Friday, August 31, 2012

Overwhelmed

Ever feel so overwhelmed that you really want to do nothing?  There seems to be so many things to do so you don't do any of them?  

That's how I feel right now.  2 of my best friends are coming into town on Sunday and I have a bunch of things to do to get ready but instead I'm sitting on the couch thinking up blog subjects.  I managed to finish the laundry though.  

I'll show you what else has been overwhelming me.  
Please excuse my messy garage
What is that??

It's a pull-up bar that hooks onto the door that Mr. Amazing bought years ago and I dug out from the garage last week.  Every time I pass it I feel obligated do a few pull-ups.  Over the course of a day I probably do upwards of 15.  Let's just say it's a good thing I have a chiropractor --my savior-- in a week.    
That bar is awesome though.  It lets me do pull-ups, chin ups, crunches, a whole variety of exercises.  I can work most muscle groups using the bar.  You can also take it off and use it for tricep dips.  You can hook it to the bottom of the door and use it to hold your feet for crunches.  Sometimes I pull myself up and see how long I can hang.  Mr. Amazing spent 30 minutes the other day giving me tips on my technique and form.

Is there a piece of exercise equipment that calls your name every time you pass? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gotta Love Combos

My prompt for the day was if I like my coffee sweetened or black....

I guess I should have saved my exciting coffee earning news for today.  It would have gone perfectly with my prompt.  But honestly I detest black coffee.  Black coffee only has 1 place in my world...in desserts.  Mmmm, mocha desserts.  

Back on track KT!
Okay, anyway, I like my coffee so loaded up with sugar and/or flavorings that it's not funny.  As my mom used to tell me, "you like a little coffee with your sugar and milk."  You know what I made for the girls that would go perfectly with coffee?  Flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (Thank you Martha Stewart!)


1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350.  Mix ingredients together in a bowl.  
2. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.  
3. Bake until golden brown 12-15 minutes.


Peanut butter and chocolate, what's a better combo???

I'll tell you what an awesome non-sweet combo is.  Mushrooms and onions.  And what do you do with mushrooms and onions?  MAKE VEGAN/VEGETARIAN CHEESESTEAKS!!!

2 lbs mushrooms
2 large onions
Cheese and toppings of your choice
Hoagie Rolls

Directions

  1. Slice mushrooms and onions thin
  2. Saute onions and mushrooms until soft 
  3. Top with cheese
  4. Place on roll with your favorite cheesesteak toppings
  5. ENJOY!
This can be vegan depending on the cheese, rolls and toppings you add.  I think Mr. Amazing was surprised at how good these were.  They are definately going on our monthly  menu rotations.

I'm trying to think of other combinations that I enjoy.  What's your favorite combination?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

100th Post!

Source

HAPPY 100th POST!!!  

I'm amazed that I made it to 100.  I am very proud of myself too.  

I'm also proud to say that I've earned my coffee!  No, I didn't get down to my goal weight but, I have gotten down to my goal measurement.  I give all the credit to my morning workout plan.

Here it is:
It's an HIIT workout.  HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  So you spend 50 seconds doing each exercise and take a 10 second break.  (For beginners you can do either 45 on and 15 off or 30 on and 15 off....you get the idea)  Repeat the circuit 2 times.  


  • High Knees
  • Plank Jacks/Jumping Jacks
  • Knee Hugs
  • Wall sit
  • Russian Twist (Right Side)
  • Russian Twist (Left Side)
  • Washing Machine (how to: stand with feet together twist your hips side to side)
  • Boat Pose
  • Plie Squat
  • Plank
  • Bicycle
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Push up
  • Leg Lift (Right Side)
  • Leg Lift (Left Side)
Normally I reverse the order for the second round.  If you get tired of the exercises or find that they are too difficult then switch them up.  Occasionally I'll do burpees instead of plank jacks or I'll modify my plank if my shoulders are hurting.

Prompt:  Do you think solitude is sweet?
Answer:  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac the horrible?

It's weird how it seems like the good comes with the bad.  -Good- Today was the first day of my classes.  -Bad- Today was also the day that Isaac decided to come visit us.


I always make a point of taking photos of the waves when big storms come.  I know, I'm lame but I love to see the power behind the storm.

Besides heavy rain and wind we didn't get anything major.  But, it didn't make for the happiest start to my classes.  But it also means that I'm 1 semester closer to getting my degree.  And THAT means that I'm closer to my dream career.  

