Ritz Sandwich Crackers, Tow Trucks and 50 Shades of Menards.

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I don’t really know why certain things happen to me, they just do.  Maybe it’s because my quirky sense of humor can handle it so God sends these situations my way, and maybe it’s because I’m just as whacked as everyone else, who knows.

My weekend consisted of a little bit of work, lots of family time (aka drill sargeant husband and his list of cleaning duties will had to get done) and a good amount of shopping.

First off, Saturday I end up getting the bill for my unpaid parking tickets.  Yeah Bout that.  Not a good starter to 48 hours straight in the house with your husband.

Next came the task of dinner.  I had been planning this dinner for 3 days at this point.  Rosemary Citrus Roast Chicken with Parmesan Roasted Potatoes.  Oh the joy of the smell of potatoes and Chicken roasting.  They looked amazing.  So, after approx an hour, I checked and the juices were clear.  Took the bird from the oven, covered it and let it rest while the potatoes finished.

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Rosemary Citrus Roast Chicken

Now at this point, the baby was in bed.  We were having a late dinner and a movie at the house.  I’m all excited to get this Beautiful and CLEAN meal out to us and it happens.  Once slice near the thigh and BAM there is was. Uncooked Chicken.  Lord Save the Queen.  Of course, like any normal human being we panic like we’ve just poisoned the waterhole and start scrambling to save any and all livestock.  I start looking around the kitchen.  Right then left.  Left then Right. Then it dawns on me.  The oven is STILL on.  The Bird is STILL hot.  Just put it back in.  Ok.  The birds in the oven (disaster averted…kinda)

This is the point where the potatoes need to come out of the oven.  They look amazing. Then I realize that it will be quite awhile for the chicken still.  ugh.  so they go back in the oven as well.  We did finally eat.  45 mins later.  It still tasted good, nothing was burnt, but my pride was a bit bruised.

So the next morning, as I’m watching the final minutes of “Pitch Perfect” on HBO, we start making the list of things to do.  I get the kitchen organized and clean, then we take to the laundry and the Christmas Decorations.  So of course, I’m scanning Pinterest for ideas for the outdoor decorations for the house.  I am also in the process of slowly re-fabbing (aka Re-FABULOUS’ing) my downstairs bathroom and master bedroom.  So I take off for a night of shopping and crafting! yay!

BLOG_HOME_Jute LampOne of my stops is at Menards.  You know, the Midwests version of a Lowe’s Meets Home Depot meets Fleet Farm!  I need Jute Rope.  Thick Stuff so I can Wrap a pair of lamps I have so they look similar to this lamp I found on Pinterest.

I hop in the “6 Items or Less” line with my Jute Rope and Diet Coke and here comes this man and his cart with 6 Coleman Camp Stoves Propane Tanks, two large bags of ice melt and a gallon jug of Tampico.  He looks at me and straight faced says, “So ya gonna tie your man up tonight?”

Out of sheer shock, I blurt out the only thing that will come out of my mouth, “It’s for a lamp”.  I didn’t just say this, I shouted this.  The Cashier Jumped. Lord.

Fast forward to this morning.  My car is a pit.  Between carseat in, carseat out, trips here, trips there, you can find remnants of each trip.  It’s so bad.  So as I’m driving on this -7 degree day, I realise that my car is no longer accelerating.  OMG.  I push the gas and nothing. I can’t even hear a rev.  I’m Freaking out.  It looks as though my car is shut off.  ah!  I have a push start Altima and so I step on the brake and restart it…nothing.  So as I’m dialing a tow truck, since my husband at the time was on a plane to Houston, I come to a startling realization.  Hanging up  the phone as fast as I can to avoid a pickup followed by me faking a wrong number, I look down and there is a box of Ritz Cheese Sandwich Crackers jamming my gearshift into Neutral.

So if you ask how my weekend was, It was interesting.  I had a 70 year old man get all 50 shades of Jute rope on me at Menards and a box of Ritz almost cost me a $100 Tow Truck call and a ton of embarassment.

And…it’s only 2pm.

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Food Prep: Mason Jar Salads

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This is a great idea! It’s so simple, yet isn’t it always the simple things that we never seem to think of? I’m taking the Rejuv Shopping Tour to review Clean Eating & Paleo options next Wednesday, Dec 11th at 7pm. If you want to join me call Rejuv at (320) 281-5100 to sign up! I would love to have you there too! ❤

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”

Or at least in my case you do!

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I have a really hard time with cravings. It’s probably my biggest challenge when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. One thing that I recently tried is planning my meals for the week. This personally helps me tremendously. While browsing Pinterest one day I stumbled upon these adorable (and totally genius) mason jar salads. Prep all at once, and eat healthy for the week! Perfect! Here’s what I put in mine:

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Southwest Salad
-romaine
-southwest blend cheese
-southwest corn blend
-chopped green peppers
-shredded carrots
-quinoa
-ranch
-BBQ sauce

When it comes to the dressing, I found a zero calorie ranch dressing that actually looks pretty clean, and a BBQ sauce that’s low in sodium!

Summer Poppyseed Salad
-romaine
-strawberries
-pineapple
-mandarin oranges
-quinoa
-poppyseed dressing

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Tips
-Dressing first, Greens last!
-Put…

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Winter Weather calls for Winter Food and fun

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Timothy trying out his snowpants for the first time!

Timothy trying out his snowpants for the first time!

So mother nature has decided to grace us with anywhere from 7 to 11 inches of new snow here in the next 24-28 hours.  It’s the thick, heavy & wet snow that is PERFECT for making snowballs and snowmen.  It is also perfect for getting your car stuck and socks wet.  I guess you get good with the bad and vice versa.

Growing up with my mother, food was always in abundance.  The second the Weather Guy would mention snow, she would load me up in the car and we’d be off to the grocery store.  You can only imagine the “apocalyptic style mania” that all Midwest grocery stores have during the pre-storm period. The crazy part of this whole phenomenon is that we always ended up buying MORE than what we usually would, and not just in quantity, but in variety.  I don’t think I ever ‘survived’ a Minnesota/North Dakota snowstorm without Queso & Chips, Chili, Spaghetti & meatballs, Doritos, Oreos, something home baked and a mother load of Diet Coke.  It was honestly like we were getting ready to have our last meal.  Only instead of looking like a sad depiction of a woman who’s circumstances were gruesome, it would be a young overweight woman who died with a Minh Pork Egg Roll in one hand and the remote control in the other after the storm took out the cable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming my mother or the way we ate for my “husky” (which by the way I hate when people call me husky).   The majority of my weight came on as an adult when I was in total control of everything I ate.  I use the word ‘control’ loosely.

BEEF NOODLE SOUP_bowlHaving just restarted my journey back to health, fitness and babyville, I wanted to still get that comfort that I remember, but not kill every ounce of my work at this.  So, I decided on a Beef Noodle soup.  I know what you’re thinking, “Babs, soup really isn’t that healthy”.  Well, I would agree with you, if you’re buying it in the can, package, box, or frozen.  If you are making it, soup takes on a new role in a healthy diet.  It’s comforting, it’s tasty, it’s inexpensive per serving and it’s freezable.

So while my husband finished up the Christmas lights (this round of them) with the help of our jolly little man, Timothy, I started chopping.  6 years ago we received a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer for our wedding and the pasta attachment.  BEST. GIFT. EVER.

So I opted to make homemade Whole Wheat Egg Noodles.  They turned out great.  I watched the sodium and fat in this soup by using EVOO and Low sodium Beef Broth rather than Bouillon and added 2 FRESH Bay Leaves and about a tsp of Italian Seasoning to the mix.  Right before serving, I added fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.  It turned out great and after portioning it out into containers for my lunches, today proved it was EVEN BETTER the next day!

Here’s a quick synopsis if you want to take a crack at this Clean Eating Pot of Goodness!

BEEF NOODLE SOUP_spoon1Beef Noodle Soup (clean)

  • 1.5 lbs stew beef
  • 2 16oz containers of Low Sodium Beef Broth
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 3-4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1-2 T of EVOO
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt / pepper to taste
  • Balsamic Vinegar to taste (adds a zing/tang)
  • Whole Wheat Egg Noodles (Whole Wheat Flour, 3 eggs, dash of water) Or store bought.

1.  Heat the EVOO in a Dutch Oven/French Oven ( this is mine)

2.  add the garlic and cook a few moments before adding the beef

3.  add pepper and a splash of balsamic to the beef, cook then scoop out beef in to a bowl and set aside.

4.  Using the juices left from the beef, add the carrots, onions, celery and bay leaves to the pot and cook about 5 mins ( stirring so not to burn)  If your pan is too dry, feel free to add a splash of beef stock and scrape up the bits from the bottom.

5.  Add the rest of the beef stock and beef back into the pot and bring to a light boil. then reduce heat, cover and let simmer. add a splash or two of Balsamic Vinegar if needed (to taste)

6. Add the fresh whole wheat egg noodles about 5-10 mins before you’re ready to serve, just add them, stir it around and let it continue to lightly simmer covered.

7. Stir in a good 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley right before serving.

Enjoy!