Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top 5 Healthy Pinterest Recipes...

Pinterest... everyone knows what it is by now. An excuse to sit on the computer for hours searching for a new recipe, an idea for a gift, workouts to get fit... the list goes on. My time on Pinterest comes in waves. I'll get on it everyday for a while, and when I start seeing the same pins over and over I take a hiatus for a bit.
I've been using Pinterest a lot to find new, tasty and healthy recipes for my family. It seems between the 5 of us, finding something that everyone likes is rare. So I'd like to share my top healthy Pinterest recipes to date. And I'd like to note, I am trying to stray away from using the convenience of the creams ('cream of' soups and cream cheese that is). They make anything taste yummy, but let's face, they just aren't that healthy!! And, I don't own a fryer, I bake just about everything that should be fried, even my french fries!

So here goes:

1. Baked Chicken Fajitas

These are so easy and healthy! You don't have to precook the chicken, just throw it all in a dish and bake. It would also be a good meal to freeze ahead of time, you would just need to adjust your cook times. And you are using your own spices rather than prepacked seasoning, which can be packed full of sodium. You can find the recipe here, Eatin' on the Cheap, adapted from the Taste of Home magazine.

2. Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

This one does require a little time, but it's worth it in the end! The whole family loves it, and it's packed full of flavor and low calories! Watch your cooking times though. I end up having to cook longer than the suggested time. You can find the recipe here: Kraft Food & Family. There are a few alterations I made since I didn't have all the ingredients. I used apple butter instead of apple juice and nutmeg. The apple butter already contained nutmeg along with other spices. I made the apple butter myself, the recipe I used for that is here. And if you don't have Grey Poupon on hand, any spicy mustard will work! 

3. Cheesy Potato Rounds

A great alternative to french fries, these are like little baked potatoes! Simple to make, and yummy! If you don't want to cook bacon or don't have precooked bacon, you can always use Bacon Bits. You can find the recipe at All Recipes.

4. Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

The whole family loves this one!! Because of a long preparation time and pre-cooking, I suggest dicing the veggies and cooking the chicken early in the day. I cut the veggies when the kids were napping, and cooked the chicken late in the afternoon so I wasn't rushing to do it all at once by the time 4 o'clock rolled around. This is also a good 'freezer meal'. Here's a quick tip: Do you have a stand up mixer? Use it to shred your chicken!! The recipe for the casserole is here, Picky Palate.
My suggestions: Don't make the same mistake and use 2 cups of UNcooked rice. My dish was over-flowing with rice the first time I made it! My very small, local grocer didn't have just plain wild rice, so I used the Uncle Ben's microwaveable pack of herbed wild rice. It fit along with this recipe very well and added some extra flavor! This is probably the best 'non-cream' casserole I have come across!

5. Lemon Garlic Spaghetti

This is the perfect alternative to spaghetti with red sauce, which is easy to get burned out on. I try to do a pasta/spaghetti or meatless night at least once a week, and this recipe has been a great addition! It's quick, easy and requires very few ingredients! I've started growing herbs this year, however, basil didn't make the list this time around. So it's ok to dash some dried basil if you don't have fresh! The recipe is at Cutesy Jingles.

So there you have it! Feel free to follow me and recipe boards on Pinterest! What are some of your favorite healthy recipes you've found on Pinterest??

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Sunday, July 29, 2012


Insanity!... the new workout fad. I've never been a big 'workout' person. I was never really athletic. I did however grow up working on a farm. So most of my strength came from productivity. If there wasn't anything to, I wasn't going to do anything. I've never considered myself 'fat', out of shape, yes. Motivation is hard for me come by. I could sit on the couch and tell myself over and over, "Just get your a** up and do some crunches or something!" Yet, there I sat. Typically, in the summer I lose a few pounds just from getting out and being more active. Not this summer, instead the pounds have packed on. Finally, I said enough. My bestie and I started talking about Insanity! and we decided to start together. So, I jumped on another bandwagon. I'm not looking to be skinny, I like my booty and curves, they just need to be little firmer. I want to rid the muffin top and legs that stick out past the shorts! You can't get much better motivation than your husband, bestie and her husband doing it together. It's someone to look to for encouragement and tell you that you CAN do it! 
If you are out there reading this, I want to encourage you to get out there and get moving. It doesn't have to be aggressive workouts like Insanity!, you can do yoga, pilates, zumba... It's not just about being 'in shape' and fit, it's about being healthy. Being a better you for your future. It's being fit on the inside, how you look on the outside is just an added bonus. Find what works for you and don't give up!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Homemade Laundry Detergent Bandwagon...

It seems lately every time you turn around someone else is going on about making their own laundry detergent. I had unsure feelings about it, I'll admit. Part of me was lazy about collecting the supplies needed, like it takes soooo many. Finally I said, "That's it. Once I go through these last five bottles of Tide I'm making my own!" Yes, I had 5 bottles of Tide in my house at one time. I had that many coupons and there was a good sale, and that is the only time I buy it, when it's less than $5!

So, I asked around and researched looking for a recipe that was good for me. Which all the recipes are basically the same using washing soda, Borax and Feels soap. Cook the soap, mix... blah blah. And in the end it's really think, like gel. That just seems like too much for me.

Just as I am about to give up and move on I come across a pin on Pinterest that catches my attention, homemade laundry soap using DAWN!!! It's not thick??? No cooking??? You can make it by the bottle?? Heck yeah!!! I have 3 full bottles of Dawn I bought a year ago for less than $1 that are collecting dust. I VERY rarely hand wash my dishes, so 1 bottle will last me forever.

Here is the link to the recipe: One Good Thing by Jillee

The best part is that you can use different scents of Dawn and it will leave your laundry scented. The only thing I had to do different was cut her recipe down. Jillee uses 1 gallon jugs while I have 50 ounce bottles (which is still less than a half a gallon). I just cut the recipe in half and it still works great! I'm still testing using different amounts in various laundry sizes, but I call this a success!! It's fast, easy and works!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Natural Mosquito Repellent

Gonna make this quick, or try to. I've had a busy weekend and a busy week ahead, so I'm ready for bed!
I had bought a few essential oils to make some Christmas gifts, hand scrubs to be specific, and ever since they've been sitting around my house collecting dust. It wasn't until recently I've been hearing that there is so much more you can use these essential oils for! And a little $3-$4 bottle goes a long way because you only need to use a few drops at a time
My main focus for this blog is Peppermint Oil. Just waving the bottle under the nose will give you a little pep up. You can also add a few drops to some cool water, soak it with a rag and lay on your forehead for a cooling sensation. And the list goes on! For more health benefits, you can read more on those here: Top 5 Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil.
However, I just discovered and new use for it over the weekend. A mosquito repellent! We had a few friends over this weekend and as the sun started to go down the mosquito's started to go on the attack. I grabbed my bug guard lotion and my peppermint oil since I had heard that is could also be used as a bug guard. And would you believe that it WORKED!! I rubbed some behind my ears, on my wrists and ankles and didn't get a single bite the rest of the night. And not only did work for me, it worked for everyone! Goodbye chemically stinky bug sprays, hello healthy, natural peppermint oil! I would not recommend it if you are going to be hiking, out in the woods with ticks and bees and such, but it is perfect for nights you want to just chill out on the patio or have a picnic!
Give it a try for yourself! There is really nothing to lose!

On a side note: Do not mistake essential oils for the scented or fragrant oils used for candles and reed diffusers! They are bad for your skin and should not be ingested! I found my essential oils online from numerous medical rescources and at a local health food store. I am specifically using the brand Aura Cacia.

What is your favorite essential oil and use?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Good Storm and a Glass of Wine

     All this week my church has been hosting Bible School for kids PreK - 6th grade. Guess who was in the PreK room?? Me. Shew! Our first night we had 15 screaming, fired up 3 and 4 year olds. By the end of the week we dwindled down to about 12. Oh, don't worry, we had plenty of help recruited in the form of teenagers.
     Anyhow, there is a storm approaching and I am sitting here with a glass of wine unwinding from the day. It's really the only time of day I really get to unwind. There isn't much more that is relaxing than sitting in the quiet, a glass of sweet red wine, and the low rumble of the thunder. In the end it is all worth it to be able to see the kids have fun and learn something in between the hits, and potty breaks, and chasing and screaming. As long as I get to squeeze a little me time in there, I can keep my sanity!
     Well, this storm is very fast approaching, and I need to finish this glass before it gets too bad. How else am I going to keep my cool when it actually hits??

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

History Lesson

Of course you can read the basics about me and my purpose here to the right, but every blog has to have a first post, right? How about a little more history and how I got here? Probably kind of a bore, but as my purpose states, I hope to one day inspire someone. To do what? I don't know. That's for them to figure out!
Anyhow, I was born... no. I'm not gonna start there! How about, I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Print Advertising. Great accomplishment, that took me a long time to figure out, just about how everything does for me. However, it didn't quite settle me. I worked in the field of graphic design for almost 5 years. I won't lie. I wasn't quite happy and I wasn't making enough. Got married to my wonderful husband, tacked on 2 step kids who are VERY active in sports, had my son, and that just made it worse. I sat at my desk day in and out thinking how someone else was raising my son but me! It drove me literally stir crazy! So, I ended that chapter, I quit my job. BIG decision as a family. The only way husband approved was if I started babysitting to keep some income. For the last year and a half that is what I've done. It's been a joy, though I still don't get to quite do all things I'd like with my son, I'm still with him and that is priceless! All this time though, I know I will eventually have to go back to work. Psh! Who needs work?? I do! With a step-son that will be rounding 16 in a year, thinking about driving and college, a 3 year old that will start preschool and sports in a year, the demand for a higher income couldn't be more needed!
After thinking and thinking.... and thinking... I have settled on going back to school to be a nurse. Completely opposite from graphic design, I know!! Lucky for me I have all the gen ed needed except for a few anatomy classes and nursing assistance, oh, and an ACT score of 20!! Yes I'm nervous. And yes, I am excited! So this is where I am now. Hope my history lesson hasn't BORED you!!