Monday, December 26, 2011

Life Post Challenge

Well bloggy, life post challenge has been interesting. I was able to stay off sweets for quite some time. I tested myself once or twice, eating a cookie at work, to see if it would either 1) make me feel sick or 2)break the floodgates and turn me into a glutton.
Neither happened thank goodness.

But then the Christmas season kicked in...........I am able to say quite no to some things easily. My delicious chocolate truffles, our Jesus birthday cake (one slice for Jesus' sake, rather than the annual 3 slices!), the sugar cookies. I can find them all oddly unappealing. But somethings...........curse the day my mother decided to make puppy chow. Gosh, I love that stuff. Pure genius it is. And easy to eat; completely accessible. Then there was 2 nights in a row I couldn't stop eating the peanut butter cookies dipped in almond bark. Oddly, those always hit my stomach quite hard, so the third night I got the hint and stayed away.

Today it was my chocolate chip banana bread. Two, deliciously, think slices. But after spending a few minutes in downward facing dog.......I totally regret that decision. I now have a permanent pukey sensation in the back of my throat. Delicious.

Part of the problem is that I am surrounded by goodies. (Don't even get me started on the delicious strawberry jello fluff my Hubby's grandmother made.) I always feel horrible throwing food out, what a waste of money! I can't stop thinking of the poor starving children of the world when I need to toss something away. But on the other hand, I need to get rid of it! Thus, I have let myself resort to eating it, just to get rid of it. And the faster I eat it, the faster it goes away. Thank god the puppy chow stayed at mom's.

So I need to climb back on the No Sugar Bandwagon and stay there. I will let Hubby eat all the sweets, or throw them out. When I am not looking. This means that my plans to start experimenting with the cake section of my new Joy of Baking cookbook must be put on the back burner. And according to Joy, to be glamorous you need to be a cake baker/decorator. Sad.

In other, more helpful news, Hubby got me APY60. Its like a yoga version of p90x. It is pretty involved, including a diet, morning workouts (daily blends), and a weekly work out you do every day. The work out is about 40-50 minutes long! It also comes with a booklet of daily goals. For example, Day 1 Week 1 challenges include drinking 100 ounces of water (!!! I drink 1-2 cups on a good day!), the work out (Power Yoga class), not drinking your calories for the day, and using the Blue Dots. With the bundle I got some colored dots and bracelets, and each represents a different thing. Blue dots I think are supposed to remind me to breathe.

Although I tried the power yoga class tonight (whew!), I am going to officially start Day 1 tomorrow. I might not stick to his pretty strict diet rules (we are supposed to throw out anything with sugars, MSG, boxed foods {okay those make sense}, anything gluten including rice, noodles, bread, and 'cow dairy' products. Seeing as I live off of peanut butter toast and PB saltines, I am not sure I would be able to survive. I also already don't get enough calcium so I am gonna stick with my milk and yogurt {I am still totally digging the greek yogurt parfaits for breakfast!}), and will probably modify it to fit my lifestyle, but I do plan on trying several of his recipes and shopping with his shopping list more often.

Part of week 1 is no processed white sugar, and subsititute with something called Xylitol. I have heard of it somewhere before. I hope its not too expensive. If I manage to find some, I will pick it up and let you know what I think of it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Day 6!!

Well Bloggy,

I did a little playing with fire yesterday.

 I feel like I have been learning a lot about myself and my addiction to sweets. However, now I have developed a slight fear to ever eating sweets again! I wonder if I will just go bonkers or if I will be able to maintain some self-control. In all honesty, I am not quite sure what to do when this challenge is over. How does one swear off sweets? How do I add sweets back in moderation without going back to where I was??

So yesterday, Hubby and I were going to write out our Christmas cards, and we decided to accomplish this task at Caribou. My goal was to get a small drink and test the waters: how would it make me feel? Could I let myself enjoy this small treat and still say no to sweets for the rest of the day? Often times when people break their diet rules or binge during the day they tell themselves 'Well I will just start over tomorrow' and then continue eating poorly for the rest of the day. Would this become me???

I ordered a small Ho Ho White Chocolate Mint Mocha (NUM!). I think I managed to drink about half, maybe 3/4 of the cup, before I could feel the sugar speeding through my veins. I think I actually felt slightly nauseous! I felt better after half an hour. Hmmm, I thought to myself, didn't really like that experience. Also, later in the day I stopped by McDonald's with some of my cheerleaders so they could pick up some ice cream cones. Although very tempted (I was so hungry!!), and even slightly teased by the girls, I managed to say no and wait for dinner (a delicious dinner at Olive Garden with some good friends).

