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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.