Monthly Archives: February 2011

Menu Monday ~ 2/28

Wow…I can’t believe February is over! This year is really flying by. As of right now, I’m totally cool with it because it’s just one day closer to the beach, but once I’m on the beach, time needs to slow way the heck down! Anyway, I totally abandoned last weeks menu, hopefully I’ll do better this week.  It’s a ‘clean out the pantry/freezer’ kind of week, plus it’s busy-busy since it’s our ‘on week’ with the kids.  I’m also going to show our diet foods for the week to give you a little more insight. =)

Monday - BBQ Pork sandwiches & coleslaw // Chili,  sliced tomato & baked cinnamon apples

Tuesday - Breakfast for Dinner // Sweet & Sour Chicken, cooked cabbage & Warm Spiced Oranges

Wednesday - Turkey BLT & chips // Roast Beef, spinach & Sweet Strawberry Soup

Thursday - Chili Mac & green beans // Creole Gumbo, Apple Cookies

Friday – Burrito, corn // Shrimp Scampi, spinach & Frozen Grapefruit Spears

If you’d like to link up your Menu Monday plan, please use Mr. Linky below! =)

New Dishes!

Last week we purchased some new dishes…they are totally amazing. To give you a little perspective as to why I am so excited about these new dishes, let me tell you about our old dishes. I first began with a set that I had purchased through a promotion at our local grocery store. I bought these dishes about 10 years ago. They were affordable, decent looking, but not really my style. (Before that, I had been using miscellaneous dishes I had picked up at yard sales.)

My apple dishes...which were donated...except this one. Oops!

Once Big Puppy & I got married, we began using a nicer set that he had gotten in his divorce. I wasn’t crazy about them, but they were better than what I had.

A step up from what we had, but still not my style...

Then during the After Christmas sales at Walmart, we found these plates & bowls for super cheap…only problem is they aren’t microwavable because of the metal, and you’re not supposed to wash them in the dishwasher, but we did & they seemed fine.  (Plus we accidentally purchased one with a silver rim & one with gold…I was very unhappy when I realized this.)

Simple, elegant, but not practical...

I’ve always liked big plates…kinda dramatic looking. I enjoy taking pictures of food, and what better way to display my creations than on some gorgeous dishes?

Thanks to Housewares Deals and my fantastic husband, we are now the proud owner of these…

Stock photo from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Each place setting came in it's own fancy box.

As did the flatware...

Ta-da! Aren't they fabulous!?

So shiny! ;)

And I LOVE THEM!!!

I got a fantastic deal on service for 16, which is a bit too much for our little cabinets to handle, so I am auctioning off 4 place settings, including flatware! Check out my auction at:

‘The Diet’…dun-da-dun!!!!

Okay, so I finally decided to post about this diet journey Big Puppy and I are on. It is the HCG program (drops, not shots). After watching my Mom lose over 50lbs, we decided to give it a try. As of right now, we are on day 13, and have lost a combined total of over 17lbs. It’s fairly easy, and not near as much torture as I envisioned. I’m not particularly ‘overweight’, but I have about 10lbs or so that I could stand to lose – mainly in my belly area…2 C-sections & an appendectomy can do that to ya. Anyways, in the past I’ve had success with Pilates, Yoga, Tae-Bo, etc. but have never combined the actual diet aspect. I guess the only ‘diet’ I’ve ever been on was some sort of tuna thing I vaguely remember, and the ‘Daniel Fast’…which I bent the rules on.

Not me...just in case you were wondering. LOL

Okay, back to details about the current diet:
Day 1-3 = Loading Phase (aka stuff yourself w/ junk food until you wanna puke)
On day 1, we took photos (which we will NOT be sharing…sorry), took measurements (which we jacked up, so they don’t really count), and weighed in.

Day 4-26 = Stage 2 (Very Low Calorie Diet) 500 calories a day consisting of a total of 200 grams of protein, 2 fruits, tiny amounts of carbs, and tons of veggies.

In addition, there are homoeopathic drops that you place under your tongue 4x a day (Day 1-23)…they ‘activate’ the bad fat so your body will use it rather than the good fat (yes, there is such a thing…I questioned that too). They also help suppress hunger. Oh, and you have to drink at least a liter of water a day…and you CANNOT exercise.

Day 27-47 = Stage 3 (NO Sugar/Starch) You get to increase your calories to 1500 a day, but still avoid sugar & carbs. There’s alot more you can eat variety wise, and you can exercise.

