"I'm a mother, I'm a lover, a chef, a referee. I'm a doctor, and a chauffeur seven days a week. I ain't asking for a medal, yeah I know you work too. I'd just like a little credit where credit is due. It's the hardest gig I've ever known. I work my fingers to the bone. Yeah the dishes and the diapers never stop. Lousy pay, there ain't no 401K. I know this may come as a shock, but this here's a full time job!"--Full Time Job sung by Gretchen Wilson

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flying Through The Pages! (Book Worm Wednesday)

Apparently I have been getting a lot of reading in this week. I didn't realize it, but I have finished 2 books! I think getting M to bed at a decent hour leaves me a little time to read in bed if I want which is really nice! So, without further ado...

Knit, Purl, Die by Anne Canadeo is the second in a series about a group of knitters that congregate at the Black Sheep Yarn Store. It really was a good read. The newest knitter to their group dies unexpectedly and the Black Sheeps do NOT think it was an accident as the police decided. So, these ladies go about trying to solve the mystery on their own. The mystery part of the story is pretty good and the knitting parts of the story are even better. There are patterns and recipes at the end of the book which makes the book an even greater read in my opinion! If this type of fiction appeals to you at all, check it out! But, you might want to read her first book, While My Pretty One Knits just so you can meet the characters in the right order!

I also just finished Daniel X: Watch The Skies By James Patterson this morning. I am a BIG James Patterson fan, but felt this one fell a little short. It is a Young Adult novel and the second in a series. I think that maybe I just prefer his mysteries as I wasn't a HUGE fan of the first Daniel X book, nor his stories about the Bird Kids (I am pretty sure the first was Maximum Ride). I will say though, of course the story was WONDERFULLY written and descriptive as I would expect nothing less from Patterson. The plot of the story itself though just didn't do it for me. But, check the book out yourself and make your own opinion and let me know what YOU thought!

Now I am getting ready to start Kitty and The Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn. This is a series of books about a werewolf. The librarian suggested them, so I am hoping she has good taste in fiction!

Just a few words about yesterday's post...I feel MUCH better today. I cut my points down yesterday and didn't feel like I was stuffing my face! I worked out at the gym this morning, but did a slightly easier workout than I have been doing, but only because my muscles were a LITTLE tired. Tomorrow it is back to the grind! :)

Have a great day! We have already been outside playing in this GORGEOUS sunshine!! Make sure you get a little sun today too!
With Love,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ugh! (Take It Off Tuesday)

Well, my experiment FAILED with a big F! Remember? I made myself eat all 40 points every day (OK, so 2 days I ate 39.5, but come on a half a point is difficult to find!). I lost only .8 pounds. Originally, I actually GAINED .2 and then had to nurse M again, so I weighed myself on a whim and apparently he ate a pound worth of milk, making my actual weight loss -.8. This is VERY discouraging to me. I am trying NOT to let it get me down, but it is difficult. I feel like I work so hard, I watch what I eat, and NOTHING. Logically, I know that isn't true as I have lost almost 30 pounds in 2 months, but it is still just so damn frustrating! Why can't their be a magic genie of skinniness so that I can just wish it away? While I'm at it I'd like a million dollars and a cure for cancer!

So, last week is over, my bitching is DONE and I am moving on. This weeks plan...well, I'm for sure not eating that much food every day! Seriously, I felt pretty miserable. I don't really understand the philosophy here (and I'm sure if I actually WENT to a WW meeting, I might understand better!). You are supposed to eat all your points, but you are supposed to stop eating BEFORE you feel full. Well, I felt full WAY before I ate all my points. I found I was eating random things just to meet my points. So, with that in mind, I am dropping my points level. Since I am nursing, I am technically allotted 40 extra points. I am not going to use these. I will keep an eye on M, don't worry and if I need to start giving him a bottle or 2. He has started eating a little oatmeal at night anyways, so that is good for him. :) That means, I will be eating 30 points each day. That seems a LOT more reasonable!

I have also amped up my gym workouts. I am still Shredding, but really wasn't killing myself at the gym. Well, that has changed! I am doing MUCH harder workouts now and sweating a whole lot more. I am really hoping it all works and I can get past this plateau. I would LOVE to break 30 pounds this week. have 4 more Shred workouts to get my 30 days in and earn a One Pound Pass in my contest (I have already won 1 by being one of the first 3 to lose 10% of my original body weight). I plan on continuing to do Shred, but to also start going to Body Pump at the gym. I miss this class so much!

Well, I am out of time for today as M is up and starting to cry. Have a great day. Get out and enjoy the sunshine! Take a walk, chase your kids, have fun!
With Love,

Monday, March 29, 2010

What To Make?!?!

For all my food stalkers out there (yes Jennifer, I am talking to you!) I have NO idea what I am making for dinner. I am thinking about Smoked Turkey Sausage Sandwiches. No, not very exciting, but for whatever reason, it sounds AWESOME! Maybe some Shell's and Cheese and some veggies would round out the meal just fine. Yes, that is what I am going for...

Now, what for you to make? Well, let me tell you that I use my Crock Pot a TON! Seriously, I LOVE my Crock Pots (I have 2!!). I make chicken, beef, pork, just about anything I can. I love that I can put it on and forget about it! In fact, tomorrow, I think I will make Chicken and Noodles in the Crock Pot...sounds good! Why am I telling you this? Well, today's Munchy Time Monday recipe is for the Crock Pot! This is seriously about the EASIEST thing you will be able to do. For anyone that says, "Oh, I'm can't cook, I don't know how.", I PROMISE you can do this!

