Thursday, February 11, 2016

Random Shenanigans

When I wake up and Drake's - Cell Phone Bling - is already on my mind and I'm singing it inside my head...why?

Technology, technology, technology.  The generation that will graduated high school in about two years are all destined to be Verizon Salespeople.  They know the upside, downside, right side, and left side of not just cell phones but everything else technology too.  Meanwhile, I'm over here going wha-whaaaaaaat?

I'm still singing Drake.

If you see me at the gym and I'm over where the free weights are....yeah that's me trying to make YOU laugh while I work myself out a little here and there.  I try to be serious but that just cracks me up.

On the other hand there is this older lady (and that means she is probably 12-15 years older than myself) and she is like the Judge Judy face of working out.  Do not mess with her because she may take your left eye out with a spit ball so fierce it slides through the eye and straight into your adbullah oblongata.

I just remembered I didn't finish this week's Fixer Upper.  Everybody needs some Chip Gaines in their life.

Total bummer I was supposed to be hanging with my bestie tomorrow night but my things got changed.  So saddened by that news.  I may wear black because I'm in mourning.

You may think that by me calling Sunday's event the Peyton Manning Retirement Special I am a sore loser (Go Panthers!)  Well I am not.  I'm glad if we lost it was to Peyton Manning.  If it had been to Eli Manning I would be mad because that guy is annoying.  If it had been to Archie Manning then that would just be weird.

I'm not very political but what the hell is up, Republicans?  That whole dog and pony show that is going on needs to end.  I mean c'mon you idiots, Donald Trump?  Are you joking?  The man is a fallacy.  He is a joke.  Ted Cruz reminds me of Ross Perot.  And you democrats - what kind of pickings are those guys?  Hillary who has screwed up majorly with Bengahzi a few years back and marrying Bill a few decades back....really?  Bernie Sanders, the guy would be a fabulous college professor and crazy old white guy who runs around in a diaper at a metal show but c'mon guys.

All that political crap makes me want to cleanse myself now.

I've been swimming on the weekends.  Until this coming weekend when it is going to be ten freaking degrees.  Kim - my Upstate NY buddy - what gives, girl?  This is your weather not my weather!

Are you local and need your home cleaned?  Then you should call me on my cell phone.

Did you just get that reference?  Still on the brain.

Valentine's Day is Sunday.  I bet you had no clue.  I made my kids' Valentine's for their friends because I enjoy that whole domestic fun.  Also, I'm making brownies for my daughter's class...fitting don't you know!  I think it is super duper that the kids are getting grandparent time this weekend so maybe my husband and I can get in a Hallmark Influenced Dinner.

Did you get a tax refund?

It is really hard to book a summer vacation when you've had a sweet deal for a few years.  The tight wad in me is thinking we should just camp, tent style, on the beach to save money.

Ok I hope you have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Fresh & New Take on Lent!

Happy Wednesday or rather Ash Wednesday to you all!  Today is the beginning of the biggest season for Christians - Easter.

This year I want to make a correlation between this important time of year (for Christians) and good health - mental, physical, and at home.  Let's make the 40 days of Lent a time of holistic healing!

In case you're clueless as to what this season is here's a little background!  Lent is a 40 day event that leads up to and into Holy Week for Christians.  This 40 day period has three main ideas for Christians to follow to show thankfulness and to be a stronger follower of Christ.  The three items are:

1.  Prayer - Jesus prayed 17 recorded times in the New Testament.  He also prayed with others during times of rejoicing, worry, fear, doubt, anger, and love.  This is a time for us to rebuild our praying time and to make a point of bringing our thanks and needs to God.

2.  Fasting - Have you ever heard that someone is giving up chocolate for Lent?  Fasting is the removal of something material or food-wise for 40 days to make your life better and more focused on Christ.  For fasting with food it is common place that on Fridays you only eat three meals, no snacking, and no meat.

3.  Alms Giving - This may baffle many (who have a skewed view of the faith) but one of the major teachings of Christianity is that we serve others - in any way we can.  As Christians we need to fill the void that is found in the lives around us - we often do this by providing food to the poor and homeless.  Jesus taught that we were to take care of one another.  It was a lesson that He reiterated over and over.  For Lent it is vitally important that you find a way to help others.  It could be feeding the homeless or it could be helping out a neighbor who needs a little assistance around the home or getting from one place to another.  Another idea is to really go through your home and eliminate excess stuff.  Then find a shelter that would benefit from your donation.

