When I’m not in the mood to cook an all out meal our usual go-to is either breakfast food or tacos. We always have hard/soft shells in the pantry and can usually find the other ingredients in the fridge, sometimes … Continue reading
The last time that we were in Colorado we had Elk chili and Bison burgers. Now, if you know me you know that I’m not a huge meat eater, never mind meat that is ‘out of the norm’ but I cannot deny that both were good! Since we moved to the middle of nowhere in North Carolina without great grocery stores I have made even LESS meat… but then I found my new favorite store – Harris Teeter! Some people may think, ‘oh, just a Harris Teeter?’ but clearly you’ve never seen my other options- yuck! This place doesn’t have 19 year olds with 3 kids running around the store, you don’t find deodorant in the dairy section because someone just up and thought, ‘hmmm deodorant? who needs it’ when looking at yogurt. This place plays soothing music, has LED lit aisles to save $ and energy AND their produce is not only locally grown but SO fresh and beautiful.
Anyway, back to the Bison Burger. I found some very lean very organic bison and decided to try to reproduce the bison burgers I saw in Colorado- here it is!
1 pound Ground Bison*
4 Gluten Free Buns, split and toasted, try these: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/classic-hamburger-buns/
Salt and pepper
1. Shape Ground Bison into four 1/2 inch thick patties.
2. Heat your pan with olive oil, do not add your patties until the pan is hot.
3. Pan fry, turning once, just until the pink has disappeared.
4. Toast your buns in the oven.
**I added, two pieces of turkey bacon, a slice of tomato, provolone cheese and a small amount of chopped onion to each burger**.
Per patty: 156 calories; 9.1 g fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium.
I stumbled upon this great post and wanted to share the 10 points with all of you. Growing up my mother was very adamant about each of these points. Generally speaking, in my own house I follow them! Do you?
1. It just looks better. This should be fairly obvious right? Straightened sheets and comforters with pillows in their proper place are far more esthetically pleasing than disheveled blankets and a pile of pillows on the floor. A sink full of dirty dishes just looks ugly, whereas I could stare at my clean and sparkly kitchen all day long.
Let’s break this down… in my life, if things aren’t in a certain order I go nuts! A sink full of dirty dishes? I want to barf. Not only does it look entirely lazy but when you have dogs going in and out of the house all day… so too do the flies and fruit flies. A sink full of dirty dishes will attract ANY and ALL bugs. GROSS
2. I get more done when my house is clean. Taking the time to focus on putting things in order–especially when I set the timer and race against the clock–seems to jumpstart my productivity. When I ignore the mess and try to work around it, I am more easily distracted by whatever comes my way, and at the end of the day I’ll find I accomplished almost nothing. It doesn’t mean I always keep my house clean, but I do get more done on the days that I do.
To me, this screams routine. When you have a cleaning routine *brush your teeth, wash your face, make the bed, get dressed * life becomes easier, I promise! Whenever my office is unorganized with task 1 here task 2 here, press release 3 there… I go nuts! IF everything is in it’s proper place it becomes one thing after another and you can bang out as many things as you want to!
3. I’m not embarrassed to have people over. I love entertaining and throwing parties and get-togethers, & greatly value hospitality. When my house is clean I am more likely to invite someone over on the spur of the moment.
I have a few people in the neighborhood that at any moment could and do text me, “I’m coming over for a glass of wine” “I’m on your street with the dogs, coming over” “Can I borrow some spices?” and they literally will be there within 3 minutes… I once was caught off guard/having a total lazy day and the house was a mess… = I ended up embarrassed. It never happened again.
4. I can find things. When everything has a rightful place, it is so much easier to put it away and–surprise surprise–to find things again when we need them.
I struggle with this… my mother has said it for years, my husband says my mother-in-law does the same thing, I put something somewhere specific so that I remember exactly where I put it … then I forget that special secret hiding place. **MUST WORK ON THIS**
5. My kids play better. My children have the incredible ability to make a mess instantaneously. Do your kids possess this talent? Sometimes it seems like they spend their entire day just dragging stuff out so they can leave it on the floor. During our great purge I got rid of 4 huge bins of toys, and there is still more purging yet to be done. I have noticed, however, that when we keep their room clean (and I do make them help with this), they actually play much better. Just like me, they can find the things they are looking for and focus on just one thing at a time instead of being overwhelmed by 5,000 toys staring at them from the floor.
