Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ocean Spray Giveaway - 4 Winners!!!

I'm pretty excited about this Giveaway Post. The reason why is because I get to choose four winners!! That's right! This is my first giveaway that I have been allowed to choose this many winners. It's also a pretty cool prize pack!

Ocean Spray and MyBlogSpark sent me six boxes of Ocean Spray Fruit Flavored Snacks. Just what I need. Right?! Luckily for me I am not a fruit snack fan. My sister on the other hand can devour a whole box in one sitting (and she may kill me for writing that). ;)

The fruit snacks came in the mail and I thought I was safe. Honestly I have never eaten a fruit snack that I have liked. My girls love them so I thought I would just let them review them. One night my youngest daughter was eating a pack and they smelled so good. I then made the mistake of eating one, and then another and another. I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. They are awesome. Honestly the best fruit snacks ever!!!

For a few moments I totally understood my sister. Yes, I did share with her. I gave her two boxes for her family. I'm not sure if the kids got any but I do know that my sister enjoyed them. She told me the next week she went to walmart and found them for less than $2 per box with a $1 coupon off each box. Pretty nice!

So what I'm getting to is that these fruit snacks are really good. My whole family enjoyed them and my sister's whole family enjoyed them. If you are a fruit snack fan I would suggest giving them a try. Just remember, all things in moderation. :)

Ok, here comes the fun part. Time to enter for a chance to win (6) boxes of Ocean Spray fruit snacks. 4 Winners will be chosen to win this prize pack.

How To Enter:

1. Let me know if you like fruit snacks or not. If you do, what is your favorite fruit snack brand.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Monday, February 13, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize pack.

Disclosure: The Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks were provided by Ocean Spray and MyBlogSpark.

And The Number Is... Week 3 Weigh In

I had another good yet tiring week. Somehow I got another head cold over last weekend and felt miserable for the first half of the week. These viruses seem to be never ending. I don't know if it is just my family or if it is everyone this year. We just seem to get one virus after another after another. By the time one virus has worked its way through all of us another one has already started. It is crazy and so tiring. I am finding it very hard to keep up with work, housework, cooking, laundry and everything else. I'm hoping that when the weather figures out what it is going to do that maybe we will all start to feel better. The crazy cold weather one day and warm weather the next is just so odd for January.

As far as my weight goes I was pleased with myself this past Friday when I weighed in at 191.8lbs. That is another 2.2 lbs down! Another 2 pounds and I will be in the 180's! What an exciting day that will be.

I'm getting very close to my hair cut and color! Another 5.8 pounds to lose and then I can make my appointment. I'm very excited about getting a new style. Not just getting a new style but feeling good about myself while I get a new style. :)

Once I lose the first 10 pounds I know I can do this. I think that is why the first 10 pounds is so important to me. After I lose 10 pounds I start to feel and see the difference. My clothes start to get lose, my face starts to look thinner and I just feel better in general. I can't wait!

I think I can do it in another 2 weeks. That would mean that I would have to lose a little over two and a half pounds a week. It's definitely doable. I just need to make sure that I don't let the stress of everyday life get to me and ruin my weight loss and motivation.

I'm sure all of you know how being tired and worn down can totally eliminate any motivation you many have. How do we work through this without totally ruining any chances of losing weight? I'm still working on the answer to this one because I seem to struggle with it daily. I think what has really been helping me is the fact that I have made myself be more organized this past month with my Daily Devotions, Monthly Meal Calendar and a better cleaning schedule.

I will try to write another post very soon to share with you what I have learned this past month since I started implementing some new things in our home. Check back soon!

A Must Try Snack

Click Here to check out one of my easiest all time favorite snacks. It tastes like a yummy peanut butter cup. I still love this one. I love that little bit of protein it gives me when I get hungry mid-afternoon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And The Number Is....

My weigh in post is a bit late this week. I weighed in on Friday yet it is Tuesday night and I am just now writing it. Life happens and I seem to lose track of time. At least I am getting it posted before this Friday's weigh in. ;)

When I stepped on the scale last Friday I weighed in a 194 pounds. That's 2 pounds lost for the week. I'm exited to have a loss this week.

I am still doing well. So far this week I am down another two pounds. Maybe I can make it 3 pounds by Friday. Planning my meals has been a huge success for me. I make a grocery list every Saturday, my husband does the grocery shopping and then I package and freeze what needs to be frozen when he gets home. It has made my life so much easier. I don't need to reach for the unhealthy food because I have great tasting low fat food right at my finger tips.

Jessica's White Chicken Chili

Low-Fat Pretzel Chicken Cordon Bleu

The inside of the Pretzel Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I still can't believe that it has been almost a whole month and I am sticking with my monthly menu and getting up early to read my devotional every morning. I have actually surprised myself.

I have to go and get some sleep. Morning comes way too quickly. I hope all of you are having a wonderful week. Please feel free to share what you have been making for dinner this week.

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the Burger King Gift Card is Mary from Grand Giveaways. Congrats Mary! I hope you enjoy it! Please email your name, and mailing address to .

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chewy S'more's Snack Mix Recipe

I'm making this recipe this weekend. Chewy S'more's Snack Mix is one of my favorite recipes from the past. Click here to check it out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And The Number Is... Week 1 Weigh In

I finally have the chance to sit down and write this post. I have only been wanting to write it for about a week. :)

Last Friday when I weighed in I was 196 pounds. Yep, I thought the same thing. Yikes!

I had my husband take a picture of me this weekend to use as my before picture on my sidebar. I really don't want to post it but I am going to do it anyway. I'm hoping it will give me more motivation to actually lose the weight.

I weigh in tomorrow and I am excited to see what I have accomplished this week. I have done very well this week despite the craziness of it.

I have already set my first goal and of course it is 10 pounds. It worked for me in the past so I'm going to go with it again. I decided to reward myself with each ten pound goal just to give me a little more incentive. When I reach my first 10 pound goal I am going to get a nice new hair cut and color. I need it terribly so I am hoping having a bad hair day every day until I lose the 10 pounds will be incentive enough. So far it feels like torture but it may just work. ;)

I will post the picture on my sidebar later tonight and continue to post every ten pounds.

I have realized that my new favorite dessert/breakfast is pumpkin rice pudding. You mix 2 tbsp or more with a container of Jello Sugar Free Rice Pudding. It is amazing and such a great way to get in some extra fiber. Love it!

One of my breakfasts from this week

Last Night's Dinner - "The Most Amazing Meatloaf Ever"

This weeks menu had a lot more recipes that didn't involve the crockpot. I noticed that if was a lot harder this week for me to have everything in order and dinner on the table at a decent hour this week. I still managed to have dinner on the table but I had a lot more whining going on while I was making it and some starving kids by the time it was all done. I think I will stick with more crockpot meals in the future.

Gift Card Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter my Burger King Gift Card Giveaway. You can click here and submit your entry.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And The Number Is....

After reading several old posts from 2009 I have decided to start writing weekly weigh in's again. So when you see a post that says "And The Number Is...." You will know it is my weekly weigh in. I did this until I lost 50 pounds and then I stopped. I really thing I need to do it again.

I have to decide on my weigh in day but I will post about it again soon.

Snicker's Pie Recipe

This is another one of my favorite low-fat desserts. Snickers Pie. I haven't made it in ages. I'm posting it here for all of you to see but also so that I remember to make it very soon. Click here to vew the recipe.

Heath Bar Cake Recipe

This has to be my favorite cake of all times. Click here to see the recipe for Heath Bar Cake that I posted a few years ago.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Turkey Barbeque Recipe

This recipe is an oldie but goodie. I am going down memory lane on my blog and found this recipe back in week two of my journey over three years ago. Click here to see the recipe I posted on Turkey Barbeque I haven't made it in so long but it sounds easy and tasty. I may just be adding it to next months menu. ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How To Handle Stress Munchies

The Pinto Beans and Ham are in the crockpot for tonight's dinner. I soaked the beans last night and put got all of the other ingredients ready last night and put them in a bowl for today. I drained the bean and mixed everything together and it looks and smells amazing already. Click here for the link to the recipe.

Last night we had Chili Meatloaf. You can find the recipe here. It is one of my favorite recipes. I made it in the crockpot yesterday and it just wasn't the same. It was very good but it was a little dry on top and a little too moist on the bottom. I probably won't make it in the crockpot again but it really is a great recipe.


Do any of you seem to find it easy to stay on track with your eating while at work during the day and then have more trouble at night when you get home? This seems to be the issue I am dealing with right now. I come home starving. I might snack a very little before I have dinner on the table and then I eat my dinner and I am good. Around 7:30 I start feeling the need to eat. I think it is because I am exhausted and my 3 year old is usually screaming or my 7 year old is throwing a fit about something at that point.