So how can we make this Lenten season a holistic health time?

Very simply!

Let's Talk About Prayer -

Whether you use the terms prayer or meditation it is a key to radical mental and spiritual health.  Over the decades researchers have been intrigued over the amazing power of prayer and silent meditation.  It has been proven to help the sick and there are millions of testimonies that will share how prayer and meditation have helped in the darkest and scariest hours of the lives of people.

I challenge you to dedicate a few moments each day - whether it be 5 minutes for 55 minutes to quiet your worries and give them up to God.  Do so by finding a space of solitude (sometimes it is the bathroom!) and letting your worries, fears, joys, and happiness just roll out of your mind and on to your tongue.  Let the words fall out of you to decrease your stress level and increase your focus.

If you aren't much for saying the things out loud then find a quiet space and let your mind release all the millions of items that are surging through.  Breathe deeply and let the negativity escape.

Do this for the season and watch your mood lift.  When your mood is improved you are healthier and happier.  It can be very contagious!

Fasting - not what you think!

It is safe to say that when you think Lent you think about giving up sodas or bread or curbing that candy addiction!  This year could be the year you actually do something in favor of your health.

Sure, we give up things that are bad for us but what if we were a bit more elaborate on our fasting plan?

This year we're doing a multifaceted plan in my home.  In an attempt to limit our sweet tooth from wreaking havoc on our health we're limiting our days that we can have a sweet.  Right now our days without sweets are Tuesday and Thursday.  I should note that we are not eating sweets every day now but we do tend to splurge on Tuesdays and Thursdays for some reason!  We have also decided that all sugary drinks are out of the house.  My kids LOVE some Kool Aid but for Lent it will be banished from our home.  Our final dietary change will be a traditional change for Lent.  There will be no meat on Fridays in our home.  For protein we will have beans (yes, I know haha), fish, and eggs.

Look at your eating habits and decide where you need to do some maintenance this is a great time to make changes.

I think fasting really makes us look at our health but not just in a nutrition sense.  We should try to make this the year we fast from so many other things that take our focus from what is around us.

 Could we fast from technology?  Maybe pick a day a week to turn it off?  Technology drains us whether we realize it or not!  Social media can have a negative impact on our lives.  Why not turn that off for a day or two each week?

Could we fast from driving and do more biking or walking?  Make a point of exercising!  Use that membership to the gym or do it at home - just move and sweat a little.  You were given that body to take care of it and you will not be gifted another one so do your part to keep temple healthy and of utmost use to help others!

Make an impact -

The main teaching of many faiths, not just Christianity, is to help other people.  As a United Methodist this is an act that I am required to do in whatever way possible.  My daughter and I will be volunteering at a local homeless charity that just was established in our community.  My Bible Study group will be feeding a homeless community just minutes away from where I live.  But what can we do at home?

Chances are you will be spring cleaning that home of your's very soon.  I know when I spring clean I also go through everything in my home from the kitchen drawers to the kid's summer apparel and begin eliminating what we do not use and what does not fit.  This year I challenge you to not give it to Goodwill but find a local coalition that does not make a profit off your donation.  Instead find a group that will get it to the people who most need it.

A few years ago America was rocked by the facts and figures of these "do good" companies that were actually making millions of dollars off our own charity.  Do your research and find something local to help by donating items you just do not need.

Cut the excess is another wonderful theme of Lent.  As Americans we are blessed with excess of so much!  I see so many clothing and foodie posts and immediately my mind thinks - that is a lot.  If you were blessed with a lot then you have a lot of accountability to take care of those who have near nothing and are in need.  

One area I have excess is my bedding.  I have four sets of sheets for my bed alone!  Do you realize that we really only need two sheet sets?  One for use and one to go one when the other is in the wash?

Where else do you have excess?  Do you stockpile soaps, laundry detergents, etc?  These items have expiration dates!  Donate your excess!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tasty (Fat) Tuesday!

Warning:  This isn't my traditional Tasty Tuesday post.  That will be back next week when I bring you a healthy and easy recipe you should try out sometime soon!

Today I bring you my FAT Tuesday list of food that I would go crazy on if I wasn't so crazed by burning excess calories right now!  Can I just say that it is true - once you hit the mid thirties your body slows down a bit and it takes harder work to get what you want!?!?!?

