Posted in Food

Overwhelming

Today was a productive day thankfully. I’m trying so hard to get back into my weight loss groove but I’m finding that I have A LOT of things on my plate which of course makes me want to eat!

My oldest is a junior, I know I need to be making a list of what needs to be done to keep us on track this year; visiting colleges, narrowing down choices, studying for the ACT & SAT, and trying to get her involved in some volunteering opportunities – they all have to be addressed and neither one of us know where to begin! It’s all so, well…overwhelming!

Another item on my to do list has to do with my mother. She lives alone and after her AAA surgery this past January, she seems to have lost much of her muscle tone. She falls at least once every couple weeks. Thankfully she hasn’t hurt herself too badly, but I’m waiting. I am in no way asking for trouble, but I’m realizing it’s time to do something before she breaks a hip and there is no chance of recovery.

As with the college prep, I’m not sure what to do or even where to start. I have made some phone calls but no one has been able to answer all my questions – some haven’t even bothered to answer the phone and these are GOVERNMENT agencies. (Is anyone really shocked??) It’s very frustrating considering I’m not even sure I know what to ask. All I can do is read, ask questions and hope for the best.

On a lighter note, tonight’s dinner was Monterey Chicken. I had Brussel sprouts but the family had pan roasted potatoes, corn and fruit. So easy and really delicious!! Have a great night!

xoxo

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Posted in Blog, News

Are YOU a Sheep?

I’m having a huge issue with the media, big business and people in general.  I realize that this post is capable of being seen by millions, but realistically I’d say maybe one person will take the time to read it beginning to end and that’s being generous with myself.  But the news, the news is a different story.  Everyone in some way gets their news and it is seen my millions either by viewing, hearing, reading, social media, even through conversation with others.

I trult believe that people are just like sheep. One heads out and another follows and pretty soon there are hundreds/millions of sheep all standing around wondering how they arrived at their current destination/situation and surprisingly a lot of them are A-OK with that. Why?  Why is that??  What exactly is the mentality that drives people to band together even when it’s not ideal, logical or rational?  I don’t know enough about psychology to know this without doing some extensive reading, but I do see how quickly it happens and what can happen when it does.  Sometimes the outcome is good, but seemingly more often, it’s not.

My FB friends have been slowly weaning themselves off cable TV – which I recommend EVERYONE do! First, it’s way too expensive and secondly, TV is crap. Shows are opinionated, and a lot of them push an agenda.  Much of TV is the same thing over and over again – BORING.  And nowadays, what’s supposed to pass for comedy is not even close to being funny.  And well the news?  It’s anything but news – it’s speculation, conjecture, opinion and a lot of hype. If you want to know what’s really going on, GO OUTSIDE!!  Live, meet your neighbor, walk around the block, go to the largest city near you, visit some businesses, talk to people!  Perception is everything, but it’s also relative.

A lot of TV nowadays is someone hocking their Chinese-made shit to you 24 Hours a day, tell me, why are people ok paying for that?  That is definitely NOT something anyone should be paying for!  In fact, they should be paying US to watch it! But here again, people are like sheep and they do crazy things;…like say…pay $200 per month for a phone they don’t use, TV that’s almost all commercials, and websites to read so they can base their opinion on someone else’s experience.  Hmmm, yeah, makes sense to me.  NO, IT REALLY DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME!  AT ALL, NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT!

Why don’t people “sheep” over things that MATTER and that affect us all?  How about “sheeping” together to make sure…

  • that the news that is reported is true and unbiased
  • that we don’t dole out money for a service we don’t receive
  • that our schools actually teach our children something beneficial
  • that every town has clean running water
  • that the people who actually can’t help themselves are being helped
  • that jobs paid for are done and done well
  • that animal shelters are funded to do what they need to do
  • that gas prices, grocery prices, prescription prices and medical care don’t make us ALL people who can’t help themselves
  • that plastic is biodegradable, that cars can run on something else besides gasoline
  • that criminals are punished for their crimes
  • that the mentally ill are cared for

This list can go on and on and on!!  But just for a minute, how about everyone stop being a part of the FAKE problems and start fixing the REAL problems.  Things that matter and make a difference to each and every person on this planet whether you live in America or not. Instead of turning on your TV and basing your day on what someone has embellished and skewed and warped and twisted, turn it off.  Then base your day, your thoughts and your life on what YOUR OWN day consists of.  Make changes where YOU live and in YOUR life.  Make a difference NOW in what will matter to YOU, YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR GRANDCHILDREN in 50 years.

