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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Being grateful in times of trial and tribulation.

I don't know about you, but it has been hard for me to feel grateful during the hard times in my life. I've had so many things that have happened to me or the people that I love that it just seems like I'm being picked on at times. I've gone through losing loved ones to watching my child suffer and not being able to do anything about it! I've gone through being sick all the time, being rejected by someone I love or just fighting depression. I've had people say mean things about me and I have been my own worst critic...which is the worst thing I could possibly do to myself! I am my own worst critic and it has been a long battle...with overcome the horrible way that I've talked to myself. I don't know where this attitude of "crap talk" came from...I grew up being told that I could do or be anything I wanted to. I didn't have people talking that nonsense to me...I've just always been a sensitive person and I've always been a helper to anyone that need it. Somewhere along the way, something happened and I started to feel defeated and useless. Crazy huh?
It has taken me a long time and a lot of heartache to pull the strength that its in me and to start using it in my life on a daily basis. I have learned that you are stronger then you think and that God has a plan. I've learned to stop questioning everything and to just be quiet long enough to hear what God is telling me...and you know what?? Once I learned that...I actually started hearing the good stuff instead of the bad stuff. I have learned that it is ok to make mistakes, it's ok to fail, it's ok to have a bad day. I've learned to throw out the ugly and replace it with love and forgiveness. I guess I've always thought that if things in my life don't go well, then it must be my fault..right?? is not my is just what it is!
I still struggle everyday to stay on top of eating healthy, getting some kind of exercise, and to just be ok with whatever comes my way.  Yes, my parents are no longer here and I miss them terribly, but they have taught me all the good and important things that I now need to teach my own children. My son is still struggling and having problems, but he is alive and healthy and his attitude all throughout his ordeal has taught me lessons that no one else in this would could have taught me! So yes...I am thankful everyday for everything..the good and the bad and I am making it a point to show that to everyone I come across. We all think that our lives are full of problems and maybe they are, but someone, somewhere out there has it a whole lot worse than we do and I plan on trying to help anyone that needs it, because I feel like I need to give back some of the love and mercy that I've been given. There are so many people in this world that just need a kind word or a hug and giving them something  makes me feel very happy. So, I am grateful for the happy heart that I've been given and I am grateful for all the good and bad in my life because I know that there is a plan in the works here and it's up to me to make sure that I don't miss a thing and I never want to have an ungrateful heart...I would rather go through all the crap and learn from it and allow it to make me a better person. So when you are feeling yucky about yourself and your life....think about all the people in this world that are suffering on a daily basis and say a little prayer for them and yourself because you are important and you are always loved!
I am praying the new year brings me up a little more from the pit I've been in this past month and that my health is better too! I hope you all have a healthy, happy, Christmas this year with your loved ones, but remember, love yourself and give yourself a deserve it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Today would have been my dad's 64th birthday. He passed away earlier this year from a very long battle with his health and it's feels as though it was yesterday. I took care of him in the last months of his life and even though it was very hard to watch him be so sick, I would do it all over again. The time that I had with him is priceless and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I just want to tell you that my dad was the best guy I know. He always made sure that we knew that he loved us and was proud to be our dad. He loved to tell stories and had the best sense of humor. He made us laugh everyday. He was also the best grandpa ever. My kids were so spoiled and never wanted for anything because PaPa made sure his babies always had what they wanted...even if I didn't agree! He was always supportive of me and my dreams and never discouraged me from trying anything new..even if he didn't understand why I needed to do this or that with my life! He was a great friend and mentor to my husband and it was so nice for  them to be so close. I wanted to share this because it has been hard on me and I haven't really been able to say or write anything until now, but I do know that he is happy now and there is no more pain or sickness for him and hopefully he and Mom are up there watching over us, probably laughing at our crazy life, but at the same time, being proud of all of us too! So here's to you Dad....Happy Birthday! We love you and we miss you terribly, but I know that you are still here in my heart and you always will be!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Meatball sliders

I got this idea from Rich and Sweet on Facebook and they are so good! Enjoy!

Meatball sliders

1 lb of hamburger meat
1 lb of Italian sausage
chopped onion
garlic salt
Italian bread crumbs...1/2 cup
1 egg
mix all this together and form meatballs, I baked mine in the oven until done.
When done, put in a small pot with marinara sauce and let it cook on low while you get the other stuff ready.

I used roasted garlic sourdough bread and sliced it into 1/2 in pieces.
I then rubbed it with butter and browned it in a pan.

Put the meatball and sauce on top of bread and top with fresh mozzarella. Place on a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and then broil them to brown the cheese just until browned.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I am still here!!

Hi all~
It's been a very long month or so for me. I haven't posted since the beginning of November and I am feeling very "out of the loop" right now. I have been sick for most of the month of November and I am still trying to recover from whatever this crud is that I have. I am not sure what is going on with my body these days, but I am seriously thinking that I need to see a specialist about my immune system. I've had problems for awhile now, but it has really gotten out of control with all the illnesses I've had lately.
Also, this time of year has me a little blue. It's hard being without my parents and knowing that their birthdays are in December and that Christmas is my mom's favorite holiday....well, that just makes it rough! I am also away from my family and that is hard too, but I am still trying to eat healthy and still trying to walk as much as I can. I haven't been able to exercise much due to the horrible cough that I've had and am still dealing with.
So...with that said, I hope you can wait for me to get back to my normal, crazy, self and keep me in your prayers too! I'll be here when I can and I do have many plans on what to write in my blog, I just need to feel better and keep my attitude as positive as I can. In the mean time, I hope you all are happy, safe, and healthy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting out of my rut....

