Friday, July 23, 2010

Snack Ideas

I have a husband who loves to snack and because our baby girl watches her daddy's every move, she loves to snack too. Hubby often complains about me not buying enough snacks and that everything has to be cooked. It is true that I go to the store with a list for our next weeks dinners, but I just hate to buy a bunch of processed snacks that have no nutritional value whatsoever. Today I was looking at all of the wonderful blogs that I have bookmarked that I check daily and saw my friend Carrie B. had actually addressed this subject. I love cucumbers, but never really thought of them as just a peel and eat snack. I want Abbey to have good healthy snacks and her daddy really needs that in his diabetic diet too. For all of you wonderful healthy mothers out there, please give me some ideas on what you give your family to snack on (as many ideas as you are willing to share). Thank you!!!!

PS. Abbeyism - Last night after her bath Abbey went downstairs to give her daddy nite kisses. She walks into the kitchen where he is sitting at the table on the computer. He has his shorts on but no shirt because it is really hot in our house right now.

Abbey: Daddy, I give you nite suggies!

Daddy: Is it time to go to bed? OK then.

(They give each other nite kisses, then Abbey backs up)

Abbey: I see your belly.

Daddy: Yeah?

Abbey: It's purdy.

So, I have a husband with a pretty belly, who knew?

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Abbeyisms

I love when Abbey learns new things especially new phrases. I just wanted to share a few new things she amazed us with this weekend. She is so entertaining right now!

We were at Kroger Saturday and as we were checking out a couple of little boys in line in front of us had balloons. One of them gave his balloon to Abbey (and they say chivelry is dead). When we got home she played and played with it.

Abbey: I love my balloon, mommy.

Me: I know you do sweetheart. It was nice of the little boy to give you his balloon.

Abbey: This is just the best balloon I have EVER had!

Me: (laughing) It is?

Abbey: Yes, it is mommy!

When she woke up on Sunday morning and the balloon was flat she told her daddy, "I need to get another balloon from a little boy, daddy!" Daddy did not take that too well from his little princess. He is not ready to think about her and little boys.

Yesterday, Clark was having some friends over to play music and wanted to clean up the music room so they would have space. It still holds leftover yard sale boxes and some furniture projects for Abbey's playroom. He did make some room and as I was up stairs in the bathroom Abbey decided to go down and see what daddy was doing. All of a sudden my husband comes up stairs and asks, "Did you tell her to say that". The conversation went something like this:

Abbey: Daddy, you are cleaning up the music room a little.

Daddy: Yes, baby!

Abbey: That is a big first for you daddy.

I wish I had put that in her head, but I just can't take credit. She came up with that one on her own.

As we were leaving church last night, buckled into her seat, all the sugar given and good-byes waved, Abbey gazed out the window and says:

"Goodbye church, we will see you on Wednesday."

Pulling around the front, she points up at the steeple and says:

"That's a castle church, mommy!"

She knows her kingdom!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I love my Aunt J!!

I'm so excited, Abbey spent the night at Aunt J's house (Clark's sister) and did very well. She didn't cry at all and didn't ask for me or Clark very much. She has stayed with Aunt J numerous times on days that Meme can't keep her, but never overnight. This week was VBS at Aunt J's small country church so they were really trying to encourage members to bring kids. Since many from my family go there too, I wanted her to attend, and Aunt J has been asking for her to spend the night. It just seemed like good timing. Aunt J was teaching a class so my Aunt Jo went in to class with Abbey, to help out and to put her at ease. She loved Bible school there. I'm really glad that it all went so well. Now she has another place to spend the night if mom and dad have to go somewhere, especially over a long time. It will help Meme out too. What can I say, she loves her Aunt J!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Slow down summer!

Boy, have I slowed down on this blog thing. The summer is just non-stop and I can't keep up. As if that is anything new. My big project is turning the spare bedroom (which was suppose to be my craft room) into Abbey's playroom. I decided that I'm just never going to be able to have my own space and I don't really have crafting time anyway, so I'm giving up the space I longed for to let my little girl have her own playroom. It has been very difficult to keep a clean living room when she uses it as her playground, so now we will not have any toys downstairs, plus we are going to give her the TV from our bedroom so she can watch videos. I don't want a TV in her room just yet, but in the playroom where she and others can watch will satisfy me. I know it seems silly, but that was the compromise for me and her dad. Anyway, with this new arrangement comes some decorating choices and "new" refurbished furniture. I will have pictures of that soon. Once I get in the mood to redecorate, it usually carries on into other rooms. So, I may have a lot of pictures for you. That is all I have to report for now, but I hope it temps you to return to my blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Food Follow up

Did I mention I love fresh food. Last night we tried a new but simple recipe and it was fantastic. I'm not a big fish eater, but as part of my new diet I need to eat more fish and this recipe was so simple, even Shanna could do it. (Just kidding my sweet cousin!) I thought I would share and also I wanted to have it written down somewhere so I can refer back to it because we decided it was a keeper.

