Tape again. After making that last post, I realized there were a few more tidbits of knowledge I could impart on my fellow non-dieters. This time we'll focus a little more on tips for when you grocery shop, and for good reason too. The easiest way to stop eating food that's bad for you, is to not buy it. It's easier than it sounds.
Firstly, take it a step at a time, as I said in the previous post. The order and pace is all up to you though. In the beginning, it's all about if you can choose your battles wisely. For me, it was realizing I could change pizza instead of cut it out (yeah, that's wont be happening), and that I could find substitutes for foods I like that were the same but without the high fructose corn syrup (a really good thing to cut if you can, more on that later). Little things like that add up. Here's a few you can try if you need ideas:
-instead of soda, cans of half lemonade half tea (peace tea has no hfcs, but still tastes good)
-if you're going to drink chocolate milk, mix up some Ovaltine (more nutrients, less icky stuff)
-fruit (cut and ready when you get it home if possible) instead of cereal
-mixed nuts instead of potato chips
-pomegranate seeds instead of sweet candy
-dark chocolate covered (or dusted) almonds (GREAT brain food)
-use chicken (or fish) instead of red meat where you can.
Another thing to remember when you go grocery shopping is to put back those pre-prepared foods like hot pockets (yes even lean pockets once you get there; I'm told they're terribly high in sodium and there's other high sodium foods I'd rather eat, aka choose your battles), frozen waffles, those cute little Hostess muffins that aren't Hostess anymore; things that fall into this category will be picked out easier the more veggies and such you incorporate into your meals. A good rule of thumb is if you can't make something with it, start avoiding it.
This next part depends on where you shop already. I shop mostly at Wal-Mart. It should be easy enough to change to fit your town. Wal-Mart (at least any I've been in) puts dairy/eggs/the like in the back, dry aisles next, and frozen just after that, followed by produce in the front. I've always been taught to go from the back to keep frozen items frozen. If you're planning on getting your produce there, that's not a good way to go about it. You'll just end up with a bunch of empty calories, fat, more fat, and no money left at the end for veggies. Pick your produce first, then dry/dairy then frozen. There's a lot in the dry or frozen you're going to want to avoid. Now pay attention, because this part is very important. Don't buy a bunch of produce at once. Now let me elaborate. Buy a variety of produce, but only a small portion of each fruit and vegetable. This especially goes for if you're only buying for yourself or just one other. I'll buy a couple roma tomatoes, one avocado, one or two green peppers, one pomegranate, two or three apples at a time, same deal with any others I buy. Buy less, but more often. You won't run into too much to plow through before it spoils (which happens a little fast when it sits chopped up.
Because you'll be shopping more frequently for your ingredients, you can be more selective about where you buy them. Take this opportunity to find which store in your area has the best produce for a decent price. This might be your farmers market, or just a different grocery store.
Anyway, that's all I have for this round of tips for getting on the healthy train. As I learn ways to trick myself along this journey, share them I shall. Good luck to you all, and
Hey all. Tis Tape. Sorry for such a long absence. Things in my life are crazy. I'm just now learning to drive and finally putting myself together. SPEAKING of which, one of those things that seem so easy to do, till you try to do them is switching to a healthy diet. Those of us that don't diet do a pretty good job of convincing ourselves we're eating healthy. Here's a few tips to change your ways without putting yourself in a situation to quit.
So I have a major thing for books. I love books of all kinds - fantasy, romance, science fiction, you name it. So it stands to reason that I have a rather sizable book collection - one that unfortunately doesn't fit on my book shelf. Therefore I had many books in a box away from the rest of them, and today when I went into them I discovered that some of them had been weather damaged beyond repair. I was very sad about it, but I figured I would do something positive with them and give them new life as paper flowers!
What sad, damaged little books. :( I ended up choosing Pride and Prejudice for my project, partially because I thought it would be brilliant to have flowers made out of one of my very favorite books, and partially because I loved the aged, antique-y look of the pages.
So what you'll need to do first is cut out five each of five different petal sizes, for 25 petals total.
Roll down the edges of each petal and make a crease down the middle, leaving the tip of the petal uncreased. (If you're using old pages that like I did, remember that they crumble very easily. Make sure you are very careful not to tear them. If you want the antique look without using old crumbly paper, brew some very strong tea or coffee, soak the pages you want to use in it, and then let them air dry. This will stain the pages brown without losing the strength of the newer paper.)
Cut out a long rectangle with a rounded end:
Roll it into a tube (you can choose to wrap it around a piece of floral wire if you want to put it in a vase or make a bouquet, but I have a different use for them, so I didn't use wire), and then start gluing your petals to the rounded end, starting with the smallest ones:
I used a hot glue gun, but you could also use regular school glue. Keep gluing the petals on in a spiral pattern, going from smallest to largest.