I just simply don’t understand how people can be sucked in so easily, manipulated by their own TV and “Big Business”?  Maybe it’s because their friends did it, or their parents did it or the media and the idiot box have convinced them it’s the “right thing to do”.  My advice, reassess your priorities, pay attention to who’s pockets are being padded and remove yourself from the HYPE.  Ask yourself on a daily basis, “How’s my life going?”.  And if it’s not going how you’d like it to go, start changing the things that aren’t working for you in YOUR OWN LIFE, chances are they’re not working for others either.

While writing this, a thought crossed my mind…maybe we aren’t like sheep, maybe we’re actually more like ostriches.

 

 

Posted in News, Self, Travel

Star Struck

HI THERE!  Apparently, I’ve been on an extended vacation from my blog since April!  I didn’t realize it had been five months until yesterday when I was searching the site for a recipe!

I’m going to try to bring you up to speed and then go into a little more detail about the fun stuff we’ve encountered over the last five months!

April and May were basically a blur.  I spent a lot of time planning for our Disney trip and try to lose the last bit of weight I wanted to lose before leaving on vacation (this was a fail by 9 lbs. by the way, but more on that later).  The girls made it through another year of school and the youngest graduated to the high school!  Incomprehensible to me, but true all the same.

In early June, we all drove home to Maryland to visit family and friends and to drop the kids off at their dad’s in Virginia, which we did casually and quickly from the back of a limousine!  Originally, my plan had been to drink some wine, ride through D.C. and take copious amounts of photographs during the ride, but plans have a way of going awry and none of that even came close to happening.

We wound up riding to Virginia to drop the girls off after having lunch with my best friend and her family (the same BF that I went to Tennessee to be with in the last post).  To allow for more girl time and catching up, we invited her and her daughter to ride with us, which they happily did.  It was nice to hang out – always is, but all the plans that I’d made were then null and void.

Also during our trip we stopped by the church where I used to work as a nursery school teaching assistant.  We showed up unannounced and that’s always fun, I love surprising people!  It was so good to see my former boss and co-workers.  I really miss some of them.  Even though I only worked there a couple years and my boss was only my boss for a year of those two, she became a friend, a confidant and a huge influence on me.  She became someone that I admire and greatly respect.

Before we left the church, I was standing outside my car talking to a friend/ex-co-worker of mine when a man and two women exited the building.  I took a double take and immediately recognized the man.  I said to my friend, “I know that guy!  He’s on one of my favorite TV shows!”  To make sure I wasn’t losing my mind cuz I was really excited about seeing him, I facebooked him and asked if it was indeed him.  Lo and behold it was!  And then, I was even more excited that he answered me!  And just to let you all know, I’m not easily star struck – at all.  The only other person I was even partially excited about seeing was a woman from the T.V. show “Starting Over”, Andy Paige and I saw her in a casino in Atlantic City, NJ!  I never approach them, but I sure do recognize them!  Here’s my excited – albeit short – exchange!

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Now, if you know anything about me, you know I just LOVE Hoarders!  And one of the reasons is Matt Paxton!  Just watch THIS and you’ll see why!  I didn’t realize this but apart from “Hoarders”, he also works with people in downsizing and estate planning, which is a fantastic service, especially for the elderly.  I wish I had known about this before my mother decided to give – slash – throw away half of the things she ever owned.  If you’re interested in reading more, here’s a link – Legacy Navigator.  I only found this info because I’m nosey like that…

July was my birthday month and also finally, our summer vacation!  The one that I overplanned and had HUGE expectations for!  I’ll post more about our vacation in a new post!  Thanks for reading and sticking around, I should be around more myself now!  Hope everyone has a great Monday!

xoxo

Posted in Family, Self, Travel

Home Again

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This morning, I plugged in my card reader to go through the photos I took Monday at my best friend’s mother’s graveside service.  I’ve known my best friend since we were in Kindergarten, we were 5.  Our birthday’s are only 12 days apart, to this day on my birthday she calls me “old”.  That’s basically the only chance she has to throw that word out there and it not quite apply to herself, but only a few days later, she catches up!

