Thursday, July 18, 2013

Starting Again for the 1,499th Time, or Something like that?

So very much has happened since my last blog in December of 2012.  I was struggling, I was in the depths of a deep depression, and so much more. Today, I can say that I am recovering.....I feel happy and although I worry about things, I am HAPPY.  I wasn't sure that I would be able to say that again (yes, that's how deep my depression was).

So, I have moved to the country and am living in a *magic house* as I like to call it.  I am, as are all of my beloved four-legged furry children, thriving.  I have joined a weight loss support group down here in the country and have a new goal.....FIT BY FIFTY.  I am 48.5 years old......I am not so much worried about getting to some ideal weight, but I want to get to a point where I am happy, fit and healthy.  I think I can do it.  Hell, I really have to do it this health is insisting that it happen.  Life is just easier when you feel good.  Simultaneously, I will be working on the emotional aspects of why I eat and why I continue to struggle.
I would also like this blog to be about more than just my weight and the journey to get healthy. So, whether I have 1 reader or 500 readers, I want this to blog to be about the journey to ME, the journey to get my groove back (as my blog header implies!), the journey to grow my businesses, the journey to discovering and creating lovely new healthy recipes,  the journey to, well, share whatever life throws at me. Every day is a new day. Won't you come along for the journey?



Saturday, December 1, 2012

{ Suzanne & Anderson: One Year, 12 Months, 10 Things }

One year ago today, my sweet puppies, Suzanne and Anderson, came into this world.  Although they didn't come to live with me until January 13, I knew about them from the day they were born.  They were part of the neighbor dogs accidental litter (she was a promiscuous little lady).
Their official first baby picture....oh, be still my heart!

Suzanne in her first days with me - January 2012
Anderson in his first days with me - January 2012

The puppies after their first vet visit - all tuckered out!

I can rattle off a long list of how I adore my puppies that makes my eyes water and my heart swell with love.  So on this, the day of their birth, if you will indulge me, I am going to list ten things that I love the most about my Suzanne and my Anderson. 

#1 - Suzannes ears - oh those ears.  When she was little, they were up and folded over, which was beyond cuteness - now they are just up like little big radars.  Be still my heart - adorableness.

Suzanne's ears before when she was tiny.

Suzanne's ears now. 
#2 - Anderson's eyes.  They are so soulful and deep.  He really thinks about things and I can always tell his mood by looking into his eyes. And when he looks at me with such love and adoration, I feel my heart soar.
Anderson's eyes before when he was a little munchkin.
Andersons eyes now.
#3 - I love watching them both play with their toys.  They are so joyful and have such fun and of course each wants what the other is currently playing with so lots of hijinx (sp?) ensue when they have playtime!
Suzanne received some new toys from a friend and was VERY excited.
Another friend brought them some new toys and they were in heaven!
#4 - I love to hear them both is soothing to me and I know they are peacefully curled up.  No pictures of that, since everytime I want to get a pic of them in slumber, they instantly wake up! So instead I will include this pic of sleeping babies when they were just a few months old.

#5 - I love the way both puppies want to be near me and think that everything I do is wonderful.  They both look at me with such love and trust that it is humbling to me each and every day and I want to be the best person that I can be for them.

#6 - I love how she thinks she is helping me when she tries to corral the cats and the way she lets me know when a cat is not where he/she is supposed to be.  I tell her thanks and good job and it's okay and she huffs and walks away...until the next time.....
Suzy on patrol - corraling Tuck away from the front door!
#7 - I love how very excited they both are when they see my car pull in the drive.  I see them in my window and whether  I've been gone an hour or all day, there joy to see me is tremendous......

 #8 - I love how Anderson is the protector of the house.  That's his job.  He stands guard at the window and barks at almost anything that moves.  He sounds ferocious from the outside, but the minute someone comes in he shrieks in horror and runs to the corner of the living room or upstairs. 
Andy on patrol at the window.  Please excuse the dirty window!
 #9 - I love how both puppies are so involved in everything I do and use their cuteness to try to distract me from my work.  It's hard to get computer work done when I have Suzanne looking at me over my laptop and Anderson drapes his cute little noggin over my shoulder.
Hi, mom!  Whatcha doing?

Hi, mom!  How can you ignore this face?
#10 - And finally, I love how Suzanne still likes to be held like a baby and Anderson likes to plant himself right next to me and watch every thing I do.

It has been a hard year with my unemployment, health and pain issues and constant worry about my finances and paying the mortgage.  But there has never been a day that I have regretted these two magnificent little souls coming into my life.  They give me joy beyond measure and the love I have for them is immense.  They have my heart and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

Happy First Birthday little ones!

Until next time friends, 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

{ Catching Up... }

Wow....I went way too long without putting up a blog post.  No excuses, just life getting in my way, I guess!  

So, what's been happening? As I have mentioned here on the blog before, I have been out of work since March and it has been hard financially.  This year has also included many household appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher) as well as my house air conditioning going kaput!  ...and no money to repair or buy new.  It was hard, but perhaps the worst thing was not having a washer or dryer, especially with lots of cats and two young puppies. 

A dear friend, who wants to remain anonymous, gave me money to buy a new washer and dryer, plus more that helped to pay a mortgage payment.  I was stunned, overwhelmed, and more than grateful.  So two weeks ago, my new washer and dryer arrived and I have been a crazy washing lady and loving every minute of it.  Seriously, I think I have washed anything that wasn't nailed down!
A funny note to this happy day:  my puppies have never lived in this house with a working washer and dryer so were unprepared for the big white monsters that invaded our house.  It took about a day of barking and growling for them to realize that these monsters are here to stay and that mommy wasn't afraid of them! So cute! 

Thanksgiving was a joyous day for me, gathering at sisters house and spending the day with family!  It was great!

My sister, Jill, and her kids, Courtney, Mallory, and Spencer
My nieces, Mallory and Courtney
My sister, Amy and her kids Mackenzie and Dylan. (Amy and Jill are twins!)
My amazing 95-year old grandmother, Maydell
My brother, Travis, my beautiful mom, Sandra and step-dad John!
My brother, Travis and Mom
My beautiful, mom - look at those cheekbones!  What a beauty!
Gorgeous niece, Mallory
My  15-year old niece, Courtney - the budding family photographer!
The day before Thanksgiving, my aunt bought me a Trader Joe's tofurkey and so I brought it for myself and my vegetarian step-dad.  It was DELISH and I loved it and the leftovers!!  

This was kind of a mindless post, but I wanted to catch up and get back in the swing of regularly updating my blog.  The last few weeks have been filled with job searching, stressing about money and paying the mortgage, and a ton of other things.  What I need to remember is that today is a new day.  I am blessed every day to wake up and start fresh.  So each day I will do the best I can and work towards my future.  The universe has and will provide.

Until next time friends, 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

{ I Won a Vegan Cookbook! }

I am so excited!  I never win anything but last week I won a GREAT cookbook through a blog contest at  I got to win my choice of one of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks.  Since I am on a quest to lose LOTS of weight on a vegan diet, I chose Appetite for Reduction, a cookbook of 125 fast and filling low-fat vegan recipes.
While I just got it this weekend, and haven't had a chance to make anything from it yet, I have taken the time to peruse it (yes, I read cookbooks!) and have already marked it up for recipes I want to make.  For instance, Cajun Beanballs and Spaghetti (page 190), Bistro Brocolli Chowder (page 204), and oh so many more!  Yummy deliciousness!

Page 103

Page 191

What I love about Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the way she formats her cookbooks and her recipes.  They are filled with humor and seem super easy to follow with everyday ingredients.  She also has tips and notes throughout the book which I think are great!

Each recipe serving has only 200-400 calories per serving and all are plant-based and packed with nutrients.  Nothing boring or bland in this book, that's for sure!

I am thrilled to have added this book to my kitchen shelves!  Thanks, Emmy!

