Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So sorry I've been out of the blogosphere for over a week! We've been busy with cleaning, LAUNDRY, playing, cooking, playing, tea parties, and visits from FeFe and Poppy!

So, randomosity it is!

*I'm participating in a HUGE spring consignment sale in Birmingham in March. I have about 5 GIANT garbage bags full of stuff to sell. The process is not simple, oh no. You have to print out their price tags on cardstock, label the item extensively (ie pink onesie with a flower on it, size 12 months), safety pin it to said item, hang it on a wire coathanger, and then tape a piece of masking tape in the item with your number on it. For the love. This is a full time job. And I haven't even started. I need daycare asap.

*The gluten free diet is going well. I just ordered Elizabeth Hasselbeck's new book and can't wait to get it. I'm running out of recipes that aren't vegan/dairy free.

*I want to take Mrs. Myers lemon verbena countertop scrub to bed.

*Emma is a teenager. Apparently. She talks to me like she's 13. "Fine, mom." No lie.

*For the love of my grocery budget, it's so expensive to eat organic and gluten free. However, I'm willing to cut some stuff out to make it happen. The more I do this, the more convinced I am that Emma needs to go gf.

*We had SO MUCH FUN with FeFe and Poppy this weekend! They totally spoiled us and let Jason and I have a date night last night! Thank you so much! Please come back soon!

*My kids outgrow clothes at an alarmingly fast rate. Hence, the need for shopping consignment. Harrison is in 12 months. He's 7 months. Word up. Emma is pretty true to size, but she's tall so she needs some 3T pants.

*I finally got a pedicure/manicure (thanks to J!), my first since Thanksgiving. Oh my word. The lady was scared. I've been wearin faux uggs since Christmas. My feet were stained. It was awful.

*We have a play date at the Fernbank Museum on Friday with Emily!

*I missed my bestie LG this weekend, but she had to go back home and not come my way. FTR, Harry missed his new clothes.

*We are having Gina's amazzzzzing  chili tonight and it is indeed, amazing.

What's new with you all lately?

Monday, January 30, 2012


Emma: Mommy, I have a baby in my tummy.

Me (5 minutes later): Emma, do you have a baby in your tummy?

Emma: No, mommy! It's a lovey!

Duh. So sorry.

Updates on my weeklong absence soon! And no, I don't have a baby in my tummy. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Skin care and makeup

I love reading about and learning about all of the fun skincare and makeup items you all use, so while I was getting ready this morning (gasp! a shower, and makeup!) I thought I would do a post of what I used. Maybe some of you will do one too!

For skincare, I am super plain and never change it up ever. I'm old enough {33!} to be using more, and I know Shasta Anne would kill me if she saw this facial routine, but I'm lazy and don't spend a lot of money or time on my face. It's lucky to get washed every night, honestly.

I always wash with this. I have a mild form of rosacea on my face and this seems to help.
 I use the cream version in the shower. It has little exfoliating beads in it too.

Been using the Clinique skin care line since I was about 14, and I can't deviate from the 
clarifying toner or moisturizer. They feel too good!

For makeup, I'm a pretty simple girl. I've added a primer and a finishing mist to my routine in the last few years, and I've changed up my foundation until I found the greatest, smoothest, natural foundation ever! Also, I JUST started wearing eyeliner, and I don't do eyeshadow like EVER. I know how to do a few things , but I want to look super natural and I just don't like doing eyeshadow. So, what's in my makeup drawer?

Love some primer to make that face stay put!
Just switched to this from the Sephora primer brand.

The best foundation everrrrrrrrrrr. I put a dime size amount on my finger, 
then dab it all around, then rub it in gently with my fingers.

Been on the Bare Minerals train since my friend Nicole got married and LG did my makeup. It is now my powder that goes on top of my foundation to smooth out and cover up.

Gotta get my bronze on with some warmth from Bare Minerals. 
Just a light dusting makes me look human.

Probably the most used color by Nars, Orgasm.
 It looks good on pretty much everyone.

