Monday, January 27, 2014

Motivation Monday - Super Bowl Snacks

We love football in our house...........every Sunday during football season we stop off and pick up pizza after church to watch football.  It's not super healthy, I know, but it is our family tradition.  For the Super Bowl we typically have a party to go to at someone's house - but this year is a little different, it is also my brother's bachelor party..........so, my hubby will be there and the girls and I will be at home (making about 100 cake pops for his wedding on the Friday after the big game.

On to Motivation Monday - Healthy Super Bowl Snacks.  This is one of my favorite link-ups of the week with Wendy and the crew.  Since it will just be me, my girls and hopefully my mom & sister (helping with the cake pops) we will probably have a few healthier snacks and food that day.


I'm planning to make Turkey Chili in the crockpot and we will probably have veggies & dip out to snack on during the day.  Normally I would be making Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip (I noticed that Mama B already posted a similar recipe to mine).  I don't have a picture of my chili, but here is one from Skinny Taste that looks similar and is a similar recipe to mine.

SOURCE
Crock Pot Turkey Chili
Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can white beans
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes w/chilies (like Rotel)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Brown the turkey and onion with olive oil in a medium skillet until the turkey is cooked through.  Drain any excess fat and transfer to the crock pot.  (Note:  I have also cooked the chili longer in the crockpot without browning the ground turkey first --- just make sure you cook it long enough)
  • Add the beans, tomatoes and seasoning to the crockpot
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Garnish with your favorite toppings.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday - Wedding Cakepops!

Happy Friday!  It is a balmy 18 degrees here today (which does feel balmy, considering it has been well below zero with crazy -50 degree windchill).   We get a quick break from the Polar Vortex before we plummet back to the below zero free again on Monday & Tuesday.  Is it Spring Yet????

There is a ton going on for me these next few weeks - my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party is tomorrow night, next week is my birthday and the Superbowl.  And then the following week is my brother's wedding.  Today's Five on Friday linkup with Darci is just a rambling list of all things Cakepop related!


My brother is having a very low-key wedding - immediate family only at the ceremony and then a reception at a small restaurant near his house.  Instead of having a wedding cake - they decided to have a Candy Bar and Cake Pops.  And, lucky me, I get to make the cakepops for the wedding.  So - I've been slowly making the cakepops and freezing them before I dip them all the week of the wedding.  I only have Vanilla Cakepops left to make this weekend......and then the dipping fun begins.  I turned to Pinterest for all of my inspiration ---- I hope they turn out ok (fingers crossed).  Here are my Top 5 Pinterest Cake Pop Pins!

ONE:  Bride & Groom Cakepops
I'm going to make these for only the bride & groom - I've never made any cakepops this involved....I'm probably going to have a few practice ones along the way.  My future sister-in-law has Celiac's so these will be Gluten Free - Chocolate Cake

SOURCE
TWO:  Chocolate w/Peanut Butter 
The colors for the wedding are White and Gold - I love the decorations on these cakepops.  So simple but so pretty.  I have gold edible dust and many different white sprinkles to decorate the cakepops.

SOURCE
THREE:  Red Velvet w/Cream Cheese
I also love how these look - although all of my cakepops will be on sticks.

SOURCE

FOUR:  White Cake w/Vanilla
All of the cakepops will be on sticks ---- I founds some at Target; similar to these (the striped ones only).
SOURCE

FIVE:  Display Ideas
My sister and I are going to make a display similar to this one, but probably with fewer layers.  We want to keep the gluten free cakepops separated; so they won't be on this display.  

SOURCE
Please keep your fingers crossed that my cakepops turn out for the wedding.  I'm not really concerned with making them............the hardest part really is the decorations (which also takes a LONG time!)  I have a feeling the week of the wedding my kitchen will be filled with candy coating and sprinkles!!!!
Happy Friday!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shoe Shopping - Yes, Please

I love shoes.  Can you tell by the title of my blog?  I do love shoes and of course Shoe Shopping!!!!  Shoes are the greatest thing ever, because they almost always FIT!  Whenever I go shopping - if I can't find something fabulous to buy - I end up with new shoes.  I love all kinds and brands of shoes.....but I am short - so I typically buy HIGH-HEEL shoes!

Sunday my sister enlisted me to help her and my niece buy shoes for my brother's wedding.  Did you say, shoes???  Yes, I'm in!  My hubby was gone, so my girls got to come shopping with us.  I think they love shoes as much as I do (my little one, maybe more!).  Our first stop was DSW.  My mecca.  I love that store - and I usually don't leave without a pair of shoes.

