Friday, May 31, 2013

Just hanging on...

Does the end of the school year seem to add an element of crazy to your house too??  Then you pile on Memorial Day weekend, graduation, 4 days left of school excitment and we are hanging on by a thread...literally.  In an attempt to at least keep myself in my own loop I'm using today on my blog to try and catch up.

Tales spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach with her grandparents and cousin Maya.  By Tuesday I was ready to have her home and suprisingly enough I think she was ready to be home too.  I just loved this picture too much to not share...

She is my sweet (most of the time) love!!!

Tater has been golfing...period!  He went directly from the high school team to pretty much living at the course.  I'm quite sure he would sleep there if he could.  Memorial Day weekend he played in a Glow Golf Tournament and his team won.  He will also be playing in an Oregon Junior Golf Tournament in Medford next weekend.  It is literally his life right now...

I still can't believe he is my "little" boy!!

I spent last weekend with some of my very favorite peeps.  Our annual Memorial Day camping trip is one I always look forward to.  We had a great time and saw some awesome new places...

Darb & I are at about 8000 feet, over looking Lilly Lake and the Goose Lake Valley.  The view (and company) was amazing!!!

This week has been filled with dance recital practice, softball, more golf and baking... 

This is what has consumed my week.

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Mandi Brooks, Addie Englehart and all of the others graduating tomorrow!!  Knowing that I only have 3 more years until Tate graduates makes me want to does life happen so quickly??  Sweet week-

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Weightloss Wednesday...

So here is the bad news...Camping over the weekend killed my diet.  I ate like a pig and drank like a lush.  Somehow I have got to figure out how to be able to leave for a weekend and still practice moderation.  I was happy that the scale only showed 2 pounds up but I worked hard to get that off and now I have to do it again!!  I also haven't done any sort of excercise since last Thursday (a 3 mile run). 

So here is the good news...I am more determined than ever to get myself where I want to go!!!  I am looking forward to the scale going down and I am going to up my running regimen.  No more excuses only progress!!

I saw this quote this morning and it really spoke to me. 

If you do what you always did
you will get what you always got!

How am I EVER going to expect myself to get the results that I want if I keep doing the same things that got me to this point?  The fact is-I'm not!!  Game On!!!  Sweet inspiration-

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weightloss Thursday...


I know it is that simple but it is so hard!!! Sweet struggles-

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monkey bread...

When my babies were small I made them breakfast EVERY.SINGE.MORNING.  They would wake up and head directly to the table with their blanket in hand ready for something yummy.  Most days Taylea's hair was styled with syrup instead of hair spray, which only added to her cuteness.  I refer to those days as "the good ole' days" because I didn't work and let's face babies were adorable.  Spending those years at home with them is something that I treasure.  It is also a fact that although I love them still...they are now bratty teenagers!!!  I want those sweet faces back...I want them to wake up in the morning and ask me, "Mama, what's for breakfast" with the cutest grin on their faces.  Why do they have to grow up and be teenagers???  Why??? 

On Saturday night I had three extras.  You see, teenagers can't do much without a friend or two and mom's just aren't cool anymore...that is until they want breakfast.  What do you feed 5 growing kids for breakfast?  Monkey bread...of course.  Now I'm sure that I could of thought of something a little healthier but I just went with it.  When you are feeding three girls who think that guzzling Mountian Dew and eating copius amounts of Smarties is a great way to hype yourself up enough be wide awake until 4 a.m., it just doesn't matter.

To make it you will need a bundt pan, 2 rolls of refrigerated biscuits, 1 package of instant vanilla pudding, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 heaping teaspoon cinamon, an additional 1/4 cup cinamon, 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks melted butter and 1 cup brown sugar...

Begin by cutting each biscuit into 4 pieces...

Add them to a gallon size ziploc bag that you have put the instant vanilla pudding mix, sugar and heaping teaspoon of cinamon in...

Working in batches, coat the biscuits with the mixture and transfer to the greased bundt pan...

