Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fourth of July

Hope everyone had a wonderful fourth of July. How did you celebrate?

We celebrated by just spending the day together enjoying a day off. We got up early and went to the Farmers Market to get some veggies.


I think the whole town had the same idea. There were a lot of people shopping. We got a few veggies we need such as tomatoes and cucumbers but then we always grab a new veggie to try that we have never seen before. Today it was a purple Bell pepper.
 


They were really good and sweet just like the red or green ones but I thought the skin of the pepper was a little tough. However, I cant wait to put some on my salad today.

The day started out as being hazy and gloomy, then turn to a small shower that afternoon as we ventured out into the streets of Gastonia to enjoy the festivities that were going on up there.

 
The rain passed by quickly and the sun came out making it a beautiful day.


There were several vendors, rides for kids, crafts a games. We even saw a hot dog eating contest. That was painful.


I could not resist the temptation of the little bakery uptown as we sat outside and nibbled on a couple mini cupcakes. I said "mini".



Later that afternoon we met up with family for dinner then home for an evening walk. As we walked we could hear the bombs bursting in the air all around us from nearby thrill seekers and their fireworks. We decided not to go back uptown for the firework show because by the time we finished walking we were ready to call it a night.


We stood in our driveway and saw some fireworks in the horizon , under the stars and that was just enough for us to think "God Bless America".

Friday, July 3, 2015

Strawberry Salsa

Hope everyone has a great Independence Day! So far its rainy here in North Carolina. But that's ok, we have not had rain in weeks so this is a good thing. It should go away by tomorrow so the town can enjoy some fireworks.

Today I want to share this strawberry salsa I made. It has a taste like no other. My family keeps eating on it but we have not figured out what it would be good on or with. This was a healthy, fresh delicious choice with a bang of sweet-tart flavor. Some think it would be good with tortilla chips but my husband thinks coolwhip would be the thing. I think eating it alone as a side would be the best.

Strawberry  Salsa
1 pint chopped strawberries
1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Whisk oil and vinegar together then mix in the remaining ingredients. refrigerate for 1 hour.
 
This dish will be perfect for cookouts and picnics. Just take it along as any other salad and enjoy.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nutrisystem-Weekends on My Own

Well I just competed my 6th month on Nutrisystem. That's officially one half year.

I have changed my program to "weekends on my own". That means they send me 20 days worth of food instead of 28. I'm trying to learn to make healthy choices on my own so I can eventually let go of Nutrisystem. Ill admit, I'm scared. I'm afraid of what I may eat. When the foods are right there ready to eat as Nutrisystem is, Its easy to discipline myself. But put me out there where the fried pickles yell my name, and hot dogs are smelling up the air, It makes me nervous. I know I sound silly but its the truth. I do not have much will power but I do not want to get overweight again , so I can do this. By the way. I make the best fried pickles and you can find my recipe HERE.

WARNING: These are dangerous!!!! Stay away if your dieting

The weight is coming off very slow. I only lost a little over 3lbs. during the month of June. I guess that's better than a gain. Ill take every oz. I can get. I think I actually hit a plateau this month. I went 2 weeks with no weight loss then on the third week I lost a few ounces. Then all of a sudden on the 4th week I lost 3 lbs. I just did the same calorie intake and same exercise and finally started loosing again. Those last few lbs. are the hardest and slowest to get rid of.

You can view my whole week by week journey here.

No matter how much or less I loose I have to say that I feel better now. I love going shopping and about everything I grab to try on fits! New York Company has became my favorite store lately as I can fit into all of their size 6s. woohoo!

Some of the changes I have noticed in the six months I've been on this diet are:
  • My heartburn and acid reflux have disappeared.
  • More energy.
  • Better self esteem.
  • Sleep better.
  • Breathe better.
  • I crave healthier foods.
  • looser skin (not a fan).
  • I'm learning to appreciate water.
  • I can curl up in a chair with room left over.
  • I do not sweat has much.
  • I can easily turn down unhealthy foods.
  • I can shop in the Junior department.
  • Just all over feel better inside and out.
I absolutely do not have anything to complain about with the Nutrisystem diet.
Whenever I have a question or concern, customer service is always so nice and helpful. I have also made friends with other Nutrisystem users through the website and MyFitnessPal. There is a NS group on there where we all discuss the diet and help each other along. No one talks about politics or world news, Just about the diet and each other. We play goal games and never speak negative about each other. It helps.

MyFitnessPal is a great app to have. You can log all your foods with all the nutritional information you need. If you have a fitbit (as I do) you can sync it with MyFitnessPal. They both are great things to use.

My goal for July is to loose 5 more lbs.. that will put me at my goal weight. I do not mind going under my goal weight for I will be going on vacation in August and would like to enjoy some ice cream without guilt. Maybe even grab me some of those fried pickles.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunscreen Changes

Summer is here! Before you head outside be sure you protect yourself from the dangers of the sun.

I'm one of those people that do not burn easily. In fact, to be honest, I don't usually even wear sunscreen even while I'm on the beach.  However, I always made sure my daughter was protected. I just hate the oily sticky feeling and then worry if I miss a spot.
As I've gotten older, I have been using makeup and BB creams with SPF on my face just to keep it for getting that leathery look.

Even though I do not use sunscreen like I should, I highly recommend everyone to wear it. I am in my 40's and I am just noticing the affect of never using the stuff. Not pretty.
Before you buy that Banana Boat or Coppertone, read some of these interesting facts and changes I have learned.



