Music Makes Me Happy

Thanks for all the comments, emails, Facebook messages etc. about my last post.   You guys are the best!  You’ll be happy to know that my pity party of one is over and I am just going to concentrate on all the good stuff I’ve got going on in my life. Open-mouthed smile

It’s still makes me laugh when I look at my menu plan for the end of the week and it’s really sketchy.  I think my brain just fries out after meal planning the previous five days.

Totally random breakfast – Chobani and an English muffin with a schmear of grape jelly.  I may or may not touch up my nail polish at my desk. Open-mouthed smile

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I was determined come hell or high water that I was going to make it to the outdoor pool for the last day.  I still can’t believe today is September!

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I took this picture of myself – I still see a furrow of worry on my brow – I need to fix that!

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The pool completely recharged me – it was glorious!  The indoor pool is already filled so it will be ready next week.  There’s just something about being outside swimming that makes it more energetic for me.

I had leftover lasagna soup for lunch – and still have two servings in the freezer for next week! Open-mouthed smile  The key to this soup is to store the noodles and the base of the soup separately – otherwise the longer it sits the noodles just soak up all the broth.

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On the drive home it got so stormy.  Like, I have my windshield wipers on full blast and I could barely see the car in front of me.

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That’s the actual sky before it turned pitch black – I like my Instagram touched up picture – like the clouds are angry.

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The other weird thing was when I left my office it was 93 degrees.  The temperature dropped 25 degrees in my 30 minute drive home.

I had chicken wings on the menu – supa cheap – I bought six chicken wings for $2.38 and made my own “wingettes.”  I was tempted to video myself chopping up the chicken – my brother and sister can’t do any meat on the bones.  I think my sister would have thrown up at the sound of my cutting the chicken apart!

And since I just happened to have a jalapeno laying around, I ended up making some fried jalapenos on the side.  YOLO!  

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I have to admit, not the healthiest eating day in the world, but I am okay with that.

As compatible as Tony and I are – we have completely separate interests.  He loves all things sports (well, except hockey and basketball), he loves comedians and MMA.

Me?  I LOVE music.  All kinds.  So last night while Tony watched some Don Rickles videos, I lost myself on YouTube.  I love watching the X Factor videos – especially the auditions where someone comes out and you just don’t know what you are going to get.

I listened to that song at least five times in a row and it just made me smile listening to it.

Then this little girl – 11 years old!


And after a couple hours of listening to music, my mood turned around.  My life might not be perfect at the moment, but I’ve got so much to be thankful for – the best and most supportive husband I could ever ask for – healthy kids – a healthy Mom and awesome friends like all of you!  My life is so rich – I just have to keep remembering that. Open-mouthed smile

So Tony and I woke up today – I told him I had a jones for an apple fritter from Dunkin Donuts, and he said that was funny because he had a taste for a chocolate long john.

I compromised this morning and made donut holes.  This is so fricken easy – well, it helped that the deep fryer was still on the counter this morning.

Donut Holes

  • makes 20 holes, 4 servings of 5 each
  • 230 calories, 1.6 fat, 46 carbs, 1 fiber and 6.6 protein


  • 1.25 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 a cup of milk

Mix the dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  Add egg and milk, and just mix until combined.  Let the batter sit 5 minutes.  Heat oil to 375.  I used a melon baller to scoop out the batter – its pretty wet.  You don’t want your balls too big, otherwise the outside will be done and the inside will still doughy.  I think most women will agree that we don’t like big balls. Open-mouthed smile

They literally take just a couple minutes.  Dry them off on paper towels and then into your topping of choice – I did a mix of 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

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Light, fluffy – not too sweet.  Hit the spot!  Jenn, do you remember giving me these appetizer plates?

So I am going to spend this long weekend counting my blessings.   I hope you have a great weekend!  Hugs, and thanks.

I cracked.

I try very hard to hold it all together.  Like all the time.  I figure if I am strong it will help everyone around me.

But yesterday was a rough day.  I kind of lost it. 

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Turns out wine and nachos didn’t solve my problems.  So I am dusting myself off and moving on.  Last day of the outdoor pool!

I’ll be fine.

The Back Roads

For living in the “sticks” we sure do have a lot of traffic.  One problem is that since we live on the river, we have to take the bridge over the river to get anywhere if you are going east, which is how I have to get to work.  The roads have been so backed up lately, that I decided to go west and take the back roads to work.

I’ve tried taking the back roads before but there was always construction, and I just sucked it up that it would take me 45-50 minutes to drive the 15 miles to work.  Yesterday?  I got to work in 25 minutes!

