It’s Been Awhile!

Hey there blogland!  Holy cow it’s been awhile since I’ve wrote a blog post…about 7 months or so!  I guess I just got kind of burned out & wanted to try to step away from being on the computer so much.  I’ve also been trying to get some sort of focus on eating right, exercising (still having a hard time with this one) & maybe putting myself back out there after a 3yr. break to try to find myself a mister.

IMG_2382I have been pretty good about the eating right.  For the majority of the year I was doing Jenny Craig, but I just kind of his a plateau and would lose and gain the same few pounds.  So, I finally just nixed that a month or more ago…it was just kind of expensive and honestly, I was burnt out on the food because I’m a creature of habit and was eating the same select meals every week and it just got old.  So I’ve kind of switched things up on my own and been trying to eat more of a high protein/low carb diet and I’ve actually started losing again.  I was looking through pictures the other day from back in February of this year when my parents visited and I’ve actually lost about 25lbs since then.  I didn’t really notice a difference until seeing pics side by side.  Plus, I also ordered myself a few outfits and purposely ordered a size smaller than normal kind of as a goal to get into, but to my surprise the smaller size fit already.

I really need to get into the habit of exercising again.  I was doing really well for about a month and doing the treadmill everyday and getting in at least a couple miles.  Sometimes, I’d even jump on for a second go of it later on in the day if I was really bored.  The only reason that sidetracked me though was a pair of dress shoes that I wore for a weekend that tore the hell out of my feet, making it impossible to wear socks and tennis shoes because it was so painful and bandaids and tape didn’t stick to the backs of my heals to try to get any relief, so that left me to get out of my habit.  Now I just need dig down deep and find the motivation and desire to jump back in the game.  It is hard though…I’m the first to admit, I hate to exercise….at least at first.  I’ll get there eventually though.  At least I managed to get through Thanksgiving without too much of  a gain!

Lets, see….what else have I been up to??  Oh yes, I have been working on a three piece painting for a friend of mine that they commissioned me to design and paint.  It’s Star Wars themed, so of course this brought me great joy as I’m a Star Wars geek. I tell you…I have never in my life had such a fun time painting.  I was so excited with each phase, from coming up with rough sketches of possible layouts of the symbols to just getting the first coat of paint on the canvas!  I even did miniature magnets of the designs first to make sure they looked just right.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting some more magnets done and in my Etsy shop if you’re interested for a little Star Wars art for your refrigerator!  Promise they look pretty bad ass!  Each canvas for the large wall hanging I was working on was 12×36, so its 3ft x 3ft if you put them all together.  I’ve had a couple of the painting done for about a month or more now, but I was having trouble getting the 3rd piece drawn to scale.  It’s so much easier to draw tiny than on big scale for me.  But the other night, the creative bug hit about midnight and when it hits I have to jump on it, so I did some sketching…wasn’t happy…took a pen and when over the pencil sketch to try to make some corrections and finally got it to look just so and then I took my exacto knife and cut myself out the stencil, so I wouldn’t mess up the main canvas, as those suckers aren’t cheap.  Then a few hours later I was all done.  A little sad that they are done & might even be sad to see them go to a new home, but I’ll also be happy knowing my art work is hanging in someone else’s house and that they love it.

969464_10153540233500005_1012846968_n

IMG_2410I would be totally happy to duplicate these paintings again if anyone out there is interested.  Just shoot me an e-mail at thelittleblackraincloud@yahoo.com or visit my etsy shop and put in a request for a custom piece and we’ll get you going!

Advertisements

Yay for the Freakin’ Weekend!

Happy Friday, y’all!  This has been the slowest week ever, so I’m hoping this weekend goes nice and slow, as well, but we all know it won’t!  It’ll more than like go by super fast and Monday will be flying upon us like those crazy creepy flying baboons from the new Oz movie.  Oh well, it is what it is….happens every week like clockwork!

