Expressive Endeavors

living in joyful & kind inspiration.

Author: ExpressiveEndeavors (page 2 of 3)

Burst of Energy Bites

These simple  (10-15 minutes total time!) to make snacks are great for a mid-morning pick-me-up, a little energy during a hike or a much needed boost during a shopping trip.

They are a one bowl wonder and are very versatile.  They are already free most allergens (dairy, soy, gluten).  You can add most anything too (dried fruit, nuts, nut or seed butters).  Make this energy boost different every time.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or vegan chocolate chips)
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or one drop doTERRA cinnamon essential oils)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like.  (I find a good size is approximately 1″ wide.)
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. (They are so yummy that they never last that long in our house!)

Makes about 20-25 balls.

*Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Cool It Spray

Summer in New York City is beautiful, full of energy and activity…and HOT.  When I first moved to NYC (in August), I didn’t expect the extreme humidity.

I’ve found a fun, easy, non-toxic way to cool down and feel fresh.
Made with doTERRA essential oils, this minty fresh spray can be used all day long!  Spray it on the back of your neck, on your pulse points and on your face to re-invigorate you and help you chill out.  It is also a great breath freshener, when sprayed in your mouth.

Interested in learning more about essential oils?  Contact me!
mydoterra.com/billiehughes
billie@expressiveendeavors.com

Crunchy Summer Salad

This fresh, crunchy, wholesome salad is chock-full of delicious greens.  The combinations are unmatched and delightful.

INGREDIENTS
30 thin asparagus spears, trimmed, sliced on diagonal into 2 inch pieces
2 cups green beans, trimmed, sliced on diagonal into 1-2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli stalks, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cups green peas
2 cups baby fresh spinach leaves
3 green onions (scallions), green and white parts, finely sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 fresh lemon, juiced
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon white or black sesame seeds
pink Himalayan salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add the asparagus and blanch for three minutes. Use a spider kitchen tool (or slotted spoon) to transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice-cold water.
Blanch green beans and broccoli stalks for five minutes. Transfer to bowl with asparagus in ice-cold water.
Blanch the green peas for three minutes, transfer to cold water.
Drain and dry asparagus, green beans, broccoli and green peas.
Place vegetables in a large bowl. Add spinach, scallions, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, olive oil, lemon juice, chia seeds, sesame seeds, salt.
Combine components and serve.
Enjoy!

*Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi

Mai from Vietnam

Tell me about yourself.
I’m happy, single, 33-years old. Grew up in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). I studied educational systems, but I’m a tour guide for my passion. My family was strongly involved in the war. My father worked for South Vietnam government/the Americans, and my mother’s family sided with the North. My father had the chance to go to America after the war, because of his help to the Americans, but he stayed for love of my mother. He spent many years in a re-education camp. My family and others that were on the losing side of the war still face discrimination. Young citizens in communist Vietnam are raised to be very proud. Now in modern Vietnam I have the chance to meet travelers. I feel very connected to Americans. And I like to support women – on my tours I try to bring tourists to help support women businesses.

Tell me about your county.
Vietnam has a very interesting history. There are 54 ethnic groups. We have a strategic location on the map with the sea. There is lots of tourism and we have famous food. Our people have a different character, we are very adaptable and survive. Being so adaptable helps the economy.

What are some stereotypes people in Vietnam have of the USA?
I think the USA has independence and freedom to do what you want.

The US didn’t colonize. They tried their best to keep their world in order. There was controversy, but give it time. During the war, most Vietnamese really did not understand why the USA was so against communism. We only understood after the war was over, and real communism began. Many people here criticize the US, but in their dream they want to go there.

Before the election, we were all praying for Hillary to win. Every Vietnamese saves their money in US dollars, then changes to Vietnamese dong later. It’s more stable and secure. So we care very much about the US President Trump says crazy things. Crazy things about women! It’s an American right to do that – nobody else {no other leader} in the world could do that and get away with it. No matter who is the president, Vietnam will make sure we have a strategic friendship with the USA.

What is it like to be a woman here?
There are more jobs for women in Vietnam than in the USA.