"Roasted" Chicken
1 Whole Chicken
Any Spices you want on it (I use Garlic [of course], onion powder, a little salt, pepper, paprika, and usually some cayenne pepper. You can also use a bag of Lipton Onion Soup Mix!)
Chicken Broth or water
Onions, Carrots, Celery (optional)

Spray your Crock Pot!! Trust me on this! Next, make sure that you have removed the innards if the chicken you bought didn't already come de-innarded (lovely made up word, huh?). If you leave the insides in the bag in the chicken, well, let's just say GROSS!!. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cool water. Place in Crock Pot on it's tummy. Sprinkle with whatever seasoning you want. Pour in a little water or broth (liquids do NOT evaporate in a Crock Pot, so whatever liquids you put in will be there when you are done!). If using veggies, either stuff the chicken with them (you can also throw some cloves of garlic in there too!) or just put them in the Crock Pot with the chicken and spices and liquid. Put it on low and let it cook all day! Pretty simple, isn't it? Now, if you are a little shorter on time, crank that puppy up to high and it should cook in 3-4 hours. Remove from Crock Pot. Word of warning, the chicken will be VERY tender, as in fall off the bone. Make sure you do not choke on any bones accidentally!

Now, Crock Pot Tip...DO NOT REMOVE LID DURING COOKING!! When you remove the lid, you let all the heat/steam out and that makes your cooking time take longer. Seriously, just leave it alone!

Well, that is the tip for today! Enjoy this gorgeous day and have a good one!
With Love,

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Of My Favorite Things (Free For All Friday)

Today I wanted to show you one of my favorite things. I know this is probably weird, but I LOVE these. My friend Jen suggested them as a healthy snack to eat while following Weight Watchers. They are only 2 points a bag and are so good. Without further ado...



Seriously these are SO yummy!! I have a HUGE weakness for the Thin Mint cookies that the Girl Scouts sell. I could go through an entire box in one sitting and not really think twice about it. This year, these kept me out of that box! Ok, so yes, I had 2 cookies, but that is it! I really like these Mini Delights! They come in plain chocolate, caramel, and cinnamon streusel too. The cinnamon are pretty good, caramel is OK, and we haven't tried the plain chocolate because I love the mint ones too much!

So, go out and get yourself a box! You won't regret it!
With Love,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Books As Art (Fiber Therapy Thursday)

My good friend Carli taught me to knit in June of 2007. Since then, I have immersed myself in the knitting culture whole heartedly! I knit every opportunity that I get, I pour over patterns both in books and online (see last weeks post on Ravelry). I can stare at and feel up yarn for HOURS! I LOVE to look at other people's knitting. I can talk about knitting all day, arguing if straight needles are better than circulars, wood vs. metal, and whether I am pro or con for acrylics (I am pro, except for Red Heart, YUCK). But, today I am going to stray from the subject of actual knitting. Instead, how about we talk about the art of the knitting book.
There are probably just as many knitting books out there as there are knitters, and believe me, that is a lot! If you have never looked through a knitting book before, you are missing out! The Knitting book in and of itself is as much of an art form as the knitting itself Pictures after pictures of GORGEOUS art work are in these books. And not necessarily just the pictures of the knitting, but the organization of the book and all the petty scripts and other illustrations, they are just gorgeous! I don't think I can say that word enough...GORGEOUS!

Some of my favorites are Boutique Knits, French Girl Knits, Knitting Little Luxuries, and Inspired To Knit. I just realized that these are all put out by Interweave Press...I guess that I must really like them huh?!? In all seriousness, if you get a chance, just check these books out for the pictures alone, even if you aren't into the whole knitting part! Other fun books are the Stitch & Bitch series. What great reads! Knitting Magazines too are great works of art...check them out!

Next week I will fill you in on the whole knitting blog phenomenon! It's even crazier!!!

Till then,
With Love,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Artemis Fowl (Book Worm Wednesday)

I was able to get another book finished for the week. It was a Young Adult book called Artemis Fowl and it was written by Eoin Colfer. As far as Young Adult books go, it wasn't bad. It is about a 12 year old boy whose father has disappeared and mother is going insane. He is a criminal mastermind intent on rebuilding up his families abundant wealth. His plan is to expose the magical world of fairies and their fight back to avoid that exposure. As far as fantasy books go, it was decent. It is most definitely written for the Young Adult set, but I think I am a young adult at heart, so I don't feel weird reading it! There are more Artemis Fowl books in the series and I think I would eventually like to read them all. I am going to take a small break though and read some more grown up fiction. Bottom line...easy read, somewhat entertaining, not a lot of brain stimulation!

Not much on the agenda today. Just dealing with sick kiddos which is screwing up my wanting to work out. I managed to stay with my goal of eating all my points yesterday and feel as if I ate ALL day long! But, if it works, than I will do it. I guess we will see at the weigh in on Tuesday....I hope it works!!

With Love,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take It Off Tuesday (plus another recipe!)

I hit 28 pounds today! I lost 1.6 pounds this week. I feel a little bittersweet about this. I know that 1.6 pounds is a GREAT weight loss. I do. But, for some reason I just feel really defeated. Stupid I know, but I think that part of my disappointment is because of the Biggest Loser contest I am doing. I just REALLY want to win so to see a smaller weight loss is frustrating, but like my friend Erica said, that is 1.6 pounds that is no longer on me. She compared it to 1.6 pounds of ground beef...that is a lot! So, I should feel better about my 1.6 pounds, huh? Especially since we had J's birthday party and I ate some Pizza Hut pizza, brownies and ice cream. OK, going to be PROUD of my 1.6 pounds!

