Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like CHRISTmas!!!!!

In trying to keep  my water intake up up up, I purchased this festive water cup at Walmart today.  So far my daugher and I have filled it up about 10 times! 

And, below, my Christmas nails.  This was supposed to tickle my kiddos, but I've gotten comments from auto mechanics, cashiers, and friends.

Each year we let the kids pick out some wrapping paper they like and we decorate their doors.

I particularly like my son's this year...

I'm definitely Grinchy!!!

I did decided to give in and use a great photo we had from Disney on Ice for a photo Christmas card complete with sunset palm trees and lights.  There was little room on the EDITING for lots of words, so I simply said Merry Christmas and our last name.  I must have looked at it 100 times before SENDING to get printed.  I pick them up check them out - they're fine.  I come home start writing out the envelopes with a pink matching Sharpie, and about 15 in I realize something - - I misspelled our own dang last name!!!!!
Is it any wonder I'm Grinchy?  Ah, I'll probably send them out anyway.  It's not that Im too cheap to redo them, I just couldn't care less.  And other than the couple that MAY read this blog, I doubt anyone else would even notice - it took me 100 times to catch it!

The scale dropped 1.5 pounds since Thanksgiving - and I'm thankful!
And the repercussions I feared certainly appeared a few hours later as predicted. 

Bring on more of the holidays!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Good morning!
It's a cold and foggy day here.  This is the view out my patio - I love it!!!
No Black Friday shopping for me.  I attempted to go last night - I thought Target opened at 9pm.  WRONG~ Target opened at midnight and the line was already forming at 9pm!  I just came home and snuggled on the couch.
Well I weighed in today.  W-O-W!!!!  That scale is nasty nasty truth teller for sure!  I did have a pretty decent Thanksgiving dinner, as you can see below -
but it was the snacking that did me in.  I'm not going to beat myself up too much cuz I know this was holiday weight gain and I can probably drop it rather quickly!  One of the gifts I ordered for my husband last night was the AM/PM Yoga set I have on VHS, but now in DVD format.  We both want to start stretching and yoga is the best way to do that!  I even have hopes of doing Wii today and seeing what my fitness level says - I'm sure it doesn't correspond correctly, but it'd be activity, right?
My daughter has been sneezing and sniffling for 4 days now and my husband woke up shivering so much his muscles were actually twitching.  I'm quite sure he has the flu and am quite sure I'm glad I got a flu shot!

As far as happiness - well I enjoyed my Thanksgiving almost stress free.  However, like Ive been told and taught, there are consequences for everything.  Not everyone appreciated my inner family Thanksgiving yesterday.  I'm quite sure repercussions are looming just a few hours away.....

I am no longer on Facebook (follow me on Twitter- fooshmama) so I'll prob post more here.  One thing I always enjoyed on FB was sharing photos.  So I guess I'll start sharing some here now as part of my happiness - - -
These are from this morning along with the beautiful shot of the tree I posted at the top!

Another shot I love- the dew on the grass looks like shimmering diamonds when the sun hits it!

I was trying to capture the ever so delicate spider web across the bird feeders.  I just couldn't capture it on film the way I could clearly see it with my eyes.

And this is just funny - Milo wants in and Max wants out.  
I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks

What are you thankful for, everyone asks.
I'm thankful for family, friends, my health - isn't that what everyone says?  Is it just a cliche?  Just a programmed response, like "I want World Peace for CHRISTmas?
I sit here tonight and think about all of these things...

This Thanksgiving, I feel ripped apart.  My life for whatever reason has taken a new turn since summer and early fall.  I don't think the same, I don't feel the same.  I question everything and everyone.  My mind has been spinning and shaken and rolled around like a set of dice in a Yahtzee cup.

So I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve and go through the typical check list and wonder, What am I thankful for and am I truly thankful?

I am thankful for family.  Although I love all of my family, I am most thankful for my inner family - my husband and children.  My world revolves around them.  I cannot imagine for a single second, them not being in my life.  Just seeing my children, warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.  The smell of their hair, the warmth of their skin, the depth of their hugs, the glow of their smiles - I just cannot put it into words.  I do know I would lay down my life, without question, in a heartbeat for either of my children.  NOTHING is more important in my life than my kids.  I struggle sometimes with the fact that I'm not pure enough to say God is the ultimate in my life, because until I can understand better, my kids are the ultimate in my life.

