5 Tips to Organize and De-Clutter your House

When I first got married I remember talking to my dad and saying, “I had no idea how much work it took to keep a clean house!” The ironic part is that we lived in a tiny apartment with no kids and I still struggled to learn how to keep it clean.

Five years and three kids later I have finally learned a few tricks to help maintain an orderly household.

#1 Trash it.

There is nothing more counter productive to a clean house than extra stuff. It wasn’t until I started trashing the extra that I was able to maintain a clean house. If you haven’t used it within the last few months then reconsider if it belongs in our house.

#2 Stop buying stuff.

You won’t be able to keep it clean if you keep bringing in more!

#3 Pick a project a day.

I learned this one from one of the cleanest people I know. She recommended to accomplish one deep clean project every day. It becomes too overwhelming to try and do it all at once. Instead, clean out your junk drawer today and wipe down your baseboards tomorrow. Each are very effective and can take less than a half hour.

#4 Invest in organizational bins.

It doesn’t matter what kind of storage bin you choose, but invest and have bins for all of your rooms, storage, cupboards, closets. You will find it is so much easier to organize when you have a specific spot for each of your items.

#5 One thing at a time.

“Mess” accumulates when you go from one project to another without cleaning your previous task. If you just cooked a meal, clean it before you move onto laundry.

Pro Tip: Put your phone down! If you spend less time on your phone you will get so much more done with your day and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.



Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake with White Chocolate Sauce

I have made many cheesecakes in my life, and this is by far the best cheesecake I have ever made! I could not stop eating it and neither could my husband, or my kids, or the missionaries who we invited to eat some so that we didn’t gobble it all up by ourselves!

The base is a delicious homemade oreo crust, with a perfectly textured classic cheesecake, then topped with a chocolate peppermint ganache. I spread some crushed peppermint candies on top then couldn’t stop myself from pouring on a warm white chocolate sauce before serving.

Heaven in my mouth.

I adapted the recipe from this Betty Crocker recipe.

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake with White Chocolate Sauce

Oreo Crust

1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo’s

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons sugar


4 packages (8oz) cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup half and half cream

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 eggs

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Warm White Chocolate Sauce

6 ounces of quality white chocolate

1 1/2 cups of whipping cream



Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a spring form cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Tip: You can use a classic spring form cheesecake pan, but for mine I used a regular pie pan. Both work, but with the spring form pan you will be able to see the edges when you remove it and create a more classy look.

Mix crust ingredients. When all crust ingredients are mixed, press firmly into base of pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Pull crust out and let cool.

Tip: I chose to keep the oreo filling in the crust and did not notice a difference. This is  just my preference and makes my life easier!

Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Beat Cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk. Add whipping cream, flour, and vanilla and beat just until blended. Add eggs one at a time, again beating just until blended. Pour over crust.

Tip: To avoid lumpy cheesecake, thoroughly beat your cream cheese. Take time to scrape the sides of the bowl so that all of the cream cheese is nice and fluffy. 

Place cheesecake in 300 degree oven and bake for 1 hour and 15-25 minutes. Turn oven off, open oven door, and leave cheesecake in oven for 30 minutes. Cool on cooling pan for another 30 minutes before placing in refrigerator before serving (at least 3-4 hours, preferably overnight).

Tip: Cheesecake is done when it has set at least 2 inches from edge of pan. The middle should still be slightly jiggly.

For chocolate ganache, pour whipping cream into a sauce pan and bring to simmer. Turn off stove and add chocolate chips and peppermint extract. Stir until chocolate is smooth. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top. Let cool.

Before serving cheesecake, heat the whipping cream for the white chocolate sauce in a sauce pan just as you did for the chocolate ganache. Turn off heat and add white chocolate. Pour white chocolate sauce over top of individual servings of cheesecake.

Now please your palate.

peppermint cheesecake


The Super Fruit You Need Now

Originating from the Middle East, the Date comes to the United States as a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants.
One of the benefits of the date is its’ high fiber content. While fiber is good for you, the fiber of a date is different. Meg Campbell, working in the fitness and health industries, says this about the fiber in dates:
“This type of soluble fiber is particularly beneficial, as it promotes normal blood glucose levels, blocks the absorption of cholesterol and increases the size of stools. Beta-D-glucan also slows digestion in the stomach, thereby contributing to long-term satiety.”

Other benefits of the date include the incredible amount of minerals and vitamins. Here is a list of some of the minerals and vitamins of the date with their benefits for you.

Potassium: vital electrolyte which promotes healthy cell functions.

Manganese: contributes to healthy bones, assists in metabolism, formation of tissues, and assists in proper functions of glands and blood sugar and glucose levels.

Copper: important in healthy blood functions, aids in iron absorption, keeps muscles and nerves healthy.

Magnesium: is beneficial to many biochemical reactions including nerve and muscle function. Also contributes to a healthy immune system and heart. Magnesium also helps in production of protein and energy.

Calcium: important to bone growth and healthy muscle contraction.

Iron: vital to healthy blood and transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Vitamin K: vital to healthy blood clotting.

Vitamin B6: contributes to overall well being in the body, but specifically turns food into energy, and is important for healthy brain function.

Folate: needed for DNA creation and helps cells divide.

With all of the benefits of the date, what’s not to love? Well, some people aren’t a big fan of the taste/texture of the date.

Here are some fun popular ways to eat the date:

Check out The Blissful Balance, for this awesome peanut butter date cookie. It only has 4 ingredients so what’s not to love! Plus they are sugar and gluten free.


Head on over to Six Sisters Stuff for their gluten free date brownies. There stuff is bound to be delicious.


An easy way to snack on dates without baking is to remove the pit and insert a salted nut, my favorite is the macadamia nut! A perfect combination of sweet and salty and so easy!


Any time I make a veggie smoothie, I always add dates. It makes for the perfect amount of subtle sweet that creates the perfect tasting smoothing, no matter how green my smoothie is!

Let me know how you like to enjoy the date, and I’ll throw your ideas up!

5 Tricks to Avoid Gaining Weight This Holiday Season

Avoid gaining holiday pounds this season with these simple, easy tips.

#1 Incorporate a morning run. Before all of the hustle and bustle of the day, take time for yourself and get out on a run. This will help you start your day, and holidays, off with a healthy boost. Burn extra calories, boost your mood, and get your day off to a healthy start.

#2 Eat slowly. This way when you try a fun treat or roll you will only need the one. So savor your food and really enjoy it! This trick will help you feel like you aren’t constantly watching your weight while still feeling included with the festivities.

Note: I learned this trick from my aunt. Someone had made homemade caramels and the whole family was snacking on them. I remember looking over and seeing that my aunt still had half of her very first caramel sitting next to her and I had already eaten four! She chose to savor each bite and it paid off! We each had the flavor in our mouth, but who had four times more calories? I did.

#3 Put your food down with each bite. You will eat less if you are slowing yourself down by putting your food down each time.

#4 Maintain a positive attitude. Instead of getting discouraged when you eat, try thinking positively. Note the differences in these thought processes:

“Ugh, I ate another piece of pie. I have eaten too many calories today! I am definitely over my limit.”


“That was such a delicious and perfect piece of pie. I enjoyed it so much and am so satisfied.”

Which thought is likely to lead you to giving up on your healthy eating goals? Which thought will help you stay with your diet in the long run? Either way, you ate the piece of pie. But with the second you train your brain to feel satisfied. You are then less likely to over eat because you messed up anyway.

#5 Get involved. Instead of sitting at the counter in front of a smorgasbord of appetizers, go for a walk with relatives, start a fun game with cousins, or offer your help setting the table!

If you follow these tips you will be less likely to over eat, but more importantly more likely to have a good time this holiday season. Enjoy!!


Ooey Gooey Chocolate Filled Oatmeal Bars

These decadent treats really are fall in love worthy… literally, this is how I got my husband to fall in love with me. I fed him these Ooey Gooey Chocolate Filled Oatmeal bars and next thing you know, we got married. Okay, maybe that won’t happen to everyone, but it is pretty certain that you will fall in love with these bars. Continue reading Ooey Gooey Chocolate Filled Oatmeal Bars