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1  Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by elliot_anne on: March 23, 2012 12:23:18 PM
-pokes head in and looks around- Helllllllooooooo? Anybody home?

Sorry, it looks like it's been eerily quiet around here. I'm hoping it's because you've all been as busy as I have! (But I also hope you've still found time to eat healthy!)

So I thought I'd share my breakfast with you this morning (well, it's lunch time now, but whatever).

I present to you: Toast with Ricotta and Banana



2 pieces of Whole Wheat Toast with Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese, and about 2/3 of a Banana (the rest of the banana went to the guinea pigs, who were happy to oblige finishing it off for me!)

In other news, we finally finished up the rest of the all-purpose white flour and have switched over to whole wheat flour. We bought whole wheat spaghetti in preparation to switch over (have about 1 more meal's worth of the normal spaghetti noodles). We've been looking at sugar alternatives for when the time comes (still have a lot of sugar. Need to make some baked goods for a bake/yard sale tomorrow anyway, so some will get used up). Also, we're hoping to harvest our first romaine lettuce from the garden this week for salad! Yay!

How have you all been doing with eating healthy? Any meals you wanna share?
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2  Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by elliot_anne on: February 12, 2012 12:11:56 PM
Haha yea, I was just working on it. They took my picture away cuz it had a link to my blog. Oops. I'll edit this post to include it in a minute.

*EDIT*
Sean got off work early today, which is weird on a Saturday. It left us rummaging around the kitchen looking for lunch. The fridge and pantry are starting to look pretty bare because I go shopping on Tuesdays, and most of our dinners this week were leftovers from last week.

Last night I had pulled out the leftover cooked quinoa from the freezer, and put it in the fridge to defrost. I had thought to make some more yummy quinoa patties with it, but today I had another idea. Totally on the spot, pulling things out of the fridge and cabinet, and handing them to Sean to mix with the quinoa, this is what we came up with (Please forgive the Christmas bowl they are one of two sets of dishes we use in the house, and both are necessary year-round (6 college-age people there are never enough clean dishes)).



Cali Style Quinoa (makes 1 bowl)

Ingredients:

Quinoa (pre-cooked, add as much as you want)

1 Egg

Black Beans (pre-cooked, add as much as you want)

1/2 Avocado

Handful of Mozzarella Cheese

Salt, pepper, and soy sauce

Directions: Put the quinoa and egg in a frying pan, cook like you are making fried rice. Add the cooked black beans near the end (to warm them up). Add avocado at the same time if you want it warm, add it after if you want it cold. Put in a bowl and stir in the cheese. It should melt in and sort of stick everything together. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.

There are lots of other things you could throw in, too. I just used what I happened to have on hand. Other things that sound yummy: mushrooms, spinach, onions, bell peppers, garlic (will definitely put garlic in next time!), tasty herbs, tomato, corn, etc. Youre really only limited by your imagination and whats in your kitchen.
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3  Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by elliot_anne on: February 04, 2012 12:51:46 PM
I finally got around to making those quinoa patties last night! Oh man, why did I wait!! So good! All I added to mine was a handful of cut up mushrooms, and avocado on top.



Two notes: 1. Don't use as much garlic as the recipe calls for. It overpowers everything, which is fine if you REALLY like garlic, and don't mind garlic breath. Sean wasn't impressed. 2. Try it plain with the avocado first. And don't be shy with the avocado (particularly if there's too much garlic). Delicious!!

I managed to get 10 patties out of it, and they are FILLING. I ate 3 last night for dinner and was stuffed. Put the rest in tupperware in the fridge. Having 2 for lunch today, and they are just as good cold as they are warm. I will DEFINITELY be making this recipe again.

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4  Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by elliot_anne on: February 01, 2012 07:13:20 PM
I was bad today... in the sense that I woke up at 10.30 this morning, it's not 7.00 at night, and this is the first time I'm eating all day. Yea, no bueno.

However, my cute little snack tray looked so appetizing (to my half-starved, delirious brain) that I decided to take a picture of it before devouring it. So, here you go.



I've got half an apple (ate the other half yesterday. Was a little too tart to eat the whole thing all at once), a banana, a hard-boiled egg, a few strawberries, a string cheese, and the heel of some yummy french bread my grocery store makes daily. Most of my lunches look like some form of this (my mom calls it a "snack tray") now that I'm vegetarian. Most of the time, though, my bread product is a PBJ sandwich, and I sub a tangerine for the strawberries (which were a special treat from my mom yesterday, YUM).
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5  Tomatoes, Sunflowers, and Rose Hips! Oh my! in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions by elliot_anne on: January 30, 2012 03:38:00 PM
So I decided that since today was so lovely (70 and breezy here in lovely Southern California), I would go take a look at what's ready for harvest in our yard.

