Thursday, November 20, 2014

#108 Free Exercises & Two Other Cool Sites

Back in January 2013, I passed along an exercising website called
Fitness Blender that I found on YouTube when I purchased my Kettlebell set for my birthday.
 



Loads of Free Videos

 


Lots of people found it helpful and I wanted to also pass along other
YouTubers who have been helpful for more then just exercise.
 
 
How Jen Does It
 
 
 
This YouTuber has so much to share with others from her Aldi Hauls, Trader Joe's Hauls and so much more.  What I like about her is that she is consistent.  Consistency is very key for me.  When I find people who are consistent in what they do -- I like following them.  If they are sporadic and haven't put out a YouTube video in years then it's hard to follow those types of people.    Here is what she says about her channel How Jen Does It

On my channel, you will find organizing and cleaning tips, recipes, menu planning ideas, grocery hauls, huge Trader Joe's hauls, Trader Joe's product reviews, tips for saving time and money, beauty product and clothing hauls, OOTD, and tips for staying fit and eating healthy.

At Home with Nikki



Another one of my favorite YouTubers is At Home with Nikki.  Interior decorating is this women's specialty -- on a budget.  She knows how to turn an old piece of furniture into a work of art.  In my humble opinion, she has fantastic taste.  She needs to have her own decorating show.  Here's what she says about her channel At Home With Nikki:

I am passionate about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my family and my home. I love all things dealing with home organization, interior decorating, crafts and cooking. On my channel you will find tons of tips to help you around your home. I hope you will take time to enjoy my channel and all that I love to share.

These are just a few of my favorites that I hope you will check out.  They have been an inspiration to me on-line and I'm thrilled to share them with you.

Until next time...

I hope you enjoyed this Friday's blog -- Yo-Yo Eating No More and So Much More. If you did, share it!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

#107 Fast Food Restaurants -- Healthy Menu Choices



We all have times when we are pressed for time and have to stop into a fast-food restaurant.  There are also times when we just don't feel like cooking and we want something fast and not made at home that's still healthy for our lifestyle.  Well I've researched some fast food restaurants that are pretty much in everyone's neighborhood that offer some healthy options on their menu.

Now these are primarily fast-food restaurants.  Grab and go, not sit in -- but of course you can sit in and eat there -- but these restaurants are not restaurants that you need to tip a waitress.

Here are some of my picks:


McDonald's.


My healthy food choices there are:
  1. Southwest Chicken Salad (use 1/2 dressing pack or bring your favorite (my favorite is Paul Newman's Creamy Caesar))
  2. Grilled Chicken Classic (comes with whole grain bun)
  3. Chicken Grilled Snack wraps w/no dressing (bring your own -- I like Veganaise-- see my blog post on this Mayo Please pass the --- what???)
  4. Fish Fillet - no tarter sauce (use Veganaise here as well)

Taco Bell

Veggie Cantina Bowl
  1. Veggie Cantina Burrito or Bowl
  2. Burrito with black bean (Fresco Style - means no cheese) and replace cheese with Pico De Gallo (salsa)
  3. Fresco Crunchy Tacos
Wendy's

  1. BLT Cobb Salad (remove bacon and blue cheese bits) and your left with plenty of good grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes over a spring mix and avocado ranch dressing (use 1/2 packet or bring your own)
  2. Go wraps
  3. Grilled Chicken Sandwich with no sauce
  4. Chili
  5. Baked potato 
Subway

Turkey Flatbread
  1. 6" Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich (hold cheese, avocado & dressing).  Put on a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar
  2. Turkey Flatbread sandwich with loads of veggies and Balsamic Vinegar or mustard

 Chilpolta


Steak salad
  1. Chicken bowl, brown rice, black beans and tomato salsa
  2. Steak salad with grilled veggies (no cheese or avocado) with green salsa

 Chick-Fil-A

Char Grilled Chicken Sandwich with fruit cup
  1. Char grilled Chicken sandwich meal with fruit cup or side salad with unsweetened tea
  2. Char grilled garden salad

Keep these in mind when you are on the road and want to eat something fast and healthy.

Until next time.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

#106 Bottle Art Tree -- It's GROWING!!!!

My Bottle Art Tree is growing!!!  I'm excited to say during the month of October -- one of my birthday presents to myself was a bottle tree from The Little Shop Around the Corner.



