Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks-giving... just do it!

My favorite time of year is this... the leaves are falling, the colors are amazing, there's an air of gratitude in the crisp, cold air.

The best part of this holiday is that you can't mistake for anything more than what it really is... a time to give thanks, that's it.  No gifts, no questions about being good or bad, simply a time to be with family and reflect on the beautiful things life has to offer.

It's a time to be in the moment and enjoy natures bounty, alone or in the company of those we love.

If there was ever a doubt about what you should be thankful for, start by taking one deep breath and be thankful for that, and then, go from there.

I am thankful for the air we breath, the life we live, the freedom we have, my husband for being so supportive and for being a great dad, my kids, my much to be thankful for, the list is endless.

Thank you fellow bloggers for being a part of my community.  You are my internet neighbors :-)

Enjoy today!

Thank You!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Foodie Friday: Very Veggie Salad

Today is Food Friday at Designs by Gullum where lots of people go to share their goodies on Fridays.  Go check them, there's something for everyone.

 I have not been eating enough veggies so I'm shooting for a mostly vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian to be exact) menu in an effort to improve my health, energy, and life.  It's amazing how on day one of eating nothing but veggies, berries and drinking water all day I felt fantastic despite the fact that I was running on about 3 hours of sleep.  I'm on day 5 and still feel fantastic.

Anyway, here's my Very Veggie Salad -- enjoy!

Uncooked Ingredients--how much you use it's up to you:

baby carrots
mozzarella cheese
(I used 2 mozzarella cheese balls- that comes in small balls soaked in olive oil)

Cook the following Ingredients in  a bit of olive oil:

baby bella mushroom

Toss it all together (or Not!) --  enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Embrace life - seize the moment

Sometimes little things happen that we just completely miss because we're all too busy to take a moment to notice the beautiful things in life.  I often find myself too busy to eat healthy, too busy to play with my toddler, too busy to do homework (that's never a good thing), worst is when I'm too busy to just be and really enjoy every moment in life with and without the kids.

I visited Dayne at yesterday and here is what I first read:

"Everyday you are surrounded by sheer beauty.
The question is, are you feeling it, are you aware of it…or are you too busy in your mind?
The beauty could be in the form of a rising sun, the sound of your child’s laugh, the flowing steam off a fresh morning coffee, or that beautiful and coy smile from a stranger on your way to work."
His words made me think, a lot about the things I miss because I need to finish the dishes or vacuum the living room.  I realized that life is not in a clean room or in an empty sink (although it is good to clean those things).  I read on to learn that beauty is not something we see or feel, instead it is something we experience, it is invisible and undetectable, as Day explains.
I encourage you to visit his blog to read more about the 5 Most Beautiful Things in Life that are Invisible

As for seizing the moment, here's a photo of a fine example of something I would have missed.  Instead I ended up laughing my butt off...check it out.

My poor kitty, Tiger.  The toddler said he had to feed the cat so I didn't give it a second thought.  He came in and out of the kitchen several times, the last time he had a tissue in his hands, which he said was "to clean the kitty cat" and I though "oh no cat throw up...eewww."  So I came into the living room to find this..the cat wearing a bib and the toddler feeding her with a spoon.  It was hillarious!  I had to laugh.  The cat is looking at me as if to say "are you really going to allow this to go on? This is wrong, really wrong!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Foodie Friday: Perfect Winter Beef Stew

Foodie Friday is a great day to share some delicious recipes.  This is hosted by Gullum at Designs by Gullum.  Visit her site to see so many other yummy recipes from other participants.  

But before you go, enjoy this Perfect Winter Beef Stew.  It is by far, my favorite and I found it in the KraftFoods website last year.  Since then, it has become a favorite in my house.


3/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 lb.  beef for stew, such as beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
3 cups  sliced fresh mushrooms (about 1/2 lb.)
1 large onion, chopped
6   carrots (about 1 lb.), sliced
1-1/2 lb. potatoes (about 3), peeled, cut into large chunks
1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
*Optional.... I sometimes add Celery or other veggies, depending on the mood.  One time I added sweet potatoes and it was just as yummy.

Prep Time:15 min  Total Time:  2 hr 15 min  Makes: 8 servings, 1-1/4 cups each

What You Need!

3/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 lb.  beef for stew, such as beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, chopped
3 cups  sliced fresh mushrooms (about 1/2 lb.)
1 large onion, chopped
6   carrots (about 1 lb.), sliced
1-1/2 lb. potatoes (about 3), peeled, cut into large chunks
1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth

Make It!

POUR dressing over beef in resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; turn to evenly coat beef with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate.
COOK bacon in large saucepan on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from saucepan; drain.
ADD mushrooms and onions to saucepan; cook on medium-high heat 10 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Add meat, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth and bacon to saucepan; stir.
BRING to boil, stirring occasionally; cover. Simmer on low heat 1 hour 15 min. Uncover; simmer 15 min. or until meat is done and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

KraftKitchen Tips
Special Extra
For extra flavor, add 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves with the broth.
Prepare using KRAFT Light Italian Dressing.
How to Prepare Stew in Slow Cooker
Marinate beef and cook bacon, onions and mushrooms as directed. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Add beef, onions, mushrooms and remaining ingredients to slow cooker. Cook 10 to 12 hours on LOW (or on HIGH 5 to 6 hours). Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour mixed with 2 Tbsp. water. Cook 15 min. or until sauce is thickened.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blue Monday - a walk in the park

Oh how glorious it is to walk in the park and see the gifts given to us each and everyday with such little demands.   

Sometimes we have to just stop, be still, and see the beauty in nature. Turn your face to the sun and feel it caressing your skin.  Understanding how or why is not important, just be in the moment.

Blue Monday is hosted by Smiling Sally.  Visit her blog to see what other participants have to offer. It's fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Blog-4-Cause is an amazing e-book compiled by Joanna Sutter from Fitness & Spice and Lance Ekum from Jungle of Life.  It consists of a collection of more than 150 bloggers from around the world writing and racing for a the cure.

Lance explains:
 "Every one of these writers has contributed a favorite article to this e-book, creating a wonderful collection of stories.  Stories of inspiration, personal growth, fitness, food, humor, and more. 

Please visit the Susan G. Komen Blog-4-Cause website to learn how you can support the mission to end breast cancer.  In addition, you'll find information on how to recieve this Blog-4-Cause E-book, our gift to you.  A bonus e-book, from author and life coach Tim Brownson, is included as well."

I am excited to have been one of the bloggers to participate in this great cause (check out page 176), I hope you too will join me and many others in the race for a cure, because there is strength in numbers!