Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lets Make Pizza Dough!!

We found a recipe for pizza dough on Jamie Oliver's website and decided to try it.

1 kg strong white bread flour, 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt, 2x7g packets of dried yeast, 1 tablespoon of gold caster sugar (we used regular sugar), 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 650 ml lukewarm water.

Sieve the flour/s and salt on to a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size. 

Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands – this is called knocking back the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in clingfilm, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straight away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas – this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
Timing-wise, it’s a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don’t roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though – if you are working in advance like this it’s better to leave your dough, covered with clingfilm, in the fridge. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there’s one less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 0.5cm thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted tinfoil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with clingfilm, and pop them into the fridge

 We rolled our dough ball out into a thin pie.
For our pizza we pre-heated the oven to 500 with a large pizza stone in it. Once the oven and stone where pre-heated we took out the stone and placed the dough on it. Once the dough is on the hot stone you have to add your toppings quickly.  We put our homemade marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh mushrooms, fresh parmesan, spinach, and thinly sliced garlic cloves.

After the toppings are on the pizza put it in the oven and watch it bake.  Watch it closely because it will bake quicky.

While you're waiting clean up your mess!!!

When the crust and cheese are gold and bubbly take that baby out and EAT IT!!! 


Thanks For Reading!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

*Why buy local?
There are countless reasons why buying local food is both rewarding and delicious, including enjoying the taste of fresh food, improved health and nutritionenvironmental stewardship,support for family farms and rural communities, and ensuring animal welfare.
There is also significant peace of mind in knowing where our food comes from. One of the biggest benefits to buying food locally is having someone to answer questions about how it was grown and raised. What goes into that loaf of bread? Can we be certain that the hog that is now bacon lived a life without suffering? How do we know those jalapeƱos are salmonella free?
Developing a relationship with local farmers gives us an "in" with our local food system. At farmers' markets we can get answers to questions like: When do tomatoes come into season? How might I use celeriac? Often, we can take a tour of the farm our food comes from. Some farmers are thrilled to share their knowledge and experience with their customers. Ask about the challenges your local farmers face and what they are doing to address them. It doesn't have to be complicated. Ask about the weather! Any farmer will be pleased to talk about how the growing season is going and how that affects the food they grow. Knowing local farmers can go a long way to simplifying buying local.
Another significant reason to buy local is to keep food miles to a minimum. "Food miles" refer to the distance a food item travels from the farm to your home. The food miles for items in the grocery store are, on average, 27 times higher than the food miles for goods bought from local sources.
In the U.S., the average grocery store's produce travels nearly 1,500 miles between the farm where it was grown and your refrigerator. About 40% of our fruit is produced overseas and, even though broccoli is grown all over the country, the broccoli we buy at the supermarket travels an average of 1,800 miles to get there. Notably, nine percent of our red meat comes from foreign countries, some as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
Our food is trucked across the country, hauled in freighter ships over oceans, and flown around the world. A tremendous amount of fossil fuel is burned to transport foods such long distances, releasing carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and other pollutants that contribute to global climate change, acid rain, smog and air and sea pollution. The refrigeration required to keep our fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats from spoiling during their long journeys burn up even more fossil fuel. In contrast, local and regional food systems produce 17 times less CO2.
*Information copied from www.sustainabletable.com

My favorite local place to shop:

2 of my favorite things Full Circle Market carries are local honey, and delicious yummy farm fresh eggs.
Full Circle Market a lot of high quality products at great prices!!!

If there are any local places that you love to shop and would like to share with other readers please feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rules? What Rules?

Can you list 3 things your mother ALWAYS told you to do before going to bed?

Mine--put your dirty clothes away, lay out clothes for the next morning, WASH YOUR FACE

Why, as a teenager, that last rule was so hard I will never understand or even attempt to explain.  -sigh- But it was.  The turning point for me was when I was watching the Today Show one morning and there was a woman who looked to be in her early sixties, but later was revealed she was in her LATE 80'S!!!!  Madness, I say!  She swore by washing her face with simple soap and water every night and morning and using Oil of Olay lotion.  Since then, I coat my face in the stuff every night.  I wash my face at night by first using the Oil of Olay face cloths followed by the wonderful world of Proactiv's 3 step system, and ending it all with that O of O face lotion.  Unfortunately I cannot get away with just soap and water, but everyone has their own routine of what works best for their skin. 