Sometimes a girl just wants some chocolate cake.

No. 1 on my Fat Tuesday list is Pound Cake

I love pound cake but only when it has what we in the South refer to as a "sad streak" - that is where the shortening or butter and sugar and vanilla have pooled in a streak across the cake making it "ugly."  I will eat that ugly cake ALL.DAY.LONG!

My mom makes great pound cakes as does my Aunt Sue (chocolate, oh lord.)

No. 2  Well obviously brownies!

I love brownies - made with subs, made with fattening goodness, made with nuts, made with icing, I want brownies all the time!  Guess what I make brownies once a week on average but that isn't exactly where my blog name came from!

No. 3  I like greasy wings and I cannot lie!

When I was pregnant with my first child all I ever wanted was buffalo wings.  I swear my husband was eating more wings than any man could possibly fathom.  Nine years later I'm still a wing junkie but not nearly as bad as I was when I was pregnant!

My favorite local wings are at Marco's Pizza in Mocksville, NC.  I also LOVE Ronni's in Clemmons, NC!

No. 4  Bad Daddy's Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries or Tots!

Heaven is a Bad Daddy's burger and sweet potato fries.  That's all I can say.

And this my friends is why I always make healthy menus!  When I want this soul satisfying food it gets me in trouble and gets me in a different dress size (and not the one I want!)

I hope this Fat Tuesday you can enjoy a mouth watering meal or treat.  Because it is all healthy and good after today!

Tomorrow join me for a new take on the Lenten Season.

And like I said before - next week I'll be back with my traditional Tasty Tuesday meal idea for you!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Fast & Easy Tidying Up Tips

Want to know a little secret about the girl behind this blog?  (Third person, so lame.)

I clean houses on the side.  (Back to first!)

Most people that know me away from a screen know that I scrub a dub dub homes.  Some people look at me like I have a wart planted between my eyes when I tell them I actually enjoy cleaning houses.

I'm just one of those people.  I like making a home look, smell, and feel good.

To be honest with you, I actually adore cleaning.  I figure it is a control issue that this Scorpio suffers from.  I mean there isn't much in this life we can control on our own but making a house fresh and clean is something we have total control over.

Today I wanted to share a few tips about keeping your home clean.  These are super simple and also ones that will not take a lot of time.  Try doing them each evening to keep your home neat and tidy throughout the week. 

You can call on me when it is time to get out the vacuum, mop, dusting polish, glass cleaner and other fun stuff.

Managing Toy Clutter Without A Playroom
I love this post about creating a space for organization!

Keep things where they belong!

I know this struggle.  I have two children, one is eight and the other is three.  The whole put it back where it goes idea just blows their minds.  At night before we get ready to be tucked in we take five minutes and play a game of put it back.  I turn on some music and set a timer and we rush through the house putting away toys, books, shoes, dirty clothes, etc.

This helps so much with keeping the house neat.

Also, let's note the adorable options for storage these days!  From adorable fabric bins to furniture made for storage there are countless options.  Utilize these to make your life easier!

beauty brooms. Would I sweep more? Or less, simply because they are too pretty?:

Vacuum or sweep before you watch television!

I am happy to report I have no carpet in my home.  I'm just personally not a carpet fan.  Before I settle down to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (not even kidding) with my kids before bed I get my floors cleaned up of crumbs.  There is a reason we call kids crumb crushers people.  

I do this for several reasons including:
1.  Crumbs are gross and I like to walk barefoot.
2.  Crumbs are magnets for bugs and other forms of vermin that aren't nice houseguests.
3.  Floors are dirty, face it, and you can do this to help reduce the dirtiness.

Image result for cleaning wipesImage result for cleaning wipesImage result for cleaning wipes

Wipe down, wipe down, wipe down!

One invention I am very appreciative of is the sanitizing wipes (Clorox, Lysol, etc.)  These things make keeping your less of a bacteria magnet so much easier.  I suggest you buy a couple of these containers of wipes and use them each night to wipe down your kitchen counters and sink.  Keep a container in your bathroom to wipe down the vanities and sinks in there too.
While we're at it - use them to wipe off handles, phones, and anything else that gets lots of paw action.

Take out the trash!

Every single night take the trash out.  
Empty your bathroom trash, nursery trash, laundry room trash, etc. all into the kitchen trash and take it out.  
This will eliminate odor in your home and keep it a bit fresher and healthier.  
Remember the vermin thing?  Yes, it keeps them at bay as well!

