Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Made It!

My new hobby obsession of the moment is jewelry-making.  It is so much fun! This was my first attempt at making a necklace for Spring.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  My creativity is going crazy, but I have to be patient and wait for Michaels or Hobby Lobby to have another sale!!

Stay tuned for more creations!

Spring Trends - The Canadian Tuxedo

I don't know if it is because the Olympics ended and we have a longing for more Canada...but, this is one trend I will not be participating in this Spring.  The Canadian Tuxedo. Don't do it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Great Website

Have you ever aimlessly looked through your pantry trying to figure out which two or three ingredients you could throw together to make something that resembles a meal?  Or, you want to stretch that budget a little farther.  If you are a Disorganized Mom at times, then you need to visit Super Cook.

You enter the ingredients you have on hand and it searches millions of recipes and viola...you've got a meal! I love it and I am sure you will too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lenten Meal Idea - Easy Fish Tacos

Friday night we had the best, easiest fish tacos ever!

1 box of your favorite frozen breaded fish (we used Gorton's Crunchy Breaded Fish Fillets)
1 package of corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 cup salsa verde (we used the Ortega brand)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBSP fresh lime juice
1 pkg cole slaw mix

1.  Bake the fish according to package directions.
2.  Combine sour cream, salsa and lime juice.  Add cole slaw mix until the consistency is how you like it.
3.  Warm tortillas in a dry frying pan.
4.  Add a fish fillet to the warm tortilla, top with the cole slaw mix and a little extra salsa.


New Workouts I am Loving

I am a big fan of Exercise TV {On Demand} through my cable company.  There are so many new workouts that you can try for FREE!  I have found two that I am really loving.

The first is Jackie Warner's Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training.  If you follow the link you can watch a preview of the video.   She breaks down and works each of the major muscle groups of the body and you feel the burn!   This workout is about 45 minutes long, so it is pretty easy to sneak into my schedule.  I am going to try to do it 3 times a week for the month of March to get toned up for Spring.

This morning I tried the YogaWorks - Beginner AM/PM.  I forgot how good it feels to start the day with a little yoga!  It felt especially good to stretch my sore muscles after last night's Jackie workout.  This is a great beginners yoga workout.  The instructor is great and very easy to follow.  This workout is about 40 minutes, as well.  I plan on doing this a couple of times a week for the month of March, along with Jackie's workouts.

So, go check out your On Demand and see if you have Exercise TV and try a new workout for free!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Keep a Preschooler Busy

I had an ingenious idea today!

Usually when it is time to make dinner, my little man decides he wants me to hold him, or he wants to sample the raw meat, or do anything but allow me to focus on the act of dinner making.  Tonight, I set him up with his construction vehicles and a big load of flour and let him go to town.  He moved the "snow" around for about an hour, as I peacefully made P-Dub's BBQ meatballs.

This would easily work for preschool-aged girls, as well, with some measuring cups, a rolling pin, etc. I remember loving to play with flour when I was a little girl.

It is a little messy, but well worth it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekly Salad - Lunch

I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty my salad was this week.  I just threw together what I had in the fridge and it ended up being a very yummy combination.

This week's salad consisted of: Fresh Express - Fancy Greens, strawberries, blueberries, sesame seeds, a vinaigrette made of EVOO, red wine vinegar and garlic powder.  The meat was Al Fresco, All Natural Roasted Pepper and Asiago Chicken Sausage.

Oh, and for dessert, one of my last Girl Scout Cookies - the Thanks-A-Lot {Merci}.

Winter Wonderland

Although this winter is never-ending, you have to admit, it has been beautiful.

But, I am counting down the days until Spring!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Online Magazine

Lonnymag.com = Eye Candy!

If you loved and miss Domino magazine as much as I do then you will love this new [online] magazine. I still don't know how I feel about online magazines or the Kindle.  There is something about flipping through glossy magazine pages or the smell of a brand new book.  And, I certainly can not read an online magazine while relaxing in the tub.  This seems to be the wave of the future, so my poor tired eyes are going to have to get used to reading online.  But, they sure are happy looking at the beautiful design of this mag.

Happy reading!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Aldi Favorites and Weekly Salad Lunch

I sure do post a lot about food! :)  I strive to find a balance of eating healthy, but also enjoying things that may not be so healthy, doing it all in moderation.  I post about food because I want to give others ideas on how to incorporate the balance into their lives as well.  I also like to eat healthy on a budget.  One small way I accomplish this is shopping at Aldi.  I have some definite favorite products that I buy regularly from Aldi.

