Sunday, January 3, 2016

Perfect Al Dente Basmati Rice in the Power Pressure Cooker XL


Let me start out by saying, no one is paying me* to tell you about how awesome the Power Pressure Cooker XL is. I saw you all got one for Christmas, or maybe you got it's friend Instant Pot. Either way they are both awesome and I use mine almost every single day. I thought I would start a simple, easy recipe series to let you know how I use my pressure cooker.

Let me dispel a couple of myths. You do not have to be making a "large meal" when you use your pressure cooker. This pot was made to cook things quickly and with a delicious effect with lots of flavor. It is kind of like the opposite of a crock pot, which I have seen people compare this too. They are not the same at all, but in the end, each give a delicious result using only one pot. So there you have it. If you don't have one yet, I highly suggest you get one, and do yourself a favor and get the XL, you will be grateful you did.

My favorite thing to make in my pressure cooker is rice. I have had the worst luck with rice. Being married to a Brasilian I need to have consistently good rice and since using the pressure cooker I do.

Here is how I roll when it comes to rice.

I plug in the pressure cooker and hit the rice button, 6 minutes pops up in the timing window, followed by "thinking lines" as I like to call them. I then put 1/4 cup olive oil into the bottom of the pan. I then add 3 teaspoons of salt and 3 cloves of pressed garlic. I sautee the garlic until it is fragrant and then I add 3 cups Basmati rice to the olive oil mixture. I continue to sautee the rice, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes giving a nice coating of olive oil. The rice almost turns white at this point. I then add 6 cups of water into the pot and I put the pressure cooker lid on. I make sure the valve is off so that it can start pressurizing. It takes about 5 minutes for the pot to fully pressurize, which is when you will see the the timer come back on to the window saying 6 minutes. Once the 6 minutes are up, the timer goes off, and I move the valve to depressurize the pressure cooker. Voila! Perfect rice every time. (If you like your rice a little less al dente, you can always push the Cook Time Selector after selecting rice, this lets you choose to cook the rice longer.)


*Please see disclosure at the bottom of the page

Friday, December 4, 2015

Coming Around

I have this anxiety when it comes to blogging. I think that what happened to my family nearly five years ago was so traumatizing that I felt utterly exposed in so many areas that blogging could no longer be one of them. I recently came to the realization that my kids are almost to the age where they will be online and they will read my blog and they will have questions. I want to have answers. So here I am, trying to begin again. 

This past week I have thought a lot about how grateful I am that I am still here, in this marriage, with Flavio. We were both hurt so much. It is so hard to come back from collapse and near divorce, but somehow we have managed. There has had to have been tremendous push and pull and give and take. More so than I ever imagined. 

I was able to share with my best friends this week, how good it feels to finally be on the other side. A lot of times people talk about hitting rock bottom. We are finally on the top of the mountain we had to climb in order to get out of the bottom, and we are sledding down, and happy and laughing more. 

Things are not perfect. Things are still very hard and challenging. Life is still life. But we are still doing it together. For that I am so happy. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Time Machine

About Time Machine
The Time Machine app helps people discover what their favorite brands, causes and people are up to, learn how they can get involved and share their experiences on social media. By completing actions, users support causes and qualify to earn rewards, VIP experiences and products. Businesses and charities can use Time Machine to engage their audiences in projects and movements online and beyond the screen. Time Machine is available on iOS and coming soon to Android. You can find more information at

Here are some of the best features of the platform.
  • With multiple campaigns to support and 100+ ideas for meaningful ways to spend your time, it's a great jumping off point for people who want to get involved with causes, but don't where to start.
  • It's a great way to teach your kids how to use social media for good.
  • With so many causes to support, every selfie is an #unselfie. ;)
  • Users get to spend their time in meaningful, collaborative ways and have excellent chances to win amazing rewards. Its' a win-win!
How It Works 
There's a great chart on our website

1. Get the app and Join the It’s Time Campaign. Login with Facebook or Twitter and tap the “It’s Time” campaign to get started.
2. Take action and support the causes you love. Tap ”Do This” to open the action list. Create real change, learn through experience, have some fun. This is your time. Complete actions and share your support.
3. Share your actions to raise awareness and support. Share your actions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to raise awareness and support for the Tyler Robinson Foundation, The Progeria Research, Sophie’s Place and our other charity partners.
4. Get Karma. Whether it's a reward, a thank you, or just that good feeling you get when you give, Karma will come to find you. By sharing your actions on behalf of our charity partners, you’ll show your support and be entered to win amazing rewards.

