Wednesday, August 31, 2011


{at least I'm wearing one of my favorite dresses!}
Sometimes I have horrible, no good, very bad days. 

I feel sorry for Big Steven.  I am in a horrible mood today and I'm not sure when it's gonna get better.  It didn't start until I had to endure the ridiculous NOVA traffic.  I don't know how anyone, myself included, still lives anywhere near NOVA/MD/DC - it's the worst!  I leave my house at the same time every day; sometimes I'm at work early, sometimes I'm on time, and sometimes - like today - I am 30 minutes late for work!  Not only does this make me look like a total slacker, but the traffic gets me super anxious.

Other small things that have contributed to my mood include no utensils to eat my cereal with, no time for a trip to Starbucks (which, btw, would have shaped me up real fast), and no grades posted by my teachers.  I totes respect teachers, but I feel like they should also have a 'due date' so to speak.  Waiting around for weeks to get a grade is proposterous!

Now that I've successfully complained about things that don't really matter, I am trying to turn the day around.  I feel like I won't be successful at doing so until I get home and work out - but for now, I will try to feel better by consuming things that have zero nutritional value whatsoever:

                       {180 calories of nothingness}

I hope the rest of you have a day full of rainbows, flowers, and smiles!  Nevermind me, I'll snap out of it soon enough.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

I Love a New Week!

I was a little late for work this morning, but I am feeling like a million bucks today.  I don't know why, but it's a nice change for a Monday.  The huge window in my office allows for a lot of natural light and today is GORGEOUS outside, so maybe that's playing a part in my mood this morning.

HELLO, delicious outdoors.

Today is Day 7 of The 30 Day Shred, so I've managed to get a full consecutive week in, which is unexpected, but nice.  More detes on that when I hit Day 10!  In other surprising fitness news, I am actually looking forward to getting a nice jog in today after work.  Taking a week off for my muscles to deal with one thing at a time has me itching to see what kind of changes have been made in my endurance.

Last week was an away game for the Skins, so I was wrong when I made my menu, but this week will make up for it.  I am undecided on whether to make Meatballs or Chicken Wings, but I'll consult the Season Ticket Crew and ask what they'd prefer.

As for the rest of the week:

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna
Pork Cacciatori
Country Fried Steak w/ Rice Pilaf
Cheat Day: Chicken Tortillas and Refried Beans - made with Tortilla Stuffers
Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops w/ Buttered Shells
Game Day: Meatballs or Chicken Wings

Hopefully Big Steven and I get to spend some time together this weekend because my mom is planning to watch Little Steven Friday night.  We reallllly need some alone time.

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

This lovely for the guest bedroom/office (also comes in green, which makes a big decision for me):
Toying with ideas like this to hide an unused door in the guest bedroom/office:
Thrifting for old picture frames of all sizes because I fell in love with Ashley's look:
I am seriously obsessing over this DIY Headboard idea:

Big Steven is aware and I think he's actually on board for this project! 

I bought cork board and put some in the kitchen and some in the guest bedroom/office.  The ones I put in the kitchen are fine because I haven't piled a bunch of crap on them, but I am not happy about the clutter of pictures on the ones I hung in the guest bedroom, so I will be redoing those sometime over Labor Day weekend.  I plan to mat them and declutter so the room doesn't look like it threw up pictures in that one area.  Pics to come!

AAAAAND I think that's enough to have on my plate for now! 

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Friday, August 26, 2011

30 Day Shred Update - Day 4.

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Yummy PIzza Cups.

I take these pictures on Friday mornings when I'm busy putting off work:

{I believe this showcases my most attractive qualities}
But for realz, these Pizza Cups were bomb.

Last week, I was going to make Pizza Biscuits, but decided to do a combo of those and Easy Peasy Cheesy Beefy Biscuit Cups, thus the Pizza Cup was born.

