Monday, January 31, 2011

i plunged!

That's right - I did it! 

This past Saturday I traveled to Annapolis, MD, to participate in the 2011 MSP Polar Bear Plunge with fellow teachers and students at GCS.  We raised more than $2,000.

Yes, we ran into the icy Chesapeake Bay...

It was cold.

It was awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

more snow.

About 8 inches total...and it was heavy and wet.

The roads were bad yesterday morning, and we were all off again (yay!).  More craftiness!

Poor Ojo was not pleased.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


We finally got some real snow last night!  It was really coming down for most of the day.  Thankfully, we all had snow days, so we didn't get stuck in the nasty traffic and weather mess that occurred as a result of this storm. looked really pretty coming down last night...

Working on a quilt right a lot done yesterday, thanks to our snow day.  I was determined to not purchase any new fabric for this one, so I've been spending a lot of time piecing it and making what I have stretch as far as possible.  I think it's working out well.  I actually enjoy it - kind of like a puzzle.  Will share pictures soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

banana oatmeal muffins.

Looking at my bunch of bananas and canister of oatmeal, I was craving muffins.  But all the recipes I found online (including on Weight Watchers) were just too junky.  So I did what I never do...I put together my own recipe from several that I found online.


Banana Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
3 bananas
1 c. old fashioned oats
6 tsp. unsweetened applesauce
3 1/2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add eggs and mix.  Smash bananas with a fork, add to mixture with oats and applesauce.  Combine.  Spoon mixture into lined cupcake tins and sprinkle top with chocolate chips.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 16 cupcakes.  Each cupcake is 3 PointsPlus values.

They were gooood.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Imagine my excitement when, after posting this, I receive the fabric in the mail that very day!  I couldn't wait to cut into it - and whipped up this lunch bag first.

It is just simply adorable.  But HUGE.  There is no way I would ever carry that much food to work.  It makes a great tote bag - and I will definitely use it to carry paper crafting supplies and/or yarn, but for workday lunch purposes?  Nope.

Thankfully, I purchased a full yard of the main linen fabric, so I put this one together next.

Now that is more like a lunch bag.  And I carried it all week.  And I love it. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

making my way back.

Getting back into the groove.  Losing Fluff and Opus last weekend was pretty traumatic for all of us.  It took a few days for us to really be okay with saying it out loud....and we still will look around for them before realizing that they are, in fact, gone.  They lived good lives - 14 and 12 years.  Not quite as long as we thought they would be with us, but we are thankful for every second.

I've spent a lot of my time crafting while grieving.  I thought it would take my mind off of things, but I actually spent most of the time thinking about the kitties while the TV murmured in the background.  Probably equally, if not more, therapeutic.  I will share some of those projects this week.

Crossing fingers for some snow this week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

rough weekend.

Sad news.

This past Monday, we lost our dear kitty Opus.  We're not sure what happened - it all passed rather quickly, actually.  He was member of our family for over 12 years, and loved by all.

Then, Tuesday morning, as we prepared to transport his remains to the vet for cremation, we noticed that our cat Fluffy was acting strange.  She appeared to have stroked, and we ended up putting her down at the vet later on that morning.

Not a good day.  Not a good day at all.

Forgive the lack of posting as I pull things together and return to a normal routine.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

project planning.

My parents got me this awesome book for the holidays:
Lunch Bags!: 25 Handmade Sacks & Wraps to Sew Today (Design Collective)

I bring my lunch every day for school, so this is just perfect for me!  I've also been trying to not use consumable waste - tupperwares when I can.  Not only are there patterns in here for lunch bags, but they also show you how to make reusable sandwich bags and wraps as well!  So cool!

I picked up this fabric from SuperBuzzy:

I chose an orange print that corresponds.  I'm so excited for it to arrive so I can start sewing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

january prompt.

I finally finished my One Little Word prompt for January.  We were to put together research we have done on our word of the year.  Definition, synonyms, quotes, etc., and write about what it meant to us.  The final product went into these uber-cute 9-pocket page protectors from Pink Paislee.  I am seriously in love.

I put a lot of work into this layout, and played around with Photoshop Elements for the text.  I'm really starting to learn my way around that program, and really like the hybrid look here.  This may very well change the way I scrapbook in the future.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sweet potato hummus.

I found this recipe at Whole Living and it is just to die for!

Sweet Potato Hummus

Makes 4 cups

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (19.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic clove, chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Whole-wheat pita and crudites such as red pepper and broccoli

1.Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill with enough water to come just below basket; bring to a boil. Add potatoes; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.

2.Combine chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, oil, cumin, and garlic in the food processor. Puree, about 1 minute; thin with water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and let cool; refrigerate, in an airtight container, up to 1 week. Serve with pita and crudites.

I had it with brown rice crackers, avocado and grape amazingly good and a good healthy lunch.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

week two begins.

I'm on my second week of the Whole Living 28-Day Challenge and I feel stupendous!  I am happy and proud to say that I have not cheated once.  The only thing I did (after much research) is eat oatmeal.  Oatmeal, by itself, does not contain any gluten...but it is processed in a plant that does.  So it is not recommended that people with celiac disease consume oatmeal.  Whole Living recommends that you abstain from this grain during week one if you have a gluten allergy, but said that it's okay if you know you do not.  I definitely do not have celiac disease, so I decided to go for it on Saturday morning.  I made some raw oatmeal, added a banana, a tablespoon of walnuts, and 1/2 a tablespoon of agave nectar and went to town.  It was good.  And very filling.  Yum.

The second week now allows me to start adding things back in to my diet.  Today I can reintroduce wheat and gluten, Thursday I can reintroduce dairy, Saturday is soy, and Sunday I can start consuming caffeine again.  I still need to steer clear of added sugar, processed foods/beverages, alcohol, and fruit juices.  This, to me, seems like a much better list. 

Here's to Week Two!

Friday, January 7, 2011

smoothie heaven.

LOVING all the smoothies this week.  The recipes I've been following make 2 servings, so the little one is love them as well. :)

After the first day or so we just starting throwing stuff in a blender and seeing how it came out.  Almond butter...not good in a smoothie, by the way. But yesterday morning I believe we reached smoothie perfection. 

2 c. frozen mango chunks
1 banana
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. agave nectar

Oh my goodnes - this was just divine!  I could drink it every day.  And it was only 4 Weight Watchers Points.  Not bad for breakfast.  Not bad at all.

We picked up some frozen pineapple last night and plan on adding that to the mix.  Can't wait to see what we come up with next.

Everything else is going well.  I feel good.  A bit tired, but it's hard to say if that's from the diet or from being back at work after winter break.  Just a few more days, and I'll be able to add back some wheat and dairy next week. 

Happy weekend!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


MUCH better day yesterday.  I did have a bit of a headache during the day, but by the time I got home I was feeling okay.  I cooked a yummy tilapia dinner for the family and then snuggled in to watch some TV and actually enjoy my evening.

The best part?

I found a cure for my ice cream craving.

Oh, yeah...this stuff has just saved me this week.  Creamy goodness that actually fits into my detox diet.

Somewhere, angels are singing.  Just for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the headache persists.

Day two is done...and that dang headache is back.  Not nearly as bad as the day before, but still there. Hubby is worried that it's from lack of caffeine, but a) I have been weaning myself off of caffeine for the past week or so, so that doesn't make sense, and b) even if it was from lack of caffeine, I've got to kick this habit, right?

I really think it's work related.  I went from two weeks of lazing about to 8 hour days of fluorescent lights, computer screens, and overhead projectors.  Ouch.

Food-wise I'm doing great!  I love the wholesome choices I've been forced to make.  Last night I made brown rice pasta with steamed vegetables, and the little one even decided to omit the jarred tomato sauce for my healthier toppings.  Nice!

And can I just say that I think I'm in danger of leaving hubby for avocados?  Yum-a-licious.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

one down.

Well, the first day wasn't too bad.  Not too bad at all.  I was satisfied and happy most of the day.  I did end up with a really bad migraine in the afternoon, but I believe that was completely unrelated.  First day back at work under fluorescent lighting will do that.  Grr.

No workout yesterday, even though I was supposed to do a bit of yoga and a 10 minute walk/elliptical.  I felt so crummy from the headache I literally came home and took a nice long nap.  When I woke up I was better, but still groggy and disoriented, so I just had a bite to eat and lazed around for the evening.  I considered pushing myself, but I didn't want to make the headache worse.

Good things to come today - I can feel it!

Antioxidant Smoothie (adapted from Whole Living)
2 cups frozen berries
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
1 cup water

Serves 2.  Yum!

Monday, January 3, 2011

and so it begins.

Today is the first day of the Whole Living 28-Day Challenge and I am psyched.

I know that I can do this.  That I can eat more healthfully and take better care of my body.

I will eat several small meals throughout the day, starting off with one of their suggested smoothies.  Yum.  I made some other goodies over the weekend to prepare and will definitely share some recipes later on this week as I try them out.

Most worried about the lack of caffeine at this point...we'll see how that goes.

Wish me luck!

Worked on my One Little Word class this past weekend.  My page is not quite done (I'll share when it is), but I did figure out a little about Photoshop Elements and put this together for the inside of my title page...I love it!


We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe