Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You Can Do It!

Do you ever have a week that just reminds you that you can do it (whatever your "it" is)? That is how I am feeling this week. I got food shopping out of the way in advance. I planned and prepped my dinners for the week over the weekend. I have been getting my things for the next day ready the night before. I have also gotten up early enough each day to move at my own pace and not be rushed. My classes are going smoothly. Work is going well. My vision for my career is getting clearer. I definitely feeling life this week.

How come all weeks aren't like this?

Maybe it was really taking a break during my work vacation. Running around the house and laughing with my baby boy. Taking some time to still read for fun even though I have hundreds of pages to read for class, baking some desserts even though I am trying to loose weight, or just laughing and spending time with my friends even when I just wanted to sit on my couch.

I hope I can maintain this momentum until my next vacation.

Here are some things that are helping me right now:
  • Starting my day off with the word is a non-negotiable. Even if it is just one scripture.
  • Taking care of myself is important however I do it. Would you believe I have actually started to like painting my own nails?!?!
  • Staying connected with people I enjoy being around is also a must--texts and calls go a long way.
  • Eating healthier matters. I always feel better when I do.
  • Have a good belly laugh each day.
I'm just feeling good this Wednesday y'all. Hopefully, I feel this good next Wednesday--the day before my 10-15 page midterm is due and my birthday!

Hope you all have a great day and rest of the week too!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Weeks 6-7: See it Through

Hello Hello!!

It's been a while but time kind of got away from me with snow days throwing my schedule off, trying to enjoy my time off from work, and reading a my new book club book that is the (The Husbands Secret by Laine Moriarty). So where do I begin---the last two weeks have been somewhat of a challenge. I have been having many internal struggles about this whole weight loss thing. Unfortunately, I don't think I have resolved all of them yet.

I have come to realize that at my core I am a baker. I was thinking about the last conversations I had with my grandmother before she died the other day and I remember clearly at 19 years old sitting down with her not to ask her about her life accomplishments, struggles, or our family history but sitting down with her to write down her prized recipes that she had in her head. There were so many things I could have asked her but that was all I wanted at the time and I think that is so telling about who I am. I love cooking for people and trying new recipes especially desserts. So how do I continue on this journey and not give up who I am.

Can I lose weight and not have to write down everything I eat everyday? What options do I have without having a treadmill (that I am putting off buying once again in the name of being fiscally responsible)? I love Zumba but if I have to read for class, want to eat dinner with my family, and spend time with my son, even one day a week is too much right now. I am cool with admitting that---I can't do everything. I'm not making extravagant desserts during the week. I don't even fry foods (my mama does though but I have gotten her to limit that to once a week) but I can choose to snack on grapes instead of Oreo's while I'm cooking for the week. 

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice and I can make better choices so I am going to shoot for that instead of perfection. Each time I have not been able to keep up with what I set out to so far, I just let the whole day get away from me. 2-3 Oreo's aren't bad--10 definitely not good. So I am going to refocus for the next 47 days and make them count.

Here is what I have decided tentatively:
  1. I am going to continue with this challenge I gave myself. It won't be a full 95 days in a row but it gives me a reference point for progress and I have to start some where. 
  2. I am going to try juicing to get more veggies in. I only really drink water so I will start small. I hate to drink my calories---unless it's wine lol. I bought a Bella High Power Juice Extractor from Target. It is on sale for $62 online but when I got it in the store I also got a $10 gift card. So that plus my 5% off using my target debit card was a huge win. 
  3. The plank challenge me and my husband did was nuts. We decided to stick to one minute a day. I am going to focus on Abs and Arms for the rest of this challenge. These are the areas that bother me the most so that will be my focus (see my Pinterest finds below for ideas-I have attempted both before).
  4. If I have a light Monday, I will go to Zumba but no pressure.
  5. Walk on the weekends once the snow-pocalypse we've been having is over. 
All in all, I want to be healthy. I have been blessed in this body to not have health problems and I want to keep it that way. I also want to be able to try new recipes and go out from time to time with my family friends and not be constantly thinking about what goes in my mouth.

