Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Musings

--It's Monday after a long but fun weekend.

--It's a gray day.

--I like gray days.

--I don't have anywhere to go tonight!  YAY!!

--I have a bazillion loads of laundry to do.  BOO!!

--My dark-skinned son got sunburned this weekend.  Boo Dad!

--My lily-white daughter did not!  Yay Mom!!

--I have no idea what to fix for supper tonight.

--I'm ready to go back home and curl up under a blanket with a good book!  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Look Who's 12!!!!

Happy 12th Birthday to the best most fantabulous young man in the world today!!  We love you to pieces Scott!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easy Garlic Baked Shrimp

I promised to share some recipes on our journey to better health and this one is a keeper!  Easy Garlic Baked Shrimp is packed with protein, low fat, savory and best of all.....quick and easy!  I warn you, I'm kind of a kitchen experimenter so I don't usually measure much unless I'm baking but I'll try to give estimates for you.

Easy Garlic Baked Shrimp
Servings 2-4 

1lb raw shrimp fresh or frozen (I use the medium sized shrimp)
1 clove garlic minced/crushed (I use the jarred garlic and use a lot more than this.  We love garlic!)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup Seasoned Panko bread crumbs 
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lightly mist a small casserole dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
Thaw shrimp if frozen under running cold water.  Remove shells and tails, devein if needed.  In a bowl, combine shrimp with garlic, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well then pour into the prepared casserole dish.  Sprinkle seasoned Panko bread crumbs over the top.  Bake uncovered for 15 mins until shrimp is cooked.  Do not over cook.  Shrimp will continue to cook after removed from the oven and can easily over-cook and be tough.  Enjoy!  

Nutritional Analysis:  Servings--4, Cal. 167, Carbs, 8.  Fat, 2.  Protein, 27.  Sodium, 197.  Sugar, 1. 

As a side note:  I have also done this with marinade sauces.  Simply marinate the shrimp with your favorate marinade for about 15 mins, dump in the prepared casserole, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake as above.  If your marinade is saucy, the bread crumbs will absorb it.  So good!  We like Lawry's Brown Sugar Bourbon marinade for this!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break!!

We spent a lovely long weekend in the mountains and visiting family.  It was great to get away!  The kids had lots of fun and we walked and walked and walked!  I think I needed to get back to work to rest!  Exhausted but wouldn't trade it for nothing!  Best vacation I've had in a long time!  Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with your families!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

She Knows

Last night, my daughter amazed me.  She showed me what an absolutely awesome young woman she is growing to be.  She showed maturity I didn't realize she had. 

Sara has been working so hard at volleyball.  Each year she has played she has grown so much as an athlete and her drive to keep improving is strong.  Her confidence in herself is growing as well as her insight to see what’s truly important.  I've watched her team lose every match in a tournament and then listened to her tell me that she was okay with it because she felt like her team played their best and supported each even when they were losing.  

She recently tried out for a higher level team.  She wanted to make this team so badly.  She did very well at tryouts.  She played her best and stayed positive and confident.  There were probably 10 players competing for the same position.  She took the Coach’s call in her room.  She came out smiling and said, “She said no” and she followed up with  “But she said I’ve really improved a lot in the short few weeks I've been training with her and to keep working.”  Wow!  I was ready for the “stay in my room and sob quietly into my pillow” reaction, heck I wanted to do that myself for her.  But instead I got a mature, see the big picture response.  She knew there were only so many spots.  She knew although she did her best and she was good, others were better.  She knows that she’s getting better every time she touches that ball and she WILL get to her goals and dreams with lots of effort and hard work.  And she knows she’s not going to give up.  

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Got. To. Get. Healthy!!

Over the last few months, my husband and I have seen the pounds creep back on.   I guess it was inevitable as we succumbed to convenience foods and fast foods due to our crazy work, school and sports schedules.  We so need to make changes around our house.  The first being getting rid of the last of the Girl Scout Cookies.  Being Troop Leader/Cookie Mom and having all those cookies sitting there calling your name is NOT good for a healthy way of eating-- or a healthy wallet for that matter!  Also, we need to stop buying the junk snacks we have in the house.  If it’s there, it WILL be eaten!!

So I’ve been trying to get back to cooking at home again.  It’s been great!  The food tastes so much better and I’m making extra so Hubby and I can take leftovers for lunch.  Double score—positive impact to health AND wallet!!!  I’ve tried a few newer recipes lately and also have tried to lighten some others up.  

It is still hard to work home cooking into my crazy schedule but I’m learning to improve my meal planning skills and kitchen organization to help.  I admit I’m not cooking each night but even 2 or 3 nights a week is a big help.  One thing I’ve learned which works for so many things is to start low and go slow or risk a burnout.  Using the grocer sales flyers to plan my meals has been a great help.  I also try to do several themes each week like Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Fun Food, Crockpot—then I look for new recipes to try.  It keeps it interesting!!

Stay tuned to see some of my Proven Awesome Recipes very soon!!  Next step is to get moving!  More on that later.

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Bittersweet Picture Day

It is spring picture day for Sara—last school picture of Middle School!!  It’s so bittersweet.  She is growing into a beautiful, bright, enigmatic young lady right before my eyes.  It seems like just yesterday, I was picking her clothes out for her but even as a small child she definitely had her opinions on style.  She has always been a “comfy” girl fighting against anything that “looks nice”.  

