Sunday, November 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

So we did a whole lot of shopping last week, stocking up with the Kroger sale and our monthly trip to Sam's Club. This week I am just going to get a few things from Aldi and we'll be set!

Tonight I am making a really simple beef and gravy in the Crock pot and will serve it over mashed potatoes (noodles for the 2 of us who don't like mashed) with a side of steamed broccoli and a green salad.

For Monday night, it's jambalaya. Just from a lower-sodium mix - adding onion, green pepper, shrimp, turkey sausage, and chicken. Side of steamed veggies. Kids will be eating chicken nuggets and fries. (Can't please them all. LOL)

Tuesday is my long work day, so I need another Crock recipe. So I headed on over to a Year of Slow Cooking blog and searched under chicken. There I found 69 recipes. The one I chose for this week is Chicken Adobo. It looks amazing! It also looks like something my girls will eat, lol.

Wednesday I have off from work. I thought I'd make a family favorite, Rachel Ray's Taco Pasta Toss.

Thursday we spend at my parent's house for dinner.

Friday I'm going to try a new recipe, Chicken and Potato casserole. I'll serve it with a side of mixed corn, peppers, and asparagus (frozen veggies)

Saturday we'll spend with my parents again!

Have a very blessed week everyone,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shopping, reading, and movie update!

I hit some of the sales today. At Kroger I got some super cheap frozen veggies, boxed potatoes, cereal, noodles, pies, and lots more. I ended up paying 69 dollars for a huge basket full. I still don't have the focus and skill of some of you super shoppers! But I do love seeing the numbers come down when they take the coupons off!

I began watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman today. So far just the pilot. It's funny, but Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom seems to have almost the same taste in movies, tv shows and books as I do! If she says she is loving a series, I generally do too :) So that is why I put Dr. Quinn in my Netflix queue. And yes, of course, I absolutely LOVED the pilot! I am super excited because now I will have 9 full seasons to watch! Woohoo!

Reading-wise, I just started the 3rd book in the Rock Harbor Mysteries by Colleen Coble. She is a Christian author that I enjoy quite a lot. These are set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - near places I've been and the most breathtaking scenery! The books center on a woman, her son, and her search and rescue dog. Very enjoyable reading.

Tonight for dinner I'm making what is becoming an old stand-by - chicken and vegetable curry over basmati rice with a green salad. I didn't use to like anything too spicy or anything with heat - and now I just love it! The kids are eating plain rice, plain chicken, and plain veggies. My kids do NOT have an adventurous spirit when it comes to food! Especially my two older ones.

Oh, back to shopping - I went to Target's 4-day pre-Thanksgiving sale today. I am participating in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree and I chose 2 six-year-old girls and one elderly woman. The girls need clothes, pajamas, and socks and the elderly woman needs pajamas and slippers. The girls wanted games and Littlest Pet Shops and the woman, baking pans. Just about everything on their list was on BIG sale at Target today! I was blessed to be able to get everything they wanted and needed and some special surprises for them as well.

Dinner is just about done - better get the food on the table before the kids revolt!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

And God Leads the Way

My mind is a jumble lately. I feel like I'm being led in a certain direction, yet I don't know if I have the courage to follow it. I'm at a crossroads and it's going to take a lot of very hard work to do what God is asking me to do.

Do you ever feel led? Or do you ignore those strong feelings that you should do something remarkable? Do you just think it's a fleeting thought, or do you realize that God is telling you what He expects from you?

I'm stuck in the here and now. On the little things. On the things I can control. The simple. The WIDE path.

I can't do both. I can't continue doing what I am doing AND do what I feel led to do.

Joyce Meyer once said to think of having a locker in Heaven, filled with gifts from God. If you don't take them when you are here on earth, you'll get to Heaven and see all the exciting and wonderful things He had planned for you that you missed out on!

I guess I'm scared because I don't know all the details. HOW I'm going to get from here to where He wants me to be!

For now I'm going to pray about it.

But tell me - have you ever felt like this?


Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Accomplishments

So I made some good progress this October with my Mama's Mission. Here was the plan:

I'd quit one of my jobs - DONE
I would not care so much about material things - Um, still working on this.
I'd make arrangements for someone to do part of my "chauffeuring" - Less chauffeuring due to no more football.
I'd watch less television and be on the Internet less - yeah, working on that one too.

I would spend more time in nature - walking, taking pictures, drawing - Em and I went on several outings in nature and started a nature journal with drawings.
I would do family read alouds - Just reading to Em - still want to do this.
We'd do family movie nights - The kids and I have been watching a few shows together, but no movies.
I would go to church regularly and participate in the extra activities with my kids - I am involved with my new church and love it! We did trunk or treat and donated pillowcases for Little Dresses for Africa.
I'd listen to music more - I've been doing this too!
I would make time to write - I've always wanted to and I keep saying I will return to it after the kids are grown - I've been writing! :) And I signed up for Nanowrimo! Exciting!

So overall, it was a pretty good success story. I did enough to pat myself on the back and say:

Mission Accomplished

Let's see what November brings!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Two yummy recipes

I'm sorry that I have been so bad about updating. I spend so much time editing what I am going to say, it's basically whittled down to nothing!

