Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Smoothie

When the 2 o'clock afternoon slump hits most people think that their body is craving caffeine. And that actually should be the farthest thing from your mind. Caffeine can certainly give our bodies and mind a jolt, which we often times confuse for feeling satisfied, but in reality, our body is needing more "fuel" to get through the afternoon. Caffeine won't sustain us till the work is over. That fuel should be a high protein, high fat snack. When my schedule is packed and I go right into teaching evening classes without stopping for dinner, my go-to afternoon snack is a smoothie. If you work in an office purchasing a Ninja blender, to keep at the office, is totally worth every penny. Check with a co-worker and see if they might be interested in splitting the cost with you and then you can both make healthier decisions together and hold each other accountable! Win-Win!

The recipe below I drink on its own with nothing else but it could certainly be a breakfast replacement as well. It will keep you feeling satisfied even if you go to yoga after work or workout before going home to eat dinner. 
(Please note: I do not get anything in exchange for promoting these products, I just personally like them. But if any of these companies would like to send me samples to pass out to my health coaching clients please email me!)


  • 1 banana
  • 1 small apple with skin on, sliced
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 2 Tablespoons Flax Chia Blend, Carrington Farms
  • 1 scoop Green Superfood, Amazing Grass
  • 1 teaspoon Macca Powder, Navitas
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Creamy Almond Butter


Kale and Pumpkin Frittata - Great for Paleo and Gluten Free Diets!

I love to cook things that use just one pan on the stove and this recipe, if followed, will allow you to do just that. My one pan staple is a deep 6 quart saute pan with a lid, like this one. This recipe is high in protein and has no grains which allows it to be gluten-free and perfectly in line with Paleo diet followers. Serves 6 when using a 9x13 pan.


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 dozen large eggs
  • 5-ounce package of baby kale, destemmed.
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juice only
  • 1 small onion
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat convection oven to 350 degrees, I use a convection oven for most of my cooking. It speeds up the cooking time and the heat is distributed evenly. If you are using a traditional conventional oven double the cooking time and watch closely.

Spray a 9x13 glass pan with cooking oil.
  1. Destem baby kale leaves and rinse thoroughly, place in a bowl and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over the leaves and stir by hand. Set aside.
  2. Cook ground turkey in saute pan uncovered and stir occasionally.
  3. While ground turkey is cooking, chop onion and mushrooms.
  4. When the turkey is half cooked with still some visible red, add the onion and mushrooms and cover the pan with a lid. Stir occasionally.
  5. Once cooked, remove from heat and add the kale, stirring constantly until the leaves are only slightly wilted.
  6. Add coriander and thyme and stir.
  7. Pour turkey mixture into the 9x13 cooking pan.
  8. In the same bowl that the baby kale was in, whisk 1 dozen eggs until fully blended.
  9. Pour eggs over the ground turkey mixture in the cooking pan. Shake the pan from side to side to distribute the eggs, don't stir!
  10. With a spoon place dollops of pumpkin over the egg and turkey mixture, as shown.
  11. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, I prefer sea salt.
  12. Sprinkle crumbled feta evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes in a convection oven, uncovered. And then bake for additional 10 minutes with the pan covered with foil. Test the center with a knife to be sure that it is cooked thoroughly. 


My First Pie & Happy Pi Day!

I am in LOVE with this cookbook, First Prize Pies by Allison Kave. It might come as a surprise to you knowing that I am a health coach and here I am blogging about eating sugar-laden pies. I firmly believe in moderation, I don't think it's possible for most people to completely eliminate sugary sweet desserts forever. I believe that we have to find a balance for ourselves to live and be happy. (In a previous post, I explained my Social Pie Experiment.I've decided that 2018 will be the year of making pies and what better day to post a recipe for a pie than on Pi day! 

For my very first pie I made one of the recipes from First Prize Pies cookbook. I chose this one for my wife, both for her love of caramel and Samantha Bee. The pie tasted fantastic, extremely rich in flavor and relatively easy to make except that I will note that making this pie is time consuming. Not labor intensive but waiting for things to set in order to finish the recipe takes patience. I hope you enjoy!

Samantha Bee's Salty Caramel Pie: First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

Pretzel Crust
8 ounces pretzels (pick your favorite kind)
6 to 8 tablespoons (85 to 115 g) unsalted butter, melted (pretzels can be very dry, so you may need more)

1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) brown butter (I used regular butter)
2 tablespoons mascarpone (I couldn't find mascarpone so I used 2 tablespoons of full fat cream cheese and a splash of heavy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Make the crust: Grind the pretzels in a food processor until finely ground or seal them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Pour in the butter and mix (hands are best for this) until the texture is that of wet sand. You may need more or less butter, depending on the texture of the pretzels. Firmly press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the crust in the freezer or fridge for several hours. (For a less crumbly crust: Once chilled through, bake the crust in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.)

Make the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together 1/2 cup water, the sugar, and honey until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Cook over medium-high heat, moving the pan around occasionally, until the caramel has turned dark amber and reached 340°F (170°C) on a candy thermometer. (Or just guess, like I did.)
Remove the caramel from the heat and slowly pour the cream down the side of the pan, whisking constantly. Be very careful here: The caramel will start to bubble violently and release a lot of hot steam. Whisk in the butter, then the mascarpone, then the vanilla and salt. Pour the filling into your prepared pie shell, and refrigerate it, uncovered, until fully set—at least 5 hours.

Make the topping: Heat the cream until scalded, and then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk until glossy. Spread or drizzle the ganache over the filling, allow it to set, and serve. This pie can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, covered well in plastic wrap. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. For easier slicing, run your knife under hot water first to prevent the caramel from sticking to the blade.


Clutter Free Bathroom Ideas to Simplify Your Life

Raising two teenaged boys and making time for my marriage, family, and friends while also running a successful yoga studio and health coaching business is time-consuming. 2018 is the year that I am making a change in how I spend my days from my work time, family time to my volunteer positions. I am choosing to live with intention. You could say that is my "theme" for this year.

Choosing how I spend my time and with whom during those big open chunks of time on our weekend calendar is exciting and soul fulfilling. But what about those small little windows of time where you need to vacuum the house or scrub the tub? Not so much! I believe that if I simplify my house, even more than it already is, that doing these chores won't occupy as much time in my schedule. I don't feel as though I have a time management problem per say but I am seeing how these little household tasks that I do each week are occupying more time than I would like to and hiring a cleaning company is not in the budget right now.

So I started looking at the tasks that I do around the house with a detective type eye, analyzing the movements. What am I touching and how? Am I constantly having to move things in order to complete the task? Could I just get rid of that?

One of the areas under attack is our bathroom. We shop at Costco so we have these huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner, the supersize ones with their pumps, balancing in the corners where the tub and the wall meet. They have to be removed in order to clean the tub. And then on the bathroom sink, we have 4 people's toothbrushes and two different kinds of toothpaste and each week all of that is being moved in order to clean or constantly being knocked over as you try and clean just one side of the sink at a time. It seems like such a small problem but these little moments of time are where I believe I can simplify my life.

So after way too many hours thinking about my bathtub clutter problems, I scrolled through Amazon and I found this handy dispenser made by Better Living. I filled it with our Costco shampoo, conditioner and body wash and said goodbye to the giant bottles in the tub. Now the corners are clutter free and it makes cleaning the tub as enjoyable of a task as it can be. You do have to commit to its location because once it's installed using silicone, it can not be moved easily. For the bathroom sink, I went into our attic and pulled out the Ikea spice rack that at one time served as a small shelf for books when my kids were in bunk beds and I didn't want them to get out of bed to put their nighttime reading away. I installed it on the wall next to sink and have their toothbrushes and toothpaste in one area off of the countertop and now they are in charge of keeping their area clean. I placed me and my wife's items in a glass vase on the sink which can easily be moved to clean in one movement. Little changes like this can make a daunting task of cleaning the bathroom a little bit more enjoyable and most importantly will take less time to do. Have you learned some space-saving tricks to save you time when cleaning the bathroom? I'd love to hear them in the comments!


The Social Life of Pie

It might come as a surprise to you knowing that I am a health coach and I am blogging about eating sugar-laden pies. Here is the thing, as a health coach, I believe in moderation. I believe that we have to find a balance for ourselves to live and be happy. I don't eat pie every day, but every once in a while is totally okay for me. Also as someone who identifies as an Alcoholic, I'm always looking for alternative ways to find social gatherings that don't feel awkward when alcoholic drinks aren't being served. Even for folks who don't drink often they might mistakenly assume that a Friday night dinner invitation warrants bringing a bottle of wine. And for some people, it's an uncomfortable conversation to have with guests that you might not know very well and have invited over with the intention to get to know better.

