Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Favorite Salad

I'm not sure I can call this salad cooking...since it is a throw together. I could call it raw, or gluten free, or primal or what have you. I prefer delicious.

Grapefruit
Orange
Avocado
Spinach
Walnuts

That's it! I supreme the citrus into sections and squeeze the remaining juice over the spinach. But...you can use those presectioned cups from the grocery store. Tossing the salad together coats the leaves with the crisp citrus and luscious avocado. YUM!

Great dinner before my workout last night.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Against The Grain

Since I pulled grains from my diet, I find I am much nicer to myself food-wise. Breakfast was cereal or oatmeal depending on time. Lunch used to be PBJ or a turkey sandwich if I had a moment. Crackers for a snack. Dinner always needed bread, pasta, rice...and now that all seems so bland.

I'm treating myself so much better, at least food-wise. I take the time to make things I would only have ordered in restaurants. Like Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing. Delish. Or my favorite Cobb Salad.

Dinners have had to be more creative since I'm the only one in the house against the grain. Stir-fry has become a staple because they can eat it with rice, while I just have the entree. Last night was family favorite Orange Beef with Green Beans. 

Breakfast is usually an omelet, though sometimes I go crazy with coconut pancakes or cheesecake pancakes...which are free of grains. Just looking at todays vegie omelet makes me feel healthier.

Now if I could just convince myself to do a few sit-ups...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The First 6 Bags

I knew what my first 40 Bags in 40 Days project would be - the random bags of clothes in the garage. I pass all of PrincessGirl's clothes on to a friend, who passes them back when her diva has outgrown them. Then, I go through them to see what goes to my niece, to the community resale event, and to Goodwill.

It's time consuming to sort things back into outfits, check everything for stains and such, sort by size, etc. I hate doing it, and it had realy piled up. Today...I tackled it.

I came away with 4 bags for Goodwill, one for my niece, and one with resale potential. Plus, it's off my to-do list.

 40 Bags in 40 Days tally
  1. Goodwill (kid clothes)
  2. Goodwill (kid clothes)
  3. Goodwill (kid clothes)
  4. Goodwill (kid clothes)
  5. Pass It On sale
  6. Hand-me-downs for niece

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Giving It Up

I wonder if Lent has become some kind of cultural phenomenon. It seems it's not just for Catholics anymore. All over Facebook, the gym, and the preschool mommys, people are giving something up for 40 days. Soda, bacon, video games, coffee, TV, shopping, gossip...

It's a fab tradition. I love all the healthy habits that come out of it. But I've never thought, 'hey, I should do that' until this year and this idea -- The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge. Basically, you commit to organize you home by getting rid of a bag of stuff every day for 40 days.

People who are on board got the jump on the challenge by making a list of places to hunt down their bag of the day. I am not that organized, plus I just stumbled across the idea on Pinterest :) But really how hard is it to list 40 places you need to organize? Go on...

  1. Make-up drawer
  2. Master bath
  3. Kids bath
  4. My closet
  5. My closet
  6. My shoes
  7. PrincessGirl's closet
  8. Tall Boy's closet
  9. Happy Boy's closet
  10. Happy Boy's toys
  11. Office closet (egad)
  12. Office closet
  13. Linen closet
  14. Refrigerator
  15. Pantry
  16. Pantry
  17. Pantry
  18. Laundry room
  19. Hall closet
  20. Minivan
  21. Cookbooks (I'm going online for recipes and not using them)
  22. Garage (gardening)
  23. Garage (painting)
  24. Garage (shelves)
  25. Playroom
  26. Playroom
  27. Playroom
  28. Armoire
  29. Workbook ottoman
  30. Livng room
  31. Kitchen cupboards
  32. Kitchen cupboards
  33. Garage boxes
  34. Garage boxes
  35. Garage boxes
  36. Garage boxes
  37. Garage boxes
  38. Clothes boxes
  39. Clothes boxes
  40. Clothes boxes
OK, so that is my prediction list...I'll keep a running tally of what I actually manage to do. Not sure about pictures. It's kind of embarassing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Week Ahead

I'm sitting in a coffe shop, waiting for my writing group girlies to show up so we can share our peaks and valleys...and plan the next few months. This terrifies me.

I'm not a limbo girl. My knees just don't bend that way...or is it the ankles, or the back. Whatevs. I like knowing the adventures that await, I like knowing the places where my family will be eating frozen pizza.

And I left my paper calendar at home. I update it more than the virtual one. What if I schedule over a lacrosse game or forget my husband has a tendency to leave town whenever there is a wind turbine crisis in the middle of nowhere?

And then I remembered...I deal with it. Having the health scare really gives me perspective. I mean really...I can do this.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Good News

Drive Me Crazy got moved up in the production schedule at Samhain...which is made of awesome since it is a fun, flirty, summer read. The thrill still has me bopping around.

