Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life Update

So it's been a while since I've posted on here....
figure it's time for an update, because quite a bit has changed!! :)

Source: Redefining C



My last post was July 22. Since then, we have...

...moved back to our hometown...
Source: love-the-day


...started teaching a fitness class at our new church (which we love)...

...both started new jobs (against our cat's better wishes)...


Source: 25 media Tumbler

...and found out that our family is growing!...

The little guy or girl is due May 9, and we'll find out what it is in December!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ice-cream craving fix :)

Are you like me, and you're craving something cold and sweet (aka ice cream) this summer? But.....you want to eat healthy? (and maybe you've had too much Ben&Jerry's lately because it was on sale at Publix recently....)

Well...throw this in the blender...

*Handful of frozen fruit (I had a mix of strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, and peaches from Wal-Mart plus some frozen raspberries from Publix on hand).
*1 teaspoon of flax seed (to help fill you up with just a little extra protein and fiber in the mix)
*Milk (a little at a time) ((or yogurt))

Blend, and gradually add milk so that the consistency is just like a frosty....so you can eat it with a spoon! If you make extra, you can put some in a freezer-safe container for next time you're craving a healthy ice cream alternative! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Protein-Packed Banana Cookies

I found the inspiration for this recipe on Pinterest (of course!) and made a few changes based on what we have in our cabinets. ((Since we're moving next week, we're trying not to buy lots of new food...so we don't have to pack it haha!)) Also, I decided to give my new toaster oven a shot at cooking a batch of these.

The original recipe was posted at... watching-what-I-eat.blogspot.com/2012/06/peanut-butter-banana-oat-breakfast.html. Her recipe included butter extract, vanilla extract, and applesauce. I omitted those three ingredients, and the cookies still came out great! My oven cooks pretty quickly so the cookies had crispy edges right at 23 minutes....but 25 minutes in the toaster oven made them perfect!

Here's my revised recipe (simply called Protein-Packed Banana Cookies since that's pretty much all that's in these...protein and bananas and oatmeal!)

PROTEIN-PACKED BANANA COOKIES

3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbs vanilla protein powder
1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c dark chocolate chips (mini)

Mash bananas in a bowl. Add peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. Mix well. Crush walnuts in a ziplock bag if not pre-chopped. Add walnuts and mini dark chocolate chips. Mix and let set while oven preheats to 350*. Drop batter by the spoonful onto cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake (20-30 min in oven depend ding on your ovens normal cook time, or 25 minutes in a toaster oven). Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Country Cabbage Soup

We got a basket of veggies from a garden shop near us that operates a program similar to a CSA. There was a LOT of cabbage in there (among other veggies)...so we had to find a recipe to use it in! Adam came across this recipe for Country Cabbage Soup, which was DELICIOUS (and a lot meatier than we expected...but that could be due to the fact that we think we inadvertently doubled the amount of meat in the recipe)! We used some of the ground venison we have...and we're pretty sure it's packaged in two-pound packs instead of one-pound packs.  We agree with several of the reviews that it is a good base soup that needed some seasoning to liven it up.  Adam added just a little onion powder, peppercorn garlic seasoning, sage, and cumin (just to give you an idea).

If you give it a try, let me know what seasoning you use, so we can change it up from time to time!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Seasoned Snack Crackers

These are good. So good! I got the recipe from my great aunt several years ago after I tried some she made for a tailgate. They're also QUITE inexpensive! I like to buy the ranch seasoning in the big jar at Sam's (we sprinkle it over chicken before baking....so having it packets isn't always convenient) anywho, that cuts the price down some too because it's cheaper in bulk!

Here's the recipe!! Thanks Blanche!!!

