Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

Today I have a really delicious recipe to share with you today from Dole. It is for Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers. They were seriously delicious! I have never had something Teriyaki flavored before and it was awesome. We had a friend come over for dinner to try it out and she loved it too!

DownEast Basics Bloggers Night Out

Last week I got the opportunity to meet up with some awesome local bloggers at DownEast Basics for a fun night out. Each blogger got to bring a friend with them which was a lot of fun too.
I brought my friend Edna, and we carpooled over with Vanessa from The Sew-er, the Caker, the Copycat Maker and her friend Mary. We went to dinner first, had fun shopping at Down East Basics, and even made a stop at a Fabric and scrapbook store afterwords.

Here's Vanessa and Mary browsing for clothes. I loved the little girls Rain or Shine Trench hanging right above Vanessa's head. Too bad winter lasts about 5 days here in Arizona. 

Here is Vanessa and I. I am so happy to have made a great 'real life' friend that I met through blogging. 

I am not very good at shopping for myself. I am so indecisive when it comes to things for myself. I did see this really cute shirts that I just loved though. This is the Blooming Dahlia tee.

 This shirt shirt is the Tandom top. I LOVED the pattern and the style. 
Vanessa's daughter came too and she was so fun to dress up. She looked really cute in the Fun Sun tank and the On Your Side top. I know Vanessa took lots of pictures so if she posts the outfits, I will link them up. Ah to be young and look cute in everything again!

I loved getting to see some familiar and new blogging faces too. I should have been a little more forceful with the camera. However I did get to see Jax(Jacquilyn Avery Photography) Kristyn(Lil Luna), Whitney(Home Delicious) plus I got to meet Wendy(Choosing Love). Next time I hope to be even more outgoing and introduce myself to more people.

Thanks DownEast Basics for a fun shopping night out!



Ashley

Embellished Bathroom Towels

Last night I went to a crafty slumber party at my friend Vanessa's house. Well we actually ended up staying up all night so it wasn't really any "slumbering" going on. ;) It gave me the chance to do some much needed sewing for our downstairs bathroom.
Let me tell you about our bathroom first. It's the only bathroom on the first floor, and it only has the commode and a sink. It's the smallest bathroom in the house, but it is the one we use the most. It is pretty much the only one guests use when they come to visit. I would like for it to look nice and well put together.
I first decorated this room 8 years ago when we first moved in and I haven't touched it since then. I didn't really know my own style then and a freshening up is way overdue!
Here is the before. Everything in the bathroom is some shade of beige. I had some towels hanging on the bar but my kids disappeared them for me. That little cabinet on the wall is the only storage we have in the whole bathroom. There is no under sink storage or anything.

Now for the exciting reveal. I embellished some plain hand towels and I made some new curtains. I love the vibrant turquoise. I am going to add some more touches to the bathroom, but I am so excited how it looks so far.


Now I am going to show you how I spruced up some plain hand towels from Walmart to give my bathroom a little bit of pizzazz.

Supplies:
Bathroom hand towels
Coordinating fabric
Sewing supplies

Step 1. Cut your fabric into a 4" strip. the length needs to be 1" longer than the width of your towel.

Step 2. Press end of your fabric under 1/2". Now your rectangle should measure 3" by the width of your towel.


Step 3. Pin your fabric rectangle to the front of your towel and sew in place.

Here are my towels again. I'm contemplating adding some fabric to the washcloth too. What do you think? Would you add strip to the washcloth or leave well it as is? I have also though about adding an applique monogram to one of the towels. Decisions, decisions! This is why I haven't redecorated it in so long. I get overwhelmed with all the possibilities.


I can't wait to keep showing you portions of the bathroom as I continue updating and adding some new decor. I'm so excited about how it looks now, I'm hoping that motivation will keep my moving in the right direction.

Join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels, and click here for savings and more!           
 I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.


Ashley

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

On my journey to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, I am often looking for ways to recreate my favorite foods in healthier ways. I love condiments like mayonnaise, ranch, and ketchup. Sadly, they aren't very good for you. I am trying to eliminate them or use them very sparingly in my diet.
I have heard of substituting Greek Yogurt for mayonnaise in recipes before but I have always been a little hesitant. Well, I am sold now. My chicken salad turned out so delicious. I might even like it better than the traditional version with mayonnaise. My favorite part is that greek yogurt has no fat and a 6 ounce container of it only has 100 calories. This recipe uses even less than the 6 oz package. Woohoo!

