Monday, April 14, 2014

mango lassi ...

I love mangoes!  I taught a cooking class recently at Orson Gygi, and we made Indian food.  I thought mango lassi's would be a perfect addition to the menu.  And, they are so easy to make!  Especially if you keep frozen mango in your freezer!  Mango lassi's every day! Wink!

Mango Lassi
Serves 2

2 Mangoes, peeled and pitted or 1 cup Frozen Mango Puree
1 cup plain greek yogurt
½ cup milk
1 tbsp honey or sugar (optional)
big pinch of ground cardamom
garnish with chopped pistachios (optional)

Make sure all ingredients are chilled. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  You can add ice if you would like a thicker consistency.

Serve Immediately.


Friday, April 11, 2014

clean eating snack: plantains with almond butter …

I've been trying to eat clean like I do most of the time, but sometimes it's nice to have a little snack!

I had some leftover plantains, so I decided to invent a little "treat."

I've been off refined sugar for about eight weeks now, and I'm feeling great!  I usually go on and off all through the year.  But, I always feel better when I'm not eating it, unfortunately, because I love a good homemade baked good!
But, these fried plantains with a little almond butter, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey really did the trick!  It tasted like a real treat!

In a skillet, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat.  Lightly fry the sliced plantains in the coconut oil until browned on both sides. Remove and place on paper towels.

Add a little spoonful for natural almond butter, un-sweetened coconut flakes, and a little drizzle of honey.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

best of armelle blog: easter edition ...

Can you believe that Easter is already a week from Sunday?

Well, if you are scrambling for some fun Easter ideas, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Easter DIY posts from Armelle blog over the years. 

DIY Easter "Carrots" (shown above)
How to put together an Easter basket (Easter basket ideas for boys and girls)

Hopefully this helps get some Easter ideas flowing! 

Have a good one!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

merco local box review ...

I was excited to have a chance to receive and review a Merco local box!

MercoBox is a stylish subscription box that features the best Utah companies!

I love the idea of supporting local companies in my community, I am all about that!
The box comes once a month, and is filled with the best that Utah has to offer.  Each month is a fun new surprise!  This month had items from protein shakes, to coupons to local businesses, to yummy Madeleine cookies!

Check out MercoBox and all their amazing boxes!  You can buy a one time box, or a subscription for only $19.99 a month! This box has a value of $65, so it's a fun way to try out some local Utah products for a great price!  

Be sure to use COUPON CODE: "iheartutah" for 25% off your order!! 

Pretty neat!  Head over to MercoBox for more information and to subscribe to their monthly boxes!

Do you support local?

{Disclosure:  This is a review of the product that I received in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. If you are a brand and are interested in working with Armelle Blog, please email me at}

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

homemade larabars part 2 ...

I love Larabars because they are made of all natural ingredients, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar.  But, trust me, the homemade ones are SO much better than the store bought ones.  They really don't even compare.  The homemade ones taste so much better!  I usually make a big batch, and keep them in my fridge in little baggies for a quick on the go snack. See the last time I shared a larabar recipe here.

There is no limit to the combinations you can do!  Basically the base starts with a dried fruit or dates.  But, be careful when selecting your dried fruit.  Most of them have added sugar!  I takes a while to find ones without sugar, just be sure to look at the ingredients.  I was finally able to find dried natural cherries without added sugar at Trader Joe's.  Raisins usually don't have any added sugar.  Fresh dates, prunes, apricots, are also some you can find easily too.  I still have yet to find dried cranberries without added sugar.

So, I start with a dried fruit, then add some kind of a nut.  You can come up with a million different combinations.

