Friday, June 30, 2017

4th of July 2017

I just got my 4th of July Decor out, 4 days before the holiday. I'm falling behind on my decorating this year, apparently. :) 

But first I want to share this cute American Eagle treat with you. I saw these on The Today Show this morning...

Aren't they adorable? It's just a chocolate cookie as a base, a marshmallow covered in frosting and rolled in coconut, with icing eyes and a cashew nose. So patriotic and cute! 

Okay, so here's my very little bit of 4th of July decor I got out this year...

I saw these cute pillows at Walmart the other day. They were only $8.82 each. I almost got them, but then remembered my solid red pillows at home. I like how the solid red ones will work for not only the 4th of July, but also Valentine's Day and Christmas. But these sure are adorable...

So that's my little bit of patriotic decor this year. Wishing you all a safe and fun 4th of July weekend!


Monday, June 26, 2017

My Fitness Routine and What I Eat

I've gotten lots of emails lately asking for ideas on low calorie snacks/meals as well as what I do for exercise. Today I'm sharing just that. :)

As far as exercise, I run/power walk a couple of miles three to four times a week on the treadmill.  I also use my fitness ball to do push ups and ball passes. 

Here's the fitness ball I have. These come in different sizes for your height. I'm 5'7", so I got the 65cm one. 

fitness ball exercises

These are the ball pass exercises I do...

 And these are the push ups...

 What most of you seem to be interested in though is low calorie food options. I put together a few of my favorites to share with you today.

Have you tried the baked chips? They are really good! You can have 16 of them for about 120 calories. The salsa is about 5 calories per Tablespoon. 

Love the Skinny Cow treats! These are 150 calories each. 

Another one of my favorites. Dove Raspberry sorbet bars. These also come in strawberry. They're 150 calories each. 

Here's a fun little snack. One container of lemon pudding is only 120 calories and 2 Tablespoons of Reddiwip is 15 calories. Such a nice little treat! 

Who doesn't love M&M's for a snack?

Pizza flavored Goldfish, always a good choice...

Did y'all know that 1 cup of air popped popcorn is only 31 calories??? I use a little "I can't believe it's not butter spray" and some ranch popcorn seasoning too. 

One piece of a Hershey's bar is called a "Pip" did y'all know that? Anyway one Pip, or rectangle is only 18 calories. Another favorite of mine is Hershey's dark chocolate kisses. They're only 21 calories each. 

So, now let's see some lunch/dinner examples...

This is an easy and quick lunch. A couple of cheese sticks and ham wrapped around a few breadsticks. Very low calorie and it fills you up. 

Frozen fully cooked shrimp. I put a handful into a bowl of warm water to thaw, then drain and add a little cocktail sauce. Again, very low calorie and lots of flavor. 

We eat at Chick Fil A once a week. If you get the regular sandwich (without the bun) it's only 230 calories. I also sometimes get the grilled sandwich and it's only 100 calories (without the bun) 

healthier options at fast food places

A baked potato is about 160 calories. If you add two tablespoons each of these toppings, that's still only 300 calories. 

Speaking of bacon, have y'all tried any of the fully cooked varieties? It's really good! This particular brand is only 20 calories a slice! Now they're thin slices, but still, it's BACON! Lol!

I can have two slices of bread with a little butter spray and three slices of fully cooked bacon for only 220 calories. 

I know a lot of these pictures show HEB brand items, but they're all available in name brand too, so everyone should be able to find them. I'm just partial to HEB. :) All the different brands are about the same calories too. 

Sometimes you just crave McDonald's right? When that happens, I get two hamburgers (just like the kind that come in the kids meals) and only eat one of the bottom buns. This is only 275 calories, y'all! 

I love jalapeno pimiento cheese. This little sandwich is only 260 calories. Yum!

Sometimes the men in the house have to have KFC. I've got this down to a science...I can have one chicken strip, half a biscuit and a small mashed potatoes and gravy for about 350 calories. 

And one of my all time favorites for lunch or dinner...Lean Cuisine Sweet and Spicy Korean Style Beef and Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. 

