Apr 29, 2016

Blog Challenge: Guilty Pleasure

Guilty Pleasures. We've all got them.  What I view as my guilty pleasure now, used to be every Friday or Saturday night depending on which weekend night Danny had to work. When he was in medic school, I sometimes had both nights. Its not so much of a guilty pleasure when its something you do every weekend.

During those first couple of years after my dad died, I worked my ass off getting his estate settled. It was physically and mentally draining. Sometimes emotionally draining too. I just wanted to be alone. I didn't want to talk to anyone and wanted some time to myself.

I found comfort in posting up on the couch for the night, eating dinner and watching tv. Dinner consisted of a frozen pizza (sometimes I would eat the entire Jack's pizza) and I would watch the entire weeks worth of All My Children and General Hospital. After dinner settled I would eat ice cream. It was mostly slow churned so I felt better about it. All of this got washed down with wine.I would stay up really late too, because after my 5 soaps to catch up on, I had a Real Housewives of something.  I continued this habit throughout pregnancy, sans the wine of course!

And I wonder why I've been overweight?!

Since Tucker was born, I haven't done this much. Maybe 3 or 4 times since he was born. I usually try to eat healthy with him because I don't want to create bad habits for him. So it is more of a guilty pleasure at this point. Not one that I'm proud of, hence the "guilty" I guess.

I'm on the search for a new guilty pleasure. Staying up late and binge watching (and eating) isn't doing anything for me. I think a guilty pleasure should bring you joy. All this guilty pleasure does is bring a bunch of self-loathing after I'm done. Who wants to deal with that?

I will say though, after a night of binge watching Fixer Upper I do feel inspired to decorate my house more.

What is your guilty pleasure? Does it leave you feeling better when you're done?

Apr 28, 2016

50 Completely Random Things

On the 31 Day Challenge today, the topic was "Earliest Childhood Memory" Well, the only thing I can think of is I was riding a bike around the pool table in the basement of our old house and fell and hit  my head. On cement. It for sure rung my bell. And I think I was wearing a nightgown. And I was down there with my dad and one of my grandpas? That's it.

See that wouldn't have taken very long. So, I pulled this questionnaire from the early days of Living A Love Song that I originally pulled from my Facebook page. I filled this out originally during a college lecture class. Nice, I know. I like re-doing these to see how my answers change. Its been almost 3 years to the day so today is really a perfect time to redo this!

1) Favorite object in your office?
 Pictures of Tucker.  

2) Did you go to college? Where and what for?
 Ball State University. Chirp Chirp!

3) Do you own guns?
 Danny owns a few. Guns are a hobby of is. I own a Nerf gun though!

4) What flavor do you drink at sonic?
 I just looked at the menu because we don't have a Sonic. The closest one is like an hour away. I'm down for any of the limeades.

7) Favorite song?
 At the moment: Better in Boots by Tyler Farr. Its been a fave since December.
All time: The Good Stuff and Don't Happen Twice by Kenny Chesney.

 8) What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
 At least one cup of coffee. Today it was 2.

9) Can you do pushups?
 I can! I can do about 10. Thank you, Chalene Johnson.

10) Can you do a chin up?
um, no. not even a little bit. - this was my answer 3 years ago. Still applies.

11) What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
 I don't wear much jewelry. I wear my wedding/engagement rings every day. The necklace Danny got me for our first Christmas is in my dresser drawer in a knot.

12) Do you like bleu cheese?
 Big fat no. When Danny and I order salads at restaurants, he'll order bleu cheese dressing and I'll get ranch. I make him test them first because I just can't.

13) Ever been in a car wreck?
no. my mom was when she was 7 months pregnant with me though. Fun fact about that. Her doctor told her to go home and drink a screwdriver so that she wouldn't go into labor. I blame him for my love of booze. - Also my original answer. Still applies.

15) What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
 I'm kind of dramatic about some things out of the gate and then I'll get mad about overreacting.

16) What’s your middle name?
Michelle - obviously still the same.

17) Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
I have to pee. - This was the same.
Garth Brooks is the man. - Currently on Pandora.
My head hurts.

