Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My first installments of fitness can be found HERE and HERE.

Let me remind you that I am no expert.
These are just my personal thoughts.

I have never been a dieter. I have never had the self control to not eat dessert when it's offered.
I don't have self control to stay away from the chocolate chips in my pantry.

I also tend to over-eat on delicious meals regardless if I'm still hungry or not.

So here are some thoughts on eating for someone who is trying to:
-lose a little weight (and/or not gain any more)
-get in (pre-baby) shape
-be somewhat healthy


Not eating can hurt more than help.

Breakfast is the easiest meal to skip. However, when I don't eat breakfast, I'm starving by 10:00. Then I tend to eat whatever I can find, and that's never good. If I skip breakfast, my eating is off for the rest of the day. So I'll snack all day, never truly feeling satisfied.

So eat. I recommend eating breakfast within an hour of waking up. The longer you wait the more tempted you will be to skip it.

You don't have to necessarily eat breakfast food in the mornings.
Nick is not a fan of breakfast. When he does eat breakfast, it is normally leftovers from the night before. He has been known to eat leftover chicken, pizza, and even chili for his morning meal. And he doesn't heat up any of it.

I find that eggs or oatmeal are two filling breakfast foods. I tend to eat Cheerios most mornings.

My point is to simply eat breakfast. It doesn't matter what, just eat.


If you do get hungry mid meal, then by all means eat.

I find that if I try to resist hunger, I end up eating a lot more later on, and it is usually something like a bag of chips, a handful of chocolate chip cookies, or half the cheese biscuits I made today.

When you get hungry eat something that is satisfying and filling. Then when you are full, stop eating. Don't finish the snack if you are not hungry any more.

Some of my favorite snacks are:
-peanut butter and banana
-peanut butter and graham cracker
-peanut butter and apple
*peanut butter is filling, therefore you don't eat very much of it
-celery or a carrot dipped in your favorite salad dressing
*my favorite dressing is ranch or Ken's thousand island
-cheese and crackers
-leftovers from the night before
-a handful of goldfish and a diet coke

I know these snacks are not low fat or 'healthy,' but they are filling and satisfying.

Here is another snack I made one afternoon. 
Graham cracker, peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chips. 
There are some obvious healthy snacks, fruit, veggies, hummus, one pretzel, but I just can't make myself eat this when I am really hungry between lunch and supper. But if you would like some healthier options, just google healthy snacks.

I hate nothing more than eating a snack and still feeling hungry afterwards. Then you have to eat another snack, and that is how you end up eating all of the cheese biscuits.

Recipe found HERE. 


For example, I am a chocolate lover. I could eat it everyday. And at every meal.

So for me, to try and cut chocolate out of my life for even a week, would be extremely difficult and probably cause me to eat more of something that is worse than chocolate.

Instead of cutting back on chocolate, I could cut back on bread. I like bread, but I don't really have to have a roll with dinner. The dinner is good enough. The roll is not the star of a meal. The roll is just there to help scoop up my rice.

I didn't get french fries at Chic-fil-a the other night. I got a chicken sandwich and chocolate shake but no fries. I know what you are thinking. The fries may have been the 'healthier' choice over the shake, but I was definitely getting the chocolate shake. I was getting the shake over the sandwich. However, by not getting fries I cut back on a lot. I would have eaten the sandwich, fries, and shake. After eating the sandwich and shake I was full and satisfied. The fries would have over done it. And yes, I would have probably eaten all the fries if I had them.

So don't try to give up something you love. Sure you can cut back on it, but giving up completely may cause you to do worse in the long run.

I posted about this dessert the other day. I only ate a little at a time, and it lasted for a few days. 
Like Paula Dean says, 'everything in moderation.'


Don't eat your entire plate because you spent all day cooking, spent a lot of money on it, or simply because you have gone out to eat. Simply save your left overs. If you spent all day cooking, maybe you could freeze some of your meal or give some to a friend. You can also start cutting recipes in half to start cutting back on the amount of food you make. Don't eat just because it is there.

This can also go with number 3 above. When you are full, stop eating.


I have heard that people who want to loose weight need to keep a food journal.

