Over Thinking to rule the day!

imageI’m the type of person who finds a 25.00 dollar sweater and likes and ponder whether or not to buy it for days, weeks, and sometimes months.  I don’t do this because of the money…I do it because I’m a thinker. Or perhaps an over thinker. I think “do I really like it” “will I wear it enough”. “Is there something else I want more”…perhaps that is why I find being a perpetual pinner so relaxing.  I have the ability to save all the things I like forever without the push to act on any of them.

It has been a while since my last post. I’ve been struggling with time management and a myriad of self esteem issues. I have however continued to act on making my pins a reality, such as creating a command center in my kitchen (which I will share soon) but perhaps the biggest change… I added a new board!  It’s entitled Goals and it’s my newest journey. In order for me to be able to function I MUST get out of the rut I’ve been in. I need to spend some time creating a healthier lifestyle and getting in shape so I can be the mom I want to be for my daughter!

What does this all mean for my blog?  It means that for the foreseeable future this blog will focus on the pins in my Goals board and the quotes to remember board primarily. With a few time management and organization posts!  It will catalog my journey while providing insight to some of the best and worst the healthy eating, exercise, and motivation has to offer!  And it starts now!

So who wants to join me on this journey?  I’m starting a free 7 day clean eating challenge on Monday to kick off the change in season!  Trying new recipes and hopefully gaining more momentum to continue with my Pinterest discoveries!

Saying our Prayers

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Religion was never a major aspect in my life.  I was baptized, and attended church regularly as a child, even attending Sunday school as a pre-teen and through my early teen years.  However, I wasn’t forced to attend church, and we didn’t regularly pray as a family.  My parents wanted me to CHOOSE to believe.  They provided me all the tools and it was up to me to use them.  Needless to say…I didn’t know that then, and in the 11th grade I lost a friend to suicide, and struggled to understand.  I reached out to the minister of my old church and we prayed.  I can honestly tell you, that it;s still a strange thing for me.  Prayers seem hard to repeat, and I always feel a bit silly saying them.

My husband and I have 2 separate religions and although we are both Christians, our churches are very different.  However, the one thing we were able to agree on when we had our daughter was that we wanted her to believe in God.  We both struggled with our faith at different times in our lives, (me more than my husband) but we wanted to provide our daughter with a stronger belief system than we both had (still not sure how to do that) and thought bedtime prayers would be a great stepping stone.  So we began as soon as we brought her home.  For months we recited the “Our Father” each night before putting her to sleep.

Hmmm…Not exactly what I was hoping for, meaning after saying the Our Father, I don’t feel that warm and fuzzy feeling I was hoping to feel.  So I did what I do best…I ran to Pinterest scouring the pages to find Prayers that we could pray as a family.  The truth…I found some beautiful prayers.  Prayers for my family, Prayers for my daughter and prayers for my husband.  The reality however, they aren’t realistic on a day to day basis.  At least not for me!

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The truth is…most of the people I know, are living crazy busy lives and as much as I would like to say that I pray for wonderful understanding and compassion…sometimes…well Just NO.  Sometimes I want to pray something like this…Dear God, today is over, another day gone.  I haven’t killed anyone today although I thought of several ways I could be successful.  I figured out that the baby’s onesie was on backwards BEFORE I finished changing her.  There was space in the garbage can to throw away the empty formula tin after filling up the 5 bottles to get through the day.  The baby only threw up once and thankfully the dog took care of that, my husband woke up next me well rested…good for him!  We managed to make a grocery list and forget half of what we needed to survive like adults.  Suppose we will try again tomorrow!  AMEN

Sometimes, all we can do is try.  Sometimes, people make us angry and although the Christian thing to do is pray for them…The reality is “I pray they weren’t so annoying, or ignorant”  The question…Who determines how we pray?   What signifies a correct or incorrect prayer?  Why has prayer become something to be embarrassed about?  The truth is…I’m not sure if I am doing this right, but for my family and myself…It feels right, and I suppose more than that we can not do.

Any thoughts?  Any prayers?  Any insight?  If you enjoy a little vocal prayer perhaps you can pray along with Jarod and the long road home.

Toilet Paper Rolls to Organize Cords

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I saw this pin and had to Save it!  I have a Pinterest board titled “Not just clean, Monica clean” (Anybody out there watch ever watch Friends?) Yup!  That was me, Everything had to shine…ALL the time…and I HATE opening a drawer to look for something and seeing a giant jumbled cord mess.  The Pin titled “toilet paper rolls to organize cords is a Pinterest Blocked link!  Instead you can locate the “how to” on realsimple.com or lifehacker.com

Now, I did try this at home, and although it definitely made my jumbled cord mess better, there are some things that I would do differently next time.  First of all, create a Storage box for the toilet paper rolls.  Next, Attach the toilet paper rolls together (a little table around the bottom should work just fine. (the reason for this is so when the thicker cords get stuck, you don’t have to pull everything out at the same time creating a bit more resistance.) Then once your box is created and your rolls are attached you are ready to add in those extra cords (labeling them if you so choose) and then storing the box away anywhere that is convenient in your home.

There you go!  A simple way to minimize that messy cord disaster you have shoved in your drawer!  Not interested in Toilet paper rolls?  Check out Apartmenttherapy.com for some other alternatives!  What worked best for you?  I’d love to know how you mastered the tangled cord mess in your home!

 

Marshmallow Eases a Sore Throat

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Something you should know about me…I hate taking pills!  When I got pregnant, my prenatal vitamins resembled horse pills!  It was absolutely miserable trying to shove the pill as far down my throat without gagging and then drinking a gallon of water just to make sure it went down and didn’t get stuck in my throat!  Needless to say, I constantly search high and low for home remedies that actually work!

First of all….I am not a doctor…and I can only attest to my personal experiences, now I spent a good amount of my adult life in the elementary and early education field; which helped me to develop a fairly decent immune system.  I hardly ever get sick, and “knock on wood” if I get sick it’s usually just a minor head cold.  The last time I was really sick, was 2010 when my husband was deployed (of course) and I had a fever of 102!  Now with 2016 beginning and cold and flu season in full swing…I am ready to battle out those minor illnesses…  Can you guess what my favorite tool is?  Nope no lemons…no tea…no oils…Give up?

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MARSHMALLOWS!  MARSHMALLOWS!  MARSHMALLOWS!  So I was scrolling through Pinterest one day and found a Pin about 20 DIY Home remedies from Buzzfeed!  Now again, I don’t get sick often and haven’t really had the need to try out their other home remedies, but I can honestly tell you that when I get a sore throat I immediately run to the cabinet and grab the marshmallows!  I have NO IDEA whey it works, perhaps mind over matter…but whatever the case…I ate a few marshmallows and suddenly I could swallow without that terrible pain in the back of my throat!  Next time you have a sore throat that is just bugging you…Try a marshmallow or two!

 

And if you happen to find yourself in a situation where a home remedy was used please let me know if it was successful!  I would love to continue to bulk up my Home remedy knowledge base!

Tabletop SMORES

As the temperature continues to drop, and every news outlet is informing me of the impending Snow Storm…I am reminded of last summer when my husband and I took advantage of the beautiful weather we were having, we sliced up some watermelon, and then made the Tabletop S’mores.  Basically a simple terracotta pot, lined with aluminum foil, a few coals placed in and VOILA!

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You can make individual ones if you are having a kids party, or lots of tables outdoors…or, as it was just my husband and I, we placed a large rectangular one on the table and shared it!   I mean look at that marshmallow!  IT was browning to golden perfection!

Nothing says summer lovin’ quite like S’mores!  Remember though to soak those skewers prior to using them.  This was one Pinterest idea that will truly be used time and time again at our house!   ESPECIALLY now that we live further south and our weather is more suited for outdoor relaxing and s’mores making!  BRING ON THE SUMMER HEAT!

I’m ready for warm weather, S’mores, and all things Summery!  Are you?  What are your favorite ways to spend the summer?  I’d love to know how you celebrate the end of winter!

 

Million Dollar Spaghetti

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Well Friends…it was bound to happen.  I found a recipe we didn’t like.  So let me tell you what happened!  My family LOVES PASTA!  Spaghetti is a weekly staple in my house and I was looking for a way to change it up a bit.  I found this million dollar spaghetti recipe from being grown up and thought…”Hey I can do that!”  I have cooked with cream cheese in other recipes that I really enjoyed, although cottage cheese was a new experience, however, when you cook with certain ingredients things change and you never really know.

The reality…for my family and myself…this was NOT million dollar spaghetti…It had the strangest texture, and flavor!  The cream cheese (which I typically don’t like) was very noticeable, and in my personal opinion it does not belong on spaghetti, But hey that’s just me!  I thought it would add a creaminess to the pasta, the unfortunate reality was that it just added a layer of this strange mixture that didn’t sit well in my palate!

I am not sure what you all like…If you like cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese then this very well may be the dish for you!  As for me…I was highly disappointed and made cookies as an apology to my family after making them eat it!

Have you tried it?  What were your opinions?  Any substitutions to give a try?  I love a challenge…and I love Cookies!

 

Broccoli, Ham, and Mozzarella Baked with Eggs

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!  Anyone else tired of hearing this?  I mean I understand ALL the benefits of eating breakfast…however…I have an infant she eats at 530am. (I am usually not ready to wake up yet)  I have to be at the gym at 630 (I’m in the military and morning Physical Training or PT is not optional)  That doesn’t end until 730.  I have to then go home shower, put on my uniform, put my hair in a bun, and be back to work by 830….when do you eat?  not as easy as it sounds.  But, breakfast is the most important meal of the day…and I want to teach my daughter the right way…so I did what I always do…I scoured Pinterest for fabulous, healthy breakfast ideas that I could make ahead of time and reheat!  ENTER Broccoli, Ham and Mozzarella Baked with Eggs by Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Talk about simple.  place ham, broccoli, and mozzarella in a dish, pour eggs over top, and bake.  Then cut into pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, place in Tupperware and reheat for breakfast!  Delicious, simple, and reheats marvelously!

If you are thinking about getting into the habit of eating a delicious meal for breakfast instead of just a piece of fruit or a bowl of cereal…PLEASE try this!  It was out of this world!

What other breakfast ideas have you tried?  What successes have you had?  Would you make any changes?  I would love to hear how you live up to the expectations of eating a balanced breakfast each morning!

 

 

 

Garlic Parmesan Chicken

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Doesn’t that look Delicious!  This is the Garlic Parmesan Chicken by Simplyhealthyhome.com  As a soldier in the US Army and a mother of a 6 month old and a wife to a husband who is also a soldier in the US Army…you can imagine that our time isn’t quite our own, and at the drop of a hat we could be called in or have to stay late, or deal with a situation that popped up last minute.  So it is very important to cherish the time that we are given as a family!  I love Dinner time for that reason!  When we have the opportunity to sit down at the table together it’s a magical time!  I love to serve a delicious meal that also doesn’t require me to put in several hours slaving over the stove…(I’m really the crock-pot queen for that reason) However, there are times when you need to make something without the use of the crock-pot…Enter healthy lifesaving dish above!  OH MY GOODNESS!  So Flavorful!  So easy!  My favorite ingredients!  Garlic (as mentioned in previous posts) and Parmesan…(Mario Batali would say it is the undisputed King of Cheeses and I couldn’t agree more…I put it on EVERYTHING!   A little fresh spinach and it’s the perfect meal…If however, you would like to bulk it up, pasta is an option.  I tried that the other day…used penne because that is what I had in the pantry…I wouldn’t go with that again…Egg noodles, or Farfalle (bow-ties/butterflies) would be a better match!

So again Garlic is the winner for this amazing chicken dinner!  Are you a garlic lover?  Do you like easy to make meals that can essentially be cooked in one pan?  Give the Garlic Parmesan Chicken a whirl!  If you have already tried it what did you think?  Is it being added to your list of must haves?

Ten Down Tone Up

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Ten Down Tone Up, is precisely what it sounds like.  You start off with 10 exercises…I love good round numbers!  You do the rotation completing 10 reps of each exercise, then 9, then 8, and so on and so forth until you hit 0…at which point I am fairly certain you would collapse.  I only have 1 hour of workout time allotted because of my work schedule at the moment.  I do a warm up and a cool down which knocks me down to about 50 minutes…I am the worst stretcher…personally it bores me, which also means I typically can’t walk for 3 days after a good workout because I didn’t stretch properly…I’ll add that to my list of things to do…Anyway, back to this morning’s workout…I only completed up to 7.  With that being said…I need a hot bath with some Epsom salt!

First off…if a workout says Burpees…It’s usually safe to run away from that one…but I typically gravitate towards them…a glutton for punishment I suppose.  burpees.jpg

Phew thanks!  Okay…I’m up…So today I completed 34 Burpees, Squats, Lunges, 30 second planks, bicycles, push-ups, V-ups, crunches, reverse crunches, and jumping jacks.  I could have kept going…My burpees were slowing down and then I ran out of time.  I am a stickler for proper form and sometimes that prevents me from getting through the workout as it is designated, but I would rather do less correctly than more incorrectly risking injury…Plus if you don’t have proper form it’s likely you won’t get the same quality out of your workout.

So my overall view on this workout!  I ABSOLUTELY LOVED HATING THIS WORKOUT!  Yup you guessed it!  This is one of those workouts that is tormenting you as you do it.  Reminding you how out of shape you really are, and yet dragging you back in because you are determined to not let the workout beat you!   I do plan on returning to this workout possibly tomorrow just to prove I can successfully make it past 7!

Do I recommend this workout?  100% yes!  If you love to really feel like you are burning away those calories than this is definitely the one for you!  Plus it works the core and your legs and even your arms…it’s a fairly total body workout!  And I can’t wait to try it again!

Have you tried the Ten Down Tone Up?  What were your opinions?  Were you able to make it through the whole 10 during your first attempt?  I can’t wait to hear how you did!

 

Baked Potato Soup

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Back to my handy dandy crockpot!  I told you I LOVE this thing!  Again, as a new mom, and an Army Sergeant; I don’t like to spend my time at home slaving over a hot stove, so the crockpot is a simple, fast and easy solution.  Now I personally LOVE a warm and creamy soup especially in the winter!  And this recipe is topped with bacon (although not mandatory) so in my book its an instant winner!  This meal had so much delicious flavor, and the potatoes just melted in your mouth.  Ahh I may have to go back to the store tonight!

OK…sorry I will stop drooling and continue.  This meal creates a TON of soup.  At first my husband and I didn’t know what to do, but then the website claims it freezes perfectly!  Hmmm…a delicious meal, that I can freeze!  I can barely contain myself.  Chop, and dump all ingredients minus the cream cheese.  This bad boy takes 6 hours in the crockpot so start early!   Once time is up you add the cream cheese allow to melt, garnish and ENJOY!

Now if you are like me…The idea of 16 ounces of cream cheese could be a turn off…please give it a try!  I couldn’t even taste the cream cheese, but it definitely provided a creaminess that was needed.

Regardless on size of your family ,take your leftovers and freeze them in individual containers that way you can grab perfect portion sizes anytime!  Did you try it?  Could you taste the cream cheese?  What garnishes did you choose?  Show me your masterpieces!