Thursday, February 28, 2013

2 Clean Bills of Health

On Monday afternoon, I sat down to write a funny little birthday post for my Dad. I was about 2 sentences in when my mom called and said that Dad had left for Quick Care 4 hours ago and wasn't answering his phone. He had been complaining of bad stomach pain for two days and didn't know what was causing it.

My Mom, full of worry (and a little bit of rage), left for Quick Care to see if my Dad was still there for testing or something. When she got there, the nurse told her they had transferred my Dad to the hospital by ambulance. The only information she had was that they were admitting him on the Heart floor.

THE HEART FLOOR??

Turns out, my Dad's blood pressure was crazy high and because he was also nauseous while he was in the ER, they wanted to make sure his pains weren't heart related. And they weren't....THANK GOD!!!

After a night of testing, they determined that my Dad's stomach pain was caused by a "nasty" gallbladder. So out it came...on his 59th birthday :-)

By the next day, my Dad was all smiles enjoying his first meal in about 3 days.


And then he had a few special visitors for lunch :-)


After keeping both meals down and feeling much better, the hospital released him and Dad was able to sleep in his own bed last night. WHEW!!!!! Thank God for modern medicine.

Obviously, Daddy-O needs a SERIOUS birthday re-do.

Plus, we have another clean bill of health to celebrate!! A few months ago, I posted about how my dermatologist biopsied two abnormal moles (on my back and my leg) and one actually turned out to be skin cancer. The doctor suggested two different forms of treatment for these areas.

The first, larger area (which was not cancer, but could have developed into it) was surgically removed in December and pathology came back with clean margins. WOOHOO!

The second area on my leg, that did turn out to be cancer, was treated with a topical chemo-type cream for 6 weeks. Yesterday was my post treatment follow-up appointment and the dermatologist said that everything looks great!!! The spot is cancer free!!!!!

I am so, so happy I went to get checked in November and even happier that treatment for both areas was successful. I have learned a MAJOR lesson about sun care and I will forever be a supporter of the fake tan :-) I will also be on an every-6-month basis for full body checks to make sure no other spots pop up.

So yeah...LOTS to celebrate around here this week!! Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes for my Dad over the last few days. It has meant so much to us :-)

**********

PS...Thank you all so much for the sweet comments on my last post. I always get scared posting about that sort of thing for fear of offending others, but I think it needed to be said. It felt good getting it off my chest. Thanks for all your support, friends :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Doing it All

One of the things I have been struggling with lately is my desire to "Do it All."

The Internet has definitely contributed to this desire because the competition between women is fierce these days. If we aren't sewing a one-of-a-kind Sophia the First costume with eco-friendly organic cotton, then we are in the kitchen making homemade granola and gluten-free brownies.

And if sewing and cooking aren't our things, odds are we are sacrificing precious hours of sleep doing some DIY project in our garage or rubber stamping and embossing the shit out of some homemade "Thank You" cards.

And if all that isn't enough...we are spending HOURS on Pinterest and watching countless YouTube videos on "How to Pretzel Tie a Scarf" and give ourselves those glamorous beach waves.

So now...thanks to the Internet...not only do we need to know how to make "clean" tacos and turn an old picture frame into a chalkboard, but we have to do it wearing colored skinny jeans and a perfectly mastered sock bun.

And I am just as guilty as anyone else for trying to be all these things. I am CERTAIN that there have been countless times when someone has read my blog and said, "That bitch. Where the hell does she find time to make all those stupid printables?"

And the truth is, I most likely gave up sleep that night to make them. I always regret doing that, especially when I am walking around like a zombie the next day. But the thing is...when I share my crafts online, I almost always get a frantic email from some Mom saying, "JEN!!! You saved me today with this printable. Thank You!" And then of course I am compelled to stay up the next night preparing for the next holiday.

I like helping people. I like sharing crafts and ideas and getting excited about them. I like making checklists for all the other wanna-be-organized junkies out there like me. I like talking about running and fitness and getting others motivated. I like making new friends and keeping in touch with old ones. I like talking about my kiddies and sharing lots of pictures and funny stories. I LOVE the Internet for so many reasons...