I'll be doing my "Mama's Mission" update Sunday night - and I have to say that looking over my goals, I've done pretty well!

I made a couple new recipes this week - they were both quite good. The first was Mediterranean Chicken. I used green olives in place of black. It was tangy and tasty.

Tonight I made the Fiesta Chicken and it was really good. My 10-year-old had seconds.

I'm trying to come up with some new recipes for next week too. I do like the Kraft site quite a big, and I have subscribed to several recipe blogs.

How it he weather in your neck of the woods? We just had a big storm south of us two days ago and for three days it was really windy! Today was a gorgeous fall day though - and I have pictures to prove it, which I will post soon!

We have a fuzzy brown caterpillar living on our yellow mum outside. The closest I could find on Google is a fall webworm, which is disappointing as it is super cute and I named him Herman. I even pet him daily. Well - after the wind storm the mum was blown over and I thought that was the end of poor Herman. We found him today at the top of our porch, clinging to the brick wall. He lives!

Have a great weekend,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Women in the Word Wednesday - Busy-ness vs. Blessings


I am really happy to say that I have been getting my Word in. And as I write that - I realize that it sounds like I'm "making time" or "fitting some religion in" - and that isn't the case. I've been reexamining my priorities (my 'mission' for October) and I realize that making my relationship with God my life's foundation gives me the ability to see blessings amidst all of my busy-ness.

I'm not able to change much of what's going on in my life right now, but I AM able to change the way I view those things.

My one-hour drive to work has been spent listening to Christian radio or Joyce Meyer CDs. I signed up to read the Gospels in 30-days at YouVersion and joined a Good Morning Girls group with other working moms for accountability.

Through a friend on FaceBook I was introduced to Air1 radio online - a really uplifting Christian station with a lot of my favorite songs. Great to listen to while blogging or cleaning house!

So I'm probably doing this all wrong - but I'm really excited and happy about returning to the path that leads to God. I veered off of it for awhile - but I realize that nothing I did made me happy, oh - maybe momentarily, but I never felt JOY like I do when I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life!

Here's a passage I read last night - and the power of the scripture speaks for itself. You just have to read it, feel it deeply, and have a real "WOW" moment!

John 1:1 - 1:5

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,s
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

So I'm just dipping my big toe into the Word - but I pray that I gain wisdom and understanding over the months and years go come.

Blessings to all you 'girls'!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mission of the Month: Prioritize

This post is linked up with Mama Jenn's blog meme, "Mama's Mission of the Month".

I was driving to work a few days ago when I heard the song "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. I've heard it before, but the message didn't sink in. Here are some of the lyrics:

"He said I was finally the husband
that most the time I wasn't
and I became a friend a friend would like to have
and all the sudden going fishin
wasn't such an imposition
and I went three times that year I lost my dad
well I finally read the good book
and I took a good long hard look
at what I'd do if I could do it all again"

Life has been really busy lately. Mostly because of work. I could most definitely drop the second job - but it's sort of security in case my first job goes under. (long story) I also homeschool my youngest, drive my daughter to and from school, pick up my son from football practice, go to all his games, have dinner with my parents twice a week, cook dinner most nights, keep things fairly clean, read blogs, watch some television, read some books, and shop a little too much.

So I heard this song and I thought to myself - if I knew I only had a year or two to live, what would I change?

My Mission for the Month of October is to prioritize - what is really important to me? What do I want to show for my life?

Here's what WOULDN'T change:

I would still homeschool
I'd never miss a football game
I'd have dinner with my parents AT LEAST twice a week
I'd read really good books
Watch only my favorite tv shows and read my favorite blogs

Here's what WOULD:

I'd quit one of my jobs
I would not care so much about material things
I'd make arrangements for someone to do part of my "chauffeuring"
I'd watch less television and be on the Internet less

and here is what I would ADD:

I would spend more time in nature - walking, taking pictures, drawing
I would do family read alouds
We'd do family movie nights
I would go to church regularly and participate in the extra activities with my kids
I'd listen to music more
I would make time to write - I've always wanted to and I keep saying I will return to it after the kids are grown

This is most definitely not an all-inclusive list - but making it made me realize where my life is tilted, towards work and money and tv/Internet.

So I'll be making some changes. This mission will probably take up the entire month. I still haven't figured out what I am going to do about work - but one change I've made already is that I have plans to check out two local churches. I haven't had a home church since I've moved and need to find one!

Have a great October!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: The Week of the Crockpot!

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by the Organizing Junkie!

It's been a rough couple of weeks and we've eaten more fast food than I care to admit. Two of these meals have been on my plan for the past two weeks - we just never got to them!

Today I cooked ahead so we won't have that problem! I made some breakfast sandwiches with Thomas' everything bagel thins, an egg, turkey sausage, and laughing cow light mozzarella, sun dried tomato and basil cheese (so amazing!). There are also a few boiled eggs in the fridge just in case. I cooked ahead chicken and ground beef so there should be no reason why I can't get dinner on the table quickly and easily this week!

SUNDAY: We had the Crockpot chicken and dumplings and they were really, really good! Two thumbs up!