 18) List the jobs you've had?
My first real job was at an ice cream/food place here in town. I make a mean shake. I was my dad's slave for a few years at his business. It paid well. I worked at Victorias Secret for a few months. - Also the same.

19) Name 3 drinks you drink regularly?
La Croix - This is new.

 20) Current worry?
 Honestly, getting pregnant. We got pregnant with Tucker the first month and the second pregnancy was a surprise so it taking longer than a few months is not something I was mentally and emotionally  prepared for. I realize this is completely normal.

21) Current hate right now?
 That I don't have a money tree.

23) How did you bring in the New Year?
 Tucker and I stayed at my moms and ordered Chili's take out. After Tucker went to bed my mom and I watched Chrisley Knows Best and drank champagne. It was pretty awesome.

24) Where would you like to be right now if you could choose?
 On a beach. I'm not picky about which one as long as it was near the all-inclusive resort that I was staying at.

25) Name three things that get on your nerves
When Danny leaves the shower head pointing towards the shower curtain. Whyyyyy?
When people ask questions about something that I've explained how to do at least 5 times.
When people don't follow through with plans.

 27) What shirt are you wearing?
 One from Kiki La Rue. Its from a few years ago.

28) Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
 Couldn't tell ya.

29) Can you whistle?
 I can a little bit!

30) Favorite color?

31) Would you be a pirate?
 I said no originally, but pirates drink rum all day so I can't see why this would be a bad thing. Rum is my fave.

35) What's in your pocket?
 I meant to put a $20 in my pocket to give to my brother but that didn't happen.

36) Last thing that made you laugh?
 Tucker crying for the first 20 minutes he was awake. It was either laugh or cry myself so I chose to laugh.
However, the last thing to make me laugh so hard I cry was my mom telling me about her coworkers son coming home and looking his mom square in the face and say "I'm going to f**k you up." I literally cried I the middle of a restaurant.

 37) Favorite restaurant
sit down - Buffalo Wild Wings.
Fast food - Qdoba or Taco Bell. These are the same. Which means I'm still gross.

39) Do you love where you live?
 Town wise, yes. House wise, we love it a little less than we originally did but I think we'll go back to loving it once that damn mudroom is done and people quit riding dirt bikes and 4wheelers at 10pm. But its almost summer so that's probably not going to happen.

40) How many TVs do you have in your house ?
 1. We had 2 but the one in our room went to the camper.

41) What was the best day of your life?
Wedding Day. - Still the same.

42) How many dogs do you have?
Just my baby Diesel. I really don't think I could handle another one. - Still applies. Danny wants a second dog but wont commit to being the one to let said dog out in the middle of the night to pee. So, no dog for Danny!

43) Does someone have a crush on you?
I hope my husband always has a crush on me. - Still the same!

44) What is to your left?
 phone, calculator, water, bills, pens, all kinds of shit.

45) What is your favorite movie?
Sweet Home Alabama - I can't remember the last time we watched a movie.

48) Where is the next place you want to travel to?
 The beach. I don't care which one.

49) Where were you at 1 AM last night?
 Snoozing away!

 50) First thought after you woke up this morning?
 If I hurry, I can get ready and drink my coffee in peace!

Do you feel like you can now about the rest of your day now that you know these things about me? You're welcome. Haha. Happy Thursday though. I love Thursdays!

Apr 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

How in the world is it the last Wednesday in APRIL?!

Today I'm joining Shay, Mel and Sheaffer for What's Up Wednesday! I love this recap of the month.

What we're eating this week...
Ham sliders, spinach and artichoke dip, and cookies. That's what we've been living off of. All leftover from the bridal shower. I wasn't kidding when I said I made enough food for 2 showers. I really thought 2 sandwiches per person was a good guess (and so did Danny), but I took a tray and a half home and Megan had half a tray too. Oh well. I haven't had time to go to the grocery so it worked out. I'm feeling like poo from eating all of this bad food though.

