July.

Man Alive!!! It is freakin’ July.
And Google Reader is no longer with us. Boo. I am seriously not happy about that whole thing. I switched my stuff to Feedly, but it is saying it is at capacity today and I can’t access my shit. Grr….

Anyway. First blog in weeks and I start off bitching. Ha ha.
It’s been a low key summer as far as vacations and fun, but it’s been busy in other respects.
My mom had hip replacement surgery on June 24th. She is currently in a nursing home/rehab place recovering. She is doing really well, and I anticipate a full recovery.
My niece, Ava is up visiting Ohio for 6 weeks, and I am really loving it, although I am getting a taste of motherhood, and, even with a really well behaved seven year old kid – it’s hard work. Ha ha. It’s also funny because I am so ready for her to go on excursions with her friends so I can have a break, but the minute she leaves – I miss her like crazy.

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Love this face and that hair!!

This is the card she got my mom -

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So hilarious.

I went to Trader Joes the other day after my doctor’s appointment. (My doctor is 45 minutes away, and that is where Trader Joe’s is located) and I got these delicious chocolate covered almonds. I highly recommend them if you are like me and like salty and sweet. I am not even a sophisticated dark chocolate lover. But these…oh my word…these are fantastic.

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Okay, I am off to do some reading. I found out online that my doctor wrote a book called Fertility Foods, so I am going to see what that is all about.

I hope you are all having a great summer…say a prayer for Beth FS and their family. They had to have their family dog put to sleep. It was really sad. Has name was Memphis and he was the friendliest, sweetest golden retriever with the most adorable under bite. RIP Memphee!!!

Xoxoxo,
Beth WA

Stretch Goal

I am sick of tired of being sick and tired. I am not sure who I can credit that quote to – it was some comedian in the 90’s – but it is so true. While I’ve been going through infertility stuff, I have been paralyzed in all other aspects of my life, and I’ve decided that has to stop. I am doing what I need to do for that, but there is so much more to life, and I need to start living. I realized this after going out to dinner with my friends on Friday, then getting my hair done on Saturday morning. After doing both of those things, I felt better than I had in ages.
I have also scheduled many really fun concerts and trips in the next several months.

In March I am going to see P!nk with some of my girlfriends. At the end of March I am going to Houston, TX with Craig to see my brother and his wife, and more importantly, my niece!!! It’s a surprise to her, and I can NOT wait.

In April, I am going to see Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band with my parents, and their neighbors who are like family to us.

In May I am going to see The Avett Brothers with a group of friends we’ve seen them with the last two years.

In June, I am going with my bff Liz to Charlottesville, VA to go to some good restaurants, and hopefully see Kath or Matt at Great Harvest. We are avid followers, and think it would be really cool to see them in person.

In July, I am going to see Dave Matthews with Liz, also, and some more girlfriends.

In August I am going to see…wait for it…wait for it…. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AND JAY Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And it gets even better, we have 9th ROW FLOOR SEATS!!!! Thank you, Beth FS for getting us that hook up. I can hardly believe it is even real.

So, the only thing that would make this all better than it is already is if I were more comfortable in my own skin. If I were to be more active, and eating better, and losing some weight. Because, as of right now, I am not doing any of those things, and I can tell it is starting to wear on me.

So, in education we have this thing called a “stretch goal,” that is your long term goal, that sometimes seems unlikely to be achieved until you break it down into smaller SMART goals. So, I am going to take a similar approach. I have a stretch goal of losing 100 lbs, but I am breaking it into 3 phases. First I will set a goal to lose 30 lbs, then I will try to lose 40 lbs, then the last 30. That way, it seems less daunting, and more manageable. I am going to blog about this journey as I go along. I will be using Fitness Pal app for my phone to count my calories, and plan to start my exercise with walking and Kettlebell workouts for weights.
Wish me luck. And join me if you’d like!! I am joining Liz on her journey, as it is so much easier with a friend by your side.

Love to you all, and have a great week.

xoxo,
Beth WA

Sunday, Sunday….

Well, here we are, it’s Sunday, and I didn’t do anything productive yesterday, so I am working most of today. Which is totally fine, and I am not complaining, because, I had a really great Saturday.

