Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 8 Weigh-In

Funny Story:
While I was sleeping last night, I dreamed that Casey and I went to some place like Cold Stone/ Sub Zero because I could choose any flavor of ice cream I wanted and they mixed it for me.  I remember I choose Pralines’n’Cream with extra caramel and then some other random mix-ins.

Casey and I each ordered an entire box (like the size you buy from the grocery store) because we wanted different flavors.  We came home and I ate my entire box of ice cream in one sitting. 

I was then really sad because I knew there was no way I would lose weight this week after eating a box of ice cream and J-Dawgs.  I was really upset the rest of the night and kind of had troubled sleep.  The problem is I didn’t realize I was still dreaming.  I really thought I had eaten a whole box of ice cream.

Finally when I wake up, I realize I didn’t eat ice cream and no longer felt so bad about J-Dawgs and a stake institute dinner the night before the stake J-Dawg fair (ok really the fair was for stake preparedness—but I wonder how many came just for the hot dogs).  I had been sad/ nervous all night for the weigh-in over ice cream I never ate!! …ugh…

Anyway…
-5 pounds!!  :D

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Perfect Team

When Casey and I were sophomores in high school, we worked together to create a PowerPoint presentation for our math class.  Our teacher (who we are both still friends with today—we are now on a first name basis… weird, huh?!) was one of the few to have a laptop lab in his class.  Now it is like a standard but clear back in the day ;) it was a rarity.  In order to keep the lab, he was required to have a student project in the school technology fair.  When he assigned everyone the project to make a slideshow with a partner, we had no idea that his whole motive was to have something in the school fair.  We didn’t even know the school had a fair!

Well, we went way beyond and above the required assignment—with animated pictures and timed sound clips.  We just assumed that everyone was making a PP just like ours.  Wrong-o!  My mom told us once that we made a great team because I have artistic talents and Casey is blessed with technical talents.  So together, it looked visually pleasing with color coordination and patterns.  I designed it and would pick the colors and show how I wanted things to be laid out on the paper.  Casey then took my ideas from paper and talk and made them happen on the computer.  Without the other person, we never would have won because Casey needed me to make it look pretty and I need him to make it techy.

Long story short, we entered the school fair and won (hand’s down) and were able to compete at the district fair.  After showing it too all of the judges and visitors and then waiting for the results, we placed first!  We won “gold” medals, a plaque (someday, I will have to share the hilarious story of this plaque!) and our teacher won a projector for his classroom.  He was one of the only ones with a projector—and now I don’t know how to teach without it!!
Ignore the sticker at the bottom--it says "Partner in Crime"
I scanned this from my scrapbook.
This was at the District Technology Fair.
The man with a beard was our teacher and now good friend.
Anyway… whether it was our sophomore year of high school or today—we still make the perfect team!  As you have been watching some changes to our blog, it is still the same combination today as it was then.  I design it and make it cute and he makes it work! 

For example:
  • Blog name—her.  Owning the address—him.
  • Designing a Value billboard—her.  Making the billboard fit in the required space—him.
  • Drawing the button/ sticker—her.  Taking the paper doodles to computer animations—him. (check back for this SOON!  We are still working on putting it together.)
  • Creating a homepage for our address—him.  Choosing the colors and fonts—her.
See what I mean… he is techy and I’m creative and together we are like peanut butter and jelly!  So much better together—perfect for one another.  I love that although we are going on only our second year of marriage, we are in our 9th year of being best friends and working together on projects. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Living Our Dream Life

His Dream + Her Dream = Our Dream
Our dreams have come together forever; follow us as we live the life we dreamed of before.


His Dream:
Since Casey was a young boy in primary, he has always dreamed of being able to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  If you asked him where he wanted to serve, his answer was always, "Wherever the Lord wants to send me!"  Before his mission, he faced some minor set backs as his mission papers were lost and faced minor medical problems.  But he persisted an was called to serve in the Virginia Richmond Mission.  His life and countless others were blessed forever.  After two years, he was honorably released and lived his dream.
To learn a little more about His Dream read "Remembering the Welcome Home" or "Welcome Home Pres. Millburn!"


