Low-Cal Simple Banana Cream Shake

I don't normally post too many recipes on here but I couldn't pass this one up. I have been trying to get better at what I am eating for a multitude of reasons but I still have a sweet tooth.  The biggest problem with desserts is that with all that sugar comes a boat load of calories.  And I just don't have that many to spare on snacks.  And snack I must.  But, I want it to be filling too.

Now, I know there are many nay sayers out there because this does contain artificial sweetener.  It was a choice I had to make and having something to satisfy my sweet tooth outweighed the importance of 'all natural' on this one.

1 1/2 C. unsweetened almond milk (I use the vanilla flavored)
1/2 banana (3 oz. total wt.)
1 Tbs. sugar free fat free banana cream pudding mix
Small handful of ice cubes.

Place the ingredients in your blender.  The pudding mix helps to thicken this to give it more of a shake consistency. 

This recipe only has approximately 135 calories and is quite a generous portion.  Enjoy!

Mantle Makeover

We are very S.L.O.W.L.Y. in the process of doing renovations to our living room.  I'm tired of my walls looking dingy and the room still seeming so dark.  Our living room is in the center of our home and it does not receive much light.  We have put in skylights but it hasn't helped us all that much.  I figured maybe if I could lighten/brighten up our fireplace area, it may help just a teeny tiny bit more.  I do refuse to paint the stone.  We have this same stone pattern on the outside of our house and I think it would destroy some of the character.

The candlesticks have been spray painted.  The lantern and planes have been pulled from other areas in the house.  However,  pay attention to the 'artwork' here:

 I want you to know just how inexpensive it is to make your own.  The frame was purchased quite some time ago with a 40% coupon and ran me less than $10.  I used some scrapbooking paper that I already had on hand to fill in the photo areas.  The wooden 'home' was purchased in a $1 bin at the craft store and I made the 'rosette' up in the corner by fan folding paper and adding a button to the middle with some hot glue. 

I think it can get really easy to get so caught up in the decorating portion that we think everything needs to be purchased.  Unless you are an art collector of original pieces, let your own personal creations be what decorates your home.  You live there.  Its your space.  Let it define you and your family, not the mass produced market out there available to everyone.  That is what makes a home a home.....and your home at that.  Happy Crafting/Re-modeling!


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