Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hoping everyone is at home and enjoying their holiday with loved ones!






Dec 24, 2013

On The Table: Nana's Pineapple Pie

This is a family favorite, or tradition through the years that I have finally mastered!! I cornered Nana with a notepad and a stern face telling her to spill the beans on her Pineapple Pie.

Luckily I'm taller than her, she cowered and finally shared.
I then mentioned the love of pineapple online and people coerced me to share what the heck is a fridgerator-pie (no, its not a re-fridgerator...we just say fridge!)




Nana's Pineapple Pie

1 small can of crushed pineapple (4oz?)
3/4 cup of white sugar
3 eggs yolks
3/4 cup of pecan pieces
8oz whipping cream
graham cracker crust

1. pour the pineapple and juice into pot with the sugar, on medium heat not to scorch the sugar
 

2. add in the egg yolks (pre scramble slightly) and whisk into the pineapple/sugar mixture. (Use a tempering technique here)
 

3. cook pineapple/sugar/yolk mixture until thickened.
 

4. stir in the pecan pieces
 

5. place mixture into plastic container and place into fridge...let cool completely. *nana preps this the night before and does the following steps the following day
 

6. prepare whipped cream to medium peaks
 

7. fold the whipped cream into the pineapple mixture completely.
 

8. pour into a prepared graham cracker
 

9. cover and refrigerate completely.

Now you have a quick and relatively simple pie for your holidays! However, I consider this a fruit fridge pie, so you can technically make it year-round. Right? It is pineapple! 



 


Dec 23, 2013

Review: Plexus Slim 7day Trial

I quietly mentioned last week that I was trying a new product that was gifted to me.  Given my lovely stomach ailments and sensitivities I have been really hesitant to try any supplements, shakes, or pills to help my journey. But this product seemed simple and natural enough for me to at least give it a try.
 *All images are from Amazon.com



(this is the amazon link, which is against the policy of the manufacturer 
but it provides other reviews to compare and such....)

Anyone heard of it?  Nope? Neither had I. At least here in Texas, it hasn't made the rounds yet.  A friend gave me their 7day trial pack which includes the 'slim' drink and the accelerator pills. Just one pill a day, I could handle that, and some flavor packet for my water? Sure, why not.

Product Description:
"Plexus Slim/Accelerator+ Combo Experience the powerful one-two punch of taking Plexus Slim and Accelerator+. With the synergistic effect of taking these two products together, you lose more weight-faster than you ever thought possible! With their proprietary blend of natural ingredients, Plexus Slim and Accelerator+ work synergistically to burn unwanted fat, balance blood sugar levels and decrease your appetite. All this in a quick and healthy manner. Taken together, Plexus Slim and Accelerator+ will positively impact and change your life. In addition to losing weight, you will experience more energy and better health. Take control and make a dramatic change in your life today."


So on Dec 12, Thursday I started the week long 'trial period' after my gluttonous conference days and not getting access to any solid cardio work that scale was evil and had bloated up to a new number not seen in months (insert my angry shocked face and cursing at the scale)

Starting weight: 158.0

I followed the program except for Sunday when I completely flaked on it being at home.  The instructions are to take the 'slim' packet in your water 30minutes before a meal and to take the accelerator with it in the mornings.  I did that the first two days, but struggled since breakfast is typically forgotten (but I'm working on it.)  But the following week I figured out my schedule better and would take the accelerator with my coffee and oatmeal and then take the 'slim' drink while working out at noon.  The drink is tasty, almost a cherry/raspberry type flavor...so it worked for something to keep me hydrated during T25 or Insanity last week.

This review was originally planned for last Friday, two days after the "7" days...but to be fair I waited for Saturday's weight to really gauge it.  I had a really salty blackened tilapia for dinner on Thursday and I swelled up on Friday. ha!

Ending weight: 154.0

Wow, 4pounds right? That's awesome right?