But, Sunday - I didn't need shoes; my hubby bought me 2 pair of shoes for Christmas that I haven't worn yet - so I may have been busted if I came home with new shoes.  The focus for this trip was my sister and niece.  My sister already knew which shoes she wanted, she had been there earlier in the week - she just needed to buy her shoes.  But, my niece hadn't tried on anything yet.  We walked into the store and I started pulling shoes out of boxes and lining them up for my niece to try on.  I wear a 7-1/2 medium shoe so I can typically find any shoe I want in my size.  However, my niece has wide and large feet (like her dad, poor thing).  She is an 8-1/2 or 9 wide.  It is hard to find shoes that fit comfortably for her.  She is also not really a girly-girl; she is a hockey player and her typical wardrobe is sneakers, jeans and a sweatshirt.  So trying to find shoes that would look great with her new dress and that she could comfortably walk in was a bit of a challenge.  No luck at DSW for her..................but both of my girls found shoes that they absolutely loved - and they are pretty sure the "almost" fit.  Precious, in matching dresses - they picked out almost identical shoes!!!!(Don't mind the messy hair on the little one - she took her headband out as usual - my oldest has that hand on hip photo-pic down!!!) 



We decided to stop at Famous Footwear next to see if we could find shoes there.  I'm so glad we did (I normally don't shop there, but when you are trying to find shoes to match a dress - you just keep hunting at every store until you find them).  We were able to find shoes on clearance for her that coordinate with her dress perfectly - I forgot to take a picture of the shoes - but they are really cute!  And she could walk in them too (I told her to enlist my 7-year old if she wanted pointers on how to walk in tall shoes)!!!! My daughters were having no problems walking in the high platform shoes they picked out.  The girls get a lot of practice in my shoes at home!!!!

I will be wearing this dress & shoes for the wedding:

Source

Zappos


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Monday, January 20, 2014

Try New Things

Happy Monday!  It is link-up time with Wendy and the other lovely ladies for Motivation Monday.
We are about 3 weeks into the new year, and I have not been consistent on either my working out or my eating better.  Last week I worked out twice - on a goal of 4-5 times.  Terrible. I feel like crap and my clothes are tight.  So, I decided it is time for a kick in the pants.  (Also, my brother's wedding is in about 18 days - and my dress is still a bit too tight - I would like to be comfortable in the dress that day/night).  

CLEANSE!  This isn't necessarily new for me, but I haven't done a 9-day cleanse in about a year.  I need something extreme; I'm sick of feeling so terrible and blah.  So, I ordered some new products which should be here later this week....I have enough product to start my 2-day cleanse this week - but I want to try a few of the newer products.

What is the 9-day cleanse?  I use Isagenix Products - and this is one of the Weight Loss & Fat Burning programs.  This program basically consists of 2 back-to-back "cleanse" days followed by 5 "shake" days and finish up with 2 additional "cleanse" days.  It is extreme, but it is also a great way to kick off weight loss and changes to your body!  Last year when I did my last 9-day cleanse - I lost 8lbs in the 9 days.    

Today is a pre-cleanse day - You typically have 2 pre-cleanse "Shake" days.  Today is my 2nd pre-cleanse day.  I'm having 2 meal-replacement shakes and 1 healthy meal with 2 small snacks.  The next 2 days are "cleanse" days.  Followed by 5 "shake" days and finished up with 2 additional "cleanse" days.

On a cleanse day:  You drink a cleanse product that provides all of your daily nutrients, eat snack wafers (similar product as the shake-but in a small wafer serving), eat chocolate squares- Yes, I said chocolate.  Up to 4 squares of IsaDelights chocolate each day.  And then you drink LOTS and LOTS of water.  No coffee or caffeine of any kind (this is usually the hardest part for me - I love, love, love coffee).  Also, sometimes I will eat a few slices of apple, celery or cucumber during the day if I start to feel run down or hungry.  Ideally you shouldn't eat anything except the "snacks" and chocolate.....but sometimes I just need that small bit of food to get me through.

This is a cellular cleanse; it aids the body in removing impurities that you are exposed to each day.

  • It feeds and nourishes your body - it does not deplete your body (it is not a diuretic)
  • It encourages safe and effective weight loss
  • It boosts mental and physical energy and endurance
  • It contains over 100 nutrients, including ionic materials, antioxidants, aloe vera and gentle cleansing herbs that support your body's vital functions and immune system
I need to do something extreme to change the way I'm feeling right now.  And, I figure I can do anything for 9-days, right?!?!  I weighed myself and took my measurements yesterday morning ---- I will post my results at the end of the cleanse on Jan 30th (right before my birthday!!!!)  It is now posted, so I need to stay accountable!!!!!

What new things are you going to try this week, month or year????
Daily Dose of Del Signore
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Motivation Monday: Things I will do better this year

It is Monday - which means it is time for one of my favorite link ups with Wendy and The Motivation Monday team!