Day 48-68 = Stage 4 (Maintenance) This is where you slowly integrate starch & sugar back into your diet.  Hopefully you’ve learned that you need to watch your calorie intake…as in don’t pound a whole sleeve of Oreos, or eat a bag of Doritos…or your hard work will be for nothing & you’ll gain it all back.
This diet can be repeated until you are at your goal weight, there is a waiting period between cycles, but since we’re only doing this once, I have no clue what that waiting period is. I’m pretty excited about being at the halfway point of stage 2…I know it sounds weird, but I can’t wait to exercise! One thing we’ve learned is that we were not eating as good as we thought, and eating healthy isn’t too bad. The amount of food we are eating fills us up, and we have not been fatigued at all. I don’t know if I’d recommend this diet to those with very little weight to lose…it’s a little disheartening to go days only losing tenths of a pound even though you are losing inches, but for those with 20+ lbs to lose I think this is a good, healthy solution.

Feel free to ask me any questions about it…my Mom’s the ‘expert’, so I’ll ask her & let you know. =) Also there are iPhone Apps that are very helpful…the one I use is: hCG Diet app

My goal is to be between 105 & 110 (I’m barely 5′ if I really stretch) before we leave for Spring Break.  (I’ll be posting about that soon…vacation for me, Big Puppy, & Froggy to Cocoa Beach/West Palm Beach…WOOT!) As of today, I have at least 9 more pounds to shed, and I can guarantee that I will be exercising hard core in about 13 more days…wish me luck! :)

Menu Monday ~ 2/21

This week’s menu is pretty easy…since Big Puppy & I are on ‘The Diet’, so aside from our diet foods, I only have to cook for Froggy until Friday. =) Woot!

Monday ~ BLT w/ Turkey Bacon

Tuesday ~ Tacos

Wednesday ~ Spaghetti w/ meat sauce

Thursday ~ Breakfast for dinner! (Pancakes, eggs, bacon, & sliced fruit)

Friday ~ Meatloaf

Saturday ~ Stroganoff

Sunday ~ BBQ Pork sandwiches

I’m working on a post about ‘The Diet’…including what we eat!  Stay tuned!

Teaching ‘Paying It Forward’

Over the last few months, we’ve began seriously following a budget.  We’ve found wasted money, places we can cut back, and things we can completely eliminate.  We’ve actually been able to put a little money into a savings account…can you believe it?!  This is a massive turnaround from our situation a few years ago going through foreclosure & bankruptcy at the same time…feeling helpless and hopeless.

During that time we tried to stay positive…praying that our finances would be blessed and that God would fix what we messed up.  We prayed hard core for what seemed like forever, but we didn’t actually let go and trust God with our finances.  Once we did that…all I can say is WOW!  We were short one month by about $240 to pay our bills, and what came in the mail? I kid you not, a check from an ‘overpayment’ to a doctor’s office for $245.  Another instance was we only had one working vehicle at the time (the other was just taking up space in the driveway), and it started running really rough.  We took it in to the mechanic, and it was only running on 7 cylinders…not good.  They fixed it, we wrote the check in faith…not having any clue where we were going to pull the money from, and we drove home.  A couple days later, we received mail from the mechanic.  First thing that popped into my financially exhausted brain was, ‘What now?! Did they forget to bill us for something? How else are they going to try to squeeze money from us?’  I grudgingly opened the envelope, and pulled out the paper.  As I unfolded the statement, a check fell out…for the full amount we had paid.  Written on the statement was a note…it said that they were returning our payment because an angel came in and paid it.  I burst into tears.  It was almost too much.  You hear about this stuff happening, but it doesn’t happen to you…we were blown away.  We began not only praying for our finances to be blessed, but that we could bless others.

