Archive | February, 2013

February Goals – Recap

28 Feb

This has been a crazy month! Work has been extremely stressful; I have been doing less baking and blogging because at the end of most days all I want to do is crawl into PJ’s, grab a glass of wine, and knit with Girls or Adventure Time playing. Also, my goals for this month didn’t exactly lend themselves to photo ops. Nobody wants to see 28 pictures of me flossing! Here’s my recap of February. I’m pretty excited for some things coming up in March, including a quick road trip to LA and a fresh set of goals.

1) Drink at least 2-pints of water daily
Before this month, I hated drinking water. It was a chore. I filled my days with coffee, more coffee, wine, and milk (not particularly in that order). I was lucky if I drank 32 oz of water in a week. I’m doing much better now! I’ve got a mason jar on my work desk that’s 1.25 liters and I can easily go through 2-3 of those without having to run to the bathroom 500 times anymore. Thanks body!

2) Floss before bed every night
I’ve done this every night! At first, I was having a hard time with it. I would wait until right before crawling into bed, hobble into the bathroom, and floss miserably while my gums bled from floss-inexperience. Now I’ve got a routine going and make sure to get in the  bathroom after I eat but before I’m dead tired. Plus my gums aren’t bleeding anymore, bonus!

3) Make my bed every morning
Seeing my list of goals from last month makes me sound like a small, untrained child. These are things I really should have mastered years ago! Adulthood has made me lazy. Now I’m back in the good habit of making the bed in the morning. It’s so much nicer to come home after work and see my room NOT look sloppy.

4) Clean & organize my hall closet
I have lived at my home for almost 4 years now and this hall closet has been accumulating loose junk ever since. Anytime I come across a piece of paper that looks important, it gets shoved into a stack on the top shelf. Anytime there’s something weird that doesn’t fit in my room, it gets shoved in one of the drawers. That closet was a nightmare! After one night and a vengeance,  I am happy to say that I got a handle on this. It’s still far from perfect, but it’s a start. I purged like crazy and got rid of boxes of old (crappy) CD’s from high school and boxes of packing lists from my old eBay store. It’s so nice to know that I can open the closet and find what I’m looking for now! “Before” photos on the left, “After” photos on the right.

Before After

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Valentines Mini Cheesecakes with Fresh Fruit

17 Feb

For Valentines Day, I made some mini cheesecakes topped with fresh mango, blackberries, and raspberry sauce. They turned out so beautiful! These took some doing, but I think they were worth the effort.

Although most of my cheesecakes came out pretty flat on top, there were a few that shrunk up all funky and concave. I tried doing looking around online and I hear over-beating the batter or over-baking the cakes will cause this to happen, but since only a few of the cakes per batch shrunk up, I’m not sure what actually caused it. They tasted fine, so it wasn’t that big a deal; plus the fruit topping covered the funky tops nicely! Also, I found these cute heart-shaped paper doilies at Michael’s. So perfect!

Here is the cheesecake recipe with conversions already made. Full directions for baking are here. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes.CRUSTS

  • 1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers or vanilla biscuits
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter

FILLING

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

RASPBERRY COULIS (halved from original recipe found here)

  • 1 quart raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Mix in sauce pan and bring to a boil for 5-10 minutes

Southwestern Breakfast

11 Feb

This Saturday I was awake early and feeling unmotivated, so I decided to make myself a nice breakfast as a treat to get the day rolling. I don’t usually make myself anything nice if I’m cooking for 1. I wanted to try this Southwestern Breakfast from ABM, and the results were AMAZINGGGGG. I used crushed tortilla chips, black beans, parmesan cheese, avocado, and TJ’s corn salsa as a bed for the eggs.

I hate frying eggs, so I thought I would hone up on my poaching skills. I found this great idea online for poaching eggs in saran wrap! I soon realized I don’t own saran wrap, so I improvised using left over treat bags from Christmas. I tied up a couple eggs so they looked like a couple very odd eggy gifts, haha. I tossed them in the pot and let them do their thing for about 4 minutes. 30ish seconds in I used scissors to cut holes in the tops of the bags. All the hot air was making the bags float, so the tops of the egg white wasn’t cooking (gross!); by cutting a hole and dunking the bag under, the egg bags submerged and cooked evenly.

Goodie Bag + February Goals

4 Feb

I really enjoyed doing the 4-Goals challenge last month, so I decided this is something I want to continue throughout the year. However, I also want to up the stakes a little and reward myself if I can accomplish those goals. I remembered something my mom used to do for my sister and I called the Goodie Bag. She had a gift bag that she filled with Claire’s necklace sets, treats, or cards with an activity on them (i.e. “Girls’ Night!–Stay up late with mom playing CandyLand with a cup of tea”). Anytime we did something good or completed a project she requested, we would get to reach into the Goodie Bag and draw something out. Bribery works wonders.

So here is my new & improved Goodie Bag. I’m using note cards taped shut and writing down a bunch of random items that I really want, but can’t justify the $30-60 splurge on them. I jotted down my 4-goals for February and then drew a card from the bag. This month, I’ll buy a Roku adapter if I can complete my goals. (!!!!!!!)

4 Goals for February

  • Drink at least 2-pints of water daily
  • Floss before bed every night
  • Make my bed every morning
  • Clean & organize my hall closet (eeekk)

I guess none of those things sound that hard, but I am one lazy gal and those are a bunch of good habits I ditched LONG ago. Wish me luck!

January Goals – Recap

2 Feb

January just flew by! In my first post, I picked out 4 short-term goals to work on for this month, and now that it’s over I want to post my progress.




1) Craft/Bake/Cook 4 things from Pinterest

Woohoo! I found a few new favorite recipes and discovered a love of fabric paint.


2) Organize & redecorate my bedroom
I give myself partial credit on this one. I drastically underestimated the amount of time it takes to re-orangize all the knick knacks displaced by moving around furniture. If I had started this project January 1, I might have had more luck. As of now, I’m a couple weeks in and I still have milk crates filled with clothes and binders tucked away in corners of every room. Here’s a photo of the progress, I’ll write a full before/after post once I have the room 100% set up. This is now my favorite place in the house! Not bad since it started off looking like a bad dorm room. Before photo is here.


3) Go on 4 runs
I actually went on 5 runs, but I didn’t get a photo from the first week. It’s good to be back in a routine and I’m lucky to have a few running buddies that keep me from wimping out on dark, cold winter days. I couldn’t do it without such a good support system!


4) Revamp my budget and decide on credit card payment plan
I’ve got a plan of attack on those credit cards and am looking forward to paying off my first of four cards in March.


I’ve already got my February goals scratched down on a piece of paper, which I’ll try to post tomorrow. Having things like this to work towards is keeping me productive and I like it! 🙂

DIY Polka Dot Pillowcases

1 Feb


Here is my last of 4 Pinterest projects for January. I was so excited about this shirt tutorial and wanted to give it a try before I start dotting all my clothes. I had some boring white pillow cases that came in a sheet set from Ross, so I thought this would spruce them up and also add some fun contrast to my newly made-over bed. I used the top of a milk cap to stamp the dots and filled them in using a cheap craft brush from Hobby Lobby. I popped in a movie last night and got started. It took about an hour and a half start to finish and I left the paint dry overnight. My biggest regret was not setting up my workspace a little better. I had to clean so many black spots off my hardwood floor! Haha.

In action: