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Healthier Eating for a Lifestyle Change

BOY'S EDITION ROOM MAKEOVER SMART HOME The Evolution from Traditional to Real-Time Innovation

RENTING VS. BUYING Your Expert Guide to Lead You to New Home Ownership


what's inside? 4   Boy's Edition Room Makeover

Discover sweet and savory desserts by A Little Taste of Heaven

10     Smart Home: The Evolution from Traditional to Real Time Innovation

29 Feature Spotlight: A Little Taste of Heaven

3   From the Editors 8 Out With the Old, In With the New A Bathroom Floor Remodel 14 How to Create Additional Spaces A Family Driven Transformation 16 The SS Scoop Pros and Cons: For Renting and Buying a Home 18 Japan Uncensored Told from the lens of Sunira 23 Transform Your Meals Healthier Eating for a Lifestyle Change: A Collection of Vegetarian Recipes

Japan Uncensored

From the Editors

Welcome to our 2019 Summer Transformation issue. As they say art imitates life and both Koya and I are undergoing all of the transformations presented to you in this issue - we're knocking down walls to transform our space to accommodate our love ones moving in, revamping rooms from builder grade to custom DIY fixes, upgrading our houses into smart homes, and introducing vegetarian meals into our lifestyle. It may sound like a lot, but like any other transformation, nothing happens overnight. These are changes that are well thought-out, discussed, modified, and now we're moving full steam ahead to carry them through. We hope that in this issue, you find some inspiration and motivation to give you that nudge in making any necessary transformations that will make you smile a little bit bigger, get you healthier, delight being in the presence of your home more, or take your business to the next level. You got this!




r e v o e k a M


My design style and goals for designing children's bedrooms are to create timeless and functional looks that will grow with the child.

Previous homeowner set room as home office

My son's bedroom 'before' color scheme

When we first moved into our home, the previous homeowners set one of their upstairs bedroom as their home office. Painted in purple. Clearly, I was not a fan from the beginning of the color, because by the time we hit this bedroom during our tour, the house had ran through every color of the rainbow. However, paint is the easiest and most cost-effective way to quickly change the look and feel of a space. So that became one of my top todo tasks for changing this room. I must admit, the first go round of changing out what the previous homeowners did, went rather quickly, and it fell more along the lines of putting something together to get my son settled in his room as quickly as possible. Even in the initial room revamp, my son selected his room colors - red and gray. I wasn't 100% in love with it, but more so, because the color scheme made the room feel even smaller and darker than what it was. My son had also inherited my old bedroom furniture I had as a teenager, so it had its fair share of scuffs and scratches. Fast forward, almost 3 years later, it was time for a full refresh and an intentional design space. Time to get something new and open his space up through color and opt for an upgraded look for a growing little boy. When I'm designing a space to be used by kids, I do like to get them involved. What are their favorite colors? What theme genres do they like: music, sports, travel, books? How are they to use this space - do they need a designated area to sit and do homework? Do they need a large play area? Do they need to store a lot of items? Those were some of the big questions I tackled looking at all the things my son had acquired in his room and the lack of storage and floor space available. For me, that was my first makeover goal to achieve: storage! The first purchase to meet my goal was his bedroom set. We selected a Queen size bed that has double drawers at the bottom of the bed on both sides. Perfect! Between those, his new 6-drawer dresser, and his

My son's bedroom freshly painted and prepped


closet, now he would have plenty of storage space for his clothes and shoes. Next, was color scheme. Although I wanted my son's input to his space, I still wanted to maintain a cohesive flow from room to room throughout our home. I asked him about colors and he said blue...perfect! I've used Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy blue throughout our home, which is the color of our upstairs and downstairs hallway, so it was a no brainer to bring that same shade into his room. I used Benjamin Moore's Acadia White for his other paint color - same color we have on our kitchen walls. The blue and off-white palette mixed with wood and metal pieces would create that airy, fresh, and clean look his room needed. I love baskets and containers, so between findings at HomeGoods and Target, we had additional aesthetically pleasing storage options for his toys and books. To maximize floor space, he has a corner basket that holds all his toys in one designated area. A wall basket holds additional books, papers, and his school supplies. A four-prong wall hook holds all his hats, book bag, and light jackets. Finally things are out of sight and off the floor! I'm a happy mom! Again, I'm all about finding

storage and organizational solutions. I also feel if you provide designated toy/play/storage areas for your kids, it's easy clean-up on their end and gives them that message that everything has its place. Gives them that responsibility and makes them feel like a helper keeping order in their personal spaces. Lastly, I did want to create a unique accent wall, to create something unexpected and it aligns with my modern farmhouse theme also found throughout the house. My husband nailed extra leftover pieces of our luxury vinyl hardwood flooring onto the wall, just slightly above the headboard. I measured the distance from one wall end to the other to mark my freelance shiplap panels. Above the vinyl wood border, I did a free-hand drawing design to replicate my favorite herringbone pattern. Fun Fact: I used a black sharpie marker to make my farmhouse panel accent wall. Because of the size and layout of his room, I didn't want to clutter his room with unnecessary decor or other items. So the decor style is pretty minimalist, but it's definitely functional. It truly feels and looks like a breath of fresh air. And by the way, he really is loving his room!

Room Design Inspiration Design inspiration by House of Hargrove

Color inspiration by Traditional Kids by Toronto Architects and Designers Merigo Design}

Our 'After' Room Transformation


OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW A BATHROOM FLOOR REMODEL BY KOYA TYSON Buying a home is a very daunting and exciting task. When I toured my home for the first time, I knew exactly what I wanted to remodel and update. My master bathroom was not on that list. It did have the outdated gold trim and fixtures but I found a way to work with that: a black, white, and grey color scheme with gold accents. My master bathroom would be my sanctuary. My own personal spa. I bought the perfect accessories and even repainted the vanity black. I painted the walls a nice grey but the ugly white vinyl floor ruined the vibe. It was a scuff mark's palace. After literally scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, I knew it was time for a change.


I plan to do an entire renovation on the bathroom in a few years so I needed a cheap inexpensive way to update the floors. The previous owners installed all new flooring in the house but obviously took the cheaper route in the bathroom with a solid white sheet of textured vinyl. In the moment, I hated them for this but then I realized that I had the perfect surface to install my new flooring. You need an even surface to lay flooring and this was the perfect base to work with. I decided to use a gray self adhesive 12 x 24 inch vinyl tile. I had


the option to either lay the tiles side by side or leave spacing to grout. I decided to make life simple and use the side by side

The flooring after the tiles have been cut and set in place before removing the backing.

placement. The process was simple and easy: 1. Prep the floor. It is imperative to have a prepared floor. This will make the process go a lot smoother. You want to remove the quarter round. To keep costs down, I decided to reuse the quarter round so I took extra care in removing it. You also want to sweep and clean the floor. You want to make sure that you have a clean smooth surface. 2. Layout Tiles. Position all of your tiles on the floor the way you want them. This will allow you time to accurately cut the corners and edges. You should start in the middle of the floor and work your way out. It sounds like it's not necessary, but trust me, it is. The backing has an arrow on it

Tools used to cut tiles

to ensure that the wood grain goes in the same direction. Do not peel the backing off the tiles for this step. Just put everything in place. 3. Stick the tiles. Once you have your layout complete, start in the middle and stick each of the tiles. Use a rubber mallet to ensure that the tile is secure. 4. Put down the quarter round. You can use a nail gun to put them back in place, but after some research I decided to just caulk them down. 5. Grout. I know I said I decided to lay them side-by-side, but I did not start in the middle of the floor and as a result, the tiles did not line up properly leaving space between some


of them. To fix this, I used a gray grout to fill in the space. 6. Sweep and Mop. I had to let the grout dry a full 24 hours before sweeping and moping.




Any sort of major transformation, especially for your home, takes thought, time, and of course money to see it all transpire. When my husband first said he wanted to convert our home into a smart home, all I could see were dollar signs. Then I wondered how long it would take us to get everything switched over. The beauty in home transformations, most if not all, is that they can go according to YOUR schedule and YOUR budget. This wasn’t a case of us needing to tear down walls and discovering any unknowns that lie within and watching our budget go out the window to fix those unforeseen problems. For this, we could adjust our home and do changes and upgrades little by little. And that’s exactly what we’ve been able to do. Even the small changes are worth it and will make you feel accomplished and that much closer to reaching your ultimate goal.

