Monday, October 28, 2013

Friend Makin Monday

It is Friend Makin Monday at All The Weigh!  Come join the fun!
What If?

1. If you had something in your teeth would you want someone to tell you, or would you prefer to figure it out on your own? Please tell me!

2. If you had to listen to one song on repeat all day today, which song would you choose?  Wow!   I honestly don't know. 

3. If you could trade places with someone famous, with whom would you trade?  Veronica Roth (writer of DIVERGENT) or Dutchess Catherine

4. If you could speak another language fluently, which one would you speak? Spanish

5. If you could read one person’s mind right now whose would you choose?  I don't think I could handle that ability!

6. If you were forced to go back in time, which period of your life would you choose?  Either my high school years to make better choices (just in terms of grades and what not) or as a child when my only concern was running up and down the fence with my horse.

7. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose? Vampire Diaries or Once Upon a Time (only if no one was trying to kill me)

8. If you had to give up twitter or Facebook, which would you choose?  Probably Twitter.  While there are things I like more about Twitter than Facebook, I have tons of pictures and loads more friends that I enjoy keeping up with.

9. If you could have a present today, what would you want?  Camera equipment

10. If you had to choose between celebrating Halloween or Christmas, which would you choose?  Christmas all the way!

Menu Plan Monday

Another week is here.  I don't know how that happened.  This weekend FLEW by and it is already Monday!  This week at the grocery store, we tried to stay within a tighter budget.  I picked a couple of comfort foods this week.  Not good for our diet at all. 

Saturday - Hamburgers (tailgating food!)

Sunday - Out with Friends

Monday - Spaghetti and garlic bread

Tuesday - Taco Salads

Wednesday - Baked BBQ Chicken with roasted zucchini and mashed potatoes

Thursday - Out with Friends for Pizza!

Friday - Grocery night!! 

For hundreds of menu plans - healthy, easy, budget, etc - visit's Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Dash

When someone passes away, we put a line between their birth year and death year.  In place of a lifetime of memories, we place a single dash.  That dash is a horrible representation of who we are.   It makes you stop and think about what that dash represents.

A friend of ours passed away on Saturday.  1978 - 2013.  His dash represents 34 years.  Yes, you read that right.  He was taken far too soon but by a God who knows best.  We met this young man, let's call him Coach, just recently really.  Over the past couple of years, he became really close friends with our best friends.  Maybe calling him a friend is even premature.  We sadly didn't get to know Coach as well as we wanted.  We thought we had more time.  What I learned about Coach this week was just how big his dash was.

Like I said, I didn't know Coach well.  But just from what I observed, he lived his life all in.  He loved those around him.  His had a wildly energetic personality and was definitely a force of nature.  He coached my best boy's baseball team.  But he did more than just coach baseball, he encouraged these little men and loved them with his whole heart. 

When Hubs and I arrived at his viewing service on Wednesday night, I was in awe of how many cars were there and the three hour event had just begun.  We stood in line with hundreds of other people before we were able to reach his precious wife and pay our respects.  When we left, it was dark and chilly and the line to just get inside the church was still hundreds of people long.  These people were touched in some way or another by Coach.  Whether they were lifelong friends or only knew him through his community activities, everyone had their story about what a good man Coach was.

The sadness of his passing is overwhelming. Our world lost an incredibly generous soul.  His sweet wife lost her love and their precious boy lost his father.  I mourn for them.  I mourn for my dear friend, who coached along side Coach, because he lost a true friend.  What I learned through this sadness was that Coach's dash was big.  It was big and full.  He lived a life of love in action.  His legacy, even in 34 short years, was one of friendship, love, and laughter.  May we all live a life larger than our dash. 

Book Review - DIVERGENT

After multiple recommendations, I picked up a copy of DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.  I started reading it Friday night and had it finished by Saturday night.  When I find a book that I really enjoy, I have a hard time putting it down.  I read for hours yesterday.  It was that good.  I repeat.  It.  Was.  That.  Good. 

DIVERGENT takes places in a future version of Chicago.  The world is a very different place and the population is broken up into 5 factions - based on qualities and traits that each faction holds dear.  Beatrice comes from a selfless society.  She doesn't live for the frivolous things in life.  At age 16, all children complete an aptitude test and based on their own feelings and the results of their test, they choose to stay in their born faction or move to another.  Beatrice, later called only Tris, is divergent which means that she doesn't fit into just any category.  And ultimately, she cannot be controlled.