Her Dream:
My first semester at Brigham Young University, I announced constantly how I was living my dream life.  I had always wanted to attend BYU and after some major hiccups in my life, I was finally able to make it.  I had a really late class that first semester and several of my peers would always complain about the time but to me it was a gift because I was finally living my dream--I was actually a student at BYU!  This dream continued to get better as I recently graduated from BYU!  There really was a time when I didn't think this would ever be possible but I fought all the odds against me and did it!  I am a now Cougar Alumni.
To learn a little more about Her Dream read "Graduation!," "3rd Generation BYU Alumni," and "Dream to Graduate--Meet Reality."


Our Dream:
Just over 15 months ago, (November 2009) we started living our dream together when we were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple for time and all eternity.  We both dreamed of marrying our best friend (though we have not always realized we were the other person's best friend).  We both always knew that we wanted to be married in a temple by the right authority so it would be bound both on heaven on earth.  Since our wedding, not a day has gone past where we aren't grateful for the covenant we both entered into with the Lord.
To learn a little more about how our dream life started read "Best Friend to Boyfriend," "The Meaning of Ice Cream," and "Every Kiss Begins with Kay."
To learn a little more about the day our dreams were united forever read "The Best Day of My Life," "One Decision = Eternal Happiness," and watch the short version of our wedding video at "One Year Later."


Although life is hard to predict, we are now LIVING OUR DREAM LIFE together as we experience it day by day.  We have no way of knowing what the future will hold but we know that our dreams will always be together.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Role Model (at least one of them)

The other day I while I was listening to the Mormon Channel, I heard the program Conversations featuring Elder and Sister Holland.

It is my dream to be just like Elder Holland when we grow up!

"And at the end of the day, we're just absolutely madly, wildly, deliriously 
in love with each other." –Elder Holland
Don't they just look like they still completely in love??
–And you want to know what... at the end, beginning, and middle I am 300% completely, absolutely, entirely, totally in love with my best friend!
I love you forever!!
P.S. it was so hard to not smoosh our faces together.
We kept trying but the photographer would make us separate...
This is as close as we got!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Roses and Thorns

So you know how some days are just good and you can't help but smile.  Yeah... today was one of those days. :D


It didn't start off super great--at least I thought.  I woke up from a terrible dream.  I didn't sleep very well because of it. But the sad/ awful/ tension filled dream came as a confirmation to me that I made the right choice.  For those of you that follow me on Facebook, Tuesday I was presented with a HUGE choice I had to make.  I shared that as my status.  And I didn't really even have time to think about it because I had to give my answer the next day.  I knew that either way I chose there would be consequences to deal with--some good, some bad.  


Well Tuesday night, I was an emotional mess.  (That puts it mildly.)  I don't think my poor hubby got any homework done because I was so stressed out (including crying) about what to do!  He gave me a blessing--seriously LOVE being married to a worthy Priesthood holder!!  It didn't really give me any sense of direction but at least helped me calm down and find comfort.  


Wednesday while I was subbing (there were TWO student teachers in my room--meaning I really didn't do very much!!), I sat and made a "Roses and Thorns" list.  (This is what everyone else calls a pro/ con chart... but isn't Roses and Thorns SO much cuter?!  I will make a 3rd column called Leaves if there are things that could go on both sides of the list.  Sometimes my Leaves are also unknowns.)  I tried to list everything I could think of for both sides--just to be fair.  But the Thorn list continued to grow longer and my Leaf list was being plagued by several unknowns.  I was still trying to find more Roses because I was determined I was going to do this.

The whole day as school I was anxious and stressed.  (Fortunately, I don't think it was too obvious to anyone else.)  I was pretty set to go forward with my decision but didn't feel like I was getting anywhere when I would pray about it.  I continued to feel fears and nerves and uncertainties but I was going to push through.  I am strong!  I can do anything I put my mind to.  I would just have to get over all of my anxieties.  I was going to figure out how to find my Roses and somehow I was just so sure that I could make it work.


After subbing ended for the day, I started making phone calls to investigate my Leaves in hopes of getting answers.  Well the answers came and basically moved all of the Leaf column over to the Thorns.  At this point, I realized that maybe I should change my decision.  I didn't understand why.  But as I was driving home, I finally began to feel at peace again.  I could feel a smile creeping through my lips--something I hadn't felt for probably a day.