But today I didn't have to beg her to wear something other than her usual volleyball tshirt.  She didn't even ask for my help in picking something out.  She emerged from her room this morning looking beautiful with her own style definitely showing.  I think she is finally starting to become comfortable in her own skin—no longer feeling a need to hide under tshirts and jeans.  She’s starting to be her own person and stand out in her own way.  I love her so much!!

Friday, March 28, 2014


I thought since I was resurrecting this blog with fresh content, it needed a fresh look too!  What do you think?

Totally Random

I'm filching this from Melodee over at Actual Unretouched Photo.  Hadn't done a good meme in a while so why not!

What is the last thing you watched on TV?   Helix.  I LOVE a good sci-fi show!!  Can’t wait for the season finale tonight!  But then I have to wait for the new season to start!!  Bummer!

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?  This morning taking my children to school.  It’s a beautiful day even with the pollen!  Wish I could play hookie!!

What is on the walls of the room you are in?  Calendars……work calendars, school calendars, sports calendars, project calendars…..

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?  A sports complex in our town for my daughter’s volleyball club so they would have a consistent place to practice and an awesome spot for tournaments.  

Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.  I'm pretty transparent but when I was little, I wanted to be a lady truck driver.  Uhm.   Yeah.

Who made the last incoming call on your phone? My husband asking how Sara was doing at the national volleyball team tryouts.

What was the last book you read?  The Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones.

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?  Add more storage to each and every room!  And make the bonus room into a bedroom for Sara because she keeps begging for it!

What was the last thing you bought?  Bojangles chicken wings for Sara after tryouts last night.  That girl is gonna turn into a chicken wing!!

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?  Audrey Hepburn.  I just love her!  She is still an inspiration for women everywhere.

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?   Lowes or Kirklands.  Would love to remodel and redecorate!!

Is the glass half empty or half full?   Yes

Name something that took you by surprise.  Walking Dead…Lizzie…WOW!!

Name one TV show you will watch every time it’s on.  Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  I LOVE that show!  But I think I gain weight just watching!  Sara wants to go on a road trip and visit all the diners!  LOL!

Name a movie you will watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it.   A Christmas Story and Jaws.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?   Los Angeles

What’s under your bed?  Dust bunnies.  Did you know they make great watch dogs??

What is your favorite time of the day?  Bedtime.  That’s the only time I’m not doing something!

What Inspires You?   God, my children, my husband, my friends.  I can find inspiration in just about anything!

Want to play along?  Answer one of the question in the comments or on your own blog!  It’s a fun way to kick off the weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Power of Positive

Sara’s last volleyball tournament was this past weekend.  It was the Regional Finals and they were playing awesome!  They’ve had a up and down kind of season.  Lose big, win, big, lose big win big, etc.  This was their last tournament and I know they wanted to go out with a bang!  They played hard and worked so well together.  They kept each other’s spirits up and they hung in there and won 1st place!  I can’t tell you how proud we are of the whole team!!!

The Final Match was kind of difficult.  The referees had been pretty strict all day and had overruled the line judges on out of bounds calls many times.  In the final, this continued many times in our team’s favor.  The other team’s coach got very upset, arguing with the ref and even throwing her papers down.  The parents in the stands got into it too yelling at their girls things like, “watch out, you’re playing everyone today!”  It was all very negative.  The opposing team got frustrated and rattled, their level of play dropped and they lost.  

In the end, their coach told her team that the referees gave us the game.  At the awards ceremony, they received their medals first and all of our team and parents clapped and praised them.  But when Sara’s team got their awards, only a couple of their players and parents clapped.  And this behavior was duly noted by Sara and her teammates.

Now, the truth be told, these two teams were VERY well matched.  They had played each other earlier in the day with Sara’s team winning but in three fairly close sets.  So either team could have won the Final.  I have to wonder what the outcome would have been if the coach had handled the situation differently.  With a positive attitude and encouragement to move on and continue to play their best would they have persevered and won the final match?  I guess we’ll never know.  I pray one day they get to see what a positive attitude can bring them.  

Friday, March 21, 2014


The scariest thing I’ve heard from my daughter yet was “Mom, I have my High School registration stuff”.  I knew it was coming.  I mean it’s inevitable.  She keeps promoting to the next grade so she had to go sometime!  She’s growing up right before my eyes.  But that doesn’t mean I have to like it, right?  Last night we went to the High School Open House.  My jeans and t-shirts girl wore a nice blouse and scarf!  Yup, growing up whether I like it or not!

The campus is HUGE!  There’s going to be 700+ students in the Freshman class next year.  It’s going to be so different than her Middle School.  Lots more choices, lots more opportunities, lots more freedom…..and lots more stress!  She’ll be taking 3 Honors classes and Sophomore Math plus if all goes right, playing Volleyball for School and Club.  It’s a lot!  But I know she is strong academically and emotionally.  I have faith that God will guide us all through this. 

And as a friend reminded me, this is just a bump in the road, wait until she starts driving!!!!  My reply?  One thing at a time!    

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Finding my way back

Hey there!  If anyone is still visiting my blog, my apologies!  Life got in the way as life is prone to do.  There is so much I've lived through in the last 2 years and would love to share with you where I've been and where I'm heading.  I've missed this blog and this outlet to share my life with you.  It was always therapeutic for me.  So please keep checking back.  I've so much to share!!!