I can tell you now that I am not going to do that.

However, there are several free apps on the IPhone and IPad that allow you to track your food and exercise.

One I've used is myfittnespal. I can log in my food and exercise. It tells me how many calories I've consumed and how many I burned off. I did it for a couple of days in a row to get an idea of how my food was balancing out with my work outs. I've stopped now because this is not something for me to keep up with on a daily basis, but it may work for you.

And if you are a journaling  type of person, then by all means, journal.

And to show you that I'm not always eating chocolate and peanut butter, this was dinner one night. Grilled chicken and rice with rotel tomatoes mixed in. 

These are not tips for someone trying to lose a dramatic amount of weight. These are simply my ways to help me lose a few pounds and maintain that weight.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Easiest Dessert Ever

I made the Pioneer Woman's Pots de Creme a l'Orange the other night.

Click HERE for her step by step procedure.

I had all the ingredients.

It was the easiest dessert I have ever made.

It was easier than scooping out ice cream.

Ice cream can be difficult if it is too cold to scoop.

This is all you need:
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier
1 cup of strong HOT coffee
Put all of these ingredients in a blender, except the coffee.
Blend so it's combined.
Add coffee through the hole in the top of the blender, while the blender is still going.
The coffee melts the chocolate and cooks the eggs.
Pour into jars. If I had enough ramekin dishes I would have used those.
Let sit in fridge for at least two hours. 
This dessert was AWESOME!

I cut the recipe in half and poured it into two jars. It is really rich, but delicious.

I finished off one jar in two days, and I started in on the other jar last night.

I did not have the stuff to make whip cream, but I believe that it would have been even better with whip cream.

Go get some Grand Marnier, and make this now! You can always use the left over Grand Marnier in your margaritas! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

National Margarita Day

Did you know that today is National Margarita Day?

According to the margarita is the most popular liquor cocktail in the U.S.

And it's my favorite.

I celebrated NMD by making a margarita!

I've got a new recipe for you. The original recipe can be found HERE.

This is what you will need.
2 shots 100% Blue Agave Tequila
1 shot Cointreau
1 shot of OJ
3/4 shot of Agave Nectar
juice of one lime

*amounts can be modified to fit your taste.

Better tequila is 100% blue agave or like this bottle says, 100% de agave.
Cointreau is an orange liquor. There are several varieties. Grand Marnier is a popular one.

My favorite is Cointreau.

Any kind of OJ will do.

Agave nectar is sweet. It is the nectar from a cactus. It adds a little sweetness to the drink without that sweet and sour junk some restaurants use.

I found it at Publix. I can't remember if I found it near the honey or on the olive oil isle. Just look around for it. Put more or less in your drink depending on how sweet you like it. I find that 3/4 a shot is a good amount.

If you can't find agave nectar you could make a simple syrup of water and sugar.

Combine all of the ingredients listed above in a shaker full of ice and shake.
Then shake it a little more.
Really put your body into it.

If you don't have a shaker you could put it in a mason jar.
The mixture needs to be shaken.

Then pour over a cup of ice.

I hope you can enjoy NMD with a good margarita.
But just remember to drink responsibly.
Happy National Margarita Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Movin' Stuff Around

Hello friends! I took a little computer break because of the 'fruit basket turn over' of furniture around here. 
We have multiple reasons for moving things around, including trying to improve the look of some rooms.

We are in the process of getting rid of our desktop computer. We are also getting rid of the computer desk. My mom and brother were here last week. They helped me figure out which pieces of furniture go best in our living room. We had to move furniture in this room to prevent my Millie baby from pulling over the lamps by their cords. 
I don't have before and after pictures of the living room, but I can show you our other changes.

 I'll start with Millie's room. 

I put a twin bed in her room thinking I would sleep in there when she was a tiny baby, but I never did. Only two guest have slept in here, and both times Millie slept in our room. Millie has always been a good 'night time' sleeper. She has slept in her room, by herself, since she was 2 days old. 

I was only using the bed as our changing table. This was a problem because when she had an accident, it would involve me washing all the bedding, including the mattress pad. She is also to the point where she likes to roll over and crawl around the bed mid diaper change. 

