Black Bean Brownies

Brownies. Need I say more? Brownies are one of my favorite foods and I’m not even a “sweets” person. I like sweets, but put a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa in front of me and…I’m spent. Except brownies. I do love brownies.

When I heard of these “healthier” black bean brownies, I was a little skeptical. Why waste the calories on a “healthier” brownie that sort of tastes like a brownie instead of just eating an actual brownie that tastes delicious?

Well, lemme tell ya….these black  bean “healthier” brownies are pretty damn delicious, and are about
several hundred calories less than your conventional brownie, depending on how you make them.

I’m a simple cook and not much of a baker, so I used the simplest recipe I could find and put little tweaks in it to make it my own. For example, instead of just cane sugar, I did 1/2 cane sugar and 1/2 maple syrup. They turned out pretty good, and even my friends who aren’t vegan, gluten-free, health nutters (like me) enjoyed them.

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Fun Valentine’s Things

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, most Valentine’s Day critics may decry, “It’s a fake holiday! A HALLMARK holiday!” But, I still think it’s fun to have a day where you think about love. Whether you’re spending the day with a significant other, friend, or just by yourself, here are a few fun things to enjoy…

For someone who needs a little extra love today or if you want to “treat yo self”… You Go Glen Coco!

Not a Mean Girls fan? Here’s another motivational booster. Rock on.

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Weekend Links

It’s been a doozy of a week. In a good way. How was yours? Whether your week was filled with goodness or some struggle, here are some good things to take you into a relaxing weekend…

I love Dr. Bronner soap, especially the lavender smell. Apparently, the soap maker recorded some thoughts about the soap’s history and purpose, which the family released posthumously. It’s fascinating.

Need something to binge-watch this weekend?

Dancing in pink dresses. Embrace the power of pink.

I’m fostering a really active dog this week, and this list helped me challenge her physically and mentally.

This is how you wear flowers.

These dip-dyed stools make me so happy. Black or white?

Recipes for easy vegan Valentine’s Day desserts. Thanks Minimalist Baker!

 

x-Greta

 

 

 

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5 Awesome African-American Ladies

Singer, Baby Esther

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of our unsung African-American, female historical heroes. Female Americans of color are not often celebrated or remembered in history, so I’ve compiled a list of some amazing ladies.

  • Esther Jones aka Baby Esther was a singer in the 1920s known for her “baby” style of singing. Her style of singing was copied by caucasian singer, Helen Kane, who sang “I Wanna Be Loved By You” using Baby Esther’s “boo boo boo” “doo doo doo”. This later became the inspiration for the cartoon, Betty Boop, and her “boop boop dee doop”.
  • Alice Coachman basically broke record after record in track before making history as the first African-American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics.
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Favorite Morning Beverages sans Caffeine

I love mornings. Scratch that. I love leisurely mornings. Ones where I can indulge in a leisurely breakfast, and snuggle up on the couch with a cup of something yum. Usually that cup of something yum is an almond milk latte, but recently, I’ve been on a caffeine-free kick so it’s been one of these beverages…

  • Herbal Tea. Who doesn’t love a nice cup of herbal tea? It’s not only delicious but also has detoxifying and healthy benefits on your body. My favorite tea company is Mighty Leaf. Yes, it can be a little pricey, but I promise you, the taste and quality are worth it. If you like to keep things simple, try their Jasmine Tea, but if you want to try something new, try their African Nectar. It is my go-to.
  • Kombucha. Sometimes, it’s nice to have a little fizz in the morning. It kind of wakes you up. I’ve tried a ton of kombucha companies, but so far, GT’s Gingerade is my favorite. I also find it to be a great substitute for soda.
  • Yulmucha. This tea reminds me of my childhood, so maybe that’s why I love it. It is a milky tea (without the milk) made of powdered Job’s tears. It has a nutty flavor that satisfies that craving for a milky latte.
  • Matcha. I mean…where to start? There are so many ways to make a matcha tea. I personally
    love Califia Farms’ Matcha Almond Milk because it’s already made, so it’s easy and it’s slightly sweetened by maple syrup, so it’s delicious.
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Weekend Links

Hundreds of cafés and coffee companies are raising funds for the ACLU this weekend, so grab yourself a coffee or two for democracy and justice.

