Archives For September 2016

20 Years!

September 28, 2016

Twenty years ago, yesterday, Mike and I went on our first date. I have no idea where the time goes. Sometimes it feels like I have known him  for my entire life, and other days it feels like we just met.

I could go into this long sappy story about why I love him so much, and how much I appreciate the fact that he gets me and this story about how I try really hard to get him, lol, but I’m not going to do that. 

All that really matters is that it took us a long time to figure it all out, but once we did, we knew we would always be able to count on one another and that we would always be together. 

He truly is my best friend.

(This was taken a few months ago, but we couldn’t get a good picture of the two of us last night for anything!!!)


We had date night last night. A real date night. We had a drink at home and chatted about our upcoming trip to NY. We put the top down on the car and took a drive to a restaurant that we hadn’t been to before. The weather was gorgeous so we were able to sit outside. We had a great chat and we weren’t allowed to talk about work. Perfect night.

I’m off for a couple of overnights with a friend. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Here are yesterday’s eats….

Breakfast – 4 SP

Egg White and Veggie Omelet, 1/2 Serving of Oatmeal mixed in with Warm Cinnamon Apples



Lunch – 6 SP

A big bowl of leftover Chicken and Caulirice mixed in with some Zucchini Soup and topped with a little cheese.



Dinner – ???

An Appetizer that was Mixed Veggies topped with an Egg. Kind of a weird thing to find on an Appetizer menu, but super Point Friendly, I would imagine? I had wine too.




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

Updating Recipes!

September 27, 2016

I loved the cool morning that we had yesterday. I had coffee out on the deck and the chill in the air was a great way to start of the morning. I went to Yoga class, then immediately to the grocery store to shop for Turkey Chili and Zucchini Soup ingredients. You guys….I feel Fall. 

I updated several recipes on the blog, including the Pumpkin Pancakes,  Pumpkin Oatmeal, the Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal and the Blueberry Oatmeal, which all sound delicious right now!

I walked 3 miles in the afternoon while my soup and chili simmered. It was a happy and healthy day! Gotta go! Have a great day!

Here are yesterday’s eats…

Breakfast – 9 SP

Larabar and Black Coffee on the deck enjoying the chill in the air.



Lunch – 6 SP

Scrambled Egg and Egg Whites, Leftover Caulirice, Diced Chicken Breast, Bell Peppers, Avocado.



Afternoon Meal – 4 SP

Betsy’s Zucchini Soup

1 SmartPoint for the Soup, 3 SmartPoints for the Cheese and Roasted Plantains.



Dinner – 6 SP

Sweet Potato Turkey Chili over Roasted Plantains


These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily


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

Couch Sunday

September 26, 2016

After breakfast, we were on our butts in the living room drinking coffee. It was cloudy and misty and cool. I had a feeling that neither of us would be moving much for the day. I was right. We remained there until it was time to eat again. Mike was watching Football and Golf, simultaneously. He was bouncing back and forth from channel to channel in between plays and putts and it was driving me completely bonkers!

I entertained myself by working on the blog. Along with yesterdays post, I did a few recipe updates and posted a couple of new recipes.

I have now updated everything on the Side Dish tab under Recipes, and everything on the Snacks & Treats tab under Recipes. I had forgotten about several of those recipes myself, so it was nice to go back and get a few ideas.

I’ll start working on Main Dishes today and work my way through them this month.

Yesterday, I got up to make lunch. I got up to make dinner. I did take Tucker on a 2 mile walk.

I had planned to do Yoga before I went to bed, then I was updating recipes on the blog until 1:30 am. What the heck??? I missed Day 8 of Yoga.

I went to bed.

It was not the Dating Anniversary Celebration that I had in mind, but it was kind of nice to not have to go anywhere, or shower. 

I actually surprised myself by being home for the entire day, thinking about nothing but food all day due to the blog updates, and only eating three meals and no snacking. I even got in all of my water!

I enjoyed the walk with Tucker, and there was just a bit of a chill in the air so I wore long sleeves. You guys, that made me very happy.

I’ve realized over the last few days that my gut tells me that I need to at least try to get back to my original goal weight of 160, and not officially change my goal weight, just yet. I can honestly say that I work at maintaining 172, and I know when I need to put a halt on things. But I haven’t actually tried to get back to 160 in a really long time. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and it just feels like trying is what I need to do.

I don’t have my blood work back from my physical yet, but before I decide to make any changes to my goal weight, I want to give 160 a chance.

At this point, I’ll be ecstatic when I see 169. That hasn’t happened in a really long time.

Here are yesterday’s eats…

Breakfast – 8 SP

My favorite Breakfast Skillet.

Red Onion, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Pork Sausage topped with an egg.

I eat this so often, I should post a recipe for it?



Lunch – 8 SP

Chicken Salad on a bed of greens with a side of Roasted Plantains.



Dinner – 8 SP

I found this recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash floating around on Facebook a few weeks ago.

I reduced the amount of bacon in the recipe, and added cooked diced Chicken Breast. I forgot to include the nuts, which would have tasted great, but saved me some points, and I used just a little bit of freshly grated Manchego Cheese in place of the recommended Blue Cheese.

Dinner was delicious!


These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily


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

Work, Play, Food, Yoga, Fall??

September 25, 2016

Thursday was the first day of Fall, and I celebrated by prancing around all day in this shirt, drinking out of this cup. No joke.

I think the temperatures were in the 90’s??? Ugh. I am so ready for cooler weather, crockpot meals, fire pits and Pumpkin Spice Everything.


Before prancing around in that shirt, I worked (officially, not as a trainee) as a receptionist at a WW meeting. I already feel like I have a connection with a few of the members there since I’ve had the opportunity to train at that location over the last few weeks. I am loving this job!

I am enrolled in Leader Training in Dalls the first weekend in December, so hopefully by the end of the calendar year I will get to lead a meeting. I am loving the roll as a receptionist, so I’m good where I’m at for the time being.

I took advantage of my employee discount. I’ve had my eye on these wine glasses. They have a nice etched line on them marking a 5 oz, a 6 oz or an 8 oz serving. Now, as long as nobody tops off my wine while I’m not looking, I’ll be able to track that beautiful red.


I met up with a fellow blogger Thursday afternoon. Thanks for all of your knowledge and great tips Dawn! You can check out her blog at Joyful Scribblings. She has all sorts of great info ranging from travel, books, food to home decor. She knows her stuff, so if you have some free time, check her out!

Thanks to Dawn and her knowledge, I spent a little time updating some of the blog recipes to include a Recipe Card!

I updated my recipe for Mom’s V-8 Hamburger Soup from PointsPlus to SmartPoints and it now has a recipe card included in the post. This should make it easy to print the recipe off and add it to your Fall Soups!


You may have noticed that I made Chicken Salad and decided that it needed a post.

One Cup = 6 SmartPoints


I did update most of my Side Dishes to include the Recipe Card and an update to SmartPoints if points were included in the recipe.

It is my plan to update more recipes to include a recipe card and the SmartPoints. I’ll keep you posted as I get those updated.

Friday was spent working the Food Truck Frenzy in Lenexa, which was crazy busy and LOUD!! We had a line the entire day! This was the view out of my window while waiting on all of these kind and hungry people!


Friday night was a quiet one at home grilling in my pj’s and enjoying my new wine glass.

Dinner was Grilled Chicken, Grilled Asparagus, a simple salad and Cauliflower Rice.


Saturday started off with a Hot Yoga class at 8:00 am, followed with a yummy breakfast bowl at home. 

Sauteed (Olive Oil – 1 SP) Red Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Red Onion and Pre-cooked Roasted Butternut Squash, I added the veggie mix to Scrambled Egg Whites (1 SP) and Pork Sausage (2 SP), all topped with Avocado Slices (2 SP).

6 SmartPoints.


Saturday night I went to a birthday party for Stacy, my Yoga Instructor. it was an entire party full of women from the Yoga studio. It was great to be able to chat with these ladies outside of the studio. I hope we are able to have more social time together. It was a great evening!

I made these Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates to take the party. They are 3 SmartPoints each, but they are a crowd pleaser!

img_9046 img_9055

I love this girl! Happy Birthday Stacy! You’ve created a space for me to feel strong, confident, calm and happy.


The Yoga Challenge is going great and my thighs are really feeling it. Have any of you checked out Yoga with Adriene? I would love to hear about it if you have. I told Stacy what I was doing, (15 days of Yoga) and she knew exactly who I was talking about when I told her about Adriene.

Last week at WW, we talked about tracking. All that talk about it, then I have been awful about it these last few days. I had the scale going down and I am really wanting to get back to goal weight.

This week….tracking!

I have no idea what today has in store for us (besides this ridiculously long blog post!). It is our “dating anniversary”. We went on our first date 20 years ago this weekend!

Typically we go to the Plaza Art Fair. It’s rainy and blah outside right now, so we are debating a lazy day at home watching Football, or an afternoon movie and dinner out?  It is now almost 2:30 pm and I am still in my pj’s. 🙂

I hope that you all are having a wonderful weekend!

I’m crossing my fingers for some Fallish weather to get here!

