Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I'm cutting straight to the chase today.  I'm incredibly thankful for my family's health.  The stomach bug hit the little guy and I starting on Friday night we are just now starting to feel back to ourselves.  In fact, yesterday was my first day back to work, hence the blogging hiatus.

I'm also thankful for the hubby and my mom, who dealt with my spazzing out when the little guy's stomach bug first hit.  (Little known fact to the blogging world - I'm terrified of the physical act of getting sick.  I always hoped I'd outgrow that by now, but not yet!)

On Monday, the hubby stayed home to take care of me and the little guy and when I asked him to go to the store to pick up some Gatorade, he came home with these as well.


It was such a little gesture, but it meant so much. *Sigh* I'm a lucky girl.

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Am I the only one who thinks that sometimes shorter work weeks feel like they take longer to get through?  I woke up thinking today was Friday - oops.

Being a mommy of a toddler is exhausting.  Gone are the days where I could put John on a blanket surrounded by toys and expect him to stay there.  I kissed those days goodbye pretty much as soon as he started walking.  The little guy is up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning raring to go.  The energy he has is unbelievable!  I'm certainly not complaining - I love watching him explore his world and a happy toddler = happy mommy.  

But sometimes?  Sometimes I forget just how little he once was.  Sometimes it's hard to remember what it was like to snuggle most of the day away without him wanting to get down or without shying away from the myriad of kisses I give him.

Then there are those times when I'm reminded of his innocence, his sweetness (he's in a "testing" phase right now) and I catch a glimpse of that little baby boy - and I realize he has been right there all along.



Today I'm thankful I got capture this moment on camera.

Question of the Day:

What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reality Check

853 calories.  If someone told me they were eating 853 calories a day I would've put both hands on their shoulders, shook them gently and said "you're starving yourself and your body is in starvation mode.  Eat something!"  And yet, there I was a few days ago.  The day I realized that I was eating between 853-980 calories a day....and I had absolutely no idea.

Let me back up.  A few of my coworkers are taking a nutrition course and I overheard them talking about myfitnesspal.com, a website where you can track your calories, fitness, etc.  My coworkers know I follow Weight Watchers and included me in the conversation about how they could best get their allotted calories in for the day and how to eat healthfully.  I'm not a calorie counter.  As someone who was never good at math, even adding simple Weight Watchers points together can take some extra thought.  I always thought calorie counting was too complicated, especially when the Weight Watchers points system makes so much sense.

Out of complete curiosity, I entered in the food I had eaten that day and I sat there with my mouth open as it told me that I was only consuming 853 calories.  Surely that was wrong - I was eating my allotted 20 points!  I thumbed through my Weight Watchers journal and entered in another day - one where I had eaten pasta.  Surely that would have put me over the 1,200 mark, right?  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  I was staring at the screen figuring out how in the world my "pasta day" only netted me 980 calories.  So, over the weekend, I decided it was time for me to put aside my 20 points per day and focus on getting in the nutrition that my body so desperately needs. No wonder why I've been having such a hard time losing the last ten pounds of pregnancy weight.

The realist in me knows that I have to eat more to lose more,  but putting it into practice can be challenging.  Regardless, I'm plugging along and tracking my calories, fat, fiber, carbohydrate and protein intake each day.  Surprise surprise, I should get a gold medal for my carbohydrate intake.  My fat consumption, on the other hand, could use a boost.

Over this past weekend, focusing solely on nutritional eating, I felt a million times better.  The urge to have my relaxed weekends where I still track but eat what I want wasn't there.  I'm much less irritable, my energy level is up and you know what?  I'm not hungry.  Not even a little bit.  And right now, that's such an amazing feeling.

I'm certainly not knocking Weight Watchers.  It got me to where I am today and taught me a lot about portion size, moderation and being realistic.  In fact, just for giggles, I'm still tracking my points and I'm finding that instead of the 20 points I should be eating, I'm only going over them by 3-4 points each day.  There's something about counting calories that makes me feel like I can eat so much more, and it's actually encouraging me to get more fruits and veggies into my diet.

I was craving a salad yesterday, so I beefed it up a bunch and after I was finished?  I was full - and extremely happy.

For 308 calories, here was my delicious salad:


It contained spinach, shredded cheese, peanuts and a hard boiled egg.

So all of that rambling just to say boy oh boy did I get a reality check last week.  And I'm so incredibly grateful for it.

