Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Cutting Above Inspiration

So yah, winning the Gypsy would be WONDERFUL! But how great is THIS!?! THANK YOU BETTYBEE for this awesome card. Mine didn't turn out quite like yours did. I didn't have all the materials that you had on your tutorial (click here) on the Cutting Above blog, so I improvised with aluminum foil from my kitchen for the swirled tree and simple glitter embossing powder on cardstock and a hole punch for the glitter ornaments. So, it's pretty, but I was convinced that I could do better.... mine just wasn't turning out as nice as BettyBee's did! So here it is again in black, red and silver.... I LOVE THIS ONE!!! The second time's the charm! This card is going to someone VERY special this year for Christmas! BettyBee... thank you again! LOVE the blog, love this card and love that you guys are giving away 2 Provo Craft Gypsies just like the one that debuted on HSN September 24th!!!!!!!!!!

Provo Craft Gypsy winners will be announced October 4th... there's still time to enter! Click here for more info on the give away and a pretty awesome preview of the Gypsy.
***Click on pics to enlarge.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Everyday Paper Dolls Is Out Of This World

This little martian ROCKS! He was cut out from the new Cricut Everyday Paper Dolls (cut at 4"). I used a black marker to define ears, eyes, mouth, etc. And again, printing the wording out on my printer with "Girlz are Weird" font. I used a rubber stamp from Stampin Up's Stars and Swirls stamp set in three coordinating colors and added decorative flowers and brads. Finally I added a little pink star clip and glued everything down. I used some dimensionals on the wording to make it "pop out"... cute pun I thought! LOL

This cartridge is everything and a bag of chips! And this little dude (the martian) was worth the price of admission! How seriously cute is he? I mean, wouldn't this little guy look so cute painted on a little boy's bedroom wall?!? It would be so super easy to do. Cut this little guy out in vinyl and then stick the vinyl on a wall as a stencil or template. Use a little bit of paintable caulk (from your local hardware store) on the tip of your finger to go around the interior edges of your vinyl martian stencil and then paint a thin even coat of your favorite paint... you could even sponge paint... that would give it a little texture. Then remove the vinyl stencil and you're done! Someone REALLY needs to try this and then send me the pix... cuz I bet it would be SUPER CUTE!!!

For more great ideas, and to preview the NEW Provo Craft Gypsy, go to http://cuttingabove.blogspot.com/ and tell them FitterTwit sent you! ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cutting Above and the Provo Craft Gypsy

Wow! I'm STILL inspired since the Provo Craft Gypsy debuted on HSN! Check out ALL my posts from the past week and a half. Crazy! hahahaha! And with Cutting Above's Gypsy give away... I can't seem to stop! I was reading one of the comments on a Cutting Above blog post from a reader by the name of Beadz who said, "I used my Cricut tonight with Design Studio and kept having to exchange carts. Gypsy is going to make this so easier!" Well Beadz... I second that! This card was made using the new From My Kitchen Cricut cartridge and the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge... and I DON'T have design studio! While many of the projects that I have done this past week were super quick and easy, this one took a little longer and I can EASILY see how the Gypsy will make creating a card like this MUCH easier! I'm so psyched for this contest. The winner is announced on October 4th and I can't sleep I'm so excited! Click on the link above.... I think there's still time to enter!!!

For this project, I used a piece of acetate that I treated with alcohol ink. I cut the cloud and sun (used the silhouette button) from the Hello Kitty cartridge and cut the jar from the From My Kitchen cartridge on both cream cardstock and the treated acetate. I then cut the top of the acetate jar off at an arch to create the "water" effect. I glued the fish (cut using an EK success punch), kelp and wood to the cream jar and then glued the "water" on top. You can see the effect better if you click on the pic to enlarge it. The words were done with my computer printer (note to self.... MUST use manual feed option next time so the HEAVY stampin up cardstock doesn't jam your printer! hahahahaha!). I finished off the edges using a fine point black Sharpie pen. I wonder how much time I would have actually saved doing this project with the Gypsy?

Oh! I almost forgot.... the lid of the jar and the fish were embossed using a versa mark pen and embossing powder.

10 Minutes and a Cricut

Got 10 minutes and a Cricut? That's how long this card took me. I pulled out my Cricut and put in the Christmas Cheer cartridge. I pulled scraps of paper from my scrap bin (about 2" squares) and placed them on my cutting mat. I set my cut size to 1 1/2 inches and cut the bulbs in the various colors and the bulb tops in black. I then changed the cut size to 1 1/4 inches and recut the bulb tops on a grey cardstock. I then took the smallest straight acrylic stamp from the Clear Dollar Stamps Plaid Set and arranged it on an acrylic block in a snake pattern and stamped that onto the card for the wire for the lights. I attached a straight piece of black cardstock at around 1 1/2 inches along the bottom and glued a ribbon in place. Then I ran all the pieces of the bulbs through the Xyron create-a-sticker, assembled the bulbs and adhered the bulbs along the "wire". I used the Stampin Up All Year Cheer III and stamped Merry Christmas on top. I finished this card by adding small hash marks to the tops of the bulbs and added a dot of stickles (I LOVE that stuff!). This card is super quick and really cute!

For more great Cricut cutting projects, check out http://cuttingabove.blogspot.com/
It's a new blog devoted to die cutting and they are currently giving away two Provo Craft Gypsies, so be sure to check them out!

**Note: The 10 minute project time did not include preparing my work space. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pinching Pennies... My Cheats

Pinching pennies and need a little something?
About three or four times a year Michaels comes out with some INCREDIBLE coupons. It is during these times that I stock up on 'gift' items. I usually purchase lamination machines or bead kits or scrapbook kits that are normally $50+ for half that, sometimes less. I then stockpile these items in my closet for those occasions when I'm in dire need of a special gift for a special person but I'm in between paychecks or I just plum forgot. I also pick these particular items on Black Friday (capitalized due to the fact that Black Friday is a holiday unto itself at my house) with coupons and deep discounts. While everyone is scampering for the large ticket items to buy for themselves, I'm picking items under $100 to stock up for others. If you haven't enjoyed the crazed frenzy of a Black Friday, you really MUST pencil yourself in for this year. There's nothing in the world like Black Friday! LOL.

I also recycle wrapping paper. As with the gift pictured here, I keep wrapping papers to reuse. Whether it be for wrapping another gift or for matting a picture on a scrapbook page, my recycled papers come in handy and help to pinch those pennies.

