Weekly Weigh In . . . July 31?!

I can’t seem to wrap my brain around it being already the last day of July.  Not only has the summer, but this whole year gone by so fast!  Remember when you were a kid and a summer’s day seemed to last a week long.  Somehow the older you get, the fast time goes!

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday to WI.  I have to tell you that I enjoy going to both the downtown meeting on Thursday as well as the Saturday one.  In my book, you can never go to too many meetings, and while both leaders are completely different, they are both super engaging and fun to listen to.  You will remember I gained 3.8 on vacation.  Happy to say, that starting July 19, the day I got back from vacation, I got right back on plan.  I lost 3.6 this past week! (*people who follow the Weight Watchers program can expect to lose between 1-2 pounds per week).

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The receptionist gave me a bravo sticker for not only weighing in after vacation, but getting right back on track.  She says that there are members that have a gain of 3.8 and won’t come back for weeks, which only makes it worse.  I just jumped back on track, switched from wine to water and moved!

As I was driving to WW, I saw that our recycling center was having a special recycle day – pretty much anything but paint, and included one t.v. and prescription medication.  I never got rid of Tony’s medication.  

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I forgot how he used to write on each bottle of medication to remind him what it was for “shingles, gout, pain, heavy pain.”  It made me sad to remember how much he went through the last several years of his life.  🙁

On a happier note, we met Hannah’s friend and her son for lunch.  M is a single Mom, having had C when she was 19.  She’s done an amazing job raising him and we had a great time.   

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He loves his sushi!  Well, let me rephrase that – he likes a vehicle to get soy sauce into his mouth – and he also only eats avocado sushi.   And ate a giant bowl of miso soup!

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Went went thrifting – our local thrift store was 50% all clothes.  I got a couple pairs of pants and tops, all size medium and 12 in pants.  

The Insanity program has Sunday being a rest day, but I switched it up because I obviously have more time on the weekends, so Friday is my new rest day.  I came back home did Insanity day 6 and  and did day 7 on Sunday. Your welcome for the up close sweaty face pic! 😀

PicMonkey Collage - Insanity_1

Jacob’s Dad’s birthday was on Saturday, so we took him out to dinner.   Here is how I made this burger work into my meal plan for the day:  1.  drank water instead of their craft beer (which is amazing by the way) 2. ordered the veggie of the day which were amazing sauteed carrots instead of fries and 3. no dessert.  I ended my day with 35 points.

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Hannah and Jacob joined Planet Fitness which just opened up near us.   After our dinner digested a bit, Hannah brought me as a guest Saturday.  We didn’t even get there until 9:30.

PicMonkey Collage - planet fitness

I had no idea it was open 24 hours!  That’s the only part I hated about the YMCA, is that it closed at 5:00 on Saturday and 4:00 on Sunday.  I joined myself – its $20 a month, $1 to sign up and a yearly $39.00 fee that gets billed October 1 every year.  The $20 fee includes the spa, which was really nice – that hydro bed with the monitor attached to it?  It’s amazing!

Jacob and I were both up by 8 on Sunday morning and went to visit Hannah at to the coffee shop.  Jacob worked on homework and I did my grocery list and meal plan.   When we came home I did Insanity Day 7, then spent the better part of 45 minutes in the hammock.  Glorious!

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My store had Delmonico steaks on sale for $4.49 a pound.  Yes please!  With steak like this, you only need a good coating of salt and pepper.  I cooked them to 125, the residual heat will bring them up to 130-135 for perfect medium rare.

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I made a quick bone broth mushroom sauce to top the steak, did a grilled corn and zucchini hash with a teaspoon of my homemade chimichurri sauce, and . . . fries.  Because why not.  Dinner came in at 13 points.

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I went back to Planet Fitness around 8:00 last night while the kadults were watching Game of Thrones.  I am probably one of a handful of people who have never seen that show!  They have this 30 minute circuit and it kicked my butt.  It has 30 stations and it takes you 30 minutes to complete – a red and green light let you know when to stop and start.  I can definitely feel some sore muscles I haven’t felt in a while, even doing Insanity.

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And now I am stuck on the train.  No pedestrian incident today, but a mechanical issue and we are waiting for mechanics to come fix it, but the delay is unknown at this time.  I even took the early train so that I could get to work early since my boss is back from his two week vacation today.  Gah.  Again, worse world problems, but I hate being late.

How was your weekend??  Make it a great day! 


Premier Protein Mile High Biscuits

Every once in a while I impress myself with recipes.  You see I write a lot of my recipes in a book, while I am on the train.  I never know exactly how they will turn out, although truth be told, they all turn out great in my head.  When I opened my oven door and saw these beautiful mile high biscuits I squeaked with joy!  Well, as loud as I could at 6:15 in the morning when my kitchen is outside Hannah and Jacob’s bedroom Smile with tongue out

I’ve had several biscuit recipes on the blog over the years, and most, if not all, have some type of sugar in them.  I wondered if I could sub out the sugar and replace it with a scoop of Premier Protein vanilla protein powder? 

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That turned out to be a great idea!  For the record, these don’t taste like vanilla at all, just a slight hint of sweet like you would with any good biscuit.  And these are only 4 smart points!  They are buttery, flakey, and have just the right amount of bite.  I brought a couple for the woman at the front desk at my office, and one said she grew up on biscuits and declared this one of the best she’d ever had – Wow – high praise!

Here are a few tips about baking biscuits that rise like that – first hot oven – I bake these at 450.  Second, super cold butter.

I use my cheese grated to shred the butter – I pull back a stick of butter and shred 4 tablespoons in my bowl and I never touch the butter with my hands.  Third, because even how quickly you work, the butter starts to warm up in the biscuit dough, so I put them in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking – so super cold biscuit to super hot oven = perfection.

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Then add the powdered vanilla Premier Protein – I just use a fork to mix it all together.

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And because I didn’t have any buttermilk, I added a tablespoon of vinegar to the coconut milk (from Aldi!) and let that sit for 5 minutes until it gets really thick. 

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The deep fryer is on the counter so I can clean it, but have to laugh that I have it in the background.  I couldn’t find my biscuit cutter so a mason jar worked just fine.

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Into the freezer they go!

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Bake for 10 minutes and try to not open the oven door while they cook – I promise they will be perfect at 10 minutes.

Serves 1 biscuit

Premier Protein Mile High Biscuits

Super buttery, flakey biscuit - perfect for a breakfast sammie or with a bowl of soup.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 scoop Premier Protein vanilla protein powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (use 1 teaspoon if you use unsalted butter)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder


  1. Heat oven to 450. Mix the flour, protein powder, salt and baking powder together. Add the grated butter and toss with a fork. Add the vinegar to the coconut milk and let sit for 5 minutes. I used Aldi brand coconut milk which is 80 calories a cup. Add in the egg, mix until combined, and add the liquid into the flour mixture and mix until combined, try not to overwork the dough.
  2. Roll out, use a biscuit cutter or jelly jar to cut out the biscuits. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking. Bake for 10 minutes, trying not to open the oven door during baking. This dough gave me 16 biscuits.
Cuisine: Bread | Recipe Type: Biscuit


The prep time includes the 5 minutes of letting the vinegar do its magic in the coconut milk. These are ready start to finish in 20 minutes.


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I styled that first photo before I left work, but this is what my actual breakfast looked like when I got to work.  Everything bagel seasoning egg white, 1/2 ounce cheese, piece of bacon and fruit.  7 smart points.

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I went to the Weight Watchers meeting and what I love about this meeting is that there is no real direction.  Not that the leader doesn’t touch on the Weekly meeting subject (usually 5 minutes before the end of the meeting!) but everyone talks back and forth about what worked for them.  One woman had an epiphany.  She was walking after dinner with her husband one night, and he said to her “it will be so great when you get to goal so we can go back to eating like we did.”

She said it stopped her in her tracks – she realized she suddenly couldn’t eat the way she did, because – duh, that gave her a body she didn’t want to have anymore.  Her husband thought of WW as a “diet” not a lifestyle.  So true.  Until you wrap your brain around that, I don’t think weight loss will ever happend.  You aren’t “done” just making better choices every day, which I try to do as well.  

I had an 8 point piece of leftover Lou Malnati’s pizza and apples with chocolate PB2 for lunch.  It wasn’t very filling – I missed my giant picky plates that take me an hour to eat.  Oh well!

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I worked late last night.  I had to literally run 8 blocks to the train to make the 6:25 (or 6:30 if I missed that one) otherwise have to wait until 7:30 for the next train.

I made it by 1 minute! 

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Since its an hour train ride, I took out my laptop, started doing stuff, and minutes later realized that we weren’t moving.  It was then that I heard through the intercom that the 6:25 and 6:30 NW line wasn’t going anywhere because a pedestrian was struck on my train line, merely six days after the last one.  

I didn’t get home until 8:30.  I was happy when I looked on the schedule for Insanity and saw that it was Cardio Recovery for 35 minutes.  It’s all strength (lots of squats and lunges) but perfect workout after a long day.  I think I had turkey burgers and fries on the menu last night, but by the time I finished my workout it was 9:30 and just wasn’t feeling it, so tacos to the rescue – 8 smart points and hit the spot.

