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GlitterGleeandGrit

The musings and life of a girly and uncoordinated want-to-be kickboxer.

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DIY and Kitchen Exploits

I firmly believe that Pintrest is valuable if and only if you try to use the things you pin. So I as I give things a go I will let you all know how it turns out. Again I assume there will be some humor.

Paleo Cookie Butter

That’s right people I cracked the code on day one of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Let me preface this by saying, because I am gluten intolerant, I have actually never had Trader Joe’s infamous Cookie Butter. I have only witnessed my husband consume an entire jar within 24 hours. Since he also does that with Nutella, I assume it is equally as awesome. After I made this, I said to the hubby that I thought this was what cookie butter tasted like. He laughed at me until I finally got him to try it. I believe that this will be our savior during the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Cookie Butter

I hope you are ready because this recipe is crazy easy.

Paleo Cookie Butter

  • 12 oz Coconut Flakes (Organic is ideal but, since I am broke, I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2/3 cup Sliced Almonds (Again, organic is ideal but I had some left overs)
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

1) Preheat your oven to 450.

2) Mix your coconut and almonds and arrange them on a baking tray. Any cookie type tray will do. The bigger the more you will cut down on time spent toasting the coconut and almonds but don’t worry if you have a small one.

3) Toast your coconuts and almonds in the oven. Be sure to check on them and stir as needed until they reach a nice even brown color. I did two batches because my pan was small and from start to finish it took about 15-20 mins. I stirred my coconuts and almonds every 1-2 mins as well to ensure even color.

4) Be sure to stir in pieces on the corners and sides during toasting. Any burnt bits should be tossed out as they will make your cookie butter bitter and ain’t nobody got time for bitter cookie butter.

5) Let the coconuts and almonds cool for a couple minutes before putting them into your food processor.

6) Slice your vanilla pod lengthwise and scrap the seeds out into the food processor (if you have no idea how to do this, watch this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bICPn7Ifrh8). Add the cinnamon and blend ingredients until smooth. It took me about 1-2 mins.

7) Your Cookie Butter will be runny at first but as it cools down it will firm up. If you would like to speed up that process stick it in the fridge for a bit.

I really like it on a chia seed pudding or with my green apple slices… or you know, by the spoonful…

Starting the 21 Day Sugar Detox

As usual in my life, it has been far too long since my last post. Turns out the holidays are not only busy in my personal life but also very very busy at work. So although I desperately wanted to recommit to writing more, I pretty much failed upon saying that. Oh well, all I can do is admit failure, dust myself off and try to be better this time.

So on with it I go.

I have never been a huge fan of making resolutions. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to take the easy road and become complacent in the pursuit of awesomeness. I for one am guilty as charged. That being said, the start of a new year is a great time to set your intentions and/or recommit yourself to something you have turned your back on a bit.

I am the queen of losing perspective and life balance at times. I consider myself a bit of a pinball. I have the tendency to go in one direction full force until I bump into something and it redirects me. My current position is the first position that I really enjoy and have the chance to have an impact. I find myself not avoiding the long days at my desk and grabbing a quick lunch or turning down a run so that I can finish up the details of something I am working on.  In those moments I forget all of my athletic and health goals and, being my pinball self, I go full force into my career. Needless to say that is totally not sustainable or healthy.

So as I came into the Holiday season I realized that I had been maintaining a bare minimum of training and a crappy diet at best (my husband’s love of McDonald’s didn’t help). I also realized that I had few extra jiggly bits these days. Besides wanting to be healthy because I love my body, I also have athletic goals for 2015. My crappy diet and lack of commitment to training were not going to help me achieve them. So Dion and I had a ‘come to Jesus talk’ about 2014’s slippery slope into complacency and decided we needed to do something BIG.

Enter the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Our house is already gluten free thanks to my allergy and besides some cheese and the hubby’s protein shakes we are pretty low dairy. So this program is a good way to level up our nutritional Jedi powers. A year ago we had flirted with this book, but a week in we were bored with our cooking because we were not prepared and bailed. 2015 is a different beast and I am determined to make it my biatch.

So two weeks out I began my research, collected recipes and started making my shopping list and plan of attack. Yesterday I spent about 5 hours doing some meal prep and I am hoping to cook throughout the week to keep our food supplies up and fresh. So get excited because after even day one of cooking I have some awesome recipes to share.

Cheers to treating your body right and chasing dreams!

 

Sunday Cherry Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

So I have been on a bit of a roll with my cooking this weekend. I am on a constant quest to sort out an awesome paleo chocolate layer cake. Once that is up to snuff I will upload it. One of my favorite things to quickly whip up is a solid chia seed pudding. They are tasty, will cure a sweet tooth and are packed with goodness. Our grocery store has had these awesome organic frozen cherries on sale so I have been using them in any and every way possible.

I hope you enjoy this treat. This recipe only takes a few minutes to whip up and makes about 2-3 servings. I one hundred percent support the doubling of this recipe 😉

Cherry Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Cherry Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Cherry Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoon of cashew or macadamia nut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1.5 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cherries

1) Whisk together the almond milk, coconut milk, nut butter, vanilla extract, honey and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

2) Mix in the chia seeds and the chopped cherries and refrigerate for four hours.

3) Mix up the pudding before serving as the cherries may have sunken while chilling.

4) Enjoy!

Crafting with Meghan: Flower Walls and Backdrops

I don’t want my blog to be consumed by heavy heavy posts so I thought I would post one of my DIY projects before getting back to my series about failure and moving forward.

