Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spaghetti Squash With Peanut Sauce

This is so super easy, and it makes you feel like you're eating something fancy. It's perfect for a lazy night.

You need:
-1 spaghetti squash (poke holes into it with fork)
-2 tbsp peanut butter
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-4 tbsp rice vinegar
-red pepper flakes to your liking
-1 c snowpeas
-2 tbsp cilantro, ripped into bits (chopped? diced? eh?...I'm not a chef, you can pick which phrasing you like best)
1) Roast squash in pan with one inch of water for one hour at 375 degrees
2) Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes in small bowl and set aside
3) When the spaghetti squash is about 10 minutes from being done, steam up the snow peas
4) Halve the squash and scoop out seeds before scooping out the 'spaghetti'
5) Combine squash, peanut sauce, and snow peas in bowl and serve w/ cilantro garnish
Makes 4 servings...awesome as leftovers! Enjoy!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Honestly Beautiful

Over the course of my blog reading career, I've come across countless beautiful pictures of gorgeous homes. I've found myself in envy.

I've also come across blog entries (2, to be exact) where the blogger balances out that widespread perfection with the beauty of reality. I always appreciated those two entries, and I feel like now that we have our own home, it's my turn to toss in a few real pictures.

Since we've updated our house, I've only posted pretty pictures. I've had such encouraging, positive comments; ''OMGOSH EMMA, GORGEOUS!'' or ''I am going to move in with you''. Sure, they make my day, but there are also comments that remind me of what I'm NOT trying to do...which is to create envy in anyone. 

If anything, I want to INSPIRE or ENCOURAGE others to learn skills so that they can create cozy, beautiful homes on a budget themselves. Our DIY/how-to posts haven't really started yet, but they will. Don't you worry. (Tile work is coming!)

The three rooms that we have put the most effort into are beautiful (to me!) , but they were a lot of work. Because I'm blessed to have my carpentry savvy husband, we didn't need to shell out ridiculous sums  of money to pay people to do the work for us. With that being said, the work is still not done, and I think I speak for many DIY-ers when I say that it seems like an endless project. But I like it that way, because it's exciting. 

So here's my home, folks:
We don't have everything picked out or painted- except for the walls. This is our living room! Have a seat!

Gotta fix this nonsense.

 Need trim around shower tiling. Not sure what we're going to use yet.
drywall without mud, tape, or paint

oh gosh, a WHOLE room needing a good tear out and makeover

the porch that needs to be gutted, insulated, and worked with

where our entryway will eventually be


Our master closet that we built by taking a chunk out of the front porch. Some day I'll get a floor plan up here.
trim is silly. Just kidding, we'll get around to it

Baseboards are also silly.

The beautiful entryway off the kitchen.

I just wanted to share. I'm sure people who expressed envy might be changing their minds at this point. It's A LOT of work, but it's so worth it. To be able to say that we did this: pretty satisfying. 

If you're looking into buying a fixer upper, or would like to share some REAL pictures...or before/afters....I would (as always) love, love, love to see them. 

Have a beautiful day!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kitchen Entryway: Help!

This is the entryway off of our kitchen that goes into our garage. It's got some fantastic paneling and some really helpful railings. 

I really love it. 

No, I don't.

We actually have two entryways, the front door area that will eventually be a beautiful mudroom with slate floors and built in cubbies, but for now- we only have the means to work with this entryway. 

-It leads directly into our large, one car garage
-It's right off of our kitchen
-It has an ugly cabinet (can y'see it?) that looks much better without the doors on it that is great for storage

-It has paneling
-It's not heated or insulated, so you can't really put too much stuff out here
-It's kinda small ( 7 x 3.5 feet)
-It has paneling

So we've decided to take baby steps with the house, and complete projects as time and money allow for them. Also, my favorite home blog points out that waiting a while before you tackle big projects is a smart idea. Living in a space for a bit allows you to really think out which changes you want to make and which ones are most important. This one is important for now so that we can have a place to put our shoes. Our bigger, fancier entryway can wait until we nail down the specifics (and the money!). 

But I digress.

Inspiration for the little garage entryway? I love this clean look, and I think it's pretty appropriate and fitting for our little space:

Ooooh, very fitting for our little wee lake house, dontcha think? (re: butterfly net, fishing pole, etc.)

So we've started by painting:
We haven't finished painting, but you get the idea. 

One coat of primer and a coat of soft white (leftover color from our kitchen cabinets) already makes it look a whole lot better. We're going to paint the exposed wood on the ceiling, so don't worry. 

But I'm kind of stuck.

I have this rug to add some color, but that's about it. 
dash and albert. $124

Any ideas? Any pictures of your small entryways? I would really appreciate pictures. I would love, love, love to see what else is out there. I'm serious- PLEASE send me pictures!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Watered Down Goddess

There's this salad dressing that I love. It's Goddess dressing. Except, it's not super light. And it's really intense. I needed to fix that.  So what do I do?

I take 1/2 a tablespoon and mix it with 2 tablespoons of warm water. I whisk that business up, I put that goodness over 1.5 cups of broccoli slaw (gotta getchur broccoli slaw in!), cover, and shake. 

And then I eat it. 


Give that baby a whirl. It's an awesome snack, and even though it's not as initially exciting as a huge handful of's really delicious and very satisfying. Once you stop thinking about the handful of goldfish.

It's Not Ideal, But...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Watch Me Squat?

Let me tell you somethin'.

School isn't rocket science, but it takes a lot of time and energy. My biggest struggle is fitting in exercise. I think I have valid excuses, although I'm not sure. 

To be completely transparent, I will share numbers to keep anyone who likes numbers up to date. The truth? I've weighed less (and felt better). More truth? I'm not beating myself up, I'm just trying to get back on track. I really don't care about people knowing my actual weight, I just don't want to reinforce the crazyoverscalenumber mindset that can easily become the focus of an effort to get healthier. So if you're into numbers, let me know. If you're not, and you prefer I stick with pounds lost, let me know. If you don't like that I'm including this in my blog, shoot me an e-mail. *Although I promise that weight loss will not become the focus here. I'm including it because it's a part of my life. And my blog is about my life.  And hopefully including this bit will help encourage some other folks!* 

Goal? I want to lose between 12 and 17 pounds.
Next Goal? I want to run 3 races. (two 5k races and one 5 mile) I didn't do any this past summer, and I'm totally bummed about that. 

I can do it. I can do it

I'm giving myself until the end of 2012.  That's what's realistic for me. Plus, sloww and steadyyy wins the race.  

Anyway, any encouragement is so appreciated. I need it. 

So there it is. But what would this post be without what I'm doing this week?

In the comfort of our Under Construction living room, I'm doing some sweaty circuits (shared here) twice a week (tues/thurs), plus three days of cardio (mwf). Cardio can either be a 20 minute jog or a 30 minute stationary bike workout. 

The Workout:

-5 minutes on stationary bike, keeping RPM around 85
-4 total body strength moves...I used a workout I got out of an old self magazine(September 2010) I split the 8 moves throughout my circuit. 
-5 minutes on bike
-4 total body moves
-5 minutes on bike
-4 total body moves
-2.5 minutes intervals on bike 100 RPM/rest with a 20 second/10 second ratio
-4 total body moves
-2.5 minute cool down on bike

Really...all this a circuit. With interval work. Within 30 minutes, I've gotten an amazing cardio workout, and my bum is sore. That's good news. Plus, I got to watch The Biggest Loser OnDemand. Can't beat that for motivation. 

(Emma? You? Have? TV?! But! But! You said you were getting rid of it when you moved!!! I'll explain later. If you didn't catch this, carry on!)

This is the squat supreme. It's a deep squat that pushes into an overhead press as you raise a leg. It's fancy, I'm sure.

My lame scanning attempt. Good intentions, poor results. But here's the workout!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanks, Love.

The cliche: Two years ago today, I married my best friend. 

I was 20. 

I would have done it sooner. (But you know...I needed to travel the world and write four books first. Oh. Wait.)

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Thanks for loving me back. 

And because we've been married all of two years, I feel as though I am qualified to make a qualified suggestion. (Does that make sense?)

Love him, love her. Tell them you love them. Hug. Smile. Let the people in your life know that you love them. Forgive. Let it roll off of your back. Nothing is more important than loving those around you. Nothing. 

But you already knew that, didn't you? ; )

Here's to love!

This picture was taken on our wedding day. Karina died in a car accident on September 16th, 2011.
A beautiful friend gone too soon. A definite reminder to me that each and every day is a gift and a blessing. I love and miss you, you saucy hot box girl. 

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