Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winner announced!

I used a random number generator and it picked post number 4! Congratulations Cafairman.

Please send your mailing information to


I'll have another giveaway the week of January 4.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Another book giveaway? That's amazing!!

That's right folks. After a long day at work and an exhausting evening mudding my ceiling, I am fully prepared to review and giveaway another FREE book!

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, sent to me one complimentary book to review and one to giveaway!

Because my blog is a "health and wellness blog for body, mind, and soul," it is my goal to fairly and unbiasedly review products, books, movies, restaurants, etc., that will enhance my readers' lives. 40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day by C.D. Baker is a book that can do just that -- if you let it.

What do I mean? If you're a Christian, or have been around many, it is well known that a lot of us tend to stick to a certain type of legalism. We, (yes including myself) like to follow rules. We obediently go through the motions of church, and pretend to have our lives together. When, in reality, we don't.

As followers of Christ, it's difficult to ask questions; to ask the really hard ones. It makes us feel "bad." More sinful than we already are (as if we could be any more sinful).

So why would a Christian have to "let" this book enhance their life? Well, I hate to be cynical, but if a believer who has always obediently done what is told, without question, ever wants to grown in his or her faith, they're going to have to pull their annal retentive plug!

We need to start asking questions! In this daily-devotional type book Baker assists the reader in doing just that. Each day, the reader has the chance to "break bread" and start a conversation between themselves and with God.

Each daily reading poses a question such as, "Why do I get so angry with God?" Baker then uses personal anecdotes, stories from the Bible and scripture to help answer the question. Each reading is ended with "Food for Thought" and "A Prayer." To help the reader dig deeper into their emotions and to talk to God about how they feel.

I've truly enjoyed reading through this book. 40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day is a book that will remain in my personal collection.

From the back cover:

"Why don’t I have more faith?

Why am I so bored with Jesus?

Why don’t I feel connected at church?

These are the types of questions the religious establishment often makes it uncomfortable, if not impossible, to ask. And by asking them, C. David Baker, author of 40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day hopes to start a conversation in people’s hearts, then with others, and ultimately with God. Many circles of Christianity have led us to believe that certainty and confidence are the proof of true spirituality; questions are discouraged.

But Jesus offered his followers an ongoing conversation—a relationship built around a free, open-ended discussion. Questions were encouraged. They were often impertinent, sometimes alarming, and the religious establishment was distinctly uncomfortable with them … just as it is today.

40 Loaves is something of a collection of the kinds of questions I felt finally free to ask of myself and of my relationship with Christ,” says Baker. “It’s my belief that these questions are shared by many others who long for the freedom to simply ask them out loud. I hope this book becomes a platform that frees others to search their hearts more deeply and be fed with the Bread of life.”

Each “loaf” here is a big question that stimulates discussion, investigation, and contemplation; it will take hours—or days—to digest. Conversational, inviting, disarming, and real, 40 Loaves nourishes self-examination and offers validation for those who feel discouraged, guilty, or even shamed when the realities of their lives don’t match up with the ideals of the Christian establishment."

How to win your free copy:

All you have to do is comment on this post telling me your favorite way to spend your personal quiet times with God. Please leave at least a screen name! It is important to check my blog by Tuesday evening to see if you've won, then you can email me your contact information.

For an additional entry in the hat, follow me! Please leave an additional comment letting me know that you are following me.

Please enter by Monday, December 21 at midnight! Winners will be announced Tuesday evening.

For more information or to purchase this book please visit

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Book graphic from the WaterBrook Multnomah website.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I'm alive!

This past week has been a combination of spending all free hours at my new house trying to get things move-in ready and me battling a really bad cold/flu.

I have to say I haven't been eating very well or exercising. :( I feel really icky about that. Though, I have been following through with my one goal: wake up early. This is my last week of just focusing on that goal (see my post on Nov. 25

I was originally going to make my goal 5:30 a.m. , but I realized there is really no point to it. I am at 5:50 right now. That will give me time for at least a half hour of exercise and time to eat breakfast, have a short quiet time with God and then an hour to get ready. My reward for following through with this goal is a subscription to Real Simple Magazine. I am pretty proud of myself. At the end of this week, I'll have been following through with waking up early for four weeks!

My next goal is to spend quiet time with God in the mornings. I am trying to build up to 10 minutes. I'll start with five minutes and then move up to ten the next week. After that goal is completed I'll move on to either cleaning daily or exercising daily. I'm leaning towards exercise. It is going to be my most difficult goal.

The reason I am breaking down the goals like this and only focusing on one at a time is because I really want to live a healthy lifestyle. I want all of those things I listed (see Nov. 25) to be things that I do daily. I want them to be habits for the rest of my life. Nothing has worked so far, so I figured maybe taking it slow is the best approach.

Well, my posting will probably be off and on for the next few weeks due to the holidays and my house taking up a lot of work. I have a book review/giveaway coming up here really soon. I'll post it on Friday night.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Books Winners Announced!

And the winner is...

G.D. in Central Illinois, who said she would also like to give one to her niece who is also her Godchild!

Congratulation's G.D, I hope these books brighten up your Christmas season. :)

Thank you to all for posting. Your comments really touched me. Thank you for all of your encouragement.

Another book giveaway???

okmark me, follow me, and keep coming back! I will be giving away another really awesome book next week.

"40 Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day" by C.D. Baker.

This daily devotional-type book presents answers to questions that some Christians have difficulty with or might be embarrassed about. The author presents very challenging concepts.

This book will definitely help you grown in your Christian faith.

