Sunday, September 28, 2008

Really, I'm Not Dead...

...I've been on vacation, and then I was sick, and then I was just too durn lazy to post.

But to both of my blog readers, I want to say, "I am alive!" I plan to get back on the posting wagon and share all of the fun that is my life with hubs and LO. We had a wonderful time at my sister-in-law's wedding in Wisconsin, and we had a not-so-great-time after we got back and I suffered some kind of stomach flu or food poisoning of some sort. Yuck.

I'll be sharing some fantastic photos and some fun stories of what we've experienced over the past two weeks since my last post, so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Recipe Time!

Hey, all! Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I've been a bit busy and have been enjoying the new lifestyle I've adapted! Since reading this book, I haven't been able to eat any meat, chicken or pork. And it's actually a good thing! It's been a lot easier than I expected! I'll write more about that later, but I've been sitting on this recipe since last week and I wanted to share it with you! It's a delicious recipe from my good friend H. I made it last week (before I read THE book), so it does have chicken in it. BUT, you can also make it with some fresh veggies instead, just steam them so they're slightly undercooked and use them in place of the chicken! Yum! I hope you guys enjoy this one!

H's Crescent Chicken

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped
1 can Pillsbury Big and Flaky Crescent Rolls

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can of milk

  1. Separate the crescent rolls and line them around a small casserole dish with the base being on the bottom and just the "tails" hanging over the side.

  2. Divide the chicken pieces evenly on the bases of the crescent rolls.
  3. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheddar over chicken (add more or less depending on how cheesy you want it).
  4. Pull the "tails" of the crescents over the chicken and cheese and tuck them under the base.

  5. Pour the soup over the crescents and then sprinkle cheese on top.

  6. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and soup mixture is bubbling.

  7. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!

Bon appétit!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Carnivores Beware!

I like me a good, medium-well done steak. I love chicken. I'll eat pork, too. I've always been a meat eater. And never really thought that much of it. No big deal, right?

Insert book here. Pardon the expletive, but the book is called Skinny B*tch. It caught my attention when I was watching a rerun of The Ellen Show and the books authors, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, were guests on the show. I thought to myself, "Hmmm... I could use a No-Nonsense, Tough-Love Guide for Savvy Girls Who Want to Stop Eating Crap and Start Looking Fabulous!" I was thinking it would be all about how fad diets are bad, carbs and sweets should be eaten in moderation and exercise is key to losing weight and looking thin.

WELL... boy was I ever surprised with this book! Sure, I could definitely do without the expletives strewn about on most of the pages. But overall the information contained in this book was absolutely nothing short of phenomenal! Essentially these writers researched the crap out of the foods Americans tend to eat on a daily basis. It went all "scientific" on what's really hiding in some of our favorite foods. It went on to talk about some very intriguing information about the dairy and meat industries that we as consumers have no knowledge of. The reason for this is the billions of dollars these industries spend in marketing their products. They want us to think that milk really does a body good and meat should be an essential ingredient in everyone's diet.

Let me clarify here that I am NOT currently a vegetarian. The thought of becoming one had never really crossed my mind. Sure, I get totally grossed out like every other person on the planet when prepping meat or chicken or pork for dinner. I sometimes physically gag while removing skin or fat or whatever. But after reading an entire chapter devoted to how that meat, chicken or pork gets from the "farm" to your local grocery store, I was convinced that becoming a vegetarian might be something worth looking into. Seriously, every vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year from horrific cruelty. If you aren't afraid, click on the video below to see just one example of how the chicken suppliers for KFC are treated.

Watch more videos at

Anyway, I'm seriously considering the idea of eliminating meat from my/our daily diet. Of course LO has already beaten us to the punch... she's been refusing to eat meat since the day she started solid foods! But I seriously can't help but think that I'd be focused on what I read in that book if someone were to put a steak in front of me. I'm not about to go overboard and turn our lives upside-down, but I do think there's something about vegetarian and organic foods that I ought to look into.

Do yourselves a favor. Read this book. You should know what foods you're putting into your body and the process that brought them to your table. If only for information purposes. Really. You'll learn about carbs, sugars, caffeine, meat, dairy, exercise and so much more! After all, knowledge is power and you'll definitely find yourself empowered after reading this book! Oh, and I read it all in about 3 hours last night... it's a easy, short read!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Sickly Self

Sorry I haven't been posting anything new for the past week. I've been battling some kind of nasty head cold that has totally kicked my butt! I think it's safe to say I slept an average of 20 hours a day last weekend (thanks to hubs for stepping it up in the LO department for me), and have been napping every time LO napped since last Friday. I'm starting to feel somewhat better today so hopefully I'll be able to post more soon!

I hope everyone is feeling superrific this week!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Needle in the Proverbial Haystack

I have a serious problem. There is something wrong with me. At least in my opinion, anyway. Shopping for shoes is a necessary evil for me. See, I absolutely LOVE shoes!!! The problem then? I've got big ol' feet! Seriously. Like double-digits big. And even then, the number's not as low as you might be thinking. They're big feet. I've never really thought they looked like aircraft carriers or anything because I feel they are somewhat proportionate to my height. But I've been struggling since high school to find cute dressy shoes that fit. Now sneakers are not a problem--I can always buy them from the men's department if necessary. But sandals, flip flops, peep toes, basically anything in the "pump" or "heel" family is an absolute horror for me.

Those of you with the perfect little female feet (i.e. somewhere between sizes 5 through 9) probably have to make tough decisions when shopping for shoes, like which color to buy or which style you like best. Me? It's only about what will fit. My options are almost null. When I do find something that fits--whether I really love them or not--I typically purchase them only because it's so rare to find a pair of shoes that my heels or toes don't hang off of.

So that brings me to my latest dilemma: shoes for my sister-in-law's wedding. I bought a dress (on eBay for a whopping $9!!) and have been searching feverishly for the perfect (and by perfect, I mean ones that fit) shoes to wear with this lovely floor-length strapless dress.

Now I can't even bother with department stores. You know the ones, where you see the amazing selection of gorgeous shoes with the bright light from heaven shining down on them, the voices of a choir singing, "Ahhhhhhh" in the background? Ya, I can't even bother with that. It's like looking being a child staring at a room full of delicious candy that you're not allowed to have! There's not a single pair of dress shoes in any department store on the face of this earth that carries shoes in my size. Ugh.

Since department stores are out, and since I've already visited every shoe store in my entire county (with no luck!), I had no choice but to turn to the Internet. I checked a TON of stores, such as Piperlime, that don't carry a single shoe in my size. The few random sites I came across that did sell shoes in my size in the color I wanted, I went ahead and bought 'em. Got 'em. Tried 'em on. No luck. Paying for shipping to and fro on literally at least a dozen pairs of shoes over the past few months? NOT my idea of fun. It's like throwing money away. But I have no choice!

I finally came across Zappos a few weeks ago. They do have a HUGE selection of shoes, and, believe it or not, actually had several choices in my size in the color I wanted. I had ordered 3 pairs, none of which fit, so I sent them back. The best part? FREE SHIPPING BOTH WAYS! Finally! I felt like there was hope.

On Monday I went back to Zappos and "expanded" my search a bit. I ordered several more pairs, which arrived today. This was my living room seconds after they arrived:

Like a kid on Christmas morning! Yes. Several pairs of shoes. I dropped about $450 on this order (Side note: Hubs got a call from our credit card company to inquire about the charge... LOL!)

After trying on all of these shoes (these are quite literally my last hope!), the very last pair actually fit well enough for me to make do with them! They aren't at ALL what I envisioned to wear with my dress, but I don't have the luxury of being choosy.

All I can say is, Thank Goodness for Zappos! I love the free shipping and returns, and I was actually impressed with their selection of dress shoes for those of us with unbelievably large footsies.

Ahhhh... Crisis averted. Me got shoes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Glimpse at Toddlerhood

My husband is awesome. Seriously! He's been planning on taking the day off today (Tuesday) since Friday, but never said a word about it to me until Monday evening! I was SO EXCITED to hear we'd have one more day together before he headed back to work after the holiday weekend. The best part? Now we were going to be able to take LO to the zoo for the first time! We had originally planned to go to the zoo on Labor Day, but it just didn't work out. It was so perfect to go this afternoon because the zoo was basically empty and we got to roam the place almost by ourselves!

The trip was fun, and we got lots of pictures of the animals and our girl! I'll spare you all by not posting an entire photo album here on the blog, but I did want to share one little glimpse into the "toddler-ness" (i.e. bipolar!) of our little girl!

Exhibit A: So we were at the lion exhibit. It was still early in our trip and the little one was relatively pumped to be there and wasn't in serious need of a nap (yet). She was all smiles and having a fantastic time!

Exhibit A

Exhibit B: I have no idea. Seriously. Is this the same girl? What just happened? Maybe the wind blew wrong or something? Weird.

Exhibit B

Exhibit C: I can just hear what she's thinking: "Mommy, didn't you see me crying? Didn't you? You certainly didn't do anything about it. Should I have been louder? Maybe kick my feet around a bit?"

Exhibit C

Exhibit D: Just listen to her beautiful little brain work: "Sheesh! I guess it's not gonna work with Mommy this time. Guess I'll try again later!"

Exhibit D

Exhibit E: "Weeeee!!! I'm at the zoo!!! I'm watching a big ol' lion! Weeeeeeee!!!!!! I'm lovin' it!!"

Exhibit E

I love this girl like all get out.

Recipe Time!

Lately I've been scouring the Internet for new recipes. I'm tired of the same old chicken! I especially love recipes for my slow cooker. Just dump a bunch of stuff in and forget about it, then have a delicious dinner ready and waiting 5 hours later! I love easy!

One of my favorite recipes growing up was Cranberry Chicken. My mom would make this for us--usually for Sunday lunch after church--and I really loved it! She baked it in the oven over rice, so when it was done, you'd have chicken and rice with a super-tasty cranberry dressing. Yum!

I asked my mom for the recipe. She remembered most of it. Basically everything but the rice part. Sweet! So my next step was to modify it for the crock-pot. Should be super-simple, right? Well, I will admit that the chicken came out delish, but the rice just never managed to cook so the whole thing turned out soupy with crunchy rice. But have no fear! We ended up ditching the rice for my fabulous mashed potatoes (i.e. backup plan).

Since this recipe really is quite good, I thought I might share it with you guys in case any of you are looking for a new and different way to cook the same ol' chicken. Believe it or not, you really don't have to like cranberry sauce to enjoy this recipe. Trust me. Hubs is not a cranberry sauce man but he really likes this dish!

So without further adieu, here is the recipe... with pictures even!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 cup French dressing


1. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry.

2. Place cranberry sauce, dressing and onion soup mix in a lightly greased slow cooker.

3. Mix ingredients well, adding a dash or two of salt and pepper. Add chicken to slow cooker, covering it with the soup mixture.

4. Cook for approximately 4 hours on High or 6 hours on Low.

5. Serve over rice and enjoy! Unless you attempted to include rice and some water in the slow cooker like I originally did, in which case the rice would've come out crunchy and inedible. In this case, whip up some mashed potatoes, top 'em with the cranberry sauce mixture and serve with a veggie of your choice!

NOTE: This recipe makes enough to feed our family of 3 (keeping in mind LO only ate a bunch of corn). When I cook dinner, hubs and I always split a single chicken breast and it's plenty for us. You can use this same recipe but with 2 chicken breasts and it'll come out just fine!
Bon appétit!