February 27, 2011

I Made Myself A Cutting Board

After drooling over oversized cutting boards I've seen on blogs and on other web sites, I just had to have one for myself!    Problem was I couldn't find anything I liked and most everything was way more than I was willing to pay.    So what's a girl to do but make her own so that's what I did.      I don't intend to use it for food preparation but for decorative purposes only.  

My inspiration came when I saw how Kelley (Polished Pebble)*  had hers displayed in on her blog.



cutting board on ppebble blog 



breadboards on ppebble#2

( http://ppebble.blogspot.com/2010/07/cooks-kitchen.html)


breadboards on ppebble



Kelley said her inspiration for displaying her cutting boards came from The Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten's kitchen.


breadboards on table at vicky dar blog

(Unfortunately I don't have the source of this photo so if anyone knows the blog owner, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to give proper credit)


So I went to Lowe's and bought a piece of pine board.    I wanted my breadboard to have knot holes and be rather rough looking....like it had been around a long time.     To get the size, I measured underneath my cabinets to the countertop so I could prop the breadboard underneath the cabinets if I wanted to.     I needed to cut my board to approximately 15" give or take.    I found a lampshade (!) that was 16" in diameter and decided to use that for my template (I know there are easier ways to do this but hey, the lampshade worked for me!).    I then traced out my circle on the board.


cutting board 003


Then just as I was getting ready to cut it out, husband came home and took over the jig saw and it's a good thing he did, I don't think I could have done such a good job.


cutting board 005

I took my electric sander to the edges to smooth it out until I was happy with the shape.


cutting board 009

Then I just brushed on a coat of Dark Walnut (cause that's what I had on hand) and wiped it down.    I think it makes it look really old!   I did put a coat of tung oil on it but since I don't plan on using it for food prep, it really doesn't matter to me that it's not very smooth.


Then the fun part....making different vignettes with my breadboard!


cutting board 014

I first styled it on my kitchen table....

cutting board 016


cutting board 017


cutting board 019


cutting board 021



See how it just fits under my cabinet (sorry for the glare and tint....maybe one day I'll learn how to use piknik)



See how small another cutting board is compared to this one!




If I ever make another one, and I probably will, I think I'll just put a more natural stain on it and seal it.    But for now, I'm happy with my homemade breadboard.

Have you ever made one?    If so, please share!


I'm linking to these partys:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays


nifty thrifty tuesdays

Wow Us Wednesdays

wow us wednesdays

Don't forget to come back on Wednesday when I'll host our healthy recipe link party.    Hope to see you then!!!

February 22, 2011

My First Linky Par-ty!

Can you believe after almost 4 years (!) of blogging I've never hosted a linky party?!?!   Well, all that's about to change.    When I rejoined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago I posted a few recipes/meals to show that you could eat healthy AND tasty while losing weight and feeling better.    I got quite a few comments from ya'll which indicated you might like to participate in a linky party where we could all share our recipes and/or meals on our journeys to weight loss.     While I'm not turning my blog into a food blog by any means, I think we can all agree that how we look and feel is just as important as how our homes look.    Since I weigh in at WW on Wednesdays, I thought that would be a good day for us to share our recipes.

I'm going to start the party off by sharing a wonderful recipe that everyone seems to love.....my easy pineapple orange cream cake!

Easy Pineapple Orange Cream Cake

1 (15 1/4 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup fat free mayo
Cooking spray
1 (12 oz) container frozen fat free whipped topping, thawed
1 (1 oz) package sugar free vanilla pudding mix

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Drain pineapple, reserving juice; set pineapple aside
3.   Combine reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, mandarin oranges, egg substitute and may in a large bowl.   Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.    Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray
4.    Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool in dish on a wire rack
5.   Combine drained pineapple, whipped topping, and vanilla pudding mix in a medium bowl, and beat at low speed until just blended.

Spread pineapple mixture evenly over top of cake.   Cover and store in refrigerator.

POINTS:   4 per serving 

Now here are a few basic rules to follow:

1.   Be sure to link up your URL (permalink) and not your whole blog
2.   Please add a link back to my blog in your post so others can find the party and join
3.   Please don't forget to visit the other links for some sensible meals to keep you on track of your weight loss goal
4.   I'd love it if you became a follower of my blog!

February 18, 2011

My Husband's "Side" of Things

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?



Please tell me you do!    This is my husband's "desk" area next to his big boy chair.     I've had a lamp table here before but he said it wasn't big enough for his stuff so he pulled out this beauty one day (when I had it designated for the trash pile) and it's sat next to his chair since then.     Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a design challenged mate!

