Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peanut...Peanut Butter!

I may or may have not almost finished off a jar of peanut butter since Friday.  It was a small jar....

Seriously though, in researching affordable health foods, peanut butter ranks near the top.  Of course, it is better to purchase "all-natural" versions.  As with all foods, companies continually add unnecessary preservatives and chemicals to increase the shelf life.  Natural peanut butters should include peanuts, oil, and salt.  You don't want to consume all that high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.  Yuck!  If you keep a watch at sale ads, peanut butter is often on sale (even the natural versions) and you can usually get your hands on a coupon or two!

To me, peanut butter provides a sweet fix and is a very filling food.  This week I indulged in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter and banana sandwich, and used pb as a dip for a wonderfully delicious apple.

PB is an excellent source of protein!  And, it is loaded with heart-protecting fats, can potentially reduce the damage of bad cholesterol (LDL), and is full of essential vitamins!  Studies also show that pb can even have protective benefits against type 2 diabetes in women (SCORE)! 

For more information, check out this LiveStrong Peanut Butter Nutrition article.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase my own url.  I purchased through and after an act of Congress (or maybe it was that I finally stopped and read the directions), I was able to go live!  YAY!

Now a co-worker asked what this means?  I said "that I am a bigger nerd than I was this morning."

Seriously, what better motivation to stay focused on blogging than to own your own addy!  I am forevermore (or unless my subscription runs out) chiseled on the internet superhighway as Queen of my Universe! 

I have eaten so well today.  I'm so proud.  Oh and I'm completely starving today!  It's got to be this 75 degree weather in JANUARY!

First up was a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cherrios with a cup of 2% milk and half a banana.

Oh heavens.  My iphone photography skills are so lacking.  You would never know that people actually pay me money to take their picture.  :-)  But I digress, lunch was peanut butter and (no sugar added) strawberry preserves on Nature's Own White Wheat.  My grocery store was out of our favorite Sara Lee Honey Wheat so I wandered around until I found a calorie-smart bread equivalent.  This bread is also 45 calories per slice and it is perhaps the softest bread ever.  Can you see where I ripped the bread while spreading my pb?    Oh and I had an apple.  

 Dinner was buffalo chicken salads.  I may have added a little too much cheese.  But it helped combat the heat from the buffalo sauce.  We LOVE buffalo sauce.  Hubs can eat hot wings everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.  Our favorite sauce is Moore's Wing Sauce.  Hot and spicy and a great taste!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

I'm finally back to meal planning!  It is such a help, especially when trying to eat healthy, to plan ahead.  It saves me a ton of time, energy, and even money!  Here is our plan for the week!

Overnight Oats
Fruit Smoothies
Apple Cinnamon Cherrios
Diet Breakfast Shake (for hubs)

Peanut Butter and Jelly (sugar free) sandwiches
Smart Ones (hubs)


Saturday - Hamburgers with carmelized onions on wheat buns

Sunday - leftovers!  I had leftover shrimp from lunch and Hubs had pizza from Friday night.

Monday - Beef and Broccoli with rice from Hungry Girl's 300 and under cookbook

Tuesday - Chicken Junk (with squash, zucchini, and whole wheat pasta)

Wednesday - BLTs with turkey bacon and white wheat bread
Thursday - Grilled Chicken Salads
Friday - Teriyaki Chicken, rice, and chinese chicken salad

That's it!  I'm linking up at  Check 'em out!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Birthday PawPaw

Tomorrow, January 26th, is my PawPaw's birthday.  I have written about him before.  This year he would have been 81; he passed away in October 1996.  His death had and still has an enormous effect on me.  Maybe it because it was only the second significant loss in my life, the first being when I was only about 6. 

With time you might not think about them every minute of everyday but the pain of their loss and the emptiness without them is always around.  As a daddy's girl myself I can see my mom's pain as I look at her  and not only do I see the dark chestnut eyes that she shared with her father but just the mention of his name brings so much to her face.  As even my PawPaw would say, he was not a perfect man.  But maybe that's what it is that makes us love each other.  We are perfectly flawed.  We don't always say or do the right things but the mark we leave on others is the truth about how we lived our life.

Regardless of anything else, I knew that my PawPaw loved me.  Even when I was a little girl I can remember his face lighting up when any of his grandchildren were in the room.  We climbed all over him, tossled his hair, drank his Pepsi-cola (his words), and talked incessantly.  

When my mom's family gathers on Sunday for lunch to celebrate family birthdays, I can't help but think of PawPaw being right there with us.  Shaking his head at some of the crazy things we say and laughing at us.  But most of all just enjoying the sight before him.

Happy Birthday PawPaw. 


Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's only Thursday?

Because I work for a state institution, we were off on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.  Anytime we have a Monday off, the week seems to drag by.  I don't know why.  At least the weekend is almost here!  And more importantly, that means grocery shopping day is almost here and for that I am grateful.  I'm out of fruit, milk, and bread.  I raided Hubs' stash of Smart Ones.  You know I'm so excited about that. 