1 cup Canola Oil
1 package dry Ranch Dressing (3Tbsp)
2-3 Tablespoons Red Pepper Flakes

Mix ingredients together. Place 3 Sleeves of Saltine Crackers in a Ziploc bag and pour mixture over the crackers. Zip lock the bag and rotate several times over a ten minute time period. I usually place in a clean bag or two or three smaller bags. Enjoy!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Organizing the Spare Room Progress! :)


Today I'm linking up to show my progress in the BedCraftOffice room! :)
Hopefully, you'll notice the improvement, and maybe get some organizing ideas in the process! :)

Go here to see my before pictures...

And here is how it's looking now! :)

This is a good ol' cell phone picture I sent a friend of mine to show progress while I was cleaning...so....take a look around...now check out the next picture!


Yay! You can sorta see my make-shift ribbon holder hanging from the curtain rod. Well, I sorta liked the idea, but def wanted something different, or a way to improve it (you can see it better in the picture of the other side of the room)...and I found the perfect thing a the thrift store...it'll be in my next update! (Unless it sneaks its way into a post before then!)

See the Yellow Boxes in the top left cubby of my desk? Nesquick containers! I spray painted the bottoms green (like the trays just above them) and kept the lids clear yellow so I can see in them.

Check out the cubby above the computer scorn on the right. All my basic office supplies are organized there, and I used a cream cheese tub (cleaned out and spray painted green) to hold rubber bands. :)

I moved my blue plastic drawers to the top of the bookshelf and put black paper in front of them to hide all my scrapbook paper and things from France to scrapbook. (Once this room is clean and organized, yes, I'll mess it back up by scrapbooking! :) )

I also hung up my Paris bulletin board that my friend Holli gave me Freshman year of College, and my new quilting square that I found at Wal-Mart for $3! It's two squares in one...pretty exciting right? :)

Oh, and those trays on the top...they were in the dollar section at Target (with the two magazine holders that are holding...coloring books... :) ) and I liked the print on them, but I didn't want a million different prints in here...mostly solids, so I lightly spray painted them with my green spray paint...then decided I needed a shelf.....


Thank you Amazon shipping box that I cut off the flaps and one side.
And black spray paint.


Once dry, that new shelf fit perfectly right between those trays to hold bills and receipts. :)

Now, this side of the room is more like the holding place while I sort through stuff...but it still looks better than the before! You can see the ribbon holder I made (but am going to rework). I used a wire clothes hanger and a paper towel tube...but I didn't' have a good place to hang it other than the curtain rod. You'll see how I change that up later.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Spare Room Before: 29 Day Organizational Challenge at Org Junkie

This month, I'm participating in the 29 Day Organizational Challenge over at I'm an Organizing Junkie


I started to brainstorm how to make this room a better place before I knew about this challenge...but luckily, I didn't do anything other than shred a few papers and hang up some earrings before the challenge started!!

This room is our spare room/office/sewing room.  There are who-knows-how-many books, half of my sewing supplies, all of my craft supplies, a TV, a bed, and some random boxes hiding behind the bed (and more books...).

So, I'm going to show you the before picture....don't judge me! The room is perfectly sized for a spare room OR and office OR a sewing room...so the before picture is quite cluttered. Hence, the plan to organize! :)

Let's see here...from left to right...a cat, an empty box, a box of random Christmas things to store, a notebook, some things I found at the Target dollar aisle to organize with, a chair with a mini ironing board sitting on it, my dad's old camera, a pile of fabric, and there's my new camera bag...sitting in my chair.

This is the scary part. You can sorta see the plastic drawers I put in here when we moved in for organizing craft supplies and things to be scrapbooked.  And yes, they're quite organized, but sometimes impossible to open because of the stuff sitting in front! All sorts of stuff is stuffed in the compartments of my desk...There's my sewing machine sitting on another bookshelf, and a filing box in front of the bookshelf.

I didn't take a picture of the other wall in this room, because it just has two bookshelves and a TV. Not much to do there unless I clean off some books or something! :)

Hopefully, by the end of this month, this will be a fully functional BedCraftOffice Room! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baked Apples recipe from my Mom

Here is the baked apples recipe I cooked last night...the recipe my mom gave me over the phone one day! They're my favorite!! :)

Basically, slice some apples, cut up 1tsp of butter and place around the apples in a baking dish, sprinkle cinnamon on top, then spread about a 1/2c of brown sugar on top (more or less based on your sweet tooth). Bake at around 375* for about 15-20 min or until the apples are tender.

