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My Not-So-Lazy Sunday

November 22, 2010

Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend!

I had a busy day yesterday!!  I didn’t even get my workout in!  Maybe a double is in store for tonight!

Since today is my first day of work, I’ve been busy getting things ready for the week.  Kind of like nesting, lol. Since I will be leaving in the morning before Pete and the kids wake up for breakfast, I decided to do some baking so they don’t all starve if they get sick of cereal 🙂

Banana bread

I also made a pumpkin loaf as well as apple-cinnamon-raisin!  Special shout-out to Angela @  http://ohsheglows.com (I am having the WORST time trying to link externally since WordPress did their little “upgrade”) for the tip to soak raisins before baking!  They got nice and plump!

While I was waiting for my stuff to bake and in between endless dishes I started to rearrange the fridge and prep some of my produce for the week.  I had a pinto bean disaster last week where I let all the water boil out and my beans were burning to the bottom of the pan—ooops.  I should have just thrown them away instead of guiltily forcing them down twice.  I tried to give them to Clark

Note his “WTF, mom” stare.

Feeling not only bad for trying to pass off my failure to Clark, but also for actually forcing them down twice, I remembered seeing a recipe for homemade doggie oaties from the lovely miss HEAB.  I had a bunch of leftover diced apples and a half a can of pumpkin, so I altered her recipe slightly.

1 cup pumpkin

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup diced apples

1/2 cup applesauce

2 cups oats

Combine ingredients and spoon by dallops onto cookie sheet.  Bake @ 325* 10 minutes.

Ole Clark was much, much, happier with this. I even made him a big bone-shaped treat.

Well off to get ready for work.  Have a fabulous Monday!

p.s. Look what finally came!!  I won this in a contest in the Running Moms group way back this summer.  I had pretty much given up on it.

Speaking of Veganism…

November 20, 2010

I decided early this morning that I need to get serious about giving up dairy.  I know it upsets my stomach, yet I’ve still been reaching for the pizza (in some form) at least four nights a week.  Sheesh.  I am 99% positive I will feel much better when I give it up so here goes nothing!!  Time to see if a die-hard cheese lover from dairyland central can do this.

I ate not one, but two, vegan meals today.  (lunch involved a hamburger but it was not a cheeseburger!) Breakfast was oatmeal with coconut milk for creaminess, my favorite Smucker’s all-natural peanut butter, and a chocolate swirl made from cocoa powder and agave.  I could (and often, do) eat this every day for breakfast.  yummmm.

And dinner…well, dinner was just amazing. 

Organic lettuce from the Aqua Ranch with Annie’s Goddess dressing, cashews, baby carrots with pesto hummus, seseme wheat crackers that got crushed over the lettuce, and my new fav…apple chips!

Okay…I just wanted an excuse to eat a whole bag of these and not feel too guilty.  hehe.

These are quite possibly the food equivalent of crack.  I picked them up this afternoon at Hyvee.  Along with many other healthy goodies.

I was suddenly ravenous after getting home and unloading the groceries but of course I felt like I had nothing to eat.  My fridge was stuffed, my pantry stocked, yet I was pre-heating the oven in defeat, about to cook a frozen pizza I had picked up for Pete to eat.  Then I wanted to kick myself for lacking the willpower to make it even just one day.  So I tried to fill my plate with as many things as possible that also required no effort and no dishes. 

I’m so glad I did.  I know I won’t hate myself in two hours or later tonight when I’m doing plyo.  This is totally something I can take with me to work, either as a meal or as things to snack on throughout the day.  Sometimes the simplest of things can really make a great combination! 

What is your favorite simple meal? 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend 🙂

Friday Night Randomness

November 19, 2010

Let me first just say….I am not digging the “upgrades” from wordpress.  I cannot make any external links and it is really ticking me off.  I was going to update a few of my pages and I get nothing but error messages…sigh.  Is anyone else having any problems? 

