Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ceviche Inspired Creamy Shrimp Salad

I looooooove ceviche.  It's like shrimpy delicious crack....I could eat it all day every day if I could.  The only downside is that it can be a bit time consuming and I'm pretty impatient

I was craving it but didn't want to put in the work or wait for the shrimp to "cook" in the lemon juice...which can take a while.  The solution to my laziness and impatience was to take all the flavors from my original ceviche recipe  but turn it into more of a shrimp salad.

Here's whatcha need:

Shrimp, cucumber, red onion, sweet bell pepper (not green), cilantro, lemon, avocado, mayo, and salt

I bought already cooked shrimp...that's what makes it this so much easier than the traditional recipe.  Take the tails off and chop them into bite sized pieces.  Then add your chopped onion, cucumber (seeded) bell pepper, cilantro, and avocado

Then squeeze in your lemons. I like ALOT of lemon.  And then for the "salad" portion of this I add mayo.....but just a little bit.

Season to taste with a little salt and it's ready to go.  All the flavors of ceviche but done in a fraction of the time

I ate it as lettuce wraps with Sriracha....AKA sauce of the gods in my world


Ceviche Inspired Shrimp Salad

1 1/2 lbs. Cooked shrimp, chopped
1 cucumber seeded and chopped
1/2 large red onion finely chopped
1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange) seeded and chopped
1 bunch cilantro chopped
5 avocados diced
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1/4 C. mayo

Combine all the ingredients and chill.  Eat on a tostada like ceviche, as lettuce wraps, or on bread like a traditional shrimp salad

Monday, July 29, 2013

MoMo Monday Week #15

I have this fear......that one day by accident MoMo will get tumbled in our dryer


Because MoMo loves to climb into the dryer and hang out.  I know your probably thinking....how could you possibly start the dryer without knowing she's there? But it's MoMo doesn't speak up.  

Like most people, I just open the dryer door (usually it's already open a crack) and start throwing clothes in.  It's not like I inspect it every time.  It's happened TWICE now that as I'm throwing the clothes in...right as I'm done and about to shut the door and hit the Start button....I hear a faint jingle.

MoMo had been laying in the dryer and I was just piling clothes on top of her.  Through all that she never felt the need to make a peep.  Come on MoMo??  Maybe a little meow to give me a heads up?  Really??

So now I live in dryer fear.  And I've had a few nightmares.....it's great.

I do love it though when I call for her and I hear the creak of the dryer door....it slowly swings open...and she climbs out.
So stinkin cute

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Using Old Christmas Cards

There's lots of different things you could do with all those Christmas cards you receive.  There's the obvious one where you keep them....maybe put them into a keepsake box or even make an album.

I've seen that some people cut them up and create their own Christmas tags....also a genius idea.  And then there's the one I came up with....turn it into a Christmas deco ration

I received a card that was from A Christmas Story....one of the best movies of all time!  It was way to cool to put in a box or throw away so I decided to frame it

It's so simple I didn't take any pictures...but I just bought a dollar store frame and painted it green.  then went over it in 2 coats of green glitter paint (using only 2 coats shows serious restraint on my end)  Then put your card in it.  This card was large so I cut it to size, but if your card is small you could always mat it to cardstock or a piece of paper before framing

That's it!

This about sums up our Christmas In July Week.  Hope you got some ideas rolling around for the holiday season ahead

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Christmas Tree Scavenger Hunt

Sorry I've sort of been sucking on this Christmas in July Week.  I know I've complained before....but my job has been super stressful these days so it's hard to keep up with my bloggin life the days that I work. But I'm off the next 2 days so I should be able to catch up and finish out my planned posts

Today I have an activity for the kiddos.  And it takes little effort from you....just printing out a list.

One of my favorite things as a child at Christmas time was ornaments.  Even though I saw the same ones year after year I used to love sitting by the tree just looking at them all.  And when we went to other peoples houses I loved to inspect all of theirs....it gives you a good glimpse into peoples personalities.

Like for a example a tree with all balls and fancy ornaments....means yous boring.  Ok, so maybe that's a little harsh of me.  But I prefer to see trees with meaningful and fun ornaments that really describe each person and families personalities and interests...it makes for a much more eclectic and personalized tree. 

