Tuesday, April 15, 2014

{Unconventional} Campfire dinners at home!

I've been eating clean for the past two months and here and there before then. I think it all started with my husband finding out he had hidden food allergies a couple years ago. At first it was just his meals that changed, then mine more often and it has since changed to the whole family most of the time. Yes, we still have our nights where I have to throw something together quickly and so it's hot dogs or pizza, but those nights are becoming more and more rare.


Well last week, I made what I call "foiled dinners" and what my husband calls "hobo dinners" (otherwise known as campfire dinners in foil). Typically they consist of russet potatoes, hamburger, onions and carrots. But this time I catered each one to each member of the family.


My husband and one daughter got sweet potatoes rather than russet. I opted for neither. The other kids wanted your typical russet potatoes. I added sweet peppers, summer squash and onions to mine. While my husband can't have the onions and loves asparagus. So I changed out the veggies in each one to make them individualized.



 It was soooo yummy and everyone was happy! You can also change out your meats. We did turkey burger this time, but sausage, or chicken work too. I would love to do fish way too but it cooks so much faster, I might have to play around with which veggies would work in the same amount of time. Anyway, it was great and easy to pop right in the oven rather than in a campfire!


One of my family's fav meals! And clean eating too!
 Just think outside the box!






Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SLAVING AWAY!

I can't believe it's already Wednesday! This week seems to be flying along as I have have been a slave to cutting vinyl for oodles of orders thanks to a featured decal shown on Young House Love a couple weeks ago shown here. Love her house crashing on that site. What a fun idea and great way to see so many ideas! I would LOVE that job! haha Thanks for mentioning me though! :)

Meanwhile, I have snuck a little time here and there to:

gut out my girls room (now the walls are screaming to be decorated and bedspreads to be made!),

(I can't wait to be in our own home again, where I can paint the walls!)

ordered fabric for Easter dresses (which now are ALSO screaming to be sewn!),



threw some chalkboard vinyl on my girls' little table for them,



designed this fun little vinyl waiting to go up on my newly dubbed "wall of wisdom" (quotes) :)

                   

and created some pretty clean eating meals and baked whole wheat bread!

'

Who DOESN'T love homeamade pico/salsa. I discovered I LOVE it on quinoa!

Can't wait to start some more fun stuff, but for now...back to those orders! Thanks for the love everyone! Excited to get them all in the mail to you! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

From this to that Friday Box style

For those of you who are newer on here, Fridays are my favorite, bc I love posting often everyday items that I turn into something else.

A year or so ago I posted "From Box to Bin" here. I took some of the many many many! Girl Scout cookie boxes I had and turned them into cute bins for my house. I still have MORE to do! To date, that is still one of my fav posts. :)

From this:


to...



I even posted a tutorial on how to make this bin yourself on the original post linked to above if you'rein the mood for a little DIY project of your own.



Well, there is sooooo much else you can do with boxes. I never got to show you my kids' Valentine boxes this year, so I thought I would show you those today as more items you can make with a regular box/container around the house.

My daughter used an oatmeal container to make a purple minion for hers. :) Turned out much easier than I thought it would be. He looks a little funny to me, but she was happy, so I was too! :)

And I have to say I absolutely love the trash can my son made out of a Nike shoe box. LOVE!



So, don't throw out ALL of your boxes. Keep a small stash in the attic for that one time you wish you still had some laying around. :) And I'll be showing your more ways to recycle some of that household trash soon too!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

{Fireplace Mantle} Decor on a Dime

If you have visited my blog before, you have probably seen several different variations of decoration on my fireplace mantle this past year. I LOVE changing it up! Whether it's for holidays, birthdays, seasons, you name it! Well this one I thought of back in December. I was thinking about the New Year coming and was thinking that my "theme" for the year should be "blessed". My life is not perfect, nor are my children or husband, nor am I, but I truly do feel blessed. When we take the time to think of the many things that we have in our life, our perspective and attitude changes for the positive. I wanted this constant reminder in our home more. So, here it is!

