Sunday, January 31, 2010

Link Love

If there's a wedding in your future, you have to check out this unique Ring Pillow and Flower Girl Basket (@ Craftzine ). Very cute.

This is a cute Buttons to Butterfly Pillow to brighten up any room (@ Posh Pieces).

Yummy looking Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole (@AllRecipes). Sure to be on my menu soon.

And to balance out the nutrition, here's some Toffee Chocolate Cupcakes (@ Stop and Smell the Chocolates) to top off your dinner.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Planning my summer garden

So I'm taking you on my stumbling adventure of gardening. This year I think I'm really going to get into it. Maybe it's the homemaking blogs I've been reading. Maybe it's the fact that we actually own our own house now. Maybe it's the fact that both of my kids have hollow legs. Whatever the case may be, I'm once again getting excited about gardening.

When we moved into our home, we also acquired a beautifully landscaped backyard. The lady that lived here before us took wonderful care of it (now that we have a digital camera again, I'll post pictures soon). The landscape changes with the seasons. As the daisies die down, new flowers sprout up. It's amazing. I hardly know what to do with it.

But we also knew that moving in we wanted to use the space that we had to grow what little we could. So I'm planning around what we already have to make an edible landscape, of sorts. I don't have plans for a huge crop. I know I'm working with limited space if I want to keep my landscaping. And I'm such an amateur gardener, I don't have plans to pull up all these gorgeous plants on a whim.

These are a few things I'm planning:
* I don't have a large space for tomatoes, but we love them. I feel like half our produce budget goes into tomatoes. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. A third. But when we inherited some plants from our neighbors last summer we had some success with them. And with our hot summers, they're one of the things that actually grows around here. So I'm planning to try some hanging planters and probably two plants. Enough to not get in too deep if they die, but enough to be worthwhile.

* There's a huge decorative planter on the side of my yard. HUGE. I was talking to a friend the other day that said peppers were pretty hardy. It's seems like the perfect place to put in some plants. We eat a lot of red bell peppers and jalapenos would be nice for canning. I should be able to get several plants in that spot. Good sun and still close enough to the faucet to be watered.

* I didn't like the daisies that came up in the spring. They kept falling over when we had heavy rains. They were just too flimsy. So we took them and put in two strawberry plants and they did ok. No berries last year. I think we planted them too late in the season. But they stayed green, despite our hot weather. My plan is to put in at least 2-3 more plants. It's a small spot, but they're green and should produce just enough fruit to keep the kids and I happy. As I'm doing my research, I'll be looking for the "Surecrop" variety.

* I want to put in some lettuces where I took out a couple of plants last year. But with lettuce I could really do some more research. Ideas?

* There's also a small spot near my rose bushes. This spot isn't very large, but ideal for some climbing varieties. There's some in ground soakers and plenty of sun. I'm not much for beans, but I was thinking about putting in some cucumbers there. I tried last summer without a lot of luck, but read that they can be taught to climb and thought I might give it a try.

* Finally, I'd like to do some herbs, but I have no idea where I'd like to start. We love basil and oregano. Probably just in the kitchen or just inside the laundry room. But I haven't done much research on this end so I have a lot to learn in the herb department.

I could go on and on. Raspberries, some day a pear or plum tree, maybe some melons. But for now, this is what I'm sticking with. My gardening experience is growing every year. But slowly. And with a limited budget and two little ones, I'm taking it one step at a time. I'll have to get the lettuce in soon as our summers are too warm. So that will be my first experiment in the new year.

I'll keep you updated. Hopefully I'll have some beautiful photos to post as well. Are you planning a spring or summer garden this year?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

Well, someone is trying to ship wreck my diet. Beware! The same could happen to you if you continue reading this post.

Don't say I didn't warn you!

When our second batch of lemons finally rippened in December, I had so much lemon juice I had no idea what I was going to do with it all. I talked to a friend of mine and she was dying to try this Lemon Bar Recipe. I wasn't so sure. After all, I knew I wanted to loose some weight and this wasn't going to be the way to do it.

With the rush of birthdays and Christmas we didn't get around to making the bars until this past Monday. And honestly, they are incredible.


Sinful even.

Lemon Bars

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. flour
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. confectioner's sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x 13 pan. Combine butter, 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Gradually add flour, mixing until well combined. Spread evenly in pan. Bake for 20 min.

While the cookie bottom bakes, combine eggs, granulated sugar, lemon rind and lemon juice. Stir (do not beat) until combined. Pour over cookie. Return to oven and bake until set, 18-22 min.

Sift confectioner's sugar over warm cookies. Cut into bars. Remove from pan when cooled.

Yields: 3 dozen

*full disclosure: this is NOT my recipe. I got it from a friend who got it from a cookbook years ago.

ONLY, ONLY, ONLY make this desert when you're planning on having company. You won't be able to stop eating till the pan is gone.

For more Works for Me Wednesday posts, check out We Are THAT Family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

8 days and counting

Will you be watching the beginning of the end?

Crafting failure

See this? Super cute, huh?

Yeah, well, I tried to make one. Tried, but made a total flop. Really cute, huh?


It's TOO cute.

I know I'm going to be working on this again...

If anyone tries it and has some success, let me know.

For more Tackle it Tuesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Eating from Your Pantry--Week Five??? Sort of...

Well, while I'm officially a week ahead of the rest of the challengers, I'm finding that my cupboards are well stocked. My husband is going to a church conference this weekend. The kids and I are off to my mom's for a few days. But till then, we're working on eating from the pantry. Getting a little creative here. A few recipes that I'm not totally sure of, but willing to try. Bear with me!

Breakfast: Low fat Raspberry Orange Muffins
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, string cheese, fruit
Dinner: Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Quesadillas, fruit
Dinner: Baked Potato Bar

Breakfast: Low fat Raspberry Orange Muffins
Lunch: Sandwiches,salad, fruit jello
Dinner: Pizza, salad

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, string cheese, fruit
Dinner: Burritos

Friday-Sunday: At Grandma's

Sunday Dinner: Turkey and Rice Casserole

Hummus and crackers
Granola Bars
Crunchy Party Mix

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Frugal Friday

As much as I commit to simplicity, I find my days getting busier and busier. And as a veteran mom in MOPS commented a few weeks ago, as the children get older, things just get busier. Between my commitments and the kids and the library and playdates, the list goes on and on. It's so easy to pick up something from Taco Bell or a scone from Starbucks or a snack from the vending machine. No only is it expensive, but it's often times laden with extra calories and fat.

Finally four years into this parenting thing I'm realizing that snacks are everything. They defuse nearly any situation. Waiting for a table at the restaurant? Where are the goldfish?

In-laws running late for the holidays? Pull out the string cheese.

Picking out pictures after a photo shoot at Sears and your four year old and two year old running through the store, screaming for Elmo and In'N'Out, even popping in to check out the photo session in the room next to you?

Well, ... an apple might not be the answer to everything, but it's a start.

Here's just a few of the snack and lunch options we've been packing lately:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Tuna Sandwiches (with pickles of course; Big Boy's newest obsession)
Grilled cheese or Quesadillas
Granola bars
String Cheese
Fresh fruit: oranges, apples, bananas, kiwi, grapes, etc
Wheat crackers and hummus
Carrots and ranch
Rice cakes
Red pepper strips

Those are just a sampling of the frugal and nutritious snacks we're packing with us these days. I find that often time when my kids are grouchy, or even when I'm grouchy, it's just because we're nearing mealtimes and need a little snack. And packing healthy options has been good for both my waistline and my pocketbook.

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Life as Mom.

Yes, your children will eat fish.. and so will you!

As part of my 2010 Nutritional Goals, I committed to feeding my family fish twice a month. Since then I've been watching the price of fish, I've been pleasantly surprised by how easily it will fit into our budget. So this is what we've been testing in the last couple of months.

Shrimp Stirfry...

Shrimp is very basic. It's highly healthy and low in calories. And extremely versatile. We just threw a bag of frozen vegetable in the wok, added some teriyaki, and a healthy dose of shrimp. Cook it through till the vegetables are heated and the shrimp warm. Serve over brown rice.

The first time we served this to our kids, they got a small serving. It was a good thing because they were completely uninterested. The second time we put it in front of them, my husband and I were a little excited, thinking we were going to get extra helpings that the kids didn't want. Boy were we wrong!

My four year old had two helpings and my two year old wouldn't stop picking the shrimp out of the vegetables. It was a huge hit!

Try it!

They'll like it!

And I bet you do too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

One of my priorities this year has to be loosing weight. Already I'm frustrated that it's slow going. But really? Realistically it's only January 20th and I have to realize that taking off the weight isn't going to be nearly as fun as it was to put it on. Can we say "Chocolate!" I've over indulged many a craving for the past year and now it's time to put in some work.

Our family has been very blessed to have a family membership at the local YMCA. A huge benefit to having this gym membership is the classes that are offered there. There are quite several options available at a variety of times. These classes include: zumba, pilates, yoga, spinning, water aerobics, interval training, the list goes on and on.

Group aerobic classes work for me for a variety of reasons. First of all, it allows me to try new things that I'm interested. Several years ago, I was hearing great things about pilates and very interested in trying it. A couple of friends and I popped into a class and I was hooked. I've seen tremendous results from attending even once a week, and this is after two C-sections. I have better abs now than I've ever had. If something on the schedule peeks my interest, I can usually find a time that it works with my life. I might try something once and find I love it. Or I might try it and realize it just isn't for me. An added bonus is that the classes are decent size so I can usually find a spot in the back till I begin to feel more confident. And as I've learned in the past, everyone else is too worried about how they look to have the time to laugh at you.

Having group aerobics offered at the gym also gives me a chance to "cross-train." I building a repertoire of classes that I can attend regularly. Once in awhile, I throw in something extra, something to push my muscles to a new level they haven't reached before. There are times when I platue both physically and motivationally. That's when it's time to check out something new, even just once makes a huge difference. Why not pop into that hip-hop class? I just might find that it causes enough muscle confusion to get me beyond where I am.

Attending a group aerobics class also carries with it an intimidation factor. It may just be me, but I don't want to be THAT gal that leaves class earlier. So when I drop into a class, I'm committed. I'm locked in to the zone for the next 45 min to a hour. I don't have that same commitment level with the elliptical or the bike. I like using both of those pieces of equipment, but still in the back of my mind, I try to cheat myself into a half hour. Not so with a class.

So that's what Works for Me. Classes for variety, muscle confusion, and accountability. I'm finding that I'm loving what I've check out so far this year and can't wait to see what the next couple of months brings. As an added bonus, for those of you that can't get to the gym today (Wednesdays are crazy on our schedule), here's a great workout I found by Jillian Michaels on YouTube. I'll be squeezing this one in today. Will you?

For more Works for Me ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eating from Your Pantry--Week Four

Breakfast: Zucchini Muffins

Lunch: Sandwiches, salad, fruit
Dinner: Tortellini Veggie Soup

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Quesadillas, bell peppers and dip
Dinner: Veggie Burritos

Breakfast: Zucchini Muffins
Lunch: Sandwiches, salad, string cheese
Dinner: Split Pea Soup

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit, string cheese
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Veggie Pizza

Breakfast: Eggs and toast
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Garlic Chicken Pasta

Breakfast: Yogurt and muffins
Lunch: Out with friends?
Dinner: Chicken Posole

Confetti Yogurt Pops
Lemon Bars

Link Love

Chocolate on my Cranium has done it again with these Magic Peanut Butter Middles. Oh, I have to try these this week!

I've done something similar, but these Glitter Silhouettes (@ Somewhat Simple) would look so cute on my entertainment center.

I need an excuse to make this Blue Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Spread (@ Stop and Smell the Chocolates). But no one give me one till I drop a few pounds.

These Homemade Snowglobes would make a great party idea for older kids (@ Martha Stewart). Just look for trinkets at the thrift store.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Frugal Friday: Fantastic Wedding Gift

A few years ago our pastor introduced it to this book. It's fantastic! Divided into 12 chapter, it's perfect for completing in one year. Chapter topics address such issues as: encouragement, forgiveness, boundaries, committment, faith. Although this was given to us several years in our marriage, this would make a wonderful gift for a new couple. Why not start off the marriage on a solid foundation?

So I found did some research and found One Good Year of Marriage on Amazon. I bought it from a private seller for $1.50. Add the $4.00 shipping and you have a frugal, personal, unique gift for a friend. Can't wait to go to the wedding this weekend!

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Life as Mom.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Family

I tend to stear away from very personal details on this blog. I try to keep posts simple, professional. It's a fine line of knowing how much to share in a very public forum. I tend to keep the more private details to myself. Possibly to my detriment.

Sometimes I just want to let go and give my readers a more intimate look in my life. Share that I am a real mom, with a real family. Real issues and real laughter. Here's such a glimpse:

*I've been married to my husband for nearly 8 1/2 years. We've lived in two differnt ciites, but five different homes. We've worked as teachers, steel workers, youth pastors, receptionists, cable installers, coffee baristas, and residential counselors. We've had no insurance, insurance, and back to no insurance. Typical American family in a tough economy.

*My first "baby" was Annie, my 7 1/2 year old Tortie kitty who has been through every move with us, loosing her companion, and adjusting to two kiddos who have the potential to "love her to death." She's come a long way in the past 4 years, but still spends a good part of her day hiding under our bed.

*Big Boy is 4 years old and all boy. Loves riding his scooter and bicycle, can't get enough of art work, will eat nearly an vegetable put in front of him, but has an aversion to meat, and gives the greatest hugs.

*Baby Girl is 2 years old and the best snuggler. She loves cuddling on the couch, will pick the meat out of her brother's meals, and has a book in her hands anytime I sit still for two seconds.

We love:
The Beach
Popcorn from the stove
Super Why!
Beautiful, rich cheesecake
The Waltons
and always each other!

Check out more Family posts @ Chocolate on my Cranium.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

This super healthy salad is always a hit in our house. Loaded with vegetables, it's a great way to put a nutritious meal on the table. And with the burst of flavor, my husband and I both love it! It's an all around family pleasing meal.


1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained and rinsed
16 cherry tomatoes (approx 1 1/2 pints), halved
3 scallions, chopped
1 sm jalapeno, seeded and minced (can sub green chilies)
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

In serving bowl, combine vegetables. In small bowl, combine jalapeno and spices, until salt dissolves. Whisk in oil until it thickens. Pour over vegetables and mix. Chill for several hours before serving.

submitted to Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday

I'm always looking for fun, cheap, creative ideas of things to do with my kid. Little treats here and there to break up the day, the week, the trapped indoors winter. So when I saw that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was being made into a movie. I got so excited. It seemed like a great treat to spend with Big Boy. But with the cost of a family trip to the movies, how could we afford it? That's when I came up with this idea.

The movie came out for rental on Tuesday and I've had this plan churning in my head for some time. I think I may have actually been more excited than the kids. I just wanted to bust.

We planned a special dinner of Spaghetti and Meatballs. It was so yummy. I used the recipe from the Disney Magic Kitchen Cookbook that made mini meatballs with wonderful Italian Meatballs. My kids just ATE THEM UP. Especially my two year old.

Then we moved to the living room and dimmed the lights just like the theater. My husband and I took up the couch while the kids camped out on the floor with their blankets and babies. I made popcorn and we munched the time away.

I've included the trailer for the movie here if you're curious. I also talked with two other families this week who, all independently, decided to rent this movie. All of us have kids in the 4-5 range and the 2-3 range. All 6 kids loved it. And all 6 parents felt the movie was clean and still entertaining.

Check it out! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out Life as Mom.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nutritional Goals 2010

I hope that the new year is finding your refreshed and rejuvenated. I know the holidays are always a hectic time for us. December is full of friends, family, cookies, parties, a birthday, and Christmas and New Year's weekends spent with both sides of the family. It can be easy to feel like there's more to be done than time to do it. And it can be easy to over induge in all the treats of the sason.

Which is why I find January to be refreshing. Sure I'm still recovering from the holidays. But after a month of craziness, I find it comforting to return to the nutritional jolt that a new year often brings. It's like a reminder that cookies and chocolate aren't the only food groups in the pyramid.

So that's why I'm making nutritional goals this time of year. Notice I say "goals," not "resolutions." "The word "resolution" carries with it a sense of succeed or fail, do it or don't. Resolutions are impossible expectations that when broken once are simply abandoned.

Rather, I'm setting some goals for the next year. Habits and change are slow to develop. But once accomplished, they can last a lifetime. That's the kind of change I want to see in my life in the next year.

Therefore, the following are my Nutritional Goals for 2010:

1. Expand my gardening skills--Last year, we had some successes and and some failures. Tomatoes were a huge success, despite the fact that they were in my neighbor's yard. Lettuce, on the other hand, failed miserabely due to over love by a 1 and 3 year olds. This year, I want to go back to these favorites, try again, and include a few more. There's nothing quite like home-grown fruits and vegetables, both in nutrition and taste.

2. Learn more about sprouting legumes and grains--This was one of my goals last year and I must confess that I failed miserably. I'm hoping to learn more about the why's as well as the how's.