The contest has 28 more days. My goal is 15% of my original body weight. That means I need to lose 9.5 more pounds. I don't really know if it is doable or not, but that is my goal. At this point, I have already hit my goal for the entire contest (10%) so anything else is gravy...mmmm....gravy! ;)

I tried something new Friday morning. I went to a class at my gym called "Barre". It is based on the principles of ballet and even though it wasn't the sweat inducing workouts I usually like, it was pretty good. My calves were SCREAMING for 4 days! There was a lot of ab work and work of all those little muscles that don't normally get hit in a workout very easily. I am hoping that I can make it to the class again soon. It only meets on Monday evening and Friday mornings. Evenings are rough because of family time and L goes to our neighbors house on Friday mornings. So we will see, maybe we can do an every other week thing, although I would prefer going more than that. I don't know though, maybe I'll have to check out some of the gym's other locations and see if it is anywhere else at different times. :)

I made a Weight Watcher's Shepherd's Pie last night. It was SO good. I had a lot of people asking me for the recipe. So, here it is. I got it from the Weight Watchers newsletter that gets emailed to me every couple of days. Here you go:

Classic Shepherd's Pie

2 large Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 c. fat-free sour cream
1 T. reduced-calorie margarine
1/8 t. table salt (or to taste)
2 t. olive oil
1 c. onions chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
1 pound uncooked ground turkey breast
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. rosemary, fresh, chopped or 1 t. dried
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. table salt
1/4 t. black pepper
2 c. canned chicken or beef broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover potatoes. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and add sour cream and margarine; mash until smooth, season to taste with salt and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; Cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add flour, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper; stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer; simmer until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
Transfer turkey mixture to a 9-inch, deep dish pie plate. Spread mashed potatoes over top and using the back of a spoon, make decorative swirls over the top. Bake until potatoes are golden, about 30 minutes. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.
5 POINTS per serving

Now, what I did different...
I used Ore-Ida steam and mash potatoes...God love whoever invented these!! What a novel concept...I hate peeling potatoes!
Instead of cutting up the onions and celery, I used a frozen mix that had those plus green pepper already diced up, then I just added carrots to the mix. I know you can buy the mix with onions, celery, and carrots, just didn't have it on hand.
I also put in a little Italian Seasoning in with the spices.
Oh, of course I added garlic too! :)

Everyone liked it! Enjoy! Let me know what you thought!

I forgot to add that I started Level 3 of the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred yesterday. Did it again today. There is something oddly gratifying about hitting Level 3 on the DVD player! :)

Have a great one...until tomorrow!
With Love,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bruchetta Chicken...YUM! (Munchy Time Monday!)

Hello all! What a great weekend! I hope that you had a good one too! Saturday was J's Birthday party with the family. It was a great time. I ate too much, but oh well. One cheat meal in 6 weeks isn't too bad! I just can' believe I used to eat like that all the time. My stomach was paying for it yesterday! We just had Pizza from Pizza Hut and brownies and ice cream, and I didn't even over eat, but I haven't had that much fat all at once in a while. Oh well, life goes on!

So, for Munchies today....I had a lot of people ask about my Bruchetta Chicken recipe when I posted something about it on Facebook last week. I'm sure that I found this recipe somewhere or adapted it or something, but I honestly have NO idea where from. Then again, I might have just come up with it on my own. Who knows! Without further ado....Bruchetta Chicken!

4 Chicken Breasts
1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Crushed Black Pepper

Spray baking dish and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken into baking dish, sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Onion Powder. Drain tomatoes (there will still be some liquid, don't stress). Spoon tomatoes over Chicken. Sprinkle with Oregano. Bake until chicken is done. (I'd like to tell you 30 minutes, but it depends on how thick your chicken breasts are...I use a meat thermometer). Sprinkle with 1/4 c. cheese per chicken breast and sprinkle with Parsley and Black Pepper. Bake 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes (this makes the chicken juicier!). Enjoy! 4 POINTS, unless your chicken breasts are bigger...add points accordingly!

I hope you enjoy this. It is one of my favorite ways to make chicken!

Until tomorrow!
With Love,

Friday, March 19, 2010

25 Things About me!-(Free-For All Friday)

Last year sometime I did a 25 Things About Me, but things in my life have changed. So, instead of coming up with 25 new things, I thought I would edit the old ones. Some still apply, some do not, or should be further explained...check it out. The original is in black, my notes are in RED!

