Monday, September 4, 2017

Results From The Fair!! Were We Winners?

Are you ready for the results?!?

My kids, as I mentioned in the other post, thought it would be fun to enter Veggie Varmints in the creativity class at the fair.  We saw some friends who entered last year and decided to give it a go.  

A week ago, my daughter, son and I scoured Pinterest for ideas.  Pinterest has everything, you know!  My son didn't want to be boxed in by anyone else's design and decided to go freestyle. We purchased a variety of vegetables and he just went for it.  In the end he created the Lobwhale.  It was a very cute sea creature-looking creation.  He had a lot of fun making it and was happy with his result.  Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures when it was fresh, so you only get to see a wilted version after three days of being unrefrigerated.  So use your imagination and rehydrate those carrots!  My son didn't quite make the prize circle, but he had a great attitude and was very pleased that he had entered.  I even think he wants to do it again, so that's a win in my book!

My daughter found inspiration on Pinterest and had it in her mind for days that she was going to do this one specific thing.  She was almost swayed by her brother's free-styling idea, but in the end went with her original plan.  And it paid off!  She got the blue ribbon!  She won first prize for the eggplant penguin she named Happy Feet.  My daughter was so excited and very proud of herself.  I was happy for her as well, especially because there was a moment in there where I thought she might just throw in the towel.  But she persevered and in the end came out with a win!  

And me?

I did it!!

I got a blue ribbon, too!

I'm so excited.

Ok, there were only one or two other afghans in the class, but I won!!  I know it's quite the small victory, but I can't lie, it was gratifying to see that blue ribbon pinned to my project.  It makes me want to do it all again next year.  I'm already coming up with new ideas! 

So have you ever entered your project in a contest?  This was a first for me and it was so much fun.  It was motivating to have a goal to work towards.  Just like I talked about in my series, 30 Days 30 Recipes, having goal and accomplishing it is so incredibly rewarding.  And the win is just icing.

I've discovered some things about myself this year.  I need goals!  They don't have to be lofty goals or even anything I share with other people.  I just need something to strive towards. Contrived or not, goals create purpose and make me happy.  And I think that might be the secret for everything.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

My favorite Granny Afghan so far!

Last year we went to the fair.  As usual, we checked out the exhibit hall and saw all the homemade creations displayed.  From jams and jellies to Lego creations and fantastical creatures constructed of vegetables, it was there.

Later that night, I saw on Facebook a friend of mine had pictures of her kids holding up their entries and blue ribbons.  That was awesome!  I asked her how hard it was to enter and she directed me to the page for the fair entries.  I read it and found out it was a cinch.  So this year my kids are planning on entering.  Fun!

Not to be left out of all the fun, I checked out the list of options for adult exhibits.  I saw granny square afghan there and I thought, perfect!  So this is what I came up with to enter into the fair this year.  I'm excited to see how I do and check out all the other items people enter.  I'll show you what the kids made as well in another post, so stay tuned!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

6 Ways to Avoid Crochet Pain

I'm not sure about you, but if I go on an all day crochet marathon, my hands stage a revolt!  Not to mention the large knot that forms between my left shoulder blade and spine.  Some might say it's time to take it easy, and they'd be right.  But that doesn't mean I can't crochet anymore.  I just have to do a few things to keep everything healthy.

Here's a list of six things you (and I) can do to keep on crocheting!

1.  Pace yourself.  Do not crochet all day every day.  Just like anything else, take periodic breaks and do something different with your muscles.  Crochet is a sedentary sport, so get off your hiney and move a little.

2.  Stretch every now and then.

3.  Massage your knots and sore muscles.  I get knots in my forearms.  A simple massage with the other hand really helps.  For knots in my back or a sore neck I call on my husband or use my handheld massager.  This really helps, but be cautious not to go overboard!

4.  Posture is key!  Check how you're sitting and see if you can improve.  Can you add a pillow behind your neck, under your arm?  If you have your elbow propped up it can really help with fatigue.

5.  Prioritize your activities.  When I spend hours on the computer, I can't crochet as long.  Or if I color in my coloring book for hours, I am not able to crochet much at all.  Any activity that involves fine motor skill is going to affect your crochet game.