Next week I'll have a full review and give you a chance to win this exciting book.

Picture provided by the Random House website.

That's all I got for tonight folks. Life has been crazy what with the house buying, packing, being sick, etc. We should be getting the keys tomorrow or Wednesday. I may or may not be posting tomorrow. If we get the keys tomorrow, I'll be taking a few loads of stuff to the house. If not, then maybe I'll have a special "house" blog. :)

Many blessings!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Giveaway: A Treasured Gift from Me to You!

Christmas is a time for giving and receiving -- a time for loving and sharing. We can spend lots of money buying expensive jewelry or the latest technological gizmos. But Christmas is about so much more. It's about passing on the gift of God's love. God sent his only Son into the world, to save the world and not to condemn the world. That's what we're celebrating on Christmas.

I think the best presents are kind gestures, a warm smile from a passerby on the street, or a handmade gift from a loved one. God's love is shown in the smallest of packages. This holiday season I would like to share with you the message of God's love.

"Treasured," "God Gave Us Love" and "God Gave Us Christmas"

Treasured written by Leigh McLeroy.

From the back of the book: "Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks and sock drawers and top shelves. These are the places we store our treasures–the keepsakes that tell the story of whom and what we’ve loved, how we’ve lived, and what matters most to us.

God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked securely into the pages of his book: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of his heart and tells the story of a Father whose most precious possession is…us.
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his attentive love."

I've really enjoyed reading through Treasured Each chapter is based off of a treasure in the Bible, such as a Fig Leaf or a Fresh Olive Sprig. The treasure, presented as a promise from God, is then examined through the story and the people surrounding it. Finally McLeroy provides a parallel and captivating anecdote from her personal life.

McLeroy is witty, likable and relatable. I could easily put myself in her shoes. This is the first devotional type book that I've enjoyed in a really long time. (And I am definitely not getting paid to say that!)

God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by Laura J. Bryant

From the back:" As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.

In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…
“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”"

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and art by Laura J. Bryant

From the back: As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?”

Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all.

This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them."

Oh my goodness. Talk about the cutest books ever!

The special child in your life will love and cherish these books. Both books are beautifully illustrated and provide a wonderful glimpse of God that children can grasp.

God Gave Us Love is a beautiful story about God's love being shown in many different forms. Kids will be able to relate to this book as "Little Clubs" asks questions like why sometimes she loves her little brothers but other times she doesn't.

I have to admit though that God Gave Us Christmas was my favorite of the two. The story line of "Mama" taking a journey with "Little Club" to go find God is heart-warming. I especially enjoyed the drawing of the Northern Lights. What an amazing picture of God and His awesome power!

Both of these books will open up conversations with your little ones about God and Jesus this holiday season.

I want to give these three books to one of my readers!

So what do you have to do to get this books? Just simply reply to this post with your name and email address and tell me who you'd like to give these books to this holiday season or the best gift in a small package you've received.

I'll draw a winner out of a hat and post the results by Monday night! (Please note that I unfortunately can not ship outside of the US at this time)

P.S. This will be my last blog of the week as my husband and I are done with our house paperwork and will be signing either tomorrow or Monday! I have a lot of packing and cleaning to do. :) Many blessings all!

All three of these books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She cries herself to sleep...

Yeah, that's pretty much what I feel like doing right now.

My first time home buying stress is at an all time high right now. :( We just had to pay an extension fee because our closing date is on Friday. I am not sure we're going to make it.

We were told for the last three weeks, just one more piece of paperwork. So we finally get it in (after sending for it three weeks ago) and then this morning they tell us we just need one more piece of paperwork. GRRRRRR.

I was really hoping to close and to have some Christmas decorations up soon, but it doesn't look like there will be decorations this year. :( I am feeling really hopeless about the whole thing.

Anyway, I was hoping to have a REVIEW/GIVEAWAY! up tonight, but I spent the last hour and a half gathering paperwork and faxing it. So, my hope is by tomorrow.

Tell all your friends!!!!!! To check out my blog tomorrow for the giveaway, it is going to be a gift from me to you. :D

Oh yeah, Thanksgiving was good. I only ate one plateful. So that is good. I haven't really been eating that healthily the last few days though. My stress level is high and I am on week for of my cycle, which means massive cravings!

Blessings All,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Get off your butt and eat some Stewi

You'll have to read the whole blog to get the title...sorry. LOL

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I am so excited to see my family and eat good food. Josh and I may just be buying a flat-screen tomorrow too. We decided the deals on Black Friday for the tvs are really not that good. *shrugs*

I didn't photo-document everything I ate yesterday, but here's the gist of it...

Breakfast: Medium caramel latte with nonfat milk, an apple and an orange.

Lunch: 1 cup steamed rice and steamed veggies with a little teriyaki-ginger sauce.

snack: 2 pineapple spears and 1 serving of blue diamond almonds

Dinner: (see below)
I had one whole wheat La Tortarilla Factoria tortilla with cheese, salsa and a chopped up veggie burger and a side of sour cream.

Evening snack: I was still hungry so I ate 2 WASA crackers with cream cheese and chicken broth.


Pumpkin pancakes! That's right. You heard me. This recipe was deliciouso and oh so filling. I switched out the white flour for whole wheat. White flour burns off too much. I topped them with peaches, a few walnuts and light syrup!
Thanks Martha Stewart for the recipe. :) Click here to give it a try.