I really do think it's stress eating. I know from past experience that lack of sleep will do this to me. I just don't know how to solve it at this point. I am getting about 8 hours of sleep each night but with my Fibromyalgia I don't know if that is enough. I'm still hoping my body will adjust soon. :)

How do you handle the stress munchies?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Burger King Gift Card Giveaway

Two small words that I love and hate at the same time. lol.

I'm just kidding. I just like Burger King so much that I can't control myself when I am around their food. It's not good for my weight loss.

However, I was very excited when Burger King and My Blog Spark asked me to review the new BK Family Bundle packs. The only problem now is that they were very shorted lived at the Burger King in my area. It is an awesome deal and I hope they decide to bring them back.

I'm sorry. I got completely sidetracked feeling bad for myself. Burger King and My Blog Spark actually sent me a $25 Burger King gift card to try out the new Burger King Family Bundle meals.

I was actually able to try them out more then once with this card. The last time we had the BK Family Bundle meal was mid-December. I left work and picked up the girls, went through the Burger King drive thru, picked up my husband and then enjoyed a night of driving around looking at Christmas lights. It was so much fun.

Some of you may be wondering what the BK Family Bundle meal is. It is a Meal for three that they paired up as a bundle for a great price. This is what you get in the Bundle Meal.
For just $9.99 your family can enjoy the “BK™ Family Bundle” which includes a WHOPPER® sandwich, WHOPPER JR.® sandwich., two small fries, two small soft drinks and a Kids Meal.

We had to add an extra kids meal to our order but it was still a great price for the entire meal. Now you can see why I am so disappointed that they stopped selling it. I guess it's probably better for my weight this way. ;)

If your Burger King still has the Family Bundle you may want to check it out. Now, I'm not saying to eat it all of the time but it is a nice treat every once in a while. It's easy, convienent, tastes great, and it's affordable. Oh yeah, the new french fries are really great too!

Here is some more information that I received from My Blog Spark on the BK/CROWNTM/MC program:

The BK CROWNTM/MC Program comes in a fully interactive Kids Meal box. Sitting atop each box is a newly redesigned BURGER KING® crown, because every kid deserves to be treated like royalty at BURGER KING®! With crowns on their heads, kids can dive into the box, taking it apart, playing fun games and activities that challenge their minds, inspire their imagination and engage with the whole family.

With the BK CROWNTM/MC Program, Burger King Corporation invites kids to tell BURGER KING® what matters to them most. BKC has established a fund to help support the Wildlife Conservation Society, National Parks Conservation Association, and Have It Your Way™ Foundation. By visiting, kids learn how BKC’s charitable partners make a difference. Upon entering BK CROWNTM/MC Codes and clicking on their favorite cause, each kid’s vote helps BK® choose which charity to give back to.

Burger King and My Blog Spark are also offing a $25 Burger King Gift Card to one of my lucky readers.

How To Enter:

1. Leave a comment the name of your favorite Burger King food item.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Saturday, January 21, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize pack.

Disclosure: The BK Gift Card used to purchase the BK Family Bundle Pack was provided by Burger King through MyBlogSpark.”

Crockpot Lemony Chicken and Rice Recipe

Just a quick post to share about tonight's dinner. It was wonderful. It's a new recipe from Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker on facebook.

The recipe is really simple. I didn't follow it exactly how it is listed below. I used the exact ingredients (except for white rice instead of the brown it calls for) but I package my chicken up into small freezer bags and then pull one bag of frozen chicken out in the morning, cut down the side of the bag and throw it into the crockpot. This helps keep my chicken from overcooking since I have to have it cook so long when I am at work.

With my chicken being frozen I couldn't brown the chicken and since I knew it would be cooking all day I didn't cook the onions and garlic before I threw them in. I just took all of the ingredients listed and put them in the crockpot. Then I gave it a good stir, put the lid on and cooked it on low for 4 1/2 hours. Then the crockpot goes to warm which also seems to make the cooking time a little bit longer then what I programed in.

The timing on this recipe was perfect. The rice was so moist and the flavor of lemon was amazing. My y0ungest didn't like the rice (because of the lemon flavor) but she did like the chicken. We are not huge lemon fans but I was very pleased with how much we all liked this recipe. The only thing I may change next time is to cut back on the lemon just a little. Maybe MJ won't mind it so much.

This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Crockpot Lemony Chicken And Rice

Posted by Shannon Cunningham Underwood
Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker on facebook

This is very simple and very yummy, especially if you love lemon. I adapted the recipe to my taste ~
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into large chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups Texmati (long grain brown) rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scrape into slow cooker.