But this means that the Christmas novella idea I've been wrestling with must be tamed....because it's my shot at a 3rd 2012 release.

I've been so blessed since I had PrincessGirl to just write what I wanted, when I wanted. My publisher found a place for it and never nudged about upping my releases. Well, until this year. Because the girl is three.

The husband is all about more releases, because that ups the chance we'll be able to actually take a vacation for our 20th anniversary (two years to save up). But his job only seems to get busier, which leaves less time for him to help me out with the whole running a household and giving three kids a happy and mind-opening childhood thing we have going.

So looking ahead, I'm going to have to lean on my friends a bit more. But, they like my stories. In fact, they are starting to request they star in them. Which I just can't do. I mean...I love my friends, but they have husbands already. I like the fantasy, the mystery, the drama of not knowing quite how the characters will make it all work out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pinterest for the win...

Apparently, once I start crafting, I just want to be craftastic all the time. I saw these jersey bracelets ages ago...and never made them. Since I'm tossing out a dozen stained t-shirts, and I made necklaces yesterday, why not make bracelets today?

With all these up-cycle t-shirt projects they say not to use a rib knit...well, apparently the purple shirt was some kind of mini-rib knit. It has a more deconstructed look, while the brown one is soft.

And they are made by finger knitting...something I haven't done since I was like ten. I think I was better at it then.

These are my original inspiration from V and Co.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinterest made me buy a glue gun

I made a Pinterest project and am simply giddy about it. Not because it came out well...it's that I haven't done anything crafty in ages and I remembered that I happen to like being craftastic.

I have boxes of scrapbooking stuff, cross stitch, felt, knitting...things I picked up and ever got around to doing much with. My husband may have thrown some of it out. He does that to see how long it takes me to notice it's gone. Ahem.

Enter Pinterest, with cute pictures of projects that promise to be fast and easy. I have a whole board full of them -- lots of ideas for succulents and birthday parties, crayons and art projects. I pinned this up-cycled t-shirt necklace scarf type thing. I don't wear scarves. But I liked it. And when Kohls put t-shirts on sale this week, I decided to take a few of my stained tees out of the rotation (I have a 3-year-old...all my shirts are stained at pick-me-up level).

And then...I watched the YouTube tutorial and realized I was unprepared. I'd need a glue gun.

Pinterest Inspiration

I haven't handled a glue gun since...I dunno...girl scouts? So I took my JoAnn's coupons and headed over. While I was on my little field trip, I also picked up some felt flowers and a zipper flower form the clearance...after the coupons I managed to score everything for less than the price of the glue gun. I didn't even my the Jewelry class in a box I wanted. One project at a time.

The kids had no idea what to make of me cutting up my old t-shirts. The husband even question my plan. But, I had a new glue gun to break in.

I'm happy with how they turned out. Not perfect, not etsy-worthy. But craftastic none the less.


And bonus! Cut up t-shirt strips look just like green beans. More play food for Princessgirl!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not So Chunky Monkey

Ice cream has to be the food I miss the most when I turn towards Primal eating. So of course, I had to find a cheat. Just look at it...doesn't it remind you of a tub of Ben & Jerry's?

How do you get this bowl of deliciousness? From those bananas you used to turn into banana bread. And that's about it.

Take those ripe bananas and slice them up, toss that into a freezer bag and lock it up in the freezer until you get a craving.

When you're hungry set up your food processor, dump in the bananas and turn on the machine. Now, it will at first look like chunks of banana ice. Don't freak out. It all comes together in the end.

For banana nice cream, that's it. Just the bananas. But you can add anything you want. Like mini chocolate chips and pecans, or a glop of coconut milk and coconut flakes, or a spoon of almond butter and cocoa powder. Whatever.

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Challenging Myself

I had such plans for 2012. This was going to be the year I'd lift myself back onto my priority list. And then 2011 ended with a big THBBBBBT. It's taken far longer than anyone thought for me to start feeling normal again.

My timeline needs to be completely reworked. But that seems so daunting.

I think I'll just leave on my pajamas and write something instead. Leave the planning for Monday. Monday is the best day to do something too reality based to be much fun.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Raising My Mood

I'm having a bit of a rough week. Just little earthquakes, no tsunamis or anything. So, I'm trying to change my perspective and mood by taking 5 minutes to be grateful. Go on, you should try it.