Lemon Butter Tilapia

4 Fresh Tilapia fillets
Salt and Pepper
1 Lemon (Buy organic if you can since you will be using the zest of the lemon)
2 Tablespoon butter

Lay the tipapia on a piece of aluminum foil. Salt and pepper both sides. Zest a lemon (if you have a zester like mine you might need to chop it some to make it a fine zest) and split among each piece. Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice of the lemon over fish. Add half a tablespoon of butter to the top of each piece and roll the foil into a packet. Place the packets on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 18-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Clark made some brown rice that he added a little salt and butter to and I served the fish over the rice. We added a side salad with homemade ranch dressing (my new alternative book says to lay off store bought salad dressing). It was a wonderful meal.

Tonight we will be having veggie patch pizza with zucchini and onion from the market and fresh spinich and mushrooms from the store. I can't wait.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Farmers Market

I finally made it to the farmer's market for the first time this season and I couldn't be happier. The selection is already building up as local farmer's have some wonderful things coming in. Today I managed to find some fresh greenleaf lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, peaches, and farm fresh local eggs. It's so exciting to work on a menu for the week with these wonderful finds. Tonight, I already had chicken tenders thawed in the frig. so what better than a blackened chicken salad. Clark had made a request for some sweet potato fried so I just added those as a side dish for the salad. We ate our fill and had a little left over to pick at for lunch tomorrow. The salad was incredible. There is so much more flavor in fresh local food. You could actually get a little sweet and a little bitter from the lettuce and we sat and picked the cucumber slices out when we were done with dinner until we almost made ourselves sick. It just doesn't have the bland watered down taste that supermarket cucumbers have. Anyway, I just had to share my joy for the season and let you know that we are officially "Eating healthy, eating local" once again!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Preventative and Alternative Medicine

I really believe that there is something to preventative medicine. If you will take the time to be proactive to keep from getting sick then the less you have to deal with doctors and so on. Even with Abbey, I have tried to do what I can to prevent her from getting colds, ear infections, etc. instead of just letting her catch things then going and getting medicine all the time. I do also believe that drugs can help people, so I'm not against them. The thought, though, is that if you take a preventative approach then the less chemical drugs you may require later in life. I also believe that a healthy diet and the right vitamins can improve your basic way of life when modern medicine can't prescribe anything for it. Now, this might seem like a little rant that I'm on, but hear me out and you can decide if I've lost my mind.

I suffer from severe endometriosis. My doctor, who is the head of OB/GYN at a large city hospital said it was one of the top three worst cases he had ever seen. After three surgeries and with a lot of fertility treatment, we were able to have our sweet little Abbey. During and for about two years after her birth, I didn't have any problems with the pain of the endometriosis, but the past few months and it has come back. I have found myself living in pain, carrying a bottle of ibuprophen everywhere I go. My doctor says that he will not do another surgery for it because it is just too bad. My next surgery will end my childbearing life and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. So that is what I have to suffer with.

Clark, being diabetic and mildly narcoleptic, is always looking for ways to improve his way of life. Recently, he has really been struggling with getting up on time in the morning and feeling rested. The boss man is tearing into him about being late and it really isn't his fault, but something has to be changed. With much internet research about his narcolepsy he has realized the difference between the way he sleeps and the way a normal person sleeps. The only medical remedy for this is with strong drugs that he is not willing to try, so he found a book this weekend called "Alternative Cures" that gives a lot of information about using diet, vitamins and minerals to help medical conditions. I'm not saying that it can cure them, it may not even help very much, but it is natural and worth giving it a try.

Here is where the two stories colide. The book was just laying on the couch Saturday night after the baby was in bed and while Clark was on the computer, so I thought I would pick it up and glance through it. I looked up endometriosis, not really expecting to find much, but there it was in black and white, an explanation of my symptoms and a solution to help with the symptoms. It wasn't a cure because the only cure I think there could possibly be is to physically remove the disease, but there was a plan that made sense. Eating a healthy diet that does not contain processed foods and limits your intake of sugar, caffiene, white flour, red meat, and dairy, all things that are believed to break down your natural immune system. Also it suggested taking a multi vitamin as the base and add Vitamins C,E, and B complex for immunity building and Flaxseed oil for the Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids that are a natural way to fight the pain. Endometriosis is the type of disease where basically the cells are fighting against themselves. This information was in the book and the explanation given to me by my doctor, so in building up your natural immune system you help the good healthy cells fight back harder. It made sense.

So, that is my new approach to becoming healthy. The diet is really something we should have been doing anyway (more strictly than we have been). It is very similar to the diet Clark should be on for his diabetes, but in addition, I am taking an array of vitamins and minerals to help build what is naturally in my body. Although I already suffer with this particular disease, and Clark with his, I believe that this healthy approach will help our current situation and prevent future issues from arising. Also, we hope that this lifestyle change can help with our weight problems and energy levels. I'm really looking forward to giving this a try. If you have any experience with alternative or preventative medicine, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear your stories. Also, if you have any recipes that you love that fits into my criteria for the new diet, please leave those as well. I have some low carb, diabetic and healthy eating cookbooks, but I love to hear your favorite tried-and-true recipes that are perfect for a healthy lifestyle.

I'm sorry this has been a long post, but hopefully it will be something to keep you updated on in the future.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

At the park!

I feel like I am missing out because I haven't found time to take Abbey to the park, but everyone else has taken her. Her Aunt J and cousin, Bonnie, took her two weeks ago and got some wonderful pictures. Then Clark took her last week while I had an airport meeting and she showed him the ins and outs, because she is getting to be a pro. Of course, he never thinks to take a camera anywhere. Maybe with it being a long weekend, we can get to the park, or take her swimming, or something fun outdoors. We haven't made any plans for Memorial Day, just so we can spend some much needed family time together. I can't wait. In the meantime, here are the sweet pictures that Bonnie took at the park. Bonnie is such a good photographer. I love her!!!!!!!

