About Me

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I am a small town girl living the big city life with my superhero hubby and our superhero- in-training son! I love Jesus and junior mints and have a secret addiction to Neil Diamond and Cat Steven's music. I love a good theme party, the smell of pretty stationary, a good book and a glass of ice tea with an orange slice in it. I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Snack attacks!!!

Some people struggle with mindless munching late at night.  They roll out of bed and head to the fridge to snack while watching midnight infomercials about gym equipment.  I can honestly say I rarely eat after dark, it's always kind of been a rule for me personally.  Other than getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (thanks to giving birth) I never wake up feeling hungry. 

3 o'clock in the afternoon however, is quite a different story.  Am I bored? tired? honestly have an appetite? is it hormonal? Every single day it's the same thing. It's like my stomach wakes up and says, "I'd love some cheese, crackers and ice cream please!".  Before I started on my journey to shed the weight and get healthy 3 o'clock was my zone out in front of The Food Network channel and eat any contents of the fridge or pantry...cheese, crackers, cookies and even those little fruit juice snacks that "W" likes.   Now that I am on the road to success, when I get hungry for my snack I opt for things like yogurt with nuts, berries, or low fat cheese spread and tomato slices on a whole grain cracker.  I also try to stop first and ask myself if I am really hungry or just bored and want to zone out with food.  This may sound silly to you but it has really helped me to see my bad habits and eating patterns.  I find if I drink a glass of water first and am still hungry I then proceed to indulge in a snack.  There's also the old carrot test that I learned when I was in Weight Watchers 7 year ago and that is to ask myself, am I really hungry and if I am I should be willing to eat a carrot or other veggie first that's on hand.  If I am not willing to eat a veggie then I'm probably not really hungry. 

I would love to hear what healthy snacks you eat so feel free to share them with me.  I like to have a wide variety of options not just for myself but my whole family!!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nah, nah, nah, nah...hey, hey,hey....goodbye!

Oh yes, another weekly cheesy anthem weight loss song! One friend told me last week she couldn't stop singing my throwback to New Kids on the Block...sorry!

Here's some scale lovin!

I lost 2 pounds last week!!! 14.2 pounds has evaporated from my body!! That's like a two month old baby or a small dog!


Friday, June 22, 2012

I've got t-shirts yes I do, I've got t-shirts how bout you?

I've already shared some of my goals and desires for wanting to lose weight like being able to wear my wedding rings again, chase my son around and just be healthier.  But there's something lurking in my my closet that I haven't told you.  Another reason I would really like to get this weight off....

these t-shirts!

Oh there are a lot more than that but for the sake of not creating more laundry I just grabbed a handful.  Before my sweet "W" came into our lives my hubby and I traveled quite often taking awesome trips all over the great U S of A and everywhere we visited one of our "things" was to snag a t-shirt from that city as a souvenir.  It sounds so corny I know but everytime I'd pull on one of those soft cotton tees from Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles or whatever city I was instantly transported back and we'd say things like,  "remember when we saw the live minutemen reinactment outside of Lexington? or "remember the flying fish at Pike Place Market?".  Those tshirts were for me better than any scrapbook or photo album that we never look at.  Those shirts were every single great memory wrapped up in a trip with my sweetheart.  And I cannot fit in them...yet.

I'm hoping by next spring you'll see me sporting one of them and I'll tell you some random crazy story about the city we visited and how there was this one time in Tennessee we got lost and ended up in a different state on accident (N. Carolina) at a Biker Bar/Resort and had great burgers before finding our way back where we belonged (very true story).

Until then, I will just keep on running, walking, kickboxing, ab crunching towards my goals!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Step by step....ooooh baby!

Sorry for the cheesy 80's boy band reference but I could just hear New Kids on the Block singing "Step by Step" as I got off the scale this morning! Step by little step I am making progress!!

That's 1.8 pounds lost for a grand total of 12.2 pounds lost to date! Wahoooo! Feeling good y'all, as always thanks for the encouragement and support---it truly keeps me motivated on days where I just want to sit in my closet and eat Whataburger and mint chocolate ice cream.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Treats

We've done laundry, scrubbed bathrooms, watched the garbage trucks roll by outside and read every alphabet book we have.  It's been a busy morning so after lunch I thought I'd make us a "treat" to munch on.  I've had my eye on a recipe from Happy Herbivore called Honey Roasted "Nuts" (Chickpeas) and today we tried them!

