Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One Tree

For each Christmas in our new house.

Good Morning

Haven't seen the cows out recently. Wonder where they have been. They made me smile this morning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Huntsville Trip

We had a great trip over to Huntsville to visit Bob and Claudia. It is always so nice to get to visit them. They are such a great couple, and have wonderful stories!
We got some pictures of us all together up at the Ledges when we went up for Sunday brunch. The weather was beautiful but a little chilly.
Looks like trouble.
The whole crew together.

Milton LOVES shoes! It is so funny how he sticks his face down in the shoes and rolls around with the shoe on the floor. I have never seen a cat with a shoe fetish, but Milton definitely has a problem. = )

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tasty Brunch

Had brunch with Claudia and Bob at the Ledges.

Short Vacation

Headed to Huntsville to see Aunt Claudia and Uncle Bob for a couple of days. Tucked in with a good book, I love nature disaster books and I'm currently reading Carriers and thoroughly enjoying it. Clay is reading Micro, that I just finished. Looking forward to brunch at the Ledges will definitely need a good workout to burn those calories!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Many Faces of 2011

What a GREAT year it was, thinking 2012 is going to be even better!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Taking the cat on a walk

Tonight my husband agreed to go on the walk with me and the doggies. Alvin the cat decided to go too. She jingled along behind us and talked to us "meow, meow." We had a nice and slow 2 miles, I am starting to feel better today hopefully my cold is going away so I can hit the gym again.

Sorry for the blurry pic but they were moving and all my pics were blurry. It was just so funny that the cat went along.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week One Do Life 2012 Challenge Submission

  • Write down five quantifiable goals for yourself. And they must be realistically achievable within one month.
  • Assess yourself and write down your current stats in all five areas.
  • By Monday night, get on the floor an do as many pushups as you can.
  • Intermediate/Advanced: Add 30 minutes to your average week and push the intensity during those 30 minutes.
  • Identify your biggest excuse. Write it down on a wall in your house. Then in your notebook write a way to eliminate that excuse.
  • Each night before bed, write four things you did well that day.
My 5 Goals/Current Assessment:

1. Walk dogs at least 2 times per week/Never did this before

2. Drink at least 2 liters of water per day/ I had been drinking about 1 liter per day, sometimes not even that much especially on nights that I work.

3. Stretching after every workout/ I very rarely did this, and usually only if it was a particularly hard workout.

4. Run a mile in less that 9 minutes by the end of the month/ On Dec 30, 2011 I ran my fastest mile at 9:59.

5. Eat at least one fruit or veggie with EVERY meal/ I am guessing that I did this about 75% of the time, not scientific but I think it is pretty close.
I stocked up on fruits and veggies

Pushups: I did 6 standard push-ups

My plan to add the 30 minutes of increased intensity exercise:

To begin with, my plan is to add 6 days of 5 minute Tabata style workouts per week. I got my inspiration from RunEatRepeat I may change this or I may really like it and stick with it.

My Biggest Excuse:

"I will/can do it later"
My plan to combat this is to just STOP saying this. I know there is no time like the present. If I put it off something may come up later, do it now while I can.

I have been posting my 4 things I have done well
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

This week has gone incredibly well. I feel pleased with the goals I set for myself! I made a cork board and placed it in an obvious place with my goals and my biggest excuse on it to remind myself to keep my head on straight. The thing that I have enjoyed the most this week is goal #1. I have actually walked the dogs 4 times this week for a total of 6 miles. This is in addition to my 30 extra minutes plus my normal 200ish minutes of workouts per week. I typically don't feel like I am exercising unless I am pouring sweat, so it was nice to be exercising and for it to be calm and not strenuous. It felt good to my legs, it cleared my mind, I just enjoyed being outside, and the dogs had a blast. This is also something that I have been able to do the past couple of days even with the cold *sniffle sniffle* that I have been battling so I don't feel guilty about not exercising.

Drinking the water has been easy, it is just a matter of counting and making sure that I do it. I can't say that I enjoy # 3 - stretching, anymore than I used to but I have been making myself do it consistently. I am decreasing my mile time, almost halfway to my goal already with a 9:35 the other day. Last but not least the fruit/veggie with every meal = not a problem so far. I LOVE the 30 extra increased intensity minutes the way I have been doing it, they are so easy to work in! I agree with many of the other Do Lifers that the hardest part for me has been writing the 4 things that I did well. Really? just 4 things...this can be a tough one for sure!

My cork board with goals and my biggest excuse

Saturday 1/7/2012

4 things I did well today

1. Tried 2 new recipes (diet coke brownies, and subbed 1/2 potatoes for cauliflower in mashed potatoes)
2. Stretched out sore calves today (I hate stretching)
3. Ate a ton of veggies (every time I wanted to snack, I ate veggies: carrots, cauliflower, and mixed greens)
4. After doing research and talking with Clay about it, we signed up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) we will get a half-bushel of organic veggies and fruits every week starting in April, too bad we have to wait until then!

