I've been busy ...

This past week has been absolutely insane! Which is why I haven't posted.
I want to begin this post with a prayer though. This morning I went to the scene of a house fire in one of the towns we cover which resulted in two deaths. I cannot imagine losing a family member due to something like this and totally have that family in my thoughts at this time. 
Now, back to last week. Monday through Thursday were pretty routine days. I worked and cleaned house - you know, the usual. 
My good friend Christine, who is a master's student, came in for the weekend and I got to spend some girl's time with her and Bel on Friday. Kohl's has some AWESOME deals. My favorite? A set of 10 black frames to create my photo collage in the hallway for $20. Now I just need to select pictures and have them developed! 
We decided to have a poker night on Saturday so got the house in tip top shape for those who haven't yet seen the place. Saturday turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day, so Jim worked outside while I finished cleaning the house. I sometimes forget just how big the house is. It can be mostly clean but still take quite some time to get everything dusted and vacuumed. 
We had a great poker night/fight night at the house - it would have only been better had one of us won the $80 pot! Sunday we both felt out of it ... and I did Monday as well. In fact, I was home before noon Monday b/c I work this weekend and just didn't feel well. So there is still a mess in my basement ... including pizza. Gross, I know. 
Oh yes, I forgot. My brakes are being replaced today! I noticed a scraping noise last Tuesday or so but J looked at the outside (but didn't drive the car) and said everything looked OK and he'd fix it over the weekend. He finally drove it on Friday and was insistent it needed to be fixed ASAP! So I took a break from resting to drop off my car and mom brought me home. She also did a couople of sewing repairs for me :)
I have supper in the Crock Pot tonight, so hoping J gets off work semi-early and we get home at a decent time after picking up my car. Then maybe I'll get the beer smell out of the basement :)


This & That ...

Whew! It's been a hectic, rough three days.
Starting out with my health. Thursday and Friday I had a really sore throat, but felt slightly better Saturday morning. Well, after some work outside that afternoon and an evening outdoor wedding/after party, things got worse and I got horribly congested. Sunday I ended up buying Mucinex. I'm feeling better but still cruddy. Fingers crossed this sinusitis or whatever it is will clear up soon :)
Friday I got my hair cut and we did some work outside. We originally planned to just clean up one of the flower beds on the side of the house, but on Saturday while we were finishing we decided to just clear it all out - so we stacked blocks, pulled a bush, and scooped up all the rocks. I like it a lot better bare - for now at least. We may put the blocks back in some sort of a pattern and plant some easy annual flowers that need nothing other than some water.
Later Saturday my friend Anna got married. We joked I was the wedding coordinator. It was a beautiful ceremony but sadly I didn't take any pictures. My friend Bel got a lot, though, so I'm anxiously awaiting them.
It rained ALL DAY on Sunday. Apparently our new dog isn't a big fan of the rain, as she barked and howled beginning around 6:30 a.m. and I'm not sure how long Sunday. At one point, J went to the couch since BG's pen is just below our bedroom. It was annoying, especially feeling as horrible as I did. I had to come into town for work, so our afternoon was pretty much shot ... sigh.
And the madness continued today! I got to work and found out that two people called in and one was scheduled to be off - which meant just three of us (or maybe 2.5 :)) did the work we typically have five or so people doing. Of course there was an abundance of obituaries, etc. as well.
I'm ready for two things
1 - 4:30 p.m. today
2 - 4:30 p.m. Thursday, when I'll get to kick off my three-day weekend :)


Fitness Friday

I lost a whopping two-tenths of a pound last week. 
As for exercise, I did The Shred two nights and 20 minutes on the treadmill one day. For the past couple of days I've had the crud. 
However, after last week's awesome results, I can't say that I'm surprised I more or less maintained. After all, getting back into the workout routine also means I'm building up more muscle, so I won't complain. 
Overall, I feel better and think I'm getting much more defined when I look in the mirror. I'm really hoping I kick this cold in the rear-end over the weekend so I can really get back into it next week. Spring is here and I'm loving spending time outside and being active!


New recipe :)

One of my goals is to start cooking a bigger variety of meals. So if I come across a recipe that sounds good, I'll print it off. 
Last night, I made a barbecue beef-filled biscuits, a dish I've been planning to make for the last few months. They are simple, but really easy and yummy. 
We like our beef, so I used a full pound of hamburger meat and all 10 biscuits. Before putting the biscuits in the tray, I flattened them to an about five-inch circle. Oh and I omitted the peppers - yucky!
We really liked the biscuits and thought they were yummy! And as cheap as the biscuits were and considering I get beef for free, I was very excited for a really cheap meal - we paired it with a can of corn and still have four of the biscuits left!
I'm keeping my fingers crossed the sun comes out this afternoon, I have sirloin steak thawed and really want to grill!