What I'm reminiscing about...
Next Friday will mark 8 years that Danny and me have been together. EIGHT! I hardly believe it. I love living out all of those plans we used to talk about those first couple of years. It's been a crazy ride and its been a different path than we originally thought, but we're doing it.
What I'm loving...
Cookies. I've been loving cookies lately. I had to throw them away so I'd quit eating them.

What we've been up too...
In true Summers Family fashion, we've been busy. Early this month we went to Garth Brooks. Still trying to figure out how to go see him again.

We've been sick. I had bronchitis over Easter, Danny had an ear infection (and when he gets ear infections he doesn't play around, they are serious), and Tucker has something right now. I think allergies, but I'm not convinced it isn't something more. If he's not better by tomorrow then we're going back to the doctor.

We also went camping last week! We're going again over Mother's Day weekend. I think this is going to be our new family tradition since we went last year too.

What I'm dreading...
Work is going to get busy again in June and be even busier than previous years. I like my job, I like my job, I like my job.

What I'm working on...
Getting my shit together. I was doing really well with working out, eating right, taking care of myself, and all of those other things that come with being a responsible adult, but I started slipping up. Its time to get back to it all.

What I'm excited about...
My brother's wedding is rapidly approaching! I need to find shoes for Tucker and I, get my dress altered and attend the bachelorette weekend in June. I'm excited about all of it!

What I'm watching/reading...
There hasn't been much TV watching lately. I did watch Grey's Anatomy from last week on Sunday. I know some people think this season started out slow, but I think Shonda is really turning it around! I love it almost as much as I used too. Its definitely not as thrilling as it used to be, but its still one of my favorite shows!
What I'm listening to...
Danny's BFF is working on some drywall in the stairwell in my office. Not so soothing haha.

What I'm wearing...
The. Best. Shirt. Ever!

I attended a LuLaRoe party on Facebook a few weeks ago and ordered a shirt. Its my most favorite shirt ever! I will be spending the rest of the day figuring out how to order more.

What I'm doing this weekend...
Danny is going to be at my brother's bachelor party so it'll just be Tuck and I. Saturday we are going to visit our camping friends at the campground. Sunday I think we'll shop. I need summer work shirts and I still need to finish wedding shopping.

What I'm looking forward to next month...
A much slower month. I think.

What else is new...
I have ONE workout left for the first month of PiYo. Its taken my 5.5 weeks, but its getting done. I did take some progress pictures. This is beginning of week 3(left) and the almost-end of week 4 (right). I can see a difference!

What am I giving (or want to receive) for Mother's Day...
I figured out what I would like for Mother's Day. The last 2 years I've wanted naps and that never works out. I want to make my photo ledges that I've had the materials for for 3 months and MAYBE paint my wooden crates for the mudroom shelving. At least get the photo ledges sanded and stained. That's not unreasonable and Danny doesn't have to buy me anything! What more could he want?!

Alright, its time for me to get to work!

Apr 26, 2016

Weekend Recap - Bridal Shower

Consistent blogging got derailed yesterday when Tucker needed to go to the doctor. He was sick, or so I thought, over the weekend so I stayed home to snuggle and take him to the doctor in the morning. Then when I finally made it to work, I had so much to do that blogging took a back seat to work yesterday. But, here we are today, a weekend recap on a Tuesday!

I took most of Friday off of work. I came in for an hour to prep for a Monday meeting, then headed off to the dermatologist. My mom, who has had Melanoma before, wasn't fond of a spot she noticed on my shoulder. Given her history, I didn't mess around and called the office that treated her. They got me in on Friday and I walked out with 3 less moles/sun spots. Go get checked. You can never be too careful!  After the doctor, I got going on my party prepping. This was bridal shower weekend for my future sister-in-law and I had lots of prepping to do since it was pretty much all DIY. After a trip to Hobby Lobby for more décor materials, I made the big food shopping trip. I couldn't fit one more thing in the cart if I tried.

I got so distracted that I left my jacket in the bottom. I took it off because I knew unloading it would make me sweat (I still broke a sweat) and as I took it off I said out loud to myself "you're going to forget this" and sure enough, I did. And I just realized I still haven't called to see if someone turned it in.

