Sunday, August 16, 2009

Birthday pictures, anyone?

Check out this adorable birthday kit from Snowflake Beach Designs, "Another Year Older"

and the layouts I made with the kit

All images are clickable, click the kit to pop over to and pick it up. While you are there, grab the rest of the 'Build Your Own' Designer Collab Kit. Clicking the layouts will take you to them in my gallery at GDS, stop by and tell me what you think.

Friday, August 14, 2009

How to fix a picky husband (Or, how to stop a sabatour in his tracks)

This question was posed on a forum that I visit, I thought I would share my answer here just in case it might be helpful to someone else ...

My husband is a picky eater and my meals reflect it. I rarely buy much for fruits and veggies because the only veggie he will eat is broccoli and he's not big on fruit either. It's just the two of us and I always feel like produce will go bad. Plus, when I make supper, I try to cater to his likes (pizza, mac and cheese, stuff like that) and I don't have the will power, funds, or energy to make something healthy for myself. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

My hubby is picky as well, and now his health is showing it. He has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and his borderline diabetes is no longer borderline.

Here are a couple of tips that I've been using to help us both out that may help you and your hubby.

1) Always make a salad, that way if the dinner isn't as healthy as I would like I can eat a small portion of it and fill up on the salad.

2) though produce going bad is never an issue in my house, frozen is definitely a better choice than none.
Also, when you shop for fresh produce just get one or two apples instead of a whole bag.
A small prepared salad mix instead of the head of lettuce.
A small bag of baby carrots makes munching on them easier than having to peal and cut a regular carrot up first.
Many fruits and veggies can be frozen if you notice that they are beginning to go past their prime. While most need to be blanched first, there are two in particular that require little to no prep in order to freeze.
Bananas can be peeled and cut into marshmallow sized pieces and freeze on a cookie sheet until frozen when you can bag them up. These are great to blend into a smoothie, or pulse in a food processor for several minutes and they turn into a yummy soft serve 'faux ice cream'.
Grapes I just remove from the stem and place in cheap plastic cups in 1-cup portions. These make a perfectly scrumptious snack when you want something sweet and cold - or drop them in your water to keep it cold. which brings me to point #

3) Make sure you are drinking water instead of high calorie sodas and fruit juices - switching will make a HUGE difference. Add sliced fruit (while lemons are the first thing you might think of, you can also add orange or lime wedges, sliced apples or peaches, fresh or frozen berries, etc) or add a single serve packet of crystal light a glass of water.

4) Don't try to force huge changes on your husband or he will rebel, become angry, or try to sabotage your efforts.

5) Try little changes that he probably won't notice.
For instance, try using part lower fat cheese in that mac 'n cheese, or use less cheese, or use lower fat milk, use a whole grain paste (some don't taste that great, try barillo plus, it's whole grain with added fiber and protein and tastes just like regular).
Try making your own pizza using the whole grain, thin crust, prepared crusts. Add less cheese and go lighter on the toppings (opt for canadian bacon instead of pepperoni or fried bacon; opt for leaner ground beef or ground turkey; use more veggies, etc)

6) Start switching out processed grains for more complex carbs, like switching to brown rice, whole grain bread, or that barillo plus pasta I mentioned.

7) Also, try looking up the main dishes he likes and find recipes that are healthier. Then, add some side dishes that are healthier - maybe he will eat them or maybe he wont, but either way you will have something that's healthier to fill up on and won't be eating as much of the 'not as good for you' dish.

And guess what, I've noticed that some changes I've been making for me are starting to rub off on him - he's started adding crystal light to water instead of grabbing a can of soda and I see him adding salad to his dinner plate more and more often. Also, he hasn't said a thing about the zesty italian salad dressing he likes, it's gone from regular to lite and now has officially been at fat free for several months.



Aerosmith has cancelled the remainder of their summer tour so that Steven Tyler can fully and properly recouperate from the injuries that he sustained during the August 5, 2009 concert at Sturgis.

Now for the straight scoop. Joe Perry was on a Detroit radio station on August 11 and said that Steve had two breaks in his shoulder blade and stitches stiches to his head, but nothing internal.

Straight from Steves lips,

He says that after a thunderstorm delay, the band was playing one of their best shows ever, when fuses started blowing and they had a complete audio system failure. But Tyler didn't want to stop playing. "I wanted to go out to the crowd to continue the show... so, the Train Kept A- Rollin' and I ran out on the cat walk and grabbed my mic to finish the song. I was doing the Tyler shuffle and then I zigged when I should have zagged... AND I slipped, and as I live on the edge...I fell off the edge!"

