Archives for May 2014

Month: May 2014

Chocolate and Strawberry bread

When we started our journey to eat better/paleo/clean, we had quite a bit of regular flour left. I hate waste so a lot of baking has ensued to use it up.

6 months later . . . here’s the project I used the last 2 cups for. AND it’s actually pretty healthy . . . and delicious . . . and easy!

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1⁄2 cup Diced Kale (stems removed)
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
3⁄4 cups Vanilla Almond Milk
2   Eggs
8 tablespoons Butter (one stick)
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (or sub whole wheat pastry flour)
4 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1⁄2 teaspoon Sea Salt
2⁄3 cups Coconut Sugar (or sub light brown sugar)
3⁄4 cups Diced Strawberries
1 cup Dark Chocolate chips
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Heat the coconut oil in a skillet and saute the kale for 3-5 minutes – just don’t let it get brown.

Mix everything but the chocolate chips together – thoroughly.

then gently and slowly add the chips.

pour the batter into a non stick loaf pan (you can add more strawberries if you want) I didn’t and I don’t regret it.

Bake at 375 for 70 minutes – then let it cool on down before you slice it.

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the original recipe I found here drizzles some chocolate on top. this would make it absolutely delectable because it’s wonderful without it. We ate it over a few days for breakfast and it was just me and hubs so I didn’t make it pretty (or want the chocolate to harden).

What do you think – will you try it? I’ll def make it again. . . it was yummy!

Do you have any healthy bread recipes?

 

May wishlist

Here are some things I’m craving this month.

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bracelet  sunglasses  necklace  clutch  shoes and jeans

distressed denim is back, but I got rid of all mine from long ago. I guess it’s right what they say about fashion coming back around, huh? Those cat eye glasses from kate spade are just classics and will never go out of style.

Do you have any cravings this month? Anything you just have to have?

Lean on me . . .

With our new mattress that I told you all about last week, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do for a headboard. Since we upgraded in size our old headboard was too small, and I didn’t want to spend too much since after our frame and mattress we had $752 left for the headboard and all of our bedding. After looking at prices for some I liked and realizing the prices were high (like over half of my budget) . . . my DIY mind dreamed of making one myself, but I just didn’t know where to start . . .

. . . Until I talked to my husband about it. Seriously, if you get a good one they just make you see what you can’t sometimes. I don’t remember how the conversation came up or what we talked about except he said ‘ I just envision this amazing upholstered headboard that you create for us, and it’ll be so cozy.’

headboard

And so that’s exactly what I did. I relied fairly heavily on a tutorial from Young House Love, but they attached their’s to an older headboard/frame they had. So the frame and how we hung ours was different – and for that I used knowledge I have from other projects.

Here’s what you’ll need to make one like mine –

78×36 piece of plywood

1×3’s – (2) 36” long and (2) 78” long – to make square frame around plywood

5 yards 1” batting

3 yards fabric

4 screws (already had)

A few nails (already had)

Hammer

Staple gun

2 small French cleats.

I knew I wanted plywood instead of a canvas frame so it would be sturdy throughout and last a good long while. I choose the sizes because that is the width of the bed and how long my husband’s torso is. We sit up in bed to read or watch TV a lot so I wanted it to support his full back so he would be comfortable. Side note – ours is really tall because of how long his torso is. I like it, but it definitely makes a LARGE statement on the wall. If you don’t want your headboard to make such a large statement, I would cut it to 32” or 27”.

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The plywood was a little flimsy and I was worried about how to hang it to the wall. So the 1×3’s were attached right on the edges of the back to create a frame. We simply hammered a nail in thru the plywood to the 1×3 every 5” or so, and drilled screws in on all the corners.

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After the frame was built, I laid out 2.5 yards of the batting underneath the plywood – pulled it taught – and stapled it to the frame. Then I did it again for 2 layers of batting. The corners are super easy just wrap it like a present – fold the corner in and staple then pull down the excess and staple. BOOM.

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After each layer we checked it out to be sure it was as tight and smooth as possible – like how you want your thighs to look.  Above is after 1 layer of batting . . . nice, smooth, taught, supple. . .  no cellulite.

Next up was the fabric, the fabric I chose was a nice deep purple color to match the drapes . . . (clearance at Joann’s) . . . moving on. I chose it because I love the color, and it gives me the freedom to change out other fabrics in the room  – like pillows – with some patterns as I feel the need. It’s also a nice thick cotton so it’s gonna keep up with the durability. Since I got 3 yards of fabric at 44” wide, it was almost exactly what I needed. So I didn’t have to trim it before we started stapling. It was a little long, but I trimmed that once it was stapled instead of accidentally cutting off too much.

