Monthly Archives:

December 2016


-3.8 pounds!

Hannah and Jacob worked over the Christmas weekend, so they both enjoyed the last three days off.  I am sure I’ve mentioned it before, but we don’t have a garage, just a long driveway.  So sometimes it’s a shuffle of cars at night to put them in the exact order based on our work schedules.  Monday night I asked Hannah if she wanted to move cars and she said she wanted me to wake her up so she could wake up on the drive to drop me off at the train station and be more productive during the day.  Tuesday night she said “Mom, I can’t tell you how much stuff I got done by 10:00 by getting up at 7:15 in the morning!”  So I’ve been spoiled the last three mornings with drop offs and pick ups at the train station.  Thanks Hannah!

Yesterday in the car to the train station, she said “what’s in your lunch box?”  I told her the last of the quiche, a salad, chili and chicken, and some fruit.  But as soon as I said that I was trying to remember “did I actually put the quiche in my lunch bag?”  Once I got on the train I realized that answer to that was a big fat no.  I had the fruit, but not the quiche.  I got a Starbuck’s gift card for Christmas, so I went on the WW app and discovered their plain steel cut oats were only 4 smart points.  $2.36.  Done.

12.29.16 009

You can barely see the oats under the fruit, but boy was this delicious.  A bit higher carb than I am used to, but it’s good carbs, and worth the extra bit of insulin.   It may look like a lot of grapes, but they are cut in half.  I ate every last bit of this.

I was super busy at work again, but I emailed the attorney I was working with to let her know that I had lunch plans from 12:20 – 1:20 (my Weight Watchers WI) and she was fine with that.  She’s actually a super fun attorney, we have the same sense of humor and she swears just as much of me.  So it was a pleasure to work hard for her yesterday.

I really had no idea what to expect the scale was going to say, and to be honest, I didn’t really care.  I enjoyed my Christmas holiday, I went to the gym, I drank more water than wine.  I thought overall I did pretty good.

What I didn’t expect though was waiting 20 minutes to weigh in – it being so close to the New Year there were lots of new people signing up.  By the time I sat down the meeting was only 10 minutes from being over.  But I looked at their hours and realized that they have a WI at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, so I am just going to go in before work to weigh in, then when I go back at lunch, I can skip the lines and just attend the meeting next week.

12.29.16 013

-3.8!  Wowza!  I’ll take it.  I know a lot of it is water weight, but it just gives me the momentum into the next holiday weekend to make good choices.  And by the way, that Week 6 WI is the weigh in at this new WW meeting in Chicago.   I got back to work, quickly heated up my lunch of more leftover beef and bean chili, and I paired it with some grilled chicken I made on Monday during my meal prep to bump up the protein. 

It was a good decision because I worked right up until 9:00 last night.  The trains only run on the half hour, so I had to wait 25 minutes for my train, and because it’s later at night, have to take the train that makes all.the.stops.  Which got me home at 10:43.

I picked up dinner at the train station – thanks to my trusty app, I threw out the biscuit that came with my meal – I seriously would have guessed 5 points at the most – not 10!  So the spicy chicken tenders and mashed potatoes came in at 12 smart points.  I had 17 points going into dinner, so it’s all good.

12.29.16 032

I’ll just have to drink a lot of water today to flush out the sodium of that dinner Open-mouthed smile

I just realized this is my last post of 2016!  What a crazy year it’s been!  I plan on posting on Monday with kind of a year in review and goals I have for 2017.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   Seriously, thank you to everyone who takes time out of their day to come to my neck of the interwebs, leaving comings, messaging me on Facebook and Instagram – hugs to you all for a safe and happy New Year!

Tell me what some of your goals are for 2017 – I’d love to hear!  Make it a great day!

Beef/ Chili/ Weight Watchers

Leftover Beef and Bean Chili

I hit the ground running at work yesterday it was so busy.  But I was lucky enough that my train actually got into the station a bit early so I had time to eat my breakfast before the craziness ensued.

12.28.2016 009

Another 6 smart point breakfast – 5 for the quiche, and 1 for the salad.  I decided to dice my apples up and put it on top of the salad, and used 1 teaspoon of light Italian dressing on it (1) and sprinkled with a bit of salt and pepper.  I actually loved the salt, pepper and dressing on the apples.  It most likely will be tomorrows breakfast again too.

I ended up working through lunch yesterday, so I ate my lunch at my desk.  I think I talked about meal prepping chicken for stir fry on Monday.  I just sauteed the chicken in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of Thai chili paste, then added the Frank’s ginger stir fry sauce to my veggies of zucchini and red pepper.  Even though I had five ounces of chicken, this whole plate was only 6 smart points – by 2 in the afternoon I’d only had 12 smart points and quite a bit of food.

12.28.2016 013

One of the gifts the kadults got me for Christmas was this giant microwave bowl, that has a really tight fitting lid and a steam spout so no splashes in the microwave.  I’ll get a lot of use out of this, and it’s nice to carry back to my desk without fear of spilling soup on the floor.

12.28.2016 015

But around 4:15 I got really hungry.  Like I hadn’t eaten much at all, so I was happy that I brought a Premier Protein shake to stick in my desk the other day.  I mixed that with some iced coffee from work and this kept me full until dinner times with the 30 grams of protein.  Another gift from the kadults – a really nice travel coffee mug.  My coffee stays hot until the last sip, and it kept my iced coffee shake really cold.

12.28.2016 018

Hannah texted me if I had any thoughts for dinner.  Since her dinner wasn’t ready until nearly 10:00 p.m. the night before last, I told her to just go ahead and I’d make something for myself.  She had plans on making smoked sausage with onions and cabbage – which actually smelled really good – but there were huge chunks of onions and because she chopped up the cabbage, I couldn’t tell what was onion or not.  I asked if she minded if I used up some of the crockpot beef and she didn’t mind.  Hannah and Jacob “talk” about eating leftovers, but that rarely happens.

So as I was on the train ride home, I thought in my head that I had everything to make a chili with the leftover beef.  Only one tiny problem, I had no tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes or anything like that.  But guess what I did have?

12.28.2016 023

For some reason I have a fear out of running out of Bush’s beans – I believe as I type this I have probably half a dozen more cans in the pantry.  I picked up this Tapatio picante sauce on a whim because 1. I love Tapatio, and 2. the whole jar was only $1.78 at Wal-mart.  I thought I could use that to make the base of my chili.  Um, best decision evah!  It’s spicy, but flavorful spicy.  I did end up adding an extra 1 cup of chicken broth to thin it out just a bit with all the beans, but holy balls this was delicious.  And 1.25 cups is 6 smart points.

Leftover Beef and Bean Chili
Serves 6
A perfect weeknight dinner because it uses leftover beef and pantry ingredients - oh, and it's ready in 15 minutes!
Write a review
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
17 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
17 min
285 calories
35 g
39 g
8 g
20 g
3 g
318 g
1614 g
8 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285
Calories from Fat 74
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 39mg
Sodium 1614mg
Total Carbohydrates 35g
Dietary Fiber 12g
Sugars 8g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 6 ounces leftover beef (mine was chuck)
  2. 16 ounce bottle of Tapatio picante sauce
  3. 1 cup chicken broth
  4. 2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  5. 1 cup canned corn, drained
  6. 2 cups Bush’s chili beans (don’t throw away the chili sauce!)
  7. 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  8. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  1. Dump everything in your stock pot.  Mix until combined.  Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Scoop it in a bowl and garnish with a bit of cilantro and a pinch of cojita cheese and enjoy.
My Bizzy Kitchen
12.28.2016 036

This was delicious for a meal that literally took no time to put together at all.  Note to self though:  stock up on canned tomatoes!  But in a pinch, find this Tapatio picante sauce.

Since I had 18 points going into dinner and my dinner was only 6, I used 12 tortilla chips (4 smart points) to dip into my bowl of chili – basically here is the perfect bite.

12.28.2016 032


Huge shout out to my Aunt Martha for some more Christmas loot.  The amazing Whitley nuts that she and her partner sell – um, maple bacon peanuts – yes please!  And this spicy hot sauce that is made by friends of theirs – I already popped it open and it’s delicious – almost too spicy, but I can handle it.  Some jalapeno pepper and two pairs of the softest socks rounded out the package.  Thank you Martha and Will!

12.28.2016 024

I did end up having 4 points of nuts last night before I went to bed, but ended up with 28/30 for the day.  Two days in a row of tracking and not going over my points!  I have WW today – I didn’t track at all over the long weekend, so I’ll be happy with a small gain and just move on.   Oh, and please don’t ask me where I got my countertops from (ha!) I think they are from 1972?!  One day I’d like one part of my kitchen to be made out of butcher block – we have those at The Chopping Block and while it requires some routine maintenance, I love them.

Here’s to one day closer to the weekend – make it a great day!


On Track

It’s amazing how many times in a day food can distract you into making the wrong decision.  Let’s take my train station for example.  As soon as I walk down the steps headed towards my office, all I smell is deliciousness.  Dunkin Donuts, Cinnabon, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Popeyes Chicken – just to name a few.  And even though I’ve packed my food for the day, a little tiny person on my shoulder says “just get a mini cinnabon to accessorize your breakfast!”

