Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Bullet

Several months ago Toby and I watched the documentary Hungry for Change. I believe eating healthy is important and even though I have a taste for fast food and cokes I try hard to limit my intake. I also don't mind the taste of  most veggies and fruits so it's pretty easy for me to eat need to have to drink my veggies and fruits like suggested in Hungry for Change.

Toby on the other hand took the documentary to heart and suggested we buy a juicer. I really wasn't all that on board about it all because (a) I have very little counter/cabinet space in my kitchen to house something that someone may bore of in a few months. (b) I didn't want to spend that much money on something that may be a passing fancy to someone.

I remembered at one time, my neighbor went on a juicing binge but hasn't used her juicer in a couple of years so she offered us her old juicer. It was not an el-cheapo but it wasn't a higher end one either. Needless to say it didn't last long after we got it before it had to go to juicer heaven.

For a couple of  weeks after the juicer death I reviewed the many different brands and styles of juicers that ranged anywhere from $100-$500. It was an exhausting task.

Toby was really enjoying the juicer and used it daily to make juices so he was missing having one. Quite honestly, I hated the thing because it was loud and hard to clean. I was secretly glad when it died. I'm so frugal I HATED seeing all the pulp that got wasted on juicing. It just looked like money being poured down the drain to me. My thought was I could have eaten that! I also noticed how many veggies it took to make a small drink. Even though Toby had been really enjoying the juicer I made no attempts to quickly replace it hoping he would eventually forget about juicing.

One day he saw an advertisement for the NutriBullet. I was impressed because it was reasonably priced and because it breaks it all down into a liquid there is NO WASTE. We did some reviews on the Nutribullet and decided it would work for our needs.

Toby makes him a couple everyday and takes them to work and I just recently have began to make me one a day. It's a perfect way to get your quota of veggies and fruits.  We use mostly kale, spinach, celery, carrots, banana, strawberries, mango, apples, broccoli, blueberries, oranges, pineapples, peaches, flax seed, and almonds. We try to change it up as much as possible trying different veggies and fruits.

When we first got it I was reluctant about using it because the color of the drink is not appealing, but they actually can taste pretty good depending on combination of veggies and fruits you use.

I'm not really one to promote merchandise unless it really deserves it but I have to say this thing is super sturdy and breaks the food down enough that it has the texture of a smoothie with very little to no pulp.I also love that it's relatively quite and super easy to clean.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to a juicer I highly recommend the Nutribullet. We got ours at Target for $100.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

Not wanting to waste a day indoors on a beautiful day we opted for an outdoor activity today. For awhile I have been wanting to check out  Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory.

I'm glad I didn't have to travel far to visit this place. Although I can see that environmentally it has a positive aspect, I can't say that I enjoyed any of it but the being outdoors on a beautiful day part.

The bird observatory is located on the premises of a water treatment sludge facility (why? I have no earthly idea) so the first thing you notice when you get out of the car is the stench of raw sewage. I can overlook stuff like that because...well, I have kids and anyone that has or had kids knows what sort of smells can permeate from them. Summer on the other hand, decided to dramatize the whole stench situation.

We first started out on one of the trails along the Colorado. Summer had a snake cross the trail in front of her that startled her a bit. Another good reason to continue on about how much she didn't like where we were....

There were at least a couple of miles of trail and 3 or 4 large ponds  in the observatory but we only walked about a mile of the trail. A portion of the trail was along the Colorado River...

There were thousands of these little butterflies fluttering everywhere. We saw more butterflies than we did birds...

We approached what Toby called the Aquatic Center. I was envisioning a pond full of fish or something along that lines. Once we made it into the building there was more the smell of stagnant water. In the large building there was a large algae covered pond. There were no signs of life in the water nor in the building other than mosquitoes and the sounds of some kind of creature jumping into the water as we walked through.

As you can imagine, Summer is really starting to enjoy this place now....

Despite my curiosity about this place, I opted not to place any more torture upon any of us and we headed back around the trail to the car. I silently hoped that we would eventually run into something really cool to make the day worthwhile. We never did....