I thought they came out beautiful, crunchy and cinnamon sugary...

Of course, it doesn't matter if I like them. I'm not 2.  Does "W" like them?

YES! Score!!! He ate an entire little bowl of them and while they taste yummy I can feel good about the fiber and protein he unknowingly just devoured.  Check out the recipe here and give them a try too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Monday

As I type this I'm watching Master Chef,  completely covered in bug bites and cannot stop scratching.  The chefs on the show are making apple pies and I just want to reach in the screen and swipe a piece right off Gordon Ramsay's plate.  I'd also like to stick my legs in a calamine lotion bath to relieve the mosquito bite damage!

Despite the fact I have no itching relief and am not eating pie, today was a really great Monday.  We spent the morning playing with our best friends out in the big Texas sunshine full of slip n slides and fish sticks.  While fish sticks were a staple for me growing up I was very thankful that my friend Kali at Being the Baileys  served us mommies a fabulous quinoa salad! It was colorful, cool and very filling.  Kali is a big fan of the blog, Our Best Bites so visit them if you'd like to see pictures of our lunch and the recipe that she used (she altered it slightly by using peaches vs. mango and adding avocado).   Don't you just love it when friends share their favorite food sites? I feel like I learn something new daily! 

After the boy and I came home and crashed for a couple of hours I realized I hadn't "planned" anything for our dinner tonight.  We do have some meals tucked away in the freezer but I was in the mood for something else and thanks to one of my favorite sites, Peas and Thank You I found my winner, winner chickpea dinner! Tonight we dined on Teriyaki Chickpea Stirfry over brown rice and it was perfect.  I'm a huge fan of the sweet chunks of pineapple and since we didn't have most of the ingredients she lists on hand it was a total improv dish.  No broccoli? No problem.  We used steamed green beans.  No carrots, no celery either? I was not about to load up a 2 year old crazy child to go get carrots and a celery stick so I chopped up tomatoes and some mini sweet red and yellow peppers and it worked great.  I would have taken a picture of our finished product but "W" was running around the backyard wearing nothing but a plastic fireman's hat saying "to the rescue!" and I just get distracted by such things.

Hope you look up those recipes and give them a try.  If you have any low fat apple pie recipes or remedies for itchy bug bites feel free to send them my way!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I get by with a LOT of help from my friends

It's kind of a scary age of social media and I'll be the first to admit that the avenues we use in which to vent our frustrations for the world to see can often backfire.  But I will tell you that starting this blog and using facebook has allowed me to hear from others across the country who struggle as I do with weight loss as well as gain insight into healthy changes, recipes and exercise tips.   I love that!

Recently, a friend from college pointed me towards a site I had never heard of called My Fitness Pal and it allows me to profile what my daily calories, fat, carbs, etc should be as well as journal my food and it's FREE! It's been a wonderful tool for me this week and I have found it much more helpful than my Weight Watcher's calculator where I just count my points and subtract them daily as I go and often I'm like, "what did I even eat today"?  The fitness pal program is great because it's online, fast and all the work is done for me in terms of tabulating the calories and fat for the foods that I have eaten once I plug them in my journal.  According to this website I'm actually not eating enough calories which could be one of the reasons I am just hovering at the 190 mark.  Another concern is my carb intake which I didn't realize was so high but thanks to this program I can see that being under calories and over on carbs isn't a good thing.

Another friend also added me to a facebook page group geared towards healthy weight loss and in just 2 days I have felt such encouragement from people I don't even know.  I've enjoyed seeing what they eat since everyone shares their meals and fitness regimens and it's also motivated me to just keep on with the exercise which is something I really don't like most days.

I enjoy all the people who take time to send me their favorite healthy recipes or websites that have helped them like a sweet church friend who told me about Peas and Thank You or an old Young Life friend from high school who told me about Happy Herbivore.  I wouldn't know these sites existed if awesome friends didn't take the time to say, "hey, let me show you something that I love".   A very busy teacher friend of mine actually made me a beautiful "points" bracelet and mailed it to me so I can wear it and keep track of my points throughout the day.  I get letters in the mail and sweet email messages almost daily from people I've known since preschool or just met 2 weeks ago and it's so uplifting.  Last night at a mom's night out in Frisco I got to catch up with a church friend who was so sweet and supportive and even encouraged me to "eat a cupcake" and enjoy the night.  I didn't eat the cupcake of course but rather just enjoyed chatting with her for an hour about life and kids.

