Hola Amigo!

February 9, 2019 — 7 Comments

We returned from a fun, beautiful and adventurous nine day vacation in Cancun to ice and temperatures in the teens in Kansas City. What the heck??

Welcome Home. You have re-entered reality!

After many many difficult months, 2 years in a row of canceled vacations, five surgeries and recoveries over a 15 month period and just a lot of life obstacles, Mike and I were so happy to be able to go on this vacation. I was so happy to feel physically well enough to do whatever we wanted while we were gone.

Oh my gosh, I have SO much to say in this post before I share our trip with you.

Let me share this first. I’ve only shared this with Mike, my daughter Tess and a few others, so forgive me if you are reading this here and I did not share it with you in person. I was trying really hard to pretend like it wasn’t happening. Everything is fine, so no worries, but I did have a scare.

On Christmas Day, I found a lump. In my left breast. The cancer breast. So many things went through my mind. Why now? How can I help my daughter wedding plan without her knowing the cancer is back? How will I keep this to myself so my family can just move forward and enjoy life? After doing so many things to prevent a reoccurance, having a Double Mastectomy, a complete hysterectomy, taking the prescribed meds that lower the risk of reoccurrence, taking really good care of my body, after doing all that I can to prevent the cancer from coming back, and now it might be??? Does this mean chemo this time? How will I hide it if I have to do chemo? Okay, I can tell my daughter but assure her that her wedding will go on as planned and this is just a little bump in the road, again. Shit. Does this mean the cancer has spread? I’m not telling anybody anything until I know for sure that there is something to tell. I laid in bed every night feeling this lump and praying. Praying hard that it wasn’t cancer. Praying hard that if it was, that it was only this lump, and it could be removed.

I didn’t even tell Mike. I just couldn’t have anyone filled with worry after the last year and a half.

I had an appointment already scheduled for January 14th. For the first two years, post cancer, you go in to see the breast surgeon, the oncologist and the lymphedema specialist every three months. Reoccurrence is most common in the first two years. Every three months you are reminded that you might not be out of the woods just yet. I hate going through the door each time I have an appointment. Now I was petrified.

After keeping this to myself for about a week and a half, I finally had to talk about it, so I told Mike. He thought I should call and get in before the 14th so that we could find out what the lump meant, and go on our vacation as planned. So, I called. They made an appointment to see me immediately and scheduled an ultrasound. The ultrasound would confirm if we needed to do a biopsy.

I met with the doctor and she agreed that we should move forward with the ultrasound. After doing the ultrasound, I waited for the tech to come back in the room for what seemed like an entire day. They had Mike waiting in the lobby. My mind went back to the first ultrasound when the tech came in accompanied with a radiologist to tell me that they were recommending a biopsy. My heart was racing. My mind was so full of so many thoughts. Too many loved ones lost too soon recently. I was scared.

The tech finally came in the room and told me that I had a cyst. Just a cyst. They saw absolutely no reason at all to do a biopsy. I was like…are you 100% certain?? She guaranteed me that if they had any concerns at all that they would do a biopsy. She said that it was a cyst that seemed to have developed after my mastectomy.

WHEW!

2019 is simply going to bring nothing but good news and I am going to 

KICK

IT’S

ASS

Would you like to hear some more good news? Okay!

Just before leaving for our trip, I found out that I get another WW meeting in one of our stores. Yay! That’s 5 meetings a week I get to lead.

I am also working on two new At Work meetings. Those are in the works and may happen soon. As excited as I am about filling up my schedule, I was secretly hoping these would hold off until after my daughters wedding in March, but it’s all good. I’ll make it work and I’m super excited about having the opportunity to meet more WW members!!

Okay, vacation. Ahhhhh. Vacation. Such a nice word, isn’t it?

Such a great trip with this group! We have another couple that traveled from Georgia and arrived before we did, but this is the group that traveled together from KC. If you’ve never been to the Cancun Airport, there is a bar immediately outside of the door where you can grab a drink before you hop on your shuttle and let the party begin!

I love this picture. The beginning of a great vacation with lots of laughs and great memories.

 

We were SO ready for some fun!

 

We stayed at The Fiesta Americana Condesa All Inclusive in Cancun. The resort had great reviews and as far as I’m concerned, it met its expectations. Very clean, such a friendly staff, good food with a lot of variety, very reasonably priced and so many pretty views.

 

Nothing better than watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee on the beach. That’s a good morning.

 

 

If I didn’t make it to the beach for the sunrise, we had a great view from our room.

 

I watched the sunrise every morning. Some mornings, I drifted off back to sleep.

 

The pool area was beautiful. Don’t wanna get out of the pool to get a drink? Just swim over to the swim up bar.

 

This was such a fun place to hang out. We all did Water Aerobics here one day. Great way to get a few good laughs and a little exercise.

 

I love a morning walk on the beach.

 

I could sit here all day.

 

We had several options for food on the resort. One of my favorite spots was this little Fish Taco place. The food was great and why wouldn’t you want to eat lunch while enjoying this view?

 

This was a pretty good view too! It was good to see him so relaxed.

 

We all ate here more than once!

Boy table.

Girl table.

 

This was another favorite morning spot of mine. Coffee just outside one of the restaurants overlooking the ocean.

 

They had Yoga! A few of us did Yoga two mornings.

 

This was the view while laying on my back, listening to only the waves. Namaste. It was perfect.

 

They had a cute little sushi bar that came in handy when we needed a snack before dinner!

 

I didn’t take many food pictures, but along with the fish and shrimp taco’s, I ate more shrimp, had Cod twice, Salmon one night and enjoyed more than my share of Chips and Guac. I could live on that stuff.

 

Breakfast almost every morning…..accompanied with eggs on some mornings.