Question of the Day:
Do you track calories, weight watcher points, etc., or are you one of those lucky ones that can eat healthfully without much effort?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I had a completely different post planned for Thankful Thursday, but when I came in this morning, a co-worker had this posted on her Facebook, and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.  Being mostly Italian myself, I found it to be unbelievably true, and I couldn't stop laughing!

Today, I'm thankful for the gift of laughter.  Enjoy the video! *Warning, there's some foul language used in the video-so put your headphones in if you are at work!

Without further ado, I present to you S*** Italian moms say....





If you enjoyed this video, there's also a part 2 and 3 to check out on youtube.

I hope you have a fabulous day!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Case For Organic

Happy Wednesday! 

Ever since getting a Kindle, I've been obsessed with reading.  Just recently, I checked out Jillian Michael's book Master Your Metabolism


Sidebar - I LOVE Jillian Michaels.  A lot of what she says makes sense to me, and this book was no exception.  She writes like she talks, and this book really resonated with me.  

Her basic philosophy is if it doesn't have a mother or didn't grow from the ground, don't put it in your mouth.  She claims that our hormones are all out of whack because when we eat processed foods, our system doesn't know what to do with them.  She also goes into plastics in foods, our environment  etc., but I want to focus on the food part of the book.

In Master Your Metabolism, Jillian encourages people to buy almost everything organic with the exception of water (do they even make organic water?), seafood and foods you don't eat that often.  What should you always buy organic?  She lists the following:

      1.      Meat, dairy and eggs
2.      Coffee
3.      Peaches and nectarines
4.      Apples
5.      Bell peppers
6.      Celery
7.      Berries
8.      Lettuce
9.      Grapes
10.   Foods you eat a lot

I get it, really, I do, but I struggle when it comes to the cost of buying most things organic.  Take milk, for example.  At my grocery store, one gallon of organic milk is $6.00, and I buy at least two gallons a week (the hubby and little guy drink it like there's no tomorrow!).  It seems like a trade-off.  Do I want to spend the money putting good foods into my family's body or do I want to buy the more affordable, pesticide-laden food?

For now, at least, I'm trying to limit the processed foods and buy organic here and there, but I don't know how one feeds a family cost-effectively on organic foods.  Can someone shed some light on this?

Question of the Day:
Do you eat/buy organic food?  How do you stay within your budget?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Recap

 Happy Monday!

How are you all doing today?  I'm feeling a bit off today - not sick, exactly, but just....foggy.  I'm hoping this feeling passes soon!

Over the weekend, we celebrated my best friend's baby shower.  I've been through pretty much everything with this girl - we met in high school and have seen each other through proms, relationships, break-ups, births and everything in between.  We were each other's maid of honor when we got married and now, she's expanding her family.  It's such an exciting time for her!



Yesterday, while the hubby, little guy and I were at Mass, we ran into an older couple - one we see every week.  The woman tossed a bag to me and said "here - I bought too many of these - give this to John."  John opened it up and there was an owl hat inside.  He put it on immediately and has taken it off only during his bath time and when he went to bed.  The first thing he asked for was his hat this morning.  I had to get a picture of him wearing it to share with all of you.


Seriously, this little guy makes me laugh and smile at the simplest things....and I just love him so much for it!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Since we had a short work-week yesterday, I've been thrown off this week.  Today feels like it should be Friday.  Even last night, I was wondering why The Office wasn't on TV.  I'm so confused! haha.

For my birthday, my mom bought me a Kindle and I'm in love with it.  I've been carrying it around with me pretty much everywhere!  The ability to store lots of books in one compact device is so convenient!  Of course, having a Kindle means you need to put books on it and it could get expensive.....if I didn't have a library card.

Today, I'm thankful for online lending libraries that allow me to read my favorite books for free.

Source
I've had a library card for forever and the fact that they have expanded their borrowing options to include e-books rocks my world!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Little Red Wagon a/k/a I'm a Sucker

Happy Wednesday!

I'd like to share with you the story of how the little guy has officially wrapped me around his finger....and I've finally come to terms with it.

My mother-in-law really wanted to get the little guy a wagon for Christmas and the hubby and I didn't think it would be a good idea for one reason, and one reason only - we'd have no place to store it.  Over his little two years, he's gotten a basketball net, a grill and a lawnmower, just to name a few things, and they take up a reasonable amount of space in his playroom.  

