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

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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
7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/07/24/vegan-lemon-waffles-weekly-wi/

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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!

I forgot my FitBit

I wore my Fitbit while doing my Insanity before we left for the airport.  Once our flight was delayed, I thought “I’ll just walk the airport and get more steps!”  I knew I already had close to 4,000 steps before I even left the house, and after walking for 30 minutes, reached down and realized I forgot to put my Fitbit back on after my shower.

It’s not that I didn’t walk while I was on vacation, but that push to get 10,000 steps just wasn’t there anymore.  It’s like the steps don’t count because I don’t know exactly how many steps I’ve walked.  I will say though, that last Wednesday, with the hour of Insanity, walking the airport, walking an hour at the hotel, I am pretty sure I was close to 25k that day!

We’ve had such a mild weather in Chicago that the heat in Virginia kind of took me by surprise.

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Our first full day there, we spent most of the time in the water.  I don’t think I could ever get sick of that view!

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My cousin Brian brought a paddle board!  I was so excited to try it.  It is actually quite hard to get your balance,  but once I got up and started paddling, it made it easier.  The pics of my on the board are on Hannah’s camera, I’ll have to have her send them to me.  That’s my niece Sarah below.

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And that’s Hannah below.

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My 76 year old Momma also tried it!  Although she didn’t feel comfortable standing up, so she paddled on her knees.  Gotta give her props for getting out there though!

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Even with my saggy boobs, I felt comfortable in this suit.  Usually I’d wear a cover up unless I was in the water.  

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I hardly ever see my back, but I see a few muscles peeking out thanks to Insanity.  I decided I am going to start the 60 day program over on Monday.  Until then, there are about a hundred other exercises on Beach Body on Demand – one that I want to do is called Shift Shop that’s been getting some buzz on Instagram – it just came out last week I think.

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My cousin Brian brought his sailboat too – it was funny because every time he jumped off to get something on the doc, my brother Charlie got the task of holding the boat.  It was great spending so much time with him.  I found out they will be coming to Chicago for Christmas, so that will be nice too.

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This is my niece Rachel, Charlie’s youngest daughter.  She wants to do animation and just finished a project you can check out here.

The only downside to working on projects like that is that once the movie is done, so is the job.  She had a skype interview while on vacation so sending good vibes that she’ll get that job. 

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This is my cousin Karen – she’s so fun to hang out with – wish we lived closer because we’d hang out all the time if we did.

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Here’s my sister-in-law Laura – breast cancer survivor!

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A week before we left for vacation, my niece Sarah called to tell me that she and her boyfriend got engaged – congrats!  I kept joking with her that I couldn’t wait to be asked to be her matron of honor 😀

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So you saw how beautiful the day was – puffy clouds, blue skies.  My cousin Brian asked if anyone wanted to sail with him, and I almost said yes, but at the last minute said no thanks.  My cousin’s husband Paul went along.

They were pretty far out when out of nowhere, a storm blew in.  And while the water is shallow, Brian said even he had a hard time not only controlling the boat with all the wind, but also staying afloat in the water, even with his lifejacket on.  With lightening on the horizon, he almost thought he’d have to just let the boat go so they could swim to shore.

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I am so glad I didn’t go on that boat!  First of all, the first sign of danger I would have probably shit my pants.  If Brian couldn’t control the boat, I’d probably start crying because he knows what he’s doing and I would have been no help at all.  Luckily they got the boat to the neighbors dock, and the neighbors helped tie it down and when the storm blew over, they were able to bring the boat back over to our dock.  Whew!

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Hannah and I took over dinner duties on Friday night.  We did a Mexican themed night – homemade guacamole, Spanish rice, chicken enchiladas, beef tacos.  

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My plate below – I could have easily gone back for seconds or thirds, but controlled myself.  Hannah makes really good enchiladas!

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Our family is WAY into board games, and Friday night was no exception.  I can’t remember the name of this game, but it was hilarious.  You have to try to pronounce a sentence with that plastic in your mouth and everyone has to try to guess what you are trying to say.

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It’s super stormy this morning – my pants and shoes are soaked to the bone already.  If it’s nasty at lunch time, I’ve decided I will go to my local Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday.