My final money saver is my Cricut. I know that sounds weird, but the gift tag pictured above also doubled as my birthday card and got the most attention at the birthday party I just attended. I used my Cricut, my Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge, scrap cardstock from my "scraps" bin and my Xyron sticker maker. Again, stuff like this sure comes in handy when you're in between paychecks. I set my size on 2" and cut "Happy Birthday" in the pink, I then chose the shadow option and cut the shadow for "Happy Birthday" in the pink and dark brown. I glued those two pieces together using the Xyron Sticker maker. The dark side would be the matte for "Happy Birthday" and the pink side is where I wrote my own personal message to the birthday girl. Finally, I selected the option to cut each individual letter of "Happy Birthday" and cut it in dark pink. I glued those letters on, punched a hole, threaded the ribbon through the hole and I was done. Complete card in 15 minutes! Thank goodness, because I just didn't have the cash to run out and buy a greeting card and gift tag. My Cricut has saved me a ton of money as time has gone by with cards and gifts and will continue to save me even more money the longer I use it. Here is a Christmas gift that I made last year...

This project was done by cutting out the lettering in vinyl and then using it as a stencil for glass paint. I then applied a clear sealer and baked to seal the paint and make the mug dishwasher safe. I was able to create multiple personalized mugs for under $20 and I STILL have supplies left for this year. SOOOO FUN! Here's to pinching pennies in the most heart-felt way! :)
For more great project ideas, check out http://cuttingabove.blogspot.com/
*** I got a TON of pull bows (like the one pictured on the gift) REALLY cheap at http://mygirlfriendshouse.com/. I don't know if they still carry that particular style/color, but I wanted to post the link.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I Think The Cat's Out of the Bag

If you read my blog, you'll see that whether I'm talking about nail art or crafts or even workout wear, my favorite color combination is girly pink, black and white. Those colors together always makes me feel the best. And I think I'm also letting the cat out the bag that I LOVE the Cricut Storybook cartridge. I know that the girls over at Cutting Above just demo'd some cupcakes with a flourish from the Storybook cartridge used as a stencil for a sugar design on top... brilliantly, sinfully yummy! So I'm not feeling so bad that, with all the NEW cartridges out, I want to feature Storybook, over and over. And look at this card; the whole thing was entirely inspired by this cartridge. It IS all about the drama, isn't it ladies?!?! hahahaha.

I just reused the left over scraps from another project that I recently did (including the glitter paper.... love those glitter papers), cut out the crowns and the large letter "D", applied stickles to both and then used individual acrylic letter stamps to create the "It's All About The". Oh, and I can't forget that I used that same stamp set (caps) to finish out the word Drama. I think this alpha set is a CTMH set... I don't have the packaging anymore, but I will see if I can't find it again. If I do, I will update this post. Really, any "girly" font will do. I finished by attaching the ribbon and gluing my favorite bling. This card is so cute and I'm waiting for the perfect moment to use it! :) To see the directions for the cupcake stencil, check out this great new blog! Tell the girls over at Cutting Above that FitterTwit sent you! ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Staples

Years ago, prior to the healthy lifestyle changes, or what I like to call "the change", I had basic dietary staples. Among those staples were bread (usually white), crackers (assorted types), peanut butter, canned veggies, canned soups, boxed EVERYTHING (from mac n' cheese to cake and pancake mixes) with the biggest staple being minute rice. Anything that takes a minute to cook IS ALTERED FOOD, but I won't go into detail with that tonight... only to ask if you've considered how healthy ALTERED FOOD really is? If something is SO PROCESSED that it takes moments to prepare... how nourishing is it to your body? How healthy and fit can it make you? Could our obesity epidemic in America be linked to the very fact that we are not nourishing our bodies therefore our bodies are hording fat thinking they are being starved??? Just a thought, but I digress.

Over time I came to understand that anything refined was missing important nutrients that my body needed and on top of that my body wasn't working quite as hard to break down these foods which meant I wasn't burning as many calories with refined food. Well... I'm all about working smart and not hard, so it didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if you are trying to lose weight, making your body burn more calories to digest the food you eat just makes sense! So gone was anything white or refined. The new staples ended up being whole wheat bread (which I ended up loving more than the white yucky stuff), brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat crackers. I still consumed the canned foods quite a bit because it always seemed that I needed the shortcuts because I was always running short on time.

Reality check. Your life will BE and REVOLVE around whatever you put your time and energy into. If you put your time into building wealth, you will build wealth. If you put your time into nurturing your children, you will raise upstanding and stable children. If you put your time into learning to ride a bike, you will ride a bike. Again, it stands to reason that if you put your time and energy into living healthy and fit, you will be healthy and fit. Just as there are no shortcuts with raising your children and riding a bike, the same is true with your health. STOP TAKING SHORTCUTS! Even the extra energy you spend to actually CUT UP VEGGIES to make a soup means that you are not only eating more healthfully (instead of processed canned food) but you are burning more calories in the preparation of it. That's working SUPER smart and not hard.

Enter raw foods. Today my new staples are flax crackers (FABULOUS recipe HERE), nuts, seeds, veggies and fruit with the occasional whole wheat breads or rice noodles (being cooked, the bread and noodles are not raw). I have completely turned to a more holistic approach to eating, meaning that I'm looking at my food as fuel instead of for my gratification. I'm finding my gratification in controlling my health. That staple has been the biggest motivator of all the changes that I've made over the years.

I hope that everyone who reads this post will just stop and ask yourself the hard questions. How healthy is the food I'm eating? Where do I really put my time and energy and what does that investment yield? And finally, what are MY staples?

Serious Mojo

Well, the Gypsy debut on HSN this morning was WONDERFUL! But I wasn't as surprised as I thought I would be because I've been dreaming about the Gypsy for the past week. The ladies over at Cutting Above REALLY did a great job previewing the Gypsy and showing the creative features of it... so good in fact that it haunts me! hahahahaha! If you haven't had a chance to check out this new blog (the one I've been talking about for days), you can check it out here. I'm just impressed with how they have presented the Gypsy and the way they really facilitated their blog's launch. I could use some of that mojo!