About the It's Time Campaign
Time Machine has teamed up with Costa Vida, Arvo, Beacon Audio and Jaybird to support The Progeria Research Foundation, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, Sophie’s Place and dozens of other incredible organizations to people you make their time count. To participate, users download the Time Machine app, join the "It’s Time" campaign and start taking action. Each action users complete raises awareness and support for great causes and qualifies you to win awesome prizes, like the following:
  • VIP Tickets and Meet + Greet with Imagine Dragons
  • VIP Tickets to Imagine Dragons
  • GA Tickets to Imagine Dragons
  • Jaybird Headphones
  • Arvo Watches
  • Beacon Audio Speakers
  • A Month of Costa Vida Meals
  • A Week of Costa Vida Meals
  • A Free Costa Vida Meal

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Who am I? The one where I tell you I am no longer religious.

 photo KimVSCO-48_zps8f30d074.jpg
It has been...awhile.

A long, long while.

I do not even know who I am anymore. I contemplate blogging. I sit down at the computer and I try really, really hard, but then anxiety takes over and blogging seems like the worst idea on the planet.

It has been almost a year and that makes me sad. They say there is a time and a season for everything, and I truly believe that. I have tried to be gentle with  myself in that knowledge. The past year has been difficult, but also very fulfilling. I have learned so much about forgiveness, and growth, and knowledge. There is so much I want to share, and I hope to have the courage to do so with time.

I guess I will start with a big one. This one isn't easy for me on any front, but the more time that passes I have come to realize that I need to share.

A year ago this past January, after three years of blood, sweat, tears, heartache, heart pouring, soul searching, grasping, study, prayer, fasting, panic, pain, sorrow, anguish and any other word you can use to describe horror and torture, I made the decision to no longer weekly attend the religion I was born into. It was not until I made that very difficult decision that I began to feel peace, happiness, grace, love, strength and hope.

I know for many of my family, and friends this comes as a shock and for some even a disappointment. For me, it was really hard to slowly share my decisions. Many still do not know because it really isn't something you shout from the rooftops, "Hey guys! I am no longer religious, but I am still me and nothing has changed other than that." If it is really hard and takes you three months to actually talk to your spouse, and then another to get up the courage to talk to your children, imagine how much longer it takes to tell those outside of such a sacred circle.

My "leaving" has been wrought with mixed emotions. Mostly because our religious views can be so deeply set, and our belief systems come with consequences. A lot of people are genuinely worried about me. I think this is the hardest part of this entire situation. I do not like people feeling sorry for me, or having anyone worry about me. Please don't. Really. I am okay. I am so so so happy.

I may not be religious, but I still am and always have been a deeply, deeply spiritual person. In fact, that hasn't changed one bit, if anything, my spirituality has only grown deeper because of this. Believe it or not, I am a kinder person, a softer person, a much better person than I ever was when I was religious. I was even able to stop swearing. I actually love myself more deeply. I am more confident. I am more patient and loving and open. It is freeing and it is beautiful.

I recently opened up to a dear friend, and she helped me to explain it best. Religion for me is not right for me right now. I am not going to say that it will not ever be a part of my life again in the future, but for now, I feel confident in my decision.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "
Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.
I, along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!
Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!
 Headshot from the talented D'Arcy Benincosa

Headshot by Lindsay Black

The day before the video shoot, I had photographed a wedding and I was very tired. I missed my kids, I wanted nothing more than to stay home and snuggle with them. Earlier in the week I had shared Megan and Cobi's project with my 8 year old daughter Emmaree. When I told Emm I probably wouldn't go to the video shoot, she did nothing but encourage me to go. "Mom! This is so important!" So, I went for her. I ended up having the most magical evening surrounded by friends and women whom I admire and look up to. I hope in some small way this project will show my daughters how beautiful and strong they are, especially in this world who would make them think and feel otherwise. I am grateful to be a small part of such a beautiful project.

share your natrual beauty -
Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.
>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<
women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on -
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup -
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful
Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!