Lunch: 1 whole wheat Thomas English Muffin with cream cheese, salsa and cheddar cheese, lightly melted. YUMO! This temporarily satisfied my salty-starch craving.
Dinner: I shall call it Chili Stew. I tried to come up with something more clever, but the alternatives were Stile or Chew or maybe even Chew-e. LOL Yeah this is one of my odd ball creations.
I threw into the pot:
  • left over frozen bean soup (1 cup or so)
  • left over frozen sloppy joes (1 cup or so) Made with 7% fat beef
  • 3/4 cup green beans
  • 1 small can of portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup or less of corn
  • 1/4 cup of salsa
  • a dash of chili powder and garlic powder
This creation came out surprisingly really well. It tasted really close to chili, but added the big chunks of veggies like I like in stew. I ate this with a flour tortilla on the side (I ran out of La Tortarilla tortillas)

Get Off Your Butt: My revelation:

If you're one of my regular blog readers (I think I have 2), you may have found my goals, hopes, aspirations and the outcomes of them to be rather flakey. I agree. It seems like I can't stick to anything. I can't.

*sighs* I googled "How to get motivated." I periotically browse the internet for solutions to my life's problems. I found an article titled: "Get Off Your butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You're in a Slump."

I am really lazy. I see patterns of behavior starting to emerge from myself that are a mirror image of my father. He's a "when I get around to it" type of guy. Getting around to it rarely comes often. I can't live my life like that.

Anyway, the author of the article discussed how people who set goals for themselves set too many at one time. That was the biggest thing that stuck out to me. I listed out all of the changes I would like to see happen in my life. There are 8 daily habits that I have been working on impleminting in my life:
  • Wake up earlier (at 5:30 a.m.)
  • Spend quiet time with God (at least 10 min daily)
  • Clean daily
  • Exercise daily (1 hour)
  • Cook dinner and prepare lunch daily
  • Cut calories down to 1300
  • Incorporate yoga (at least 10 minutes daily)
  • Write my book (1 hour daily)
Each one of these daily habits should individually be goals. The author of the article talks about taking each goal one day and week at a time and breaking them down into obtainable goals.

For example waking up earlier: I'll start with 6:10 a.m and then each week I'll set the alarm back 10 minutes until I am at 5:30 a.m.

The thing is I can only work on one goal at a time. I broke down each of these goals week by week and getting through this would take me until July. But I am excited about it.

The big picture goals in my life are: lose weight, write a book, travel and start a family. I think that if I start working on these goals, I'll get there. I'll still be exercising and cleaning, but my focus for the first five weeks will be waking early, so I have some more time to do those things. If I lose weight in the process, awesome! If not, that's ok too. I want more than anything to be healthy and happy. I think this is a way to achieve it. I am going to give it a try. I'll start waking up at 6:10 on Monday morning. Until then I am going to work on waking up at 6:30 a.m.

Right now, I am going to have some dessert: vanilla yogurt and granola.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

This is going to be a quick post, as I'm tired and am planning on hitting the sack here shortly.

Weekend Eating Recap


Breakfast: Pumpkin oats w/almond butter and cranberries. 1 egg w/ ketchup.

I only ate about 3/4 of the oats, it was just way too much! I was really craving an egg.
Thought I should take a picture of the last of my fall decor. This is a day before I took them all down. :( I love fall.

Lunch: Whole wheat La Tortarilla Factoria tortilla, w/ cream cheese, spinach, craisins, walnuts and a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I also had an apple, an orange and a banana throughout the day.

Dinner: Homemade whole wheat Pizza w/cream cheese, a sprinkle of cheddar, and tomatoes. I dipped it in a cup of red roasted pepper and tomato soup by Pacific Natural Foods (My favorite!).


I was craving salt and starchy foods really badly. The thought of downing more oatmeal made me not want to eat.

Breakfast: Whole wheat tortilla stuffed with homemade hashbrowns, 1 scrambled egg, cheese and salsa! Mmmmmm.

Lunch: So I was feeling a little guilty about my salty breakfast (though it was not that high in calories), so I had a light lunch. 2 honey bran muffins (150 cal. each) and...

...a pumpkin smoothie...
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup natural vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. YUM!
Dinner: I ate out with my friend before going to "State Fair" the musical. I had a cup of barley beef soup, a side Caesar salad and corn bread.


Breakfast: I skipped breakfast 'cause I didn't feel like eating.

Lunch: 1/2 a baked potato, 1 cup bean soup, a little sour cream, and salsa.

Dinner: 1 can of chicken noodle soup and a corn bread muffin.

Snack: I slipped up on this one. :( I had 6 pizza bites and two chicken nuggets. Yeah, I got into Josh's junk food. But hey, I skipped breakfast.


I didn't take any pictures as I was running late and nothing was that interesting anyway.

Breakfast: Two bran muffins, apple and an orange

Snack: 2 cookies at work. Someone brought them in :( There were two varieties.

Lunch: 6 inch sweet onion chicken teriyaki sandwich, personal size bag of sun chips.

Dinner: 1 cup of chicken broth and two WASA Crackers with cheese.

Snack: five walnuts and a fruit leather.

My Assessment:

I had a couple of Kath worthy meals in there. I kind of lost it on Sunday with the excessive snacking, but over all I think I did ok. I am upset with myself for today though since I only got 5 hours of sleep and I didn't wake up in time to make breakfast or lunch. But I think I made up with it for dinner.

I decided that I really need to cut back on calorie consumption as I have a sedentary job. :( I really like to be full.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Held my own

I couldn't sleep last night. I haven't been able to for a few days now. I think I've been coming down with a cold and that on top of everything I having going on...

So I took some NightQuil. That stuff is good. It knocked me out fast, which means I slept in. Needless to say, because I was running late I deviated from the "Kath" meal plan (see previous posts x 3).

But I held my own. I think I did pretty darn good. For fun, I think I'll list my meals in descending order.

Dessert: 1/2 cup of natural vanilla yogurt w/ 1/2 a pear, tsp strawberry jam, and a sprinkle of granola.

Dinner: 1 cup of mixed whole wheat pasta, on top a bed of spinach and topped with freshly made bruchetta, walnuts, and a dusting of cheese.

This is one of the best meals I've made in a while. I could have eaten a ton! For my fresh bruchetta, I used tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Snacks throughout the day: Apple, oranges, fruit leather, piece of pumpkin/ginger bread

Lunch: 1/2 can of split pea soup (left over from yesterday),1 WASA cracker (crumbled in the soup), 1 whole wheat tortilla with cream cheese.

WASA crackers are delicious crumbled into soup!

Breakfast: Whole wheat English muffin, peanut butter, jam, 1 banana and a cup of coffee.

I'm starting to get anxious about Thanksgiving! My favorite dish is my aunts stuffing. She packs it full of, get this, pine nuts, and Italian sausage.

What's you're favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eating less = fuller longer? No way!

I am perplexed. How is it that the last two days I've been eating less and yet I am staying satisfied longer? I guess Kath does know what she's doing (see the last two posts).

Breakfast: 2 WASA crackers w/ tomatoes, basil, a drizzle of olive oil and cheddar cheese baked in the oven. I also had a small glass of milk. I ended up saving the banana for a mid morning snack. I also had 2 cups of coffee today! I shouldn't drink that much, but I was sleepy today.

This was amazing and oh so filling. I love the whole wheat WASA crackers. This meal idea was taken off of Kath's page, but it was from a guest post.

Lunch: 1 Whole Wheat Thomas English Muffin, 2 tbsp cream cheese, tomatoes, spinach and basil. I heated it up for a few seconds.

Delicious! I also had some carrot sticks and celery with peanut butter. I was s-t-uffed by the end of this. I also ate an orange, but forgot to take a picture of it.
Dinner: 1/2 a can of Progresso (without added MSG) split pea soup and 1 whole wheat La Tortarilla Factoria tortilla. I added some left over white beans to the soup. The soup was pretty thin and I think the beans helped. I ate half of the tortilla with the soup and the other half with a little cream cheese and strawberry jam.

Dessert: Fruit leather, a small serving of walnuts and a few raisins and craisins.

Dinner was supposed to be gnocchi, but I was too tired to make it. I think I'll save it for the weekend. I am excited to try it.

A good day over all in the eating department. I didn't exercise though. :( I think I am coming down with something. I've just been so tired.

Well, I'm off to finish my show and do some packing. We're hoping to have signed the papers by the end of the month. We have a lot of work ahead of us!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is day one of my WWKE (What Would Kath Eat) meal-stalking diet plan. If you didn't see yesterday's post, I've document two weeks worth of meals that Kath has eaten. I've adapted them slightly to fit foods I can afford and foods available at my grocery store.

Today's breakfast was pumpkin oats with mashed banana, craisins, walnuts and almond milk. To make the oats, I mixed 1/2 a cup of pumpkin, 3/4 cup of almond milk and a 1/2 a cup of oats. I cooked them on high in the microwave for 3.5 minutes. I also added a dash of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Lunch was 1 cup of natural vanilla yogurt, with a 1/4 cup of granola, pears, and a spoonfull of strawberry jam. I also had 2 celery sticks cut into halves with 1 tbsp of peanut butter. For snacks throughout the day I had a tangerine and an apple.

Dinner was a small romaine salad with a 1/2 of a tsp of ranch, and a quesadilla. I used whole wheat La Tortarilla Factoria Tortillas. I highly recommend them. They're soft and they don't have any hydrogenated oils!

  • Sour cream/white bean mix (see below)
  • 1 serv. shreaded cheese
  • 1/2 chicken breast w/taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • Topped with salsa (I used about a 1/2 cup)
For the sour cream/white bean mix, blend in a food processor, 1/2 a cup of white beans and 3/4 cup sour cream. I am sneaky sneaky. I did this so my hubby would get a little added fiber. He's none the wiser. :)

I'm really surprised in how full and satisfied I was all day long today. I couldn't finish all my breakfast and lunch actually filled me up! I was really worried with lunch. But I ate the yogurt and two of the celery sticks and didn't get hungry again until about 4 p.m. At that point I at the rest.

It was a good day today. I also woke up this morning and worked out on the wii fit for a 1/2 hour. I did free step and lifted weights.

Well I'm off to bed. I'm hoping to wake up at 5:30 again tomorrow morning and actually begin exercising earlier.

Maybe you'll see me again tomorrow night. Ciao!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm a meal stalker!

It's a sickness I tell you. A disease. You see it happened over night: this unnerving desire to take over someone else's meal plan. I couldn't control it. I couldn't help myself. It was like an out of body experience. One minute I was eating a slice of pizza. The next, I was searching over two weeks worth of what Kath Eats!

I'm ashamed. But if feels so right, why is it so wrong?

Seriously though, all this weekend I kind of felt at a loss with my eating and exercising habits. I figured Kath lost weight, she's super healthy AND she's studying to be a nutritionist. She must know what she's doing. So, laying on my counter is a print out of all the meals she's eaten in the last two weeks -- somewhat adapted to fit foods available in my local grocery store. And after a grocery store date with my husband, my fridge and cabinets are stocked full of healthy Kath worthy foods.

