Sunday, January 27, 2013

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #24 - Day #27

Day #24 ~ Thursday, January 24, 2013
 Today I am thankful for the ability to implement fun, new ideas ... 

Day #25 ~ Friday, January 25, 2013
 Today I am thankful for a safe, warm home.  Saying prayers for those out in the cold that they find a safe, warm place in which to take shelter.

Day #26 ~ Saturday, January 26, 2013
 Today I am thankful for my sight ~ I was able to watch my sweet babies dance to the music that played after Hotel Transylvania went off. :)  It was adorable !!

Day #27 ~ Sunday, January 27, 2013
 Today I am thankful for Bojangle's BoBerry Biscuits ... YUMMY !!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #22 - Day #23

Day #22 ~ Tuesday, January 22, 2013
 Today I am thankful for the ability to appreciate ...
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. ~ Voltaire

Day #23 ~ Wednesday, January 23, 2013
 Today I am thankful for a few hours of Mommy/Son time with Dylan ...

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Healthier Me

When I was younger, I was a skinny mini.  And to me, to be called skinny or to be told that you need to eat more is just as hurtful as being told you're "fat" or that you need to lose weight, etc.  So, I was a bit hesitant to write this blog post, because I didn't want to be ridiculed.  I may not be 300 pounds or whatever, but I can't fit into any of my clothes.  I can't afford to go out and buy more, so that is a sign that I need to eat healthier & I need to lose some weight.  No, I don't need to lose 50 pounds or more (maybe 20-25 pounds), but it's still a big deal to me when I look in the mirror and I'm unhappy with what I see or when I can't fit into my clothes anymore.  With that being said, this is what I intend to do about it ...

As you probably figured out by now, I am a serious Pinterest addict !! So, I went on Pinterest & looked up lots of weight loss smoothies/breakfast smoothies for healthier eating.  I found this super awesome pin about making your own smoothie packets & freezing them.  I was able to make 11 packets out of what I bought.  Sadly, I forgot to write down how much everything cost, but it was definitely $15 or less, making each individual smoothie less than $1.50 each.  

Here is what I purchased/used:

Great Value Vanilla Yogurt (32 oz.)
4 Kiwi
1 can of Crushed Pineapple
1/2 bag of frozen Strawberries/Bananas

First I measured 1tbsp scoops of yogurt into a mini muffin tin.  I didn't level it off, considering some of the yogurt was going to stick in the measuring cup.  Once they were filled, I froze them. You can also use ice trays, but I didn't have any.

Next, I chopped my fresh fruit.  I arranged them on a plate & popped them in the freezer.  You want your fruit to be pre-frozen before you combine them so that they don't freeze together in the packs.

 A few hours later when everything was frozen, I laid everything out to prepare to bag my individual "smoothie mixes".  If you use muffin tins like I did, let them sit out for a few minutes so they loosen up a bit, then use a spoon and they will pop out like ice cubes. [DON'T dip the bottom of the pan in warm water to loosen them up. They will get melty really quick and you'll have to refreeze them!]

I used just short of a cup and half of fruit for each bag and 3 yogurt cubes.

After they are all bagged up, pop them in the freezer!  Next time you want a smoothie, you're ready to go!  Just add a little juice or milk (I'll be using Vanilla Soy Milk) and voila!  I am going to alternate adding a little oatmeal to pump it up even more since I'm treating the smoothies as breakfast.

I also had a coupon for $1 off of 1 Dole Fruit Smoothie Shakers.  They are $1.50 at my Walmart, so that it .50, so I thought it was worth trying.  You just add juice & shake !! It was pretty good & I felt very full & wasn't hungry until lunch time !!  I need more coupons !! LOL

I also tried the smoothie better known by the name of "The Green Monster."  I used this recipe, but I HATE bananas, so I won't be using it again !! LOL

1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, 1 1/2 cups orange juice, 1 frozen banana, 1 pear 

I put it all in the blender, filled it up with ice & voila !!

It was really good except for the banana.  Maybe if I'd put a little less so that I couldn't taste it ... Banana just really makes me want to gag !!  So, here is the recipe I will be using in the future :

 1 cup kale, 1 cup spinach, 1 1/2 cups orange juice, 1 Honeycrisp apple, 1 pear 

Now, on to my exercise regiment !! :)  We are blessed to have a FREE gym that I can walk across the street to.  I have decided that I will be utilizing the time that Dylan is at preschool to do my workout each day.  I found another awesome idea on Pinterest (this should not come as a surprise to you by now !!), and I will be adding this to my 5-day per week Cardio workout.

