Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend Fun...

Giving some brotherly "advice"

 Today was a completely gorgeous day!  After spending a few days of Spring Break with us... the kiddos finally got to play outside and try out this new game :) 
Practicing the run by high five.
 These two play together so nicely!
 When you're a 9 (almost 10, tear) year- old boy- a diving catch is essential!
 She agreed to a quick photo shoot... Her brother didn't like the idea near as much!
 This is the look of pure joy when she finally caught the ball. 
 After she made a catch, they took off running circles around the back yard... 
These two are absolutely amazing. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Homeade Granola Bars...

I don't know about anyone else, but I LOVE granola bars!  I especially love Quaker chewy granola bars. 
So, when I decided it was time to find a good recipe, of course I took to Pinterest.  Seriously, how did we live before Pinterest... and Google?  
Anyhow, I found this super simple recipe that took about 10 minutes to put together and tastes fantastic!  

Start with 2 cups of quick oats and 1 cup of Rice Chex.
The original recipe calls for Rice Krispies but I only felt like running into Walgreens so I decided the Chex would suffice and just broke them into small pieces.
Mix these together in a big bowl. 

 In a small pot, mix 1/4 c butter, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/3 cup of Brown sugar. 

 Melt these goodies over medium heat and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, until it looks like these.  Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla.  Pour this over the oats mixture and stir well until everything is coated.
 Finally, line  cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease if it you'd rather) and press the mixture onto a cookie sheet.  Be sure to really press it down so everything sticks together.  Let it cool for a couple of hours then cut into bars!  
My thoughts: 
1. They taste DELICIOUS and I will probably leave out the chocolate chips next time- doesn't need em! 
2.I'd like to use a smaller cookie sheet so they can be a bit thicker and easier to shape next time.
3. I will get 12 bars and they'll be about 120 calories each.  

Finally, I found this adorable little thing at Kohl's today and thanks my Momma for a 30% off coupon it was a steal!  It's replacing the dry erase calendar that hadn't been updated since October.  Clearly, that wasn't working for me :)  

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Back in Action...

Let's give this blog thing a try... Again.  It has been almost a year since I last posted.  Yikes!!
So I know my track record isn't the best when it comes to keeping up a blog and, truthfully, I'm not going to try to go back and update on what has happened. I'm just going to start with now! 
Last weekend I visited Indy, along with my parents.  Carson had his final Pinewood Derby as a Cub Scout.  Brooke was prepping for her father/daughter dance- which she has truly been looking forward to for an entire year!  
 This handsome boy will be 10 soon!
 She thought she could fly... As she said "It didn't work out so well." 
 Caught up in a you tube video about cats and dogs.
 The cars in "quarantine" ready to go.  I had no idea how serious the Pinewood Derby is!
 So it's a fuzzy picture but the Crest car is Carson's.  2nd place for most humorous car!
 3rd place in his pack!
 She has discovered a love for girl legos.  They are pretty amazing :) 

We clearly had a wonderful time! These two are growing up far too fast for my taste. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Yup, 10 pounds

You read that right, 10 pounds! Well... For today anyway. I actually came down with a terrible stomach flu on Thursday night. I didn't eat anything real until Sunday. And that, my friends is how you do it. 
I think that weight loss should be permanent. Kind of like a reward for my pain and suffering, you know?  I'm realistic enough to know that it will likely all be right back on me by tomorrow. But I'm holding out hope. 
Truly though, I'm trying to look at the bright side of this. I am not as hungry as I usually am. I am more satisfied with smaller portions.  I haven't even been dying for sweets like usual. It would seem this 3-day detox, if you will, did everything I can't seem to accomplish on my own.  So, I know it sounds crazy but I am thinking this could be a jump start for me. I'm trying to pay more attention to my body, and listen to if I am really hungry and what kind of nourishment I need instead of just eating jellybeans because I have some and they're delicious. You know?  I know you know. 
I'm not exactly hopeful this will work. We've all been here after praying to the porcelain gods and all. But, I vowed that I would speak honestly on my blog so there it is.  I'm turning my stomach flu into something good. Laugh all you want. 
P.S. my apologies that this post isn't anything pretty to look at. I haven't seen anything worth sharing lately!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Game Night Dip

My friends and I planned a game night for last Friday.  Best. Idea. Ever.  We had the great time and laughed harder than we have in a long time.  We each brought some munchies to enjoy and then went crazy with catch phrase.  I'm going to share my dip "recipe" now.  It's not so much a recipe as instructions for how to make it.  I seem to be good at imprecise recipes.  So, here it is.

I made a double batch in a 9x13 pan, but usually do a single batch in a 9" pie plate.  This dip probably has a real name, we usually call it "the raspberry salsa dip".  As you'll soon discover, this particular batch has no raspberry salsa.  Minor detail.  That stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to find.  Hence the new name: game night dip.

