Healthier slaw salad

I love salads. I have always loved salads. All kinds of salads. Savory, sweet and everything in between.

Here’s what I’m having for lunch tomorrow.

I bought a new salad dressing, on the recommendation of one of my coworkers, and I was pleasantly surprised at it’s flavor. The reason why I say this is because it’s “free” of practically everything. Gluten, fat, sugar, calories, or carbs. I purchased the “Honey Dijon”. I has a mild flavor, and has a thinner consistency than other honey dijon dressings, but I really love the flavor and will definitely be purchasing more.

This is a super simple salad. It took me less than ten minutes to whip it up.

Mix together:

1 cup of raw slaw mix

Half of a Honey Crisp Apple – Julienned

About 7 radish – thinly sliced

Two Tablespoons of Walden Farms Honey Dijon

For a little more crunch and protein I added a handful of chopped walnuts.

I’d sat that’s pretty easy for a healthy lunch!



Recovering the Kitchen Chairs

This will be the third time I’ve recovered these chairs in the time that we’ve had them, about ten years now. I have yet to take off the old covers, it adds a little extra cushion and takes less time, if I just cover right over them. That right there lets you know just how easy this job is.


They were a light green and clearly, even after trying to scrub them, I just could not get them cleaned up.

P1010582It’s actually quite simple and very cost effective. I got two yards of fabric from a remnant at Jo-Ann Fabric’s with a 40% of coupon, so the cost was less than $20. YIPPEE!! I already had a staple gun and staples from previous projects around the home. The fabric I bought is a medium thickness upholstery type, brown in color. I knew this time I wanted something darker and very neutral. (eventually we’re going to work on redoing our kitchen floor and I want something that will match just about anything).


To measure out the amount of fabric I’m going to need, I just lay the cushion on top of the fabric neat the corner of the left side and size it up. I just want to have about two inches left on the sides, otherwise, it just gets in the way and needs to be trimmed off anyway. I did some loose measuring with a tape measure here, but otherwise, I really didn’t use one for the rest of the project. I just eyeballed about two inches and made my cuts. Once I knew where I had the extra fabric on the other side I just trimmed it down so I would have about two inches of extra fabric on both sides then I did the same for the other sides and just went from there.

P1010583I start by folding down the two inch side by about one inch so I have about one inch left to work with. I just think that the double layer of fabric helps the staples stick better and the fabric seems to hold up better that way. Then I just staple down the side about four to five times along the edge. Making sure to press on the staple gun HARD, otherwise, they won’t go all the way through to the wood and then you have to start over.


Once the first side is done, turn your seat around and pull the fabric taught – you don’t want any looseness to the fabric. Staple as you did on the first side – keeping fabric taught as you go and continue with the other two sides.


The corners are a little tricky. I staple the fabric down fairly close but not all the way because I’m going to trim any extra fabric here and then “fold” it down so it looks nice (I know no ones going to see it but it just makes me feel better to know it looks nice anyway – OCDish here!!!)


Be very careful to not trim too much, once it’s gone, it’s gone, there’s no going back.


I have the extra trimmed off now and I’m going to put a staple on each side close together. I still have the majority of the fabric under my hand which I’m going to fold down.


Once I have the underneath attached very securely I fold the rest of the fabric down to make somewhat of a point. Trimming any more extra fabric here at the end and stapling down the rest of the corner while holding the fabric taught again at the edge. This makes for a very nice corner finish once it’s completed.


TA-DA. It looks so much nicer now. It only took me about two hours to recover all four chairs (my husband helped with the manual labor – unscrewing/screwing the seats from the frames) otherwise it would have taken me longer. I do always appreciate his help with my crafty stuff.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no need to spend a lot of money for someone else to do something I can do. Not only that, but it makes me feel good to know that I can change these seat covers out when ever I feel a need for change. I don’t have to spend a lot of money or time to do it.

Hope this inspires some of you to change out your own kitchen seat covers the next time they’re looking a little less than appealing.~Bam!







Biggest Looser -continued

There are only two weeks left in our works “Biggest Looser at Work” contest. I also can’t believe I’ve only lost about five pounds in the last two months, however, my clothes are looser and at my age at least I haven’t gained weight. All in all, I’d say I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it – I really believe the slower I loose weight the better chance I have of keeping it off.

For the last month I’ve have kept track of my daily steps, miles those steps account for, any extra exercise and most importantly all of my food intake. With linked to my Garmin Vivofit it’s super easy to keep track of everything. I also downloaded an exercise grid and made some adjustments to it so I could actually write down my numbers. What can I say – pulling out a piece of paper and writing on it is still a lot less time consuming than waiting for my computer to turn on and going to the file, etc…

I’ll be the first to admit after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is exercise, but I promised my health coach (free through our health insurance) I would at least try to do some sort of exercise three times a week. Doing the same thing over and over again is B.O.R.I.N.G. for me, so, one night after dinner I’ll take the dog for a fast walk,  another night I might try to do yoga, or try some easy Pilates, or do a Kettlebell work out – which is my favorite.

