Monday, July 14, 2014

Coaster DIY

Hello! Been a while since I  last blogged, but figured this may be of interest to some people. I am sure most of you have seen the DIY coasters using tiles, construction paper/pictures, and modge lodge on Pinterest (there are more examples, this is just one). Well, I made some a while ago, but wasn't a huge fan of how they turned out. So, I decided to make a new set of coasters, using various pictures I have taken. Thanks to Social Prints , this project was made even simpler. They have an option to order Instagram pictures in 4x4's, which completely eliminates the step of having to cut paper/pictures to match the 4x4 tile size. I decided to order several pictures I had posted over the last year or so, of different drinks I enjoyed in different places, giving this project a theme. I love how they turned out, and they only took about 30 minutes to make! Cheap, easy, and cute project you should try out if you are looking for some new and personalized coasters :)

How to:

Buy 4x4 ceramic tiles and Modge Podge
Pick pictures or paper you want to use
If necessary, cut pictures or paper to fit the tile
Apply Modge Podge to the back of the paper and center it on tile
Allow a few minutes for it to dry. This is to help keep it in place during next step.
Once the pictures have set on the tile, use a foam brush or paint brush to evenly coat over the top of the pictures.
Let them dry, and now you have cute, personalized coasters!

Here is the finished project!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Days

Well, as usual I have failed to maintain this blog and keep everyone up to date on my thrilling life. I will play a little catch up, but with mostly pictures of things that have been happening lately. This post will focus on various happening from March- May.

1. I got a new puppy. You may remember a glimpse of this chunky monkey from my last post here. Well, I saw him, knew I had to have him, and got him. He was a part of the Tails of Hope Dog Rescue which was perfect, considering I am a strong advocate for adopting dogs, not buying them. I met him at the adoption event, set up a home visit, and he was mine mid-way through my spring break. His name is Jackson and he is the sweetest big boy in the world. His mom was a full-blooded chocolate lab (stray) and was shot, but her 5 puppies were saved. The breed of the dad is unknown, but I think Jack looks about as chocolate lab as you can get. He will be 6 months old July 7 and is a ridiculous 60+ lbs right now. He may be big, but all he wants is lovin' and cuddlin' all the time :)

Jackson (Left: 3 months old. Right: 5 months old) 

2. I took a trip to New York with my parents to visit my brother in April. It was so much fun, and we lucked out with pretty great weather. We did a LOT of eating and equally as much drinking, but hey - that is what vacations are for, right? Here are a few pictures from the trip!

German Bar with my mother

Heading to the Wythe Hotel, where we hung out on the rooftop for a majority of the day!

Ground Zero

Brooklyn Promenade the last night with my brother
Salty Dog on the rooftop (It was so delicious!)
Cafe LuLuc - the most heavenly pancakes you could ever think of.
Wythe Hotel

3. Lastly, and quite possibly one of the most exciting things that has happened in the last few months, would be the Memphis Grizzlies playoff run which took them all the way to the Western Conference Finals to face the Spurs! It was a phenomenal season to be a Grizz fan. Some people get mad that there are so many new "bandwagon" fans just because the team started playing well in the last couple of years. I, personally, couldn't care less. First, I feel that if you are from Memphis, it doesn't matter when you became a fan, you should not be considered a bandwagon fan. Basketball does something really special to this city, and I see nothing wrong with bringing out a sense of community and cohesion - even if you haven't been a fan through the first several years of horrendous play. It was a blast watching this team and rooting them on as a city. Though some serious damage was done to my bank account, I feel it was worth every penny.

Maddie loves the Grizz

So does Jack :)

After we closed out the series against the Clippers in game 6!

When I wasn't at the game, I was doing this.

Grizz support at weddings.

Even after the season was over I continued to support on the beach.

That concludes my recap of March-May. They were good months, packed with fun times and good people. I am enjoying my summer off, and will update soon with what has been going on since I have been out of school. I have turned 25, been to the beach, and hosted a Beer Olympics. Only 4 more weeks of summer left for me, so I have to make sure to enjoy it as much as possible! Au revoir, bloggers!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Whole30 Wrap-Up

     While this is a little delayed, my Whole30 is over! It went well, and I am still sticking to it about 75% of the time, give or a take. For instance, tonight for dinner I had sausage, asparagus, sweet potato chips and eggs. It was delicious and "whole30 approved". However, I have definitely indulged in some good stuff, like good scout cookies - LOTS of girl scout cookies, since it has been over :)

     In conclusion to this Whole30, I did enjoy it, noticed some small changes in energy and sleeping. I felt better overall, but definitely still had some cravings. Unfortunately my headaches never completely went away, so I am still planning on going to the doctor at the end of this month and maybe a specialist in the next couple of months to try and figure out what the deal is. Body wise, I lost about 7 lbs and 3 inches in my waist. Not too shabby!

