February 17, 2022

Retold Recycling


When it comes to what happens to our clothing when we are done with it, we have a lot of options. Charities, reselling, swapping them with our friends, hand-me-downs, and then the garbage. Did you know that 32,000,000,000 pounds of clothing is sent to the landfill every year?! Retold recycling guarantees that nothing you send them will end up in a landfill! How wonderful is that?

There IS a subscription service option where you can have these bags sent to you throughout the year, or you can buy them in three packs or even in a single pack... I tend to buy them in three packs which end up costing me $12.84 per bag. I think what they do is SO worth that money! So here’s how it works, you can send them any textiles and they sort through it and give it to charities, thrift stores, up-cyclers, if it can’t be worn again, it’s turned into a rag, and if it's already a rag or fabric scrap and can’t be used again it’s ground into a pulp and used for many things. One of those things is insulation! How cool is that? Ok, so let me back up… you can send them any textile in any condition. So a lot of the items you usually can NOT donate and would end up in the garbage can be send to Retold. You can send underpants, bras with wires, old socks and torn masks… You can also give them fabric scraps and rags and old T-shirts with holes, and you can send them nicer items that are just looking for a new home! I tend to give a mixture of all three. I love the idea of an item of mine ending up in a thrift store somewhere! That’s definitely something that I can get behind! If I learned anything the last couple years it’s that if you want the world to change you need to put your money into places where those changes are being made. Seeking out brands who align with the changes you wanna see in this world and supporting those brands is key. For me, Retold Recycling is definitely something we will be using for years to come! I mentioned this was not sponsored but when you sign up you do get 15% off your first order link to share with your friends. So I’m gonna put my link below and if you feel like signing up and getting 15% off, use this. And then when you get your own 15% off link, invite all of your friends! https://www.talkable.com/x/1NoMmU


January 11, 2021

Recipe: Salted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)


Every year, starting the week before Christmas I partake in my annual cookie week. I usually make around 5 kinds of cookies, barks, and fudge and bring them to all holiday parties and even give them away as gifts to teachers and friends.  I love baking, my family loves sampling, it's just a fun combination of tradition and me perfecting my annual favorites year after year. This year was a bit different. We have been making gluten-free cookies for 10 years now but this was the first year I wanted about half to be gluten-free and also vegan. Long story short, I mixed it up the line-up this year trying 4 new cookies, a tweak to a bark recipe, and 1 of our all-time favorites. You guys, it totally paid off! Everyone, and I mean everyone agreed these were the best cookies ever and I think we've found a new starting line up! Because I am me, I tweaked each recipe to fit my family's tastes and dietary needs, and that is the recipe I will be sharing with you today. The original recipe is called Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies and they look fantastic! I couldn't wait to try the recipe out for myself. 

*Helpful tip* This recipe calls for the dough to be placed in the refrigerator for 6 hours (up to 24 hours) prior to baking. 


2 cups gluten free flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chunks or chips

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp coconut oil 

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Flaky sea salt (I simply used a sea salt grinder)


1) Chop chocolate into uneven pieces. I used the rock chop method on my cutting board. Set aside.

2) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chocolate to the flour mixture and toss to combine. 

3) Combine sugar, oil, water, and vanilla extract in a separate large bowl and whisk briskly until smooth and incorporated, about 2 minutes. Break up any sugar clumps. 

4) Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until just combined with no flour visible. Do not over-mix.

5) Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 6-24 hours. Do not skip this step. 

6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. With an ice cream scoop, portion the dough into 2 tbsp mounds. 

7) Arrange the dough balls on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt.

8) Bake for 10-12 minutes, turning once to ensure even cooking. Do not over bake.

9) Cool on wire rack. Store in an air-tight container.

These turned out fantastic and became an instant family favorite! Please leave a comment when you try this recipe and let me know how it turns out! Stop back soon as I will be posting the other new recipes I tried the year as well.

 Do you make the same holiday treats each year, or do you mix it up? Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you make it a great day! xoxo

November 15, 2020

Recycling 101

I'm on a mission to recycle more efficiently. Growing up, my dad alway installed in us the importance of recycling and how talking care of the environment was on us. That is something that has really stick with me my whole life! But as I watch my family members put different items into our recycling bin each week, I began to wonder if we are even doing it right. Is what we are putting into our bin even getting recycled or are we putting wrong items in the bin? So I decided to do a deep dive on recycling and recycling in my area. I've compiled a list of do's and don'ts if you will. What is recyclable and what is not. I hope this helps anyone else out there trying to do their part in the most efficient way! 

Let's start by defining recycling. Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community, the economy and the environment. Well that all sounds great, sign me up! So, if you are recycling, let's make sure you are only placing items in your recycling bin that can actually be recycled.

