Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Mama Foodie!

Just an FYI, folks... I've created a new blog to document our real food journey for two reasons:
  1. I didn't want to bore those of you who enjoy reading this blog by blabbing on and on about food, especially for those of you who are on a different food journey that we are on. I'll continue to post here about the antics of LO and Chase, as well as fun family happenings and whatever else seems interesting and worthy of a blog post.
  2. I feel the process of eliminating junk food and focusing only on real, whole foods is worthy of a blog of its own. I want to be successful in this endeavor and feel that having a specific place on the interwebs to share my thoughts and feelings about food, as well as recipes, photos and the like, will help to keep me honest with myself, my family and my readers.
If you're interested in following along on this food journey, please bookmark my new blog, "A Mama Foodie" (because let's face it: I'm both!) at (or add it to your Reader) and join us!

I posted our Day 5 recap tonight on A Mama Foodie, so check over there if you're interested in hearing about such things as apple oven pancakes (a.k.a. Heaven On A Plate!) and vegetable quesadillas (to die for)!

Just Sayin'...

June 17th, 2011: Mishap of Epic Proportions. For those of you not interested in linking to that post so you understand what I'm talking about, here's the synopsis, along with a photo for evidence purposes:
I went to Trader Joe's. I dropped my iPhone. The screen cracked. Slightly. :o|

Earlier this week, just barely over one year later. June 27th, 2012:
I went to Trader Joe's. I dropped my iPhone. The screen cracked. Slightlyish. :o/

Obviously I cannot be trusted with the combination of Trader Joe's, an iPhone and a parking lot.


That is all.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 4! Hurray!

I had the hardest time figuring out what to do with the kids today! It's supposed to be crazy hot, so we ended up spending the whole day indoors. Boo. But we did break out of this house this afternoon to hit the grocery store, and that was fun something. I had a proud mommy moment when we were in the baking aisle (selecting a white whole wheat flour -- not ingredients for "those" kind of baked goods... sorry to my local readers). LO was reading the episode descriptions from the back of a Dora DVD to Chase, and a random older lady (maybe 60ish?) stopped in awe and asked if she was really reading that?! I said yes, and she was absolutely amazed. She didn't even ask how old she was or if she was in school yet, but walked away chatting to her adult son/friend how she couldn't believe that little girl was actually reading that! I'm so proud of my little avid reader 4-year-old.

Anywho, here's where I'm keeping it real for myself (and those of you who care to follow along):


We had the classic (turkey) bacon and eggs this morning, with a side of fruit. I was sort of lenient with the kids and once they finished their healthy breakfast, I let them enjoy a small leftover pancake (Chase) and a Pop-Tart (LO & Chase). Seriously, it was hard not to allow it considering when I woke up this morning, Chase was standing next to my bed quietly whispering, "Pancake!" as his eyes lit up in excitement. I figure the goal right now is to incorporate more whole foods into our diets, and while I'm trying to stick to 100% whole foods for myself, I think it's okay for the kids to have an occasional splurge on something they were used to eating almost daily up until this week!


Our morning snack was a huge success. The kids had been asking for fruit snacks but I was able to redirect them with a healthier alternative. They had cheese & cracker stackers and grapes with -- get this -- WATER. My kids don't do water ((shame)), so this was a Big Deal for us!

I asked the kids what they thought of their snack. They were both all smiles!!!

My kids drinking water... on purpose... and enjoying it! I can't help but notice that when it comes down to it, honestly, kids will eat/drink what YOU as the parent set in front of them. They may have preferred milk or juice, but today, I only offered water and they went for it! Score!!


Lunch was pretty low-key. A grilled cheese, apple slices, raisins, carrots, whole wheat pretzels and a yogurt for the kids.

I didn't really eat a lunch today per se. I snacked on some of the kids' apple and had a 1/2 cup of applesauce with a flavored water to drink. It's amazing how much less (much less? weird.) I'm eating now that I've eliminated processed foods and am only eating whole foods. I'm hopeful the kids are feeling the same way because they are eating a good bit less than I'm used to. I think we're on the right track!


