Monday, May 21, 2012

Do It Yourself

So I am totally on this do it yourself kick, yes thanks a lot to Pinterest, and I have to be honest that it has made life so much greater. The thing that rocks about DIY is that it A) saves money, B) is usually healthier or better for the environment, and C) is so much fun! So I told you a few posts ago that I would explain some of my health goals. First, let me get on my soap box. I believe that people, especially Americas, eat like crap! We don't give any thought into where it came from, how it was made, and more importantly what is in it! I look at other countries, like Europe for example, and they just seem to have a passion for food. They taste it, savor it, and most importantly, appreciate it! I feel like us Americans are garbage guts that will eat anything and everything as long as it is cheap and convenient. I know that I have been very guilty of this and still am at times, but I decided to change. I love to cook, but even more than that, I love to cook with my own fresh ingredients from our garden. There is something so fulfilling about picking tomatoes and basil and making fresh brushetta. So good! And even better, on homemade baguette bread (thank you pinterest). Honestly, have you ever tasted brushetta made from store bought tomatoes and then garden tomatoes? BIG DIF!


 Anyway, I believe people should have a connection to their food. In the words of the bad guy on Rataouille, "if I don't love it I don't swallow".  Maybe a little extreme, but a great motto! So my goal as far as health goes is to eat naturally. "If it doesn't come from the ground or have 4 legs, don't eat it", from a Jillian Michaels book, and I feel the best way to do that is make it yourself, cause then you know what is in it. You may think you are eating pretty healthy but check out the ingredients! That is usually a good indicator. I hardly look at the nutritional facts anymore, and just the ingredients, and I have never felt better! Here is a few examples: I used to get Sarah Lee whole wheat bread. Have you ever looked at the ingredients!? I don't know what half of them are! Some people may think its great though because it says 100% whole wheat. So I make my own, easy, and so much tastier! Another thing, I would buy nutri grain bars from Sam's Club cause Lillie liked them, and ya, they were convenient. Seriously, I don't think I recognized one ingredient on there. So I decided to make my own granola bars with whole grains and dried fruit. Delicious and healthy!! So I am sure you are already thinking, that no normal person has the time to make all their own stuff. Yes, it absolutely takes more time, but it is worth it! Like I said, I have never felt healthier and I have since lost 16 lbs, all because I care what I put in my body. I told Matt that I will have to commit to having a baking day once a week, but it is fun. I make two loaves of bread and put one in the freezer. I made 2 kinds of granola bars last week and can put those in the freezer. And I honestly feel that this is the way I want to live for the rest of my life. I have to tell you that when I first started this way of eating, I still craved burgers and soda, and candy often, and it took me about 3 months to stop craving it. I think that is because artificial sweeteners, preservatives, processed foods are addicting. I was telling Matt a few months ago, "You know how sometimes you don't want a home grilled burger? Sometimes you just need a good greasy fake tasting one from Wendy's." Seriously! I think people like that fake artificial flavor and are addicted to it! But I promise you, if you commit to eating healthy, eating naturally, you will be so glad you did. You will have more energy, feel happier, and feel so much satisfaction from eating things you made. TRY IT! Here are some recipes I have loved, also feel free to get on my pinterest and look at my pinned it, did it, loved it board cause I review everything I try. I even tried my own laundry detergent!

Britt's No-Fail Wheat Bread (And I mean you can't mess it up!)

12 C Whole wheat flour
2 Tbs dry yeast
5 C hot tap water
2 Tbs salt
2/3 C oil
2/3 C honey

Makes 4 loaves, I half it.

Using a bread mixer (kitchen aid), combine 7 cups of wheat flour (freshly ground is best) and dry yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add water. Mix well with the spoon. Stir until moist. Add bread hook to your mixer and turn on. Add salt, oil, and honey. Mix until well blended. Add up to 5 more cups of flour, one cup at a time, until dough is soft and leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead for 10-15 minutes. Grease 4 bread pans. Divide dough into four parts. Form into loaves on greased counter top and place in pans. Let rise in a warm place or put in oven at 150 degrees and bake 20-25 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and butter top of bread if you want the tops soft. Enjoy the smell, its divine!


I really like this granola bar recipe from pinterest. The other day I had a great idea and made granola bars with crushed pistachios, dried cherries, and chocolate chips! Heaven! The flavors go so well together. Putting them in a baking pan works better though in my opinion.

Anyway, try it. Also if you have any good ideas of DIY things, please comment. Thank!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Miss Representation

I am a chef, a custodian, a teacher, a friend, a leader, a therapist, a nurse, a companion, an entertainer, a chauffeur, a mother, a wife, a voter, a thinker, a doer, a contributor. I AM A WOMAN.

Please take the time to watch this 3 minute video:

Matt and I have had many late nights talking about the objectification of women. This is a topic to not be taken lightly, and I do not know all the facts, neither do I have all of the answers, but here is my take on the matter:

The media is so sneaky in "brainwashing" us to believe that women are sexual beings whose only use is their bodies. In order to be of value in our society you need to be thin, with giant breasts, long lashes, and long skinny legs. To be honest, I don't have any of those things, maybe the boobs before I had a baby, but as I ask myself on a regular basis, then why am I trying?

