Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer/Fall Reading

I love summer! 

I do. 

I love the sun, and the warm (ok when it’s 100 degrees and 90% humidity it’s not my favorite) and the water and the fun we get to have in the summer. I love that there’s not a daily schedule to keep or lunches to be made before 7AM or children to get up outta bed and get dressed in time for car pool. I love that we can sit around in our PJ’s all day if we want or we can pack up and spend the day at the pool! I love finding fun crafts to do with the kids, and I love the long days of sunshine, grilling on the back deck and sitting outside in the evenings. I just LOVE SUMMER! 

I also like summer, because as a general rule, I get more time to read. I’ve read a couple of good books this summer and have very much enjoyed the fact that my kids are big enough and good enough swimmers that I can sit in the chair next to the pool and read while I watch them play together! 

And it’s been a great summer. We’ve had lots of relaxing days and time in the sun and at the pool and now it’s almost over. 


But I’m still going to read, cause I like to read when it’s cold outside too, and I can wrap all up in a blanket and drink coffee while I read, and here are a few books on my end of summer, fall reading list. I would love for you to check them out too!! 

I read a good bit. Usually fiction – cause -  well, for me, it’s more fun than nonfiction! But these two books are both non- fiction. I’m currently finishing the nonfiction book (this is the second time I’ve read it, I’m sure if you’re a regular reader you have heard me mention this book before) Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and so not too surprisingly – one of the books I’ll be reading is her new book – released this very day (I pre-ordered it on my Kindle and so it’s there and waiting for me) called Unglued

I’m so excited about it too! I love Lysa TerKeurst and the Proverbs 31 ministry! They do an amazing job of addressing issues I dealing with daily, almost like they have a spy living in my house and then they go and  write about it the next day!

Or maybe it’s just that many women deal with the same issues! 

Yeah, your right, that’s more likely! 

You can check out the Proverbs 31site here, and here’s a link to Lysa's blog page and from there you can look at her books link. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think and if you decide to read it too, let me know! 

The second book I’ll be reading is an actual book (it’s been a while since I read a book that was in actual book form and not just on the Kindle) and it’s written by a lady who goes to my church. She’s our youth pastor’s wife and a  mother and really amazing speaker. 

I went to a gathering, or talk, or book showing or whatever they call it, last week. It was at my home church and I got to go with some wonderful ladies (who also happen to be my cousin-in-laws!)! It was a super fun night. We got to talk and laugh and hear the author of the book “Grace for the Good Girl” speak. She did a great job! I didn’t read the book first as many women who were there did. But I bought one and Emily was nice enough to sign it for me! And I’ll be reading it very soon! 

You can find Emily by clicking here, or you can simply click the Chatting At The Sky link I already have listed on the side of my blog! I’ve been a reader of this blog for several years now. She’s a gifted writer and I know, I just KNOW that God has something really wonderful to teach me about grace, cause the things she talked about the other night hit home. I’m excited to see what God has for me! 

What’s your favorite part of summer? And what book are you currently reading? I like to have a list of books I should read going, so please share!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Good For My Tummy

So it's summer and it's been busy! Some days we have been busy doing as little as possible! I've tried to balance the fun "go and do stuff" with the lets stay at home and chill stuff this summer! It's been a good summer, and I'm so very sad to see that it's almost over.

Second grade looms on the horizon and Avery's last year of preschool starts just after Labor Day. Sad.

But it's good too, because I do in my heart like structure and too many days of no structure makes me feel - I don't know - weird. Like purposeless... but I did not open Blogger today to share my feelings on summer and the advantages of structure in life - that's for another day!

I wanted to share a few new recipes we've been trying out over here! Thank you Pinterest! I'm addicted, what can I say, but it's been good, cause we've tried several new things and found several that have already become new favorites!

Here are a few of the things we had last week (or in the last couple of weeks!):

No-Nanoosh Quinoa Salad

It is as good as it looks!!! I have made this several times and it's so yummy! David likes it too, which is great!! I've made it as the recipes calls for and served it as a side item with a lean protean, and I've also made it with cubed or shredded chicken breast in it. Then I serve it as an all in one meal! Perfect for summer dinners after a long day at the pool! (or leftover lunch the next day!)