Putting items in the recycling bin that can’t be recycled can contaminate the recycling stream. After these unrecyclable items arrive at recycling centers, they can cause costly damage to the equipment. They must be sorted out and then sent to landfills, which raises unnecessary costs for the recycling facility. That is why it is important to check with your local recycling facility for a list of what is acceptable to send in. If you're local in the Chicago suburbs odds are Flood Brothers is your recycling facility. You can find a full list of items they accept here

Let's get down to the basics:


-Bubble wrap 
-Plastic grocery bags (although you can save them and turn them in at your local grocery store. Or better yet, only use reusable bags! ) 
- Wire &/or plastic hangers
-Paper towels
-Pizza boxes (although if it IS 100% free of grease, you can recycle it. I usually recycling at least the clean top of the box.)
-Plastic toys (not always 100% plastic and better off at your local thrift store/shelter/daycare donation.)
-Scrap wood (if 100% untreated, it can be recycled at some facilities) 
-Electronic items 
-Food waste
-Food-tainted items- used paper plates, napkins, paper towels 
-Yard waste

Please Recycle: 

-Aluminum food and beverage cans
-Newspapers, junk mail and envelopes
-Foil and pie tins
-Ferrous (iron), steel and tin cans
-Clear, green and brown glass bottles and jars
-Empty aerosol cans, dry paint cans
-Juice and soda bottles, 6 & 12-pack rings
-Telephone books
-Cardboard & cereal boxes
-Cetergent & shampoo bottles
-Office & copy paper (without wax liners)
-Catalogs & magazines
-PET plastic containers with the #1 symbol-screw tops only, without the caps, no black trays
-Water & milk jugs/cardboard cartons (with #2 symbol)
-Plastics with the #3, #4, #5, #6, or #7 symbol 
-Brown paper bags

I wanted to note that adding a recycling bin (and a compostable bin) to our upstairs has been a game changer. I had always brought down boxes and toilet paper ends, but once you put a bin up there, it's crazy how much less garbage and how much more recycling there is! Compost bin too, but we can chat about that a different day. 

Also, rinse everything out! Cans, glass jars, paper plates, everything! By sending in clean recyclable items you are helping your local recycling facility do their best job too. It's so simple to take a few extra moments and do it properly. 

A good rule of thumb is alway to reduce and reuse, but if you have to let the item go, please recycle! Did you find this post helpful or are you a recycling pro? Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. I hope you make it a great day! xoxo 

September 19, 2020

Recipe: Apple Pie - Vegan & Gluten Free

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons for many reasons, one of them being all the delicious apple and pumpkin recipes. I found this recipe on the food blog Vanilla and Bean and I have made it twice in the past six weeks. Yes, it is that good! It is time consuming, but worth every minute I promise! These are photos from my 1st attempt, my second time make it, I didn't have enough coconut oil so I substituted for 1/2 coconut oil, 1/2 avocado oil and it still turned out. The cook time was 5 minutes longer, but still very good! 



Click here for official directions. Traci over at Vanilla and Bean really put a lot of work into this recipe. Her instructions are extremely thorough and you can tell she really perfected this recipe before she put it out for the world to try. It tastes like it too! I usually post the full recipe when I find one I love, but there is really so much information to read though, I don't want to edit her vision for it. She has tips on her favorite apples to cook with & suggestions of how to store, warm, and freeze the pie.  You really should read though all of it!

Below is a photo of my second attempt making this yummy recipe. The apples were very ripe on this one, straight from the orchard the day before, so the center was almost apple sauce-like by the end.  Plus I used different oil in the crust, but again, totally worth the time. It's my most favorite apple pie recipe and that includes ones with gluten and butter you guys!

Do you have a favorite apple pie recipe? Please post it in the comments section, I'd love to try! Is this a recipe you think you'll try? It really is worth the work. 

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today. I hope you make it a great day! xoxo

September 18, 2020

Recipe: Slow Cooker Apple Sauce


Last weekend it was rainy and wet, so instead of going apple picking like we had planned, we decided to just stop by the orchard and pick up some apples. There is still lots of season left, so we'll just try again later in the month. If you are like me, you love cooking and baking and an extra trip to the orchard just means more apple recipes to try! 

 I decided to split the apples we picked up into three piles. The first group efor apple sauce, the next for apple butter, and the remainder for apple pie. All three were super delish, so today I'll be sharing the apple sauce recipe, tomorrow I'll share the apple pie recipe, and you can find my apple butter recipe here, which I posted two years ago. 


-16 apples 

-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (more if desired)

-1 cup spring water

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


1) Peel, core, and slice apples and place in slow cooker. 

2) Add ingredients together.

3) Cook on low for 4-6 hours, masking a few times with a potato masher. 

4) Store in a sterilized mason jar of container of choice. 

I usually store my apple sauce and apple butter (also any jams and jellies I make) in mason jars. I recently began saving any reusable containers around the house and have found they come in super handy. Below is a container from organic apple sauce I bought at our local grocery store. I cleaned it, sterilized it, and filled it up with some of the apple sauce I made in this batch! 

So that's it. This super easy recipe is sure to make you family, friends, or just yourself very happy! Make sure you stop back tomorrow for my apple pie recipe (vegan and gluten free!). 

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today. I hope you make it a great day! xoxo