Here are a few of my favorites lately!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabars
8-9 large pitted fresh Medjool dates
1/2 dried cherries (no sugar added)
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tbs natural peanut butter (no additives, just made from peanuts)

Place all of the ingredients in a large food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.  Takes about 30 seconds to minute.  Next place foil or parchment paper in a 9x9 baking dish.  Press the pulsed ingredients into the pan, and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and cut into bars.  Store in fridge.
Chocolate Almond Coconut Larabars
1 tbs good quality cocoa powder (I like Trader Joe's or dutch processed cocoa powder)
10 large pitted fresh Medjool dates
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon natural almond butter (ingredients should only say almonds)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a large food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.  Takes about 30 seconds to minute.  Next place foil or parchment paper in a 9x9 baking dish.  Press the pulsed ingredients into the pan, and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and cut into bars.  Store in fridge.

Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Larabars
1 cup natural raisins
1/2 cup raw rolled oats
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts

Place all of the ingredients in a large food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.  Takes about 30 seconds to minute.  Next place foil or parchment paper in a 9x9 baking dish.  Press the pulsed ingredients into the pan, and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Remove and cut into bars.  Store in fridge.

I also like to make power balls, or energy balls.  Basically you do the same thing, then roll them into balls instead of putting them in a baking sheet and cutting bars.  They are easy to grab on the go as well, and I like to eat one before a morning workout if I don't want to eat a heavy breakfast first.

Almond Oat Energy Balls
2 1/2 cup dates, I prefer Medjool dates (pitted)
1 1/4 raw almonds
2 tbs almond butter 
1/4 cup raw old fashion oats
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Place all of the ingredients in a large food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.  Takes about 30 seconds to minute.  Next, roll them into 2 inch balls, and place them in a airtight container in the fridge. Keep them stored in the fridge.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

how to cook salmon ...

Salmon is a weekly staple at our house.  My kids love it, we love it, so it's a win win!   I often get asked how I cook my salmon, and this is pretty much the way I cook it every time because usually I'm in such a hurry to get dinner on the table, and this is the easiest method, and fail proof every time!
How to Cook Salmon

This is the easiest way to me to cook salmon!

I buy the wild sockeye salmon.  I get out a baking dish a a large piece of foil.  Place the Salmon on the foil and drizzle with a little olive oil.  I sprinkle sea salt, dill, garlic powder, and fresh lemon pepper (the Trader Joe's kind is my favorite, you grind it up right onto the fish, be careful of some lemon peppers, they have all sorts of additives and preservatives in the ingredients)  Then, I top it with a fresh lemon slices.  I then wrap the salmon up in the foil and put it in the oven on the BROIL setting.

Depending on the thickness of the salmon, I broil it wrapped in foil for about 20-25 minutes.  Then I open up the foil to expose the salmon, and broil another 5-10 minutes until it browns a little on the top and finished cooking.

It's as easy as that!  It usually turns out perfectly moist, and tasty!

So, how do you like to cook your Salmon?

{photos by me}

Friday, March 14, 2014

recipe: lentil and vegetable soup ...

I wanted to pop in and share a favorite soup recipe!  I usually make this with red lentils, but all I had was green, and I think I almost like it better with green lentils!  They seem more chewy to me, and I like chewy!

This recipe has a lot of amazing spices and I love the blend of flavors with lots of vegetables!  You can easily make this vegetarian or vegan depending on what kind of broth or cream you use.


Lentil and Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes, keep juice
3 oz tomato paste (1/2 can)
2 cups cream (or coconut cream/milk for vegan) - I like the heavy coconut cream from Trader Joe's
1 3/4 cups green lentils (I like the trader joe's green lentils that come in a bag)
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

In a large pot, saute onions, celery, and carrots with all of the dry spices until tender, about 10-15 minutes. 

Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream, still well, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Once it starts to bubble turn down to medium and simmer for about 45 minutes mixing every so often, and simmer until the vegetables and lentils are cooked.  Remove from heat, stir in cream, then taste for seasonings.


{Photo by me}

Friday, February 14, 2014

the boy's room tour ...

I wanted to share with you my boys room for a while, but we finally got some pictures together when we were selling our house.  Ha! Of course that is how things go..  