Erhmahgahhhd. Whole Foods Market is installing a mocha ice cream bar in their stores nationwide.

Ellis Island was a gateway for more than 12 million immigrants…here are some of their portraits.

Cute suede sneakers. 

Taking a break from social media was one of my tips on staying sane and stress-free. Writer, Caroline Biggs, did it for a MONTH. 

Some delicious dips you can make for Super Bowl Sunday.

Pretty pretty clothes.

A little info on the history of Black History Month…why and when it was started.

 

x-Greta

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Staying Sane in the Craziness

Have you ever been completely STRESSED, but not know why or how to come out of it? It wasn’t a singular moment, but it piled up in the day-to-day. It all sort of snuck up on you, and now you’re either sick, or tense, or plain cranky?

That’s how I’ve been feeling recently. It is a crazy time in my country. Let alone, the world. I’m overwhelmed on a daily basis and it’s taken a bit of a toll on my overall well-being. SO, I’ve compiled a list of ways to keep sane in the craziness. Hopefully, this will help some of you  as it has been helping me.

  • Take a break from social media. This, by FAR, has been my go-to. Whenever I’m feeling
    stressed, I just put a cap on how many times I check my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Recently, it’s been once-a-day for Facebook and Twitter, and twice-a-day for Instagram. Try it. The effect is immediate.
  • Exercise. And I’m talking about physical movement. Something that you love doing, not just grinding it out at the gym. I think when you’re stressed, you want to get those endorphins going, but also be kind to yourself. Instead of forcing myself to go running, which I dislike, I’ll go for a hike or do some yoga instead.
  • Talk to Friends. Speaking of hiking…sometimes, it’s nice to go it alone, but other times, it’s nice to have a friend to laugh with or cry with or be stressed with haha. It makes me feel less alone and more sane.
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Easy, Cool Greeting Card App

 

Does anyone else struggle with long distance relationships? And I mean, not just romantic ones, but friendships, too. All of my closest friends have scattered across the country, and due to my traveling days, I have friends all over the world. I find it difficult to remember to send a gift or card for birthdays, special occasions, or even holidays. Due to an unpredictable schedule, there are easily times I put it off and completely forget! This is why when I found the app Ink, I was THRILLED.

It’s an app that allows you to design your own postcards and greeting cards, and send it directly from your phone. It has a user-friendly interface with enough cool designs so it’s interesting, but not so many that it’s overwhelming. Depending on the type of card, it costs anywhere from $1.99 to $4.99. Easy. Convenient. Affordable. AND Pretty. Hooked!

For those part of the Women’s March movement, they have an awesome Women’s March Template. I used it today and it is incredibly easy to send a postcard to your Congressperson. In this political climate, the faster and easier the letter the better, amirigh?

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Weekend Links

Hope you have a lovely weekend…

Chinese New Year is this weekend! It is a Fire Rooster year, so if you were born in the year of the Rooster, wear red and wear jade to bring yourself good luck.

These look delicious.

Gucci reveals its new campaign with dance teasers.

There will be a post about winter veggies and fruits. Until then, here are some yummy wintry recipes.

“A plastic bottle is not waste, it is a resource” – Jonas Peterson, CEO of design company, Form Us With Love. Ikea agrees. 

Heartbreaking. Judy Garland’s last conversation with her good friend, Marilyn Monroe.

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Affordable Slip-On Sneakers

One lovely Wednesday afternoon, I met the love of my life….in sneaker form. They were these Sam Edelman black-and-white slip-on fashion sneakers at Marshall’s (aka Mecca). To this day, I regret not purchasing them the minute I saw them. I was trying to be “responsible”, and save money -pshhhht.

Since then, I’ve been on a search high-and- low for those Sam Edelman sneakers and sneakers like them. Here are my findings…

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