My newest obsession is this awesome Tarte Amazon clay cream eyeliner. It's super easy to use (see that cool double sided brush below? It comes with the eyeliner!) It is waterproof and it looks really good on. Not hard to make a nice straight line, especially for someone like me who just started wearing eyeliner.

One of my three mascaras. Yes, I know I have a problem.
I have good eyelashes, so this is what I play up the most.
I use Maybelline Falsies. I've been using it since it came out,
and I probably will keep using it unless they make something better.
Maybelline knows their mascara!

Recently I got this Urban Decay curling mascara at Sephora. 
I love it too! It goes on top of the Falsies.

And the red headed stepchild is the  Cover Girl professional mascara. I use it for a "base" sometimes
and use it for lower lashes other times. She doesn't get used a lot.
Not a great picture at all, but this is what gives me the brows. Since I waxed my brows into oblivion in college, they won't grow back in on the ends, so I have to spruce them up with this Maybelline brow stick. It's awesome.

And finally, I am addicted to finishing spray. I love the way
it makes your face feel, it's like it complete the look. This is a
new product for me. I used the Caudalie spray forever, then
switched to Makeup Forever spray, now I'm on 'Dew Me' by
Urban Decay. It gives you a nice, dewy look.

For lips, I really only ever use this. I'm not a lipstick person at all.

My brush collection!

My makeup drawer-for some reason I can't rotate it....annoying.

So, what's in your makeup drawer or bag? I'd love to see. Let me know if you do a post like this!

Friday, January 20, 2012

OCD....or, maybe not?

Oh look, me as a child, organizing things. Not really, but I so did do this.

So, yesterday as I was showering/putting on make up, and getting ready, I started thinking of all of the random OCD like things I do. Do I really think I have OCD? Probably not. Do I think I have a very mild form of OCD? Maybe.

From PubMed Health:

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).
Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety.

Moving on, allow me to share with you some things I do that I think are weird.
*I always have to do the same exact order of things in the shower. Every time. Wash body, wash face, shampoo, conditioner, shave, exfoliate. I also dry off in the same way.
*Lotion has to be an even number of pumps-I use 6 pumps for my body. Can't handle seven. I like even numbers too. Odd numbers skeeve me out.
*Deodorant is the same way. 12 swipes if I'm not doing anything, if I have plans to be out and active, we'll up it to 16. 
*I have to load the dishwasher the same way every time. All the plates go first, then silverware, then cups and baby food paraphernalia. Conversely, when I unload the dishwasher, I have a system. I get out alllll the plates, cutting boards, bowls from bottom, and place them on the counter. Then I put them away, then do all the silverware and cooking utensils, then move to the top. But I like to make stacks of similar items to I can put htem away all at once.
*Vacuuming has to be done the same way each time. I have a "path" that I make around each room. And it never changes. WTF.
I know there are other weird things, but right now I'm thinking I need to check myself in to Betty Ford for OCD. :) What do you do that is weird or OCD like?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Since I went GF, I have been thinking more and more about the things I put into my body, and the things I surround myself and my family with. I have a long way to go to get to where I need and want to be. My goal is to have a safe and naturally clean home.

I am, by nature, a very clean and organized person. It's not something I really have to work at. I like things to be clean and organized, and it's easy for me to do it and just get it done. Do I let things go with two kids? Absolutely. But when they are down for naps or bed, I'll get the tidying and other stuff done, because it's important to me. It makes me feel calm and relaxed. I know some of you can relate.

Lately, I have been making a lot of my own products. Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, baby food, yogurt mixtures, etc. Some have been to save money, and others are just because I want to do the best I can for my kids. And as a SAHM, I have a lot more time to get those things done. Trust me, I understand the working mom and not having time {mine was not wanting to make time} to do things like make baby food or create cleaning products. You have a JOB and then come home to your second job.

Anyway, I love reading Megan's tips about natural products. I would love to hear some natural things from you regarding cleaning and home care.

