Monthly Archives: January 2014

Strange But Good~You Really Did That??

Good Morning! I’m excited to be back with the Strange But Good crew that gathers over at Laura’s Sprint 2 The Table.  I feel so at home with anything that includes the word Strange!

Sprint 2 the Table

I’m always finding food in my fridge that I forgot was in there.  Most of the time whatever I find is unrecognizable and only good as a science experiment.  Not so with dried things apparently.  I found a container of prunes that I forgot I had.  Now, I think most of you are probably turning your noses up right now, but don’t.  Spending so much time with my Grandmother, prunes or “pru-ins” as she called them, were a staple around the house. They’re good for you-lots of fiber and potassium.  I gave her recipe for prunes once before and if I could find the post I’d link it.  I’ll do some searching and link it up soon.

So there I was with prunes that I figured I should probably use up and breakfasts I needed to eat.

First one was prune overnight oats.

Prune overnight oats


I chopped up 4 or 5 prunes.  I mixed a 1/4 cup each of oats and oat bran, 1/3 a cup of fat-free vanilla yogurt, cinnamon and 1/2 cup of Almond Breeze unsweetened.  I recently found out that 1/2 cup of this counts for 0 Points on Weight Watchers.  I have to verify that with my WW leader but I’m pretty excited.  I love to save a point wherever possible!  I know that a lot of people like their OOIAJ cold, and I have eaten it that way, but when possible, I like to warm it.  I do 1 minute 30 seconds in the microwave.  This was really tasty and I could taste the prune-y goodness.  I’ll do this again when there’s no fresh fruit available.

My next adventure was a prune smoothie.

Prune smoothie


I had to think ahead a little bit for this one.  The night before I chopped up again about 4 or 5 prunes.  I poured 1/2 cup of Almond Breeze over them and put them in the fridge overnight to soften them.  Next morning, I added another 1/2 cup of the Almond Breeze, 1/3 cup of fat-free vanilla yogurt and 2 scoops of protein powder.  I whirred it up in the Magic Bullet.  It was delicious!  The soaking was a good idea and next time, I do need to blend it a little longer.  The prunes needed some more spinning time.  I had a lot of prune chunks sticking in my straw! Regardless, it was great and it made me think of my Gram.  I will be trying both of these again.

That’s Strange But Good for me for this week.  Be sure to check out the other strange people who hang out over at Sprint 2 The Table.  I always get great ideas there!

Happy Friday!!

WIAW~Where Have I Been?

Where have I been?!  I have no idea.  In a fog somewhere.  I have missed being a part of Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday party over at Peas and Crayons.  I’m here and ready to talk about and look at some yummy food.  Be sure to check out the other bloggers over at Peas and Crayons when you’re finished here.

Peas and Crayons

These are some meals from the last few weeks.  The weeks when I haven’t been showing up here.  Except for today’s breakfast, I’m not sure what is from when so I’ll just dive in.

Dunkin Donuts breakfast


A Dunkin’ Donuts egg white veggie flatbread and coffee.  I left the cheese off of the sandwich to save 2 Points. It was 5 Points this way. Tasty!

WW veggie soup in crock pot


A big crock pot filled with Weight Watchers veggie soup.  I should probably review again sometime how I make it.  Next time I make it, I will.  This has lasted about a week and it’s very tasty and filling.

Smoothie with crock pot apples


I’m really enjoying smoothies lately.  This was almond milk, fat-free vanilla yogurt, protein powder and some of the crock pot apples I make all the time.  This is very tasty.  Love my Magic Bullet!

Diner breakfast


Breakfast at one of our favorite diners.  This one is an egg white omelette with spinach, onions, tomatoes and garlic.  It comes with the cottage cheese and no toast.  It’s great for me…helps me stay on track with Weight Watchers.

cabbage and black eyed peas


One of my strange combos.  Cabbage, onion, red bell pepper and crock pot black-eyed peas.  Underneath all of that yumminess are two small sweet potatoes.  I love doing this with sweet potatoes.  Topped off with a little parmesan cheese.

This next photo is a sad one.  I’m calling this the one that got away.

The one that got away


It looks so pretty.  Crock pot lentils with leftover quinoa and broccoli.  Problem was…I put it in the microwave to warm everything up.  As I was taking it out of the microwave, I hit the door with my hand and the plate went flying across the room.  Food all over everything.  The only good thing was that the dish didn’t break.  I had to settle for a Much less satisfying meal as a replacement.

I am trying to cook more.  I’m going to the farm market tomorrow to stock up on veggies and start roasting.  I love my veggies that way but I don’t do it nearly often enough.  I will from now on.

So that’s it for WIAW this week for me.  I’m happy to be back with the in crowd.  Don’t forget to check out all the fun over at Peas and Crayons!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!!

Week In Review~January 27

Can it possibly be the end of January already?!  Yes, it can but I’m not going to let it get me all scatter brained, because, well I already AM all scatter brained.  I’ll do something comfortable like joining in on Week In Review over at Meghan’s Clean Eats, Fast Feets.  Always such a fun and comfortable place to be.  Here we go!

I’m still not quite on the list bandwagon yet (I’m working on it, Meghan!)  Meghan is such a great cheerleader for me.  Always telling me I can do it.  I can get organized, I can get this done.  She’s a lot like my sister, Ele in that.  Always supportive.   We’re very lucky when we find such supportive people in our lives.  Thank them whenever you can…Thanks, Ladies!

Meghan tells me that I need to list things that may seem not list worthy but yet are part of your day, your routine…things that take your time.

I got up and made the coffee…Every Day! Ok.  I can work with this.  Another thing that has become very important to me is my morning pages.  Since I joined the Artist’s Way Cluster (yes, that’s what Julia Cameron calls it, a cluster.)  on January 8, I have done my morning pages each day.  Not one skip.  Even on days when I had to be up and out early (Saturdays for my Weight Watchers meeting) I get up and do them.  Almost from the start, I began to see the benefit of them.  I get a lot of things off my chest and start a new day with a clearer head and perhaps a little more focus.  I love the process.

Tuesday we were the recipients of yet another snowstorm.  It was not as bad as it could have been, but it sure looked like it would be.  The roads were clear pretty quickly, but we stayed in nonetheless.  That one day of being inside, made me feel like such a slug and that seemed to continue throughout the week.  I’m trying to get myself motivated and I will.  I hate when I have these sluggish periods.  They serve no purpose especially when I have so much to do!

Did some cooking, lentils in the crock pot.  Ok, I’d show you a photo, but I’ve showed them before and let’s face it, they’re not that pretty but they do taste good.  I had a dinner disaster on Wednesday night.  I was warming up a plate of leftover quinoa and broccoli with some of my newly made lentils. As I took them out of the microwave, I hit the door and the plate went flying. All…Over…Everything.  I had to clean it up And make another, much less satisfying meal.  One good thing…the dish didn’t break! Hooray because it’s one of my favorites.

Thursday morning found me taking my car to the mechanic again.  Then having to walk home in the snow, but that was ok.  I’m looking forward to the snow going away because I want to get out to walk.  Finally got the car back on Friday night.  By the way, it turned over 150,000 miles, so keeping it in shape is important.  No room in the budget for another car, so I pray over it regularly.

Saturday with another snowstorm threatening, I headed to Weight Watchers.  I was down .2 but that was great since due to the cold I was wearing much heavier jeans than usual.  Not bad.  Also on Saturday I decided that I am giving up soda.  I don’t drink that much of it, but after some of the things I’ve been reading lately about sodas in general (chemicals and such) I figured I don’t need it.  I’ve always enjoyed drinking seltzer so that’s what I’m moving to.  I figure, most restaurants have it and if not I can just drink water.  This worked when I gave up chips.  On March 9 it will be three years that I haven’t eaten chips.  I think I’m a better person for it.  I gave them up because I couldn’t control them.  Now I don’t have to think about it.

