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Homemade Granola

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I love experimenting in the kitchen. I have an incredible sweet tooth so I am always looking for healthier snacks and ideas that help curb my love of chocolate.

Granola is one of my favorites so I tweaked this recipe that I found to cut down on calories and increase on protein. In my experience granola is very versatile and forgiving so experiment and enjoy.

 

8×8 greased casserole pan makes 8 big or 16 small
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup of  chopped unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of chopped dried fruit
1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
1 scoop of vanilla protein
1/2 cup of honey ( I like local honey)
pinch of salt
Sugar free chocolate sauce (optional)
Sugar free caramel sauce (optional)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Combine the nuts, coconut flakes and dried fruit, spread all the ingredients onto a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes until the combo is lightly brown. Remove from the oven, place the mixture  in a bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan combine honey, salt and the vanilla protein stirring often until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. If you are using a candy thermometer your reading should be 260 degrees F. Remove it from the stove and immediately pour it over the nut mixture. Once it is evenly distributed press the nut mixture into a casserole pan and let it cool for 30 minutes to an hour.
Once the granola is  completely cooled, drizzle the  sugar-free caramel sauce and sugar free chocolate sauce until it sets then cut into bars and serve.

Do you guys have a favorite granola mixture? I would love to hear them and experiment with some great flavors.

Until next time guys. 😀

 

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What a way to start a day

It’s morning, not my favorite time of day at all, I hear the buzzing of my alarm clock as I slap at my phone. Nowadays my phone does everything for me including waking me up. What did I ever do before the cell phone??  I push my way up and start shuffling through to the kitchen trying not to wake the baby. (He is not a baby anymore but I cannot help myself from calling him baby. I think that is my way of  dragging my feet to the realization of him growing up way to fast.) I hit the ON button of my Keurig (thanks Tiff) and ready myself for the day and my 5 miles.

I pull my Beats up over my ears and plug-in Cam’ron. Not exactly an artist to be featured on the pop stations, but I cannot listen to much except the hard stuff when I am preparing for a long distances run.  While sippin’ my coffee, you know we don’t like to put G’s on the end of anything down here, I throw on my clothes, grab my keys and slip out the door before my household wakes up.

I make my trek to the park and by now the sun is in full bloom and the smell of the fresh air and cool breeze hits my face. I wish I liked mornings because man this is beautiful. I loosen my self up, say my prayers and start my journey.

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My Guys

“We have no Internet again” I say turning and looking at “My Guys”.  It’s funny (not haha but interesting) how a person can have absolutely nothing to do without the internet nowadays. My office building, it seems, must be cursed because everytime the wind blows hard the internet goes down. Ugg… another fun day.

I walk in to find all my coworkers, all men, gathered in my office, apparently the hub, discussing politics, the weather and their night. None of which I care about. “Guys our internet is down again” I say as they sip their coffee turning their lips up to make that annoying slurping sound while looking at me with a blank expression. Their matter of fact approach for things are starting to get to me today.

Normally, I don’t mind working with all men. To be honest, sometimes it is a sweet relief from working with all women which I have done as well. Working with all woman is grand at times but other times it feels like your constantly be judged or singled out for not being a part of the clique at that moment in time. At last, today the boys “ways” are grinding a metaphorical knife into my temple.

I’ve worked in the field for 12 years now and I’ve taken my fair share of beatings from them and others. I guess  you could say I’ve earned my stripes, but days like today I miss having other females around. I want them to get the hell out of my office, now. Their booming voices echo through the room, the wisping sound of the fan roaring, their heavy clanking of their boots and the piercing lights of the office is making my migraine seize up again worse now than before and I feel like screaming at them.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them all in their own ways and I truly feel that being around them in some crazy way is making me appreciate raising a boy. However, these same guys are the exact same guys that spray mold and mildew to mask a upleasant smell. Who does that?? The exact same guys use our decorative rug, in the middle of the floor and nowhere near the door, as a foot rug to wipe their muddy, nasty feet on. Yes, the exact same guys, that have blown snot from thier noses ( you know what I mean, they hold one nostril down and blow out with the other) in front of my window and yes little particles of snot come running down in front of me. Insert vomit emoji here. They are truly gross and disgusting at times.

Regardless, I am the office Mother and I dutifully tend to my little brood of babies. “Did you wash your hands?” Ugg, “I’ll make my own coffee thanks.” “You drove to work in that? Your tire wires are showing!” “Don’t bother, sheesh I’ll get my own ride” “Your asking me for money again?” Sigh. You get the picture.

After a minute a smile spreads across my face and I laugh to myself as I think of some of their wild ways. “I’m going for a run guys.” I say to them as I walk out the door.

Despite all their gross ways and absurd actions. They are insanely funny, honest, almost to a fault, hugely supportive and sweetly willing to comply to all of my demands, most of the time.  I have notched a little place in their world and they have helped open up mine. I figure if I can survive them than I should be able to tackle some of these crazy obstacles on my journey.

Until next time… guys. 😀

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

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It’s Friday…

One thing that I like to do to help remove stress from the week and break up my routine is arts and crafts.IMG_2712[1]

I took a class Friday on working with wood. Here is my blank canvas

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A stained look after a little sanding. A grainy piece but I like the imperfections.

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One hiccup, do not go by the cut out, but rather the words or your piece will be slightly tilted.

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Removing the tape…

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Do not forget to color your words… “A little color and a little bit of paint makes my canvas  what she ain’t.”

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Removing the stickers

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What a finish…  “Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” Jack Kerouac

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Another Day

Its week 2 of my 8 week 10k running plan. It’s a easy day by comparison only 20 minutes of an easy run. Thank you Lord, coming off of two days of exercise classes and a so far rough week with no sleep I’m beat. Oh and not to mention one of my regular customers today told me I looked pregnant. Nice… lol Oh well, I am chalking it up too she 80 and can’t see. Smiley face lol.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the scale. For as far back as I can remember the scale was something I dreaded and then finally looked upon as magnificent when I reached the beautiful number 120 weight and Size 2 jeans.

Me in 2003 at age 20 in a size 4

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I loved that number, I did everything for that number I was truly obsessed. I took CLA’s religiously; ate lean cuisines for breakfast, lunch and dinner; scarf down weight loss supplements, and finally low-calorie diets. All while exercising 5 days a week. Ridiculous.  Did I mention I did a few of these things while I was pregnant? Like eat lean cuisines and walk on my treadmill everyday until I was hospital bound.

Me at 35 weeks getting ready to be induced

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In the end, I gained cottage cheese legs, which I still have, high blood pressure, which I take medication for and an irregular fast heartbeat which I also take medication for and requires me to visit my doctor twice a year for monitoring. This all could me hereditary of course but I truly believe what I was doing to myself was a direct result.

Me today before my run 

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I am now in a size 6 and just this Monday I had to visit my doctor for a checkup.  The wonderful scale number that day???  162 lbs

A far cry from my days before, but hopefully soon, a lot healthier.  My conclusion from Monday after my satisfactory checkup, screw a scale number.

 

That “beloved” number as since left me, but for a wonderful reason. IMG_2697[1]

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

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Ummm…

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Hey guys, so I lost a few followers this past week. It happens I understand, but I figured I would touch on this briefly. I started this blog as a tool to help me become a better Mother, wife and best of all a better person. I came into this experience excited with no research done and a bit naive.  For that I apologize. I failed to respond to comments from my awesome followers and it was brought to my attention that I need to post more than once a week.  So here we go, a new beginning of our new journey together. Thanks for all the love. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow.

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Thank you

Hey guys! I know it has been a few days since I wrote on my blog. I was just so amazed and blessed to see all the wonderful comments and all the shares, that I relished in the awesomeness for a while.  It took a lot for me to publish something so personal and vulnerable and I’m so elated that it had such a positive impact on so many people.

I had a lot of comments regarding workouts and not having enough time to squeeze them in. As a Mama, wife and full-time employee I totally understand this and can relate to never having enough time to do anything. My advice, take it slow. Drink plenty of water,  start changing up your eating habits, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a walk when you get home, or just tend a garden. Anything to get you out and up and doing something physically active. Once you get ready to tackle an at home workout you can do something like:

30 body squats- 10 push ups- 20 lunges- 10 opposite arm & leg lift – 15 second plank- 30 jumping jacks after you are done STRETCH! Do this 2 to 3 days a week. Or you can Google at home workouts there are plenty of ideas to choose from. Once you build up some confidence you can start challenging yourself to join the gym or take some fitness classes.

Good luck and thanks for continuing to follow my journey! Love to All!