Overall: An interesting experience. I almost want to test it again and see how my body feels after say, a brownie. But I think I know where that road will lead me! For now I am sticking out the rest of the challenge. After all, its only today and tomorrow!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

No Sweets Day Four

Well Bloggy World,

This is the beginning of Day 4. I have made it pretty successfully, although I am pretty sure in my dreams last night I kept accidentally eating cookie dough before remembering our challenge. Even in my dreams I can't eat sugar without guilt!

Last night we had a close call. Husband and I were driving home and he mentioned ice cream. WHO DOES THAT?!?! Cruel and unusual! Sure enough before we know it we are standing outside Snuffy's Malt Shop. I managed to have enough willpower to say no. But then there was a Caribou next Husband suggests hot chocolates! We had to run back to the car to keep us from drinking some sugar (not too mention spending money!)

When we got home, Hubby decided to make us delicious smoothies instead! Num Num!
We used all of this:
Well, minus the yogurt because it was moldy (EW) and added a banana

And Got This:

So Good! Like my garnish? :)

Maybe this choosing healthier snacks idea (crazy and hard as it sounds), isn't so crazy and hard! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

True Addictions

Dear Bloggy,

Today begins the day that I am being cut off from sugar. !!! The husband has decided that to help me lose weight I should try my darndest not to eat sugar for a whole week! I am completely sure I will fail. I can hardly make it through a single day much less a whole week!

Sure, going into such a challenge with that mindset, is probably a bad idea. But going without sugar....that is a HUGE step for me! I tried to talk him down from the ledge, perhaps some ultra sweaty cardio work out sessions instead. Nope.

So instead of having my usual cereal of Lucky Charms, the Husband made me a DELICIOUS parfait:

 Using fresh strawberries, delicious granola and Chobani (my first time!):

So ONE meal down.......................2 more for today, and a lifetime until next Monday morning.......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Christmas Planner

Today I caught up on my Christmas Countdown activities. I started my first ever Christmas Planner. It is not the prettiest thing I have ever seen! I had to use an old 3-ring binder from the Interior Design Class two years back. Its broken. But now that the husband and I are trying to tighten up the budget, I figured it would be silly to go out and buy a new one.

To make it cuter, I printed off a free cover design and a matching one for the spine. It will have to do for this year!

The most challenging activity for me so far was the Holiday Values Worksheet. It asked a lot of questions about what was good and bad about last year. What I remember the most about last year was stressing out over gifts! I never know what to get people, so I end up spending too much or avoiding it at all costs! I wish we could skip gift giving for the holidays. Sure, I like to receive gifts as much as the next girl, but I am EASY to shop for! Everyone I know is picky or unafraid to voice their distaste for the gift I got them. Example: I have known my husband for eight years now, and I think I have only gotten him TWO gifts that he has really ever enjoyed. That includes Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries...SIGH.

I am going to work hard this year to make sure that is not my focus. I don't think I enjoyed Christmas as much last year because of that. I would rather be focusing on JESUS! He is the best gift I could ever receive! I pray He is the focus for me this holiday season.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Reminisce and Plan

Hello World!

I just got back from a most wonderful trip to Phoenix Arizona. I flew out to spend a precious few days with my bestie, Sarah. We went shopping at the Chandler mall, went to the Arizona State Fair (where we had some interesting moments with a Llama), and spent the day browsing/getting pampered at the AZ Ultimate Women's Expo! It was spectacular!! I had a great time and it was such a blessing to spend time with my friend again. Arizona is a good looking state too; the sunsets were gorgeous.

But now back home I have to jump back into the swing of things. There is a humongous pile of laundry calling my name, cheerleading stuff to organize, showers to take, piles of mail on the floor/coffee table/counter, pictures to upload, unpacking to do, bills to pay....whew!! I am in a mood to get organized and on top of things though. Which is why I am excited to see that the Christmas Countdown has begun!

The Christmas Countdown is a six week organizing plan that gets you ready for the holidays without waiting for all that last minute stress. I know I don't have a family of my own to be organizing, but I figured this would get me excited for the holidays and ensure I enjoy them fully! The Countdown started yesterday when I was still in AZ, so I am officially starting today! Week One is Get Organized Week! Day one is about getting organized, day two has you making a Christmas Calendar! I am pretty excited to get started so I better stop blogging and hop to it!

Christmas Countdown

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Summer Hurrah

So today is the first official day of Autumn. Here in MN though, we have had fall weather for at least the past week and a half.

To celebrate the passing of summer, I made some homemade strawberry lemonade! It was surprisingly easy too.

2 cups + 1/2 cup of water
1 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (I used about 5 lemons)
3 cups of strawberries hulled, halved and quartered

In medium saucepan, bring to boil the 2 cups water and 1 cup of sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Transfer to a pitcher and and refrigerate until cool (a lot of recipes say this should take about 45 minutes, but I was in a crunch and stuck it in the freezer {my freezer is pretty bad} and it cooled in about 10 minutes).

