February Goals

Posted on 7:26 PM In: ,
I think it is normal for people to always strive to better themselves. Whether it be with what you eat, how you move or the things you think, there is always a way to better round yourself out. I think it is why year after year people still make resolutions considering the failure rate. The same logic is behind why someone would set monthly goals.


I’ve never set monthly goals before, but I have some for February!

1. Get through week 3 of C25K

I’m pretty sure I have never actually completed week 3 of Couch to 5K. Completing week three would not only give me a sense of accomplishment, it is also something I can realistically hit.

2. Do a day of C25K outside (Weather permitting)

Especially considering the beautiful weather Georgia had this weekend, I would love to actually complete a run outside. It’s been years since I’ve bothered to run outside and since I know I can get my husband to go with me, that will make it more enjoyable.

3. Cook 1 new recipe a week

Sometimes my menus can become rather redundant. This way I will be a little adventurous each week with what we eat. Hopefully we will be lucky and have lots of delicious food.

4. Work out 14 days in February

I figure aiming to workout half the days in the month is manageable and something I should be able to accomplish without feeling overwhelmed.

5. Do something super special for Joseph once a week

I have a super great husband. Like, super, duper great. He does so much for me and he does so much to take care of me that I could brag about it all day. I know sometimes I can take it for granted so I want to make a real effort to do something every week so he knows how much I appreciate him.

6. Make the bed every day of the month.

There is something about climbing into a freshly made bed that is fabulous. Joseph and I got in the habit of making it every morning and sliding into the bed each night, under the crisp blankets, is just pure heaven. It is a quick and easy way that makes the whole bedroom look more put together.

Reasons I Am Not Ready For Children #3

Posted on 9:06 AM In:
So imagine, you have a five or six year old who plays a sport. Just pick a sport, it doesn't matter which; football, baseball, basketball, wrestling swimming. The important thing to remember is that it is for five and six year olds. As in, really small, young children doing a sport.

Now, picture it, the sidelines full of parents; yelling and screaming, cheering, red faces, furrowed brows. The ref misses a call, doesn't see a penalty, or even worse, calls a penalty on your kid. Who does that man think he is? Stupid guy in a stupid striped shirt, he is unacceptable. Why is he picking on my kid? I must now scream at him.

Reason #3 I am Not Ready for Children: I'm just not competitive enough

Because lets face it, whether you are killing other teenagers so your daughter can be on the cheer leading team, or you're angry because your kid doesn't get to be first string quarterback, parents are crazy. I mean, all women are filled with crazy and I do not want to use my little bit of crazy on sporting events, especially ones for kids who can barely read.

I mean, seriously, don't be ridiculous. Between parents yelling at their kids for not being good enough and the coaches for simultaneously pushing their kid too hard and not coaching them enough and then screaming at the refs because they don't agree with the calls. I just refuse to be that crazy in public, I save it only for crappy drivers who get in my lane.

*Disclaimer* For any of my friends with children, I understand that you are not *this* type of parent, but it is a ridiculous topic that must be covered. Because, let's all admit it, you HAVE seen this parent before.

Menu Planning

Posted on 11:45 AM In: ,



The one thing I've really enjoyed in the past two months has been menu planning. I love menu planning. I love trying new recipes, finding delicious food to eat and cooking. I love cooking. If only my kitchen were bigger, I would be the happiest little chef ever.

 
My breakfasts are always the same; Green Monster with skim milk, chocolate peanut butter, strawberries, 1/2 banana and a bunch of spinach. To me it is a quick and easy way to not only get in a delicious breakfast but to get a bunch of vegetables and fruits in. When I have PB2 available to me instead of Peanut Butter, I also throw in my oils.

Lunch is usually 1 of 3 things: Leftovers from the night before, out to eat, or something I have to randomly come up with. This week I am making little pepperoni pizzas with sandwich thins with side salads for Monday and Wednesday lunch and Friday is probably Mexican. It is practically a tradition with my co-workers.

