Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolate Oatmeal

Yup.  That says exactly what you think it says.  Chocolate oatmeal.  Let's take a minute and pause for excitement...

I loooove breakfast.  And I love eating a really delicious breakfast.  However, my work schedule doesn't really allow time for the kind of breakfast I would like.  I leave for work at 6:30, who wants to cook/eat breakfast that early.  So most days I end up grabbing breakfast at my desk once I'm already at work.  That means it's a bowl of cereal, a smoothie, an egg muffin, you know something super simple.

Well, I made a great discovery.  Yesterday (I think) I got a Pillsbury email, one of those with recipes.  It included a recipe for chocolate crockpot oatmeal.  Um, I'm a complete failure at planning ahead.  So even when I have great crockpot plans, half the time I end up have to hurry my food along on the stove because I've forgotten to put stuff in the crockpot before I left for work.  Fail.

But I figured I could whip up some chocolate oatmeal in the microwave.  Spoiler, I was right.  And I have no pictures to share because it turns out microwaved chocolate oatmeal in a Tupperware container does not look especially glamorous or delicious, but trust me, it is delicious.

So, here's what you do.  Grab a bowl, dump in 3/4 cup Old Fashioned or Steel Cut Oats.  Add an envelope of hot chocolate mix.  Pour in about 1/2 cup of milk (eyeball it til it looks right).  Microwave for about 3 minutes, stirring to make sure you don't have an oatmeal volcano in your microwave.  Let it cool for a couple of minutes and enjoy.

And if you're like me and your milk came out of a school milk carton, drink the rest of the carton with your oatmeal.  Yum!  And it just seems so decadent.  It's not even absolutely terrible for you, I'm sure we could healthy it up with actual cocoa and some splenda or something.  But even with instant hot cocoa mix, it's delish.

What are you guys eating for breakfast these days?  Anybody else a complete breakfast person?  I totally love breakfast for dinner, unfortunately that gets voted down at my house.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Work it Wednesday

Hey, Work it Wednesday is actually happening on a Wednesday.  I'm going to go ahead and give myself a gold star.  So, for the sake of transparency, this has been a terrible working out week.  Two days I didn't work out at all.  Like nothing.  And on those two days I ate everything I wanted to.  A BLT pizza (yes, it's as delicious as it sounds), Mediterranean food, steak...  Man, it was all so good.  And since my Diet Bet is over, my motivation has gone down somewhat.  I'm still trying though.  And I"m trying to make myself stick with it.

So, here's the break down for the week:
I biked 38.12 miles.  Up 6.35 miles from last week.  I've been trying to bike 9 miles a day.  There were obviously a couple of days I did way less and a couple days I did nothing.
I walked 3.5 miles.  Down 3.11 miles.  Blah.  I hate the treadmill.  And I figure biking extra miles makes up for the lack of treadmill time.
And I've done 30 Day Shred exactly once in the past week.  Fail.

This morning I was running too late to pack my gym bag.  I really need to get better at packing it before I go to bed.  So I'm going to have to make myself workout at home.  I should be able to.  I have a bike.  I have an elliptical.  I have workout videos and weights.  The problem is sitting down when I get home.  I can't do it.  If I do, nothing else gets done.

But, here's to a better report next week.  I'm going on a mini-vacation this weekend so it's going to be tough.  I'm going to make myself exercise some before I go fishing with my husband.  And I'm going to try to make healthier choices when we go out to eat.  The wine....  I make no promises on that.  It counts as a fruit though, right?

So, how do you guys stay motivated?  Any tips for not hating the treadmill?  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Kitchen Ideas

Yesterday while I was at the gym I was watching Love it or List it.  I kind of hate that show.  But they were working on a kitchen on this particular episode.  And that got me thinking about our kitchen.  We don't have tons of cabinet space.  And we definitely don't have a pantry.  We have a lazy susan cabinet that has some food in it.  The top cabinet to the right of the stove has food in it.  And then I keep cereal and stuff in a bottom cabinet by the dishwasher.  So, it's pretty much scattered all around the kitchen.  It's fairly ridiculous.

