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Birthday Weekend on Waiheke Island

It’s my birthday! Well, it was. And here’s a little bit about how it went!

Have you ever been to Waiheke or heard of it before? If not, this is the perfect blog for you!

I’m in the process of writing another blog about love languages but one of my greatest love languages is quality time! Robbie, my husband, knows me so well – he spent the several days leading up to my birthday with me exclusively. That’s a norm for us but this was EXTRA special because we got to take a vacation to Waiheke Island near Auckland, New Zealand. We had been wanting to go to Waiheke for over two years!

We started our long weekend with a trip to Auckland for the night so we didn’t have to wake up too early for our ferry ride the next morning. Robbie surprised me with the most romantic dinner ever at the Sky Tower (the restaurant is called Orbit 360°). WOW! The food was incredible and the prices weren’t actually bad for all that’s included (portions, the view, and access to the Sky Tower itself). We will 100% be going back.

I even figured out how to wrap my infinity dress is a new way and matched my beautiful Mesamie NZ earrings with it! Mesamie gifted me three pairs of earrings for my birthday and I wore one pair every day to celebrate. They were all so comfortable and unique. Find me on Instagram to see even more pictures of me wearing them! 

The next morning we woke up bright and early, walked to Krispy Kreme (which BTW if you sign-up for their email list you get free donuts on your birthday – I am going to add all the New Zealand birthday freebies that I got to my Deals Directory so you can check them out). It was Robbie’s first time at a Krispy Kreme and it definitely didn’t disappoint! 

Our ferry ride to Waiheke Island was NUTS. The water was so stormy, we were bobbing up and down like crazy. I actually said, “I can’t believe it’s legal to be on the water when it’s like this!” 

It was a bit calmer on shore and as soon as we arrived, we headed off to our zip line adventure on Waiheke Island! There were only three zip lines but to get back to the start, we got to hike through their private forest which was filled with natural wildlife (especially birds)! The best part of the zip lining tour/adventure, besides the zip lining itself, was that all of the proceeds from our tickets went to helping restore the forests natural habitats.

After zip lining, we headed to our Airbnb to get ready to continue our day with a few wine tastings. We went to everything from a smaller commercial tasting to a gorgeous, homely Italian winery to a beer and wine tasting at a larger restaurant/winery. One thing that I found really interesting about Waiheke was that every winery was SO different. You never knew what to expect!

The Italian winery, Poderi Crisci, was like something out of a movie. Imagine this: the moment you step out of your car you’re transported to an Italian chef’s backyard – you walk through his renaissance style garden lined with raised garden beds filled with vegetables and herbs that he uses for his dishes. You see a handmade swing hanging from the tree tops and as you sit down and lift your feet, you feel the fresh breeze flow through your hair as you gaze at the mountains, trees, and vineyard. You’re welcomed into the chef’s kitchen to enjoy a beautiful wine tasting accompanied by fresh baked bread and homemade olive oil. As you walk inside you immediately smell the freshly picked daffodils on the table. Each time the doors open, you hear the clinking of his pots and pans that are hanging from the ceiling on an old metal gate. 

The rest of the weekend was spent tasting wine, exploring the island, eating beautiful food, and having plenty of more tours!

One major highlight of our time in Waiheke was with head chef and winemaker, Connie Festa from Peacock Sky. We had our first and only Degustation Wine Tasting! What is does degustation mean? Degustation is “the careful, appreciative tasting of various food, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company.” Connie says, “[Degustation] is the fine art of food and wine pairing!”

Connie prepared several small bite sized dishes to accompany the wine we were tasting. The pictures don’t do it justice. We felt like royalty in our private tasting room as we got to hear directly from the chef herself. 

We loved hearing about Connie’s journey of opening Peacock Sky, her love of cuisine, and all of the wonderful classes and events she hosts (everything from cooking classes and tours to hen’s dos and weddings)! She even sell their divine brownie as a mix so you can make it at home!

We left Waiheke feeling like we had checked off everything we wanted and more. The saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” couldn’t have been more true. On Monday morning, we packed our things and headed back to the Ferry to spend the day in Auckland. We didn’t get a chance to go to the top of the Sky Tower after dinner, so we went up on Monday! We had the whole place to ourselves which was absolutely magical. We shopped and hit up all the birthday deals we could before heading back home (with a stop off to see Robbie’s parents).

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen that on top of the incredible weekend that Robbie put together, I also got a wine fridge (which I have been wanting for a long time) and a distiller (thanks dad)! 

