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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chinese Turkey Meatballs

We love ground turkey in our house. I can't even remember the last time we bought ground beef. So we are always looking for great turkey recipes beyond the basic turkey burgers and turkey tacos such as turkey stroganoff. A few months ago we added another recipe to our list.
I stumbled upon this unique turkey meatballs recipe from Family Fun while looking for something healthy hubby could take to work for lunch along with vegetables. I even calculated the calories for you. You're welcome!

Chinese Turkey Meatballs
From Disney Family Magazine, makes around 30 meatballs
About 43 calories per meatball!

1pkg lean (93/7) ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp seasame seed oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce (we use low sodium)
3 Tbsp liquid egg whites or 1 egg (calories calculated using liquid egg whites)
Mix everything together in a bowl and form into about 30 meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min. Mine are usually done at 20 minutes - I just cut one open to make sure.

There was also a dipping sauce recipe for the meatballs using brown sugar and soy sauce but we didn't want the extra calories so I haven't ever made it. They taste great plain or with some brown spicy mustard - very low in calories.

We make these at least once a month (for Eric's lunch or for our dinner) since they are so easy to whip up and reheat well. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Linking up at these fun parties

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Southern Caribbean Cruise: Barbados

The last port on our cruise, Feb. 16th, was Barbados. Whenever anyone mentioned Barbados in the past I always thought "oooohhh Barbados". It sounded so tropical and exclusive. Although it wasn't mountainous like some other islands, the water was such a pretty blue. Here is how we enjoyed our day in Barbados.

I booked us a catamaran snorkeling excursion through Silvermoon after reading all the reviews. It included 2 dive sites and lunch and any drinks you want relaxing on a large catamaran. There were probably about 18 people there not including the crew.

We first snorkeled with sea turtles! This was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it. We got to pet them and took some great pictures. They were much bigger than I imagined.

This is so you can get some perspective as to their size. This was one of the crew who did the dives too.

On the way to the next place we sailed by some prince's private boat. Oh...must be nice.

At the next site we explored a small shipwreck.

After snorkeling they provided a big lunch buffet of chicken, fish, rice, pasta, salad, and bread. Earlier in the day they also passed out warm homemade banana bread - out of this world! At the end of the trip we got homemade carrot cake that was just as delicious. I am sure they get all of this from a catering company but whatever one they use, they did a great job! After lunch we spent time relaxing or you could get in the water and swim around. We had a wonderful time and Silvermoon was so accommodating.

Then we headed back towards the Serenade.

That night was the other formal/cocktail dress night. Before dinner we went up to the deck to take some pictures before the sun set. The only drawback of cruising in the winter is the sun setting earlier. It was quite windy so were weren't as successful as we hoped but got a couple good ones.

We had dinner in the dining room like always and took some of the photos the ship's photographers take. I ended up getting one they took of the four of us from this night. And then of course we took a few more :)

Keith had a plan to end the picture taking quickly.

Later that night we enjoyed one of the ship's many hot tubs. Surprising we had it all to ourselves for the longest time! I guess some people were dining or going to the show. We weren't really too interested in most of the shows. We did see something the crew cast members put on with different numbers from Broadway musicals but it was mediocre.

Then we came back to a towel monkey!

Who was quite hungry...

Next will be our day at sea on the way back and then our day in San Juan. Hope you are enjoying the trip!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

LaForce Likes #15

This LaForce Likes is my favorite blush...
Color: Orgasm by NARS

I had heard many people love this blush and say it looks great on most skin tones so I put in on my pinterest Wish List and dear hubby got it for me awhile back for my birthday.

It is definitely amazing blush and looks fantastic!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This year's garden

I planted a vegetable garden for the 3rd time. I had to plant a little later this year due to some cold weather we got in April that we don't normally have that time of year.

There is zucchini, squash, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and two different hot pepper plants.

So far everything seems to be coming along nicely except not much has happened with the red bell peppers. I have heard those can take longer and can be difficult to grow so we shall see. I decided against tomatoes this year (even though I love tomatoes) because there is more maintainence involved and they so easily get damaged and are unusable then. What I love about peppers and squash is that if they get a little nic or scratch, they are still perfectly fine!

I am also growing basil and oregano in pots and they are doing great so far.

Just the other day we were able to pick this from the garden! Good thing we eat zucchini and squash almost every week :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

LaForce Likes #14

How awesome is this travelling lamp from Silver Boxes?! Completely awesome and seemingly simple so it is the feature of LaForce Likes 14. I found it on pinterest of course.

I could definitely see this in our loft which will (one day hopefully soon) have photos of some of our fun travels... as soon as I can find a place that sells 11x14 and 16x20 skinny white frames.

Anyone know of such a place?? Pretty please tell me you do and I will be so thankful!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Doilie Banner

At the last girls craft day, I made a summer banner from my mantle with inspiration from here.

I seriously want this mantle! I am part of the way to a more awesome mantle with my new banner and outdoor lantern with lemons in it. Here is how you can make a simple banner to liven up your mantle (or some other part of your home) too.

