Friday, March 29, 2013

Come On Spring!

It snowed three times last week.  Also, green things started coming out of the ground.  I think mother nature is confused.  I hope we have seen the last of the snow.  Last Thursday morning my onion plants came (while it was snowing) and I took a few photos to document mother nature's confusion.
Now maybe this isn't that far fetched, crocuses do come up early.
I was glad to see these daffodils coming up, I had transplanted them to the front of the house from the middle of the back yard last year and was not sure that that transplantation would work.
This is the garlic I planted in the garden in the fall! I always get so excited when my gardening works, I just hope that these late snows do not cause any issues.  I was glad to see that they came up through the four inches of mulched leaves that we filled up the garden with last fall.
I decided that we needed some pick-me-ups inside the house.  I got these on sale at the grocery store on St.Patrick's day after trying to force some bulbs failed.  The runner is new too, it's from Target's Threshold line, I could buy it all.
Pin success! I pinned this pallet are from here and used my new (out of the box, I've had it for months) Silhouette Cameo to make the bunny design. I'm so happy with the way it came out.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Totally Obsessed:

Image from
OXO calls it the LiquiSeal travel mug. I call it invincible.  We have two one in pink and one in blue.  I have dropped mine more days than I haven't dropped it.  It never spills, we've had them for at least a year and we haven't broken them yet, which, is pretty miraculous considering how frequently I drop mine. Everyone should have one, ours came from Target. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lent Weeks 5 and 6

These two weeks were a little crazy, Bruce was away and I did some serious detoxing. Once Bruce's trip was scheduled I decided it would be the perfect time to give up coffee.  Once I started thinking about no coffee, I decided I should do week one of Whole Living's Detox Challenge.  It was rough, I did four full days of no caffeine, sugar, dairy, gluten or anything processed. On Monday (day 1) the headache was so bad I decided to turn our bathroom into a sauna and sweat everything out. Now that it is over, I feel so much better, particularly I have so much more energy. Bruce got a pass on our Lenten sacrifices because he was traveling out of the country for work.
Bathroom Sauna: (This is not out of focus that is steam!) Fill a very hot bath very slowly with the door closed and the fan off.  Do Not get into very hot tub, add cold water and don't scald yourself. The extra sweating helps eliminate toxins from your system, remember to replenish with lots of water.

What We Ate: (pre-travel/detox)
Wednesday: no idea it was two weeks ago!
Thursday: no idea
Friday: Black Bean Burger I added shredded carrots and used more bread crumbs
Saturday: no idea, possibly we ordered pizza
Sunday: Corned Beef and Cabbage with Beers (for St.Patrick's Day)

What I Ate: (detox)
Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Smoothie and Roasted Corn, Red Pepper Soup
Dinner Monday: Roasted Veggies and a salad
Dinner Friday: Homemade Mac&Cheese with parents

What We Ate: (post-travel/detox)
Saturday: Black Bean Burger same batch, frozen just as good
Sunday: Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew
Tuesday: Eggplant Parm

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate Kettle Corn

Over Christmas I had picked up a bag of this chocolate kettle corn.  It was magical.  Two weeks ago I found myself wanting more, but not wanting to leave the house.  I googled around and decided I could make it at home.  I used this Kettle Corn recipe which came out great. So, I added chocolate because like bacon, chocolate makes most things better. It was magical and only took me took about twenty minutes.

Recipe: Fills one gallon zip top bag.
* adapted from 

One batch of Kettle Corn
1/2 Cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Make your kettle corn
  • Spread kettle corn in one layer on a sheet pan. For easy cleanup line your pan with tin foil.
  • Melt chocolate chips.
  • Spoon melted chocolate into a small zip top bag, smoosh into one of the bottom corners and twist the bag tight. see photo below
  • Snip the chocolate corner and drizzle the chocolate over the kettle corn.
  • Try to wait until the chocolate hardens.

Linking at:
A Diamond in the Stuff

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recipe: Ginger Tea

Like I mentioned last week, I've gotten into the habit of having tea every night before bed.  Now, I don't particularly remember where I read this, but, ginger is supposedly very good for your liver.  There are also many other health benefits that you can check out here and here (I liked this one because it was funny and the headline was ME) or by all means google around yourself.  I usually brew up a big batch Monday night and store it in a mason jar in the fridge, microwaving when I want some.  I can tell you that I sleep SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Recipe: 4-5 cups