I know some of these meals seem small, but you'd be surprised at how they can fill you up...especially if you drink a glass of water first and combine it with a handful of grapes, strawberries, raspberries or other fruit. Frozen raspberries are so refreshing and yummy. :) 

I don't have too many recommendations for breakfast. I usually eat cereal or a Pop Tart. Lol. 

I also wanted to include some lower calorie options from popular restaurants and fast food chains. I think we all frequent these places from time to time and it's good to have an idea of the calorie content to help stay on track...

One small Schlotzsky's grilled chicken breast sandwich = 330 calories.

One small Schlotzsky's chipotle grilled chicken sandwich = 370 calories.

One Taco Bell enchirito = 381 calories.

One 8 count Chick Fil A nuggets = 270 calories.

Two tacos from Jack in the Box = 390 calories.

One Taco Bell fresco chicken soft taco = 150 calories.

One slice of Little Caesar's hot n ready pepperoni = 280 calories.

Four boneless wings from Buffalo Wild Wings = 352 calories.

One Taco Bell crunchy taco = 170 calories.

Panera Bread Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich (half a sandwich) = 340 calories. 

I hope this helped answer some of your questions. If you are curious about anything else, just ask away in the comments. :) Also, be sure to include any tips you have as well. I'm always looking for new inspiration. 

Wishing you all a healthy and happy day!


Friday, June 23, 2017

Cleaning and Purging

Oh, y'all...I spent about 10 hours the other day cleaning and purging stuff from all over my house. Nothing was safe. Lol! I started with my master closet and filled bag after bag with stuff I no longer needed. I soon moved on to my bathroom cabinets and linen closet. I still had a Mary Kate and Ashley flat iron...I kid you not. Ha! It felt so good to gain some space back. 

Then I moved on to the guest bath and cleaned out the cabinets and linen closet in there. Next up was the kitchen junk drawers. Yes, drawers as in plural. I have two. ;) They weren't bad, but did need some straightening up.

Then I tackled the pantry. Oh my...I had two gallons of snow cone syrup that expired in 2014! They were on the top shelf and we hadn't used them in years, but still. 

I had to share these funny cat butt magnets my mom gave me...

Do you see them on the right side of the pic above? So funny! 

Here's a closer look:

Ha ha!

You wouldn't believe how many things I got rid of out of that pantry. 

All in all, I filled about 10 bags with stuff I no longer needed/wanted. And I'm talking those huge 33 gallon lawn and leaf bags. We also donated a whole truck full of stuff to Good Will. 

The next morning, I woke up bright and early and moved all the furniture out of the kitchen and dining room (except the big buffet pieces) and cleaned the wood floors. Then the boys got the oil changed in two of our cars, I did 5 loads of laundry, and made the rounds at Target, Walmart, the post office, etc. It was a long but productive day. 

It feels so good to have a clean, organized house, don't you think? I'm really enjoying all the new found space too. 

P.S. I've been getting a lot of requests lately to do a blog post on my exercise routine and my favorite low calorie snack/meal options. I should have that post up really soon. 

Hope y'all have a good day!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This and That

How is your summer going? Ours is off to a great start! I watched a really good movie the other day..."Walk the Line." It's 12 years old and I just watched it for the first time, y'all! I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was very interesting, for sure. Oh, and are y'all watching the new series called "Downward Dog?" It's so cute! A talking dog...that gets me every time. :) It comes on again tonight at 7 on ABC. 

I've been pretty good at keeping up with my exercise routine this summer, but I was getting bored with just the treadmill. I wanted to incorporate something new into my routine, so I got one of these fitness balls...

I love it! When I'm bouncing on it, I can't help but think of Dwight on "The Office" though. Lol! It came with a little instruction booklet with recommended exercises. My favorites are push ups seen here...

And the ball pass seen here...

I knew it was working when I woke up with sore muscles the next day. :) I'm enjoying doing these exercises first, then running/power walking on the treadmill. It's good to mix things up a bit. 

While we're on the topic of exercise and keeping healthy, I wanted to share these with y'all. These have been on my lunch rotation for several months now...