Thank you SO much to everyone involved in making my birthday weekend so special! I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Tips for Eating Healthy While on a Budget

Today we’re going to talk about budget-friendly grocery shopping and eating healthy while on a budget. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive (and sometimes, it can actually be cheaper). 

1. Buy frozen veggies – they’re usually cheaper!

2. Only buy the meat and veggies that are on sale – then bulk freeze

3. Ditch the processed drinks (if you love soda, get a SodaStream and add in fresh lemon, essential oils, or other fresh fruit to your bubbly water)

4. Simplify recipes and use what you already have

5. Buy in bulk

Some of the links included in this blog are commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission when you use them. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything to click on them.

6. Use all of the veggie (for the ones that you can)  – check out this blog for more info

7. Buy dried garlic (in bulk) instead of fresh garlic

8. Make sure what you do buy doesn’t go off. Wasting food is a HUGE expense not only to your bank account but also to the environment. 

9. Start a garden! Growing your own food is not only great for your wallet but also for the environment. Here’s a gardening kit to help you get started. You can even grow your own herbs.

10. Only buy what’s on your list. When you’re growing shopping, make sure to stick to your list. Even when you see something you really want. Only buy it if you need it.

11. Meal plan so you know exactly what you need for each meal. This means less waste and less money spent. It also helps you eat healthier. Check out these (cheap but awesome) reusable meal prep containers!

12. If buying rice, buy brown rice. Brown rice has more fiber and antioxidants, as well as a lot more important vitamins and minerals.

13. Skip the bread and potatoes and go for something healthier (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, etc).

14. Buy whole uncooked chickens instead of chicken breasts, etc. (make sure it actually works out to be cheaper)

15. Bulk cook (by bulk cooking you’re not only reducing your time in your kitchen but also your electric/gas bill).

16. Ditch the unnecessary items (chips, candy, chocolate, ice cream, etc. – swap chips for veggies and hummus, tzatziki, etc. – swap store bought ice cream and desserts for homemade coconut pudding). This way you know exactly what you’re putting into your body and you can alter the ingredients to fit a healthier lifestyle. 

Do you have any other shopping or cooking tips you can give us? We would love to see you in our FREE shopping and deals group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marytaylorshopping/

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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What’s the Difference Between a Business, Creator, and Personal Account on Instagram?

Why is an Instagram business account important and how do I make the switch? What’s the difference between a creator account and a business account?

First, let’s identify the differences between these three Instagram account types.

Instagram says, “With a business account, you’ll be able to access business features and Instagram Insights. These tools can help you understand who is engaging with your business on Instagram.” This means you have access to special analytics which gives you information about your followers such as their age range, gender, location, and when they’re online. All of this information is extremely helpful in identifying when to post and who your current audience is. 

With a business account you also have the ability to change some profile settings such as displaying or hiding your business category and contact information on your profile. You can also add a specialized button for contacting, booking an appointment, or making a reservation.

Instagram says, “The Creator Account on Instagram gives you a set of tools that makes it easier to control your online presence, understand your growth and manage your messages.” Creator accounts are “best for public figures, content producers, artists, and influencers.” Nowadays, creators accounts are very similar to business accounts but business accounts have extra added features which is why I recommend switching to a business account.

To change your personal Instagram account to a business account on Instagram, go to your profile, click the burger menu (the three lines in the top right-hand corner) if you’re on a mobile device. Then, click settings.

Next, click account, and then at the bottom you’ll see “switch to professional account,” then choose business. Since I already have a business account, it says “switch to personal account” but this will be replaced with “professional account” if you have a personal account.

Instagram says, “If you’d like, you can follow the steps to connect your business account to a Facebook Page associated with your business. This step is optional, and will make it easier to use all of the features available for businesses across the Facebook family of apps. At this time, only one Facebook Page can be connected to your business account.”

I hope this helped you learn more about the differences between a creator account and a business account on Instagram and how you can get your business account set up. If you’re not already subscribed to our mailing list, be sure to sign-up for more free social media tips and tricks delivered directly to your inbox each month. You can sign up using the form below.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Dry July Mocktail Recipes

Not only is it Plastic Free July, it’s also Dry July! This is the perfect time to try out some fun mocktail recipes!

To read more about my recipes and why I create them the way I do (without specific measurements, times, and temperatures) check out this blog post

All images copyrighted © Mary Taylor LTD

First of all, what is Dry July?

In general, dry July means you go alcohol free for the entire month of July. In New Zealand, Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go alcohol-free and raise funds for New Zealanders affected by cancer.

And, what’s a mocktail?

A mocktail is a “non-alcoholic mixed drink is a cocktail-style beverage made without alcoholic ingredients.”

As an Amazon associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. However, I cannot see who purchases what.

For this Dry July, I thought I would come up with some fun mocktail ideas (and hey, if you’re reading this and it’s not Dry July anymore, feel free to turn these into cocktails instead). I’ve partnered up with the Soda Press Co. to bring you the yummiest, healthiest, and freshest mocktail recipes! Throughout my recipes, I used a SodaStream for our sparkling water. You can purchase your own SodaStream here. If you’re US based and want to purchase Soda Press syrups and concentrates, you can do so here. Check out my full list of cooking and drinks favorites here.

I made three mocktails: a blueberry & lime mocktail (inspired by a blueberry margarita), a passionfruit & mandarin mocktail (inspired by a fruity sangria), and a raspberry & mint mocktail (inspired by a berry mojito). I’ve also included a few extra recipes from Soda Press Co. (you can grab their free recipe book directly on their website).

Blueberry & Lime Margarita Inspired Mocktail:

Ingredients

  • Fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Fresh lime or lime essential oil
  • Soda Press Co Blueberry & Lime Syrup
  • Sparkling water
  • Jalapeños* (optional)
  • Blueberry simple syrup* (optional) 
  • Tequila* (for a cocktail not a mocktail)

Instructions

1. Muddle blueberries with lime juice (if you’re making a cocktail instead of a mocktail, now is when you should add in your tequila)

If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can even use a jar! These ones are perfect for single serving drinks.

If you want to sweeten it up or take things to the next level, add a homemade blueberry syrup with fresh or frozen blueberries and sugar. Add a little bit of water if needed. Reduce this on a stove until you have a thick syrup consistency.

2. Want to make it spicy? Add in a jalapeño (either whole, chopped, or muddled with the blueberries)! This mimics a blueberry jalapeño margarita.

3. Depending if you prefer the “pulp” and skins or not, you can strain out the liquid and throwaway the skins. Note that there may not be very much liquid if you’re not adding any tequila.

4. Fill your glass with ice and pour your muddled fruit, Soda Press Co syrup, and your sparkling water into the glass.

5. Top with blueberries if you choose and enjoy!

Alcohol-Free Passionfruit & Mandarin Sangria

Ingredients

  • Soda Press Co passionfruit & mandarin kombucha concentrate
  • Fresh fruit (oranges, passionfruit, berries, cherries, pineapple, lemons, etc)
  • Sparkling water (only if making mocktail)
  • Mint* (optional)
  • Wine (white wine or rose recommended) or bubbly wine of choice* (to make a true sangria instead of an alcohol-free sangria)
  • Add in triple sec* (for cocktail not mocktail)

Instructions

1. Cut your fresh fruit into small pieces (if applicable) and place in a jar.

2. Add desired amount of Soda Press Co passionfruit & mandarin kombucha concentrate.

3. Add in sparkling water or wine/bubbly wine and triple sec.

4. Add sugar or simple syrup if needed.

5. To meld the flavors together (specifically if using alcohol), let your creation sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins.

6. Pour in glass, top with mint, and enjoy!

Raspberry & Mint Mojito Mocktail:

Ingredients

  • Soda Press Co raspberry & mint syrup
  • Fresh mint
  • Sparkling water
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries
  • Lime juice or lime essential oil
  • Simple syrup* (optional if you feel it needs a bit more sweetness)
  • White rum* (if making a cocktail not a mocktail)

Instructions

1. Muddle fresh mint and raspberries with a dash of water. If you’re making a cocktail instead of a mocktail, add white rum instead of water.

2. Strain your mint and raspberries (if you choose) into your glass.

3. Put a dash of Soda Press Co raspberry & mint syrup.

4. Mix well and shake well!

5. Fill the glass with ice and top with sparkling water.

6. Add fresh mint and raspberries if you choose. 

A few extra recipes:

“WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES” Pink Grapefruit & Rosemary Mocktail:

  • Soda Press Co Pink Grapefruit Soda Syrup
  • Sparkling Water
  • Pink Grapefruit Slices
  • Sprig of Rosemary

“Green Thumb” Elderflower & Cucumber Mocktail:

  • Soda Press Co
    Elderflower Soda Syrup
  • Sparkling Water
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cucumber Slither Garnish

“Gran’s Remedy” Kombucha & Apple Mocktail:

  • Soda Press Co
    Elderflower Soda Syrup
  • Soda Press Co original kombucha
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sparkling Water
  • Half a Granny Smith Apple (chopped)
  • Apple Fan Garnish

If you make any of these recipes, please tag me and Soda Press Co on Facebook or Instagram so we can see (and share) your creations! You can find Soda Press Co on Facebook here and Instagram here.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! You can find all my recipes on Pinterest here. I can’t wait to see you there!