6.  Take your vitamins and supplements.  This might sound like a strange thing but taking vitamins and supplements can help your joint health, which will make crocheting less painful and more enjoyable.  Deficiencies can lead to pain and that can cause more trouble with crochet.  Do a Google search and see what you come up with.  I find all my joints feel the best when I take turmeric.  I also take D, fish oil and a multivitamin.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

30 Days 30 Recipes Wrap-Up

Spaghetti Salad
Deli Crab Salad

So, my 30 days have come and gone.  There were some good recipes and some bad recipes.  And I'll be honest, there were some good days and some bad days.  With all that I have going on in my life (don't we all!!), I wanted to quit the challenge on more than one occasion.  Yet, it was important to me to persevere, however small a goal it seemed.  I think holding through to the end taught me some important lessons.

One lesson I learned was that even when life is crazy, people still want to eat good food.  Resorting to take-out or chicken nuggets every now and then is no big deal.  But, using those things as staples is not ideal.  Having this challenge ahead of me urged me to serve a variety of food to my family and I think they, for the most part, really enjoyed it.

I also learned that I'm glad I have stuck to the old Weight Watchers FlexPoint plan.  The newer plans restrict your choices by giving "naughty foods" insanely high point values.  With smart points, sugar is "punished" so harshly that it limits some of my favorite things much more than I would like.  That's not a recipe for success in my book!  And besides, I'm doing just fine with the old plan.

Another lesson I learned was not even food related.  It was that follow through is so incredibly rewarding.  At the time of this writing I have two blog followers and a handful of other people who stop by to read.  This was for them.  But it was totally also for me!  I proved that I could do it!  I issued myself a challenge and I completed it.  I've never been one to win the gold medal or first prize trophy.  In high school and college, my coaches were always telling me to reach for my personal best.  That seemed a little silly to me, but I get it.  If I can strive to meet the goals I set for myself while also having grace for my failures, I can become a better version of me.  And this simple recipe challenge helped me do that.  I set a goal and I did it.

Not only did I learn a few lessons, I also got some really great recipes.  I will definitely be adding a good number of these to my regular menu.  The Taco Soup was great.  The simple Deli Crab Salad was far better than I expected.  The Herb-Roasted Green Beans were amazing.  And I never thought I'd enjoy a Pumpkin Butter as much as I did.

I won't list them all now because you can read my reviews by clicking the links, but trust me when I say they were mostly good. 

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did.  And I hope it inspires you to challenge yourself to try something you think might be too big or too much for this moment of your busy life.  I bet you can do more than you think.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here often and in especially in October for another blog challenge!!

Taco Soup
Pumpkin Butter

Cauliflower Medley
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

Here are all of the recipes I reviewed.  You can click the links from the list, or the links under the pictures in this post.  

30 Days 30 Recipes

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Faux Egg McMuffin - 30 Days 30 Recipes - Day 30

Sometimes it's the simple things.

You know, I would have never thought to write a recipe for an egg sandwich.  It's something I make all the time.  I've even made them just as this recipe suggests, so I already knew what to expect....yummy goodness.

I'm not a sweet-eater in the morning.  I prefer eggs, or even leftovers from last night's supper.  So this recipe is a great option for quick and easy morning fare.

I view this recipe as more inspiration than pure instruction.  You can take your own angle on it.  Use Swiss or American cheese.  Use ham or turkey bacon or nothing.  It doesn't matter.  It's all delicious!

On that note, I hope you enjoy this last recipe review in the 30 Days 30 Recipes Challenge!

Find this recipe on page 24: 100 Favorite Weight Watchers Recipes.

Taste Score - 10
Ease of Preparation Score - 10

Faux Egg McMuffin


1 english muffin
1/4 cup egg beaters
1 slice 2% cheese
1 slice Canadian bacon (optional)

Place an english muffin in the toaster.  Spray a large mug with nonstick spray.  Place Canadian bacon on bottom of mug.  Pour 1/4 cup of egg beaters on top of bacon and microwave 1-1.5 minutes.  Remove from microwave and add cheese.  Once english muffin is toasted, remove and scoop egg, bacon and cheese onto muffin.

Voila!  Egg McMuffin a la home!

Nutrition Information
Serves 1
1 serving =
253 calories
5 grams fat
28 grams carb
2 grams fiber 23 grams protein

Weight Watchers POINTS - 5
Weight Watchers Points Plus - 6
Weight Watchers Smart Points - 7

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