--Okay, I can't lie, my dream DREAM careers are a professional food photographer and a muppet.....yes, I want to be on Sesame Street--

What's your dream career??

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birthday Parties and "Real" Dinners

Have you ever tried being on a diet at a kids birthday party?  

Hard isn't it??? Nearly impossible right?




Sometimes I manage to amaze myself.  My neighbor's son's birthday party was yesterday.  (It was super cute!  It was a super-hero party.  Goto the bottom of the page for a really awesome idea)  She served lunch.  There were sandwiches, cheese puffs, pretzels, goldfish and candy.  I only ate 2 oranges out of everything yummy that they had to offer.  Every time I got the urge to munch I grabbed an orange.  I'm not going to lie though I stole a bite of Baye's cupcake (cake only) and licked some stray frosting off my fingers.  Other than that I didn't even have anything else.  Not even 1 tiny M&M (which was staring at me half the party saying "eat me, eat me!")  

I'm learning more about self-control all the time.  Maybe I can get to the point where I can go without sugar altogether!  (Hey a girl can dream can't she?)  I've been pretty good recently about desserts.  A piece of stone fruit and a 1/4 cup of marshmallow fluff.  

But back to the party, by the time we got home I was STARVING.  So for dinner we had cereal.  I didn't feel like making a "real meal".  This is the conversation that took place between Mo and I when she found out I was making cereal for dinner:
Mo -- Are we having a real dinner tomorrow?
Me -- What's wrong with tonite's dinner?
Mo -- It's just not the kind of dinner that we normally have.  Are you actually cooking tomorrow?
Me -- Yes I'm actually cooking a "real dinner" tomorrow.  

Who knew that my kids were so accustomed to having real homemade dinners.

How do your kids react to non-homemade dinners like cereal?  Do you ever eat a dinner like that?


Final thought:  How cute is this idea?
Please pardon the 2 mismatch floaties.  One ran away before the party

Capes!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mind Body and Sloppy Joes

Look at what Baye found on the way to the bus stop this afternoon!!



A SKULL!!

We have never found anything that cool on our 4,284,951 walks.  

When Kay and Mo were little they had an obsession with nature walks.  When the weather was nice we would go on a nature walk --or an "adventure hike" -- 3-5 times a week.  Occasionally they would convince me to take them on more than 1 a day.  They would collect so many sticks, leaves, pieces of random nature-y things that I ended up buying a special backpack for our walks that was constantly stocked with ziploc bags and all the other necessities.  

I think that taking kids on walks is a total body experience for a child.  It gives them exercise, they learn about the world and in my opinion, and in my opinion connecting with nature is good for the soul.  When you go on a walk you can teach your kids about colors, numbers, shapes, and animals all while moving their bodies.

I might be a bit biased though.  I personally am a very outdoorsy person.  I'm the type of parent who pushes her kids to play outside during the comfortable months (sept-april) and spends half the day at the pool and/or beach in the summer.  

Speaking about summer, tonite's dinner was a veggie sloppy joe made with bits of various summer vegetables.

There were carrots, onions, leeks, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and blackbeans.  The sauce had 30 tablespoons of tomato paste, 10 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 7 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of honey, 3 tablespoons minced garlic, 4 tablespoons worchestershire sauce, and 1/2 a cup of ketchup.  

Sautee the vegetables then add the beans and sauce ingredients.  Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for a minute or 2.  VOILA!  Easy-Peasy!!

  
Prompt:  What would you describe as the sweetest time in your life so far?

Answer:  I think that each point in my life has been sweet in it's own right.  But I think right now is the sweetest.  I have a house by the beach, 3 amazing kids and a husband who loves me.  I am (semi)happy with my weight and life is good.  My life is starting to come together and I'm happy.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Books and Sweet Change

I finally got my books for my classes today!  After skimming through my nutrition class book I've come to the conclusion I made the right decision to pursue this career path.  3 more days until classes begin!

So many books!


Prompt:  Aristotle said, "Change in all things is sweet." Agree or disagree?

Answer:  I don't know wether I agree or disagree.  The change of me going back to school is sweet but having to leave my kids 4 days a week isn't.  Watching your children change as they grow is sweet but knowing that they are going to leave you one day isn't.  Finding your passion and perfect career choice is sweet but having to get a job isn't (atleast for me.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Food Trust



Today was Mr. Amazing's last day off before I start classes on Monday.  I convinced him to grill dinner.  

