Saturday, January 31, 2009

Recipe: Burger Night with pizazz!

Burgers are a staple in our house, but I get very bored of cheeseburgers. So I'm always searching for a tasty variation. Tonight's burger and side dish both came out winners (even with my toddlers!)! The burgers were quite juicy and flavorful. The Mac'n'Cheddar was the biggest surprise - I guess I didn't know exactly what to expect considering the horseradish. Don't let that ingredient scare you! It's not obnoxious .. its really well balanced with the extra sharp white cheddar!

Ultimate Hamburger
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 Tsp table salt
  • 2 Slices White Sandwich Bread, Remove Crusts, Cut Into 1" Squares
  • 1/2 Tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, very finely
  • 1/4 Cup milk -minced
  • 1 1/2 Lb Lean Ground Beef
1. Fry bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels. Spoon 3 tablespoons bacon fat into heatproof bowl and place in refrigerator while preparing other ingredients.
2. Place bread in small bowl, add milk, and let mixture sit until saturated, about 5 minutes. Using fork, mash bread and milk until it forms smooth paste. Break up beef into small pieces in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then add garlic, bread paste, and reserved bacon fat. Using fork or hands, lightly knead together so that ingredients are well incorporated and mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into 4 equal portions. Using hands, toss each portion of meat back and forth to form loose ball, then gently flatten each ball into 3/4-inch-thick patty.
3. Oil cooking grate and grill burgers over very hot fire, without pressing down on them, until well seared on both sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve, topped with bacon, if desired.

Horseradish Mac 'n' Cheddar With Bacon
  • Salt and pepper, and nutmeg to tase
  • 1 Lb farfalle pasta
  • 2-1/2 c Extra sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 8 Slice smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbl prepared horseradish
  • 3 Tbl butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
  • 2 Tbl flour
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 Cup milk
  • Pickle spears, for serving
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente.
2. Cook bacon until crispy. Set on paper towel and reserve some bacon fat.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups cheese until melted, then remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the horseradish and bacon.
4. In a casserole dish, combine the pasta with the sauce and top with the parsley, scallions and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Broil until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the pickles.
NOTE: I was challenged with time this evening, so I added all the cheese to the sauce and melted in through. Then I added the pasta to my saucepan and heated through.

Download recipe as PDF:
Ultimate Burger
Horseradish Mac'n Cheddar

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recipe: Cauliflower Soup

I have heard some stories about cauliflower being very tasty if cooked properly. Even as far as hearing kids can be fooled into thinking they are mashed potatoes! That I haven't tried, yet. So I went out on a limb to try this soup, after all the ingredients all look good, righ? Well it is Yummilicious! Great appetizer - would be really good to serve toasted bread strips with it. Yet another impressive recipe for my file. FYI - do not attempt to skip the blender directions - blend until creamy!

Cauliflower Soup

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Bay Leaf
4 Cups Yellow Onion, Peeled, Sliced
1 Head Cauliflower, Washed &
4 Tablespoon Shallot, Peeled, Sliced -Trimmed, Chopped
2 Clove Garlic, Peeled, Sliced
1 Gallon Chicken Stock
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Heavy Cream, Optional

Melt butter in a large saucepot; add onions and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5 mintues over medium-low heat. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and cauliflower - cooking until tender. Approximately 10-15 mins. In a separate pot, heat the chicken stock and then ADD to the cauliflower mixture. Simmer for 10-15 mins. Remove bay leaf, then transfer in batches to a blender .. blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning; add salt and pepper to your liking. Thin with warmed cream as needed.
Yield: 8-10 Servings

Click HERE for PDF version of thi
s recipe.