Want more?    Okay, here ya go....


This area is what he calls his "toothpick graveyard"!!!!   Yuck!



"His" magazine pile



And just in case he needs some pumping up before football season starts again, a reminder of Auburn's big win!

Seriously, I need to replace that "table" with something but I don't know what.    It would have to be something small that would hold all his "junk" (preferably out of sight but easily reached).     But every idea I come up with doesn't work because it sits next to a mahogany chest (more on that on another post) and two tables that close together look "stupid all over" (I heard that from a certain 6 year old).    

Please give me some ideas/suggestions so this shabby excuse for a table can go to its rightful resting place and I can replace it with something that looks normal.

Thank you, thank you very much!

February 15, 2011

Baked Tilapia and Lemon Pie

I'm thinking about hosting my linky party to share our Weight Watchers recipes on Wednesdays since that's the day I go weigh in.      Now when I say "WW" recipes, it doesn't necessarily have to BE a WW recipe, but just a good, healthy, low-fat recipe that you would like to share with all of us who are trying to eat better and in my case, lose some pounds.  
So tonight here's what we had:
Baked Tilapia
4 Tilapia fillets (2 small fillets per person - one for supper and one for lunch tomorrow)
I Can't Believe It's Butter spray butter
Garlic powder
Seasoned salt

Place tilapia fillets in glass dish sprayed with Pam (or other cooking spray)
Squirt butter over fillets and then sprinkle with garlic powder and seasoned salt
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until fish is cooked through
For a little added flavor, I sprinkle a very small amount of plain bread crumbs on mine the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time
2 points for 4 oz.

talapia dinner 002

talapia dinner 003
I served corn and french style green beans for my sides
Corn 2 points for 1/2 cup
Green beans 0 points for 1/2 cup

Now I have to admit I didn't make the lemon pie tonight cause I didn't have all the ingredients on hand but I promise you I will be making it this week!

1 1/2 cup skim milk (or 2% milk)
1/2 tub crystal light lemonade (not whole tub)
1 large box instant fat free sugar free vanilla pudding
8 oz. fat free Cool Whip
Reduced fat graham cracker crust
Mix lemonade and dry pudding together then add milk
Fold in Cool Whip & pour into pie crust
3 points per slice


I hope to be signed up with the linky widget by next week - then we can get this party started!

February 14, 2011

I Love Pearls




I'm not talking about the real thing (although I DO love a creamy strand of pearls and matching earrings) but the group of ladies who are called "The Pearls" at my mom's church.    The Pearls are a group of prissy "older" ladies who meet for special occasions, headed up by the talented Ms. Betty.     You are supposed to be 65 years old to be a Pearl but don't let their age fool you....these ladies are true Steel Magnolias.    They love to dress up and visit and boy, can they get fiesty!

Saturday was their annual Valentine's Day luncheon and my sister and I were honored to be invited to tag along by our mom.   


valentines banquett 2011

My almost 91-year old mom, my sister and me 

I'll be back later this week with another good WW dessert recipe.   I think if we are going to be able to share our recipes I'll have to host a linky party which will mean I'll have to pay for that service.    I'm going to be looking into that and see what all is involved in that.  


Now I'm off to (shamelessly) watch The Bachelor....

February 8, 2011

Best Chicken Salad Evea!

Thank you so much for all your positive comments on my journey to healthier eating and living....it helps keep me motivated to carry on.     Tomorrow (Wednesday) I'll go for my weigh in....kinda excited cause my scales show I've lost about 3 1/2 pounds!

This afternoon I made chicken salad for supper.    Here's what I used:

1 - 13 oz. can 98% fat free chicken breast in water

1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained very well

grapes (I used purple seedless)

chopped pecans

Lite mayo (just enough to make mixture moist)

I also used a SMALL amount of powered sugar - probably about 1 tablespoon

Drain water off chicken, then chop on a plate

Thoroughly drain ALL the juice off the pineapple

Mix all ingredients together and serve with crackers

The chicken is 1 point for 1/3rd cup

Pineapple is 2 points for 1/2 cup


chicken salad 008


chicken salad 009


I didn't count the grapes, lite mayo or pecans so not sure exactly what the points would be for a serving of the chicken salad but I'd say no more than 5 points for a very generous portion

I've had a couple of people asking about the points value on the cake I posted over the weekend - I gave the points with the recipe - 4 points per serving.     I will try and list the points value of every recipe but if I don't I will try and list the information so you can figure the points for yourself.

Now here's where I need some suggestions from those of you that want to participate in a recipe swap or healthy eating linky party....I've never hosted a link party but from what I'm reading on other blogs, the linky system that has been used  in the past  is now going to charge something like $24.00 a year to use their services...not something I'm interested in doing right now.     So I'd love to hear from ya'll the best way we can all share our recipes and "link" to each other so we can get wonderful recipes and support each other on our journey to better living.   


On a very different note, I got word today that the husband of a friend of mine suffered a massive heart attack yesterday, he "coded" twice in the hospital and they put a pacemaker in, which is only operating at about 10%....he is only 56.    Please keep this family in your prayers.

February 6, 2011

Having Your Cake & Eating It Too!

If you've been reading my blog you know that I started back on Weight Watchers last week.    I'm happy to report that I've already lost about 3 1/2 pounds!    I'm been making better choices about what I eat and drinking lots of water.    Lucky for me that daughter and SIL own a bottled water company so I get my 16 oz. bottles from them and add a little flavor to them.    My favorite one called Peach Mango Green Tea found at Wal Mart (and it's the WM brand).....it adds 0 points to my water and tastes great.   

I worried that I would have to say goodbye to desserts but there are so many great alternatives to the sugar-overloaded desserts that I'm drawn to.     One I made last night is out of this world and only 4 points per serving.    Here's the recipe:

Easy Pineapple-Orange Cream Cake

1 (15 1/4 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix

1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained

1/2 cup egg substitute

1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise

Cooking spray

1 (12 oz) container frozen fat-free whipping topping, thawed

1 (1 oz) package sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.   Drain pineapple, reserving juice, set pineapple aside

3.   Combine reserved pineapple juice, cake mix, mandarin oranges, egg substitute and mayo in a large bowl.   Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.   Pour batter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray

4.   Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool in wire rack.

5.   Combine drained pineapple, whipped topping and vanilla pudding mix in a medium bowl, beat at low speed just until blended.    Spread pineapple mixture evenly over top of cake.   Cover and store cake in refrigerator.   Yield:  18 servings.


ww cake 005


ww cake 007


ww cake 006


ww cake 009


So good you'll want to slap yo mama....well, not really slap her but you know what I mean!


From comments I'm getting it seems like a lot of ya'll are trying to eat better and exercise more as well as being on Weight Watchers like me.    I'm thinking about having a weekly post where I share my progress and recipes....would anyone be interested in joining me?     We could have a recipe swap for weight loss!     Any takers?     If so, just leave me a comment or shoot me an e-mail and I'll get the party started!

February 2, 2011

A New Day, A New Me

Today I started back on Weight Watchers.    I joined about 8 years ago when I was a lot lighter and lost down to my goal weight.    When I got remarried almost 8 years ago I wore a size 6!     Now, well.....I'm not saying what size I wear but it's not a 6.    And I'm so ashamed and embarrassed....there's no excuse except for laziness.      Hubby and I are both guilty of eating out a lot, being couch potatoes and just in general not taking care of ourselves.     And as I get older, I know it will be harder to lose weight but I've got to do something.

One of my good friends is going to "hold my feet to the fire" as I start back on on this journey.     She is the one that got me started all those years ago and now she's going to help me again.    We work at different law firms but we stay in touch via e-mails and phone.    

Today she sent me several good recipes for sweets which are my weakness.   Seems like every night after we eat supper David and I crave something sweet so instead of going to the Dairy Queen, I'm going to make healthy alternatives for us to eat.   

So here's what we had for supper tonight:

Fat free hot dogs on wheat buns

Steamed onions (on top)

13-15 baked french fries (yes, you have to count them out)


And for dessert I made these:

Peanut butter cupcakes!

6 tablespoons peanut butter (you can use fat free but I used regular) - softened in the microwave a little

1 tub of fat free cool whip

Mix the peanut butter and cool whip together until thoroughly mixed

Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners

Fill each cupcake liner about 1/3 to 1/2 full - should make 12 cupcakes

Drizzle with a little bit of chocolate syrup and freeze (I used fat free chocolate syrup)

This was a big hit with the hubs!   They are very rich tasting and I could only eat 2 bites!


I didn't gain all this weight overnight and I know it will not come off overnight - it will be a slow process but I'm determined to give it my best shot.

I'll be sharing recipes from time to time and please feel free to share any with me that you have found to work for you when trying to take off weight.

Bon Appetit!

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