But I will say this... the debut really inspired some GREAT cricut creations and today's featured layout is no exception. I have been talking about my love of Halloween and the excitement this year surrounding my Halloween costume. I bought this costume a few sizes smaller than what I wore three years ago and I'm finally wearing it this year. I'm BEYOND excited about that. So those of you who buy that "way too small" swimsuit or pant set or Halloween costume in hopes to use it as motivation to take off those extra pounds, I'm here to tell you that sometimes it works... keep workin that mojo! So in celebration of my lifestyle changes and this amazing feat, I have gone ALL OUT for Halloween this year. I bought Ben Nye theatrical make up and eye kandy glitters and even went so far as to buy colored contacts just to enhance the effect. I'm preparing for tons of pictures from the Halloween parties to the haunted houses to the trick-or-treaters, heck, I'm preparing for shots of simply just getting ready for all the festivities. Can you say MEGA Halloween scrapbook!?! Now that's some serious mojo! hahahaha! While Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, because of reaching my goal, this particular Halloween has inspired a special "achievement" scrapbook with my absolute favorite theme!!! The layout you see here is my title page. My final costume pic will go in the matte and I left room on the very bottom to journal. The Cricut Storybook cartridge was used for cherry blossoms and alcohol ink was applied to aluminum tape I got from my husband's workbench. The stamps I used came from a Stampin Up set called Kanji.
And finally, the contacts came from Color Lenses 4 Less. And they shipped super quick... I don't know if it's because I ordered them WAY before Halloween, but they shipped internationally from Singapore, had to go through customs and arrived to me in about a week and a half, maybe two weeks from when I ordered. SO impressed. Color Lenses 4 Less gets five HIGH FIVES from me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gypsy Debut on HSN

Wow!!! Did you see that debut!?! While it went super quick lasting only about half an hour, that half an hour was PACKED. And Ginger was HILARIOUS! She was so excited, her voice went up an octave a couple of times. But of course she is excited... that Gypsy is AMAZING!!! She said that she just got hers two weeks ago. How cool would that be to be one of the people who just gets to play with this stuff for a living? Watching Ginger's excitement tonight made me a little envious of the people who get paid to have this kind of fun! How cool would that be???? And that Gypsy rocked! Although I knew it would!

I LOVE the fact that, now with the Gypsy, your page designs are mobile. Since I usually get inspired AWAY from my craft closet, it will be so nice to be able to pull the Gypsy out when the mood strikes. And the option to do a keyword search for images makes this little hand held catalog worth it's weight in gold! The ability to take your projects to crops means that EVERYONE saves time... I am just picturing all the fun!!! And I NEED the Gypsy Wanderings!!! Did you see what comes preloaded on the Gypsy?!?! OMGosh... I need it!!! It's a hodge podge really of this and that but everything contains a whimsical swirl to it. SO GREAT!!!! From cupcakes to reindeer to hearts and pumpkins (I gotta have that coffee cup with the heart... so AMAZING!). This Gypsy is going to be a LOAD of fun!!!

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing what the folks over at Cutting Above have to say about this debut. Should also be quite a bit of fun to see everyone's comments too, so be sure to check them out over at http://cuttingabove.blogspot.com/. And for those of you interested in the card that is posted... I call it Love On The Menu.... I used the new From My Kitchen Cricut cartridge along with the Storybook cartridge for the frame. Hope everyone likes this one... as with all my designs this week... IT'S GYPSY'S FAULT!!! :) I'm beyond inspired... and I really want to play!

You're Only A Day Away

Tomorrow...Tomorrow... I luv ya, Tomorrow.... Yah, the title says the rest! hahahaha! Tomorrow the Provo Craft Gypsy debuts on HSN beginning at 12:01 (check your local listings) and I think it starts for me at 9:01 p.m. TODAY so guess who will be going to bed SUPER LATE!?! LOL. "Must.... wait... to.... buy....!" The reason is because I entered Cutting Above's Gypsy give away and I really want to win! Can I win please?!? Hey, I'm NOT "above" begging! ;) Check out Cutting Above's new site here (there's still time to enter).

And again, in honor of the amazing Gypsy launch, here's another Cricut inspiration. It is so great just on it's own, but would also be great attaching just the star to the face of a card leaving the tags below to dangle. Dang! Can you imagine silver cardstock behind that star!?! That would ROCK!!!
The tags are simply attached using the large fastener staples... so easy! I used Cricut cartridge George and Basic Shapes for both the font and the stars. I cut the large star at 4.5" and then again at 5 for the shadow. The patterned paper was already glittered for me... so no work there! I did the exact same cut at 1 inch for the small star and then added an even smaller foil star and a simple flower. It never fails to amaze me how simple projects are with the cricut. And now I'm looking at From My Kitchen which has 10 times what the George and Basic Shapes has on it. OMGoodness.... I'm going to be in my craft room (uh, I mean closet) for days. Do you see why I NEED a Gypsy??? I NEED to get out and see the world! LOL! Good luck to everyone! Enjoy the debut on HSN! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tunnel

So with this Gypsy giveaway being sponsored by Cutting Above (awesome new blog that you're sure to want to save to your faves), I am beside myself with Cricut inspiration out of the blue, and so tunnel visioned on the prize. My husband says that he's buying stock in ear plugs because he wants to be prepared if I win. hahahaha... funny man!

Anyway, this card was made with aluminum foil from my kitchen. Don't you just love those cheap,easy to find card-making materials? I then applied alcohol inks to it and then embossed it in the Cuttlebug using an embossing folder. The branch is from the Storybook Cricut cartridge and the stamp is a clear stamp that (I think) came from Clear Dollar Stamps. This was another super simple card that packs some visual punch...don't you agree?!? I think it might be the Stickles I applied to the branch. I think that stuff has some voltage! :)

Normally, I don't post my scrapbooking and crafts on a daily basis, but with the debut of the Provo Craft Gypsy happening the day after tomorrow on HSN. and with everything I'm seeing at Cutting Above, well, I'm super inspired in my little "Cricut Tunnel"! Be sure to check out all the links and you can also click on the pic to enlarge. Good luck everyone!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just For Fun

Well... a couple of REALLY cool finds online about the cricut. This upcoming Provocraft Gypsy giveaway (my blog post from the other day)has got me in the mood to make! So the card that is posted here is inspired by a really great YouTube vid... you can check it out here. This lady LOVES the cricut..... and can we blame her? :)

I didn't have the Provocraft Cricut cartridge that Robyn used in her video, so I used the Cricut Cheat Sheets that I printed off from the CricutCheatSheet Yahoo group to find a different scalloped circle. I ended up using a blackout of a flower that is on the Storybook cartridge. Really folks... you ARE only limited by your imagination! hahahaha!