Dinners have honestly been my biggest concern with going back to school.  I am a big scheduler.  I love schedules.  And lists...but that's a different post all together.  Normally I make dinner as soon as the girls get home from school so the rest of the evening can be spent doing homework and showers and playing.  I won't get home in the evenings until around 5:30.  How was I going to cook dinner at a normal hour if I didn't get home until that late?  
Mr. Amazing offered to cook dinners on days that I have school since he will be home with the girls.  This concerned me because I have a menu that I stick to.  I know what will be cooked for dinner every night and I shop accordingly.  I was worried that my weekend groceries would be used for a different dinner and then my weekend meals would be messed up by not having the proper ingredients.  Plus, I have a certain diet that I -kind of- keep the family on.  Could I trust him to keep the kids on the same eating habits?  
We came to an agreement though.   If I give him the recipes then he will cook the meals. The only stipulation is that I have to allow him to put his "spin" on the dish.  To me this is completely fair.  Plus it will save me time and allow dinner to be on the table at a normal hour.  Plus I told him I'd do as much of the chopping and prep work before I leave for classes.  

But back to dinner tonite.  We had a lovely piece of grilled salmon, broccoli, clams and baked potatoes.  Mr. Amazing soaked the clams in butter and olive oil since I wasn't planning on eating them.  He ended up kicking himself for cooking them this way.  He hasn't learned yet that since I don't cook with any added oil or butter that his body has gotten used to it.    He wound up with a very upset stomach.  He also informed me that by making him healthy I have "ruined food" for him.  (He was joking though)  

I think the only thing better than the fish he made tonite is the thought of the salmon omelet I'm going to make myself tomorrow for dinner.  Yummy, yummy in my tummy!  And tomorrow I'll give you the lowdown on my new workout routine.

What dish do you enjoy reusing the leftovers for?  Do you have trust issues when it comes to food being made for your special diet?

   
Prompt:  Do you think love is sweet? Why or why not?

Answer:  Love is very sweet.  I think if you have no love your world isn't as happy.  No matter where that love comes from, a pet, a significant other, a parent, a child.  It makes you feel wanted, needed, appreciated.  It just gives you the warm fuzzies inside.  And the warm fuzzies are a good thing.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Have I ever told you how I feel about my house?  

No?

Well, today I will thanks to my NaBloPoMo prompt for today.

This is my house:






















I love my house.  It's awesome and perfect for our family right now.

We moved into this house in June 2010.  Until this house we moved around every year.  We are finally content here.   We live .5 miles from the beach, the pool is located right next to the beach.  It's perfection in my opinion.  We have a fenced yard where the kids can play (even though they prefer to play in the driveway), and the dogs can run ( they have still found spots to escape from though).  My girls have found best friends in the community, and our neighbors have become our friends.        

My house isn't just a house or a home.  It is sooooo much more to me. It is a gym, an office, a restaurant, a daycare, a tutoring center, a playground, a movie theater and a million other things.  

How can it be so many different things?

A gym -- My morning workouts are done in my living room in the fall and on the beach in the summer.  I've lost .25 inches thanks to my gym.

An office -- I run all my business stuff from my laptop in my living room.  

A restaurant -- As you know going out isn't easy for me.  So, whenever I want a special meal I whip it up in my kitchen.  

A daycare -- There is normally atleast one kid in my house that doesn't belong to me.  

A tutoring center -- Anyone with kids knows that helping kids with homework is a parental duty

A playground -- Yet again, when you have a toddler the whole house becomes a playground

A movie theater -- Going to the movies is expensive!  Waiting for them to come out on Netflix is a MUCH cheaper option when you have a family of 5.

I'm not saying my  house is the picture of perfection.  There are things I'd change about it, and it's often messy but, I love it.  I wouldn't give it up for the world.  

Finally I leave you with this quote:

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned."  --Maya Angelou

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fruit Spread




Doesn't that look yummy?  It was!  This was the fruit spread from our trip to The Fresh Market.  Clockwise from the grapes: Champagne grapes, applepears, Tuscan melon, and papaya.  This was dessert.  It was nice, summery, healthy and refreshing.  And I spent under $20 for it all.  (Which is surprising only because I bought it at Fresh Market)


Prompt:  What is the best thing you've ever had for dessert?

Answer:  This is actually the best and SIMPLEST dessert I've had.  I got it at a restaurant in Washington state.  Mr. Amazing and I were on our way to Mt Rainer and came across a little restaurant on an abandoned railroad track.  We call it the "Caboose Restaurant."  We actually have no clue what the real name of it is.  Is that sad?    But anyway, we ended our meal with the best dessert I've ever eaten.  It was a blueberry shortcake.  The biscuits were light, fluffy and homemade, the berries were handpicked and made into a lovely sauce and then it was loaded with whipped cream.  Heaven in a HUUUUUGE glass.  We took another trip up there months later and Kay got the blueberry waffles.  Those were just as amazing as the shortcakes.  But that's another post for another day...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fresh Market vs Whole Foods

Source: Wikipedia
VS
Source: Times Union

I'm not going to lie.  I love specialty grocery stores.  I can wander around them for hours looking at all the things that aren't sold in normal grocery stores.  I could spend a ton of money on stuff I have never seen before and feel like trying. 

Now that I'm far away from most specialty stores I only go once in a blue moon when I'm in the area.  Today the family went and checked out The Fresh Market.  They're holding a contest that I thought the girls would enjoy entering so we went to get inspiration.  Have you ever been to a Fresh Market?

If you haven't, imagine Whole Foods but smaller.  It also has a lot less vegan options.  It has a great produce and bulk department like Whole Foods.  It's seafood department is better than Publix but not as awesome as Whole Foods.  The prepared foods and bakery section are almost as good as Whole Foods.  I think the best part about it is that Fresh Market is cheaper. I don't feel like I'm blowing my grocery budget on a few things.  

Each of the girls got to pick out a couple things from the store.  Applepears and artichokes for Mo, a Tuscan melon and guava for Kay, and champagne grapes for Baye.  They also got some petit fours from the bakery.
Yummm!
Chocolate cake and Vanilla


I think they said this was strawberry

Citrus according to the kids


Tomorrow I'm going to make a fruit spread with all the new fruits they got today.      

Friday, August 17, 2012

Get Up and Go No Mo'

I realized today that I've lost something very important.  

I've lost my motivation.  There isn't one ounce of motivation left in me.  I don't have the drive anymore.  I don't want to even look at my workout clothes.  

But, I also found something. 

I found that my pants don't fit.  I also found that I'm miserable.  Plain and simple.  My motivation ran away with my happiness.  

I want to find my motivation again.  I want to be able to reward myself for my efforts.  What you don't reward yourself?  I always have the same reward in place for hitting my goals.  

This is what I reward myself with:


Yep, that's right, Starbucks.  A nice big Mocha Frappuccino.  I don't go COMPLETELY crazy.  I get it with Nonfat milk and no whipped cream.  So, it's still not as unhealthy as it could be.  I'm not a complete snob.  I will treat myself to Starbucks OR Dunkin Donuts.  

All I wanted was to earn my coffee before my first day of class.  Is that too much to ask?  
What about you?  How do you reward yourself?

I found something else though.  I found A really great whole-family meal.  

I made Shrimp Packets.  Yes, you heard me right.  Shrimp. Packets.  It's simple, quick and customizable.  I divided the shrimp among the 4 of us (Baye doesn't like shrimp yet), gave everybody some tinfoil and let them put whatever they wanted on their shrimp.  Here's how simple it is.

All you need is 1-3 pounds of shrimp and whatever add-ins, seasonings and spices your family likes.  This is what I put on the table:

Old Bay
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Minced Garlic
Slice Garlic
Butter
Pesto
Diced onion
Gochajang (Korean red pepper paste)
Chile Garlic Sauce
Pepper 
Salt 
Vegetable broth (I was kicking myself for not getting around to making seafood stock)


Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place shrimp and seasonings in a piece of tinfoil.  Fold tinfoil over shrimp and seal.  Bake for 15-25 minutes until the shrimp is done. 

Examples--
Kay used:  Olive oil, pesto, garlic, broth
Mo used:   Pesto, garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay
Mr. Amazing used:  Olive oil, Old Bay, butter, lemon juice
I used:  Lemon juice, broth, onions, sliced garlic, minced garlic, and some of the liquid from the bottle of garlic 

Serve with some rice and vegetables or even over some pasta and BINGO!  A dinner the whole family will love!! Prompt:  Do you have dessert every night?
Answer:  Depends on what you consider "dessert."  If you ask me then yes I do.  But I consider dessert a nectarine with a few tablespoons of marshmallow fluff or maple syrup for sweetness.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Human Experimentation

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to start experimenting on humans.  For the month of October I'm going to run a test on a human.  That human is just myself though.  It's going to be long and possibly torturous but, I'm going to do it.  