 

In Mexico, they claim that Crickets are their Viagra. lol. I did not have any, but some of my friends did!

 

We all decided to venture out a couple of days. We took the Ferry over to Isla Mujeres. Such a beautiful island!

 

Tiny cars, scooters and golf carts are used for transportation on the island. 

 

So many little shops.

 

We rented a few golf carts and Mike and I hopped on the back of one.

 

Lots of shopping….

 

We discovered some beautiful views.

 

This is my friend Sidney, also known as my food truck boss, if you were reading back then. She gets credit for planning the trip and taking most of the photos in this post. If it’s a really pretty and clear picture, then she likely took it. Thanks Sid!

 

We found a cute spot for lunch with a great view!

 

Um, can we go back please? I’m very happy here.

 

We also ventured out one day to Xplor. This was a Zipline and Water Park with many adventures through the caves. None of us took the chance of getting wet phones or losing phones, so I’ve borrowed these pictures from the Xplor Instagram page.

We were able to  Zipline, ATV through the caves, raft (more like a canoe or kayak) through the caves, walk through the caves, swim through the caves, have lunch and relax in a hammock while our suits dried off.

A Zipline adventure has been on my “bucket list” for a while, and I was so stinking excited to feel physically good enough to participate in everything that the group wanted to do!

We zipped from tower to tower. They went higher and higher. I think we did 8 lines total? It was a tad scary, but the views were incredible.

I can’t believe we did this!

 

You Zipline to each tower, then climb up that tower, higher and higher!

 

We swam through caves. The water was cold that day! We had our choice once in the cave to go right and take the 10 minute swim or go left and take the 30 minute swim. I chose the 10 minute swim. The photo below is where our swim ended and it really was beautiful. I will say…thank goodness for life jackets and helmets! Caves can be a little rough on the body!

 

This was a fun little adventure. Mike drove on one trail and I drove us on the other trail. Dark caves, caves with lights, driving through cold waterfalls….lots of fun!

 

We spent the entire day there and it was a great adventure day! A little scary at times, but fun!

 

We had plenty of entertainment while at the resort too. Have you ever played the Saran Wrap game?? Oh my gosh, so fun. Two friends packed everything needed to play and assembled this huge saran wrap ball one night. So many giggles.

 

I visited the spa at the resort one afternoon to simply enjoy the sauna, steam room and hot tub. Along with that, came a mini facial. So relaxing.

I came home with only 3 extra pounds. That is the least amount of weight I have ever gained while on vacation! And this was a nine day trip! I drank a TON of water. I drank very little beer. I discovered that I actually like Vodka Soda’s with a Lime and a splash of Cranberry Juice. Who knew??

I have a lot of scars, and I am still getting used to this new torso of mine, but I decided to take advantage of the reconstructed breast and the flat tummy and buy some new suits. I think you all know by now that I appreciate my legs very much for what they can do for me, but I still don’t like the way they look. I’m not being hard on myself at all, I’m just being honest. It was fun however to focus on the parts of my body that I felt good about.

I asked a complete stranger to take my picture because each time Mike and I were by this sign, I either didn’t have my phone or I kept forgetting to have our picture taken!

 

We had a lot of yummy food, and although some dinners I ate more than I should have, I felt like I handled the food buffets really well. There was a great little coffee bar that Mike and I would visit each morning and get a latte. They also had a cute Ice Cream shop at the resort where we stopped a couple of nights for ice cream and one night for a Nutella Crepe. Dang it that was tasty!

I would say we got in a little bit of everything! I am so happy we had the opportunity to go on this trip.

2019 started of great!

I hope you all are having a wonderful 2019! 

Thank you so much for your continued support and following along. 

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

Life is just so busy and full and happy right now. I know it’s early, but I had big plans for 2019 to be filled with happiness and positive energy and so far the year is right on track. I know it can’t be all puppies and rainbows everyday, but I’m expecting the majority of the year…….to be filled with really good stuff.

This post feels a little dated now as most of the 11 inches of snow that we had a couple of Saturdays ago has melted. However, these pictures are just too pretty not to share. I was trapped that Saturday (not literally) by the dining room window with a cup of coffee watching the snow fall. The flakes were so large and the snow was so heavy. I kept filling my cup of coffee and plopping back down to simply watch it snow.

Finally, I had to get out in it. I took a walk! That’s right. Bundled up and headed out. There really wasn’t any wind and that fresh cold air felt nothing but refreshing. I called my walking partner, Becky (I was at the top of her street when I called her) and asked her what she thought about a walk. She’s always up for a walk! I think we walked about two miles.

 

Beautiful trees in the neighborhood.

 

The tree in our front yard.

 

Me, trying to take credit for the neighbors snowman.

The following Monday, I was eager to get out and take pictures outside of our neighborhood. I headed to a park that my family went to a lot when I was a kid. I wasn’t the first one to have this idea, so there were plenty of footprints, but it was so pretty to see all of that white snow with no houses or cars or streets to disturb the view I was hoping to find.

This is my walk through the park and around the lake.

 

If you’re following me on Instagram then maybe you walked across these stone steps with me on my stories?

 

The playground has been revamped and it’s just so cute. I remember playing Hide and Seek in these buildings.

 

This hill seemed so much larger when I was a kid! Many snowy days here with my dad, brother, dog and sled.

 

Most of the side streets on the way to the park.

 

A drive by my dads house.

 

Okay, more happening around here than just snow. Ya know?

Lots of cooking, lots of Yoga and walks on the treadmill, lots of wedding planning (things are really coming together and it is just so exciting!) lots of good and intentional down time (hence the lack of regular blogging), loving getting to know my members better and better each week at WW, lots of time spent in my bathtub and shower (lol) and looking forward to all that 2019 will bring us.

