Date Day!

Can we just talk about this dog for a second?  She (an Airedale) was outside with the Salvation Army volunteers today.  So ADORBS!

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Today’s breakfast was just oats.  I am out of eggs.  Sad day.  So I made a bigger bowl of oats.

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • cinnamon

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Unfortunately this didn’t hold me over very long and I had an apple 2 hours later.

Today was Date Day with my Hubbers.

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I was so excited it wasn’t windy today and I could wear my hair down!

Outfit

Top: Ross

Jeans: American Eagle

Boots: Payless

Socks: Ross

Do you like the lock box on our door?  Very attractive…..Annoyed

My handsome other half

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and I first stopped for lunch at Corner Bakery.

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We both got my usual Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad with Tomato Basil Soup.  I was very proud of the both of us for skipping the croutons in our soup & the focaccia bread.  I was extremely proud of Jer for ordering water instead of a Dr. Pepper.  Never mind the 2 donuts and 3 donut holes he ate this morning with the boys.  Hey….it’s an improvement and that’s all I can ask!  I was very impressed with myself for picking off as much of the sweet crisp that comes on the salad as I could.  VICTORY!

We did a little Christmas shopping and then I got my special Starbucks treat on the way home.  I am down to just ONE Splenda in a Grande!  Before I would add 3!  YIKES!

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Jeremy is currently trying to fix our leaky kitchen faucet.  There hasn’t been one thing that man hasn’t been able to fix in this house, but……it never fails that he runs into some sort of pickle in the process.  Right now he is on trip number two to Home Depot!  I sure do hope I have running water in my kitchen sink tonight!  I am sort of hesitant to start dinner without a functioning sink!

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7 Stiches

The good thing about having 7 stiches on my hip is that I get to catch up on all my DVR’d shows, all the latest and greatest Pins, and all the health articles I have book-marked to read when I have time <—-(Never)Thumbs upOpen-mouthed smile The bad thing is, well, it hurts and I can’t really move around much. Thumbs downSad smile

But it’s gone and I am so thankful.  I get to go back in two weeks to have the stiches removed and then two weeks later so she can biopsy another spot that looks suspect.  I may or may not have held back a few tears.

If you live in the Arlington/Mansfield/Forth Worth area, Mansfield Dermatology is the place to go! Obviously, I highly recommend going in for a full body skin check!

So enough of that depressing stuff…..lets focus on the good!  TODAY is the “exciting news” meeting!  I can’t wait.

I also made two yummy things this week.  Unfortunately, my attempt at an “Aidan friendly” menu didn’t go over very well.

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I don’t know what his deal is.

For the Frito Pie I really wanted to make homemade chili in a crock pot but I just didn’t have that kind of time this week.  So I just used canned chili.  We all (minus Aidan of course) loved the Frito Pie but it would be so much yummier and healthier with homemade chili.

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I recreated my favorite meal right now. The Sweet Crisp Spinach Salad with Tomato Soup from Corner Bakery.  I have been eating this pretty much everyday!  Yesterday after my appointment, Jeremy picked up the real thing for me from the restaurant and I must say I think I did a good job of copy catting it!  I couldn’t find pomegranate vinaigrette so I used raspberry instead.  I really didn’t notice a difference.   I also added some honey roasted peanuts just because I thought it would be yummy.  The soup I made wasn’t good.  I won’t even talk about it…..Annoyed

One of Luke’s favorite things to eat before Mommy went all health crazy was Bagel Bites.

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I had a coupon for $1 off Bagel Bites and thought, hmmmm, well, they can’t be THAT bad for you.  Yeah….they are that bad (what’s in them anyway?) and WAY over priced.  So I thought I might be able to easily recreate them!  They aren’t perfectly clean but better than the frozen kind and they taste better too.  Luke helped me make them and thought we had made the best meal ever.  I forgot the veggies on the side but I don’t think anyone but me missed them!

Do you think Aidan liked these?

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Surely he would….one of the few things he eats voluntarily is Little Caesar’s Pizza.

