Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2011

Landscape 101

Let’s get a few things out in the open:

I am not an architect.
I am not an interior designer.
I am not a landscaper.
I have poor spatial visualization skills.

Our yard is pretty much a blank slate. I can do whatever I want with the landscaping (great), but I have no guidelines to follow to show me exactly what I could do (not so great).

I was told that I should hire a professional landscaper.

FOR SERIOUS??

It was along the lines of, ‘you don’t know what will look good’ or ‘you don’t know what grows well in this zone’ blah blah blah.

I’ve lived in Michigan for 25 years. If I haven’t paid enough attention to my surroundings in that time to not know what sorts of plants grow and don’t grow in Michigan, then that is my own fault. I don’t need someone to tell me to plant an apple tree and not a mango tree.

I want my yard to be designed by me.

My Goals for the Yard

  • color
  • native plants & flowers
  • planned design, but not perfection

I have a stack of that paper with the little square grids on it, a mechanical pencil, tape measure, and a blank canvas. I can figure this out.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Week number one of the October Unprocessed Challenge is over today and I have had a successful first week. I managed to not have any pop all week, only water, coffee, and watered down juice and I also did not eat out for lunch or dinner all week. This is quite the accomplishment for us. Just to note,  I am “fully” participating and the husband is only “semi” participating. I weighed myself last Saturday morning and this Saturday morning – the difference being 4.5 pounds. 4.5 POUNDS. Holy Biggest Loser, Batman! I have been in a stalemate with my weight for a while now, it just wouldn’t budge. I exercise about 4-5 times per week and I’m training for a half marathon, but still no downward movement.

I really think that changing up my diet was the key factor. Especially eating my own lunch each day at work. That definitely helped.

Saturday, October 1st
Breakfast: scrambled eggs with broccoli, bacon, toast, jam from Jampot, Roosroast coffee (locally roasted)
Dinner: BBQ beef ribs, baked squash, green beans

Sunday, October 2nd
Breakfast: fried eggs, toast, jam from Jampot, Roosroast coffee
Lunch: leftover spinach, sausage, and orzo soup
Dinner: Pork roast, couscous, garlic green beans

Monday, October 3rd
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt (local!), granola, dried cranberries
Lunch: Leftover sausage, spinach, and orzo soup
Dinner: Stir fry with rice, broccoli, carrots, leftover pork roast

Tuesday, October 4th and Wednesday October 5th
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt, granola, dried cranberries
Lunch: Leftover cauliflower and potatoes in red pepper sauce, couscous, applesauce
Dinner: Homemade Lasagna

Thursday, October 6th
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt, granola, dried cranberries
Dinner: Roasted cauliflower with sea salt and paprika, quinoa with shredded zucchini and curry powder

Friday, October 7th
Breakfast: Vanilla yogurt, granola, blackberry jam
Lunch: Leftover cauliflower and potatoes in red pepper sauce, applesauce, cashews, and dried cranberries
Dinner: Beef and Noodle Stew (recipe below)

Pork roast, couscous, garlic green beans

Stir fry with broccoli, carrot, leftover pork roast

The beef and noodle stew is a really easy dish that I make every once in a while. Normally I make it with lamb, but I wasn’t able to get to the farmer’s market this last weekend to get any lamb, so I used some chuck roast we had frozen from the quarter of a cow we bought.

Beef Stew with Noodles, from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook
Ingredients
1 lb beef stew meat (or lamb)
1 med onion, sliced
3.5 cups water
.25 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1 tsp italian seasoning (or other herbs)
.25 tsp salt
.25 tsp pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup green beans
.75 cup bow tie pasta
15 oz tomato sauce

1.) In a large saucepan, brown meat and onions.
2.) Add water, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil, then simmer for 1 hour (beef), 45 min (lamb).
3.) Add mushrooms, green beans, and pasta. I usually need to add more water here. Bring to boil, simmer for 15 min.
4.) Add tomato sauce and cook another few minutes until tomato sauce is heated.

This makes about four servings or so, but we can usually get about five out of it. I don’t necessarily measure any of these ingredients aside from the water, so it’s a bit hap-hazard.

Exceptions to the Rule
So, everything I eat might not be totally unprocessed, but I’m trying. I’ve cut out some things, like soy milk, and made a few exceptions.

White rice: I love white rice. End of story. We buy it in huge probably 20 pound bags and I just bought one in September, so I’m not going to buy brown rice just because.

Free sample: Unless it is undeniably over-processed, I’ll still take a free sample. So the orange chicken at the mall is a no-no free sample, but the maple-glazed mahi mahi I sampled at Whole Foods today – not so worried about that.

Also, I might have to eat at Applebee’s tomorrow. We have another new employee at work starting tomorrow and that is our “Employee’s First Day” lunch. I managed to get out of it this week, since it wasn’t announced in time and I’d already heated my lunch. I can’t escape this coming Monday most likely.

Read Full Post »