My Knee, My Job & My Journey

September 18, 2018 — 4 Comments

These Dang Knees

My mind….35ish

My Body…. apparently 80-90ish??

My Actual Age….51.

๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

This past Thursday I had my 8 week post op appointment. My knee is healing well and I’m on track with PT. I go 2-3 times a week for PT, then do about 30 minutes each day at home. PT continues through October.

The biggest problem that I am having is my good knee. Or should I just say, my left knee. Do I have a good knee?

Going back 8 weeks. I had a cortisone shot in each knee. The very next day my meniscus snapped in my right knee. So, surgery.

During surgery they discovered that I had osteoarthritis that did not show in the MRI, so he performed micro fracture surgery.

Two weeks after surgery, I had another cortisone shot in the left knee, the good knee. Whatever that means.

That lasted about 10 days.

My orthopedic surgeon has now ordered the series of three gel shots for my left knee. After reviewing the MRI from November, there is apparently more osteoarthritis in the left knee than the right knee! One shot a week for three weeks. This supposedly brings relief for months. Maybe even a year. Now I’m simply waiting on insurance approval. 

Also, the stronger the right leg gets, the less work the left leg will be doing, so it should start to feel better.

I so want to feel like myself again. There are days that I get glimpses of the old me, then I over plan things, then I feel like crap again.

I am remaining positive, but I gotta tell ya, some days I do not even see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. I know it’s there. I just can’t see it right now.

Hello light?? Are you there??? Reveal yourself I say!

Weight Watcher Leader

Just as I am having a day where I think everything sucks, something really good happens. Remember that whole “Gratitude” thing I claim to have? Well, I really do have it. I promise. I’m just irritated with my body right now. Well, for the last several months you could say.

However, while at the beach, I received the news that I will be getting two more meetings to lead!

I will be leading two meetings at our Olathe location. This is pretty awesome because this is the meeting location where I went to my own meetings,

Thursday 5:45 pm meeting

Sunday 10;30 am meeting.

My goal has been to have at least four of my own meetings and it is finally happening!

If you’ve been thinking about joining WW and you live close to me, I would LOVE to see you at one of my meetings.

If you are considering joining and you are local, email me. I would love to know you’re considering!

julesfarm@yahoo.com

Me and my Weight Watcher Journey

While I am ecstatic about my personal goals with my job, they do come at a time when I’m not at my physical best, so that brings a challenge to my mindset. I always imagined myself leading meetings at my very best physical self. It’s no secret that I’m not there right now, so I’m feeling disappointed in myself while also trying to be realistic about my own expectations. There is a fine line there I suppose.

Life throws you curveballs. I know this. I just have to continue to take my best swing. I’ll always play the game. I may get benched on occasion, but I’ll never quit playing the game.

I put my Fitbit on this morning for the first time in months and I have tracked every bite of food since my weigh in day on Friday. Progress.

I came home from my beach trip with an additional 7 pounds! Just a few days of clean eating and lots of water drinking, and I’m back down to 178. I knew most of it was travel swelling (that’s what I’m calling it) but it freaked me out a little!!

I’m working on 5 pounds at a time and getting back to a more comfortable 160 something.

I’m leaving on Thursday to go to Dallas. I am driving this trip. It is Tess’s bachelorette party weekend and I’m really looking forward to spending time with Tess and some family and friends.

I am working on a schedule for myself that will include blogging my daily meals again for my own accountability (I know that some of you appreciated when I was doing that for meal ideas) getting my PT in, having a more regular work schedule, which I am so STOKED about and spending quality time with Mike, family and friends.

I don’t remember the last time I craved anything for breakfast or made a pretty breakfast plate. Most of our meals have been salad bars at the grocery store or meals out. I’ve had no desire to cook or count points, although I will say that over time I have developed a lot of habits that I am proud of so my choices for meals feel good. But, I miss the old blogging style and I miss cooking. It will happen. I will get back to it.

This week in the meeting room we are talking about Time Management, so I’m really spending some time thinking about this in my own life.

I hope you are all having a great start to your week! Thanks for continuing to stick with me!

Gratitude. It’s a lifesaver right now.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

“People following the @weightwatchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 lbs/week. I lost weight on a prior WW program and am continuing on Freestyle.”

The Beach House, Chapter Three

September 18, 2018 — 4 Comments

Happy Monday! I was hoping to post this this morning…..but you know. I have a post to follow this one with all sorts of happy things going on that are actually Weight Watcher related.

