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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Freezer Mini Quiche

My friend had a little accident and I was thinking of ways to help. Food is always a good place to start. When you are in pain and have two little ones running around...cooking is not the most fun thing in the world. I didn't want to go the classic casserole, pasta, enchiladas route, and I got thinking about breakfast. who doesn't love a quick, healthy and warm breakfast? I know I do. I decided on a mini quiche recipe, since they can be frozen easily and popped in the microwave or oven at breakfast time.

Since I was making them, I went ahead and made some for my family too...we kind of love breakfast. It's my fault. I cannot start the day without eating breakfast. It's almost a ritual. We get up, we play a little, we eat breakfast, we play a little more...you get the picture. When it comes to breakfast, I need something hearty. Cereal or toast just doesn't cut it. Now my children are the same way. If I give them cereal, they eat it and then sit there waiting for the main course. We eat eggs, bacon, toast, juice, oatmeal, etc,etc...pretty much every day. Not only is it healthy to start your day out with a large meal to boost your metabolism, but starting with protein is super important to keep your blood sugar from crashing 2 minutes later and keeping your bellies full until lunch time (with a small snack or two in between, naturally).

These mini quiche were super easy and tasty!

Mini Freezer Quiche


18 eggs
1/2 Cup whole milk (or whatever milk you have)
turkey sausage and/or bacon
1 Cup spinach
1 yellow squash
grated mozzarella cheese
non-stick spray

(this made 24 mini quiches)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: grate cheese, grate squash, chop spinach, chop bacon, cook sausage
Step 3: crack all 18 eggs, stir in milk and whisk your little heart out!

Step 4: spray muffin tins
Step 5: sprinkle a little cheese in the bottom of the muffin tins, enough to cover the bottom. This makes a little foundation for your quiche, I got the idea here.
Step 6: pour your egg mixture into the muffin cups. I used my liquid measuring cup for a smooth pour.
Step 7: sprinkle your ingredients in. I did some with bacon/spinach, some with sausage/squash/spinach and everything in between.

Step 8: Bake for 12-15 minutes. Test them by sticking a knife in one, if it comes out clean, you're good. This batch made 24 mini quiches.

ENJOY! If you want to freeze them, let them cool on a cookie sheet, stick them in the freezer still on the cookie sheet, then wrap them individually with wax paper and stick them in a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat them, nuke them for 30 seconds, or bake them for 5 minutes. Viola! Instant egg quiche for breakfast.

Super Simple Christmas Card Holder

I got my first Christmas cards in the mail today! YAY. I love getting Christmas cards. In the past, I have opened them, looked at them, then put them in a pile somewhere, never to be enjoyed again! This year, I wanted to change that...SO...I made a super simple Christmas card holder.

Step 1: Use a wreath of any size. I bought a small one for $1 at my new favorite store, The Dollar Tree.
Step 2: Find a pretty ribbon. Tie said ribbon onto your wreath.
Step 3: Gather your cards and some paperclips/wooden clippy-things (what are they called anyways?)
Step 4: Hang your creation.

Now I get to enjoy my friends' beautiful faces every time I go to the pantry...which is a lot. Best part about this...it was ONE DOLLAR. Cheaper than freedom folks (According to Team America, it costs "a-buck-o-five).

Yes, I used my own family Christmas card. It needed one extra card on there to look right...that why you all should send me Christmas cards, so I don't look like a huge narcissist. Thanks. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Table Refinished

I am a slacker! I totally failed on my 30 Day challenge. I could give a thousand excuses, but I won't waste your time. I just didn't do it! I did, however, finish this table. I am super proud of it; it turned out exactly how I pictured it. It is too small for the space I bought it for, so I'll use it until I find another to replace it. I can always find a space for a cute table, right?

I found this table at a thrift store for $35 (it had 4 chairs also...still a work in progress). Since it was already white on bottom, I just sprayed some ivory colored spray paint on the legs, simple enough. I sanded the top with my orbital sander. You'll notice in some spots, the stain took a darker color. This is where I pushed harder with the sander and took off more layers. I like the way it turned out. To me it looks a little distressed, I'm cool with distressed. I used a dark cherry stain I already had. If my memory serves me correctly, I did 4 coats. After letting it dry for 24 hours, I applied 3 coats of a satin finish poly, with 1 hour of dry time between each coat. Much easier than I had expected! In total, let's just say the table was $20, the spray paint was $7 (two cans), and I already had the stain (but if you needed to buy it, a small can is around $10 or less!), so $27 for a new table! Boo-to-the-ya. I'll probably end up using it as a new desk for our family room. The old one will make you gag, so I'll spare you that.

