Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy Homemade Fries Supreme

Are you, or were you ever a fan of Taco Bell's fries supreme? I know that I used to be, until the last few years (probably around 2008) when I noticed that the quality was no longer there.  You used to get a fair serving of fries with a generous layer of cheese sauce, topped with a scoop of taco beef, a scoop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of diced tomatoes and green onions. Now the quality has gone so far down hill that you're lucky to get even a teaspoon on beef or sour cream, and you might get 3 pieces of diced tomato, and if you're lucky, you get a small sprinkle of freeze-dried chives (not even green onion anymore).

With all that being said, I find that many people that I have asked agree with me that it isn't even worth getting a fries supreme from Taco Bell anymore, especially because when you do you are just completely disappointed. So why not make your own fries supreme at home?!

frozen fries (or homemade if you wish)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 pkg. of taco seasoning
1 jar of queso cheese sauce, heated
sour cream
green onion, chopped
tomato, chopped

Preheat oven and cook fries as directed on the packaging.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, brown ground beef oven medium-high heat.

Once beef is browned, add the taco seasoning mix and 1/4 cup of water. Simmer until mixture has thickened, then remove from heat and set aside.

Remove lid from queso cheese sauce and heat in the microwave until warm (1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave).

Once the fries are done, place them on a platter (or individual plates), and top with the warmed cheese sauce, taco beef, and sour cream. Sprinkle the top with chopped tomatoes and green onions.

Now serve & enjoy!

I can guarantee you that you will not be disappointed with this recipe, especially compared to what you would get these days from Taco Bell.

Take Care,


Friday, April 18, 2014

Rainy Day Runner's Workout

Have you ever started exercising outside, like running, only to have the weather ruin your planned workout?
That recently happened to me, and I was not pleased; after a solid week of nice double digit weather, we got a dumping of snow and ice covered the sidewalks, making my outdoor run close to impossible (unless I wanted to risk twisting my ankle on a patch of ice).

So, if you don't want your workout thwarted by Mother Nature, here's an awesome "Rainy Day Runner's workout" that will work your legs and core in 25 minutes.

Do each exercise listed for 1 minute, resting 20 seconds in between each exercise. For example; 1 minute of walking lunges, followed by 20 seconds of rest, then move on to your 1 minute side plank (30 seconds on your right side, then 30 seconds on your left side).
Once you have gone through the list, repeat 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 sets.

Take Care,


Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Striped Walls

If you've read some of my most recent posts, you will know that I am in the process of moving to my new apartment. With that, I will be repainting some of the rooms in the apartment, and am planning on painting an accent wall in the living room as well.

As a result of this, I thought it would be fitting to write today's post about how to paint your very own striped accent wall, and also, how to decide on the direction of the stripes, and which wall to place them on.

First thing's first; pick a wall. If you pick an end wall, it can trick your eyes, making a long room seem more grounded and equally proportioned. the opposite effect can be achieved by painting a front or back wall.

 Now, choose the direction that your stripes will run. Painting vertical stripes can make a room with a low ceiling seem higher, whereas painting horizontal stripes can make a narrow wall seem wider. For me, I am painting an end wall to make my living room not seem so long, and painting horizontal lines to make the room feel deeper.

Finally, how to paint your striped walls:
The director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams, Jackie Jordan, explains in an article on  the DIY Network that "Stripes should be between four and twelve inches wide. A width of less than four inches becomes too narrow and busy, and more than twelve inches becomes too wide and heavy. However, if you have really tall ceilings or just want super, bold impact, make your stripes over twelve inches wide."

Using a leveler and coloured chalk, draw your lines on your walls according to your preference of direction and size. Now, tape to the outside left of each chalk line, using low tack painters tape. After that, you are ready to get painting. Once the paint has dried, you can remove the painters tape carefully and pulling it away from the wall on a 45 degree angle.

Now site back and enjoy your hard work!

Take Care,


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Homemade Orange Sherbert

When you think back to your childhood, is there a favourite dessert or treat that comes to mind? For me, it's orange sherbert; whenever I have orange sherbert it brings back memories of having dessert with my mom in the summer at our patio table on the deck in our backyard.

It's been so long since I've had this dessert that recently I decided to find a recipe for homemade orange sherbert to add to my recipe collection. So without further delay, here's a quick and easy recipe for you to enjoy!

1 1/2 cups orange juice 
3/4 cup sugar 
3 cups milk, scalded and cooled 
1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple in natural juices

In a bowl, combine orange juice and sugar and blend thoroughly. Add milk and mix. 

Place in chilled ice cube trays without dividers or a shallow pan; freeze until mushy. 

