Theresa's Mixed Nuts

Monday, January 23, 2017

10 Minute Craft ~ Stenciled Dog Toy Box

Since the start of the year, home organization has been my #1 priority. I've been going through my house, room by room, scrubbing everything down and decluttering. Most of the junk has made its way to the basement where I'll spend a few days sorting through what we'll keep for later use, what we'll pass on to family and friends, and what we'll be donating to charity.

I'm trying to live a live free of clutter, so I've spent a small fortune at the hardware store on shelving and bins to help me keep everything tucked away, yet easy to access. I'll buy cheap storage solutions for the stuff that's tucked into cabinets and closets, but for the stuff that's within every day view, I'll spend a little more for nice baskets and containers. Since my dogs were puppies, I've always stored their toys in plastic dollar store containers, and even though they are not chewers, they do think the containers that hold their toys are chew toys.


We thought we'd try a metal basket after the destruction of several of those cheap plastic bins. See how well that turned out?


I was sick of looking at that twisted metal bin, so I went to Michael's to see if they had any cute, yet cheap solutions. There I picked up this wooden crate for about $3.50 after sales and coupons. It was kind of boring to look at, but I knew I could spruce it up rather quickly with a few stencils cut out from my Silhouette Cameo.


It only took me a few minutes to type up some font and add a paw print to the design. I cut out 2 more paw prints for the sides of the bucket and I was as good as done.

dog toy box

If you have a steady hand and are good with paint, this can easily be made without vinyl. I do not have an artistic bone in my body, so I had to work with what's easy for me. 

dog toy box

If you don't have a cutting machine, or you don't want to mess with paints, you could also hand cut the designs yourself from a sheet of vinyl.

dog toy box

dog toy box

Here's hoping that my dogs don't have a taste for wood and this bucket actually sticks around for a while! Either way, at least it was cheap and easy to decorate :)


Have you done any home organization this year?





Friday, January 20, 2017

Valentine's Breakfast Idea ~ Cream Cheese French Toast with Strawberries

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


It's been a long week, one that been full of lots of brain farts. I had today's post planned out so well in my head. I wanted to share a yummy recipe that would be perfect for Superbowl gatherings, but when I went to bake up my recipe, I found that I forgot to buy one important ingredient to put it all together. *pfffffft* <---my version of a brain fart noise. So, today I am jumping ahead to share a delicious Valentine's Day recipe instead. I always love this time of year because with the upcoming holiday, we get a month full of awesome sales on strawberries. I knew I wanted to make something with the sweet fruit for a Golden Blossom Honey post, but I'm still desserted out from all of the Christmas goodies I gorged on these past few months (spell check tells me desserted is not a word, but I say it is, so suck lemons spell check). After a quick browse of GBH's recipes, I found a Cream Cheese French Toast with Strawberries recipe that sounded too irresistible to pass up. 

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

I have always used Texas toast when making French toast, so the idea of using actual French bread left my brain going  *pfffffft* once again. It was like "Hey, dummy! Why haven't you ever made that connection before!?" Please, someone tell me I'm not the only one who has never made it this way. Dummy's unite! I liked the control I had on slicing each piece of the French bread to fit the size I needed to add in the cream cheese stuffing. The drizzled honey lemon sauce was a tasty change from regular maple syrup. This sweet dish will make your Valentine's heart go pitter-patter ♥ Add in a little more strawberry sweetness if you like by tossing some chopped strawberries to the cream cheese filling before toasting it up, then put a dollop of whipped cream on the side. Mmmmmm! Valentine's breakfast perfection! 

Ingredients
6 slices French bread, 1-inch thick, cut diagonally
1 pint strawberries, sliced, and drizzled with 1 teaspoon RAW GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY

Filling:
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1 Tablespoon GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
Mix filling ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Batter:
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 egg whites
Beat batter ingredients until well blended. Set aside.

Sauce:
1/4 cup RAW GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Stir together sauce ingredients. Set aside.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast

You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.