Tomorrow is day one of my WWKE diet: What Would Kath Eat. The day's meals look like this:

Breakfast: pumpkin oats w/ craisins, walnuts, flax and almond butter

Lunch: Yogurt w/ fruit and granola and a romaine salad w/ a homemade vinaigrette dressing

Dinner: Qusadilla w/ chicken, beans, salsa, spinach (my addition) and tomatoes and a small salad.

We'll see how it goes.

Recipe Review and New Creation

Check this recipe for homemade poptarts from Genesis of a Cook.

I've made these beauties one time before with my beautiful best friends, Michelle and Brittany. We didn't quite follow the directions though. Both times I made these, I made them without shortening or butter. Basically, I followed the directions with the amount of flour and slowly added applesauce (starting with a 1/2 cup) until the dough became pie-dough like.

It worked too, despite the fears of Michelle. Now, without fat they are a little chewy and are best heated up in the microwave rather than the toaster. They don't taste anything like real pop-tarts, but they're an amazing alternative to those of us attempting to be healthy.

I made a batch of about eight of these yummy treats and had some dough left over, but ran out of jam.

So I came up with dinner...I shall call it a Mexican Turn-Over!

I stuffed this bad boy with black beans, left over enchilada sauce, vegetarian cheese, and vegan sour cream (don't even ask why I had those in the house).

It turned out softer than the pop-tart, rich and so incredibly filling!

I think if you want a good no-fat pie crust, follow the recipe for the pop-tarts, but exclude the fat and just add applesauce. It won't be perfect, but it will be pretty darn good none-the-less.

I'm not making promises but...

I really miss blogging. I think I've been hiding in a cave these last few months and denying the fact that I am a terrible eater and I am incredibly lazy. I am going to try blogging daily again. It keeps me honest.

But, even if I don't do it every day, I'll still do it once a week. On the up side, I have three amazing giveaways coming up soon. One will be the week of Nov. 30 and then one for December and one for January! So look forward to those. :)

Well, many blessings everyone. I hope to see you here tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Is Chick Lit Hurting your Mariage?

Hi all. I have been so super busy this week, at both work and home. The house stuff is going well. We had 1/2 of our inspection yesterday. We would have had the full inspection but the power guy never came out and turned the power on. GRRRR. So we'll have it finished tomorrow. After the inspection we'll just be waiting on it to close. We're hoping to close by the end of the month.

So I can't really weigh in. :( My scale went nuts. It gave me three different weights in less than 30 seconds. Maybe I'll start weighing in on the Wii Fit.

Halloween was really good. I handed out lots of candy and had a great time. Also that week I created an amazing recipe! I'll share that later.

Finally to the question... "Is Chick Lit Hurting your Marriage?"

Find out at And read my latest published article. It should be coming out in hard copy here in the next few days or so. I am really excited, even though the editor batched it. Editors, can't live with them and can't get your articles published with out them.

The editor cut out my favorite line..."Michelle and I shot back our macchiatos like a shot of something strong." I loved that line. It is so witty and gave such a strong image of how we were both feeling. However, it is a Christian magazine and apparently Christians cant handle wit! I am a Christian and I can.!? The editor also made me take out (before she got her hands on it) that I read both a secular Chick lit book and a Christian one. I read it for educational purposes. She thought reading a secular chick lit book it "wouldn't go over well with her readers."

Oh well, I am still really excited to finally have it published and very grateful they even took it.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Man cannot live on bread alone...or can he?

So I've been doing some reevaluating of my personal goals and the things I spend my time on. One of my conclusions is that I can't be a everyday blogger. Nor can I blog three times a week. So instead, I'll be a once a week blogger.

Nature's Pride

This is a long time coming but...

A few of weeks ago I was Fed-exed a package containing two loaves of bread from Nature's Pride for me to review.

Nature's Pride presents New "12 Grain" and "100% Whole Wheat." Both varieties are 100% natural with no high fructose corn syrup.

I have since devoured both loaves of bread, using them for a variety of different recipes.
Above pictures both varieties side by side. I really enjoyed both. The 12 grain was very light and absolutely wonderful with butter or strawberry jam. I really enjoyed the subtle hint of the different flavors of the grains and sunflower seeds.
I personally preferred the whole wheat for sandwiches. I used the bread to make a new chicken salad sandwich as well as several paninis. mmmmm. The whole wheat was not dry and hard to swallow like many whole wheat breads.
I highly recommend Nature's Pride breads. I rarely buy bread, however, the next time I do I'll be looking for Nature's Pride.

Weigh-in Update
This past Wednesday I weighed in at 169.6. The week before I weighed in at 169.2. I'm not worried about this, as I have been feeling really bloated. Though I am bummed that I can't seem to stick to a weight loss plan.
Health Update
Since August of 2008, I have been struggling with this awful and annoying pain in my side. It hurts so badly! I have had doctors call it everything from stress, IBS (embarrassing!), gall stones, and acid reflux (wth!?).
Anyway, for the last week I have cut out: deep fried foods, red meat, dark poultry, shortening, artificial sweeteners, coffee (including decaf), dairy, citrusy or acidic foods, and solid chocolate.
Sometimes it seems like it's helping, but other times it still just hurts. Grrr. I'm going to the doctor this Friday. I hope to get referred to a specialist.
Question: Since I've cut out foods with citric acid, it's really hard to find a sauce to replace my beloved ketchup, bbq sauce and salsa! Do you have any ideas for a sauce that would be easy on the gut and that is dairy free?
Hope you all have a great week!
P.S. No I do not believe man can live on bread alone, but instead can be sustained through the word of God. :)

Today's like sweet Honey Sunshine

Marla, The Flylady, would tell me that I let my inner-perfectionist take over. It’s true, I have. Every single time I thought about the three reviews that I needed to type up for my blog, I would mentally block it out. I didn’t even want to log on last week to weigh in. I felt like if I did, I had to write all three reviews. So I procrastinated.