This store was a great find.  It's an antique and collectible shop that resells vintage merchandise donated to the Missouri Botanical Garden.  As you know, Missouri Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places in the world.  So I will have to add this one to the list.

I have enjoyed unique art for the garden and in my opinion this bottle art is brilliant.  It is something that is very inexpensive -- but yet adds a burst of color to your yard.  It's something that can stay out year round and it's eye catching.  Here's my before and after picture of my tree art:

Before
After
I had fun finding my bottles at different thrift stores.  They ran from $1-2.  Also I received a box of free ones from a restaurant in my neighborhood.  SWEET!!!  So Sweet indeed that I started a new tree with a garden trellis I had sitting around.

My new addition
So now that it's getting cold and all the pretty color from the flowers have faded away, I can always look out my window and see this splash of color glistening back at me.  Ran, snow, wind or hail -- I will have something to look out to that will bring a little smile to my face.  Now that's what I call small pleasures!!!

Until next time...

Post to check out:
My Bottle Art Tree - Beginning Post.



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Friday, October 31, 2014

#105 My Favorite Things for October

October's Favorite Thing:

It's all about me baby!  October 29, 1965!










Sis gave me "Purple" cupcakes with a orange dollop of frosting on the top.
Sorry, I didn't take a picture of that, we ate them all :-)))

I spent the day with two of my most favorite people in the entire world!

Me and my boys (Adrian and Jordan)

We had a lovely day -- which we always take the days off for birthdays.  We shopped and ate -- and afterwards spent time with family and friends.  It was a lovely day!


Until next time...

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Friday, October 24, 2014

#104 Are we there yet?


I ask the question -- are we there yet.  What I mean when I say this is this -- when will this be OVER???  Every single day there are new challenges.  Big and small -- but none the less challenges.  I home school my two boys (teenagers mind you) who I've home schooled since they were babies.  They have never stepped foot into a public school or private, for that matter, for a full or part-time education.

My oldest is 17 and he has struggled all his life with academics.  Comprehension, math, spelling, vocabulary -- you name it -- he's had an issue with it.  My youngest, who is 15, does not struggle academically but just does not have a love for learning -- it's more like -- lets get it over with so I can do what I really want to do.  His biggest struggle is talking -- you see, he stutters and no matter what is done -- therapy, encouragement -- he does not follow those things that are given him to do to improve.  He continues to do the things that are keeping him in that habit.

People think that home schoolers are the smartest and brightest kids because of the one-on-one assistance that they receive at home.  Well I would agree perhaps 90% of the time.  But guess what -- if you have a child that no matter how much you put into them -- that child chooses to do his or her own thing -- decides that what is being said to them is not really relevant to them at the moment -- then guess what -- know matter how much you put into them -- they will only receive that which they choose to receive. 

Are we there yet?  They are in the 11th grade -- one has a desire to go to college.  The other is struggling with high school -- so college is hard to see at this point.  Are we there yet?  Today it looks bleak -- but tomorrow things will look up!  I'm trusting God know matter what it looks like -- I know that all things will work together for the good.  I'm encouraging myself -- and perhaps someone else.  Nevertheless, this too shall pass and I'm looking forward to the future.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#103 Bottle Art

As you can tell, I love to garden.  It's my most favorite hobby.  I've been looking into working now to prepare for spring.  One thing that I've been fascinated with is bottle art.  These are some images that I found on-line that I love:



 
Wild Birds Unlimited Bird Feeders
These bottle trees, however, can be very expensive.  From $20-200 on up.  I looked into purchasing one from Amazon or having Brian make me one out of lumber and pegs (like the one above).  



I also saw at Wild Bird Unlimited these beautiful birdhouses made from PVC that run $120-and above.  I thought if I was to purchase one I could just just attach pegs to them and add my bottles but with it already starting off expensive and the thought that I still needed to work on it by adding pegs was a little disheartening.








Well this was my solution.  At a antique shop I found 3 bottles under $5 and I found some "PURPLE" (my favorite color) plastic garland.  I had been thinking about what I could use at home to make my own inexpensively and relatively quickly (without drills and pegs).  My shepherds hooks came to mind.  So this is what I came up with.