But I also despise it, especially when I find myself begging two crying children to give me 5 more minutes to finish posting some Pinterest-worthy picture of the soup I made for dinner the night before.

WHO. FREAKING. CARES.

Is the picture of my soup worth the 30 minutes I could have spent playing in the snow with my kids?

Hell no.

Does anyone care if I didn't get around to beach waving my hair or putting on a perfectly styled outfit today?

Double Hell no.

Does anyone care that I BOUGHT the cookies I contributed to Addie's class party this week?

Triple Hell no.

But some days I care and that makes me sad. I don't want to care about that stuff. I really, really don't. I want to be able to let things go and not care about doing it all or being it all. All that stuff doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

But do you know what does matter?

These two.


And you know what's more important than taking a picture of my soup? 

Playing Transformers.


And you know what's more important than planning my outfit and styling my hair?

Helping this girl plan her outfit and style her hair.


These years are going by WAY too fast!! My baby girl turns FIVE next week and before I know it, this little guy will be driving a real car (God help me).


There is going to come a day when these two will be way too busy and way too cool to spend a day with Mom and Dad at Cabellas looking at stuffed animals.


These moments are priceless and I want to make the most of them.

I just need to remember that anytime I feel overwhelmed by the pressure of Mommyhood these days, I just need to turn to these two peanuts for guidance. They will show me in one silly laugh or one precious hug that I am the best Mommy in the world. And in the end...their opinions are the only ones that matter :-)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: The Dreadmill

Yay! The one blog post I look forward to all week :-)


I am happy to say I've got another good week in the books guys! Even with a date night AND a triple birthday celebration, I still managed to lose another pound for my DietBet. Woot woot! I've got 2.1 more pounds to lose in like 10 days. It's going to be TOUGH, but I know I can do it if I get super strict this week. 

So let's talk about HEALTH.

The sad thing is...I don't even feel like I need to lose these last two pounds. If I was not committed to DietBet, I would probably stop right now and consider it a goal met. The whole purpose of signing up for this bet was to motivate me to:

1. Loosen up my jeans (they were holiday-snug)

2. Get back into a routine of exercising 5-6 days a week.

3. Start making better choices with food again and WATCH PORTIONS.

So now that I am almost 3 full weeks into this, I have accomplished these three things. My jeans are fitting the way I want them to, I've been logging some great exercise time and I have clearly learned to watch portions since I turned down an extra baked taco last night (even though I still felt hungry and they were soooooooo delicious!) I even brought veggies with a side of veggies to our triple b-day party this weekend!


But a bet is a bet and damn it...I am NOT giving up my money that easily. And to be honest, it wouldn't hurt to lose these last two pounds as a buffer. Hahaha! So that's where I'm at! I've been considering doing a cleanse of some sort to help with these last 2 pounds and do a little detoxifying, but what I realized after reading these plans is that there is NO WAY I can drink only juice and smoothies for 3 days. 

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Even though I have been losing weight, I have by no means cut out enough sugar and carbs. But, if I REALLY cut down on those this week (and toss the leftover Valentine's Day candy), I think I can get to where I need to be. This means I will have to skip the birthday cake this weekend and the days where I am having carbs for dinner (pizza and pasta) I will just have to majorly load up on veggies and other protein during the day. Damn diets!

So here is our menu for the week (starting tonight):

Friday: Homemade Pizzas with TONS of veggies.
Saturday: Birthday Party! 
Sunday: Pulled pork...but I'm going to skip the bun if I can resist.
Thursday: Leftovers

A big thanks to my girl Nina for having such an awesome blog full of amazing recipes and inspiration!

Now...let's get to FITNESS, shall we?

As I said last week, I've jumped on the Ripped in 30 bandwagon and as much as Jillian annoys me at times with her weird growling and ass-biting...I am digging this DVD a lot!! I am almost done with Week 2 and I am definitely feeling stronger! I still have to modify some of the moves (I royally suck at push-ups) but overall I am keeping up and sweating like a piggie!!


