Archives For December 2018

Chicken and Caulirice Soup

December 28, 2018 — 4 Comments

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. 


Chicken and Caulirice Soup
Serves 6
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  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
  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

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

Keep It Easy

December 28, 2018 — 5 Comments

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 — 6 Comments

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”

I spent last weekend out of town with some girlfriends, and although the trip was planned for shopping, I wasn’t really expecting myself to accomplish much. I just shop better alone. Well, surprise! After that trip, I’ve continued my shopping mojo this week and now I’m almost done!

It was such a great weekend. We stayed at a condo in Branson. We were directly across the street from the Outlet Mall and within minutes of The Landing, which is the cutest litte shopping area along a waterfront.

We arrived Friday early evening and stayed in for the night, chatting, giving each other foot massages, doing face mask, drinking wine, playing games….all while listening to either Christmas Music or Lifetime and Hallmark movies in the background. How perfect is that?


I stopped at Costco before heading out of town and grabbed two small shrimp platters, an olive platter, lots of raw veggies to snack on and eggs and avocados for breakfast, and plenty to share as well. I drank lots of water and felt like I made some really good food choices at the end of the night while allowing myself to indulge in some yummy wine.  I knew this weekend would be a challenge for me, but having the shrimp and veggies, I was able to end the day satisfied with my choices. Non Scale Victory!!

Saturday we shopped, then had lunch (Yummy Mexican food on the waterfront) then shopped more! We spent the evening back at the condo repeating the events from Friday night, but with Fondu. I didn’t do as well with the food on Saturday, but I limited my wine, so…….balance.

More face mask. This itched like CRAZY and it was awful while it was on, but after two days of mask, my face felt great! I look like some sorta monster!


Sunday we hit the Outlet more one more time, then on the road home with a stop in Springfield, Mo for lunch at the American Taco Company. There should be one of these in EVERY city. Unfortunately, only two locations exist.


Such a great weekend with these ladies.


I came home and made a big pot of Julie’s Steak Soup, and we basically made it last all week. Dinner was a cinch.


I made pancakes for breakfast a couple of mornings and topped them with  Warm Cinnamon Apples



I unexpectedly have most of my Christmas shopping done! After getting a good start last weekend, I felt inspired to just keep going. I picked up a few things each day of the week, then got some serious wrapping done this weekend. Mike and I spent some time with our two oldest grandsons this Saturday. A movie, lunch and a little Christmas Shopping. Such good kids. Even the one in the middle.


We’ve had some really chilly nights here in KC. Thankfully I bought myself a Holiday onesie at Walmart. Seriously, I love this thing!


The house feels cozy and I’ve made time for myself to just enjoy the season.

Eighteen Christmas Stockings to fill along with the other gifts to shop for and all that goes along with the Holiday can be a tad overwhelming! Each year I make a list of what I put in the stockings, and although I do like to mix it up each year a little, it does make shopping a little easier to be able to look at my own list of ideas.

Looking for some ideas for Stocking Stuffers?

Some of my favorites are

  1. Scratch Off Lottery Tickets – These are fun because it’s an activity and you never know who might win something!
  2. QT gift cards for the adult kids in our family. Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee when they fill up?
  3. Movie Gift Cards. There are some great movies out this Holiday!
  4. Socks…always socks, but really good socks. Bombas are really great and highly recommended, but they are a bit pricey. Have a man in your life that loves a patterned sock? Great Stocking Stuffer! They have some really soft ladies socks at Costco this year and they had them last year too. They feel like butter on your feet. No joke. I don’t know the brand name. Just go FEEL them!
  5. Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe’s (Trader Joe locations aren’t super convenient for all of my kids, so I like to get these for them)
  6. Candles. Who doesn’t love a new candle? Lesson learned here, put these in the stockings at the last minute if you have a fire in the fireplace. Nobody seems to want wax dripping all over everything else in their stocking!
  7. This goes for Chocolate too! Also a lesson it took me a while to learn. Now they get Skittles, Gum or Mints.
  8. Face Mask. There are so many options out there now and very inexpensive.
  9. Nail Polish
  10. Lip Gloss for ladies or Lip Balm for the guys, the little girls love Lip Gloss too!
  11. Poo-Pourri. This stuff really works and is always good for a laugh. If you are unfamiliar with it, you spray it in the toilet “before you go” and it’s kinda like magic.
  12. SAXX underwear for men. Again, a tad pricey, but I have bought these for all of the men and they love them. Google them.
  13. T-shirts. Maybe a favorite sports team? They roll up nicely and fill that stocking up!
  14. Giving Cash this year? I like to buy miniature gift boxes to put the cash in and drop it in the stocking.
  15. The Dollar Tree is a great place to find fun little knick knacks for the little kids without spending much. Sunglasses, books, a variety of small toys.
  16. Homemade Treats are fun to gift.  Mini Loaves of Bread or Homemade Granola?

I hope that gives you just a few ideas.

It’s been a full two weeks and I feel so good! I’m enjoying going to work and feeling like I am introducing the real me to my members. It feels so nice.



I hope that you are being kind to yourself. You deserve it.

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