Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Guide to Achieving Your Goals this Year

New Year’s Resolutions

· Be reasonable: set realistic goals, don’t expect to drop all the weight in one or two weeks. Make smaller “mini goals”. Maybe chose to loose 2 pounds by the end of each month, instead of choosing to loose 30 pounds by the end of the year.

· Make a plan: come up with a plan that fits into your current lifestyle. Whether it’s exercising twice a week or even once a week, make sure you make it a commitment .

· Find a workout that you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, the likelihood that you will stick with it is pretty minimal.

· Don’t be disappointed if the scale hasn’t budged after a while. Do you feel better? Do your clothes fit better/loser? It might just be that you have replaced some of the fat with muscle. Remember fat and muscle weigh the same….but muscle takes up less space!

· Too much cake, candy, and cookies over the holidays can drive anyone to want to swear off sugar for good. But going extreme with your New Year's resolution and trying to completely cut out certain types of food might be too much for you to handle. If you know you have a sweet tooth or can't stay away from the bread basket, make a resolution to cut back instead of eliminating.

· Deciding to eat healthier is one of the best New Year's resolution you can make. It's the broadness of the goal that is the issue. It's best to define that goal with smaller, more specific goals such as "to eat green veggies at least once a day," or "eat fruit instead of ice cream for my after-dinner treat." These defined goals will be easier to follow, making you more successful at your original goal of eating healthier.


New Year's Resolutions!!

It's time you guys! It's time to start thinking and writing down what your goals are for 2013!! I made this little guy so that I could have a cute piece a paper to write down my goals for the new year. So don't be afraid, print it out and get started on your goals!

(to print just simply click on the picture!)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

"Healthier" Chocolate Chunk, Almond & Cranberry Cookies

I have gotten numerous requests for this recipe, so here it is! Shhh. don't tell them it's vegan. That's right! No animal products in these delicious babies!

Christmas Cards 2012!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Manly-ish Birthday Card!

It has been a long time since I've created a birthday card, or any type of greeting card for that matter. So in honor of my husbands' uncle I have crawled out of my artistic rut and made a manly-ish birthday card!

The inside reads "it's ok to light the candles on your birthday cake now; I've alerted the fire department."

Hope he enjoys it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Team Banner!

Last week I ran into a issue....either buy a banner or make one. Why? My dance team was going to be in our local Veteran's Day Parade, and I wanted something to show who we are. So of course I chose to make one! It was incredibly simple to do, and I was able to do it for $4.99!

  • about a 1.5 yards of fabric (I used a black black-out curtain I found at Goodwill for $4.99!)
  • about a 1 yard or less (depends of how big/small you want your letters to be) of coordinating fabric for the letters
  • scissors/exacto knife
  • fabric glue
  • pencil
  • yard stick/ruler
  • Microsoft Word (or any program that will allow you to print large letters)
  • long PVC pipe or wooden dowel (to hang the banner from)
  • decide on your font and font size of  your letters and then print them out
  • on the base fabric for your banner sew a 3-5 inch pocket (this will be the top. Where your rod where your banner will hang from will go)
  • Now take the letters you have printed out and lay them on your base fabric and see if you like how it looks and if the letters fit!

  • Then trace the letters onto the fabric you want to use for the letters.

  • Now after you have traced all of your letters onto your fabric, using your scissors or an exacto knife cut them out
  • Now that you have all your letters cut out...
  • and lay them onto your base fabric and position them how you want, you can use a yard stick or ruler in order to keep the letters from getting un-even and glue in place using fabric glue or whatever kind of glue you want to use to adhere the letters onto the fabric.
  • After the glue has completely dried you are ready to use your banner!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day of the Dead Altar

So this year I decided to try to create more cultural involvement in our school/club by doing a Dia de los Muertos altar at the high school to share the meaning of this tradition. And let me say that it was a ton of fun helping the students create their first Dia de los Muertos altar. To read about the meaning of this holiday go to this post I wrote last week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sugar Skulls & Day of The Dead!

