Monday, January 29, 2018

Vegan Brunch Recipe - Chia Seed Pudding

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a little DIY day with my friend, Helen. We both got into using Essential Oils a few months ago, and wanted to have a get together with all of our girlfriends so we could make roller bottles of oils, and really just share the wealth of all things essential oils.

Of course, I managed to procrastinate to the very last minute, but I was able to throw a few things together for everyone to snack on.

Also, shout out to @earthyandy for sharing these recipes in the first place. If you don't follow her already, I highly recommend doing so. She lives in Hawaii, and has a life full of surfing, healthy eating and family fun. 

Maple Chia Seed Pudding
2 cups coconut milk (homemade or natural, other nut milks are great too!)
    ½ cup Organic Chia Seeds
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
    ¼ cup maple syrup

*This recipe makes 4 servings*

                                                                   Video from Earthy Andy


Basically, all you do is dump these 4 ingredients into a bowl, and then stir. 

Once everything is mixed, pour mixture into a glass container. I used 4 little mason jars, with plenty of space for toppings later. 

Once your mason jars are filled to your liking, put the lid on, and place in the fridge. 

Make sure to refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I like to leave mine in the fridge overnight, so I have a quick and healthy breakfast option for me in the morning.

I definitely recommend topping this pudding with some fruit, or nut butter. 

*Original Recipe found here on Earthy Andy's site*


"Caramel" Coconut Balls


(2) 8 oz. Pitted Dates
2 Tablespoons Water
1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
(The original recipe calls for 1 cup of coconut sugar but I found that 1/3 - 1/2 cup was plenty)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1.5 Cups Oats
1/4 Cup Coconut Shreds


If you didn't buy pitted dates, start by removing pits from the dates. 

Next chop up all your dates, and put them in a frying pan with your water and coconut sugar. 

Cook down for about 10 minutes on medium-low. Chop and Stir while cooking down.

Once it bubbles, and is almost paste-like, turn off heat and stir in vanilla.

Let it cool for a few minutes.

Next, stir in your oats and coconut shreds. (This may take some arm strength, since the dates are super sticky)

Now, once the mixture is cool enough to handle, start rolling your mixture into bite-sized balls and place on parchment paper

You can also roll in additional coconut shreds if you really like da coconut.

My friends said these tasted like the Girl Scout Samoa Cookies (Caramel Delight Cookies)

*Original Recipe can be found here, on Earthy Andy's blog*


I then store these Caramel Bites in the fridge and let them firm up a bit. Then in the morning, I crumble them up and put them on top of my chia seed pudding, along with bananas, berries and nut butter. It's so delish.

They are also great to eat alone as a snack!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Whipped Body Butter - DIY

As some of you may know, I started selling Young Living a few months back and I am having SO much fun making new beauty products with my essential oils. I wanted to share a fun recipe I whipped up (pun intended) the other day that I am really loving. Plus it's super easy and chemical free. Right up my alley.

I found the original DIY recipe on Lauren Singer's Instagram/Youtube Page - Trash is for Tossers. (Check out her Instagram here - you won't regret it) One of my monthly goals for January is to produce less waste. So naturally, I went on Lauren's page and tried to find a few things I could do to help me reach my goal. Another goal of mine this month is to eliminate some clutter in my makeup/beauty routine.

I am a total and complete product junkie. I love finding new chemical free companies, and trying out their stuff. Unfortunately it has left me with a lot of products. Some I don't even really need. Hence why I am trying to organize and eliminate a few things from my beauty cabinet.

As always I love to use simple, and natural ingredients on my body since I have preached loud and clear about the dangers of using synthetic fragrances. (If you missed it, read this) What I love most about this DIY recipe is, it uses 4 organic ingredients. All which you can find from the grocery store. Thankfully I had 2 of these in my drawers already, which made things a little less expensive. 

The items in this Whipped Body Butter include

- Organic Coconut Oil - super moisturizing

- Organic Shea Butter - Helps stimulate collagen production, which smooths fine lines and wrinkles

- Organic Cocoa Butter - Rich in Antioxidants

- Organic Sweet Almond Oil - Rich in Vitamins E & B (helps repair sun damage)

*Optional Ingredient* - Essential Oils

I used Valor & Lavender, because why the heck not! Valor is a favorite Young Living blend of mine, that is made up of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense. I like to call this my courage oil. I wear it in times where I need to be calm, or even brave. Lavender is known for relaxation, so I try to use this whenever I can. It can also help with bug bites/rashes too! 

Next up, watch Lauren's video below. She will teach you how to mix up these ingredients and whip it into a luxurious body butter.

*Helpful Tip: I recommend doing this with friends, so you can split the cost of all the supplies! Or purchasing your items on Amazon or Thrive Market online to save some money. I bought some big containers of cocoa butter, and shea butter from Whole Foods which led me to spend $40. Just on those two items. Granted, I will probably have these items for life because the jars are so big, but it was shocking to see the prices of everything*


Another fun idea, is to make these for gifts! I am not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day (mainly because one time I got broken up with two days after Valentine's day, LOL), but I always try to treat my girlfriends to a little something so they all know how loved they are. Thankfully, I found some leftover tins in my craft drawer, and I plan to wrap these up with twine and give them away to my girlfriends. That way they feel the love over Valentine's Day, and I know they are using products that are non-toxic and actually help support their body in their everyday life. It's a win, win!

Other great Essential Oil combos for this Whipped Body Butter would be...

-Copaiba & Frankincense: Copaiba helps lock in moisture, and frankincense is a very grounding oil. It also helps restore that youthful looking glow!

-Lavender & Frankincense: Great for sleep support!

-Panaway & Peppermint: This would be great for sore muscles. Peppermint leaves your skin feeling a little tingly, and helps with aches and pains. Make sure to keep away from your eyes

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy SIXTH Birthday, Little Pieces of Hope!

By golly, we have done it! Little Pieces of Hope is SIX years old today!

Most years I forget to celebrate the anniversary of Little Pieces of Hope, but somehow I was able to catch it early on the calendar and actually remember. So naturally, I am sitting down and reflecting on how crazy this jewelry journey has been for me.

As some of you may know, Little Pieces of Hope started as a hobby when I was back in college studying Apparel Merchandising at Colorado State University. My roomie (oh heeeey, Mel!!) and I were all about that Colorado music scene, and I was constantly trying to refine my dirty (yet somewhat put together) hippie look...cue the feather earrings. 

Yup, you heard me....feather earrings. Don't worry there are some pictures down below with some AWESOME instagram filters. Joking, these are the worst filters you have ever seen. And believe it or not, I actually posted pictures like this on the Etsy shop. I know, palm to the face.

While feather earrings sparked the jewelry maker inside me, the company slowly transitioned to carry necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even paintings at one point.  It's been fun, and somewhat embarrassing, looking back at pictures this week and seeing what I sold back in college versus now. 

Now, don't get me wrong. Little Pieces of Hope has been fun, but not always a breeze. It's been a lot of trial and error. Feast & famine if you will. But no matter how many people told me "Maybe it's time you get another job", it's always been my number 1. My little jewelry sanctuary.

The best part about reflecting and looking back at photos today, is realizing that Little Pieces of Hope has accompanied me throughout all my chapters of life. Break ups, health scares, traveling across the world. It's been right there beside me, growing as I do. It's been my outlet to heal, to create and to express myself.

I am beyond thankful for your love & support along this fun little journey of mine. Throughout the years we have been able to donate over $10,000 to over 10 different non-profits. How cool is that?! I am still trying to figure out the exact number we have donated. College Ceci didn't really ever feel the need to document how much we donated so that's been fun trying to search emails and find receipts from 2012-2013.

All in all, if you have made it this far in reading, I want to say thank you. From the very bottom of my heart. Thank you for supporting me and my dream, and watching Little Pieces of Hope grow while I do too. 

Thank you.


Now the good stuff. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos throughout the year. Now like I said, some may have terrible instagram filters, but they show off a memory nonetheless.


These are the infamous feather earrings that started it all. My sweet Mom was kind enough to let me sell these in her shop in Spicewood, Texas.


Then came the long necklaces. Here are a few of my first pieces that I sold in college. 


This was one of my very first trunk shows in Colorado - I had my friends over and we raised funds for the local chapter of Red Cross - This was during the High Park Wildfire of 2012

These are a few style shots from the very first store that made a wholesale purchase from me! Thank you Cotone!

Over time trunkshows became a regular thing for me - Here is one of me at Langford Market by UT Campus in Austin, TX. Either from 2013, or 2014.

Fast forward a few months, and soon bloggers were wearing my stuff and featuring Little Pieces of Hope on their social media outlets. Ivana Revic (pictured above) was one of the most influential people who wore LPOH. She made the LPOH buffalo skull ring the "it" item for over a year! There are more bloggers photos over here (although I have to admit I haven't updated this page in years!)

After college, I decided to make LPOH my full time job. Meaning I had to HUSTLE for that money. Thankfully, Jensen (pictured on the left) helped get me into a few boutiques around Fort Collins, Colorado. This is me and her meeting for the first time!

The WISHBONE bangle that helped connect me to the dreamers over at Free People where I was able to be a part of a few photo shoots and even photograph a few things of theirs myself. Probably the thing I am most proud of!


Of course, I could share about a hundred more photos, but I thought I would attempt to pump the breaks. 

Thank you again for all the love and support over these last six years. I am beyond grateful and feeling blessed beyond belief. As a way to show my appreciation, I have made everything in the Little Pieces of Hope shop 30% off for the weekend. ENJOY!!