{I have many friends who are fantastic photographers.  Maybe one day they'll teach me the ways.}
You Will Need:

10 ct Refrigerated Biscuits
6 Large Pepperonis (or 12 small) - cut up into small pieces
6 slices Bacon - cooked and cut up into small pieces
Pizza Sauce ( I used Boboli - or you could make your own)
1 cup Mozarella Cheese

This is super easy, folks.  Grease a muffin pan and smooosh a Biscuit into each cup, covering all sides of the cup.  Pile Sauce, Pepperoni, and Bacon in each cup and top with some Mozarella!

Bake those bad boys according to your Biscuit package and be done with it.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Awkward & Awesome.


- Literally rolling out of bed this morning.  Thanks, Jillian.
- Not having the will to get real pants on because the effort was too much for my aching body; therefore, wearing yoga pants to work.
- Walking like a 90 year old woman.
- Saying "what the hell was that?" then rambling on about something I don't quite remember in the middle of the night half awake/half asleep.  I think 'that' was the east coast aftershock at 1 am this morning.
- Still blaming my extra lbs on my son...who is almost 2.


- Finding a $15 Starbucks gift card in my wallet this morning!
- Acknowledging that all this soreness means something is working...YAH!
- Knowing the names of every muscle that hurts in my body.
- Catching a glimpse of Big Steven's pride in me underneath his snickering at my wobbling around the house.
- It's a Redskins game day!
- Little Steven waking up and saying "bye bye Nelle" and "bye bye Buddy" even though we left them last night.  He is so dang cute.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lemon Crusted Haddock w/ Gnocchi

I used Frozen prepared Haddock from Chef's Collection, so that was quite the cheat.  The Gnocchi was the star, but it didn't come out exactly like it was supposed to.  For my first time, though, it was a win.

For Gnocchi:

4 Potatoes (peeled)
2 Tbsp Butter
1.5 cups Flour
S&P to taste

In hindsight, I would have cut my potatoes before boiling them to make the boil time significantly shorter, so you should def. do that.  Boil your peeled/cubed Potatoes until soft.  Mash them up (essentially making mashed potatoes for this part) and add Butter.

When the potatoes have cooled off, add your Flour to make a doughy substance.  Roll your dough on a floured surface into long ropes and cut into 1 inch pieces.

Add these pieces to boiled water and remove when they float to the top. S&P those bad boys and serve as is.

You can also add sauce to your Gnocchi - cheese, tomato, etc. - and Big Steven pointed out these would be a super addition to a great soup!

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Breaded Pork Chops w/ Mushroom Risotto.

Now, I'm not sure Chef Ramsey in all his hot glory would pass my first timer's risotto, but I was pleased.  TBH, I would probably pay some moolah for him to yell at me and throw my food just to get the chance to bat my eyes at him and convince him to marry me.  Of course, this would be after my braces are off.

I ended up making a TON of Mushroom Risotto by accident.  I used too much Milk and had to double the recipe, so below is a normal person's recipe.

{get in my belly}
You Will Need:

1-1.5 lb Pork Chops (I always prefer bone-out; not a fan of eating off a bone - it makes me feel a little barbaric and just reminds me that the thing I'm eating was once living.)
1/2 cup Flour
2 cups Rice
1 cup Whole Milk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
2 cups Mushrooms, sliced (I used Baby Bella)
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Butter
1-1.5 cups Parmesan Cheese
S&P to taste

Heat up a skillet on medium heat with some EVOO to get it nice and hot for your Pork Chops.  For the breading, simply dredge your Pork in Flour, coating all sides evenly.  Add the Pork to the skillet (when it's hot!) and cook about 5-6 minutes each side.

In a separate LARGE skillet, add a little more EVOO and add your minced Garlic to the pan.  When it starts to brown (about 2-3 minutes), add your sliced Mushrooms and allow to cook until soft.

Add Milk and Heavy Cream to the skillet and stir in the Rice.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.  S L O W L Y add your Chicken Stock, a cup or so at a time until it's absorbed by the rice.  Allow to simmer until all liquid is absorbed.

Stir in Butter and Parmesan Cheese and serve!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


First and foremost, I gotta give a shoutskies to my FMOH, Whitney, and tell her I hope she feels better.  FYI, a little Suzie is usually the best medicine.

