Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick BBQ Salad

Yep, it's Summer time! Diet time! And Salad time! My twin daughters are home from college and this mama is happy. We all want to loose some weight, exercise more frequently and eat healthy!

I am finally going through my mounds of recipes I've cut out from varies places and sorting, filing, pinning and picking out a slew of summer recipes.

This is one of my favorite parts of having my daughters home, they love my cooking and love when I create new things! As for my boys, they would be happy if I made Hamburger Helper every night.

I went "real food" shopping first, there are hardly ever coupons for "real food" deals, so I made a special trip and filled my basket with the good stuff. My basket looked pretty healthy, if I do say so myself! 

This week we picked out a few salad recipes and packaged them up for our work-day lunch time meals. 

This first recipe believe it or not is from an article I cut out of Good Houskeeping - October 2009. Yep, this has been hanging around my file bins since then. This recipe actually isn't too fancy and I've probably made it a few times before without even following a recipe. 

We made them all up at the beginning of the week in ziploc containers or throw away containers and even my daughter who works at a local burger joint took this salad to eat on her break at work and all her co-workers were like "we want that"!  Sometimes healthy just IS better!

BBQ Chopped Salad
(Recipe will depend on how many salads you wish to make up for the week or if you are serving just for one meal so here is just a general idea)

Can of corn with peppers (or Mexican Corn)
Left over Shredded Chicken
BBQ Sauce
Ranch Dressing
Favorite Lettuce Mixture
Fresh Cilantro
Tomatoes (we used grape tomatoes)
Shredded Cheese
Crushed Tortilla Chips

Portion, Mix and Serve. We put the dressing on the side in small containers for a good lunch-to-go option. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Effortless Meals from Walmart

Summer is all about quick and easy dinners, relaxing by the pool and having movie nights with friends (even when you have a broken foot)!

Walmart and Coca-Cola have made it easy for you to pick up an easy meal when you are in a hurry or just don't feel like hassling a big meal. They have a variety of easy meals take-n-bake pizzas; premade sandwiches; and market side rotisserie chicken.

It's Friday night; school is out for all these college girls what better way to bring in the summer then with a fun get together.
We threw the pizza and bread sticks in the oven and 12 minutes later, dinner was complete. That is a fast, quick and easy dinner.

I would say the pizza was a HIT! But my favorite part was the garlic cheese bread, this bread was so delicious and something I normally would have never bought, but I am so glad I saw the big EFFORTLESS MEAL sign by the pizzas and bread.

Dinner wouldn't be complete with out a little dessert so along with the Effortless meal we picked up some ice cream and made homemade chocolate chip cookies, and created individual pazookies for everyone. Once we figured out it was one of the girls half-birthday, no better reason then to add in a candle, sing Happy (HALF) Birthday and celebrate. Yes, we celebrate HALF birthdays. Why not?!?!?!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade Family Pizzas

I am super thrilled about the Blogger iPhone app (I know I am behind the times)! I am sure it's been out way longer then I care to admit but I am just thrilled that I have it now and believe me this will increase my blog posts tremendously.

I take all my photos on my iPhone and I do use iCloud but sitting down on a computer and getting all that stuff from one place to the next is just too much work (okay, not really) but it seems like it just never gets done.

Here we go with my first iPhone post. 

Tonight we made family pizzas, we haven't done this in a long time. There really isn't a recipe, only a few tips. 

We had Spaghetti last night, which is why homemade pizzas were on the menu for tonight. We like to use left-over spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce. It's great because it already has some ground-up hamburger meat in the sauce (I gotta get in the protein whenever I can, my son thinks he is eating cheese pizza, but I know he is getting a little something extra), we just add in a small can of tomato paste into the left-over spaghetti sauce to thicken it up, use that as the pizza sauce and presto instant pizza sauce. 

One of my daughters and my niece created their pizza masterpieces first.  My son and husband wanted nothing to do with making them, so I made theirs for them, but they sure enjoyed eating them.  Everyone agreed they were delicious.

Coppertone Clearly Sheer Sunscreen

I love trying new products and this one is WONDERFUL! Got my bzzzzzzzz going on and am just loving all these cool things to try-out. Our family goes through about 10 bottles of sunscreen on a one-weeks family vacation. So, we know a thing of two about a GOOD sunscreen.

I am a bzz agent and received sample products and coupons for this product, COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Counter - Custom Built Burgers

I was given an awesome opportunity to experience The Counter. #thenewgoods When it comes to eating a delicious burger that is my forte'. I love love a good Cheeseburger, I was raised on fast-food burgers and have come to appreciate a good burger.
 You can read all about The Counter and check out their web site here to see if there is one near you!

The new menu also boasts five (5) new Expert Builds with unique flavor combinations showcasing the numerous protein options available (beef, turkey, bison, tuna and chicken):
  • Red Eye: hormone and antibiotic free beef topped with melted tillamook cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, ripened red tomato, a sunny side up egg on an English muffin with a side of sweet sriracha
  • Un-Brie-lievable: 100% natural ground turkey on a bed of organic mixed greens topped with soft-ripened brie, ripened red tomato, dried cranberries on a multigrain bun with a side of apricot sauce
  • Bison with Bite: organic bison topped with tillamook cheddar, spicy pickles, sliced red onion on a brioche style bun with a side of house mustard and spicy worcestershire
  • Southeast Asian Ahi: ahi tuna topped with pickled carrot and daikon slaw, ripened red tomato on a brioche style bun with a side of nori-soy sauce and sweet sriracha
  • Anaheim Jack: 100% natural chicken breast topped with jalapeno jack, Anaheim peppers, red onions on a ciabatta bun with a side of roasted garlic aioli 
All three burgers unique in their own way!
a little BRIE on my hamburger YES, PLEASE! YUMMY!

They have some AMAZING burger choices and endless possibilities of creating your own, which of course was the way I decided to go (I am a picking eater, so this place is perfect), it's so easy with the clip boards they hand you to order your burger just EXACTLY the way you like it.

It was my husband's birthday so what better way to celebrate then going out to eat, The Counter was a perfect choice.

My husband, my son and myself all enjoyed the excellent food options and our burgers were all made exactly how we liked them. We had the pleasure of actually having a very friendly and helpful waiter at the Irvine location, good and friendly waiters are hard to come by these days, so this made our dinner more enjoyable. Our favorite thing were the Parmesan Fries, one order was enough for our whole table and yep, they were all eaten, every last bite.

And it wouldn't be complete without a Birthday Cake Shake for the birthday boy, brought by our waiter compliments of The Counter, how sweet is that ?!?!?! You can check out The Counter on Twitter @CounterBurger , Facebook or #thenewgoods .

The Counter provided me with a complimentary gift card to try out the
restaurant but the review and opinions in this post are entirely mine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I know! I know! I know! It's already March (oh wait March is almost over?!?!). Where does the time go? I want to get BACK in the heart of blogging, I continue to make recipe after recipe after recipe, but never find the time to post them! I hope 2014 is the year I change that. But, before anymore time goes by I want to share with you all the recipes that you made POPULAR in 2013!

And just to let you know these are some of my own favorites too! Those of you who follow my blog know that I HATE making the same thing twice, so if a recipe gets made twice at my house then you KNOW it's a good one!

Thank You once again to all my loyal followers, guests, family and friends! You make this BLOG possible and I truly enjoy cooking and sharing with all of you! Now, for the TOP 10 RECIPES to date on my blog...

#1 Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce {copycat recipe}

#4 Honey Garlic Chicken {crock pot}

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Food for the Week

Sunday's are relaxing days. I am still getting use to my NEW NORMAL with my twins away at college (far away 1837 miles) and my boy golfs with his dad every chance they get. That leaves this MAMA with way too much time on her hand. Yesterday was another quite Sunday and the boys were golfing and I decided to clean out the refrigerator, make up all my healthy meals for the week and get prepared for this healthy eating.

