Friday, July 13, 2012

Grain-Free Brownie Pancakes

I have been reading some articles about going grain-free.  I haven't jumped on this band wagon, but what I have read has inspired my to cut back the grains I am eating, especially wheat.
(If you want to learn more about these ideas I recommend this Blog & this Article.)

I have been cooking regular food with grain alternative ingredients.  Here is a pancake I came up with that is super yummy & does taste like a brownie!  It's good for you too.

This is more of method rather than a recipe.

In one bowl combine 3/4 of a scoop of whey protein powder,  1/2 tsp. baking powder, 2 tbs. coconut flour, 1 tb. unsweeted baking cocoa powder, 1-3 tsp. of sweetener. (I use Truvia because it is all natural) 

In another bowl beat one egg with 2tbs. milk (I use almond or coconut milk), dash of vanilla and a tsp. of oil (I use coconut oil - melted)

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients (as my mama always told me to do).  Add more milk as necessary to get a pancake batter consistency.  Then cook on a griddle or frying pan like your usual pancakes.  They are great alone, or with some berries. I just heat up some frozen berries in the microwave as shown below.

 YUM!! Lots of fiber, protein & healthy fats!  I know they are pretty good because my daughter
asks for them and she never asks for any of my "healthy food"!

This version is made without the cocoa powder and 3 tbs. of coconut flour.  It's more like a plain pancake.

Give it a try and let me know how they turn out!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chunky Diaper Cover

Here is a new pattern. It's been a long time coming!!!! I hope you all enjoy it.  I haven't been crocheting much lately.  I am not sure why.....  I started working on a few things this week so hopefully there will be more in the NEAR future.

You can download this pattern on Ravelry HERE.
On Craftsy HERE.

Enjoy & thanks for sticking with me!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Skinny Rules Rule

I am always attracted to new diet books.  When you struggle with your weight, it seems you are always looking for new advise that will make a difference.  At least I am.  I picked up The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper at Costco a couple weeks ago. It was worth the $16 I spent on it!
Link to Book on Amazon

I read the book in one afternoon. The first 110 pages are the rules and tips for implementing them.  The rest of the 260 pages are menus and recipes. Which I love!

I started implementing these rules the day after I read the book.  I have to admit, most of them I was doing already.  The few that were new have really helped me fine tune my diet plan.  These rules are simple, but not all are easy.  Here are the rules that I have been implementing that are new to me.

  • DRINK A LARGE GLASS OF WATER BEFORE EACH MEAL.  This means snacks as well.  Now, I drink a lot of water, but not this much.  So I have been drinking a 16 oz. glass before each meal and my water intake is up to 10 to 12, 8 oz. glasses a day!
  • EAT APPLES & BERRIES EVERYDAY.  This I was not doing at all! I ate fruit only occasionally, thinking the sugar would inhibit my weight loss. Not so, I learned!
  • NO CARBS AFTER LUNCH. What???  When I read this my heart sank. No pasta or rice with dinner! I have been following this rule and it has not been so bad. However, the last rule is what makes this rule livable for me.
  • MAKE ONE DAY A WEEK MEATLESS. Ok, no biggy for me. I love beans & eggs.
  • GO TO BED HUNGRY. This basically means stop eating 3 hours before you go to bed.  I don't like this one either. I love to have a small snack & usually some herbal tea about an hour before bed.  But I have been having just the tea & I am surviving.  I wake up VERY hungry now too! I eat breakfast as soon as I get up, instead of an hour or two later.  I am sure this is boosting my metabolism. 
  • PLAN ONE SLURGE MEAL A WEEK. Alright, now this I can do!! I can walk away from any temptation during the week if I know I can have it at a planned time.  Look at me, learning delayed gratification!

So, the bottom line is, how does it work.  Well, in the first week I lost 5 pounds, which is huge for me.  I am not the type who loses that much easily!  Before this, my top weekly loss was 3.5 pounds!  Now I am half way through week 2.  I am very hopeful for this week.  This way of eating has got me over a month long plateau.   

The menus and recipes are simple and tasty. My daughter however, is not happy with them.  They don't exactly appeal to an 11-year-old’s pallet.   Oh, well! She needs to learn to eat something besides mac and cheese & fried chicken.

If you have been thinking about this book, I can recommend it! It’s working for me!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stick With It Saturday!