Bonnie has loved photography and become serious about it since her wedding, and she has taken wonderful pictures of Abbey. Abbey has even learned to pose so Bonnie can get the picture she wants. But Bonnie has another reason to carry her camera everywhere she goes now. His name is Daniel and he has got to be one of the sweetest little boys you will ever know. Bonnie is a proud momma and has already started putting him on film. I thought I would share an adorable picture taken by Bonnie of her precious Daniel, my great-nephew.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hope for the best!

As many of you know, I love a garden in the summer, but each year is a different adventure. This year is no different. You plant things and hope for the best, but some times it just doesn't work out. That's when you go back to the drawing board and plant something else. Here is the list I started off with and the results so far.

Cabbage - 6 (One didn't make it so we are down to 5)
Broccoli - 4 (One didn't make it so we are down to 3)
Sweet Banana Pepper - 1 (Looking good)
Bell Pepper - 5 (One broke in two so I was afraid it would die, but it is making a come back)
Zucchini - 1 (Something ate all the leaves and left stumps, so I dug it back up)

I sowed seeds for:

Yellow Squash - (same as zucchini, as soon as they began to come up something ate them, so replaced all squash with tomatoes. You can get squash easily at the farmer's market anyway)

Okra - (Coming up and looking good. I need to replant a couple of seeds)
Green beans - Roma and Blue Lake (Romas didn't come up at all, so I replaced them with tomato plants. Blue lake came up in most of the row, but I'm going to get some more seed and replant the rest of the row)
Onions - Sweet, Red, and Bunching (Bunching didn't come up, but the rest look good)
Radishes - (First to come up, I need to thin them out, they are growing great)
Lettuce - Bibb and Salad Bowl (I've had a few of the salad bowl variety come up, but not much so I might plant something else in it's place soon)
Cucumber - Straight Eight and Pickling (Straight eight came up, pickling didn't)
Pumpkin - (Clark accidently tilled over the tiny little pumpkin leaf that popped up, he doesn't like pumpkin anyway so I'll just buy one at the farmer's market to put up what little I need)
Watermelon - (Looking good)
Cantelope - (Didn't come up, so I replaced it with a tomato plant)

If you are wondering why everything is getting replaced with tomatoes, I bought 14 tomato plants thinking that I would share some with my dad and Clark's dad, who usually grow them in larger flower pots. Neither of them want to grow them this year, so I was left with all my tomato plants. The second issue was the fact that Clark said he would extend my garden to have a section devoted to tomatoes. This never happened and I really needed to get them in the ground before they all died, so once I saw what was coming up and what wasn't from planting seeds, I started to go in and replace what didn't come up with tomato plants. Luckily the areas that needed replacing were in corners of the garden so my tomatoes are easy to get to.

Well, that is my garden update. How is your garden doing?

Monday, May 17, 2010

I did it again!

I walked my second 5K this weekend and shaved two minutes off my time. I was still at the end of the pack, but I did start out at a jog and then walked the rest of the way. I finished and did it in less time than my first 5K, which was my personal goal. This track was similar to the last one, but was a little harder. It seemed to have a few more hills, and I wasn't the only one who thought so. I'm really getting into these little 5K's. I can do these, not well, but that will come in time. I have my eye on another one in June and have already heard about two in the fall. My nephew's wife ran Saturday and it was her first 5K. I was so proud of her. Her time was right around 30 minutes and for her first one with only a few weeks of training, I thought that was great. She is one that really loves to challenge herself, which is an inspiration to me. She just finished the P90X program last month, so 5K's are her new addiction. I just want to be able to see her at the start line and then maybe again at the finish because I don't think I'll ever be able to keep up with her. Anyway, Clark and I slacked on the P90X this whole month and sat and complained about how we need to give it another shot, so tonight we start again with Chest and Abs. Let's see how far we can take it this time. :) I hope everyone has a wonderful week and don't forget those Strawberries. They will be out of season very soon, so stock up your freezer.

Recipe of the week:

Berry, Walnut, and Avocado Spring Salad
(Originally a Weight Watchers recipe, but I have changed a few things)

· 6 oz. spring mix salad
· 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, quartered
· 1/3 cup walnuts
· 1/3 cup golden raisins
· 1 large avocado, sliced
· 1/4 cup Bleu cheese crumbles
· 1/4 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette

· In a medium bowl toss together the spring mix, strawberries, walnuts and golden raisins. Top with avocado and bleu cheese crumbles. Drizzle lightly with dressing just prior to serving and pass dressing with salad.

· Yields 6 servings.

This is a great light lunch salad or as part of a meal with marinated grilled chicken and veggies.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Need a good side dish?

I was looking back at my posts so far this year and saw that I had started out posting recipes that used fresh ingredients. Well, with the upcoming gardens, CSA's and farmer's markets, now is the time to really start thinking about "Eating healthy, eating local" again. So, I'm going to pull this one back out and I am going to start posting recipes again! Please let me know if you try them, like them, change them or have any other ideas about these recipes as we go along. I love reading your comments and it encourages me to comment more on other's blogs. Anyway, here is the recipe for today, a wonderful summer time side dish that is great to make ahead of time and take to family reunions, church gatherings, or days in the park.