Indulge sometimes but don't over do it--I think I can live with that.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

How are you all doing with your New Years fitness/weight loss goals/resolutions?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day Chronicles

While most people are annoyed with the snow, I am grateful for another moment to pause. My day isn't hurried. I get extra time with my loves. I can get on Pinterest and pin guilt free. I can read without pressure. 

This is the life. 

I welcome "cabin fever" because I am always on the go. I could stay home for weeks on end and never get bored.

Here is how I plan to spend my day:

1. Try a new recipe for breakfast (Banana Pancake Muffins-delish! Thanks Smart and Sassy Mom!).
3. Finish my next two blog posts (my draft folder is out of control).
4. Nap
5. Catch up on watching Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.
6. Start my new book club book (The Husband's Secret by Laine Moriarty ).
7. Have random playful moments with my boy.

8. Look for new recipes on Pinterest.
9. Play some Candy Crush and Words with Friends.
10. Laugh.

Bonus: Fight these allergies that are trying to take me out and read at least 2 articles for Grad school (this may be optional unless I'm off tomorrow too lol).
Mommy reads. Baby Plays.
Don't let "cabin fever" get you down. There are blessings in the down time.

I think I am over do for a that nap.

See you later!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 5: Weakness Has a Purpose

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)

Well last week was definitely a mix of weakness and miscalculation.Too many plantains here, forgetting that I had a snack earlier in the day there, and then someone putting whole milk in my latte instead of skim milk (not good on my belly or the calories). And then there were the fried Oreo's and Zumba being cancelled because of the snow---it was a little rough last week in case you couldn't tell.
These were divine! Clearly not healthy but the recipe is exactly what you see. Fry (I used Canola Oil--does that count for something lol) for about 30-60 on each side, sprinkle with some powdered sugar and you are done.
I knew I had a dinner date with some girlfriends on Saturday so I ate light during the day (I even avoided buying cupcakes!) and even though I knew this was coming and I had a good time, it's never fun when you know your week overall was not so good--3/7 days under 1,500...YIKES. I was over anywhere from 74-1,000 calories most days. I didn't gain or lose any weight last week so hopefully this Friday's weigh in will reignite my fire. I do have a Valentine's day dinner Friday night and I am sure that day will be chocked full of chocolate so I plan to really maximize the other days so I can at least get 6/7 days on track (maybe 5/7 just in case there are leftover goodies--let's be real here hehe).

Why does food have to be so good???? I love to bake and try new recipes so I have to get better at trying lower calorie dessert options and try to get more workouts in. That being said, next week I plan to secure a treadmill. Y'all hold me to it because I need it! Before my other one broke down I used it everyday.

Sometimes I don't want to post when I am not being successful but I know that no goal is reached without struggle and moments of weakness. When I get to this finish line, I want other people to know that it may take a while and there will be setbacks but the end result--no matter how long it takes--will be worth it.

Be encouraged my friends!

If you love pizza/have kiddies that love pizza, this Bubble Up Pizza recipe is for you. I tried it Friday and it was easy to make and YUMMY! It is about 329 calories. I opted to use turkey pepperoni since that's what I had in the fridge. If I do this again, I'll probably put the pepperoni under the cheese. It is way more filling for the calories than a slice of pizza so I will be making this again.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Be Ready

As someone who has lofty goals and aspirations for myself, I must say that at this stage in my life, I feel ready. You have to be ready if you want to accomplish anything. You never know when an opportunity will come your way.  The other day, I read the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.

Motivational quote poster Get ready to Be Strong by NeueGraphic“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.(Matthew 25:6-10 NLT)

Could you imagine being that sistah!?? You have been waiting and waiting and then BAM when you least expect it, your opportunity comes but you aren't ready. I don't know about you, but I am not trying to have that happen to me. So then, what does being ready really mean this day and age? Is it updating your resume, making sure your car has gas, having enough salt ready for all these snow storms that have been hitting us, or even making a budget and sticking to it? Being ready encompasses a lot of the these things but it also means being ready mentally and physically. Could you imagine getting offered an amazing opportunity but your mind is filled with so much doubt and fear that you can not proceed? Or what if you can't even think about pursuing certain things because your body is rebelling against you?

I say all that to say, take some time to get and keep yourself ready. Drink some water, eat an apple, tackle that budget, read a book, eat some carrots, do research on areas you wish to grow in, etc, etc. I don't think you can be fully ready for everything but a little prep work has never hurt anyone.

