Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Paypal Giveaway $70

Have you checked out this giveaway yet? We are giving away $70 in PayPal Cash! Hurry and enter for your chance to win if you haven't already!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Sunday Recipe

What's better than waking up on a Sunday morning than having fresh, warm, banana bread waiting for you?

Unsalted butter, for coating pan 
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan (I used whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon fine salt 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 
2 large eggs 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
1/2 cup grapeseed oil 
1 1/2 cup coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (3 large) 
2 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 cups of brown sugar- used later

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x5x 3-inch loaf pan, then dust with flour to coat lightly. Tap the pan to remove any excess flour. Sift the 1 2/3 cups of flour with the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl (about 8 minutes). Gradually blend in the oil. Beat in the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Then, using a spoon or spatula, fold the dry ingredients and walnuts into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar, giving an even coverage. (I usually mix in some cinnamon too)
Bake until golden brown on top and a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool the bread for 15 minutes. Turn the bread out and set right side up on the rack. Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.

I will eat this daily for a week or two! Just warm, put some butter on it and go!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekend Throwback- In Honor of Fall

We made it there and back in one piece! Baby Bear did phenomenal. Not one single complaint the whole way there or back. She is such a trooper! Okay, on the way back, when an hour or more was tacked on to our trip due to a stupid bridge that was under construction and someone pressing the "choose different route" button on the GPS, she did mention something about her legs hurting in the last 20-30 minutes of the ride home. I was going a little crazy by then too! She is a good traveler and I would have NEVER said that if you would have asked me that a couple years ago.

We really enjoyed ourselves and had a nice Thanksgiving with The Mister's Dad. We had zero cell service and it was actually kind of nice! I know, I know, not for you guys that were trying to get a hold of me and make sure we made it in one piece BUT nice for us!

We really took it easy the entire time we were there. We visited, walked around, and really just enjoyed the scenery. It was BEAUTIFUL. You do not really see fall colors here in Texas. The fall colors were in full bloom all over the mountains. I saw the most beautiful deep reds, sunny yellows, bronzes, oranges, and browns I have ever seen. I wish I would have actually taken pictures of it, but I was in such awe on the drive back home I just gazed out the window the entire time without a second thought.

We had a fire every single day, which was very nice for how cold it was, and of course, we roasted marshmallows. I LOVE roasted marshmallows!

I'm a kanga! I have a roo in my pouch!

Baby bear made some new friends. One was a Great Pyrenees and the other a  shihtzu/bichon mix. They had the BEST time with each other and she loved those guys dearly. So much that The Mister has FINALLY caved and said we can get a puppy!! We cannot wait. She really wants one for Christmas, but  we will wait until after, when the shelters are inundated with unwanted Christmas pups, because rescuing is where my heart is.

My munchkin also earned herself a few more nicknames from her Grandpa like tater tot, pooter, and soap opera. She is usually a shy one, but as soon as we arrived she immediately made herself at home and latched on to The Mister's Dad. She really had a lot of fun with him. Every night she crawled up in the recliner and played with him and the pup. He even let her drive his truck at the lake. She had a lot of fun and made some good memories.

She kept asking if we could go to the "hoods" because she wanted to see a bear. So we took her for a walk through the woods. Silly girl!

We all ventured out for breakfast one morning. This cafe and most storefronts did not accept credit or debit cards and dealt in cash only. But this little cafe had the best ham I have ever tasted. Miss thang was being a little miss sassypants while we were there.

While she was napping one afternoon The Mister and I ventured in to town and this grocery store was the only big thing there.We walked around and ended up next door buying a small Christmas tree for the farmhouse.

It was also nice to know that my insurance company was in town, ya know, just in case we drove off a cliff, or landed ourselves in a ditch.
I'm just being silly, and these are silly tourist pictures I took.

The last day or so there, we had a little incident. Okay, not WE, it was GRANDPA! Every night I had hot water to shower, and so did Little Bear. Come morning time, the water heater was no longer lit. It was a running joke that I was running in there and blowing it out every night. Anyways Grandpa was fixing it, and by fixing it he wanted to get all the soot out of it. So he loaded up the shop vac, turned it on for a good 5 minutes. Baby Bear and his wife were in the other room. Baby bear walked up to his wife and asked "why is all that black smoke in there" That wasn't smoke. It was soot being thrown all over the house! I think we'll be buying filters for a shop vac for Christmas! The puppy was no longer white and grey. The pup was grey and black. Grandpa's teeth were black, his hair no longer silver, and his face and skin were covered in black patches. This soot covered everything in site. It was hilarious! I helped wipe down all surfaces, the furniture, walls, etc. What a mess! It was in my nostrils, on my face, and all over my hands and clothes. The same on Baby bear too. I asked her if she had been exploring in a cave.

We were sad to go, and plan on going back next year. Getting back into this groove thing called work has been even harder, but we're getting it done. Here we are at another month end end and we are crazy busy!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Texas? Fall? Whaaaat?

I honestly cannot wait for that tiny window we have here in Texas for Fall. I don't know if what we have would even be considered fall...... Who am I kidding! We don't have fall!  BUT After getting a taste of it, and a peek at what fall is REALLY supposed to look like, on our trip last year, I just don't see Texas living up to the true fall colors of the mountains, but we can hold out hope for someday having a real "fall"

But I am looking forward to cooler weather. I just love the smell of the brown crisp leaves that hit and sit on the ground after they have made their changes for the season. That smell n turn reminds me of camping, campfires, roasted marshmallows, games of cards with hot chocolate, and fleece pajamas with oversized sweatshirts. One of my favorite foods to have in the fall is chili, and of course pumpkin pie. Pumpkin anything, really. Here are some recipes I have been eyeballing lately

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Brownies

Pumpkin Pound Cake!
S'mores Brownies

Snickerdoodles are my favorite, so I thought I might give the pumpkin snickerdoodles a whirl!

I am looking forward to the hayrides, visits to the farm, pumpkin patches, a mini vacation, sweets and treats, trick or treating, baking, and of course, time spent with friends and family! What are you looking forward to this season?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What I'm Eating, or Not.

I have had many people questioning my diet choices lately, so I am just going to put it out there. For those of you that have followed me over to this domain, you know everything I have been going through in the last couple of years. Here is a quick run down of all the meds I have been on within the last year. I was on prednisone, not just the normal dosages, but the mega dosages (80mg and higher) for over a year to treat my eye. Then I was Indomethacin along with the prednisone, then it was prednisone, flexoral, mobic, and indomethacin. Then plaquenil was also thrown into that mixture. On top of that I was also doing the methotrexate. Not to mention the viibryd and synthroid too. This poor little liver of mine can only take so much! I was taken off everything except the methotrexate, viibryd, and synthroid about 3 months ago because my liver counts were extremely high and continued to climb. I KNOW methotrexate is absorbed through my liver, so I had to do something. Changing the diet was a must if I wanted to help my achy breaky liver! Who wants to lose their liver in their thirties? Not this girl!

So, here it is:

I can't drink with the medication I take, but if I did, that would have to be cut too. Man, do I miss my famous summertime daiquiris! I didn't get a single one this year, and I could really go for one right about now. I don't drink Coke, or any soft drinks at all. Coming from a complete Coca Colaholic, that was hard, but it was done, and I might have one every now and again, but nothing like morning noon and night like I used to. It was seriously the only thing I ever drank! Caffeine= bad for liver mmkay?
We cut out red meat, so, NO beef, anything. Ever. We use ground turkey or pork (Sprouts has some awesome ground pork) Anything we buy as in pasta's, rices, or breads, I make sure are whole grain, or whole wheat. We eat lots of fish and chicken. The more fish for me, the better for my joints (supposedly) HEB has some of the best salmon burgers!  Fruits and veggies are just as important too. We do not do corn or bananas since they seem to backup the little one and give her more agony so they do more harm than good. There are only 2 vegetables she will eat; green beans and peas! HAS to be Le Sueur peas. I swear, that girl...I kid, if that's what it gets for her to eat them, then Le Sueur is what she will get! We have also re-evaluated our dairy intake. Not so much for us, but for Baby Bear and her poor tummy problems(She goes to the GI next month). I also have an issue with dairy and have noticed more inflammation and joint tenderness when I have had dairy. Like my chicken spaghetti the other night! So we do it all in moderation, a lot of moderation. Soon enough, I should be dairy free as well. At least until MY stomach gets back in order. I stay off the fried foods and away from the fast foods as much as possible because those oils are NOT good for my liver to be processing. Olive oil is much better, so that is what we use.

There you have it, in a nutshell. No, I am not on a "diet" I don't think is for everyone or anyone trying to lose weight. But, if you do have liver issues, you may want to give it a try. I have already seen my counts go down, and pray they get back to normal soon!

On another note I just took my 3rd dose of Humira. I take it every other week, while I still inject the methotrexate once a week. I have not had many pain free days, but I am nowhere in near as much pain as I used to be. I still have my good days and bad days. The Humira stops the crippling effects that RA can cause. I am still tired all.the.time and I cannot stand it! A good thing is that my eye has not flared since I have been on the methotrexate, so I will take it, no matter how much I hate the stuff.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Throwback

We all have things we buy over, and over, and OVER again. Sometimes because it makes us feel good, or because the product is just that good, or even just because. Maybe it is because it reminds you of your youth, or just plain old good memories. I thought I would share with you, some of MY favorite things.

First up is Clinique's moisturizer. I love this stuff and drastically see improvements on my skin regularly just by using this stuff! It is truly amazing and leaves my skin looking young and radiant. Definitely worth every penny!

My Ninja, sweet Ninja, oh how I love thee! I use it for everything! Really, I am a mom on the go. I work full time, go to school full time, and always a full time parent with tight schedulesand routines to maintain. So any short cuts without skimping on quality is it in my book because really, who has time to shred chicken? This took 5 seconds with just the bullet. I could not even tell you the last time I chopped vegetables. Salsa or pico? No problem! definitely the BEST $ ever spent. I have the prep master which I use for chopping veggies and  meats and the Ninja Kitchen System 1100 and would not trade these things for the world!