First: I got to sleep in, woot! woot!,

Second: My husband went grocery shopping for me, double woot! woot!,

Third: I had lunch with two of my oldest, dearest friends. We picked up Panera and ate it at my house. Then, we sat at my dining room table for 3 *quick* hours and chatted and laughed. I say *quick* hours, because the time flew by. It was 1 then it was almost 4 in a snap.

Fourth: I went on a date with my husband. We went to Columbus, the city we used to live in, that is about 45 minutes away from our house. It has much better restaurant choices than the small town we live in. We went to a place called the “Jury Room.” Dinner was AMAZING. I ordered a brisket and macaroni and cheese sandwich with spicy ketchup. The side dish was truffle fries with aioli. We were SOOO full by the time dinner was over, but it was all SOOOO good. Here is a picture of the sandwich…it was so dark in there, and it is a terrible picture, but I am still posting it.

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We had a really nice time, and after dinner we went over to a new brewery. It was so new, they didn’t have their own beer yet, but served only Ohio beers on tap in the mean time. It was an old gas station, so the front is a garage door that is all windows that I imagine they will open in the summer. There was a food truck outside as well. It was really dark inside, and filled with hipsters.

This morning I have been working on the class I am taking at University of Dayton, online. I was having a rough time, but after emailing with the professor, I got it worked out. Phew.

And now I am about to grade for a million hours.

Oh, one more thing. I have been reading about this French Toast Scramble over at Carrots N Cake for a long time now. When I first read about it, I almost gagged. And every time she would make it I would think, “Eww, gross.” But, then, she kept eating it and RAVING about it, and I was slowly becoming convinced. So, today, I tried it.
And it was DELICIOUS. High in protein, sweet, and FILLING. Three of my top characteristics in a breakfast.
Here is a picture. It isn’t that pretty, but it is good. I swear.
Although, I could see the texture sometimes being something I couldn’t eat (like hummus, oatmeal, and yogurt.)

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What are your favorite breakfasts that are filling and easy to make??

P.S. My brother just sent me this picture of my niece (she dressed herself today), and I could die from the cuteness.

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Well, have a good Sunday everybody!!
xoxoo,
Beth WA

Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans, part deux

So, I am making these for dinner tonight. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas and I can hardly wait! I loved the combination of sweet potatoes and black beans the last time I made them, and have since tried them several different ways.
I am going to show you the pictures that Fannetastic Food posted, and then I will take pictures of mine when I make it tonight.
I’ve been at school for lots of hours this week for an Open House, Science Fair, and just general work, and I am EXHAUSTED – and I still want to make these for dinner tonight if that tells you how excited I am to try them.

Then, after that Beth FS and our friend Amy are coming over to hang out in our pajamas and drink wine and spirits. And then I am sleeping in until forever.

Well, have a good afternoon. Here are the pictures from Fannetastic Food…

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Okay…here are mine! And they were delicious. They tasted so fresh. The only changes I made were that I put a little bit more cheese on it and I used whole wheat tortillas instead of spelt. And the only change I will make the next time is more sweet potatoes. The recipe calls for one, and I would probably use two.

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Bloggers.

I know this isn’t an original idea by any means, but I was thinking this week about the relationship between bloggers and their readers.  As a reader, I feel like I am a friend of the blogger, even though they don’t know who I am.  And I find myself wanting to talk about them with other people.
I was especially thinking about it this week when I read that Caitlin, from Healthy Tipping Point  , announced her pregnancy.  I felt like my friend just found out she was pregnant, and I found myself wanting to tell a bunch of people I know.  But, instead, I just decided to write a congratulatory comment.  : )

Luckily, Beth FS reads many of the same blogs that I do, so we can ‘dish’ about the news on them.

I’ve also found that it takes real talent and dedication to keep up a blog.  Some bloggers make it look so easy, which I now realize it is far from easy!

Well, my cousins are coming in this weekend!! We are so excited to have out of town guests in our current house, because we actually have room for people to sleep!!

Have a great weekend, everybody!!

 

-Beth WA

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes | RecipeGirl.com

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes | RecipeGirl.com.

Pumpkin crazy.

That’s what I am, and that’s what appears the blog world is.  Maybe, that’s why I like the blog world so much.