My husband - we have a relationship like no other.  I don't know if it's the Italian in me or the stubborn farmer in  him~ we butt heads a lot, but love like mad!  I, myself, don't understand it some times, but I know he is meant for me and I am meant for him.  And the bond between us is strong and thick!  From the moment he smiled at me the very first day I met him, I was in and still am in love!

My brother, to me, has always been a quiet back burner kind of guy, but I want him to shine and come forward in my life.  Maybe he always has, but that I have been too wrapped up in my own messed up world to break out and see how bright he shines and acknowledge how wonderful he is!  I love him very much!  And I am very, very thankful for him!  And now, later in life, as they have come along, I am thankful for his wife and the wonderful nephews they have shared with us.  I am honored to be the boy's Godmother and treasure the laughter I share with Joelle, my sister-in-law.

My health - what a joke.  I take my health for granted every single day of my life.  I sit here tonight eating potato chips, cheese and sausage, and drinking wine, while a dear sweet friend, Kathi, lies in a hospital bed.  At what point does it finally click - Your health is a priority!!!!!  I struggle daily to make better decisions but sometimes am just weak or flippant at the moment.  I need to snap out of it, and realize that Jane and Kathi and Chris have made amazing leaps in their health and that it's hard, it's strenuous, but that it's totally worth it!

My friends - certainly not least.  Jane is the number one friend in my life.  She didn't just step up after a so called prior best friend was removed from my life.  Jane was always number one, and I knew that in my mind and heart, but just didn't put it into words until I lost it.  Now, I didn't lose Jane as my friend (thank God), I lost the 25 steps across the street for a glass of wine and good conversation, or the smile and wave as she drove down the street home from work, or the endless, without question, generosity and servitude that only Jane and her husband John can offer.  I always say Jane appeared like an angel the day I was 6 months pregnant, bent over, trying to start a lawn mower in the driveway.   Out of no where she appeared, helped me and then -poof- was gone in seconds.  Thank God, literally, she came over shortly after my daughter was born and that a wonderful friendship has blossomed!

I have just a few other close heartwarming wonderful friends - Kathi, Chris, Shalene, Dawn.  I'd rather have a few close loyal sincere friends, than 1000 fake , false, pseudo~friends.  Each of these ladies, I trust and know they were sent from above.  They've touched my life uniquely and continue to teach me, in their own ways, how to be a better person by just knowing them.

I have my faults, but when I love someone, I love them loyally and without question.
And I am very thankful for these things I mention today!
Happy Thanksgiving.

P.S..  I am NOT thankful for scales or fat cell!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Well the scale is sticking in a healthier than last year place.  I signed up for Hold The Stuffing here at work.  You weigh in before Thanksgiving and then after New Year's.  If you maintain your weight within 2 pounds, you can win a $50 gift card.  I weigh in tomorrow, which is funny, cause that is also our office Thanksgiving luncheon.  Should I weigh in before or after the luncheon?  Ha ha ha
I'm reading my Tosca book and it's simple and easy and makes sense until I put it to use in real life.  Only eat foods with 5 ingredients or less that you can actually pronounce.  Hmmm.....even the health bars in our break room had crazy ingredient names - polysoyglucosyrup or something.  I opted for least chemically sounding ingredients.   
I got a new pedometer today, after losing mine last Sunday.  So I missed a whole week's worth of steps for my Start! challenge here at work.  But I'm officially over 300K steps now!  Whoo hoo!  Remember I hoped for 600K by New Year's.
On the happiness note, I am pretty good.  I am feel the building of stress lately but it's different.  Instead of IN MY FACE STRESS, it's like a slow simmering stress.  My left jaw hurts and is locked, but a mouth guard is $175.  My husband's company STILL HAS NOT told his department if they are working Thanksgiving and the day after yet or not - so our holiday plans are on hold, which means holding off on plans for what to do with our dog and cat.  And then to top it all off, my old job called me and offered me part time work.  Now with the $175 mouth piece hanging over my head, I'm thinking some part time work will be nice.  But then there is more stress.  Our front yard is filled with Christmas blow ups and the full light up life sized manger scene.  I think my husband is holding off on putting up the tree for fear my heart might explode!
I am handling Christmas a little better this week.  The house has a soft candle light aura throughout it and it actually calms me rather than annoys me.  A little snow would be nice....
Well here's to a terrific Tuesday, new pedometers, and thankfulness for family and friends!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

