Thursday, September 05, 2013

Well Shoot

Guys I'm not gonna lie, I've been having some serious writer's block lately trying to think of interesting things to blog about! Maybe I need a little break again....like I did a while back!

I will be back soon!

:-D

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Another Juicing Day :-D

Hi peeps! I put together another juicing day and here is the plan and shopping list!!! Refer to my last Juicing Day Post for other thoughts. :-)

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A lot of these juices are really sweet. If you want to lighten up the sweetness a little, try adding some lemon. I notice that lemons add a pretty big punch for me....so maybe start out with 1/4 of a lemon and try it, and if you want more add another 1/4, etc.When I followed this, I ended up making every juice on this list that day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Savory Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe

 photo 594EF052-A970-4BC9-9667-8C16F0508BB3-9108-000004C5DDBF420D_zpsb6ad4f61.jpgMaking your own chicken broth is SO EASY you will be amazed. Never will you buy broth in the can or the box again (unless you are in a pinch lol). Plus, you can control how much salt or other stuff you put in it to be just the way you like it! AND - it's CHEAP. If you already have the chicken, why not use the leftovers to make broth??

I have to thank my mother for teaching me this many years ago when I first moved out. My mom always made homemade chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles! I haven't gotten to the noodles yet lol) while I was a kid and it was fabulous!

The main thing you need is a chicken carcass. Yes, that sounds gross. I know. But that is the most important part. LOL. So, the next time you pick up a rotisserie chicken, or the next time you roast a chicken on your own, save allllllll of the leftover bones. Basically you just pick off all of the meat you want to eat, and save all the rest. It's okay if there is still meat on the carcass. We usually don't eat the wing meat and I still throw those in there. Here is the recipe!

- 1 chicken carcass
- 5 ribs celery, cut in half
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 4-6 quarts water (the amount of water you need depends on how big your chicken is)
- Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste (you can use fresh garlic too)

1. Place the chicken, celery and onion into a large stock pot. Cover with water. You might have to push the chicken down because it'll float to the top - this is just so you can gauge how much water to add. But really, this isn't an exact science so it's okay if you add more water.

2. Sprinkle the top of the water with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I usually add the salt sparingly (you can always add more later), and then sprinkle the pepper and garlic powder all over until the surface of the water is pretty much covered. The salt sinks but the pepper and garlic powder stay on the surface at first so this is pretty easy to see. Then, stir everything up.

3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours (or longer). The longer you simmer, the more flavorful your broth.

4. Once it's done - get out all of your jars or containers for storing the broth, two large bowls, and a colander. Place one of the bowls in your sink, and place the colander in the bowl. Then pour the broth through the colander into the bowl. This is how you strain out all of the chicken pieces (it usually falls apart), celery and onion. Then pour the strained broth into your jars or containers.

5. Freeze the broth and defrost to use as needed.

Ta-daaaaaa! You made your own broth. Easy, huh?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Juicing Day!

If any of you are my friend on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, you have probably noticed that I've been posting a lot about juicing lately. I've recently been trying to have 1 day per week as a Juicing Only day.

This means I generally don't eat any solid food all day. I just make and drink juices. I have to say - IT IS AWESOME! You feel totally energetic that day, no lie. And it's an amazing feeling for sure. The next day (and days after) you feel awesome too - energetic and very light on your feet!  I usually do my juicing days on Sundays, because it's easiest when you are home all day and it really is a great way to start out your Monday - feeling super energetic from juicing! I'm TOTALLY not an expert on  juicing, I have just been learning from reading stuff online (which I'm sure is all totally 100% true lol) and from personal experience. But I've had my juicer now for almost 2 years and I have to say, I love that thing. LOL.

Here is a recipe and shopping list for juicing that I put together for a juicing day. Most recipes are adapted from JustOnJuice.com. I also get a lot of great recipes from The Everything Juicing Book.

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A couple notes on the recipes/lists:

1. When I say 1/2 watermelon, I mean the little watermelons that are about the size of a cantaloupe. Not the giant ones. LOL.

2. For the Banana Pie Recipe, you blend the banana into the juice. You don't juice the banana. When you buy a juicer, it will probably have a book that comes with it that tells how how to juice most things.

3. I recommend buying a lot of apples (more than the 8 listed), that way if a juice is too tart or whatever, you can just add apples as needed. Galas stay good for a long time in your fridge (you prob know this), and are affordable, so you won't have to worry about wasting or food spoiling. When in doubt: add apples. LOL.

4. I don't peel most things, with the exception of the things with hard rinds like the squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, etc. I leave the peel on apples, oranges, lemons, cucumbers, etc. As I said in #2, when you buy a juicer, it will probably have a book that comes with it that tells how how to juice most things.

5. If you don't like something, here is a substitution list! Also, you'll notice that a lot of my juices have a lot of fruit. That's the way I like them. I'm not hardcore enough (yet) to do veggie only juices LOL.

6. You probably won't need all 7 of these recipes if you are only juicing one day. But I like to have a lot of juice for a juicing day (especially for your first time) because if you happen to be really hungry that day, you know you're not going run out of juice... and if you start to feel hungry you can make another without worrying about running out. Last week I made juices 1-3, and ate a normal dinner. Without dinner I probably would have made 4 or maybe 5 of the juices.

7. Drink lots of water too. I usually have some herbal tea, too.

8. You might have a headache, a lot of people get this because of caffeine withdrawal. I took ibuprofen and was ok.

9. Drink your juices every 2-3 hours, over ice. Ice makes them so much better, LOL.

10. I usually don't take my vitamins on juicing days. I have always been afraid I'll puke if I take a vitamin without solid food. I take my allergy pill and cranberry pill with no problems though.

11. Buying all this stuff at the grocery store can get pricey; if you have the option available to you, I'd recommend going to a Farmers' Market to get your goods.

12. Try to give yourself a break when you are starting out. Sometimes you're going to have to eat a banana or an apple or something. And for me, that's okay. It can be a mental challenge to believe that you will feel full all day from just juice. From my personal experience, I have felt full from juicing only, but there are some days that I feel I need a solid piece of something. And those days, I have something.

13. Finally, be prepared mentally for your juices to look crazy. They will be green, brown, weird orange colors, etc. etc. Don't look...just drink down the deliciousness. LOL. 

Good luck!!! Comment below with questions!

 
Please check with your physician prior to doing any new fitness program. The owner of this blog does not provide medical advice.

Monday, August 12, 2013

July Birchbox Product Review

 
100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream: My eyes lit up when I saw "coconut" on the label - alas, I HATED THIS LOTION. It was sticky and it didn't smell like coconut. It smelled like butter. I had it on for about an hour and went and took ANOTHER shower to wash it off because I couldn't stand the smell anymore.
 
Birchbox Bobby Pins: These are cute but TIGHT. Like, my hair looked wonky when I tried pinning back my bangs. They are good for other stuff though, when you need a tight hold.
 
Nick Chavez® Beverly Hills Color-Saver Paraben-Free Conditioner: Why you no give me shampoo, too? I didn't love this conditioner. Also, does anyone else feel that they need the matching shampoo in order to make an accurate assessment? Or is that my OCD? Either way this wasn't moisturizing enough for me.
 
Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40: I like this, but not as much as the CC Cream I already use. It was a little thick for my taste. Also the color wasn't great for me.
 
Benefit Moisture Prep Toning Lotion: No. I just can't add another step. Argh.
 
Use my referral link if you sign up so I can get points and free stuff and keep telling you about things! LOL :-D

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Banana Walnut Fig Smoothie

 photo AB7797A1-72E5-4AA2-9B15-6E8F170592D1-4400-0000021DF32C990C_zps610dbe78.jpg- 1 frozen banana
- 3 large figs, cut in half
- 1 2/3 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use EAS Lean 15 Vanilla Cream)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk (I use Silk Pure Coconut Coconutmilk Original Flavor)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tbsp ground flax

I don't know about you guys but I LOVE banana ANYTHING. This smoothie was delicious with the addition of the walnuts and the figs! I was so excited when I saw the figs at our Farmers' Market, I couldn't wait to get home and do something with them. I have to say, I'd never bought figs until this point, although I have had them at restaurants and stuff. They are very sweet and mild - and DELICIOUS!

If you aren't a fan of protein powder, you could probably really easily sub vanilla Greek yogurt instead. Same goes for the Coconutmilk - you could easily sub regular milk, almond, soy, etc.

YUM! This smoothie is 4 PointsPlus when you log it as a meal. As you can tell.... Buster really wanted to try some!

Monday, August 05, 2013

July Birchbox Goodies!

Here are the products in my July Birchbox! Why are there so many cards this month? I have no idea!
 
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Blurb: The Outlander Series, Book 1, Outlander

 photo outlander1_zpseb3e7536.jpgSix words for this book: I can't think of just one!

This novel tells the story of Claire Beauchamp Randall, a 27-year-old woman who has just completed her services as a combat nurse in WWII. She and her husband, Frank, who also served in the war (British Army), take a second honeymoon to the Scottish Highlands upon being reunited. It is 1946, and they have been separated for six years. The story takes a turn when Claire is out exploring the countryside and she comes upon a circle of stones reminiscent of Stonehenge, called Craigh na Dun. She walks through a cleft of stone, and is transported 200 years into the past - back to 1743!

While discombobulated from her time travel, Claire encounters members of the British army and subsequently a group of Highland Scots - the Scots take her captive. In a winding story that I will leave to you to experience yourself if you decide to read the book, Claire ends up having to marry one of the Scots in order to avoid uncertain treatment at the hands of a British captain (who happens to be Frank's descendant!). All the while, she is trying to return to Craigh na Dun and get back to Frank. And oh, guess what? She ends up falling in love with the Scot that she has been forced to marry (to save her life) - and when you read this book, you probably will too! LOL.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I'd probably call this historical fiction...but on Diana's website, it's stated that it's been classified as "Literature, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical NON-fiction (really. Well, they are very accurate), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Military History (no, honest), Gay and Lesbian Fiction, and…Horror." Hmmmmm.

I loved Claire. She is so smart, wily, and a real survivor. I was trying to think what I would do if I were transported back into time, and I wonder if I'd be smart enough to keep my mouth shut rather than going on and on about being from the future. LOL. She kept it totally cool for the most part. For example, I thought it was pretty amazing how she immediately said that she was a widow when questioned about her marital status. I guess her husband technically didn't exist yet, but I feel like it'd be hard to readily admit that right off the bat to the very first person who asked you. The novel is narrated by Claire, too, so you have a little insight into her inner thoughts, but she never thinks about this. She does think about missing Frank (duh) and wanting to get back to him, though. I suppose she had historical context (Frank is a historian so she did have an adaptive advantage there) to realize that if a married woman is out wandering the countryside by herself, it could look really weird. Especially because she was dressed so "alluringly" according to 1743's standards. This is just one example of her thinking ahead and a demonstration that Claire was certainly resourceful and basically a totally awesome heroine that you will love, love, love if you enjoy strong female lead characters! She immediately and SMARTLY adapts to her environment, to the point where it is almost unbelievable, but I find you have to just go with it and enjoy the story because CLAIRE ROCKS.

There was one or two portions of the book that I have to say I didn't totally enjoy. LOL. The story can be pretty graphic at times. There are portions with torture and abuse that are really gross. I actually had to skip over a few parts because it was making me squirm. Like, in-depth descriptions of how every bone in a character's hand was broken and subsequently re-broken to be set, etc. etc. you get my drift. BARF. Also, in some cases the story could be a little predictable, but that didn't make it less enjoyable in my opinion. The treatment of and opinions about women were pretty annoying at times too - but I guess that's the way it was in 1743. Like, your husband can beat you? Um, no.

When I finished reading this book, I couldn't wait to download book 2 and start reading it. I wonder what will happen to Claire, Frank, and Jamie? For the record, I think Frank is totally boring and I want her to be with Jamie. HAHA. Claire knows the future and that Jamie's clan is slaughtered by the British army, but will he listen to her and will they be able to prevent it? Questions such as these await answering in the books to come. And guess what? There are EIGHT BOOKS in the series! Yippee!

I picked up this book because it was recommended by a friend. I'm so glad she did!

Monday, July 29, 2013

June Birchbox Product Review

Here is the link to my original post about my June Birchbox!

Davines 3-Step System: Meh. Shampoo/conditioner is not moisturizing enough for me and I'm not a fan of hair oils usually (I can think of ONE that I've liked). Boo.

Furlesse Elevens: I LOVE THESE. I hate that frown wrinkle between my eyebrows. LOL. I do think it looks almost non-existent the next morning after wearing one of these! I already bought them (with points)!! When I opened these I said "how does Birchbox KNOW!?" LOL.
 
Laqa & Co Lil' Lip Duo: At first I was like "whaaattt???" but then I was like "okay, maybe." I usually don't wear lipstick (I wear gloss) and I usually don't wear hot pink (I have one hot pink lip gloss that is really sheer that I got in a previous box). But it might be fun for a night out on the town!

Color Club® Wanderlust Collection: This applies okay but it's a little too orange for me. Maybe for Halloween!