So, the plan I found called for working on like 6 different areas of exercise.  However, I feel like I only want to focus on Cardio & abs right now.  So, I altered the plan to fit my needs.  Are y'all ready ?!

I bought a set of already painted popsicle sticks at the craft store.  You can totally paint them yourself, but I got a set of 120 popsicle sticks for $2.99 & only used 16 of them (saved me the time of having to paint them myself & if you're working more than 2 areas of your body, you'll want different colors).  I chose two different colors (1 for Cardio & 1 for abs).  I got 2 Solo cups (Y'all know I had to do the Pink Camo !! It's the Southern Redneck in me !!); one to put the popsicle sticks in & one to put them in as I complete the workouts.  I used a thin black Sharpie marker to write my exercises on the popsicle sticks.  My Cardio routine will sometimes call for me to go to our gym (Elliptical, Bikes & Treadmill) & some of them can be done at home.  I also have Wii Fit, so some days I will also use that !!  The only rule is : YOU HAVE TO USE WHAT YOU PULL !! You can't put a stick back if you aren't in the mood to do that particular set for the day !!  You can also add more sticks if you get bored with your current selection !!

Here are a few sample ideas for exercises :

50 Crunches
50 Jumping Jacks
25 Leg lifts
15 Push-ups
30 Weight-less squats
15 Chair dips
40 Side bends (20 on each side)
30 Lunges (15 on each leg)
50 Sit-ups
30 Bicycles
20 Push Ups
30 High Knees
30 Walking lunges
15 Chair Dips
15 Bicep Curls
30 Crunches
25 Bicylces
20 Squats
20 Burpees
15 Dead Rows
25 Jumping Jacks
20 Pelvic Lifts
20 Shoulder Presses
40 Calf Raises
25 Sumo Squats
50 Sec Wall Sit
60 Sec Plank
15 Chest Presses

So, there you go !! I'd love to hear feedback from anyone else who decides to try this & how much you've lost by doing it !! Good Luck !!

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #9 - Day #21

Day #9 ~ Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Today I am thankful for laughs ...

Day #10 ~ Thursday, January 10, 2013
Today I am thankful for a little bit of quiet time to myself during the day while the babies are at school ...

Day #11 ~ Friday, January 11, 2013
Today I am thankful for my Daily Devotion app on my Ipad.  I LOVE it !! 

Day #12 ~ Saturday, January 12, 2013
Today I am thankful for having the ability to Skype with my sister.

Day #13 ~ Sunday, January 13, 2013
Today I am thankful for my yucky old student loans.  Having them means that I live in a time & place where, as a woman, I had the right to a good education (that I was able to receive in a safe environment).

Day #14 ~ Monday, January 14, 2013
Today I am thankful for my messy house that I can't seem to keep clean because it means that I have little ones running around that are healthy & able to play.  They have toys to play with & a safe environment in which to play with them.

Day #15 ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Today I am thankful for beautiful, warm weather in January.

Day #16 ~ Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Today I am thankful that Maddi likes her new ballet teacher and is enjoying her new class !!

Day #17 ~ Thursday, January 17, 2013
Today I am thankful for the ability to be able to spend some time with my mom !  Even though it is for a not-so-great reason, time with my mom is very precious to me !!

Day #18 ~ Friday, January 18, 2013
Today I am thankful for God answering prayers !! 
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

Day #19 ~ Saturday, January 19, 2013
Today I am thankful for an amazing day with my husband !!  He even went to the craft store with me & didn't complain a bit !!

Day #20 ~ Sunday, January 20, 2013
Today I am thankful for the gift of being a mom AND a step-mom !! I've got some pretty fabulous kids !! I am very blessed !!

Day #21 ~ Monday, January 21, 2013
 Today I am thankful for a holiday so I can have my kids at home !!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

.::Skinny Mini Cheesecakes Recipe::.

I am absolutely ADDICTED to Pinterest & I found this recipe for these mini cheesecakes !! I am trying to eat healthier & I'm starting a smoothie breakfast regiment/exercise program as well tomorrow, so I thought healthier desserts were most definitely in order !!  Cheesecake is my most favorite dessert & these are less than 100 calories !! Yes, you heard me correctly !! These are the easiest No Bake, Guilt-Free little bites of scrumptious on the planet !!

