Jan 30, 2015

Girl Talk Friday

Sun is shining! I love sunshine. It automatically lifts my mood. And with all this cold and snow I can sure use some mood lifting. 

Speaking of the weather, now it is winter so I am not complaining or even in dismay over what's going on outside. But it is something that brings us in and makes us stay there. Except for the short amount of time it takes to clear a driveway or sidewalk of the white stuff. Or maybe the even shorter time to fill a bird feeder. So we tend to find things to occupy our time. I thought we could talk about some things that we do to keep us busy during the cold, gray, winter months.

Now some have more time than others, I do realize that. Some work, some stay at home, some have kids, some do not have kids. But we all have some time on our hands and here are a few things I do to fill that time.

A........Of course we all have the general house work and cleaning and cooking. But I also like to sit with my hand sewing a.k.a. mending. It is something that needs to be done and now is a good as time as any. So I sit with a hot cup of coffee and before I know it my basket is empty.

B......Sitting with a good book is also a way I pass the time. It is relaxing, helps lower my blood pressure and engages my mind.

C........the Hubs and I love to play card games and such. Right now we are really into Farkle. It is quick to play, easy to learn, great for all ages and you can play it anywhere.

D.......I like crafting, sketching, painting, doodling. As well as knitting and crocheting or anything crafty. Just being creative in general. And Hubs like to tie fishing flies or work in his shop on one project or another.

E..........Cooking and baking. This keeps me busy and makes Hubs happy, while warming the house and making it smell great!

Now this is just a few of the things I do with my time inside during the cold winter. So what about you? Tell us all about what you and the family are doing to keep from going stir crazy.  

Jan 29, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Well the snow actually missed us except for maybe an inch total in 2 different storms.

I am married to a wonderful man that is my soul mate.

My family is all healthy at the moment.

Our food supply is full.

Yesterday we had lots of sunshine.

Today the temps hit 53 degrees. It felt so good.

My Bible.

The love my dogs share with me.

These are a few of the things I am thankful for.

Jan 28, 2015

I Need A Little Help

Can any of you shed any light on what this is or where I can read up on it?

Let me say thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give.

This And That

Just a little of this and a little of that to share with you today.

Yesterday morning I was walking down the hall and from inside the bedroom I hear, " Oh crap, something is not right here!" 
So I step inside to see what was wrong and this is what I saw.

I had to hold back my laughter. So I said, What happened honey? Honey said, "well what does it looked like happened"? I had my phone in my hand so I snapped a picture. And then I said turn around, and I snapped this one!

Honey said, "what are you doing? You are not going to put this on that blog of yours are you? I just grinned a bit, since he couldn't see me anyway. Then I helped him get it turned around and gave him a big kiss!

I had not had my nails done since the monday before Christmas (Dec. 22nd) so I felt it was time. And with February being Valentines Day it is a good excuse to wear pink before spring gets here. So I went with this.

It never reached over 30* today. But at least we have sunshine. 
How about you?

Jan 27, 2015

Tasty Tuesday....Super Bowl Fare

Well there is a lot of Super Bowl prep work being done all over. Last minutes touches to the field and uniforms and all things in between.

 And around my house I have been preparing for the perfect Super Bowl Fare. Now this may be the "Big Kahuna" of ball games. The be all of games for the entire year, but without the right food I say it just another game. So just like the game is special, the food must be too!

So with me trying my best to stay off the white stuff (sugar, flour, rice, potatoes) in other words the simple carbs. And hubs having type 2 diabetes. I am trying to get a bit creative.

So here is what I have decided on. I will start out with Oven Fried Hot Wings. I make these from scratch and use wings from free range chickens.  Keep in mind I am only doing wings and I do a HOT wing sauce when I am done. So you will have to do the adjustments as you go along if you use this recipe. Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken is the best recipe I have found and I did not change a thing except I am using wings only.

Deviled Eggs.....I just use my regular recipe since it does not contain sugar.

Relish Tray with celery, baby carrots, sliced turnips, broccoli and cauliflower and blue cheese dressing as a dip.

And for the sweet tooth factor I found something that I am going to try for the first time.  It originally came from here. But it was shared with me by a blogger friend over at "A Working Pantry". And that does say pantry and not panty! She has some great things to share so you might want to pop over and plan to stay awhile.

Well I would love to hear about what the rest of you intend on doing for your Super Bowl food. So come on and share it with me. It seems like around my house we can take even the mundane (not that Super Bowl is mundane) and make it special with bit of special food.   