MICHELLE'S SMART HOME NIGHT ANGEL The first thing we addressed was our home lighting at night. Yes, I very much still had those old school plug in night lights sprinkled throughout the house. No, I’m not scared of the dark, but I absolutely cannot stand walking into a pitch black house. Not to mention, I have young ones that like to make their way out of bed at night to use the restroom or come into our room, so I like it lit just a tad so they can make their way around the house without injury. Also, in light of my mother-in-law moving in with us, I wanted our downstairs area to be somewhat lit at night so if at any time, she can still easily maneuver her way around downstairs without incident or having to turn on all the upper head lights in every room or leaving lamps on throughout the night. As a result, I purchased several Night Angel LED Wall-Outlet Coverplates with automatic light sensor and builtin LED Guidelights. This specific brand and concept was first introduced to me by a coworker of mine. I absolutely love them! So quick and easy to install, just literally swap out your current electrical coverplate, snap it on, and go. No batteries needed. I typically purchase mine from Home Depot at $9.99/per outlet, but they’re also available on Amazon at a slightly higher price. I love that instead of using the bulky nightlights, these leave both outlets free so you can plug in other items as needed. At night, they provide the right amount of light to light your walkway around the house and save you money while you sleep!


THE RING The Ring. Enough said. Yes, we may be late to the party, but I’m sure there are still a lot of people still on the fence about it or still rocking the traditional door bell and security alarm systems. We just purchased the Ring Video Doorbell for our front door a few months ago and love it and all the features it provides. Ours is connected to the doorbell wires for a constant charge, which means 24/7 video and audio monitoring of our home. We love accessing the Live View ondemand video, reading up on other neighborhood activities, and having that real-time interaction with anyone at our front door. The Ring is also compatible with Alexa, so you can receive notifications and announcements from Alexa and allow her to create routines for a customizable smart home experience. My husband and I expect to continue adding additional Ring components throughout our home and eventually cancel our current alarm system contract, which would be a beneficial cost-savings to our pocket.

GOOGLE MINI HOME We actually got our first Google Home Mini for free with our end-ofyear Smart TV purchase. (Add that to the list of replacing all our older model TVs with Smart ones). The Google Home Mini is your virtual assistant to help you with anything you need. Hey Google, what’s the weather forecast for today? Hey Google, what’s a recipe for vegan chicken tenders? Hey Google, how is traffic heading to work this morning? The Google Mini subtly becomes a part of your everyday life and routine. It can also be used to control other aspects of your smart home like the lights, thermostat, smart plugs and switches, camera feed, etc.

Our list of other smart home conversions include our tv’s, thermostat, and I wouldn’t mind a smart oven either. In any case, as we go along on our journey, I’ll continue to update you all on what works, what didn’t, and why we selected these options for our home. For us, we’re looking at end-goal cost-savings these items will provide in the long run, functionality, and home experience that will better our time and comforts at home. Again, don’t think or feel overwhelmed that you have to put cash out front to purchase everything at once. Start with the basic and over time, gradually add other smart components compatible with other apps and programs to create a complete home system controllable all at your fingertips for the ultimate smart home experience. SMART HOME |   12

KOYA'S SMART HOME NEST THERMOSTAT One of the smartest purchases made for my home is my Nest Thermostat. The Nest Thermostat is a digital thermostat that actually learns your behavior to adjust the temperature in your home. You can manually set the schedule or you can just let it learn your behavior within a few weeks. It can sense when you are home via GPS locator on your cellphone and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. On average, people are saving 10-15% on their power bill. I'll be honest, I really wanted it because I didn't want to have to get out of bed to adjust the temperature.

SMART LIGHT BULBS I'm amazed at how far we've come with light bulbs. I've had bluetooth light bulbs for years, but now that I have a Google Home in every room, they've become obsolete. However, with the purchase of my Google Home, I can now use smart light bulbs and control them with a simple command. Not only does this assist with my laziness, but it's also a great home security feature. While you're away from home, you can always turn the lights on or off using your cell phone or Google Assistant. This will deter anyone scouting your home for a possible robbery.

