Sunday, January 29, 2012

Power In The Name - Jesus




This is a video from my friend's band, Covenant 31.  I think that everyone involved did a great job.  There is power in the name of Jesus.  We can take our faults and frailties to him, and He can break the chains and turn it all around.  We just need to be willing to come to Him. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progress Report - A Slip

Photobucket


This morning I did not wake up at 5:00 am for my prayer and Bible reading time.  I was very bummed.  I set the alarm for 5:50 AM rather than 4:50 AM like had had been doing for two days now.  I woke up at 5:38 AM and had to do the mad dash to get caught up with the morning routine without getting the opportunity to follow through on my deal with God.  I will not give up though.  I realize now that this is definitely something I can do, and it is definitely helping me.  I am enjoying my moments of quiet with just me and God and then God, me and Joyce Meyer.  :)

Speaking of Joyce Meyer, she is heading to Phoenix soon.  I talked with one of our listeners at the station today, and we are going to drive up together to catch the first evening conference.  I wish that I could go to all of them, but we have a lot of events going on at the station, and really the first night will be my only good chance to go.  I am really looking forward to it!


:)


I am so excited to have found this time with God.  I look forward to waking up tomorrow morning and spending more time with him.  It really is THE best way to start your day. 


Next week I'll begin my new weight loss plan.  :) 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sad

Photobucket

One of my old school friends that I reconnected with via Facebook's husband just passed away.  It was very surprising for everyone.  He was only 44.  Right now I just can't really focus on much.  I am just surprised at how lives develop and change.  I am also of course thinking about my own mortality and of course my husband's.  



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thrifty Tips January 25th

Photobucket




This is just what I work on every week for the radio station I work at.  I post it on my blog and the station's blog.  If you ever want to listen in, you can go to www.radioshine.org and listen on Thursdays at 8:05 am for these tips.


WEBSITE


Have you been looking for a motivating place with diet plans, support, nutrition and fitness help.  An online community that is successful, helpful, and also free?  Take a moment and check out SparkPeople.com.  SparkPeople.com will help you develop a new lifestyle not just another way to lose weight by limits that are next to impossible to continue with.  You can join a whole community but also take advantage of expert advise.  The pounds are flying and SparkPeople.com.  All you need is internet access which you can get for free at the library.


LINK:  Sparkpeople.com





TIPS FOR REUSING COFFEE & GROUND AT HOME


Coffee Grounds.  Not only is coffee amazing when you drink a yummy hot cup in the morning or a frosty glass of iced coffee in the evening, but it has many ways that it can be reused as well.  Here are just a few things you can do with those old grounds.  If you do not have coffee grounds ask around.  Many restaurants or coffee shops will be happy to let you have theirs.  Just pop in and ask. 


1- Composting - Did you know that composting involves more than just dumping your scraps into a barrel?  Apparently you need the right balance of green materials to produce nitrogen and brown materials to produce carbon.  I honestly have no idea why you need both, but my friend you do, and coffee grounds are just one of the materials you can use in your composting pile that will produce carbon.  Kashi's website (yes the cereal granola bar people) has some fabulous composting tips.  It isn't too late to get started, and it is so much nicer than useless waste.  Check it all out here:  Kashi Composting Tips


2- Let the grounds dry and stuff into small paper bags, tie and put in places where odors abound.  You can also put some in old stockings and stuff into gym shoes especially if you don't have more than one pair to switch out of so you can get rid of the funk.  This is also great for taking odors out of the car.  Dried flavored coffee grounds will make the car smell exceptionally great.  Pop some into the refrigerator and freezer too.


3- Use to exfoliate your skin.  I have put used coffee grounds into an old jar or container and use them to exfoliate my hands and feet.  You can use it as a body scrub as well.  I have even found this as a way to boost a tan in the summer as it gets dry skin sloughed off but also adds a very light color.  Your skin will feel absolutely silky!  Guys, it can't hurt you to try this as well.


4- Several sites have recommended soaking the grounds in water overnight or longer and using the colored water as a wood stain. 


5- When planning to cook onion or fish, set aside some of your used coffee grounds to scrub your hands with to eliminate that fishy or onion odor.  Yes, lemons work as well, but then you have to waste a lemon.


6- Coffee grounds are a good fertilizer for acid loving plants like blueberries, carrots and melons.  Check with your local garden center to be sure that you are putting your grounds with the right plants (I have heard yes and no when it comes to tomatoes) as well as the ratios to follow.


7- Soak the coffee in water and use the liquid as a dye for material.


8- It has been said that you can sprinkle old coffee grounds in your garden to keep pests like ants, slugs and even cats away.  If you have dogs or puppies stay away from this as it can make them sick.


9- This is for leftover coffee though for me there is no such thing and I love iced coffee.  Still you can use leftover coffee as a meat tenderizer.


10- If you have dark hair, you can rub used coffee grounds into your hair to stimulate the scalp and add shine.  Lighter haired individuals should not try this as it can stain the hair.


11- I read about using the coffee grounds to dye Easter eggs for a natural look, but I was thinking you could pretty much take care of that by doing brown eggs.  Still, if you would like to try it, you would do the same staining process with soaking the grounds overnight in water.


12- If you have a fireplace, you might want to sprinkle used coffee grounds over the ashes before cleaning out the fireplace.  They will help minimize the dust that can be flying about.


13- Another way to use leftover coffee is to put equal parts of coffee and sugar in a pan and boiling it down into a syrup.  This may seem weird to some, but back in Rhode Island, coffee milk and coffee syrup was hugely popular.  In fact, I just may have to use some of my stored up iced coffee to make my own.


14- Speaking of iced coffee, brew a second pot of coffee using leftover coffee grounds and use the lighter coffee to make ice cubes to put in your iced coffee drinks.  They flavor will be less diluted this way as the ice melts.


15- Mix coffee grounds with your carrot and radish seeds when planting to help their crop grown and keep pests away.





FREE PHOTOS


Create a free Walmart Photo Center account and you will get 25 free 4 x 6 photos in your welcome email.  OOOH I didn't mention that these were one hour prints.  There are also other great reasons to join like free shipping to the store and photo storage too.  At the very least, how can you pass up 25 free prints?  I'm sure you have some pics you would like to print for free.


LINK:  Walmart Photo Center Account

FREE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION


Living The Country Life, I believe that this magazine subscription is quarterly.  I get it and it really has some great information for people who like gardening and things like that.  I have found some great tips in the issues that I have received in the past.  Because it is quarterly, do not expect it to arrive right away.  Sign up while supplies last.  I  just got the latest issue so I am not sure exactly when the next one will arrive.


LINK:  Living The Country Life


Got a new baby in the family or are you expecting?  Sign up for a free subscription to Baby Talk magazine. 


LINK:  Baby Talk Magazine


Another fabulous subscription for those with  new babies or babies on the way is American Baby.


LINK:  American Baby Magazine

FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS


FreeCCM is offering free downloads this week from Building 429, Skillet, Todd Agnew (Christmas), Phillips, Craig & Dean (Christmas), 33Miles (Christmas), Stellar Kart and Decyfer Down.


LINK:  FreeCCM Music Downloads


New Release Tuesday has free song downloads too including "Come to Me" by Bethel Music from their album "The Loft Sessions," "At Your Name" by Worship Central from their album "Spirit Breakout,"  "Even Here" by Rachel Chan from her debut album "Go" and "Take Me Home" by Hollywood Holly from his album "When Super Meets Natural."