MONDAY: Rachel Ray's Mac n Cheddar Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli with a green salad

TUESDAY: Unstuffed peppers in the Crockpot (recipe is close to what I am making - but I use tomato soup)

WEDNESDAY: I am finally making the White Chicken Chili in the Crockpot! This week for sure!

THURSDAY: Having dinner at my parents' house.

FRIDAY: Angel chicken in the Crockpot over angel hair pasta (*Note - only using 1/2 the butter and using Laughing Cow cheese instead of cream cheese)

SATURDAY: Dinner at parents' house again!

Have a wonderful week everyone!


Plan Ahead Sunday and One Small Thing

I am linking up with LLRHomeschoolmom's meme "This Week's Goals".

I do an awful lot of planning on the weekends. I menu plan, lesson plan, cook ahead for the coming week, and try to pick out what I'll be wearing to work each day. If I don't, my busy week will overwhelm me and we will end up eating too much fast food and I may end up wearing a mismatched outfit. Ok - not really, but I do get very frustrated in the morning when I am trying to hurry and nothing I want to wear is clean or ironed or I can't find it. Yes, I'm THAT organized. LOL I also do manicures on all of us girls on Sundays too.

Done! I will post it later tonight for Menu Plan Monday! We got all of the grocery shopping done and I should have every single ingredient I need to make yummy dinners for the week!

I'm going to brown some ground beef to use to make unstuffed peppers one day in the Crock. Homemade chicken strips in the oven for the kids throughout the week for when they don't like what I cook (which is a LOT of the time for my two oldest kids). I'm going to make some egg salad and put together some 'healthified' breakfast sandwiches. That's about it.

Done! I put my entire lesson plan in the free online Homeschool Tracker. It took a couple of hours to get everything in there, but now I have a printable plan for the week and also at the end of the week can print out reports.

I hope to put together three outfits for the coming work week. I work 1/2 day Monday and a full day Tues and Thursday. It's pretty business casual for me. I try to wear dress pants and a blouse most days. Today I want to actually put together jewelry and everything and see how that goes.

I've decided to try and change just one small thing every week to make my life better in some way. I have so many things I need to change that it is just exhausting to think about. But if I break it down into just a small change every week - it may not be so bad.

This week my one small thing will be to bring lunch with me to work every day - even my 1/2 day! I end up starving and going through fast food - which I certainly don't need!

So let me ask this - do you plan ahead, or are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda gal? Do you have one small thing you'd like to change this week?

Enjoy the rest of this blessed Sunday and have a terrific week!


Friday, September 17, 2010

A Day in the Life of Me!

Today is Friday - and I have all the windows open and the cool air feels wonderful!

I have the day planned as such:
7 - Take Jennah & friend to school
830 - Go back to bed for an hour!
930 - Up, dressed to shoes
945 - Drive out to work and see if there are checks to deposit - nada!
10 - Drive back home
1030 - Computer time
11 - Work doing transcription for ONE HOUR
12-2 - Homeschool with Em
2- Pick up Jennah & friend from school (another 30 minutes of HS in the car w/ Em)
3:15 - Finish up homeschool for the day
430 - Go to store and pick up fixin's for dinner (very unorganized this week!)
5:15 - Start dinner for family of 5 plus Jennah's friend who is staying the night
5:45 - Pick up Jake from football practice
6:15 - Dinner
6:45- Clean up kitchen
7 - Two hours of transcription work
9 - Computer time, t.v. time or movie time or book time :)
11 - BED!

In between everything I do five minute room rescues, clean hot spots, maybe a swish and swipe, 2 minute missions, etc. (If these don't sound familiar to you, check out the FlyLady!)

So what are your plans on this Friday?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kinda whiney post - but I meant well :)

My son had his first official football game today. He's almost 12 and in 7th grade. I forget what his position is called - I think he's an offensive lineman? Something like that. Anyway - he had to wear a shirt and tie to school today (first time in his life!) and I got to tie his tie this morning and it was just so cool. He's been waiting to play football for a few years now. He always played soccer but didn't really enjoy it. He LOVES football. He comes home from practice exhausted and soaking wet and downs an entire bottle of G2 (think diet Gatorade) in the car on the way home. I'm so happy he's found something he can BELONG to. A group to be a part of.

Anyway - his practices and games are one small part of what is making my life utterly CRAZY busy. A year ago I worked a 4-hour day and then came home and, well, didn't do much of anything to be honest. Now I get up and take my one daughter to grandma's, go to work for a full day, pick her up, come home and make dinner, pick up my son from practice, eat dinner, clean up the kitchen, homeschool my youngest in the evenings and then sometimes work another couple of hours at night. I generally find about 2 hours for myself after everyone is in bed at night (hence the blogging time right now!) But this keeps me up to the point where I am not getting enough sleep. Then there are my days "off" when I drive my oldest daughter and her friend to and from school and work my 2nd job at home.

I love everything I'm doing - but I'm so tired! LOL Some days are so packed there is no time to cook dinner. Just no time. I had "meet the teacher" nights two nights this week. I had a meeting with our work accountant on my day off. There is so much more I want to do - Em want to take a dance and art class - but I just don't know when. Church is Saturday night and I'd like to be in more activities - but how? There are teen nights my daughter wants to go to --

I figured it out - I need a clone. Yep. That's it. A clone mom. She can do ALL the driving! LOL

This is a season in my life and I am grateful for it. In too short a time my kids will be grown and I will be lonely. I'm feeling guilty for working so much yet it's a necessity financially.

