Monday, November 9, 2015

Catching Up... again

So very much has been going on around here. I'm not sure where to start. Just 2 days after my last post, we lost Grandma Goldie. She'd lived an incredible and full life (almost 94 years worth!), and while we'll miss her so much, her legacy lives on and we cherish our memories of her. Her birthday falls right around Thanksgiving, so this next holiday will have a poignant aspect.

Thankfully, we'll have a full house and I'm sure hear lots of Grandma Goldie stories. Our favorite (mine and the hubby) was a few years back at the Engagement Party for our daughter Shiloh and her fiancee Jared.  Grandma reached over and pinched his butt then said, "I love a man in uniform" and winked.  ROFL!!! She was a firecracker, for sure!

We also celebrated our oldest's birthday - Joey turned 24 this year (wow!), and in a twist of the normal order of things, he had us over to his place and cooked us dinner. :-) He's a self-proclaimed grill-master and loves to feed people (huh, wonder where he gets that from, lol). We had a great time, a fun evening, and amazing food.

A week later, we celebrated my own birthday (45!) by heading to Colorado. We spent an incredible 3 days in Durango, right on the Animas River. The hubby even willingly took me shopping in town! Lol!! Actually, he helped me score some serious cast iron! He found a stash in an antique shop that was hidden under another display. There was even a whole set - with LIDS!!! Clearly the seller had no idea what he/she was getting rid of, lol.  I scored all of this... plus a darling old sleigh :-)

We also rented a couple bicycles and rode the river path... super fun and the weather was just gorgeous!!

It was an amazing, relaxing weekend (that I can't wait to repeat, lol).  Back home, we started the mad dash toward Shiloh's birthday and Halloween. While I didn't get to see her on her birthday, they did arrive a couple days later so I was able to give her a big hug (which of course, makes her roll her eyes, lol).  I dragooned her, Jared, their friend Dylan, the hubby, Bethy, Joey... anyone who came into my gravitational field and put them to work getting us set up for the Halloween Party.   It's been years since we've thrown one, and it was time to get back to it.

I may have gone a little nuts on the decorations ;-)    Nah!!! It was awesome!! For food, I set up all my crockpots with hot dips - spinach/artichoke, nacho, beef enchilada, margarita chicken (my favorite!), plus bourbon sausage, chips, etc.  Food was tasty, and it was easy for folks to eat whenever they wanted while still enjoying the party (plus, I didn't have to babysit anything! Just plugged everything in, gave 'em all a stir just before opening the doors, and that's it!!).

Here are some of the decorations...

If you zoom in, you can see that the sign says "Broom Parking"

My gargoyles eyes' lit up red at night :-)

Yep! We Harry Potter'd it!!! That's a starry sky ceiling mural, with the LED candles hanging. 
The party was a blast, everyone had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again next year! Lol!!!

Next up is, of course, Thanksgiving. I'm planning out all my dishes, bought the turkey today (23 lbs), and need to order my ham. Sides are my usual... green bean casserole (crockpot), sourdough sausage stuffing (crockpot), mashed potatoes & mushroom gravy, brined turkey, green salad, beets (crockpot), and apple & pumpkin pie. Haven't decided on breads yet - what do you serve? biscuits? sliced bread? I may still add a few sides. And I'm going to ask our daughter Ariel to make Grandma Goldie's cranberry sauce.

So... that brings us current. Sort of. Lol.  I'm sure I've left a million things out. Oh - for those of you that wondered... I'm still getting StitchFix Shipments... and loving it!!!

And the pinup my parents commissioned for my birthday is now framed and hung... it's a little weird to say, "Isn't she awesome???" when she's, well, me... but... seriously, I love, LOVE this!!!

See? I knew I was forgetting things... probably still am. Oy!
Anyway... Thanks for hanging in with me. I'll try to post more often, as there is a LOT of new stuff coming. Happy November, friends!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's Monday!

So here we are... Monday. Again. So far I'm on track with my goals I set a few weeks ago. And, today I increased my cardio session time (and wasn't dying by the end, so may have to go up again, lol). My food is right where it should be (but I have to hit the grocery today to keep it there). And I'm blogging. Yep, that's one of my goals - to get back to blogging more regularly. I tell ya, this last year has been... rough.

