Category Archives: Enjoying The Seasons

Ramblings on a weirdly warm January day..

For the Indiana readers of this blog, how weird is this weather right now???  I feel like I’m living in some alternate universe right now where nothing is as it’s supposed to be.  Like windows open and cooking on the grill in January….seriously, what the crap is up with that?

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I have been crocheting my fingers off since early December making these messy bun hats that everyone is going crazy over.  Not that I’m complaining.  For a family that never takes trips, like ever, we have 2 week long beach vacations planned this year and a trip to Michigan, so the extra money is helping tremendously with that.  I’ve got more projects lined up so I’m going to be happy to finish up these hats, if the orders ever stop coming in.

messy-bun-hat

Aside from that, Hannah can’t stop breaking her feet.  The right in October and now the left one!  Both times while playing basketball.  She loves to play, and of course, we love watching her, but I’ll be kind of glad when her IGHL league ends in mid-February so I can stop wincing every time her feet hit the court!  Softball is a little less demanding on her ginormous ski’s and on her new team, she’ll rarely catch, so it will be less strain on her achillies, which has been another problem area for her.  We’re looking forward to her getting healthy and back into action on the field.

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In other news, Katie went to a camp at Franklin college and had some very nice compliments from the coach, as well as him letting us know that she was put on their recruiting list.  (per NCAA rules, he can’t contact her until her Junior year, but that was pretty cool and encouraging for her to see that her hard work over the years is paying off.

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So that’s the happs with us right now.  I sometimes get so caught up in posting all my fitness stuff here that I forget to document things for the fam.  But you know I’m not gonna leave you hanging with nothing in that category, so I’m going to share this yummy recipe that we had the other day.  Oh, and Haaaiii, Christina, don’t worry girl, I got you!   I will be posting those dressing recipes for you very soon! 😉

Here’s a very simply recipe for Beef Quesadillas with Homemade Guacamole & Pico.

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Just brown 1 lb beef with an onion and 2 tsp minced garlic.  Drain and add 1-2 T. homemade taco seasoning.

Fill one half of tortilla with beef mixture.  Sprinkle a little bit of shredded cheese on top if you wish.  Fold over and cook on griddle until crispy, then flip and repeat on other side.

Now for the Pico. I just chopped up and drained 2 ripe tomatoes, added salt, pepper, juice of one lime, some fresh cilantro, garlic, 2 jalapenos (diced fine), and about half of an onion, (diced fine).

For the guac, I peeled and chopped 2 avocado, added the juice of one lime, salt and pepper and mashed it all together with a fork.

That’s it!  Super easy and perfect for a busy week night!

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Happy 2017!

2016 was a year of crazy politics, a few big changes for us as a family, and unfortunately, a year of sadness.  We lost two close friends.  They both died too young, leaving those of us who loved them behind to try to move on through life without them.

Needless to say, I was ready for the new year.  I know that time marches on and January 1st is just another day, but it does always feel like a new slate and new beginning to me.

So far, 2017 has been fun.  For starters, our beautiful Katie Bug has turned 15!

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I do not understand how this has happened.  Because, for real, she looked like this yesterday, right?

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We had an awesome game night to celebrate her special day and then a family dinner out at her favorite italian restaurant.  I realize that she will soon be driving, but in a pretend sort of way.  I’m not really letting that in on the radar yet.  Because, as I said, she should still look like this…

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Brian was able to enjoy 11 whole days off over the holidays.  He had been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for a VERY LONG time and we had thought he might have to work through the holidays, but it turned out that he was able to be off and thank goodness for that because he needed a break.  We really enjoyed all the down time at home with just the 4 of us.  So thankful for his job and the security it brings, but it’s nice to be able to have a break once in a while.

I try not to set resolutions anymore because honestly, mine are always the same.  Be healthy.  Be happy.  So, it’s really more of a regrouping and refocusing for me.  With that being said, 2017 is going to be the year that I finally attempt Intermittent Fasting.

Say whaaaaa????

Yep, intermittent fasting.  It kind of goes against everything you’ve ever been taught about eating, so you may think I’ve lost my mind here, but bear with me.

What is intermittent fasting, you ask?  Well, to put it most simply, it is just fasting for a certain time period every day.  There are couple of different ways you can approach it, but I’ll just talk about the way I’ll be doing it.

Basically, I have a time window from noon to 8 PM that I can eat.  Nothing after 8:00 and nothing until noon the next day.  Pretty simple, right?  But now you’re wondering why I would do that when I’ve been preaching for the last 4 years about eating within an hour of waking!!!

Well, I kept seeing posts on Instagram from some of the fitness accounts I follow talking about Intermittent Fasting.  I ignored it mostly at first because…well….the whole “fasting” part sounded awful.  Then I started getting more intrigued, but didn’t really have time to fully investigate, so I just kind of read things here and there and kept it tucked away in the back of my mind.  I didn’t really want to jump into it without doing my research first.

Now that I’ve had time to research it, I’ve decided to give it a fair try.  And if you’re wondering why I would want to subscribe to this seemingly crazy method, well, I have two pretty simple reasons.

First, it is going to majorly simplify my life.  If you are a meal planner, you know how agonizing it can be to sit there in front of a blank piece of paper and come up with 3 meals a day plus snacks that are quick, healthy, and that you are not sick to death of eating.  Especially on days when I’m not feeling particularly creative or when I have a million other things on my mind.  I just sit there and stare at my blank meal plan while the seconds tick by and everything else I need to be doing gets left behind.  With intermittent fasting, breakfast is eliminated.  In the morning, instead of getting up and immediately fixing myself something to eat, I just fix a cup of coffee (yeah, coffee is allowed.  Black coffee.  My fave).  I then can do my morning chores, get the girls up for school, start a load of laundry, do my daily devotion, my workout, etc.

The second reason I’m giving IF a try is that working out on an empty stomach, in simplest terms, will burn fat that is already stored in my body instead of burning off the nutrients that I consumed at breakfast.  I’m not really changing what I eat but only WHEN I eat.  Obviously by cutting out a meal, I will be consuming less calories, but it’s not a matter of restricting this or that.  It’s just:  You don’t eat until this time.  And you stop after this time.  Way easier than dieting, in my opinion.

Are you worried about being hungry or feeling too sluggish to get through a workout on an empty stomach?  I was too.  The first two days, it did feel weird, I’m not gonna lie.  I have been a faithful breakfast eater for years.  I’m not a night eater, so not eating after 8:00 isn’t hard.  But I always eat first thing upon waking, so that has been odd.  But today was my 3rd day and I actually felt awesome this morning.  I think like anything else, it’s just an adjustment that you have to make.

So, that’s the biggest change I am trying to make in 2017.  And it’s really more of an experiment a this point.  I want to see what it does or doesn’t do for me and how it makes me feel/affects fat loss.  In the initial stage so far, I am just loving the fact that I don’t have to plan out as many meals.  It’s kind of pathetic how excited I am about that part of it, actually.

Today was chest and triceps workout.  I did 3 sets of 12 of the following:

Bench Press
Chest Fly
Push Ups
Overhead DB TricepsRaises
Skull Crushers
Triceps Kickbacks

I also walked my dog 30 minutes and tonight I’m going to do some yoga.  Yoga is something I’ve done sporadically over the years.  I know how important flexibility is as we age and after talking with Katie’s physical therapist a few months ago, he really convinced me that I need to incorporate it more on a regular basis, so that’s going to be another area of focus for me.

Oh and I can’t forget this simple yet tasty recipe I wanted to share today.  I love roasted vegetables in the winter.  Well all year, actually, but especially in the winter.  I know this picture isn’t the best but I was too lazy to try to make it look better.  Forgive.

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Just take 12 carrots, scrub em. I don’t even peel them, just wash them and scrub them well.  Cut ends off, then cut in half, then in half lengthwise.  In large ziplock baggie, put 1/4 C olive, carrots, salt, pepper and some thyme or other seasonings to your liking.  Roast on 400 for about 30-40 minutes.  I served them tonight with a chicken and broccoli casserole.  That’s it!  Easy and delish!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and wish you health and happiness in 2017!

Sometimes the ordinary days are the best days…

Yesterday was such a good day (except for the fact that I was in mourning over the previous night’s Walking Dead episode 😦 ).  Well it was good, kind of. I got a call from the school that Hannah wasn’t feeling well & had to pick her up, causing her to miss her first basketball game, so that part wasn’t so great.  But the rest of it?  Wonderful!  Wonderfully boring and uneventful.  And sometimes those days are the best days.