5 seconds in the Ninja!

Bath and Body Works Super Smoothing Face Scrub. I use this stuff a couple times a week and it is the perfect scrub for this face! It works great on my super sesnsitive skin, and leaves my face looking fresh and new.

Gud- from Burt's Bees- Floral Cherrynova. Again, I have super sensitive skin and many, many other body washes I have tried have left my skin feeling used and abused. This one is natural, leaves my skin with just the right amount of moisture, no itchiness, and NO dry skin, oh, and it smells so good!

Meyers, I am in love with all their cleaning products, and I hit the jackpot yesterday at HEB because they had my babies on clearance! This stuff is all natural, so it is safe for my mini me and her new bff Petey. She gets to help me, and I get my peace of mind. This stuff smells wonderful too! I just bought some of the Geranium scented glass cleaner and I'm in love!

Nivea chapstick, I am never without it nowadays and I have Mr A to thank for that! I have one that stays in my car through the winter, on my desk at work, desk at home, and countless tubes in my purse. Every wedding I have ever been in, I have ended up being sick for! This was no different for my cousin Tricia's wedding. I literally downed my codeine cough syrup right before I walked down the aisle so I wouldn't be coughing through her ceremony! My lips were also a hot mess from being so sick, and Mr A went out and bought this chapstick for me, my savior! I am a Momma that shares everything with my little one, but this stuff, if she does not return it, will cause a stir in our household. Ha!

Mint M&M's. I'm usually not one for mint and chocolate, but I absolutely love these! I look forward to every Christmas when these babies roll around.

Bath and Body Works foam hand soaps. I stock up on these on the regular.  I refuse to pay full price for these babies. I buy them from the outlet when they are 75% off.

My Calphalon pots and pans. Absolutely love these! These are the best things I have ever bought. Cooks evenly and such an easy clean up! Also the BEST customer service EVER, and they really stick to their 10 year warranties. If anything goes wrong, they send you a brand new pot or pan!

The Target Home (RE) fuzzy blankets. I have 3. I absolutely LOVE these. They are so soft and comfy! I am sure this collection will continue to grow as well.

Pottery Barn Kids. I cannot stress it enough. Their stuff is some of the best quality and I am a girl that prefers quality over quantity, especially for my mini me. I bought her big girl bed from here because I wanted something that was going to be beautiful, and something that would last until she was out of the house (hence, me buying the queen) I am in love! The Madeline canopy bed did not disappoint! Her table and chairs are from there, as well as her dollhouse, comforter and sheets, and many halloween costumes. Love, love love this place!

IKEA, because for myself, it suits me just fine! Love the Hemnes collection. I prefer to look up what I want online, and go directly to the floor shelves so I am in and out in under 5 minutes. I've been through the showrooms dozens of times, and now, I just like to run in and out. Makes life so much easier!

Coca Cola. Enough said. For anyone that knows me, you all know this is about all I drink. I always have one, and I prefer fountain drinks over canned or bottled. Don't worry, this will be changing soon and it will be strictly water. For now, I will enjoy the Coke!

Can we talk about my addiction to Scentsy? Because I cannot get enough of the stuff. I absolutely love my representative and have an entire tub dedicated just for Scentsy. This girl, as I have mentioned previously puts 110% into everyone she comes into contact with. She remembers and knows her clients, their tastes, and always has the most excellent recommendations for their individual style and scent tastes. I honestly cannot wait to start working on mine and Mr A's bedroom because I want new warmers! If you have not checked it out, you MUST! I may even have some to share with you, just let me know if you are interested.

My stapler. Seriously, this stapler is no joke. It is mandatory for any and every job I have ever had. It is light, fast, and takes 0 effort. Everyone that has ever used it from my desk has fallen in love and been wowed by it. Move over Swingline, PaperPro is the way to go.

Now, let's talk pens. I cannot stand fine point pens because they just don't do it for me. I prefer medium point. Now, this Uni ball impact 207 is my absolute favorite pen ever. My "accounting" color is green, so i have these in just about every color! I absolutely love the way these write and handle.

Stain remover I cannot live without. I honestly used to only use the Dreft stain remover, but it started to become way too hard to find. I now use the Tide Stain release tablets (the white- for sensitive skin) and I use the regular spray, and liquid booster. This stuff literally works freakin miracles. Miracles with very little work on my part, which makes it even better! The regular strength spray and liquid doesn't irritate my skin either! I no longer have to run to multiple places just to find a stain remover that is reliable and works!

Giovanni makeup/ facial cleansing wipes. I love these as a go to for a quick and easy makeup remover and quick cleansing for the days I am left exhausted.

Of course I can't forget my Goody hairclips that keep my hair up and back. If you haven't noticed, this girl has her some hair!

On that note, I also love my flat iron, I depend on this item so much. I have curly frizzy, like woah hair. This Paul Mitchell flat iron is a big MUST. I love it more than the CHI.
My Elie Tahari flats. I honestly love these babies. Sooo comfortable, and worth every stinkin penny!

What are some of your favorite things?