Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday Week 14

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday Week 14 and this week there is good and bad news. The bad news is that I gained 2 lbs. on my vacation last week. The good news is that I have already lost one of those pounds by being back home and eating normally again. That means I am +1 lb. for a total loss of 27 lbs. The goal is to reach 30 lbs. for my next weigh in. That means lots of drinking water and exercising for me this week, but it has been so hot that water tastes wonderful right now. I especially enjoy my water if I make it like they did at the spa I visited last. They added a sliced cucumber to the bottom of the pitcher of water and it added a subtle flavor to the water that was so refreshing. I just love it!

As for exercise, I will be walking this evening. Other than that, I have been spending a great deal of my time outside in my flower beds. I need to commit to a real regimine though.

I also wanted to mention in this post, for those of you interested, that I have not mentioned the Mandi Method lately because I have not moved on to a new phase yet. I have not mastered the first 3 steps (diet, exercise, daily devotion and gratitude journal) so I do not want to add another one until I do. Hopefully that will be next month.

As for the recipe, I am gonna share a Broccoli Salad that my friend Christy makes. I think this is the recipe she gave me. If not, it is really close.

Broccoli Salad

16 ounces broccoli florets
2 tablespoons bacon bits
2 tablespoons chopped onion (I used vidalia)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I use splenda here, but the sugar is in the point calculation)
2 tablespoons vinegar cider

Cut florets of broccoli into small pieces. Place broccoli, bacon, onions, and raisins in bowl and toss together.Combine mayo, vinegar and sugar, blending well. Add to broccoli and mix until coated. Chill 2-3 hours or overnight. Serves 8.

WW Points: 1 point per 1/2 cup

I love this salad and it is perfect for the summer. Let me know what you think if you try it.
I hope all of my WW buddies had a great week and I look forward to hearing your progress.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Heck of a Deal...

The town we call home in SC is really small, so it is about a 45 min. drive to go to Target or any of my other favorite stores. The nearest Hobby Lobby is over an hour away, and getting to go requires atleast half of your day. In TN all of these stores are in 2 shopping centers a few miles apart. So, it is no surprise that One of the highlights of visiting my parents in TN is getting to go shopping without having to drag my little guys along. They gladly watch my rugrats and let me run to my favorite stores. Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Target, and Tuesday Morning are always a must. I got a few deals this trip in the little bit of shopping I did, and I wanted to tell you about one in particular. I found a tassel. A beautiful, big, fluffy, wonderful tassel.

My parents laughed at me for being so excited over this little beauty, but I found it at TJ MAXX for a heck of a deal...$6.99. Now I love to make tassels, but it is not a cheap hobby.I could not make a tassel for that. Atleast not one with this much fluff. I am working on one for my Mom right now, and the topper alone was $5.

Okay, enough about my tassel. Now that we are back home I have much m0re important things to worry about. Like why did Connor feel the need to dump a whole bottle of body wash in the tub? They could fart and it would make a crazy amount of bubbles. I had to keep rinsing the tub out for an hour to get all those bubbles down the drain. I took this picture of Walker still enjoying the bubbles after Connor was already out of the tub. Keep in mind he is in about 4 inches of water, and the rest bubbles. Boys.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Best of the Week...

What a week! We just got home and unloaded the car. Needless to say I am waist deep in stuff that needs to be unpacked, but here I sit blogging instead of climbing the mountain of suitcases. As you can see, my priorities are clearly in order. As promised, this is gonna be a post full of pictures and highlights from our little vacation to TN.

We went back to the Dinosaur Museum that Walker was so afraid of in November. He loved it this time. He knew what to expect, so was not so scared. Connor really enjoyed the sand display they had and loved digging for fossils.
The condos we stayed at had an indoor pool and waterslides, so we spent a lot of time in the pool. Walker loved riding on Lon's back and pretending Lon was a dolphin. They are getting increasingly brave around the water. Connor really enjoyed jumping in the water "by myself", Mr. Independant.