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Happy Friday! Last day before my boss comes back from being gone two weeks – I actually miss being busy!  This last week has been pretty light for me, even when I’ve asked everyone around me if they need help, but nothing.  I may work for another attorney this morning though that could make the day go by faster, fingers crossed!

Hope you have a great weekend!  Make it a great day!

Premier Protein Snickerdoodle Pancakes

So I told you I’ve been reading The Miracle Morning (check out this link for more info).  I am only 1/4 of the way through (I am a slow reader when it comes to books!) but you basically wake up earlier than you normally would to do the things YOU want to do, whatever it is.  They can be broken into 10 minute intervals – like 10 minutes of yoga, 10 minutes of folding clothes, 30 minutes on learning a new skill, or taking the time to spend on something that will help shape your future.

It’s not a secret that I love food, food photography, recipe developing, etc.  But I’ve not done the requisite work to do the behind the scenes on my blog to make the SEO higher (Search Engine Optimization), learn how to do recipe videos that you see all over social media, and make my site a bit more “user friendly” if you will.  The hope is that by working hard on that, I can start generating an income on this blog that will help me with my future goals.  This is going to be a long process, but I think by breaking it down into pieces, I’ll be able to figure it out.  I wish I was as smart as my brother when it comes to computers! Open-mouthed smile

The problem with that is during the week, by the time I come home and exercise, and put dinner together, it’s nearly dark outside.  So I got up early yesterday and made pancakes!  And not just any pancakes, Premier Protein SNICKERDOODLE pancakes.  Yes, I am shouting the snickerdoodle part because I love all things cinnamon.  My step-son loves cinnamon more than I do.  I once made him cinnamon monkey bread one time and he ate nearly half of it all by himself with three large glasses of milk!  He was probably 16 at the time? (Hi Joe!)

Anywho this recipe is super quick to come together.   The secret is using vinegar with the vanilla Premier Protein to make a mock buttermilk. 

Serves 1 pancake

Premier Protein Snickerdoodle Pancakes

Love the boost of protein with the Premier Protein shake. One pancake is 2 smart points, two is 5 points and three are 7 points.

10 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11 ounce vanilla flavored Premier Protein
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond, soy - whatever you have)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon spice (I use McCormick), divided


  1. In a 4 cup measuring cup, pour in the Premier Protein, and add just enough of your milk of choice so that you have 2 cups of liquid. The PP is 11 ounces, or just over a cup, so my guess is 1.25 cups vanilla shake to 3/4 cup milk. Stir the vinegar into the shake/milk mixture, stir and let sit for 5 minutes. It will get nice and thick - you are making a mock buttermilk - it will look gross, but trust me, it's the secret to these pancakes.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture, and stir until the egg is blended. Meanwhile, put the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and mix with a fork. Mix in the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir just until combined. No worries if it's a bit lumpy.
  3. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, cook pancakes over medium low heat for about 2 minutes a side. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon mixture over each pancake - not going to lie these tasted like a cinnamon roll! Now if I can only come up with a low point frosting, I'll be golden 😀
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Breakfast


This batch made FIFTEEN pancakes. The batter will stay good in your fridge for up to five days, so you can cook as many pancakes as needed, or you can make them all and freeze. Once made, lay them on a cookie sheet, not overlapping, and freeze for 15 minutes before putting in a ziptop bag - that way you can pull out one or three and they won't be frozen together.


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And here I am getting all fancy with the syrup!   Gah, going to have to work on my photography background – and I love how my Nikon camera is hiding behind the Premier Protein Open-mouthed smile

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I misspoke on Instagram – while one pancake is 2 smart points, two pancakes is 5 points and three are 7 points. I ate two, with 1 point of SF syrup, the banana and blueberries, and added 2 ounces of deli ham on the side for some protein.  So breakfast was 8 points.

I was super busy at work, and didn’t eat lunch until nearly 2:15, so that extra protein from the Premier Protein really kept me full for a long time. 

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This was a delicious picky plate.  Two ounces of leftover ground beef taco meat (2), baby peppers for dippers, cucumbers drizzled with Bolthouse Farms salsa verde avocado dressing (1)[you need to buy this – so good!].  Wholly guacamole mini cup (3) and 1/2 a large apple drizzled with chocolate PB2 (1).  Have you guys tried the chocolate PB2?! So good!  I found it at Walmart

I was night secretary last night and didn’t get home until 7:45.  I was a bit tired, a lot hungry, but it was only Day 3 of Insanity so I knew I couldn’t quit, because then I’d find an excuse any day to skip it.  When I did this back in 2013, I went 100 days in a row!  So only 94 days to beat that record! 😀

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I meal prepped on Sunday, so these stuffed shells came together really quickly.  However, I am going to tweak the recipe – they are stuffed with fat free ricotta and chopped spinach, and while I thought I spiced it up, they were pretty bland.  I sauteed 2 ounces of smoked sausuage and zucchini for the base, and used this pasta sauce that Hannah bought at Aldi.  It’s only 35 calories per 1/2 cup (still costs 2 points), and if you have anyone who is vegan, this is vegan.   Apparently a lot of jarred tomato sauces have some type of milk or dairy in them?  Who knew?  

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The shells are 2 points each, the cheese is 2 points, the sausage is 3, the sauce 2, for a total of 13 smart points.  This was very filling, and because I ate it at 9:00 last night, I wasn’t even tempted to eat anything before going to bed.

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And because it was so late, it was already dark out, so I had to use the light box that my sister gave me, which is on a small table in my bedroom.  Just though you might want to get a sneak peak behind the scenes to see how professional food bloggers like myself work.  Ha!  Pretty sure Daniel Krieger doesn’t have piles of laundry (mostly clean!) around his  studio 😛  Ten minutes of my morning tomorrow on my Morning Miracle is going to be putting all that laundry away.

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I’ll be going to my Weight Watchers meeting today because I love the leader, but I won’t weigh in until Saturday, my new weigh in day.  Pretty sure going to two meetings a week won’t hurt!

Here’s some Morning Motivation for you – if you don’t follow Steve Weatherford on Instagram, you should.  He has the hardest work ethic, and if that means spending time with his family and not hitting the gym until 11:00 p.m. at night, that’s what he does.  Everyone has the same 24 hours, hope whatever you do these next 24 hours gets you closer to the life you want.  Make it a great day!

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Vegan Pita Bread and $1200 later

About a month or more ago, you may remember that a branch from my tree hit my neighbors roof and put a dent in their gutter.  Because there was no damage to my property, my insurance wouldn’t cover it.  They claimed that the damage was $5,000, they had to file a claim with their insurance company and will have to have their fireplace rebuilt – which is on the opposite side of the house, by the way.  Fast forward two weeks after that, and they had AN ENTIRE TREE fall onto my driveway.  Because the bulk of the tree was on my neighbors property, I only chipped in $200 to have it removed.  You know, being neighborly and all.

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It’s been stormy, but it’s the fricken summer for crying out loud.  The day before yesterday Jacob texts me – you got a certified letter from the neighbors.  Awesome.  See those two deadish trees?  I say deadish because it does have fresh greenery coming from the bottom of the tree, but nevertheless, they have been lacking leaves for the better part of 10 years.  

Apparently my neighbor is “deathly afraid” any time there is a storm because she fears for her life thinking that one of those trees is going to snap into her house, killing her, her husband, daughter (who doesn’t life there) and cat.  I wish I was exaggerating.

She basically called me “negligent” because “I have knowledge and have admitted” that the trees are in fact dead. Which they are.  But they are also strong, and I had no fear of storms (as I haven’t had any fear for the last 10 years).  She basically demanded that I have them removed “QUICKLY.”  She works from home and those trees being present within her eyesight is causing her anxiety, so much so that it’s affecting her livelihood.  Again, wish I was exaggerating.

So I had my tree guys out – and asked that they just cut them down far enough so that she won’t have a heart attack (and less money since they are not grinding out the stump).  

Hannah and I were both working, so Jacob was in charge.  He texts me and says that my neighbor is DIRECTING the tree guys on what trees to cut, how far down, what shrubs to trim ALL WHILE LEAVING HER WITH PRIVACY.  How do you demand I cut down two fucking trees AND leave you with the privacy they provided?!  Luckily, Cory and Brian (my tree guys!) ignored her as best they could – because, um, pretty sure she didn’t hire them so how the hell she though she could direct them is beyond my comprehension.

In between phone calls I was able to eat this delicious breakfast though!  Um, this breakfast is pretty much perfection.  Egg white, spinach mushroom omelet, leftover steak and the most delicious mango and blueberries.  6 smart points of deliciousness. 

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Did you guys know it’s national ice cream week?  The lobby of my building hosted an ice cream social – basically 10 different kinds of ice cream, with 20 toppings – all free.  I walked on by to meet my sister to get our walk in.  Only to get a couple blocks back to my office and Haagendazs ice cream was being handed out on the street corner – for free.  

I walked away from both, and fixed my 8 point lunch.  Rotisserie chicken pita with Bolthouse Farms salsa verde avocado dressing – you guys need to find this dressing, it’s so good and only 1 smart point per tablespoon.  

On the side I had veggies staws, and fruit for dessert.

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Can we talk about this pita bread?  I normally make mine with yogurt, but when Hannah and Jacob were vegan for a few days (it didn’t last long!) I made a batch of vegan pita bread, and they are delicious!  Light, fluffy and tender on the inside – the dough felt amazing.  Best part?!  Each one is only 2 smart points!