Here's how I decided to become my own human guinea pig.  I love food blogs.  I probably check out over 10 different food blogs a day.  I've noticed something about people's diets.    90% of the food bloggers are writing about some type of special diet, no matter whether it's for weight loss or just for overall health, I've seen all the same claims.  

"You lose weight faster on [insert diet name here]"
"[insert diet name here] will make your body work better"

Each of these people thinks that the diet they're on is the best for you, and the allowed foods in each diet varies greatly.

Some people don't eat meat {vegetarians}
Some people don't eat any meat or animal byproducts {vegan and E2ers}
Some people eat like our ancestors {Cavemen}

The list goes on and on...

So, which IS the best?  Which one makes you drop the pounds quickest?  Which will gives your step some extra pep?  These were some of the questions I was asking myself when I came up with my idea.  

I've decided to do a diet experiment.  I've decided on a different diet for each week of October.  I will stick that diet strictly for 7 days.  At the end of the 7 days I'll do some comparisons and check some measurements.  

On Day 1 {Monday} I'll give you:
  • The diet's history
  • Do's and don'ts (accepted foods, off-limit foods, and (if applicable) the accepted types of workouts)
  • Links to various resources for more information
  • My starting weight
  • My starting measurements
  • My menu for the week 
Since I'm giving you my menu (and recipes if you'd like)  y'all can follow along!  I would love it if people experimented with me.  Shoot me an email if you're interested in being a guinea pig for October!

On Day 7 {Sunday} I'll let you know:
  • My review of the diet
  • Difficulty of staying on it
  • Expensiveness 
  • Ending weight
  • Ending measurements
  • Whether or not I could make it a life long change

I guess if you're actually considering coming along with me (and even if you're not) you want to know what diets I'm doing.  

October 1-7:  Eat Clean Diet
October 8-14: Eat Right 4 Your Type
October 15-21: Engine 2 Diet
October 22-28: Caveman/Paleo
October 29-31: Raw Food Diet 

And if I fail, then I fail.  If I find a diet only works for me for a few days for whatever reason (too expensive, too difficult, my body doesn't like me for it), then I quit and start over the next Monday with a new diet.  No big deal.  

So does it sound fun to you?  If it does PLEASE come along for the ride!  Just let me know.

Prompt:  What type of actions make a person "sweet"?
Answer:  Personally it's the little things, or the unexpected things that make a person sweet.  It's when my girls draw me a picture.  When Baye goes up to Mo and randomly says "You're my bestest buddy."  Mr. Amazing buying me a magazine for every gift-giving holiday because he always gives me a hard time for buying them. (He says "why buy magazines?  You can find all the same stuff online!")

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Crazy Week

I'm so behind!  This week is seriously going to kill me.  I missed 2 blog posts, today and tomorrow are jam packed with things that need to be done before the girls go back to school on Thursday and I have to go get books and decals for my classes.  

Let's begin by updating you on my NEW current exercise routine.  I've started using my Jillian Michaels' medicine ball.  This thing is awesome.  Take a look at it here.  You can turn it into a kettlebell, an ab roller, a weighted bar, or a weighted ball on a rope.  I have only been using it as a medicine ball because I'm too lazy to switch it.  I have been working my arms, core, and legs with it.  Click Here for most of my workout.

I've also been adding these exercises:

Arms (repeat 3 times)
10 presses (hold the ball at chest level and raise it over your head and back down.  You              can do this laying down or standing up)

10 upright rows (bend over and hold the ball arms extended towards the floor.  Lift the ball to your chest and lower it back to the ground)

Core (repeat 3 times)
50 situps (hold the ball on your chest or stomach as you do your normal situps)

That workout has been good for battling the calories of the next 2 recipes I'm going to give you.  It has also helped me tone a bit.  Hopefully I will be adding a heavier ball to my exercise equipment collection soon.

Remember the screwed up veggie burgers from Thursday?  I figured out a use for them.  SOUP!!  Here's the recipe:

VEGETABLE RICE SOUP
1 lb of small white beans
8-12 cups of veggie stock
2 1/2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 lb of carrots
8 oz mushrooms, diced
3 green onions cut small
2 T garlic, minced


  1. Soak the beans in stock at least 8 hour or overnight.
  2. Put the beans and stock in a large pot and add enough water to make 8-12 cups (the beans will have absorbed some of the soaking liquid).  Bring the beans and stock to a boil, reduced heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until they are soft.
  3. While the beans are simmering sautee your vegetables and garlic.
  4. Add the rice and veggies to the beans, bring back to a boil and heat through.

