Sunday, December 29, 2013

Did You Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas?

Christmas...the most wonderful time of the year!  Even though it was a blur this year (with working days 6am-2pm and doing family stuff at night, getting up at 4am was a little rough) and I was exhausted, but I wouldn't change it for anything.  I didn't get to see my nieces and nephews for long, but it was better than nothing and seeing the looks on their faces when they opened their presents made the lack of sleep totally worth it ♥

I received many MANY nice gifts this year but the best one was seeing how excited my niece and nephew got when they opened their Samsung 3 Tablets and when my other nephew opened his iPod Touch from Aunt Katie.  That made the lack of sleep and extra hours at work seem like nothing!  My sister told my mom that my nephew hasn't put his iPod down since he opened it :)

My parents went all out and got both my sister and I KitchenAid Stand Mixers this year.  I picked out the Empire Red one that matches my kitchen perfectly.  But I had picked it out in October, which meant I had to wait FOREVER to use it!  It was pure torture!  I got it out of the box yesterday, cleaned off the top of my pantry and I think it matches my kitchen decor pretty darn good!  

I got quite the workout hefting it all the way up there!

I have been pinning recipes for the last couple of months to make when I finally got my mixer and decided to try making Garlic & Herb Pull Apart Bread.  It mixed together very easily, but I did need to add about a 1/2 TBSP more warm water.  It pulled right off the dough hook and shaped into a ball without any problems at all.  You need to cover the dough and let it rise until it doubles in size.  Since this is my first try at this, I turned my oven onto it's lowest temp, which was 170, let it heat up and shut it off.  I covered my dough and placed it in the warm oven.

The finished product after mixing.

Cover and let it rise, until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes.

The next part was actually humorous.  I had never rolled out any type of dough, so this proved to be a little difficult in a kitchen that is no bigger than a box.  But, I did it and it didn't turn out too shabby, but I can see where the phrase practice makes perfect would apply here. 

I'm going to need more practice at rolling out dough.

Almost there!  Cover and rise, again!

Ta Da!!!!!  The finished product!

Now, I'm no Rachael Ray, but I must say, this turned out FABULOUS!!!!  The smell alone while it was baking was enough to make my mouth water!  This was my first attempt ever at bread from scratch (besides using a bread machine) and I think it turned out pretty good!  So, round one with the KitchenAid Mixer was a success!  So much so, I'm making another one right now for my niece's birthday party!

Until next time!
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Time Is It?!

As many of you know or are just remembering as you're waking up, we got to turn our clocks back an hour this morning at 2am!  Or is that 1am?  And since I was up at 6am, (that's really 7am, right?) I didn't know what time it really was.  Thank goodness my iPhone and docking station turned back on their own, or else I wouldn't have a clue what time it is.  Of course, you're never more confused about what time it is until you start walking around your house and find that every clock you own is still an hour ahead.  Let's see, there was the one on the stove, the one on the wall in the kitchen, the microwave, the one next to me as I type.  The one in the bathroom and the one in the basement.  I think that should be it.  I think. 

I was all excited for my extra hour of sleep when I went to bed last night that I think I jinxed myself and was wide awake at 6.  Wait, 7.  No 6, it was defiantly 6.  New time.  I laid around and watched some Sex In The City and some Beverly Hills 90210 and then decided to get my lazy rear out of bed and do some laundry.  And change some clocks.  A lot of clocks.

So, here's my friendly PSA for the day, don't forget to fall back, change the batteries in your smoke detectors and enjoy your extra hour of the day, no matter what you're doing.

Until next time,

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's Your Secret?

Lately on Facebook, I've been seeing posts from some friends who have posted before and after pictures of their weight loss.  And it seems about every other comment says the same thing, "Congrats!  You look wonderful!  What's your secret?".  When I posted my 100 pounds lost pictures, I received the same comments and never thought a thing about it.  Until last night.