Daily Dose of Del Signore

My list of the things I want to do better this year:

  • Meal Plan for my family.  My husband and I had a "discussion" about this yesterday before I went to the grocery store.  It went a little like this.....ME:  "What do you want for dinners this week?"  HUBBY:  "Um, I don't care".   This is how most of our conversations about meal planning go.  We are so busy during the week with our girls and activities that if we don't plan something out, we end up grabbing whatever is the quickest or fastest for dinner......which often means a cheese quesadilla, grilled cheese or mac & cheese for the girls.  Do you think we eat to much cheese?  Related post here.  Well, I started searching out ideas on blogs and pinterest - and put together this dinner/meal plan for the week.  
    • Monday - we are meeting my MIL for dinner; so no need to plan
    • Tuesday - Pesto Chicken (Crockpot)
    • Wednesday - Chicken Tacos (the meat is already made for this, I just have to take it out of the freezer!)
    • Thursday - Sandwiches (I'm meeting friends out for dinner, so hubby is on his own here)
    • Friday - Beef & Broccoli (Crockpot)
  • Drink More Water.  This is a huge challenge for me.  I do NOT drink enough water.  I can always tell when I don't; so I need to start doing this.  My skin is so dry in the winter and I know if I drank more water it would really help with it!
  • Gym = Go to the GYM!  Quite a few people I know have recently started up with an Extreme Body Shaping program and the friends I know who have completed this have had amazing results.  The program is 10 weeks.....Kickboxing, weight lifting and nutrition.  You commit to going 6 days a week with 1 day of rest.  When I mentioned t his to my hubby....he said "If you actually go to the gym and workout like that for 6 days a week for 10 weeks; I'm sure you would have results too".  Fair point.  So, that is what I'm going to do.  Workout 6 days a week for 10 weeks.....starting today.  

Today:  I packed my gym bag & work bag last night.  Got up at 4:45 this morning..........remembered that I didn't pack my shoes.......grabbed shoes from hall closet before walking out the door.  Drove to the gym.  Unpacked gym bag, took out shoes to discover I grabbed 2 different shoes, both left foot.  How did I do that?  Well, my shoes are both white & pink....older and newer, so I didn't even notice.  Dumb!  So much for the gym workout.  I booked back home........found the correct right shoe in the closet and worked out at home.  At least I still worked out!!!!

What do you want to do differently this year?

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quick and Easy Breakfast

Breakfast on a typically day is either a quick Isagenix Shake or hardboiled eggs...something easy I can make or grab running out the door.  But, it has been SO cold here in MN, that I'm really not loving a freezing cold shake first thing in the morning (in the car trying to drive with mittens on and the heat blowing full blast) and I've OD'd over the holiday break on eggs.  I've been trying to find something else to quick and easy to eat for breakfast and I stumbled on this recipe earlier this week on Facebook:  Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go

It reminded me of that 2-3 ingredient cookie recipe with oatmal & bananas that has been all over pinterest, so I thought I would give it a try.  I didn't have all of the ingredients, and I cut out the oil....I also wanted to just try the recipe, so I cut it in half instead of making the entire batch.  Verdict:  They are pretty good.  A great quick breakfast on the go.  And a nice change from eggs.
Oatmeal Muffin Cups


Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp. flax seed
  • 3 Packets Stevia in the Raw 
  • 2 Very Ripe Bananas
  • 1 individual pack of applesauce (or 1/2 cup of applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375.  Line a muffin pan with liners (I used the foil liners).
  • In a large bowl mix together the oatmeal, flax seed, stevia packets and salt.  In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, applesauce, vanilla.
  • Mix the banana mixture into the dry ingredients and add the water.  Stir in 1 cup of water until combined and continue to add up to 1/2 cup more water if you need it.  I used all 1 1/2 cups of water.   
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.  
  • Fill muffin pans 3/4 full.  Bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes.
Notes:
Makes 12 Muffin Cups
Each muffin has about 110 calories.
Microwave for about 25-30 seconds to reheat.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Motivation Monday - 2014 Style

I'm linking up with Wendy and the Motivation Monday group today.  I've really enjoyed linking up with this group in the past, and there are a few new faces in the group this year.  They added a theme to each week, which is a great idea!  The first week's theme is Resolutions.



I've talked about what the Top 10 things I'm most looking forward to this year are.....but now it is time to actually document the resolutions.

First:  I'm sure just like most people my top resolution/goal is to drop some pounds, finally feel fit and comfortable in my clothes!  I'm not really setting a goal weight exactly, but I would like to finally be closer to my weight the year I got married (to celebrate my 10-year anniversary this year).

Second:  Spending more quality time with my girls.  The days are so crazy and busy for us between work, school and activities.........but I'm going to commit to NO social media, ipad or phone from dinner time to bed time when we are at home.  I want to stop being so tied to my electronics and to really spend more time with my girls and husband being PRESENT in what they are doing.

