Saturday, February 6, 2016

Keep Pounding

"Keep Pounding"

That's the motto around here theses past few month. Our very own team here is Charlotte made it to the Superbowl 50. They will be playing against the Denver Broncos which obviously is a good team as well. We finished the season with only one loss. That's pretty darn good.

Everywhere you look, the streets are vending with Panther merchandise and the stores are over flowing with memorabilia. This is what our city looked like during a pep rally and send off party for the team last week.

This was a week day. Where do these people work??? or Do they?

We do not have any plans for a Superbowl party but some friends have invited us over to watch the game. However, We will probably just sit here in the comfort of our home snuggled together in the den.
Nick and I are not big football fans but we get excited when our own team makes it to the top. 

Despite the diet, I wanted to bake something for the occasion. I had an idea for a Panthers themed pound cake. I called it "Keep POUNDing Cake". Its a regular pound cake with a swirl of jello powder layered in the middle. The Jello turns into a sweet center. Blue of course. I wish I had added more Jello center than I did. 

I will not be eating all of this cake. We are actually choosing a healthier snack of veggies, but I plan to take a couple pieces of this cake for Nick and I to enjoy and give the rest to my daughter so she can share it at her own Superbowl gathering. 

The wins have been good for my Etsy business too. I've kept busy making Carolina Panther inspired hats for several customers requesting them before the big game. I made some baby hats, adult hats and even dog hats.

Mission accomplished. I'm all caught up and they are all in the hands of those fans (or should I say heads). Now I plan to sit back in my new recliner and enjoy the game or should I say commercials.

Who do you think will win the Super Bowl? And how are you celebrating?

Congratulations Carolina Panthers for making it this far !! 
Keep Pounding !!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Vintage Obsession

During the cold Winter days I tend to keep myself cooped up inside a lot. Then there are Saturdays and Sundays. Ahh the two days a week I don't have to worry about getting up and going to work.

Me and Nick will often take a trip to the antique malls and thrift stores on the weekends. I've learned something about myself the past year or so by going to these places. I have an obsession with vintage tea towels and table cloths along with the addiction to vintage Corningware, and Pyrex.

It's sort of a weird obsession too. Like, I do not want someone else to give it to me. I like to find it. Like looking for treasure. I'll grab a piece from a pile of junk before I take a piece included in a whole collection. Its when I find that one bowl or one cup marked below its value that catches my eye and I have to have it.

I like going to estate sales of homes that have been occupied for years. That's where I can find the the good stuff. I had a few given to me from my late Father-in-law and Mother-in-law. Something about the worn out look and softness of the old tea towels that I just love. I do not mind the tiny tea and coffee stains. Nor do I mind the tiny holes and frayed edges of most. Each one has its own story.

The other day at the Goodwill, there were shelves and shelves of coffee cups. The sign said .49 cent. One cup caught my eye. I immediately took it from the pile of unwanted mugs.

Of course, it was "crown corning". Like I really need any more cups, I had to have it. Those are rarely a find in thrift stores. I brought this cutie home and gave it a good sterile wash and now she sparkles.
Its one of my favorites while my husband enjoys drinking form his collection of Fire King mugs handed down from his grandparents and parents.

What are some of your favorite treasures or obsessions?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nutritsystem-One Year Later

Well Its been a little over a year now since I started Nutrisystem.
You can read about my whole journey here.
I reached my goal within about 7 months of being on the program. I have lost a total of 48 lbs as of today. I do not do any excessive exercise. I just try to get at least 9k steps in each day and sometimes will resort to my hula hoop (unless dancing in the car counts).

Im still on the program and have my foods shipped to me each month. I love that advantage. I go online before the ship date, and choose all the meals I want from the menu. Its like I have my own little chef.  I do the "weekends on my own" plan. That's where they only send me enough food to eat five days a week and gives me two days off. I would like to eventually stop Nutrisystem all together but I do not trust myself right now to eat right on my own. Besides Nutrisystem is actually cheaper in the long run. A lot of foods bought at the grocery store go bad before I can get it all eat. And the healthy foods seem to be so expensive. However, I do still have to buy some veggies to eat daily as those are not included in the shipment.

My husband does not mind that I have my own food plan. We spend hardly any money for his foods at the grocery store. He eats lots of salads, nuts and other healthy choices while also cooking up nutritious suppers for himself. Sometimes I will swap out my Nutrisystem dinner if he cooks something that's fits along with my diet.