Who is it that is doing this to us? Why are the pressures to be perfect so strong and so in your face? I wish that there was just one person I could punch in the face, but I think that this problem stems from a variety of places and people. Obviously it comes from the media. In magazines, on billboards, in your homes on the television and internet. The media is everywhere! And whether you like it or not, it influences you. YOU ARE THE TARGET! I know that a lot us believe that the objectification of women is from men or directed to men, but I disagree. I do believe that in many ways it is directed towards men, especially in the form of pornography, but I personally believe it is directed towards women. Let me paint a scenario. You are watching TV and a commercial comes on, there is a sexy woman with a good looking man, and who even knows what the commercial is about, but you immediately look at the woman. You are comparing yourself to her. "Wow she has long legs, wow she has beautiful hair, wow she has great cleavage," whatever it is! You are the one looking, and chances are you husband is not. I am not sure the underlying cause of this, maybe we are in a way "programmed" to think this way because of the media, but because of you, and me, the problem is being perpetuated.

Can I just suggest, that we women STOP THE OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN! If we want things to change, we have to change ourselves. If we want to stop being treated like a piece of meat, lets stop dressing and acting like one! If we want to be valued for not just our bodies but for our brains then we need to value them ourselves! Educate yourself! Learn, grow, become a contributor! I am not saying that this will immediately go away but I believe that each woman can make a big difference!

The reason that I am so adamant about this, is not just for myself, but for my daughter Lillie. How can I create a world where she can thrive? Where she can be who she is and not feel the pressure to be someone she is not? A world where women are appreciated and valued. I believe that it is possible, but that is starts with us. It starts with YOU as a woman. PLEASE HELP STOP THE OBJECTIFICATION OF WOMEN! Do not allow this. Do not allow it in your home.

You are beautiful just the way you are!

Oh and please leave comments on your thoughts and beliefs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


WOW guys! I am so sorry. I have totally been SO UNMOTIVATED to blog! Its funny though cause I will do something or read something and be like " wow that would be a great blog post" but still do nothing about it. Lets just start with a quick update. Matt has a new job now working for a billing company. It has rocked our life cause we went from being in the red every month to finally having some money left over! Thanks Matt! I am still a teachers aide working with adults with disabilities and coaching swimming. Lillie is humungous! She is all over the place all the time. I just don't understand how 2 adults could completely run out of energy and a tiny little human being like Lillie keeps going!! She is so fun though and we are still obsessed with her even 1 1/2 years later. 2 weeks ago I had spring break and was able to spend all my time with Lillie. It was great! Here are some photos:

I made Lillie a sensory bin full of dried beans and put toys and cups in. She was entertained for at least 20 minutes.


Side walk chalk. She mostly just wanted to eat it.

Sensory bin with water. She just wanted to dump the water all over herself. Oh well.


Then we went to Baby Animal Days at the American West Heritage Center. It was fun. Rachelle came too so it was good sisterly bonding time.

Baby bears! So cool and so cute!

You cant tell, but we are on a little train. Lillie loved it, and so did I. haha


Once she realized candy was inside, she was all over this game!

I love cousins! Shout out to all my cousins, I love you.

 Allen family

Grandma and Grandpa Allen

Oh and we played dress up. 

Lets just say life is great. I am happy to be blogging again and I hope to do it on a more regular basis. Here are my blogging goals, I really want to be able to keep all our family and friends who don't live close caught up on our life and cute Lillie, I also want to blog about food, I love food, and all the good recipes I've made, and also I like to be able to write about controversial topics and my stand points, so I hope that is ok. Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To The Love Of My Life

     On August 24, 1983, at 7:03 pm, a son was born, 8 lbs 7 oz, to Scott and Karen James. Little did anyone know that this boy was born to be great. Although he was a little terror, known for his excessive biting, his army clothes and combat boots, once you met him, you would never forget him. That is still how he is to this day. Matthew Scott James, a loud zealous man, now a strapping 200 lbs, always the center of attention, just turned 28 years old. I just want to say to you babe that I love you so much! You really truly are the apple of my eye, you put the boom in my rang, you are the peanut butter in my jelly, I mean it when I say that you babe are truly my Scarlette Johansen. I love you babe and Happy (late) Birthday!!!

     Our birthdays are a week apart and so it has turned into this contest of who can make the others birthday more amazing. Matt always seems to win though because my birthday is after his. I really racked my brain though and tried to go above and beyond anything I have ever done before this year. So this year I started the morning off with some delicious french toast. Not too special but it was delicious. Then we did something that I normally would never do, because it is so terrible and so hard for me. We watched a movie in the middle of the day!! Few of you probably know that nothing could be greater in this world for Matt than laying on the couch on any ordinary day and watching a movie. For me this creates serious symptoms of restlessness and craziness. But I put my sanity and life on the line to make this birthday really special for Matt. We watched Willow, the all time best movie ever, thanks to our friend Chase Cutler for letting us borrow it. "You don't give black root to a baby!!"

After the movie I had some serious cooking to do for the BBQ that was going to take place that night. I made the patties for the spicy poblano burgers, the pickled onions for the burgers, and the creamy chipotle sour cream that goes on top. Matt even helped by making delicious potato salad with potatoes from our garden! After that, I put myself on the line again in order to make this birthday really special, I attempted to do something I never before had attempted to do, I made a blueberry pie, 100% from scratch. Matt loves pie! He is not a cake person, but I would consider him a pie connoisseur so I had to make this pie perfect. I planned ahead and got the all-butter pie crust recipe from and had to make it the day before so that it could be refrigerated. Then I got the pie filling also from that website. I used fresh blueberries with sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and corn starch to make it thick. The pie turned out amazing! I seriously have been bragging ever since and even thought that my pie could have been Martha Stewart worthy.

     We ended up having a great time at the BBQ with our friends the Cliffords, the Mossomans, and the Wilmores.

     I feel that Matt's birthday was a total success! Although Matt still may have beaten me with the birthday festivities this year, I do feel that this was the best birthday I have ever put on for Matt. I love you Matt!!

Oh and last but not least, lets have a moment for Matt.....