Category Archives: Uncategorized

vellabox- healthy ai blog

Vellabox Review

20th November 2017

(Disclosure: I received this subscription box for free. However, All opinions are mine alone. Please read my disclosure page for more detailed information.)

vellabox- healthy ai blog

I love candles. I think my love for them is hereditary. I blame my mom. Hi, mom! If I’m in a store, and I see candles, I feel the inexplicable urge to smell ALL OF THEM. And then make my long-suffering husband smell all of them. (Sorry, babe.) If you’re like me, Vellabox is a subscription that you need to check out.

vellabox- healthy ai

It comes in this bright, happy, yellow box.

vellabox- healthy ai

Each box (there’s 3 types of subscriptions to choose from) comes with at least one candle and a surprise. I love that it was carefully wrapped in burlap with a bag of Half-pops caramel half-popped popcorn.

vellabox- healthy ai blog

The candle is from the Burn Candle Company. It’s completely soy and is sweetly scented with Granma’s Pumpkin Pie, which is perfect for this season!

vellabox- healthy ai
I love details like this.

This box is like a monthly birthday present to whoever receives it. I love that each candle is small batch, toxin-free, lead-free, hand poured, and natural. I love supporting small businesses, so this is just wonderful all-around!

pink blush dress- healthy ai blog

Perfect Fall Maxi Dress with Pink Blush

5th October 2017

pink blush dress- healthy ai blog

(Disclosure: This post contains sponsored content. All opinions are mine alone. Please read my disclosure page for more detailed information.)

I have been seriously crushing on Pink Blush’s clothes for a while but I thought they made only maternity wear. So I started following them on Facebook because I wanted to wear some really cute clothes the next time I’m pregnant. But I found out they also have women’s, women’s plus, maternity, & maternity plus clothes! And they’re all soooo cute! I’ve been wanting to add really effortlessly stylish clothes to my wardrobe and these are so it!

pink blush dress- healthy ai blog

pink blush dress- healthy ai blog

Pink Blush allowed me to pick a couple of pieces and this is my first of many. This Magenta Floral Skirt Maxi Dress is wonderfully comfortable and perfect for fall! I love its versatility in that I can dress it up for a date, church, or down for everyday wear. Plus, floral print is such a great transition for any season! Check out PinkBlush.com for more beautiful clothes!

Muscadine Grape Picking at Congaree & Penn Farm- Jacksonville, FL Travel Blog

5th October 2017

jacksonville, fl travel blog

We loooove fruit picking. Like, I’m pretty sure every time we’re on vacation or work trip, we check to see if there’s somewhere local to pick whatever is in season. It’s probably because I grew up in Tokyo where these type of opportunities are fairly scarce and pretty expensive. So when my husband was researching farms in the area, he found Congaree & Penn. It’s open once a month for visits so when he heard that they were open for Muscadine grape picking, he packed us up for a fun Saturday afternoon!

jacksonville, fl travel blog

The farm is absolutely beautiful! Plus, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and so friendly! We really enjoyed picking the grapes and the fun hay ride through the property.

jacksonville, fl travel blog

Everything is so picturesque! These were the signs for the different varieties of grapes.

jacksonville, fl travel blog

How pretty is this venue!

jacksonville, fl travel blog

Here is one of their famous rice fields.

jacksonville, fl travel blog

We loved these grapes. We ate a bunch of them and also turned them into very tasty grape jelly.

We are so looking forward to more open farm days at Congaree & Penn. They have 4 acres of beautiful rice paddies, orchards that include Johnny Apple Seed trees, and so much more! It’s a really great event for family and friends to spend outdoors learning more about a wonderful local farm!

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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!

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.

INDOOR HYDROPONIC GARDEN

INDOOR HYDROPONIC GARDEN

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grow Indoor Hydroponic Garden Easy!

 

 

 

 

Starting an Urban Garden

4th February 2017

Last year was the first successful home garden experience for us. Our little garden yielded so many cucumbers that made enough pickles to last us until this year. We also had more shishito peppers and okra than we knew what to do with (actually, we ate all of them). Every morning, the husband and our toddler would go out and pick out little veggies. It was suuuuper cute. I’m mushy over this kind of stuff.

Anyways, we mostly bought our vegetable plants from our local hardware store, but this year we decided to grow them mostly from seeds. They’ve been doing quite well and I’m pretty obsessed with watching their progress. We have about 20 varieties of seeds. A majority of them are doing well, but my Chinese chives (nira) and bittermelon (goya) seeds haven’t sprouted at all. I’ve planted more and I’m hoping that they’ll eventually surprise me. This is the type of surprise I can really get behind!

While I was planting the seeds on our back porch, the toddler was working on a fun bean sorting activity I found on Pinterest. Thanks Pinterest! It totally kept him busy the entire time.

 

Do you have any tips for starting your garden from seeds?