I love combining ideas, or metal and wood, or old and new, so I tried some of that this time too.


 I used my old fence wood chunky frame again (that you can find on the side of the wood to make a DIY yourself), but added a little color with some fabric flair I got from scraps I had and a little twine.


This was just a scrap piece of pine wood I had laying around. I spray painted it with a metallic hammered metal look and browned the edges trying to get more of an older sign look. I wanted our family to be our "feature presentation" in our home, not the TV or other things. We are all here for each other. So I also included a fam pic and a few more 8x10 fam pics I had (or you can get printed for minimal and threw them up in the negative photo prop frame I have just as is.)




I had a couple of these photo cubes from a couple years ago and thought they would be great to add to the mix and give more height variation son the crackled glass candle holders (which I found at Tuesday Morning back in the clearance section for just $7 ea! Love that store!) I needed one more and had this plain black one that got started for a project and never finished, so I threw a family crest shaped vinyl on it with the first letter of our last name. If you don't have a vinyl cutter, good old fashioned paper and scissors work great too!)


 And then I grabbed some burlap I had and stenciled the letters on and spray painted black to change up the burlap too.


So, all in all, I spent very very little and used mainly what I had around my house. Now I know you might be thinking, but I don't have those around my house. The point is...just change up what you DO have and add a couple of new things and a DIY project or two and you will have a totally updated new look!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who doesn't love good Old Fashioned Scones?!

I remember as a kid, it was a big treat when my mom made these for us! OR I remember at the county fair (I grew up in a fairly small town in Idaho.) that you could smell these as you walked around. (Reminds me of the smell of funnel cakes that you smell at amusement parks today).

Well, my kids love them now too! IN FACT, my 4 year old requested them just other day. She's only had them once before and it sounded like she wanted stones for dinner the way she said it. lol I was completely bewildered for a bit! I can't believe she even remembered them or what they were called but she did! :)

So, here's the recipe for you!

Old Fashioned Scones
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp melted shortening
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups hot tap water
3 Tbsp sugar
5-6 cups flour

Mix together egg and shortening. Mix yeast mixture: yeast, 1/2 cup warm water and 1 T sugar. Let sit and rise. Add yeast mixture to egg and shortening. Mix. Add dry ingredients and water.

Roll out to about a 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Fry in oil at medium heat.

Eat them warm with a dollup of honey butter or top or dip them in it like me kids like to do! :)

They're also good with honey drizzled over them, much like a sopapilla. OR even this cookie butter would be amazing! 

No matter what you eat them with, you'll have a winner!




Good memories. Thanks Mom! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Homemade Sweet Potato Chips!

I've had a couple people ask me about the sweet potato chips I make, so I thought I would show you today!

What do you need? As far as food ingredients, just sweet potatoes and sea salt! Not even olive oil. Now, we have tried to make these for the past couple of year various ways. We've baked them, sliced them ourselves different thicknesses and they were all good, but not all so much like actual chips...

ENTER...some Pampered Chef help. LOVE THESE!!!!

I bought a hand slicer from Pampered Chef that slices the sweet potatoes SO easily and so thin!

I also bought this little microwave silicone trays that you place the slices on, add a bit of salt and microwave!!! So easy and seriously, SO delish!
(I microwaved 3 min and then switched the bottom tray to the top and the top to the bottom and then microwaved another 3 minutes.)



I have to say I still love them made as fries too! Just try and use some coconut oil or the most healthy oil you can, cut them in long strips and throw them in for a bit! Umnum!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pinterest Recipes; Tried and True!

I have a few tried and truly good Pinterest found recipes for you today!

I have been eating pretty clean lately, and found this cinnamon bread on Pinterest a week or so ago. It is flourless! And a bread! YES!!! I found it on Maria Mind Body Health's blog here. It's a great new blog find too! Sooooo many good things there! It's made with whey protein, LOTS of egg whites, egg yolks OR cream cheese (I used the yolks) and cinnamon. Can you believe that's it?! And it made my kitchen smell sooooo good and totally satisfied my carb craving! :) LOVE!
Whey Protein Cinnamon Bread! Use IsaLean or IsaLean Pro French Vanilla.

