H.A.G.’s Friday Favorite Things Lately

HAG november faves

There is so much of this, eating, drinking, watching, reading, buying, that we all do but I want to share some things I have been loving lately before I forget!

*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.

Eating

I have been trying to reign in all.the.food. that I have been shoving in my face, so I have been using my old print-out from the protein filled Healthy Eating Made Easy meal plan (from Jessica Fisher’s blog). Month of Meals Meal Plans

I made this Carrot-Mango soup on Saturday, and leftovers for lunch which was a huge hit- surprisingly so too, since I really am not a fruit in my soup-gal! but it was spicy and sweet and had a great balance of flavors. Worth trying if you like soup!carrot mango coconut soup

For dinner tonight I am going to make this easy Skillet Chicken Parmesan  (from Iowa Girl Eats Blog), since I don’t want to bread it – that is sort of a stand by- for me, I don’t have it with pasta or cheese, but it is so easily adapted that I love including it for dinner.

Drinking

Water, Water and oh yeah…water. And Spark. I am still off coffee, and loving the Advocare Spark for my morning bit of a start! advocare spark

 

Watching

I think I have shared this with you before, but I think it might be my favorite show…

The Last Alaskans from the Discovery Channel is so calm and weirdly primal. I love doing my blogging work when I watch it- it is easy to not get too involved in a plot but still be totally entertained. It features 5 families that are in a remote area of Alaska and details their lives of hunting, gathering, and defending their cabins and selves from danger. So fun and respectful. Some of the other Alaska shows are really gross- like demeaning. This one is sort of awesome.

Reading

Oh my gosh, I have a lot of reading to do…. Stay tuned for my update next week. Right now I am in the middle of this one and loving it!:

It starts off pretty gruesome but it’s such a quick read that I can’t really stop myself! I am also listening to this, but I think it will be on hold as my commute-listening is taking a break until next week!

This was highly recommended to me by multiple people, so I am trying it- so far, so good! It is pulling me in and it’s paced nicely- good thing since it’s a long one!

Buying

All the things at CVS that I have needed and didn’t know it:

Razor blades, lotion, cards, poster board, cleaners, shampoo…you name it, it is on my list! I am not sure why I save it all up , but we are OUT of things! I know. Not too exciting, but that is our reality in this full house!

What have you been Eating, Drinking, Watching, Reading, Buying lately? I have been trying to keep track of the things I have been hearing that others just LOVE so I can amp up my gift-giving this year, so share all your great gift ideas in the comments, please!


*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own.

Make a Photo Book with Blurb

blurb photo-book
*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.

It is about time that I unloaded my photos from my computer and put them into books I think!

I have about three years worth of pictures just sitting in files, and to be totally honest… My kids are like:

“Mommy- why is this book say 2015? Isn’t it 2017?”

blurb photo-book

I want to say:

“Yes. Yes it is my little love-buckets. It says on the photo-book, “2015” and since I had you, I have had no time to myself, let alone, to put pictures of you into cutesy little books. I only could do that for your sisters who were born first (Back when they couldn’t walk and just napped and napped) sigh.”

But I don’t say that. I just sigh again, and start trying to get these pics in order with Blurb!

How I Organized Before I Even Started

      1. I am trying to get all these pics in order first on my computer, so I put all my photos into files first, by year.
      2. After I have year folders made, I create month folders within each year. That way I have a little bit of a sense of what was happening in those folders (birthdays, vacations, or whatever).
      3. I decided what  book I wanted to make: On the website, select the area for making Photo Books- they have some other products. Then they prompt you for choosing the size. Do that. Then choose the cover- you can change this later, but know I did the hardcover with dust jacket, but the photo-wrap is nice too, since dust jackets can get torn or removed.
      4. Next you install BookWright, their software with templates and fonts and all kinds of design fun, to put the book in the order and way that makes it unique to you. I don’t get too fancy, as I have more pictures than space, so I sort of jam them all in there. I loved the various layouts that they offer here. Now I didn’t intend to put ALL the photos in there, but I sort of just decided to put a page (or two) per month. Birthday months and Christmas time had more pictures, so we needed more pages for those months. You upload what photos you want and will fit to your format.
      5. Once your pages are done, you are done and you can proof it and order your book!

I have used lots of other photo book makers before, and I like them a lot in general- I am constantly switching around the companies to get the best deal and the highest quality. Blurb is not very well known I don’t think, and until I started with them, I probably would still be making my same old option without all the customization. But I am not very up to date on photo-apps I guess, I just realized last week that the Blurb app is built into my husband’s phone and I didn’t even know it until I started working with them.

Here’s what I like:

      • The book quality is awesome
      • The options for upgrading are plentiful: hardcover, hardcover with jacket, nice paper or really nice paper. The Blurb concept rewards you for ordering in quantity too, so say you are getting married or having a baby and want to share a book with all your loved ones…that is an awesome idea by the way, and I wish I had done that(!), you can order a bunch, send them out and save some cash. Sweet!
      • They are constantly sending me coupons for great discounts (sometimes up to 50% off!)
      • There are really nice fonts, sizes, and ideas for making your most unique book ever. Mine was boring, but EASY with their online templates but you are more creative than me no doubt and will love the BookWright or InDesign features! My next book is going to rock it! LOL!

Blurb is actually a company for making books of all kinds, not just photo books. If you are a great photographer and say you want to showcase a whole book of pictures (maybe of your favorite island vacation), you can then create a travel photobook with lots of text options- not just a generic text box, and you have your new book ready to go- It might make a great present for a new baby visit or engagement party too! You can even sell your book on Amazon when you’re done. Just saying. Not that I did, but you could. You so could! Make your own book with Blurb!

Have you used Blurb before? What do you use for photo-books if you don’t use them? Are you as bad as I am at getting books made of your pictures?!


*Please note that affiliate links are included in this post to make it easier for you to find what is being referenced. A small commission is made should you purchase product using these links however, as always, any and all opinions are genuinely my own. See full disclosure.

 

Greek Chicken Gyro Mini Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce #SundaySupper

Greek Chicken Gyro meatballsMy new favorite appetizer. Yep. This one is a winner.

Tzatziki is a sauce made from yogurt, garlic, lemon, cucumber and spices. It can get changed up by leaving out the cucumber, like for my Cheese & Sprout samis- yum! Or you can add lots of lemon and use it for a salad dressing. This version is a basic one that you can work with as a dip and go from there- I am a huge fan of Tzatziki sauce in all variations, so finding some way to have it as an appetizer just makes sense.Greek Chicken Gyro meatballs

Gyros are such an awesome sandwich that converts well to an appetizer. The chicken just makes the traditional gyro that much healthier, and I prefer the taste. Adding in feta keeps them soft and adds a lot of flavor. I hope you try this- I know it’s a repeater in my house!

Greek Chicken Gyro Mini Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

For the Tzatziki Sauce:

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. fresh mint, minced
1 tsp. dried dill
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed (or minced)
1 small container full or 2% plain greek yogurt (8oz)
1/2 of a small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

Directions: Mix all in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Greek Chicken Gyro Mini Meatballs:

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. fresh mint, minced
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 ounces crumbled feta
2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 lb. of ground chicken

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350*. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients first. Add the egg, feta, onion and chicken and mix thoroughly until combined. Form into tiny meatballs, 1-inch apart on the cookie sheet.
  • Bake in a 350* oven for 18-20 minutes until cooked through. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat before serving. Serve with fresh tomatoes and cucumber and the Tzatziki sauce on the side.

Greek Chicken Gyro meatballs

Sunday Supper Small Bites Recipes for Entertaining

Small Starters

Pint-sized Protein

Demi-Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Greek Chicken Gyro meatballs