Here it is Sunday. Getting my post finished the day before makes me happy, and I can put it on my list!  There’s something else I need to put on my daily list.  I need to plan the days that I will post and then I’ll get it done.  Oh, Meghan…you are my Hero!!

Don’t forget to head over to Clean Eats, Fast Feets to check out what everyone else is up to.

Happy Monday!!

Week In Review~January 20~Who Are You, Again?

Oh, yes, it’s me again, apologizing for not being around.  Yes, I’m sorry, Yes, I’ll try to not let it happen again.  All of those apologies aside, I am here and I’m trying to get back into the routine.  What better way than to join in with Meghan at Clean Eats, Fast Feets!  Before I lose the urge to write, let’s get to this!

Again, I have to confess to a very disjointed unfocused week.  I need to get better at documenting what on earth I do!  Next week, I promise there will be lists!

I continue to attend my The Artist’s Way meetings and I feel I’m getting a great deal from these meetings.  I’m still enjoying doing my morning pages.  I’m not sure that you’re really suppose to enjoy them, but I am.

I am working hard to get myself back in the rhythm of sorting/tossing/packing that I was in before Christmas.  This is something else to make me dislike the whole Christmas thing.  Well, I’m not going to let that break stop me from my plan.  I’ll get back on track.  I’m trying the idea of actually writing down what I want to accomplish on a day and doing as many of those things as I can.  Hmmm…I think that’s called a list!  I’ll get there and I will be successful.

On Thursday Ralph and I met up with Ralph’s sister Maddie and her husband, George for lunch at Olive Garden.  It was great but we really didn’t want to end our time together within the time frame that restaurants usually like regarding getting the heck out of their seats.  So we went across the street to Barnes and Noble for coffee where we spent 2 hours talking and laughing.  We had a great time!

Since I haven’t been posting, I haven’t been talking much about my Weight Watchers efforts.  In recent weeks, mindless night-time snacking has been a problem for me. This past week I was really able to get that all under control for the most part.  I made really good food choices at meals and my reward was a loss of 1.2 pounds on Saturday morning.  I was pretty happy.  A lot of that was due to the fact that after almost 27 years on Weight Watchers, I actually planned my meals.  I will be doing that again in the coming week.  Don’t mess with success!

I’m writing this on Sunday as I often do in order to get it posted on Monday morning.  I have a lot planned for today.  Some sorting, reading my next chapter for The Artist’s Way and on the novel I’m currently reading, Inferno by Dan Brown (review to follow on Goodreads.) But my main focus will be those lists I mentioned earlier.  I may not get them all done today, but I will get started on them.  That’s my promise and I’m sticking to it.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers linking up with Meghan’s Week In Review over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets.

Happy Monday!!

Week In Review~January 13 on January 14

So here I am again, a day late and a dollar short.  I tried to get on my computer yesterday to do Week In Review and the computer was having none of it!  Not sure why.  Both of my computer experts are out of reach at the moment so I’m going to have to do it long distance.  We’ll work it out.  So in spite of the fact that I am a day late, I’m still here and I’m still going to link up with Meghan’s Week In Review. Be sure to check out the other reviewers over at her bloggity blog Clean Eats, Fast Feets!

Another one of those crazy weeks where things go round and round and I feel as if I’m going to spin-off of the carousel.  I’m working at getting that back on track and I’m holding on to my horsey as tightly as I can.  We’ll get through it all, I have faith in that and I know all will be well.

I know that Meghan is going old school, back to lists this week.  I’m working on lists but won’t be able to share them until next week, well because they’re not on paper yet, still in my head! It’s a scary place in there, but I have the treasure map and I’m safe as long as I don’t step on a butterfly. ( Sci-Fi movie reference, anybody? Anybody?)  Trust me…there will be lists next week.