So basically the seed of my ornament hoarding was planted as a child and my obsession with them continues today.  Since I have soooo many I got the idea to use them in a scavenger hunt.

Just print out a list and give it to the kids to hunt around for. I made some straight forward (find an icicle) and some where you had to put more thought into it. Like "Something vampires hate"  so you would look for a garlic ornament.  (yes I have one) 

It's a good way to keep the kids occupied during your Christmas festivities and I've never met a kid that didn't love a scavenger hunt

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Christmas Photo Props

Back in Christmas 2011 I was on a real photo prop kick.  My wedding had just passed in November and I had made a bunch of photo props for my reception which you can check out here and I wasn't ready to quit the prop madness just yet

I hosted Christmas at my house that year so I thought the kiddos (and me of course) might enjoy some Christmas themed photo props.  So Christmas Eve I was up all night doing my usual....wrapping presents, baking Christmas crumb cake, simmering posole, and then just to make things more hectic....making the props

Luckily it's a super quick and easy project.  Just cut your shapes out of craft foam and hot glue them to wooden dowels.....easy peasy

The kids really liked them and it made for some good pictures. Here's Brooke as Rudolph....hoof in the air

Elsa as Santa Clause.....she looks super confused and her hat is falling off

And Katie....the big girl whose never too cool for a Rudolph nose

Apparently nobody wanted to be the snowman with a carrot nose?  Or maybe I just don't have any pictures??

The cool thing is you can keep these year after year to get some real use out of them.  I think this year I may add on to the collection with some elf ears and hat and maybe some reindeer antlers.  We'll see if I get around to it before 3am Christmas morning this time around

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Personalized House Ornament

So my dear seester Kinsey and her boyfriend (now fiance..woot woot!) bought a house and moved in in mid January.

As a housewarming/ late Christmas gift I made them an ornament to look like their new homestead.  Since it was past Christmas time I never blogged about it....that is until now

It's pretty simple...I started out by cutting pieces of felt out to look like the house and layering them with hot glue to hold them in place.  I used stitches for windows and to replicate the panel look of the garage

It was cute but needed a little more dimension.   So I cut a piece of poster board (or use cardstock) and folded it in half

Then glued the house to the top part, and created a yard and driveway for the bottom

Glue on some ribbon and you have yourself an ornament

It looks super cute on the tree

Here's a side by side (or I guess top to bottom??) so you can see the inspiration

Makes for a quick and easy gift that's both thoughtful and personalized.  And you could make it for most anyone because I don't think there too many people out their with ornaments of their house....unless of  course I've missed a trend?   

I might just have to make one for everybody on my list this Christmas

Great......  Now everyone will know what I'm giving them this year.  Then again they have 5 months to forget

Monday, July 22, 2013

MoMo Monday Week #14 Christmas in July Edition

It's Christmas In July Week....so this weeks MoMo Monday posts is no different.  It gets a dose of holiday cheer!

MoMo is alot like her mama....shes's pretty much a Christmas freak.  And she dresses the part most of the month of December

Check out her cool Christmas garb

She looks intense here because she was supervising a gift wrapping session...she wasn't pleased with my skills.  My sides are never even and they come out crinkly....MoMo was appalled.  Or I guess I should say aPAWlled.   Merp! ;)

 And here she is laying amongst her gifts Christmas morning.  All wrapped in kitty wrapping paper of course

 She can't wait for another visit from Santa Paws.  Only 5 months to go!

Christmas In July Week

Welcome to the start of Christmas In July Week over here at The Busy Broad

Because if you're anything like me you already have Christmas on the brain....and even if you're not like me....come check it out anyway.  You can never start gathering ideas too early...right?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Easy Low Carb Lunch- Grilled Hot Dog Wrap

I think most everyone would agree that eating healthy is the hardest when you're in a hurry, overly hungry, or just plain tired.

It's easy to stick to it when you have all the time in the world and endless amounts of energy to cook a healthy feast...but sometimes life happens and it just doesn't work out that way.