It was amazing.  This recipe is very customizable.  You could switch the type of beans, you can switch which veggies or seasoning you use.  Soup and pizza are kind of the same in that way aren't they?  You can change them easily to suit the mood you're in.  

What's the difference between pizza and flatbread though?  
Is it the dough?
Is it the toppings?

I have no clue but I know flatbread is darn good.  I make the distinction between the two when I make them because flatbread has no sauce and I don't use mozzarella.  

I made an awesome flatbread on Sunday.  It had Spinach, feta, caramelized onions, sliced garlic and sauteed mushrooms.

Want to see it?  Of course you do!





Yummy right?  This recipe is really simple.

FLATBREAD

Dough:
2 1/2 cups flour (you can use whole wheat, AP or a mixture of both)
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (equal to 1 package)
1 cup hot water
1 T sugar or honey 

Instructions:
  1. Mix together the water, and sugar/honey in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let sit for 10 minutes while the yeast proof. 
  2. Add in the flour and stir.  When the dough isn't sticky anymore put it on a floured cutting board and knead it for 5 - 10 minutes.  If it's still too wet after adding the flour add more 1/4 cup at a time (You can also do this in your food processor or mixer with a dough hook attachment)
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl and let it rise for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. After it is done rising divide dough into 8 portions.  (Cut to dough into 4 pieces then cut each peice in half)
  5. Roll each piece into a circle.
  6. Heat a large skillet sprayed with pan spray over medium or medium high heat.
  7. Place 1 circle in the skillet and cook until golden and crisp.  Flip and cook the other side the same.  This will take about 3-5 minutes.
  8. Cook the remainder of the dough in the same way.

Topping and cooking flatbread

INGREDIENTS
Toppings and cheese of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. While the oven is heating up place toppings on flatbreads
  3. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese has melted 

Prompt:  Tell us about a sweet moment you had with a loved one.
Answer:  Every time Baye comes up to me and wraps her little arms around me and says "I love you" and gives me a kiss is the sweetest moment I can imagine.  =)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm a failure!

This is where you say "No, you're not a failure!  Why would you think such a thing??"  
Then I say "My veggie burgers didn't work tonite!"  
And then you laugh at me for being such a drama queen.  

Have you ever have a dish fail on you?  Don't lie, I bet even the best chefs in the world have had a dish fail miserably on them.  But I bet they get as annoyed about it as I am.

I planned on making chili burgers tonite for dinner per Mr. Amazing's request.  Unfortunately, I forgot about the chili because of the troubles I had with my veggie burgers.  So, we just had cheeseburgers.

I tried a homemade veggie burger recipe for Kay and myself.  I used the recipe from Engine2Diet.com.  I used white beans, brown rice, celery, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and an egg (I know, TOTALLY not supposed to use it according to E2 but, I couldn't figure out what else to use)

It ended up being too wet so I upped the amount of rice like the recipe suggested.  It was still a bit wet but I made it into patties anyway.  The patties fell apart on me when I tried to flip them.  Luckily I got 2 usable patties for dinner.  Now I'm brainstorming about what to do with the leftovers.  (I put the failed patties in a 9 inch round pan and baked it so it was edible.)


Prompt:  Are there any candies you just can't stomach?

Answer:  I haven't tried a truely horrible candy yet but, my least favorite is anything with caramel.  I don't know why but I really don't like it and I try to stay as far away from it as possible.  Oh!  And anything that is watermelon flavored.  


What would you do with the failed patties?  Also, what is your least favorite candy?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lots of Recipes

Today is W.I.A.W!  And surprise, surprise I actually remembered to photograph everything I ate!!  

Breakfast

A banana with Light Vanilla Soymilk and PB2


Morning Snack

As you know I don't normally eat snacks but I wanted to make some healthy granola to add to my morning banana milk.  This is a super simple recipe.  It's lowfat (depending on what you put into it) and it tastes awesome!