Have you ever gotten into a rut and just didn't quite know how to get back out? I have..many, many, times and as much as I hate being in that rut, I know that it's a normal process when you have so many changes in your life as I do. Since we've gotten to California, I have had a nasty stomach virus and a really bad bought of the Flu that last an entire week! It's been a few days since I've been over it, but now, I am just tired and funky feeling and I have no desire to do anything at all! I've been making myself get up and get dressed and I've been getting out and about so that I can keep my blood pumping at least....but I haven't felt like writing or doing anything creative since this feeling came what's a girl to do??
Well, for one...I am making myself write in my blog, even though I don't feel like it and two... I am making myself get out and at least walk around the neighborhood. I have cut back, way back, on my sugar again...yes..again...and stopped eating out. The hotel that we are in is not an Extend Stay Hotel, therefore no cooking on my part and that makes it so hard to eat healthy. We do have a mini fridge and a microwave and that helps, but it's not cooking like the way I normally can. I have been shopping at Trader Joe's. They have a huge selection of healthy and Organic foods that I like and that has helped a lot. I've been buying lots of fruit and salads and lean chicken and Turkey and that is pretty much what I've been eating. I have also been trying out all the local wines..ha ha...and that has to stop also because the wines I normally love are sweet and full of sugar!
 I have also had a bit of an attitude, not a bad one, just one that has me acting like I am a gloomy gus! Not that I am sitting around whining and complaining, I just don't have my usual, happy go lucky attitude and it is exhausting! I hate feeling Blue and having no energy, it is just a crappy attitude to have. I've decided that I need to get back to walking everyday, eating right, and getting my mind and my body healthy and to get things in motion, my hubby has agreed to look for another place for us to stay so that I can get back to a somewhat normal normal as you can get when you are traveling all the time..... so here's to getting back to where I was a month ago and here's to being ably to cook and be creative again! Our move should be coming up soon and hopefully my attitude will get better. Until then, I hope you are happy, healthy, and blessed in everything you do and everything you are!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Challenges and changes in scenery!!

Wow!! It's been awhile since I last posted in my blog! As most of you know, Dave and I have been all over the country in the last month or so and now we are settled in at Concord, California. It's nice here and not too far from San Francisco. The weather is great and the scenery is beautiful around here. The hotel we are in is not our usual, went to check in and it smelled nasty, so off we went to the hotel we are in now. It's fancy and wonderful, but no kitchen to cook in!! Don't get me wrong....I love to eat out....just not everyday!! So, now the challenge of trying to eat light and healthy while eating out all the's hard, but I am determined to eat right as I can, while we are here. 
I have continued to walk while here, as I said the weather is awesome and the scenery is beautiful, so that helps a lot. There is also an indoor pool right outside my room and although I am not a good swimmer, I do try to do some laps...barring the creepy, hairy guy is not around! {{shutters}} It also helps that it is so close that I can run and jump in before anyone sees me in my swim suit....not a pretty sight, but as I've said....working on getting that swimsuit body back...or at least something close to it! I'm not trying to be a model, just healthy again and in good enough shape to keep up with the grand kids!!
The other challenge is that my hubby is working a weird shift...noon-midnight....and my schedule is conflicting with his as well as the two-three hour time difference that I'm not used to yet. I am working on it, but I don't usually do well with these weird schedules, but at least he has Sunday's off and we can plan some day trips to all the neat and interesting places around here. Weird how our bodies refuse to adhere to any kind of change when we are older. Oh well....guess I'll have to work on that one.
Other than these things, all is well. I have the baking/cooking bug in me again as this is my favorite time of year and of course, I can't cook!! I'll find a way....I am just going to have to be creative. There is a mini fridge and a microwave in the room, I do have my "easy bake oven" that's what I call and I have my George Foreman grill, but not sure as to what the hotel policy is for having those...hmmm...may have to cozy up the the staff and see what happens. I could cozy up the the chef in the restaurant and see if he'll let me cook!! Ha! Ha! That would be awesome!! Stranger things have happened... I do have quite a few recipes that I want to post, some are mine, some my Mom's and some are from other varying places, but they are all favorites and I think you'll enjoy them as much as I do. Until next time, I hope you are happy, healthy, and blessed!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Traveling Gnomes.....

Hi all~
Hubby and I have been busy little travelers in the past two weeks and boy have we had a great time! We left New York to go home for a job that his company wanted him to do and 300 hundred miles out, we decided that it just wasn't for us, so we decided to go see our daughter and grand kids while we had the chance. I am so glad that we went to see them, we had such a great time with them and made some great memories too! After that we went to Florida to see my mother and father in-law and even though hubby caught a nasty cold, we still managed to have a great time and hopefully mended a few fences too!

We are back in New York for today....we are headed home to Texas to take care of some business with our house and to see my family and a few good friends too. After that, we are headed to Richmond, California! That will be our new spot for the time being and I am very excited about that...don't get me wrong..I love NY, but it's gonna get real cold here pretty soon and I am a Texas girl after all...I love California and all the natural goodness that comes with it. I am looking forward to settling into my routine again.

Speaking of routines....I totally blew mine out of the water while we were visiting the family, but I am back on track now and the sugar has gone away again and the exercise and started again too! It's hard to exercise when you are traveling so much, but I have managed to work in a little here and there and eating on the road is super hard, but I told hubby that we are going to eat as healthy as we can or I am packing a lunch to go...of course he agreed...he likes it when I am feeling good and "not so grumpy" as he says it! LOL!

So off we go on a brand new adventure and I'll be posting more when we get settled, but until then, I hope you are all happy, healthy, and blessed! Chow!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Loving where you are....

I've spent a good deal of time wishing I was here or there in my life or wishing I had this or that in my life because that would make me happy...right?? I guess we all do this at some point in time, but in the last few years, I've had to throw all that out the window and tend to my parents being sick or my kids needing my help  for whatever the reason was at the time and I really didn't think about what it would take for me to be happy. After my dad passed away in January, I felt completely lost and a lot depressed and things were changing for me and if you know me...I DO NOT like change at all....I fought against it all because I was stuck in that mode of being afraid of what the change would mean in my life. 

Well.... lo and behold.....we went to New York for my hubby's job and of course, I complained all the way about how I wasn't going to like it and it was too far away from my kids and yada..yada..yada....but once we got there, something happened....I began to stop looking for what would make me happy and I decided to just BE happy, no matter what my situation was, no matter how I was feeling, no matter what..and guess what??  I started to think about what I needed and what I wanted to do and it just snowballed into me eating healthier and I started walking everyday and it felt so good to be doing all of this. I was amazed at how quickly my self esteem rose and I started to enjoy every minute of every day!