And... I'm not the only one hitting goals - remember my guys doing their challenge? Well, one of them is already down almost 10% bodyfat! Wooohoo! Those other two better up their game or Kyle is gonna smoke 'em! ;-)

One of my kids though... let's just say Monday isn't her bff. Dead battery - twice. Already. In one morning. And that's not counting the trouble she's had with her car over the weekend. I think it's time to replace her transportation, lol.
That's gonna hurt.

In other news, I've got nearly all my stuff to decorate for the halloween party - can't wait! Got our costumes... Bill is doing the white zoot suit and I'll be wearing a Flapper dress. Fun! Still working on the menu, though. I love Pinterest normally, but for planning halloween it's even more awesome! Can't wait to share the photos when we're all done! I do have a pic though of my newest decor - thesegargoyle guys are so awesome!!! Their eyes light up red :-) LOL!

This week, my son has a birthday, next week is mine, and a few days later is one of my daughter's. Definitely feeling my age, lol. Still haven't heard from my son on what he wants to do for his, but mine - the hubby and I are headed back to Colorado for a long weekend. To say I'm excited is a vast understatement! I need my clean mountain air fix ;-) We've made no plans except for our hotel reservations - and we are both beyond ready for the break. Ahhhhh!!

I got another StitchFix shipment... seriously loving my stylist! This time, I got another great super comfy top with dolman sleeves, a couple loose tops that are a bit dressier, and a great scarf. Love it!!!

And... I finally finished a sewing project. My daughter took a job as a nanny, and so I made her a ring sling to carry the baby around in.  I had one when my kids were tiny, and it was a lifesaver! I only had to pull out 2 seams, pinned myself to the material 3 times, and broke 2 needles. Not bad for my first time at the wheel in many years, lol! Turned out great though :-)

Foodie-wise... still trying new recipes, though tonight we'll be going back to an old favorite... Lasagna Soup. I love this stuff! You can find the recipe here:  I love that it's got all the markers of comfort food, without throwing us off our goals. :-)

Happy Monday! Hope yours is going smoother than Bethany's, lol!

Monday, September 28, 2015

What's Cookin'?

Hi friends! What's new? Life has been crazy busy around here, as usual ;-)  I'm cookin' up a storm, trying new recipes (and of course, tweaking them), keeping track of my boys on their transformation challenge, and lots of other fun stuff.

First off, my guys... they're doing great! Kyle is ahead of Jared and Bill right now, he's lost about 7 lbs in the first two weeks. They're all doing fabulous with the diet. Bill's been sick with a chest deal, so no gym time for him, but his food has been solidly on point. They're all super motivated, and texting each other with trash talk. Boys. Lol. Of course it helps that there's some money on the line, too. Hahaha.

Cooking... I've been trying a LOT of new recipes recently. Some have been superstars, others... well, Sadie enjoyed them. I've never killed a pot roast before, but this weekend it happened. Sadie evidently doesn't mind beef leather, lol. Below are some of the dishes we've had... and fyi, the Haitian Pork Griot and Pikliz were hands down the BEST of the best!!! Worth every single moment of prep!

Follow Chelle Stafford's board Recent Recipes on Pinterest.

Vegas was... well, it was vegas, lol. I don't gamble (though next time I'll learn how to play craps), so for me it was mostly walking around or sitting in the room (Bill had a trade show that week). I did get to spend some time with Sandi (Bill's sis) which was great :-)  Mostly though, it was Bill working nearly 24/7 for the week. When we did get time together, we had fun - Caesar's is really incredible. We had the best dinner ever at Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Crab. If you're ever in Vegas, go there! Lol.

A funny little sidenote about the trip... so I spend several days either walking around on my own or working in my hotel room while Bill had his trade show. As we were heading home from the airport, we were talking about going back when it was just us - no work. I said, hey! I've been wanting to attend the Olympia in person for YEARS, let's see when that is and we can go back then (which he's fine with since he enjoys those shows, too). So off to google I go... and all I can find when I type in Olympia 2015 are... results. What??? Yeah. So evidently, I somehow (me of all people!!) missed the fact that the Olympia was going on WHILE I WAS IN VEGAS sitting in my room!!!! Face-Palm. Can you believe it??? I completely missed the Olympia. Booooo. Chelle-Fail.

