Louisiana Bride: June 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Purina One 28 Day Challenge

If you've read this blog for more than the past few minutes you've probably heard me talk about my dogs. 

Ellie being the queen bee, I've had the old woman since right before I turned 20 and this year she is turning 8... in two short months. So as you can probably guess the little things are starting to show age like her skin and coat. 

Hence the need to change things up a bit, and Purina One's 28 Day Challenge sounded like the perfect test run to see if her food was effecting her, or just how much it was. 


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

So I cheated a bit on Dukan last week. I was doing great until we had a game night, home girl just can't turn down thin crust pizza.

Especially since Jeremy won't order it!

This week there shouldn't be any distractions, so I'll share what I'm eating and what I am basically living off of for a few days!


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking. 

Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday  - are all PP Days meaning Pure Protein. So lean meats, 2 tbsp of oat bran, and fat free or super low fat dairy. 

My PP day meals consist of this >>>
Breakfast - 2 hard boiled eggs & oat bran pancake (or I mix the oat bran with some skim milk in and nuke it a second, then I mix it in with some Greek yogurt)
Lunch - Grilled Chicken or this amazing Greek Meatball recipe I found. I've even gone so far as to buy a bunch of lean turkey burgers (for convience to not make a ton), seasoning them with Greek seasoning and them dipping them in the sauce. 
Afternoon snack if I'm dying - Greek yogurt or pickles (they allow them so I'm surviving on them on those no veggie days0
Dinner - same as lunch as far as protein goes, plus I add a sugar free jello afterwards. 


I'm also loving my flavored tea right now and I've been making decaf coffee with skim milk. 

Now for the PV meals, meaning protein/veggie days >>>

This is exactly the same as the PP days for me except I add in my beloved green veggies. I love kale, baked as chips, raw for salad, or pan fried (without oil). After a non veggie day I tend to only eat kale. 

This week I'm also roasting broccoli and I have some zucchini to grill. 

Jeremy has broken up with the diet for the most part, it's much easier if I'm not fixing every meal for him and meat lasts me much longer when I'm not sharing it. A packet of chicken tenders will last me a week, with Jeremy we made it two days last week. 

Here's the board I'm pinning Dukan recipes to, there aren't many but if you know of good ones for PP days please share!

So has anyone else tried Dukan before and has tips? 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Heart Pinterest Wednesday

It is Wednesday isn't it?

Summer throws me off majorly!

So this weeks theme, there isn't one. It's just a few of the things I am coveting on the inter-webs here lately!


We are all into the Dukan Diet right now (and it's obviously a European craze considering the lack of English speakers using the tag on IG) but these Duggar Rolls will be used sometime as soon as I can have cheat meals. Come on Consolidation Phase!


All I want is one crazy shaped wall in the house we buy so I can do this! 


Speaking of Dukan, I haven't made any recipes aside from the Oat Bran Pancake. We've just been eating seasoned grilled meat, boring as can be. I remembered I had some lean ground been in the fridge and made these meatballs for lunch today, they were amazing and worth eating if you aren't on the diet. 


Love this!


This idea makes me want to plan a picnic, but where would you get these cups from?


We are all aware that Mary Kay is too expensive, or maybe that's just me. I admit it, I can't stand spending money. So this scrub sounds divine, especially since their Satin Hands is so great. 


I really miss having people over and having mini parties, seeing this pin is making me want to have another pumpkin carving party! Maybe we will be in a house by then. 


I've been saying I need to get two benches for our farm house table, now I know what I want the chairs on the end to look like. This exactly! I love the light blue/gray. 


Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more of our favorite pins!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

PR 1: Cavernas del Rio Camuy

I started out editing every single picture from this one place, which turned out to be a chore. So enjoy this compilation of edited and unedited pics. 

Day one, not counting the travel day started out in Arecibo and activity wise ended at the Observatorio de Arecibo. 

Today is the morning adventure, and I say adventure whole heartedly, to Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy. 


On the way to the caves Google Maps went crazy and pushed us way past the actual park... if you're unfamiliar with the Puerto Rican landscape this isn't somewhere you want to be on a dirt road at. The north-west-ish area is what is called a karst landscape.

No biggie, but when you're driving in a mini van in what seems like a straight up vertical road you lose all need for adventure. That right there, that's enough adventure for any soul driving in what my ancient looking map referred to as the West Indies.

