Thursday, June 30, 2011


Over the last several  months, while I had good intentions, I never got on an exercise program. I blamed the stress of packing, looking for a house, moving, unpacking, work, etc. Well I have gained weight and I DON'T like myself. I feel fat and have no energy and have been depressed and anxious (despite being on medication for just that). Well I HAVE HAD IT!!! NO MORE!!!! My life is going to change and I am going to be a better person and feel better about myself.

I have decided that for the next year I will be doing monthly challenges that will allow me to focus on 1 thing each month that I do not like about myself. This will not only allow me to *hopefully* make these changes a habit, but also will make me focus on changing one thing one day at a time, rather than making a huge life change that is bound to fail.

For July, my 31 day challenge is going to be to EXERCISE EVERY DAY!

The rules of this challenge:
1. Do 20 minutes or more of exercise every day. This could be working out to the Wii, exercise video, or taking a walk.
2. No eating after 9:00 pm.

That's it. That is what I am going to be doing. Why do I want to do this?

Well, here is why...
  • Rebecca, Jacob and Bill need me to here for them and for our family for many years to come
  • I want to feel good about myself and to feel sexy again
  • I want to fight my anxiety and depression
  • I want to start something and finish it
  • I want to be healthier and fight off heart disease so that I don't have an early heart attack like so many other women in my family
  • I want to have more energy and enthusiasm for each day
So there I have it. If I do this challenge and complete it there will be a reward at the end. If I complete this: I will allow myself to buy myself a new book or a magazine subscription for myself. If I don't complete the challenge, then I must do something with/for Bill that I do not like to do such as go watch a guy movie (think Die Hard type or Fast and Furious type), or go eat a place he LOVES and I don't. It will be his choice.

So there you have it. That is my challenge for July! I hope that I can complete it and that I will find that it will be fun and challenging. If you want to come along, join right in! I would love to have company in/on this challenge!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Menu Plan for the week

Monday: Chicken patty sandwiches, green beans, cantalope and pineapple
Tuesday: bratwurst and corn dogs, italian pasta salad, fruit
Wednesday: Beer battered fish, macaroni and cheese, rice, peas
Thursday: baked chicken, broccoli, fruit
Friday: tortilla rollups, corn, fruit
Saturday: leftovers
Sunday: not sure yet??? We have been going to my mom's for a cookout every Sunday but am not sure.

For more great menu ideas please visit...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Can't reply to comments

Not sure what is going on...but the last week I have tried unsuccessfully to reply to the couple comments I have on some posts. I have not been able to. It will allow me to sign in and make posts and change things; however when I try to respond to a comment it makes me sign in again, then comes up as anonymous says..., then makes me sign in again, etc. Does anyone have any clue how to fix this?????

Thank you in advance!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Letters of Intent


Foursons has a great weekly feature that she runs, called Letters of Intent. In it, she invites readers to write their own letters of intent and to link them up to her post. This week I have decided to join in....

Dear M---

I am sorry that you are still hurt by things that happened at work. I could not tell you everything due to confidentiality issues and I told you all that you could. I hope that you understand that. I thought we were better friends than that but I guess not. I don't understand how one day you can act as if nothing happened and the next barely say 2 words to me. I don't understand but know this..I am over it. I don't need the drama and I did NOTHING wrong. Good luck in your new job and I hope it makes you happy.


Dear Depression,

I know I have been your slave. I have been doing things that you have told me to do. I have been eating poorly. Not exercising and just being in a foul mood. I have been snapping at Bill and the kids and have become a loner.



I refuse to be your slave anymore. I refuse to feel bad and lethargic and just sore. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. From this morning on, you NO LONGER OWN ME!!!!! SO get the Heck out of my LIFE!!!!!



To read more letters of Intent please visit Foursons.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: Billy Graham in Quotes

Growing up we did not have cable TV. Instead we had the standard TV with rabbit ear antennae and we got 4 channels...NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX and if we were lucky we got PBS. That was it. We didn't spend a lot of time in front of the TV either. During the day we were outside playing or at school, and at night we were playing board games or card games. However, there was about once a month a special on T.V. that we would watch. That special was an hour long talk given by Billy Graham, one of the greatest evangelists of our time. My parents would watch it eagerly and they would not want any interruptions.

Growing up  I remember thinking what is so special about this man? How is he any different than the average Joe? Well as I grew older I realized that the wisdom that Mr. Graham shared with his followers was Bible driven and he was not out to just make money as many evangelists are. Rather he was out to share the Gospel message with as many people as he could.

In Billy Graham in Quotes, his son Franklin Graham and his son's colleague Donna Lee Toney, have offered readers a glimpse into Billy Graham's anthology of works by piecing together hundreds of quotes by Mr. Graham from both his public speeches as well as his private writings and works. These quotations cover hundreds of topics ranging from abortion, faith, patience, the devil, children, marriage, and many others.  These quotations span the previous 70 years of Mr. Graham's ministry and are still relevant today and will continue to be relevant for years to come.