Right now, the main things I want to work on switching over are:

*Dish soap {like Dawn}. I hand wash all pots, pans, and cookie sheets, so I use this frequently. I know there are natural brands, but do you recommend one over the other or do you have a homemade recipe?
*Clorox wipes. God, do I love these things. I buy them in BULK {8 pack at a time} and use at LEAST 15 wipes per day. Minimum. I know there are the Greenworks brand, but the containers are so SMALL and they're so expensive. I don't use paper towels a lot, only to dry my hands occasionally. So, what do you clean/disinfect your counter tops/highchairs with? I will still have to use something like this for the toilet seats though! Ewww.
*Bathroom cleaner-I use some form of Clorox foaming bathroom cleaner for sinks, tubs, and showers. What is better?
*Windex-what else can I use?
*Floors-hopefully I'll be the owner of a new Shark Steam Mop after my birthday tomorrow!!! Only water, no chemicals!
*When vacuuming my floors, I use baking soda instead of scented Glade or other products that you pour into the carpet to help it smell better.

The main thing is, I don't want to/can't spend a lot of money on cleaning products. I've seen the Shaklee bit, and while all natural and quite interesting, it's too expensive for me. I use a lot of cleaning products. Any Shaklee users out there? Wanna give me a testimonial and free products to review? :)

With the kids, we have quit using Johnson and Johnson soaps, lotions, and pretty much anything they make. We use Aveeno bath soap and lotion. I should probably look them up on some website to make sure they're all good, but I'm pretty sure they don't have formaldehyde or other heinous chemicals in them. Ok, just came back from looking and it seems that J&J may own Aveeno too? I need to go read the ingredients stat and decide what else we can use if it contains the nasty chemicals like dioxane and formaldehyde. What do you all use for soap/shampoo/lotion on your kids? Also, Emma now needs conditioner. Any natural ones you can recommend?

SO. That's where I am right now. I have many things to change to make me feel like my kids and family aren't getting exposed to multiple chemicals, but I'm on the road. I would LOVE to hear your suggestions and feedback.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why I went gluten free {also known as how a bunch of people think I'm insane}

OK, so I've been hinting around a time or two billion about going gluten free. So, I'm going to tell you why I'm doing it. 

I have lupus. Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE), which is the type of lupus that causes photosensitivy and itchy rashes all over when exposed to UVA or UVB light. I was diagnosed when I was 20 years old after repeated itchy rashes on my face and chest after sun exposure. 

Anyway, I've been managing it for years, and once pregnant with Emma, it seemed to go into remission, if you will. It was dormant. I could lay out! I could be outside without protective jackets! It was glorious. Then, I got really bad rheumatoid arthritis. My joints hurt. All.the.time. I got on some meds to help. Then I got pregnant with Harrison. I quit the meds. Again, the lupus symptoms of arthritis disappeared. Once having him, my joints started hurting again. I went to see my rheumatologist to get re-evaluated and start meds again. Except? He said the pains I was having were not from arthritis. He said my joints were not swollen. He wasn't sure what was going on.

So, I thought and thought. I did some research. I read a lot of gluten free blogs. I stalked some gluten free girls and trainers and got their professional opinions. I decided to try going gluten free for at least six weeks. If I felt better, great. I would become gluten free. If not, then I would find another doctor to find out WHY I was feeling like this. Like I'm 60 in an {almost} 33 year old body.

I started gluten free full force last week. It's too soon to tell if it's working yet, but I do have more energy. Likely because I'm eating more protein. This is a really good way to find out what's truly going into your body. I've been amazed at what is really in food from reading labels. 

I mean, grocery shopping yesterday? Blew my  mind. Looking at my fat free half and half for coffee-why is there corn syrup and carrageenan {what is that?} in there. Hormel natural turkey. Same thing. Why is there starch, turbinado sugar and carrageenan in there? On and on. It was gross. I have to email my GF Girls to ask them if stuff is okay all the time. Shredded cheese? Has gluten {starch} in it to keep it from sticking together. So, I have to buy a block and shred it. Sauces, dressings, etc. Gluten. {Just googled carrageenan-it's a seaweed extract used in processed foods-still not real sure what it does, but whatever.}

The things I've read about wheat production bother me. I have never paid attention to stuff like this before. But when I read that ROUNDUP is being used on wheat, that bothers me. Because when that wheat is harvested, the ROUNDUP is still there. The things I've read about wheat affecting joints is the primary reason I decided to go gluten free. I know there are other chemicals/sprays used in food production, even fruits and vegetables. Not just processed foods. But, it just bothers me that I'm putting all this into my body and then having some health problems. I do think some health problems and aches/pains are directly related to what we eat.

