Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simple & Savvy Tuesday: Choco-Juicy Bread

So, baking is something that I just love.  I didn't learn from a great desire for it, nor while I was growing up.  I just picked up some ingredients that I knew could produce lovely fragrances and tastes, and got to work.  Many a mouthful was spit out, almost choked on and, eventually, swallowed.

When I lived in Savannah, GA I baked delicious cakes, cupcakes, and other confectionery delights with my *Bake It A Great Day* "bakery".  {To those who helped along the way:  Thank you for putting up with the incessant talk of the possibilities of flavors and menu items!}  I also held baking classes in my home for children and adults.  I wasn't too interested in a healthy way of baking, though, and it showed up on me in the sum of 40 extra pounds.

Fast forward to today, when eating right and working out are a HUGE part of my life.  My weight has fluctuated due to skin cancer removals and psoriasis flares but, more often than not, I continue to lose (which is winning!!!).  I don't bake or eat like I used to, and it has taken some getting used to.

A major player in this change: mindset.  I stay completely positive and tell myself that our children enjoy the healthy foods more than they lead on {in my dreams!} and my husband humors me in my attempts to convert them.  Haha!

Really!  How's a girl keep the food tasty and not full of junk?  During the "conversion", I learned to experiment again!  Why, by experimenting, I could learn what tastes good and what doesn't.  I could come up with fantastically delicious dishes for family and friends!  And, to top it off, the children would be the best taste-testers, of course!

Well, all this desire for baking overflowed and I created a meshing of two things: good-for-you veggies AND chocolate.  Bake it up in an almond flour mix and voilĂ !  You've got bread.  It sounds crazy, I know, but you'll be glad that you tried it!

Where do you start?  Well, compile your list of ingredients:
 Here it is in writing:
Please pay attention to the 'Keep in mind' note.  It's very important.  My process goes something like this: juice my kale, spinach, cucumber...whatever veggies I'm using...first.  Clean out the juicer and put pulp leftovers in a ziploc bag. Store in fridge for up to three days or freeze.  Continue juicing.  *And, if you know me, you know how many times I wrote and RE-wrote this!  I just finally said enough was enough...*

When you get to Step 2, this is what your egg should look like:

Note: I'm pretty cool, but not cool enough to make my egg foamy using a fork.  I used this:
It's some kind of nifty battery-operated whipping thingy.  I like it.

At this point, just make sure you're following the hand-written instructions pictured above.  Be reminded:  "t" = teaspoon; "T" = tablespoon.  If you're adventurous, make this recipe up as you go along (that's what I did in the beginning)!  For instance, in the pictures below, you'll see that I used sliced almonds instead of pecans.  I didn't mix them in, either.  After spooning the batter into my loaf pan, I spread them on top and 'cut' them in with my spatula.  Carrots are in my veggie mix, as well as yellow squash.  {They were not the wisest of choices to include, but tasted okay, nonetheless.}

Another tip:  make sure that you've rid as much liquid as possible from your leftover veggies.  Any extra moisture and you could be setting yourself up for a much longer bake time, not to mention ruined baking experience.

My granulated sweetener of choice, from #11 in the hand-written picture, is a stevia/cane blend.  It really does taste and mix great into recipes!

Once you hit Step 3, it should start to look similar to this: 

Don't forget to line your loaf pan with parchment paper.  Much easier clean up and great looking bottom of your baked good!

Now, ovens vary.  I totally understand this.  I'm currently baking in an electric oven, but love the control that a gas oven gives me.  Time may vary slightly, but I did my first check at 37 minutes and ended up baking for an additional 8 minutes.  So, bake it for 40-45 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out clean.

Hope you've enjoyed this!  If you made any changes, make sure to comment with them!  I'd love to give it a try!

To your health and desire for more.  Just keep it all in moderation.

Make it a great day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

I'm Loving Technology (a little too much)

So, with learning about the blogger app from the Play Store, I noticed that I can simply speak to my phone and it will type to you guys!!! How cool is that!?

