Saturday, August 25, 2012

Coin purse tutorial

I am a visual person, so I tried to take lots of pictures for this tutorial. These are super quick and easy to make, about 30 minutes from your first cut to the finished purse.  (This is NOT my pattern - just the way I make this coin purse)

1 exterior piece cut 5" x 8"
1 lining piece cut 5" x 8"
Scrap piece of batting cut 4 1/2" x 7 1/2"
8" inch zipper or longer
basting spray (or pins)

*if you want a quilted coin purse, I'd cut all materials an inch wider all around. After you quilt it, cut it down to the correct measurements.

Sandwich your exterior and lining fabric with the batting. Lightly baste with the basting spray. (or pins)

                                                  Put zipper foot on machine.

With lining side facing up and zipper pull to your left and facing up, line up top of fabric sandwich to edge of zipper & sew.

                      Flip sandwich over so that exterior fabric is facing up and zipper pull is to the right.

Now fold over sandwich (lining is facing up again & so is zipper pull) making sure your fabric lines up on the sides. Sew along the zipper.

                                                 Change your foot ( I use my 1/4" foot)

                            Open up zipper & turn purse with exterior side up. Press lightly.
                                                    Top stitch on both sides.

Open your zipper about 3/4 the way. Bend over top about 1/2" or so....I eyeball this but you can measure. Sew down both sides using a 1/4" seam allowance and make sure you back stitch at beginning and end. You want to go over zipper several times to secure it.
*To ensure zipper pull is to the right on completed purse, make sure the zipper is closest to you and to the pull is to the right. Does that makes sense? You want it just like above photo.

                           Clip corners, cut off excess fabric & zipper and turn inside out.

                                 With a turning tool or chopstick, poke the corners out.


                                                     VoilĂ ! There you go!

                                                       It measures about 4.25" x 4.5"

                                                                 HAPPY SEWING!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Clean Chinese

Chinese food is one of our favorite cuisines. Unfortunately, it's hidden with rich calories & the horrible MSG. Every time I would eat at our local Chinese restaurant I'd have a horrible headache that lingered for hours from the MSG that's supposed to enhance the flavor of the foods. I was excited to find this recipe a few months back and we have been making this instead of going out to eat. Of course I miss the yummy variety of the buffet and not having to do the dishes, but this is healthier, no more headaches & John usually does the cleanup. So if you're looking for a clean, healthy dish that"s sweet & a little spicy this is it!

Recipe adapted from Oxygen magazine
This is our version and feeds both of us with enough leftover for John's lunch the next day. :)

2 chicken breast, cut into bite size cubes
3-4 red, orange, yellow sweet mini peppers
1/2 pineapple cut into chunks
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 red pepper flakes
3 tbsp low sugar ketchup
3 tbsp sugar free Apricot Jam
3 tbsp grey poupon (harvest course ground)

Season chicken with garlic powder & red pepper flakes. In a skillet add 1 tsp coconut oil and cook chicken through, about 6-8 minutes.
Add peppers & toss. Prepare sauce by combining last 3 ingredients together. Add to chicken & peppers and stir. Add pineapple and cook for another 5 minutes until all is heated through. Serve with brown rice.

It comes out to be around a 300 calorie meal! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clean Delightful Brownies

Since I started cracking down harder on my clean eating I started craving sweets more often. A few weeks ago I was craving chocolate real bad and decided to create a clean brownie recipe. This is the perfect clean brownie for me! I feel like I'm cheating on my clean eating when I eat one.

picture shown without nuts


2 tbsps chia seeds, soaked in 2 tbsps water for 10 minutes
2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
1 egg white & 1 whole egg
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup xylitol
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Soak chia seeds in water and set aside. Melt coconut butter and add eggs, once chia seeds are soaked the 10 minutes add to coconut butter & egg mixture. Add xylitol & vanilla, mix well. In a separate bowl mix together oat flour, cacao powder, salt, & baking powder to combine. Slowly add to wet mixture & mix well...add walnuts if desired. Grease an 8x8 pan with coconut oil and pour in batter.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cut into 16 small squares.

My friends husband did the math on the calories and he came up with 80 calories for each square.That's not bad at all for a yummy brownie!

They must be stored in refrigerator since there are no preservatives in them. They will keep for around 4 days...if they last that long.


Some of you might ask what xylitol's an all-natural sweetener found in many fruits and vegetables. It contains only 2.4 calories per gram and is slowly absorbed as a complex carbohydrate. Xylitol looks like sugar, tastes like sugar, and is the same sweetness as sugar – making it the ideal natural sugar replacement. If you can't find xylitol, I'm sure you could use stevia in these, but cut it down to 1/4 cup. I personally prefer the taste xylitol gives over stevia.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Me & the big D

As most of you can remember, I am a HUGE workout junkie!  I'm at the gym 5-6 days a week for at least 2 hours a day. I also eat very healthy & "clean".  

Well, back in June I started to gain a little first I thought nothing of this, I just chalked it up to gaining muscle. But, the weight steadily continued to climb and my clothes started shrinking. This is not typical with weight gain from muscle...usually you gain muscle, but lose fat, and you lose inches....I was gaining them. By October I had gained 12 pounds and couldn't fit into ANYTHING! Needless to say, I started to become very frustrated and fell into a slight depression. I didn't give up though, I was persistent and determined to lose the weight. But nothing I did was the end of December my weight had hit a new all time high....I had gained 22 pounds and I was FED UP!

The end of December I decided it was time to see my doctor. I went in there sobbing like a big baby. I HATED to get on that scale. I explained to him everything that was going on. How I wasn't able to lose weight....I was depressed...My bones ached....I had headaches....I had NO energy AT took every bit of energy I could muster up just to get out of bed in the mornings....I had to push through my workouts because I always felt drained. He decided to do a complete blood test. 
After 2 weeks I finally got my results! I had a SEVERE vitamin D deficiency!!! My levels were a 4 and optimum levels are 50-100!! Finally some answers! Every symptom I had was caused by lack of Vitamin D! I was put on 50,000 IU of vitamin D once a week and 5,000 per day. Those were like little magic pills, I tell ya! Within the first 3 weeks I had dropped 10 pounds!! 10 POUNDS!!! My energy soared and my mood was lifting! 

I'm in my 4th month of taking the Vitamin D and I've never felt better. I am down 17 POUNDS as of today! I've lost a total of 10 inches so far. I'm out of the bigger jeans I had to buy....they were a size 13!  The other day I took a pair of my favorite Lucky jeans from a year ago that I had put in a Goodwill pile....I tried them on and they FIT! A size 5!!  I went from a 13 to a 5!!! My bones don't ache anymore, the headaches are far and few between, and I have more energy than I know what to do with.

Thankfully, I had my awesome, wonderful, very supportive husband John! He loved me for me, he would listen to me cry, he would listen to me bitch....and he would just listen. I know sometimes he got sick of hearing me complain but I thank him for always encouraging me to keep going when I wanted to give up!

I tell every woman I know about getting your vitamin D checked. I learned that they only test for that deficiency in women over 40, so if you're younger than that and want to get yours checked, you'll have to ask them to do so. 

I'm happy to be back to the old me! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello....anyone out there? Boy, there sure is a lot of dust on this blog...has it really been 5 months since my last post?!! Does anyone remember me? Do I even have any followers anymore?

I "plan" on returning full swing tomorrow! Until then....