Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

What’s For Dinner? Volume 8

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

All of these recipes came from the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Cookbook which I bought at my meeting a few weeks ago. (It appears you can get it used on Amazon but not new. Although I like it SO MUCH I am going to recommend you find a WW storefront and go pick one up.)I apologize for not linking all the recipes the way I usually do, but they’re not online (although I suspect a Google search would turn up close-enough approximations)(not that I would suggest you use plagiarized recipes)(but since technically you can’t copyright a recipe it’s probably not illegal)(good God why am I still typing this paragraph?)

I’ve fallen off the diet wagon a few times over the past few weeks and the hardest part of getting back on is cooking at home – it’s so easy to make a “healthy” dinner that gets totally out of control with the portion sizes. But these recipes made with actual real ingredients (as opposed to some extremely popular diet cookbooks that use a lot of scary substitutes – soft yellow butter flavored oil-based spread vs. BUTTER) and were eaten happily by everyone.

Except for the soup, since E hates soup. I KNOW. YOU tell him how ridiculous that is.

1. Smoky Shrimp and Corn Soup
2. Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Lemon
3. Rosemary Chicken with Balmasic-Glazed Onions
4. Wasabi Steak and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

1. Asian Turkey and Noodle Salad
2. Texas Chicken Soup
3. Falafel Sandwiches with Lemon Yogurt
4. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spring Vegetables

What did you have for dinner this week?

I just spent 45 minutes trying to decide if I should start this post with a disclosure about how it is NOT SPONSORED or if I should just write the damn thing and because there is no disclosure people will know I’m not being compensated. I’ve seen a few posts/Twitter conversations recently where readers are torn on the subject – they HATE that bloggers do a non-disclosure disclosure for every single post where they mention a brand or a product (“This post is NOT SPONSORED by unicorns! Unicorns have no idea I exist!!”) but they ALSO hate when they get to the end of a really nice, heartfelt post and they get a surprise disclosure (“This post about how awesome toe nail fungus is was sponsored by the United Coalition of Toe Nail Fungus Enthusiasts – but I REALLY DO love toe nail fugus! It’s so great!!”) Obviously I decided to go with a disclosure – in a sort of rambling, round about way – because it is about a diet program and in the blogging world there’s a lot of diet sponsorship.

So. Let me explain. No, there is to much. Let me sum up: I am a paying member of Weight Watchers, a program I’ve been using for a few months and love. I bought this cookbook and all the groceries with my own money. Weight Watchers has no idea who I am – beyond someone who pays them and has lost 15 lbs so far.

Pinterest Living Room Makeover

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Confession: I’ve taken the “before” pictures for this makeover no less than five different times. Every time I walk through the living room (which is every time I go upstairs or check the mail) I am underwhelmed by its boringness and uselessness. We live in an old house, designed for formal entertaining (you can see the house tour here, although we’ve changed almost every room since then) which is fantastic when it comes to throwing parties but not so great for every day life. We don’t use the front door and we almost never use the dining room, so the front of the house has become a catch-all for junk. There isn’t even a couch in the living room – the free one I got off Craigslist went out with the trash before Evan’s 1st birthday and I haven’t found something I like/can afford. Which means for the last year (and then some), our living room has looked like this:

From a few weeks ago. Just ignore the ball pit we just FINALLY took down from Little Evan’s 2nd birthday party. Also, that TV isn’t hooked up/attached to anything yet, so it’s just a big black light-blocking hole.
This is from Saturday morning. I moved some stuff to the mantle to try to make it more interesting. It didn’t really work.

I know it was built for afternoon teas and dinner parties, but living in half our house is stupid – why feel cramped when we have an extra 300+ square feet of EMPTY SPACE to spread out in? And why do I keep insisting on using it as a FORMAL living room, when almost none of our living is formal?

So my mission was two fold:
1. Make our living room both more functional and more fun and
2. Don’t spend any money

Enter Pinterest.

{handprint art, chalkboard table, bright colored room, fabric garland, covered canvas, button letter}

And here’s how it looks now:

-I bought the canvases from Michael’s when they were on sale AND I had a coupon, to save for a day when I was feeling creative. The striped ones are tissue paper attached with spray adhesive.
-All the paint, felt and ribbons are from previous projects, especially Caroline’s Nursery.
-The bright colored pillow covers are from Life’s Candy, my wonderful friend Mae’s shop. I relocated them from our entrance bench.
-The fabric on the garland was tablecloths at Little Evan’s 2nd birthday.
-The plates are straight up dinner plates from our cabinet, purchased at Walmart in 2001.
6. The empty frame was in our basement.
7. I bought the vases at Target for $3.24 each back in March to fill in the empty mantle.
8. The coffee table was in the basement, the blue chair was in the attic and the toys were in the toy box.

Since the coffee table is black you can’t really see the chalkboard paint unless I’ve drawn on it, so all it takes is a quick swipe with a damp paper towel and we have our grown-up piece of furniture back. The baskets underneath neatly hide all the toys and the chalk.

So paint, buttons, fabric, and some repurposing turned our boring wasted space into a cute, usable room. Now I just need to find a small couch, some big comfy floor pillows and a DVD player for that TV and we might actually start spending some time in there!

Of course I finished this just in time to change it all again for Christmas. Maybe we’ll go with a rainbow theme for the holidays this year.

Thirty Hand Made Days