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“These are yucky.”

Brat.

Amanda’s Pizza Bagels

100 calories per pizza

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

I split Mini Bagels (120 calories each) in half and topped them with 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 tablespoon Italian Cheese Blend and 2 turkey pepperonis (quartered).

They were so delicious!!!

Yesterday afternoon I heard some beautiful music coming from somewhere in the house.  At first I thought it was a commercial or something.  It went on and on and then I thought wait….is Luke using his bow?  He’s only been plucking the strings and working on learning the parts of it so far.  I slowly got up and hobbled into the living room. I saw my sweet boy in the dining room doing this.

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I know my nerves are shot right now but I may have gotten a little pheklempt!

He also brought his “graded papers” folder home yesterday.  There were 10 papers in the folder.  The top one was an 86 that his math teacher wrote a note on.  “We went over this in class?”  Which I found funny because I could just see her doing the same thing I do.  “Luke what is this?  You can do better than this.  I expect more from you.”   All the others were a perfect 100.  I may or may not have teared up a little then too.

As a parent, you do so much correcting and disciplining.  You feel like a big ol’ rotten meanie britches most of the time. You just want the best for your kids. Hearing him play the violin and seeing those 100’s was one of those rare & precious little gifts that comes along just when you need it most.   Little moments like these warm my heart like nothing else.  There is no better feeling in the world to me than seeing my boys do something they are proud of.

Women’s Intuition

I have some exciting news and some not so exciting news….Thumbs down But I will get to that in a minute.

It’s been a CRAZY few days.  Since Friday we have had so much going on that I honestly wouldn’t remember what we did if I didn’t have a couple of pictures to remind me!

Friday we ran some errands including taking my wedding ring in to be shipped off for inspection and polishing.  I have had numerous borderline panic attacks since Friday after trying to nervously twist it and it’s not there! We also went to Garden Ridge and Hobby Lobby to look for a Christmas tree!  We found one but are going to wait to buy it considering it isn’t even October yet Winking smile.

But look what I did buy!!!!

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I was over the moon about finding these at Garden Ridge on the cheap!!!!  I have wanted both of these for awhile now.  I haven’t tried them out yet but I will give a full review when I do!

Saturday was an epic grocery shopping trip that included 3 different stores.  We stopped for lunch at Corner Bakery because I had been craving the Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad & Tomato Soup for days!  As a matter of fact I am going to recreate the meal tonight! Minus the Sweet Crisps unfortunately…..Thumbs down

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Over lunch Jeremy and I had a life changing conversation.  I expressed some frustrations I had been having and that led us to an exciting decision that is in the works.  I won’t say what it is just yet.  We have a meeting about it Friday afternoon so maybe after that I can share!

So I have been busy the last few days because of this decision and haven’t had a spare second!  I have lost sleep over some of the things we had to consider first but it seems to all be working out perfectly.

So that’s the super exciting news!

Now for the not so exciting news.  First let me say it isn’t serious, everything is fine, but never under estimate the power of a woman’s intuition!

I have a condition/syndrome called Dysplastic Nevus.  Basically it puts me at greater risk for skin cancer and I am supposed to stay out of the sun (check) use sunscreen at all times (check) and be checked once a year for changes in my skin (ooooops, no check).

I learned I had it many years ago but disregarded it because I was young and stupid.  You know what else I did when I was young and stupid?  I tanned in a tanning bed.  For years…… Within the last few years my regular doctor removed one spot that came back normal and since then I have been diligent about checking spots for changes.  I haven’t had any real changes but something was telling me I needed to have a full skin check done by a dermatologist.  Since I didn’t have one, I visited my general doctor last week for a referral.  I was able to get an appointment right away.  She check me over but missed one area that I was concerned about.  When she checked it she was glad that I had showed her.  At first she instructed the assistant to put a watch on it but then after a few minutes she wanted to look at it again. At that point she decided to do a “shave biopsy” **cringe**.  It wasn’t bad.  Not even CLOSE to when I had the other spot removed from my hip.  OUCH!

