Monday, March 25, 2013

5 for Five


Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Ours was definitely rain-filled! I did manage to get a lot of things done around the house, so I guess it's ok. It's still a little chilly today, but I'm hoping that the rest of the week will get better. So it's time for another 5 for Five post. I did much better this last week than I have in the past. I still didn't reach all 5 goals, but I am improving!

1. Reach my 8,000 step goal every day. I was a few hundred steps short on Friday and that kept me from hitting my goal. If only I had done a couple more laps at work!

2. Post at least 2 blog posts (in addition to this one). Done and Done!

3. Track every B, L & T this week. Nope, not even close.

4. Stay off FB in the evenings until Addison is asleep. I had success at this one!

5. Not eat any candy all this week. I didn't eat any candy. I may have had some during the weekend, but that wasn't part of the 5 for Five!

So now it's time for this week's goals:

1. Reach my 8,000 step goal every day. I may have to do a little extra in the evenings, but I really want to hit this one again!

2. Work out at least 3 days this week. I have a Dr's appt on Friday and I really need to try to be active before that.

3. Stay off FB in the evenings until Addison is asleep. I think this one is important and I need to keep it up.

4. Not eat any candy all this week. I know I will be eating some over the weekend again, so I need to try to stay away from it before that.

5. Get one more meal done to put in the freezer for after little man makes his debut. I have a couple of them done, but really need to get that freezer loaded up!

So there you have it. Another 5 for Five. Don't forget to check back next week to see how I did. And also maybe try to check out some of the other posts that are on the link-up page.

So long for today...

Orange Brownies

Really not sure why this re-posted itself...but here's a blast from the past!

Well, I didn't hit my goal this morning. Not surprising, but it's ok. I'm thinking maybe I just need a little bit of a break. I've decided that I'm going to stay as close to on plan as possible for the rest of the week and enjoy myself to the fullest on vacation. I will deal with the damage after I get back. I'm hoping that taking a week off will give me a little bit of momentum to lose this last pound, plus whatever I might pick up while we're gone. We had a luncheon at work today to celebrate Administrative Assistant's Day. I decided to try a new recipe that I saw on Paula's Home Cooking a few weeks ago. These brownies were so incredibly good! Nothing about them is Weight Watchers friendly though. I have decided that I will try to make these more friendly to the plan though. Once I do, I will happily post my results here, Here's the recipe:

adapted from Paula's Home Cooking
Servings: 24
Points+: 8

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure orange extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 recipe Orange Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Orange Brownies:
Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add butter, eggs, orange extract, and orange zest. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until light golden brown and set. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pierce entire cake with a fork. Spread the Orange Cream Cheese Frosting over completely cooled brownies. Cut into squares.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together with a hand-held electric mixer. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until it is all combined and smooth. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Spread over brownies.

EXERCISE Well, since I didn't stay anywhere close to on plan today, I definitely needed a good workout tonight. I decided right after lunch that nothing but Bob's Super Strength workout would do...arm shaking and all! Even though I didn't reach my goal today, I still hope to some day and I will keep up with my workouts to do so! No excuses! So long for today...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lemon-Lime Cupcakes

Who's ready for the weekend? I definitely have both of my hands up. These last couple of weeks have been very trying for me and I am so ready for a break! We are going to the circus tonight and other than that, we have nothing planned for the weekend. Still considering the whole hibernation idea, but we'll see. I still have to fight with myself just to make myself slow down a little bit. It's hard to get things done when you're supposed to be relaxing with your feet up!

Even though it may not feel like it outside, IT'S SPRING!!! Of course, maybe it does feel like Spring where you are. If it does, I am so jealous!! If it doesn't these cupcakes are the perfect dessert to brighten your day. The flavors are absolutely delicious and they really have a great texture. I promise you that you won't be able to tell that they're light, and neither will anyone else! Here's the recipe:

adapted from Emily Bites
Servings: 24
Points+: 3

1 (18.25 oz) box of yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist)
1 can of diet lemon-lime soda (I used Sprite Zero)
2 egg whites
1 lemon
1 lime
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese - do not substitute fat free
1 c powdered sugar

Preheat oven per directions on cake mix box.

Line cupcake pan(s) with 24 cupcake liners or use cooking spray to lightly coat 24 spots

Zest both the lemon and lime and set zest aside. Cut both fruits in half. Using a reamer, or by hand, ream/squeeze the juice from half a lemon and half a lime into a large bowl. Set the other halves aside.