We have no children but this sounds brilliant to me.
6. It makes my husband happy. Who wants to come home after a hard day’s work to a house full of chaos? There are far too many days when Husband comes home at 5:30 and the kids are hungry and crabby and screaming, dishes are piled in the sink, dinner isn’t made, and the rest of the house is a disaster. (For the record, he never says anything negative and will dig right in and help with dinner, then do the dishes.) But on the days the house is clean and dinner is made and the girls happily run to greet him at the door, there is an unspoken joy that lights up his face.
Replace kids with dogs and this is spot on in our house!
7. It saves money. Taking care of my home and my things means I am less likely to need to replace something that gets lost or broken. When things are messy I want only to escape the clutter, which can often mean going to Target and mindlessly filling a cart with even more stuff we don’t need. When things are clean, I have no desire to be any place but here.
Nothing is better than a clean home. If your life is chaos and unorganized with clutter everywhere, do yourself a favor and take a weekend to clean out – it is AMAZING the things you’ll find that you bought at one time and hid somewhere and forgot about! I did this when we moved, basically I will never need any body soap/hair products every again!
8. I am more creative. Instead of seeing nothing but the mess, my mind is clear to see the creative potential around me, and my desk and table are clear to spread out and complete a project. Likewise, when my kitchen is clean, it makes me want to cook things! I know this doesn’t bother some people, but I have a really hard time creating anything–or enjoying the process–when I am surrounded by clutter.
9. It helps me get a good night sleep. There is nothing I love more than crawling into a carefully-made bed. It is so comforting! Rather than needing to wrestle with tangled sheets or scoop up blankets from off the floor, I am instantly relaxed and ready for a night of rejuvenation. Even if I can’t manage to get to the rest of the house, I almost always make my bed because I hate sleeping in a messy bed. A made bed just feels better, the blankets stay on all night long, and I sleep much better.
I have this thing … I HAVE to shower before bed, I truly cannot stand going to bed without showering and getting that all over clean feeling. Now, we have dogs. If the bed isn’t made… and one of them happens to jump up on the bed… then the chances it’s dirty are high! I’ll stick to making the bed in the morning!
10. It’s my job. When I signed up to be a stay-at-home wife, I agreed to all the duties that came with it, including keeping house. It’s not Husband’s responsibility to go to work all day then come home and do my job too. Yes, I work too, but my “work” is out of my house.
This is not a sexist thing. If my husband is even home his hours are absurd. If the situation was flip flopped cleaning, laundry, cooking etc. would be the LAST thing I wanted to do. I work from home therefore I have the ability to do the laundry, stick something in the crock pot, make the bed in the a.m. as part of my routine etc. Now, on the weekends – it’s all about team work but during the week – I got you babe!
Yesterday was a rough day for me. Nearing the end of a long separation from the hubby should be exciting and happy… yet the end seems to be just as hard as the beginning. Needless to say I sat on the couch and indulged in multiple hours of The Food Network. I then decided; stop watching and start doing. I picked this delish & easy recipe that was made by Katie Lee (Joel) on the Rachel Ray show!
HOT SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 9-ounce package artichoke hearts (drained jarred, or canned, cooked fresh or frozen, but not marinated)
- 1 cup steamed spinach – well drained
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 large leaves fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Use a 2 quart baking dish. In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, artichoke hearts, spinach, mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish. Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or toasted rustic bread.
While it may only be September 4th… and it may be 86 degrees outside… it’s still almost fall. In preparation for actual fall, I have begun decorating for fall, which really means I’m done decorating. I absolutely love the scents, clothes and temperatures that come out during the fall.
A fellow Army wife and crafter friend, Rebekah and I spent our Labor Day Monday crafting for fall!
Pottery Barn Lanterns filled with fall pumpkins & gourds
These are store bought acorns (if I lived up north I’d get them for free GRRR) in hurricane vases with a spice scented candle.
This little nugget is looking fabulous lounging in her fall orange bow created by her daddy.
