Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rare

Rare are the foods I won't eat. (Well, besides meat but I don't count that because I don't even consider it an option but I suppose I do need to mention it.) I LOVE food, sweet, savory, crunchy, mushy, sour, salty, tangy, stringy, smooth, dry, juicy, crisp, whatever! And sure, there are a lot of foods I don't eat often or at all, but I don't dislike then and WOULD eat them if they weren't battered, breaded, fried, loaded with sugar/salt/chemicals and such. We all know this list can change, just like half the list from back in 2010. But there are a couple of foods I just DO NOT like right now, and here they are:

Parsley-I can deal with a tiny bit, chopped up in pasta or eggs, but truly I don't really care for the flavor of parsley.

Ginger-I like a touch of ginger in a stir-fry, and a little bit in gingerbread but I don't eat candied ginger or ginger chews and I think sometimes recipes call for too much and make it taste bad.

Persimmons-EWWWW. They taste so...bland and they are a BAD mushy like goose poop, not a good Mushy like a ripe peach.

Pomegranates-I've never been wowed by the flavor and not really into the seeds.

Red Delicious Apples-NOT delicious at all! I like a sweet apple, I like a tart apple I like most any apple, red, green, yellow. But Red Delicious taste like cardboard and bitter skin! Yuck!

Sea vegetable snack-Sorry, I know it's good for me but I can't eat just straight up nori! On sushi rolls, it's ok, or crushed up and sprinkled on a salad it's background flavor, but I can't choke down those chips, it's just TOO MUCH SEA TASTE!

Sunflower seeds IN THE SHELL-I'll eat shelled sunflower seeds until the cows come home but EW to the shells! Shelling them is not worth the effort and I HATE the splintery, chewy shells in my mouth. Some people just chew them and swallow! I bought some at the gas station the other day as a pre-yoga snack and after munching down on the shells, I felt like a dog must feel after it chows down on bark mulch, I swear I could feel the roughage in my stomach, poking me!

Coffee-(If this counts as a food) I can't stand coffee. Even with milk and sugar and flavors and whipped cream and sprinkles, I hate it. I've tried several times, (because as an adult there are times when it's just a social given that you drink coffee right?) and never been able to choke it down. Tea for me!

Are there any foods you can't stand?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Protein Ber Review #1


{This year, I've started a series of Protein Powder and Protein Bar reviews. These are in no order, just whatever I pick to write about. Protein powder/bar choice is SUCH a matter of personal taste. But I LOVE reading other people's reviews of them, and they give me great ideas for new flavors and brands to try. So I wanted to put my thoughts out there!}

Nutritionals are for the first flavor listed, they might differ slightly for the various flavors of each brand but are generally about the same across the product line.

Pure Protein-These bars come in 2 sizes, 78 gram and 50 gram. I can't say I eat these mainstream protein bars very often, but they can come in handy for a quick meal when you're traveling. These are mainly artificially sweetened with maltitol, sucralose, and such but some do have sugar or corn syrup. I try to buy the smaller bars when I can but I will sometimes eat a whole 78 g bar if it's for one of my larger meals or cut the big bar in half for a smaller meal.

Stats for 78 gram bar:
290-310 calories
26-32 g carb
28-32 g protein.

Stats for a 50 gram bar:
180-200 calories
17-19 g carbs
19-20 g protein

Peanut Marshmallow Eclipse- My favorite, hands down! It is super sweet with a good salty peanut flavor. But it also has the nastiest ingredients.
Chocolate Peanut Butter -Pretty darn tasty!
Chewy Chocolate Chip -So-so, this one is not the best cookie dough-type bar I've ever had. It seemed kind of dry/crumbly.
Chocolate Deluxe -Good, but probably one of the more chalky bars. Good cocoa flavor, it has real cocoa AND milk chocolate in it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Make a Blanket Day