1. I know the book "Good Night Moon" by heart. I still know this book by heart, but now we have added Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, & Snow White!
2. I LOVE to cook and bake. I wish that I could make all the things I want to, but I would weigh 400 pounds! I am learning to make healthier things and have enjoyed cooking them. Granted, they aren't my Mint Brownies, but you have to make sacrifices sometime.
3. I really enjoy lifting weights and wish I could find time to do it more. I LOVE to lift weights and have been doing the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I am looking forward to getting back to Body Pump class to really pump some iron!
4. I love to knit and sew and really enjoy making very "girlie" things for my 2 daughters even though I'm a big tomboy. Now that I have a little boy, it is great to be able to make some blue things!!
5. I've never really given up on the dream of being a writer, it has just gone from being a song writer to a fiction writer. I have several different plots planned, just not enough time to get them on paper!
6. I have owned 2 Ipods and have not paid for either one, The first was a gift from one of the teenagers I worked with (she had won 10 free ones) and the second Rian gave me (Thanks Rian). Planning on passing the Ipod to a friend as I now have a Blackberry that I LOVE!!!
7. I had NO desire to be in a sorority and was so angry at my friend Stacey when she joined Phi Beta Chi. She made me go meet the girls and they turned into my closest friends. So glad I joined! Nothing to add...love those girls!
8. When I had J, I gave birth to 2 kidney stones too...Eric called them Mick and Keith, the Rolling Stones! This was funny until I passed over 11 with M!
9. I have had close to 300 stitches: 3 in the head, 6 in the back, 2 in the chest, 10 "after baby" ones, and around 250-275 in the knee after 2 knee surgeries. Add at least 7 more!
10. I have started the "Couch To 5K" Program about 5 or 6 times...this time I am sticking with it. I didn't! :) Plan on starting again after I complete the 30 Day Shred!
11. My all time favorite movie is "The Princess Bride". I can recite the entire movie. Eric HATES watching it with me. Runner ups are "The Fugitive" and "Jurassic Park". I have started L early on this one! She doesn't like the ROUS scene though!
12. I love music so much it is difficult to pick a favorite song, but I think that it is "One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer" by George Thorogood or "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane. Admit it, you thought I would have said a Garth Brooks song, didn't you? Not much has changed here...I still love these songs!
13. Garth Brooks is my favorite singer...I used to want to marry him. If he ever tours again, I WILL go see him, I don't care how far I have to fly or how much I have to pay for tickets. I would still like to go see him perform. But, I would like to see the New Kids On The Block too...probably will not get to either!
14. I love to color and play with play dough and I get excited when L wants to do either! Adding bubbles and chalk to this!
15. I bleed black and gold and had ALWAYS wanted to be a Purdue Boilermaker, but I NEVER thought I would stay here and live. I'm a little bummed that we live so close to Purdue because if my kiddos are anything like mommy and daddy were, they won't want to go to college so close to home!
16. We own 3.5 acres that we are waiting to build on...let's pray this market gets better! Still waiting!
17. One of my favorite things to do is to just sit and watch the girls play. After 10 months, L is FINALLY starting to play with J and it is too darn cute! OK, so it has officially been 2 years since J was born...L is STILL trying to tolerate her! Only now we have added M to the mix
18. My grandmother wanted so badly for me to be a nurse, but I can't stand the sight of blood or the sight or smell of puke...don't think it would have been the best choice of career for me. UGH! L hurt her head last year and it took all my self control not to throw up on her. Ditto whenever any of them get sick! Gross!
19. I make the BEST brownies. Sorry, no modesty here...is anyone going to argue me on this? If so, you've never had my brownies! I still make the best brownies and NO you can't have the recipe! :)
20. I love to read, I can never get enough of books...I go to the library at least once a week and love it there so much, that I hope I can find a job there once the girls go to school. Books books books...Check out Book Worm Wednesdays for my book reviews!
21. I'm a little scared of horses. My mom has 2 and she wants to put L on them. She knows she isn't allowed to without a helmet, but I am still terrified. Oh, and she has NO idea I feel this way. I am starting to feel a little more comfortable around them. I am looking forward to when it gets a little warmer and I can get on one of them.
22. I LOVE to pile blankets on when I sleep...the more layers the better. Having a 3rd kid must have changed my body chemistry...I get really hot now!
23. My new favorite drink is Smirnoff Mojitos...they are very yummy and it is all in one bottle! Still yummy...feel free to by a bottle for me after I am done nursing!
24. A part of me missed going out almost every night and getting plastered, but then I wise up and realize I really hated puking so much! Threw up so much while preggo with M...still have little desire to do that anymore!
25. My secret dream is to sing on a grand piano while wearing a red dress with a slit up the leg, silly I know, but what can I say?!?! Crap, guess it isn't so secret anymore huh?!?! One day! One day!

So now hopefully you know a little more about me! Thanks so much to Mommy On Fire (aka Natalie) for the idea.

I want to send a very very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to by darling J! I can't believe she is 2!! She is such a big girl now! I love you sweetie!!

Have a great weekend!
With Love,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reverly, I mean Ravelry (Fiber Therapy Thursday)


This is my all time favorite website. If you are a knitter or a crocheter, and you have not checked out the WONDERFULNESS that is Ravelry, then you need to RUSH over to the website. I'm serious. Every pattern that you could possibly think of is on this site. Examples of things that other knitters/crocheters have done are on this site. GORGEOUS hand died yarn, amazing sweaters, fun hats, EVERYTHING yarn that you could think of.

Now, if you are NOT a knitter/crocheter, than checking out some of the things on this site might just make you want to become one! And, I am all about recruiting more knitters to take over the world (although, more knitters mean less yarn for me...I might not have thought this one through!).

Also, once I have M to where he is easy to put to sleep, I want to start what is called a Stitch & Bitch. I went to a knit night at my LYS (local yarn store), and it was nice, but not what I am looking for. So, if you know how to knit or crochet or want to learn let me know what you think! :)

Till tomorrow...
With Love,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Best Friends Forever-(Book Worm Wednesday)

Good Evening! I only have a few minutes today to blog, but I wanted to make sure I got on here. I did get a book finished! I am a little shocked seeing as I haven't had a whole lot of reading time except on the bike at the gym. But, you have to use what time you have right?

Anyways, I finished Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner. Now, Weiner is probably my favorite author. I have read everything she has done and I have enjoyed them all. BFF is no different. I enjoyed it. It was a fairly easy read. It had a good plot and the characters are believable. As a "curvy" woman, I have to admit that Weiner knows how to write "curvy" women. Most of her main characters are of the more curvaceous sort, but are so lovable. Addie is no different. I started out rooting for her. Logically you know that something is going to happen to screw up the friendship between Addie and Val, but you also know something is going to bring them back together. As good of a story as it was, have to admit that it was fairly predictable. Maybe I've just read to many Chic Lit novels, but half way through, I knew where this was going. But, it was still an excellent read. If you are looking for a feel good book, check it out. That said, if you are new to Jennifer Weiner and haven't read Good In Bed, RUN to your local library or book store and read it immediately! My favorite book of all time!!

That is all I have time for today...see you tomorrow
With Love,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Case of The Orange Pants-(Take It Off Tuesday)

If you knew me in college, you might remember my Orange Pants. I type those words with love because I adored those pants! As gross as it is to admit, I wore them WAY past laundry day I loved them so much. They really weren't anything special I guess. They were a pair of cargo pants from Old Navy. They made a swishy sound when I walked. Oh, and they were BRIGHT orange! They were my favorite piece of clothing. They were well loved. Well, I unearthed them over the weekend. Yes, I have kept them this long. The last time I was able to wear them was when I was at my thinnest after L was born. Guess what....they fit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In all honesty, they are still a little tighter than what I would like and I probably won't wear them out in public yet, but they fit! I was able to fasten them and everything! I am so happy! I get to wear my Orange Pants again!!!!

