Free Seed Envelopes

What do you do with your junk mail? Do you toss it out? Recycle? 


Here is a craft for you to use up those bothersome return envelopes that come in the mail. I get tons of them. From bills, to credit card applications and on and on. 



I save seeds from all my veggies and fruits that I can grow here in Texas. It is a way for us to get FREE produce. Stay tuned for a post on seeds later!  When was the last time you ate cantaloupe seeds? See what I mean? Dry those suckers and plant them! 

Moving along. This should take you about 10-15 min depending on how many you decide to make and how fancy you want them to look!

For this you will need:

  • any business size envelope. It can have a window, but it must have plastic on the window. 
  • Scissors
  • glue or glue stick

Optional is an envelope maker/punch, bone folder, labels, tape, or stickers.

There are 2 different sized envelopes in my picture. I will show you both ways I made them, although they are pretty similar. 

This first way makes a seed envelope the exact size as other seed packets. 3.5″ X 4.5″


This is just to show you scale of the various envelopes that I have versus the size of a standard seed packet. The larger envelopes (standard business size) will allow you to squeeze 2 packets. The smaller ones only yield one. 

I just use whatever I have on hand that was free!


Start by taking your envelopes with the flap up. You are going to use the seed packet or your measurement to refold the flap. This is only necessary if you want them to be standard size. 

Next you want to open the flap and put glue on the edges where there is no glue. If you prefer not to lick the envelope to seal, you can put glue across the flap.

You want to seal the envelope with the new fold you have created, not the original fold of the flap. Be careful not to get glue on the inside of the envelope. The reason for the glue on the sides, is that the sides will be the bottoms of the seed packets, if they do not have glue, seeds will fall out. Another thing to note is for this size of envelope, you really only need to seal one corner as you are going to cut off the top and discard in the next step.

Now you are going to fold the envelope over the seed packet to get the height, or measure 4.5″ and fold. Lay the envelope flat. 


Measure 1/2″ from fold and cut. This will be your flap. 






Trim off a small triangle of each corner. No need to measure or be exact, just eyeball the cut. 




Fold one side of that flap inside as in the pic. If you prefer you can cut it off, but folding is quicker and easier. 



Done! Now fill with seeds and glue or tape shut. I like washi tape, because you can open and close the envelope many times. 

The second method is easier, you do some of the same things, but no measuring required. I will give you some options if you want things to go even faster, and so the cuts and folds will look neater. 


Fold your long envelopes in half. Then cut them on the fold line. I usually cut a few all at once. If you do it that way you don’t even have to fold each one, just use one as the template. 




Here is a stack of envelopes cut in half. The bottom ones are just a bit smaller than the seed packet, but I would rather have 2, than to waste that much of the envelope. 

The next thing you do is fold the flap about 1/2″ down on the top. Then trim the corners and fold one side of the flap to the inside, just as above. 

If you have an envelope template below is optional. 



This is how I lined up the top in order to get the cut I wanted. Experiment and see what you like.




First, I cut the corner off.  You do one side then flip around to do the other. Make sure it is on the open end. Don’t ask me why I am reminding you that HA!

Then I scored with the line and the folder. I scored at 1/2″ 


Make sure to press lightly, the paper will tear if you don’t. Sometimes it will even tear when you fold it. So really having a gentle touch is important here. Otherwise it worked very well and saved my poor fingers! 




This stack is punched and ready to score! It was a lot faster and more precise this way!



Zoom of the corners. 









Finished product! 

I’m pretty happy with the results. 




Hope you enjoyed this! 

Love Diana







Mel’s Easy Peasy Turkey Meatballs


Some nights I just dont want to take a whole bunch of time cooking, however I always want a good healthy dinner on the table! I dont know about you but The Dickson Home stays busy,between my 7 year old and my 3 month old sometimes I feel like a professional juggler! Last night I came up with an easy and HEALTHY dinner! It got rave reviews from my son (who is quite possibly the pickiest eater I know)!