I dropped things off at my brother's barn where we were having the party, made cupcakes, then picked up cookies and favors, and dropped cupcakes off to Danny's mom to ice for me while I picked Tucker up. My mom and I had intentions of decorating Friday night, but a sickish and hungry Tucker had other plans. We ate Mexican then went home. My mom and I food prepped until about 11:30, then I started in on decoration prep. I had good intentions of getting things done all week, but mid-week camping put a damper on those plans. We called it a night at 1 and Tucker got up for the day at 6.

Saturday was a blur. We finished food prep and got ourselves ready. We got all decorations hung and food finished and set out in like an hour and a half. I got kind of bossy, which my mom has forgiven me for. I kept telling her and my grandma who arrived like 30 minutes early to leave me alone. I may or may not have compared my party prepping to Joanna Gaines. She likes to be left alone while she's staging a  house and I think I just need to be left alone to stage a party.

The bridal shower was awesome though. I made enough food for 2 showers, we played this game, and watched the bride open gifts. I let her know while opening that I'm done hosting holidays now that she is equipped to handle them. I was mostly joking.

My mom and I are so excited that this girl is going to officially be family. She is PERFECT for my brother. That alone is something she deserves a party for. Seriously, I told the guests that. 

I failed to get pictures of the other decorations. The picture banner I made turned out really cute being that it was last minute. I bought these cute letter clips with the intentions of spelling LOVE, but ended up spelling LEVE. Not cute. Thankfully I realized this on Friday so I could improvise. The favors were adorable too. I wanted to give the guests homemade soaps that a wife of one of firefighters makes. She came up with these favor ideas and made tags that said "From Megan's Shower to Yours." They were perfect! 

Danny's mom did great with the cupcake dress. I made the cupcakes, we assembled the dress, and she iced it. Its so nice having a mother-in-law that can do all things! 

Saturday night I was dead. I was a zombie at the chicken dinner fundraiser we attended. I was in bed my 9pm. Which was good since Tucker was up at 10:30, 12, I slept on his floor from 1-2:30 and then he came in bed with Danny and I at 4ish I think. Rough.

Sunday was a lot of lounging and a Target trip. Tucker got sick all over himself from coughing in the car on the way home, so that was fun. Thankfully I had bought him pj's while at Target so I had an outfit. Cleaning that up was fun and sealed the deal that I wasn't doing anything when we got home.

Apr 22, 2016

Friday Favorites - Camping Food Edition

The scheduled topic for the 31 day blog challenge is the meaning of my business name. I'm not quite ready yet to disclose THAT much information about my personal life, meaning exactly where I live and work, so I'm skipping that one. Which is fine since today is Friday and Friday Favorites is a favorite link-up of mine!

I've got a bit of a theme to this edition of my favorites: Camping Food!

We went on our first camping trip this week since Danny was on his 4 days off and its kind of a slower time for me at work. There is a campground about 20 minutes from us and it was perfect to start the season. We didn't cook anything exciting this time, but I have high hopes for the rest of the season.

Typically our first night is easy food. Usually brats and pasta salad that I make the night before we leave, or mac & cheese that I cook in the camper. When I'm planning our meals, I usually try to come up with grill food. That way Danny has to cook and I don't haha.

This is a great list of foil packets that the Food Network came up with. We tried the combination of #20 and #21 on our Brown County weekend. It was delicious! I was fancy and bought seafood ravioli for the occasion.

Breakfast Casserole is one of our favorites. This can be made in a number of different ways by switching out the veggies or meat since the meat goes into the pan already cooked. You definitely want to make sure you spray the pan really well. This is great because it usually leaves enough for breakfast the next day!

Pancakes are also a great easy breakfast when you bring an electric skillet (which I tend to forget) and you get a mix that just needs water.

French Bread Pizza from A Thrifty Mom was easily my favorite last year. I love pizza. The older I get the more I love it too. Again, this is another recipe that can be made in different ways because of what it is. This was an easy first night meal when we paired it with a salad kit.