3. Incorporate two seafood based dishes into our diet each month--My husband and I have always loved seafood and now we're hoping to pass on that same love to our children. From what I've been researching Omega 3 has so many wonderful benefits. I plan to try new ideas and post our successes and failures as they come. Hopefully this will help my readers find family friendly ideas as well.

4. Learn more about the health benefits of herbs--I have two herb books on my reading list this year and I'm excited to learn about the health benefits that are so readily available through them. I'm hoping to also grow some of the more common herbs in our garden so they are easily accessible to our kitchen.

5. Research Sourdough and experiment with a homemade recipe--I keep seeing homemade sourdough on all these nutritional sites, but I have yet to truly understand the benefit. This year I will.

6. Track exercise and eating for one month--This was not something I planned on doing this year. But as I've seen one pound after another pile on, I've decided it's time to make a change. So just a few days ago, I wandered onto the Fitness Magazine website and found a great Fitness Tracker. I'm committed to tracking my progress for one month, in hopes that I'll see a difference and be committed for longer. My goal is to take of the weight I've put on in the past year.

Now it's your turn. What are you committing to this year in the area of nutrition? How do you want to see you and your family's health improved this year? Where do you want to begin making changes?

Remember these simple guidelines I posted last week? Writing down and share your own goals is one of the simpliest and easiest ways to help you stay committed to them.

To participate, blog about your goals on your own blog, link to this post, and then leave a link on Mr. Linky below! Here's to a healthy blogging community in the new year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Eating from Your Pantry--Week Three

I'm realizing I have a lot more in this house than I thought. I don't have any freezer meals, but I have a ton of canned food. So I'm still grocery shopping, but basing my meals around what's in the canned food cupboard. However, I can't take Big Boy shopping any more as he conned me into buying a bunch of stuff last week that I normally wouldn't buy. Like pickles. Oh, but they've been good.

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Tuna or Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, fruit, string cheese
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit jello
Dinner: Sloppy Joes

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit, toast?
Lunch: Sandwiches, apples and dip
Dinner: Pork potpie (bumped from last week)

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and toast
Lunch: Quesadillas, veggies and dip
Dinner: Lentil Soup (adapted to crockpot)

Breakfast: Low-fat zucchini muffins (172 calories), fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Spaghetti, green salad, bread

Breakfast: Muffins, scrambled eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches, fruit, string cheese
Dinner: Potato soup (bumped from last week)

Breakfast: Muffins, applesauce
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Taco Soup (bumped from last week)

Mexican Hot Cocoa
Low-fat Raspberry Orange Muffins (substituting the Raspberry for Blueberries, 155 calories)

Link Love

These Pizza Pancakes look super yummy and comfort food appropriate (@Taste of Home).

Check out these cute Baby Legs (@ Raising Arrows). Makes me wish I had a little one to sew for.

Love this Tiny Party (@ Farm Chicks). What a fun party idea for a little girl!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Felt Food Tutorial: Popsicles and Cookies

As many of you know, I made a huge batch of felt food for Baby Girl's 2nd Birthday in December. It was truly a labor of love. Being a beginning seamstress (and I use that term loosely), it often times seemed like a never ending project.

But I got it done. And you know what else? I really actually enjoyed doing it too.

And it's getting tons of use too. Practically from the time it was opened, both Baby Girl and Big Boy have been playing kitchen non-stop. It didn't hurt that my Grandma bought the kids a play kitchen for Christmas as well. So it's playing right into their pretend world right now.

I love it! I'm eating peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, pancakes stuffed into a pot, and raviolis out of tea cups. So much fun. I think it's about as much fun for me as it is for the kids.

And the added bonus: Mommy actually gets a few minutes to herself in the mornings. Kids get so wrapped up in their pretend world and Mommy gets a few minutes to read or clean the kitchen or ... breathe...

But I'm off topic.

This post is to share with you the last two pieces of the felt food gift: popsicles and cookies. Yum!

For the popsicles, I used this pattern. It was so easy. And an added bonus, I was able to use scraps of felt I had left over. So I ended up with two pink popsicles, one yellow and one orange.

Simply cut out two pieces of felt in the same color using the pattern. Stitch up three sides, leaving the bottom open. Turn your pieces inside out and stuff with batting. Slide your popsicle stick in and position it in the middle. Finally stitch up the bottom. Don't worry. This won't kill your sewing machine. Just take it slow.

When you stitch over the stick, be sure to hold the popsicle steady with the other hand. Your machine will stall a little. You won't kill it, but it will hesitate a little.

There you have it. Only thing I didn't factor in: My kids fight over the pink popsicles. For some reason, those pink popsicles were a hit. And we've noticed the same phenomenon when we have friends over. So you may want to make all of yours the same color. Just a word of warning!

The last piece of the puzzle were these cookies. So cute! I could hardly stand to stop making them. Cut two circles the same size in the same color. I actually used the bottom of a Yankee Candle to make the size cookie I wanted.

Take the top cookie and start hand stitching your sprinkles. I used pink embroidery floss to make these. You could also add seed beads, but I wouldn't suggest it for small children. Keep stitch as small, tight, and as many as you want. I've seen all kinds of stitches on the internet, but I wanted mine small and close together. They just seemed more realistic to me.

Finally, stitch around your cookies, being sure to add stuffing before finishing it off.

Aren't they cute? I love 'em. And they look really cute served on a little Disney Princess tea plate.

For more Frugal Friday ideas, check out Life as Mom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--first baby

For more Wordless Wednesday, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

Nutritional Goals 2010

It's a new year and if you're anything like me, you're already jotting down all the things you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months. So much to do and so little time to do it in.

And if you're like most Americans (including myself), your resolutions include some form of the following:
Loose Weight
Get Fit
Look Great in a Bikini
Improve those Abs
Lower Cholesterol (Improve Heart Health, etc).

So wouldn't it make sense to outline some specific goals in reaching those overall resolutions of better health? And would it make to sense to make improvements in areas that would bring lasting change?

That's why I'm hosting a Nutritional Goals 2010 Carnival next Tuesday, January 12th. A place where we can share and encourage each other in this journey that we're on.

Carnival Information

I will be hosting a carnival here on the twelfth of January (a Tuesday). If you would like to be involved, post your 2010 Nutritional Goals on your blog, including a link back to my blog and a link to the Carnival post. Focus should be on how you plan to improve you nutritional intake in the next year.

Please feel free to spread the word about the carnival.

Tips for Making Goals
1. Make your goals achievable. Start with something small that you can change this month, then another for next month. Don't write down goals that are so daunting you don't even attempt them.

2. Make goals that you are willing to commit to. If you have no interest in sprouting seeds, leave that for another time. This is not the time to make goals simply to impress other bloggers.

3. Develop a loose timeline for achieving some or all of your goals. Do you want to achieve one a month or just incorporate all within the first 6 months?

4. Share these goals with others. Here's where the accountability of blogging comes in. You're sharing with all of us the changes that you are purpousing to make in your life. Additionally share with someone in your real life. Ask them to keep you accountable as well.

5. Understand that these goals are a work in progress. Habits are not changed overnight. These goals are meant to be working goals, working toward a better you in 2010.

So join us next week to unveil the Nutritional Goals you will work toward in the next year. I'm excited to see what you come up and be encouraged by how we're all working toward better health in the new year.

For more Works for Me ideas, check out We Are THAT Family.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eating from Your Pantry--Week Two

January 4-10, 2010

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, fruit jello
Dinner: Tamales, fruit, bean and corn salad

Breakfast: Cereal and milk
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, fruit jello,
Dinner: Veggie Soup in the crockpot

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, salad, string cheese
Dinner: Vegetarian Pizza, salad

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch: Quesadillas, apples, veggies
Dinner: Pork potpie

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and toast
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Garlic Chicken Pasta (keep putting it on the menu, keep missing it)

Breakfast: Yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, salad, fruit
Dinner: Potato Soup

Breakfast: Oatmeal and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, string cheese, crackers and dip
Dinner: Taco Soup

Crackers and White Bean Dip

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Link Love

This Nutcracker Ballet Party is a wonderful idea for a winter birthday girl (@ Like Merchant Ships).

Although beyond my sewing ability, Baby Girl would love this Snowglobe Shirt for a special treat (@ Lil Blue Boo).

Looking for a great appetizer? Check out this Olive Cheese Spread (@ Lynn's Kitchen Adventures). Looks great for parties and get togethers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year 2010

Enjoy the day with your family and set one realistic New Year's Resolution.
And don't give up on it if you've broken it by noon.
Just pick yourself up and try again.

See you next week.

Happy New Year!

Can't wait to see what the New Year is going to hold!
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