Decorating a small space with Glade®

16th August 2017


(Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GladeAtmosphere #CollectiveBias Please read my disclosure page for more detailed information.)

glade healthy ai blog

My desk area used to be really plain. It was boring and completely stifled my creativity. I wanted my desk area to tell a story and it’s really easy to start with a blank canvas. I definitely wanted to incorporate candles into my space. I love the way scents help tell a story and fill a room. The Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Home Fragrance by Glade® Jar Candles are a gorgeous addition to any home. I love the simple, chic design and the fragrance was designed by world-renown fragrance designer Ann Gottlieb.

glade healthy ai blog

I headed to my local Kroger to get some candles. I love the ambiance and the variety at Kroger stores and these beauties were located in the cleaning aisle. Right now, they have a national digital coupon offer:

glade atmosphere coupon

Save $1.00 when you buy any ONE (1) Glade® Atmosphere Collection™ Product. Valid 8/13 – 8/26.

glade candle healthy ai blog

I always love creative packaging (art major). The soft watercolors are definitely speaking my language!


The Atmosphere Collection™ Fine Home Fragrance by Glade® N°1 Enraptured™ is scented with jasmine and cedarwood fragrances. It also has wonderful subtle hints of apple and rose.

N°2 Bright™ is scented with sweet pea and pear. It has a sweet and fresh fragrance.


I love inviting our friends and family to our house. Since our house is a representation of us, what we put into it is important. Both of these candles work well with my home’s aesthetic and I’m really enjoying the design and scent of these.


Back home, I gathered my supplies.

glade healthy ai blog

The tray was only $2.50 at my local craft store (yay for 50% off coupon!) and this cute geometric vase was about $7 at my local home good store.

glade healthy ai blog

These peonies were from the craft store as well. I bought them when they were having a spring sale on flowers and floral arrangements. So they were less than $20, I’m sure.

glade healthy ai blog

glade healthy ai blog

Here’s a closeup of the candle outside of the packaging!  Now my desk smells amazing, even without lighting the Glade® Candles. Putting them all together was easy and fun. I put the tray next to some of my favorite books and now I have a favorite corner of my office. The Jar Candles from the Glade® The Atmosphere Collection™ are so effortless to decorate with. Head to your local Kroger to find your favorite Glade® Jar Candle from The Atmosphere Collection™ today!

To learn more about the Glade® The Atmosphere Collection™ at Kroger, please visit the website here: Glade®

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Berry & Dragon fruit Smoothie Bowl Recipe

2nd August 2017

berry dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai blog

I feel like everything I share here is going to be my favorite. Sorry, not sorry. This Berry & Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl is fruity with a hint of tropical flavor thanks to the coconut flakes and the dragon fruit. It’s my new favorite way to have a smoothie.

Have you had dragon fruit before? It’s also called “pitaya”, grows on a cactus-like plant, and tastes kind of like kiwi fruit. It’s fun, amazingly delicious, and full of antioxidants, vitamin C, lipids, several B vitamins, protein, and carotene. Let’s get started!

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Set all of your toppings to the side so you can prep your smoothie bowl as soon as the smoothie portion is ready (you don’t want it to melt as you look for your toppings).

Slice your dragon fruit in half. You can just peel the skin off and cube it. I wanted balls of dragon fruit. However, I lost my melon baller in the move across the world. Go figure. So, I used my teaspoon measure because it’s round. You use it the same way as a melon baller. Just scoop and twist.

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai


berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

For the smoothie portion, I used my high-powered Vitamix. We bought it at least 5 years ago and it’s still going strong even though we use it every day. But you can use any blender. First, I added my blueberries. You can use fresh, but I feel like the frozen fruit gives the smoothie more of a thick body.

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Next I added my mango.

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

In goes the cherries (I ate a few because cherries are amazing).

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Next were the bananas. These I highly recommend freezing. I usually get a bunch of spotted bananas and break them in half and freeze them for our smoothies. The frozen bananas give your smoothies a creamy quality that normally you’d need some kind of milk to achieve. Also, they naturally sweeten the smoothie so you won’t need sugar.