Mentally, I am feeling it!

feels like fall

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

Looking for a crowd pleaser to take to a party? These Medjool Dates are stuffed with 2 Raw Almonds, wrapped with 1/2 slice of Bacon and drizzled with honey. What is not to love?

They are 3 SmartPoints per piece, so decide if they are worth it or not when making these up!

SmartPoints or not, your guest will love these!


Please do not skimp on the dates. Buy the Medjool Dates. They are a tad more expensive, but they are delicious.

Slice date open and remove the pit.

Fill date with 2 almonds and close.

Wrap each almond filled date with 1/2 slice of bacon and place seam down on cooling rack.

Drizzle with honey.



Bake at 425 for 15-17 minutes, turing over at 8 minutes.

Broil for 1 minute at the end.

Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Date
Yields 24
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  1. 24 Medjool Dates
  2. 48 Raw Almonds
  3. 12 Slices of Bacon (I used Willshire Sugar Free)
  4. 1 T. Raw Honey
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place a cooling rack over a foil lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
  3. Slice each date open on one side and remove pit.
  4. Fill each date with 2 almonds. Close date.
  5. Wrap each almond filled date with 1/2 Slice of bacon and place seam side down on cooling rack.
  6. Drizzle all bacon wrapped dates with honey.
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes, turning each date over at 8 minutes.
  8. Broil for 1 minute at the end of cooking time to crisp bacon.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  1. Approximately 3 SmartPoints per date.
The Weight of My Weight


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


Is it Chicken Salad with Grapes, or Grape Salad with Chicken? Either way, it’s delicious. I’ve bulked it up with Grapes to help keep the points low. The juice from the grapes also means you can use less Mayo and still have a great tasting Chicken Salad without it tasting dry. Bonus? It is really pretty with all of those big beautiful juicy grapes!

My favorite ways to eat this yummy Chicken Salad.

  1. Wrapped in lettuce leaves with a side of carrots sticks for crunch.
  2. Enjoy a Scoop of Chicken Salad with a side of Roasted Plantains or Baked Chips for a satisfying low point lunch.
  3. Need a healthy appetizer? Slice up some thick Cucumber Slices and top with 1 T. of Chicken Salad.
  4. Looking to make a pretty plate for yourself or impress the family? Cut the top off of a Bell Pepper and fill it with Chicken Salad.
  5. This Chicken Salad taste great on a bed of mixed greens and makes a great lunch to pack the night before to take to work.

If you like your Chicken Salad creamier, simply add more mayo. Make sure to adjust the SmartPoints accordingly.


Julie's Chicken Salad
Serves 6
Write a review
  1. 7 oz. Rotiserie Chicken, Dark Meat
  2. 9 oz. Rostissert Chicken, Light Meat
  3. 2 Cups of Grapes, Halved
  4. 3 Stalks Celery, Chopped
  5. 1/3 Cup Mayo (I use Homemade Mayo, but feel free to use a Mayo of your choice)
  6. 1/4 Cup (28 grams) Chopped Pecans
  7. 1/4 tsp Salt
  8. Black Pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Chill.
  1. This recipe makes about 6 cups of Chicken Salad.
  2. One Cup = approximately 6 SmartPoints.
  3. I like the convenience of a Rotisserie Chicken, but feel free to roast up your own chicken.
The Weight of My Weight

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

The Yoga Challenge, Day 4

September 22, 2016

I was so eager to chat about Tracking yesterday, I forgot to tell you that I am really enjoying Yoga with Adriene. I told you about my first class with her, but I failed to mention my second class with her on Tuesday night.

Adriene has a mantra for each day. 

Day One was I Accept, which I blogged about. I Accept…then you, the Yogi, fill in the blank. I chose the word “Me”. I Accept Me.

Day Two was I Create. Again, you the Yogi, fill in the blank. I chose the word Peace because the dogs were in the room with me and if one wasn’t licking, the other was whining. It was quite annoying, and I was trying really hard to block them out, so I chose Peace. I Create Peace.

Day Three was I Embrace. Again, with the licking and whining. I would put them out of the room and close the door, but that would actually be worse because they would both sit outside of the door and whine until I was finished. I put doggie beds in my workout room and made them get in their beds. I chose to embrace my space, my Yoga Mat. I Embrace my Yoga Mat.


My Hot Yoga class (I went to that on Sunday) that I go to is a really good workout for me. I get my heart rate up, I sweat and I feel my body be challenged for one hour.

The classes that I decided to try out with Adriene on Youtube have not yet been very challenging, and they are only about 30 minutes in length. I love them, I just don’t feel as though I am pushing myself as hard as I expected to be in my 15 Day Yoga Challenge.