I am enjoying working on The Artist’s Way process.  I talked about it last Friday.  I’m feeling comfortable with the idea of trying to dig out my creativity that’s hidden in there somewhere.  I should have done this a long time ago, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that things will come in their time.  I like writing the morning pages and haven’t missed a day yet.  Hope to keep up that track record.  I like the idea of unloading all the excess nonsense that’s up in my head.  Get it out of the way first thing in the morning and I can try to be productive the rest of the day.  I like it.  I’ll keep you all posted on how I’m doing.

The other thing that I’ve been doing is something I saw online.  I know not to believe or mindlessly follow everything I see on the Interwebs, but this is a good idea and not hard to follow and there will be a benefit at the end.

Money Jar

This is my little money jar.  I wish I had saved the piece that I saw online.  It was a little grid showing how it works, but it’s pretty simple and I think even I can do the math, well not right now and not without a calculator…but I could do it!!

The first week of the year you put $1 in a jar (or envelope or secret drawer or hat band or whatever you like.)  On the second week you put in $2.  I’m up to week three so on Monday I put in $3.   I’m up to $6 in my wonderful old Mason jar.  I’ve put a reminder on the calendar on my phone so I won’t miss a week.  You do this every week the number of dollars you put in corresponding to the week of the year.  The last week you put in $52.  The grid said that you’d wind up with just over $1300 at the end.  If it’s hard for you to save money, as it is for me sometimes, this is a good idea.  Making it like a game makes it fun and I’ll end up with a lot of money at the end.  No pyramid schemes, just saving.  At the end of the year I’ll be sitting in New Mexico and opening my jar filled with money.  I like that.  (How’s that for creative visualization you creative visualization folks out there?!?!) Money is good.  New Mexico is even better.  Together, they are the best!

My week included a disappointing visit to Weight Watchers on Saturday.  I was up 1.6 pounds.  I know I haven’t been doing what I’m supposed to and there has been LOTS of mindless, emotional eating going on.  After that realization on Saturday, I have been Much better.  I’m feeling back in control and after almost 27 years working on this program, I’m actually starting to plan my meals in advance.  It’s been a big help for the last few days and I’ll talk more about it next week after I see how it’s worked out.

So, that’s Week In Review, a little late, but here nonetheless.  Be sure to stop over at Clean Eats, Fast Feets to see what Meghan and the other kids have on their lists. It’s always great fun!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday Snapshot~January 11

I can’t believe that I did not post for Saturday Snapshot last week.  I believe that is a crime in this state!  Ok, I’m joking but I did feel like something was missing.  I love Saturday Snapshot hostessed by the lovely Melinda at West Metro Mommy Reads.  I will try to not let this happen again!



I know that I am not the only one suffering from the cold.   It’s been terrible here in New Jersey, but I know things can be worse.  I’ve seen the photos of what the poor folks in Chicago and the rest of the mid-west are experiencing.  It’s scary.

I had to be up and out pretty early the first few days of the week.  I was helping my sister, Ele whose car was in the shop.  Knowing it was pretty cold…3 degrees when I went to start the car on Monday morning, I went out early.  I wanted to give it plenty of time to warm up before I had to get it moving.

I was bored sitting there so what better to do than to take a cold weather selfie.

Cold Face


This was me, sitting in the car, waiting.  I had quite a few layers on but it was still cold.  The car heater took it’s time to start warming up, too.  I did survive.  As I’m writing this, the temperature on my phone reads 32 degrees.  That sounds a lot better.  That sounds like a heat wave to me!!

Be sure to check out the other photographers joining in for Saturday Snapshot over at West Metro Mommy Reads.  Enjoy the warm weather!!

Happy Saturday!

