by Melanie

A Whole Bunch of Completely Random Things!

September 25, 2014 in Adventures, Family Life, Meal Ideas, Nutrition, Weight Loss by Melanie

I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like to, dang it!  Life is crazy and I’m just trying to keep the balance with a new baby.  Unfortunately, blogging is usually at the bottom of the list. :-(

Sooooo, today I have a million random things to share with y’all!

First off, I was the receiver of a very interesting compliment/insult recently.  K, so a random man came to do some work on our house the other day.  He was probably in his mid-50s and was very nice.  When he walked in our house, he saw baby Carson and said, “Wow, now that’s a tiny baby!”  I said, “Ya, he’s just about 5 weeks old.”

Then…..he looked at me, looked at Carson and then looked at me again.  He then said, “Now that can’t be your baby!”  “Is that a grandbaby?”

Say Wha????

I’m sure this is exactly what I looked like…..


YES, I feel like an OLD mom, but I don’t think I look like a grandma yet!!!??!?!???!?


What in THEE heck.

However, he went on to say that I looked very “put together” and my house looked very “put together” and he thought I couldn’t possibly be a new mom.  He also told me about how his daughter has 2 kids and she and her husband are completely stressed out all the time and can barely handle life.  He said their house is always a wreck and they need help on a regular basis.

I’m thinkin’, “Nice Recovery….”

I couldn’t believe he thought I was a GRANDMA.  Seriously.  Seriously.

I’ve been laughing about it ever since.

Cute Kids

Well Baby Carson is growing up so quickly!  He is so much fun and I LOVE him so so much!

Me and Sweet Baby Carson

I can’t tell you how much I love hugging and squishing his tiny body and kissing those chubby cheeks.  Auuuugh.  I’m trying to memorize what it feels like to hold him because I don’t ever want to forget it.

It’s so sad for me to think he is my last baby.

However, I think I would feel the same way if he was my 20th baby!  I know there always has to be a “last baby.”  I guess I’ll have to savor my grandbabies, which apparently I should doing already, lol!


Yesterday, Carson was on the floor next to me while I was getting ready.  My 4 year old came in and started singing “Hush Little Baby” to him.  It was so sweet.  He then asked me to pull the song up on You Tube so he could show it to Carson.

Jacob showing Carson Hush Little Baby

What a sweetie pie!  It was another moment that I just wanted to savor and remember forever.  I love my precious babies so so much!

Oh, and speaking of cute kids, I have to tell you guys a couple of other cute/funny things my kids have said lately.

Yesterday, my 4 year old was quietly playing Legos while I was feeding Carson.  He started singing, “I wish I could marry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (i.e. We Wish You a Merry Christmas.)  He kept singing that same phrase over and over again and I thought it was adorable!

Also, a few weeks ago, I was talkin’ to my cute 6 year old.  He was telling me that he never wanted to move out of the house and he wanted to live with me forever.  I told him that was perfectly fine and when he got older, he could just live next door to me!

He then said, “Well mom, I’m not sure where you’re going to be living when I’m older, so if a house becomes available, just give me a call and I’ll buy it!”  He went on to say, “I’ll be the one driving the yellow Lamborghini because I’m going to be a rich drummer or a rich dancer.”

I laughed and laughed.  He always says the funniest things!  Love my kids.

Healthy Eating

I’ve still been trying to eat as well as I can and I feel great!  This has been my breakfast most mornings and I love it….

Eggs, veggies and peaches

It’s just a veggie/egg scramble topped with tomatoes, avocados and salsa.  I also cut up a fresh peach on the side.  Oh, and I got that big water cup thing in the hospital when I had Carson.  It’s been great!

I’ve made this for a snack the past couple days…

Apples and eggs

It’s just half an apple and a hard boiled egg.  It’s no-nonsense, tasty, filling and takes two seconds to make!  Love it.

Yesterday, two of my best friends in the whole world, Ali and Melodi, came to visit me!  I’ve known Melodi since birth and Ali since Junior High.  Love them.  We made yummy salads for lunch…

yummy salad with friends

I threw so many things on that salad and it was so so good!  It was romaine, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, grilled chicken, sliced almonds, Craisins, hard boiled egg, shredded Parmesan cheese and cottage cheese.


Just as my friends were leaving, I said, “Wait, we need to take a picture!!!”  So, we snapped two quick selfies.  However, Ali didn’t like one of them and Melodi didn’t like the other one, so I promised them I wouldn’t post them.

Soooo, I decided just to crop each of them out!!

Me and my friends

There ya go.  Win, win.