What I've been up to

With J home with a skin infection last week, life was crazy! I was driving home at lunch to help remove his dressings (about 15 minutes both ways) and coming home beat every night. Most evenings I didn't even log on to the computer. Luckily he's all better and back at work. And having lunch together wasn't too bad. In fact, it was so beautiful on Thursday and I took the afternoon off, so we had a little picnic on our front porch :)
As for the weekend, let's see ... on Friday, we went to pick up our tractor from getting the exhaust fixed. It took awhile (we didn't leave until almost 6!) so we ended up stopping at a little cafe for fish plates, then came home and watched TV.
Saturday morning we attended a gardening seminar. My mom always plants a huge garden and I'm looking forward to having one of my own this year. I helped her a lot and J also helped his parents but we figured it would be a good idea to go since it was free and there may have been some changes over the years! The first hour was geared towards flowers, which wasn't a huge interest but did give us some ideas for our landscaping, but we really enjoyed the second half, where they talked about tomato species, etc. Our neighbor also came over an tilled a plot for my garden on Sunday, so now I'm ready to plant!
Saturday afternoon I went shopping with my friend Anna who is getting married this weekend! It's going to be a small, simple ceremony, but decorations are still a must! We hit a discount store and Hobby Lobby and got pretty much everything she needs. Of course it helps that the ceremony will be at a historic gazebo which is gorgeous on its own :) I can't wait for the wedding!
That night, J and I played pool and darts in the basement and then watched 48 Hours. It featured a local girl's murder case. See more on it here.
Sunday we slept in and hauled hay, then spent some time cleaning house. Which I'm continuing today while I'm off work. But more on that in another post :)


Fitness Friday

I'm really pumped — and confused — about this week's results. Seriously ... my jaw about hit the ground when I stepped on the scale this morning.
In the past week, I've lost 1.2 pounds. And without any real exercise, other than working on the house, running around taking care of my sick man, and soaking up the gorgeous weather! 
Last week I was up .4 lbs, so the real "impact" I see is .8 lbs - which is fine by me!
So here's a recap of where I cam:
Weight loss year to date: -3.2 pounds
Pounds to get highlights in hair: 8.6
Total weight loss to go: 13.6-18.6 pounds

I'm hoping this beautiful weather keeps me motivated and burning all those extra calories! 

Yummy in my tummy

Since we've been eating at home a lot more in the past six months, I've noticed that, even with menu planning, I still get in a slump. So I was super-excited when one of my Christmas presents from a great friend was The Pioneer Woman's cookbook!
J and I are both picky eaters (no onions, peppers, etc.) and I tend to focus on quick, cheap meals. Since I was able to adapt the Chicken Spaghetti recipe, it was perfect for us. 
Here's what PW says the recipe is:

Prep Time: 30 MinutesCook Time: 45 MinutesDifficulty: EasyServings: 8

  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 16 ounces Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions
Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).
My adaptations? Delete the green pepper, onion, pimentos and cayenne pepper (only because we didn't have cayenne.) Oh and sub one of the cans of cream of mushroom for cream of chicken. 
The result was pure bliss! Thank goodness, because we'll be eating on it for awhile. This is what was left after the first eating:
We had a second meal with it last night and there's still about half left. No chicken spaghetti today since it's a Friday in Lent, but we'll have more on Saturday and Monday most likely. 
Oh, and the next time I make it, I'm only baking one square and freezing the other, so all I'll have to do is thaw it and top with cheese and bake!



As I'm writing this, I have a splitting headache. One I've had pretty much the last 24 hours. 
It's so bad, I'm feeling nauseous. And really just want to sleep.
Ugh .... 


What a weekend

I seriously cannot believe it's already Monday ... and I have no idea where the weekend went!
Friday night we did some house cleaning and laundry. We also watched "The Box" on DVD. I'm super glad I only paid $1 to get it from Redbox. We did not like it at all. 
We went to bed pretty early on Friday because I had to work Saturday morning and leave the house around 5 a.m. Luckily it was a smooth morning and I got home by 11 (including a Walgreens trip) and J had cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven for me. He's so sweet :)
After a short nap, we went outside to play with the dogs and do some work. No photos :( But we washed Jimmy's truck and spent about an hour on his rims - ahhh! It looked awesome though. Cleaning the rims was really a one-person job so I worked in the landscaping, scooping more rock and taking it to the wash-out dip in the driveway. 
We had to cut our day short for a quick trip into town, when we also picked up pizza. Yummy! There were some good reruns on CBS that night so we just curled up on the couch.
After sleeping in on Sunday, we headed outside again. Then, we washed my car and vacuumed both vehicles. We did even more work in the landscaping. The driveway is almost level now! I had to take Jimmy to urgent care for this skin issue he's having, so we picked up BK for dinner. Not healthy, I know. But oh well. We ended the weekend curled up on the couch, watching TV. 
I really do live for the weekends ... why can't they be five days and we only work two?


