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Yeah, Like That Worked!

So my End Of Year Resolution didn't quite make it past day two.

So here is my next idea for New Year's Resolutions.

I got this in an email and had to share!

Words for Women to Live By

1. Aspire to be Barbie - the bitch has everything.

2. If the shoe fits - buy them in every color.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt... A wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

4. In need of a support group? - Cocktail hour with the girls!

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days).

6. When life gets you down - just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

9 Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

10. Don't get your knickers in a knot; it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. When life gives you lemons - buy some Coronas. (Not really me, but maybe for you!)

12. Forget about the perfect man - he's living in San Fran with his boyfriend.

13. Keep your chin up, only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest.

14. If it has tires or testicles it's gonna give you trouble.

15. By the time a women realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she's wrong. ( Yay! I have a boy!)


End of year resolution

I've always bailed on traditional New Year's Resolutions. I guess the Christmas season comes and goes so quickly, that January is all of a sudden there and I hadn't had time to even think about a resolution. So instead of stressing about it, I just don't resolve to do or not do a single thing.
This year I'm trying something different. I'm calling it an End of the Year Resolution.
It will start December 1st. As I write this post, it is less than 30 minutes from being December first. Still kind of last minute, huh?
Anyway, I figure if I get the hang of this resolution by the time January hits, I've got it IN THE BAG!!
What do I resolve?
I resolve to track every morsel I put in my mouth. Every bite, lick and taste. ( thank you Weight Watchers)
I also have a "cleaning schedule" in my calendar so I do one or two things a day. Sometimes nothing is scheduled, but then I'm not stuck with hours of cleaning on the weekend. I've kind of gotten away from that.
I resolve to do the chores on the day I've scheduled them and not let them pile up.

Do you make N.Y. Resolutions?

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Location:State of Insanity



Have you heard of

I love it!! It's a great concept. Here's a bit of their history.

I have found some really great things on it and have helped folks get some things they need as well!

One of the many things I've found, and it never occurred to me that I would, was friendship.

There was a gal on there who was posting a lot of stuff. Lots of kids stuff, so I was keeping my eyes peeled for anything for Josh. The reason I remember her is that her name is Stephanie. Great name!!
Anyway, I went to her house to pick some things up a few times. Turns out she lives just 3 blocks away. Easy and on the way to the park so Josh and I can multi task!

One day we decided we really need to get our boys together for a play date. Her son, Logan, will be 3 next month and mine just turned 2.
They ADORE each other!
Josh will wake up from a nap and when he used to say Dada or Mama he now says "Gogan?? Gogan??" He really likes playing with Logan!

Steph and I have a great time together too!
Back in May, Steph and her sister Jen ( I know, it's too weird right?) started walking and biking a 3 mile route every other day. Biking one day and walking the other.
I met Steph in mid August I think. They had each lost a considerable amount of weight from this. I'm so shy, I just blurted out, " Can I come too?"
They didn't mind at all and their duo became a trio.
Neighbors along the route commented that they were multiplying. Cool that people noticed. They really HAD walked every day!

It's been getting cooler out and darker earlier so we've been discussing getting a gym membership.
Cha ching!!! Bells and whistles going off in my brain. Good news is that we found a gym with a super decent fee and at the time of our enrollment ( a week ago today) there was zero enrollment fee!! Sweet!

We had a physical evaluation with a trainer. After answering a ton of questions and getting some measurements, I was informed that to get to an average body composition I would need to lose 49 pounds. I was floored!! He wasn't telling me I had to lose 100 pounds!! whoo hoo!! I have had a goal weight in my head for a long time now. Not a small number, but I remember looking good and feeling good at that weight. Losing 49 pounds now would bring me 10 pounds away from achieving that!

So we've been using the treadmills and elliptical and the weights. They have free day care for your first child at the gym as well. Yes!! I can work out in the morning some days!! Josh loves the play room too! It's a huge win win!!

I weighed myself today. I know it's a few days from "that time of the month" and I haven't lost a single pound, but I am not discouraged. I have 2 new friends who double as work out buddies and one of my neighbors has been using a guest pass
for a few days at the gym and might join as well. We are filling another neighbor in on the idea of joining the gym and it's possible I could have 4 work out buddies soon!

I really needed to get some inspiration to lose weight. Steph and Jen are it. Between the two of them, they have lost more than 60 pounds since May. Steph and I are getting to be pretty good friends as well.
God does answer prayers. It killed me to not have any friends down here. The people I did meet were always working or busy with family life.
That really made me miss my Green Bay friends.

Thanks Freecycle!!!


Hey Ladies...

Is it just me? After a long day, is there anything better than that moment when you take your bra off and all the stress of the day seems to come off with it???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Frustration gets the best of me.

Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (for pure convection, adjust accordingly; I used 310 F on convection). Grease cookie sheets, or line them with parchment paper or use a Silpat (which is what I did).

Sift the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.

Mix the sugars and butter just until thoroughly mixed, then add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix until creamy. Add the sifted ingredients and mix until just blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks, then drop dough 1/4 cup at a time on a cookie sheet, about 3 inches apart, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Leave them on the cookie sheet to cool a bit when removed from the oven (this is important… they fall apart if you move them too quickly). Once they cool a few minutes, remove the cookies to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Or eat them right away, with milk!

Hair Ordeal. Part 3

So here I go again.
In limbo waiting for the next hairstylist to drop into my lap.
I'm thru with hunting. I am beyond frustrated.

About 3 or 4 months after my class reunion, I was getting anxious for a new "do".
I mentioned this to Julie and she told me she needed to try this new place that was in town. ( Her town, not mine. We live about 20 min. or so apart.) Scott's HQ Salon.
She tried it. When I saw her hair I thought it was the BOMB!!! :-)
I thought that I could give that guy a shot with my straight, fine, boring hair.
When I called, I of course wanted to be seen that day or the next.
Scott said he didn't have any openings, but one of his gals did. Ana.
He promised she was great.
Boy was she ever!!
She asked me what I wanted to do. I told her to have fun. I wanted it shorter and I was bored with the color. The rest I left up to her. This is before.

And this, my friends, is after! My hair has NEVER been this cute! This is "Rena worthy" hair! ( great friend who always has great hair dos! )

Ana, you are amazing!!
So I've been to see her a couple of times now. I'm still in that 4-6 month mindset.
My hair still rocks. I think it was about 3 or 4 weeks after one of my visits to Ana, some lady came up to me as church was being let out. I have no idea who this woman is. We have a very large congregation. I hardly know anyone. :-)
Anyway, she came right up to me and said, "I just had to tell you that I just love your hair! Everything about it, the cut the color, everything!"
Wow! That really made my day!!! I thanked her a few times I think!

I was pleased to know that after 3 weeks, I could still style it so it looked great!!
So you'd think my story was over. That would be too easy.

My little family was visiting Julie's family and she said, " Oh yeah, Scott's HQ is moving. Well at least Scott is." Something about the rent being increased.
I just about freaked out. No no no no no!! This can't be happening!!!!

She said that he was taking one girl with him to the new place where he would be renting a chair for awhile. She wasn't sure, but thought it was Ana.
I just called today and left a message to find out for sure. I may be needing a hair cut in the next 2 or 3 months and I'd just like to know.

So when I find out, you'll find out.


My Hair Ordeal. Part 2

So off to Illinois I go!!
I dread looking for new stylist!!! I had last seen Cindy in April. Just before my wedding.
Now keep in mind that I am used to going every 6-8 weeks.
That would put me somewhere in June.
Well, by the time I came to terms with the fact that Cindy's schedule ( now Tuesday through Thursday ) and my weekend trips of Friday through Sunday were never going to accommodate a hair cut. I decided to start looking for salons.
Did I mention it's October? 6 months!!! not 6 weeks! I have been living in "hair hell"!

Well I found this nice little shop up in Antioch. I drive to Antioch for church and Keith's brother and sister in law live up there. It's a really quaint little downtown area.
I went in thinking I want to have a perm so I can grow it out. Then I wouldn't need to come in so often. Which would work out especially well if this gal turned out to not be so great. I hate telling stylists that I want a perm. You'd think you were asking them to
give you a mullet!
So I just kept my mouth shut about that and told myself to let this gal do what she thought was best. Well to a certain dollar amount!

So after looking at my hair and touching it she suggested a texture wave.
Texture wave? What on earth is that???? Some new fangled thing?
So I asked her if it was anything like a perm. She leaned over and whispered " we don't call them that anymore." It was sort of like we were at some big soiree and she was instructing me on who to talk to and who not to talk to and that I shouldn't belch in public.

I was relieved though. She actually told me that I should get what I wanted and I hadn't even told her!
Sweet! Things went well, she was fun and my hair looked great!
I booked a trim for December.

I was in the grocery store when they called to confirm. But they told me the name of
some other gal. I said no, not Summer ( or what ever they said) but with Lisa.
Well, Lisa was no longer with them. Kill me now! I found a great stylist right off the bat and she was ripped away from me just like that??? Forget it!!

I told the gal on the phone I really wanted to see Lisa and as that wasn't going to happen I cancelled my appointment.
I wasn't able to get any info on where she went or if she was even doing hair anymore.
I was bummed!

Well it's February. I get an email. It's from Lisa! She's opened her own shop!!
I booked right away! If you remember, it had been October since my last cut. I was doing better, 4 months instead of 6.