Cinnamon Chicken

My sister-in-law sent this recipe to me, then cooked it for Christmas...it is so good! The apple glaze makes it even better! :) we ate this tonight with steamed broccoli and baked apples (because you can't have too many apples in one meal?? I think I was craving apples when I put this on the menu haha!)

•Cinnamon Chicken• ((Thanks Julia!!))
1/3 C butter or margarine
1 C crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

•Apple Glaze•
1/4 C butter
2tsp corn starch
10oz jar apple jelly
1C unpeeled, cubed apple

•Directions•
Preheat oven to 350*. In an ungreased 9x13 baking dish, melt the 1/3 c butter in preheated oven (5-7min). In a square baking dish or a 9" pie pan, combine crushed vanilla wafers, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to blend. Dip chicken into melted butter, then roll into seasoned crumbs to coat. Place coated chicken in same 9x13 dish; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake near center of oven at 350* for 65-80 min. In 1qt saucepan, melt 1/4C butter; add cornstarch. Stir to blend. Add apple jelly and apples; stir to blend. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture comes to full boil and apple is tender (4-6 min). To serve, pour hot sauce over chicken.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

February Meal Plan & Free Downloadable Template!

After many months of not writing down my meal plan, and scrambling at 5:30 to find something to cook for dinner....I've written a February Meal Plan! :) Every two or three days, I include a day of leftovers for two reasons: a break from cooking, and a time to clean out the fridge.

There are some recipes that are already on my blog, some that are on other blogs, and some in cookbooks around my house.  If you want a recipe you see on the calendar right now, let me know, and I'll give you a link or type it up for you! Otherwise...these are the recipes you can expect to see mentioned on my blog this month! (Along with whatever else I bake along the way).  I'll give you a fair warning...there are going to be days when we scratch what's on the menu and eat leftovers or go out to eat haha! But at least this way, I have something to refer to.

In the past, I've made a master shopping list and took one day to hunt down the best deals for the ingredients in the menu.  I've decided to try something different now that I work a regular schedule. (In school, I only worked nights, so I had the entire day to go to grocery stores).  I'm going to check the grocery ads when they come out and go shopping one night a week (likely a leftovers night) to get any ingredients for the month that are on sale that week.

You can click on the images to download a JPEG, or you can go here to download a PDF of the completed menu, and here to download the blank template PDF.



I'm linking up with OrgJunkie's Meal Plan Monday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pinterest Plan...

I think I've said before...I love Pinterest.

I have LOTS of things pinned that I intend to do one day...then forget about. So, I just looked over some of my recent pins and found a few things I'm going to work on this week. Yep, using Pinterest to help write my to-do list haha! :)



I really want to try to make some homemade laundry detergent! I've found a few every-so-slightly different recipes online, and this one seems like the most popular one! I'm going to start by cutting the recipe in half and using an old milk jug to store the detergent in.





I have a Silhouette SD, and now that they've released the Silhouette Cameo, I'm thinking there is going to be a day when it will be hard to find the cutting mats for the SD.  So...I need to learn this trick, and I have a few older mats I can use to practice on! :)




Source: etsy.com via Wendy on Pinterest

And...I really want to start the envelope system for our budget.  We already do a VERY SIMPLIFIED version of this...we keep a little cash out of our checks to go towards little things like coffee shop stops or eating lunch out. I want to make it a bit more rigid though, so that we hardly use our debit card, and just stick to envelopes! :)


Three things should be good enough to keep me busy right? Haha! (Well, those three things, but the other long list of random to-do's around the house!) If you've tried any of these projects and have advice for me in the area, please share! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spicy Sausage and Pasta Skillet

