Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Big Surprise

A Big Surprise!

Well, as all of my faithful readers know, my commitment to blogging has been a little sucky! I always have grand plans for blog entries, but they never seem to come to life! Most recently, I had great plans to blog about food and healthy eating and so on! Well, that is still my plan, the problem is, food hasn't exactly been my best friend for the past 15 weeks or so. I have been sick....really sick, like turning green at the drop of a hat sick.

Not to worry, I have been feeling a lot better the past few days! What's more, my little secret has been getting harder to hide.......



So here it is.....Preslee is going to be a BIG SISTER!!! Yep, around May 28 we will be welcoming baby number 2. We are excited, anxious and honestly, a little terrified about the idea of being responsible for another human. We are trying to enjoy every second with Preslee, work on her sharing skills and of course, tackle the potty training beast! We couldn't feel more blessed can't wait to meet the final member of our little family!

While we wait the arrival of our new little one, what is your best advice on being a parent of 2?





Friday, October 28, 2011

Salad Sabatoge

I mentioned in a previous blog that weight is a challenge for me and I am getting it under control. Most people assume that eating salad is a healthy option. It certainly can be! The problem is most people destroy their low fat healthy salad with lots of high fat/calorie dressing to make it more flavorful. In turn, totally eliminating the whole point of eating the salad in the first place!

So here you go...my tips to making a delicious, flavorful HEALTHY salad.

First things first, use good ingredients. Personally, I am not a fan of bagged salad. It costs more and just plain doesn't taste as good to me. I buy whole romaine heads of lettuce, chop, wash and bag and I will have enough lettuce for the week. Be sure to spin you lettuce, nobody likes a soggy salad
Next, don't be afraid to add plenty of flavorful veggies to your salad. I personally LOVE diced red onion on a salad. It adds lots of taste without lots of calories and NO fat
I also don't think a salad is complete without tomato. As much as I love a nice ripe garden tomato, it isn't always an option, so roma tomatoes or grape tomatoes can do the job just fine! I also love to add other options like avocado. Yes, the avocado has fat, but it is healthy fat that promotes a healthy brain and tastes amazing!
OK...here is where it gets a little tricky! At this point a lot of people would think it is time to dump a gallon of dressing on your veggie masterpiece. Not me! Add a little cheese. Note I said a little! I like to use really flavorful cheeses like feta, gorgonzola or blue cheese. I also add a few croutons for crunch. Again, I said a few...putting 50 on your salad or putting 5 on your salad and eating 45 out of the bag while you prepare is is going to sabatoge your healthy concoction!
Ooooh, one thing I almost forgot. Do you want to add a little sweet to your salad? Toss on a few craisins, not only are they a healthy treat, but they make a great addition with the cheese! So here it is, my fabulous, fresh salad that doesn't even need a drop of dressing!!!
Let me know what you like to add to your salad to make it a low fat healthy treat!


GOOSEBERRY PATCH: Cheese & Spinach Tortellini Soup


I have completed my first yummy recipe for the Gooseberry patch give away. Cheese and Spinach Tortellini Soup is not only healthy, but it is seriously DELISH! Here is the recipe:
2 T olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh thime, chopped
1/4 t red pepper flakes
6 c chicken broth
8 oz pkg refrigerated chees tortellini
9 oz pkg spinach
15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (my husband HATES beans, so we substituted canned diced tomatoes here and it was yummy)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan Cheese

The nice thing about this recipe is that most of this stuff is already in my refrigerator! So let's get started
Dice onion finely

Heat Oil in large soup pot over medium-hight heat
Add onion, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes.
Cook until onion is soft, about 3 minutes.
Add Chicken Broth
Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
Stir in the tortellini
reduce heat to medium and simmer for 4 minutes
Add spinach and beans (ok...here is where I made my little change. Instead of adding the cannellini beans, I added a can of petite diced tomatoes. The whole can, didn't even drain them) Also, be sure you use FRESH spinach in the recipe
Simmer until spinach is wilted and tortellini is tender, about one minute should be plenty.
Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with cheese
I served this with one of my fabulous (well I think they are fabulous) salads (be looking for my toss salad hints soon) and enjoy, this low fat, flavorful fall meal!
Be sure to let me know what you think of my very first Gooseberry patch recipe and don't forget, there are nine more to come....and a give away!




Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gooseberry Patch Giveaway

You read the title correctly! I am having a give away!!! Here is the deal...in a partnership with the Real Farmwives of America and Gooseberry Patch Cookbooks the ladies of the RFOA are cooking up 180 recipes from 18 different Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.

So here is how it works....I will be cooking 10 different recipes from Gooseberry Patch's
You are know me...I am one seriously busy girl, so this cook book is right up my alley!!! Be sure to be looking for some yummy and healthy recipes in the next few days, and don't forget to comment. One lucky reader will win a copy of Speedy Suppers of their very own.

By for now....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Accountability and Extremes

I have had something weighing on me for a while. Well actually it has been weighing on my butt for about a year now! It is the extra 20 pounds that I never lost after having a baby. I don't really have an excuse, other than I eat crap...and too much of it! So here I am world, acknowledging and becoming accountable for the poor food choices and lack of exercise that have plagued me for a while!

Weight has been something that I have struggled with for years. Sometimes I control it, other times it controls me. This post is about to get a little heavy (no pun intended), so if you would like to leave now...no hard feelings!

In my late teens and early twenties, I learned how to lose weight. I could drop 10 pounds like it was nothing. Before I knew it, a huge chunk of my self worth was wrapped up in my appearance. The fact that so much of my job depended on my weight didn't help. Think orange shorts and chicken wings (that is another story for another day). I worked my butt off (literally) to stay a perfect size 5. I counted calories, ran, spun, lifted weights, did aerobics and drank enough protein shakes to last the rest of my life. All while going to school and working. I had control of my life in every aspect and I loved it!

For those of you who diet, you know, there comes a time when the pounds stop coming off. Well, I am a girl who needs results and I like to get them quick! So one day I thought to myself, if I work out the same amount of time, but just drink half the protein shake, I should see results. And I did! Before I knew it my size 5, 145 pound frame had shrunk to just under 100 pounds and every minute of my life was consumed by "control". What I thought was the self control to limit yourself to 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, half an apple, a cup of broccoli and a can of tuna per day, was actually my life spinning completely out of control. While my gaunt figure was shocking to my friends and family, I took pride in the fact that I couldn't find clothes small enough to fit me and my thighs didn't touch. I am embarrassed to admit that these were the things that consumed my every day, but they did!

A human can not exist like that forever. So you have two choices, you either die or your make a conscious decision to get yourself better. Obviously, you know which one I chose."Fixing" yourself when you get to that point might seem easy. Most people would say, just eat something. Well that is pretty much what you do, you eat. But not cheeseburgers and fries. Even the most healthy low fat meals add weight to a body that has been starved. Let me tell you, it hurts pretty bad to gain weight when your entire world has been wrapped around keeping it off for so long.

So you might wonder, how did I end up here, 20 pounds overweight and incredibly self conscious about it. I don't have an excuse. All I can say is I am tired of looking bad in clothes, worrying that everyone is staring at my midsection and being terrified that this extra weight will affect the quality of life I have!

I understand food, I understand calories and I understand exercise. So here I am, basically confessing to all of you in the world of the Internet, that it is time that I make some serious changes! I must become accountable for what goes in my mouth, and instead of sitting on the couch watching crap, I need to start exercising! I promise not to let this become extreme, like I have in the past!

I hope that this blog will help me stay on track with my goals. I am looking forward to sharing this struggle and hopefully some success! Be on the look out for some great healthy recipes! Some of my favorites have tons of flavor and are super easy to make!

Maybe, just maybe, I will one day be able to squeeze back into the orange shorts..................I am TOTALLY KIDDING about the shorts....just wanted to get your attention!

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I have learned from showing and raising livestock

I have been around animals (big ones) my entire life. Most of my friends have not. Sometimes they ask me questions about what it is like to raise animals and show them. So here ya go....in no particular order, just a few of the things I have learned in the livestock business:
  • just because she cost alot of money, doesn't mean she will win
  • when you see a cow chewing her cud peacefully in a pasture...she is basically chewing on her own puke
  • when you work cows with your spouse, and he yells, "you dumb B#@%&" he is talking to the cows...not you
  • never be standing behind a cow in the spring when she coughs
  • You don't need a bull to make baby calves, all you need is a steel rod, a "unit" of the appropriate suitor, a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes (ok scratch the smokes and booze but it sure would make it nicer for the cow)
  • if you have ever wondered why mother cows are so protective of their babies....have one of your own and you will totally get  it
  • my husband can go shoulder deep in a cow's lady parts, but can't handle the sight of toddler puke
  • if the judge didn't see it, it never happened
  • most problems can be solved on the long walk to tie outs
  • horses are like 1200 pound toddlers that can kick your face in
  • a cattle show could be defined as a beauty contest for hairy fat girls!
  • go to the bathroom before you put your chaps on!
  • beer at 7 am at a horse show is a completely acceptable beverage
  • shows are won on the amount of effort put in at home

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm a Pretty Lucky Girl...
you want to know why?

I can't deny it...I have no excuse, my blog has fallen to the bottom of a long list of things to do! So for those of you who read, I am sorry, I promise to try to do better! I have lots of great blog posts in my head, but unfortunately, I just don't have the time to get them out of my head and onto the web...haha...that was sort of a rhyme, just call me the Jay-Z of blogging! (feeble attempt and trying to be cool there....I am pretty sure it failed)

Anyway, I thought to try to jumpstart my blog again, I would do a little pictoral review of just a few of the people that make me a lucky girl!

1. this little darling! Honestly, I can't think of a single cuter thing in the world. I am pretty sure she stuck my heart in her pocket the second she was born and she will keep it until the day I die!

2. He drives me insane, when he falls alseep on the couch (couches are for sitting and beds are for sleeping, but we will get into that another time) but he is the most amazing father and husband a girl could ask for! He lives for us and works impossibly hard to help make our life great!

3. If you make a list of all the things that make a set of parents cool...mine rank pretty high. I did my best to drive them insane as a teenager (and i have no doubt that the little darling will do the same to me). They sacrificed and struggled and worked their butts off to provide my brother and I with everything we could possibly hope to have! They are amazing parents and grandparents!

4. How cute is this bunch?!?! I can't think of many people whow have more fun as a family than we do...While my brother and I fought like cats and dogs as kids, he married the perfect girl for him, thus giving me the opportunity to be an AWESOME SUPER COOL EXTRA FUN FABULOUS MAGNIFICENT (magnificent might me a stretch) aunt to the sweetest nieces and nephew a girl could ask for!

5. To say my husbands family is big and close might be the understatement of the century!!!! They are close, fun, over the top and there is a lot of them! Since we are so close to the whole lot...this is the best picture I could come up with on short notice where they were all in the same place at the same time! Believe it or not, they are all in the picture!