Clean Eating – Full of Surprises!!

So y’all know we embarked on a clean eating journey starting a couple of months ago. We’re really enjoying a cleaner way of eating!! We’re learning as we go…trial by error… We aren’t looking to be extreme about it, instead we’re making better choices more often. I’ve been finding some of the most outrageous recipes online…weirdo stuff…at least to us. I don’t think it has to be all that difficult. More like the simpler the better!! But…I am learning a whole bunch of good stuff while researching online too. Sometimes it still amazes me how much great info is out there to be had!!

We have been surprised at how much less real food we’re eating than we were of the processed stuff. One of the books I read, sorry I can’t remember exactly which one, said that our bodies crave real food and our brains are smart enough to know when we aren’t getting it, thus making us hungry again and again until our bodies get the nutrients we need. I don’t pretend to understand the science behind it but if what we’re experiencing is any indication there just might be some truth to it.

We have actually been able to decrease our food budget while buying more veges, only the best cuts of meat and all whole grains. I was hoping to keep our budget the same, I never imagined it could go down!! One of the easiest ways to keep the cost down is cooking at home, besides, that’s the only way we can know whats really going into our food…if you think about it… Anywho, when I cook something I make a whole bunch at once. Saves a lot of time too which is a huge plus when nearly everything is made from scratch. If I didn’t I’d be spending all of eternity in the kitchen!! That’s a total deal breaker for me. I like to cook and all but I have other things to do too!! For example the other night I made a huge batch of chili. We had chili and cornbread (from a box, I haven’t tried it from scratch yet) for supper. Then I divided the leftovers between tupperwares for the freezer, some for chili mac and others for chili over baked potatoes. One batch of chili will provide at least 5-6 suppers for us over time. Not bad for browning some hamburger and dumping everything else in the crock pot to simmer all afternoon. Great time saver, easy on the budget and a great way to spread out 1 pound of hamburger!! I’ve made spaghetti sauce, granola, roast beef hash, broccoli cheddar soup and an asian inspired chicken salad in bulk for us to either freeze for later or eat on for a whole week of lunches.

Another budget saver is making the absolute most out of everything, waste not want not. I save every scrap from cleaning veges. It may seem extreme…Chris thinks I’ve lost my mind…it’s ok…it’s like a game to me now… I save all my peelings and trimmings in a gallon bag in the freezer. That way when it’s time to make chicken stock I have all my veges ready to go without using good veges that are going to have to be thrown away in the end anyway. Last week I was able to take 3 good size chicken breasts and make 2 batches of chicken stock for the freezer, a chicken pasta that we had for 2 suppers and 2 lunches, then a couple huge chicken salads and still enough chicken left over to try out a new recipe using quinoa for the first time. No waste!!

The newest tid bit of wisdom that I just gleamed from the internet is how to grow veges at home from the scraps you normally throw away while cleaning veges. Say what?!?! Oh YES!! Those green onions that are so fabulous in any number of different kinds of salads or all on their own… We trim the roots off the onions every time we clean these babies to eat, right? Silly me, I’ve been throwing these in the freezer for my stock collection…not anymore!! These are going directly into a glass of water for those roots to sprout!! Once the green onion starts to regrow simply leave in the glass of water being sure to change the water every couple of days or plant your new roots in a pot in the kitchen to harvest whenever the need arises. Then rinse and repeat!! How amazing and ummm FREE!! So guess what my new project is?? Oh Hell Yeah!! I already have some garlic that’s sprouted and is ready to be planted. I’m definitely going to have some green onions too and I’m going to give romaine lettuce a go too!! All inside with my beautiful herb garden!!

As for the outside garden…I’m lucky enough to have a patio at our new Mini. A very very small patio but a patio nonetheless!! We’re still debating on exactly how to do the garden though. I’ve found some stackable planter pots that will allow me to have more of a variety of veges while only taking up a little space…but they won’t hold all veges, just some. I also have an abundance of rubber totes that I could use to plant in…bonus being their FREE!! Another option was suggested to us today of buying a kiddy pool to hold our whole garden. The pool would take up the majority of my patio area which could make it very difficult to plant or weed… I need to get cracking on whichever option I decide to go with… Suggestions?? Ideas?? HELP!!

We’ve made a lot of great progress in moving our way of eating to more real foods and less processed but we still have a way to go. I’ve nearly kicked the soda habit and now enjoy coffee, water or iced tea instead. We are hoping to switch over to homemade bread next month since finding true wheat bread without all the extra crap is impossible at the store. If only a good, cheap bread maker would find its way to me!!

Now that I’ve bored y’all with food stuff next post will be the craft projects I’ve finished up – full of pictures!!

With Much Love

Kristy

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Apartment Progress

The new apartment is pretty dang amazing!! It’s nice and big with lots of nooks throughout. But I didn’t feel that way initially… At first I was having issues embracing the uniqueness of the apartment. Our old furniture wasn’t fitting right, everything had such a left-handed feel to it, especially the living room. But I had an epiphany, with a lot of help from Chris, and now I’m excited to start decorating our new space!! Since we’re going to be here for a very Very VERY long time it only makes sense to decorate in things we are absolutely in love with. It may take longer…but hunting for the perfect pieces of furniture to refinish and searching online for the most fabulous curtains ever… That’s all part of the fun!!