According to betty confidential, Jennifer Aniston relies on simple Neutrogena soap.  Queen Latifah?  Baking soda!!  Both, of course, are foxes (although I find Jennifer a tad over-rated.....) and who wouldn't love to have their glowing skin?  Proactiv has been endorsed by the likes of Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, Alyssa Milano, Julianne Hough....even P. Diddy, hello?!  I love their green tea moisturizer, but I still use my Oil of Olay....I can't get the picture of that woman on the Today Show out of my head all these years later.  She was foxy!

Something to just keep in mind after coming in from a late night out and all you want to do is crash: for every night you don't wash the make up off your face, it ages your skin A WEEK!!!!!!  Ugh!  So simple, simple rules for young, healthy, glowing, foxy skin?  Wash your face with some kind of "soap and water" regimen (whether it be facial cloths, cleanser, gel, foam, etc), use a toner to remove excess make-up, and mois-tur-ize.  Even if your skin is oily it still needs some love....just make sure you find an oil-free moisturizer.  Nothin says wrinkles like dry skin.  Also, try and find one with an SPF of at least 15 and DON'T bake yourself in the sun.  Sun damage is not only non-foxy, but it's a killer!  I'll get into self-tanners on another Friday....

Until then, take super care of your face, and Stay Stylin....like a fox!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Food Revolution!!

I am super excited about a new TV series on ABC called "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" the first episode airs on Friday March 26 at 9pm.  Click Here to watch the trailer.

In the series, Jamie goes to Huntington, West Virginia. Recently Huntington was named the unhealthiest city in America. He is on a mission to try and help Huntington off that list. In doing this he is hoping to start a chain reaction that ultimately makes positive changes across the country.  Needless to say he meets resistance in Huntington from locals who disagree with him.  But is also welcomed by some of the young population.  

Jamie says, "The time is right for people to rediscover the sense of pride, satisfaction and fun you can get from cooking for the people you love. There's an incredible community in Huntington, and I want this experience to be a celebration of what we can achieve when people come together. I want to prove that turning around the epidemic of obesity and bad health doesn't have to be boring or dull in the slightest. Wonderful stories will unfold in Huntington, and hopefully this will inspire the rest of the States."

Join Jamie's Food Revolution and sign the petition


Below I have copied some facts from Jamie's webpage.  It is a harsh reality.

Obesity and Overweight 

 Two-thirds  of  American  adults  weigh  too  much.
 More than 27%  are  obese. That’s  72 million  people.  In the worst  states, Mississippi, Alabama, West    
         Virginia and Tennessee, that figure rises to over 30%.
 If  rates continue to rise, in just five years’  time, by 2015, 40%  of  Americans   will  be  obese.  

 Obese  people  suffer  from  poore health  including  heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  

 Obesity accounts for nearly  10%  of  all  medical  costs   this  amounts  to  $14 billion  annually.

 Healthcare  costs  are  42%  higher   for  someone  who  is  obese - that’s over  $1,400  each.  

 Medicare  spends  $600  more  on  prescription  drugs  for  an  obese  person. 

Childhood Obesity 

 Nearly  one  in  three  (32%,  23 million)  American children are obese  or  overweight. 

 In total,  17%  of  kids   of all  ages are obese,  but  this  rises  to  over  25%  in  all  but  three  states for kids    
 aged  10-17. 

 Most  obese children (over 80%)  will  also  be  obese  as  adults. 

 Today’s generation  of children are predicted to  be  the  first  to die  before  their  parents,  due  to      
 obesity-related bad  health.


Friday, March 12, 2010

A Color State of Mind.....

So lately the weather here has been A-MAZING and it has put me in the mood for COLOR!  As a hairstylist, I know that hair color changes with the seasons.  Typically, people go a little darker in the fall and winter, and start brightening it up in the spring and summer.  So, guess what?!  I totally think it's time for everyone to start making their hair ready for the fabulous weather this time of year brings!  Does that mean you have to go blonde?  Nope!  This raven haired fox has no intention of that (was a blonde at birth and all through high school til I had to darken it up for a play....never looked back!), but I am craving a change.  Subtle..like my tattoo, only seen when I want it to be seen.  That's right....welcome to the foxy world of peek-a-boo colors!

Peek-a-boo colors are strategically placed under the layers of your hair.  You can do them on the sides, in the bangs, or (my personal fave) behind the ear.  That way, it really only shows when you tuck your hair or have it pulled up.  If you are dark, any color lighter than your own will work, and vice versa if you are light...but you know that I love some pink, some red, even a little purple in there.  If you are a blonde already, those colors really POP, but make sure your stylist knows what she/he is doing as it is all to easy to have that color bleed into the rest of your tresses, and that is not foxy.....at all.  This is a relatively inexpensive process as it is not all over color, so it's fun for a little pick-me-up, and easily taken out by bleaching, or by covering it up with another dark color.  If you go with a fantasy color (pink, blue, green, red, purple) versus a natural color (blonde, brunette, black, auburn), be aware it will fade faster so USE A PROFESSIONAL SHAMPOO.  I cannot stress that enough.  No guarantee can be made for the longevity of the color if you are using something over the counter from a drug store. 