I get by with a lot of help from my friends.  I am inspired daily so, thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One time pass

When I joined Weight Watchers 7 years ago they gave me (and all members) a one time "no weigh in pass".  Today, I'm taking my own personal 'one time pass' from the scale.   We all have weeks where we know we didn't do well and in my case, have had a little breakdown and am carrying some defeat on my shoulders and just don't want to get on the scale.  I've also realized that by inviting so many people along on my personal journey and into my eating struggles it adds a whole other element of pressure and stress for me.  I honestly feel good about where I am this morning without weighing in.   I worked out every single day last week...some days I worked out twice! I also recognize my continuing struggles with making wise snack choices as well as asking myself "am I really hungry? or am I just bored and want to eat?".  

In my morning devotional time today I was reminded that when I am out of control, God is in control and so my prayer for the next week is for a calm spirit, strength and self-control.  I am weak, but He is strong and I lose sight of that sometimes by trying to do everything myself.  Thanks for your continued support and kind words and I hope you'll see less of me next week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

This is hard!

I kind of had a little breakdown yesterday and this morning.  Feeling disheartened and discouraged I very calmly and with great poise went to my superhero hubby for some insight and encouragement.  The conversation went something very close to this:

Me (in a high pitched whiny tone of desperation):  "I just want to live and enjoy my food and eat a hamburger with our friends when we grill out.  Do you know what it's like to watch everyone eat a hearty meal with desserts and sides and I'm ingesting a salad and fruit? DO YOU? I'm not getting anywhere! I have a huge rear end (I did not say rear end by the way) and I go to the gym every day and these pounds are just sticking to me! WHY?!?? Why can I not lose weight?? Why is this so hard and why can't I have a cookie for goodness sakes?!? I'm tired of counting these stupid points.  What's a point anyway? What does that mean? I am so depressed I just can't stand it.  I think about every morsel that enters my mouth and am starving the more I exercise.  I do not want to eat another cucumber sandwich when I've done a big workout, I want something else! ARGH! Tell me! What am I doing wrong?

Scott (very kindly and tenderly): "You are lovely just the way you are.  I would rather have difficulties losing weight than be in chronic pain (my hubby has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and is in pain most of the time during the day and in his sleep).  But you keep doing what you are doing and you will see results".

He went on to encourage me and remind me of my age (blech), that I've had a child and that my body is different than it was ten years ago.  We discussed the ways I have improved and how this is a lifestyle choice and a healthy one for all of us and that the weight will come off over time but that it does take time. 

This is a difficult journey for me.  I feel like I've been in weight loss mode for 18 months now but the reality is it's just been a little over a month and I am trying to be proud of ten pounds lost instead of what seems like the bazillion I need to lose.  I had a great weekend full of friends, a burger and yes, peanut butter cookies.  But I have to be OK with the occasional splurge or I will lose my mind like I did this morning.  I've been working out every day (twice today) and my clothes are starting to fit differently.  So I soldier on with my superhero hubby at my side, my son dive bombing into all our bed pillows and you.  Thank you for always being there with encouragement, great recipes and sometimes the little smack to my forehead saying "Snap out of it!".


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Simple Saturday

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless".  ~Bill Watterson

While I love going on day trip adventures, backyard bbqs or a date with my hubby sometimes the greatest Saturdays are the ones spent doing absolutely nothing.   No planning.  No thinking.  Just enjoying my home with my little family.  Today is one of those days.  I got up early so I went to the gym and then came home to my bright eyed son jumping in piles and piles of all our bed pillows.  We've watched some Blues Clues, checked the mail, eaten California rolls and homemade popsicles and spent the morning laughing.  I decided I wanted some produce so I got in the car, turned the music up and drove to downtown Plano to this little gem...

