Monday, January 31, 2011

Bling of Blue

Happy Monday, Kitschies!!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  My weekend was one of *those* weekends where nothing seems to go right.  One of *those* weekends that made me happy to go back to work this morning.  Ever have one of those weekends?

Today has been pretty good - especially considering it's a Monday.  First, I was notified that the book I requested a hold on was ready and waiting for me at the library around the corner from the clinic.  Second, the mail brought a wonderful goody with it.  I got my first order from Cult Nails - My Kind of Cool Aid arrived and I can NOT wait to wear it!  I don't usually go for grey/taupe/gravendar polishes, but there's something about this one that I love.'s been decided (through some fault of my own) that I'm going back to school in the Spring!  I've been wanting to go back for a while now but for whatever reason, it just wasn't time.  Well, now it's time.  I have to wait til the end of May for the next semester to start, but hey.  I've waited *this* long...what's another couple of months, right?

Anyway, it's Mani Monday and I have a pretty good one to share with you.  Remember this Summer when Orly released its Cosmic FX collection?  I grabbed a couple of those as soon as I found them and passed on a couple, too.  But, when Ulta opened in the local mall, my bestie (she really *is* the best), picked up a couple polishes for me.  One of them was Orly Lunar Eclipse.  See?  I told you she was the best!

Orly Lunar Eclipse.  *sigh*  She's so pretty!!  You can't really see it in this picture, but there's a really pretty shimmer of purple along with that sparkly royal blue.

This polish has so much bling!  I wish the purple was a little easier to capture, but the flash has a tendency to wash out subtle color shifts like that.

And to mix it up a bit, I did my ring finger with Orly Out of This World.  I should've gone with a brighter purple to match the brightness of the blue, but it worked.  This pic was taken in the bright direct sun.  You can *barely* see the purple in my index finger.

This pic was taken in the shade of my patio.  Here you can really see the shift of the purple with the blue.  This is one of those polishes that look better in half-light rather than bright light.  Either way, though, it's very pretty.

One more for good measure.  This is a close up of my index (I think) finger to show the bright sparkle of the blue with the pretty shimmer of the purple shift.  There isn't a color in this collection that I don't love.  I managed to get all of the collection minus two because I have pretty close dupes to those.  Did you get many from this collection?

While I'm on the topic of collections...I have been drooling over the Black Shatter polish from OPI's Katy Perry collection.  I went to Ulta on Friday only to be disappointed - they were sold out.  I can't find it anywhere around town.  *sad Megan*  So, this is now where I reduce to begging.  Please.  Please.  Please.  If you have access to OPI Black Shatter, could you PLEASE pick me up 2 bottles (one for me and one for the bestie)?  Pretty please?  I'll pay for them and the shipping, of course.  If somebody could do this for me, I'd be forever grateful.  BTW, I'm giving you super sad eyes right now, you just can't see it.

UPDATE:  The bestie came through - again!  She scored me some Black Shatter through somebody on the bay of evil.  See...there's a reason I like that girl. :)  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Flashback Friday: Mr Nate

Good morning, Kitschies!  It's pretty hectic here at the office but I need a little break.  I need to just escape for a few minutes.  And while I can't actually leave the clinic and I'm in plain view of the docs as they leave the exam rooms, my break will be in bits and pieces, but it'll be a break nonetheless.

I'm linking up with Christopher & Tia: Flashback Friday today.  I wish I had made time to really prepare a post for today, but sometimes the last thing I want to do when I get home and get the boys down is plop down in front of the computer.  Anyway...I managed to grab a couple pics to share with you today. my little boy, Nate, just around his first birthday (July 2007). little baby chub, blonde little boy.  At this age, Nate was a little cookie cutter cut-out of my husband.  He still is, really, but it's *really* noticeable at this age.  Now, 3 1/2 years later, Mr Nate is still cute, he's just not my little baby.  Where did my sweet, adorable little boy go?

Here he is!  Flash forward to December 2010.  He's still blonde, though not quite as white blonde.  He's still cute, just not that adorable I-want-to-pinch-your-chubby-baby-cheeks cute.  However, the sweetness has somehow left him.  Oh, he has his moments, but they're fewer and farther between.  I know it's a phase (at least I hope it is), but between you and me, I wanna string him up by his feet sometimes.  *sigh*  The joys of little boys.

Don't forget to check out Christopher & Tia: Flashback Friday for other great posts!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Work It Wednesday

OK. I know it's Thursday. It was a busy day/night. Don't judge me. Please.