So, Make a Blanket Day was a huge success, as always! Here I am with my quilt hanging up at the event.The theme, as I said, was Round and Round so there were a LOT of circles! Here are some other quilts that were displayed at the event. This one has Peanuts fabrics.
This one is made from the same pattern as mine! The fabrics have a distinctively boy theme, cars, trucks, tools and such.
This one is a fun Eye Spy type quilt with a variety of different fun fabrics.
This one is also sort of an Eye Spy-type quilt.
This one has fussy-cut Linuses on it!
This one is also made from the same pattern as mine but it has been washed to fray the raw edges. I didn't think we were supposed to wash the quilts before donating because children might be allergic to the detergent but maybe that's not the case.
I can't remember which prize, but this one won something. I loved the color scheme!
We usually have a group project at Make a Blanket Day, and it's usually a paper-pieced block that we all can make as many of as we want. But this year we got a donation of a TON of these stuffed bunnies. So we made small blankets, sewed them to the bunnies and they will be given out this spring in lieu of larger blankets. I made two, one for a girl
and one for a boy.
In case you're sort of lost, Make a Blanket Day is the major fundraiser for our local Project Linus chapter. Project Linus's mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some recent eats

I really need a better camera in order to show off how colorful and delish my food has looked lately!This is Cheeseburger egg-crust pizza, which turned out so tasty. It's got some TVP mixed into the egg crust and then topped with sauce, cheese and pickles. Yum!
This is a very green brown-rice noodle stir-fry with grilled baby bok choy. Brown rice noodles are a great time-saver for quick meals since you don't have to cook them, just soak them for 5 minutes before using!

I've been making a lot of protein smoothies, nearly one every day, and you'll see some of them in upcoming protein powder reviews. My favorite so far was pineapple and kiwi, so good! And of course chocolate is always a favorite, whether it's with coconut, banana, peanut butter or mint extract!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Protein Powder Review #5 About Time


{This year, I've started a series of Protein Powder and Protein Bar reviews. These are in no order, just whatever I pick to write about. Protein powder/bar choice is SUCH a matter of personal taste. But I LOVE reading other people's reviews of them, and they give me great ideas for new flavors and brands to try. So I wanted to put my thoughts out there!}

Nutritionals are for the first flavor listed, they might differ slightly for the various flavors of each brand but are generally about the same across the product line.

About Time Whey-This is my all-time favorite whey in the world!! Such a clean whey isolate powder, low carb, no weird sweeteners! (All flavors sweetened with stevia only.) All of the About Time flavors I've tried have smoothly dissolved, were not gritty or chalky AT ALL, and were drinkable in just plain water, no milk needed!

Calories per scoop:101
Protein per scoop: 24g
Carbs per scoop: 0g

Chocolate-My hands down fave, their chocolate is sweet but not too sweet. It's a light chocolate taste, so sometimes I add a bit of cocoa powder if I'm baking with it or making no-bake protein cookies. This one is great for making protein cakes and muffins, fudgesicles, shakes, pudding, really anything! And mixed with just hot water and a tsp of cocoa powder, it makes awesome hot cocoa!
Vanilla-I like the vanilla, but it's not a favorite. I definitely don't like it baked in things or in protein pancakes, it's way rubbery and kind of off-tasting. It's good in butterscotch or banana pudding, and it's definitely drinkable in a shake or mixed with fruity-flavored nonfat yogurt.
Birthday Cake-I thought this one was way too sweet. I tried it mixed in oatmeal and it was cloyingly sweet.
Mocha Mint-This one has a tricky name, it is NOT coffee flavored at all. It's chocolate and mint. And it's great!! Like the chocolate, it's great in baking and it's awesome mixed with plain yogurt or whipped cottage cheese!
Cinnamon Swirl-Tasted like the vanilla with a little cinnamon mixed in. I didn't get any sort of buttery roll or baked good vibe from it, I wouldn't buy this one again.
Peaches and Cream-As much as I love About Time, this flavor was terrible. It reminded me of that pink liquid penicillin, fake fruity bubble gum flavor. Ew. But just like all the others, it mixed smoothly with just water, not gritty or chalky.

