How to Stay Healthy and Eat Healthy at Work. . .

How do we eat healthy at work. . .

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
  • black pepper
  • 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. . .

No New Year’s Resolutions Here. . .

No New Year’s resolutions at my house. . .

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. . .

Love this Lilly, so beautiful

Nobody Gets Out Alive. . . Reflections

Nobody gets out alive. . .

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.

Do You Work a Shift other than Traditional 8-5?

Do you work a non-traditional shift?

Do you work a shift other than a traditional 8-5 day shift? I do, I work nights 2000 to 0800. My first job out of college was midnight to 0800 five nights a week in a lab. Not only did I work nights but I also was a hostess during the lunch rush at a local Mexican restaurant. In my twenties that was not a bad job to have, I had endless energy and I slept by the pool. I could eat whatever I wanted and never gained weight. Today I could walk past a plate of potato chips and gain ten pounds just like that.

When I was part- time at my job I have now I was able to manage a workout schedule and lost 20 lbs. I was so excited and so happy and felt pretty good too. My diet was much better and I ate on a schedule, it was not sporadic like it is now. When I went full-time everything went to pot, I did not feel like I had enough time to workout and do food prep.

Making a concerted effort to do better for myself. . .

Earlier this month I decided to make a concerted effort to do better for myself with regard to my diet and my workouts. I love Mediterranean spices and food and I have followed a Mediterranean diet very liberally for several years. My husband is very quick to respond with regard to the Mediterranean diet about how the Mediterranean people travel either by foot or bicycle. In other words, he is saying that it is not the food they eat that keeps them healthy it is all their daily exercise. I am trying to eat better/healthier and also exercise daily in some form or fashion.

You are what you eat. . .

You are what you eat, how many times have you heard this one? It is true though, you eat nothing but junk and you are going to feel like junk. I am not an extremist and do not endorse any extreme measures to lose weight. Realist, I am a realist. Smoothies are my addiction, I love my fruit smoothie I fix in the mornings for breakfast. Number one smoothie: pineapple, cherry, spinach, beet, ginger, coconut water and some protein powder and blend. This one is designed for reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, and it is very yummy. This one gets me my fruits and some of my vegetables for the day.

The hubbs and I joke all the time that we could live out of our garden except for the occasional animal protein. We both love veggies the hubbs likes his animal protein more than I. A typical dinner for us looks like this: avocado sliced with fresh lime juice sprinkled, a couple boiled eggs sliced, peppers and onions sauted with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I love asparagus and my dear hubby planted some for me, below is the first harvest with some sauted spinach.

When my schedule gets hectic, that is when my eating goes awry. I will be planning more for my meals on days I know I am going to be working. Planning my exercise may pose a more interesting problem. I prefer to walk in the mornings but my regular place to walk is doing some construction so my “flow” is messed up. Have been riding my exercise bike and lifting weights but it does not give me the same satisfaction as my walks. My walks are not only for my physical health but for my mental health too.

Conclusion. . .

This is an on going journey to a better me. Stay tuned for recipes, tips, tricks and updates on results. I would love to hear from my readers, any recipes or personal stories.

What does True Love Look Like?

Have you ever thought you were in love?

Have you ever thought you were in love before? Maybe you thought the funny feeling in your belly meant you were in love. Did someone send you flowers or chocolate on a special occasion? That is very nice and my hubby did that for me when we were first dating and in our early married years. As the years go by that seems wasteful and cliche. Do not get me wrong, I am not bashing those wonderful tokens of love. I enjoyed every one I ever got.

This is what true love looks like. . .

This is what true love looks like after thirty years and two kids together. True love is when your spouse lets you sleep in on a morning that they have to get up early and you do not. True love is when your hubby does your grocery shopping so that you do not have to go out during a pandemic. My hubby has gone out to get me chocolate when I have had a particularly terrible day, he has gone out to get me the “good” ice for my soda when I have been working from home. Bless my husband, because he is the best. He has, on more than one occasion, made me an egg sandwich for lunch when I have been working and could not take a break to fix myself something to eat.