Jan 26, 2015

Monday and Menus

Well this is what things looked like at 8am.

And this was less than an hour later.

So what can I say other than windy, cold and wet. As you all know I am not one to run to the grocery for the Big 3 (milk, eggs and bread) I just use what we have and stay in and stay warm. I never really knew what folks eat anyway with milk, eggs and bread in the cupboard. I guess its eggs sandwiches and french toast!! But around here that wouldn't float. Hubs wants much more than that to call it a meal.

I have done a bit of cooking ahead just in case the power went out so we could warm food on the grill if need be. I fixed a pot of Venison Barley Soup and made some Mini Meatloafs. So if the power holds out we will eat as follows this week. If not we will adjust as need be.

Monday........Venison Barley Soup, homemade garlic cheese sticks

Tuesday......Mini Meatloafs, fried cabbage and roasted turnips and carrots

Wednesday.........chopped salad and leftover soup from monday

Thursday.......grilled chicken breast and a chopped salad, feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

Friday........Turkey Kielbasa on a homemade crust with Mozzarella and fresh basil and a chopped salad

Saturday.........Oatmeal Pancakes and turkey bacon with blueberries and SF maple syrup

Sunday.........Super Bowl Fare---oven fried hot wings, deviled eggs, relish tray and pecan tassies.

So I am glad to see everyone stopping in and I want you to know I rea and love every comment so take a few and leave me one.

Jan 24, 2015

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

I had not intended to post today. Its a saturday and this is what I woke up to.

Cold and wet with gray skies. Not much moving outside even though there is not much snow on the ground. Hubs left out early this morning so I am home alone. You would think I would be cranking at something exciting since I have me time, but I just seem to be bouncing from one odd job to another today.

At least I was......... until the phone rang! And who did I hear on the other end but my BFF from high school or I guess to be more accurate I should say junior high. Boy that really dates me now doesn't it!!! I was so excited, I had not heard her voice in over 30 years. We had emailed and chatted a bit before, but to hear her voice was amazing! It truly brought "Sunshine on a Cloudy Day".

So what can I say except I am stepping a bit higher this afternoon and moving a little faster. 

I had to stop for a few minutes after we hung up to just praise the Lord for this phone call. It just made my heart spill over with gratitude and love.

So folks I have to say if you have someone you have not been in contact with( doesn't have to be for 30 years) pick up the phone and make that call, you have no idea what a lift and a blessing it will be for the one on the other end!! What a gift!

Go ahead make that call and get this new year started off right.

Jan 23, 2015

Girl Talk

It seems when ever you get 2 or more women.....girls......females together there is never a problem with conversation. The topics, they are vast. Everything from cooking, shopping, crafting, husbands, kids, well you get the picture!

 So I thought I would set aside Fridays for "girl talk" and see what we can come up with. A time where I share with you and you in turn, share with me.
Well this week I thought I would start with weight loss. If there is one of you that is not interested in discussing this will you please step up and tell us all about it. Wave your hands high so we can all see you. And even share how you came to this point. 

First off I have to say I am a mother of 2 and a grandmother of 4. So not a young chicky! Weight loss to me is about getting healthy, keeping my joints healthy, my heart healthy and having the ability to carry my body in a safe fashion. Meaning good balance and posture.

So last year I lost some weight, 22 lbs. to be exact. But the holidays hit and it all came to a stand still. I was still trying and eating relatively well but nothing was happening. You know what I was forgetting to add to each day? Movement! Thats right, we have to move! Dah! Where was my brain, what was I thinking. So I started moving again and the scales are moving backward already.

Now this is not just about the scale here. I am also sleeping better now that I am moving. And I am also more in control of my eating. So all in all it a good thing!

Now what about you guys? What is working for you? Whats not working for you? Maybe you are at your ideal weight and you want to share how you maintain it. 

I ran into a lady the other day at the "Y" and we were chatting while we sat in the sauna, she was sharing with me that she swims 3 miles 3x's a week. She said she has found this to be her magic weapon against weight gain! She was in her 50's and had reached here happy weight about 7 years ago. And by doing this swimming routine she is able to stay put and stay strong.

I don't know about you but I love hearing a good success story. Now we all have successes to share, even those small ones along the journey. 

So let here 'em!

And by the way if you are interested you can follow my weight loss journey on the ticker at the bottom of the page.

Jan 22, 2015

Thankful Thursday

This week has been a whirlwind for me. Busy with something to do every minute of everyday.
But one thing is for sure I have been sleeping good this week. So if this is what it takes to get some good rest then I am there! 

