Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowy Winter = House Updates!

Someday, I hope to build a house. There are so many reasons for this. One of those reasons is something I figured out after moving into this one. The previous owners built this home and I honestly don't think they could have picked cheaper finishings in certain places. Really. I can't even believe how long it took us to change out the cabinet hardware in the kitchen. Once we did, though, it made SUCH a difference. I look forward to the dream of building, where we can choose all of the finishings and details.

Some of the other cheap items include gold towel rods, builder mirrors (you know, the kind that goes right from the sink up to the light fixture with absolutely no character or frame?) and our bedroom shades.

This winter being excruciatingly inhibiting, we decided to make the most of being trapped inside and made a list of things to change indoors and got to work. So far, we've done the following:
- Repaint various walls
- Replaced the washing machine
- Swapped out the bathroom cabinet hardware
- Replaced ugly shades in our bedroom with elegant faux wood blinds
- Revamped our downstairs bathroom including fresh paint, installing a beautiful new mirror, putting up shelves and replacing the gold towel rods with sleek silver ones

Here's the bathroom before:

And after!

Here's a side-by-side :

If we had all kinds of money, we'd have replaced the vanity/sink too. But, it works just fine and is money we don't need to spend so it stays. Plus, our upstairs bathroom will be getting a new vanity & sink at some point so can't do everything! As any other homeowner would know, the to-do list is never really blank. Always lots to be done! 

Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Our V-Day

In my opinion, Valentine's Day is just like any other day. Although, like NYE, the two days share an enormous amount of pressure.... Are there flowers? Chocolates? A love letter? Who's significant other spent the most on an over-the-top display of affection?

Even though I think this day is obnoxious, a wave of romance came over me yesterday afternoon and I was left with wanting to do something special for my man. Turned into a really fun evening where my fabulous friend Stacy and I cooked a surprise meal for our husbands.

The Menu:
- Bread & Butter (duh)
- Caesar Salad (homemade- not from a bag!)
- Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (stuffed with STUFFING)
- Lemon & Rosemary Potatoes
- And a Heart Shaped Brownie/Cool-Whip/Strawberry cake that was just to die for (divided brownie batter between a square pan and a circular cake pan then turned the square cake on a diagonal and cut the circular cake down the middle to attach each piece to the side of the square and create the heart shape!)

Here are some pics:

We had such a fun time cooking, getting the table ready and candles lit and ultimately surprising the guys. We were very thankful that after 8 or 9 times going off, the smoke detector kept quiet when they finally arrived. I'm guessing that was due to the cooking bacon grease...

Lots of laughs and stories ensued at dinner and then we finished the night off by watching our favorite scenes in Titanic. We're all strangely obsessed with that movie and between the four of us, know various quotes throughout the film.

Hope everyone else had a nice day and that you showed someone your love.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More Healthy Eats!

In my last blog post, I shared some of our favorite recipes. I started Weight Watchers 3.5 weeks ago and have since done some further experimenting in the kitchen. Trying to find some new healthy staple meals to add to the dinner rotation.

Today, I wanted to share a couple recipes that those of us counting points (or just trying to eat better) can appreciate.

1) Turkey Enchilada Skillet. 6 pts/serving
I've never been a huge ground turkey fan, but OMG. This dish is fantastic. It was so good, I'm making it again tonight, not even a week later. It's basically this recipe but with browned ground turkey instead of shredded chicken. Make sure to grab a can of enchilada sauce next time you're at the grocery and then you'll probably have everything else to make this dish.

2) Iced Brownies!!! (I know what you're thinking. Weight Watcher approved? YES!) 3pts/brownie**
** If you cut them like I cut them, they're probably more like 4-5 points a serving. I'm not in to the teeny tiny little square piece, thanks.

Recipe here. If you ask me, no diet is sustainable if it doesn't allow sweet or salty foods. That's just ridiculous. People need their chocolate from time to time and these brownies ABSOLUTELY hit the spot. It made so many I froze some for a later date when I want something but don't have time to bake.

3) Egg, Ham & Cheese Muffins
These have been a lifesaver over the past week. You could put whatever veggies in here you want but with a quick 30 seconds in the microwave, these babies are ready to eat. And each muffin is 3 pts.

Recipe here.

4) I found it. A WW friendly recipe for MACARONI & CHEESE!!! At 6 points/serving, it's totally worth it to have this comfort food when you're craving it most.  Recipe here.

For the ladies I met at the WW meeting, hope you find these helpful. For anyone else reading, let me know if you try any of these. Hope you like them as much as we do!