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Once it was good and ironed out – I also let it run through a good wash and dry session. We stapled it just as we did the batting – being careful to pull it extra tight as we went around each side. There’s a picture of the corners for you – lots of staples so nothing moves . . .

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While I snuggled with it in the dining room, Scott and my dad hung up two small French cleats on a horizontal stud 70” apart. And attached the other side to the top of the frame – 70” apart. Our bed is 25” off the ground so I had them hang it so that the bottom hit right at 25”.

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I was a little worried that it was only being held up by two little brackets. So once it was hung I proceeded to jump on the bed, fling myself onto the bed in sitting position, ram my entire body into the headboard (some things on the opposite wall fell off after this attempt), and I even sat gently down like I usually would to see how it handle it. Just as I suspected, it didn’t budge.

headboard

Our total budget for the headboard is . . .

purple fabric $20.14 –

extra loft batting $10 –

wood $23 –

French cleats (2 packages were $5) we only used one $2.50

Total of $56

So far we’ve spent $803 of our $1500 budget on the bed. And all we have left is the bedding – holla!

If I could back I would hang it lower. I wouldn’t make it any shorter because of my husbands torso, but I would hang it about 5″ lower so that it would go behind the top of the mattress not hit right on top. He would still have the back support he would need and we wouldn’t get things stuck in between the two . . .

I have debated moving it now, but it’s not a HUGE deal. Our lease is also up in 5 months . ..  and do I really want to move it for 5 months just to move it again . . .

 

So there you have it, my DIY upholstered headboard inspired by my husband. Is it weird if I’m in love with it? Is it weird that I’m in love with most of our projects? next week I’ll tell you all about our new bedding . . .

 

A few inches off the top

It’s another post with hair tips guys . . . so if you’re smart you’ll probably stop reading now since I have no hair knowledge . . . but if you’re like me and you just do what works for you then read on . . . god speed

My hair grows fast guys. Like real fast. So bangs and I always have a love hate relationship. They grow so fast that I have to have them trimmed up – are you ready for this – about every 2 weeks or I look like this.

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Now I do a side sweep, but once they get too long this happens . . .

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the separating from each other is what really, really bothers me. but they also curl up under each other. Yuck!

So I taught myself how to trim my own bangs, and here’s how I do it. Disclaimer:: I am not a professional this is just how it works for me. If it’s something you’ve never done before I would recommend you talking to a professional before you start . . . or just let them do it. Great clips will do just your bangs for $5 . . .

First I start off with clean – DRY – hair; normally I wash it in the morning, fight with it all day, and trim in the evening. That way it is in it’s most natural state/length . . . and it’s how I normally style it –  meaning I won’t make it to short because it’s wet and longer than usual or because I’ve got it styled wrong. remember DRY  . . . DRY . . .

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Then I put the rest of it in a ponytail, and even out the sweet spot with my fingers. Holding where I want to cut up to with my fingers I trim with my scissors facing vertically – starting in the center and working out to both ends – taking just a little hair as I go. You can always go back over it if you haven’t gotten enough so with my first try I rarely take more than 1/4 inch off.

straggler

 

Trimming vertically from the center out will give it a better natural finish, but it does mean you’re probably going to have some straglers in there to go back and get.

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Once you’ve gotten all your straglers . ..  you’re done! Viola! It’s pretty easy . . . but again if you can see a professional GO! This is just for those times that life gets in the way . . .

 

O and by the way! don’t use just any old scissors . . . here’s some good ones at amazon.

 

High 5 five Friday – May 9th

This week has been absolutely crazy busy and stressful. I am so glad it’s over. But there were some highlights.

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Sunday we started with just me, the hubs, and Me’sean. Our gorgeous nephew lives in a busy house full of little brothers and sisters so we let him come over  . . . just him . . . to sit in the quiet with us. And then we took him to get some ice cream and he filled it the brim with candy . . .  just like his auntie.

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It was also this week that we celebrated the lovely Audrey Hepburn’s birthday.

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I got to spend some lovely time with these ladies. Seeing the bestie and our friend Ashley was just what I needed.

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AND I got a street vendor hot dog which is the bees knees . . .

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And finally my weekly ‘o, look at the pretty sky’ picture. We just get some awesome skies in the hoosier state.

Breaded pork chops

Since we started eating paleo I’ve wanted to incorporate different sorts of meat into our routine. Usually we just ate chicken or ground beef – occassionally salmon or shrimp. Now if I see something else on sale like pork chops/loin, turkey, cod, etc. I snatch it up and find a recipe.

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So far these breaded pork chops are my favorite! Here’s what you’ll need.

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4 pork chops

Seasoning:

1 cup of almond/coconut flour

1 tablespoon oregano

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon basil

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Sometimes if I’m feeling naughty I’ll add some parmesan cheese to it.