Good afternoon, Kitschies!  I have to keep reminding myself that it's Wednesday.  Yesterday felt like it should be Thursday.  Today doesn't feel like Wednesday, but I don't know *what* day it feels like.  I guess I'm just kinda lost this week.  Today has been pretty hectic at the clinic.  My coworker put the school bug in my head so I've been trying to figure out what needs to be done to enroll in the Spring semester.  I'm helping cover some work in the billing department on top of my regular duties.  I need to come up with a plan for a new daycare situation for the boys, too.  Sheesh!  Once you put it all out there like that, there's no wonder I'm a bit lost this week!

Today is not the first installment of Workout Wednesday, but it's kinda like the Grand Re-Opening.  LOL  The last WW post I did was a long time ago...way back on September 1st!  What have I been doing since then?!  A lot and nothing all at the same time.  I've been doing a lot of cooking/baking/enjoying the holidays.  But that also means I haven't been doing a whole lot to manage my weight.  And I can tell.  Between Halloween and New Years, I put on about 15 pounds and now I'm working to take off those pounds (plus a little more, hopefully).  You can hide quite a bit behind a pair of scrubs which is a blessing and a curse.  So you know it's bad when you can't hide in your scrubs like you used to.

To help me get down to a happier weight, I've enlisted the help of Cornerstone Wellness.  The Cornerstone program is a medically supervised weight management program.  It's NOT a weight loss program.  It is a lifestyle change program.  Luckily, I *am* the medically supervised program, so all I need to do is practice what I preach, right?  It's not quite as easy as that, unfortunately.  Since I am one of the "wellness coaches", I have to make sure I'm super strict with the program.  If I'm not, how can I expect my patients to be?

What the Cornerstone program really does is makes you focus on your lifestyle.  Not only do you look at how much you eat, but *what* you eat.  To loose weight and keep it off, you really have to change your lifestyle.  This isn't some fad diet where you'll lose all your weight in a matter of weeks.  The saying "slow and steady wins the race" is true.  Think about it.  It took me x amount of time to put the weight on, it'll take me x amount of time to take it all off.  The Cornerstone program is tailored specifically to me; it's not based on some antiquated BMI table for others of my age, height and weight.  This is in no way a starvation diet.  It has been proven that starvation diets do not work.  Why?  Because your body goes in to a sort of starvation mode and will hold on to whatever nutrition it gets because it doesn't know when it'll get it's next meal.  Not the way you want to go.  By consuming a balanced diet (35% carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat) your body will use the nutrients the way they should be used.

What do I eat?  This program is flexible, so I can eat pretty much what I want as long as I stay within my goal.  I'm not used to eating 3 times a day because I tend to skip breakfast.  My target caloric intake is 1432.  Doesn't sound like a whole lot, does it?  Well, let's look at what that includes.   This is an example of a typical day:
  • Breakfast:
  • Cornerstone meal replacement powder mixed with 1 cup whole milk*
  • Half a banana*
  • coffee*
  • Lunch:
  • Cornerstone meal replacement powder mixed with 1 cup whole milk*
  • Apple*
  • Peanut butter*
  • Dinner:
  • Grilled pork loin chop*
  • Asparagus*
  • Mandarin orange (fresh, not canned)*
  • Snacks:
  • Dried cranberries*
  • Almonds
  • Apple
  • Cheese stick
The items with the * next to them is what I actually had (or will have) today.  All that together totaled 1366 calories (95% of target).  But calories are not the only things that are measured.  We also have to look at carbs, protein, fat and fiber.  I won't get in to the specifics of each of those, but I can tell you that I do really well with meeting the target for carbs and protein but have a hard time hitting the fiber.  And I usually go over the fat target mostly because I use whole milk rather than 2%.  While whole milk is generally better for you (more available nutrition), it has 3.1 more grams of fat per serving than 2% milk and done twice a day, it adds up.  I won't get in to the whole good-fat-vs-bad-fat discussion right now - I'll save that for another day.

Since this post is already long, I'll cut to the chase.  I've been following the Cornerstone program pretty faithfully (at least 90% because who can resist homemade pancakes on Saturday morning?) since January 3rd.  I've lost 8 pounds.  It doesn't sound like a whole lot, but think about it this way.  If I lose 8 pounds in a month and 8 pounds for the following 3 months (4 months total), I'll have lost approximately 32 pounds!  It adds up!  But the evil

And so this post isn't *all* talk, here's a fun exercise/fitness related video.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Grab A Button (read: I did it!)