It’s the day before grocery shopping so it’s one of those nights where I just have to find something creative and put it together and call it dinner.  Unfortunately, I’m clean out of creativity today.  I have a bag of quinoa that I really want to use but I’ve never even tried the stuff before and I’m not quite sure how to cook it or what to add to it!  How do you like your quinoa?  Is it one of those things that tastes good both sweet and savory?

Of course, a bowl full of grains does not sound in the least appetizing.  I just returned from a potty break with ‘ole Clark and was exposed to the mouth-watering aroma of grilled steaks coming from one of the neighboring houses.  Oh, so cruel to do to a girl the day before grocery day!!  So now the only thing that is on my mind is a big hunk of juicy steak. 

I currently have no meat in my house.  Or butter.  I feel so vegan 😛

Meet Peter, Riley, and Clarky-Dog

November 19, 2010

First comes love.

Then comes marriage

Then it would be probably the smartest and easiest thing to follow that with college, a career, and a house before you decide you want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet.

Hahahaha.

I did not chose that road.  Sometimes I’ll play the whole “what-if” game when things get frustrating but honestly, I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world.  If I would have waited, maybe I would have been too wrapped up in my career, maybe we would have had infertility problems; the list could go on and on. 

So while most 26 year olds have a good start in their career and have spent the better part of their 20s partying and having fun, I’ve been busy being a mom and an Army wife.  But it’s okay.  I’ll be able to go out and have fun and travel when I’m 40 while everyone else is dealing with their tots at home 🙂 

Back to the story.  We wanted the whole American dream.  The nice house, the 2.2 kids, yadda yadda yadda.  We currently just have the 2.2 kids.  But they are awesome. 

Meet Peter.

Gosh, he was a beautiful baby.  9 lbs, 2 oz, so he never really had that awkward, newborn “wet dog” phase that some babies have.  He was born a little plump and he was just perfect. 

Now he is 4, in preschool, and a total riot.  He has a *slight* superhero obsession.  On any given day, he is Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Ironman, or some combination of the above.

“Look Mom, I’m Tony Stark!”

O.M.G.

I just died.  I had no clue that he was finding things from around the house to make him look like Ironman. 

on Halloween

and last night…

umm…Spiderman pj’s with a Batman mask with a Santa cape and dad’s combat boots. 

LOVE IT!!

Then came little miss Riley

Only 8 lbs, much easier on mom 🙂

A baby who knew what she wanted.  She has never been shy about letting us know what she wants and how she wants it.  Refused to nurse anymore at 5 months in favor of feeding herself her own bottle.  I think me feeding her baby food lasted maybe a week before she insisted on feeding herself.  My little diva girl.

Now she is 10 days shy of 23 months.  Going on 7. 

Then there’s my other baby.  The fur one. 

We let Peter name him.  Sort of.  At that time, he was on a Superman kick.  Watching the Christopher Reeves Supermans all winter, and he loved Clark Kent.  When we went to pick him up, the family he was staying with had been calling him Clark because their son was also into Superman.  So out went the other names we had in mind, since he was meant to be a Clark.  Or as the kids call him, Clarky-Dog.  (to Riley, it’s Qwarkie.)

Clark’s not so little anymore.  More like my 90-lb lapdog.  I miss those cute little floppy ears and being able to pick him up and put him where I want him.  Can’t do that anymore!  Do you have a dog?

I’m going to start giving monthly updates about what these three are up to.  The Adventures of Peter, Riley, and Clarky-Dog.   Stay tuned.

Something in the Air

November 18, 2010

I had a wonderful start to my day.

I went to bed with a dirty house, and the magical cleaning fairy worked her magic overnight and when I woke up my house was sparkling clean!  Only the fairy was a he and he was my husband 🙂 

Thanks babe!

Only, all day I kept noticing some kind of funky smell coming from somewhere in the kitchen.  I felt like a Bloodhound crouching around and trying to find the source of the smell.  The floors had just been mopped, the table was clean, the chairs were clean, the dishes were done, so something else had to be the culprit.

