Thursday, February 28, 2013

Made By Girl Giveaway

So Much To Smile About is featuring a Made By Girl giveaway on her blog through March 1...one of the famous LOVE prints.  I am dying to have two of these for our master bedroom.  Enter to win over at the blog.


Good luck!  And of course, let me know if you win.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Hardcore" Guitar Pick Holder

I love Bath & Body Works candles and the glass jars with lids that they come in.  However, I don't like throwing them out and wasting them.  I'm always looking for new ways to reuse glass items.  I've had this projects on the books for a while, but didn't have time to do it until this past week.

I started out with a used candle jar from Bath & Body Works.  This is one of the smaller sized jars.  By the way, if you haven't tried the Peach Bellini scent yet, it smells soooo good.  And I don't even like peach smelling things.


To get the candle wax out, we just pop the jars in the freezer and let the wax harden.  The candle wax generally comes out very easily after that.  The stickers peel off easily and then we just give the jars a good scrubbing to get the remaining wax reside out.

I told Pete that we needed to go to Michael's so that I could get some items to make something for his room.  I was told that I could only make it if it was hardcore.  Hardcore it is....

I picked up a sheet of silver scrapbook paper, some scrapbook letters, and some scrapbook skull stickers.


I cut measured the paper and cut it to fit inside the jar.


Next, I added my embellishments to the scrapbook strip.


Once I put the strip down in the jar, I secured each end of the paper to each other with tape.  I also had to trim the top off a little because the jar has a plastic seal on it that wasn't fitting properly with all of the paper at the top.

And here's the finished product:



 Yet another way to reduce, reuse, and recycle your used candle jars.

"The Men On My Couch" by Dr. Brandy Engler

I went to Barnes & Noble about about two weeks ago because I had a gift card burning a whole in my purse.  B&N gift cards don't last very long with me.  While I was walking around, I picked up The Men on My Couch:  True Stories of Sex, Love, and Psychotherapy by Dr. Brandy Engler.  It looked pretty interesting.  She interspersed different clients (each one a chapter) with tales of her own love issues.  I will admit, I wasn't that crazy about this book.  It was a very quick read, but not as fascinating as I thought it would be.  If you want to read it, it's definitely one of those "pick up at the library" books rather than a "must buy" book.


Here is the overview from Barnes & Noble's website:

WHAT MEN WANT. WHAT MEN FEEL. WHAT WOMEN NEED TO KNOW.
When Dr. Brandy Engler opened her sex therapy practice for women in Manhattan, she got a big surprise. Most of the calls were from men. They wanted to talk about womanizing, porn addiction, impotence, prostitutes—and most of all, love.
Her patients were everyday guys from all walks of life. Among them were David, the Wall Street hotshot and compulsive womanizer; Charles, an introvert who kept pushing away the fiancĂ©e he thought was too beautiful for him; Paul, the self-made man who visited massage parlors despite his sexy wife; and the men’s group whose stark revelations about male anger and their search for the right woman will open your eyes. In The Men on My Couch, Dr. Engler allows readers inside those private sessions to witness her exciting and evocative encounters with what men desire and fear.
Dr. Engler tells her own story, too. At first her patients’ revelations are painful and disconcerting, especially against the backdrop of her own difficult love affair. Yet Dr. Engler lets readers experience how she evolves both professionally and personally, from chagrin to compassion, and reconciles her idealized notions of love and sex with the unexpected and raw truths she hears in the office.
The Men on My Couch is unlike books you’ve read before. There are no tired facile conclusions or pejorative generalizations. Here are fresh insights into modern sexual maladies, gleaned from real people having real struggles and experiencing real epiphanies—in the real world.
This book will change how both women and men think about love, sex, and desire.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Kale, Pineapple, and Almond Milk Smoothie

First and foremost, I found out yesterday that one of my favorite magazines, Whole Living, will no longer be published.  I received a check in the mail from Martha Stewart Omnimedia that said it was for a cancellation of my Whole Living subscription.  When I called them to find out why I had received the check, they said that the January/February issue was their last issue.  Then I got a message on my Kindle stating that they are going to try to incorporate certain aspects of Whole Living into other Martha Stewart Omnimedia magazines.  So sad :(

One of my favorite things about Whole Living has been their healthy recipes.  I am planning on doing their Whole Living Challenge from previous years later this month.  In the meantime, I thought I'd check out some of their smoothie recipes.

I had most of the ingredients on hand to make the Kale, Pineapple, and Almond Milk Smoothie from Whole Living.



Kale, Pineapple, and Almond Milk Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup packed chopped kale
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup diced pineapple (I used frozen pineapple because I really wanted that nice frozen texture)
1 banana

Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Only 3 Weight Watchers points!!!


Here are the ingredients in the blender before I mixed them:


Here is how it looks after mixing it:


Review:
The smoothie was surprisingly good.  I was worried about mixing the almond milk and the pineapple juice together.  In retrospect, I would have probably blended the pineapple juice and kale together first before adding the other ingredients.  If you are trying to get a good consistency and keep blending (which is what I normally do), the almond milk gets a little too frothy when over-blended   Also, I would leave out the banana.  I like bananas plain, but not added in smoothies.  It overpowered the pineapple, in my opinion.  When I make this again, I will most likely add more pineapple in place of the banana.

I would probably also slightly freeze my almond milk and pineapple juice.  I really like a cold frozen smoothie texture.  It makes me feel like I'm eating dessert instead of veggies and fruit.

It also said that it makes two servings.  I filled a standard glass up and still had about 1/4 cup left over.  This would probably make a great size adult meal serving instead of two servings.  If you are only drinking it as a snack, it is definitely enough for two people.

I supplemented my smoothie with some Lacinato kale chips.  I had some extra kale left over from my smoothie and didn't want it to go bad.


I liked using the Lacinato kale instead of the curly kale this time.  Although I do love the fun texture of the curly kale, this kale cooked more evenly since it was flat.  I lightly brushed it with olive oil and sprinkled it with sea salt.  I baked it for about 10-15 minutes in a 325 degree oven.  Here's a picture of my finished product (please excuse the crappy cell phone pic):


If you try this recipe out, please let me know what you think of it and any modifications you plan on making to it in the future.  I always love to hear other opinions.