1 Quart Boiling Water
~2 inches of Ginger Root sliced thin

  • Slice ginger.
  • Steep for minimum of twenty minutes, I let mine go over night. 
  • Enjoy with swanky honey, but maple syrup might be fun too.  Play around with your steeping time and how much ginger you use, start slow it can get spicy!  If you don't have fancy steeping apparatus either strain or wait until cool and pick the slices out with your fingers.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I just signed up for this and I'm so excited.  I use google reader to follow most of my favorite blogs but after the news this week that google is discontinuing this service it was time to find something different and this is it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Totally Obsessed:

I've gotten into this fantastic bedtime routine.
Ginger tea with this amazing honey.
Slice ginger, steep in hot water, enjoy with honey.
Don't let the bed bugs bite.
Have an excellent weekend!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lent Week 4

We've reached the half way point!  So technically Lent is seven-ish weeks, so I counted this weekend as the half way mark.  We started out pretty grumpy but after a productive weekend we had both gotten out of the funk.  We weighed in, and have both lost a good amount of weight, which, is a nice perk.
Sunday Night Dessert: Vanilla Tea with Hand-Made SnowCaps
What We Ate:
Wednesday: Roasted beet, rice salad
Thursday: I worked late and had left-overs, Bruce had tomato soup and grilled cheese.
Friday: Eggplant Cacciatore Subs
Saturday: Out for Pepe's Pizza with Tim and Nikki
Sunday: Cheesy Rigatoni with Roasted Potatoes and Cabbage
Monday: Egg and Cheese Sandwiches
Tuesday: Noodle Bowls

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recipe: Eggplant Cacciatore Subs

For this I combined two of my go-to meals; Eggplant Parmesan Subs and Chicken Cacciatore Subs.  Eggplant parm is a go-to during Lent when I've had to much pizza and Chicken Cacciatore Subs are a Rachel Ray recipe that is one of my dad's favorites.  I wanted to use some air baked breaded eggplant slices that I had in the freezer.  My first thought was eggplant parm, then eggplant parm subs, then but there should be more veggies, then I can do chicken cacciatore and substitute eggplant for the chicken. So these were born and I think they will be a go-to in the future.

Recipe: For 2

3 Large Slices of Eggplant Air Baked (instructions below)
Half package Baby Bella (Crimini) Mushrooms sliced
Half medium onion
Half bell pepper
3/4 small jar marinara sauce
2 Ciabata Rolls
4 slices Provalone cheese
Olive Oil


  • Pre-heat your oven to 375.  Over medium low heat, cook mushrooms in a covered saute pan until soft.  Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then add onions and peppers.  Increase heat to medium and saute vegetables until the onions are soft.  Add sauce and decrease heat to a simmer, this is the cacciatore.  
  • Coat a small frying pan with olive oil and heat to medium.  Use thing pan to re-heat your eggplant slices and brown the crust. Once the eggplant is golden brown and re-heated, remove from the pan and cut in half.
  • While the eggplant is re-heating, slice open your rolls.  I like to slice them so that only two sides are open making a pocket, this way the subs much less messy to eat.  Spread a little sauce in the roll.   Place three eggplant halves in each roll, top with the cacciatore then cheese. Your fingers will get a bit messy because the roll is not all the way open.  Cover a sheet pan with tin foil place subs on it and stick it in the oven.  Bake at 375 until the cheese is nice and melty. 
Air Baked Eggplant:  Slice and Salt your eggplant.  Dredge in egg, then bread crumbs (flavored as it please you).  Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan and lay your breaded eggplant slices on it.  Bake at 350 until browned.  
To Freeze: Place cooled, air baked eggplant slices on a sheet pan. Freeze.  Once slices are frozen they can be collected into a freezer bag.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thoughts of Spring

Around the end of January I got a little excited about ordering supplies for seed starting. As you can see a litte ment eighty five dollars and a shopping cart so big that I had to take two screen shots to show everything.
Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Time to start the peppers. Gather your supplies
Label the tray! This helps you remember what is what and where things are planted.
Plant your seeds as directed.  This year I picked Go Green seed starting kits and instead of the plastic dome cover it came with a plastic wrap~ish cover.
Next realize that the basement should be declared a disaster area and that the spot that your grow table was set up last year is full of crap and in the dead center of the basement. 
"Interview" Prospective areas for the grow table
Tidy your chosen spot.