Serves 1 pita

Vegan Pita Bread

So many possibilities with this pita bread - sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, pita pizzas!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup hot (not boiling) tap water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly.


  1. Add water and yeast together in a stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for 8 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp cloth (I proof my bread in my microwave all year round) and proof the bread for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  2. I made 16 pitas out of this recipe (each dough ball is 1.3 ounces), alternatively, you could make fluffier and thicker ones and make 8 pitas, but then each is 5 smart points.
  3. Roll out the dough, and using a cast iron or non-stick skillet, cook each pita for about 2-3 minutes per side. These freeze great too!


The prep time includes the kneading of the dough in the stand mixer.


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So I came home last night after work, and this is how the trees look.  By the way, a 200 pound man was able to scale the tree, without it swaying at all.  Apparently my neighbor wasn’t happy with the height of the tree stumps because she feels that it will hurt the resale value of her house.  Which kind of wants me to leave them like that forever.  Becuase I don’t care.  I live in the sticks, with only 6 houses on my block and maybe a car an hour goes down my street.

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Pretty sure that doesn’t look like a diseased tree to me.  Like at all.  Good news is that I’ll have plenty of firewood for my woodburning stove this winter!  It only cost me $1200 to get it! 😛

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If anyone wants to come over for a giant bonfire, you are more than welcome!  I’ll light up the grill 😀

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So I had every excuse to skip my workout, but I powered through and did 40 minutes of Day 2 of Insanity – this was 15 minutes after I was done, so not as sweaty as when I finished, but I was sweaty, even in our air conditioned house. 

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After my workout, I made a delicious taco salad.  This salad is 7 points, and because I still had some to spend, I used a serving of tortillas for dipping – with copious amounts of hot sauce. 

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So after my flooded basement this past weekend, and this unplanned expense, I am a bit pissed off. But then I have to remind myself, there are worse world problems.  I still have a roof over my house, central air, food in my pantry and fridge, so it’s all good in the hood.

But I am going to do what Tony did whenever he got mad at people.   My neighbors are now dead to me.  I can’t even imagine how Tony would have reacted to the situation.  I never responded to the letter, just chopped the trees down, and plan to never acknowledge their existence.   I’ll be hanging out with my fun neighbors on the other side of me Open-mouthed smile

Stroke of Enlightenment

I love all the people I’ve gotten to know on social media.  Whether it’s here from the blog, Facebook, Instagram.  You have to check out my friend Jane’s YouTube Channel.  She’s down nearly 40 pounds I think, but she’s got a bubbly personality and she makes me laugh, and she’ll drop the f bomb sometimes, so that’s always a plus in my book Smile with tongue out

You may think I am on social media all the time, but I really only check it out on the train ride to and from work, and then maybe 10 or 15 minutes at night before I go to bed.  So there are plenty of Instagram stories I miss just because I am not on there all the time.  In any event, I am watching Jane’s story on my train ride home last night.  Usually you can hear one of her boys asking for her in the background, which is funny.  But then she started talking about what a crazy week she had, and I was thinking she was going to talk about being tempted at a BBQ, or maybe having one or two drinks more than she planned.  But sadly, her husband had a stroke.  She’d just gotten back from her WW meeting, and he was in the shower and he called her name, and when she went into the bathroom, he was having trouble talking, was numb on once side of his body, and began vomiting. 

911 was called, he was taken to ICU where they gave him a drug that stopped the stroke from continuing.  I had no idea that the “window” for treating someone with a stroke is 3 hours before irreparable brain damage  is done.  Luckily they treated him in time, and after four days in the hospital he’s home.  Once the shock of that “what if” sunk in, they finally realized some things.  1.  Life is being happy.  Happy with yourself where you are, happy with where you want to go in life, and happy with what you have, right now.  2.  Life is short.  Her husband worked a full time job that he hated and worked a part time job that he loved.  They realized that they need to figure out how to make the part time job be full time.  And they called this epiphany their “stroke of enlightenment.”

“100 days of why.”  That is one of the Weight Watchers mottos.  Here are some of the “why’s”of people on Connect:

  • to feel comfortable in my clothes
  • to be able to wear a dress
  • so that having emotions doesn’t mean I have to eat something to deal with them
  • so that my family will get in the habit of being active
  • because I am determined to succeed this time, no matter how long it takes
  • I want to be able to ride an airplane without paying for two seats

Even though I read these 100 days of why on Connect, I’ve never written out my why.  Obviously it’s to get to a healthy weight, which makes managing my diabetes better, but that’s obvious.  Over the weekend I spent hours watching inspirational videos of how people overcame amazing things to build the life that they wanted.  At the recommendation of another WW I follow on Instagram, I downloaded this book on my Kindle and started reading it on my way home.

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This guy was in a serious car accident at the age of 20, just when his life was skyrocketing to success as a top salesman.  He spent months recovering, and even wrote his first book about it, Taking Life Head On – it reached Amazon’s #7 on the best sellers list in 2006.  Then, the unthinkable thing happened, his publisher fled the country with 100% of his royalties, never to be heard of again.  His parents were pissed.  He wasn’t.  “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my car accident, it’s that there is no point in dwelling on or feeling bad about the aspects of our lives that we can’t change.  So I didn’t.  I’ve also learned that, by focusing on what we can learn from our challenges and how we use them to add value to the lives of others, we can turn any adversity into an advantage.

It was an aha moment for me.  In the beginning of the year when I was focused and had drive – not motivation, because that comes and goes – but the consistency of tracking all my points (including wine! er, wait, I didn’t have any wine the first two months of the year!) getting my steps in, exercising, etc. did the weight start to go – both physically and mentally.  I felt I could inspire others to do the same because I was taking the necessary steps in changing my own life, and in the process, hopefully motivating some of you to get off the couch, or try a new recipe – whatever.  But once I started to falter a bit, and that focus I had drifted me off course, I became silent.  I hardly cheer anyone on because I feel like I am not worthy to give you praise if I can’t do what I need to do to get to my goal.

I am not sure any of this is making sense, but that last sentence of that quote “to add value to the lives of others” suddenly brought me back to my WHY!!  To inspire others – whether it’s a recipe at a time, or starting Insanity, whatever.  And if I keep THAT as my focus – the reason I am tracking my points, and walking at lunch and making healthy recipes, is to add value to the lives of others, it was my stroke of enlightenment on how to not only get back that drive I had at the beginning of the year, but CONTINUE until I am at my goal.  Which, by the way, is only a mere 28 pounds.  My goal is to get there by December 31.  That’s only 5.6 pounds a month from August until the end of the year.

It’s as if my whole mindset has changed, and I am excited to continue this journey of life “to add value to the lives of others.”

Curious to see where you guys get your inspiration from?  Is it books, friends, family, youtube videos?!  Feel free to send me any links in the comments below. Open-mouthed smile


My eats were on point yesterday.  I even measured and counted my coffee creamer (ahem, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while – 4 smart points by the way just for that, but it’s worth it).

Breakfast was a picky plate.  Both my bosses were out yesterday so I got to take advantage of the view from my one bosses office.  Walmart had these 5 ounce mini containers of cottage cheese – perfect! (3).  With a hard boiled egg (2) 2 ounces of deli ham (1) and fresh fruit, breakfast was 6 points.

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My sister had an eye doctor appointment, so I visited at her office for a little bit on my walk.  It was still only 72 degrees at lunch.  Love.  I made Gimme Some Oven’s chicken enchilada soup.  Although kept the chicken out when I made it so the kadults could eat it, because it is vegan otherwise.  The base of the soup is only 1 points per two cups, I added 1/3 cup black beans (2), 1/2 cup corn (2) and 2 ounces of rotisserie chicken (1) to my bowl to figure out the points, then added a bit of cheese on top (1) for a 7 point lunch.  I can eat soup 365 days a year, no problem.

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I started Insanity over since I lost my groove over vacation.  I did the Fit Test yesterday and I had to laugh because the last fit test exercise is holding a plank and doing oblique crunches on both sides – Roman thought it would be funny to crawl under my while I was in the plank position, and Rummy came over and started to lick the sweat off my neck.

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I was just starting to make dinner when Jacob texted me and said “what are you making for dinner, I can’t do this vegan thing anymore.”  I have to give him props – he did a completely plant based diet for nearly a week.  When I sent him a picture of beef, he sent me a picture of someone crying with happiness.

I made a quick bone broth mushroom sauce to pour over the steaks.  Once the steaks were cooked in my cast iron skillet, I took 1 cup of beef bone broth (which you can buy at Walmart!) and mixed in 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon of chopped dried rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.  In the pan I added a cup of sliced mushrooms, scraping all the bits on the bottom of the pan, then after a minute added the bone broth mixture and cooked the sauce for another 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms were cooked through and sauce thickened.  It was only 2 points for the whole cup, so my portion added 1 smart point.  I ate 5 ounces of the beef, and am having the rest for breakfast this morning with an egg white spinach omelet.   On the side were more homemade fries, and dinner came in at 11 points.  #trackinglikeaboss!

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I got up early because a plumber was supposed to come over and check out one of my sump pumps.  Tony bought a new sump pump a month before he died, but I never got around to having someone install it.  I’ve watched YouTube videos on how to install it, but electricity and water makes me nervous, so I’ll leave it to a professional.  He hasn’t shown up yet, but at least I finished my blog post before I even got on the train this morning.  And my food is all packed and ready to go.  It’s only 60 degrees right now . . .loving it!

Make it a great day!

Vegan Lemon Waffles and Weekly WI

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed that I had an impromptu day off on Friday.  Sadly, there was another suicide on my line, and it happened on the train in front of me.  I got on the train at 7:40 a.m. – the accident happened down the line at 7:45, and within minutes of leaving our station, our train ground to a halt.  They finally got us to a station ten minutes from my house by around 9:00 a.m.  By the time the trains would have started running again, it would have made all the stops into downtown and I wouldn’t have gotten to work until  1:30, so I took PTO.  I read yesterday that it was a 32 year old woman who took her life.  So sad!  Thankfully Hannah and Jacob were working later on Friday, so they came and picked me up and took me back to my car. 

Hannah and Jacob decided to go Vegan for a couple weeks as a sort of “detox” after vacation.  I started to make myself waffles, and realized that I’d have to tweak my recipe to make it vegan friendly so I could feed them before they went to work.

Serves 1 waffle

Vegan Lemon Waffles

I put the ingredients into the WW recipe builder, and each waffle is 5 smart points.

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 1.5 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tabelspoons sugar
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk with the vinegar - this makes a "mock" buttermilk. Let that sit for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Add the milk/vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients into the dry mix, and stir just until combined. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic while the waffle iron gets to temperatiure. These took 4-5 minutes to cook.
Cuisine: Vegan | Recipe Type: Breakfast

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I used my very berry sauce for a syrup, so with the bacon, this was an 8 point breakfast.

I went to my local WW meeting on Saturday.  I hadn’t weighed in for 2 1/2 weeks, and with my vacation, I knew I’d have a gain. 

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Remember how I talked about indulging in just ONE thing a day on vacation?   Within minutes of entering my Aunt’s house on vacation, she showed us all these delicious pimento cheeses she bought – jalapeno pimento cheese being the best of them all.  I didn’t eat any, and my brother asked “are you going to try it?”  I said I couldn’t break the seal yet, meaning if I started eating stuff on Day 1, all bets were off and I would continue to eat the whole weekend long.

Um, it took me until that first night.  I woke up around 12:30 with a blood sugar of 53.  When I went into the kitchen and saw Triscuits on the counter, I suddenly remembered the pimento cheese and ate that instead of grabbing a banana.   And so it began.  Jalapeno bacon for breakfast, burgers for lunch, wine at dinner, gelato – you get the idea.  So here I am –10 pounds lost on the year when in April I was already down 20! 

I’ve realized that I have to get back to basics – almost boot camp style, to refocus.  I know what to do, which is the weird part – but old habits kind of sneak in and take over if I am not paying attention.  I’ve decided that while I’ll continue to go to the Thursday WW meeting because I love the leader, I’ll also be going to my Saturday meeting for my weekly WI – Mickie the leader there is funny too, and I won’t have to worry about not getting to the meeting because of work. 

Friday night we had super bad storms.  I have an external pump that I plug in when we get a lot of water.  I checked the water level (too hard to explain, but I have a water “basin” under the front of my house).  If that fills up, the water comes in my basement.  It’s rare – we have to have either a lot of rain at once, or if we get a weird rain in the early spring when the ground is still partly frozen.  I went to bed at 10:30, and apparently the storms went on for hours, and as I left for WW Saturday morning, realized I had three inches of water throughout my whole basement.

The river is so high – higher than it was in 2013, the last time I got a ton of water in the basement – that time the water in my basement was 6-8 inches deep!

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This is the channel across the street from my house.  The water is all the way up to these people’s back doors – they had a giant sandbag station down the street for anyone who needed it.  I didn’t notice it until I walked after the storm, I would have been happy to help my neighbors.

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After we pumped out all the water in the basement and did an initial clean up, I had no desire to cook.  So I picked up a Lou Malnati’s frozen spinach pizza.  This slice set me back 15 points but it was delicious!

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Yesterday morning Hannah and I did a quick Sam’s Club run – she had to do a pick up for work and I had to pick up just a few things – paper towels, egg whites, baby spinach and a rotisserie chicken.  So I made a quick iced coffee with the chocolate Premier Protein.  So good!  Two smart points and 30 grams of protein, this kept me full for a few hours.

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 I love Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken.  It’s been a few weeks since I bought one.  It’s $4.98.  First thing I do when I get it home is to pick off most of the meat and make Rummy and Roman happy by letting them eat some of the chicken skin.  

