Monday, April 14, 2014

#100HappyDays: Giving PF Chang's a run for its money

Orange Chicken inspired by Damn Delicious. I followed the recipe pretty closely, but cut the sugar in half and used less than half of the sauce for the marinade, so I'd have more sauce for serving at the end.
It was a 10-dish preparation that included two frying pans, one pot and a juicer, but man, this orange chicken turned out fabulously. Next time, I'll skip the "breading" and frying, since it didn't turn out very crispy anyway, but the flavor is spot on.
To health up the dish, I sauteed green beans, peppers and garlic, then combined with the chicken and sauce.
xoxo,
shawna

#100HappyDays
1. 24 Hours of Happy
2. If loving a wheelbarrow is wrong...
3. A trip to the nursery
4. Transplants
5. Sweet peas
6. Cool as a...
7. A Butterfinger Blizzard
8. Happiness by the yard
9. Keeping the vampires at bay

Yummy things:

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#100HappyDays: Happiness by the yard

Two and a half yards of shredded cedar. Half of the load I wheel barrowed into place today.
One of the few things I absolutely hated about having our Back 40 landscaped this Fall was watching all the work and not helping out. I'm used to heaving a wheel barrow and wielding a shovel, not sitting idly by. So getting into the garden this week has been really satisfying. And exhausting.

Today's happiness included five yards of shredded cedar bark. It didn't look like a lot until the end of the day arrived and I still had a small pile remaining. Considering we still need about 10 more yards, I'm feeling like the bark will never end. But at least it's happy.

xoxo,
shawna

#100HappyDays
1. 24 Hours of Happy
2. If loving a wheelbarrow is wrong...
3. A trip to the nursery
4. Transplants
5. Sweet peas
6. Cool as a...
7. A Butterfinger Blizzard

Other Green Thumbs things:
The quest for 'black gold' ends in composting failure
5 tips for keeping the garden alive during a drought
Tips, tricks and warnings for growing tomatoes
6 tips for keeping mosquitoes away from your yard
Front yard veggie gardening
Spring joy in photos
Project Green Thumbs Season 5 to-dos

Rated R fridge art as diet motivation

Oh did you think I was going to show you the goods? 
"You're going to want to remember this," she said, wielding her beast of a camera as I posed in glittered heels and skimpy something-blue panties in front of wide-eyed bridesmaids.

The this my genius photographer, Beth Baugher, was referring to? My beautifully sculpted arse (thank you, cute trainer dude).

Almost four years later, I am so glad I played along with the mini pre-wedding boudoir shoot as we all got ready for the hitching. Because things aren't so, um, sculpted lately.

And thus, my semi-annual pants-don't-fit-woe-is-me post.

The last six months? I haven't felt like exercising. I've cultivated wonderful all-too-long-lasting friendships with butter, cheese, pasta and sugar. I've been indulging another year on the academic job market with seratonin-releasing happy carbs to keep the depression at bay. And I for one am delighted to welcome warmer weather that will warrant wearing waist-less dresses again.

Ugh.

But, I'm now back on the health and fitness bandwagon. I've been cooking lighter, getting back to zumba, pretending my Juice Plus protein smoothies are milkshakes (Dutch Chocolate does a good impression!).

Despite these good deeds, I've still been coping with Oreos and buttered popcorn, and haven't been able to summon the strength to stop. (Come on, Double Stuff Golden Oreos? Addiction central.)

That is, until I had a brain wave and remembered those tasteful almost-nude black and whites that my fantabulous True Love Photographer shot so many years ago. Now, with one tacked up on the fridge, I'm not thinking about what I have to lose or what I can't eat--negatively framed goals that research shows are less motivating and harder to achieve. No, I've got inspiration. I'm thinking about food in terms of choices and not feelings (although that is damn difficult some days). I'll let you know how it goes.

Any other good diet motivation tips?

xoxo,
shawna

Fitness posts that apparently I need to re-read:
- Applying "The Power of Habit": Making exercise a "keystone habit"
- Feeling like a summer sausage
- Magical thinking doesn't make my pants fit: Developing a fitness plan
- Braving Bikram: What I learned about hot yoga, day 1
- Dialogue of mad muscles
- Mad muscle redux
- Fitness class characters
- Desperate times in the pants fitting department
- Not all Zumba classes are created qual









Thursday, April 10, 2014

#100HappyDays: Cool as a...

Cucumber seedling, of course.

happy: A couple more hours in the garden. I always forget how busy Spring prep and transplanting can be, but I enjoyed potting a couple beefsteaks, transferring these cukes to the garden beds, and peppering one corner of the yard with creeping myrtle and "red apple" aptenia ground cover. Since I've got a ton more ground cover and seedlings to transplant, expect a few more Green Thumbs happy posts. 'Tis the season.

xoxo,
shawna

#100HappyDays
1. 24 Hours of Happy
2. If loving a wheelbarrow is wrong...
3. A trip to the nursery
4. Transplants
5. Sweet peas

Other Green Thumbs things:
The quest for 'black gold' ends in composting failure
5 tips for keeping the garden alive during a drought
Tips, tricks and warnings for growing tomatoes
6 tips for keeping mosquitoes away from your yard
Front yard veggie gardening
Spring joy in photos
Project Green Thumbs Season 5 to-dos

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#100HappyDays: Sweet peas

Sweet peas are as sweet as they look--super fragrant! (In fact, so fragrant that those of us with smell sensitivity keep them OUTSIDE.)
One of today's happiest moments? Noticing sweet peas starting to bloom. I planted them in the Fall and during our Back 40 Revamp, figured they wouldn't survive the trampling of workmen's boots or devastatingly dry winter months.


Well, a little Spring rain brought them back to life and they seem to be thriving. Let it be known: Sweet peas are a Shawna-proof plant!

xoxo,
shawna

#100HappyDays
1. 24 Hours of Happy
2. If loving a wheelbarrow is wrong...
3. A trip to the nursery
4. Transplants