Breaking it down for reals:
1. the 158 was bloated up from my more normal and average of 155-156ish.
2. I worked out like normal, which was an hour and a half for 4 days between strength training in the mornings and cardio at lunch (T25x2, Insanity-x1, Zumba-x1, abripper-x1)
3. I did change my diet and increased my calorie intake by 200 a day due to oatmeal in the mornings.
4. I did not have any gastro side effects, which is good for me.  
5. I did notice a flatter stomach and 'felt' smaller and less bloat.  I did feel physically better.



The "Slim" Drink 
It tastes great, you have to shake it up quite a bit, but the generic 'energy' orange drink or the 'propel' packets works just a good for me.



The "Accelerator"  
 I never noticed a difference other than the first day when I accidentally took it on an empty stomach and felt jumpy despite the 'no caffeine' claims.



Was it worth it?  Honestly I think only being a 7day trial I can't fairly answer that.  It really should be a 14day cycle to really get valid results or impact.

Would I do it again?
If it were free or discounted, yes.



If anyone has any questions or interested in trying it out, just email me
 and I can forward a friend's information along to you.

Dec 20, 2013

5 for Friday - Holiday Goodies Edition

Here we are with the final Five for Friday linkup with Darci, the Friday before Christmas!!! Woah....this means we only have one more Five for Friday for 2013!?


I looked back and realized that last week's Five were rather crass or negative and realized that I shouldn't go out like that for this week, I mean I *should* be in a Christmas mood or spirit or some positive mood right?  What better way than to share the yumminess that is the bestest holiday goodies that we only bust out at the holidays because of how gluttonous "seasonal" they are!


1. Fudge
photo courtesy of eaglebrand.com
You cannot go wrong with fudge, unless you know people who don't like chocolate or peanut butter? If you do, RUN, they cannot be natural born humans (clones likely!)  I don't go all Pinteresty on classic fudge, but rather stick with the original recipe from Eagle Brand themselves and then just play it up with add-ons.  This year I just added in two heaping spoonfuls of super chunky peanut butter.  Last year, I threw in crushed up peppermint candies.  **Naturally gluten-free**


photo courtesy of allrecipes.com

I cannot believe I waited until last year to add this to my holiday baking menu?? Amazingly easy and everyone oohs and aahs over it.  I made two batches this year, one standard and another where I added in peanuts to make it more like Cracker Jack. **Naturally gluten-free**

photo courtesy of chow.com


I found this recipe in the Betty Crocker book I snagged from my mom, its copywrite date is before most of the bloggers I've met!  Takes alittle time, but I volunteer my 9yr old to help with this and #4.



photo courtesy of cookingwhims.com

Hubs cookie of choice, and I always try to offer at least one non-chocolate or peanut butter cookie for those clones, I mean odd ducks.

and lastly # 5


 This final favorite is hard to narrow down because if you've noticed I haven't even mentioned classic chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, decorated sugar cookies or anything we normally would expect.
Sadly this one is a recipe I've kept close to heart as it is what I requests of every couple months, no matter what season it is.  Super easy, but people still rave.
Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal

Since I'm not sharing that quite yet, you can hand out the classics, right?



I hope everyone enjoys this last weekend before the chaos that is Christmas next week!!! I can't wait to see my kids' faces on Christmas morning, granted I will be peering over the rim of a very full coffee cup.

Dec 19, 2013

Hack, cough, stumble, lift

My normal treadmill perkiness:


This week? I'm barely moving:


I either have a sinus infection or something else that has crept into my lungs and I've been in the 'coughing up a lung' club this week. It sucks, not only because I'm coughing and being medicated, but that it has impacted my cardio work this week completely
I had to bump up my new weight training schedule to keep up with any sort of workout to make up for the lack of cardio.  I tried the treadmill Tuesday morning and lasted a whooping 1mile before turning to the spin bikes and did a slow 5miles until the coughing made me almost topple off the bike.

Hubs hooked me up with the app he uses to help me have a routine or plan in place before facing the gym weights and machines and not look like a complete newb. It is probably intended for true "body-builders" but it has helped me set up a little routine for myself so I thought I'd share why I can barely put my shirts on in the mornings right now.