This is the table BEFORE:

and AFTER:

chairs form the old table...not sure what will become of these. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Probiotic Snack

Are you as obsessed with ranch dip as I am? I love the stuff. I have a weakness for potato chips and ranch dip. Sometimes I eat a carrot or two with it so I feel a little better about myself. The other day, I went to make it and realized I had about a spoonful of sour cream left...you can imagine the disappointment.  Instead, I reached for the greek yogurt and my ranch dip has never been the same since! Ithink it has a better, more creamy taste.  I'm not a huge calorie/fat gram counter, so that aspect didn't mean much to me, but I do know that greek yogurt has more grams of protein and has all of those amazing little cultures swimming around. Sounds gross, but probiotics are our friends...meet Lactobacillis Acidophilus, L. Bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium folks! Your gut, intestines, and immune system will thank you later. With all the anti-biotics floating around in our food, water, and Rx medicine, our natural flora has been decreased and adding the good bacteria back in does wonders for our body. We take a probiotic daily and double up any time our digestive tract is acting funky. I even use it down my sink drain to eat away any stragglers that get stuck in my pipes. It works! 

My advice for beginning a probitic regimen is making sure you get a product that has at least 3 strains of different bacteria and starting with half of what they recommend.  It can take a few days to a week to get used to the new addition of friendly bacterium. 

2 tablespoons = 1 oz. so multiply all the sour cream info by 4 to get the comparables. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A New Venture

Last week was super busy! It was Thanksgiving (obviously) and I did not get around to many projects.  Cooking turkeys, rolls and cobblers will do that to a person. We had Thanksgiving at our house with some great friends and amazing food. I did start on a rather large project, which I will share in a nice photo collage later. But first, exciting news. You're thinking baby, right?! Nope!

 I will officially start teaching my first yoga class on December 3rd. I can-not wait! I have been contemplating teaching yoga for a long time. I started practicing in college when I took a random yoga class for a random credit I needed. I loved it and haven't stopped since. It helped me through both my pregnancies and is something that makes me more balanced. For me, yoga is a stress reliever and a means to stay in shape. Even though I have been practicing for over 6 years, I am still learning every time I roll out my mat. There are many facets of yoga that I do not understand and may never, but I appreciate the benefits of practicing and recommend trying it to anyone who has not.

I started my teacher training program back in September through YogaFit.  Although it is not my exact style of yoga, it is a means to an end. It is humbling to start from scratch and break everything down as simply as possible. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to articulate poses to a beginner.  This training program is super convenient for me because it is based on levels and completing them on my own time, with no time limit.  With my girls and where we are geographically, a 6-week intensive or even a weekend-based course was not an option. I have been fortunate enough to meet the right yoga instructor here in Alamogordo who has helped me tremendously and set me up with my first class, as well as helped me find some volunteer opportunities so I feel confident and ready for the upcoming class. It feels great to be actively learning again and has already been a rewarding experience to be a part of others' yoga practice.  More on this later!

A little preview of my current project:

Aren't those chairs beautiful? They are all I've ever dreamed of and more...which is why I am going to paint them and reupholster them. Now, this will be my first go at reupholstering anything so I plan on taking my sweet time. The table, unfortunately is much smaller than I thought when I bought it. It is a tad small for the area it will go in, but we will make it work until I find a table I love and want to splurge on. The set was $35 at a local thrift store, so I didn't waste thousands of dollars on something I am not planning on keeping forever.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Three Days Worth of Projects!

You thought I gave up? No sir...I'm going alllll the way. I decided to throw all of these projects into one post because they are semi-related. Well, the first two at least. The second just took me an extra day.

Like I said in the previous post, I wanted to add some shelves next to Nigel, behind the TV. I decided on one shelf for now and may add another at some point. I like the one for now. I had gone up to The Old Apple Barn on the way to Cloudcroft with a friend a few weeks back and saw some awesome iron work and I was inspired to build a shelf. This place is filled with trinkets and cool gift ideas. The first time I went the most anal man of all time followed me and my friend around, making sure Piper and her daughter were not "ruining the merchandise," as he so delicately put it. They were literally carrying around stuffed dogs, being absolute angels...it could have been much worse. There are isles and isles of toys and tiny objects to destroy, but they displayed extreme self-control...beat it mean old man. I ventured up there the other day to purchase my iron L-brackets for the shelves -- here is a glimpse of the selection...

not sure why willow is trying to undress? 
So granted there are extremely cheesy horseshoes, gun-shapes, frogs, bear claws, etc...there are some diamonds in the rough up there. Remember, we are smack dab in the middle of retirement-ville. This place is a little pricey, but I really wanted a certain look and I had a birthday gift card burning a hole in my wallet. I knew the rest of the shelf would be free, so I felt OK spending $18 a pop on the L-brackets. The previous owners of our hose took on some weird, epic project in the back of our property and clearly never finished. They left tons of wood just laying around. Unfortunately it has all succumbed to the weather, but it gives me some awesomely distressed wood to use at my disposal.

