Sunday, August 9, 2015

Warning! Essentially Erika Is Movin' On Up!

Essentially Erika is growing - and so will our website!

This little ol' blog I created is growing and I couldn't be more proud. As with anything, there have been growing pains during this process. For the past couple of weeks (more like months) I've been working on updating, transferring and designing a new home for Essentially Erika.

We've come to the point in our journey where we must take a brief break from posting and give it our full attention.

Thanks for your patience during this time. I can't wait to share our new space with you soon!

Essentially yours,


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Help Save The Planet with Arcadia Power!

Sometimes I feel no matter how many changes I make, I will never be able to "undo" or give back enough to erase my family's carbon footprint here on this beautiful planet
I'm passionate about raising my kids to respect their planet, it's our only home. Between recycling and composting, water conservation or planting trees, it's never really enough. I still feel guilty every time I drive my car around town, I beat myself up every day about not driving a Hybrid at the very least (soon I promise).

Dirty, polluting energy sources dominate the mix of energy supplying U.S. homes and businesses. In fact, the production of electricity is the main contributor to global warming and greenhouse gas emissions in America today. That's because monopoly utilities haven't provided consumers a choice.

In all this frustration I found Arcadia Power!

Arcadia Power is dedicated to changing the way America consumes energy. The first renewable energy company nationwide, with one mission in mind; to provide consumers clean alternative choices that the utility industry isn't currently offering. Over one billion energy bills go out every year in America, with no options on where or how that energy is created / replaced. Until now..

The customers impact is astounding. For every 10,331,108 Clean KwH, that's 5,838 of U.S. forests preserved.

How It Works:

You can take advantage of Arcadia Power whether you own a home or rent an apartment, as long as you pay an electricity bill. Your utility bill will NOT be affected, Arcadia will bill you separately. You simply sign up online and Arcadia Power links to your utility providers account to get an idea of how much you are consuming.

When you sign up for Wind Energy with Arcadia Power, you'll ensure that for every kWh of electricity you use, a kWh of clean energy is produced and put on the grid. You'll get the same reliable electricity from your local utility and a consolidated monthly statement. It's that simple!

  • Arcadia Power purchases 100% renewable energy from their partner wind farms.
  • You enjoy the same reliable electricity at home while doing your part to save the environment!


  • You can reduce your impact with 100% Wind Energy
  • You can measure your impact, analyze your usage, and see the projects your supporting via desktop or mobile.
  • Arcadia has partnered with some of your favorite brands. As part of their Rewards program, you will receive exclusive deals and benefits from some of your favorite sustainable brands; i.e., Honest Company, Conscious Box.

Arcadia Power Wind Energy is certified through Green-e Energy, the nation’s leading certification program for renewable energy, and meets the environmental and consumer-protection standards set forth by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions.

There is no equipment needed, all you have to do is sign up! How easy is that? For someone with very little time to devote to anything else, this comes as a major relief!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Quick & Creamy Mushroom Chicken Fettucine

This one's for the mushroom lovers out there!

My husband being one of them, this has become a staple dish in my home. Before stumbling upon this recipe, my go-to dish to satisfy his healthy mushroom addiction interests was the tried and true "Chicken Marsala."

Now that I've been able to incorporate this recipe into the mix, it keeps things interesting. Mushroom-wise of course. I'm not a fan, but even I love this simple dish. That's how I knew I needed to share it with you!

All You Need:

2 Roasted Chicken Breasts (I prefer Air Chilled, Organic)
8 oz Fettuccine
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb cremini mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried dill
Himalayan Salt and fresh cracked ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup half & half

Bring a pot of water to boil, cook pasta according to directions and drain.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute` garlic, mushrooms & onion. Stirring occasionally, until tender.
Things are starting to smell really good..
Stir in thyme and dill until fragrant, about one minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in broth, and cook, whisking constantly, until incororated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in half and half until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes.

Stir in baby spinach and Parmesan until spinach wilts. If it's too thick, add more half and half as needed.

Stir in pasta and diced chicken, gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FabFitFun Summer Edition Box Review!


Summertime is all about letting loose. Schedules aren't quite as tight, curfews run a bit later. The laid back vibe of the season invites a carefree attitude. Which is why I was ecstatic to find out I was selected to review FabFitFun's Summer 2015 Edition box! 