I first started two weeks ago with the "Basic Three Day Routine" which I thought would be a good balance between my running days, but I've only managed it twice a week between LittleOne being sick, work conflicts and basically life.

So here's what I've done this week, it is allowing me to feel better about doing something that doesn't involve people thinking I have the plague.

Monday
Bench Press
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Flys
Pushdown
Kickbacks

Wednesday
Wide Grip Pull Down  *this is a must exercise! I love it for my shoulders and back!
Cable Row
Hypextensions  
Preacher Curls  *my arms are too short for the chair so I sit down on a flat bench instead.
One Arm Cable Curls

Luckily at 4:30am the gym is only the hardcore people right now, so its literally two meat heads, one girl, and myself and we have free reign at the gym and all do our own thing.  This helps me not be intimidated to try these machines and free weights.



Dec 18, 2013

What's my name!?!

As I laid on the floor last night with the Ipad in one hand and my phone in the other trying to jump at the chance of some awesome giveaways (like Ashton and her Elves!! seriously its $200 big ones!!)

I realized that maybe I'm doing something wrong with my name/blog/media stuff.

Who April is and Where

Instagram ~~~~ @OverExtendedApril

Twitter ~~~~ @Aprilelayne1 

Pinterest  ~~~~ Aprilelayne

BlogLovin ~~~~ April (aprilelayne)

Gmail ~~~~ aprilelayne at gmail dot com

Facebook ~~~~ I'm not jumping in completely on this one


I am planning on a blog refresh in the new year, new design and what not....at that point I hope to sync up everything.  It has been six months now and I think I'm getting more confident in my blog name, but for now I would love any feedback if OverExtended April is what I should stick with!


FYI, this Friday I will be posting a review of Plexus Slim that I got gifted by a friend.  This is a first weight loss or enhancement type product review for me so I'm anxious to see what results I can share with you guys. 

Dec 17, 2013

On The Table: Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Stack


What better day to share this than today, because today for our holiday luncheon we are heading to Abuelo's restaurant where I will test my resistance to yummy salsa and chips and save those calories for an amazing chile relleno...

The name is a mouthful, isn't it??
I made this last week and immediately thought to share it.  So easy to put together and from basic things I happened to have on hand.  I created this as a hodge podge of my ingredients for enchiladas and technique from a random 'taco lasagna' recipe I had on hand.  So my kids just called it Mexican Chicken Lasagna, so you can call it what you will!

But this?
ROCKED everyone's socks off! So easy for a weeknight if you have leftover chicken to use up.  Actually enchiladas are a go-to leftover dish for my deboned chicken after we have a rotisserie chicken.  Don't tell, but I will schedule a rotisserie chicken dinner solely for the intent of enchiladas soon afterward.

So much easier than traditional enchiladas! but the same ingredients in fewer dishes.

Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Stack
(aka Mexican Chicken Lasagna)

2-3 cups leftover chicken cubed or shredded
1 medium onion
1 can of black beans
1/2 cup of corn
1 jar of green salsa
4 oz can of green chilis (optional for extra spice!)
10 corn tortillas
3-4 tbsp of sour cream
cumin, paprika, garlic (to taste)
1-2 cups of shredded colby jack cheese


 
1. Dice onion and saute to semi-transparent
2. add in cubed or shredded chicken to warm and continue cooking with onion
3. add in drained black beans and corn (I use frozen, but either would work)
4. mix together until hot
5. add in green salsa, this was to sight based on how thick or thin your salsa is.  Add 1 cup at first and mix. Add more if you don't have a 'sauce'
6. once your mixture is at a saucy consistency, add in a dollop of sour cream (or two or three) to make the sauce slightly creamy.
7. turn off sauce and preheat your oven to 375 or 400 depending on the schedule.
8. in an empty skillet or flat iron, brown the corn tortillas.