We also went to Rainforest Adventure. This was a lot of fun since the boys love animals so much. They had a huge number of reptiles on display, but they also had a pretty good outdoor area with kangaroos, emus, goats, and sheep.

Dixie Stampede was one of the highlights for me. It was a little pricey, but Walker was really in his element. He cheered and jumped around like a little mad man. Connor was not so sure about all the country music. As you can see he plugged his ears quite a bit. The food was great, and while that apple turnover at the end of the meal was definitely NOT on my Weight Watchers plan, it was incredible, YUM!

We spent one afternoon at a Funpark so Lon and Pop could ride go-carts. I think the boys enjoyed watching them race even more than they enjoyed doing it. Walker rode some of the rides, and Connor even got on a couple, but he didn't enjoy them like Walker did. I had my Starbuck's in hand, so I was one happy camper.

We had some of our good friends come and visit one evening. Their little girls are really close to the boys in age, and they always have so much fun together. Walker was asleep when they got there, so Addi decided to wake him up by jumping on the bed. It worked! Walker and Addi also love to wrestle. This was the first time Hub (Addi's dad) had seen this and he could not stop laughing at how Addi held her own with Walker.
Putt- putting was a complete waste of money, but it was fun to walk the course. Lonnie and Pop actually played the whole thing, but Walker and Connor were done after a couple holes. They preferred exploring the course to actually playing on it.

At the end of the week we were just hanging out at Nonnie and Pop's house in TN. The boys spent some time in the yard with their cousins and some neighbors. They played in the waterhose and rode the tricycle. We went to the park one afternoon and they loved exploring, running, and climbing.

Connor worked on his cartwheels in the backyard. Talk about cute! Aunt Wewe also sent them a surprise package to Nonnie's house and we got it while we were there. Con is obsessed with monster trucks right now. She sent them some of the cutest dvds with monster trucks in them, thanks WEWE! Walker found his first ever rolie polie and they were both mesmerized!!
If you made it all the way through this post you deserve a gold star. I know it was long and there were TONS of pictures, but I had such a fun week I wanted to share the highlights with you. I hope you had a fantastic week, and I can't wait to start catching up on all the blog reading I missed last week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday Week 13

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday (actually Thursday since I am on vacation) Week 13 and this week I am even steven, no gain and no loss. I was not gonna do a WWW post, but since I have not missed a week yet, I thought I better. I have lost 28 lbs. to date, for those of us keeping up with it. I am fine with this because I have been eating some "vacation food" like donuts and restaurant food, but have tried to make wiser choices.

Exercise this week has been swimming and chasing after the boys. No formal regimine.

Since we live close to the beach, we brought them to Pigeon Forge, TN for a few days. We have had a great time and the boys have loved every minute of having Nonnie and Poppy's (my parents) undivided attention. They have had a blast and it has been a nice break. I will try to get some more pictures up tonight, and I hope all my WW buddies had a great week. I will catch up with everyone later!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rug, Check!

I found a rug for the patio, and might I add that it was free? Yes you read right, free! My mother in law gave me a carpet remnant she had and just said when it gets really messed up I can throw it out and buy one. For now, it is spotless and works great. I was able to get 2 rugs out of the remnant, and they have palm trees on them so I am so pleased.

I have also decided that I am gonna paint the cement slab floor, and possibly do a diamond pattern on it, but that will have to wait. For now this is where we are on the patio. By the way, the budget is still @ $99 since the rug was free! If you want an exact budget breakdown you can go to this post for the details.

I am getting ready to go to the river for the night. We are gonna leave for family vacation on Sunday morning, but the boys wanted to spend some time at the river with Nana and Jerry first. I will post more later, but hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 12

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday Week 12 and I got some great news this week. I had a stomach bug on Friday and had to go to the doctor. He said, "Wow Mandi you have lost almost 30 lbs." I responded, no I've lost 21 lbs. He corrected me and I was thrilled! I have lost 7 lbs. for a total of 28 lbs. Now only a few of these are from this past week, and the others were from the beginning, but it is still a HUGE loss and just the inspiration I needed to remind me why I should keep plugging along, even when it is not fun.