Giveaway.Painting

If you’re interesting in entering a giveaway for one of my 8×8 “Moonlight Cherry Blossoms” paintings, make sure and head over to Simply Stephanie blog a.s.a.p.!  All you have to do is visit my Etsy shop “The Painted Palette” & take a look and then go and leave a comment on her blog, as to which painting you like.  Easy peasy!  The winner will be announce on Monday, May 6th, so you only have until this Sunday to enter.  Last I checked there were only 4 comments, so you have a pretty good chance, so go enter!

kissimmee

Remember in my last post where I said that all of my posts I’ve written lately were in draft mode over on i.seekissimmee.com?  Well, if you head over there now, my first post has been published, so you’ll have about 10 more that will be published throughout the next week! Some of the posts you’ll see over there this week are for some pretty good places to eat, like Hawkers, Beaches & Cream, & Blue Bird Bake Shop.  You’ll also see my review of the musical dinner show the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, which is pretty spectacular, as well as things like the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, shopping at The Loop & of course the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

Character.Splash

Other than that, not much else going on.  Been doodling a bit in my sketchbook & playing around with my logo character.  Tomorrow is my 1 month weigh in.  I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl and eat more veggies and smaller portion sizes.  My goal for the month was to hopefully be down -10lbs, so fingers crossed I can hit that in the morning.  As of week 3, I was down 7.7, so far, so we’ll see!  Well, until I post again…yak at ya y’all later & have a fabulous freakin’ weekend!!  

Hello, Spaghetti Squash! Goodbye, Pasta!

Spaghetti squash, in one word…Amazing!  I bet you’ve seen it in your produce section while grocery shopping & wondered…how do you even cook that stuff.  I know I did at first!  Thank goodness for the internet & a quick google search!  I first started cooking spaghetti squash several years ago, but for some reason I haven’t picked any up for a year or so.  Anyways, I was at the grocery store this past weekend & noticed that they had some nice small sized spaghetti squash, which was perfect, since I was only cooking it for myself.  They come in all sizes, so you can pick one up that will suffice for however many people you’re cooking for.

IMG_1590There are several different ways you can cook up your spaghetti sauce, so just go with whatever way is best for you.  I’ve baked it in the oven and used the microwave both and it comes out the same either way you cook it.  So, if you’re going to go the microwave route, like I do, you’ll want to poke it several times with a sharp nice all over!  This is a very important step, otherwise, your squash may explode & nobody wants to clean up the microwave after that mess!

IMG_1591Once you have poked your spaghetti squash all over, so it can vent while cooking, you’ll want to place it on top of two paper towels in your microwave & cook it for 10-12 minutes.  While that’s cooking, you can prepare whatever else you want to have with it.  I had picked up some chicken meatballs & had them baking in the over for 25 minutes, while I was doing everything else.  Next, I put some spaghetti sauce on the stove to heat up.  Then I thought some mushrooms cooked in a little garlic would be a good addition, so I got that started up on the stove.

IMG_1595Once the microwave goes off, you’ll want to get your squash out of the microwave.  Be careful, it’ll be steaming hot!  You can let it set for 5 minutes or so, if you like.  When you’re ready, you’ll want to use a sharp knife and cut it in half length wise.

IMG_1597Next, you’ll want to take a big spoon and scoop out all of the seeds in the middle.  It should only take you a couple of scoops & it comes out super easy.

IMG_1599Once you’re done scooping out the seeds….it’s time for the fun part!  Get yourself a fork and just start scraping from the sides, towards the center and you’ll quickly see why they call it spaghetti squash!  Just scrape until you’ve got it all out of the shell and put it in a bowl!

IMG_1600

IMG_1601

IMG_1602See!  It looks just like spaghetti, only this is super healthy & very filling!  Just an FYI for those Weight Watchers people out there…this stuff is ZERO points, so eat up!  So once you’re all bowled up, add whatever toppings you’d like!  I chose chicken meatballs, mushrooms & spaghetti sauce & topped it all off with a little parmesan cheese!

IMG_1605Bon Appetit!

November Foodie PenPal Reveal

Foodie PenPal reveal day is here once again!  My penpal this month was Sarah from over at “Do Work n’ Destroy” blog.  She was sweet enough to ship my package to my parents house over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I didn’t have to wait to get everything till I got back.  I loved everything in my little box of goodies this month!  Thanks Sarah!

1.  Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Nibs – My favorite thing in the box!  Sooo good!

2. Trader Joe’s Vanilla – Unfornately, it was over the allowed liquid limit for me to bring home with me on the plane, but I left it for my mom who will get plenty of use out of it.

