Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats

Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats from The Southern Institute

Rice Krispie Treats are one of our favorite treats to make. They’re gluten-free and just plain yummy. I’ve loved them ever since I was a child. Abby and I have had a lot of fun experimenting with different flavors and shapes over the past several months. We’ve made dark chocolate cherry treats, and heart shaped treats with pink candy drizzle for Valentine’s day. For the summer I wanted to try something with a bit of a citrus twist and I was dying to use my DoTerra essential oils… could it work?

Why lime, you might ask?

Doterra Lime oil

Plus, it just tastes great, right? I’ve been putting a drop of DoTerra lime essential oil in my water every morning to cleanse my body and I love it. It’s refreshing and it tastes great! I thought it would taste so good paired with coconut, so I combined the two in a Rice Krispie Treat! Here’s how I did it:

-Combine 3 TBSP of unsalted butter and one 16 ounce bag of mini marshmallows in a large stock pot. Heat over low-medium heat until melted. Remove from heat.

-Stir in 3 drops of DoTerra Lime essential oil to the marshmallow/butter mixture, stir well.

-Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies and unsweetened shredded coconut to the marshmallow mixture and combine well. I think I added about 3/4 cup of coconut (I didn’t measure it. Add as much as you like.)

-Press mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 Pyrex or glass baking dish. Press flat with wax paper and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!

These turned out to be so delicious! The lime flavor is not overwhelming, but definitely noticeable. It makes for a really yummy summertime treat! I hope you like them!

I’m Forty! (A Fundraiser for Enchanted Makeovers)

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1974. The year I was born. Yesterday I turned 40 years old, and I kind of can’t believe it. For the last few months I have been pretty excited about this birthday milestone. It seems like forty is the age where you’re past a lot of the “hard” stuff, like finding a mate (at least I am), having kids, figuring out what you want to do with your life, etc. At forty you know who you are better than you did at thirty. Hopefully you are more comfortable with yourself. I know I am. I’m in a place where I don’t necessarily know exactly everything that I want, but at least I know what I don’t want, and I’ve been eliminating those things, slowly but surely. I’m looking forward to the decade ahead. I’m looking forward to watching my children come into themselves and I’m looking forward to growing closer to my husband. I’m excited to continue to nurture the relationships that have proven to be the most enduring thus far. I’m excited to grow more as a person, as a mom, and as a wife, and as a Christian. I think it’s going to be a great time in my life, and if the outpouring of love that I have received over the last week is any indication, I have a lot of people behind me. It has been uplifting to say the least.

When you’re on the receiving end of such an outpouring of love and friendship, you cannot help but want to pass that on. I know that there are many women out there who are not at a safe point in their lives now. Many of them have sought refuge for themselves and their children in women’s shelters. You may not know this, but I got my college degree in social work and have always had a special place in my heart for those who are hurting and in need. I wanted to give back during my birthday month, so I chose a non-profit organization by the name of Enchanted Makeovers and set up a fundraiser through Crowdrise.com. I love Enchanted Makeover’s mission and I think you will too!

Help me reach my goal of raising $1000 for Enchanted Makeovers this month at http://bit.ly/enchantedmakeovers.

Since 2007, Enchanted Makeovers’ mission has been to transform homeless shelters for women and children into places that inspire behavioral and psychological change. Through our various projects, mentoring programs and makeovers of the physical space, women and children are introduced to a way of thinking that helps to shift their outlook about their lives and possibilities for the future. The shelter is transformed into a “beacon of hope”. Mentoring programs such as the“Sacred Sewing Room”, “Stepping into the Dream”and “Capes for Kids” develop important life and coping skills.

Enchanted Makeovers

Being someone who loves to sew I just love what Enchanted Makeovers is all about. My goal is to raise $1000 for their organization by the end of July. Would you help by making a donation? Whether you can donate $5 or $50, you can make a difference in the life of women who have been told that they have little to no hope. You can help bring possibilities and confidence to someone who desperately needs it. I hope you’ll join me! Visit the Enchanted Makeovers Fundraising Page to make a tax-deductible donation today!

How We Fared on the Family Cleanse.

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Are you wondering what happened to our Family Cleanse? We completed it! Yes siree we did! I didn’t know how we were going to get through it in the beginning, but the more we got into it, the more I realized that it really wasn’t that far off from what we had been trying to do for the last several months. Although I’ll admit that we had let things slide a little. We were already eating mostly gluten-free, but we had a whole lot of gluten-free snack foods in our cabinets, and a lot of them contained sugar. I was shocked at how much white sugar our “healthy” snacks contained! Our cleanse menu meant that we were snacking in a different way… lots more fruits and veggies and homemade foods made with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.

local eggs for breakfast at thesoutherninstitute.com

Eating on the Family Cleanse was not that hard for the kids. I thought that not having the usual snacks available would make for whiney kids, but do you know that they didn’t even seem to notice that they were gone? Seriously! I have to give them so much credit! They were champs through the whole thing. When they asked for snacks, their choices were fresh fruits or carrots or maybe a gluten-free, dairy-free apple muffin or a raw granola bar…and they were totally happy with what I offered them. I am so proud of them! I did let them have a few dairy-free mini chocolate chips, however. :)

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We have been making a whole lot of amazing smoothies with spinach, avocado, chia seeds, ground flax seed, bananas, blueberries, cinnamon-oh my goodness they are so delicious! I also got back to making one of my favorite chia seed pudding recipes! Yum!

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So, how did we feel by the end of the cleanse? Honestly, I didn’t feel much of a change in my physical health. I was hoping that I would see my headaches go away, but that didn’t happen. I didn’t feel any worse or any better. What I did notice is that my sugar cravings were greatly reduced. I just don’t have the desire for some of the things that I used to, like cookies and frappaccinos. I didn’t think that would ever happen! I also have cut out more dairy and now only have dairy in cheese, and a lot less of it than I used to eat! This means that my Starbucks visits are almost non-existent because they don’t offer almond or coconut milk, and I’m not a fan of soy milk.

Now that the cleanse is officially over I am pretty much sticking to it… well, about 75-80% I would say. I really LOVE to eat and I love to enjoy what I eat. If we go out to dinner I’m not going to go crazy, but I’ll get something that I want. To me it’s about eating a balanced, healthy, smart diet, and teaching my children about healthy eating habits.