I came home a day early from the beach thanks to Florence. We were right in her path at Carolina Beach! My friend Ashley has a family beach house that her parents built in 1967 (I think that’s the right year.) Three of us (all childhood friends) went to see Ashley four years ago and we had the best beach trip! We then went two years ago as well. We’ve tried for an annual thing, but this is maybe a bi-annual thing. It will definitely get easier to plan as all of their kids get older and are out of school. For now, I’ll take what I can get. I love these girls and we had such a great time.

 

The Beach House, Chapter Two – 2016

 

The Beach House, Chapter One – 2014

I’m 8 weeks post op my knee surgery and I had no idea that recovery would take so long. I felt very limited as to activities, and honestly, just going from the house to the beach then back to the house was a lot of work! Walking in sand can be a workout without a bum knee. I was really swollen pretty much the whole time spite my bottle of water after bottle of water. My body seems to absorb the salt when I’m on the beach.

Basically, I was a blimp.

The beach and airplanes just make me swell. Add to that a little surgery and well…….

So….Hurricane Florence gave us a good scare! We were supposed to come home on Wednesday. Florence was supposed to hit on Thursday. We did come home a day early. We are assuming that the Beach house is OK but our friend Ashley thinks the beach has been destroyed. As we were driving out of town there were shop owners putting plywood on their windows and spray painting messages. We stopped and said hi to this one shop owner. We told him good luck. I saw his shop sitting in a flooded street on the news on Friday. 

My friend Ashley lives in Raleigh. She sent us a picture of the path that she walks on by her house. Even that is flooded. School has been canceled.

Prayers to all of those dealing with the wrath of Florence.

Before Florence hit, even though I was a puffy mess, we enjoyed our beach time and some great girl time together.

I love this view walking out to the beach from the house.

 

The house with the beach towels…..that’s us. (The houses on each side were boarding up the day before we left.)

 

We were on the beach at 6:00 am with coffee in hand to watch the sunrise the first morning.

 

I love this view from the porch.

 

Happy Day.

 

Me, under the umbrella pretty much the entire time……

 

These girls love the sun….

 

Snacks on the beach. Lots of fruits and veggies thrown in there. (and a little sand)

 

I whipped up some Tuna Salad and it was a hit. (also with some sand)

 

We’ve decided the Shuck & Shack is one of our favorites. A little hole in the wall where you drink cold beer and eat crab legs. Um, okay.

 

Here’s a great Google pic of the house location!

 

This was Tuesday morning on the beach. I drank my coffee while the other girls went for a run. There was a mandatory evacuation in place, so shorty after this pic we packed up our bags.

 

The houses on each side of us were already boarded up!

 

We gassed up two nights before in anticipation and happy we did because there were long lines at most of the stations.

It was a hell of a way to end our trip!

We we will be back Carolin Beach! We will be back!!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

One Year Cancer Free

September 2, 2018 — 8 Comments

One year ago today I was sitting in my living room recovering from my Double Mastectomy.

I didn’t really think about being Cancer Free that day. I was just thinking about the fact that I no longer had a part of my body. It was months later that I began to recognize August 31st as my Cancer Free Anniversary. 

I was pretty drugged up that weekend so I don’t remember much. Here’s what I do remember about the days leading up to it. I know some pretty amazing people. I had friends scheduling meal trains. I had family and friends texting me telling me that everything was going to be okay and that they loved me. I had family and friends constantly asking me what they could do. And the days that followed I had family and friends bring meals, flowers, gifts, come to visit, text me and call me, I had great coworkers making sure that all of my meetings were covered, and I learned how important it was simply to tell someone that you were thinking of them. โค๏ธ

As a weight watcher ambassador we are offered the opportunity to host parties throughout the year. I was going to host my party in July, then I had my unexpected knee surgery. August 31st was the one year anniversary date of my Mastectomy and I decided to host my party by celebrating with many of the friends that got me through my surgery. Everything was very last minute but it was a great time celebrating with friends. It also gave me the opportunity to show several friends how flexible weight watchers freestyle plan can be. I built all of the food that I served around zero smart points foods and everything was simple and tasted great.

Thanks Weight Watchers for letting me have a party and celebrate with friends!

I made a simple Sangria with Diet Cranberry Juice (5 Calories per serving) and Red Table Wine (3 Cups of Cranberry Juice to 1 Cup of Wine) and added sliced Strawberriess and Apples Slices.

I made a White Wine Spritzer with Sprite Zero and White wine, (2 Cups of Sprite Zero to 3 Cups of White Wine) adding Orange Slices and Mint Leaves. Very refreshing!