I reintroduced myself to Sweet Potato Toast. Yummmmm

 

I love to clean out the fridge and dice up any and all veggies for omelets or breakfast bowls for the next several days. I put EBTB seasoning on just about anything. Cuz….why not?

 

Scrambled Egg White Breakfast Bowl

 

As a WW Employee and a WW Ambassador, I had the opportunity to receive two weeks of Blue Apron Meals.

Have you tried any of these? They now offer a WW Freestyle menu! Smartpoints included!

I found every meal to be really really good. I will say though that these are designed for those that like to cook. All ingredients are delivered to your doorstep fresh. The produce needs to be washed and diced/chopped and the meat needs to be cooked. Each meal has a prep time of around 30-40 minutes.

One of the things that I really liked about the Blue Apron meals was that it forced me to step outside of my box and try some foods that I am not used to buying and preparing.

I don’t get great pictures at night without any daylight, so these are not the greatest pictures, but we both loved each meal that we tried.

This was maybe my favorite, but really they were all very tasty!

 

 

Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry – 8 Smartpoints

 

 

This is simply something I wouldn’t think to make. So good!!

 

Blue Apron Chicken and Quinoa Burrito Bowl – 7 Smartpoints

Okay, I could sit here all day and chat and tell you all of the details of the last several days, but I’ve got a WW Workshop to coach and a nice long bath to take.

I hope that you are taking great care of yourself. You deserve it!

Below is a recent Instagram post. I think I’ll end with it today.

Whatever you need to do to feel beautiful, do it. You do you.

It’s been a year and a half since I’ve felt as good as I feel right now. Four major surgeries over 12 months with so many weeks of those 12 months spent recovering and relying on others drained me. I stayed optimistic but there were days that I simply could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Well I’m out of the frickin tunnel now and I feel better than ever. My body isn’t 100%, but I can now see that it will be.

I’m 15 pounds over my goal weight and it doesn’t even matter right now. I’m working on it and it will come off. My body feels healthy. I feel strong physically and emotionally. My legs are big (like the extra 15 lbs is just in my ass and thighs! 🤣) but they are strong and they carry me wherever I want to go. They allow me my independence. They are beautifully strong, and that’s all I need today.

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

I wrote a really long and boring post detailing my 2018 Year in Review. I spent a gazillion hours writing it. After reading through it, I realized it was just for me.

You’re welcome.

I’ll hang on to it for myself (It was actually quite therapeutic for me to see how far I’ve come in a year!) and I’ll share with you why I chose the title that I did for this blog post, some of what I’ve been cooking in the kitchen, a few things I’ve had to eat out and I’ll share a link to the Free 30 Day Yoga Challenge that I’m doing.

I chose the word Gratitude for the year. I didn’t even know I was going to chose a word, but that word had been with me in a powerful way since early November, and keeping it with me in a very mindful way, seemed like the thing to do for 2019.

Mindful. Another word for 2019.

Being mindful brings awareness. Being aware also means being present. In the moment. I’m doing all of that a lot lately.

Some of this comes due to my reflecting phase I seem to go into this time of the year. Some of this I am certain is related to my cancer diagnosis.

I want to slow down a bit and enjoy life more.

After cancer, some things that mattered before don’t matter so much now. Other things that didn’t seem to matter much, seem to matter more. 

It’s all about perspective and it’s very individual.

I have learned that for me to be truly happy, I have to learn to put myself first. It’s difficult to learn how to do that without feeling selfish. I think it’s a fine line. 

Learning to say “no” takes practice. If it means finding more balance for myself, then it is easier to say no.

These are a few of the ways that I am trying to live more mindfully and be present.

Mindfully Eating

I am mindfully eating in a way that I have never eaten before. Every bite? No. But I’m working on it.

I am deliberately putting thought into the combinations of flavor and textures and smells. I am eating each bite slower. I’m taking time in between bites. It’s making such a difference in how I view food. I’ve tried to eat more mindfully before, but I’ve never done it in this manner before. I’m liking it!

 

Mindfully Sleeping

I am mindfully going to bed. How dumb does that sound? For most of my life, I have just “gone to bed”. No real routine. Maybe I fall asleep on the couch, then crawl to bed hours later. Maybe I wash my face and brush my teeth. Maybe I don’t. Truth. We climb in bed, turn on the TV, We have been married for 20 years and I have never really liked going to bed with the TV on. Choose your battles. Mike could sleep all night with the TV on. Me? Not so much.

I’ve started snoring in the last several months. Mike is very sweet and says that it doesn’t bother him, but if it happens to wake him up and he can’t go back to sleep, he goes to the couch so he can escape my snoring. There, he turns on the TV and sleeps the rest of the night.

Occasionally he will wake me and tell me to roll over. Well, then I can’t go back to sleep.

Guess what?

We’re sleeping in separate bedrooms. No joke. Yes, at first it was very weird. It was my idea and Mike hated it. I mean absolutely hated it!

Here’s the deal.

I suggested that I take advantage of one of our spare rooms since I’ve never really liked going to bed with the TV on anyhow. I can peacefully snore the night away in a quiet dark room and he can dose off in bed (not the couch!) and have the TV on as long as his little heart desires.

We both then get a good nights sleep.

Now I rarely let myself fall asleep on the couch. I take a good amount of time getting ready for bed. The room is cold, completely dark and the blankets are soft and cozy. The bedding is sprayed with Lavender. I like my essential oil diffuser going and if I seem to be laying awake for longer than I’d like, I turn on meditation music at a low volume.

That’s some mindful sleeping!

We are both now sleeping like babies!!