Do we even call it that anymore?


For a minor break from my Karst crazy adventures, I loved how there were plants growing on trees all over the island. I don't know the technical term, but who cares. 

Now after we took some bogus turn into a man's vertical driveway that was littered with chickens and there was no English being spoken... I was ready to get out of the car. 

I point out the lack of English at this point for two reasons, 1 being that I can get by with my Spanish. I speak enough to understand but not totally communicate back all the time. It's gotten rusty being married to the white boy. Now secondly, you won't get the accent free English in the rest of the island like you do in San Juan. 

Lucky for me I understood enough of the man's directions while my super white mother and husband asked for directions. For the record Jeremy asked for directions with a fake Mexican accent that he will probably deny if you ask him, Laura and I were rolling laughing in the back of that car though!


Now for the Rio Camuy Caves, I'll shut up and throw in a fact or two here an there.


As far as Puerto Rican adventure go, this one is priced well. It's $12 for adults, 6 for kids and seniors, and from what I gathered from the sign over $75 is free. That wasn't listed in any travel book I read though. 

They are open from 8-5 and I highly suggest getting there long before they open. You'll get a ticket saying what number you were to enter the park, at a certain point they stop letting people in no matter what time. Since we went in the off season we ran into many local summer camps bringing in kids. 

We sure you get places early in June/July to avoid the summer camps! 






Taking pictures on manual in the caves is for the birds! Light changed so much in that tropical forest the deeper we got that I had a heck of a time with camera settings. 



From here on out we are editing free, it's just all Puerto Rico and no Pic Monkey people:)






 Confession, I used flash a few times just so I could see where I was going.





 If I am remembering correctly the main cavern that Rio Camuy carved out is the tallest/largest in the states. Maybe world, I wasn't good at paying attention that day, there were a ton of school kids, slippery ground, and an over abundance of bats.








It doesn't look that large until people are standing in it.








 Notice the spots on Dad's shirt, it's either water or bat droppings. Or a mixture, we tried to not think about it. This was a bat dense area of the cave, she told us not to touch the railings so we wouldn't get it on us.

 The spider that lives in that cave is the one the spider in Harry Potter was modeled after.



It's easier to carry a kid than let them walk through Camuy. Had I not held his hand he probably would have fell in a hole, hence Jeremy resolving to hold him.




What do you know, we made it to the end! Who all is still awake, or even present. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

Today I'm finally back to real life.

After two weeks I'm surprisingly saying "About time!" One can only live in a spotty wifi world for so long.



[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking. 

This week we are starting something new. On our trip to Puerto Rico I downloaded the Dukan Diet book to read. I've heard about it for ages and have been interested, but just never took the time to look at it. Thanks long flights! 

Aside from the attack phase it isn't much different from how I eat, and honestly I need the strictness (and Jeremy doing it with me) to shed my last few pounds from what I gained in our moving stress. 

Don't you just love the first year somewhere and how your body reacts to it. 

So here we go, today marks day one of the Dukan Diet. (It's like ABS diet but with stricter guidelines.)

Monday - Wednesday - Pure Protein Days, meaning meat, greek yogurt, oat bran, and more meat. 

Thursday - Grilled Chicken and Zucchini


Friday - Grilled Steak and Roasted Green Beans


Saturday - Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Sunday -  Grilled Chicken and Pan Fried Kale

What's everyone else cooking this week? Have you done the Dukan Diet before? 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I Heart Pinterest - DIY Skin Care

This week's topic is skin care. 

I love a good DIY skin care routine,  and over the years Pinterest has produced some good ones. So check out what I've found and be sure to share your favorites with the rest of us! 


An easy way to keep your skin clear is to clean those makeup brushes. Otherwise you're just sweeping your face with nasty old bacteria! 


Scrubs are something I'm guilty of over-doing on my face, but my body could definitely use them more. It definitely makes your skin glow. Here are two I want to try soon >>>



We all know our nutrition plays a huge role in how our skin looks, and lemon is a not only great on your skin... but consuming it helps to clean out toxins. 


I love essential oils and use tea tree oil on my skin often to help it heal faster. This sounds like a great little recipe to speed things up. 


Another something I'm crazy about - Apple Cider Vinegar. It's not only great to use on your skin. It's good for your whole body. 


My mother and sister tested this foot soak out and swear it works great! 