Diet coke brownies

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I have been craving brownies something fierce! Tried this tonight, and I didn't have diet coke so used coke zero. Warning: it made very cakey falling apart brownies, but they are sure tasty! They also were only 100 calories each which is awesome. I think I would try it again not using the entire can.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Double Up

4 things I did well today

(even though I felt like ass - thanks sis for that fantastic photo I knew it would come in handy one day)

Thursday 1/5/12

1. Didn't make excuses - I walked the dogs even though I could feel Clay's nasty cold coming on
2. Looked up a few new stretches and tried them out
3. Was lazy thanks to the cold and didn't let myself feel guilty about it
4. Didn't give into temptation when Clay brought home chicken fingers and tater logs, I had 1 chicken finger and 3 tater logs.

(Yeah I am calling you out for bringing home chicken fingers, tater logs, and giving me this crappy cold!)

Friday 1/6/12

1. Didn't feel guilty about calling in sick (better not to spread it around and I would have felt miserable all night)
2. Didn't use being sick as an excuse for free for all eating (even though I really wanted some SPICY Mexican food so I could breathe again)
3. Finished a book and started a new one
4. Did research on joining a CSA (got to talk to Clay about this one, but I found one that delivers locally and I would like to do this I think)

(It's ok, I love him anyway. I am glad he is feeling better even though he passed it along.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good Job!

4 Things I did well today

1. Took dogs on first walk of 2012

2. Cleaned bathroom top to bottom

3. Killed my leg workout!

4. Ignored my #1 excuse all day and was super productive

We Did it!

Chico and Killer and I went for our first walk of 2012 today. This is #1 on my 5 quantifiable goals for week one of the Do Life Challenge. I told myself that I would walk them at least 2 times per week for the next month. That will encourage me to exercise a little more, but more important, it will be good for them. Prior to now I have never walked them regularly since I got Killer 5 years ago. They have a doggie door and access to outside all the time, but I feel like a bad doggie mom admitting to not walking them. = (

They had a good time. Neither is good on a leash, maybe this will improve over time. Chico wanted to pee on everything! We went a mile in a whopping 22 minutes. LOL


Low of 19 tonight!

My 4 things I am proud of today (Tuesday, January 3, 2012)

1. Ran last mile of 4 in 9:35 (fastest yet)

2. Drank LOTS of water

3. Cleaned out closet in guest room

4. Started my increased intensity workouts and came up with plan for the month

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday 1/2/2012

4 Things I Did Well Today

1. Cooked a delicious supper
2. Stability ball crunches
3. Enjoyed husband's company doing something different
4. Downed plenty of water

We are being very reflective this week. Killer is participating as well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Crockpot Tikka Masala and Ethiopian Cabbage

2 tasty crock-pot dishes for supper tonight. I ran across this tikka masala recipe (link to original recipe) on Pinterest and I am so glad I did! I have been wanting another good go-to recipe for the old crock-pot


For the Chicken:

  • 4 chicken breasts cut into small-medium sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper cut in slices

Sauce before adding it to the crock-pot

For the Sauce:

  • 4 tbsp butter ( I think this would have been just as good with just 2 tbsp)
  • 1 whole large onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2-3 inches, peeled and grated or very finely minced
  • 4 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp sugar ( I used sun crystals)
  • 2-3 tbsp heavy cream ( I did not add this at the end and it was just as tasty without it)

For Serving:

  • 4 cups cooked rice, hot
  • cilantro for garnish ( I love cilantro)


  1. Cut the chicken into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Place the chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker and put the jalapeno on top of the chicken.
  2. To prepare the sauce, melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.
  3. Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before adding the crushed tomatoes and sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
  5. Pour heavy cream into the slow cooker and stir gently until the color is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.
  6. Serve over hot rice topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.

This recipe was a bust, not that it tasted bad but it just didn't taste like the cabbage and carrot dish that I have had at several Ethiopian restaurants. I think when I try it again I will add some sugar to it, I recall the dish in the restaurants being a little sweet, and I thought the sweetness was from the carrots but it just wasn't the same. Maybe it just isn't the same without injera.

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
I cooked mine in the crock-pot so I threw all these ingredients together and added 1 cup of water and let it cook on low for about 5 hours. It was tasty but a little bland.

11 Things I am Proud of from 2011

Idea stolen from Ben Does Life

1. Completed my first half marathon (and ran about 75-80% of it)

2. Decreased the amount of processed food I eat

3. Regularly exercised

4. Started a blog

5. Strengthened my relationship with my husband

6. Didn't sweat the small things (as much)

7. Lost 35 pounds (and got to my smallest adult size at the age of 27)

8. Made it over the wall at the Warrior Dash

9. Started eating fruit (I rarely did this before)

10. Grew more comfortable in my management position

11. Made a true lifestyle change

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Sunrise of 2012. Played unit secretary and call light person and sitter for 93 year old woman, almost home and more than ready for sleep!