Other favorites are shish-ka-bobs with smoked sausage or polish sausage, hamburgers, and I like to make this Skinny Taste Buffalo Chicken Dip to share with everyone.

I've been meaning to share our favorite camping foods for the last 10 months, so I'm glad I finally got a chance to do so. I'm excited to branch out more this year and when I find something delicious I'll share!

Apr 21, 2016

Blog Challenge: 20 Facts About Me

In an effort to get back into the swing of blogging, I'm going to be doing a 31 Day Blog Challenge. I'm just challenging myself haha. Starting today, I'll be using the template to fill in the space between the typical Weekend Recap and occasional Friday Favorites. Hopefully this sparks my creativity a little bit and gets me back into the groove!

I'm skipping the Introduction one since most of you "know" me already and listing facts about myself is kind of like introducing myself to you, right? Right.

Okay, so here we go:

1. My mom and dad named me after someone on the show The Waltons. They had about 4 different names picked out and when they saw Erin on TV that was it.
2. Danny and I will celebrate 8 years together in 2 weeks from tomorrow. We dated off and on our senior year, then decided the night before prom that this was the real deal. We've been together ever since. August 5th we will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.
3. I'm mama to Tucker, who is almost 2 1/2, and a furbaby named Diesel, who will be 6 in May. Both drive me to the point of insanity on a daily basis but also give me so much love that I don't know how I ever lived without either of them.
4. My dad died in 2010, when I was 20 years old. Being a daddy's girl, I wanted to work with my dad at his insurance agency "when I grew up." So, I grew up the day he died and took over. Its been a wild ride full of uncertainty at some points, but the insurance agency is still here!
5. I love my birthday. I think birthdays need to be celebrated for an entire week in order to get everything in that you want to do: dinner with family, dinner with friends, date with your spouse, a day to spend doing what you want to do. One day is not enough time.
6. The number of days you celebrate Mother's Day should be equivalent to the number of kids you have.
7. I'm still living in the same small town I grew up in. Danny grew up here too.
8. Every year, we celebrate Easter 3 times, Thanksgiving 4 times, and Christmas 4 times. And everyone wonders why I think my birthday needs more than one day.
9. I won Best Personality for my senior class.
10. I played softball for 14 years and volleyball for 5. Volleyball was my favorite. My nieces have reached the age where they can start playing. I watched them play a couple weeks ago and have had a strong desire to hit a volleyball ever since.
11. I have met Blake Shelton twice - once at a concert in 2009 and on my honeymoon in Nashville in 2011.
12. I've never talked about this on here before, but I have ADD. I didn't realize I had it until I was in college and at one point at a 2.7 GPA. I took Adderall during college and stopped about a year and a half after Danny and I got married. I started taking it again before the holidays last year after my life started getting a little out of control. It helped me get my shit together enough that I feel comfortable with things enough to not take it anymore in hopes of getting pregnant.
13. I have one younger brother, Drew. We work together at our dad's agency. It's interesting, but we've come a long way since we started working together and things are working out really well.
14. I love hosting parties. We have a Christmas Party every year called the Egg Nog Extravaganza, I threw my mom a surprise 50th birthday and this weekend I am throwing my future sister-in-law a bridal shower.
15. Captain Morgan with coconut La Croix and a splash of lime juice is my beverage of choice.
16. I am a Beachbody coach after falling in love with PiYo. I've noticed that being a thing. You fall in love with a  program and it inspires you to want to share it with everyone you know.
17. I love cooking but I hate doing dishes. That creates a problem for #14.
18. I like painting. Rooms, not pictures. Although I did paint some BFF wine glasses for a friend and me that turned out way better than I expected. I was expecting to have to throw them in the garbage but they turned out well enough to actually give her hers.
19. I also like wine. haha.
20. I am becoming addicted to workout clothing. I just finished month one of PiYo (again) and a new outfit is my reward.

Apr 18, 2016

Weekend Recap

Whew was this weekend a busy one! I feel like this was a typical Summers family weekend. Cramming as much as we possibly can into 2 days.