Until finally, you should end up with something like this:
You can choose to paint the flower if you want, but I love the look of the antique paper and the words written on it.
Here, have a link to the YouTube video
I was making while I made these :D
Check out next week's post to find out what I plan on doing with these! ^.^
So yesterday, as always, I was craving a little bit of a chocolate fix. I didn't feel much like baking, so the cause seemed hopeless. Luckily, as I randomly clicked around on YouTube videos, I happened to come across one about the magic of Brigadeiro!
Brigadeiro is a common treat in Brazil, and after making some myself, I can certainly see why! Basically if the magical unicorn of deliciousness had a baby with the best lindor truffle you've ever had, Brigadeiro would be that baby. All that delicious plus the fact that it only takes three ingredients that you probably already have, AND is easy to make, and you have pretty much the most perfect thing in existence.
All you have to do is toss 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 3T of chocolate, and 1T of butter in a small saucepan, stir them together and turn the heat on to medium. (My stove gets really hot, so I had to do just below medium).
Then you just stir, stir, stir, stir for about 15-20 minutes until it magically turns from liquid to gooey fabulousness. There are a few ways to tell when it's done - the most common of which is to tilt the pan on its side. When the chocolate pulls away from the pan and sticks only to itself, you know it's done. Another method is to drop some of it onto a cold (refrigerated) plate and see if it solidifies quickly - if it does, it's done. My favorite method, of course, is to taste test it - if it sticks to your teeth like taffy, it's done. Please be very careful if you try the taste test, though - it will be EXTREMELY HOT!
Here's a picture of what it sort of looks like once it starts pulling away from the pan. Sorry it's not a very GOOD picture; I didn't want to stop stirring long enough to set up a fabulous picture. ^.^
Anyway, once it's gotten to that gooey gummy perfect stage, spoon it into a bigger container - more surface area allows things to cool more quickly and you want this in your tummy as soon as possible!
Once it's cool enough to handle, grease your hands up (I used vegetable shortening, but you could also use olive oil or butter or pretty much anything else), pick it up by about teaspoonfuls, and roll it between your hands as if you're making a ball of clay. (Use dish soap to wash the oil off your hands once you finish; it's formulated to dissolve grease).
Drop all the pieces onto a greased baking sheet. Decorate if desired with coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, etc. I was going to make drizzly white chocolate for you guys, but I was a dumdum and stuck it in the microwave with butter... Sowwy v__v
Then if you're not eating it right away (you probably will!) stick it in the refrigerator until it's ready to eat!
That's it for today, thank you for reading! Come back Monday for more bloggerifficness!
Hey guys! I'm only doing a short post for you today, but since it's so super-duper useful, I figured that would be ok. ^.^
So the thing is, my roomie has pretty severe asthma and can't be around the chemicals of regular all-purpose cleaner - Not to mention how bad those are for the environment. I stumbled across this solution on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, and had to give it a shot!
All you do is take a couple of orange peels (And because I feel sort of rambly, here's a tipception: Cut an orange in half like a grapefruit, top it with cinnamon and sugar, and broil it for a few minutes until lightly browned for the most delicious sweet EVER!), and put them in 2 cups of vinegar. Close your container and put it somewhere out of sight, out of mind for the next two weeks.
I had to put the date on the top of mine so that I wouldn't forget when to take it out.
After the two weeks, most of your peels will have settled to the bottom of the vinegar.
All you have to do then is mix the vinegar solution with equal parts water, stick in in a spray bottle, and you're good to go!
I'm lucky with the timing on this one, as I JUST ran out of store bought cleaner today!
I used my new cleaner on mirrors, windows, countertops, sinks (porcelain and stainless steel), and the stovetop so far, and it has worked fabulously for all of them. I didn't need to use any more than a store-bought cleanser, and it smells SO much nicer!
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more updates!
Let me start by saying that it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE for me to find jeans that fit me. I’m lucky enough to have what science and Leonardo da Vinci say is a “perfect” figure – that is, a small waist and wide hips – but unfortunately, most jeans are not made for such a figure. Which is why ripping the legs off of one of my two fitting pairs of jeans in a fit of rage at the Florida heat is not one of my proudest moments.
In my defense, though, they were pretty raggedy to start with – the back was all worn out, there were holes in the knees, etc. So I guess it wasn’t too much of a loss. Anyway, as you can see, I went a little overboard with my ripping and was left with a pair of jean shorts that was, shall we say, not exactly G-rated. Something had to be done! Luckily, it was a pretty quick fix.
Remember when I said I started volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store? Well, it turned out to be a smart idea, because when donations come in that are too ripped or in any way unsellable, my awesome boss lets me take them home! Thus, I got to keep this AMAZING worn-out lace bedskirt:
I’m deeply in love with the denim-and-lace trend this season, and this was the perfect way to fix my shorts AND have a trendy new clothing piece!
