How do we eat healthy at work? It is very difficult when you are surrounded by sweets, treats and quick grab vending machines. Being sent home to work remote was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am able to fix my own meals and I am not tempted by the monthly cake squares we used to get.
Meal prep is the key. . .
When I worked in the office, meal prep was the key. Fixing a few days in advance always helped me stay prepared to go to work. Working twelve hour days you cannot just take your lunch, you need breakfast and a good snack too.
This is a fabulous chicken and rice soup my hubbs made this morning.
One of the chicken pies the hubbs made too.
The Hubbs and his chicken soup and chicken pie. . .
We each have our own specialties and the hubbs is definitely his chicken soup and chicken pie. The boys love these especially the soup.
4-5 Chicken breast
2 large containers low sodium chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-5 cloves garlic minced
1 T oregano
5 fresh sage leaves
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 T Montreal steak marinade, 2T red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water and mix that together and pour over the chicken and a little chicken broth and minced garlic cloves. Place Chicken and all of the above in the crock pot and cook on low for about 8 hrs.
After your chicken is cooked pull it out and shred about 3 chicken breast for your soup and save the other breast for your pies. Put your shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the above ingredients and cook on low for about 5 hrs, You can use your left over chicken to make pie or you can use it to pack your lunch with salads, wraps, or just over some rice.
Stay tuned for some more meal prep and healthy eating ideas from my kitchen to yours, until we eat again. . .
I resolve this year to be a better me, I do not want to be better than anyone else just a better me. Have said this time and again and I do try to do and be better each day. When I say be better I mean, be more forgiving of myself and others, be more patient with others, and goodness knows I want to improve my health.
I am on a constant improvement plan. . .
I am on a constant improvement plan for myself; improving my diet, physical health, and my mental health. Work required some interesting reading this past year and I am glad that it did. I read some books I probably would never have even thought about. Emotional Agility, by Susan David and dare to lead by Brene Brown were both good reads.
This is the year of the Wedding. . .
Lots of posts will be Wedding related, so much to do and so little time. You would think we have it all done but little things keep popping up and oh, you need to do that too. This is going to be a huge emotional year for our family as our first born starts his life with his new bride. I have to say I am very excited to be gaining a daughter. Sprat and Sweet G spent Christmas at our house this year, which was great.
Tasting at the Reception Venue
Fun at the Wedding Show
Been awhile since I posted last. . .
It has been awhile since I posted last, life got real busy and I will be honest I was just too tired to do anything but sleep. Getting more rest and self care will be a goal for me this year. We could all use a little more self care, I think we hustle and bustle so much to try and please everyone we lose sight of our own care.
Stay tuned. . . Weddings, Love, Self Care and family will be the focus this year. . .
Do not be afraid of my title, nobody has passed away. I am merely reflecting on life these days. Life is a journey not a destination and I am going to try harder to remember that. Feeling the need to embrace new adventures and get out of my “corner ” of the world more often.
My hubby might be shocked. . .
My hubby might be shocked to know he inspired this post. As we age things change; our bodies, minds, and our abilities to do things like we have in the past. I used to be a very social person but, I have changed over the years. No longer do I want to go out to clubs or parties and somedays I do not even want to leave my home. I need to find that social person again or I may find myself all alone with only a dog to socialize.
Now, I could blame my reclusiveness on COVID but that would be wrong. My introversion started way before COVID. The hubs did share a story with me about when he was in first grade and did not want to go to school. He even begged his mom to let him stay with his uncle. His mom made him go to school, she worked the school cross walk. The uncle, that my husband wanted to stay home with, took my hubby and his cousin to school every day.
As I have aged. . .
As I have aged, I have become less go out and do things and more snuggle at home with a good book or Netflix. I must admit the boys being in school in Massachusetts has helped with my getting out of my corner of the world. It has given me a desire to visit other states and cities. The boys going out of state to school may have been a blessing to me as much as it was a blessing to them.
Traveling. . .
The hubbs and I have often talked about traveling to all of the states and checking out their historic spots. He has retired and has not stopped long enough for us to make any plans to travel. My hope is that he will slow down and we can make some plans together. We are the two, that before we had kids, took off one night and drove four hours to get crab legs.
I hope to rekindle some of that spontaneity from our youth. Here’s hoping!
We took a quick trip to the zoo while Big T was home for the Summer.
Many updates since my last post. Sprat is now a college graduate and is on the job hunt. He will be a history teacher and hopes to coach lacrosse. We all attended graduation against the will of Big T. Not sure why my kids do not want to bask in all of the celebration that goes along with graduation.
Graduation. . .
The hubbs and I drove up for all of the celebrations. We attended Catholic Baccalaureate Mass it was a very moving service. We are not Catholic, so it was all new to us. I loved that we got to see the hooding ceremony during the Mass. The next day was graduation, we stood in line for an hour to get in to the venue. We sat for another hour before the graduation started. Despite Sprat’s reluctance in participating in all of the hoopla he had the biggest grin on his face the whole time. I was thrilled to see him so happy.
Big T and Sprat after Mass
Sprat and Sweet G
After Graduation, see that smile. . .
Senior Night at Lacrosse
Sprat and I after Mass
My boys are home. . .
My boys are home, we moved them home after graduation, only to be home for a short while. They are working on getting jobs for the Summer and playing lacrosse. Big T is taking two classes this Summer to lighten his load in the Fall and Spring. Sprat is moving back to Massachusetts for the Summer to work.
Conclusion. . .
Our Summer is packed with Wedding plans and celebrations, stay tuned to see what is next in my corner.
Sprat is in college in Massachusetts, Sprat is about as southern of a boy as there ever was. We are not rednecks but, our hayseeds do show on occasion. The Southern drawl is strong with my oldest, and funny thing, the farther North he went the harsher his accent became.
Sprat’s first college. . .
Sprat’s first college he attended closed due to financial difficulties, it was a small private college. He will graduate from the college that he transferred to when that first one folded. The professors at the first college took great pride in ridiculing my son for his accent and what they believed his upbringing to be. They believed all Southerner’s were dumb and drove around in pick up trucks with deer strapped to the hood. My very sweet and proud Southern boy did not cower or waiver in his studies or his passion, he persevered like all fine Southern gentlemen.
Not everyone ridiculed the Southern gentleman.
Not everyone ridiculed my Southern gentleman, the girls found him very interesting. The little Southern boy from North Carolina had all the young ladies in Massachusetts a little confused. They did not know what to do with him or how to react to him. He was not what they were accustomed therefore, they were intrigued. As you are already aware, my Southern gentleman has found his forever person in the North. The North has infiltrated our clan and Sweet G will officially join our family in 2024. We could not be happier for these two crazy kids.
Sweet G . . .
Sweet G and Sprat became friends through mutual friends at school. This very sweet young lady has taken care of my Southern gentleman when he was sick and took care of both the boys at Thanksgiving this past year. Her petite stature holds a huge heart.
There is a language barrier. . .
There is a language barrier between the North and South, Southerners have little phrases and words Northerners have never heard. If you told a Northerner to “go up yonder and get yur clothes changed.” They may not know where you wanted them to go. “I’m fixin to get supper on the table.” That means you are about to eat. What about a “lightnin bug,” do you know what that is? That is a firefly. Did your mama ever tell you, you were “gonna get a switchin?” If she did that means you are a Southerner and you got your butt “whopped” from time to time. If your daddy ever came home from work and said, “I feel like I have been rode hard and put up wet,” then your daddy had a pretty hard day. I will never forget my mom telling me about a small bathroom at the hospital, she said, “you couldn’t cuss a cat in here without gettin hair in your mouth.”
Sprat’s Southern observations. . .
I will never forget Sprat calling home one day from college to tell us how things were going, this was before Big T was attending. Sprat was telling about lacrosse practice and then stopped and he said, “mama these people do not know what rain smells like.” Laughing out loud, I asked him what he was talking about. He said after practice he and several guys walked out of the locker-room and he took a deep breath and said he could smell rain coming. After he had voiced this observation to his friends they all looked at him like he had three heads. Apparently that is not something they noticed or had ever heard before but, in the South you know rain is coming because the air smells different right before a rain shower.
Sprat called another day after practice just to talk and let us know how things were going. He said, “Mama, the coach was playing a good song on the radio during practice and I asked him to cut it up.” According to Sprat, coach did not know what he was talking about. Coach said, what do you want cut up and Sprat replied the radio so we can hear the song. This is another one of those old Southern sayings. Cut it up, referring to the volume on the radio.
Yes, it is official, I am old. I am no longer a mother of teenagers but, a mother to two young adults. Wow!! That was hard to even type much less imagine. Very proud of both my young men and I look forward to see where they will go in life.
Celebrating. . .
Celebrating Big T and his birthday this month. He is no longer a teen but a young adult. So proud of him and all that he has accomplished. Big T was the one that scared me the most; pre term labor at 26 weeks, flu at 2 months with a temp of 106, and then the swine flu at age 7. This one really tested this mothers nerves like no other. He gets so aggravated with me about celebrating everything but what he does not realize is how close I was to losing him before he even took his first breath. So yes, I celebrate EVERYTHING! I am the Mother!
This one did test my limits and my strength as a mother but, I would not change a thing. I am old, I have gray hair, and wrinkles much to my dismay. I gave up coloring my hair but, I am still fighting the wrinkles. Stay tuned as the journey continues into good food, real food, and updates on the nuptials.
Sprat’s friend came down to visit after Christmas, he wanted to show her around our little town. She is from Massachusetts and graduated last year, she is a very sweet young lady. I will call her sweet G, sweet G will be joining our family in the near future, no dates are set at this time. We are very excited to welcome her to our clan.
Not sure how to act. . .
