Changing

Big CH-CH-CH-CHANGES are happening in our household!(Edited to add: I am NOT pregnant! 🙂 )

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And someone ^^^^^^ is pretty excited about it. Winking smile

I can’t say much for now, Craig and I still have a lot of thinking, talking and praying to do. But I just wanted to let you know what I may be stepping back from blogging for a bit.

Although, Gabriella is taking HUGE steps forward…

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She is using EVERYTHING as a walker. Including the box of our favorite beer. HA!

I can’t wait to share everything, once WE figure it out. I promise more details to come. For now, I’ll just say that I’m excited! Open-mouthed smile 

Have a WONDERFUL day!

Oh, and PS, look at this:

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My bad habits are rubbing off. Gabriella can’t get enough of Lululemon either. Uh oh!

Friday Favorites

Welcome to FRIDAY! Open-mouthed smile

I don’t know about you, but this weekend is MUCH needed. This past week was kind of crazy, and it will be nice to have some family time. We need it!

We actually have plans both Saturday and Sunday, and I’m really looking forward to them! Saturday we are planning to go to a friends’ house for a cookout & some pool time. And then on Sunday my Mom is coming down to visit!! She can’t get enough of us lately. Secretly I know it has nothing to do with US, but more to do with Gabriella. Winking smile

I’m taking her to see Despicable Me Two, and we both are SO EXCITED!!

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My Mom & I love the movie. She got me hooked on it a few years ago. I can watch it over & over again. And the funny thing is that it is the only thing that Gabriella will actually watch on tv. She is NOT into Baby Einstein, or cartoons, or any of that. But I happened to have it on one day & I caught her just sitting there staring at it.

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What can I say?? She has good taste!

Today I thought I would share with you a few of my favorite things right now. I’m still loving all of my favorites from a couple of weeks ago, these are just MORE things to add to the list. Winking smile

1. Jam Jar Wine

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If you like Apothic Red Wine, you will like this too. I guarantee it! My sister in law introduced it to me a few years ago, and I’m so glad she did! It is a sweet shiraz & PERFECT for sitting outside and unwinding at the end of the day.

2. Summer Shandy

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This beer is DELICIOUS! It is beer with a touch of lemonade. It is SO refreshing, PERFECT for the summertime. I promise it’s not a ‘girly’ beer. It was actually Craig that found it, he drank it in Kansas City when he was out there a few months ago. We have been on a mission to find it, and my Mom picked some up for us for the fourth of July- a six pack that was gone VERY quickly! Winking smile 

Goodness, I sound like a little boozer, now don’t I?! Smile Love that my first two ‘likes’ happen to be wine & beer.

3. Runner’s World Magazine

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After my last post, I’m sure you can see I’m VERY much in running mode. Although I’m always in that mode, so it’s nothing new. I have been really enjoying my Runner’s World lately. So many good articles, training tips & new workouts to try. I actually really like their full marathon training plan, I’m about half way through it.

Speaking of running, anyone out there know what could be wrong if the top of your foot (like near your ankle) just KILLS when you put your shoes on? A friend of mine is having issues with it, and my first thought was that she may need new shoes. Which she does, but just wondering if anyone else has had this issue?? And was it your shoes? Or something more serious?

4. Julie’s 8 Minute Ab Workout

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My friend Jenna told me about this and it is AWESOME!! I was doing 8 minute abs everyday from YouTube, but was doing modifications to the exercises to make them harder. So when I saw this, I couldn’t wait to try it. I felt the burn & I LOVED it. Open-mouthed smile I will do the whole thing (along with the YouTube 8 Minute abs video), then add a minute plank at the end. KILLER. Those spiderman planks are now one of my very favorite ab exercises!

5. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

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This is nothing new. Winking smile But let’s get real and show you what I REALLY order from Jeremiah’s.

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See that big container? That would be MINE. ALL MINE. I order a quart of Cookies n’ Cream (just the ice, no gelati) and then eat it over the next 3-4 days. It has taken over my favorite dessert- above frozen yogurt! GASP! I know.

I blame it on Gabriella, she’s a bad influence. Winking smile

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(that’s her on the counter ordering Mommy’s Italian ice)

…and last but certainly not least…

6. Big Brother!!!!!!!!!!!

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I have watched this show since the first season, and when I met Craig I got him hooked too. I have NO idea why I like it so much, but every summer I look forward to it. I am BEYOND glad to see the ‘Moving Company’ completely torn apart. Gave me a laugh. And I have to say, I’m rooting for Howard AND Elissa. Yep, as much as she is just like Rachel, I really do like her!