Good evening, Kitschies!  This doesn't really fit in any of the scheduled days, and I'm so proud of myself for doing this, I just *had* to share it with you!

For a long while now, I've been wanting a button for my blog.  You know...those cute little pics that link right to your blog?  Well, I finally got up the courage to try to make one.

Kitschy Suburbia

Taaadaaaah!  It's not *exactly* what I wanted, but it's not bad considering I've never done something like this before and I'm not exactly the most computer-literate person in the universe.  In other words: if I can do it...YOU can do it!  But I didn't do it alone...oh, no!  I had help.  Lots of help.  The wonderful and very wise Lu, partner over at Housewife Eclectic, posted two button-making tutorials.  Part 1 can be found HERE and part 2 can be found HERE.  Miss Lu also has her own blog, just Lu, which just happens to be one of my favorite blogs, too!

So, if you want to make your very own bloggy button, please check out those awesome tutorials!  And please...spread the love and grab one of my pretty green buttons (the link is in the top right corner of my page)!!

OK.  Well...that took longer than I expected.  I'm tired and my hands are darn cold.  I think I'm going to run a bath to warm up and then I'm going to curl up in bed with Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande and hopefully finish it off tonight.

Tasty Tuesday Chicken

Good morning, Kitschies!  We're plugging along through yet another work week.  Kiddo #2 has his 18-month check up this morning, so it's just me and him hanging out for a little while at home this morning before we have to leave.  Mason's feeding himself oatmeal (wanna bet we'll have to change his shirt?) at the moment so I am seizing the moment to do a blog post. 

In keeping with the new "format", today is the first installment of Tasty Tuesday!  I have a bad habit of picking up new cookbooks but never doing anything with them other than drool over the pictures.  This cookbook, however, is different.  My parents gave me Better Homes & Gardens Biggest Book of 30-Minute Meals for Christmas a couple years ago and I've made quite a few things out of it.  They haven't all been winners, but most of them have been pretty good.  I was thumbing through this recipe last week and thought it sounded good, so I tried it. 

Sweet & Sour Chicken
1 8-oz can pineapple chunks (juice pack)
1/2 cup bottled sweet-and-sour sauce
12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1 Tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp cooking oil
1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh pea pods, tips and stems removed
hot cooked rice

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 Tbsp of the juice; set pineapple chunks aside.  In a small bowl stir together reserved pineapple juice and the sweet-and-sour sauce; set aside.  In a medium bowl toss chicken with soy sauce; set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet heat 3 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat.  Add sweet pepper and carrot; cook and stir 3 minutes.  Add pea pods.  Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Remove from skillet; set aside.

Add remaining 1 tsp oil to skillet.  Using a slotted spoon, add chicken to skillet.  Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Add sweet-and-sour sauce mixture, vegetable mixture and pineapple chunks; heat through.  Serve chicken mixture with hot cooked rice.

NOTES:  This may be a "30-minute Meal", but it took longer than 30 minutes.  Combine the prep time of chopping and cutting with the cooking times (which are *always* longer than they suggest), it was closer to 45 minutes.  The recipe calls for fresh pea pods, but I used the sugar pea pods from Green Giant (I think) and it turned out great!

Look at the pretty colors!  I love when a dish is colorful.  Really, the key to a balanced diet is a mixture of bright colors.  The less color you have (read: potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.), the less nutrition you have.  So, brighten up those plates!

Now, I'm not saying that a little white isn't bad, because in moderation, it's not.  To make this dish a little less carb-heavy for me, I just used less rice than I normally would have.  The whole family liked this dish and I'll probably be making it again. 

Coming up in future posts, I'll have recipes for Ground Beef Casserole (slow cooker), Quick & Easy Stir Fry, Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables and a cookie and fudge recipe.  Enjoy your day!  Cross your fingers Mason's check goes without incident.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The People Have Spoken looks like most everybody was cool with the idea of themed days.  Thank you to everybody who commented.  I'll give it a try.  If I end up not liking the way it's going, I'll just go back to what I was doing.  If, after I start this, you want to see more of something specifically, please let me know!!

Welcome to the first Mani Monday!  Let's see what I have for you today...

A couple weeks ago, I was aching to do a water marble.  I was going to try a light and dark pink marble, but I wasn't happy with the color combination, so it went no farther than the two bottles sitting side-by-side on my Helmer.  Then the hubs suggested black and white.  It's a classic color pairing, so why not!  To throw a little bit of spice in the mix, I grabbed a bottle of red, just for fun.