I must say I seem to have my energy back as well. I am working out 5 days a week for about 2 hours a day and I am loving it. 

We have had sunshine everyday this week up until today. And sunshine always makes me feel better. And the temps have been a tad bit warmer.

I have been making time to read a bit more and that is just a good thing.

Finding time as well to create, even though it is on a small scale. 

It is much quieter around my house since hubs is over his cough.  I am glad he is not sick anymore.

Hubs took a routine trip to his Cardiologist this week and left with the knowledge that he can walk and exercise as much as he wants to. (Probably more than he wants to!)

These are all things that I am thankful for.

Jan 20, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

I share dinner menus on Monday so I am going to try to share some recipes for other things here on tuesday.

A few weeks back I referred to a recipe for Baked Oatmeal and I will say this is a delicious way to get your oatmeal. A confession is forth coming here, I am not an oatmeal lover. I just don't like the texture of cooked oatmeal. So when the Doctor said eat more oatmeal I ask if no bake cookie counted! For the record, they do not! So I have been trying to find other ways to get my oatmeal. This baked oatmeal was perfect and you can work with it adding different fruits and nuts which add the textures that I need to be able to get it down.

But I started thinking about trying to lower the calories a bit and still retain the protein and for the carbs to still be within reason. So here is what I came up with.

No Flour Cookies

2 egg whites
2 T. plain greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 smashed banana
1/3 cup + 2 T. unsweetened almond milk
1 cup regular oatmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Place first 5 ingredients into bowl and mix well. Stir in oatmeal and baking powder. You can now add nuts and fruit to your liking. Bake at 350* till brown around edges and set to your liking.

Tips----I like to stick with berries as they are lower in sugar and my hubs is a diabetic. 
I have also added cinnamon or used other flavoring in place of vanilla.
After mixing the wet and dry ingredients I like to allow the mixture to rest and absorb some liquid.
When adding the fruit and nuts I usually add by the handful. This lets me see how much we are getting. 
This makes 9 large cookies which is 2 serving. They are perfect for heading out the door with a cup of coffee.

If you want to give this recipe a try you better Pin it so it doesn't get lost.

Jan 19, 2015

Monday's Musings....... .Menus

So the weekends over and the new week begins.

 I had some "fun" this weekend but then it doesn't take much to excite me!

 As I sat with my morning coffee I was thinking back over the things that took place this weekend and it felt good for the second time. It brought me joy when I was doing them and again as I was reflecting. So a double whammy is always a good thing. Friday I finished all the week long chores up around 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then the hubs and I went to the Y. I had a good workout and enjoyed the sauna after. In the evening I finished some small crocheting projects.

These are just hair scrunchies. But I will do a few at a time when I can fit them in time wise and once I have a basket full they will be used as table fillers at this years shows.

Saturday I worked in my doodle pad and just had fun! And then in the afternoon I went back to the Y. Worked out a bit harder than usual and I am feeling it today. I have to say that it does feel good! 

Been trying to cook better and plan better as well so we can avoid eating out. This is not something we do much of anyway but it really helps our food intake and our pocketbook by not eating out. So lets get on to the weeks dinner menus:

Sunday..........turkey pizza and a chopped salad with balsamic vinaigrette ( we had regular pizza on friday night and it was requested that I do something like this with the turkey for the ballgames on sunday) I will try to take photos.

Monday...........bbq venison ribs, fried cabbage w/onions and hot peppers, green beans

Tuesday........chopped salad with tuna added for protein and balsamic vinaigrette

Wednesday.........oatmeal pancakes, turkey bacon and homemade blueberry syrup

Thursday........leftovers and macaroni and tomatoes 

Friday.......grilled chicken breast, chopped salad

Saturday........I'm clueless!

Jan 16, 2015

This And That......Thankfulness

We find ourselves here on friday, is it the end of the week or the beginning of the weekend? No matter how you look at it, it's friday. Friday to me is the day I try to finish up all the unfinished routine household jobs that have been moved from one list to the next all week. I try to not carry anything over into the weekend. And the magic word here is "try"! Sometimes no matter how hard I "try" I still don't get all things completed. But this week seems to be a magical week. I am finished!

So as I move forward with this afternoon and on into saturday and sunday I can relax a bit and do some fun stuff! I will share some of those things later on so watch for them. Well not only am I thankful to get all my work list completed but: 

I am also thankful today for warmer weather(40's)

For being able to exercise and stretch my body.

For nourishing food for my hubs and myself.

