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Saturday, December 22, 2012

(Wo)Man's Best Friend

This is our Harley. He is a lab/basset hound mix and he is an awesome dog. Harley came to live with me when he was just a puppy. Those first few months were full of sleepless nights. He would cry and bark and howl ALL night if I didn't put him in bed with me. He has always been a Momma's boy. 
Harley is 7 years old now and isn't quite as spry these days. He is still an awesome guard dog but is more content to lie on his bed inside when it is cold. I know his life is in the sunset period and it makes me sad to think that he may not be with us in a few years. He has seizures and lately they seem to be more often. He doesn't jump on the couch anymore and is a little slower getting out of his bed. I sure love this boy and am content to spend more snuggle time and less time chasing him around the cul de sac when he doesn't want to come inside. I love my Harley dog!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Martini Shaker for Fresh Juice

I finally found a use for my old martini shaker. It works great for chilling and straining fresh fruit and vegetable juice. I find my juice is much more enjoyable to drink when it is cold. I add ice to the shaker, pour in my juice, put the top on, and give it a good shake. Then I strain it into a glass. It is ice cold and super yummy! It also helps to mix the juices since they tend to separate. Glad I didn't throw out the martini shaker out when I stopped making martinis :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Spinach Tortilla Chips

As part of my efforts to eat healthier, I am really trying to avoid foods that are excessively processed or contain tons of artificial preservatives. I was really excited to find Spinach Tortillas at Whole Foods today. I was afraid that they would go bad before I used them and I had a serious craving for chips with my hummus tonight so I made them into tortilla chips. They turned out FANTASTIC! I used my pizza cutter to cut the tortilla into the desired size and baked them on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 350 degrees. I didn't time them since I was busy making the hummus, so just keep an eye on them. They were nice and crisp and fairly thick, like a pita chip. Give them a try! It was nice knowing I was eating something that had only 5 or 6 natural ingredients.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Smoothie Recipe

I am ashamed to admit that I had never actually made a smoothie at home until today. I think it turned out fantastic.

3/4 cup frozen fruit
1/4 cup frozen blueberries (because I had some on hand)
1/4 cup raw rolled oats
1 cup Dannon Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt (started with 1/2 cup but couldn't get the fruit to break down with that small an amount)

Blend it in a blender until smooth. I ended up needing to add just a splash of juice to thin it out.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Best Holiday Decorating Tool, ever!

These little clips are great. They are like Command hooks except they are made for hanging garland, lights, ribbon, etc. indoors. I use them to hang garland on my entertainment credenza. I would NEVER consider using tape or tacks on my favorite piece of living room furniture so these work great. I used them last year and they didn't leave any mark when I removed them after Christmas. And the adhesive back is replaceable. I have to go get more of the backs tomorrow so I can finish up my living room. Give these a try.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A conversation with myself...

I have been really sick twice in the last 3 months from cold and sinus infections. And I have been feeling like poop and tired a lot. So I sat myself down and had a stern 'come to Jesus' meeting with myself.  It went something like this:

My body: Look chick, this isn't working so well. You know better.
Me: Shut up. I don't feel good. My jeans are making me uncomfortable and I want a cookie.
My body: Are you flippin kidding me???? What do I gotta do to get your attention? You wanna feel bad all the time?? And don't you want to have a baby sometime soon? You gonna feed your kid crappy food???
Me: *paying attention* Your right, lets do this...

So I went grocery shopping last night and got lots of fruits and veggies. I found my bottle of vitamins that I bought but never opened several months ago. I located my running shoes in the back of the closet and laid out my exercise clothes for tomorrow morning (today being fast Sunday). Then I logged into after being gone for almost a year, entered my current weight, and saw this little beauty:

Terrific. Yeah, that is a widget I would want to add, right? So now I have to lose those 26 pounds to break even with the last good place. Doh!
So why am I sharing all of this? Well I guess for motivation for myself. I have put it out there in public. And also so you, my friends and family, will understand if I don't eat that yummy piece of pie at Christmas dinner. Or if I do eat the pie and then start running laps around your house, now you know  ;)
Anyone else had this struggle and want to offer advice? Leave me a comment below.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Last year I was really needing more ornaments for my tree but hadn't budgeted for them so I needed to be creative and use something that I already had on hand. This is one of my ideas.

Old Christmas cards with beautiful pictures and canning lids

I painted the lids on both sides. Then I used the inside of a canning jar band as a template and traced  the part of the card that I wanted to use. I used the smallest diameter of the band so that I would have the painted lid as a sort of frame. I cut out the circles and glued them to the lid. I then hot glued a loop of ribbon onto the back so that it could be hung on the tree.

How easy is that? And I repurposed items that I already had so it was FREE :) 

Here are a few of my favorites:

These could be made with any picture or just decorated with paint and glitter. I like the home made Christmas feel of them and it was great to be able to use the Christmas cards that were sent to me in such a permanent and beautiful way. You could even mark who sent the card on the back of the ornament. I always date any new ornaments we put on our tree so we can remember when and how we aquired them. Let your creativity take over and make some of these for your tree.
Merry Christmas :)