SMART TV ALTERNATIVES If you're not in the market to buy a new smart tv and want to make your tv smart, there are a lot of cheaper options. I'm not a fan of smart tvs, because of the internet connectivity issues, so I prefer to use a regular tv and connect it to an external device. I currently own a Fire Stick, Roku, and Chromecast. All three are external devices that connect to your TV via an HDMI port. Each device costs no more than $40 and allows you to watch Netflix, Prime Video, HBOGo, and much more. Some can also be integrated with other devices in your home. The Fire Stick works with the Echo and the Chromecast works with Google Home.


HOW TOc r e a t e


ROOM TRANSFORMATION When purchasing a home, many of us try to plan for the unexpected. Some of us get extra bedrooms for future kids, space for a home office or for that business we plan to start, but rarely do we plan for the unexpected long term house guest. They come in many forms: aging parents or in-laws, sick siblings, suddenly unemployed siblings and friends. Finding space in your home can be very challenging for long term guests. Here are a few tips to help re-purpose your space.

GUEST BEDROOM If you have a guest room, obviously that would be the best option for your guest. Clear out whatever items are being stored in the room and allow your guest to utilize the space to store their belongings. If your guest is a temporary guest, you can let them use your furniture. However, if it is a more permanent or long term guest, be sure to discuss if they will be bringing furniture and linens or using yours.

BASEMENT/ATTIC If you have a large open space in your basement or attic, you can always split this space and make it into two rooms. There are many small and large scale options for room dividers. You can use large shelving units such as the large Kallax unit from Ikea or a decorative shelf. There are also screen room dividers that can be mounted to the ceiling of the room and then opened or closed as needed. You could also build a wall. This is actually not very difficult, but be sure to take into account building codes when using this option.

MULTIPURPOSE OFFICE If you have an office, you can always get a Murphy bed, daybed, or even a sleeper sofa for guests. If you work from home, I would not recommend this as a long term option. However for short term, this can be perfect. A daybed or sleeper sofa can serve as extra seating and a sleeping area without taking up any extra space. A Murphy bed or air mattress can be hidden while not in use and brought out when needed. HOW TO CREATE ADDITIONAL SPACE |   15

The SS Scoop


The first two things that come to mind are time and money. It is relatively quick and easy to get in and get out of a lease (depending on how you end the lease) with low upfront costs, namely the application fee, and when leaving, potentially getting your deposit back with proper notification. If you are new to an area or see yourself moving in less than a year, having the flexibility to go as you please provides some peace of mind and keeps things simple.  However, with most things in life, there are costs associated with convenience.  One of the biggest disadvantages of renting is that you are not building equity and enjoying the asset of your home appreciate in value. This coupled with the tax advantages of home ownership make some people ironclad in their position that home ownership is the only way to fly.  And owning a home is great! You have freedom

to decorate as you please, have pets, and on top of that, the cost of your mortgage could be comparable to what you would pay in rent. Well, as a financial professional, when it comes to financial advice on what you should do, the general answer is usually going to be: well it depends. Maybe that's the reason a lot of people avoid financial talks. Anyone who's been in the working world keeping up with news over the last 10 years or so knows about the financial crisis and the recession we experienced. During that time many people found themselves in situations where their home values dropped rather than appreciated and if they sold they would do so at a loss. Also, many people were unaware of how adjustable rate mortgages work and foreclosures were abundant. Many people breathed a sigh of relief they were renting. So with all that being said, it can be hard to know what should you do if you're debating buying versus renting. Here are a few things to consider for buying, selling and general tips no matter what you choose

Duriel Richards, Atlanta Metro Realtor and Financial Advisor Contact me for more information.


FOR RENTERS: 1. Great if you move frequently or don't plan on staying in the area long. 2. Realize you are not building equity with your monthly payment. 3. In many circumstances when you renew your lease, your payment increases, whereas with a fixed rate mortgage you have level payments.

KEEP IN MIND: 1. If you plan on living in the same area for several years, consider evaluating your credit and your purchasing power if you were to buy a home. 2. If renting is a cheaper option for you, consider creating an investment portfolio with the funds you save by renting. 3. Always read and make sure you understand your rental agreement (fees, renewals, termination).

