Sunday, January 26, 2014

Heart French Braid Hairstyle

Here's a cute braid I learned from someone in my neighborhood in Maple Valley Washington. I don't remember who it was that taught me, but thanks, whoever you are.

Step one . . .
Split the hair in half. I find it's easier to work with damp hair (plus it's fun to torment the kids with the squirt bottle).

Step Two . . .
Use a comb to gather the hair at the back of the head into a half heart shape.

Step Three . . .
Do the same for the other side and put into an elastic.

Step Four . . .
Take a small bunch of hair at the top of the head, keeping the hair separated.

Step Five . . .
Start braiding the hair into a french braid, only adding hair from only one side. Braid all the way to the bottom and keep the hair close to the heart as you can. Don't worry if the hair is loose at the bottom. Add an elastic at the end of the braid.

Step Six . . .
Do the same on the other side and add a braid at the end.

Step Seven . . .
Take the elastic out of the hair in the heart and brush. Gather all hair, including braids and add into one big elastic.

If you feel inclined to wrap the hair around the ponytail, then simply take a bunch from underneath, wrap, then add a small elastic around and tuck under the wrapped hair.
Walla! Done!
This is a perfect hairstyle for Valentine's Day. Let's just hope that we all have time and happy kids to do such a hairstyle on the morning of Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tempura Recipe

Hey friends. Yes it's been awhile. I apologize. I've been engrossed in writing these past weeks and I'm beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's way far away. Way far. I've still lots to do and now I've set myself a deadline that's more realistic. Wrestling with my manuscript has been rewarding. I've learned a lot and I plan to send it in before the LDS Storymakers conference.
Because I'll be working hard on writing I won't be posting here as often as I'd like, so I will leave you with a parting gift.
This recipe comes from my husband. He served an LDS mission in Japan and while he was there he learned a few recipes and brought them home to share with his future wife. YAY! That's me!
If you don't know what Tempura is, well I feel sorry for you. They really are delicious. Basically it's battered fried veggies and shrimp, and who doesn't like battered and fried food?
And by the way, it's pronounced tempuda. The r sounds more like a d but rolled a bit.


1 cup flour or you can use panko (it's better) What's panko? Silly, it's Japanese bread crumbs.
1/2 cup corn starch
1 egg
2 tsp salt
Mix together and slowly add water until it's thick like a pancake batter.

1 part soy sauce to 4 parts water. Add a small amount of sugar to taste.

Dip slices of veggies into batter and fry in oil (I use canola oil) until golden. Cook over medium high heat. Place cooked veggies on paper towel to soak extra oil. Once they're not molten hot enjoy them dipped in sauce with a bowl of steamed rice.

Veggies to use:
Sliced potatoes
Sliced onions
Sweet potatoes (my favorite)

Large raw shrimp is pretty much the only meat I've had as a tempura. Squid might work too, although it would be harder to find.

Sorry I don't have a picture to post with this. This is something special that we eat and my husband is the one that makes it. He always has his special meals that only he can make, but I sneak into the kitchen and help a bit before he kicks me out. We haven't made it in a while because he's more intrigued with smoking meat.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy and I'll post again when I can. TTFN!

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sugar . . . bad!

Everyone has been told, pretty much their whole life, how horrible sugar can be for our bodies. I remember learning about the food pyramid in elementary school and knew from then on that eating too much sugar was unhealthy.
Unfortunately it didn't sink in until recently. Honestly the only time it really sinks in and takes us out of our sugar bliss is when someone in a white lab coat or scrubs shows us test results and inform us that eating less sugar would be wise.
Our fist thought is, "NO! Give up chocolate! Bread! All those wonderful cookies, cakes, chocolates and sugar cereals that are great to snack on! What about granola bars? Aren't they healthy? Surely there isn't that much sugar in them! And chocolate! What about chocolate?!"
Yes I mentioned chocolate more than once. Who wouldn't.
Well I tell you all now, I've been off sugar since July of 2013 and I wished I could have reversed time and started this no sugar lifestyle sooner. I'm not kidding. I'm honestly loving this no sugar thing. Well, mostly. The only beef I have with it is when I go out to eat. There are only a handful of places that have possibly one or two items that don't have sugar in them. Most of those places are more expensive, so eating out can be frustrating. The trick is asking the waiter/waitress what doesn't have sugar in it and go from there. Some places would be happy to work with requests and make something without this or that. The thing you have to be careful with is sauces. For some stupid reason dressings, condiments, and sauces all have to have sugar in them. (Stupid people who came up with that idea.)
Anywho, my point is, sugar free isn't as bad as it's thought to be. Once you pass the withdrawal
that the addiction can cause then you're home free. Each time someone offers you a sweet then repeat in your mind that it's not worth it. Remind yourself that you'll get sick.
If you don't believe that you'll get sick then let me clue you in . . .
Virus' and cancer cells feed on sugar.
Yep. They do.
Years ago when I picked up Mononucleosis (wow! I spelled that right without having to look it up! Wahoo!) I was told by a friend to stop eating sugar and drink beet juice. She informed me that something in beets will fight off virus'. Don't ask me what it is, you can look it up if you feel so inclined. I followed her advice and recovered after only two weeks compared to the typical 3 to 4 months it takes.
Before this lifestyle change I would get sick every other month with some kind of virus. Virus' were attracted to me like flies to a pile of cow dung. Since I started the no sugar diet I have noticed how many times my kids would get sick, but I didn't! The exception was Thanksgiving. I'd decided to eat a piece of pumpkin pie. The next morning I had a cold. Instantly I ate veggies and not a trace of sugar. The cold only lasted two days.
Two weeks ago my kids and husband contracted the stomach flu. No, I wasn't totally immune to it, but I will say there is a big difference in symptoms. For a couple hours through the night I had cold chills and a small stomach ache. That was all. I'm sure you're all familiar with the stomach flu to know who the rest of my family felt.
In my eyes it's completely worth staying away from those goodies if it means I can feel better. A friend of mine had recently suffered from a headache that lasted for an entire week. One day she felt inspired to stop eating sugar and noticed almost immediately that sugar was the cause. Each time she eats something sweet she'll suffer from headaches.
So, you have to ask yourself, what kind of health issues do I have and will switching to a sugar free diet change things? Is is worth it? Or is the headaches, inflamed joints, hormonal issues or whatever it might be too much a part of my life to change?

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