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Lots of farm land and horse farms.  It was starting to get warm when I left – it was around 80 degrees and overcast.  I was hoping that it would get nicer as the day progressed, but no matter what, I was getting to the pool yesterday.

Breakfast was an egg white spinach omelet, English muffin and some grapes.  My sister FINALLY tried putting baby spinach in things.  She doesn’t like slimey spinach, and neither do I so she was surprised how good it tasted in eggs.

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When I got to the gym, I thought maybe the outdoor pool was closed, but there was a lone lifeguard eating her lunch and listening to her iPod.  The pool was completely empty.

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As soon as I got in the pool the lifeguard got on that chair above – it was weird just having one lifeguard and me!  By the end of the swim the sun was shining so I spent 10 minutes after my 30 minute swim just chilling.

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Lunch was a taco salad.  I always think of Sam when I have one. (Hi Sam!  I’d link to her but she has a private blog).   Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, corn off of one cob, 3 ounces of ground beef, some cheese.  And the dressing of fat free ranch and Ortega taco sauce.

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The star of the show though?  The pickled jalapenos.  I need to make some more of these soon!

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I ended up taking the back roads home again and guess what?  I got home in 24 minutes!!  I am hoping its not a fluke and that the commute continues to be that great!

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Remember last Friday when Tony made a rolled rump roast for dinner?


We ate it for dinner Friday night.  I made Italian beef sandwiches the other night, and last night, I sliced some for Tony’s now famous fried noodles.  And I still have more to make a roast beef hash for breakfast this morning.  Not bad for a $8 roast!

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As usual, I am Tony’s sous chef and got everything in place.  This dish literally comes together in minutes since I had already precooked the pasta yesterday morning before work.

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Love.  I just love this dish.  I seriously wanted to eat the whole bowl, but I knew I had Insanity later so I ended up eating about 2/3 of it.  Tony didn’t finish all of his either, so I have lunch today already done.

Last night was Cardio Recovery of Insanity.  You might think this is easy, but it’s still very hard.  It’s a lot of slow big muscle moves and my legs are literally shaking by the end.  Since my dinner was so carb heavy I did take some insulin with dinner (I normally skip the insulin so my blood sugar doesn’t drop when I exercise later at night).  But Cardio Recovery isn’t very face paced so I was pleasantly surprised that after my workout my blood sugar was a perfect 97. Open-mouthed smile

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Stats for the Day:

  • 1360 calories, 38 fat, 171 carbs, 18.5 fiber and 85 protein
  • 51% of calories from carbs, 25% from fat and 24% from protein
  • 30 minute swim
  • 30 minute Cardio Recovery

Time to make some breakfast hash!

Oh, and I have blog reader Lisa to thank again for this hilarious picture – does it scream me or what?!


Make it a great day!

Lasagna Soup #41!

I haven’t been eating a lot of cheese lately.  You all know I puffy heart cheese!  I had a jones for it yesterday though and made what I like to call zucchini soufflé English muffins.   I grated one medium zucchini into a paper towel and then squeezed it really dry.  I Pam fried it with salt, pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper for a couple minutes, then added 1/2 a cup of liquid egg beaters. 

Once scrambled, I divided the zucchini egg mixture between two English muffins, then topped each with a slice of mozzarella cheese – each slice was .75 ounces because it was cut thick.  I put it in the toaster oven until the cheese was all melty.  Hmmm….melty cheese.

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The egg mixture was so light and fluffy – and this plate is 352 calories and was super filling.  I ate this at home around 7:30 and didn’t have a pre-workout snack of 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese and a cup of watermelon until 11:00!

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I had planned on swimming at lunch, but a work situation came up where I had to have my cell phone available to me.  It’s kind of hard to hear your cell phone ring in the pool, so I did a quick Pinterest search and found a circuit.

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I did a 5 minute warm up run, then started the circuit.  Can you guess which exercise took me the longest?  Oh shit – I just realized – I did 30 burpees each set, not 30 seconds!  No wonder that took me so long – ha!!  The whole routine x 3 reps took me just about 30 minutes:

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I did another 5 minute run at the end, then a 5 minute cool down for a 45 minute lunch time run.  In case you are wondering, my phone never rang so I could have gone swimming – oh well! 