I've passed Georgia's a million times, heck, we got married in the park across the street but I've never gone in until today.  It was fabulous.  I was the youngest person in there and some of the old rusty decor on the shelves made me happy I'd had a tetanus shot a few years ago (no, I didn't plan on touching anything but I'm slightly odd, remember?).  I roamed the aisles thinking of what I wanted to go with our grilled chicken tonight, loaded up with goodies and headed back home.  We read some books to "W" before his nap and then I took a nap.  Isn't that great? It's not even 3 o'clock yet and we have so much day left to do nothing with! No doubt we'll be in the backyard for the rest of the evening grilling, swimming and chatting with neighbors.  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday and I hope you find some lazy time in there somewhere too!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Funny fitness

It's raining today and with my recent gym debacle still fresh I just didn't have it in me to lug my son to go workout and face possible rejection again from the kid's area.   Since he was playing quite passionately in his room with jet planes and alphabet cards I decided it was a great time to do a video workout in the living room.  The following is a true account of what occurred.   None of the names or events have been changed to protect anyone and it's also not a complaint as I find the whole thing endearing.

When I began my workout the living room was completely picked up and therefore I had plenty of room to jump, kick and move around.   I was all of 7 minutes in when a sweet faced little boy came running in to hug my leg.  I hugged him back and got back to work.  "W" then decided to pour his water out onto the coffee table and smear it into a "beautiful rainbow" so I paused the video, got a rag and cleaned up the mess then I got back to work.  In the next 10 minutes he built a house out of blocks (in the same area that I was in) so I moved to the opposite side of the living room.  He then moved to that side and began hammering and drilling with one of his toys, threw all the Boggle letters from a game underneath my feet,  went and pulled a cookbook from a shelf (causing the other books to fall of course) and began reading it, then he decided that the cars would be best raced underneath my feet.  Going with the flow I just kept moving back and forth like a ping pong ball all over the living room along with him for a 30 minute workout.  Oh I talked to him and we counted our kicks and reached for the sky and I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard.  He's hilarious.  We have 1600 square feet in this house and he wants to be in the 4 to 6 feet that I am occupying. 

He is currently watching Blues Clues in his upside down chair because he had a really exhausting workout!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The weight of the world

This morning I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and maybe that's why I am up .8 lbs.  I am frustrated, tired and feel like eating a couple of s'mores for breakfast because what's the point?  I am busting my butt, eating right, counting my points (Weight Watchers)-- which by the way is really difficult with a toddler I don't know why but it is hard to calculate food and journal it when you live with a monkey.  My body aches from exercise and my stomach keeps asking "where's the beef?".

But I refuse to let .8 be the reason I throw in the towel.  Maybe it's water, salt or time to step up the exercise (I really hope it's not that last one).  Hey, maybe it's a muscle?!?   It's a slooooooooooow process and I honestly don't know why you guys are still reading this stuff--aren't you tired of me yet?

Monday, June 4, 2012

How's that for using our noodle?

Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  I admit, until this weekend I had never so much glanced at one in the grocery store let alone eaten it but when I found the following recipe on my new favorite blog, Peas and Thank You I had to try it.

Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 1 large spaghetti squash (approximately 7-8 c. of squash strands)
  • 2 c. marinara sauce
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy (i.e. Tofutti) or organic cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast or grated organic Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 c. non-dairy (i.e. Daiya) or organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)
  • Do your best not to try to lose a finger while cutting your squash in two lengthwise.
  • I insert the blade an inch or two into the squash and then force the blade away from me while exerting some force. I do this all the way around, up to but not including the stem, and then I essentially “crack” the squash open.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop the seeds and guts from the squash.
  • Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil and place it face down in a microwave safe dish that has a fitted lid.
  • Microwave for 10-12 minutes, until the squash has softened and you can do this with a fork.
  • For the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large saucepan, combine marinara sauce, oregano, basil, cream cheese and nutritional yeast or Parmesan. Heat over low to medium heat until cream cheese has melted into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add spaghetti squash and broccoli to the saucepan and toss to coat evenly.
  • Transfer mixture to a large casserole dish (2 qt. or larger) that has been lightly spritzed with olive oil or cooking spray.
  • Top casserole with grated cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  • To brown the top of the casserole, you can switch the oven over to the broil setting for the last several minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
This dinner was easy to prepare and the sauce is killer good y'all.  I used low fat cream cheese and lower fat mozzarella instead of her non-dairy suggestions (hey, a girl can only cut out so much at a time ok?) and used a bag of steamable broccoli florets and microwaved the squash to save time.  I typically cannot get "W" to eat spaghetti so I didn't have high expectations of him eating this meal.  He cleaned his plate...except for the "trees" also known as broccoli (Go figure, the kid will stick any leaf, stick, rock, shoe or bug in his mouth but hide broccoli in a gooey cheese sauce and he will sniff it out a mile away like an old hound dog and flick it off his plate). This casserole had all the richness of an cheesy delicious Italian meal but knowing that my family was scarfing down squash had me grinning from ear to ear.