I always try and make dinners something that will give me yummy leftovers for the next day. It makes it easier on me to menu plan and it saves me some money. However, on Tuesday and Thursday I got to my mom's house and we cook dinner together and it is always something delicious and healthy. We have done cheese burgers with oven fries, oven fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and chicken sandwiches.


Lately snacks have been greek yogurt (to get in a dairy) and a mini cliff bar to give me a little push before I workout. Sometimes it gets switched out if I get tempted while at work, but that is one reason I like to leave some leeway in my menu, to count for when I have a hard time saying no. And, if I don't use those extra points then I get to reward myself with some pretzel mms or some hot chocolate.
 
So far, this has worked for me for 2 months, which is pretty freaking impressive for me.

January 2010 Writing Challenge

Posted on 7:24 PM In: ,
On this day in 1832, author Lewis Carroll was born. His most famous piece of work was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Who is your favorite character in this book and why?


For years and years, I was traumatized by the Disney Alice in Wonderland. The story of the oyster’s, tweedle dee and tweedle dum, the creepy flamingo croquet sticks; all of it just scared the bejeezus out of me. I remember reading the books when I was younger which made me want to re-watch the movie. Big mistake! The movie still creeped me out.

It was not until a few years ago that I learned to appreciate Alice and the world of Wonderland. I actually found a re-writing online that someone had done, putting the vision of Alice in their own words, Behind Sanity. The story was purely amazing, original and energizing. The old Disney version still skeezes me out but I’ve come to love the new theatrical version that just came out even though I think it changes the story from what it originally was.

My favorite character has never changed, and I’m sure half of the people who know anything about Alice would agree. There is just something about that Cheshire Cat. Is it his smile? The swish of his tail? Or perhaps it is his way with words? His amazing way of speaking in circles but at the same time, hitting the nail on the head?

'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where —' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat

Throughout all the versions of Alice I have watched or read, he has always been a favorite.
One thing is apparent though, time for me to re-read Alice and her adventures. And, to re-read Behind Sanity

Cottage Pie (Most Commonly Referred to as Shepherd's Pie)

Posted on 9:09 PM In:
So tonight I made the Shepherd's Pie from Skinnytaste.com. Although, my British friends tell me it should be called Cottage Pie since it does not contain lamb. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of her recipe as I was making it and I would probably change the order of a few things if I were to make it again, which I will make it again. This was delicious and comforting; perfect for a cold night in. I adapted it a bit to what I did, but make sure to visit skinnytaste.com for great, healthy recipes.


Cottage Pie
6 Servings, 8 P+
Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb yukon gold potatoes
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
2 T fat free sour cream
Salt & Pepper

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 T flour
1 cup fat free beef broth
2 T tomato paste
1 t Woresteshire Sauce
1 T Italian Seasoning
16 oz frozen mixed veggies (peas, corn, green beans)


1 1/2 cup shredded low fat Mozzarella

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 400

Dice potatoes and boil until soft. Drain water from potatoes and mix with chicken broth, sour cream and salt and pepper until desired consistency is reached.

Brown ground beef in large pan. Remove ground beef and saute onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add celery and saute until celery and onion are soft.

Add the flour and mix well. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, Woresteshire sauce and italian seasoning. Mix in frozen veggies and beef.

Pour beef mixture into 9x13 pan. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle paprika on mashed potates.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Let sit five minutes before serving.

I Love Bacon

Posted on 10:11 PM In:
Can anyone really say they don't love bacon?

You have Canadian Bacon which is delicious on any sort of McMuffin sandwich.

You have regular bacon. It's good by itself, on a sandwich, in an omelet and it leaves yummy residue to make delicious eggs in.

Then we have Bacon Bragg

Bacon was adopted in early December from a local animal shelter.

He is part Poodle and Part Schnauzer. 100% cute.