I have to say, that once you decide to be happy and content..your whole world changes. I no longer cared about what the negative people were saying, I don't care that I'm not exactly perfect in my weight and shape, I really don't care what other people are doing....I just care about being happy and making those that I love happy. Why do we get so involved in what the world thinks of us? Is that something we are conditioned for when we are growing up? I am all for beautiful clothes, makeup, jewelry, etc.. but it doesn't define who I am and that is what is so great...I am me and I am ok with that. Some days, I look like poop and some days I look great....that is ok. Some days I feel like running a marathon and some
days it's hard to get out the front door....that is ok. It's ok to just be happy and to love yourself no matter where you are in your life.

So girls...and guys's ok to just be matter what! Don't feel guilty or bad because you are happy and others are not. I think if we all decided to just be happy then everything else just falls into place. I truly believe that being happy is contagious and if we spread it around enough, then we can help other people happy too. If you can't make someone happy....then that just means they haven't decided to be happy thems selves. Love where you are and love who you are and spread that sunshine around. Being happy truly is a choice and it's the best choice I've made in a long time!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Traveling again....

Hi All~
We are traveling again and I haven't been able to post either to a lack of internet or just being too darn busy! We left New York a week ago and headed south to my daughter's home in South Carolina. We have five grand babies there that we haven't seen in awhile and it sure was a ton of fun loving on them all week! 
We are now in Florida visiting my mother and Father in-law and resting up. My hubby has come down with a severe head cold and is not feeling very good right now, so I thought this is my chance to catch up on what's going on "out there". I didn't walk or diet while in SC, so I am feeling sluggish and funky, but since we are here in Florida, I am trying to work all the walking and healthy eating out again. It's hard to be good when you are traveling and especially having a mother in-law that loves to make us a big ole country breakfast every morning and thinks that we don't eat enough!! I think she may need glasses....we don't look like we have missed any meals!
On Sunday, we leave for Texas, where we'll get to see our home again! Yay! I love going home to sleep in my big ole comfy bed and to see all my pictures and familiar things around the house! We have been having wildfires all around our house, so that is another reason to go home and check out what's going on. My sister will be flying home from Japan to get Chewy...I'll be sad to see him go, but he is her dog...I keep telling myself that....and she needs him home again. I'll also be visiting some family while we are home and that is always a good thing. After that...who knows where we'll be....we'll have to wait and see. So, until we are settled in again, I probably won't be posting much, but I'll be back in the swing again soon enough. Until then, I hope everyone is happy, safe, and well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Are you your own worst critic?

Do you criticize yourself when you mess up or don't do something quite the way that you thought you should? I have, many, many, times, but I have learned, the hard way, that beating yourself up and comparing yourself to other people is just stupid and a total waste of time. What do you consider being a success or a failure?
I used to think that if I was thin and beautiful or rich or whatever...that I would be happy. Boy was I wrong...I have never thought of myself as beautiful or thin or smart, but I did think I had a good heart and of course that is not a good attribute when you are being told by society and the media circus that we see everyday that you need to be super thin or have cosmetic surgery to be loved or to get that job or to just have the cool friends. Sounds like I'm talking about high school, huh? Sadly, no....this is in my adult years. I have lived a pretty good life, have had the nice house, the big money job, the pretty clothes, the great cars, but it didn't matter. I learned that it doesn't matter what you have or don't have, if you don't love yourself, you'll be miserable!

What do you do when you feel like you are a failure or you feel like if you just worked a little harder then your life would be great?? You stop listening to that crazy person in your head and realize that you are enough! You are pretty enough, smart enough, and your size does not matter!! It has taken me 43 years to realize this and it feels great!! I'm not beautiful or thin. I don't even care who does or does not like me anymore. I've wasted so many years trying to fit in or trying to look a certain way and Holy Cow....trying to please everyone else!!!  It's all a waste of time...we criticize ourselves enough, we don't need to take what other people say or do and add it to the negative things we say about ourselves! We have to live by what's in our hearts.

The point that I am trying to make yourself, be kind to yourself, and never try to be anything other than yourself. God made us unique and that's exactly how he wants us to be! I didn't exercise as much as I should have what!! I also ate a mini chocolate bar what!! I haven't done much of anything today except lay around and be what!! I am sure not going to beat myself up! I wasted years feeling crappy about myself and look where it got me....absolutely nowhere!! Do what you love to do and do it with all your heart. Be who you are and be proud of who you are! Own it!! That's what my son, Ryan, has taught be who you are and to own it!! So if you don't quite get done what you need to get done or look exactly the way that others are telling you to look....don't worry about are who you are and that is enough and if there are people in your life that are telling you differently....then I would take a second look at what kind of relationship you have with them, because the people who really love you, would not tell you that you need to be something else. Just my thoughts and my is way too short to feel less than what you really are. I am happy with myself and I like myself. You should like yourself as well.

The Story of Kitty

This is Kitty...His actual name is actually Mittens, but over the years, with all the kids, we've come to know him as Kitty. Kitty came into our lives 16 years ago when my son, Ryan, who was 7 at the time, came home from visiting my parents for the summer and brought us this tiny, little furball and said "Mom, please can we keep him?" What was I supposed to do, tell him take him back? There was no way that I could do that...I was the "sucker" look at him and the furball and I was hooked! My husband did not like cats at all and I knew it would be a fight to keep him, but he gave in and said "ok, we'll see how it goes".  After many, many, scratches, holes in the waterbed, and just plain trying to keep the darn cat alive with all the daycare kids at the time, I started catching my husband petting him and talking to him, of course when no one was supposed to see him, and I thought,  this is awesome, everybody loves the cat! would have to know Kitty, he was the coolest cat ever! He was also a very large cat. The first response when people would see him for the first time was usually "Oh my God!! That cat is huge!!" I would just laugh at people, we were used to seeing this big old cat...I guess other people hadn't seen a cat that big! He really was the best cat ever...I did daycare in my home for most of my boys school years and the kids would squeal and chase him and he would just lay there and let them crawl all over him and pull his tail or whatever form of treatment and he would just hang out and watch them play, never scratching them or biting them. He has traveled some with me and my husband and although he likes to be with us, he hates to travel! He would howl and moan and groan all the way, but once we got to where we were going, he was fine ...kinda like the way I! 
This past year has been rough on him due to all the moving around with my dad and all the traveling we had to do without him, he pouts when we are gone, but thankfully, Ryan moved back home and was able to care for him while we were gone. We have loved this cat like he was one of our kids, we just loved him so much and yesterday, we got the call....Kitty has passed away. Although we are sad at his passing, we knew that he was very old and that it wouldn't be long before it was his time to go.  He has gone on to where ever it is Kitty's go when they leave their families. I like to think that he's with my Mom and Dad, waiting for us to show up and bring his toys and his favorite food, but not too sure about that, my dad called him a joke to get the kids riled up. I'm sure where ever he is, he is happy and at peace. We'll miss you Kitty, you were a faithful and loving friend to us!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Havarti-Stuffed Chicken with Tomato Salad Recipe | Real Simple Recipes