As many of you know, Dion and I have been lucky enough to have two weddings. One was in Dion’s hometown in New Zealand and one here in my hometown, Pittsburgh. Both of the weddings were pulled off on a smaller than normal budget  and contained the blood sweat and tears of this avid pinner. Our wedding in New Zealand was pretty much 90% DIY and I could write soooo many posts about all the projects I did for that day, and I probably will along the way.

Side Note: Anyone that says Pintrest is silly needs to spend time with me. I have seriously used, or plan on using, a majority of the things I have pinned. I firmly believe that  it’s only silly if you waste your day pinning pictures of puppies and tattoos you will never get.

Our wedding here in the US had two major DIY projects and today I am going to share my favorite. Our glorious flower wall. The reason we came up with it was because the venue had a curtain/screen to hide the room dividers, all around said curtain/screen they had attached and draped this weird brown fabric. It made no sense and didn’t match anything. Seriously though, I had nightmares about this thing. So clearly, I had to turn to Pintrest to find ways to cover it up. The final product is below.

The Finished Project
The Finished Project

What I used to make this:

  • Tissue Paper: More that you ever knew you needed
  • 2 Rolls of Thickish White Paper (This was actually the hardest thing to find)
  • Pipe Cleaners (color does not really matter)
  • Super Tacky Glue (regular may work but I don’t mess around)
  • Hot Glue Gun ( I bought the cheapest one they had because hot glue is hot glue #amIright)
  • Glue Sticks: For the hot glue gun. You will use more than you ever though you could use (I think I used about 200, not a joke).
  • Foam Core Boards (I used about 6)
  • Zip Ties and pipe cleaners to attach the boards to the rails
  • A Glass, or bottle, of Champagne

1) About 2-3 months out gather all of your tissue paper, craft paper, glue/s and pipe cleaners. Then immediately try to find people to help you. When I say people, I mean people who love you dearly and are crafty because, although I thought these flowers were easy, they left many good people in their wake.

2) I stuck to a few different types of flowers to try to get into a rhythm. I did four ‘types’ of flowers over all: tissue paper flowers, giant rose/poppy type hybrids, dahlia and giant daisies. At first I tried to make them perfect, but, I am going to save you the heart ache because by the end my motto became ‘nothing in nature is perfect and symmetrical.’  I also wish I would have made a few medium-sized versions of my giant flowers just because I really liked the detail and texture they gave

3) Since I didn’t take pictures of the making of these crazy paper flowers I am going to give you my tips for each type of flower and the blogs I used for help. As I made them I tried to find ways to make them look different from one another and do it faster.

  • Tissue Paper Flower: Play with layering colors and textures. Mix petal shapes and don’t forget you can even add a layer of ‘leaves’ to these guys. These flowers made up the bulk of my wall and were easy to knock out while watching Netflix.
  • Giant Rose/Poppy: The biggest thing I can say is get the right paper. It can’t be super thick but has to have some guts to hold its shape. The other thing I will say is cut a ton of petals and then start putting it all together, trust me it’s faster that way. I also used hot glue to attach petals to add some bones to it all and it dries quicker.
  • Dahlias: Gosh these ones are time-consuming. Seriously I only made three of them because they sucked my soul. That being said they are very different and add texture. Like the rose/poppy I would say make a ton of the cones and then start gluing them together.
  • Giant Daisies: Use the same gutsy paper you used for the rose/poppy flowers and make the cone/petals in bulk then start gluing together. I think these had a lot of impact and were quick and easy.

4) Once your entire apartment has been taken over by paper flowers and you are a week out from the party/wedding/celebration you can start gluing the flowers to the foam core boards. You may get nervous that it won’t hold but I promise, with enough hot glue anything can hold 😉 What’s great about the foam core is that it’s lightweight but holds well and can be easily cut to fit any area. Just make sure to poke holes to thread the zip ties through to attach the flower panels to the rails.

5) On the Day: Its time to string those bad boys up. The hard work is over. Once you figure out how to attach it all you will breeze through it and have time to have that glass, or bottle, of champagne.

You would think the second time around we would have it down...
You would think the second time around we would have it down…

I cannot take all the credit for the idea or the exact ‘how to’ for this post and since I made the fatal mistake of not documenting the process I need to give credit to the blogs I used to help me survive this DIY. I made some changes as I went and learned what worked best for me. I will try to get some more posts up in the future.

For Layout and Over All inspiration:

Dream Create:http://www.dreamcreate.ca/diy-paper-flower-wall/

Pancakes and Glue Guns: http://pancakesandglueguns.blogspot.com/2012/07/love-paper-flowers_24.html

A Beautiful Mess: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2011/11/diy-wedding-day-flower-wall.html

For the Flowers:

For the Tissue Paper Flowers: Party City:  http://www.partycity.com/content/tissue+paper+flowers+how-to.do                        or: Rust & Sunshine: http://www.rustandsunshine.com/2012/05/tissue-paper-flowers.html?m=1

For the Rose/Poppy Hybrids:Hostess with the Mostess:  http://blog.hwtm.com/2014/03/diy-giant-paper-flowers-tutorial/

For the Dahlia: Love, Pomegranat House: http://www.lovepomegranatehouse.com/paper-dahlia-wreath/

For Other Ideas: Damask Love: http://www.damasklove.com/easy-paper-punch-flowers/

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