I am however learning new things and I love the way that she explains each move in detail so that I know how to do it properly. After only three classes, I have already learned some new Yoga positions.

Did any of you check her out? Click on Yoga with Adriene if you are interested. In this link, she simply introduces herself and talks about what she will be doing in her 30 Days of Yoga Camp, which are the classes that I am following. I’ll likely add to my 15 days, and complete her 30 Days of Yoga Camp.

Here are yesterday’ eats…

Breakfast – 8 SP

Egg Whites (1 SP), Sausage (2 SP), Sweet Potato (4 SP), Olive Oil (1 SP), Peppers and Onions (0 SP)




Lunch – 12 SP

I took this Gigantic Honey-crisp Apple to eat at the Food Truck. They were on sale for $1.99 a pound!



My boss made me up this deliciousness! It is her Cowboy Skillet topped with an Egg!

Sausage, Chicken, Potatoes, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Mushrooms, Onions, Corn



Dinner – 8 SP

Dinner was weird. Mike was golfing and I spent the evening on the couch catching up with Dancing with the Stars. I finally decided that I should eat something around 8:30. This is what I found without having to cook. I still had a little bit of Pork leftover from our Family Dinner here on Sunday. I added a few Roasted Plantains for crunch and a few Dill Pickles. 


These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily


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

Do You Track?

September 21, 2016



Do you track your food intake?

Do you track the beverages that you drink throughout the day that have a SmartPoints Value?

Do you track how much water you are drinking each day?

Do you track your activity?

Do you track your mood before you eat, or after you eat?

Studies show that tracking can be a great tool when it comes to weight loss. Plain and simple, tracking brings awareness. 

  1. Tracking what you eat can bring awareness to how much you are eating, and likely prevent overeating.
  2. Tracking your mood before and after you eat can help to determine how often you are eating emotionally rather than eating because you are hungry.
  3. Tracking your activity frequency and activity intensity can be a great tool when deciding if you need to change up your activity.

I know that tracking can be a pain in the butt.

It takes time.

You don’t know how many SmartPoints/Calories you ate, so you don’t track it.

You just took a couple of bites, there is no point in tracking.

You are pretty certain that you are drinking enough water, no need to track that. 

I get it. It is one more thing to do in working towards improving your health. Tracking your food and beverage, your activity, your water intake, your mood, does take time. Is it worth it? You need to decide that for yourself.

If you are struggling with your weight loss, and you do not currently track, I would challenge you to track your food and beverage (don’t forget to include those BLT’s – bites, licks and taste) for one day, and see if tracking brings awareness to something that you might be able to change. Heck, go crazy and track your food and beverage for an entire week! 

You might decide that it really isn’t that big of a deal, and that the short time that it does take to track, is totally worth it.


Here are yesterday’s eats….

Breakfast – 10 SP

I might be addicted to this First Watch Butternut Squash Frittata! I am guessing on the points since I have no idea exactly how it is prepared and I haven’t yet asked anyone. I have been away from home more than usual lately, and it’s just a good spot to go where I know that I can order something point friendly that I know I really like!

I order it with Egg Whites, No Cheese, and fruit on the side in place of the Mixed Green Salad. I did eat the Ciabatta Bread.



Lunch – 10 SP

I had Chicken Salad (White and Dark Meat) that needed to be eaten, and I had a little leftover Roasted Butternut Squash. They actually tasted great together!



Dinner – 10 SP

Big Salad with Mixed Greens, Rotisserie Chicken (I had a little in the freezer), Bacon (I had some cooked bacon in the freezer too!), Red Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado and homemade Viniagrette.



These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily




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

I Accept

September 20, 2016

A New Doctor

I’ve been on the hunt for a new Family Physician. I think I found her yesterday! Yay!

I went in for my annual physical. I know there are a few additional Dr visits to schedule when turning 50, and I want to get them out of the way as soon as possible.

I had a fairly lengthy discussion with my (new and wonderful) doctor yesterday about my weight. I told her my story. She got the long story. The short story is….My goal weight with Weight Watchers is 160. I reached that goal in 2013. I have weighed 172 for the last two years or so and I feel great. Should I change my goal weight with Weight Watchers to 172, or should I try to get back to 160?

She asked me a lot of questions to help determine what a healthy weight for me would be. A few of her questions were….

  1. What do you eat?
  2. What exercise do you do?
  3. How do you feel?
  4. Are you comfortable weighing 172?

My resting heart rate is usually in the 60’s. Yesterday is was 70 something.

My blood pressure is usually 110/65. Yesterday it was 104/70 something.

Both of those numbers are good.

She told me that as long as all of my lab work comes back with good results, she didn’t see any reason why my current weight of 172 should be a problem or a health risk.

I went in this morning to do lab work, and now I’ll just sit back and wait for the results.

I’ll keep you posted!

15 Day Yoga Challenge

Last night, I did Yoga at home. Have you ever watched a Yoga Video on Youtube? I discovered Yoga with Adriene, and I think I’m really going to like Adriene. She has a large variety of Yoga Videos that you can watch for free on Youtube. If you are interested, click on the link and at least let her introduce herself. You might decide that you love Yoga! Maybe you already love Yoga, and you decide that you like a Yoga class at home once in a while?

In the early part of the video that I did yesterday, Yoga Camp Day 1 – I Accept, Adriene ask the viewer to say out loud, “I accept”. 

I don’t mean to sound all corny or anything, but saying it inside my head, then hearing myself say the words out loud, made a huge difference. It took me back to the doctors office and discussing the fact that I may be at a healthy weight just the way that I am. Guys, it was a Zen moment. 

Even if you don’t do yoga, I would encourage you to find some quiet time, sit down, close your eyes, take a few deep cleansing breathes, and say out loud….”I accept. I accept me. I accept me as I am right now”. It doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement, but it does mean that you love yourself and you accept yourself that way that you are today, and we all should do that. I promise that if you do this, it will make you feel great!

Here are yesterday’s eats….

Oh, and I ate too many points yesterday. I was fine until dinner. I met my niece out for Mexican. I had a plan, then I didn’t follow through. I know that if I eat one chip, I’m screwed. I have no problem deciding to eat no chips. The problem was, I never made that decision. I got there first and they set the chips down in front of me. WHY DID THEY DO THAT???

Breakfast – 5 SP

A small serving of Chicken Salad and half Banana. Weird Breakfast, I know. I was in a hurry, and this Chicken salad needs to be eaten!!



Lunch – 5 SP

I was on the go, so I ran into a grocery store for a small salad.

A few bites of Chicken, a few bites of Tuna Salad, Veggies, Beets and Fruit



Afternoon Meal/Snack – 8 SP

We had a little Salad leftover from having the family over on Sunday. This was a perfect afternoon snack!



Dinner – 20 SP??

Chips, salsa and Guac, then I ordered Two Chicken Taco’s. I dumped the cheese off and only ended up eating one corn tortilla.


These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily


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

Our Growing Family

September 19, 2016

First things first. I went to Yoga yesterday morning. I took things slow, and my back was kind to me. However, off and on throughout the day, I felt weird twinges that left me wondering if my back is going to give me any problems this week. I really hope not. I have a Yoga challenge that I gotta complete!!

Family Day

I’ve been trying to have all of our kids and grandkids over at least once a month this year. It just doesn’t work out every month. Yesterday, we were all able to get together and as always, it was a fun filled afternoon of chats, playtime and food. Our parents were even able to make it, so we had a houseful! Fifteen people to be exact! You guys…..our family is growing!

Grand Baby number Five is in this little tummy!! I am so happy for Jake and Jordan and so excited to meet Grand Baby number five in March!



Grand Baby number four practicing her foosball skills yesterday…..loving life.


I was more into cooking and playing and chatting yesterday than I was taking pictures, so I don’t have many.

I cooked up a Pork Shoulder for sandwiches. This crockpot was filled almost to the top. The fam seemed to love the pork, and here is what is left.



I had a variety of buns for everyone to chose from, but the King’s Hawaiian Dinner Rolls were my favorite for making Sliders.



I made my favorite Fall Chopped Salad and I think that it was a hit too!




I also had a big fruit tray, a few raw veggies to snack on, chips and salsa and Cookies and Brownie Bites for dessert.

I ate more than I had planned on eating (grazing), and I will assume that I ate all of my weeklies. If my back cooperates, I should be able to get in Yoga daily, I plan to drink all of my water and stick to 30 SmartPoints a day for the rest of the week. I hope to be down on the scale when I weigh on Friday morning.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Here are yesterday’s eats…..

Brunch – 10 SP

Scrambled Egg Whites, Pork Sausage, White Sweet Potatoes and Avocado Slices



Dinner – ???

Fall Chopped Salad and Pork Sliders.

Un-Pictured…..Grazing on fruit, raw veggies, chips and salsa, and one cookie.


These are my 2016 Goals
Make time each week to Meal Plan
Drink 100 ounces of water each day
Exercise 5 days a week
Three Meals and One Snack, Daily


Are you setting fitness goals for yourself?

No matter what your activity level, make a goal, write it down, push yourself to accomplish that goal.


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