I love it every time I look out.  I can perhaps add more bottles and more white shepherds hooks.  But I think it turned out pretty neat so far.  I love how the plastic garland sparkles with the sun and how the bottles add an artistic flair to this sculpture. If you have never seen bottled art -- this may look ridiculous -- but it's garden art -- you've seen it first here -- HA!!  Come back often, because I will be adding to it, especially when spring and summer rolls around next year.

Until next time...


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Friday, October 10, 2014

#102 A Little Fall Decorating!

It's that time of the year!  What time is that you ask?  Well my husband calls it that "Cozy" time when we start thinking about the holidays and of course I start thinking about my "B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y."  We truly enjoy the holidays.  I don't have many fall decorations but I do enjoy adding a few touches hear and there to the house.

My first fall touch is added to the front door.  My purple door is decked out with my annual leaf wreath.  I found this at a estate sale years ago and I love how it looks on my purple door.


I love putting out my pumpkins.  Not the real kind -- just pumpkins I've received or found second hand.  This one I received from my sister and it's actually cookware.  I've done soups in it but it's a beautiful piece to display in the fall.  I've put inside some smoked flavored almonds from Trader Joe's in little snack containers for easy snacking.


Smoked Almonds from Trader Joe's
My other pumpkin is a little wicker basket that I have on my entry way table.  I believe I picked this up at an estate sale as well.  I've had it for a long time and I store all types of things in it.


We are very casual people but I do enjoy having a little formal fun with my dinning room table.



And last, but not least, I will be turning 49 on October 29th!!!



Woohoo!  I feel blessed and thankful for all the Lord has done and is doing in my life.  Enjoy this cozy time of the year!

Until next time...

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

#101 Let's Do The Twist!!!!

4 Year Happy Nappy Anniversary!!!!
 


In celebration of my 4th year being natural...




I thought I would share one of my favorite hair styles.  Havanna Twist with Yarn.  You can check out my YouTube Video here to see how this is done (click underneath the pics):











Also, if you want to check out my hair journey you can also check out that video (click underneath the pic):





Until next time...

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

#101 If You Want Organic Vegetables and a Beautiful Landscape, You Have to Work For It!

 FALL

 My Favorite Thing For September -- Gardening during the Fall and Winter
For a Beautiful Spring


At the end of each month, I try to remember to post my favorite thing for the month.  For September (which by-the-way flew by) it would be preparing for Spring in the garden.  It's that time of the year!  FALL!!!  I'm in the process of working on the garden for the Spring.  What I do now will affect what my garden looks like and the type of rewards I will reap in my organic vegetable garden come Spring 2015.

So my vegetable garden is getting ready to get a major overhaul.

 Before Vegetable Garden Bed

 







After Vegetable Garden Bed








 




Potential Plan for the new Bed
This is a smaller version of what we want to make Rosemaryt garden Site

I always wanted something you could walk into.  My husband built a screen house and a shed -- so I have no doubt that he can pull this off.  So I'm super excited about gardening next year.  Of course, I would like it a little bigger and longer to fit the entire length of the fence so I can actually put either stepping stones or gravel inside to walk in and make it a more productive space.  I will show MY actual pictures next year.  Thank you Rosemaryt for allowing me to use your picture.


I started a new garden bed.  I needed my vegetable garden to not have a lot of flowers in the bed.  So I moved my Snowball Viburnum in my new garden bed:

Here is what my Snowball Viburnum looks like in the Spring:

Snowball Viburnum

Here's the new bed I started:



Snowball Viburnum (right), two Hydrangeas (middle), Hibiscus (center)
It may not look like much now -- but underneath the layers of mulch is sheets of cardboard and my black gold compost.  It will break down and decompose over the fall and winter and come Spring -- watch out!!!  Don't ever think there's nothing to do in the fall and winter -- there's plenty to do to get you ready for Spring while all the while getting your hands dirty and bringing a smile to your face.  This work to me is "Oh so relaxing."

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

#100 Are You Looking For Peace & To Quiet Your Spirit?

Back in November, 2012 I featured books that encouraged me for a healthy lifestyle.  You can check out that post here:  My Books Post  One of those books was written by a women named Jackie Trottmann.  At the time, I did not know her and I read her book over and over and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was called "The Freedom to Eat."  I read the back of the book and found out that she resides in my hometown of MO.  WOW that was different!  I quickly emailed her letting her know how much I enjoyed her book.  Fast forward 2014 -- we are now good friends and we encourage each other regularly.




