April 30, 2012

.asparagus, my love.

Up until 2 weeks ago I had never tried asparagus. I know! I don't know what was going on there either. After trying it though it has quickly become a staple in the weekday meal plans. There's still many ways I would like to try it but for now I want to share with y'all a mucho delicioso preparation I tried last night.

Sauteed Asparagus with Onion and Goat Cheese serves 2
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 ounces goat cheese
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Garlic salt for taste

Heat a large saute pan with a bit of oil. I err on the low side but you could add up to 2 tablespoons.

Once the oil is hot add the onion slices and a bit of garlic salt. Let cook for about 5 minutes until they start getting tender. Then add the asparagus to the same pan. Saute until both the onion and asparagus are to the tenderness you prefer. Plate the veggies then crumble the goat cheese on top.

Enjoy! I put mine over a bed of spinach and served it with almond meal-encrusted, pan-seared tilapia.


April 16, 2012

.breakfast of champions.

I recently saw a recipe for a cheesy rice and egg bake. It looked mighty tasty and I thought maybe I could do something similar with quinoa and make it a little bit healthier than adding a cup of cheese to it. I kind of threw this all together based on what I had in the kitchen and I must say, it was super delicious. Also full of protein, complex carbs and goodness.

Quinoa and Black Bean Egg Bake serves 4
8 eggs
1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk if that's what you drink)
1/2 cup quinoa
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ounces goat cheese
Salt, pepper and chili powder to taste

The black beans and quinoa made a delicious "crust" on the bottom of the eggs.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

The man loaded his second piece up with salsa!
Combine the eggs, almond milk, quinoa, black beans and spices in a large bowl. Beat well. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 pan (I used Pam spray). Crumble the goat cheese around the pan.

Cook for 45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Enjoy! This makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner. You could also add any other veggies you want and switch the cheese up.


April 14, 2012

.dresser to book shelf.

Well, technically we are using this as a media console for the time being but, eventually it will just be a cute book shelf.

Not gonna lie, I am feeling pretty freaking awesome right now. I drilled. I sawed. I hammered. I sanded. Perhaps I should back up a bit though, eh?

Paint, marks, gouges. Ogh!
Last summer the man and I got some POS unfinished dressers from some people who, to put it mildly, let their kids totally abuse the furniture. There were gouges, writing in pen and pencil, paint splatters, etc. We were feeling crafty though and thought we could redo them. We managed to get one done before la bebe came but the other one was going to require a bit more TLC so it has just been sitting in our room. For 8 months. Yeah. I hated looking at it and was tempted to just toss it because it seemed like it was going to be too much work to get the drawers in functioning order.

This was the top of the dresser. Probably the most damaged area.
But then la bebe kind of made a decision for us! She has started crawling (oh boy!) and of course the first things she goes for are the cords for the wireless router and TV. So, we needed a media console to house all of those, ASAP. Our bookshelf was also starting to get over run with DVDs! I was looking at the dresser one night a few weeks ago and a light bulb went off. I didn't want to just toss it and waste it, and repurposing it into shelves would solve the dilemma of how to fix the drawers. So, the fun began.

Here's a before of the living room. Crowded bookshelf and wireless stuff to the left of the fireplace, TV and Wally bed to the right.

Once I got started it was pretty easy. I removed all the hardware from the drawers, except for the top two small drawers, which worked and we decided to keep them in. I measured, bought my supplies and started fixing the bad boy up.

I had to add these to each side so the shelves had something to sit on, there were already the supports along the back though.
The piece is not completely finished. I still need to add trim and I'm planning on covering the back of the shelves with fabric, since the wood on the back is a cheaper piece of particle board than the rest of the wood. There are also still some pretty deep gouges that didn't get covered 100%, but I'm sure I will repaint this in the future so I will just go over everything again.

In order to get it from this

To this

I simply sanded, filled in the gouges as best I could with wood filler, sanded some more, sprayed it with Killz to keep the pen and marker from bleeding into the new paint, installed the shelves, then painted multiple coats onto everything. I also added some felt to the inside of the top drawers.

It sounds pretty easy when it's all condensed into a nice little paragraph (or, you know, run-on sentence, cause that's how I roll). Really though, it involved a good bit of work. It took much longer than I expected it to, mostly thanks to la bebe. There was nothing too terribly complicated about it though and I really think anybody could do this with the right tools. The only "special" tool you might need is a hack saw, if you need to cut the corners off the shelves before installing them, like I did. Other than that all I used was a hammer and screw driver!

I'm not sure how interested anybody is in the specifics of how I installed the shelves but if you're interested let me know in the comments and I will try to write up more detailed instructions! I figured I would just show you guys, maybe give somebody an idea, and show off my awesome handy-woman work! I really am very excited about how the whole thing is turning out. Now I just need to find some cute baskets to put in the shelves!


April 8, 2012

.money saving tip: cloth wipes.

Okay, this one is kind of more for the mamas. Although, if you use baby wipes for anything and you're not a mama this is for you too!

Yeah, I'm not one of those fancy schmancy moms with a label machine. I go old school and use a sharpie.
We are currently cloth diapering la bebe so it just kind of made sense to try cloth wipes as well. They easily go in the wash with the diapers so there's no issues there. I will say though, I only use them for wet diapers, not dirty diapers. Perhaps different fabric would work better but I just don't like the material we have for the messier diapers, so I use Huggies wipes as well.

For the cloth wipes though, you just need a few things. I used baby wash cloths in a terry material. You can get these anywhere, Walmart, Target, Babies R Us. I'm pretty sure I got mine at Target and I got two 6 packs. You can get more if you'd like but we have 18 diapers and if I'm only using one wipe for only wet diapers 12 winds up being just right for us.

I kept a leftover Huggies wipe container to store the cloth wipes in but you could store them in anything you choose. I also got a small spray bottle to spray the wipes with the solution, which is as follows.

Cloth Wipe Solution makes roughly 1 cup or enough for 12 wipes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon baby shampoo
1-2 drops tea tree oil
1-2 drops lavender oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

Add all ingredients to the shaker bottle, shake together, then spray over each wipe individually while placing them in the storage container.

A few notes about the solution. You really don't have to follow it at all. I kind of mix it up and go with the flow all the time. Some people only use water with their cloth wipes but I like at least putting the tea tree oil in because it has anti-fungal properties, good for keeping diaper rash away. Also, if you do buy tea tree oil or lavender oil you will probably be a little sticker shocked. They seem very expensive, but trust me, one small bottle will last forever if you're only using two or three drops per week so it's really not too bad.


April 5, 2012

.a quick hello.

Just wanted to let y'all know I haven't forgotten you! :)

I am working on a pretty big project that is taking longer than I thought it would. La bebe doesn't always cooperate and the man has been working insane hours so, things just don't get done quite as fast as I wish they would. Here is a little sneak peek though!

I have a few small things on my to-do list that I will try to get up ASAP though.

In other exciting news, I've been busting my ass at the gym and have lost 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight so far! Whoohoo! Go me!