I’m not sleeping in a different room every night, but if I’m really wanting/needing a good nights sleep, or I know he is, this works for us.

 

Mindfully Moving

I’m so happy to be walking daily on the treadmill and practicing Yoga at home. Both of these things feel so good.

My knee still has a sharp pain if I work it too much (doc says it’s just part of the healing process). Walking over 3 mph, that sharp pain kicks in. So, I’m not walking super fast, but I am able to walk at an incline, so I’m doing short intervals with increasing the incline vs increasing my speed to get my heart rate up. Baby steps.

I’m doing Dedicate 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube. I love this girl! I really do. She has a sense of humor. She has an amazing way of describing each move and how it benefits your body. She reminds you that Yoga is a practice. The more you practice, the stronger and more flexible you will be. 

You can start your 30 days whenever you’d like!

I am modifying very little. With the knee surgery in July and then the wrist surgery just this last November, I wasn’t sure of what to expect with planks and downward dogs, but I’m doing them!

Never done Yoga before? Check out her 20 minute Yoga for Beginners.

 

Mindfully Living

I feel like I am living mindfully and I feel really good.

Are you living mindfully/

What are you doing?

 

A lot of cooking going on here lately.

Favorite Breakfast

Any veggies and Eggs.

This one is Broccoli (I just sautéed it with the other veggies) Mushrooms, Red Onions all topped with Eggs.

 

Asparagus, Yellow Bell Pepper, Sweet Potato and Eggs topped with Smashed Avocado and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.

 

Sweet Potatoes, Orange Bell Peppers, Bacon and Scrambled Eggs.

 

Breakfast at First Watch with Mom.

Potatoes, Poached Eggs and Smashed Avocado. LOVE. THIS. BREAKFAST.

I split the potatoes in half and the avocado mash in half first thing.

Eating mindfully has really helped me be able to enjoy half of the food on my plate when large servings are in front of me. No guilt in not eating everything on my plate.

 

I head into the grocery store sometimes and just grab chicken breast without even thinking. Um, mindless behavior? Sure.

2019? More fish and seafood.

Shrimp Scampi over Spaghetti Squash

This was very simple. I did buy fresh wild shrimp for this dish. It was on sale at Whole Foods and I couldn’t pass it up.

I googled several different recipes for Shrimp Scampi. It’s pretty simple really. This is not the recipe I used, but I just now googled it and this one came up.

You really can’t mess up Shrimp Scampi.

I used Chicken Broth and no wine just to keep the SmartPoints low, then topped it with just a tad of fresh Parmesan Cheese. My Spaghetti Squash was already cooked so dinner came together quick!

 

I made some very simple Salmon Cakes. I topped them with a little bit of Mayo mixed with Franks hot Sauce.

 

Are you a WW member using the App? If so, don’t forget about all of the wonderful (and easy) recipes WW has in the database on your app.

Browse to the bottom of your tracking screen (your My Day) and click on recipes. Then at the top of that screen, type in the search bar any food you’d like. Need a new green bean recipe? Type in green beans. Need a new way to eat apples? Type in apples.

I typed in Mahi Mahi and decided on this recipe, although several did come up.

This was so good and so easy.

Mine isn’t very pretty or appetizing looking, but this is one I will make again for sure. Caulirice with Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges mixed in on the side.

 

My daughter Tess introduced me to Bailey over at Whole Kitchen Sink. Like, via her website, not in real life. Although, she seems very sweet and I’d like to meet her. She has lost over 120 pounds! Impressive!

I made her Swedish Meatballs. I did not follow the recipe instructions exactly. Her recipe cooks all of the ingredients in the crockpot at once. I cooked the meat separate, then added the sauce after draining the cooked fat from the crockpot.

I made one batch with Ground Turkey instead of the Beef and Pork that the recipe called for to keep the Smartpoints lower and I made another batch with the beef and pork. I actually liked the taste of the Turkey batch better. Personal preference. 

 

Another recipe from Bailey at Whole Kitchen Sink, Creamy Chicken and Veggies (I used some cooked chicken that I had in the freezer)

 

Speaking of Tess, she was in town for just a day visit on Saturday! She came in to have her sister do a practice run on her hair for wedding day. Anne is an amazing stylist! Tess works for Southwest and has the opportunity to jump on plane and fly home for free. Nice, huh? It was a perfect day!

 

It was so nice that we were able to sit outside and eat lunch! We went to Zoe’s Kitchen. Do you have one where you live? They have so many healthy options!

I chose the Mediterranean Chicken (2 SP) with Roasted Veggies (2 SP) and Grilled Potato Salad (7 SP) as my two sides.

This meal – 11 Smartpoints.

 

I’ve incorporated a Fourth Meal.

I did this a few years ago and I forgot how well this works for me.

I typically eat lunch at noon and dinner around 7:00, maybe later. I discovered that if I eat a small meal between 3:00 and 4:00, I don’t have the desire to snack mindlessly. I’m satisfied and snacking isn’t always lingering in the back of my mind.

This particular day I had Grilled Chicken dipped in Mustard with an Opal Apple. 

Have you tried the Opal Apples? They have a little extra flavor that I can’t quite describe, but I love these things!

 

Want a Sweet Treat? Share this with a friend, or enjoy it by yourself. You do you. I promise that if you mindfully eat this, it is truly decadent. Of course, you have to like dates.

Two Dates, split and pit removed  (40 g = 6 SP)

1 tsp Almond Butter, divided = 1 SP

1/4 tsp Raw Honey, divided = 0 SP

 

My 2019 is looking pretty damn good right now. I hope that yours is too!

 

Buddha. He said some good stuff.

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

Happy 2019!

January 3, 2019

Happy New Year to you all!

It’s already the 3rd! I was going to say that I have obviously lowered my standards and that’s why this is being posted on the 3rd. Then I thought, I haven’t lowered my standards at all. If anything I have raised them. I’ve raised my standards for myself. I’m mindfully putting myself first. I’m taking care of me. Posting a Happy New Year post on the 3rd is proof that I simply have redefined my expectations of myself. All of that feels really good. 

Every year between Christmas and New Years, I go deep inside my head and ask myself if I am okay where I am at in my life. Do I want to do anything different? What do I want to accomplish in the upcoming year? It’s always a great week of reflection for me. 

I am so stinking excited for this year. So many great things are going to be happening. After I really started feeling like myself mid November, I told my family that only good things are to come in 2019.  If anything bad or negative happens, they have been instructed to keep it to themselves. Ha!

Here is the text I got from my mom on New Years Eve.

She knows I mean business.

Okay, I don’t expect a perfect year, that’s not reality and nobody should expect perfection, in any area of life. I do however want to be surrounded by as much optimism as possible, and I decided the best way for that to happen, was to ask for it.

I have loved everything about this last week.

Mike and I spent New Year’s Eve across the street at our friends house playing cards. Their son had a party in the basement and we may have joined the party at around 11:30 pm. We had a great night!

 

I selfishly spent a lot of time on me this holiday and it felt really good.

I’ve watched lots of movies. Like, a ton of movies. Some old. Some new.

  • Bird Box. It’s all the rage on Netflix right now. Have you watched it?
  • The Soloist – Jaimie Foxx (really good movie)
  • Sleepless – Jamie Foxx (really bad movie)
  • Good Will Hunting (Watched it so many times. Always love it.)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (First time I’ve watched it from the beginning to the end.)
  • White Christmas (First time)
  • The Family Stone (It’s a tradition.)
  • Dumplin (Such a good movie! Jennifer Aniston – Netflix)
  • Dirty John (Netflix series. The whole series.)
  • Ashby (Amazon Prime – love it!)

I’ve been cooking a lot. I’ll share some of that in just a sec. I’ve taken long baths (even had to add hot water), I’ve done my nails, a few times. I’ve had my own little spa days at home with face mask followed with long hot showers. I’ve walked each day on the treadmill. I’m doing Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. I’ve had long phone conversations with a few family members. I’ve slept better than ever. Life just feels really good right now.

Two of my Workshops are At Works and they did not meet last week. The Workshops that I Coach (formerly called Weight Watcher Leader, now called WW Coach) have been going great, but only working Thursday evening, Friday day and one on Sunday, I’ve had a lot of time for myself. Celebrating Christmas a few days early allowed me several days after that to just chill. So I did.

Mike and I are going on a vacation with some of our friends this month and I am so looking forward to it! Our Mexico vacation in 2017 had to be cancelled because I had the flu and simply couldn’t shake it. Last year we weren’t able to go with the surgeries and all. We are both so ready to get away! We’re going for NINE nights. Nine glorious nights of sun and beach and fun and friends and time away from home with zero responsibilities. I can hardly wait!

By the time we get home I’ll be all rested up to Wedding plan. March 30th will be here before we know it. Tess and Manuel have done so much in just the last two weeks. Things are moving along and I’m starting to get really excited about it all. Over Christmas Tess and I scheduled my visits to Dallas for wedding planning. They have one more shower in February scheduled so I”m looking forward to that too!

I haven’t thought much past March. I think I’ve got a few things to keep me busy for a while.

I’ve decided to take on a word for the year.

Right around the time I started to feel so much better in November, we were talking about Gratitude in the WW Workshops, and it just stuck. I think I’ve always practiced gratitude but I’m much more aware of it now and I know moving forward it will only make 2019 even brighter.

Here are just a few of the things that I’ve been cooking up over the last several days.

This little cutie was over on Sunday and she was all about helping me cook when I asked her if she was interested. She made Egg Roll in a Bowl and she did a great job! I just chopped veggies and she actually did all of the cooking and adding of the ingredients. She even liked the way it tasted!

 

I made Trina’s homemade Tortilla’s. If you stretch this recipe into 7 tortilla’s, they are only 2 Smartpoints each!

 

I topped these Paleo pancakes (Birch Benders brand mix from Costco) with my Warm Cinnamon Apples.

 

This is simply Spaghetti Meat on top of Zucchini Boats. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and the Zucchini are done, but not mushy. Pretty tasty!

 

Lots of veggies and eggs lately. You know I’d eat Avocado on just about anything.

 

I made Sweet Potato Chili for New Years Eve and we had plenty left over! I doubled the recipe and did half turkey, half beef. This tasted so good!

#worthit

 

 

I’m working on a 2018 Year In Review post. I didn’t do one last year for obvious reasons. I never liked the fact that I skipped that. Makes me feel good when I reflect.

I feel energized and ready for 2019!

Start out the New Year by doing something for yourself.

Please do your monthly self breast exam, Doing so will familiarize you with your own body. Be your own advocate. Please take time each month to feel your breast for any unusual lumps, bumps, dimples or changes. Men too!! Don’t be afraid to have anything unusual checked out. You just might save your own life. 

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

Chicken and Caulirice Soup

December 28, 2018

This was a happy little accident.

Sometimes I drizzle a little olive oil in the skillet and then I just start chopping and dicing whatever I can find. Sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.

When my husband says…..”What’s in this?”, I’ know its a keeper.

It was chilly out and a bit rainy. A perfect day for soup. A few staples that I like to have on hand for these days are Stock (Veggie, Chicken or Beef), Rotisserie Chicken meat in the freezer and frozen bags of caulirice. It’s always good to keep onion, celery and carrots too. You can start so many delicious dishes with celery, carrots and onions. Your house smells amazing in the process!