I started off with a base coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On and then marbled the White On with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Midnight in NY.  For the red, I used Finger Paints Primary Color.  I was a little disappointed the black didn't come out more opaque on the red, but overall, I like how this turned out.  This was my right hand.

And the left hand.  This picture was taken after the second day of wear.  It did pretty good considering we went sledding that first day!  Don't ask me what that pink/purple spot is on my middle finger cuz I have no clue!

The thumbs.  Why is it that my favorite designs of a marble tend to be on my thumbs?  Larger canvas?  Who knows.  Oh, and I really liked both index fingers, too.  Really, there wasn't a finger I didn't like this time around. 

I have come to really like doing water marbles.  Do you have a suggestion of two colors to pair together?  I always come to a road block when trying to pair colors.  It always looks good in my mind, but once I get it going, it's not what I pictured.  Don't you hate it when you have these grand plans in your head but then it just doesn't come out right, no matter what you do?

Is Change in the Air?

Good morning, Kitschies!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  We didn't do anything too exciting or out of the ordinary...just the usual chores and a trip to the park for the boys.  I did make 3 new recipes between Friday and Sunday night and they were all good, so it was a pretty productive weekend for me.

I'm considering changing things up a big on my blog.  No, I'm not going away.  I'm not planning on posting any less.  It's just more of a structural change and I'd like your input.  Instead of haphazardly posting manis and recipes and an occasional family update, I think I'm going to theme each day.  Here's what I have in mind:

Mani Monday: It's pretty much self-explanatory.  Manis, nail art, etc. 

Tasty Tuesday: New recipe(s).

Workout Wednesday: I've done this before but it didn't last very long.  I was talking to my hubs about sectioning off my blog and I brought this up for Wednesday.  His response?  "I dare you."   Is that supposed to be supportive?  LOL  Either way, I'm going to slowly start an exercise program and post my trial and error as far as that goes.  I'll also post healthy recipes and tips to help lose weight (specifically: fat) and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday Spotlight: It took me a while to come up with something for Thursday.  My hubs suggested "new media", but we don't get enough new media (unless you count comic books) to warrant a post a week, so I thought about spotlighting things like websites I like to visit, or a product that I love or a book I've read and really liked. 

Flashback/Family Friday: I really enjoy linking up with Christopher & Tia: Flashback Friday, so why not make it a point to do it?  And if I don't have anything fun to share there, I'll use the post as a chance to update on my family (I started this blog as a way to chronicle my boys' growing up and it deviated from that pretty fast). 

So...what do YOU think?  Do you think this will make the blog more user-friendly or might it make it too chopped up?  I love doing my blog, but sometimes it gets a little tedious to come up with something randomly new every day.  This way I have a week to work on each specific "theme".  I read (and respond when possible) to all my comments, so please let me know what you think!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flashback Friday: circa 2004

 Happy Friday evening, Kitschies!  We survived yet another work week.  It was super busy at work for me today - I didn't even get to read the majority of the blogs I usually read.  I was contemplating skipping a post today and then I came across *this*.

A while back...a LONG while back...I found an old disposable camera in my car.  You know how long ago I took it out of the car?  Let's see...I got a new car August 2009.  So, that old disposable camera has been floating around the house since then.  It didn't have any exposures left, but we could never seem to remember to take it to the store with us, so it continued to float.  The kids really liked playing with it, so it's not like it was a complete piece of clutter.  Well, one day last week, the hubs decided he was going to take the mystery camera to be developed.  I had no idea what could be on that film.  I knew it wouldn't be anything bad, but still, I had no idea.  The hubs picked up the pictures today.  Mystery solved!

The pictures were of an office Christmas party way back in 2004!  That means I'd only been working for the clinic for less than 2 years.  The hubs and I had been married just about 6 months.  We had no kids.  Wow.  Was there really a time when we didn't have kids?  Anyway.  There were the usual pictures of people scattered here and there.  And there were quite a few where we have no clue what it was.  Most of the pictures are pretty discolored because, like I said, this camera was in my car from December 2004 until August 2009!  That's a lot of hot, hot days and a lot of very colds nights.  I'm surprised the pictures came out at all.  But, out of the whole roll, we got a good one of me and the hubs.  I think it's kinda cool that there's some discoloration around the edges - it's like an added effect.  I think I look pretty much the same.  The hubs, however, has a lot less hair on his head (not because he's bald but because he buzzes it down) and he has lost a good amount of weight.  I thought he looked good then...I think he looks good now.