Anyway - just thought I'd complain a little before bed. Makes the dreams that much more sweet! LOL!

Have a blessed week,


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Using my Crock!

I'm linking up with the Menu Plan Monday meme over at the Org Junkie's Blog!

I'm going to be carrying over a few meals from last week. We had dinner over my parents' house one night, and another night ran so late we ended up doing hot dogs and french fries!

BIG SUNDAY DINNER: Crock pot roast beef, potatoes, carrots, gravy, and croissant rolls with a green salad

Monday: Chicken with Broccoli - Rachael Ray's Recipe - over brown rice with salad

Tuesday: Long work day for me! Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings. Side of green beans.

Wednesday: DS11's football game. Having dinner over my parents' house.

Thursday: Another long day for me. Crock pot White Chicken Chili.

Friday: Asian turkey burgers and oven fries

Saturday: We'll be having dinner with my parents once again.

Have a wonderful week,


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Back to School Edition

It's a new week and a new season. While fall isn't here yet, the back-to-school season is! This means changes and challenges and more busy times.

I'll be posting more Crockpot recipes now since I'll be getting home late a couple days per week. Plus my son doesn't get out of football practice until 545!

Monday - Labor Day
Breakfast - Breakfast burritos (I use turkey sausage)Lunch - "Sub" sandwiches
Dinner - Grilled burgers, spaghetti salad, banana pudding

Tuesday - 1st day of school, work day, football practice
Breakfast - Egg Beaters and cheese on everything bagel thin, yogurt
Lunch - Peppered ham sandwich on Flatout wrap, apple, 100 calorie pack :)
Dinner - Chicken and gravy over rice w/ salad (Crock pot)

Wednesday - School, Football scrimmage gameBreakfast - PB & J oatmeal
Lunch - Lean cuisine
Dinner - Roast, potatoes, carrots in Crock, green salad

Thursday - School, Work, Football practice
Breakfast - Breakfast burrito, yogurt
Lunch - Turkey and cheese sandwich, baked chips
Dinner - White chicken chili in the Crock

Friday - School, Football practice
Breakfast - Egg Beater "McMuffins" and yogurt
Lunch - Leftovers


Breakfast - Toad n the hole, turkey sausage

Lunch - Mac n cheese
Dinner - Chicken Biryani and green beans

This post is linked with Menu Plan Monday hosted by the Org Junkie!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's Going On - and a YUMMY Recipe

So things are feeling pretty on track right now. I've got the hang of using my Bodybugg and I am averaging about a 1,000 calorie deficit daily - which scientifically means I should lose 2 lbs per week. That is my goal for right now!

Things have been hectic and crazy around here. Back-to-school shopping, birthdays, moving at work from one office to another, meeting up with highschool friends - a lot of good things.

I went Nordic walking yesterday with my sister. We did about a mile at a local school track. I showed a burn of over 250 calories - which is pretty good for walking. I truly enjoy it, and on a day like yesterday - mid-80's, sunny, blue skies, mild breeze - it was heaven!

Tomorrow is my last day to be able to pack up my office! So it's going to be a long day. I plan on utilizing my crock pot! I haven't used it very much this summer, but I truly rely on it in the fall and winter!

Here is what I'll be making:
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 8 servings Size: 9.85 oz • Prep Time: 5 minutes Points: 3 ww points
Calories: 171.9 • Fat: 1.6g • Fiber: 3.8g
  • 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste
Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice (extra pts).

I found this recipe on a wonderful blog - Gina's Skinny Taste blog, full of WW recipes!

I went to our storage room a little bit ago and found a few brand new items of clothing that I've never fit in to - just a little bit small. They all fit now! Woohoo! I have a super cute dress for fall, 2 dressier tops for work, and 2 more casual ones for home. Hurray!

Well, that's about it for me. Weigh in is Friday - I am just hoping I won't be retaining water! That's always such a downer!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday & Weekly WW Update

I'll admit it - I am not all that great at updating my blog here. I figured I would do a 2 in 1 and get my menu plan listed as well as review my first week on Weight Watchers!

My menu plan is linked up with Menu Plan Monday over at at the Organizing Junkie's blog!

Sunday - We had mini pizzas ! I took Alternative pitas, popped them under the broiler for a couple of minutes with a spray of Pam and granulated garlic, then topped them with pizza sauce, fat free mozzarella cheese, olives, veggies, and mini turkey pepperoni! They were quite good, kid approved, and only 4.5 WW points each!

Monday - Quick dinner as I am busy busy today! Boca Chick'n patty in a flatout wrap with light mayo and pickles. Side of baby carrots.

Tuesday - Mini turkey meatloaves, baked potatoes, green beans, green salad

Wednesday - Mom's house for dinner

Thursday - Thai grilled chicken, broccoli, and bulgar pilaf

Friday - Pizza roll up burritos and spicy oven fries

Saturday - Mom's birthday! Not sure what she is going to have - maybe Chinese? Mexican? I will just have to be extra careful!

So on to my first week of Weight Watchers.