Easy Peasy Meatballs:

2 lbs ground turkey (I use 99%fat free)

1tbs onion poweder, garlic powder 

2 tsp smoked paprika

Salt & black pepper to taste

1 egg

4 light rye wasa crackers (blended in food processor)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl & mix until spices are evenly disbursed. Next roll meat mixture into balls they should be 1 1/2 inch in diameter. In a Medium non-stick frying pan spray with  “Pam”  brown meatballs on all sides. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet & bake at 350(f) for 20 min. 


I served these over brown rice with steamed veggies, but i can see using these meatballs for spaghetti & meatballs, meatball subs, meatballs and gravy, swedish meatballs… Really the possiblities are endless, They are so versatile, low fat, low carb NOT low on flavor! For those readers following THM these meatballs are a Fuel Pull & can be used in both S & E meals. 

Enjoy <3 Mel

Melissa’s Satisfying Chocolate Chip Muffins

CC_MuffinsWhile everyone in the world is jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon , I am over here craving chocolate chip muffins! I absolute adore the Trim Healthy Mama Baking Blend of flours! The texture is light and airy like my favorite high carb muffins made with sugar and  white flour. This Muffin recipe is full of protien, low glycemic, and VERY waiste line friendly. The best part? It tastes so good you will feel  like you are CHEATING !! This recipe makes  about 12 regular size muffinsor 24 mini muffins. They all diappear in my house too quickly to store but I would say they will last about a week in the fridge. I hope you love as much as we do, even my super picky 6 year old loves these muffins!

<3 Mel

CC_MuffinsWhat you will need:

1 1/2 Cup THM Baking Blend

1TBS+1/4 tsp  Baking Powder

1 & 1/4 tsp Baking soda

1/2 cup Butter melted & Cooled

1/2 Cup THM Sweet Blend or 3/4 Cup Truvia

3 Large Eggs

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 tbs Vanilla Extract

1/8 tsp Black Strap Molasses

1/2 Bag sugar free chocolate chips (I use Lily’s)


What to do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees f. Cream together Butter, Sweet blend, eggs, vanilla, & molasses . In a seperate bowl Mix all dry ingredients and add to your butter mix a scoop at a time stirring in each time you add the dry mix. Slowly mix in the 1 cup almond milk & stir until combined  then slowly stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop into a prepared muffin tin, and bake on 425 for 7 min lower the temperature to 375 and bake an additional 15 Min. allow to cool & enjoy!!!

This recipe is Low Carb, Gluten Free, & A THM S or Satisfying meal.


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Chili Pork Chops

 A favorite meal in our house is Pork Chops, normally I throw them in marinade and then grill them. Tonight we were wanting something different. Growing up my mom always made shake n’ bake pork chops, or shake n’ bake chicken. Can I make a culinary confession? I LOVE SHAKE N BAKE!! Well now that I am a Trim Healthy Mama, store bought shake n bake is a no, no…  So I went for the next best thing… Home made shake n’ bake!

This Low carb recipe is  THM {S} or Satisfying meal. It is easy, quick and full of flavor!

Chili Pork Chops

Chili Pork Chops
Serves 6
A tasty home made shake n' bake pork chop
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. Pork Chops (Or any other meat you like)
  2. 1 Bag Pork Rinds
  3. 1/4 Cup Red Chili Powder
  4. 2 TBS Garlic Powder
  5. 2 TBS Onion Powder
  6. 2 TSP Salt
  7. 1 TSP Black Pepper
  1. Preheat your oven o 400 degrees. Pour bag of pork rinds, and all seasonings into the blender or food processor and bend until the pork rinds are crumbles. Pour the dry mix into a gallon size zip lock bag, then toss in a pork chop and toss until coated on all sides. repeat with all your pork chops.
  1. If you try to toss more than one pork chop at a time I find they don't get evenly coated.
Sister Uglier

Sugar Free Teriyaki Marinade

 Growing up in the Chavez  family it was traditional for us to have Teriyaki everything… Steak, Chicken, Shrimp… You name it we marinaded it in teriyaki. It actually has become a bit of a jokebetween all of us. Needless to say I LOVE TERIYAKI! The only problem is that is it SUGAR filled and not so good for you! 

