Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Embarrassing Truth

Can I tell you guys a secret?
Last week I found out that I have high cholesterol.
Yep. I'm 25. 
How terribly embarrassing.
At first I was devastated. "Are you sure?" I asked the nurse.
She was positive. Blood tests don't lie.
My throat started closing up, because even though I wasn't 100% sure what that meant, I knew it wasn't good. I cried. A lot. And then, in my head I blamed the way I was raised...eating fried foods daily, drinking sweet tea instead of water, cake for breakfast. And yes, I'm sure that had something to do with it, but the minute I turned 18 I took control. I made the decisions, but it wasn't until recently that I decided I couldn't live like that anymore. At this point I've been counting calories for 3 weeks, and I feel better. I'm going to the gym 3 days a week. I'm taking nutrition classes. I have taken control. I can turn this around. I have changed my lifestyle for the better. 
The craziest thing I've heard so far? Most people my age probably have it and don't even know it. Lucky for me though, I get the chance to fix it now. I don't have to wait until it's so high I have to be prescribed medicine.
And no matter how embarrassing that is, I'm thankful I have another chance.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sneaky Mom Meals

I think I've posted this recipe before, but I completely forgot about it. Adelei loves tots, and she liked eating these before, so I thought I'd try them again.

Yield: 12-15 mini tots
  • 1 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ of an onion, diced
  • ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Grate zucchini on a paper towel, then use the paper towel to wring the water out of the zucchini. If you skip this step, your tots will be mushy, not crispy! Dice onion.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Spray a mini cupcake tin with olive oil and fill each hole until full.
Bake for 15-18 minutes!
That's it. Easy peasy.

Simple & Yummy. The proof is in the picture ;)

She loved them! Definitely going to be making these more often. The best part? They're not just toddler food. So go ahead and whip up a double batch for the whole fam. They're so delicious, you won't feel guilty indulging.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Isn't Always Legit

I've been using for several years to find the best deals on hotels when we travel. I've always been pretty pleased with the prices, but looking back, I blame that on my ignorance. Ignorance is bliss, right?
Last year, we booked our spring break hotel room through We got a decent price ($101 per night), considering it was spring break, and we were staying at the beach. I didn't complain. But when we were checking in to our hotel, the front desk clerk just happened to mention that if we would have booked directly through the Hampton Inn we could have actually gotten a significantly cheaper rate. Interesting. Fast forward to present day.

We're planning a vacation to Dallas in May. I searched for days looking at the rates, even signing up for their 'price watch' alert. I was very disappointed in the prices and even thought we may have to postpone our trip, until my husband reminded me about last spring. Call the actual hotel, he said. And so I did. Right after I called to make sure that I was getting the 'lowest price possible'. They assured me that the price on their site was the cheapest rate. Add $10 per night to upgrade from two double beds to a king ($77 per night). Makes total sense, right? Pffff! I called the hotel directly. I told them exactly what I was looking for, and the dates that I needed. The price that they gave me was $19 cheaper PER NIGHT of what was offering, for the exact amenities I was looking for. doesn't offer a military discount, according to the customer service representative that I spoke to. MOST hotels DO offer them. I've learned my lesson the hard way, and I wanted to share it with you all. Even if you don't get any additional discounts, it may be cheaper to book directly through the hotel. At the very least, it can't hurt to try.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sweet Indulgence

Counting Calories can be fun and all [especially when I'm seeing results!], but it can also be annoying. Like when I have a hankering for a frappe, but realize that there's almost as many calories in one little cup as there was in my entire lunch [300 calories in a 12 oz caramel frappe from Starbucks]? That's annoying. But realistic. So when I want to cheat these days and have a sweet coffee treat, I came up with a little something to fit my needs. Not only is it less calories, but it's also budget friendly because it uses ingredients that I always keep on hand!

4 frozen coffee cubes*
12 oz almond milk
1/4 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
fat free whipped cream [optional]

Take your frozen cubes* and put them in the blender with your frozen yogurt and milk, blend for 10-15 seconds or until there are no large chunks of ice left. Pour into your favorite glass and top with whipped cream!

Not only is it deliciously rich and creamy, but it couldn't be easier to make!