When we returned from Vegas, I found my 2nd shipment from Stitch Fix. I kept all 5 pieces they sent! I got a great pair of stretchy corduroy leggings, a fabulous quilted vest, a faux leather jacket, a necklace, and a sweater that my daughter fell in love with (and frankly, looks better on her than me). I'm thrilled with the items their sending! If you haven't tried it, and are considering it, I very much encourage you to give them a whirl! Use this code please, to show me a little love ;-)  Stitch Fix
Not the greatest photo, sorry :-)  Sweater is missing because
my daughter has it. 
Friday morning, around 5:30 am, I woke to see a shadow in my doorway. Never a good way to wake up (especially after binge watching Supernatural until midnight). Before I could reach for the salt and crucifix (lol), I hear a bark, then am attacked by a wiggling furry black lab pup. Shi and Jared (and Bear) had driven through the night to visit and surprise us! Wooohooo!!! We had a great time, and it was so good to have them home. Shi and I hit hobby lobby and completed my Fall decorating, which was a blast.

On Saturday, I was boiling water to make my iced Peach Tea, when the phone rang... Bethany had just been in an accident. The four of us (Bill, me, Shi & Jared) dropped everything to rush to her. She was fine, a little banged up, and the car was drive-able. It had been a hit and run on the freeway - what is wrong with people??? Once we ascertained that all was well, and bid goodbye to the police officers, she continued on her way, while we returned home. We walked in and I said, What is that smell??  Second face-palm moment. I had left the water boiling. Needless to say, there was no water left in the pot. In fact, the pot was crackling. Oh crap!!! But Bethany was ok, and the house didn't burn down. All was well. ;-)

Also this weekend, Sadie showed Shi some extra love when she was trying to take a nap...
Oh, hey! That's the sweater from Stitch Fix! Lol!

Even Dex got a new friend...
So there you have it... all my updates ;-) Happy Monday, Folks!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A New Transformation Challenge!

Hi friends!! This post is coming to you from Las Vegas! Yep, I'm chillin' in the City of Sin (lol) and working on a new Transformation Challenge while my  hubby is working a trade show. I did take some time today to wander around a bit... lots of walking! I haven't been to Vegas in 15 years, and am amazed at the changes! Lots of fun to be had in this town!

So about this transformation challenge... Three of the men in my life are ready for change... and they've challenged each other to do it. My hubby, my son-in-law, and one of his best friends. Yep, that's two young bucks and one old(er) buck. Lol! Jared is an active-duty Marine who wants to add lean muscle mass. Kyle finished his time in the Marines and after some downtime, is ready to get fit again and pursue a new career. Bill (hubby) is a super busy businessman, who want to shed some bodyfat and increase his energy.

Pretty different goals, right? We've worked out individual targets for each of them - and the one who hits it (or exceeds it) wins... Money. Lol, yes, they've put money on this challenge. The end date is Christmas Eve, which means they'll be working to achieve their goals right through Thanksgiving, and while none of them is thrilled with dieting on Turkey-Day, they each want to win the bragging rights of Winner. ;-)

Over the next weeks, I'll be sharing their journey with you - and I hope you'll cheer them on.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Updates and 1st Stitch Fix Shipment!

We're plodding along around here... doing what needs to be done (for the most part), and learning to accept what we can't do anything about.

Wow, got to the end of that sentence and just stared at my screen for about 10 minutes. Stumped. So, moving on... In the fun department, the hubby and I are still seriously enjoying our time spent playing Game of War. (no judging, lol). Takes us out of our "reality", and we get to interact with some seriously fun folks - plus... we get to burn stuff. Lol. Even Sadie's gotten into it...
Don't worry Mom, I got this. Ready to take the Wonder.
Friends of ours got us the coolest gift... check this out

Yep, those are wine glass sippy cups. LMAO!!! Love it!!!!!

Weather around here has been crazy hot... and since the hubby insists on me growing out my hair, I've had to get creative until I could get to the store and buy some hair ties (it's long enough!). Yes, yes that is a screwdriver holding up my hair on a 115 degree evening. ;-)

I got my first Stitch Fix shipment!!! I was so excited to open that box!