Southwest Chicken Salad:
     (adapted from Weight Watchers)
1/3 cup refrigerated salsa
1/3 cup rinsed and drained, no-salt added black beans
1/3 cup frozen (or fresh in the summer time!) baby yellow corn, thawed and drained
1/4 cup light ranch dressing
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 (6oz) package of cooked Southwest-seasoned chicken breast strips (such as Butterball (that's what I like to use))
3/4 cup halved grape tomatoes (or 8 wedges of a beautiful summer fresh slicing tomato)

This is pretty much the recipe I follow - except -- I use regular ranch dressing and add hot sauce until it "looks right" or until its hot enough. I also often use on my own salad Newman's Own Light Lime dressing! It's my FAVORITE!!! Yummy!

I also add half a diced avocado to mine (David doesn't like them, so I get to eat all the yummy avocado goodness!!)

So chop the lettuce (you can also used bag lettuce here - which makes it super convenient!)

Rise and drain the beans and corn. If your eating all of the ingredients, you can combine the salsa, corn and black beans, - again, David only eats the corn, so I put them all on separately - tastes the same in the end!

Add to salad, top with chicken and choice of dressings.... and serve!

Also good for a hot summer night!

Barbecue Beef Panini Sandwiches:
(Sorry there's no picture!) (Pampered Chef recipe)
1/4 cup (or a bit less, I used just enough for 2 sandwiches) light mayo
2 tbsp (or a bit more, I just mixed until it looked and tasted good) babecue sauce
8 slices (I only made 2 sandwiches, so I used 4) crusty Italian bread
8 slices (again, I only used 4) thinly sliced cheddar cheese
12 oz thinly sliced deli roast beef (I got lucky and Boars Head was on sale at Harris Teeter! YUM)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1. The PC recipe doesn't say to do this, but I did cause I'm not a huge fan of raw onions on a warm sandwich - but I sauted the red onions first in a bit of EVOO.

2. While onions are sauteing - in a small bowl combine mayo and BBQ sauce, mix well. Lightly spread on one side of bread. Top with one slice of cheese followed by the onions, and then the roast beef, and then the other slice of cheese. Top with bread, Spray both sides of sandwich with EVOO spray or Pam.

2. Heat grill pan and press (if you have the PC grill pan, if not you can just grill them in a pan or on a griddle). Once warm place sandwiches in pan, top with press and grill for 1- 2 minutes on each side. (ours were kinda thick, so I did like 3 minutes on each side).

Serve with a fruit salad or small side salad. GOOD STUFF!!

Then the last thing we had this week, which I also didn't take any pictures of (Sorry!) came from a combination of this recipe and the Pampered Chef Asian Chicken Salad recipe... to avoid too much confusion, I'm going to give you what I did, and you can adjust or modify as you see fit. 

This is not my picture, it came for the same site as the link above, but mine looked similar to this! 

1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp unsalted creamy peanutbutter
3 tbsp reduced - sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

12 3-inch wonton wrappers, sliced into 1/4-ince strips
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 cups cooked whole wheat fusilli pasta
1 large chicken breast (I had a breast left from a rotisserie chicken I had gotten at Costco)
About 1/4 - 1/2 half cup of very finely diced onions - the recipes both call for green onions, but I didn't have any, so I used what I had!
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp sesame seeds

You are supposed to cut the wontons, spray with oil and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. I burned mine, so we didn't eat them.

I mixed all the above together, gave it a good toss. Separate into bowls and top with dressing. This turned out mighty tasty!

There are a few good meals that have worked well for us this summer! I hope that you are enjoying summer to it's fullest! Check back soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

God's Body?

·      *  This is kinda long! 

Do you think you’re a good steward of the things God has given you? 
Like your money?

Your children? 

Your talents? 

You try to take care of those things right? Do what you think God wants you to do with them right? Spend wisely. Raise your children to love the Lord and love others. Use your talents to glorify God, even bring people to Him. Sure. Of course.

So what about your body? Is that a gift from God too? Something for you to take care of? Or is it just what you got, and what can you do about it? It doesn’t matter how we treat it? Or is it something you feel is a gift, the same way your children are a gift. 

Something you should make the most of? 

Something to be cared for and honored and used to glorify God? 

Psalm 139:14
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I encourage you to let this verse help you frame your thoughts about your health.  If we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then how are we to treat our bodies?

Our bodies are a gift from God. We should be taking care of it.

In our society – it’s not “polite” to talk about someone’s weight. It’s not considered proper to call folks out on their eating habits, and this seems to be especially true in the church. Why is that? Is it just simply because someone “cannot help it?” or because someone is “sensitive” about their body? I don’t think those are good reasons to let someone continue down an unhealthy path. You read my earlier post about health issues. Being overweight comes with a whole host of health issues! 