The bed had to go.

Our new changing station.
I'll show how I did the changing pad with left over fabric in another post. 
I didn't even sew anything.
Because I don't know how.
This was the dresser that the TV sat on in our bedroom. 
This used to be Nick's t-shirt drawer. 
Now on to the guest room. 
We have Nick's grandfather's old desk. We love it. Nick used it throughout college, and it has been just as useful for his grad school work and his real work. It has a lot of room for engineering design work. 

However, it is BIG. It was great for that computer we are getting rid of. The desk can also be a place to put things while trying to clean up the front of the house. 

The printer doesn't normally sit on the bed. We had already started the cleaning and moving process at this point. 


It needs some artwork and maybe some new bedspreads down the road. 
I'm keeping this room simple for now.
Don't worry the desk will not be thrown out, but it will be passed on to other family members.

Next weekend will mark our 3rd year in this house. We have painted some rooms. We have bought some furniture. We have felt settled. However, there are some areas of our house that we have not touched.
Like the walls of our bedroom. Millie has more artwork than we do.

This is, again, mid cleaning out drawers. 
There is also another baby posing in her diaper for Doc. 
I don't know why I didn't take a picture of the other side of this wall. We were trying to move furniture and clothes and keep our baby out of the way. But it had 2 chairs and a table.

The most important move we made was putting the TV up on the taller dresser. 
Are you surprised the TV is a main priority? 
We wanted to hang it on the wall, but that was not possible without some complications. 
As many of you know, your house is always a work in progress. There are still some things I want to do to the bed, and we still need some art to hang on the wall.
Maybe in the next 3 years I can work on these things. 

I also cleaned out this closet in our kitchen.
I'll save the make over for the next post.
I'll also show you a trick for keeping up with all those plastic bags.

Like I said, it's a work in progress, and right now we are working with what we have. We also have to make sure it is safe and practical for a baby. Our book shelves have nothing on them due to the fact that Millie can now climb onto the bookshelf.

Sometimes I like to think of what we could do with more money. Or maybe if I could copy and paste all the pretty pictures from Pinterest onto my house, then it would look like I want. But I am very thankful for what we have, and I appreciate it more and more everyday. Now I need to work on keeping this house clean and go sweep up all the Cheerios Millie threw on the floor.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Cold Indoor Winter Day

This is the coldest day we've had since December.

We started it with a fire.

We then headed out for breakfast at a semi-new place here in Montgomery.
The Egg and I.
It was really good.

I got a Deluxe Egg Sandwich.
It had eggs, bacon, ham, Havarti dill cheese, tomato, and mayo.
And I had half a waffle.
And when you order coffee, they bring a whole pot to your table.
It was awesome.
They have high chairs.
We will definitely go back.

Here are my left overs that I may eat any minute now.

Millie took a nap once we got home.

I started cleaning out our computer desk.
We are soon going to get rid of our desktop and get me a laptop. We are also going to get rid of the desk the computer currently sits on.
I found all of our old CD's.

Does anyone listen to CD's anymore?

I also found 2 old IPods.
They only work when plugged in.

I started the process of listening to the old music.
CD after CD.
Then Millie woke up.

And she could not stay away from my music listening area.
I threw away most of the CDs.
With IPods, Pandora, and the IHeartRadio app, you don't really need all those CDs you made in high school.

I wish I would have invented the IPod.
Then maybe I could afford to buy this swimsuit top.

I already have the matching bottoms from last year. I just want a good tankini.
But after taxes and shipping, it gets expensive.

I was offered a job recently. If I took it, then I would definitely order this swimsuit.
I was really excited about the job for a day.
Then, when I actually thought about leaving my Millie baby, it made me want to cry.
It would have been really hard to leave her after spending 8 months together.

Then Nick and I started talking about money.
We were discussing Millie's college fund, and I told her I was really going to cry the day she leaves me for college.
I may not let her go.
But by then, I may ready for her to go.

We will cross that bridge when we get there.

I did splurge recently for some skinny jeans.
I love them, and I've been wearing them everyday.
I wish they cold actually make you skinny.
This is what they normally look like.
Skinny jeans with a clingy baby.