Once upon a time in a land far far away, I had all the time in the world (pre-kids of course). I would browse the aisles looking for the latest and greatest in products as if it were a sport. You can afford to do that when you only have your own dinner routine/bedtime to worry about. Freedom can do wonders for your "trial and error" spirit. As a mom of two young boys however... that's another story for another time! Subscription boxes have become the latest craze, especially among moms who no longer subscribe to the motto: "Shopping Is My Cardio." These fun boxes make it feel like Christmas (in this case) seasonally when you unwrap all these goodies for you to try. It's a great way to discover new products and learn what you absolutely can no longer live without! I'm absolutely addicted to the fragrance oil in this box!

#FabFitFun boxes are all about keeping you fabulous while having fun and staying fit every season!
I'm addicted to this scent!

 I usually worry when ordering "grab bags" because it seems there aren't enough all natural options offered with most subscriptions. I love how this edition touched on keeping mind and body balanced. Unlike most subscription boxes, I was pleased to discover FabFitFun provided full sized beauty, fashion, fitness and lifestyle products.

They sure fit a lot into this box!
It came with a lovely Description Card listing each individual item, as well as the full retail price. Here’s a full list of what was in the FabFitFun Box – Summer 2015 Edition:
  • Everyday Wireless Speaker by FabFitFun - $30
  • FabFitFun x Cosmo Body Jump Rope - $14
  • Inkling Scents Sultry roll-on fragrance essential oil - $25
  • WREN Studio 14k rose gold necklace - $100
  • Hello Konjac Exfoliating Sponge - $12
  • Three month online subscription to - $38.85
  • Vaseline Aloe Spray Moisturizer - $7.99
  • GORGE"I'll Make You Look Amazing Daily Spray" - $25
  • TARTE Lipsurgence Lipgloss - $19
  • SCRATCH Nail Wraps - $12

The FabFitFun Speaker is perfect for poolside partying!
I can't wait to see what the Fall Edition has to offer! If you'd like to order in time for the next FabFitFun box you can register by visiting their website. Enter coupon code "ERIKA" for $10 off your first box! You can keep up with FabFitFun for all the latest on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
I received this product for free to review as part of a campaign with FabFitFun and Bloggin' Mamas. As always all opinions expressed are my own!
Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for a full report on how and when I get to use all these goodies!

Essentially yours,

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Simple Banana Bread Muffins!

There's a saying in my house, "If Mom's baking her Buttermilk Blueberry Banana Bread, then look out!" It doesn't always mean that I'm super stressed, or have given up, so I decided to bake the day away. Sometimes it just means Mom is frugal, and wasted fruits / veggies are not an option in this household! So I guess, yea you should still look out. Kidding, sort of.

So when I lay my eyes on spotty bananas, I know it's time to get to work! I actually get a little excited at this point, it means I get to indulge with a yummy homemade treat. Nothing beats the smell of banana bread when you walk in the door, it always gets a smile.

While I'm a fan of mixing fruits and nuts with my banana bread, I also enjoy the simplicity of plain ol' banana bread. I decided it would taste great as muffins for the boys to easily snack on or take on-the-go.
The darker the banana,
the sweeter the bread!


8 Tbsp of butter
1 Cup of Sugar or 1/2 cup of Truvia Baking Blend
1 Tsp of Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups of Flour
2 Eggs (beaten)
2 Insanely Ripe Bananas 

Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cream softened butter and sugar, I use the lovely "Darla," my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I couldn't live without her. Yes, I named my mixer. Don't be all Judgy McJudgerson

Add eggs and mashed bananas, keep mixing. Combine Flour, baking soda with wet mixture and keep mixing until smooth. Add to muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Great in a lunchtime snack!

*Makes a dozen muffins

You can serve these warm or freeze for another day. Or you can serve warm with vanilla ice cream, just sayin..

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Refreshing Summertime Berry "Melon-ade" Cocktail

Summertime is for enjoying the great outdoors. Family BBQ's & and pool play dates. Each summer I try to find a new recipe for a refreshing beverage the adults can enjoy while sweating in the relentless hot Florida sun.

This year I decided to create my own recipe. Scouring Pinterest boards, I realized that most watermelon drinks were some variation of a mojito. I'm not a huge fan of rum personally, so I wasn't too thrilled with everything I'd found. Well, necessity is certainly the mother of invention because I have just concocted my new favorite drink on the planet!


16 oz of Lemonade, use your favorite!
1 cup of fresh cut Watermelon
1 1/2 cups of Ice
Your favorite Berry flavored Vodka to taste (we used about 10 oz)
Toss everything in the blender at once (vodka last), and blend to perfection!

It should come out with a slight slush factor with a little foam on top.

*You can easily omit the vodka for a "mock-tini," this is a very refreshing drink for all to enjoy!

Hope you love it as much as we do, it's our "go-to" summertime refreshment this year.