Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Success with metformin and trying again

I have been ignoring my blog for a year, and thought it was time to get back into it. I had started taking metformin in January of this year and by april I found out I was pregnant. I recently miscarried this week, the doctors think due to an incompetent cervix, which should be an easy fix for next time. I never expected the metformin to work so quickly, so I am hopeful that when Scott and I are ready to try again I am ready to get back on the metformin.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Healthy budget meal: Pork Chops, squash, and zucchini

So it's been so hard for me to cook healthy and on a budget here lately, but this week I made this meal and it was a hit. The pork chops only cook for about 3-5 mins on each side so it is quick and easy. Recipe is enough for 5 people but you can make more. You will need a cast iron skillet or other oven proof skillet for this.

1 family pack pork chops

3-4 med sized yellow squash, sliced thin
4-5 med sized zucchini, sliced thin
1 med onion, halved, then sliced thin
1-2 Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Let your pork chops come to room temp and slice all your veggies. Turn on the oven to heat at 400 deg F. In an oven proof casserole dish, combine veggies, olive oil, salt and pepper, and place in the oven. The veggies will take about 20-30 mins depending on how thin you sliced them. When the veggies are almost done and tender, Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Salt and pepper the room temp pork chops on each side, and when the pan is hot put in the oil. Place pork chops evenly around the large skillet and brown on each side for about 1 min, until carmelized on each side. Place the skillet with all the chops into the oven (move your veggies or if they are done take them out) and let the chops cook about 3-5 mins on each side. Take the chops out and let rest a few mins, then serve with veggies. Searing the chops over high heat first will give great flavor and finishing them in the oven takes no time at all. This was such a hit with my husband, I think this is my new favorite way to cook pork chops, I can't wait to try it with cube steak next! You can def season the veggies with any seasoning you like, even add garlic into the mix.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

MAC vs NYX Serengeti : MAC Dupes

I received the NYX trio in Serengeti today and I did some swatches. I quickly got online and had to compare them to some MAC swatches. The NYX shadows come in soooo many colors, and the color payoff is wonderful! What you see in the container is what you get. These are extremely good quality for the price. You can find the trios anywhere from 5-8 dollars. So at less than 3 dollars a color, there is no need to buy anything else! The trios also fit into MAC and Coastal Scents palettes. I am determined to slowly collect all the NYX and Coastal Scent hot pot colors, they are so cheap and you can do about any look at a fraction of the cost for any MAC eyeshadow. You can make the color appear lighter or darker depending on the color you want to achieve. I did all my swatches over a tan/cream jumbo eye pencil, and here are the colors the swatches matched. Sorry I don't have photos, my camera is still broken!!!

MAC color - NYX colors from Serengeti Trio

Gorgeous Gold - yellow color over a white base

Goldmine - yellow color over a nude base

Juxt - middle green color over nude base

Swimming - darkest green color over nude base

Bitter / Lucky Green - middle green and yellow mixed over nude base
*(This matches Lucky Green better because bitter is matte)

Humid - Darkest green over dark base

Friday, April 10, 2009

Inexpensive Mac dupes: Hello Kitty dupes part one

So I have been searching high and low for a website that had more than one 'dupe' color. I mainly searched mineral makeup sites because they often have very inexpensive samples to try out the colors. I do not own the actual hello kitty by MAC items, that is the reason of the 'dupe' searching on my part! I am on such a tight budget, I am hoping to order some of these dupes and post a look with them. I have never had the luxury to buy actual MAC products, I am simply out for the colors. One day I hope to be able to purchase the real deal! These are all mineral makeup sites, but next week or the week after I hope to have dupes up from some online makeup companies and drugstore brands. Using mineral makeup is also good for duping many colors because you can mix the pigments to adjust the shade. I love to dupe because you can go outside the color tone and match the color more for your skin or the look you are trying to create.

I have listed the sites in order for the most 'dupe' colors. If you are saving money it is wise to order multiple items at one site to save on shipping. The first site, Fyrinnae, provides actual swatches of the colors, so it is easier to tell what you are buying. Some of these colors matched actual MAC swatches, some look similar in appearance, and some are just color substitutes. So you can dupe an exact, or just find substitute colors you like.

Fyrinnae is an internet mineral makeup company that has eyeshadow and pigments galore! They also have some lip glosses that are really close to the MAC's hello kitty LipGlass and Dazzleglass. So check out the site and see the colors for yourself! The colors listed on the left are the MAC, the colors on the right are Fyrinnae. The colors listed first are the closest dupes, and the colors listed next are pretty close.

MAC "Lucky Tom" color - Fyrinnae color

Creme Royal - Shinkirou; Finnegan's Wake
Paradisco - Painted Rose; Kimchi; Melty; Macabre
Stylin' - Orca; Neo Universe; Predatory
Lucy Tom - Ultrasuede

Mac "Too Dolly" color - Fyrinnae color

Yogurt - Happy Fun; Titania; Kurisumasu, Snow Bunny
Romping - Kabuki; Kitten in Heels
Too Dolly - Curiouser and Curiouser; Digital Faerie; Shallow Sleep
Stately Black - Karasu; Harlequin

MAC Hello Kitty Lipglass - Fyrinnae Lip Lustre

Nice Kitty - Amplifier
She Loves Candy - Bounce
Mimmy - Ice Cream Party; Megahold (um not really but can be close subs)
Nice to be Nice - Lace Gloves
Sweet Strawberry - Hysteric

MAC Hello Kitty Dazzleglass - Fyrinnae Lip Lustre

Kitty Kouture - Ice Cream Party; Megahold (not really but can be subs)
Dazzlepuss - Lillipop-Pop

Pureluxe Cosmetics is a mineral company with a huge selection of eye colors. Their colors are not as closely matched to MAC as Fyrinnae, but close and they also have lip glosses. The only thing is their stuff looks really glittery, but I am hoping to try some of their stuff to see how they look on. They do not have swatches on the site like Fyrinnae, so these are matched by eye.