Quick note: don't forget to tune in this upcoming Thursday, Sept. 24 starting at 12:01 a.m. The Gypsy is making it's big debut on HSN (check your local listings). Festivities will run throughout the day. Also, the Gypsy give away that I mentioned before... check out the Cutting Above blog for details on how to enter. This great blog just launched and it looks like they are going to take the craft world by storm... giving away TWO Gypsies.. that's just so great! Good luck to everyone!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Realizing Reality... A Dose Of Positivity

How draining and toiling it is to expect the best from people who continually fail to meet your expectations. So is expecting the worst in people so negative? Well, I think it's negative if you expect the worst from someone you don't know. However, I believe that it's MORE than positive if someone has a proven track record for hurting or disappointing you. The energy that it takes to force yourself to believe something contrary to what you've already experienced is draining. The stress of being let down can make you downright sick just to continue to lie to yourself that someone does or doesn't feel a certain way about this, that or even you. Let it all go and deal with REALITY; not what you hope someone is or could be! Deal with what you know about them. THAT is positive. It is positive to deal with what is real... be it negative or positive behavior... well, that is up to them. You can only control you, and how you are going to deal with them. But the key is to deal... that is positive! Not saying "no" is the same as saying "yes".

This wonderfully positive (and proactive) post is brought to light by an amazing blog post I read today by an amazing lady: Chalene Johnson discussing how unrealistic and downright negative it is to expect the best from people you know will let you down. It really is a great read and I hope you all check out her link. Click here for Chalene Johnson's blog.

People in our lives don't let us down out of the blue, do they? There were signs all along that you chose to ignore. Past behaviors that TOLD you what their next move was, but you didn't want to believe it, you wanted to believe something different about him or her... you wanted to be positive. How is that positive? Doesn't it make more sense that if "Suzie" has stepped on you in the past, and is in your life now with the opportunity to do it again, that SHE WILL. If she always has and you allowed her to be in your life, then you've accepted that SHE WILL do it again no matter how many times you tell yourself differently. It is negative to believe otherwise. Believing "this time will be different, they've changed" means that you expend a ton of energy lying to yourself about the other person and then the emotional turmoil of discovering they are the EXACT same person they always were. And I content that the cycle of convincing yourself "this time will be different, they've changed" is EXACTLY what keeps them from changing because you're giving them yet another opportunity to let you down... you are saying "yes" by not saying anything at all.

Now, Chalene did raise a good point. If you expect the "patterned behavior" from someone, when they deliver, you don't go through the drama of being let down. You are also positioning yourself mentally and emotionally to decide how you are going to deal with them based on what you know, not what you wish for. And, if by some miracle the person IS in fact different and DID in fact change, well, then you are pleasantly surprised. It actually IS very positive to expect the worst. It is also something that I'm terrible at.

I have a habit of projecting what I WANT the person to be rather than dealing with who I know they are deep down. Luckily for me, I'm learning to expect my own patterned behavior of doing just that and stopping myself to analyze who they REALLY are and how I feel about their actions. Is their behavior worth being upset about? If it is, I deal with it. Again, you cannot control anyone else's behavior but your own. Be honest with them, BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF, and deal with the person you know... not the person you made up in your head. I agree with Chalene... we are all WAY TOO surprised when people behave the way they've always behaved. Dealing with reality keeps us from taking it all so personally and I'm "positive" that's the way to go!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Calling All Crafters and Cricut Fans

Now hear this! HSN (Home Shopping Network) will be launching Provo Craft's new Cricut Gypsy Sept. 24 starting at 12 a.m. - check your local listings - and I'm QUITE sure the festivities will be running throughout the day. YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS! If you don't know what the Gypsie is, here's a little demo.... Test Drive Gypsy

This AMAZING gadget suddenly makes those Cricut cutting projects portable. Well, I'm a gadget girl anyway so this has got me psyched! I'm envisioning even more Cricut parties gang!!!

And for those of you who JUST fell in love with the new Gypsy... there's a new sheriff in town who donated two to be given away. Check out Cutting Above, a new crafting blog that is apparently ready to take the crafting world by storm (you don't donate two brand new Gypsies unless you're gettin ready to blow) and get the details on how to win one! Good luck to everyone! ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eat Your Veggies

What is it we all KNOW to do? ... Eat our veggies. Fitness professionals, Weight Watchers, nutritionists and the like will all tell you that you can almost eat as many vegetables as you want as often as you want and it will help you lose weight. Heck, an entire eating plan revolves around the concept... ever heard of a little thing called Volumetrics!?! But what if I told you that I had a proven method to not just eat your vegetables, but get more vitamins, minerals and enzymes from them and actually use them to substitute the things you already love? Wow... you'd say that I sounded like a pitch man from a sales infomercial! hahahaha! Well, I'm not selling anything, but I do want to share the proven method. When I say proven method, I mean that it has proven itself true to work for me. It may or may not work for you, but ask your doctor and see what they think about RAW FOOD!

Actually it's just raw fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. I still eat cooked meat (organic of course). But for me it's been one of the greatest changes that I have made in my life. It actually has cut my time in the kitchen to about half... (who wouldn't love that?), refined sugar has been COMPLETELY eliminated and I feel better than I've felt in a very long time. But I think there are a few misconceptions about raw food and while I will touch on those later in this post, I want to start on MY change to raw food.

DESSERTS! We all love them...that is what has inspired this year's Halloween give away challenge! I just love the desserts! So when I discussed with my sister about increasing the amount of raw fruit and vegetables in my diet, her mention of her new raw food diet outlining the wonderful dishes she could create: chili rellenos, pudding, pies, cakes and ice creams, made my ears perk up! What!?! You can make ice cream out of raw food???? Yep, you sure can! Using coconut water, coconut oil, agave nectar and cashews as a base instead of sugar, eggs and milk, the ice cream options are endless!!! And, by the way, coconut is a superfood. The very first recipe I made was Almond Milk... the second, ICE CREAM!!! It was the most delicious ice cream I ever had, so it didn't take me long to figure out that if I started replacing JUST my desserts with raw food options, it would be a great introduction into the world of raw food preparation as well as cutting a majority of the bad and empty calories I was currently consuming.

Now... a warning... ice cream and desserts are not enough as there aren't a lot of green leafy veggies in the raw food dessert recipes. But it IS a super yummy place to start. When you realize that the desserts can taste this good, it gives you the drive to make even more and you quickly realize that the raw pizza and tacos, the raw "fettuchini" or garlic flax crackers (and especially the lettuce wraps) taste BETTER than anything you can buy at a store. For me, raw desserts opened up a whole new world of eating... mostly guilt free. As I said before, I do still eat cooked meat, I just make a larger effort to NOT COOK the fruit and vegetables and instead, prepare them in a way that makes me feel like I'm cheating! Really gang! The raw "pumpkin" pie rocks (pssst... it's made out of carrots)!!!