In honor of my Orange Pants, I weighed in today just like every Tuesday. Let me begin with that I have been SO tired all week. I admit fully that I didn't push it too much. I followed my diet just fine, but took off all day Sunday and Monday from working out. I hit a point that I thought if I tried to workout then I might injure myself. So, after discussing it with E (my resident Exercise Scientist), I decided to take a couple of days off. He said that with the lack of sleep I have been getting, my body isn't getting time to recharge and heal. So, that is what I did. I resigned myself to the fact that healing my body was more important than losing weight this week. That was a little difficult to stomach though since I REALLY wanted to break 25 pounds and hit my goal. But, body comes first! So, I stepped on the scale this morning telling myself that I was going to be proud of myself, even if I only lost 1/2 a pound. Well, imagine my surprise when the scale read....


What?!?!?! Seriously, I weighed myself 3 times just to make sure! I couldn't believe it. I was so excited, I immediately called my mom and bragged. She was happy for me and told me that she was really proud of me. Then, I really looked at myself in the mirror. I mean REALLY looked at myself, not the quick glance I have been giving myself because it was too painful to see what I really looked like. Well, I can FINALLY notice a difference! I still am unhappy with the outside shell, but that shell is shrinking and the INSIDE is feeling much better!

I do want to give any readers a tip though. E filled me in on this and I want to pass it on. If you are on the treadmill, put your incline at .5-1%. This makes it a little more like walking outside. I think that you will be AMAZED at the difference and that you seriously won't notice the extra incline. My legs never feel as tired or as sore if I keep just a tiny bit of incline on the never ending sidewalk than if I walk on it flat. And, you work a couple extra calories off in the process...cool!

So, overall a great week weight wise. I hit my 10% goal. Now, I am going for 15%! Wish me luck and see you tomorrow for Book Worm Wednesday...I've got a book review for you!

With Love,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fruit Loops, Sloppy Joes, and Sleepless Nights!

Hello there! Happy Munchy Time Monday! Did you have a good weekend? We did. We didn't do anything special, but enjoyed some family time. Saturday we all worked out here at home (the girls included). It is hilarious to watch J do squats! Then we went to the gym together. I ran into an old co-worker on the treadmill. I am seriously uncoordinated enough, but try walking on the treadmill and talking to the person next to me was an experience. I swear I about wiped out about 4 times! Then we came home and everyone took a nap after lunch (it was wonderful!). We had a great family dinner after watching Purdue get spanked. Sunday M and I went and picked up L's trial bed and then went and got some bedding. I was able to get MOST of the house clean thanks to my wonderful hubby.

So, at this point I am just downright exhausted. M doesn't want to sleep at night, or during the day or any time if he is not being held! I am trying to determine if he is old enough to Cry It Out yet. I hate to, but Mama's gotta get some sleep little boy! As I type this (from my phone of course since M INSISTS on being held) L & J are supposed to be napping in their room together for the first time. We shall see! I've already put J down 3 times now!


I don't know if I have posted this recipe in the past, but it is worth posting again! This is one of my favorite all-time treats! My MIL gave me the recipe and I would eat it everyday if I could. To make it even better, it only takes 2 ingredients and about 5 minutes plus a little drying time!

Loopy Bark
1 box Fruit loops (I SO use generic!)
1 large block white chocolate or vanilla almond bark

Poor Fruit Loops into a large bowl. Melt bark according to pkg. directions. Poor melted bark over fruit loops. Stir well until Loops are all covered. Spread onto wax paper until dry. Store in air tight container. Enjoy!!

Now I realize this is gross, but feel I should mention it just in case you give this to your kiddos (which come on, if you have kids, you KNOW they will want some!). If you eat too much of this, your poop will be black, or dark blue or green. I can only tell you that I learned this the hard way when I changed my daughter's diaper. I just want you to be prepared! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Now, for my latest meal. I have ALWAYS been ONLY a Manwich person when it came to Sloppy Joes. No generic for us! Then I started doing Weight watchers and found a recipe for sloppy joes in one of their recipe books. I have heavily adapted it, but I will tell you it started out like the Barbecue-Sauced Sloppy Joes from the Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites if you want to see the original. Now for my version...

Theresa's BBQ Sausage Joes:

Cooking Spray
1-1 1/2 onions, chopped,
1 lg. green pepper, seeded and chopped
at least 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey sausage
Chili powder
Ground cumin
dried oregano
mustard powder
garlic powder
nutmeg (just a pinch!!!)
1/2 c. prepared BBQ sauce
8 oz. can tomato sauce

Spray large skillet. Cook Onions and peppers until soft. Add Turkey Sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add spices. Now, as you can see I don't give you amounts because, well, I don't measure them! :) I just throw them in until it looks about right. But, I'm going to guess it is about 1 or 2 tsp. of each spice except for the nutmeg. I only add a pinch just to bring out flavor. Trust me on this! Mix together. Then add BBQ Sauce and Tomato Sauce. Stir and cook until heated through. I serve this with Brownberry Double Fiber Bread (1 PT. per slice). So total, this is about 5 points per slice.

I hope that you enjoy today's munchies. I know that I have! Tune in tomorrow for Take It Off Tuesday to see if I hit my 2.6 pound goal for the week (I am HIGHLY doubting it, but you never know!).

With Love,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Free For All Friday!!!

TGIF! That is all I can really say! This has been one heck of a week and I am more than happy to see it come to an end! As I type at least PART of this post, I am sitting at the doctor's office AGAIN! I have been to the doc's office every week for a month, and I still have to bring J next week for her 2 year appointment! Today we are waiting to get M's ears checked to determine if he has another ear infection or if he has teeth coming in. Fun!

The girls seemed to sleep better last night. J slept in the bed and we let L "camp" out in the living room (she was thrilled). They have at least been in better humor today. I think we are going to borrow a twin bed to see if they can at least sleep in the same room together. Here's hoping!

I might have to break my promise of not knitting anything other than my MIL's scarf right now (see yesterday's post). A friend of my cousins has asked if I would commision some hats for her. Depending on how quickly she wants them (I am not a fast knitter) I will probably do it. I look forward to talking with her!

