloggy Boot Camp and she is amazing.. seriously.  Check out her recipe and stop by her blog – Behind the Studio – and say hello!

Double chocolate holiday mint cookies

If there’s one thing I love during the holidays, it’s anything chocolate mint. I’ve been known to eat an entire bag of mint chips that were really meant for baking something! This is one of my mom’s old recipe’s, only difference was, she used regular chocolate chips rather than the mint chips I used. You could swap it out for white chocolate, or peanut butter chips too – I’m sure that would be soooo good!

My mother would always make this recipe whenever my school had a bake sale and I needed to bring something. Depending on the size you make the cookies, your dough can go a long way! The other reason was because they were sooo good, there were never any leftovers.
Double chocolate holiday mint cookies
Recipe Type: Cookies
Author: Jayna Denbow
          8 unsweetened baker’s squares
          4 cups white sugar
          8 eggs
          1 cup vegetable oil
          4 tsp vanilla
          4 cups of flour
          4 tsp baking powder
          12oz bag of mint chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)
          1 tsp salt
          icing sugar
1.        Melt chocolate on top of stove using water bath to melt…not directly on heat.
2.        Put it into the mixer and combine with oil and sugar.
3.        Add 1 egg at a time.
4.        Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips.
5.        Add in dry ingredients…chill for 2 hours, roll into balls about 1″
6.        Use a little melon baller to scoop them out or you can use your hands to roll into balls, then roll in the icing sugar, put on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 10 minutes…..yum!!
First, I melted the unsweetened baker’s squares over a pot of boiling water, so it melted nicely. Sometimes, melting in the microwave can burn your chocolate – I used to do this, but this is how I melt chocolate now.


Then, once it’s all melted, combine it with the sugar and oil and mix it up.


Add in the vanilla, and the eggs one by one. Once that’s all combined, add in the dry ingredients slowly. Chill the entire bowl in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.

Once it’s ready the dough will be firm, and now it’s time to roll it into 1″ balls.


And then coat it in icing sugar before putting it on the cookie sheet.



Bake them at 350F for 10 minutes. Be sure to use parchment paper to bake on – my cookies always turn out perfect when I do!

They also transport nicely in a big tin!