Now, about those misconceptions. Raw food diets are hard. No, they are not hard, they are different. It's a different way to prepare food...one that you aren't used to. Methods for sprouting seeds and soaking nuts are involved and may require three minutes in the kitchen to put those seeds and nuts in water. Actual time in the kitchen is reduced because there isn't any real "cooking" going on. I do use my dehydrator quite a bit which will warm food, but in order to be considered "raw", nothing can be heated above 115 degrees which is the temperature that enzymes are said to be killed. But overall, my time spent in my kitchen is cut in half, and you know what they say, "time is money". That brings me to the second misconception. It costs too much to eat a raw diet. It honestly does not cost any more than any other diet. I did find that eating raw AND 100% organic has cost a little bit more, but my health is absolutely worth the small added expense. And regarding the cost of additional kitchen gadgets...well, that is a real expense, but don't feel like you have to run out and buy a super expensive dehydrator or food processor! Instead of a dehydrator, set your oven on the lowest setting (mine is 170 degrees) and then prop the oven door open. A standard kitchen thermometer will help you make sure that the temp doesn't go above 115 degrees. For those that are energy conscious.. you can even dehydrate in the sun during the right seasons. Instead of a food processor, a good sharp knife will do the trick just fine. The added tools for living a raw food lifestyle are nice, but not a necessity. Besides, some of the tools of the trade are probably already in your kitchen (i.e. high speed blender, food processor, juicer). I've also found my favorite kitchen gadgets on ebay and craigslist for less than half of the retail price. Hopefully this wets your appetites for some healthy dessert creations. If it does...then be sure to register as a follower of my blog and submit your healthy dessert creation to fittertwit@yahoo.com. Please be sure that the dessert is Halloween themed, and that you include pictures with your recipe entry.

NOTE: Contest/give away does NOT require that the submissions be raw recipes, only that they are healthy. Our guest judge, Heather Frey of http://www.smashfit.com/ will decide whose recipe is the healthiest and most creative. Can't wait to see everyone's entries!!! :) Also... the pics attached to this post are two decadent real chocolate desserts from Ani's Raw Food Desserts. This book is part of the prize winner's haul.... so far! LOL!

Monday, September 14, 2009

HALLOWEEN 2009 GIVE AWAY!

I just got a wonderful "thank you" email from the June 2009 winner of A Match Made in Heaven set (check out her new blog!). The email was wonderful and gracious and now I'm even more glad to know that she won after finding out that Seche Vite is hard to find where she lives. Awe! I love paying it forward! But that reminds me... I have a Halloween give away that's even bigger and better than the last give away!!!! Just like before, my give away is only open to registered followers of my blog. Here's a little sneak peek at SOME of the items in this give away...
More WILL be added to this fun Halloween Haul...so here's the challenge. Create a healthy, Halloween themed dessert. Along with receiving the wonderful Halloween Haul pictured above, the winning dessert creation will be featured by SmashFit.com with full creator credit AND a SmashFit.com t-shirt! Submit recipe with pictures to fittertwit@yahoo.com. All entries MUST be received no later than October 17th. All recipes will be judged based on creativity and health-ful ingredients with a final ruling from the founder of SmashFit.com, Heather Frey.

Halloween is my all time favorite holiday and I still have a month to throw more goodies into this trick or treat bag! What to give.... what to give? Scrapbook stuff? Candle stuff? Nail Stuff? Face paints? Kitchen gadgets? Halloween jewelry? I have so many favorites, I don't know where to start. Be sure to weigh in folks! This is so much fun! All the gentlemen out there... let me know what you would like to see in this haul! Maybe exercise bands??? This one is all about my favorites!!! Also, get in touch with me if you would like to add a product or service to this goodie bag. Here's a direct link to my sponsor, SmashFit.com... check out Heather's shoulders!!! Tell her that FitterTwit sent you! :D

*** There will be plenty more on SmashFit coming to Fun and Mental Changes! It is a GREAT service (fitness matchups!?!) and an amazing website! If you haven't been there... you NEED to check it out!!! Get to creatin! Message me if you have any questions and I'll be sure to keep everyone posted on the items being added to the give away. This is going to be an AMAZING HALLOWEEN!

They're GRRRREAT!

Ok, so while I was on the Master Cleanse I stayed away from my lotions and potions for my nails (chemicals) and THIS is what happened. Horrible cuticles and super short/broken nails because they were bare.... it was ONLY two months!!! Luckily Halloween has inspired my lovely fettish once again! Hello Luva!

This is Nail-Aid's Pink Natural Growth Therapy base coat with OPI's Tangerine Scene (2 coats), Konad Special polish in black with tiger image from disc M57 and a Seche Vite topcoat.

While my nails are in bad shape right now... they look so much better WITH a Konadicure than without! :)

Here's a little black/orange Halloween bonus (cuz I'm all about the Halloween!): Same polish combos done with Konad Halloween image disc M13. Sweet!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

At first, I was shocked when I saw Kanye grab the mic. Then I was sad as I saw Taylor's face, then I was ticked that no one stopped him. Of course everyone knows full well what I speak of... tonight's VMA's on MTV. After a not-so-brief rant about what a terrible person Mr. West is on Twitter, I received a link to a letter that Kelly Clarkson supposedly wrote to Kanye. I do not know if she is really the author (it's from her blog, so I'm sure that she is the author), but whoever the author was could not have expressed better the shock, horror and downright amazement that anyone can display such flawed character. But beyond that, her letter really does explain that on a larger scale, the fact that the whole world viewed Mr. West taking this special moment away from this young girl, it really did take something big away from us all. To say that Mr. West is hated even beyond a cheating boyfriend is really telling of the magnitude of his behavior. And where do you go from here, Mr. West? "Sorry" won't suffice... your actions speak louder than your words.

Here's the letter from Kelly Clarkson's blog:
Dear Kanye,

What happened to you as a child?? Did you not get hugged enough?? Something must have happened to make you this way and I think we’re all just curious as to what would make a grown man go on national television and make a talented artist, let alone teenager, feel like shit. I mean, I’ve seen you do some pretty shitty things, but you just keep amazing me with your tactless, asshole ways. It’s absolutely fascinating how much I don’t like you. I like everyone. I even like my asshole ex that cheated on me over you…which is pretty odd since I don’t even personally know you. The best part of this evening is that you weren’t even up for THIS award and yet you still have a problem with the outcome. Is winning a moon man that much of a life goal?? You can have mine if it will shut you up. Is it that important, really??

I was actually nominated in the same category that Taylor won and I was excited for her…so why can’t you be?? I’m not even mad at you for being an asshole…I just pity you because you’re a sad human being.

On a side note, Beyonce has always been a class act and proved again tonight that she still is. Go TEXAS!!

Taylor Swift, you outsell him ….that’s why he’s bitter. You know I love your work! Keep it up girl!