3. Jeness Farm Goat Milk Soap – Smells divine!

4. Trader Joe’s Vanilla @ Cinnamon Black Tea – Love me some hot tea!  Especially in the fall/winter!

5. Justin’s Almond Butter & Chocolate Hazelnut Butter – LOVE!

6. Grape Fruit Leathers – One of my favs!

7. Snackimals – Who doesn’t love animal crackers?  Yum!

8. Cliff MoJo Bar & Larabars in Cherry Pie and Apple Pie flavors…all delicious!

 

October Foodie PenPal Reveal

Yay!  Time for my second Foodie Penpal reveal!  I’m not sure what part of the Foodie Penpal exchange I like better…..receiving a box of mystery goodies from someone or putting a box together myself to send to my partner.  It’s a pretty close tie, but I really like putting a box of goodies together and then hearing back about how much they liked everything.  Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling! 🙂

The day I came home from work and found my Foodie Penpal package on my doorstep, I ran inside and opened it up within about 30 seconds I was so excited….yeah, it doesn’t take much!  Just send me mail and I’m thrilled! My Foodie Penpal that sent me a package was Lisa who’s blog is Lisa’s World of Books if you’d like to stop over and check it out!  Lisa lives all the way up in Michigan & sent me a bunch of goodies!

Look at all that loot!  Nom, Nom, Nom!

These fruit strips from Stretch Island Fruit Co. were my favorite!  I used to get them when I lived in the Chicago suburbs.  They are a super healthy snack and count towards your fruit servings for the day!

Next up is a bar of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is my favorite, but I can’t eat it once it’s over 70% cocoa…just too bitter for me, but I’ve got a co-worker that will thank you!  I also love that this particular brand of chocolate donates 10% of the price of the bar towards saving endangered species.

Now, Larabars…I was familiar with, as I get them a lot, but I have never seen the Uber Larabar & let me tell you….it was DELICIOUS!  I love everything apple flavored and this did not disappoint!  As for the Perfectly Simple bar…I had never heard of these before and I was curious since it was toasted coconut, which I love!  I was expecting a chocolate covered coconut concoction, but there was no chocolate, which was nice for a change!  Especially since I grabbed this for breakfast one morning and I just can’t do super sweet stuff in the mornings and this was perfect!

I’m a peanut butter nut!  I’ve tried both of these before & they are so yummy!  These went perfectly with my…..

delicious Michigan apple!  One thing I miss about living in the midwest is getting to go to the apple orchards in the fall.  I don’t think they have them here in Florida.  So this was a real treat!

The last two items here are both Michigan made products, so I had never had either.  When Lisa e-mailed me and asked what I liked, I told her I like to eat healthy, but I’m open to anything.  So, to go towards healthy, she found these chips with no salt.  I tried them & have come to the conclusion that chips just aren’t the same without any salt.  As for the Faygo soda….did you notice the flavor written on the bottle?  Yes…it says CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE!  I didn’t know what to think when I seen this, as I had never heard of chocolate soda.  So I popped it in the fridge to get cold and had it a few days later when i was craving chocolate & it was one of the most odd, yet delicious things I’ve ever had.  I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it again!

Well, that about wraps up my reveal for October!  I sent my package to Erica, a fellow Floridian.  You can visit her blog here.  If you think you’d like to sign-up and take part in the Foodie Penpal exchange you can hop on over to sign up at Lindsay’s blog The Lean Green Bean.  You only have until November 4th to sign up for the November exchange!  Matches are e-mailed out on the 5th and the you have until the 15th of the month to put your package in the mail.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

Happy Halloween!

It’s the Little Things: New Glasses & Wine Slushies

Hey there, peeps!  I totally missed doing last weeks “Little Things” post…sorry about that!  It’s been a super busy and chaotic couple of weeks at work, so hopefully, things will slow down a bit for a few weeks until the whole chaotic cycle begins again…Blah!  Now onto my post…

*A new notebook & colored pens…..I have no idea why office supplies make me happy, but they do! 🙂

*A new pair of Betsey Johnson brand eyeglasses….I CAN SEE AGAIN!!  No more headaches!

*A stocked fridge of nothing but health food in the attempt to get to eating better again.  Funny thing is I’ve avoided the fridge like the plague since it’s been stocked.  I’ve got to get a taste for veggies again!

*I ran to the mall this morning and came across the cutest store called the Winey Wench & you could sample anything they had in the store.  I took total advantage of that, plus they made awesome wine slushies.  I was hooked after my sample of this, so I took one to go while I shopped.

*Figured I better eat some breakfast to go with the wine before getting too tipsy, so nothing like a Subway egg white and turkey flat bread with avocado for breakfast to go with my wine slushy.  Breakfast of Champions!  Hey…it was 5 o’clock somewhere!

*My first pair of prescription sunglasses ever!  LOVE THEM!!  It’s so nice not to have to squint all the way home on my drive home from work in the evenings!

*Of course I walked away with a new bottle of wine for my fridge door collection after tasting this at the Winey Wench….Moscato Allegro….pretty yummy stuff!

Don’t forget to join the link up party over at Hello Hue if you do a “Little Things” post.