I have two things working against me right now.  Number one being that it's so damn hot outside ( I live in AZ) the very thought of turning on my oven makes me melt....so I'm sticking to either cold or things that cook quickly on the stove  to avoid heating up the house as little as possible.

Problem number two being that work has been a big pain in the ass lately.  The days are so stressful and so long (combined with the heat of working in a kitchen) that I have been coming home completely beat almost every night of the week.

One day last week I woke up in my bed still holding a cup of water.  I had no idea how long I had been asleep....but I must have been mid drink when I knocked out...but hey....at least I didn't spill.   Another night I woke up with a wet bath towel wrapped around my head, wearing a tshirt, with my underwear laying next to me naked from the waist down  (sorry for the images)  Apparently taking a shower really took it out of me and I couldn't even finishing clothing myself before I passed out in a puddle of my own drool.   Bottom line here....I'm feeling tired and lazy as hell lately.

Going off my eating isn't an option though....I'm determined to not let this drag me down and fatten me up.  That's why low carb tortillas have been my savior lately.  I particularly like this Extreme Wellness brand

They make great cold wraps, quesadillas, and don't forget the breakfast burritos.  But right now my latest obsession is these grilled hot dog wraps.  I can't get enough of them

Here's what you do

Start by taking 2 hot dogs and slicing them down the middle, but not all the way through...like how you would butterfly chicken.  This isn't absolutely necessary but I like to get as much of the hot dog crispy as possible.  Of course cooking the dog in butter doesn't hurt either.  What's a low carb meal without a little butter?

Quick note on the hot dogs themselves...I'm really digging these right now

I wouldn't necessarily say they taste like bacon....but they're good! And only 1g carb per weenie.  Don't quote me...but I think Hebrew Nationals are also 1 carb, they're my other favorite.  I suggest staying away from hot dogs like Ballpark brand....those suckers have 4g carbs each! I never was a fan of them anyway...too bologna like.  Bleh!  Uggh....and don't even get me started on BarS  hot dogs....

After your hot dogs are crispy and heated through, put them on your tortilla with some cheese

Fold it up like a burrito and grill it in butter on all sides until brown and crispy....kinda like a grilled stuffed burrito from Taco Bell....sorta

The result is utter deliciousness!

It gives me my corn dog fix.  I LOOOOVE corn dogs and this of course doesn't have the corny taste, but the crispy buttery tortilla is a good stand in.  And the cheese doesn't hurt either

Come to think of it.....maybe it's more hot pocketish?  Either way it's good eatin

Add this to your LC repertoire and you'll be less likely to cheat when you're in a hurry

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

5 Day Fat Fast- Nutritional Ketosis

If you don't feel like listening to me ramble about my weight and are just here for straight to the point Fat Fast Information, feel free to skip to where it says "Nutritional Ketosis" in bold

So here's the deal with me and my weight.  Right now I'm far from the fattest I've ever been....but I'm not the lowest I've ever been either.  Even though I live a low carb lifestyle, I've managed to put on a few LBs.  Mostly because of far too many cheat meals and not cracking down hard enough between those cheats to take it all off.

It all started in November.  For our 1 year anniversary we went on vacation and I went hog wild....which I think is totally allowed. It is vacation after all.  Then I came back and decided it was no big deal for me to keep eating bad since Thanksgiving was right around the corner. That is a DANGEROUS state of mind to get into. Especially considering I have the body type that puts it on fast and easy but loses it slow and hard.  I so envy those who don't gain as quickly as I do.

After Turkey day it's only a few weeks until my birthday, then Christmas, then The Boys' birthday, and finally New Years.  So basically I went on a 2 month binge and ate copious amounts of grilled cheeses on sourdough in that time.  The result....a 10 pound fluffier me. That put me at a whopping 144 pounds

As soon as I manage to take some off,  I cheat for a day...which quickly turns to 3 days...which turns into gaining back that weight plus a little more.  Then I lose it all again and the cycle starts all over. 