So yes, yesterday morning before work I made Suzie’s Lasagna Soup for the 41st time.   I love linking to it every time because it shows up on her post.  But it’s funny, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized that Suzie got this recipe from A Farmgirl Dabble’s blog.   Do you remember me telling you about the Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner event that I am invited to at the Wit hotel in October?  Turns out there are only 12 bloggers invited to the event, and Brenda from A Farmgirl Dabble’s is another guest, so I can personally thank her for making this soup so I could find it on Suzie’s blog.   I think Louise is on my heels on making that soup nearly 8 or 10 times by now??  Her husband loves it. Open-mouthed smile

I had leftover beef roast, and I read that if you put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, you could slice it really thin.  I wanted to make Italian beef sandwiches with it.  It worked great!  I just heated up one can of beef broth with 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.  I put the sliced beef in the hot broth for a couple minutes, just to warm through.  I had half a sammie, a few fries and an orange.  I know the orange sounds weird, but I had it in my lunch bag and never ate it and had a taste for it. Open-mouthed smile

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It was a busy day at work, which I love.  But I have to admit, I did NOT want to do Insanity last night.  I was tired and I just wanted to lay on the couch and zone out.  But you guys know what I did, right?  I got off my ass!  I will say that I was kind of going through the motions for the first few minutes, but then I told myself “you are going to give this 100% – it’s only 40 minutes long!”

In the end, or course I am glad I did it.  I mean have you ever done a workout only to tell yourself it was a waste of time?  I didn’t think so.

Tony was coming into the kitchen just as I was finishing my workout – this picture cracks me up!
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Then he took my cell phone and took this picture.  Tony’s always been a boob man!  He calls this one “schweaty boobs.”

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Stats for the Day:

  • 45 minute circuit workout at lunch
  • 40 minute Plyo Cardio Insanity
  • 1352 calories, 51 fat, 134 carbs, 13.5 fiber and 90 protein
  • 40% of calories from carbs, 34% from fat, 26% from protein

Right now I am cooking up some pasta so Tony can make his famous fried rice, but with angel hair pasta instead.  It’s so good!  I am either going to use chicken from the leftover roast, or some of the beef roast as the protein – maybe I’ll do a little of both?

And I was kind of feeling left out with all the back to school pictures.  I am 45 and I can’t tell you how many of my high school friends have kids that are just starting first grade!   I was 29 when Hannah started first grade!  So I asked her to send me a picture of her first outfit for her first day of her senior year of college.  I may have added the stars to the picture!


Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!

That Shit is Bananas, Yo

For some reason yesterday morning, I was not hungry.  That hardly ever happens.  I almost always wake up with a growling stomach.  So around 9:30 I finally ate a Chobani.

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And then around 11:30 I ate some watermelon.

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Before my workout my blood sugar was 236 – perfect!  When I got to the pool I thought both the indoor and outdoor pool were closed, but it’s just the indoor pool that is closed this week for maintenance and cleaning.

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Now even the kindergarteners are back in school so it was just me and one Mom and her 2 year old in the zero depth pool.  #loveit.

I swam my usual 30 minutes and when I got out of the pool I was hangry!  I had a cup and a half of black bean soup and I made chicken spinach nachos with some of the leftover grilled chicken we made over the weekend.

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My black bean soup was so easy – I made WAY too many seasoned black beans the week before.  I took 4 cups of the beans, put that with four cups of chicken broth, and threw in 1 whole chipotle pepper.  Pureed and then added the corn off of two cobs of corn we never ate last week. 

My treats I brought to work?  I had so much hope!  The banana bread started out with Chobani, peanut butter and banana cream pudding – how bad could that be?

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The batter was so creamy!

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But even though the outside was pulling away from the sides and it looked like it was getting too dark, I pulled it out of the oven.  It looked fine until it cooled and the whole center fell.  It was undercooked. Sad smile

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It even had a crunchy peanut butter glaze, but only 4 pieces were eaten, and I am sure after the first bite they through it out.  It’s the thought though, right?!

I am super proud of myself – around noon more treats were brought out – lots of cheese, salami, crackers.  Guess what I did?  I walked on by! 

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I am following a girl on Instagram called MShelllll (yes, that is 5 L’s!)  You can find her at MShell Fitness.  While I am totally NOT into female bodybuilding, she does have some good workouts that I want to follow.  Anywho. she posted a short video on Instagram a while back that said “don’t use food as a treat – you are not a dog.”   It suddenly dawned on me that I would do that all the time.

If I had a good workout, I deserved a third (or fourth!) piece of pizza.  Or maybe I could have that piece of cake because “I’ve been so good at the gym.”  Well you can’t lose weight if you work out and then “treat” yourself to stuff so you never see the benefit of the workout in the first place.  Which is probably why I’ve pretty much maintained (well, or gained earlier this year) the last five years of this blog. #lightbulbmoment

It was hot yesterday – finally feels like summer!  Tony and I sat outside for almost an hour because it was cooler outside than it was in the house.  We finally decided to turn the air on – had we left it off it would have been like doing hot yoga, but Insanity style!

