Easiest Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash

I like making spaghetti squash, it’s healthy, but it’s always such a pain to prepare. I’m always afraid I’m going to chop off a finger, hand or something trying to get that thing cut in half. And then it’s so hard to scrape out the middle. The way I had been doing it would take me at least a half hour to prepare. Then cook. Well yesterday I was looking around online and found a great way to do it from Rachel Ray’s website that was so easy.

Directions

spaghetti squashTake your spaghetti squash and add a few slits to it. Or, if you’re like me, you can do it all around the whole thing.

Place the spaghetti squash in your slow cooker with one cup of water.

Cook on high for three to four hours, or low for six to eight hours.

Once cooked, take it out of the slow cooker. After it’s had a little bit of time to cool down, it cuts right in half without any trouble. Then just scrape out the middle with seeds. You really only have to do it a couple times on each side. From there, you can easily fork out the strands and away you go! You’ll have ready-to-go spaghetti squash in less than five minutes.

Good Add and Weight Watcher’s Points

spaghetti squashI recently found Hunt’s tomato sauce with oregano, basil and garlic which is a great way to quickly whip up something with your spaghetti squash.

Lately I’ve been cooking spaghetti squash in my slow cooker, then mixing it with a little bit of chicken that I’ve diced up and put a little garlic on and the Hunt’s tomato sauce. Whatever I have been doing says it’s zero Weight Watcher’s points. I’m currently just going to test and see if it hinders me losing any weight. If I can lose, this is a great lunch option!

Here’s To a Better Me in 2015

I had so many goals in 2014. And then the year literally flip flopped on me and my only goal became just getting through it. I have, pretty successfully I think, but now I just need to get some of the things I needed to get this year done. Plus a few other things. So here goes, the cliche New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe having them published somewhere will hold me to them a little more. Maybe I’ll follow up on them, I used to do that. Whatever I do, I know I must do these three things for myself this year.

Lose the Weight

Enough is enough. I know what to do. I don’t even really have a certain weight I want to be, I just want to feel better. I use Weight Watchers and when I follow it, it works. I hate exercising but it’s only 30-60 minutes of my day, it’s just needing to take the time to just do it. Maybe I workout twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Maybe I should start making a ton of food for the week on Sunday and just dedicating that whole day to preparing for the week and anything that might stray me off course.

I definitely have weaknesses. When there are a lot of events or things for me to do during the week, it’s hard for me to stay on track. When I’m tired or hungry I trip up. When I finally start losing weight and people tell me I’m fine and don’t need to do anything, it’s discouraging. I just don’t like the way I look right now and I want to do something about it. For me.  I need to just tune everything out, suck it up and do it.

Get Better with my Hair

Over the last few years I’ve really got a beauty routine down that I love. I have staples in my makeup bag and for the most part know how to handle my skin that works best for me. But then there is my hair. I know what shampoo and conditioner works best for me, Oribe, but it’s expensive. So I have two options: Save my money and add that into my beauty routine, or, find something that’s similar that’s cheaper. I’ve been looking for that something cheaper all year. Nothing quite compares.

Then also, I need to get it trimmed regularly. I need to rotate that into my budget as well. Get my color touched up. Those things.

I also don’t do much with my hair. I’m impatient. Always have been. I learn my routines and stick with them because for some reason it’s hard to re-do anything with my hair when I mess it up. So it’s easier to straighten it, or put some curl to it. I need to learn how to add more volume, tease, etc. I know it’s all really just time and having the patience. So hopefully in 365 days I can at least do something new with my hair.

Better Myself Financially

Ever since I was 16 and got a license, I became financially responsible for myself. For the most part. I mean yeah, my parents helped me, but I had to get my own car insurance, pay for my gas, pay for my cell phone, etc. My mom definitely bought me things here and there, but from that point, I bought my own things. It was a good lesson to teach me to appreciate things. Work for them.