Again, fabulous job. I booked another appointment.
I called in March to see if I could change my appointment around a little.
They were glad I called. Lisa was no longer there. Well they said a temporary leave of absence.
I calmly cancelled my appointment and sat at my desk, dumbfounded.

I needed to get in before Easter. The good news is I was headed to Green Bay and I'd be there on Thursday before Easter. I called my mom to see if she could bribe Cindy to get me in that day.
We have a winner folks!! 3 pm!! I think she normally leaves at 3, but I can't say for sure. Yay yay yay!!

So I'm good again for awhile til I find someone else!!

I was introduced to a colleague of Keith's the summer before we had Josh.
Julie. She had just had a baby in March. Her first as well.
Julie and her hubby and Keith and I got together a few times.
Julie's hair is always awesome. So I asked her where she goes. She told me his name is Alex. I'd never had a guy do my hair before. Can't hurt right? I mean really, what could be worse than "bomb scare hair"?

So Julie and I booked back to back appointments. Our hubbies were home with our boys. We were out doing girly things. It was like heaven!

Alex did a super job!! Oh and that guy at the shampoo bowl? He really knows how to massage a scalp!! Bliss!!!

I continued to see Alex. By now I'd gotten used to going about 3 times a year.
Alex moved from his current salon to one in Barrington. That's about 30 minutes from my house, but so is everything else. So I headed out to Barrington.

It's July. I need help!!!

Alex saves the day!

And I'm good again for awhile. I called him in August and told him my 20 year class reunion was in September and I want it colored and highlighted or whatever. I just wanted to look great! He told me that he'd call me back the following week to book it.
Never did.
I was bummed again!! So I didn't nothing exciting with my hair for the big event.
Keith and I actually left early. Very early :-)

So back to square one finding a stylist.
I guess I should stop now and give you a part three soon!!

Yes, the saga continues!

My Hair Ordeal. Part 1

Ages and ages ago I was referred to a stylist by a friend. Cindy at the Haus of Hair.
She was great! Although it was 90's hair, not a lot of flair needed.
Anyway, I always went in, got my hair cut, colored or permed ( I know you
are laughing right now, who gets perms? I did! ) and then booked
my appointment for 6 or 8 weeks out. ALWAYS. If you didn't, you
had a difficult time getting in before it was shaggy looking or your
skanky roots were showing.

I'm not sure what transpired, but one time I didn't make that appointment.

Of course, I decided I was having a "hair emergency". Which for me means I am
frustrated beyond belief with my hair and I need a change. NOW!
Well it was Saturday afternoon. Not too many places open and if they are, not for long!
Cindy works Tuesday through Friday. No chance of getting in there.
So I opened the phone book to see what was at the closest mall.
Master Cuts and Regis.
I hemmed and hawed then finally went with Regis because in Green Bay ( at the time anyway) they had a reputation for being the best. Master Cuts I hadn't heard anything of so they lost.

Turns out there was an opening and I snagged it! Sweet!!

The gal who I was scheduled with brought me to her chair. Sort of in the back and hidden from view of the mall. Great with me. Although I could have people watched during my appointment, I didn't need anyone staring at me while I was getting my hair cut.
That was all I could let someone other than Cindy do.
I felt sneaky for scheduling with someone else. I was so loyal to Cindy!
So about five minutes into my haircut, the stylist tells me that she is in a hidden chair
so no one sees that she is working. Something about losing government money because they think she isn't working.
Seriously??? You tell people this?? What if I was working for what ever government
office or department that was sending you this money? Geesh lady... close your mouth NOW!!

I just nodded my head and said it wasn't a problem. In my head I said, " Just quit the chit chat and get this hair cut on the move!" She had a difficult time cutting and talking at the same time.

She went on to tell me that she and her hubby or boyfriend or whatever were going to declare bankruptcy. They had just bought a whole living room set at Montgomery Wards ( this tells you how long ago it was!) and made a payment on it. She seemed to think if they had "intent to pay" they wouldn't get it taken away. I have no idea.
What I did know was that she should shut that mouth of hers. Oh, and get on with my haircut!

I think she finally caught on that I wasn't the most talkative type.
You all know I am, but I either couldn't get a word in edgewise or chose not to.
I can't remember that part.

I do remember what happened next. Between the mirrors I saw a mall guard come up to the desk and start chatting with the receptionist. I remember thinking that nothing changes. When I worked at the mall downtown, the guards always stopped by to chat.
Nice job, huh?
Apparently this wasn't the friendly chit chat I assumed it was. The receptionist came over and said we needed to vacate the mall as there was a bomb threat. What???
BOMB THREAT????? You've got to be kidding me!!!!!!
I looked in the mirror and guessed this stylist was about halfway done. UGH!! Now what?
Well, the manager of the shop said they were going to conduct their staff meeting in the parking lot. The stylist says, what about my client?
Bring a chair, cape, water bottle and scissors. We'll do it during the meeting. In the PARKING LOT.
So you remember that part up there where I said I didn't need anyone staring at me
during my hair cut?
Well in the parking lot, I didn't just get stares, but cat calls and jokes. It was so great!

