Sunday, January 30, 2011

How does your garden grow

A few years ago I decided on gardening and planted a few things.  Then I totally forgot about it and the rosemary bush got so big it killed everything else and took over.

Next to the rosemary some sort of week and grass mixture grew.  Isn't it hideous?  Well, I have the gardening bug again and this time I am really getting into it.  My dad has always had a super green thumb and been able to grow all sorts of veggies in his backyard.  In the past I have killer just about every plant I have ever had.  I think a lot had to do with the lack of watering (which I hear is very important to plants).  

Here it is with everything cleaned out.  I was going to make one big box but do you see that sprinkler head right there in the middle?  Well, it would be buried in dirt if I did that so I decided on two boxes 64"x40" instead.  I'm going to add rocks to that small strip between the two boxes.

I built this sucker myself.  It is a little off because the guy that cut my wood at Lowes didn't cut it right.  I need to get an electric saw and start cutting the stuff myself.

  I still need to build the second box and I need quite a bit more soil.  Once all that is done I will be able to transplant all my plants.

If anyone had any gardening tips I would love to hear them.


What I ate

Breakfast
I've never been a huge fan of oatmeal, the soggy mush texture just doesn't do it for me.  Steel cut oats on the other hand yum!  They are the same in the fact that they are made from oats but the texture is much different.  The negative to steel cut oats is the cooking time, you can't just add hot water and whambam they are done.  They take time cooking and is totally worth the wait.  I found a recipe for a crock pot version and modified it to meet my needs.

Add 3 cups of water in a pot on the stove.  Once it starts boiling add some salt and 1 cup of Steel Cut Oats ( I use Bob's Red Mill brand).  Also add 1 cup of frozen peaches and 1 cup of frozen blueberries (be healthy and get just the frozen fruit without any added sugar).  You can add your own sweetner, sometimes I like to use agave nectar.  It is much sweeter than sugar and isn't suppose to cause your blood sugar to spike.  I'm sure you can use splenda if you prefer, I'd suggest stevia if you have never tried it (this is what I use most of the time).  Now turn that stove to low and cover.  I cook mine for about 50 - 60 minutes on low stirring frequently.  I know this sounds like a long time but it gives the fruit a chance to breakdown a bit and makes it extra delish.

Lunch
Chicken & Quinoa soup on the fly
When you can't find anything to eat just throw some stuff together in a pot and you can have a meal.  I guess if you are trying to lose weight and watch what you eat those drive throughs can be killer.  In attempt to be healthier this what I came up with.

Get a big pot or dutch oven, I always laugh when I say or see dutch oven.  Haha if you don't know google it.  Anywho... Chop up an onion and saute in the pot with a tad bit of olive oil, the olive oil spray works too if your hand can't handle the term a tad.  Mince up some garlic and add it to the pot, I use 2 or 3 cloves depending on the size or how much you like garlic.  Then add 4-5 cups of fatfree chicken broth.  I don't usually measure I'm more of an eyeballer.  To that add 2 cups of thinly chopped cabbage, about a tablespoon of tomato paste, herbs (use what you have on hand I used 1/2 tsp of basil and a dash of oregano, salt, pepper.  I had about 3/4 of a pound of boneless/skinless chicken breasts which I sliced up thin and threw in the pot for some protein and make sure you remove any fat bits.
While that is simmering away cook half a cup of quinoa according to the directions on package (mine take about 12mins) Once those are done cooking throw it into the pot you have been simmering.  Last but not least I julienned some zucchini and plopped them into the pot.  I cooked it for about another 20mins or so making sure the chicken was completely cooked.  I'm sure you can add any assortment of vegetables you want, I just used what was on hand since this was something I made on the fly.  It was quick, easy, cheap, healthy and most important it tasted good.  






Friday, January 28, 2011

Love is in the air




I found this pattern here.  Nail color: Essie-foot loose

February is almost here and that means Valentine's Day.  Which also reminds me I am going to be another year older, not always wiser.

Valentine's seems to be hit or miss with people.  You either love it or hate it.  I'm curious, do you celebrate it?  If so, what do you do?

Becky is having a Valentine's giveaway over at her super crafty fun blog.  Go check it out, you might win some valentine cards to pass out to your friends or co-workers.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Foxy

I need to stock up on some yarn so I can get started on crocheting Mr. Fox and his snazzy bow tie.

Try try again

I attempted to bake some french bread a few weeks ago and the results were not the best.  I was happy that the dough doubled in size, yeast and water temp can be a little tricky sometimes.  For some reason the final product was too dense and the crust too hard and thick. (I think I added too much flour).  The bread was edible right out of the oven but after a few hours it was like a rock.
 
