I love productive days.

I got 3 loads of laundry done, baked some Pumpkin Casserole, scrubbed the stove (no small feat lemme tell ya!) and fridge, washed down the bathroom, changed 5 poopie diapers (this kid needs to learn to use the potty STAT!) bathed the rugrats and dusted the whole house.  Busy morning!!  I was thinking about doing an Insanity video today, but I’m really trying to stick with the scheduled rest-days.   Some rest, huh?

Sooo Annnnyywhooo….

I’ve had a hankerin’ to make a starburst mirror for a while now, but I don’t really like the traditional kind with the ‘chopstick’-like look to it.  I wanted something softer:

Instant gratification project. ☺♥  Took me all of 30 minutes to make and cost me $9.  Love it! 

The kids wanted to make something too, so I let them have at my scrap poster board:

Dinner was something I had seen on another site (can’t remember where though).  Pizza Wraps.  Here’s how I did it –

  • Onions, raw, 0.25 cup, chopped 
  • Kraft Finely Shredded Low-Moisture Part Skim mozzarella cheese, 1 cup
  • Shadybrook Farms 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey 20 oz 
  • Flat Out – Light Italian Herb Flat Bread, 8 wraps
  • Pizza Sauce, 1/2 jar
  • Green Peppers (bell peppers), 0.75 cup, chopped
  • Peppers, sweet, red, raw, sliced, .75 cup
  • Grapeseed Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Garlic, 3 cloves
  • Pizza seasoning
  • Cooking spray

In a heated skillet, saute your veggies using the cooking spray.  Once they’re soft, put them in a bowl and set aside.  Brown your turkey meat in the grapeseed oil and add your pizza seasoning.  If you are using the 99% fat free kind you will not have to drain the cooked meat.  Toss your veggies back in and stir in the sauce. 

Assembly time!  Lay out your wrap, top with some cheese (I also added some pepperoni to Officer M’s) and 1/2 c of the meat mix. 

Wrap em up!  Now, you could toss them in the oven to melt the cheese but I didn’t want to wait 15 minutes for my oven to pre-heat so I threw them on the grill pan:

Just a couple of minutes till the cheese melts and you get a crisp on the wrap.  I had a hard time keeping a couple of them closed….

Money shot:

Stats for this bad-boy:

  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 248.6
  • Total Fat: 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 51.3 mg
  • Sodium: 565.0 mg
  • Total Carbs: 14.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
  • Protein: 30.8 g

**Stats don’t include the pepperoni!!

I’m off to surf the interweb for meanings of these ridonculously weird dreams I’ve been having.  I’m still waiting for the dream where I lose a tooth – apparently that means you’re gonna win the lottery!!  I suppose my odds would increase if I actually bought a ticket though…..  Nite!

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Random Thursday-ness.

Look what I got yesterday!

My 8 year old Hamilton Beach started smoking the other day.  I would’ve LOVED a Vitamix, but I don’t really have $499 for a blender right now…This one did a pretty good job with my Protein Ice Cream so I’m happy 🙂  <–  See?  Happy.

My dad came over for dinner last night and I made some meatloaf. Yummy Italian Turkey Roll!!

Lazy picture.  Again.  Sorry!

Ground Turkey (Jennie-O Turkey 93/7), 20 oz

Onions, raw, .5 cup, chopped

Poultry seasoning – to taste

Garlic powder- to taste

Egg, fresh, 1 medium whole, 1 egg white 

Stewed Tomatoes, canned, w/ onions, celery, green pepper, 1/2 cup

Barilla – Marinara Sauce, 1/2 cup

Spinach, fresh, 1 cup

Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian – 2 oz

Original Quaker Oats Quick cooking oats, 3/4 cup

Colonna Imported Parmesan Grated Cheese, 2 tbsp

Preheat your oven to 375.  In a big bowl add your diced onion, turkey, seasonings, oats, eggs and canned tomatoes.  Mix it together with your hands. Lay out a long sheet of wax paper and dump the mixture:

Using a spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, spread it out to an approximate 8″x11″:

Layer on the spinach and mozzarella.  I didn’t have any roasted red peppers this time, but that would’ve been good here:

Now grab one side of the wax paper and start rolling:

You want to make sure to get this all done while the meat is cold so it doesn’t fall apart.  Keep rolling:

Now you should have a little football:

Toss this bad boy in the oven.  At the 30 minute mark cover it with 1/2 c spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese and pop it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

I like this method because it distributes the filling better than the traditional way.  And it looks cool when you cut into it!

