Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Yes, Spring has my closet at least.   It's been such a long cold winter that I've decided if an item didn't look like spring, act like spring, or talk like spring, it was gone.  Well maybe not totally gone, but banished to the spare room closet anyway.  I'm such a visual person, that all those winter clothes were dragging me down.

This is more like it!

sooo much less too look at
it also makes it easier to get ready in the morning

Wouldn't it be fun to paint the closet pink, get rid of those wire shelves, replace them with some vintagy shelves, and hang a ridiculously gaudy chandy from the ceiling??

Well, a girl can dream!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Master Bedroom Update

My Bedroom has come a long way from this post.  I've gotten the new bedding I wanted.   I did keep with the color scheme I had in mind, green and gray, but it needed a little pattern.  Sooo I decided to add pattern in the form of black and white.  I really love the drama it added.  I'm by no means done I'm never done), but am moving in a direction that I'm really loving.
Check out where I am so far:
new bedding, that I must say I LOVE!

redid my dresser top/dresserscape if you will

repurposed wine rack for my necklaces

I spray painted these place mats gray.   I like the texture and color they add to my dresser top.
I laid a scarf across the top of my dresser to add a little pattern.
I'd love to add a little something on either side of the mirror.

I go this cute lamp at Tar-jay, just the right amount of pattern.
A view from one side

I moved my file cabinet/nightstand from here

to here
I also "pimped it up"
& check out this jewelry box I spray painted and sanded

I plan to cut those barstool legs in half, and make them cute little footstools.   I just need to find some round cushions for the tops.

I really like the way these stools look at the foot of my bed.  They sort of mirror the circles in my bedframe, don't ya think?

OK, ladies let's look at a few before and afters.

Before this small dresser wasn't working.  It was WAY too under scale.

I moved it to my son's room.  It worked much better here, and I had forgotten that I got them both at Ikea.  They were from the same line of furniture and matched perfectly!
You can read more about that redo here

furniture layout before

and after

SO, what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Latest Obsession

Delicious, Nutritious, Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

 This may just be the best stuff on earth!  
Recently I've read a lot about coconut oil in the healthy eating side of the blogosphere.  There seems to be a considerable amount of hype surrounding it, so I thought I'd do a little research of my own.  Primarily because I don't believe much of what I hear.  Good or bad, I've gotta check it out for myself!
This is what I found out.


The Tree of Life

The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means "monkey face" because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means "nut-bearing."

The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. On many islands coconut is a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. Nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures the coconut has a long and respected history.

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers.

Coconut In Traditional Medicine

People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as a effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.

In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.  Coconut In Modern Medicine

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.

  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.

  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.

  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.

  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.

  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.

  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.

  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.

  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.

  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.

  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.

  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.

  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.

  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.

  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.

  • Improves digestion and bowel function.

  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.

  • Reduces inflammation.

  • Supports tissue healing and repair.

  • Supports and aids immune system function.

  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.

  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.

  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.

  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.

  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.

  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.

  • Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.

  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.

  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.

  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).

  • Reduces epileptic seizures.

  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.

  • Dissolves kidney stones.

  • Helps prevent liver disease.

  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.

  • Supports thyroid function.

  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.

  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.

  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.

  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.

  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.

  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.

  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.

  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.

  • Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.

  • Helps control dandruff.

  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.

  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.

  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.
See Research to read some of the published studies regarding the above mentioned uses of coconut products.

Coconut Oil

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.

Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.

Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?

The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.

The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.

There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils. you read many testimonial here, and learns lot more here

You can look forward to many of my future cooking post containing coconut oil.

I've bottled/jarred it into a few separate container to keep around the house for ease of use.  Personally I wouldn't use the same jar for cooking as I do for body care, just a thought.
this one's for cooking

and this one's for shmearing all over me

Oh and P.S. I can testify to the fact that it works as a sunscreen.  I spent nearly all day outside this past Saturday, doing an outdoor project (the topic of a future blog), and cheering my boys on at their soccer game.  I shmeared coconut oil all over me and NO sunburn!  Both my husband and boys were sunburned.  I know your thinking that's some kinda mom!  LOL,  Oh well they're tough, and they forgive me.

Healthy & Yummy Blueberry Smoothie

This weekend seemed to be all about food for me.  To show you what I mean, check out this super delicious blueberry smoothie I made (other food post soon to follow).
I decided to blog this after slurping down nearly half of it!

It was sooo good just look at that gorgeous purple-blue color.