I paired this meal with the best salad I've probably ever eaten which included another first for me, kale.  The dressing on this was so perfect we were literally licking the bottom of the salad bowl fighting over drops.  I also got this recipe over at Peas and Thank You:

Magic Kale Salad with Pistachios and Apples
Makes 2 servings
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur or lacinato kale
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. sesame oil
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 t. honey or agave
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 c. pistachio kernels, roasted and salted
Wash and dry kale and remove stems with a sharp knife of by tearing.  Cut or tear leaves into large, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
In a small bowl or shaker bottle, combine lemon juice, oils, mustard, honey or agave and salt.  Whisk or shake until fully combined.
Pour dressing over kale and massage it over and into the leaves of kale for a two or three minutes.  Refrigerate and allow kale to soften for several more minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare apple by peeling and dicing and pistachios by eating them by the handful.
Add diced apples to the kale and toss.  Plate each serving and top with remaining pistachios.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did! I am adding it to our regular meal rotation of pure yummy!

Sweating the small stuff

*Warning* The following contains some whining but it's either write it all out for the "world" to see or go eat a dozen chocolate chip cookies.  I chose to whine online.

This morning was difficult.  It wasn't a bad morning by any means, we were all just worn out from hosting a party last night and getting in bed later than normal.  I wasn't in the mood to do anything other than eat my yogurt and zone out while "W" watched his morning Wiggles episode.  There was however that little tiny voice whispering to me that I needed to work out, not only for weight loss goals but because it would definately wake me up and help me function the rest of the day.  So I wrestled pants and a shirt on my son, got our waters and snacks together and pulled out of the garage singing "This Old Man".

We park at the gym, I get us unloaded and inside where I proceed to sign in while holding our waters, my purse and 30 pounds of "W".  Signing in at the gym is like something out of Mission Impossible for me.  Once I have accepted the mission to work out and arrive at the gym I must enter a code, scan a finger and remember to get a towel which doesn't sound challenging but try holding a monkey the next time you do this and you'll see my point. What's that? Put him down while I sign in? *laughs uncontrollably at that ridiculous statement*  Moving on.  Since I'm holding ice waters my hands are always wet and it usually takes a couple of tries for my finger to scan.  Once I pass that zone I then have to take "W" to the kid's area and sign in using 31 forms of identification (not really, just 1 but it's hard to dig in a wallet for the license while holding a wiggly toddler who doesn't want to be dropped off in the first place) and then sign in.

Oh but we didn't even make it into the kid's area today.  As I round the corner excited about 30 minutes of precious me time I notice a line of moms and kids outside the kid's area.  Completely full.  No room.  They are bringing in another teacher but it would be several minutes and there were already quite a few ahead of us which meant no guarantee we'd be in anytime soon.  Shoulders slumped, tears forming quickly I turned on my heel and headed back to our car.  I couldn't even get him buckled in his seat before I just started sobbing.  I'm not talking about a little cry of frustration, I'm talking about the kind of crying where you can't breathe and have to call your husband at work in order to calm you down (SO SORRY, HONEY!!).  I'm not sure why I reacted that way other than just having my heart set on something and it not working out.  I realize that is life and I know I can even work out later tonight...but I don't want to.  I want to spend time with my husband and eat dinner as a family not go back up to the smelly gym to work out. 

I took my son to the park.  We played in the mud, climbed hills and laughed.  We're at home now, playing in the yard and eating watermelon.  I guess there are worse things than not being able to work out this morning. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ham's Orchard

It was a beautiful morning with a great breeze and lower temperatures and there was no better way to say hello to the sunshine than by heading on a big Saturday adventure to Ham Orchards! If you live in the Dallas area and have not visited Ham's you need to make plans to go because they have amazing peaches as well as other fresh produce and it is so much fun to pick blackberries with your children.  I did a write up for the Dallas Moms Blog last year about Ham's if you want check it out here

Today we met up with our pals the Baileys and had an easy and slow morning picking blackberries, eating ice cream, playing chase and watching big trains roll by. We rocked in rocking chairs and spent the morning laughing together which is the best kind of Saturday.

Thanks to my friend Kali at Being the Baileys for all the great photos..I hate it when my camera batteries die!

I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday; time for naps now!