While I do make really good Weight Watcher friendly dishes, the one reason that WW has asked me to be an ambassador for them, I feel like I should really start walking the walk instead of talking about it.  I actually didn’t do too bad over the holiday weekend.  I definitely had more licks and tastes (cookies, Chex Mix!) but it’s time that I actually followed the program to a T.   So yesterday was my first day in a long while that I ate exactly 30 points.  Turns out I didn’t leave any room for wine Open-mouthed smile

12.26.16 008

Leftover quiche, leftover salad and half of a Jazz apple – this whole plate of food was only 6 smart points.  One of my new co-workers asked me out to lunch last week, and suggested the restaurant in the lobby of our building, Boston Blackies.  It’s been ages since I’ve had a burger there, and knew that I would get that for lunch.   I did some investigating on the Weight Watchers app – but there is such a wide range of point values for hamburgers – from 10 points all the way up to 45!  I decided 1/2 of the burger would be 10 points (no cheese, and veggies on top – mushrooms and green peppers – yum!) and ate 1/4 of the sweet potato fries and counted that as 4 points.  Um, for the record, this burger was worth it – juicy, they were able to cook it medium rare (not a lot of places do that for health reasons) and full of flavor.  I may have added a touch of mustard to my burger too Open-mouthed smile

12.26.16 013

12.26.16 017

I am actually super busy at work – I thought I’d have a cake week with my main boss out of town, but duh, that means other secretaries are taking time off this week and word is getting out that I know my shit, and now I am getting requests directly from the attorneys – which is nice!   I got a text from Hannah in the afternoon stating that she was making beef barbocoa – yum!   She picked me up from the train station and wanted to know on a scale of 1-10 on how hungry I was.  At that point it was about 6:45, so I said “about a 6 or 7.”  Turns out Hannah and Jacob had a busy day, ate a late lunch and she didn’t put the beef in the crock pot until about 3:30.   There was no way it was going to be done by that time, so I switched to Plan B.  I had cooked up a bunch of chicken breast on Monday to just have on hand, so chicken tacos were the easiest thing to make last minute.  I had exactly 10 points left  for dinner, and guess what?  My dinner was exactly 10 points!

12.26.16 030

Hannah had done some grocery shopping for her and Jacob, so there wasn’t a whole lot of room to make even a half way decent photo, but I am keeping it real.  Various utensils on the counter, scissors from cutting open some mail, extra hot sauce.  Um, speaking of hot sauces – I just found this sriracha salsa at the store made by Red Gold.  While I don’t think it’s that spicy, it has some great flavor.  My two corn tortillas (3) were stuffed with three ounces of chicken (2), 2 tablespoons 2% cheese (1) and more leftover salad.  I Pam fried them until crispy.  Half an ounce of tortilla chips (2), 1/4 cup refried beans (2) and the sriracha salsa on top.  It was ready in about 10 minutes and it hit the spot.  But at 30 points spent for the day, that left no room for wine, so I had tea last night.

So I just have to continue to say no to food I didn’t pack, and tell myself YES that it’s worth it to pass by all that shit.  It’s only Day 1 (for the billionth time) but let’s hope that I can string a bunch of those good days together.


Here are a few more pics from Christmas I wanted to share:

12.25.16 134 My parents in law sent me this cute real mini tree – if I keep it alive I can actually plant it outside – how cool if this could be a future Christmas tree one day?  It came with mini lights and ornaments too.  So cute.

12.25.16 159

I found these cute little stockings for Hannah and Jacob’s Starbuck’s gift cards.

And Shelley – this one is for you!  I sent myself as a baby on Snapchat, then she had to send one back to me, and I couldn’t help but do a side by side comparison.  Hilarious that we were both wearing our glasses too!

12.25.16 192

I am on the left Open-mouthed smile

And I know I don’t need anymore snowman stuff, but I will always accept snowman gifts from others, you know, I can’t be rude!  But I did make this purchase when I was buying some stuff from The Chopping Block – a Momma Snowman and Baby Snowman spatula!  How cute?!

12.25.16 158

And one of my favorite pictures of the whole weekend.  Roman with Hannah.  I love how he’s actually looking into my camera!

12.25.16 197

I’ll be having the same breakfast as I did yesterday to use up the leftovers.  I also have chicken stir fry for lunch and will probably have Hannah’s barbacoa for dinner tonight.  I think it was finally ready to eat at about 10:00 p.m. last night. 

Gotta love a short week – cannot believe it’s Wednesday already!  Make it a great day Open-mouthed smile