Oh and did I mention it was windy? Not just your casual breeze, but hey, I think there's a storm moving in kind of windy. Mind you I can't see what she's doing. There isn't a mirror in this parking lot.
A little bit later the stylist asked her boss if she had to charge me. Thankfully she said no. I thanked them and took off for my car as fast as my legs could take me there!

So you know Cameron Diaz's bangs in that scene from Something About Mary?
That was exactly like mine were! Oh man!!!
I couldn't cry for laughing, but oh, I wanted to cry!!!
I looked up at Heaven and thanked God for his sense of humor. This is what I get for
not booking in advance, huh? :-)

After I got home and saw the mess that was my hair and made my mom check out the back, I knew what I had to do.
Sunday I called the salon and asked her to finish my cut. It was choppy and wild and well, not a finished cut.
So I went in. Same girl. Same chair. Whatever. Just fix it.

After a minute or two I hear the dreaded phrase, "I'm just gonna change this in the back" which translated means, "wow! I really messed this up!"
I just sat there in silence. I think she got the idea.

Needless to say, Tuesday I called Cindy and scheduled an appointment.
When I came in for it I told her all about the fun I had.
I completely learned my lesson!!

I continued to go to Cindy for all my styling needs and always booked my
appointments in advance. She even got a few clients that I referred her way.

Three years ago this past May, I got married to the most wonderful man!
Small problem is that I had to move away from Green Bay and Cindy.
It's a three hour drive. Initially, I thought, " why not just stay with Cindy? I'll be back here all the time!"
Yeah right!!

Part 2 continues with my search for the perfect stylist in Lake County, IL.
Stay tuned~

Fourth of July Treats!

Here's what I'm bringing to the party tomorrow!
I have to tell you, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets is
my pastry blender. I use it for so much more than I thought I ever would!

Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!

Apple and Raisin Crisp
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped ( you bet your booty I skipped this! )

4 pounds pippin or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 1/2 cups golden or brown raisins ( I love to use Craisins instead!)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 9 x 13 1/2-inch glass baking dish.

For Topping:
Mix old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, all purpose flour, ground cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add unsalted butter and rub into mixture until coarse crumbs form. Mix in chopped walnuts.

For Filling:
Combine sliced apples, raisins, sugar, fresh lemon juice, flour and ground cinnamon in large bowl. Mix well to blend. Transfer apple-raisin filling to prepared dish. Spread topping over. Bake until topping is golden brown, about 55 minutes. Serve crisp warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.


What phrase really grates on your nerves?

I want you to go back with me.
Back to the day or night that you first heard the phrase,
"I know, right?"

Now, relax and breathe. In and out. In and out.
Wipe that whole freakin' day from your memory!!!

I want to know who said it first. I want to know if it was a
TV show or what. If it was a show, I want it banned.
If it was just some individual, I want him/her to take a
vow of silence.

Grrrr!!! No please, don't say it again!!!

It's so much worse than "Gag me with a spoon" ever was!!

My hubby told me a long time ago that he really gets irritated when I say,
"My bad!"
I've mostly quit saying that, I think. I'm sure he'll let
me know!

So, what phrase or word is bugging you?

I need advice!!

I know you want to help. I'm sure of it.
So I lay my "problem" at your feet.

I was tired of hoisting up my capris and shorts that were
a bit too big. Even though I told myself to tough it out, I
talked myself into ( this didn't take much talking) buying
a new pair of shorts or capris or SOMETHING.

So there I am at 9 pm. In the store trying on all sorts of shorts of all lengths
and capris and I am mostly frustrated.
I am enjoying picking things out in my "new" size, but I am perplexed about
what happened to pants that came up to a gal's waist.
Where did they go? I couldn't find a single one on the rack.
I'm still in a plus size, this can't be all there is? Mid rise?
Lo rise?

Granny panties over here!!! I like my full briefs. I just feel more comfortable.
They don't roll down ( hipsters ) and they don't creep up or in (bikinis and thongs ).

Where is a gal supposed to shop for jeans that will cover said panties? I may be pushing 40, but I'm not ready to dress all frumpy like.

So unless the up and coming trend is for big ol granny panties to be seen at the waistband ( using that term loosely!!) like the thongs were ( are?) I'm going to
need some insight!!
I really don't want to have to change my big bad briefs. :-)

Oh, and I have a belt for those bigger pants, I am just not a fan of wearing it.