Well I have finally come up with the solution! 

imageSugar Free Teriyaki Marinade:

1/2 Cup Braggs Liquid Aminos

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

2″ Piece of fresh ginger (finely minced) OR 2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 TBS Minced Garlic

3 TBS THM Sweet Blend Or 5 TBS Truvia

1/2 medium yellow onion

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over your favorite meat and let it marinade. I recommend over night.

Curried Chana Dahl Soup Low Fat

IMG_20150719_172746I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find many great deals on Amazon Prime day. I did wind up with an electric pressure cooker for $99! I have been eyeballing them ever since my poor crock pot crock broke. I have been trying to decide whether or not to replace the crock pot or start using an electric pressure cooker. 

The best thing about this new gadget is that it will replace 4 of my appliances: yogurt maker, rice cooker, crock pot, electric skillet. I really like the convenience of the crockpot with timer, and the speed of stove top pressure cooker. I have always owned a rice cooker because it makes the best rice and I don’t have to babysit a pot on the stove. I am curious to see how my new pressure cooker stacks up to my rice cooker. More on that later in another post. 

Let’s get down to business of the soup! This is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make. It only takes 1 pot, you put in all the ingredients at the same time. Perfect for working peeps and busy people alike. You can use either a crock pot, pressure cooker or stove. It is also very versatile and easily adjusts to your family’s tastes. 

Chana Dahl is a small yellow bean that looks like a mini chickpea split in half. It isn’t the same as a yellow split pea. It has a wonderful smooth consistancy, and mild flavor. It can be cooked dry or after soaking YAY me because I often forget to soak my beans! Here is a pic of the kind that I buy

Dry Chana Dahl Beans
Dry Chana Dahl Beans

To make this you will need the following items:

Chana Dahl, Chicken breast(whole or ground), kale, chicken stock(optional), garlic, bay leaves, dried or fresh onion, onion powder, salt, tumeric, paprika, korma masala, mild curry powder, can of stewed tomatos and greek yogurt or fat free sour cream (optional). 

To start assmeble all your ingredients in the increments listed below in the recipe. The prep time literally takes me 5 min or less. 

soup spices


From L to R we have dried onion flakes, onion powder, paprika, tumeric, bay leaves, korma masala and mild curry, salt, and garlic cloves.



Take your chicken breast and place it on the bottom of the pot. You can use fresh or frozen chicken. You can also use 97% lean ground chicken fresh or frozen, just remember to increase the cooking time if you are using frozen meat. 

kale in pot

Next, put your kale( stems removed) in the pot. I don’t chop mine because it breaks down well in cooking. If you don’t have kale use any kind of greens you have on hand. I have used the power blend from Costco and we like that as well. This is a great way to get greens in your meal plan. The kale will not overpower this dish especially with the curry powder in there. 





On top of the kale, dump the soaked Chana Dahl,  all of the spices and salt, 4C chicken stock, and enough water to cover the contents of pot by 1/2″ to 1″ depending on how you like your soup add more or less water. We like ours kind of soupy with lots of broth. I often use left over veggies in this dish such as bell pepper, carrots, zuccinni, asparagus. Anything that I only have a small amount of hanging around. 

If you have a pressure cooker like I do, you will want to cook for 30-40 min on high pressure. The whole thing should take about an hour and 20 min. If you want to speed up cooking time a little, add hot broth and water. With this amount of food in the processor it takes about 30 min to bring the pot up to the temp that seals and starts cooking. Then it takes about 10-20 min for it to cool down enough to open. I wait 10 min and vent the cooker. After you open the cooker add in your can of tomatoes and stir, shredding the chicken as you stir. Serve yourself a bowl and put a dollop of greek yogurt on top YUM! 

This amount will feed a family of 5 with leftovers depending on how many bowls you eat. It is a hearty and cheap meal to fix. The whole thing usually costs me less than $10 for the whole pot. I have included directions for crock pot, stove top and stove top pressure cookers in the notes of the recipe card. 

If you don’t have all of the spices feel free to leave some out, or add a spicy curry if you like it that way. My husband likes it spicy and my kids don’t so he adds sriracha to his bowl. This recipe is very forgiving so feel free to make it your own by adding more or less spices.


