Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baxter's Bones: What A Treat

My little guy, Baxter.

I looked in Baxter's jar of treats this morning, and realized he was getting low. It had been way too long since I had made treats, instead of buying them. Time to rectify that. :-)  Here's one of several recipes I love to make when making my loyal friend something yummy.


2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups hot water
Cookie cutters
1 egg
Pastry brush

Extra flour for rolling out dough

Little cookie cutters

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix in Peanut Butter and hot water. If needed, add a little more flour to make dough workable.

Put dough on a floured surface, and knead.

Roll out to about 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Whisk an egg in a small bowl, and use brush to apply to the top of the dog treats.

Shapes cut out, and egg applied to the tops.

After I ran out of room in the rolled out dough, instead of re-rolling it to make more cut-out shapes, I just rolled it into balls, using a teaspoon for the size, and then flattened them, like a peanut butter cookie.

Bake on a cookie sheet (no need to grease unless it isn't non-stick) for 25-30 minutes. Check towards the end of the time to make sure they are not starting to burn on the edges (photo to follow to show what happens when you forget to check).

Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

The ones on the left were the result of me getting distracted and not hearing the timer going off, or to check on them before that.... Thankfully, Baxter still liked them.

The last batch...little peanut butter cookies for Baxter. : -)

Baxter patiently (okay, not really) waiting for a treat.

While he was eating the first one, I set the second one on the edge of the table out on the patio.

Didn't take him long to find it! Yummmmmm. : -)

Delicious Treats

Baxter's Treat Jar

 Baxter gave this recipe 2 Paws up (he would have used thumbs if he had any). I hope you'll give this recipe a try, and let me know what your four-legged child thinks of it! :-)

~ Thanks for stopping by! ~


Rhinestone Beagle

It's a Keeper

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What's For Lunch? Turkey, Apple & Avocado Sandwich

I went grocery shopping this morning, hoping to beat some of the holiday weekend crowds at the store. While browsing around (and trying to keep up with Baby Girl), I was looking for something that would make a great sandwich. A mix of something healthy, and yet delicious. Here is what I came up with. Hope you like it!


Bread - I used the Multi grain Bread made at Albertson's
1 Avocado
Sliced Turkey - I used Peppered Hickory Turkey Breast
1 Granny Smith Apple
Apple-Smoked Mozzarella Cheese
Alfalfa Sprouts

First, peel the avocado, roughly chop it up, place in a bowl, and mash it with a fork.

Next, slice the granny smith apple in large slices, and then smaller slices to finish chopping it up.

Slice the mozzarella cheese.

Avocado spread on the bread, cheese and apples sliced up.

Spread the avocado on both slices of bread. Next, layer the turkey, and then the apple.

Lay 2 slices of the cheese on top of the apple, and then put the alfalfa sprouts on top of the cheese. Slice in 2, and you're done! Now it's time to enjoy a yummy, delicious and healthy lunch!

Sandwich layers all put together.

Ready to eat!

I was cautiously optimistic when I was putting this together, hoping my Fiancee would like it. He doesn't mind being my "guinea pig" for all of my concoctions, so that is great for me! He LOVED it, and asked for a second sandwich! I practically devoured mine. So, so good. Please let me know if you try it!

~ Thanks for stopping by! ~


It's a Keeper

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Nap-Time Creations

Rhinestone Beagle

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hoo Are You?


Join in the fun, and let's get to know each other!

Here are this week's questions!

1. What is your favorite thing cooked on the BBQ?

I like to grill out A LOT. One favorite thing? I guess it would have to be chicken. Nothing beats the smell of it grilling, the taste of it. YUM. Drumsticks that are a little charred on the outside. Okay, I'm hungry now. :-)

2. How do you celebrate Memorial Day?

I have great memories from my childhood of parades, picnics, and having fun. Y'all will probably think I'm horrible, but for the last few years, I haven't done much to celebrate it. I work a full-time job, single parent (yes, I'm engaged...and he works INSANE hours), and my weekends are spent catching up on housework, trying to get some time outside playing with the kiddos, and if there's time leftover, catching my breath. Maybe someday I'll get back into celebrating it. :-)

3. Do you like your handwriting?

I'm not a huge fan of my handwriting. I look at other's handwriting and think, "wow, that looks so perfect". Mine seems inconsistent at best. A handwriting expert would think I had multiple personalities.