Tomorrow’s post . . . family reunion! 

Question of the Day:  Is your family a board game family?  Growing up our go to games were:  Scrabble, Backgammon, Canasta (card game), Life, and of course, Monopoly – otherwise known as the game that takes three days to finish!

Make it a great day!

First Day of Vacation. . .in Schiller Park, Illinois?

Hey guys! It’s back to reality as I am on the train headed to work.  Our plane was delayed coming home last night, so we didn’t get home until after 10:00 p.m. and I haven’t even downloaded my pictures yet.  

Last Wednesday our car was picking us up to go to the airport at 9:00 a.m., so guess who got up and did 60 minutes of Insanity?  Me!  However, while I was working out, it kept getting darker and darker outside, and we had some major storms roll through.  

But by the time the car came, it had blown over, or so we thought.  Not even ten minutes after leaving the house, the rain was coming in sideways it was so stormy.  However, for some reason, our driver never turned on her windshield wipers.  I am a horrible back seat drive by nature – just ask Hannah.  I just kept my head down and kind of came to the realization that I may just die in this Cadillac Escalade before I even make it to the airport.

We arrive in plenty of time.  The kadults were smart and packed smaller carry on bags.  Did I do that?  Nope.  So I had to wait in line for an hour not only to check my bags, but to then get through security.  Hannah kept texting me, “you are making me nervous Mom!”   I still made it to the gate in plenty of time, only to discover that our plane was delayed.   And then it got delayed again.  So we went to lunch, where we got a text that it was delayed again.  In the end, around 4:00 p.m., our flight was finally cancelled and we had to fly out early the next morning at 5:00 a.m. – but now flying through Philadelphia instead of a straight flight.

We had a decision to make.  Call a car service to take us 45 minutes back home, wake up at the crack of dawn to get back to the airport, or just decided to grab a hotel near the airport and wait it out.  My sister did a quick priceline check and grabbed us two rooms a couple miles from the airport.  I checked in, Hannah and Jacob decided to nap, so I walked for an hour in the tiny hotel gym while watching FoodTV.  When I woke up that morning, I never would have guessed that I’d spend my first night on vacation in a hotel 45 minutes from my house in Schiller Park!

Since we didn’t have a car and there were no close restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, we ate in the hotel restaurant/bar.  The food was actually really good – I got a burger, and skipped the bun.


We finally made it to my Aunt’s house after picking up the rental car at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, nearly 24 hours after we were supposed to get there.  I guess the only silver lining is that it happened on the way TO vacation vs. coming home.  I missed a day of work a couple years ago when my Mom and I were coming back from Key West when our flight got cancelled.  

On the way to my Aunt’s house, since we had eaten breakfast so early, we stopped at Hardee’s – I got the chicken fingers (6) with green beans (2) – I don’t know what Hardee’s puts on their green beans but they are delicious!

 

My brother and his family and my Mom had made it the day before, so it was nice to have everyone together.  My Aunt had a big beef tenderloin and asked if I’d grill it for dinner.  A strange thing happened as I was cutting into this glorious medium rare beef – nearly everyone in my brothers family (my brother didn’t eat any beef!) and my Aunt like their beef well done!  What the what?!  Thankfully, while I cooked it medium rare (for me, my Mom and Jacob!) I just put the sliced beef back on the grill to cook it to everyone’s taste.

 

I made my steak into a salad – yum!


My favorite thing of the whole vacation – besides the family reunion, was just floating in the water.  I also tried paddle boarding – I loved it, but it’s harder than it looks!


I’ll download my pictures tonight and will continue the vacation pics in tomorrow’s post.   I am hitting publish so I can catch up on your blogs the rest of the train ride into work – it was nice to be away from social media for a few days!

Make it a great day!

 

Dinner With Ashley

Knowing I was having dinner out and still doing operation clean out the fridge, this 5 point breakfast kept me full for quite a while – go protein 🙌🏻


I hit the ground running at work.  I started working for this firm November 3, and I’ve only had two days off since then, not including holidays, so I am more than ready to go on vacation.  It was warm and humid so my sister and I walked Macy’s.  my favorite colors are blue and yellow – love these dishes!


I found a pork tenderloin in my freezer and grilled that up with my beef over the weekend.  That hummus is buffalo hummus – so good!  Lunch came in at 5 points.


Before I knew it, it was time to meet Ashley at her hotel. The best part about a blog meet up with another blogger (vs a blog reader) is that you know just as much about them as they know you.  So it was like meeting an old friend.  Let’s not worry that I am old enough to be her Momma – foodie friends have no age limit on friendship 👌

I wanted to take her to Cindy’s Rooftop for a drink and the view.


We would have stayed there for dinner, but the dinner menu was $$$$ so after our glass of wine we walked to Tavern in the Park and sat in the Tree Top which is their outdoor patio.


We chatted the night away, and I was happy to get to know her better.  She’s going to be a new bride in September, she’s my new Beach Body coach after I signed up after my free trial was up, and she quite possibly loves food as much as I do.

She got the BBQ brisket sandwich – I had a bite of the meat and it was so flavorful and tender.


I got the Chicago Fire burger – fried avocado and pepper jack cheese with habanero jam – which I asked for the jam on the side which I am glad I did because it was way too spicy, and that’s saying a lot from me!


My guess is that the burger was probably 25 points, I ate just over half – my guess is that dinner and wine set me back 30 points, which put me 10 over for the day, thanks to a low point breakfast and lunch.


It was a gorgeous night to be outside.  We were glad the rain stayed away.


And before I knew it, it was time to head to the train station – our three hour get together went by in the blink of an eye.  She’s training for a marathon and was going to run the Lakefront this morning – it’s a beautiful day in Chicago today.

Thank you so much for hanging out with me Ashley – enjoy the rest of your work trip in Chicago and hope you have a chance to try Lou Malnatis pizza 🍕- hands down my favorite Chicago pizza.

I walked off and left my “throw shit in a bag” food for the day on my kitchen counter.  I left my lunch bag at the office yesterday so I may be able to put something together – we shall see!

It’s my Friday!  The kadults and I are leaving on a jet plane tomorrow.  So I will be taking a bit of a blog break until next Wednesday.  My sister might do a guest post while I am gone.  Until then, you can follow me on Instagram (mybizzykitchen).

Make it a great day!!

A Lovely Weekend

 Hannah didn’t work until 11:00 on Saturday morning so we both had a lazy morning just hanging out under the gazebo outside.  We are leaving on vacation on Wednesday, so it’s operation clean out the fridge!  I made these pepper eggs with avocado – special thanks to Hannah for making my avocado slices look pretty.

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After she left I put my productivity pants on – I had a long list of to dos – from cleaning out my car to completing Day 8 of Insanity.

I did an inventory of the freezer and found ground sirloin, and was able to put this taco salad together with bits and pieces of veggies I had on hand.

The dressing made this salad though! 

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 1 wholly guacamole mini cup, 1/4 cup plain Chobani, juice of a lime, zest of one lime, 1/2 teaspoon chile lime seasoning, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, pinch of salt and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.  Half of that mixture is only 2 smart points.  Had I had a jalapeño I would have grated some in to kick it up, but Tapatio was just fine.

The kadults had a graduation party to go to, so I treated myself to a New York strip from The Fresh Market.  I seared the fat side first, then cooked this a total of 8 minutes for perfect medium rare.

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So juicy! I only ate half and am having the other half for breakfast this morning.

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The town across the river from us does their fireworks after the 4th every year.  We walked down to the river and sat on blankets and watched the fireworks – it was only 68 degrees, and a perfect night.

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Sunday morning was recipe developing day.  I think I finally came up with a low point granola recipe, but the recipe is for my next Chopping Block blog, so you’ll have to wait later in the week for me to share it.  

I munched on this 9 point avocado toast that kept me full for hours.

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Yesterday should have been my first rest day for Insanity, but I have a blog meet up dinner with Ashley from The Pike Place Kitchen. So excited to meet her in person.

Day 9 of Insanity – completed!

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I did have some hammock time this weekend too – I love how the dogs climb in too. 

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I am having issues with my laptop this morning on the train, so had to finish this post on my phone 📱 😜

I hope you had a great weekend! So excited about my dinner tonight with Ashley, hopefully the rain will be gone by tonight.

Make it a great day!