Friday is grocery shopping night (are we exciting or what?). Grocery shopping is one of those things that I would love to avoid, but somehow I miss when I don't get to do it. When I was on bed rest and couldn't go.

I hope you have enjoyed the first week of topics! Have a great weekend!
With Love,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fiber Therapy Thursdays!

Today I want to talk to you about something that has become my number 1 hobby....KNITTING! There is such a thing as Fiber Therapy and believe me, it will relax you so much as you feel soft smooshy wool. Thank you so much to my dear friend Carli for teaching me this skill. What would I do without you? For the record, I'm sure there are knitters out there that don't find knitting relaxing. I say to them, either choose easier, less complicated patterns or CHILL OUT! :)

I just finished a cute little hat and bootie set for my friend Rachel who just had her first baby boy after 3 beautiful girls! I think they are adorable and hopefully so did she!

I have been continually working on a project for my MIL. This was actually supposed to be a Christmas present. Yeah, I'm a little behind. But, I am determined that I am not allowed to do anything else until I finish this. It is called a Heel Head Scarf and can be found at Carissa Knits I am doing it is a soft black yarn. It is called Caron and it is acrylic which can sometimes suck, but this is super soft!

(Photo courtesy of Carissa Knits, see link above photo.)

I've got other things I am working on: a scarf and hat for my mom, a couple of hat/ mittens set. But, they are going to wait, because I am OBSESSED with making this GORGEOUS shawl from this blog:

(Photo courtesy of designer, see her blog above photo.)

I have 4 balls of this Gorgeous Merino Wool to make it!
I want it so badly that I've been working on my MIL's scarf at all available minutes!

On the mommy front, we are having some issues with the sleeping arrangements of J & L. J wants to play all night and won't let L sleep so they are both crabby all the time. We've got to figure it out because all these crabby kids are making me weary.

That is Fiber Therapy Thursday! See you tomorrow!
With love,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book Worm Wednesday

YAY! It is Wednesday! I love Wednesdays for many reasons (mainly because E's parents come and visit and I get to get out of the house by myself!), but now I am happy because Wednesdays will mean I get to talk about one of my favorite things...books! I love books, I can't explain it, whether it is breaking open the spine on a brand new book, or smelling the paper on an old, well-read one, I just LOVE them! Books make me happy. I could spend all day, just walking around the library and looking at different titles. When I was growing up, I would read constantly. Being an only child, I didn't have a lot of people to talk to at home (especially once the cousins moved away!). Books were a place that I could read about other people and join them in their lives, their adventures. I read fast and I read all the time. I remember my cousins having contests about how fast I would read and they would NEVER believe I could read that fast and I had to be cheating. I learned how to read at an early age, and I have just never stopped. I just loved that opening a book meant entering a new world and escaping for a while. Some of my favorites were those make your own adventure books, although I fully admit to "cheating" every now and then and fixing it so the story read how I thought it should! I hated it when the main character would die 10 pages in! I also used to love the Baby Sitter's Club and Sweet Valley High. Ladies, remember those? Those were considered cutting edge young adult reading...wow, times have changed huh. Now it is all about Twilight and Gossip Girl! I still have a lot of Baby Sitter's Club books that I have saved for my girls. I can't wait to share the books with them!

Unfortunately, having 3 little ones means that my reading time has been cut down some. Staying up reading until 2AM is just not a good idea anymore. But, I read when I can. I read while I nurse, I read at the gym. If I have "free-time" and am not knitting, you can be pretty sure you will find me reading. I will warn you that I really am a fan of fiction and do not read much non-fiction. I just LOVE to see the results of other people's imaginations. I also have a preference for Chic-Lit and for Vampire/Magical stories. I know that others do not understand this liking, but hey, I don't judge them, don't judge me on what I like to read. As I get older, I like more Science Fiction, both on TV and in my books! I will read just about any good fiction book though, so hopefully you will get to read about a variety of titles! I will warn you too that tend to re-read some of my favorites so you might hear about them too!

So, what am I reading now? Currently I am in the middle of Jennifer Weiner's Best Friends Forever. So far, so good. She is a great writer and knows how to write her female characters VERY well. Next week I should be able to give you an actual review.

What have I read lately? Let's do that question instead! I have tried to keep track of what I have read here in 2010. I will tell you about them and what I thought. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum and warn you ahead of time! :)

Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin is the 6th in a series about a demon hunter who's boss is a vampire. (I warned you!) I have read all of these and have thought they were pretty decent. Like most series though, the first couple were the best. They are starting to get a little repetitive, but are still enjoyable to read. If you enjoy this genre like I do, be sure to check these out.

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson is one of MANY in a series about Alex Cross, a DC Homicide detective. I really really enjoy James Patterson's writing. The Alex Cross novels are wonderful. This last installment was a little predictable, but still a great read!

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown is probably my LEAST favorite of the Robert Langdon books, if not my least favorite of his over all. It took a LONG time to read and just seemed to drag on. Don't get me wrong, it was well written as all of his are, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as his other books. SPOILER:

The only part that surprised me was that the bad guy was Peter's son. I should have seen this coming given how he writes, but I didn't. My bad.

Enchanted, Inc., Once Upon Stilettos, Damsel Under Stress, & Don't Hex With Texas all by Shanna Swendsen are GREAT simple reads! I love them. They are kind of like cotton candy for the magical literary world. This is actually the 2nd time I have read through these. I love them so much. They are all about a girl who discovers the world of magic and her part in it. They are SO fun to read. If you enjoy this genre of fiction, I HIGHLY suggest them!!

Bubbles Unbound by Sarah Stohmeyer is OK. I realize that is kind of vague praise, but that is about all I can say. The mystery is VERY predictable. I will say the lead character is a riot; imagine a Pamela Anderson that actually knows how to think! If you are looking for an easy read that will keep you a little entertained, check it out. I do have a couple of her other titles on my To Read list, so I will keep you informed!

