Caramel Turtle Bark

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Caramel, pecans, and dark chocolate are combined in this simple homemade caramel turtle bark candy. If you like chocolate turtles, you’re going to flip for this easy shortcut recipe!

chocolate turtle bark stacked on white platter

Chocolate Turtles

Chewy caramel, crunchy pecans, and dark chocolate are combined in this simple homemade candy that is far better tasting than any turtle you can buy in the store.

I still can’t believe how much this tastes like store-bought chocolate turtles, only better, because well, dark chocolate makes everything better. (If dark chocolate isn’t your thing, feel free to make this with milk or semi-sweet chocolate instead.)

Chocolate Pecan Turtles

The caramel stays nice and the perfect soft and chewy, even straight out of the refrigerator, so consider yourself warned, this is going to call to you at all hours. I highly recommend making this turtle bark and immediately sharing it with some friends.

I’ve made this a couple of times now and played with the recipe a bit. If you are pressed for time, the bark is very simple, and other than the cooking time for the caramel, it comes together with just a few minutes effort.

turtle bark stacked on white plate with blue and white towel

Chocolate Pecan Turtles

While the bark is super simple to make and we love the variety of piece sizes and how easy it is to make and store. You can use this recipe for a more traditional chocolate pecan turtle.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, cut apart the caramel pecan layer into even size squares. Dip the individual pieces in chocolate to make bite-size turtle candies.

To dip the candies place the

Make your own festive wreath with these seven easy steps

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Get into the seasonal spirit by trying your hand at making a budget-friendly, nature-inspired wreath

Make your own festive wreath with these seven easy steps

Whether you’re looking to carve out a mindful moment in the day for yourself, or for a fun activity to keep all the family entertained, and spend some quality time together, wreath-making can be a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays.

But getting crafty isn’t just a fun pastime; getting creative, regardless of what medium you explore, has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve self-confidence. Plus, you have the added sense of achievement from creating something from scratch, which can be all the more meaningful, too.

When it comes to wreath-making in particular, you can put your own take on a traditional activity, and work to a budget by finding natural, free elements to include from your own garden, which can make it a great way to engage kids without breaking the bank over the holidays. But one key note is to always be responsible – ensure you pick items from your own garden, public spaces, or have permission if on private property – and take only what you need to avoid waste.

The good news is that, while most commonly associated with the Christmas period, wreaths can be a wonderful addition to brighten up your home throughout the year – changing colours and natural elements with the seasons. So, if you love taking your hand to wreath-making this winter, it can be something to look forward to again come spring – be-wreath me, it’ll be here before you know it!

🌿
You’ll need:
. A wreath base
. Scissors or secateurs
. Decorative elements
. Ribbon, string, or florist wire

Make your own wreath

Before you get crafty, take a stroll outside to collect some seasonal treasures. This could be anything from pinecones to berry sprigs, acorns, leaves, or scraps of bark to decorate your wreath.

Depending on how much you find, or the look you want to go for, you could create a classic, full wreath, bursting with greenery, or you might want a more minimalist take and decorate just a portion of the wreath, leaving the twisted willow base on display.

Plus, if you’re struggling to find decorative elements out in nature, don’t worry. You could always hang some spare baubles instead of using pinecones, for a fun pop of colour.

Method:

  1. To begin, you’ll need a wreath base – you can buy these pre-made from stores like Hobbycraft, which are usually created from wire or rattan, and cost less than £5. Alternatively, you could craft your own by repurposing materials from around your home, or twisting together willow or vines – anything that you can turn into a makeshift hoop to form the base of your design.

  2. Take your choice of ribbon, string, or florist wire, and thread this through a section of the wreath to create a loop you can hang it up from. Wherever you create this loop will form the top of your design, so keep this in mind moving forwards.

  3. A good first element is moss, which you can secure using more florist wire. This can help add some dimension as you layer other items on top, and can disguise the bas

118: Strength training, carbs, and happy hormones with Lauren Papanos, MS, RD, CSSD

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Hi friends! Hope you’re having a lovely week. So excited to share today’s podcast episode with you! I’m chatting with Lauren Papanos, MS, RD, CSSD about fitness, hormones, and nutrition.

118: Strength training, carbs, and happy hormones with Lauren Papanos, MS, RD, CSSD

Here’s what we talk about in today’s episode: 

– Strength training and its impact on hormone function

– Why we need carbs and which carbs to choose

– How our habits affect hormone function

– What an ideal day of nutrition looks like for her

and so.much.more.

 Here’s more about Lauren and her background:

Lauren Papanos is a nationally licensed and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She holds her board certification in Sports Nutrition as well as advanced specialties in integrative medicine and women’s endocrine nutrition. She is the owner of the private practice, Functional Fueling Nutrition where she offers consulting, group programs and courses. She has been featured on national television and in Women’s Health, Shape Magazine, Insider and Today’s Dietitian magazine. She is the host of the Strength in Hormones Podcast where she educates and empowers women on sensible and natural solutions to hormone healing. You can learn more about Lauren and her practice at functionalfueling.com and connect with her on Instagram.