Asian Slaw

2 packages cabbage slaw mix (or grate your own fresh from the garden or farmer's market)
2 packets beef ramen noodles
Green onions (garden or farmer's market)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup Oil
1/4 cup Vinegar (I used White wine because I was out of regular and have used it every since)
1/2 cup Sugar

Crush noodles in the bottom of the bowl. Set aside flavor packets. Pour in slaw mix and green onions. In another bowl, mix oil, vinegar, sugar and flavor packets. Pour over slaw. Top with seeds and almonds. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in frig. over night. Toss everything together before serving to mix flavors. Serve.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Catch up

OK Let's play a quick game of catch up for this week. I have not been doing my P90X like I was supposed to, but I do have a little bit of an excuse, and the good intentions of getting back on the program next week. Last Saturday I walked a 5K with my girlfriends. I have never done this before and although I came in last in my age group, I had a lot of fun. I also have a time on my fitness level and I number to beat in the next 5K. We had planned to walk the Dogwood festival 5K, but found out that they are not going to have it this spring, instead they want to wait until the fall. We are looking into walking during the Relay for Life for cancer awareness. It is an over night relay walk, but you can just come and go too so we might go and walk the distance that would be 5K and see how we do, plus it would be for a wonderful cause.

That pretty much wore me out for the weekend, but at the beginning of this week instead of exercise I put out my garden. We have around a 250 sq. ft. area and Clark was so sweet to get it tilled up for me last weekend. I have set out the following plants:

Cabbage - 6
Broccoli - 4
Sweet Banana Pepper - 1
Bell Pepper - 5
Zucchini - 1

I sowed seeds for:

Yellow Squash
Green beans - Roma and Blue Lake
Onions - Sweet, Red, and Bunching
Lettuce - Bibb and Salad Bowl
Cucumber - Straight Eight and Pickling

We did it a little different this year. Last year I put down lawn fabric to help keep the weeds out. That has benefits and it has draw backs. This year we have decided to devote more time to working in the garden and do our best to keep it weeded like we should, so we didn't put the fabric down this time. We will see at the end of this season which works best for us.

I did have my regular Thursday weigh in (just to be curious since I didn't actually workout this week) and I have lost two pounds this week. So the moral of the story is, if you can't workout or don't have the desire, as long as you keep your body moving in some way and eat well you can take a little time off if you need it. Well, we will be out of town this weekend, but back on track next week and I'll report back on this subject then. Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oh, it hurts...

That was said quite a bit last night as Clark and I struggled to get those last push ups done. We started our P90X workout and it was great. My arms and chest are a little sore today, but so far so good. Although Clark came home saying that he was too tired to workout, when the time came he pushed the chair aside in the living room and joined in. It was great to workout with someone. The first day was the chest and back routine. It felt more like the arms workout because we are both so out of shape that we couldn't do our push ups very deep to get the workout we were suppose to on our chests. And we didn't have a pull up bar to do all the moves that work your back. We have decided to invest in a pull up bar though for next week. Also, we cheated a little because it was getting late and we needed to get to bed so we skipped the Ab Ripper X which was suppose to be done after the chest and back workout. I just did some ab work on my own Wednesday night and you shouldn't work your abs everyday according the Tony, so I didn't feel too bad about skipping it. We will pick it back up tomorrow night like we are suppose to. I think we are really going to enjoy this series. Clark likes that there are a lot of military style moves and of course the Army was when he was in the best shape. I like that you have water and rest breaks like you would have in a real gym setting, he shows you three different ways of doing an exercise, and you set your own goals. I have to print out the worksheets so we can track our progress. Well, I guess that is all for now. We are taking our "fat" pictures tonight so we can visually see our progress. I don't know if I will have the guts to post those, but I am concidering it. And no, I'm not going to pose in a bikini for the pictures. No one wants to see that. I'm going to try my best to post a few times a week just to keep you informed on our P90X progress and so I will have to be accountable. I think it helps when you know there are others out there waiting to see your progress, so feel free to comment (good or bad) as I go along on this new journey. My ultimate goal is to lose 30 pounds by August 9th (we leave for Florida on the 10th) and to look lean for our second wedding pictures. I just have to look better at my second wedding to Clark than I did at my first wedding to him. He wants a similar goal. We were both at our heaviest at our wedding 10 years ago (216 for me, 245 for him). Check out those double chins.

Well, here is to a new start, to being healthy, happy, (and hopefully skinny). :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What is she saying?

My mom just called me at work and it went something like this:

Meme: Abbey is trying to tell me what she wants for lunch, but I don't understand what she is saying? Listen to her and see if you can tell what she wants.

(she puts Abbey on the phone)

Me: Abbey, honey, what are you trying to tell Meme?

Abbey: Mmmm!

(Meme gets back on the phone)

Meme: Well, she won't say it now. I'll ask her again and put the phone close. See if you can hear her well enough to tell me what she is saying. Abbey, what is it you want for lunch.

Abbey: Abbey want a peee peeeeek.

Meme: So...

Me: No, she can not have "Pink Peeps" for lunch.

Meme: I thought she was saying something like that, and I don't have any.

Me: No, Meme, no peeps for lunch. Even if you do have any.

Meme: Well, we'll see what else we can find. We'll talk to you later!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I'm so happy. I have found a CSA that delievers to our town. YEAH!!!!!! And it comes from my favorite strawberry grower (that also has farm fresh veggies). It is only for ten weeks, but that is a great start for us. I can fill in with our own garden. Then I can go to the Farmer's Market to buy in bulk for canning. I can't wait. I'll keep you posted on my new adventure and I'll try to post pictures during the growing season.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's almost time.

I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming growing season. If you take a look back at my blogs from the first of the year, you will notice my new philosophy "Eat Healthy, Eat Local!". Well, it is almost time for that to really kick into gear. Talk about gardens, seeds, plants and veggies have begun both on my favorite blogs and just generally around town, so I'm starting to feel the urge to plant something. Although my seeds did not grow in many cases (It is time to buy new seeds and throw the old ones out), I do have a few broccoli plants to start with and I'll just buy plants from local growers as I need to plant them. I do need to purchase some fresh seeds for things that are planted directly in the ground and I was so happy to have found onions sets for sweet onions this year, so I went ahead and bought those. Now, I just need to get the hubby out there to till up the garden spot so I can get started.

In other news, strawberries are starting to pop up. You can already find the unripe ones in the grocery stores (Yuck!), but there is nothing like holding out for the local ones. I have two sources in Florida that are picking ripe ones already, so they should be picking in our area in a few weeks. I can't wait. Look for those little red stands in town with local fresh picked strawberries and stock up. At this point, knowing that the fresh season is upon us, we begin to really use up what is in the freezer to make room for the summer foods. That will be my challenge over the next few weeks, make meals from the freezer. Then when the season begins, starting with the strawberries, there will be room in the freezer to store the harvest. For strawberries I love to make a little sugar free strawberry freezer jam and then I freeze the rest of the berries whole. Simply cut off the tops and give them a nice cool bath in cold water, dip them out and pat them dry, then I lay them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours until they are frozen firm. This way when you take them off the cookie sheet and place them in the freezer bags the berries will not stick together and they will keep their shape. No crushed berries. With this process you can also use a Food Saver if you prefer, then you can vaccum seal them without crushing the life out of them.

Well, those are my little tips for today to get you geared up for fresh food season. Please check back with me for more tips, recipes, and updates during one of my favorite times of year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Can you tell...

... it has been another rough week? It was so crazy that I decided to stay home from work today to rest and get some things done around the house. I didn't have anything going on at work that couldn't wait until tomorrow. Besides, I'm almost at my breaking point and I have another batch of work, programs, family get togethers, girls nights, airport meetings, and Avon orders coming up in the next two weeks. Top it off with the news that my dear cousin, Shanna, and her family are moving to Tupelo, MS. There is nothing in Tupelo!!! Well, except an airport and a chance for her husband to advance his career. I wish he could just leave her and her sweet baby boy here though. I think she wishes he could too. She doesn't really want to go so that doesn't help, but she knows it is what is best for his career and hopefully he can return to TN in a few years with knowledge under his belt. Then as a consultant, they can live wherever they want. Anyway, I'm going to miss her a lot. She is my go to person whenever I want to go shopping, or out to eat, or take the kids to see something, I just call her. Well, anyway, I'm going to cry if I type anymore about that. Nothing else has been going on, just trying to keep my head above water. It has been so bad that my little plants for my garden are suffering. I keep forgetting to water them. I might have something to plant in a few weeks, and I might be going to the landscape store to buy what I need. It looks like it might be the second choice. I hope you all are starting to think about your gardens. Trees and flowers are starting to bloom and I think we only have blackberry winter and dogwood winter to make it through before the frost is totally over. So, if you haven't already, start drawing up those plans for planting and I suggest to start buying up canning jars and freezer bags a little each week so you have a great supply when it comes time to put up the food. Have a great rest of the week!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I've been busy... I haven't posted this week. I'm sorry. This week is getting to me. I have decided, through the inspiration of friends and family, to really kick into high gear on losing weight. I'm trying to keep up with Weight Watchers to help with nutrition and I'm working out to my old Slim in 6 video to prep me for my new P90X video series. I've done good on the WW this week so far, but I've been a little slack on the exercising. I still don't have myself quite organized enough to fit in the regular workouts, so I've just done the Ab routine and the stretch routine so far this week. On top of all of that, I have a full time job, an Avon order going out this week, the consignment sale starting this weekend (and I'm just now getting my things priced), and I have to work the sale this weekend. Next week I will add a gospel meeting at church, an airport board meeting to listen to presentations by consulting firms and more consignment shopping, selling and working. Throw in an Easter egg hunt and planning my summer vacation for the whole family and I'm beat. I'm not really complaining, although it might sound a little like complaining. I don't know if I could function very well if I didn't stay busy, but I could use a minute to breath after this week. I doubt I will find the time though. I would like to start posting on a daily basis about my workouts, nutrition, and weight loss. My goal is 30 pounds by August. Some of you may know that this year will be my 10th anniversary and Clark and I have decided to plan a big family vacation to the beach and renew our vows. It will be small, fun, and I want lots of fabulous pictures. Other than being pregnant, my wedding day was actually the largest I have been in my whole life and I don't want that to be the case for my renewal ceremony. I want to be skinny in these pictures, so I now have a big goal and that should help me stay focused. I think making it public will help me be accountable for those goals. I'll have more about that in my next post. So, hang in there and don't forget to come visit my blog on a regular basis. I might go so far as to post pictures. MAYBE! Have a wonderful rest of the week!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I got my seeds into the potting soil. I'm about two to three weeks behind my normal schedule for planting my vegetable seeds indoors, but I think it will be alright this year since we have had such a cold winter. I'm so excited that I finally got them planted yesterday and got the trays under the lamps (I'll post pictures when they sprout). I always plant more seeds than I need in the garden to be sure that I have good strong plants. Once I have planted the ones I want outdoors, I give the extras to friends and family. I'm trying some new things this year, broccoli spinach, and lettuce, and I'm going to try cabbage from seed instead of just buying the plants. I have two types of large tomatoes, a roma tomato and then I planted some left over seeds from a packet I bought a couple of years ago. The packet is a variety pack of cherry tomatoes. I love variety packs because you don't know what type of tomato plant it is until you actually see the tomatoes. It adds a little fun to gardening. Well, here is what I have planted so far:

