Monthly Archives: February 2013

Diaper Cake!

I’ve always wanted to put together a diaper cake the 1st time I saw one at a baby shower. So last night was my opportunity! I’m glad that I got some help…it took 4 hours with 4 people helping. But the times of sharing silly stories and laughing uncontrollably didn’t help speed up the process either. ๐Ÿ˜‰
For those of you that don’t know what a diaper cake is, it’s not edible. It’s a bunch of rolled up diapers shaped into a cake formation with ribbons and bows and all things baby. Inside the cake are the presents!
I was trying to figure out what boxes or tins I was going to use for the structure, because going to work this week threw off my timing. But I got my order from Shade Clothing in the mail last night. I had to call my apartments just minutes before closing to please please please stay open until I get there to pick up that box! (Accident on freeway tied up traffic).
So I got the box (and cute new clothes too) and headed to the store to buy a lifetime supply of rubber bands, over priced (which they strategically don’t put the price on) baby deco stuff, and mommy pamper gifts (lavender Shea butter body cream for the growing tummy, and Ghirardelli chocolates to make that belly grow).
So here’s a few pics of how it all turned out! It was a lot of fun, but now I know what not to do next time!




We ran out of cute orange ribbon so all we could find around the house was this synthetic ribbon stuff. (You know, the kind you get at x-mas time). I was getting pretty tired here. Started at about 8:30 and left my friends house at 12:20, got home at 1am!


Making the cute bows to cover the pins. (I hope she finds all the pins before changing her baby!)

Frog topper croaked. ๐Ÿ˜›

Since the frog was a little limp we gave it a car seat! Lol. That was interesting to make.
So now it’s all done and here’s the view from each angle.




The wrapping paper for the boxes said “baby” all over it and I kept getting Justin Beiber’s Baby song stuck in my head! ahhhhh! Get out get out!
It’s definitely not “professional” quality “baking”. But it was a labor of love and so much fun!!
Have a great day! โค


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Quick after work dinner…

Did you notice the title? Today was an exciting day….I started my new job!!!!! Yea!!! After seven months of being unemployed I am sooo ready to get back to drafting! The job I have is drawing fiber optic telecommunication plans. Sounds like a mouthful but it’s just laying the proposed fiber optic cables for business/commercial use. I use a mouse, not a shovel. I did similar drafting for T-Mobile when they were upgrading their towers to the latest and greatest systems. Everyone is super friendly and laid back. My kinda workplace! Beautiful office too. They designed the interior from shack like conditions a warm uptown office. (Sounds like an oxymoron but its hard to describe). Think red brick, black steel, glass, & original old growth Douglass fir beams circa 1923.
Anyway…something new in addition to my new job is I’m going to try going off refined sugar. Eek!
Me and a friend have been going to a nutrition class for the last 5 weeks and its about the paleo diet taken to the extreme. Based on the book “Maximized Living Nutrition Plans” by Dr. B.J. Hardrick, Kimberly Roberto, & Dr. Ben Lerner.
No grains, no sugar, and no a bunch of other stuff. They say you can do dairy, but raw form. No thank you! I can’t stomach dairy anyway. But the whole concept is it cuts out all sugar (berries stevia, xylitol and Granny Smith apples an exception) for the advanced healing plan so that your body can naturally detox, you are burning fat and not sugar.
Your body burns either sugar or fat for energy, if you cut out the sugar you naturally lose weight faster because you have to burn it for the energy.
I’m trying to do this to help my friend with her motivation to stick with it. If we eat sugar we have to fess up and text her husband so we are accountable. He said he would buy the winner something. I laughed and said, “What? YoCream?” Ha! Sure…give us a sugar headache why don’t you. :-p
I’m not doing the extreme only berries for fruits kinda sugar detox. I’m just staying away from refined sugar or added sugar. (Although my 1 Tbs of miracle whip in my tuna salad today had 1 gm…but I don’t count that!…shhh don’t tell) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am doing the Granny Smith apples and Adams peanut butter. It’s yummy. (GS apples are lower glycemic).

So all this talk about taking, adding…so now that you read my novel I guess I should give you the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got it from the TruRoots website of these organic sprouted beans I got at Costco a while back.

I really had no idea what to do with them until I went to the website for an idea. Although their cooking time is a bit off! My beans were stills but aldentรฉ.
So here’s the modified version below. It’s got nice flavor! The tomatoes add a sweet flavor, even though there’s no sugar. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Italian sprouted bean soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 med onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 14-ounce can Organic diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup truRoots Sprouted Bean Trio
ยผ cup minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
Sea Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, partially covered, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broth, bay leaf, tomatoes and seasonings, bring to a boil. Add the bean trio. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Note: If you can’t find the sprouted bean mix at Costco try mixing equal parts mung beans, green lentils, and adzuki beans. (Sprouted if possible)



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Homemade GF Granola


After about a year of buying super expensive 11 oz (only makes 3 bowls) gluten free granola at the store, I finally came across this recipe. It’s so easy it’s ridiculous! It’s also subject to your own creativity as well. So give it a try, see how much it makes in the end and then throw your head back laughing at how much money you wasted on “gluten free marketing”. You can omit the last part if you want. ๐Ÿ˜‰
(The above picture is before baking).