Resources from this episode:

The weather is cooling down, and I’m still obsessed with my sauna blanket. It feels even BETTER when it’s chilly outside and you can use the code FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off! This is one of my favorite ways to relax and sweat it out. I find that it energizes me, helps with aches and pains, I sleep better on the days I use this, and it makes my skin glow. Link to check it out here. You can also use my discount for the PEMF Go Mat, which I use every day!

I love love love the meals from Sakara LifeRead more

How to support children with ADHD at Christmas

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Christmas can come with additional challenges for kids with ADHD, so here’s how you can make things easier for them

How to support children with ADHD at Christmas

Christmas is one of the most exciting times of year for children. They love all the pretty sparkly lights and the decorations and will be very excited about receiving presents. They will love having time off school and they will enjoy all the extra fun, games and activities on offer.

However, for children with ADHD, all this means is that you need to accept that they will be more hyperactive and possibly emotional than usual. So here are my top tips for navigating the festive season with your ADHD children.

1. Keep them occupied

Being bored is never good for ADHD children. So try to include them in the Christmas preparations such as shopping, wrapping presents, making decorations, and cooking.

Try and have something planned each day, especially during the period between Christmas and New Year. The ADHD child’s brain will need something to look forward to. So, look for child-friendly activities and events that are happening near you, and see if you can include one each day. You can also plan some play dates with friends.

Try and get your child to go outside as much as possible so they can expend some of their energy. If it’s snowing, they will love nothing more than playing in the snow, but any outdoor time is beneficial!

2. Stagger the presents

While ADHD children may want everything now, it’s a great idea to ask relatives or friends who are visiting after Christmas day to save the presents and bring them with them. Unexpected presents after Christmas day always give the ADHD child something new to be interested in and excited by. And it’s also a good idea to hide away a few presents which you ‘miraculously find’ later on Christmas Day afternoon.

3. Monitor sugar intake

An ADHD brain will be very excited by the chocolate and sweets in their stocking, in their presents and on the tree! Denying never goes down well, but delaying ‘just for a bit’ usually works. So, if you ask them what they would like to eat later on this afternoon and then what they would like to eat this evening they will happily tell you, and usually wait if they know it’s coming.

4. Prepare for downtime

Even the most hyperactive ADHD kids will want some downtime, so make sure you’ve got plenty of art and craft materials ready for days when they just want to sit at the table and draw or paint. It’s always handy to have some felt tips and some colouring-in books, or something new that will excite the child.

5. Consider buying noise-cancelling headphones

If your ADHD child is very sensitive to noise, consider making sure one of their Christmas presents is a very good set of noise-cancelling headphones. This means that when it all gets too much, they can retreat into their own world.

Buying yourself your own set isn’t a bad idea either. Then when they are at their hyperactive, noisiest best, you can disappear into your own world of peace and relaxing ballads.

6. Factor in some time for you

Whether that is an evening out with friends or a romantic dinner with yo

Cream Cheese Mints

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Cream Cheese Mints melt in your mouth with a sweet peppermint flavor. They’re an old-fashioned holiday candy recipe that is a favorite for many people.

Kept pure white or colored however you like, pressed into molds or simply rolled and pressed with a fork, however you make these mints, they’re one of the easiest candy recipes of all time.

homemade mints piled on small board

This recipe brings back a flood of memories for me. I remember sneaking to the dessert table more than a few times during my cousin’s wedding reception when I was a little girl and discovering these amazing little mints.

Wedding Mints

The mints I first tasted at my cousin Helene’s wedding were sweet minty delights that melted in my mouth. I was completely obsessed at first bite. I’d never had them before and they were irresistible!

After discovering cream cheese mints, I ate myself sick on them almost every time they were within reach. I grew older but my inability to control myself around these mints remained.

Years later, I discovered how easy they were to make when my friend Augusta shared her cream cheese wedding mints recipe with me.

I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make these candies! There are just three ingredients and you can dress them up however you like.

Cream Cheese Mints Recipe

Thanks to that childhood memory of gorging myself on Cream Cheese Mints at a wedding reception, this recipe for cream cheese mints is what I think of as a classic wedding mint.

Homemade mints are so much easier to make than I ever imagined. Unlike many homemade candies, cream cheese mints and old-fashioned butter mints don’t require any fancy ingredients or special equipment.

A combo of these mints on a dessert table is the perfect finishing touch for a holiday party. They’ll make a great addition to your cookie trays too.

You’ll only need three ingredients to make these cream cheese mints:

  • cream cheese
  • powdered sugar
  • peppermint extract

That simple combination of ingredients creates a creamy sweet base that’s delicious just as is or as a canvas for adding fun extras.

Feel free to play with the recipe and find your favorite way to make them. You can press them into these silicone molds, roll them in sugar, or add food coloring if desired.

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