Thursday, April 5, 2012

Goin' green

I know that a lot of people are panicking about the warmer weather and the inevitable swimsuit season (guilty as charged!) and are working full force to get healthy, lose weight, and get in shape. While I am certainly no expert on the matter, I would like to share a few of our good habits, in hopes that I can help someone else make small changes (that make a big difference), too!

My secret weapon: Making veggies more readily available. By doing this, we encourage ourselves to snack more on veggies and less on other things, and we also use more veggies in things that we cook.

When we bring our veggies home from the grocery store, the very first thing we do is wash it all and chop it all up. With the exception, of course, of things like tomatoes that don't do so hot being chopped up and staying good. I chop them up in large, snackable chunks, but I make sure that they are small enough that I can add them to pastas, rice, soups, and salads easily.

Once the veggies are all chopped up, I put each veggie in it's own separate, clear plastic container so that when I open the fridge, I see all those beautiful veggies looking back at me! We got some really cheap, really great food savers at Ikea that have been amazing to have around! When I'm making dinner, I say, "Ok - let's veggie this up" and I just grab handfuls of whatever looks the best and throw it in with what we are eating and - voila! Instant deliciousness.

It's a huge life saver for the mornings, too when we are packing our lunches and snacks for the day. (Being healthy makes me hungry). We get a smaller little tupperware container, grab a little of each of whatever sounds best at the time, another little container of hummus, and off we go. Today I opted for bell peppers, celery, and broccoli with roasted red pepper hummus. Delish!

My friend is looking into vegetarianism and asked for a few suggestions. We started this board on Pinterest to share vegetarian friendly ideas and far so good! If you have any suggestions or contributions, I am always looking for new ways to use all these delicious veggies!

I know it's a very small step of a very long journey, but I know that if we keep up all of our good habits, we will look better and feel better in no time! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DI treasures!

The other week my friend Christine and I went for a little shopping spree at the DI. OK - several DI's. We found a TON of super awesome stuff, including two chairs that looked like this:

(You can see the panel of the other chair in the background)

Yuck - this chair must have been stored in a garage or attic for a very long time

Crushed velvet - yikes!

They weren't exactly easy on the eyes as they were, but they had "good bones" and could easily be made into something beautiful, and add that extra little bit of color I was looking to incorporate into my kitchen/dining room area. As much as I love red in my kitchen (clearly), the disgusting, stained, crappy crushed velvet just had to go! The fabric smelled like old, musty cigarette smoke and dust. The wood, once it was wiped down with a water/vinegar mixture didn't look or smell bad at all.

Since I don't have a garage or other covered area, I will have to wait until it gets warmer and drier outside so that I can spray paint the wood part of the chairs. Luckily, this will give me a little more time to decide on a color.

In the meantime, this mini-facelift has been more than enough to make me fall in love!

Chairs: $15 each
2 yards of fabric from Joanne's: $11
Not too bad, if you ask me. Not too bad at all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giving the Gift of Good Health

I've been called germaphobe in my day. Weirdo. OCD. Paranoid. Call me what you must, but I absolutely despise getting sick. Anything that I can do to prevent it, you can guarantee that I will do it.

Everyone around me at work has been getting sick lately. There have been stomach flus, regular flus, colds, coughs and fevers. I know that I can only do whatever I can do to keep myself clean and germ-free, but can't necessarily make other people be germ-free, too. Or can I.....?

Everyone, meet my work-friend Christmas gifts.

Sanitizer Snowmen!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Going Green With Our Garbage

This summer we had a very sad, very poor attempt at composting. The problems we faced were mostly related to the lack of space and the fact that we share a yard with several other people...and all of their animals. I did a lot of research and I think when the time comes that we have our own house I will know enough about composting to be able to do it effectively and efficiently. Looks like that counter top compost container wasn't a waste of $30 after all! :)

One thing I found out about composting is that most cities and counties in Utah offer composting services! If you have a garbage can that is specifically for yard clippings, you have your own large compost collector. Our "compost can" is our brown garbage can. This is where we put the usual garbage...grass clippings, pulled weeds, raked leaves, etc. I thought I would share with you the other items that can be placed in these bins in order to save you space in your regular garbage bins, clear up space in the landfills, and help turn these natural fibers back into nutrient rich soil that can in turn be used to grow more plants and trees!