I started it off with a 30 minute walk/jog through our little town.  It was breezy, sunny, & cool…in other words, a perfect fall morning.

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After that I had an awesome back & biceps workout then took the pooch for a walk with my auntie.  I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning & doing laundry.  Lunch was a delicious spinach & feta omelet & apple.

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In the afternoon, I read a little, crocheted a little, until I got the phone call from the school nurse.  I snuggled up with my little sick kiddo & we watched cartoons.  She took a nap, then Katie & I made supper together which was baked pork chops using a homemade rub (delish!), peas, & PW’s au gratin potatoes.  More snuggling with the sickly child in the evening and early to bed.

Was there anything special about today?  No.  Not really.  But sometimes those are the best ones. ❤

Cinnamon Apple Bars

I made these yummy apple bars from Clover lane today.  I love reading her blog, it is really good for reminding me to slow down and enjoy life.  I haven’t baked in forever, but I was craving something warm & gooey this afternoon & these really hit the spot.

Nothing at all healthy about them, save for the chopped honeycrisp apple, but with a hot cup of coffee, they were absolutely delightful!  And with a big, veggie-filled chef salad on the menu for supper tonight, I didn’t feel the least bit guilty eating them.

Apple Bars

What a Crazy Summer…and now…a Deep Sigh of Relief

Wow…this summer was a complete blur.  Truly.

Katie joined a new travel team and we were on the road more than we were home it seemed.  While I’m very grateful for the new friendships we formed and the great improvement in her game, we have decided that this isn’t the route for us.  The fees increase greatly next year along with the amount of travel and frankly, spending time as a family (all of us together) trumps the benefits of her being on a team like this.  Does she want to play in college?  Yes.  Does it HAVE to be a D1 school?  Heck to the no!  I’m fine with her going to whatever college is going to best help her realize her dreams and if she can play softball at said school, then fabulous!  But being able to watch my daughter on TV is not at the forefront of my wishes as her mother.  So, on that note, we said some tearful goodbyes to new friends and coaches and will go with a more local team but one that will still get her out there in that college exposure.

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And as for Hannah – this was her last year of 10U.  She moves up with the big dogs next year and it’s a totally different ball game.  I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her, as well.  And extremely grateful for the Red Alert 04 softball family that we’ve come to know and love along the way.

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And now that summer is winding down and we are preparing to gear up for a new school year, I feel like we can finally take a breath and settle down into a somewhat normal routine around here.

I keep vowing that I’m going to do better about keeping this blog updated with pictures and stories of all the wonderful memories we are making and I keep failing to do that.  I have decided that at least for the near future, I won’t be running any more challenge groups so that I can focus all of my attention on my family, so hopefully that will translate into more blogging.  I think I started this blog back in 2009 maybe?  And the girls and I get a huge kick out of going back and looking at old posts and pictures, so I know I need to focus more attention here so that they’ll have this as a wonderful way to look back on their childhood.

Veggie Scramble and a Thundery Run Through the Graveyard

Yesterday I went on a jaunt through the graveyard to do my sprints.  I love going over there.  It’s so peaceful and quiet.  And on a stormy day, it makes for a nice creepy atmosphere and I love me some creepy.

Spooookaaay....

Spooookaaay….

I made it home just in time to not get completely drenched and then fixed this delicious veggie scramble for lunch.  I love pretty much all vegetables.  So weird because there was definitely a day when corn and potatoes were the only things I’d even touch.  But that was years ago and my tastes have definitely changed.  I have loads of veggies every day.

Veggie City!!!

Veggie City!!!

This is so easy to make and you can use any veggies you like.  I used an entire bag of frozen fiesta style veggies (Kroger brand).  I just sprayed my skillet and turned the heat on med/low.  Threw in the frozen veggies (because I forgot to thaw them in the fridge) and then seasoned with salt, pepper & garlic powder.  I covered my skillet with a lid and let them cook at least 10 minutes, stirring every so often.  While they were cooking, I whisked an egg with 1/3 C. egg whites.  When the veggies were done to my liking, I just poured in the egg mixture and stirred it all up and cooked it until the eggs were cooked through.  I then gave them a light sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese and red pepper flakes.

Snow Days = Ninja Sightings

Ninja

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