Thursday, April 3, 2014

THERE you are!

Hello Dearies :)
So sorry to have dropped off the blogosphere, but pregnancy and new baby will do that to you.
So much has happened!

I can't wait to catch up with you all.

Hubby & I have been very busy...
check it out!

see you there :)


Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's a Girl!

Adeline Elaine
May 25, 2012
9:43 am
9 pounds 21 1/2 inches long

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I've been talking a whole lot about home improvements, and hopefully I'll be talking some more soon! We've gotten the go ahead to take out the less than appealing, OFF CENTER window that doesn't open out of our front living room wall. The poor planning/ill building of the construction crew (circa 1940) that set up our transitioned cottage used particle board on the outer wall LAKESIDE. I'm not sure if any of you live on/near a lake or if you ever have, but you need two things. Good windows, and a solid front wall. Otherwise, you're going to end up replacing the entire front wall of your house.

waaaaaaait a minute, that's exactly what we're doing.

sheeeesh. I KNEW this knowledge was coming from somewhere! You see, particle board + wind + rain + snow storms + hurricanes = the deck fell off. OFF the front of the house. Because the front wall crumbled as the particle board came apart.

Long story short, we're going to take out the bad wood, replace the off center "icky" window with three 6' windows. ::dances:: and have the deck rebuilt. I'd like to think that we'll be ambitious and finish the painting of the living room and kitchen and put down the laminate in the living room about the time that my darling friend tears the wall out.

After all, it would be nice to only have to put the house back together ONCE...right? :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Black Bean Chili

I've been bragging.

About black bean chili. This delicious, warm concoction makes a spring in my step and a smile on my face. It sends me to a place that others say only chocolate can take them.

It's made with turkey. Surprised?

Me too. If you had told me, the meat-and-potatoes-don't-you-dare-take-away-my-beef-girl, that you were going to make turkey chili for a dinner party or barbeque, I wouldn't rsvp.

In my opinion, some recipes need beef.
(like my bolognese sauce. hubby says it's the reason he married me- that sauce doesn't work with turkey. I tried.)

I have two recipes. One skillet style and another crockpot edition. I'll post them separately for you all to enjoy.

Onto the main event!

Black Bean Chili


  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided (I prefer low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups medium salsa
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14 oz) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream for topping (extra sharp cheddar is also delicious)


1. Combine 1 1/2 cups beans, 2/3 cup of the beef broth, and sugar in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine bean puree and remaining beans in a bowl.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. After coating your pan with PAM, add ground turkey; cook until browned, stirring to crumble (approximately 3 minutes). Remove turkey from pan.

3. Add onion & bell peppers to pan; cook until onion is just browned (about 5 minutes). Return turkey to pan. Combine with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and crushed red pepper; stir well to coat. Stir in bean mixture, salsa, tomato paste, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you can wait that long.

I warned you, this stuff is delicious. You'll never look at turkey chili the same way again.

I'm still tweaking the recipe to allow for a truly thick, hearty, break your spoon chili. The flavor of this one makes up for the thick-but-not-the-thickest chili I've ever had. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tex Mex Beef Tacos

Taco Night leftovers + romaine lettuce = HAPPY KAREN

This post is seriously overdue. I have all the usual excuses.

"I'm so busy!" always.
"I work two jobs!" so do a lot of people.
"our water heater exploded!" sure did! (this silly couponer was afraid of losing her stockpile!)
"we put down hardwood floors" mmhmm! in the bedrooms, and we'll be putting laminate in the living room soon.
"I have nothing to say!" Now that's just b.s.

On to the important things, like ground beef and black beans...
Hubby loves tacos, (but not the "boring" all beef kind) I love hubby, (and eating healthy) so I searched and hid a low fat taco recipe in the dinner plans for a boring Wednesday night. That was two years ago, and since his request has always been for the "special" tacos.

I personally think the secret is in the chipotle peppers. Make the extra effort to find them at your grocery store (you may have to look in the Mexican or Spanish section depending on how your store is set up).

The recipe is as follows:

Tex Mex Beef Tacos
adapted from Cooking Light
you can find the original recipe here.

