Weight Loss progress

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baking GALS

I know I've mentioned Operation Baking GALS a few time. Like here and here. I can assure you there will be more posts. So I hope you like them.

We are currently at the beginning stages of the Christmas Round. Packages start getting shipped tomorrow. There are 26 teams this round. Meaning 26 men/women (and their co-workers) will be getting packages from all over the United States. Because I was bored, I counted how many people were signed up for this round so far.

(Drum Roll Please)


Isn't that incredible? That's not even counting the people that are also baking but just not signed up on the website. I know a few of my team members have enlisted some of their friends to help but they are not signed up on the website. I am just amazed with how many people have gotten involved.

"Operation Christmas Blessing" is going pretty good. This week I will be getting the letters/pictures made by some kidlets around san diego county. People at work at slowly starting to bring in things for the stockings. The stockings are decorated and waiting to be filled. I think it will be pretty neat to see the end result.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pioneer Woman

The Pioneer Woman...
I love her.
She's cool.
I want to be her.

I don't even know where I heard about her for the first time. I've heard mention of her over the last year or so but didn't really know who or what she was. Was she a Betty Crocker type product that made you think there was a real person behind the title but there really isn't?(That's right, Betty Crocker isn't a real person... disappointing, I know) Or was she a real person somewhere in cyberland? Then a friend and fellow blogger briefly wrote about her here. So I followed the links she posted on her blog and that's when I fell in love.

Ree Drummond is The Pioneer Woman. She is funny ,witty and I just can't get enough of her blog. I can spend hours reading through all of the sections on her website. I think I am borderline obsessed. Recipes, the story of how her and her hubby met, homeschooling, her kids,home & garden, photography.. how she does it all, I will never know.

These days, if I am looking for a recipe I check her site first. Hopefully after Christmas I will be able to reference her cookbook (hint hint). This week is "pie week" on her food blog. Just when I thought I knew what pie yuumminess I was going to make for all of the Thanksgiving festivities, "Pie Week" happens. Now I will be spending the day before and the day of Thanksgiving making pies. Pie, Pies and more Pies. More Pie than all of our families can eat, combined. And you know what? They will be gooooooooddd. Oh I'm drooling just thinking about it!!!

Stay tuned for the sharing of these scrumdidlyumptious recipes. Or if you're impatient (like me), check out her website by clicking the link about. Happy Reading (and drooling)!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Family

Not everyone can say they have a close-knit family. I am thankful that I can say I do have a close family and they would do anything for me. They have been by my side during heartbreak, financial struggles, weight loss, joy, sorrow... the list goes on. Some people have no family or are disconnected from them. I don't want to know what that is like. Ever.
My parents have always set a good example for their kids. They have always been honest about life. Even during rough times they stuck it out and made the best out of the situation. Life hasn't always been daisies and roses but I think that has just made us a stronger family. I have seen them sacrifice so much for our family. They taught us that family comes first and we always stick together.

I am blessed to have two older brothers that are protective, caring, annoying, and two of my best friends. They defend me when needed, make fun of me endlessly and love me the way big brothers should. I wouldn't have it any other way. (Jimmy/Brian... this doesn't not give you persmission to increase the teasing!). Both of my brothers have married incredible women. They have become part of  our family. My sisters. We shop, do coffee, talk about pretty much everything. I love spending time with them.

Last year I was welcomed into Jared's family with open arms. His family is a lot like mine. Before I met Jared, I would pray for the unknown man I would marry and the family that came with that. You hear horror stories of "the in-laws". Thankfully his family isn't that family.

Over the years our schedules have gotten more and more complicated. It has been good for us because we have all learned the importance of family. If your family needs you you stop what you're doing and lend a hand. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between... that's family.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beauty & the Beast!

Remember I mentioned that I'm a theater nerd? I really am!

Ali, my work partner, and I went out on the town in late October to see Beauty & The Beast.

Its not that the theater requires you to get dressed up or anything but how often do you get gussied up and paint the town red? We took the opportunity to wear something other than jeans. I am really blessed to have a partner that is more than just a "work friend". She's a wonderful person and has a huge heart. One of the funnest people I know for sure.