 

Chicken Salad made with Rotisserie Chicken Breast, Mayo and bulked it up with Grapes, Celery and Cucumbers.

Croissants, not low in points but delicious with Chicken Salad! I cut them in half so smaller portions were an option. 

Corn Avocado and Tomato Salad from Paula Deen

 

I am loving these gifts from Weight Watchers!

 

Shrimp is Zero SmartPoints!

 

These make a pretty appetizer and the fresh basil gives them so much flavor!

 

Thanks for coming early Steph and helping me! I was panicking just a little! I love you!

 

I was so happy that Carla could make it! Carla and I were introduced via our nurse. Carla also had breast cancer and had Diep Flap Breast Reconstruction. Not only did she meet with me and answer all of my questions before my surgery in December, she also talked me off the ledge a few days before my surgery. I’m so happy to have her in my life.

 

Huge shout out to Liz for offering to take pictures with the adorable Polaroid Camera that WW sent to use for the party!

 

 

I made Moscow Mule Popsicles and completely forgot about them! I enjoyed one on the deck yesterday afternoon. I have 15 in the freezer! Come on over!

 

Not only did Liz offer to take pictures all night long, she also showed up with these adorable Boob Cookies!!

Liz…I LOVED these cookies. They were so darn cute and thoughtful AND delicious!

 

Today, lots of water and clean eats.

I’m leaving for the beach on Thursday and I have four days to get my beach body back.

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Wednesday night I went to Melissa Ethridge with my friend Carly. We had a blast and I’m so thankful for patient friends. This is pretty much a standing concert venue and Carly went and sat with me when I was needing to sit. I’m so over this knee.

Thanks Carly for being such a good friend. I love you!

 

Thursday evening Jake picked up Wrenley from daycare and came by our house for a surprise visit. It’s always nice to have a little one on one time.

 

Friday morning I arrived in Lawrence at 7:00 am. This is the face of a very tired but happy Julie. 

The store is open for several hours at some locations for those that can’t make a meeting but want to come and weigh in. It was a long morning but it was nice to get familiar with that location and I was happy to see my members laster for the meeting!

I’m really looking forward to that beach trip at the end of the week.

Today I am hoping to just sit on my butt most of the day.

So many thanks going out to so many people including you my blog readers. I thank all of you for your support then and for your continued support. Reading such sweet comments from people that I have never met before meant so much to me. One more reason to continue to blog and reach people that I otherwise would never have know anything about.

You all are the best!

I hope you all are having a great weekend!

Please remember to do your monthly self breast exam. Be your own advocate. Check your breast for any lumps, bumps, dimples or changes in appearance. If you find anything unusual, have it checked out. You just might save your own life!

Kathy, thank you for my adorable T-shirt!!! It’s also very soft.

“love the life you live, live the life you love”.

I Have That!

August 29, 2018 — 12 Comments

Good morning to you all!

(Tons of typos in this post, I am aware but running behind and need to jump in the shower!)

I spent Sunday through Thursday in Dallas celebrating my daughter Tess. Due to the leg brace, I flew first class.

 

Okay, I flew Southwest. So you get that’s a joke, right? But I was able to sit in the front row so I could keep my leg straight.

We had such a great time. We spent a lot of time wedding planning. Tess pushed me around Hobby lobby in a wheelchair. I drove the electric car through Michaels. We had great girl chat. We were successful and accomplished lots of wedding planning for the reception. I got to see the event space for the reception and it is even better than I imagined it would be. This visit was one of the first times since all the crap happened that we were able to spend time wedding planning and really enjoy it together. We ended our visit with  a girly dinner out on Wednesday, which was Tess’s 27th birthday.

I came home on Thursday and things have been busy here since.

Mike and I went to Malik’s football game on Saturday morning. Then Anne and Cortney brought the kids over here on Saturday evening so they could have a date night for a few hours.

WARNING: Never, ever take your kids (or grandkids) to Chick-Fil-A on a Saturday night! It was packed, I felt like everything was dirty (I mean, how could they possible even try to keep it clean with so many people in there??) and while in the little room watching the kids play, I became claustrophobic and we had to leave. We had so much more fun at home playing outside.

Of course, Kingston had no idea how the dirty the place was. Ha!

 

There is a LOT of work going on in our master bathroom (Please stop reading for a moment and imagine the Happy Dance that I am currently doing….without a brace of course) and that makes me really happy. All of the tile work is done and the new floors are in.