This collection is a great resource to have in one's personal library. It offers a resource of quotations that are meant to be uplifting no matter what your situation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the quotations and will definitely keep this book in my personal library so that I can refer to it when the need arises.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from the publisher Thomas Nelson through the  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Kind of Wordless Wednesday: Father's Day Review

Sunday was Father's Day. We kept it kind of low key.
 I let Bill sleep in.
For lunch, the kids and I took him to Burger King to get his Angry Whopper that he likes.
We came home and gave him some presents.
Later my dad, mom and sister came over for dinner.
I made bbq ribs in the crockpot, pasta salad with cucumbers (my dad's request), baked beans, and an apple pie.
Dinner was yummy and it was a good day to express our love to Bill for being a great dad and hubby!

Reading cards

Reading the kids' card

All Rebecca wanted to get Bill for Father's Day was flowers (not pictured) and boxers.

We got Bill an exercise mat and weights to go with the 30 day shred dvd he likes to do on days he doesn't run.
How was your Father's Day? I hope it was a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My first attempt at Freezer Cooking

When school starts up again in the fall, I will be going back to work in the after school care program that I worked at this year. The difference is I will be going back as a "team leader" instead of an aide, and I will probably be working 5 days a week instead of 2-3. That is fine with me as it means more money for our tight budget. The downside is that the program ends at 6pm each day, meaning I need to have dinner either made before I go to work or something that is super simple to make when I get home.

I have been bouncing around the idea of freezer cooking for sometime.  But I didn't want to have a freezer full of casseroles either. LOL And quite honestly I was a little overwhelmed by all the work that was involved in making a bunch of meals for the freezer over the course of 1 day.


A couple weeks ago, I came across Money Saving Mom's Freezer Cooking in an hour plan. Sounded do-able. But again I didn't want a lot of casseroles...

So I thought about it some more and read some more about if freezer cooking was worth it, how to plan for freezer cooking and planning worksheets (all from Money Saving Mom)....

Then it hit me...I did NOT have to make casseroles, why couldn't I just make some freezer meals that I know we would eat and use. So that is what I did. I decided to keep it simple and just go for it.

I bought a 5lb tube of ground beef, a 3 lb package of chicken breasts, 2 packs of taco seasoning and 2 bottles of marinade and decided to go from there.

Today I took my first attempt at freezer cooking.

I fried up 4 lbs of hamburger. I left 2 lbs plain (for use in spaghetti sauce) and then seasoned 2 lbs for tacos. Cooled the meat, and then froze it in freezer bags. Easy Peasy. (The other pound of hamburger I froze raw so that I could use it for manwich.)

I took half of the chicken and put it and a bottle of marinade in another freezer bag. Then did it again with the other half of chicken and other bottle of marinade. (This was an idea from Money Saving Mom as well...using her World's Easiest Make-Ahead Marinated Chicken Recipe).

I also bagged up baked beans that I had leftover from Father's Day and froze those as well.

I still need to shred 4 zucchini that I bought at the farmer's market for bread...but I think I did pretty well in a short amount of time. I feel good about what I did and the plan that I have. I think I will add stuff to the freezer each week, maybe doing something just for 1 hour or so a week. This is very doable and will make my working and cooking much easier.

Have you tried freezer cooking? Any tips?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan and grocery shopping update

On Mondays I share my grocery shopping from the weekend and my menu plan for the next week. I do this to keep an eye on my grocery spending ( I am trying to keep our grocery expenses to under $70 a week) and to have a plan for what to eat during this crazy thing called life. It is just one way that I can live better one day at a time.


I will first have to say SORRY that I have been a bad blogger and haven't posted a menu/ grocery plan since last month. Things have been crazy around here. Not only have we moved, but things like budgeting and saving money at the grocery store has gone by the wayside. This HAS to stop! So I have decided that for July we are going to have another low spend grocery month. We do have a full pantry and some meat in the freezer so we should be okay....I hope to plan this better later this week and have details soon!

1 thing I do have details on now is our menu plan. In all of the craziness, unpacking, etc. I HAVE kept a menu plan, even though I have been bad and not posted it! (Again, I am SORRY!!!) Here is this week's plan:

Monday: BLTs, grilled cheese (for the kids), fruit salad, baked beans

Tuesday: Salad with chicken, chicken nuggets and carrots for the kids

Wednesday: Fish, macaroni and cheese, mixed veggies

Thursday: Spaghetti

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: not sure yet??? It is my nephew's birthday so I think we may be going to a b-day party but am not sure

For more great menu ideas please visit...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I have been a bad blogger....and taking Rebecca to a baseball game...

Sorry guys! I have been a bad, absent blogger! This move has kicked my "you know what" and I just find that at the end of the day I don't have the energy to write. Hopefully though that is going to change...because I finished unpacking today! YAY! So now I can hopefully get back to a normal routine! (Although is Summer ever really normal??)

In the meantime, I also have been trying to do some activities with the kids and with Bill. Before we moved with took Rebecca to a Columbus Clippers Baseball game! Here's a look at some of our fun!

In the car, heading to her surprise

sitting on a huge mitt at the ballpark

Daddy and Rebecca waiting for the game to start. Our seats were front row!

First pitch of the game. First foul ball of the game, Bill caught!

Catholic School night---Go St. V!

