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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Health Nut Cookies - House of Aqua

 You all know that I love to bake and I like creating new cookie recipes. When @OrganizedJen posted a photo of a "Health Nut Cookie" and a description of ingredients, I knew it would be fairly easy to make. Here is what I came up with solely based on a photo and description.

Health Nut Cookies
1/2 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
3 Tablespoons whole ground flaxseed
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 Tablespoon raw agave nectar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.) In a mixing bowl, cream peanut butter and flaxseed together, then add oats.
3.) Mix in agave nectar and honey.
4.) Stir in chocolate chips.
5.) Drop 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough onto a baking sheet. Flatten dough and press into the shape and thickness you desire as these cookies will not spread while baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes.
** This recipe make 6 cookies! **
They went great with my homemade agave macchiato!



Friday, August 16, 2013

Repurposing Gorgeous Candle Jars

I originally scored an excellent deal on these Illume Heirloom Pumpkin Soy Candles back in January at an after Christmas sale at Barnes and Nobles - of all places! They have a rich home-y pumpkin scent which I enjoy any time of the year. The retail price was $15.95 but they were marked down to just a few dollars each.

I bought three and broke out my last one to burn today. Sadly they don't burn very well, there is a lot of leftover wax on the sides and bottom of the candle. The upside to that is I chip it out to save. By the time I burn this candle, I should have enough leftover wax to make a fourth candle! I never attempted to make a candle before, but I'll be sure to share the experience with all of you.

Anyways...these jars are way to beautiful to throw away. They are gold with an oatmeal and rusty pumpkin color chevron sticker. To clean them up I froze the leftover wax in the the jar. Once frozen I chip out remaining wax. Freezing allows for a fairly easy and clean removal of the wax. Finally I peel off the sticker on the lid and clean any remaining residue with Goo-Gone.

As you can see, I have been using the jars to store my glasses. The glasses become a nice decorational piece on my desk instead of something pesky that I was to stuff in a drawer. I can think of many other ways to use these jars - such as a change jar, to hold cotton balls or q-tips, business cards, crayons, etc. If only I had more of these!

~House of Aqua

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Agave Nectar Macchiato

I've recently been enjoying a new discovery, well at least new to me. That is agave nectar syrup. It is organic, 100% natural agave nectar and it has a low glycemic index. I started out using it with coconut sugar in cookie recipes and use it as a replacement in recipes that call for molasses. I recently ran out of my homemade vanilla latte syrup and thought I would try the agave out instead.

Agave Nectar Macchiato

1 Tablespoon Organic Agave Nectar syrup

3/4 cup 2% milk

1 shot of espresso, brewed


1.) Pour agave nectar into the bottom of a measuring glass and add milk. Warm in the microwave ( or however you wish ) for 1 minutes. Remove from microwave and froth the milk using a milk frother.

2.) Pour frothed milk mixture into a coffee cup and add the shot of espresso on top.

3.) Enjoy as is or make it a caramel macchiato by drizzling caramel sauce on top.

Macchiato is Italian for "stained or marked." You can see the by pouring the espresso shot on top leaves it's mark.

If you have a sweet tooth or really want a caramel macchiato then simply add a drizzle of caramel sauce on top.

See how it's made here:


Sunday, August 4, 2013

How I Organize Dryer Sheets & Gain Dryer Bar Review

I want to start off by saying this is not a paid product review. I am not even associated with Gain in any way. I just love their products and when I was cruising the laundry aisle at the commissary today I saw this Gain dryer bar. I picked up the dryer sheets that I needed but I also tossed this into my buggy.

The cost was just under $4.00. Just a few more cents than a large box of dryer sheets.

I was in the middle of doing laundry when I left to go grocery shopping. When I returned home I promptly removed the dryer bar from the packaging to try it out. It looks a little something like this...a deoderant on a piece of plastic. There is a large sticker on the backside that allows you to stick the device to the drum of the dryer.

 I also want to share this basket I recently picked up. It is a green apple mesh basket I found at HomeGoods while waiting at the checkout for $3.99. It has 3 super strong magnets on the back. I've been looking for a way to organize my dryer sheets. I was looking for some sort of basket I could place on the dryer or maybe a skinny shelf to hold the box of sheets so this is better than what I hoped to find!

You can put the basket on the side of your washer or dryer. I decided to put mine right on the door since the laundry area stays closed when I'm not tending to it.

I actually like to remove the sheets from the box and place them into the basket because it makes them more handy and the laundry area smell great!

Back to the dryer bar...after I placed it in the dryer, I logged onto Amazon to read reviews. The reviews are very mixed and many people complained about the bar leaving white streaks all over their clothes - especially darker clothes. I'll admit I felt a little nervous after reading the reviews. Luckily my load in the dryer consisted of bright or neon colors so I wasn't too worried. I had two pieces of clothing I pulled out that showed white streaks - my red shorts which are pictured above and my purple fitted jeans.

Luckily the bar can be easily removed from the plastic device sticking in the dryer. I am going to keep using it, but only with selective loads.  What is your experience with the Gain or Bounce dryer bar?

** I wanted to add that after a couple of loads, the bar no longer leaves any white residue on our clothing. Be sure to try it out the first few times with light or whites. **

Saturday, August 3, 2013

My Modern Desk Style

I love my desk and thought I would give you all an updated "tour" of how I have it currently styled. First, let me rave about the desk itself. I'm not a huge Ikea fan - especially when it comes to furniture - but they do have some cool pieces and this is one of them. This is the high gloss white Besta Burs desk. It is very sleek and modern. It is also a very versatile piece as it would work perfectly as an entryway table, side dining buffet table, family room console table, or simply, a desk. I really want a second one for our future home but I can't justify buying another without having a specific place for it.

The white frame was purchased on sale at Michael's for $11. I was inspired by a similar picture on Pinterest that I saw and decided to replicate it. All you need is a picture frame, various gold scrapbooking paper, and white poster board. It's pretty self explanitory.

This is my "lucite" lamp. It ismade of cheaper plastic but has the same acrylic look of the very expensive Kartell brand. In fact, I was at a modern furniture store in downtown San Diego today and saw the Kartell collection in person. I am even more proud of my $15 Target lamp.

Here is a closer look at the base. It is currently available in stores for $30. I scored a deal on mine because the lamp comes with a hot pink shade and a CFL lightbulb. I saw one of the shelf missing both the lighbulb ( I despise CFL's anyway ) and I didn't want a hot pink shade. I promptly took the lamp to customer service and asked if they would mark it down 50%. I walked back to the lamps and picked out a clean white drum shade, which cost $8. This lamp isn't sold online so if interested you will have to check the stock at your local store.

The gold decorative jar by Threshold from Target's Summer 2013 collection works out well for holding my eyeglasses. I usually have both pairs in the jar when I'm not wearing them. To the right is my Bath & Body Works decorative candle holder and candle which I blogged about here. 

Here is an overview of the desk. The gray stool was an awesome Target clearance purchase $10.48 I found last year. It bounced around our store for a couple of months because it didn't have a tag or sku number. I noticed it had been in the store for a while and had the employees track down a sku and price for it. It worked out well in my favor because I got such a great deal on it.

 The last piece to share with you is the gold convex mirror on the wall. This is one of my most favorite decorative items and of all places I found it at Home Depot! It is by the Martha Stewart Collection for $34.97 and can be found here.

I hope you enjoyed seeing how I style my desk!