FOR BUYERS: 1. Historically, home values rise and are a great way to help build wealth and provide a degree of financial security. 2. Enjoy tax savings with interest deductions as well as if you operate a business from your home. 3. Know that you are on the hook for any repairs insurance does not cover, as well as regular home maintenance.  

KEEP IN MIND: 1. As with any non-risk free investments, returns and appreciation of value is not guaranteed. 2. Understand your credit and your financing terms with your mortgage or if you choose to refinance. 3. With new technology and business opportunities, short term renting out of your home can be very lucrative.

*It is always a wise idea to consult a financial and real estate professional for guidance and more information when making financial decisions.






Blogger, photographer, and software engineer by day, Sunira, takes us along her personal journey traveling abroad the busy streets of Kyoto, Japan. Guys, Japan was amazing! I had such a different experience of it than I had imagined and I honestly can’t wait to plan a return trip. The roughest part of the journey was definitely the 14 hour direct flight. I might pick a flight with a break in it on the west coast, next time. Once we did arrive in Japan, the train experience was comfortable, convenient, and clearly communicated. Also it was on time – like on the second. How amazing! Train view into the Tokyo Suburbs, heading to Kyoto

A walk in the morning to Misayama Park


DAY ONE: MISAYAMA PARK Our first stop was supposed to be Nishiki Market but we got there a wee bit too early. Not much is up and fully running by 8:15 am anywhere in Japan. We decided to use the extra time to check out a cute local park. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom! Our first exposure to the phenomenon in Japan!


NISHIKI MARKET We eventually meandered back to Nishiki Market where there were endless stores of all sorts of goods – from interesting eats to local artisan goods. We tried a few things and bought a few things. I could probably spend another entire day in there!




TAKASE RIVER After getting our fill of steaming eats and stain glassed tinted streets we headed out and walked along the Takase River. Cafes, small restaurants, hostels and little bridges that crossed back and forth made for some picturesque viewing. The sakura were still in bloom with a beautiful canopy of whites and pinks.



VENDING MACHINES & RAMEN MIYAKO We then made our way to get some Ramen at Ramen Miyako, stopping at a gachapon shop to blow some yen on toy gambling. It was a blast.



Sunira and Jeremy along the Takase River JAPAN UNCENSORED |   21



THE HEIAN SHRINE Our ultimate destination was to see the cherry blossoms blooming atop the higher parts of Kyoto but the walk there had some amazing stops – the first being Heian Shrine. Bright redorange pillars shone beneath a beautiful blue sky.

5 Sounds all pretty amazing, right? Well, this was just a snippet of Sinura's amazing experience, and if you want to read more and see all the beautiful highlights, check out her blog at the link below:

UNBROKEN HORSE And remember, Life is Short. Take that trip.



TRANSFORM YOUR MEALS A Collection of Vegetarian Recipes


CHICKEN By Chef Shawn Harrison

Ingredients:   Cutlet Preparation: Wet1.5 Cups Vegetable Broth (I used Imagine Vegetarian NoChicken Broth) 1/2 Cup Mashed Chickpeas 1/2 Cup Chickpea Soaking Liquid  1 Tablespoon Chickpea Miso  1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Dry1.75 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten 1/4 Cup Sweet Sorghum Flour 1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast 2 Tablespoons Potato Starch 2 Tablespoons Simpy Organic All Purpose Seasoning 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt 2 Quarts Vegetable Broth For Boiling

Frying Cutlets: 2 Cups Nondairy Milk 2 Tablespoons Your Favorite Hot Sauce 1.5 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour 1 Cup Cornstarch  1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder 1 Tablespoon Paprika 1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning 

ad o l n Dow e Recip

2 Quarts Vegetable Oil For Frying (I used Canola Oil)


Directions:   1. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix your vital wheat gluten, sorghum flour, potato starch, nutritional yeast, all-purpose seasoning, & sea salt. 

2. Slowly mix your wet ingredients, Extra Virgin Olive Oil &



Vegetable Broth, by hand until a mushy dough begins to form.

3. Knead your mixture for about 3-4 minutes by pressing & folding the dough into itself numerous times until the gluten develops. 