If you’re looking for your own blog post or professional images check out my services here. And don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list here to get monthly tips, tricks, and deals.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Social Media Resources

Hello fellow adventure seeker, inspired entrepreneur, and lover of life! I am so glad you found your way here. I’m Mary – a social media manager, blogger, and content creator (that means I get to do fun things like photography, retouching, graphic creations, and so much more). If it has to do with business, I want to talk about it! I love helping other entrepreneurs to learn more about networking and social media. I have this deep rooted belief that everyone should be doing what they love. I love helping other entrepreneurs experience that by eliminating the things they don’t enjoy doing (which I actually DO enjoy doing).

Social Media Tips & Resources

  1. Join our FREE group Mary Taylor’s Social Media Management & Training to learn from and connect with other business owners.
  2. Check out the several resources, courses, and worksheet we have available: here.
  3. Get an Instagram or Facebook audit here or contact me directly.

4. Follow my social media Pinterest board for social media tips and tricks.

5. Read more social media related blogs here.

6. Sign up to our email list for FREE monthly social media tips and tricks AND a free monthly content calendar with post ideas & hashtags!

Receive FREE social media tips & content calendars each month!

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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What’s an Instagram Audit?!

An Instagram audit is when I review your Instagram account and give you suggestions. For those that don’t know me, I am Mary, a social media manager, blogger, and content creator (that means I get to do everything from photography and retouching to graphic creation, copywriting, and more). I even have a full Instagram course to get you started with Instagram. This matches perfectly with your audit.

But why should you get an Instagram audit?

An Instagram audit can help you to improve your account without the need for a full social media manager. It gives you an inside, unbiased, and professional opinion of your Instagram account. Check below to see what’s included in an Instagram audit done performed by me.

Here’s what’s included in your Instagram audit:

✧ Your engagement rate for your account as well as what this is/more information
✧ An analysis of your bio (what you’re doing well and what needs to be improved upon as well as suggestions)
✧ Review of aesthetics of your account – what to improve/what looks good (profile picture, grid design, images, highlight covers, etc).
✧ Custom review of two to three Instagram posts (hashtag usage, caption, image, etc) – recommendations, improvements, what you’re doing well, etc.

Did you know I also offer social media management services as well as other business templates and worksheets on Etsy? Everything from identifying your ideal client to learning to how to grow your Instagram account organically. 

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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How to Identify Your Ideal Client | Worksheet

If you’re having trouble reaching your ideal client it might be because you haven’t yet identified who they are. It’s important to dig deep into who they are so you can analyze where they are and where you can reach them through advertising. They say potential customers need to see your product or service as many as 7+ times in order to actually click purchase.

Why should you identify your ideal client? Our goal in identifying your ideal customer is to spend less time advertising in places they wouldn’t be. We want to spend more time focusing on how they WILL see your advertisement, post, or product. The more clarity you have surrounding your potential clients, customers, and followers, the more effective your marketing can be.

Click on this image for the link to the worksheet

This is why I created my ideal client worksheet. You’ll learn more about your ideal client by filling out a series of questions on who your ideal client is. We will think about age, gender, location, family status, and so much more. The goal of this is to really imagine you’re the ideal client. To find out where they might be so you can easily target them and market directly to your ideal customer. Then, you’ll use the information that you fill out on the first page, to think even deeper. We want to put your answers into action!

What else have you used to identify your ideal client? Do you have more questions? You can find me on Instagram and on Facebook! 

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Eco-friendly Home Swaps

Did you know that having an eco-friendly home can actually be easy? You might think of eco-friendly as more expensive or even more difficult but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some really easy and inexpensive eco-friendly swaps that you can do at home:

Swap out your paper towels for unpaper towels. Unpaper towels are just as they sound. There are so many ways to do this depending on your budget. The most favorite (but also most expensive) option would be to purpose pre-cut and pre-rolled unpaper towels (find here). But if you’re like me and can’t afford (or don’t want to spend) $x/paper towel, there are a few other options. These paper towels are actually recycled bamboo. They last a super long time and they’re easily rinsable with just soap and water in your sink. I love these because they look like real paper towels and they don’t need to go in the washing machine. My last suggestion if you want to use unpaper towels is to make your own. You can learn how to make your own here. Plus bonus tips on other things we use instead of paper products.