234- Sweet Potato Ice Cream

I saw a receipe for Sweet Potato Ice Cream in my newest Clean Eating magazine the other day and it looked wonderful AND easy.  So my daughter and I decided to make it. 
Now it is a 3-day process, but thought it'd be fun.

So first you get one large sweet potato and cut it into 1/2" slices

We got a chance to use our pure Vermont maple syrup!

Place in 10.5 x 7" baking dish, cover with 1/2 cup maple syrup, toss until well covered and bake for 1 hour to soften (don't flip).  Remove from oven and go directly into the fridge over night to soften some more.

Place sweet potato slices and syrup in food processor puree sweet potato with syrup from dish until creamy -about 4 minutes.  With a rubber spatula scrape bowl to prevent syrup from settling on the bottom.  Add  2 cups almond milk* (they suggested oatmilk, but I couldn't find it) and blend.  Then add 1/2 cup honey, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1 tsp vanilla and blend until it goes from dark orange...

To a lighter color orange.  Mmmmmm!

Pour mixture into a 9x9 metal cake pan (I again substituted for another metal pan)...

and freeze for 12 hours until solid.

 Take out of freezer about 5 minutes prior to serving to soften, scoop and enjoy!
*Although I couldn't find oatmilk, I did find a recipe by Googling, if you're interested in trying.  Also Whole Foods Market may have oatmilk.

And now some kitchen hydiene humor.  I always tell my daughter she has to wash her hands before dealing with food.  I think she'd giggle at this:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

235 - Tosca Tuesday and Oz

Finally it's November 8th and Nookbook version of Tosca's Just the Rules is downloaded!!!  Last night about 10 the icon on my screen no longer said preordered so I thought maybe I'd get it early.  No such luck.  I just downloaded it this morning and am trying to flip through it while blogging and getting ready for work!  Did I finish her other book yet?  No, it was a very busy weekend and no reading really occured.  Will I wait?  Will I not?  Maybe I'll just flip through a thing or two!

Have you heard of this?  A friend of mine on Facebook posted she was doing the Dr Oz Transformation Nation and so, you know me, I had to check it out and then sign up!  This man is so knowledgeable!!!    Yesterday's show was how to lose 40 pounds.  OMG Sounds right up my alley!  Unfortuntely I'm not even off work when his show comes on and I don't have Tivo.  I'll have to try to catch it off his site or Hulu.

The scale is going down for me.  I'm almost where I was a few weeks ago!  But I'm drinking my lemon water, and regular water, and oatmeal for breakfast, yogurt for a snack and a honey crisp apple for my other snack and salad or turkey sandwiches for lunch.  Of course, it's only Tuesday!  ;)  Better go make my lunch!!!

P.S.  Sweet Potato Ice Cream will be ready to try tonight!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

237 - Good?