$39.95 for 32 servings=$1.25 per serving or about 5 cents per gram of protein(I've seen this on sale for around $25, it is only $39.99 if you buy direct from About Time's website.)

Overall Rating: Frappe (9 out of 10) With a squeaky clean ingredient list and great flavors, I have bought product repeatedly. But I am not giving it 10 out of 10 because there were some flavors that were sort of "eh" to me, but I know everyone has different tastes so it's great that they offer so many different flavors.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Boo Boo Kids Quilt

Our Make a Blanket Day for Project Linus was this weekend and I participated on the Boo-Boo Kids quilt contest like I have in past years. This year the theme was "Round and Round" and the theme fabric was a red tone-on-tone. This is the quilt I made, using this pattern from Quilts and More magazine. It was fun to make and I'm thinking of making another for our living room, a little bit larger and in orange and lime green!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone has a super Valentine's Day! I'll be spending it with my two loves shown above! (Doesn't Sully look terrified? He really doesn't like being picked up.) And at work, we're swapping Valentine's just like grade school!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dressing Up!

I found some pictures that I had posted on facebook but not on here! All of me in costumes! The Turkey Trot from Thanksgiving 2011: During the race, I found some more pilgrims to hang with!

And I was Peter Pan for Halloween last year:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Protein Powder Review #4-Clik

{This year, I've started a series of Protein Powder and Protein Bar reviews. These are in no order, just whatever I pick to write about. Protein powder/bar choice is SUCH a matter of personal taste. But I LOVE reading other people's reviews of them, and they give me great ideas for new flavors and brands to try. So I wanted to put my thoughts out there!}

Nutritionals are for the first flavor listed, they might differ slightly for the various flavors of each brand but are generally about the same across the product line.

Clik Espresso Protein Drinks-I won some of these and I'll be honest and say I DON'T like coffee so I pretty much knew I didn't like these.
Calories in 2-scoop serving: 120
Prtoein per 2-scoop serving: 15g
Carbs per 2-scoop serving: 12g

I tried the Vanilla Latte thinking it would be less coffee flavored than Mocha but no-go, too much coffee for me. I gave these to a coffee-drinking friend and she liked the flavor. Mixability-wise, it was very creamy even mixed with cold water, probably because they contain nonfat milk powder, so that's a plus for them. They are sweetened with fructose and have a bunch of supplements added that I'd rather not get in a protein shake. All in all, not a brand I'd buy.

$26.95 for 14 servings=$1.93 per serving or around 13 cents per gram of protein

Overall Rating: Puree (5 out of 10) I'm giving this some points for its smooth mix and the fact that my friend liked the tastes but I'm not a fan of the ingredient label or the price.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sully's 2012 plan

I mentioned that Sully also has monthly goals for 2012. Ok, I have goals for him. We just started taking a Utility Fundamentals class so this year we are focusing on getting his CDX, starting Utility skills and tracking when the weather cooperates.

January-Start scent articles
February-continue scent articles and work on go-outs
March-Start conditioning for jumps and simple track 1/week
April-Review Open exercises, continue work on go-outs, directed jumping and scent articles, track 1/week
May-Enter Open at Bloomington trial, track 1/week
June-Enter Open at DTCCU trial, review Utility exercises
July-Work on Utility
August-Work on Utility (should be pretty close to trialing by now)
September-track 1/week
October-Track 1/week, enter open at Lakeshore trial if needed
November-Enter open at DTCCU trial if needed, work scent articles, track if weather is nice
December-We take December off. :)

I really hope to finish his CDX this year but it's not of utmost importance. You can see I've only got 4 trials lined up so I'm obviously not in a huge hurry. :) They are all trials that he is familiar with and ones that I'm fairly certain he can do well at, trying to minimize expense and maximize the chances of Q'ing.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Protein Powder Review #3-SEI Max Protein

This year, I've started a series of Protein Powder and Protein Bar reviews. These are in no order, just whatever I pick to write about. Protein powder/bar choice is SUCH a matter of personal taste. But I LOVE reading other people's reviews of them, and they give me great ideas for new flavors and brands to try. So I wanted to put my thoughts out there! (Nutritionals are for the first flavor listed, they might differ slightly for the various flavors of each brand but are generally about the same across the product line.)

