Sweet Potato Egg Nests

Good morning!  Time for yummy weekend breakfast!!  I have been on a sweet potato kick lately and wanted something a little different!  My girls are in and out, busy, busy and so is Adam.  These are great little breakfast protein packed individual finger casserole cakes!  They would be perfect for camping! Oh, I really miss camping and fishing!  We haven’t been yet this year and these little gems would be perfect to take, heat up and share with friends!  Let’s just get to the recipe!

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Sweet potato egg nests

2 Medium sweet potatoes

1 T Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup Diced ham (or any meat you have in the fridge, or not meat-optional)

8 Eggs

1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (any milk would work, I prefer almond milk)

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Take your sweet potatoes and shred them, place the shreds in a bowl with the melted coconut oil,1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well.  In a greased cupcake pan put the mixture in the bottom and sides of each cupcake section.  Press on the bottom and around the sides as pictured to make the “nest” and bake for 20 minutes on 350.

While the shreds are cooking, mix your eggs, milk and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and beat well. Add the diced ham and mix thoroughly.  Pour the egg mixture into each cooked shredded potato section.  Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the egg sections are done.  Easy Peasy your nests are done!!

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You really could add anything and everything that you want to this, like some green peppers, jalapeno, broccoli, anything!  Make them like little Quiche.  Just have fun and enjoy!

Change is Good!

Everyone needs a change! Life is all about trying new things and I have previously challenged all of you to try one new thing everyday no matter how small. Just one new thing every….stinkin’…..day!  Well, I think that I went too far! haha, I chopped off my hair!

After losing so much weight, I’ve decided that I just hate the hair upkeep!  I started getting grey hairs back in high school thanks to my mother and grandma! It’s hereditary and believe me my girls are loving it as well!  I let the greys come in until they started taking over my hair, at about 25 yrs old I started coloring my hair.  Every 4 weeks my roots would start showing and I would need to get it colored again! So once a month I would need to go sit in a hair salon for 2-3 hours and spend about $100 to have my hair done.  It doesn’t sound like alot but believe me when you HAVE to do it, it’s not much fun.  Most girls go have their hair colored just for fun or when they want a change so that would be fun. Not me, I had to have the regrowth colored or it was just a fabuloso grey stripe across my head!

I have decided to save the money and save the time and just let it go all nat-u-ral!  Yep, I’m letting the grey come in!  Sure, I’m only 42 and I don’t think that’s old but I am going to make a change and hopefully it will be for the better!  With letting the grey come in I thought that it would be best to cut it as short as I dare so that I don’t have the grey regrowth stripe growing in for too long, lookin’ ridiculous!  So I did it!  I chopped it!

20130514_112747 20130514_112753 you can see toward the top of my roots the grey coming in, but I did have Erin, my wonderfully fun hairdresser add a bit of blonde to the top so that it wasn’t just a blunt stripe of grey coming in.  But hey! I did it!  Crazy!  I have NEVER had my hair this short in my life! Hopefully now that I have lost the weight that this hair do will look ok!

I absolutely LOVE the fact that it takes me about 10 minutes to do my hair now! Total time saver along with a money saver now that I won’t be getting it colored anymore.  We’ll see!

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Another great thing is working out, after Zumba class, whatever class or exercise this hairdo is so easy to pep up before going anywhere without having to shower and redo my hair for an hour!  Another plus!  I am all about saving time, money and stress!  That was my new thing, now on to the next!!

Fitness in the Yard

I love to exercise and want to make sure that I have the time everyday by incorporating small fitness routines into the things that I also need to get done around the house.  I really wanted an elliptical machine, HAD to have one in my house!  I saved up some money and did a lot of shopping around.  I didn’t need the fanciest, biggest one that there is to offer. I just needed one that would fit in my price range, fit in the area of my house that I wanted it andone that would fit my exercise needs.  I found this little trooper!

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When I am doing a cardio workout in the house I can see out of the front window and my grass definitely needs to mowed.  So I will do 20 minutes on the elliptical on a high resistance setting, run out and edge the lawn, mow the front yard at the fastest pace possible and come back in to do 20 more minutes on the elliptical keeping at high resistance.  When that time is up, run out and mow the back lawn just as fast just making sure that it looks great and that you don’t have any mohawks in the lawn.  Mohawks? You know the strip that you accidentally miss! Ends up looking like mohawks!  I am a bit on the crazy side of making sure the yard looks as perfect as I possibly can!  The idea is keeping your heart rate up and burning calories at the highest level that you can while getting your workout in. We call this cross yard training!  I love yard work, when you’re done and your yard looks wonderful, excellent feeling!  If you can incorporate your workout while getting your house chores done, it’s a bonus! I am not one to hang out at the gym, I am not comfortable there and I feel I can workout just as much if not more, at home.

When you have flowers to plant, weeds to pull or any bending over that needs to be done, just squat instead.  Get your full squats in instead of bending over.  If you are only bending over you are not incorporating all of the muscles that you could have.  Do your squats, do your lunges, incorporate as many muscles as possible while getting everything done!  You may feel silly, but have fun in your yard!  I am sure that my neighbors laugh as I totally move fast, almost running while mowing.  Squating, lunging, running to the front yard or backyard, but I don’t care.  I purposely have an older mower, a push mower instead of the newer automatic mowers.  Push mowers means more muscles used, heart rate up and just plain harder which is why I love the push mower! I have a great time and a great yard and my calves are looking amazing, not to mention the glutes and the suntan!! Enjoy yourself 🙂 Here are a few pics of the backyard! Yes, I know, I know, I need a new shed! But, I will keep the old one until I have money saved or until it totally falls apart!

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I definitely get a whole lot of squats in while cleaning out my pond in the back! I keep a couple of small turtles in the pond for fun!

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And now pics of the front yard:

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Shameless post to show off my yard?!? Yeah, maybe! But, mostly wanted to say that whatever you enjoy most, you can incorporate it into a workout! If you look at it a bit differently, and make your movements count, it is a total workout! Do what you enjoy most and it turns from work-out to just plain fun with the benefits of working your muscles out while getting everything done. Multi-tasking!  Look at anything you do to making it a workout, any movements can be modified to getting the most out of your activity.

 

Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Ice Cream Shake

What I shoved in my face today!  I LOVE Almond Butter! Especially when used in a shake!

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Almond butter is so yummy and good for you!  Who couldn’t eat it right out of the jar…..please! But just to make us feel better let’s make us some ice creamy shake with it!

I am an ice cream eater, shakes and frozen treats are all my fav’s!  There is just something so appealing about hanging out with friends and eating ice cream!  One could seriously pack on the pounds if you aren’t paying attention.  You should make this great treat instead and get your protein while satisfying your sweet tooth! Make sure you have 2 frozen banana’s ahead of time.  When you have banana’s that are over ripened, chop them up and place 2 banana’s per bag iin the freezer for sweet treats!

This recipe serves 2 friends 🙂

2 Frozen banana’s

1/2 cup Natural almond butter

1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (just to help it blend, if you want thicker ice cream, use less)

1 Scoop Chocolate protein powder

A handfull of almonds (optional, I like crunchies in my ice cream)

Break up the frozen bananas and place around the sides in the blender for easier blending.  Throw the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend away. I start with only a 1/4 cup of Almond milk and if has a hard time mixing and too thick I add a bit more and scrape everything off of the sides into the mixer, throw in a handfull of almonds and  blend until mixed.  Add a couple of Almonds to the top and you have a very thick tasty shake!

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Depending on the thickness, you could scoop it into a glass for a shake, if you want it more ice cream scoopish place into a freezer safe container and put it in the freezer for about an hour.  Either way it is Scrumpch-ilicious!!  And the bonus is your protein is included 🙂

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For looks and extra yummy add a couple of almonds to the top.   Depending on how ripe your banana’s were will be the natural sweetener. Perfect example of clean eating and keeping on track to your healthy lifestyle, but still enjoying your snacks.

Clean Eating Pancakes or Crepes? Yummy is What I Call Them!

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Saturday mornings to me mean let’s eat something sweet and yummy!  These clean eating pancakes are great to add anything to.  My favorite way to eat them is to add some sugarfree all natural strawberry spread with whipped cream and roll them up like a crepe.  If I am feeling like a classic pancake, just some naural maple syrup.  Or if you are feeling crazy nutty….spread some almond butter all over when the pancakes are warm and the almond butter melts all over drippy and gooey! So versitile to what you want it to be.

These pictures are making me hungry!!

It’s an incredibly easy and fast recipe that lets you get to the eating and get on with your day and workout!  Packed with protein and fast carbs they give you the energy to get up and after it fast!

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Depending on how many you want to make and the size that you make them you will need to double the recipe if you want a plate full at average size shown in the first picture of this scrumchillies post!!

Clean Eating Healthy Pancakes/Crepes- makes 4-5 small pancakes

1 ripened large banana

2 whole eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small mixing bowl, take a fork and mash up your peeled, overripened large banana. Add 2 eggs and beat until your mixture is smoothe.  Spray your griddle and pour into circles.  I do them medium size as it makes them easier to flip.  I tried larger ones and it makes it seriously difficult to flip without breaking! And a big spatchula helps too!  when firm and browned on one side, flip and cook the other side.

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Enjoy your weekend and your welcome!!

Custom DIY Small Gift Box

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Frugal, Free, personalized, customized gift box, made with…..are you ready?  An empty toilet paper roll.  I told you to save these as they can be used for quite a few things in turn saving you money, feeding that frugal beast in us! We have to stick together and save money wherever  we can.  These little gift boxes are made from upcycled tolilet paper rolls.  Haha that sounds so much more elegant….upcycled.  These little gems are perfect size for gift cards, jewelry, money, a special note, etc, many little love gifts will fit in this cute box.  Let’s quit jabbering on and get right to the gift box.

Get your favorite stamps, and ink (I use StazOn as it permanent and I had it on hand) then take your empty toilet paper roll and push it flat, don’t press creases in it, just flatten it so that stamping your images on it are easier and cleaner without drag marks. I used 2 different stamps, and 2 different colors of ink, but you can use as many as you want or get crazy with letters making it personalized for the individual.

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Then stamp away, I like to put paper under it and so some stamps half way off the side and it looks more unperfect making it more evenly spaced and not look so “handmade”.  Make sure to turn it over and stamp both sides! The ink almost dries instantly so you only need to give it a minute before you start folding the sides.  Fold one end, pushing one side in, rounding the seam and then the other”flap” in also rounding the seam in a smile shape.DSCN9566

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Be sure to place your gift inside before closing up!  Fold in the sides as you did on the opposite side, and finish her up with a ribbon and bow.  Perfect!    Since there’s no way of getting around using toilet paper in your home, these cardboard rolls come with the toilet paper for free!! What a bonus 🙂

Thanks for following my toilet paper roll tutorial!  Fun to say isn’t it!  Or add “upcycled”  to that sentence!  Thanks for following my upcycled toilet paper roll tutorial gift box!

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Toiletpaper Roll Firestarters

We love building fires in our firepit int the backyard.  In the summer when you have friends or family over it is always fun to hang out in the backyard with a couple of beers around the fire! Adam always builds the fire and if it isn’t a fast starting fire or if he has any problems he always pulls out the classic “lighter fluid” which I hate! It scares the crap out of me when he douces the wood and pit with fluid and then throws a match!  Whommmmp! Instant large flames!  Scary big!  He does this when we are camping too, but in the backyard? Really!?!

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I am so excited to have seen these great toilet paper roll firestarters and want to share with everyone!  They work ahhh-mazing and rock a fire for sure!  So easy, so simple, so ingenius! Not to mention totally frugal and they don’t cost a dime!  Save all of your empty toilet paper cardboard rolls, all of them because I have other ways to use them too that I will be sharing later! But first, back to the firestarters.

Now, this so difficult! High level difficulty for sure, you may also need supervision! Haha.  Take your empty cardboard toilet paper roll, and stuff it full with dryer lint.  Yep, directly from your dryer lint catcher.  My lint catcher is quite full isn’t it! Take the lint and roll it up tight.

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You will want to just shove it all in one roll, one dryer lint “full” per toilet paper roll.  I just keep a bag to collect all toilet paper rolls in the bathroom because there’s no point wasting it when you can use it for these little gems or other crafts!   Store the fire starters for easy access when having fires at your home or camping.  Grab the marshmallows and lets have a fire!!

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My backyard firepit.  Good times!