I wanted people to listen to her testimony on the Be Empowered Show and how she found calmness and a quietness to her spirit.  This is a very encouraging interview but one not to miss if you are looking for that in your life.  Jackie's Interview & Testimony.

She also has a meditation cd that will help you to become still and clear the clutter from your mind.  Her meditation cd is Christ centered -- no spooky chatter that you're not sure of what your saying -- she uses the scripture "Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10.)"  You can also find her website entitled Guided Christian Meditation with everything from her blog and other information here:  Jackie's Website.

You can find her cd here:  Jackie's Meditation CD.

Jackie's updated book "The Freedom to Eat" is in the eyes of many publishers at this time.  So when that time comes, I will definitely be getting my copy and I will let you know how to get yours.

Until next time...

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

#99 Bland Food Made Fabulous!

No, I'm not a Vegan -- but I enjoy cooking Vegan recipes.  I love to try new recipes -- therefore I'm constantly running across people that make bland food taste "FABULOUS."

One such person is Brown Vegan  You can check her out at this link:  Brown Vegan's Website.




When I try recipes, I try to pick something that is a favorite of my family but made in a healthier way.  I tried a recipe on her site called Buffalo Cauliflower (remake of Buffalo Wings).  They were a hit in my household.  I've also shared it with friends and their 12 year old daughter kept coming back for more.  Go figure! 

Here's the recipe if you are interested:



Buffalo Cauliflower

by Brown Vegan
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 40
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup rice or all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine, melted (Earth Balance is a good butter)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, garlic powder and water.
Mix in cauliflower, being sure that all the pieces are coated.
Place cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer (use parchment paper or oil to prevent it from sticking).
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce and margarine.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl.
Pour on the sauce, being sure to coat all the cauliflower pieces.
Place the cauliflower back on the baking sheet and roast for 18-25 more minutes.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve with vegan ranch dressing.






Another person whom I've enjoyed on-line for her Vegan food is Jill with Simple Daily Recipes:







This lady will crack you up with her wit in the kitchen.  She is very good at making everyday meals simple and healthy.  Her kids are her tasters and it seems like the whole family has a great sense of humor.  I was inspired to cook up a big pot of lentils and to try a bunch of recipes from her stash using those lentils.  I tried (or will be trying):
  • BBQ Lentils and Baked Potato Wedges
  • Lentil Tacos
  • Italian Lentil Meatballs (had this on the list the same week but didn't cook it -- the family were a little burnt out with Lentils at that point) but I can't wait to try it...

I would definitely check out her YouTube channel Simple Daily Recipes and pick a recipe that you might want to try.  You will leave inspired to try something new -- I can promise you that.

Until next time...

 




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Friday, August 29, 2014

#98 August My Favorite Things -- For Summer!

I try to share at the end of each month a few of my favorite things.  It's been a great August and some of my favorite things for summer has been -- HERE GOES:

Homemade Kombucha Pops

Because I make my own fermented Kombucha tea (you can find out how I do it following this link How I Make Kombucha Tea) -- I thought it would be fun to make my own Kombucha pops.  These have been so delicious in this 90+ degree weather.



























Homemade Ready-Made Salads

Nothings better then already having lunch prepared ahead of time.  I've made ready-made salads for when I need to grab and go -- or just to eat in a pinch.  I used spinach, chickpeas, one hard boiled egg, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms (but you can use a variety of combinations).  Layer each ingredient one by one on top of each other in a mason jar or a recycled jar and place in the fridge.  When your ready, grab a homemade dressing of your choice or a store bought favorite and enjoy!


Homemade Pickles

I've shared this recipe before -- which is from a friend Chris.  These pickles are delicious and I have made at least 12 jars so far this summer.  My husband eats them as fast as I make them.  Made from cucumbers from my garden here's the recipe:  Pickle Recipe.





Calzone
Pepperoni Deep Dish
Outside Sight & Sound Theater -- saw "Jonah"


We had to squeeze in a last minute vacation to Branson right before school started.  We had a blast.  You can't go on vacation without eating some yummy food.  Enjoyed the Old Chicago Pizza and Pasta place on the Landing.  Also if you have not seen Jonah in Branson -- it's a must see!!!  I felt like I was at a New York production!  WELL DONE BRANSON!!!!

These are a few of my favorite things...

Until next time...



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