Things went well. I felt like I was eating too much. I had trouble getting in all my points. At mid-week I was CERTAIN I had gained a couple of pounds. I wanted to trust in the process so I kept at it. I ended up losing 5.4 pounds! Woohoo! The best loss I've had in many, many months!

I exercised 5 days. I rode my recumbent bike, did Zoga, went for a walk, did strengthening exercises with dumbbells and a toning cord, and went to the beach and water jogged, treaded water, swam, and did other exercises in the water for two hours.

New foods tried: WW 1 point bars in Red Velvet Cake - um, YUMMY! Unfortunately they are discontinuing them. Boo! WW 2 pt pretzel chips in garlic and herb - they are just OK. Flatout Wraps - multigrain, 2 points - again, YUM! Loved them!

Favorite breakfast: 1 cup Simply Potatoes, 2 turkey sausage links, 1/4 cup SW Eggbeaters, and a couple tablespoons ff cheddar. Top w/ some hot sauce for a yummy, filling 7-pt breakfast! (You can cut back to 1/2 cup potatoes for 1.5 less points)

NSV - (non scale victory) The shorts I bought in the spring which were a little snug can now be pulled down without being unzipped!

I've lost 3.5 inches off my waist, 3.5 inches off my hips, 1.5 off each thigh, 1 off each arm, and 1.5 off my chest since June 20th! Woot!

Have a great week!


Friday, July 30, 2010

My First Weight Watchers Meeting

Boy it's been a busy day! But I am proud of myself! Some of you know, I deal with anxiety issues and have a problem with going to new places and being in new situations. I got myself up and out the door and to my first WW meeting all with very little anxiety! Woot!

Not surprisingly, everyone there was SO nice. The regular leader for Friday's meeting is on vacation, so there was someone else who filled in. We talked about snacking today and what the best snack options are.

There was a 14-year-old girl there with her mother and I told her that I would be bringing my 14yo in the next week or two! (Waiting for letter from pediatrician) They can motivate eachother and hopefully become friends.

I've always said that I feel out of place at WW meetings (I joined several times, the last being about 8 years ago) because it seems like most of the people there need to lose 30 pounds or so. Today when I walked in I was NOT the heaviest woman there! WOOT! HURRAY! There were a few of us with a good 100-200 pounds to lose!

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I love STUFF. I sometimes even have issues with shopping - it makes me happy. *sigh* But they gave me my little booklet and my pamphlets and oh - I get e-tools too - but I will always be a Spark girl!

After the meeting I bought the new members thingie w/ the dining out guide, recipe book, points book and 3-month tracker. I bought the tracker cover, a box of 1-pt red velvet bars (OMG so good) some pretzel/cracker things, and a water bottle. (told you)

Of course I had a little shopping high - so I went in to Catherine's, which is conveniently located next door! They had an extra 60% off of clearance and I have a 10% off members card. I ended up with a long nightgown (my kids call them moo-moos - whatever, I love them and I will wear them forever) and a black shrug. I only spent 24 bucks! Yay!

Then I went to Meijer and got loads of healthy foods (of course) like Egg beaters and turkey sausage and Flat Out wraps and corn on the cob and some apriums (I think they are another cross between apricots and plums? will look them up) and some dessert pears (no idea - I'll take a pic and tell u what they taste like) and other goodness. I picked up Jillian Michael's book "Winning by Losing" - for motivation. Never can get enough of that.

I bought a measuring tape, measuring cups and spoons too. Our measuring cups are always in the dishwasher. My daughter measures everything too.

So yes, shopping high.

Now I have to finish picking up the house and then I'm headed downstairs for a workout! 30 minutes on the bike and Spark strength exercises.

Dinner is chicken on the grill, corn on the cob, green beans, salad, Texmati rice veggie blend and watermelon. Yum!

Oh, and I will tell u now - I have nowhere near enough points for the day. I have to work on that. I get 38? 39? Will have to check. I eat a lot of veggies and fruits and most of them have 0 points per serving.

Better get back to housework so I can get my workout in! After dinner I am going for a short walk with my sister. My feet are killing me so I doubt I'll even make it a mile - but every little bit counts!

Blessings and hugs,


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Moving ahead

So my pity party is officially OVER. I woke up this morning determined and focused! Yay me!

I got up and made breakfast -

Thomas' bagel thin in everything flavor (LOVE)
1 large egg, 3 strips turkey bacon
1/4 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup cherries, 1/2 cup seedless black grapes - yummy!

Worked my way through the Internet, updated my weight loss journal (I have a few - I have a book I keep notes in and a motivational binder and other stuff - I'll share someday!) and then went downstairs for a workout!

I did about 10 minutes of stretching, did squats and lunges 10 minutes of abs, then 40 minutes on the recumbent bike! That is my new record. I did 9.2 miles. Yay me! I've only been using it about 2-ish weeks. I started at 2 miles. I love being able to build up so quickly! After that I used a 32.6 lb barbell and did curls and I'm not sure what the other stuff is called. Then some not even girl pushups (my upper body is laughably not strong - so I use the air hockey table and do pushups off that) and finally used my resistance bands for more upper body work. I was downstairs about 90 minutes! For me that is simply incredible. I feel awesome!