Food Prep Day

Sunday fun day, it’s food prep day.  In the past I would always have good intentions while at the grocery store and buy a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy natural foods.  Mornings are so busy trying to get everything ready for work and it would take too much time to get a lunch packed, washing, chopping and bagging after taking too much time getting ready to get to work early in the a.m..  Now I take some time on Sunday and get all lunches, breakfasts and a few dinners ready for the entire week.  It takes a little planning, but the money that I save making sure everything is ready and portioned out for everyone to grab and go instead of letting it sit in the fridge and spoil is totally worth it! My only complaint….tripping over my dogs while they follow me around the kitchen!  Poor guys smell everything cooking and are waiting for one tiny morsel to drop! Ha, ha!

I plan what meats I will cook for the particular week’s lunches and I put that in crock pot Saturday night before going to bed so they are cooked and ready for portioning Sunday morning. This week was chicken and salsa.  Place 5 frozen chicken breasts in the cock pot, cover them with a half to 3/4 jar of salsa just making sure the breasts are covered.  In the morning, after coffee of course, shred them and portion into containers.  You can heat and eat them with veggies, use with chips or make a shredded chicken salad.

These pics don’t include dinners that I made as well, just an example as
I was putting them in the fridge.

While the chicken is cooling, I boil 18 eggs and begin chopping. Wash, cut and portion into baggies or containers your cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, celery, watermelon, cantaloupe and/or any others.  I switch it up weekly for variety.

I like to make salads in a jar, they stay good and crispy for about 4-5 days. Wet ingredients on bottom, I use cottage cheese instead of dressing and finishing with lettuce on top so that when you empty it out on a plate it ends up being with lettuce on bottom and finishing with your wet ingredients on top.  You can do this with fruits or pasta, any kind of salad that you’d like, get creative!

While you are chopping all of your veggies also chop up some sweet potatoes and place in a large freezer storage bag.  Add some meat, I used chopped pork, and some low sodium stock.  Freeze for a crock pot dinner later in the week.
I baked super yummy clean biscuits from a wonderful recipe on The Gracious Pantry, which I then made egg sandwiches for breakfasts, wrapped in saran wrap and froze to reheat one daily. I then baked up some nom, nom cinnamon rolls from another fab recipe at Paleomg for our daily snacks for the week
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If you want to try something yummy and have some apples, squeeze the juice from one full lemon and one full orange into a container.  Core and slice an apple and place in the container of juice.  Make sure the apple is fully covered and soak overnight.  The citrus keeps the apple from browning and it soaks into the apple for a wonderful fresh taste! Let those soak in the container overnight and bag the morning that you take them. Also portion some cottage cheese to have with whatever you like to eat cottage cheese with. I chop tomatoes with my cottage cheese.
While you are chopping you can cook some extra lean ground beef or ground turkey that you can fridge-rate for taco dinner during the week.  I cook 2-3 pounds so that I also have some for spaghetti or other meals if you’re cooking it you may as well make what you need for the week right?!  Make sure during the week you are also using any leftovers for lunches as well. I also used some ground beef for these great italian pies that I found from The Gracious Pantry and got 3 dinner meals out of all of that meat.
With a little planning and a set aside time for meals it makes it so much easier to know your calories, and know that you are eating healthy.  Total prep time this Sunday only took 3 and 1/2 hours.  Once you get a system down and already have it planned it goes much faster.

If your eating on a budget, the planning and eating all that you have really helps! Not to mention you won’t be spending the extra dollars going out to lunch.  Happy Sunday Prep Day!

No Gym? Who Needs a Gym!

No Gym? Who needs a Gym?  Work it at Work!

Move it if you want to lose it!  I work a full time job at a desk the entire day and want to get some exercise in throughout my workday.  My office on the 13th floor (who has a 13th floor???) downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and I had thought about joining the gym down the street from work.  But I am not a gym rat, I don’t like going to the gym, I don’t like the idea that I can only go during lunch break and I don’t like the fact that I would only be getting a half an hour workout taking into account the time walking to get there, walking back, changing clothes, dry off/shower and then back to work.  That is all time wasted. I began looking around for alternatives exercise opportunities while at work, and you know what I realized??  13th floor = 260 stairs baby!!

I started taking the stairs every time I needed to go to another floor.  I go to the main floor and use the stairs back up to the floor I need to go to and then back up to the 13th floor. 3-5 times a day I use these little gems! I know, they are super ugly, dreary and not very motivational looking.  I wish they could be colored bright cheerful colors with dancing bears running up and down, but this is what I have and I count them just to make sure the number hasn’t changed since I did them last!