I love and cherish my friends so so much!  I’m so thankful for them.

I made tacos for dinner last night and they totally hit the spot!  AND, two of my kiddos helped me make them!!!!  Yay!

Brooke and D helping make tacos

My daughter cooked the taco meat and my 11 year old cooked up the tortillas.  Woo hoo.

I made a big taco salad for me…

yummy taco salad

It was just romaine, turkey taco meat, fat free refried beans, olives, tomatoes, peppers, green onions, cheese and avocado.  So Dang Good.  I realized later that I forgot to put salsa or sour cream on there, but I didn’t even miss it.

I made another YUMMY dinner the other night that I LOVED!

Chicken, veggies, quinoa and corn

I just made a concoction of grilled chicken, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, feta cheese and shredded Parmesan and put it on top of quinoa (I made whole wheat spaghetti for the kids.)  We also had corn on the cob.  I loved this meal!

I had the leftovers for lunch today…

leftover quinoa, veggies and chicken

I will have to compile the “official recipe” and share it with you guys.  It’s a keeper.

Sweet Treats

I’ve been having a few sweet treats lately too.  This has been my favorite thing to eat right before bed…

Chocolate and PB

I love this treat!  Just a spoonful of peanut butter with dark chocolate chips.  It’s so tough to eat just one spoonful though, hee hee.

I also made a Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

I actually halved the recipe and it was just perfect.  It’s basically made from Garbanzo beans, dates, oatmeal, applesauce and a few other things.  The only “bad” thing in this recipe is chocolate chips!

It wasn’t the yummiest thing in the whole world, but considering what it’s made of, I thought it was perty good!  All of my kids enjoyed it too, but my 6 year old said it “tasted fishy.”

Yesterday morning my 4 year old asked if he could “have some of my treat.”  I told him he could and later when I walked into the kitchen I found this…

Jacob finished up the cookie pie

He’d finished the whole thing!  There was quite a bit left too.  It cracked me up!


Holy crap, I’m sorry this post is so long!!!  I guess that’s what happens when I can’t blog too often, huh?

Bear with me, I’m almost done blabbing….

A Fun Date

Kev and I did make it out on a “date” last weekend and it was very nice.  We (me, Kev and Carson) were going to go to Cafe Zupas for dinner, but when we got there, Carson was fussy because he was hungry.

We didn’t have too much time, so Kev just ordered our food and we ate in the car while I fed the baby!
Date night in the car with Kev and Carson

Ya, it was an interesting date, but it was fun!  It was nice to take a break from life and enjoy some QUIET time together, lol.  Oh, and Kev ordered some Mushroom soup and I ordered a Summer Chicken Salad.  So yummy.

Something Exciting

I was so happy to have one of my recipes mentioned in an article on the Huffington Post today!  My Oats in a Jar recipe was featured and it made my day!  Here’s a link to the article if you’re interested.

Huffpost OIAJ

Oh, and BTW Oats in a Jar are one of my favorite things ever.  They are so so good, especially in an empty peanut butter jar!

My 5 Week Postpartum Picture

Okay, the last thing I have to share is my 5 weeks Postpartum picture.  Woop-de-do.

Me 5 weeks postpartum

Ya, I’m sad to say that I haven’t lost ANY MORE weight, gosh dang it!  I’ve been eating so well and it’s so frustrating to not see ANY results.  FYI, I gained about 37ish pounds with my pregnancy and so far I’ve lost around 20 pounds.

I KNOW hormones are not my friend right now.  I always stay poofy while I’m nursing (and I nurse my babies for a year!), but I’m hoping the healthy diet and soon-to-be exercise will trump the hormones.  We’ll see.

Oh, and I’m not being hard on myself, I’m just trying to paint a very CLEAR picture about how hard it is to lose weight, baby weight or otherwise.  It is NOT EASY for me to lose weight, but I’m not going to quit!

Soooo, if any of y’all out there are frustrated about trying to lose weight, believe me I UNDERSTAND.  However, I know that a healthy diet and exercise are the only ways to truly lose weight “for reals.”  Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it seems like it takes forever.  BUT, it is WORTH it.

I definitely feel like I’m taking the “Slow Boat to China” in regards to weight loss, but at least I’m ON the boat!  I’ll keep you all posted on my journey and I hope to have better news next week.

Well, if you’ve made it this far in reading my post, Congratulations!  I’m sorry I’m so long-winded.  I’ll try to blog more often so I don’t have to go on….and on….and on!

I hope you all have a wonderful night.  Tomorrow is FRIDAY!  Woot!