Stats:

  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 187.6
  • Total Fat: 8.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 77.1 mg
  • Sodium: 242.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 8.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 17.9 g

 

I also had a little time yesterday after my P90X Legs & Back to do some painting.  You know those little squishy window clingy thingys (that’s their real name right?) –

Well Miss P was playing with them on the front door when inspiration struck!  Ok that’s a tad dramatic, but I did have an idea:

Cute, no?

I stuck a few up in the pattern I liked, traced ’em and hand painted them with the Benjamin Moore Ashley Grey color that I ♥ so much.

I think I might stencil some wording on there too.  Maybe “Come Again” or “Friends Welcome” or “What? Do you live in a Barn, Shut the Door”….I’ll have to ponder that some.

Ok, I have to stop procrastinating and get my INSANITY on.  Peace Out!

Does anyone else ♥ cake as much as I do?

It’s really, really early.  Miss P wanted Cheerios at 4:17am.  *yawn*

So I forgot to show you the fantastical cupcakes from Thursday’s playdate with Miss Ivy’s Ladies:

I have a problem with cake.  Have you seen that Sex and the City Episode where Miranda makes a cake mix and keeps going into the kitchen and picking at it, then finally ends up throwing it in the trash only to pick at it from the trashcan anyway?  Yeah.  I haven’t eaten trash cake, but don’t put it past me.  I ♥ cake.

Here’s my go to chocolate cake recipe.  It’s not overly sweet which balances out the frosting really well.  Trust me, once you use this, boxed mixes just won’t cut it anymore! 

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Baking Soda, 3/4 tsp
Baking Powder, 1 tsp
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Mayonnaise, Hellman’s Light, 3/4c
Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, 1/3 cup
Water, tap, 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract, 3/4 tsp
King Arthur Flour – Whole Wheat, 1.5 cup

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  • Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise. Gradually add water and vanilla and blend until smooth. Scoop batter into 12 cupcake wrappers.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15-ish minutes
  • [**If you want to make a full cake with this recipe, just double the ingredients, pour into 2 9-inch cake pans and bake them at 350 for 30 minutes.]

    • Servings Per Recipe: 12
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 125.9
    • Total Fat: 3.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 4.0 mg
    • Sodium: 229.1 mg
    • Total Carbs: 20.4 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
    • Protein: 2.4 g

    I also finished a little project I was working on for Bugga’s room.

    I traced a car onto some leftover MDF and cut it out with a jigsaw.  After it was painted a nice fire-engine red I painted the windshield with Chalkboard paint.  The headlights are painted with yellow acrylic paint and covered in epoxy bubble stickers.  The grill is some spray-painted corrugated cardboard and the tires are a rubber mat I cut up.  Total cost = $6.

    Today’s agenda includes cardio (by way of Insanity I think) AND some strength training.  I hope I can muscle through it (pun intended) cuz I am draggin’ ass.  Hope your Saturday shapes up to be a good one!

    It only took 2 years.

    We’ve lived in this house for 2 years this past Monday and I have FINALLY hung up some pictures in our bedroom.  Remember the picture frames from a few weeks ago?:

    I got tired of seeing them on the bedroom floor yesterday and decided to get off my butt and take care of them:

    I decided to leave out the black frame and add in a wedding picture of Officer M and me.  I also added in 2 framed prints I had.

    Little cutie from yesterday found a home too:

     In other news – I’m getting out of the house today!!  We’re going to an open house for Peyton’s preschool and then to a birthday party at McDonalds.  Peyton hasn’t had fast food yet and I was really hoping to prolong that a bit longer…oh well.  Maybe she won’t like it?

    We also have to do the grocery shopping today.  The fridge is embarrassing:

    The kids had Cheerio’s for dinner last night.  Hey, they thought it was awesome!

    At least would could live off the condiments if we had to:

    Is it just me or do your condiments reproduce all on their own too?  This is just ridiculous!

    I gotta get moving.  I don’t like to keep Shaun T waiting – he gets really mad and yells at me…:)

    I’ve been in the house since Saturday.

    Between the weather and the pink eye running rampant through the house, I haven’t been out since Saturday. Sad, I know.