Do this until all of the biscuits are coated and your bundt pan is full...

In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter...

Add the brown sugar and remaining cinamon.  Mix until it is smooth...

Pour over the top of the coated biscuits...

Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 28-32 minutes or until the top is browned the biscuits are no longer doughy...

Let it cool for about 5 minutes and them invert it onto a large plate...

Then serve it to 5 ravenous teenagers and hope that you might get a bite.  Sweet teenagers-

Friday, May 17, 2013

Weightloss Friday...

Hi, I'm June and I am a cookie-aholic.  "Hi June."  I post recipes about chocolate chip cookies instead of my weight loss journey...I crave cookies instead of an apple...I didn't exercise on Tuesday, I made chocolate chip cookie dough instead...they were so good that now I dream of chocolate chips make me happy...I licked the bowl after they were gone (just kidding...really...I'm just kidding)!!  I NEED AN INTERVENTION. :)

Sometimes I really wonder how in the heck I am going to be able to blog and loose the weight I want to?  I have decided that it will be hard but I CAN do it.  I'm determined to do both!!  It may take me a little longer and I am going to need an exceptional amount of will power but I WILL do this.  The good news is that even though I ate a cookie (or two) I am down 7 pounds which is 1.5 pounds for the week.  Making good choices 95% of the time and getting my exercise in is working...slowly...but I will take it.

I truly believe that completely depriving yourself of sweets only leads to a binge of overindulgence or at least it does for me.  Once or twice a week treating myself to a serving of something sinful is not going to kill me but it may slow things down a bit.  I also believe that if I want to get this weight off for good then it is going to take time.  It didn't attach itself to my hips over night and so I shouldn't expect it to come off that way.  Doing it the right way with healthy eating, moderation and exercise is the key as well as the patience to stick with it.

Right now I am having a love/hate relationship with hiking.  I love getting the fresh air early in the morning and I absolutely love how I feel when I am done but I hate getting up early!!  I know I have said this before and I will most likely say it everyday for the rest of the summer but I is just the way it is!  Luckily the love is out weighing the hate right now because it is tough.  It has taken me 3+ weeks to make it to the top of the hill.  My poor cousin Amanda has had to take breaks with me and go to the top of the hill by herself every single morning but on Monday I finally made it.  My breaks at the hard spots is slowly becoming less and I freaking made it to the top!!!  I'm making progress and I love that feeling.  I've also noticed that on my runs I have more endurance and I am sure that adding the hike to my routine is the reason.  Each day I am getting into better shape...each day I am making progress...each day I have to tell myself that I can do this and each day I do...even while eating a chocolate chips cookie (or three).  Sweet success-

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

National Chocolate Chip Day...

I realize that Wednesdays are supposed to be dedicated to my weight loss but there are a few things that take precedence.  Chocolate Chips Cookies are one of them...especially on a day celebrating the main ingredient to my most favorite cookie.  How could one not post a fantastic recipe for chocolate chip cookies on national chocolate chip day?  There has to be a law against crazy things like that...there just has to be...its a NATIONAL holiday after all!!  We shouldn't even have to work on important days like this one...if we can get a day off for a president then I think that we should for a cookie.  I mean come on it is soft...thick...chewy...extra gooey dessert??  Tell me what is more important than that!

When I think of baking a cookie, chocolate chip cookies are always the first one that I turn kind of like when I want just has to be diet coke.   There is no doubt that I love cookies (my hips don't lie) but I feel like I am a bit of chocolate chip cookie snob.  I'm not a fan of flat and crispy cookies!!  This recipe is literally the easiest (no mixer needed) and best chocolate chip cookie recipe that I have EVER made.  The combination of ingredients and how you incorporate them make them so perfect!!  I shall never make them any other way...that is until I find another recipe that speaks to me.

Begin by measuring 2 1/4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and mixing them together well.  Set aside.

Cornstarch is the secret ingredient...