There really could not be anything easier to throw together. 

Enjoy!

Chicken and Caulirice Soup
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 carrots, sliced
  2. 2 celery stalks, sliced
  3. 1/2 red onion, diced
  4. 1 garlic clove minced
  5. 2 tsp olive oil
  6. 2 rotisserie chicken breast
  7. 4 C chicken stock
  8. 1 10 oz pkg frozen cauliflower rice
  9. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp garlic powder
  11. 1 tsp onion powder
  12. 1 tsp Dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Sauté celery, onion, garlic and carrot in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
The Weight of My Weight http://theweightofmyweight.com/

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

Keep It Easy

December 28, 2018

I enjoyed some time in the kitchen the week before Christmas. I really wanted to have healthy foods available and keep the treats out of the house as long as possible.

As much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t really cook anything complicated. I find the chopping and dicing relaxing. I like just a few quality ingredients and I like to keep it easy.

I knew that spending a little time in the kitchen preparing some healthy meals would lead me to feeling successful at the end of December.

I’ve also gotten to the point where I can comfortably throw food away after a party if it is food that won’t leave me feeling so great if I eat too much of it. I always felt the need to hang on to the party food after the party. Eat on it for several days. Not waste it. Now, I’m much better at allowing myself to enjoy it for the day, then send home extra’s with family members that would like to have it, then throw out what might be left. No guilt.

I knew that I would have a hard time only eating a few of my moms cookies and my mother in laws peanut butter balls when everyone came over to our house. I decided to press the pause button that day and enjoy myself. I did. It has taken me a long time to allow myself to press the pause button occasionally without guilt. It feels really good to get rid of some of that guilt that I had associated with food for so many years.

The other celebrations through this holiday  I’ve allowed myself to enjoy food and beverage in moderation and I’ve felt very in control.

The best thing I could do for myself was to have my house prepped with health choices. Today I weigh what I weighed at the beginning of November, and for me that is a huge December success!

Each week at the WW Workshops, we have a topic and recipe handed out on a card. I suggest keeping these if the recipe looks like something you think you might like!

I finally got around to making two of them and I loved them both!

Did you throw away your weekly? Next time you are at a Workshop, ask them for previous Weeklies, and if they have extra they will be more than happy to give you one.

I believe for copyright reasons, I can not share the recipe here. Dang it!

I had been eyeballing this recipe for a while and finally got around to giving it a try the week that Tess and Manuel were here.

Spaghetti Squash Pomodoro

 

This White Bean, Corn, Kale and Cauliflower Soup was my favorite.

I added a little bit of ham to this, which was recommended by a co-worker. This had all the feels of Ham and Beans, or maybe Potato Soup, or maybe both combined?

 

I made Bird Balls, then put them in Marinara sauce on the stove top to serve with the Spaghetti Squash. Uh, yum.

 

That was a busy and fun night in the kitchen that left the fridge filled with healthy choices for a couple of days.

Later in the week……

Flank Steak always seems to satisfy and this is easy.

I use this Flank Steak Marinade, then cook on the grill 6 minutes each side. Let steak sit 10 minutes before slicing. Perfect every time.

 

You can’t go wrong with Veggies and Eggs. Change up your veggie and topping options to keep yourself from getting bored.

Scrambled Eggs topped with Salsa and Smashed Avocado.

 

I topped a bed of Zucchini, Bell Peppers and Mushrooms with an Egg and Smashed Avocado. Seasoned with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.

 

This is a simple scramble with Eggs and Peppers. White Sweet Potato Rounds and Avocado Slices on the side.

 

I hope you feel inspired to get in the kitchen and whip up something simple and healthy. Eating healthy does not mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food. Find a few simple favorites and stick with them. Branch out a little every so often.

Here is to working towards a very Healthy and Happy 2019!

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

Christmas 2018

December 28, 2018

On Christmas Eve 2017 I was 10 days post op my breast reconstruction surgery, I was moving past cancer and adjusting to a very different body. I could barely stand and I was trying really hard not to let on how disappointed I was in how my year was wrapping up.

This year was full of kids and laughs and family and friends and fun. I could not be happier.

 

These three one year olds stole the show!

 

This might be my favorite picture of Christmas this year.

 

It was so nice to feel like “me”.

 

The chaos makes it all so perfect.

 

I have more fun watching them play with their Stocking Stuffers than anything else.

 

When one of the kids reminds me, we get out the Gingerbread House kits. It’s messy. I love it.

 

No words needed. Agree?

 

Before we opened gifts, we had Kolaches and fruit. Maybe a beverage or two.

 

After breakfast and gifts, we cleaned up for round two. Parents and grandparents and cousins and anyone else willing to walk through the door.

I have only one grandparent picture, and I have Jake to thank for that. I swear my parents were here too! lol

Mike’s parents with their 10 great grand children.

 

We had a small feast, but I forgot to take a picture of it all…….

Tess made signs for a few things at my request and they were so stinking’ cute!

 

 

Toppings for the Corn Chowder

 

 

 

 

This all took place the Saturday before Christmas.

Tess and Manuel were here from Dallas for just over a week leading up to our family celebration.. We had a fairly quiet week while they were here. I cooked a lot and we just kind of chilled out. They completed a puzzle that they started over Thanksgiving Break. We watched several traditional Christmas movies. We talked wedding talk and relaxed a lot.

I’ll share some of what I cooked up in my next post. I know. Your’e holding your breath. Ha!

Tess and Manuel went home Sunday the 23rd and Mike and I had only our second Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with none of our kids. It’s not as awful as I thought it would be, but I gotta be honest. I don’t love it.

We were lucky enough to be invited to a friends for Christmas Eve and we had a great time seeing everyone.

 

At some point during our evening, we decided Midnight Mass was a good idea. We’ve only done Midnight Mass a couple of times since we have been married. The choir? Amazing!! I was so glad that we went!

Christmas morning we slept in. Midnight Mass will do that to ya! My dad and his wife came over late morning and we had a good visit. Later in the afternoon Mike and I went to visit my mom. My nephew was in town and had just arrived at my moms house, so we had an unexpected visit with him too! After that, Mike and I headed over to see his folks. It was kind of nice to just hop from house to house for a cup of coffee with no big plans. We had planned to go to a movie, but forgot to buy tickets the day before and our seat options were undesirable. We decided Christmas night on the couch sounded perfect. 

Wednesday I relaxed. A lot! I did get in a treadmill walk, clean out the fridge and do a tad of housework, but it was nice to not have to be anywhere.

It was rainy and chilly, so I made soup in the afternoon and we ended up with another movie night last night. Such a good day.

I went into this holiday season feeling very mindful about my food choices. My plan was to enjoy myself, practice moderation and small portions, and ask myself….Is it worth it?

I feel really good about where I’m at just a couple of days after Christmas.

These last two days I’ve tracked, walked 2 miles each day, practiced Yoga and consumed 80 ounces of water each day. 

 

I’m looking forward to 2019 and all that it will bring!

I hope you have all had a wonderful Holiday Season and that you were able to enjoy family and friends and relax a bit.

Hugs to all of you!

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

 

 

I’m Ready!

December 17, 2018

So I’ve just been over here living in my bathroom.😂

OK, maybe not 24/7, but I have been spending a lot of time in our newly decorated bedroom and bathroom watching Christmas movies, shopping online taking baths while watching Christmas movies and shopping online (you know I’m not lying) and just enjoying this new space. It’s so relaxing.

 

 

Work is going great and I have never appreciated having a job that I love as much as I do right now.

 

We had a great weekend and we’ve got a full week planned.

Saturday afternoon I picked up this little cutie pie.

 

We then headed to the airport to pick up Tess, Manuel and Tucker. They are here through December 23rd. This year they will have Christmas in Dallas. When you’re kids grow up, you have to share them with other people and it kinda stinks, but I’m so happy that Manuel has such a great family and that Tess loves spending time with them. After picking them up at the airport we dropped off Tucker at home and picked up Mike to head to a gingerbread house decorating party. Amiyah did such a great job decorating a gingerbread house.

Then she made another one. Then she ate them both! 😳 

Sunday afternoon Mike and I delivered a Healing Chair. If you were following me a little over a year ago, then you know the Healing Chair is a wonderful group of women that have collected donated electric lift chairs for mastectomy patients to heal in after surgery. It’s really hard to get in and out of a chair after a Mastectomy because it is so difficult to use your arms and the chair makes a huge difference in recovery. You keep the chair for 4 to 6 weeks, then the chair goes to the next recipient. Mike and I have delivered three of these chairs in just the last two weeks. We are so happy to be able to help, but still always so surprised at how many women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Keep in mind, these are only the women that we know about. When Mike and I received the Healing Chair last year, he really appreciated how much the couple (the previous recipient of that particular chair) shared with us about their own experience post surgery. When they left, Mike suggested we let the Healing Chair know that if they ever needed help with a delivery, that we would be available. Each time we do, we hope we give someone a little comfort. 

 

The house is ready for Christmas.

The Stockings are full and the gifts are wrapped and under the tree.

I ordered these Stocking Tags from “Chalk Designs By Me” and I love them!

 

We will be celebrating with our family on Saturday, December 22. We have a full day planned here at the house with kids and grandkids coming over that morning and then extended family coming for lunch and to stay as long as they want to hang.

We are headed out this afternoon to do a little shopping but I’m just along for the ride. Cuz…I’m done!

Hopefully we will cook up some yummy meals this week and I’ll share them with ya!

Here is a recent Trader Joe’s find. This was ready in 7 minutes and tasted great!

 

I added in some Rotiserrie Chicken Breast for a 1 Smartpoint dinner.

 

Just a reminder that Frozen Blueberries warmed up in the microwave (or in a pan on the stovetop) for two minutes make an amazing pancake topping!

 

I bought this mix at Costco. 

 

I was dreaming about PB&J, so this 6 Smartpoint deliciousness happened.

3 small pancakes (1/2 Serving of the Pancake mix, 3 SP) topped with Blueberries (0 SP) and 1 T. Almond Butter (3 SP)

 

I hope you are all having a wonderful day!

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

 

 

Mike had been wanting to remodel our master bath for years. He had this big tile shower that he wanted to build. He had walked me through what he wanted to do several times. I loved all of his ideas. We have lived here for almost 20 years.Mike actually designed and built our house. The upstairs carpet had never been replaced and we had carpet in our master bath. Gross, I know.

Mike began this project in June, 2017.

 

 

Anyone remember when we discovered we had bats??? It was all during this bathroom remodel! We think they’re gone?

 

The bathroom looked like this for a really really long time. Like…..a really long time.

 

I can see myself in the mirror in this picture. I’m on crutches. That means that this picture was taken one year after this project started. I was now going down to the basement to shower because we have a larger shower down there than the guest room has and a shower chair fits in it. I just kept telling myself how nice it would be when it was all done.

 

If you’ve been reading for a while, then you know that weeks after Mike started the remodel…..cancer, floods, surgery, cancer, floods, surgery, etc.

Mike worked on the project a little at a time, and at some point he put things on hold. The project and all that was happening in life became a tad overwhelming.

On August 1st of 2018, Mike got back at it and decided to hire out a few things to get it all done.

I’m so happy.