Mmmmmm. Dinner. As I mentioned, the kids and I hit the grocery store today and stocked up on fruits and veggies like you wouldn't believe! So tonight's dinner was a real treat, IMHO.

I made a pan-seared steak (put some olive oil in the pan 'til hot, sear steaks on both sides, add a pat of butter once seared) then transferred it to a 300° oven to complete cooking, basting it with the butter/oil mixture once.

I also placed chopped zucchini, squash and halved cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then drizzled olive oil over the mix as well as some Mrs. Dash and fresh ground pepper. I placed the vegetables in the oven on a low broil setting for about 10 minutes. ((I had removed the steaks prior to this and allowed them to rest in the pan, covered loosely with foil.))

Finally, I had LO shuck me some sweet corn (YUM!) that we tossed into a pot of boiling water.

Ahem. See below.

This meal was delicious! So light yet filling and full of flavor. I was VERY impressed to see LO eat all of her (two bites) of steak and Chase even ate one of his (tiny) bites! Hubs and I had to coerce LO to try the squash and zucchini, but after she did, she said she liked it! WIN!

I just want to mention that my family has gone WITHOUT any form of bread at dinner for the week and actually survived! I used to serve canned crescent rolls, biscuits, or frozen Texas toast with dinner almost nightly, so this is another big win for us. I'm so proud of me and my family! :))

The weekend is approaching, and I plan to keep my word to the little ones. I shocked n' awed them earlier this week when I said there would no longer be daily desserts after lunch and dinner, but that we would save such indulgences for the weekend from now on. Lo and behold, we all survived! ((To keep it real, hubs isn't 110% on board just yet... he still has his nightly ice cream... but I'm working on that next!))

I've decided our first yummy weekend dessert will be homemade sorbet or frozen yogurt using our new Cuisinart ice cream maker. It rocked some (full-fat, full-calorie) vanilla ice cream a few weeks ago, so I'm certain it'll knock a sorbet or frozen yogurt outta the park! Now to find a good recipe to try...

Thanks for following along on our first week of healthy, whole food eating. I haven't decided if I'll keep going with daily food blogging or just hit y'all with random updates every once in a while... I'll leave it up to whomever chooses to comment in favor or against! ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 3! Yay!

Day 3 is almost complete, and it was another success! Yay!


I tried to get the kids to jump outside of their comfort zone this morning. I made them oatmeal, which they've never had before ((shame)). I eat oatmeal often, but more times than not it's the little flavored oatmeal packet you just add water (or milk) to. I decided we'd all try a new healthy breakfast option.

It didn't help that as I headed to the kitchen to start breakfast, Chase was shouting, "Pancakes!" while LO chimed in with, "Pop-Tarts!" Grrrr.

So I made some oatmeal using this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. I've always used water with my oatmeal, but her recipe called for milk instead. The oatmeal was flavored with a dash of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. ((Note: When I made myself real oatmeal a week or so ago, I used water but topped it with about 1/4 cup of brown sugar! And lots of raisins! It was amazing to eliminate the sugar and find out how sweet it still tasted with just a little honey, cinnamon and vanilla.))

Anywho, I served the kids (and I) oatmeal with a side of toppings for them to choose from: raisins, bananas and strawberries. I chose raisins and bananas:

And the toppings! I thought (hoped, prayed) that by letting them choose their own toppings and "helping" make their breakfast that they'd have more interest in this oatmeal stuff.

LO decided on raisins. I think we got off to a great start! She didn't do her typical complaining about how she "doesn't like it" before even trying it. I was keeping my fingers crossed...

Chase went with bananas and raisins. Again, I was really hoping they'd enjoy their new healthy breakfast option...

Chase took his usual cereal approach and dumped a bunch of milk into his bowl and then tried to drink it... only he wasn't a fan. "No like it," said Chase, over and over again.

LO wasn't a big fan, either. Long story short, they ate some of the banana, strawberries and raisins, but left the oatmeal.


But it's okay! I was super proud of both of them for trying it without any complaining. I'll definitely try oatmeal with them again, and hope for a different response. ;)


Lunch was pretty similar to yesterday, and no pics because we enjoyed our lunch at the pool today! PB&J's, cheese cubes, grapes and apples, along with a fruit strip and some whole wheat pretzels from Trader Joe's. No surprise but I ate leftovers from Tuesday for lunch... again. ;)


Dinner was super simple and quite tasty! I did break my "no processed foods" rule by serving whole wheat pasta, but at least it was whole wheat, right?

So I took one chicken breast (it was all I had defrosted and ready to go -- I would typically use two for a meal like this), cut it into bite-sized pieces, sautéed it in olive oil with some garlic, then added some fresh sliced mushrooms. Then I deglazed the pan with some white wine, reduced it slightly, then added a can of diced tomatoes and a few fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Then I let it it simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes while I waited on the pasta to finish. The kids also had applesauce with their dinner.

I was sorry to see the kids weren't big fans of my dinner. LO ate up her chicken without any problem, but needed some serious convincing to eat her pasta (she's not a big fan of the regular stuff in general, much less whole wheat).

Today's snacks were a bit of a win-lose. I totally won when LO woke up from her nap, asked for a snack, and proceeded to suggest we share a banana and some strawberries. LOVE! The loss came when I sort of caved to Chase and let him have some cheese-filled Ritz Bits crackers. After dinner we enjoyed some popcorn while playing outside, uh, apparently... um, in our pajamas. Don't be a hater! Super Mom over here!!

This day was truly another huge success in my book. I measure success in the fact that I avoided processed foods for myself and my family, and that I'm already feeling So. Much. Better. than I was feeling when eating mostly sweets and highly-processed foods. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another Day...

Another day down, and another day of real, whole food for me and my family (well, mostly just me and the kids since hubs still does his own thing for breakfast and lunch).
I'm very proud of myself and am happy to say I'm feeling So. Much. Better. even after eliminating all processed foods for just two days! It's amazing, and I can definitely see that eating only whole foods keeps me fuller longer.
I'm surprised to admit I haven't experienced any major cravings for sweets, which, if you know anything about me, you'll know that's a pretty big deal!
So I'm sure this is gonna be a pretty boring post for you guys, but I'm keeping myself honest here, so I'm gonna recap what I ate today.


I was quite proud of myself AND my kids this morning! I made bacon and eggs and the kids ate it up (as well as LO's gummy bear vitamin)! Well, LO went to town on it and Chase pretty much just ate the bacon (even though I slightly burnt it... oops!). But it's progress! Seriously, the kids are usually having frozen waffles or pancakes, Pop-Tarts, sugary cereal, cinnamon rolls or donuts for breakfast. See why this is such a big deal for me? Yay!

Morning Snack

I have to brag on the kids again here. We had a busy morning with class at The Little Gym, followed by a few shopping errands. But mommy was prepared! Normally snacks on the go consist of highly-processed fruit snacks, sugary cereal, crackers, chocolate chip granola bars, etc. But today they shared a banana and each had a little box of raisins -- with no complaints! They were happy to receive these whole food snacks in lieu of the junk I typically provide, and it made me so happy! Mommy had a banana for my snack, too! Yay, me!!! ;)


Lunch was easy. For me, it was a repeat of last night's ground beef, black beans, lettuce, tomato and cheese with a side of grapes. Just as delish if not better than the night before! The kids shared a PB&J, some fruit, cheese and a fruit strip from Trader Joe's.