We have support groups for those who struggle with addictions – drinking, drugs, and even sexual issues. And we would NEVER ever throw a church party that had people drinking themselves silly, or doing drugs. We would never open up our computer and share a web site that had inappropriate sexual content with someone struggling with those addictions.

But those things don’t hold true when it comes to food. No one talks about eating issues in church. But on a regular basis the church has bake sales, hotdog sale, pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners,  dessert receptions for newcomers, new members, newly baptized folks, and endless potlucks and picnics that are all opportunities for us to over eat and eat bad for us food, all in the name of celebration and fellowship! Why are we doing that to ourselves?

Eating too much can be an addiction, just like a drug addiction. The church reaches out (there are some wonderful support groups at many churches!)  to help those folks. But I think because we don’t treat over-eating as an addiction, the church, in general – does not offer - or offers very little in the way of help and support for those who struggle with eating addictions. 

Before I started my journey of eating better and losing weight, I never would have said I had any type of addiction to food. 

Yes, I liked to eat. Who doesn’t?!? 

And yes, I was pregnant twice and gained a bunch of weight - cause I ate whatever I wanted! Who doesn’t? 

And really sweets weren’t my issue (carbs and sauces and dips oh my, were my problem (still are sometimes)) – so what was the big deal? The problem was I was eating out of control and eating for other reasons that had nothing to do with being hungry.

Instead -  

I ate when I was stressed. 

I ate when the kids were fussy.

I ate when we had play dates – cause what’s more fun than eating with friends? 

I ate when we went out (which was a LOT)! 

I ate when I was board, and watching TV.
I ate because it was fun. 

I ate because it was yummy food  and made me happy. 

To me that didn’t seem like addictive behavior. BUT…

...when I started making changes in my lifestyle – and that’s what it has to be, none of this “I’m dieting” stuff, lifestyle is the only way to make lasting changes – I realized what I was eating, and how much of it, and why, and how it was really making me feel (which turned out to be not so happy in the long run)! 

Did you know the Bible addresses overeating?  If you are at all familiar with the story of the Israelites in the dessert with Moses, you’ll know that when it came to food, they got mighty upset about not having enough to eat. They were afraid they would starve. They even told Moses that back in Egypt they had plenty of food, all they could want or hope to eat. But despite all their complaining God provided them with what they needed.
But the Word doesn’t say that God sent them yummy snacks 3 times a day in addition to their needed meals. Or that when one of them got really stressed out because their children were being really horrible (ok, so that would have been me, maybe none of the Hebrew women were like that, I don’t know!) that God felt bad for them and sent them a bag of Doritos to help them feel better.  Or that after every meal He sent them something sweet! 


Didn’t happen. 

God sent them what they needed for the day. They were told to take just what they needed and (according to Exodus 16:21) after they had gathered what the needed for the day, and the sun got warm, the manna melted away. And the next day, God sent just what they needed. 

Part of the problem for us today, is that we have unending access to foods. All types of foods. And many, many of these foods are processed beyond belief and full of additives and preservatives and salt and fat and sugar and all things bad for you (which by the way are some of the things that make them taste so good!). So instead of eating what we need for the day, we eat whatever and whenever and for any reason  we want. And it makes us fat. 

I think eating issues are really hard, cause let’s face it; we have to eat to live. So a person who’s a recovering alcoholic can stay away from bars or parties where drinks are being served (please don’t misread me here, I’m not downplaying an addiction to alcohol or any other addiction for that matter).

Everyone needs to eat. 

Each. And. Every. Day.

3 times a day! 

Sometimes more. 

So we are constantly around food.  We have to learn how to change our lifestyle and eating habits. Do some reading. There’s lots of material out there. The internet is full of information (just be sure that you’re reading information from a reliable source, cause there’s lots of crazy information out there too!) We need learn how to exercise and take care of ourselves so we can be healthier and honestly, happier.  I really think this is an area where the church could do more to help those with these types of needs.  

For example…

I have a membership to a gym that operates out of the same building as a church. It’s totally cool. You can click this link to see a news clip that one of our local stations did about The Family Life Center a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s great that a church is supporting and encouraging not only the church members to be healthier, but it’s opening its doors to the community to meet a HUGE (no pun intended!)  need. It’s a ministry. It offers a place to exercise in a friendly, non-threatening environment where your health, wellness and actual person are being cared for by the instructors and the other gym members. It’s cool to exercise at a place that puts God first, a place where people really care about each other. Before or after each group exercise class the class is asked (there’s no pressure to if your uncomfortable with it) to recite this “strength prayer”:

“My body does not belong to me. It is a temple intended for the Holy Spirit to dwell within. I train this body so that I will be a better witness for Christ. I will glorify God in my body and in my spirit. I will not take my eyes off my goal. I will Succeed.” 
That’s good stuff right there. 