This is a really great recipe to try, so easy and super yummy!!

Havarti-Stuffed Chicken with Tomato Salad Recipe | Real Simple Recipes

Trips home and big changes in me!

The one thing that I have learned about having a husband who travels with his job is that things can change at the drop of a hat! I have only really been traveling full time with him just about two years now and part of those two years were miserable for me because of family illnesses or deaths in my family or just plain old stress caused by my own crappy health. I am one of those people who are nesters....I love being able to just "be" in my element and every time we would go somewhere new, I would complain about the drive to and from or the place we were staying. I like to get somewhere and get settled and make my little "nest" and just be in my own little routine.

When my husband said we were going to New York, I was was thinking No Way!! I don't want to go there! It's going to be weird and I heard the people there are rude and aggressive! I'm a Texas girl and I don't want to go!! I complained all the way here. Ha Ha!! I love this little town we are in! I don't want to go home....I like the people, the weather is awesome, and my life has changed so much for the better since I've been here. We are in Troy, NY, which is just north of Albany. I don't know what brought about the change in me, was it this place? Is it the weather? Is it just my time to get moving in my life now that the stresses of sick parents and troubled children are over? This I do not know, but it is, absolutely, the best time of my life! I am eating healthy, exercising, feeling positive and down right alive again!!

Now my husband calls and says that we are headed home to Texas next week! You would think that I would be jumping up and down with joy, right?? I am happy to see my family, but I am nervous that when we go home, my attitude will change and I'll stop it crazy to to think that way? Maybe...I do not know. I should be doing the happy dance because we'll be in Corpus Christi, which is right next to where my youngest son is living and that alone should have me packing wright now!! I do miss my baby boy and he does need to see us on a regular basis, but I am scared that all this wonderful, positive, healthy stuff going on in my life will cease to exists.  So what does a girl do? Well, the first thing I am going to do is get a hotel/Apt. by the beach so that I can continue to walk everyday and if it's still a thousand degrees there, then I'll have the water to dip my self into, the second thing I am going to do is CONTINUE to eat properly, and the third thing I need is from my friends and family.....I need for all of you to continue to show me the support that you've been giving me through all of this! I need that support to keep me accountable and to keep me positive about this journey I am on. You all have no idea how important it is to have your love and support, it keeps me going!

With all that said.....I thank you all for your love and support and here's to new adventures and continuing my journey to find myself and change my life!

Monday, August 22, 2011

What keeps you motivated?

I woke up this morning not wanting to do anything except lay on the couch and whine.....not a good attitude to have when you are trying desperately to stay positive not only for myself, but other people too. It took me a little while to talk myself into getting up, getting dressed, and taking that first walk of the day....but I did it....I didn't want to....but I did and now I feel much better. 

I've never been one to self talk to myself about the positive things....I would do it for other people to help them through whatever ailment  or problem they were having at the time. I am the middle child, the caregiver, and the peacemaker in my family....sounds great, huh? It is a good thing, but when it comes to taking care of myself...I just never did it...I thought that if I just took care of everyone else and did what they needed me to do, then that was enough. I always felt guilty or selfish if I did special things for myself....crazy huh?? is crazy, because now I am struggling to find out what it is that I actually need. I am a pretty happy person and I am very laid back about most things, so what is it that I need to do?? My mom was the same way, she took care of everyone else and then she ended up being sick and broken in her last days. I admire her for her strength and  her attitude about the way she took care of her loved ones, but I really wish that she would have been a little more selfish about her own care. I want to be able to take care of me so that I can take care of those who need it. If I am not healthy, then what can I do, except be a burden on my loved ones so that they are thrust into the caregiver role?? Not that my parents were a burden because I would gladly do it all over again. I want to be healthy and in shape for my kids and grand kids, I want to be the grandma that wears out her grand kids, not the other way around.

So what is my motivation?? My husband, my kids, my grand kids, friends, family, but most of all me! I have a vision of what my later years are going to be like and that is what I am focusing on. I will always be the caregiver, the peacemaker and the all around helper to others, but I think that by starting with myself, I can do more for the people that I love and I can run the legs off of my husband in the last phase of our lives....the one where its just us finding out who we are together, as adults without the little ones running's a nice journey and I am looking forward to the days ahead. Last, but not least, I think that my mother passed on that stubborn gene to me....I can't give up if I wanted to...sometimes I really want to, but it's just not in me to ever give up.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today is the day......

Today is the day that I am giving up sugar. Now I know that giving up sugar in everything I eat or drink is crazy, but I am going to try like hell to take it out of my life as much as possible. Over the last few weeks, I have researched and tried a few dozen different ways of taking it out of my way of life and I have learned quite a few lessons along the way. One of those lessons is that I DO NOT like artificial sweeteners! In my opinion, they are just....yuck!! I gotta keep it clean, ya know?? The thing that I've been testing my sweeteners out on is Tea...I am a huge tea drinker and if the sweetener doesn't taste right in my tea...then it is definitely a no no!

So here is what I've come up with....Agave Nectar is the one thing that I've tried that makes my tea taste great and I can cook with it also. I love to bake, especially during the Fall/Winter months and this will be an awesome way that I can still do this and not wreck my sugar intake, 'cause I love to eat what I bake too! So, in my journey of change, this is just the start for me.

