Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I want to DIY Tufted Headboard Project!

Two posts in one day...well it is a holiday :-)! We have had some really cute trick-or-treaters spooking their way through our office today (my colleagues' children) and it makes me so happy!

Moving on, this weekend I plan on taking on the task of making a Do-It-Yourself Tufted Headboard and have found a brilliant tutorial by Jenny Komenda Interiors bog here. This picture tutorial is so incredibly helpful, and while it no doubt will be a tricky task, I think AJ and I are crafty enough to make one (though I could be wrong haha)!

I would LOVE to recreate this Urban Outfitters tufted headboard with antique brass nailheads that retails for almost $700 on their website, for a fraction of that price!:

More importantly, I have also been really thinking and keeping in my prayers my family and neighbors who live in New Jersey near my family beach home. While our beach home was spared from damage (minus a few fallen trees in our backyard) thank God, within our community Storm Sandy really really has caused a lot of wreckage and heartache. I have everyone in my prayers and thoughts and hope for recovery.

These are just a few hearbreaking and mind-boggling pictures I found of NJ and NYC on CNN:


Hope everyone is getting by alright and I have my prayers out there for y'all!.....If anyone has any tips on DIY headboards please let me know!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Healthy Low-Fat Whole Wheat Pancakes

On Sunday morning I was craving something sweet but healthy, filling but not bloating. I didn't want to leave the house to eat, so with my basic knowledge of what should go in Pancakes-- I looked in my pantry to see how I could put together a low-fat whole wheat recipe.

Ingredients Used

1.5 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup low fat milk
2 tsp of baking soda
2 egg whites
Dash of Nu-Salt (I'm low-sodium)
2 tsp of sugar (you could also use stevia, splenda etc.)
1.9 ounces of No-Sugar-Added Apple sauce (I used half a portable-applesauce container)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of Vanilla flavoring

Mix all ingredients together until there are no lumps left in batter

I used half of one of these containers for the Apple Sauce--No Sugar Added kind!

If you think your batter is too "milky" add another tblsp of Whole Wheat flour--too dry, add a splash of milk.

 Pour batter into a greased skillet, and cook on one side until bubbles start to form...then carefully flip pancakes--be patient and cook until fluffy & try not to presh down on them!

Bubbles starting to form means it's almost time to flip


After cooking up all of the pancakes, I sprinkled the ones we would eat with a little powdered sugar, and a spash of microwave warmed Maple Syrup...and devoured them!

If you have extra pancakes--this recipe makes around 8 pancakes I believe, then you can either refrigerate or freeze the pancakes for fun snacks and easy & healthy breakfasts later in the week!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sick Day

Taking a sick day from blogging since I had a migraine this morning and didnt get to the office until 9:20...will be back and fresh tomorrow will my fun weekend! Hope you east coasters are staying warm, dry, and safe from Frankenstorm!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fun Apartment Finds

While I don't generally shop for clothes at Urban Outfitters, I was exploring their website last night (on the random) and found that they have incredibly cute and very afforable home goods and furniture.  Here are some of the things I love from their website apartment section:

Love these chevron print curtains, thought hey might be a little too trendy for me. via

Kind of obsessed with owning this leather butterfly chair $219

This owl cookie jar is so sweet and would add a lot to my kitchen counter tops! via

This sphere stool is really cool and modern--would love to put it in a hallway as a statement piece Via

Sheep Measuring Cups! So special Via

It's the little details that count like these very sweet curtain holders Via

I absolutley love this print, it's so whimsical, and the colors are amazing Via

Lovely couch and very detailed. For $779 it's a pretty good deal!

The headboard is everything! I would love to plan a room around this--it is probably the pricest thing, other than the couch on here of course. Via

wall art that would look great in a nice gold frame!