I was sent 5 items... one necklace, one pair of jeans, and three tops. They also provided a neat little chart of how to put the outfits together (hello, awesome!!).  How it works is you check it all out, pick out what you want to keep and what you want to return. Any returns go in the plastic mailing pouch they provide (shipping already paid for), and you just drop it off at the post office. They give you 3 business days to decide what you want to do.

So... how was it?
Well, the necklace arrived broken. Booo. Return #1.
Next up, one of the tops was just NOT me. Return #2.
The Jeans... super comfy, and OMG, they fit PERFECT - which was a shock, since I really struggle to get jeans that fit my thighs AND my waist. But... they weren't flattering. Actually they were flattening. Butt flattening, that is. Bummer. Return #3.

Up next was a super soft gray layering tee. I mean SOFT. Wow!! Loose, comfortable. Yep, got a keeper. However, the price was a little steep for a tee. Even if it is the softest tee I've ever worn. But, I fell in love with it, so I kept it.

Then there was this black dolman top. Makes that amazing tee feel like sandpaper! Incredibly soft, super drapey and comfy... dress it up or dress it down... this is my new favorite top. It's just right for the heat we're having now, and when the weather cools down, I can throw a wrap over it and layer up. Sweet!
So, out of the five, I kept two that I love. I gave my feedback to my stylist, and am looking forward to the next shipment. I'll let you know how it goes :-)

In other news, I'm spending a lot of time working on recipes. The Chicken Enchilada soup is more of a challenge than I anticipated. I've gone through a couple different renditions, and I'm closer, but still no joy. However, that said, Bethany had a bowl of the last batch and LOVED it! ;-) I loved it, too, but hubby said it's not quite on the mark yet. Lol.

I whipped up a killer meatloaf recently, with a boatload of hidden veggies. Gluten free, too. ;-) I don't have the nutrition worked up yet, but here's the recipe... (this makes 2 large loaves, one for crockpot, one for freezer, each feeds 4-6 people)

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 lb extra lean ground pork
2 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free panko
1 15-oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 zucchini, shredded
2 full cups of raw spinach
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow pepper, seeded and minced
1 large red pepper, seeded and minced
1 8 oz pack baby bellas, rinsed, stemmed and minced
seasoning: 2-4 Tbsp mrs Dash Garlic & Herb, 2 Tbsp dehydrated minced onion, 1/2 tsp salt

I just threw all the veggies in the food processor and let them go until they were minced super fine. Toss it all in a large bowl and mix until completely combined. Divide in half, and freeze one, Toss the other in your crockpot (use a Crockpot Liner for easy cleanup), and top with natural ketchup. Cook for about 4 hours on low. Serve.

Super simple, fast to whip it up (and  you get the bonus of having one in the freezer ready to go), and it tastes amazing. Feel free to swap around the seasonings, and the veggies. The meatloaf is really moist, and very filling.

So there ya have it... that's our recent news/updates, my stitch fix review, and a new recipe. ;-)
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Invisible Wall

I posted last week - about where we're at (waiting for test results), and other random tidbits of daily life. We were pretty excited, very hopeful. On Friday, the results came in and everything just... shattered. Despite all our efforts, the expense, the treatments...

There's a scene in the 2nd Hunger Games movie (Catching Fire), where the competitors are all in the dome, Katniss and Finnick are running from one of the traps, and slam face first into an invisible wall that separates them from the rest of their team. That moment of utter shock and pain at impact, then the panic when they realize they can't reach their goal... That's how it feels right now.

I want so badly to escape where we are right now, I want so desperately to get us to the other side of that invisible wall. But even once we get there, the damage is done. If you've seen the film, you know how haunted they were once they escaped the jabberjays - the fears and worries, the sense of being beaten down. For us, the damage is done. There's no undoing it. No fixing it. We must simply live with it, and find a way to thrive, not just survive.

There's something so incredibly wrong, and unfair, about not being able to protect my children from this. We'd walk through fire for our kids, but having to watch them do it themselves is a cruelty I never expected. And yet... I'm so proud of them. They amaze me with their strength, determination, maturity, and grace. They humble me with their hope and awe me with their unity. They make me think of the Willow tree... bending with the wind, bending but not breaking.

To be honest, and I promised I'd always be honest on this blog, I feel like I'm breaking a bit. It's just been one blow after another this year, and I can't seem to keep up. I keep moving, keep trying to stay ahead of the hits, but... I feel more like the Oak than the Willow. And if you know me at all, you know that I'm beating myself up about it. Why aren't I stronger? Why can't I do more? Why can't I protect my kids from life?? Why can't I FIX this??? (Umm, because I'm not God? lol)

The journey isn't over. We've got a few options to pursue, and a lot to think about. But most important, we've got each other. While this latest storm is still fresh, and our pain is very raw, we'll all learn to accept then continue to grow. Hope is still alive, and I absolutely believe that dreams will be fulfilled.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Catching Up... Again

I know I'm not posting nearly as often as I should be. Life has been crazy, as you know.

Currently, I'm back home trying to get my head back on straight. A couple days ago, I was running some errands and automatically got on the freeway to head back to my daughter's in San Diego. Lol. We're in a holding pattern right now... looks like I won't be heading back until November. The latest batch of results come in on Friday, and after the amazing news we got last week, we are super hopeful.

And I'm also hopeful, that at that point (or shortly thereafter) I can share more about what we've all been doing. All this vague talk isn't natural for me, lol. Ya'll know I'm a blabbermouth. ;-)

This morning we got hit with another haboob, then a massive rain storm. Turns out Sadie isn't like most dogs - she LOVES the rain! Turns her into an oversized puppy! I swear she seeks out puddles, then pounces on them. It's hysterical! Thankfully, she also loves the towel rubdown before going inside or that'd be a major mess trying to dry her off, lol.

So what have I been up to? Well, cooking, of course ;-) I've been focusing on preparing some of my hubby's favorite meals, kinda making up for all the time I've been gone, haha. I've also been researching - recipes, kitchen skills, stalking bloggers (lol), playing with my dog, playing Game of War (don't judge), and I've even seen a few movies in the last several weeks! What???? I know! Crazy talk, right??? I got to see Jurassic World with the kids in Cali (amazing film), then the hubby and I watched Divergent (yes, I know it's dvd, but it's relatively new so it counts), and The DUFF - which was cute, kind of a next gen Mean Girls. While working on the computer today, I'm flipping back and forth between Food Network and The Mummy series. Diverse, I know. ;-)

I've also decided to do something I've been wanting to do for a really long time... discover my personal fashion style. Silly, right? At my age I should know my own style, but for too long I've lived in gym clothes or pajamas. :-) Time for that to change.

One of the steps I've taken is sign up for... you guessed it, Stitch Fix. I've been seeing it everywhere, and decided to give it a whirl. Took me forever to fill out the questionnaire - mostly because I wanted to be absolutely clear on my likes & dislikes. We'll see if I succeeded. I do like that they ask you for visuals - like a pinterest board, my twitter and linked in accounts... and I was able to add my website, this blog, etc. It's supposed to help your personal stylist pick more appropriately for you. (and fyi, my "personal style" apparently says that I shouldn't be living in a place that's consistently 108 degrees several months of the year, lol)

My first shipment should arrive in about 10 days. Crossing my fingers!!

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup
And now I'm off to do more research... hubby has challenged me to recreate another soup... this time the Chicken Enchilada Soup from Chili's.

There are several knock off recipes floating around the internet, but I haven't seen one that I'm ok with (clean ingredients, healthy nutrition) - and frankly, I think they're using the wrong base. Lol. So the rest of this week, I'm working and tweaking, then next week the hubby will have a taste-off.

Wish me luck! ;-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Good News Wednesday

I've been back in Cali since Sunday evening... meal prepping and cooking for the kids, helping with errands and whatever else needs to be done. Although... my daughter has informed me that if I make her another spaghetti squash anything, she'll bury me in one, lol. Guess she's done with that particular veggie.