Later I eventually gave in and let Millie play with the IPod.
Sorry for the half naked baby. My dad is not a fan of diaper pictures.
But she had on her fleece PJs, and we had a fire.
Sorry Doc, but she was hot!

We spent the rest of our day playing and watching TV by the fire.

I knew the day would come when the bookshelves would no longer be a place of displaying photos, books, and art.
But instead it has become Millie's playground.

The dragon on the TV (played by Susan Sarandon) is from the movie Enchanted.

This day started out as what I call a 'Good TV Day.'

There were two Patrick Dempsey movies in one day.
Can't Buy Me Love was on first thing this morning, and Enchanted came on around lunch.
I really like Patrick Dempsey. He always plays a good guy.
Especially on Grey's Anatomy.
Actually, he is my favorite character on Grey's.

We eventually put more clothes on her.
As for tonight, I am preparing some hot vegetable soup from sister's food blog.
But I'm adding in some ground turkey.
So I guess it's not totally a veggie soup.
We will eat half tonight, and I will freeze half for another cold night.

I hope you have stayed warm on this cold Saturday.
As for me, I'm thankful for the exceptional warm winter we've had.
Here's to hoping that this cold does not last long!
March is only 3 weeks away!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

8 Months

This cutie is 8 months old today. 
She was born on a Wednesday (just like today). 
8 months ago, at almost this exact time, Nick was introducing Millie to our family for the first time. 
She can now feed herself. 
She can crawl from one end of the house to the other. 
She likes to show off by holding on to things with one hand. 
 She is just precious to us.
This time with her has gone by so fast. 
 And I am thankful for every minute!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cheap Baby Food

I know this is not a new concept, but I wanted to share my way of preparing baby food.

Once we got the OK to start baby food, I went out and bought the little jars of baby food. I liked the fact that she was eating food, but I never seemed to buy enough jars. I kept going back to the store just for baby food. It was also getting expensive.

For Christmas I asked for a food processor.
And I got one!

Since then, I have been making and freezing Millie's food.

This is what I do.

Buy a big bag of veggies. Fresh or frozen.
I have trouble finding frozen carrots, so I found this 5lb bag at Costco.
Boil veggie until tender.
Put in food processor and process until desired consistency.
 Then put the food in ice trays.
This was about 7 cups of carrots.
Not the whole 5lb bag.

Cover with plastic wrap and then foil.
I read somewhere that shards of foil could get in the food. That is why I do the plastic wrap first.
Then freeze!

Once frozen take out (you may need assistance with a butter knife) and put in Ziploc bag.
Now food is ready when you need it.

When you do need it, just put it in a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds. Make sure it is not too hot for baby. You could also add a splash of water for better consistency.
I do this for peas, carrots, and green beans.
Sweet potatoes are even easier.

Poke holes in sweet potato, and microwave for 5 minutes.

If potato is soft enough then take it out. If not, then microwave a few more minutes.

Let it sit out and cool off for a little while.

Then just scoop out the insides in a bowl and mash up with a fork.

Then do the ice cube tray thing again.

For fruit, I give her apple sauce and bananas. She will eat about half a banana in one sitting.
Leave the other half in the peel and put it in a Ziploc. The peel will look gross and turn black, but the banana inside is still good. So we normally eat this half the next day.

I have found it a lot easier and cheaper to give her food from the freezer than to continue buying countless jars.

We do still buy a few jars of fruit that may be difficult to make ourselves. I also have a few jars for when we travel or just go somewhere at a meal time.

As for the price, making my own is definitely cheaper!

One sweet potato is less than a dollar, and it makes 6 or 7 servings.

A 2 lb bag of frozen peas cost about $2.99, and it makes over 2 dozen servings.

These jars cost over a $1.50.
And she would probably eat about 6 jars a day. 

I also recently bought a bag of black eyed peas.

Cooked them last night.

Millie loves them!

Making my own food might look time consuming, but the longest part is waiting on the water to boil. It pays off in the end. It also helps Millie get used to textured food.

Here a website that can give you more info or answer questions.