Sunday, January 25, 2009

less is more

more room....and less paper.
Much less.

Does everyone have a stash of useless paper like this?
I sure hope so. Hopefully Im not the only one that's a pack rat like this. I just hate sorting through old paperwork to see what can now be tossed. So I stick it here....

I spent a lot of time this weekend sorting and shredding. I set Paul up at the shredder and I just kept digging and digging until it was down to only the last three years. We filled up the bag in the shredder twice this weekend and had to stop several times because the poor thing was overheated.
Thats way too much paper. It feels good to clear out the unnecessary.
I have a file cabinet to attack next.

A few weeks ago we went to my companies holiday party. We weren't sure if we were going to go or not, but in the end we went and had a blast.
Tracy's been asking, so here's a pic of the pepto bismal pink shoes. I was looking for something to spunk up my little black dress and these and a pink bangle bracelet worked out perfectly.

They had a professional photographer taking pictures at the party, and we're suppose to get those pictures next week. Im hoping ours comes out...we just dont have enough pictures of the two of us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


although she wasn't at all happy about having a cap and tassel on her head, Macie graduated from puppy training class.
We were proud parents as she performed each task perfectly last night. . . down/stay, sit/stay, wait, leave it, and come. Most importantly, she improved with her socialization skills. She started the class with her tail dragging behind her and completely terrified of the other dogs and people. At the end of 8 classes, she started to show interest in sniffing other dogs, as long as they didn't try to sniff her :-)
Baby steps for an extremely shy puppy, but still progress.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sundays are for soup

Today before we went to do our regular grocery shopping, I sat down with a few of my new books and made a menu for the week. Step one of the Ellie Kreiger book is to stock a pantry with healthy ingredients. I got lots of fruits and veges and spent some time getting it all washed, cut and ready to grab when Im packing lunches or making dinner.
I got some great rubbermaid type containers a few weeks ago that hold a ton of veges,
and I filled them up.

This is the one I picked to make first. Black eyed peas, ground beef, carrots, cabbage, green pepper, beef stock, canned tomatoes. and this is how mine came out.
and its really really good :)

When we were at TJ Maxx yesterday we found a great cookbook on soups. We love soups for dinner and the book was a bargain at under $8. I love searching through cookbooks and you can never have too many of them. You cant even buy a magazine for $8.
I really like this book because each page is a full size picture. The opposite page is the recipe.
The ingredients are simple, many of which I already have on hand.
I'd like to start making a big pot of soup each Sunday afternoon. We'll have soup for dinner, and leftovers for lunch the following week.

I took a few pictures of recipes that I have on my list to make in the next few weeks.

Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 word work

My focus word for 2009 is less.
To keep me on track making steady progress with my word, I plan to post here a time or two each month on something that Im doing to work on my word. This is my first word work post of the new year.
The word less means a lot of things to me. I want to have less of a lot of things in my life this year, but I also want more of others. This first step is about eating habits.

For the first time in awhile, I'm not focusing on a diet. Instead we will be focusing on eating healthy and being healthy this year. Less junk food, less fast food, less processed food.
I just ordered two books from Ellie Krieger and they came this week. I haven't dug into them too deeply yet, but I really like her ideas.
They're simple, pretty straight forward and seem easy to follow.

She divides her foods up into three groups. Those that you usually eat, those you occasionally eat, and those that you seldom eat. I like that nothing is left out, but her focus is just on guiding you toward the healthier foods that should usually comprise your diet.
Im a lifetime WW member so its not that I dont know these things, I'm just tired of the WW message and I need to hear it in a different format, I think. Hopefully Ellie's message will inspire me to make a fresh start this year. So far so good.

One of the books I got was Small Changes: Big Results.
Each of the 12 chapters focuses on three small changes to incorporate. So far I like what Ive read and it seems really doable.

The second book I got was The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life. Here are a few of the recipes I'll be adding to our menu this week.

Macaroni and Four Cheeses
Cooking spray

One 16-ounce box elbow macaroni
Two 10-ounce packages frozen pureed winter squash
2 cups low-fat milk
1 1/3 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
2/3 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheeses
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook the macaroni according the package directions. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk in a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar, Jack cheese, ricotta, salt, mustard, and cayenne. Pour this mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine.
Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake until the cheeses are bubbling around the edges, about 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

Makes 8 servingsServing size: 2 cups
Per Serving: Calories 390; Total fat 11g (Sat fat 6g, Mono fat 1g, Poly fat 0.5g); Protein 18g; Carb 56g; Fiber 3.5g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 547mg
Excellent source of: calcium, folate, manganese, niacin selenium, thiamin, vitamin AGood source of: fiber, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin

Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 medium onion, peeled
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper (1/2 medium pepper)
2 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
One 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk and allow to soak while you get the rest of the ingredients together, at least 3 minutes.

Thinly slice one-quarter of the onion into rings and set aside. Finely chop the rest of the onion. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, oatmeal mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Mix just until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 inches high. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions.

Bake until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160°F, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Makes 8 servings Serving size: one 1-inch-thick slice
Per Serving: Calories 205; Total fat 3.5g (Sat fat 0.5g, Mono fat 0.5g, Poly fat 0g); Protein 32g; Carb 13g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 98mg; Sodium 490mg

Sunday, January 04, 2009

9 on the 9th for 2009

A new year and a new monthly album is all ready to go. This years will be 9 photos per month instead of last years 8, and Im using a 9X9 size album to make it easier to use a little bit larger photos.
I've got my front and back covers done, the first page and the monthly pages all ready to go.
For this years album I picked red, brown and cream as the color scheme which I will carry through the year.
For the front and back I covered cardboard that I recycled from a cereal box. I've cut 9X9 pages out of cardstock in brown, red or cream for the interior pages already too, something I did month by month last year. Im feeling more prepared than I was last year when I started.