She's done so incredibly well with her dietary changes, I'm really proud of her. AND... it has paid off!! After so, so much preparation, today's event, which I cannot yet discuss publicly, went PHENOMENALLY!!! Woooohoo!!! The results were beyond any of our expectations! And now that it's finished, she's getting the treat meal that she's been dreaming of for months (even though she called me a food nazi today, haha)... coffee, pizza, hot Cheetos's, and red velvet cupcakes. Lol! As far as I'm concerned, after what she's been through, she can have whatever the hell she wants. Well, until we start the next phase. ;-)

You know, there's something both hopeful and worrisome about watching your children navigate through tough times. You hope you've raised them well, but you worry. You hope you've instilled faith, strength... that through some parental miracle you've taught them grace, and shown them how to find joy - even in times of despair, but you worry.

Then when it happens, when you see your children step up, and step through the challenges... when you see them stand strong when others would break, embrace laughter even through tears, and hold fast to what's truly important when stress tries to rip it away... when you observe this, in your own grown child, it's humbling.

And even as it humbles, pride soars. And even through that pride, you find yourself wishing there was a way, some way, any way, to take these challenges from them - to take it on yourself and spare them the pain. But... that would be robbing them. Strength comes from adversity. Peace can only be known & valued when turmoil and chaos have been experienced. Still...

But. I'm so proud of my kids. Each and every one of them. As the years have passed, they've grown from angelic babies, to delightful children, to hellion teenagers, to amazing-incredible-fascinating-brilliant adults. They thrill me, awe me, terrify me. And I'm so blessed. So grateful. I'd take this trial from the two of my kids going through it, but since I can't, I'll simply be thankful that I can be here for them when they need me - and I'll embrace with a joyful heart the good news we got today. I'm holding onto that with bright, burning hope.

And to everyone's horror, I am doing my happy dance. Deal with it ;-)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Keeping it Light...

Hi everyone! I'm on a brief visit back home, and enjoying some time with my hubby (and Bethany and Sadie, lol). I drove back home Tuesday, and I'll go back to CA Sunday. Monday starts another countdown on the stuff we've been doing/going through. Hoping to be back home for a good chunk of time after about two more weeks.

The stuff we're doing (which I can't yet share) is going well. Really well this round. I'm so incredibly proud of the kids, and how they're handling all the stress and the required lifestyle changes to get the best shot at this. Their strength and maturity while carrying this is amazing, and their ability to find fun in and around their situation is incredible.

This last trip out, we did the usual cooking/prepping, all the doctor and various assorted appointments, took a trip out to Seaport Village - in the rain. Lol. Been awhile since I've been in a real San Diego soaker, and boy were we soaked!!


I also got a guest membership at the local gym there. I'm slowly starting to get myself back into my routine - at home and on the road. I miss my Kayla time, but I know I have to get my own discipline back in play. My clothes all still fit (except 1 pair of jeans, lol), but I'm too soft for my own liking. And my joints... ugh. So, time to get back at it. However, I forgot about the HUMIDITY. I was sweating before I even stepped on the stairmaster, lol. Afterwards, I was able to literally wring out my hair. Gross.

Shi and I hit up the Lorna Jane store near her (I had brought nothing to go to the gym in), so I was able to pick up a top, bra and capris - I've been wanting to try out that line of workout wear so this was a good opportunity. Also had to pick up some shoes, lol, they frown on barefoot cardio at the gym. Shi picked out the kicks, she said they looked happy - happy is good. Lol.

Love, love LOVE this workout top!
Super breathable, comfy, and cute!
I'm a little drippy. Car needs a
new air freshener.    
Just wrung out my hair. Ewwww!!!!
So the word on the Lorna Jane gear? I loved the top! This is my new favorite workout shirt!! The capris lived up to their reputation (dry fast), and that was nice - they're supportive, flattering, and comfortable. The bra - not impressed. It was a "maximum support" - but just felt.... meh. Not worth the (high) price tag, in my opinion.  I should have tried on more bras before purchasing that one, but ran out of time. They have another pair of capris that I really, really want - these (click the link, aren't those awesome???).  And a ton of tops with amazing messages. I love that store! ;-)

There's my two cents on Lorna Jane. ;-) What's your favorite workout wear? Is it a "brand"? A style?

Anyway, after my gym time, Bear and I hung out together and watched some Parenthood (season 6) together while Shi and Jared took in a ballgame. We shared some popcorn ;-)
I spent the rest of that evening doing some work, then playing my favorite distraction... Game of War. The hubby was playing, too, so it was almost like being with him. Almost.

