Friday, January 30, 2015

My Lil Ninja

I put my Flo headband on Connor a couple weeks ago.  He wasn’t fazed at first.


But then he was like, “Um, what’s this thing on my head?”


“Seriously, Mom, Jane Fonda wants her headband back.”


“Oh, you’ll give me snacks if I leave it on?  Deal!”


The McHusband and I have our date night tonight.  We are seeing 50 Shades! A Musical Parody at the DPAC.  I read the first book in the series and it was okay, but I honestly got bored with some of it plus, well, the writing just wasn’t that great.  I wasn’t hooked enough to read the other two books in the trilogy, and I don’t plan to see the movie in the theater.  Hopefully I enjoy the musical more than the book.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

{Recipe Recap} Funfetti Crumble Bars

I couldn’t show up to Women’s Night without something sweet, especially considering this month’s hostess.  She is the first to tell you that she doesn’t excel at the party stuff and it’s just understood in general that I’m going to bring a dessert to share at every Women’s Night.  This hostess in particular counts on my contribution as the something sweet she can offer people.


I knew I wanted to make something simple and I remembered these bars.  I thought the sprinkles were fun and who doesn’t like Funfetti?


Okay, if you DON’T like Funfetti cake flavor, then these aren’t for you.  The cake mix in the crumble is definitely the dominant flavor.


The cookie bars underneath were good for being plain vanilla, but the best part about them was the texture. They were dense and chewy just like I like.


The McHusband tried these and said he was surprised by how much he liked them.  Not sure why he anticipated not being a fan, but he ate enough to more than prove that he liked them.


So how do I know that they tasted mostly like Funfetti?  Well, Women’s Night didn’t exactly go as planned.  I blame the wine.  Yep, just like Jamie Foxx says, blame it on the alcohol.  At least my neighbor had veggies for us to snack on.

I pretty much went off the detox for the weekend with the plan to get back on come Monday.  I started off on the right foot with a piece of sausage-egg-spinach casserole, but I fell into the cracker-and-Coke Zero hole mid-morning.  Okay, one step forward, one step back.  Lunch was a salad with my homemade dressing so another step forward.  Then the McHusband had some good news at work so that required champagne and dinner and there might’ve been some chips snacked on while the meatloaf cooked.

So I think I can officially declare the detox over, but I am going to continue trying to eat more real food, less processed stuff, and carbs are welcome, but they should be whole grains for the most part.

But when they aren’t whole grains, they should be thoroughly enjoyed, in moderation and without guilt.


{Recipe here}

PS  Happy Birthday to Kevin today!  And to Monte, who turns 2.  Hard to believe he was ever so small.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Checking in

I’m still here, the fall off the detox wagon didn’t kill me.  And it wasn’t so much a fall as a very conscious leap made Friday night and it lasted all weekend.

And into Monday.  Oops.

More on that soon.

I have a treat to share with you guys, too, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

I will do my best to not have this be the only post this week, but I can’t make any promises.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Detox update

Okay, it’s been about 10 days since I started my detox.  I am the first to say that I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long.  For someone who generally didn’t go more than a few hours (much less days!) between hits of carbs and Coke Zero, it’s a pretty big deal.

How do you feel?

I never felt terrible like I was warned.  Apparently some people feel like they have the flu around Day 5.  There were a couple of times when I had some hot flashes and felt light-headed, but those feelings didn’t last long.  One thing that seems to be generally promised is better sleep.  Not in my case.  Or maybe it’s because the McHusband’s not on this diet and getting better sleep and he’s waking me up.  I’m definitely disappointed not to be getting 6.5 quality hours of sleep as opposed whatever time my crappy hours add up to.  I assure you, most days it doesn’t feel like I logged more than 5 hours of zzz’s.

I had to get accustomed to the prolonged feeling of being satisfied without feeling really full.  I guess that’s what real food – healthy fats, veggies, and lean protein – add up to.  Normally, I’d eat, be full for maybe an hour, then steadily get back to that starving state.  To say food was on my mind a lot is an understatement.  I was always thinking ahead to my next snack or meal.

So…what are you eating?

Like I mentioned above, it’s a pretty basic diet: vegetables, lean meat, healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado, some nuts, almond butter, and eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.  I already knew that a scrambled-egg breakfast stuck with me longer than a bowl of cereal, but I didn’t always have time to actually cook and sometimes I just really craved a bowl of milk-soaked carbs. 

I miss those milk-soaked carbs.

What else do you miss?

  • Wine. 
  • My morning crackers and Coke Zero as well as the ritual of it.  10:00 = snack time.  I’m a creature of habit so it’s been hard to skip that snack.
  • The ease of grabbing a Lean Pocket or Lean Cuisine.
  • Subway Wednesday.  I love a good sandwich.
  • Wine.  Oh, I already said that?

What don’t you miss?

  • Feeling powerless against my cravings.  It’s very defeating to not be able to keep my hand out of the proverbial cookie jar (or candy bin in my office’s case).
  • Losing control at a party.  I love party foods.  Dips, meatballs, bready-things, all those yummy appetizers are at the top of my list.  Add a few drinks and I would eat til I felt like bursting.  And then I’d eat some more.
  • Feeling guilty for “being bad.”  I think we’ve all been here.  We have good intentions, then we end up eating huge portions or falling for the BOGO deal on Cadbury Eggs at the cash register.  Suuuuuure, one of those is for your spouse, riiiiiight.

Have you cheated?

I have.  I had a diet Coke (so good!) when I did my grocery shopping at Walmart this past Sunday, and I have added back a packet of Splenda to my hot teas.  I made it through last week without any sweetener but you know what?  Those drinks just did not taste good at all.  And I know that no matter how well this detox goes, I will be drinking my diet soda again, I just am going to make a conscious effort to drink less of it.  So I’m okay with having the fake sugar/Splenda because it’s always going to be in my diet.  I am, however, happy to be using just one packet of sweetener instead of two.

Food-wise, though, I have been really good and have stuck closely to the approved foods.  However, I think I accidentally cheated on Wednesday.  I went to Zoes and got the steak kabobs (I know, red meat!  Who AM I?) with two servings of roasted veggies.  I didn’t realize, because the menu didn’t say, that there was a glaze on the kabobs, and I’m sure there was sugar in it. 


And then yesterday was a tough day.  I know I was tired, but I don’t know if I just didn’t have enough for breakfast and lunch or what, but I was hungry (not starving like before the detox) and craving a quick hit of some calories.  I ended up grabbing a handful of caramel corn from the bin my office was gifted at Christmas.  (It was still fresh, I wasn’t THAT desperate.)

General impressions?

I am really happy that I’m doing this.  I am glad that I’m eating REAL food on a regular basis.  Convenience foods have their place, and they will be back in my life, but I hope to not be eating nearly as much of them.  Also, this way of eating and drinking is making me drink water like I did when I was pregnant.  I was already pretty good about drinking water at work because we have a water cooler and I like to drink so I tend to keep my water cup filled up.  But without my soda, I am drinking even more water.

Have you lost any weight?

I know, that’s probably all you really want to know, isn’t it?  I weighed myself last week on Tuesday, then again this week on Tuesday.  I was down 6.5 pounds that day.  For the purpose of this post, I weighed myself again this morning.  The scale was the same so my total loss is still 6.5 pounds.  Is it “real” weight?  Nah, I’m sure most of it is water weight from the lack of carbs.  But it feels good to look better in some clothes and fit better, and fit back into, other clothes. 

Are you going to finish out the 21 days?

I am going to try.  I do have Women’s Night tonight, but my plan is to not take any wine and to eat my healthy dinner beforehand so I’m not as tempted to snack.  I will make my detox known so that I have people judging watching me and that will make me less likely to reach for the foods I’m not supposed to have.

If I can make it through this weekend, then I will certainly try to keep this up through the end of next week.  The McHusband and I have our date night at the DPAC on Friday, and I know there will be some drinks, but I will see about sticking to the diet.  Shouldn’t be too hard if I order seafood and veggies for dinner.


TGIF!  Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Connor: Eleven Months

(I took advantage of Connor being in a good mood this past Sunday afternoon and took this month’s pictures in the den.  Sorry, Sara, no monkey this month.)

Okay, how in the world did my baby get so old?  He is almost a year old.  That means I am almost another year older.  But let’s not dwell on that…


There is no denying we have a mobile infant (Is he still an infant?) on our hands.  He is still army crawling his way across the floor.  The best part is when he’s in turbo mode and his butt wiggles back and forth like an excited puppy’s tail.  So.stinkin.cute.

(When the internet decides to cooperate, I will share a video.  For now, here’s a fuzzy photo of the army crawl stance.)


Connor is pulling up on everything: couches, the TV stand, chairs, the bathtub, his crib (inside and out), me, and even occasionally on the toys that are meant for him.  He really wishes he were just a little bit taller so he could reach the stuff on the kitchen table; in the meantime, he’s practicing his pull-ups.


Remember last month how I said he “gets” the word no, or at least the tone associated with it?  He still does, and he’s not pushing those limits yet.  But now he will also mimic us when we shake our head no; his goes side to side as well.


No talking yet, but he understands a few words.  He will look at Morgan or Monte if you say their names.  He still understands eat and the sign for it.  I’m trying to practice some basic commands like “Give me the _____” so he recognizes the request and responds with whatever he’s holding.


A new “skill,” if you can call it that, is holding the remote to his head like a phone.  I’m rarely on the phone around him so I’m guessing he picked that up from the McHusband and the sitter, or the kids at daycare.


Connor LOVES baths especially now that he has the whole tub to play in.  The other night, I was taking his clothes off in the bathroom and not in his room like I normally do.  He was standing at the tub and kept lifting his legs, trying to climb over the side of the tub to get in.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it was adorable to watch him be excited and try so hard to get in.


No surprise, Connor still loves all the food he’s been given.  Veggies include carrots, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, and some cucumber he had at daycare.  He loves baked beans and seems to like black beans.  Fruity favorites are blueberries, mandarin oranges, peaches, pear, banana, and avocado.  He hasn’t turned down any meat: tilapia, meatloaf, grilled chicken, chicken sausage.  We tried yogurt this past weekend and he didn’t seem to suffer so we will give him more and more dairy (cheese!) in this next month and hopefully be able to have him on whole milk once he’s a year old or soon thereafter.


Guess who STILL has only two teeth?  We keep waiting and waiting for the top ones to come through, but they are being shy.  Hope when they do decide to show themselves, they do so as stealthily as the bottom two.


Connor still takes two naps a day and sleeps around 11.5 hours at night.  He gets four 6-oz bottles a day: one upon waking, one before his morning nap, one after his afternoon nap, and one before bed.  He also gets a small breakfast of usually oatmeal or a scrambled egg, lunch with a protein, veggie, and fruit, an afternoon snack of usually a banana or some banana and some avocado, and then his mood usually dictates if he gets a little more protein closer to dinnertime.  Sometimes during the week I put him in his chair to snack on Cheerios while I tend to the animals and get his bottle ready because I can talk to him and he’s out from under the dogs’ feet and he’s distracted from his fatigue if he didn’t nap well. 


Oh, something else Connor loves is music.  He’s partial to the tunes his toys play, but he likes a good radio song as well.  In our room, we have two music-playing toys and Connor will have them both going at once and you should see how enthusiastically he hits the buttons to get the songs going.  Then he waves his arms around and bounces his head, just moving because it feels right.  Kinda like me after too many Captain and diets!


We love our C-man!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Playing footsie

I read good things about this foot cream so I added it to my Christmas list, and Kevin and Jenny were kind enough to fulfill my wishes.

Now, I do not have pretty feet.  But even ugly feet deserve to be soft, right?  So I’ve been slathering this cream on after my shower a few times a week and then I sleep in socks.

Verdict?  My feet are softer!  The skin is noticeably improved.  I will keep using my cream regularly until sandal season so hopefully my feet won’t be too scary when they do more than peep out of the ends of my shoes.

I know you can get this cream on Amazon, but I also saw it, surprisingly enough, in the Hallmark near me.  I know, who would’ve thunk?

PS  Happy Birthday to Bri today!  It’s very fitting that I decided to write about a foot cream on her birthday because she does NOT like feet. 

You’re welcome, Bri. Smile

Monday, January 19, 2015

Christmas in Clover

We headed to Clover on Christmas Eve, but Kevin, Jenny, and the kids arrived the next day after Santa visited their house.  Connor and Henley met once back in April, but they, um, interacted much more at this visit.


They aren’t old enough to play together, but they didn’t beat each other up too badly.


After everyone said hello and had some lunch, we moved into the den to open some gifts.  Well, we let Chase and Leah rip through their gifts then we adults took our time.


Connor had fun with the boxes and bows, no surprise there.



There was one last gift.  Jenny read a letter that had been left on the tree for Leah.


We followed the clues out to the barn.


What’s under that jumbo bag?


It’s a new bike!


We didn’t want Leah to ride alone so several of us hopped on the bikes that the McInlaws have.




Finally, we took some group shots of the whole family together.  We actually got several decent ones.  Hard to believe considering the number of moving parts and ages of those parts.


This was our first time with all of us visiting the new house at once and it worked out really well.  I hope the Nogtinis I made everyone become a Christmas tradition.  I think we all had at least one so I’m pretty sure no one would complain if they became a holiday staple.

Okay, we’re more than halfway through January, and I’m wrapping up Christmas?  Yep, sounds about right.  I’ll try to wrap up 2014 with my New Year’s Eve post this week as well.