I hate procrastination. And I’m the queen of it.

Any how, I had to psych myself up to allow myself to do one review at a time. So here it is, my first review…

Kashi’s new Honey Sunshine Cereal!

I became a member of Kashi’s Taste Tester Panel, and my first “assignment” was to dig into a whole box of Honey Sunshine and take it to trial.

My verdict: DELICIOUS!

I love Kashi cereal anyway, but this variety is childhood-comfort-food good. It still has the 7 whole grains in each serving, like Kashi is famous for, but it doesn’t taste ”healthy.” It’s comforting, subtly sweet, and lays that I’M-CRAVING-SUGARY-STARCHES monster to rest.

You’ll love it, your husbands will love it and your kid’s will love it.

Let’s just say when I was finally able to find the cereal at my local grocery store and use my “free box” coupon, it only lasted in my cupboard a week.
Wednesday Weigh-In
Last weigh in: 169.8

Current weigh in:

So I’m down a little over a half a pound. I did weigh in last week, but the scale didn’t budge. Like I said, I was just too profectionisty to log on. I’m so weird.

I most likely won’t get to my 10 pounds lost by Nov. 1. But if I can at least keep going down .5 a week, it’ll be progress. I am really excited to see that I have maintained 169 for three weeks though. I haven’t went back up to the 170s, which means I am actually losing weight.

Josh and I have been getting up in the mornings and walking. I’m proud of us for that. I haven’t been keeping track of calorie consumption. I really just hate doing it. But I need to build myself a bridge and: GET OVER IT!

House News

Josh and I found a house, made an offer and they excepted it. We’re psyched! We are just praying that the inspection will be ok and that nothing funky will happen with our loan. Wish us luck!

Question: What is your favorite cereal?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm still here

I haven't forgot about my blog. I just was again feeling sorry for myself. I went into a little bit of a depression this past weekend and I am so not looking forward to weighing in tomorrow. *blech*

On the upside, I have three reviews to give my readers! I've actually been putting them off 'cause my life just seems so hectic right now. And I don't really think it is all that hectic. I just feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders...this is my inner drama queen/perfectionist.

I think I just need to simplify my life, but I don't know how. Oh I know how, I need to hire a cleaning lady, a cook, a personal assistant, a nutritionist, and a fitness coach. :) If I had the money, I would probably do that.

Anyway, I'm going to go. I hope to post my reviews tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Slowly making progress

Calories In/Out

For yesterday…

Calories in: Well I charted 1550 exactly. I did really well too until after dinner. I had a slice of bread with some jam on it.

Calories out: 0 Grrrrr. I was telling my husband that I feel like a bad person. I realized that is the exact thinking that makes me self sabotage. I had planned to exercise that evening after work, but we had to go in to our real estate agent’s office to sign some papers. Then we had to go to Wal-Mart. We didn’t get home until 9:30 p.m. by then I was just too exhausted. I feel like these are lame excuses, but that’s what happened.

Click here to see what I ate.

Wednesday Weigh In

Last weigh: 170.8

Current: 169.6

I’m slowly making progress. Even if I don’t make it to 10 pounds, I’d be really happy with 5.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Calories in/out

I was some what on track yesterday. Well, except I didn’t burn as many calories as I had thought. I’ll do Tae Bo tonight and make up for it.

Calories in: 1555

Calories out: 177

Click here to see what I ate.


P.S. I have Wii Fit on the calories burned, I actually didn't get around to doing that.

P.P.S. Thank you to everyone for all of the inspiration and encouragement!

Monday, September 28, 2009

and the scales fell from my eyes...

I had a semi revelation this weekend. After a couple of days of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I began to question why I treat myself the way I do? Why do long to lose weight in order to be healthy, and yet sabotage myself with overeating and laziness?

As I questioned myself, I wondered, “Am I worth it?” Do I really believe my life deserves to be a happy and healthy one? The answer is, YES! Many times I let the voice of worldly perfection creep in and tell me that I’ll never be as skinny as the anorexic super models, and then I get discouraged, give up and force feed myself an abundance of junk. Like I really want to be that skinny anyway, pshaw!

I just want to be healthy, happy, energetic, and to feel youthful. I am, by the way, only 25. I do deserve the premier player’s club treatment.

Calories in/Calories out

I didn't keep very good track of what I ate on Friday and Saturday. I am pretty sure I ate around 2000 calories though. :( I also didn't exercise again on Friday. See the self sabotage! It's disgusting.

However, click here to see what I ate yesterday (Sunday)l went over, but at least I kept track.

Calories in: 1725 (Though I think I ate a few more things that I couldn't remember)

Calories out: 632

I did 90 minutes of working out: A 40 minute walk with Maddie; 30 minutes of Free Step with weights on the Wii Fit; and 20 minutes of Tae Bo. I did 90 minutes to make up for no exercise on Thursday and Friday. Sunday was supposed to be my day of rest. :)

Some pictures of what I ate yesterday:

1/2 cup organic vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup pineapple chunks and a smooshed up Crunchy Nature Valley Bar. This makes a very good meal.

