Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My New Favorite Chip!

I can't really talk about eating better without sharing some of what I've discovered! These chips are my new favorite for whenever I'm in the mood for some fresh salsa or home made guacamole. There's only 1 gram of fat per serving and no saturated or trans fat!!! This is seriously the ONLY chip I've been able to find with NO SAT FAT! So try them out. They don't even taste healthy =) and I love 'em!

Bittersweet Cheat

So last night Chris and I decided to have a little date/cheat night. Yes, I said "cheat". I say that because he and I have been working very hard this past month at eating healthy and staying far, far away from fried, starchy, sugary foods. You're probably thinking, "well Gee Wizz! What else is there?!" Well for the first few days, my stomach was grumbling the same thing. But as I've been sticking to this new way of eating, not only have I found that my taste buds are smiling again, but so are my jeans! ha ha ha! No seriously, at first I felt like I couldn't eat anything, but the more and more I've forced myself to eat fruit for a snack as oppose to chocolate, or a handful of almonds as oppose to a handful of chips, I've definitely noted a change in my cravings. In fact, not only do I not crave most of the junk food I used to, but I'm not even nearly as hungry. Maybe its in part because Jace is no longer breastfeeding. All I know is I used to eat all day! And you know what I ate too! Sonic tater tots, cherry limeades, M&M's, chocolate chip cookies..... NO MORE! In fact, I haven't had french fries in over a month!!!! I know! I'm crazy, but I sure do feel a lot better about myself, and I find that even if I do want to eat that way again, I'm going to definitely pay the price.

Last night on our date we decided to go to Chili's (which is one of our favorites!) We both were good and ordered waters, but we figured that since we were cheating we'd get an appetizer and then split the entree.... maybe even get a dessert.... or so we thought. We started with some chips and salsa, we split a house salad and then shared a burger that shouldn't even be legal! I'm talking a big juicy all beef patty, topped off with fried onions, thick applewood smoked bacon, melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, dill pickles, a thick slice of tomato, mayonaise, and of coarse you've got to finish it off with some ancho chile barbeque sauce!!! Oh my heavens! Can you please call me in to the doctor so they can check my cholesterol! It's getting higher just reading this! Hmm-hm! =) Normally, when we used to go to Chili's we would both get our own burger and we'd both eat most of it, if not all of it. Well last night, we split it and even then, neither of us could even finish our halves without feeling stuffed! So much for dessert! And so much for having fun cheating. The moment we finished, we both looked at each other, sighed, and smiled because both of our stomaches were miserable. It felt like I swallowed a tub of lard! Gross I know, but that's how I was feeling. It's just funny. All night I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into something bad, but then after I did, I wished I hadn't. I guess this new eating habit is going to take some of my old fun away... but that's okay I guess. As long as I keep fitting into my clothes, and feeling better about myself, it's definitely all worth it. Besides, I'm definitely not giving up everything..... like Starbucks for instance ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2008


So this is a late night blog =) ... usually I'm settling down under the covers by now, but tonight was an exciting night, so I just wanted to share some thoughts before I turn over and finally say "goodnight".

Tonight was our first worship practice for Ignite, our new experience time on Sunday nights, and it was awesome! I am so excited for this Sunday! I've always loved singing, but being a part of the worship at this church is such an amazing experience. The musicians are so extremely talented. Singing with them is even better than I had hoped. The feeling of knowing you're a part of something great is irreplaceable. I know God is going to use us to help lead people into His presence and I'm just so humbled to be a part of this team.

I can't wait to see what God does! Whatever it is.... it's going to be GOOD! =)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Would You like Room for Cream?

So many of you may not know this, but just recently I started working at Starbucks! Yep! That's right, and I am LOVING it! Being home with Jace is so great, but just recently, I really start to itch to get out of the house and be around adults again =)

Starbucks is not a new thing for me by any means. If anything, it's one of those common denominators you'll find throughout the last few years of my life. I worked there for about two years through high school and some of college when I was living in Indy. Then, when Chris and I were living in Ohio, I worked there for a few months, and now here I am, once again..... a dedicated Barista =)

Going back after being our of work seemed a little scary. I was afraid I was going to have to learn everything all over again, but luckily, after only an hour, I felt like I had never even left. I love my store, and so far everyone I work with is so nice.

What a blessing! I wanted to go back to work, but I didn't really feel like putting the effort into something new. Low and behold, God is just that good. =) He gave me a job, and I already know what to do! Yay and what a relief! Not only that, but the free coffee doesn't hurt ;D

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jace's many faces!

I was messing with our web cam and Jace, of coarse, being the curious little man that he is, decided to check out what was going on. Well like usual, I started taking pictures, and I ended up with these! They turned out so cute that I wanted to share them with all of you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diet Update

So I've been doing pretty good. I've been watching my saturated fats, been cooking with mostly olive oil, instead of butter, and it's been about a week and a half. It hasn't been very long yet, but I am already starting to feel so much better about myself. Chris has especially been doing a great job eating healthy. Here and there, I've nibbled on a little something, but for the most part, he's been super disciplined. I'm so proud of him. Knowing he's not eating junk makes me want to do good too, and I feel like all in all, I have done pretty good. In fact, I can already feel a little more room in some of my pre-pregnancy jeans, and that is definitely a great thing! So keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck. Hopefully I'll be back to my old self soon! Or should I say my old size soon! =)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fudge Catastrophe!

So yesterday I attempted a fudge recipe I found online, and despite my reservations, I thought, "maybe this time it will turn out right." Not only did it not turn out right the first, or the second time, but not even the third time! Yes I tried the same recipe three times yesterday! So frustrating! Not sure why, but it's the one thing I've never been able to successfully make. I wasted three hours on fudge! GGRRR! So, if you know a good recipe (that hopefully doesn't involve a candy thermometer because I almost broke mine yesterday!) please send it my way. Maybe next time I should stick to the Paula Dean "Dummy Fudge".... that's really what its called =)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Fab Friday

So last night we went to Cameron and Karmen's wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful. Not to mention the reception was incredible. It was like out of a magazine! Between the lights, decorations, ice sculptures.... yes, I said ice sculptures, and the photo booth ( cool huh?!), it was the nicest reception I've ever been to. It was fun too because we got to hang out with friends, which I love, and Jace stayed home with Stephen, so all in all, it was a very relaxing, enjoyable evening =)

Before the wedding, I made dinner, and it turned out just as I had hoped - don't you love it when that happens? I got the recipe off the food network website and so I just thought I'd share it with all of you. Hope you enjoy. It requires some effort, but in the end, it's definitely worth it!

So here are a few pics from the wedding and the recipe that I hope you all can try sometime.

Thick Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Pork Chops:
1 gallon water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sea salt
1 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 fresh thyme sprigs
4 double-cut bone-in loin pork chops, 1 pound each
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Spiced Apples and Raisins:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced in 1/2-inch-thick wedges
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch dry mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl combine the water, brown sugar, sea salt, apple juice concentrate, peppercorns, and thyme. Give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Transfer the mixture to an extra-large re-sealable plastic bag. Submerge the pork chops in the brine, seal up the bag, and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to tenderize the meat. Do not brine longer than that or the meat will break down too much and get mushy.

Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Put a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a 3-count drizzle of olive oil and get it hot. Lay 2 pork chops in the pan (most likely only 2 of these massive pork chops will fit comfortably) and brown 4 minutes per side. Remove the pork chops to a large baking pan; brown the remaining 2 chops and add them to the others in the pan. Put the baking pan in the oven and roast the chops for 30 minutes. The pork is done when the center is still rosy and the internal temperature reads 140 to 145 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer.

While the chops cook, melt the butter in a clean skillet over medium-low heat. Add the apples and thyme and coat in the butter; cook and stir for 8 minutes to give them some color. Toss in the raisins and add the apple juice, stirring to scrape up the brown bits. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and dry mustard; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon to wake up the flavor and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apples break down and soften. Spoon the spiced apples over the pork chops.