Wet mixture:

2 eggs

1 cup almond/coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

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Mix together the seasoning and wet mixture in separate bowls. Take pork chops and dip in wet mixture then seasoning being to sure to fully coat both sides. Place evenly on a glass baking dish and cook for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

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Boom, easy . . .

 

What’s your favorite way to pork chops? Any other paleo eaters out there?

Some ramblings and my favorite color combo

I realized something the other day. I love to make things look pretty.

I write this blog mostly as a creative outlet for me. it makes me find that next project to do, the next recipe to make, to take care of my myself and share how… and I’m thankful for that. being creative in any way is what makes me happy, and I’ve realized it keeps me focused. it’s my outlet … but I’d also love for this little blog to grow up and be big and beautiful. so I’ve struggled sometimes with the direction of it all. I feel like if I focus on just one thing I might get more daily readers …and we all hate (secretly love) that girl at work or at school who excels at/has her foot in everything (not that I’m that girl, I am no-where near that girl).  But focusing on one thing . . . that’s not really me. I’m all over the place in real life and my mind is always going a thousand miles a minute.

so why can’t my blog?

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. . . . and that’s when I realized the common factor, I just like to make things look pretty … food, my house, my face, my clothes, all of it. But if making things pretty was the common factor . . . I feel like I should do more outfit posts. Or maybe that’s just me, in my head, because it’s something I want to do . . . but it’s kinda hard. . .

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I struggle just like most women do with body issues. I was made fun of ALOT when I was a teenager because my body grew faster than the other girls. I was taller than most of the girls (and boys) until high school  . . . I had B cups and baby ready hips in the 3rd grade –

(big boobie/booty becky anybody?) . . . ‘lady time’ started in the 4th grade . . .

I thought it was ketchup from a hot dog at lunch on my dress . . . this is real, right now . . .

I don’t ever remember being smaller than a size 10. Most of my life, I’ve been in fairly good shape thanks to playing soccer and conditioning until about 5 years ago, but I’ve never been skinny, and I struggle to keep my weight steady especially now without consistently playing soccer . . . I’ve always had big boobs, big butt, and big hips.

It is what it is, and I’m learning to accept it.

 to just be healthy . . . to eat right and workout at a level I’m comfortable with

me

But I’m not totally there yet. I haven’t totally accepted it. So putting pictures of myself ( especially the lower half) on the internet is nerve racking . . . BUT I truly believe that all women, no matter what shape, or size, or color . . . are beautiful! And we were all made in God’s image and he doesn’t make mistakes. So I’m going to put the pictures up to inspire myself, and hopefully inspire others . . .

I’m not a professional fashion consultant by any means, but I like to make things pretty.

 and if just one of you thinks it’s pretty too then it’s all worth it.

By the way this is me . . . in one my favorite outfits that I talk about all the time . . . did a post all about how you can get the stuff at Target a couple weeks ago (jeans are old navy sweetheart skinny’s) . . .

 

Hard sleeper

You’ve probably heard the saying “I can sleep when I die” and while I appreciate the sentiment to get out and experience all life has to offer . . . I disagree.

You physically cannot sleep when you die . . . you won’t be able to do anything . . . so I’m going to sleep while I’m alive. And I sleep hard.

I am proud of my hard sleeping priorities, but I’m lucky enough to share my bed with a handsome fellow – who happens to be a light sleeper. I’ve said many times that I’m not a dream to sleep next to, and we had to fix it.

mattress

We ended up with this MATTRESS and this bedframe – both pictured.  We had a budget of $1500 for the mattress, box springs, bed frame, bedding, and headboard which came from selling our old living room furniture and a nice bonus my husband got for being awesome at his job. I quickly learned that’s not a lot when you want a quality – and a king size mattress. But we were able to come in under budget!! Later this week I’ll get into the headboard and the bedding, but today here’s how we made the bigger purchases.

bedframe

We did so much research and put a lot of thought into what bed to pick. Here’s some things we learned along the way.

 

  1. Think about a bed that you have slept in other than your own – that you remember the mattress. While you’re at it think about what you don’t like about your bed.  :: I don’t remember many mattresses. I don’t remember many nights distinctly because of how I slept. But there is one mattress that I know I love – it’s soft and envelopes me in – the only thing I didn’t like was it was super hot. And my husband knows from our honeymoon that he prefers platform both the look and functionality of it. He also needed a bed that would reflect my movement.

 

  1. Don’t buy the most popular thing, just because it’s the most popular thing. Organic, memory foam beds seem to be all the rage. They even advertise the whole movement thing- the lady jumping on the bed with the wine glass got my husband every time. But after a little research and looking into reviews of people who have had them for a while, I found that it wouldn’t work for us. The top two complaints that got me were waking up sweaty because the foam made everything hot, and the bed sagging when you sat on the edge or sat in bed for an extended period of time – like reading for an hour before sleep or binge watching a tv show. However, platforms are becoming very popular now also. I did extensive research on whether or not it was ok to NOT have a box spring . . . guess what it is and we saved $300.

 

  1. Read the reviews. – After lots of reviews, and laying on lots of beds. We eventually narrowed it down to something ‘plush’ – not firm but not pillow top – from Sealy. We liked the way Sealy’s were built with the reflective/cooling coils for movement and temperature. Right after that ‘groupon’ had two amazing deals on Sealy beds. So I looked them up on Sealy’s website and amazon to see which one we thought would be best for us. The one that was advertised to be the best (i.e luxury line, highest price) had the worst reviews of the two. Neither had horrible scathing reviews . . . but the one we purchased had all 5 star reviews except one lady who said it was too soft. As for the frame, a metal and a wood one was offered. . . the wood one broke for a few people, but the metal one had no bad reviews.

 

  1. Search for the lowest price, and make sure you have a 30 day guarantee. Just because we found one we knew we’d like on groupon – I wasn’t set on that price especially since you couldn’t opt out of the box spring. I googled the name of the bed to see if I could find it elsewhere cheaper. Guess what I did . . . we purchased it thru the link above at $645.They were having a sale for free shipping if you spent over $500, and it came with white glove delivery – meaning they would set it up for us. Also, if we didn’t like it we could exchange it within 30 day – I couldn’t do that with groupon or the store where we bought our new sectional. Our frame was much the same. I knew I wanted the metal platform frame and I found one on amazon, but Target had a better price especially after my red card gave us free shipping.

 

As I’m writing this, we’ve had the bed for a little over a month now and we are both sleeping much better. The bed is comfortable and it really does reflect my movement. The bedframe was easy to put together and doesn’t sag. We’ve had a few ‘new bed’ things to get used to – like it doesn’t sag where our weight has pressed it down over years of use! But overall this was a successful purchase.

Any other new mattresses out there?

 

Lip Primer

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that I like a good bold lip. This is a fairly recent discovery for me . . . before the last year or so I would rarely – if ever – wear any color on my lips unless it was a special occasion. Even those occasions I would occasionally forget . . .

My wedding for instance ,which was a year ago, I had started playing around with lip colors, but nothing major. So I planned to just wear my favorite lip gloss floating around in my purse. A year later and I can’t believe I was so blase about it

But I had a little problem with my bold lips until recently . . .

bad lip

The color was bleeding onto my skin – even in cool weather. Easy fix would be lip liner of course, but I don’t want to spend $18 on a good lip liner for every color of lip stick I have. I did look into lip liners for your natural tone or in a clear color, but I didn’t read good things.

Then I remembered this . . .

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The one thing I did seriously think about for the wedding was the fact that it would be hot out. I didn’t want my lip gloss to melt onto my chin and then onto my dress (this is a rational worry, right?) so I had bought this lip primer. I pulled it out of my stash recently to see if it was something I could wear on a daily basis . . . spoiler alert it is!!!

Here’s what it looks like when I put it on clean and clear lips . . .

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and here is a bold color on top (right after application) . . .

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and here it is about 8 hours later with no touch ups . . .

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I know I forgot to take a close up, but I promise there was no bleeding onto my skin. There was a little fading, but I think that’s because I had eaten lunch, eat some candy at a movie, and then eaten dinner in the time between the two pictures . . . not because of the lip stick or the primer.

What do you use to help keep your makeup in one place? any other lip primer lovers out there?

yup I forgot the color I’m wearing is Rimmel London  Show Off Lip lacquer in Apocaliptic

High five for Friday – May 2nd

This week was pretty relaxing, and that was pretty awesome. I got to catch up on some crafts and this weekend my office is going to get a deep clean and reorganization which it needs after a couple big projects just got done. May sets off two busy months for the hubs and I – so I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend to catch my breath.

this past weekend we celebrated our nephew Me’sean’s birthday at our house with a sombrero themed party. I say somebrero because Uncle Scott decided his birthday hat needed to be a sombrero and then Aunti Bex found mini sombrero’s for everyone else . . . as you can see his mother and his sister were not thrilled about the mini sombrero’s.

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these sunflowers I found for his party are so full and beautiful I can’t get enough. the letters are just wooden letters from michaels with some washi tape on them. Me’sean said they were cool . . . my heart exploded.

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the weather this week was chilly and rainy, but I didn’t have to wear a winter coat and I got to enjoy some beautiful rainbows and fluffy clouds that look animated . . .

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I found this free printable over at the Wedding Chicks Blog, and I just love it. No idea where I’m gonna put it . . . but I like it.

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I hope all of your weeks were as relaxing as mine! Any fun plans for the weekend?