Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Baked Egg Dish (Low Carb)



I love eggs.  So thus I must post another egg recipe that I have had on heavy rotation lately.  It is low-carb of course but might be my new favorite way to eat eggs.  What is so great about this is that it is super simple and adaptable to your tastes depending on what ingredients you add and how long you cook the eggs.  I am personally a fan of an egg with a crispy edge so I like mine well done.  This recipe is for one large serving as I typically eat twice a day and this makes up both my breakfast and lunch.

Baked Egg Dish

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs real butter, slightly melted and used to grease the dish... yes, this is a lot of butter, yes it makes the dish
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs chopped green chilies
  • 2 Tbs chopped bacon (or any other meat you like)
  • 2 Tbs. crumbled goat cheese 
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small casserole dish, grease the bottom and up the sides of the dish.  Let the extra butter pool at the bottom of the dish.  Break open the four eggs.  Sprinkle the remaining ingredients across the top. Place in the oven 10-15 minutes depending on how done your like your eggs.  I go for the whole 15 to get a good crisp on the eggs.  Remove from oven and let cool.  These eggs are super hot and will burn your mouth like no other if you aren't patient.  Enjoy.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Jenny's Mini Cooking Show



I have a new Youtube channel that I have been watching lately.  Oh yeah, if you didn't know... I watch Youtube a lot.  I have several channels that I watch regularly as if it was a tv show.  My daughters do the same although the content is mostly different except when it comes to cute, kawaii things like Jenny's Mini Cooking Show.  It is just amazing to me the patience that this would take... not only to bake the food but to also make the utensils, ingredients, etc.  Jenny makes all of it herself, including the oven! I looked online to see if in fact anyone does sell mini-cooking supplies.  Other than an Easy Bake Oven, which was a childhood favorite and still is... no luck.  Still this might make for a fun winter afternoon of fun when stuck inside.  If you are interested in other fun foods to make check out my Play with your Food Pinterest Board.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Margot Elena Spring Box


I have been a fan of the brand TokyoMilk for a couple years now after finding their perfumes at a couple of boutiques in my hometown.  The scents were always a little unusual in combination but lovely in smell, have an edgy look to the bottle and off the beaten path of designer perfumes.  What I didn't realize until a few months ago was that TokyoMilk was actually one of the many brands by a company called Margot Elena. Margot Elena, who is both a person and a company located in Englewood, Colorado, is the "author" of several health brands that include body, beauty, and lifestyle products. All of the Margot Elena products are also cruelty free.

I recently discovered that they had started a quarterly subscription box that comes with each season and signed up for the Spring Box.  The cost was $49.99 + shipping making it about $60.  It seems a little steep if you were comparing it to the likes of Birchbox, Ipsy, etc. but make no mistake, this box is so much more. (And for the record, I am not a fan of Birchbox or Ipsy...)

For one, all the bath and beauty products are full-size.  The value of my box came up to $224 and there is nothing in the box that I will not use.  In fact, so many of the products are now becoming favorites. I sound like a salesperson but this box is really that good... I highly recommend.

The contents were:

  • Papaya & Honeysuckle Face Mask | The Cottage Greenhouse, $28.
  • Handwoven Natural Fiber Tassel Scarf | Margot Elena, $32
  • Rosemary Mint Travel Candle | The Cottage Greenhouse, $12
  • At Last Shea Butter Handcreme | Lollia, $25
  • Pomegranate Facial Serum | The Cottage Greenhouse, $30
  • Gin & Rosewater Eau de Parfum | TokyoMilk, $30
  • Willow & Water Perfumed Shower Gel | Library of Flowers, $22
  • TokyoMilk Signature Stationary Set of Five | TokyoMilk, $25
  • Cucumber French Soap | The Cottage Greenhouse, $6.50
  • Grapefruit French Soap | The Cottage Greenhouse, $6.50
  • Fig French Soap | The Cottage Greenhouse, $6.50






My favorites so far are: 

  • Willow & Water Shower Gel - Smells fantastic and the scent lingers long after a shower. I will definitely be purchasing this again and again.
  • Papaya & Honeysuckle Mask - Mild, not greasy face mask that smells wonderful and left my skin feeling soft and fresh. Definitely one of the better masks I have tried and I have tried a lot...
  • Rosemary Mint Candle - I have a weakness for rosemary, especially rosemary mint.  My favorite shampoo by Aveda is rosemary mint. I need a large one of these for my bedroom... the smell is so relaxing and clean. ** By the way, if you have not tried the Aveda Rosemary Mint Shampoo/Conditioner and you love rosemary... it is well worth the price.
Again, nothing is bad. Nothing is cheap. All high-quality products.  There is something about getting out of the shower before bed and having a feeling of freshness surround you... especially after a hot day, in your favorite pjs, cuddled up with a book, and surrounded by crisp, clean sheets.  These products have helped fulfill my dreamy nighttime ritual.

I can't wait for my summer box.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Keto - Low Carb Croque Madame




A year ago this week, we were staying in Paris. I've been missing Paris quite a bit and already plotting when I can return. One thing I miss quite a bit are croque monsieur and croque madames, These are essentially toasted open face ham and cheese sandwiches (topped with an egg makes it a madame), Unfortunately, these are not the lowest carb foods. At least they weren't until I figured out to make them low carb.  I had a couple of ideas in mind and will probably give each a try but the key to this croque madame is a lower carb bread that I recently discovered, Sara Lee Delightful with a net 13 carbs for 2 slices.  My quick instructions to assemble below.



Low Carb Croque Madame 

2 slices of Sara Lee Delightful bread
1 Tbs. butter melted
2 slices Gruyere cheese
2 slices of nice ham (I used Boar's Head)
2 eggs, prepared over easy


I buttered 2 slices of bread on one side and placed them on a baking sheet, butter side down for 4 min. Once the bread had started to toast I pulled out and topped with ham and cheese.  I put the slices back in the oven under broil until the cheese was nice and bubbly.  Once done, I topped each slice with an over easy egg.

Perfection.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Keto-friendly Supplements by Mansports




I've recently started taking some supplements to help with burning fat and insuring that I am getting enough water each day. I have come across a brand, Mansports,  which is keto-friendly and has great products that I have started using throughout the day. Since I get a keto-audience on this blog, I thought it might be valuable to those readers. 

**I have no relationship with Mansports other than the purchases I have made with my own money.

Mansports products are made with zero or at max, a low sugar content.  All the products I have been using are zero sugar and have not negatively impacted me staying in ketosis in any way.  I have not tried all the products available but have three great products so far that have become part of my normal routine.


  • Mansports Iso-Amino.  You add a scoop of this to a tall glass of ice water and it has a similar effect as adding Crystal Light to your water but the flavors are over the top good, just like candy.  So far I have tried grape bubble gum which legit tastes like grape gum and Rainbow sherbet which I think tastes most like Fruity Pebble Cereal which I still really enjoy.  Both help me drink a ton more water and stay hydrated which is also helping with my weight loss.  Other flavors that they have and that I am anxious to try are: Pineapple Express, Fruit Smash, Dorks (Nerds-candy flavor), Green Apple and so many other flavors.



  • Mansports L-Carnitine.  L-Carnitine is a fat burning booster. I keep this in my refrigerator and take a shot each morning to help me burn more fat throughout the day.  L-Carnitine comes in Lemon Drop, Rainbow Sherbet, Blue Razz, and Mango.




  • Mansports Iso-Protein.  Proteins are heavily used by the keto community because they can be used to replace flours in baked goods such as cakes and cookies.  Mansports has an array of awesome flavors which can be mixed as a shake or are great to use in keto-baking.  I recently tried using the Confetti Cake Protein to make pancakes and they are my favorite yet.  So good.  Other flavors of protein available are Sprinkled Donut, Loopy Fruit (Fruit Loops), Blueberry Muffin, Peanut Butter Bits, and the list goes on....


