Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thinking outside the {macaroni & cheese} box

I've turned over a new leaf. I'm blazing a new trail! I'm changing our family's menu.... This is very exciting to me, but scary to Hubs. This type of change will be good for us and so far, I am absolutely loving it! I came to this decision because my metabolism found out how old this body is and decided to take a vacation. Or so it seems to my summer wardrobe. But that was just the motivation I needed to make some serious change around here. I love me some Chick-fil-a and apparently I was loving it just a little too much. Well, that along with soda and the occasional {okay, more than occasional} dessert. Not to mention, Hubs' love of ice cream and B1G1 Sonic shakes. I can't let him act alone on such things! So, I am determined to make some changes! So far, so good! Granted, this is only Day 4, but I am pretty motivated to stick with these major changes. Hubs and I are just sick of junk food. Although, I do crave Chick-fil-a in a big way, but that just reminds me that I'm normal.

So, to change, I've personally started a 14 day jumpstart with no sugar. That means no carbs, too, and hardly any dairy. I am feeling good and haven't had many cravings until today when I made my daughter a PB&J and I was tempted beyond belief to lick that yummy, sugary peanut butter off the knife. But I didn't. And I am proud of myself! But the changes won't stop after these 14 days. I'm determined to continue cooking yummy, healthy meals for dinner each night, choosing healthy lunch options and forcing this non-breakfast eater to eat a healthy breakfast every morning.

Just thought I'd share with you a couple of delicious and healthy recipes that I've made this week. Super easy (I won't cook it if it's not easy.) and so yummy that I am envious of my husband who took the leftovers to work today. Never thought I'd be selfish about healthy food!

Last night, I made Jenny's Grilled Chicken Breast and it was the best chicken I've eaten in a long while. I even grilled it and usually that means it's blackened (aka. burned to death) because I have an insane dislike of raw chicken, but I did pretty good on this one!
I also made Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli and HELLO?! It was awesome!!! Yes, I used awesome to describe broccoli. Who knew?? Broccoli never tasted so good! You must try this. The family liked it, but Hubs still prefers steamed broccoli. I'm just glad he eats broccoli, so I will continue to make it the way he likes it and then make mine this way from now til forevermore. It is THAT good. I am thinking very seriously of making it again tonight with our dinner. Shhh....
I also made homemade Mac N Cheese for the fam who still loves their carbs, but I did not partake. I was too full from broccoli to even care that I was missing out on that cheesy goodness.

Today, I made a variation of homemade salsa to eat on top of my spring mix salad and black beans. Sorry I have no picture to share, but trust me, it was good. Here's how I made it...

1 Tomato, diced

1/2 c Red Onion, chopped

Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Chili Pepper, Salt and Pepper to taste

1 T Olive Oil

1/4 c Fresh Lemon Juice (Lime would be good here, but I didn't have one on hand.)

Mix it all up and EAT!

On an interesting note, did you know {according to The Ultimate Weight Solution}...

* Eating a second helping {200 calories} three times a week can add 9 pounds to your body in a year?
* Eating one glazed donut every day on your coffee break can add 22 pounds to your body in a year?
* Drinking a cup of whole milk twice a day instead of Skim Milk can add 13 pounds in a year??
* Drinking one regular soda a day versus diet soda can add 15 pounds in a year? (Not to mention, that raises your chance of Pancreatic Cancer by 75% or is it 87%, one of those??!!)

These are shocking to me! But even more than that. I have been really paying attention to sodium levels in foods and just today I realized that 1/4 teaspoon of table salt has 590 mg sodium in it! We should have a maximum of 1 tsp of salt per day. That really puts things in perspective for me. I am a salt lover, but for crying out loud...I will be seriously watching my salt intake from now on. I don't really know anyone that only uses 1/4 tsp of salt at a time. My Papaw used to make the holes in his salt shaker bigger because he loved salt and it just wasn't coming out fast enough for him. I'm with him on the salt - much prefer a salty snack to a sweet snack, but my salty days are dwindling down. Can you say water retention?
*photos courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Saturday, June 12, 2010

GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED!!