True love is not always showy, it is not always glamorous and flashy sometimes it is very quiet and simple. It is a man that plants brussels sprouts and beets for you and he does not even like them. It is the man that will put a ginger ale in the fridge so that you will have a cold one when you get up after working night shift. So ladies do not discount the man that does not like the showy holidays like Valentines. It does not mean he does not have love in his heart or that he is incapable of love it just means he has a more unique way of showing that love.

If your hubby or significant other has showered you with love in a unique way leave me a comment. Let’s hear it

How and Where Did You Meet Your Love?

How did you meet your love?

How did you meet your love/forever person? I have talked with the boys many times about how I met their dad, the love of my life. Do not remember how the subject came up the first time but since the boys have been in college we have talked about it more. Our story is not all that exciting but it is somewhat unique. In fact I was telling Big T about our second first date on the way back from dropping Sprat off at the airport the other day. It is always good that your kids know how much mom and dad love each other.

How we met. . .

Que the pomp and circumstance music as I had just graduated college and secured my first official job with my college degree. I would be working nights in a lab doing bench tests for doctor’s offices and hospitals. One of my good friends from college was working in this same lab so I felt pretty good about the whole thing. In fact we would be roommates until the hubbs and I were married. The night manager introduced me to my lab partner ( Hallmark sappy music ). Yes, it was my future husband and he was a strapping young man in his white lab coat. When I was introduced to him I reached out to shake his hand and yes, my heart dropped to the floor when our hands touched. (I am not making this up)

The Courtship. . .

Our Courtship was quite unique since we worked together, you really get to know the real person when you work with them ten hours a day. You cannot hide your true self in that situation. Our very first argument was over whether what I considered our first date was indeed our first date. According to my hubby it was not. I ask you, if the boy picks the girl up and takes her to a concert and boy pays for everything, is that not a date? The hubby does not believe this to be true and proceeded to announce it in front of everyone at work one night.

First fight, first date?

The hubby picked me up and we went to a concert and hubby did not believe this to be a date. To this day his idea of a date is a mystery to me. I was mortified in front of everyone when he announced that was not a date. It would be three months before there would be mention of a date again. The hubbs did ask me out for dinner and a movie, this was apparently his idea of a date. I was very excited because my heart did still skip a beat every time we were together even though he had made me furious earlier.

The Date. . .

He picked me up and we went to a local restaurant that offered horse and buggy rides out front. I had to stop and visit the horses for a bit before we went in for dinner. The restaurant was very crowded so we had a few drinks in the bar while we waited on our table. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and great conversation and he asked if I would like to go on a horse and buggy ride. I could have turned cartwheels I was so excited. No one had ever done anything so romantic for me. Our bill came and my dear hubby did not have enough money to pay the bill. Being the lady that I was raised to be I offered to help pay. I looked at him quite sadly and asked; does this mean I do not get my horse and buggy ride? He simply replied, No, we will have our horse and buggy ride.

The Horse and buggy

We drove to an ATM, this was before true debit cards and the hubby did not have a credit card, to get cash for the horse and buggy. It was quite chilly that night for a buggy ride but I would not have missed that for the world. We were the last ride before the precious horses were put to bed. They took us around town and had a blanket to wrap up in since is was quite cool. This is what my husband calls our first date and I guess I will go along with it. He is a true romantic after all.

Stay tuned you might hear more about our true romance. . .

The hubbs and I a few months before he popped the question.

I Have Learned so Much from My Kids. . .

My Children teach me something new daily.

My children taught me so much when they were little, they taught me: I could do great things with only two hours of sleep, I did not need a bath every day, and I could make a bed while they were in it and not wake them up. I also never knew I could love someone so much even before I knew who they were.

I went into pre term labor with Big T at 24 weeks and I was so scared. I had no idea what was going on. I never had true labor pains with Sprat. They induced me with him and had tremendous back labor but no true abdominal contractions. Big T was determined he was ready before we were, and he wanted OUT! Sprat had welded himself in and law, I would probably still be pregnant if they had not done the C section. They both showed me I was much stronger than I gave my self credit.

the hubbs, Sprat, and Frito reading a story before bed
Sprat and mommy at the Zoo, we made our picture at this same spot every time we went to the
zoo.


