Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicken Paella

This has quickly become my favorite recipe. I got it from the “Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes” cookbook. I love it because it has flavor, it’s healthy, it’s fast, and the kids love it. I rarely have any leftovers.

Here’s the recipe. I leave out the turmeric (personal preference). It really doesn’t add much flavor and it turns everything a funky yellow color so the kids don’t like to eat it.

Chicken Paella:

Nonstick cooking spray                                                                 1 cup chopped onion                                                                   1 large red bell pepper cut into thin strips                                   12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized strips                                                                                      1 clove garlic, minced                                                                 1/2 teaspoon paprika                                                                 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (I never put this in)                        1 3/4 cup instant brown rice                                                          1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth                          1/4 cup water                                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt                                                                        1/4 teaspoon black pepper                                                          2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped                                 1 cup loose-pack frozen peas

Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat skillet over medium hear. Add onion and sweet pepper to hot skillet. Cook and stir about 4 minutes or until onion is tender.


Add chicken, garlic, paprika, and turmeric to skillet. Cook and stir until chicken is brown.


Stir in uncooked rice, chicken broth, the water, salt, and black pepper.


Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.




Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fresh Peach Pie Recipe

I’m a little late in posting this, but I think it’s worthwhile anyway. This is the easiest “cheesecake” ever. And it tastes delicious. Brad prefers this to regular cheesecake any day.

What you need:

2-graham cracker pie crusts

2- 8oz. packages of softened cream cheese

just under 1/2 cup sugar

1- 8 oz. tub whipped topping

fresh peaches (probably 3 or 4, depending on size, more if you want to put fresh peaches on the top for decoration)

Mix cream cheese with sugar. Once well-blended add whipped topping. Meanwhile, wash and slice peaches. Spread out on the bottom of the pie crusts.

Peach Pie (1)

Then spread the cream cheese mixture on top. If desired, top with sliced peaches.

Peach Pie (2)

I ran out of peaches, so I didn’t top it off. Refrigerate until ready to serve. You don’t want to leave for more than about 24 hours though. The crust can get pretty soggy.

If you only want to make one pie/cheesecake then just use one crust, one cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tub whipped topping.

Try it. It only takes a few minutes to put together and it really tastes great.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Creating from a different perspective

Let’s face the facts. I’m 26-years-old. I have 3 fantastic (but wild) children. I love to spend time on my computer. And the point of this post, I am overweight. Admit it, pregnancy is not always kind to a woman’s body; neither is sitting at a computer… I don’t look at myself as overweight but I’ve had to come to terms with it this year.

Last winter I got way out of control. I ate when I was bored, hungry, tired, depressed, just because it was there, and I’d even finish up my kids’ food so it wasn’t wasted.

In July we received a gift card to Wal-Mart so I bought Zumba for our Xbox 360 Kinect. I weighed and measured myself. Talk about shock. I had been in denial and thought I was 10 pounds lighter than I really was. To be completely honest (with out telling my weight, because I’m not quite ready to share that yet) I was heavier than I had ever been with any of my pregnancies. With all the weight calculators out there I discovered I was 36 pounds overweight.

Now, I’ve been at this exercise regimen off and on for 2 months. I feel a million times better on the days I exercise, even though it is a sacrifice. I have to eat before I can workout or I get sick, weak and just don’t have a very productive session. And I have to take some medicine before I can eat—an hour before I can eat. So, I wake up at 5 am, take my pill. Go back to bed (but rarely fall back asleep) until 6 am when I get up, eat, and workout. Then I shower, get ready and take care of the kiddos.

I haven’t been consistent, but so far I’ve managed to lose 10 pounds, an inch around my waist and 2 inches around my hips.

I’ve been more careful about what I eat, but it wasn’t until this week when I actually wrote down what I was eating that I realized how many calories I’d been consuming. I’m not a fan of going cold turkey and not eating anything sweet any more. That just makes me crave the sweet things more and I cave in quickly. So I’d snack on my kids’ candy here and there. No big deal right? I made sure not to overdo it. It would just be a salt water taffy here, a tootsie roll there… whatever was leftover from parades… I learned this week that in just 2 salt water taffies there is 80 calories. That’s a lot when you’re trying to keep your calories between 1200 and 1400 and your meals are generally around 350 calories. It was an eye opener and if you’re serious about losing weight here’s what I recommend:

1. Find something you LOVE to do. (For me it’s zumba. I love to dance, always have. I’m not an amazing dancer but it’s fun plus I’m at home…)

2. Do it.

3. Write down what you’re actually eating. Be honest with yourself. Counting calories stinks. But it’s worth it. It’ll help you reach your goal much faster.