Then; Setup your table, hang your light, dig through Christmas boxes to find a light timer, string an extension cord through the rafter supports, plug in timer, plug in grow light, set timer and put your seedlings under the light.
Realize that this year it is sixty degrees in the basement this year because the heating pipes have been insulated. Freak out because this is to cold for seedlings to grow and order a heat mat, get your head back right before you pay way extra for rush shipping.
The heating mat arrived at the beginning of last week and by the weekend I was doing the happy dance because everything had sprouted! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Favorite Apps

I've had my iPhone for a solid year now and out of my 106 (hangs head in shame) apps, these are my go-to apps.
1-4: Facebook, Instagram, WeatherChannel and Twitter After my email the first things I check in the morning.
5: Audible Audio books.  I have a $15 per month membership = one audiobook monthly, I do a lot of independant projects at work and this is a life saver.
6: Pandora Internet radio, also a life saver and great for dancing in the kitchen.
7: NPR We use this to stream the BBC every night as we're going to bed and in the car on long drives.
8: Tap Paradise Cove I'm totally addicted to this game, I think I'm on level 25
9: HomeRoutine This is a household chores check list with AM, PM, daily and weekly lists; it also gives you a focus zone every week for deep cleaning areas of the house.  It has been so helpful reminding me to switch the laundry and prep dinner.
10: BodyBot "Personalized" workout routines, I like check-off lists and it is cheaper and less embarrassing than a trainer.
11: GroceryGadget A checkoff shopping list.
12: GasCubby Keeps track of MPG's and how much you are paying for gas.  Great for new SUV owner!
13: Blogger Good for writing posts on the go, also helpful for uploading iPhone photos.
14: TV Guide Easier than the guide on our TV, also the search function works amazingly
15: PicStitch Quick and easy photo collages
16: Bank of America Do I have enough for this super cute thing from Target?

These keep me entertained and organized and if you don't have them you should!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lent Week 3

We're still going strong.  Even with a growler of BBC in the fridge softly calling Christine, Bruce come drink me.  We were super carb heavy this week, I won't lie I was being a bit lazy and we discovered a new pizza place near us. I finally got back into my groove Sunday night cooking.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Balsamic Sauce

What We Ate:
Wednesday: Pizza
Thursday: 3 Bean Chili
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Chili Nachos

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Master Style

Looking back, our bedroom has come a long way.  Here you can see what it looked like when we bought the house.  Gross walls and curtains straight out of the seventies. The closet looked just as gross as the walls.
Before I started working in November of 2010 I painted the closet and bedroom, purchased new curtains, bedding and accent pillows.
Here is where we stand now.  We've always had the dresser and hamper, the bedding was on our wedding registry (West Elm discontinued).  We are still using a footstool and a storage cube for night stands and the duvet cover is busy so we need a few solid accent pieces for the bedding.
Still To Do:
Night Stands
Paint the "holidays" on the ceiling.
White Curtains
New Accent Pillows
Paint Fountain (on the dresser)
Art on the Walls
Customize Closet
New Shade for the overhead light

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekend Update

If you're not hearing the SNL weekend update music, go to NBC, watch a Weekend Update, and come back, I'll wait.

We went to the home show and got a couple of good leads on contractors for the second floor modifications and one to refinish the hard woods.

We watched movies and snuggled with dogs, we're dog sitting for my parents while they are on vacation.
Bruce fixed the gauges in the Envoy.  It will be nice to how fast I'm going finally. The speedometer gave up on the way home the day we bought it, so I haven't known how fast I have been driving since December.
I learned how to do a fishtail braid, worked on some crafty projects, went food shopping, ran errands, and tidied the house.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Closet Floor: Located.

My parents are going away next week and borrowing our medium suitcase.  We have a luggage set that lives like a set of nesting dolls in our cedar closet, which is a cozy arrangement until you try to use them and the cedar closet vomits all over the office. Like so.
In preparation for this eventuality, I had purchased a new hanging closet organizer and drawers for it at Ikea. Full disclosure my plan was to assess the cedar closet when we were cleaning the office weeks ago but the blitz clean for the appraisal side-tracked me.
I separated the mess into piles: travel supplies, beach towels, summer clothes, Bruce bathing suites, Christine bathing suites and cover-ups, hats, purses, blankets, Bruce bags, Christine bags and TOSS.  "Bags" think backpacks and duffle bags.
Then I loaded up the new organizer, complete with an empty drawer; re-folded everything and loaded up the shelf; all of Bruce's bags went into his snowboarding bag and all of mine went into my largest duffle, duffle stacked onto snowboarding bag on the closet floor. Done.
It is wonderful, don't you love a good Before and After?  It makes me want to put things away and I made a point to show Bruce where everything now lives.  This way he can find things when he is packing and put them away when he's unpacking (he's so much better at unpacking than I am, when I packed for last weekend I had to unpack things from Christmas travel!!!!)  Now, which closet to take remaining summer clothes out of bedroom or cedar ? ? ?