Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So Good Pasta!

I am sure that this picture does not do this justice, but OMGosh, this is the best dish I think I have ever made. I found it in a Campbell's Kitchen cook book, its called Broccoli and Pasta Bianco. I made it for my family a couple days ago and this is the left overs with a broccoli stuffed chicken breast thrown in for good measure. (Originally we did not have these two things together, this is two different days of leftovers.)
My husband says he hates pasta, so therefore I never cook it, but I saw this recipe and thought it looked so good I just had to try it. It was better than I could have imagined. You have got to try it. Super creamy and super easy and if eaten in moderation not super bad for you. Of course it is carbs covered in cheese and cream of mushroom soup, but seriously you have got to live sometimes. Besides, at least for me, I have cut out so much "bad" stuff from my diet that this didn't kill me. In fact I am slowly losing. So if you love pasta and cheese like I do, you HAVE GOT TO give this a try. You will thank me for it. Even my husband loved it, and that is really saying something.
Oh, and just an FYI, I was in no way compensated for this post. Well unless you count the fact that I got a great meal out of it. Campbell's has no idea I wrote this.


I have been thinking about my blog a lot lately, or maybe I should say my lack of blogging. Is my blog what I want, is it what I envisioned when I first started out? No, not really. I wanted a fun, catchy, spunky kind of blog. I don't have that. I feel like my blog moved so far into the weight loss efforts that I even got somewhat bored of it. So I stopped writing, I let it fall by the wayside and I rarely visited. I even got to a point where not only was I not taking time on my own blog, but I was neglecting reading some of my favorites too. Blame it on the winter blues or whatever but I was just not here, or there, or anywhere really.
Lately though I have been thinking about my blog and what it is and what I want it to be. The last few months have brought some changes my way and I think that in the spirit of change my blog needs to change and expand too. I still want to jump up and down and tell everyone when I have lost a pound or two, or ten! but I also want to share the cute thing my son said, or the awesome dinner I made last night or tell you how my garden grows. So from here on out, you never know what you will find here, who or what I will talk about. But I think it is high time I made some changes, got back into the game and had fun. I mean after all isn't that what I was going for in the first place. Somewhere to talk and write and vent and have fun along the way sharing my one of a kind story? Exactly. So check out what I have up my sleeve and come back often, bring friends. Lets have a good time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


In my little part of the boondocks, all that we have had available for internet has been dial up. Until now, finally this weekend we are getting high speed internet! I am so excited. I will finally be able to get online at home without the frustration of the lag time of dial up. I just had to share my excitement. This is wonderful.
Good things seem to be happening these days and I am looking forward to what the future holds. It has been a long time since I have felt this good about things. A couple years ago both my husband and I had job changes, one by choice the other by chance. It set us back, further than we has anticipated and we are finally getting back to where we were. It has been a long hard struggle but this feeling of freedom is so empowering.
The weight that I put on during all the stress is slowly melting off too. I am getting closer and closer to where I was before my world fell apart and I am excited to get into my regular clothes and have my energy back. It really surprised me how the stress affected every aspect of my life. My mood, my weight, my outlook everything was so turn upside down. Now I feel better, more optimistic, and lighter. I look forward to the day. Maybe part of that is the sunshine, but I know a lot of it is the relief of getting back on track. Being able to take care of obligations and being happy with what we have.
I know that over the past 2 years I have learned a lot. I have made new friends and have found myself in a completely different place than I had expected my life to take me. I was the youngest child in a moderately well to do family. I had everything I needed and then some, and money really wasn't an issue. I didn't get everything I wanted but it was very comfortable. The past couple years have taken me out of that comfort zone, and what I have learned is invaluable. I know now it is not what you have, but who you have. It is not what you get but what you give. It is the people you surround yourself with that make all the difference. We are no longer keeping up with the Jones' and we are happier for it. We have a beautiful home, wonderful healthy children, good vehicles, a small savings account and a love for each other that we would not have had without the struggles.
Finally my life is where I want to be.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Fever