Like I said - it was that good.  From beginning to end, you are intrigued by their culture and then you begin an emotional journey with Tris. 

So my review - 5 out of 5 stars.  I was entertained and intrigued.  And I couldn't put it down. 

Of course when it was over, I was desperate for more.  Thankfully, there are two more in this series - Insurgent and Allegiant.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friend Makin Monday

Come join Friend Makin Monday at All the Weigh!

1. What is your favorite thing about Fall?  Cooler weather, getting dark early, leaves, pumpkins, and I could go on!

2. It’s not Fall until… I get to swear a sweatshirt.  I have 500 of them. 

3. Apple cider or hot chocolate? Both…it depends on my mood.

4. Share a happy Fall memory.  Growing up it was Friday Night football (I was a band nerd).  I loved the whole day - pep rally then off to the game and then driving around my small town aimlessly afterwards

5. Do you have any hobbies that are seasonally specific? If so, what are they?  We love to camp, although we haven't been in a while.  It is definitely a cooler weather hobby.  Also, one of my favorite things is to sit outside by a fire.  That is our favorite fall activity.

6. What do you miss most about Summer now that it’s officially over?  Nothing!

7. Do you prefer pumpkin pie or pecan pie?  pumpkin!  In fact, I made some last weekend!  So good!

8. Do you suffer from allergies?  Yes!  Horribly so.

9. How do you celebrate Halloween?  As a child, yes.  I dressed up and went treating every year.  As an adult, I only celebrate if we or someone we know throws a party.  We don't even get trick or treaters at our house.

10. What is the biggest change that you expect to experience during this season?  My best friend is having a baby in late November.  I'm super excited about that. 

Menu Plan Monday


What a weird and seriously sad weekend.  More to come later on that.  For now though it's all about the menu.  This week we challeneged ourselves to seriously trim down our grocery budget.  For two people, we were spending entirely too much each week!  Here is what we came up with...

Friday - Out with Friends! 

Saturday - Chili with the in-laws for the Alabama game

Sunday - Chicken Fried Rice, Chinese Chicken Salad, and egg rolls (store bought)

Monday - Stouffer's Lasagna (on sale at Publix) with Caesar Salad (also on sale)

Tuesday - Stove Top Chicken (that I have had on our menu for 3 weeks!)

Wednesday - Super Easy Red Beans and Rice with cornbread

Thursday - Baked Chicken, green beans, and rice

Friday - Grocery Night!  This week we are hitting up ALDI and Walmart to maximize our groceries.

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

Goals for This Week

The best way to stay accountable is to let others know my goals.  It's important to document your goals and then see where you excelled or failed.  Here are my goals for this week:

-Log food into My Fitness Pal

-Check blood sugar at least twice daily.

-Run three times (ideally Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday)

-Drink more than 50oz of water everyday.  This is a struggle sometimes but it shouldn't be!

-Plan a lower calorie menu for next week.

-Stay AWAY from Halloween candy!

Friend Makin Monday

Today I'm joining Friend Makin Monday over at All the Weigh!
All about the Blog
1. How long have you been blogging? Almost a decade…But this blog only a year or two.  I have been a yo-yo blogger for a long time but I would like to make something more concrete and substantial. 

2. What is the overwhelming theme of your blog? healthy living - maintaining an active lifestyle while eating healthy and enjoying life. 

3. Have you connected with people in person after meeting them through blogging?  Not yet!

4. What do you enjoy most about blogging?  I enjoy reading other blogs.  I haven't always been an avid commenter but a lurker.  So not only do I want to devote more time to my own blogging but I also want to connect with others.

5. How often do you blog? I do not currently have a set schedule but again...a work in progress!

6. Share one thing that you don’t like about blogging. I read some nasty comments that people leave on other blogs.  First, if I don't like something a blogger says, I usually just move on.  I have never ever left a negative comment and the fact that people use the somewhat anonymity to left mean and nasty comments.  Blogging is about sharing your life.  If somewhere is willing to share with others, they do not deserve critism.

7. Do you talk about your blog in everyday life?  Somewhat. I get bolder about discussing my blog. 

8. What is the coolest and most unexpected thing that has happened to you as a result of blogging? hmmm.  I'll have to wait and see!