Monday, January 26, 2009

MondayZ Memorable MomentZ 1/26

  • I was a brave soul this past week. The first time I took Caroline AND Sophie into the sauna by myself! In fact, it was Sophie's 1st time ever! She has missed it in the past because of her early bedtime routine. They both did great; I use a big deep tub, so they stay cool even when I throw water on.
  • Once again I must elaborate on Caroline's bedtime ritual :) Here is a cute video of her saying her prayers. By the way, the prayer I'm teaching her is the same one I said as a child. See photo - my mother made this wall hanging :) It's one of those traditions I am passing on to my girls - that I hold very tender to my heart. We have been saying this prayer for a few months now - but just recently did she start saying it with me!
  • Caroline now blow dries her own hair.. hanging over the whole house humidifier!
  • It's been so neat to watch Caroline becomes friend's with Josie, Doug & Danielle's cute daughter. Other than a couple of kids at daycare, this is the first child she is getting to hang out with! While we hang out as parents of course! We've had a couple of playdates together - and we're really looking forward to getting out this summer to do more together! Look at how cute these 2/3 yr olds pose together! Makes my heart melt!
  • Caroline has been a bigger challenge these days. Sadly she has taken a step backwards and is having accidents in her panties. Ive tried encouraging.. and even scolding, and nothing seems to be working :( It seems like she is just being lazy. Prayin this will pass soon! Im all ears for recommendations!
  • Lastly I captured a precious moment of daddy with his girls on the couch. The girls just love cuddling with their "baydos" (Finnish saying for blanket - Im sure my spelling is way off) watching Nickelodeon Jr. or Sprout TV shows. Sisu came to their feet wanting in on the love too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Parmasen Crusted Chicken with Sage Butter Sauce

This chicken dish is to die for. When you cook this you will have a party in your mouth! hehe I strongly suggest you serve it with a strong green vegetable on the side to balance the richness of the sauce.
This is my own picture - I know I could use some lessons on photographing food. For now I will ace the cooking thing :) ENJOY! I assure you, you will not be disappointed!

Parmasen Crusted Chicken with Sage Butter Sauce

4 Chicken Breasts, Boneless, Skinless
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Egg Whites
3 Tablespoons Shallot, minced
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup dry breadcrumbs
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cold,
2Tablespoons Dried Parsley -cubed (divided use)
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Dried Sage
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt, White Pepper, Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Parmesan, grated

For the chicken: Lightly pound chicken breasts to an even 1/2 inch thickness.
Blend egg whites, cornstarch, and half lemon juice with a fork in a wide, shallow dish. Set
Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and zest in a second wide,
shallow bowl.
Individually dip chicken brests first in egg mixture, then in crumbs.
Pat crumbs on both sides of chicken- it's ok if some crumbs fall off.
Set crusted breasts on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes to set crust.
After 20 to 30 minutes, saute chicken in oil in a large, nonstick, ovenproof skillet over
medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
Carefully turn with a spatula and transfer skillet to a 450 degree oven to finish cooking.
Roast chicken until done, about 8 more minutes.
While chicken is roasting, prepare sauce.
For the sauce: Saute shallot in 1 T butter in a small saucepan over medium heat just until
soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add wine, cream, broth, and remaining lemon juice.
Simmer until reduced by half, 8-10 minutes.
Whisk in remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly.
Add sage and seasonings.
Place roasted chicken on a plate and top with sauce.

CLICK HERE for PDF version of this recipe

Obama's Victory .. from an outsider

The London Daily Mail Jan 6, 2009

A victory for the hysterical Oprah Winfrey, the mad racist preacher Jeremiah Wright, the mainstream media who abandoned any sense of objectivity long ago, Europeans who despise America largely because they depend on her, comics who claim to be dangerous and fearless but would not dare attack genuinely powerful special interest groups.

A victory for Obama-worshippers everywhere. A victory for the cult of the cult. A man who has done little with his life but has written about his achievements as if he had found the cure for cancer in between winning a marathon and building a nuclear reactor with his teeth.

Victory for style over substance, hyperbole over history, rabble-raising over reality.

A victory for Hollywood, the most dysfunctional community in the world. Victory for Streisand, Spielberg, Soros and Sarandon.

Victory for those who prefer welfare to will and interference to independence. For those who settle for group think and herd mentality rather than those who fight for individual initiative and the right to be out of step with meager political fashion.