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Now blend. You will probably need some kind of liquid to help it along. I used regular water, but you’re more than welcome to use coconut water, juice, etc. Milk (dairy or otherwise) may curdle due to the acids of the fruit. The more liquid you add, the runnier it will be. I added just enough to allow it to blend, but wanted to keep it pretty frosty.

berry and dragonfruit smoothie bowl- healthy ai

Pour blended smoothie into bowl and quickly add your toppings. Toppings are usually (but not limited to): fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, granola, chocolate, grains, etc. I used an apple cinnamon granola because that’s what we had on hand. It added another layer of flavor that both my husband and I loved.


Berry & Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl Recipe


  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 2 ripe frozen bananas
  • water
  • toppings: fresh fruit, dried fruit, granola, seeds, nuts, grains, etc. I used chia seeds, granola, dried coconut flakes, fresh raspberries, and dragon fruit


Combine frozen blueberries, frozen mango, frozen cherries, and frozen bananas to blender. Add just enough water to blend but not to lose the thick, frosty consistency. Pour blended ingredients into bowl and quickly top with your chosen toppings. Enjoy!

matcha tiramisu recipe- healthy ai blog

Matcha Tiramisu Recipe

30th July 2017

Have you heard of matcha? Do you love matcha? I grew up mostly in Tokyo and have been drinking and eating all sorts of green tea. Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that has so many health benefits! It’s naturally high in antioxidents. Antioxidents help keep down the levels of free radicals in your body (free radicals can cause illnesses such as cancer) and help fight aging period. I’ll take all the help I can get! Plus, it’s full of great vitamins and helps fight bad cholesterol. Matcha is amazing! Plus, it’s delicious. Matcha Tiramisu is a great way to incorporate matcha into your diet!

matcha tiramisu recipe- healthy ai blog

I bought this lovely matcha from Amazon. It’s made by one of my favorite popular green tea brands, Ito-En. Plus, isn’t this canister just cute? Let’s get started!

matcha tiramisu recipe- healthy ai blog

Matcha Tiramisu Recipe

Matcha Syrup

1 cup water

1 Tbsp Matcha Powder

1/2 cup sugar

Custard Base

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

3/4 cup cream

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz mascarpone cheese


Matcha Powder for dusting the top

Lady Finger Cookies


Place 1 cup of water into a pan and bring to boil. Add sugar and matcha powder to water and whisk. After the mixture is incorporated, chill in refrigerator.

In a bowl, mix together 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup milk. Place this mixture in heavy bottom pan and bring mixture to boil for one minute while whisking. After mixture has boiled for one minute, place back into bowl and chill in refrigerator for an hour.

In a stand mixer (or you can use a bowl and a whisk or electric beater), start whipping cream on medium speed. After 1 minute, add vanilla extra. Keep whipping until stiff peak stage (meaning you can pull the whisk back and there are peaks that won’t melt back into mixture). Set aside.

After yolk-sugar-milk custard mixture has chilled, thoroughly mix in mascarpone cheese. Fold in whipped cream to the custard base.

In the bowl you use for your tiramisu container*, layer half of the lady finger cookies. Then pour some matcha syrup directly onto the lady fingers (or you can dunk the cookies directly into the syrup). Then pour half of the custard whipped cream mixture onto the soaked lady fingers. Then layer cookies/syrup. Then add custard mixture. Lastly, add a sprinkling of matcha powder onto the top. I used a little tea strainer to sprinkle the matcha finely.

*I used a sake masu cup for the containers, but you can use a large bowl or many tiny bowls or a plethora of different sized bowls. The world is your oyster.

Okinawa Taco Rice Sauce - Healthy Ai

Okinawa Taco Rice (and Taco Rice Sauce)

14th July 2017

Okinawa taco rice- healthy ai

Look at that gorgeous view! A couple of months from now we’re hopping on a series of planes and landing back on this beautiful island prefecture of Okinawa, Japan. I’m ready for time with family, visiting our favorite food spots, snorkeling, and some of the top beaches in the world! Thinking about home has made me homesick. To alleviate some of the homesickness, I’ve been making all kinds of Japanese/Okinawan foods. One of these is Taco Rice. Okinawa Taco Rice Sauce - Healthy Ai

If you love tacos and rice, you’ll probably love Taco Rice. I know what you’re thinking. Japanese cooking doesn’t usually make you think about tacos. But the story is that after WWII, some Americans wanted to eat tacos and asked a local chef to make something that was as close as they could get. And taco rice was born (because it’s hard to find tortilla making ingredients in Japan)! It’s one of those foods that’s easy to make and totally soul-warming. The sauce on top is sweet, tangy, and spicy. The ground beef portion can be seasoned with taco mix, if you are wanting to go the quick route. Also, this can be made casserole style.