Lunch was a big salad topped w/ protein.

2 cups of "very veggie" Dole salad mix
1 cup English cucumber
3 oz Tyson grilled chicken
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
2 tbs reduced fat italian parmesan dressing
and 1 large banana

I'm not quite ready to divulge my weight here on this blog - but hopefully at some point I will. I'm not sure who I'm hiding from - as everyone who knows me obviously can see how much I weigh! All in good time, all in good time.

Anyway -- I use Spark People (can't say enough good things about it!) and they set my calorie range really really high - like 2250 average? I just try to stick to around 1800 at the moment. I am joining Weight Watchers on Friday and will go with their points system - which if I read right will give me 38 points? Not sure if that is the old system or new. I'll update. (If you go to WW, you now know how heavy I am. ha!)

Dinner was at Mom's. Had tortilla encrusted tilapia with wild rice, corn on the cob and salad. Yum. Sis and I went for a walk after dinner and then I had Skinny Cow strawberry cheesecake icecream. Oh. My. Goodness. That stuff is the best! 150 calories of yummy-liciousness!

All in all a good day.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beware: Wild Woman High on Hormones

I feel terrible today. Worse than terrible. I feel like my body has been thrown around a mosh pit, only to be dropped and trampled on. Thank you monthly gift.

I've been reading so many weight loss blogs and healthy cooking blogs lately for motivation. And they ARE a lot of motivation. However, today they are making me feel guilty. Everyone seems to have better mojo than I do. If I want to do this, REALLY do this, I need to become more dedicated and determined.

I promised my daughters I would take them to the drive in tonight and see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Karate Kid". Weeeeeeee. I'm going to take my current read with me, "The Shack" by William P. Young.

Speaking of weight loss and books, I just finished reading the cutest chic-lit book called "He Loves Lucy" by Susan Donovan. It's a highly enjoyable quick read. Perfect for the beach or road trip.

I need to wake up tomorrow with a new resolve. I need NOT TO FAIL tomorrow. I need not to binge. (By binge I mean eat 500-700 calories within 30 minutes before I even realize what I've done. Going off plan for stupid things like pudding and granola bars) I need to stick to my workout plan. I need to get my fat butt to Weight Watchers for more consistency. *sigh*

Tonight for dinner I baked chicken in the oven with some Mrs. Dash and Lemon Pepper seasoning with baked potatoes. I ate a can of chili and some Sun Chips. I'm so ashamed of my lack of willpower. I'm so irritated with myself! I don't want to be like this. I want to be strong and in control and I want to feel HUMAN. Not only that, I want to feel feminine again. I want to more than a mom, a daughter, an employee, a friend -- I want to be ME. I want to be a person. A whole person.

So that was all quite serious. My mood is particularly foul. But tomorrow is another day!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

And she lives!

Ok, I absolutely suck and haven't posted in 2 months. Life has kept me busy and blessed.

We went on vacation to Busch Gardens in VA, the Virginia Aquarium, Washington DC, New York City, New Hampshire, and Boston. It was exhausting and tortuous and wonderful.

I'm down 46 pounds now. I officially started on August 7th of last year. I ate healthy and exercised for two months, lost 25 pounds, then I quit for 5 months. I gained back 15 pounds. I restarted in March of this year and here I am. So it sounds like I am the slowest loser in the world if I say I lost 50 pounds in one year (I hope to make the 50-lb lost mark by Aug 7th) so I have to let people know that I was MIA for 5 months of that. But whose weight loss journey is straight and narrow anyway?

Dinner tonight was chicken teriyaki. I diced up about 10 different veggies, chicken, made brown rice and used a low calorie teriyaki sauce. It was pretty good. Served it with salad.

Tomorrow is back to work and I just dread it. My work is just crazy.

I tried a new fruit today. A pluot. It's 30% apricot and 70% plum. Insanely good. Sweet, juicy, and pretty to look at.

Have a great week,


Friday, May 28, 2010

The (very) Red, White, & Blue


It’s been a really hot week here in Michigan.  Mostly sunny and until today, humid. 

My youngest daughter and I went to a local beach on Wednesday and we played in the lake for 2.5 hours.  I was very careful to slather her in waterproof sunscreen several times, but wasn’t so careful with myself.  The end result looks something like this: 

(not my picture)


My back and shoulders are the worst – but it was my own fault, so I will stop complaining.

So did anyone watch the finale of Biggest Loser? Dancing with the Stars?  American Idol?  I watched 2 out of the 3.  I missed DWTS even though I watched most of the season.  I was happy with the Pussycat Doll winning with Derek (love Derek!) and I was very happy for Michael to win Biggest Loser, even though I was rooting for Ashley.  On AI I liked the girl better – thought the guy was just kinda “meh” – but again, I didn’t watch the whole season, maybe I was wrong.  Where do you weigh in?

Speaking of weight – I lost 5 pounds two weeks ago and the scale has not BUDGED since.  I have been eating healthfully, lots of veggies and fruit, drinking almost nothing but water, exercising – and NOTHING!  I’m getting so aggravated.  I so want to see that number go down! 