KC

Ms. Clarkson... I totally agree with you! At least I got something from experiencing my cheating ex... I got self sufficiency and self worth. Even you got some kick-butt lyrics. I got nothing from watching this grown man steal this little girl's candy, but sadness, anger and (even more than anything)....pity.

Creamy Raw Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Raw Cacao Chip Ice Cream

2 Cups raw organic cashews (soaked overnight)
1/2 Cup agave nectar
1 Cup coconut water
1/2 Cup coconut oil/butter
1 Tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp mesquite powder
1-2 Tbsp cacao nibs (real chocolate chips! Yay!)

In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients (leaving out the cacao nibs... add nibs the last five minutes in the ice cream maker) until the mixture is smooth. Place mixture in the freezer to get nice and chilled through (about an hour) but not frozen. Remove from freezer and complete in an ice cream maker using manufacturer's instructions. This stuff is amazing because not only is it SOOO FREAKIN YUMMY, but it's also soooo much better for you! It's not super rich, and in my opinion, tastes better than anything you can buy in a store! :) Happy snacking on this one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Oh Baby, It's Wild!

Tonight's raw dinner was stuffed bell peppers with "cheezy" chips The power flavors for the meal were parsnips, wild rice and nutritional yeast (or brewer's yeast). This recipe is a HOME RUN! Because I had meat eaters at the table tonight, myself included, I also added cooked organic apple chicken sausage to the raw stuffing recipe.... they are on the left in the pic. It was funny to see how the meat darkened the entire dish since the only thing cooked was the meat. Funny! This one is FANTASTIC with or without meat and is a FitterTwit original!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 Bell peppers, tops and ribs removed
1 Cup organic wild rice soaked for three days (change water twice a day)
1 Cup grated cabbage
1/3 Cup diced parsnip (remove the brown outer skin so it will look like rice)
1/3 Cup chopped onion
1/3 Cup Chopped bell pepper
1/2 Cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic pressed
2 Tbsp liquid aminos
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp stone ground mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Cup nutritional yeast (will act as a binder for the stuffing and will give it a wonderful "cheezy" flavor)
1 Cup chopped spinach (optional)

Set the four prepared bell peppers aside. Combine remaining ingredients to make stuffing and fill the prepared peppers. Serve. ** If the peppers to stuff are large, the recipe may need to be doubled.

Cheezy Chips (requires a food dehydrator)

6 Parsnips sliced thin using food processor or mandoline, be sure brown outer skin is removed
1/2 Cup raw organic apple cider vinegar
1/2 Cup liquid aminos
1/3 Cup nutritional yeast in a shallow bowl
Large storage bowl with lid

Combine vinegar and liquid aminos and sliced parsnips into the storage bowl. Be sure to stir so that each slice is covered in liquid. Attach lid and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, shaking the sealed bowl after 10 minutes. Dip each slice into the yeast to coat both sides and place on dehydrator rack. Dehydrate for 10 hours at 105 degrees.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Halloween Music

I spent this past weekend listening to Halloween music while decorating my house. Every year the Halloween festivities in my house starts in September and runs well past October 31st, so I need quite a bit of music to make it through this holiday season. I thought I would share with you my Halloween playlists (yes, I have more than one.... you're probably guessing right now that I'm a FREAK for Halloween) to get you through the holiday as well.

HALLOWEEN PARTY
  • Anything from the Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Monster Mash of course
  • Ghost Busters
  • The entire Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack
  • That Old Black Magic
  • Witchcraft.... CLASSIC

CANDY GIVING - aside from the GREAT creepy sound clip cd's (creeking doors, witches laughing, etc.) there are some really great instrumental Halloween cd's that'll conjure memories and make all the ghoulies smile.

  • Charlie Brown Theme
  • Twilight Zone Theme
  • Jaws Theme (this one makes me laugh... hard!)
  • Psycho soundtrack
  • Friday the 13th soundtrack
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula soundtrack
  • The Omen Soundtrack
  • The Exorcist - Theme from Tubular Bells

THE PRIVATE COLLECTION - these are just my favorite artists.... honestly, I listen to some of them year round. but they make Halloween feel like Halloween. Their music is incredible!

  • Sarah Brightman - her voice is beautiful, amazing and often eerie.
  • Nox Arcana - music with haunting sound effects. Beautiful and scary at the same time.... my Halloween staple! It's not Halloween without Nox Arcana!
  • Mediaeval Baebes - voices combined with percussion mainly... different and wonderful!
  • Haggard - German band with the most amazing music! This one is a MUST LISTEN! Scary, beautiful and something you've never heard before! It's like metal and classical, thrash and symphony... even that description isn't right!
  • Midnight Syndicate - I am listening to the Vampyre album right this second (and The 13th Hour is set to play next... LOL). They are my all time Halloween favorite! :)

This is pretty much what you'll find me listening to until Christmas! hahahahaha!

Calorie Counter

I've never been a calorie counter. While I think that calories are a good gauge of daily food intake, I personally do not believe that calories are the be-all-end-all to lower or maintain your weight. My reasoning for this is because if I ate Snickers bars totaling 300 calories at every meal I would be a larger person than the person who ate the same 300 calories in wholesome nutritious food. It's not about the calories, it's about what your body will process, absorb, utilize and then get rid of. Empty calories do not cause one's metabolism to ignite, empty calories slows down your system and causes fatigue which means the body is not only NOT using the energy you're taking in, but it's making the burning of excess (stored fat) even slower. When eating wholesome nutritious food, more calories can actually be eaten and the 'eating' of this food will promote weight loss. Your body burns a lot of calories processing foods packed with nutrition. Now, with all of that being said, I have been asked on a couple of occasions for calorie counts on the recipes that I have posted. Because I do not count calories, I do not keep track. But for those who do use daily caloric intake as a gauge (if you're trying to gain weight for example), the calorie count IS important!

There is a wonderful resource available to us online called Calorie Count. It is an awesome database of foods, their servings and, well, their calorie counts. It even allows you to input ingredients (and their amounts) in recipes to process the calories for a particular recipe. How great is that?!? Oh, and this is a free service... all you need to do is register. I just registered and will try to be sure to include this information in future recipe posts. But if for some reason, the calorie count doesn't quite make it (sorry in advance... I just don't count calories), everyone now can get the information free of charge and within minutes! ;)

For those of you who are curious, I prescribe to the Body for Life eating method. Body for Life can be found at any bookstore and is usually on sale at Amazon.com. Author: Bill Phillips <---Great Read; HIGH FIVE! **** The image on this blog post is a super cute poster that can be purchased in a 15" x 20" from Zazzle.com.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Its The Most Wonderful Time of The Year!!!