The kid won't be home this weekend (he is my taste tester) so I will be researching for the next week on how to make better bread.  I will give it another go next weekend.

Looking back

 
 
 
 

I felt more creative when I was in my twenties.  I spent a lot of quality time with my camera....art, design, and typography consumed me.  Then something changed, some life changing events that took me away from the things I loved to do.  Now looking back I wonder where I would be now if I had not strayed away.  

These photos are from somewhere around 2002 or 2003, a little project I did with a white shirt.




Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Miss you much

I miss my BFF...why do you have to be so far away? 
I wish it were as easy as saying "hey, grab your laptop and meet me at the coffee shop I have a whole lot of nothing I want to talk to you about."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

somewhere out there

Sometimes I feel like this place has an identity crisis and I wonder what I am trying to do here.  There are crafts but is it really a craft blog?  I'm a mom but I wouldn't consider this a mommy blog.  There are ramble fests sometimes but is there anything of real substance?   I wonder how people decide how much of themselves they choose to show the world.  

Do people want to get personal and talk about stuff like birth control and brazilian whoha waxes?  Do you blog for yourself or do you always have the "readers" in mind?  I'm nosey and I like to read about people's lives.  I enjoy seeing pictures of their babies, reading engagement stories, laughing at their funny recounts of falling in public.  If this is the case should you give what you get?


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Craft Room peeks

Deco Tapes
In the process of cleaning
Book shelves.

Granny

Sometimes I feel like an old lady.  I've been working on this blanket for months now and I am about 1/3 of the way done.  I didn't realize it was going to use so much yarn and take so long either but I think that is what makes it a little more special.  I can't wait until it is done and I can give it to the recipient, I know it will be loved and treasured.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The great weigh in


About a gagillion people make the same resolution every year to lose weight and give it a variety of names…”get healthy, lifestyle change, blah blah blah” it’s all the same.  People just want to lose weight.  Finding motivation can sometimes be difficult, I know it is for me.  What would your best motivator be?  What is going to keep you on track?  It’s easy to lie to yourself, make excuses, deny deny deny.




What if you had to be accountable to someone else?  Maybe that would keep you going.  I sure hope it keeps me going.  Starting tomorrow I am going to be in the office “biggest loser” contest.  It’s pretty simple, $5 to join.  We weigh in every Friday if you lose weight- great, if you maintain you pay $1, if you gain you pay $2.  If you quit and bail out you pay $10.  At the end of 12weeks the winner gets the cash!
Time to trade in the muffin tops.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

completed project

The binding is less than perfect but the mug rug is done.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mug rug

Have you ever heard of a mug rug?  I've been seeing them around for awhile now and have wanted to make one for the longest time.  They are basically large quilted coasters for your coffee/tea mugs that can range from very plain and basic to extremely extravagant.  My first attempt was during halloween and was a FAIL.  The problem is I never learned how to quilt and all the sewing I know I taught myself so most of the time I'm winging it.      

Since I had the day off today I decided to give it another go.  I spent a while trying to decide on some fabric combos and designs.  This is about as basic as it gets, just 5 strips of fabric sewn horizontally.  To add a little something extra I hand stitched a felt hedgehog on the center linen panel.
This is the backing.  I like the way the quilting stitches (or whatever they are called) look on the backside, I'm not too crazy about how they look on the front.

All I have left is a final pressing and then the binding.  The ironing I can mange the binding... well let's just say I'm terrified.  I don't even know how to begin, I guess I will be googling some how to's.  If anyone knows of any good ones that a 2nd grader could figure out please let me know.  

I seriously think I am going to ruin this thing once I get started on the binding so I made sure to take photos just in case this ends up in the trash.

Examples of some that I have been eyeballing:

day two

I got through day two but I think I am  going create a page just for the 365 photos.




Sunday, January 2, 2011

day one and then some


I wanted to start my 365 photo project today but I didn't even get out of my pajamas.  I've been coming down with something the past few days and have spent more time sleeping than awake.  I look like crap but I think all the rest had paid off and I am feeling much better.


On a more colorful note I have been making mini cupcakes.  The frosting on the pink one has been attached but still needs a cherry on top and a probably a face.  The blue and green frosting tops have not been attached and are unstuffed.  I have quite a few more colors lined up so we will see how far I get tonight.  The fella and I have a kinect sports rematch scheduled for tonight so they might have to wait until tomorrow.  I was planning on offering these up to whomever wants to trade them.  If you want one send me your address via email secretlylovespink@gmail.com and I will send you one.  Once you receive your cupcake send me anything back in return.  Pretty easy eh?