Tag Archives: new year’s resolutions

Adventures in Healthy Pt. 2

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Let’s keep it rolling with some healthy recipes I’ll actually eat.  And more importantly, a recipe that I will make again, a true sign of deliciousness.  Erin and I decided that if we were going to run a food prep marathon, we deserved a decent dinner during the process.  We got some fresh shrimp that day so that dictated which meal we were making that night.  We crossed our fingers and attempted to make Shrimp Scampi.  It was a shot in the dark, I’ve made shrimp once, and homemade sauces, like, never.

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Ingredients:

4 tsp olive oil

1/2 lb raw shrimp, deveined without tails

6-8 cloves minced garlic

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup minced parsley

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, then saute the shrimp for 3-5 minutes or until barely pink.  Add the garlic to the skillet and stir constantly for 30 seconds.  Remove the shrimp and keep warm.  In the skillet, add broth, wine, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper and bring to a boil.  Boil until the sauce is reduced to half the original amount.  Pour the sauce over the shrimp and serve on a bed of rice or with fettuccine noodles (we chose the latter).  Garnish with uncooked parsley if you wish.  This makes 2 servings.

I’m here to report it was fantastic.  It might sound crazy but I think this would be perfect for a summer dinner party because it’s so light.  Sangria, scampi, a fabulous dessert.  Yes, I said dessert…because everything in moderation.  If you know of any crowd-pleasing skinny recipes please send them over!  Have a great week yall!

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Adventures in Healthy

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Like I mentioned before, eating in doesn’t always sound so appealing.  When you compare it to the probable sabotage of eating out though, you might be like me and want to find a way to make it work.  Now,  I’m no foodie and I do not have a refined palate.  I’m good to eat a chicken sandwich for dinner from now until kingdom come.  But I figure if I’m going to try to cook some healthy options at home and expect my husband to eat, I’m going to have to venture out of my comfort zone.

So my workout partner, Erin, and I discussed “freezer meals” in an effort to have real food to eat while at work and attempting some healthier recipes in the process.  It was an all day marathon of selecting our recipes, making our list, shopping at 3 different stores, making our dinner, two snacks, and four freezer dinners.  It remains to be seen if all these recipes will be edible…I don’t have much hope for any kind of sauce made from cauliflower but we’ll see.

But right off the bat, we do know there are a couple of recipes that are winners.  Erin really wanted to try these no-bake energy bites.  They remind me of those no-bake cookies I have made in the past.  You know the ones….2 cups of sugar, a ton of butter, cocoa, oatmeal.  Yeah, they’re delicious.  Delicious and terrible for you.  Cue the energy bites.  I could certainly eat those and not feel like I cheated myself out of what I wanted.  And not in that, “I wanted something sweet so I settled for this thing instead, but now my craving really hasn’t subsided because my substitute was no real substitute” sort of way.  Like, it’s a real substitute and can satisfy whatever craving you’re having.

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Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 mini chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Roll into bite-size balls and store in the refrigerator.

Eat in!

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Sometimes, cooking in just will not do.  Either you’re tired or uninspired or craving something you cannot replicate in your kitchen.  I get it, I totally binged on Chinese food the other day.  But with all this gym going and the reintroduction of apps into my life that calculate my caloric intake and nutrition…eating out just isn’t looking all that great.

I had made some easy decisions at the beginning of the year that would impact me at work: I was absolutely not going to eat from the cafeteria unless I had to since everything served to nightshifters is deep-fried and fabulous, I was not going to partake in the fresh doughnut train as it made its way through my unit (which is just about every other day), I was going to pay attention to my fluid intake since I hardly drink anything while working, and I wasn’t going to eat any vending machine treats (a dang Air Head takes more than a 1/2 mile on the elliptical to work off!).  All that was great but then there’s the other battle: if you don’t put any thought into your meals for work you end up packing your lunch and eating for convenience.  That’s almost as bad as all the rest of the things I was trying to avoid.

Truthfully, I would like to attempt some “skinny recipes” too.  But for now, I’m just focusing on increasing cooking and preparing food at home.  Now I’m not about to suggest that this recipe is a healthy option…but it’s certainly not the worst thing for you if you compare it to what you might consume outside your kitchen.  It’s simple and quick and has very few ingredients and that’s perfect.

Rosemary and Dijon Chicken          

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Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Mix mustard, syrup and vinegar together.  In a greased dish, place chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper (minimal salt, lots of pepper).  Pour the mustard mixture over the top of the chicken, coating each piece.  Bake for 35 minutes at 425 degrees.  Add chopped rosemary ( I only used 1/8 of a cup) over the top of each piece of chicken and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Serve warm!

This recipe was husband approved, and that doesn’t happen often with these internet-Pinterest recipes.  I will say though, to use the rosemary sparingly…it’s potent.  Happy cooking yall!

Resolution Pain

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I don’t know about you, but this New Year’s resolution stuff has been a humbling experience so far.  Not quite as humbling as being reduced to tears while completing the initial fit test of Insanity…but humbling nonetheless.  Yeaaaaah, that happened.

D joined a gym and I felt pressured to take advantage of the “free guest” option of his membership.  Not because of anything he did, but for the simple fact that I didn’t know how to avoid the gym anymore.  It’s right down the road from our house, it was free for me, and I don’t always have something better to do.  So against my better judgement, I went.  And I was displeased at the thought of it.  I felt like I was on my way to Globo Gym or into battle.  I just knew there were going to be all these gladiators in there, sweating and hollering and staring at all the lesser ones (me) that shouldn’t set foot in their arena.

Thankfully, none of that stuff was true and overall, it hasn’t been that bad.  Although, there certainly have been some cringe worthy moments for me.  On day 1, I stepped on a treadmill and hit start.  In an attempt to increase the speed…I was changing the channels on the TVs.  What’s worse is I didn’t even know I was doing it until I got off that thing and D asked me what show I was trying to find.  Ugh.  I got on an ab machine and thought it was locked out because I couldn’t make it move.  I made D get on there and unlock it but as it turns out I was going in the wrong direction with the moving parts.  How ridiculous I must have looked.  But I’ve gone back since and I’ve actually gotten my own membership, and I’ve been able to do more in an hour than I’ve done in years.  I’m in pain but I’m proud.  And I’m watching people in the gym to find out how machines are supposed to be used before I make an ass of myself again.

As much as I didn’t want to,  I’m on the gym kick.  And yes I know…some people are so annoyed with people like me since we’re taking up all “their” machines being all “New Years Resolutiony” and all.  Thank god they’ve got willpower though, to hang tough for a few weeks when people like me fall off the wagon.  Or at least that’s what’s been said about a million times across social networking sites.  I noticed it before, and thought it was rude but I ignored it since it didn’t have anything to do with me.  But now, that makes me mad.  I didn’t want to post this for fear of offending someone but I decided I should share my feelings since everyone else seems to do the same with little regard for how it might make someone feel.  It’s not directed at anyone in particular but more of a generalized complaint.  Here goes nothing.

Newsflash: you’re in the wrong place if you think weight machines and treadmills belong to you just because you’ve shown a longer commitment or you’re in better shape.  Thing is, they’re everybody’s machines since we’re in public.  Feel free though, to kick me off the machines in your personal gym.  Dare I say, I think you have a social responsibility to let me use that machine and be happy I’m there trying to make the same commitment you have made.  And it wouldn’t hurt for you to know where the defibrillator is…just for posterity’s sake.

I’m no expert but I think there has to be some happy medium.  Yeah, I agree, you should get off your butt and do something on a regular basis.  Maybe you’re strict enough to pair your physical activity with a limited diet of kale smoothies, egg whites and other gross shit, but I am not.  But that doesn’t give you the right to judge me for eating birthday cake or pizza or convince yourself that I shouldn’t even be in the gym if I’m going to eat that stuff.  There’s no need to be cranky because you want that pizza too and you’re too proud to just admit right out there in the open that eating pizza is fine.  Much to my surprise, there’s a “free pizza day” at my new gym.  I didn’t know what to think of it at first.  At the time it seemed counter-intuitive to put that temptation right in the face of a determined gym-goers.  Then I thought it was actually kind of nice.  It’s nice that they are acknowledging that you can be committed to your health and still have pizza on occasion.  They’re saying, “Hey, we know you eat pizza when you’re not here!”  And I know it probably sounds weird to those of you reading but at least you were at the gym working out and making an effort when you ate the pizza versus sitting at home watching TV and ordering for delivery.  At least you kind of earned it?

Please, don’t be sizing people up in the gym.  Don’t be looking at the weight I’m pushing and criticize me for it.  That shit is CRUSHING me and you could kill my frail little spirit so easily (and I think you know that).  Whatever you’re able to do, that’s great.  Whatever you’re working to achieve…go ahead friend!  In my case, I would love to feel better about myself and enjoy my health.  But I think even more than that I’m hoping for stress relief.   If I found a way to physically rid myself of some burdens then a lot of other things would fall into place.  So before you write me off based on your standards and goals for gym going…try to consider that maybe I’m not aiming for the same things you are.  Our measures for success might not even be similar.

We all have to start somewhere and think before you judge someone that may not be in as great of shape as you.  At some point in your life, YOU were the one in someone’s way at the gym.  You have no idea what battles strangers in the gym face.  Maybe I have a thyroid problem and I’m on medication that makes it nearly impossible for me to lose weight.  Maybe I’m a stay-at-home mother of four and now that all of my children are in school,  I have a few unclaimed hours for the first time in 8 years to take care of myself.  Maybe I’m somebody that’s been on both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between at different times of my life.  Perhaps I’ve been out of shape and overweight, and I’ve been in incredible shape, and I’ve been beaten down from a lengthy eating disorder that still haunts me everyday.  Maybe I’ve been so scared of failing that its kept me out of the gym for far longer than I intended.  You never know, so think before you open your big ole’ mouth.  Your negative attitude can be detrimental.

But conversely, thank you to those of you that have been in the gym for a long time and show us newbies that what we want can be done.  We see you, and even if we try to pretend you aren’t there because we know we’re not worthy, we see you.  You make it not so painful to show up when there’s a million other things we would rather be doing.  And even if you aren’t aware, you’re silently encouraging us all and inspiring better health.  Kudos to you!

Hope you all are still on the wagon, whatever your resolutions were.  Best of luck for continued success.

Here’s to 2014

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Happy New Year guys!  I hope you had a great time celebrating the start of the year ahead with some of your favorite people.  I know I did, but I’ve only got the greatest set of friends on the planet.  I’m really looking forward to 2014 but this year has huge shoes to fill if it’s going to top 2013.  I have so many special memories to look back on!

I’ve done so many things I never thought I would do.  I ziplined, I attended my first college football game, I made it a point to pay it forward, and I took a different promotion at work in the hopes of growing as a person, peer, and nurse.  So many things I tried were completely out of my comfort zone, like this blog for example.  I was afraid nobody would read my blog.  I was afraid people would read my blog and hate the shit out of it.  I was afraid people would think I was an ass for expecting them to read it.  And then I was like, DUH, I want people to read it, and of course people think I want them to read it.  Otherwise I would be writing in a diary.  Hellooooooo.

But you guys have surprised me, by taking any interest in this blawg at all.  Some of you are tried and true friends, some of you are new friends trying to figure me out, some of you are strangers.  Whoever you are, I thank you for reading and I hope you’ll keep coming back in 2014.  I also have to thank you for helping me keep up with my New Year’s Resolutions.  Since I posted it all on the blog, I  assumed someone would know if I couldn’t complete my resolution and I was held accountable.