In a small bowl whisk together 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks of melted butter, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar until it is smooth and there are no lumps.  To that add 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk to the mixture and whisk.  Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.  Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla.  Lastly add 1 cup of chocolate chips...I used 1/2 cup of mini (because I just can't resist) and 1/2 cup of regular sized semi sweet chocolate chips...

Mix until the chips are combined and then refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours.  Once the dough is chilled begin making the cookies.  I took about 2 tablespoons for each cookie and rolled it between my hands making the cookies a little more tall then round because I wanted the cookies to bake up thick...

The dough will be a little crumbly but the heat from your hands will keep it together.  Bake in a preheated 325° oven for about 11 minutes and do not over bake.  They will continue to bake for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and we want them gooey. 

*I've never made a chocolate chip cookie that uses melted butter but it was nice to not have to use a mixer.  *The dough literally comes together with a whisk and spatula.  
*Adding cornstarch makes the cookie so soft and light. 
*Be sure to not skip the chilling of the dough because they will not bake up the same.
*Rolling the cookies into taller and narrow balls makes them bake up thick.

 Chocolate chip day is now my favorite holiday!!  I shall celebrate it every year!!  Sweet cookie-

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 salt
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks melted butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, corn starch and salt.  In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar with a whisk until there are no lumps.  Add the eggs.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine.  Add the vanilla and combine.  Add the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.  Chill dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Using your hands roll the cookies into rounds, being sure they are more tall than round.  Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 11 minutes.  Cool on the cookie sheet and enjoy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Being a mom...

Yesterday made me think a lot about being a mom.  15 years (almost 16) ago I became a mom to my Tater.  It was such a wonderful and yet difficult time in my life.  One day I was only responsible for myself and the next I had this sweet baby who suffered from colic and was completely dependent on me.  To say the least it was an experience that tested me beyond my limits.  I had this idea of what parenthood was supposed to be and to be truthful it didn't live up to that expectation.  I felt so guilty for feeling that way!!  There were days when I felt like I was a complete failure (and there still are).  How could I be home all day and not have all of the laundry caught up?  How did I not get a 5 course dinner on the table?  When I had daydreamed of being a new mom I truly thought that I would be able to accomplish all of these things...all while dancing around in pre-pregnancy jeans. 

I look back and am sad that I was so hard on myself because now I realize that my daydream was not realistic!!  Today with all of the social media I feel like the expectations of a mom are even greater.  People posting all of the fabulous things that they accomplished over the weekend on facebook...Pinterest filled with millions of wonderful things that "good moms" should be doing...blogs (like my own) that show perfectly plated meals and projects.  The fact is that when we see all of these people doing all of these wonderful clean and pressed clothes...with huge smiles on their (and their that really ever happens) faces...we aren't seeing everything...we are seeing their "highlight reel".  Do you really think that the plates of food that I serve my family look like the one's that I blog??  They don't...I have deliberately plated the food to look super appetizing so that you will look at it and want to recreate it for your family.  My kids serve themselves and most of the time we are all eating at different times and in different rooms of my home.  Some nights a PB&J is all I can get done. 

My point is that as a mom we all want the very best for our kids.  When we daydream or see others who look like they have it all together it can be deflating.  After parenting for 15 years here are a few things that I know...

*By the time pre-prenancy jeans fit again (if they do) they will be out of style.
*Wearing bubble necklaces, chevron print dresses and heals aren't what "real mom's" wear everyday...comfort wins every time ( pants)
*Dinner a night or two a week from the frozen food section of the grocery store or local fast food joint is not only enjoyed by kids but preferred.
*Carefully manicured chore charts work great for about a then you are out of stickers and the patience to keep them up.
*A five course meal is nice on occasion but some of the best meals I have had with my kids are a bowl of cereal around the coffee table.
*Keeping a house "company ready" when you have kids is like saying you could run a 10k without any training.
*Staying up until midnight to decorate 30+ cookies for your child's school event will make you very tired and the kids won't appreciate a package of Oreos.
*Volunteering for EVERY activity that your children are in will be the death of you...choose wisely.
*Just because a pin says "The best recipe ever" doesn't mean it is...cut yourself some slack when it isn't.
*A box and the tube from inside a roll of paper towels can entertain a child better than a $50.00 the money.
*Perfectly curling every inch of your hair with a straight iron may be beautiful but it doesn't make you a better mom...throw it up in a ponytail and go play with your kids.