Victory for a man who is no friend of freedom. He and his people have already stated that media has to be controlled so as to be balanced, without realizing the extraordinary irony within that statement. Like most liberal zealots, the Obama worshippers constantly speak of Fox and Limbaugh, when the vast bulk of television stations and newspapers are drastically liberal and anti -conservative. Senior Democrat Chuck Schumer said that just as pornography should be censored, so should talk radio. In other words, one of the few free and open means of popular expression may well be cornered and beaten by bullies who even in triumph cannot tolerate any criticism and opposition.

A victory for those who believe the state is better qualified to raise children than the family, for those who prefer teachers’ unions to teaching and for those who are naively convinced that if the West is sufficiently weak towards its enemies, war and terror will dissolve as quickly as the tears on the face of a leftist celebrity.

A victory for social democracy even after most of Europe has come to the painful conclusion that social democracy leads to mediocrity, failure, unemployment, inflation, higher taxes and economic stagnation. A victory for intrusive lawyers, banal sentimentalists, social extremists and urban snobs.

I've had some great comments on my Facebook page if you care to see how this excites people.

2008 Top Tens

So.. have you wondered what was most popular? Check out the following link - Nielsen dishes out all the TOP TEN Trends for 2008. Kinda fun, Kinda interesting!
Other Top Tens that just might intrigue you..
And if you are just looking for top ten any time of the year, check out TOP TEN LINKS

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

Over the past few years I have really fallen in love. Its a new love, or maybe just a deeper love. Say what?! Well, I LOVE cooking! So this week's Tribute goes to my favorite recipe source of all time!

My awesome neighbor Staci is the person who turned me on to their magazines and I am forever grateful! I started out with Cook's Illustrated and last year they introduced Cook's Country. I am not exactly sure how they compare as sister magazines/websites - but they are ALL GOOD! The recipes are simple, but pretty much all from scratch - which is what I prefer. And to date (knock on on my head wood) I have never had a bad recipe. In fact, it would be no exaggeration that every recipe has been absolutely, incredibly delicious! I am so in love on their recipes that I even pay the $14.95/year online membership to have digital access any time!

They both take a unique approach in their magazines when publishing a recipe. They describe how they tested the recipe to make it just perfect! So you learn from their mistakes! Another neat feature is that they have a section that does testing/ratings for kitchen equipment and food!

So if you are looking for inspiration and want to bring phenomenal meals to your table or want to learn in a fun fashion - check 'em out! You will not be disappointed! Your friends and family will be in awe at your talent! And well, if you cant swing the $$ ... just stay tuned to my blog! I plan to start sharing mouth watering and tantalizing, tasty recipes on a regular basis!

Wait... I'm sure I should be getting paid for this - shouldn't I?

Monday, January 19, 2009

MondayZ Memorable MomentZ 1/19

This past week was a rough one to say the least... so my memorable moments feel weak. I hope to have a better outlook and spirit this week. So.. the moments I'm going to share are all about the videos!
  • On 1/15, Caroline said "I love Sisu" for the first time while playing/petting her. What's up with that timing?! She has never even said she loves mommy or daddy!
  • Ace of Fakes is Sophie's new nickname! Everyday I'm amazed at how well she pulls off a fit to get her way. This picture taken of her at the landing 1/3 the way down... it is what she does IF we do not carry her down the stars. Note: crocodile tears!
  • I have mentioned Caroline's bedtime ritual .. tonight I managed to catch it on video! She was AWFULLY tired - so there is some drama and even possessed behavior, but nonetheless it's cute or funny at the least!

  • Here is Sophie .. I did not even realize she knew what a high five was! Caroline coaxed her - take note to Caroline's last comment rewarding her with ice cream! hehe
  • And again... Sophie displaying her amazing ability to let you know how she REALLY feels! Hey.. if you understand this language, drop me a line, would ya?
  • And... again.. Sophie takes the prize for the most caught on tape moments! Here.. she is so bored she is blowing bubbles with he mouth/spit! LOL Bad quality video, sorry.. its from my cell phone - all we got these days!