Time for Stick With It Saturday with Sam's Noggin.

I am pretty happy with this week's progress.  After losing only 1.5 pounds in 3 weeks, this last week I was able to lose 2 pounds. I think the key has been eating breakfast & drinking water.  I did have a dinner of 2 pieces of pizza and salad. I was working off the theory that once in a while you need to give your body a calorie boost to stoke the fire of your metabolism.  This week it worked, but I wouldn't have done this unless I had been pretty much stuck for a few weeks.  It worked this week, but it is like playing with fire when you do this.  It can backfire on you.  Have I said 'fire' enough in this post? Geez!

Next week I start Phase 2 in Jillian Michael's Body Revolution.  All the workouts change this week and get harder, so I am expected encouraging results.  One thing I can say about this program is that I really feel like I am in better physical condition!  My endurance and strength have improved greatly. I can now do 15 REAL push-ups! In January I couldn't do even one!  

My goal is to lose 2 more pounds over the next 2 weeks.  Hubby & I are going to Vegas and I'd like to be at or pass the 30 pounds lost mark.  If I get there, I will be the thinnest I have been in 12 years.  All that time spent feeling bad about myself for being over weight. Why didn't I do this sooner? Hmmm....  That's a pretty profound question.  I will need to think about that.....

See you next Saturday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Curriculum Clarity!!!

I have been doing that Spring thing again.  Thinking so much about what we will be doing next year for homeschool that I lose focus on finishing this year!  Luckily we are basically done.  La is finishing up one last project & most of her 3R's (reading, 'riting & 'rithmetic) are done for the year.

So my search began a few weeks ago.  Through prayer & reflection, I knew I needed to look for something different, something with a little more structure.  As I shared on the Homeschool Compass page, I want plans & structure, but I also need a curriculum that is flexible and uses natural methods where subjects are connected instead of compartmentalized.  Also it's important that it be engaging. There should be something fun to look forward to everyday.

I searched around and compiled a list of possibilities.  If you would like to see that list, you can see the Pintrest Board I compiled here.  After thoroughly comparing all these choices, I have come to a clear decision.  Next year we will be using (drumroooooollllllll)

Learn All About This Curriculum Here
Photo from
We are so excited! I have already placed my order & the BIG BOX with all books & supplies arrives tomorrow!  For a few days now I have been saying it will be like Christmas morning when we open it!

I chose this curriculum basically because it checked all the boxes for me!  I simply think I will love everything about it!  If you identify with our Homeschool Compass, I highly suggest you download the samples and check it out!

Ah, the peace of making a decision and knowing it is right.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My First "Stick With it Saturday"

Today is my 1st Stick With it Saturday. I found this weekly linky party over at Sam's Noggin.  So here it goes.

I started my weight loss journey January 18th of this year. So far I have lost 26 pounds and 14 inches.

 I started out with P90X.  It was a little more old school weight lifting than I expected.  I bought it because my doctor recommended it.  I think I may go back to it when I get down to my last 20 pounds or so.

I few weeks ago I started Jillian Michael's Body Revolution. Now this I really like. It is hard, but the moves are efficient. What I mean by that is most of the time you are working upper body, lower body & getting cardio in all in one movement. The workouts are all about 30 minutes long which makes them very doable. P90X was an hour or more most days.  I just ended my 3rd week.

Here is a current progress picture. Please no mean comments about my before picture!

I haven't lost a lot on the scale these last 3 weeks, but I have lost inches & I can see my muscles toning up!

So here's my plan for this week.
Sunday: Work Out 3
Monday: Work Out 4
Tuesday: Cardio 1
Wednesday: Work Out 3
Thursday: Work Out 4
Friday: Cardio 1
Saturday: Rest

Nutrition Goals:
Eat Breakfast Every Day!
Drink 8 glasses of water daily
Eat 5+ servings of vegetables daily
Limit whole grain OR starchy veggie to once daily 

My husband are I are going to Las Vegas May 25th & I'd like to lose 5 more pounds by then. Check in next week to see how I do.

Plarn Tutorial

I decided to try my hand at making plarn today. Plarn = plastic bag yarn.  I took some picture as I went along. You can make several yards with one trip to the grocery store!

First you need grocery bags or other plastic bags and a pair of scissors. I decided to make 2 stranded plarn because the grocery bags I used are very thin.

