Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday

Happy to be back with the FoF crew...


I'm officially 55 days into whole30 - My goal is 60, for now.  I am really loving the program and feel as though I've had great results already.  I saw this on the whole30 Instagram and thought it was a simple yet clever way to spice up our side dishes. 
We had the best time playing in the snow this week.  We didn't get very much but it was enough to have a fun morning!

I'd never made snow cream before but I thought BG really deserved a special treat.  He absolutely loved it.  I just mixed several cups of snow with a bit of sugar and some milk.  So simple and he inhaled it!

I had a cookie order this week for a bridal shower.  It was nice to have a reason to bake that didn't include me eating all the rewards!  My former coworker, who is throwing the shower, sent an inspiration picture and it was one of the simplest designs I've had yet! These were simple diamond rings with the words "i do" written on the band. 
We had the best morning baking with our friends.  Allie and I hope to bake something together every month and this month she decided that she'd like to try a whole wheat bread.  We tried two different recipes and found the greatest success with this one from Annies Eats. Allie also took this beautiful picture, she has a real eye for taking naturally lit pictures and styling them perfectly.  Unlike last month I took BG along this time.  Holy chaos!  Fun chaos, but crazy to be kneading, rising and baking around!  I'm already looking forward to picking out our March recipe!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Freezing Baggies

Here's a quick and easy tip for your Tuesday...

I absolutely love to freeze things which I'm sure is no surprise to you at this point. Whether it's fresh fruit, leftovers or yeasty-doughs I always do one simple thing before throwing them in the freezer. 

I suck the bags air out with a straw. 

My mom taught me this little trick that helps really seal your foods and preventing any major freezer burn! Just seal your baggie at the top leaving a bit of room to sneak the straw in. Holding either side of the sealed bag suck in until all/a majority of the air has escaped. 

I use the same straw over and over and keep it safely tucked away in my cutting board drawer. That way, nobody accidentally uses it for a smoothie and I'm never searching the kitchen for a new one.

Below you can see the bag on left has been "vacuum sealed" by moi while the bag on the left was just zipper sealed at the top.  

I realize you can literally vacuum seal bags with a special machine BUT why buy a special machine and specific bags when you can just use a regular drinking straw for a similar effect?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Freezing Fruit

We've been very fortunate these past few weeks to find incredibly delicious fresh fruit at Costco. However we haven't been able to get through all of it quite as quickly as I'd like. I hate the idea of wasting such delicious bites so I like to freeze them before they turn ugly on me. 

Although we obviously prefer fresh fruit, frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies, oatmeal and dropped into yogurt or pancakes!  

I usually lay the washed and dried fruit on a flat pan and place in the freezer for an hour or so before putting it in a ziplock baggie for storage. This allows the fruit to freeze individually and stay loose in a bag therefore you don't have one big glob of fruit frozen in a bag! 

I know I don't have them pictured here, but I love doing this same thing with green grapes and bananas.  Our grocery store sells browned bananas for a steal so I grab a bunch at a time to freeze and use for smoothies and baking. Did you know that frozen green grapes are actually an easy and satisfying snack right out of the freezer!

Check back over the next few weeks for tips on traveling with a toddler, organizing gift cards and why I always have a straw tucked in with my cutting boards!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Onion Goggles

Well I'm back again with a silly but simple tip for you. I used to dread chopping onions because I would cry so much it literally hurt. After trying all kinds of silly tricks (that didn't work) my husband offered a quick fix. Why not wear some glasses? Boom. Problem solved. I've used sunglasses with success if I'm chopping quickly but I'm actually a big fan of using these babies...

(If you can't laugh at yourself...right?)

These were Nate's shatterproof glasses from his time in Iraq. They protected him from the danger of shrapnel and now they protect me from the fumes of onions! They live in my washcloth drawer and have become one of my favorite, albeit not so adorable, kitchen tools! 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Five on Friday

I can't believe it's Friday already! Happy to join the Five on Friday fun again this week!


First things first.  I finished my most recent round of Whole 30 this week.  I was able to complete the program with fidelity and it paid off. I'm proud to say I'm 13.9 lbs lighter!  It was the perfect push the I needed to continue my weight loss journey - I went straight into my next thirty days. Hoping for the same success!


Whole 30 has been great but I'm always looking for other ways to make healthy choices. April posted about the benefits of lemon water this week and I am jumping on board!  With that many healthy outcomes who wouldn't!?!


We spent the Super Bowl with our friends and their Indy Fund community. BG met a new friend - this gentleman was wearing a Packers tshirt and BG was instantly smitten with him. It was such a fun night and boy did we leave with a greater respect for our servicemen (and their caretakers!!!!) and the freedom that we often take for granted each day.


I've been grabbing some really great items for our house recently through local sales. I just scored this beautiful Karastan rug for just $25!!!


This little boy makes me so very very happy every. single. day. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday Tips - Expiration Marks

Hello friends! Another simple tip to make life a little bit easier on you I hope!

In our house we try our best to eat and drink organic and natural foods. Often times any liquids that are organic need to be consumed with 5-10 days of being opened.  (It goes without saying that you need to read your labels and trust them versus little ol' me.) after one too many unsure "When did we open this milk again?" my husband asked me to please pretty please just write the date we opened the milk somewhere on the container. 

At first I thought it was silly but now I'm hooked! Not only do I write on the milk but I also write the date on the lid of any broths or other items that have a limited expiration once opened. (I also like to add how much broth is left if I can...I just cross it out as I use more.) I have a black sharpie that stays in the kitchen just for this purpose, because let's be honest, if it's not within reach I'll just "do it later" aka "forget".