So that's all I got... boy I'm glad it's a new week. But I must say... I'm optimistic becuz my girls are getting older so surly this week will deliver even better drama than last!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute - SISU update

Tuesday's Tribute
A Jay and Deb Production.

I'm a day late getting my Tuesday Tribute out as it was a sad day. In the afternoon I was hit with a stomach virus and was laid up on the couch while Scott took SISU in for her check up after the
surgery she had on 12/29/08. I asked so what's the diagnosis? Scott "cancer". Me "your kidding". Scott "I wouldn't kid about something like that". I went numb hearing the rest...
It seems that sore in her mouth was merely a coincidence. The material that was removed below her eye did test positive for cancer. There is no option for surgery as it seems the cancer is in her eye socket and jaw. I, like many of you are probably going to say too, "how?!". God only knows - dogs getting cancer is no different than humans. The doctor stated she could write up a referral to bring her to the clinic at UGA, but gave serious warning that cancer treatment, even consultation, can be very expensive. Surgery is not an option based on where the tumor started - eye socket/jaw. And since this has been going on since October '08 it is very likely it has spread into other bones, or even her lungs. I have heard a couple of wheezing sounds from her, but not sure if it's related. On the other hand, she was equally willing to write a prescription for pain management.

These are photos of how her eye looks now, and as healed as it's going to get:

Today I did a consult with Dr. Grumbs, our regular vet to get his insight from the results. His prognosis based on other animals he has treated was not good at all. He said we need to be prepared for the tumor to grow back rapidly. It could be weeks, it could be months. And like cancers we all know, typically it is not what takes their life. One day... sooner than we will be ready for, we'll have to put her down to save her from any more pain. We are going to start her on Rimadyl for the inflammation and Tramadol for the pain. Now the only time she seems to show any discomfort is when she yawns - she tilts her head oddly.

So.. my Tuesday Tribute is to my sweet dog SISU. She will be 6 yrs old on April 6th and she is 80lbs of love! But, I am overcome with hurt thinking about losing her. She is a GREAT dog and anyone that crosses her path shares the same admiration. She is our protector and playmate to our girls. Ok.. the girls are toddlers, so she is their torture toy much of the time! But she takes it.. we trust her 100% with the girls, she is truly an amazing dog. We got her when she was 3 months old - here is a photo the first night we brought her home, meeting Bailey. Bailey had a seizure and had to be put down back in '06.

Here is a classic treatment she gets from the girls:

And being she is a lab - she LOVES the water. And what a hoot it is to watch her! She jumps off the dock over 10' at times, has learned how to climb ladders - and when we get tired of playing with her..she rolls the ball off and plays with herself! It really is incredible to watch how smart she is! We even invested in a "Hyperdog" sling shot... giving us the ability to get the ball down to the water from our deck! Oh the fun we have with her!

And lets not for a moment forget what a BALL-AHOLIC she is! This dog will fetch a ball 50 times if you are willing! And... even when it is hit with a racket across the neighbor's yards! She lives up to the name SISU! Most of the time we have to make her stop and rest - otherwise she keeps going and her back end/legs go out. Her determination .. is well like her, one-of-a-kind. Her blood line was registered, and award winning. We have often wondered if we wasted her skills!
I do not know what lies ahead. It breaks my heart to think of days without throwing the ball or watching her play in the river in the backyard, or the water down at the cottage. And the girls.. I can't bear the thought of how they will miss her. As of now, her spirit is not broke - she lives to catch a ball and be loved. She jumps around if you play to get her excited about squirrels running on the back deck. She is not giving in by any means, so I must find some strength.. and console my heart with prayer. SISU we love you! And brace yourself... all your remaining days I plan to spoil you to the best of my ability!