You don't want to be the one who isn't ready.

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Face Your Fears

In the devotional Soul Detox that I am currently reading in the Bible App, it said: What you fear reveals what you value the most. What you fear reveals where you trust God the least. I'm going to just put it out there that what I fear the most is being broke. Most things I can say that I trust God and don't even give it a second wink but with finances, I'd definitely be Lot's wife--stealing that last glance at the numbers just to make sure everything would add up. I have held on to jobs and been overworked in silence because I was so paralyzed by the fear of being broke that I did not want to leave a job or ask to make things more reasonable.

That being said, I have come a mighty long way. I'm definitely buying less "stuff" that I don't need and I don't play any games around setting realistic work expectations. Target/Walmart get the best of me some days but I am tithing and always looking for deals. I have learned the value in saying no and going the thoughtful route with gift giving instead of looking at price tags.  So why then do I struggle to trust God the least in this area? Quite frankly, fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of a lack of security. I have released bits and pieces of this fear from time to time but I feel like it is always in the back of my mind. I have left a job abruptly (cause it was psycho) and God has kept me. I have all that need and most of what I want. I have paid my tithes and been blessed with double at times but the fear of being broke is still real. This year, I want to do a little more to let this go of this fear and to tighten up on being fiscally responsible with what God has entrusted to me. It will definitely be a journey but I know that will God, I can do it. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. (Psalms 23:1 NLT)

I started writing my budget in here so the Lord can be even more present in my finances. 
What fears do you all struggle with? I pray that God continues to grow us all in our areas of fear. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 4: Some Weeks Will Be Awesome

Well this week I did well for myself. I won't give you the day by day breakdown this week--but I can bring it back if you'd really like to see it. I slayed my calorie goal Monday-Friday. I even threw out half my small French fries from Wendy's on Thursday once I saw how many calories they had (200+ for a thanks). Saturday was pretty good but I had some wine and fruit pizzas in the evening that put me over. Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday need I say more? But because I stayed focused during the week, I had no feelings of guilt and avoided "fat talk" for the most part and I felt pretty darn good. 5/7 days on point is a C, but compared to last week--I'm winning. And I lost 2 more pounds!!

By: Buzzfeed
Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. (Psalms 37:24 NLT)

Here are is a yummy recipe and some new options I found this week. Enjoy!

Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta-I must say this was the BOMB!! Would you believed that I'd never cooked raw shrimp before?? Who knew it was so easy. I will definitely be adding more shrimp to the rotation. I'm not one for spicy but it really only had a little kick. I plan to make it again. I made the recipe as is except I used whole wheat pasta. Thanks Chung-Ah Rhee over at Damn Delicious (and Pinterest for helping me find you!) This recipe really was damn delicious:). 

I had the FIber One wrap below with peanut butter and a banana the first time and then I also tried it with cheese. Very filling, low-calorie, and YUMMY! Pirate's Booty and Nutella aren't anything new but I had both for the first time this week and they were the bomb. Be sure to get the snack packs of both though to keep the portions and calories in check (they have 65 and 80 calories respectively if you opt for snack size). 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weekend Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes with Chocolate Chips

Well we all know that I love dessert but I am also a huge fan of pancakes and all breakfast food in general. So, today I tried a new pancake recipe: Peanut Butter Pancakes with Chocolate Chips and it was a win. Below is the recipe I found from Recipe Boy via Pinterest. Thank God for Pinterest. I have really make so much goodness because of them. And this site is super cute because it follows a boy and his cooking adventures--love it!

Peanut Butter- Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Yield: 6 pancakes
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used reduced fat Jiffy Crunchy Peanut Butter)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
handful of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate-I personally used a little more than 1/2 cup to keep the calories contained.)


1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until all is combined.
2. Preheat a skillet to medium and spray with nonstick spray. Scoop 1/2 cup of batter onto the skillet and sprinkle the pancake with several chocolate chips. Reduce the heat to medium-low and watch the pancake. When bubbles begin popping and forming in the center of the pancake, wiggle a spatula underneath and gently flip it over. Cook the other side for a minute or so until both sides are a nice, golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter and chocolate chips. Serve with warm maple syrup.