Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greek Chicken Skewers

The plan for today's post was to show you a fun project I've been working on, however this week didn't go according to plan so I'm sharing one of my new favorite chicken recipes. 


Morgan and I have recently discovered skewers, not that we didn't know about them before but we've just started making them and we are loving how easy and delicious they are. And these ones are by far the best I've made yet. So so good. 


I got the original recipes from Classy Clutter, and if you're looking to make gyros that is the recipe to make it's amazing! So amazing that I didn't change her sauce for this recipe, I just couldn't mess with that kind of perfection. 


Also grill pans are my new favorite things. We ran out of propane for our grill weeks ago and we keep forgetting to pick it up, so it's nice to be able to whip this baby out and still have that grill flavor, because is there anything that screams summer more than food on the grill? I think not. 


Greek Chicken Skewers {Print Recipe}

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
2 clove garlic (I use dried)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
½ cup cilantro chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 package Cherry Tomatoes
1 cup red onion, cut into large chunks
6-8 wooden skewers, soaked for 15-20 minutes

Directions:
  • In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, thyme, ¼ cup cilantro, and salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken in a gallon sized ziploc bag and pour marinade over it.
  • Let marinate at least one hour
  • Place wooden skewers in a bowl, or a sink, cover with water and let sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Assemble skewers (I did tomato, onion, chicken but you can do whatever order you’d like)
  • Grill skewers 3-4 minutes each side
  • Serve with Cooking Classy Tzatkiki Sauce and remaining cilantro for garnish

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

I hope you try these out, and if you do I'd love to see it! Post a picture on instagram and tag #newlywedsonabudgetblog. Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day! 

Kari

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BBQ Chicken, Feta, and Lime Quinoa Salad

Now that you've learned how to make perfect quinoa, it's time to start using it to make fabulous recipes. This recipe is one I've shared on instagram before and it's a regular in my weekly lunch routine. There are some weeks were I have it for lunch every day, it's just that good. Seriously. 




Morgan and I recently started another round of the Game on Health Challenge and as such we're both watching what we eat. To make eating healthy easier I like to create quick meals that come together easily with a little prep ahead of time. 

This salad fits the bill perfectly. It's low in calories, high in protein and fiber to keep you full, and comes together so easily. Not to mention all the flavors mix perfectly so your taste buds will never know your eating something that's actually good for you. 


This salad is so versatile that you can play around with it a lot until you find what works for you. I personally like to load mine up with cilantro and green onions so I usually put extra of both on my plate. But you could add more red onions, more lime juice, or less if you'd like. These are my favorite kinds of recipes, the ones where they can be catered to you and your tastes. 


BBQ Chicken, Feta, and Lime Quinoa Salad {Print it Here}
Serves 4 Serving Size: 1 cup Nutrition: Calories: 225 Carbs: 35 g Fiber: 4g Protein: 12g

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 1 cup chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped Spinach
  • 2 cups cooked Quinoa
  • ½ cup chopped Red Onion
  • ¼ cup chopped Green Onion
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro
  • ¼ cup Feta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:
  1. Cook Quinoa according to package directions, or this recipe. Note: I use pre-cooked chicken or leftovers
  2. Combine chicken, romaine lettuce, spinach, quinoa, red onion, green, onion, cilantro and feta in a large bowl
  3. Whisk together BBQ sauce, lime, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  4. Drizzle over salad, toss to combine, and serve.

*Inspired by Eat Yourself Skinny

I hope you'll give this recipe a try! I know you'll love it. Thanks for stopping by! 

Kari

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making Perfect Quinoa Every Time

Quinoa, the new super food that everyone's talking about. It's high in protein, fiber, and magnesium, not to mention-it's delicious! 

But the key is making it. It took me a while to fall in love with Quinoa, mainly because I wasn't making it right. And I'm guessing you might be in the same boat. 

So for all you self-professed Qunioa newbies this ones' for you-


There's a couple steps that make perfect Quinoa every single time-

Perfect Quinoa Recipe: {Print it Here}

  • 1 Cup Quinoa
  • 2 Cups Liquid (water, chicken broth, beef broth, etc.)

  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa in a mesh strainer.
  2. Toast  Quinnoa in a saucepan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until remaining liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add liquid and bring to a rapid boil. Cover  and reduce to simmer.
  4. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, keep covered, and let sit for 5 minutes
  5. Fluff with a fork and serve.



I hope you give Quinoa a try, it really is delicious. Look for an amazing Quinoa recipe coming next week.

Also, can we talk about how hard it is to photograph plain quinoa? I mean, it's delicious but all on it's own it's a little plain for photography purposes. 

Kari

I'm linking up to these great places: Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DIY Party Invite [PicMonkey Tutorial]

I love parties. I love planning, decorating, and hosting parties. They are so much fun and we do a lot of them. We have a fun movie night party coming up, we host our annual neighborhood block party, and this year will be our fifth year hosting a murder mystery party as well as a Christmas Party. Like I said, I like parties. 

That being said, I like parties that don't break the bank. Having magazine worthy parties doesn't mean you need to hire a party planner, buy every single decoration, and have someone else create an amazing invite. I'm all about hosting DIY parties that I enjoy creating and putting together. 