I started with the little lemon bush we have. It's a sad little thing in the front yard. It would probably be much bigger and healthier if it had more space (it's growing in the small dirt patch between the walkway and the driveway. Only a few of the lemons were ripe, but that's ok. I couldn't eat a whole ton all at once anyway.

Next I went out back and checked on the avocado tree. Nothing ready, but they're starting to grow bigger and plump up (can't wait til they're ready!!).

Then I went over to our monster cherry tomato bush. Sean's step-dad used to plant cherry tomatoes between all the rose bushes when he lived here. He would have to tear them out and replant every year, because they never made it longer than a season. He hasn't lived here in a year and a half, and I haven't replanted anything. There are only two cherry tomato bushes left, and one of them is kind of sad-looking (probably needs a trellis to climb up). The other one, however, decided to take over on of the rose bushes it was planted next to. Now this plant is a monster rose/tomato hybrid, and a monster to try to harvest. You have to wear thick gloves because the rose bush is all tangled with the tomatoes, and it's just not nice. However, the tomatoes go CRAZY. They love it! I got a huge bunch of them - awesome considering most people aren't even planting their tomatoes yet!

Also, a random orange that fell over the wall from the neighbor's yard. Score!



A while back, Sean noticed this weird "weed" growing in the middle of the yard. He was cleaning up, and decided to pull it. "WAIT!" I said, "It looks like it's going to bloom or something! Let's just give it a week or two and see what it does. There aren't any other plants nearby, so it isn't hurting anything to leave it." So we waited. Sure enough a week or so later, it turned into a sunflower! We have no idea where it came from, or how the seed came to be planted in our backyard. We don't really water any of the plants (they all seem to be doing just fine without our help!), so it's just one big mystery how it got there and survived.

Today I decided to harvest it. I looked up online how long to wait and when to harvest and what not (the flower has long-since died, and all the petals fell off - I was afraid I had waited too long, and would lose all the seeds). Turns out, I waited just the right amount of time! Awesome!!



I'm amazed at just how many seeds came out of this one sunflower! I'm not quite sure what to do with them all.

Also, I was looking at our rose bushes. Most of them aren't blooming right now - it hasn't been warm enough. But one of them has these big giant rose hips. Does anyone know how/when to harvest those? I tried looking it up, but I don't know which type of roses they are (all of them are different, and they aren't labelled or anything). Here's a picture of some of the rose hips now.

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6  Re: A Year of Homemade Gifts! - 2011-2012 - Are YOU in? in Craftalongs by elliot_anne on: December 23, 2011 01:10:14 AM
Disclaimer: Feel free not to read this, I ramble and it's mostly boring.

So... I've been fairly absent for a couple months. Please don't be mad! A lot has happened, and it's been hard for me to find the time/energy/motivation to craft lately. I lost my job about a month ago, and it's been rough mentally.

I DID manage to finish the apron for the boy I nannied for. Then he used it once, and I remembered why I hate grosgrain ribbon... I had used the ribbon for the tie-ons, and it shredded the first day. Need to hem it and drop it back in their mailbox for him...

Was going to make something for Future SIL's birthday, but we had another argument just beforehand, and I decided it would be best to pretend I don't exist (trust me, it's the better option).

For Halloween, I spent a total of $11 on our costumes. I bought a pair of striped tights, so I could go as Wednesday Addams (had the rest in my closet), and a stamp. Why a stamp, you ask? Because our friends have a running joke about a particular striped shirt that Sean owns. That it makes him look like Steve from Blue's Clues. For those of you without kids, here's a picture - http://student.delta.edu/kaitlinkeifer/project3/tumblr_lf388qLzYb1qayaeu.jpg So, Sean needed a pawprint stamp to go with his costume. He only decided on his costume the day of Halloween, and I didn't have time to make him a stamp with that lovely pink stuff, so I bought one. He had so much fun drunkenly stamping pawprints on anyone who wandered too close.

Oh the grandiose plans I had for Christmas... -sigh-

We did manage to make a successful batch of homemade salsa. Spicy, but not overwhelming. And a pathetic batch, too. More like a zesty relish, but still good. I was planning on doing a bunch of canning over Thanksgiving break, but that's when I found out I was losing my job. And with it, dreams of everyone getting salsa for Christmas.

Sean is getting the home brew kit I've been promising him for over a year (by the time I turned 21, Christmas and his birthday had already passed, so I was just waiting around for this one to come along).

Parents and brother (who is home from the NAVY for 2 weeks! YAY!) are getting edible stuff.

So... enough with all of the failed endeavors (and I apologize because there have been many). Now on to the good stuff!!