First I chopped off the bottom trim…
Then I pinned it to the bottom of my shorts...
Then I stitched it in place!
Yeah, I know, my mirror is in desperate need of a good scrubbing. How do bathroom mirrors always get like that?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my upcycled/refashioned shorts post! Be sure to send us pics if it inspires you to refashion some shorts of your own!
Hey guys! Twill here! I'm SO SORRY for missing a week! I Pinkie-Pie promise not to make it a habit!
But you see - I have an EXCUSE! *ducks from the rotten vegetables being thrown* No, I swear, it's a really good excuse!
*clears throat* -I- just took on a full-time job of volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store!!
See? TOLD you it was a good excuse. -___-
So NOW I don't have as much time to craft or to blog! But does that stop Twill? No sir! So from now on, I promise to do a post once a week as the Muses intended.
Soooooooo, without any further ado, here is the totally and completely epic-ly awesome BIRTHDAY TEA PARTY BLOG POST! *fanfare*
Hey, guys! It’s me, Twill. I am SO EXCITED about today for two reasons. Number one is that it’s THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY!!! I’m turning twenty, which is both hands and both feet combined!
And the SECOND REASON I’m so excited for today, well, sorry it excludes you people reading from “across the pond” – to those guys: HAPPY RANDOM DAY YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT! But to the people here in the USA, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! There’s going to be fireworks and cookouts and pool parties and barbeques… And also something about America, but who knows what that’s all about? And so today, I’m going to be making Independence Day Cupcakes for my neighborhood pool party! And, of course, what celebrates America more than a plate of devilled eggs?
I want to share a secret with you guys that is going to make your cakes SO MUCH BETTER in the future. Are you ready? Ok, the secret is: When you cream the butter and sugar, beat it for about ten minutes. Seriously, set your kitchen timer (that’s what I did!).
See how fantastically fluffy that is? That fluffiness translates to your finished product! You want to cream the tar out of all the liquid ingredients – I added the eggs in one by one and beat it thoroughly between each one.
However! Don’t be fooled into thinking you should do that through the whole recipe! Once you add in your flour and baking soda / powder, overmixing is going to make your cupcakes very tough and chewy – two adjectives you do NOT want describing the yummies you just worked so hard to make!
I popped those in the oven, and while they were baking, I got to work on my other entrée of the day: Devilled eggs! It’s sort of a specialty in my family, as I have never met ANYONE other than my grandma, my mother, and me who makes them even remotely the same as we do.
All you do is cut the boiled eggs in half lengthwise:
Scoop out their innards, and mix them together with relish, mayo, minced onions, and spicy brown mustard. Take that concoction and scoop (or pipe) it back onto the egg whites.
Sprinkle on some paprika and you’re good to go!
That must mean the cupcakes are done! I poked them with my fingertip just to be sure (they’re done when they spring back from being poked), and sure enough, they had had enough of that hot oven and wanted out to see the world!
While I set them to cool, I got to work on the frosting.
Red, white, and blue of course! ^__^
I frosted them, added some sparkly red sprinkles, and then I was all ready to go to the pool party!
Here they are on the table with all the other delicious treats my neighbors were awesome enough to make!
And just for good measure, here’s a picture of me relaxing in the pool. (Doesn't the water make it look SOOO distort-y and weird???)
I hope you guys enjoyed this article and come back soon for more!
Hello. My name is Tape. I have an organization addiction.
Fortunately, that's not a bad thing, so today I'm going to share a little bit of the creative madness with you. I recently reorganized aaaaaall of my jewelry and hair accessories and makeup and EVERYTHING ELSE us girls need, but the jewelry is an easier task for you to start with and can be done separately.
Things you'll need:
An old beat up corkboard (mine's a good 20 yrs old)
hair tie hoop or hiking clip
fabric of choice
2 or more colors paint
paint brushes, one very small
This story starts as one of woe. This poor little corkboard had been lying around my parents' house for years and showed its age with pieces peeling off and visible holes everywhere. They were gonna throw it out, so I took it. It bounced around parts of the house being generally useless for a couple years. Finally, I got fed up with my jewelry box and wanted to be able to see all of my jewelry at once. At first all I did was pin in a bunch of push pins and hang everything haphazardly but when we moved and I was working on my other project (to be revealed at a later date) I took some time on the poor thing, dressed it up, organized it, as well as lessened some of its burden by getting rid of some jewelry that was in need of a new home.
Tape here! Hi. I made some cinnamon sugar crescent rolls for your guys today!!! I'm a lazy cook. I started from rolls from a can. The important part is what I did to them though! I always try to do something to improve pre-made things so here's what I did to them; you could do this to crescent rolls from scratch as well.
First of course, they need to be rolled out. Keeping them sort of close together helps for the sprinkling stage.