In the meantime, I will be wearing longer shirts over my new capris. Apart from the whole Granny Show, I think they look pretty darn good on me!!

So, where should I be shopping to find not so granny, Granny capris?


Saturday's Menu

Breakfast was a bowl of yummy bran cereal with banana on it while baking this yummy

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

1 pkg yellow cake mix ( dry)
1/3 c oil
3 eggs
1 cup water
4 cup rhubarb chopped
1 cup sugar
1 pt whipping cream

Mix cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Pour in a greased 9 X 13 pan.
Sprinkle rhubarb, then sugar on top. Pour unwhipped cream over the
top of all of this.
Bake at 350° for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

The cake will come to the top and the rhubarb and cream will go to the bottom.
Keep it in the pan though. I think it might be too messy to invert from the pan.

And for lunch we are going a bit for the lighter fare.

Turkey and Brie wraps

  • 4 (8-inch) 98%-fat-free flour tortillas (such as Mission)
  • 1/2 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 4 curly leaf lettuce leaves or what ever lettuce you've got on hand
  • 1/2 pound deli turkey, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
Warm tortillas according to package directions.
Place 1 ounce sliced cheese on tortilla. ( I like to warm that in the micro a bit so it's a teeny bit melted or buy the spreadable brie with no rind and then you don't need to warm it)
Spread 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce.
Top each with a lettuce leaf and 2 ounces sliced turkey .
Roll up tortillas.


And for supper?

Slow cooked Chicken and Dumplings

1 Cup chopped onion
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies ( I like California blend)

2 1/4 cup baking mix ( like Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk

Place first 5 ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low 6-7 hours.
Shred with 2 forks inside slow cooker.

Mix Baking mix and milk.
Drop small amounts of dough mix into cooker, cover and cook on high 30 min on HIGH or until dough is no longer raw. I like to take the lid off about 20 min into this so my dumplings aren't "wet" looking

kind of a fatty weekend! Guess I'll be eating salads a lot next week!



Today's LineUp

There is one household chore that I tend to put off far too long.
Why? Because I can't stand it!!!

Toilets you say? Nope!
Cleaning the grout? ahhh, you have to clean that?

The winner by a mile is: Ironing!
The big problem? My hubby has a job where he wears dress
shirts almost every single cotton pickin' stinkin' day.
The reason I can go so long between dreaded chore?
He has more clothes than I do.
I'll give a shout out to my MIL for buying him dress shirts
every year at Christmas! Way to go, Kathy!

I know ironing is not difficult or strenuous.
My mom taught me a long time ago how to iron.
Want to know what I learned? If you find the right piece of clothing, it
doesn't need to be ironed!!!

Yes, darling Keith has plenty "wrinkle resistant" shirts, but a bunch that aren't!

After I set up the ironing board today I thought it felt so odd.
Perhaps because I rarely use it or perhaps because my left handed
mom taught a right handed daughter how to iron.
I think I remember her telling me to stand on the other side of the
board. I didn't want to bother with that today, I chose to "rough it".

I only burnt my self twice and almost dropped the iron over the far edge of the board once.

Yes, I picked the hottest day to iron. At 10:30 it's 87° and the high for today is 92°.
I love A/C!!!

But it's done for another ( perhaps not so long ) period of time.

Oh, I just realized. School will be out soon and when Keith goes to work he'll
be able to wear t shirts and shorts. Oh well!
He'll have all sorts of crisp ironed shirts for Fall!!


Figuring things out

So I've been trying to figure out what to post on my blog.
Not just one post, but trying to figure out the direction I want
my blog to take.
I follow a few blogs and really don't want to "copy" what they are doing. Even unintentionally.

I don't have a lot of exciting or interesting things to say. Not like my friend Jen! I'll always remember her Swoop post!
I tell you, the things that go on in her house!!

So I love being a mom and love all the new things Josh is learning. Maybe not so much that he learned to climb onto the kitchen chair and kept going on to the table.

But is reading that sort of stuff all that interesting?

I have my political views and sometimes I spout, but most times
I just sit back and absorb.

I love to cook. I love to feel productive in the kitchen. Although we've been eating healthier for the last few weeks, I still enjoy making things. Even if they don't taste as wonderful as a juicy hamburger off the grill or a slice of German Chocolate cake.

I've decided to at least dedicate 2 days a week to posting recipes that we've tried and loved or at least liked.

Bonus here is that if I need to look for a recipe, it will be right at my fingertips!

So today is one of my favorites!! And it's healthy too. I hope you enjoy it! I made it today, come on over and try some!


