Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

My new traveling Art Journal Supply Case!

Art Journaling has been a passion of mine for a few years now. However, I have needed a way to carry certain supplies with me.

I came up with using thus stackable unit I had on hand. I took two containers raft our raspberry tea mix comes in for my pens and watercolor pencils. Then I added a piece if newspaper, index cards, a used gift card to spread the gesso I added to a recycled makeup pressed powder container, added another to use for water, and a few other supplies I needed were tucked into my boxes. 

Everything I needed to travel and fit into my coffe shop bag of arts and crafts!

Let the art travel! Let the fun roll! 

Hugs, Rita

Saturday, June 7, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

High Five for Rockin' it Healthy with Portions...

Meal portions was the topic of conversation at our Rockin' it Healthy workout this week! Try these tips when serving a meal: 

(1) Grab a smaller plate, 8", and a smaller bowl, 1-1 1/2 cup, next time you eat a meal! 
(2) Don't put the serving bowls on the table, leave them on the stove/counter OR better yet, serve up the meal and put away the food. 

The bottom green plate is a ten-inch plate. The blue plate is a nine-inch plate with the pretty flower shaped plate an eight-inch plate. At our house we once used the nine-inch plate most often. Now, both larger plates looks like serving platters compared to our change in eating. We no longer use larger plates and never place platters of food on the table. ((photographs were taken sitting the plates on the floor of the gym where I was leading the class...))

When considering what you are going to put in a bowl, like cereal, place your fist in the bowl. My husband, Jerry, shared this point. If you are having cereal, a fist serving, one-cup, isn't much, but that is a serving of some healthy serving. I asked those attending our Rockin' it Healthy workout group what might they add to that cup serving to fill up that smaller bowl. Their answers were creative and healthy! They said to that serving of cereal or even oatmeal they would add frozen grapes, sliced bananas, raisins, diced apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, and the list continued. The bowl was overflowing with goodness.

Consider this also after an evening meal...

(3) Make to-go plates of leftovers for the next days lunches or for the freezers so meals will be ready for days you just don't know what to fix. 
(4) Turn off electronics at mealtime. 
(5) Plan an after mealtime activity as a couple or as a family like a walk around the block, tennis at the park or chalk on the sidewalk. 
Try pictures...
Thursday, March 27, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Crocheting with T-shirts

Each month, I attend the Cullman Fiber Guild meeting where we learn a new skill or technique. This month, it was...crochet t-shirts...

If you know, then you know anything to do with repurposing or recycling, I am in my happy place. The reality shared by our instructor is also truth. In the days past, people used every scrap as a necessity because it was all they had.

I love crochet so using t-shirts wasn't new to me, but I did live the way we were taught to bind the yarn as well as cut it for use.

I also had a bit of too much fun lol! Bo Dereck...a "10"! lol 

The finished beach theme rug for my bathroom! Loving the bright sun themed colors! 

Our cat Priscilla agreed the crochet rug was the perfect touch for our space . 

Now, I am onto my next crochet t-shirt project! I really enjoy fiber and crochet, then added to these, repurposing and recycling, God has opened a new vision of opportunity. Where there is value, there is a treasure. That is how I see handmade creations. A blessing it is to use my hands to make something from an item otherwise would have been discarded. 

Hugs, Rita

Monday, January 27, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Drinking the water...

There are two secrets to reaching your goals! Planning and Tracking! It is true in every area of your life from daily living to voting in elections. 

This chart is my way of pacing myself to reach the eight glasses in eight days if water in my 40DatCgallenge. 

I use to drink water ALL the time but I turned to coffee for comfort on these cold days and enjoyment. Now it has hurt my physical health and I need hydrating. Time to pace, plan, prepare...

Day one...50/50 on decaf/caffeine coffee. Working on the water. We have an intense running plan this week getting trained for the 1/2 marathon so water it is. Join me in drinking more water!!!


Sunday, January 26, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Water ((Gulp))

Something happened this to me in the year 2000! I accepted a dare, a challenge of sorts. Her name was Renee, I think it was. I was in the hospital and this lady found out I had never drank coffee. She challenged me to try it, but not just a taste. She sat several cups in front of me with a variety of creamers, sweeteners and then two pots, decaf and regular. The rest is history. I have never turned back. Then last winter, we started running. I didn't notice it as much at first, but then this winter, it has become very frustrating.
My fingers from the middle knuckles to the tips were freezing, turning white. Then when I got warm again, they turned bright red before returning to normal. It didn't matter what I did, nothing helped. Finally, I posted a photo online of them as a "OMGosh! Check this out!" as I was posting my whereabouts on FourSquare. Someone came back to tell me that it was an actual problem that could get serious. WHAT? No... Well, it is true, it could.

I found out there is very little that can be done that I am not already doing, imagine that. Gluten-free diet, check. Cut out sodas, check. Plenty of sleep, check. Exercise, check. Then it said, eliminate caffeine. WHAT? No... yes. It seems that I am getting dehydrated, more so because of this condition, which is causing the circulation to not make it to my fingers and toes in colder temperatures. It is an auto-immune problem which is a sub-diagnoses of what I already have, Gluten Allergy. 

It was this week that I sat in my Weight Watchers meeting, right next to a dear lady who has become a sweet friend. When she shared her goal for this week, I almost choked. She simply said, "I'm going to give up coffee this week." I quickly replied, "You don't have to share; nobody is making you! So you might want to rethink this!" She was serious. Then I was confronted with this. Maybe it's time I took this seriously. So, today, I went 50/50. I went half decaf all day. I don't drink anything but coffee every chance I get. I use to drink water a lot!! I don't drink flavored coffees anymore because it got to hard to explain to a bistro how I loved my flavorings while still keeping it skinny, yes, that is term for coffee. 

So, I found this challenge on Pinterest and have accepted it...40 Days of Water! Although a bit of her focus is on a great project, she does give you a guide to get your daily living focus on drinking more water. Now, don't panic, it is a gluten-free site, however, it has some really great points focused specifically on read the following excerpt from the site and check out the rest of her 40 Day Challenge! Join me in this simplistic 40 Day Challenge and maybe you will move to water from something else...on January 1, 2011, I gave up sodas for 30 days, that was 283lbs's do this!

Hugs, Rita...

What are 5 ways GF folks can get more water into their daily routines?
  1. Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times! If you have water in front of you, you will be more likely to drink it.
  2. Add fruit to your water to make it more fun. There are even special water bottles out that let you put fruit in the bottom so it will infuse the water as you drink it. (Check out these tasty infused beverages: Watermelon CoolerLemon Mint Water,Berry Lemonade, and Cucumber Water)
  3. Add some bubbles. Try sparkling water for a treat, just be sure to get a brand with no artificial sweeteners or flavors.
  4. Drink up first thing in the morning. As soon as you get out of bed, guzzle down a glass of cool water. Start the day hydrated!
  5. Set a reminder on your smart phone. Every time the alarm goes off, drink a glass of water!
Sunday, January 19, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Roasted Soy Beans are Perfect

We love these crunchy Edamame, cooked and shelled, of course, but the are also called soy beans. Until I found them bagged in my grocer's freezer section, I enjoyed them on salad bars at restaurants. Now. I buy them ten bags at a time and put them in the freezer. Why? They are a great source of protein, a great snack, listed as a power food on my daily menu, are packed with energy, plus they are simply delicious. Top them on salads, pastas, chips, or... Popcorn!

I first roasted the soy beans at 450 degrees for 20 minutes on parchment paper, sprinkling them with a little fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground paprika, and ground pumpkin. Then mixed a package of Clancy's Guilt Free Popcorn, a cup of black raisins, a cup of golden raisins, tossed it all together in a large mixing bowl. Then I roasted the batch in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Done. I bet sunflower seeds would be great too! Hot air popcorn would be better for you and cheaper than packaged popcorn too. The point is...healthier, gluten-free, nut-free, fat-free, and...power packed! Yum totally counts!

Aldi's carries the popcorn for $1.99 a bag, but making your own is always the best...

Hugs, Rita
Saturday, January 18, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Admitting failure...

Boiled eggs. I simply love eggs. Don't even try to give me the artificial stuff or any egg whites, just eggs. I would rather have home grown, but the sweet realities of having a new crop of hens only gives a couple if fresh eggs a day. With six people in our house, we need a lot if eggs over the course of our shopping week. However, I do keep boiled eggs on hand, ready made, grab-and-go. 

BUT peeling is an obstacle for me sadly to say. My mother makes fun of me about this all the time. I have tried every method I have heard about in every pot and pan. The latest I saw on Pinterest was a total failure for me, not to mention mess. Adding baking soda to the water was to make the skin soft. Well, in one boiler it did so well the eggs were popping like was funny. 

I may never peel perfect eggs, make devil eggs, or even pickle them, but one thing is for sure, I won't have them on my thighs or serving them to my family and I still make the best egg salad too!  

Then there us my favorite just open them up, sprinkle some black pepper, dill and enjoy...the best is sunny side up...

Also, pop a sliced boiled egg with a slice of fat-free cheese on a caramel rice cake...yum! A great power boaster and protein snack... I do love eggs! Enjoy...

Hugs, Rita
Friday, January 17, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Crockpot Smokey Turkey Sausage with Sweet Homemade Kraut Recipe...gluten-free yum!

 Crockpot Smokey Turkey Sausage with Homemade Sweet Kraut Sandwiches

Last night, I wanted to make sausage and kraut, but was out of the canned kraut. So, after looking in the refrigerator And pantry I found all the fresh ingredients, plus a few extras, to make a crockpot full of goodness!

2 lbs smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 package shredded slaw mix
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 gala apples, diced
2 cans artichokes, not drained
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 hot pepper, your choice, diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute, optional
1 cup of vegetable broth 
Salt and pepper 

Spray crockpot with cooking spray, place all in ingredients inside, cook for five hours, stir well. Serve on toasted gluten-free buns topped with a bit of fat-free cheese and honey mustard and a side of sweet potato fries... Yummy!!! 

So what can you take from fridge to crockpot tonight? Let's recycle while living healthy...

Hugs, Rita
Monday, January 13, 2014 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Gluten-Free CrockPot Tuna Casserole

2 cans tuna packed in water, drained
1 package glutenfree spaghetti pasta, cooked, drained 
2 cans mixed vegetables, drained, rinsed
1 jar mild salsa
1 clove garlic, minced
1 each green bell pepper, red, diced 
1 jalapeƱo peppers, minced
Salt and pepper
1 cup vegetable broth

Spray CrockPot with cooking spray then layer all the ingredients. Cook on warm for about 6 hours. 

It is fun making up recipes that are not only healthy but also delicious! 

Hugs, Rita

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