Sweet Potato Hamburger Buns

These are technically sweet potato pancakes, but they are best used as hamburger buns and I absolutely LOVE them! They are totally grain free, and the combination of sweet and salty will give your burger a kick in the pants! Another big plus is how easy they are to make. I use a box grater for the sweet potato and the whole prep only takes a few minutes. Give them a try and you’ll be hooked!

Recipe- Sweet Potato Pancakes

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The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo

This is a trilogy that I flew through in just a few days. It was THAT good. While the dystopian theme is overly popular and can be poorly done, this particular story was very unique.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life–a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.”

The Characters:

I actually loved all of the characters in this series, which is rare. Alina is brave, tough, resourceful, smart, loyal and funny. She came from nothing but she is definitely something! We don’t get to know Mal very well until later in the first book, and although it takes some time, I come to love him as well. The guy is tough as nails but loves to the death. Then there’s The Darkling. Oh The Darkling. I can’t even get into my feelings on him because it would reveal spoilers. Let’s just say you will feel torn about him. There is a long list of minor characters that I found myself wishing were my real friends. I want Tamar and Tolya to be my best buds! And Genya too. And Nikolai. And and and…

The Grisha:

I now want to be Grisha and you will too. They are people with special powers, “masters of the small science,” who serve their country with their abilities. There are several different types and different levels of Grisha. Some can heal, some can stop another person’s heart, some can summon the elements of water, wind or fire, etc. They’re pretty much awesome. I thought the whole idea and execution of this world was very well done.

The Setting:

The setting was inspired by a version of dystopian Russia. I want to stress the word “inspired.” Some reviews are critical of the Russian theme and that it isn’t perfectly, exactly accurate in regard to every reference. Well here’s the thing. It isn’t a travel book about Russia. It’s a work of fiction that was INSPIRED by Russian culture and geography. I thoroughly enjoyed this setting and found it refreshing among a sea of books set in dystopian United States.

The Story:

I was so engrossed in this story and couldn’t put it down until I finished the series. I lost a lot of sleep and fingernails! The plot was totally unique and imaginative. Best of all, I was thrilled with the ending. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a series you’re enjoying, only to be throttled by a terrible ending. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for all three books!

Go read these for yourself and come back to discuss!

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Some of the Best and Cheapest Natural Hair Products

I love trying new beauty products, which is why I typically buy a different kind of shampoo/conditioner every time I run out. I never seem to stick with the same brand, always looking for something better. Sometime last year I discovered RenPure Originals and I’ve been a repeat buyer ever since. When I first saw their products at Target, I couldn’t believe how cheap they were, at only $4.99 for a large 16oz bottle! I decided to give them a try, thinking that if I didn’t like them, at least I didn’t lose much money. To my surprise, both the shampoo and conditioner worked wonderfully and smelled lovely. They have several varieties in their product line and so far I’ve used the Argan Oil, Coconut Cream and Biotin and Collagen shampoos and conditioners. These are the things I love most about this company:

  • They are a family company, owned and operated by the Redmonds.
  • All of their products are free of the nasty chemicals but still deliver in performance.
  • They have a wide product line for all different hair needs.
  • On the backs of all their bottles you’ll see the disclaimer: “These products are not tested on animals. They’re tested on the Redmonds.” Ha! I love the family participation!

Give them a try and as always, let us know when you find something you love and want to pass along!

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Grain Free Onion Rings

I’ve tried several recipes for paleo onion rings over the last few years. So far, they have mostly all been the same with just a few minor variations in flavor. Whenever I’m making them, I feel like it’s a pain and not really worth the trouble. However, after eating them and enjoying the tastiness and then realizing I don’t feel bloated or gross afterward, I know why it’s worth the hassle. There is nothing difficult about making them, it just takes a bit of time. This is a pretty standard recipe that I used this time and I definitely recommend it, especially for the simplicity. The recipe made way too much flour for the amount of onion it called for so I would suggest making about half. Here’s the link! Healthy Onion Rings

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