These were the ingredients that I used.  I don't measure, but just to give you an idea I used about 3/4 cup blueberries, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1 Tablespoon ground flax, half cup vanilla yogurt, and 1 packet sun crystals/truvia/few drops stevia, or agave syrup to taste, whichever you prefer.

I really like these blueberries.  I got them at Costco, which is where I get many of my healthy and organic foods at great prices.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lower fat guacamole with Peas

lowfatguacamolemed.jpgUsing peas with just a small amount of avocado will save you a bunch of fat calories in this yummy dip. The remaining fat is of the heart-healthy variety. The nice thing about substituting peas is that the texture is the same. The green color is more vibrant, and the peas also lend a sweeter taste to the guacamole. Season with chiles or hot sauce as you wish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes


  • 10-ounce pack of frozen peas
  • 1/2 small ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice


Cook peas according to package instructions. Empty into a colander, drain and rinse with cold water. Place peas, avocado and cilantro in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Spoon into a bowl with chopped tomato and onion. Add a squeeze of lime juice, stir and serve.
Yields 2 cups.

I will definitely be trying this one soon!

Menu Plan Monday


Happy Monday Everyone,
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready for a great week.  I have a moderately busy week, so my meals won't be too involved.  This is what I  have planned.

Fresh caught fish baked with a Panko breading, garlicky green beans, boiled petite red potatoes
(if you haven't tried Panko you really should.  It's this light crispy bread crumb mixture which is perfect for fish)

Homemade Black Bean Soup over Rice

Spaghetti and Meatballs, green salad

Rotisserie Chicken Tostadas  (made with chicken I had gotten on sale a couple of weeks ago and froze)

Tuna salad wraps, carrots sticks, Wolfgang Pucks Soup, not sure which one I've got a pantry full to choose from right now

Quiche, 1 with turkey bacon, and 1 with broccoli and parmesan, green salad

I also going to try to make a batch of  Very Vanilla Muffins

This shouldn't be too complicated, but hopefully I can manage it with 3 soccer games this week!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week is especially exciting, and busy for me because my oldest son will be with us.  He has been away at school, and will be home on spring break this week, so more cooking and more food!   Also later in the week we will be visiting some extended family, so I'll have a night off cooking.

Here's my menu plan:

Grilled Mahi Mahi with a cilantro parsley pesto, green salad and baked potatoes with sour cream and scallions

Chicken caesar salad pitas, roasted carrots, and potato salad from the extra potatoes that I baked the night before.  The pitas are super simple to make.  Just whip up a caesar salad, throw in some grilled chicken, toss together and stuff in whole wheat pitas.

Grilled Turkey Burgers and a Black bean burger(for me...more and more I'm just now much of a meat eater),  sweet potato fries

Homemade Chili (from freezer) served over rice, with shredded cheddar and cilantro

Copy cat night we are copying recipes of some of our favorite foods from restaurants.  Each family member is picking a different food to prepare, here are a few we've decided on,
Carrabbas Pollo Rosa Maria Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Buiscuits, Chili's Skillet Queso (I will be making this from a recipe I'll create with a healthier spin), Carrabbas Mediterranean Salad, and I'm sure we'll come up with a dessert.

I can't wait!

Friday, March 5, 2010

My son's MOSTLY redone room

I wanted to show you all what I've been working on lately...and no I haven't been sitting around eating bon bons or anything, just haven't taken time to post about all my business.  I know you can relate!  anywho, my son's room has been kind of a mess since we moved about 8 months ago, and I finally got around to fixing it up a bit.  Here are a few pics.

I got this comforter at Target about a month ago on clearance for $10.
If you keep your eyes open you can get some really great deals there.

These pillow were on sale a couple of weeks ago also at Target for only $4.00 (normally just 4.99)
They have all kinds of cute patterns.

This set of curtain panels and the orange window sheer were at Walmart for only $20.00 for everything.
I hung my son's medals on the top.  It was a nice way to display them plus it added a little punch of color.  

I covered a foam board in orange fabric that I got at target.  In it's former life it was a clearanced shower curtain.

OK, clearly this side of the room is screaming for a large wall hanging above this dresser.  If it looks familiar you may remember it from  this post...& Yes I'm still working on that room.  The big reveal is coming, I promise!
Ughh!  video game area...I give up!

All in all I'm pretty happy with the room so far.  As always it's a work in progress, but it's a huge improvement!
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the weekend; it's finally gonna be a little warmer and sunny here YEAH!