A life where arts & crafts meets food & fitness


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sort sort pitch

I have been in a straightening mood lately which is a good thing. There are some places that got out of hand, mostly my fault in terms of millions of cut out/printed out/handwritten notes and whatnot. Basically an idea board sans the board took over a two shelf area in the house.

The cookbooks are all straightening which makes me feel good. The clippings and smaller paperback (think Taste of Home holiday books in the checkout aisle) are away for now. I plan to get some sort of cheesey folder next time I am out at Target. (We have Bumblebee from Transformers as our take-out menu folder - gotta have fun with the little things when you can.) I found about $1.50 in random change, a gas card for $10, and a Sears giftcard with $14.09 remaining.

It was all crammed into that area. I know I had given up on it because it didn't seem as important as other things. The thing is, it is important. Now that is is cleared out, I feel better mentally that the mini chaos is done. I do try to be organized but at times it goes into my own system or runs away from me. Especially when things get crazy, busy or things go off plan, it gets pushed to the side. Clean bathroom becomes more important than a shelf of cookbooks and misc stuff. It was out of balance and now I'm getting back to it.

Balance was included in FitBlog this past week. While, true it means food and exercise, I think it is generally everything. I used to use the word moderation before but I've found balance seems to be a better word choice for now. Moderation, which does work, is going on the back burner for now.

This past week I balanced 25lb weighted squats with sitting on the couch w a cat on my lap. I balanced cup after cup of tea with orange soda. I balanced sleeping in for a night out at the pub to watch some live music with Hubs.

I know that I am not perfect with it but overall it is a good goal.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hello Vindaloo

I have had Indian food a few times. While my general tolerance to spicy foods has increased esp since Hubs likes spicy food, I am hesitant to make too much on my own.... for now. While planning the shopping list from last trip to Trader Joe's, I decided to see what they had in terms of frozen dishes.

My plan was some sort of single serving frozen Indian meal but to pay less than $5 for it. That way if I didn't like it, there would be at least 2 results: a.) I pass it along to Hubs as leftovers if he was interested or b.) I throw out the rest which isn't fun since I had to waste food but it would be left in the fridge and not eaten. Option c.) was that I inhaled it and loved it.

The end result was more of an Option C.2. I liked the taste at first, then the heat kicked in. Rather than putting it away, I put it aside for a few minutes. When I started it again, it was perfect. It did have the spice kick it it as I had anticipated. I think I just ate too fast so when the heat did kick in, I wasn't ready for it. I can see buying it again and perhaps even one for Hubs. Next time I'll remember to take a picture too.

*Please note that I purchased this with my own money and received no coupons or discounts towards the purchase. While it is technically not a review, I still felt it was a good idea to include this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Who are you calling Pumpkin?

I had pumpkin on the brain. Being February and not Fall anymore, I am a little behind the other bloggers who posted amazing pumpkin related posts not too long ago. It didn't matter though. I kept walking around thinking of the canned pumpkin in the pantry. It wasn't like it was going bad any time soon. (Seriously this stuff lasts over a year.) Now the three carrots in the fridge were about to be on their last leg.



Ooooh I have GINGER!


Heart-y SOUP

I searched online to see what recipes I could find with the ingredients I had on hand. I found a great one on Cafe Liz - Carrot pumpkin soup with ginger and cilantro - which was also an excuse to use the coconut milk that had about a month and a half of shelf life left. (This was part of a past "OOOH this and THIS and THIIIIIISSSSS is what I HAVE to get." Safe to say at that moment, I didn't need it.) Due to my allergy, I omitted the peanuts. I omitted the cilantro partially because I didn't have any as well as that I find it takes over at times. I added more garlic and ginger. The additional ginger was about a 1/4 of a teaspoon that was left in the container. I didn't have enough garlic in the bulb I was using up and rather than breaking open a new one I added powdered garlic to balance it out plus about a 1/2 teaspoon more. I thought it needed something else and added about two shakes of nutmeg. PERFECT! Then it sat and cooked a bit more and ZING hello ginger and savory goodness. I like ginger so that was fine for me. If someone wasn't a huge ginger person it may be a bit too much for them.

A pumpkin related side note:
I had a friend in junior high who hated being called "Pumpkin." A teacher, I believe a substitute one, called her "Pumpkin" as a way to be cute not realizing this was something she hated. I remember her muttering something along the lines "Pumpkin? Am I turning ORANGE? Do I have green SPROUTS coming out of the top of my head????" A good amount of anything pumpkin related makes me think of this. I can't help it even though it has been ages since it happened. Some things are just too funny to forget.

The Great Thaw has begun since today is was over 40 degrees outside. WOOHOO! I have a feeling though that everything will be especially soggy for quite some time. We had and still have so much snow that is needing to melt.

Crazy snow drift

Just one of the crazy drifts around our house. The top of it was above my waist.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No schlumpy!

This frigid weather has been getting to me. Correction, was getting to me. Ok, realistically I want it gone but I have decided to combat it as well as I can. Look cute.

Cute, not cutesy.

Cute. Strong. Put together. Part diva, part sweetheart - all heart.

I know I sound like some sort of cheeseball as well.

I found myself falling into the winter trap of bundling up to go out and layering up when inside. Please understand that poor Hubs is forced to suffer through some pretty bad pj pants - butterflies anyone?

I am not looking to not be warm or comfy but in the midst of it all adding something special or fun or totally not expected is helping me beat these winter blahs. (I will be painting my fingernails bright blue sometime in the near future.)

Foto Furrsday: Cold Weather Edition

This morning when I checked the temperature it said "0.4" so technically not zero but still.

Cosmo's expressions says it all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toooofooooo Round two

TECHNICALLY it is round one since the last I bought went bad in the freezer. Well, it may have been fine but never making tofu made me hesitant to risk it. I'd rather waste $2 than get sick.

I decided to make Caitlin's Perfect Baked Tofu since it looked simple to make but not blah in terms of spices. Wait, I said simple. That never ends well.

I ended up not being able to use the honey in the cabinet. What do you do when you have bad honey but all the spices already measured and ready in the bowl? IMPROVISE! Either way you are going to get something to talk about. I ended up using the sweet and sour packets from our local Chinese food place. I guesstimated four to be about the same as the honey though it ended up more like a dry rub in some places. OOPS!

There will be no photos since it ended up far from photogenic - think charred marshmallows with right corners. Taste wise = YUM! It ended up more with more of a spicy element than a sweet one but it worked. I had some sweet corn on the side to balance it out.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Things that make you go ouch

I managed to throw out the left side of my neck/shoulder/and upper back (think shoulder blade) while shoveling.

If you haven't been living under a rock the last few days - say the last week even - you know about the crazy snow. The Blizzard of 2011 is technically the second that has happened to this magnitude since I have been alive. I do remember part of the one in 1999 but more so that stuff was closed and the giant drifts in pictures.

So we got hit like mad and basically had to dig ourselves out. Yup. Silly me thinking I was Superwoman left to me hurting myself. Luckily it is a nice mellow weekend where I can spend quality time with three of my new best friends - heating pad, Icy/Hot and recorded/remodeling TV.

I'll post pictures once I am able to sit at the desk with the laptop for a decent amount of time. I edit my photos using a mouse - yes a mouse on a laptop - but that works best for me.

Snowpacalypse 2011 as per my cam - I almost said digi cam but that's prob from thinking of '99 when actual film wasn't outside the norm.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The accent vlog

I had initially hoped to have been able to either make an edit of this or redo it. I figure why not keep the flubs (like forgetting exactly who I know that says "pop") and goofs. Plus this is a pretty good image of one of my blogging locations - sitting in the chair in our family room in comfy clothes and semi crazy hair. Gotta love cold weather!

Emily at Relishments posting hers gave me the push to get this up!

Annnnd here we go!

The words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught
  • What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  • What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
  • What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  • What do you call gym shoes?
  • What do you say to address a group of people?
  • What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  • What do you call your grandparents?
  • What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  • What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  • What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pretty flowers since it is ugly outside

For the longest time I was not fond February. It was super cold and super dreary. I was never a big fan of Valentine's Day.

February is much much much MUCH better now however. True it is still super cold and super dreary. (Add crazy Midwestern storm to the mix this year and it is only the FIRST day of the month to the mix.) This month is the month when Hubs and I first started dating (though we had known each other beforehand)and ended up marrying the February of the following year.

Yes, you read correctly, one year. We actually planned a wedding in four month. Yup, FOUR! I am no professional wedding planner, nor did I need one, but we were able to plan what we considered a perfect wedding for about 100 people on a great budget. Did we totally luck out at times? Of course! Was it stressful at times? Yes but not hair pulling levels. Was it expensive? At times, but overall we were technically in the "budget wedding" cost bracket.

Since it is gloomy outside I thought the best way to start would be with flowers. People like flowers right? (Unless you are seriously allergic I guess.)

The ribbon at the bottom is from my bouquet. It was the part that trailed below the flowers. The orange gerbera daisy is part of mine as well s the white spray roses. The flowers moving up and towards the left are a bridesmaid bouquet and part of another.

The flowers were all based on flowers Hubs surprised me with one day. The original didn't include roses but he wanted a white roses for his boutonniere. Not a prob with me and so we added the spray roses to tie it in. The florist used the alstroemeria flowers as groomsmen boutonnieres - white sprayed blue but from BEHIND the petals (then it is a hint of color and not painted on) as well as ranges of pink ones for other corsages.

Ways we saved $$$$:
  • No special order flowers: florist had no issues w getting them = no extra shipping costs
  • Minimal roses: If you LOVE roses, go for it! If you can do with less of them, you'll pay less money (or as in my case w my florist)
  • Picking flowers that last a long time: When I buy flowers (and keep them way up high so the chomping meow meows can't get them) alstroemeria and gerbera daisies are a go-to flower. The don't wilt as fast as others.
  • Bows instead of flowers for church pews: light blue & white layered ribbons/tulle were low key yet still lovely. (PLUS they became head table accents at the reception.)
  • No sparkly bits in the bouquets. IF this was going to be included however, I was going to go to a craft store and purchase them there.

One huge perk that my bridesmaids told me was that their bouquets lasted a super long time (in the fridge.) I guess mine would probably have lasted awhile as well. I have no idea though since I didn't keep it.

That sucker got launched over my head at the reception with Andrew WK's She is Beautiful blasting from the speakers.