As of Tuesday July 3rd, I was 137 pounds.  That morning we left on a mini trip to my husbands college town for a concert and a walk down memory lane.  Of course memory lane includes stops at all of his college eats which of course are never healthy....but oh so delicious

Like a half watermelon half pina colada Eegee

And Sonoran hot dogs and streets tacos

I had fun, but came back feeling fat and "over it" I was ready to detox the carbs and crap out of my system.  Those 3 days brought me up to 142....a 5lb gain.  Crazy right??  My body goes completely wacko when I eat the SAD diet.  I know that those 5 lbs weren't straight fat...in fact I'm sure more was bloat than actual fat because within 2 days I had gotten myself down to 140.

 But I still felt like I was in need of a good kick start...I wanted to hit the reset button and get myself into a deep ketosis.  This meant trying something new...a 5 Day Fat Fast

Nutritional Ketosis

If you've never heard of it I'll do a quick and very simplified run down.  Basically when you are on LC you almost never count calories.  I NEVER have in the time I have been on it and that's what I love about it.  I counted calories in the past and sure I lost weight....alot.  But I was a freakin lunatic.  I have never been so obsessed with food as the time I counted calories. It consumed my every thought and put me in a really messed up state of mind.

That is the difference with a Fat Fast, or Nutrional Ketosis.  It's the one and only time in LC that you restrict calories.  For 3-5 days (I did the full 5) you eat 1,000 calories per day.  The catch is though that you are aiming for 90% of your calories to come from fat.  Sounds easy?  Not quite.  Not that it's hard but it definitely takes some tweaking and getting used to.  Any little bit of protein or carb can really bring down your percentage.

That is why I HIGHLY suggest using a program such as My Fitness Pal to enter in all your foods.  It will calculate all this for you which makes things sooooo much easier!  I also suggest having a sort of meal plan in mind and entering it into your system the day before. That way you can adjust and tweak things to get as close to the 90% as possible.  Like I said, just a tad more protein (like a mere 1 slice of bacon for example) can bring you down a whole percentage.  If you waited to enter things until after you already ate them you may not reach your goal by the end of the day. Entering it ahead of time you will see this and know that you need to take away that extra piece of bacon.

The original Dr. Atkins guidelines suggest eating (5) 200 calorie "meals" per day.  That wasn't quite feasible with my job so I added my snack to my lunch at work so one meal was actually 300 calories....do what works for you.  But for the sake of the basics I will be writing it in my menu as a snack

Alright....so let's get started!

Day 1 I weighed in at 140.0...completely even.  Weird huh?

Day 1 Menu

Breakfast: Fat Fast Coffe (coffe with 1tb coconut oil and 1 tb Kerry Gold) 232 Calories
Lunch: 100 Calorie Wholly guacamole pack with 3 slices of bacon 220 Calories

Snack:  1 oz Macadamia Nuts 200 Calories
Dinner: 2 oz cream cheese with 1 stalk celery  204 calories
Snack: 1 cup chicken broth with 2 tb heavy cream 110 calories

This brought me to a grand total of 966 calories and 88% fat percentage for the day.  Not too shabby for a newbie

This was the hardest day by far....but still wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  This was the only day of the 5 that I was off of work so that combined with it being day one anyway I was a little more fixated on the lack of food than any other day.  I just suggest keeping busy.  I also highly recommend the broth with the cream  Broth not only balances out your electrolytes and helps cure headaches, but it was WAY more delicious than I expected. Kinda like drinking the juice of a creamy chicken Ramen package...yum!  It was a nice little night cap

Day 2

Breakfast: Fast Fast coffee 232 calories
Lunch:2 oz cream cheese with 2 stalks of celery (I upped the celery to 2 so it would take me longer to eat my lunch at work and I would appear more "normal" and get less questions from people...it worked) with Tony's creole seasoning on top 210 Calories
Snack: 1 oz. Macadamia nuts 200 calories
Dinner: 4 slices bacon and 1 package of Wholly guacamole 260 calories
Snack: 1 cup chicken broth with 2 tb heavy cream 110 calories

1,012 calories and 87% fat....I can do better than that

Day 3

Breakfast: Fat Fast coffee 232 calories
Lunch: Fat Fast jello (recipe at end of post) with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream whipped 209 calories

Snack: 1 oz Macadamia nuts 200 calories
Dinner: 3 slices bacon with 2 eggs yolks (no whites) cooked in some of the bacon grease 228 calories 

