Friday, January 24, 2014

Unexpected snow and Asparagus Frittata

This past Saturday our trusted weather people predicted just a dusting of snow that wouldn't "stick". Well, we got a bit more than that! It stuck! I believe we got at least 6 inches of heavy wet snow. It was not pretty and messed up the whole day :(. Later in the week, they predicted a blizzard with 6-10 inches..Guess what we got? a DUSTING..Go figure! Here are some pics of the Saturday "dusting".

The next morning I made a delicious asparagus swiss cheese frittata. It was awesome! I love asparagus and this recipe is a keeper. Also a serving size is 1/4 of the whole thing! At only 226 calories you can't go wrong :)

Hope everyone had a great week and enjoy the coming weekend!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Turkey Barley Meatloaf

This meatloaf is one of my favorites! It is healthy and filling. This Weight Watchers recipe serves 6, so I make it in a muffin pan! This way, I know I am getting the exact portion. They cook in the same amount of time as the whole loaf. Give it a try! For the sides, I make Cauliflower "mashed potatoes" and lentils.  Instead of the plain cream cheese for the cauliflower mash, I use low fat chive cream cheese. I was always afraid of lentils. I thought they were very gritty and tasteless. I saute some finely chopped onion and carrots, then add garlic to it. Then, I add the cooked lentils and toss.

So far my journey to better eating has been going well! With a little effort, it's really easy to find healthier alternatives to some of my favorite meals.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Morning Glory Muffins & Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parm

I wanted something quick and easy for breakfast, but also healthy and filling! I found this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins and they are divine. You can substitute the dried fruit for ones that you like. For this recipe, I added dates, pineapple, and some leftover coconut flakes I had. They are very dense, but tasty and filling. They also freeze well, so they are perfect to grab in the morning and heat up at work.

Years ago, I had tried spaghetti squash and hated it! At the time, I only added salt and pepper to it. I have seen this recipe in the past for a twist on chicken parm. This website has tons of great healthy recipes. These were a big hit with my family and yet another filling recipe!

It's great when you can find things that are tasty yet still good for you! It makes it easier to stay on track!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Zipper Pouch Tutorial

It is snowing like crazy outside and I am home from work, so today is a good day to put together this tutorial. This is my version of a zipper pouch. They can be used for endless things..cosmetics, money, pencils, etc. You have to be familiar with sewing with zippers, but other than that, I feel these are pretty easy.

First, you will need the following:

  • Fabric! 2 exterior pieces for the main fabric and 2 for the lining. Mine measured 8 3/4" x 6", but depending on your zipper size and how deep you want it, you can adjust this.
  • Interfacing. I used 2 fusible pieces for the exterior fabric only(interfacing is hidden in photo).
  • Zipper. The one used for this project was 8"
First, make sure your zipper foot is attached and ready on your sewing machine. Next, I take the exterior (whale) fabric and place it face UP. Next take the zipper and place it face DOWN along the top long edge. Last, take the lining (stripes) and place it face DOWN onto the zipper. It's a nice sandwich now.

Pin and sew.

Do the same for the other side of the zipper.
Next, I open it so the exterior fabric is face up and the lining is under each side.

Then, I topstitch. You can skip this step if you like, but I like the way it looks and it also helps keep the fabric from getting caught in the zipper :)

Now, Unzip.

Take the 2 exterior pieces and put them right sides together, and then do the same for the lining pieces. Pin, and sew all around, leaving about a 3 inch opening in the long edge of the lining Backstitch at the opening. The black outline is where you sew.
Be careful going over the zipper ends. Just make sure you are not sewing over the metal at the ends. I have broken a few needles! Also, before sewing, make sure the teeth of the zipper are facing into the lining. It just makes a nicer looking finished product. Clip the corners after sewing, and any long ends of the zipper.

Now is the fun part! Using the opening in the lining, turn it right side out. Make sure you take time and poke out the corners, and also the zipper end so it's not tucked in.

You just have to sew up the lining hole and you're done! Tuck the lining into the main fabric and press.

On a snowy day you can whip up a bunch :) I had all of these pre-cut a few weeks ago, so it makes it quick to get these all done :) Hope that was easy to follow. It's my first tutorial, so hopefully it's not too hard!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, Better ME

I love how a New Year has the promise of new beginnings. I hope that this year brings them to me. I know that I am the only one who can make that happen and I am determined to do so! My resolution is to just focus on bettering myself mentally and physically. I am not going on a DIET..since they don't work! I need to focus on just eating better and making better choices. A co-worker of mine posted a quote on Facebook that clicked with me. Before eating something, it basically says "Will this help my body or hurt my body." I will do my best to remember that before I devour a plate of cookies! Another resolution is to get on here more often! I hope to post my progress on here and hear from others on the path to better health.

We are expecting over a foot of snow in the next 2 days! I should be used to snow living in New England, but I hate it! It's sure pretty to look at, but I just dislike driving in it.

Here is a pic from our last storm a couple weeks ago. My birdhouse looked so cute, but I sure hope the birdies inside were nice and cozy :)

Here are a couple from Xmas. The first one is the result of a tv commercial I saw. It showed these mason jars on a mantle with decorations inside. It's such a fun idea and so easy! I love they turned out and they look so nice with lights around them.

And a close-up of a table place setting.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and best wishes for a fabulous New Year!