The fact is that the only things that really matter when you are a mom is that you love, protect and spend quality time your children.  How we get there is our own story...we write our own chapters and have our own "highlight reels".  The things I appreciate and treasure most about my mom are the things she did that the other moms didn't do.  Being yourself makes you the unique mom that you are...the mom that your kids love and sometimes when you look around the internet you can forget that.  As moms we need to give ourselves a break and just enjoy our babies! Sweet moms-

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Sweet Mama...

Sometimes when I blog I have a hard time expressing my exact feelings...especially when I am blogging about something that is really important to me.  As I sit down to write this my head is filled with so many things to say about my eyes are flooded with tears just thinking about how truly lucky I am to have someone so wonderful in my life...having this person be my mom is such an added bonus.

Growing up I realize that I totally took my mom for granted and I hate that I did that.  Until you are a parent yourself you never really understand the selflessness it takes to be a good parent.  My sisters and I ALWAYS came first above all things.  In ways I feel like she gave up a better part of her adult life in order for us to have ours.   She was there for EVERYTHING.  I can't even imagine the mileage she put on our granny wagon (aka Jeep Cherokee) taking us all over the state for every game, speech event and field trip that any of the three of us needed to be at. 

Staying home for 10 years to raise us was a huge financial burden for my parents but you never knew it.  Somehow my mom could create an atmosphere at our home that honestly made me feel like we were rich.  I know that may sound a little silly but it is true.  She would make wonderful meals from a handful of ingredients and then serve it on her china for an elegant night at home.   Instead of going out to eat on a vacation we would picnic at beautiful parks, enjoy the fresh air and eat her amazing food.  Saturday nights were an event at our house...Tacos at Taco Bills and a beta (boy that ages me) movie from the Movie House was what we looked forward to all week.  At lunch time when she had a few leftovers we played restaurant and my mom would make menus, take our orders and then serve us lunch.  Our friends (who were mostly our cousins) still remember that.  At Christmas time when money was really tight she would wrap giant candy bars for each of us to open and it was one of our favorite gifts.  She just had a way of making everyday things extra special...I admire her for that.

She and my dad are amazing role models in life and in love.  This year they will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary and although I know marriage can be tough they have stood beside each other, supported each other and continued to love each other...

She is one of my biggest supporters, she is an amazing grand mother, she is an accomplished cook, she is a teacher to many, she is honest and kind, she stands up for what she believes in, she is so many things but above all she is our mom...

Sweet mama- 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weightloss Wednesday...

As a mom I think we all struggle with finding balance in life.  Trying to be all things to a hand full of people is hard and unattainable...unless you are superwoman...and if you are then PLEASE tell me how you do it!!  Add dieting and exercise to that already full schedule and you have yourself a full blown crazy mess.  I have came to the conclusion that everything is not going to get done...I now prioritize to get the things done that I feel like matter most.  I ask myself...Is getting my run in or doing the dishes more important??  The truth is that sometimes for my sanity...the dishes will win and that is alright.  But the fact is that some things have to give in order for you to make "ME TIME".

I consider "ME TIME" to be anything that I'm not doing for the house or kids.  That could be exercising, dinner with friends, etc.  For a long time I felt mommy-guilt for making time for me and then one day I realized that I'm a better person when I do.  Even when I plan my time in advance I find that there is ALWAYS something that just comes up.  Someone is sick, a new activity is happening, a meeting is happens know what I am talking about.  Life just happens.

The more I am embarking on this journey, the more I realize how hard finding balance is for me.  Whether it be my diet, exercise, my home, my work, my kids...whatever!  I may have eaten all of the right things but I need to take Tate somewhere and lost my opportunity to exercise.  I may be caught up at work but my house looks like a hoarder has moved in.  I may have gotten to spend a few hours with my boyfriend but then I feel like my kids are neglected.  Life (especially as a parent) is a constant juggling act. 

For a few weeks now I have been meeting my cousin a couple times a week for a hike early in the morning.  I HATE getting up early but the satisfaction of getting my workout done out weighs it.  I'm finding that just might be the right time for me to get my exercise in...even if something comes up...I have my hour done for the day.  That is a great feeling and the scale (most of the time) is glad too. 

Speaking of the scale...I have now lost a total of 5 1/2 pounds since the start.  I wish that number was higher but I know that choices I make are the reason it isn't.  So this week I am in search of better choices and finding balance (if there is such a thing).  Sweet balance-

Friday, May 3, 2013

Taquito Casserole

Cinco de' Mayo is on Sunday!!  There are two very important things about the 5th of May...Margarita's are a requirement by law and a year ago Sunday is when I began dating Darby (not that the two should really be in that order...hmmmm).  I think that any day that I can celebrate with a Margarita in one hand and my Darb on the other is a good day!!  NOTHING could be bad about that...nothing!!  Add this casserole to your celebration and I think that it may just be the best Cinco de' Mayo you have EVER had...just sayin!!

When I was thinking about what I wanted to make I instantly thought of my Taquito's because they are awesome!  But then I also knew that I wanted to go the Reservoir that day...and although I could have made them ahead-I didn't want to...and then the thought of rolling up thousands (a bit of an exaggeration) of tortillas made me tired...and so I decided to use the same recipe and assemble it differently!!  Don't you just love it when I give you a glimpse into my mind??? I'm sure not...moving on... 

I began by toasting 5-8" flour tortillas in the oven for about 5 minutes at 375°.  You could totally skip this step and it would be just fine but I wanted the extra crunch...

Then it is just a matter of combining the filling ingredients.  You will need 3 cups of cooked chicken, 1-8 oz. package of softened cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheese, 1/2 cup salsa, 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

You can shred or cube your chicken.  I grilled it with just a bit of salt and pepper...

If your cream cheese isn't completely softened just put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Combine the ingredients and the filling is good to go...

I used a spring form pan but you could use a pie plate or anything else you have on hand.  Be sure to spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray and then begin layering the ingredients.  I began with a tortilla, 1/3 of filling, tortilla, 1/3 of filling, tortilla, 1/3 of filling, tortilla and lastly cheese.

Bake it in a preheated 375° oven for about 20-25 minutes or until heated through...

Cut into pie shapes and serve with your favorite toppings...

Honestly I may never make this recipe as individual Taquito's ever again...ain't nobody got for time for that??  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Sweet Cinco de' Mayo-


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weightloss Wednesday...

This last week I have felt like someone is conspiring against me.  Since last Wednesday I have either been fighting a cold or have developed seasonal allergies...I'm not quite sure which.  Then last night after a pretty stressful day I found myself in the ER with a terrible migraine and a shot in my rear end.  Not fun and not good on my weight loss journey.   I am happy to say that I was down 2 pounds this morning but that is most likely because of the puking and not eating last night (the joy of a migraine).   I have only exercised 2 times since I last posted and I love to when I don't get it done then I know I'm not feeling well. 

For each of us the hurdle to weight loss is different.  Mine is all food!!  For others it is getting the exercise done.  The problem is that it takes both to truly make it happen and keep it that way.  Because lets face it...there is no use doing all of this work if it isn't going to last.  I want to be healthy forever...not just for a little while.

I'm trying to take on a new attitude toward food.  For so long I have ate according to how I was feeling...when I am happy I eat too much...when I am stressed I eat too little.  I need to retrain myself.  Food is fuel for your body and it is just that simple.  If I want my body to function at full capacity and last for years then I need to power it with fuel that will do that...not crap!  Wish me luck for the coming week...I have a feeling I am going to need it.  Sweet conspiracy-