The first step to an amazing party is the invite, it's the first glimpse your guests have of what's to come so you want to wow them. I'm not a graphic artist or professional by any means but I have learned a few things over the year. One of my very favorite sties for designing invites, or really any type of graphic, is PicMonkey.com. They offer some really great services that anyone can use, and the best part-the majority of their services are FREE. Who doesn't love free?  By the way, I'm not being paid by PicMonkey I just really love this site. 

I wanted to do a quick PicMonkey tutorial for those who might feel a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. I made a quick invite to a Dinner at Twilight party. I'm not actually hosting such a party, but after making the invites I'm really wanting to. Doesn't it sound like fun? 



The best new
 aspect of PicMonkey is that they allow you to design your own cards now. You used to have to upload your own picture and do a whole bunch of random stuff to try and get it to work-not anymore. Now you can design your own card with tons of different options. 

Head on over to PicMonkey and chose "design" 


The toolbar on the left side is where you'll work your magic. First choose your color-


If you're like me, you'll change the canvas color what feels like a thousand times until you're happy with it. Can I get whoop whoop for all us perfectionists? 


To create the star effect I headed to the butterfly, otherwise known as the shape section, and headed down to the Elements section.


Just like the invite background, the wording is all about finding what works for you. I like to head to Pinterest and search "party invite" for inspiration. 


I used the geometric rectangular shape create the light blue outline. It just takes some finagling to find the look you're going for. 


You can use the percentage on the lower right hand corner to zoom in and out of the design to make small changes-


I hope this helps you create some really awesome invites and banners and hopefully this tutorial helped makes things a little easier to understand. The best advice I can give is to head over to PicMonkey.com and play around with the different fonts and features. The more familiar you become with it, the better you'll be. 


Kari

P.s. Would you be interested in more tutorials like this one including Photoshop? Let me know in the comments below! 
I'm linking up to these great places: Artsy-Fartsy Mama

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coming back!

Oh man, has it been a long time or what? I am so sorry for my totally unexpected fall off the face of the planet. I don't really have a great explanation as to why I stopped, I think I just got so burned out that I had to just walk away, completely. I am so sorry, that was a pretty lame move of me. 



So, what have I been up to for the last 9 months? Well school mostly, and all my hard work is paying off I graduate in December, can I get a hallelujah? This has only been 7 years in the making, needless to say I am more than ready to be done, so so done. 



We also celebrated the two year anniversary of the accident (which you can read all about {here}). That was a crazy one, I can't believe it's been two years. We've had quite the adventure in those two years but I'm excited to put that trial behind us and move forward. 



Morgan and I have stayed busy, he with work, me with school. I've also been working part-time with a local event company which has been fun but the last few weeks I've realized how much I loved this. Writing, creating, sharing. This is my love and I've missed it. 



I've also missed all of you guys! I made so many amazing friends and connections in my 3 years of blogging, and I've missed those. So, if anyone does read this, how are you all doing! What have you been up to? What amazing things have you done? What ordinary achievements have you made. I'd really truly love to hear. 

Now, it's time to get back to work. I'll have more recipes, crafts, DIY projects, and parties to share with you and I can't wait! 

Hopefully I'll see you tomorrow! 

Kari

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Murder Mystery Party: Part 1 The Invites

This post has been 3 months in the making! Okay, not really this post, but this party. This is our 4th year hosting a murder mystery party and we had another hit. It went perfectly and I loved everything down to the last detail. 

I start thinking about these parties in August, so about 3 months in advance. That's when I make a Pinterest board and start figuring out what I want to do. You can check out the board for this years party {here}

Today I'm sharing the invites I used for this years party. For the invites I used Pic Monkey and just had them printed at Walmart. For 5 invites I spent about $4-great invites without the price. 

I used wax and a seal I bought from Pick Your Plum to seal the invites and send them on their way. We originally invited 10 guests but one of our friends had a baby so we ended up having 8 people come which was perfect. 

I love how the invites turned out-and the blood splatter is awesome. I did all the fonts and the blood splatter with Pic Monkey, just an FYI I have a prime account with them. 

Check in Wednesday for all the pictures and more details on the party! 



Kari

Friday, October 25, 2013

Get Fit For Christmas Challenge Week 3-Guest Post from Kelly at Dixie Dollar Deals

I have an awesome guest post for you guys today as part of the Get Fit for Christmas Challenge. if you're new here be sure to check out Week One and Week Two for more tips and find out how you can join the challenge!


I absolutely love the guest I have today. Kelly from Dixie Dollar Deals-



She is adorable, on her blog and in person. She's so sweet and fun and always makes me feel included. I've only been able to meet her a couple times but each time has been great. She has some awesome tips for you guys and I'm excited to implement them myself. 

I am so excited to be guest posting today as part of the #getfit4christmas series!  I was seriously so inspired by Kari when she announced this series on Newlyweds on a Budget.  I had been thinking to myself that I needed to get back on a fitness and diet plan over the holidays so I wouldn’t gain the weight that I did last year!  Plus, I have been so inspired by Kari’s story and how hard she is working to get healthy.