If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



What's your favorite Valentine's Day treat?



Monday, January 16, 2017

XOXO ♥ Valentine's Day Giveaway


I'm going to admit it- Valentine's Day isn't one of my favorite holidays. Now, I do like to decorate for the holiday because any excuse to make the house look all frilly and girly isn't something I can easily pass up, even if Jason only lets me get away with it for a few weeks out of the year. I refuse to go overboard on the gifting for Valentine's Day, but I do like to get my loved ones a little something for the holiday. They say the happiest people are the givers, not the getters, and I find this to be so true. So, keeping with the giving theme, I'm hosting a Valentine's Giveaway for all of you fabulous people ♥

The giveaway is for a $15 Amazon Gift Card to (1) lucky Theresa's Mixed Nuts reader. The giveaway is open worldwide and will end 2/3/17. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected. Please enter on the giveaway widget below.


Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Getting Hot In Here ~ Spicy White Bean Chili

Disclosure- I received the mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.


Is there anything better than a steaming bowl of soup or chili in the winter? It's just good comfort food that I try to make for dinner at least once a week. It's filling and low in fat, so it's also good for weight loss resolutions many of us are trying to stick to this time of year. Last week I made my favorite veggie soup, so I decided to make a pot of chili this week. I wasn't wanting something that was overly tomato based since we've had a lot of pasta recently, so I decided that this Spicy White Bean Chili from Golden Blossom Honey sounded like a great option.
White Bean Chili

I loved this recipe because it doesn't have to simmer on the stove for hours like traditional chili does. From start to finish, I had it completed in under 20 minutes, making it a fabulous recipe to keep on hand for busy weeknights. The fire roasted tomatoes and spicy sausage gave the chili a nice kick of heat, but since the honey was added in, it wasn't unbearably hot because the honey helped tone down the heat and added a touch of sweetness to the dish. Add in a side of cornbread and you have a hearty meal that's perfect for a cold winter evening.


Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
3/4 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons GOLDEN BLOSSOM HONEY
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RECIPE

White Bean Chili

 You can find this recipe, as well as many more delicious recipes right on the Golden Blossom Honey recipe page! Be sure to follow Golden Blossom Honey on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new products and promotions.


If you like this recipe, be sure to come back every Friday, where I feature a new recipe from Golden Blossom Honey!



What's your favorite cold weather comfort food?


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ice Ice Baby!

I'm a beach bum and truly despise winter, but I do love how snow can beautify everything it touches. We live close to Lake Michigan, so we get that nasty lake effect snow. The crap that is heavy and wet and makes driving conditions almost unbearable. I normally keep my butt parked in my nice warm house until the season has passed, but this year I decided to take a little drive to St. Joe, Michigan once the temps took a drastic dip to scope out the lighthouses when they freeze over from the cold. I've shared a few glimpses on here and my Instagram, but today I'll give you a bigger picture of how amazing Mother Nature can be in the winter. Not that we are going to become besties any time soon, at least not until she returns my beloved beach weather to me, but I'll give her credit for turning an ordinary lighthouse into a work of art.

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

You can see here that once it gets super cold out, the water from the waves hits the lighthouse causing it to freeze over. Eventually, the entire catwalk freezes over as well, but I arrived too early in the season and only got snaps of the first frozen half.

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan


With the crazy weather we get, you have to plan your visit just right or you'll miss seeing this beauty in person. I follow a local photographer on Facebook who snaps the area daily to get an idea of when the ice starts forming. You can see some of his amazing shots by searching Joshua Nowicki Photography on Facebook or take a glimpse of some of his work HERE. His photos are much better than mine ;)

Then there's this little gem across the way with its massive icicles.

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

The stairs leading up...


These little frozen stumps make for fun winter seating if you don't mind the cold.

Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan
 
The lighthouses aren't the only things that get covered in ice. The guardrails are a beautiful sight frozen over as well! In some areas they are just iced over and in other parts they are REALLY iced over.



