Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Egg Fun

Nick and I enjoyed dying eggs our own chickens laid for Easter. It was interesting to see how the dye made certain imperfections in each egg stand out. Our chickens lay delicious eggs, but they are hardly ever the perfect shape you find in stores. I love seeing the odd shapes we get sometimes. Every once in a while, we get a super oval egg instead of the slightly more pear shapes you commonly see.

Egg Dying Kit

When we were ready to dye, we had saved up ten eggs, so that is how many we hard boiled and played with. We had three normal dyes and three “marble” dyes. To turn a dye into a marbling dye, you just need to add a tiny bit of canola oil to the dye.

Egg Dye

I think it was quite fitting that we used our chicken mugs to dye our chicken eggs.

Easter egg

Orange egg

Marbled egg

Here was our little setup. You just can’t dye Easter eggs without a little “Running Man” going on in the background. Can’t beat Arnold with a beard.

Easter egg station

I hope you are all having an amazing Easter weekend and get to do something fun and colorful as well!

Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs

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Pinterest Post Power!

I love Pinterest. I pin almost daily about foods I want to make, inspirational illustration and graphic design, things I love, future house ideas, and way too many more.

Problem is, I’ll never get to try all these amazing how to’s and ideas if I just keep pinning them. So I’m going to be proactive with my Pinterest. Instead of only drooling over amazing illustrations I come across, I’ve started sketching more. When I’m feeling stuck, I’ll browse through my inspirational pins and find one that is perfect for my mood and use it to jump start the sketch of the day. You can see some of my latest doodles on my instagram or twitter.

I’m also trying to bake, cook, and crockpot my way through the food pins that have been piling up.

Today I started out with a quick Spring Fruit Pudding.

I emptied a cheesecake flavored instant pudding packet into a mixing bowl with a can of pineapple and the juices. I stirred these two together until they were well blended. The mixture started to get thicker, almost like a pudding. Imagine that!

Pineapple and pudding mix

Next, I just added sliced bananas and strawberries and mixed it all up again.

Fruit

As a final touch, I dashed some cinnamon on top and did a final stir. It has a great texture and the pudding just adds a nice flavor to the fruit. Surprisingly, it isn’t the hero to this dessert. The fruits themselves shine, and the pudding plays a nice supporting roll.

Spring Fruit Pudding

Noms

 

Since I was feeling peppy, I decided to knock out two food ideas today. The second one I crossed off my list was home made granola. You can find the original recipe here. Me being me, I changed the recipe a bit.

I combined 1.25 cups old fashioned rolled oats, a big dash of cinnamon, 4 tablespoons of shredded coconut, and a handful of craisins in one bowl. In a second bowl, I mixed 1/4 cup sugar free syrup and a half cup of cinnamon apple sauce. These two bowls got together, mixed things up, and became the start of some sweet granola.

making granola

I spread the mixture out in a pan that had been sprayed with Canola Oil and baked it for 15 minutes at 325. When that was done, I alternated mixing up the granola, breaking up the chunks, and cooking for 5-8 minutes until it was no longer soft and became more like real granola.

Homemade Granola

It’s going to be hard not to just eat the whole things in one sitting. Will probably at least double the recipe next time I make it.

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The Roller Coaster of my Fitness

Since Nick proposed in September a few years ago, I’ve had a lifestyle change when it comes to what I eat. At first, I wanted to eat right and exercise for the wedding. It was a great motivator, to be able to fit into the wedding dress. Before the wedding, I dropped 15 pounds. Then, I got married, went on a honeymoon, and ignored the idea of eating right. I mean, how often will I ever get to visit Hawaii (our honeymoon location) and enjoy such delicious foods?

The next stage of my personal fitness was inspired by how well I felt when eating well and exercising and the excitement of pants fitting right. So until about last October, I ate right for the sake of eating right. Then, I decided I wanted to do another push. I wanted this summer to be the first summer I wouldn’t try to hide when wearing summer clothes. I wanted to finally be able to look at pictures when I’m tagged in them and be happy about how I look. Since then, I have done one and a half rounds of P90X, dropped another five pounds, and now have muscles I’ve never known existed.

I was doing really well eating right and being good to my body and things were paying off. My skin has been clearer (I have an angry history with acne), sleeping was more restful, and I felt good about how I looked. Then, the splurging started to occur more often, the exercising was less intense, and this last week (and especially the weekend) I just ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted, and fell off that health kick. Sure it was fun, and tasty, but it was not helpful at all towards my goal. I feel that I needed this kick in the pants. I’d been running out of motivation. But after a few days of eating what I wanted and have been craving, I don’t feel as great as when I eat right. I’m relearning that it doesn’t pay off for me.  I’m ready to jump back into the game! I’m ready to eat right, exercise hard, and get ready for summer!