Here are few of my favorite products from Aldi:
1.  Fit & Active Liquid Egg Whites - for a quick egg sandwich on the Orowheat Sandwich Thin.
2.  Salmon Burgers - I sprinkle a little original Ms. Dash seasoning and heat it up with a little olive oil on the stovetop.
3.  Fit & Active Light Honey Dijon Mustard dressing - love this with the salmon burgers! I was sad, they didn't have this dressing for a while, so I stocked up this time!

And, here is that salmon burger and honey dijon dressing in my weekly salad; accompanied by sweet red, yellow and orange peppers, sugar snap peas, and grape tomatoes, sprinkled with sesame seeds on a bed of baby spinach.

Bon appetit!

New Workout

Anxiously awaiting a new Jillian Michaels' yoga workout that will be released on March 2nd.  I need something new to mix it up a bit.  Looks like fun!  Having a busy schedule, I like workouts that are about 30 minutes in length.  This DVD has two 30 minute workouts - Level 1 and Level 2. It is Jillian, so I am sure it will be tough.  I am so looking forward to it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weekly Salad - Lunch

I like to try to get in tons of veggies at lunch.  I usually accomplish this in a tasty salad full of yummy goodness.  This week's salad consists of the following:

*Dole Baby Arugula with Spinach salad mix (was on sale at my HyVee) - quite tasty, I love the bitterness of the arugala.
*Grape tomatoes
*Sugar snap peas (surprise item of the week - left over from Tuesday night's dinner)
*Toasted sesame seeds (surprise item of the week - I just read that 2 tbsp provides 12% RDA of calcium - I am sprinkling these on everything!)

I topped it all off with a red wine vinaigrette.  I just mixed a little red wine, with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Yum!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love This

The only room we have not repainted in our house is our computer room.  It is "builder beige" and not very exciting.  I ran across this picture today and thought this would make such an inspirational, bright and bubbly office!  I love everything about it! I love that huge painting too.

photo by houseandhome.com

And, then I would like do do a gallery wall like this in the office for all my photos...

photo by houseandhome.com

My husband has been wanting to paint, so I should get him on this project.  I am completely inspired!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meal Planning Monday

Teriyaki Marinated Salmon and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

We learned the most delicious way to make salmon this summer from my brother-in-law and his lady friend.  We marinated the fish in Teriyaki sauce and grilled it on a cedar plank.  The taste of the teriyaki and the cedar is just the perfect combination, so delicious! But, it is too cold for grilling, so we just marinated it and baked it at 375 for 25 minutes.

I can't remember the last time I made mashed potatoes.  My husband is the master at mashed potatoes, so I always let him do it.  But, tonight I made them and they were awesome, if I do say so myself!  I used Yukon gold potatoes, cut them in half and quartered them.

Then, I used the super cool, potato ricer.  I have never used it before, but it was so much fun!  It is almost like popping a zit - I know, I am strange, but really it is!  Bad metaphor to use with food, but it really was fun!

I blended the riced potatoes with warm milk and butter and added sea salt, seasoned salt and garlic powder.  The boys were quite pleased with them.  Yay, me!

Sesame Chicken
from The Weeknight Cook, Williams Sonoma
This was a new recipe for us and we loved this meal.  It was so fresh tasting and it was easy to prepare.  I was surprised that little man liked it too! I am loving this cookbook.

Hearty Beef and Vegetable Soup
from The Weeknight Cook, Williams Sonoma

Crock Pot Chicken
from The Adventures of Rory and Jess - Crock Pot Chicken

Asian Pork & Noodle Skillet
from Pampered Chef

Clean Eating Magazine

I just received the latest Clean Eating magazine today.  I am seriously salivating over a lot of the recipes.  If you haven't heard of it, you can check it out here.  It is one of my favorites!

In this issue I am excited to try the following recipes:
*Guiltless Chicken Parmesan
*Thai One On (Thai Chicken Pizza)
*Brie and Pineapple pizza
*Chicken Pinwheels w/ Citrus Rice Salad
*Flank Steak Roll - looks DELISH!
*Moroccan Buffalo and Chickpea Chili

There is also a section on salads that includes fun add-ins and recipes for 9 different "clean" salad dressings.  I do love my salads!

You can pick up a copy at Borders, B&N.  I have even seen it at Price Chopper, HyVee and Walmart.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Help for Haiti

All the believers were one in heart and mind. 
No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they
shared everything they had.  
Acts 4:32

My MOPS group is going to donate personal hygiene kits to the people of Haiti.
If you are wondering what you can do to help, please visit the Heart to Heart website below.


The link to their Personal Hygiene Kit Info is:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Favorite Treat

Oroweat Sandwich Thins are my new favorite treat.
They are delicious!
I make egg sandwiches with them in the morning.
Little man loves his with peanut butter.
I have them for a mid-morning snack with natural peanut or almond butter and banana slices - Yum!
You can check them out here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Craft

I am already starting to think about Valentine's Day.  It is just a month away.

Last year I made these for little man's class...

I sent them to school in this...

Super-cute, right?  I thought so.

Marshmallow pops are easy to make but very messy.  Just melt some chocolate, place large marshmallows on a sucker stick, dip and sprinkle.  Viola!

Print the adorable tags here.

Have fun and GET CRAFTY!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Get in Shape, Girl!

We are going skiing in a month.  I need to get in shape to keep up with the crew I am going with!  Last time I went I did a 4 week boot camp and it whipped me into shape and I skied better than I ever have.  This year I just do not have the desire to get up at 5 AM; the sub-zero temperatures probably don't help any either.  So, here is my workout routine in attempts to Get in Shape, Girl! (that just takes me back to the 80's!) I totally had the "Rhythm and Ribbon"!

Saturdays - Couch to 5k training
Sundays- Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred
Mondays - Couch to 5k training and 30 Day Shred
Tuesdays - Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred
Wednesdays - Couch to 5k training
Thursdays - Rest
Fridays - Rest

my 365 project

I take lots of photos.
This year I am going to try to take a photo a day for 365 days.
I will post my photos here.
Stop on by and take a look.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Veggies, please!

My lunch was so yummy, I had to blog about it!  I used to work with one of my favorite friends, Dawn.  We made the BEST salads for lunch.  We would go out and buy the basics for the week: a bag of salad, some good cheeses, interesting meats, etc.  Then, each day we would both bring a "surprise" item to add to our salad like hard boiled eggs, avocados, etc.  It was so fun and always kept it interesting.

My HyVee had a sale on bagged salad this week and I stocked up!  Dole salad blends were 4 for $5!  Can't beat that, so you better bet we are eating salad this week!

Here is my gorgeous salad.  It was a base of the Dole Romaine salad, broccoli, grape tomatoes, low sodium honey ham, avocado, Gorgonzola cheese, bacon bits and the salad dressing from Tuesday's Cobb Salad.

Oh, and for dessert, my most favorite chocolate of all time, the Ghirardelli milk chocolate squares with caramel.  Yum!

And, check it out...SUN and blue skies!! Finally!

Now, if it would only warm up!

Meal Planning Monday

Homemade Pizza - Green Pepper, Canadian Bacon and Roma Tomatoes

I like to add muenster cheese to homemade pizza, it is nice and creamy.

1 pkg Pampered Chef Pizza Crust and Roll Mix*
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
6oz pkg Canadian Bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices muenster cheese
1 jar pizza sauce (I use whatever is on sale)

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Make crust according to package directions.
3.  Spread on pizza sauce.
4.  Add 4 slices of muenster cheese.
5.  Add sliced green peppers, canadian bacon and roma tomatoes.
6.  Top with mozzarella cheese.
7.  Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown.
*Note: This mix is very tasty; however, it makes a VERY thick crust.  If I were to use this one again, I would cut the dough in half and make 2 smaller pizzas.

French Onion Soup and Chicken Cobb Salad
I received a couple of new cookbooks for Christmas!!  French onion soup is one of our favorites, so I am excited to see how this one turns out. It is cold out, so a nice warm soup sounds just right.

French Onion Soup  
from The Weeknight Cook, Williams Sonoma

4 TBSP Unsalted Butter
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 lb Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 TBSP Flour
2 qt homemade or purchased Beef Broth or stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
Baguette, 12-16 slices
3 cloves garlic
1/2 lb Gruyere Cheese, shredded