With all the other excitement over the weekend I completely forgot that I would probably be hearing from them on Monday morning.  Around 10:30am and within the first 15 minutes of me vacuuming, the office called and of course I missed it.  I listened to the message and was immediately freaking out because on my new patient forms I checked for them to leave a message with normal test results.  This message said “call back so I can go over the pathology results of your biopsy with you.”  Commence Freak Out.  “Pathology results of the biopsy”?  Scary.  Plus, they were supposed to just leave a message.  WTH is going on?

I immediately called them back and what do you know?  I have to leave a message.  Let me tell you what, I am SO glad I had the “exciting news” to get ready for (and Target) to keep me distracted because after an additional phone call and message left by me, I finally heard back from them at 4pm!

“Hi Amanda, do you have a few minutes?”

“Yes! Of course!”

My heart is pounding out of my chest and I feel like I might hurl at any moment but yes of course I have a few minutes.  Disappointed smile

She said the spot came back as (long complicated term alert)

Atypical Melanocytic Hyperplasia

Definition: proliferation of melanocytes showing nuclear atypicality, especially as scattered single cells high in the epidermis; interpreted by some pathologists as malignant melanoma in situ. (source)

“An atypical or dysplastic (abnormal, irregular) mole or lesion are also known as atypical melanocytic hyperplasia, atypical mole, or dysplastic mole. The majority of these moles or lesions are benign (non cancerous). Some have a significant risk of actually being a melanoma or developing into melanoma. This is determined by physical examination or a biopsy by a physician.” (source)

I have an appointment on Thursday to have the rest of the area removed.  OH JOY!

I have always had a certain gift of discernment/woman’s intuition/whatever you will.  I used to dismiss it but have really honed in on it over the past few years.  I am glad I have and I am also glad that my Dermatologist seems to have it too.

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Boys are coming home soon and dinner needs to get prepared for their hungry bellies! I guess I should do something about that!  Winking smile

Low Fat & Healthy Homemade Granola

Several years ago my mother-in-law introduced me to something that was life changingly  (yes, I realize changingly is not a real word, but this is my blog and I can make up words if I want to) delicious.

Corner Bakery’s Fresh Berry Parfait

“Start your day with layers of crunchy granola, low fat vanilla yogurt, and fresh seasonal berries.” – Corner Bakery Menu

Freash Berry Parfait Corner Bakery

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I would get it every time we went.  Then Gala (mother-in-law) had the bright idea of making it at home, so we did.  Never quite as good, but still a good substitute.  The only problem was the granola.

For starters, it’s pricey to buy in the store.  For what seems like a teaspoon of granola (ok not really maybe a tablespoon Winking smile), you are looking at $4 a box.  Second it tends to be pretty high in fat and calories.  Granola is one of those sneaky “health foods” that can be pretty unhealthy if you over do it.  Like with nuts, while they are healthy one serving at a time, they can quickly sabotage your waist line if you aren’t careful.

So, we decided about a year ago to try to make our own.  Jeremy was the one who found the recipe for us.  We wanted a simple low fat and truly healthy granola.  We found a recipe by Alton Brown and have been making it ever since!  One batch lasts us weeks and weeks.

I searched to find the website for the original recipe but I can’t find it anymore.  The one that is listed now as his is not the one we use.  Although it does look quite delicious.

**This was not my own recipe, it was Alton Brown’s.  I am not a chef by any means.  Winking smile

Homemade Granola

makes ~ 42  servings

serving size 1/4 cup

Prep: 15 min

Bake time: 45-60 min

8 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats as they tend to burn)

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1/2 water

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

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Measure 8 cups of oats into a large bowl

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In a microwave safe dish combine the brown sugar and water.

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Microwave on high for 5 min

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Stir,  be sure all the sugar has dissolved

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Add the salt and vanilla to brown sugar mixture

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be sure all the salt has dissolved

Pour the mixture into the measured oats

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Stir and stir, coating the oats with the brown sugar mixture until your arm feels like its going to fall off.