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by Melanie

It’s Tough to Eat Well When You’re Sleep Deprived

September 19, 2014 in Family Life, Meal Ideas by Melanie

Happy Friday one and all!!  I love weekends so much.  Kev and I are thinkin’ we may go on a short date tonight.  Woo hoo.  That sounds so so nice!

Look at this cutie pie

Cute Carson sacked out

I took that pic just now.  He’s totally sacked out on me while I’m typing.  I am LOVING having a baby SO MUCH!  He is such a sweetie and he’s starting to get a little chubby!  Check out that double chin.  Love it.

Anyway, I’m still doing pretty good on my healthy diet thingy, but I did have one “small problem” that I’ll talk about in just a sec.  I’ve mostly been eating a lot of the same things; eggs, more eggs, salads, yogurt, protein pancakes, fruit, chicken, cottage cheese, etc.

I didn’t take too many pictures this week, but here are a few things I did take pics of…

This was my yummy breakfast this morning…

Breakfast Wrap and peaches

It was my version of a breakfast sandwich.  I scrambled one egg + 3-4 egg whites, topped it with cheese and put it in a La Tortilla Factory tortilla with some ham.  I also cut up a peach on the side.  Everything tasted so good to me and I was stuffed for hours!  Sadly, there weren’t any veggies in it, but it was chock full of protein.  It was super tasty and I’m sure I’ll be making it again.

I’ve had a crazy busy week, so I grabbed this as I ran out the door the other day…

Turkey, apples and yogurt

A few slices of turkey, an apple and a Greek yogurt.  Totally random.  I ended up eating the turkey and apple and was too stuffed to eat the yogurt.  It was such a quick, easy and portable meal though.

We had this for dinner the other night and it was so so good!

Pasta e fagiloli soup with breadstick

It’s a recipe for Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli soup and it is awesome!  My friend gave me all of the ingredients for this soup at my diaper/frozen meal shower that my friend’s held for me just before Carson was born.

The soup is TASTY, quick to throw together, somewhat healthy and super filling.  We’ll definitely be making it again.  Here is a link to the recipe my friend gave me.  It’s a keeper. :-)

I also decided to make a batch of my Best Breadsticks Ever to go with it.  They are seriously SO DANG GOOD!

The Best Breadsticks Ever!

They are NOT healthy at all, but I decided to have just ONE with my soup.  They are just too dang good.

Oh, and I didn’t consider the breadstick to be my “one problem” this week.  THIS ended up being my problem…

Derek with his birthday cake

Auuughhh!  Yes, my 10 year old is now ELEVEN.  I thought I could resist the birthday cake, but I COULD not.  I just had one small piece, but it was so so good, I must say.

My son decided he wanted to have a “Lego birthday.”  We let the kids have a “friend party” every other year and they have a “family party” on the off years.  This year it was a “family party” and we had a great time.

He wanted a Lego cake, so I decided just to make the cake myself (I think homemade is much better than store bought!)  I also decided to just take the easy route and buy a $10 Lego set to go on top.  My son was thrilled.  We washed all of the Legos the night before his birthday and I told him he could build it ON his birthday.  Soooo, he woke up at 6:00 AM to build his car.  Too cute.

My son wanted Dominoes Pizza for dinner, but I made myself a big salad instead.  After dinner, we took the family to The Lego Store at the mall.

It was such a fun store and full of so many cool Legos.  I totally forgot to take any pictures while we were there though!!  Lame.  As we were leaving the mall, I said, “Wait, I forgot to take a picture.”  So, this is what we got…

The kids leaving the Lego store

We let the kids each pick out a small thing to buy at the store.

When we got home, we had cake and opened presents.  Guess what my son got!???!

Derek with is lego presents

He was in heaven and said it was one of his all-time favorite birthdays.

Ya know, I felt pretty good about having just ONE small piece of cake and I didn’t beat myself up about it.  HOWEVER, that night my baby had the WORST night sleeping ever.  He woke up at 3:00 AM and didn’t really want to go back to sleep after that. :-(  It was torturous.

In the morning I felt terrible.  I had a huge headache and just wanted to crawl back into bed for the rest of the day.  Sooooo, when I saw the leftover birthday cake on the counter, I just thought, “Hand me a freakin’ fork!”

Ya, it wasn’t pretty.  It did make me feel a little bit better though.  I have to say that lack of sleep is one of the biggest factors in how well I eat.  When I’m super tired, I lose all motivation and just fall apart.

But, after the “cake massacre,” I got back on the wagon and have eaten well ever since (that was Thursday morning.)

I guess we just live and learn, right?