I want to give you a little history that will explain why I am finally getting my act together and doing something about it! In the past two and a half years I have lost both my parents to heart and lung disease and it has been the most painful thing that I've ever had to watch or go through. My mom had heart problems for a long time and she went very fast and for that, I am happy, because she didn't suffer. My father, on the other hand, had COPD and a few other lung issues and he suffered for a long time and for the lat 9 months of his life I was there with him, taking care of him, and it is not something that I want my children to have to go through. We lost him in January of this year and I am still traumatized by it. When I was 8 years old, I had a stroke due to a heart defect that my mom didn't know that I had and up until I was 17 years old, I had problems and was in and out of the hospital until my last heart surgery at 17, which finally corrected the problem. I have several family members on each side of my family that has Diabetes, heart issues, strokes, cancer, you name it and I do not want to go through that...I do not want my children to go through that! So, here I 43....deciding to get serious about my health.

I'm not sure how this is going to end up, but I do know that I have been walking, steadily, for the past month and I feel great! I've lost some weight and a pant size, but most of all....I feel good about myself..I feel happy..and I am in my happy place again. Stay tuned and walk in this journey with me.

“Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A little tidbit about Agave Nectar.


Ancient Healing

Agave Nectar has been used for centuries as a flavoring, though native populations have also been aware of its health benefits and used it medicinally. The Aztecs used a mixture of agave nectar and salt as a dressing for wounds and a balm for skin infections, and agave's use as a folk remedy persists today.

Modern medical study has confirmed agave's remedial properties. Agave nectar applied to the skin has been found effective against pyogenic (pus producing) bacteria such as Staph aureus. The tradition of adding salt to the nectar has been found to further boost its anti-microbial property. Agave nectar has also been proven effective against enteric (intestinal) bacteria.

Modern Health Food

Especially in the last century, the western diet has become increasingly dominated by refined sweeteners such as granulated sugar and corn syrup. The problem with these substances is their high glycemic index and glycemic load - both measures of the relative impact that foods have on our blood sugar. Foods that raise blood sugar quickly trigger the release of the hormone insulin. Excessive releases of insulin and, more specifically, chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels are linked to Metabolic Syndrome (also called Syndrome X), which is a complex of health disorders. Associated ailments include insulin resistance and type II diabetes, abdominal weight gain and obesity, problems with blood lipids (raised triglycerides and cholesterol) and high blood pressure.

One of the most health-promoting properties of agave nectar is its favorable glycemic profile. Its sweetness comes primarily from a complex form of fructose called inulin. Fructose is the sugar that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. The carbohydrate in agave nectar has a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant "sugar rush" and unhealthful blood sugar spike caused by many other sugars. Agave nectar is a delicious natural sweetener that can be used moderately - by dieters, some diabetics, and health conscious cooks - to replace high-glycemic and refined sugars.

Jackie B. Productions!: Changing the way I eat...

Jackie B. Productions!: Changing the way I eat...: I just love fresh fruits and veggies, especially in the Summer, and although my husband is a pretty healthy eater, he tends to want to put ...

Changing the way I eat...

I just love fresh fruits and veggies, especially in the Summer,  and although my husband is a pretty healthy eater, he tends to want to put butter or gravy or some kind of sauce on everything....even after I have buttered something, he says that he needs more because he can't see it!! I love all these things, after all I am a Texas girl and my Mamma but those things on everything we ate..but...I am no longer a young girl and I've become aware of all the crazy changes that come with age and let me tell you, it's not pretty and it is most definitely not easy.

I am probably the biggest junk food junkie that I know. Oh, I eat healthy stuff and I cook healthy stuff....or so I thought. I have learned in my quest to get healthy that there are a lot of hidden calories and fat and just plain old junk in a lot of foods that I thought was good for me. For instance, Sugar....I love sugar and it is in so many things that I would have never thought it was tomato sauces and tomato paste or breads, "healthy" breads or even in my favorite fruits! Yikes!! The sugar content in some fruit is as bad as the sugar in candy! So..what do you do? What do we eat that is really good for us?? I've decided that I am on a mission to change the way we eat and what we eat, but can you eat healthy and still enjoy what you are eating?? I think you can, I think that if we are careful about what we eat and how we eat it along with exercise..nothing crazy here... that we can feel better and have healthy bodies.

At the ripe old age of 43, I have started exercising and really paying attention to what I am putting into my body and it is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done...but you know what?? It hasn't killed me yet and I kinda like it! Kinda....I said....It's going to take some experimenting and trials and tribulations, but at least that's a start right??

So...on the subject of sugar...I wrote a post a while ago about what kinds of sugar I could use  that wouldn't totally wreck my "healthy eating plan". I've tried all the sugars that are out there or that I could find and there are only a few that I can tolerate, as in "I like"! The artificial ones are just yuck...I don't like the aftertaste they leave in my mouth and they really aren't that good for you anyway. I tried raw sugar and it's OK, but not good enough for sweet tea. I am a major sweet tea drinker and if it tastes funny...then I am just not happy. White sugar is processed in a way that just sucks for your body and honey So what have I found that satisfies my taste buds and my "healthy eating plan"? The winner is Agave Nectar!! It is sweet, but not too sweet, it is not bad for your body, and it's naturally made.. and it tastes good in my sweet tea!! I am still researching Agave Nectar and will give you a full report on it in the next few days. So for now, I am still learning and trying new things and if you have ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in a comment! Here's to happy eating and feeling good!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My love of wine!!

As most everyone knows, Dave and I love wine. We travel quite a bit with his job and everywhere we go, we find new wines to try and some to stockpile and bring with us. We have been everywhere from California to New York to Florida. We are now staying in Troy, NY and have found a whole surplus of wineries and places to go to try out new wines.

My first big find was in San Francisco at Trader Joe's. Who knew great wine could be so Cheap. Two Buck Chuck is what they call it, I call it yummolicious! It's a blush by Charles Shaw and when we left SF, we had 6 cases in tow. Of course, I shared it with family and friends and they loved it too! Sadly, being from Texas, we couldn't find it anywhere, but just a few months ago, we found out that Georgetown, which is just a few towns over, now has a Trader Joe's and we are so excited! 