The new countertops and sinks were installed yesterday. The painter is coming next week. Apparently we are painting the whole house grey and I’m completely fine with that. It makes everything feel so fresh and clean. There really is still a lot to do (carpet, light fixtures, new bedding……) but it is so nice to see such progress being made.

Remember when I had my house cleaned a couple weeks ago and I was so excited about how clean it was? Well the entire house is now covered with construction dust. ๐Ÿ™„

Last week in the weight watcher room we talked about gratitude. As I was planning for my meeting, I actually said out loud……

I HAVE THAT! I have gratitude!

I also consider myself an optimist, but I’ve been practicing gratitude for really long time in my life without knowing what I was doing.  When things are crappy, it is gratitude that gets me through life. I am grateful for things that happen in my life daily. Big things and little things. Some days it’s the beautiful sky……

(I took this in Dallas last week and my picture doesn’t’ do it justice, but Tess and Manuel were in the car too and I yelled out….Look at the Silver Lining!)

other days I’m grateful for the fact that I found my cancer early. It truly is gratitude that keeps me going and helps to keep me in a happy place. I loved this meeting topic!

I strongly encourage you to embrace practicing gratitude daily. Find three things that you are grateful for each day. 

 

While in Dallas I got a phone call from my territory manager. I now get TWO meetings on Friday in Lawrence. Yay! I finally have two meetings to call my own. I am super excited. That second meeting will start September 14th. Who is in Lawrence? You can now come see me at a 10:00 meeting or a 12:30 meeting! 

I have to throw this in there really quick! One of my readers came by the Lawrence store last week to meet me. She found my blog via a friend that told her I was a Weight Watcher member and that I had breast cancer and that she might get something out of the blog since she too was diagnosed with breast cancer. Well, we have become “texting friends” and very supportive of what each of us are going through and we finally got to meet each other! We will get together soon so we can chat longer, but it meant a great deal to me that we were able to finally meet in person and hug! Thanks for coming to see me Tina!

I’ve been on my feet more in the last seven days than I have in the last seven weeks!

I started physical therapy this week and I had no idea that recovery after this meniscus surgery would be so difficult and long. My first goal was to get my need to bend at 90ยฐ. On Monday I was at an 88ยฐ. I though for sure I was already past 90! At yesterday’s appointment I was at 110ยฐ. I had no idea bending my knee could be so painful. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ When I asked the physical therapist how long he thought it would be before I could go outside and walk a mile, he told me probably four more weeks. That feels like four years. I will get there. I will stay positive about this. You know why? Gratitude. I’m grateful that I have a great surgeon that was able to get me in. I am grateful that I no longer need the crutches. I am grateful that I can drive, and I am SO grateful that I was still able to go visit Tess in Dallas for her birthday. I am grateful that my bathroom is being finished. I am grateful for my husband that loves me. I am grateful for my family and friends. So many things to be grateful for. This stupid knee will eventually heal and I will be back to where I’d like to be.

I am grateful that I will be leaving next week with three girlfriends to spend a week on the beach in North Carolina. I did think that I would be rid of the brace, but the PT says to wear it since walking on the sand is not the best place to be walking so soon after surgery and in the middle of physical therapy. Damn it. This trip was canceled last year due to my breast cancer, so this year this trip HAD to happen. This will be our third beach trip together. We went in 2014 and 2016. I love this girls trip! No Yoga on the beach or Paddle boarding for me, but really good girl chat while sipping coffee as the sun rises. I can’t wait!

(Memories from our 2014 trip, The Beach House, Girlfriends, Chapter One.)

 

Friday is August 31. That is the anniversary date of my double mastectomy. At the very last minute I’ve decided to invite a few girlfriends over to celebrate with me. I tried really hard to think of everyone that made that experience so much easier. Some brought meals, some covered work shifts for me, many made me feel like everything was going to be okay. In the middle of this dirty house and feeling exhausted after being on my feet for a few days, I decided to invite a bunch of friends over. My timing could not be worse as far as the house goes. But, life can’t stop for a little dust, so in the middle of the chaos, I am going to celebrate with some friends.

I am grateful for friends that don’t care what my house looks like. (Secretly in my head though…..Please don’t look at all of the dust and just enjoy your drink!)

Okay, more on Sunday when I have more time, but wanted to say “Hi”.

Hugs to all and have a great remainder of the week!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

 

Some Cute Kids and Food

August 17, 2018

These kids

Since we’re Empty Nesters now, we get to post pictures of the grandkids first day of school. 

Looking Sharp Alex! 

 

Look who started Kindergarten! You’ll do great Sophia!