When I got home on Wednesday, I bounced through the door into my husband's arms.  (Sidenote: seriously my *favorite* part of the entire day is that first bear hug and kiss after we have been apart!!!)  I told him about all the phone calls I had made and how my Thorns list was continually growing.  I informed him that I had changed my mind and was going to decline the choice.  I knelt down to pray about my new decision and was instantly filled with peace and felt so warm.  I was so grateful to know I finally figured out what the right answer was and to get a definite answer to my prayer.  I quickly got up from my knees to make one more phone call.  Saying "No" to someone is so hard for me.  I feel like I always have to say yes.  But during that phone call, I did it, I said no.


As soon as I hung up, I felt like I was glowing again.  I knew I had made the right choice.  I really did find my rose, even though it wasn't the one I originally expected.


So back to my dream last night.  It was complete confirmation that I had made the right choice.  I didn't see that when I woke up because I had gotten into a car crash at the beginning of the dream and by the time it ended, I had someone spit in my face--twice.  But as I thought about it, the dream was kind of what might have happened if I said yes type of a deal.  (wow... that was a long sentence!)  I realized how grateful I am that I won't ever be in the situation where I might have gotten into that car crash or have that person spit in my face.


And so my day continued to keep getting better and better until the students I was teaching today were probably wondering why I was grinning.  I'm so thankful I picked the right Rose!


The picture is from Culture Grrl
NO IDEA what that blog is about or the article or anything!!!  I do not support or endorse it.
I didn't read it, I just loved the picture! :)

Spanish Paella

Background
So... did anyone know that I am 1/4 Spanish??  Yup... its true--I can claim Hispanic on "check the box" race forms!  My grandfather on my dad's side was born in Spain and then immigrated to the U.S. when he was in his early 30's (I think?).  Plus my dad served his mission in Spain and growing up we would learn about the culture from my dad's mission experience.  Growing up, I wasn't exactly proud of being Spanish.  I don't even know if there is a big enough number for the times I was teased and called Mexican or expected to speak Spanish.  I'm not Mexican and I don't speak Spanish.  I didn't really like my maiden name and was so grateful when I got married and it became a normal, English/ American name!  Anyway... that is not the point of this!

We would always celebrate 3 Kings Day and my dad would often make Tortilla de Espanola for us.  We always called it a Spanish Omelette (it is like an omelette but has cubed potatoes in the egg batter... and it is not folded over on itself --wiki explains it pretty well!)

But this past weekend, we had the opportunity to enjoy a real Spanish feast.  We drove up to my parents' home and learned so much about our heritage.  The table was set with several dishes all stacked on top of each other.  Each course would use a different dish and when you were finished with one course, the plate or bowl was simply removed and then the next course would use the next dish down.

The main course was Paellla.  Casey and I have fallen in love with this dish and I imagine we will make it time and time again! :)

My dad taught us that paella was a poor man's supper and it would be made on a beach.  The paella pan is a shallow, large-diameter pan (it is kind of like a wok).  They would build a large fire (or use hot coals) on the beach and cook it there with what was available.  They would use large varieties of vegetables and many combinations of various meats and fishes.  Shellfish would often be used because it was easily available.  This is kind of like the Spanish version of a large BBQ.  (Note: we did not go to a beach or build a huge--illegal--bonfire.  We simply used a large fry pan on the stove!)

Paella Recipe
(written by my dad--thanks!)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/4 chopped onion
1/4 chopped green pepper
1/4 chopped red pepper
2 chopped tomatoes

In a large fry pan, heat the oil.  Simmer all of the above items until soft.

1 lb salmon cut into 1 to 2 in squares
2 lb crab cut into small sizes

or

2 lb chicken breasts cut into small cubes

or

1 lb of sausage or bacon

or
any combo of meats  ( In Spain, they have many different meats cooked together.)

Fry the meat with the other items.  Set 2/3 of the mixture aside.  Add a small splash of olive oil. 

Add 4 cups of long grain white rice.  Stir with the 1/3 of the meat mixture.  Cook on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 4 cups of chicken stock.  Reduce heat to medium.  Stir occasionally.