6 inch Doilies (mine came in a package of 24 for like $2)
cutout letters if you do not have a craft cutting machine
hot glue
glue stick

If you are using a Silhouette or other craft cutting machine, cut out your circles and letters from the cardstock. I measured the inside part of the doilie so I would know what size circle I needed.
Use a glue stick to attach the circles to the doilies and then the letters to the circles.

Lay out the completed doilies upside down and hot glue the twine (or ribbon) strung along the back spacing the letters however you want. Make sure to double check the way you lay out the letters so you don't spell the word backward - I learn this the hard way!

Then hang your masterpiece new banner!

Linking up at these fun parties

Monday, June 11, 2012

Southern Caribbean Cruise: Dominica

The 4th port on our Caribbean Cruise on Feb. 15 was Dominica. Note that we found out on the island of Dominica that is not pronounced similar to the Domincan Republic but similar to the name Dominque which is good so when you talk about Dominica people don't think you went to the Domincan Republic.

We were very excited about our day in Dominica! I booked us the Roseau Valley Treasures tour with Bumpiing Tours. This received rave reviews on cruisecritic and was an adventurous packed excursion exploring Dominica.

A few notes before I go into the details of the excursion...if you want Levi, the owner, as your guide then book reeeeeally early. His group was full when we booked but our guide "Floorboard" was great too. If you get the least bit motion sick, on winding roads wear the patch. I was a little hesitant about wearing it but I wore half of the patch and it was perfect. I would never wear a full patch unless I was really big or the half just didn't cut it.

We met the tour right after getting off the ship around 8:45am. There were 10 of us total in the 15 passenger van - 8 people on the tour, our guide and the driver. The first stop was Champagne Reef for a little snorkeling.

It's not really a beach where you get into the water, more like rocks but the water sounds like fizzy champagne bubbles which is awesome to hear... Champagne Reef, get it?! The water was pretty cold but we got used to it. There were other snorkelers there too from a catamaran.

The one bad thing was that due to my cold, I had to cough periodically which was difficult with a snorkel and no thin life jacket thing to hold me up while i was coughing. This is the first time snorkeling where they didn't have those and I would have actually wanted one. It's a good thing Eric was there to hold me up during my coughing spells. The bubbles did make the underwater pictures we took come out less than clear.

This was our guide for the day, Floorboard.

See how the water looks fizzy.

Next we drove way up the mountain on some winding roads to Morne Bruce, a look out point where you could see the whole town.  It was also a great time to refuel and resunscreen before the next activity.

You can see their soccer stadium to the right in this one

Next was a drive through the botanical gardens and many more winding roads through tropical scenery.

 Then we arrived at Titou Gorge portion of the excursion. I had been looking forward to this part of the day. Titou Gorge was in the Pirates of the Caribbean 2nd and 3rd movies. We took a short hike to a pond which was the start of the journey and we were instructed to put on these very fashionable floating devices.

We waded into the freezing cold water. Seriously the coldest water I have ever felt. I was told it is a little below 60 degrees... brrrr! We then entered the 50 foot long gorge through a narrow opening in the volcanic rock. We swam through the gorge through this series of "rooms" formed by high cliff walls canopied by interlaced trees so it was fairly dark and difficult to get pictures so remember that when you look at these.

Even the beard couldn't keep Keith warm.

At the end of the gorge is a small section of rapids with strong current (hence the floaties) and this waterfall that's probably about 10 feet high. We climbed up the slippery rocks by the waterfall into a pond area above it and take turns jumping off the waterfall. The guide goes up first to help people up.

It was quite scary not because of the height but because there are so many rocks. It feels like you would hit them when you jump off since it's a jump from a standing position and no running start especially with short legs. But we cleared the rocks with room to spare... apparently you jump out much further than you think you can but looking at the situation made us (well the girls) uneasy. One group member didn't want to jump so she just stayed at the bottom.

Then we swam back through out to where we started and wished we had brought our towels as we we shivering but the sun was nice and warm at least.

Next we hopped back in the van for the drive to Tralfagar Falls and the hot sulfur springs. It was about a 15 min hike to the springs and they felt fantastic after the cold gorge.

You can hike around a bit near the springs to see some gorgeous waterfalls.

The warm pools were very relaxing.

There was a little rock "slide" into another pool.

We only brought the waterproof point and shoot due to all the water and slippery rocks here so unfortunately I couldn't get waterfall pictures with my DSLR. Hopefully next time we visit waterfall somewhere I will get a chance. They sure are beautiful!

There were some people repelling that you can see if you look closely.

We look a little tired after our adventurous day but who wouldn't right :)  Put visiting Dominica and doing this tour on your bucket list!

The van dropped up back off near the ship and about an hour before sail off. We took our usual places on the back of the top deck at the Seaview Cafe for some food since all we had during the day was snack food since lunch was not part of the tour. And of course the sail off pictures.

Sleepy guys.

We had dinner and then took a few photos in the nautical decorated bar area.

Hope you are enjoying our cruise stories. Next up will be Barbados!

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