Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is it Spring where you are?

I've lived in Indiana most of my life. Tennessee is the farthest south I've ever lived, and let me tell you, things are different here! Weather wise, it's a wonderful thing. While I was out walking the dogs today, I saw more trees with buds than not, and I even saw a butterfly today! Well, I've seen a couple others, but this was a big one.



After doing some research, I think I saw an Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Crazy, right? Turns out, they are active as early as February. Aren't they pretty?

I've also seen all sorts of daffodils too. In Indiana, daffodil time is a good month or so from now. My part of Tennessee is Zone 6a-6b. Where I lived in Indiana, we were a Zone 5b. Each Zone is 10 degrees F warmer or colder in winter. So my part of TN is 10-15 degrees warmer in winter than where we lived in Indiana. Since we live in the East, relying on the USDA Zone Map is a pretty safe bet. If you live in the West, though, the map is less reliable.

The Zone Map can be found here, along with an explanation of each zone and other great gardening tips. When looking at plants or seeds, always use the Zone guidelines to know when to plant.

I'm going to explore a patio/porch garden this year. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Happy Spring!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pizza, anyone?

Now, I know that I have blogged about pizza with you before. I must confess my deep abiding love for pizza. I like it so many different ways: garlic sauce, bbq sauce, pizza sauce, buffalo sauce...thick crust, thin crust, deep dish crust...veggie pizza, chicken pizza, pepperoni pizza, sausage pizza...well, you get the idea.

I've learned that pizza loves me too. Ours is a passionate love affair. In fact, pizza loves me so much, it decides to stick with me for months, even years! I'm very certain at least 30 of my pounds are pure pizza.

Since starting the lifestyle change, I've realized that I have to live like this forever. And I am not willing to give up pizza. It's not going to happen! Fortunately, ladypit at food.com has a great pizza crust recipe that really cuts down on calories and fat. Plus, my kids love it and can make it (almost) by themselves.

Without further ado:

Super Fast Low Fat Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

2 cups white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 (12 oz) beer (any variety, but light lowers the calories even more)

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Top and return to oven and bake until crust is browned and cheese is melted, about 5-10 more minutes.

Yep. That's it.

The original recipe makes 8 servings, but we spread it thin to make 16 servings on 2 pizza pans.

The nutritional breakdown is for 8 servings and is for the crust only:

Calories: 178
Fat: .6 grams
Carbs: 36 grams
Protein: 5.4 grams

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A blog post! A real, live blog post!

Hey fellow hippies,

I'm back! With a real blog post! I know I have a lot to make up for, so let me catch you up on the crazy life of Amanda. As you know, we moved to TN in June. By August, when school started up, I found myself overwhelmed, and unfortunately, Kind of a Hippie took a back seat. So, here's what's been accomplished since:

I graduated college. Yay! I have an Associate's Degree now. This was huge for me.

I started a business. I'm sewing dog clothes and pairing up with Kimberly Carnevale from Canine Ability Dog Training. She rocks, and I love pooling our talents together. She's also training my beast Maggie, and I could not be more grateful.

I started a healthy eating/exercise program. Since January 1, I've lost 17 lbs! Woohoo! I've got a ways to go, but I'm getting there.

The boys have caught up in school. The difference between Indiana schools and Tennessee schools is amazing. Jerimiah boy was almost a full year behind. He has worked so hard to get caught up!

My hubby started a new job. Training was 6 long weeks in Dallas, TX.

So we have been busy busy. I feel like I have a good handle on my life now, so it's back to blogging.

How about a recipe to welcome us back? This one is delicious, healthy, and a great way to sneak veggies into the kids or husbands.

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed.

Instructions:

Mix pumpkin and cake mix together. Add water if needed to incorporate the cake mix. This will NOT look like regular cake batter. It's more like brownie batter, but it's pretty stiff.

Bake in a muffin tin at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Each muffin only has 148 calories. Pumpkin has a lot of Vitamin A too. You can also substitute a spice cake mix.

I think I should post a picture too. A week or so ago, my hubby and I went to Bledsoe Creek and hiked a combination of Owl Ridge and Lakeshore trails.


We walked down these stairs after a pretty steep climb up. It was a gorgeous day...the kind of day people move South for! We did this hike in the summer, and it almost killed us. We got a good workout this last time, but I didn't feel like I was going to die. That's a good feeling!

Until next time!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm a bad, bad blogger

I've not been a very faithful blogger, have I? I will get back to it and blog faithfully. We love living in TN; in fact, we love it so much I haven't had time to write about it! I promise to get a good blog post together in the next couple days.

Bad blogger! Bad blogger!