He is snuggly, spoiled and crazy.

I love Bacon. (I love that man pictured with him also)

Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole

Posted on 6:43 PM In:
Imagine my surprise, when after being on this Earth for 23 1/2 years, I hear of this thing called "Bubble Up Casseroles". My mother is a phenomenal cook, she can make anything and everything, she makes it up as she goes along, but did she ever make me a Bubble Up Casserole? No, she did not. She deprived me for 23 1/2 years of the deliciousness of the Bubble Up Casserole.

The best thing about this is your ability to add or modify ingredients. Next time I will probably stir in some corn and add green onions after it is cooked. So do your kids/husbands/wives a favor and make this and you can thank me in the form of comments.

For the record, I have no clue whose recipe this is originally. I did not make it up myself, just made it and enjoyed it's deliciousness!

Bubble Up Enchilada Casserole
6 Servings, 9 P+

Ingredients:
1 lb ground chicken
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup red enchilada sauce
2 small cans low-fat home style biscuits, cut into fourths (I had 20 biscuits all together)
1 1/4 cup low fat Mexican blend cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a medium skillet, brown ground chicken, onion and garlic.

In a large bowl, mix together the enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Add meat mixture and biscuits and mix well to coat biscuits.

Pour mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Add cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

New Camera, Say What?

Posted on 8:25 PM
The best way to show off a new camera is to show off some new pictures, right?

Joe, smiling for the camera. I swear he has some sixth sense to know when someone is taking a picture of him.

Picture of my nephew, Sterling, during a match. Sadly he lost all 3 of his matches today.

Between the gift card from my company, my grandma and my own bank account, I bought myself a simple Canon sx something or other. It fits in my purse, does not come with additional lenses and has no manual zoom. This makes me happy because a super duper nice camera would be lost on me. I don't know how to do anthing special, just point and shoot. But, it comes with smile recognition.

In other news, keep an eye out for my next installment of "Reasons Why I'm Not Read to Have Children". It is amazing what you can learn from a wrestling match!

It's The Climb

Posted on 9:36 PM In:
So today I made day 1 of week 1 of C25K my ho. I've tried this over and over again. Each time I've given up on the first day either because I couldn't push myself to do the whole time or I would literally be so out of shape and breath I couldn't continue.

I can almost see it

That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Today when I had two runs left, I almost gave up. I mean, I had done pretty well, gotten through most of it. So what if I didn't actually finish the whole day, I could try again later. Right?

There's always gonna be another mountain

I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose


And then, the cheesiest song came on, but it motivated me to keep going. It gave me new energy and I did it. I freaking did it. I was so proud of myself I wanted to cry. I've never done so well at exercising that I wanted to cry and I really think it was just me proving to myself that I could do it.

Ain't about how fast I get there

Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

Something that I've slowly realized is that this is a slow, slow race to the end, but it is what I do to change now that will ensure success. The self confidence I am gaining in myself when it comes to saying no to temptation, choosing the healthier option and knowing when I deserve to treat myself is what will help me in the long run. Sure, there are ways to lose weight quickly but time and again they are proven ineffective for long term weightloss and I want long term weightloss. I want long term health. Mostly, I want to get to the point where not only does my body thrive on healthy food and working out, but I want to be that way.
 
So, here's to you, Miley Cyrus. You might make stupid decisions and come from the worst acted Disney show ever, but your song motivates me to keep going, even when I want to just throw in the towel. For that, I'm grateful.

Reasons I Am Not Ready For Children #2

Posted on 8:27 PM In:

This is my bed
(Ignore the ugly curtain and atrocious wall color. Hopefully all that will be changed soon!)

This bed is where I spend a LOT of my time. I love sleep. I adore. If I do not get enough sleep I get cranky, hungry and actually physically sick. In college, I would rather not do so well in school then pull an all nighter. I only did the crazy drunk thing a couple times because I would rather get a full night sleep.