Corn tortillas baked in the oven. A mixture of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, chicken, salsa, light ranch, and bbq sauce.
Below is a banana with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt, 1 tbsp peanut butter and 10 chocolate chips melted with the PB. Pretty good desert. :)

Meal Plan Monday:
Monday: Spaghetti
Tuesday: Chicken & Black bean enchiladas
Wednesday: Dinner at ma's house
Thursday: ?? I'll be at a convention for work
Friday: Paninis
Saturday: Subway? (I decided I have to leave room for Subway. I'm going to eat it anyway :P)
Sunday: I haven't made it this far yet
Also, see everything I have planned for today: Click Here.
I'm right on track so far. I just need to make it past dinner. :) Oh and I did exercise this morning, a 1/2 hour walk with Maddie.
I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Calories in/out for Thursday

Calories in/out for Thursday:

Calories in: 1597

Calories out: 0

I know. I know. I was pouting and feeling sorry for myself yesterday. I'll make up for it on Sunday (my day of rest).

CLick here to see what I ate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It went a little something like this...

So day one of my new goal for losing 10 pounds by Oct. 31 went like this:

Calories in: About 1550

Calories out: 456

Click here to see what I ate, and how much I exercised.

Every time I wanted to be lazy or eat more than I should have, I thought, "Real Simple magazine, Shawnee! Think of all the glorious pages of organization, home decor, fashion, and cooking." :) Hopefully it is enough to motivate me to lose the weight.

BTW, in order for my to lose weight at a healthy rate, SparkPeople said I can't lose it any sooner than Nov. 1. :P

Oh and according to SP, my calorie consumption should be between 1250 and 1540. I should burn at least 288 calories a day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-in

Last week: 170.8

This week: 171.2

Not too worried about this, I tend to fluctuate between these numbers.

I have a new goal set in place. My hope is to lose 10 pounds by October 31. Fall has always felt like a new beginning to me. Plus, I made a deal with my husband. If I can lose the 10 pounds, he’ll buy me a subscription to Real Simple Magazine. YAY!

I have about five weeks to do it. That’s 2 pounds a week.

Here’s how I plan to do it. Cut down to 1430 calories a day (Mapped out by SparkPeople). Exercise 6 days a week for at least a ½ hour. I am also going to attempt to plan out my meals everyday. I’ll also count my calories each day. My hope is to provide a link on this blog everyday to show what I’ve been eating.

I’m not sure if I can do it, but I need to try. I’ve been so stagnant with my healthy lifestyle lately. I need my 21 blog readers to cheer me on. If I lose 10 pounds I’ll give something away on my blog. I’m not sure what, but it will be good.
Wish me luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Meal Plan

Mornin! I'm here to give blogging another try.

My Meals for the Week:

Tonight: Quesadillas and Taco Salad

Tuesday: Pot Roast with Red Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions. (I love fall!)

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken and corn on the cobb

Thursday: Grilled chicken Salad

Friday: Dinner Out with In-laws

Saturday: Spaghetti

Sunday: ??

This weekend I also made and planned 8 days worth of lunches:
I made my own "tv dinners." I started off with a big ol' pot of whole wheat rice. Then I made different varieties. I have three meals that are Lemon/Dill Rice with Tuna; three that are Spanish rice with salsa and chicken; and two that are Oriental rice made with low sodium soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and chicken.
Each frozen entree has a cup of rice. The ones with chicken have about 3 ounces of chicken breast, and the ones made with tuna have about a 1/3 of a can of white tuna. I plan to eat the lemon/dill variety with half of an avocado.

I placed each entree onto a cookie sheet and froze them, that way I could put several individual portions into one baggie!

Life update:

Josh and I are still in the home buying process. We've been interested in two different homes. I'll let you know the out come soon. Other than that, I've just been working.

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last Wednesday I weighed in at 170.8 :)

I'm still trying to get into the grove of exercising and cleaning with this new job, but it's still hard.

I gotta get off this thing, I have a date with the treadmill.



P.S. I am really behind reading people's blogs. My apologies. I'll try to catch up soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last week: 171

This week: 171.2

I'm actually pleased with this, as I have not exercised in about 7 days (maybe longer). My heals were hurting so badly due to shoes without support.

I now have new shoes, my feet feel %100 and I hope to get back on that saddle and ride, Sally, ride!

Sweet Dreams

Yeah, I wish. I haven't been sleeping very well lately. I think it's one part home buying process and one part lack of exercise.

Our home search is going so/so, though I feel the Lord's blessings in so many different ways it's hard to express. The hubby and I have a lot of competition, but I am confident God will bless us, whether we stay where we are, rent an apartment or buy a home. No matter what, we'll be fine. :)

New blog format

I am working on a different format to how and when I blog. I'm thinking 3 days a week, with set themes for different days.

Mondays: Meal Planning

Wednesdays: Weigh in/health update

Fridays: Food! (Food finds, interesting recipes, good eats, resturant reviews, etc.)

What do you think? I love to blog 'cause it keeps me accountable, but I don't want it to consume my life. :)

In store for Friday's blog:

I'm hoping to do a review on a new product from Kashi, I received a free sample and a coupon for a free box of their new cereal and I want to spread the word.

*loves and hugs*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lost my passion

Hi all. No I didn't crawl in a hole and die. I just lost my passion for blogging.
I hope it comes back soon. I plan to log in tomorrow with my weight and a little health update.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday


Here is my weigh in info for today:

Last week: 172.2

This week: 171

I'm glad to see the scale back down to 171. :) I was a little worried this morning, as I have taken a few days off from exercise due to my feet.

I also haven't been keeping track of what I eat, but I can't blame that on my feet. I just forget about it.