Last week I read “The King’s Rose” by Alyssa M. Libby and it was quite good.  It was the story of Henry the VIII’s 5th wife, Jane Howard.  She was only 15 and married to the King when he was 50.  Ewww.  But it was a quick, simple read and I enjoyed it very much.  4/5

Now I’m reading the 2nd Alaskan Quest novel by Tracie Peterson, “Under the Northern Lights”.  This book continues the story of Leah and her brother, Jacob, who run a small trading post in Alaska.  I can’t say much about it, because it would ruin book 1 for you! 

Well, I best take my daughter and her friend to play put-put golf before their incessant talking makes my brain explode.  :)  (teens!)

Have a wonderful, safe, and happy Memorial weekend! And may God bless all those men and women who serve (and served) our country!  My grandpa was in WWII, I had an Uncle who was in the Korean war, and 3 Uncles in Vietnam.  What bravery it must take to protect the US!  I am amazed at their dedication. 



Menu Plan Monday: May 23, 2010

I wrote this last weekend and I never posted it!  So here is what we ate all week….LOL


Sunday:  NY strip steaks on the grill, baked potatoes, roasted Brussel sprouts, corn on the cob, green salad


Monday:  Garlic Lime  Chicken fajitas with roasted asparagus with garlic and green salad



Tuesday: Broiled tilapia parmesan, roasted veggies (red potatoes, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, turnips, etc.)  

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Wednesday:  Mom’s house for dinner



Thursday:  Chef Meg’s Mediterranean Chicken w/ Orzo and Rachael Ray’s oven roasted broccoli



Friday: Linguine with Spicy Shrimp and Rachael Ray’s Zucchini Oven Fries 



Saturday: Mom’s house again for dinner!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday’s with Rachael Ray: Red Pepper Pesto and Shrimp Pizza

Hi everyone!  Welcome to Saturday’s with Rachael Ray, hosted each week by Taste & Tell!


Ok, this week I completely forgot to take pictures, and I apologize! 

This recipe comes from the June/July Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine.  It looked so good that I had to try it!

Here is a pic of the pic in the magazine:

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4 ears corn, husks removed

2 red bell peppers – stemmed, cored and quartered

6 tbs EVOO

1 lp frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed

Salt and Pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cups basil leaves, 1/4 cup thinly sliced

1 tbs fresh lemon juice

1 12-inch baguette – split, hollowed out and halved


You are supposed to grill the corn in the husks and the peppers.  We had a rainy day, so I improvised.

Toss shrimp in EVOO and season with S&P

Cook shrimp on grill if you are able (again, improvised)

You are supposed to food process the peppers, 1/2 cup mozzarella 1/2 cup basil leaves and lemon juice

Spread on french bread, top w/ grilled shrimp and sprinkle w/ mozzarella.  Arrange on grill until cheese is melted.

I did all of mine on top of and inside of the oven! I thought they were insanely delish!  I’d love to make them again, and use the grill next time.

Oh – and the corn is a side dish, it doesn’t go on the pizzas :)

Have a great week!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday – Hungry Girl Style

Welcome to Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Org Junkie.  This week I’m trying out several new recipes, both by Hungry Girl and Rachael Ray


*Thomas’s bagel thins w/
egg substitute, turkey sausage & Laughing Cow cheese

*Choco-Monkey Oatmeal by Hungry Girl


*Spinach tomato feta egg wrap by HG




Turkey Reuben Quesadilla by HG (from the book 200 under 200)


Rachael Ray’s Boca Burger Reuben from June issue of her magazine

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Cheesy Beefy Quesadillas by HG




Sunday:  Grilled buffalo chicken legs, grilled asparagus, oven fries, and Rachael Ray’s cauliflower with lime cream sauce* (From June mag)

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MondayHG taco salad in shell


TuesdayBroiled tilapia parmesan, wild rice, roasted cauliflower, carrots, and red potatoes


Wednesday: Mom’s house!


ThursdayShrimp & Pasta Primavera using McCormick Recipe Inspirations (free w/ coupon)


Friday:  Rachael Ray mag’s Shrimp and Basil French bread pizzas

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Saturday:  Mom’s house again! 


I hope you all have a great week and enjoy dinner each night with your families and friends!



Saturdays with Rachael Ray: Tilapia with Bulgur Pilaf

I am posting this recipe for Taste and Tell’s Saturdays with Rachael Ray meme!

I am basing this recipe on Rachael Ray’s Tilapia in coucous, except:

1.  I am cooking them separately

2.  I am using bulgur in place of coucous

Other than that, it has all the same flavors!

Here is the original recipe:

Click here to find out more!

Tilapia Baked in Couscous

  • One 10-ounce box couscous
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Four 8-ounce tilapia fillets
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Fare exchange
Substitute any thin, delicate white fish, such as red snapper or sole, for the tilapia.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, almonds, sun-dried tomatoes and cumin and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the 1/4 cup olive oil and the lemon juice.

  2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the tilapia fillets in a single layer in the dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cover the fish with the couscous mixture and arrange the lemon slices on top. Pour 2½ cups water around the fish, cover with foil and bake until tender, about 25 minutes. Top with the parsley.

And here are my pics:

Tilapia ready to go in the oven

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My dinner plate:

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It was really good!  The fish was tender and flaky and full of flavor.  I’ll definitely be making this again!