Disappearing Act

Good Morning!! I have not been sucked into a huge black hole and spirited away to some distant planet.  I’m right here and still chugging along.  I’ve missed everyone.  I knew I was in trouble AND a slacker when my best friend Gail called from Florida to catch up and said that she didn’t know what I was up to because “someone had not been writing her Blog!!”  I guess she told me.

Here I am, alive and well.  I’ve actually been recovering from the Holidays and working at improving my mood.  I’m feeling better and working to rev up my enthusiasm for the tasks before me.  I won’t bombard you with everything at once.  I’ll ease back in.

The major thing I want to talk about today is something that I find quite exciting.  Through Meetup, I’ve found a group that is working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

The Artist's Way


At least five times in the past, I’ve tried to go through this program on my own.  I have always been unsuccessful in the past.  I couldn’t make myself read through the program, write the morning pages or complete the tasks.  I guess I need to be in what I feel is a structured or more class-like environment in order to do it.  I joined last week and attended the first meeting on Wednesday.  It was fascinating and a great learning experience.  The group is small so far, only five people including Monica, our leader.  I like the idea of a small group.  Fewer distractions that way and we can get to know each other better.  I feel that this time I am going to be able to complete it.

In a way, I think this will help me focus.  I know, I know.  I’m always talking about focus and how I don’t have it and I am seeking it.  That’s all true and as I go through The Artist’s Way, I think I will start to develop that focus.  I’m not expecting it to happen overnight, but I think it will happen.  I already feel that I’m developing a more positive attitude.  That’s a very important step in the right direction.

This is a twelve week course and I will try not to bore anyone by talking about it too much.  However, after only one meeting, I feel that this will be a good thing.

I will try not be so much of a ghost.  I’ll be here doing my job.  I hope you all miss me when I’m not here.  I know that I miss all of you.

Happy Friday!!

Strange But Good~Starting the New Year Right

I have not played along with the Strange But Good gang over at Laura’s Sprint 2 The Table in a while.  I’ve really missed it and I’m glad to be back today.

Sprint 2 the Table

The old New Year traditions is to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day to bring you wealth during the coming year.  I tried to convince Ralph that he needed to play along with this but he would Not.  I guess that all of the wealth that comes to me in the New Year will be mine.  I will however be a benevolent ruler…I’ll share with him.  Anything to get out of New Jersey!

Back to the task at hand.  I’ve had a half bag of black-eyed peas hanging around in my pantry for a while so I knew if I wanted this to happen, I needed to get soaking!  Because of our schedule, I soaked them Monday night.  I was so proud of myself for remembering!

Bright and early Tuesday morning I had my little black-eyed friends in their crock pot bath.

black eyed peas in the crock pot


I chopped an onion, added pre-chopped garlic and lots of Mrs. Dash.  Covered it all with veggie broth.  I started it on low because I knew we had a breakfast date and I wasn’t sure what time we’d be home.  We got home at about 2 pm and then I turned it to high. They cooked for a few hours more.

New Year’s Day we were going out to lunch so I knew this would be a dinner thing.  Sadly, I never checked my pantry.  Thought I had elbow macaroni.  I did find some tiny shell past that were spelt or something like that.  Someone had given it to me.  It was generally brown before and after cooking.

black eyed peas Finished


It’s difficult to see, but there ARE black-eyed peas in there.  I topped them with some red pepper flakes and shredded Romano cheese.  This was Very good.  There was plenty of juice left in the BEP’s after cooking to make a saucy thing with the cheese.  Very good.  It was a great way to start off the New Year.  Again, doesn’t look that appealing, but it tasted great.  In fact on this snowy day, if I can find some other kind of pasta in the pantry (I know there’s some hiding in there Somewhere!!)  I’ll have this for dinner today.

That’s it for Strange But Good for me today.  Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your New Year.  Mine is pretty good so far.  I’m keeping a positive attitude and running with the ball!

Be sure to check out some additional strangeness over at Laura’s Sprint 2 The Table!

Happy Friday!!