Place mixture in a mixing bowl and whip. Add pineapple and juices. 

Return to trays or pan and freeze.

Take Care,


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Simple Core Challenge Workout

Have you recently started working out and noticed that your core strength is lacking? Have you also noticed that you tire easily in other exercises as well? If you answered "yes" to either (or both) of these questions, then you may want to keep reading.

A weak core can result in other weak areas of the body. The reason for this is that your core is your center and your main source of power and strength in your body; if your center is weak, how will you support the other areas of your body?

With that being said, why not work on strengthening your core with this core challenge workout?!

This workout is easy to follow but will challenge your core; just follow the arrows.

The Workout:
- 50 Crunches
- 15 Push Ups
- 1 Minute Plank
- 30 Second Side Plank (Right Side)
- 1 Minute Bridge
- 15 Push Ups
- 1 Minute Plank
- 30 Second Side Plank (Left Side)
- 50 Crunches
- 1 Minute Raised Plank
- 2 Minute Bridge
- 50 Crunches

Not only will this workout be great for your core, it also will tone your chest and arms with the puch ups and planks!

Take Care,


Monday, April 14, 2014

Grey & Yellow Living Spaces

When renting or buying a new home, there's always the chance that you will not love the colour scheme chosen by the previous owners. This is exactly the predicament I am in with the new apartment that I will be moving into in a month; there are bright yellow walls throughout the space, and I am personally not a huge fan of yellow painted walls.

I have been wracking my brains for the last few days on what I will do to "fix" this issue I have; at first I was going to repaint the entire space, but now I have decided to work with what I have by keeping the existing yellow walls in the kitchen (since there is hardly any wall space there that isn't covered by a tile backsplash, and then painting 3 of the 4 walls in the open concept living room attached to the kitchen in a medium grey. In this way I will achieve a feeling of connection and continuity between the two spaces by linking the colours used in both rooms together.

The bathroom above shows how, when used sparingly, bright yellow walls can look quite nice. This is especially so, when pared with a grey wall.

Another way to tie the yellow in, is to make a pattern on the walls that will act as a decorative accent wall. I think I may do something like this, or stripes,  to keep the yellow to a minimum; less is more in my opinion when it comes to bright colours.

Take Care,


Friday, April 11, 2014

Korean Beef & Rice Dinner

If you're anything like me, you like cooking, but hate having to make things that require a lot of preparation time. Ideally, dinner would take 30 minutes or less total, including preparation and cooking time, and it would be absolutely delicious every time!

This is why when I find a recipe that looks promising to be delicious, and is quick and easy to make, I have to give it a try. So without further adieu, I give you this delicious recipe for ground Korean beef.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (depending on how spicy you like it)
salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions, diced
Rice, cooked

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger with garlic in the sesame oil. 

Drain most of the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers. 

Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

 Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions. Now enjoy!

Take Care,


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Roll Out The Tension {Foam Roller For Calves}

Spring has arrived, and with that I have noticed more people outside running. Whether you're a new runner or and experienced runner, sometimes we can over do it and the end result tends to be sore muscles.

Sometimes I find the most painful sore muscles can be the calf muscles, so with that being said, I thought I'd provide you with an excellently effective foam roller exercise that will take away that tension in your calf muscles.

How To:
Sit on the ground with your legs straight, left leg crossed over the right, with the roller under your right calf.

Lift your bum off the ground so that your weight is supported by your hands and the roller.

Roll the length of your calf from the back of your knee to the Achilles tendon.
Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds and switch legs.

Tip: When you find a really sore spot, stay still and let the flesh of the muscles sink into the roller.

Take Care,


[Photos courtesy of: Core Performance Women (Penguin)]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maximizing Space {Desk Nook}

One of the toughest obstacles in furnishing and decorating a new home is awkward nooks and niches. I myself had niches like the one pictured below in my home growing up, and it proved to be a delightful challenge in decorating and space planning a room.

In my home we used these niches as reading nooks with an armchair and small accent table, etc. But as you can see, there is plenty of potential to get creative and maximize space.

Why take up valuable space in the main areas of a room, when you can utilize a niche for a built in desk or workstation? Or, you can take a more traditional take and install a window bench with a cushioned seat.

Take Care,


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cheddar Bacon Chicken Bake

Ladies and gentlemen, if you need a quick and easy dinner tonight that is sure to please, then look no further! I give you: the Cheddar Bacon Chicken Bake.

I made this for dinner last night after I got home late from work and it was so quick and easy to make; in the time that the oven was preheating I was able to whip everything up, and only 30 minutes to cook. It's simple, delicious, and you most likely have most, if not all of the required ingredients on hand.