Ingredients (for a single recipe):
8 oz cream cheese SOFTENED
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped red onion, to taste
1 jar sweet salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese
I didn't give amounts for everything because it kind of depends on your taste! 

Spread softened cream cheese evenly in dish
Sprinkle on some diced onion
Next comes the beans

This is the salsa I used.  Found at the Walmart. 
Pour on the salsa and spread evenly.  I used 1 1/2 jars for this pan
Sprinkle on some cheese.  I used the Mexican blend because that's what I buy at Sam's club.  This is about 2 cups.
Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly! About 20-30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

I'm not gonna lie.. My crew thought this was a weird recipe and weren't sure about it, but in the end it received a thumbs up!

And now, a moment of time shared from game night.  Please excuse the poor quality as I tried out the panorama feature on my phone.
Everyone should be so lucky to have people like this in their lives.
Enjoy this gorgeous weather while it lasts!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Break (so far) in Pictures

So far spring break has been AMAZING!  My nephew was here for a few days all by himself last week, which is always a wonderful treat.  The day after he arrived we received 18" of snow. In 24 hrs.  It was beautiful and even earned me a snow day!

So pretty!
My good friend invited us to come sledding.  They live out in the country and hook an old satellite dish to the back of the 4-wheeler and have a ball.  Carson really had fun and I think he could have stayed out there all day!  

Thank you, Nick!!
After a few days, Brooke came to join her big brother.  We saw "The Croods" movie and it was ADORABLE.  We also took a drive through deer park, had pretend picnics outside (the snow melted super fast) and skipped nap time every day.  
Love these eyelashes.  

We wrapped up a wonderful weekend with a FANTASTIC church service followed by brunch at Granny's.  
My loves in their Easter Sunday best!

I've been spending some time doing some spring cleaning this week.  I got my hair done, and got some baby-loving time with my friend's twin baby girls.  I've spent plenty of time being lazy, and catching up with friends too.  Of course, I've had a couple projects going on too so I'll update on those soon! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sleeping in Workout Clothes...

So, I'm just going to own it... It takes talent to eat this terribly for so many consecutive days.  Seriously, if I weren't so ashamed of myself I might be a slightly impressed by how much crap food my body can tolerate.  Part of the problem is that I have only been to the grocery store once this month.  On the first.  It's the 22nd.  That's a problem.  Instead, I've been using it as an excuse to eat out.  The reality of the situation is that I still have plenty of healthy options I could fix- I have just chosen not to.  Did I mention I just got home from having pizza out with friends?  Yup, and it was delicious.

In a small attempt to counteract my lack of diet, I've been trying to get back on the exercise wagon.  After the new year began my friend and I decided to purchase the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution.

The key to my success

We are both pretty out of shape and may or may not have underestimated how harsh Jillian can be.  Now, you may recall that I do watch the Biggest Loser so there's no excuse for my mistake.   I already know she's a bit crazy.  We started off strong and put in a solid 8 weeks before our lack of fitness really caught up to us.  At the same time, her parents went out of town for the month which left her without childcare, thereby eliminating our usual after school routine.  The nerve!  My extremely sore muscles were thankful for the break.

So, after about 3 weeks of laziness I decided I need to find the motivation and get back to work.  I feel like I should explain that 9 times out of 10 when we got together I said we should skip and she said we had to do it.  Turns out, I really don't push myself all that well.  Back to the point... I decided I needed to do a before work morning exercise routine.  Here's how it went down: Sunday night I slept TERRIBLY and reset my alarm sometime around 3am. No workout Monday.  Monday night I tried again and actually woke up with the alarm! I did not, however, get out of bed.  No workout Tuesday.  Wednesday morning and Thursday morning were a success!  My trick?  I HAVE to sleep in my workout clothes and keep my shoes by the side of my bed. It's kind of pathetic but it's the only trick I have and it seems to be working for me.

In other news, I have decided to take up gardening this summer.  A few of my dear friends and I are all trying to figure this out together.  I love taking on new challenges with friends.  At least we'll all have fun if we aren't successful.  My little sister, Katy, has been a HUGE help in this arena.  Sometimes she's a tad too smart and I have no idea what she's talking about, but she is so patient with my silly questions.  I planted my first round of seeds on Tuesday and I already have sprouts! Surely growing my own vegetables is the secret to eating healthy... Right?!

Lettuce seeds sprouting 
P.S.  I did not work out this morning (Friday).  My small group from church meets on Thursday nights. I treasure my time with these people and have decided that I won't rush away to get to bed early enough to wake up for a workout.  Friday will be my morning of rest.