Dinner was super quick – Tony and I split a grilled Italian sausage, each had 5 cheese ravioli (serving size – 230 calories) and I added baby spinach and marinara sauce to mine – Tony no likey the red sauce, so he has some butter and Parmesan cheese.  I could do shots of red sauce! Open-mouthed smile

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While we ate dinner we watched this weeks episode of Ray Donovan.  It’s really getting good!  Then it was Pure Cardio – it’s only 39 minutes long, but it’s a tough one.  But I am happy to say, as I reach almost day 90 of Insanity, I can do the whole thing 110%!

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Stats for the Day:

  • 30 minute swim
  • 39 minute Pure Cardio Insanity
  • 1204 calories, 40 fat, 136 carbs, 16 fiber and 74 protein
  • 45% of calories from carbs, 31% from fat and 24% from protein

It’s funny because I’ve been doing Insanity for so long, I can pretty much say all of Shaun T’s phrases – after pure cardio, he drops to the ground and says “That shit is bananas, yo!”  Okay, maybe I just put the word “shit”in there, but it works, okay?! Open-mouthed smile

My calories were a bit low yesterday, so I’ll bump that up today.  I actually think it’s good for your body not to feed it exactly the same amount of calories every day – keeps it guessing!

Question of the Day: How often do you reward yourself with food treats?

Make it a great day!

Next Goal . . .

In case you missed it over the weekend, I’ve made it into the land of the 150s!  I am finding my inner athlete that was in there the whole time, she just needed to be woken up, that’s all. Open-mouthed smile   It’s hard for me to believe though that the lower right picture of me on the track team at O.P.R.F. was 30 years ago – wow!

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So now my next goal?  149 pounds.  I am not going to officially WI in here until . . . October 5.  I think six weeks is the perfect amount of time to lose 10 pounds. Open-mouthed smile  Think I can do it?

One of my goals over the weekend was to weed out the 1000s of photographs that I no longer need to keep on the computer.  I was a bit overzealous and erased my pictures from Saturday – oops!  Tony will just be happy to know that I got rid of 10,720 photos (even I was surprised by that number!) and gave us 10.1 GB more memory.   Thank goodness I took some pics on my iPhone!

One of the things on my list of things I wanted to do over the weekend was get my eyebrows threaded.  You can tell by my face before going in I am not happy because I know it hurts like a bitch even though it lasts less than 2 minutes and is worth the $7 of torture.

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Um, yeah, I guess I let them get  a little out of hand. Open-mouthed smile  And after!

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If I had done the same thing with waxing, it would look like Tony beat me up and the swelling would last for days.  Usually by the next day, the redness goes away.

We enjoyed one of my favorite summer beers that both Tony and I can enjoy:

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And I ended up getting a $5 dollar 5 pound chicken to grill out for dinner Saturday night.  This bird was so big, I can easily make 2 more meals out of it.   Click on this post to see how to grill a perfect chicken.

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While we’ve had warmer days in the last few days, our nights have been cool, once the sun goes down its very pleasant sitting outside.

Sunday morning was a lazy/productive morning.  I slept in a bit, did some laundry and made some shitty ass muffins.  I am sure the recipe is just fine, but I forgot my muffin tin at work.  We have another office birthday and I was going to bring in muffins.  I thought this would work – just line cupcake liners on a baking sheet, fill them fast with the batter and then put them quickly in the oven.

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But this is what happened.

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Yep, they became square and kind of like one giant muffin.  And they didn’t rise very much either.  I still think I am going to take them though – they are oatmeal raisin muffins.  I mean, I’ve had people I’ve worked with eat leftover donuts that are a week old, I think they’ll eat misshapen muffins. Open-mouthed smile

I did make another dish though – check out this peanut butter banana cake!  Except I made mine in a pie pan (could not find my 8×8 pan – that’s probably at work too!).  I’ll share the photos and adapted version of the recipe tomorrow.

Next thing I knew it was after noon and I hadn’t really had anything to eat other than a few licks and tastes of the muffins. I decided to make Portillo style hot dogs at home – I had all beef hotdogs, poppy seed buns and crinkle cut fries.  My topping?  Lots of yellow mustard and my pickled jalapenos – a jar snuck into the back of my fridge and I was so happy when I found it!