Possible Suspects

yes, this fella has seen better days.  I feel like the WORST person for not using him in his prime!! 

ewwwwww

But it could also be this guy.  Probably bought the same day as Mr. Sweet Tater.

Mr. Spud wasn’t so fresh, either.

So unfortunately, both of their little veggie lives ended tonight.  They would have made excellent fries.  I swear I won’t let it happen again.

Have you ever had any mysterious smells in your house?  What were they?  I am really hoping that I won’t notice the funky smell again tomorrow because I’m not sure if I can handle what the other possibilities could be…

***shudders***

Have you ever felt this horrible for letting your produce go bad? I keep thinking of all those times I wanted a snack and thought I didn’t have anything.  Oh the shame!!

Besides that, today was a pretty good day.  And I am almost done with my re-design.  Do you like the changes so far?  Did you notice?!  lol  Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings.  I have a new header being designed as we speak!!  I tried 5 different ones yesterday, on my own…currently attempt #5 is up.  Sadly, it was the best out of all of them!  I could never make it as a graphic artist.  Hopefully I’ll have it soon 🙂

Meals away from home

November 17, 2010

I’m trying to gather my thoughts here 🙂

I’m starting a new job on Monday and it will be the first time in a couple of years that I won’t be able to come home to eat, and the first time ever that I will actually care what is going into my body.  I think this could be a great help to my “eating right” success which I have been failing miserably at all year.  I will be doing great, then an impulsive streak will take over and I will ruin a perfectly good day or week.  I will eat things I know my body doesn’t like, things that i know I will be sorry for later.  Do you have any of those kinds of foods?

My biggest downfall is poor planning.  I get overwhelmed when I try to plan too far ahead.  I’ve never been able to do it.  And the second biggest downfall is self-control away from home.  I never order the healthy item on the menu; I order whatever sounds good at the moment, when I am usually coming off a 4-hour or more hunger fast and admittedly do not have good judgement.  I’ll eat the spare tire special, along with a side of love handles.  Or if I’m at a family gathering I just lose all conventional wisdom and eat to my heart’s content…bad. 

I’m not willing to continue this pattern.  I’m trying to figure out the best and easiest meal plan possible.  Like a general guideline that can be customized for whatever day or if I’m in the mood for beef vs chicken, etc.  I will have to wake up and do an early morning workout every day around 5am.  I am already dreading my alarm clock going off before 5, because it honestly takes me at least 20 minutes in the morning to get down the stairs, go to the bathroom, drink a cup of coffee, and have a little pep talk with myself, convincing myself that getting out of my warm bed when I could be getting another hour of sleep is the right thing to do.

Then I will need to shower, get dressed, and get all pretty because I am not among the naturally beautiful.  I’m also not blessed with naturally curly or naturally straight hair:  mine is at an awkward stage in-between that looks like total doodoo if I do not do something with it.  And since it will be a professional setting, I’m thinking the standard ponytail will be out as a daily option.  So since most of my morning will be devoted to self-improvement, I will not have much time to make a big hearty breakfast.  I’ve also been having trouble forcing eating enough vegetables every day, I am thinking the best solution will be a protein smoothie.  Loaded with spinach and fruit to knock out a couple daily servings, protein for my post-workout muscles, flax for my joints and insides, and rice milk to make it go down my straw easier. 

I’m not a tiny girl (I’m 5’8 and definitely not on the itty-bitty side) and I metabolize those smoothies rather quickly.  I’d say within an hour or two my stomach is rumbling for more.  I’m not sure if I’ll get a break or not so it would have to be an easy snack that wouldn’t need refrigeration that I could keep close by–I’m thinking along the lines of a larabar.  If I ever get a food processor I can make my own 🙂

Lunch should include another vegetable since I know if I have a choice for supper, it will probably not include any form of leafy green or anything requiring a lot of dishes or prep-work.  I’ll be tired at the end of the day and bombarded by my kids and cooking anything complicated will not be on the agenda.  So lunch will need veggies…but what??  I feel so confined to salad, which I really do not enjoy much, but maybe an acquired taste I will learn to like??  I love roasted veggies but only fresh out of the oven.  Re-heated in the microwave?  not.so.much.  What kinds of things do you bring to work for lunch?  I should mention, my lunches need to be somewhat appealing since I will have a Mexican restaurant less than a block away, taunting me, hehe.  Maybe once a month 😉

And for dinners, the easiest thing I can think of is…oatmeal!  Cheap, easy, healthy, and only one dish to wash.  It’s pretty versatile and I can really play around with the combinations so I give myself at least two months before I get sick of it, and I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. 

I ran for the first time in the cold today.  Not COLD COLD but cold enough to need pants, a coat, a hat, and gloves.  I’m not sure if it was the cold or my sore body or my lack of speed training in the recent months, but wow, it was rough!  The kind of run where I felt like I was flying (and working really hard to do so), only to glace at my watch and notice my first mile was right around 9:00.  ***angry face*** I ended my 3-mile run at 24:29 so the second two miles got faster but I wasn’t even sure if I could hang on for the whole three.  I felt better during last week’s 10 mile run with the kids.  What gives?!  Runners, have you had any off-days lately?  How do you deal with them?

My Christmas List

November 15, 2010

Anyone with young children knows it is almost time for Christmas when every single commercial on Nickelodeon or the cartoon network is for a toy.  And for those without any youngters at home, you have the enormous Christmas displays that have been up for over two months now and glossy store ads full of the latest “must-have” gadgets and appliances and apparel.  It is really hard not to get all caught up in the whole holiday spending frenzy and forget about the real meaning of Christmas.

I’m not going to get all preachy on you, because I realize Christmas is a very important cultural event both in America and all over the world.  And I’m not going to lie, I love seeing all the Christmas displays and making gingerbread houses and eating my body weight in fudge and cookies.  But in these hard economic times, it is hard for me to rationalize buying a 46” LCD tv for the amazing sale price of only $797.99I realize everyone has the right to spend their hard-earned money on whatever they so chose.  I can no longer be one of those people.  I don’t have an extra $800 laying around to pay for a new tv, but even if I did, I think I’d be better off leaving that money right where it was:  in my bank account.  To have it there when I need it in the future–since no one is really immune to loss of income–or to be able to help out those in need. 

There are so many things I wish I had right now, like new curtains, new furniture, a new laptop; but that’s exactly what they are, “things.”  Things I wouldn’t think twice about if my house burnt down next week.  Most of the things I really want have to do with me getting healthy–a gift to myself and my long-term health.  I’d rather invest a couple extra dollars here and there on me staying at a healthy weight and fueling my body with healthy meals to save on my healthcare costs in the future–which costs this country millions, if not billions, of dollars every year.

But I digress.  I think we can all agree about one thing when it comes to Christmas–it isn’t about getting things, it is about giving them.  I really do not want anything  for Christmas (besides maybe little practical things that I will use every day but I will be grateful for anything anyone gives me) besides one thing.  I want my children to learn this very important lesson.  I don’t want to sit in my living room, surrounded by mounds of torn wrapping paper, having them ask where their next gift is.  I want them to get just as excited about giving to others.  Whether it be to a nursing home resident who doesn’t have any friends or family, to a soldier overseas, or to a less-fortunate child, I want my children to learn the importance of paying it forward

I’m not naive enough to believe this will happen this year.  They are only 4 and 22 months, after all.  But I can start planting the seeds with them.  This year I am going to have them with me in the kitchen while we make special Christmas treats to give away to others, and have them color Christmas cards to hand out at my local nursing home.  They will begin to understand the pride of making something special and giving it away and putting a smile on someone else’s face.  And that, my friends, is the best Christmas present I could ever get.

What do you want for Christmas?