So What is the "Day of the Dead? Well the Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is celebrated all throughout Mexico and around the world. In Brazil it's called "Dia de Finados", in Spain there are festivals and parades, and at the end of the day, people gather at cemetaries and pray for their dead loved ones. There are different forms of this holiday and they are all celbrated throughout Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and also in the Native American cultures. This holiday focuses on the gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members that have passed away.
In most regions of Mexico it is celebrated November 1st &2nd. With the first day being called the day of the innocents in honor of the children and infants. The second day honors all the adults. During this time people go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods, beverages, and things that ment a lot to the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers of the living. These celebrations can be humorous as people remember all the funny and good times they had with their loved ones.
Mow isn't this a BILLION times different than our holliday here in the United States??!! Halloween is kinda ment to be creepy and scary (don't get me wrong I love creepy and scary), but it's kind of nice to see what other cultures' version of "Halloween"is.
A common symbol of this holiday is the skull, usually made of sugar. Ssugar skulls are inscribed with the name of the loved one on the forehead.
Now, I didn't have a sugar skull mold, or patience to make one out of sugar. So what did I do? I went to Dollar Tree and bought one of their skulls! I then painted it ivory and then painted it with bright colors! So go out there and make your own "sugar skull" this Halloween!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Make Antlers!

So I have been looking at how to make me some nice deer antlers for a while, and honestly I couldn't find a single post anywhere on a SIMPLE & EASY way to make some antlers that didn't involve
 a) branches b) clay c) real antlers d) paper mache e) require me to go out and buy materials
I know cheap and laziness isn't a good combo, but as they say "necessity is the mother of all invention" and combined with my cheapness and laziness I came up with a super simple & easy way to make some antlers. Now you may be wondering "why?". No it's not for Halloween, although I am tempted to wear them for Halloween. But they are a prop for one of the dances the folkloric dance team is working on. I had seen the real prop that is supposed to go with this dance but they wanted $450!! about no. So for now (until I become a billionaire) this will be perfect! And plus did I mention my version was FREE! So without anymore babbling here is how I made them.

  • aluminum foil
  • painters tap/scotch tape/any paint able tape
  • wire (not too thin but not too thick either, I got mine at my local hardware store and it was the only size they had and it worked great)
  • wire cutters
  • needle nosed pliers
  • leather like fabric/ or any fabric you would like cut into about half inch strips
  • paint & paint brush & paper plate for your paint
  • metal headband
  • hot glue gun & hot glue
How To:

  • First map out what you want your antlers to look like and about how big you want them.
  • Then, with your aluminum foil roll it length wise and start making the shapes. I did each point separate and then just hot glued them together where I wanted them
  • Once all the pieces are hot glued together where you want them it should look like this...
  • After you have your antlers how you like them it is time to start taping! so get your tape out and make sure that every inch of your antlers are taped. (you can see I had tried to wrap one of the antlers in contact didn't turn out so well, I had to take it off and wrap it with tape instead)
  • Once you are done taping them they should look like this!  
  • Now comes the paint! so start painting your antlers the way you want them.
  •  It took about 2 coats of the light ivory paint for it to cover all traces of the blue tape. Then I added browns and darker ivories to them.
  • Now set your antlers to the side and wait for them to completely dry.
  • After they are completely dry take about a 12 inch length of your wire (sorry I forgot to take pictures of the rest of the steps) and push it through the bottom of your antler so you have an even amount of wire on both sides of the antler.
  • Now place the antler with the wire sticking through it on top of your metal headband (positioning isn't crucial when it comes to whether to move it left or right, because you will still be able to slide it to the sides while it's on the headband for now)
  • Now wrap the wire that is sticking out of the antler around the headband until it is totally secure and the antler doesn't flop forward or backward. (I had to play with wrapping and unwrapping it until I liked the rigidity of the antler)
  • Once you are done wrapping the wire around the antler and the headband start on the second antler.
  • Now that you have both of your antlers wire wrapped to the headband slide the antlers around on the headband until you like their position.
  • Now take your strips of fabric and start wrapping it around the headband making sure you hot glue as you go and to cover as much of the wire at the antlers as possible.
  • Once you are finished wrapping the headband in fabric you can leave it like that and you are finished!
OR If you want to be able to tie it around your head
  •  just cut your fabric to your desired length (I had cut my strips super long, eh about a yard, because I needed them to be super secure on the dancer's head) and hot glue the strips onto the ends of the headband and voila! You now have an awesome antler headpiece that cost you next to nothing! (it was totally free for me to make this, I already had everything I needed on hand!)

Vacation Time!