 

Malik and Amiyah had day one in their new school district after moving back to the Kansas City area from Tulsa.

 

Day two. I just love the picture, so I had to share.

 

Food

Here are a few of the yummy things I’ve been eating. Obviously, I’m on a Tomato, Bacon, Avocado, Cheese kinda thing right now, while also trying to get in a good variety of green veggies.

This Egg, Bacon and Avocado Sandwich on the biscuit recipe that I shared the other day.

Happiness is…….a runny egg.

 

Great snack or side dish.

Frozen Cauliflower cooked with added steamed chopped broccoli and laughing cow cheese wedges. Easy and, uh, yum. 

 

Do you remember when I worked at the food truck before life got all jacked up? After leading my At Work meeting on Wednesday, I headed to the food truck for a burger! I came home and added a few other things to my lunch. It was almost 2:00 and I hadn’t eaten ALL day long!

 

Salmon in the skillet with a little Olive Oil and seasoned with Kosher Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, Steamed broccoli with a little cheese mixed in and fresh tomatoes with a drizzle of Olive Oil, Fresh Basil and Mozzarella. 

 

Big salad. Mixed Greens, Rotisserie Chicken, Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Tomato, Avocado, Cucumber all topped with a Olive Oil drizzle and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. 

 

This? This was way better than I was expecting it to be. 

Turkey Burger on a Portabella Mushroom as a bun, with Avocado, Bacon, Tomato, and Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge.

I cooked the “bun” in a skillet with Olive Oil drizzle just a bit too long and it brought out all of the water of the mushroom so it was dripping with every bite. I swear I used one napkin with every bite. I’ll be making this again soon!

I take all of my pictures with my phone and I don’t know jack about photography, so when I looked at this picture I was like DAMN! That picture looks just as good as that burger tasted!

HA!

 

 

The Master Bathroom and Bedroom

We have a completely tiled shower and tub area with grout! Let the floor work begin! Paint color picked out and the painter is scheduled!! It’s happening people! Pictures next week of the progress.

The Knee

I had my 4 week post op appointment today and the surgery knee is healing nicely and now I can start going to PT.  Doc gave me another cortisone shot in the other knee. With all of my body weight on it for the last 4 weeks, it does NOT feel good at all. I did ditch my crutches completely two days ago and that makes day to day task so much easier. The hope is that after I get back to walking regularly and putting weight on the surgery knee, the other knee will feel some relief and start to feel better. Makes sense.

Dallas

I am leaving on Sunday to go visit my girl for her birthday! I’ll be back on Thursday, so I’ll take a break from the blog but it does feel good to be back here more than I was for a while. Her fiancรฉ is traveling so we will have some long overdue Mother/Daughter time together and I am really looking forward to it!

Just a Thought

I lived in the same house from 8 months old util after I graduated High School. I never had to move and start a new school. 

Malik and Amiyah each had a great first day at their new school and they each met one new friend. I know they’ll do great, but I think about all of the grandkids and hope none of them ever feel lonely or left out or experience bullying.

Please remind your kids to welcome the new kid, make a new friend with an existing student, stand up to the bully, be kind, and remind them that they are a “one of a kind” and that they are AWESOME!

I have a meeting to lead tomorrow and new members to meet! Gotta get some beauty rest!

Happy FriYaY Eve!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Going for Green

August 14, 2018

With the exception of some leafy greens here and there, I haven’t been doing a great job of getting in my green veggies. I bought Zucchini, Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts on my last trip to the store and I really wanted to eat them vs. throwing them out.

Yesterday, when I wasn’t sitting on my butt, I decided to eat my green veggies.

This was a quick, easy and really tasty lunch.

  • Frozen Bag of Caulirice
  • Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges (You choose how many based on how creamy you like it and many SmartPoints you would like to use)
  • Fresh steamed Broccoli (I have a really old magnificent microwave steamer!)

I microwaved a package of frozen Caulirice, then I added that to a pan on the stove top on low heat and added in Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges and stirred those until they melted. Then I added fresh steamed broccoli to that. Yum!

The Caulirice and cheese before adding in the broccoli reminded me of Cheese Grits! If that’s your thing, then just do that!

Baked Almond Chicken Fingers over creamy Caulirice and with Broccoli.

 

For dinner, I slow cooked diced Bacon and Brussels Sprouts (halved) in the cast iron skillet. I’ve done Brussels Sprouts a couple of times in the skillet now and surprisingly, the they cook really well in the skillet. I worried that they might be too hard, but cooking them slow seemed to work.