Like I said, these are just a few of my favorites... but be sure to share your's below in the comments! I'd love to pin the links to your favorite skin care pins. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Ziploc Bag Packing Method

When it comes to packing for long trips, or anything that involves an airline I always pack using my Zip-loc bag method. Jeremy thinks it's a waste of time, but in reality it keeps the dirty clothes separate from the clean, and I am sure I didn't forget my underwear yet again. 

Plus it's way cheaper than the bags they sell at Wal-Mart in the travel section that are labled "compression packing." 


To start, since I'm such a forgetful packer I start a few days ahead of when we leave by laying out sets of clothes. Each set will have pants, a top, panties, and socks. This particular trip is to Puerto Rico and since it more adventurous than just looking at museums. I opted for more workout friendly clothing and packed sports bras for day wear. No sense in being sweaty and uncomfortable. 

What ends up being laid out is clothing for everyday, plus one extra in case I get dirty or we get stuck for an extra day. You just never know. Then there is at least one nice outfit, it won't be worn for more than an hour if we go to dinner, and we're changing towns every night on this particular adventure so I am only taking one. I've also added in a bag with a sundress, a swimsuit with the cover up, and then a handful of spare underwear. 


The whole point of zippy bag packing is to take up less room, when we were in Italy Jeremy and I were both in one suitcase and each had backpacks. Plus it was winter so we had more jackets and shoes than we are taking for this trip. 

I also always make a list, laying things out never ensures that I'll actually pack everything. As Zip-loc bags are sealed and put into the suitcase they are checked off the list. What you see on that list is everything I need for our trip in the checked bag as well as my carry on, plus it includes two days of travel within the states getting where we need to go. Ellie was dropped off with my parents dog so they'd keep each other company and not get too lonely. That added two days of travel. 


The makeup bag is the next item to always get narrowed down. My toiletries are insane for this particular trip, in Italy I managed to get it down to just one little quart bag in my carry-on. My giant drawer of makeup stuff got knocked down to mascara, eye shadow, eye liner, BB cream, clear mascara, blush, and bronzer. 

I'm not going to name what all made it's way into my checked bag, hair stuff gets a little out of control. Plus the million creams to make me not age so quickly! I'm blaming Jeremy for not packing as well on this trip as far a toiletries go, we are taking two bags this time and I got the larger bag. 


Now for the actual zippy bag method. I fold everything into the shape of the bag, as flat as humanly possible. Then panties and a sports bra were added in, and I leave my socks flat and unfolded. they take up less room this way.


I then half zip the bag and sit on it on a chair, when I think I've got all the air out I zip it the rest of the way. In a standard size suit case I had room for 9 clothing bags as well as my extras I mentioned earlier... plus all my unnecessary toiletries for this trip, and a king size pillow.

Yup, I pack my own pillow. I started to pack a blanket too but my carry on started to get a little heavy.

Do you use any funny packing methods on long trips? 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meal Pinning Monday

Like I said last week, we're still traveling, so this week we're talking our favorite no fail Pinterest recipes. These recipes were all deemed keepers by Jeremy, which I promise you means they are really good. He rarely, rarely wants to keep a recipe! 


[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking. 

Our Top 7 Favorite Pinterest Recipes::
If you've kept up with MPM for awhile you will recognize a few of these. I just rarely give feedback from the new recipes I try on Pinterest... this is the feedback:)

Cowboy Breakfast Skillet

Hot Tomato Oil

Irish Nachos

Chicken & Avocado Enchilidas

Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

Bacon Ranch & Chicken Mac and Cheese

Next week I'll be back to my normal meal planning posts, until then check out all our previous meal plans here!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Apple Pie Plate Recipe

For as long as I can remember my mother has had a pie plate that had a recipe for apple pie in the dish. She never made apple pie in it though, either lemon or peach ice box pie. Or sometimes we would get lucky and have banana pudding.

So this past Thanksgiving I decided to make the long time pie plate recipe, with the then 3 year old.

Needless to say he'll cook anything with his Meme.




I actually ended up making Pioneer Woman's Apple Pie crumble topping, I needed my other crust for a lemon pie. One you may have seen back around winter.




The Pie Plate Apple Pie

Ingredients::
2 Pie Crusts
4 cups of sliced apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon zested
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions::


Did your mother have any recipes you never made, but always wanted to? 
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