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mini monday

Food Lifestyle Mini Monday Whole 30

5 Things Saving My Whole 30 Right Now

May 9, 2017
5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

All right! Week 1 of Whole30 Round 2 is in the bag! I’m feeling pretty good. Still hungry all the time, but sleeping like a rock. I had my first super realistic food dream (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…), and we’ve handled our first party of Whole 30 Round 2. Let’s just say, I’ve never seen The Hubs feed red velvet cake to a toddler so intently. He was living vicariously.

Even though I’m feeling good about Whole 30 Round 2, The Hubs and I are having one of those phases where there is not enough time in the world. It’s moving too fast. Somebody slow the clock down, please. We’re feeling a little rushed. Since I’ve been scrambling to get it together, here is a list of 5 things saving my Whole 30 right now:

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen saved my life on Day 1 of Whole 30 Round 2, when I realized that I did not plan an appropriate lunch. Luckily Snap Kitchen has a whole set of Whole 30 options to chose from. Imagine, Whole 30 compliant food that I didn’t have to cook! There are Snap Kitchen locations near both my office and my apartment. Score! It’s great to know that I can grab a quick, compliant lunch there. I can’t wait to try more of their options. Also, Their cauliflower is amazing!

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Canned Olives

Ya’ll know that a major Whole 30 struggle for me is that I am always. hungry. Like, all the time. One of the suggestions of the Whole 30 Forums for the constant hunger was to incorporate more fat into your meals. Nut butters work well for me, but another suggestion was olives. Olives can be tough because of some of the additive that they use. Using the handy dandy Whole 30 Additives Cheat Sheet, I was able to determine that Trader Joe’s canned black olives were Whole 30 compliant. So I bought a ton. They make my life so much easier.

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Kalua Pig

Okay. You have to try this slow cooker recipe. It’s so simple. The end result is both amazing and versatile. The recipe is by Nom Nom Paleo, and she has not steered me wrong during this Whole 30. We bought the pork shoulder on Friday night (we used 2 lbs instead of 5) and cooked it in the crock pot overnight. It called for Hawaiian red salt, but we just used Himalayan pink salt instead. It was in about 11 hours (the 5 lb one in the recipe cooks for 16 hours.). The next morning I shredded it and we’ve been using it all weekend. On potatoes. With tostones. In this delicious breakfast concoction. It’s a Whole 30 lifesaver recipe for sure!

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Topo Chico / Kombucha

I’ve decided to delve into the realm of Kombucha on Whole 30 Round 2. Kombucha is tricky in that it can have sugar in it, but it is usually added as part of the fermentation process and is not present in the finished drink. As long as no sugar is added after the fermentation, Kombucha is fair game for Whole 30. The first time on Whole 30 I was afraid to try Kombucha because I was afraid of picking the wrong brand that might have added sugar. Since it’s my second time on Whole 30, I’m more willing to experiment. After perusing the Whole 30 forums online, I decided to start with GT’s Trilogy Kombucha. I’ve been mixing it with Topo Chico (mineral water) because I’ve heard that it can have an, umm, moving effect if you drink too much. It’s my little special treat drink and yes, I drink it out of a wine glass. Don’t judge.

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Sweet Potato Hash

For breakfast. At HG Supply Co. Under bison burgers. With chorizo.  I am living for sweet potato hash. Whether it’s cubed, shredded or in hash browns, it’s the perfect vessel for just about anything I want to eat. Especially fried eggs. Mostly fried eggs… Last night, The Hubs and I experimented and came up with a recipe served on sweet potato hash that was seriously good. Like, it might need it’s own blog post. Because I love sweet potato hash.

Are you like The Hubs and I in feeling like life is moving way too fast? What do you do to slow things down? Is there anything saving your life right now? I’d love to hear about it!


Lifestyle Mini Monday Tutorial Uncategorized

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

April 17, 2017

Hello all! I hope you had a good Easter weekend. My was good and peaceful and I amassed so many peeps. It was great. Last week, I shared my tutorial for making a gift card frame, which I embellished with a hand dyed wooden letter. As promised, here is my tutorial for how to dye wood with food coloring!

This tutorial is about as easy as they come. And if we’re being honest, I only chose to dye wood with food coloring because I didn’t want to have to buy paint. I was pleasantly surprised by the stained effect and how the wood grain came through, which I thought made a great accent for the wood of the frame. Want to learn how to do it yourself? Scroll through my tutorial below!

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring


-Large glass jar/bowl (Don’t not use metal or plastic. Those materials may absorb some of the dye!)

-1 Tablespoon(ish) Vinegar

-Food Coloring

-Wood to be dyed

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

Step 1:

Heat enough water to cover your wood until it is hot enough to dissolve your dye, about a minute or two in the microwave. The heat is also helpful in getting the color to take. I just used kettle water from when I made my tea. Double-tasking for the win! Add about a tablespoon of vinegar. The acid is important in setting the dye.

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

Step 2:

Add your dye to the water. I used Wilton’s Food Coloring that comes in the little tubs, because I have a ton of it (I used to use it to dye yarn, which was great fun.), but the little four packs that you buy in the baking aisle work just fine as well. Wilton’s is more of a gel than a liquid, so I had to stir it around a bit before it dissolved.

A note about dyes:

Some dyes, like violet and black, have a tendency to break, meaning that your project may not absorb the color evenly. In the case of violet, it may absorb pink first and then the blue, leading to a more splotchy color. You can attempt to combat this by adding the vinegar gradually, rather than all at the beginning, and keeping the water temperature lower. Basically, avoid “stressing” the dye.

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

Step 3:

Submerge your wood  in the dye. I ended up using a knife to hold the wood under the water, because it kept bobbing back to the top. Let it sit, checking the color periodically, until it is the color that you want.