This is also a great book - Made To Crave by LisaTerKeurst. Really, really good book! It helped me to get a different perspective on eating right, and keeping my heart and mind on God.  She also has one out now for younger girls. I’d encourage you to get one for you and one for your teen girl or any girl that you love.  There’s a whole web site (click the made to crave link above) set up to provide you with all you’ll need to make the most out of this read!

Then just last week Time Magazine printed a really amazing article about Rick Warren (you know, pastor at Saddleback and author of The PurposeDriven Life.) and his church and what they are doing to get healthy. If you have access to a copy of the magazine, you need to check it out. You can go online to Time’s web site, but you cannot read the full article unless you have a subscription to the site.  The program that they developed is based on the book of Daniel. I love that a church has launched a program to helps it’s congregation get educated and healthy. I love it! 

OK – I’ll leave you with this last thought... I don’t think we were created to be overweight and sick. We just weren’t! I also don’t think we were all created to be 6 feet tall and be 100 pounds, but I think we were made to be healthy and active and in pursuit of a deeper relationship with Jesus, and I would love to see and be part of “the church” getting behind that same idea!  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Decison

Welcome back!

Thanks for joining me again today.

Today I’m just going to share a few statistics that might surprise you. Or they may not, I don’t know. They surprised me all right! According to the CDC web site, more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese. So what, you say. It's my body, and who cares if I'm fat (obese is the stat here, click this link here to see what is considered obese. It might surprise you as well!) well here's just one stat that should concern you. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion. I don't know about you, but to me, that cost a WHOLE lot more than paying for a gym membership, or the increased cost of eating healthy.  

Then, if that wasn't scary enough -  Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. An estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents (ages 2-19 years) are obese in the U.S. 

Wow, ya'll!! That's crazy! We can all think of some of the reasons this might be, but I'd like to throw a thought. Our children eat, and learn to eat what we eat. They learn the importance of (or lack there-of) exercise from us.

For me, that should have been enough to get me on the straight and narrow, but nope. I'd read those statistics all before (of course they have gone up in recent years), didn't care. Because frankly I had a million excuses. Many you've heard - some might even be your own "reasons" now. 

How many of these do you use?

#1 - I don't have the time. 

I don't like the gym near me. 

I don't have anything at home to work out with.

I don't have the money for a membership to a gym. 

It costs too much to eat healthy, it's way cheaper to eat "regular" food. 

I'm addicted to carbs! (or I don't like veggies, fruits, yogurt etc.) 

Once I'm at the gym, I don't know what exercises to do. And a personal trainer costs too much. 

I don't know what to eat that's better than what I'm eating now.

I don't know how many calories I'm supposed to have in a day.

I hate to exercise.

I like food too much to change my "diet". 

I don't have anything to wear when I exercise.

My family and my hubby (or wife) love me the way I am.

I have SUCH a sweet tooth, I cannot help it, I love sweets!

EXCUSES! That's all those are. Not actual REAL issues to keep you from moving forward with getting into better physical shape. You might have to come up with some creative ways to overcome the things that make it hard to exercise and make healthy changes - check out this article from the CDC on ways to do that. And I can say all that, because I used all those excuses and more! But again, that's all those are - excuses! 

There are a million reasons why you should exercise and take care of your body. Here is a great article that lists only 7 of them. There's tons of good information out there for you to read and to help you get started.  But honestly, you have to find it in yourself - for whatever reason or reasons work for you, to make the decision to change your lifestyle.

For me it started as a purely physical thing. I wanted to look better for my anniversary trip. After a while it became something more. I felt better - and not just physically, but mentally. When I finished a hard work out that I didn't think I could do - I felt good, really good, that I did it!  I was getting stronger physically and mentally. It became about living a healthier lifestyle for my children to see, to learn from, so that maybe one day they don't have to thing - "boy, I'm fat! How did this happen?!?!" And it became about being the best wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and woman that God created me to be.

I know - I KNOW how hard it is to change. It's a daily - okay, hourly - okay - sometimes minute by minute battle. I get it!

