Thursday, May 22, 2008

What a shocker from!

Let me first start by saying that I have the worst luck when it comes to winning any kind of free prizes. That kind of explains why I never gamble or set my hope up for things because I always get the short end of the stick, kind of deal. Well to my surprise this morning, I received an email from Nest Kaitlin (Editorial Assistant), telling me I just won a free Ducky Layette cake from Hold the Flour!

I couldn't believe it. Just for entering some not so common and unique baby shower games. Thank goodness for creativity huh! I have been to so many baby showers with the same set ups and same games. Considering all my losses I've had in the past, I was preparing for my baby showers to eventually come and I knew I wanted to put a fun twist on things. Still never giving up hope, DH and I have plans of TTC towards the end of this year again. Now I have another great gift I can put away till our time comes. With the way this year is flying by, our time will come sooner than what we can even imagine.

These are the items the cake consists of:

Gently rolled between the soft blankets is a complete layette. Each baby cake includes a night gown, a sleeper, three onsies, two bibs, booties, pacifiers, a teether, and a soft toy. Also folded in are two receiving blankets and color coordinated cloth diaper burp cloths. We have included everything needed to welcome the little one home in style.

Birthday Surprise = Beer and flowers

So I gave in and figured, hey I might as well send him flowers to work and give him a nice surprise. 1 800 Flowers totally had me cracking up because what is Dre's favorite thing to drink? You got that right, Heineken! lol This is what I found on their website and I couldn't resist. Definitely a manly mans flower arrangement along with a balloon. hahahaha

Do I get the award for the best wifey of the year or what? =P

Friday, May 16, 2008

Un pinon: Carribean style lasagna mmmm....

Ground beef filling:
1.25 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground achiote
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 16 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained (juices reserved) and chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup raisins
1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar

For the lasagna layers:
4 semi-ripe plantains, yellow with some spots
olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of a pan
2 eggs
2-3 Tbsp. milk, or water1/2
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella or swiss cheese (choose your preference)
cilantro, optional for garnish

*Note that you can make the ground beef filling in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to make the rest.

Cook ground beef in a large pot over medium heat until no longer pink. Add the onion, red and green bell pepper, bay leaves, and spices. Cook for a few more minutes until the onions and peppers begin to soften.

Add all remaining ingredients to the beef, including the chopped tomatoes and reserved juice, tomato sauce, raisins, and vinegar. Bring to a simmer and let the flavors combine for 10-15 minutes. At this point, taste and adjust the spices to your liking.

Set the beef aside to cool while you prepare the plantains.

Peel the plantains and cut diagonally into 1/4-1/3 inch thick slices. (Tip for peeling a plantain: the skin is a little thicker than bananas, so you'll want to cut one end off and slice through the skin lengthwise three times, spaced evenly around the plantain. Then the skin will peel off easily.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly oil a large rectangular baking pan (3 quart capacity). Combine eggs and milk in a bowl and lightly beat. Add half of the egg mixture to the bottom of the pan. Follow with a layer of 1/3 of the plantains, 1/2 of the beef mixture, and 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat another 1/3 of the plantains, remaining beef, and remaining cheese. Top with a layer of plantains. Finally, pour the remaining egg mixture evenly over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake until hot and bubbling. If you started with freshly cooked beef (not out of the fridge), usually all the ingredients start warm and you only need to bake for 30 minutes. However, starting with cold beef, you really need to bake for about an hour to heat through.Remove the foil, sprinkle with cilantro, and enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Key Lime Pie as easy as 1, 2, 3!!!

Maybe not the healthiest choice but theres nothing better than a refreshing citrus dessert during the summer season. Best part is that it only takes 10 minutes max to complete and then chill at least 4 hours till it sets.

What you need:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 6-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate
1 cup of heavy cream
1 6-ounce graham cracker pie crust
and zest of 1 lime

In a bowl, place the condensed milk, limeade concentrate and cream. Beat all together with an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, until fluffy and soft peaks form. Then pour the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until chilled for at least 4 hours or even leave overnight. Sprinkle the top with zest before serving.

*Note: All we need now is Jackie's (cocojack10) Margaritaville Machine to whip us up some margaritas and get the party started. lol

Friday, May 9, 2008

Thank you HGTV

Browsing HGTV's spanish rooms and modern baths, I thought these 2 rooms really represented my style really well. Now if only I had the extra space. lol All I can do is dream for now.

Dream Foyer

I actually had the chance to see this episode of Candace Olsen and her choice of glass subway tile, looked amazing. Even the simple clean lined lighting sconces she used, give great impact as well. Really like the contemporary hotel details that make you feel relaxed. I would take this bathroom make over any day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Melting away the FAT!

I am floating on cloud 9 today, out of pure joy. It's official that I have lost a total of 20 pounds as of this morning. I feel like jumping for joy, blowing horns and shouting to the mountain tops. This is simply a self achieved goal that I have set upon myself and I feel relieved. First time in my life that I have lost so much, in such a short time and in such a healthy manner.

I have struggled all my life to maintain a descent weight. Always have been overweight up to a point that I fell in a black hole. Turned to alcohol, never ate and truly hurt my body in ways I never thought possible. Everyone thought I looked beautiful but I felt the ugliest I have ever felt about myself. My duty was to lift my spirits again and get my life together. Never turned to food for comfort but yet again my weight sky rocketed.

I give thanks to numerous surgeries, on birth control for 4 years (note: once I got off of it, I immediately dropped 10 lbs. in 2 weeks. Hmmm....makes you think huh!), activity level in work place changed, miscarriages, genetically I have 4 generations of heavy family members, lack of energy to work out at times, etc. Yes I can sit here and point the finger but I was ready to do what ever it would take at this point. Diet after diet, work out after work out, personal trainer, meeting with a dietician, injections by my doctor... my body was just not changing. So a light turned on and I said, "Wait a minute!" Back in the day Weight Watchers did work for me, for the short time that I was on it. Why not give it a try again, especially since its available online now. Best decision I've made in a long time.

As of this morning, I tried on a pair of pants I haven't been able to fit in since over 3 years ago. I couldn't believe it. So today I am rocking what feels like new attire =) What a great feeling. Can't wait to lose another 20 pounds and keep on forward with my struggle. God is seriously on my side.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Baby Fever & Chubby Cheeks

So (our local radio station) is having a vote for cutest baby contest online. With all the baby fever and over 1,000 of the cutest little faces, how is someone to choose. All this does is warm the heart to a whole other level. Dh is probably exceedingly baby crazed, so to make his day I saved a few pics of the cutest ones that I thought would make his heart melt. (slaps hand) Yes, I! =P

and of course we can't forget to vote for our special mini nestie family member Sophia