Here is the recipe :

Rating: 5 stars  
Difficulty of Recipe: 2 stars
Review:  The recipe these came from was a pumpkin swirled version that came in at 106 calories.  I found at the store reduced fat graham crackers which make them that much better for you.  These are excellent and I will be making them again and again!

Graham Cracker Crust:
graham cracker sheets (I used reduced fat)
1/2 tsp. 
ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar (I used Splenda, so even less calories)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Mixture:
8 oz. fat free Cool Whip
1 (8 oz) package fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar (or 6 Splenda packets)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a food processor or blender, grind up the graham cracker sheets into fine crumbs.  If you don't have a food processor, simply place them into a bag and crush them with a rolling pin or cup.

2. Place the crumbs into a bowl and add ground cinnamon and sugar.  Melt the butter and add it to the graham cracker crumbs and mix well.
3.  Line a cupcake pan with liners and put one tablespoon of the crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Press down the crumbs with your hand or spoon. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or Kitchenaid, whip the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar (or Splenda) until fluffy.  Add the cool whip and whip until smooth.
4. Using a cookie dough scooper (or spoon), fill each cupcake liner with 1 1/2 scoop fulls of the cheesecake mixture. Each liner should be filled almost to the top.
5.  Place the cupcakes in the fridge for a few hours to set up and become firm.  Top with a slice of your favorite fruit and devour !!

I left mine in the fridge overnight !! These were absolutely delicious !  Try them & let me know what you think !!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #8

Day #8 ~ Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Today I am thankful for change.  Now, normally, I am  not one for change. I don't like it. Period. Anyone who knows me well can tell you that.  Change is NOT generally my friend ~ at all.  Get the picture ?!  However, in recent years, I have come to realize that sometimes change isn't quite so bad.  

For example, I thoroughly disliked Colorado when I lived there. I was miserable. I was homesick. It was cold most of the year. It was windy. I wanted nothing more than to come home (to North Carolina). Now that I'm home, I miss Colorado. Well, not Colorado so much, but the friends I had there.  But things change. And most of them aren't even there anymore.  Change.

I moved a couple of rooms in the house around today.  Change.

Soon, I start my diet/workout plan (I'll make a separate blog post on that) !!  Change.

It can be bad & it can be good. Today, it's good ...

Monday, January 7, 2013

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #4 - Day #7

Yeah ... So, I'm already 4 days late on my 365 Days of Thankful project, but better late than never, right ?! ;)

Day #4 ~ Friday, January 4, 2013
Today I am thankful for my mom & sisters who let me vent & just make the world a better place to be in ...

Day #5 ~ Saturday, January 5, 2013
Today I am thankful for making a decision & planning to take steps !! Baby steps, but steps all the same ...

Day #6 ~ Sunday, January 6, 2013
Today I am thankful for being almost caught up on the laundry !! Pretty sure the clothes are havin' babies overnight ...

Day #7 ~ Monday, January 7, 2013
Today I am thankful for the New Season of The Bachelor, Castle & Grey's Anatomy this week !! Yay for new TV shows ...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

365 Days of Thankful ~ Day #1 - Day #3

So, last year I attempted a 365 Days of Thankful project.  The Devil decided to attempt to hinder me & I was unable to complete my project !! But He is NOT going to win !! I am a child of God & I will remain a child of God no matter what that old Devil throws at me !! It's like the song goes :

..The battles not mine, said little David
Lord, it's Thine.
 I'm in Your favor
I'm giving it all to you
I knew not what to do
And I'm so glad you let me see
You're really all that I need
Because the battle's not mine
I give it to You
Lord, it's Thine...

With that said, I am attempting my project again beginning with the first, second & third days of 2013 !! God willing, I WILL complete it this time !!

Day #1 ~ Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Today I am thankful that I made it through another year !! The Lord truly blessed us last year & though it wasn't all perfect, I know that God has a plan for me & my family  ...

Day #2 ~ Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Today I am thankful that my babies had a good day at school !! I was a bit apprehensive about them going back after the tragedy that happened in Connecticut.  But as one of my very dear friends pointed out, at least I still have my children to send to school.  I can't even begin to imagine going through something like that.  My prayers are with them always ...

Day #3 ~ Thursday, January 3, 2013
Today I am thankful for work.  I am glad that my little business is doing so well ...

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