Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Good Food Made Simple Does It Again

If you're a regular reader, you may already know that I have somewhat of a love affair with Good Food Made Simple's frozen meals.

In case you weren't quite sure, let me confirm; I love Good Food Made Simple! It's not just because I'm a mom of a toddler, either. I promise, I loved GFMS long before my toddler became addicted to their pancake puffs for breakfast.

One of the reasons I love Good Food Made Simple is because they use organic ingredients whenever possible; humanely raised meats, and; no preservatives. Each item is also packed with protein to make breakfast both tasty and satisfying!

Last Fall, Good Food Made Simple expanded their line and the amount of organic ingredients in it. Their three new vegetarian breakfast burritos are protein packed with cage-free eggs, egg whites or plant-based proteins and organic vegetables. I had the opportunity to try two of their new breakfast burritos and, boy, do their freshly frozen ingredients make a difference!

With 11-15 grams of protein per serving, the Sriracha Scramble Breakfast Burrito, Himalayan Breakfast Burrito, and Greek Breakfast Burrito are all available at Target! As if we needed another excuse for a Target trip, right?! Keep this one under your hat for next time or, better yet, jot it down on your grocery list, now.

The last time I had the opportunity to take a long romantic walk down the isles of Target, I grabbed myself two of the three new breakfast burritos from GFMS. I tried the Sriracha Scramble and the Himalayan. The Greek burrito was sold out so, I can only assume, it must be good!

The Sriracha Scramble Breakfast Burrito was super delicious. With cage-free egg whites, tomato salsa, black beans, cheddar cheese sauce, sweet potatoes, spinach and avocado -- this burrito was fresh and spicy! The perfect hand-held companion for a busy morning.

As much as I loved the Sriracha Scramble, I must admit, the Himalayan Breakfast Burrito was my favorite of the two. This baby has two of my favorite things in it: coconut curry sauce and cilantro. I just can't. I can't even explain how well these flavors go together. This is more than a breakfast burrito to me. I'd eat this burrito for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

I loved the Himalayan Burrito so much that I even shared my love for it on my new Instagram account: GoalOfLosing100.

Not only did Good Food Made Simple launch those new handheld options at Target, but two new breakfast enchiladas are available now, as well. Made with organic veggies, the Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Enchiladas have 13 grams of protein and the Chipotle and Poblano Breakfast Enchiladas have 10 grams of protein.

Let me just stop and say, Good Food Made Simple is huge at our local Target! I was only able to grab one of the two newer enchilada options during my last trip. The Chipotle and Poblano Breakfast Enchiladas were sold out but, there was one more Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Enchilada on the shelf and, after giving these enchiladas a try, I couldn't have been more happy that I grabbed the last one!

Again with the cilantro in this dish; my goodness! This enchilada bowl was everything my palette loves and, despite being a microwaved dish, everything warmed up perfectly. I don't know how they do it! Those two corn tortillas were layered with scrambled egg whites, black beans, rice, poblano peppers, salsa and were topped with cilantro and cheddar cheese. The texture, the taste: they nailed it with this one!

My love for Good Food Made Simple has already been passed down to the next generation of foodies in my family. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Piper has become slightly addicted to the pancake puffs from their line and, I can't blame her. Those cute little puffs are fun to eat and, they taste good!

In less than a minute, breakfast is served with Good Food Made Simple's pancake puffs. Not only is it a quick turn-around from freezer to table but, this is a breakfast I can feel good about serving my toddler.

Good Food Made Simple was created to make it easy to eat well.
“As parents ourselves, we set out to make meals we would feed our own families. We knew that meant the food had to be delicious and as clean as possible,” said Good Food Made Simple CEO George Gavris. “We’ve worked with our talented chef to bring exotic global flavors to the freezer aisle and we’re proud to be able to do that using ingredients that people can feel good about. That means a commitment to sourcing organic whenever possible, using cage-free eggs and meat from animals raised according to stricter animal welfare standards.”
More About Good Food Made Simple: Good Food Made Simple recipes are chef-made using the very best ingredients available, including organic ingredients whenever possible. Good Food Made Simple recipes are frozen to lock-in freshness, with no preservatives, and make it possible to have the goodness of these deliciously clean, simple recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner in just minutes. Good Food Made Simple started with the first meal of the day, introducing a 100% steel cut oatmeal bowl in the freezer in 2011. Today, Good Food Made Simple offers more than 44 SKUS of breakfast, lunch and dinner solutions. Good Food Made Simple products are found in the frozen food section of grocery and natural food stores nationwide. To learn more, visit www.GoodFoodMadeSimple.com and follow Good Food Made Simple on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you haven't had the opportunity to give these new additions to the GFMS line a try, I'd highly recommend it. Just please, leave at least one of the Himalayan Breakfast Burrito's on the shelf for me! 

