Tipsy Tuesday (#329)

We are smack in the middle of birthday party prep for Elise ( I REFUSE to believe that she will be 3 this Sunday!). Anyway, apples with various yummy dips are on the menu...

Tip #329

so these tips for cutting apples ahead of time and keeping them from browning are right on time!

1. Soak them in a bowl of cold lemon water. This is better than squeezing the lemon juice directly on the fruit, unless you don't mind the fruit tasting really lemony. Mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of water.

2. Soak them in a bowl of cold salt water. Not too much salt, or it affects the taste of the fruit. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 1 quart (4 cups) of water. 

3. Soak them in a bowl of Sprite, 7-Up, or a similar lemon-lime, carbonated soda. (Note: Most soft drinks contains artificial ingredients and high-fructose corn syrup, so this isn't the healthiest option...but it works.)

4. Soak them in a bowl with Fruit-Fresh (or citric acid powder) and cold water. Fruit Fresh is sold in stores with canning supplies. Use 1 teaspoon Fruit Fresh per 1 cup of water.

5. Soak them in a bowl of honey water. Use 2 tablespoons of honey per 1 cup of water. This tip is from America's Test Kitchen; you can watch their video here.

I think that I am going to try #2, so we don't add any extra sugar to the apples (I hope my nutritionist reads that, she will be so proud!).


Tipsy Tuesday (#328)

Today, I do not feel like it...like working, like being out and about, like being out of my pjaamas, like being an adult....

Tip #328

Need some motivation for easy ways to get things done when you don't feel like it? ( I know that I do!)Here you go!

Now, can I get some sunshine to shake these raining-for-days-blahs?


Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day, an annual day to raise awareness in support of those who have been affected by this devastating cancer, as well as spreading information on the dangers of asbestos. I am always surprised to find that most of our older schools here, still have asbestos tile in them and that asbestos has not been banned. One of the scariest facts that I learned was that mesothelioma can lay dormant for years. Some veterans who were exposed between 1930 and 1980 are even just now being diagnosed.

Heather Von St. James was a mother to a newborn when she began her journey with mesothelioma and is now a 10 year cancer survivor. Her story (you can read it here) truly is inspirational. She is sharing it in monthly installments and I can't encourage you enough to catch up and get to know her. I know that she would appreciate your support as she works to advocate for those affected by this disease and work to get asbestos fully banned.

For more information, visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.



I'm feeling whiny today...you've been warned. Here is what I feel like whining about:
  • I have no in-between season clothes...I have summer and winter, but no cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon clothes.
  • Our nutritionist/trainer wants us to go caveman and eat meat and plants (Paleo), no sugar, even natural sugars...and I just bought grapes at the store...
  • I need more hours in a day...and less to do in them!
  • I didn't get my steps in yesterday due to some car repairs that required the Rev and I to car share.
  • The planner that I want is out of stock online and apparently is considered a seasonal item...what happens to people who can't get a planner within the 1st month of the school year?
  • I'm hungry...and I want a Diet Pepsi...


Tipsy Tuesday (#327)

Everywhere you turn, people are pumpkin crazy...we are even all about pumpkins right now since Elise's 3rd birthday party in a few weeks has a pumpkin theme.

Tip #327

Did you know all of the health benefits of pumpkin? 

And no, a pumpkin spice latte does not count. This article from Super Skinny Me is packed with all of the ways that pumpkin can add to your health, like reducing your risk of cancer and heart disease and helping you age less.

So, are you on the pumpkin spice train or could you care less? I like the smell and I may look to hide some pumpkin in our meals, but I am not eating Pumpkin Spice Oreos...that is just a waste of a perfectly good Oreo.


Tipsy Tuesday (#326)

There is a nip in the air and the schedule is cranking up! It's my favorite time of year to put the crock pot to good use.

Tip # 326

Use these pictured tips to make the most of this meal time helper.

What is your favorite crock pot dish?


DCB Recipe #47: Spaghetti Squash

We are trying to get creative so that we can increase the amount of veggies that we eat. Now, I have to be up front and warn you that this is by no means a twin to regular spaghetti. It is not going to fool anyone into thinking that it is pasta, but it was very good and even the Rev didn't mind it - I had mine with sautéed mushrooms and marinara sauce, while he mixed his with a half serving of pasta and topped his the same. Bonus: Elise loves squash and zucchini, so no kid battle!

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
Seasoning of your choice ( I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder)

Cut squash in half and remove seeds and pulp.

Place cut side up in your deep covered baker and season.

Cover and microwave for 9 minutes or until fork tender.

Using a fork, scrape the "spaghetti" strands out of the shell.

Eat as is or top with marinara sauce.



HIIT By A Bus...

The Rev and I are taking a new HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class 3x a week at the Y and I have determined that it is called HIIT because it leaves you feeling like you have been hit by a bus! Wall sits, burpees, and planks are a painful combo!

Weight Lost: Total: 40lbs.

Inches Lost: Still losing inches and fighting to keep my pants up!