Friday I left work to get Tucker and Danny and I ended up at his mom's at the same time. Danny took Tuck to wash the truck so I sped home to squeeze a workout in before they got home. I didn't get it all the way done, so I had a workout buddy towards the end that actually sat on me a few times.

Danny went to work and Tuck and I went to my brothers to get a feel for what I needed for the shower I'm throwing for my future sister-in-law. After Tucker went to bed I watched Grey's with a glass of wine and went to bed.

Saturday morning Danny took Tucker to breakfast so I could do PiYo Drench. Its a good thing they left the house since I said the F word at least 13 times. Chalene means business in that one! I got it done and felt awesome afterwards. I quickly took a shower and meant to quickly fold laundry but I noticed this mess. Really? How does this happen?

I worked through it, got ready and met the boys at Danny's dad's house to clean our camper. Its all shiny and ready to go! I got the camper cleaned and headed to Indy to meet my mom for bridal shower shopping. We went to Michaels for decorations. I love that store, and dare I say it, more than Hobby Lobby! I never thought it would be possible to love a store more than Hob Lob, but I do. We got tons of great stuff, for the shower and ourselves, headed to Five Guys for a quick dinner, then finished the shopping at Target. It had been a while since I got to shop with my mom without the Tiny Dictator. While its nice having our cute, little shopping companion, its also nice to leisurely walk through stores without making threats and worrying you'll have to buy something that's already broken.

Sunday was the busiest. Tuck and I went to the grocery then came home and played outside. It was beautiful outside too! The kid loves water and I didn't feel like getting his pool out, or like it was possible to do that in April, so I made due with some food storage containers and a bowl. Who needs a $40 water table? 

I had a movie date with my niece, so she came over to play before we went to the movie. Her and Tucker play so well together and it allows me to get stuff done. 

My mom showed up to watch Tucker and my niece and I headed off to the movie. The theater in town was playing Jungle Book and it was really good! And cheap! I spent $20 on tickets, drinks, popcorn and candy. This was her Christmas present and I'll be doing this as long as the 3 nieces will let me. After the movie we went home so her and Tuck could play some more before I took her home. After we dropped her off, Tucker painted, played with chalk, and played with the neighbor for about 10 minutes. It was late when they started playing and both mom's were exhausted.

After Tuck went to bed, I cut up some fruit, put laundry away and picked up toys.

And now its Monday, with a  busy and fun week ahead! My brother and I are getting rid of one of our houses day and I couldn't be more excited!

Apr 14, 2016

Non-Food Must Haves for Whole30

Yesterday after work Tucker and I went to visit a friend to buy some shorts off of her. Tucker played with her niece that is a few months younger and was given a snack. In true Tucker fashion, he fell asleep while eating the snack.

And proceeded to stay asleep through being removed from his car seat and put on the couch.

This usually means Tucker is out for the night. Except for a couple of 10 minute wake ups, it was true. He fell asleep at 6 for the rest of the night and I suddenly had about 4 hours to myself since Danny was at work. I sat and waited to see if this was the real deal, got my PiYo workout in for the day, then it was time to eat dinner. And it was the best dinner. I made some zoodles, chopped up a red pepper and threw in the ground sausage.  After I threw it in the bowl I thought it needed some sauce. I had purchased some Whole30 compliant mayo from the store and haven't been loving it on its own, so I wanted to see what I could do with it. I put a couple of shakes of Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning in it and it was perfect!

I was so pleased with this dinner. Eating, filling and it didn't feel like I was depriving myself.

As I was cooking, it dawned on me that no one ever shares what tools they use while doing a Whole30 or eating paleo(ish). There are recipes and meal ideas for days, but you hardly ever see the kitchen gadgets. I know there are 2 that are vital to my meals and a few other things that you just need to have.

1. Crock pot/slow cooker.
This one is pretty obvious. We have 2. Every household should have at least one, Whole30 or not. I love my crock pot. I like having 2 because dishes just aren't our top priority every night and it allows me to prep the next days lunch or dinner. This is especially helpful if Danny is working a rotation that falls during the week.