I see where people have lost over 100 lbs. on Nutrisystem. I admire those people for their dedication and hard work. The more weight you need to loose, the easier it is to loose. I needed to loose only 30 lbs., I did it in seven months. Someone who needs to loose more can do it in two to four months. Its weird. Now that im at 120 lbs., I can't seem to loose any more. My weight is staying between 120 and 123. That's ok with me. I'd really like to loose just two more so I can claim a 50 lbs. loss. But maybe Ill hit the mark this summer when I can get back to more outside exercise and get out of hibernation.

I will probably stay on Nutrisystem until I actually can't stand it anymore or can no longer afford it, but right now I still like all the foods and convenience. My yearly physical was great. All my tubes and pipes are working like they should and I feel good all the time. I look forward to a full summer with a slimmer body. My plan now is to firm and tone up.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

That Spot

I grew up in a little Baptist church on the West side of town. It was old and parts of it were dilapidated. However, new parts were added years before my time. I grew up in this church from the day I was born. I even took my own daughter to this church from the very first Sunday after she was born. My parents made sure we went every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesdays. It's where I attended many youth lock-ins, choir practices, Sunday school, Mission Friends and Acteens. Where I giggled with my friends during service and played under the pews when I was bored (later resulting in spankings when I got home).

A few years back (ok it was like 20 years ago but don't do the math). the building was sold and the church moved to a new built location where I still attend service every week with my parents by my side.

The old church building is now a furniture store. Its still looks the same from the road. I have been shopping for a new recliner and the furniture store that took over is one that we have bought furniture from in the past. As we walk in the doors, I could smell right past the leather and suede of the new fabrics to that certain smell in the air of my old church. The dense smell brought back a lot of memories.

We walked around and went to an area of furniture that was in what used to be the fellowship hall. I could vision in my mind my mom and other ladies in the church standing in there preparing for many covered dish dinners or baby and wedding showers. We left that area, not sure I even took notice any of the new furniture. We walked down the hallway to what used to be the sanctuary. As I stood in the back of the store, or was it the front of the store? I look down toward where the alter once stood.

It was that spot...Right there.

That spot where I publicly accepted Jesus as my savior  and looking up to where I was then baptized.
Where my family and I sang with the choir. yes I actually used to sing in the "youth" choir.
That spot where I performed many Christmas and Easter plays.
Where we had a baby dedication for my daughter.
That spot where my daughter performed in dances and musicals.
That spot where the Lord Supper (communion) was served. I remember how all the kids would sneak up there after service and finish off all the juice from those tiny teaspoon size cups. 
That spot where my Daddy gave me away and me and Nick got married.

and it was THIS spot that ........

I bought my first recliner!!! Yes, after searching many locations for the right one...There it was,

Oh yea, its pretty nice with a seat  heater and massager. Just what I need when my muscle spasm start up in my back. I ordered it in a different color. Besides, I didn't want the one off the floor that everyone else has already tried out. It should be here is a couple weeks.

This was another goal accomplished in 2016.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Here I go again with another  "Mug" recipe. Obviously the tooth I had pulled a week ago was not my sweet tooth.

I'm gonna make this short and sweet (no pun intended).

I was looking for a single serve recipe. Something that included ingredients that I could find in my pantry. Something simple and sort of healthy. Well, I found this recipe for Peanut butter cake that included just a couple tablespoons of this and a tablespoon of that. This recipe does not include any flour so I thought it would be healthy and figured I'd give it a try. I'm such a sucker.

I was a little skeptical about it but I gave it a shot anyway. With 13 grams of Protein, this would be a perfect snack for, say... a body builder, maybe. This cake is not for the one on a diet. I learned this AFTER I ate it all. This tiny cup of cake has a whopping 308 calories! Oh but how did it taste? It was rather delicious with the texture of a muffin. It was not too sweet but had just enough sweetness to satisfy my craving. I ended up adding some whip topping but it was just as good without it. 

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

In a large Mug or Bowl
Mix the following ingredients until smooth (It will have a caramel texture and color).
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1 pinch of Baking Soda
Microwave for One Minute- Allow to cool for a minute.

Original Recipe

Monday, January 25, 2016

Valentine Crochet

Valentines Day is near. This is one of my favorite days.

After Valentines Day, I start getting ready for spring. I begin my tanning sessions and begin my Easter shopping along with spring cleaning and decorating.

