WE MOVED!

I realized how neglected this poor blog is.  BUT if you’re interested in keeping up with us, I have a new one! One that I *knock on wood* keep updated so far!  We took the next step in our marriage and are now the proud parents of a little girl, born in August 2012.  If you’d like to see how live is going for us as parents, stop by!

practicingparenthood.wordpress.com

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My take on the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

aka, my adventures in being a hippie, part 2. 😉 As a reminder, I previously posted about making my own make-up removing wipes.  I still have a batch of those sitting around to use up, but I’ve found something even better! (Disclaimer: I’m not really sure how to organize this post, because it’s a lot of random information. So bear with me and read the whole thing!)

photo from ourvanity.com

I’d heard and read about this idea/routine called the Oil Cleanse Method a few time around the internet.  It’s an all natural alternative to the whole face washing, acne-medicine routine. Basically, the idea is that by using natural oils, your skin/face will even out and produce less oil, which makes your face less greasy and therefore produce less acne. …

To read more, please visit our new blog location at http://practicingparenthood.com/resources/oil-cleanse-method-ocm/

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Meal Plan: 4/9-4/15

Oh, look. It’s been over a month since I’ve posted again. Let’s start it off slowly with a meal plan. I’m hoping to actually post these recipes too!

Monday (4.9)

We did leftovers.

Tuesday (4.10)

 Spicy Shrimp and Sausage with Cheesy Grits

Wednesday (4.11)

Cuban sandwiches w/ side salad

Thursday (4.12)

Brinner (French Toast and breakfast sausage)

Friday (4.13)

Grilled hamburgers and veggies

Saturday (4.14)

We’ll be out and about for lunch and dinner

Sunday (4.15)

Leftovers and meal planning for the next week.

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Tuna Pasta Salad

Oh, look. I’m still here. Sorry for the ridiculous delay in posts. In fact, you can all thank my friend Jess for making me actually update this thing again.  In all fairness, I think I have an excuse… you know, the holidays. And, well, the discovery that a baby is on the way! (more on that later though.) Anyway. I figured I’d ease myself back into this blogging thing with an easy recipe. 🙂 I had a craving for tuna the other day, but didn’t want just plain ol’ tuna. Then I remembered this recipe that was pretty common place in family gatherings.

Like all good recipes that my grandma used to make, I was able to find the recipe in my trusty Betty Crocker Cookbook. You know, the cooking bible?

My cooking bible.

My cooking bible.

My recipe is pretty closely based on this one (link), but as always I made some adjustments.  I’m a big pasta fan, so I usually add more noodles. I also love onions, so there’s more in there.  I leave the mayo the same or lessen it a little, because I’d rather have a drier salad. (I usually end up adding a little more mayo or lemon juice back in the next day as it sits in the fridge.)

Anyway. onto the recipe! Here’s my version:

Tuna Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (I use the small shells)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-2 medium onion(s)
  • 1 big stalk of celery
  • 12-14 ounces of tuna (two cans. use what you’ve got)
  • 3/4 C low-fat mayo (or Miracle Whip. whatever)
  • 1 C shredded sharp cheddar
  • a few squirts of lemon juice, to taste
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil pasta as directed, to al dente. Add in the frozen peas with about 6 minutes left. (When the peas all float to the top, it’s done.)
  2. While cooking pasta, chop up onion and celery. I like mine really finely chopped.  Go ahead and drain the tuna while you’ve got time, too.
  3. Once cooked, drain the pasta and peas and rinse thoroughly in cold water.
  4. Dump the tuna and mayo in a big bowl and mix well (I like to separate the tuna as much as possible.) Add the pasta, peas, celery, onion, and cheese; mix well.
  5. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours or until completely chilled. Overnight is best to let all the flavors blend. Don’t worry if you need to add a little mayo or lemon juice after letting it set overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Bark Bites

I know i just mentioned our healthy eating habits as of late, but what fun is life without a treat once in awhile? This is one of those perfectly simple treats.  No treat represents holiday season to me, more than these; I remember making them with mom forever.  They’re surprisingly not that terrible for you either.  They make these little almost bite-size cups, but you really don’t need more than one or two to be satisfied. (Honestly.) It’s 1 WW PP for 1 or 3 PP for 2 of them.

PB & C Bark Bites

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds, Chocolate Almond Bark
  • 2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (a 12-ounce bag)
  • 2 C creamy peanut butter

Directions

  • 1.  Organize mini muffin liners (the really small ones) in multiple pans. (yields approx. 100)
  • 2.  Break apart almond bark into pieces. Place in large glass bowl with chocolate chips.
  • 3.  Microwave on high until softened. (Should NOT be completely melted.  Be careful to NOT overheat.) Stir really well (chocolate will continue to melt as you stir). Heat in 30 second increments until almost fully softened.