Friday, January 16, 2015


So I’m three days into a detox diet.  I know, I know, how many times have you read “everything in moderation” on here?  I really do ultimately believe in that philosophy and will get back to living by it.  I’m torturing myself doing this because I wasn’t doing sugar in moderation.  Or alcohol.  Or chips/candy/chocolate/cereal/Coke Zero.  Yeah, pretty much if it started with a “c,” I was eating too much of it.  I’ve always had a soft spot for carbs, which were in danger of leading to more soft spots on my body so I finally decided enough was enough: if I can’t do moderation, I’ll do something extreme for a short time.  I’m trying not to think about it as punishment but…it kinda is.  I’m definitely paying the consequences for enjoying the holiday season. 

Which started the minute those Reese’s Pumpkins hit the shelves back in September.

I can’t exercise as much as I used to.  I just don’t have the time or the energy and it’s hard for me to muster the motivation once I get home.  Before Connor, I always went straight to the Y after work so there was no couch to knock me off track.  Now, I try to get to the Y three days a week and of course there are the walks with the dogs and the general chasing around of and playing with a mobile infant.  Once the weather warms up and the time changes, I hope to be better about getting in some weeknight runs and backyard boot camp sessions.

Since I’m not as active, I need to count on my diet to keep my weight in check.  Honestly, I’m surprised that I’m still wearing the clothes that I am considering how bad I’ve been in the food department.  But it just makes me think of the smaller clothes in my closet that I COULD be wearing if I had a little more discipline.  The detox diet is just a way of hopefully jump-starting my weight loss and a way to deal with my sugar cravings.

So what AM I eating, you’re wondering?  It’s pretty basic: meat, veggies (but no white potatoes), eggs, some nuts, good fats, and small amounts of fruit. There’s no dairy, beans, grains, or sugar, and there isn’t supposed to be any caffeine but I do have some green tea in the mornings at work. 

On Wednesday, I ate:

  • Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled, 2 sausage links
  • Snack: Cashews
  • Lunch: Bunless burger with grilled mushrooms, jalapenos, and avocado and a salad with an olive oil-vinegar dressing
  • Dinner: Leftover rotisserie chicken, peas, and cauliflower (I should’ve had a good fat)
  • Snack: An apple and a few almonds

I took a picture of my dinner from last night: grilled chicken, a small sweet potato with a little coconut oil (good fat!) drizzled on it and some cinnamon sprinkled on top, and peas.  That’s a lot of “real” food for the girl whose favorite dinner used to be a bowl of cereal carefully measured out so that she didn’t get more than one serving.


You aren’t supposed to snack because each meal should be filling enough on its own.  But I’m still figuring out how much and what to eat to ensure that I get enough.  Plus on Wednesday I had a late lunch and my breakfast at 6:30 just wasn’t going to hold me over til 2:00.  On the other two days, I only had one snack.

So far, the hardest part has been not having my morning crackers (another c!) and Coke Zero at work.  Yes, I at because I was hungry, but it was also just such a habit to have that snack at 10:00.  I’m sure after a weekend on the detox diet, I’ll be changing my tune about what the hardest part is.

This detox is supposed to last 21 days, which takes me to February 3rd.  Between now and then, I have a Women’s Night in the ‘hood and a show with the McHusband at the DPAC on a Friday night.  The latter event is just before the end of the detox, and I am already thinking I’ll probably bend the rules and have some wine that night.

If I make it that long.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The last day of Christmas

(I apologize for going out of order but this post was ready to go and I had boot camp last night, which means I had very little time for anything other than dinner and showering.  So just go with my out-of-order flow.)

The Saturday after Christmas, we left the McInlaws’ new house in Clover, SC and headed to Bri’s just outside of Charlotte.  The plan was to spend the day there then head home to Raleigh just after dinner.  A relatively quick visit but better than just seeing everyone for a few hours Christmas Eve.

We tried really hard to get a decent picture of all the kids in front of the Christmas tree.  I’d say we were fairly successful.


We told the kids if they sat for the pictures, then it would be time to open gifts.  We got what we wanted so it was their turn.


All Connor wanted was this old remote that Bri let him play with.





Maxie was so excited to get an umbrella.  She’s not the only one who got an umbrella; I got one too but no one took my picture.


We saved the best for last.  My mom has been needing a new computer for a while and circumstances haven’t allowed her to buy it for herself.  So the McHusband, Bri, Nate, and I made a last-minute decision to add a laptop to her gifts.


I think she liked it.


We left Bri’s at 9:15 and got home at midnight.  Was it a long day?  Yes.  Did we want to be driving so late?  No.  Was it totally worth it to sleep in our own bed and wake up in our house?  Absolutely!

Thank goodness we have a year to recover before we have to do it all again!