I have found many, many, different wines all over the country and I have to say that just about any kind of Moscato wine is my favorite wine to drink. There has been an explosion with the moscato wine industry..that I can tell, since I first discovered it. It is a sweet wine and always a white wine, but it is just so yummy and great to drink with everything. I am in no way a wine expert, I couldn't tell you what kind of wine goes well with certain kinds of food if my life depended on it! I just love wine and I love going to all the great wineries all over the country and testing which ones I like the best, taking the tours, and hearing the back stories of how they are made. 

The wine pictured is my new favorite! My sister told me about this and I had to e-mail the company to find out where it was, but they e-mailed me back and and lo and was just down the street at the Spirit of Troy store. It was 6.99 a bottle, which was awesome and tasted just as good as they said it did. Of course, I stocked up and made sure the owner knew I was going to be his favorite customer....not that I drink a lot...LOL! I will be posting more pics and reviews of my love for wine and I hope you try it and enjoy!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

40 Something Martini Glass by Lolita GLS4-5585K Lolita Love My Martini Glass - 21 Glasses Gifts Recipe and Supplies |

40 Something Martini Glass by Lolita GLS4-5585K Lolita Love My Martini Glass - 21 Glasses Gifts Recipe and Supplies |

I just love these glasses! Go Check them out!!

Mississippi Kitchen: The Classic Reuben Sandwich

Mississippi Kitchen: The Classic Reuben Sandwich

I just had to share this! Dave has been wanting a really good Reuben sandwich and hasn't found one yet, so I am making this for him this week and hopefully it will live up to his expectations!

Different Types of Sugars and Sweeteners

 Here is an interesting article on some of the different kinds of sweeteners that are out there and what they are and how they are made. I am still looking for another kind of sweetener  that would best serve it purpose for me and one that I actually like and it's not detrimental to my health!
 I will be posting a new blog later today about what I've chosen to be best for me!
Different Types of Sugars and Sweeteners

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's time for a change....

It really is time for a myself and the life that I am living! I have always just cruised through life, not a care in the world, oblivious to what the future was bringing me and BLAM!! Life came on with a vengeance and I had no idea what to do! The last five years of my life has been absolutely insane, full of stress, and downright heartbreaking! I honestly didn't think I would survive...but I have...and things are calming down and for the first time in my life, I am asking the question of...."What the hell do I do now?". My parents are children are grown and out of the house, my husband and I are traveling the country and really getting to know each other, he works all day and here I am wondering what am I going to do with my time.

Well, for one, I've started this blog and I really didn't know what to write about. I thought maybe I could write about coupons and deals and freebies....that seemed like a good idea or I could write about traveling and food and all the crazy stuff that goes along with traveling the country, but I felt like I was trying to be like everyone else or trying to fit into some sort of "group" and that is just not me, So, I am just going to write about what I like and what I enjoy and if someone reads it  and likes it...awesome! If not, then that's ok too!
Secondly....for the first time in y life I have started exercising! This one is a huge deal because I have never exercised! I hate it! I hate sweating, I hate my body hurting and I hate having to get out there and look like a fool...ha ha ha!! Not I don't mind it at all, don't get me wrong, I don't love it, but I am feeling better about myself and honestly?? My booty is getting firmer, my legs aren't so wiggly, and I am wearing clothes that I haven't worn in awhile!  So...we shall see where this journey in exercising takes me. 

I have learned many, many, lessons about life in the last few years and I am taking those experiences and applying them to my life and how I don't want or do want it to be. I've learned , with the death of my parents, that life is too short to worry all the time or to stress about things that I can't really is too short for this kind of behavior. I have learned through the loss of the dreams that I had for my youngest son that it's ok to make new dreams and to never, never, give up on those dreams because things change all the time and sometimes better dreams come about and better things come out of heartaches and dashed hopes. I have also learned that I am worth it, I am important, and most importantly....I have learned to value myself and to love myself. Failure is no longer an option with me....I can do whatever I set my mind to be or do and THAT is the best advice my mother ever gave me. I am finally listening to you mom and I thank God everyday for the time I had with you.

So, with all that said....I will continue my journey with changing my life into exactly what I want it to be and no one in this world can tell me any different!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What is the deal with sugar? This coming from a sweet tooth!! name is Jackie and I am a sugar-aholic! Everybody is talking about what sugar or sugar substitute to use these days ...some say use only real sugar...what's that?....or only raw sugar or substitute sugar or artificial's all very confusing and overwhelming when you get to the store and try to figure out what to use or what not to use.
I have to admit....I love sugar! I love old timey, white, processed, sugar! I's terrible for you, but it makes my sweet tea and my coffee and anything else I use it on taste great! So what is a girl to do?? Well, here is what I am going to do....I am going to research all the different kinds of sweeteners and try them out and see what happens.
So off I go to do some research on this. I will post as soon as I have more information on Sugar and more stories on my love of sugar and how I am going to cut it from my life.....***sniffles*** the meantime, I hope everyone has a blessed day and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Morning Walk

This is what I get to look at on my morning walks everyday. I so love the town that we are in, it makes it a lot easier for me to want to get out and get going. I managed to walk about 35 minutes this morning and I'll work out for about 30 minutes and then walk another 30-40 minutes this afternoon. I have been eating healthier also, which is so hard for me because I love to eat and I am a junk food junkie too, but I am determined to get this weight off of me and to get myself healthy again. It has been a long few years with way too much stress and it has cost me a lot as far as being healthy and feeling good about myself. My next post will talk about my sugar addiction and how hard it is for me to give it up. Have a great day and keep sending the well wishes and truly does help! Home To The Hottest Daily Deal Site On The Web. Home To The Hottest Daily Deal Site On The Web.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just a few of my favorites spots......

I am really new at this whole blogging, couponing, thing and it is slow going, but I learn a little more everyday! Here are a few of my favorite places to look for deals.....

There are so many places on the internet that you can download and print coupons right at home on your own printer and if there is something you like or need...most of the time you can just go to the website and sign up for coupons and deals that come straight to your inbox.

