Thursday, October 31, 2013

More ready for winter ....

It has started turning cold here in Virginia
we've been having some nice daytime temps in
the  60's and low 70's but night time has been getting chilly
and sliding into bed with summer sheets is cold!
So I decided to go ahead and put some flannel sheets on the bed
and while at it, went ahead and put my red bedspread out
along with my Christmas quilt.......ha!!
here's my bed.....looking all comfy and ready for winter!!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ready for winter ....

On Sunday I spent a little bit of time cleaning
up the deck and patio .... getting ready for winter
the flowers have about had it for this season
so I cleaned all of those up
and good grief.......had pine tags everywhere
so I got all of them bagged
and the furniture stacked up and covered
I'm ready for the first snow now :)
below are the before pictures.......

I brought the lanterns in as I'll use them in my Christmas
decorations. I may give the large ones a new coat of spray paint
they really got dull during the summer from the sun

and now look, all cleaned up!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall flowers ...

Who doesn't love the colors of fall flowers
so rich, so beautiful
I was grocery shopping at Trader Joes on Saturday
and they have the best prices on their flowers
well, they do on their food too......ha!
So I treated myself to a bouquet for the kitchen


Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin seeds ....

I roasted the pumpkin seeds from our pumpkins
on Sunday afternoon
after giving them a good wash, I dried them off really good
then spread out on a cookie sheet
drizzled with melted clarified butter
and a good dose of sea salt
In to the oven for about 30 min


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pumpkin carving ....

Jake came home for the weekend and suggested having
dinner on Saturday night since he always misses
Sunday night dinner
and with it, we could carve pumpkins
what fun.....except that Nicole and crew had to leave
as Gabe was getting sick and had a fever.
So we missed them
But Jake and Bucky enjoyed carving them up

Both of them drew out their designs before carving
and both of them had to turn the pumpkin around
and start over .... haha

Going to roast these seeds later....

Declan's first Halloween ...

Not a good picture, blurry.......but his look is so precious

I saw this idea on Pinterest and asked Jake to do for me
He did a great job!

And Bucky did his design to show his pumpkin is in shock
at Jake's pumpkin eating somebody.......zombie pumpkin!!


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Granola ....

I love to eat granola as a snack
but I don't eat processed food and grains anymore so
I needed to find a recipe that was grain free
This one fit the bill.......and it's so good
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped ( with macadamia nuts at $7.99 a lb. I chose to use raw cashews instead)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh dates, diced ( I did not use these simply because I didn't have any. When I make this again, I'm going to use raisins instead)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine almonds, coconut flakes, nuts and fruit in a bowl.
Whisk together oil, honey and cinnamon
Pour oil-honey mixture over nuts and fruit, and mix
Spread onto a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheet
Bake for one hour at 275 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent burning.
Another thing I will do different is not add the cranberries until halfway through the cooking. Because they got a little too hard, almost burnt.
And I totally forgot to take a picture so a post without a picture...tsk tsk!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Walking Dead ....

I never had the desire to watch The Walking Dead
but back in the summer, Johnny and I were just returning home
from the bay and Jake was home watching marathon
Walking Dead
and with coming home and not really wanting to do anything else
I plopped down and started watching it with him
I still can't believe it but I got hooked
I can't believe it because those kinds of shows just don't
normally appeal to me.

But Jake told me it would be best to go back and watch
the other 2 seasons so I could better understand the relationship
the characters have with each other

So Johnny and I have spent a lot of time with Netflix catching
up on The Walking Dead

And we were able to watch the season opener the other night
and's good. I get so dang nervous watching it that sometimes
I have to get up and go in the other room.
While watching it I often cover my eyes, kick my legs, and yell at
those dang zombies!!
Then when it's time to take the dogs out before bed, I have to get
Johnny to go out with me, you know, in case there really
are some zombies out there
and here's a picture of a cutie, Declan
because what's a post without a picture
and I don't have pics of any zombies......just cute grandbabies!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Crawling ....

Our grandson Declan is 7 months old now
and he is starting to get mobile....

I kept him the other day and he discovered exploring
all over the downstairs
not the best pictures but he won't stop moving and
I'm not that great with "action" pictures...ha!


very cute ... but the dogs don't think so
he goes after them and they run!
he gets very excited as he crawls and starts laughing
and then just takes off!!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

More about fall ....

Another thing that I love about fall is that
we see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets
they are so beautiful....

here is our sunrise on Oct 8th
these were taken at 6:50 am right before heading out to work
no touchups......the colors started as
pink and purple
and in a matter of minutes changed to orange


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall ....

I can't believe that I have
had these in my house for a couple of weeks
now and haven't had a single one

and I love them......

Losing weight, outstanding lab results and feeling great
are all things I have gained through clean eating
but I think the biggest thing I gained was
WILL POWER....haha!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Whole30 tips ....