4. If you’re like me, don’t try to change everything at once. Allow yourself a treat once in a while. Just adjust your calories accordingly. Otherwise you may relapse.

Many may be wondering what a post like this is doing on a creative blog. If you read the quotes I have on my sidebar you’ll see that creativity includes many things. “Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before.” For me, for now, this means a healthier me; it’s the creative project I’ve been working on lately. Anyone have any tips they use to help with exercising or eating right?

Brain Freeze

I just wanted to share a couple scrapbooking pages I completed recently. I have a difficult time coming up with layouts, but I like the way these turned out.

Kyla popsicle_edited-1

Kyla Popsicle 2_edited-1

Kyla cracks me up. She was about 14 months in these pictures. The popsicle was too heavy for her to hold upright so she had to hold it upside down. I laughed so hard watching her try to eat it…

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Photoshop Elements 9 Fun

Kyla’s sleeping, Brad’s sleeping, Aaron and Kaden are playing outside… so I’ve been playing around on Photoshop. I’ve only had it for a year, it’s about time I figure out how to really use it.

I’ve been playing around with the different filters. There are so many and I love what they can do. Each one totally changes the feel of a photo. There are a couple that I absolutely love and will definitely be using again. Check ‘em out:

The original picture:

Cousin Time (59)


Diffuse Glow:

Diffuse Glow Kyla


Neon glow:

Neon Kyla


Old Fashioned Photo with redish hue:

Kyla red old fashioned


Stylized with Glowing Edges:

Kyla stylized


Old Fashioned Photo with blueish hue:

Kyla blue old fashioned

I’m so loving this program, even though I don’t get to spend as much time using it as I’d like. I was really going to do a some scrapbook pages, but got sidetracked (a common occurrence!). Do you have any favorite filters?

Monday, August 15, 2011


The Shabby Nest is hosting a giveaway for a $50 gift card to Home Depot, compliments of Apartment Guide. I would so love to win! It would help us finish up this remodel we’re working on! Here’s hoping!!!

And here’s a direct link to the Shabby Nest’s post with decorating tips and information on how to enter the giveaway.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Remodel Sneak Peek

Out of nowhere we decided to remodel our living room. We’re currently living in a basement apartment and needed a change. We’ve been feeling a bit “white trash” because we so much stuff and so little space. One of our window sills had water damage so we tore it out and the whole project has just spiraled out of control from there! We’ve pulled out moulding, mudded, sanded, primed and painted walls and the ceiling. We’ve stained new moulding and window sills. Brad added some new outlets and boxes in the wall so all our wires can be hidden behind our t.v. And we have so much more to do!

I am so excited with how it’s coming along though so I thought I’d give you a little preview. First, some before pictures. I’m totally embarassed posting these pictures. It’s so different now. Please, don’t mind the mess and clutter and don’t judge us!

This is out computer/ craft central, plus the entryway and part of the living room.


We recently bought the t.v. (Brad’s birthday/Christmas/Father’s Day - and any other holiday – gift for a few years!) Our entertainment center is obviously too small for it and it just looks horrible!


The new window sills. I LOVE them! My dad had the wood out in his shed and made them for us. Brad stained them and I think they are beautiful.


Measuring for the new moulding. Yeah, that cost a pretty penny… But we wanted the moulding to match the window sills… and it was SO worth it.


And a little hint at our colors. That wood isn’t our actual chair rail. It was a scrap from the windows and we tried staining it to make sure we liked the color.


I smile every time I look around the living room. Now we're going to have to live here for at least 6 more months so I can continue to enjoy it!

I’ll post some more pictures when we have a little more finished. It might be a while though… We have to save up for the moulding to frame the windows, a t.v. mount, wood to make some shelving, new blinds and I’d love to get a couch cover, some fabric to make some decorative pillows and decorate the walls a bit. I’m so excited!

And every time we turn around we get other ideas! Our bathroom is in desperate need of help and Brad wants to sand down and re-stain our kitchen cabinets… Not to mention our poor bedrooms… Hmmm… maybe it would be cheaper to just move!