Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cooking again!

Ben and I lived in an apartment right after we married. The apartment was decent. Before the wedding, we were time crunched to find a place. Ben had been living and working in California and moved to Utah (where we live now) a month before the wedding. I definitely didn't want the responsibility to find a place without his input, especially while also doing most of the wedding planning. We didn't have a ton of time to look and we took the first place that met our needs and fit our budget. It was 1,000 square feet, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. It had a laundry room and pantry and balcony and plenty of storage. It was in good shape. It was more than decent, I suppose, it was nice.

However, I never took pictures of it. While living there, I just couldn't get myself excited enough to document our first residence as husband and wife. I regret it now. One of my biggest complaints was the lack of windows. Natural light is a must for me and for my happiness. Also, the kitchen was small (and the only room, besides the bathrooms, lacking a window). The first few months of our marriage I planned meals and cooked because I was excited to do those "wife things." It didn't take long, though, to not want to cook in that closet of a kitchen. We started eating out. A lot.

And then Ben left for Canada. I swore to myself that while he was gone I would cook more. Exercise more. Read more. Craft more. More, more, more. It's hard to be motivated to do such things while your honey is so far away. I'd pick up fast food on my way home and then sit in front of the TV.

Next came the stresses of finding a house, buying the house, packing up the apartment, moving and unpacking in the new house. Eating out became a daily thing with Ben and me. I was so excited when we found this house because there is plenty of windows and even one in the kitchen! No window over the sink, which is a bummer, and I'm basically still facing a wall while cooking, but I'm still cooking in a kitchen FILLED with sunlight! Oh the joy!

We've been in the house nearly 3 months now and I'm just getting to planning a menu and sticking to it. And you know what? I feel better. We're eating more healthily. I'm losing some weight. It's glorious.

So, with that long introduction do you want to know what we've eaten lately? I've only taken pictures of two meals but they were tasty! One is a recipe that I tried for the first time yesterday night. I get a daily email from Martha Stewart. This was for Orange Beef Stir Fry. When I got the email I was very excited because I had all the ingredients already on hand. Except for the beef. So I made it with chicken instead. It was still delicious. It didn't have a very orangey taste so the next time I make it I may use orange marmalade or some orange peel or something. Other than that, the flavor was wonderful. Click on the link below for the recipe!

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Tonight I made a tried-and-true Weight Watchers recipe. A few years ago my roommate and I did Weight Watchers together. We both had online memberships so I'd search their recipes and try them out. I don't think I'll make another spaghetti recipe. No high-fructose corn syrup bottled sauces anymore!

The recipe calls for carrots in the sauce, which I enjoyed. Ben wasn't a fan of carrots in spaghetti sauce. So, I added some green bell pepper. He isn't a fan of spaghetti noodles, so I boiled up some mostaccioli noodles that I had in the pantry instead. Serve it with a salad and you're set. See the link below the picture for the recipe. Love it!

Now that I'm in the habit of cooking again, I should have recipes to share more regularly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Still playing. :)

Last week, my good friend Kym celebrated her birthday. Scheduling conflicts, as well as waiting for her present to arrive, made it so I couldn't give her the gift ON her birthday. I wanted to make it up to her by "wrapping" the gift in a special way. When I saw the tutorial here I knew how I wanted to package the present! Isn't that a fun bag?

I'm pairing the bag with the card from the previous post.

I'm also trying to come up with some simple, yet cute, cards to make for convention swaps. This uses the new in-colors in both designer series paper and ribbon as well as the new stamp set Teeny Tiny Wishes. The set and the ribbon are so versatile. In fact, the ribbon shown here actually has polka dots on the other side. I chose the non-polka dot side for this card because I thought the solid side gave a cleaner look.

This is another swap possibility, also using new in-colors and ribbon. I just love the new Lots of Bots set! So very cute.

ETA: The layout for this card is from Keesh's sketch challenge #9

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playin' around

So, it started when I saw this wonderful idea on Mary Fish's blog. Genius! Make a topiary out of the new Circle Circus set. I wanted to play with the new Stampin' Up! in colors so I chose Rich Razzleberry along with tried and true Old Olive and Orchid Opulence. However, when I showed my husband the following card, it took him about two minutes to figure out that it was supposed to be a topiary. He was right to be a bit confused. Topiaries usually are green, not purple!

A second attempt, with an appropriate topiary color. Somewhat boring though. Ah well. I'll keep trying. Gotta love the new polka dot ribbon!

And farewell to the lovely Taste of Textiles paper and Baja Breeze in color. This just might be a birthday card for a friend. We shall see. I didn't attend SU!'s Leadership conference, but I've seen people copying a card made there, which is very similar to this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Heart Attack Dessert

Checkout what I saw online today:

Cookie Cake Pie