I have a confession, I am suffering from Spring fever. In my neck of Michigan we are finally getting some nicer weather, we hit 50 degrees today. I realize for some people that is freezing, but for us Michiganders, it is practically a heat wave. I even drove with the window down in my truck for a few miles today on my way home. I have to admit it wasn't exactly warm, but the fresh air was invigorating. I am more than a little ready to open windows and air out the house after being cooped up for the last 6 months.
The sun is shining and the temperatures are rising. I am in heaven, but I am ready for the good weather to come just a little faster. The bright sunshine on my drive home is a great switch, even tonight when I stayed at work an hour past my normal time, it was still bright outside. I needed sunglasses! It was wonderful.
With all this sunshine, I am getting Spring fever. I am ready to start my garden, ok well it isn't really my garden. It is my inlaws garden that we help with. Mostly because they have a better yard for a garden and they have more time to tend to it. I went to the store yesterday and picked up a few seed packets and I will actaully be starting them inside this week.
I canned jam and jelly all weekend and I am excited to can some more. I love to can. Which is oddly strange since I hate a messy kitchen and it tends to make my counters feel messy because they are covered in cooling jars, but I can overlook that when I see those beautiful colorful jars shining back at me.
I am looking forward to canning alot this year. Last year we canned homemade v-8 juice, dilly beans, jam and potatoes. This year I want to try a few new things, maybe beets and pickles and relish. Luckily for me my mother in law is literally an old farmers wife and she is amazing at canning and she is so wonderful to help me with whatever project I am working on. Besides that she likes to do a lot of the prep work for me.
The nicer days are even making getting outside for walks and bike rides easier. Kris and I are getting our bikes out of storage this week and getting them checked over to make sure they are road ready, so that we can spend the weekend riding bikes.
Our first trip to the upper penisula is planned for 3 weeks to go to our cabin. We are taking the quad and hopefully the snow will be gone so we can get some nice rides in.
Can you see how excited I am? I have so much planned for this year. Come on Michigan bring on Spring!! So what do you have a fever for these days?

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Month to the Day

It is hard for me to believe that is was a month ago today since my last blog post. Sad really, when you think about it that for an entire month I have let things slid. Not completely of course, but somethings slid off the radar. My blog for example. I have been busy, if that accounts for anything. I was promoted at work and that has filled my days with long, hard, stressful hours in the office, only to get home and find my family in dire need of mothering. 2 kids and 1 husband who seem to be incapable of seeing how tired and stressed out I am and are looking only for someone to come and make dinner. I did take a small vacation to Las Vegas last week and I think it finally hit my family then how much I do for them. When I returned from my trip I had to go into the repair shop and pick up my truck from having the front window replaced due to a stone chip last month by a lovely road blow, anyway, when I was in there even the sweet lady that works the desk said, "Oh, honey, your family missed you." Apparently my husband was so lonely that he parked his behind at the repair shop and visited with them for something to do. Thankfully they are friends of ours so it wasn't completely bizarre behavior, but it also isn't the norm for us to stop in there just to say hello.
But like I said somethings have really fallen off the grid. Good eating habits and exercise for example seem to be no where in my life at the moment. I haven't had a free moment to stop over at the sisterhood and catch up or take part in any new challenges. I don't know how all my blog buddies are doing and I feel just disconnected and out of touch. It is time to prioritize and get back on track. With spring in the air and the sun staying in the sky longer it is giving me some renewed bounce in my step and I am ready to take on the challenge of weight loss and win. I am ready to start over and get back on the wagon and start running and working out again. Watching what I eat and hopefully losing some of this very unwanted bulge in my backside! I made a packed with my sister while on vacation that 1) we are definitely coming back to Vegas some day and 2) when we do we will both be smaller. So I figure now is as good a time as any to start.
Besides that Lent starts this week and that is always a good time to look at your life and reassess. I know that a lot of people give things up for lent, that was a traditional thought process we had growing up but I also remember learning that it wasn't just giving up things, but also taking up new things that was part of lent. (sorry if you aren't familiar with the idea of lent, just know that it is the 40 days leading to Easter that Catholics use to prepare for the resurrection) Anyway, so I figured this would be a great time to not only give up some very bad habits but also put into place some really good habits. I plan on getting back into running and my smaller jeans and get out of the all day snacking and junk food binges that have been plaguing me as of late.
I am ready to restart my journey in healthy ways and who knows I just might lose a few unwanted pounds in the process. Either way, I am back in action!