Now, I'm on organic fruits, vegetables, and some  organic dairy. I'm working on grass fed, organic meats. My children? Harrison is entirely organic. He eats to "grain" things right now. Organic puffs and mum mums. He was on Earth's Best rice cereal, but is done with rice cereal. However, rice cereal is not wheat. He will be gluten free when he starts eating real food. Emma? Mostly organic, not gluten free. I'd like to gradually move her to gluten free though after reading my friend Laura's post about how gluten was affecting her 2 year old daughter.

Let me say, I've heard A LOT of crap from people about doing this. I'm not sure why it bothers them, but apparently it does. I do not think I am better than anyone for eating gluten free. I do not think I'm better than anyone because I'm feeding my kids organic food and getting them to be gluten free. I just did some research, I'm willing to try it, and worst case? I'll get healthier by not eating grains. Will I stay GF forever? I don't know. It depends on how I feel after my trial period. I'll definitely keep reading labels and limiting my grains if I do go back.  Also, I'm moving towards majorly limiting my sugars. I know sugar is a beast, and I need to keep track of my intake and start lowering it.

I will tell you this. When I first started, one night I wasn't thinking about it and we got Chinese takeout. I got General Tsao's chicken and fried rice. And crab rangoon. And holy lord, the next day I felt like death on a stick. Jason kept laughing at me saying I'd been 'glutened' but seriously, I felt yucky. And had some other issues, if you get my drift.

So, what do I eat? Well, here's my typical day, with our menu for dinner this week thrown in.

Breakfast: {one of the following} Udi's GF bread with PB or cheese, toasted. Van's GF waffle plain, with fruit, Stonyfield vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit, Think Thin bar, Kind bar. I cannot handle eggs at all. They upset my stomach. I know there are tons of other options out there, but this is all I've done so far.

Snack: fruit or Crunchmaster GF crackers/Nut Thins {these are amazing!}

Lunch: protein/fruit/veggie/small fat. Thin chicken breast or turkey rollup, fresh fruit {we are eating a LOT of apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries}, some bell pepper, some nuts. Today I had leftover GF pizza and a banana. I have some extra salad laying around this week, so that will make an appearance, most likely with a chicken breast. They also have some really good GF chicken nuggets {Applegate Farms} and GF macaroni and cheese {DeBoles}. Emma and I have been known to eat that together for lunch too. I haven't been "out to lunch" yet, but when I do, it'll be a salad, and I'll have to investigate where I'm going before hand. So, no more drive thru.

Snack: protein like some peanut butter on apple or GF crackers, or a protein bar like Think Thin.

Dinner: Well, here's our menu for the week. Everything is gluten free.
           Monday-gluten free veggie pizza made with Bob's Red Mill dough
           Wednesday-cabbage casserole {blogged this last week}
           Thursday-beef and broccoli via Pioneer Woman
           Friday-taco bowls via Laura
           Saturday-turkey meatloaf and mashed cauliflower via Laura, probably served with the other   1/2    head of cabbage leftover from Wednesday.
           Sunday-chicken with mushroom cream sauce via Laura, steamed broccoli with goat cheese

OK, so that's my explanation. Questions, comments? Share below please.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Messy Mom Monday on a Tuesday

I saw Brittany and Jess's new feature yesterday and absolutely loved the idea and the REALITY of all of our busy, messy lives being broadcast. Cause I'm gonna be honest-I am OFTEN in this category.

I try to have it all together, but like one person said, there is always a trade off. I rarely shower (I think I've covered this a time or two billion.) I rarely put on makeup. My house always has at least 3040 messes going on, and this stresses me to no end. My kids don't get dressed unless we have to leave the house. Which is not every day. It never ends.