It makes me a little sad to look at these pictures now that we have moved, but I'm excited for our new house to be built and to design another fun room for the boys to share!  I'm thinking bunk beds this time around!
When I put together a room, I like to start with a color pallet.  This is the one I made for the boys room. I like to chose at least 4-6 colors and shades of those colors as a jumping off point.  I also like to print off this color pallet and bring it along with me when I am selecting fabrics or pieces for the room.
My boys, who are now six and two, having been sharing this room the past two years.  We were able to fit the crib in the corner, and the big boy bed on the other side.
Remember the Ikea Hack we shared of Ezra's Malm Ikea bed that we painted gray?  It has held up really well! Only a few chips here and there, but they play pretty rough in there.
The bedtime roll poster is from Etsy shop My Sweet Prints.  I had her customize it according to our bedtime routine.
We were able to find a vintage dresser, and night stand in the classifieds and paint them the same color grey as the bed.  (The color is Mark Twain House Ombra grey from Valspar, click here for my no sanding painting process I swear by!)
I love the mid-century dresser and night stand I was able to bring together with the painted Ikea Malm bed!  It is neat what a few coats of paint will do!
I made the colorful striped quilt for my little Thomas when he was a teeny tiny little guy.
I also made the gray crib mattress sheet from some grey fabric from Jo Anns. 
I had the crib bumper made from some Ikea striped fabric that I loved, and had etsy shop owner Sally Jensen Interiors custom sew it for me.
The darling leather triangle mobile was gifted to me from my friend Alison, of the Alison show.  Her leather mobiles are so cute!

I wanted to do a Mini-Gallery wall in the boys room.  Looking back, I probably shouldn't have done it so close to their basketball hoop.  We went through a few frames in their time in that room.  As you can see a few of them in these pictures are different than the others, ha!  
But, they sure did have fun shooting hoops in there!
One of my favorite closet organization tips for my kids is to hang a clear shoe organizer.  It really helps to have them all in one spot, and my kids knew where to put their shoes away everyday.  I also loved having a place for them in their closet to hang their backpacks when they got home from school!

Looking over these pictures is making me excited to have a house again!  It can be crazy being in between!  

More Resources:
Sheepskin rug- Sams Club
Basketball hoop- Target
White Crib- Sears
Closet colorful hooks- Hip and Humble
Gallery Wall Prints- Birds of Ashmae, Sarah Jane Studios, and Heather Mildenstein, Kantan prints
Colorful Clock- George Nelson
Globe- Vintage, thrifted
Frames- Ikea
Striped Sheets- West Elm
Yellow Comforter- Target
Striped Yellow Pillows- Annie Blake
Junior Classics Books- Thrifted
White Bed Lamp- Walmart
Blue Book Bin- Orla Kiely for Target
Bedroom Color- Benjamin Moore- A custom mix between Gray Owl and White Whisp.

Monday, February 10, 2014

a-"maze"-ing valentine + printable ...

I was debating on making some new Valentine's this year, since things have been so crazy.  But, I decided to make some easy ones.  I've seen a few Maze Valentine's around the web, but I wanted to design one for my 1st grader that fit him better.  
I found these little maze games at my local party store called Zurchers.  I liked them because they reminded me of little Lego men, and my little guy just saw the Lego Movie and loved it.  Plus, if I can do a non-candy Valentine, then I usually do.  They usually get plenty of candy as it is.
I decided to print it out on kraft paper card stock for more of a custom look!
I found a pack of the heart mazes too at the party store, and my son decided he would give them to the ladies in his class, LOL! (Future heartbreaker!)  I thought it gave it a nice touch, and could work well for either boys or girls!

(Be sure to click on the "click here to start download from sendspace, like the link circled above to download the PDF.  Make sure you are able to download PDF files)

Enjoy, and Hope you have a great Valentine's week!

{all photos by me}

Thursday, February 6, 2014

team usa- olympic art ...

I can't believe the 2014 Winter Olympic games start today!

My kids are excited to root for Team USA!
 USA Flag Download
I have a fun free Olympic art printable coloring page download for the kids that I made during the London games.

Print some out for your kids, and cheer for Team USA!

Happy Olympic Games!