Fast forward to Christmas Eve - my brother-in-law bought the little guy some bigger-sized Legos that came in a wagon - not one to ride in, of course, but to build on.  Well - long story short - the little guy loved it so much that he stuffed himself into the wagon and, despite being visually uncomfortable, he insisted we roll around the playroom.  I'm still surprised it hasn't broken yet.

The little guy received a Christmas gift that he already had, and, after returning it, the hubby and I realized that we only had to put a few dollars towards getting him a wagon that was both safe (it came with seatbelts!) and compact (the handle folds down for easy storing).  Sidebar - this wagon even comes with cup holders! The hubby wasn't on board completely until I told him all about the benefits of having a wagon - one of them being that trips to the Zoo would be much easier with a wagon than a stroller.  Eventually, he caved and a few days after Christmas, the little guy's wagon showed up on our doorstep.  Part of me feels badly about vetoing the wagon from my mother-in-law but, at the time, we didn't think it would be a good idea when she asked us.  After seeing how excited he was in the smaller Lego wagon from my brother-in-law, we couldn't wait to see his face when he could comfortably fit in one.

The hubby was working on the day the wagon came, so, after about 50 minutes of trying to get it together, I succeeded.

Oh, and before I get to the pictures - the little guy is very attached to his stuffed animals.  They all have a name - the bear in the pictures below is Frank.  When I was telling my mom about how much he loves the wagon, I told her that Frank went along for a ride.  My mom thought I was talking about an actual person and when I told her it was his bear, we both had a good laugh.  I guess sometimes I take for granted that people know who I'm talking about when I say "Frank"!

See how much he loved it?




In the last picture, he wanted to show that Ernie was in the wagon too, hence Ernie's feet.  Oh yes, and one more thing?  It was required that I sing "Bumping up and down in my little red wagon" the entire time I wheeled him around.  I kid you not.

So yes, you can officially call me a sucker!

Question of the Day:
What was your favorite toy growing up?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sausage and Eggie Casserole

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Mine was great!  The little guy woke up yesterday with a really bad cold, but other than that, he's acting like his high-energy self, so I can't complain too much.  

Over Christmas break, I made a sausage egg and cheese casserole I found via Pinterest.  It reminded me of my sister-in-law's brunch bread and I couldn't wait to try it.  The little guy refers to eggs as "eggies", hence the title of the blog post :)

The recipe is ridiculously simple:

1 cup of milk
5 eggs
shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of Pillsbury crescent rolls
1lb of sausage (I used the heat and eat low fat turkey kind)

Preheat your over to 400 degrees.

Take a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray and roll out the crescent dough.  Pinch the seams together so that it looks like one long piece of dough.

Cook and drain your sausage and spread evenly over crescent dough layer.  *I microwaved my heat and eat sausage links, chopped them up and spread them over the dough.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.  Once they are combined, pour it on top of the sausage.

Sprinkle as much cheese as you want on top and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.




This was perfect for Christmas morning breakfast.  The leftovers heat up really well, which is always a plus!  I'll definitely be making this again - possibly with the addition of ham or bacon next time!

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite breakfast?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Hi everyone!  It's nice to be back to the blogging routine.

I hope you enjoyed the holidays and got some time to relax and unwind with family, friends and, of course, good food.

I've been so mixed up with my days this week!  I started back at work yesterday so today feels like a Tuesday to me.  Anyone else mixed up? haha

So today, I'm thankful for getting an entire week off to hang out with the hubby and little guy.  The little guy absolutely loved Christmas.  The hubby and I decided to stick to mostly educational toys - like Legos, crayons, play doh - because he really likes that stuff and he gets to learn at the same time.



After we opened presents on Christmas morning, it was time to get the little guy dressed.  He quickly forgot about the presents Santa brought him and was much more interested in clothes hangers.  I kid you not.


There were times during our time off where the little guy got a little rowdy.  I'm not sure if he was extra tired, missed his routine or maybe it was a combination of both.  Regardless, one day, while I was making lunch, I asked him what he was doing.  He told me he was under the tree.  I thought it didn't sound right, but sure enough, this is what I found when I took a peek.



I had such a wonderful time off!  It was hard to get back into the swing of things yesterday, and with classes starting next week, I barely had a minute to breathe!

Question of the Day:

What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie