Saturday, June 30, 2012

To Quote my husband...on Appointments




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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prego Palette: Pineapple

I'm, again, sharing some of my favorite morning-sickness food. There are a few things that I have been just bananas about, with my newfound temporary prego-palette adjustment (thank you, Lord, that I'm NOT a picky eater ALL of the time....this stinks!!). Let's talk pineapple.




I've been drawn to sweet, tart and tangy foods during this pregnancy and pineapple absolutely fits that bill! My major food aversions have been with buttery / creamy things, and certain preparations of meat. Honestly, the thought of an amazing filet mignon and truffle risotto just turns my stomach right now...it makes me cry. I miss my food so much.

Today, I'd like to share with you a simple trick my friend Lori taught me to ensure you always get a good pineapple, even if you bought an ok pineapple.

First, do the twist! Twist the spiky top off of the pineapple.


Ta da!


Then, place your pineapple upside down on a plate or bowl.


Let your pineapple sit upside for 2-3 days on your counter, and then slice and serve as you normally would. You'll get sweet, juicy pineapple every time!


In my case, I diced my pineapple into small individual serving cups. These have been great for staving off my ferocious prego appetite in between meals. As long as my stomach is full, I don't feel sick. Woot!




Cheers! 

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prego Palette: The Ginger Trinity

Today we're talking ginger!! Specifically, the Ginger Trinity for pregnant ladies -- specifically me. I know every woman is different, so I wanted to share my favorite "foods" during my least favorite time to eat: morning sickness time! Let's face it - morning sickness is such a misleading term. It hits any time of day and, at least in my case, it can be incredibly unpredictable.


The Ginger Trinity literally saved me. Ginger has been known to soothe upset tummies, so I was more than willing to give it a shot during my early weeks of pregnancy. Let me break it down for you.


First up, we have caffeine-free lemon ginger tea. This is "entry level" ginger. This is for those "I don't feel bad, but I don't feel good" moments. Delightful!


Next, is my secret weapon, a.k.a. "Ninja Ginger." Candied ginger provides on-the-go emergency relief.   I carried a baggie of candied ginger EVERYWHERE I went. It doesn't take away the hunger pains, but it certainly takes away the accompanying queasiness, and works great in a pinch. I've been known to secretly sneak a bite of candied ginger in between church services in the tech booth (Hi Kevin!), during long Ikea outings, en route from the parking lot to the Amtrak train before work, and....well, pretty much anywhere and everywhere.


Last, but not least, is ginger ale, the "Hail Mary" of morning-sickness-soothing-ginger-remedies. When all of your best efforts are behind you, and you still feel like your body wants to turn inside out via your mouth, ginger ale is sure-fire liquid gold.




Well, there you have it! The Ginger Trinity. :)

Cheers!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Surprise!!

So....there's going to be a new little piglet around Pig and Paint! Yep, you read that correctly -- Brian and I are expecting -- a baby, that is -- not a pig. I'm approaching 13 weeks along and the estimated time of arrival is January 1st. Who knows if I will actually get to deliver my little bundle of joy on New Years Day, but you better believe I will be clinching my cheeks until Christmas Eve services are over (for those of you just tuning in, Brian is a worship pastor, and Christmas Eve is pretty much THE most important work day of the year for him.) Though, rest assured, he is working on a backup plan just in case my cheek-clinching plan doesn't work.


You may have noticed that there has been a significant lack of food on Pig and Paint lately. Brian's been doing most of the cooking for the past several weeks, bless his heart. Cooking has flat-out grossed me out. And it breaks my heart. I feel like I didn't really get to give food (or wine!) a proper good-bye. I just bailed on my beloved food, without any notice -- holding my nose all the way.



I've been lucky though. The queasiness has been manageable, and I learned that if I kept food in my stomach, I would feel better. As soon as something (anything!) sounded appetizing, I'd scarf it down (or send Bri to the store) without a second thought. I'd like to give a shout-out to Costco cinnamon-raisin bagels with cream cheese, croissants around the world, pineapples (you know who you are), candied ginger, and of course, who could forget unsalted Saltines (there really is something fundamentally wrong with that). Without you all, I would have starved.

In case you haven't noticed, we don't take ourselves too seriously around here. Our child is destined to a life of dork-mania.


You may have also noticed some of my posts and projects have been a little shorter and sweeter (ok, just shorter). I have literally been EXHAUSTED for the last several weeks -- I feel like I've been sleep-walking my way through life. The good news is I am perking up lately, and finally getting my energy back (until the next surge of hormones hits and then I go back into hibernation).

Stay tuned, because I'm sure I'll be sharing tid bits here and there about how things are going. Brian and I are absolutely overjoyed! Our 8 and 11 week ultrasounds were incredible highlights in my life -- at 8 weeks, getting to see that yes, there is a growing baby in there with a real heartbeat, and later at 11 weeks seeing the likeness of human form and hearing the heartbeat. We praise God for our little miracle! :)

Cheers!



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Saturday, June 23, 2012

To Quote my husband...on Feeling Blessed




 
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wine Cork Monogram - the project that never ends

Anyone else watch "Lamb Chop" as a kid? You know, that kids' show that featured the infamous song that never ends? "This is the song that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on my friends! Some people started singing it not know what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because this is the song that never ends...." and so on.

So, this is the project that never ends. And it's still going, my friends. I had this idea to build a shadow box, and make a wine cork monogram. I wanted to fill the entire shadow box with corks, and stain the corks making up the monogramed letter.