Another fun one I have is just popping your own popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave. You can do it dry or add a little coconut oil and cinnamon sugar to the mix. Truly worked great! So easy and so much more healthy without everything else they add to microwave popcorn! Plus you get to customize it this way! Add some cajun seasoning, or whatever floats your fancy! Ha! ( I did 3 T of unpopped kernels and very lightly added a little coconut oil. Salt to taste if desired after popped.)

(BTW-found these brightly colored fun bowls at Walmart for a couple dollars and added some cast vinyl to them. Turned out so fun!)

Last one I tried for today was this Chunky Monkey Mini Protein Muffin recipe from Isagenix, although I doubled the oats and made them into little cookies instead. So much more healthy and great little snacks, whether for my kids after school or for me!Chunky Monkey Mini Protein Muffins

Try them all out and let me know what you think!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Whole Wheat Crumb Cake


Remember eons ago when I promised this recipe! Well, it's going to be a whole week of recipes!!! We all don't craft, but we all gotta eat, right? haha

I grew up with my mom making pretty much everything from scratch. In fact the first time I bought some pre-made cookie dough from the store (rather than making it from scratch myself) was when I was pregnant with my 3rd child and I truly felt like I was cheating somehow! lol

I honestly did not appreciate her time she spent in the kitchen to bake bread, cookies, homemade meals, etc until I was married and had kids of myself. I am still amazed and how she made THAT much bread all the time! (There were 7 kids in my fam, so I am sure we went through it pretty fast!) 

And I have come to appreciate another factor is this lately even more. The ingredients she used were some of the most healthy she could. She has a wheat grinder and ground her own whole wheat flour and used honey in most recipes too instead of refined sugars and flours. I KNOW that had to cost a lot more than just buying sugar!

So...I took a recipe that is in our family cookbook and subbed the white flour for all 100% wheat flour. My husband has had some major food allergies in the past few years and is doing better with many of them, but still cannot eat white flour without it bothering him, so whole wheat works much better in our house for more reasons than one.

I was afraid that the crumb cake would turn out dense and not as good and fluffy as the white flour makes it, but I was dead wrong. I loved it! It was great!

So, if you're interested in making some delicious and healthy breakfast crumb cake (Well, as healthy as you can get with a kind of "cake"), here's the recipe!

WHOLE WHEAT CRUMB CAKE
Batter Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup sugar (Organic coconut palm sugar or honey can be subbed here if you want)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg 2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
3 tbsp melted shortening 

Instructions:
Mix dry ingredients. Beat egg and add milk and shortening. Stire liquids into dry ingredients mixing only enough to damped flour. Pour into greased pan, sprinkle with crumb mixture. 

Crumb Topping Ingredients:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup sifted flour (again I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup cracker or bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour, crumbs, and cinnamon. mix and sprinkle over batter before baking. (NOW, my little secret. My husband likes a LOT of crumb topping, so I 4 times the crumb recipe!!!)

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. (I stick a toothpick in the middle and make sure it comes out clean to see if it is done.)

So so good! Yum!

Friday, March 21, 2014

From this to that Friday: DIY Photo Puzzle

I posted this awhile ago (near Christmas) on my Instagram account, but it hadn't made it to the blog yet (like so many other things!), and I LOVE it, so thought I would share it with you!

It's so easy and simple and so fun! A great gift for almost anyone! Your kids, for mother's day, for grandparents. Love it!

I found this wooden "puzzle" frame at Walmart (and also at Oriental Trading for about the same price) and immediately thought how fun would it be with an actual photo on it?

I spray painted the base/frame. Ordered a large photo from Sam's for a couple dollars, trimmed it down to the right size I needed, cut the pic into the same size squares as on the puzzle, and mounted the photo squares with spray adhesive and rubber cement. (Modge podge or decoupage would also work.)


They made great gifts for my little girls. I have two made and another fam pic ready to go. :)
Smiles all around! :)