First ball park hotdog!

parade of Catholic schools after the first game

Cotton candy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kids Book Review: "This Little Prayer of Mine"

This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano is a cute, wonderfully illustrated child's prayer book that teaches children that even though they are small they are still allowed to pray to God for the important things in their lives.

The prayer begins by the child asking God to answer his/her prayers. To help when they are frightened, sad, unsure, acting bad, lonely, and selfish. The prayer continues by the child thanking God for the things that are important to the child, including seasons, toys, holidays, family and friends, and most of all God's Love. The prayer ends by the child asking God to help the child to be like God as their future unfolds and that they can continue to receive God's Love as they grow up.

This is a delightful prayer for children of all ages. It is recommended for ages 4-8, and my 4 year old daughter loved the prayer and the lovely illustrations in the book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a children's prayer that is true to real life.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I did not have to make a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: "To Win Her Heart"

Eden Spencer is a small town librarian who is trying to be content with her life as a spinster after being left by a man who was only going to marry her for her family's money. She runs and operates a community library out of her father's home and is very active in community service projects in the town of Spencer, Texas.

Levi Grant is a former fighter who had been imprisoned over the death of one of his opponents. Levi is ready to start a new God-driven life after being released from prison. He finds himself being hired as the new blacksmith for Spencer, Texas.

In To Win Her Heart, by Karen Witemeyer, opposites surely do attract. Eden and Levi find themselves attracted to one another despite their many differences in lifestyles. Love prevails for these two as they learn and teach one another many lessons about life that are based on Christian beliefs. These lessons include compassion, understanding, forgiveness and doing what is right versus doing what is popular in their society. These lessons are revealed with compassion and are not preachy in their delivery.

To Win Her Heart, is an example of a book that you may not think that you like, but that you read to find that you LOVED it. I could not put the book down. Truthfully, I shy away from Christian Historical Fiction books usually. However, I am THRILLED that I chose to read this book. It was wonderfully crafted and had a great storyline that kept me entertained. I would recommend this book to EVERYONE!!!!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Flag Day

Wave the flag proudly. Today we are proud to be American!

Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


In an effort to save money for our family, I tend to lean toward buying trusted generic brands of items. One category that I have increasingly been buying generic or store brand products is in the health and wellness category.

Growing up my mother always bought name brand medications, be it Tylenol, Advil, etc. She said that the generic medication was not made the same as the name brand medications. As I moved out on my own I followed in her path....until this past Christmas Eve.

I broke a tooth a couple of days before Christmas. Thankfully I was able to get into a new dentist on Dec. 23 and we made the decision that I would have to have the tooth pulled after Christmas and after I could get the infection that was in my gum around the tooth taken care of. I was put on a prescription antibiotic and told to take ibuprofen for the pain. As we were leaving to travel to my in-laws on Christmas Eve, I realized that I was OUT of ibuprofen. That would not be good as we were traveling most of the day and I couldn't eat with the pain. So we decided to stop at Walgreens on the way to my in-laws house to get some Advil. My hubby went in to get the ibuprofen for me and he came out with the Walgreens brand Ibuprofen 200 mg. He said that it was $4 cheaper than Advil and that since it said that it had the same active ingredients as Advil he wanted me to try it. Since we were running late and I was in pain I agreed.

The Verdict: Not only was the Walgreens Brand Ibuprofen $4 cheaper than the comparable size of Advil, it also worked just as well and maybe a little better! In my personal experience, I felt that it lasted longer than the Advil therefore I did not have to take as many, saving me even more money and helping to keep my tooth and gums pain free. After I had my tooth pulled, I did not take the prescription painkillers that I was prescribed (didn't even get the prescription filled). Instead I took my Walgreens Brand Ibuprofen and it worked GREAT!!!

I am definitely a convert. Since my experience last Christmas, I have bought many other Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products and have GREAT experiences with them all.


Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products are a great value allowing families to save money without compromising quality or trust. With the rising cost of health care and prescription medications, I love that I can save money by buying Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products over the counter and that it won't hurt our budget. I also LOVE that Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products are Walgreens pharmacists recommended, most contain the same active ingredients as their brand name counterparts, and have a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy associated with them. (Visit to learn more!)   to   to  to

Another thing that I love about Walgreens is the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™. Purchases of every Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products supports bring preventive wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™. These services include preventive health test and education through vouchers at local stores and through the National Urban League Health and Wellness Tour. Walgreens commits up to $3 Million dollars each year to it's Walgreens Way to Well Fund™. (For more information please visit ) I love that just by buying products that help our family, I can help out the community as well. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Another way to win is by entering a giveaway sponsored by Walgreens and Social spark. While I am NOT sponsoring this giveaway, several bloggers that I read daily ARE sponsoring Walgreens giveaways on their sites! Please visit them for your chance to win! Good luck!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts this week...

I have a good excuse...really...

Here is a clue to my excuse....

Did you guess??

We moved to a new house!

In the process of packing, unpacking, working extra hours (both Bill and I) life has been a little crazy around here. We are all moved though and I am off work for the summer (for my main job), so hopefully I can get back into blogging regularly and bring some routine back to your life. Thank you for hanging in there with me!