One of the ponds

Trail back to the car
Shelter for observing birds
Better luck next time!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I once heard Dr. Phil say that only boring people get bored. Hmmm...well, I guess I'm a pretty boring person. Not that I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO, I have plenty to do. There is always laundry to be done, vacuuming, cooking, etc.

I'm one that bores very easily if there's not anything "exciting" going on. My ex-boss used to appropriately call me an "excitement addict".  In my mind all I think about is all the cool stuff this world has to offer and I'm at home doing laundry?????? Yep, that's exactly how I want to spend my days on Earth.

So anyway, since I don't like being "bored" and there's not enough money in my budget at the moment to travel and see the world,  for the past few months I have become obsessed with hunting down discarded fabric or old clothing with nice patterns from the Blue Hanger and sewing up these cute little tote bags I saw on Pinterest... another recent obsession of mine. Yes, I am also a Pinterest addict.

I have dabbled with different styles and fabric combinations. I have absolutely NO IDEA what I am going to do with all these totes I am creating but I sure am having a good time sewing them.

Take a gander..

While in Corpus Christi last summer I lucked up on a yard sale behind the hotel we were staying in. The lady was a retired economics teacher and had tons of vintage fabric super cheap. I even made a little mini tote to go with this one....

I found this piano duo fabric at the Blue Hanger that made the perfect combination. If I knew anyone that enjoyed playing the piano I would give it to them....

When I first saw this on Pinterest I thought.."What a great idea:!" to make a tote bag out of an old pillowcase. I love the idea of  upcycling. Too much gets wasted in our world as it is...

These are my favorites I have been making. They are reversible and so easy to make. I can whip one up in just a couple of hours.

This one is made from two discarded pillowcases. Don't worry, I always take a whiff to make sure there is no overwhelming odor that may not be able to be washed out...

I also did some cute reversible Halloween totes....

I whipped this one out this afternoon....

I'm not out anything because the fabric is sold very cheaply by the pound at the Blue Hanger which makes the cost little to nothing and as far as time? ..... and I have PLENTY of time on my hands so there will be many, many more totes to add to the collection...unless of course something more exciting comes along. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Barton Hill Fall Festival

My favorite month of the year is October. I find the fall to be cozy and full of change and excitement.

Today we headed out to check out the Barton Hills Farm Fall Festival and Corn Maze. Since I have always had a desire to go in a corn maze that was what I was most excited about - believe it or not up until this year the Austin Metro Area had no corn mazes! All the farmland around here and no corn mazes??? In my prior research the closest one was 50 plus miles away..that is until this year!

So I was pretty psyched up when I caught wind of the one we went to today only several miles away.

On the way, I stopped to get a picture of this old historical gas station in Utley, Texas. I have passed by it many times and always wanted to get a pic.

The gas station appears to be on private property and once I drove into the driveway close enough to get a pic Toby pointed out a sign that was on the front of the gas station that said..."Attack Dog on Premises". I didn't see any dog and got out of the car telling him it wouldn't take me but a sec to get a pic.

About the time I got out of the car Summer hollered..."There he is!" I looked up to see a bulldog that looked much like Bo running toward me in the distance. I snapped the pic as quick as I could and got back in the car. Seems these country folk didn't rely on guns for property protection, only their dog!!!

Moving on, once we got to the farm the first thing we did was the maze. It was a pretty large maze and they had a different little game, educational, and scavenger type stuff you could choose to play while you were in there or you could go freestyle..which we did.

It was fun in the maze but I kept having the urge to run through it and at times felt a little trapped or "enclosed"....hence the feeling of wanting to flee I suppose.

Despite my personal issues I thought the maze was excellent and worth every bit of the entrance fee even if that were the only thing you came out of there to do.

A Fort
They also had bobbing for apples, sack races, pumpkins for sale, soccer balls for play, pumpkin painting, and I even saw them handing out blankets for the those who chose to picnic.

Toby and Summer kicking around the soccer ball

Posing with Pumpkins
The boat full of sand....if Summer had been just a couple of years younger she would have had a blast in this boat!

Hands down, Summer's favorite part was the hay swing..

Oh, and looking for the perfect personal pumpkin....

It was a wonderful Saturday morning indeed..