Exercise: The HIIT Class and walking 45 minutes a day. I need to get back in the swing and do some 21 Day Fix workouts on non-HIIT days.

Food: I am finally using the container system that came with 21 Day Fix and have really gotten the hang of it. I have definitely seen more results since I started eating the portions from each category recommended. I'd say my eating is about 85% clean (eating minimally processed or refined foods). I almost look forward to pineapple with lunch as much as I used to a piece of chocolate!

Water: Drinking just under a gallon a day!

I like to set small goals and work towards them. My next goal is another 10lbs. before Elise's birthday, one month from now.


Tipsy Tuesday (#325)

We've put our white shoes away, which of course means it is time for stores to break out the Halloween candy...right next to the Christmas ornaments.

Tip #325

Halloween candy is my weakness so I'm looking the other way hard right now. Best way not to eat it? Don't buy it until you need it for trick-or-treaters.

If you buy candy for trick-or-treaters, buy only enough for the kids. And wait until Halloween day to buy the candy, so the candy isn't haunting you throughout October. If you buy the candy sooner, keep it out of sight in a cabinet.

P.S. I saw S'mores candy corn the other day and it was almost enough to make me change my stance on candy corn...almost...


Oven Baked Cheeseburger Sliders

The kick off to Gamecocks football season means game day food! We first made these sliders for Elise's birthday party last year and I could not believe how easy the process was...I am not a burger flipper and this method totally eliminates the need for that, plus you make them in the oven, so no need to slave over a hot grill. You can also make quite a few in the oven at one time, if you are having a big crowd and they reheat perfectly, as well.

Oven Baked Cheeseburger Sliders (adapted from here)

1 1/2lbs. lean ground beef (I used 93%)
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. seasoning blend of your choice (we use this one on EVERYTHING!)
1-2 tbsp. dried minced onion
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
6 cheese slices
12 ct. King's Hawaiian rolls

Mix your beef, bread crumbs, onion, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce together well.

Pat into a 9x13 pan, in an even layer.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The meat will shrink a good bit, don't panic!

Remove from oven, drain grease from pan. Top with cheese and bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Cut into 12 even sized patties and place on rolls.

Add toppings of your choice and enjoy!

P.S. The Gamecock win made these go down extra easy!


Tipsy Tuesday (#324)

I'm super excited for a 3 day weekend!

Tip # 324

If you plan on hitting any Labor Day sales this weekend, here are a few products you should skip buying on Labor Day (according to this article from US Today):

Electronics. If you really want a great price on a new gaming system or laptop, hold off a little while longer. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is historically known to have the lowest prices on small consumer electronics.

Bedding and linens. If you can postpone your purchase of sheets and comforters, you'll find the lowest prices on linens in January when department stores host their annual "white sales."

Here are a few products you can probably get good deals on:

School supplies. School may have already started, which means stores are ready to move academic-related products off their shelves. Use this weekend to check off the last few items on your back-to-school list.

Grills. Summer nights (and summer cookouts) are coming to a close, so now is a good time to stock up on affordable outdoor essentials.

Holiday airfare. If you're planning on traveling this Thanksgiving or Christmas, Labor Day discounts will help you book your holiday trip for less.

How are you planning to enjoy your extra day this weekend?



Listening...to nothing...the 2nd Monday of the school year is eerily silent.

Eating...grapes and a protein shake.

Drinking...water....lots and lots of water...


Wearing...khaki skirt, orange sweater, brown and orange animal print scarf and brown flip flops...feeling fall colors but trying to hang on to the flops as long as I can.

Feeling...so tired...but relieved that the headache that sidelined me yesterday seems to be gone today (knock on something wood for me, would you?).

Needing...to start putting all of the plans for Elise's birthday party into action. Only 6 weeks away! This little girl has been asking for months, ever since my birthday in May, when it would be time for her "punkin" party.

Wanting...the long weekend to hurry up and get here and then slow down and stay!

Thinking...that I am glad the system outage on Friday forced me to get through all of my annual HR training videos and quizzes...that would be a real Monday downer!

Enjoying...Elise practicing her "Go Gamecocks!" cheer for the start of college football on Thursday PM!


Tipsy Tuesday (#323)

School started here yesterday....

Tip #323

and WalMart was packed with supply shoppers this weekend. Here is a great list (from Forbes magazine) of things that you don't need to waste your money on (unless required by your teacher, of course!):

Mechanical pencils
Rolling backpacks
Looseleaf paper

Check out the link for others and a great explanation of why teachers don't need certain supplies.

Trapper Keepers are on the list as well, but every kid NEEDS a Trapper Keeper, am I right?



It feels like I am running the whole circus right now, just call me the Ringmaster....Students left to be scheduled, class lists to be printed, Open House to prepare for...be back when school starts back and life calms down!


Tipsy Tuesday (#322)

Back to school means extra traffic on the roads.

Tip #322

Familiarize yourself with the laws pertaining to school buses for your state. (pictured are those for my home state, NC)

Let's keep the kiddos safe!