Thursday, April 28, 2016

yummy and healthy? Inconceivable!

Yesterday was the healthiest day I've had in a long time. I am sore and hungry today, but all for good reasons.

I ate breakfast, which I never do. 
Ok, I drank a yogurt drink and ate a tangerine - but that counts!

I had a salad for lunch even if it was from a food truck
Cast Iron has salads! Who knew? I might have to opt for the Notorious P.I.G. next time (3 kinds of pork on a burger), but the jerk chicken salad was damn good.

I took TWO exercise classes
O2 is the new ESAC I guess? A few ladies I work with go, and they offer a number of classes along with their regular gym equipment. I need someone telling me what to do so I tried out a barre class followed by body pump. Barre is like a yoga/ballet/aerobic combo, and body pump is lunges/squats/push ups/all the other fun stuff... with weights. It was HARD, but GOOD. Today I am sore all over, but it's a good sore. I'd really like to be healthier, so I'll consider this a step in the right direction.

I cooked a gluten free and vegan dinner that was delicious. 
I found this recipe in a magazine and wanted to try it out and it was a total success! All the separate parts seemed super strange to me as I was putting it together, but man oh man - this recipe is a keeper. Martha Stewart wins again, and this one is getting added to the recipe book.

You can find the recipe here: Quinoa Bowl with Tahini Dressing

I used a whole cucumber and a whole avocado, and it was enough for two big dinner portions and two small lunch portions.

Now I just need to keep this healthy train going...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

projects Projects PROJECTS

Sunday funday! My version of fun this weekend is doing stuff that I've been putting off for days, weeks, and embarrasing-to-admit even months. Am I going to get it all done today? Hell no. My goal is to assess where I am, what remains left to go done, and either table that sucker or take the bull by the horns. One problem is actually fitting this stuff in between everyday life things, and the other problem is.. me :)

House Projects
There are too many to list ranging from HUGE to tiny. I'm trying to remind myself to write them down when i think of them and dissect them later. 

Front Yard
We painted the front door, and with some major help from our parents, we cleaned up the yard, planted some flowers, and added some curb appeal. The plan is to keep our plants alive and growing, and replace the pine straw with mulch. Also need to seal the wood on the front porch, and I am chomping at the bit for patio furniture but haven't found the right set that meets our wants and our budget.

Back Yard
Unlike the front, the backyard is our pups domain. The last quarter of it was full of brush and bush-like greenery, but when our fence got installed, it lost all resemblance to an intentional gardening choice and looked like weeds. Again, thanks to some major help from parents we cleaned everything out to a blank slate. Unfortunately, weeds are persistent buggers and have found their way back. So this time, we need to clean it out again, lay grass seed, and protect it with pine-straw. Also want take up the sod and pour gravel by our A/C unit and grill and figure our storage for our yard tools. Long-term we want to think about a shed, staining or sealing our fence, and a paved patio area or a path to the driveway, but for right now we have bigger and less expensive fish to fry.

Office Nook
This one is in progress. I love having our desk and computer in our living space. Eventually, yes, we want an office, but for our lifestyle right now its so much better than a eat-in kitchen. Plus, we have the island and barstools for that! The big to-do for this area was figuring out storage. We decided on a low-profile leaning bookshelf we could put storage boxes and the printer on, and opted for white so it matched the nearby kitchen, and could easily get moved somewhere later if we change our minds. Now we wait till it arrives...

Uggghhhh... I hate admitting to this one. Without restraint my house would look like a gallery wall everywhere - art and pictures hanging on every foot of every wall. i'm slowly learning the art of restraint. One problem is, we've accumulated such an eclectic collection that nothing really goes together. I'm not aiming for matchy-matchy, but putting our robots painted on wood next to our arabic calligraphy is just weird. I am dying to get art on our walls, but am struggling where to put things, so this one will probably always be a work in progress, and I'm constantly on the prowl for frames, prints, and art I like. 

Art-sy Projects
Some of the ideas that come to light.

Wedding Album
Brad and I got married in January 2015, and I have yet to make a wedding album. Our wedding was beautiful! It deserves an album. I wanted something I could add in our invites and other odds-and-ends I saved from our wedding, so I opted for more of a scrap-book style photo album (KINSHO Photo Journal). For the most part its just going to contain pictures, but I wanted the freedom to add more if I wanted. I also opted to print our photos before I narrowed them down as I thought it would be fun to go through them in person and relive everything again. Now I am stuck with the daunting task of picking ~200 photos out of ~2000 photos, and am slightly regretting my decision. There are piles of photos EVERYWHERE. I'm in the sorting phase.

Recipe Book
I like to cook, but unlike my talented husband, I need a cookbook, ingredients, and a plan to make something worth eating. Without those, you are pretty much guaranteed a meal of spaghetti and roasted brussels sprouts (even though in my defense, its damn good!). The idea of this was to collect recipes I've tried, made successfully, and liked, so that when it comes to grocery-buying-time, I have a book of stuff we like, and can easily flip through and create a list of stuff I need to get. Relatively easy - yes. Unfortunately I got this idea in my head that I wanted to hand-write every recipe and of course, make the whole thing pretty. My plan is to table 'pretty' for now and focus on just collecting winner recipes. I can always go back later as of right now, I have clear paper protectors I'm just showing recipes into.

The Blog
Puh-lease. I'll just say its not being updated as much as I'd planned.

Perpetual Calendar
I wanted to end on a good note, so here is a project I actually finished! I'm a bit of a calendar junky. I have about four I maintain regularly digitally, two of which also get written down in a planner along with my constant to-do list (I'm dipping my toes into bullet journaling). If 6 calendars wasn't enough, I missed having a visual at home of trips, events, etc. - so I made one! We wipe it clean every month, and my sweet husband got me chalk markers which work a infinitely better than the original plan of dry-erase. I still want to paint the matting blue or find a smaller frame (again, think pretty), but for the most part, I'm filing this under 'Done'.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I've been wanting a bright front door ever since we got into the whole buying-a-house thing. I coveted the bright doors around the neighborhood and online, and talked about it enough to spurn a colorful door gift for our anniversary. Kind of like the gallery wall the ratio of talking about it to actually doing it was absurd. Brad gets to hear all my hair-brained plans over and over and over again. Good man.

The hardest part was picking a color.

The process started in early February, when we made a few stops by Home Depot and Lowe's to pick up other house-related stuff and ended up picking up paint swatches. Other than 'bright' and 'bold' we pretty much liked every possible color.

I'm a sucker for orange, but in South Carolina it's a hard color to disassociate with Clemson. We liked yellow, but it was hard finding a color we both liked that didn't remind Brad of baby poop. We ending up grabbing a whole bunch of reds, greens, teals, and blues and headed home.

Stage 1 was simply covering our fridge in swatches. Seeing the colors side by side and day after day really helped us decide what colors were keepers. Every day or two one of us would veto a color and take it down, until we were left with a reasonable amount to tape on the front door.

Stage 2 was looking at the colors on the door during different times of the day. Even though we liked a single color on a swatch the best, we decided to put the whole range up there just to get an idea of what a wee light or a wee darker would look like, and it helped! Some of the colors we thought were front-runners ended up being too dark or even too bright one we imagined the entire door with it.

Brad's Buckeye roots shouted scarlet, and I was loving the middle teal, but we both loved the green and ended up grabbing that swatch and going to grab paint. the green on the left was the one we liked the best (Exquisite Emerald), but after the door test, we thought it was too dark. However, we weren't entirely sold on the one of the right either (Shamrock Green).

Stage 3 ended up being buying a paint color we hadn't vetted. Oh well. We ended up going with Sherwin Williams's Kilkenny Green, which seemed to be a good in-between option. It was a beautiful weekend and we'd waited long enough so we went ahead and bought a can rather than go through the the whole swatch rig-a-ma-roo again.

Then we prepped. We decided to keep the door on the hinges mostly because it was easier, and decided to leave the frame around the window white, reasoning that we could always paint it green later, but it would be harder to take the green off.

Stage 4: Tape, newspaper, mimosa, cute helpers, repeat.

Stage 5: PAINT! Minor heart attack and major doubt with the first coat. It was streaky. It was green. It was bright.

Thankfully, coats 2 and 3 made a major dent in the streaks, and I was in love. We pealed off the paint, and posed for action shots.

Exhibit A: Brad opening the door. 

Then we dressed that baby up! Brad put the hardware back on and after a day of drying, we got to see it against our white house.  My next quick obsession was getting a wreath, and I found a few selection on Etsy, which I got through twigs4u. I loved her selection of natural wreaths and great prices.

So without further ado...

TA-DA! What do you think??