You must think I'm simply weird, but all this new technology  --well, I guess this isn't really new, just all brand new to me--  I totally love.  My husband has always told me that I write like I speak, so this makes it even easier for me.  I can get my point across AND save time.  That makes me super happy!!!

Don't you love when you are becoming the multitasking diva you've always wanted to be!?

***Now, onto the blogging!

Tomorrow's "Simple and Savvy" idea will be on using your juicing leftovers.  Some people turn their leftovers into compost or just throw them away.  I, on the other hand,  cook with them.

Make sure to come back tomorrow.  The recipe I will be showcasing (with pictures) includes chocolate!

Okay!  Make it a great day and I will see you tomorrow! :D

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Simple & Savvy Tuesday

Simple & Savvy
*Using Tuesday to Save Your Sanity {and Money}*

Are you ever too busy to eat a healthy-and-delicious-for-you meal?  Do you like to have a quick snack on the run?  It's a resounding YES & YES for me!  With two kids and a husband who LOVES his snacks, I can spend a fortune on not-so-healthy foods for us.  What is it about those pre-packaged foods and snacks that keep us buying them over {and over...and over!}?  I would argue that CONVENIENCE plays a really big part of it.

Well, here is a Simple & Savvy idea for you to start trying out.  It's an idea that I put into practice well over a year ago.  We have been able to buy other things that we've really needed with the money saved by this Simple & Savvy act! 

Here it is:
Buy a regular sized bag of your favorite snack.  Buy a box of snack-sized bags.  Go home.  Measure -- yes, really MEASURE -- out a recommended serving size (give or take a few...haha!), and seal them in the snack bags.

*Found this fabulous pic on Google Images*

That was it.  Amazing, right?!  Not only does it save you time when you're in a rush, but also saves you a lot of money in the end!  I wish I would have known {or thought of} this YEARS AGO but, alas, I was too busy doing what I always did.

So, what are some of YOUR FAVORITE SNACKS?  Leave me a comment below!  I'm going to be doing something VERY SPECIAL with the responses!

Make it a great day!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Matter What

This makes me think about things so much bigger than me.
Someone who doesn't even know me made a sacrifice for me.  For you.  For our nation.
This speaks volumes about love for others, don't you think?

Memorial Day was on the 27th.  I'm aware of today being the 30th, but I'm still reminded of the sacrifices made by magnificent men and women over the years.  I am a military spouse.  I am the daughter of one who served.  I am the mother of a future soldier.  I am a friend of ladies and gentlemen who have lost their loved ones to the cries of war.  I am reminded, every day, of what it takes to allow the freedoms that we so treasure.

Soldier:  Thank you for being so courageous and following through on the duty that you were assigned, no matter what.
Spouse:  Thank you for loving and allowing your Soldier to serve and being the backbone that they needed to keep focused on the mission at hand, no matter what.
Child:  Thank you for sharing your mom or dad with our country and loving with all of your heart, no matter what.
Family:  Thank you for supporting your Soldier and his/her family, no matter what.

"No matter what.  That's hard to do.
No matter what.  I don't know that I'd be able to follow through.
No matter what.  It's the mindset that the Soldier takes.
No matter what.  Secure for us, a future it makes."
- Jenn Martin

Thursday, May 23, 2013

No Summer Colds Allowed!

Alright --- truth be told, Summer is JUST getting underway here in Central Texas.  However, our seasons seem to mesh together, so I'm giving you some great information on how to curtail a cold, keep the flu at bay, and put other viral diseases out of business.  OTC drugs, doctor visits, or doing nothing are not the best solutions.  Believe it or not, our bodies are made to heal and fight foreign entities in our body naturally, on its own!  You just need to make sure you're eating the right things.

Super easy to incorporate into your daily food intake, Garlic, Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, and Brazil Nuts hold immune-boosting properties that you'll be glad to ingest! Start adding them into your favorite recipes tonight!  AND...please share!!!

Commonly known to promote health and prevent disease, this powerful antioxidant compound helps scavenge free radicals and helps reduce inflammation. Garlic {as a whole} has also been strongly linked to prevent and treat respiratory disease, bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.  You can add it to every meal!