    I would recommend trying this program, it gave me a whole new insight on what I eat and made me much more aware of everything I was putting into my body. It really is true that you don't realize how much unnecessary junk you fill your body with until you are forced to really pay attention. Now, when I go to the store I fill my cart up with more fruits, good meats, and veggies over sugary things and carbs.

     On another note, it is Spring Break time, meaning I have an entire week to sit and do a lot of nothing. It could not have come fast enough. I plan on working on a lot of grad school stuff and getting a head start, but I won't be surprised if I only accomplish about half of my list. So far I have enjoyed a day at the park, brunch with Dave and his brother, a little shopping, and meeting the most precious little pup in the world. He is currently in a foster home and up for adoption. I saw him online and just knew I had to meet him. Luckily, he was at an adoption event at a pet store near by so we went and saw him. He was even more loveable in person. He is my dream dog, so it must be a sign! I have always wanted a chocolate lab, but don't want to go to a breeder for one. I am a firm believer in rescuing, especially since Maddie is a rescue. Would you just look at this face? How could you ever say no to it?!

I wasn't choking him out, he was busy smelling and wouldn't look up :)

Love at first sight.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Whole30 Day 20-25

Here are a few things I have been eating these last few days.

I made a delicious skirt steak using this recipe
I served it over spinach and/or kale and had enough for a few meals. I served it with either sweet potatoes, asparagus or even both depending how lazy I was feeling. I also browned some lean ground beef and mixed in some veggies and served it with an egg for dinner one night too. I am all about these quick recipes. I am getting more used to just going in my refrigerator and throwing some stuff together, haven't had a flop yet!

I also made a bacon, onion kale salad. I just cooked my bacon and onion in a pan, and then tossed in some kale to get some extra bacon/onion flavor and ate it just like that. It was super quick and easy, and filled me up!

I made myself another batch of homemade mayo to keep up with my tuna/chicken salad fixins, have eaten eggs in about any form you could imagine and have tried to up my veggie intake even more. Last night for dinner I sauteed broccoli, cauliflower and shrimp in olive oil, seasoned with a little salt and pepper. I figured I could afford to cut down on the red meat and eggs a little.

Tonight, I plan on having some sort of concoction similar to last night. Full of veggies and maybe throwing in a little chicken or shrimp, or both if I am feeling especially feisty.

I am also embarking on a workout journey tonight. I joined The Kroc last week with Dave. I am pretty pumped, it opened this weekend and I think it is really going to be a nice place, plus it solves my pool problem for the summer. We are going tonight to explore and I will get in a little work out too. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I don't die from participating in physical activity.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, and I will be back this weekend with my final update!

Bacon, onion, kale salad

Ground beef sauteed with kale and spinach, served with an egg and some sweet potatoes

My skirt steak served over spinach with sweet potatoes and asparagus

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Whole30 Days 16-19

     Happy Tuesday and happy 19 days to me! I can finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have found some more new recipes, as well as stuck with some simple,basic ones that I find myself making over and over. Here is a quick update on my meals

Day 16
Meal 1: Inside Out Scotch Eggs
Meal 2: Homemade Tuna Salad
Meal 3: The last bit of my pot roast from valentine's day and asparagus

Day 17
Meal 1: Baked bacon wrapped eggs (heavenly), clementine, Sweet Potato Hash
Meal 2: Homemade chicken salad served over spinach
Meal 3: Sockeye salmon burger, baked sweet potato chunks, asparagus

Day 18
Meal 1: Swirly Crustless Quiche adapted from Practical Paleo
Here is the recipe I used, it lends itself to plenty of variation depending on what you like:

10 eggs, beaten
2 medium zucchini
Shredded carrots (a couple handfuls)
Fresh, chopped spinach (a couple handfuls)
1/2 lb Whole30 Approved Pork Sausage
Rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375
Mix all the veggies and seasonings in one bowl and let set.
Brown sausage and add to the veggie mixture.
Mix in eggs.
Coat the bottom of baking dish with olive oil (I used a 7x11 since I only used 10 eggs instead of 12, and it was plenty big enough!)
Pour mixture into baking dish and bake about 40-45 minutes, until a little golden brown around the edge.

