Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Clean Eating Sweet and Sour Chicken

I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.  I followed the directions pretty exactly.  The only thing I think that might have caused a difference is that the original recipe is that it said to use a light coating of flour and I wasn't super careful about that.

I really love the flavor of this dish, but the coating left something to be desired.  It was very flour-y rather than a sticky or crunchy or breaded taste.  Grain-y.  I really wanted this to work better than it did and I'm not quite sure what to do differently. I'd welcome any suggestions, though!  Maybe coconut flour just takes some getting used to, but ... blah.

Clean Eating Desserts: Eggs and Cookie Dough

Let's start with the eggs.  I adore Reece's eggs, so this recipe seemed like a dream come true for me.  My husband loved them, but I did not.  I don't like dark chocolate and the sweetness of the pb didn't make up the sweetness missing by not using milk chocolate.  I think you could use milk chocolate if you were willing to use their recipe for the pb filling.  It was a bit chewy, too, which wasn't quite right.  All in all, not too shabby, but not the right fit for me.

Next came cookie dough snack attempt number one.  I used this recipe to make what was supposed to taste like raw cookie dough, but be healthy.  It did not.  The first problem is that she says to use a small container of yogurt rather than telling an exact amount.  That's hard to measure to be sure it's exact.  My small container is likely not the same as yours unless we shopped together.  :)

My third and final attempt for a sweet treat, and second attempt at a cookie dough fix, was also a flop.  I used this recipe to make the snack, BUT didn't have the protein powder.  I subbed in extra of the rice flower.  It tasted like it has possibility if I'd had the powder, but I'm not sure it'd have had the right texture/flavor.  It was very grainy and I couldn't get it to get solid at all.  Maybe with the powder it's a thousand times better, but I still have doubts that it's worth the cost of ingredients.  (Brown rice flower is expensive, y'all!)

And thus, the search for a sweet dessert that isn't terrible for you continues.... stay tuned.....

This one is next on the list to try.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Painting Linoleum Foors... yikes!

UPDATE- it's been a year and the floor still looks fantastic! I am super happy with the way this has held up!!!

Let me start by saying this was the FIRST home project of this sort that I have ever done.  I tried to take a ton of pictures to detail everything I did so as to help you learn what to do and, probably, what not to do.  I'm planning to do our master bath next and there are definitely things I'll do differently next time!

First, and probably most importantly, if you have pets, kids, a husband, or anyone that has hair of any kind, you should quarantine them for several days.  If you don't want to lock them in a separate part of the house, then I suggest you get a lint roller or sticky mop (they sell those on infomercials I believe) and go over the ENTIRE floor every time you're about to do anything.  I know, you're probably thinking, "...but I cleaned the floor!"  Yeah.  You THOUGHT you did.  My husband scrubbed the floor really well, but apparently the walls share hair.  Or something to that effect.

Here are the steps, IN ORDER, for this project.  I'll put more details in the pictures below this part.  This is just the quick bit.

1. Clean the room, top to bottom.  Seriously.  Dust from the baseboards would float onto the floor (and yet we thought we'd wiped them down).  Clean the room to the point where you'd eat off of any surface in there.  Scrub the linoleum very well.
2. Use the sander/deglosser and a lint-free rag to degloss the linoleum.  Follow the directions on the bottle.
3. Prime the floor.  I used a brush for the edges and a roller for the main portion.  If you're taping, use Frog Tape, not the blue crap.  Seriously.  Frog Tape is so much better!!!
4.  Paint your base coat.  Let it have a night to dry before you start stenciling.  I did two coats even though the primer I used was a paint/primer in one.
5.  Spray the back of your stencil with adhesive and give it a few to dry.
6.  Stick the stencil(s) to the floor.  I laid a paper towel over the stencil and then rubbed the stencil to be sure it was stuck well in all places. (It worked pretty well, but not 100%, so be sure to not use too much paint).
7.  Use a sponge brush (I used one like kids use for art, lol) to paint your design.
8.  Give it at least 2 hours before you paint anything layered.
9.  Once the designs are finished, apply the clear coat.  I did 4 coats.
10.  Keep your family away for at least 2 days while it "cures".  Yes- it says it's ready before that on the can.  Do you want to risk it?  Didn't think so.