Below are some pictures I took of Sisu and the girls today .. just a typical morning in our house :) They love to snuggle with her... once in awhile Sisu actually likes it :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The New Me Challenge

Ok... the "New Me" is going to be a slow transition. I'm loaded with good excuses ..none of which I will bore you with. I did walk 4x for 30 minutes this week, I did increase my water intake and cut back on portion size. But.. eating after dinner, not so good. Making my girls meals.. I snacked less.
As for lifting weights.. I am sticking with calisthenics for now until I get my body a little more conditioned. I just got over an injury in my back.. and something is $^%@ wrong with my shoulder. So I am going to build slow - so I dont back step into not being able to do anything again!

Im disappointed in myself. I need to work on my will power... I've got it, its just a bit buried under all my chubbiness! I just NEED to do this.. right?! RA RAH WOO HOO!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Recipe of the Week: Balsamic Steaks with Gorgonzola-Tomato Topping

I made this tonite and was wow'd! Yum YUM! I think any thicker cut steak would be ok. Serve with balsamic vinegar type dressing/salad and bread sticks and you have a winner! Fresh spices/herbs/etc are a must!


2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Freshly ground pepper
2 filet mignon steaks, 1 inch thick (about 6 inches around)
1 (8 oz.) tomato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1 cup)
2 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, cubed
1/4 c. shredded fresh basil
2 tbsp. thinly sliced chives or scallions
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepare grill or heat broiler. In a small bowl whisk together all the marinade ingredients. In a non-corrosive baking dish place steaks in a single layer. Coat evenly with marinade; set aside.

In another bowl, combine topping ingredients, stirring gently until blended. Grill or broil steaks 4 inches from heat, 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, sprinkling each side with salt after searing. Spoon topping over each steak.

CLICK HERE for PDF version of this recipe

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Tuesday Tribute... a new idea, tradition or agenda item for me! I thought it was unique and it would help me figure out what the direction or feel my blog will take on! What is it? It's a tribute to whatever or whomever I decide to blog about! But.. not me! So stay tuned... one week it could be YOU! Click on the logo above to know more, or would like to join in!

So here goes... STACI, my neighbor, my friend. She is the person that first popped into my head, why? Because I feel blessed to have her in my life these days! She has seen me at my best, worst.. and just plain ole everyday boring self - yet she accepts and loves me whenever I see her! And if you have toddlers, or remember when yours were young, the fact is I do not get out much! So my visits with her (and her hubby!) are sometimes the highlight of my week!

I must say she is an amazing cook! She is one of those ladies from the old school who need no recipe! Her "sauce" (for spaghetti, ziti, etc) takes 1-2 days to make and it's tastier than anything I've ever had! We enjoy sharing awesome recipes and I often times run up new things for her approval/taste testing! Otherwise you can often times find me visiting in their kitchen when the kiddies are fast asleep. We have solved many world problems during our long chats! It's so fun to have her as my neighbor!

She is generous, gracious.. and both of my girls love her/them dearly. It's a joy to watch a relationship grow between her and my girls, especially since we do not have any family in our state. I value her more than she could possibly realize. My youngest daughter is the luckiest of all - she is her God Daughter! The picture below was taken 9/9/07 at Sophie's baptism.
In 3-5 years our family plan is to build a home in Dacula. We are excited and full of anticipation about it. But... I, nor my girls, want to think of the day that Staci is not next door. STACI I LOVE YOU! Maybe.. just maybe you might consider moving too one day? :) Just dang... had to end that with a tear.. sorry! HugZZZ