I think I am going to take one more morning off of exercising and then tomorrow I'll start back up with a walk on the treadmill. The treadmill is a lot more giving than the road.

That's it for my post today.

Have a good one,


Monday, August 31, 2009

I always feel like somebody's watchin me

LOL ok, so I was eating grapes and watermelon the other day and one bite looked like this. It reminded me of the Geico commercial.

I trust you all had a fabulous weekend. I did! However, this post is going to be rather short as none of my pictures from the weekend turned out. :(
Brittany and I did an "Ambush Makeover" of our best friend, Michelle's, apartment. We mostly just organized her things and utilized some of the stuff she already had to create a more "cozy" atmosphere.
After the makeover we went to the downtown Portland "Pastini Pastareia" for lunch. It was delicious. :) Good choice Michelle.
The rest of my weekend included house hunting with my husband, cleaning, and watching some Heros.
Josh and I found a couple houses in our price range. We were pre-approved yesterday for a loan, but we still need to talk to the loan agent today and get somethings figured out with the down payment and closing costs. Hopefully we get it all figured out soon. Brittany if you're reading, this is something we just decided to pursue Friday night.
Of course buying a house would mean we'd probably forfeit a trip to Mexico :( but I suppose buying a house to raise future children in is worth it!??
About Running

Okay, so last week I was up to 17 minutes of running. I wanted to push myself to 20 minutes (I'm training to do a 5k in November). But, my heels started hurting so badly. I know it's because I'm running in worn out shoes. I talked to my husband (the sport expert) and he told me absolutely no running until my feet feel better. I also have to go buy shoes, something I just don't feel like doing.
I've been icing my feet and they tend to feel better the morning after, but after walking on them for a few hours they begin to hurt again. Anyway, I probably need to buy at least one par of supportive dress shoes as well. All my dressy work shoes are either heels or flats with no support. *humph* I'm only 25 this stuff isn't supposed to happen. LOL
Today's plans

First, as soon as I get off of the computer, I'm going to do a 1/2 hour of Tony Horton's Yoga-X. It's way extreme. The video is actually 90 minutes and it's supposed to burn 500 calories. So, divide that by three and it's only 167 calories. :( But I can't think of any thing else that would be ok on my feet.
I also plan to follow this motto WWKE (or BE). LOL This means What Would Kath or Brit Eat. I'm not really trying to idolize Kath (from Kath Eats) or Brittany (my best friend) but I'm trying to follow what a healthy person would eat. Wish me luck.
Well, I'm off to do yoga, shower and go to work.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Peaches and Cream: Is there a better way to start my day?

Good morning!

I finally feel like I have a little direction at my new job. It's always intimidating starting a new job and learning how things work. This position is kind of scary in that I'm dealing with people's lives. Well, their education anyway.

I'm in charge of recruiting, informing, and getting prospective adults enrolled in our Family Studies degree completion program. For many of the adults, this is their last chance to finish the degree they've put off for 20 years (or whatever), or it's their chance to get involved in ministry or counseling and help people who've struggled with the same problems the prospective student has struggled with; problems such as drugs and alcohol, or physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Anyway, I am the one who has to make sure these adults are on track with their incoming (or transferring) credits, I have to make sure they complete all the steps necessary to be accepted, and as of right now I, along with my director, am the acceptance committee.

It's a huge job, with tons of stuff to learn. I've felt like I've had stuff just kind of thrown at me in terms of paper work and responding to students. In the midst of all that paper work, I've also had students "walk in." In these cases I have to drop what I'm doing and go over the program with them. Of course, for now I have another coworker in there with me.

Ok, that's more than you ever wanted to know about what I do. LOL sorry. I just think I needed to write that to see who important my job is! :)

Anyway, on to eats...

Peaches and Cream!

  • One whole peach, sliced into sections
  • 1 serving of organic Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 2 tsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter (or I used Smart Balance Light)
  • A sprinkle of Cinnamon
First melt the butter on medium heat in a non stick frying pan. Place the peaches in the pan and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Let the peaches saute for a few moments. Next sprinkle the oats over the top of the peaches. Stir frequently, but be careful. Peaches are delicate. It's done when the oats are soft. Place most of the yogurt in a bowl, place the peach/oat mixture on to top, place the rest or (a dollop) of the yogurt on top of the peaches, and sprinkle with a tiny amount of Cinnamon.

If I had to have a favorite way of eating oatmeal, this would be it! This was the perfect breakfast, with the right balance of carbs, bulk to fill me up after my morning run.
The rest of my eats:

You might be able to click that and make it large, if you want to see what I'm eating. :P Sorry for the bad handwriting.
Anyway, I was so full after lunch. My coworkers and I ate at this little restaurant in Salem, OR called Rolling Bagels. SO GOOD. They had a salad bar, a soup bar (with about 7 varieties of soup), sandwiches and fresh bagels. I highly recommend this place.

I ate a little too much. I also had a strawberry cobbler, as it was my director's b-day and well...I was away from my desk making copies and a piece of it was already dished up and on my desk. So I ate it. It was amazing too.
I balanced the big bulky lunch with steamed veggies and rice for dinner. :)
I was only able to run for 17 minutes and walk for 13. I'm not quite up to my 20 minute jog like I was hoping to be.
Weekend plans:
Tomorrow I am going to Portland to makeover/organize my friend's dorm room for her b-day. My friend Britt and I have some tricks up our sleeves to make her tiny space more livable. Plus, we're sending her away to enjoy a day to herself while we clean.
I plan on blogging about my weekend on Sunday!
Have a fabulous weekend all.