Clean Eating: Healthy Mexican

The Challenge: make a dish that curbs my cravings for a huge Mexican dinner at our favorite restaurant. Cannot include rice, cheese or tortilla chips and as low sodium as possible. Stick with fresh and/or organic ingredients. #eatclean #2014



Ingredients:

1-2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Salt Free
olive oil
water

1 sweet yellow onion(chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 can organic diced tomatoes no added salt
1 can organic black beans (drained + rinsed)
1/2 jar salsa verde- target's archer farms brand is pretty darn clean
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. italian seasoning (I know, weird!)
salt + pepper to taste

3 bell peppers-whatever colors you prefer (thinly sliced)
1 head of iceberg lettuce (thinly sliced)
1 medium avocado


**FYI: you will need an immersion blender to make this meal. Food processor will work, but it's messy and more work, just saying. Invest in an immersion blender, awesome!! I don't use mine super often, but often enough to make it worthwhile. I think $35-$50 would be a reasonable amount to spend on it. Check discount stores like homegoods, sometimes you'll get lucky and find a great deal on a quality product!

Let's Do This!

1. Pound chicken breasts 1/4" thin and slice each chicken breast into 3-4 pieces
2. Place chicken chunks in Gallon Ziploc bag.
3. Add 1/4C. water, 2 T. olive oil and 2T. Mrs. Dash Seasoning
4. Close bag tightly and mix it all together.
5. Put in fridge for 30ish minutes

6. In a large pan, heat 1T. olive oil
7. Add chopped onion and cook until translucent
8. Add minced garlic. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant
9. Add diced tomatoes, black beans, salsa verde, chili powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer sauce for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

10. In another pan heat 1T. olive oil
11. Add peppers and cook 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like mine kinda black and fajita-ish, so cooking time will vary based on your preference.

11. While peppers are cooking and sauce is cooling chop up your iceberg lettuce and avocado.

12. Grill chicken 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.

13. When sauce is cool use an immersion blender to chop it all up into a smooth sauce.

Serve It Up!

On a pretty plate arrange a hearty handful of lettuce. Add a couple pieces of chicken. Top with 1/2C. of sauce. Place peppers and avocado on top. DONE! and SO delicious!!

Why I LOVE this meal...

It completely satisfied my craving for Mexican. The black beans in the sauce makes it thick + yummy and tricks your brain into thinking you are eating something decedent. It also serves as a "dressing" for the lettuce. The seasoning on the chicken is a little spicy and a lot tangy. I honestly didn't miss the high carb/high sodium elements of a traditional Mexican restaurant meal. I was full and happy:) PLUS, there was enough left over for two additional meals...lunch the next day for both hubby and I, WIN!

Enjoy!

Please let me know if you try this recipe and what you think!

I like books

BUT, I finally made my way into the 21st century and asked for a Kindle for Christmas (thanks mom and dad!). Did you know they have things like Apps and Internet now? Who knew! Of course I had to make it a cute little zipper pouch to help keep it safe from all of the curious little hands running around my house. These fabrics have been sitting on my desk together since early December and now they've found their end use...Kindle Cover!! Is anyone else obsessed with the new metallic fabrics out there right now? Polka Dots + Chevron, YUM...still not over it, quite yet!!

 
A few months ago, I did something SO unlike me. I mixed up my entire collection of buttons into two huge jars: warm colors and cool colors, WOAH! Aren't they pretty all together?
 

Took a few out of the jar for a little extra embellishment fun!




















I am also enjoying my new sew on tags:)




















If you like what you see, I have them listed in my etsy shop. These can be made in any style or color and basically any size. Convo me with questions, I have hundreds of fabrics available, LITERALLY:)




2013 Highlights

It has been a really nice couple of weeks around here. The kids are off of school for winter break, so we have all been home together, so nice! (edit: the first week was really nice, the second week has been a bit more challenging!) It has given me the time to slow down and think about this past year and consider goals for the new year. All I can say about 2013 is that it was a whirlwind!! I don't recall another year that flew by as quickly as this one. Here's a recap!!