There are also a million websites and blog that you can subscribe to that will show you the way...LOL! I will post a few of these as soon as I figure out how to do I said slow going, but I am learning and I have saved some money too and that is a great thing. More to come very soon...

Oh the joy of brand new tennis shoes!!

Crazy title huh?? Nah....I am 43 years old and have never exercised a day in my life!! I never had to...until now...Don't get me wrong, I have never been nor will I ever be a super model, thin, really in shape, girl. I've just been a regular girl who was happy with the way I But in the last 5 or 6 years my body has turned into this weak, out of shape, tired, flabby, old woman!!
Of course, I have used every excuse in the book...I am stressed out, I can't run or walk too far because my ankle is bad, I don't have anything to wear..yada, yada, yada!!

So...yesterday, I told myself that if I had new tennis shoes, I could start walking everyday and maybe, just maybe, THAT could turn into a little jogging and THAT could turn into a little running! Yeah, sounds crazy to me too, but I am seriously going to try my hardest to get my body back in shape so that I can WOW my husband and maybe just be able to feel good about myself again! 

I am writing this in my blog so that when I publish it and post it for all the world to see....I am being held accountable for my actions. Read this and call me on it...I need someone to nag me into doing it. I will not lie to you and tell you that I am doing this....I will not lie to myself....I am, for the first time in my life, going to put on these brand new tennis shoes and I am going to walk the rubber off of them!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My review of The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

First of all, let me just say that this review is my own opinion and no one has asked me to do this or is paying me for doing it.

Now...Let me just say that when I went into the theater, I was apprehensive about watching it because it looked a little scary and creepy to me, was a great movie! James Franco and Tom Felton were great in this movie and their characters were right on target in how they were played out. The big star here though was Caesar, the I know that he is computer generated, but his character was so sweet and lovable! He made me laugh...out loud....he made me cry, he made me want to start clapping and cheering him on! The story line got a little slow at times, but over all, it was a great show and I would recommend everyone see it. 


Friday, August 5, 2011

Revamping my Blog

Hello everyone....So sorry to have been MIA for the past few weeks...I have been trying to have my blog revamped in order to make it a better blogging experience for all of us! I have some new posts coming up soon and some great deals and stories too! Thank you for your patience.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Shredded Potatoes au Gratin

4 Cups (1 lb.) refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes or frozen ones, if you like.
2 cups whipping cream
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cooking steps:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
lightly spray 4 1-cup ramekins with non stick cooking spray

Combine the hash browns, cream, 1 and 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese, all the onions, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake until bubbly and golden brown...about 35-45 minutes.

Cooks tips:

You can shredd your own cheese if you like and cheese can be frozen. I really like the taste of fresh grated cheese. If you don't want to use the ramekins, you can use a 11x7 inch baking dish, just increase the baking time by 12 minutes. You can also use bacon bits or any other yummy things that you like in this recipe.


Deals of the day!


MEGA SWAGBUCKS DAY! Earn $5 Amazon Gift Card, CASH & more! + 30 FREE Swagbucks!

7.25-oz Kraft Blue Box Macaroni & Cheese $0.65 per box + Free Shipping!

Outback Steakhouse: $5 Off Any 2 Entrees w Printable Coupon

Get FREE Chips & Queso at Chili's

I'll have more up later today along with a few new recipes! Enjoy!!

The Krazy Coupon Queen: FREE Cell Phone Cases!!!!

The Krazy Coupon Queen: FREE Cell Phone Cases!!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Banana Bread French Toast

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I had this dish at a restaurant and had to come home and figure out how to make it! It is the easiest thing I've ever done....

You can use premade banana bread or you can make your own.
All you have to do is slice the bread into about 1/4 inch slices and dip them into a mixture of egg and milk, cook them over medium heat in a skillet with just a tough of butter (or whatever your favorite thing to use) and I usually dust them with a little cinnamon and powdered sugar while they are hot! Something else I like to do is add sliced bananas on top and if you like a little of your favorite syrup, but I don't need syrup, it's great without it!


Pedicure I got this morning!

I went this morning to a place called Nails Baby! to get a pedicure. It was very clean and organized and the people there were very friendly and totally knew what they were doing! If you are in North Austin area, they are off of Parmer lane next to the Kolache shop.

They are located at 1701 Parmer Lane suite 106 and you can also find them on Facebook!

Walgreen adventure

So...this morning I went to Walgreen's just to get their Arizona Tea they had on sale for 2 /1.00, but there was a limit of four. I asked the guy up front if I used 5 coupons, could I get 20 of them at the sale price, he said no problem, I'll just scan the same coupon. I got 20 Arizona Teas for 10.00 and 5-32 oz. Gatorade's for 5.00 and I also got 2 candy bars for 1.00, so all in all, I saved 16.57 on my total bill!! It's nice to know that some places will let you slide! I am going back tomorrow to get 20 more.....

Just a few deals to tide you over

There is a swag code out. Check their Twitter page. It is worth 4 swagbucks and expires at 11:00 a.m. EST. If you have not heard of Swagbucks it is an Internet Search Engine that pays you for searching the web through their site. I have earned $870.00 in gift cards, $20.00 in CVS gift cards, and $10.00 in paypal deposits since joining in August 2009....Free Downy Unstopables Scent Booster Sample Giveaway on 6/30.Downy is hosting a free sample giveaway on Thursday, June 30th! They will be giving away free samples of a product that is not even yet in stores - Downy Unstopables Scent Booster! LIKE them on facebook here and be ready tomorrow for the giveaway!Thursday 6/30/11 at 10 am Eastern Time with 500,000 samples available....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipe of the day!

Mom's Chicken Enchilada's

2 chicken breast
1 pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup of chicken stock (left over after boiling chicken)
grated cheese

Boil chicken breast until done and save that 1/4 cup of stock when done.
After chicken cools, tear into strips and add back into pot with cream cheese, chicken stock and salsa.
Mix well
spoon chicken mixture into tortillas with a little bit of the grated cheese.
After rolling the tortillas up into enchilada's, pour whats left on top, top that with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees until golden and bubbly.
I usually cook Spanish rice and re fried beans with this.