Fitness Friday

I'm bummed.
Over the past week, I gained four-tenths of a pound.
It's probably because I broke my promise. I didn't start working out again on Sunday — although I felt justified from all the lifting I did while working outside. 
It was Thursday night before I did any real exercise. And I think the only reason was because I knew today was weigh-in day!
However, I'm still pretty motivated. For one, I weighed myself post-workout and was about the same weight I am today ... after drinking all that water and not on a completely empty stomach like I was this morning. I've also been told that sore muscles, which I definitely have today, typically mean you'll weigh more because sore muscles retain water, which means you have more water weight. 
Last night I did Level One of The Shred. I'm really bored with the movie by now, although it was an excellent workout. We've bought No More Trouble Zones and Biggest Loser Cardio Max, so as soon as I can get my fiance to begin working out with me again, I imagine we'll tackle one or both of those!


A fun day

An advantage of working 32 hours a week (and this week for me, working Saturdays) is that I get to have time off during the week! Sometimes I sleep and lounge around the house and clean and catch up on laundry, others I spend quality time with people. 
Yesterday, I hung out with my friend, Bel, who likes to travel. (Sometimes, I'm pretty jealous she hasn't found a job yet ...) When she asked me to go to Cape with her I agreed — with the stipulation we have Olive Garden for lunch! 
I got my usual chicken and gnocci soup with salad and breadsticks. Man oh man I love that salad. I WILL replicate the recipe someday. 
Bel had to get some things printed, so we wasted time at the mall and also went to Schnucks so I could take advantage of the big 10/$10 sale. I walked away with 16 items for $11.50 - whoot whoot! I've actually spent just under $30 on groceries this week and think I'm done :)

On another note ... BG was a very bad girl yesterday. She got out of her pen and I woke up just before 8 a.m. to hear dogs growling and her yelping. Two of the mutts next door pinned her down and I had to rescue her. I PRAY that they didn't knock her up. So, she spent the rest of the day in the garage (chewing anything in sight, of course) until Jimmy and I wired the pen shut again and stacked blocks so she can't pull anymore. She seriously freaked out when she went back in. 

I'm making chili tonight and am super excited. Earlier this week, I planned on tacos but we ended up just piling the toppings on some tortilla chips and having a huge plate of nachos instead. Seriously yummy. 

Is it Saturday yet?


Is the weekend really over?

Have you ever had a Monday when you feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend? 
That's how I feel today. I mean "WHEW!"
Our new phones came in on Friday so we made a quick trip to Cape to get them activated and clean up the whole Crocs mess. Lesson learned: don't order from Journeys. We got the money back and I just ordered them online. I found a 10 percent off code and got free shipping, so I actually saved Jimmy about 10 bucks. 
Saturday was a gorgeous day, so we spent some time outside. First, we played with our doggies, then we cleaned out the garage. While J finished, I went inside to bake some cupcakes for our friend's birthday (he has no one around to bake him a cake and a have a bleeding heart.) I didn't have any holders so I improvised. Here are the ones I shipped to Shaun for him and his three kiddos:

We went out for dinner then Cheers for his birthday. 

Happy 31st birthday, Shaun!!!

After sleeping in and recovering a bit on Sunday, I made a big breakfast and we came to town for some grocery shopping. Once we got home, we played with the dogs again. I hate leaving BG in a pen, but I don't want her bred this soon, so we just do our best to let her out for supervised playing. 

Please throw the decoy, Daddy!

We later walked the dogs to the ditch behind our house (Labs love the water) to see if BG is a good swimmer. We had more fun with the decoy. BG may not get to the decoy as quickly as Hank, but she's going to hold on to it too, by gosh!

Jimmy and I also took advantage of the weather by scooping up some of the lava rock in an area we're clearing it out and moving it to the dip in our driveway. Then I made him pull a couple of pretty much dead shrubs. By then, we called it a night, grilled some steak and potatoes, and curled up to watch The Amazing Race. 

All in all, it was a good weekend :) Now is it Friday yet?