Gluten Free Homemade Granola
3 cups old fashioned GF oats
1/4 – 1/3 c extra virgin organic coconut oil melted
1/2 c organic maple syrup (Costco)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Handfuls of:
Walnuts, cashews,
raw pumpkin seeds,
ground flax,
dried cranberries.
I also added a little of chia seeds,
hulled millet seeds (my birds favorite),
and organic dark chocolate chips, but you can add really whatever you like.

Mix dry ingredients together first then add coconut oil and stir. Then add in maple syrup, stir. Make sure it’s all coated, but not soaking. If it’s a little dry add a little more maple syrup as needed. (You can add more coconut oil, but I really don’t like the taste so I use as little as possible, it’s healthy so that’s why I use it).

Bake at 350ยฐ for 30 minutes on lined cookie sheet. If you are more coordinated than me you can stir after 15 minutes, but I didn’t and it turned out ok (I’m a klutz). If you have chocolate chips in it you might not want to stir or it will be a sticky mess. Let cool on cookie sheet, then put in air tight container when completely cool.

It’s really yummy…and smells wonderful right now as its baking. :-]

Possible alternative ingredients:
Peanut butter
Almond butter
Raw Sunflower Seeds
Cinnamon (I just realized if forgot to add this!)
Dried raisins, or blueberries, or apricots, or pomegranates! (Saw these at the store the other day and was iffy about it, but a friend had some and they are soooo good!)

If you have other combos you like, comment below, I’d love to see what others put together. ๐Ÿ™‚

(This is my granola after baking, I added my cinnamon and nutmeg on top because I have “Sometimers”).



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Bedtime routine…

How come “going to bed” never feels like you will get there?
I don’t think I do that much to get ready for bed; wash face, remove eye makeup, toner, essential oils, night cream, eye cream, whatever else face stuff, brush teeth, take out contacts, check thermostat, turn on electric blanket, pj’s, turn off lights, crawl into bed, put on chap stick, take off rings, put on hand cream, put rings back on, scroll on Pinterest, turn iPod onto Enya, shut out bed light, toss n turn, eventually fall asleep.
No wonder women are complicated! Lol! ๐Ÿ˜›

Photo credits: me at Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon 2011

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in A day in the life of Jeni, funny stuff


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Groundhog Day

So today is Groundhog Day, and for some reason the Portland Zoo uses a hedgehog to see if spring is around the corner. Keep Portland Weird! Lol!
Jabari did see his shadow…who wouldn’t? It was a Beautiful Day!! (He’s only 38% accurate though) ๐Ÿ˜‰

But Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow today. WOOHOO! He’s a lot more accurate, so lets go with that forecast.
Come on SPRING! ๐Ÿ˜€


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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in A day in the life of Jeni, funny stuff


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Creole GF Noodles & Sausage Main Dish

Here is a new dish I tried out based on a variation from this recipe.
I didn’t have all the ingredients she had, so you just gotta improvise! ๐Ÿ™‚
I had also been wanting to use some of my quinoa noodles and couldn’t pin down what to make. So this inspiration was perfect!
I wasn’t sure how it would turn out so I was really crossing my fingers on this recipe. But it was very good! I had to be sure only to have a little bit and fill up on the butternut squash soup that I also made today. I was in a cooking frenzy! And…I made homemade granola. Wow. That is so not me to be so inspired to cook like this. Maybe it’s the “new me”. Haha…or the the B-12 that’s working. ๐Ÿ˜‰
So enough talk, lets get cooking!

Creole GF Noodles & Sausage
Main Dish: Serves 4

1 lb Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville Bratwurst)
8 oz. GF quinoa rotelle pasta (or which ever style noodles you want)
4 oz. can of diced green chilies (Trader Joes brand are .79 cents each!)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
Creole Seasoning to taste (mild to burning hot, your choice)
3/4 cup GF chicken stock
1 Tbs GF Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp cornstarch

1) Boil water for noodles.
2) Brown sausage then cut into pieces. It’s ok if it’s not all the way cooked.
3) Cut up green pepper, red pepper, onion. Add to skillet with grapeseed oil (or olive oil) add 2 cloves crushed garlic. Sautรฉ for little bit to coat with oil and add can of green chilies & cut sausage.
4) Season with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning to taste. (I used Cajuns Choice brand).
5) In liquid measuring cup add 1/2 – 3/4 cup cold organic chicken stock (Costco has a great brand). Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch and stir.
6) When water boils add 8 oz. GF quinoa pasta (got it at Fred Meyer in the GF section). Boil for 6 minutes adding dash of salt and oil.
7) Add the cornstarch mix to sautรฉed veggies and sausage, cover, let it get bubbly for a few minutes. Then stir.
8) When noodles are done (not mushy, but slightly aldente but not too aldente), drain noodles in colander and add to sautรฉ pan. Mix until combined.
And enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€



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