 

I’m still shopping for just the right vanity stool.

 

Mike found these lights that he liked but thought the base looked smaller than he wanted so he decided to mount them on a piece of stained wood. 

It’s one of my favorite details!

 

We briefly talked about replacing this jacuzzi tub with a soaker tub to keep up with the trends, but honestly, I love this tub, so it stays. 

I really love what he did above the tub!

 

We had a shower curtain hanging there while waiting on the shower doors….which seemed to take forever!

 

 

I really like the doors.

 

I couldn’t get it all in the photo, but there is a shower head straight above the shower handle, the on/off thingy. lol This is my side. The two things at the bottom are body sprays, and I highly recommend them!

His side.

Occasionally, I turn on everything and just stand in the middle. it’s like the best day ever!

 

 

Um, the tile floors are heated.

 

 

We painted the bedroom and I bought all new white bedding, pillows and lamp shades. New gray carpet throughout the upstairs. I was going to order new blinds/shades, but I couldn’t find anything I love, so for now, we are sticking with our old white plastic blinds. They look great during the day when they are open! ha!

 

I’m currently shopping for a Pouf to replace those stools.

 

Mike is going to build a headboard and a frame for our geriatric (sleep number) bed, but I’m in no hurry. Good thing, huh? I know it will be beautiful when he gets to it.

 

I love the bedspread I found at Target.

I wanted one that was not only white and comfortable, but long enough to cover the parts of this bed that make it look like a hospital bed. Success.

 

Things look a little different, huh?

 

 

Some things are worth waiting for.

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

Trying a Few New Things

December 11, 2018

Happy Tuesday.

I hope you’re week is off to a great start.

I switched things up today. For years I have gone to a Friday meeting. Those are now called workshops. Since I now work at a Friday workshop I’m having a hard time finding a workshop of my own to attend as a member. I’ve played with a few different days and times and trying to find the best one that works into my schedule. There is actually a Workshop close to my house that is held at a church on Tuesday mornings. Today I made it official and changed my weigh in day on my app to Tuesdays and decided that is going to be my new regular Workshop. If you are a WW member then you understand how changing your weigh in day can affect your thought process for the week. It sounds silly to some, but watching those points and what they do during the week becomes a huge part of your journey. I’m ready for a change and looking forward to connecting with some new members. I will always miss my Friday peeps though.

Along with officially moving my Workshop day to Tuesday, I started doing “stories” on Instagram. I’ve been thinking of a way that I could still share what I’m eating, how I work activity into my day, and share my struggles and successes with others without devoting so much time to the blog. It has always been about a two hour commitment. If I skip a day or two or more, it takes forever for me to get my next post up. The reality is that my schedule is simply different now and I don’t have the time to dedicate to writing a blog post each day like I did before. I keep trying and it just isn’t working.

I still need to do something though for accountability, and I liked knowing that I was helping others find different foods to try or recipes to make, or just to share in hopes of making a connection.

So, I’m going to try this story thing for a bit and see how it works out. I will still blog like I have been doing lately, but not daily for sure.

The Instagram Stories are kind of fun, but I have a lot to learn. I’m just playing with them a little bit and trying to figure out all of the different things you can do.

If you are unfamiliar with Instargream, you do need to download the app and create an account to use it. I have several people that I follow for recipes, inspiration and motivation, and some just because they make me happy or make me laugh.

I made mistakes yesterday in some of the videos that I posted, but I had fun doing it and I’m looking forward to trying something new.

Before I went to the Workshop today, I got my activity in for the day. If you are a WW member then you likely know that WW introduced a new feature in the app this week. If you do not have it in your app yet, you should see it by the end of the week. I had to uninstall the WW app, then reinstall it for me to see the updated app. A co-worker of mine did that too and still didn’t see the update. She turned her phone off, then back on and tada! The update appeared.

On your My Day page, you will see Get Active with WW x Aaptiv.

Also, having a hard time winding down at the end of day? I’m loving our partnership with Headspace. I’ve listened to the 10 minute End of the Day audio several nights over this last week when I go to bed. I never make it to the end before I’m fast asleep. Try it!

WW has partnered with Aaptiv. It’s nine great audio workouts for WW members. This morning I did the high-intensity walking workout. I did it on my treadmill. If the weather is cold outside and you do not have a treadmill, this is also an audio that you could do walking in place. It was a great little 22 minute walk. There is upbeat music playing in the background and the audio talks you through breathing, good posture, ask you to remember your “why” and changes up the speed throughout the workout. I think this is a great addition to all of the awesome tools that WW has to offer. I have a much better workout when I’m mindfully moving my body.

If you’re on Instagram, I’m also The Weight of my Weight over there. Come watch me and laugh at me. It’ll be fun!

It would be impossible to post everything I eat if I’m not posting daily, so I’ll post what I had that day in hopes that you find something you might like to try!

Breakfast – 6 SP

I made Turkey Taco Meat Monday night and added diced cooked white sweet potato to it. It was SO good!

Leftover Taco meat in an Omelet topped with Avocado and Berries on the side.

 

Lunch – 8 SP

IHOP with my mom today. Egg White Veggie Omelet. 8 Smartpoints in the WW App.

 

Dinner – 6 SP

This was a Trader Joe’s dinner.

These Roasted Potatoes are great! 3 Smartpoints per serving and easy to make. The serving size was small, so I had two servings.

You just dump everything in that package into a skillet and cook until crisp. That’s it! Tess introduced me to these when she was here over Thanksgiving.

I diced up the cooked chicken and tossed it in the skillet to heat it up. I sautéed the broccoli in a skillet while the potatoes cooked then combined it all in the same skillet.

Dinner took about 20 minutes.

 

 

Me the last few days……

 

 

 

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