I have been back on track for the last couple of weeks now and wanted to share what I’m doing to get in shape.  I don’t claim to be a fitness expert, but I always like hearing what little things other people are doing in their lives and try to incorporate their ideas into my life too, so I hope maybe this will help someone too.

Exercise I have always liked working out in a gym but like everyone, always found getting there difficult at times.  I joined a gym a few years ago but decided that I was tired of hauling my two littlest ones to the day care at the gym, plus I was tired of paying for my gym membership too.  So I quit the gym and vowed to find a way to work out at home.  In June of this year I found Revolt Fitness, and I really enjoy incorporating it into my daily routine {full disclosure: I am an affiliate partner with Revolt Fitness}.  Revolt is a full fitness and diet program.  Each month there is a different focus for the workout videos {October’s focus is 28 Days of Sweat} and the videos are always new every month, so you never get tired of doing the same workout over and over.  I also like that the videos are short {my video today was only 16 minutes} so that I can do them quickly at home.  Revolt also has a full diet program with menus and recipes to eat clean 6 days a week with one day to eat as you please.  The recipes are really good and the eating plan keeps you really full because there is so much food to eat.  I learned how to cook my meals in advance and pre-portion them out from doing the Revolt plan. 

I like Revolt for so many reasons but the main reasons I love it is that the workouts are intense but short, and because I can do them quickly at home I have no excuse not to get them done.  If Revolt Fitness sounds like a program you might want to try, you can go here to sign up for one week free on the program!  Oh, and full memberships are only $4.16/month so they are way affordable, even for cheapskates likes me. I also decided to incorporate running into my exercise plan.  I have never been much of a runner in the past, but at times I have worked at it and found that I like it when I am consistent with it.  I have decided not to focus so much on how fast I am, or how far I can run, but instead focus on doing it for pleasure more than anything else.  It’s my time away to listen to some great music and wind down from all my responsibilities.  I always run with a goal in mind of distance, but try to just enjoy my time doing it.  I like to use the Map my Run app on my phone to measure my runs.  They also have a Map my Ride app if you like to bike.  Find a sport that you enjoy doing just for pleasure alone and it won’t be a burden to do.  You might even look forward to doing it!

Diet For me, eating clean is the hardest part of getting and staying in shape.  I like to exercise, but being diligent about my eating is not something that comes easily.  I never met a baked good that I didn't like.  I also find that eating clean can also be challenging when you want to cook meals that kids will eat.  There are so many diets out there, and I know that many of them work for some people.  The key is to find what plan works for you individually. One tool I am using and seeing great results from is the My Fitness Pal app.  I’m sure you've probably heard about it before.  Several of my friends have mentioned how much they love using it too.  With the My Fitness Pal app, you can log all your meals, your workouts, and track your weight loss.  The app helps keep you on track with your calorie count and weight loss goals.   Even if you don’t like calorie counting, you can use it to log your workouts, daily weight, and water intake.  And when you add friends to the app, you can help encourage and support each other in your goals {you can find me here}.  It’s also fun because it’s like a bit of a game to do all your tracking each day.

As for my diet itself, I’m focusing on eating clean for all my meals, but still making the meals I normally make for my family and eating small portions.  Most of my meals are protein and a veggie with maybe some fruit on the side to help curb my sweet tooth. I also plan on having splurge meals now and then. Let me also tell you that I learned a valuable lesson last year during the holiday season.  I had just lost 9 pounds in the fall, and I felt great about how I was looking and feeling.  I decided to make homemade fudge for my neighbor gifts, and ended up making 5 batches total.  And of course I had to taste test each batch to make sure it was good!  Well, I went way overboard and of course gained back that weight.  So, lesson learned – if you want to keep weight off during the holidays do not make delicious treats as gifts if you can’t resist eating them too!

Find a Community Another tip I think is really important is to find a community to support you in your goals.  I have a friend who is really similar to me with my struggles with staying in shape, and we always commiserate our issues and celebrate our success with each other, usually by email or text because we don’t live in the same area.  It’s great to have a friend you can trust to talk to.  I have another friend who created a facebook group called “Let’s Motivate Each Other” and added a bunch of friends to it, and it’s fun to read what everyone is doing each day with their goals.  There are so many ways to get inspiration and support.  Start a fitness board on Pinterest and add quotes that inspire you {you can find my Fitspiration board here}. 

Or follow bloggers like Kari and myself on Instagram for daily inspiration.  Instagram is a great way to get inspiration through using hashtags (#getfit4christmas #momswholift #eatclean #inspiration).

Books I also wanted to share some books that I have learned some great tips and weight loss rules by.  They are:  The Skinny Rules by Bob Harper, Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel, and Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.  You can read sample excerpts online or in an e-reader, or look for them at your library.  Do you have a favorite diet or fitness book too?  I would love to find more, so leave a comment if you have one to share.

Thank you Kari for having me visit!  You can find my blog over at Dixie Dollar Deals, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!

Thank you so much Kelly! I love all the tips you've shared. Be sure to go check out Kelly's blog-you'll love it! And don't forget to check in in the comments below-let us all know how you're doing so we can encourage you and each other! 
Kari