On to the topic at hand...

An informal proposal was made by Alycia over at Crowley Party to her readers to join her in doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Video.  I have not-so-exitedly decided to it for a few reasons:

1.  My weight gain that y'all read about last week.
2.  In hopes of kicking some sort of plateau in the arse.
3.  Challenging myself.
4.  I've had the video for about a year and never done it.

Like I said before, I have been really working hard on getting fit and feeling strong; my ultimate goal is to feel good and be able to keep up with my boys, so I try really hard not to focus on the # on the scale,  but that's been my mentality for YEARS now.  It's a work in progress.

Truth is, I do feel super strong, so I am working on focusing my attention there.  Losing weight without activity is possible, but it's pointless.  I've done it all from starving myself, fad diets, and other unspeakables to lose the weight, but it always comes back

After learning so much about the human body, it's so clear to me that physical activity is the key (thank you, Dr. Ma!).  Calories in v. calories out, folks.  Simple math.

{bring it on, Jillian}
I hope to do 30 consecutive days, but I'm not sure that's entirely possible; 30 almost consecutive days is pretty good.  This on top of the running should really kick my butt.  At least that's what I'm hoping for!

Updates to come!

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Confesh Sesh.

Disclaimer:  I completely adore Big Steven.  I just have some questions, that's all :D.

P.S. My expressions are out of control!  Evidently I've been this way my whole life, so I appreciate those of you who still love me.

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The Menu.

I lucked out again last week and only had to make dinner 3 times!  We went to my mama's house one day, the county fair on another, and spent time at Lake Anna for the weekend.  It was wonderful!

This week, I plan to make:

Chicken BLC's
Breaded Pork Chops w/ Mushroom Risotto
Crusted Haddock w/ Gnocci
Summer Cobb Salad
Easy Shrimp Dish (Good Earth boxed meal)
Chicken Wings (for the Redskins Game!)

And a TREAT:
Banana Bread!  It's my first time, so I hope it turns out beautifully.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Walking is Good For the Soul.

I woke up this morning feeling like it was a great day to go for a walk to the grocery and finish up some shoppin' for the next couple of weeks.  Let me tell you, carrying groceries back and pushing them on the stroller is a really great workout!

The goods:

What You See:
2 10pk Frozen Hamburgers (B1G1 - helloooo tailgatin' season)
4 Assorted Pasta (B1G1)
2 Aunt Jemima Waffles (B1G1 + FB coupon)
2 Chicken Broth
1 Sugar Free HT Syrup
2 Budding Sandwich Meat (website coupon)
1 Ortega Taco Sauce
1 Ortega Refried Beans
2 Ortega Taco Seasoning (website coupon)
1lb Frozen Haddock
70 ct Frozen Shrimp
3 Romaine Hearts
1 Baby Bella Mushrooms
1 Cremini Mushrooms
4 Jello Instant Pudding
2 Arnold Bread
1 Maple Extract

Total Saved:$40.09
Total OOP: $56.67

With the exception of produce and milk, I am done shopping for a couple weeks!

Now, off to Lake Anna to enjoy a relaxing weeked with  my boys :)

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Friday, August 19, 2011

VLOG: Why Using Coupons Doesn't Mean You Feed Your Family Chips and Cookies for Dinner.

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Quick Tripsies.

Little Steven woke up prepared to cry forever.  So, we went for our run early and decided to keep on going and ended up walking to Harris Teeter to get our non-coupon deals.  It was 2 hours of straight up activity, so my body is happy.  Talk about an all-around WIN!

What You See:

2 6pk Lenders Bagels (B1G1)
2 Hormel Bacon (B1G1)
1 2lb bag of Frozen Chicken Tenderloins
2 1lb Cubed Steak (B1G1)
2 1.5lb Pork Chops
1 Gallon Vitamin D Milk
2 HT Virginia Ham (B1G1)
2 HT Honey Turkey (B1G1)
2 HT Pepperoni (B1G1)
1 HT Swiss Cheese and 1 HT Mozarella Cheese (B1G1)
1 HT American Cheese Singles
3 Sargento Assorted Shredded Cheeses (B1G1)
4.7 lbs Bananas (hellooooo Banana Bread!)

Total Saved: $49.70 (with VIC savings and a few coupons in store)
Total OOP: $51.65

The coolest part about HT B1G1 is that you don't have to buy 2 to get the deal.  I usually do, but sometimes I don't really need 2 and each item rings up half price!

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just Keep Moving.


That about sums up this whole running experience for me right now.  I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and pretty amazed at what my body can do, but I am also incredibly frustrated with the 'results' I'm getting.

At first, I lost a couple of lbs, so I was excited, but then...

...let's just say that my weight now compared to my weight before I went to the beach (I started running the week I came back) is 10 lbs heavier.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Everyone keeps saying that it's muscle, and I believe some of it is muscle because I feel incredibly strong, but that wouldn't really explain why my jeans are too tight. 

H O R R I B L E.

Yesterday was my best run to date; I finished my one way trip to the school - a little over 1.5 mi. - in 20 minutes.  Now, that may not seem impressive, but it's 10 minutes faster than I usually go and I only walked 2 minutes of that time, which is considerably better than my first run less than 4 weeks ago where I could barely run 5 minute intervals.  On my way back home, I couldn't run as much, but I kept telling myself 'just keep moving.'  So I did.  I ran when I could and walked when I couldn't, but I just kept moving.

I decided this morning that the only way to counteract this weight gain and start seeing results is parallel to my individual runs.  I gotta keep moving.  What I really want to do is sit on my butt for a few days, eat some cheeseburgers, and call it a day because I'm frustrated, angry, and super upset, BUT I won't.  I'll just push myself harder and surely the results will come, right?

Essentially, it's my new fav slogan:

Just Keep Moving.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Easy Peasy Spaghetti & Homemade Meatballs.

Since making plain old Spaghetti is a little too easy, I decided to use the Ground Beef to make some Meatballs.  Just a bit of fake fancy for ya.

Spaghetti & Homemade Meatballs

1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Egg
S & P to taste
1 box Pasta
2 jars Spaghetti Sauce

Boil your Pasta according to package.  Preheat Oven to 375.

Combine your Ground Beef, Bread Crumbs, & Egg in a large bowl and mix with your hands.  Add S&P for flavor.  Form your Meatballs and place on a shallow pan (covered w/ foil for super easy clean up) and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.  Personally, I like a little crisp on the outside of the Meatball, so I cooked it a bit longer.

When the Meatballs are done, add them in a large skillet with your Pasta and stir in the Spaghetti Sauce.

Super easy, cheap, and yummy.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

The Menu.

Happy Monday.  Or something like that...

I am back in the office today and I have very mixed feelings about it, of course, but I do think it's a good move for Little Steven to be in daycare part time (as much as I hate being away from him) and I do actually want to be an asset at work and a team player.  It's going to take a few days to get back into the groove, but we'll manage.

Here's what I got going on:

Spaghetti w/ Homemade Meatballs
Pasta Florentine (we missed it last week!)
Chicken BLC's
Easy Peasy Sausage Pizza Biscuits
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken w/ Home Fries
Crockpot Hawaiian Hot Dogs (still didn't do it!)

Have a good week and Happy Cooking!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

GLEEked Out.

Something you should know incase you don't already...

I am a giant GLEEK.  I love the show and frequently have dreams about being part of the cast.  This is not a joke.  Today, I went to see the GLEE 3D movie with some fellow GLEEKs and it was A-MAZ-ING.

kat, wendy, mandy, & jamie.
There's been some talk about the GLEE game on Wii and the GLEE game we didn't know existed making an appearance in our lives.  Let's just hope this happens ASAP.