Frozen Lighthouse St. Joe Michigan

I also decided to take a drive over to New Buffalo, Michigan to check out their lighthouse. The massive rocks are so fun to walk on in the summer months, but do look pretty covered in snow and ice.

Frozen Lighthouse

Frozen Lighthouse

Frozen Lighthouse

Even the branches don't stand a chance when it's this cold out!

Frozen Twigs

Frozen Twigs

No Swimming

If you find yourself around the lower part of Michigan in the winter, be sure to check out the frozen lighthouses. They look even more incredible in person! Be sure to follow me over on Instagram where I'll be sharing a few more of my favorite wintertime lighthouse snaps over the new few weeks.




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Summer Bodies are Made in Winter #changeameal


Today’s post is sponsored by Smoothie King, but my content and love for their Meal Replacement Smoothies is all my own!        Take the challenge as part of a low-calorie diet and daily exercise program.  Weight loss depends on individual needs.


It's time to face the cold, hard facts. I put on a few pounds over the holidays. I've been in denial about it long enough, but I'm now to the point where it's almost impossible to jump, squat, and squeeze into my jeans. It's either buy new jeans (I'd rather have my wisdom teeth pulled!) or cut the crap eating and add in a few more classes to my fitness routine.

The stores are already putting out flip flops and swimsuits, which is a definite reminder that summer is right around the corner. Since summer bodies are made in the winter, right now is the time to kick it into gear by getting my fitness routine in check and eating under control. Jason gained a few extra pounds as well these past few months, and it's not that I'm happy about that, but I am glad that he's ready to get back into shape too. I'll have a workout buddy so we can help keep each other on track and motivated to reach our fitness goals. So, what's on our goal list? Drop a few pounds each, get toned, and add more fruits and veggies into our daily diets. To help keep us on the right path to achieving out goals, we're both taking the Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge.

Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge

You all know how much I love a good smoothie, especially after my workout, so when I heard about the Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge, I was all about joining in! So, how does this challenge work? It's simple!

•Set a fitness goal
•Replace one meal a day with a Meal Replacement Smoothie from Smoothie King
•Eat other sensible meals throughout the day
•Exercise 30 minutes a day
•Stick with it

How simple is that!?

Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge

There are over 20 different Meal Replacement Smoothies in the Change A Meal Challenge, all under 400 calories (based on the 20 ounce cup size) and with at least 10 grams of protein to help you sip your way to your goal weight. One of my favorites is the Greek Yogurt Strawberry Blueberry flavor, and Jason loves The Shredder™ Chocolate flavor. There are so many tasty options to choose from:

•    Greek Yogurt – Pineapple Mango, Strawberry Blueberry, Peach Papaya
•    The Shredder™ – Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla
•    Lean1™ – Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, Pineapple Mango
•    Original High Protein – Banana, Lemon, Pineapple
•    Coffee High Protein – Vanilla
•    The Activator® – Chocolate, Vanilla
•    Gladiator® – Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla
•    Vegan – Dark Chocolate Banana, Nutty Super Grain, Mango Kale

Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge

The smoothies have a retail of $4 to $6 depending on blend, but there will be a special offer on January 12, 2017. Head to Smoothie King on Facebook to claim a Buy One Get One Free on any of the Meal Replacement Smoothies for one day only. Claim the offer, print the coupon, then take it to your nearest Smoothie King to redeem the offer. *must print the emailed coupon to redeem at your participating Smoothie King*

Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge  

I think achieving your fitness goals by taking the Smoothie King Replace A Meal Challenge is reward enough, but simply by participating in the challenge you have the chance to win $500 cash, a Fitbit, or even a new bike! Simply snap a photo of yourself enjoying your favorite Smoothie King Meal Replacement Smoothie, and post it to your social media with the hashtag #changeameal and #contest. The more you post, the more chances you have to win!

Smoothie King Change A Meal Challenge


Ready to reach your weight loss or health goals? Head over to Smoothie King to learn more about the #ChangeAMealChallenge today!


Which of the Meal Replacement Smoothies would you like to try first?


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