Banana Granola
2 1/2 c oats
1 c mashed banana (I used 2 medium)
1/3 c sugar-free maple syrup (or any liquid sweetner you like)
1/4 c honey 
2 T cinnamon
(I added 1 1/2 T PB2 but I can't taste it at all so I won't be using it next time)
up to 2 cups of your favorite mix-ins (nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc)


  1. Stir together banana, syrup, honey and cinnamon
  2. Add in oats and mix-ins
  3. Spread evenly on a cookie sheet
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes
  5. Cool and then either crumble or slice into bars
Store in an airtight container or in the fridge.

I made 15 single serving portions.  This was exactly 1 handful (I didn't care about exact measurements.)  The calories came out to 90 and the fat was 1g.  
I can't wait until tomorrow to try it with milk!

Lunch


My favorite snack.  Popcorn with spray butter and sprinkled with ranch dressing powder.

Dinner

Korean Fist Rice.  I found this recipe from Vegan 8 Korean.  I didn't pay 100% attention to measurements.  So, it didn't turn into balls like it was supposed to.  But, it was delicious.  

Dessert
Unfortunately I didn't photograph my dessert.  I made Affagado.  It's a cup of coffee with a scoop of ice cream in it.  I like to make my instant coffee decadent by using soymilk instead of water.  It also saves me from adding the milk to it.  

NaBloPoMo Prompt (The theme this month is Sweet):  Talk about a memory tied to a certain candy, especially if it involves another person or a place.

Answer:  As I told you yesterday chocolate covered cherries are my absolute favorite candy of all time.  I received a box of those for Christmas for over 15 years.  Until Christmas 2011.  Since I was dealing with my gallbladder issues I couldn't eat chocolate.  I don't know why but it just depressed me to not get them even though I knew there was a good reason.  

Is there a candy that holds a special spot in your heart?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My favorite Candy

Prompt:   What candy did you eat once that you wish you could get again?


Answer:  Chocolate covered cherries!  I used to eat them once a year.  I love them.  They are the total package, crunchy chocolate, gooey center and squishy fruit.  I actually love them more than life itself.  I used to be able to finish a whole big box in 2 days.  In my house they were a special occasion candy.  I'll tell you more about that story tomorrow.  

I've been searching for a low-fat chocolate covered cherry recipe.  I've found some but they all contain butter or shortening.  I don't want to load it with extra fat.

Do you have a chocolate covered cherry recipe?        

Monday, August 6, 2012

Simple Things: A to Z

I saw this done on a few other bloggers' sites so I decided to give it a whirl.  For each letter of the alphabet I'm going to name a simple thing in life that makes me happy.

A:  Arts & Crafts -- I love to do arts and crafts.  I don't do them often enough.  I think I'm going to find a bunch of arts and crafts to do for each holiday starting with Halloween.  

B:  Beach -- I love the beach!  It makes me calm.  It makes me tan.  It gives me peace.  I love it.  I could spend all day at the beach.  Give me an adult to talk to, a lot of water and a nice sunny day and I'm all set.


C:  Cooking -- I love to cook.  I'm always thinking about the next month's menu and finding new, interesting things to make.

D:  Daises -- My favorite flower.  It's so simple, yet beautiful.  My bouquet and all the flowers at my wedding were daisies.  I would fill my house and yard with daisies if I could.

E:  Exercise -- If I don't get my daily exercise I feel incomplete.  I don't care where I am or who's around I always sneak it in.

F:  Family -- These people hold my heart.  This includes Kay, Mo, Baye, Mr. Amazing, my mom, my dad, my sister and my extended family.  

G:  Grocery Stores -- Would you believe that my favorite store to shop in is the grocery store?  Well, believe it because it's true.  I adore grocery shopping.  When I go somewhere that has a specialty store like Whole Foods or a Publix Greenwise Market I always stop in.  
  
H:  Hippos -- They're my favorite animal.  I think I was a hippo in my previous life

I:  Independence Day -- My anniversary and fireworks.  'Nuff said!

J:  Jam -- Jam, Jelly, Preserves (I know that doesn't start with J) I can eat it by the spoonful.  Doesn't matter what flavor, I ADORE IT!

K: Kindle -- My parents gave me a Kindle for my birthday.  I love it.  Currently I'm reading Engine 2 Diet and Memoirs of a Geisha (my all-time favorite book.)

L: Learning -- I feel like such a nerd by using that as my L but I really love to learn new things.

M:  Marilyn Monroe -- She's such an icon.  I have seen all of her movies at least 10 times.  