So, I'm kind of thinking I can build (with the help of my dad) a pantry.  We have a floor to ceiling cabinet beside the stove.  It has the vent for the furnace, the stove, or something.  I don't really know.  I just know it's a big pipe...  I store the broom, the mop, our lunch boxes, and food wrap in there.  The upper part of that cabinet has hot pads, my cookbook rack, and my food scale. 
Okay, so there's the cabinet beside the stove.  And I'm kind of thinking I could build a pantry on the same side of the kitchen but beside the fridge.  I think it would kind of cap things off perfectly.  It wouldn't be quite as big as this cabinet.  But it would be perfect pantry size.  And it could also house our trash can I think.

So see, there's just this extra space there on the side of the fridge.  And the wall is just kind of awkward.  It might just be the storage solution I've been looking for.

Even from the front it looks unfinished.  And I hate walking into our house and seeing that trash can.  Not the most attractive thing ever.  I could even do chalkboard paint on the side for my weekly menu.  Or make it magnetic or something so that it was still totally functional.

What do you think?  Anybody else tried adding on to your cabinetry?  I'm also thinking this might mean I could reface all of my cabinets to get rid of that super 70-ness.  Now I just have to convince my dad and my hubby that this is a good idea.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Dream

No, not the kind you have at night.  The kind of things you hope for and wonder if you could ever make happen.The kind of thing the practical side of you, the side that has bills to pay, responsibilities, and a masters degree, tells you are silly and not going to pay the mortgage.

You may have realized by now that I love baking.  It's one of my favorite things.  What, you say it's your birthday?!  Can I bake you cupcakes for whatever celebration you're having?  Or can I bring a pie for you to take to your next holiday celebration?  Have you had my butterscotch brownies?  No?!  Let me make you some!

So, in my silly little dream I want to have a little tiny bakery.  And just do cupcakes.  And pies, but just cream pies.  And brownies.  And anything else that sounds good at the moment.  Never full sized cakes.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

And there's a tiny little building in the town where I live that would be perfect.  It's adorable.  The building can't be more than 10x10.  I would paint the building pink.  A pretty cheery, bright pink.  With the palest of pink trim and door.  And I would have a cute little easel sign outside.  And because I'm ridiculous, it would look kind of like this.

Except it would have a picture of one of my actual cupcakes.  Not just one I found by doing a Google image search for a pink cupcake...

And I would name my sweet treats after people I know.  What kind of treat would you want named after you?  Anybody else have a wild dream of what they want to be when they grow up?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Fashion

Weather in Missouri is feeling like fall, at least for a couple of days.  I'm ecstatic.  I'm not usually too into fall but this year I'm super ready for it.  I'm ready for cooler weather, cozy clothes, bonfires, and cranberry Sierra Mist.  Priorities, people!  I love me some cranberry Sierra Mist.

Anyway, since I didn't buy any new clothes for back to school, I'm planning to pick up a few new things for fall.  I may have accidentally on purpose ordered a couple of new pairs of boots from Payless the other day.  I'm not usually a Payless kind of girl, but I have kind of beefy calves and it's one of the few reasonably priced places that stock extended calf boots.  And I need some tall boots for fall/winter.  So I ordered them in black and brown.  But with a coupon code and buy one get one half, I got both pairs for around 75 bucks.  I call that a serious deal!
These are going to be so cute with skinny jeans and sweaters!  And dresses and leggings!  I cannot wait!  There supposed to be on my porch tomorrow by the time I get home.  Too bad it's supposed to be back in the 80s the rest of the week.  I may just wear them anyway.

I'm also really wanting a chambray button down dress.  Even though every ounce of my being is reminding me that's what my mother wore when I was in middle school.  It's fashionable though, right?  With leggins and boots.  And a big chunky belt.  I'm thinking one of these from Target.
(1, 2)

Also, I'm loving this shirt.  I think.  I might hate it in person.  Or maybe I should just keep losing weight so I can fit in the plaid shirt I already have.  But this one is red.  And red is one of our school colors, we're supposed to wear school colors if we wear jeans on Fridays.  So I could wear jeans and still wear a cute non-school shirt.  I'm going to have to see it in person.