But. BUT. We play a lot during the day. We make messes from the constant feeding of two kids and one high maintenance GF mama. I clean up during nap time. If I feel like it. I clean up after they are in bed and we've had dinner. If I feel like it.

Some of these pictures I'm about to post (this KILLS my OCD type A personality, by the way) are from all day yesterday and last night.

Yesterday was awful. The kids woke up foul, the day went south right quick. I needed to menu plan and shop, J was taking the kids to do an errand with him so I could do that, and when I got home at 3:30 from shopping, all hell was breaking loose. No one was asleep, everyone was crying, groceries were sitting in the car, Harrison ate almost 16 OUNCES of milk, etc. I finally got my groceries put away at 4:30, got Harrison asleep, then he woke up at 5:00 (yeah, a 30 minute nap) and poor J was passed out from trying to wrangle them at Lowe's and then get them down for naps. Emma had two EPIC tantrums-to the point of almost throwing up she was crying and screaming so bad. All over ridiculous stuff. So,  yeah. This post? Not happening on that crazy ass day.

So, let's commence, shall we?

These were all taken around 10 am this morning. I'm still in PJ's and going on day 2 of no shower. I still haven't brushed my teeth. I was working on a diet coke, looked around, laughed, and decided to take pictures to blog this disaster.

Sink with dishes in it from LAST NIGHT. Ga-ross. This pains me. But, I couldn't deal last night. I went to bed at 9:30. And when I got up, I was cursing this nastiness. PS, gluten free, homemade pizza dough left in a mixing bowl overnight? Not easy to get off.

My kitchen table. Hmm, I see a highchair tray, Emma's breakfast dishes, a diaper bag, 
and more junk in the background.

The island. Not bad, but I see Lysol wipes (my ever present BFF), another high chair tray, 
Emma's booster seat (all in need of wiping down), iPad, bills, notebook, more junk.
Oh, and let's not forget a pee diaper with a cloth insert sitting there waiting to be rinsed out.

To the right of the sink we have dirty bibs, snacks, and an empty coffee cup that won't fit in the full ass sink.

The desk area in the kitchen-mom agenda, blood pressure machine, bills, singing books (death!)

The family room-my lair is on the end with the ottoman and computer. I see a 
diaper caddy, blankets, pillows, and an exersaucer in the middle of the room.

 Yikes-toy explosion to say the least. And Emma's beloved "Lion Movie" aka 
The Lion King playing. She likes to copy what they do in the beginning and it's hilarious.
We have a cube box full of baby toys (rattles, soft toys, teethers, etc) for Harrison that normally lives in the playroom, but Emma likes to bring it in here, dump it out, and let him have every toy in the box.

Harrison is trying to get to that green ball to practice his golf.

Emma is checking her carebear's heart beat. And now the stethoscope is stuck and won't stop beating.

 Holy crap the playroom. Awful pic, sorry. But I have to use my phone to get it done quickly! Notice the old sheet on the floor because Flash has a UTI and is having some.......leakage issues. So, he's been relegated to this room. Disgusting. Table moved so he couldn't jump up on the bed, chairs were in front of the bed too, then Emma decided she needed to get up there and frolic around in the sheets. Toy explosion in here too.

And the little convict with a Beatles rat nest hair do, still in jammies. 
Still playing with the busted stethoscope. 
She keeps asking me what that noise is, and when I tell her it's the
stethoscope and it's broken, she goes to hide it somewhere. Ha!

So, that's my messy life right now. I loved looking at your link ups!
 Who else has this messy disaster going on?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Miscellany Monday

I can't remember who made up Miscellany Monday, but for some reason I think it was Laura at Between the Lines. Anyway, I need to make a miscellaneous list of what we've been up to lately.

Yesterday we moved the big girl into her big girl bed. Her crib converted into a double.bed. We went to Target to price out the safety rails and the Shabby Chic bedding that I was coveting. I've been resisting this for too long, and J finally said, "Let's just do it!" OK, sob. My baby is out of a crib. She does LOVE the big girl bed and slept all night, save for the one time she woke up and couldn't find her binky in the bigness. :) She also slept until 8:00!