I'm linking up with Christopher and Tia: Flashback Friday.  Join me over yonder - there's some good flashbacks to be had!  *Especially* hers - I cried when I read it.  Tia does the bestest posts!

Have a great weekend!  It's almost time for alone time with the hubs.  You know what that means, right?  It means we sit on the couch, snuggled under a blanket, watching various TV shows we've DVR'd throughout the week.  Yep.  We're old folks.  LOL

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How Meh Turned To ROCK ON!

Good afternoon, Kitschies!  It's day 2 without my co-worker and while it's been busy, it hasn't been insane.  Yesterday afternoon was pretty slammin', but today is a bit more mellow, which is good because I have a bunch of stuff to get caught up on.  Overall, though, it's just been kind of a meh day.  Until I went out for a little errand at lunch.  Read on to see why. 

I was going to make cookies tonight, but I went to Dollar Tree at lunch and found some awesome finds!  Wanna know what I found?  I found this:
(I borrowed this pic from The Shoe Dish)

And then in my frantic searching, I also found this:
(I borrowed this pic from Scrangie)

Win #1: They came in the same pack - for a BUCK!  Win #2: They had multiple packs.  Win #3: I grabbed one for my bestie!  I haven't had that great luck at Dollar Tree in quite a while!  I was planning on leaving the mani I'm wearing now til the weekend, but since I found the crackle polish, that's not gonna happen.

OK.  Back to business.  I hope you don't mind my combo post - I was just too excited to not mention my find to you.  

Waaaaaay 2004...I found this little digest cookbook (Low-Carb Recipes) at a register at the grocery store.  I'm a sucker for cookbooks, and we were trying to eat healthy (this is a thing we've struggled with on and off forever), so I grabbed it.  I've made a couple recipes out of it, but this is the one we make the most.  Well, I make the most. 

Chicken Salad
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 cups dicked cooked chicken
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
lettuce leaves
crumbled bleu cheese (optional)

Combine mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar, lemon peel, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  

Add chicken, celery and green onions; stir to combine.  Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

Serve salad on lettuce-lined plate.  Sprinkle with bleu cheese, if desired.  Makes 4 servings.

NOTES:  I usually use light (or reduced fat) mayo and sour cream and I don't taste the difference.  I've never had it with bleu cheese, but I bet it's good!

I forgot to add the sugar in the picture.  Oh, and the lemon.  Sheesh!!  To "grate" the lemon, I use a microplaner and it makes the zest super fine.  I probably would've never bought it for myself, but one of my aunts gave it to me on a lark when we were camping.

Sorry it's not the best picture, but you get the idea.  I have this either as a sammich or just in a bowl plain.  Either way, this chicken salad is the best recipe I've found.  According to the cookbook, it only has 4 grams of carbs per serving. 

So, you know what I'll be doing tonight!  Painting my nails with a bright color topped with my awesome crackle polish (and hoping it works since I have no idea how old it is) and watching Grey's Anatomy.  Sounds like a good night to me!  And how sad is it that finding an old polish for (basically) 50-cents makes my day?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Make Mine Midori

How's *that* for some alliteration?  LOL  Good Wednesday, Kitschies!  I hope you're making it through your work week without too much trouble.  It's been another busy day in the neighborhood.  I'm tellin ya - this EMR program is going to be the death of me!  Once we get it all set up the way the docs want, it'll be fine - I know it will.  But in the meantime, do you know how many times the docs come up to me on a daily basis because they want me to fix this or tweak that?  So tiring!  I told one of the docs this morning that I was going to install an invisible fence in the hall so he couldn't come down and talk to me about the program any more.  How mean am I?

I got tons of awesome stuffs for Christmas.  Some of those stuffs were nail polish.  And not just *any* nail polish...Zoya nail polish!  My mom cashed in on the Color Lock System promotion and picked up some of my lemming colors.  I threw two of them together for this mani.

These beauties are Midori and Tallulah.  They're so, so pretty!!  Midori is a "glowing medium apple green with yellow undertones and strong gold shimmer".  Yep.  Spot on description, Zoya.  And Tallulah is a "medium electric cobalt blue with fine bright aqua shimmer".  Now, this one, I don't completely agree with.  I'd definitely call it electric blue, but when I think of cobalt blue, I think of a deeper, richer blue.  Either way, it's a gorgeous color. 

