Category Archives: Winter

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?


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.


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.



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.


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!

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!


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


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…


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.


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!

Snow Days = Ninja Sightings


Windy….what a difference between yesterday and today.  We had sunshine & close to 70 degrees yesterday.  Today is rainy, dark, cold and the wind is wild!  A couple of months ago we had this crazy winter storm with super high winds.  One of the girls had forgotten to close the screen door all the way and in the middle of the night we heard this huge BANG!  It was the screen door hitting the house.  Now that door is all jacked up so that when the wind starts blowing hard, it gets in between the door and the frame and makes a perfectly creepy sound, which I am loving today.

They say winter isn’t over yet and I know this is true, but these 50 and 60-degree days that are sneaking in here and there mean that Spring isn’t too far away. Yes!

So, I’m thinking that today is a perfect kind of day for some Creamy Chicken Soup for supper tonight.

I’ll get that started here in a bit, get my weights in for the day, then tackle the mountain of laundry and maybe even read a few chapters in my current book over a cup of coffee with the wind howling in the background.  Sounds like a great day to me!

Okay….so as I was typing this the rain has turned to huge snowflakes….madness, I tell you!

February. Oh how I loathe thee.

It’s February.  The worst month of winter if you ask me.  I’m a spring/summer/fall girl and winter about kills me every year.  One month of cold weather is about all I can handle.  Which makes for a long, cold, dark, depressing winter. Especially in this drafty old house where one can never be truly warm.


I am longing to get outside and walk, ride, run, plant flowers, play ball with my family in the yard…anything outside.  This winter has been especially bad.  I don’t remember the blizzard of ’78 (I was 3), but this is the worst winter that I can recall.


Our days have been filled with reading, playing games (on our phones as well as board games), lots of coffee and watching TV, a little bit of playing in the snow when the temps have been high enough.  But I am absolutely longing for some sunshine and greenery out my window!


The Winter of No Snow + a Recipe!

As I am typing this, the girls are outside playing on the trampoline, the sun is shining, and it is a balmy 55°.  On February 23rd.  In Indiana.

I have no idea what is going on with the weather and believe me, I am not complaining in the least, but this is the weirdest winter I’ve ever seen!  The other day on the news they said that normally at this time of year we’ve accumulated somewhere around 35 inches of snow.  Let me just tell you that we are nowhere near that mark right now.  Not even close.

Normally at this time of year I am lamenting the cold, snowy weather.  The grey days.  The outrageous heating bill.  But it’s been so nice that the kids have so far been able to play outside almost every day after school.  I’ve been walking my dogs and walking to the library.  I’ve barely worn my winter coat, hat & gloves.

I’m fearful though.  Very fearful.  Fearful that the snow has just been delayed.  Fearful that we are going to have a blizzard in April.  It could happen, people!  You can ask my walking-almanac mamaw if you don’t believe me!

~SIGH~ I will bypass the worry of springtime blizzards and just enjoy the beautiful weather while we have it.  The girls have been complaining over the lack of snow, but if it were up to me, we could go straight into spring and I wouldn’t be sore about it at all.

Enough about that – on to the recipe!

Tonight I am making sweet & sour chicken, brown rice and a nice veggie-filled salad.  I also like to serve this with steamed veggies in place of the salad sometimes.  This is one of Katie’s favorites and while I don’t make it all that often (it always looks like a bomb went off in the kitchen when I’m done)…

…we are all really glad when I do.  It’s very yummy.

Sweet & Sour Chicken

3 chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1 C. cornstarch
salt & pepper
1/4 C. olive oil
3/4 C. sugar
4 T. ketchup
1/2 C. vinegar or cider vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 325.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pcs.  Season w/salt & pepper.  Coat chicken w/cornstarch then dip in eggs.  Fry in oil until golden, but not cooked through.  Place chicken in baking dish.  Mix rest of ingredients & pour over chicken.  Bake 60 mins, turning every 15 mins.  Serve over rice with steamed veggies or a salad.  You can also make extra sauce & pour it over your steamed veggies.  Enjoy!

ps.  While I was catching up on blogs today, I came across this recipe for Sweet & Sour Sauce and I think I will try it next time I make this recipe.  It sounds good and is very simple.

Goodbye To Winter (See ya, sucker!)

Oh wow.  I am so glad to say goodbye to winter this year.  I don’t know why it seemed so much worse than usual.

Here’s a look back.



Putting up the tree


Roller Skating!


Katie's birthday


Willie Nelson


Lots of reading!


Buster trying to keep warm!


Christmas morning


Me & the spindly old spinster

So, I don’t know how it is where you live, but around here, we aren’t really supposed to claim Spring until after sectionals and then March Madness is over because we always get more crappy weather right about that time, but I don’t care.

Hello Spring!!!  Welcome back, I have missed you so!


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