Women have to work very hard. It’s the 2nd job of the woman to be a mother and a babysitter to her husband. We believe that is our job. Men now have more awareness about sharing jobs, but it’s still for the woman mostly.

In Vietnam, for every 100 men there are 112 women. So women have more options and power, since there are more of us now. The big tour company I work for has only women working there. But men can go higher. Sometimes I feel down because if I were male I would have more options. But I want to just do my best. We believe in karma, so we don’t hold a grudge. For example, the Vietnam war we believe is karma for something prior. So no animosity for the Americans or French.

What is something a mother/aunt/grandmother figure taught you?
My mom told me to stand on my own legs and be independent.

 

Cuddle Monsties

It’s the Monster Mash!  Each cuddly pal is unique & carefully designed.  They provide companionship, entertainment & endless educational opportunities!

Bean and Seed Salad

This delicious, fresh and healthy salad is so versatile.

I love to play around with the components, depending on what is in-season, what I’m in the mood for and what is in the fridge!
Feel free to get creative!

INGREDIENTS
Dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Salad
1 large red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 medium english or persian cucumber, diced
2 small green zucchini, diced
1 cup cooked cannellini beans (black, kidney or pinto would work too)
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen green peas
3 tablespoons shelled raw sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons shelled raw pumpkin seeds
2 cups romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced on diagonal, for garnish
2-3 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth. If don’t have fresh mint, can add one drop peppermint and one drop spearmint doTERRA essential oils to dressing.

Salad
Add red onion slices, 2 tablespoons of oil (extra-virgin olive or coconut), salt and pepper in a medium skillet. On medium heat, stir onions regularly to ensure even browning, until solt and caramelized. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine roasted onions, cucumber, zucchini, beans, peas, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Add dressing and toss to combine, ensuring even distribution of dressing. Add romaine and gently toss again. Top with green onions.
Serve and enjoy!

*Adapted from Amie Valpone

Baby Whale Stuffie

Designed from scratch, this little whale was made with love!

Personalized with a silky taggie and crunchy sounding fins, this little guy was a definite favorite for a perfect little three month old!

Snuggle Scarf

I made this adorable scarf for a fantastic four-year-old!  I used super soft yarn and customized it to her current “top favorite colors.”  Here was the break-down: #1-turquoise, #2-purple, #3-red, #4-white, #5-black. 🙂  Four out of five isn’t bad!

Spicy Carrot Breakfast Cookies

I am loving these delicious, cakey and flavorful breakfast cookies!
So easy & super tasty.

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, gluten free certified if necessary
3/4 cups flour, gluten free or all purpose
1/4 cup sugar (substitute coconut sugar, if desired)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk (I like almond or coconut)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 1/2 Tbsp water, let sit for a few minutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grated carrot (I used rainbow carrots here)

INSTRUCTIONS
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir. Next, add all remaining ingredients and mix again until everything is combined.
Use a 1/4 cup scoop to scoop the batter onto the parchment paper. Pat the tops down a little and bake cookies for 15-17 minutes, until firm and cooked through. Let cool on a wire rack before eating.

*Recipe adapted from She Likes Food

Birds of Greatness Mobile

Each bird reflects and symbolizes grand personal characteristics.*
May those who surround this baby encourage him to grow into his best self and continue to cultivate and realize their dreams for greatness too!

Chickadee = Optimism
Hummingbird = Joy
Swan = True Self, Loyalty
Dove = Peace, Hope

I felt so inspired and full of love when I brainstormed, designed and crafted this “Birds of Greatness Mobile” for a dear friend after the birth of her first son.  I wanted to created this piece with the vision of surrounding this beautiful baby with greatness and bestowing these qualities onto him.  In choosing the birds for the mobile, I selected attributes that (in my opinion) great people embody.

I decide which qualities and birds I wanted to feature, then drew patterns, carefully selected the fabics and placement and then hand-stitched each bird.  I envisioned this precious babe receiving lovely blessings and goodness with each nap he took.

* each bird relates to or embodies different meanings depending on cultural beliefs

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