This was my first (of 3!) zebra stripe manis I did within the span of about a week.  I wore this mani for New Years.  I didn't do anything exciting other than playing Beatles RockBand with the hubs to ring in the new year, but it was fun to have bright nails anyway.

This pic was taken indoors with flash.  Look at all that gold shimmer with the green!!  You can even see the blue/teal shimmer in the blue.  LOVE!

Both of these colors just glow!  I got quite a few compliments with this mani.  The one thing I would do differently next time is to stick with the black acrylic paint for the stripes.  The white was just a little too stark for my liking.

Outdoors in direct, bright sun.  These colors are really more summery, but if you're like me, you're ready for a bit of spring!  The weather here in NM has been really nice for the last week, but of course we're going to be back in the 30s tomorrow.  *shiver*

So...what do you think?  Are Midori and Tallulah keepers?  I was afraid I wouldn't like the green but that gorgeous gold shimmer just makes it for me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Start of Something Better

Good morning, Kitschies!  I woke up a little late this morning and hit the ground running.  I managed to make it to work with a little time to spare which gave me some uninterrupted time to work on a form for one of the docs!  It's been a pretty productive morning.  AND...the mail just came bearing pretty gifts for me.  Not a bad day so far.

I don't know if I mentioned it here on my blog, but I have a plan (not a resolution because I don't *do* resolutions) to better myself: mind, body and spirit this year.  Part of that means eating better and eating less.  Less what?  Junk, carbs, food in general.  But you wouldn't know it from my food posts since Christmas (cherry pie, monkey bread, macaroons and the like).  Would you believe that I made all of that (and more) between Thanksgiving and New Years?  *sigh*  As a result, my waistline expanded - and not in a cute "I'm pregnant" kind of way.  LOL  So, I'm going to make a conscious effort to bring more nutritious food to the table.  Don't get me wrong...there will be an occasional cookie or cake, but not near as many as I've posted over the last couple of months.

This brings me to today's recipe.  I remember my mom making this for us when I was growing up and I loved it.  When I make it, we end up eating at least half of it - and that's before the kids get in to it.   I got this recipe off the back of the Bisquick box, but Betty Crocker online has a bunch of variations of this tried and true recipe.

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie
1 lb lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.

In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.

In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.

Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

NOTES:  I don't use a whole onion.  I did once and it was WAY too onion-y for me.  

I consider this kinda healthy.  It all depends on your ingredient choices.  Use lean ground beef (93/7), 2% milk and reduced fat Bisquick.  

Everybody in the pool!  Or...if you want to fatten this up a bit, you could always add crumbled, cooked bacon.  Cuz everything's better with bacon, right?  Right.

Toasty!  The cheese came out perfectly golden this time.  I usually end up with crispy cheese - especially around the edges.  

Serve with some steamed veggies and you've got a pretty good meal!  One that my kids will eat, too.  Seeing this pics makes me wish I had this for lunch today.

If you have any "healthy" recipes or any vegan recipes, I'd love to give them a try!  You can drop me a line through my email: megharmeyer at gmail dot com.  Or, if there's a good recipe/foodie blog you think I'd like, please leave me the link! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

We Are Magic

There's a flashback for ya!

Happy Monday, dear Kitschies!  I hope you had a great weekend because I definitely did!  I took Friday off because the hubs was off work, too.  We decided to take the boys to Capulin Snow Play Area in the Sandia Mountains for a little sledding.  It was SO much fun!!  All 4 of us had a blast sledding (and tubing a time or two) and even Mason got over the fact that his little fingers were cold.  I took a couple good spills out of the sled, but I was having so much fun, it didn't bother me - til the next morning.  LOL  Let's just say that I'm not as young as I used to be.  Friday night, the hubs arranged a sitter (the first time a non-family member has watched the kids) and we escaped to dinner and a movie.  We finally got to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - very good!  I can't wait to see installment 7, part 2!