Supplies came from:
Hobby Lobby- large flower stencil and repositional spray stencil adhesive
Sherwin Williams- paint, roller, paint tray, paint brushes, frog tape
Michael's- Folk Art roll-on repositionable stencil adhesive (terrible), small flower stencil
Lowe's- Minwax water-based polyurethane; Zinnser Bull's Eye 1-2-3 primer for all surfaces
I use coupons for every single item I purchased except for at Lowe's.  The entire project cost just under $100 and I have leftover paint, primer, and clear coat for my next projects. ;)

So here is the bathroom before.   Yuck, right?!

This is once I'd put down the primer.  It was a beautiful shade of nothing.  I just bought the primer and didn't have color added because I want to use it for future stuff. 

 Base coat numero uno.  Can't tell much difference between that and the primer in the pictures.

Base coat numero dos.  Still looks the same in pictures, but it didn't in person. Just trust me on this.  Like I said, I brushed the edges and then rolled the main portion of the floor.

Here's where the stenciling started.  I did the blush first because, with boys outnumbering me two to one at this point, I wanted to be sure I didn't overdo this color.  It's my favorite of all the colors we used, though.  This is Sherwin Williams' "Blushing" color.

 These, sadly, were done with the adhesive from Michel's that was roll on or whatever.  The Folk Art one pictured below... and it sucks.  

See how much running it allowed?  Ew.  

Here are pictures of the different stages of stenciling.

I went back over that very ew flower with the original base coat color using a very tiny paintbrush that I had on hand.  I just freehanded around the petals and then used the same brush to freehand the lighter color back inside the petals. (pictured later)

More running...

But TA DA!  After freehanding, it's much better!!!

 Here's the finished floor.

The green is my least favorite part, but it's a darker shade of the wall color, so it works.

 These are showing once the clear coats started going on.  I would recommend you do one square at a time. (As in use the old linoleum's lines to guide you.)  The poly dries pretty quickly so it's hard to see what you've done and what you haven't until it's too late.  Follow the directions on the can!!

 See the bag above?  I pulled apart a gallon sized baggie to stand on when doing the clear coats.  I was already battling dust and magic hair, so I didn't want to see toe prints when I was done.  Yes- I waited plenty of time before each coat, but I didn't want to risk it and this worked very well for me.

All done!  I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the final product.  I am glad I started small, but I can't wait to do more rooms this way!  It's a totally updated look for a very outdated bathroom!  Now to find a shower curtain to cover the ugly shower doors....

Here's the paint we used.  The colors were listed in a previous blog, but the base is Perfect Greige, the pink is Blushing, the green is Hazel, and the lightest color is Popular Gray. 

 This is the stencil from Hobby Lobby.  The little one was from Michael's.  I cut it off of a set of three.

  For some reason it isn't letting me rotate this picture, but oh well.  This is the stencil adhesive that I really liked.  The downside to it is that it stuck so well, it did leave a little of the stencil's blue on the floor.  That came up very easily with my nail... much easier to do that than to fix the paint running. 

This is the one that didn't work well.  
Don't buy it. 

Be sure yours says CRYSTAL CLEAR FINISH.  It'll be milky as you paint it, but it dries clear.  Also do NOT use oil based!! WATER BASED ONLY or else your floors will turn yellow later.  ( I read that on other blogs!)

This is the brush I used for the edges and the poly.  It worked well for everything.

Things I'll do differently next time:
1. Lint roll the whole friggin room and do that every time before a next step happens.
2. Buy a better spongy tool for applying the stencil paint.  I'm sure some of the running was just because mine wasn't the best thing and the small roller was too big and lint-y for the job. 
3. Pay attention to where my hair is swinging so I don't end up with tiny frosted tips in one section.