2 pkg. (120 g) Stove Top Lower Sodium Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1 lb. (450 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups frozen cut green beans , thawed, drained
1 can (10 fl oz/284 mL) condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits
1 cup Kraft Double Cheddar Shredded Cheese

Heat oven to 400°F.

Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside.

Combine chicken and beans in 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir in soup, water, bacon bits and cheese; top with stuffing.

Bake 30 min. or until heated through.

I promise you that you will not be disappointed in this dish; not only can you whip it up really fast, but it's delicious too!

Take Care,


Monday, April 7, 2014

20 Minute Full Body Tabata Workout

If you are a fairly regular reader of Decor Lust, you will know that I love HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Tabata workouts. The reason why is that these workouts take very little time and can give you amazing results!

With that being said, here is one more awesome Tabata workout that targets all areas of your body and will make you sweat; the best part about it, is it only takes 20 minutes.

No excuses here people, you can literally do this workout while dinner is in the oven!

Take Care,


Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY Entertainment Center

Have you recently started looking for tv/entertainment units but find that either what you like is more than you want to spend, or the price is good but the aesthetics are lacking? I hear you on this one, I have been going through the same dilemma lately.

I'll tell you something that a noticed recently though, and I'm a little embarrassed that I never thought of this before; entertainment units are either 1 of 2 basic options - a console table/hutch unit with possible some drawers or doors, or a console table with 2 book shelves on either side (maybe an open shelf in the center above the tv).

With that being said, why spend $800 or more at IKEA for a media unit that are basically these components but technically sold as a single unit, when you can source your own individual pieces and create your own media unit?!

Just for fun, I looked around at Canadian Tire, and even Walmart online and found an open shelf base cabinet and 2 tall bookshelves (all in the same finish) that I could piece together myself and would in the long run cost me between  $150 - $520 plus taxes. What a huge difference in price from basically the same idea from IKEA which could run you past $5000 just for a media unit.

Not only can putting together your own tv/media unit be less expensive, it also can give you the opportunity to put together something unique that others most likely won't have in the same configuration as you in their own homes.

Take Care,


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sinfully Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars

What could be better than cookies and cheesecake? Cookies and cheesecake made into 1 delicious dessert, that's what!

I stumbled upon this delicious recipe for two of my dessert vices in life; chocolate chip cookie cheesecake bars, and I don't think I will ever look back. To me, this is the ultimate dessert for those whole love cookies and cheesecake. Forget chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake, this gives you the best of both worlds complete with the distinct textures of both desserts.

2 Tubes of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough 
 1 (8 oz.) Brick of cream cheese, room temperature 
1/2 cup sugar
 1 egg
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Line a 9×9 pan with nonstick foil and press in 1 tube of cookie dough. 

Beat the remaining 4 ingredients until smooth and pour over the cookie dough. 

 Flatten the remaining tube of cookie dough the best you can on a clean flat surface(I use a cutting board) and then place the flattened cookie dough on top of the cheesecake mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set (cover the bars with foil if they are browning too much).

Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator and serve cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

I cannot wait to make these, and I think they may just become a regular girls' night treat. I hope you enjoy them (I know I will).

Take Care,


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Running For A Happier Life

Have you ever stopped and wondered what if everyone in the world did 1 thing, made 1 change, and what difference would that make? I know that I have thought this quite a few time in my life about various things, but I have to admit, I never asked myself the question "what if everybody ran?".

Well, although you and I may not have asked ourselves this question, luckily for us an athletic apparel company, Mizuno, did ask this question, and with the help of the University of North Carolina, they found out some interesting answers.

As you can see from the pictograph above, if everybody ran not only would it help people on an individual basis, but it would also affect communities, and even the world.

I think that based on these statistics, the world could be a happier and healthier place if everyone ran. What do you think?

Take Care,


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Upgrade Your Coffee Table {DIY Wallpapered Table}

If you're like me, you have what used to be a decent table from a store like IKEA where you put it together yourself and it serves its purpose, that has now unfortunately now seen its better days. My coffee table now has a few surface scratches that I cannot stand; even if I was to fill in the scratches with a furniture pen it would still bother me to no end.

So, my solution to this issue (which I found many other people have shared the same thought) - using wallpaper to cover the table top!

The table pictured above was from IKEA and what the person did was apply their favourite wallpaper to the surface, and they also added some extra detail and charm by hammering silver metal thumb tacks along the perimeter.

What my plan of attack is for my table is to wallpaper the top with a subtle geometric print, then place a piece of plate glass over the top to keep the new surface safe from scratches and water damage.

This is such a simple and easy way to upgrade your table tops and make something old look brand new!

Take Care,