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Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spread granola mixture out evenly onto baking sheets

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Place in oven for 45:00

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Stir granola every 15 minutes to prevent edges from over cooking or burning.

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When completely cool, place in air tight container.

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Good by the handful!

Date Day <3

Thursday was our weekly Date Day!  The one day a week that Jeremy and I get to see each other for 5 hours straight uninterrupted.  A day where we can finish a sentence, even an entire conversation.  Sometimes we even make lofty plans for our future.  Its truly a sacred time!  This week’s date was so nice.  Even though we spent half of it doing “non-romantic” things, it was nice just being able to sit, talk, laugh and reconnect after a long week.

Before our date started I had breakfast

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Leftovers from Wednesday’s “Brinner”

Turkey Bacon, Jamie’s pancakes w/ 1 tsp. Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams, 1 tsp. all-natural peanut butter, & too much chia seed.

I am not exactly sure how we ended up being Twinsies, but it happened.

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You can’t really tell, but my shirt is grey and white striped also.  Side note: The sleeves on this shirt are so annoying.  I really hate wearing it, but I think it’s cute so I wear it anyway.

Date Day Outfit

Tops ~ White Cami: Wal-Mart , Shirt: Target

Jeans ~ Aerie for American Eagle

Shoes ~ Target

Jewelry: Watch: Fossil, Bracelets: Coach & a gift from a friend (several years ago), silver hoop earrings & key necklace: gift from Jeremy last year.

Our first stop was Petco to take my doggie for her grooming appointment at 10am. Next was a stop at Starbucks of course, for my Misto.

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We then went to Service King to have my car repaired from the accident.  Waiting on Enterprise to get my rental set up took a good hour.  While I was kind of excited to get to drive a different car, I was also worried that I would like it more than my own and want a new one.  My car is like a trusted friend.  It’s been there through all the changes in my life the past 5 years.  I wonder if anyone else feels the same way about their car.  Is it weird that I have a strange emotional attachment to my vehicle?  Sure it has some bumps and bruises, but I love it.  The thing I love most about it is that its PAID FOR!  HOLLA!  One of the things we talked about while waiting is that while I don’t want a new car, I would like to give my old friend a face lift!  Several years ago the side trim piece came off.  We have intended to get it replaced, but with two kids and one income, it hasn’t exactly been on our priority list.  I am excited that Jeremy is having Service King replace it for us while they are fixing my bumper. Red heart

After all that we went to my happy place

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I found a dress, a shirt and a favorite piece of “intimate wear” Embarrassed smile.

Jeremy found theseAnnoyed

WC M&M's(via)

I could strangle him.

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We finished the bag by the end of the night.  Oh yes, yes we did.Embarrassed smileWho me?

After a little while in Target, it was time for lunch so we went to one of my favorites

Corner-Bakery-Logo

Corner Bakery Café

I had my usual

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Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad & the Roasted Tomato Basil Soup Combo.

This meal was extra special because they forgot to put my sweet crisps on the salad so I got an extra one when they brought it out to me later!  I also was able to finish the entire thing.  Usually I am full after eating half the salad.  I bring everything else home to eat later.  I really need to attempt to make this at home because I could eat it every day.

After lunch it was time to go pick up little A and then run some more errands.  Home Depot to get paint for a project, Marshall’s and Ross to find some drink coasters. I didn’t find any coasters, but I did get a table runner, a wooden spoon, and some dish towels.  Isn’t that how it always happens?  You go in for one thing, you come out with 5 and none of it is what you went in for in the first place.  Confused smile

Trixie was finally ready to go home from her Spa Day

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I told them not to put bows on her ears, she hates them, but I must admit, they look pretty darn adorable!

I had planned on taking advantage of the beautiful Spring-like weather and going for a run but I was super hungry and it was a little late.  I also had a serious case of the I-don’t-want-to’s again, so I ate a snack.