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With the chicken I will make:  chicken tikka masala, chicken enchilada soup, chicken tacos and a Chicken and spinach Caesar wrap for lunch one day this week.   The chicken tikka masala turned out amazing if I do say so myself – I’ll share that recipe later this week – I actually used jarred pasta sauce as the base for the tikka sauce and it turned out so good.

After doing more laundry, I finally hit up the grocery store to buy the rest of my stuff for my meal plan.  I spent $38.  When I got out of the store, the storm clouds were back – luckily the storm only lasted an hour – but it was 89 degrees when I went into the store and when I came back out a mere 20 minutes later, the temps dropped to 68!

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I have all my food packed today – I bought a new lunch bag so I am testing it out this week.  I’ll post a picture later if I love it.  I am also restarting Insanity.  I was on Day 11 the Wednesday before vacation, but I haven’t done it in over a week, so I’ll start over.  I also lost the piece of paper that had my Fit Test stats, so that’s what I’ll do tonight.

How was your weekend?  Happy Monday – make it a great day!


Family Reunion!

Last Saturday, the day of our family reunion, there was a possibility of rain.  But thanks to the storm the day before, it was a bit cooler (mid-80’s) and no rain!  

Kudos to my Aunt Martha for hosting the event again this year and having a house big enough for me to stay in.  Here is my Aunt and her boyfriend Will:

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Longtime readers may remember that my Aunt’s husband Dave (the only “uncle” I remember growing up) passed away at their Lake House five years ago.  I believe they were together for 25+ years?  Two years ago when we were visiting, she had just started seeing Will above.  I’ve spent a good deal of time with him when I helped them last year selling peanuts.  He’s kind, funny and I couldn’t be happier that they found each other.

My brother Charlie and my cousin Brian are so similar – both super smart and have so many ideas, they wish every day were 48 hours long vs. 24.  

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Rachel and Laura:

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My Momma with her cousin Carol:

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This is my cousin’s wife Chris below, who is a daily reader of the blog – your support means so much to me Chris – it was great to see you!  

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This is my Godmother and Great Aunt Cele.  Going strong at 87 years old.  Loves her sauvignon blanc and bourbon.  I hope I am as active at 87 as she is.  She also reads the blog – morning Aunt Cele!

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I liked this picture of our feet together 😀  Apparently I didn’t get her feet!

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This is my cousin Pam’s husband Weare.  Pam died exactly a month after Tony died in January of 2015.  Pam and Wear met in their late teens and I remember they came to our house when I was probably in high school.  They were backpacking across the country and I thought that was the coolest thing ever.   They too thought they would retire and grow old together.

Weare is a psychologist, and every year since our spouses died, he first gives me a long hug, and says “let’s talk before the day gets away from us.”  He asked if I was dating.  I said no.  I asked if he was dating.  He said no.  But that he’d been set up a few times but it didn’t go anywhere.  The only difference about me and Weare is that he’s not really gotten rid of any of his wife’s things, I think other than her clothes and a few pieces of Tupperware.  Her glasses are still on the night stand, papers she was working on are on the table.  

I know if it hadn’t been for the need for my living room remodel because of my leaky roof, I didn’t like spending time in my living room because Tony’s Lay-Z-Boy was empty and a constant reminder that he wasn’t with me anymore.    

She battled breast cancer for 10 years already when this picture was taken 4 1/2 years before she died.  

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Both of their kids are now married – Eric and his wife just had their second baby – she would have been an amazing grandmother!

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You’ll note that Hannah and Jacob are not in the picture, or my cousin Karen and her husband because they were taking a ride in my cousin’s husbands new Jeep, but some of the family came by boat and it was a 2 1/2 hour boat ride home and they had to get going.

The trip went by so fast, but I am always happy to see extended family.  My cousin Karen said that she wished we lived closer, and to blame my Mom and Dad for moving us to Chicago back in 1964 “for a couple years” which turned into the rest of her life.  

It’s always interesting to me how one decision can take your life, and the lives of so many others, in a completely different direction.  What if my Mom had not wanted to move with my Dad to Chicago for his job?  What if they only stayed for a few years and the went back to Virginia?  Then I wouldn’t have had the life I had, I wouldn’t have met Hannah’s Dad, Hannah wouldn’t be here, she wouldn’t have met Jacob . . .all because of one decision!   

I don’t have any plans this weekend, which is fine by me.  I need to catch up on laundry, meal plan, the usual stuff.  I am going to my WW meeting at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, then have an eye doctor appointment at 10:00.  At my last visit, because I am diabetic I get a special eye test done, and they found a small “hemmorage” which could be nothing, but they need to do a different test to take a better picture of it.  

What’s on tap for your weekend?  Cannot believe we are heading into the last part of July already.  Oh, and I already saw the school supplies at Walmart and Target.  I imagine in a couple weeks I’ll see Christmas decorations too 😛

Make it a great day!