Meal 2: Homemade chicken salad and an apple
Meal 3: Grilled chicken and asparagus

Day 19
Meal 1: Breakfast quiche
Meal 2: Homemade chicken salad served over spinach, blueberries
Meal 3: Shrimp over spinach, asparagus, baked sweet potato

     The breakfast quiche I made was the best idea ever (thanks to my brother). It makes enough to give me a quick, tasty breakfast for the week. I also like it because you can make it with pretty much anything in there you want. I plan on making it again for next week, and maybe throwing in some onion, kale, and bacon. I highly recommend giving it a try :)

     If you didn't notice, I ate a lot of chicken/tuna salad the last few days, but it has come to be a staple food for me, especially for lunch. I can make a big batch of it ahead of time and have it ready to go for lunch throughout the week. I can serve it plain, in lettuce wraps, over spinach, with some type of veggie, whatever. It is quick and easy which is what I need!

     Overall, I am feeling better. Headaches haven't subsided, but I can't say I am surprised. I have noticed I have a little more energy, but definitely not anything drastic. My sugar cravings have calmed down A LITTLE, but I would still do just about anything to get my hands on a cupcake, or reese's or cookie (11 more days)!! I have a few more recipes I plan on trying this week and next, and will keep you posted for those of you who are actually enjoying following along on this journey.

Do you have any recipes you think follow this program that you could share? Please feel free, I am always up to try something new out! Have a wonderful week!

Bacon Wrapped Eggs!

Salmon Burger with sweet potato chunks

My "Swirly Crustless Quiche"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Whole30 Days 11-15

Hello! Here is a quick check-in on my eats these last few days!

     I had a lot of the same things, so I am not going to go and repeat those each day, I will focus more on the newer things I tried out.

     I had my usual over-easy eggs and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast each day, and occasionally for lunch/dinner. I made a delicious chicken salad adapted from the tuna salad I made a few days ago. It was rather tasty. I plan on making a big batch of both chicken and tuna salad this weekend.

Homemade Chicken Salad: ( I didn't measure anything, just did it by taste and texture)
Boiled chicken breast (grass-fed)
Homemade, olive oil mayo
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Crushed almonds
Diced celery
Salt & Pepper
Hard-boiled egg
Dijon Mustard

     One night for dinner, I made a random mix of sauteed chicken, shrimp, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and served it over some fresh baby spinach. It was a quick and simple way to get my protein and veggies in.

     Valentine's Day was quite a challenge. So. many. sweets. everywhere! I wanted cookies, cupcakes, ice cream, etc. But I could not have a bite :( I had some left-over chicken salad and carrots for lunch, and was really ready to get home to the tasty dinner I was making. I ordered a 3lb, grass-fed, center cut shoulder roast and had it in the crock pot ALL DAY. Needless to say, when I walked in the house my mouth immediately started watering. It smelled heavenly. I didn't do anything special to it, just had it in there with onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper, and fresh garlic and let it cook on low for about 8 hours, and then just turned it to warm the last house before I ate.

     Dave came over to celebrate our 5th Valentine's together, which I was happy about so I could share this delicious food with someone! I had the roast, and also made some baked sweet potato chunks and asparagus. My oh my, I don't normally brag on myself, but it was quite a delightful little meal if I do say so myself. Even Dave, who is not a fan of sweet potatoes, enjoyed it! Now, I am not going to lie and say I had no desire for a rich, delectable dessert, but I did refrain and caught up on some Modern Family to occupy my brain and sweet tooth.

     Today is officially the half-way mark for me. 15 days down. Overall, it has gone by pretty quickly, but there have been says (especially this week) that seem to go on forever. I was really hoping this sweet craving I am having would have subsided a little by now, but it has just intensified and really making things difficult. Hopefully I can stay strong and avoid the temptation of homemade cupcakes and cookies for 15 more days... not to mention Girl Scout Cookies!!!

     Headaches are still here, not as bad, but they haven't gone away either. Not sure if they will or not, either way, I really do feel better about how I am eating and plan to stick with it for the most part even after my 30 days are up. Given, I will still allow myself to eat sweets and peanut butter and cheese, I will just keep it to a minimum instead of 7 days a week.

Hope you all had a fabulous week and Valentine's Day. Have a great weekend, too!
Homemade Chicken Salad

Valentine's Dinner

Random chicken.shrimp, veggie mix over spinach

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Torture

This is what I have had to stare at. All day.
My willpower is nearing zero as the end of the day inches closer.
 I am hungry and needing a snack thanks to my 10:20 lunch schedule, but my normal fruit or veggie is in the refrigerator in the teacher's lounge.
I just need to make it about 10 more minutes. 10 more minutes of convincing myself they are not worth blowing the last 11 days of this Whole30!


Despite my usual fat kid instincts, I didn't have a single one 

Happy Monday, friends! Go enjoy a cookie (or 6) for me!