It's hard! Sometimes it sucks!

It's not always fun.

I know.

I get it!

But it's also totally worth it!

Come back tomorrow for our next discussion. I'm gonna share some helpful tips and ways to start down the healthy path. And then on Thursday I'm gonna join the physical and the spiritual. Don't worry, no weird stuff... just some thoughts on what myself and the body of believers is and is not doing to promote healthy lifestyles!

And since today is Tasty Tuesday - here's a healthy recipe to give you something maybe new to eat! It's good stuff!

I found this recipe on Pinterest - here's the original blogger who posted it. I don't know this girl, but I think I'd like her!

I'm calling it simply

Quinoa Salad:
(Pronounced "KEEN-wah.")

I got mine at Costco!

  1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small shallot, diced (or 1/4 cup red onion, diced)
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries (or a mixture of both)
1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles (reduced fat)
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
the juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
2 tsp honey
salt + pepper

Here's How:
1. Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions - brings 2 cups of water to a boil, season lightly with salt, add the quinoa, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, preheat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan over medium high. Cook the bell peppers and shallot until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. * You can leave the veggies raw also, if you'd like!

3. In the bottom of a large salad bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt + pepper. Add the cooked veggies, the raisins/cranberries, chopped nuts, and cooked quinoa. Toss together.


dry ingredients
Wet ingredients
cooked quinoa
half way ready!

And lunch was ready! It was YUM-O!!

4. Enjoy it warm as a side dish, or place it in the fridge until it cools.

** You could pretty much put anything you like in this salad. I followed the recipe, since this week I'm the only adult at home, but if I was to make it for David too, I'd add some chicken too!

It was super yummy and really filling!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Story

I’ll spear you my entire life story. I mean it’s a blog, not a book. But I wanted to share where I am coming from. 

You see, I’m going to start a mini-series of sorts, here on my blog about health, wellness, eating right, exercise, and the “church” and how all of those things go together.

But I thought the best place to start was at the beginning with me and my story, or my journey – as those in the weight loss industry – often call it. I started my “weight loss journey” in November of 09. David and I were starting to plan our 10 year anniversary trip, and I decided I wanted to look better for that trip than I did at that current moment. So I decided to join a gym. It’s a gym inside and part of a church. I had a friend who was also a member, so I started going there cause she was going there. It’s always good to exercise with a friend. 

I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do once at the gym, I just knew that I needed to be going. You see, I knew all the things I was supposed to be doing to not be fat. And, yes I was fat. I just wasn’t doing them. I started going and just walking around the track, or using the stationary bikes. I was pretty consistent with that, and after just a few weeks I was walking like 2 miles. Good for me, right? For sure! But then I decided I might try some of these group exercise classes. So I did. And I took all different kinds of classes - from Zumba (which I don’t really like) to Pilates (which I love!) to yoga, kick boxing, kettle bells, step classes, strength training. It was good stuff. It was accountability for me – since all I had to do was show up and someone else told me what to do! Plus it was different types of workouts so I was getting a variety! It was good.

Then of course there was the eating part. I knew that eating was a HUGE part of weight loss, and since I’ve had all different types of diets in the past, I honestly wasn’t sure where to start with the eating thing. David who was also doing this with me had done some research and some reading (if you know David at all you know this was actually a LOT of reading and LOTS of research) and he found several studies that showed the most effective way to lose weight was simply  calories in verses calories out. So all I had to do was to cook meals that were low in calories!

When it comes to cooking I’m pretty decent (if I do say so myself), but I needed things to make that came with the calories already listed for me. So while at the grocery store I started picking up some Weight Watcher’s recipe books. They have listed for each recipe all the nutritional information. Perfect! 

And we were off.

Seems simple enough right? 

Oh sure.

Eat right, exercise, loss weight! Done. 

Yeah right!

I did lose weight. And I was exercising. But there’s a whole lot more that needs to happen in a person’s brain to make it stick (but I’ll get to that in another post). 

This was us at my Aunt's wedding a few months before we started the weight loss trip!
It took me about 6-7 months (I was exercising about 1 ½ - 2 hours 5 days a week and eating 1200 calories per day.) to drop 30 pounds. It was cool, and I was excited. 

And us on our 10th Anniversary cruise!

But I’ve learned A LOT since then that I would like to share with you. So come back tomorrow and we’ll talk some more about it! Plus, I’ll have a yummy recipe for you to check out! Pictures and all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tasty Tuesday on Wacky Wednesday!