And I really want some gold-ish/bronze-ish flats.  I used to have a pair of kind of gold Skechers flats that I loved.  Remarkable for me because I hate Skechers.  It's just a personal preference, I blame it on working in a shoe store for 4 years.  Anyway, they were the best flats in the world.  They were the perfect color.  I wore them all the time.  Without socks.  Yes, I know I'm gross.  I bought them while I was still in college.  I graduated from college in 2005.  So I'd had them a hot minute.  Last year I finally decided the just smelled too bad and that I had to throw them out.  

Every day when I get dressed, I regret throwing them away.  They were perfect for so many outfits.  Like today:  tan skinny jeans, cream 3/4 sleeve shirt, and a scarf.  I need my gold flats.  I have on cream and blue striped ones, they don't match.  So, if you know of any amazing gold-ish flats that are reasonably priced please tell me!  You will be my best friend forever!  I will bake you a cake!  And give you a giant hug.  And tell everyone how you saved my fashion life.

Okay, the dramatics are over.  What are your must-haves for fall?  Anybody else having the great 90s dilemma with the return of chambray?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Work it Wednesday (on a Monday)

Remember a long time ago when I used to do Work it Wednesday?  Okay, probably not.  It was barely a thing.  I did it like twice.  So I'm not sure it counts for anything.  But, I'm bringing it back.  That way my little DIY-crafty-home improvey-foodie blog doesn't turn into a fitness blog.  Because believe me, I am no fitness expert.  But I do think it's fun to share my little journey.  So it's getting added to the mix.  We'll see if it sticks this time around.  I might even try to come up with an actual blogging schedule and blog about certain things on certain days.  Wild, I know.  We'll see though.  For now, today is Work it Wednesday, even though it's really Monday.

My DietBet is almost over.  I'm pretty sure I'm not going to win.  Unless the ole fat decides to go ahead and cooperate, with 2 more pounds magically melting off.  The annoying thing is, I had it totally won like two weeks ago.  Then Labor Day happened and I chowed on leftover Labor Day party food for a whole week.  And of course it wasn't healthy.  So I porked back on a lot of the weight I had lost.  I've re-lost 5 of the pounds in the past week which I realize is really good, but it's still frustrating. 

Even if I didn't win, I'm super glad I did the DietBet.  It was a great kick start.  I feel so much healthier.  I don't really see any change in the mirror, but I feel better.  And I know I'm making healthy choices that will pay off in the long run.

So, just for funsies, here's a breakdown of my workouts for the past week:
  • I biked 31.77 miles.  Holy cow!  That's way more than I expected.  I usually try to do at least 3 miles a day.  Yesterday I knocked it out of the park and did 8 but wimped out and only walked 1/2 a mile.  I had a Chiefs game to get home and watch.
  • I walked 6.61 miles.  Not very good but I didn't go to the gym on Tuesday because I wasn't feeling well, so I just biked 6 miles at home.  And then yesterday was only half a mile.  I think this week will be better.
  • I did 30 Day Shred six out of seven days.  I failed on that yesterday, but I think the 8 mile bike ride kinda sorta compensates.  Maybe?  Or maybe that's just making excuses.  But once again, football took priority.
What do you guys do to stay healthy?  How do you stay motivated?  I totally bribe myself!  I'm buying myself a new nail polish since I worked out everyday last week.  And for every ten pounds I lose, I reward myself.  Not with food, with fitness stuff or clothes or something.  Anybody else need bribery to stay motivated?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Time Flies

I mentioned that I got to go to Hobby Lobby the other day (total high light of my week!).  I was having serious decision making problems and all I left with was my bulletin board and supplies for that project.  I spent a long time in the clock aisle (they were 50% off) but I just couldn't commit.

So today I'm going to share some of my favorites.  Tell me what you think.  Which one needs to come live at my house?  I love the rustic looking ones but I'm just not sure that they're my style.  Ug, this is exactly why I couldn't make a decision...  Yes, there are TWELVE.  I have serious problems.
I love the birds, and it probably goes with our decor the best, but it's probably too small.

Same goes for this.  They chevron pattern is adorbs but, still too small.  And I know chevrons will eventually go the way of floral wallpaper and shag carpet...

This guy was big, but oh so pretty.  Also, upside down...

Kinda cute...

I almost brought this one home with me, I just don't know about rustic...