Some of you have asked how I stay on track when I'm also posting about all those ice cream treats I've been finding. Good question! Lol! As far as the ice cream and other treats, I usually only have a couple of spoonfuls. That seems to satisfy my sweet tooth. And honestly, I could go forever without ever eating ice cream or pie. Now cake and cookies might be a little harder. ;) And if given the choice between a juicy steak and freshly baked bread, I'd pick bread every single time. :) I'm not much of a meat eater. 

I've mentioned this before, but if you're not much of a meat eater either, sometimes you can get low on iron. I found a great way to incorporate more iron into my diet...

Just one cup of Frosted Mini Wheats provides 90% of your daily iron requirement. Also, Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, so if you take a Vitamin C along with your cereal, that'll help even more. Just a little PSA for you today. :) 

I also weigh myself every morning. I definitely indulge in treats every now and then, like the ice cream cake we had for my son's graduation party and every Friday is "Pizza Friday" around here. We also make a weekly stop at Chick fil A. But for the most part, I try to eat pretty healthy the rest of the time. You can't deny yourself treats all the time or it'll backfire. When I do indulge, I try to run a little farther on the treadmill for the next couple of days. Not too much farther, but maybe another half mile or so. 

In other news, I found another new hair product to try and it works great! It's Pantene Pro-V Smoothing Combing Creme. It's a leave in combing creme and it fights frizz like a champ! I like it as well as my all time favorite, Suave Sleek Anti Frizz Smooth and Shine Cream. Some of you were having trouble finding the Suave one, so I wanted to report this one is really good too. 

I wash and condition like usual, then after towel drying my hair, I apply this and comb it through. Then I blow dry as usual, then use my curling iron to further smooth it out while adding in a little bouncy curl. I love how it keeps my hair practically frizz free.

Speaking of curling irons, I picked this one up the other day. I'd been wanting a bigger barrel for looser curls, so I got this one...

It seems to be just right for producing those big loose curls. :)

This is my attempt to take a pic of my big loose curls, lol...

I recently mentioned my son went to New Braunfels with friends. They rented an airbnb and look what was waiting for them right outside their door...

He said there were so many deer just lounging around like this! He's never been so close to one before. I thought that was so neat! 

Here's another pic from their little vacation...

Gosh, I love these kids! 

Y'all have a great day!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Graduation Party 2017

Most of you know my youngest son Logan graduated from high school recently. We are so proud of him and all he's accomplished. Next up, he'll be starting college in the fall. He had a graduation party at the house for all his friends, but we also had a little family get together later in the week. 

For the family party, I went for something simple and easy. I asked him what kind of food he wanted and he said tacos from Taco Bell, chips and salsa from our local Mexican restaurant and an ice cream cake. So that's precisely what we did. :) 

I've used this sign multiple times now for my older son's high school graduation, his college graduation, and now my youngest son's high school graduation. 

Logan's sweet friend recently had a graduation party and used this cute banner. Since our party was right after hers, she offered to let us use her banner too. It worked out perfectly! Thanks, Payton! 

Here's the table before the food arrived. 

I've had those "Congrats Grad" trays for a long time too. Got them on clearance at Joann's. And see the pictures hanging from twine on the frame? Those are all Logan's first day of school pics from Pre-K through his senior year in high school. :) 

I also framed his graduation announcement. See that tablecloth? It's a vinyl one that I keep reusing over and over. :) And I lucked out and found plates and napkins at Walmart that matched my tablecloth and trays I already had. 

We got the 12 pack of tacos from Taco Bell as requested and paired them with some chips and red and green sauce from a local place. 

The yummy ice cream cake...

I made my famous frozen punch too. It's so refreshing and yummy, especially on a hot day. You can click HERE for the recipe.

I found these handy little condiment containers at Walmart. They're disposable and worked perfectly for holding individual servings of salsa. 

And that was our little grad celebration! The graduate then went on to enjoy a much deserved vacation with friends to New Braunfels. They had so much fun floating the river, going to The Island, playing around in Canyon Lake and relaxing all week long. Ah, the life!


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