Flannelette blankets for DIY unpaper towels
Link to bamboo unpaper towels
Cheap reusable shop towels

Now that you’ve gotten rid of paper towels you should also replace napkins. You can find cheap and beautiful reusable napkins online. Then, just throw them in the wash with your other items. 

Cleaning products in plastic containers. Although you might be buying the eco-friendly cleaning sprays and cleaning products, they’re still usually in a plastic bottle. To save money and reduce waste (like throwing away the plastic bottles afterwards), you can make your own cleaning products and store them in glass containers. You’ll still need to purchase the ingredients to make the cleaning products but try to buy in bulk, refill your own containers at a bulk store, or buy powders in recycled cardboard boxes. Check out this blog for a DIY all-purpose citrus spray cleaner. See and click on the images below to check out a couple of great glass container options. 

Link to glass containers
Link to container pictured (great for laundry powder)

Straws! You definitely have seen this one before but I thought I would just throw it in anyways. Ditch the plastic and even paper straws and purchase reusable metal straws. You can find some here.

Going out to eat and usually bring home leftovers? Don’t forget to bring your glass watertight container to put your leftovers in. This way you don’t need to rely on the restaurant to provide a throwaway container that might not be recyclable.

Link to glass food containers

Buy in bulk & use your own containers! This doesn’t just go for cleaning products but also your food! Did you know that bulk stores often allow you to bring in your own containers such as jam jars? If you don’t have any reusable glass jars on hand or want an upgrace, check out a few of my favorite eco-friendly glass container options here.

Say bye-bye to ziplock bags! These reusable ziplocks are my FAVORITE swap of all! I used to try to wash and reuse regular ziplocks (because I hated the thought of throwing them away after one use) but they never dried and were such a hassle. Plus, they never looked clean. Now I have several sets of different reusable ziplocks! For clear, regular looking ziplocks click here. For watertight, large, silicon ziplocks check these out.

Glad wrap or sad wrap? Glad wrap, plastic wrap, or cling film. However you want to say it, it’s a huge waste of plastic and can easily be replaced with beeswax wraps. Once you’re done using them, just give them a rinse and use again. Check out these gorgeous designs.

Link to silicon ziplock bags
Link to beeswax wraps
Link to bag pictured

Baking paper ➡️ baking silicon! We use this tray liner that can be reused again and again. Nothing ever sticks to it so it’s a great replacement for baking paper or tinfoil.

Skip the plastic toys, decor, and household items! Although most of these items aren’t one time use plastics (like takeaway containers and straws are), they’re still contributing to the pass amount of plastic production and waste in the world. Opt for wood items such as toys, toothbrushes, hooks, hangers, 

Check out these inspirational home images below and click on any of them (or click here) to see my shopping list of eco-friendly home items.

Link to Eco-Home Purchases
Link to Eco-Home Purchases
Link to Eco-Home Purchases

Do you have any other eco-friendly swap ideas for us? Tag me in your eco-friendly home inspiration on Instagram @its.mary.taylor and on Facebook here. I can’t wait to see how you use these ideas and your own ideas to create your eco-friendly, green home!

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

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Coconut Chocolate Pudding Recipe | Vegan Coconut Frosting Recipe

One night we were making a chocolate cake when I realized we didn’t have anything to go on top! We didn’t have cream cheese, butter, sour cream, or whipping cream.

As usual, I looked around the kitchen trying to see what I could turn into frosting. I wanted something creamy and rich. That’s when I thought of a vegan coconut chocolate frosting using coconut cream. There are so many ways you can change up this recipe too. Make it vanilla flavored instead of chocolate, add in a different kind of sweetener (like maple syrup or stevia), or even use other extracts or essential oils to make it peppermint, strawberry, or citrus flavored. 

Feel free to experiment and let me know what you do to make it yours! Do you prefer it to be stiffer and colder? What additions or changes did you make to the flavors?

If you want to use coconut milk instead of coconut cream, just put your coconut milk in the fridge for 1-3 days before you use it. There are a few benefits of using coconut milk instead of coconut cream. Coconut milk hardens more when chilled and yields about twice as much as coconut cream. I used coconut cream for my recipe and loved it. Plus it was the perfect amount for a full cake. But, use whichever you prefer or have around. 

As an Amazon associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and I cannot see who makes purchases.