Afternoon Snack

The kids and I shared a large Gala apple for our afternoon snack today. And mommy snacked on additional fruit while I prepared dinner... ;)


Dinner was fun! I decided to do something I haven't done before, and served a "themed" dinner of sorts... Dinner on a Stick! I made oven-baked chicken (seasoned only with salt-free Mrs. Dash and fresh ground pepper), corn cobs, fruit kebabs and cheese cubes. The kids LOVED LOVED LOVED the fun, interesting, exciting, different approach to dinner, and ate better than I've ever seen! They both cleared their plates in record time!

The kids had milk with every meal, and I had water. I was kind of bummed to hear LO had an ice cream sandwich in her class at church tonight, but hey -- whaddya gonna do, right?
YAY for 2 days of healthy eating!!!
So a quick point on my exercise plan: I'm not really focusing on any right now. People, you have no idea how easily I get overwhelmed when I try to do both healthy eating AND exercise -- it's too much and I just end up failing miserably. So instead, I'm trying to get my eating under control and then add the exercise focus later.
So sorry for boring y'all with this food post. I'll warn you that there will probably be more in the days ahead. After all, this is MY blog, right? ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Four(ish) Things

First of all, this has been happening a lot lately and I cannot get enough of it!

Granted it's extremely temporary, and only happens when there is entertainment provided via television.

I swear they smiled right after I took that photo. I think the unexpected flash got their attention, causing the "Whaaa?" look on their faces.

Secondly, I went to see Lady Antebellum (as well as Thompson Square and Darius Rucker) and LOVED it. I can't remember the last time I went to an actual live concert at an actual venue somewhere, but this one was very memorable! Great seats, a great friend, and amazing live music! YAY!

Seriously, our seats were awesome.

Darius Rucker! I didn't realize he was the lead singer from Hootie and the Blowfish until after my friend told me, and then all I could hear when he sang was Hootie. It was pretty cool. He even did one or two numbers from his Hootie days. Sweet!

You totally can't tell, but this stage has Thompson Square, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum on it. They did an incredible number that included all of them. Wicked awesome!

Thirdly, I am on a mission. Well, I'm attempting to be on a mission. One that involves healthier eating. Let me break it down for ya.

My kids eat dessert every day after lunch AND dinner. This is NOT a great habit to get them into (heard of the childhood obesity epidemic in our country??). Furthermore, their meals involve a good 80-90% processed foods with every meal. I mean, I'll add some fresh fruit and/or raw veggies on the side, but the feature is typically a PB&J, pizza, macaroni & cheese, or chicken nuggets with fries.

Mommy of the Year, yes?


It makes matters worse that mommy is typically partaking of the same fare as the kiddos. Healthy? Notsomuch. I've been trying/wishing/hoping somehow I could get the motivation and commitment to eating healthy, but it's never really stuck. I'm really hoping this ends now.

Long story short, I've had miserable, non-stop stomach pains since Sunday. Like the never-going-away-constant-dull-to-significant-pain in my belly. I couldn't help but attribute it to my body finally saying, "Enough is ENOUGH!"

Let's just say I'm pretty sure my darkest moment came Saturday night when my sweet friend and I had dinner before the Lady A concert. Let's just say we shared a dessert (quite likely large enough to serve a small crowd) that consisted of the following:

  • A warm banana, encrusted with potato chips and deep fried (yes, potato chips and yes, deep fried);
  • Ice cream;
  • Whipped cream;
  • Chocolate sauce;
  • Caramel sauce;
  • Strawberries.
Just imagine.

Let me help. Here's a pic from the restaurant's website...

OMG, right??

I was sitting there thinking, I cannot believe I am literally eating a banana that's been rolled in crushed potato chips and deep fried. Tasty and delicious? Sure. Healthy? Not even close.

Anywho, since I've been feeling miserable for a few days, I figure today I would start anew and try to eat only whole foods. I've been very successful -- for a day. We'll see if it can continue.