Well, that is my list for 2010 so far. Not bad for a start. I do try and read a couple of "classics" a year so look forward to those! Also, if there are any books or authors that you suggest, let me know! I'm always on the look out for new stories!

I hope you are all having a wonderful day! Tune in tomorrow for Fiber Therapy Thursdays...my other favorite hobby!

With Love,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Take It Off Tuesday!

Well, today is Tuesday and that means Weigh-In Day. I am involved in a Biggest Loser contest that a friend from MOPS started. We started January 26th and it runs until April 26th. The person with the biggest percentage of weight loss wins 60% of the pot, 2nd wins 30%, and 3rd place wins 10%. With over 40 people involved and all of us putting in $10, that makes a pretty good pot for the winner. Of the people that have posted online, I have been going between the top 3 spots (at least as far as I can tell anyways). I would LOVE to win this pot...not only for the massive weight loss, but think how much yarn that could buy! :) As of this morning I have officially lost 22.4 pounds. My goal for the entire contest was 25 pounds, so I will be ecstatic if I can hit that LONG before the contest is over. I am hoping to really kick some tail this week and get that 2.6 pounds off to hit it!

What have I been doing? Well, I am following the Weight Watcher's program, although I am not a member. My wonderful cousin Jennifer was kind enough to pass on her information to me so I have been using it. I also have several friends that are or have been members so they are helping a lot. I have also been working out a TON! I don't think I have worked out this much since playing sports in high school. I am doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred which is KILLER! If you haven't checked this out yet and are looking to get into shape, see what you think. I got it for $9 at WalMart and I have to say it was $9 well spent! As of this morning, I am on Day 6 of Level 2 and it is rough. Each day gets a LITTLE easier, but it never gets easy! I'm told that Level 3 is even worse! I am also going to the gym at least 4 days a week. I would love to go every day, but that doesn't really work with my schedule, at least not right now. At the gym, I have been doing 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I have been averaging between 5 & 6 miles and 150 calories on the bike and about 1.5 miles and 200-250 calories on the treadmill. I have to admit, I don't think I have been really KILLING myself at the gym, although this morning I stepped it up some. I made sure I got at least 450 calories burned (according to the readouts on the gym equipment). But, I think that I am going to REALLY start pushing it more. I would LOVE to run. Well, let me rephrase that. I think that running would really benefit me weight loss wise. I actually really do not like to run, but think it would be good for me. When I tried it the other day though, I thought my knees were going to explode. Shred is pretty hard on the knees so I am wondering if that is just too much pressure on them to do both Shred and run. I am thinking I might have to get on the Elliptical machine to get that type of exercise in until I am done with the Shred.

Facebook has been a wonderful motivator for me. I check in with how I am doing everyday and it is a wonderful way of being held accountable! I am pretty sure that there are some of my friends on there that are checking to see how I am doing to, so I don't want to disappoint! :)

I am starting to get into some smaller clothes which is always cool! I have been setting mini goals for myself. The first was 15 pounds. I told myself that I would buy some new make-up. I did. When I hit 20 pounds, I got my eyebrows done. When I hit 25, I plan on getting myself a hair cut (it is severely needed!). I haven't figured out after that, any ideas?!?! But those mini goals are really great to help me stay motivated!

So, that is my weight loss journey for today! I'm just going to keep plugging away!

I do have a cute L-ism to go along with this though. Last week, I went to the gym on Monday. When I went on Tuesday, L asked why were at the gym again. I told her, "Mommy wants to be skinny. Don't you want a skinny mommy?" Her eyes got HUGE and she shook her head and said, "No, I want YOU to be my mommy!" Gee thanks L! Out of the mouths of babes!

I do want to tell you how the Pineapple glazed chicken was from yesterday. I have to admit that I was lazy and did not do ANY of the last step with the cornstarch. I just pulled the chicken out of the crock pot and spooned the juices all over the pieces. I have to say, I thought it was really great! I will most definitely make it again. I did forget to add that I put some garlic in, because unless my BIL is here (he's allergic), most EVERYTHING in this house gets garlic in it! :) I give the recipe 2 spoons up! :)

Come back tomorrow and check out my Book Worm Wednesday when I tell you what I've been reading!

Have a great one!
With Love,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Munchy Time Monday

Happy Monday!! So, here is the first post in my new blogging regime! :) Munchy Time Monday! I have been thinking about what I want to post. So, I have decided to do this a couple of ways. First I am going to post something with lots of "munchiness" and then if I am making something special or new or post worthy for dinner, I will post it too! So, first off is something VERY easy, but SO yummy and can totally be adapted to your own taste and calorie counting level!

Yogurt Pie
2 6-8 ounce containers of flavored yogurt (the same flavor)
1 small tub Cool Whip
1 Graham Cracker Crust
(I use the lowest fat or fat-free versions of these ingredients that I can find, but use what you want!)

Mix yogurt and Cool Whip together. Pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Cut and enjoy!

Yes, I know this is an EXTREMELY easy recipe, but it is one of my favorites!! I hope you enjoy it too!

And as far as what is for dinner? I am making Pineapple Glazed Chicken. I adapted a recipe from Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites cookbook (Pineapple and Honey-Glazed Chicken). Their recipe says to marinate the chicken and stuff. Well, I didn't have the time to do that, so instead, I pulled out the trusty Crock-pot (Seriously, I LOVE the crock pot! Who invented it? AWESOME invention!!). Here is what I did:

1/2 c. canned crushed pineapple in juice
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. honey (I did NOT have this much honey, but I suggest adding it if you have it!)
2 T. lime juice
1 T. grated peeled fresh ginger (I don't keep fresh ginger, I just sprinkled some powdered ginger on there!)
1 shallot, minced (another thing I don't have, so I minced up 1/2 an onion and used it instead!)
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (wear gloves or wash hands immediately after...do NOT touch eyes!)
4 Chicken breasts
1/2 t. cornstarch
2 t. water
1 T. Parsley

OK, so I am REALLY lazy and did not even thaw my chicken, I just stuck it in the crock pot! Hopefully this works. So, Put the chicken in the crock pot, cover with pineapple, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, ginger, shallot (onion), & jalapeno. Put on high...let cook all day till chicken is done. If you notice chicken is done, turn down to low and just let cook (that is what I am going to do!) Then I will follow the rest of the directions in the book!

Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer the chicken to a platter; keep warm. Poor the pan juices into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the juices are reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 10 seconds; stir in the parsley. Serve the chicken with the sauce. POINTS VALUE: 4

I am trying this recipe right now. Tomorrow I will let you know how it went, what it tasted like and maybe even get a picture of it! :)

Now for life things...I had MOPS this morning. Talk about an emotionally draining morning. A good friend shared her story and the entire room was crying. If you are interested, you can check out her blog at www.mommyonfire.com. She is an amazing writer and an even MORE amazing person. She inspires me! I love my MOPS group. The women that I have met in this group are just incredible women. They are all at different places in life, although most have small children. But, some do have older children, and there are Mentor Moms whom have grown children. They are great at reassuring me that the rough days with babies won't always be rough days! The one at my table is an incredibly strong woman whom I adore. She is kind and caring and has a very positive outlook on life. She is a wonderful mother and I strive to be like her when my kids are grown! She is also great about holding M when I want to knit during the meeting! :) This group of women and all of the moms at MOPS are such a GREAT influence on my life. I look forward to this meeting all weekend. NEVER in my life have I looked forward to Monday mornings, but I do now. They are wonderful. If you are a mom and are looking for a group of women, please find a MOPS in your area. There is discussion of God, but please don't let that deter you if you are not religious. There are women there that will help you on your path to Christ if you are trying to find your way, but NO ONE is going to beat you over the head with it-at least they don't in my group and I would hope that no one would in any group. Seriously though, if you are looking for a wonderful group of moms, check out MOPS! I love it!

I am struggling though right now with something as a Mom. Lately I have noticed that L doesn't seem to have a lot of respect for her things. I have been trying and trying to teach her to have respect for her toys. People have given her these things because they love her, but other than her "mommy bear" she doesn't really take care of them very well. Even stuff that I KNOW she loves I find thrown down on the ground. It is very frustrating. Last night though, the frustration hit an all time high as I discovered that she seems to be lacking in respect for other people as well, particularly me. It is very sad to me as I stay at home with her all day long and I feel that she has no respect for me. Don't get me wrong, she is a very sweet child and I know that she loves me and she knows that she is loved. But, she has started back-talking and just seems to have no care of the fact that I stay home for her (and J and M). I got so upset that I started crying and left the table. I know that E was really upset with her, but I just had to walk away. I don't know if I was crying because I was sad or angry. I just don't know how to teach her respect. I guess I should be happy that she feels comfortable enough to know that I will always love her even if she yells at me. I will just keep trying to teach it to her I guess and pray that at some point she realizes how she needs to treat people and her things.

Well, that is it for Monday. I hope that you are all well and enjoying the sunshine! It is beautiful isn't it!?!?! Come back tomorrow for the results on the Pineapple Chicken and for "Take It Off Tuesday."

With love,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How To Blog?

I am struggling with this blogging thing. I forget about it and then when I do think about it, I feel bad that I don't write in it more. I'm not sure what the problem is. I really do want to keep a journal blog, but don't want to feel guilty for not writing in it. I actually LOVE to write and I am on the computer quite a bit. One would think this would be an easy thing for me to do. Apparently though it is not. I don't know if it is because blogging about my life just seems like a silly thing to do. I mean, does anyone REALLY care how many times M has thrown up on me throughout the day? Doubtful! But, in reality that is my life. I get thrown up on. I spend my day changing diapers and cleaning up messes. That is the reality of a mom. So, do people REALLY want to read about that? Well, I hope so, because as I was writing this paragraph, I decided to keep going! :) I am going to write about whatever I want. It is my blog, and there aren't too many occasions in life that you can say, I'm going to do what I want and you can't say anything about it! :) I am going to set myself some parameters though. I want to make an effort to blog more. I really like doing it. It may cut into some knitting time, but I think that is important for me. I NEED this outlet, I HAVE this outlet, I should USE this outlet!

So, my parameters (is that even the right word? I'm not sure) or topics or whatever you want to call them will beas follows. First, Mondays are going to be Munchy Time Mondays. I keep getting asked on Facebook about what I am making for dinner. So, I will post on Mondays some of my favorite things to make. I do not claim that the recipes are my own, but I will try and provide the source of the recipe. Tuesdays will be Take It Off Tuesdays. I will discuss how my weight loss journey is going and fill you in on my progress. Let's see, let's make Wednesdays something like Book-Worm Wednesdays. I LOVE to read and I read as much as I can (although with 3 kids that a lot is admittedly less than what it used to be!). So, I will let you all know what I am reading on Wednesdays and what I thought about it. I think I will do Fiber Therapy Thursdays. Knitting is my therapy and I LOVE it! So, I will post about how my knitting is going. Don't worry Carli, I promise that I will still post to our knitting blog (Knitters Without Sitters), which I need to do a better job doing anyways! Hopefully this will help! Fridays are going to be Free-For-All Fridays where I will blog about whatever the heck is on my mind. I probably won't blog much on the weekends, but if I do, they will probably be about random things!! Throughout the week, I will post about the main topic and then if I have more things to talk about, I will. This blog is going to be about ME, not my family. Now, of course my family will be referenced, but if you want to read more about them, then check out our family Blog. Ok, so in short form, here is my new schedule!

Munchy Time Mondays
Take It Off Tuesdays
Book Worm Wednesdays
Fiber Therapy Thursdays
Free-For-All Fridays!

Let's see how well I can do here huh? I will start next week! Wish me luck!!!
With love