The finished product above in the pot. I hope you enjoy as much as my family!

Curried Chana Dahl Soup- Low Fat
Serves 5
This recipe is a delicious spin on curried lentil soup
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
  1. 3/4 lb Chana Dahl beans soaked overnight and rinsed
  2. 2 Chicken breasts ground, whole, frozen or fresh
  3. 1 bunch kale stems removed
  4. 3 bay leaves
  5. 7 cloves fresh garlic
  6. 4 tsp dried onion flakes or 1/2 med size onion
  7. 1 tsp onion powder
  8. 1 tsp tumeric
  9. 2 tsp paprika
  10. 1 tsp korma masala
  11. 2 tsp mild curry
  12. 2 Tsp salt (we like it salty so add less if you don't)
  13. 4 Cups chicken stock
  14. 2 Cups water
  15. 1 15oz can stewed or diced tomatoes (added after cooking)
  16. 1 Tablespoon greek yogurt or fat free sour cream
  1. Add chicken breast, or ground chicken to bottom of pot
  2. Next add kale on top of chicken
  3. Sprinkle all dry spices, salt and bay leaves(whole) on top of kale
  4. Pour Chicken stock all over dry ingredients
  5. Pour in water to cover other ingredients. About 2 cups, more or less depending on what kind of pot you use, how large it is and how soupy you like your beans
  6. Cover and set the timer to 40 min if using frozen meat or dry beans, 30 min if using defrosted meat and soaked beans. It is hard to over cook so if unsure use longer time.
  7. Once the cooker is opened add in your can of tomatoes and stir.
  8. Add a T of greek yogurt on top of your soup in your bowl
  9. You are now ready to eat!
  1. Crock pot method: For soaked beans and defrosted chicken will take on average 4 hours. For dry beans and frozen chicken it takes me 6-8 hours to get the consistency where I like it.
  2. Stove top method: For soaked beans and defrosted chicken, it takes around an hour and a half to 2 hours. For frozen chicken and dry beans, almost double that. I bring my pot up to a rapid boil and then turn the burner way down to a simmer, stirring every once in a while.
  3. Stove top pressure cooker method: Same as recipe, use the pressure guide for your pressure cooker for poultry.
Sister Uglier

Shake Shake Shake- Simple Smoothies

I love thick creamy cold smoothies that really just remind me of a Milk Shake, but when I am at work all day I don’t have access to my blender, Ice, and ingredients. So I have come up with a few Simple Almond Milk Smoothies that only require a blender bottle. I make these up the night before work and put them in my lunch bag and then give them a really good shake right before drinking I find that this helps all the flavors to really meld together and makes them MUCH more satisfying.  Make sure you take a sip & have the sweetener to your tastes. For those of us on Trim Healthy Mama these are all Fuel Pull, or Low Carb & Low Fat! Slightly embarrassing confession: I might sing “Shake your Booty” by KC & the Sunshine band while I shake, shake, shake these together!  (It’s playing in your head now isn’t it?)almond-milk-in-a-jar

Churro Almond Milk Simple Smoothie: {FP}

12 oz.  Unsweetened Almond Milk

1 tsp. MCT Oil (If you don’t have any just leave it out)

½ Scoop Whey Protein Powder (Use a full scoop if this will be a meal)

½ tsp. Vanilla

½ tsp. ground Cinnamon

1 tsp. THM Sweet Blend (more if you use Truvia) or 2 donks THM Pure stevia

 Pour all ingredients into blender bottle with the metal ball and Shake, Shake, Shake! Make sure you take a sip & have the sweetener to your tastes.


Resees Peanut Butter cup Simple Smoothie: {FP}

12 oz.  Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Scoop Whey Protein Powder (Use a full scoop if this will be a meal)

1 tsp. MCT Oil (If you don’t have any just leave it out)

½ tsp. Vanilla

1 TBS Cocoa Powder

1/2 TBS Defatted Peanut Flour

1 tsp. THM Sweet Blend (more if you use Truvia) or 2 donks THM Pure stevia

 Pour all ingredients into blender bottle with the metal ball and Shake, Shake, Shake!Make sure you take a sip & have the sweetener to your tastes.