I know I didn't eat enough today but it's only because my stomach is still pretty upset. But I ate an apple around 10AM, then for lunch it was a few green grapes and the roast beef from Chase's sandwich (Arby's Junior Roast Beef -- he only eats the bread). I ate another apple around 2PM.

For dinner tonight, I made something that we've had often, but tonight I sort of recreated it using only whole foods. We used to do "taco night" with refried beans, loads of cheese, a ton of chips, taco shells, flour tortillas, etc. Not so whole foody, right?

Tonight I made ground beef, black beans (with onion, garlic and cilantro), lettuce, tomato and a tiny bit of cheese, with a side of grapes.

I used a smaller plate to make the portion size seem a bit larger, and promised myself beforehand that I wouldn't allow seconds. This worked out well today, again, because of my poor, ailing tummy.

Yummy, fresh, whole food! What a concept!

I'm already prepared for my late night snack attack (after the kids go to bed, so after 9PM -- the worst time to eat/gorge on sweet foods). Tonight it will be a banana or a small bowl of plain popcorn.

I plan to try to stick to my whole food focus (not diet), but I'm thinking breakfast and lunch will be much harder for me. Besides eggs, turkey bacon and oatmeal, I don't know what other options I have for breakfast (any ideas?). And lunch used to be whatever was quick and easy to make, but now I'm thinking it will involve some thought/planning. I already know tomorrow's lunch will be leftovers from tonight, which I'm super happy about.

I'm also planning to eliminate the desserts and baked goods (insert GASP! here). I told the kids we'd only have dessert on the weekends (Sat. and Sun.) and only after dinner. I think going from 14 weekly desserts to 2 is a pretty good improvement, right?

I will also be upping my water intake tremendously.

I'm pretty picky about food, so I'm not sure how well I'll do expanding my horizons and trying new foods that I previously wouldn't have ever considered. Take, for example, the fact that earlier tonight I quite literally googled, "how to learn to like eating fish." I figure fish is pretty healthy, but oh how I can't stand fish! Have I ever actually tried fish? No. But I don't like the idea of scales and skin and bones. I think I'll make it my goal to purchase, cook and eat fish ONE TIME before the end of 2012. I'll keep ya posted on that one. ;)

How much of your diet is real food vs. processed food? Have you ever wanted to incorporate healthier foods and habits to benefit yourself and/or your family? I would definitely recommend visiting Lisa Leake's blog 100 Days of Real Food for excellent resources pertaining to eating healthy, whole foods. She's got a ton of meal ideas and recipes that I'm certain I'll be referring to often!

My goal is to eat healthier, feel better, and set a better example for my kids (and husband). I'm hopeful that a little bit of weight loss will accompany these lifestyle changes, but I'm NOT making that my focus right now. The name of the game is getting healthy!

((Please note I didn't mention the evil word "exercise" in this post. That was on purpose. Exercise sucks. More on that later.))

Lastly, I'm taking this entire week off from work. It's wonderful! It's like life-before-my-part-time-job-got-in-the-way FUN! LO was VERY pleased to know I'll be home EVERY night this week -- to be able to eat dinner together as a family, to read her bedtime story(ies), etc. She hates it when I go to work but HURRAY for a whole week of family togetherness like it used to be!

Okay, one last thing... Speaking of time off from work, I was off this past Saturday so hubs and I (okay, mostly hubs) FINALLY put another day of work into cleaning up and organizing our garage. I'm happy to announce that ((...drumroll please...)) we can now officially park BOTH of our cars in the garage! Yay! Happy days!!

Okay, that's it for now. No, really. I'm out.

((sorry for the super-long post))

Now I'm out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hide n' Seek

I love it when LO and Chase play nicely together, and I saw this happening a good bit today. One thing they do very nicely together is play hide n' seek, although apparently Chase doesn't mind being the "seeker" and not the "hider" -- like, ever.

I just love listening to him count to ten followed by a "Ready or not, here I come!" He's so precious!