By Chef Shawn Harrison

4. Form about 4-5 dough balls and form into 2-3 ounce flat cutlets   & place in a line.

6. Bring 2 quarts vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. 

7. After cutlets have rested, drop them into the boiling liquid & lower to a simmer. Simmer cutlets for about 45 minutes or until they have become firm. Remove carefully from broth & let cool on sheet pan. 

Click Here for More Vegan Recipes by Chef Harrison

8. Pour vegetable oil into a stockpot or fryer over medium heat until   oil reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

9. Mix nondairy milk & hot sauce in a medium-sized bowl. Place cutlets into liquid & submerge for 2-3 minutes.

10. Mix AP flour, cornstarch, & spices thoroughly in a large bowl.

11. Remove cutlets from nondairy milk one at a time & dredge in flour mixture, using one hand for dry & one hand for wet ingredients, until thoroughly coated. Do this step twice for double battered (highly recommended). 

12. Let battered seitan rest for about 5 minutes.

13. Carefully drop cutlets into fryer oil & let fry for about 2.5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

14. Remove from fryer oil & place on wire rack to cool before eating.

Douse in your favorite vegan BBQ sauce.



CHEESESTEAK By Cozy Peach Kitchen

oad l n w Do e Recip Ingredients 16 ounces Baby bella or white mushrooms, thickly sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon dry oregano 1 red bell pepper, sliced 1 green bell pepper, sliced 2 large onions white, yellow, and red all work 1/2 teaspoon salt 4 6" sub rolls 4 slices provolone cheese

"Taste great and so easy to make. Even the kids were fooled." - Kimbelry Tisdale, SS Subscriber

Directions 1. To make the caramelized onions: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Saute the sliced onions for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and lower the heat to medium low. Stir the onions every 7-10 minutes. They're ready when golden brown and sweet. 2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and peppers until the mushroom release most of their juices, about 7-8 minutes. 3. Sprinkle mushrooms with soy sauce and oregano. To thicken the mushrooms and their juices, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour, stirring to brown.  4. Melt the provolone cheese by placing each slice over a section of mushrooms and peppers. Cover the pan with a lid

to melt. 5. Scoop the melted cheese and mushrooms onto a toasted sub

Click Here for More Vegan Recipes by Cozy Peach Kitchen

   roll. Top with caramelized onions and enjoy!


Ingredients 7-8 cups cauliflower florets (from 1 medium head of cauliflower) 2 Tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder



1/2 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup hot sauce {I like Frank's}

By A Cedar Spoon

Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 2. In a large bowl put the 7 to 8 cups of cauliflower florets and add the canoe oil. Toss to coat. 3. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning once until the cauliflower is just starting to get crisp and the edges brown. 4. While the cauliflower roasts create your sauce. In a medium mixing bowl combine the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, hot sauce and stir to combine. 5. Once the cauliflower is done roasting remove from the oven and place the cauliflower back in a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat. 6. Serve warm garnishes with crumbled blue cheese, a side of blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery.

ad o l n Dow e p i c e R

Click Here for More Vegan Recipes by A Cedar Spoon



T S O ' S


Ingredients For the cauliflower: 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs salt black pepper 1/2 head of cauliflower

Additional ingredients:

Click Here for More Vegan Recipes by Vegan Heaven

2 tablespoons sesame seeds 2 green onions cooked rice

Directions 1. Heat the oven to 350 °F. 2. In a bowl, combine the flour, the almond milk, and salt and pepper. Pour the panko bread crumbs on to a flate plate. 3. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Dip the florets into the batter, so they're completely coated. Then roll them in the panko bread crumbs. 4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet. Don't put them on top of each other. Bake for 25 minutes. 5. In the meantime, make the general tso sauce. Add two tablespoons of water to the corn starch and stir well. Put aside. In a small sauce pan, heat the oil and sautÊ the garlic until it becomes lightly brown. Then add the ginger, the sugar,

ad o l n Dow e p i c e R

and the tomato paste. Cook for one minute. Then add the remaining ingredients (including the corn starch water mixture). Cook for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken during this time. 6. Coat the cauliflower florets with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and enjoy immediately. I like serving the general tso's cauliflower with rice.

Feature Spotlight A Little Taste of Heaven

Mona Sanders, Owner of A Little Taste of Heaven

Photo credit: Ty Myrick Photography


A Little Taste of Heaven

Creating Delectable Treats So Sweet, You'll Think You're In Heaven Well this is such a pleasure to meet and have the opportunity to showcase your incredible talent and delectable treats. We can't wait to come through and take a bite, but first, we'd love to hear your story and learn more about your Bodypassion Butter and inspiration behind these heavenly bites of ooiee goodness. Southern Sweets (SS): So let's start from the beginning with you telling us why you chose the bakery profession for your career? Mona Sanders: I began baking as a child with my mother and truly enjoyed the taste and smell of sweets. It was from those memories that I sparked an interest in baking and began teaching myself how to bake cookies and cakes. This is my second career, as I retired from the state of California in 2017. Baking has truly always been a passion of mine. SS: Please tell our readers about all of the things you offer. The more I researched your company, the hungrier I got. Mona: We offer a variety of gourmet desserts such as cookies, cupcakes, cakes, cobblers, bread puddings, pies, and chocolate covered strawberries. SS: Wow! All those sound amazing! So what has to be your hands-down, all-time favorite dessert? Mona: My all-time favorite dessert is my Carrot Cake. This cake is one my favorites because it is an old recipe that was passed down to my father and then given to me. Also, if there happens to be any Cream Cheese frosting left, I can lick the bowl.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake


SS: Who is your favorite chef or pastry chef? Mona: My favorite chef is B.Smith. I truly love her as a chef and entrepreneur. I fell in love with her because she was one of the only black women chefs on television years ago. I was inspired to see her run a successful business as a restaurant owner, model, TV show host, wife and mother. SS: What has been your craziest or most challenging order request to come through? Mona: The craziest order I ever had was when I received an order for 250 cookies. They later called two days before the event and told me they wanted to double the order. I went crazy trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get this accomplished, but I did it!

“If I could bake something for anyone it would have to be Oprah Winfrey. I believe she truly appreciates good food and desserts!” SS: What is one of your aspiring goals this year to achieve for A Little Taste of Heaven? Mona: I would like to see my desserts being wholesaled to various companies throughout the United States. Take and bake products and Celebrity Endorsements. SS: If you could spend 5 hours with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Mona: My dad, because I miss him just that much. He loved sweets and I know he is truly smiling from heaven seeing his youngest daughter pursuing her dream in the kitchen.

Bourbon Pecan Cookies


SS: What is one piece of advice you'd like to share with other small business owners? Mona: I would say it's never too late to pursue your passion. In the words of NIKE: JUST DO IT! Your gift will always make room for you, so get moving. SS: What do you like to do for fun or in your spare-time? Mona: Travel with my husband and entertain my friends and family.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Cookies

Oatmeal Lace

Chocolate Mint Cookies

get d n a Visit of e t s a t your ! y a d to n e v hea Based in Douglasville, GA (Atlanta Metro), but ships all around the U.S.A. Connect on Facebook Connect on Instagram

Robin's Egg Cake

A Little Taste of Heaven


“THE ACHE FOR HOME LIVES IN ALL OF US, THE SAFE PLACE WHERE WE CAN GO AS WE ARE AND NOT BE QUESTIONED.” Maya Angelou, American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist


Creative Directors: Koya Tyson / Michelle Gowdy Editors in Chief: Koya Tyson / Michelle Gowdy Photographer: Taij Harris Contributing Writers: Duriel Richards, Sunira Stone Photo Credits: Sunira Photography, Ty Myrick Photography, Kimberly Tisdale, Chef Shawn Harrison, A Cedar Spoon, Vegan Heaven

contact us Atlanta, Georgia ISSUE 07 • JULY 2019


Profile for Southern Sweets Magazine

Southern Sweets Summer 2019 Issue 7  

Summer Issue: Boy's Edition Room Makeover • Out With the Old, In With the New: A Bathroom Floor Remodel • Smart Home: The Evolution from Tra...

Southern Sweets Summer 2019 Issue 7  

Summer Issue: Boy's Edition Room Makeover • Out With the Old, In With the New: A Bathroom Floor Remodel • Smart Home: The Evolution from Tra...