 

Scallops are maybe one of the easiest things in the world to make. (Seafood is Zero Smartpoints!!)

I bought a package of frozen scallops at Trader Joe’s. I followed the directions on the back of the package.

  • Thaw
  • Heat 2 T. Butter in Skillet, season Scallops with Sea Salt and Garlic Powder
  • Cook Scallops for 3 minutes, then turn over and cook another 3 minutes.

Zero Smartpoints options allow you points for bacon and butter!!

I topped the Brussels Sprouts with Feta. 

Dinner was a hit. 

 

Look what’s happening upstairs….

Sinks and countertops….GONE! Nasty carpet. GONE!!

 

Mike lowered the ceiling above the tub and shower and tiled the shower.

 

I’m super excited for this ginormous shower! I might do my YOGA in there!!

 

The tile guy completed the tile around the window yesterday.

Looking good Joe!

Joe, the tile guy. We bonded over a cup of coffee this morning.

 

He is working on completing this green wall today.

 

I gotta go. I’m pretty sure Joe  needs me to check his work, or maybe he’d like another cup of coffee.

Happy Tuesday!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Movie Day and a King

August 13, 2018

I spent most of Saturday on my butt and the majority of Sunday on my feet.

Saturday I decided that the knees needed a rest. Before that meniscus “snap”, I had a cortisone shot in each knee. Well, it seems as though that shot is wearing off of my “good” bad knee, the non surgery knee. Standing doesn’t feel good right now unless I put just a slight bend in my knee, so that’s a bummer and tiring. My post op appointment for surgery is this Thursday, so I plan to ask lots of questions about the future of both knees. I do NOT want to have another surgery right now, and since the cartlridge damage in the surgery knee did not show up on the MRI and was a surprise when they got in there, I’m wondering if surgery will be recommended for the other knee or if maybe some shots could get me through the next few months. 

Another surgery really is the last thing that I want right now. Then again I think, well I could just get it over with so I could for real move freaking forward. We’ll see what the doc says. 

In the meantime, I’m trying to stay off my feet when I know that I can while still working and having a social life.

I’m surprisingly sleeping really good right now (thank you Advil PM) and that can make a huge difference in my mood and frustration, so that’s a good thing.

While on my butt over the last several days, I’ve been movie watching. I watched two great movies Saturday (An Education and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) while Mike was busy working on the master bath. Pictures to come soon of the remodel in progress.

Below is a list of movies I’ve watched recently on Netflix and recommend if you’re in a movie mood.

 

Into the Wild – 2007

Directed by Sean Penn. Based on a true story. Christopher McCandless graduates high school and against his parents wishes, gives away his savings and all of his possessions to set out on a journey alone to the Alaskan wilderness. 

I usually like any movie that Sean Penn is involved with, so I picked this simply because I saw that he had directed it. This is also a book if you’re looking for a good read instead of a move. I loved loved this story.

 

An Education – 2009

Jenny is a 16 year old with strict parents and living a fairly sheltered life. She is a very good student and hopes to attend Oxford. An older unexpectedly enters her life and introduces her to the arts culture that she has been craving. 

This was a great chick flick. I loved Jenny. She is a sweet and extremely mature 16 year old. Her physical appearance reminded me of Audrey Hepburn. 

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – 2018

“A jewel….Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece (1946 – London) about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends”  People Magazine

I loved everything about this. This was my absolute favorite of the movies that I’ve listed. 

 

Like Father – 2018

On the lighter side, this Drama/Comedy is the story of a workaholic who is left at the altar and ends up taking her estranged father on her honeymoon cruise. 

Good movie to watch when you’re in the mood for something light and cute.

 

Sunday….

Birthday Party!!

Kingston is ONE! One year ago, Kingston dramatically entered the world in the car on the way to the hospital. That’s right. He was born in the car. By the time they arrived at the hospital, Kingston was half way out and a nurse ran out to the car and helped finish the delivery in the car.

One year later we have a very healthy and happy stripper!

His mom found this outfit and just couldn’t resist. We of course, could not resist giving her a hard time about it.

(Photo cred to our son Jake for all of his awesome pics.)

 

Wrenley is the oldest of the three one year olds. We bought her a Radio Flyer Wagon for her first birthday, then I thought it would be fun to buy all three babies a different style of wagon for their first birthdays. I asked them to bring the wagons over so we could capture this moment.

I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!

A Stripper, a Princess and a Philosopher.