In a blender add the strawberries, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon sugar and puree. Add to the sugar water (some recipes also say to pour through a sieve, but I do not own one! The result was that my drinks were a little frothy and looked a little more like margaritas than lemonade). Add the lemon juice to the pitcher also.

Stir well and pour over glasses filled with ice. Garnish with strawberries or mint. Enjoy!!

A cool trick I learned for squeezing juice out of lemons without using a juicer: Roll the lemons on the counter to make sure they are softened, than cut in half. Squeeze the lemon over your other hand into a container. Your other hand works just as well to catch all the seeds and flesh that might fall out. But beware: make sure you don't have any cuts on your hands because it will sting!! The bonus is a great lemon-y smell for the rest of the day! 

So make yourself some FRESH homemade lemonade, kick back, and finish the beach chick lit and say Adios to summer!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

1 Peter


This morning I finished an in-depth, independent study of 1 Peter. It was almost two years in the making!
I used the LifeChange Series, and it was simply phenomenal (and totally recommend you try one of their studies). I learned so many things I hope to take with me through the rest of my life: my place in God's heart, how Jesus acts as my Living Stone (I love calling him my Living Capstone!), how to give spiritual sacrifices to the Lord, the definition of Holy, and the great importance of the gift of Jesus' blood, amongst the many other important lessons.

I say all this to encourage you to find a good Bible study, a GOOD one. I love Beth Moore with all my little heart, but studies like that don't always dig in and just sit in the scripture. I truly believe that everyone needs to get into the meat of the Bible. Find out what those words mean,  buy a commentary and discover the meaning of that phrase, look into the background of that character, learn how to pursue holiness.

Dare to go deeper.

Next I am considering the LifeChange study of Isaiah...*big gulp* I hope I don't bite off more than I can chew!!

Have a blessed day folks!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Baking Day!


Today is a BAKING DAY!! YAY!
I have officially decided to go with : CHOCOLATE CHIP STUFFED COOKIES! 
This is the first time I will be attempting this recipe, but I figured it would be fun to document the process and see how they turn out..45minutes turns out to be mixed success! My cookies really grew so that they were no longer stuffed cookies :( But! They are still delicious! And who doesn't love giant cookies??

The Goods:
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 large cold eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. {This was my first time actually using my parchment paper, and I am not so sure I liked it. It just slid all over the tray, if anyone has any hints to make the paper stay in place while placing cooking dough, let me know!!}

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
NUM!! Can't go wrong here!!

 Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture just until incorporated.
This is probably where I went wrong, I added the flour in small doses
This caused the dough to be much softer than it was supposed to be

Add in 2 cups of chocolate chips. {DON'T FORGET! Like I almost did! :))}

Rolls 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and flatten slightly to make a disk and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat to make a total of 16 disks. Space the dough disks about four inches apart {they do grow!}. Lightly press 1 tablespoon of remaining chocolate chips onto each disk. Using remaining dough, make 16 more disks, place one on top of each chocolate-chip-topped disk. Press gently to cover around the edges. 
You can tell my dough was too soft. And I made mine bigger. 
{The bigger the better!}
You can also see where I was struggling with the parchment paper. boo. 

Bake one sheet at a time until edges are lightly browned but centers are still golden, about 15 minutes.
Cool on baking sheets than transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or room temperature! 

First batch! Since my dough was not as stiff, they flattened out :(
Taste factor=still amazing!! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere and Not a Drop to Spare!

Hello darling folks!

Every now and than I read the news and I often become overwhelmed with all the horrors of this world (which is why I don't read the news often!). War, anger, hate, poverty, disaster, murder, homelessness, death...this world is not our home!! It can seem impossible to make a difference, much less save actual lives.

This quote sums up exactly how I feel:
"I stay half ignorant on purpose. I skim the news, not letting myself read too much. I glean enough to seem informed: 'Oh yes, its just a shame what's going on in Africa.' I don't get my heart involved. I stay aloof and in control. Separate. 

Because if I let go, if I find out, I know what would happen. I would crack. I would break. I'd look into the ugly eyes of poverty and grasp my head in my hands and shout, 'Why, God, why?' But I can't keep doing that every day. And the bad news just keeps on coming. And I don't know what to do."
-Hope Lives by Amber Van Schooneveld

But than I remember James 4:17: "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." (NLT) And than I remember I can not hide in my white suburbia forever. I need to step out and share the love the Father has given me; to share my blessings.

So today I want to share with you a simple, easy way that you could save lives (I have many others I can share with you later!). It is called the Water of Life Initiative by Compassion International. You can check it out at here.

Donate - Fiona Mutesi

Children the world over only have dirty, brown water to drink. They are at risk for typhoid and cholera. (Did you know that people DIE from DIARRHEA?? I sure didn't!) Over 4,000 children die each day from a water related diseases. But with Water of Life, Compassion provides a filter system to quickly and efficiently clean drinking water. Each system can provide over 1 million gallons of safe water for a child and their family!