Just a little bit of transparency here – In the last few weeks I’ve really had this on my mind; I know this will only get harder for me in the next few months. I absolutely H A T E winter. Cold, bitter weather, lots of snow, ice…ICK. When winter sets in all I want to do is eat, make a nice fire, cover up with a blanket on the couch and sleep. I already know I’m going to have to change the way I think or I’m going to be in big trouble.

I’ve come to realize exercising is not for the faint of heart, but it good for the heart!! ♥♥♥~Bam



Biggest Looser -Week 5

I can’t believe it’s really been five weeks since we started this contest at work. I kind of lost some gusto about a week ago – for about a week- then it was time for my Intervent Health Coach to call. Oopsie – I kind of fell of the exercise wagon and I have to fess up, or really what’s the use in having someone to be accountable to if I am not honest about my eating or activity level?

First thing in my morning routine is breakfast. I’ve been trying to incorporate some protein smoothies into this routine and I’ve been pleasantly pleased so far. I’ve made a Banana with Peanut Butter smoothie, a sort of copycat Orange Julius type, and an Oatmeal Cinnamon one. I start them all with one scoop of Vanilla Protein powder and Vanilla low-fat yogurt, some unsweetened Almond milk, and then I add the other ingredients to it to make the desired smoothie.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well these smoothies hold me over until lunch time. On some mornings when I eat egg whites and a turkey sausage I am completely famished by lunch.

Which brings me to my next subject: LUNCH… I have definitely done much better about keeping an eye out for the lunches that we have brought in and when I need to take my lunch. I work in a very fast food laden area of the city, so it is nothing for me to hop in my car and get something quick. Not necessarily healthy and definitely not low calorie or low carb. I have come to realize it is super important for me to take my lunch if I plan on staying on task.


I made a small amount of Tri-color Quinoa per package directions, added some fresh peas and green beans I picked from our tiny garden, fresh lemon juice, pepper and this package of StarKist Salmon Creations (I didn’t realize it was salmon until I had already opened it – I thought it was a tuna package – which is what I usually buy). After I made it and realized it was Mango Chipotle flavored I thought it would be really too spicy. The salmon has a mild flavor and the Mango Chipotle complemented my Quinoa perfectly. I will definitely make this again. Not only was this surprisingly delicious, I didn’t feel hungry half-way through the afternoon and I didn’t get tired either. I was the perfect lunch for the long lasting energy I need.

We do our weigh-ins on the Friday of our pay week, but I wasn’t able to weigh in because I was at the Creation Museum that day with the family. Regardless, I weigh myself at home every Sunday morning when I first wake up. This week I was down another pound.

Now, that may not seem much of an accomplishment to some, but for me, it’s fantastic. Considering I haven’t done much in the way of actual exercise – although I usually always get more than 10.000 steps a day. I have pre-menopausal hormones to deal with and I have hypothyroidism. Even though I take my thyroid medicine daily I just feel that my metabolism is perpetually  slow (maybe it’s just in my head- haha). I also feel that if I’m loosing the weight slowly I will keep it off longer. Hopefully for life. I feel that this needs to be a life long journey – not just a short term contest. Although, it was the kick start that I needed. Thanks Katlyn!!!

We will have to see where the next two weeks bring me.~Bam


Homemade Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

I was at the grocery yesterday and they had a sale on blueberries and I bought a one pound container of them because they just looked so delicious.

My husband doesn’t really like to eat them raw because of the texture they have. At first I thought about making blueberry muffins but then I remembered my oven isn’t working and I can’t get a 12 muffin pan in my little Oster Toaster Oven, nor would anything 9″ x 12″ fit. After narrowing my options down I came up with blueberry pie.

I used a basic Pate Brisee crust which I got from Martha Stewart’s web site years and years ago. It has never failed me and it is really easy to make. For today’s crust, however, I did not use any sugar and I halved the recipe because I just don’t need that much dough.

Once I made the crust I placed it in a ball wrapped up in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to keep it cold until I was ready to put the pie together.

The filling recipe is:

1 pound rinsed and dried blueberries

1/2 each all-purpose flour, sugar, and brown sugar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Mix all of the ingredients together and pour them into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 40 minutes. Baking times may and probably will vary, because I was using our Oster Toaster Oven instead of a regular large oven.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream~Bam


Kitchen Back-Splash

I wanted to do something to update our kitchen, at least, a little, and didn’t want to spend too much money doing it. It took a while of hunting around, looking for different products that I felt I could comfortably use on my own. I enjoy working with my hands and especially enjoy the “fruits of my labor” so to speak. When I am painting a room, re-purposing an old piece of furniture or even super cleaning something it just gives me a sense of accomplishment when I’m finished. I not only feel I’ve done something worth while it also gives me a chance to do some deep thinking, or  time to connect with God through prayer.

Our kitchen is  a lime green color which I still really like. However, the back-splash is boringly plain. I wanted to add some contrast to it. Liven it up a bit. Bring it into the Twenty-first century.

I, however, have no idea how to work with ceramic tiles. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with them (I’m sure I could figure it out if I really wanted to). I didn’t want to invest in the time or the money of ceramic tiles either.


I went to all of the local hardware stores and found some very nice peel and stick tile sheets. They didn’t have a very large selection of colors and the were very expensive in the stores. Then I turned to Amazon (my go to for almost everything). I found a much larger selection at much better prices.


I ended up choosing a peel and stick made by Art3d  in this color scheme. It has some green tones to it but also a lot of browns and creams which are the perfect match for our cabinets (which I have no intention of changing currently). I purchased a package of ten 12″ x 12″ peel and stick tiles with a sort of tongue and groove stile side connection.

Because I am a nut like this (or I really like to control what I am doing, or one could say I have a touch of OCD), once I cleaned the walls thoroughly with a damp towel and made sure it was completely dry, I used scotch tape to tape up the tiles on the walls first. I did this for two reasons. 1) I wanted to make sure I actually bought enough product and 2) I wanted to see if I would like the way it looked and if the color scheme was a good match. Once I figured out this was indeed a good match I took them back down and started putting them up for real.


To make sure I cut out the right part of the tile I put it on the wall backwards and made a mark with my pencil for the area that needed cut out for the switches. This product if very easy to cut.


I used mostly a straight edge knife, just a craft knife I use for scrap-booking and I used my scrapbook cutting board because I has straight lines on it. I could very easily keep every cut straight. (I had a round cutter but I felt it was too flimsy to work well so I ended up not using it at all).

Here I am at another utility plug. I basically lined the tiles up the rest of the wall for that 12″ x 12″ space and then I VERY carefully cut the slot out the rest of the way with some kitchen shears. Again, super easy!!! So far, so good!!

For this switch I measured the length on the bottom on the back side of the tile sheet and then I measured the height with a metal ruler (another scrapbook tool).


I wanted to make sure I cut out the correct end so I labeled the back bottom area and then using my measurements I carefully cut out the square with my straight edge and it popped right out. When cutting this product it is a good idea to make small precise cuts and try not pushing into the product too harshly. I would go around one cut about three times each. Slow and easy wins the race…um, right?? It worked out really well for me to do it this way.


This product if very flexible. When I got to a difficult corner of the wall, where I had to go around the wood trim, I just folded it up and made a mark where I needed to cut. Super easy again. So far I haven’t had any snafus.Thumbs up to me!!


For this tiny bit of area near the top of the window seal I used a piece of scrap paper that was apart of the backing of another sheet of tile. I used it to make a template which made it very easy to work with when I cut out the last piece of that part of the wall.


Ta-DA…The final product. I absolutely LOVE the way this turned out. I LOVE that it was super easy and I LOVE that it took me less than two hours to do. For me, this was the perfect project. These tiles have a really nice look to them. They are very sticky, but could easily be moved into position -until you really push them onto the wall. When I had the tile exactly where I wanted it I used a clean, dry dishrag to rub the tiles into position.

I just have to figure out what kind of replacement switch covers I want to change my plastic ones out for and I’ll be finished with this project.

Hope this encourages you to try a super easy kitchen back-splash update also!~Bam


Kale and Zoodle Salad

I’ve been on a salad kick for a couple of weeks now, and have been taking them to work for lunch. I just thought I’d share this one with you tonight.



This is really what I call a “no-brainer”. One bunch of kale washed an taken off the rib, and chopped to your liking. One zucchini washed, peeled and cut with a Julienne peeler, how ever much red (or other type of) onion, diced-sliced-chopped however you prefer, half of a large tomato chopped, and two stocks of celery thinly sliced. Then I sprinkled some sliced roasted almonds on top. It’s that simple.


For the dressing I grabbed a small handful of fresh chives from our garden mixed it with one Tablespoon of German Mustard, two teaspoons of orange juice, two capfulls of Apple Cider Vinegar and a little pepper to taste. I’ve been trying no to use salt much and I’m sure there’s plenty of it in the mustard, so I elected not to add any more.

I poured the dressing on the salad and put it in a lunch container so all I had to do was grab it and go. Pouring the dressing on it and letting in soak in over night helps to tone down the bitter flavor kale can have sometimes and it also helps to soften the leaves a tiny bit. I don’t generally pour dressing on the night before, but in this case I really thought it was a good idea and the salad was deliciously perfect by lunch the next day.

I have never eaten much kale before this summer and I must admit it is really hardy. When I add kale to my salad it holds me over until dinner without any problems.