To read more about my recipes and why I create them the way I do (without specific measurements, times, and temperatures) check out this blog post.

Vegan Coconut Pudding Recipe | Vegan Coconut Frosting Recipe

Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, chocolate, frosting, pudding, sweet

Equipment

  • Stovetop
  • Pot
  • Something to stir
  • Freezer safe container
  • Oven (optional)
  • Whisk or Electric Whisk (optional but preferred)

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk Chilled
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coconut Milk / Liquid from Coconut Cream
  • Chocolate To Melt
  • Sugar
  • Shredded Coconut Optional
  • Vanilla or Other Extract Optional

Instructions

  • Make sure that your coconut cream is chilled. If you weren't able to put your coconut cream in the fridge overnight, place it into the freezer for around an hour. Make sure that it isn't mixed or shaken.
  • Scoop off the top of the coconut cream and place it into a freezer safe container. Leave the liquid in the bottle of the can.
  • Turn on oven for shredded coconut (you can toast the coconut now or later - see below).
  • In a pot on the stove, melt chocolate with a little bit of coconut liquid from the coconut cream can. You can also use coconut milk if you prefer.
  • Add in cocoa powder. Continue to constantly mix!
  • Add in your desired amount of sugar * you can use coconut sugar, powdered sugar, or regular sugar. For a smoother texture, make sure if you use a coarse sugar, like regular sugar, that it melts completely. You can do this separately to make a simple syrup and add that in. If you're using this as a frosting, you may need more sugar but if you're eating as a pudding, you may want less sugar.
  • Let cool for a little while (but make sure the chocolate doesn't solidify).
  • While the mixture is cooling, put your shredded coconut into the oven to bake. It will be done once it's at a golden brown color. Watch it closely!
  • Then, pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the coconut cream and whip/stir.
  • Even if the coconut cream melts, keep whipping/stirring until all of the ingredients are blended. Now is a good time to taste test it and see if you need more sugar. Then, place the mixture into the freezer until it solidifies more. If you want it to be fluffier, you can take it out and whip it more or leave as is (depending on your preference and what you're using it for).
  • Then, sprinkle toasted coconut ontop and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can see your creations! 

If you enjoyed reading this and would like more information on home, lifestyle, advice, tips, tricks, and more, follow me on Instagram @Its.Mary.Taylor and on Facebook at Mary Taylor! I can’t wait to see you there!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

Learn how to make

DIY Natural All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

While we lived with grandparents (and parents), I kept thinking about the day we would finally be in our own place so I could start living as eco-friendly as possible. One thing about being an adult is getting excited for weird things like organization and DIY cleaning products. Surely I am not alone! There’s just something special about an eco home. In our rental, we tried our best (only produced 7 bags of trash a year and used “eco-friendly” products) but I wanted to take it the next step. This meant no paper towels, no tissues, no makeup wipes, and no more purchasing cleaning products that I could make (which is pretty much all of them)!

As an Amazon associate, I may earn from your purchases through my links; however, it doesn’t affect how much you pay and I cannot see who makes a purchase.

So the journey really began. I stocked up on glass bottles, which if you’re US based, you can purchase here. And I set out to make my own DIY natural all-purpose cleansing spray with what I had at home. You’re going to be shocked at how easy this recipe is.

Here’s what you need to make your own DIY citrus cleaning spray:

✧ Glass Jar With Lid – buy here

✧ Citrus Peels (we used lemon & orange) *tip below

✧ White Vinegar – buy here

✧ Spray Bottle – buy here

✧ Strainer

✧ Purified Water (optional)

✧ Essential oils (optional)

And here’s what you do with all that:

✧ Put your citrus peels in your glass jar

✧ Fill the jar with vinegar to cover the peels 

✧ Put the jar lid on & shake

✧ Let sit for up to 7 days (minimum 3 days) in a cool, dark place – Shake the jar every day if you remember

✧ Strain the vinegar into your spray bottle

✧ Toss out the peels (or even better, put them in your insinkerator/garbage disposal to clean the inside of your sink & freshen it up)

✧ Optional: add in water to fill your spray bottle or if your vinegar is too strong you can add water

✧ Store in a cool, dark place and use on everywhere from your kitchen to your bathroom

** Extra tip… Enjoy the fruit first! To create even less waste, make this from orange and lemon peels you would have otherwise just thrown away. 

 

If you learned something new and enjoyed this blog, don’t forget to like me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram. I would love to see your homemade DIY cleaning sprays you make so tag me so I can reshare!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor