Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goodbye 2012

I find it interesting how many of my friends can't wait for 2012 to be over and 2013 to start. I have to admit that I do not really want this year to end. I have had an amazing year. We woke up in our brand new house for the first time on January 1, 2012. One month later I started a new job (so in love with my company and my job but that will have to be a post for another day). A month later we had the most amazing wedding with friends and family all around us to celebrate. Our action packed honeymoon in Costa Rica was a blast and we even had time to relax. In June we added Maggie Moose to the family (I'll do a post on her one of these days) and since then we've taken some great trips and made lots of memories.

While I am looking forward to everything that will happen in 2013 I am sad to see 2012 end. I tried to do monthly goals for 2012 and while I didn't do everything I completed most of my goals.

January: Get the house unpacked and settled (still putting up pictures and slowly doing some DIY projects)
February: Run the Rock and Roll half marathon (Done)
March: Love my wedding and new marriage (DONE!!!!)
April: Plant, and try not to kill, some flowers for spring (We've had a bamboo since April and only a few stalks have dies)
May: Try boxing (didn't do this but started running and doing boot camp more)
June: Complete a personal goal I have wanted to do for a while (details to come later) (We got Maggie!!!)
July: Reconnect with 5 friends that I have lost touch with over the years (I was bad about this but did take time with people around me)
August: Spend lots of time at the pool/beach relaxing (This I didn't do but I spent lots of time outside walking the dog)
September: Complete 3 Pinterest projects (I have done half a dozen or so pinterest projects in 2012)
October: Keep up with sleep during a busy work month (I survived)
November: Volunteer for an organization I have never worked with (Didn't do this :-( )
December: Read 2 classic books (I love reading on my kindle app on the iphone and now my ipad and I have been reading a lot)

Tomorrow I'm going to write out my goals for 2013 and put them out there so that all of you can keep me accountable. What are your goals/resolutions for 2013?

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I've been seeing quite a few cauliflower based recipes on Pinterest so last week at the grocery store I decided I would make one of them and bought a head of cauliflower. I do NOT like cauliflower raw or steamed but I I keep hearing how it can be a healthy option for a lot of comfort foods. So finally tonight I had time to search Pinterest for some recipes. I found a few that sounded easy (minimal prep and time required) and took the basic ideas and started my experiment.

First I found everything that would probably taste good that needed to be used:
~1 head of cauliflower
~leftover turkey from Christmas (didn't have many spices and was cooked in the slowcooker)
~boiled red potatoes
~garlic (cause who doesn't like garlic)

Then I pulled out some add-ins that should make it all work:
~Chicken Broth
~Salt and pepper
~Garlic powder
~Olive oil
~ Apple Ginger Cider, a glass of wine would work (ok this is really for drinking because I will occasionally enjoy a drink while cooking dinner)

Nothing was measured because I was making it up as I was going so I would say add as much of each item that you personally like. Other veggies that I would include in the pre-blender cooking (this will make sense in a little bit) would be carrots, celery, peppers, onions, stuff like that.

Sauté the garlic and any veggies that would need it (onions, carrots, celery) until soft then add chopped cauliflower and boiled potatoes. Continue to cook these all together for about 10 minutes. Add Chicken Broth (I did about 4 cups) and spices. Cook all together for a few minutes to let everything mix.

Put all items from pot into blender (a big food processor would be nice to use as well) and blend until smooth. I did have to do this in 2 portions since my blender is not that big. Return to pot on stove and add extras. I added turkey and bacon. I let it all simmer for another 10 minutes or so and serve with crackers or bread. Hubby and I both liked it and I plan to make it again. I would like to make it as healthy as I can so check back for updates. As it is, the recipe is dairy, gluten, nut, fish, soy, peanut, egg, and shellfish free. I didn't plan on that but it worked out nicely.

If you have any ideas on cutting out the potato to make it healthier but keeping it creamy please let me know. Also if you find something to add that makes it even better please share!

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Project House update

Since nobody suggested a different name for my ideas I'm going to continue to call it Project House. Here's an update so far:

Project list
  • Frame the 3 bathroom mirrors- Started on the first but it's taking longer than I though because of the glue. You can see the in process picture below
  • Wedding pictures into frames and all frames on the wall- The pictures are at least printed!
  • paint kitchen table a dark brown- I think I found the right color but we need to start the process of the stain
  • Paint in kitchen under the counter- Done! Just need to do a tiny bit of touch up some night (pictures before and after below)
So I obviously have a lot to do still but I never said I would do it all in one weeks's time. A lot of time is taken up by our new guide dog in training Maggie. Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Project House

Just like so many other people I am slightly addicted to Pinterest. It was helpful for a few ideas for the wedding and I've had some fun trying out some recipes I found. The most fun pins are the diy and home decor ideas. So I place all blame on Pinterest for my next project: Project House. I can't come up with anything more fun to call it so if anyone has any ideas let me know. 

The idea of my project is this: we have no kids and a brand new house so why not make it magazine perfect now since once we have kids I'd rather focus my energy on family and not making sure every frame is perfect. So I have ideas and am going room by room and project by project. I started today with the master bathroom. Of course I didn't think to do before and after pictures but it's not complete yet either. I have one project left which is to frame the giant mirror. I will take before and after pictures of that. I also want to be as green as I can and rather than buying something new, I'll make sure I can't re-purpose something that I already have. 

Project list
  • Frame the 3 bathroom mirrors
  • Wedding pictures into frames and all frames on the wall
  • paint kitchen table a dark brown
  • paint living room trays a fun color
  • Paint powder room wall
  • Paint in kitchen under the counter
  • Paint master bedroom wall behind bed
  • frame flower print from cousin
  • paint 2 of the living room walls with the strip idea
  • re-decor each room with Pinterest ideas
    • entry table
    • find good place for old cameras
    • entertainment unit stuff
    • guest bedroom
  • Turn my office into a "woman cave" (project room, office, work space)
  • shades for kitchen windows
This may seem like a long list to have in a brand new house but I really want to make our house personal and homey. We are headed to Home Depot tonight for some supplies to start on the projects.. Hopefully this list won't take years to complete. I would love to have this list done within a few months so here's to hoping! Anyone have nay fun diy home projects I should check out?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Exciting food allergy update!!!

Last night I ate pistachio ice cream! As I sit here I feel like that could be the entire post alone but let me explain. Recently found a new allergist (didn't like the old one, this one is so much better), and he did a new round of tests since it's been 2 years since my last food allergy test. Results are in. Treenuts (other than almonds) are back in the diet. Peanuts are still under the not a chance category :-(. As for almonds, somewhere along the way my blood test for almonds didn't happen so now we have to re-do that to find out about almonds. The doctor was great and said that if the blood test comes back negative I can do an oral challenge!

So last night I ate pistachio ice cream. I used to love it as a kid so I couldn't resist last night at the grocery store. My first few bits I was incredibly nervous, but I was safe! It tasted great and now I'm excited to have walnuts again.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yummy health baked salmon!

Made this in less than 20 minutes today for lunch. Salmon fillets, a pinch of sea salt, lemon juice, a sprinkle of pepper and dill weed. Place on tin foil, bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Steam some veggies to with and enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

5 months into 2012's resolutions

At the beginning of the year I decided to set myself monthly goals that felt attainable rather than 1 or 2 overwhelming giant goals for the year. So how am I doing?

January: Get the house unpacked and settled
So with the new job that I started right after moving this didn't happen quite as fast as I thought but we are settle and only room (it's an extra office so it's not like anyone but us sees it anyways) really needs attention.

February: Run the Rock and Roll half marathon
I walked a lot of this because I didn't train like I should of but I finished- Hubby ran the whole thing and did great!)

March: Love my wedding and new marriage
Check and check! My wedding was amazing and I'm loving married life!

April: Plant, and try not to kill, some flowers for spring
Yeah this just didn't happen. But the in-laws sent us a bamboo plant that's still alive so I think that counts for something

May: Try boxing
I just finished a boot camp with the idea that I would be more prepared for boxing but I'm actually enjoying boot camp so I'm going to stick with that for a bit longer. I'll do boxing when I'm bored with boot camp. 

I think I've done pretty darn well so far! Looking ahead I feel like each of these goals are still attainable. Next month I gave myself the goal of one bucket list item but didn't share which one. We are going to Vegas for a weekend so that takes care of that but I wanted to do something else. So I'm still debating which item I'll do but I'm thinking either #2, #7, or #37. Any suggestions?

I hope all moms had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baseball themed wreath: Go Rays!

I needed a new wreath for the front door seeing as I still had the St. Patricks day one up there and I don't have any other spring themed ones. After a few minutes (ok maybe a little more than that) on Pinterest I decided that I had to make a baseball themed wreath for the Rays. This was my inspiration:
baseball wreath baseball wreath baseball wreath

I got to Michaels, got my wreath and blue ribbon (Rays colors baby) and was ready to go to the party store for little baseballs when I saw the white my end result looks like this:
Baseball season wreath

I just wrapped the ribbon and hot glued everything on and done. It took me less than half and hour and I'm glad that I have something Rays in the front of the house and a new wreath that I can use all summer in between holidays.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easy healthy Crockpot Dinner

On Saturday I pulled out the cook books and made a 2 week meal plan for the hubby and I. I forced myself to use new and different types of recipes at least twice. It includes some dinners and some stuff that I can make and then freeze off for nights when we just don't have the energy to cook. So tonight's plan was a crockpot meal that was a gamble but sounded interesting. So last night was new recipe #1: Spinach Spoon Bread. I found it in a great book that my mother-in-law gave us last year for Easter that I am determined to use more. It's one of those mix it all up and dump it in recipes. As I do with most recipes I made my own adjustments.

1 package of frozen spinach thawed and drained
1 cup cottage cheese
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup butter
some salt and pepper
3 bunches off green onions chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
3/4 cup gluten free flour
1 tblsn baking powder
about 1 tblsn of corn starch

Mix it all together and throw in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Mine was in for a full 4 hours and was a little crispy around the edge (but not burnt).

The result was a green mush looking thing that both the hubby and I really liked! I think next time I make it I'll try to make it meatier or put it with some chicken since we were both still a bit hungry after.

Tonight's meal plan is open since I have a work meeting but I am making some beef stew that we can freeze off for those busy nights. I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Make ahead breakfast!

So it's been a while since I posted. Jeff and I bought a house, started a new job, got married, had an amazing honeymoon and are now back at home finally settling in and enjoying being newlyweds in our new house. We are trying to eat at home more and eat a little healthier so I was looking on pinterest and found quite a few people who would back eggs in muffin tins then freeze them in he shape (I call the pucks) and use as desire. I have yet to try them re-heated but here are my egg pucks with egg whites, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. I put each one in a foul wrapping and threw them all in a bag. So in the morning we can grab however many pucks we want, microwave them real quick and make a sandwich. Now the hubby and I have a quick and healthy breakfast for weekday mornings! I hope everyone had a Happy Easter and a great weekend!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Favorite Pinterest project so far!!!

I have a shoe rack for which shoe lovers will be jealous. The original idea was here on Pinterest but thanks to my father-in-law it became a reality. Here are the materials:
  • Round Cardboard cement forms
  • Zip ties
  • Saw
  • drill
There really is nothing else to say about it other than isn't it awesome!

My first completed Pinterest project!

Hi I'm Katie, and I was addicted to Pinterest for a week or so. Luckily the novelty has worn off but during my addiction I did manage to pin some projects I wanted to try. I was looking at home decor for the new house when I came across a wreath pinned from the blog A Step in the Journey . I thought this would be a perfect gift for my in-laws who are big Packer fans. So I was off to the craft stores. I didn't like the foam wreaths so I used a straw one instead. Yes it made a mess, but I think I like it better with some twigs sticking out. The yarn.....oh the yarn. I would save this project for a long car ride (like the blog said) or a marathon movie day. Once the wreath was wrapped the rest was pretty quick. I found some good Packer yellow ribbon and some wooden letters. Spray painted white and hot glued them on and my first Pinterest project was complete! Below is a picture of the complete wreath. Maybe I'll getting around to making one for our new house!

Hello 2012

I have heard so many people say that they couldn't wait for 2011 to be over and 2012 to begin. I can't say that I agree. 2011 was pretty good to me. The end of the year was amazing actually since we closed on our house on December 27th! That being said, 2012 is already looking amazing. We are getting settled into our new house and getting married in March! I could go on and on about big plans and resolutions, but I think my biggest resolution is to complete the little goals I set for myself throughout the year. I'm going to set lots of short term goals that are manageable and not try to change the world in one year. One challenge a month is my new goal. Here are my 12 goals for the year.

January: Get the house unpacked and settled
February: Run the Rock and Roll half marathon
March: Love my wedding and new marriage
April: Plant, and try not to kill, some flowers for spring
May: Try boxing
June: Complete a personal goal I have wanted to do for a while (details to come later)
July: Reconnect with 5 friends that I have lost touch with over the years
August: Spend lots of time at the pool/beach relaxing
September: Complete 3 Pinterest projects
October: Keep up with sleep during a busy work month
November: Volunteer for an organization I have never worked with
December: Read 2 classic books 

None of those may seem huge or amazing but that's the point. I'm going to take time to focus on the little things that I've been wanting to do, or that are important. I could say that I want to loose weight, eat better, sleep more, but those are things I will strive to do each day. If some of my goals don't happen, then they don't happen. Although if March doesn't go as planned I will be upset. :-)

So there is my non-traditional plan for the year? What are you all doing for resolutions this year?