Turns out, one must drink copious amounts of wine in order to have enough wine corks to finish this project. I started this project almost a year ago. And I still am 8 corks shy of finishing.

I started by blocking out where my L would go, by simply standing the corks in the box (no glue yet). I used a pencil to mark where the edges would go.


Then, I used a teeny bit of wood stain, and stained the ends of the corks making up my letter L. I used hot glue to affix them in the box. And then I started filling in the remaining open space with corks, which I also affixed with hot glue.


At one point I decided I wasn't thrilled with the dark-stained frame. Don't get me wrong -- I love a good rustic stain, but I wasn't super excited about all of the brown that was ending up in finished piece.

I laid some newspaper down on my corks to prep the frame for painting.


I used a sample paint I had leftover from a past project, in muted chartreuse.


I started by brushing a light, but even, coat on the outside and front of the frame.


I then used a paper towel to wipe off all of the excess paint, so that the wood grain could sneak through.


I did a second coat of green paint, using a dry-brushing technique. And this is how far I've gotten. I'm about 8 corks short of finishing the project. Argh.



More to come on this one! Do you have any projects that just never seem to end?

Cheers! 

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bathroom Vanity Light Adventure

After completing our big master bedroom renovation, I've slowly been tackling the master bath. And by slowly, I mean my new vanity light fixture sat in the loft for 3 weeks, and then sat in our master bedroom for another 3 weeks, and THEN I finally installed it.

Here's a small glimpse into what we started with...builder-grade everything. I'm not trying to remodel the entire thing right now, but I do want to make it more attractive for the time being.


I painted the bathroom a very pale blue. So pale, in fact, the Lowes employee who was mixing my paint thought they had mixed the wrong color at first because it looked white. I assured said employee that the color looked perfect in my eyes and they sent me on my way. The color is exactly one shade lighter than the Notre Dame grey-blue I used in the master bedroom.

Here's the OLD light fixture....cheap and ugly (sorry, that's just how I feel about it).


For about $49, I bought this light fixture from Overstock.com. My plan was to install it upside down, and possible replace the shades.

So, I got to work uninstalling my old fixture....Lo, and behold, the home builders left me a nice surprise: an 8-inch gash in my wall with wires poking out. Awesome.


I dug out my drywall tape and spackle and got to work patching the excess. I didn't take many pictures during this process, so we'll have to make do with my partially complete pictures.


Once I was done, I painted over the area. I opted not to texture the part of the wall I patched, honestly, because I was tired and I figured my light fixture would cover it anyway.


And then I installed the light! Light fixtures are not super difficult to self-install. Make sure you shut off the electricity to the room you're working in, and it's always a good idea to have a buddy around to help.


You may have noticed that I did end up swapping out the shades for more substantial ones. I actually repurposed the shades from this light fixture below (which later became part of my capiz drum chandelier). And this is why I rarely throw away anything decor-related.


So, there you have it! My new light. The hubster and I love it. Did I mention it's way more flattering to NOT have a million naked light bulbs staring you in the face? The light in the room is much more pleasant now.





{checks task off of list} What's next on your to-do list?

Cheers! 
  
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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Breakfast Burritos that Made Me Think

Breakfast is important, right? I'll admit, we often neglect this meal in our house despite the fact that we recognize its importance. Neither of us like to spend the time fixing breakfast in the morning....though, we'll certainly partake if someone ELSE is cooking. {toothy grin}

So I decided to take a stab at making a batch of healthy breakfast burritos that could be frozen and the reheated quickly in the mornings. With warmer weather and less-forgiving-clothing fast approaching, I really tried to make these healthy, while only using ingredients I already had in my kitchen. Again, I want to point out that I TRIED to make these healthy.

Here's what I ended up with:
  • Bacon
  • Brown Rice with Green Chiles, cooked in water and beef boullion
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Cheddar cheese
I used a baking sheet (covered in foil) and a baking rack to cook my bacon.


I set my oven to 400 F, and cooked the bacon for about 20-30 minutes (until it seemed "done," which in my case was closer to 30 minutes due to the volume of bacon).



Adding green chiles to the rice ended up being a winning move -- my husband said "the rice MADE these burritos." Well, I'll certainly take that!


Each burrito got a flour tortilla, a scoop of chile rice, a scoop of scrambled egg, a tablespoon of cheddar cheese and one slice of bacon. Seems decently healthy, right?


WRONG. I started tallying up the "per serving" nutritional value and here's what I came up with:

Calories: 328 (not bad, right?)
Protein: 13g (still pretty decent, huh?)
Fiber: 1g (not great)
Fat: 19.5g (Ouch!)

Looks like the cheddar cheese, amazingly enough, was the big fat contributor. So, I'll chalk this one up to being a lesson learned, and next time my breakfast burritos will be delish AND nutrish!

Cheers!


 
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

To Quote my husband...on the Future




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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Project Nailhead Trim

I finally added nailhead trim to my dining chairs! Woo hoo!

At one point in time I had considered painting them, but eventually realized I wasn't ready to experiment on eight chairs -- I'll save that for a smaller project down the road someday.


I picked up two rolls of nailhead trim (5 yards each) from JoAnn's Fabrics in "antique gold." The trim was super easy to install -- I just used a mallet to pound nails into the evenly spaced holes.




Each package came with more than enough spare nails, which was a good thing because it took me a few tries to get my technique down. Oops. 



Now I have delightfully trimmed chairs! When Brian saw them finished for the first time he said (and I quote), "WOW! Those look like they cost at least $100 more than we paid." Mission accomplished.





Now I just need to host another dinner party....anyone hungry?

Cheers!



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