Look at my sweet monkey taking up 1/4 of the bed!

Harrison is obsessed with the vacuum cleaner. As in, his eyes light up and he tries to book it over to the vacuum to play with it. He is definitely my son!

We've had a lot of beauty shop going on thanks to my cousin Mel. She got Emma an FAO wooden beauty parlor kit. Complete with hairdryer, comb, powder, lipsticks, nailpolishes, perfume and a mirror. So far, Harrison and Flash have been her willing subjects. She made him up for at least 20 minutes. Love this face! He looks tortured. But he really likes it. :)

Here is Harrison modeling one of his Christmas gift outfits. A flannel plaid onesie. My little lumberjack!

And since mommy sucks, and didn't do a 6 or 7 month post or pictures for buddy, here is the abbreviated version. He's been super sick since we returned from Birmingham (ear infection, HORRIBLE cough and cold), and I know he weighs almost 20 pounds. He weighed 19.8 last week. Dude is huge. He is in 9 month clothes and a size 3, sometimes 4 diaper. He is sleeping unswaddled and without a positioner. He wakes up more often (:like 1-2 times per night) and a little bit earlier, but I guess he's just getting used to his sleeping freedom.

He is sitting up all the time, rolling over everywhere, and also moving himself all over. Trying to crawl, but not doing it. Just flailing about like he can't swim. And boyfriend's hair is OOC. It's duck like at the top, long on the sides. Might have to cut it soon. :( I think some teeth are trying to come through because he is a drool factory and still jamming everything in his mouth  non stop!

Food wise, boy still loves to eat! He's eating 7 ounces every three hours, plus three meals a day! And some puffs in between, still working on picking them up and them actually making it to his mouth. He can put a mum mum cracker down in about 3.5 seconds though. We started a sippy cup a few weeks ago and he LOVES it. Playing with it, trying to get water out, and chewing on it.

Here's a shot of the big girl modeling her new hoodie from FeFe. Thanks, FeFe!

And modeling an outfit from Nonnie. While crawling through the tunnel Aunt Sister gave her. Thanks, y'all!

Brownie making fiesta! First time really helping me cook. 
She got to pour the ingredients in and stir. Ha!
And, her favorite part is licking the spoon after we're done!

Playing dress up in all of Scarlet's tutus! Everyone loved her dress up station, even Harrison.

Biggun sitting in his highchair and grubbing on some whole milk vanilla yogurt. I had a baby food makin fiesta the other day and made pears, peaches, and butternut squash/apple. I broke out the peaches thinking he would love them and he gagged on all three bites. Nice. I made 8 baby food cubes full. So, I've been mixing them in with his morning yogurt, and he likes it. He tried the butternut squash/apple combo last night and TORE IT UP. So, I guess he just wasn't ready for the peaches yet. We'll try them again later.

Other than that, I've just been trying to keep sane with all of the sickness, crying, mess and general malaise going on in our house.

The house goes through periods of cleanliness and extreme disaster zoneage. I'll clean something thoroughly and the next hour it is disastrous. Whatever.

However, a clean, organized home keeps me sane, so I make an effort to keep it that way.

J and I have also been playing LOTS of old school Nintendo on our Wii. Best invention ever. We are cracking up at how we can't beat worlds that we tore up when we were 12.

Finally, I'm making my gluten free menu for the week and going to Whole Foods later today (hopefully alone!) so I can shop it up. I swear, I'm still working on my GF post, it's coming. (I know you're all enthralled.) ha!

If you have any GF blogs or peeps on twitter for me to follow, please share. I have a few people who have been hooking me up on the GF train. Thanks, girls! {Laura, Amy, Gina, Molly, and some twitter peeps.)

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holy balls, y'all!

We have had three AMAZING gluten free (I promise to explain my GF jump soon!) dinners lately, and I just had to share them! All are from other people, and I'll give them credit! You will want to try these if you like ANY of the ingredients!