2. Mix 'N Chop from Pampered Chef

This was given to me by my mother-in-law. She got it for free or something and hardly ever cooks. She told me it was for crumbling ground beef, but I've used it for that approximately 2 times. It is, however, perfect for making cauliflower into rice! I don't do it the way all recipes direct you to. I steam a bag in the microwave, then just crumble it with this thing. It gets the job done and is less work.

3. Spiral & Slice from Pampered Chef

This was demoed (demo'd? I have no idea haha) at a Pampered Chef bridal shower as a cool tool to use for garnishes. The website pretty much says the same thing that it can make your meals pretty. Well, I use it to make my meals. I bought it to test out zucchini noodles and such before I bought a big spiralizer. Well, its been a year almost and this thing is good enough. Plus this fits in the dishwasher and cabinet without taking up too much space.

The noodles don't look like your traditional spaghetti noodles, but they work. This is a great tool to get dinner on the table in a hurry. I mainly use it for zucchini, but have used it for potatoes once or twice.

4. Food storage

There are 2 types of food that make Whole30 and pretty much all healthy eating easier: prepped food and leftovers. Leftovers being my favorite haha. You will need storage containers. We have a drawer full of plastic containers that come from lunch meat and Chinese take out, but we also have this nice glass set from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

5. Egg Timer

This is my new favorite. I cannot boil eggs. I'm a pretty good cook and can  make lots of things, but not hard boiled eggs. The whole family had to go on a hardboiled egg hunt on Christmas Eve Eve because of it. Not anymore! My mama found this lovely little thing and it is a game changer.  I'm not bad at boiling eggs that I was pretty confident this wouldn't help. I was wrong. I love egg salad and Danny loves hard boiled eggs by themselves. I think he ate like 7 the other day. So, my inability to boil eggs was sad for us. I tried it Sunday night and the eggs were perfect and my egg salad on Monday was delicious.

Those are the 5 things I cannot live without in my kitchen when eating Whole30 style. What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets that make healthy eating easier?

Apr 11, 2016

Weekend Recap - Garth Brooks

I had the Best. Weekend. Ever!

Saturday was such a good day that I think I've blocked Friday out.

After a workout, packing and 4H pig buying, Danny and I headed south for our trip to Louisville to see Garth Brooks. I was so excited for this concert. Thursday I listened to his biggest hits and at the start of each song I found myself saying "I can't wait to hear this one!" And not a single song disappointed.

Let's start with our food first. When I was discussing the trip with a client, he and his wife recommended that we go to Stoney River. They said it was pricey and worth every penny. Awesome. And we could wear jeans. Even better. I made reservations before our trip and looked forward to this meal for 3 weeks. Now I'm trying to figure out how to go back. Here's what we ate:

App: crab cake with mango salsa and the best little rolls.
Drinks: Danny loves Johnny Walker so he had a Black Label and Diet, I had a Honey Duchess. Not sure what all was in it. I read Sparkling Wine and was sold.
Entrée: Danny got a Ribeye with French fries and a house salad. I got the Coffee Cured Filet Mignon with au gratin potatoes and a house salad. *Fail: I only have a picture of the salad. 

Oh. My. Goodness. The best meal of my whole entire 26.5 years of life. If you're ever in Louisville, do yourself a favor and eat there.

Concert time. We drove back to the hotel to park and so Danny could take his medicine since he was on the tail end of an ear infection and walked to the concert. 

That place was a madhouse, as to be expected.

We used the bathroom, got some beverages and walked to our seats. Almost at the very top of the KFC Yum Center. By almost I mean the second to last row. My husband that runs into burning buildings for a living was fearful of his life. I ended up not drinking my second beverage not only because I didn't want to miss a second of this concert, but because I was certain I would fall if I tried to get out and come back in. 

But it was still the best concert I've ever attended. I've seen a lot of great artists, including Reba and George Strait in very close seats, but this was fantastic. Garth Brooks puts everything he has into every single song. He played 4 shows in 2 days, starting at 7:30 both nights and I don't doubt for a second that the last show was as good as the first. Sidenote: Garth is on the big ball in the middle.

