Sunday, January 19, 2014

Make a STATE-ment wall hanging DIY

So this weekend Matt (le fiance) and I were feeling kind of like crafting. We also made the decision that we were staying put in our apartment. We had been seriously thinking about moving but decided that for now, it didn't make sense. I mean, I'm 3.3 miles from work. That's awesome. So we're going to wait until I am assigned a new school to work in, which will happen once my client is self-sufficient enough to function in class without a BHP. So maybe in the fall, who knows! We decided that since we are hunkering down, we wanted out apartment to look more put-together. No, we can't afford new furniture, and we aren't allowed to paint (even though our kitchen is the color of baby puke), so we wanted to come up with some fun and cheap ways to make our place more homey. Our inspiration centered around our living room, were we realized that all of the art on the wall is by us, family members, or local craftsmen. We wanted to continue that trend. I had this awesome burlap canvas that I got on sale at Michaels, so we went and got some acrylic paint and got to work. We decided on an outline of Maine because we are celebrating one year of being back in our home state after 5 years away in Massachusetts. Here is what you will need to make your own state-ment wall art!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mainely Mondays #3

In our quest for fun few ways to brighten up our apartment, Matt and I headed to an art store that we discovered over in Portland. I vaguely remember going there with my dad when I was little, when he still taught classes at the Maine College of Art. And wow- going back there was awesome. I felt like a little kid in a candy store. They have EVERYTHING you need for every hobby you can think of- knitting, embroidery, screen printing, painting, photography, framing, paper making... you name it. I picked up some handmade origami paper. So cute! The staff are also extremely helpful and well educated on many hobbies. I heard one of the ladies go from talking painting to knitting to photography to screen printing and the back to painting. She knew it all. They also have an awesome selection of fun gifts, which is really helpful for me because I can make it a one-stop shop. Get my craft supplies, get that birthday present I needed, and get out! And did I mention the prices? All of their stuff is a good 50 cents cheaper

than the list price, sometimes more. I love this, as sometimes I can't afford to shop at local stores like this because they have to up their prices to cover rent. If you are ever over this way in Portland, you should check it out. It is also right next door to Big Sky Bakery, so you can grab some bread or a sweet treat while you are there- yum!

The have entire aisles full of gorgeous paper!

The aisles seem endless- I could stay there for hours. 

Artist and Craftsman Supple is located at 540 Deering Ave. in Portland, ME. You can check out their website here. They started in Lewiston, ME as an employee-owned local business and have since expanded into Portland, and now even have locations in other states!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Whole30 day 2!

Not sure about the rest of you, but we're having a pretty intense winter up here in Maine. This is the second snow day that I've had since I started my new job in November as a BHP in schools. And it looks like tomorrow will be another one- we're going to get about a foot of snow. Most people don't like snow but I do- I guess I live in the right state :) Are you guys getting snowed out too??

Anyways, one day down in the Whole30! I don't feel that different yet, but apparently it really hits you about a week in, so that should be interesting... I really wanted some warm comfort food today due to the snow and ice, so here's all the good stuff I ate today:

Breakfast: I cooked 2 peeled and chopped apples on low in my crockpot overnight, and mashed them up with a spoon this morning for some homemade applesauce. I love homemade applesauce because I like to leave it kind of chunky- mmmmm! I ate it with a splash of coconut milk, some freshly grated nutmeg, and a tablespoon of almond butter for some protein (again, Trader Joes- best deal ever on almond butter). I also had a paleo latte, recipe courtesy of fellow alumni/name stealer, (just kidding- she's older than me) which you can find here. It is sooo good- it gets all frothy and really does taste like a latte. Basically it is genius and you should try it.

Lunch: I mashed up 1/4 of an avocado with 1 tsp. of homemade mayo, then stirred it all together with a can of albacore tuna. I then wrapped the mixture up in a big leaf of lettuce with some tomato and cucumber chunks. I had tomato juice to drink. 

Dinner: Plain rotisserie chicken with mashed turnip and brussel sprouts. 
Snacks: guacamole with red peppers strips for dipping. Yum!

So it's going pretty well, I still feel hungry a lot but I know it will take some time for my body to get used to going without grains as a filler. Is anyone else doing the Whole 30? How's it going?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's been quite a year, and I am excited to begin a new one! I had a great Christmas- my fiance and I got our first tree together and had a craft day where we made all of the ornaments and the garland for the tree. The cats didn't even destroy any of them! I love Christmas- I might just leave the tree up for a while...
My man and I talked a lot about New Years resolutions, and we agreed that living a healthier lifestyle would be ours. I used to be at the gym almost every single day, but since November I've been really bad about it. On top of that, I ate all of that good holiday food! So I decided on doing the Whole30. You can find more about the program here. It started today, but I've been making some small changes over the past few weeks, such as: switching to coconut milk, replacing peanut butter with almond butter, and trying out some recipes. I've also been meal planning like crazy! I have a whole 2 pages full of Whole30 approved meals. So far, I think planning it the biggest key to success for this. Today I ate:

Breakfast: My new favorite green smoothie! 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk, one handful spinach, one banana, and one handful frozen mango chunks (I got mine at Trader Joes, it's the best deal around). Stick it all in a blender and you're good to go! You could use kale as well, I didn't as my itty bitty blender really has trouble with kale. Maybe when I have a nice one, I'll go back to kale.

Lunch: 2 eggs scrambled with sautéed onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach, topped with avocado slices and hot sauce. I had tomato juice to drink.

Dinner: Skillet Chicken Ratatouille (adapted from Rachael Ray) with a nice garden salad on the side.

Snacks throughout the day: 1/4 cup of cashews, carrot sticks and cucumber spears.

I'm feeling good so far, I think planning and taking on some of the Whole30 diet changes a few weeks ahead of time really helped this be an easy first day. If anyone else is doing the Whole30 program this month OR if you want to join (having a partner always helps!), let me know so we can trade tips!

Here are some blogs that really helped me out when I was doing my meal planning around this:  (I went to college with the girl that does this blog- she's super sweet and a very talented cook!)