1 Cup White Onion Chopped

2 medium clove (4g) Garlic

1 lb Ground Beef 85% lean meat

1 12oz can sweet yellow corn (drained)

1/4 teaspoon alt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

8 oz can Hunt's Tomato Sauce - 100% Natural

1 container (1 4/5 cups ea.) Black Beans - Canned Drained & Rinsed (50% Less Sodium)

1 container (1 4/5 cups ea.) Dark Red Kidney Beans - Drained & Rinsed

Goya - Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, 6 Tbsp (3 or 4 peppers, chopped, relative to how hot you want it.) Proceed at your own risk, these babies are T-O-A-S-T-Y. Do not get the sauce in your eyes!

Heat large skillet (you'll need a pan with a lid!) over medium high heat. Coat with cooking spray.

Add minced garlic, chopped onion and beef to skillet. Break beef into crumbles and cook until browned. (about 6-8 minutes)

Stir in beans, salt, pepper, chiles and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce your heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Each serving is 1/2 cup of taco meat.
Nutrition: 226 calories
21g carbohydrates,
8g fat,
18g protein,
497mg sodium,
4 g sugar.

Generally, hubby eats his on whole wheat tortillas with jack cheese and lettuce.

I prefer mine piled high on romaine with fresh salsa (or 0% fat greek yogurt if I'm feeling dangerous ;) )

Since mangoes were on sale, I made mild mango salsa. (recipe to come!)

Needless to say, I was excited about lunch the next day.
True Love: 307 calories of DELICIOUS.

I hope you all enjoy these. :)

Monday, August 8, 2011


The past two weeks have been full. Two jobs as well as home improvement (photos to come!) have kept me quite busy. Now that I have some free time, I was looking over my weight loss progress since May.

It has happened to me, friends. The most dreaded word in weight loss.


You heard me. Don't make me say it again. I don't like the taste it leaves in my mouth. Let's review the numbers.

From May 12th- June 12th (Month 1) I lost 12.6 lbs.
June 12th- July 12th (Month 2) I lost 4.4 lbs.
July 12th- August 8th (almost to 3 months!) 1.4 lbs.

I can almost hear the cartoon music as Wile E. Coyote falls off the cliff.

I've been bouncing in a 5 lb range since early July. I've seen numbers lower than I've seen in distant memory, but I've got plenty left to lose! I can't help but feel disheartened. I'm going to go over what's been going on. I'm sure that my eating habits have slipped, and I haven't been out on my bike as often as I'd like. I'm sick of being stuck here, and I want to break into the next decade already! eeeeeek.

sorry for the negativity, loves. I'll be better soon :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

You're not going to be one of "THOSE" people, are you??

One of what, exactly? It's no secret, I'm a big(ger) girl and I've never been small. Age age 10, I was already 5'5". Now, at 24, I'm 5'9" and large framed. Since May of this year, I've lost 25 lbs. Eat less + move more = smaller me.

You would figure most friends and family would be celebrating, right? They know hubby and I want to have children someday, so wouldn't they be supportive of a healthier me?

I guess not. I've gotten more than one comment about what I eat (my co worker offered another friend a piece of bread in the break room because she figured I "wouldn't eat it." It was almost as if I had to remind her that I eat bread. My mother expressed concern about me exercising when she found out that I biked in the morning, walked at lunch and walked after work. (that day only, the third walk wasn't planned) "you're not going to be one of those are you?" One of what? Those healthy, fit, moms or moms-to-be? HELL YES I AM. I love weight training, feeling sweaty after a workout, and being in (better) control of what goes in my mouth.

It seems that my weight loss has an effect on everyone around me. I get plenty of "you look awesome!" "wow! you look great!" But I also get "do you eat?" "You're having cake- it must be a cheat day!" (I DON'T HAVE CHEAT DAYS. I EAT WHAT I WANT AND EXERCISEEEEE!) "Don't get too skinny, you'll look silly because you're so tall. "

Evidently she meant the skinny, gaunt, I-eat-nothing-but-egg-whites-and-ride-the-stairmaster-for-3-hours people. (I reminded her that the condition to which she's referring is MEDICAL and called A-N-O-R-E-X-I-A)

It's important to remember that everyone has their own set of problems, and currently mine include being too heavy. So therefore, I'm trying to weigh less. I have a good amount of weight to loose, and I'm doing it step by step, slow and steady, AND I EAT ALL THE TIME. I stuff my face at least 6 times A DAY.

So this is just an announcement for the masses to quit making assumptions about people who watch what they eat and exercise.

I'm done with the soapbox, feeling frustrated, and I'm moving on to this weekend much more positive. Promise.

And for the record, I eat plenty of junk. Ask my MFP pals that have seen my diary. PSSSSSH.