Ice Coffee Lovers Rejoice!

Starbucks

Lately, I have become completely obsessed with Starbucks ice coffee. Nothing special, just a large ice coffee with cream and sugar is all I need to power through my day afternoon. Let’s be honest, I have two to three cups of coffee throughout the day. By five o’clock, I don’t want another hot coffee so I usually find some sort of excuse to go to Target so I can get an ice coffee in their conveniently attached Starbucks store. But the $3, mostly ice cube-filled cup was starting to add up. I thought I’d have to cut this addiction out until….alas….I saw it in the refrigerated aisle.

Coffee at home2It’s only $4.49 for a big, premixed cold coffee you pour over ice. You get about eight cups out of it. That’s  a whopping $0.56 per cup! A savings of $2.44 per cup. Sorry, I got a little carried away but I’m pretty excited about the savings. They have a few different flavors that are all good but my favorite so far is the “lightly sweetened” with a splash of creamer. Yum. As a matter of fact, I’m going to have one now. Hope this helps a few ice coffee addicts like me!

coffee at home

Let’s do this!

This was written a few weeks ago but I’m just now getting up the nerve to post it. Here goes nothing…

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Something happened today. We went to a wedding and had a great time. It was Aiden’s first and he did very well. He was a little chatty during the ceremony but as soon as the reception came and the music started, he was on the dance floor all night! We had a blast. When we got home, I did something stupid. I tried on my wedding dress….and I couldn’t zip it up.

We were married five years ago. I was definitely thinner and more toned back then. I also hadn’t had a baby, but I don’t think that is a good excuse. I see lots of social media accounts of very fit moms. I’m just lazy and don’t want to put forth the effort. Honestly, I didn’t think I was THAT out of shape. I new things jiggled now that didn’t before and the cellulite…. I have always had cellulite in my butt and thighs (like most every other woman in the world) but I had no idea I would develop cellulite in my stomach! It’s bad. My stomach is somewhat flat but it is visibly lumpy. I’ve never seen that on anyone before.

My husband and I met when we were fourteen. To call him little was an understatement. He was shorter than me and was so skinny and scrawny. I’ve always weighed more than him. In high school he shot up and ended up being a little over six foot (taller than me) but he was still skinny. Two years ago he was introduced to crossfit and something happened. He has put on thirty pounds of muscle and has transformed himself into a hunky stud and I am so proud of him! He’s starting to compete and really has a passion for it. He’s one of those people that when they do something, no matter what it is, he puts his whole heart in it and literally gives it his all. I wish I had that motivation. He has begged me to go to the gym with him. Not just because I need it, but because he wants to share with me something he loves to do. I have no interest in crossfit but after the dress fiasco last night, I’m thinking a few cardio machines couldn’t hurt.

It’s not fair that he is turning into this muscular, confident, stud muffin and I’m over here getting sloppy and lazy. I feel like that is a big part of why married people don’t stay happy. Even though love is important, you have to stay physically attracted to eachother. It’s not fair for you both to make a life long commitment to only be with each other for the rest of your life and then one (or both) of you “let yourself go”.

This is my wake up call. I want to participate in life. I want to run around in my bathing suit playing with my kid(s) and having fun, living in the moment. Not being self conscious and embarrassed and sitting on the side lines.

Let me also clarify that I’m not saying I am over weight and extremely out of shape. I am 5’8″ and today I weight 148. I would ideally like to be about ten pounds lighter, but also toned. I am not really interested in the number on the scale as long as I like what I see in the mirror. I am prone to cellulite and I know it is not possible to “get rid of it”. I am just hoping that by becoming more toned, it will make it less noticeable. A few months ago, I orchestrated a weight loss challenge at work. It was a ten dollar buy in and it was for twelve weeks. We weighed in every week and if you gained a pound, you had to put a dollar in the pot. By the end of the twelve weeks, I had lost six pounds and I felt great. I am the definition of a procrastinator so I didn’t really try until the last few weeks.  One of our doctors lost ten pounds and won the almost three hundred dollar pot. That ended two weeks ago and I’ve already gained it all back! So I know I can do it when I try. This is the only body I’ll have and I want to make the most of it. Here’s to getting healthy again!

 

Crockpot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

alfredoIt’s no secret how much I adore my crockpot. There is no better feeling that coming home after a long work day and a nice home cooked meal is ready and waiting for you! And your house smells heavenly. I tried a new recipe today and made a few changes. It turned out great. Sometimes alfredo sauce can be too rich but not this stuff. It’s delicious!

Recipe:

3 chicken breasts

1 packet of Italian dressing mix

2 10oz cans of cream of chicken soup

2 8oz cream cheese

1 lb fettuccini pasta

Optional: broccoli, peas, parmesan cheese, etc.

Before work, add all of the ingredients except pasta and optional items. The best way to add the cream cheese is to cut it in chunks before throwing it in the crockpot. Add 1 1/2 cans of water. Set it on low for 6-8 hours and go to work. When you get home, take the chicken breasts out, put them on a plate, and using two forks shred them. Before you return the chicken to the crockpot, whisk the sauce. The cream cheese will still be chunky if you don’t. Once you’re done, return the chicken back to the sauce and add broccoli or any other additions you’d like. Make your fettuccini pasta and enjoy! The picture does not do it justice. Trust me. Add a salad and bread sticks and you’ll be saying, “What Olive Garden?”! Maybe not, but it will cost you less.

Update: My picky three year old loved it and asked for seconds! He doesn’t like anything but nuggets lately. Victory!alfredo2

F*#@! And a few other choice expletives!

I’ve had a bad fucking morning. Have you ever had one of those days where everything that could possible go wrong, does? That’s today for me. Lately, my sweet little three year old has become an independent, know-it-all “threenager”. He didn’t want to go to school today, explaining to me how he can stay home by himself. Then, when I pick out his clothes, he says they don’t match and throws them at me, causing me to drop my phone. And guess what? The screen shattered. And do I have insurance on my phone? Nope. Wanna know why? Because I didn’t want to pay the $8 a month on something I may or may not need. I know it sounds dumb but that’s almost a hundred dollars I could put towards a bill. Of course now I will be spending more than that on a new phone. Although, I’m going to wait until the shards of glass start coming out into my fingers before I do that.

After the fifth argument and broken phone fiasco, I lose my cool. I told Aiden to put his blanket in his room. He tells me it needs to stay on the couch. I tell him again and he does it….with attitude of course. After about five minutes, I call out to him and ask him what is taking so long to which he replies that he is still putting his blanket in his room. I finally go look and he is sitting indian-style in the middle of his room, without his blanket, just to spite me. I am already late for work. At this point, it is safe to say I lost it. I started screaming at him. This scares him and makes him start crying. I feel terrible for yelling at him so I start apologizing and crying. So now we are both sitting in the middle of his floor, hugging and crying.

Even as I was yelling at him I knew it wasn’t his fault. I am so stressed and overwhelmed that I feel like I’m drowning. You see, my motherly clock is ticking. I am ready for another baby. The hubs, on the other hand, is not. Not because he doesn’t want a second child, but he is worried about the financial aspect. He worries that bringing another child into the family will prevent us from buying things or doing things with Aiden. My goal of 2015 was to get us mostly out of debt. I wanted us to be more financially comfortable with some extra breathing room so that we wouldn’t be so stressed and worried about the bills. Aiden will be in VPK September 2016, which is free except for before & after care. If we started trying in January, the timing would be just about perfect and it would help out with the cost of having two kids in daycare. It’s a good plan except for the fact that I can’t seem to pay anything off. Things keep coming up, like always, and I can’t get anything paid down. For whatever reason, I totally forgot to pay the electric and the cable bill in June. I am usually really organized with the bills but some how they fell through the cracks. I can’t explain it. So now, I’m having to play catch up to get those back current. Just like the saying goes: Two steps forward, one step back. Except with us it seems to be more like that board game Chutes and Ladders.

I am typically very good at seeing the silver lining. I can find positivity in any situation. This morning was hard. I let my emotions get the best of me and I regret it. Luckily, kids are resilient and Aiden probably doesn’t even remember it. Tonight is my niece’s birthday party at Adventure Landing water park. The hubs won’t be with us (another thing that upset me) but that might be good. That gives me and my boy plenty of time to run around, get wet, go down lots of water slides and reconnect. Here’s to hoping the day gets better from here on out. Wish me luck!

First Movie At The Theatre

Well, it was suppose to be a romantic night out. We were going to go to Olive Garden for dinner (the hubs has been craving it) and to the movies to see Jurassic Park. Brian worked late and I didn’t want the babysitter (aka mom) to have to sit around and wait so I told her we’d just reschedule for another night. Of course, as soon as I do that, she makes other plans and Brian gets off work ready to go. Who needs a romantic night out anyway. We decided to make it a family date night. We took Aiden to Olive Garden and much to our surprise, he did great. It’s always a toss up taking a toddler to a restaurant. Sometimes he does great and others he seems to forget all of his table manners including his inside voice. This time, he was nearly perfect!

movie dinner

Since he was so well behaved we decided to take him to the movies too. This was his first trip to the theatre. He’s been asking to go and he really wanted to see Jurassic Park but we were afraid he’d be up all night having nightmares about man eating dinosaurs. Instead, we went with a really cute kids’ movie, Inside Out.

movie poster

The movie was really cute and Aiden liked it a lot. We got him all of the snacks (it was his first time after all). He sat still for the most part until the last ten minutes. At that point he kept whispering (which was more of a whisper yell), “Can we go home now? I’m over it.”  In his defense, that was at about 9:30pm.

movie

The next movie on our list… Minions! Maybe this time we’ll go during the day on the weekend.

Sweet & Tangy Chicken Legs

This is my favorite way to make chicken legs. After working all day, it is so easy to mix up all of the ingredients and put the chicken in the oven for an hour while I do a load of laundry or straighten up the house. Hope you love it too!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs of chicken drumsticks

 3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

3 garlic gloves, minced

salt & pepper

chicken2

In a big glass bowl add the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, and minced garlic. For more convenience you can get the jar of minced garlic and just add a few spoonful. That’s what I do. I say to put all of it in a glass bowl because you’ll probably have to heat the mixture up in the microwave for a minute or two to help it blend together.

chicken1

Next, line a glass casserole dish with foil. This isn’t necessary but it makes clean up a lot easier! Lay the chicken legs in the dish and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Add the liquid mixture and make sure to coat all of the legs. It’s okay that the sauce doesn’t cover the legs. You’ll turn them later.

chicken3

Bake the mixture on 350 degree for forty five minutes. Then take it out and flip the legs. Put them back in the oven but this time crank the heat up to 425 degrees and bake them for an additional twenty to thirty minutes. Increasing the heat is the key! Let them cool & enjoy.  Let me know what you think!

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