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium high heat until foaming. Add chicken breast halves and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Just keep turning over until all sides are browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add 1 cup broth and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add to the slow cooker, along with remaining broth, rice and 1 tsp. salt. Stir, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, 3 hours. If you are using white rice it will probably take 2-3 hrs. Remove chicken, stir parsley into rice and season with salt and pepper. Divide rice onto 4 plates and top each with pieces of chicken; serve immediately.

adapted from original recipe printed in 'All You' in MAY 2008

Amount per serving (they note 4 servings...but they do not say what a 'serving' is. I would guess it makes 6-8 servings, about 1.5 cups so the calories are less than noted here)

Another note, while you may think to cut the butter to margarine or leave it out, don't because it really adds the only flavors to the chicken and will be very bland if omitted.

Calories: 534
Fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 8g
Protein: 20g
Carbohydrate: 80g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Sodium: 323mg

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fitbit Review

I have received so many emails and messages from so many of you this past week asking about my fitbit. I'm so sorry it took me this long to write about it.

I've had my fitbit for over a week now and I have to tell you that I am thrilled with it. I haven't used it as much as possible this week because of going back to work and trying to stick with my new plan. I really only had enough time to wear my fitbit and try to learn all of it's benefits.

The thing that deterred me from logging my food this week was that the fitbit's food logging system does not have a lot of the food that I eat. It made it really hard to accurately log my food so then I gave up on the logging. Honestly one of the coolest features of the fitbit is that it measures the amount of food you eat to the amount of calories that you burn. Now you can see why I was so disappointed.

However, I did remember that I read on someones review that you can connect your Lose It account to your fitbit. What an awesome feature! Some of you may remember that I used to log my food into Lose It a few months ago. I really like Lose It and I always found it to have most of the foods that I eat. It is really great because they have an iPhone app.

Today I finally had the time to google how to sync the two systems. It wasn't hard at all. I just had to log into Lose It and go into the settings and click on add new device. It was super simple. Now I 'm really ready to get started!

I can't wait to share with you this week how well it works. I think the eat to burn ratio is really going to encourage me to stay on track throughout the day. It will make me want to move more and burn more calories.

The fitbit has a lot of features. Counting the amount of calories I burn is of course my favorite feature but there are so many others. Every time you sync to your fitbit account it tells you how many steps you have taken, how many stairs you have climbed (very accurate), miles traveled, calories burned and it also gives you an active score based on how active you were that day.

The fitbit site also has cute little graphs for each of the features I listed above. There is an activity graph that I really like. It shows you how active you have been throughout the day (Lightly active, fairly active, very active and sedentary) Each section of the graph tells you how many minutes you were in each area. It's very neat.

You can also set up a food goal on the fitbit site. The goal you set depends on how much weight you want to lose in a week (1lb, 2lb etc...). Depending on how much weight you want to lose in a week it tells you how many calories you need to eat. This is where the Lose It feature comes in handy. You can track every calorie and have it all synced right to the site to make sure you are on track for the day.

One of the coolest features of the fitbit is that it tracks your sleep. You push the sleep button when you crawl in bed and then it tracks your how long and how well you sleep at night. The next morning you wake up, turn off the sleep feature and sync your fitbit and it tells you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up during the night and how many hours of total sleep you got that night.

Another great feature of the fitbit is that it is so small. This is one of the major reasons that I purchased it. I didn't want something bulky on my arm while I am working in the office. I wouldn't mind wearing something like that to the gym but when I am working I don't want everyone to see that I am wearing it. The fitbit can go in your pocket, on your belt or the waist of your pants or on your bra. I wear mine on my bra because I know that I won't lose it that way. It hooks right in the middle of your bra and no one can even notice that you are wearing it. At night I put it on the provided soft wrist band.

Overall I am very happy with my fitbit. I think it is really going to help me want to move more. I enjoy looking at how active I have been throughout the day just by pushing a button on the device. When I am at work it makes me happy to see that I have walked a lot or it shows me that I need to move more. It's a great tool and now I can't wait to combine it with the Lose It site so that I can accurately track my calories eaten and calories burned.

I would highly recommend this device to anyone looking for something to encourage them to be more active.

I was not asked by fitbit to review their product. This review is my own opinion and in no way represents the fitbit company.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's Not A Miracle Worker

My new plan was not a miracle worker but I must say that things went much smoother this week then in the past.

