Thursday, January 31, 2013

Creamy Mac and Cheese w/Swiss Chard

Okay, so before I give you the recipe for the mac and cheese with swiss chard, I need to tell you about the best mac and cheese cooking procedure ever.

One day at dinner, my friend Stephanie told me about this revolutionary mac and cheese recipe. It is more of a WAY to cook mac and cheese rather than a recipe. (The one I linked to is just an idea on how to use the procedure) She claimed that it was so easy and came out just as if you made cheese sauce. Now if you've made cheese sauce before, you know it is kind of annoying. This procedure had you COOK the pasta in the milk and then just add in cheese. BRILLIANT!
Samantha's DaySince my daughter Lexi, LOVES mac and cheese, I make it a lot. I have always been weird-ed out that cheese comes in powdered form. My parents growing up made everything fresh and Asian cuisine really doesn't include cheese. So boxed mac and cheese was very foreign to me. But it was so easy that I eventually gave in to the powder.
But NOW that I have found this awesome way to cook mac and cheese, I will never go back to powder!!! Thanks Steph! Her cooking blog link is posted to the left. Check it out!

Okay, so getting back to this mac and cheese with swiss chard. I found the recipe through which is just a site/program that you subscribe to that creates your weekly meals for you. I found it on groupon and it was $20 for a year. So I said why not!

This recipe is a mixture of the revolutionary mac and cheese recipe and thefresh20 recipe. (I can't link to thefresh20 recipe since you have to be a member to view it.) But doing the revolutionary way, it saves a lot of time and frustration.

 Creamy Mac and Cheese w/ Swiss Chard

6 ounces whole wheat elbow
3 cups of warmed, low fat organic
1 cup of water (Reserved)
¼ medium yellow onion, whole
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 cups, about 6 ounces, Colby jack
cheese, shredded and divided
2 packed cups Swiss chard, stems
removed, cut into shreds or small
2 cooked chicken breasts cut into bite size
1/3 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs

 Before cooking:(Make sure that you have cooked your chicken already.)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil an 8x8 inch
brownie pan or any small casserole dish.
2. Combine the pasta (UNCOOKED), onion, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. (The milk should just barely cover the pasta.)
Cook, stirring, with the heat low for about 20 minutes (until the pasta is soft). Make sure the milk doesn’t boil!
Add in reserved water if you feel that there is not enough milk until the pasta is cooked. You want a little bit of liquid left with the cooked pasta.
4. Remove the onion. Stir in the salt and cheese, reserving about 1/4 cup of cheddar. Stir well.
5. To the pot of macaroni and cheese, add the swiss chard and chicken stir to combine and then spoon into the prepared 8x8 pan. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese and panko bread cumbs, place into preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until top is browned. Serve warm. 

And that is all folks! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cross-Braid Sock Bun

I LOVE the bun right now, and I know that everyone does too! It is such a cute change to the boring pony tail. Whil surfing through my favorite channels on youtube, I found this AWESOME easy bun/braid combo.
It also showed me a new way to do the sock bun, which this way is SO much easier. The only thing is that I have really long hair and a lot of it, so I did have a lot left over. I did the same thing Mindy did in the video, wrapped it around the hair. It just looked a little poofier around the bottom.
Well here is what it looked like when I did it.
I just added a little yellow flower in the front because I thought it just needed something a little more. And plus, its winter and I needed some happy spring feelings.. =o)

And here is the video! =o) Happy Hair!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Braid Headband

I am really into head bands right now, but sometimes with my bangs they tend to slide off of my head. (REALLY annoying =o)). And then I saw this video for a really cool idea for a "headband" made with your own hair. And, NO,  you don't cut your hair and make a headband. =o)
This is what it looked like when I did it.

If you watch the video, I did not pull out the braid to make it flat (pancake braid), or curl my hair. I just didn't have time to in the morning.
She also bobby pinned the braids on the outside of her hair. I thought that it looked a little too messy, so I tucked the ends underneath some hair and then bobby pinned them to make it to make it really look like a headband. =o)

=o) Enjoy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Princess double Dutch braid

I was channeling my inner princess with this look. :)
I started my splitting my hair into two parts. almost as if i was going to put my hair half up. I tied the bottom part with a clip for time being.
Then I started with two Dutch braids on each side of my head from the top. I ended around my ears and finished each braid off normally.
Then using the rest of the hair along with the braids, I split them up into three equal parts and started to braid until finished. Tie off with a ponytail holder and voila. Princess Dutch braid :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waterfall Braid

So over winter break my sisters were visiting and I wanted to play with their hair.
My one sister, Cindie, wanted something cool. Of course I went on youtube and went searching. I found this COOL and SIMPLE hair style to try.
It's called the waterfall braid. It was real easy to do on my sister, so I decided to try it on myself.

And this is what it looked like:

I had to first do a little french brain at the beginning rather than drop one hair section immediately. It felt too loose. So instead of dropping the first two sections, I just did a french braid like normal, and then started the waterfall braid when I got to above my ear. Also at the end, instead of grabbing hair normally, I grabbed hair from the front section of my head (the left side) so that it looked like my hair was half up from the front. I tied it off and added a bow clip to hide the rubber band.
I'm sorry I don't have step by step pictures yet, but I will soon (as soon as I can get someone to take them for me) so that my directions make sense! =o)

Here is the youtube video for the waterfall braid. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

French Fishtail Braid

I was getting bored of the regular french and dutch braids. While I was browsing hair styles, I saw the video title of fishtail french braid. I didn't have time to actually view it, but I knew I was going to put that in my bag of tricks later on.
So one day I decided to try it, without looking at the video. I used my knowledge of the french braid and fishtail braid and just tried it out.
This is what it ended up looking like. Not bad, but I know I will want to try it again and make it a little tighter. As you can see, I also added a headband to it to make it just a little more "hippie-esque". =o)

Below is the link for the French Fishtail Braid by CuteGirlHairStyles on youtube. I did my french fishtail braid to the side, just as I would with a regular french/dutch braid. The video shows it down the middle. Feel free to play around with it once you get the hang of it. =o) Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Painted TOMS

 A while ago while I was an art counselor at a summer camp, I decided to paint my converses. Then while online shopping for some new TOMS, I saw that they were selling simple painted TOMS for a CRAZY amount of money. Who knew that idea caught on! I should have copyrighted the idea! haha. So anyway, I thought to myself, well I'm pretty creative, and I love painting! So I decided to paint them myself.

This pair I found the inspiration from a painted wood panel I saw down at Stone Harbor, NJ this summer. The quote is "Live in the Sunshine, Swim in the Sea, Drink the Wild Air."

This is a pair that I painted for my sister. The inspiration is from the Van Gogh Sunflowers Painting. =o)

Well I hope that these ideas bring some inspiration into your life! =o)

More painted TOMS/SHOES to come.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Same-Side Dutch Braid | Medium Hairstyles | Cute Girls Hairstyles

This video is a little different than what I did, but all you have to do is start on the OPPOSITE side of where you want your braid to be. And its all the same after that. =o)

If you like doing hair, this girl is awesome! Subscribe to her on youtube, CuteGirlsHairstyles. And plus, her name is also Mindy (spelled differently, but who cares? =o))


You should subscribe to The Beauty Department! =o) They are awesome. I pin their stuff all the time on pinterest.

Dutch braid/Fishtail

So this is a hair style that I made up because I really wanted to try the fishtail out.
I started with a dutch braid. (Which looks like an inside out french braid, I will post the youtube links in my next post). Then instead of finishing it off with the regular braid, I split the end into two and started a fishtail braid.

And this is what it looks like.

I added in the flower just to make it a little more fun. =o)

The youtube links are coming right up! =o)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Double Braided Bun

So I REALLY love doing my hair everyday and everyone always asks me how I did it. I find things on pinterest, and youtube for tutorials!
There are SO many ideas out there.
Here is one that I pinned on pinterest a while ago:

And here is the picture of my hair:
 Instead of making a bun with just my hair, mine never turn out as nice. I used a bun maker (the one that looks like a donut). You can find them on ebay, search for bun maker. There are a lot of different ones and all are good for buns, but also they can be used for different purposes.

If you have any questions on how to do this, after reading the directions on pinterest, let me know!! =o)

Happy hair!!



Hi Everyone!

I know that I have not been posting for a WHILE. After I stopped making baby food, it seemed harder to think of topics to cover everyday. Being a mom, there are always things to talk about, but I didn't think that they were that exciting as to post about them.
I also started working fulltime, and boy, did I not have ANY time to do anything!

So I have been thinking that I will be posting about anything and everything! I love to do so many things that I figured I would just share them with you all as they come about! And I will try to keep up with it as much as I can!

So enjoy the ride and I hope that some of my Posts bring you inspiration to grab hold of live and fly!