Monday, January 5, 2009

MondayZ Memorable MomentZ 1/5

Just cuz I like the letter Z... I had to stem off ... stupid? ok, so what. best I got right now!
So this is another attempt to create a memorial blog.. even if for myself.. or better yet for the girls. That is if there is such a thing as saving an archive of this for YEARS to come?!
So you need to stay tuned because Tuesdays will be :
Tuesday Tribute! Anyhoo.. MondayZ I am going to attempt to be as regular as I have the ability to give a short blog about all the Memorable MomentZ of the week's past that I experience with my girls. Whether they are UpZ or DownZ! So here goes....
  • Every night Scott puts Sophie to bed, not because I do not want to, but becuz Caroline will only let me put her to bed. Shared responsibility is what you call that! So.. the ritual is heading to brush teeth - first her sucking tooth paste, then it's my turn to do the real deal. She's graduated, she now knows how to spit! yeahh.. now if I could get her to stop sucking the toothpaste.
  • On the note of bedtime.. we move into chasing her for the change into PJ's. Not so fun. Most of the time I get kicked where I don't want to be kicked and she laughs. Not funny. But she is cute. God bless her. Now if we havent read a book downstairs, now is the time to pick 1-2 books. Thereafter that process the ritual gets a little cute! First we must sing Twinkle Twinkle (together)... and then Itsie Bitsie Spider. Then finally her prayers. I have hung on her wall an embroidery that my mom made me for my room (!) that has a short prayer (see photo).. then ...AMEN! We've been saying it for 2-3 months and she is starting to help say it - so proud of her! Ok.. thereafter.. I give (on demand) 2-3 BIGGG hugs.. and BIGGG kisses, and I might escape w/o another trip to her room. Whew... I count my blessings that I do not have to lay with her, but that is a lot of work!
  • Sophie... wow she is SUCH A PEANUT. Petite thing she is. Her hair is getting so friggin long. She tries to repeat every word - and it floors me! She is our baby! It truly blows me away. But her red head scares the crap out of me and I cant sugar coat that! Her tantrums are not far off of Caroline's - so I am scared of her getting into her 3's.. Very. God help and bless me!
  • Caroline's tantrums. Did I mention God help me? I'm reading books, they give me some hope... and little help. I guess I need to read more. A whole lotta whiny and screaming. Yo sisters... your curse came true: my daughter is as bad as you described me. #^%@! thanks.
  • Speaking of blessings, we get them all time from Caroline. If anyone sneezes or coughs, even HERSELF - she says BLESS YOU. Not sure how... or if I should correct that one. It's the one thing she does that is wayyy wrong and still friggin cute.
  • Not sure if I mentioned it before, but wow Sophie is growing FAST. She knows about 75% of her ABC's.. and she sings it! If she doesnt know the letter, she says the sound. My gifted child .. obviously. Many thanks to Leap Frog - you rock.
  • Speaking of Leap Frog.. I love it. Only because he is WAY better than Teletubbies - I did begin to think I was going to lose my mind if I had to listen to Teletubbies with both girls! Sophie is on the fast track now... so I am spared. So are they, they just don't know it. Hey Dipsie.. Po.. LaLa.. and Tinkie Winkie... go find a hole, I mean HOME.. somewhere else! FYI: I have a 16 DVD set for sale!! whoo hooo! And hey.. in case you are Chinese, they are broadcasted in both languages! All yours for just $75! Bargain of the year, no doubt about it. Wait... I might pay you to take them..
  • Caroline again.. she is cute beyond belief. She now loves to play house, dress up or anything else that mirrors me. God Bless her again. These days I find myself saying... "there's a reason he makes 'em that cute" ! She has 5 pairs of heels - almost more than me!
Ok.. so that's it for this week.. feeling lame, but I just came up with this idea! Next week I promise to be more fulfilling and meaningful .. maybe. Until then I hope and pray that I find more JOYS in the Memorable MomentZ my girls deliver in the week ahead!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Got SNOW ?!

Now those who live where it snows and does not stay can have snow too! This system is too cool! If you have a air compressor and a pressure washer, you can have snow for us $448 more .. bargain? ugh.. I think I will keep my eyes open on! For now I will dream the possibility of making some snow angels, building a snowman and riding saucer! It just might freeze once more this winter in HotLANTA! whaaaHOOOO!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The New Me Challenge

I'm joining a group of women via blog and taking the challenge/vow! My 20 year high school class reunion this year, so this is a fabulous start! My goal is to drop at least 20 lbs and get back into a size 8! I will blog my results every Sunday, starting 1/11/08.
  1. I will walk or do aerobics at least 4 days per week.
  2. I will weight lift at least 2 days per week.
  3. I will eat smaller portions.
  4. I will NOT eat after 7pm.
  5. I will drink water like it's going out of style.
BETTER ME.. here i come! Click here if you want to join in!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Resolution

So what is in a "New Year's Resolution"? When I think back to all the resolutions in the past, I find myself feeling disappointed - other than 2002 when I FINALLY quit smoking! I'm irritated with the word "Change", but.. alas, I do want it ... just not in the way it's been proposed in the media! I dont want this to be about politics... that's another day.. and another over due post in the near future.