I got home from work with absolutely nothing planned for dinner tonight....I have a FREEZER FULL of meat, but cooking a last minute dinner with frozen solid meat is hard to do. I had about a half pound of venison sausage (it wouldn't fit in the freezer haha)....so....I looked in all of my cookbooks for a quick recipe. Keep in mind, I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow, so anything that requires milk is out (making my sausage casserole a no-go tonight!) I found a recipe for Tex-Mex Fettuccine in The $7 a Meal Cookbook that sounded good and I had (almost) all of the ingredients on hand. I want to try the original recipe one day, but until I have those ingredients, here's what I'm eating right now (which is quite tasty if I say so myself!! :) )


  • 1/2 lb sausage (I used medium heat venison sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (I buy several onions at once, chop them, and freeze them in bags of 1/2c-1c measurements, so the onion becomes a quick and easy recipe addition)
  • 1tsp garlic salt
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4c chopped red pepper (same thing as with onions....chop peppers ahead of time and freeze, or freeze them whole and then they don't squirt juice and seeds everywhere when you cut them)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1cup)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c cooking cream cheese (I used regular cream cheese and it didn't melt as well as I would like....so stick with cooking cream)
  • 1 box if your favorite noodles! (I used a 12oz box of Ronzoni Garden Delight Fettuccine)
  • your favorite cheeses to top it off (Parmesan and a shredded mix for us)


In a saucepan, cook your noodles. Meanwhile, brown the sausage, onion, and garlic together. Drain, then add the tomato and peppers. Simmer, then add the cooking cream. Bring back to a boil, then simmer until the noodles are cooked. Drain the noodles and add to your sausage mixture. Top with your favorite cheeses! :) ((I was thinking, it might be tasty with a bag of frozen corn added when you add the tomato and peppers...let me know if you try that and it turns out good! :) ))


Sunday, January 22, 2012

13.1 Done!

Adam and I ran the Auburn Classic Half Marathon today! It's a race I've been wanting to run since my first 5K in 2006. It was rough!!! There were some hills, and I rolled my right foot around mile 4.5. It's not unusual for me to roll my ankle when I run...it actually happens during just about every race we run, but this time it hurt a little more, so I slowed down for the next 9 miles haha! My mom warned me about blisters, so I thought I was prepared...but let me tell you...a blister in your arch is no fun haha! Needless to say, I was quite slow today, but still happy with my results (considering we jumped from a 5K to a half-marathon without doing a 10K first haha!) Plus, we got medals for finishing...how cool is that? I guess now, it's time to sign up for a 5K in February!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

PetID tag from Keefer Style Creations

Look what Nova got in the mail this week!


Her new tag came from Lisa at Keefer Style Creations on etsy, and the really cool part....the proceeds go towards the shop owner's son's mission trip to Haiti.  There is one for puppies too!


Lisa started to use her etsy shop to help fund her medical mission trips to Haiti.  She has lots of adorable hand stamped jewelry that I love!!!
Go check out her blog to read her story and see her jewelry! :) wew.keeferstylecreations.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thrift Store Finds!

Yesterday morning I went with my friend Callie to a few of the thrift stores around us (we have four that I know of, plus a huge antique mall that's fun to walk through). She was on the hunt for some cool picture frames, and was just looking! I kinda wanted to find one of those coffee mug trees to put on my "coffee bar"...but I have a feeling that's going to be something I look for for a while haha! I DID manage to find some pretty great deals though!! :) I got a comfy chunky cream colored sweater for less than $5! :) At the next store, I found a really nice (heavy!) mirror for just under $7. I'm thinking about hanging it above the couch, under the shelf we put up. I also found a box of zippers (new and old!) for 25cents a piece, so Callie helped me pick out 15 of different colors and sizes! Time to make some purses now, right?? :) I also found a nifty little storage drawer for my craft room. I'm in the process of organizing the craft room/guest room/office, and I think once I paint this, it will be perfect!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New design going in Etsy!