As for my exercise, I have been very busy "puttering" around the house and the yard. But I have not really done too many of my videos recently. I did sweat signifcantly planting in the flowerbeds though, so I figure that counts as something.

For this week's recipe, I am gonna do a couple of things. First I am gonna share my new favorite breakfast, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (4 points). It doesn't get much easier than this. You take 1 packet of the Cinnamon Weight Control oatmeal by Quaker and make it just like the box says. Then, when you take it out of the microwave add 1 packet of splenda and 1 of the individual applesauce cups (unsweetened). Stir and enjoy. It makes the oatmeal so creamy and is really delish. Easy Peasy?

The other thing I want to share is how I have been cooking my asparagus. Now to all of you seasoned cooks out there, this will probably be old hat, but it was news to me. I LOVE asparagus but it was always mushy when I cooked it. Well not anymore! I get fresh asparagus from the grocery store, wash it and snap off the ends. Spread it out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil OR spray it with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with sea salt and coarse ground pepper and pop it under the broiler on high for 8 to 10 mins. About half way through I shake my pan so the asparagus turns over. I'm tellin' you this stuff is restaurant grade asparagus!

I can't wait to hear from all my WW buddies. I hope you had a great week as well!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Patio Re-do...

I have been working on lots of little projects lately, but have not posted about them because none of them are really finished. I am almost done with one now, so I wanted to show you all my progress and see what you think.

I have this area off the back of the house that seems to be a "catch all" of sorts. It is right outside the garage and I do all of my yardwork there. Lon pulls his grill there (instead of the deck) when it is raining, etc. To make a long story short, it is a HOT MESS all the time and I wanted to change that. A couple of weeks ago we were out there with the boys playing and it occured to me that it would be the perfect spot for a patio. Hello brain, where have you been? (Connor is crying in the before pic because he is so embarressed that I am even showing you this!)

I was obviously walking around in a fog not thinking of this before, but I am now awake and all cylinders are firing. Here we have it...
I am gonna get an outdoor rug, but that is probably about all that I am gonna change. So for the details...

The cushions are made, by me, from an outdoor table cloth from Target. It was $15 and I still have a lot of the fabric left. I stuffed them with some old pillows. I still may make seat cushions, but I'm not sure yet.

That bicycle was my mother-in-law's when she was little. I found it hanging in the barn at the farm and laid claim to it. Don't know why, but I loved that little thing. I simply sprayed it off with a hose and had it hung up.
These wicker sofas were purchased on Craigslist for $75 for both of them. They are very sturdy and all of the other outdoor furniture I looked at started at $150 and went up. No way Jose', not in the budget. So I got these and spray painted them red with the cheap spray paint from Wal-Mart. These vintage signs were from my mother in law. She has been buying all the vintage signs she can find for her house at the river. We found 25 signs on Craigslist for $100. She gave me these.

This is what is right off this patio. The boys' playhouse. We put their little swimming pools there in the summer, and now I will be able to sit in my little shaded area while they play or swim.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? So here is the final rundown...

Wicker loveseats $75, red spray paint $4 (3 cans @ $1.25 each),palm tree $5.00, cushions for chairs $15 for the fabric, and everything else I already had or was free. That makes a patio re-do for $99. YIPPEE!!

I'll post again when I put my rug out there or make more changes. Any thoughts so far?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Best of the Week...

1. I have got a good start on some of my spring yardwork. They boys are great little helpers and make a HUGE mess of everything, but they sure are having fun!

2. Connor has started telling me "Momma, I wubba (love) you." at the most random times. Well I wubba him too!

3. Walker loves the jokes on popsicle sticks. I think he eats them just so he can get told the corny joke when he's done.