And if you haven't yet visited Emmy's blog, head on over immediately to check her out.  She is not vegan, but many of her recipes are and her photos of the food she prepares will make your mouth water!  

Until next time friends, 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

{ Virtual Vegan Potluck: Easy Can Can Penne }

Welcome to the Virtual Vegan Potluck!  I am just thrilled to be joining so many great bloggers in this blog party!  I feel a bit like a fraud compared to some of the others here but I love being vegan and I love this EASY recipe and am glad to be able to share it here.  I will be posting more of my easy vegan recipes going forward on this blog.

I cook for one - me! - so am always thinking of recipes that are delicious, budget friendly and that also freeze well for future meals.

I have been making the dish I am sharing today for years.  I love it because it is yummy right out of the pot, yet it tastes just as wonderful after being defrosted and reheated. 
Easy Can Can Penne

8oz Penne Pasta, which is about 1/2 the box (either regular or whole grain works)
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 green peppers.sliced thinly
1 large onion, sliced thinly 
2 cans diced tomatoes (for my recipe today, I used 2 cans of Italian Cherry Tomatoes)
2 cans garbanzo beans
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta separately according to the directions
Saute the peppers and onion in the olive oil.  Cook until soft but not brown or burned.
Add the diced tomatoes and the garbanzo beans WITH their juices
Bring to a boil
Add the oregano, salt, and pepper
Simmer for 15 minutes

Yes, that is a cat's face on my spatula! 
Add the cooked pasta right into the pot and mix


Thanks for visiting me today!  Use the buttons below to go back to visit The Vegans Husband or go forward to meet Saving The World One Bite at a Time.

Until next time friends, 


Friday, October 26, 2012

{ Green Smoothie Girl Event }

This past Wednesday, several friends and I attended a free (I love free!) Green Smoothie Girl event in Alexandria, Virginia.  I was familiar with the Green Smoothie Girl blog and her book the Big Book of Green Smoothies, but didn't really know much beyond that.  Green Smoothie Girl, also known as Robyn Openshaw, told us her story and how she came to live and love a whole foods diet.

I really loved that Robyn talked to the group of about 100 (give or take) men and women about how a whole foods diet is about abundance, NOT scarcity or loss. How, in addition to her various smoothies everyday (at LEAST a quart), she really does chew food too (that got a laugh!).

I have never been a huge smoothie fan, but left this event feeling motivated and inspired to really live a whole foods life to include green smoothies every day.  I am vegan, but have many times (as witnessed by my weight and how much I have to lose) gone the easy processed vegan foods route instead of the nutrient rich plant based direction.

Robyn says that we are the first generation of Americans that can't rely on our parents or grandparents to teach us how to cook healthy.   Americans want to eat right, but most don't know how.  The average American eats only 1-2 servings of vegetables a day. If we fix a quart of green smoothie every day, that is about 10 servings (and probably only about 200 calories).  Wow!  Big change!

A big part of Robyn's talk was about using food as medicine.  She reminded us of the Hippocrates quote, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."  I thought her discussion of her history of multiple autoimmune diseases and all kinds of bad health and how a whole foods diet and her green smoothies cured her was impressive.  She and her children have not been to the doctor in many years. I am impressed, but unsure about this.  I know that a whole foods diet can indeed cure many conditions (blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) and I am going to work hard to get off my blood pressure meds, but I also have osteoarthritis in both knees and feet.  I am not really convinced that I will never need any pain meds and that the condition will go away.  Cartilage doesn't grow back and it sure is painful.  I know that losing weight does make me feel better and the pain less, but I am also a firm believer that if I need my pain meds, I am going to take them. Just my two cents.  Who knows - maybe a year from now, I will have to eat my words.  That would be nice.  We'll see.

Anyway, it was a fun night with friends, her discussion was interesting, and there were some giveaways (I didn't win!). Although I had no money to purchase anything, her "store" was interesting.  A few pictures of just some of the product she had on display:

She has some other classes coming to the area in the coming months on other topics, and I would definitely attend.  She is very motivational and a very effective speaker!

Until next time, friends,