 

The house was pretty full of crackers and dips and sugary cupcakes. I didn’t have one cracker or touch the cupcakes. I knew one cracker would lead to 20 or so and one cupcake could lead to 2 or 3., so I skipped them.

Mike and I have been working our way through the Chicken Fingers, Cauilrice, Pork Sausage, Baked Almond Chicken Fingers and Turkey Taco Meat that I cooked up a few days ago.

I was getting tired of sending Mike out to get dinner and that was also getting a little pricey. None of this prep took very long at all.

 

The Chicken Fingers have been a great little Zero SmartPoints snack with protein to keep me satisfied.

We’ve had Breakfast Bowls each morning with the Pork Sausage, Eggs, lots of diced veggies, and of course topped with Smashed Avocado and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s.

 

Taco Bowls with the Caulirice and Turkey Taco Meat. 

I’ve got a thing right now for these little Cherry tomatoes, and I’m only buying a few groceries at a time, so a lot of our meals look the same. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m hoping to switch up the menu a bit this week.

 

Simple Caesar Salad with the Baked Almond Chicken Fingers

 

  • Are you meal prepping?
  • What’s your favorite “Quick Go To Meal” right now?

Have a great week!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

A couple of my girl friends having been trying some new recipes over the last two weeks that had me intrigued.

Sometimes it’s just fun to try new things. Also there are times when you just need to switch it up a bit!

Have you ever tried Cashew Cheese? It’s non dairy cheese made from Cashews (soaked over night) and seasonings. It sounds so weird, right? It’s actually really good. I’m not a non-dairy girl, I just find some of the things that creative people come up with can be really yummy! (I’ve also tried some interesting things that I spit out, but heck, you just don’t know until you try!)

My friend tried a “mug” biscuit recipe made from and egg, almond flour, coconut flour, milk, olive oil and seasonings. You cook it in a mug in the microwave for 90 seconds. No joke! It was 6 Smartpoints, so it’s not a low point bread option, but like I said….sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a bit (Yep! Total pun there!) try new recipes, new ideas and new flavors, new cooking methods! Just like activity, it’s important to keep cooking fun and enjoy a variety of foods.

Use it for your Egg Sandwich or put a Turkey Burger on it and top it with your favorite toppings!

I used this biscuit recipe as a bun for my burger.

 

Do you like Greek Yogurt? I like to use it several different ways.

Add a packet of Ranch dressing for an easy dip. Use it as is for sour cream to top Chili, Taco’s or Omelets.

I like it most as a sweet treat.

  • 1/2 Cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (0 SP)
  • 1 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (0 SP)
  • 8 drops Vanilla Stevia (0 SP)
  • ! T Almond Butter (3 SP)

Whip with a whisk and it has a mousse like texture.

 

I took advantage of the Walmart Grocery Pick Up yesterday! That was easy! Have you tried it?

A minimum $50 order and all you have to do is pull up and pick up your groceries. Or….have your husband pick them up and put them away for you!

Grocery Shopping? Done!

 

I’m really looking forward to meeting my new members next Friday. Because of the crutch and brace, I’m trying to think of starters.

“A funny thing happened on the way to the meeting”?

“Wait until you hear this”?

“You should see the other guy”?

“Oh this? This is nothing. I had cancer”

(Yes, I almost always have a cup of coffee in hand. HA!)

 

I’m down another pound, 176.

This was my Instagram post the other day if you’re not following me over there.

I made up my mind that I would not allow surgery and crutches to be an excuse for making unhealthy choices. Crutches, or no crutches, I still need to make smart choices when it comes to what Iโ€™m putting into my body. What I put into my body will only allow me to heal quicker. Iโ€™m becoming fond of obstacles! ๐Ÿ˜‚ they really are an opportunity to grow. 

 

Okay, it’s Saturday afternoon and I feel a Netflix evening coming on.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

Some of you know my daughter Tess personally, and some of you know her via my blog.

Tess also writes an occasional post on her own blog, Sipping’ on Gym and Juice.

Like myself, Tess is extremely transparent. We’ve never been very private people. Sometimes that’s a good thing, other times, we tend to say too much. Mike reminds me on occasion that I don’t need to share everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

One thing we both like to do is share our struggles in hopes that it will help others.

It is our hope that we will help others figure out how to maneuver through the struggles they may be experiencing, or perhaps we will simply help others by letting them know that they are not alone.

If you are struggling in any area of your life, you are NOT….

  • alone
  • bad
  • odd
  • weird 
  • abnormal
  • unlovabe
  • different
  • failing
  • hopeless
  • unsuccessful
  • weak

 

If you are struggling, you ARE…..