So just to recap the past year I did something for someone else and something I’ve never done at least once a month.  Here’s what it looked like:

January:  I took my first solitary road trip & I made a memory box for a new nurse and old friend

February:  I first experience with sushi &  I made a  batch of cupcakes for Valentine’s Day to show my coworkers how much I love them

March:  I went on my first zipline tour & I helped make breakfast for my bride-friend and fellow maids on the big day

April:  I tried a new recipe once a week & I donated all my old bridesmaid/prom dresses

May:  I played the Powerball lottery (and lost) & I sponsored a friend in her megatriathalon

June: I painted pottery for the first time & I bought a cookbook as a Creative Pay it Forward gift

July:  I tried on (and bought) my first pair of cowboy boots & I found an obscure concert T-Shirt for D

August:  I had my first experience at a tattoo shop & I gifted a tattoo to my friend for a job well done

September: For the first time ever, I celebrated a cancer diagnosis & I threw a party for my coworkers and friend

October:  I attended my first Pearl Jam concert & I helped throw a 40th birthday party for a friend

November: I actually worked up the courage to karaoke & I made a scarf for a friend’s Creative Pay it Forward Gift

December:  I made my first donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank & I helped throw a party for a friend’s 30th.

I’m hoping for Resolution Success in 2014 too.  This year, I want to focus on taking care of myself…physically, emotionally, and mentally.  I’m really lucky that I am healthy and well, but that’s fleeting…and I know it.  I figured I need to start trying to maintain what I’ve been blessed with.  Now this isn’t your typical, “I’m going to join a gym and I’m gonna lose weight!!” kind of resolution so don’t misunderstand me.  Although D has joined a gym and I plan to go with him and I’m not thrilled about it.  This is a, “go get your eyes checked-use the massage voucher you got two years ago on your birthday-drink more water-run in your running shoes-slow down and smell the roses-don’t fill every second of your life with something to do” kind of resolution.  Wish me luck!  I hope you too, are successful in obtaining your goals for 2014.  Happy New Year!

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Tattoos, Tea Parties and MORE!

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Hey to all you new followers out there, so glad you decided to join in on this little piece of my world!  So happy to have you :).  So, what’s been going on in my neck of the woods for the last bit?  It’s been busy and fun, so I’m gonna give you lots of pictures this post too!  For starters, I finally made it to the Lazy 5 Ranch, the local “drive-thru zoo,” if ya will.  If you haven’t been then you must go, and take me.

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“You come here often?”

Then, I went to the finest bridal shower ever…a TEA PARTY for Jenni-Pho with my girlfrands!  It was beautiful!  A wicked windstorm came out of nowhere (thank you North Carolina!) and made us pack up early, but we still had a blast.

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I had a major craft session/sleep over with my friend Katie.  I sassed up my kitchen and gave a naked wall that’s been bothering me a little something to say.  I would post a tutorial but I feel like you guys know how to trace, cut and glue ;).

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Basically, that took me twenty minutes so it left plenty of time for me to micromanage Katie as she tried her hand at the Scrapbooked Frame.  Awesome results!  This is for the new niece or nephew she’s expecting in the months to come!

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She also dropped off my cookie jar I painted many moons ago and I love it!  Now I just gotta make some cookies!

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Soooo, while I’ve been sprinklin’ glitter and playin’ with my pretty papers…my friend, Jenn, has been preparing for war.  Okay, not war, but a long-fought battle to become an IRONMAN.  She blogs about it too: the charity, the training, and the motivation to do tha damn thang.  She’s pretty spectacular, but she didn’t have to swim 2.4, bike 112, and run 26.2 miles to prove it to me!

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I’m so proud of her and I wanted to pay a little respect and talk about how we celebrated!  She had been talking about how eager she would be to get her M-Dot tattoo after the race, the official signature of an IRONMAN.  So with help from Jason, her husband, D and I made a secret appointment with her tattoo artist.  Coincidentally, I had made the perfect Sauce Jar without even knowing it.  I love it when a plan comes together!

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A VT Maroon-colored lid to honor her Alma Mater and charity, a cute knob with a vintage bike printed on it, atop a jar filled with candy and her appointment card tied to the rim.  Surprise!  We’re takin’ you to get your tattoo!!!!

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I killed two birds with one stone here in fulfilling my New Year’s Resolutions for August.  The tattoo surprise is my “something nice” for the month as well as my “something new” as I had never even stepped foot in a tattoo shop before.  It was a good first experience, didn’t hurt me one bit!

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We contemplated a table full of options and little by little she narrowed her choice down to this fine number:

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And this is how it turned out…awesome tattoo.

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I hope yall have a fantastic weekend.  The Charlotte 49ers are about to make history and we’ve got front row seats.  Talk soon!

Goodbye July!

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This month has been off the chain.  Between meetings, rock shows, home improvements, trying to maintain my resolutions, changes at work, and a long weekend vacation…I’m beat.  So maybe this won’t be a big fat post.  Maybe it will be mostly pictures.  I talk a lot, so we shall see.

I am happy to report I’ve maintained my resolutions for July!  On the way back from one of his shows:

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D and I were talking about concerts.  Pearl Jam is my absolute favorite and it’s been my dream to see them live.  Its been on my bucket list for years, not knowing if it would ever come to pass since they tour infrequently.  BUT we had found out that day that they are coming to Charlotte soon and we bought our tickets as soon as they went up.  That led us to talk about Aerosmith, one of his favorites, and about their concert he went to as a freshman in high school.  He got this awesome concert shirt and he was explaining what it looked like and how bummed he was because it’s been gone for years and he has no idea what ever happened to it.  And that was it.  I figured out how old D was back then, what year the concert had to have been in, what the tour name was, and started digging online for concert shirts from the “Nothing Can Stop this Rock” tour.  I found the olive colored shirt, with the tour dates on the back, the eagle smoking a cigarette on the front surrounded by the Air Force-esque emblem for the Aero Force One fan club.  An awesome vintage shop in the United Kingdom shipped it to me for D’s “just because” surprise.  He was really happy and that put a smile on my face.  There’s my something nice for July.

I also made a trip back to Nashville, this time with D and no snowmageddon.  We had a great weekend!  Here’s what we did, most of which I had never done before so there’s part two of my resolutions fulfilled.  Here we go!

We drove down Thursday so we could go for a morning tour of Noble Springs Goat Farm Friday morning!

We saw lots of chickens!

Never touched a gullet before, but there’s a first time for everything I guess.  Weird.

Spent some time with the boy goats first.  They love the ladies!

That fella loves ladies so much he tried to eat my hair!

Here are three of my best friends with the ladies of Noble Springs!

There’s just a whole lot of lovin’ and bitin’ going on in this picture.  HA!

She was posing all sweet, I love her 🙂

This is Charlie the Barn Cat and he loved all the attention!

On the way back home from the farm we passed this barn.  I totally whined until we turned the car back around.  Who knew such beautiful things were tucked away in the hills of Franklin, Tennessee?  It took my breath away, too bad this photograph does its beauty no justice!

We stopped by The Loveless Cafe for a late lunch before heading back to prepare for the evening’s festivities.

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We went out on the town for a night of fun at THE Bluebird Cafe.  Keep your hand down if you didn’t know about this place until the show, Nashville, made it’s debut.  Legendary performers step foot on that tiny stage every day.

Don Schlitz giving me chills singing some of my old school favorites.  Who would have known?!    Everyone should experience this place.


Then we went into the heart of downtown Nashville to see the neons of Broadway on a fun Friday night.

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Having fun out on the town…

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Belly laughin’ with our friends!

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Then we made new friends!

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Then I had a pepper spray malfunction and Jessica and I suffered the consequences.  Oops.  I can tell you this, I never wanna get pepper sprayed on purpose!  But no worries, we survived!

After brunch Saturday morning, Jess and I shopped while the boys caught some live music on Broadway.  We met up for an awesome dinner at Chuy’s.  So cool!

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Then D photobombed my picture.  And I gave him a typical, “cut that out” face.

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The boys had a proposition for us and explained at dinner that they wanted to go back downtown and buy some new boots since they were on sale.  How often do your menfolk ask you to go shoe shopping?  They twisted my arm, and to the boot store we went!  Here we are afterwards, pleased with our purchases!

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If you’ve never been to Nashville, Tennessee you should consider it.  It’s a great town!  Hope you all have a great week!