As far as running goes, I did manage to make it through my 4-mile Dreadmill run!! Clearly my calories were a bit off though. Damn it!


But I have to give a big THANK YOU to my fitness buddy Hannah for sharing a link to a great blog post titled "Treadmill Running Without Losing Your Mind". The tips really helped this week and I am hoping they continue to help because it looks like I will be indoors again this weekend. BOO!!

 In addition to exercising my body this week, I also exercised my mind at a great writing workshop on campus. Being a teacher is just my teeny tiny extra part-time job to help me keep my sanity and stay fresh in the classroom. But when I get to go to workshops and spend time with my colleagues, it always reminds me why I chose this career in the first place and why teaching English is the best job ever. I know it sounds silly...but it felt like a mental health day for me. And I needed it :-)

So friends...how was YOUR week?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So What Wednesday

SO WHAT IF...

* Some days I want to break up with the Internet and have a strictly professional relationship.

* I have a potty mouth when I'm not around my kids. It's like the minute they go to bed I can't wait to drop the F-bomb. 

* The presents I gave the kids for Valentine's Day and the ones I have waiting to give them for Easter are all Christmas presents I stashed away. I love when they open them up like they've never seen them before.

* I already have 18 of my 40 Bags filled for my 40 Bags/40 Days Challenge and at least 3 of them were from Eric's side of the closet. See ya later leather bomber jacket and 1998 Abercrombie t-shirts.

* I had a dream last night that Eric surprised me with new couches and I almost cried real tears when I woke up and realized our fugly man-couches are still in the family room.

* Sometimes I miss diapers. Especially when I have a cart full of stuff and I am on the OPPOSITE end of Target when a certain Mr. needs to go "Pee Pee WIGHT NOW!!!" I just want to be like, "Go in your pants, dude."

* When I don't have the time (or the desire) to shower and get ready before taking Addie to preschool, I put on workout clothes so that everyone thinks I just worked out. Admit it...you do that too.

* Ever since my friend Barb told me that Flynn Rider (from Rapunzel) looks like Eric...I find myself strangely attracted to a cartoon :-)

So what are you saying SO WHAT to today?


So What Wednesday

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our Weekend in a Nutshell: Date Night & a Triple Birthday Celebration

Eric and I have been SO LUCKY to score not one but TWO date nights in the last two weeks. This of course is due in large part to my awesome parents who are always down for a Friday night sleepover with their babies :-)

This week, we headed up to the city to have a little post-valentine celebration.


We contemplated going to some fancy new restaurant or hitting up RPM Italian for the second time (which we will do on Eric's birthday in May), but instead we decided to keep it casual and eat at one of our favorite little spots, Mangia Fresca


Their brick oven pizza is TO. DIE. FOR. They also make this sinful Nutella pizza, which is what I said I was going to get this time. But I also love their Margherita pizza more than life itself so I opted for the Nutella sugar cookie sandwiches instead. It was a delicious meal and I've been dreaming of brick oven pizza all day!

After dinner, it was off to the Chicago RV & Camping Show!!! This show always seems to fall around the 14th of February so it has become our little Valentine's Day tradition. Even though we own a camper now, we plan on going to this show every year just to load up on brochures of all the great places we hope to travel to this summer. We've only made a small dent in our stack but we've already found at least 4 places we want to go. It's gonna be a busy camping season :-)


On Saturday, after picking up the kiddos from Nana and Papa's, it was off to Aunt Meagan and Uncle Ryan's house for a Triple Birthday Celebration!!

My sis-in-law Meagan's birthday is February 2nd, my brother Ryan's is February 10th and my Dad's is February 26th. Busy busy month...so we decided a few years ago just to celebrate once and have a yummy feast. And that we did!! Lou Malnoti's pizza, peanut butter ice cream cake, delicious martinis...it was a good thing I ran 4 miles that day because I blew every calorie and then some.

We all had such a nice time visiting together and watching the kiddies play. Addie is obsessed with Owen and wants to cuddle him all the time. But you know boys...you have to wait until THEY are ready to cuddle. And man when Owen was ready...Addie jumped at the chance :-)



I just can't get out over how BIG they all look in this picture!


We played peek-a-boo for a good half hour that night and I was loving all the giggles from these two.



And the smooches :-)


Obviously, Friday and Saturday were super fun...but NOT super productive. So, I spent my entire Sunday cleaning and scrubbing and organizing. I hate to waste a day doing those things but sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered. I have felt really behind around here lately and it felt good to just spend a day catching up.

But now, my friends, it's time for me to catch up on some sleep :-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: Will Run for Cupcakes

It's that time again friends!


Well...it's sugar detox around the Davis household today and let me tell you friends...it is not pretty. The kids and I are both feeling the effects of overindulging yesterday. I couldn't even bring myself to get on the scale this morning because I know it hasn't budged...at least not in the direction I want it to. Ha!

But with only 17 days left on my DietBet, I better kick it into SERIOUS gear if I want to lose those last  3.6 lbs. So here's the plan for HEALTH.

This week, aside from Valentine's Day of course, I did pretty well in the eating department. I was under my calorie goal almost every day and I drank a LOT more water than I usually do. The only unhealthy thing I let happen ALL WEEK was not getting enough sleep. I know I like to blame my kids and their inability to sleep through the night most nights, but really the fault is mine. I stay up WAY too late every night. I really have to work on this.

One of the things I have been staying up way too late doing is meal planning. Clipping coupons, pinning new recipes and searching sale adds can eat up a whole night. But I have really enjoyed cooking more at home and it is almost becoming routine for me now. So here is next week's menu (that kept me up too late last night :-)

Sunday: Potroast with garlic mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes.
Monday: Chicken and mushrooms with green beans
Tuesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Spaghetti night
Friday: Homemade Pizza Night (our new tradition)
Saturday: Birthday Party

Next up...let's chat about FITNESS.

I decided this week to really give Jillian Michaels' Ripped in 30 a fair chance. I have only ever tried it here and there, but I really want to see if this DVD can change my body a bit. After one week, I can honestly say I feel some difference in my arms! I feel a bit stronger in my planks and push-ups, which are always my weakest moves. I have spaghetti arms :-) So I really want to continue on and see how I feel after the full 4 weeks. Of course, I plan to keep running too and hopefully squeeze in some Yoga. I  guess the biggest goal of all is just to be working out 5-6 days a week...NO EXCUSES!

So here is how I did this week:

SATURDAY: Went for a great run outside. In the snow.


SUNDAY: Half of Ripped in 30 and then some abs.

MONDAY: Rest Day {although I did move furniture in my house}

TUESDAY: Ripped in 30

WEDNESDAY: Ripped in 30

THURSDAY: Ripped in 30....and ate a cupcake :-)


FRIDAY: Today is a run day baby!!! 

It dawned on me today that the Shamrock Shuffle 8K is only 5 WEEKS AWAY and I haven't run more than 3.5 miles yet this season. This week's goal is to get in a 4 or 5 miler and start working on some distance again. I just can't do much more than 3 on my treadmill so I am PRAYING for some running weather! I'd even take 40 degrees...is that too much to ask?

So guys...how was your week? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

40 Bags/40 Days Challenge

One of my FAVORITE blogs...perhaps the first blog I ever really started following...was Clover Lane. To say that Sarah is amazing is an understatement. She is raising 6 beautiful children, keeping the cleanest, most organized home I have ever seen, and still manages to find time to blog and share fabulous recipes and advice. 

I. Love. Her. 

Sarah is all about simplicity and when she started the 40 Bags/40 Days challenge a few years ago...I was hooked. What a FABULOUS thing to do for Lent. While everyone else was giving up pop, candy, online shopping, whatever...I decided to follow Sarah's plan and give up "stuff." Stuff I don't need, stuff that could help someone else in need, stuff that takes up space in my home, stuff that should be in a landfill, etc. Last year was by far my most successful year and I learned about several AMAZING local charities that I plan to give to again this year.