I liked the unexpected shape

I liked this but hate that the numbers 

So cute!  But once again, the aged thing... And it's probably too small?

This guy is pretty....

I really liked the map in the background on this one.

I like this too but it has the same number problem, so funky, I don't know that I could deal with that.

Crooked...  I like the kind of wood grain going on here.  I'm not sure it goes with our house either though.

What do you guys think?  Anybody else have problems making home decor decisions?  I thought texting a dozen pictures to my sister was a little overboard.  But, apparently that many clock pictures on the blog is completely acceptable...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sweatin' It

The bulletin board is up!  I'm in love.  I want to sit and stare at it all day. 

It's hanging on the wall in our spare bedroom.  No matter what angle I took the picture at, I got a glare from the mirror. Just pretend it's not there.

And my pretty bulletin board up close.  Some inspirational quotes.  My workout calendar.  I write down my workout everyday.  And my weigh in.  Ug, the weigh in.  It's getting better and I am feeling better.  I've been working my butt off.

Yesterday I may have overdone it a tiny bit though.  I had a DJ Tanner moment this morning.  You know that episode where DJ decides she's fat and tries to lose weight super fast.  She eats nothing but like a popsicle and then collapses when she's exercising.  I didn't collapse.  Nothing nearly that dramatic.  However, apparently I didn't have enough calories for how much I worked out yesterday and I woke up super dizzy.  Meaning now I'm home laying on the couch.  Eating and healthy and working out only slightly less vigorously while watching Magic Mike. 

And I bought new weights.  I started 30 Day Shred again and um, my five pound weights are kicking my butt.  I can't get through a whole set without wanting to cry.  I may have given up halfway through the video and grabbed two vegetable cans.  Yup, total wimp.  Hopefully the three pound weights will be better.

So, aside from using My Fitness Pal, I'm also using this cute little notebook to track everything in.  It definitely helps me stay accountable, it's a lot harder to eat crap when you actually have to write it down.  I'm also trying to drink a gallon of water a day.  That pretty much means I pee all the time.  Like an embarrassing amount.  But, I totally feel fuller.  And I do feel a lot better when I'm just drinking straight water.  Well, today it's with frozen raspberries in it.  Yum!  A little extra flavor and no added calories or artificial sweeteners.

Fitness notebook!

So, what do you guys do to stay on track with  being healthy?  Other than locking up the Twinkies.  And now the exercise bike is calling my name.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Not So Boring Board

Since I've been on this weight loss journey, I've decided I need a real life inspiration board. A cute one. To post things like a skinny picture and a fat picture, to you know, remind me where I am and where I want to be. Also some little inspirational quotes, my exercise calendar, and my weight loss countdown.

Well my mom got me a Hobby Lobby gift card so Saturday I headed for the city and Hobby Lobby.  I looked around for quite a while, I just wasn't sure what I wanted. A gift card is so much pressure, I always feel like I have to get something really good.

Then I spotted a bulletin board I liked. It wasn't colors or even the pattern I really wanted but it gave me an idea.

I remembered a really cute painting I ad seen on Pinterest. Kind of an abstract herringbone kind of thing.  Like this one or this one.  So I grabbed a medium-ish bulletin board and paint in three shade of pink and coral.  

I spent Saturday night painting my bulletin board. The coral I bought ended up being more orange than I had thought so I just mixed it with some pale pink until it was the color I wanted. Then I just kind of randomly painted and blended colors on my bulletin board until I was happy with how it looked.

Fast forward to Sunday. Herringbone time! I sat down to watch the Chiefs game with my husband (and my roll of frog tape). I started in the bottom left corner and jut eyeballed the pattern. If you're going to try this, be prepared, it's going to take a while. Like about half of a football game. I did take a break for some diet Cranberry Sierra Mist (the true sign of fall at our house) and summer sausage.

One it was taped off, I was ready to make my pattern shine.  I'm not usually into gold but I thought it would be perfect with my color pallet. Pretty sure I made the right choice. So I grabbed my gold spray paint and gave the whole thing, frame and all, a light coat of gold spray paint. And then I ran out :(  So I had to run to Dollar General and grab another can. I got home and gave it a second coat.

I also spray painted some cheap clear push pins gold for a little extra flair. And I figured I already had the supplies on hand, so why not.

After the second coat it was time to pull all that tape off. I would recommend doing this on a day it's not a hundred degrees, I was standing in the shade sweating as much as I did during my workout this morning. Anyway, the tape came off easy peasy.  And this is what I was left with.

I'm super happy with how it turned out. And the whole project came in under twenty bucks. It would've been even cheaper if I had just used paint I already had. I can't wait for it to finish off gassing so I can get it hung up.

How was your weekend? Anybody else tackle a simple project that was crazy time intensive?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mug Muffins

Okay, I know, it's Friday evening.  If you're like me, all you can think about is getting home from work, sprawling across the couch and enjoying a cold beverage.  Maybe a margarita, or a beer, or maybe a lemonade.  But, come tomorrow morning you're going to need breakfast.  Or I will anyway, if I don't eat breakfast I am not a happy camper.  So, I'm here to share a healthy breakfast with you.

I know you're supposed to have protein for breakfast.  But if I just have protein and nothing else, guess what, still grumpy.  I need some carbs with my protein to be completely happy.  I pinned a recipe the other day that I've adapted a bit and I'm going to share it with you.

Mug Muffins
1/4 cup oats, I like steel cut
1 egg (or eggbeaters for a lighter option)
Handful of fruit, I like raspberries
A splash of Skim Milk
1 T brown sugar (you could use Splenda or some other artificial sweetener or even honey)
Grab a mug, dump all the ingredients in a mug.  Mix 'em up.  Throw the mug in the microwave for about a minute and a half (more or less depending on your microwave, that's just how long it takes in mine).  Let it cool a bit and enjoy.  It should slide out of the mug pretty nicely if you want to put it on a plate.  But why would you want to get something else dirty, you can totally just eat it out of the mug.
Nutrition Information (via MyFitnessPal)
Calories:  313
Carbs:  49
Fat:  8
Protein:  13
Sodium:  77
Sugar:  17

Yes, it does have quite a bit of sugar.  You could totally make that lower by subbing out an artificial sweetener.  I personally prefer to use the calories for real sugar than use artificial sweetener, just a personal preference.  You could also use eggbeaters for lower calories.  All in all, not terrible for you.  And look at all that protein!

What about you guys?  Are you a breakfast person?  I love breakfast!  I wish my husband was as much of a breakfast person as I am.  Any Go To delicious breakfasts at your house?  Will you make me pancakes sometime?  I refuse because I hate the lingering smell.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Clever Camoflauge

As you've probably figured out by now, there were some weird things about our house when we bought it.  One being a hole in the kitchen/dining room wall.  Yup, a hole.  Why was there a hole in the wall?  That's a very good question.  The best guess I have is that the location of the hole was where an old rotary wall phone was.  Much like the phone on the wall in my parents kitchen when I was a kid.  Before we covered up the hole there were some phone-ish looking wires that you could see.  Also, a Q-tip.  I don't even want to know.

It wasn't even a question as to whether we would cover up the hole with something.  I had envisioned something that would blend with the paneling.  My dad just knew I wanted the hole covered so he worked with what was on hand.  Oh yes, this is going somewhere weird.  If you recall, we had this whackadoodle pink Formica on the countertops and on the walls as backsplash.  Awesome.
What you can't see in this picture is the fact that part of the backsplash was very very loose.  So, my father, being the sweet and resourceful man he is...  And knowing I desperately wanted that hideous backsplash gone, cut off part of the Formica, turned it glue side out and cut a piece to fit in the hole.  So yes, I have a piece of Formica stuck in my wall, glue side out.  It's painted over, it matches the walls.  Except for the part that the rest of the wall is paneling and you know, paneling texture, not glued Formica texture.

I really appreciate that my dad fixed it.  And I don't know that any other solution would've really been any better.  So, we've always hung something over the hole.  The awkward thing is though, the hole is low and not really visually a normal level to hang pictures.  It's driven me crazy for the past two and a half years.  I had one of those cute name signs hanging over it, I like the sign, it just didn't look quite right.