Recently I had a conversation where I admitted to the other person that I’ve never actually made a pie before. I’ve made all kinds of desserts but never a pie. Their mouth hung open, shocked. She even said, "Come one everyone has made a pumpkin pie, it's so easy!" 
Nope, never. 
Here is a bit of my entire childhood my mother, my sister and I would take turns helping a neighbor Mary who lived a few doors down and was in a wheelchair. Mary was grandmother age, never had any children of her own and we started helping her soon after her husband died. We actually didn’t even know her before that. My mom was and still is such a caring, kind person, she saw a person in need and immediately wanted to help her. We took care of Mary and welcomed her into our lives, without seeking recognition or reward. (My mom, of course, did a lot more than me and my sister.) Our job, as kids, was to go down to Mary’s house in the evening and take her shoes and socks off and put on her slippers. Every third day it was my turn and Mary would have made a pie and her and I would have a slice (or two!) and talk. I really cherished that time with her and Mary’s pies were delicious! I’ve never tried to make a pie of any kind before now, yet they hold this very special place in my heart. 
So all of this is to say, I'm starting a little social pie experiment. 

I found this cookbook, First Prize Pies by Allison Kave on the shelf of my local library and was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover. After flipping through it for a few days I knew I had to own this book. The photographs are beautiful, I love the font that is used in the recipe writing and the actual recipes are both unique and yet familiar flavors. I have a fondness for eating food that is in season and this cookbook has pie recipes that are divided up by seasons, our meeting was clearly meant to be. When I saw that, ideas began to run wild.... what if I made a pie each month and intentionally invited friends over for pie and tea. Doesn't that sound lovely? It's a beautiful confluence of my love for cooking, of my purpose to live intentionally and devote time to relationships which have meaning in my life and also my goal of learning and developing a new skill. 
I'll keep you posted on this slice of my life!  ;) 


Simplifying My Shoes- Tieks Shoes

I recently posted about my desire to simplify my closet by creating a wardrobe that fits, feels good and that I feel confident in the clothes. It is a work in progress and I am not at all finished. I'm still refining and learning what my "look" is.

I have a strong desire to live with less stuff which is in line with my word for this year, Intention. As a yoga instructor and yoga studio owner, I follow the traditions and beliefs of the Yoga Sutras. Within those sutras are guidelines for living. (Now you might be wondering how yoga goes with Tieks shoes...keep following along, please) So one of the guidelines is Aparigraha; which is often translated to mean non-greed or non-attachment. To basically only take what you need. David Frawley, founder and director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies explains that Aparigraha also means "not having a lot of unnecessary things around yourself and not hankering after what other people have." I have this desire to live with less stuff but that doesn't mean that I'm going to live life in ugly clothes. Nor does it make sense to wear inexpensive, cheaply made clothes and shoes that I will continue to have to replace and purchase over and over again. Which in turn will be polluting the earth with more stuff. So I'm focusing on buying quality items that can go with several of my clothes and that will last me for many, many years. 

I posted a question on Facebook asking my friends for shoe advice. I explained that I am in the market for flat shoes that can be worn with dresses and skirts but also look okay with a pair of jeans. I lean towards the ballet flat style rather than a pointy shoe and absolutely no heel! I had so many great responses. Several friends remarked about their love of Clark's shoes but I recently purchased 2 pairs that weren't a good investment so I knew that brand wouldn't work for me. Several other people expressed their love of Tieks. Of course, I've heard of these shoes and have seen advertisements for them pop up on my Instagram feed. But the $175 investment! Were they worth it?

I spent more time than I would like to admit reading blog reviews of Tieks and watching youtube videos where women advise on cleaning tips to how to correctly pick your size. The shoes only come in full sizes and this seems to be quite an issue for women who have half-sized feet like I do. Do you size up or down? The opinions on this matter are vast. But I thought if this many women like this brand of shoe, clearly this company is doing something right. So I held my breath as I clicked the checkout button. The shoes arrived within three days and I immediately was wowed by the packaging and the handwritten note! Are you kidding me? What a special touch!

I tried on the shoes, they felt comfortable and the color and quality were outstanding. But they felt a bit lose. Since they are made of leather I'm concerned about stretching so I immediately jumped on their website to inquire about exchanging and do you know what they are going to do?
They are shipping me the other size to try on, without charging my credit card, and I have two weeks to decide which size I will keep. I am in awe of this policy and so appreciate that flexibility. A company that makes returns and exchanging easy to do are a big winner in my book. I'll keep you posted on a final review once I decide which size to keep.
Are you a Tiek's gal? Leave a comment and tell me about your love affair with the shoe company.


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