Monday, April 30, 2012

Need to jazz up your workout?



I don't know about you, but if I listen to the same songs or playlist at the gym, it gets a little mundane after awhile.  Nothing will spark some new life into your runs or workouts like some new jams.  I usually have to work out at night and my energy level is more than likely on the downhill slide by then.  I need upbeat music to keep me going.  I don't want to listen to the same music I hear on the radio all day and I really like dj remixes to keep things fresh.  I stumbled upon a link to Rock My Run on Pinterest not too long ago and I love it!  They come out with new mixes two to three times a week and have them all broken down by beats per minute, genre, and length.  Today's mix (Quicken Your Pulse) is just what I needed.  I'm really looking forward to tonight's workout!  An even better plus?  You receive a free credit every month to go towards your downloads.  If you don't have enough credits accumulated, you can buy them for as low as $2/each.  The longer mixes are usually two credits but that is for at least an hour worth of music.  Not too shabby. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

What Was I Doing the Last Six Months?

Even though I didn't blog for six months, that doesn't mean I wasn't being crafty!  Thank goodness I took some pictures along the way.  I knocked out three more quilts and have four or five more in the line up.  Maybe one of these days I'll actually make one for myself.  I did see a great tip the other day for a light quilt, use a cotton flannel sheet as the batting.  Genious!  It rarely gets cold enough in Texas for a thick blanket and the sheet would be perfect for a summer one to use while taking a Sunday nap or to use for a picnic. 
Once my husband saw all the other quilts that I had made, he was no longer telling me that I am a 30 year old trapped in an eighty year old's body, but rather asking if he was ever going to get one.  So, for Christmas, he got a huge (almost king size) quilt with prints of old hot rods and pin up girls.  The color combo isn't my favorite overall so he will eventually get another one, but I did figure out how to do really cool applique!  I found a retro font online, printed it out, cut it out and then traced it onto the batting.  I then laid that out onto the print and cut the print a bit bigger than the batting.  I tucked the print over and under the batting and glued it down on the backside to make it easier to stitch down.  Once that was done, I stitched that down to the black, cut it out and then sewed that down to the corner of the finished quilt.  The pups love nappy time with their pop...

My good friend Montana is a fellow dog lover. Her cockapoo and our two dogs are best friends.  I was so happy to find a cute dog print for her son Sam's quilt.  There are even little bostons on it.  This was obviously not finished when I took a picture, but all that was left at this point was the binding.  The oversized chevron design was really fast! Ruby sure liked it...

The most labor intensive quilt as far as cutting goes was definitely the following quilt.  My best friend asked if I would sew one for her to give to her husband for their anniversary since he had always wanted one.  I wish I had taken a picture of the finished product.  It turned out great!  I will definitely use that pattern again.  This pattern came from the Quilt Makers Cottage on Etsy.  They have the cutest patterns!

I'll make sure to keep taking pictures and blogging, especially since these were with my phone's camera!  I'll do a tutorial for the applique technique on my next one.  It makes the quilt look really fancy but its soo easy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Eat Clean, Stay Lean

The hubs and I like to eat...a lot.  However, we still look for meals with low salt, sugar, and fat content.  Why spend hours at the gym only to destroy your hard work with horrible food?  Clean Eating magazine has been a great resource over the years for delicious, super healthy, and fairly simple recipes.  We are big fans of turkey meatballs and usually they are my normal Italian style ones.  Then I found a recipe on SkinnyTaste for Greek style that have now moved up to #1 on the favorites list.  Yesterday, we tried a southwest version from CleanEatingMag.com.  It was a great shake up to the old meatball mix and deemed a keeper by the big man.  




Southwest Meatball Skillet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen yellow or white corn
  • 1 15-oz BPA-free can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cups diced vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg whites, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well. Shape into 16 meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meatballs and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning frequently, until browned on all sides. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice and cumin and mix well. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Stir in cilantro and serve.
** I added 1/2 jalapeno chopped, and little shredded cheese on top, and served it over brown rice.  Also, the meatballs tend to stick to a regular skillet.  I would suggest a non stick until they are browned on all sides or bake them for about 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown before adding them to the corn/bean mix.**

Monday, April 16, 2012

Down and Dirty

So after a little convincing from the fam this weekend, I'm starting this back up.  May not be necessarily every day, but will definitely be more than every six months.  I can't believe it has been that long since the last time I got on here! 

I started quite a major project yesterday and had such great results that it gave me a great reason to blog again.  I love having tile in my house.  I absolutely can't stand carpet.  My OCD kicks in when I think of how much dust, dander, and pet hair that gets trapped in it even though I vacuum all the time.  Plus, we only have three rooms of carpet and have managed to get coffee stains in two of them.  My next cleaning experiment to figure out how to get those out of beige shag carpet.  If anyone has a suggestion, please leave a comment!  Moving on.  The rest of our house, besides the office, is tile.  Over the years, no matter how much I mop, the grout has gotten really gross.  I thought of having it professionally cleaned and sealed, but its pretty pricey and I love a challenge.  I've always heard of using Borax for tough jobs and wanted to give it a whirl.  I've been using more eco friendly cleaning solutions and figured it was worth a shot.  Most of the sites I read suggested that you make it into a paste using lemon juice, baking soda, Borax, and water.  I added a little white vinegar as well to kick it up a notch.  My measurements were roughly 1 part baking soda, 1 Borax, a shot of vinegar, how ever much lemon juice you want (I like the smell), and enough warm water to make a thin paste.  I suggest finding a grout brush or a long skinny scrub brush.  I lucked out since my mop had a scrubber just like that and it was detachable.  It worked much better than a toothbrush.  I did a test section, scrubbed away, mopped it with clean water, and let it dry.  HOLY MOLY.  It looks like the day we moved in.  I was shocked, not only at how clean it came, but just how disgusting it was before then!  Now, the bad part.  It is pretty labor intensive and I have the rest of the house to go.  Also, it does take mopping with clean water a few times to get all the residue from the paste to come off without leaving a chalky feeling.  Once it was all dry, I swept againand got up a bit more.  The high traffic areas are the worst and I don't have to worry about tile under the furniture, so I think I can finish it all in more evening.  Totally worth it. 

My Cleaning Dream Team

My Test Patch- Amazing!