Please check out the website and consider a donation! Even if you can give the full amount, any amount will help towards bring down that 4,000 a day to ZERO a day!

I want to turn my ignorance into a heart after the Lord's.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today I want to recommend a great blog about marriage! The website is specifically But check out the rest of the website for teaching in other great areas. The Resurgence is from Mars Hill Church, where Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches. Its a great place and he is a great teacher (check out; look for the free app for your Apple products!)

But this blog has great perspectives on a Biblical marriage. My favorite post so far is "Being a Wife is All About  Jesus" (June 1, 2011).

Single? Engaged? Married?? Check it out!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My heart breaks wide open

One of the songs that affect me the most is "You Love Me Anyways" by Sidewalk Prophets. It really brings me to the reality of what Christ did for us. I usually like to think of some peaceful death scene with characters from thousands of years doesn't really affect me. But this song brings me back to the reality of what happened. If it had been me in the crowd that wonderful day, I would have been screaming out for His blood to be spilled. I would have been cursing his dying breath. It would have been me. It still is me....
This wasn't just some random event that happened to some random guy. We repeat the action everyday, we are nailing Christ to the Cross EVERY DAY. Every time we lie, every time we start a rumor, every time we pass by someone in need.....every time we choose some one or something over Him, we hammer another nail in. He IS hurt by us hurting others....
 Because He LOVES us! The whole reason He went through that grisly scene is for us!! Even though we are the very ones crying out for His death!! It's ridiculous really. It should have been me. For all I've done, for all I am bound to should have been me.

But He loves me anyway.

"I am the thorn in your crown
But you love me anyway

I am the nail in your wrist
But you love me anyway

I am Judas' kiss
But you love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
for your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury your grace
And than alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life

But you loved me anyway"

Oh Lord, how I can barely comprehend Your Perfect Love

Thursday, August 25, 2011



Can I just share my love of 3-ring binders??

I have been putting one together for my JV Cheer Team and I just love it! I have a place to keep all contact information, calendars, attendance sheets, cheer lists, and apparel sizing. I also make sure to keep a folder for all loose pages and I also keep small notepads for quick notes or ideas. In the back I keep the newest Spirit Rules Book, and other sports and stunting rules/guidelines. I find joy out of typing up lists and sliding into those shiny page protectors.

I once read a tip that if you splurge on CUTE organizational equipment you are more likely to use it. So you better believe I splurged for my ADORABLE cheer binder (Target)!

A lot of homemaker/wife blogs I read talk about creating a Command Central Binder. With it many women collect all their important papers, numbers, etc. to help them keep the clutter from their kitchen counters or dining room tables. I recently downloaded a free copy of How to create a Command Central Binder from that gives you 2 different tracks to follow and put together a family binder. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but what a great amazing concept! And such a simple way to clear up your life!

My husband and I recently purchased an IPad 2 to help us organize our lives in a technological way! I am just in love with the thing. I downloaded the app Remember the Milk to keep all my checklists. We use the pre-loaded Calendar App to keep track of our busy schedules. If you have an IPod or IPad, and use it for productivity, let me know what apps you use to help you keep track of life!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fave Cleaning Tip

My favorite cleaning tip that I try to use at least every other day: set the timer on your phone for ten minutes and race to clean as much as you can before time is up!!

For me I like the challenge of seeing how much I can accomplish in ten minutes. Honestly, I hate cleaning. A shock I know. Even without kids I find it impossible to keep up after my husband. But I am often shocked by how quick the transformation is made! Ten minutes for me = do-able. And let's face it, you cannot say that you don't have ten minutes. Reading? Facebooking? Gaming? Cut out that ten minutes and it WILL feel great!

Gotta go! It's cleaning time!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Hello Friends!

I am hoping this will be a place where I can share my baking recipes (and get some feedback!), my Christian walk, and my (failing) efforts to become more organized in home and body.

So here is the first recipe!!

Mini Chip Cheesecake Bars

  • 1 Can crescent dinner rolls (I use Pillsbury! Num!) 
  • 2 packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 egg 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  •  1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  1.  Unroll dough in two long rectangles and press one rectangle in bottom of greased 8-inch square baking dish. Press along the perforations to seal.  
  2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar til smooth. Add the egg; beat just until mixed. Fold in mini chocolate chips; spread over crust 
  3. Top with remaining rectangle of dough pressing out to the edges of dish
  4.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for an hour on a cooling rack. Cut into 3 rows by 3 rows to make 9 bars. Cut diagonally for smaller triangles. Store covered in refrigerator. 
Let me know if you try it and what creative spins you come up with. I have tried using dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet; that sure hits my sweet tooth!!