Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday is my favorite day of the week...

Today has been a nice day so far. It is FREEZING outside... so driving through Starbucks on my way to church tonight is a must. Yesterday I went to Pier 1 Imports and bought the cutest apron! I can't wait to wear it. I am hoping to learn to make these someday. I have the sewing machine and the pattern... I even have the fabric... just not the know-how. That is something that I'll have to learn. I can sew a pretty decent straight line, so I am on the right track. =)

I did some more decorating last night too. The tree is up!! Yippee! It even has lights. By tomorrow, it may even have ornaments. (If I can find them... they are in the garage... somewhere.) Here is our Santa Advent. I have been hanging this up every year since my boys were tiny. They used to get so excited about going to Santa every morning and getting a goodie. They are 18, 16 and 14 now... not so much excitement... but it's tradition, so Santa is staying.

I feel soooooo much better now that I am eating clean again. Here is what I made for dinner last night. Not so pretty in the picture, but very tasty! It was a chicken breast sliced up and sauteed with fresh garlic, portabello mushrooms, artichoke hearts and sea salt. I squeezed a fresh lemon over the top. Yumm!!

Then tonight, I made this fabulous looking & tasting pizza! I used a whole wheat pita, a little bit of parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, shredded spinach and fresh tomatoes. Yum-O as Rachel Ray would say. I baked it for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. If I can eat like this and lose weight... then why not? I have lost 30 pounds in 5 months. I have a goal weight ad I am only a couple of pounds from that goal... but now I am thinking I am about 10-12 pounds from where I really want to be.

I have enjoyed my daily quiet times a lot. I am so thankful for the 5:16am group that inspired me to get back on track. Sometimes that is all it takes... a little encouragement and a reminder of what you SHOULD be doing. This morning I read Revelation 14, Proverbs 30 and Matthew 5. The Proverbs give me something to "chew" on every day! Revelation is very interesting... believe it or not, I have never read through the whole book in all of my 40 years! But today... Matthew 5 really got me. I have been reading my Message Bible. The Beeattitudes are amazing in this version. Verses 43-48 made me think about my attitude (again). I am always battling that! It basically said, Grow Up! Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. If you're reading this blog... I encourage you to get in to the Word daily! It is life changing and you will not regret it! Love ya!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Love Christmas!!

Back to Clean Eating! I have splurged this past weekend and my body is really rebelling... telling me to eat better! NO SUGAR! I made a yummy breakfast. A whole grain tortilla with egg whites, spianch, green onions and fresh tomatoes. Yumm.

I got a copy of the newest Clean Eating Magazine... love it! It has a lot of great recipes I am ready to try. For dinner tonight, I am going to make Artichoke Lemon Chicken with fresh garlic. I was going to go to Trader Joes today, but after shopping at Michaels and Target... I pooped out. I went to Starbucks for an unsweetened green tea and a protein lunch (a boiled egg, 2 apple slices, 2 swiss cheese slices, grapes and a whole wheat bagel)

I have been decorating today!! I absolutely love this time of year. Here is my mantle. I bought these cute little pine trees at Target yesterday. I got the pinecones at Michales today. I love the way it turned out.

Here is a closer shot of it... too cute!

This is what my Christmas Tree looks like right now. It is a work in process. I will post a picture once it is up and decorated.

This is a cute set of Christmas Carolers that my friend Robin gave me last year. I think they are so cute! I have Christmas music playing... so back to work I go. I want to get that tree up tonight! Have a blessed day!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Today has been a long day.  Bobby and Kev were up early, shopping all of those Black Friday sales.  I woke up crabby.  I did my quiet time... you'd think that would help my mood, huh... and then went to Target, Berean and Ross.  I bought very little... just wasn't in a shopping mood.  I must be sick.  =)  Later in the day I went out again with Bobby and Kev and had a nice time.  We found some great deals at a show store that is going out of business.  60% off of everything!  We ate lunch at Quiznos and then came home for a nap.  My Christmas Tree isn't up yet, but I am going to go dig it out of the garage and see if I can get it set up by tomorrow.  I did get some really cute mini pine branch trees to decorate my mantle with.  As soon as I get it all up, I'll post pics.  Well... time to go make a cup of tea and watch a movie.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today has been a nice day.  Got up at 6ish... had my quiet time... then started cooking.  We ate around 1pm today.  It was really nice.  I enjoyed spending time with my family.  We ate LOTS of good food and then hung out, looking through Black Friday sale ads.  Bobby and Kevin Lee are getting up at 2am to go shopping!  Crazy!!  I told them to come back for me later.  =)  I am hoping to start decorating for Christmas tomorrow.  We have an artificial tree, so if I can talk the boys into getting it out... we'll have our tree up too.  I love Christmas!  

Have a BLESSED Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's almost Turkey Day!