4. Do you still have your tonsils?

Yep, as far as I know, they're still hanging out back there.

5. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

No, I don't. I use the toe of one foot, on the heel of the other, to remove my sneakers, and the next time I put them on I think, " time I'll untie them, so I don't have to bother with it when I put them back on". Yeah. Never happens.


Yes, I Want Egg On My Face: Mama Time

Mama Time. It's a rare thing, but when I find 5 or 10 minutes to spend on ME, I enjoy every second. This face mask takes a little longer than 10 minutes, but if you have the time, it's worth it. I don't have any photos to post (would be kind of scary looking), but maybe the next time I make this mask, I'll get brave and take a few. :-)

What You'll Need:

1 egg white
a few drops of lemon juice
approx. 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

Whisk together in a small bowl and apply to your face and neck. I use my fingers to apply the mask, but I think a small brush (maybe a soft basting brush??) would work as well. Leave on for 10-20 minutes. I found that after 10 minutes, the mask gets really tight on your face, and itches a little bit. You may want to go ahead and wash it off at that point.

If you're able to lie down and relax while the mask is on, put a cucumber slice over each eye, and really get the most out of your Mama Time. The last time I did it, I was doing laundry and dishes while it dried. Ahhhh well. :-)

After you wash off the mask, put on some moisturizer. I could see a visible difference in my skin. My pores were smaller (insert happy dance here!).

Let me know if you try it!

~ Thanks for stopping by! ~


Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Minute Friday - When Seasons Change...


When Seasons Change


My thoughts are scattered on this topic. I think of the winter snow melting away, the buds on the trees making an appearance as they slowly turn green. The first few flowers poking up through the ground in Spring. The hot Summer days, splashing around in a pool with the kids, longing for the crisp feeling of Fall. Getting sweaters out of the closet that you haven't seen since Spring. Watching the rainbow of colors that the trees show us as Fall arrives, and then the clean feeling of the first blanket of snow in Winter. Thanking God for each season, while also longing for the next one. "I'll be happy when Winter goes away and Summer is here." "Gosh, the heat is too much, I can't wait for Fall". :-)

I also think about Seasons in our lives. Hardships, Victories, Celebrations, Sorrows, Losses, New Life. Questioning God when you see someone in your church that you KNOW is a hypocrite, but pretends on the outside that they are a saint. Struggling to find yourself after a demeaning and abusive relationship. Celebrating when you finally find your voice and stand up for yourself. Finding out that your Son is Autistic, and then moving on from the shock, to take action and see what you can do to help him. Your Daughter arriving much earlier than she should, staying with her in the NICU, watching that tiny little baby hooked up to every tube imaginable. Moving 2500 miles from any family you have to make a clean and fresh start in life. Discovering you're not as stupid as you were once told. KNOWING in your heart that you can survive, that you're smart and capable. Finally coming to the realization that you don't need to question God because of other's actions, that you need to just take responsibility for your own life, and let God take care of the rest.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let's Be Honest: Week One (5/9-5/14)

I'm dreading this post as much as I dreaded the first one. Why? I have some "before" photos to post. Of all the things I've been through in my life, so far, this is probably one of the most humbling experiences. Why is it so hard? Showing all of my flaws to the world? Pride. Life, stress, being mother and father to 2 precious little ones, working a full-time job, not enough time for me, and on and on.... I let myself go.

Time to just rip the band-aid off and stop hiding:

This was a photo I took right after my workout on Saturday (5/14) afternoon.

I couldn't get a full-length photo of myself, so I got Bugaboo to take them.

This reminds me of the movie, "The Ugly Truth". I resisted the urge to suck it in and hide ANYTHING.

Side-view. Ugh. This is my wake-up call. I need to get healthy, not only for me, but for the 2 kiddos that rely on me for EVERYTHING.

Overall, I had a great first week. I started the Insanity workout program on Monday morning (5/9/11). I set my alarm for 5am, an hour earlier than when I would normally get up. The first day was just a Fit Test. I didn't do so well. You do 8 different moves, 1 minute each, and do as many as you can in that time. Here are my Day 1 results:

Switch Kicks: 34
Power Jacks: 30
Power Knees: 56
Power Jumps: 15
Globe Jumps: 3 (in my defense, each one consists of 4 separate jumps)
Suicide Jumps: 7 (yes, they're as fun as they sound)
Push-Up Jacks: 6 (am I the only one that can't do more than a few "real" push-ups??)
Low Plank Oblique: 13

I kept it up every morning this past week (5/9-5/14). Sunday is a day of rest on this program, as it should be. :-) I could hardly walk on Tuesday. By Thursday, the soreness was mostly gone. I discovered that getting up at 4:50 instead of 5:00 worked better for me. That way, I was dressed and ready to start at 5.