I have to share some cute pics with you guys.  On Wednesday, I went over the Elementary School to watch my kiddos run in the Jog-a-Thon for the school’s fundraiser.

My 4 year old gave his older brother a high five every time he came around.

Derek and Jake at the jog a thon

The kids were also encouraged to wear “crazy socks” and “crazy hair.”  We didn’t do much with my boy’s hair, but they both wore crazy socks.

Ben at the Jog a Thon

It was such a cute event!  The kids ran for 20 minutes or so and the parents cheered them on.  There was a DJ there playing songs like “Everything is Awesome” and “What Does the Fox Say.”  It was such a fun event and I have to say I got teary-eyed as I watched and cheered for my kids.

Yes, I’m a sap.

Sadly, it was 95 degrees (WOW!), so my boys were melting.  Thankfully Carson stayed nice and cool in his stroller…

Carson at the Jog a thon

I love my kidlets.

Oh, and look what Kev brought home from work yesterday…

A bunch of produce Kev brought home from work

HOLY COW!  He spent the day with a client who gave him all of the things in that green box (zuicchini, spaghetti squash, peppers and corn.)  He also stopped at a local fruit stand and bought a bunch of apples, peaches and tomatoes.

Sooo, we plan on making some salsa tomorrow and will make applesauce if we have time.  Otherwise, we’ll do applesauce next week.  I’m also going to be busy making a million zucchini things!  I’ll let y’all know what I decide to make!

Well, Kev’s home from work and we’re getting ready to head out, so I gotta run!  Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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by Melanie

Seein’ Some Results + I Love Clean Eating!

September 15, 2014 in Healthy Tips, Meal Ideas, Nutrition, Weight Loss by Melanie

I hope you are all having a wonderful Monday!

I spent my morning playing soccer in the backyard with my 4 year old…

Jake Playing Soccer

He has his first soccer game tonight, so I thought I better teach him a little bit about soccer, lol!

We also spent some time playing “Go Spidey” (aka. Go Fish)….

Playing Go Spidey with the boys

I don’t think the baby’s a fan, lol.

I’ve felt so bad for my poor 4 year old the past couple of weeks.  All of the big kids have gone back to school and I’ve been so dang exhausted with the baby, so he’s spent entirely too much time watching TV or playing with some sort of electronic device.

It’s just about killed me.

Sooooo, now that life has calmed down ever so slightly, I’ve been trying to spend more quality time with him.  We’ve had so much fun!  He’s such a sweetheart.


I’m happy to say that I’m still goin’ strong with my “mega healthy diet” efforts and I seriously feel so so great!  It’s been pretty miraculous.

I’ve only been following this “diet” for 6 days and I lost 5 pounds!  Woo hoo.  Now, 5 pounds in 6 days is usually too fast for weight loss, IMO, but since I’m dropping baby weight and bloated water weight, I think it’s A-OK!

And, for the FIRST time since I had my sweet baby, I finally feel somewhat slimmer.  Wahoo!  I still have a long way to go, but I’m just happy for the progress.

Here’s a pic I took yesterday…

4 weeks postpartum

I still can’t fit into most of my “real clothes,” so I’ve been wearing all of my bigger clothes.  For now, I’m fine with that.

AND, I can’t tell you how much more energy I’ve had the past few days!  It’s been insane.  I’m still tired and sleep deprived since I have a new baby, but I’ve been able to accomplish so much more.  I’ve been so happy ’bout that.

It makes me feel sorta kinda normalish again.

The “diet” I’ve been following is how I LIKE to eat all the time.  I really enjoy healthy, real food and I feel so much better when I stay away from all the crap out there.

However, as I’m sure many of you can relate, I really enjoy eating a cheeseburger, cookies, donuts, etc. from time to time as well.  AND, I think it’s perfectly fine AND actually healthy (mentally speaking) to indulge once in a while.  The hardest part for me is getting back to “clean eating” after I’ve indulged a little bit.

So, I’ve learned it’s actually easier for me to steer clear of sugary, fatty, salty, crappy food as long as I can and then if/when I do indulge, I try to make sure it’s short-lived.

Getting back on the wagon is always the hardest part for me!

Anyway, it’s actually been quite easy to stick to my healthy diet so far.  I have learned a few things that have made it easier for me….