1/4 green pepper - Cut into large squares
1/4 red pepper - Cut into large squares
1/4 onion - cut into large slices

1 cup frozen peas and carrots

When the rice mixture has lost most of the liquid, add the peas and carrots,  Arrange the peppers, and onions on top.  Spoon the remaining of the meat on the top of the rice.  After adding the balance of meats, care is taken to not stir them into the rice, but leave them on top.

Add 6 cups of chicken stock or water.  (2 1/2 to 3 parts liquid total to 1 part rice)  Add a pinch of saffron.  Reduce heat to medium low. 

Lift from the bottom to keep from sticking.  Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
 
May need to add more water until rice is soft.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Exercising Milestones

There have been several exercising milestones that are worth recording!!


Current weight lost to date: - 32 pounds


Consecutive push-ups on toes: 11 (that is a big deal people!  I used to not even be able do 1 on my toes and maybe only 2 on my knees)


Difficulty of Workout: Increased from challenging (level 3 on TBL) to hard (level 4)


Pants size: dropped at least 1 size (maybe 2 depending on the brand and style)


I'm making progress!! :)


(don't believe me... see for yourself!)
P.S. You can see how long my hair used to be!

Week 7 Weigh-In

Considering we ate at...
on Valentine's Day.

And ate...
Paella Espana--check back for the recipe soon! :)
...a Spanish feast with my family.

I honestly wasn't expecting to loose much if any weight.

But...

-4 pounds


YEAH! :D :D :D

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Macaroni and "Cheese"


So, this recipe is going to be kind of a guess work because I don't know exact measurements.  It is DELICIOUS!!!  But the recipe really is confusing.  It started with following a recipe from a super delicious cookbook Casey gave me for Valentine's Day.  This book has pureed vegetables and fruits in everything.  But, lets just say I didn't follow it too well.  The recipe called for pureed carrots or sweet potato.  Well, I was in a rush and didn't feel like making the puree but I already had canned pumpkin--perfect!  I love the stuff!!  :)  Probably part of the reason is because pumpkin anything is my favorite!  But honestly, I thought it tasted like mac'n'cheese (not Kraft but like an expensive restaurant kind).

1 box of pasta (+ or - depending upon how saucy you like it.  I just made individual servings for each of us.  I made mine with whole wheat rotini pasta.  And Casey's with white shells.  Mine was healthier but his tasted more like "normal")
1 T. light margarine
1 1/2 T. flour (I used whole wheat and ended up having to use a little extra)
Salt
Pepper
Poultry Seasoning (don't ask me why I picked this... because we had it!  But I thought it tasted great!)
1 c. + skim milk (I had to add some extra milk after I added the pumpkin because it was too thick...)
1/2 can small pumpkin (I didn't want extra pumpkin just hanging out.  So I put the entire small can in.  This is probably the reason why I had to add extra milk)
1-2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  In a different pan, melt the margarine over medium heat.  Once it is completely melted, add the flour until it is a thick paste.  (Just like you were making a cream sauce/ gravy.)  Slowly add the milk (1 c.) and whisk it in.  (The trick here is whisk/ stir constantly to prevent it from going lumpy!!)  Shake in a good amount (like 1/4-1/2 t.??) of pepper, some salt (I added less salt than pepper), and the poultry seasoning (um... I don't know how much--probably similar to the pepper amount but no idea really).  These are all to taste so do as much as you like!  Continue to stir over medium heat until it thickens.  Then stir in the pumpkin.  The consistency should be like a medium gravy--add extra milk if needed to thin it out.  Sprinkle in some cheese and continue to stir until it melts.  (Ok, so I didn't want a ton of cheddar cheese because it is higher calorie so I added probably 1 to 1 1/2 c. to the entire pan.  But, I didn't want to make Casey sacrifice at my expense.  So... with his cooked and drained pasta, I stirred in more cheddar cheese to just his over medium low heat.  The cheese coated the pasta.  I also added chicken pieces to his--I didn't want additions.  I was also considering adding some frozen mixed veggies to make it more like a casserole but didn't.)  Combine the pasta and the sauce.  Note: the original recipe suggested serving it with Parmesan cheese or dried bread crumbs--we didn't use either.

