Archive for March 24th, 2011

March 24, 2011

Light + Refreshing Wheat Berry Cucumber Salad & A Fun Announcement!

The best thing happened to me last night while reading around on some blogs…

I found these bad boys.

Omg.

My love for cookie dough + TJ’s mango slices has been combined.

I CANNOT wait to try out how uhhhh-mazing these taste. Too bad I went through my 2 bags of mango slices within a week. Ooops ;).

I have a dried mango problem…I don’t know how I’m not orange!? Some girl in my school used to eat carrots nonstop and her fingers started to turn orange… hopefully I’ll get a nice tan out of eating all these mango slices, huh? :mrgreen: Then I can start hanging out with Snook’s!

Random, but I noticed I have a dimple.

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YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

I’ve always wanted dimples (or at least one!) :).

Yesterday we went to Costco to get a few things including something that involves that special announcement but read on for that!

I picked up a 4lb tub of strawberries (yes, I have a problem) for strawberry shortcake VOO’s, Nature’s Made calcium supplements (more on this in another post), and Emergen-C packets because I was all out! This hugh-jass box of Emergen-C has orange, raspberry, and tropical flavors. I’m lovin’ the tropical flavor. I’ve never seen it before!

Lately I have been taking Chippy on lots of walks and have been trying to put him in a routine to get him to walk.

Yes, I said ‘get him to walk’.

You see, Chippy has a phobia of being far away from our house.

He walks down to the end of the driveway, stop & stands there, and won’t move unless a tornado blew him away (and that still probably wouldn’t blow him away). He hates to be alone and he hates to walk anywhere. Lil porker that he is, I decided he needs to get outside and move around a little + get some fresh air!

(note: I have a million nicknames for Chippy so if you see any of these names, know I’m referring to Chippy: babies, Widdles, Porker, Cutie, Stinky, Boobers, Chimpy, Skippy, Nannies, Chipante, Tiny, etc. I pretty much make up a new one each day.)

So, I’ve made a new goal of mine to take Chippy on walks once a day and we’ll increase our distance over time (and once his little doggy fears go away). Basically like training for a race ;). Which makes me think how much I’d love love love to run with Chippy! I bet if I ran with him I’d want to run for miles and miles.

Anyways, we set out in the sunshine!

He had to asses the current situation and make sure he wanted to walk…

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Good to go!

Ok, seriously, how annoying is it when a dog pees on every. single. pole.!?!!? I think our walk turned into more of a stop-n-go type of thing. Little walking, lots of stops.

Mr. Cheerful walking faster and faster to get to each pole.

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Then it turns into a sticky situation, like always…

Widdles stops dead in his tracks and won’t move.

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Even if you ‘gently’ pull on the leash.

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He knows when he is too far from home (about 2 streets over) and just stops walking. He’s like a concrete statue! So we turned around and we walked home. He pretty much runs home because he knows we’re going home. Hopefully by Summer time he wants to walk more than .10 miles! One time, on rare occasion at the park, he walked 2 miles. Must’ve been a full moon.

After our walk, I wanted a light + refreshing meal so I took my mom’s homemade cucumber salad and spruced it up with wheat berries.

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Light + Refreshing Wheat berry Cucumber Salad

  • ~ 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cucumbers, washed, peeled, and cubed
  • ~ 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 sweet white onion
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or fresh)

Directions: Cook your wheat berries according to the package. Mix together your sugar, vinegar, and water (note: make sure to taste as you go along, you may notice it may need less sugar [so use sparingly when mixing together, probably less than 1/4 cup], more vinegar or water, etc). Meanwhile, peel your cucumber alternating every section so you get some green strips along the cucumber then chop the cucumber into bite sized pieces. Also, chop your onion into bite sized pieces. Mix together the cucumber, wheat berries, and onion and then pour the dressing over. Garnish with drill & serve!

I estimated that I used about 1 cup of wheat berries. Each time I portioned out my cucumber salad (which is a huge portion for me) I added about 1/3 cup wheat berries. Over time though, I guesstimated I used 1 cup.

Perfect lunch for a picnic, no?

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The sugar is the perfect touch to this salad. It really pulls everything together and the sweet onion isn’t over powering. I love this cold from the fridge after all the flavors have ‘marinated’ together for a few hours.

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Cucumber is also a great veggie for helping with your skin! See, all those times you’ve seen cucumbers on peoples eyes at spa was never for waste ;). Of course it’d be more useful if the people actually ate the cucumber…

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I love taking pictures of my food in nature, the natural lighting is awesome and the outdoors make for the perfect backdrop!

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When I was walking back inside I caught this from the corner of my eye…

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CHIPPY!

He was staring at me through the window! He gets stressed being alone + seeing me outside without him. Hahahaa. I was cracking up! He looks so so cute.

I enjoyed my cucumber salad with a brown rice cake smothered in sunflower seed butter + a granny smith apple.

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Now for the announcement…

I’ll be growing a garden!!!!

Yesterday I went to Home Depot to get a bird feeder + seed and I thought, “why not grow a garden?”

I picked up some organic beefsteak tomato seeds + organic basil seeds for only $1.99! This is a steal! I’ll be growing so many tomatoes + basil so in no time it’ll outweigh the cost of the seeds instantaneously. Normally tomatoes are super expensive for such a small amount! I’ll be growing lots and lots of tomatoes and basil for only $4 total. Love. Plus, I can’t wait to eat lots of fresh basil + tomato + mozzarella sammiches & paninis. Mmmmm.

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Martha brand of course.

I’m also on the lookout for organic strawberries and other fruits + veggies. I’ll probably grow some flowers to to leave around the house and put on my dresser next to my bed. I can’t wait to start planting + watering and watching them grow! They’re going to be my babies ;).

We went to Costco to look at a garden ‘tent’ type of thing that would house all the veggies & fruits + flowers. After talking with my dad, he said he would just build me my garden, so that cuts down on the cost a lot. I know I don’t need any fancy equipment to start a garden but I don’t want any little critters getting into my garden (especially Chippy). I’ll be keeping a close eye on all my fresh produce! I am also so excited everything will be organic. Maybe I can even sell my veggies and fruits at a local farmers market!?

I’ll be starting a series called Gardening 101 where I’ll highlight and blog about all my gardening experiences! I can’t wait! We’re going to start setting up the garden soon (with wire, etc) and I’m planning on planting in the start of April.

Regarding the bird feeder, we have a family of Blue Jay’s (and lots of other birds) in our backyard so I picked up a bird feeder for only $9! I love animals and I can’t wait to invite more of them into our backyard :D.

To kick off the series I thought I’d show you my bird feeder!

Gardening 101: Setting up a bird feeder.

First, you need a bird feeder (obviously). I’m sure you could even make one but it’s 100x easier to just buy one!

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(look who’s snoozin’ in the background LOL)

Throw on your insanely stylish gardening boots disregarding pulling your pajama pants over the tops of them because really, who’s looking?

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I took my feeder outside to fill it because I noticed bird seed started to fly all over the room from bouncing off the feeder! Plus, extra food lying around on the ground outside can feed the squirrels!

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Fill ‘er up!

I got a ‘greatest variety’ bird seed because it feeds a ton of different birds. It says  ‘because your backyard birds deserve the best.’ There goes my social life.

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One day I hope to get a solid wood one that is really pretty, but for now this works just fine!

I hung it up in the corner where I know the Blue Jay’s hang around.

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I have yet to see any lil birdies noshin’ on some of my yummy bird seed but I am constantly looking at my feeder practically every 5 seconds.

Maybe I can even make my own bird food one day!?

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It probably doesn’t help that we got another covering of snow overnight!

I do hear lots of birds chirpin’ though! They’re probably chit chatting about this new object hanging out in my backyard. Hehe ;).

(note: OMG! THERE’S A CARDINAL ON MY BIRD FEEDER NOW EATING SEEDS! I’m so excited. I’d take a picture but I don’t want to scare him (her)! I’ll try to set a system where I can get good pictures of the birdies.)

Success!

Sorry for the long post, I just had a lot to say today I guess ;).

Do any of have a bird feeder/garden? Any tips for someone just starting out!?

I am so excited to be starting this new hobby!

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