Mac "Lucky Tom" color - Pureluxe Cosmetics color

Creme Royal - Susan; Buttercup; Vanilla; Rapture; Promiscuous
Paradisco - Buttered Rum; Fresh; Froufrou; Darling
Stylin' - Bad Girl
Lucky Tom - Cashmere, Solitude

Mac "Too Dolly" color - Pureluxe Cosmetics color

Yogurt - PinkPearls; Innocent; Ballerina; Fairy Wings; Jezebel; Luminous
Romping - Tickle; Retro; Berry
Too Dolly - Shameless; Sassy; Seashore; Trailor Trash; Dream On
Stately Black - Cobalt, Naughty, Black Cat

The lip glosses are not exact matches, but good substitutes

Mac Lipgloss - Pureluxe Lip Wands

Nice Kitty - Lust
Sweet Strawberry - Porno Queen
Nice to be Nice - Tequila Sunrise
Mimmy - Pixie; Centerfold (from the lippie tower)
Kitty Kouture - Deja Vu

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Recipe: Egg drop soup

This is the recipe I did using my homemade broth. Whenever I do a recipe that calls for boneless skinless chicken breast, I always buy chicken with the bone still in. Buying chicken this way is more budget friendly. I simply cut away the skin, throw away, and cut meat off of the bone. I then toss all the bones in a crockpot with seasonings, vegetable ends (like carrot ends and celery ends, and even onion ends) I fill up with water and let cook on low all night or all day. When the broth is smelling good with all the flavors, I drain off the liquid and store. This is so simple and you are getting healthy broth from your vegetable ends and chicken bones that you were going to throw out anyway! So anyway, here is the recipe.

6 cups chicken broth
2 egg whites(sometimes I just use whole egg)
1 tbsp cornstarch
2-4 tsp soy sauce
pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth until simmering. Place cornstarch in bowl. Gradually stir in some of the hot broth until blended and no lumps, then add to the broth. Let the mixture thicken. Turn down the heat, so it is not boiling, just barely simmering. Lightly beat eggs with a little water. Gently stir the broth, and pour in the egg. Try not to stir too much, you don't want tiny eggs, but nice strands. But it really doesn't matter, it will still taste the same, just the big strands of egg looks nicer. Season with the soy sauce and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls. A serving is about a cup of soup, but go ahead and eat two, because a cup of this recipe is about 50 cals and 3g fat. You can use low sodium soy sauce or salt substitute if you are cutting down on sodium.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Super easy recipe: Skillet Salsa Chicken plus bonus budget tip

I don't know how I came up with this recipe, probably one of those days I was searching and searching through recipes on the internet and combined the ingredients I had on hand into one recipe! This recipe is super easy, you will be serving a healthy dinner in no time. I served mine over brown rice and it was a hit with hubby, and he dislikes 'health food'. Buy chicken breast with the bone in, this will be more friendly on your budget, plus you can use them to make chicken broth for your dinner or lunch the next day, and it won't cost you any extra cooking time, all you need is a crockpot. Stay tuned tomorrow to find out what I did with my broth!

Recipe serves 4

Skillet Salsa Chicken and bonus recipe*
(you do not have to do the bonus recipe, but it will save you money and time
for dinner the next day. Stretch your dollar!! Simply leave out the recipe step marked with the *)

4 chicken breast, bone in
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 jar salsa (flavor of your choice)
1 tbsp olive oil ( or cooking oil of your choice)

Place your chicken on a cutting board and cut away the bone and skin. Slice the chicken into 4 or 5 long strips. *Toss the chicken bones and some seasonings, as well as some left over veggies (see my vegetable end recipe tip) into a large crockpot. Fill with water, cover, and turn on low. Let cook overnight, and your broth will be ready for tomorrow!* Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle in 1 tbsp of oil. Put chicken strips into the skillet, put in the taco seasoning, and toss to combine. Cook the chicken strips until just a small amount of pink left, about 5-8 mins. Pour in salsa over chicken. Let mixture come to a bubble, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve over cooked rice or noodles. Can also be served with sour cream or guacamole on top!

*nutrition is without the rice, facts are approximate, depending on the salsa and seasoning you buy

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 294.7
Total Fat 3.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 136.9 mg
Sodium 919.5 mg
Potassium 601.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Sugars 4.3 g
Protein 55.6 g

Budget streatching tip: Save bread ends for bread crumbs!

I came across this tip in a low budget recipe cookbook bye taste of home called 'Dinner on a Dime' It was a gift from my mother-in-law and I love it! There are so many good recipes and tips. This is one of my favorite tips that I have found to be very useful to me. When you get to the last of your bread, save the ends and any other pieces that are broken or just about to go bad. Toss them into a gallon zip top freezer bag and place in your freezer. When your bag is full, or when you need some bread crumbs, thaw out the bread and process for soft bread crumbs, or dry out in a warm oven for dry bread crumbs.