  • cooking spray

  • 1 tablespoon oil, olive

  • 2 large leek(s), trimmed and chopped( I use 1 small onion chopped)

  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, ground ( I don't measure)

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground ( this either )

  • 1 1/2 pounds squash, butternut, peeled and cubed ( 2 small squash gave me 2# and I went with it)

  • 2 large carrot(s), peeled and grated ( I hate to grate, but my slap chop works wonders!)

  • 3 cup(s) broth, chicken, low-fat, low-sodium (may use vegetable broth)

  • salt and black pepper, to taste


Spray a large stockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and sauté until translucent and soft, 6-7 minutes. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook an additional minute to release the flavor of the spices. Add the squash, carrots, and broth, and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook 20-25 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. ( I LOVE my immersion blender!! )

Serving Size: 2 cups

IBS sufferers take note: This recipe is only suitable for constipation-predominant IBS.

About This Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Good for Leftovers Good for Leftovers

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 3

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 211

Total Fat: 5 g

Saturated Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 600 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 39 g

Dietary Fiber: 7 g

Protein: 7 g



Go Pack Go

My son. A true Wisconsin boy at heart!

watch this and tell me if you agree!


The Paint Can

A newlywed couple wanted to join a church. The pastor told

Them, "We have special requirements for new

Parishioners. You must abstain from sex for an entire month."

The couple agreed and, after two-and-a-half weeks, returned to

The church. When the Pastor ushered them into

His office, the wife was crying, and the husband obviously was very


"You are back so soon...Is there a problem?" the pastor

Inquired. "We are terribly ashamed to admit that we

Did not manage to abstain from sex for the required month," the young

Man replied sadly.

The pastor asked him what happened.

"Well, the first week was difficult; however, we managed to

Abstain through sheer willpower. The second week

Was terrible, but with the use of prayer, we managed to abstain. The

Third week, however, was unbearable. We tried cold

Showers, prayer, reading from the Bible, or anything to keep our minds

Free of carnal thoughts.

But one afternoon, my wife reached for a can of paint and

Dropped it. When she bent over to pick it up, I

Noticed that she didn't have panties on and I was overcome with lust and

I had my way with her, right then and there,"

Admitted the man, shamefacedly.

"You understand this means you will not be welcome into our

Church," stated the pastor.

"We know," said the young man, hanging his head.

"We're not welcome at HOME DEPOT anymore, either."


Day one is history

We drank a lot of tea and water to get us by. Dinner was a bit early because we
were pretty hungry. Oh and it was pretty darn yummy too! The main part of the meal was called Inside Out Burgers and it was supposed to be with ground turkey but I ground up some chicken breasts instead.

Here's the recipe:
Inside Out Cheeseburgers

1 1/4 c. ground turkey at least 90% lean
1/4 c ketchup
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
4 ounces reduced fat shredded or sliced cheese

In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, ketchup, mustard and garlic powder until combined.
Form this in to 8 large thin patties.

Place an ounce of cheese in the center of one patty. Top the cheese with a second patty. Crimp the edges of the two patties together, working your way around the cheese, so that the cheese center is totally enclosed. ( no cheese oozing out the sides this way )

Repeat this process to form 3 more burgers.
Grill, pan saute or broil the patties until cooked through, 5-7 min per side.
I used the George Foreman grill. 6 minutes total.
Sadly this makes 4 burgers and a serving is 1 burger ( no bun!!)
It was difficult to look at the other 2 patties on the plate and know they were
for another day!!

But otherwise Day 1 went off without a hitch!
Phew! On to day 2!


Day 1

It's been a rough weekend for me. Too many darn emotions all at once.
At points it was almost comical. My moods changed as quickly as Wisconsin weather.
Not cool! And not very easy on the hubby. ( Sorry Hon!)

About a month ago, Keith and I had our blood work done and no surprise to me, both of our cholesterol were up there. And they have been for awhile. I'll be on drugs for that as soon as they come in the mail and I'm sure Keith will be after his sit down appointment with the doc coming up. :-(

Anyway, after lots of discussion and planning, Keith and I are changing our
eating habits TOGETHER!

The only thing that I tried ( and could stick with for any length of time ) was
Joy Bauer's Slimdown plan. I guess it's easier for me to be told what to eat and when
to eat it, instead of just making it up on my own.

It's simple, which is great. Not odd foods you have to hunt for. The recipes are really tasty too!

So wish us luck and if you see Keith at work, don't offer too many sweets and treats!


A Coil of Rage

The character of any man is defined by how he treats his mother as
the years pass .... need I say more about this person below other than
there is no character, no integrity but there is a ton of attitude and arrogance that defines his shallow past and hollow future .... I rest my case.

I bought and read Audacity of Hope. It was difficult to read considering his attitude toward us and everything American. Let me add a phrase he used to describe his attitude toward whites. He harbors a "COIL OF RAGE". His words not mine.

Is anyone out there awake?