So I’ve never been one to just not care about money. I still even use an app that works like a checkbook ledger or whatever those were called to track my spending. I don’t rely on what the bank website says. I do a lot of good things but I know I can do better. I definitely want to just be in a better place financially in a year. So I’ll be looking more into that in 2015.

Here’s to meeting our goals in 2015.

LED Candles: Great Safe Alternative

LED candles

The two candles on each side of the table are LED!

As I was walking through TJ Maxx the other day I saw a box of LED candles that can go on a four our timer.

My attention was caught.

I picked up a four pack and immediately found places for them around our apartment. Just a couple AA batteries and away we went.

The LED candles are perfect because I can leave them going, leave the room or even leave the house. And even though I trust my cat with candles, but there’s always the chance she might knock something over.

For you, you might have kids, pets, etc. With the LEDs, there aren’t any worries. Especially if you get ones with a timer because then you can just forget about them but they just add a little bit more to your room. I highly recommend! Plus you can find them anywhere now, so keep an eye out and give them a try if you’re looking for a candle alternative.

Nip Winter Dry Skin in the Bud, Fast

dry skin solutionsI don’t know about you, but once the temperatures started slipping into the 30s, my skin started to get even drier than it already was. And it’s just going to get colder. We’ve already had weeks in single digits.

I’ve always had dry skin. Growing up I went to a dermatologist for eczema and I just know sometimes addressing the problems up front are more important than using smell good lotion and body wash.

Honestly, they just don’t cut it, as I was experiencing. My hands especially were itchy, red and irritated and then my skin all over was just itchy. I hate feeling itchy. So one day I just got back to my roots and picked up a few things I figured would work based on past experience. Sure enough, they did.

Top Three for Dry Skin

  1.  Dove’s Deep Moisture Body Wash
  2. Lubriderm’s Soothing Relief Daily Lotion
  3. Aveeno Eczema Therapy Hand Cream

Dove’s Deep Moisture Body Wash

The body wash is what I think of as a “step one.” If I use a body wash that dries out my skin, I feel like it’s an uphill battle to soothe my skin.

What I like about Dove’s Deep Moisture body wash is how thick it is. It lathers nicely and really gets things started for me.

Lubriderm’s Soothing Relief Daily Lotion

When I get out of the shower I do my face routine first, and then usually my shoulders, legs, hands, etc. My skin gets pretty itchy and that’s what I like about this lotion because the soothing relief part specializes in keeping my skin from being itchy. It really gets things better fast.

Aveeno’s Eczema Therapy Hand Cream

Most hand soaps in public sinks dry out my hands. So after I wash my hands for the first time after stepping out of the house, things start getting bad for me. Combine that with winter temperatures and just forget about it. Plus, when my hands are super dry, they get super itchy which makes it impossible to ignore.

Before I picked up these three items for my dry skin, my hands were bad. The area around my knuckles were very red, irritated, flaking skin and then my hands in general were itchy.

When I had eczema growing up I had painful red patches with flakes, and while I’m not sure if I had eczema on my hands, I had similar symptoms and figured it was okay to use something a little extreme if I was picking it up at a Walmart.

I will say: This lotion saved my hands.

dry skin solutionI should have done a before picture, I didn’t even think about it, but just imagine all of my knuckles as super red and the ones by my pinkie and index fingers having flaking skin. Then if you felt my hand the skin was very rough.

Now?

My hands are so soft and the knuckle area isn’t irritated anymore. If you feel my hands they aren’t oily but just very moisturized. I honestly can’t remember the last time my hands felt like this.

Does it smell good? ….it doesn’t really have a smell. It’s very subtle, like a light oatmeal smell. It’s not something that you’ll put on and everyone around you can smell, but you definitely can when you put it on. Any other fragrance you might wear (i.e. perfume) will definitely override it.

Final Thoughts

Just keep in mind when trying to tackle dry skin is that you probably aren’t going to find something that will be flowery or wowing to one’s sense of smell. But it doesn’t have to be bad either, you just have to make some compromises depending on where you buy a product and what your preferences are. But if you purchase items like the one’s have listed (you can find similar things with many brands), it will really make a difference for you.