No dirty laundry - in site!

Buy hampers and use them.  Dirty laundry is an eye sore and can cause nose sores (or so my oldest child says) but you should really purchase them and use them to put your dirty laundry in until time to wash, dry, fold, repeat.

Other tips:
Make your bed every morning
Close cabinets and drawers after use.
Spray your shower or bath after use (Scrubbing Bubbles is good!)
Dirty dishes need to go in the dishwasher.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Weekly Menu No. 4

Happy Superbowl Sunday!!!  Over here in my area we're all Panther crazy!  We're hoping our boys can win the 50th Superbowl and you can trust we will be eating heavy and rooting hard tonight.

But FIRST - let's make our menu for the week.

The theme this week is make ahead, crock pot, and super fast.  I'm back to regular work this week so I need easy peasy recipes to satisfy my little crew.

Easy Crock Pot Beef Stew
Guess what?  My mom's husband got me a new crock pot a few weeks ago and I'm excited to use it for the first time with this hearty and easy stew!  Minimal ingredients (stew beef, onion, potatoes, carrots) and lots of flavor is a great recipe for success to the start of our week.

I'm really looking forward to making this Pinterest find this week!  I love broccoli casserole but I am used to the traditional version with rice.  This one is slimmed down (no rice) and I think it will be perfect for Wednesday evening.  I plan on pairing it with a salad.  I know the kids will want bread.  

Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
We haven't had a taco night in several weeks so I am really looking forward to tacos this week!  My plan is to grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store after our work out and come home and whip these up.  

Those are my dinner plans this week - here's an extra bite.

Drive Thru Egg & Cheese
My kids are getting bored with breakfast.  They aren't cereal eaters and have over done the waffles (waffles traditionally, waffle parfaits, and PB&J waffles.)  So I decided to get them a different and more hearty treat for breakfast.  This casserole combines biscuits, sausage, egg, and cheese and should fill those little tummies right up until the lunch bell rings.

Alright it is your turn to tell me what you have on your menu this week!  Also, if anything in this post caught your attention then let me know!  I will highlight it in a Tasty Tuesday post in the coming week or two!

I appreciate you stopping by and hope you have a fabulous Sunday and blessed week ahead!    

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Duck, Duck, Duck, Recap!

The first week of February is winding down today!  I hope you all had a great start to the second month of 2016 - what?  We're spending our Saturday in birthday party style.  Little Man's little buddy from preschool is turning four and we're off to a local science center to celebrate!

This week on the blog was pretty busy!  Here are the posts that were published this week:

Friday, February 5, 2016

H54F: Good Health

Happy February!  
I am so OCD and the fact that February started on a Monday is thrilling to me.  
I know I should get out more.  
I just like how the week is the first full week of the month and my High Five Post will be all nice and together for an exact start to the month instead of it being half January and half February.

This is an issue, right?  I'm not working on it.

Alrighty here's my five fab things!

2015 is my year of self-care! She made a promise to herself! Motivational quotes

Yearly Reproductive Exam
Monday was the day of the pap smear that did not happen.  Apparently, I only need one every three years now (weird rules and regs to me.)  So I was felt up and felt up and I got a good report.  Yay.  That is worth celebrating, ladies.

I have been working pretty hard on my health goals.  Can a girl just say she's happy to sweat from physical exertion in the gym?  Good because I am.  My cardio is great but my strength is despicable.  Working on that!

cleaning+Graphics | Free House Cleaning Graphics:

Clean Houses Make Me Happy
I really enjoy cleaning houses - I know that is weird.  This week I had a house to clean with my mother-in-law.  It felt good making someone's day by making their house clean and fresh.  I'm working on a few cleaning posts for this month and next.

Power of Prayer!Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.:

Small Group
I have been apart of a small group at my church for January and now into February - we will stop meeting in March.  This week was the best week (to me.)  It truly was a small group with only 7 of us together.  We had such a great discussion about our various backgrounds (Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc) and also about grace.  I was so glad to be there on Wednesday night.

Life Choice Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough High Protein Bars, 1.59 oz, 5 count

These Protein Bars
I freaking adore these bars.  I don't eat them daily but when my calories are creeping towards the edge or when I know I need to eat something because it will be a while before I can have a proper meal I go to this.  The flavor is good and not really chalky - I think many protein bars of this flavor have a chalk consistency.