Big T celebrating a B day at pre school. Love those cheeks!
Big T feeding the baby calf
So we were supposed to be scared in this one but Sprat is obviously to cool for that.
Big T and I trying to stay warm at an early season Baseball game for Sprat
The boys reminded the Hubbs and I how to be kids again too. Big T Halloween Clown

As teenagers they taught me patience

Both boys tried my patience as teens, neither of them wanted to drive and I could not understand that. When I was learning to drive I looked for every opportunity to drive; going to the store for mom, and I even took up playing tennis just to be able to drive to the park. Prayer was my comfort during these years and I learned that they would drive when they were ready and that I should not push them. They were both about seventeen before they got their driver’s license.

Big T even got to get behind the wheel of my T Bird recently

Approaching their twenties and late teens. . .

Approaching their twenties and late teens I have enjoyed talking with the boys over different subjects. It seems life’s cruel joke is just when your kids get interesting and fun to hang out with and talk to they find their own lives and do not want to hang out with you. We try to stay connected to the boys as best we can, they are off doing their own thing and we are very proud of them.

Sprat did teach us some new stuff in the kitchen since he has been home from college. He had raved about the air fryer and the hubbs had points built up through his work and he got an air fryer. I was very apprehensive about it at first but I have to tell you it is very cool. Sprat is teaching us how to use it and new recipes to use in the air fryer. We have made: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, tater tots, chicken nuggets (homemade), falafel, and I made homemade mozzarella sticks. The mozzy sticks were the bomb! I love using the air fryer and things that would have really heated up my kitchen I can do in the air fryer really quickly and no over heating me.

Battered and headed to the freezer for an hour Mozzy sticks
Out of the air fryer and ready to eat Mozzy sticks

Stay tuned for more air fryer fun and recipes from King Arthur baking. . .

How Does Our Garden Grow?

The hubby is getting our garden ready. . .

The hubbs has already started our garden and we have spinach and asparagus galore. I am loving the asparagus, he is of course being a little stingy with it so I do not cut it all. My favorite way to fix asparagus is to sautéed it in olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar with fresh garlic and onion.

This was my first offering of asparagus and I sautéed some spinach with it.
This is our spinach bed
Our sprigs of asparagus, this is our second year for them.

Spinach is very versatile. . .

Spinach is very versatile, I use it in salads, sautéed as a side, and I even add it to my smoothies in the morning. Yes, I add fresh and even some spinach that I froze to my smoothies in the morning. Spinach freezes beautifully and it is easy to add to smoothies this way. To freeze your fresh spinach; wash and spin it dry and then put it in a freezer safe baggie and pop in your freezer. My favorite spinach smoothie is: frozen or fresh pineapple, cherries, coconut water, fresh ginger, spinach, coconut flakes (unsweet), and protein powder. Blend well and enjoy.

Hubby Likes to Cook. . .

My hubby likes to cook as well as garden. Usually he sticks to the grill but sometimes he likes to get out the crockpot. He made an amazing roast the other day with dry ranch seasoning and dill pickles. I love pickles so this sounded great to me. We added some pickled jalapenos too for a little more zing. This cooked for about 6 hours on low and was delish. This roast is so tender it just falls off the fork.

Roast after we threw everything in the pot

How things Look from the Empty Nest. . .

Everyone keeps asking. . .

Everyone keeps asking how the Hubbs and I are doing with the empty nest. So far we are doing well. With technology as advanced as it is we talk or text with the boys sometimes daily. The first week or two Big T text me daily, several times a day in fact. I was worried a little bit about him being so far away but he has gotten very busy making friends and doing school work that it has been almost a week since he has text me anything. They both text and call the hubbs though to talk music or sports.

I did miss the boys this week. . .

I did miss the boys this week, it has been almost a week since I had a text from them other than I need money for clothes. Sprat has changed his major now three times and has landed in teaching, hence the clothes buying. Sprat sent me a picture of him dressed up going off to his first day of Middle School. LOL!! He looked very professional with his back pack slung over one shoulder. Have been asking Big T to send me a picture of him since we left him last month. Yes, it has been a month to the day that we left our babies in Massachusetts.

I had been bugging this kid for a picture for weeks, I needed proof of life. This is what he sends me.
Later he sends me this one, I told him I needed more than just his eyes and nose.

Not a lot has changed at the house. . .

Not a lot has changed at the house for the hubbs and I. We are both still working and hanging out. I have started walking more and the hubbs is fishing here and there. The boys rooms and bathroom has had a deep clean the likes of which nobody has ever seen and we have donated quite a few clothes. Have lost some momentum in the cleaning area, will be back at that soon though. Plan on painting their bathroom soon, excited about that.

Life for the empty nesters. . .

Life for the empty nesters is not all that different from when you have kids in the house. Clean up after meals is so much easier and my sink is not full of dishes when I get off work. Our grocery bill has gone way down since the boys left. The hubbs and I could live out of our garden with just the two of us. Sleep comes easier knowing they are not going to be baming in the doors at 1100 talking loudly and banging things around. The hubbs and I are early risers, we do still have Sweet Basil and she gets us up at 0500 every morning without fail. Getting up that early we tend to go to bed earlier too. I like that, it gives the hubby and I a chance to cuddle and the empty nest means snuggle and cuddle without interruptions and I have been chased around the house a few time by the hubbs.

Socially our activities have either been family or kids

Socially our activities have been geared to family or kids events. The hubbs and I were never that social before we had kids. The empty nest has given us a little bit of a social life. I saw a meme on the internet about going from Mother to Me again, I feel like that is what the empty nest is like. After all, it is not truly and “empty” nest my kids will always be welcome at my house any time. We have a get together planned this month with some of the hubbs old high school friends and I am looking forward to it. I hope I remember how to act and geeze I hope I have something to wear. It will be nice to visit and catch up with these guys and maybe make this a regular thing.

It Is Time to Open the Time Capsule. . .

Big T got to Open His Time Capsule this Weekend.

The Boys had their last hurrah at Grandma and Grandpa’s house this weekend before they head off to school next week. We celebrated Sprat’s birthday since his actual birthday will be while he is away at school and we celebrated Bit T’s graduation once again. The hubbs and I sealed a time capsule for each of the boys when they were about two years old and set the date they would open it as their high school graduation.

Big T and his Time Capsule, the hubby sitting beside him.

Celebration and Time with Family . . .

the boys with Grandma and Grandpa
Dad and I being Silly
Mom and I

Food, family, and fun was had by all. Mom got on my brother-in-law’s motorcycle. Now just to tell you, Mom just celebrated her 90th birthday this year and recently had hip replacement so the motorcycle thing was a big deal. Mom and Dad have always been willing to try new things and we reminisced about Dad riding my brother’s motorcycle years and years ago and going over the embankment in front of our house doing tricks. Growing up we all rode horses and I have seen both Mom and Dad thrown off horseback at one point or another. Luckily neither suffered devastating bodily injury.

How to Set Up Your Own Time Capsule. . .

We sealed each of the boys time capsules when they were about two years old. We enlisted family and friends to add things to the capsule. Sprat had an official Gerber time capsule, Big T had a make shift (mommy made) time capsule. A great time to set these up is at the child’s 1st or 2nd birthday, that way everyone is there and can add their items to the capsule. Below is a list of somethings we enclosed:

  • Pokeman cards
  • toys that were popular during that time
  • lists of what things cost at that time
  • sentimental family things
  • Special Coins: non circulated coin set from the year they were born
  • items they loved that first year of life
  • birthday cards from their first birthday
  • Sprat had some “Joe Camel” memorabilia since his great uncle worked for RJR and “Joe Camel” was no longer allowed to be used as advertisement.
  • Baby pictures, pictures from their first birthday
  • Both boys got one of their Granddaddy’s police patches and official police badge from his time of service.
  • Big T got a very special case knife from Grandma and Grandpa
  • there was a local publication that folks would put pictures of their grand kids in and Big T was in that and that was in his time capsule.

Conclusion. . .

Stay tuned we are packing both boys to go to school. More to come on how the hubbs and I will adjust to sorta empty nesting.