The guinea pigs (we have 3) are getting cuddle cups handmade by someone else (my sewing machine and I aren't on speaking terms).

Kiera is getting a new bed - http://www.etsy.com/listing/88231753/wine-crate-pet-bed-deep (that's not Kiera. That's my mom's dog, Chloe. But it's Kiera's bed now). She's a little big for it, but she sleeps in our bed at night anyway, so whatever. It's cute, dammit.

I finished Sean's mom's present today - a (roughly) 4"x6" Celtic cross stitch embroidery. I'm going to frame it, and give it to her when she comes down to visit (she was supposed to come down for Christmas, but had to push it back to January).



Also, we finished making our wedding invitations! We designed them and had them printed at Kinko's (Fedex discount hurray). Then I hand-wrote all of the response cards, punched the bottoms, and cut and tied doilies. It was a nightmare, but I like how they look. I'll have to post pictures when I get them. Also did all of the calligraphy myself.

Lastly, I got my craft cabinet (yes, cabinet, not room) organized so it is usable again. Which is a gift to myself.

So far I've been pretty lousy about this whole homemade gifts thing, but I'm going to try to be better!
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7  Re: Abundance of Embroidery thread craftalong-2011 Ongoing in Craftalongs by elliot_anne on: December 22, 2011 10:34:17 PM
So here is a picture of my now-organized DMC floss boxes. Trust me, it took a long time - it started off as a gigantic pile of floss that was took over the couch. For some reason, it cut off the top of the picture (or maybe I just suck at taking pictures and messed it up). The top row has the metallic threads, the whites, and my extra bobbin thingys.



And here is my first finished project for this craftalong!



It's a Celtic cross from this http://www.twdesignworks.com/Free/ccross.html website, for my fiance's mom. Finished just in time for Christmas! I did make a few changes. A couple color swaps, and I chose not to use beads. OH! And I didn't couch the braided cord or whatever the instructions say to use. I used metallic floss, and after doing the two sides, remembered why I freaking hate that stuff, and opted not to do the top and bottom couching. Man I hate metallic thread. With that said, I'm really happy with how it turned out!
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8  Re: Going to the Chapel Swap Gallery!!! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by elliot_anne on: August 12, 2011 04:18:11 PM
All of the packages so far have been LOVELY.

I finally got pictures (needed the fiance's help for one, that's why it took so long)! I am so in love with everything in my package!! (And Sean thought everything was pretty nifty, too)

First up, a super cute white hair clip. It has this pretty rose and super silky fabric:


And I couldn't get a good picture of it in my hair by myself, so Sean helped:


She also made me super cute "Drink Me" tags (the wedding is a little bit Alice-inspired). Seriously, she made like a bazillion of these! It must have taken forever!


And lastly (this is my favorite thing!!) she made me this GORGEOUS tissue paper flower bouquet!! All the flowers are so cool looking, and it's wrapped in a pretty doily and ribbon!


Look at all the different flowers she made!!


Thank you SO SO much, wewilltaketothesea! You are an awesome swap partner!!
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9  Re: Guinea Pig Cage w/ Loft in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by elliot_anne on: June 25, 2011 01:57:53 PM
Here's a picture looking up at the bottom of the loft area. It's held up by the same grids used on the sides of the cage.



I got the coroplast at a store near me called Art Supply Warehouse. It comes in sheets 4'x8'. I had to cut it up just to get it home in my car. However, after making the bottom portion of the cage, a failed ramp, and a failed loft base, I still have a bunch of it left. I would totally be willing to send it as a swap item if someone wanted to swap. I'm not going to use it for anything.

As for the Target grids, I would NOT recommend those particular ones. Target has recently switched which grids they stock, and phased out the guinea pig-safe ones. The difference is the number of squares the grids have. The ones you buy at Bed, Bath, and Beyond have 9 squares across and down, which is safe for the guinea pigs. The Target ones now only have 8 across. I've heard there have been some tragic accidents with pigs getting their heads stuck and what not.
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10  Guinea Pig Base Cover in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by elliot_anne on: June 23, 2011 07:57:18 PM
I decided I was sick of my guinea pigs throwing all of their fluff outside of the cage, and that it would be cheaper in the long run if I just made some fleece covers for them that were washable. This is the first one (I want to make, like 7, so I only have to do laundry once a week).



I hand sewed the entire thing (my sewing machine doesn't like me).

Here is the loft one. It's a little bit smaller than I intended, so the next one I'm going to make larger on purpose.



The only issue I was worried about was if they start running around, the fleece would bunch up. So I put tabs on the corners, with clips on the sides of the cage so that I can switch them out still.



I took pictures as I went, so I can do a tutorial if you want. It was super simple, and would be really fast with a sewing machine.

C&C welcome!
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