Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pimp My Food

Side Note: I've been a little bit MIA lately. Mostly just enjoying my cold house and spending time with my hubby, who is actually NOT working crazy hours right now.

I've been trying to cook more lately and make sure the hubby and I are eating a little healthier, so when I came across this pin on my other lover, Pinterest, about Super Foods I've been working on integrating these (along with other healthy foods) into our diets more.

So, I thought I'd share a few tips for how we've integrated these not always super-exciting super-food items, into our normal, not fancy, it-better-take-less-than-30-minutes meals.

Spaghetti - first, we've actually made the switch over to whole wheat pasta. Some people don't like the texture, I honestly can't tell a huge difference and neither can the hubby. Second, I throw in a big handful of spinach during the last minute I'm boiling the noodles. Just an extra way to get some greens into an otherwise "non-green" meal. We've also started subbing lean Jennie-O ground turkey instead of ground beef... In spaghetti. We tried turkey burgers and were not impressed, but you can't tell a difference in the spaghetti sauce!

Brown Rice - Everyone knows brown rice is better for you than white rice, but it's a little... meh. So a little trick I learn on the Nate Berky Show that gives it a little something extra. I actually saute onions in extra virgin olive oil (you can add garlic or pretty much any veggies that sautes well) and then throw that into my "Dressed-Up Rice." You don't even need to season it.

Foil Packets - this is one I give the hubby full credit for. We used tilapia but you can use any fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon). In a foil packet, throw in a portion of fish, your fave veggies (we used zuchini, red peppers, asparagus and squash), a clove or two of crushed, fresh garlic, 1/2 cup of white wine (now you're talking my language), then throw on the grill for 15 minutes or so. (OK, so I obviously didn't cook this as evidenced by the vague instructions). But you can totally make it your own!

For snacks, I mean aside from the obvious chips and grapes that are ALWAYS on-hand in our home (get it, anyone?), we've now got pistachios and watermelon to snack on. Both GREAT super-foods!

Now as I slowly get off of and back away from my high horse close out this blog post, I must say that in my cabinet, I currently have Reese's Puff cereal (1, it was on sale; 2, it's now made with whole grains) and a container of Oreos. And to top it off, we're having Digiorno pizza tonight for dinner. It's all about variety, right?

Any other good tips for integrating super-foods into yummy meals?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Neighbors, Sweet* Neighbors

I'm not sure if it's the heat we've been living with the past week or the fact that our sweet* neighbor ( no, not that neighbor)always feels the need to make passive-aggressive comments about - oh really everything related to our home.

"Looks like you've got some weeds in your yard." - Sweet Neighbor
(As he's sweating his rear off pulling weeds) "Yep." - Hubby
"Well if you need the name of a lawn company... I mean, MY LAWN doesn't have weeds..." - Sweet Neighbor

Thanks. Really.

"Well, YOU KNOW... the guy who did your fence was a drunk." - Sweet Neighbor
"Um, oh, really? Well that was before we moved in, but we think it's pretty nice." - Me
"Oh, I mean, I guess. But it's not made well. I mean, he smoked weed."
".... ... Really, are you sure about that?" - Me
"Oh yeah..." - Sweet Neighbor

Again, very helpful.

"So you're having issues with the A/C?" - Sweet Neighbor (after I'd mentioned our A/C problem)
"Yes, do you still have the same unit from when the house was built?" - Me
"Oh GAWD no. But yeah, your unit looks terrible. Loud, too." - Sweet Neighbor
"Oh sorry about that." - Me
"Well don't worry, I have a guy..." - Sweet Neighbor


It's for situations I've just narrated that explain why this photo just makes me smile.

Whatever, I'm a child. And yes, I sort of feel like a high school boy with a huge truck that's trying to overcompensate, but my house is cold (or getting there), energy efficient and I'm a happy girl!

*Not actually all THAT sweet

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fort Benson

Reporting live from the effing surface of the sun. Kidding, we're actually in our house. The A/C was "fixed" yesterday, but then an hour after they left, it died again. So, they'll be back on Friday. In the meantime, let me introduce you to my new best fraaaaan.

Her name is Windy. She's an A/C window unit that my sister let me borrowed (left over from when she went through this nightmare a year ago). Let the record be known that I brought this baby girl from my car AND installed it in the window - alone. (Hubby was at work.) I was told it was a two-person job. I was like "unh-uh boyyyyy" (said while snapping fingers in a Z formation, of course).

Here's the old girl in action:

After the 15 minutes it took me to install, I was sweating. Like almost worse than when I tried that hot yoga class (except my house doesn't smell like the bottom of the ball pit at McDonald's, thank-you-very-much). But it's working pretty well and thank goodness because we've got another day until the unit will be "repaired" again.

After I got her up and going, pretty sure I was pacing around the room feelin' all like:

While my sis and bro-in-law have opened their doors to us until it's fixed for good, it's just been tough living out of a suitcase. SO, it's Fort Benson. In the evenings, we lounge in our bedroom with Windy, eat dinner picnic-style (with a little help from our pal, Digiorno), watch TV, whatever. It sort of feels like when you're little and you're living out a tent or fort you made. Except the fort is our bedroom. And we have to pay the bills. Not as fun, but almost.

Ah, so is life. Making the best out of the situation!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

House Crashing

We interrupt this week of complaining to bring you this blog post.