So am I suggesting peek-a-boo's for everyone?  Nah....but they are fun and an amazing way to ease into color if you have never had color done!  What I am mainly suggesting is a change.  Change with the season.  Go shorter!  Go lighter!  Get some high lights or low lights!  Change up your style!  You will feel so amazing afterwards!  You will feel FOXY!  Like a snake shedding his skin (gross, I know....sorry) shed the same ol' same ol' from the winter!  Find some magazines, figure out your facial shape, ask your stylist what color suits your skin tone, and just do it!  No fear, foxes!  No fear!

So if you have been in a rut, it's time to get Stylin....like a fox!

Interested in my Stylin Summer Challenge update?  Check out my personal blog here! Also, it's not too late to join the Slim by Summer facebook event!  15 weeks til summer, foxes!  WOOT!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teaching Your Child (and yourself!) to save...

Kids love to collect  pennies... just ask my 4 year old who will stop in the middle of a busy parking lot to grab one!  They rarely understand their value when they're so little... but they are shiny and they love to collect shiny things.  This can be a great way to start a conversation about the family budget. This doesn’t mean worrying children about the day to day bills or making them feel guilty in any way. What it does mean is explaining where money comes from and where it goes when we spend it. 

Teaching your children to save can be fun.  By setting up a “Adventure Jar” you can create an exciting way to save.  Our family has a "Disney Jar".  When our children find loose change around the house, with our permission, it goes to the "Disney Jar".  When they get money in birthday cards, they have the choice, to spend it, or to put it into the jar... more often then not, we are finding those dollars in the large jar on the kitchen counter.   I honestly cannot wait until we get to go to Disney (more than likely it will take much more than that old jar) to watch them and help them realize that they helped save for that adventure will be a very cool day!

Another way to teach your kids (and yourself) that the world is bigger than ourselves... set up a Charity Jar.  For every dime you drop into the "Adventure Jar"... drop one into the Charity Jar... research it, find something you love.  ASPCA, Tom's Shoes, World Vision (organizations like World Vision and Compassion International allow you to "adopt" a child, you will get pictures and letters and you can send some of your family back... let your children see that they are helping a fellow child)... You will find something outside of yourself and you will probably find that you enjoy putting money into your Charity Jar just as much as the other.  

If you don't have children right now, what's stopping you from starting your own piggy bank?  We all accumulate loose change.  More often than not, it ends up going into the ash trays of our cars, our lint screen in our dryer, or into a vending machine.  Go online, find yourself something cool.  A fabulous new outfit, a fancy restaurant for you and your sweetie, or dream bigger: a cruise or vacation you've always wanted, then find a Charity that you are passionate about...  and start snatching up those pennies!  It might not add up immediately.  You may run into an unforeseen opportunity or emergency and need to break the bank a few times.... but the important thing is to set it aside.  

Be deliberate and you will see results, both in your life and in your world!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lets make a funky elephant!!!!!

Sorry for the late posting. Wednesday kind of creeped up on me.

I was recently going through my cloths and found ol pj's that had a hole in them but they were to cute to throw away. So I racked my brain trying to think of something I can make out of them. Then it came to me..... AN ELEPHANT!

Why? Well, my son Levon loves the animals in his room and on the walls. Everynight we say our prayers and tell all the animals on the wall good night. As we tell all the animals, including the elephant, good night. Levon waves to each and every one of them as if they are all his friends. So, I decided to make him an elephant to sleep with.

Step 1:
Fold a peice of fabric in half so it is wrong side facing wrong side.  Draw an outline of an elephant (or any animal, critter, monster, or doll.) 

Cut around your drawing. And you will have 2 elephants.

Step 2:

Take a piece of ribbon and cut out 2 oval pieces and draw eyeballs.

Sew on eye balls.

Step 3:

Make the ears out of a different color of fabric. Make the ear whatever shape you want. Make two of the same shape for each ear. Sew both pieces together with the pretty sides together. Leave an opening so you can turn it right side out.  Fold the un sewn edges of the ears inward and sew to the elephant.

Step 4:
Sew the two pieces of the elephant together. Leave an opening for stuffing.  Stuff the elephant with as much stuffing as you can. When you sew the elephant sew it with seams out so it will frey with washing. Sew the opening you stuffed with together.


Thanks For Reading!!!!!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I feel pretty! Oh so pretty!