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I was contemplating what to do for my exercise – and not kidding I was eating that hot dog and thought “I think I’ll run 5 miles today.”  I did a 55 minute Insanity workout on Saturday and I wanted to do something different.   It went by fast because I was watching the Little League World Series – such a good game!

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I did it under an hour!  Woop!  And I didn’t feel like I needed a nap when I was done. Just kidding

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With the cool down:

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After that I went to the grocery store – spent a little over my planned budget of $50 bucks, but only by $11 – not too bad!

Tony didn’t have much of an appetite last night for dinner, so guess what is my back up when I am just making dinner for myself??  PIZZA!  Yes.  I couldn’t let a whole weekend go by without one!  When I was cleaning out the fridge I found some dough that was a couple weeks old – still good though!  I made a small spinach and sausage pizza.  So easy, simple and delicious.

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I hope to take advantage of the outdoor pool this week – so sad that it will be closed after labor day.  And I am back to my last week of the 40 minute Insanity’s at night until next week when they go back to 50-60 minutes.  It makes the 40 minute ones seem like not a big deal!

I am off to make a glaze for my banana bread – it kind of fell overnight so we’ll see how it turns out.  That’s why I don’t bake much (other than bread!) because it never seems to turn out for me.

Questions of the Day:  Do you have any fall goals?  Did you accomplish everything you wanted to this summer?

Make it a great day!

Weekly WI

There are some mornings when I get up at 6:30 and by the time I leave work a little after 8, it seems like I have all the time in the world.  Yesterday morning I was busy being the normal tornado of activities when all of a sudden it was 7:50 and I hadn’t taken a shower yet!

I made the coffee granola for my Pear Chobani – I think that’s my favorite flavor so far.  I liked the granola as a topping, but it’s not the kind of snacking granola like my crack granola.  But I do like how low in sugar this batch was.  I had two scrambled eggs on the side and some delicious blackberries.

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The weather was gorgeous – 82 degrees and sunny.  Since Friday is actually my rest day, I just swam for 25 minutes and then listened to music for 15 minutes.  I had the whole pool to myself!

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The other day I was cleaning out my medicine cabinet and came across some nail polish that I am sure was Hannah’s.  I decided to paint my nails and while I was swimming I like how the color looked under the water.  It’s probably been a couple years since I painted them!

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Lunch was more leftovers – taco meat from my taco salad, black beans and rice from our steak quesadilla night, and the last of my pickled jalapenos – I need to make more – stat!

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I had to laugh because when I googled “bizzy kitchen quesadilla” to get that link above, I found a picture from 2009 of my “ooey gooey quesadillas.”  This picture looks like ass!


I think my photo skillz are a bit better today!


I actually had a busy afternoon at work, which I loved.  Makes the day go by so much faster!   Tony went shopping earlier in the day and bought a boneless rolled rump roast to grill out – on sale for $2.89 a pound.  He just used black pepper and garlic salt on it – since I’ll be morphing the leftovers into other dishes, this is the perfect seasoning.

I pulled the meat off at 120 and put it in foil to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.  I nuked 6 baby potatoes in the microwave, then put about a teaspoon of oil and a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of a small cast iron skillet, and put the potatoes cut side down to crisp up while the meat rested.

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We sat outside, I enjoyed some wine while Tony had a couple beers.  It wasn’t until I went to take this picture that I realized I didn’t make any veggie on the side!  Oh well.  It was delicious.  I think we’ll have quesadillas again with the leftovers, we both enjoyed those.

So it’s been a couple weeks since I weighed in on the blog.  The last time was at the end of the DietBet and I weighed in at 161.4.  Today I am . . .

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I’ve lost 2 more pounds bringing my summer total weight loss to 16.4 pounds. 

More importantly . . . I am in the 150s!!!

I haven’t been there since 2011, and it feels good.  But you know what I’ve learned this summer?  Is that you actually have to move and eat well to lose weight.  I know – who knew, right?!  I’ve talked about all the things I am going to do, only to give up when it gets hard.  It’s much easier to come home and drink wine and pretzels than to do Insanity every night, but my hard work is showing results, and I really couldn’t be prouder of myself. Open-mouthed smile

Thanks for all of your continued cheerleading for me – it helps more than you’ll ever know.  And to Tony, who is my biggest cheerleader of all – and reminds me daily that I am doing this for me because he thought I was just as beautiful at 175. Open-mouthed smile  How lucky am I?

Alright, I am still on operation clean out pantry/freezer and fridge.  I am hoping to spend less than $50 at the store today.  Do you have any tried and true “cheap” meals up your sleeve?  I wish Tony liked macaroni and cheese!

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday. Open-mouthed smile