And I love the fact that he "forgot" to actually seek out LO after counting, because there was a stool precariously placed in the middle of the living room floor and, well, a toddler boy needs to jump off of it at least once before going about his day. ;)

Oh, and please kindly disregard the boxes still tucked away in the corner of the living room... I'm getting around to unpacking them, I promise.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blog Dump

Due to my complete lack of motivation today, I'm posting a blog dump of completely random stuff. Enjoy!

So I'm getting ready to contact our HOA Management Rep for the FIFTH TIME today. I've contacted her four times over the past 2 months about the state of our community playground. There's two ginormous holes, one of which Chase fell into head first and was (obviously) unable to get himself out.
I know it doesn't look like it, but this hole is about 2 feet deep and has had standing water in the bottom of it for weeks.

There's another hole by the picnic table that I feel is another safety hazard. You can't see it very well, but the hole underneath the railroad tie extends into the mulch area as well.

 The latest and greatest find was a huge collection of wild mushrooms. I have no idea if they're poisonous or not, but they are All. Over. The. Playground. UGH!

I first called our HOA contact about 2 months ago. She said she'd have the gardening crew out to fill the holes. About 2 weeks later, I called her back to tell her they still haven't been out to fix them. Then about another 2 weeks after that call, the landscapers came by and essentially put an inch of new mulch over the playground... not bothering to fill the holes.

Rather than call the same lady, I left a message with another rep from her office, hoping she could get the ball rolling for me. Sadly, our HOA contact returned that call (rather than the one who I left a voicemail with) and said she'd have them out ASAP to fix the issues. I clearly mentioned there were TWO holes to fill and now also gross mushrooms that needed to be removed as well.

Later that day, I was at the pool with the kids and my mom, and we noticed a guy on the playground. People, he essentially filled the one hole by the slide (that Chase fell into) with MULCH and left.

I'm serious.

So as of right now, we still have a huge hole by the picnic table, and we still have grody mushrooms everywhere. And I'm pretty sure that hole by the slide that was filled in with mulch will be dug out again by some of the older kids that use the playground. Lovely. So I'll be calling the HOA management company again... for the FIFTH time.


Speaking of Grrrrr, can I just say that somehow our kitchen has become infested with gnats?! Nasty, right?!?! I have no idea how or when it started, but we are desperately trying to get to the root of the problem and get it taken care of. We found online where people said to mix a few drops of dish soap with apple cider vinegar, cover with cling wrap and poke some holes in it, and it will attract the gnats in, but they can't get back out. It's worked like crazy, and we've had dozens of gnat carcasses end up in the dish. But they still keep coming!! We've temporarily eliminated our recycle bin, are keeping the trash emptied often, and have been cleaning the crap out of the kitchen. It's SO frustrating because it seems like we've had one thing after another that's kept me from using my gorgeous kitchen (we had an ant problem, then the backsplash project that took 3 weeks, and now gnats), so I'm just not cooking or baking NEARLY as much as I'd love to! VERY frustrating!!!!!!

On a happier note, I did get myself into the kitchen Sunday morning to make some homemade blueberry waffles for Father's Day. It was a recipe from Williams-Sonoma that was pretty good, but probably not one I'd use again. The kids and I woke daddy up around 8:30 AM to bring him breakfast in bed. Yum!

After breakfast, it was present time! Mommy Daddy is now the proud owner of a Cuisinart ice cream & frozen yogurt maker! Woot! Also, I'm pretty sure I picked up a gift for daddy that is quite possibly the FIRST purchase for daddy to use in the house. I've bought a ton of things for the house that I wanted, but I finally picked up something from daddy's very short wish list -- an extending shaving mirror. He's so easy to please!

After presents we finally went to see Madagascar 3 and we all loved it! Then it was home for lunch and naps, followed by a family trip to the pool! We had a wonderful day and I truly hope hubs enjoyed his day and knows how special he truly is.