For the next month there will be no more splurging (as much as humanly possible): I will aspire to eat super healthy, to give my body what it needs, try new tasty recipes to avoid boredom, and to exercise better and more intensely. Looking back on my health habits the past year, I feel better, do better, and am just an overall most positive version of myself when I eat right.

Tonight, my husband and I will do a run in our neighborhood. I love and hate running. I hate it because I am not a runner. I don’t have the talent or endurance one needs to outrun a zombie hoard or win a marathon. It hurts everywhere and all I can do is concentrate on breathing. I love it because I can feel it working. I can feel myself getting stronger. I get to be away from any television or computer screen and I get to enjoy the beautiful neighborhood we are living in. Also, to distract myself from what I’m doing, Nick just tells stories and I love that he is a talker. I’ve also noticed that my ability to run has improved by like 300%. I use to be that person who would run for 30 seconds and be done.

So basically, I’m rededicating myself to eating right and being fit. Yes there will be splurge days in the future. But for the next month, the goal is to avoid those. Just hit the reset button and get a strong foundation with it.

Also, I’m glad I’ve made this decision now, because my pants still fit. That means I didn’t wait until it was too late. Lol

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Adventures in Cooking … With Color!

This last weekend we celebrated Nick’s birthday! Last year, on his birthday, I baked him jalapeno cheese grits. This year I continued that little tradition and added another detail. A Dalek cake!

dalek cake

The best part of this cake? The chocolate icing? The fact that I didn’t destroy it while baking?

Or the colorful inside?

I wanted Nick to be surprised when he cut his piece. The cake wasn’t just tasty, it was fancy!

First of all, I started with our own fresh eggs from the lovely ladies in the backyard. I also bought cake mix, the icing, and food coloring. Since it is super close to Easter, the choices for food coloring were all Easter themed. Luckily, Nick just loves anything colorful.

chicken eggs

I prepared the batter as described on the box, then I separated it and used food coloring to get four brightly colored sections. Next, I just poured a little bit at a time, allowing the batter to spread each colorful section beneath it. Great news here, you can be as messy as you want, or are naturally. The messier your pour, the more wacky the cake will be. Just don’t stir it all together. It would lose the different colors.

colorful cake

I went with a French Vanilla flavor because the cake without altering would be white, so the color added would pop easily. I love how it turned out once it was all finished. I’m craving it just typing this up and looking at the pictures again. Yikes!

colorful cake

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I’m an Adult pt. 2

Almost six months ago I wrote a post about my monster wisdom tooth and how I was going to put on my big girl panties and get it taken care of. I had been putting it off because I hate surgeries, pain, and needles. In the last month, it had gotten worse. I was constantly biting my cheek, altering how I ate things, and in pain every day. The tooth had come in sideways and the pain was getting increasingly worse. I then remembered I had made a promise to myself and the dentist that I would get it taken care of within six months. I just barely made that promise by being a huge procrastinator.

I went in last week for a consultation to an oral surgeon close to the house. He explained how there is no room on the left side of my mouth for the wisdom tooth, or any other tooth, and that is why I was biting my cheek. The tooth had to come out. There was no other option. Finally, someone who knew what he was talking about.

Last Friday I went in for surgery. The tooth is now in a little plastic baggy they gave me. I apparently asked if I could keep it, which is awesome cause I’ve been dealing with that tooth almost seven years, so I want something to show for it.

Good News:

– I don’t need to get an implant to take place of the missing tooth. There isn’t any room!

– The tooth apparently hadn’t attached itself to my  jaw bone. So they just pulled it right out. No stitches needed.

– This doctor knew what he was doing, how to do things right, and the right meds to give a terrified person who gets nauseous on pain medication.

What gets me is how on earth could my previous surgeon or orthodontist not have noticed the lack of space for this tooth to come in. I suffered years with a chain attached to the tooth, which was seriously painful, then the tooth erupting sideways, also super painful.

Nick took care of me all weekend. He has been telling me stories of how hilarious I was upon waking up from the surgery. I kept telling the doctor and nurses how great of a job they did and thanking them. I also managed to spill ice cream all over myself. I slept most of the weekend and am still recovering, but it’s going way better than I expected. I hate being inactive, so resting over the weekend frustrated me, even though I needed it. I’m doing everything I can to prevent infection or a dry socket (this tooth is where I had a dry socket in high school, and I do not want to repeat that event).

I would post pictures of the massive tooth and disgusting bruise I had from the iv, but they gross me out enough as it is. So you will have to enjoy these photos instead. I decided to practice my un-scrapbooking skills while recovering.

Typography Scrapbook

Working on a scrapbook

JD not letting me work

JD not letting me work

Now I just can’t wait until I’m all healed so I can chew without the pain of that ridiculous tooth. This will be the first time in almost 7 years that I will be able to chew on the left side of my mouth without a chain or an ornery tooth, seeking revenge or something.

Sounds too good to be true!

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