  • 4.  Add peanut butter and heat an additional 30 seconds.  Stir very well.
  • 5.  At this point, I usually pour some of the mixture into a large measuring cup with spout.
  • 6.  Pour melted mixture into mini muffin liners in even amounts.
  • 7. Freeze for a few hours.  For best results, keep and serve frozen.

This is really just a rough recipe, and you can sub in and out as desired.  I’ve made them with a few drops of mint extract before, which was delicious. (Just don’t add too much!) I’ve also doen them with crunchy peanut butter, which works really well. You can add sprinkles on top, too, for a little more holiday cheer 😉

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A Gluten Free Meal Plan: 12/4 – 12/10

Eyeyiyi. It’s embarrassing how long it’s taken me to update again.  To be honest, we haven’t been eating all that great. We went out of town for our anniversary (we’ve been married over a year!), then it was Thanksgiving.  Then I got a nasty cold all last week.  But, I’m feeling better and we’re back on track with the healthy eating (if you don’t count the holiday baking…)

One other thing to note- most (if not all) of my recipes from here on out will be Gluten Free.  Through some self-experimenting (starting last year when I tried to narrow down my migraine triggers), I’ve come to the sad realization that I’m at least sensitive to gluten, if not allergic all together.  I can still eat some things (Papa John’s Pizza, thankfully!) but for the most part, we’re going wheat-free.  Although some of the recipes may contain flour/gluten as linked, I’ll be tweaking them so they’re still ‘safe’ for us.

Sunday (today, 12.4)

Turkey Chili (very loosely based on this WW recipe)

Monday (12.5)

Baked salsa fish with quinoa salad

Tuesday (12.6)

Roasted turkey sausage, peppers, and potatoes

Wednesday (12.7)

Baked parm chicken for (Caesar) salad

Thursday (12.8)

Gluten Free Mac & Cheese (Serve with leftover chicken?)

Friday (12.9)

Tacos/nachos

Saturday (12.10)

leftovers/takeout as always

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DIY Make-Up Remover

… aka my adventure into becoming a hippie.

So I read about these homemade baby wipes over on White House Black Shutters and it got me thinking.  I don’t have babies yet (nor am I planning any in the near future, before you ask.) But I used to use those store-brand makeup removing cloth/wipe things.  I stopped buying them, because they were just too expensive.  But when I saw these, the wheels started turning.  I spent a week or so looking up different ‘recipes’ for homemade make-up removers and cleansers.  Based on some recommendations from my friend Jess, I headed to the local hippie hangout organic co-op.

I tried this twice, but the first time I had some issues.  Things I learned: don’t use too much oil, or it won’t absorb evenly into the paper, make sure to pour it over the paper towels (instead of trying to submerge it.)  And, whatever you do, don’t shake it up in a container until you know for sure it’s sealed tightly… unless you want splatters of oily water all over your kitchen. (I still can’t get my kitchen floor completely clean, by the way.)

SO after saying all that, here’s what I ended up with. I’ve only used it a few times, but so far my face feels nice and clean. And it really does work for taking off my make-up, even the waterproof mascara!  Here’s the recipe:

DIY Make-up Removing Cloths

Ingredients

  • 1 roll of paper towels
  • 2 C hot water
  • 1/2 TBL jojoba oil
  • 1/2 TBL grapeseed oil
  • few drops (4-5) of tea tree oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions

  1. Cut a roll of paper towels in half (yes you really can do this, just use any large knife.) Make sure you grab one that’s got the select-a-size kind of ones (so they’re smaller and last longer.)  Set aside one half and use the other.  You could double the ingredients and make both at the same time, but I’m not sure how long they’ll last.
  2. Combine all ingredients and mix very well. (I added them all to an old water bottle and shook it really well.)
  3. Place 1/2 of paper towel cut side down in a airtight container. (I used an old 7-Cup Rubbermaid.)
  4. Squish it down (the paper tube will bend) and pour liquid mixture over paper towels evenly.
  5. Add lid and flip upside down for at least an hour.
  6. Remove cardboard tube and pull up paper towels from inside.

The jojoba oil and grapeseed help remove the makeup and moisturize skin, while the tea tree oil is a natural antimicrobial and is good for acne-prevention.  I read a few reviews that said the mixture can get moldy if it sets too long, but that baking soda can prevent any issues.  It’s not bad for your skin in anyway, so why not add a little?

So there you go.  This is what works for me, but I recommend playing around with different ratios of the oils to see what is most effective for your skin.  Have you made any DIY health care potions? What do you recommend?

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