I was up at 6am today... ready to have QUIET time... but my family had other plans. Matt is up at 5:15am everyday (yes, I know, he should be a part of the 5:16am Gals!) Anyway... he is very considerate of my quiet time, and just hangs out in the other room reading. Bobby, who loves to sleep now that he is not working at Boeing... decided to get up early! Grrrrrrr... I had to check my attitude and be sweet. I had a lot of interuptions today, but God still met with me and we had a good time together. =) I read Proverbs 26, Revelation 4 & 5 and Philippians 3. Verses 15 & 16 stood out to me today...

"So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it."

I feel like I am on the right track with my early morning times with the Lord. My vision is blurred (until I get that first sip of coffee) but I love it! This verse made me think about the goals I have set for myself... not only in having a daily quiet time, but in the way I eat and the way I exercise, the way I save money and the way I keep organized. I want to be totally committed to everything I set out to do. Last night I scrubbed my boys bathroom and it felt so good when I finished. It looked and smelled so much better! I have decided to make a cleaning list for the week... one room/area a day. That is doable. When I look at the whole 2,500+ sq. ft. of my house, I get a bit overwhelmed. Here is my list:
  • Monday - Living room/ Sitting room
  • Tuesday - My bathroom
  • Wednesday - Closets (pick one)
  • Thursday - Boys bathroom, Floors
  • Friday - Laundry room
  • Saturday - Kitchen
  • Sunday - My bedroom

I am committed to speding 15 minutes a day cleaning. If I do not finish a room in that amount of time, then I can either choose to spend longer or walk away knowing that I made an improvement. No guilt... just a cleaner house! My boys are responsible for their own rooms. Ryan and Kevin Lee have been doing ok in that area lately. Matt... we need to work on. But I love them all and am THANKFUL for them. God is so good!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I got up at 6am this morning and had my quiet time with the Lord. It was just what I needed to start my day. I read Psalm 25 and Revelation 3. Both chapters spoke to me and gave me a lot to think about today. I am so thankful for my 5:16am Gals and the accountabilty I have now. (Yes, I am a 6am gal... but I will work my way towards 5:16)

Since this is Thanksgiving week, I am going to list some of the things I am thankful for:

  • My husband and boys
  • My warm, cozy blanket
  • My coffeepot
  • My dog Marshall
  • My books
  • Trader Joes
  • My softball pals
  • The Word of God
  • Food Network
  • Comfy jeans (that fit!)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Goodwill book store (I save lots of money there)
  • And... Philosophy (Love it!)

That is just a short list of what I am thankful for. There is soooo much more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Motivate Me Monday!

OK... so I am ready to give God my first fruits... starting tomorrow... since today it is already 10:39am. I just read about a new group called 5am gals and it got me thinking about my daily quiet time (or lack thereof) and it has MOTIVATED me to seriously start this and not stop. I am really enjoying all of the blogs that I have read so far and I am inspired to set the alarm (for 6am), have my coffee pot on ready, my bible and journal near my comfy chair (thats a picture of Marshall in my comfy chair) and a candle to set the mood. I seem to go through seasons of doing this and I know God is probably tired of my flaking out over and over again. I've seen the way it changes my life when I get up early and give God the first part of my day. I still face things that are difficult, but I am calmer and can usually react with a better attitude. So... tomorrow I will get up early and spend time with Jesus. I can't wait!

To see more about Motivate Me Monday... check out this blog...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

I can't believe Thanksgiving is only a week away. It is going to be a busy week of cleaning (carpets getting cleaned tomorrow - yea) and shopping and planning. So far, this is what I have on my menu:

Smoked Turkey
Stuffing (made by Emma)
Mashed potatoes & gravy
Sweet Potatoes
Green beans
Cranberry sauce
Chili Beans (made by Sheryl)
Desserts (made by Sheryl)
Appetizers: Lacy Cheddar Crisps (recipe below), veggie tray/dip, Crackers & Dry Salami

Lacy Cheddar Crisps

1 and 1/2 cups (6 oz) packaged shredded sharp cheddar cheese

*Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese onto one sheet, then spread into a round with your fingertips so that cheese is more or less in a single layer. Repeat with remaining cheese, keeping cheese disks about 1 inch or so apart. (You should get about 12 wafers on a large sheet.)Bake until crisps stop bubbling, 9 to 10 minutes, switching sheets after 5 minutes if they appear to be cooking unevenly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

*The packaged shredded cheese works better than freshly grated since the packaged is less oily.
I am looking forward to a day of fun with my family. We have a tradition of going to see a movie on Thanksgiving afternoon/evening... so hopefully something good is out!
I started a new book last night. I absolutely love the Sisterchicks books by Robin Jones Gunn. She is one of my favorite Christian Fiction authors. I haven't read a book by her that I didn't like. I can't wait to go home, make a cup of tea, turn on the fireplace and relax with my book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook... Simplicity

FOR TODAY... November 18, 2008

Outside my window... a cool Fall night

I am thinking... that I wish I could pack my bags and get a way for a few days.

I am thankful for... my best friend

From the kitchen... Roasted Sweet potatoes are the best!