So last week, I sat down with my planner and started this year's 40 Bags/40 Days Challenge. I am now on a first name basis with the woman who collects for AmVets in our area and I have been on their monthly rotation for pick-up. I do whatever I can to at least get one bag of donations for them each month and so far, it hasn't been hard to collect that. Remember...I am a recovering hoarder :-)

I am happy to say, though, that this year's challenge is going to be a little bit harder because of this monthly donation. I have tried to be so much more diligent about getting rid of things we don't need that coming up with 40 BAGS may be a little difficult. But I am certainly going to try, especially since we are now officially done growing our family. LOTS of baby stuff to part with.

So here is my little list with 2 bags already in the books.


Although we are planning a garage sale this Spring and there's a good chance I will add a Blog Sale into the mix too, I am also working really hard to collect for different charities.

Once again, I want to send many of my dress clothes to Dress for Success.

All of our retired shoes will be going to Share Your Souls again because they have many convenient drop-off locations (which is great because shipping donations can cost big $$).

And a new organization I've recently found is the National Cristina Foundation which,

"promotes the reuse of technology  to enable people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons to be given the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives."

If you visit their website and type in your zip code, they will find you multiple locations in your area looking for all kinds of used electronics from computers and printers, to answering machines and cell phones. We have SO MANY old gadgets in our home that need to find a new place to live. Some will obviously just need to be recycled, but others are still in great working condition and could really help someone in need.

So those are the charities I hope to work with again this year, along with AmVets. I am on a constant mission to simplify and organize our home and hopefully by Easter, I will be another 40 bags closer :-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Heart Coffee Valentine's Day Giveaway!

As promised...our little Valentine's Day Giveaway from ThePolkaDotPosie is up and running!!! Visit our blog now to enter to win one of our adorable COFFEE COZIES!! Two winners will be selected on Friday! Good luck everyone!!!



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Tid-Bits


Happy Tuesday friends!! We've had a pretty busy day today visiting with Great Nana, hitting up storytime at the library, writing out Valentines and eating some AMAZING pineapple upside down cupcakes (Great Nana's specialty).


And now it's time for me to get my lesson plan ready and head out the door to teach. My students are learning about analytical writing tonight...are you jealous?

But before I go, I wanted to make sure I shared some exciting stuff from ThePolkaDotPosie shops! First, if any of you are looking for a LAST MINUTE Valentine's Day gift for the special someone, all of our custom date signs are 14% off in our printable shop right now!!! Just print and frame and you're ready to go!


And on Thursday, we are going to begin our fabulous Valentine's Day giveaway!!! THREE super fun items up for grabs so be sure to check back!!

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Weekend in a Nutshell: Cinderella's Ball, Iceskating Graduation & Our 4th Birthday of the Week!

I can still remember the very first dance my dad ever took me to. It was a Valentine's Day father/daughter dance and I wore a red satin dress that my mom made me. My dad gave me a rose, we drank some punch with sherbet and I danced on his feet all night. It was the perfect first date.

So when I saw that our park district was putting on a little daddy/daughter dance this year, I texted Eric right away to see if he could take Addie. I have never seen this man use an exclamation point, let alone 20, but he couldn't say YES!!!!!!!!!!! fast enough. And he had very strict orders that HE wanted to ask Addie to the ball himself.

I wanted to take pictures and videos of this moment, but of course he wouldn't let me. But I did listen outside her bedroom door :-) Eric told her that the Fairy Godmother called him at work that day to see if he would like to attend Cinderella's Ball with a special girl and before he could even finish the sentence she said, "ME! Take me Daddy!!"

So the date was set.

 We made sure to choose the perfect dress (Cinderella, of course) and when the day came, Addie asked for Cinderella hair and blue sparkly nails to match. So I did my mommy duty and got my princess all ready for her ball :-)

Addie was so excited to show Daddy her beautiful dress, but when she found out that Uncle Kevin had asked Nia to the ball too...she was more excited to see Nia. Hahaha!

These girls were PRECIOUS!!!



And their Prince Charmings didn't look half bad either :-)


Of course the fairy Grandmothers came to see their babies off...



But not before the girls got their very first corsages!