That I have a stash of yarn to begin working with and making items for table fillers at some of my shows this coming year.

For the recovery of my neighbor who fell and broke her back right after Thanksgiving.

For my health.

And for the beautiful sunshine that is shining on us today.

Here is a couple of skirts and leg warmer sets I made for my granddaughter for christmas, each one has a matching hair clip to clip on a headband.

These were so fun to make. 

Jan 13, 2015

Not So Tasty Tuesday.......But A Recipe!

Well its tuesday and I know you are expecting a recipe for something yummy. 

You will only be half way disappointed. I do have a recipe to share and if you give it some thought it will be very useful. But definitely not very tasty!!

This is the time of year that we are seeing all kinds of articles in the newspaper and hearing all over the news about the different strands of flu and all the colds and sinus problems going on. We have had schools closed in our area for disinfecting. So many children sick and missing school that they just closed it down and sent the healthy ones home, so hopefully they would stay that way!

Well I thought it would be a perfect time for me to share a recipe with you that I have used for well over 30 years. ( WOW, I'm old!) I used it back when my boys were in school and they were never sick. So it worked well for us and the way I look at it is it can't hurt.

Its called the "Super germ Killer".

Mix 1/2 cup of bleach into 2 quarts of hot tap water. After the 2 are combined slowly add 1/2 cup white vinegar and mix well.

Use this solution throughout the day to wipe down door knobs and phones as well as light switches and facet handles. This solution must be used within 24 hours or it neutralizes itself and is non effective.

I mix it first thing in the morning and then use it throughout the day. Instead of just dumping it in the evening I will use it to clean a bathroom or for soaking a rug or old cleaning rags that are extremely dirty. 

Reminder**** if you have a septic system I would not advise dumping this into it. You would be killing off all the good bacteria within it*****

******I found this recipe many moons ago on a brochure from the Center for Disease Control.*****

Tips........I do not place my rag/sponge back in the solution until I have rinsed it and rung it out. This keeps my solution clean and usable all day long. It will still work and do its job even after the water has cooled off.

So what precautions are you taking to keep your family healthy this winter?


Jan 12, 2015

Monday's Musings and Menus

Cold icy rain has dumped itself on us all night long. So walking to the mailbox this morning for the newspaper was a real trip indeed! Can you say Weeee! Yes, I am one of those strange people who still get a newspaper delivered. I enjoy it every morning with my morning coffee.

 And after reading it this morning I started to ponder this thing called a new year, 365 days(354 left), 52 weeks, 12 months of blankness. It is before us, in front of us, an empty canvas waiting for each of us to pick up  the paintbrush or pencil if you will and begin to fill the void. So I have decided that as the year is unfolding I will not be waiting to see just what comes next or about to happen each second of the day. But I intend to be present in this year. Painting my own canvas and filling the space with as much good as I can muster. Yes siree, I intend to be all that God has made me. And if I were a betting woman I would bet 2 things. First I would bet that I will learn a lot about myself. And second, that I will learn a lot about God. And not necessarily in that order. So now you know what I was doing over that second cup of coffee this morning. 

So what do you think about making some waves this year instead of just riding the waves that everyone else makes?

And now I need to get on with the dinner menus for the week:

Sunday.......Chili made from venison, home canned tomatoes, homegrown onions and my canned pintos.

Monday.......Salmon patties and Macaroni and tomatoes(home canned)

Tuesday........large chopped salad w/ lettuce, baby spinach, tomato, onion, cucumber, radish, celery, carrot, baby bell pepper, mushroom, sunflower seeds, feta cheese and dressed with balsamic vinegar

Wednesday.............salsa chicken w/ brown rice and roasted yellow squash.

Thursday........chopped salad with leftover salsa chicken.

Friday.........homemade pizza, salad

Saturday.......greek barley salad and roasted veggies  

I have also been finishing up some UFO's(un-finished objects) and I thought you might want to see a few. These are hats for preemies in the NICU at the area hospital near me. 

I make them and when I have several, I wash them in baby detergent and then package each one separately in ziploc sandwich bags. Once they are given to the babies it stays with that baby and is washed with his/her clothes and used again and again. When they get to go home the hats go with them.  

So what have you finished up lately?  

Jan 10, 2015

Another cold one!

Well while it is not as cold outside as some of you are experiencing. It is cold enough for me.

I woke up to 9* this morning (5am) and before daylight it dropped to 5*.  But the sun has been out today and it has risen to 25* in the sun. 