So.  Why the magic?  Well...a while back, I asked Emily of Wife, Check. Mom, Check. Now What?, if she'd be willing to pick up a couple polishes for me that aren't available here.  She said yes and I got 3 gorgeous polishes.  I finally got around to trying one of them out.  This is one of those car wreck (can't-stop-starring-at-my-nails) kind of polishes!
This is Studio M Magic Attraction layered over a gunmetal gray color.  This is more of a glitter than a true holo.  Meaning?  It's pretty chunky and rough.
Blurred for maximum glittery gorgeousness.  Both of the above pics were taken indoors with flash.
 You can kinda see the holo-y sparkle in this picture without it being so blury.  And no matter what I did, I could not get a good pic of the polish in the bottle.
Inside in direct light, you can see the bling of this polish.  The thing about holos, at least for me, is that they're impossible to capture accurately.  This is about as close as I could get to magic that is this polish.
Don't you hear the angels singing?  Seriously this is one gorgeous polish.  The downside?  It's thick and it's chunky.  But...nothing that an extra layer of topcoat can't cure.
One more pic for good measure because who doesn't like to look at pretty things?  LOL  Oh, and I highly recommend the foil method to remove this polish.  Without that, I would've sat there forever trying to get all the glittery goodness off my nails!  Check out All You Desire's great tutorial HERE.

Now on to part two of my post...


Last week, I was reading Dandelion Wishes and I noticed a cute little button on her blog.  It has to do with replying to comments.   I love, love, love getting comments!  But, do you know what I love even more than getting comments?  Responding to comments!  It bugs me so much when I go to respond to a comment, get ready to push send only to realize that that person is a no-reply blogger.  That makes me has a sad.  So...what do you need to do?  Enable your email!  How do you do that, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.  Go to your "dashboard". Click "edit profile". Click the little box next to "show my email address". Click "SAVE".  It should show the same address that your comments are delivered to. If you want email sent to a different address you will need to change your address.  Please!  If you want to join the revolution, please add this cute button to your sidebar to let everybody know.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Life, With Pits & All

Good morning, Kitschies!  No, I didn't forget about y'all yesterday - it was just SUPER busy at work.  I am in the process of working on our new EMR program and it's a tad overwhelming.  I can usually work on things here at the clinic for hours at a time, but this?  I can only work on it for about an hour before my brain just stops working.  Like, I can't think of the next step even though I've done it over and over again.  *sigh*  At least I'm off tomorrow.  Don't you just love 3-day weekends?

OK.  So.  I've had this recipe in my pending file for a while (was it before Thanksgiving?!).  One weekend I told my hubs I wanted to make a pie and he immediately said "Cherry!".  I went browsing through my Allrecipes recipe box and found a tried and true recipe for his beloved cherry pie.

Cherry Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water
1 pinch salt

2 pounds sour cherries, pitted
1 1/8 cups white sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp almond extract

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until pea sized. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Roll one ball out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place bottom crust in pie plate. Roll out top crust and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C.) In a saucepan, combine cherries, sugar and cornstarch. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the juices thicken and become translucent. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and almond extract. Mix thoroughly and pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

NOTES:  I didn't use the crust recipe given here; I used pre-made refrigerated dough and rolled it out to fit the 9-inch pie plate.  I didn't want to mess with the lattice top, so I borrowed Nate's PlayDoh cutter and cut out a bunch of cute little snowflakes for the top.

Separating out the juice from the cherries would've been easier if it wasn't the consistency of jelly.

I was afraid the "sauce" wouldn't thicken because it seemed pretty thin once I removed it from the stove.  But once it sat in the fridge for a bit, it firmed up perfectly!

It's been too long since I prepped a pie shell.  I cut the edge of the crust too short and didn't leave any to tuck under.  I ended up with crispy edges as a result (and that's even *with* a pie hat).
Aren't those little snowflakes cute?!  I should've made more and overlapped them a bit, but it wasn't bad for my first try at something decorative like this.
See?  Crispy edges.  *sad Megan*  Well, you can't win them all!  LOL  Yep.  I really should've made more snowflakes.

Today is my Friday here at work...and I definitely need the break!!  4 straight days of stress headache is wearing me down.  I may be back with a post tonight, or it might wait til tomorrow.  Or the weekend.  Either way, I'll be back.  Oh, and I'm going to announce a little giveaway some time in the next week, so keep your eyes open!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Anything But FAIL

Good evening, Kitschies!  It's Tuesday.  Right?  Yep.  Still Tuesday.  It feels like days ago since I got up this morning.  It was a busy day at work.  For me, anyway.  I spent a good couple hours working on the EMR program and 5:00 came *just* before my head exploded, so that was good. 

Now I'm home and I decided to do my nails (shocking, I know) and I've had nothing but failures.  I've attempted a purple gradient and a red/glitter funky french and they were both big FAT fails.  I finally decided to quit attempting to do something cool and went with a safe choice (Nubar Raspberry Truffle).  And to make sure that the fails of the night don't get me down, I'm sharing two manis that are anything but fails.