When the two little couples left for the ball, I gave Eric specific instructions to take pictures. Well...I think we all know how reliable Prince Eric is when it comes to cameras. Ha! But at least there was a photographer at the ball that got this adorable shot of the two of them (the lighting isn't great because this is a picture of a picture :)


Not gonna lie...I might have had a tear in my eye the whole night. I just know Addie is going to remember this ball with her Daddy forever :-)

*******

Even though it was no Cinderella Ball, I was still very excited to get a date night of my own this weekend! Eric and I went with some friends to a dinner that was hosted by the college where I work. Their culinary school puts on a special dinner every Friday night and the public can come and enjoy some delicious gourmet food. We had the most AMAZING meal and just when I thought the deliciousness was over...they wheeled out a dessert cart. The picture just doesn't do this Devil's Food cake (with Bavarian cream filling) any justice. To. Die. For.


Even though the food was delicious, the company was even better. I got to spend time with my brother Adam and my sis-in-law Diana and our friends Jimmy and Jenny. The only time Jenny and I have been able to chat lately is on our LGN fitness board (ha!) so it was nice to finally be able to sit and catch up.


On Saturday, it was business as usual around the Davis household. While Addie went to iceskating, this little dude and I had some quality time together running errands and playing Spider-Man.


When we got home, we found out that Addie had "graduated" into the next level of iceskating. Woohoo! And to celebrate, Daddy took her to buy her first pair of ice-skates!! 


And you know who else graduated? NIA!! So what do you do when you have something super fun like this to celebrate? Have a sleepover of course!


I'll tell you what...I don't know where these two get the energy. We crafted, we painted, we did our nails, we watched movies and ate popcorn and after a good nights sleep...we were back up bright and early for Uncle Eric's special french toast :-)

The rest of our Sunday was pretty laid back and that was just what we needed. We did put in a special phone call to Uncle Ryan, who celebrated his 31st birthday today!! It's hard to believe the two of us are in our 30s together.


Uncle Ryan's birthday was actually the 4th birthday we've celebrated this week! Aunt Meagan shared her birthday with the groundhog, Auntie Tara and my girl Chelsi also celebrated their birthdays this week and my Daddy-O's birthday on the 26th will be here before we know it! We are having a big group birthday celebrating this coming weekend and I can't wait!!!

So to all my Aquarians...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!

Okay friends...time for this mama to get some sleep. I hope you all had a great weekend too!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: Finding TIme & My Dream Swimsuit

Oh. My. Gosh. We had 12 PEOPLE LINK UP LAST WEEK for


That is just awesome. Seriously guys...it made my week having so many people join in on the fun!! Thanks to everyone who took the time to link-up, share their stories, recipes, tips and tricks. It is so great having so many motivational posts to read each week to keep me on track :-)

So let's get to this week, shall we? How about we start with FITNESS as usual.

I don't know if it was the start of the DietBet that kicked me into gear this week, trying on my old swimsuit for the first time this year or seeing this super hot picture of Jen Aniston on Pinterest...

makes me want to workout

But something sparked in me. I suddenly found that motivation that I have been looking for since January 1st. I made time to workout this week and for the first time in a while...it didn't feel like a chore! I actually wanted to workout {especially because it earned me dessert or a glass of wine each night}. I've also been contemplating buying this year's swimsuit. I read in one of my fitness magazines that you should buy your dream swimsuit in January and try it on every week to keep you motivated till summer. Not a bad idea. So I went in search of my dream swimsuit and found this one by Calvin Klein.


It's classic. Grown-up. And perfect for a mom chasing kids around a beach. I won't have any of my lady bits falling out anywhere and yet it will still look classy and stylish (as apposed to the frumpy  tankini I was rocking last year...which I'm pretty sure was maternity).

I figure if I buy this bad boy, I will NOT want to tuck it away in a drawer come summertime. I will want to wear it and feel good about myself in it. BUT...I will also have to buy myself some self-tanner because hot damn...I am white as a ghost right now {see pic below}.