With love in the air, It put me in the mood to crochet some valentiney things. I created these coffee mug cozies. The were all experimental patterns that turned out quite well if I must say so myself.
The white one is my favorite. I somehow come up with a stitch of my own and added a free hand embroidered heart to the side. This created a nice thick, tight weaved piece of fiber art. 

I put them in my shop in hopes to make a little extra cash (health insurance is not cheap now days). They are perfect to decorate your mug or give as a gift. If they do not sell, I may just do that myself. I can stuff some goodies in a mug, wrap it in love and share it.

I went to the dollar store the other day, you know, those stores where everything is only a dollar. Well, not so much at this one. I found some greeting cards and candy. Then I grabbed some lovely items to decorate my mantle for Valentines Day that included a wood sculpture and some heart shaped garland. Upon arriving at the register I heard the cashier tell another customer that some of the Valentine items cost more and you will have to spend at least ten dollars to get them for one dollar. 

Uh??? No.

Now you know your poor when you start putting things back at the dollar store!!!! I told my husband to just put the garland and things back. I can make my own.

and that's exactly what I did.

My hand crocheted garland is a lot nicer than the plastic/paper ones at the dollar store and knowing I made it myself makes it more special to me. I found this cute heart pattern online and got to work.

I used my lighted crochet hook not to disturb my Husbands comfort of the dim lighted room while watching TV. (cool huh), It took me about an hour to create ten little hearts and string them together.

Using some steam from my iron, I flatten them out a bit and hung them on the mantel. I will now add some matching candles and other lovely items to make that sweet Valentine look I intended.

Now on to some valentine foodie ideas.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Snow Day

We had some snow today mixed with a lot of sleet and freezing rain. That's par here in North Carolina. Rarely do we see just snow. Also around here, when we see a few flakes the cameras come out and everyone has to announce "Its snowing" with pictures as proof. When we get the first sign there might be snow, all the schools and businesses close down. Crazy isn't it? I bet you Northerners think we are hilarious at this point.

I work with a small business that is run from fleet vehicles and we do not attempt to put them on the road when its bad. Its got to be pretty bad thought. We service everywhere from Lancaster SC to Boone and Asheville NC and everywhere in between.

Let me start with saying I do not get up even on a work day until 7:00 or 7:30. Pretty much depends when the sun comes through the window. Well, I get a text this morning at 5:00! It was one of our managers. "Don't bother coming in today, we will not be working therefore we are not opening the office. Sleep in". Um...Its 5:00 in the morning!!! Its snowing outside and the sleet is slapping the bedroom window. I hardly think I can "sleep in".  My husband is sound asleep. I managed to doze off a while longer until my fitbit vibrated to let me know its time to wake up. Im up!

This is really nice. Its so peaceful outside as the world around me has turned white. The snow is falling and the trees are doing all they can to hold the weight of the snow and ice covered limbs. It has done this all day long. I was able to enjoy my coffee and breakfast without rushing to work. It was too cold and the sleet was to hard to take a walk. Me and my husband actually walked laps inside the house. Yep, circles around the living room, through the den and back around. We did this for an hour. That equaled 3 miles for me. It was better than a treadmill and funnier too. My husband walks five miles every morning around the neighborhood, but not today.

I was able to catch up on some house work.[ husband inserts laugh here]. I crafted a little, crocheted some and wrote this post. I did attempt to go outside a while. Its not as fun since my daughter has moved out. She is lucky to get to work from her home today and will stay in until the roads let up which will probably not be until Sunday. Anyway, I layered some clothes and ventured into the yard. Man was it cold. 28 degrees cold with the sleet stinging my face as I tried to take a few photos.

Looks like the dogwood buds were fooled by the recent warmer temperatures.

Big bird, little squirrel. Squirrel wins.

This little fella let me walk right up to him for his photo shoot.

Later I enjoyed some fresh soup my husband made. It was an experiment. It got two thumbs up as it was full of flavor and loaded with healthy greens. 

We named it SOS soup. Because it consist of mostly Squash, Onion and Spinach. No relation to the SOS you put over toast or rice. [wink]. Other ingredients include, zucchini, vegetable broth and a pinch of garlic. This recipe is healthy, bursting in flavor and very low calories. One cup only has approximately 50 calories.

Hopefully tomorrow will be another great day and keeping our fingers crossed we don't loose power.
Maybe we can even do a real walk around the neighborhood.
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