I started off the work week on Tuesday because Monday was a paid Holiday. :) Tuesday morning I threw the ingredients for Crockpot Balsamic Chicken in the crockpot when I got up and by the time I got home I had one of the best tasting meals that I have had in a long time. I was very pleased with this recipe and with my new crockpot.

My new crockpot is very similar to this one from

I love it because it has a timer and once the time goes off it automatically goes to warm and keeps my food warm until I get home. I would highly recommend this type of crockpot to anyone who needs to leave their crockpot on for a long period of time when they aren't home. It's a life saver. I found mine at Sam's Club before Christmas for approximately $17. It was a great buy!

I also started Tuesday off with my new devotional. It has been very good so far and if you have a Kindle it only costs $2.51. I surprised myself by getting up every morning about 45 minutes before I normally get up and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy to get up that early but I looked forward to that quiet time so much that I was able to force myself to get up. Even on the two days that I slept very badly. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it even when I was very tempted to sleep a little longer. With God's help anything is possible. :)

I have to tell you that I noticed such a difference in my attitude throughout the days that I did this compared to the past. I feel calmer and so much more refreshed. It's just a good way to start your day. Reading God's word in the morning makes you look at the world so much differently throughout the day.

My breakfast was homemade bread with almond butter.

The paper products with our dinner have been a huge help. I only ran the dishwasher once this week and that was last night. I washed all of the pots and pans that I used to cook by hand and the rest of the silver wear and cups went right into the dishwasher.

I wrote in my new plan post that I was going to try crockpot liners with our meals. Well, I tried them this week and they are awesome! They are worth the money. It was so nice to not have to scrub the dried food off of my crockpot each night. I will not use my crockpot without them from now on.

Wednesday we went to dinner with friends. We went to a new interactive play area for kids and ate dinner there and let the kids play. It was so nice to let the kids run around and play while the adults talked and waited for the food. Then we let the kids eat and play some more until we were ready to leave. The food was great and it was so nice to spend time with our friends in a relaxed environment.

This is a picture of Thursday's dinner. It was one of my own creations of, Crockpot Mushroom Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I put it in the crockpot before work for about 5 hours on low and came home to this. It was so good! This recipe is our favorite from the week.

Thursday was a really rough day. I didn't sleep well on Tuesday or Wednesday night so Thursday was a hard day to get through at work. I was happy to have this meal made when I got home. I ended up taking two Tylenol pm before bed and sleeping like a baby Thursday night. It made Friday much more enjoyable.

Friday's dinner was Blackberry BBQ Pork Tenderloin. This is another recipe the I really love. The flavors mix so well together and it is so easy to make. I put it in the crockpot for 5 hours on low and came how to a very tender pork tenderloin. I love to put the extra liquid over my rice. It has great flavor. I have two pictures posted below. The broccoli took a little longer to cook so I had to add it to my plate a little later in the meal. I didn't want you to think that I didn't eat a veggie with my meal. ;) I love broccoli florets! They are so much better then broccoli cuts.

Today is the start to a great weekend! I woke up early and made the family French Toast and sausage. I made myself this. Here is a link to the recipe. So yummy!

This is a picture of MJ watching Disney's Robin Hood this morning. She is so funny!

I will post later today on the Fitbit and plans for next week. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Great Crockpot Recipe

Today was a great day! I started out with my devotional at 6:45 this morning. 15 minutes later then planned but I still did it. :) It was wonderful to have some quiet time and the devotional I am reading is great so far.

Work went really well. It felt good to be back. It was a long day but I enjoyed it. I really do love my job. I just don't love how tired I feel when I get home at night.

The crockpot meal was great! The crockpot liners were even better. No clean-up is the way to go. I made crockpot Balsamic Chicken, Smart Taste Rotini noodles and a salad. Very tasty and filling. Here is the recipe.

Balsamic Chicken
Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker

4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes1 onion thinly sliced (Not chopped)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tblsp olive oil1 tsp each: dried oregano,basil, and rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Pour the olive oil on bottom of crock pot. place in chicken breasts, salt and pepper each breast, put sliced onion on top of chickenthen put in all the dried herbs and garlic cloves. pour in vinegar and top with tomatoes,Cook on high 4 hours, serve over angel hair pasta.

Tomorrow night we are going out for dinner with friends which should save me a little time on cooking and cleaning up.

I think I did great with the amount of exercise I got in today. I forgot to upload my fitbit to the site before I came to bed and I am to lazy to go down stairs and do it now. I will have to check it out tomorrow. I did a lot of walking at work today and I also played Just Dance 2 on the Wii with the girls tonight. I love it! I get to spend time having fun with my girls and get some exercise in.

