Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

leapin’ greens

To some, attempting to eat greens (collard, mustard, turnip) may come once every four years.  I was in that camp…until recently.  My southern relatives will be proud.

At a buck twenty-nine a bunch, what’s to lose??

Above:  mustard greens.   Below the greens:  ham hock (surely you have one in your freezer!), two cans great northern beans (drained), one can chicken broth, bay leaf, wee bit Louisiana hot sauce, salt/pepper

Slow cook for 6-8 hours on low, or start on high for 1 hour then reduce to low for 4 hours.

The greens were SO tasty.  Similar to spinach, but more interesting & a better texture.  A greens only recipe:  any greens with a bit of water, butter, salt/pepper, splash of hot sauce, simmer on stove until done (45 -60 min).

“You think I don’t have culture just because I’m from down in Georgia. Believe  me, we’ve got culture there. We’ve always had sushi. We just called it bait.”  ~ Ben “Cooter” Jones

February 28, 2012

marvelous metabolism

A bodily process we need to survive…& the better it works, the better we feel & operate.  A few key functions:

  • converts the food we eat into energy for thinking, moving, growing
  • a complicated collection of chemical reactions taking place in cells all throughout the body, all the time
  • two-fold process – building up energy stores & breaking down energy stores to use as fuel

Many aspects of our bodies & lives effect metabolism:  endocrine system, genes, health problems or disease, health state, calorie intake & source

What can we do to encourage a healthier metabolism?  Read the article:  20 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Top 5 (in my opinion):

  1. keep hydrated with water
  2. destress yourself (cortisol is evil!)
  3. get consistent good nights of sleep
  4. exercise, including weight-bearing
  5. enjoy a real food balanced diet & eat when hungry

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”  ~ Winston Churchill

February 27, 2012

mister maker

Isn’t it great when teachers suggest ideas or introduce resources to students & the students run with it?  Three cheers for intrinsic motivation!

Check out Mister Maker:

http://www.mistermaker.com/Default.aspx

Loads of art based activities for kids.  The Minute Maker is especially fun – gather materials & make a piece in a minute.  Kids get a charge out of timing themselves.

“He who teaches children learns more than they do.”  ~ German Proverb

February 24, 2012

chair makeover

Think this $7 Goodwill chair has potential?…

Ta-daaaaa!

  • unscrew seat from chair
  • remove layers (3!) of old seat fabric, plus flattened cushion
  • sand & prime chair
  • decide where chair will be in home, dream about color & fabric

The legs & front skirt have a groove…  Decision:  glossy khaki/grey with charcoal in the grooves, steely grey suede cushion fabric

Hard to tell in the picture, but I distressed the top half of the chair on some edges.  The feminine lines work well since it’s on the Mrs. side of the master bedroom.

Part 2 of the master bedroom re-do complete!  Total cost: $35

February 22, 2012

mornin’ muffin

Open the freezer door & breakfast awaits:

No excuses for skipping breakfast!  These little ditties warm up in 30 seconds, are portable & assessable.  Tips for success:

  • find recipes where the ingredients are staples in your home
  • double the recipe with minimal extra work
  • use foldtop sandwich bags tied in knot for packaging

Two favorite recipes from the book Muffins by Elizabeth Alston:

  1. Brown Sugar Oatmeal Muffins  (shown above with blueberry spread)
  2. Banana Bran Muffins ~ favorite add-ins:  walnuts & golden raisins, or pecans & craisins

“I have many memories of waking up to eat breakfast that my mother carefully prepared for us & her saying, what do y’all want for lunch, & as we’re eating lunch, what do y’all want for dinner?  It’s always about the next meal.”  ~ Lisa Loeb

February 21, 2012

knew you

How are those New Year resolutions coming along?  Although the general idea is good, the lofty, dreamy, laundry list is, typically, a set-up for failure.  However, overall consistent goal setting & self-improvement are certainly positive & worthwhile.

The article “The Secrets of Self-Improvement” (pg 38-43) from Scientific American Mind (March/April 2012) gives excellent tips & thoughts on reaching goals (verbatim bullet points below)…a bit of proven “I knew that” common sense.

  • maintain realistic expectations
  • find what motivates you
  • take baby steps
  • formulate action plans

Additional thoughts for success via the article:

  • “overcoming external challenges has less to do with willpower than with specific coping skills…” (ie. predict what may trip you up & have a plan ready)
  • making a new behavior automatic = lasting behavior change
  • try a number of tactics to find what works best

Parents, consider another point – use behavior techniques to prepare kids for decision-making off the cuff.  Practicing automatic responses, based on knowledge, values & morals, in preset scenarios will give kids tools to stay on their goal track.

“Too many people overvalue what they’re not & undervalue what they are.”  ~ Malcolm Forbes

February 20, 2012

winner dinner

A friend shared the following delicious, easy recipe for stromboli…

In the morning, place a frozen bread dough loaf in a pan & cover with plastic wrap.

At dinner time, take the risen dough & roll or pat out on floured surface making a 10″ x 14″ rectangle.

Have ingredients ready to layer, leaving a 1″ dough border all around perimeter.

Traditionally, stromboli ingredients are meat & cheese only.  However, many different combos work.  Any wet ingredients need to be drained, squeezed, & patted dry.

Layer ingredients, roll up. seal edges with egg wash (whipped up egg), & top with egg wash for color.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Slice & serve with red sauce.

The best part about the stromboli?  Everyone liked it!

February 17, 2012

same different

A book about friends, relationships, death, haves & have-nots, despair, poverty, prejudices, riches, & history…

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together

…but the message rising above all is…faith, hearing God’s voice, speaking God’s truths, & sharing God’s love.  A riveting & beautiful true story.

“I found out everybody’s different–the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us.”  ~ Denver Moore, Same Kind of Different as Me 

February 16, 2012

custom hugger

A friend requested a KC Royals coffee sleeve…

Starting with Royal’s colors & a preliminary pattern sketch:

The end result was a bit different as the big cursive letters were intimidating.  Plus, the hugger HAD to have a crown!

Attach the interior print, then fit to size & finish.

Play ball!

For additional instructions or ideas, click the “java hugger” tag below.  Check out my etsy shop, too:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/kirstenberry

February 14, 2012

valentine freath

I think I’m in love.

With a glossy enamel paint.

Let’s give it up for the DAV Thrift Store where I found the $1.98 frame:

Prime first, then coat with 3-4 layers of glossy enamel.  Easy fun!  Until today, nothing had been in the center of the frame.  Today, the center holds an off white vinyl heart hung with a paper clip.  The simple frame alone works, too, for a contemporary, minimal look.  With Razzle Berry gloss, who needs anything else?

 

“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”  ~ Thomas Carlyle

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