SEI Max Protein-This is what I would call a more mainstream protein powder. It is sweetened with sucralose, has a protein blend of whey concentrate and isolate and has both natural and artificial flavors. You'd think I wouldn't like it. But they market it as the "best tasting protein in the world" and I might just have to agree! Does the awesome taste make up for the fact that it's sucralose-sweetened and contains some artificial stuff? I've been rotating it in on a limited basis and I don't think it's one I'd buy regularly but it IS super tasty.

Calories per scoop:126
Protein per scoop: 22g
Carbs per scoop: 5g

Chocolate-This stuff tastes really good. It's great in its own, in a protein cookie, cake or any other recipes you can dream up. The chocolate taste is genuine, not overly sweet and with no weird aftertastes. It's got a good amount of protein, fairly low carb and the ingredient list, if not completely ideal, is at least relatively short.

$59.99 for 41.5 servings=$1.45 per serving or around 7 cents per gram of protein

Overall Rating: Mix (7 out of 10) This tastes awesome, and it's fairly low priced but I wish it had a little more clean ingredient list.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

January Goal Wrap-Up

January's theme was Budget Review, which meant going over expenses, making a new 2012 budget and making plans for this year regarding bills. Mike and I started out by spending a Saturday going through last year's paperwork, making a preliminary budget and discussing topics such as core life values, bucket lists, wills, helping each other achieve personal goals, paying off credit card debt, creating an emergency fund, our travel dreams, and home improvement plans for the coming year. I structured it in workshops and breakout sessions like a business conference and we even played a few games, broke for lunch and had a book club meeting! We will definitely repeat it again next year!

It was a great format, I think we were both able to bring up things we wanted to discuss and feel like we were heard. Mike brought up refinancing and instead of shooting it down, I listened and we went ahead with it! I brought up trading in his truck for a more fuel-efficient vehicle but he made some good point and we'll be keeping it a while longer.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Protein Powder Review #2-Gotein

This year, I've started a series of Protein Powder and Protein Bar reviews. These are in no order, just whatever I pick to write about. Protein powder/bar choice is SUCH a matter of personal taste. But I LOVE reading other people's reviews of them, and they give me great ideas for new flavors and brands to try. So I wanted to put my thoughts out there! (Nutritionals are for the first flavor listed, they might differ slightly for the various flavors of each brand but are generally about the same across the product line.)

Gotein-Packaged in a skinny packet to make pouring into a water bottle easier, this protein is gag-worthy. It's got a long list of ingredients that includes corn syrup, sunflower oil, sucralose, a low-quality protein blend and a ton of vitamins and minerals I'd rather not have in my shake. I would NEVER buy this product.

Calories per heaping Packet:100
Protein per heaping Packet: 17g
Carbs per heaping Packet: 6g

Vanilla-This was also WAY sweet. Mixed with water, it was drinkable but I had to add more water than I like to knock down the syrupy sweetness, which made it disgustingly watered down.
Strawberry-I was not excited about this flavor and oh man, this was terrible. WAY too sweet. I mixed it with water and had to keep adding until I had added enough to water it down so much that I then had to chug about 30 ounces of faintly strawberry protein water. I HATE it when a shake just keeps GOING on and on, I like to take a few tasty, creamy swigs and be done.

$24.95 for 12 servings=$2.08 per serving or around 12 cents per gram of protein

Overall Rating: Grind (3 out of 10) This stuff is kind of nasty, and way overpriced. It's supposed to be convenient since it's packaged in individual packets that mix easily into a water bottle but it's not convenient if you don't want to drink it. I would not buy this.