*this is a technique preference, rolled enchiladas call for oiled tortillas to make them fold without breaking....since this is stacked, I eliminate the oil but toughen up the tortillas so they don't turn mushy

9. in the bottom of a 9x13, either spray with Pam or splash some remaining green sauce from the jar you didn't use to coat the bottom of the pan.
10. first layer is 4 tortillas. Tear them in half if you wish to cover most of the area.
11. pour half of your chicken/bean/corn mixture ontop of the tortilla layer
12. lay a thin layer of cheese ontop of the chicken
13. another layer of tortillas, I typically flip the pattern so nobody gets jipped out of the tortillas!
14. remaining chicken mixture
15. a thicker layer of cheese ontop. Be generous if you like!

*I then take the remaining green salsa from the jar and pour it around the edges of the 9x13 to avoid any hard crusty tortillas that didn't get covered.

16. cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted.

It looks like several steps, but it really is a simple recipe with very few items.  All these items are staples in our home anyway so I picture this one on the menu calendar often!

Dec 16, 2013

Dear Instagram,

I had another rambling quirky post planned for today but after this weekend's cleanup and Instagram snafus I thought it better to share:

 
Dear Instagrammers,

If you are a woman and in awesome shape, whether it be a weight-loss success or a body building type of page I have to apologize if I have had to 'unfollow' you.  You see I have children around me who often will get to play on my phone or be standing around me when I'm scrolling through for motivation to not grab that lone remaining french fry that is going to waste on their plate.

The problem is, while I'm scrolling for motivation and inspiration to stay on the right path, I have to very very quickly scroll past numerous booty shots or barely covered breasts.  Fairly,  I also have to quickly scroll past the men with undies or short yanked down to show off their obliques as well, so my 'unfollow' clean up this weekend was an equal opportunity practice.

I do love those of you that can inspire and motivate. I love that you are able to get your booty all nice and purdy, but thong shots from the rear which leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination are not necessary.  Perhaps if you want to utilize the 'private picture' feature Instagram rolled out last week, go for it that way.  Or perhaps save those pictures for a 'private fan page' rather than a public fitness page.

Call me an old, prude, stuck in the mud, or just a snob.  And I respect and admire the hard work that goes into achieving such bodies! Men and women alike, I do appreciate the body form.

But I'm trying to teach my children to respect their body and flaunting it unnecessarily isn't exactly kosher in this house.  You can be far 'sexier' or even more motivating if you can show off your hard work and still be comfortable letting your own father see these pictures.

Signed,
A fan, but more importantly a woman and mother.


Respect your efforts, respect yourself.  Self-respect leads to self-discipline.  When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.  ~Clint Eastwood



Never violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect.  ~Theodore Parker

Self-respect is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has a price.  ~Author Unknown


Clarification: This is not coming from any religious standpoint, 
as anyone who knows me I don't follow any direct doctrine from any one faith, but all faiths.
  Just from one woman to many.
 



Dec 12, 2013

Five for Friday (the 13th)


Linking up to The Good Life Blog for Five for Friday!

I must admit I felt out of sorts all week, and this week's "5" may explain why:

1. Evil Hubs strikes again.  This week involved his successful attempt to make homemade tiramisu. Seriously? Can the man not just focus on great smoked meat or perfected coffee? 
Desserts and carby heaven awaits when he gets the urge to cook.

www.cookingwithalison.com
 
2. We've had some snags with daycare for the month of December and now have two separate dropoff/pickup places and it is killing us with the commute.  I'm grateful for my friend who saved me from near panic attacks, but one extra stop (a mere 3miles from work...super close!) has added a full 40 minutes to the drive.
 Thank you Austin traffic.

3. Two days of conferences on Monday and Tuesday really added to the mix with driving to North Austin rather than my usual 45-55minute drive to South Austin.  Add in #2 above, along with rain and yuck?  Monday's return home took over 2 hours for a mere 43miles.
Thank you again Austin.

4. Kiddo is doing a 'Heritage Project' and somehow through the karma of the universe this means I have homework lately.  I've been googling and printing and 'instructing' him on what questions to ask all the while trying to teach him to do his own project.  
(This is counterproductive with a control freak OCD mom though)

5. I realized yesterday that this is my official 'holiday baking' weekend for all the random goody gifts that I feel obligated to give out.  Kiddo now has three teachers, so I've nixed the Starbucks cards and am throwing homemade caramel corn or kettle corn at them.  LittleOne's daycare saviour will be getting some goodies and the gift card.  
But, I'm afraid that Hubs will check out the goody stash and wonder where my usual go-to's have disappeared to.

I'll update next week if I ended up having to make an emergency batch of snickerdoodles or whatnot.

What are your "go-to" holiday cookies or baked goods?





Have a great Friday the 13th (and weekend)


 


Festive Favorites Linkup!

In the spirit of last Thursday's post about trying to be more festive this year I'm jumping in with Amber and Jennifer for a fun linkup!
Crafty Healthy Mommy


  1. Favorite Christmas song - this is easy! "Oh Tannebaum" mostly because it holds a significant memory of growing up in Germany and our 3rd grade class went to a senior citizens home and we did an hour long performance with the finale being "Oh Christmas Tree" in full German. A vivid memory mostly because my parents forgot to pick me up and I was left at said senior home for an hour waiting! And yes, I still give my mom a hard time about that!
  2. Christmas song you can't stand - does anyone truly like "Santa Baby"? I don't know who sings it but it's just kinda ewwwie for a sexy song about Santa don't you think?
    Seriously?? I got pictures of hookers, Jenny McCarthy, Kellie Pickler and other
  3. Favorite holiday movie - The Holiday! Maybe not a classic by any means but very cute for a cynical romantic! Ha! 
  4. Real or artificial tree - fake all the way! I grew up with a fake and now I have two very asthmatic kiddos, so there wasn't a decision to make. Plus my cheapskate status would be questioned if I bought a real tree.
  5. White or colored lights - can I say both? Currently my tree is prelit with white, but my outdoor lights do have some colors in the shrubbery and trees.
  6. All matching ornaments or more random personal ornaments? I ask myself this every year.  I grew up with the random but sentimental ornaments and the collection was passed to me when I started my family.  Since I am the only one who has a collection and the kids have their respective few, I do about a 50/50 mix of sentimental random and then have solid gold or red balls mixed in to fill the tree.  My husband didn't celebrate Christmas until I thrust it upon him when we met. It is my holiday but he admits that he enjoys how fun the morning of really is especially now with the kids getting so excited.
  7. Favorite ornament - this. My very first ornament from 19** from Germany (I was born there) ugh, totally forgot to snap a picture this morning! I'll try and add it to instagram tonight :)
  8. Angel or star tree-topper? Growing up we had angels, but in my quirky house somehow we adopted a new tradition of a stuffed monkey! Totally random, but our first tree after my son was born and I could not find half of my ornaments or decorations. We had moved and I was at a loss. So my new to Christmas immigrant husband tossed my sons monkey (beanie baby) up and called it our "Christmas Monkey"  (this also deserves a picture doesn't it??)
  9. Does Santa wrap presents or leave them unwrapped? Santa is too busy for wrapping if he is giving them to all the good boys and girls ;)
  10. Favorite childhood memory. This is hard, I have so many that I realize are a blessing to have so many to choose from!  I grew up at a special time and place and it is hard to find kindred souls who shared those experiences of being an Army brat living in Germany in the 1980s.
  11. Coffee, hot chocolate, or eggnog? Anyone who knows me will yell COFFEE before even mentioning the other choices. Yep, coffee all day everyday year round if I could.
  12. Christmas morning at home or do you travel? We have our immediate family all cozy at home for breakfast and presents, then around 10am we trek down to my parents for more gifts and Christmas lunch.
  13. Traditional holiday meal or something unconventional? Oddly enough, the last couple years we've adopted a small lowkey Christmas meal.  The last three years it has been a brisket, greenbean casserole, potato salad and a green salad. That's it.  *This is likely because traditionally we would have ham for Christmas, but when I married I adopted a non-pork household.  And my family loves us enough that they don't have ham for that meal since it is a family meal time. 
  14. Personalized photo Christmas cards, store bought cards, e-cards, or "ain't nobody got time for that"? Ha! I am a horrible mom.  I did cutesy photocards with my son for the first three years and then fell off the wagon. I now have my daughter and haven't done them at all. Not even storebought generics! I'm horrible about going to the post office.

See, I'm trying not to  be such a scrooge this year!
(and yes, the tree was successfully up and decorated on Sunday as planned!)

Dec 11, 2013

San Antonio Dirty Girl Survival

Let's get the most important fact out of the way regarding this past Saturday's event:

5:00am
It was beyond friggin cold, there was no good reason for us spoiled south Texas weather pansies to be outdoors at all, let alone attempting water challenges and such.

However, I am such a cheapskate that I forced myself, sister, and friend to sacrifice our own health for the sake of the cost of this event.  They both could have easily reminded me that we ended up with a generous coupon for half the costs, but they didn't.

Friday evening I had headed down to San Antonio to stay since the event was truly in Floresville which is an hour outside of the city.  I decided that I was completely unprepared for the arctic blast, and yes, I'm still calling it that because frankly it is the coldest we've had in several years!  My friend and I ventured to Target and got myself a compression long sleeve under shirt (and Starbucks of course!)

The alarms were set and everyone tried to mentally prepare for Saturday and facing temperatures unheard of in December.

5:00am wakup, snapshot of the current weather conditions.  I think I gasped outloud when I read the windchill was 15*.  Got situated and had the girls over by 5:45am and in the car by 6am to head out to Floresville.

Our wave time wasn't officially until 9am, but because of the distance and that they had packet pickup on a Thursday (why??) all of us had to do pickup and the website and emails said to arrive at least 2hours early for parking and such.

When we arrived at 7:30is the weather had improved to a whooping 19* but the dew and mist had started to fade.  We wrapped ourselves up to get our packets and checked in and then hustled back to the car to keep warm since we had a solid hour before lining up.

I lucked out with front row parking, so we actually could see part of the route from the warmth of the car, but 8am came and went and we didn't see the first wave start.  I actually said 'oooh, are they cancelling it???' I must admit that the idea of it being cancelled was a relief, but alas, I was wrong.

The crowds looked minimal, no doubt smarter women said 'screw it!' and stayed warm and cozy in their beds.  So the three of us decided to throw caution to the wind and just jump into the next wave at 8:30ish.

"Ladies! So glad to see your happy smiling faces in this cold cold weather!!  BUT, for your safety and health we are advising you to take the DETOURS around the water hazards as the temperature is below freezing right now.  
You CAN do them, but we are NOT encouraging them due to the weather conditions."



All in all it was actually really fun once we started moving.  It was really only cold when we were facing the wind or when we got stuck behind a crowd of people.  Seriously it was the easiest 5K I've ever done, not because I've run so much more and better physically this time around, but because the running was broken up by the obstacles.  Every obstacle was viewable from the other, and I think there were 9? Across 3.1 miles it makes them fairly close to one another.

We all had agreed even before the health-conscious promoters advised us, that we would be skipping the water or mud events.  The climbing and bouncing obstacles were really fun though, imagine all these grown women bouncing down a bouncy castle on its side? I couldn't help but laugh at the idea of people seeing us.

I have to admit that I looked forward to the climbing events oddly enough? I have no idea why, but they were fun.

So ultimately the idea of a 5K Obstacle course was very intimidating, but if this event were held in spring or early summer, I would totally jump at the chance to do it! Seriously, the obstacles really made the 5K a non-issue!

Evidence of our survival and to be able to smile afterwards!

Ha, I realize that I don't post my face enough on here since I feel the need to point me out as the person on the far left!

(I do post pictures easier and more often on my Instagram account.)





Anyone else try the Dirty Girl Mud Run? It actually is a supporter of BrightPink.org and has various sites across the country!

"Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, while providing support for high-risk individuals."

Dec 6, 2013

5 on Friday


Linking up to The Good Life Blog for Five for Friday!

This may serve as my last will and testament since I have less than 24 hours before the Dirty Girl run tomorrow in the midst of an arctic blast.



I did it.


