Monday, March 28, 2011

(#NSNation!) My Nutrisystem Lunch Experience

With my Nutrisystem package came 10 lunches. I have sampled each of the different varieties sent and my favorite by far is the steak & cheese melt! It tastes just like a steak and cheese sub!

Click HERE to check out Nutrisystem for yourself!

So Excited! I'm on Win, Lose, or Blog's 4th Season!

Staring April 1st, I will be 1 of 8 contestants competing on season 4 of Win, Lose, or Blog. You can follow my journey there with weekly weight loss updates as well as my own blog to post my journey (I'll update more on that blog later).

Win, Lose, or Blog will also be hosting some AMAZING giveaways during the season that I will be sure to let you know about here. For now, check our Win, Lose, or Blog, become a follower and come along for the fun!

Thanks so much for the opportunity girls!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

(#NSNation!) My Nutrisystem Breakfast Experience

I was chosen by Nutrisystem to be a #NSNation blogger for a 10 day program. I received the frozen package of 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners and 10 snacks. All frozen. Thank goodness I have an extra freezer in the garage and that was only for 10 days!

Disclaimer: DO NOT LOOK AT THE KITCHEN BEHIND THE FOOD. We are tearing down our back splash for granite counters and glass tile we are going to install. The kitchen does look that horrible right now but will look much better by July. (our intended 100% finish date)

Here is the entire package and then I'll go through and explain our first post: BREAKFAST

I had pancakes, french toasts, ham & cheese omelets, breakfast burritos, and garden veggie omelets. 

My favorite was ...
With the ham and cheese omelet you can still have a dairy and a fruit so I was able to have yogurt and grapes with my omelet. It wasn't too salty but gave you just the right amount of cheesy ham goodness to hit the spot!

Stay tuned for our 2nd post regarding lunches! They do have some good ones!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The New Master Bedroom Mood Light, a Few Injuries and We'll Call It a Day!

My husband and I decided to put up a ceiling fan in our bedroom 2 years ago. I know right? Who puts them up? Well, my husband is always hot at night (good thing usually but not when he's a furnace and I can't go to sleep). To fix the dilemma we decided to put in a ceiling fan. At the time, a good idea. Not in reality. After an entire day of installation, it wobbled horribly. You see, our joists run the opposite way the box needed to go and there is no floor in the attic above our bedroom so with my husband knee deep in insulation we just couldn't get our junction box stable because, yup, you guessed it, it wasn't anywhere near a joist. Go figure!

We ended up installing a ceiling fan brace but the brace didn't quite brace and we just left it in and finished the installation. Well, with a not so stable brace the entire fan wobbled if you turned it on past the lowest setting. Because of this little snafu, we never used it. I hated it! It was ugly and didn't work well and just caught dust.

I had purchased a lovely little light at IKEA shortly after we purchased our house almost 5 years ago. It sat in it's cute little IKEA box and it sat in our closet until this past week. I put our beautiful KNAPPA light together and realized it was a plug in light. Well, duh! That wasn't going to work.

I brainstormed with my DIY partner in crime (my brother) and we came up with the idea of purchasing a mini-pendant light from Lowe's and just using the Knappa shade. By the way, he thought the light was UGLY and so did my husband. Whatev... I'm in love so there.

I then saw one of my favorite blogs Young House Love where they put an IKEA light up with a medallion above it to beef it up. Well, I thought that looked great! With the mini pendant light the base is a small circle and doesn't even stand up that high. so I thought, why not?
We took the ceiling fan down which is where the injuries begin. My husband gets roped into doing all these projects with me so we got all of the fan down but the bar that screws into the electrical box. The screw was stripped so I thought I'd fix it by rotating the bar around until it loosened the screw. It worked and the screw came out but so did some skin on my right hand middle finger. After some peroxide, a band-aid and a little break we finished taking the fan down.