Someone I've known for a long time lost 100 pounds recently and they look AMAZING!  And as I'm looking at their pictures and making my comment of how fabulous they look, there they are.  The "Hey!  You look great!  How did you do it?!".  The "What's your secret?" and "Message me your diet plan!" comments.  And then it hit me.  Their secret is like every one else who has lost weight, HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION!  Those two words are the secret to any success.  There's no magic diet, no wonder food and there's surely no easy way out.  You have to WANT to lose weight, you have to WANT to better your life, you have to WANT to feel better.  So, basically what I'm saying is you have to WANT it.  It's kind of all or nothing, especially when it comes to weight loss surgery. 

Hard work and determination have been my secrets to my success.  My weight loss surgery was merely a tool to get me back on track and to keep me in check.  The rest has been up to me.  And it's up to you!  Whether you've had weight loss surgery or not, your success is YOURS!  So, the next time someone asks you what your secret is to weight loss, you tell them...HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION! 

 Until next time!

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

3 Years Ago...Yesterday

October 5 2010, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life.  To get control over my weight, my health and my life.  And that decision has been worth it!  All the pain, tears and smiles...worth it.  

I have lost friends along the way, gained inspiration in places I never thought possible and have become a stronger woman.  I have had struggles, disappointments and letdowns, but I didn't stop.  I still make bad food decisions and have diet soda when I should be having water, but I am only human.  But with the support of all of you, my family and friends I got thru it.

3 years and still going strong!

Yesterday was a nice sunny day (a little chilly, but hey, it's fall!) to have a surge-iversary (and yes, in the weight loss community that is a real word LOL) and it was a great night with a couple of close friends to celebrate my accomplishments.  

Today I'm just laying back and relaxing.  It's cloudy and cold out so that gives me a green light to sit around, right?  RIGHT?!  I'm all curled up in my heated blanket, have my dogs by my side and dinner is cooking in the crockpot.  I think I'm ready for the afternoon.

 Until next time!

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Is Finally Here!

Finally, Fall!

Fall, my favorite time of year, is finally here!  I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to show up, but with the rain last night and cooler temps today, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's here.  Along with Fall also comes one of my favorite holidays, Halloween!!!  I have been decorated outside for about 2 weeks now and am thinking I might do a little inside decorating this weekend.  I should have the time since I'm off work for 5 days.  Yep...5 days!  Not having to set the alarm clock for 4:45 is going to be so nice. 

Just a little bit of my outdoor decorations.

I think my biggest plan this weekend will be to get back on track and make Salads In A Jar.  This of course will require a trip to the grocery store, one of my most hated places to go *SIGH*  But it will be worth it in the end, I guess.  When it comes to grocery shopping, I can talk myself out of it in a heartbeat, but when it comes to Starbucks, I'm in the car headed East and I barely have my shoes on!  IF I end up going to the store, I'm also going to grab a couple of things to make Slow Cooker Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken.  

Last weekend when I was out and about with the best-neighbor-ever Beth, I found some really yummy pumpkin flavored stuff.  I found Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels and pumpkin spice cream cheese. They are pure heaven together.  I couldn't wait to try them, so I skipped the toaster and just went to town  ♥  I also made Pumpkin Spice Cake and Pumpkin Bread (both from 50 Canned Pumpkin Recipes from The Food Network Magazine ), so that makes me officially ready for Fall, right? 

The weather tonight in Iowa is supposed to be bumpy with some really bad storms headed our way.  The local news stations are saying that some of the big wig storm spotters are headed to Iowa for this "event", so I think after I get my hair done (more blonde, here I come!) I'm going to come back home and just wait for it to hit.  I will have plenty of veggies to wash and dry to get ready for my salads and I found this beer interesting, so I will be set!

Another Sign of Fall!

Before I go, I want to share these "awesome" pictures with you.  About a month ago, my best friend Gina and I, were at the mall and we found this store that had all things...retro.  It was a blast!  Here are a couple of pictures of our adventure in that store.  Enjoy!

This is my "I think I can rock these" face.

These were 30% off, but covered 50% of my face!!!

Well kids, I'm off!  I hope you all have a great rest of the day.  If you're in Iowa, stay safe and check in later either here or on my Facebook Page, let me know you're okay!

Until next time!

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