I broke up with my work coffee club and forged my own. I rearranged my office and now have te wonderful aroma of percolating coffee around me. I think this is what heaven smells like, right?

These.

Amazingly cheap but awesome ginger thins that go so well with coffee but even better with tea. They are cookies but so thin and wafer like I don't feel guilty with two cookies with a cup of chai.

Scarves
Hazel and Olive Boutique

I love the idea of all those fabulous infinity scarves and pops of color, but I either need a different neckline of shirts or a different neck??

Mom's who shop for me better than I do.

Kohl's
A couple week's ago Mom found me shivering in one of the three long sleeved shirts I own (hey, its Austin!) and felt bad for me, so she got me a gorgeous scoop neck sweater.


 Friends

For tomorrow's Death, friends that come from warmer states and conditions to die by your side covered in mud and rain?  No worries, if we survive we will be celebrating with queso and flour tortillas, perhaps a bean burger or other San Antonio favorite standbys.


Peace out for the weekend all my lovelies!!!
I will update on Instagram @overextendedapril or via Twitter if I happen to survive tomorrow's ordeal.








Dec 5, 2013

Being 'more'


I thought that just in case I don't die on Saturday of hypothermia, 
then I should have a chance to be a better momma this year than last.




I have a personal goal of trying harder to enjoy the holidays this year.  I typically get caught up with my baking for gifts and work and suddenly turn around that it is the week of Christmas and I let the month of family and fun fly by me.  I will try my hardest to not hate shopping, it should be enjoyable when shopping, especially for other people!   

Sunday the Christmas tree shall go up. It must.
It was up and decorated only for 11 days last year.  I had an 8yr old and a soon to be 2yr old, and they only got to enjoy a lit tree for less than two weeks. Unacceptable, right?

Also this weekend, we will be making advent rings to mark down the holidays.
Nothing Pinterest fancy at all, just basic old school elmer glue and construction paper rings.


Just more holiday inclined

more family craftsy and not OCD-"let me do it" craftsy

more 'lets watch a movie together' instead of 'I need to clean this or that.'



I am going to try and be more.





Dec 4, 2013

Weather Pansy S.O.S.

I'm in a panic....

I fully admit that I'm a spoiled south Texas weather pansy who whines when the weather dips into the 70s, I wear a sweater inside buildings year round due to the air conditioning. Yes, that much of a pansy.

This Saturday, less than 48 hours away now, I am already stepping out of my comfort zone and attempting not to DIE while doing the San Antonio Dirty Girl Mud Run.

Images of this:



and weather forecasts of:

...COLD WEATHER ARRIVES THURSDAY...

AFTER ANOTHER WARM DAY EXPECTED TODAY...A MAJOR BLAST OF ARCTIC
AIR WILL ENTER THE REGION THURSDAY MORNING IN THE WAKE OF A STRONG
COLD FRONT. THIS FRONT WILL BRING AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF MUCH BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK.

RAPID COOLING BEHIND THE FRONT WILL RESULT IN TEMPERATURES FALLING
TO NEAR THE FREEZING MARK AS EARLY AS LATE THURSDAY EVENING. THERE
IS A GOOD CHANCE OF RAIN THAT COULD CHANGE OVER TO FREEZING RAIN
STARTING THURSDAY NIGHT AND CONTINUING INTO THIS WEEKEND. THE
HILL COUNTRY HAS THE BEST CHANCES TO SEE FREEZING RAIN AND
LIGHT SLEET...ALTHOUGH THE NORTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU...I-35
CORRIDOR...INCLUDING METRO AUSTIN AND NORTHERN METRO SAN
ANTONIO...AND THE PLAINS EAST OF AUSTIN MAY ALSO SEE SOME BRIEF
FREEZING RAIN. PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE LIGHT
ENOUGH THAT ICING SHOULD BE MINIMAL...MAINLY ON BRIDGES AND OTHER
ELEVATED SURFACES.

EVEN WITHOUT THE RAIN...IT WILL BE COLD AND BLUSTERY WITH WIND
CHILL READINGS IN THE UPPER TEENS..20S AND 30S OVER THE WEEKEND.