Think twice before throwing out the following items into the regular garbage bin:
  • Coffee grinds
  • Hair clippings
  • Nail clippings
  • Egg shells
  • Expired produce
  • Freezer burned vegetables
  • Paper towels
  • Matches
  • Banana peels
  • Old spices
  • Potato peelings
  • Orange rinds
  • Q tips (ONLY if they have cardboard middles, not plastic)
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • Corncobs
  • Nut shells
  • Apple cores
  • Lobster shells (if you eat meat, of course)
  • Lint from the dryer
  • Dust bunnies, and other things you empty out of the vacuum cleaner
  • Feathers and bird cage tray cleanings
  • Dead flies and bees you clean out of your windowsills
  • Sunflower seeds leftover from last baseball season
  • Leftover Jack-O-Lanterns (sad, but I know that there are still a few sitting on porches)

Pretty cool, huh? I will keep you posted as to how the composting goes when we get our new place. I hope to be completely self-sufficient when we grow our own garden. Next year....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yummy Asian Noodle Salad

Our friend Graig has the best - I mean, BEST - recipe for ramen salad I have ever had in my life. True story. Every BBQ or potluck everyone always requests that he brings it, and we all look forward to it!
It's light, it's tangy, it's fresh, it's crispy, it's filling but not's basically everything a pasta salad should be!

I finally got him to send it to me, so since sharing is caring I am doing the same for you. Enjoy!

  • 6 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 3/4 C. EVOO
  • 3 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 9 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
Mix up all the dressing in a shaker, or blend with a wisk until the sugar and salt dissolves.
Add to 16 oz. coleslaw mix and 2 packages of crumbled up ramen noodles.


Notice: This is NOT my photo, but this is similar to what the fnished salad will look like :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

My New Adventure

It's taken a while to muster up the courage to do so, but I finally decided to start my own business.
I have always loved party planning...the attention to detail, the creative challenges, and limitless possibilities are something that I thrive off of! My experiences at the Reception center and flower shop both equipped me with the skills that are necessary to making this kind of venture a success. I am greatful for the opportunities I have had in the past, and the doors they have opened for me in the present.

I got my first break after meeting Jason & Janna from Griffin Catering. They asked if I would be willing to help them with their dinner presentation at their most recent event. They wanted to keep it simple, elegant, classy, and formal looking. The color palette we were given was black, white, and burgundy. Check out the end result:

Needless to say, I am pretty stinking excited. I played a very small part in this dinner presentation, and the food was so beautiful it didn't really take much work at all. The tiered centerpiece was fun to make, and I am very pleased with the outcome. The floating candles and black rocks help to keep it elegant and simple. I love how everything turned out!!

If you (or anyone you know) is currently planning an event, send them my way! I would love to take care of them for you! They can check out my blog here, or my Facebook page here.

Much love.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Public Service Announcement...

Hello. May I have your attention, please? Can everyone hear me? OK.

There are 54 days until Christmas. Count them up: that equates to be approximately FOUR paydays. That's right. I said it.

Christmas day itself doesn't hold much excitement for us. We don't have kids. We despise waking up early (especially on a day off). And most importantly - we spend Mike's birthday doing everything BUT celebrate his birthday. In that regard it's kind of a bummer. On the flip side - the month and a half leading UP to Christmas is absolutely fantastic! There is the music, the shopping, the lights, the sights, smells and sounds, the  Festival of Trees, and all the other wonderful things that the Christmas season brings like no other time of year! I am STOKED. I fully intend on Christmas-ing the crap out of everyone around me.

This year is going to be really hard for me in a way - this will be the first year in four years that I won't be working at VS. I will be sad that I won't be a part of the festivities and the excitement - and I will definitely miss the extra money - but when I am able to spend a Saturday making gingerbread houses or sledding, or Christmas shopping during the week, it is REALLY going to hit home that it's OK to sit back and enjoy my family and friends. You know - the major element of Christmas.

As I sit here now, Frank Sinatra is serenading me with "The Christmas Waltz. Keep it comin', Frank. I'm gonna need your help. My boss must have known about my illness - my sick infatuation with the month of December. He has put in in charge of the Christmas party this year. Am I freaked out? Yes. Am I excited beyond all reason? You betcha. Pinterest will definitely help ease some of my stress. In fact, look at these wonderful lovelies that I have already come across!!

"Frosted" jars with candles
Hot Chocolate Bar for the kiddos!

Possible centerpieces for the tables

I decided that the theme for our festivities will be "Baby, It's Cold Outside". It's (one of) my favorite Christmas melodies. Plus, I figure if I'm throwing the party I get to choose whatever I want, and everyone else can just deal with it. :)

Ideally, everyone would bring old and new coats, gloves, scarves, boots, socks, sweaters, and anything else that we can donate to The Road Home to help them from being...wait for it....wait for it ...COLD OUTSIDE!  Ya see how I did that? Just brought it full circle.

If you have any ideas as to decorations, food, or anything otherwise that would help fit into our theme I would LOVE to hear it! I have until December 8th to get my list made, check it twice, and have it all in the bag. Santa's bag.
Too many cheese Christmas puns?

Before I go, I'll leave you with this dreamy little number. You're welcome.