The next few days I'll be prepping this house for my next departure - making sure there's GOOD food in the fridge, doing laundry, etc. Sunday will be here before I know it. We got Bethany all registered for her next semester of college, and we'll order her textbooks today (we rent through Amazon).  Another YAY moment around here - she got a job at a local preschool! Great experience for the budding kindergarten teacher :-)

Another task to do - I have to decide what clean-eats to pack up in my trusty cooler for the next trip... usually it's turkey rollups, almonds, cheese, chicken... plus my water and Xyience. Just stuff I can eat and drink without making a mess while I'm driving. ;-)

If you're interested in a list of travel friendly foods, check out the Travel Food Recommendations sheet on the website. :-) There's also a Vegetarian version.

I'm planning to update the Workout Playlist page soon, too, so keep an eye out for that. And if you have any tune recommendations, shoot them my way - I'm always on the lookout for fresh music! :-)

Ok, I'm off... laundry calls, lol. Happy Thursday!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Recent Recipes

Today got off to a great start... dropped Sadie off at the vet for her annual appt, then drove straight to the gym. Yep. For anyone keeping track, that was my first cardio session since January. 30 minutes on the stairmaster, two puffs on the inhaler, a bucket of sweat, and a whole lot of feeling accomplished. Half an hour of misery felt pretty darn good, lol. The way things have been this year, I've been lucky if I get in a session with Kayla once or twice a week, and recently even that hasn't happened. My complete focus has been on my family, so gym time has suffered. It will continue to suffer, for some time to come, but I'll do what I can when I can and be ok with that.

I've tried out several recipes recently, some worked out great - others, not so much. The best of the best are posted below in honor of Tasty Tuesday ;-) Enjoy!

Follow Chelle Stafford's board Tasty Tuesday, July 14, 2015 on Pinterest.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Catching Up...

I'm back at home, at least until Thursday. There's so much to catch up on, tasks to do... Oy! I spent last week in San Diego with the kids. This time Bethany went with me, which made the ride out there a lot more fun - until my navigator fell asleep as we were entering San Diego. Yep, I took the wrong exit. A bit of panic ensued, but we got it straightened out. Lol. Seriously, you'd think I would have this trip memorized by now. It's the switch from the 8 to the 67 to the 52 to the 15 that gets me. Every time. Lol.

Anyway. We got a lot done this trip... lots of recipes tested (some good, some not so much), lots more doctor visits and errands, and managed to get in a trip to Dog Beach so Bear could play. :-) It was fun!

After tons of research, and speaking with doctors and a super fabulous Naturopath (Rachel Corradetti - Tosca Reno's daughter), we've started my daughter on Acupuncture, and made additional dietary changes. The acupuncture was an experience neither of us had before, so that was interesting. She'll be doing that once a week for quite some time. The needles weren't an issue, it was the laying there for 30 minutes without moving - she and I both have a hard time with that, we get fidgety, lol.

Her dietary changes include more protein, less gluten, more veggies, less fruit, more fat. We'd already been making moves there, so it was a matter of just a little tweaking. She's doing fabulous with it :-) She's always been a Lasagna-Mac'n'Cheese-Pizza kinda girl, so to ditch all that and eat so differently is a challenge, but she's really done great! She even sends me pics of her meals when I'm not out there. Lol! I think the hardest adjustment for her is the no caffeine deal. No coffee, no chocolate.

My other daughter and I both had a consult with the main doctor, and the good news is that it looks like Bethy will not be facing the same challenges as her sister, though we'll be keeping an eye on things, retesting her every 6 months (thankfully insurance covers it!).

Back home now, I'm catching up on email, mail, chores (ugh), and appointments - it's a little crazy. Plus, Bill leaves Wednesday for a conference, I leave Thursday to go back to San Diego... lots of stuff to get done in a short time. Now that it's 115 here in AZ, I had planned to pack up all my winter clothes, but I need them when I go to CA, lol. The day I left to come home, it was 67 degrees in San Diego... 107 when I got home at 6pm. Youch!

At least Dex is enjoying the weather...  :-)