So it's March....finally.....and that means Spring is right around the corner.  Woot!  Spring means no more dark dreary colors, both in the sky and in your closet!  Don't get me wrong, I love winter fashions of warm sweaters and big coats, freshly knitted gloves and hats (*wink, Savvy), but I L-O-V-E when I can bust out a bright blue top, some hot purple, and even a lighter shade of my favorite red, (dare I say it?)  PINK!  Spring is in the air, even if it doesn't quite show on the thermometer, yet. 

So if you are like me and don't live in sunny Florida, you might still be feeling the chill.  What's the best way to perk up for spring even if you can't let go of your jacket yet?  Nail polish, bien sur! (and if you can get a full-out mani/pedi, so much the better)  OPI is a staple of my wardrobe (Black Cherry Chutney, Lincoln Park After Dark, I'm Not Really a Waitress, Friar Friar Pants on Fire, as well as OPI Red, Cha-Ching Cherry, It's All Greek to Me....classics!  The new Off With Her Red is fanfoxintastic), and I like to change it up!  And, yes, the pinks are what I cling to when I have worn my dark purples and deep reds all winter.  My pink of choice to brighten my day as well as my toes?  Flashbulb Fuschia!!!!!  It's a lil pink, a lil purple, and in their Brights collection so it makes me happy! 

So....if you are feelin the Spring Fever and still having to put on your gloves when you walk outside....put on a foxy pink nail polish that will immediately make you feel fabulous when you take those gloves off! 

Stay stylin....like a fox!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Need a break?

Hey all... sorry for the late post this evening... but I was having a difficult computer day (paging Geeky! stat!).

I will save my longer savvy post for another day and instead share a l'il somethin' with you loyal readers!

Oh how I love me some redbox.  Have you ever used them?!  $1/1 day rentals and they are virtually EVERYWHERE.  I super super love them.  #1... it's a dollar.  A dollar for brand new movies.  #2... they are uber convenient... they are just about everywhere. Check your local McDonalds, Walmart, Kroger or just about any other grocery store.  Our little local town has three of these bad boys now.   and #3... did I mention it's only $1?  **Savvy note** it's only $1 if you return it by 9pm the following day.  Most of the time, I am passing one of these machines at some point the next day... but there are still those "doh!" moments when I forget.  

Now if you go to redbox.com, you can sign up for email alerts for the new releases, you can check and see which redbox in town has the movie you are looking for and you can even reserve them so you know it will still be there just waiting for you when you finally get there!

Another cool part of being a part of the email list is that you get Free Rental codes... that is right FREE (what is more savvy than free right?!)  Well... just for kicks... I will give you one of the free codes they give out!  The code is BREAKROOM.  Just type that in, you will still need to swipe your credit/debit card (in case you keep it longer than a day!  If you haven't used it before, you won't be sorry... I love it and we use it regularly.   

Stay savvy... and take a break every now and then!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy Smile!!!!!!

I have been using Peelu toothpaste for about 2 months now and I love it.  It is a different texture than most toothpastes but my teeth feel so clean when I use it.  

*For centuries, people of Asia, Africa and the Middle East have cleaned their teeth by chewing the dried branches of the Peelu tree. Peelu (botanical name: Salvadora Persica), also regionally called Siwak, Miswak and Neem, means “Tree for Tooth Care."

Despite its long history, Peelu tree branches have only been used in the form of a chewing stick. The Peelu Company, for the first time, converted its remarkable qualities into a toothpaste, tooth powder, liquid extract and a dental chewing gum.

The researchers discovered a number of naturally occurring qualities in the peelu tree, including:
  • It contains a natural chlorine which whitens and removes tartar and stains (tartar is the yellow material on the teeth, chiefly Calcium Phosphate)
  • It contains Tannic Acid and Vitamin C, making it beneficial for healthy gums
  • It contains sulfur, which helps keep the mouth clean

Clean your teeth the natural way! Peelu Toothpaste provides safe, effective dental care with a 100% natural, state-of-the-art formula. Most toothpastes and polishes contain harsh, gritty abrasives like sand (silica), chalk (calcium carbonate) or animal bone (dicalcium phosphate), all of which can irritate gums and damage teeth by thinning the enamel layer. This can cause teeth to yellow and be more sensitive to heat and cold. Peelu Toothpaste uses the soft fibers of the peelu plant to bring you a gentle, nonabrasive toothpaste that works naturally to clean and brighten your teeth. Unlike most other brands, Peelu Toothpaste is sugar-free, contains no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and uses only natural flavorings. *

*information copied from www.peelu.com*

 Thanks for reading!!!!