On the Menu!

Typically I write about my food adventures after I’ve tasted the food but I fear I won’t have time to write later today as I’m celebrating my sister’s birthday with her at my brother’s home with is about 45 minutes away.

Today’s specials are:

  1. cheesy chicken with rice
  2. quinoa with vegetables

Last night I made what i thought was going to be a delicious cheesy chicken with rice but I was WRONG!  I put 3 cups of rice and 6 cups of water in the rice cooker and added mixed vegetable seasonings and Maggi Chicken Bouillon (the best bouillon ever).  In the steamer basket I added broccoli, carrots and celery.  I mixed it all together with 2 cups italian blend cheese, about 2 cups of pulled apart chicken and some Lipton Savory Herb with Garlic soup mix.  gotta say i was disappointed – all i could taste was broccoli and garlic.  mostly garlic.

tonight is take 2 – i went searching on the internet for a cheesy chicken with rice recipe and found something close to what I want at Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate site.  Her picture of the dish looks like what I wanted to eat.  Yum.  I am changing though.  Here’s my plans.

  • 3 cups rice/ 4 cups chicken broth/ 2 cups water in the rice cooker
  • 3 cans white chunk chicken as I don’t feel like cooking more chicken.
  • clancy’s cheesemelt (aldi’s version of Velveeta – definately an acceptable substitute – yum) – undecided amount
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (hopefully the aldi brand tastes good – i prefer campbell’s)

I am cooking the rice now.  I plan on browning up the rice a bit in a fry pan with a little butter and poultry seasoning.  I’m going to mix it all together and put it in a cook pot for dinner tonight.

Next up to cook is the quinoa with mixed veggies.

as soon as the rice cooker is available i’m altering a recipe i found at a Quinoa website.

Here is the original recipe:

QUINOA PILAF 1/2 cup carrot, diced                             6  cups quinoa, cooked (basic recipe) 1/2 cup green onion, diced                   1/4  cup olive oil 1/4 cup celery,  diced                            2  cloves garlic, crushed 1/4 cup green pepper, diced                    1  cup almonds, sliced 1/4 cup sweet red pepper, diced           1/4  tsp oregano salt to taste
Sauté chopped vegetables in olive oil until clear, yet crisp: stir in oregano. Add sautéed vegetables to cooked, hot quinoa, mixing well. Add salt to taste. Dry-roast almonds in heavy skillet until lightly golden. Add almonds and mix. Serves 6-8. Quinoa pilaf served as a side dish with fish or chicken is delicious. Vary the pilaf using your favorite vegetables, or by cooking the quinoa in chicken, fish or vegetable stock instead of water.

Since i rarely ever make a recipe as is here is my plan.

  • 6 cups quinoa cooked in vegetable broth
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • broccoli
  • olive oil

I’m leaving out the green onion and the peppers.  the green onion because i forgot to buy it and the peppers because i don’t think my sister likes them.

 

More Decluttering

after i posted I decided I wanted to purge more.  unfortunately the items were small so it doens’t make a huge difference and my family room and now it looks like a disaster.  oh well.  my paperless list:

Today’s Purge Part 2

Blue foam crown

Garbage – yes paper trash

Coffee pot that was in a previous yard sale (don’t know why we still have this? It should have disappeared already)

Dingy Santa hat

Mini memory book kit unopened

Blue cloister bead necklace

2 pair earrings and 1 pendant

Light blue shirt  that I love (with stain that i don’t love)

3 mini hotel bars of soap

Reindeer pendant

Tops monopoly pieces

Panty hose

Receipts

Business cards

Coupons I won’t use

Zots adhesive dots

a 3 pack of cdrs

Izzys school work

Junk mail

Received Christmas cards

Letter to izzy from Santa

School calendar

Candy

Frisbee

Gum ball machine toy she won’t remember

Broken sled ornament

9 flameless tea light candles

Tea bags

Hand clapper

Avengers cell phone strap (from a gumball machine)

Scarf that makes her think of Ollie

Pink Christmas socks with a hole in the heel

Too small pink and brown striped scarf

Ring with pink stones

Christmas coloring book

2 sets of animal wall hooks

Cheese balls

Expired coupons I would have used

Halloween candy

Plastic pirate earrings

2 more mini hotel bars of soap

Broken stylus

Christmas wreath pin

Ticket stub to hockey game

Dress up kids gloves

More mini hotel – 3 conditioners, 2 soaps, 1 shampoo

 

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Decluttering my bedroom

I love my iPhone – apps make the phone both useful and distracting.  One of my favorites is Paperless.  There is a free version but the free one sucks.  The $2.99 Paperless is pretty fantastic.  You can make checklists, assign it a cute little icon and has beautiful themes.  Mine is pink with a cute plaid background.  What i love is that it’s easy to make a list and then you can email it to yourself.

Today I used the Paperless app to keep track of the items I have decided to get rid of and then emailed the list to myself for an easy cut and paste.

Today’s Purge

2 pairs stained socks too yucky to donate (why do white socks get so gross?)

5 holey socks fit for the trash (which hubby said he was still using – too late)

Letter to Santa (after pictures were taken because the letter was so cute)

Orange top too long. and too big at neck

Black capris that smell funny

Jeans that are uncomfortable

Brown striped capris that aren’t flattering

2 belts I don’t wear that came with sweaters that I do wear

2 pairs brown socks

1 pair orange socks (was told they looked like Halloween)

2 Mini hotel conditioners

Purple flower pin

Mini hotel soap

Yellow headband

Pumpkin decoration

Shirt that is a bit see through and a bit too short

Pretty jewelry I never wear; 4 butterfly hair pins,  1 heart pin,  1 bug pin,  4 pairs studs

Pink spiky ball

1 pair gray socks

1 pair black gray white striped socks

1 worn out bra

My clothes

Tank top with ruffled sleeves that I always want to cut off
Tank top that doesn’t hide bra straps
Brown sweater from my mom
Red stretched out sweater that I love
Lovely dark green sweater I never wear
Black shirt with tight sleeves near the wrists
Hoodie with broken zipper
Black capris with rough fabric
Jeans that haven’t fit in years
Blue shirt with scratchy neck
2 lovely blue button up shirts

And one drawer in my daughter’s room:

My daughters clothes; Shaw, Skirt, Dress, 2 sweaters, 18 shirts

slight dilema – I want to take them to the Salvation Army to get rid of the three bags.  my husband says to hold onto the items.  I asked him if we were holding onto the stuff for a yard sale in the spring/ summer and he said he didn’t know.  Do I really need to hold onto this stuff until the spring?  that seems kind of silly.  I’ll store it in the shed (for now) and maybe we will just let it go for real soon.  I’m yard saled out and just want to bless others without the items I just want gone.  73 items – maybe I should find 27 more for an even 100.  wouldn’t be a bad purge for one day.  73 is a pretty good purge though.

Snowed in with Breakfast Crepes

We were supposed to be celebrating my sister’s birthday today but Mother Nature had other plans.  Thick, heavy snow has been falling for a few hours now.  It’s very pretty but a plan wrecker none the less.  My quinoa pilaf and cheesy chicken and rice will have to wait.

I taught my daughter how to make crepes instead.  technically though she didn’t learn much as she was more interested in eating them than making them and would only return to the kitchen when a hot crepe was released from the frying pan.

Here’s our recipe –

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • couple shakes of salt

We mixed it all together with our hand blender and I hit the container against the counter top a few times to release some of the air bubbles.  It’s works best though if you let the batter sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more but I’m impatient.  as there is so much butter in the batter you shouldn’t need any while cooking.

A crepe pan isn’t necessary.  a small non stick frying pan works just as well.  I always remove the pan from the heat and pour some batter in and swirl it around.  the thinner you can get it the better the results.  cook until you can slide it easily with a spatula and then flip.

My daughter loves her with nutella.  i can’t get her to eat it any other way.  I tried mine this morning with cheese and chicken.

the batter will keep for a short while in the fridge so don’t feel you need to make them all up at once.  if you do have left over crepes they can be refrigerated and reheated.  I made 3 for each of us including the dog. (plain crepe for him).

I made a Hollandaise sauce to go with it but took one taste and dumped it.  – i guess i didn’t know what hollandaise sauce tasted like  but I wasn’t impressed.

anyway here is the recipe i used – maybe that is the problem?

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 stick of butter – melted and very hot.

used my trusty hand blender – looked yummy, pale yellow and creamy.  tasted like a lemony, buttery heart attack waiting to happen.  dumped and rinsed before i could convince myself it was worth eating.

on the plus side – i used the egg whites to make scrambled eggs which were the perfect compliment to my yummy crepes.

 

 

trouble picking a resolution

So i’m really struggling with my new year’s resolution.  I veered off track with my resolution last year but I have to say i think I was successful.  I am much happier than I was this time last year.  My mental health is better.  The OCD got in the way of the resolution but in way this was for the best as I’m freer than ever with the OCD and am able to do things I never could have done a year ago.

I want to continue on being happier.  I also want to continue decluttering.  I’ve thought about promising to get rid of 1 item per day as a fellow blogger has done.  I’ve also thought about committing to one healthy smoothie a day or trying to be healthier and lose some weight.  I’ve also considered retrying the Better than Chocolate assignments.  I just don’t really know.  I could also try focusing on overcoming more with the OCD or how to be a successful adult with ADHD.

I would love to write more helpful posts on ADHD and OCD and write about what has helped me.  Maybe I could give myself assignments tackling my barriers and write about this.

My biggest barrier right now is getting mentally healthy to lose the weight.  I’m a real large girl who wants to be healthier but the OCD is blocking me right now.  So much trauma and drama about weight in my life.

I would love to save money so reduce and reuse are huge for me.  I need to stop buying things so maybe to keep things fresh i could focus on a new area each week.

  • spending fasts
  • sugar fasts
  • declutter sessions
  • OCD assignment
  • ADHD assignment
  • happiness assignment

Dabble in each so I don’t give up or get bored.  don’t do it all at the same time but shake things up when I start to get discouraged in one area?  Maybe I could go a week without spending any money (with the exception of gas).  The next week go without sugar, next week declutter 30 items, next week address an OCD fear or compulsion, next week work on addressing my ADHD.

I don’t know – I need help.

Happier, healthier, more money saved, better mental health.  most I’m already working on.

have some fun and create some art!  that would be a great resolution!  design something each week?  could be interesting.

write a book?  don’t know what I’d write.  ideally it would be on parenting or mental health.  – or could be fiction.  drama and trauma?

write a book with my daughter?  short mysteries with a spunky little detective?  she would enjoy this.  illustrated by her.  written by us.

my husband and I would like to have another baby – i’ve told him that if we can free up enough space in our home, if i can get my ocd and adhd under enough control that i can go off my meds and if I could lose 100 pounds that we could have another child.  sounds like craziness there.  We are getting there with freeing up space.  I could manage the ocd for quite awhile without meds, the adhd is harder.  the weight loss is hard though.  at 315 – pregnancy would be tough.  I was overweight when I was pregnant with my daughter and that was tough.  now i’m bigger.  it hurt to walk last time – it would be worse this time.

 

My Laundry Line Up

We recently attended a family Christmas party.  My husband and I decided that we would make a homemade gift that we hope the recipents will enjoy.  It started with us making a ton of these wool dryer balls.  My hands cramped while making them so it took awhile.  We made over 30.  it’s important that it’s 100 % wool or else it won’t felt.  eventually these will be wool balls and not wool yarn balls.  with each dryer use and felting continues.

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We also made liquid fabric softener, laundry soap and color catchers.  I found these cute little bottles on amazon – 4 and 8 ounce bottles.

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Love the way the way the labels look – the gray back of the label however makes the soap and softener look gray though.

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the font is Live Laugh Love by Vanessa Bays – found it at dafont.com.  I love it – it’s fun and super pretty.

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we including these bright index cards with the recipe should the recipents want to make their own.

these wonderful recipes were found at One Good Thing by Jillee

LOVE her site!

Breakfast Smoothie

The smoothies are addictive – hopefully they are a healthier alternative to my normal breakfast.  what am i saying – of course they are.  definately better than cereal or a bagel with cream cheese.

anyway – here is what i threw in it

  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 apple without the core but with the skin
  • 1 banana
  • a handful of baby carrots
  • yogurt
  • splash of milk
  • spinach
  • flaxseed meal

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I love the mixture of celery, carrots, apple and banana.  it’s refreshing.

i gotta say i’m impressed with my hand blender

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It’s so easy to clean – just run tap water over it right after using and it rinses real well.

 

Dessert Smoothie

we are junk food junkies in our home. my daughter and I love our icecream. My husband stated that we needed to work on our fitness as he was exhausted from chasing our runaway dog. I stated we also needed to start eating healthier. my daughter started fussing stating she loves candy and doesn’t want to give it up. I stated she didn’t have to give up candy but she would have to start eating healthier as well. so tonight instead of ice cream i made a purple smoothie.
■a handful of frozen blueberries
■5 frozen strawberries
■a banana
■yogurt
■flaxseed meal
■some milk

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Dinner was also oddly satisfying. Monday, My husband and I chopped up broccoli, colored peppers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, onions, radishes, (the tomatos didn’t hold up well) and some mozerella cheese and placed them in small ziplock bags and put them into a larger bag. We filled another bag with romaine, iceberg and spinach. Having a large salad was never easier. My daughter and I paired it with roasted pepper and tomato soup. We also had some leftover Christmas ham.

It was so funny that she was grumbling about eating healthier while chomping down on salad and vegetable soup.

 

Green Smoothie and Hungry for Change

So i tried my first green smoothie today!  it looks kind of gross but tastes surprisingly refreshing and yummy.

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here is what I added:

  • spinach and romaine
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • vanilla yogurt
  • flaxseed meal
  • little bit of water

I blended it all together with my new hand blender and drank it up.

I’m sold.

Here is a website I’m sure to come back to:  30 Delicious Green Smoothie Recipes

 

Hungry for Change

I was looking for a documentary to watch so I surfed through Netflix and found Hungry for Change.  This movie is a world changing way I look at food type of movie.  I loved it and want to watch it again.

Sugar is my drug and apparently many people’s drug.  Now there is a handful of food additives that I am more likely to avoid – aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and sugar.  the crazy thing is that many of these foods are addictive, high calorie and nutritionally void.  so in other words we eat and eat and eat and our bodies continue to be hungry while we get fatter.

a helpful bit of advice in this film is to think about getting healthier by changing the mindset: “I want that but I can’t have it” to “I can have it but I don’t want it”  Another piece of wisdom this film offers is to not think about taking things away or depriving yourself but instead add the healthy options in so eventually the healthy items take up more than the unhealthy ones and then eventually you’ll have no room for the unhealthy ones.

I’m going to try this part from the movie – while looking into my eyes through the use of a mirror I will say, “I accept myself unconditionally right now”  I will say this every day until I believe it and live it.

Here are the rest of the notes I jotted down from the film:

Helpful detoxifying foods:

Parsley, Cilantro, Aloe vera, Chia seeds

Veggies good in vegetable juices

Celery, Cucumber, Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spirulina, radishes, coconut products

People in Hungry for change:

Mike Adams – natural news, Jason Vale – Juice Master, Joe Cross – fat, sick and nearly dead, Kris Carr – crazy sexy cancer and crazy sexy diet, David Wolfe, Daniel Vitalis, Dr. Christiane Northrup – women’s bodies, women’s wisdom, Jon Gabriel – the Gabriel method, Frank Ferrante – may I be frank, Dr. Alejandro Junger – Clean, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Evita rampart

I definately plan on looking them all up to learn more.

Books to read:

Diets don’t work, Clean, 7 lbs in 7 days, The funky fresh juice book, Turbo Charge your life in 14 days, Keeping it Simple! Over 100 juice and smoothie recipes, What the World Eats, The Gabriel Method

My family room – the before pictures

I don’t have my after pictures ready as I am still working on this room.  Three garbage bags full of donations to take to the Salvation Army tomorrow morning, 1 1/2 totes to set aside to sell.  Since we’ve moved to this home – quite a bit has been removed – giant toybox, 3 book shelves (1 remains), a very large computer desk, plants, and more.  At one point we had a narrow walkway to get from the door to the large bathroom.  We probably would have turned the large bathroom into a closet if it weren’t for the cat (litter box and feed station in the bathroom) and for the bunny who is in the bathroom (much calmer – was overly anxious all the time before.  I believe it’s from being a daycare bunny.)

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Roughly a third of our home was unusable because of the clutter and chaos.  Also – there are no pictures of any room at it’s worst.  and these pictures are how we lived when no one was looking.  I would have never let even family who didn’t live with us see these rooms like this.  We were very, very good and stashing and dashing.  closets bursting at seems – comments about having a lot of stuff but never would I show anyone this.

Here is picture 2 – our plant is no longer with us.  We’ve had this neglected plant for almost our whole marriage.  I didn’t want to get rid of it but also didn’t want to keep it.  plant and stand were sold at one of the yard sales this summer.  bookshelf given to my brother.  I imagine many items pictured are no longer in our home.

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Our vacuum cleaning not put away but near the walkway so we can get to it.  a solitary dress on a garment rack.  nothing goes together and it’s all chaos.

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We have this gorgeous furniture set – my husband’s computer desk and matching book shelf.  beautiful set – was a yard sale find.  We obviously don’t take care of it.  it’s loaded down with too many items.  red bins on top full of stuff, piles everywhere.

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Okay so I couldn’t just post these and not give you some progress –

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Closet (taken in March) – kitchen set sold.  sewing box sold.  pink box full of motivation/ improvement audio CDs – donated to my work.  Will show updated pictures of the closet soon.

Now for some pictures I took about 10 minutes ago – I’ve been wanting to wait until it was “perfect” but I don’t really want to wait anymore.  I spent about 10 minutes straightening up before taking these pictures.

This first picture is what you see when you are looking into the room.  I’ve been going through things and decided that I’m separating out by who needs to make the decision to keep or get rid of.  The bright green bucket on the desk is my daughter’s items, the green tote underneath is my husband’s and the black (hunger games) bag next to it is mine.  The black cauldron still holds Halloween candy and once it’s empty will join the Halloween decorations in the shed.  The bag next to the desk is full of empty bags that were full of stuff.  The tall white totes next to the couch (2 of them) were full of stuff – now empty.

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Game shelf still full but not overflowing anymore as we purged a bit of games.

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Here is the tv from our bedroom – move to the family room so I can eventually exercise in here with the Wii fit and the Kinect.  Also – here is the printer stand and game shelf that was previously in the living room.  really cord heavy but eventually we will make it more attractive.  my husband’s bowling ball that he has yet to put away in the closet.

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some totes chilling where they don’t belong – empty green tote, white tote has yard sale items, gray tote next to it has our winter stuff – hats, gloves, scarves, boots, coats, etc., large gray tote has my daughter’s toys that she isn’t ready to part with but doesn’t fit in her room – going to the shed until she is ready to part with them or wants to switch out her toys.  white box full of empty bottles for homemade laundry soap and fabric softener to give away.  bag is full of stuff I still need to sort through.

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The picture below was not taken tonight but gives you a good idea on how it’s looking now.  my husband has decided to sell these two pieces of furniture which means we have to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.  red baskets still full of stuff.  shelves have less books than before.  those plastic shoeboxes are full of art supplies that we actually use.  he is also taking about selling his computer and buying a laptop.

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I wanted to share the dryer balls my husband and I have been making!  still need to be felted.

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