  • not alone
  • you are completely normal
  • you are worthy of love
  • you are stronger than you think

 

I don’t care if you’re child is 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even older, all you ever really want for your child is for them to be happy and healthy. When they aren’t, you want to fix it for them. Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you can only listen, be supportive, encouraging and love them. Smother them with your love.

You simply can not love too much!

Tess has been struggling with Anxiety for some time. She is very aware of her anxiety and she is taking the necessary steps to manage it. It’s not easy.

I am so proud of how hard she is working to live with anxiety and depression. I wish like hell that I could get inside her brain and take all that anxiety and depression out of there, but I just can’t do that for her. What I can do is love her, and let her know that she will never be alone, she is way more “normal” than she’ll ever know, she is so worthy of love and that she is stronger than she thinks.

I am so proud of her honestly and her vulnerability here.

Her recent Instagram post.

l

 

When Tess told me that the therapist recommended the book, You are a BADASS, I immediately ordered it and this book is awesome!

 

If you or someone that you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, I encourage you to take the necessary steps to get counseling/therapy.

Do all that you can to let your loved one know that they are not alone, that they are loved, worthy, normal and stronger than they realize.

Love you ALL!

“love the life you live, live the life you love”

A Clean House

August 6, 2018

Saturday morning I was going to pack a cooler and head north about an hour to visit my dad and step mom at a campsite where they were gathering with other “Vintage Trailer” campers. Dad called to cancel just as I was headed out the door.

A little bummed, but driving right now doesn’t actually feel great, so maybe that long of a drive wasn’t a smart idea right now anyhow.

Instead, I met Kate and the grandkids at Target (They have those electric carts that make playing at Target totally doable!) for a little school clothes shopping for Sophia. She starts kindergarten this year!

I may or may not have suggested that the girls ride along on the cart with me! Shopping was a success and I had fun playing with the kids. I did however run into several displays, but we successful made it through the store without damaging anything. 

 

Then we went to lunch and played some more.

 

 

 

It was a great unexpected Saturday.

Sunday I organized drawers like there was no tomorrow.

After having the house cleaned on Friday, I realized that I’m in a full on nesting and organizing mood. That always seems to happen right before surgery, and/or shortly after surgery as well. I didn’t really have any advance notice with this surgery, so I suppose this is a post nesting phase.

As I sit here typing, the carpet cleaners are here and for the first time in many months, my house is going to feel really clean and organized. I feel giddy.

The day that the meniscus snapped (sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?), I scooted from the garage door to the living room. As I did that I realized how dirty the floors and the baseboards were. Hence, the scheduling of all the cleaning!

 

Who remembers that our master bath remodel project began in June 2017? Then….Cancer.

That major project has been on hold for a really long time. Too many other things were happening. Moving forward. Mike works like a dog. Really. It’s hard to find time to get projects done outside of work obligations. It’s time to hire some things out, which we don’t do much of.

The tile guy comes this week to finish the new shower (He said that Mike had done a great job and that most times when he comes in to finish what a homeowner has started, it’s not so great. Patting the hubs on the back here) and to finish around the tub and the walls surrounding the tub, and the new floor. Our Master Bath Carpet is almost 20 years old. Gross. I know. Heated floors coming soon!

Did I say giddy? I think that I did.

Weekend Eats!l

Saturday

Breakfast – Brussel Sprouts prepared in the skillet with Bacon pieces and sliced Almonds, then topped with Feta, Eggs on the side. I mixed this all up and it was soooo good. If you like an over easy egg, then you likely understand my need to mix this all up!

Lunch – Taco Salad with lots of Lettuce, Chicken, Sour Cream and Guac.

Dinner – More Taco Salad. Mike has been grabbing dinner out and I’m trying my best just to keep it simple.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Guac and Cheese. 

Sunday

Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs with Cheese and Bacon – Thank you Mike!

Lunch – Salad, Mixed Greens, Lots of Veggies, Grilled Chicken, Shredded Cheese, Smashed Avocado used as a dressing. I’m not bored with these ingredients, yet.

Dinner – Chinese Take-Out – Steamed Veggies with Shrimp and White Sauce (I have no idea what “white sauce” actually is, so I only used a little.) I’m not a big rice person, so I skip it.

Dessert – I zoomed in on the bowl so this looks Huge!! It was a small bowl of berries topped with 1 T Almond Butter

 

Happy Monday! I hope you have an awesome week!

Today, YOU are awesome!

 

“love the life you live, live the life you love”