4. Hunting Easter eggs 5 times this week. Yes I said 5 times.

5. The boys getting to color eggs the old fashioned way with Lonnie and Mama (Lon's grandma) while I was sick.
6. A fun day at the river.
7. Walker FINALLY catching some chickens on his own. He is so very proud of this accomplishment.
8. Both boys staying in "big church" instead of the nursery and being very good.

9. Spending a day shopping with Mama and the boys.

10. Watching "Racing Stripes" as a family. We all enjoyed it.
11. Connor sporting these pants and linen shirt for Easter and never thinking twice about it. I LOVE these pants, no one else seems to though. He'll probably hate me for this one day!
Walker questioned his pants, but Con either ignored him or just knew how cute he looked! HA!

I hope you had a fantastic week too!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


A friend e-mailed me this last week. I wanted to share it here. I enjoy the festivities of Easter so much. All the egg dying and egg hunting and baby bunnies and chicks and family time are wonderful,BUT Jesus' ultimate sacrifice is the real reason we have to celebrate. (click the picture to make it larger)

I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend with all the wonderful things that entails!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Too Funny!

I am still working on several projects at the moment, so maybe next week I will have a lot of great things to share with you. For now I am just dropping in with a little something to make you giggle. Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 11

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 11 and I lost a whopping .6 lbs. for a running total of 21.2 lbs. This is nothing short of a miracle, since I can take credit for eating my weight in those little Lofthouse sugar cookies this weekend. Connor loves them, and I buy them for him,(yeah right!) knowing full well that I LOVE them too. Gonna have to do better! One cookie is 4 points. It is worth those points to me, but when you eat 3 or 4 (or 5) you have spent half of your day's points and one is never enough. Hopefully after Easter passes they will stop making them in those beautiful colors and they won't be so tempting. Plus, when they put them it is hard to escape without them. Enough excuses, hopefully I will do better going forward.

I have been so incredibly busy this past week. I did not get my exercising in, AGAIN, but I don't feel too bad about it. After all, I ate a ton of cookies and still had a loss. I must be moving enough to burn off some of those cookies.

I went shopping today for an Easter dress and was so excited that my pants were falling down all day. When I found the dress I got to go down a size, and that was wonderful! YEAH Weight Watcher's!

For this week's recipe, I am gonna share my Oatmeal Expresso recipe that I got from here. You know how much I LOVE coffee, so this is wonderful in my book! It combines coffee and oatmeal for a quick and easy breakfast. I like to have a piece of toast or an egg with it.

(Oatmeal and coffee, all in one)
Serves 3
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (quick oats work too)
2 teaspoons instant coffee
3 teaspoons Splenda
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water

Combine oats, instant coffee and Splenda. Stir in the skim milk and water. Microwave the mixture for one minute and 45 seconds.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per serving: 87Cal; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 13mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 2g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 3g Protein; Weight Watchers 1 point

I'm pooped from a long day shopping for the Easter Bunny (he is so lazy to make me do the shopping and not get ANY of the credit HA!) and trying to find outfits for all of us. I am gonna go get a shower and watch Walker's new movie with him. Aunt Wewe sent us Racing Stripes in the mail today, and he is so excited to watch it. Wewe says it is right up his alley, and she knows him about as good as me, so I am sure he will love it. Hope all my WW buddies had a great week and I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

What Do You Think?

If you remember back in February, I posted some changes I had made in my dining room. (Here is the link if you missed that post.)I could not decide if I was happy with how it turned out or not, so I was gonna just live with it for a while. Well, I officially decided this morning that I did not like it and so I have tried something else.

This is how it looked:

Here is how it looks now...
The left side of the table ...
And the right side looks like this...
And because I know some of you will ask, I got this massive picture frame from Peebles for less than $20. It had originally been $60 and was reduced to $30, but had a coulple scratches so they took even more off. Now I just need to add my own picture to it.

What do you think now? Better or worse?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Best of the Week...