So here are my workouts for the week:

SATURDAY: Sick with a tummy bug. No Bueno.
SUNDAY: Super Bowl...the only lifting I did was nachos to my face.
MONDAY: Yoga
TUESDAY: Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 with my workout partners


WEDNESDAY: Kara Goucher's Pro Running Stretches on Nike Training Club App
THURSDAY: TIU Girls "Love your Booty" and "Love your Arms" routines AND 2 miles of sprint intervals.


FRIDAY: Today I am going for a nice easy jog. Outside/inside...it doesn't matter. I just want a nice easy jog to listen to music.

Now...let's talk about HEALTH!

After the Super Bowl...I felt like a fatty fatty 2x4. I ate REALLY bad so Monday was all about detox for me. This was our menu:

MONDAY: Stuffed Green Pepper Soup {my new favorite}
WEDNESDAY: Leftovers
THURSDAY: Rotisserie Chicken with Veggies
FRIDAY: Dinner out with friends!
SATURDAY: Buffalo Chicken Spring Rolls (to use up the rest of the Rotisserie chicken)
SUNDAY: Pizza day!

I am SO HAPPY to report that Eric and I ordered out a total of TWO TIMES in the month of January. You guys...that is a huge record for us. We got to a point where we were ordering out 1-2 times a week so this is a VERY big step for us in the healthiER eating department. Meal planning has been KEY this month and so has my crockpot. I haven't done the math, but I know we've saved a ton of money too.

And because we did so well eating at home this week AND watching my portions...I am already down a pound for my DietBet!! Only 4 more to go!!

So...how was everyone else's week? Where did you find your motivation?


Thursday, February 7, 2013

The White Fluffy Stuff

Now that Punxsutawney Phil has assured us that it will be an early Spring, I'm suddenly feeling more tolerant of winter.

I also need to give some props to Old Man Winter for finally giving us some snow to play in! I happily ripped tags off snow boots and snow pants this past weekend and I could hardly get them zipped before the kids rushed out the back door. I just LOVE this picture because you can see all their little trails. They literally ran laps around the yard (you might even see a few of Howie's 3-legged tracks).


I think Eric was just as excited for the snow. He loves playing outside with them (which works for me because I can only last about 10 minutes. Ha!).


But these two could have stayed out ALL. DAY. They weren't even bothered by the 30 pounds of winter gear I dressed them in. They were just happy to be playing outside for a change.


The ONLY way were able to convince these two to come inside was with the promise of Hot Chocolate with marshmallow fluff. HOMEMADE marshmallow fluff that is...or what Addie calls "The  white fluffy stuff" :-)

When my friend Carol's book arrived in the mail months ago, the first recipe I wanted to try was her homemade marshmallow fluff. 

Mmm... Marshmallows: 30 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Lighter-than-Air Marshmallow Treats

All you need to make the fluff is a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. I've been meaning to make this since NOVEMBER...but you know how it goes. Life gets in the way. But I am so happy Addie and I finally tackled our first batch because it was SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS!!!! It turned out just perfect.


Of course, the first thing we made was a  peanutbutter and fluff sandwich for lunch, but we also dipped graham crackers in it for a snack (and I maaaaayyyyy have eaten a few spoonfuls just standing at the counter). 

But our FAVORITE use for fluff this week has been on top of our hot chocolate. One scoop on top melts perfectly to make a frothy, sweet layer. We like to add a few sprinkles for a dash of color too :-)


You guys...this picture does not do this drink justice. SOOOOOOO DELICIOUS!!! I know a big old homemade vanilla marshmallow square would be just as fabulous in it, but there is something about the marshmallow all melted in there. Yummy Yum Yum.

Now that I have successfully created one of Carol's fabulous recipes, I am anxious to try more treats from her book. That is until her second book Pie Pops comes out next month!!!!

Pie Pops

Carol and I are busy planning a bake day so that she can teach me all about pastries on sticks. The recipe I am most excited to try is her banana cream pie on a stick!! Thank God my DietBet will be over by then.

So guys...if you are hot chocolate/marshmallow lovers in your house...you really need to pick up a copy of Carol's book and make yourself a batch of this deliciousness. You won't regret it :-)

Happy Snow Day everyone!! Stay warm where you are!