I really didn't know a lot about doing the Whole30 when I started
I had a list of what I could eat and that was about it
I just learned along the way
and to my advantage, I had 2 friends at work doing it with me
so between the 3 of us, we figured it out and gave each other tips
Now I have a lot of people asking me about it and how to do it
so I thought I would write up a post with things I learned
so here ya go......just random stuff that I learned
  • Trader Joe's sells canned coconut milk for 99 cents per can. Everywhere else is over 2 bucks a can
  • Trader Joe's is also where I shop for my clarified butter, hamburger patties, Thomcord grapes (the best) avocados, salsa, lots of veggies
  • Whole Foods is where I buy my raw cashews and coconut chips
  • I didn't always have a protein at each meal in the first week but I quickly learned that you must have protein with every meal
  • It is better to eat your fruit with your meal
  • My favorite snack is a mixture of raw cashews, almond slices, coconut chips and unsweetened dried banana chips. I mix this all together and keep in Ziploc bag. I always make sure if I'm going to be out and might not eat on time, I have a small baggie of my trail mix to hold me over
  • Olives are so dang good and you can have all you want! They are another favorite snack of mine
  • I buy my grain fed hamburger patties at Trader Joes. Then I put each pattie in a Ziploc baggie and freeze. Whenever I'm in a pinch for a quick lunch or dinner, pull them out, they thaw in about 15 minutes. Fry up in some coconut oil and top with good!
  • Trader Joe's salsa is awesome.......and it has NO SUGAR
  • Speaking of coconut oil, you can buy a very large container of organic coconut oil at Costco for about $15
  • Always try to double up on whatever you're cooking so you'll have lunch for the next day
  • I worried in the beginning about eating too many eggs and the effect it would have on my cholesterol. Well I didn't really need to worry because after 30 days, my cholesterol dropped from 241 to 202 and even better, my triglycerides dropped from 239 to 93!!! My doctor told me that eggs are good for you and eat all you want!!
  • And let me tell you about salt.........I felt like I craved it. So I asked my doctor about that and she said have all the salt you want. Because when you give up processed food, you are not getting the sodium your body needs so it's fine to salt your food.
  • When you go to the grocery store, it's a much quicker trip now. You only shop the produce/fruit and the meat section.......done!!
  • Read every label before you buy. If there are ingredients that you cannot pronounce, then don't buy it.
  • Also sugar as an ingredient goes by about 10 other it and then learn them :)
  • If in the nutritional label on food it has grams of sugar but in the ingredients list there is no sugar, then that means it is natural sugar from the food, so you're good to eat that. But again, learn the different names that sugar goes by because the food manufacturers try to sneak it in everywhere!
  • Some people say this is a lot of work but think about's just 3 meals a day, which you're going to have anyway. Just plan ahead.
  • I roast all of my veggies the same way ... drizzle with olive oil and salt with sea salt and cracked pepper....on a cookie sheet, oven 400 degrees for 30 min. I roast mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, sweet potatoes.....just every veggie you can think of! You'll never go back to fixing any other way
  • Make yummy smoothies.....1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup crushed ice, through the blender or use an immersion blender. For my banana smoothie, I use 2 bananas. For berries, I use 1 cup of berries. Mangos are my favorite smoothie!!
  • To make it easy on myself, I did not go out to eat in restaurants during my Whole30. But now, I do as I have learned how to order food that is good for me. Never did I think I would say "hold the cheese"
  • I learned for me that cheese is bad for my sinus'. So as much as I loved it, I love feeling great better so I'll skip the cheese and that's just fine.
  • I started my Whole30 on July 10th. Today Oct 6th I pretty stay on it but I have added some things back into my and popcorn being 2 of them. I now cook my popcorn in a lunch bag in the good and no chemicals.
  • As of today I have lost 15 lbs and a lot of inches......I haven't measured lately. I went from wearing a size 12 to now a size 6. Just 2 weeks ago I bought new size 8 pants and now they are too big. But better than all of that, I can't believe how good I feel.
That's it for now......if I think of other things, I'll list them. If you have questions or are starting it and need help, just let me know.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Chicken soup ....

I love making and eating homemade soups
especially during the fall and winter
here's my newest chicken soup recipe
very easy, very yummy
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 4 cups celery, chopped
  • 4 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (I do not add parsley as I prefer the flavor of rosemary in my chicken soup so I use a little dried rosemary)
  • 3 lbs chicken meat, shredded (I use chicken breast, cook it then shred it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Heat a large pot over med heat and add in bacon grease. When hot, stir in garlic and onions and sauté.
When onions are slightly translucent, add broth, celery, carrots, parsley and chicken.
Sprinkle salt and pepper in....and give it one good stir
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
This recipe follows Paleo eating. Just make sure you check out the ingredients in your chicken broth. I buy the organic and make sure I get the one with NO added sugar. So shocking all of the items they add sugar to.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Vacation part 6 ...

last post of vacation pictures.......
here comes the sun.....
our bedroom faced the ocean and you pretty much needed
to be wearing sunglasses in bed every morning, haha
So I decided I might as well get up and get pictures of it
look at the bird sitting on the post

Jake taking a weird selfie.....

I love this crazy bathing suit that Declan is wearing

the boys had a lot of fun playing in the sand

I took so many pictures just like the one below of Jake
when he was 10, 11, 12 years old
he was obsessed with the skim board
and showed us he still had his skim board skills

cute little baby bump........

In January this little family of four will become 5
with another little boy!! Nicole is def out numbered

I hope you enjoyed all of our vacation pictures.