Would LOVE to own this rug

Cool geometric rug

Love this headboard as well, and it's a lot more affordable! Via

Wow so a LOT of amazing things on the Urban Outfitters Apartment section online--I also am really crushing on these Franco Sarto 'client riding' boots I found at Nordstroms--really love the dark leather and the price tag isn't too bad for good quality, leather boots. Via:

I also am in major need of a new long down puff jacket for when the frigid winter weather hits in a few weeks. I started my search in the Patagonia Women's department, then realized I could comfortably fit into a Girl's department sized jacket that was identical to the women's sized jacket...but instead of costing $299, it's $169! Great deals all around--just look for a size Kid's XL or XXL depending on your height etc.

In other news, Jessica Biel, excuse me, Timerblake, and Justin Timerblakes' Italian wedding is now in the newest version of People magazine! She choose a  Giambattista Valli Haute Couture  petal pink dyed dress which looked lovely on her complexion! While I'm more traditional, I think this is great for a hollywood wedding!

Well time for a long work day, and then mailing in my voting ballot tonight! Gosh, I do love politics, but I'm a little sick of seeing the cut-throat commericals on tv and seeing so many attacks on social media sites between people of different persuasions! Happy Voting though :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Great Saturday Afternoon!

One thing I love most about Autumn is college football Saturdays! While I don't enjoy watching all too many sports on tv, college football and NBA are in my opinion worth getting hyped up about! We spent this afternoon with friends watching the Ohio State Buckeyes play Purdue at one of our favorite neighborhood bars. The game started at 10am mountain time, so I uncharacteristically started off with a mimosa bright and early! We won in overtime with a touchdown which was incredibly exciting. Hope you're having a fun Saturday rooting on your favorite college team!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Low-Sodium Diets

While I'm not always perfect when it comes to eating low sodium, it's a mandatory part of my lifestyle to control a chronic illness that I have. Because of that, I try to eat low sodium 98% of the time so that I can enjoy a slice of pizza out with friends without feeling guilty every once in awhile! I also have learned that for most food items, there are particular brands that make a lower-sodium (or even better, a no-salt-added) option. This allows me my favorite foods but in a much healthier way.

The key to eating low sodium is simple: read nutritional labels, and get acquainted at the grocery store with the brands that make your favorite foods but with lower sodium amounts. For example, I have found that Kroger brand Original Instant-Oatmeal has 70mg of sodium per packet, while Quaker has 80mg of sodium per packet. When you get into the flavored oatmeals the difference is even bigger---with the Quaker brands for example, there are 260mg of sodium in each packet of Maple & Brown Sugar Instant-Oatmeal, while Kroger brand offers one for around 140mg.

My doctor recently informed me that the average American eats 3 times the amount of sodium they should in a single day (you should eat 1500 milligrams of sodium or less daily). Even natural foods such as un-seasoned meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and eggs have sodium in them. However, the levels in unprocessed foods like these are much lower, and also, natural salts are better for your body than processed foods (obviously!).

It's important to point out that even products advertised as being "low salt" often are incredibly high in sodium, making it even more important to read and brouse the shelves before you purchase!

I also swear that by eating lower sodium foods, and by cooking more of your own meals, you will loose unwanted pounds in a matter of weeks! Looking back, I always thought that I was a very healthy eater as I ate low-fat and low-cal...but as soon as I had to start thinking twice about sodium levels, and picking out smarter brands and less processed foods, I immedietly lost pounds, felt lighter, less bloated, and all around better about my body!

Some of my favorite no-salt-added, and low-sodium favorites (I consider low sodium to be between 0-100mg per serving): 

Fresh fruits tend to be very low sodium or no sodium foods. They also are low calorie and delicious so you can't go wrong!

Veggies are also a staple in a low-sodium diet.

 No Sugar Added Mott's Apple Sauce, and No Sugar Added Mandarin Oranges are also both very low sodium foods with around 30-40mg per serving. Look at the brands and compare sodium levels--these are also perfect for lunches.

This is the only canned soup that I have found that is No-Salt-Added and also delicious. It has really helped me to cut down on time spent in the kitchen, and perfect to throw in my lunch bag for work! While it's around $2.50/can at Target, it's really yummy, filling, and easy. My personal favorite is the Black Bean Health Valley Organic No Salt Added soup--with only 30mg of sodium per serving (2 per can) it has a lot of fiber, and is also low in calories! Strongly suggest all of these flavors.

Broths more often than not are extremelly sodium laden. I have found that these Pacific brand organic broths are the lowest in sodium levels, yet still get the job done. Of course there is nothing better than a really salty chicken noodle soup, but there is really nothing nutritious about it! These Organic broths taste great, and have around 80mg of sodium per cup of broth--compared to around 600-900mg per cup in leading regular brands! I use these for making soups and other recipes, and season with herbs instead of salt.

Protein and fiber are very important in your diet! While cooking a bag of fresh beans is always a very low-to-no sodium option, sometimes that just isn't possible. Kuner brand no-salt-added black beans and pinto beans offer already cooked and ready to use beans for around 10-20mg per serving which is awesome! I use these to make "burritos" in my special locally-baked low-sodium pitas! I also add them into rice dishes, soups, chillis, and salads.

When it comes to processed cheeses, I try to use only a little bit or none at all. I however do love my cheese, so I have found that many store brands of fresh homemade mozzarella can contain as little as 50mg of sodium per serving. This is incredible, and I really jump for joy when I find brands like these! Eggs are also a great way to get your protein in a low-cal-low-sodium way. They say that people who eat eggs for breakfast end up staying full longer throughout the day, and loose more weight than those who eat a bagel for breakfast--great option!

When it comes to bread products I have really had to do my research at the grocery store because most brands have a lot of sodium in them. I have found that Thomas's Light Regular English Muffins (not the wheat kind) have around 140mg of sodium per muffin, and I really rely on my locally baked pitas that my Kroger offers from an Indian bakery. However, make sure to realize that just because breads are labeled as having come from a bakery, that they are not always low in sodium--you need to read the nutrional label attached to find out the exact amount to know for sure--this is why I do not buy breads from the bakery in Kroger, because most often they do not supply nutrional values with them. I own my own bread maker and often times make homemade bread and just do not add salt, making your own food from scratch is a great alternative to scouring nutrional labels at the store! Be an educated consumer and I guarantee you will loose weight and feel great.

Corn Tortillas are a great low-sodium alternative to Flour Tortillas when eating mexican food. Pre-packaged Corn Tortillas have as low as 10mg of sodium per tortilla, while pre-packaged Flour Tortillas often have up to 300-400mg of sodium per tortilla! They also tend to be gluten-free which is great for making a make-shift sandwich!

My favorite low sodium/no sodium additions:

Fresh Honey

Salad Dressing tend to be very high in sodium--olive oil and balsamic vinegar are a great alternative, so is I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray for toast! I also love Whole Foods because they offer fresh ground peanut butter and almond butter that have next to no sodium in them!

This took a little getting used to, but now I love it!

This is my favorite brand of tomatoes--I use them to make pasta sauces, pizza sauces, and chilli.
I often use Sour Cream in place of Mayo in recipes, and really like to use it as a low-salt dipping sauce.

Frosted Mini-Wheats only have 4mg of sodium per serving which is incredible! They are filling and also have a lot of fiber in them as well! Best breakfast or snack!

I drink Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened Milk which is low in calories, has double the amount of calcium than milk has, and is dairy-free so it doesn't cause as much inflammation.

 Quinoa is a no-salt added food. I add fresh veggies to mine!

 I also use Nu-Salt which is a no-sodium alternative to salt--it looks like salt and actually tastes pretty similar:

 Last but not least, Starbursts have zero milligrams of sodium in them! Great for my sweet tooth!

Eating Low-Sodium is a lifestyle adjustement, but one that you will be happy you made! Please share your favorite low-salt foods!!