7. Starbucks Orange Spice Iced Coffee

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Ok, I know it SOUNDS odd. But it’s actually REALLY good! It has more of the spice flavor (cinnamon) than the orange flavor, but overall I really like it. I think next time I will see if I can get additional orange flavor. How weird does that sound…orange in my coffee?? Hmm. But I tell ya, it’s a good combination!

And that’s all I have for now. Smile

Have a WONDERFUL weekend! Catch up with ya on Monday!!

Tell me some of your favorites right now!

Any other Big Brother fans out there? Favorite person so far?

Favorite Starbucks drink? I’m a die hard iced coffee lover. I have it every morning. Addicted much?! Winking smile

Recent Obsessions

I feel like I go through phases with foods and beauty products. I am definitely my father’s daughter because I will get ‘stuck’ on a certain thing & buy it non stop, but then one day I’ll just be completely sick of it. Eventually I come back around & like it again, but it often takes a while.

Today I thought I would tell you about my recent obsessions. I think some of these have to do with the summer season, since it’s SO stinking HOT outside here in Florida. You can’t even step outside without sweating. GROSS!

1. Fruit Salad

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I can’t stop eating it. Especially the pineapple. I will make a big batch of it in the beginning of the week, and then eat it for breakfast, with my lunch & then often before dinner. Fruit is just SO good right now. Nature’s candy Smile

2. These two coffee creamers

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Salted Caramel Mocha & Vanilla Brown Sugar. I mean really?! Is there even a better way to start your morning than with these flavors?!? Mmmmmm. And since it is summer time, I actually only drink iced coffee. (of course I’ll drink hot coffee if that’s the only thing available, I just prefer iced in the summer) I get a TRENTA iced coffee from Starbucks with NO ice, NO sweetener & NO cream. Just black iced coffee. (If you like iced coffee, try it! Saves money & you don’t have to go out every day to get it! Win win.) Then that will last me for three mornings. The people at Starbucks know me & always have my iced coffee ready to go when I get there. Smile 

3. Summer Nail Polish Colors

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They are just so fun! I was only buying Essie for a while, but that’s pretty expensive ($7- $8 a bottle). So I tried the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri & I LOVE it! It lasts for a while, just as long if not longer than Essie, and it’s about HALF the price.

4. Quest Bars

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You guys, I have a problem. Do you see the stash above? That’s 20+ Quest Bars. It’s ridiculous. But I promise I have a good reason for having so many. I eat one everyday for breakfast, I’ll just stick it in the BOB & eat it once I’m done running. Gabriella is usually still snoozing & this is the perfect on the go breakfast. I also have water with me, and sometimes I’ll eat a banana too. I don’t know if other people are like this, but I really don’t enjoy eating a huge meal right after running. I have to wait a while and then I’ll have a bigger lunch. My stomach is just NOT into the idea of stuffing my face once I’m done with a run. And the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is a MUST try if you haven’t yet. You can thank me later. Winking smile

5. Green Smoothies

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That’s usually my lunch. A HUGE smoothie full of spinach, protein powder, unsweetened almond milk & usually a big bowl of fruit. DELISH! Open-mouthed smile Another ‘summer thing’ I’m assuming, since cold drinks sound ideal right now.

6. Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 Workout DVD

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I do this DVD a few days a week before or after a speed workout. (so my run is a bit shorter) And I must be crazy because it KILLS. I don’t know if it’s because I’m already tired from running, but I DEFINITELY feel it! Of course I had to start with Week 4, because when I do something I have to go all out (good or bad thing…not sure Winking smile ) & I was hurting the next day. A good burn! This is actually the DVD Jillian recommends for at home workouts, she has said that she does NOT recommend the 30 Day Shred anymore. She said it is outdated. I only know this because Jillian & are pretty much best friends. No, I kid, (although I would like to meet her!) I am obsessed with her podcast.

And one thing that NEVER gets old is…

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Did you guess it?!?! I’m sure you all know my too well by now, and I must have a G picture in here somewhere.

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My big blue eyed girl. Stole my heart right from the beginning. ❤

Any ‘obsessions’ that you have right now? Please share, I may just have to try something new. Smile

Favorite summer fruit?? I’m torn between pineapple & watermelon. I could eat both of them ALL day every day. I would eat 1/4 of a watermelon nearly everyday while I was pregnant with Gabriella, and she would go NUTS! I figured she must love it, so I gave her some the other day. She COMPLETELY refused it. Turned her little head all the way to the side. Weirdo! Who doesn’t love watermelon?!?! Maybe she overdosed in my belly Winking smile

Spicy BBQ Ranch Burgers

I just want to say Thank you! Thank you for the comments, tweets & emails about yesterday’s post. It was just a topic that really hit home for me, and sounded like it did for you too. Isn’t it funny how God can speak to us in the most mysterious ways?!