Sunday’s are my lazy/extremely ambitious days. I’ve decided it is the one day a week that I do not need an alarm but once I wake up Sunday’s are my day to clean the house from top to bottom. I woke up extra early this morning, for no apparent reason. I decided the dogs would enjoy a long walk and I should eat breakfast… then had the sudden urge to make something. Lately I take pride in making healthy snacks that the majority of the ingredients are from my garden. I made guacamole this morning and added a kick to it. Next time you’re in the mood for it, try it!
- 1- avocado
- half a medium sized onion – chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 squeezed lime
- 1 tomato – chopped
My mother taught me many lessons throughout my life so far… but two major things have stayed in my head on a daily basis; 1. Don’t drink soda – it WILL go straight to your hips. 2. Take care of your skin, you’ll thank me later.
To touch #1 for a moment… this is true. The sooner you stop drinking soda the sooner your future body will thank you. To keep this short, the #1 & #2 reason on the “9 disturbing side effects of drinking soda” are:
1. Weird Fat in Weird Place: drinking soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.
2. Diet-Soda Belly: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two regular/diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion!
bottom line: Gross, stop drinking it.
Lesson #2 – Skin Care. I’m a creature of habit and once I’m locked into one I generally stick to it, this habit I will NOT need to break. Growing up in Miami you see some GORGEOUS women with GORGEOUS skin and then you see some gorgeous women with HORRENDOUS skin, they definitely didn’t have a routine. Clearly the beautiful South Florida sun rings a bell for those of us lucky enough to live there and you Wisconsin folk may say, “psh I don’t need to worry about this said ‘sun'” but yes, ladies and gentlemen we all do. If you can afford facials you can get this information from your esthetician about what works best for you but even if you can’t afford getting a facial every other month some of the products below should be STAPLE items in your daily routine.
Step 1: Exfoliate
My go to is Clarisonic… many companies have come out with similar products for as low as $30 and they all essentially do the same thing. For best results you should use this two times a day; in the morning to create a clean canvas for moisturizer and make up and at night with a cleanser to remove make up and prepare for your nightly routine. Observe how it breaks down make up 6x better than just using make up remover, helps improve the appearance of skin tone, texture, elasticity and firmness in mature skin and makes skin look and feel softer, smoother and healthier looking.
Residue from manual makeup remover:
The glorious makeup breakup with Clarisonic:
My morning routine then continues with this delicious toner that I got in the British Virgin Islands, but you can find here in America!
It’s Epicuren’s Protein Mist Enzyme Activated Toner – A unique spray containing natural organic surfactants which enable its enzymes, proteins and vitamins to penetrate through the skins natural surface tension. It’s ~ $24 (& smells delicious!)
Antioxidants are important because they help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, acne and skin cell damage…so get some.
After the toner & antioxidant serum have completely dried, before make up, I moisturize (VERY IMPORTANT FOR GREAT SKIN!!)…always purchase a moisturizer that has SPF in it!!
I strongly believe in Bobbi Brown products because they work very well with my skin (visit a higher end retail store’s makeup counter and ask someone to walk you through which products may be best for your skin).
Go ahead – now you can put on your make up, enjoy your day, come home and let’s get started with the nightly routine.
Step 1: Clarisonic
Step 3: Once your skin is dry its time to moisturize again! Night time is also the time to help out those under eye bags/sags/future sags… so get some under eye cream separately – the eye skin is EXTREMELY delicate in comparison to the rest of your face and it should be treated that way! I use these two Bobbi Brown night time moisturizers.
Hydrating Eye: this cream leaves the eye area soft, smooth and refreshed for HOURS!
Hydrating Gel Face Moisturizer: Tropical Grass Extract hydrates instantly and increases the skin’s natural ability to hold on to moisture. Vitamin E provides anti-oxidant protection against environmental damage.
It’s description: Natural vitamins and mineral-rich extracts even out skin tone, gently soothing and refining, helping to remove dead skin cells and erase the effects of environmental debris. A blend of vitamin A and citrus peel extract works to leave skin brighter and more radiant.
THAT is my routine! Seems daunting but once you do it and see the results – it’s worth it! The proof is in the pudding.