Monday, June 25, 2018

Healthy Eating Tips - Do's & Don'ts

I am determined to lose some weight.

Unfortunately, I have to start over again since I went on a trip for two weeks! I wasn't terrible, but I was definitely side-tracked. Before I left, I had a good system going and felt better about myself. I even intended to keep it up while I was away, but I had to eat out too often. That's a killer for keeping track of healthy eating!

So here's what was working for me - keeping it simple and easy!

finding the balance
  • SNACK RIGHT - I cut up fruits and veg into serving sizes and bag them. Easy to grab and munch on!
  • ALSO... When buying snacks for the kids, don't buy stuff you like. Only get stuff they like so you won't be tempted.
  • MEAL RIGHT - though it may conflict with your family, try several small "meals," -- this also helps keep you from snacking between. OR time meals so you can eat with your family, but eat small portions.
  • WRITE IT DOWN - When you write down calories or other info about the food you're eating, you will eat less! And No Cheating!
  • DRINK MORE - Water is the best, but any sugar-free drink will do. And if you feel hungry but you don't want to eat yet, have something to drink!
  • WORK IT, GIRL! - Find a way to get in some extra steps. When I feel I need extra exercise, I go up and down my stairs 10 times or more. It burns so good!
Now, here are the Don'ts:
  • Don't beat yourself up - making any lifestyle change is hard, especially the healthy kind. Try, try again!
  • Don't expect quick results - the older we get, the longer it takes to see a change.
  • Don't get discouraged - even if you don't see the results, you will feel them. You should be proud of yourself for doing it!
Got any advice or stories to share?
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Better Spaghetti & Dog Belts

Having grown kids isn't so bad, especially when you can count on them for good ideas.

My oldest son is living in New York and frequents Italian restaurants where he learned why my spaghetti always had water pooling on the plates with the noodles. Seems my over-draining was the problem.
According to a pasta professional, the best way to serve pasta with a tomato sauce is to leave a little of the noodle water on the noodles. Add the sauce to the noodles and mix. The starch from the noodle water thickens the sauce.

No more watery sauce!

My youngest son showed me how to improvise a dog leash. Our dog slipped her collar and ran away. My son ran her down, but didn't have a leash to walk her home, so he used his belt. I know I've had to walk run-away dogs home bent over dragging them by the scruff of the neck more than a few times. Not once did I think to use my belt.
A simple belt...
Can become a leash in a pinch.

And here's a tip you probably won't want to use. My husband's old car and was looking a bit raggedy. He decided to give her a fresh coat pf paint.
The old girl's paint was oxidizing, so...
$21 in cans of spray paint from Wal Mart and...

she's fancier than any of the 1994 Nissans in the salvage yard!

Monday, June 11, 2018

IRL Tips for Staying Sane

The other day, I was feeling sorry for myself (again? don't worry, this is a more upbeat post!) I was driving home to an empty house for the weekend. No one to cook for, no one to watch TV with, no one to talk to or play games with. It was awful! Wah, wah, wah.

Then, as I changed radio stations, I heard three songs referring to being ALONE!! I thought that only happened in movies. I had to crack up--actually LOL!

As Liz said last week, time has flown. My middle son just graduated high school as well and is joining the Army, but he was a ghost his whole senior year - except when he crashed stuff and needed rides. *eye roll*

With active teens flying the coop (pun on my son, Coop) there will be many lonely days ahead (husband doesn't count, but that's another post) Empty Nest Syndrome is real! Though some of you may not know what I'm talking about yet, I know there are days where you find yourself with unexpected, unplanned extra time on your hands and wonder "What do I do now?"

So here are my... Tips for Making the Most out of Alone Time!

  • Reconnect! - And I don't mean get on Facebook and look or even just texting/messaging. In Real Life Face-to-Face time!! Do it! We used to have play dates that were just as fun for the Moms as for the kids. No matter how busy our lives get, we need our friends.
  • Do something! - A job or hobby or volunteer work is a great thing to keep us active and social and sharp. Being alone, I can get loads of neglected chores done, but I start to get down if I'm alone doing thankless tasks for too long...
  • Go somewhere! - It's tough to find time to reconnect. We can't just sit around and wait. Try doing something by yourself! Shopping and taking a walk are awesome and not so bad to do by yourself. I'm going to try hiking again, something I used to love before kids. I also suggest eating out or going to the movies, worth a shot to get out of the house!
  • Travel! - Go further than your part of town. Spend some time with relatives or friends you haven't seen in a while. I'm going all by myself, driving 8 hours to visit my parents next week and see a bunch of my friends. I can't wait! So excited!
  • Do something for you! - Above I mentioned a few things to keep you busy. But this one is all about you. Writing is for me, but I'm trying to turn it into a job... And I can't do that all the time, so I turn to my Wish List - not for things I want, but of things I've been meaning to do, and it's a mile long. I love to organize, so purging closets and our basement always needs to be done. Scrapping/organizing my boys' sports memorabilia is another item that gets pushed aside. ETC!
It's funny--I've been complaining about not having enough time to do things most of my life with kids. Now, I can see the readjustment coming when the kids will be gone--thank goodness they're never really gone and they still need us sometimes!

Have a pleasant week!

Monday, June 4, 2018


My baby, boy #4 Conner, graduated from high school on Thursday. A storm moved the ceremony indoors, so it was miserably hot and a bit crowded. It was a moment I'll remember as fondly as the day he was born, which I'm pretty sure was only a few months ago. 

I've decided there is some sort of hiccup in the time continuum. Perhaps time is shaped like a bell curve. The whole growing up and becoming an adult portion of life seems to take forever. Once you reach that top, it sets off a free fall of days. 

I don't have any scientific research to back up my claim, but 9 out of 10 moms agree with me, so it has to be a truth. 

Conner Adam Seckman
To celebrate, we had Conner's graduation party this Saturday. Nothing fancy, just a backyard BBQ. I was tired of the usual potato salad and pasta salad, so I made mozzarella potatoes. They turned out good enough for Mr. Seckman to hide himself a bowl in the fridge for an after-party snack. 

These were super easy, of course, because you all know I only do easy!

Mozzarella Potatoes

2 bags frozen, shredded hash browns
16 oz. shredded mozzarella
2 large cans of cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sour cream
2 sticks of butter
2 tsp. onion powder

Preheat oven at 350 degrees
Pour the hash browns into a large baking pan (I used a large disposable roasting pan)
Slice butter on top of the hash browns and stick in the oven to melt butter
Mix together the soup, cheese, sour cream, and onion powder
Stir the cheesy mix into the potatoes
Bake for about an hour or until bubbly and a crispy crust forms on top

*This is the crowd-sized version of this recipe. To make a smaller batch, simply cut the recipe in half.

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