Yesterday me and my husband worked our butts off, or so you'd think!  We hauled and spread 6 SCOOPS (cb sq ft each) of mulch around a big yard and then mowed a 3 acre yard.  And once we're done mowing, I get to carry the professional "blower" that weighs about 10 pounds.  We were both pooped last night (it took all day) and still pooped today.  Of course, I weighed myself this morning and somehow gained weight..  Only me, I swear!
I've noticed a few bodily/health things lately.  One, my joints hurt, my knee is tender and it feels almost like a warning - be careful, Sheri, be careful.  Dutily noted, too!  My elbows hurt!  It feels like someone is pulling the humorus apart from the ulna and radius! and the space inbetween just aches.  I think it's my joints telling me you're not getting enough water, Sheri, be careful!
Last week I could feel some of things coming on, plus the scale not going the way I want it to go.  I looked at the calendar - how long is 239 days?  It's roughy 8 months.  SHEW!  That is still a long time.  So I straightened up and started drinking my hot lemon water again in the mornings.  My innerards (ha ha ha) seem to be happy about that!  Two days of Burger King for breakfast and I could tell an addiction already happening!  So I started back on the oatmeal - it's instant, but I opted for the lowered sugar one.  I may try the regular oatmeal again, but it wasn't a great experience for me last time.  My water bottle has started going with me everywhere again, too!  I can't be whining like an 80-year old that my joints hurt!  Goodbye Diet Cokes and Diet Mt Dew's and all the cancerous fake sugars you hold!  I'm trying to tone down my coffee, too.  The lemon water in the am really helps.  I start that right away and it takes awhile to drink cuz it's so hot, so by the time I finish it, I don't have time for coffee except to go.  And I don't drink the coffee at work.  I'd like to add more sleep to my goals, but this weekend has been hard.  Also, my husband and I want to start on abs and stretching/yoga.  We both notice our stiffness and don't want to be a stone skeleton in our 40's (not that I'm 40 yet!!  ha ha ha).
Today my daughter and I had a mother daughter day and went to Mimi's Cafe.  Neither of us have been.
I was a little rushed in my decision, but got the turkey, brie, cranberry croissant (OMG didn't I just say those were bad?).  The sides weren't very healthy - fries, cole slaw, or I can't remember the last one.  I just got the fries but only had - - - are you ready - - - -TWO!  I swear in my life I only had 2 french fries.. 
This was part of their seasonal special, so I can't seem to find the nutritional value for this anywhere on line.  If anyone can, please COMMENT on it for me.  {{{sigh}}} now that I'm looking at that, Im starting to think my decision wasn't as healthy as I thought it was. 

Well here is to a healthy happy week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

239 - Holiday Anxiety

I found this yesterday after I was, well, very high anxiety (HA).  Is anxietic a word?  I'll have to check on that.  But I found this article from and found it very helpful.  I especially have taken notice to #2, #3, #4, #8, #18, #19, and #20. 
I am finding myself learning to express myself in a calm rational manner and people seem to be responding in the same way.  If I can tell my husband, I'm HA today and I'm working on it, please just be patient with me, he seems to understand and gives me the support I need. 
The 2nd and 3rd most important things for me are - lots of rest (no late nighters) and less caffeine.

20 Ways to Deal with Holiday Anxiety

By Eileen Bailey,

The holidays are a stressful time for many different reasons. Some people with anxiety have a difficult time with the many activities going on, some may be experiencing financial difficulties, sleep may suffer and the expectations of our holiday season may not measure up to the reality in our lives.
Whatever the reason, often those with anxiety feel symptoms increase and become out of control during the holiday season. When anxiety increases during this time of year, people sometimes ignore discussing it with their doctor or seeking help. They may feel it is normal to feel anxious and therefore feel they must somehow live through it or they may feel there really isn’t any help available.
The following are twenty tips for helping to keep anxiety under control during the holiday season:
1)      Spend some time giving to someone else. This can be through volunteering for a local organization or just helping people that may need assistance. Helping someone else makes you feel good and reminds you of the spiritual meaning of the holiday season.
2)      Lower your expectations. Keep your expectations of the season realistic with your situation. Instead of spending more money than you can afford, limit your purchases to meet your budget. Instead of believing this year the family get-together will be great, accept your relationship with your family. Instead of spending every night at a different holiday function, spend some time at home, enjoying the quiet time spent with family or friends.
3)      Get plenty of rest. It is tempting to spend extra time at parties or events and then still get up early the next morning for work. But it is important to continue to get a good nights sleep each night. Anxiety attack can happen more frequently if you do not get the proper rest.
4)      As much as rest is important, eating healthy and continuing (or beginning) an exercise program to keep up a healthy lifestyle is important to keeping anxiety attacks minimal and under control.
5)      Instead of getting angry and irritated at the long lines, take the time to start a conversation with someone else standing in line and wish them a happy and healthy holiday season. Bringing a smile to someone else can improve your mood and help spread the spiritual meaning of the holidays.
6)      Practice communication and listening skills. Use methods such as repeating back what someone has said to let them know you have heard them. Gently change the subject if a conversation is becoming stressful for you or for another family member.
7)      Limit time spent at holiday parties, especially if you feel uncomfortable. How much time you spend at the party is not as important as being there. Come late and then excuse yourself early. Showing up is sometimes all that matters.
8)      Avoid alcohol, it can increase anxiety symptoms.
9)      Bring a friend with you to holiday parties to provide support.
10)  If you are traveling by car to visit relatives, drive at off peak times to avoid traffic, consider resting during the day and driving after dinner instead of driving during the day.
11)  Take your time driving, drive at a safe speed, don’t use your cell phone when driving and defer the right of way to an aggressive driver.
12)  If traveling by air, schedule flights during off peak hours, check with the airport for scheduling changes, and give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport.
13)  Remember delays at the airport are normally safety measures and done to be sure all travelers remain safe during their journey.
14)  If you are prone to anxiety attacks, let a friend know you may be calling during your trip for support. Your friend may be able to talk to you and provide ways for you to remain calm.
15)  If you don’t have family in the area and will not be visiting family, talk to co-workers and friends to find out who else is in the same situation. Ask if they might be interested in having a holiday dinner together.
16)  If you are feeling lonely, reach out to talk with someone, whether by phone or to get together with someone for a social event. Don’t sit home feeling lonely and depressed.
17)  Check the local newspaper for holiday concerts and events. These are normally low cost or free and can fit into anyone’s budget. Take your family to community events, not only will you feel part of your community but you will have enjoyed spending time with your family.
18)  Take time out of the holiday events to spend an evening at home, quietly. Watch a movie with your family or just spend time being by yourself.
19)  Plan ahead for shopping trips or entertaining. Avoid last minute scrambling to get gifts or buy supplies for cooking. Make lists and have a purpose for shopping trips.
20)  Acknowledge your feelings. If you are feeling sad or highly anxious, accept your feelings. There may be a legitimate reason for feeling sad or anxious. Use strategies such as deep breathing or other relaxation techniques to help you calm down.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