Taco Rice (and Taco Rice Sauce) Recipe

Taco Rice Sauce:

4 tbsp Ketchup

1 tbsp sweet chili sauce


Taco Rice Sauce Directions:

Mix ketchup & chili sauce together. Add Siracha to taste (I add 1-2 tablespoons). If you like yours a little sweeter, add more sweet chili sauce.

Seasoned Beef Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

dash red pepper flakes

dash of oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Seasoned Beef Instructions:

Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain fat and return beef to skillet. Add all spice ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.


Put rice (short-grained Japanese or Californian rice if you can!) on a plate or in a bowl. Then add the beef. Usual toppings are lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Lastly, add your Taco Rice Sauce. Bon appetit!

Are there any recipes that you would like to see? Please comment down below!


How to Grow Indoor Hydroponic Garden: Part 1

3rd July 2017

We love gardening! I really wanted to add lettuce and herbs to our garden since we eat so many salads. A lot of salad type items have a cocktail of insecticides to ensure that bugs don’t eat the foliage, but I don’t really want me or my family to be exposed to those insecticides. Organic vegetables are really expensive in our area. But we live in a climate that is too extreme (really hot and too cold) to grow salad greens year-long. Enter the indoor hydroponic garden. It is fairly inexpensive to setup, very easy to maintain, and you get to control what goes in or on your vegetables.

The setup costs less than $20. If you have a really sunny spot in your house, you could forgo grow lights. We don’t have a really sunny location, so I use a $75 light that I bought from Amazon. I originally bought really cheap grow lights from Wal-mart. I think they were less than $10 each. Unfortunately, they were too weak and my little seedlings suffered. The grow light I use has 4 high-output T5 bulbs. It is a beast. I highly recommend it.

Our herbs and salad green hydroponic garden saves us about $50-75 a month that we were previously spending for sub-par greens at our local grocery.

Plus, it’s so easy to maintain. The most maintenance is done at the beginning. I generally finish it within my toddler’s nap time. After that, you just need to trim/eat what you grow. I love it, because we’re constantly on the road. Our outdoor garden is watered with a timer (get yourself one, thank me later) and since you don’t need to constantly water this indoor garden, it’s pretty self-sufficient. We left for a business trip and didn’t see our garden for two weeks. Here is the before and after.



Check out the video above for more info to starting your indoor hydroponic garden!















Grow Indoor Hydroponic Garden Easy!





kimchi recipe

Kimchi Recipe

21st June 2017

kimchi recipe
2 heads of napa cabbage
1 cup table salt
10 cups water
7 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/4 cup crushed Korean pepper
8 green onions (chopped into 2 inch pieces)
6 Tbsp garlic paste
6 Tbsp ginger paste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 fuji apple (peeled seeded and chopped)
4 Tbsp sugar


  1. Wash napa cabbage and chop into bite-sized pieces. Put chopped cabbage pieces into either very large bowl or several gallon-sized ziploc bags.
  2. Massage salt into the cabbage and pour water into salted cabbage bowl or distribute among bags. Let rest for 2 hours.
  3. Combine fish sauce, Korean pepper, green onions, garlic paste, ginger paste, onion, apple, and sugar in food processor. Blend until all items are finely chopped.
  4. After 2 hours, rinse cabbage in cold water 5 times. This will get rid of a majority of the salt. Strain as much water as possible from cabbage.
  5. Place cabbage in large bowl and massage (I like to wear gloves to protect my hands, but it’s not totally necessary) spice mix into the strained cabbage.
  6. Put spicy cabbage mix into glass jars and refrigerate.
  7. Enjoy!