Oh, and of course I can't forget his Cold Stone cake... chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream with Reese's peanut butter cups, Butterfinger and Heath mixed in, surrounded in chocolate ganache with chocolate curls around the outside and topped with more peanut butter cups! It was DELISH! Of course there wasn't time to take a photo of the actual cake before it was demolished, but it looked kind of like this, only waaaaay better!

My last random rambling point has to do with Groupons, but I feel that it deserves a post of its own, so stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I'm so totally stoked that my Baker's Rack arrived a whopping SIX DAYS earlier than estimated! Yay! I spent some time Tuesday before work putting it together, but was only able to get the bottom buffet server piece completed. Then yesterday I was able to add the hutch to it and call it done! I will admit I was a bit disappointed with the color of the metal. On the website it looked straight up silver, but it's actually a brushed antiqued pewter finish. Not horrible enough for me to hate it, but definitely slightly annoying. I also decided that since I was putting it together, I could take creative liberties with the process. Since we are NOT wine drinkers, and I usually keep my cooking wine in the cabinet or fridge, I decided not to install the wine rack below the main shelf/drawers. I also chose to leave off the wine glass rack from under the top shelf as the only "fancy glasses" we have are essentially water goblets that I figured would be a bit too large for the rack.

Once it was together, I started to gather items to put on it. Of course I started with my cookbooks, and was surprised to see that I didn't have quite as extensive a library as I thought I did. We're talking about half a shelf's worth. I was a bit surprised but honestly, I find so many of my recipes online these days that it makes sense.

So next I proceeded to find some other knick-knacks and miscellaneous stuff to put on it. And I even admit, I googled "what do you put on a baker's rack" for more inspiration. I might add a few more things to the main shelf, and grab my placemats & napkins to put in the drawers. But I'm not sure what to do with the bottom shelf. I don't really want to pull out actual baking stuff  for it (such as my smaller Kitchen-Aid mixer or food processor or blender) since I have plenty of storage space for that stuff elsewhere. I'm leaning towards adding two wicker baskets to the bottom shelf, but again, I'm not sure what I'd store in them. Maybe some of the kids' baking tools and supplies? Geez. I didn't expect this to be such a challenge! At least it looks pretty, right?

Here are some pics...

Sorry for the crappy lighting, especially on this first one. ;)

See how the finish isn't overly silver-y? Bummer.

I'll probably find a few more things to add to this main shelf below the cookbooks.

And finally, the sad, empty bottom shelf.

These are the kind of wicker baskets I was thinking about using on the bottom shelf. Still just not sure what to put in 'em.

I'm super glad to have my Baker's Rack and I look forward to filling it up with handy, useful baking-related stuff!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Hubs and I got up at 7:00 AM this morning for a workout. Keep in mind... we typically roll out of bed only after the children have forced us up, sometimes as late as 8:30 AM or so. But we've both been complaining (me more than him) about how tired we are, how out of shape we are, how overweight we are, etc. So we decided we'd torture ourselves workout together with the hope of creating a new morning routine that would benefit both of us on many levels.

Now, me being the crazy person overachiever that I am, I decided it would be a fantastic idea to bust out one of my workouts from when I was working with a personal trainer... 2 years ago. It's true -- it has been every bit of 2 years since I did a hardcore workout, complete with all the sweat (and tears) that goes along with it.

Greatest idea ever?

Probably not.

So the workout begins with warmup cardio. I chose to complete a mile on the treadmill at 3.5 - 4.5 mph. To keep myself honest, here's my Nike+ run from this morning:

A shameful 18 minute mile. I'm trying not to beat myself up, considering I used to be able to knock out a mile in about 8 minutes when I was working out consistently, working with my trainer and running 5K's. But it's okay. It's been 2 years. Just keep making little steps in the right direction (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

So now the pure madness begins. Check it:
  • Walking Lunges - holding 5 lb. dumbbells overhead

  • Wall sit - 30 seconds

  • Push-Ups - 15 (yes, I admit I did 'em girlie style...)

