Last night’s dinner was delicious and super easy. I just put some ham steaks on top of the stove and fried for a few minutes, the key here is brushing apple butter on both of their sides.  It makes such a nice glaze.  Super yum.  On the side we had roasted rosemary potatoes – you just cut up potatoes (from the garden!) into 8ths (or smaller if you want), toss with some olive oil, rosemary, minced garlic and garlic salt and then bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  :)

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Update: I lasted 36 hours and then I ate a chocolate chip cookie and I’m going to have pizza for dinner tonight.

The soup makes me sick to look at.

I failed.  Maybe you are stronger? Too many temptations right now, makes me sad.

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Cleansing Soup

Who’s idea was it to do a soup cleanse the week  before Christmas? I see positives and negatives.  Positives: No 8 cookies a day.  Negatives: No 8 cookies a day.  I will be finishing this up on Christmas day which I think works best as then I can enjoy the delights of the day and there after.   Everyone has had a pretty fair response with this 7 day diet, the only negative is if you don’t like the soup then you will suffer, but I just had my first bowl and the soup is actually quite good.  As the week goes on I will need to add some water or broth, but definitely enjoyable.

This is how the diet works:

You make a big batch of soup to last you 1 week, and you are allowed to eat this soup whenever you want and as much as you want.   It really is just vegetables so it’s filling and super healthy.  During these days you can have some fruits, vegetables too depending on the day.

Day 1: Eat soup and any fruit (except bananas).
Day 2: Eat soup and any vegetables.  Have a big baked potato with butter at dinner too. No fruit.
Day 3: Eat soup, fruit, vegetables.  No potatoes.
Day 4: Eat soup and bananas (at least 3) today. You can have some skim milk too.
Day 5: Eat soup, tomatoes and beef today.  You can have up to 20 ounces of beef and 6  tomatoes today.
Day 6: Eat soup, beef and vegetables.  You can eat all the beef and vegetables you want, but no potatoes.
Day 7: Eat soup, brown rice, unsweetened fruit juice and vegetables. 

The recipe for the soup is here.

If you follow these rules, you should feel a ton better, not to mention knock off a few pounds.  I will let you know how my progress goes.. I’m about 10 hours in. :)


Get used to looking at this soup.  It’s very thick with tomato paste, pasta sauce and crushed tomatoes.. but it also has a kick to it with paprika, chili powder, etc.  It’s pretty good.

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This is a big bowl of carrots and celery.  All will go in the soup.

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The fresh green beans will go in too.

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For the next few days….. NOMS.

Winter Garden Harvest

Our garden has done so good this year.. even producing into the end of December.  What a great job it’s done – I give you a big hug for so many smiles you created this year.
Sadly the broccoli is done, it just can’t keep up with the below freezing temperatures every single night.. they were such monster broccoli plants too.. weep weep.  WE LOVE YOU BROCCOLI PLANTS.
Here’s 2 harvests in the last few days.

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Wrapping Paper

I love to customize anything I can.  So this year after not finding any wrapping paper I was really in love with I decided  to make my own.  With some custom stampers (I decided to make snowmen and light bulbs), colored stamp pads and some mailing/kraft paper.. you get your own wrapping paper! I really love the simplicity of this and I love how packages look wrapped up in the brown paper, it feels more special to me. 


Here’s the stampers I made, I really didn’t have the best cutting tools but it worked out.


Here’s me stamping the paper.. with some distractions.  I literally needed to stamp around cat bodies and come back to it as for some reason all the cats wanted to lay on this paper while I was doing it.  They also thought they could lift up the stamps on the paper with their paws…


Here are the wrapped presents with my custom snowmen tags. For the light wire I just drew it with a sharpie.



I love how clean the design is as well.. plus it’s always a surprise what will end up on top when wrapping.


Gift Tags

In about 30 minutes you can make a handful of lovely custom gift tags.  All you need is some good paper stock, a hole puncher, scissors, twine/yarn and a pen. I love snowmen so I ran with that…

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NYC –> Paris –> Berlin and back.

A quick summary of the last few days. I will post food in another post of course.

We flew alot. Also I got stopped at JFK and Berlin airport for extra security (twice).  I look naturally suspicious. They put me in the glass cage at JFK, Matthew was too slow in getting a picture.

There was a pink tower somewhere around 5AM in Paris.


Euros confused me, especially the coins.

Watched little kids annihilate each other one morning in Berlin.


Enjoyed tea in my room. Many times.

Enjoyed this bed many times. + The Grandpas went with us, of course.

Enjoyed this tub many times. I asked for this tub for Christmas.

Went to about 10 Christmas Markets in Berlin one night. They are lovely.

Drank hot cocoa. It was in a real mug. Matthew had no idea he looked like this.

No one jaywalks in Berlin. They actually wait until it’s green.  It was very uncomfortable and I felt like whistling while waiting.

Went to this store and fell in love and bought many things.

Reason for our travel: Beck’s Green Box Project Launch.  Was lots of fun, met all the great people we have been working with virtually for the past few months.  Also, everyone in Berlin in general was incredibly nice. Except the lady at the grocery store. 

This is us talking about our project. Or we’re doing a karaoke duet.


This is our project: Super_AR_Avatars. It was the first time we were seeing it live with a green box.  Very exciting, we were happy watching everyone participate.


Brandenburg Gate. Man, it was cold.

I hid in a tree.

The Reichstag.

Day we had to leave, Matthew not wanting to get out of this bed.

Great fun.. want to go back. :)

Garden Update

Well you know the broccoli is looking good, and the sugar snap peas are growing tall  – but how about those other seedlings we started months ago?

Top row L-R: Lettuce, Pak Choi
Bottom row L-R: Brussel Sprouts, Leeks

Everything is looking great! This was about a week ago and they have grown alot in the last few days, especially the lettuce.



Strawberries were cleaned up and we cut off the end pieces. We will see these guys again in the Spring…


My super oregano plant was all picked and now oregano is hanging here to dry.  That oregano plant was strong, it really took over the bed it was in.



All the flower pots were emptied and everything is covered up for the winter.


And our harvest today, will be dinner tonight. :)



These are hands down my favorite teas.  Tea is my go to happiness for the winter (really any season, but especially winter).  I drink 2-4 cups a day and I always sprinkle it with a little sugar and a splash of milk.

Twinings English Breakfast is my #1, I always have some on hand.  I’m big on the dark teas, I’m not really into mixing fruits with my tea (except occasionally some lemon or lady/earl grey).  As I write this post I have a cup of English Breakfast next to me now… it’s almost empty.  Description: “A rich & satisfying robust black tea. The robust, malty character of this tea comes from pure Assam and Kenyan tea leaves grown in India.”

Twinings Prince of Wales, another black tea, always enjoyable.  Description: “A pure black tea sourced from regions of China expertly blended for a velvety smooth and mild taste.”

Disney Wonderland Tea – English Breakfast – This tea is one of the best I’ve had.  I bought this canister that has 25 bags in it at Disney World and it’s been empty for weeks.  I really need this to be filled up again, HINT.

I have no idea what I want for Christmas and I have been telling relatives “tea”. I’m boring, but it’s totally ok. :)


Cilantro Lime Shrimp

This is what I had for lunch today.  What a step up from the usual bowl of soup.  Beautiful and delicious Cilantro Lime Shrimp.  SWOON.

Ingredients for 1 serving (smaller serving – think lunch – for dinner I would double this and have a side):
1/4 pound shrimp, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt + pepper
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon lime juice


Ok, yes, I don’t mind if I do…


Lots of mouth watering pictures behind the cut plus full instructions:

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