Ok... so I warned you the recipe was awkward! :/  I hope you can figure it out and try it yourself!  This is a great way to hide veggies--you can't even tell it is there!

+ =

I forgot to take a picture... and this is all that was left...
It really is as yummy as I am making it sound--the picture is evidence! :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gospel ABC Quiet Book

So... um... I don't know why I love quiet books so much right now considering we don't have any kids... 


But, I started making a Sunday/ Gospel ABC book.  I got the idea from oopsey-daisy and am kind of doing what she did but greatly changing it too.


I want to make mine more of a quiet book (meaning interactive) instead of just something to look at! :)


Reasons why I love this idea

  • It uses paper!  (no expensive embellishments...)
  • Which also makes it smaller and easier to take back and forth to church/ etc
  • And it uses sheet protectors
  • AND--it is gospel related!! :)  It will (hopefully) help build testimonies as well as keep tiny mouths quiet
I went through and found all of the quotes today for my book (again, used some of the same ones but probably changed more than I kept).  Tomorrow is going to be scripture finding and (hopefully) picture cutting.

I will for sure post pictures once I get to the crafting part of it! :D  Until then... it feels so awesome to be working on something crafty again but even better knowing it has a purpose!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Workout Music



While "The Biggest Loser" wii game is loading, it will show tips and advice from former contestants.  There is generally a theme of don't snack on bad food, keep going and music.  The music tips would always suggest finding something that motivates you to keep going and uplifts you or something that you can get in the rhythm with and then keep going.  There are lots of music tips....


I found something that totally works for me!!   (It is almost like killing two birds with one stone...hee,hee,hee)  I love listening to...
5057317_oct_general_conference_cd
...That's right!  It is the current General Conference on CDs.  And it is amazing--I am realizing that the quotes and feelings are staying with me.  I don't know for sure who said each quote but the message is becoming part of me.


I would highly recommend this to everyone--whether at your own home or at the gym on an I-Pod.  It is changing my spiritual life as I am changing my physical one. :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the day of love


"Valentine's Day isn't about you or me but rather who we are together.”


I figured it wasn't too late to share pictures and memories from the day of love--and instead of it just being a day, we celebrated the whole weekend. <3
Notice the cute table cloth??  I <3 it! :)
I know... I already blogged this photo...
But this was getting ready for the dance!
At the Institute Dance!
There was a live 20 member band.
It was fun--esp. because we were together!!!
This was at the end of the dance...
We were both tired and my hair no longer curled
but I still think it is adorable!
Words can't express how much I love this picture! :)
This was a professional picture at the dance.
There are more pictures to come--check back...

This was actually on Valentine's Day.
We went out to eat at the Olive Garden--but forgot about taking a picture.
After we ate, while Casey was walking around the car
(after opening my door)
I placed the first clue on the dashboard.
I made a scavenger hunt for him! :)
Finding another clue.
And another.
The clues led him all over our house.
And they finally led him to a picture of a new hard drive.
(I decided it was better for him to actually buy the right hard drive.
I would have no clue which one to get!
But I still wanted to do something sweet for him...)
I was SO surprised!
Casey bought me a cookbook that is healthier
and has hidden veggies in everything.
I have no idea when he bought this or how he wrapped it!!
I found this Tuesday after I finished subbing.
The note says: "Thanks Beauty for a wonderful Valentine's Day with you!
I <3 U ∞!"
And Casey loved his sugar cookie!
And I LOVE him... and he LOVES me!


We hope you had just as wonderful of a Valentine's day (and weekend) as we did!  May the love continue to blossom all year!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I can relate...

While watching The Biggest Loser--season 11,
there seems to be a reoccurring theme.
The stories are shared of how being overweight has effected their lives.
Generally, it has been negative.  
They regret decisions and actions.
Some of the players have lived out of shame.
Others out of the fear of being teased.
Most of them are lacking self-esteem.

I can totally relate to contestants.