This is where it happened. I was standing on the edge of our bed, looked at my husband, told him I'd better step back onto the step stool because I thought I might fall. Well, being the psychic that I am, I stepped on the right side of the step stool and began to move my left leg as the entire step stool tilted and I landed on top of a shut step stool on the ground.

The arch of my right foot and my right bicep/shoulder took the brunt of the fall and let me tell you it took a ton of weight with it as well. My shoulder hurts still today (this was Saturday afternoon) and my foot finally feels better. I have two huge bruises on my left leg but my light is up!

You can see the brass looking bar against the ceiling. That's the nasty thing that cut up my finger.

 Here is my light with the Lowe's pendant already installed and our lovely ceiling medallion ($27 from Lowe's)

Here is Eryn who saw me taking pictures of our little project and said "take my picture. cheese".  Oh by the way, our bed is all torn up because at this point insulation was still falling from the ceiling and we didn't want it all over our down comforter. So we took it off and then took this pink blanket and dumped it in the wash (which was a wedding present to my parents) Yes, to my parents. The blanket is 31 years old.

 My lovely light as it was finished and again that night. The light is not really crooked I just am too short to shoot the ceiling that close. I think I was leaning myself. :o)
We still want to do the feature wall of molding behind the light so that will add to the ambiance. My husband so lovingly says as long as I am happy he doesn't care. What a smart man!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Philadelphia Cooking Creme House Party + Enchillada Recipe

I love House Party! They are an amazing website where you can get wonderful name brand products just coming out and have a party with them! We've done several House Party's and just love doing each one.

This particular House Party was the Philadelphia Cooking Creme House Party. We were sent an amazing pan from Green Pan, coupons for 4 FREE Philadelphia Cooking Cremes, coupons for $1.50 off, wooden spoons, magnets, and notepads for our guests. We also received a cute pot holder.

For our party we made two different dishes. One was a chicken, pasta, tomato dish where we used the regular (original) flavor.

The other dish was chicken enchiladas and we used the recipe on the side of the Santa Fe Blend. For this recipe we used:

1 container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend
 The rest of the chicken in the bag in our freezer :o)  Or you could use 1 to 1 1/2lbs of chicken
 1 cup of onions chopped (we had onions in the freezer I had chopped and frozen earlier in the year)
 Here is our awesome GREEN PAN! I am in LOVE!
 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes

Cook chicken thoroughly and shred. We baked it first.
Put onions and tomatoes into pan and cook down (about 5-10 minutes on medium)
Add 3/4 of container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend
Add 1/2 cup of shredded Mexican blend shredded cheese
Mix in shredded chicken

Spoon a small amount of mixture in a 6 inch tortilla (we used 8 inch ones just because)
Wrap and put the folded side down onto a baking dish
Continue until baking dish is full or all of the mixture is gone (we ended up making eight 8 inch tortillas full)
Spread remaining 1/4 of container of Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend on top
Sprinkle a little cheese.
Place in a 350 degree preheated oven until warmed through and cheese is melted (20 minutes for us)

Then EAT!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Daughter's Ode to Billy Idol: an Exploded Bedroom

I have two lovely daughters who are my world. I love them completely and utterly but sometimes my husband and I just shake our heads and walk away. This time, we grabbed the camera before ushering the child out of her room and just shutting the door for the night.

We both had papers to grade and just didn't have the time to force her to clean it up on a Sunday night.  I see that Billy Idol music video where he is trashing the room every time I think about these lovely little pictures.

Doesn't she just look so happy with herself? If she only knew how I felt.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nutrisystem Nation (#NSNation)! I Was Chosen!

I am SO excited to tell you all that I was chosen by Nutrisystem to receive a 10 day menu for their #NSNation Nutrisystem Nation promotion! My confirmation order was sent tonight and my account already set up for me! I have no idea what foods I'm getting yet but the website looks amazing as does the food.