So, the other day on Pinterest I stumbled across some adorable printables.  I love things that are kind of funny puns.  And kitchen related puns are even better.  This was only made more perfect that my sister got me an Etsy gift card, thus allowing me to purchase these adorable printables.  Hooray!  They were delivered to my inbox in a flash, I printed them at Walgreens and picked up some cheap frames to pop them into.

I hung them in a sweet little four-some.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  If I was a better DIY-er, I would've measured and used a level but I never do.  I totally hang everything by eyeballing it, for the most part this has worked out okay with me.

Excuse the awkward pictures.  My dining table was in the way and my kitchen was not in its most flattering light.  I'm so happy with how they turned out.  And they are oh so cute.  When we had people over this weekend, everybody commented on them.  I call that a success.  And it's at a much better level and still disguises the wall patch.

Anybody else have weird holes in their walls?  No?  Just me?  Sadly, that's what I thought.  How do you deal with funky decorating problems?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If a tree falls...

And no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I know, I know.  We had a huge storm early Sunday morning.  My husband headed out early to go dove hunting.  I was wide awake when he left.  At 4:30.  I finally went back to sleep and then was wide awake again at 7.  Horrible.  I fully believe in sleeping in on my days off.  I prefer to be able to sleep until nine or ten, especially when the hubby is out hunting.  But, there I was, fully awake at 7am on a Sunday morning.  I flipped on the TV to check the weather, of course the satellite is out because the wind is blowing like crazy.  So I went and grabbed the iPad to check to see if I was going to blow away.

Um, 50mph winds.  We were under a wind advisory.  Who even knew that was a thing.  It was for our whole county.  So I texted my husband to let him know he might blow away soon.  And then called my dad to see if I needed to head to the basement.  Turns out I was fine, I'm just a little freaked out by storms.

So, once the storm finally passed, I checked out the damage.  Up close to the house, nothing major.  Our plastic Adirondack chairs blew across the deck, no big deal.  But, we had some pretty big limbs down.  And our maple tree, my favorite tree in the whole yard, got struck by lightning.  It took out about half the tree.  Ug.  So, we spent a good portion of the rest of our Labor Day weekend cleaning up tree limbs.  Get ready for lots of pictures, our yard was a mess!

Sad, broken tree.

A huge tree limb I was getting ready to drag off

A big branch fell on our neighbors fence, it didn't really damage it though.

Branch down.

Getting ready to clean up.  It was lucky I was the only one home, we'd had people over the night before.  If we'd had extra people, or even my husband had been home, it's quite likely someone's car would've been damaged.

My dad was sure lightning couldn't have hit our tree.  I think he was wrong.

Ug, it looks terrible.

Another tree in our yard lost a big limb too, just wind damage on this one.

Getting my arm workout, cutting smaller branches off the big ones.

We hauled at least four truck loads of branches.

I am super skilled with my loppers.  Don't mess with me!  

That's just a ridiculous amount of branches.

So, it's mostly cleaned up at this point.  The big limb is still there because it's partially attached to the tree.  And our chainsaw is in the shop.  My husband cut all the smaller limbs with the pole saw attachment on his weed eater.  That last branch was just way too big for it to handle so it will have to wait for another day.

What did you guys do over your long weekend?  We meant to relax, but apparently mother nature had another plan for us.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keepin' it Real

I had a blog post planned for today. A couple different ones that were actually home related.  But, in the spirit of being transparent and you guys keeping me accountable in my endeavor to get healthier I'm going to talk about the weekend.

It was a massive failure in the quest for healthiness. I ate a ton of unhealthy food. Consumed a variety of rum, tequila, and wine. And was absolutely lazy. I haven't worked out since Thursday. I wore a maxi skirt and a fitted shirt to work and I'm showing off a serious food baby. It's super gross. And I feel gross.

I was planning to continue that failure this morning with a stop at Sonic for a breakfast burrito and a cherry limeade.  But thanks to some sweet blog comments from a good friend, I was reminded I need to stay accountable to myself. I probably should have read them before not getting up to work out. Then I might have actually gotten my morning workout done.

But, I'm back on track. I am going to be successful. One little set back is not going to ruin the journey. Because I am worth the effort.  So, here's to a healthy day.  I hope you guys had a restful Labor Day weekend. I'll be back tomorrow with a post about some ridiculous yard work we got done.