Our breakfast of choice was baked oatmeal. I made it with banana, walnuts and maple this morning. It warmed up the kitchen, made the house smell divine and fueled our bodies for the beginning of the day. You can click here for the  Baked Oatmeal recipe. 

I have not had a lot of extra energy lately, probably because I have not been sleeping extremely well. But I am trying to keep up with my exercise just the same. I went to the Y yesterday and swam in the warm water pool. Today I walked at home on the treadmill (2 miles) and then worked for about 20 minutes with free weights.

When it was time for lunch I really wanted something warm and since I was the only one at home I decided to fix some yellow squash. I just did it up in a bit of EVOO with a salt free spice  mix I make. It was wonderful and not full of unwanted calories or carbs.

So tell me what all you are doing to stay warm and pass the time?

Jan 9, 2015

Baby Its Cold Outside!

Oh My Goodness! It sure is a cold one today. At the present time it is 13 degrees outside and we are having 30 mile an hour wind gusts. They had an early release for our county schools and have already called for a 2 hour delay for the morning school bell. And the worst part for me is not even the cold but the lack of sunshine. As in not a single ray!

I have been doing a bit of cleaning today. So far I have 2 bags to take to Goodwill. And a smaller bag for the trash. Why does it make us feel so good to clean out? I sure do love it. I want to continue this phase of things till I have done every room and the garage. 

Tonights dinner is a taco pizza on a corn bread crust. I have the filling prepped and am ready to proceed when the time comes.

It was down to zero last night and now it is warming up a bit. 

Everyone stay warm out there!

Jan 6, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

I haven't done a Tasty Tuesday post in a while and all I can say in my defense is that I have not been prepared with pictures and such. But I am going to try to do a better job at this in 2015. 

Planning my menus ahead for the week is the first step in keeping me on track and saving money as well. It also allows me to use up the leftovers and therefore not waste money or food. Also in my quest for healthier eating I am trying to do way fewer simple carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes and breads. All the things I love but I may as well just put them in my hip pockets! As they go straight to my butt. My hubs is a diabetic so watching the carbs for him as well. And of course his favorite thing in the whole wide world is pasta. So we tried a new item to us and it was a hit. Something we will have many times and I will be trying this with different variations in the future.

Spaghetti Squash w/home canned marinara sauce

I just started out buy washing the squash and cutting off the stem. Then split it from end to end and remove the seeds and strings. ( not sure that is a technical term but you know what I mean). Now lay them face down in a 9x13 baking pan and add about a 1/4 cup of water. Place in a 350* oven for about 45 minutes or till (spaghetti) will flake with a fork.

This is what they looked like when I placed in the oven.

Then after baking for 45 minutes and flaking with a fork they look like this.

I added a 1/4 lb. of organic ground bison that I had fried ahead of time to the marinara sauce. You could make this completely vegan if you wanted to but hubs always wants to know where the meat is?

Now I just spooned the sauce into the "boat" and added some mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Placed back in the oven on broil until cheese was bubbly. 

These were great! Hubs was pleased and ate every bite. I served it with a chopped salad. It was very filling but did not give us that stuffed feeling at all. 

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try, let me know what you think. And if you add your own spin then share that as well.  

Jan 5, 2015

Menus For The Week......My Not Resolution!

This was a beautiful morning and has continue to be a beautiful day.

Unless you go outside and it is COLD and WINDY! And it is only suppose to get worse as the week goes on.

I am not real big on resolutions. So instead of setting all these goals and making all kinds of plans. I am just going to continue my healthy eating and activity that I began last year. 

And instead of planning to do something this year I am planning on NOT doing something this year. I am making a promise to myself to not participate in gossip. If someone around me starts it and I do not feel I can say anything because of the place or situation then I will walk away.  So there I said it out loud for all of you to hear.

Menus for the week.

Monday.........Spaghetti Squash with homemade Marinara Sauce and a chopped salad.

Tuesday.........Quesadillas with refried beans, roasted onions/yellow squash/peppers on a low carb shell. Chopped salad

Wednesday.......large chopped salad with tuna added for protein

Thursday...........Chicken Corn Chowder

Friday...........mexican pizza with a cornbread crust.

Saturday..........no idea!

Sunday......may have company if so Roast Chicken. 

Jan 3, 2015

Changing Of The Mug

Goodness gracious, I forgot about mug! 

I allowed myself to get busy putting away all holiday fare and completely forgot about the "changing of the mug".

Here is the one that will serve me through January.

I have plans out and about to day and then I want to share some of my doodle pad with you later on.

Have you got all the holidays put away? Or are you still enjoying it?
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