I left my in for about 6-8 hours if I remember correctly. I just left it out on the counter.

Mini Monday: How to Dye Wood with Food Coloring

Step 4:

Remove your wood from the dye, and let dry. I did not rinse my wood, I just set it on a stack of paper towels to dry. It will dry lighter than it looks while it is wet.

Once dry, you are free to use your dyed wood to embellish your projects! I really appreciate this method to dye wood with food coloring because it lets the wood grain show through. I think it gives it a subtle texture that makes it look really interesting.

So what do you think? Is this a technique that you would use? Let me know if you do. I want to see your projects!

Lifestyle Mini Monday Seasonal Uncategorized

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

April 3, 2017
10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Happy Monday to you all. You guys are getting two Mini Monday posts in a row because, quite frankly, I was attending a funeral last Thursday and blogging didn’t feel right. It was a good time to reflect on the people close to me and think about how we’d all like to be remembered, and I sparked some good family bonding time.

One of the things that we did during family  bonding time was go and see the new Beauty and the Beast movie with my cousin. This was her fourth time seeing it, but my first. I enjoyed the movie, but I had a few thoughts. My family refuses to entertain my thoughts any longer, so you get to hear them. Please keep in mind that critiquing movies is how I enjoy movies, and I really did like Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast. Also, please note that I have a history degree. That is all.

Also, if you haven’t noticed, this is your last chance for no spoilers. You’ve been warned.

1. When is Beauty and the Beast set?

I know, I know. “But Tori, this is a fairy tale”. But Beauty and the Beast is also trying to evoke a certain time period(kinda). From the attire of the townspeople, and the assertion of people in production, this movie is set in the 18th century. If I had to guess, I’d say the 1780’s or 1790’s. That being said…

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Left: Historical Interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, Right: Ren Faire

2. What is Belle wearing?

I recall reading that Emma Watson insisted that Belle should not wear a corset because she is an “active” princess. It makes me want to show her pictures of the historical interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg doing manual labor in period correct undergarments. And yes, I am weirdly passionate about period correct undergarments.  But girlfriend was like centuries off in every costume. Her blue dress is some sort of Ren Faire kirtle (the pockets are period accurate though), and her yellow dress, while pretty and swooshy is like…1830’s or beyond? Don’t even get me started about the celebration dress at the end…The fabric prints on some of Belle’s village attire is pretty accurate though. Like, I’m pretty sure you can buy it at Colonial Williamsburg…

3. What is “the war” that Gaston keeps referencing?

Please let it be the American revolution. That would be amazing. Gaston would have fun in America. I’m still clinging to the late 1700’s here…Also, Luke Evans was excellent as Gaston. His performance probably amused me the most. I didn’t think I’d like him as much as I did.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

4. New songs! Yuss!

Seriously, the new songs that were added to this Beauty and the Beast film fit seamlessly with the rest of the music and I really enjoyed the additions. The obvious favorite is “Evermore”, of course, but Belle’s song’s were very sweet as well.

5. So Belle’s washing machine…

One of the new story developments in this Beauty and the Beast is that Belle is also an inventor and she makes a washing machine. I’ve heard that this is part of the reason that Belle has so much time to read. I was hoping that it would explain why her dress is always tucked up into her waistband like some toilet tragedy, but no luck. Maybe we get more details in a deleted scene. Also, Isn’t Belle totally monopolizing the washing area with her invention? No wonder they dumped her stuff out!

6. Why do all the castle furniture manage French accents, but everyone else sounds British?

Except for Ian McKellen. He can do what he wants. But like no one outside the castle really attempted a French Accent. Also, props to Ewan McGregor. I didn’t know he had all that in him and he did a great job.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

7. Fricking Black Plague??

This is where I lose it. This version of Beauty and the Beast delves into some backstory about the death of Belle’s mother, but quite frankly does more harm than good. They chalk up her death to the Black Plague…yeah, like the medieval disease. The one that had it’s heydey in the 1300’s. Where are they pulling this from?! They had like the leather bird mask and everything. This was supposed to be the catalyst for Belle and her father to leave Paris for the remove countryside. We presume that Maurice went to a “poor provincial town” to escape the spread of the Plague. But for real? The last outbreak of the Plague is Paris is in 1643…so not even close to the 1700’s. And Belle’s mom already had oozing sores and all by the time that Belle and Maurice left so…they probably would have caught it by then anyways.

Why does this bug me so much? First, you didn’t need to explain how she died. The Beast gets his dead mom backstory too, but her exact cause of death is never named. Why even go there? Second, you had a perfectly legitimate disease that would have worked just as well and been historically accurate. It’s called smallpox!

8. The Storming of the Castle/Fight Scene was delightful.

I love that the furniture got to have a little more agency in the defense of the castle. Plus this was just a really amusing and well done scene. It was very creative in how the furniture got to use their cursed forms to fight. Cadenza is my new fave.

9. Dan Stevens is pretty. That wig is not.

If you’re going to make allowances and stray away from historical accuracy, when why oh why did you force Dan Stevens to wear the curly wig? Ya’ll couldn’t have gone with a nice low ponytail? You had to have the struggle curls? Dan is an attractive man (Helloooo, Downton Abbey!) but you’ll killing me here!

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

10. Soo…when is the French Revolution?

Has it happened yet? Are Belle and her new man candy gonna get killed in a few years? There was a guillotine joke during Be Our Guest, so the movie is totally acknowledging that it’s a thing. Did it already happen and the Beast’s castle got missed because of the curse? That could be cool, but unlikely. This is usually the point where my family tells me to chill.

And I gently remind them that this IS how I chill. Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Beauty and the Beast movie. It was really pretty and fun. I’m not sure it can totally recapture the childhood love I had for the cartoon (now that I am old and jaded), but I still enjoyed it immensely.