Everyone of voting age should read these two books: Don't buy them,
just get them from the library.

From Dreams From My Father:

"I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."

From Dreams From My Father :
"I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race."

From Dreams From My Father:

"There was something about her that made me wary, a little too sure of herself, maybe and white."

From Dreams From My Father:

"It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."

From Dreams From My Father:

"I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa , that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself:
the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela."

And FINALLY ........... and most scary:

From Audacity of Hope:

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in
an ugly direction."

If you have never forwarded an e-mail, now is the time to do so!!!
We have someone with this mentality running our GREAT nation!
Keep your eye on him and don't blink.

I don't care whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative or a liberal, be aware of the attitude and character of this sitting President.

PLEASE help continue to spread "his" own words!

Use "his" own words against him and bring "his" removal from ill gotten power.


Steph's Ranger Cookies

I keep telling people I'll get them my yummy cookie recipe.
Well here it is!!

Ranger Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

They said the dough yields 48 cookies; I got exactly 36.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder *******
1/4 teaspoon baking soda *******
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour ( half flour and half flax seed or wheat germ or both)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup mixed dried fruit (I don't do this)

In a medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda; beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Stir in oats, coconut, and fruit.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Unless you just want to eat it, then stick the rest in the fridge. :-)

Bake in a 375°F oven about 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

***** I read in one recipe if you are using self rising flour to nix any baking powder and or soda. I never use these in my recipes when using self rising flour now.
Do what you like!


It breaks my heart

Keith and I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas last week.
It was an incredible story of one family during WWII told through the eyes of
the 9 year old son.
I know the holocaust was terrible. I have done papers on it in high school,
I've read books about it and have seen movies. None of that comes even close to how this movie touched my heart. And then broke it into a million pieces.
(There wasn't anything gross to watch. It was all implied. )
What tears me up is that people actually felt that another human being was worth
so little, or nothing at all. This continues to happen even now.
Hello Human Race!!!
What happened to evolution? Aren't we supposed to be changing for the better?
God's heart must be breaking a zillion times more than mine. Look at what's happened to His children. We have let Satan in to do his darnedest and it seems like
there is no willingness to kick him out!

Dear Jesus,
I pray for a revival in the hearts of mankind.
Let all of us seek Your love and guidance.
Help us to kick the devil out so there is only room for You
to fill us to overflowing.


Wii fun!!

Keith had a great idea today. He thought we should have a Wii fun night after Josh went to bed.
He was even thinking ahead and told me to make sure the batteries for the remotes were charged. I would not have thought of that. I mean really, if you aren't using it, they shouldn't be dead, right? ;-)


Thanks honey!!


Crap. I don't like how this has to be.

It's sad, sad day.
I was at my WW meeting again and am up 2#. Which really screws up the loss I had the week before.
I finally figured it out. Just saying I'm on a diet or eating better or having a gym membership does not, in itself, make you lose weight. This also applies to only having Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred dvd.
I actually have to get involved in this process.
I'm going to go get myself a single serving of 1/2 the fat chocolate ice cream ( 3 WW points ) and call it a night.
Tomorrow I start anew. I WILL track my food intake and I WILL exercise either here or at the gym.
Next WW meeting I WILL get my 5# sticker!!!
For now, I'm off to the freezer!


Oh Fudge!

So Monday night was weigh in at the Weight Watchers meeting.
I was doing ok so I slacked off. And it showed!!

Now I'm down a total of .2 pounds since I started. Not two pounds, but point two pounds.

I guess it's time to start using those darn tools and tracking what I eat and oh yeah, eating those fruit and veggie things. ( and not those 7 point candy bars. )

At least my hair looks good.

And we press on!


March 13th

I haven't seen my folks since Thanksgiving. I miss them a lot! In March I am coming to Wisconsin for church retreat. I will at least be able to see them for about an hour or so before we
have to turn around and come home. But hey, it's better than nothing!!

I get to come up and have a long weekend for Easter. I can't wait!!!!!!!!


My Target Day

I found some coupon match ups for Target.
I tried my best to get only what I had coupons for.
Here's what I got!

Now I'll break it down for you.

7th Generation Dish soap shelf price $2.69. I had
a manufacturer's coupon for $1 off and a Target store coupon
for $1 off. Final price= .69

Up & Up Brand Bleach shelf price $1.47
Target coupon for $1 off
Final Price = .47

Denim Pants clearance price $6.24
Target coupon for $5 off
Final price = $1.24

10 smart ones meals on sale for $1.80 each. $18.00
Target coupon for $5 off of 10
Manufacturer coupon for $3 off of 10
Total price $10 or $1 each

5 Weight watchers Desserts $1.80 each $9.00
$1 off of 3 $8.00

Target promotion buy 7 frozen food items get $5 gc
I got 2 so total price for WW meals ( in my mind ) $8 for 15 items. or final price .53 each

Activa yogurt $1.89 Target coupon for $1 off
Manufacturer coupon $1 off = FREE

Up & Up mouth wash $1.42
$1 off Target coupon
Final price = .42

After savings, total spent was $10.82 :-)


I'd buy the sign.