I told myself that I would keep track of what I ate EVERY DAY. That was a flop. :-)    I'm realizing that I need to make a few changes at a time, and then make a few more. I concentrated on working out every day, drinking more water (I drank a minimum of 80 oz. a day), and cutting back on portion size.

By the second day, I felt so much better. I was a little shocked at how GREAT I felt. I guess after feeling so run-down, tired, etc, for so long, doing this gave my body a jolt back to reality. I've been sleeping better this past week, and I'm more energetic during the day. Wow. Who knew? :-)

I don't have a set of scales at home, so I used the ones at work on Friday. I lost 2 pounds. At first I was disappointed. Only 2 pounds?? Then I changed my train of thought (and thought of the contestants on the Biggest Loser). At least it was a loss. I got rid of 2 pounds I've been carrying around. I'm that much closer to my goal.

I didn't think to take measurements at the beginning of the week, so I'm not sure if I lost any inches to go with my 2 pounds. I measured myself last night, and while I'm at it, I'm going to humble myself some more and post them, so I can keep track of my progress, and for anyone that wants to follow along. :-)

Natural Waist: 35 1/2"
Lower waist: 41"
Hips: 43"
Right Upper Thigh: 27 1/2"
Left Upper Thigh: 27 1/2"
Chest: 39"
Upper Right Arm: 13"
Upper Left Arm: 13"

There. I have no pride left whatsoever.

 My motivations to keep this up are; feeling so great after getting back into working out, seeing those photos at the top of this post and never wanting to be there again, my kids and wanting to be around to take care of them, the desire to feel comfortable in my own skin, and for vanity's sake, to be able to wear the clothes hanging in my closet. :-)

What are your motivators to keep you going? What holds you back? I've come to the realization, that regardless of the outside shell, I'm still ME. My friends and family aren't going to walk away because I've gained weight. I just want to be a "happy in my own skin" me. Thanks for joining me on my journey to get there. :-)

~ Thanks for stopping by! ~


Thirty Hand Made Days

What's For Supper? Curry Chicken & Barley Grape Salad

It feels like it's been months since I've posted anything. Pretty close. 9 days. I started a new routine last Monday, and it threw me off, and then blogger was get the picture. :-)

Last night, I made Curry Chicken (a fave), and Barley Grape Salad (new recipe). They were both delicious!

Curry Chicken & Barley Grape Salad

The Curry Chicken is very basic and simple to put together. Put chicken tenders in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle curry powder on top of the chicken. We love curry around here, so I put LOTS of curry on the chicken. Cover and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. I usually do 45 minutes because I'm weird about  making sure chicken is completely done. It is never dried out. Very tender.

I found the recipe for the Barley Grape Salad in Cuisine Lite's Fresh & Fabulous magazine. I discovered the magazine while waiting in the check-out line at Albertson's last week. There are so many yummy recipes in there.  I made a few slight changes, but not enough to notice any difference.

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 cup white grape juice
1 cup water
1 cup quick-cooking barley (I didn't have the quick kind, so I used regular barley)
Pinch of Kosher Salt (I didn't add this)
1 cup halved red grapes (I added 2 cups...we love red grapes)
1 cup fresh spinach (I added about 1/2 cup more)

Ingredients for the Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup white grape juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard (I added 2 tsp.)
1 tsp. honey
1/8 tsp. kosher salt (I didn't add this)

Bring 1 cup grape juice and water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in barley and salt. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed and barley is tender, 14-16 minutes. (I cooked mine about 45 minutes since it wasn't quick, and all of the liquid was absorbed when it was done...I recommend using a non-stick saucepan).

Drain and rinse the barley (I eliminated this step...there was nothing to drain). Combine barley with grapes and spinach in a large bowl (I put just the barley in the fridge for a bit to cool it down, and then combined).

Whisk together 1/3 cup grape juice, vinegar, Dijon, honey and 1/8 tsp. salt; pour over barley mixture and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This salad is going to become a regular at our house. : -)

~ Thanks for stopping by! ~