Broad Spectrum:
The FDA has made changes to the labels on sunscreen. You will notice when you purchase a bottle or spray it will have on the label "Broad Spectrum". This means it will protect from both A and B ultraviolet rays and has a protection factor of 15 or more.
If it does not say "Broad Spectrum", then it only protects against sunburn, not sun cancer, according to the FDA.
Products that do not meet those requirements will have an ugly label on them saying "Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert". Wow if that's not enough to make you put back and spend a little more on the good stuff.

Water Proof:
No sunscreen is guaranteed to have endless hours of protection. It is important you reapply every 40 to 80 minutes. New rules now also require manufactures to tell customers how long the sunscreens can stand sweat and swimming. In fact, manufactures are prohibited from even claiming their product is waterproof at all.

SPF Levels:
Choose at least 15 to 20 SPF. Higher levels only filter about one or two more percent. The FDA is still in the process of changing the SPF labels. Some products will have as high as 100 SPF printed on the labels. This is misleading. FDA is considering making manufactures lower the number to 50 and just put "+" after the number (50+).

When I do rarely wear sun protection, I notice I still tan, just slower, and as a matter of fact, the tan will stay longer if I use the sunscreen. Now, lotion down and get out there and enjoy yourselves!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sun Flowers and Burlap

This past weekend I attended my nephews wedding. It was a cute little wedding out in the country on lovely Lin-Way Farms. These two kids are some of the sweetest, and most down to earth people I know. They are also as southern as you can get and will have you rolling in stitches laughing when your around them. They have known each other from church since they were little and grew into best friends that will last them a life time.


Being an outdoor wedding there was always the fear of rain. We have not had rain for weeks but today, it rained. However, It didn't affect the wedding at all except for a slight delay while they redressed the tables for the reception. The little bit of rain that came down gave us a break from the hundred degree weather we were about to endure as we all sat anxiously in a field waiting on the wedding to start.

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As the wedding began, the bride came in on a horse and carriage. She was just beautiful. When the Father gave the bride away, there was not a dry eye around. It was so sweet. 

Once the marriage was complete they rode off on a John Deer Tractor. It was so funny how they put it all together to surprise the guest as they jump on and rode off while the song "She Thinks My Tractors Sexy" played in the air. 
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The farm was made up beautiful, yet simple just like the bride and groom. They did a lot of the decorating using their own ideas. Just check out this bouteneer the grooms and groomsmen wore. A bullet tied with a burlap. The bride made these herself.


The isles were decorated with mason jars on shepherd hooks filled with wild flowers.

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The tables were simply decorated with the wedding colors. The center pieces were made up of sliced wood rounds cut by the father of the bride.

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I'm sure that a lot of family and friends had part in all the decorations. It was perfect. Look how they did the guest cake table. That was unique.


In the barn, we enjoyed visiting the horses while we visited the guest table and suggestion table.


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And the food?? Oh man, the food was delicious complete with venison stew, BBQ, slaw, potato salad, a chocolate fountain and more. It was all so nice and Lin-Way Farms fit this couple perfect, and the owners were the sweetest couple and did everything to make sure the day went smooth.


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After a trip to Tennessee, The couple will continue living happily ever after the way God has planned..

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ice Creamless Banana Split

 

Who says you cant break rules and enjoy a banana split without the ice cream?
Ok all of you out there wanting to eat healthy and still have a sweet treat without the guilt. Your going to love this.

I created a banana split using all good stuff. I can call it a banana split because I DID split the bananas right?


Here is simply all you do:
  • Get a banana and split it in half long ways.
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of melted peanut butter onto it.
  • Add a mixture of fresh fruit such as strawberries, apples, blueberries, pineapple, etc....
  • Add a scoop of sugar free cool whip on top of that and sprinkles with nuts or almonds.
  • Now enjoy!
Perfectly healthy and the peanut butter adds protein. You can even add your favorite yogurt in there somewhere.


This is a great way to enjoy a snack without the fat and calories of Ice cream. Not saying its better, but that its better for you if your on a diet. My favorite part is the sugar free cool whip ( not "fat free" its just nasty).You will never know the sugar is not in there. I love that stuff.
 
If you are on the Nutrisystem Diet like I am, this would count as one Smart Carb, one Power fuel plus an Extra.
 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Transfer Drawings to Towels

Transfer your childs drawings!
Fathers Day is just around the corner and have I got the cutest little idea. You can do this in about an hour. You will have as much fun doing this as your child did in the first place.


I give all the credit to my daughter who is now in her 20's. She used to make cards for her dad all the time with sweet little notes and pictures in them. These pictures are from about 20 years ago. Oh my am I getting old or what??
 

I took the cards, made copies of her drawings and put the originals back in their place. Then I bought some thin cotton tea towels from Target. I placed the picture under the towel and with a fine sharpie I traced it onto the towel. Remember to get thin cloths so the pictures will show thru so you can trace them.
 
 
I laugh when I read these because it looks like she wrote the pet name we called her (boo) and every name he's been called around the house. If she were to make these today, she wouldn't have written sweetie or honey. It would be more like butthead or something. hahaha. They are always picking on each other like that.
 

Well, there you have it. The sharpie ink does not wash out and you now have a cute little keepsakes the will last forever!

This would be a great project to do for Mothers Day, Birthdays and weddings too.  Have fun making yours!
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