This really is only 3 slices of bacon, but I cut them in half before cooking.  Something about having to pick up 6 slices as opposed to 3 really tricks you into thinking you're eating more 

 Snack: 1 cup chicken broth with 2 tb heavy cream 110 calories

980 calories and 89% fat

Day 4

Breakfast: Fat Fast coffee 232 calories
Lunch: 2 oz cream cheese, 2 stalk celery, Tony's creoloe seasoning 210 calories
Snack: 1 oz macadamia nuts 200 calories
Dinner: Fat Fast jello and 3 tb heavy cream whipped 209 calories
Snack: 1 cup chicken broth and 2 tb heavy cream 110 calories

961 calories and 92% fat.  Yeeeee-Haaa!  Pretty darn good!!

Day 5

Breakfast: Fat Fast coffee 232 calories
Lunch:Fat Fast jello and 3 tb heavy cream whipped 209 calories
Snack: 1 oz Macadamia nuts 200 calories
Dinner: 3 slices bacon and 2 egg yolks cooked in bacon grease 228 calories
Snack: 1 cup chicken broth and 2 tb heavy cream 110 calories

980 calories and 89% fat

So that completes my 5 day menu.  It's not as bad as you may think...don't be scared!  

Now for the results....

Saturday morning when I woke up I weighed in at 136.0....an even number yet again.  That means I lost 4lbs in 5 days....not bad at all!

I ended this experiment feeling great.  I was in a deep ketosis and my stomach had that internal "flat" feeling  (it sure as hell isn't totally flat on the outside lol) from not having any junk left in it at all.  It was the perfect detox for a low carber.  I think I will use this after vacations or special occasions where bad eating goes past a day or so.  It is a good reset and gets rid of all your bad cravings.  It's so funny because while I was doing this I wasn't craving bad food in the least.  I just kept thinking...man I could go for a salad and scrambled eggs right about now!  It really makes you appreciate your regular low carb fare.

On a sort of TMI note...I do think I would have weighed in less, but I was a little backed up if ya know what I mean ;)  I already suffer from that in general and if you think about it the week really lacked my normal ruffage.  I'm sure I had another pound or 2 of shit in me lol

I hope this helps you embark on your Fat Fast....do it!!! 

UPDATE: I have had a few people ask me how much weight I gained the following week after returning back to my regular low carb diet.  The answer to that is none.  In fact, I lost .5 pound that week.  So while I didn't lose as much weight as I've read some people have doing a fat fast (I lost 4lbs, I've read others who have lost 6 or 8lbs for example) I didn't gain any back immediately either.  Most (from what I have seen) lost say 6 but gained 2 the following week for a true loss of 4.  I lost the 4 and didn't gain....so I will take it.

Fat Fast Jello Recipe

1 package sugar free jello of choice
1 cup hot water
2 oz cream cheese
1 cup cold water

Boil 1 cup water and add the gelatin and cream cheese.  Whisk until everything is melted.  Add 1 cup cold water.  Pour in pan and let set up in fridge.   Makes 4 servings at 59 calories each

Monday, July 15, 2013

MoMo Monday Week #13

WARNING:  This weeks MoMo Monday post may be a bit graphic for those who are grossed out by the subject of poo.....and buttholes. I suggest you stop reading if you are one of those people

But for the rest of us......read on =)

As everyone knows, cats LOVE string and ribbons of all kind.  Which can be sort of problematic when you're a crafter....there is temptation everywhere.  No matter how hard I try to keep it out of reach she will find some way to get her little paws on some of my supplies.  Especially during the night when I'm asleep

One morning, I woke up and as usual I stumbled sleepily out of my room.  MoMo came to greet me in the hall and turned to run towards the kitchen for breakfast.  As she was running something caught my eye

Upon further inspection, this is what I found.  A piece of blue gift ribbon hanging out of her little booty

Half asleep I was forced to glove up, hold her down, and pull the ribbon right out of her ass.  Lovely right?  Poor kiddo was not a fan

Motherhood sure does force you to do things you never expected doesn't it?  At least I'll be prepared for the next time it happens....something tells me there WILL be a next time

