Monday, February 25, 2019

Easy Bachelor Friendly Meals #Recipes

My son, Caleb ( Boy #1)  is a smart, handsome, eligible bachelor (no, I am not trying to fix him up, however, if there are any nice girls out there around age 24...) Anyhow, Caleb was spending far too much eating out and while he may not worry about his budget, I do worry about his heart plugging up from all the Chinese take out.

I sent him the Really Real Housewives recipe for pico de gallo, which he found was as easy and delicious as the post claims. He only had one complaint: that he wasn't a housewife and thought we should make a blog for young, cool bachelors who prefer to cook with speed dial more than kitchen utensils.

So, here are some easy fixings for lazy days or lazy young bachelors.

Eggs are now diet friendly. I've always been an egg fan. Fried, scrambled, hard boiled...any way you cook them, they're a cheap, tasty source of vitamins and protein.

To make the plate more interesting...add zesty potatoes.

These ones were made with Tator Tots (or their generic version, the Tator Puff) To make a healthier version, dice whole potatoes, cleaned with skins on.

Tator Tot version: Sprinkle tots with cayenne pepper and garlic salt and bake as directed.
Potato version: Dice a potato and put it in a bowl. Add a tsp. of canola oil (or olive oil), a tsp each of garlic salt and cayenne pepper. Mix and bake in oven until crispy.

Lunch or Dinner:

Easy Fajitas. 

 Using the pico de gallo  idea. I added a packet of dry taco seasoning to strips of beef like a rub. I allowed the mix to absorb into the meat, then added the peppers and onion.

I prepped the mix on aluminum foil, so I could make the foil into a cooking pouch by crimping the edges. (I always place the aluminum pouch on a cookie sheet, because it often leaks juice.)

The result? A fajita mix you could eat over rice or wrap in a tortilla. We wrapped these in low-carb tortillas and made enough to have plenty left over for lunches and snacks.

Snack Time:

And lastly, a quick, healthy snack. When my boys were little, they loved "ants on a log". They still enjoy this sweet, crunchy snack. 
Add peanut butter and raisins to a stalk of celery. It's that easy!
Clean and store the celery in a bowl lined with a 
napkin or paper towel to keep them fresher longer. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Shrewd #Shopper & #BargainHunter

I love Big Lots and TJ Maxx. They have such great bargains. The trouble is, you have to hunt for the treasure among aisles and piles of merchandise that's not for you. I wish I had more time to shop, but I don't have time for exploration and discovery in the jungles of clothes trees.

When I shop, I usually have a list. I also plan to hit more than one store in the same area to consolidate my trip and save time. Like today, I have to get my oil changed. I also have to go to the mall and get my ring inspected (every six months). While I'm out, I added a few errands in the same area. I've got great coupons for Old Navy and a list of domestics for Target. I like to save time and money!

I also recommend shopping "off-season." You can find the best deals on shoes and clothes when the stores are changing over their merchandise for the upcoming season. Right now (early Feb), winter is out and spring is in! I just got a great pair of boots for $30! (I love shoe shopping! DSW is my fave & Famous Footwear is top two because it's close) I also have a list on my phone of certain items I know I need soon, which helps me focus in the shoe wonderlands! And I never neglect the small Sale sections, where I find most of my bargain treasures!

lunch & girl talk with Sherry Ellis

But once in a while, I make plans to have lunch with a friend and we stroll through stores with no lists or goals. Those kind of shopping trips are necessary. Chatting and sightseeing and possibly finding treasure we didn't know we needed. It's a great adventure and the company is priceless!

What are your favorite stores? How do you shop? Spontaneous or Serious? And where do you find bargains??

Monday, February 11, 2019

Easy Chocolate Treat #snacks #diets

Years ago, I was trying to diet (it's a perpetual goal of mine). My cousin's wedding was coming and I was in the wedding party, so I was committed to losing some weight. So committed, I even swore off chocolate. I totally emptied my house of the stuff. My only supply was a box full of these chalky-tasting chocolate diet drinks that were supposed to abolish cravings.

I did pretty well for a few days. Then one Saturday afternoon, I wanted a Snicker bar. Like seriously. I wanted one bad enough I was tempted to swap weekend pajama wear for real clothes and drive to the store.

But I resisted. I ate a banana. Still wanted the Snicker bar. Drank a choco-chalky diet drink. Still wanted that Snicker bar. Ate another banana. Then a yogurt cup.

Still, I wanted that damned Snicker bar. I was about to mix up yet another choco-chalky drink and my skinny niece, who was spending the day with me, said, "Would you just get a Snicker bar? It's what, 280 calories? So far, you've consumed about 400 calories trying NOT to eat what you're really wanting. Go get the Snicker bar before you gain 10 pounds resisting it."

It was an educational moment. She was right. For me, there is nothing to be gained by trying to stay on a stringent diet. That only leads to binge eating and depression.

I've since learned the smarter way to approach healthy eating is to allow for cravings. And here's a great quick and easy crunchy, chocolatey treat:

Put a few chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate; it's health food) on a pretzel, microwave for a minute, top with another pretzel. Delicious.

Monday, February 4, 2019

You Gotta Have #Friends

You definitely gotta have friends!
Liz & Me are great friends who can relate to writing and boys!!
I've been a little down recently with my boys going away -- off on their own again. And I've also been feeling sympathy break-up pains... love stinks! yeah, yeah. So when a friend I haven't talked to in years texted me the other day and requested to buy 2 of my books, it really perked me up. God knew I needed to hear some encouraging words. Instantly, my cloud of self-pity and sadness was lifted.

my awesome friend I haven't see in 9 years!

This is the Barbie I customized for her -- a "mini me" Barbie!

and this is how she posed it when she moved -- haha!
I love and miss my friend!!
There's nothing like a text or call from a friend. Whether far or near, out of the blue or tried and true--kind words from a friend are an instant pick-me-up!

So spread a bit of good news, send a far away friend a funny picture, or invite a closer friend out to lunch or coffee. We could all use a little friendly conversation, any time!

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