9. Are there topics that are off-limits on your blog? If so, name a few…I don't really know.  I wouldn't discussion anything too private in terms of my life or marriage.

10. If you could accomplish one thing through your blog before the end of this year, what would you want to accomplish?  Just encourage people.  To be positive, happy people.  Find ways to be active and get on their own journey to be healthy.

Menu Plan Monday

It's back at work after a week-long staycation!  And it's back to our better eating menu.  No more fast food!

Saturday - Hamburgers and fries with the in-laws for the Alabama game

Sunday - Chicken and Dumplins

Monday - Stove Top Chicken Bake (from last week)

Tuesday - Skinny Chicken Parmesan

Wednesday - Grilled Chicken and vegetable sides

Thursday - Pancakes

Friday - Grocery night!

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

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Race for the Cure

This past weekend I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  I was the team captain for a team in celebration of a sweet friend and co-worker of mine, Sheri.  Sheri was diagnosed in May and is currently going through chemotherapy treatments.  She is a trooper.  She has continued to work throughout her treatment and even has came into work the day after treatment days in some cases.  She is a true hero and inspiration and it was my privilege to walk this race not only in her honor but by her side.

I was so proud of our group.  We had co-workers and family members.  And we were all celebrating Sheri.  It was a good day.

Sheri and I after the race.  So proud of this lady.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

 We are on a "staycation" this week!  We spent entirely too much at the grocery store because we made a really great menu but then we might have bought things like cookies and chocolate milk...which we never do!  But alas, it's vacation!  Here's our menu...

Saturday - Hubs' parents treated us to dinner.  Pizza.  I had a caesar salad.  Yum!

Sunday - Our German Experiment - Brats, Sauerkraut, and Potato Salad

Monday- Chicken and Broccoli Bake with a veggie side

Tuesday - Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake on low carb tortillas and salsa

Wednesday - Stove Top Chicken Skillet with green beans

Thursday - Eggplant Parmesan with Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread

Friday - Chicken and Zucchini Kabobs, cabbage, and sweet potatoes

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

Our German Experiment

Hubs was craving a visit to the beach and to the Hofbrau Beer Garden, a German restaurant in Panama City Beach.  Well we are on vacation this week but it is a staycation.  So I had Hubs find some recipes and I would try (try being the operative word) to recreate his meal.  He came across this blog and I gave it my best shot.

Here is what you need (I altered the original recipes just a bit):

Pre-cooked Bratwurst (pre-cooked is just so much faster)
One white or yellow onion cut into rings
One green bell pepper, sliced
3 Tbsp Butter
1 clove of garlic (or if you lose yours like I did then a sufficient amount of garlic powder will suffice)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 beer or sherry (I used a basic light beer)

Add the butter to a hot skillet.  Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes.  Add brats, oregano, and beer.  Let the beer cook down.  About 10 minutes.  You want your pre-cooked brats to be warmed thoroughly.

16 oz sauerkraut (you can use original or bavarian but I used original)
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Add sauerkraut and brown sugar to a warm skillet.  Stir well so that the sugar is well distributed.  Cook about 10 minutes until warm.

Potato Salad
red potatoes (I used about 12 mini red potatoes)
1 Tbsp relish
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

 You can bake the potatoes ahead of time or if you forget (like I did) then you can steam the in the microwave.  I placed the tiny potatoes in a bowl with about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom.  I microwaved for about 10 minutes.

I let the potatoes cool while I was preparing the other items so when I returned to the potatoes they were warm but not piping hot anymore.  Regardless of your cooking method, quarter the potatoes into bit sized pieces and add the mayo, mustard, relish, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

Big beautiful onion.  I love Publix.

Tiny Potatoes

Cooking it up!

Bad picture but the final product!

So I admit that I was a little hesitant.  I'm not a beer fan and at first the skillet did smell quite beery.  I mean, of course it did.  But Hubs encouraged me to fix a plate.  We sat down and he dug in.  He just kept saying how good it was.  So, I got brave enough and sure enough!  It was!  I went and got my second brat out of the skillet even.  Hubs isn't a huge sauerkraut fan because of its bitter taste.  The brown sugar really helped that.  It didn't make it sweet but just gave it a goo flavor.  Add some mustard to dip your brat it and it just adds another layer.  You don't taste the mustard but the flavor of everything makes for one delicious bite.  So, I am claiming success!