Here is the calorie breakdown:
coffee cubes - 2 cal
almond milk - 120 cal
fro yo - 35 cal
whipped cream -  5 cal
Total: 162 calories

Looking for less calories than that? Try using 8 oz of almond milk [80 cal] with one less ice cube & you'll have a smaller treat with the same great taste for only 122 calories!

*To make the frozen coffee cubes, just brew your favorite coffee and once cooled, pour into an ice tray. Freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight.
If you're going to add any sweeteners, do so while coffee is still hot [just be mindful in doing so, as you're adding calories!]. Six cups of brewed coffee for me made two trays of coffee cubes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Better Breakfast

From time to time, I get burnt out on drinking shakes for breakfast. When that happens, I look for something low in calories while also being delicious and filling.

That's how I discovered this treat:
It's so simple. Honey Wheat Toast with Almond Butter and Honey Drizzle. So. Good.
I've been pairing this with a banana and 8 oz of 2% milk for a total of 395 calories. That may seem a little on the high side, but it keeps me full until lunch. No mid morning snacks for me!

What's your favorite healthy breakfast?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sneaky Mom Meals

I always say that my daughter was born hungry, because, well...she was.
While I was being sewn up, the nurses fed her an ounce of formula, and from what I've heard, she sucked it down in no time.
My sweet girl, she's always had a good appetite. She's pretty much always eaten anything I've put in front of her.
Until lately...
For the last few weeks, she hasn't been eating very much. Even her favorite foods [spaghetti and chicken nuggets!] have been pushed to the side [or thrown on the floor]. She isn't being very receptive to 'new' foods, either. Do you know how frustrating that can be?
Anyway, I've been trying to find ways to get her the nutrients that she needs while masking it with something 'fun' so she doesn't immediately start demanding to get down from her high chair [yes, she does that.]

Here's my first try:
Cheesy Carrot Quesadilla
It's as easy as it sounds and it was a huge hit.

1 Carrot, shredded
1/4 cup Cheese
1 whole wheat flour tortilla

Shred a carrot [or 4 baby carrots]. I just put them in my food processor for a few seconds, and it was perfect. Heat a skillet on medium, using olive oil spray or a little bit of butter to help it brown. Add the quesadilla, carrot, and as much or as little cheese as you think is appropriate for your child. I used very little (1/4 cup) since Adelei already has digestive issues. Once the cheese has melted, just fold the tortilla in half and cut into 4 triangles. Wa-La! I served it with a side of raw carrots and homemade ranch dip.

I know I can't be the only one going through this phase, so I decided to document it, in the off chance that someone else just as frustrated may come across it. If you have any sneaky mom meals, feel free to share them! If you take a picture of your sneaky mom meal, use hashtag #sneakymommeal on instagram or twitter. Let's help each other out!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Flashing Lights

I'm coming to y'all today from a dark place.
I was trying to be optimistic, but at this point I'm saying, 'What else could go wrong?'
First of all, it has been rainy/cold for the past 3 days. Which means no playing outside. And Adelei is refusing to nap. Can you see where this is headed?
Today I had my second, yes second, pap smear in a month. Ladies, take a moment to let that sink in. You know how bad it is to have it done once a year, nevermind the fact that my doctor apparently did it wrong the first time and couldn't even get a reading.
Really? Awesome. I love feeling violated and sore for days.
But to add insult to injury, on my way home I got a speeding ticket. My first one ever, and a really, really expensive one.

So that's my rant. At this point I'm just hoping that the pap smear comes back fine and that my husband doesn't kill me for getting a ticket. It could be worse, right?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Brighter Future

This past weekend, while we were browsing around the Easter Festival, we stumbled upon the credit union booth. They were setting up savings accounts for children with no start up fee, no monthly fees, and as an added incentive, if you completed the paperwork then, they would put $5 in the account. How could I say no to that? We've been toying around with the idea of doing this since before Adelei was born, but kept putting it off for one reason or another. Seeing how easy it was to get started, though, allowed me to fully commit and get the ball rolling. Now that it's opened, we're looking at our monthly budget to see how much we feel comfortable depositing each month. We are hoping that this account will be untouched over the next 16 years, so that Adelei will have money to use to pay for college/living expenses. 

For those of you who have kids, do you have savings for them? What other options have you found to help them become financially stable?