I am wearing... Adidas pants and an olllllllllld Steps of Faith sweatshirt... love it!

I am creating... nothing at the moment, but I have big plans for Christmas

I am going... to take a bubble bath

I am reading... the book of Revelation in my Message Bible

I am hoping... that my dad is healed of cancer and that his pain goes away

I am hearing... Rachel Ray cooking on t.v.

Around the house... Everyone is gone, so it is nice and peaceful... for now

One of my favorite things... My ipod. I love music.

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, church, walk-a-thon this Saturday and softball.

A picture I want to share... Kim on the subway in Los Angeles. We had so much fun.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Feeling unappreciated

This morning I got up and fixed biscuits and chocolate gravy. I was thinking my family would ewww and ahhh over the fact that I actually made breakfast. Nope... they turned their noses up at having something different. Matthew ate and said it was good... but he wasn't all that impressed. (I ate one too, so I KNOW it was good!) Bobby didn't even taste it. Ryan slept through it and Kev went to Magic Mountain... with a poptart. So much for trying to impress my family with my culinary skills. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole pan of chocolate gravy. It was perfect... if I must say so myself.

Poor Kevin lee had a great day planned at Magic Mountain... but the park was closed when they got there! I guess there are fires near by. At least he'll be home for our softball game tonight. I am looking forward to playing. I hope I smash the ball! I'll let ya know!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Friday!!

Isn't this cute! I just had to post it... it made me laugh. I love my kitty and doggy so much. I am looking forward to the holidays! We are having Thanksgiving at our home with my family this year. I am going to enjoy every moment of it. I plan on baking a lot, watching movies and spending quality time with my boys.

Went to Mervyns Going out of Busines sale today. I found Levis for $20-22. That was a great deal! The other sales were ok... nothing amazing. I found a cute purple purse too... Love it! I went to lunch with Sharron yesterday. It was really nice... we haven't hung out together in a long time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another recipe... Peanut Butter Fondue!

--3/4 cup peanut butter

--1/4 cup brown sugar

--1/4 cup cream or half and half

--1 tsp vanilla

--4 large marshmallows
The Directions.

Scoop your peanut butter into the Little Dipper. If you don't have a Little Dipper, you can put an oven-safe dish inside your crockpot to create a smaller cooking vessel.Add the peanut butter, brown sugar, and cream. Push 4 large marshmallows into the mixture. Don't bother to stir now; the peanut butter will just stick to the spoon.Cover and cook for about an hour. Stir well. Heat some more if it isn't all melty.
Serve with apple slices, bananas, and celery sticks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chocolate Gravy... Yumm!

I was looking online for a chocolate gravy recipe and found one that looks easy. I hear that chocolate gravy is fabulous... so this weekend I am planning to surprise my family with breakfast. Here is the recipe:

5 T unsalted butter

3 T flour

3 T cocoa powder

4 T sugar

1 c milk

1 1/2 t vanilla

Melt butter in skillet. Stir in flour, cocoa powder and sugar. Continue to cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the milk a bit at a time, making sure to incorporate it fully. Once all the milk has been added, cook for another 2 minutes, until thick. Add vanilla off heat. Serve over biscuits (flaky ones!), toast or if you really want to be decadent... toasted pound cake! Talk about comfort food! Is it Clean Eating? No way!! But it will be a tasty little treat for my boys. =) Enjoy! Let me know if you try it too.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Walking... or lack of it

I really need to get back on track with walking on my treadmill EVERY DAY! I was doing so good and then slowly, I've let myself skip a day here and two days there... shame on me! I KNOW how much better I feel when I get at least 20 minutes of walking in. I got a new magazine yesterday (Oxygen) and it has some good recipes. I will try a couple and share them with you if they are as good as the picture looks. =) Tonight I have 2 softball games. I am looking forward to playing. I feel like I am finally out of my hitting slump. Yea!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

Today is Election Day 2008! I voted on my way to work this morning. The lines were not too bad. I was in and out in 20 minutes. It felt good to cast my vote. I know it doesn't really count as far as who becomes president... but it does count for the local stuff and the props. Can't wait to see the results!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A day to do... whatever I want

It's raining, it's pouring... today is a day to stay indoors and to just do whatever I want. So far that has been laundry and cleaning the kitchen... but believe me, reading a good book with a cup of tea and a fire are in the plans too. They just may come later this evening when the guys are at the Condors game and I am home relaxing and enjoying my clean house... it will be clean by tonight.
Last night we had the Harvest Festival at church. It turned out good. I was in charge of the cake walk. it is so funny how people LOVE the cake walK! Next year I need to make it bigger and get more cakes donated. I could do that thing for 3 hours straight and never run out of people. It was a bit crazy and my CD player decided to quit working... yes... I did sing. I even got a ouple of friends to help (Thanks Deb and Evelyn!). Finally, I realzied that the radio still worked... and voila... we were back in cake walk business. The rock climbing wall and petting zoo were favorites too. Now it is time to start working on the Christmas program. Happy Saturday!!