 Up first, a chicken salad. But not just any chicken salad, oh no! My sissy had to dress it up a lot. Not sure where she got it, or if she made it up, but here it is.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or a package of boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (the "fingers")
1 bag mixed baby greens
Cherry or grape tomatoes
Walnuts (or any nuts-pine, pecans, sunflower seeds)
 Red onion diced
Crumbled Gorgonzola or goat cheese
Vinaigrette of choice (I make my own)

My vinaigrette is just EVOO, red wine vinegar, coarse ground mustard, salt, pepper. Just like making any other oil/vinegar dressing. It's not original, it's just how I make mine.

 Cook your chicken (spice it up!) and slice into bite size strips or pieces Layer your mixed greens, tomatoes, red onion, chicken, walnuts, and cheese. Add your vinaigrette. Stuff your face and feel healthy!

 Next, a delicious stuffed cabbage casserole, from my sister, via Skinnytaste

(Picture from Skinnytaste)

 1 1/2 heads cabbage
1 lb lean ground beef
1 bag cooked brown rice
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
 1 T Garlic minced
1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp paprika
1/4 C water
1 large onion, diced
 2 C shredded mozzarella
 Salt, pepper, cayenne

 Preheat oven to 350*. Brown your ground beef. Set aside. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne. Add both cans of tomatoes, with juices. Add thyme, paprika, and water. Cook over low heat until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add cooked brown rice. Stir gently to combine. Coarsely chop your cabbage and cook with about 1/2 C water in large pot until it wilts down. Spray 9x13 dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 cabbage, 1/2 meat sauce, repeat with remaining cabbage and meat sauce. cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Take off foil, top with cheese, and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

*For a more detailed, step by step (with pictures) recipe, visit the Skinnytaste link.

 Finally, from Kate, via Smitten Kitchen and Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking, a pasta with asparagus, lemon, and goat cheese.

I changed my recipe up a tad from Kate and Smitten Kitchen.

8 oz brown rice/quinoa gluten free pasta (DeBoles)-I used penne, but Kate used corkscrew. I couldn't find GF corkscrew. You need a bite size noodle though.
1 bunch thin asparagus
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
4 oz log goat cheese (not crumbled)
1/2 Lb thinly sliced Angus sirloin steak
olive oil
1/2 tsp dried tarragon, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
2 lemons, zested and juiced

Roast asparagus and tomatoes (with EVOO and kosher salt) on 450* for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, bring pasta water to a boil. Cook thinly sliced sirloin steak in a grill pan with some cooking spray/EVOO. Cook to medium. (This doesn't take long at all, maybe 4 minutes.) Set aside on plate. Boil noodles. After noodles are finished, drain and leave in colander. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, cut up goat cheese, tarragon, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to empty pot. Add warm pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, and steak. Stir gently until combined and deliciously melty. Make out with your dinner.

Seriously, these are all so amazing, and this is yet ANOTHER reason why I love blogging. New recipes!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012


So, my birthday is coming up in 11 days. 
Here is what I am lusting after!

Scentsy warmers and scents (in clean "flavors")
Hopefully my sis will hook me up!

Cute warmers!

This is my "big ticket" item! I want one of these SO FREAKING BAD!  A Shark steam mop, omg, come to momma! I feel bad asking for this since I just got an iPad, but maybe my MOMS will hook it up?? Doesn't have to be fancy! My favorite part of it is that it only takes water to clean. No chemicals! And, since 80%  of my house is hardwood/tile, this would be awesome! Sissy has one and I played with it several times while at her house after Christmas.

Duh. Who with a Keurig doesn't want or need coffee? I NEED some more 
Wild Mountain Blueberry in my life.

Anything gluten free related. I'm going GF as soon as soon as my husband doesn't have to work 24/7. I have to make a menu and get to the store. We've had some nasty sickness invade our house, and this does not lend itself to making a menu that requires thought. More on gluten free living soon, but many thanks to Amy, Gina, and Molly for answering my obsessive questions! If you are GF, please leave a comment so I can visit your blog and stalk ask you questions.

So family and friends, now you know what I really need want. Get to shoppin'! :)