Yesterday was a really good day.  I forgot my dinner picture so I used one from the recipe I posted.  It's not exactly a healthy meal but we were craving it and it was packed with flavor.  Forgive the picture...iphone camera + bad office lighting is not good for my photography skills.
Overnight Oats
This recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers.  She does a lot of variations on her overnight oats so I used her recipe as a guideline.  I did not have any yogurt so I just did oats and milk overnight. The next morning I added half a banana and half a cup of frozen blueberries.  I also added two packets of Truvia (the walmart brand) for some sweet.

Lunch was Apple Cinnamon Cherrios
I have no idea but I was browing the cereal aisle last week and I started craving this cereal.  It sounded great for lunch!  I had a serving of cereal with a serving of 2% milk.
Dinner was Cajun Chicken Pasta.  One of our favorite comfort foods!

And my day was complete by lounging on the couch with Shelby.  This dog can sleep in the most uncomfortable looking positions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Confession

So Hubs and I have a small addiction...and it airs on Tuesday nights.  Since watching the pilot episode on Netflix because I was bored, Hubs and I have been enthralled with Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family.  Yes it is a show about high school students and yes, I am thirty years old.  I.  Don't.  Care.  I love it.  I love the main characters (like I'm seriously debating naming my imaginary child Spencer or Hanna).  I love the plot.  The mystery.  The absurdness.  Everything! 
Courtesy of ABC Family

Here is my mini-review on this week's episode, "Misery Loves Company."

First off, Meredith is freaking crazy.  While I always thought she was a tad creepy, she seemed to accumulate to ultimate crazy before the episode was over.  Drugging Aria!  Locking Aria, Hanna, and Emily in the basement! WHAT?! 

Second, I have been screaming at Toby through the television for two weeks (well really since that Halloween episode)!  I was constantly yelling for Spencer to figure him out.   When she opened the drawer and just barely missed his fake Radley badge.  AH!  But in the end, poor Spencer.  She's so heartbroken and betrayed. 

Next, so we see two glimpses of Ali.  And did anyone else notice that "ghostly Ali" took the doll out of the closet and that is where it was when Aria woke up?  Hmmm..could she have really been there?

And last, what is up with Caleb and Paige meeting up?  What are they planning?  All I can say is if they kill one of them off, please don't kill Caleb.  He's too pretty.

Championship Day

I am a huge Alabama Crimson Tide fan.  I grew up with it and married into a true crimson family.  This year we cheered the Tide onto a third national championship in just four years.  Yes...all hail Coach Saban.  But seriously, Alabama football is all about tradition, ceremony, and some amazing talent.  This weekend Hubs and I went down to Tuscaloosa with some friends to watch the Championship Parade and Ceremony then we were treated to an amazing experience of walking on the field at Bryant-Denny Stadium.  Having sat in all sorts of places in the stadium (including just about as high as you can go in the 100,000+ seating venue), it was so neat to stand on the fifty yard line and look up. 

We definitely got our exercise on Saturday.  We parked waaaaaaay away from the stadium then stood for about an hour waiting for the parade to start, then stood at the Walk of Champions for the ceremony, then stood in line to get into the stadium, and finally the looooonnnnng walk back to the car.  But we had a blast and the 3 year old with us did amazing, espeically considering we did a lot of walking and waiting.  I'm fairly sure I whined more than she did.


Big Al!

Some of my favorite players - Lacy, Yeldon, and Drake!

Coach and Mrs. Saban.  I think they are precious.

Coach speaking at the ceremony.

In the tunnel where the players enter the field.

Us on the field!  I HATE having my picture taken but inspiration abounds!

Definitely an awesome experience for my hubs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Starting Fresh

So first things first....the Blogger iPhone app is fantastic. I do some of my best thinking right before going to sleep so it's the perfect tool to keep of with blogging...something I have never been very good at.

Second, I talk the talk and read and digest and so on. But I need to take action. Blogging helps me be real in a world where we all hide so much. This journey of weight loss, healthy living, and diabetes management is not a difficult road when I stay on the path but I stray. This blog is here to help me stay accountable. To myself. To my goals. To my disease.

I have steadily lost a pound or two here and there but it's time to step it up. Eating healthy and changing my food lifestyle is the only way to go.

Tonight, my routine included mentally preparing my day tomorrow. I used Peanut Butter Fingers Overnight Oats recipe so breakfast is marinating on the fridge and vegetable soup is on the menu or Lunch.

Here's to a great tomorrow!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Year's Eve with my Favorites

They say that what you are doing when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve is what you'll be doing all year long.  Now I don't know who "they" are but I hope they are right.  I spent my New Year's Eve having a little get together at (you guessed it) my parent's house singing karaoke and eating lots of yummy snacks.