He played all of the favorites, ran laps around the stage and gave me a night I'll always remember. It was worth sitting so high up I was nervous. Next time though I'll be splurging for the good seats. I almost did this time but wasn't sure how big the Yum Center was. Its pretty big, go ahead and get the more expensive tickets on Stub Hub.

Sunday was a productive day. We picked Tucker up from my mom's house. He had a pretty good weekend too.

Danny and Tucker went to go look at more pigs when we got back. While they were gone I was able to go to the grocery, go for a run, prep some food and make dinner.

It was a weekend for the books.

Apr 7, 2016

My Husband is a Big Deal

When Danny and I started dating in high school, I got my first glimpse into the firefighting world. Prior to that I had no idea what that was even like. Zero knowledge.  Since then I've seen how much hard work, dedication, loyalty, and selflessness the career takes. Sometimes its not even a career. Sometimes you're just doing it and not getting paid if you live in a rural town that only has a volunteer department, which is where Danny got his start.

At 18 years old, Danny was a volunteer firefighter and became an EMT while we were seniors in high school. I remember wishing him good luck as we walked down the halls at the end of the school day. He passed with flying colors.

When we were 20, with just a  year left to go before he was eligible to be hired full-time at a paid department, he began medic school. He had interest in becoming a paramedic, but his true desire was to become a full-time firefighter in our hometown where he had been a reserve for 2 years, filling in when guys were sick or wanted time off to be with their families. He began his 2 year degree, got hired at the fire department 5 months after turning 21. While he had the job and was officially a firefighter, the job depended on him completing medic school and passing his National Registry. He graduated medic school in May of 2012 and took the test in June. He passed with flying colors.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years to this February: there are lieutenant openings. The position is based on your ability to answer some scenario questions and also how you perform on the written test. It came as no surprise that Danny passed the test with flying colors. With that, came a promotion to lieutenant. The promotion happened this Monday.

Monday evening the promotion was approved and my husband is a lieutenant. I could not be prouder of him.

When I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate, he wasn't sure. I decided to bake him a cake and he requested Boston Cream Pie. I had never made a Boston Cream Pie, let alone even tasted one. Thanks to Pinterest, I found a great recipe and it turned out great. After his promotion, our moms came over and we all had cake. I shared with Tuck since I started a semi-whole30 on Monday. All Tucker cared about was the chocolate topping and the custard.

I am so proud of you Danny Summers. Thank you for all that you do for our town. And thank you for letting me be apart of this journey.

Apr 4, 2016

Why Did I Become a Beachbody Coach?

This weekend consisted of... not much. Tucker and I ran errands (which included a donut breakfast) and my family came over for dinner. We had Pizza King (if you're from Indiana, you know this is pizza at its finest) as part of a fundraiser for a local family who has a little girl around Tucker's age who is battling cancer for the 2nd time. We bought 2 pizzas, I paid $8 for 3 cookies and 3 brownies, and I hugged Tucker a little tighter when he got out of bed to snuggle a couple extra times last night.

This weekend also consisted of a lot of thinking on my part.  Thinking about my "why?" Over the last few weeks of getting acquainted with this Beachbody journey of mine, that's what I've been thinking about the most. Why am I doing this?

When I did T25 over the holidays in 2014, I fell in love with exercise and what it does for me. It was because of that program that I realized my body needs to move, not only for the physical benefits, but the mental benefits as well. The confidence, the endorphins, whatever. Exercise makes me a happier person. Beachbody helped me realize this.

Those 2 guys in that picture deserve the best version of me that I can give them.  Being healthy is about so much more than looking good at this point.
Its about... having enough energy to keep up with my 2 year old bouncing from one activity to the next.
Being able to crawl around on the floor building castles and playing trains because my back doesn't hurt.
Going on long walks around our neighborhood with my husband, our son and our dog.
Being focused on my date with my husband and not the fact that my outfit was picked because its the only one that fit right.
Setting a good example for Tucker.
Growing our family and being healthy in the process.
Being able to balance all of my roles.
Being HAPPY.

Those are some pretty big Why's.