A fitness update and my sweet independence

As a quick recap, I am currently on my weight loss journey. I posted my first update HERE, if you are interested in some of the particulars. Hopefully I will be doing a brief update once a month.

As of July 1, 2012 I have been at this for 3 months and lost 59 lbs. It's tempting to round up to 60 lbs but that feels like cheating somehow. That 60th pound is being very stubborn too, I've been hovering around the 59 lb mark for nearly a week.
Update 7/10/12: I finally made it! I officially have lost 60 lbs!

One thing I am discovering as I have made this lifestyle changes is that it's not realistic for me to think I can abstain from all treats. Sometimes you just need a good piece of chocolate. This doesn't have to mean that your diet is ruined or that you are a failure. I am pretty bad about guilting myself and negative 'self-talk'. It's all about making smart choices when you do decide to indulge a little.

That is why I jumped at the chance when Hersey's offered to send me some of their new chocolates to try. Hershey’s Simple Pleasures chocolates have 30 percent less fat than the average leading milk chocolates. Wahoo!


I can enjoy a delicious tasting chocolate and release myself from dieter's guilt. My really appreciate that 1 serving size is 6 pieces of chocolate. Assuming my will power is strong enough, I could have only a few pieces of chocolate and be satisfied. Such a difference from other treats when you are shocked to learn that a serving size is really small but the fat and calories are very large.

I patiently waited nearly a week after the chocolates arrived on my doorstep to try them on July 4th. I had already decided I was going to enjoy myself that day and planned to indulge a little. They were really truly delicious. Not only does it contain 30 percent less fat than the average leading milk chocolates, it tastes great! Each chocolate piece is about the diameter of a quarter, for size reference.


The three varieties are Milk Chocolate with Vanilla, Milk Chocolate with Chocolate Creme and Dark Chocolate with Chocolate Creme. I enjoyed all of the flavors, but the vanilla creme was my favorite. It had a nice strong vanilla flavor which I really enjoyed. I let my husband try them and he really liked them too.


To celebrate their new chocolates, Hersey's is encouraging you to go to their Facebook page and declare your sweet independence from something. I declared my independence from dieter's guilt! You can be entered to win some prizes AND receive a coupon for Hersey's Simple Pleasures chocolates.

Hersey is also hosting a twitter party next Wednesday, July 11, 2012 from 8-9pm ET. Over the course of the party they will be giving away five sample packs of Hersey's Simple Pleasures chocolate varieties. It is the same pack that I have in the first picture. To participate in the twitter part use the hashtag #hsysimplepleasures.


What are you going to declare your sweet independence from? I would love to hear about it in the comments, if you feel like sharing!





Ashley

Dis­clo­sure: This is a spon­sored post on behalf of Hersey's and the Motherhood. I received a sample pack of Hersey's Simple Pleasures for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All content is 100% created by me.

Independence Day Festivies

I hope all my fellow Yankees had a great Independence Day. Per usual, I am a little late on the holiday blogging. My parents were in charge of organizing a Fourth of July breakfast at church. I got to hear all about the details and prep before hand so we made sure we were going to be there.

I did do one thing to help. I saw a picture of some watermelon cut into stars over at Chica and Jo and I thought it was super cute.  The day before the party, while my parents hulled and chopped 21 pounds of strawberries, I cut three watermelons into stars for fruit salad.

After about the first watermelon, I was thinking this might be a better idea for a small event and not to feed such a large amount of people. LOL. It is very easy to do though. You just cut the watermelon into 1/2" slices and go to town with cookie cutters. I used the medium and large size Wilton Star fondant cutters . If you click the link, it will take you to see them on Amazon.

Here is the whole food table set-up. It was quite the spread, pancakes, sausage, berries, fruit salad, muffins, cereal, milk, and orange juice. 


I thought the table set-ups were cute too. The tables are really big, so finding inexpensive patriotic tablecloths are not possible. My Mom found 60" round tablecloths at the dollar store and used them to cover the regular church white tablecloths. The centerpieces were a combo of toilet paper roll fireworks and dollar store centerpieces.


The primary had also arranged for some kids crafts and there was a really nice presentation given too.
That was about the extent of our Independence Day festivities. It was rainy and about 25 degrees cooler than usual, which for Arizona is such a great blessing.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I"ll be back tomorrow with an update on my weight loss journey. I can't wait to share it with you!


Ashley