I adore simple and inexpensive craft projects. And when those projects center around my all time favorite holiday... well, you can imagine my excitement and my need to share the wealth (click on the pic to enlarge). For those of you who have a Michael's craft store nearby... there is going to be a HUGE 50% off coupon in the paper. If you're going to give this particular craft project a try, the coupon might come in handy for the tree since it was the most expensive of all the items (at $16). Also, a 20% coupon can be used at Spirit Halloween Superstore using code "Society". But if you don't have access to these stores, your local craft store will have very similar items... use your imagination and have fun with it. The biggest tip I can give you is to look for Halloween "ornaments". The skull is a foam ornament. I literally ripped the hanger pin out of the top. The candle tray came from a dollar store. I sawed the ity bity feet off the bottom and super glued the plate into the arrangement. I then piled hot glue up underneath to level the plate. If you are going to be adding a candle to your centerpiece, be sure that the flame is far enough away from EVERYTHING else so that a fire isn't started. I use a tealight since they do not emit a lot of heat and the area around the tealight is open enough that it's safe to burn. As always, I never leave lit candles unattended.
This project is an easy one, just make sure to glue, glue and glue some more. Elmer's glue is your friend... it dries clear. Hot glue is your friend... it can be removed if needed. Super glue is your friend...because let's face it, there's nothing more helpful when completing a project than gluing your fingers together! HA!

Spooky Tree Centerpiece
You'll need:

Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Elmer's Glue (A LOT OF ELMER'S GLUE)
Super Glue
Floral Arrangement Foam
Floral Arrangement anchors/pins
Moss
Silk Flowers of your choice
A Base of some sort... bowl shaped works the best. I used a $1 plastic cauldron that I got at the dollar store and filled the bottom 1/3 with rocks to weigh it down. I then packed the floral arrangement foam on top with A LOT of Elmer's glue. I mean I packed that cauldron tight, so when I secured the metal tree... that sucker stayed! Explanation in detail below.
Various Halloween ornaments (spiders, bats, jack-o-lanterns
Ribbon (I used ribbon with traditional Halloween colors.)
Thin wire
Wire cutters
Scissors
Candle holder/candle optional

BEFORE beginning your project, and before removing price tags, lay out everything that you intend to use and pre-arrange everything. Make sure that everything will fit in your arrangement BEFORE gluing or securing anything. I purchased a 3" x 4" R.I.P. grave stone ornament to place behind the skull, but it didn't fit. Luckily I didn't remove any tags and will be returning it to Michaels tomorrow.

Getting Started: Make sure that the base is heavier than any other component. My cauldron was plastic and the tree is powder coated metal. If I didn't weigh the cauldron down with rocks, once the centerpiece was completed, the heavier tree would make it top heavy and could tip the centerpiece. Ensuring that the base is heavy will make for a much more stable project. To weigh my cauldron down, I went out into my yard and filled the cauldron 1/3 full of crushed granite landscape rocks. I then added about 1/3 cup Elmer's glue and stirred to be sure the glue coated the rocks. You do not need to let the glue dry. I then cut up the floral arrangement foam into miscellaneous, odd shaped chunks (because of the size of the cauldron, my chunks were about 2" x 2") and added them to the cauldron. I would add two handfuls, add a layer of Elmer's glue, gently mix the foam and glue together (be sure not to disturb the glue coated rocks below), pack it down and add some more foam, more glue, pack it down... continue the process until your base is fully packed. Again, do not let glue dry. Cover the surface of the packed foam with Elmer's and cover entire surface with moss. Do not let dry. Finally, complete your arrangement. I started with securing the tree using floral arrangement pins. I then hot glued the skull and then the silk flowers. My last step was securing the candle tray. Not including the shopping, the project took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete and cost me about $35 (would have been less if I would have waited for the sale next week... cuz I'm so patient! HA!).

If you do give this one a try... PLEASE let me know how it turns out. A nice fall theme alternative is to use a wood bowl in place of the cauldron, a bundle of dried wood branches in place of the tree, fall leaves in place of the silk flowers, and various fall themed ornaments like pumpkins and scarecrows, etc. If including a candle, be sure to ask your local craft store for metal "wood branches" and metal base for safety.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pinch Hitters

Well, today's post was SUPPOSED to be raw Nori Rolls, but halfway through preparing them last night, I couldn't finish... they were TERRIBLE!!! I painstakingly found dehydrated nori sheets (instead of toasted... they were kind of hard to find) in keeping with the whole "raw" theme, but found out very quickly that dehydration INTENSIFIES the fishy flavor of the seaweed. Yah, I HATE FISH!!! I have always loved California Rolls and have never once been bothered by any fishy taste; well now I know why. Toasting the seaweed lessens the fishy flavor while dehydration concentrates it. And yes... I know that dehydration also means that you are getting all the nutrients and enzyme goodness that you don't get from the toasted seaweed, but YUCK! Now, the rolls that you see in the pic are clearly California Rolls instead. The rice did a MUCH better job dialing the fish flavor down (notice how thick I had to make the rice layer...hahahaha!) and if I was going to add the rice, well, I might as well add the imitation crab meat too, right?!? Yah... "raw" kind of flew out the window, but at least all my ingredients are organic and healthy... including the crab meat. When I say imitation crab.... please know that I picked this up at my local asian market and it's 100% fish. I was also told at the asian market that, unlike our western culture, easterners DO NOT poison their food with chemicals and preservatives. They respect their food and understand that nourishing our bodies means that we are healing our bodies, and because of this, their packaging does not include the words organic or "all natural" on it. I'm pretty sold that the "imitation" crab meat I bought was 100% good for me. It also ensured that my California Rolls ROCKED! :)

CALIFORNIA ROLLS
  • 1 serving asian sticky rice
  • Bean Sprouts (carrots are a great and colorful alternative)
  • Avocado sliced into strips
  • Cucumber peeled and sliced into strips
  • Imitation crab sliced into strips
  • DEHYDRATED Nori Sheets (because they are better for you than the toasted sheets)
  • Wasabi paste (optional... super spicy)
  • Fresh sliced ginger root (optional.... and tastes yummy!)
Spread sticky rice over the surface of a nori sheet. On the top edge of the rice covered nori sheet, layer vegetable and meat strips across the sheet. Roll tightly to form a nori 'log'. The sticky rice will keep the 'log' from unrolling. Slice into sections, chill and serve. *** Do not worry about tearing the nori sheet. It is brittle when you first take it out of the package, but the warmth of the sticky rice makes the sheet pliable and easy to roll up. These are really easy to make. I have a bamboo mat, but I don't use it. It's just easier to roll it up on the countertop! ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