It was an incredible show! I love how disney makes everything bold, big and just plain magical. You forget you're in an audience almost immediately. I kind of feel like I needed to watch it again because there were so many things going on. The special effects were pretty neat plus all of the dancing, sets and costume.. just amazing.

I highly reccommend seeing it next time it comes to town. I know I plan on it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I tried out "Zumba" for the first time last night. For those of you that don't know, Zumba is a workout program based on latin style dance moves. I took the class offered at Ramona Fitness on friday nights.

First of all, I had a blast during the class! My legs were burning, I was dripping sweat and I felt very "white girl" because well, my hips just dont shake or move like that. I had so.much. fun during the class. Rose, the instructor, is the wife of a Cal Fire Captain that I know. She's just a doll and made the class fun while pushing us physically. I can't wait to take another one. Oh and I burned 546 calories in that hour. Not too bad if you ask me!

I officially love Zumba! I am bummed that I will miss the next few weeks of the class because of my work schedule. I may get a Zumba DVD for us to do at work. I think we need to change it up from "The Shred".

I've finally gotten back on track with eating well and working out semi-regularly. I forgot how good it feels to eat right and get your sweat on. iIn the last few week I've lost 7 pounds. It is coming off a lot slower than it once was but I am also not being as dilligent either. Regardless, I feel great.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Operation Christmas Blessing

I was thinking... What would it be like to be thousands of miles away from your family and friends, in a desert, wearing the same tan cammos everyday, no Christmas tree, no Christmas Music, no Christmas Lights, no Stockings, no Christmas cheer? If you ask me it would be pretty bleak, a little depressing and creating a whole lot of homesickness.

I was thinking some more (scary, I know)... Why don't I get a bunch of people to write out Christmas Cards, donate items for stockings and have kids write some notes. Easy, right? I hope so.

I have been involved with Baking GALS for a little over a year now. These last few months we have been sending packages to Jared's brother, Matt. He is on his third tour and is in Afghanistan this time around. His unit will be there through all of the holidays.

My hope and plan is to send filled stockings to each of the 15 people I have names for in his unit. I have asked a few people if their child's class can write cards/ letters, I will be putting out a box of christmas cards at work for people to write out, I've asked a few others to put boxes of Christmas cards out at their work places, I will be asking the owners of Ramona Fitness if I can put out some cards there for members to write and I plan on putting a donation box out at work so people can donate items for the stockings , if they want. My hope is to bombard them with Christmas Love, to bring joy to the desert region and a smile to their faces.

So, my dear readers, can you help? Would you be willing to have your kids color a picture or make a card? Will you write a Christmas card to one of these people? Are you able to donate a couple travel size containers of hand sanitizer or lotion or chapstick? Let me know!

If you don't live local, you are welcome to ship items to me and I will package them up and ship them out.

Donation ideas;
Costco Trailmix (they sell the indiviual serving packets... they are perfect!)
Instand Coffee
Hand Sanitizer
Wet Wipes
Hard Candy (hey maybe a box of candy canes?)
Pez (who doesnt get pez in their stocking at christmas?)
Power Bars/protein bars
Chex Mix
Homemade snacks
Beef Jerkey
Turkey Jerky
 and anything else you might be able to think of. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Veterans Day!

I don't think many of us can quite understand the real sacrifices of our service men, women and families. It is a lifestyle I, personally, am not accustomed to. I've seen friends' husbands leave their 2 month old baby for 9 months. I've seen a little boy beyond sad that his dad has to "keep leaving" him. One day these babes will understand why their daddy had to leave for a while. Mothers and Fathers kiss their sons or daughters goodbye for an unknown amount of time. Girlfriends,Boyfriends,Wives, and Husbands put their relationships on hold for 9 months, a year... or longer. Your family can be moved all over the country or even to a foreign country. Sometimes those moves happen every year depending on position, promotions, needs of the government.

Those that serve see, experience, and remember things from their times of deployment that we couldn't even think of in our worst nightmares. They are in the most extreme weather conditions, eat food that closely resembles cardboard and sleep on the smallest of cots for months on end. This lifestyle is far from glamorous. It is difficult and challenging yet when asked, they tell us it is the most rewarding career they could have ever chosen.