I remember being teased growing up by my peers.  
They would make up names for me.  
I would try to blow it off like it was no big deal but slowly their comments ate at me.
I remember when I was a young child, 
I would try to walk everywhere with my tummy sucked in.  
I already noticed that I was different and I would try to hide it.
I remember one time making cinnamon rolls with a dear friend as a special treat.  
I was using my fingers to lick up the spilled brown sugar 
and this friend told me it was better to just wash the spilled stuff down the drain 
than to have it go on my hips.
I remember having to always shop in the 
"larger than normal for my age" clothing rack 
and then cutting out tags so no one would ever know.  
(Ok... confession... this was only part of the reason I cut out tags--
the other is because they itched so extremely much!)
I remember wanting so desperately badly to be ultra skinny in high school 
so then I could go on dates with all the boys.
I remember thinking that I would never get married 
because I wasn't beautiful enough.
I remember being a classic example of a yo-yo diet.
I remember this being a way of life 
and feeling like I was stuck to always be fat.

I thought I was done making these memories.

But I was surprised when a new one was created at the school I was subbing at today.
The kids all started laughing/whispering when I was going to sit on a stool.
I overheard them saying to watch because I was going to break the stool/ chair.

It didn't break thank you very much.

But their snickering...
(which was easier to just ignore and get them focused on their assignment... maybe I should have said something but I couldn't even tell which kids were making the comments.  And all of the sudden, I was sitting very cautiously because I was afraid that maybe the kids did know something about the stool/ chair's weak condition)
...brought back so many of the memories from the past.
The feelings, the tears, the uncertainties, the doubts.

But you want to know what...
that is not me anymore.
I truly am so blessed!
I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally.
and who wipes away my tears with constant keep pushing forward support.
I love myself.
I know I am making a difference not just in my life 
but countless others--including ones yet to be born.
I feel the support and love of so many family and friends.

I am changing my life...
one exercise
one healthy food
one choice
...at a time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

it's in the simple things

I used to think I was a morning person... and then I realized how much I hated scrapping the ice off of cars in the morning when it was still dark outside.  This kind of began to change my perspective and wish I didn't have to leave our home until 10 or 11 in the morning after it has warmed up a bit.

But... life goes on and school starts much earlier than I would like (especially if I have to travel long distances to arrive at the school) and so I have to get up and face the cold.

I have been making sure to wake up early enough to read my scriptures and exercise before I leave in the morning and you want to know what--it is amazing but both are now getting done everyday! :)  Well, I normally end up having to take "blink of an eye" fast showers and then head off with wet hair (My junior high mentor teacher told me once that hair will dry...  It isn't the biggest deal in the world to come to school with it wet.  Ever since then, I will still try to blow dry it if I have time but don't stress it if I don't.) and breakfast on the go.

Casey has done what he could to help make the mornings not quite as early nor ridiculously cold.  While I am frantically brushing my hair and throwing things into my bag, he will go out and start my car and then scrape the windows.  He is SO gracious, kind, and chivalrous--and this really is a huge deal because I am honestly leaving earlier then his alarm clock is set for but he gets up anyway to come clear my car.

Well a random morning last week I walked out, kind of late and in an extreme rush, to find not only my car cleared off but...

...this written on his window--right outside our front door!  See, I'm not kidding when I say he is amazing! :)
Love is not only about the big showy things that happen once a year on Valentine's... it is in the simple everyday things too!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 6 Weigh-In

Slightly disappointing week :(

-1 pound

but considering I made Sugar Cookies (and ate some cookie dough and baked cookies),
ate extreme buttered popcorn while waiting to get our oil changed,
ate at Wendy's,
 and had two huge family dinners...

I guess I can't complain too much but just be grateful it is still negative! :D

Sugar Cookies

I'm not kidding when I say these cookies are amazing!  I got the recipe from my mentor teacher and plan on always using this as my "go to sugar cookie" recipe. :)

Sugar Cookies
3 ¾ c. flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. butter (or margarine)
1 ½ c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375. Sift dry ingredients together; set aside.  Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Slowly mix in dry ingredients until just blended.  Roll dough to 1/8” to 3/8” thick.  You may have to add a little extra flour.  Try to handle as little as possible.  Use adorable shapes (or a cup) and cut.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.  Cool cookies before frosting.  (I like cookies softer and normally was cooking them about 8 minutes for a medium/ slightly large sized heart cookie)

Frosting
~ ½ bag powdered sugar
~ ½ cube butter (margarine)--room temperature
 1-2 t. vanilla (or combination of vanilla and almond)
~ ¼ canned (evaporated) milk
Food Coloring

(I know these measurements are terrible…  I just kept dumping things in until it was the right consistency! :) )  Beat the butter and small amount of powdered sugar on high until it starts to come together.  Add the flavoring, coloring, and a lot more powdered sugar.  Pour in a little milk at a time.  Beat on high until smooth and creamy.
Frost cookies.