Lettuce (Bibb and Green Leaf)
Tomatoes (Brandywine, Better Boy, Roma and Cherries (Sweet 100, Sungold or Yellow Pear))
Sweet Bell Pepper (California Wonder)
Marigolds (These are great to plant around your tomatoes to help ward off bugs naturally)
Sweet Basil

What do you have planted so far?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Story time with Daddy

Abbey has been very full of herself this week it seems, or we have just been paying closer attention to some of the things she says. Anyway, I had a meeting last night so Clark had to put her to bed. He is very good about following the same routine with her that I do, so last night he was reading her a story, "Farm Animals". With many of these types of books the pages have a picture and one or two words to discribe the picture. Abbey likes for you to ask her what the picture is. Doing it this way has really helped her learn items, colors, and how to correctly pronounce the words. So, in that fashion, the farm animals book has pictures of animals and she will say, "What's that Daddy?" to which Clark answers, "what IS that Abbey?" and she says "It's a cow".

Now, keep that in mind as we are going through the farm animals book. First page is a pig, then a cow, then a horse, and so on. Then Clark and Abbey got to the page with a momma chicken and baby chicks on it.

Abbey: What is that, Daddy?

Daddy: What is that, Abbey?

Abbey: It's a chicken.

Daddy: That's right. And what are those?

Abbey: Uhh, chicken nuggets!

I love the way she thinks. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Food Revolution

If you haven't seen the trailer for this then check it out on the internet. Simply google Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. This is something that Jamie has been promoting for some time, but he will have a show on ABC starting March 26th and I can't wait to see it. I love him as a chef and can't wait to see the show.

It's snow fakes, mommy!

I just love it when Abbey is truely excited about something. This morning she came downstairs and into the kitchen, and even though I had told her it was snowing, she took one look at the window and ran to see the "snow fakes". I had to bundle her up good because she wanted to make snow balls as soon as we got to Meme's house. Of course, we pulled into the drive at Meme and Poppie's and I tried my best to put together a couple of snow balls for her (the snow had just started falling so there was hardly enough). She threw them on the ground and just laughed. After we went inside she had to tell Meme and Poppie all about it snowing, her snow balls and throwing them. I just stood back and smiled at how animated she was telling her story. When I left she had Poppie by the hand standing at the kitchen door telling him how "pruddy" the snow is. Not being a big fan of snow myself, I'm suddenly a lot more tolerant of something that my daughter seems to love so much.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Easy Recipe

Here is a quick and easy recipe that I tried last night and it turned out to be a big hit. Try using local honey and locally raised chickens. Some areas even have locally made butter.

Honey Glazed Chicken

1/2 c. Honey
1/4 c. Butter, Melted
1/8 c. Soy Sauce
Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts (I only had 3 pieces, but you could use 4 or 5 and have enough glaze)

Place chicken in a ziplock bag. Mix together glaze and pour over chicken, then let it sit in the refrigerator. I put this together yesterday morning and let it sit all day, or you could mix it up the night before. Preheat your oven to 350. Place chicken in baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.

This was actually a freezer recipe, so you can mix the glaze and pour over chicken then place the bag in the freezer. When you are ready to make it just let it thaw completely and bake it.

I served this with broccoli and cheese and rolls and the family loved it, so give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I've waited so long to share

Abbey has been able to talk for almost a year and she speaks very clearly for the most part. We are starting to have regular conversations with her so that she feels included and can learn to communicate better with others like her teachers at school. So, I'm so excited to be able to share our conversation on the ride the school.

I was driving along and Abbey hadn't said very much, just looking out the window enjoying the ride. When all of the sudden...

Abbey: Is that singin', mommy?

Me: What baby?

Abbey: Is that singin?

Me: That's Keith Urban singing on the radio.

Abbey: Is Feff Urba singin' on the rayio.

Me: Do you like this song?

Abbey: Yeah!