Okay, now on to the main point of this post…

Our church, Brand New Church (BNC), started talking about a mission to sponsor orphans in Haiti.  For only $35 a month, we would choose a child from the ACREJAH orphanage in Haiti that we would be providing aid to.  We spoke to our kids about this, and after a small discussion they were super excited about our plan.  We had trusted God with our finances and wanted to share that experience with the kids, while at the same time blessing others.  After checking our budget, we came up with an idea.  Every other week on Tuesday evenings, after Princess2T’s tumbling practice, we stop by McDonald’s and pick up half price Happy Meals and a Free Redbox movie.  This typically costs us about $40 a month.  Along with trust & blessing, we wanted to teach the kids sacrifice.  We presented the idea of cutting down our McDonald’s to one night a month, and with the money saved, adopt an orphan from Haiti (we would cover the remaining amount).  There was absolutely no resistance…the kids were totally, 100% on board.  Meet our precious orphan…

In addition to the monthly $35, we plan on sending goodie boxes as well once we figure out what would be appropriate to send to Haiti…we’re not real sure about all the rules & regulations yet.  Chubbs actually thought we were adopting her, and that she was going to come live with us.  The other girls talked about going to visit someday, and Froggy made her a Valentine. I am so proud of my kids & pray this is the beginning of a lifetime of ‘Paying It Forward’, being a blessing, and God sized vision.

*NOTE* The ‘God sized vision’ of BNC has sponsored every child in the ACREJAH orphanage & our church has started sponsoring in a second.  We are beyond blessed to have a pastor, Shannon O’Dell, that isn’t afraid to step out and try new things.  If you are interested in sponsoring an orphan or for more information, please either contact me or Brand New Church directly HERE.

Overwhelmed…

So many things are going on, my mind is in a spin.  Mostly just the normal hecticness of our lives, but it seems like things are really hitting me hard lately.

1. The fact that my oldest daughter had her first school dance last night totally blows my mind.  She is growing up too fast, and has really become a beautiful young lady in what seems like a blink of an eye.  She has a wonderful heart, and I am so proud of her and all that she does.

2. The fact that we are going on vacation in a little over a month…to the beach…for Spring Break…and I started a serious diet (which I will blog about in the near future)…right before Valentine’s Day…and I didn’t get to eat ANY chocolate…has driven me partially mad. ;)


Booo!

3. The fact that each day I look at my sweet little boy and know that it is one day closer to him going to school…and me being home all by myself…and it may not happen because I may not be able to let go…and I’ll home school him…and then I feel a little better.

Scary dinosaur face while wearing his 'dinosaur hat'

4. The fact that I often feel so busy that I barely have time to breathe…much less do all the ‘jobs’ I’ve signed up for.  Here lately feel like I’m not doing anything well, just mediocre.  I pray that my mediocrity is just in my head and not bleeding through to my being a Mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, etc.

Ahhhh…that little vent made me feel better…time to take a breath & strive for excellence.  Wish me luck! :)

How you can tell I’ve lost my marbles…

A few years ago, I got a really good deal on some Legos.  When I say ‘some Legos’ that’s a ridiculous understatement.  I’m talking like at least 50+ lbs. of Legos.  I was visiting family in Texas and was shopping around for a train table for Froggy, who was at the time a HUGE Thomas the Tank fan.  While at the Goodwill store, I found a nice train table for $35.  I was discussing the purchase with my Mom when a lady walked up & asked if I was going to buy it.  I voiced that I was seriously considering it, and she said she had one for sale at her house and that she’d throw in massive amounts of Legos, some Lincoln Logs, and some wooden train tracks for $65.00.  I jumped at the deal and we headed over to her house.  I broke the news to Big Puppy that I was bringing home more crap then I left with…again.  He was cool with it. ;)  Okay, skip ahead to now…Froggy rarely plays with trains, and has now moved on to the Legos.  I attempt to build him the pirate he requested, but can’t locate some of the pieces I need.  So I go on a Lego organizing rampage…which has lasted for 2 days now…and I still haven’t found the elusive pieces I need…and I’m still not finished organizing because someone keeps building things with my organized pieces rather than the bazillion unorganized ones…and I feel like I’m in Lego hell.

Menu Monday ~ 2/7

Here’s our menu for the week…

Monday – Ham & Swiss Cups w/ Tomato Soup

Tuesday – French Toast Casserole w/ Sausage & Strawberries

Wednesday – Slow Cooked BBQ Beef Cornbread Casserole w/ Salad

Thursday – (going out to eat for our Valentine’s Day)

Friday – Smoked Sausage, Potatoes & Green Beans w/ Salad

Saturday – Baked Tilapia w/ Broccoli & Rice

Sunday – Chili w/ Corn Chips

I also plan on attempting homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate for Valentine’s Day…here’s the recipe I’m going to attempt.

http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/01/22/how-to-make-homemade-marshmallows-and-then-dip-them-in-chocolate/