  • Stock the kitchen full of clean, real, healthy food!  I love to have things like fruit, veggies, nuts, string cheese, grilled chicken (in the freezer), cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, protein pancakes (in the freezer), oatmeal, eggs, cooked quinoa or brown rice, dried fruit, etc. on hand.
  • Prepare foods ahead of time for easy meal prep!  I love to chop up a bunch of things for salads or egg scrambles (my version of an omelet) so that I can throw it together in a hurry.  I like to cut up lettuce, olives, onions, bell peppers, turkey/ham slices, broccoli, etc.  I also keep things like tomatoes, avocados, apples, hard boiled eggs and sliced nuts on hand (I usually cut them up as needed since they don’t stay fresh for too long.)
  • When I’m starving or craving something that’s not good, I stop, take a deep breath and tell myself to “chill!”  Then, I calmly and rationally find something healthy to eat!  If I let myself get too hungry, I start to crave crappy, convenient, quick, easy food like crazy.  However, once I’ve filled my body full of real food, the cravings usually go away.  If I’m still craving something sweet/salty, I’ll grab something like fruit leather, dried fruit, nuts, a small spoonful of peanut butter, popcorn or a few healthier chips.  It always seems to scratch the itch.
  • Drink water like crazy!  Water helps to regulate the appetite, aids in weight loss, improves digestive stuff and removes impurities.  I love how I feel when I drink lots of water.  I especially love to start my day with a glass of warm lemon water.  It’s so so refreshing.  Also, if I start to get hungry late at night and don’t want to eat, a warm glass of lemon water always soothes my tummy and makes me feel more full.  Love it.
  • When deciding what to eat, I like to think about what will fuel and nourish the body, not just what will taste good.  I also like to think about how it will make my body feel.  Healthy, clean food always sits well in my tummy, energizes me and makes me feel good!  Crappy food always tastes good, but I usually end up feeling sluggish, run-down, tired, and just blah.
  • I always like to plan what I’m going to eat AHEAD of time, so I won’t be tempted to eat something that’s less healthy.  I’m always thinkin’ about what my next meal will be; not in an obsessive way, just in a “plan ahead, take charge, be prepared” kind of way.
  • I like to eat a lot of the same foods in an effort to simplify things.  I’ll buy a big case of peaches, apples, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. and eat some every day until they’re gone.  I love to eat leftovers too.  It really makes things easier.

Well, that’s all I can think of for now.  I’m definitely sticking to this “diet” to a T until the end of the month.  I may take a day off after that and then get right back at it.  We’ll see.  Those “one day offs” can be dangerous.  Hee hee.

Anyway, I’ve been eating a lot of the same things I ate last week, but here are some other things I’ve been eating the past couple days….

I had protein pancakes for breakfast this morning.  I topped them with some Peanut Butter and berries.  I omitted the syrup altogether.  A drizzle of 100% Maple syrup is a good choice, but I decided to save on the sugar and calories.  I could taste the peanut butter and berries so much more without the syrup on there and I really liked it!

Protein pancakes with berries and PB

I had this for lunch

Salad with Brown Rice Chips for lunch

A salad made of Romaine, avocado, apples, hard boiled egg, olives, chicken and sliced almonds.  I topped it all with a little Balsamic Vinegar.  It was soooo good!  I also had a few Luke’s Brown Rice Chips to satisfy my salty/crunchy craving.  It was perfect.

close up salad and brown rice chips

I was craving something sweet a little while ago, so I chose this…

dried pears, nuts and granola

Some dried pears, nuts and a little Cascadian Farm Protein Granola.  It totally hit the spot and filled me up too!

I made this interesting concoction yesterday…

Breakfast Burrito Taco thing with strawberries

It was a mix between a breakfast burrito and a taco.  I topped a La Tortilla Factory tortilla with scrambled eggs mixed with onions and peppers, cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce and salsa.  It was awesome!   I also had some strawberries on the side.

I had this as a “treat” yesterday…

Toast with butter and honey

A slice of Aspen Mills bread topped with a little butter and honey.  Tasted just like heaven.  I’ve really been trying to eat high quality carbs (things like fruit and oats) and have been trying to stay away from bread for the most part.  This was definitely an indulgence, but it tasted great!

Well, that’s all the pictures I took.  I’m going to keep on pluggin’ along and will keep y’all updated on my progress.  I also can’t wait to exercise again in 13 days (who’s counting!?)

Oh, and I just want to put in a shameless plug for myself, K?

If y’all would be so kind as to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs, I would SO appreciate it!!  All you have to do is click on the picture below (or the one at the bottom of each post or in my sidebar) and it counts as a vote for me!  Seriously, that’s all you have to do.  It really helps me a lot and makes me so happy!

If you’re feeling extra generous, you can vote each time you visit my site!  You can only vote once a day though.

Thanks so much!!

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Have a great night!

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