ANOTHER PUSH OF COLD AIR WILL ARRIVE EARLY NEXT WEEK...MAINTAINING
THE BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE MUCH OF THE WEEK.

I am dead....seriously??

I am not prepared for this type of weather, and frankly its a rare event that spending $100 on winter gear seems ridiculous, however my lungs and health may depend on it! ha.

I sent out an S.O.S. on Instagram pleading for information on running pants STAT! 
 
Running pants or capris
Brands?? costs?? where??


did I mention this is a life or death situation?



Dec 3, 2013

On the Table: CP Mushroom Stroganoff (V)

My houseguests are gone and that means I get to jump back into my routine! And this time of year means its crockpot season!! (who cares that is still in the 80s in Austin....darnit it is winter!)

We haven't been good about meatless Mondays or anydays in the past six months, low carb and meatless is hard to do for me...seriously I eat salads (dressing free) and veggies all the time, but once a day I need some meat of sort.

I decided to make a long lost favorite of mushroom stroganoff today!
Really, I meant to...and that was before I realized that I had three pounds of mushrooms in my fridge.
No really.

Completed stroganoff isn't much of a visual dinner, but when I was chopping last night the two different types of mushrooms it was sure purdy! Just a mountain of fresh mushrooms, it was hard not to grab a skillet and some olive oil and salt and just make a bowl of grilled mushrooms!

CrockPot Mushroom Stroganoff
1 tbsp of butter
1 medium onion sliced thin
1 pound mushrooms sliced. (I used two different types in the above picture)
2 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 bouillon cube extra (optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1-2 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup (I hate opening a can of paste for a small amount)
1/2 cup sour cream

and have corn starch or flour on hand at the end if you wish to thicken it up more.

The original recipes (Tasty Kitchen) recommends you start the saute process to soften the mushrooms and start the carmelization of the onions the night before, hence the butter.  This is a great kick starter if you can actually be home after the recommended 4 hours on high per their recipe.

I personally can't do a crockpot in only 4hours, we are gone for 11 hours in the day.  Instead I use a timer and let the crockpot do its job on low for 6 hours and then it switches to 'warm.'

Throw everything into the crockpot except for the sour cream and go on your merry way to work or errands to get you out of the house. (Don't you love instructions like that!ha)

When we get home I pour the mushrooms and sauce into a skillet and use that to thicken up the sauce with the sour cream.  Stir and toss them around for any texture consistency. This is where I gauge if I need to thicken the sauce up more with the cornstarch or not.

For the boys I serve it on egg noodles like real stroganoff and a large green salad.
I typically eat mine simply in a bowl or mixed with a small portion of rice.



I'm always on the hunt for other simple vegetarian options, 
so post any great links or recipes you might have to share!

Dec 2, 2013

November Goals = Kicked A$$

100th post celebration
I had another post prepped for today, 
but then I realized what better way to celebrate a 100th post (yippee)
 than with the awesome recap of my Pile on the Miles 2013 Challenge for November?
 
runeatrepeat.com

First of all, I joined in the challenge late around November 6th and second guessed myself and signed up for 50 miles for the month.  I knew I could easily log 12 miles a week and then do a bonus 4-5 somewhere throughout the month to get to 50 without too much effort.  But the competitive person I really am wanted to put down 60miles to see if I could. 

Sadly I doubted myself too much because I ended up kicking that 60's arss.
 
For those who don't know, I'm on Twitter and Instagram and this was my bragging portion of the weekend. Like if I were to do my Weekend Shenanigans post like usual, this is the only thing worth mentioning:

Twitter = "I got carried away tonight and got a PR on the treadmill! Distance and speed"
Hubs and mom texts = "Holy $hit, I just ran a 10K!!"

6.25 miles in 63.28


And that brought my #potm2013 total to 61.82 miles.
Not too shabby for a former 200lb girl.

Guess this means I will be officially signing up for a 10K next year?


But first....goals for December?
Have you posted, or thought of your fitness goals for the month?




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