1.  In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter with 1 TBSP of the oil.
2.  Add the onions and saute until golden, 4-5 minutes.
3.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.  Add the sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt, cook uncovered for 25 minutes or until onions are deeply browned.
5.  Add the flour and stir for 2-3 minutes.
6.  In another sauce pan, bring the broth and wine to a boil.
7.  Slowly stir in the onions and add 1 tsp of pepper.
8.  Reduce heat to medium, cover partially, and simmer for about 45 minutes.
9.  Preheat the broiler.
10.  Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining 3 TBSP oil and toast, turning once until golden on each side.
11.  Rub bread with the cut sides of the garlic.
12.  Place ovenproof soup bowls on a baking sheet.  Ladle soup into the bowls.  Top each with 2 slices of toast and sprinkle with cheese.
13.  Bake until the cheese is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Chicken Cobb Salad
from The Weeknight Cook, Williams Sonoma

6 slices Thick-cut Bacon, chopped
2 Eggs
2 TBSP Red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Olive oil
Mixed Salad Greens
2 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken
1/4 lb Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
2 Avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
2 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1.  Cook the bacon in frying pan until crisp.
2.  Boil the eggs. As soon as water boils, remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes.
3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Gradually whisk in oil until blended.
4.  In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with vinaigrette.  Arrange chicken, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, bacon and eggs on top of the greens and serve.

Crock Pot Jerk Pork - from my friend Carrie.

1 lb Boneless Pork Loin Chops
1 cup Caribbean Jerk marinade
2 TBSP Mayonnaise
Pkg of Club Rolls
1/4 cup water

1. Combine pork, marinade and water in crock pot.
2. Cook on low all day.
3. Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce in crock.
4. Remove and shred pork and mix with 3 TBSP reserved sauce.
5. Combine mayonnaise with 1 TBSP reserved sauce and spread on rolls.
6. Spoon pork onto rolls and serve.

Turkey Taco Salad

1 pkg Salad Greens
1 lb Ground Turkey Breast
1 pkg. La Tierra Taco Seasoning
1 Avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced.
1 pkg Cherry tomatoes, halved
Broccoli florets
1 pkg Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1.  Brown turkey breast and add taco seasoning.
2.  Arrange salad greens on salad plate and top with turkey.
3.  Add avocados, tomatoes, broccoli and cheese.
4.  Top with salsa and serve.

Speedy Chicken Fajitas
Adapted from Pampered Chef recipe.
BTW, this is my new favorite, easy weeknight dinner!  So yummy and so EASY!

2-3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 medium Green Bell Pepper
1 medium Red Bell Pepper
1 medium Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Onion
1/4 cup Honey
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chalula hot sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 pkg Whole Wheat Tortillas
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1.  Thaw chicken and marinate in honey, hot sauce, garlic and paprika for 30 minutes.
2.  Slice peppers and onion and place in Deep Covered Baker (from Pampered Chef), place chicken over vegetables.
3.  Microwave, covered, on High for 14 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees in thickest part of chicken and juices run clear.  Slice Chicken into strips.
4.  Cover tortillas with a damp paper towel and heat in microwave for 30 seconds.
5.  Spoon chicken and vegetable mixture onto center of tortillas.  Serve immediately with cheese, sour cream and squirt of fresh lime juice and salsa.

2010 Goals

Hello world!  My bloggie hiatus is over.  Now, back to business!  We spent the majority of the long, new years weekend inside potty training.  I really was not looking forward to potty training,  but it has been surprisingly enjoyable.  Yes, I think I just used "potty training" and "enjoyable" in the same sentence.  It was just three years ago when we brought our new baby home and were homebound and bonding with our new little bundle of joy...and now we are homebound and bonding in a new way.  It is so exciting to see how excited my little man gets every time he goes on the potty.  It is such a sense of accomplishment and so fun to see that excitement in his big blue eyes!  We dance around and have a potty party, so much fun!  There, I said it again.

I can check that one off my list - potty training - DONE!  Well, at least started.

Here are a few of my 2010 Goals:

1.  I will make a monthly budget and STICK to it.
2.  I will plan my weekly meals based on sales ads and coupons. I will make healthy, well-balanced meals for my family.
3.  I will create a calm, organized and lovely home for my family.  De-clutter areas in my home that could be better utilized for toy storage, etc.
4.  I will work out at least 3 times per week.
5.  I will eat more fruit, veggies and drink 64 oz of water daily.
6.  I will learn more about how my camera works and take more photos.  Learn more photoshop, but not relying on it to fix photos, just to enhance photos.
7.  I will learn how to make candles.  I would like to make my own candles in old, antique jars or containers found at antique stores.  Also, find more time to go to antique stores.
8.  I will blog more.
9.  I will get my skincare figured out.  My skin is so dry, but oily at the same time and breaking out.  I need to get it figured out!
10.  I will spend less time on computer.

What are your goals for 2010?