Anyway, I was catching up with my google reader yesterday, reading all of the blogs for the week, and I came across this recipe.  I am drooling.  And afraid to calculate the weightwatchers points plus.

Today is the day of Beth FS’s little sister’s wedding.  It’s a beautiful fall Ohio day.  I love weddings.  And I love Beth FS’s family, so it will be a blast.

Every time I go to a wedding, I get very nostalgic.  I think about how much I loved my wedding day, and how lucky I was to find my husband.  Because, honestly, that’s what it was.  Luck.  Good luck.

Mr. WA and Me

 

And this is a picture of my bridesmaids.  These are some of the friends I mentioned the other day.  People gave me a hard time about such a large bridal party, but truth be told, I could’ve had 5 or so more.  What can I say, I love a lot of people!

 

I had a really great wedding day, but I know a lot of people had disasters.  Did you have a wedding day disaster?  Is there anything you would do differently looking back?

Sweet Potatoes + Black Beans + Goat Cheese

So, I have been reading on quite a few blogs, especially on http://mealsandmiles.com/ about the combination of sweet potatoes, goat cheese, and black beans.  So, the other day I made myself a quesadilla with this combination and it was DELICIOUS.  I added a little cumin(sorry, Beth FS), cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to the sweet potato.

So, this morning, when I was doing one of my favorite weekend morning activities; drinking coffee, reading magazines, cutting coupons and recipes, and watching my DVR, I was delighted to come across a recipe in my SELF magazine.  It was a Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad.  I never thought to add it to a salad.   And I love warm ingredients on a bed of greens, because I love my lettuce/greens a little bit wilted. (Weird, I know.)

So, I cut up a sweet potato in cubes and baked it at 375 for 15-20 minutes, coated in cooking spray and sea salt.  In the mean time, I filled a bowl with lettuce, yellow pepper, tomatoes, goat cheese, and black beans.  I was trying to decide what dressing I would put on this.

Now, I know salad dressings are frowned upon by the healthy masses, but they are one thing I just LOVE LOVE LOVE.  I don’t need a lot, but I do need it.  As I was deciding what I wanted to put on here, I remembered a salad dressing that Beth FS had made for this delicious BBQ chicken salad she makes.  The dressing is a mix of one part barbecue sauce to one part ranch dressing.  It is the best taste ever, and a little goes a long way.  An added bonus was that I had just found that they sell Bob Evans Wildfire BBQ sauce in the grocery store, so I had purchased some this week.  So, I whipped up 1 tbsp of each, and I didn’t even use half of that.  I put that on the salad before I added the sweet potatoes.

The end result was so delicious, I ate it before I could take a picture of it.  And it was so satisfying.  I highly recommend this to anybody who likes this combination of flavors.

What are your favorite flavor combinations?

 

-Beth WA

Just a few more things I can’t live without

I bought a meal planner.  This is my first step in trying to be more economical with my groceries.  It’s also a way to start to try some of the recipes that I’ve bookmarked, starred in google reader, or cut out of a magazine.  I am hoping that it helps me stay in my points range for Weight Watchers.  Because as they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Right?  Anyway, right now when I go to the grocery I tend to buy the same things over and over, and I sometimes add in new foods I’ve read about in blogs.  I thank food blogs every single day for introducing me to Sunbutter.  It is the most delicious of the natural nut butters.

Jar of Delicious

Here are some other things that I just bought at the grocery that are among my staples.

Krusteaz Pancake Mix.  All you have to do is add water and you have delicious pancakes.  However, I often add oats, fruit, nuts, or other mixins.  It’s a great base, and it is not high in WW Points Plus.

My favorite is to add pumpkin and oats, and eat with Sunbutter on top and a dab of maple syrup.  Delicious flavor, with the protein and fiber.  The fact that pumpkin is 0 weight watchers points plus has been a life changer for me.

 

Speaking of pumpkin, I was SOOO happy to see the return of Liby’s canned pumpkin to my grocery shelf.  I haven’t been able to find it for some time, and the last time I had to buy the huge cans.  While pumpkin is expensive, it is also something I love to add to many foods.

I love pumpkin in oatmeal, pancakes, cookies, smoothies, and cakes!!