In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable--including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.  One cup of whole cranberries has a total antioxidant capacity of 8,983.  Only blueberries can top that!  Cranberries are a superfood that you should enjoy year round!

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of both vitamin A and C and are another essential immune boosting food. Glutathione is often referred to as a ‘master antioxidant’, as it plays a vital role in detoxifying your cells and fighting free radicals, and sweet potatoes just happen to be one of the most effective foods you can eat to boost glutathione levels.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins and minerals that support healthy, vibrant skin.

Rich in selenium, a very important mineral for immune function, Brazil nuts promote a healthy immune system. Selenium has been strongly recognized for its ability to stimulate the production of antibodies, the body’s big-little army that detects and destroys bad guys in our body, like bacteria and viruses.

*I found these fabulous pics in a search from Google Images*

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Time of Renewal

How in the world are you doing?! 
I haven't been able to breathe in such a long time that I almost forgot what it was like to write to you!  I started working at my children's school, teaching in the math lab.  It's been exciting, scary, fun, depressing, amazing, and {overall} fabulous.  However, I miss my small piece of calm and creativity.  My space with just enough elbow room to get down to the nitty-gritty.  To be real and transparent.  I miss writing here.
So, to help get me started, I decided to pore over some other inspiring blogs.  I really suggest you try this.  It helps you see that {everyone} takes a break once in a while.  A hiatus; breather; vacation -- it's quite liberating.  Not everyone blogs every day/week/month/YEAR (as in my case).  It made me feel better about my behavior and led me to write a short, straight-to-the-point, bare-bones note to myself.  Here goes:
Dear Me:

I'm writing to apologize for not treating you with RESPECT.  For putting so many expectations, often way too high, on you.  I apologize for not allowing you to grow into all that you CAN be.  I'm sorry that I allowed the fear of other people's judgments and opinions invade your heart and mind.  I also apologize for setting limitations on you.
I admit to you that I was scared.  Afraid to GROW into a GREAT LEADER.  Afraid of what others would think if they knew the truth about YOUR past.  I didn't allow you to PROSPER and BE BLESSED.  Understand that your past doesn't DEFINE you.  What you decide to do with your FUTURE will.

NOW, I'm allowing you to CHANGE YOUR MIND and turn into the direction your HEART was first set.  If you haven't already, set your HEART on those things {eternal} and ACCEPT WHO YOU ARE.  OWN IT.  Let others see your TRUE SELF and BE GLAD.  Don't be stopped by rejection, fear, popular vote, or societal norms.  BE TRUE TO YOU.
I'm looking forward to YOUR future.
Short.  Honest.  Heart-breaking, even.  Truly was hard to write and think about and then, actually, write out.  Who in the world likes to admit that they've been them-self?!
Best part though?  I feel free. Calm; relaxed; ready to face and conquer anything!  Really -- you should try this.
Stay tuned for more!  I'm excited about MY future, too.
Raising Mighty Arrows is an inspirational blogspot that I like to visit.  Please stop by and say 'hello'!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Phew! Almost Friday!

I'm exhausted by the time Thursday rolls around!  Aren't you?  The anticipation of Friday is there, the excitement of the weekend hides behind your serious-work eyes, and all of the week's activities finally catch up to you.  Okay, well, if this doesn't happen to you...GREAT!  Haha!  Share some of your energy with me!!!

So, tomorrow is {FOMENTING FRIDAY} #3!!!  I'm so excited!!!  This is really a lot of fun!  Have you been enjoying the videos?  How about the photo tutorials on {TONIC TUESDAY}?  Drop me a bone, here, people!  ;-)

Until tomorrow, make it a great night!  Rest well and dream sweet!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{TONIC TUESDAY} ...on Wednesday

So, I had surgery yesterday.  I deal with skin cancer on a site-by-site basis, and I needed to have another one removed.  This one was at the end of a previous removal, so it was tougher for the doctor to get through the scar tissue and, while sewing me up, had to tug a little harder and longer to get the stitches in right.  Needless to say, I was in a bit of pain yesterday, and still am today.  However, I'm able to sit up and relax.  Therefore, I can post!  :)


Today, we're working with some GNOMES!!!  I absolutely LOVE our Gnomenclature and Gnome Sweet Gnome sets!!!  Stampin' Up! just keeps coming up with the cutest of the cute!!!  Just enjoy making your own version!