A very hyper four year old!


We lost little man a little before 11.

Caught Red Handed!  We lost my mom at some point and I found her in the den...with her laptop...watching Vampire Diaries.  I introduced her to the show the weekend before so she spent every day catching up!  Gotta love her.

Happy New Year from N!

oh the boys!

I love these two!

Hubs and K

My parents,  ;-)
I realized over the next few days that I never seem to get in any pictures!  I should probably correct that this year!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

It's back at it.  Organizing!  I got a little out of control over the holidays but I'm proud to be back to organizing and planning my menu! 

Saturday - Out with Hubs' family for a belated Christmas dinner since we had some sick with the flu!

Sunday - Homemade Chicken Tenders, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans


Tuesday - Quesadillas with chicken, black beans, and corn

Wednesday - Wednesday Night Dinner with K!  Week #1 of Teaching K to cook!  Easy Chicken and Dumplings!

Thursday - Chicken Tacos

Friday - Grocery Night!

For hundreds of menu ideas, visit's Menu Plan Monday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I'm late but better than never!

We began our Christmas celebrations the weekend before Christmas.

First up, we traveled (the three miles) to my parents' house on Saturday for my dad's family Christmas.  I didn't get any pictures!  I couldn't believe it.  But it was a fun night full of lots of stories and laughs. My mom made chicken fingers and chili and everyone brought snacks and desserts.  It was too much!  But so good.

Sunday, we continued our tradition of having a traditional Christmas dinner with our closest friends.  Our best friends - A, N, and K - came over and of course my favorite guy Nicholas.  I made dressing, green bean casserole, ham.  A brought sweet potato casserole and corn souffle. K brought mac & cheese and cranberry sauce.  It was a feast!
We bought Nicholas a nerf dart gun.  He loved it.

I think I have this same picture from our previous Christmases together.  What will I do when he's too big for Hubs' lap?

Nicholas LOVES K.
Our next Christmas gathering was Saturday, the 22nd, and we were back at my parents' house for my mom's family.  We haven't had a big get together in a very long time.  It was the first time all four siblings and my grandmother were in the same place in over 15 years!  It was nice to have them together.  My grandmother (Granny) was recently diagnosed with leukemia so this gathering was extra special.  We had a huge spread of snack foods!  Let's see here...there was rotel dip, sausage balls, bbq sandwiches, meatballs, chicken cheese balls, cheddar cheese balls, jalapeno bites, pigs in a blanket, and so much more I can't even remember!  Plus, my granny made homemade fruitcake and my mom had a plethora of treats!

(l-r) Uncle B, Mom, Granny, Aunt R, and Uncle D

Grands and Grands-in-law
(l-r) Hubs, Me, My brother, Granny, cousin K, cousin-in-law C (with baby on board), and cousin C.


A pretty intense game of Yahtzee

My dad made a batch of my Granny's famous punch.  Lime Sherbert, Vanilla ice Cream, Ginger Ale. YUM!  A Christmas-Eve Tradition from my mom's childhood.

Hubs makes fun of me and calls me "Monica" from Friends because I tend to be very competitive. I come by it honest!

Granny's famous homemade fruitcake

My mom is the sweet queen!  She made fudge, peanut butter bites, cowboy cookies (my favorite), and pecan bars.

The whole gang!
Back row (l-r) - Hubs, Me, My Dad, C, little C, My brother, K, Uncle B, and Uncle D
Front row (l-r) - Aunt R, Granny, Aunt E, and Mom 

Christmas Eve was a bit of a hectic day.  My mother-in-law was sick so our tradition lunch with my father-in-law's sister was changed so we relaxed for most of the day. That evening, Hubs and I arrived at my parents' house for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner.  We had mexican!  Taco Salad and dip.  Delicious.  Then we played a game of Yahtzee and had more punch!

I'm not kidding.  Intense.

Dad's first time playing.  And he came in Hubs (who had never played before either).
I didn't get many pictures on Christmas day.  We have a fairly busy day and our plans changed at the last minute but it all went off without a hitch.  First up, Hubs and I wake up early and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas while drinking coffee (and hot chocolate for me).  Then about 7 we head over to my parents' house to open presents.  My parents always go overboard and we were so blessed with many nice things.  My parents' did well for each other too.  It's a running thing for my dad to start calling me about 2 weeks before Christmas to work out what he's getting for my mom.  After opening gifts, we headed back home around 9.  My in-laws came down (they live next door) to our house and we exchanged gifts while eating hot cinnamon rolls.  I began cooking in anticipation of Hubs' aunt and her family joining us for lunch.  Since my inlaws were sick, we had Christmas at our house.  We exchanged gifts and had a wonderful lunch of ham, dressing, and all the fixings.  Hubs and I had a little while to unwind and relax before head back...where?  To my parents house for Christmas dinner.  It is a day full of going and eating but we are lucky to have our parents so close to be able to do that.