Since buying these supplements, I have noticed a couple of things:


  • I am losing weight again.  Although I have been back on keto since January my loss has been a lot slower than the past.  Once I incorporated these products in, I have started seeing results faster.


  • My sweet tooth is gone.  I am not craving sugary-flavored things because my body thinks it is getting this because of the candy and baked good flavors.  


You can buy Mansports products on their website and they frequently run specials like 20-30% off.  This is good because some items can be pricey.  Amazon also has a selection of Mansports products but you won't find the variety offered on their website.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hawaii in the Spring



We booked our next adventure to Oahu, Hawaii this spring.  Josh and I were trying to think of summer destinations for our family vacation and I joked, we could go to Hawaii.  This has been a joke in our house because every time I go looking at flights to Hawaii (any island) from the Midwest, it is always $1200+ per person just for the flights!  On a lark, I checked again and I saw that flights were down in price this spring.  I have many sites and tools that I use for travel hacking so I started to get excited, maybe... just maybe it was possible.

Success!  I found round trip tickets for $550 a person.  And just like that, we are headed to Hawaii.  I also managed to have saved up 2 nights on Hotels.com over the last year of free stay, so we are also getting a nice deal on our hotel in Waikiki for the week.

We are looking forward to hanging out at the beach and exploring the island but I would lying if I didn't mention that this trip is also feeding my family's kawaii and Japanese-culture addiction. My girls are already talking about eating bento boxes for lunch each day and perusing all the Sanrio and San-X goods they can find.

I'm looking forward to our trip and can't wait to share our adventure with you.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Final Girls: A Novel by Riley Sager Book Review





Each year, I set a goal for how many books I want to read using the Goodreads App on my phone.  I usually come up short of meeting my goal  but I find that it keeps me motivated to read throughout the year which is something I want to do, love to do, but can sometimes lose sight of with all the competition of TV shows, crafts, Internet browsing, and plenty of other unproductive activities.  Reading isn't unproductive to me, though. It feels like one of the most productive things that I can do.

I also love that I can listen to audio books on the Audible App and multi-task. My favorite thing to do is listen to a book while working on cross-stitch projects.  I'm pretty much obsessed with cross-stitch these days spending hours each evening listening to books and stitching away.  It is my happy place.

I came across the book Final Girls by Riley Sager on Audible while on-sale during the holidays and had been waiting to finish to other book, The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (not a favorite),  that I was reading before starting Final Girls.  To be honest, I usually have about 4-5 books going at once because my taste changes each day and the platform with which I want to read as well changes.  It isn't unusual for me to have a book going on my Kindle, an audio book, a paperback or hardback book on my nightstand, a professional book for work in some medium, and another book on the Kindle app on my phone.  I know it is strange to read two separate books between the Kindle App and the Kindle itself but that's apparently how I do things....

Final Girls is a mystery-thriller-horror; a genre that I have started reading more the last few years.  The novel is about a final girl named Quincy Carpenter who survived a massacre at a cabin where she and friends were staying and brutally attacked one night by an escapee from a mental institution.  Quincy is one of three final girls that have all survived similar horrific experiences and she hates the thought of being considered a final girl, constantly gawked at and treated like a rare gem.  She just wants a normal life and to forget the past, pushing the awful memories down deep.  When another final girl turns up dead, the story all three final girls intertwines, forcing Quincy to deal with the events that occurred the night of the massacre.  The story moves back and forth between present day and the past, the night that the massacre happened at the cabin.

I loved this book.  It was well written and so suspenseful I couldn't stop.  Situations and people aren't at all what they appear to be. While I had some speculation of the ending, my opinions changed over and over throughout the book leading toward the revealing explanation of what is really happening and happened in the past.  It is rare that I don't turn on the TV for a week but that is what happened this last week... I raced through this book, spending 2+ hours happily listening and stitching my evenings away.

I highly recommend if you are a reader who likes the suspense with plenty of twists and turns along the way.