This is one of the favorites at my house!!


Daily Deals for 6/28/2011


T.G.I. Friday’s Snacks Printable Coupon

Printable Coupon Roundup: Glad, Gerber Graduates + More

Free Sample 2 More Quest Protein Bars

Coupon For Free Bottle Of Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner

The Coupon Centsation: Keebler Granola Fudge Bars: NEW Printable coupon

Look for more on my facebook page! I'll be adding more here too and a new recipe later in the day!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spicy Smoky Peach Salsa | Trader Joes recipes

Spicy Smoky Peach Salsa | Trader Joes recipes

Fiber One Cereals Prize Pack Giveaway (Do YOU get enough fiber?)

Fiber One Cereals Prize Pack Giveaway (Do YOU get enough fiber?)

Thinking of adding recipes to my blog

What would you all think about adding recipes and tips to my blog? It's something I love to do and would love to share and swap recipes and ideas with other people...

Where to go from here....

Did all of my shopping yesterday, didn't save a whole lot, but did decide that HEB and Walgreens are my favorite places to shop. I admit that Wal mart is cheaper to shop at, but they don't have a very good meat department and I'm kinda weird about my meats! My husband and I try to eat organic food as much as we can, but you can't always get organic meat at Walmart. Now...HEB has a wonderful selection of meats and they will take any and all coupons you have. They do not, however, price match against Walmart due to them being super cheap on everything. I think I would rather pay a little more and get the best products available to me. I would save as much as I can at the other stores who do price match, stack coupons, or just have really great deals! Walgreens will allow you to stack your coupons and that is awesome because I can save a truck load of money on things that are really needed. CVS is also good about their in store coupons and the deals they have every week. So....the point is...find the best store for you to shop at and use what you've got in coupon knowledge to get the best deals you can without compromising what you feel is best for you!

A few deals for today....

Here is a list of the coupons that are in the July issues of magazines. Don’t throw them away before you look for coupons!! Thanks, Nicole’s Nickels for the list Woman’s Day (July 1) (subscription) Page 166 – Save $1.00 on Clear Ears (exp. 9/30/11) Lucky (subscription) Page 115 – Save $2 on Longer Stronger Hair and Nails.

MISSOURI COUPON QUEENS: Free Sample Of Children's Toothpaste

MISSOURI COUPON QUEENS: Free Sample Of Children's Toothpaste

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Get it while its hot!!

Walgreens: $.99 Renuzit Crystal Elements Air Freshening Crystals – Today Only!

Dragonfly soothing Balm....
natural, healing, soothing, arthriris, health beauty

Go see this site! This is one of my favorite sites to go to. The balm she has is awesome and it really does work!!

More Samples and freebies!

Moms on a Mission to Save You Money: Save $2.00 on any Clean & Clear Product!

Moms on a Mission to Save You Money: Save $2.00 on any Clean & Clear Product!: "Click here to get your $2.00/1 Clean & Clear coupon!! (This is an older coupon but still has prints available if you haven't printed it yet..."

Where is your favorite place to grocery shop and why?

Where do you like to shop for your groceries every week and why? I ask because I am investigating stores that are local supporters versus national chains that get their products from anywhere. I'll be back later today to add to this conversation.

Something to talk about...

Something else I am doing is talking to certain, small town businesses and asking them if I can blog about their companies and in return getting discounts, cash, or freebies......what do you think of that? My husband is on the phone right now with our local HEB talking about how we can save even more money at their stores and about blogging for them.

Deals and freebies for Sunday June 26, 2011

Don't forget: Today is the LAST day to get your $2 tanks from Old Navy! Plus, there is a printable coupon for...

Sunday Coupon Preview: 2 inserts this week!

Don't throw away your June 26 Parade Magazine insert just yet. It has a buy one get one FREE 2-pc. Kentucky Grilled Recipe coupon in it! Thanks, Mojo Savings
Source: ConFRUGAL

Before you toss out this weekend’s Parade Magazine, make sure you check out page 13! You might find a coupon for B1G1 Free KFC Every Day Value Meal ($ value). This coupon is good through July 10th at participating locations. While you are at it, make sure you clip these coupons as well: Page 7 – $3/1 PediaSure Sidekicks 4-pack (exp 9/30/2011) Page 9 – $2/1 Urinozinc (exp 9/30/2011) Page 9 – $5/1 TwinLab Krill...
Welcome to Frugal Living And Having Fun, where Frugality and Fun come together! Be sure to sign up for the free daily newsletter and become a fan on facebook. While you are here be sure to check out all the

These are just a few deals of the day/week! I will be posting more as I get them in.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Dime At a Time: $2/1 Pull ups Training Pants

A Dime At a Time: $2/1 Pull ups Training Pants: "Go HERE to Print a $2/1 Pull Ups Training Paints Coupon"

CVS Deals For June 26 - July 02, 2011

CVS Deals For June 26 - July 02, 2011

cyn's coupons 4 u: Walgreen's Freebies Starting tomorrow

cyn's coupons 4 u: Walgreen's Freebies Starting tomorrow: "Lumene Make Up Remover, $5.99 $4/1 Lumene Product, exp. 8/15/11 (SS 06/19/11)- regional coupon $4/1 Coupon from the July Coupon B..."

Walgreens ad for week of 6/26/11

Walgreens Deals – week of 6/26/11

Dove® Daily Treatment Conditioner Sample

Dove® Daily Treatment Conditioner Sample

Walgreens trip

So...I have been really busy this week in joining my facebook and twitter in with my blog. I've "liked" every coupon, freebie, survey, etc. known to man I think in hopes of getting to know some great people and finding some great deals!

Today, I am going to CVS and Walgreens to check out their sale papers so that I can match them up with my Sunday paper coupons. I am still learning, but boy am I learning alot! I'll let ya know how my shopping trip turns out later today!

In the meantime, I plan on posting a few sites that I just love and hopefully you will too!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My adventure with coupons!

I am just starting out here, but I have really gone crazy with this whole extreme couponing thing! I am trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can because for me, saving money is making money and that just rocks in my book! Be patient with me, it's a process, but I should have things up and going very quickly! Until then, save some money!!