January:  I had LASIK! I have worn glass/contacts since I was 13, so Lasik was a long time coming! Contacts were a great solution for me until I started having kids. Not sure what changed, but contacts were no longer an option for me and glasses were the norm. I actually really liked my glasses, but got sick of them as the kiddos got older. Wanted to be able to see during things like swim lessons and group fitness classes. Just came to the point where I was DONE and Lasik was a realistic option. BEST DECISION I ever made. I was nervous, but it was fast and results were immediate! The hardest part for me is that I couldn't wear mascara for a couple of weeks, haha!! I went to The Whiting Clinic and was totally happy!! They even give you your choice of colors for your "welcome packet!" GENIUS.


















 
 
February: REAL Family Pictures

Last year, Alaina had a school project that she needed a family picture for and WE DIDN'T HAVE ONE. Why? I take all the photos, so technically I didn't exist in our family, oops! Needless to say, I was very happy to have professional photos taken. In Minnesota? Try Kolorblind Photography...AWESOME!! Kara is SO talented and I am very grateful to have these photos!!





















March: Easter in Las Vegas! An egg hunt by the pool for these MN kiddos, enough said!








































April: A lot of time inside, hoping for Spring, but all we kept getting was SNOW!! eeewww....

May: Lots of travel and end of the year school events. Bridget and I took a quick trip to Vegas by ourselves and it was a BLAST! It gave my parents some 1-on-1 time to get to know JUST HER without her sissy around:) She was such a great travel companion. Mary and I also went to Portland for Quilt Market. This was a very enjoyable trip. Lots of inspiration, business planning, yummy food and quality time with a pretty cool mother in law.
























June: Family Wedding. This was simply THE BEST. I was honored to be one of the personal attendants for this awesome couple's wedding. It was just a really special event and especially nice to have a lot of extended family in town.




















July: Family Vacation to Montana! Hiking with Matt and Alaina. I was a little nervous about the bears, but it was a breathtaking experience. There's something unique and peaceful about being somewhere with no cell phone service, haha!



August: Susan G Komen 3-Day Walk. Holy Moly....this was SO much more than I had bargained for. Words honestly can't describe the experience. I was blown away by the support we had, the survivors we saw and heard from, the loved ones of those who are no longer with us. It took me about 2 weeks to snap back to reality and also to walk normal again:) I felt a little bad, cause extreme heat forced us to end at 50 miles, but the experience was unbelievable. I am so completely grateful to those who donated money to the cause in support of me and our team. I am humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of others. I am grateful to my friend Kelly for inviting me to join Team Jill and to all of the awesome ladies involved. I am also so proud of my friends Liz and Sara who agreed to walk with me, we did it!























September: Bridget turned 3! Oh, THIS GIRL. She has been a complete delight pretty much every day on this earth. Seriously. She is funny and kind and loving and definitely a mama's girl which is so weird to me since Alaina has always been a daddy's girl. Since September, she has definitely lived up to her age...challenging us a little more, seeking independence and finally telling her sister NO. She is finding her voice and her place in this world and I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for her.




















October: ANOKA HALLOWEEN!!!! It might seem funny, but there are so many events that this really did make our month. Parades, parties, costumes, just plain FUN:) This year, we had a ROCK STAR and a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE!





















November: Thanksgiving in Vegas! We had never traveled before, so it was exciting to get to warmer weather and create some new memories with my parents. I think we wore them out, ha!





















December: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and my family to you and yours!! Cheers to 2014!!

the time i tore my sewing room apart and put it back together



SSSSooooooo, a few weeks ago I decided to start de-cluttering our house. Hence my absence here:)

Usually I start from the top level and work my way to the basement, BUT over the past five years A LOT of stuff has accumulated down there. That being said, I decided to start in the basement and work my way up in hopes of truly getting rid of some junk!

I am hoping to attack every room in this house, but baby steps, right?

PROJECT ONE: Craft Room/Guest Bed ReVAMP!!!

It all started with opening up the closets and storage areas and purging. Some stuff went in the trash, some stuff to goodwill and quite a bit in the save pile:/


Then I realized I no longer liked the paint color, ssssssooooo THIS HAPPENED...