Reason #2 I am not Ready for Children: I just love my sleep far too much to give it up.

Do you know what new mom's never, ever, ever get? Sleep! I mean, sure you can sleep when the baby is sleeping. But, well, when the baby is awake it is all about feeding and changing the little tyke. So when the baby is sleeping that's when you get to eat, shower, and run errands. Who has time to sleep when you still have a life to lead?

And working mom's, how do they do it? I mean, just because your 6 weeks are up and you need to go back to work doesn't mean your new baby cares. So you still get to wake up during various hours of the night but now you don't have any napping potential.

Until I am ready to give up some of my much beloved sleep, I probably shouldn't procreate. I mean, Joseph can't breast feed, even if he does have nipples!

2 New Recipes and Snowed In

Posted on 8:55 PM In:
So Georgia has experienced crazy weather! Not only did we get snow, but now it won't get warm enough to melt it away! Interstates have been shut down. Schools have been closed all week and of course there has been an influx of northerners who feel the need to mock us for freaking out over 3 inches of snow. Considering we don't have snow plows and maybe 2 salt trucks as well as the fact that we don't normally have tires equipped for snow, I don't think the freak out is over-rated. Luckily, I can work from home so I don't have to use up my vacation time, but I feel bad for my co-workers who do.

Yesterday for lunch I actually looked in my fridge and figured out a meal using up some of what I had. I poached some chicken and cut it up into pieces before mixing it with a can of cream of mushroom and cottage cheese. On top of that I layered stuffing made with chicken stock and supplemented with sauteed celery and onions. I baked it all until bubbly and delicious. Not too shabby since I just made it up.

Last night for dinner we had Healthy Shells and Cheese with Spinach. Recipe found Here. It was pretty good but I feel like it could have used more punch to the cheese sauce. But then I really love a good cheesy flavor. It was super easy to make and super comforting to have while snowed in. But who knew Gruyere cheese was so expensive?? Anyone have any interesting recipes for me to use that wll help use that up?

I think tomorrow is going to be another work from home, but hopefully by Thursday I can escape.

My Body is a Temple

Posted on 8:28 PM In:
It is not often that I go to church and come away from it with a different message then what was preached. I heard today’s message loud and clear, “God wants what is best for me”. In fact, part of that message is directly influencing this post. As well as 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:


19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Typically, this passage is in reference to sex and sexual sin, in fact the verses leading up to this passage make that abundantly clear. But today, a different point of view occurred to me.

In a world where the biggest burger is the best and the most food for the best price is what determines people’s eating choices, it seems that people forget to honor their bodies. Time and again we are reminded that this is a world where people are always on the go. Magazines display headlines promising to give you a full hour workout in five minutes or quick and healthy meals for that mom on the go. But in reality, in the country in which I live, obesity keeps rising and with that the amount of people who forget to honor their bodies.

And, let me just put it out there now: In NO WAY do I believe that a person must be “skinny” to be healthy. In fact, a lot of skinny people are just as unhealthy as heavier people.

My point is that people no longer take time to take care of their bodies and because of this they are too afraid to fully live their lives. Is this true for everyone? Absolutely not. Is it true for me? Yes, and it is true for other people I run across who are unhappy with their weight/body image.

Perhaps, part of honoring God is making sure that I take care of my body to the best of my ability. God has given me everything I need to make sure I honor him. He has provided the fruits and vegetables, the dairy, the meat. He has given me feet to run with and a beautiful earth to run on.

For most of my life, I have not taken care of the temple God has given me, not properly. And, for the first time in my life, it’s finally clicking and I’m finally getting it. I’ve focused on eating more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods and fast food. This week I plan to add in the exercise. I can’t wait to see the body God meant for me to have; strong and powerful, beautiful, something I can look at and feel content. I am working at honoring my body so that I can better honor God because the price he paid for me is worth everything I will sacrifice in return because God only wants what is best for me.

50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind #1-5

Posted on 9:24 AM In: ,
1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?


I go to bed between 10 and 11 on weeknights, to work towards getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I love hanging out with my family and friends, staying in and watching movies or playing games. I worry too much about anything and everything. How old am I? I am a little old betty who sits around with friends making old lady sex jokes and cross stitching. I am practically sixty, if not older.

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

What is worse than never trying, that’s the real question. I would rather fail at what I love most than to be too scared to even try. I love to write so I do it and I put my stuff on the internet and out into the world to get people involved. Sometimes people hate it and they tell me, but sometimes I make someone’s day better because they were able to leave behind the real world and live in my fantasy one.

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

The truly lucky people are the ones who figure out how to make what they love work towards getting to do that more. But, for the majority of people, they do the things they don’t like to bankroll the things they love. And some people do the things they don’t like so that they don’t have time to do the things they do like because they are too scared to have fun. I would love to be the first person, will be okay with being the second, but will never be the third.

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

I think if I continue on the path I’m on in this life, it would be much easier to say more than do more. It is easier to just talk, it does not take courage to just speak. But, I’m not content with just saying what I want to do. I want to act. I want to be some old lady and look back on life and think “wow, how did I manage to do all of that?” I have dreams that I would rather live out then plan out.

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

I think that there are a plethora of things that could be changed about the world. Watch a beauty pageant and they will give you the reasons: world peace, world hunger, pollution, etc. The thing that really pops into my mind today is “attitude”. Just think what could be changed it people dialed back their false sense of entitlement? Stopped being lazy and expected other people to do for them? To stop and think about how your actions might affect other people? Perhaps how the world is now is the only way it can work with all the different minds populating it, but perhaps if people took a minute to think about how they interact, they could find a way to do it better and maybe the world would positively reflect that change in attitude.

Reasons I'm Not Ready For Children #1

Posted on 8:36 PM In:
Picture it: Atlanta, 2010. A young adult married woman has spent most of the morning awake; coughing, sneezing and painfully swallowing. She has called into work, bid her husband adieu as he goes off to work and snuggled under her slanket as Bones plays on her tv. She is sick and ill. What does she do? She texts her mommy, "If you have free time and are feeling generous, you should make me chicken soup, I feel horrible. :-/"

Imagine that young adult married woman's surprise when her mother calls her up two hours later to inquire if she needs her mommy to pick her up medicine on her way to bring her a huge freaking pot of chicken soup. This is the same magic chicken soup that all mother's know how to make for their sick children. Sometimes it involves rice, sometimes it involves noodles but it always involves the healing power of a mother's love.

Reason #1 I'm Not Ready for Children: I do not know how to make chicken soup.

I cannot even begin to debate having children if I can't properly bring them back from sickness with a bowl of warm, delicious, loving chicken soup. It is a mom law that you must have that special recipe committed to memory and have all ingredients on hand to cook up as needed. I never have carrots or celery in my refrigerator unless I specifically plan to make soup and it is always from a recipe.

How could I consider bringing a child into this crazy world when I am too inept to create a wonderful pot of chicken soup?

Oh, and it helped this girl get better from a horrific sinus infection.

2011 is Rocking Hard So Far

Posted on 5:11 PM
So the beginning of 2011 has made it obvious I am a little old lady trapped in a 23 year old's body.

My husband and I stayed in for New Years Eve.
We had a Bones/Psych marathon.
We had no drinks, no party food.
Our midnight kiss was a quick peck on the lips.
Then we went to bed.

Ignore the fact that I felt/feel like death. It isn't like actually being able to breathe properly or stop coughing would have encouraged us to have a more lively holiday... or would it?

I have set zero goals for 2011 and I think I'm going to keep it that way. I actually found that I enjoyed setting goals with my husband on our anniversary for things we hope to enhance, improve or change in the next year. But, for those who did set resolutions, I hope they work out well.