  1. Hubba Bubba
  2. Princess Girl
  3. Tall Boy
  4. Happy Boy
  5. Rogue the Wonder-dawg
  6. our home
  7. my office
  8. my reading chair
  9. Nookie (my reader peeps, not going naughty on this list)
  10. hot tea
  11. banana ice 'cream'
  12. sleeping through the night (too many years of not)
  13. my people mover
  14. limeade
  15. Zumba
  16. sunshine
  17. backyard tomatoes
  18. Oregon strawberries
  19. Hermiston watermelon
  20. blackberry honey
  21. wool socks
  22. pedicures
  23. curly hair
  24. homemade ranch dressing
  25. headphones
  26. my girlfriends
  27. puppies
  28. clean sheets (changed them last night, delish)
  29. new recipes
  30. favorite meals
  31. lounge pants (zebra or leopard)
  32. slipper shoes
  33. finding purse flats!
  34. Close Up toothpaste
  35. Starbucks tuxedo mocha
  36. hot showers
  37. long baths
  38. flickering candles
  39. the sound of the ocean as I sleep
  40. colorful sunsets
  41. full moon
  42. warm summer mornings
  43. crisp autumn afternoons
  44. red rosees
  45. my children laughing
  46. laptop
  47. tree ripened peaches
  48. corn from the back of a pick-up truck
  49. freshly fallen snow
  50. a pile of fall leaves for the kids to jump in
  51. hugs
  52. babysitters
Not bad for 5 minutes :) I do feel better.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Blog Happenings Around the Web

I love quotes. I'm talking about quotes from my own books today on Delilah Devlin's blog.

I'm talking Valentine gifts on the Guilty Pleasures blog. One lucky commenter will win one of Jenna's back-list in e-format.

And tomorrow is my Fill The Well Friday column on The Pink Heart Society.

See you there!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Avoiding Grains


Mexican egg scrample with strawberry tulips
Since the tempermental colon started throwing fits, I've been on all kinds of crazy diets. Clear liquids (for when you're too sick to care much about food), full liquids (which winds up being full of sugar), low-residue (all that white stuff you've been told to avoid? That's what you eat.), and grain-free. 

I felt horrid on most of the diets. But I think you're supposed to feel crappy (ha) with diverticulitis, holey bowels and then perotinitis. Now that I'm done with antibiotics and able to eat fruits and vegetables, I have so much mroe energy. I feel like myself again.

For me, grain-free seems to be the key. When you have intestinal issues they suggest a high fiber diet. Everyone seems to think I shoudl be eating bran muffins and whole-wheat bread for the fiber. But fruits and veggies have more fiber than grain products, so I'm doing rather well without breads. When I have grains, I feel hungry instead of full. Since I haven't been able to eat much quantity-wise, this has been an issue. Take out the grains and voila, I feel almost as good as new.
Crab Salad Cucumber cups

I'm having fun on Pinterest finding tasty bites. Variety is the spice of life, especially when you've been warned off spices!

I'm not Celiac, so I don't have to be meticulous about finding the ways grains are snuck into otherwise unassuming foods, which makes it easy. Plus, I can have a cupcake if I really wanna. :D   

Monday, February 06, 2012

The List

I've been overwhelmed lately, and under-energized. The angry GI issues are like houseguest who refuse to leave. I'm working around them, knowing that I'll wake up one morning soon and they'll be a bad memory.

In the meantime, I still have much to do. I'm finding lists help. Each night I'm taking a moment to jot down what has to happen tomorrow. Today was :

Swim Lessons
Birthday Party Photos
Zumba (going to try it)
Library
Pharmacy
Call Orthodonist

And then I realized, I don't have writing on there. Or reading, researching, editing, promotion... my JOB isn't even on my list! Ugh.

Being ill is exhausting, and the first thing I slid aside was the one thing I do for me. Priority change! On tomorrow's list ;)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Month of Love

I think it's no accident we celebrate love with Valentine's Day in the winter. There is something about cold weather that makes you want to cuddle up. I'm trying to figure out how to spread my love obessession around my house.

For my boys, Valentine's Day means candy. When they select their class Valentines, they always go for the one with the best treat. This year? Fun Dips, a stick of candy you lick and dip into a pixie stick powder. Gag!

For my husband, Valentine's Day means a Hallmark holiday he'd rather not buy into. I once told him he should do an un-Valentine's Day where he did lovely stuff for me because he loved me. I've been waiting for years.

For my girl, Valentine's Day means a party dress. A red one. This I can work with! I even found hair pretties with hearts on them for her piggy tails.

For me, I'd love to have a romance novel Valentine's Day just once. Okay, that's not true. I'd like to have it once a month for the rest of my life! A beautiful dress, fab heels, flowers, a restaurant without a children's menu, champagne, truffles...maybe even dancing. Or at least spinning around together and an over-the-top dip kiss. And a he-went-to-Jared's moment.

Le sigh. This year, I'll be with my GI doc dealing with the tempermental colon. Romantic. NOT!