Third:  Getting back into a gym routine.  Making a commitment to the gym at least 3x per week.

Fourth:  Start planning out meals for our family; to make sure all of those crazy hectic weekday nights are a little less stressful, and stop being the easy back up chicken nuggets or cheese quesadillia's for dinner.

Those seem like goals I should be able to keep!!!
Daily Dose of Del Signore

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Friday, January 3, 2014

First Five on Friday of 2014

It is the first Friday of 2014 --- Time to link up with Darci and a little Five on Friday, kickin it into gear edition.

One:  The Dress
Along with everyone else, I love the fresh new start of a new year.........and a renewed sense to kick my own butt into gear.  In the next few months I have my brother's wedding and a trip to Florida planned.  I would REALLY like to fit into my shorts again......so it is time to start working out and eating better.  I bought this dress for the wedding - and the dress is just a bit snug, I'm sure nothing some spanx can't fix......but I would really like it to be comfortable for the wedding......I think with about 5-10 lbs gone, that will happen.
Two:  The Gym
I broke up with the gym back in the month of December, but it is way past time to get back together.  I was fully intending to start back in the mornings beginning on Monday.  BUT, it is supposed to be -13 with a -45 windchill on Monday here, so I'm not planning on leaving the house.  I know that sounds A LOT like an excuse, but I'm sorry, if my skin can freeze in 2 minutes outside, I'm not leaving the house.  It will be an at-home workout day.  And, I actually started the Jillian challenge today, that these wonderful ladies (Holly, Melanie, Kim and Jennifer) are hosting on instagram.....you can find out more about it here.



Three:  The Cleanse
I'm planning to do a 9-day cleanse at some point in the month of January.........before my brother's wedding (Feb 7th).  That cleanse scares me a little, back-to-back cleanse days of just drinking the product and water is tough............and while I feel a bit like garbage on the first cleanse day (since my body is releasing all of the terrible toxins I have stored up)...........I feel AMAZING on that 3rd day.  That is what gets me through the cleanse days.  I'm hoping to have my sister do it with me..........and I'm starting with my 2-a-day shakes for now.........2 meal replacement shakes and 1 clean meal.  I can already feel the difference.


Four:  Accountability
The pictures.  I am bound and determined to have before & after pictures to share.  I have taken the before pictures.......not pretty.  I want to finally have an after picture to take.  The Jillian challenge should definitely help me out with that!

Five:  Run
This one is my goal.  To run a 5k this spring.  I didn't do it last year; and I've totally been slacking in the running department.........but I want to finally cross this one off the list.


Happy Friday!  Stay Warm!!!

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Recap and looking forward to 2014

It's been a whirlwind past 2 weeks in our household.  We made it safely through Christmas.....but then had a run-in with stomach flu (both kids and me), a huge family party on Saturday and NYE.  Luckily my stomach flu happened after the party (at my house) and before NYE.  But, it was a BUSY end to 2013.

This past year, my hubby and I went on an adult-only vacation to Cancun.  We have agreed that we are going to have an every-other year vacation without the girls to somewhere WARM.  I'm counting down the days until our next vacation (especially today when it is -10 outside!).



We also took our annual trip to Las Vegas; although we almost always have friends that venture out with us, this year we were solo.  It was still an amazing trip - and we stayed in an amazing suite at The Mirage.

We also had season passes to the water park near our house for the 2nd season and we spent many weekend days there enjoying the water and sun.


We also took a family trip to Wisconsin Dells.  It was the girls very first trip to a giant water park (where they could actually go on water slides --- at the park near our house you have to be 48 inches tall, and even my oldest isn't quite there yet). We all had a GREAT time!  The girls also got to go to the kids-only spa and have manicures & pedicures.  So fun!



This year we had some fun changes - my BABY turned 6 and started Kindergarten!!! Tear.  My oldest turned 7 (going on 17) and started 2nd grade.  Crazy how time files!



Looking forward to 2014 - I'm going to work on my Goals, Intentions or Resolutions.....whatever you call them for the next year and post them next week.  As always, the top of the list will be to drop some lbs but I have some others to add to the list.  

But, here is my Top 10 list of things I'm excited about and looking forward to in 2014:

1.  My birthday at the end of Jan
2.  My brother's wedding in Feb
3.  My daughter's birthday in Mar
4.  Our 2nd trip to Florida in April
5.  For it to be warmer with No Snow in May and June
6.  Summer break trips with the girls in July and Aug
7.  School starting and going to Vegas in Sept (or maybe Aug....tbd)
8.  Our 10-year Anniversary trip in Oct to Hawaii
9.  My daughter's birthday in Nov
10. Family time and the holidays in Dec