Valentine's for our family, friends, neighbors, home & visiting teachers, etc!
This is a double batch of cookies. :)
For my sweetheart... it is a math joke--and the amount of love we have for each other! :)
This cookie cutter is HUGE!  I got if for Christmas and had to use it...

TBL Challenge Review

After playing The Biggest Loser Challenge for over a month... I thought it was time I write a review about it.

I guess first off, let me explain a little about what it is.  When you first start, you will complete a fitness test.  This is to see where you should start exercising--and it is great because it is designed for everyone.  It starts out doing extremely light exercises and then progressively gets harder.  You can manually stop the test at any time or when you performance bar falls below a certain point, it will stop it for you.  This was nice because I feel like I personally am being challenged during my workouts but not killed.

The fitness test is also great because I can get a great workout that is good for my ability but so can my husband who is already in much better shape than I am but also someone who is less active than I was when I started would still be able to have workout designed to their ability.

After you complete the test, you get to decide how much time you have to workout everyday, who you want your trainer to be, and how many days a week you want to workout.  If you have a yoga ball or resistance bands (I don't have either) you could add that and it will incorporate them in your workout.  Then everyday (or as often as you set the number of days to) you will have a different workout.  The workouts rotate between Circuit Training, Box-Fit (my favorite!), and Yoga.


Pros

  • It works--I am loosing weight!!! (And I am eating healthy...)
  • Keeps track of your progress
  • The trainers are much nicer than the TV show.  They encourage and push but I don't feel like I ever get yelled at.  And it is rated E so they never swear!! :)
  • Very similar to the TV show in a game type of way
  • Has the option to keep a food log (this drove me nuts so I turned it off)
  • Different workout everyday
  • Workouts push you and require sweat (I'm not motivated to push myself as hard as it does)
  • You can save workouts you like and do them again later
  • Has challenges "mini games" you compete in weekly
  • Learn healthy lifestyle tips
  • My endurance and ability are increasing
  • In your own house, whenever you want
  • Has the option to use with the Wiimote and Wii Fit Board, or just the Wiimote, or nothing (if you don't use anything, it can't really give you feedback/ points for doing the activities)
Cons
  • You can't decide what day your weigh in is nor can you tell it not to exercise on a certain day  (meaning I loose points for my game total every Sunday because I don't exercise on Sundays)
  • If you are using the Wii Board, you are not suppose to wear shoes--I have high arches which results in feet problems and pain! :(
  • 3o minute workouts (that is what I have mine set to) are normally at least 34 to 38 minutes.  (This could be good... but when I exercise in the morning--I am on a super tight schedule!)
  • Sometimes the exercise (jump roping is normally the worst) is not recognized by the Wiimote so you get 0 points for the activity even though you sweated up a storm ;)
  • You have to realize that it is just a game and the points (even when calculated incorrectly) don't really matter.  You are going for a healthier you and even if you get 0 points for jump roping, your body still earned the points.

I would seriously recommend this to everyone.  Whether you are in shape or you are a shape, (I am slowly changing from a shape to in shape!) this definitely helps you see the results you want!
  (And I like this SO much better than Wii Fit because it gets your heart rate up and then maintains it through out the workout.  With Wii Fit, you exercise really hard for the duration of the game and then you stop while it tells you the scores and etc... and then you start again.  I never really saw results with the Wii Fit.)
Jump Roping
Boxing! :)
"Champions aren't made in the gyms.  Champions are made from something they have a deep inside of them—a desire, a dream, a vision."
–Muhammad Ali



P.S. Stay tuned for week 6 weigh in :)