On this Veterans Day I am thankful for all of those that have served and are currently serving our country. I am thankful that they are willing to go into war zones to keep myself, and those I love, safe.  I am thankful that their families serve right along with them without complaint. I am thankful I live in a country that remains free because of those that put their lives on the line everyday.

Sometimes "thank you" doesn't seem to be enough. Words, cards, baked goods, balloons and celebrations only begin to express how grateful we are for their selfless service.

To everyone who has served, are currently serving, have a family member who is (has) serving... Thank You.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Carving and Baking Day

My family has started a few traditions over the years. After our annual trip to Bates Nut Farm we gather at one of our homes to carve pumpkins and make a bunch of goodies that aren't all together good for us but very VERY tasty!
Somehow the boys and kids end up outside carving while the ladies take over the kitchen. This was a transition year. My niece, Alissa, is growing up way too fast and transitioned from carving with the kids to baking with the older ladies. She was tasked with a simple but delicious recipe we got from my bestie. Alissa seemed to love being in the kitchen with us. She went outside a few times to instruct her dad in how to carve her pumpkin then promptly came back in. I can't believe she will be a teenager next year. I'm officially old.

There's another little girl that will eventually join us in the kitchen but for now she seems pretty serious about pumpkin carving...

The guys and kids seemed to have a great time carving.The pumpkins turned out great as usual. And of course us ladies had a blast in the kitchen cooking away!

           We also had a little birthday celebration for my dad. Somehow the candles got reversed on the cake Jessica made but dad was a good sport about it. We got him a cd player for his car. he's pretty excited about it. Welcome to the 2000's dad! Now he can listen to the oldies in style.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Flyleaf Concert

I've been posting events out of order and that bugs the organized side of me but, oh well. :)

On October 22 Jared and I went to see one of our favorite bands at the House of Blues downtown. Jaredplayed a couple Flyleaf songs for me when we first started dating and I was instantly hooked. They have some pretty hardcore stuff but they also have some songs that maybe even my mom would like.

The concert was i.c.r.e.d.i.b.l.e. to say the least. You see, everyone in the band are Christians. They are open about their faith on stage and in their lyrics but they are not pushy about it. I love it. Lacey, the singer, is open about things she went through in her life and simply reminds everyone that each day is a gift and God loves us.

Now, forgive me for the poor quality of the pictures. Notes on the House of Blues websites, on the tickets and posted on the walls inside the venue say no cameras. Much to my dismay, I left my camera in the car so I wouldn't be tempted to break the "no camera" rule. Apparently I am the only one that adhered to said rule. People were taking pictures (with real cameras) the whole time. Lucky ducks! So I did what any normal, smart phone using, picture obsessed woman would do. I broke out my camera phone and snapped away. They may be poor quality but atleast I have some pictures!

The night was a lot of fun. We stood the whole time so that wasn't as much fun. Especially since we had walked around the Harvest Festival all day AND got to the House of Blues 1.5hrs before the concert started. I happened to be standing next to a woman who seemed more interested in what she was drinking than who she was bumping into and who was playing on stage. I grabbed a couple waters from the bar and returned to my spot next to her. As she was moving out of my way, her purse hit the Red Bull she was drinking and it spilled all over my jeans and feet. Nice. A while later she was drunkenly bopping around to the songs from the opening band when she , again, hit her drink and it proceeded to pour allover my new hoodie, shirt and my jeans (again). She giggled a "sorry" and went about her bopping. I was quite irritated but I tried to brush it off and avoid a bar fight.

Here are a couple songs for your listening pleasure. The videos are a little uhh different so ignore those. Just listen to the lyrics.

Lacey explained that she wrote this song for her little sister. You see, her mom was a single parent of 6 kids so you can imagine they probably didn't have very much one on one time.

Lacey intro'd this song by reminding everyone that we all have a part in this world. We are all made to do something. So no matter what, strive to do what we were meant to do. Hearing it live was unforgettable.

And Just for fun to show off some of their harder stuff... here's the song they wrote dedicated to Cassie Bernall who was killed in the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. When she said "Yes" to the questions "Are you a christian", she was shot and killed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I don't know about you but when Thanksgiving approaches I really begin thinking about what I am thankful for. What I realized is that I shuldn't focus on what I am thankful for only during the month of November. Sometimes I get so caught up in the negatives in life I forget about all the good that is around me. Tell me I'm not alone in this, right?


Well it is high time for me to change the way I think about things and focus on what I have instead of what I don't have, want, need, can't have etc. I don't want to just think about the things I am thankful for during the Thanksgiving season. Thus we now have (drum roll please) Thankful Thursdays!  I am hoping to recap the thing(s) I am thankful for each weej

I honestly don't know where to start. There is definitely a lot to be thankful for. The short list:
1. Election TV ads are gone
2. I start vacation today
3. Did I mention I started vacation today?

Ok seriously...
 It may sound Cliche' to be thankful for God first since  pop stars, country music stars, actors and actresses usually start out their acceptance speech with " I like to start by thanking God" . This is sooo much more than that.

I know I am not perfect. I know I mess up and I know I have a lot of room for improvement. Where humans may judge us on our short comings, God doesn't. Nor will He ever. I find more peace in that knowledge than anything else in the world.

Want to know something else that is great? He knows what plans he has for us! Why do we(me) get so worked up over what is going to happen when God already knows? If only I could remember that He has it all under control.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. " 1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bates Nut Farm

The Family made the annual trek to Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center on October 23. Much to our surprise it wasn't too terribly busy. It was cool and a little sprinkley at times but perfect for this fall activity.

This was TJ's first trip to Bates. He was pretty tired about half way through but tried his hardest to stay awake and look at everything.

The kids had a blast searching for their perfect pumpkins, navigating through the hay maze and petting the farm animals. Peyton and Alissa even got to hold a little bunny.

Every year we take the hay ride around the compound. It certainly isn't anything overly exciting but hey, it's tradition. As the family is getting bigger, the cars attached to the hay ride train seem to be getting smaller. Kids are having to sit on laps and the adults are pretty snug in their seats. Katie ended up having to sit on Brian's lap. Sad to say we may have to separate into two cars next year.
 It goes about the same every year.
Find the pumpkins first. The guys take care of carrying
the pumpkins (and apparently children) in the wheel barrows.
Pay for the Pumpkins and take them to the cars
 then check out the rest of the excitement.
 It is a super fun day.
 I love my family and our little traditions.

 I especially like having this guy with me:
The family feels complete with him there.

And I simply can't believe how big these kids are getting. My precious Nieces and Nephews..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Harvest Festival

This year was the first time I have ever been to the Harvest Festival. It is held annually at the Del Mar Fair grounds. Jared and I joined his mom, Lynn, and his Grandma, Loretta, for a day of shopping and taste testing.

Yes, thosw are suitcases you see behind Lynn and Loretta. Being the smart women they are, they take suitcases so they can cart around everything they buy. Jars/Bags/Goodies get a bit heavy in plastic shopping bags so they bring rolling suitcases. Smart I tell ya. Very Smart.

If you've ever been to the Del Mar fair and checked out the exhibit halls, you have experienced something similar to the Harvest Festical. One of the main differences that I noticed was the amount nof food booths. Sauces, Marinades, Olive Oils, Soups, Dips, Coffee, Cocoa, Bread. You name it and they probably had a booth for it and we probably tasted it.

By lunch time I was so full from samples I didn't even want to eat "real" food. I tell ya, it would be very easy to spend hundreds of dollars at this things. Every booth has something different and just as tasty to offer. Jared and I played it smart and took a certain amount of cash out of the bank and only used that to buy stuff. Our own little budget, if you will.

We were pretty wiped out by the end of the day but we walked away with some scrumptious dip and soup mixes. Can't wait until next year!

I thought I would share some of the websites of things we sampled.

http://www.hawaiiansauce.com/  Best teriyaki sauce I've EVER tasted!
http://www.allstarsdips.com/    Dips and more... so good!
http://www.debritochocolate.com/  amazing gourmet caramel apples! good gifts!
http://cheerstoyou.com/  coffee, cocoa, espresso mixed... mmmm mmmm good!
http://www.tresclassique.com/  balsamics, olive oils and the most amazing kahlua maple syrup!

There was so much more but I just can't remember all of them. You really should check it out next year. iI is $9 per ticket but you can usually find $2 off coupons online. Plus one ticket is good for all 3 days. Not too shabby!