July 25, 2016

7 More Easy Tips to Lose Weight

A couple weeks back, I shared seven easy tips that's I've been using to help me in my now 135-pound weight loss. Today, I'm sharing seven more. Each one has been SO important in my journey. I didn't implement them all at once, I've slowly worked up to where I am now. There are still many more tips and tricks I use, the first list and this one are just the biggest ones that have made the most difference for me.

July 22, 2016

Vegetarian Goulash

Summer offers so many yummy, fresh veggies that are begging to be put into delicious recipes. In my efforts to eat healthy, while being frugal, I threw together a vegetarian goulash.  It could also be called a summer vegetarian stew, if you prefer. The recipe is crazy simple to make and tastes like summer in a bowl. Pure yummy for the tummy -- and nice for your waistline since it's low cal and low sodium! Green and yellow summer squash, peppers and onion make for a colorful, vitamin-rich dish. What makes this dish different from traditional goulashes is the use of  pinto beans as the protein of the meal, instead of meat. Whole-wheat macaroni noodles add the whole grains and round out the meal.

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I cook with different beans often since they're so much cheaper than meats and pack a nutritional punch in each tiny bean. I stock up on the big bags of beans when they're a good price, since the canned ones tend to have more sodium and don't taste quite as good to me. Cooking the bagged beans may seem intimidating, but when you get down to it, all that's involved is some soaking and boiling. Pinto beans don't even need to be soaked, throw them in a pot and boil away until they're soft. Mixed with the other ingredients, the vegetarian goulash yields 8 generous, low-cal servings for under $1 a serving.

July 15, 2016

How to Keep Hard Floors Sparkling Clean

With two small kids in the house, my floors are always getting covered in dirt, food and grime. Baby B has a bad habit of throwing all his food, while M2 drops whatever she doesn't like on the floor. I swear, I'm having to sweep and mop it at least five times a day, after every meal and snack. If I don't, the gunk gets tracked all over the house, our feet get dirty and the ants move in. Eww, eww and EWW.

I don't have the time to spend doing a long, involved cleaning every time. Mama has other stuff to do! I need a quick, easy way that gets the floor clean without taking me forever (since while I'm doing that, the kids are off on a mission to create the next mess). To help me with all this miss, the kind O-Cedar folks sent me their easy wring spin mop and bucket system and sponsored this post so I could give you my opinion of it.

July 14, 2016

7 Easy Tips to Lose Weight

I'm now 133 lbs. down on my weight loss journey. It hasn't been easy, believe me! Every single pound has been a struggle to lose. I'm so excited that I'm FINALLY under 200 lbs. for the first time since I was a sophomore in high school. For me, weight loss has been about having a total mindset and lifestyle change. I've used a number of little tricks to help me stay on track and to build up to that total lifestyle change. None of them are hard. Actually, they're all easy.

I didn't make a lifestyle and mindset change all at once. That's pretty much impossible. Over the past 19 months as I've lost, I've made small changes. Once those stuck, I made more small changes, building on it until the change I needed to happen, did. I've had to be dedicated to weight loss and really WANTED to. I've tried before, lost a bit, then gained it all back. I've never gotten to where I am now because I wasn't dedicated to that lifestyle change and actually losing and keeping all the weight off. Now, I am. I work hard at it every day, fighting to make that number on the scale go down. Fighting to finally reach my goal weight -- 37 lbs. to go now!

June 28, 2016

Perfect Gooey Rice Krispie Treats

Best-Ever Rice Krispie Treats are an easy, quick treat that's perfect for picnics, to make a typical day special and as a dessert for any of the summer holidays. These aren't your usual treats -- they are extra gooey with the perfect amount of marshmallow. Plus, I add two secret ingredients that are so simple, yet make them the best you've ever tasted. One of the secret ingredients adds the fun color, which you can change up depending on the holiday or what color the kids pick that day.

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June 24, 2016

Lady Lullaby and The Road to Dreamland

Music is important at our house, especially at bedtime. We have a routine that involves singing different songs to the kids, their own special song and then different songs each night. Whenever I have the chance to share new music with them, especially of different styles, I like to. The latest music I'm sharing with M2 and B is The Road to Dreamland.

June 21, 2016

DIY Landscaping: Front Yard Redesign Begins

When we started our DIY landscaping project, top on the list of landscaping redesign is the two front, large gardens. Nasty Bermuda grass has been growing in one. Nothing A has tried got rid of it. Plus, we hate having to pull weeds all the time. That led us to the brilliant idea of rocking in both of the beds and it spawned the whole DIY landscaping redo. Once we had the rock idea, we scouted out different types together to decide which type. Neither of us are fans of the river rock and the small pebble styles wouldn't work out well. I love the look of marble rock in gardens, so that's what we settled on. We tackled one side at a time, cleaning out first then continuing on to plants. Black weed-preventing paper went down under the rocks to try to discourage the weeds.

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June 17, 2016

Summer Mexican Chicken Soup

Light, summery soups are a staple of my summer menu. Combining broth, herbs, chicken and fresh veggies creates a delightful dish that is isn't too heavy for the hot days. My current favorite is Mexican chicken soup. I throw everything together in the slow cooker in about 20 minutes (depending how fast I chop and peel the veggies), then let is simmer in there all day. It keeps the house cooler since I don't have to get the oven or stove heated up. I stay cooler, too, since I'm not standing over that stove roasting myself. Any leftovers I send with A for his lunches or freeze for even quicker meals.

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