Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 1

Hello! Happy Monday! As promised, I said I would update on how I've done with starting my diet. Let's just say that I've eaten more veggies than I thought I would.

1 hard boiled eggs
1 orange
2 pieces of bacon
Overall this was pretty filling. I would have had coffee too, but I forgot it on the stand by the door.

Salad with ham, lettuce, cucumber, celery and green pepper. Of course the homemade ranch too!

Pork ribs
Steamed broccoli with a little cheese
3 deviled egg halves

As of right now I'm feeling pretty good. Aside from having a headache, I feel pretty full.

That's all for now since I'm sitting my butt on the couch waiting for the Tylenol to kick in!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Venison Chili, Homemade Ranch, etc.

It is the perfect time of the year to have chili! Not just any chili...venison chili! My dad was lucky enough to get a deer this year and shared his deer meat with us! In Michigan, and I'm pretty sure half of the country, we experienced super cold days this past week.

It has warmed up some and we are happy to be having a normal winter now. That's probably my first time being happy for a normal winter!

It's a simple recipe and makes quite a few servings. I suggest that if you aren't intending to eat it all right away that you freeze a container of it.

Venison Chili Recipe

Chili Powder
Garlic Salt
Black Pepper
1 lb venison (you can use hamburger instead, if you prefer)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1 can of chili beans
Tomato Juice

Brown the venison or burger with the about 1/2 cup of chopped onion. (I like to add green pepper in here as well, but I ran out of them, so I just went with what I had in the house!) Add salt, pepper, garlic salt & chili powder to meat. I normally do a few shakes of each thing. I take it easy on the salt though. After your meat has cooked, drain, if needed.

In a large pot, or crockpot add the remaining ingredients. Add your venison/onion mixture into the crockpot and stir. Add in more chili powder, pepper & garlic salt to taste. I like mine to have quite a bit of the powder since I don't like to taste plain tomato juice.

After it warms up, you can serve it up with cheese, crackers, cornbread or all three!

Health Update:
Today I went shopping and bought a few items for tomorrow, since that is my first day kicking off this diet!

I am making some hard boiled eggs right now for tomorrow morning's breakfast. I'll update tomorrow to show how my first day on this diet is going!

I did do the plank/squat challenge again today. The plank challenge seemed to be a little easier since it was my second day. The squat challenge is most definitely something that I can feel in my legs already! We'll see how far I can make it!

In an effort to reduce calorie intake, I decided to try a recipe I found from Pinterest on making ranch. I tried it today and it is delicious! I like it more than I like the already bottled stuff. Here is the recipe! It's super easy and well worth the extra bucks.

Homemade Ranch Recipe
1 package of dry Hidden Valley Ranch
1 cup of Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt (plain)
1/2 c of 1% milk

Mix together in a jar and refrigerate for at least an hour for best taste.

I've been skeptical before because I really don't care for Greek yogurt. I still don't, but you can't really tell in this. So, I hope that helps with people that may have a problem with trying this recipe! The whole recipe is about 255 calories, which isn't too bad!

Alright, I'll update more tomorrow with how I did with my food and exercise!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's 2014 already?

I'll spare you the excuses of a busy life and just give you a brief update...where do I begin?

  • Bought our very first home on Valentine's day last year!
  • Adopted a puppy! (smaller one in the picture to the right)
  • My daughter broke her arm! :(
  • My mom dislocated her elbow the next day... (seriously...)
  • I got a promotion at work...but missed out on my planned vacation with family. I had to stay home while they still went up north.
  • Lots of work outside had to be done including a garden, updating the old barn out back, weeding, digging up buried rocks..etc.
Anyway, I'm back! I am still reading although I haven't read nearly as much as I wanted to. I'll get back to do some book reviews. I've also decided to try to use this to keep myself motivated to lose some weight! What more perfect thing to do than share my experiences online for everyone to read? Haha. <--that was a nervous laugh, btw.

I'll break this into a couple of sections for reading and the health aspect.

Health Diary:
January 11, 2013 -

A coworker and myself are going to compete in a weight loss competition at work. This officially doesn't start until February 1st, but we decided to start early. She has previously lost a bunch of weight doing the Atkins diet. Of course, I've heard bad things about this diet and am a little skeptical, but since I'm willing to try anything to help - let's do this! Plus, she is only intending to just jump-start it this way for a week. That shouldn't be too bad anyway.

So, let's start with the first thing I think we should do. Plan my meals for next week. I'm going to go shopping tomorrow to pick up items to help with this Atkins-endeavor. 

It is very overwhelming to choose what to eat. I want to make smart decisions, but I also don't want to end up with half-eaten items that I didn't really care for that cost me an arm and a leg.

I started a couple of the popular challenges out there today. I have done the plank and squat day 1. Today I'm feeling okay because it is the beginning, but I can definitely see where these will be more difficult ones.

Side Note: Working out with a puppy is interesting. He thinks I'm playing when I get on the floor to do some sort of move the DVD has told it adds an element of pushing him away from me.

Book Update:
I've recently read Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

This is a classic dystopian story. At least so far. I'm only one book in so far out of the trilogy. At times during the story it seemed to drag a little. For the most part I was able to guess what was going to happen in the book, but that certainly doesn't stop me from enjoying it! 

I'll do a more thorough book review after I complete the trilogy. I think that would be fair to wait until I can judge how the whole story will turn out.

I'll update tomorrow after I go on my dreaded shopping trip for strictly healthy foods! Wish me luck since I'm taking my 6-year old daughter!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Prowl Trilogy Book Tour

I've decided to join in the Prowl Trilogy Book Tour. I've already reviewed the first book, Prowl, and since I liked that and saw an opportunity to join in on the rest of the books, I jumped in on it!

Prowl Trilogy

To visit the official website of  YA Christian thrillers – the Prowl Trilogy - click this link.

Author: Amber Garza
Series: Prowl Trilogy
Book #: 2 out of 3
Read: September 24, 2012 - September 25, 2012
My rating: 5 stars


ENTICE: Prowl Trilogy #2
        Mackenzie returns home from the summer with her grandma, certain that Wesley is out of her life for good.  Until the nightmares resurface, and strange things start to happen.

         Is Wesley back?

         When the danger escalates and threatens those closest to her, Mackenzie must fight to save them. Only this time the evil is more powerful, and Mackenzie is faced with an impossible decision.

Jenkies' Review:
First off, I should note that I absolutely love the cover of this book. Actually, all three books are really pretty. In comparison to the two books I've read so far in this trilogy, my favorite so far would be this book. I felt like the characters were more developed and it kept you wondering what was going on the entire time. The end of the book had a nice twist and definitely left you wondering what was going to happen.

I felt it was a fairly quick read and felt that the entire story was refreshing. I felt like Mackenzie had a lot of patience for the people in her life and I'm not sure I would have handled it quite as well, to be honest. Even though I wouldn't have the patience, it was still written very realistic. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, in fact, I might start that today because I'm dying to know what will happen next! :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012


It has been far too long since I've last posted and I apologize for that! It has been such a busy month! Hailey started school, I joined the PTA at her school, I've started back up volunteering at church, Hailey's soccer started back up again, my birthday was this past week and Hailey's birthday and party are next weekend.

Needless to say, I've been pretty busy. The time I have spent at home has been a mix between preparing for Hailey's birthday party and a little reading before bed. Not a whole lot of housework has gotten done either. So, during the day today I'm spending some time trying to get caught up with that. Tonight I am going out to celebrate my birthday that was this past Wednesday. We are going to a comedy show in Ann Arbor. I've never been to one before, so I'm pretty excited for it.

There is this app that you can get on your Kindle or even on a tablet (which is what I have) that tells you what books are free for the day on Amazon. I love this app. I've downloaded so many books lately. I should note that this app is based off of a blog. I've got the link below, so you don't even have to download it as an app! This past week I've been trying to focus on actually reading them! I'm hoping I'll have a chance today to add a review of the one I've actually finished reading.

So, if you weren't aware the name of the app is called Free Kindle Books and Tips. I'm thinking about having a section of what books I've downloaded from this app and what I want to read, so if you want to join in, you can.

Currently I'm reading Practice Cake by Dalya Moon. I'm about halfway through it and I'm really enjoying it and eager to see how it turns out.

I hope everyone is doing well and as I get in a set routine with all the craziness of my life, I'll be sure to update more often! :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Gone Girl Book Review

Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Series: N/A
Book #: 1 out of 1
Read: August 28, 2012 - September 7, 2012
Rating: 5 stars

Author's Synopsis:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

Jenkies' Review:

Of course I had my reading list all planned out and another book that I requested at the library came through! So, I immediately started reading it. To be honest I was drawn to this book because I saw a long waitlist at the library for it. That’s when I knew that there must be something good about this book to draw that much attention. I am happy that I followed that instinct because it was a great read. It is one of those books that I could easily find myself re-reading a few times.
I’ll admit the first half of the book is really setting everything up and getting you to know the characters, Amy and Nick. By the time you reach half way through the book there is a huge twist and next thing you know you’ve read about 3/4ths of the book non-stop. (Okay, I stopped to sleep and take my daughter to school.)
There is a lot of suspense in it and you aren’t ever quite sure how it is going to turn out. I liked that about it, I couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. The style of writing the author has is right up my alley. I will be looking into some of the other books she has…my guess is, they’ll be just as great.
I have tendencies to read a lot of Young Adult books and if you are like me and like to shake it up every now and then, I’d suggest this book. So, go on out and get your name on the list at the library to get this book! Believe me, I had to wait like a month for it, but it was worth it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Sorry for the delay in posting! Here is what my household has been up to...

I had 6 whole days off from work. It was AMAZING! Last Friday, Nick, Hailey and I went camping with my mother-in-law and about 5 other couples. It was a lot of fun. Hailey was the only grandchild there and she was spoiled by everyone! We ended up staying an extra night at the campground because we were having such a good time.

We were the coolest campers because we had a projector with screen and were watching movies at night. Well, Hailey had it made because we would start watching Shrek until she fell asleep and switch over to a more adult movie.

About to hit the road for Hailey's first day of Kindergarten!
Monday was spent unpacking and doing laundry. We also prepared for Hailey's first day of Kindergarten on Tuesday! Hailey loved Kindergarten. I convinced my mom and sister to go shopping and let me pick out what I want for my birthday after we picked up Hailey from school. (My birthday isn't until the 19th of this month, but hey! who doesn't like presents early?!)

Yesterday was my final day of my 6 days off of work. I had mixed feelings on returning and that was because with Hailey at all day kindergarten, I spent like 7 hours at home by myself. When you have kids, you forget what you did before you had them! So, I went home, threw my sweat pants back on and read some comic books.

I didn't touch my reading lists at all. I'm going to say it is because I felt like I had all the time in the world and next thing I knew I was out of it. Haha...go figure.

Now to go read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn! Have a great week fellow bloggers! :)

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