Day 11 DIY shelf:
Step 1. Chose your wood. I used a 1x4x12 that i found in the back yard. You could buy a new one, they are about $6. I cut each piece at 3 feet, to make the shelf more deep. You could use any size piece of wood, depending on how deep you want it and also the size of your L-brackets. 
Step 2. Paint or stain. After it dried, I used some adhesive to make sure it was sturdy.
Step 3. Line up and screw on L-brackets.
Step 4. Level and screw into wall! Hopefully you have a nice husband like mine, and he helds you with Step 3 and 4! 

This project was a little more expensive that I would have liked, but some others have been free. I had the wood and the paint and the brackets were $18/piece. In total it was $36. I'm sure you could buy a shelf for less, but this one is custom. 

My next project is the vase in the final picture of the shelf. I needed something to put up there and all I had left was boring glass flower vases. I grabbed some paint tape and a can of spray paint and experimented. 

Day 12 DIY Striped Vase:
Step 1. Use an old flower vase or grab one at the local thrift store. (i see them there all the time for $2 or less).
Step 2. Tape off the pattern you want, I chose thick stripes. Make sure you really press the tape against the vase, I got some leaking.
Step 3. Spray paint...ideally not in the dark, like I did. Let dry.
Step 4. Remove tape and viola! a new vase. 

This was free! I already had the vase and paint. If you wanted to try it, you could probably do it for $5 or less. 

This next project isn't really related. I just finished it today, so it counts as my project for Day 13. I got the idea from my sister who made one a while back. I love the idea of growth charts, but some of them are just so stinking cheesy. I also don't want to start charting the girls' growth on a door frame, as I know this is not our permanent residence. Enter awesome pottery-barn inspired life-size ruler growth chart!

Day 13 DIY Growth Chart:
Step 1. Use a large board, I used a 1x6x6.
Step 2. Stain or paint your color of choice.
Step 3. Have a really nice sister who used her cricket to cut-out the numbers and hash-marks OR follow THIS
Step 4. Measure out your feet (1-6) first, then 6 inch marks, then 3' and 9'. Remember to measure the first foot from where you will be hanging it on the wall, IF you want to actually measure your kids accurately.  If it is just for looks, it doesn't matter. 
Step 5. Apply your numbers or draw them.
Step 6. Add a coat of polyurethane after 24 hours.
and there ya go!

The board was $6 at Lowes, I had the stain and poly from a previous project and my lovely sister made the cut outs for me! SO 6 BUCKS. Shwing. Now to begin charting the girls! What a fun and easy way! You can carry this from house to house. Now hopefully they don't grow over 6 feet...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'm a skipper: Day 10

GASP. I didn't do a project yesterday. I have some exciting things going on right now and I got busy yesterday and din't get around to an actual project. I did however prepare for today's projects! I ran by a thrift store while I was out and found 4 large frames for 10 bucks. Woot! So, without further ado, another super simple project for Day 10.

I was looking around the big room and decided we desperately need things on the wall. I have no idea what I want to do with the big wall next to the fireplace, I might even splurge on something super cool, if I ever find it. That will probably mean leaving Alamogordo, which I find I rarely do. Strange. We already have our friend Nigel up behind the TV. Ian shot Nigel back in high school and his Dad brought it to us when his parents visited this summer. Nigel is an Antelope. I wanted to showcase Nigel a little more and I thought a frame would be perfect! I originally wanted to paint a square a different color that the wall behind the beast, then frame it...but I'm taking baby steps here. I may or may not paint it. I also need some decor for the connecting wall. I have plans to make two shelves and find some awesome hardware to hang them with at The Old Apple Barn up on the way to Cloudcroft. They have some seriously amazing iron work there. Anyways, I was scrummaging through some boxes and found one of Ian's targets from weapon's school. What better thing to display next to a dead animal, right? The steps and final product are below.

Step 1: find some frames. thrift them, re-use them, make them!
Step 2: sand (if they were painted/stained prior) and prime said frames, let dry.
Step 3: sand primer until smooth.
Step 4: paint frames. BOOM. done.

How much did this little project cost me, you ask? Each frame was $2.50, I had the primer and the paint tester, but for all intents and purposes, the paint was $3. SO...grand total is $8. Thankyouverymuch.

 Nigel now has a home...inside his very own frame.
please disregard the unfinished trim in these photos...do you expect anything less from me? it will get done eventually.

After I painted the frame, I tacked Ian's target poster on the back. And this will go up on the shelf behind the TV, once I make them of course :)