Bye, Bye Salmon.....Hello Greyish Beige!!


After two coats of paint, a crappy trim job (have I mentioned I am inpatient?), painting the ceiling, lots of furniture moving, sorting and de-cluttering IT'S DONE!!! There's still stuff to hang on the walls, etc...but I can use the space again!




My main goal was to break up the sleeping space and the working space. The room is now essentially cut in half and guests don't have to weed through the room to get to the bed, huh, imagine that! I feel WAY more organized. I know what I have and got rid of everything I was no longer interested in using. What a great feeling!!

Now, on to the rest of the house!!!

Best Part: $95 total....mostly for paint and supplies:) Total Project Time: 3 weeks

Trick or Treat Bags

 
I have been wanting to make the girls Trick-or-Treat Bags FOREVER. Well, today was the day! We got THE CUTEST fabric at the shop this year and I LOVE this little kid costume print!!! Perfect, no? Well, crossbody/messenger made the most sense to me. As I mentioned before, we attend three parades and they always hand out candy and treasures. I realize my kids could easily use plastic grocery bags or pillowcases, but YOLO right?!?! They can "wear" their bags and I don't have to worry about them dropping their "treasures" all over or losing stuff, etc...
 
I will be taking orders for the first few weeks of October and shipping all orders by Oct. 21st
 
Here are your outer bag fabric options... 
 
 
Visit my etsy shop to order!


 
Off to hunt down a ROCK STAR costume for Alaina:)

Halloween Inspiration

It's OCTOBER!!!
 
My husband is from the Halloween Capital of the World, so I BUY IN to every ounce of this Halloween Business:)
I mean really, there are THREE parades and tons of activities, so fun. Anyways, we had a blast this year prepping for Halloween at the quilt shop too. (My MIL is an Anoka Girl afterall) There were some very cool fabrics out this year which made the displays a lot of fun to work on!! We have an amazing store manager who has taken over many of these tasks, but I had the opportunity to play a little too:) Enter: Mood Board...cause everything is better when you set the mood, right?

 (Links to images can be found on my Black and White Halloween Pinterest Board)

 
How can you not love glitter pinecones?
You can pretty much use them in décor from Fall-Winter and it completely works!

 
 
BEST Halloween Quilt Ever!!! Fast, Easy and the fabrics rock!!

 
The accessories are from my house, most of which were found at Homegoods.

 

Find some other DIY Halloween Projects on the quilt shop website!

Happy Fall Y'All!!
 


Custom Tooth Fairy Pillows: How it works???

 
 
When my oldest daughter started losing her teeth, I wanted to get her a tooth fairy pillow. I realize it's an "excessive" kind of thing, but I had one as a child and thought it was really special. I looked on etsy and didn't really find anything that appealed to me, so I made one for her. Then, I started making some for her friends and now I am selling them on etsy! I get a lot of questions on "What makes them Custom" and "How does the ordering process work?" So it seemed easiest just to explain it here:)
 
STEP ONE: Take a peek at my etsy shop. You will find numerous examples of my work in a variety of styles and colors.
 

I generally make THREE styles of pillows.
 
 #1: Simple Patchwork
 
 
#2: Scrappy Patchwork (which is usually a log cabin, small squares or strippy design)
 
 
 
 
#3: Embellished Patchwork (this has ball fringe around the edge of the pillow).
 

They are priced accordingly to the amount of work that goes into them. My recommendation is to find a STYLE you like first because colors and fabrics can be selected to accommodate your requests.
 
STEP TWO: Fabric Selection...after you pick your style and place your order there will be a spot in the notes to put your requests. This can include colors, themes, specific things you have seen. Some people include pictures of their kids' bedding so I can match their bedrooms. Others just want coordinating pillows and some just choose colors and themes based on their kiddos current likes. Here are some examples of fabrics I have pulled for clients and then the final product:)
 

 
 
 
Once you have approved your fabrics, I will make your pillow.
 I usually ship twice a month, but am able to do rush orders when needed. Just Ask:)
 
It's that simple!! I hope this helps...I look forward to working with you!!
 
 


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