So quick update - our A/C died yesterday. Like died. Fan not blowing, it's 93-degrees-in-our-house-died. No, I'm not exaggerating:

But for the past two nights we've been staying with my sister and brother-in-law (thank goodness!). So, while we're here, I thought I'd do a little house-crashing and share a few cool things I came across. (Side note: my sister is EXTREMELY crafty; like if I'm a crafty bitch, she's a crafty [word so naughty I can't even say].

First, in her guest bedroom, she framed a piece of really cool wrapping paper that they bought in Seattle. So simple, yet really adds something to the room.

She also took this little glass side table, spray-painted it and made a magazine rack. Ca-yute.

So clever - she took a pair of pantyhose (though I'm fairly certain she never actually wore these Granny-tights) and is using it to store her Christmas wrapping paper.

She painted (yes, she has far greater skills than I...) this canvas and framed it with a frame from HobLob.

Finally, this old lamp (originally gold) that's probably 30 years old was spray-painted turquoise. Great accent piece!

So, there's the Tour de My Sister's House. Really, really hoping to be back in my home tomorrow.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Check Yo Self Before You Audit Yo Self

We've recently had one of those "when it rains, it pours" kind of weeks. And when I say "when it rains," I mean "everything breaks." And when I say, "it pours," I mean "all at one time." Our home is wonderful, it's just a few home improvements we're needing to make.

Our house seems to have a little raincloud above it (and no I don't mean literally as I'm pretty sure it's been 100+ degrees with no rain for the past month) and Greg and I have been total Eeyores.

Yes, that Eeyore. (What other Eeyore is there?)

As I've mentioned before, we've had a number of house issues recently. The main one being our A/C unit that is just not cooling our house, so we had some work done but we're not seeing a difference at all.

But the purpose of this blog post is not to complain. We actually did stumble across that I thought was worth sharing.

Our energy company actually offers free energy audits for your home. Ya, fo free.

Now when I think of auditor, of course my mind immediately jumps to my hubby. While he's a different kind of auditor, I always picture him in a large room filled with cigar smoke sitting around a table of people wearing a green visor. Pretty awesome, right?

But I digress.

So, when I found out our energy company offers free energy audits, I signed us right up. Since the hubby was playing house-husband all week (vacation), he met with the energy auditors. They basically go inspect your house and give you tips for how you can save money on your electricity bill, things that need work and they gave us a whole box of 12 energy-efficient light bulbs! All in all, our house is pretty energy efficient (not sure how with a screwed up A/C unit), but they also gave us some good ideas.

I actually think that most energy companies offer free audits so it's definitely worth checking out if you own/rent a home!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guest Bedroom: The Saga Continues (Part Deux)

Aaaand I'm back. I got a little lazy last night so decided to break this into two posts. Maybe I'm just trying to live this up a little longer because I don't think I'm going to be doing any more major home decorating for a while. The hubby and I had a come-to-jesus about really needing new bedroom furniture. And when I say "new," I mean furniture, period. We don't even have a headboard.

So walk with me as I reminisce about my last major update. For now.

I've also been working on the gallery wall - or as I call it, my happy wall - for that room. The idea is featuring photos that make us happy, smile and in some cases, laugh out loud. So, as the spotlight, I found this adorable typography sign from Etsy.

Then I picked out some photos - this was quite a process as there was a lot of content to work with, but then I worried about making sure all our great friends were included. (Disclaimer) That didn't happen, but I'm thinking about doing a gallery wall in our master bedroom (when I finally get to it!), so will definitely use the photos that I didn't use for this wall. That one will include family shots.

I basically copied took some advice from Young House Love in starting the gallery wall. I bought all my frames from IKEA, which cost about $50 total for 8 5X7 frames and 1 8X10 frame. Um, score. Then, I edited and printed the photos and placed them in the frames. (Funny how I put that into one simple sentence although this process took me forever...) I cut out paper the size of the frames and taped them to the wall so I could decide on a design before blindly hammering (which I'm pretty sure is never a good idea) - another YHL tip.



So, there's my wall of happy. :-) I might actually add in a few more frames as it looks a little sparse, but I'm pretty pleased.

Pleased because I get to walk in and laugh out loud at this photo everyday:

Get weepy (in a good way) reminiscing over this photo:

Or get inspired to be a little more fratty over this gem:

I think everyone needs a happy wall. And I think I need to do one in every room.

The End.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Guest Bedroom: The Saga Continues (Part 1)

Pretty sure I've been talking about this guest bedroom re-do for MONTHS now and I'm excited that I finally have SOME progress. I've been moving slow - one, I have a full-time job and some busy weekends this summer; two, all of this costs money and we've been spending quite a bit on some other "high priority home needs." But, on to the updates!

First, I've added some no-sew curtains. If you're interested in doing no-sew curtains, read step-by-step directions on how I did my first ones or just Google how to do it. Hem tape is super-easy to use. I found some fabric that I absolutely loved on It's called Midwest Modern Optic Blossom Linen (say that three times fast) by Amy Butler and I think I'm in lurve.

The hubby loved approved of it, too, and lucky us it was on sale. It was normally $9.99/yard, which isn't too bad, but I had to order 5 yards and was trying to do this on a budget. The sale price was $7.18, plus a 10% off coupon code I found online and free shipping and I was sold.

And here's the final product:

I'm pretty excited to have spent 75 bucks on the curtains ($38 for the fabric, $37 for the curtain rod and rod clips from Tarjay), especially considering others I had researched on Etsy and otherwise would have cost upwards of $150.

Will post the other update tomorrow! Y'all come back now.