Not sure how to act, I have never had a daughter before nor have I been a mother-in-law. This is going to open up a whole new territory for me. Going to be a roller coaster of emotions this year as Sprat graduates and will be planning his new life with his bride to be. We are very excited and cannot wait to see where they land.
The very happy couple. . .
Conclusion. . .
Stay tuned for more on the nuptials, no dates at this time. Lots of celebrating to do this year.
What are your most valuable kitchen gadgets? There are many kitchen gadgets that I love and could not do without but, my most valuable are:
Opal counter top pellet Ice maker (makes the “good” ice)
Good knives/cutting boards
The Instant Pot. . .
The Instant pot is a wonderful time saver and was recommended to me by my manager. She told me about this great little gadget that can make perfect potato salad in seven minutes, eggs and all. I make soups, stews, potatoes, eggs, and beans in my Instant pot. My husband says it is worth it’s weight in gold just because of the way it cooks eggs. Beautiful boiled eggs that peel like a breeze in just seven minutes.
Opal counter top ice maker. . .
The Opal counter top ice maker makes the wonderful soft pellet ice that you can find in some restaurants. I use this ice for my coffee smoothies and my water just tastes better poured over it. This little gem was a life saver during the Pandemic, we were not going anywhere so I could not get my “good” ice for my water or smoothies for work.
The Air Fryer. . .
Sprat turned us on to the Air Fryer, he loves it because he can do tater tots and chicken nuggets in no time. The hubs fell in love with it because it makes the best roasted broccoli and cabbage. I use it to make: sweet potato fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, and it fries bacon like a dream. Imagine making bacon without getting grease all over your kitchen. This is a much healthier alternative to traditional oil frying.
Instant Pot Recipe. . .
This is a recipe I made last week and it was really good. The hubbs and I like pintos but I wanted something a little different and without the fatback.
1lb-1/2 lbs of pintos soaked for about 3 hours
1 can coconut milk unsweetened
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp regular chili powder
1 tsp thyme
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 bay leaf
4 cups water
Drain you pintos and combine all ingredients and seal your pot. Set to manual and cook on high for 25 minutes and allow natural release. This is a combination of two other recipes I found on the internet.
Stay tuned for more kitchen fun and recipes for good food and good health.
Do you have a morning routine other than rolling out of the bed and crashing to the floor? I was reading something the other day about having a morning routine and how it made you more productive throughout the rest of the day. When the boys were little we had a strict morning routine and yes, I was very productive throughout the day.
My morning routine of the past. . .
My morning routine when the boys were little was to get up before anyone else in the house. By getting up before anyone else I had time to myself to do my devotions, read my Bible, and pray. This time was very important to me because it was my only time to myself and it did set the tone for the rest of the day. Not sure if that gave me a boost to be more productive or not. Goodness knows with the boys I did not stop till I lay my head down for sleep.
My current morning routine. . .
Since we are almost empty nesters and I am working a lot right now, I am not getting up as early but still reading my Bible, doing my devotions, and praying. I am trying to walk again first thing in the morning because that does make me more productive and relaxed for the rest of the day. My morning routine would not be complete without my infamous smoothie for breakfast. How you start your day does affect how the rest of your day goes.
Breakfast Smoothie: Blend the following in the blender till smooth.
frozen pineapple cubes
frozen cherries pitted
8oz coconut water
beets chopped (I use my frozen cubes)
1 scoop of protein powder
Conclusion. . .
I encourage you to start a morning routine, just do it for two weeks and see how it goes. Leave a comment and let me know how it goes, even if it is negative I would be glad to read your comments. Life is about trial and error and if you do not try you are not going anywhere. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage to continue that counts” Winston Churchill. Have courage and stay tuned. . .
Happy New Year! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. I have never been one to make resolutions, I do resolve to be better this year than I was last. When you make grandiose resolutions, I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody wants that!
Goals of the New Year. . .
I do have goals for the new year, I would not call them resolutions, merely goals for what I would like to accomplish or change this year. My schedule at work has gotten a little hectic again so I would like to get that under control. Trying to find a work/life balance is a big goal this year as well as getting into more of a routine with working out and work. There are several new recipes I hope to try out also. Looking forward to lacrosse season and traveling to see the boys play. The hubbs and I have some work we would like to do around the house this year, a few upgrades here and there. The house could use a good de- cluttering too, not sure if I am up for that or not.
Updates. . .
Sprat will be graduating in the Spring, he will finish out his last season of lacrosse and then off to educate our youth in history. Big T is completing his sophomore year and second season of lacrosse and has changed his major. Both of these kids have changed their majors at least twice and I believe Sprat did three times. That is what college is for though, to find your passion and figure out what your interests really are.
Conclusion. . .
It is my hope that the boys will go back to school and have a wonderful last semester and a great lacrosse season. I am very excited and anxious for Sprat as he completes his senior year of college preparing to go out into the world. He is going to be a great teacher, I know that deep in my soul. It is hard to believe that my baby is graduating college. Very proud of both of these boys for all they have accomplished, they each faced their own difficulties and soared above each of them.