Here is my inspiration piece by a fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, Dana Mosley.  Just LOVE it!!!

So, let's get started on our own!

 Cut yourself a nice piece of Old Olive Cardstock, 8-1/2" x 4-1/4"
and fold in half. Decide what card orientation you want:  Tent- or Side- open style.
For the Side-open style, use the dimensions listed.

Take a piece of Marina Mist Cardstock, and trim it to 4-1/4" x 2-5/8",
then a piece of Just Add Cake Designer Series Paper that is 4-1/4" x 2".

Using an Edge Punch, make your mark on one 4-1/4" side of your Marina Mist layer.

Now, get yourself some Crumb Cake Classic Ink and a Stamping Sponge.

Ink up your Sponge and ink the edges of your punched paper.
Mount your Just Add Cake DSP to it, using your
Snail Adhesive.  Then, adhere it to your card front.  Set it aside.


Now, with a piece of coordinating Cardstock (I've been using Stampin' Up!'s
'Getting Started' cardstock paper pack, Cajun Craze), trim yourself a strip that is 3-3/4" x 1-3/4".
I used two 1-1/4" Squares and our Postage Stamp Punch to make my builder squares out of the Just Add Cake DSP and Marina Mist cardstock!

 Just find your 'center' (haha...pun intended...I needed a laugh!), and adhere your
1-1/4" Squares to the Cardstock strip.

 Using your Stampin' Dimensionals, layer your Cardstock on top of your DSP.

Now, grab your Gnome Sweet Gnome and Gnomenclature stamp sets!!!
 Also, get your Basic Black, Cajun Craze, and Marina Mist Classic Ink Pads along with your Blender Pens.
We're going to start stamping!!!

Using your Basic Black Ink Pad, ink your male and female Gnomes up, then stamp them onto a piece of Naturals White Cardstock.
Have fun coloring in your Gnomes!  I used the Crumb Cake Stampin' Write Marker to color their hair.  You only need to color in the top portion of the Gnomes.
If you need help understanding how to use the Blender Pens, please email me at --- I'll respond!

 Using your 1" Square Punch, get the portion of the colored image that you want in the center of it and punch it out!

Again, with your Stampin' Dimensionals, layer your punches on top of the Cardstock.
Bring your card base back over!

Decide where you want your Gnomes to rest and mount them, using your Snail Adhesive.
Now, grab your Gnomenclature stamp set and choose a sentiment.

Using your Basic Black Ink Pad, ink your sentiment.
Stamp your sentiment right under your mounted layers.

 Now, you're done!!!  You can continue to embellish your creation, if you want, or just leave it simple!
Now, share it with someone you love.  They'll be so happy to receive it!!!

Okay --- that's it for this {TONIC TUESDAY}.  Let me know what you think!  I'd LOVE to hear from you!  You can message me 24/7 at --- I'll respond!

Make it a great day!

Monday, February 6, 2012

(this was a) MOPING MONDAY

...yet fabulous in every way!
I spent the entire morning in the bed by my husband.  It was fantastic!  At noon...YES! NOON!  At noon, we rolled out of bed, did the normal morning-routine, and engaged in the rest of our day.  How nice it was to actually be LAZY!!! do it again...

So tomorrow is {TONIC TUESDAY}, and I look forward to sharing another fun and easy picture tutorial with you!  I was SUPER TIRED on {Fomenting Friday} (I'm sure you could tell by my eyes!), but I was so glad to get it accomplished!

For now, make it a great night!  I'm heading to bed and look forward to getting your thoughts and comments!!!

Make it great...


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Funday Sunday ... Again!

Whatever you decide to do, decide to make it great!

Looking forward to a fabulous week and fun tutorials for you!  Keep posted and watch for a contest I'll be having VERYYY soon!

Enjoy yourself!  Make it a great night!