In the large bowl with the lemon & lime juice, add the cake mix, soda, egg whites and half of the lemon and lime zest. Beat together with an electric mixer until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture evenly into cupcake spaces, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake according to directions on cake mix box. Let cool completely before frosting.

In a separate bowl, squeeze or ream the juice from the remaining lemon and lime halves* and add the remaining zest, the Neufchatel cheese and the sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and then use to frost the cupcakes.

* The frosting isn't meant to be stiff per say, but you may want to mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar first and then add the lemon and lime juice bit by bit until you reach your desired flavor & consistency!

I was so tired last night and really needed to relax. I did get my 8,000 steps in for the day, but that was it. Sometimes, it just feels so nice to take the time to relax. Hope I can do it more often during these next couple of months.

So long for today...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Mother Nature has been teasing me. I'm not very happy with her right now. It's almost April and it still feels like Winter here. I moved to South Carolina for warm weather!! Not cold. Yes, I do realize that it could be a lot worse, but it could also be a lot better. We had a beautiful weekend, and then the cold front rolled back into town. The next 10 days still aren't looking much better. We are going to the circus on Friday and I might just hibernate the rest of the weekend. I still have plenty to do to get ready for the baby, so maybe that's what I'll work on this weekend. We'll see.

I'm so glad to be bringing you a new recipe today. This is a recipe that I've seen on Pinterest a lot, but wasn't happy with their instructions or the ingredients, so I decided to figure out my own for mula for ingredients and instructions. Feel free to play around with this and add or change ingredients until you're happy with it...but I hope you'll like it the way it is!! This was so good. Even Addison ate it right up! It's really easy, too. I actually made it the night before and then put it in the refrigerator. I covered it and baked at a bit of a higher temperature for a while then uncovered it so the top could get nice and brown. So, so good! Here's the recipe:

Servings: 6
Points+: 10

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
2 c. uncooked pasta
1 jar light spaghetti sauce
2 c. 2% milk shredded mozzarella cheese
italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over chicken. Bake about 12 - 15 minutes or until cooked through. (You can also skip this step and cook the casserole for a little bit longer.) When chicken is done, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta until just al dente and drain.

Spray 2 qt. casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread a little bit of sauce (about 1/3 c.) in bottom of baking dish. Place chicken on top of sauce. Sprinkle with about 1/3 c. of cheese. Pour pasta over top of chicken. Pour remaining sauce over pasta and stir just a bit to cover all pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top of pasta and sauce.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for additional 10 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Last night I did some strength work on my own. I made sure that I had gotten in my 8,000 steps for the day and then I did some leg work and arm work. We had done walks for the last two evenings and TC even wanted to do another one last night. But for some reason, I wasn't feeling it. It might be because it was a little cooler, I'm not sure. But I still got in some exercise. It wasn't a lot, but it was better than nothing!!

So long for today...

Monday, March 18, 2013

5 for Five


Well hey there! Remember me? I am so sorry that I have been MIA for the last couple of weeks. I was actually in a training class for work that kept me out of the office all day and I didn't get home in the evenings until 6:30. By the time I finally got home, spent some time with Addison and got her to bed, I was exhausted. We also went to Charlotte weekend before last and this past weekend was so nice. I tried to enjoy the weather and also play catch up getting things done around the house. I am now 29 weeks and am starting to feel that I need to start getting prepared for this little one. So I thought I would give you an update on my 5 for Five from a couple of weeks ago:

1. Reach my 8,000 step goal every day. So happy I did this one every day!!

2. Post at least 2 blog posts (in addition to this one).

3. Track every B, L & T this week. I did it. It felt so great to be in control!

4. Stay off FB in the evenings until Addison is asleep. I accomplished this one, too!

5. Start a new book. I finally started Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. Such a great book!

I would like to still include some of these things in this weeks and add a couple new ones. Here we go:

1. Reach my 8,000 step goal every day. I have only done this a couple of times over the last couple of weeks, so I would really like to get back into the habit.

2. Post at least 2 blog posts (in addition to this one). One of these weeks I will get this one done!!

3. Track every B, L & T this week. After having an out of control weekend, I would really like to get things back under control this week.

4. Stay off FB in the evenings until Addison is asleep. Still need to keep this up.

5. Not eat any candy all this week. We are getting closer to Easter which means we have more candy in the house. I would really like to avoid it!

So there is this week's 5 for Five. Don't forget to check back next week to see how I did. And also maybe try to check out some of the other posts that are on the link-up page.

So long for today...