I also found out today that I was chosen to be one of the teachers at our states first built LEED elementary school and that is the school my daughter will attend as a second grader next school year! This is just a great day for new beginnings!

You can check out Nutrisystem Nation HERE.  I'll update with my list of food as I get it and of course progress. I have a lot of weight to lose and I am ready to feel healthy and fit.  I'd love to have more energy and sleep better at night so I can tackle all these DIY projects I have in my head.

Here's to a great jump start to that goal!

In conjunction with the Pembroke Lane Disclosure statement all products will be provided to me free of charge as a selected blogger of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand and are mine alone. Your experience and those of others may vary.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Kitchen Identity Crisis: Utility Cabinet GONE!

My husband and I decided to redo our kitchen a few years ago. We knew NOTHING about kitchen demo / remodel at all and it shows. We purchased stock cabinets at Lowe's because that was what our budget could afford. He talked me out of white cabinets and we purchased these very light cabinets instead. I never loved them and we also had major issues installing our counter top and it still isn't perfect. The cabinets to the left are not completely level and we have some other issues.

It seems I may have talked my dear husband into letting us do granite counter tops.

1. They install them :o)
2. They will be correct and level
3. They look good!

We are in the process of figuring out what to do and while my brother and I tackled the soffit issues from replacing the cabinets we ran into a problem. You see the I have not attempted nor am I going to attempt to take the soffit down.  But, when we put up new cabinets the corner cabinet is angled where the old cabinets were an interesting configuration where the corner was a 90 degree angle instead. We also extended the counter top and top cabinets an extra foot which left a gap where the soffit ended to where the end of the cabinets were.

The problem was the utility cabinet that I put in. For some reason I thought it was a good idea and would make the fridge look more built in. I was wrong! I hated it and when we were working on the soffit realized that our can lighting fixture was in the way to create a soffit bump out above that cabinet. In order to fix it I decided to take out the utility cabinet and give myself back that 18 inches of counter top I had taken away.

Unfortunately, Lowe's no longer carries our cabinets. In the process of all of this I decided we would use Rustoleum's cabinet refinishing system to make all our cabinets white. We are going to use Pure White

Since this is a paint product it would cover up if we purchased a different colored cabinet to fill our 18 inch gap. I found a 18 inch base cabinet at our local Restore store for only $90! While it is hickory finished and not the exact color it is the exact cabinet and will look the same once the Rustoleum process is finished.

They, however did not have a wall cabinet so we are still searching for that. If I am not mistaken, Lowe's only changed name brands of their stock cabinetry and the over all design of the cabinet is still the same. We may purchase a wall cabinet in the light oak color to replace the missing one. For now, I have a piece of cardboard as my counter. (Enter cruel laugh here)
 You can see in this first picture just how far the utility cabinet sticks out. It just wasn't a good design and I take the full blame for it.
 Everything came out of the cabinet. These all went in the pantry on the top shelf except for my Shaklee. That went under my kitchen sink so it was close by.
 I just dumped random stuff in there. We were not utilizing the space correctly anyway. All those extra crock pots (yes 3) went inside our kitchen island.
 Lovely hole left by utility cabinet. Also you can see where we stopped the back splash. Thank goodness we're going to redo that. I forgot all about that being naked when we took the cabinet out. Oops.

 New cabinet in place. It is not screwed in. Don't you just LOVE the ghetto counter top? I do!

I have not screwed the cabinet in but I already appreciate the huge amount of light the can light can now give since it isn't shining against a huge utility cabinet. My husband also says our kitchen looks bigger (we do not need a bigger kitchen, it is already huge).  I am still trying to figure out what to do about our hideous kitchen island. It is the same one that was there before we originally tore out the old cabinets.

I did find this beautiful island at Audistree that we may try to create.

So thoughts? With white cabinets we were thinking of doing a medium brownish granite. I like the idea of a butcher block island top. Do you like the thought of the kitchen with the extra 18 inches of counter top back or did you like the utility cabinet?


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