What should I have for dinner?

I thought I’d share a new recipe I tried. I have actually been trying many new recipes in the last two weeks. I just haven’t been taking pictures…

This is a Whole30 recipe. Before you start freaking out about not giving up your sugar and dairy and gluten- hear me out. I’ve never been on a diet before but I felt this was necessary. I love my sugar. I love it in ice cream, cookies, ice cream, cake, ice cream, pies, ice cream cake, and so on. I love sugar. And over the years it has occurred to me that I eat a heck of a lot more sugar than other people do. So I am kicking the habit. That’s it. That’s the biggest reason I am doing this.

So I knew I’d have trouble with this diet for many reasons I can visit on at a later date. Because of this, I wanted something that just walked me along so that I focused more on the next step rather than the sugar I was missing.

Enter this website. Excellent. It plans every meal out for you. Even gives you the grocery list. A slightly intimidating list- but I did it. Even with an unhappy toddler in tow. No small feat.

We have had some excellent meals this way. Really. I will make them again after this 30 days is finished.

Here’s what we had last night(you know-when I finally remembered to take pictures). Oh, and this one is in the slow-cooker- nice in the hot weather.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Chicken (linked to recipe!)

So you take some canned artichokes, quarter them and put them in the bottom of your slow-cooker. If you’re a real foodie, you may gasp at the whole “canned artichokes” bit. I was like,”Where do you find artichokes?” Obviously not a foodie. But I do like to eat- does that count???

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Next I sliced up some lemons and some carrots. The carrots were actually just for me to eat immediately. They have nothing to do with this recipe. IMG_2498

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Then I took the skin and fat off of chicken thighs, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and finally lightly browned them on both sides in a skillet. IMG_2493.JPG

I did this all in a backward way from what the recipe said. If I did it the right way- it would have gone more quickly. But I was trying to save myself from cleaning extra dishes. Oh, the shame.

So when the chicken was browned a bit, I laid it over the artichokes. BTW- I put in 2 extra thighs because I’m a rebel. And because it was packaged that way.

Then I mixed up some chicken broth, arrowroot starch, and coconut milk. I poured it over the chicken and laid lemons on top. (Actually, I put the lemons on first, then glanced at the directions and took them back off to pour the broth mixture on. Then I threw those babies back on. Doesn’t matter except for the pictures people!)IMG_2501IMG_2502.JPG

Cook it on high 4-6 hours. Remove lemons- I don’t care where. Just don’t put them back in your Crock-Pot! They’re super soft at this point anyway. Ugh. Take the thighs out and shred them with 2 forks. This is super easy. Mix up a little more of that starch and some water and stir that into the liquid in the cooker. Then add your chicken back in and mix it all up.

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So I had some more carrots…

This is what it looks like when you’ve finished and decided it’s kind of a stew. And that you have to have some other veggie with it, because…BECAUSE. (I have this fear that on a diet you have to starve, and I let this fear drive me to make extra food. Sad really.)

This does not look like the photo that came with the recipe. She obviously did not shred the chicken before her photo!

What did I think of it?

Pretty easy to make. My husband loved it. Do you like honey lemon cough drops? The flavor of this kind of reminded me of them. It was okay, but I kept thinking of those cough drops which I don’t care for. My husband loves that flavor. So it was a hit with him. Our daughter liked it too. There you go. Try it.:)

Stay tuned…I have more coming. Especially from that website(ourpaleolife)– check it out. She’s got some great recipes.

SAJ

 

Mask Monday: TONYMOLY I’m Real Broccoli Sheet Mask

This week we have the TONYMOLY I’m Real Broccoli Sheet Mask.

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This mask promises to provide “intense hydration while conditioning skin to revitalize complexion and boost elasticity level.”

Initially, the mask smelled fine. Slightly floral, but not overpowering. It tingled just a bit when on — enough that you know something is happening, but not so much that it was uncomfortable. When I removed the mask, my skin looked good — not red or anything. And my skin now feels hydrated! Hurrah! I’ll try this one again.

What do you think? Have you ever tried this mask? Thoughts?

XO,

Beks

Mask Monday: Masqueology Collagen Hydro Gel Gold Mask

This week’s mask is the Masqueology Collagen Hydro Gel Gold Mask.

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This mask promises to “penetrate deep into the skin” to hydrate and detoxify skin.

Verdict: this mask was incredibly unwieldy to put on, and the flap covered my nostrils so I kept sniffing them up…. The mask felt like a combination between rubber and jelly, which made for an interesting experience. It smelled nice though and had a pleasant tingling sensation. My skin did feel hydrated after. So I guess this is a meh review? This mask was just okay. And I probably wouldn’t try it again because it was so slippery to work with…

What do you think? Would you give this mask a try?

XO,

Beks

Declutter Thursday. It’s almost Friday.

It’s late at night, but I have a box and I want to share it!