I just finished a new design that I'll be listing in my etsy shop later this week sometime...I call it the "Ruth eReader Cover" after my grandmother's cousin, who is the first owner of this design! Per her suggestion, there is a pouch on the back for keeping a pair of reading glasses....so you don't have to look for them! This was designed for the Kindle that measures about 5"x7" but I can adjust it for other sizes of course! Let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNER! :)

Thank you all for entering! (made my day! :) ) Before I announce the winner, I've got two things to share....

1. As a thank you to those of you who entered the giveaway, if you buy anything in my shop through January 31, I'll give you a credit for a free digital card designed by me! I'll email each of you details about that soon.

2. I have a coupon code for anyone reading this right now! :) 40% off your purchase in my etsy store this week! (through January 15), with the code JAN40 at checkout.

And now for the winner......Jill! I'll email you soon so we can talk about what you'd like your passport cover to look like!

Thanks again everyone, and send all your friends to my blog because I'm planning on doing a giveaway at the beginning of every month! They may be from my shop, and they may be something totally different!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Brown Sugar Chicken Meal (with recipes) and GIVEAWAY REMINDER!

Quick reminder...my Etsy Shop Giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight CST, so go enter now!! :) :)


It's dinner time! What are you cooking/ordering/warming up? Tonight, we tried out The Krazy Coupon Lady's crock pot recipe and it's delicious!


I put my chicken on top of spinach and Swiss cheese ((yum)) and made honey-baked carrots and sweet potato fries to go with it! Both are super simple to make and only take about 30 to prepare and cook!!


WENDY'S FAVORITE BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES
Wash, peel, and slice sweet potatoes. Place on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the fries, then sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until crispy (but not burnt!)


HONEY BAKED CARROTS
Put carrots in a baking dish, cover with water, drizzle honey over the top, and bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes.


Let me know if you've got any delicious recipes we need to try! If you followed my blog about 6 months ago, you might remember I DI a monthly meal plan...I'm starting that back up in February and I'll include links to any recipe that can be found online. If you have a recipe you want me to try to incorporate, send it to me!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Cleaning Schedule

According to some Pinterest pins, Faebook updates, and Blog posts, it looks like a lot of people have a New Year's Resolution to keep their house clean, clean out their house and get rid of stuff, or to do a big overall house clean to start off the year.  That's kinda what we've been up to!  We came back home after being out of town for a few days for Christmas, and we realized our house was a wreck haha! There were receipts from Christmas presents we bought, half packed suitcases (we went out of town every weekend in December I think, plus some weekdays, so there were times when we never unpacked!), Christmas decorations, and random mail all over the place.  We decided that while we put away the Christmas stuff, it'd be a good time to do a complete clean of the house (and we wound up rearranging some too!)

Anywho, I'm never doing a "total house cleaning" at once again. We were pooped!  Sometime soon after we moved into this house, I made this cleaning schedule that makes keeping the house clean easy! Basically, you focus on one room (or group of rooms) per day each week (except the weekends!) to clean. Everyday, you do any laundry or tidying up that's needed.

Feel free to download the picture to print out! I keep mine on the wall next to my washer and dryer!

Here is a plain version.....


And one with a Hydrangea background! :)





Don't forget about my giveaway going on here: Etsy Shop Re-opening Giveaway!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years!

Raise your hand if you slept through the end of 2011/the beginning of 2012..... I'm raising mine (woops!)

I'm pretty sure we passed out around 11, maybe 1130....but we were pretty pooped because we cleaned the house from top to bottom, and put away our Christmas decorations all day! We woke up Sunday morning to a few text messages and an update from ESPN letting us know that Auburn won their bowl game!

Well, to ring in the New Year, I thought I'd share this calendar from my Red Stamp app! :) I think I'm going to make it the background on my phone!

Happy new Year's everyone! :) Don't forget to enter my giveaway by commenting on the post at this link (http://bit.ly/tGCFMw). If you tweet about it, you get an extra entry! The drawing will be on January 7!