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Boxcar Children Bookmark

My niece Elsa turned 8 in March

I didn't want to give her another one of the millions of dolls that are out there (Bratz, Monster High, Liv..they're all the same to me)  or any other crap toy gift 

I wanted something that was somewhat educational....and possibly something nostalgic for me

That's when I decided on getting her the first 10 books from the The Boxcar Children series

The good news is....so far she loves them!  Which makes me super happy considering how much I LOVED them at the same age

Naturally she needed a cool bookmark to go with it right? And you know how much I love a good theme....that meant a boxcar bookmark for sure

I was busy cooking for a BBQ so The Boy is the master behind this bookmark.  It's just red card stock cut to the shape, black sharpie to draw on the details, silver sharpie for the wheels, and white acrylic paint for the letters.  All "laminated" using packing tape

I'm pretty jealous of her American Girl doll....that's one thing that hasn't changed since I was a kid.  They were big when I was little and they've only gotten bigger and better (with more accessories) now.  I remember looking through the magazines for hours....nut sadly I never owned one......Sigh.....


Back to the bookmark.  I think it would be cool to make a themed bookmark anytime your kid gets into a book serious. At any age....Babysitters Club, Harry Potter, Hunger Games....you name it!

Monday, July 8, 2013

MoMo Monday Week #12

Little known fact for you all......Our little MoMo is quite the bookworm

 Some of her top reads are....

Cat in the Hat

Anything Garfield.....

 And my personal favorite....If You Give a Cat a Cupcake....because it combines two of my very favorite things ever!

Here she is reading The Hunger Games on the Kindle

She is a big fan of Katniss....although MoMo does disagree with the spelling of her name

If anybody has any reviews or suggestions for her....she is always looking for a new literary adventure

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Patriotic Milk Jug Snoopy

I am so excited to help close out the Red, White, Blue series that Mandy has been hosting over at Sugar Bee Crafts the past few weeks.  Soooooo many awesome projects...be sure to check them all out!

Sugar Bee Crafts Red White Blue

My little contribution to this series will be a Milk Jug Snoopy.....modeled after Uncle Sam of course.  (I kinda have a "thing" for Uncle Sam themed stuff)

Back in December I made my first milk jug Snoopy and gave it to my sister and her family for Christmas since they have a Snoopy theme....you can go check out more details on that one here

Please excuse his disheveled ear muffs ;)

I loved him so much I knew I wanted to make a ton of them....because let's face it....who doesn't love Snoopy?  There's something about a beagle with an attitude that I find incredibly endearing

I may also have a soft spot for that dog because I have been told by a handful of people that I resemble him having a tantrum when I throw my head back and say "Uuuuugggh"....especially when I'm at work

You be the judge....

Anywho.....back to what you came here for....the craft!

Start with some clean milk jugs,black felt, a black sharpie,googly eyes, and a patriotic hat and bow tie.  I used all hot glue for this project so get your glue gun warming up

The first thing I did was give the glitter hat a few coats of Mod Podge to seal it in a little better because it was coming off like CRAZY.  My poor husband is already "that guy" who shows up to work with glitter on his lips...so I'm trying my best to contain my sparkle these days.  Ya know....trying to be a good wife and put the man before the crafts ;)

 Next I colored one of the caps with a black sharpie

Take one of your milk jugs and cut the top part off....just enough so that the top is more flat.  Don't cut too much off or the hole will be too big.  I used a box cutter and it was very easy

Glue the other milk jug on top, handle side facing up.  Glue on your googly eyes and put the colored cap on as his nose.  See how quickly it already looks like Snoopy

I accidentally glued it on kind of crooked....but I think it's sort of cute.  Like his head is tilted as if he is listening to you haha

Cut ears out of felt and glue them on as well

I originally planned  to make his bowtie myself, but when I came across this one at the dollar store I couldn't pass it up.  Super cute and better than anything I probably would have made...and you can't beat a price like that!

Glue on the bow and hat and your Patriotic Snoopy is finished

Put him by your door as a cute way to great your guests

And if you're still looking for some more patriotic crafts you could bust out this wreath 

This porch decoration

Or even this USA sign

Happy crafting!