To celebrate the New Year, we had our besties over for dinner and games.  We used to do this a lot more often when we only had one kid a piece.  We try to get together at least once a month and when we do, either Wendi does my makeup or I do her nails.  This time I did her nails.  She knew exactly what she wanted and, of course, I had the colors we needed to pull it off. 

I started with the Color Club Electro Candy collection: Electro Candy (neon pink with turquoise flash), Pure Energy (neon blue with green flash), Ultra Violet (neon purple with blue flash), Volt of Light (highlighter yellow with blue-ish green flash), Tangerine Scream (neon orange with white flash), and What A Shock! (neon green with blue flash).

I paired the blue and purple together, pink and orange and yellow and green.  I overlapped each of the colors so they looked like they blended in.  Then I grabbed the black acrylic paint and striped each nail with zebra stripes.  How awesomely 80s is this?!

I'm still learning to take good pics with the new camera.  I've got taking my own pics down, but taking pics of somebody else's nails is a little more tricky.  In other words: sorry that pic is so blurry.

We realized later that the blue and purple nails match her awesome purple and turquoise ring.  WIN!!  I was so inspired by the way Wendi's nails turned out, I did my own nails similar to this the following week.
Instead of pairing up all six colors, I decided to just use the pink and orange.  I love it!!  These pics were taken indoors with flash.  I did this on a Thursday night and didn't take it off til tonight (that's 5 whole days)!
 It's kinda hard to see on the nails, but you can see in the bottle that both of these colors had a great flash/shimmer.  I know I've previously stated that I hate neon, but this collection has changed my mind.  I don't like the satin finish, but a coat of top coat fixes that!
This is indoors in indirect light, no flash.  The neon colors show up best when it's not in bright direct sunlight.  Its awesome in the dim first light of morning.

Indoors in more direct, bright sunlight.  The wear on this was much better than expected - especially since it's a neon.  Today I had a little bit of tip wear, but I did have a chunk pop out of the middle of my index finger.  I got tons of compliments about this mani.  It's so fun, so bright and so NOT winter.  LOL

I'm tired.  My hands are cold.  I have a headache.  I think it's about time to call it a night.  What do you think of my neon rainbow zebras?  They're definitely a horse of a different color.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Monkey

Love Candy Cute Monkey Images

Yep.  Two posts in one day.  How lucky are you?!  LOL  Really, I had to make up for the lack of post on Friday and I had to get out the word for Mamarazzi's Pinktastic Swaptastic.  Now I have a yummy recipe to share.

For as long as I can remember, my mom made this awesome breakfast treat for Christmas and New Years morning.  My boys, on occasion, can be picky eaters, but not with this!!  This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes.

Breakfast Monkey Bread
3 (12 oz) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
1 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease one 9- or 10-inch Bundt pan.

Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl and set aside.  Cut each biscuit in to quarters.  Turn biscuit pieces in the cinnamon and sugar mixture until covered.  Toss biscuit pieces in to the Bundt pan.  Shake the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture over the biscuits.

In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Bring to boil and let boil for a minute or two, stirring constantly.  Pour mixture evenly over biscuits in the Bundt pan. 

Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately overturn pan on to serving platter. 

NOTES:  I don't know if it's the altitude, but my batches never turn out as good as my Mom's.  There's never as much caramel sauce.  Next time, I think I'm going to increase the brown sugar and butter by half.

When working with the canned biscuits, it's easier to work with one can at a time.  If you take the other out too early, they begin to rise and it makes it harder to cut the dough in to quarters.

Mmmmm!  Cinnamon and sugar goodness!  Normally I would never let my boys have so much sugar for breakfast (or in general, really), but this is too good to pass up.  Besides, we don't have this all that often, so once or twice a year doesn't make me a bad Mom.  Really, it doesn't.

See what I mean about the caramel?  There should be more!!  I'm definitely increasing the brown sugar and butter next time!

YUM!!  I want some of this now!  But I'm being a good girl.  I think this lasted about 2 days in our house.  It's the one breakfast thing that Nate will actually *ask* for.  LOL

One more thing!  Today is a very special day - it's my hubs birthday!!  The stinker is taking the week off and getting some (much deserved) alone time in.  So, happy birthday, my dear hubs.  I hope you enjoy the quiet this week!

Have a great rest of your Monday.  Now I'm hungry.  Hmmm...wonder what the office fridge has to offer...