He says of his injuries, "I landed upside down, and after twenty stitches on the back of my head, and a broken left shoulder, I just want to say that I'm plain grateful that I didn't break my neck! In truth, after thousands of live shows, falling off the edge four times ain't too bad."

I'm continueing to send prayers and thoughts Steve's way. I feel for those that have tickets to concerts that are being cancelled, and feel very grateful that I finally got to see them in concert after all these years of wishing.

Here's a little layout from the concert using "Rockstar Wedding" by Silly Bean Scraps, clicking the photo will take you to this layout in my gallery.

~ Thanks to for posting a video of the radio interview, Steve's lighthearted account of the incident (exerpt from which is in bold and italics above), and the photos & playlist from the concert which were used for the layout

Friday, August 07, 2009

Oh my ....

Sending well wishes to Steven ...

Monday, August 03, 2009

I'll have a 64 calorie Mojito, please

OK, so here's one to hold you over. More recipes to come.

A summertime favorite, the Mojito is a fabulous drink to enjoy with friends on a warm summer evening. The best thing is that even without the one substitution that I make here, it is still a light drink (though, don't assume that a restaurant will make it the 'correct' way, as they often have their own special recipes that may boost the calories way up on this one)


1/2 small lime, cut into 4 wedges
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (less or more to taste)
2 packets of Truvia
1 ounce rum
6 ounces club soda

In a collins or other tall glass, drop 3 of the lime wedges, most of the mint and both packets of sweetener. Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or a muddler if you have one), muddle* the ingredients. Fill your glass with ice, add the rum and the club soda, give it a good stir. Garnish with the last wedge of lime, a mint leaf, and a straw.

*muddle means to mash the mint, lime and sugar together until the solids have released their juice/essence, so the lime has released it's juice and the mint oils are also releasing.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 64.2
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 37.6 mg
Total Carbs: 6.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Guess what, even if you made this with real sugar instead of Truvia, you would only be adding about 30 calories for two teaspoons of sugar.

~OR~ Go even lighter, eliminate the rum and add an extra ounce of club soda. You now have a refreshing 0 calorie drink that is appropriate for the whole family.

64 Calorie Adult drink ...

I will admit, I think the commercials for that 64 calorie beer are kind of cute. I like the latest where one man orders a 64 calorie MGD and his buddy orders 64 calories of regular beer. The second guy gets his in a pared down beer glass that leaves the perfect resting spot for dude #1 to rest his bottle when his phone rings.

First off, a little disclaimer, I am definately not endorsing drinking and especially not while you are trying to loose weight. However, it is nice to have an option when you are out with the girls/guys. I also beleive that weight loss should not occur through a DIET, but through lifestyle changes that you can stick with after you have achieved your goal. Depriving yourself will only make you feel angry that you are on a diet and eventually you will cheat, probably doing much more damage than the original little treat you avoided in the first place. OK, done with the fine print, here are some tips. I will post some recipes later.

* Substitutions:
Many drink recipes can be lightened up with some easy swaps ...
sugar ......................... Truvia
symple syrup ........... water sweatened with any artificial sweetener
sweet and sour ........ Crystal Light lemonade
cranberry juice ....... Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice
orange juice ............. Crystal Light Sunrise classic orange
grapefruit juice ....... Crystal Light Sunrise ruby red grapefruit

* Additional notes...
~ Choose 'tall' drinks, anything in a taller glass that is one ounce of liquor (80 proof) and the rest filler (provided the filler is easily exchangable for one of my tricks,) will only be approximately 64 calories.
~ This is not applicable for drinks that have cordials (liqueur - any of the sweetened alcohols that are added to some drinks such as triple sec, baileys, creme-de-anything, kahlua, midori, pucker, schnapps, etc.)
~ if you have a favorite recipe that you want to lighten up, feel free to leave a comment and I will see what I can do.

Stay tuned, I will be posting some recipes soon ...

BONUS: Can't wait for my first recipe, here's one that you can order at any restarunt or bar without feeling guilty. Order a Rum and DIET Coke or a Vodka and Club Soda (tonic would add an extra 10 calories if you prefer that) with a twist. Either one will only cost you the 64 calories in an ounce of rum or vodka.