Strawberries & Cream Simple Smoothie: {FP}

12 oz.  Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Scoop Whey Protein Powder (Use a full scoop if this will be a meal)

1 tsp. MCT Oil (If you don’t have any just leave it out)

1 tsp. whipping cream

½ tsp. Vanilla

3TBS Gwen’s Berry Syrup

1 tsp. THM Sweet Blend (more if you use Truvia) or 2 donks THM Pure stevia

 Pour all ingredients into blender bottle with the metal ball and Shake, Shake, Shake!Make sure you take a sip & have the sweetener to your tastes.


Snickers Bar Simple Smoothie: {FP}

12 oz.  Unsweetened Almond Milk

½ Scoop Whey Protein Powder (Use a full scoop if this will be a meal)

1 tsp. MCT Oil (If you don’t have any just leave it out)

½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tsp. Carmel Extract

1 TBS Cocoa Powder

2 tsp.  Defatted Peanut Flour

1 tsp. THM Sweet Blend (more if you use Truvia) or 2 donks THM Pure stevia

Pour all ingredients into blender bottle with the metal ball and Shake, Shake, Shake!Make sure you take a sip & have the sweetener to your tastes.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive 5% if you make a purchase using this link. there is no additional cost to you for using this link.*

A letter From a Struggling Survivor

Over the last few months of my life, I have done some MAJOR biting of my tongue when people say some pretty dumb things to me after they found out I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in early November 2014. I am writing this not out of anger (although at times there was definite anger in my bones when people said some of these things.) but I write this to try and help you understand what these questions make you feel like when you are on the other side of them & what you should be saying instead.

  Here are my top 4 things to never say to a thyroid cancer survivor:

♥ Well if you had to get cancer, you got the good kind with Thyroid Cancer.

This is by far the stupidest statement I have ever heard and yes there is some bitterness to this statement. NO CANCER IS A GOOD CANCER! Yes MOST thyroid cancer has a good prognosis and can be treated. But the after effects of this disease are life long, unlike many other types of cancer which are treated and then you go back to normal living after recovery. Survivors are now dependent on medication that has to be taken everyday in order to regulate their body, they deal with nerve pain, hair loss, poor immune system, lack of energy, brain fog, and depression. It can take years before doctors are able to regulate hormone levels in their body and get them back to functioning. You live with Thyroid cancer for the rest of your life. You have to go for scans, and live with a fear that one day 70% of survivors will have a recurrence 5-10 years from initial treatment.  No part of this is good, not one bit of it. SO please stop saying it to people, it is demeaning to the battle they are fighting and minimizes everything they are going through in their life and the things that they don’t even know are coming. ALL CANCER IS BAD, it all has LIFE long consequences that survivors will deal with forever, let just all agree on that now Ok?

♥It will get better, just don’t be so negative.

My inner eternal optimist has been semi-permanently silenced for a while. Getting the news of cancer has put duct tape over her mouth and told her to sit in the corner, because there is NO upside to cancer. You see; when you can’t remember what it felt like to wake up and feel good sometimes you just don’t know that it will get better. So you start learning to not hope for it, and you teach yourself how to accept where you are and how to deal with what you have now, the good, the bad, and the awful. You whine and complain, (a lot more that you used to) but you also appreciate the days that you do feel good a lot more than you used too also.  Someday I hope my inner eternal optimist will break free and start shining again, until then could you just love me for where I am and deal with the negativity for a while?

♥ Well now that you got the all clear from your doctor why are you still so sad?

My body & mind just went through major trauma. In my case I went from being the healthiest I have ever been to the absolute sickest I have ever been to being “all clear” in a matter of 9 weeks. It is a lot to process, and there was no second opinions, no time to stop and think or process any of it. I am still in survival mode, and am trying to dig my way out, so please understand that I want to feel relieved and happy—I just don’t remember how.

♥ When are you going to be back to Normal you again?

If I knew the answer to this question I would be counting down the days. The truth is after listening to many survivors I will never be the old normal again. That is a loss that I am grieving so please just doesn’t expect me to be who I used to be. I will eventually get to a person who might resemble the person I used to be, I hope that I will come out on that side an even more awesome version of myself but at this point I just don’t know.


Here are my top 5 things that you should be saying instead.

  • Thyroid cancer SUCKS! Let’s talk about how much it sucks!
  • I will be positive enough for both of us for now, hoping to someday show you the silver lining in life again and set your inner eternal optimist free.
  • I am sorry you went through all of this, and understand that you are still sad and processing, I am here with tissues and ice cream ready to listen any time you need me.
  • You are still you and I love you for what you are now and who you will become.
  • What can I do to help you through this?


I cried while writing all of this afraid to be hurting those who I love so much, sometimes you have to tell the truth even when you know it will hurt.  I hope this helps someone out there to know you aren’t the only one struggling through recovery, and I hope it helps a loved one know how they can better help.

With love~ <3 a struggling survivor.thyroid_cancer_survivor_womens_tank_top

Momma Uglier’s Caldito

It is crazy weather here in Dallas about a week ago it was nearly 80 and then this week it is FREEZING!! So this is what I call soup weather! One of my favorite soups is my mom’s  “Caldito” (Translation little soup) it is a very humble soup, beef, onion and potato. If you eat low carb or happen to be a trim healthy mama white potatoes are a no-no because they are a very high glycemic food and cause a surge of insulin which creates a fat storing nightmare when you are trying to lose weight or even maintain.  All I have been craving is mom’s caldito, there was really only one solution; I tweaked my mom’s recipe to make it Low Carb, or a THM S. we usually serve this soup with warmed flour tortillas or saltine crackers.  Honestly we all like it a little bit different My dad loves this with saltine crackers, my 5 year old loves this with cheddar cheese and a flour tortilla quesadilla. I served mine with a low carb tortilla quesadilla and cheese and sour cream. You can make it your own! I hope you enjoy this simple and yummy taste of my family’s favorite soup, let me know what you think!

 Caldito 4

Momma Uglier’s  Caldito

1-2 Lb. Grass-fed ground beef (I use lean but it is up to you)

2 large bunches of Radishes cleaned and cut in half

1 yellow onion diced

24oz Beef broth

¼ cup Chili powder

1 tsp Cumin

2 tsp chopped Garlic

¼ tsp cayenne (if you like spicy add more, if you don’t add less)

1 small can Tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste


Add butter or coconut oil and melt add radishes and sear them on all sides then add yellow onion and ground beef allow to cook until browned on all sides. Next add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, Spices, and beef broth. Allow flavors to meld a few minutes and then taste the broth to make sure it doesn’t need anything else, Bring all to a rolling boil and then simmer on a low heat for 60 min or until your radishes are fork tender. Turn off Allow soup to cool a little serve hot with optional toppings of shredded cheese, and sour cream. 

cooking chicken breast in bulk

 I won’t pay for the “grilled” chicken that is already in a bag. I buy a large quantity of chicken breast and cook it all up at once. I slice or chop and freeze it, then pull out what I need! If you have a grill you can use that, but I cook it on my grill pan on the stove. 

Here is what I do step by step. It takes me about an hour from prep to washing pan.

I was all my breasts in a bowl. I didn’t take a picture of that 🙂




 Then I butterfly all my breasts so that they will cook more evenly and quickly. Just slide your knife halfway through the thickest part. 





This is what it looks like when you flip it open. 








I salt and use whichever seasoning I have on hand at the moment. You need to use quite a bit of seasoning and press into chicken as it will fall off a bit from cooking. You could also just use salt and leave off the seasoning until you use it, but I find I enjoy the flavor more this way.  










This is what it looks like when I flip it over. My grill pan is well seasoned and I don’t use oil to cook my chicken breasts so that they are the most versatile for use in later recipes. The juice in the chicken will help it release from the pan. If it doesn’t release, then it usually isn’t ready to be flipped over. I take my chickens temp to test if it is fully cooked in the center. There is a chart for meat temp here. 



Hope you enjoy this little tip and how to!