I run up them, I run down them, I do calf lifts on every other stair, pretty much anything and everything you can do on all 260 stairs to the 13th floor.  I also make my friend Brenda come with, they are a lot more fun with a buddy and she just loves/hates it.  I feel like I force her but that’s okay because she works for me and I tell her she has to and so she does!  For our breaks we go downstairs and do a lap or two around the block, fast walking. Like speed walking but not ridiculously looking, normal looking, just super fast! Sometimes there are quite a few crazies outside yelling at themselves (imaginary friends in their heads!) that we run from, or the construction workers around the corner, or it’s just plain cold so we hurry, almost run and then back up our wonderful stairs! Lunch breaks we put on our tennis shoes and go walking up the hills to the capital, then over to the park and up the mountain.  All in all our lunch walks are roughly 5 miles and we make it an adventure every time.

The printer by my office is broken so I have to go to the other side of the building to pick up any printings which are quite a few.  I walk a full lap over to the printer and a full one back.  Wow I really don’t like desk jobs, you know it’s too much sitting if you are excited to go to the printer! So many ways to get more exercise working a desk job. If there are chairs you can do planks, push ups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, you can fit most any exercises into your breaks. Look around and get creative, most furniture, walls, stairs can become your gym and work it for free! Who needs a gym? Go outside, nature and your surroundings are refreshing and invigorating.  Not to mention a great break up in the day and a wonderful time away from the desk and the phone!  Move it if you want to lose it!
View from my office window is amazing, however it was a rainy day when I took the picture. One of my employees bought me a wonderful banana tree for my birthday that we wanted to see if it would grow.  The first picture is in January, next picture is April.  It’s flourishing!! Will it sprout out some bananas?  Probably not but hey, you gotta try right?? Look what I’ve done with it so far 🙂

I also have this monster plant! It started as a small plant in a basket on the corner of my desk only about 2 ft tall, now it is taller than me with ginormous leaves! Beautiful!
Plants also make my office and my work day much lighter, it’s all about surrounding yourself with things that you love and incorporating everything into your everyday workday to make it the most and to get you to the weekends!  Try one new thing everyday!

TShirt Refashion

I have lost over 75 lbs in the last year (yay me!) and believe me I couldn’t wait to get rid of my “fat” clothes! As soon as a pair of pants wouldn’t stay up and looked ridiculous with a belt, into the bag they went! Full bags went to people, shelters and donations.  Purchasing new clothes in smaller sizes was so exciting! Then the new clothes wouldn’t fit, it got extremely expensive and I am one broke chick and can’t keep buying new clothes!  I am now finding fun and useful ways to reuse, repurpose and refashion my ever changing wardrobe of sizes! Today’s subject, my V-neck green tshirt. I love this color of green, black is my favorite color so I most always wear this shirt with black anyway.

It is just too big, frumpy and needs some zest! I like to keep refashioning easy and simple as I am definitely not an expert seamstress!  Most my seams are not straight and I don’t care! 🙂  I think a tighter waistband would help bring it in, dress it up and I would be able to wear it to work comfortably having it look dressier, newer and a bit more stylish.  Second subject  for my refashion would be a black lace tank that I happened to find in my closet and bought for a big $2.00.  I decided they would look great together!  First I cut off the bottom of the green tshirt and the bottom of the black lace tank also cutting off the sleeves of the tshirt at just the seam.
Then I took one of the green tshirt sleeves and used it as a pattern.  I laid it out on the remaining lace of the black tank, doubled to cut 2 lace sleeves.
Pin everything together making sure that the right sides are facing each other. I sewed the waist “band” together first at the bottom taking it in slightly tighter for a blousy look. Then sewed the sleeves on, sewing the bottom of the sleeve seam together last.  Don’t forget to hem up the lace sleeve for a nice, finished look.
Finished and adorable!  Dress it up with dress pants and heals or perfect with leggings or shorts.  I have white pants on in the picture so that you could see how cute the bottom lace band looked and it didn’t show so well in the picture when I had black pants on.  Total time from start to finish only took about an hour.  Fast and easy, love it!

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