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Here’s what’s in it:

  • new set of plastic sandwich containers
  • pair of children’s shoes
  • 2 placemats
  • George Foreman grill
  • new cookie press
  • metal grater
  • VHS movie
  • small wicker basket
  • candy spoon mold
  • 5 fabric kitchen appliance covers
  • beer can poultry roaster stand (oh man…)
  • 2 water bottles
  • aluminum fry pan with lid
  • small bag of hair accessories
  • decorative pillow
  • medium sized candle
  • doll clothes
  • 2 children’s shirts
  • baseball cap
  • water filter
  • pair of socks
  • makeup brush
  • Tupperware ham keeper (it seemed like a good idea)
  • single cup coffee maker
  • small bag of random craft supplies
  • 2 stuffed animals
  • box of shower curtain rings
  • Frisbee
  • small makeup bag

37 items in this box…Well, some were on the floor. 🙂 Not bad. That brings the total to 566. Only 634 more things to get out of our house!

Actually, since my goal is to hit 1200 items by the end of the year, it looks like I’m almost halfway there with my time and how much I’ve been able to get out of the house. That’s promising, right?

Are you decluttering too? Do you want to?

SAJ

Mask Monday: Masque Bar Hydrating Peel Off Mask

This week’s mask is Masque Bar Hydrating Peel Off Mask.

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This mask claims to “gently peel away impurities and dead skin cells while cucumber extract leaves your skin moisturized, smooth and silky.”

DH gave this mask a go. He reports that, overall, he liked it. The mask smelled nice. It really needed to be put on thickly because the thin parts were hard to peel off. He ended up needing to really scrub his face to get all of the mask off. Otherwise, it dried well. DH said his face felt nice after he removed the mask. I guess that’s a good sign…

Have you ever tried this mask? What did you think?

XO,

Beks

Mask Monday: Freeman’s Pomegranate Facial Revealing Peel-Off Mask

This week we have the Freeman’s Pomegranate Facial Revealing Peel-Off Mask.

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This mask promised to “gently purge dirt and excess oils from skin for a cleaner, refined surface.”

 

This mask was okay. It didn’t smell very good, although it felt fine on the skin. Frankly, I didn’t notice any difference after using the mask. Nothing bad, nothing particularly good. I wouldn’t go out of my way to try this mask — it didn’t seem worth the effort of putting it on and peeling it off, which was annoying.

What do you think? Have you tried this mask?

XO,

Beks

Declutter Update

In the fall of last year, two friends told me that if you don’t love something, you should get rid of it. At the same time I was reading Sink Reflections by the FlyLady, Marla Cilley. She is a big advocate of decluttering. Basically she tells you to get rid of things you don’t use, need, or love.

I was hearing and reading this, but honestly, I couldn’t comprehend doing it. Get rid of my stuff? All my stuff? Stuff that didn’t have a name, but it was mine. I would look around our home and just couldn’t think of anything to take out of it.

I knew that our house was packed to the brim. We didn’t have pathways through it, but I knew it was too full. I just didn’t know where to start.

Things are different now.

The Box

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The Contents

  • 2 lip glosses
  • bath mat
  • cuticle oil
  • bed skirt
  • bathrobe
  • scarf
  • 9 shirts
  • 3 nightgowns
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 puzzles
  • wooden mailbox
  • 3 stuffed animals
  • 1 large bundle of pens
  • plastic tiara
  • 2 baseball caps
  • wall sign
  • ceramic egg holder
  • penguin toy
  • pig candle holder
  • bunch of plastic eggs
  • bowl
  • eyeshadow brush
  • book
  • large potpourri sachet
  • kitchen timer
  • decorative pig pin
  • curling iron cover
  • pig rubber stamp
  • 3 figurines

That’s 47 items, and that brings us to a running total of 529 items that have left our home. Good!

There was so much in our house. There still is. I had to just force myself at first; and I only started because I knew it was a problem. I had known that for a long time, but it really hits you when you have a kid and realize that you have to start making room for him/her.

I started getting rid of things that were just random and useless. Then I started getting rid of some duplicate items. Now I’m letting go of things that I felt guilty about getting rid of. Letting go of the things I don’t want, use, need, and finally(though I have trouble admitting it) the things I don’t love.

Maybe I’ve become attached to some things that have no sentimentality to them. Maybe someone that holds an important place in my life gave me a gift or something they didn’t want. Maybe I think it was expensive to begin with and that alone should be reason enough to keep it. All these excuses just hold me back from a life that isn’t so complicated and cluttered. I’ve been holding myself back.

Letting go can be really hard. Whether it’s your grandfather, your cute pigs, the world’s best chiropractor, or that quilt your mom gave you. Obviously these are not all on the same playing field. I’m just saying that sometimes you have to let go and move on. Otherwise, you may be stuck in the same place for a long time.

Tell me what you think.

Are you having trouble letting go? Are you finally getting there?

SAJ