She sticks a thumb in her mouth and with the other hand starts tapping the beat on her knee and bouncing in her car seat. I just laughed.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Well, work has been rather demanding lately. I even had to work last weekend, so although I did buy healthier food, we didn't go by my Pyramid meal plan. So, tonight I'm cleaning out the frig and cabinets and tomorrow I'm going shopping for "good" food. The meal plan will have to be adjusted just a little for Clark since the pyramid still contains too many starches and sugars for him, but he is just going to take my plan and tweek it a little. For the most part it will work for both of us. We had a slight arguement last night about the meal plan, mainly because I just don't think he will want to stick to it and will stop off and buy chips and cookies on his way home from work. It is so frustrating when you are trying to help someone for them not to be on board. It happens with health, with money, with house work, with kids and it is hard to deal with someone working against you all the time. But after our little spat I think we have arrived at the same page on the new eating lifestyle and I hope we will stick to it at least for a while. With summer coming up and so much fresh garden veggies, it should at least last through the summer. Anyway, if anyone has any additional ideas to get us started please share and I will continue to post our progress. I can say that just trying to eat better and exercising a little (not much) has helped me lose 5 pounds since the start of the year. I have an overnight trip in April and I already have the dress, but it would look so much better if I lost 8 pounds in the next two months. And my big goal is for my 10 year anniversary in August. We are going to the beach and I want to be at least 30 pounds lighter. One day at a time and I feel like I will get there. Enjoy your weekend and I will hopefully get back to posting more often since some of my larger work projects are past.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Big Girl Bed

A couple of weeks ago we took down Abbey's crib and put in her "Big girl bed" with her new Tinkerbell bedding. I took one last picture when she woke up that morning of my baby in her baby bed.

Then at the end of the day I took pictures of her new room with her new bed. She cried a little the first night, unsure of her new room, but after about thirty minutes and reassurance that it was still her same room, she went right to sleep. She has slept great in her big girl bed every since.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Birthday pictures

Abbey had an Elmo's World party this year!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Catching up

I thought I would play a little catch up on this snowy afternoon. Here are some pictures of Abbey on Christmas. Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The pity party is over...

... and I'm back to my old self. I think the problem I am having is a time issue. It is difficult as a working mom to find time to organize, clean and cook. It is hard to stay one step ahead or stay on top of things and it doesn't help to have a someone going behind you messing things back up (and having a two year old around the house doesn't help either :) ). Well, I'm trying to get back in the saddle and back on track. The one thing that my husband has mentioned is that he really needs to eat better and is willing to help with the baby so I can focus on cooking healthy. So, I'm taking him up on that offer. I have spent a great deal of time this week putting together a meal plan according to the government pyramid guidelines using the most fresh fruits, veggies, and whole wheat/grains that I can. For my first plan, I think I did pretty good. It will require a lot of prep work on my part and organization since I do work, but I'm willing to give it a shot. I'll let you know how it works for my family next week. As for exercise, I have fit in a couple of workouts this week and hope to add more next week, but I'm taking it slow and hoping it will stick better. The same with some of my other goals. In the mean time, here is another great recipe for this week from Ellie Krieger from Food Network. I love the flavor in these potatoes, and in season you can use fresh dug potatoes and fresh snipped chives. You can also use new red potatoes (they have less starch) and home made chicken broth. (Surely this one is simple enough, Shanna!)

Smashed Potatoes with Chives and Sour Cream

1 1/4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 medium) unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a steamer basket fitted over a large pot of boiling water. Cover and steam for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Add the broth, and coarsely mash the potatoes. Stir in the sour cream and chives. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Old Habits

Is there anyone else out there in blog land that feels their old habits creeping up behind them, ready to attack? I have had this feeling for the past couple of weeks. I made very clear goals for the new year and when I looked at my list to see if I had made any progress with them, it looked pretty bad. Maybe I was a little over excited at New Year's and I was unrealistic. Maybe it is just hard to break old habits. And maybe some habits can't be broken at this very moment. I wanted to eat healthier and try to lose some weight. I have posted some great recipes on here so far, but finding the time to cook and the budget to eat better is really hard for me right now. I'm finding it difficult to try to do it on a regular basis. I believe for now I will try one truely healthy meal a week, then move my way up. As for exercise, I started a video series this morning that has three videos. Each video is a little harder than the one before so I'm going to take my time and work on my fitness level instead of being so concerned about numbers. In the mean time, I'm going to try to incorporate Renee's workout ideas into the mix each week so I don't get bored with a video. I guess in the long run, instead of breaking New Year's resolutions, it is alright to adjust 2010 goals. On the down side, you may be disappointed in me when I start posting some not so healthy recipes from time to time, except for Shanna who has asked me to please post anything simple, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fresh Salads

There are many ways to make a salad and I would like to share a few great ideas, but I'm going to begin with a basic one. Salads are a wonderful way to get fresh veggies in your diet, but all the "additives" can add up and what about the dressing. Nothing beats a good ranch dressing on a basic lettuce and veggie salad. Well, with this recipe you will be screaming for more. Ellie Krieger from Food Network has a lighter, fresh way of making your own Ranch dressing at home and it truely beats the store bought stuff. My hubby even prefers this over any store bought dressing and it is simple to make. Remember, all the veggies can be fresh from the garden and local in the summer, organic or bought from a local merchant in winter so experiment with different veggies. Just remember to go light on things like cheese, boiled eggs and meats in a salad.

Fresh Garden Salad with Ranch Dressing

Combine your favorite fresh veggies such as:
Lettuce (Dark lettuces like green leaf and romaine have more nutrition), Spinich,
Tomatos, cucumber, onions, carrots, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, etc.

