Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Need an Hour of Me Time?

My little kindergartner had to make a  project with 100 items for the 100th day of school.  So she glued 100 little marshmallows onto a cardboard heart.  And of course little sister wanted to join in the fun.  

The trick for her was to put the marshmallows in a mini muffin pan.  She had so much fun sorting them in the different compartments.  They spent at least an hour doing this! It was awesome! And I able to get some bills paid AND take a shower!

I'm sure there are several items your little ones would have fun sorting in the different muffin tins.
Try some of these:
cotton balls
Scrabble tiles (great for learning their letters)
small carrot/vegetable slices (a fun way to eat lunch!)


Monday, February 21, 2011

A Little Help Here!!!

O.K....so why is it that I'm the closest to the camera...and looking...well...like a marshmallow? Maybe it's because I love marshmallows!  :)
I love having girls night-outs, and spending time with my friends. It's a great time to catch up and talk about the crazy things our kids do!
Anyways, upon downloading this photo...I realized something's gotta change.  My mind is made up. I'm going to the finish line! 

See my new tracker on the top of my blog?
That's my new weight loss tracker! So when I sit down at the computer, I can tell myself to get up and get MOVING!
I've never really cared much about my weight, because I used to be so fit and active.  But in the past few years I've become less active, and more of a home body....and a "stress eater".

This is looking at the beautiful Rockies. We went on a hike a couple days ago, and let me tell you...I got fatigued pretty fast!

So my goal is to be able to ENJOY these awesome views without feeling like I'm about to have a heart attack!
Hopefully every time you look at this blog my little ticker will have moved!

What do you do to stay active??? I'd love to add more ideas to my routine!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trying something new!...Quinoa!

I was recently introduced to the versatile grain (or is it a seed?) of Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA).
In my quest to feed my family a little healthier...this recipe turned out pretty good! I think my kids would have liked it more if it had chicken or ham in it though. This recipe came from my friend Kristy S.  She is an amazing mom who is about to have her 6th child any day. I wish I had her energy! She goes all over the place with her kids.  Well...maybe I'm on my way if I can keep up with all these veggies I've been eating lately! My goodness...sometimes I feel like a rabbit with all the greens I'm eating!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

1 tsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 C diced yellow or purple onion
2 1/2 C water
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 C uncooked quinoa
3/4 C diced fresh tomato
3/4 C diced carrots
1/2 C diced yellow pepper
1/2 C diced cucumber
1/2 C frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 C diced red onion
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Heat the canola oil in saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and 1/4 cup onion about 5 min. Pour in water, 2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Bring to boil. Stir the quinoa into the mixture, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Allow to simmer until quinoa is tender (about 20 min). Drain any remaining water and transfer to a large bowl. Refrigerate until cold.
Stir vegetables into chilled quinoa mixture. Season with cilantro, mint, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the salad; gently stir until evenly mixed.

 I got this at Costco.  The bag says that the quinoa is thoroughly rinsed. Don't believe it!  Both me and my husband bit into something hard...like a piece of sand or something.  So make sure you rinse this off first.  I would use a fine strainer or something. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Cheesecake Tarts...so yummy!

These are just too yummy! I love how small they are, so I don't feel quite so guilty indulging in their sweet goodness!

(I really do wash my pans! They are just stained with the cooking spray!)

Cheesecake Tarts

2 8oz packages cream cheese
3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Nabisco Vanilla wafers

Put 1 vanilla wafer in each cupcake paper.
Cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and lemon juice. Mix.
Fill papers 2/3 full.
Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Chill, and fill with canned pie filling (cherry, blueberry, etc.)
Makes about 20 and uses 1/2 can of filling.
Remove papers before serving.

Enjoy! But try not to eat the whole pan!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

How many sit-ups can YOU do???

So, yesterday I started the Fitness Challenge Competition at our local gym.  The winner gets a year-long membership, and there's also prizes and drawings each of the 8 weeks. 

The point is to lose the most body weight, and percentage body fat.  So I have 8 weeks!

I'm going to tell you how pathetic I am so you can see how AWESOME I'll be in 8 weeks!

Weight: 169.4 lbs
Sit-ups in 60 seconds: 1 (yes...only 1!!!)
Push-ups in 60 seconds: 16 (girl push-ups)
Fat percent: 38.6 %

My height is 5',6", and I'm 35.

*My goal is to be able to do at least 20 sit-ups, and 25 push-ups. And bring my body fat percentage way down.  Oh, and being able to put my wedding ring back on would be nice!

So the funny thing is the trainer ( the cutest little old man) that was assessing me said, "Well, I guess you can only improve from here!"


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wormy Cupcakes and Frosting Recipe

My second oldest son just turned 10.  He's growing up so fast! I think his birthday might be his favorite day of the year.  He requested I make the worm cupcakes for his class this year.

We didn't have a big party with friends this year. It was just a low key family party (my favorite kind).

I had fun playing around with my cake frosting tips.  He thought it was a "cool" cake!

So to decorate the worm cupcakes....

Fill your blender halfway full with some oreos. I used Double Stuff Oreos. 

Pretty simple, and his class loved them!

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

1/3 C softened butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
5 C powdered sugar
1/2 C milk

Using an electric mixer, mix all the ingredients together...but add the powdered sugar and milk a little at a time.  Add more or less powdered sugar and/or milk depending on desired consistency.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Burlap Valentine's Day Wreath

I wish I could take credit for this...but I remember seeing a burlap wreath last year that was just so adorable.  I wish I could remember what blog it was from!

The red burlap fabric was $3.99 per yard at JoAnne's. But I had a 50% off coupon...so I only paid $1.98 per yard!
Want to make one???

*You will need about 3/4 yard for one wreath.  The diameter of my wreath is about 12 inches at the widest point.
*Use wire that is pretty thick so it can hold it's shape.
*Burlap for the roses
*Twine to hang it up.
*hot glue

Cut out strips of burlap. My strips were about 2 1/2 inches wide.  I used 9 strips.

"Sew" the fabric onto your wire.

Make sure you make a loop on the end...or all your hard work will just slide off the end!

Make some fun fabric roses, and hot glue them on.

Here's a video tutorial....
By the way, I've been sick with the flu...so my voice sounds like a frog!

Tie the jute twine, or ribbon, onto the wire for a hanger.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!