When I was in my late teen's and early 20's, my mom had a motto about me.
"If there is a sign saying sale or clearance, she'd buy the sign."
Yeah, you know parents. They know us better than we know ourselves.

Since we decided to go down to one income, I've been looking for more ways to save money.
The first step I took was just fun stuff. I started getting free stuff the easy way. Letting
someone else do all the leg work for me. I just had to fill out info on where to send the goodies to! Freebies4mom is where I started. I just love her site!! Very well organized!

Then I started playing sweepstakes through her site as well. Now that's fun. So what if I've mostly won free bags of Hall's cough drops and a few months worth of Toaster Strudel?
I did win a pair of Skechers Shape up shoes! That was awesome! I admit to doing The Dance of Joy!

Finding bargains and saving on groceries has become a bit of an obsession. I've already knocked a little over $100 off our monthly grocery bill. We are not starving either!

Today I went to CVS for some deals. I love to stack store coupons on manufacturer coupons and get Extra Care Bucks back!

Here's what I got today:
Huggies diapers $12.49
Huggies Pull ups $12.49
They were buy two for $17.98 and get $4 back in Extra Care Bucks
I also had a coupon for $2 off of Huggies Diapers and a coupon for
free Pull Ups from my House Party Kit.

Total spent on these? $3.49 and I got the $4 to use on my next trip.

Lady Speed Stick deodorant $2.99 with $2 in ECB
coupon for .50 off.
final price? $2.49 with $2 for next visit.

4 20 oz bottles of diet Coke. I can't believe that these little guys
cost as much as the 2 liter bottles!! Ugh!
So they are $1.69 each. I had one coupon from CVS for $1 off of 2.
and 2 coupons I printed out from the internet for BOGO.

Final price? $3.07 instead of $6.76

So I bought $34.73 worth of stuff, paid $20.05 and still have $6 to used next time.
Sort of like paying $14.05 for it all! Less than half price!
And when I got home I found an email from CVS for $4 my next shopping trip of $20 or more. :-)

Not my best score by far, but I'll take it!
One of my best deals is one I did for a friend. She is the Queen of bargains!!!
Here is that deal! I'm a Wholly Guacamole addict now. I hope there is a 12 step


Try this on for starters

I have never thought I had much to say about anything, much less write ( type ) about it.
And even if I did, who would read it? Who would care?
I am starting a new journey, to get healthy. I'm hoping to be able to utilize this
as some sort of accountability.

I went to the OB/GYN today. I was there a year ago January in which time I've lost 43#.
It hasn't been easy. Well part of it was.
From January til June or July, I was stuck not really losing anything at all. Bummed beyond belief I asked my Internal Medicine doc what to do. I'm sure he was thrilled that I was a blubbering, bawling fool about this. After a lot of discussion, we agreed to try me on
Phentermine. This is a prescription strength appetite suppressant and it apparently increases your metabolism. He impressed upon me that this would be for a jump start and maybe would only work for the first 20# or so. Fine with me, at least it would be something!

So by October I had lost the bulk of the 43#but things were slowing down considerably.
Oh one side note. Increase in metabolism? Great. I stayed up til 1 almost every night and got up with my toddler every morning about 6 or 7 and felt awake!!!! Crazy stuff!
So February 3rd was my last pill. The next week I dragged butt. I had to keep turning around to pick it up off of the floor. I wanted to nap several ( five!) times a day!

On Sunday the 6th I re joined Weight Watchers. As of Monday I've lost 3.4#.
Mental note: I picked a Monday night meeting because they are convenient with hubby's work
I truly DETEST weighing myself in the evening and AFTER the weekend!! UGH!!
But hey, I still lost 3#!!

I have a friend who has been getting healthier for awhile now. She is a true inspiration! I love her to death!!! We both used to live in the same town. First she moved out of the city. Then I went and got married and moved out of the state! We hardly see each other now. Thank goodness for Facebook!!!In 3 1/2 weeks we get to hang together all weekend at a Ladies retreat put on by my former church district. I CAN'T WAIT!!!!! We promised each other we'd be working out that weekend too. No matter what!!!

Did I mention I'm excited to see her? :-)
I can't believe I've said this much already. Maybe, deep down, there is a blogger in me waiting for the chance to run free.
We'll see.
If you are coming along for the ride, great! I hope I never post anything that offends you, but if I do, it's my blog and I'll be posting what I want!! HAH!!! :-)