My best friend’s mom was considered my second mother.  That’s even the way she signed her cards to me, she was probably one of the only people I could be myself around and she’d still accept me when it was all said and done.  This being said, my best friend wasn’t always my “best friend”, but she’s always been the friend I’ve known and kept the longest, 40+ years!  I was the only non-family member at her mother’s service there on my bestie’s behalf.  The service was bittersweet.  Since my best friend and I don’t live close to one another any longer, we don’t see each other very often, but when we do, it’s exciting and fun and it’s great to see one another.  This time, we came together with many different emotions being involved, but thankfully, the service went well and visiting her family went well.

I’m so glad I was able to be there, to give my second mother a final farewell and to remember her for who she was.  A beautiful, kind woman who gave birth to my bestie and loved me despite the fact I was no relation to her.  I will remember her forever and miss her always.

Posted in Self

Funky Friday

…and not the good kind of funk either.  Less than an hour ago, I decided I just wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head and call it a day.  I don’t even know why?!?  Was it something I ate?  Was it because for the millionth time the dog peed on the floor?  Who knows, I just know that right now, I’m in a funk.  Today is one of those days I’m feeling defeated and annoyed.  Not because of anything specific, just because.  Vegging out in front of the TV with a container of Halo Top or 2, sounds like Heaven.  But – today is the last day of the girls spring break and you know what?  We did nothing but eat sushi and run errands.  Nothing “fun”.  No movies, no games (well, unless you count Uno), no real entertainment, I even made a list of all the fun stuff we could do and we did nothing.  They both did have friends over and one did manage to obtain her driving permit (woo-hoo), we did go clothes shopping for school, so we did do some things, just not what I envisioned for two weeks of break.  It’s raining and it’s cold and I’m just not in it to win it today.  It’s definitely Funky Friday.

xoxo

Posted in Food

Veggie Velveeta Soup

There’s a Weight Watchers recipe that’s made it around the block here a couple times and it’s pretty good.  And since Sunday always seems like a soup day to me, I thought I’d whip some up since I had most of the ingredients on hand.

I decided to spice it up a bit (cuz beginning of the week is all about cleaning out what’s been in the fridge a little too long soooo…) here’s what I came up with for a delicious and souper (ha) satisfying bowl!

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Veggie Velveeta Soup

1 32 oz. Swanson low sodium chicken broth
12 oz. Velveeta (would have used 2% had I had some, could have sworn I picked some up)
12 oz. frozen broccoli florets
2 10 oz. cans Rotel mild tomatoes and chilis
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1 bunch bok choy

Cooked until cheese was melted and veggies were tender!

If you like Velveeta cheese, I highly recommend this recipe.  Neither daughter would eat it, had too many vegetables in it, but the oldest dipped her chips into it saying it was “pretty good”.

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone!!

Posted in Blog, News, Self

Liebster Award! What what?

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Sooo… I woke up this morning to find that Xiomara from It’s Friday let’s Bake had nominated my blog for a Liebster Award – how awesome is that?!!  Thank you so much Xiomara!

If you haven’t, please take the time to visit her blog and check out some of her gorgeous desserts and baked goods!  This fellow “Hoosier transplant” really knows how to make your mouth water!

I have to admit, I had to read up on what a Liebster Award was all about but now that I have a better idea, I’m so very excited to be nominated and look forward to other’s answers!