LINK:  New Release Tuesday Free Music Downloads


Sign up for Hear It First and you can get a free song download every week emailed to you as well as lots of Christian music news, videos, and deals.  I do want to let you know that they will email you with deals and new release news.  You wont get a bunch of junk mail, but you may get more than one email a week.  I like them very much though.


LINK:  Hear It First

GROCERY DEALS

FRY'S


Entire Selection of Fresh Pork 50% Off
New York Strip Steak USDA Choice, Bone-In, Beef Loin Family Packs $4.67 lb (limit 2)
Red Seedless Grapes 88 cents lb
Fry's Milk Whole Vitamin D, 2%, 1% Lowfat, or Nonfat Gallon sizes $1.57 (limit 2)
Doritos 11-11.5 oz $1.99
Dole Premium Classic Salad Select Varieties $1.00 each
Anjou or Bosc Pears 99 cents lb
Navel Oranges 99 cents lb
Bananas 57 cents lb
-GAMEDAY GREATS BUY 10 SAVE $5 (all the prices reflect the $5 off when 10 are purchased)
Mission Soft Taco  Tortillas $1.9
Lay's Potato or Kettle cooked Chips 8.5 to 10.5 oz $1.88
Ragu Pasta Sauce 16-26 oz Select Varieties 99 cents
Marie Callender's Entree Select Varieties 8.5-19 oz $1.88
Healthy Choice Entrees Select Varieties $1.88
Philadelphia Cream Cheese Select Varieties8 oz $1.29
Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese 15 oz or Velveeta Shells & Cheese 10-14 oz $1.49
Welches Essentials or Light Grape Juice 64 oz $1.99
Hebrew National Beef Franks Select Varieties 11-12 oz $2.99 each
Advil Pain Reliever Select Varieties 20-24 ct $3.34
Edge or Skintimate Shave Gel Select Varieties 7 oz $1.49
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Beverage Select Varieties Half Gallon $1.99


SAFEWAY


Whole Pork Shoulder Blade Roast Bone-in, Sold in the bag $1.29 lb
Swai Fillets Farm raised, previously frozen $2.99 lb
Imported Red Seedless Grapes 99 cents lb
Russet Potatoes 49 cents lb
Safeway Apple Juice 64 oz $1.99

Barilla Pasta 12 to 16 oz 10/$10
4 lb Bag Safeway Oranges $2.00
Sweet Navel Oranges 99 cents lb

FRIDAY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY ONLY

Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith Apples 99 cents lb
Ken's Salad Dressing 16 oz Select Varieties 2/$3
Deli Counter Meat or Cheese - Turkey, Ham or American $4.99 lb




ALBERTSONS


Petite Sirloin Steak boneless $8.49 lb 1/2 free
Assorted Pork Loin Chops Bone-in Family Pack $1.88 lb
Pork Rib Racks Bone-in $1.99 lb
Pork Sirloin Chops $1.99 lb
Coke 12 pk Select Varieties Sale Price 4/$13 with $25 purchase 4/$10
Michelina's Entrees 4.5 to 9.5 oz 10/$10
Purple Eggplant 77 cents each
Large Navel Oranges 99 cents lb
Red, Green or Romaine Leaf Lettuce 99 cents each
Banquet Value Meals 4.66 oz - 10.25 oz 10/$10

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day One & Two - Getting Up Early For My Time With God

Photobucket

DAY ONE


I have to say that I really, really, really had a horrendous night's sleep.  It was so bad that I asked God to please give me the stamina to get up in the morning to begin  my reading.  No joke, I probably tossed and turned the entire time I was in bed.  I slept fitfully at best.  When the clock went off at 5:00 am, I was soooo very very nervous, and I desperately wanted to slip right back into my old pattern of listening to see if my son got up and got into the shower (I listen for the door and for the shower to turn on) and get one more half an hour of sleep.  But I made a promise to God to get up at 5:00 am every day this week so I could spend time reading and studying His word and of course time in prayer.  


I slipped out of the bed, made my way into the kitchen and bleary eyed...set up the coffee maker.  As the coffee began to brew, I opened my Bible by following the marker.  Oh boy.  1 Chronicles!  This just might be one of the most sleep inducing books in the Bible!  That isn't fair.  It is just full of so much lineage and stuff that I find it hard to move through more than a chapter at a time.  I made my promise though, and God so far had more than met me half way.  I read the first chapter.  After it was completed I asked God if it would be okay to read a chapter and then watch Joyce Meyer.  I get a lot out of watching her conferences and I would love, love, love to go to one, but unfortunately they  never seem to fit into my schedule...but I digress.


It didn't seem as if God objected.  I didn't feel guilty about my request.  I didn't feel like I was trying to get out of anything.  I looked up the DVR recordings and pressed play.  It was amazing.  It was as if God was saying "You have made the right decision."  The program was all about how to start your day, and the importance of spending your morning with God.  Talk about confirmation.


I have to say that my day went well.  My work day went well.  I felt in good spirits.  I had a great work out at the gym.  I also felt good all day.  I wasn't tired!  God hooked this lady up!!!!



DAY TWO


I forgot to mention that after I took my son to the bus stop, I was able to read more of the Bible.  My day started the same as yesterday.  I pushed myself out of bed and made my way into the kitchen, prepped my coffee and began to read. All in all, I handled the morning the same way.  I read up to chapter 6 including commentary sections and watched Joyce Meyer as she continued on the program about starting your day with God.  I really felt as if I was making headway and felt really good.


I almost, actually more than almost, felt like getting up even earlier so I could spend more time.  I may do that tomorrow.  I will get up a little earlier tomorrow, but probably not on Thursday.  Wednesday evenings I am up late doing show prep, so I really can't count on a decent night's sleep.  I am going to try to really work it hard core so I can complete all the prep by our usual bedtime. 


I had a few set backs and a few good things today.  I felt in a great mood and was humming and praying most of the day.  I had a small set back at work, but nothing major.  I guess my mind still will desperately try to play games with me.  My mind, satan, whatever it was...I was a bit of a mess as I headed out to the gym after work.  I recalled the program that I watched this morning though.  One of the things I remembered was Joyce talking about angels hearkening to God's word.  And talking about good things for yourself rather than negative.  


I spoke and spoke and spoke all the positive things that I could think of over myself.  I cried.  I didn't bawl, but speaking those things to myself was good yet they made me cry.  I think I was realizing that I could claim God's love for me and that God has created me for a purpose, but at the same time, I have felt so down for so long that I couldn't handle the positive without high emotion. 


At the gym, I worked out with abandon.  It felt good.  At home I felt good too.  My son and I watched his favorite show together, and then I slipped into a mini sleepy jag.  I woke up sad and depressed.  I felt blue and I really had no reason why.  I did everything I could think of doing and pulled myself out of a funk earlier, but this time I couldn't do it.  I felt so bad and I don't know why.  


I pulled out of it, but it was a weird moment in an equally weird day.  I had definite ups but some downs too.  I wonder how things will go tomorrow.  


All in all, I am very happy to have followed my promise.  I know that God is working in my life which probably explains why things have gotten a little hard for me so soon.  It is still a victory though, because I could have been blue a lot earlier and fallen into the funk a lot harder.  I did not.  I got through it the first time and kind of zombied it the second.  God is good, and He loves me!  :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday January 23 to 29







I was very happy to stick with last week's Menu Plan Monday.  I am quite late on jumping on the bandwagon today, but I'll be darned if I am going to stop now!  I will get through this year!


Monday
Leftover Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew (I made changes in that I used my own chicken stock rather than bouillon and seasoned salt instead of celery or garlic salt.Spring Mix Salad with mushrooms, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, cranberries and candied pecans (chopped).


Tuesday
Homemade pizzas - One pepperoni and one heavy veggies with light pepperoni and homemade crust recipe.


Wednesday
Beef Tostadas


Thursday
Spaghetti with meat sauce


Friday
Chicken enchiladas


Saturday
Spring Mix Salad with left over pizza


Sunday
Pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn


Not lots of recipes, but I have made fabulous granola bars this week that we have been using for quick breakfasts and snacks. I added dried cranberries, apple sauce, dark chocolate chips and flax seed.  VERY easy and VERY yummy!


Big thanks to Laura from I'm An Organizing Junkie for helping us all live life a little easier.  :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dreaming

Photobucket

I have been thinking about goals and dreams.  Do you ever feel like although you are happy with your life the way it is, you wouldn't mind a few changes?  It isn't like I am not appreciative of what I have, but I guess I am a little dreamer.  One of my dreams is to live in Carmel.  Of course Carmel is in no way inexpensive so for that dream to be a reality will take a huge act of God.  Still...if there were a way, I would definitely be there. 


I went there on my honeymoon in 2007, and I absolutely fell in love with the place.  Really it just has the appeal to me that so many towns like it do.  It is kind of a small town thing.  I loved the views, the greenery, and of course many of the sweet looking cottages I saw.  I looked at these amazing homes and just wondered to myself what it would be like to live in a place like that.  Imaging waking up to the sound of the surf and the site of the cliffs...magical.  


My husband and I are going back soon.  For some reason this made me totally look at the homes there and in Pacific Grove.  I daydreamed quite a bit about waking up in one of these sweet cottages.  A simple two bed and two bath would be fine with me...though I would appreciate also a yard (front and back) so I could garden. 


I don't feel it is wrong to dream these things...I just wish I could figure out that whole way to make them happen short of winning the lottery of course.  When I come back from my honeymoon.  I'll post some pictures.  


Now speaking of goals.  I have been reading about ways to help you change habits and be successful in endeavors to change.  One of the things I have really wanted to do is spend more time in the  Word.  I have been trying to figure out a way to make this more of a reality.  It is killing me.  I don't want to do it, but I seriously think that getting up earlier is probably going to be my only way to go.  I don't mind getting up early.  I just hate not sleeping.  How sad am I? 


So do I do it?  Do I get up a half an hour earlier so I can spend that time reading my Bible?  Part of me wants to do it, but part of me desperately wants to sleep more.  So here's my plan.  For the n ext week starting tomorrow, I am going to get up one half hour earlier and read my Bible.  I am going to just tell me flesh to shut up and do it.  I am also going to pray for God's help in this.  My flesh is weak, weak, weak.  


Where did this post start?  No idea.  Off to finish watching American Idol.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Getting It In Under The Wire

I am squeezing this post in because I realize that OOOPS, I haven't posted today.  It wasn't that I was terribly busy, but well, I was busy.  Just not terribly. More like with terrible projects like laundry, cleaning the cat litter box, going through three piles of papers that were at least 8 inches tall, and of course cooking, cooking, cooking.  These projects aren't even terrible.  I just wasn't in the mood to do them.  Oh!  I didn't even mention that I also went to the grocery store.  What can I say?  I hate leaving the house on weekends unless I am doing something fun.

But...I am proud of myself today.  I am proud that even though I didn't want to, I completed a few chores that needed to be done.  The 2011 me would have found a way to stay in and do the store thing later.

OOOOH I am also proud that it is January 21st and I still have not used my credit card this month!  Wooo Hooo!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Seattle's Best Coffee Review - Level 3

Photobucket


I love free samples.  I love the opportunity to try something new and perhaps add a new item to my loves!  When it comes to coffee, I am always ready to give a new brand a shot.  A while back I got a free sample of Seatle's Best Coffee in Level 3.  I honestly wanted to rip into it immediately, but my husband convinced me to wait for a Friday evening.  Why?  Because he is an old man (actually younger than me) and coffee keeps him up at night.  Me?  I can drink coffee and still sleep like a baby.  I believe that is because of the extensive training I received from many late night coffee walks in my college days where my best friend and I would drink cup after cup of coffee while walking and talking through her neighborhood.  But...I digress.  I do that.  Let's get on to my review.


Seattle's Best Coffee has a new level system that makes it easy to pick the level that is right for you.  You can head to the Seattle's Best Coffee website and read all about each one and be sure that you are going to be pleased.  It couldn't be easier.  I had chosen Level 3 which is described as "Balanced, smooth , full flavored."  The description definitely seemed to suit me, but the test was in the brewing.


First of all, even though I said the test was in the brewing...it is a lot more than that my friends.  What happens when you open the bag of coffee.  Does the aroma make you smile?  Does it smell so good you can't wait to try it?  Does it smell so good you can taste it?  I'm serious.  This coffee smelled good.  It had a strong aroma, but not a STRONG aroma.  It was nutty and rich scented.  Once brewed, my husband took notice.  He grabbed a cup quickly, prepped it up and said "This is good coffee, baby."  I hadn't even had mine yet, the rat!  My own fault of course as I was finishing up some homemade iced coffee (ever since we got a new fridge with a crushed ice mode...I have rediscovered my iced coffee addition ---oops again I digress).  That was all the spurring on I needed.  


The taste...rich but not overly so.  Bold in a cheeky way.  In other words, it didn't slap me in the face, but its smooth nuttiness made just the right impression.  I am in definite like!  My husband tried it with a flavored creamer next and said that the creamer didn't overpower the flavor of the coffee like it can with others.  I don't do soy so I couldn't go in that direction, but I made myself a mocha next by adding a little chocolate syrup, and the flavor balance was fabulous.


Overall opinion - Lovin't it!  I already am a fan of the yummy lattes in a can, and now I can say that I will be picking up some of the bagged coffees as well.  I am really tempted to grab myself a Level 5 which is described as "Bold, dark, intense."  It also has a stunning purple package.  This I like as well.  It is nice that you can find what you like and not grab something else because you mistook the packaging.  By they way...Level 3 was a beautiful brilliant red.  


You can pick up Seattle's Best Coffees at grocery stores, Walmarts, CVS and even get it brewed at Subway and Burger King.  I of course prefer to brew my own.  Follow this link to their website if you'd like to learn more.  :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recipes Links From Burgers to Desserts

Photobucket




Am I the only person who goes on a diet and suddenly feels compelled to watch EVERY food show they can find? I have become addicted to Cupcake Wars, Cake Wars, and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, as well as Kid In A Candy Store. I need help. I guess it is better to watch these shows than to actually eat myself into oblivion.


I think one of the things I really like about Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is the travel. The food too of course. I would LOVE going to different lil eateries all over this country. It is something I kind of picked up from my parents and the various cross country trips we took when I was a child.


Here are a few treats that I am surely going to make.


Original Lauer Kraut Burgers - After watching the fabulous little diner produce these beauties, I was convinced that I must try this recipe out. And in several weeks, I shall. This recipe came from Lauer-Krauts, Brighton, CO. If I ever get to Brighton, I am begging the husband to stop here.


Foolish Guacamole - We have several sports faves around here, and there is nothing like a good snack while watching football, Nascar, or MMA. One of my favorites to make is guacamole. I fell in love with avocados in my teens and guacamole quickly after. I thought BINGO when I watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and they showed this amazing guacamole recipe called Foolish Guacamole at Foolish Craig's Cafe in Boulder, CO. Seriously it looks like there are some amazing places to nosh in Colorado!




And now onto the blogging world:


I am continually looking for recipes that can incorporate foods that I have on hand (especially overripe items like bananas).  When I saw Dina's recipe for Healthy Banana Muffins at her blog Just Another New Blog, I was super excited.  First there is a normal option of which would be yummy and a must try.  And in bold, Dina shows the substitutes that she uses to make an even healthier option.  Follow this link and prepare to be delighted!


Healthy Banana Muffins at Just Another New Blog




Norwegian Chocolate Pizza - You never know where you are going to find an enticing recipe. I was perusing Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews when I saw the most tasty looking chocolate treat. It looks addicting and possibly entirely too indulgent, but once in awhile that is what a person needs. Sharon shared Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook which is a compilation of yummy recipes found in author Joanne Flukes Hannah Swensen series of cozy mysteries. Check out Sharon's blog today. There are a lot of delightful reviews.


Dark Chocolate Florentine Cookies - These sound good, but click on the link and look at them, and you will agree that they also look amazing. I love anything that utilizes dark chocolate. These look like the perfect cookie gift, and I am really thinking of gifting some friends with cookies on Valentine's day. This recipe from Caramel Potatoes couldn't have been posted at a better time. :)

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
- This yummy looking treat comes from Heather's Dish. I love pumpkin and of course coffee cake.



Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pie - Sometimes you open up an email and go "What?" This is what happened to me when I opened my email subscription to Tidy Mom which is Cheryl's wonderful blog. Cheryl, the Tidy Mom who posted a wonderful picture of the most amazing looking chocolatey creamy pie with pretzels! I love a salty-sweet combo of chocolate dipped pretzels, and I imagine I will be just as overtaken by this yummy looking pie. Intesested? You simply HAVE to check out the recipe at Cheryl's blog.

Pumpkin Praline Trifle
- I believe I have mentioned that I adore trifle. It is seriously a dessert that I dream of. I have picked up some extra cans of pumpkin, and I truly think this will be on my must-make list for perhaps my husband's birthday. This divine recipe is located at Baker's Royale.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Love Your Loved Ones



First of all...I love this song. 

It reminds me how fortunate I am to have the wonderful husband that I have.  I have a husband who laughs at my silly jokes, warms up the car for me on a frosty morning, cleans up after I cook (a huge gift), thinks I am amazing, loves to cuddle, enjoys spending time with me, and never tires of saying I love you.  I love that we say "I love you" every day and mean it.  

I have been blessed, and I know it.  I plan to make the month of February a month of spoiling my wonderful husband.  It is of course the month that Valentine's Day is in and also his birth month.  :)  I can't wait to get started!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review - I Shall Not Want by Debbie Viguie

Photobucket

I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Lord Is My Shepherd" the first book in the Psalm 23 Mysteries by Debbie Viguie, and really looked forward to continuing on with the series with the next book "I Shall Not Want."






From Good Reads:  

Charity work can be murder! It’s Thanksgiving and Joseph Tyler, one of the members of Cindy’s church, has organized a new charity that provides homeless people with rescue dogs to love and care for. But one by one, the homeless recipients are being murdered and their dogs stolen. Could an overly competitive millionaire with his prize-winning pooches and a grudge be behind the crimes? Or could it be someone much closer to Joseph who has something sinister to hide? Cindy and Jeremiah must rush to find a killer before he strikes again.

I totally looked forward to reading this second book in the series.  The reader is again introduced to another mystery that Cindy has somehow stumbled upon.  She is just that kind of unlucky.  As the description states, church member, Joseph has started a charity where homeless people are given rescue dogs in an attempt to give them an opportunity to care about something and hopefully reconnect them to getting re-engaged in society.  It is a wonderful cause until these recipients are being murdered and the dogs are being taken.  


I could say that it is a little far fetched that Cindy has somehow gotten herself entangled in this mess, but truly that is what cozy series are about.  Just like a soap opera, calamity follows the same people along like a shadow.  I suspend belief when I read and know that this is not likely to happen to every church secretary, but then again, I do know some people whom trouble does follow.  


It was nice seeing Cindy and Jeremiah interacting again although I do hope that the author doesn't try to push them together romantically.  I also enjoy Mark the detective even though he can be a bit abrasive at times.  Who wouldn't be a bit snarky when they are continually dealing with amateur detectives like Cindy and Jeremiah (although he is less abrasive about their involvement this time around).  


If I had one complaint it wouldn't be about the different rules and regs I have see with the rabbi being out on a Friday and the like.  I am highly under qualified to make any comment on that as I do not know the laws that people of the Jewish faith follow.  I think that if the way the rabbi acts is wildly incorrect enough to toss a person out of the story, that is a shame, because I certainly hate when inaccuracies shove me out of a story.  For me on this part, ignorance is bliss.  I think I was more put off by Cindy's co-worker dressing way out there when she works at a church.  I'm not a prude, but I work in a Christian ministry and typically dress codes do apply.  You wont catch our staff members in fishnets and a mini.  It may work with the character's personality but it wouldn't work at any church I have dropped by.  However, I have never popped into a Presbyterian office...so what do I know really?


All in all, I enjoyed the pace of the story and could see where other characters could be involved in future stories.  I liked again not knowing who the killer was from the get go.  That is a rarity.  It was also nice seeing several theories bounced around which all sounded legitimate.  Nothing was obvious and everything was explored.  The book stands well on its own, but does mention the first mystery so I would read that one first if you are planning on hitting the whole series.  

I received this book for free through Nook download at Barnes & Noble.



Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday January 16 to 22, 2012





Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew served over Pepper Biscuits (recipe from Food Blogga)
I just love utilizing the slow cooker and I have been craving pepper biscuits ever since I moved from Rhode Island


Tuesday - Senate Bean Soup with Pepper Biscuits


Wednesday - Tacos (no need for a recipe link)


Thursday - Panko Breaded Chicken strips and Spring Mix Salad (I picked up massive quantities of Panko breading for 50 cents a box because of a great sale and great coupons.  Panko is the only way I make chicken for our salads. 


Friday - Chicken & Black Bean enchiladas (no need for a recipe link either)


Saturday - Leftovers as we are going to see Brad Stine


I hope that everyone has a wonderful week.  I look forward to checking out more recipes this week so I can put them to work in the weeks to come.  Big thanks to Laurie from  I'm An Organizing Junkie for helping us organize this important part of the day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Epiphany At Walmart

Photobucket


I am continually amazed at how much grace God extends to us.  The past year (and I suspect the year ahead) has been filled with God slowly revealing to me my faults, weaknesses, and His love for me.  It is funny but just when I think "Okay...I've got it!  I've got this down"...something happens and I realize there is still so much more room to grow.  So much more of me that has yet to be revealed.


I had an epiphany at Walmart this weekend.  Truly I shouldn't shop at Walmart because if God has ever set on sending sandpaper in the form of people into my life to smooth out my rough edges, Walmart is their breeding ground.  Shopping there for me is an endless cycle of annoyance.  I spend so much time dodging families that walk down the aisles four wide (and amazingly barely budge as you approach as if you can just levitate over them); working my way around center aisle cart parkers or daydream shoppers (you know the ones, they stroll slowly along the aisle and suddenly get inspiration and turn abruptly into your direction); scooter patrol; dashers (the ones who race to beat you to the check out); the boundary challenged (the souls who just get uncomfortably close to you) and truly the list can go on and on.  I'm not even going to touch the frightmare that is the Walmart parking lot.  Drivers are CRAZY!!!!