N:  Nikki -- My best friend.  Over the past 7 years this girl has gotten into trouble with me, given me a shoulder to cry on more times than I can count and has listened to me bitch about my weight.  She and I text back and forth all day every day.  We now live 1000 miles away from each other but we're still so close.  I miss her every day tho.  She's visiting in September when she moves to Texas.  I'm so excited.  I <3 her="her">

O:  Outdoors -- Nature makes me happy.  Being outside makes me happy.  I don't care where I am, the beach, the woods, a park, as long as I'm surrounded by fresh air and nature then I'm in a happy place.

P:  Popcorn -- This is the only snack I ever need.  Yummy!  (Here's a tip:  Use the spray butter instead of melted butter.  It doesn't get soggy when you add it and it's almost calorie free)
Q:  Quiet Mornings -- 5 a.m. The world is quiet, it's just me and no one else.  It's great.

R:  Rainbows -- This one is self explanatory.

S:  Stand Up Paddleboarding & Summer -- Sorry, I couldn't decide which simple thing made me happier. 


T:  Theater -- I love the theater.  I wish I could go more often.  


U:  Unicorns -- I'm a girl MOST girls like unicorns


V:  Vacation -- A few days away from home with nothing to worry about and 24 hours of enjoying your family without any distractions.  What could be better?


W:  Water -- I couldn't live somewhere that wasn't near water.  I also drink about a gallon of the stuff a day.  I love water!


X:  Xmas -- It's a stretch but it's true.  I love Christmas and Christmas time.  


Y:  Yelling -- It's such a stress reliever.  And with 3 kids and 2 dogs, yelling is often required.

Z: Zoos -- I wish I lived closer to the Jacksonville Zoo.  I love to go and watch all the animals.  Plus, with all that walking it's great exercise for the family
  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stacked Deck

Don't you hate testing?  I know I do.  I love product testing though (hint, hint.)  

Yesterday I changed up my workout AGAIN.  I've been searching for the quickest, most effective at home workout that I can do before I wake the girls up for school.  So yesterday and today I started doing a card workout.  This is a great workout that's versitile and portable.
Source: Wikipedia
All you need is a deck of cards and some space.  Assign a different exercise to each suit.
Mine were:

Hearts -- Burpees
Diamonds -- Jumping Jacks
Spades -- Crunches
Clubs -- Mountain Climbers

Shuffle the cards and place them face down.  Flip them over one at a time.  The number on the card represents the reps.  So, a 4 of hearts would be 4 burpees.

The number cards are their own value and then there's a few different ways you can do the face cards.  You can either have all the face cards stand for 10 reps and the Ace stands for 11 or Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 13, and Ace = 14.  The first way of counting will give you 96 reps of every move where the second way will give you 105 reps for every move.

Don't rest between exercises except to flip over the next card.  It took me about 20 minutes to finish the whole deck.  At the end my body was hurting and I felt like I got an awesome burn.  

And because I had an awesome workout, I decided to treat myself to an awesome dinner.  I made Dutch Babies.  I was wishing I had made more though.  

Doesn't that look yummy?
Really simple recipe that I have a feeling I've already shared with you.  

1 cup of egg substitute (or 4 eggs)
1 cup of skim milk
1 cup of flour

Heat a 3-4 quart baking dish that's been sprayed with pan spray in a 425 degree oven.  Let it get hot while you combine all the ingredients in a blender.  Take the pan out and pour in the batter.  Bake for about 25-35 minutes until the dutch baby is crispy and brown.  Cut it and eat.  Simple!  


Do you have a favorite, tried and true at home workout?  What is it?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Colors

Okay, I know this isn't the usual type of post I do but, I just HAVE to talk about it.  I'm in love with my toenail polish.  



Never realized how unpretty my toes were until this photo
Isn't it pretty?  It's Watermelon by Pure Ice.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to buy it.  I'm a sucker for anything pink (and anything named after the yummiest fruit.)  I actually went to Wal-Mart searching for an ocean blue.  I've been in a nautical color mood lately since Mr. Amazing and I have been talking about colors for the house and we decided on a "sunrise over the beach" color palette. So, of course my nails had to match.  Unfortunately I didn't find the PERFECT blue.  I settled on almost perfect blue though.

Shocking Seas Blue By Maybelline

Baye HAD to show off her nails too
 I think that I've located the perfect blue.  Hopefully I'll be able to get to Sally's to buy it before I go paddleboarding again.  

What's your favorite nail polish?  Do you change your color scheme for each season?