I mentioned that food blogs introduced me to Sunbutter.  They also introduced me to http://opensky.com .  It’s a place that some food bloggers act as curators and have sales on certain foods or products that they have featured in their blogs.  Through this, I was introduced to Garlic Gold, and I LOVE it.

Garlic Gold

They are garlic nuggets that are organic and delicious.  I have the Garlic Gold Sea Salt, Garlic Gold Nuggets, Garlic Gold Italian Herbs, and Garlic Gold Parmesan.  The garlic taste is delicious, and the sodium content, on even the sea salt, is low.  They add great flavor and texture.  I love garlic, so I appreciate these to use on salads, vegetables, spaghetti, and many other recipes.

 

Two things that I consume every single day are

Bananas are good for so many things…they are a great thickening agent in oatmeal, they are a great pre-workout fuel, a great afternoon snack, the perfect addition to smoothies for texture and taste, delicious to dip in sunbutter, and what about banana nut bread?  Yum.

 

 

 

And La Croix.  Sigh.  The new love in my life.

Since starting to drink La Croix this summer, I have cut soda out of my daily life.  I used to drink at least one coke zero a day, and now it’s about 2-3 a week, and I usually can’t finish a whole can of pop any more. My “friend” Kath brought this to my attention when I noticed she was always drinking carbonated water.  She said she liked the fizz.  And for me, that’s what I like about pop.  I drink a lot of regular water, but with a meal, I love to have the fizz.  So, this summer, a friend introduced me to LaCroix, and there has been no turning back.  I’ve been trying to moderate my intake, because LaCroix benders are expensive.

Does anybody drink LaCroix?  What’s your favorite flavor?

What are the things that you always have in your pantry?

 

 

 

 

Oatmeal is Delicious

I love oatmeal. Especially on cold fall mornings. I give complete credit to Beth WA for making me realize its deliciousness, and for introducing me to the blog Kath Eats so that I could learn how to make it.  Before I watched Kath’s how to video, the only oatmeal I knew how to make was the kind that came in a little envelope, to which I just added water.  Real stovetop oatmeal is SO much better, and really does not take much more time than the instant stuff. You also get a lot of bang for your buck (which according to me means: not a ton of Weight Watcher points, and it keeps me full for hours).  I use different mix-ins and toppings, depending on what I’m craving.   Sticking with my love of pumpkin, this is my oatmeal of the moment:

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Sweet and Salty Toppings

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup skim milk

Cook according to Kath. (I use banana in every oatmeal except this one)

At the end, stir in:

1/3 to 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin

1 heaping tsp brown sugar

Dash of salt

A few dashes of cinnamon

Top with:

1 TBS Sunbutter

1 tsp white chocolate chips

1 tsp butterscotch chips

Enjoy.

According to my calculations, this is about 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus.

How do you take your oatmeal?

- Beth FS

Healthy Tipping Point

Healthy Tipping Point.

So, I had to write a quick blog entry about Healthy Tipping Point, one of my favorite blogs.  If you read my blog entry the other day, you are probably thinking to yourself, “Beth WA, you are lying.  You listed your top three favs, and HTP wasn’t listed.”  Well, it was a mistake.  I accidentally put on one there, when I meant to put this one.   Shoot.  So, let’s call this one of my top four favorite blogs to read.  Caitlin, the author, is one of “my friends,” in my google reader.  She is hilarious, and makes yummy food.  She is part of this http://operationbeautiful.com/, and I think it’s wonderful.

You know I am truly Catholic (and a little insane) because I have been feeling guilty about this mix up, and wrote a note on my hand to remind myself to clarify.

What blogs do you like to read?  Why do you choose those blogs?  I read so many, for so many different reasons.  I have to figure out how to do a “blogroll.”

But, until then, here are some of my favorites:

http://www.pbfingers.com/

http://mealsandmiles.com/

http://www.whatmegansmaking.com/

http://elastamom.com/

http://keepingtrac.wordpress.com/

http://www.nottobrag.net/

And of course, the ones I references in this blog entry:  http://the2beths.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/kath-oprah-pumpkin-now-thats-what-i-am-talking-about/

Time to do some grading.

-Beth WA