I have so often griped in my mind as well as prayed for God to just grant me patience so I would not lose it in the store.  I do not want to drive home in misery because of another annoying excursion, and I do not want to become a person who orders everything online and becomes a shut in because they do not want to leave the house, because let's face it...I can't afford it.


As I was praying another apology to God for once again being a shopping grump, I felt God speak to my heart and say "Pray for them."  It was a light bulb flash.  I started praying immediately.  Every time a person got uncomfortably close to me, I prayed for them.  I prayed for the cashier, I prayed for the greeter, I prayed for the woman racing me out of the door, I prayed for the man barreling through the parking lot.  Because I had filled my thoughts with prayerful thoughts, I had no time to be grumpy or to worry about avoiding anyone.  If you got in my way, you were going to get prayed for.  If you acted rude or inconsiderate, you were going to get prayed for.  What a change in attitude!  I now see my shopping trips as opportunities to be used by god in the most discrete yet fun way.  God and I have a secret.  Well...now you know it too.  :)


"I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take their stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh."  Ezekial 1:19

Saturday, January 14, 2012

For God So Loved The World...



One of the best things about tonight's playoff game between my favorite team the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos was watching this brief commercial from Focus on the Family sharing the message of God's love. There is nothing that can top today than the fact that God loves us so very much.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review - The Lord Is My Shepherd by Debbie ViguiƩ

Photobucket





One of the wonderful things about my goal to work out - besides burning off some much needed calories - is I latch myself onto the elliptical trainer and pour myself into a book.  Or would that be a Nook?  Well, it would be both.  I was given a Nook via my husband's boss (he doesn't enjoy reading like I do and thought I would enjoy it- I DO!!!!), and it is definitely one of my favorite things.  I love taking it everywhere and always having a book on hand.  I love that I can change the print size so I can read it without reading glasses (which I have recently needed).  I love that I can take it with me to the gym and workout on the elliptical or treadmill without holding pages open like so many others have to do.  Mind you I have an old-school Nook, but it is still a joy!


I really wanted to increase my reading time, and having the Nook and the opportunity to read while I workout has really working out more enjoyable and reaching a reading goal even more amazing.  It is wonderful getting the opportunity to multitask in a very good way.  The past two weeks I have been working my way through "The Lord Is My Shepherd" by Debbie ViguiĆ©.  





Here are some details from Goodreads:


Cindy’s church is getting ready to celebrate Easter, and Jeremiah’s Temple is preparing for Passover when Cindy literally stumbles over the body of an unknown man lying dead in the sanctuary. The church was locked, and a bloody cross necklace on the floor seems to be the only clue. The killer is likely a member of the congregation, but there are hints that similar deaths have happened in the past. Are Cindy and Jeremiah dealing with a serial killer? They have to unravel the clues before Easter Sunday arrives and more people die. 

My Review: 


I picked "The Lord Is My Shepherd" because I was looking for a cozy mystery.  I love that cozy  mysteries give you a mystery without the sex and foul language.  Cozies also involve more characters that I can relate to.  Let's face it, for the most part, the people we know aren't fashion models, movie stars or explorers.  Most of us through six degrees of separation may know someone in a high end career, but most of us still live our day-to-day lives far from a spotlight.  In a cozy anyone can become a central character to an adventure be that person a grandma, waitress, real estate agent or even a church secretary.  


Now this cozy was a little more bloody and creepy than the usual cozy, but it still had most of the key ingredients that I enjoy.  Cindy is a mild-mannered and perhaps slightly bored church secretary who literally stumbles on a corpse in the church sanctuary of all places.  The story immediately moves forward from there and introduces Rabbi Jeremiah Silverman and man other characters.  Together they have quite a wild ride and some rough patches and truly I had no idea who the actual killer was.  Let's just say that was a thrill in itself as I almost always figure things out.  


"The Lord Is My Shepherd" delighted me so much that I immediately began to read the next book in the series "I Shall Not Want."  The icing on top of the cake is that both books in the series, well actually all three of the books in the series, I was able to get free through Barnes & Noble.  I look forward to what comes next!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Casting Crowns - Just Another Birthday




The impact of the presence of a father in a young girl's life is, in my opinion, literally life altering.  This song by Casting Crowns touched the little girl in my heart who missed some important bonding time with her own daddy.  I am happy to say that I now have a relationship with my father, but I  still have issues that I deal with because I just have not felt worthy and filled myself up with what the world advised.  I needed God to fill the emptiness.  Sadly, I felt that God couldn't possibly love me, because I couldn't grasp the love of a parent. 


In this regard, I am definitely a work in progress.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thrifty Tips for January 12th

Photobucket
I do a thrifty tips special weekly at the radio station.  Here is what will be on deck for Thursday:

FABULOUS WEBSITE

FlyLady is here to help everyone with CHAOS which she calls Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.  Want to get your home in order, gain control over your day and be happy to have someone over without worrying about the mad dash to get things nice and neat or the garbage bags you need to locate to temporarily "store" some clutter?  Check out one of my favorite places to inspire and equip everyone to keep their households under control.


LINK:  FlyLady


FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS


iTickets.com has a free download available of Rend Collective Experiment's song "Second Chance" from their CD "Homemade Worship by Handmade People.  PS...they will be at Grand Canyon University on January 20th with Francis Chan.  So if you like what you hear, you might want to check them out live.  PPS...I think it is PPS...anyway, don't forget you do need to be a member of iTickets.com in order to download, but membership is free and they do not spam you.


LINK:  Second Chance by  Rend Collective Experiment


New Release Tuesday is also a great resource for free Christian music downloads as well as fabulous Christian music news.  They also are offering a free download of "Second Chance" by Rend Collective Experiment as well as "Love  Lifted Me" by John Barnett from his new album "Never Look Back."  You can like them on their Facebook page or head to their website.


LINK:  New Release Tuesday song downloads


FREE EBOOKS


I would like this focused entirely on my life in general...I was not blessed with organizational skills.  A book like "Absolutely Organize Your Family by Debbie Lillard could just work wonders for someone like me.  If organization is one of your goals, check out this free opportunity:


Absolutely Organize Your Family: Simple Solutions to Control Clutter, Schedules & Spaces by Debbie Lillard (BARNES & NOBLE) (AMAZON


Ruby (Dakotah Treasures Series) by Lauraine Snelling (BARNES & NOBLE) (AMAZON) For those into Western inspirational stores, Lauraine Snelling is really amazing.


Priced To Move by Ginny Aiken (BARNES & NOBLE) (AMAZON)


The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth  Camden (BARNES & NOBLE) (AMAZON)


If you are looking to make something quick and easy you have to download 5 Minute Recipes by Instructables Authors (AMAZON)





REBATE


If you catch Physician's Formula's new Organic Wear 100% Natural Lash Boosting mascara with a special "TRY ME FREE" sticker attached, you simply cannot pass it up.  There is a rebate available now worth a maximum of $9.95.  Be sure to follow ALL the directions.  For example the "Try Me Free" sticker must be included with the rebate form, the purchase needs to be made between 11/1/2011 to 10/31/12, and the form must be postmarked by 11/15/12 (though I wouldn't wait that long).  Follow the link below for your rebate form.  Don't forget to follow ALL the directions.  Keep a copy too!  :)


LINK:  Physician's Formula Organic wear Natural Lash Boosting mascara rebate





PRINTABLE COUPON


Try Arby's Roast Beef Classic Special for just $3.99 with the printable coupon at the link below.


LINK:  Arby's Roast Beef Classic Special

SAVING STAR COUPONS


Don't forget to head over to Savingstar.com to download the latest coupons to your loyalty card.  Each time you purchase an item with the corresponding coupon, more money drops into your Savingstar account.  When you hit $5, you can parlay it into an Amazon gift card or have it go directly into a bank account or even Paypal.  This could pile up quickly or slowly, but it is still money that you can get by items you would purchase anyway.  Check them out if you haven't already at the link below.


LINK:  Savingstar

FREE TASTING EVENT


Starbucks is very proud of their coffee and very confident in their flavors, and starting January 12th through January 14th you can participate in a taste test and vote for your favorite be it Blonde Roast, Medium  Roast or Dark Roast.  According to their website, they will also give you a little something as a thank you.  Follow the link below for more details!


LINK:  Starbucks Coffee Sampling Event

WHAT TO DO? WHAT TO DO?




It is time again for another free National Park Weekend!  Yes in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, more than 100 National Parks that charge an entrance fee will be offering three fee-free days: January 14th, 15th and 16th!   Click on the link below for the list of participating parks.


LINK:  Free National Park Entry


If you decide to pack up the kids for some fun National Park Hopping, you may want to stop by the Pringles' Facebook page for some fun traveling printables. 


LINK:  Road trip printables for the kids


Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic will offer the kids an opportunity to build a cute little castle complete with stickers and cut outs.  This activity will run on January 14th.  Don't forget you need to register via the website.  You can also register the kids for their chance to build a...Build-A-Saurus a sweet lil wooden dinosaur for the kids.  That building class will be held on January 28th.  All these activities are free. Follow the link below to sign up now.


LINK:  Lowe's Build and Grow Clinic for Kids




GROCERY DEALS

FRY'S
Kroger Cheese Select Varieties Bar or Shredded 6-8 oz $1.79 Each
Yoplait Yogurt Select Varieties 4-6 oz 20/$10
Red Bell Peppers 88 cents each
Kroger tomato Sauce Seclect Varieties 8 oz Can 5/$1
4 for $10 (Plus Get One Free Gallon Fry's Milk or One Half Gallon Simple Truth Organic Milk - limit 2 rewards per transaction)
Special K Cereal or Crackers Select Varieties 4-19.5 oz
Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars, Kellogg's Fiber Plus Bars or Special K Bars Select  Varieties 5-10 ct
Kashi  GoLean Cereal Select Varieites 14.1-15 oz
Keebler Right Bites or Wheatables Select  Varieties 4.24-8.5 oz
Blackberries or Blueberries 6 oz 2/$3
Red Cherries $2.49 lb
Bar-S Bacon 12 oz $1.99 (limit 2)
Spiral Sliced or Half Ham 99 cents lb
Campbell's Soup Select Varieties 10/$10
Manwich 15.5 oz 10/$10
Hunts Pasta Sauce, 26-26.5 oz 10/$10
Mangoes 99 cents each
Bananas 57 cents lb
Yellow or Zucchini Squash 99 cents lb


Also a big 50% off sale with 50% off taken from:
New York Strip Steak or Roast (limit 2)
Foster Farms Whole Chicken
Ronzoni  Smart  Taste Pasta Select Varieties 12 oz
Classico Pasta Sauce 8.1-26 oz Select Varieties
American Beauty Pasta 12-16 oz Select  Varieties
Libby's Canned Vegetables 14.5-15.2 oz (excluding peas) Select  Varieties
Nabisco Saltines 9-16 oz Select  Varieties
Ken's Salad Dressing 16 oz Select  Varieties (coupons were in last Sunday's paper)
Challenge Butter 16 oz Select  Varieties
Clorox Wipes 150 count

 ALBERTSONS


USDA Choice Beef T-Bone Steak Bone-In Family Pack $4.77 lb (I don't typically indulge in T-Bones, but if I do, it will be at a sale price)
Sanderson  Farms Chicken Drumsticks, Thighs or Leg Quarters Family Pack or Whole Body Fryers 99 cents lb
Red Seedless Grapes $1.49 lb
Prego  Pasta Sauce 23.25-24 oz 2/$3 (there were coupons for these in the Sunday paper)
Hunt's tomato Sauce 8 oz limit 6 or Maruchan Instant Soup 2.25 oz Select Varieties 3/$1.00
Coffee-mate Flavored Creamer 32 oz $2.99
Hormel Compleats or Dinty Moore Meals 10 oz $1.49 (limit 4)
Chobani Greek Yogurt 6 oz 10/$10
Qyaker Quick or Old Fashion Oats 42 oz $2.49
Campbell's Chunky Soup 18.6-19 oz Select Varieties 2/$3 (limit 4)
Jennie-O Blue Ribbon Hickory  Smoked Turkey Breast Sliced from the Deli $3.88 lb
Pork Sirloin Chip or Roast Boneless $1.99 lb
Ground  Beef 93% Lean $2.99 lb any size package (not a price I go for, but if you really want some ground beef)
Bar-S Bologna 12 or Jumbo Meat Franks 16 oz Select Varieties 4/$5
Ronzoni Garden Delight or American Beauty Pasta 12-16 oz Select Varieties 10/$10 (check out the 50% deal at Fry's though it could be a better price)
VO5 Shampoo or Conditioner 15 oz Select Varieties 89 cents
Napa or Bok Choy 2 lbs $1

Bunch Green Onions or Radishes 2/$1
Navel Oranges or Menneola Tangelos 99 cents lb

SAFEWAY


Whole Boneless Pork Loin - Sold in bag $1.99 lb
Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage Rolls or Fully cooked Selections 9.6-16oz Select Varieties 1/1 free save up to $5.49 on 2 (plus there were coupons in the Sunday paper)
Blackberries or Blueberries 18 oz containers $4.99 each
Sweet Navel Oranges 49 cents lb
Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith Apples 99 cents lb
Marie Callender's or Healthy Choice Meals 8-19 oz Select Varieties $1.99 each
Ragu or Francesco Rinaldi Pasta Sauce 16-24 oz 4/$5
Anthony's Pasta 12-16 oz Select Varieties 10/$10
Hass Avocados 99 cents each

Safeway 3-Day Sale
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Chef Boyardee Canned Pasta 7.25 to 15 oz 89 cents
Nabisco Premium Saltines or Snak-Saks 8-16.5 oz $1.59
Sweet Imported Cherries $1.99 lb
Safeway Ground  Turkey 20 oz 1/1 free (save up to 4.79 each)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not A Good Day

Photobucket


Well it wasn't the worst day, but as far as my diet goes...not great.  I did work out at the gym and burned off 330 pounds on the elliptical trainer.  So I can be proud of that, but the eating...not great.  I learned something though. 


I cannot not eat.  When I get overly busy at work I tend to drop eating because I am just way too busy.  What happens next is I tend to pop just about anything into my mouth just to keep from feeling weak and ookie.  Today I only was able to eat about five bites of my salad.  Because it was easier, I quickly nabbed two eggrollish items (our program director's wife made them and they were amazing just not good for me) because they were easy to handle.  Because I didn't eat a decent lunch, I ate two pumpkin granola bars on the way to the gym.  Not only did I not enjoy a thing, I definitely did not eat well.  


I did hit the gym and work out, but I got there late, because we had a staff meeting that took longer than expected.  I am happy about showing up though, because I really was close to not going at all.


When I hit the house I was hungry and rather than eating something good for me, I popped a donut. 


Let's face it...this day sucked.  


Dinner was much better.  I had one fajita with black beans (I had them cooking all day).  Tomorrow...I will definitely do better.  I think I may make an extra hardboiled egg so I can have something quick.  I am not envisioning a simple day tomorrow.  I have to record our on-air calendar and do show prep for tomorrow morning.  Lessons were learned though.  


Three things I am thankful for:


1- I had fun hanging out with my son today after the gym.


2- Dinner was good and I only had to pick up some frozen peppers to make it complete.


3- It is so nice to have a car with heat!


Two things I am patting myself on the back for:


1- I went to the gym even though I was pressed for time and wouldn't get the amount of workout time I wanted.


2- I said no to an icecream sandwich.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

OOOPS!  Sneaking this in WAY late.  I really really really want to do my best to keep up.  So here is my menu plan for the next week.


Monday - Pork & Pasta Casserole
Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas with Black Beans
Wednesday - Pasta and Sauce (easy night)
Thursday - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes (mashed) salad
Friday - Senate Bean  Soup and Salad

Saturday - Chili 
Sunday - Pot  Roast Mashed Potatoes & Salad


Big thanks to Laurie from I'm An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Learing To Stop And Pray...AND Study the Word (my verse for the week)

Photobucket


My verse this week:  Habakkuk 1:5, "Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."


Isn't this a great verse? I can't wait to see what God has planned for me this year.  :)  This will be my total reminder as the week rolls along.  :)


I read a really awesome devotional the other day via Proverbs 31 Ministries.  It reminded me how important it is to just stop and pray.  So many times in my life I stop and pray when chaos is all around me.  But truly I need to be praying all the time.  I need to be communicating with my God just as I communicate with my son and my husband.  I don't just speak to them when my life is in crisis mode.  I shouldn't communicate to my God just when I am in crisis mode or before meals.  Okay...it isn't quite that bad, but I realize that I need to reach out more habitually.  Praying about all things from the good to the bad. Share about my day with God.  Yes...He knows everything that is going on already, but I still need to actively bring God into my day and my nights.


Today I am thankful for:


1-  We had leftovers for dinner.  I am thankful that I had the food leftover to make a good meal for each of us which allowed me to have the time to just enjoy a piece of Sunday with my husband.


2-  I am thankful that my son got up early when I asked so we could get his hair cut, and I could pick up a few much needed items at the store while he got his hair cut.


3-  I am thankful that I found Kernel Season's Popcorn Seasoning in Jalapeno flavor (SOOOOOO yummy).  It was the perfect treat while watching football today.


Photobucket


I am patting myself on the back today for:


1-  Cleaning out a pile of papers from our coffee table (I am not done yet, but I made a nice dent in the mess).


2-  Making my son laugh.  I like being a funny mom or at least funny to my son.  :)


Looking forward to a beautiful week tomorrow!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Day Ran Away With Me

Photobucket


Today was an absolute whirlwind.  I didn't think that I went to bed terribly late last night, but apparently my body believed I did.  I overslept.  I overslept big time.  I didn't get up until 11:00 am!  I felt like I was back in college on the weekend or something (note I wrote weekend as if I never overslept on a weekday when in college).  

I recall the alarm going off at least once, and I figured I really didn't want to jump up yet.  I seriously must have fallen into a black hole because I did not wake up again until my husband started moving around.  That part isn't totally rare.  He has no problem with getting up early on a  Saturday.  This is a good thing because I usually can't oversleep too much because he is so noisy.  This time, he also was off in slumber land. 


The day was spent watching football and going through magazines.  I was pretty proud of the dent I made in my magazine pile.  I am a real clutterbug with my magazines, and I know my husband appreciates when I get through some serious piles.  I must have read and clipped my way through six.  There were some great articles, and one of them was about being thankful.  It inspired me to start to focus on things I am thankful for.


Now don't let this make you think that I haven't been thankful for what I have and what I have been blessed with.  I am.  I try to make a point to thank God for the blessings he had given me and the fortunate experiences I have had, but I just verbally do this.  So I thought I would make a point of doing that every day at the end of every post.  I think it will be a great way to end a post and also a day.

I also read about weight loss.  One of the articles I read mentioned how it is good to recognize good things about yourself and your accomplishments every day.  It is so easy for us to bash ourselves.  It is so easy for us to see our imperfections and focus on them rather than realize we have good things that we should focus on.  There is nothing wrong with being proud of yourself even over the little things.  So another thing I will spend some time doing is writing two good things about myself each and every day.  This will be what I have done or just something about me.


Three things I am thankful for today.


1- I am thankful that I finally accepted a friend request from a person on Facebook who had an alias.  It turned out to be a very old friend of mine, and I am really stoked about having the opportunity to see how she is doing.


2- I am thankful that the Hawaiian pizza I made tonight turned out well in spite of the fact that the dough I made was so sticky that I had to keep adding flour to it.


3- I am thankful for my wonderful husband and family.  

 I am patting myself on the back today for:


1- Going through my coupons today and pulling out all the old ones.


2- Making pizza from scratch today and using up more leftovers as toppings.  This means that ultimately I have saved my family money!  Yay me!


You know what?  It is nice focusing on the good.  I look forward to continuing this.  :)

OOOH!!!!!  I almost forgot!  I found the verse I am going to memorize in the upcoming week.  I wanted desperately to memorize a verse each week, but I just couldn't find one.  I finally have one, soooo I will start a little late.  I'll post it tomorrow.  I'm so stoked, and pretty proud of myself for taking another step forward in my study of the Word.  :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Quick Check

Photobucket


I really wanted to spend some time posting today, but something came up.  Nothing major, but I need to put more attention to that than this posting. 


I will stop and say that I read a really good devotional today through YouVersion.com.  It involved prayer.  I am realizing more and more how important it is to bring EVERYTHING to God. 


Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a wall when I talk to my son.  I realize now that I simply have got to give him over to God.  I am not in control.  He loves me (my son), but he doesn't listen to me.  He is a great kid, but still there are things that he needs to work on.  I am not going into this personal side of my life, because it involves him.  I will say that I am going to be praying.  A LOT.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Finding Time And My Goals Thus Far

Photobucket


I have come to realize that I need to find more time in my day.  There are so many things I want to do, but I never seem to have the time to get to them all.  Certainly I have the same hours in the day as everyone else, and I definitely have the same hours in the day that I have always had, but I swear I don't have the time I once had.  I don't get it.


I have a friend who is a pharmacist.  She works for various pharmacies all over Arizona.  When she isn't working she knits blankets for the local Community Pregnancy Center and is always working on refinishing something in her home.  Seriously the woman tells me what she is up to, and I instantly feel like I need a nap!


I am thinking about doing a dayrunner kind of thing.  I think if I literally plan the hours of my day, I just might get a better handle on what time I have and what is reasonable to expect myself to do.  It works for what I eat and it works for the cash I spend.  It just may be what I need for my schedule.  Here's hoping anyway.


Dieting or learning to eat right seems to be going well.  I have yet to weigh myself this month, because I am trying not to depress myself.  I know that sounds lame, because really it is a good idea to know where you start, but I haven't had the courage to step on the scale.  I have been doing well with my eating though.  I have been faithful to posting my calorie intake at My Fitness Pal AND (and I am really happy about this), I have been working out at the gym every day.  I am multitasking when I work out as well.  I bring my Nook with me and get in a good hour of reading every day thanks to it.


Finances are going well too.  I am writing down every dime I spend and keeping all the receipts so I can keep track of spending and saving.  It will be nice to see how things flow in the next few months.  I am making more things from scratch in order to save more money.  So far it has been pretty fun.  I am not savvy like many people, but so far I have been pretty proud of my efforts.  I have made my own pizza dough (a big deal for me) and I have also made granola bars!  It is all baby steps.


Not being a big snarko is going well too.  I am being more purposeful when I drive.  I have been actually praying for drivers as I drive, and that pretty much keeps me on a good even keel.  I have found myself not being so annoyed when someone drives a little nutty (and here that happens a lot!).


My Bible reading is going well.  I am able to focus some time in the word.  It isn't as much as I would like yet, which makes me realize that I will definitely have to schedule this study time into my day as well.  I definitely enjoy a devotional in the morning, but that is not the only study I want to get into.  I want to really write God's word on my heart.


All in all, I am not unhappy with the way my New Year's goals are progressing so far.  I feel good about the decisions I made and the idea of making a set of goals and not resolutions. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

HAD A BAD DAY








Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't seem to get on the other side of a funk?  That was me today.  I do not have any idea why, but I kept feeling horrendous today. I cried.  I would stop.  Then I would pick back up again.  I cannot begin to tell you how hard it is to answer phones and be perky when you are crying.  The amazing thing is that I somehow managed to keep it all to myself.  Well not entirely.  I did text a dear friend and asked her to pray for me.  Other than that, I was all smiles when needed.  Those prayers helped as did this verse that I stumbled upon later in the day:


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me."  John 14:1


I clung to that verse and rewrote it in my little "worry book" (I write my concerns in it when they hit).   Eventually, the pain and sadness, the depression and confusion...

just left.

God is so good. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Joy Of Watching What You Eat

Photobucket




I hate dieting.  I  hate dieting tips. I hate dieting books.  I hate the whole idea.  I think that most of us now really don't slap our foreheads when we hear dieting tips.  I know I have a pretty good handle on what I should be eating and what I shouldn't be eating.  The thing is...I may know it, but do I care? 


What I know:




I know that a candy bar is going to taste great and offer nothing else for me.  It smells good, tastes good, and is sticky and sweet.  When I eat a chocolate bar, I savor it, I enjoy it, and five minutes after I eat it, I will not necessarily want another one, but I will not feel satisfied.  If I am trying to lose weight I will most likely feel angry and annoyed with myself for eating what I shouldn't.  I will probably be upset with myself for not staying away from all that chocolatey goodness.  The worst thing that I could do is feel so bad that I eat more garbage.  I am soooooo good at that!  I don't know about you, but when I blow something, I really feel like blowing it all the way. 


I know that I should not drink my calories.  I hate not drinking my calories!  I love coffee!  Seriously love it.  I think coffee is the bee's stinkin' knees.  Sadly, I love coffee with cream and sugar.  Well...half & half and sugar.  Four tablespoons of half & half in my coffee adds 80 calories add two teaspoons of sugar and BOOM 32 more calories!  GRRRRRRR.  I don't care about any other high calorie drinks, but if I am going to try to lose weight, I cannot do it by enjoying coffee like I once did.  I can either learn to enjoy my coffee black (oh doesn't that sound exciting?) or give it up altogether.  The jury is still out on that.  I do enjoy Green Mountain's Wild Blueberry coffee, and I can drink it with stevia.  I may (don't bet on it yet) try to drink that and tea and see how things go. 


I know that the more colorful the foods are that I eat, the better they are for me.  Again this is one of those no brainers, but I don't really get jazzed over the color of my plate.  I don't think "Oh my goodness those red peppers sure make my salad pop.  Everything looks so bright and delicious!"  Maybe I should.  This is not to say that I don't like bright colored veggies and a pretty salad, but the fact is...I really have to make myself eat this stuff.  I loved salad, but I am not all charged over it.  I enjoy a lettuce wrap too, but that doesn't mean I will want to eat my burger wrapped in lettuce rather than a bun (I will choose do it though because that is a swap I can handle). 


I know that I need to learn to make healthy choices.  Each choice will bring me closer to my goal.  I also know that I need to have a goal.  I haven't really thought about what I want that goal to be yet.  I better hop on the scale and figure that part out.


I know that I will be tempted.  I know that even though my heart is willing, my flesh is weak.  I know that I do not have to give in to temptation.  When I give in, it is a set back.  When I give in, I get bummed out and am very likely to blow the work that I put in and blow it bad.  I just need to think and think and think before I eat. 


This week I am going to formulate a plan for when things hit.  More about that tomorrow.  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - January 2, 2012 to January 8, 2012

Yay!!!!!  It is Menu Plan Monday, and I am so excited.  It has been such a long time since I have participated, and this is the first time on my new blog.  I know that this is definitely going to be a good thing for my family and our budget.  So big thanks to Laura from I'm An Organizing Junkie for keeping all of us inspired! 

Planning a menu can be a bit of a challenge for me.  Wednesdays are a must for something quick and easy or a leftover as I have to work on thrifty tips for Thursday.  Personally I'd rather not take the time to think of this all in one day, but it really does beat worrying about it last minute while on the way home from work.

This month menu planning is going to be vital.  I am not using my credit card to shop with all month, and frankly this scares me a great deal. I am going to try to use primarily what we already have on hand.  In some ways that is quite a bit, but in others...not so much.  This is because a few months ago our refrigerator died and that drastically diminished the food stock I normally would have on hand in the freezer.  Either way...I don't have a choice, because we are trying to keep most spending off of the card for the next few months as we try to tackle the cost of the replacement fridge.  

As far as leftovers go, I have a glut of ham leftover from Christmas, so I am also trying to incorporate that into as many meals as I can think of as well.  Sandwiches for lunches are a good bet, and I have also been lunching on Cobb salads as well minus the turkey, egg, and cheese...ah let's face it,I am eating a lot of ham salads.  I also made Senate bean soup which is now filling up half of my freezer.  I would do scallop potatoes with ham but I find that absolutely gross.  I grew up on rich scallop potatoes and now they just make my stomach turn.  I think a ham and cheese calzone will be just perfect for getting some more ham eaten up.


Honestly, I am just thrilled about getting this going again.  How freeing it is not having to think about dinner EVERY day when I am on the way home.  Now I just need to stick with it. 


Monday - Barbecue Pork Rolls with Spring Mix Salad
Tuesday - Ham & Cheese Calzone (light on the cheese)
Wednesday - Leftover Shredded Pork Enchiladas (Sunday's dinner)
Thursday - Panko Breaded Chicken Spring Mix & Romaine Salad
Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Saturday - Pepperoni Pizza
Sunday - Baja Fish Tacos (with Tilapia)


My husband isn't one for eating leftovers until they are gone so I have been freezing more of our meal portions.  I hope to incorporate those into meals in the future weeks.  :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Photobucket



Well...I am very interested in posting today, but unfortunately I am having a little bit of a focus issue.  My husband is watching Saturday Night Live (recorded from the other day), and it is just totally distracting.  I honestly have typed for over a half hour and have gotten nowhere.  Don't you hate when that happens?


For now I just wish everyone a happy and peaceful new year.  I'll catch up after this show is over.  :)

:)