Another thing I’ve been ‘learning’ lately is to just kind of sit back & ENJOY life. Take it ALL in! You know how teaches me this the most?? Gabriella.

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I just love how you can see her soaking up the world! EVERYTHING is new for her, and she really does take the time to stop & smell the roses. Winking smile She enjoys just sitting outside playing in the grass, she will just sit & pick at the grass piece by piece. Just observing & feeling the textures. It is just so cool to watch.

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I’m a very ‘go go go’ type of person. It’s rare that I take the time to sit down & just relax. It’s just so important to relax sometimes, just to enjoy the world around you. She shows me how to do this, and I appreciate that.

She also got into some of her Daddy’s old toys that we brought out of storage while we were packing up her infant stuff, and had a blast playing with them. Her favorite was Slimer. Smile

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As I mentioned in a previous post, quick dinners are a Mother’s dream! Nothing like a home cooked meal that you can get to the table in less than an hour, or preferably less than 30 minutes.

While browsing through the grocery store the other day, I saw that Hidden Valley Ranch had a new seasoning mix- Spicy Ranch.

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I have used the traditional mix before. I really love putting the mix on diced potatoes & then roasting them in the oven, it is a great side dish to almost any dinner.

But when I saw the spicy version, I had something else in mind. One of my favorite things to make are chicken burgers- there are SO many different variations that you can make! Using a prepackaged seasoning mix makes this meal EVEN easier! I just added a few other things into the meat & they were on the table in under 30 minutes. The best part is that they were husband approved. (He even went back for another one!)

Spicy BBQ Ranch Burgers

Ingredients:

– 1 lb. ground chicken (I used 94% fat free & it worked perfectly)
– 1 package spicy Ranch seasoning mix
– 1 tsp. onion powder
– 2 tsp. minced garlic
– 3 tbsp. of your favorite BBQ sauce
– 4 hamburger buns, sliced in half
– toppings of your choice, I used guacamole, American cheese (for Craig’s) additional BBQ sauce, lettuce & sliced tomatoes (other ideas: Ranch dressing, sliced onions, ketchup, chili sauce)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease or line a baking pan with foil and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.

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3. Divide the chicken mixture into four equal parts, and shape in the form of hamburger patties. Place them on your greased baking sheet.

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4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until the middle of the burger is cooked thoroughly. (Not pink in the middle). Remove from the oven, and add a burger to each hamburger bun. Top with your choice of toppings.

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So EASY! & so delicious!

And for dessert?

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Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, because Gabriella made me do it. Winking smile

Do you have a favorite burger recipe? (one that I can use ground chicken instead of ground beef)
Italian Ice or Frozen Yogurt?

Unanswered Prayers

Yesterday morning I had an awesome run. I definitely got a ‘runner’s high’ about halfway through. I haven’t been feeling well lately, I came down with a head cold last Thursday. I told myself that I would do at least six miles, and if I wasn’t up for anymore then I would head home. Six miles is my ‘minimal number’ of miles that I typically run each day. So I knew I could do it, I just planned to take it easy & just enjoy being outside. (Does being outside make anyone else feel SO much better when they are sick???)

Well, around five miles something just came over me. I just really wanted to run today. Run until my heart’s content. A long run just sounded SO good, and I felt like it’s what I NEEDED. Not only to clear my head of sickness, but just to think. Have some ‘me time.’

Being a Mom having any ‘me time’ is a rare thing, and that’s ok, but our morning runs is my ‘me time.’ Gabriella plays with her toys in the stroller, usually falls asleep, and I just run.

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Sounds silly, but honestly I love this part of the day. I feel like it’s time I get to spend with Gabriella, even though she is snoozing. Once she wakes up we usually go to the park so she can swing. Smile

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Something that I don’t discuss on here often is religion. I know that religion & politics are topics that really should not be discussed in a social situation, but there is a topic I really want to bring up. Feel free to skip this part if you don’t want to hear about my personal beliefs regarding God & religion.

I wanted to mention how much I LOVE my Thursday Bible study. The women that I meet with are such STRONG, inspirational people. Not only do I feel like I’m growing spiritually, but it’s also so nice to meet with other Moms who are going through similar situations or have been through the situation & can offer suggestions & advice.

While discussing our devotionals this week, the topic of unanswered prayers came up. It’s often a thought that we don’t think about. I mean who remembers to say ‘thank you’ to God for NOT answering a prayer request?