11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1.  I am an East Coast girl.
  2.  I have moved 12 times in my life.
  3.  My favorite vacation destinations are Disney World and Las Vegas.
  4.  I LOVE to cook and try new foods.
  5.  I have lost 80+ lbs. in three years.
  6.  I have never had a broken bone (knock on wood).
  7.  The best friend I have now, I’ve known since Kindergarten.
  8.  I met my significant other online.
  9.  I didn’t start eating green peppers until I was 43 years old.
  10.  My girls grew up in the same house that I grew up in.
  11.  I’m an only child.

11 QUESTIONS FOR ME:

Q. Why did you start blogging?  A. Originally I started blogging to write down things I didn’t want to forget, but some how it morphed into more of a food blog, hence the tag line about making up my mind.
Q. Assuming money was not an issue, what is the one thing you’re dying to do?  A. Travel.  I just want to travel.  Constantly, in every possible way to every possible place.  And safely! 
Q. What is one international food dish you would love to make or want to learn to make?  A. Sushi, that’s a pretty easy decision.  I’ve made it once and eh, it was ok, but I’d like to make different kinds and be proficient at making it.
Q. What’s your favorite style of music?  A. I like all types of music, but my favorite style would have to be Top 40 – whatever is popular at the time.  My all time favorite music is 1970’s music, but I don’t think that’s a “style”.
Q. What is your favorite season and why?  A. Spring.  I love the temperatures that spring brings and it really is a rebirth.  I feel like all things are possible in the spring.
Q. Do you have any pets? If no, are there any pets you would like?  A. Oh yes, we have a dog, 3 cats and a fish!  I love all animals, but we’re pretty much up to capacity here!  I have always wanted a horse and a pig though!
Q. What’s the most important thing in your life?  A. My relationship with my children and with my better half.  They are my reason for living.
Q. What is your favorite dessert?  A.  That’s a tough question.  My favorite desserts are ones with creamy fillings, creme brûlée, eclairs.  I don’t think there’s actually a dessert I would turn down.
Q. Can you bake? Do you like to bake?  A.  I can bake and I love to bake!  Baking is my favorite and I know it’s my kids favorite!  I love to bake cookies and cupcakes especially but I’m not very good at baking cakes from scratch.  I always think they come out too dense, I like light and fluffy. 
Q. What are your hobbies?  A.  I don’t know that I really have hobbies any more since I bounce from one thing to another like I have ADHD, but I love to cook, bake, experiment in the kitchen, I love to take photos, I like to travel and read.  Life is really busy right now, planning for college, a wedding, vacations…all hobbies in some capacity I suppose.
Q. What have you read or listened to recently that touched you?  A. I’m reading a lot about preparing your children to leave for college, I think the realization that that time is coming up quickly is touching me – hard!  I become teary eyed at the thought that my babies aren’t babies anymore!  It’s kinda scary!


11 QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is the theme of the blogs you follow the most?
  3. Whom do you feel has been the biggest influence in your life?
  4. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  5. What would be your last meal?
  6. If you could be known for one thing, what would it be?
  7. What was the last thing that made you really laugh out loud?
  8. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
  9. Do you drink – beer, wine or liquor?  If so what?
  10. Do you think you’ll still be blogging 10 years from now?
  11. What’s your favorite thing to do when you have down time to yourself?

10 Liebster Award Nominations (in no particular order)!

https://greattastebuds.wordpress.com – warm kitchen; great food
https://spaulyseasonalservings.com/
https://inspirethemom.com – enjoying motherhood together
https://thecakechica.com – organic cooking; from scratch baking
https://noplatelikehome.com – inspiring tasty cooking & DIY for a busy life
https://grace2882.wordpress.com – living low carb for a healthier me!
https://sistersweetly.wordpress.com – living the sweet life one Saturday at a time
https://emotionalweightloss.wordpress.com – shedding the emotional blubber
https://cherichat.wordpress.com – marriage, mayhem and mirth
https://vanishingcoastalgeorgia.com – photographs by Brian Brown


The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, write a blog post about the award and in it you will:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.

  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1100 followers. (I’ve seen the number of followers vary)

  6. Create a new list of 11 questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.

  7. List these rules in your post, feel free to copy and paste from here.

Once you have written and published it, you must:

Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)