240 - Frustrated and Thankful Thursday

The Frustrated part -

Ugh, the scale is up, up, up!!!!!  -
Nov 1- Jan 9th, my life is chaotic - or as I like to call it Holiday Hell.  Those who know me, already know this story, but it's just so stressful with EVERYTHING.  Now I'm not saying I gained 5 pounds since Nov 1, I haven't even touched Halloween candy - but I'm already losing my grasp on time, organization, planning - including lunch making and dinner, shopping. 
One thing, I've cut down on the wine.  That really isn't going to help anything by drinking calories.
I have noticed breakfast is a big thing for me, especially once it gets cold.  I wants something warm and filling!  Yesterday, get this, I made a nice bowl of healthy oatmeal.  Loved it.  Drove to work and hit Burger King - totally forgetting I JUST ATE BREAKFAST!!  I didn't even remember I had oatmeal until later that afternoon.  Now I had a nice salad for lunch, but church council after work and getting home late, what was there for dinner?  A minislice of the Red Baron's pepperoni pizza the kids and hubby had.  Now I did make another salad though, and nom nom nommed on that!
This morning - lemon water - I need to clean my system out!!!!!
Goals this week - meal plan, more water, lemon water every morning, more salad, and more walking.

Thankful Thursday -
I am so thankful for my family #1!!! 
I am very thankful for this blog.  I'm hoping it helps me map out my direction to 40.  As you can see, it's my own path as I knew it would be.  I always march to the beat of a different drum.  I'm just glad I have a place to discuss and share.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

242 - Last Year For Pumpkin Seeds

Every year I attempt to make roasted pumpkin seeds.  I can remember my mother making them when we were younger and them being good.  However, each year I make them, they are a flop.  I try a different recipe each time to no avail.  This was my last attempt.

First, carve the pumpkin

Scrape pumpking for seeds

Disgard pumpkin from seeds and rinse well

For every 1/2 cup of seeds, add to 2 cups boiling water and 1 tbsp of salt for 10 minutes

Drain and rinse.

pour seeds into roasting pan lightly covered with olive oil

Roast at 400 for about 10-15 minutes depending on browing you prefer

cool on rack and serve

I didn't like them.  I think the problem is I no longer like pumpkin seeds because people in the office really liked them.  So this will be my last year of roasting pumpkin seeds.