I know for me personally, I had really never thought about it. Remember that high school or college boyfriend that you prayed to God about? The one that you would do ANYTHING for to make the relationship work? I know I do, and I think most women can relate to that in one way or the other.

It really put things into perspective. If God had answered my prayers, I would not have the wonderful family that I have today.

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I wouldn’t have my little G baby, and I probably would have never met my best friend, my husband.

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(they melt my heart)

It’s EASY to say ‘thank you’ for answered prayers. Getting the new job, positive changes in your health, making it through a day you thought was impossible, & many other things. But what about all of those prayers that God said ‘No’ to. At the time you may have been mad or upset. I know I have, I even pushed away from God for a while.

Now I have to just remind myself that when I do get a ‘no,’ that He may have a better future for me. As I was doing my devotional Monday night, I happened to stumble upon this verse:

“In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9

I think He may have directed my eyes to that verse for a reason. God knows our future. He has everything outlined for us. Even in times of despair & heartache, He knows what He is doing and you have to trust in Him.

And I just want to end with a verse for a song I still love, ‘Unanswered Prayers’ by Garth Brooks.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Currently

I thought I would start this Monday off easy…with a survey. Who doesn’t love a good survey?!

I saw this on Julie’s blog a while back, and thought today would be the perfect time to share my thoughts.

Current Book:

Heather McDonald’s ‘My Inappropriate Life.’

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I think Heather is HILARIOUS on Chelsea Handler’s show, so I thought I would try her book. It is just as hilarious! I wish I had more time to read because I would have finished this by now…but it’s been over a month since I started this. But it definitely has me cracking up every time I do get a chance to read.

 

Current Music:

You guys, I am slightly obsessed with Jillian Michaels’ podcast. Just LOVE it. And no, she doesn’t JUST talk about fitness & health. I listen to that, or Johnny’s House ( my local station, which I LOVE)- while I run in the mornings.

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Current Guilty Pleasure:

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice. Cookies n’ cream flavor or P-nutty. To. Die. For.

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I tried to cut a lot of dairy out of my diet, due to my recent Crohn’s flare up, and Jeremiah’s has been my go-to after dinner treat. I am TOTALLY 100% guilty of ordering a QUART of Italian ice at a time. Lasts me the week, and less trips that I have to make. 😉 Craig just laughs, he thinks it’s ridiculous how much Italian ice I can go through in a week. I would challenge ANYONE to an Italian Ice eat-off. Bring it on, baby! 😉

Current Nail Color:

“Va-va-voom” – by Orly.

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Current Drink:

Starbucks Iced Coffee. No sweetener, just a bit of cream.

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Current Food:

You guys, I MADE SUSHI!!! Yes, seriously. I surprised Craig with SUSHI on Friday night. Made BY ME!

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A volcano roll (picture shows before & after 😉 ) & a smoked salmon with avocado roll.

I definitely need to work on my rolling, we actually just need a sharper knife so that it will cut easier, but it is actually pretty easy to make your own sushi! (& much cheaper 😉 )

Current Favorite Show:

We are HOOKED on The Walking Dead. We can’t stop watching. Catching up on all of the past episodes is typically what Craig & I do each night.

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Current Wish List:

To continue to feel better! Thankfully the new medication seems to be helping with my Crohn’s disease. I TRULY appreciate all of your thoughts & comments to me about my flare up. You guys are the best, seriously. THANK YOU!

Current Needs:

A vacation! We can all say that, right?! Oh, and also I could really use a hair cut, hopefully I will be able to get to an appointment this week. My split ends are taking over…and I could use some highlights! I really want to go back blonde, (I’m naturally blonde), but being brunette is so much easier. (not having the up keep of highlights) But I do miss it! We shall see…

Current Indulgence:

Lululemon! Lea, it’s ALL your fault! 😉 They have my very favorite running shorts, and I can’t stop buying them- such cute colors & patterns. Best thing? The ‘we made too much.’

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^love those Chevron Lulu shorts!

Current Blessing:

Oh, gosh, do I even have to tell you?! 😉 You know, those two VERY VERY special people in my life?! My little family of three. ❤ AKA: My ENTIRE WORLD.

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^Craig telling Gabriella about the Orioles game.

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Current Outfit:

Oh guys, it’s always the same, everyday, workout clothes. Lulu shorts & a tank, typically from Target. 🙂

Current Excitement:

Spending the weekend at the BEACH! With my sister, brother in law & nephew & niece! I CANNOT WAIT.

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Well now, that was fun. Hope you learned something new about me 🙂

Enjoy your Monday- remember it’s a new week, time for new goals & new opportunities!!
(best way to look at a Monday 😀 )

Answer one of the questions above- tell my your ‘currently..’