Tomorrow comes way too quickly so I am going to cut this post short. If any of you would like to use my menu plan for the month please feel free to do so. Click here and it will take you to the post with my menu. You can find all of the recipes on my site. Just use the search box at the top left of my blog to find each one.


I almost forgot to post about today's lunch. It was excellent. The chicken salad was better then I remembered and the brocco sprouts tasted so good on it. Here's a pic.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Making Life Easier

My new plan:

If you read my post from last week you have seen that I am facing some major road blocks in my road to success.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out a way to make things easier now that I am working. Now that I am not home during the day I am finding it a lot harder to plan meals, cook, clean ... The list goes on and on.

Although the last 11 days off work flew by I was able to put together a game plan.

Step 1: Plan, Cook, and Eat Healthy Meals

It took me a while to figure it out but if it works for me it will all be worthwhile. I first went to my blog and searched all of my old recipes. These recipes have worked for me in the past so I am hoping they will work for me once again. Plus I wouldn't have posted them if I didn't like them which means less experimenting. I'm not saying I won't try new recipes but for now this was the easiest way to go.

I printed out all of the recipes and then laminated each one individually. See pic below.

Then I made a meal planning calendar for the whole month of January using the recipes. You can click here to see my calendar.

After I made the calendar I printed and laminated it and then started the grocery list. My husband was so helpful and took my huge list to the grocery store and picked everything up for me. It was such a huge help because I was able to get cleaning and laundry done while he was gone. Here are pictures of my list.

After my husband got home I put everything away and then started on some chicken salad for my lunches this week. This weeks lunches (for me) will consist of chicken salad on a bagel thin, fat free pringles, fat free rice pudding and strawberries.

I decided to make a chicken salad recipe that I have used in the past. According to my blog I really enjoyed it. ;) So I am giving it a try.

It's chicken salad with, fat free plain vanilla yogurt and craisins. I might even add some chopped pecans into it tomorrow. Let's just say that I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!

Tomorrow's dinner will be Crockpot Balsamic Chicken. I will post the recipe tomorrow if it is any good. It is a super simple meal and I can't wait to try it out. My husband picked up some crockpot liners for me today at the store. I have never used them before so I am very excited to see how they work. I'm hoping they are as easy as they say. No clean-up sounds perfect.

I have all of my ingredients out on the counter (except the cold ingredients) and ready to be placed in the crockpot before I leave the house tomorrow. I even asked my husband to pick up paper products so that I won't have to wash as many dishes each night. This should save a little time too. I know it's not good for the environment so I hope to only do this until I get a better handle on things.

It will be so nice to come home to a warm dinner with very little clean up. :)

Step 2: I've got my Fitbit on 24/7

I will tell you a little more about this awesome device in another post but for now I will tell you that I am enjoying it immensely and I can tell it's really going to help me with my weight loss and becoming more active and healthy.

It's such a cool little device. As soon as I have more time I will tell you about all of it's cool features and graphs. It is so easy to use and so accurate. I love logging my food into it and seeing how many calories I ate compared to how many I burned. It's super neat!

I plan to wear this daily and continue to check my activity level throughout the day to encourage me to stay on track. They even have and iPhone app!!!

Step 3: Increase my time in God's Word

I have to say that I am embarrassed to write about how I have been lacking in this area in my life lately. I seem to be so busy with everything else in my life and I forget to spend time reading God's word.

How am I going to grow as a Christian if I don't spend time reading from the Bible? I realized along with many other things that I need to set aside specific time to spend with God and reading His word.

I first had to figure out the plan and now that I have it down I will be starting my special time with God tomorrow morning at 6:30am. :) Yes, with a smile!

I know it's going to be hard to get up earlier then usual every morning but I need to do it and with God's help I know that this will work. I am very excited to have my alone time with God. If you have children you know how hard this can be.

I purchased a new devotional to read each morning. It's called "Daily Seeds From Women Who Walk In Faith" by Schmidt, Melinda, Lustrea, Anita, Neff, Lori. I was going to order from Amazon until I realized that it was almost $10 cheaper to get it on my Kindle. So Kindle it is! I'm very excited to start reading it.

Wish me luck with my early start tomorrow!


That's about all I have come up with so far on my plan to success. I am praying that I can handle it all and that these few changes will take some stress off of my shoulders and free up some time so that I have time for the more important things like my family.

What have you found successful when it comes to simplifying your life?

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