Step One.  Lay your bag out flat. Right side out and side pleats tucked in.

Step Two. Fold in half top to bottom and and then fold in half again. But off the handles & bottom and toss those. 

Step Three. Now you will have a folded -up tube of plastic. Cut this tube in strips. My strips are approximately 3/4 inch. I wouldn't go any thinner than 1/2 inch. Exact measurements are not crucial.

Step Four. Unfold all your strips. they will be circular strips.

Step Five. Now you need to link up all your strips. Lay one strip down pulled out into an oval shape. Lay another strip down on top overlapping the end. Like this.

Reach under the end of the left hand strip and grab the end on the right hand strip. Pull this end under the left hand strip until a knot forms. Continue to link the rest of your strips this way. 
Pull the grabbed strip through to the right.

From one grocery bag I was able to get just over 9 yards. I thought I might make a sun hat out of it, but I didin't like the way it was working up.  However, I do think it would make a great reusable bag. If you have made something useful with plarn please share! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cutting My Own Hair - WHAT???

Yes that's what I said! I cut my own hair. I have been thinking about giving it a go for a while now & finally did it. The hardest part was the first cut. I didn't cut much, but next time I will be braver. Here is the basics of what I did.

First, I followed Feye's Hair Trimming Instructions HERE.
I followed the V-shape method and planned to take it one more step to the U-shape method, but I liked the V-shape. On me, it really came out more like a U-shape anyhow.

The I did the layers and front with the ponytail method. This video HERE is basically what I followed. I watched MANY videos on how to do this before I tried it & no one ruined their hair, so I figured I could do it to. Here are the results.

I am at least as happy with it as when I get it cut professionally. Also I found this great tool to help out next time I cut it. It's called a Creaclip and looks like this.
You can check out this product at .  I am very excited to try cutting my hair with this tool. I will write a review after I give it a try. I figured it was worth a try for $30. We'll see.....
Do you have any adventurous DIY stories. If so, I'd love to hear about them in the comments! Till next time!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pixie Bonnet Tutorial

Hope you enjoy this tutorial on making a basic Pixie Bonnet. With this tutorial you can use any yarn, hook, stitches or stitch pattern you like.  Have fun and please share what you create!!  This pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry Here or Craftsy Here!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award!!!

I received my first blog award!!!

Olga from OlgaSoleil  has awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award! I am super excited since it is my first blog award ever!!  
Thank you so much Olga!!!

The Award has Rules:
1. Add the award to your blog
2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you
3. Mention 7 random things about yourself
4. List the rules
5. Award to 15 bloggers
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I was named after a Holly's song title "Carrie-Anne".
2. I love orange.
3. When I was 8 years old I won the "Holiday Muppet's' Drawing Contest" put on by our local PBS Station.
4. I grew up in Upstate New York, but have lived "Out West" for almost 19 years.
5. I love long motorcycle trips and once rode from Phoenix, AZ to NY in 3 days.
6. I have one child and like it that way!!
7. I have recently taken up knitting & really like it!

And below are the
15 wonderful and inspiring to whom
I am passing on "The Versatile Blogger"award. 
Check them out!
1. A Jennuine Life
2. Aesthetic Nest
3. Alli Crafts
4. Easy Makes Me Happy
5. icandy handmade
6. Little Big Gir Studio
7. One Sheepish Girl
8. Our Seven Dwarfs
9. Room 118 Photography
10. The Royal Sisters
11. Julie Kundhi
12. Make It Do
13. Simply Notable
14. Roman Sock
15. The Purl Bee

Again, Thanks so much and enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cai's Birthday Tiara

Another new pattern! This is the birthday tiara I made for my friend's daughter. It's super easy. Enjoy it! Download from Ravelry Here or Craftsy Here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Crochet Hat Sizing Guide

I wanted to share my chart for sizing crochet hats. I came up with this chart by researching average head sizes. Sizing crocheted hats is not an exact science, but maybe this will help you get started. Enjoy!

Hat Sizing Guide

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sundance Slouch

A fun slouchy hat in honor of the Sundance Film Festival. Make this and you will fit right in with all the celebs and wannabes invading Park City this week.  I'll let you know if I see anyone famous! Enjoy!
You can download the pattern for  HERE,  Craftsy HERE.