I'd love to see how this project looks in your home!!  Feel free to ask questions.  I've been painting something off and on for almost a week so fumes may have caused me to forget to post something here... or forget my name... nothing important though. :)

Thanks for checking out this project!  Let me know what you think!!

***I was NOT paid or given ANY free items for this post or by any of the stores or brands mentioned above.  However if you work for them and want to give me free stuff for my next project, I love free stuff.  You look pretty today, by the way.  New hair cut?***

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pausing on the painted floors...

So, the particular stencil adhesive I got is the suck.  (Yes- that's how I meant to type it.  It's something the hubs and I say.)  :)

I will post more about it when the project is all finished, but here's a sneak peek of how it's looking so far.  I'll have the new adhesive tomorrow, so painting shall resume then.

In case you missed the previous post, Perfect Greige is the base and Blushing is the color used for the flower bursts at this point.  The stencils shown are both from Hobby Lobby.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Shakeology and Painted Floors

So I'm officially down 14 lbs! (yay!)

Hubby and I started a 5-day Shakeology challenge today.  We're probably going to struggle, but we're going to make it through! :)

We also started our painted floor project.  We've deglossed/sanded, primed, and painted the first of two base coats.  I'm liking the pace so far!

Stay tuned.  I'll post updates tonight/tomorrow for the bathroom and later this week about the Shakeology.  I'm hoping it'll push me over the edge into a lower pant size.  14 lbs and I'm still in the same size and that's reeeeeeally irritating. :/

Such is life, I suppose. :D

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Painting and stenciling the linoleum floors... I've gone mad!

I think we have finally picked some colors for our painting plans!!

Let me back up.  We've been wanting something new for a long time.  The cheapest way to get that look is paint.  Soooo we've decided to try to paint our linoleum!!  We're starting in the guest bath (smallest and easiest to be out of commission at the moment).  The color scheme we've decided on (for today anyway... until it's bought there's no telling) is as following:
The lightest color surrounding them is the color we painted the walls about a year ago.  I really love the airy look it gives to such a small space.

I'm planning on using the darker color (Perfect Greige) for the base floor color and then the the Hazel, Popular Gray, and Blushing to do the stencil accents on the floor.  I'm currently thinking of a mum or sunburst type design (in varying sizes).

I'm most excited that we decided on a blue and burlap w/ lace look for the master bath!  That's what our wedding was and I looooove that look!  Since we just decided that, I haven't quite picked the exact colors yet.  

I'm still tossing around whether or not to repaint the laminate cabinets.  Not 100% sure yet.  

Here's all the places I'm pulling info and ideas from in case you're interested in doing your own DIY flooring/cabinetry project.  As we actually get the project going, I'll post more pictures and our experiences!

Love her lace pattern and advice for avoiding paint buildup.

How to remove the laminate to paint your laminate cabinets.

Another great place for info on removing laminate to paint.

Stenciling ideas galore!

The best cabinet painting blog I've seen:

On removing your laminate:

My favorite because I LOOOOVE her design and colors that she chose to use for painting the linoleum in her kitchen!!

Good step by step for painting the linoleum.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Steak Carnitas Tacos

First of all- yay! I'm down 13 pounds.  I am so loving this new 80/20 lifestyle!!!

I want to share another recipe from  Have I mentioned how much I adore this woman and her blog???

Yesterday's creation was her Steak Carnita Meat in the Slowcooker.  We followed her recipe to a T except for that we cooked it on low overnight.
Photo Belongs to Bless This Mess Please- 100% her photo and her work!  Please visit her site!!!

They were SOOOOOOOOOO good!  The meat has a really good slow heat to it (I thought it'd be too much for me!) and it works great with tomato, sour cream, and avocado toppings!
I don't really recommend it for a kid though... the heat would probably be a bit much for a little one! lol  Baby J just enjoyed his own dinner. ;)

Again- please go visit her site! I'd love it if you told her I sent ya'!  She's amazing!