Happy GLEEKing :)

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Saturday, August 13, 2011


Scenes from the Redskins first preseason game:

suzie's bbq.

the season ticket crew prep team has come a long way.


the boys!

miller, twin, suzie.


my honey.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Pork w/ Marsala Sauce and Mushrooms

Pork w/ Marsala Sauce and Mushrooms
Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray's Look and Cook book

1- 1.5 lbs Pork Chops
1 box Spaghetti Noodles
1 small container Cremini Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 cup Marsala
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Flour + 2 tbsp
4 tbsp Butter
4 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 cup Parsley
S&P to taste

Boil water for Spaghetti and cook until al dente.

Coat frying pan with EVOO and turn to Med-High heat.  Allow the pan to get hot before adding your Pork.  Cut your Pork Chops into equal sized cubes and season with S & P generously.  Dredge the Pork Chops in the 1/2 cup Flour until evenly coated.  When pan is hot, add your Pork and allow to brown on all sides, cooking for 4-5 minutes.

When Pork has cooked, put in a bowl/on a dish and set aside.  Add your Butter to the skillet and your Mushrooms after they've been sliced.  Allow the Mushrooms to brown about 7-8 minutes.  Add your Garlic to the pan a few minutes after the Mushrooms.  Add Marsala and Chicken Stock and bring the sauce to a bubble.  Add your remaining 2 tbsp of Flour and mix itno sauce.  Add your Pork back into your sauce and mix evenly. 

Top with Parsley and Serve with your Spaghetti Noodles!

Totes delish!

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Harris Teeter Super Doubles - Trip #2

What You See:

6 jars Ragu Pasta Sauce
2 jars Classico Alfredo Sauce
4 boxes Special K
4 Totinos Pizza
2 Nutrigrain Antioxidant Bars
2 Palmolive Dish Soap
1 Old Spice Deodorant
2 boxes Tampax (20 ct)
2 Pillsbury Egg Scrambles
2 Cliff Bars
2 Boboli Pizza Sauce (3 pizzas per box)
1 Mrs. T Pierogies
5 Chef Boyardee
3 lbs Pork Shoulder
1 packet McCormicks Mix
2 packs Hamburger Buns
1 can Folgers Coffee

Total OOP: $59.98
Total Saved: $69.14
Total VIC Savings: $25.37

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Apricot Glazed Chicken w/ Cheesy Bacon Biscuits + FAIL.

I made Easy Peasy Beef Stroganoff and all was going well until...

...I used the wrong side of the pepper and put about 1/4 cup in the dish before I realized what I was doing.  What makes this even worse is that I already made this mistake just days before.  I am a self-proclaimed pepper lover, but the excess made the dish totally inedible to me.  Big Steven, however, chowed down because he can eat just about anything, which is great for my self-esteem.  He did be sure to write a big 'NO' in permanent marker on the large pepper side for future reference.  What a doll.  I managed to refill my pepper shaker to avoid any future issues.

Now to the good stuff:

Apricot Glazed Chicken

1.5 lbs Chicken Breast
1 jar Apricot Preserves (12 oz)
1/4 cup Water (cold)
2 tbsp Flour
S&P to taste
Poultry Seasoning to taste

Drizzle a pan with EVOO and heat to Medium Heat.

Season your chicken with S&P and Poultry Seasoning.  Add to the heated pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.  Remove Chicken from the pan and transfer to a new pan (or rinse the old one) to avoid that yucky greasy chicken taste. 

Pour Apricot Preserves over Chicken and keep on Medium Heat.  Mix together the Flour and Water and slowly pour into Apricot and Chicken, wisking the whole time to avoid lumps.  This creates a sort of Apricot Gravy.

Reduce heat to Low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Cheesy Bacon Biscuits
stole the idea from Rachel Ray, my bff;
The difference between my Cheesy Bacon Biscuits and Rachel's is that she used Jiffy boxed powder and I used refrigerated biscuit dough.

1 can Refrigerated Biscuit Dough (10 biscuits)
1-1.5 cups Shredded Cheese (your choice)
8 slices of bacon; cooked and chopped

Mix your Shredded Cheese with your cooked and chopped Bacon and fold into each Refrigerated Biscuit.  Cook according to package and VOILA!

Easy and delicious.  These were the star of the show!

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