Kimchi will last several months if kept refrigerated. The longer it sits, the more probiotic bacteria will thrive. It will become more sour (kind of like sauerkraut) but definitely delicious. I like to use sour kimchi in cooked dishes like fried rice, soups, and stews. I’m not Korean, but I have eaten a LOT of kimchi. This recipe may not be totally authentic, but it is really tasty. It doesn’t have shellfish (my husband is allergic) and if you wanted, you could use coconut aminos or soy sauce to amp up the umami flavor to make it vegetarian/vegan. This is a variation on the very first kimchi recipe I tried. But this one does not have daikon radish because I live in an area that doesn’t have daikon readily available.

Blueberry Picking at Morning Belle Farms

14th June 2017

For Mother’s Day, I asked to go blueberry picking. I’ve never lived in a place that had blueberry farms (to my knowledge) and it seemed like a really fun activity. It was actually quite hilarious. He couldn’t pick (and eat) them fast enough! It’s really fun sharing these moments with my little family. I love finding these new spots to enjoy and start new traditions. Plus, going to these locations is a great way to teach kids where their food comes from, while supporting local farms and small businesses. We definitely appreciate all of the work the growers do to pick these little, delicious berries.

Morning Belle Farms is located pretty close to the Georgia-Florida state line. This is the website here:

I highly advise wearing lots of sunscreen and bringing hats.

They have a lovely little stand with t-shirts and some preserves and honey. If your child (and you!) enjoy blueberries as much as we do, we highly recommend this for a fun trip! Enjoy!


Beet Smoothie Recipe

1st May 2017

beet smoothie

We love smoothies! They’re delicious, full of vitamins and minerals, and a sneaky way to get my toddler to get in his daily fruits and veggies (he won’t eat anything green unless it’s a pickle). We went to our local farmers’ market in Port Royal, SC and found some fresh beets to put in our smoothie. Beets are super underrated! They’re a good source of folate, vitamin A, vitamin C,  magnesium, calcium, manganese, and other vitamins and minerals. They’re so versatile and sooo delicious. Plus, who couldn’t love that wonderful dark pink color?! Anyways, here’s a quick video with a quick and easy beet smoothie. If you’re not too keen on videos, just scroll down and the recipe is there too. Enjoy!

Beet Smoothie

  • 1 cup baby spinach (we buy our fresh spinach in bulk and freeze it)
  • 1 small beet cubed
  • 2 chunks ginger sliced
  • 1.5 bananas
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • water, juice, or coconut water

Put all ingredients into blender and add water, juice, or coconut water. Blend under you reach desired consistency (I blend until the bananas are completely unrecognizable because I can’t stand the texture). Pour into glass and enjoy!

PS: With any fruit/veggie smoothie, if left for a while, separation is completely normal. Just give it a quick shake or stir, and it will go back to the right consistency.






delicious beet smoothie recipe

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing Recipe

25th April 2017

carrot ginger salad dressing recipe

I love salads. I can honestly eat a salad a day and totally not get tired of eating them. However, I know everyone is not like this but would like to eat a salad every now and then. Enter the Carrot Ginger dressing. Okay, I have to admit, this isn’t the prettiest food picture. But, hear me out. This salad dressing is REALLY delicious. Like, you want to slather this on everything delicious. We ate this on the side of a steak and totally dipped the steak in the extra dressing. Plus, the dressing is practically a salad in and of itself and it’s crazy easy to make. It’s my go-to salad for weekdays when I can’t think of a good side dish (and I have extra salad in my fridge).

Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing

1 cup vegetable oil
12 cup sweetened/seasoned rice vinegar
14 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. finely grated ginger (or the same amount of ginger paste to save time)
2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
12 medium yellow onion chopped
Pinch of sugar (to taste)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Soak chopped onions in ice water for 10 minutes. Do not skip this step if you don’t want really onion-y dressing. Take onions out of the ice water after the 10 minutes and combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper. You can keep the unused dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Shake before use. Enjoy!
Sidenote: You could probably make this paleo by subbing the rice wine vinegar with regular white vinegar, the vegetable oil for olive oil, the sugar for honey, and the soy sauce for temari. It will probably be pretty delicious, but not the same.

South Carolina Travel Vlog: Summerville

22nd February 2017

A couple of weekends ago, we went to Summerville, SC. It’s just a little south of Charleston and such a fun, quaint area to explore. There’s great food, fun museums, historic homes, and a wonderful downtown area. During the warmer months, there’s a farmers’ market on Saturday’s. Every time we’ve stopped there, we’ve also met really sweet people. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or longer!