  • Plank - 30 seconds

Repeat above set 3 times with a 1 minute rest between each round.

Rest 2-3 minutes before beginning the next set:
  • Squats - 15, holding 5 lb. dumbbells overhead

  • Lateral Raises - 15, with 5 lb. dumbbells

  • Side Planks - 15 seconds each side
Repeat above set 3 times with a 1 minute rest between each round.

Cool down cardio. By this point I was uncontrollably convulsing on the floor, so I considered that to be a rather effective cool down.

Holy madness, Batman! I can safely say I was fully expecting to be crazy sore for the next day or so. What I didn't expect was for the soreness to begin within 15 minutes of completing my workout! Seriously people, I can barely make it up/down the stairs or lift my arms. At all. It's so sad how out of shape I am!!!

After my workout, I made a relatively healthy breakfast (this is where I have trouble... knowing what is truly healthy and what is not). Anywho, here's what breakfast looked like for me (courtesy of my food & exercise tracking app,

So while today started out great, I'm afraid it's gonna go downhill pretty quickly. Seriously people, I am almost completely immobilized. My legs. My arms. My everything. Can't move.

Good thing I have a rest day tomorrow before I hit this workout again Wednesday morning.

((help me!))

Sunday, June 10, 2012

LOL, Hubs!

So I worked on Saturday until 6pm, and when I came home, it seemed hubs was very pleased with his awesome day of knocking out stuff from his "honey do" list (while caring for two kids, no less). Yay, hubs!!

Then I took a closer look...

Let me mention a little backstory here first so this makes sense. About 4-6 weeks ago, not long after we moved into the new house, I stopped into a local Sherwin-Williams paint store to pick up some touch-up paint. I knew that Ryan used two colors: a whitish flat wall paint and a whitish gloss trim paint. Nice and specific, eh? Anywho, I told the paint store guy I needed the standard, basic Ryan colors -- a gallon of wall paint and a quart of trim paint. I told him I didn't have a paint chip or anything with the specific color, but as soon as I had mentioned "Ryan Homes" he went on a merry little mission to gather the items I needed. Apparently no paint chip or paint color was needed -- he knew what to do since Ryan purchases all of their interior paint from Sherwin-Williams. I should note there wasn't a lot of dialog taking place during my visit. Boy was I surprised to find out I had just purchased over $60 in paint, though. Geez.

Fast-forward to yesterday (Saturday). Along with a few other items from the punch list, hubs decided to knock out the touch-up painting. Using the paint I previously purchased. From the chatty guy at Sherwin-Williams. Who knew exactly what I needed. Remember?

Imagine my surprise (and the humor that followed) as I wandered through the house to check out hubs' handiwork.


I couldn't stop laughing!

((Side note: There's a really annoying black spot on all of my photos... obviously something on my iPhone lens. You can be sure I'll get this taken care of ASAP!))  ;)


Poor hubs. I can't imagine what he was thinking as he was painting and the color was so much whiter than the existing wall color. I know he had to have thought it was just because the paint was wet and it would dry darker. But I can't believe he went about his task and hit almost Every. Room. In. The. Entire. House. to touch up the walls. It was very unlike him not to verify one small spot before moving forward to knock out the entire house.

As you can imagine, hubs made his way to Sherwin-Williams today to have a little chat with the guy (not the same guy). Let's just say Ryan uses a flat wall paint called "Divine White." The gallon Mr. Chatty sold me several weeks ago? "Dover White."

The best part of all of this? Hubs met a fellow new Ryan Homes homeowner at the paint store, who asked him if he used the coupon for free paint that Ryan provided in our "Welcome Kit."


Thankfully hubs was able to knock out the touch-ups to his touch-up painting in only 30 minutes or so. Whew!

I'll wait 'til morning to see if it actually matches this time or not. ;)