Yes, I missed Tasty Tuesday! So sorry!!

And, yes, I'm going to post about food today! Not sorry!

It's been a weird crazy week already!

Monday was totally wonderful! Our first day on the rented pontoon boat! The summer "lake season" has officially started for the Winslow family! Monday was great fun! The weather was perfect, the water was warm-ish, the company was great! It was a great way to start a week.

But that of course has messed me up. I'm having trouble keeping up with what day it is this week! And then on top of that, I was a chaperone for Luke's class end of the year trip yesterday. It's his last week of being a first grader. SO HARD to believe!

Needless to say, I didn't have much time at home - all of which brings me to Tasty Tuesday on Wacky Wednesday (today seems like Tuesday to me anyway!)

But, before I move forward with the food... a couple of pictures of the kids at Safari Nation yesterday. It's a big indoor bounce house kind of place. They also have a zip-line type thing, which Luke LOVED!

Luke waiting in line for the zip line.

Look at that smile! 

He did not want to let go! 

 Avery just being stinkin' cute!

Playing in the ball pit.

Cute aren't they?!?! Yes, I think so too!

On to some yummy.

This week, I had two ideas to post about, one breakfast and one dinner. Since I did breakfast last week, dinner wins for today!

This was one of those meals that wasn't hard at all, and that I kinda made up on the fly and that isn't on the super healthy side, but all in all, not too bad either!

I call it Pesto Chicken and Broccoli with Pasta.

You'll need:
Pasta of your choice
Chicken (since I was making it up as I went, I used a package of the pre-cooked butterball chicken breast)
fresh (or frozen and thawed) broccoli. I used "just some" about a cup and a half or two maybe.
Jar pesto (I used what I had in the fridge)
Parmesan Cheese (I like freshly shredding my own, but didn't have any, so I used the Kraft stuff)

* I didn't take pictures of each individual thing before I cooked it, but I did take a few and here they are!

This is the pesto I used

I always have some in the fridge! 

How to make it:

Since the chicken was precooked, I just warmed up a skillet, added a tiny bit of olive oil, dumped in the chicken, and added the pesto.

While that warmed up, I cooked the pasta.

After the pasta cooked, I ladled it out right into the pan with the pesto chicken and sprinkled a bit of the cheese on it. Then I added the broccoli to the boiling pasta water. Like this...

Let the broccoli boil 2-3 minutes, ladle it right from the boiling water into the pasta mixture. Mix well and there ya go... ready to serve...

Even the kids loved it. We finished the whole pot. I don't think the 4 of us have ever done that before. It was a hit!


Happy Wacky Wednesday!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Eve

That's what I'm calling today. Not because it was a bad day, because it wasn't, it was actually good, but because tomorrow is Friday, and that's even better!

Friday is Avery's last day of preschool for this year. She's had a great year and made some really wonderful friends in her three year old class. It's hard to believe she was even 3 at all this year. She seems so "grown-up" lately and the year passed quickly, it's hard to believe she'll be going 4 days next year in preparation for kindergarten the following year. YIKES! So tomorrow will be fun for her as she starts her summer!

And Friday is Luke's last day for this week, and after tomorrow only 4 DAYS LEFT!!! Today I'm jumping up and down for joy at the prospect of the end of the year. Check back in about 2 weeks and ask me how I feel about it then! But for now I'm excited about the ending of a good first grade year!

AND tomorrow night is date night. And there folks is the best reason to be thinking of today as Friday Eve! My wonderful in-laws are coming to get the kids (I've found this is an important part of the "staying with Meme and Papa experience" - Papa must come get the kids its not as much fun if Mommy takes them there!) and they are keeping them overnight!

Yes, this means date night! With free babysitting! And sleeping in on Saturday! It's a wonderful thing!

Tomorrow evening we'll be going to a locally owned and operated joint in the High Point/Jamestown area. It's called Southern Roots and you can check them out here. It's a smallish place with a wonderful atmosphere and some great food! We're going with some good friends of ours (who also happen to be family!) and I'm super excited!

There is one more fun thing about today. It's "parent's night" at the gym. This means that Luke's parent or parents can come and take his Jujitsu class with him. He's SO VERY excited that his Daddy is going to come and take the class with him! It's so cute! Usually while he's in class I run, and Avery goes to the childcare room. Tonight she and I will be doing our usual, while the boys learn some big serious Jujitsu moves! It will be a good time for all I'm sure!

All this talk of Jujitsu always makes me crave sushi...