Last week it came to me: 2009 I will get my life back! First I wanted to rethink "resolution" - so I turned to Wiktionary and found it's definition:
A statement, a vow, intent. I like the VOW part... it helps brings the concept of the resolution to deeper meaning for me. Just as I believe dreams turn into goals and goals turn into reality .. my resolution/vow shall turn into reality too! Now I'm going to stand up on stage and spill it, for the world to see.

The last 7 years I served as a volunteer with a business association the National Kitchen & Bath Association at the State Chapter level - I held positions as Secretary, Programs and President. I put my ALL into it. I was benefited with great friendships, valuable networking, great educational opportunities and even some fun travels. While I am a true believer that "you get what you put into it" .. I think I took it a bit too far, and more importantly, too long. To the point it was integrated deeply into my life; it became personal, and my family took the back burner .. and I could blame no one but myself! 2008 was a wake up call - I was faced with challenges that simply burned me out. I find it sad that it had to end in that manner, but I think it may have been the only way for me to wake up and move on to the next stage. Now I am looking forward to being in the shadows at NKBA events and be honored as the Immediate Past President with no obligations or responsibilities!

So the next stage is what? Whoops I'm late! When I think of all the time I now have for myself, my family and my career - I really do not know where to begin. For starters I need to start with me. My health, both mental and physical, have taken a serious toll trying to balance out life with career, NKBA, marriage and having babies. And as I hear my DH say "If momma ain't happy.. no one is!". While it's harsh, it's real, and I know it!

So... I am going to take baby steps - and some of it needs to be away from my computer! Since my design work has me on a computer, it's easy to fill those open hours with blogging, and searching the web. And being my computer is right in the middle of our living space in an armoire, I can have it any time.. any minute. So #1 is shutting off my computer for a few hours during the day. Afterall, I have my Blackberry that delivers anytime/any place! I would love to work out more, do more activities with my daughters, spend more time with my husband (who has probably paid the biggest price!), and give more time to my personal friends.

As for ME.. that is probably the easiest part. Working out is something I really enjoy, and the benefits are huge! But what about the others? Many times I have felt like I only shuffle my girls around, letting the TV do the teaching. What kind of MOM is that? But where do I begin? Really.. what should I be doing? These baby/toddler years will fly by (I hope! haha)... so what can I do to make the most of them? I will blog about it.. I will reach out to other moms for guidance - I desperately need it! Got any? .... I would love to hear from yoU! Then, there's my dear husband. We've been stressed out at times figuring out this whole parenting thing, and our marriage has really been put on the back burner. I know it's common with kids at this age, but that doesn't mean we/I can't do better. Reality is we have the time, we just need to dedicate some to one another. Shut the tv off and just be together, go back to talking more. Loving each other more. And lastly.. my family and friends old and new. I plan to keep in touch better, show that I DO care... and grow together. Don't let life slip by without sharing it! I have been blessed with some new friends who have children the same age - and I will not take that for granted! In fact... I may lean on those friendships now more than ever! :) Ready? :)

I'm tenacious .. I am shining example of SISU. Success is the only option! I dont have any serious checklists or agendas .. I am just going to give the time, and take it slow. I WILL figure out who and what I am these days. I will be happier, and so will my family. We will laugh more and cry/scream less!!
Getting my life back will be the healthiest choice I've made in a very very long time! Here's to ALL of our dreams, goals, vows or resolutions to come true in 2009!