I am embarking on a new diet this week. Egg Whites, Oatmeal, Protein Shakes, Chicken and Sweet Potatoes, including eating all the green vegetables I want (as free food). I made my egg whites with peppers for my morning breakfast (I hope to wake up an extra half-hour early all this week in order to whip up these eggs). I finished my first day and I was actually FULL all day long, maybe even too full. I was stuffed.

I prepared all my food for the week. All lunches and dinners so they are easy to heat up and eat on the go. The first thing I prepared was Sweet Potatoes (three different recipes). I am only eating 4 oz of potatoes per day, so these three recipes will last for 6 days. I divided each recipe in half.

First Recipe: Sweet Potatoes with Pecans - sprinkle with olive oil and melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, pecans and cayenne pepper. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Second Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes - sprinkle with olive oil and melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of ginger. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Third Recipe: Roasted Vegetables - Sweet Potatoes, zucchini, grape tomatoes, minced garlic and chopped onions. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

My goal is that each weekend (or each Sunday) I will continue to make my meals for the week at least while I am on this first "8 weeks" of this Eat Yourself Skinny challenge, and my challenge to myself is to come up with different sets of vegetables to cook each week.

I also made chicken breasts to eat for lunch and dinner this week. I am eating a 4 oz chicken breast twice a day. This is going to be easily done this week, because I created 7 large chicken breast today and cut each of them in half, which makes them about 4 oz each. I then marinated them in all kinds of different things that were already in my refrigerator. That last tbsp of BBQ sauce that's been hanging around, a tbsp of salad dressing and hot sauce; jelly and Catalina dressing and a multitude of other random things. I've already eaten two pieces of my chicken and it was wonderful.

I am also drinking my water. Goal is 3 smart waters or 6 bottles of water per day. And these lovely salads I prepared with all green veggies to have just a few days this week. My plan for the 3 salads is to cut up my chicken breast for that day and add it to my salad for a healthy lunch-time meal (beats fast food anyday)!

I am on my way to loosing weight and eating healthy!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It's a NEW year and I am "under construction" (STILL)!

2009 My HAPPY weight (right side) 150lbs
I have been on this weight-loss roller coaster for many years. The biggest accomplishment was in 2009/2010 (about 4 years ago), when I got down to my current goal weight. But, since then I have tried and tried; again and again and it's so exhausting to re-start this cycle over and over again. I've blogged about my Biggest Loser Challenge from the beginning of 2013 and my Shrinkvivor Diet from 2010, when I actually finally got down to a wonderful acceptable weight for my own self.

I was mortified when I stepped on the scale in 2013 and realized I was at 182 lbs.  After seeing several pictures of myself (over and over again), I knew this was reality and I needed to do something NOW! (The last picture was after my 13lb weight loss at the end of 2013.) I was happy, but I am still pushing forward.
But today, I begin again. And my hope as it is every time that this will be my last and final time that I have to struggle with this up and down roller coaster. I want to be at my happy weight and then be able to eat healthy and maintain that happy weight with diet and exercise.

I just started a Facebook Private Group Page with friends, family, neighbors and new friends invited by other friends and in just the few days we've had this going it is a HUGE inspiration, a HUGE accountability partner and it's going wonderfully. We are weighing in on Wednesdays with each other posting our weight and goals. We have our first goal which is 8 weeks from now and we will continue throughout 2014, I am sure we will have more people join in, and we will fall off the wagon a time or two, but having each other inspire one another and help each other with motivation and checking in with each other will make our group successful.

I believe it is impossible to take this journey on by yourself, and I also believe sharing and speaking your goals and weight out loud helps you stay accountable to others. And that is why, I will share it here too.

Total Weight Loss

Down 13 lbs 

First Week’s Weight (blue shirt): (May 28, 2013 began exercise program)
Today’s Weight:
Yes, this is my Iphone SCREEN SAVER for the week.
I can't wait til next week when I get to update this photo with a NEW lower number.

this week loss:
first week recording on blog
Challenge goal weight (in the next 8 weeks, February 28, 2014):
Ultimate goal weight:

LIFE-TIME Goal would to be in the 130’s, and yes I don’t even care if it’s 139. I am posting my weight here because it's said "Coming to terms with the number on the scale can aid you in your weight-loss”.
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