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Sargento String Cheese, Cuties, Peanuts.

I left the house a mess that morning so I tidied up and then got dinner ready.

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Nutty Summer Squash with Asiago Cheese, Turkey Burger w/ Provolone & Spinach on an Orowheat whole wheat bun.

These veggies are amazing.

“These are yummy, you have to make this meal once a week. This is perfect” – Jeremy

I got the recipe from my South Beach Diet Cookbook but I was also able to find it on-line!

Nutty Summer Squash with Asiago Cheese (Phase 1)  (source)

Summer squash couldn’t be better! Chopped walnuts and Asiago, an Italian cheese with a nutty, rich flavor, add a surprise crunch to this delightful veggie dish.

2 teaspoons trans-free margarine
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3″ strips
1 medium yellow summer squash, cut into 3″ spears
2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese

1. Melt the margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until soft.

2. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes, or until the zucchini and squash are tender. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with the walnuts and cheese.

Makes 4 Servings
Per Serving:120 calories, 9 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 10 mg cholesterol, 140 mg sodium

After dinner we collapsed on the couch, watched some DVR’d Big Bang Theory and polished off the rest of the M&M’s like any normal couple would!

Date Day!!!!

Aidan has pre-school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and since Thursday is one of Jeremy’s days off it’s DATE DAY!  This is a sacred SACRED time for us.  Don’t ever try to contact us during this time unless someone needs to be hospitalized.  And even then, only if it’s an absolute emergency!

My day started like any other.  Up at 5 am =  coffee immediately.

Breakfast was the same as Tuesday.

We dropped off little A and went to browse Barnes & Noble.  Got some more coffee, a tall non-fat misto!

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While we were waiting for our movie to start I needed to see about getting a case for my new phone.  Due to my OCD attention to detail, I am super anal kind of picky about stuff I buy, so, I was pleasantly surprised that I found one right away!

cell case

Speck Case

I LOVE this!  It’s perfect!  The best part is that it came with a matte screen protector that the seller put on for me.  I am so glad because he went through probably three of them before he got it right!  The matte is cool because I don’t feel the need to constantly clean grime off the screen.  It’s slim and cute which are of the utmost importance!

After this it was time to see our movie!!!

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I am going to be honest and say anything that has Ryan Reynolds in it, I am going to enjoy regardless of the content.

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I mean, c’mon.  I even enjoyed Buried.  I did.

With that being said, Safe House was not exactly my kind of movie.  Too much fighting. Too much shooting and explosives…it was loud.  I like to see movies, its relaxing for me.  This movie gave me anxiety!  The acting was really good, but the story line lacked.  It was just another CIA movie.  Ryan was nice though….

My date was nicer….

We ate at the Corner Bakery.

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Tomato Basil Soup & Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad

The salad is – “baby spinach tossed with freshly sliced strawberries, oranges, red grapes, dried cranberries, green onions, creamy goat cheese and raisin pecan sweet crisps, drizzled with our homemade pomegranate vinaigrette.” – Corner Bakery Menu

After lunch, our date day came to an end.  We went to pick up little A, make a quick trip to the grocery store and head home.  Jeremy worked out in the garage and the boys rode their bikes.  That gave me time to have a little snack  (OK a big snack. I love salads but they sure don’t keep me full for long!),

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….do some housework and Jillian’s 30 Day Shred Level 1.

I normally run 5 miles on Thursdays but it was getting late, and I was feeling tired.  What I really wanted to do was nap but…considering my behavior earlier this week…I had to engage in some “painful discipline”.  Thumbs down  I showered, ate dinner (leftover chili, except I had TWO muffins, hungry much?) Then Jeremy and I worked on the blog for a few hours.  He is the IT behind Simply Southern.  You see, I have these grand ideas but have no clue how to execute them.  He does though.  He’s smart like that.  Thank goodness one of us is!!!!   I got hungry watching him work so hard…..

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Apple and a protein bar.

It had been a loooooong day and I was super ready for bed!  5am comes EARLY.