    But really there isn’t anywhere I need to go so badly that I would make me want to head out in the 2 feet of snow and biting cold.

    This is the little wishing well in our front yard in December:

    And this morning:

    Anyway.  In between countless games of Candy Land, Tic-Tac-Toe, Barbie, Nascar and Restaurant – I managed to make this cutie:

    I just need to decide where it’s gonna live.

    That’s it for now.  Being snowed in made me kinda lazy yesterday. 

    I’m off to get my Legs & Back done.  I think I may venture out into the world later today too.  We’ll see…..

    And the snowball effect continues….

    After we painted the front door, the trim around it was looking, for lack of a better word, OFFENSIVE.

    Seriously, every time I went downstairs I felt like it was giving me the finger.

    At my most recent trip to the hardware store, I found a $3 can of mismatch paint in a chocolate-brown.  I figured for 3 bucks if it came out looking like crap (pun intended) I could paint over it and not cry!

    It worked out PERFECT! 

    YAY!  One door frame done, 9 to go.  Oh and 7 window frames.  And about 2 miles of baseboard….GAH!

    Anyway. 

    So I had to go to Ocean State Job Lot the other day cause it’s the only place that sells my FAVORITIST granola EVA:

    At $4 for a pound and only 6 ingredients (all of which I can pronounce!), it’s awesome!!

    So anyway, as I’m pulling into the parking lot I see a huge yellow banner advertising the store next door is closing, so I swung in there really quick.  It was like all the cast-off junk from Chez Marshall’s and Home Goods.  It was slim pickins but I found some cute stuff:

     $3   

    (This is gonna get a nice coat of bedroom blue paint…)

    $6 each

    $12

    (ugh, blurry pic, sorry)

    I also got another frame and a cute vase that’s in my bedroom (Officer M is sleeping now so you’ll have to wait for a picture).

    So the frames weren’t that pretty but I figured I could paint them.  Then as soon as I walked into OSJL I see this:

    Very pretty gray yarn.  So the wheels are a turnin’ and I decide this would work on my ugly frames:

    I keep seeing all these cute picture frame walls all over the crafty blogland and I NEED one for the bedroom.  Here is my version:

    Can’t wait to put it up on the wall!

    K, gotta go.  If you’re in my neck of the woods – Enjoy the snow!!

    The Big Reveal!

    I am finally finished with the Secret Project!  It took about 3 weeks to do and I did 99% of it myself (some elbow grease provided by Officer M – thanks babe)!!

    Okay, so 3-ish weeks ago I bought this beauty of Craigslist:

    Yes.  It is a TV stand from 1997.

    Yes.  I paid good money for it ($20).

    Yes, I’m totally serious.

    But I had a vision.  And for less than $100, I made it into this:

    I’ll let you soak in the awesome-ness…..

    First I sanded the crap out of the whole thing.  Then, I painted this bad boy with 2 coats of primer and one coat of a high-gloss latex paint.  This took the most amount of time.

    I went to Home Depot to have them cut me the MDF I needed to make a back panel, fridge door and oven door.  This was the biggest expense at almost $20.  While I was there I also grabbed some hinges ($15). 

    I also visited the plumbing department where a very nice man donated the faucet to my cause (it was missing all it’s functional inerds).  This thing is nicer than MY kitchen faucet!

    Officer M lended some muscle here by drilling the holes for the faucet to sink into (we used a door lock installation kit) and a larger starting hole for the sink.  I finished the holes with a jigsaw.  The faucet sits in there pretty tight.  I used a bowl we had and it sits in there without any glue, just in case water becomes invovled in the play process.  The ‘window’ is a blown up picture of my back yard.  My Dad suggested I take pictures of every season, which I am totally planning on!  The curtain was leftover fabric from Christmas hot glued onto the frame.

    Now the stove is made up of an old cutting board and some appliance knobs ($2).  The buners are tops from cottage cheese and yogurt containers spray-painted silver and the clock in from a whipped cream container.

    One more picture:

    Next the fridge:

    My Dad grabbed the handles for all the doors for me at Ocean State Job Lot.  They were bronze so I had to spray them silver.  The sheet metal was $10 at Home Depot and I had to grab a piece of trim to cover the sharp edges ($4).  Magnets from Joanne Fabrics ($.59).

    I re-used the dishwasher door (on the left) by just adding hinges at the bottom so it pulls down.  The oven door was made with MDF and the window was made from some plastic from a container I was throwing away.  The cabinet on the right just got a new handle.

    Inside storage: 

    And for a touch of cuteness, a chalkboard and their aprons:

    Officer M thought I was nuts for wanting to bring in this huge piece of furniture, but it actually holds a lot of toys and I got rid of the cheap bin towers.

    Well, there you have it.  It’s by no means perfect, but the rugrats love it.  I do too 😉

    To summarize: Snow, Eggs, Seeds & Paint.

    Whasshakin?

    I’m sure you’ve noticed the slight change of direction this blog has taken over the last couple of months.  I hope you don’t mind.  Being trapped in the house makes for boring workouts.  Also, it forces me to actually look at the house.  The more I look, the more I want to change (read: fix).

    And, having borderline OCD, when I start something – like spring cleaning or a craft project – it tends to consume me.

    So today it is snowing.  Again.

    The kids haven’t really been able to enjoy the snow so much because of lingering colds, but today everyone seems good…fingers crossed. 

    Oh, just so you know, Officer M decided on White Bean Chicken Chili the other day.  While that was simmering away, I made  Egg, Spinach & Cheese Bake.  Easy Peasy.

    8 egg whites

    1/2 c milk (I used 1%)

    10 oz pkg frozen Spinach (thaw and drain)

    1/2 c Sargento Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Blend (or Cheddar)

    Pepper

    Onion Powder (real onion would be better)

    Garlic Powder

    Yeah, so mix everything together, pour into a prepared 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.   Bacon bits would rock this.  Ahhh, hindesight.

    Stats:

    • Servings Per Recipe: 4  (yeah.  more like 2 for me!) 
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 103.1
    • Total Fat: 2.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 6.5 mg
    • Sodium: 280.8 mg
    • Total Carbs: 4.5 g
    • Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
    • Protein: 15.9 g

    We also made the bird seed feeders:

    Here’s what we used:

    3/4c Ap Flour

    1/2c Water

    1/4c Light Corn Syrup

    Mix these well. 

    Then we added in whatever we had on hand, which was:

    Flax Seed

    Walnuts & Almonds (ground up a bit)

    Raisins

    Oats

    Sorry no measurements on those.  Just keep adding until you get a pretty dry mixture. 

    Spray a baking sheet and cookie cutters with non-stick spray and stuff in the mixture:

    Using a straw, poke a hole through the feeder so you can add a string:

    Now if you are a patient person (which I am NOT), you can leave these out to dry overnight.  I baked them at 170 degrees for 1.5 hours, flipping them once.  If you bake them, make sure to remove your cutters and straws first!  No-I don’t think you are stupid, but we all have those days 😉

    Fun stuff.  We pakaged up a couple as gifts and hung one out on the deck.  Which the dog promptly ate.  I’m not sure what all that flax is gonna do to her……

    In between the bird seed and cooking I managed to finish painting the bedroom!!  Yay!!  Ugly chailrail GONE!  Soothing grayish-blue color IN!!

    Here is my dilemma though.

    I was gonna paint the armoir and headboard Antique White, but the more I look at the wood next to the new paint, the more unsure I am:

    (Sorry-had to use the flash, all the lamps were unplugged)

    Here’s the headboard again:

    So last night I convinced Officer M we needed to bite the bullet and get new dressers.  I picked out these from Raymour and Flanigan:

    These are done in a Cherry Finish.

    So I’m thinking if we get these new dressers, I will paint the headboard and armoir. 

    Taking votes here, what do you think?  Seriously, I need some input!!

    OK.  Gotta get off my rear and get my P90X on.  Later!

    Today’s title elude’s me.

    HA!  Like my $10 word?  Elude.  I actually had to look it up to make sure that it really meant what I thought it meant.  Good thing too, I almost used ALLUDE!  Now that I’m telling you this, I hope you don’t think less of me 😉

    So anyway.

    I’m in a rut with chicken.

    I usually just cook it up in my Turbo Cooker with some salt free spices and call it a day.  Officer M isn’t big fan of this method.  I could make some White Bean Chicken Chili and cornbread.  Or a casserole.  There’s always pot pie.  I may have to hit up some of my favorite recipe sites for inspiration….. I’ll let you know what I come up with, I know you’ll be waiting on pins and needles!

    I got quite a bit accomplished yesterday in regards to my numerous projects.  The secret one is like 5 minutes from finished – I just have to get to Home Depot!  Not an easy task given the weather recently:

    The driveway is a solid sheet of ice.

    I got the bedroom primed and will be painting it today.  The plan is to have the walls done and the headboard started by Friday.

    I also finished a couple of small items:

    ♣This lovely piece of art is actually made of toilet paper rolls, glued together and sprayed with a metallic paint.  It’s in my bathroom.  Thought that was fitting…

    ♠I’ve seen these wreaths a lot lately.  I think the original version was by Pottery Barn for $$$.  Whatev.  Mine cost me like 52¢ -suck on that P.B.!

    Yesterday was also P90X Arms and Shoulders.  This is my 3rd time around with the program (well, 2 1/2 – I kinda made up my own version last time round), so this time I’m trying to lift heavy.  I mainly used 20’s and 25’s with a few 15lb-ers thrown in when I got tired.  Looking at my tracking sheet for the last 3 weeks, I realized I should’ve started heavier from the get-go.  Some exercises went from 20 reps with a 15lb weight to 8 with a 25!  I feel it today and that makes me happy 🙂

    I should go get my butt in gear.  Aside from painting, I promised Peyton & Reese we’d make bird seed feeders (show ya that later) and the house needs a thorough dusting.  Seriously.  It’s like, eeeeeewww. 

    Happy Hump Day!

    I can’t STOP!

    It all started with this:

    This homely, piece of crap coat rack.  We’ve hated this thing FOR-EV-ER.  So I got the idea to purty it up:

    For a little leftover paint and $4 in knobs – not too shabby.  Or maybe Shabby Chic?

    Then I got the painting bug.  And I needed to do the living room:

    Blah.

    Ahhhh….

    A little paint and some new accessories (that I already had) and voila!  Not so vanilla anymore!

    Here’s a few more:

    And that metal scroll-y chandelier-y looking thingy that was over the fireplace?  That got a fresh new look and a nice new home:

    It’s now hanging over Miss P’s bed.  Just gives her even more reason to believe she really is a princess….

    I didn’t forget about Bugga.  I made him a growth chart outta some leftover MDF from my secret project (more on that very soon):

    I have some cars ready to be glued onto this, but I have a feeling Bugga would try to pry them off.  He likes to put this on the floor and use it as a race track.

    There are some other things going on too, but I need to make some progress before I post them.  I will however show you the FAN-FREAKIN-TASTC headboard my Dad and I found at the flea market for $5!!!!!

    I L♥ve, L♥ve, L♥VE this thing!   

    I really wanted to make an upholstered headboard for the bedroom, then I saw this beauty!  How could I pass it up for $5????   So I dragged Ivy to the fabric store with me yesterday afternoon and now I have a PLAN – mwahahaha!!!!! 

    Anywho.

    I have been keeping up with my workouts in case you were wondering.  Not doing 2-a-days frees up some time.  The only thing that sucks about doing P90X as my primary workout is that my cardio is taking a nosedive. 

    I know, I know.  I’ve read all the articles about how cardio is bottom of the pyramid for weight maintenance/loss, but kickboxing and the E got hard!  I haven’t set foot on the treadmill at all this year either…..

    Speaking of kickboxing.

    Either I’m hardcore – or I bruise like a week old pear:

    I’m gonna go with the latter…

    So today’s agenda is a double-P90x this am and Kickboxing tonight.  I skipped Chest & Back yesterday to go to the fabric store.  Gotta say, the fabric store was WAYYY more fun!

    Right now I’m fueling up with this:

    3 egg whites, La Tortilla Factory wrap, 1 oz deli turkey and Chipotle Laughing Cow Wedge.  TONS of protein.

    I gotta get my workout done early cuz my Momma’s coming over.  She asked me to help her with some weight training (that and she wants to use my E and treadmill).

    Ta-ta for now homies!!

    *****OH WAIT!!  I ALMOST FORGOT THE BIG NEWS!!!******

    If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know Officer M studied for the Sergeant’s exam for like 6 months and finally took the damn thing in October.  Well, the results came in on Saturday.

    Officer M was the ONE AND ONLY person to pass the test!!!!!

    OHMYFREAKINGGOD!!! 

    So proud of my hot policeman- you rock honey!!!!