To Hire or Not To Hire

This is a repost from my myspace blog from last year regarding MY thoughts on whether someone should hire a personal trainer to get in shape or not. Since that blog post, I had the incredible pleasure of meeting Heather of SmashFit.com... she founded this national service that actually matches you up with your perfect local fitness trainer based on YOUR needs. I call Heather the fitness cupid! I hope you enjoy this post and I will be sure to include a link at the end so that you can check out SmashFit.com too! :)
Ok, so I was asked some time ago (by a certain someone...you know who you are) who was wanting to tone up and get in shape, if she should hire a personal trainer; I thought I would take a minute and share my response.
Based on her needs (wanting to tone up and get in shape), my answer is YES! But why spend the money? Think of all the things in this life we invest in. We invest in cars, homes, other people. I don't understand why people think it crazy to invest in yourself. Most of the things we invest in are replaceable...our health is not. But this takes me to another question: how serious are you to get fit and tone? To lose weight? In all walks of life we pay professionals to do what we could do on our own....why? We could sell our own home, but we hire realtors. We could file our own paperwork for divorce, but we hire attorneys. We could do or learn to do our own oil changes, but we hire mechanics. I know the answer to this. It's because a professional (in most cases) can get the job done quickly, efficiently and most importantly: correctly. I cannot seem to grasp, in my own mind, why building our bodies should be any different.
Again, how serious are you? Where does your motivation lie? Every athlete has a coach. People who are genetically predisposed to perfect fitness, perfect form and get PAID (millions) to be that way have coaches. Come on! These people are fitness experts in their own right....THEY have trainers. What makes anyone believe that we are any less important or that our own fitness goals are any less important. The great news is we do not get paid to be in shape. And unlike the professional athletes, we do not have to pay a trainer for the rest of our career lives. We only pay them until we reach our goals and learn what we need to learn to maintain. It's a very short term investment and in my opinion, the best investment you can make.
FYI...personal training does not have to be terribly expensive. I just read a great article in Bella Online called Hiring A Personal Trainer that has really good information and a couple of tips on keeping the personal training from breaking your bank. Another good article I read recently was written by a personal trainer and might help you decide how you are motivated: Training Psychology and The Old Saying No Pain, No Gain. Good luck to everyone and I wish you all happiness and health. Here is the link to SmashFit.com... be sure to tell Heather FitterTwit sent you! ;) She's expecting you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

$8 At a Farmer's Market

This recipe is WONDERFUL! $8 at a farmer's market, $6 at the local asian food store and 20 minutes gets you the best home made, healthy meal you've ever had.

I left the farmer's market the other day with a LOAD of goodies that included cucumbers, green onions, celery, bean sprouts, zucchini, garlic and red peppers. They were beautiful but visibly ripe which meant that I needed to use them THAT DAY (but that also meant that I saved a ton of money and got some pretty good bang for my buck... some of this haul will be going in the freezer! Another excuse to use my favorite kitchen gadget... the food saver). No problem! I swung by my local asian food store and picked up some fresh Pad Tai noodles, some garlic/chili paste and some nama shoyu (raw, unprocessed soy sauce). I would have dinner on the table in 20 minutes! That's the beauty of vegetables... they are the best when eaten raw and can really make a meal in 20 minutes. Here's my pad tai creation ala farmer's market. It required very little cooking and while this dinner didn't include meat, grilled chicken can easily be cut up and added at the end.
Danielle's Farmer's Market Delight

1 Cup rice noodles (I used freshly made pad tai noodles from my local asian market)
1/4 Cup hot water
3 cloves pressed/minced garlic
1 Cup rough chopped zucchini
1 Cup rough chopped cucumber
1/2 Cup rough chopped red bell pepper
1/2 Cup diagonally sliced green onion
1/2 Cup diagonally sliced celery
1 Heaping Cup bean sprouts
1 Tbsp Nama Shoyu or to taste
1 tsp Asian Garlic/Chili sauce or to taste (very spicy)

Prepare noodles by package instructions and remove from heat. Combine remaining ingredients, mix well... serve. This really could not be easier! :) A quick tip... ANY vegetable that you want to use in this dish works. This is one of those recipes you can have fun with...the more colorful the better. Also, the bean sprouts (in my opinion) MAKE this dish. They are very similar in texture to noodles (with a pleasant crunch), so if you wanted to omit the rice noodles all together, this dish would be raw and still very delicious.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Looks Like Disney Won The Race!

Based on the AMAZING flicker slide show that I just watched... Disney has won the macabre Alice race! I have to admit... I've been unfailingly loyal to the American McGee's game adaptation that has been rumored to be released FOR YEARS!!! Sarah Michelle Gellar was slated to play the sick, demented, dark Alice and I was convinced that nothing could compare. I told myself that Tim Burton's take on Alice would be a sad attempt at best to "scare up" the children's classic. But who am I kidding? I have known for years that Alice in Wonderland was meant for the macabre! The original story was always kind of spooky with falling down dark holes and drinking tonics and grinning cats and a queen that wants to decapitate everyone! Disney and Tim Burton didn't have to work very hard to make a "dark Alice". This story really shouldn't have been a children's classic at all now that I really think about it! So until the American McGee's Alice adaptation arrives.... IF it arrives.... this Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland story will make a GREAT addition to my Alice in Wonderland movie collection (I have every version but the 1966 British one). I cannot wait to see this when it's released March 15, 2010!!! After seeing this wonderful slide show.... I retract any earlier comments that the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland could never compare to the American McGee version. Check out the slide show for yourself.... clearly this movie is going to ROCK!

Just so everyone knows... when and IF the American McGee's Alice ever makes it to film... the stories are completely different. American McGee's picks up with Alice returning from Wonderland, losing her family in a fire followed shortly by her mind. With that, Wonderland goes into darkness, death and chaos (cuz Wonderland's in her mind... get it!?!), so 'MAD Alice' has to return to Wonderland to restore it.... wielding a huge knife! It's actually an amazing, disturbing Alice story concept if they would ever just finish the freakin movie!!!!! The cheshire cat is super scary with a dark, witty and puzzling character quality. Think "dark cheetoes cheetah" commercials, with the cheetah having the dark glasses, the deep menacing voice and the soul patch. After all... I REALLY think the marketing reps stole that character from the American McGee's Alice game! I could be wrong.....


*** And, is it just me... or did Tim Burton make the Mad Hatter look like Carrot Top (the comedian)? Um, why? Oh! And also, for pic cred, please click on the "slide show" link above! :)