DSCF1940Speaking of the most fabulous curtains EVER… I found them and they arrived this week!! To tell the truth I didn’t have to hunt for these gems very long, one little search and they were right there – just waiting for me!! I am in love with these curtains!! I think the colors are amazing and the pattern is so fun. Now if only the new bedspread would cooperate… Oh well…Let the hunt begin!!

 

DSCF1941One of my favorite features of the apartment is the addition of these long deep windows. They let the sunshine in without sacrificing privacy and they are perfect for plants since the kids can’t get to them!! Some of my plants are starters so we’ll see where they get to live permanently once they’ve outgrown their current space. The kitchen window is now the home of my little herb garden. Sneaky me put the plants up after the curtains were hung so a certain little kitty wouldn’t be the wiser. Worked like a charm!! Now we have fresh rosemary, oregano, basil, sweet mint and cilantro whenever we like.

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A couple of weeks ago while Chris and I were battling a head cold I redid the pictures for the bathroom. The ones I originally made were just OK, I loved the concept…the vision in my head…but the finished product wasn’t exactly right. Besides, the frames were just too small for the new space. We needed bigger and bolder!! I’m in love with these now!!

DSCF1970We also have a large bay window in our bedroom. From the moment Chris and I saw it we knew it’d be a favorite cat hangout. What furry kid can resist a huge window to sprawl out in and soak up all those sunbeams?? Well they must have a pillow to lay on…right? 😉 So Momma made ’em one!! It isn’t anything fancy…it is a cat bed after all… The kids love the tie blankets I’ve made in the past, it’s their absolute 1st choice for snuggle time, so it was a perfect combo to make their pillow/bed like a tie blanket. The only difference is I added some quilt stuffing in the middle before tying it off. Happy Kids = Happy Home!! 🙂

DSCF1972This candle holder was given to me…almost as a test… It was absolutely hideous and filthy, one foot in the trash. But I saw some potential…some hope that a little hug (paint) could bring her back to life. Much to even my surprise I decided on a cream color to spray paint it with. I didn’t even know I had such a calm color in my arsenal. Easy breezy!! Just add some pretty (bright) candles and my table centerpiece is complete. Test Score = A+ Now to just finish the rest of the table setting… Follow up to come!!

Chris and I have been working hard to get my new craft/upcycling shop up and running. In the new apartment I don’t really have a space to craft so our storage unit outside will have to do. It really isn’t a big deal since the bulk majority of my projects have to be done outside anyway. Everything is in the shop, which was a huge undertaking all by itself, and the electrical is all done, a big project for Chris, now just to organize all my goodies… I have A LOT of stuff!! It’s getting hard to keep working on the shop without working on any projects!! I have a couple that I can’t wait to get my hands on!! In time…in time…

Well, I’m off to get ready for another fabulous day at the Mini!!

With Much Love

Kristy

 

Twinks Birthday Celebration

After being sick all last week we are finally getting things back to normal. We had quite the head cold with the tickle cough that just wouldn’t let up!! Nothing was going to keep us from celebrating Rebecca’s birthday last weekend though!! My Twinks personal holiday…you bet we’re going to celebrate in a big ole way!!

DSCF1926Saturday us girls went out for lunch and then a mini spa day complete with getting her curls styled and her face professionally painted. To top off the fun we had us a little shopping spree at Charmin Charlies. I’d never heard of this great little store until we got down here and Twinks introduced me. It’s an absolutely fabulous accessory store with really reasonable prices with everything from purses to scarves to belts to jewelry galore and hats. We filled our basket with goodies to add a little bling and sparkle to our wardrobes…when we get to de-mini that is. 😉 So now that we’re all dolled up – of course we gotta go out!! The Mini family met up for dinner at a great little place close by called The Blue Tomato, you gotta love how things are named around here!! Aren’t we just to stinkin cute?!?!

 

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But that’s not the end of the celebration!! Sunday we all got up at the crack of dawn to go to Mississippi for the day. A little flea market exploring and then a picnic lunch and some time on the beach. I admit…it was a little chilly on the beach for me… I think the transformation has begun…I’m turning…southern!! Ah Ha Ha Ha!! When 70 degrees and sunshine is too cool for a sundress…something is changing!! But it didn’t stop us one bit!! We oiled up and laid out managing to get our first mini burn to jump-start our tanning for the season.

Operation Birthday Celebration was a huge hit!! We had a blast together as always. It’s been awhile since we hung out and got away from the Mini for a little while. Just what we all needed to blow the stink off and start this week fresh. It’s easy for the Mini walls to start closing in when we don’t wander off the island every once in a while. All work and no play make us Twinks sad & cranky!!

We are so grateful to have Alex & Rebecca in our lives!! They aren’t just friends…another couple to hang out with…they are family!! We are blessed!! Love ya Twinks, my sister, my bestie!!

I know I’m terribly behind on my pics… Shame on me!! I have some project pics of things I’ve completed for the new apartment and of course apartment pics too. Our flowers in front of the Mini are starting to bloom and they are amazing!! I’ll work on a whole post with all kinds of pics… Promise!!

With Much Love

Kristy