Well we did it! We took our first vacation this last week! We flew down to San Diego and stayed for a week! It was so much fun! We tried new food, went to the beach (a REAL one, not like the "beaches" here in Oregon), visited a ton of museums and even went to the San Diego Zoo!! It was great to get away and be somewhere completely new. I don't know why, but I somehow didn't end up taking many pictures of our trip....I know what kind of person am I!!??? well I finally got some of the ones I did take off the camera, and here they are! So if you are ever in San Diego I highly recommend going to Balboa Park and seeing all of the awesome museums there, and of course the San Diego Zoo! As for food, well if you are vegan/vegetarian (although they do have some chicken and fish meals) and you are in Oceanside you MUST go to the Hill Street Cafe! OMG they are amazing! After we found this place I think we ate there three out of the 5 days we were there. If vegan/vegetarian food is not your thing and burgers are more your thing try the Burger Lounge my husband LOVED their burgers, as for me well they did have 1 thing on the menu that I could eat that was vegan, and that was their quinoa salad. Let me just say that it was absolutely delicious! and the portions where HUGE! So I would order half a salad unless you are completely ravenous ;) Oh and did I mention that It was partially a work trip for me too?? I am now licenced to teach Zumba Sentao! Woohoo!!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Veggie & Cheese Casserole

OK, so I have leaped off the deep end (or so my husband says), I have decided to try out the whole vegan thang. No, I'm not one of those vegans, you know the ones that hate you for eating animals. I mean I was already not eating any form of dairy and egg so I thought "hey, I might as well try out cutting out meat". So for the past week and a half I've been vegan! and so I have been trying out some recipes and I like this one! It's pretty quick and full of flavor! And I had everything on hand. My husband's garden is busting out of the seems with a hole bunch of veggies so this recipe was perfect to use up some of those that have been sitting on the counter for a while.
Here's the recipe (adapted from This recipe):
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/5 cup shredded cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella style "cheese")
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cheese for sprinkling on top
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
Microwave baby carrots for about 2 minutes, to soften slightly. This way they will take less time to saute.
Add zucchini and carrots to the pan, add the onion and garlic, until softened.
Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix in well. Remove pan from the heat and place contents into a medium oven safe bowl. Preheat oven to 375F
Stir in cheese (save some to sprinkle on top) and mix in the bread crumbs (save some to sprinkle on top too) until well combined.
Sprinkle with the cheese and bread crumbs on top that you set aside.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
Turn on the broiler and broil (watching carefully) an additional 3-4 minutes until slightly browned on top.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Garnish with the tomatoes!
Serves about 2.
It took about 45 minutes from start to finish.
Next time I am going to add some broccoli and maybe even some bell peppers! The possibilities are nearly endless with this dish, just replace the veggies with whatever veggies you have on hand or are in season! And of course you can always switch out the vegan cheese for the real stuff. You could even add some chicken or turkey!
This is definitely a quick and easy dish that could be dressed up in a billion different ways.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quinceanera and the Mountain

OK so I know that I'm like way way late in posting what I did this last weekend but hey I guess later better than never right? right?....So for the past month I was asked by a group of teenagers if I could choreograph two dances that they wanted to do for a girl's quinceanera (sweet 15) and the big day finally came and they did great of course! Then the next day we decided to go out on an adventure once again and go to a big flea market in a neighboring state. It was so much fun! I loved the drive, although I was sleeping the whole way up, but I was awake for the drive back hahaha. Anyway here are some pictures of my weekend!


Current Obsession...

My current obsession right now is definitely a sliced peach on some whole wheat toast! YUM!
What is your current obsession??

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Forest...

This weekend we went out on an adventure to search for some huckleberries up in the woods. So after driving an hour and a half we see that there are A BUNCH of people picking berries EVERYWHERE! So we ended up only picking about a handful because either 1) they aren't fully ripe yet 2) they picked them all. So we gave up on the search for huckleberries and decided to explore the various roads on the mountain.

Friday, August 24, 2012

From Dark to Light...

The last few weeks my kitchen has been upside down while I have been painting it. And let me tell you I am glad I'm done painting it!! It by no means is finished, but the most time consuming part is done at least. The before and after is amazing to me. I knew going from a dark color on the cabinets to white was going to be a huge change, but I never imagained the end result being SO much better. I love it!

Both of these pictures where taken at about the same time of day, can you tell how much brighter the kitchen is whith the cabinets painted white!? It's awesome!
The kitchen is no where near "finished" but for now i'm one happy girl :)