Friday, May 14, 2010

Why Starting Over?

I’ve been separated from my husband for 2 months now.  Divorce is in the proceedings.   While my life is infinitely better and I am so much happier – I still feel that sense of guilt that I should have tried harder.  (I should mention that my 3 children are not from my 2nd marriage – we had no children together)

I gave him ultimatums for 2 years.  We went to counseling.  We went to church.  But in the end, he chose to continue the behavior that tore our marriage apart rather than give it up.  My children were not happy, I was living a lie, I was a complete hypocrite.  I stopped going to church because what was going on in my house was something I couldn’t share with nearly anyone.

So why am I telling you all this?  I commented on another blog that I thought it was important to do some posts with a more “authentic voice”.  Most of my posts are written for entertainment purposes – recipes, book reviews, memes… so once in a while I”m going to add in a post that really comes from my heart.

In really good news – I’ve lost 31 pounds!  Don’t go congratulating me yet – I have a LOT more to go.  But I am so proud of getting over that 30 pound mark!  I’ve been sitting at the 27-lb lost mark for a month!   I’ve been following Spark People and I can’t say enough how wonderful it is.  If you have ANY amount to lose – 5 lbs or 300 lbs – check them out.  There are groups and message boards for every age group, hobby, weight and exercise need. 

So my new living arrangements are much more conducive to my weight loss.  I get out and walk several times a week.  My daughters are both walking a lot more too.  I’m home a lot more so I get to plan the meals and eat at home most nights. 

I’ve started to feel a little bit more human.  I got a hair cut and color, shaved my legs, painted my toenails and even wear makeup once in a while.  I can see a future.  I’m enjoying my kids more.  I’m more involved with their lives.

This morning my youngest asked me why I was still in bed.  I told her it was my day off work and I felt like sleeping in.  She told me I never stay in bed anymore – but at the old house I slept all the time.  She said she had to get her own food a lot more too.  (She is 10, not like she’s 3 – and she was nuking pizza – not using the oven! )

That statement is what got me to type up this post.  I still  hold guilt in my heart – but I KNOW I made the right decision.  My kids are all happy and even though I THOUGHT I was happy before – I realize that I wasn’t.  But I am now. 


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cooking Thursday – Southwest Casserole



Cooking Thursday is hosted by Sandra at Diary of a SAHM!  Stop by and visit for some yummy recipes!


I think a lot of people have different versions of this in their recipe books, but I thought I would share mine!



2 bags of Knorr Spanish Rice

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into bite-sized pieces

1-2 cups cheddar cheese


1 can black olives

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 can diced tomato w/ garlic and onion

1 can Mexicorn


1/2 can black beans

1 taco seasoning packet

Pam or EVOO

In a nonstick skillet, cook chicken w/ Pam or EVOO and add taco seasoning w/ 1/4 cup water.  Cover and keep on low heat.  You may shred chicken if you like it this way.

Cook rice according to directions.

Pre-heat oven to 350.

I use my Rachael Ray lasagna pan for this – but any large oven-safe pain will do.


Combine chicken, cooked rice, Mexicorn, diced olives, rinsed black beans,  and tomatoes w/ garlic and onions into large pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes.

Add 1 cup crushed tortilla chips (we used Fritos) and top with 1-2 cups cheddar (we like a lot of cheese) and place back in oven until cheese is melted.

Note – this is NOT healthy!  lol  But it’s super good and my whole family loves it. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gifts and Good Eats

I hope everyone had a really wonderful Mother’s Day!  I wanted to share a picture of one of the things I received because I love it and wanted to tell you so!

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It’s from Target, and it’s called Caldrea.   The top pic has dish soap, hand soap, and lotion.  The bottom pic is surface cleaner.  It contains olive oil, coriander and cedar, which doesn’t SOUND like it would smell all that great, but trust me, it does!  It’s a clean, fresh, uplifting scent that is perfect to use in the kitchen.  And the surface cleaner?  I used it on my stainless steel appliances?  And it worked great!!!  Best stuff I’ve come across so far to clean them!  I highly recommend this stuff!  The 3-piece set I think is 19.99 and the cleaner was 7.99  - so it’s not exactly cheap, but not over-the-top either. 

I also wanted to share some pics of what I’ve been eating this week – so when I weigh in on Friday you’ll know why I gained/lost!  LOL

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Breakfast  yesterday was 2 breakfast tacos using turkey sausage, egg beaters, 2 corn tortillas, peppers, onion, and sausage.  Came out to 300 calories total.  Plus Yoplait light and creamy yogurt in French vanilla and 1/4 cup blackberries.

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This is what I brought to work with me, but I didn’t eat my apple :(  Bad girl!


I went out to dinner (a late Mother’s Day gift) to Red Lobster and I was really good! 


(This isn’t my pic – and not exactly what I had, but it shows the tilapia!)

I had:

2 unsweetened iced teas w/ lemon and splenda

shrimp cocktail – 150 calories

side salad w/ 1 tsp reduced calorie balsamic – 90 cals

Wood grilled tilapia – 210

Asparagus – 40 (1/2 serving)

1/4 cup rice (1/2 serving) – 70

All in all it was around 570 calories – even with an appetizer!  Woot!


Have a great day!