Congratulations!!
Emily {entry #42 - chosen by random.org} is our winner!!!!
She liked the Hillsdale Milwaukee headboard.
Emily, I have emailed you instructions! Please contact me within 48 hours to receive your prize or I will need to pick a new winner. Congratulations!!!
thanks to all who entered! more giveaways coming soon!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fresh Air & Exercise


Hubs loves to hike. He loved it so much when he was a bachelor that he collected all the hiking/backpacking gear. Then, he met me. I enjoy being outdoors and a nice jaunt in the woods, but I am by no means a backpacker. And I don't camp. It's not my thing. I just do not enjoy the thought of sleeping in the wild where there are animals. And bugs. I remember camping out in the backyard in my brother's tent when we were younger and I have no desire to ever sleep in another tent. We would wake up and the whole tent stunk, not to mention the slightest move would make the tent 'roof' move and it would 'rain' on us from all the dew. Nope. I love my bed. And the fact that it doesn't matter if it rains or not while I sleep. I know I'll wake up dry and comfortable. Oh - and I'll get to have a warm shower the next morning. Not a cold one in a cement shower stall. That's too much like youth camp and I'm too old for that now. That said, we love going for day hikes. I'm all for that. It's getting easier now that our youngest is 2. We've been doing it quite a bit these last few weeks and it has been very much fun! The Biltmore House and Gardens is a great place for being outdoors and there is much to do and see. The girls love it there and we always take a picnic lunch. Last weekend, though, we went to the Carl Sandburg Home for the first time and walked around then had a picnic. It was fun and nice to be outside. We didn't tour the home, though - didn't seem like much and we really wanted to be outside. Here are a few pics from our day...
Maybe one day {when the girls are older - MUCH older} I might try camping in the wild. Part of me wonders if I could survive it....at least the way Hubs likes to camp....in the Wild. Where you have to hike half a day to find a good spot, {while carrying all your stuff} then set up camp and rough it all night just to pack it all up and carry it all back to wherever it is you came from...and that's without a shower anywhere in sight. Ahhh me. Tell me.....where is the fun in that?? I didn't even mention three girlies tagging along begging to be carried, reminding us they're hungry every 10 minutes, and wondering when we are going to find a potty out there in the wild. I think I'll stick to day trips for now.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giveaway Time!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Stay tuned for more future giveaways!!
I don't know about you, but I love a good giveaway! I sign up for blog giveaways often and have been the lucky recipient of a few things recently. The first giveaway I won was last Fall when I won a fabulous red pitcher! I use it all the time and just love it! High quality, stylish and dishwasher-safe. What more can you ask for?
Then, I hosted a giveaway to CSN stores online (which happened to be the same place my pitcher came from) where I gave the option of winning some nice Paula Deen or Rachael Ray kitchen things. That was a big hit and the winner chose the Paula Deen knife set.

CSN stores have over 200 online stores full of quality items from headboards to wall art to espresso machines to pressure washers, sheds, and porch swings. Don't forget the multitude of kids items and clothing and everything else you can imagine. It's all at csnstores.com.

And now, for the exciting part - I'm giving away a $40 one-time-use gift certificate to be used at any of the CSN stores online!! There are many items I found that I would love to buy for $40 and I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

If I had a guest room, I would have this headboard in it. I love the pattern and the color and this headboard begs me to come in and relax.



TO ENTER:

Mandatory Entry: Go to THIS LINK and tell me which headboard you like the best! Then, come back here and leave me a comment with your favorite one. *Be sure to include your email if you do not have a blog I can contact you at, in case you are the winner!*

Open to US or Canadian Residents.

EXTRA ENTRIES:

* Blog about this giveaway, then leave me a comment telling me you did.

* Check out CSN stores online and tell me which store sells your favorite things! (not specific items, just general)

* Post about this giveaway on Facebook!

ONE winner will be chosen at random (using a random number generator) on Saturday, June 12! Good Luck!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chubby Baby Toes

I {heart} baby feet. But I REALLY {heart} chubby baby feet with painted toenails. It is adorable to me.

This is the best pic of her chubby feet I could get. She couldn't stay still long enough! I love how she has been running around the house today staring at her toes. And how she is holding out her fingers and looking at her painted fingernails like such a big girl. She didn't even want me to wash her hands after lunch because she thought the polish would come off. How cute is that?? (Of course, I did wash her hands anyway.)

And this is her cute, chubby face that I kiss all day long. And the very last pacifier in our possession that she has already bit a hole into. Won't be long before this paci is in the trash can and we go through paci withdrawal. Until then, I keep encouraging her not to bite it. I want it to last a little longer....please!!

Stay tuned for an upcoming GIVEAWAY!!!! You won't want to miss it!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend ~ Part Two

The girls with their cousins Lily & Lola! (We missed Grant & Abby! They were at their Granny & Pappy's house.)

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of all the adults, but it's not as fun taking pictures of people sitting around eating/talking when you can take pics of cute little kids. Maybe next time!
Hope you all had a memorable Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Weekend

Livi ~ cutie pie with an adorable laugh!
Townsend ~ so cute and sweet!
Watermelon!
Lots of fun with the younger cousins!
Fun with cousins from Hubs' side of the family. The girls just had a great time with their cousins, Townsend & Livi, who they only get to see a couple times a year. They were all sad when we had to leave. =(
Then, we went to see the cousins on my side of the family (except the oldest two who are visiting their grandparents out of town.) Part Two to follow....