1.Walker has learned his address. Probably not a big deal, but I think it is the cutest thing ever!
2. Lon teaching the boys how to take pictures. They are using a little digital camera I used to use, and they ALWAYS come out with their fingers in them.
3. Having a Beaufort Boil for supper. YUM!!
4. Connor and his crazy self wearing his Handy Manny goggles, and my bicycle helmet.
5. Hunting for Easter eggs at Mama's.
6. Walker telling the man at the tire store that "Mommy's car is pooped out." We thought our brakes were messing up on the Armada.
7. Playing outside, in the rain, just because we could.
8. A Wisteria bush that I did not even know I had is blooming, and it is beautiful. (This is our first spring in our house, so new things are blooming all over the place.) 9. Toni came over and brought the kids. They had a blast, and we even moved the rollercoaster outside for its maiden voyage.
10. Walker and Connor enjoying their Dollar Tree surprises to the fullest. A Whoopie Cusion, and a 3-D dinosaur book that included some cool 3-D glasses. Best spent $2 that I can remember.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite shots from "Onnor" (as she calls him) and Mary Grace's driving adventure...
Hope you had a great week!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Streak...

Not too many creative projects going on lately, I've been trying to keep the streaker clothed. Connor is going through another phase where he wants to take off his clothes all.the.time. He is a master at undressing quickly too. I can go start a load of laundry, and when I come back I'm lucky if he still has on a diaper. This is all new to me because Walker never really did this.

This so this morning I thought I would capture a few shots of the streak (with his diaper on)in action. Here is Daddy stealing some sugar before he leaves for work.
And this is the little man "hiding" in his Diego storage tote.

Now if I can just get some clothes on him without this reaction...

And for those of you wondering what Walker is up to, he is just enjoying his new movie that Nonnie and Pop sent him "Home on the Range", and telling me to "get away" when I try to take a pic of him. That is definitely a "Talkin' to the hand" picture. I will be working on some long overdue projects later this weekend, and I'll keep you posted on the progress! Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 10

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 10 and I had a loss of .2 lbs. for a running total of 20.6lbs. I am not surprised with my little loss this week, in fact I am thankful for it. It has just been one of those weeks. I have eaten bad, and felt a little discouraged and tired of dieting. I did not eat as bad as I used to, but I made myself and my eating secondary to whatever else was going on. I didn't keep my food journal, or plan all my meals in advance. I didn't sleep very well a few nights and that always leads to eating bad for me. I look at the 20 lbs. lost and know in my head that it is great to have lost 20 lbs. in 10 weeks, but I know in my heart I could have done better. I should exercise more. Drink more water. Eat more veggies. But at the end of the day, I realize that being so hard on myself and expecting perfection is why I always stop Weight Watchers and start eating poorly again. So, I will pick myself up, leave last week in the past, and vow to do better. This week I'll faithfully follow my eating schedule and WRITE down my points instead of keeping a running tally in my head.

As I mentioned earlier, I did not exercise much this week. I have been in a bit of a rut. I did a lot of little things like chasing the boys around and walking one day, but I did not do my Wii Fit or my 5 Mile Fat Burner dvd at all. I will get back in the groove this week.

For this week's recipe, I am gonna share with you a recipe for a WW Cobbler. I was really wanting a homemade sweet this past week, so I decided to dig through some of my old cookbooks. I found this recipe tucked in one of the old books from a WW meeting. So simple, and SO DELISH!

Blackberry Cobbler, 3 points a serving

1 bag of frozen blackberries
1 yellow cake mix (straight from the box)
16 oz. diet 7-Up or Diet Sprite
Cooking spray
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking spray in a 9x13 pan. Pour the blackberries in the bottom (while frozen). Pour the dry cake mix over the blackberries. Pour the entire bottle of 7-Up over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 mins. Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25-30 mins. Cut into 12 slices. 3 points/slice.
I also made this cobbler with frozen blueberries and it was wonderful. Peaches will be next on the list to try.

I am excited to hear from all my WW buddies and see how you did this week. Hopefully you all did great and it will give me the motivation to do better next week!
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