For the dressing

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt, or 1/3 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt
1/3 cup lowfat buttermilk
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (fresh is best, but sometimes I just don't have lemons, so I have used the bottled stuff)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (You can grow these in a pot at home in the summer)


If using plain yogurt, place it in a strainer lined with a paper towel and place the strainer over a bowl. Let the yogurt drain and thicken for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the strained or Greek-style yogurt and the rest of the ingredients. Add salt, to taste.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So far, so good!

Well, I now have some people on board to do this healthy, local eating and I couldn't be more excited. I've already been asked to post more recipes. I have gathered a list of our favorite family recipes, and my idea is to try to make them healthier and use as many local ingredients as I can without sacrificing the taste. Since I haven't had the time to work on any recipes myself, I'm going to steal another one from a friend. Carrie B. has shared this on her blog and I have tried it so although it was not originally my recipe, I can certainly say that it is a good one. Give it a try!


Soak 1/2 cup black beans in water for 6-8 hours. Drain. Cover beans with water and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1 hr. or until tender. Drain all but 2 Tbsp. of the water. (Or you may also substitute 1 cup canned black beans. It's much easier) Mash beans with a fork, leaving a few of them whole.

Prepare brown rice for one person according to the package directions. Use 1.2 cup of the cooked rice for your patties. Very finely chop 1/2 onion, 1/4 red pepper, and 1 stalk celery.

Grate 1 carrot and 1 slice of frozen whole grain bread. Combine all of the above ingredients.

Add 1 1/2 Tbsp of freshly ground flaxseed and 1Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce.

Mix well. Form 8 patties and place on a cookies sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove, turn patties over, bake 10 more minutes. Prepare as you would a regular burger!

Notes from Carrie B.: I don't usually use the flaxseed but it does really help them stick together. You could also try oats to help stick together. Recipe makes 8, but I usually make 6 big ones. Cheese is always good on these, because it helps it stick together a bit better. They also freeze great with a little parchment paper between the burgers!)

Notes from me: These have great flavor and of course you are using a lot of fresh veggies (that you can get at the farmer's market or the garden in the summer time). Serve them on whole wheat hamburger buns and try them with some sweet potato fries. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise, tose them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper then spread on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until they are soft in the middle.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Eating Healthy, Eating Local!

My friend, Renee, mentioned in her blog that one of her goals for 2010 was to eat more local food, which in turn helps you to eat healthier in many cases, I believe. I started thinking about that and quickly sent an email to some girlfriends to issue a challenge for the new year. Many of them mentioned that they would like to eat healthier, so I challenged them to find more local foods to help meet that goal. Back when I was pregnant and even up to the time Abbey started eating table food, I shopped at more local places including the farmer's market. Although I always had good intentions to can my own garden goodies and those purchased at the farmer's market, I never made the time. One of my goals this year, like Renee, is to eat healthier and shop locally for what I can. Also I would like to can the extras for the Winter, so I'm counting on this challenge to help me with my goals as well. I'm starting off with a simple soup recipe with tons of veggies and I'm going to borrow Renee's corn muffin recipe (hope you don't mind Renee)because they go great with the soup and is made with honey instead of refined (white) sugar. The recipes are great basic recipes with ingredients you could buy at the regular grocery store, but you will notice that to the side I have added how you can make them more local and fresh. Always remember that veggies bought frozen hold more nutrients than those that are bought in cans, but freezing and canning fresh at home is always the best way to go. I hope you will check back with me because I would love for this challenge to help you in your goals as well. I will do my best to pass along recipes that can be made with local ingredients, give tips for gardening and buying local and pass along any other information I can to boost your interest in getting your family healthy, helping our environment and helping the local economy (farmer).

Veggie Soup

2 cans beef broth (Or you can make your own)
1 can tomato sauce (Canned fresh in the summer)
1 can diced tomatoes (Canned fresh in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
1 can whole kernel corn or half bag of frozen (canned fresh in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
2 cans mixed veggies or 1 bag frozen (can be frozen in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
1 teaspoon basil (dry herbs are best for soups)
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground Beef (Optional)

If you like meat in your soup, as my hubby does, brown a ½ pound – 1 pound of ground beef and drain.
Add the other ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with corn muffins.
It is also a very forgiving soup so if you don’t happen to have something or like more of one veggie than another, you can almost put anything in it and it will turn out good.

To make it a little healthier with the meat choice, you can add cooked chicken instead of the beef. Just change the beef broth to chicken broth to match the flavors.

Honey Corn Muffins

Makes: 12

1/2 stick, unsalted butter
1 1/4 c flour (check out the local mills, we even have a bakery that sells a local mill's flour)
3/4 c cornmeal (same for cornmeal, even some farm CSA's carry it in there boxes)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt1/2 t baking soda
2 large eggs (Fresh eggs from local farmers are wonderful)
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c honey (Local bee harvesters have different flavors of honey depending on the flowers the bees use to make it, so try some local favorites)

Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin tin.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, honey and butter. Add the flour mixture and stir.Divide into muffin cups and bake until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To my sweet baby girl. We love you!!!!!

(Boy, she slept a lot when she was a baby, didn't she?)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year

It's my first post of the new year and it is going to be short. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here. Here are a couple of pictures from the past month of Abbey. She is getting so big.