Disclosure: I have received products as part of a sponsored collaboration. All opinions here are my own.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Diet Bet Results + Real Talk

It's weigh-in day for my diet bet! Yay! Finally!

Truth be told, I couldn't wait for this diet bet to be over. This one was... stressful. Diet bet's are a lot of pressure. There's money on the line with a diet bet and, nobody wants to lose money. Especially not us, since we just started a big renovation, while Nick is laid off from work and has been for over a month now. Haaaa stressful!

Anyway, I thought we could submit our final weigh in yesterday but, as it turns out, today was the first day that weigh-in's could be submitted. It's actually a really good thing, too, because I didn't make weight yesterday but... I sure did make weight today!

With the way that this month was going, I knew that if I won this diet bet, it would be by the skin of my teeth. In order to win this diet bet, I needed to weigh in at 238.1 lbs. Today... I weighed in at 238.0 lbs. 

Phew! I made it!!

Good news is, Nick made it too! We both get our money back and then some! We won't know exactly how much we'll get back until all of the weigh-in's are verified. At this point, I really don't care how much money we get back, I'm just glad that we didn't lose the $70 we put in to the pot! Oh, and losing 10 pounds this month was pretty cool too. Hah

1/1/18: 248.0 lbs.
1/8/18: 244.7 lbs.
1/15/18: 243.3 lbs.
1/22/18: 242.1 lbs.
1/29/18: 238.0 lbs.

-10 lbs. in January!

I know this may sound bad but, I have a hard time being overly excited about my current weight because, even though I lost 10 pounds, I am still not at my lowest weight from last year, which was 228 lbs. for a quick minute last summer!

I don't know why I do this to myself but, at least I'm being honest.

I feel stuck thinking that I can't actually celebrate my weight loss until I get back down to the weight I was at before the holidays hit me. I gained a lot of weight over the holidays and so, back tracking my way back down is a little disheartening but, definitely necessary.

It's almost as if I don't count this 10 pound weight loss as a real weight loss because I shouldn't have been up this high on the scale to begin with... does that make any sense? It barely makes sense to me but, it's just my feels for today.

Either way, I lost 10 pounds and, that's a great thing, no matter the number on the scale. I started feeling a change in my clothes again and, I'm eager to continue on... in a less pressure kind of way. 

No more diet bets for me, for a while. 10 pounds was an aggressive goal this month and, while I made weight, it wasn't very fun. Especially this last week when the time was running out and I had to say "no" to a lot of things (like donuts, cookies, and homemade food from my grandma). 

I really enjoy losing weight slow and steady, instead. I don't want to be pressured into depriving myself just for the sake of a number on the scale. I like my slow and steady method of eating everything in moderation, instead. I like balance in my life. Cake and salad! 

After all, "losing weight while living life" is my motto for a reason. It's just the best way for me! This whole experience, mostly the last week of the diet bet, was a good reminder of what I need to do to lose weight and be happy during the process.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Winter Chill Playlist 2017 - 2018

Happy Friday!

I'm still over here trying to do my best to make weight for our final weigh-in of the diet bet this Sunday. I'm trying not to weigh-in until then so, I'll give you the final results next week. Until then, I figured I'd stop by and share a little playlist I made on Spotify.

As you know from earlier in the week, listening to music is one way that I beat the winter blues and this is a good, relaxing playlist I've been using this winter to do just that.

I hope you enjoy! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Giving Up Isn't An Option

As you may remember, my husband and I joined a diet bet at the beginning of the month. The end of the diet bet we joined is coming up fast and, it's going to be a close call as to whether or not we are going to make weight.

Truth be told, I was feeling pretty lousy about the diet bet this past week. Losing weight this month has been a struggle. Losing weight requires me to focus a lot on what I'm eating and I haven't been doing a great job at that at all.

Actually, Nick and I both haven't been doing well at eating well... haha.

I've had a lot of distractions this month, between the renovation and a couple birthday parties but, it's still no excuse. I just haven't been as committed as I thought I would be to losing the 10 pounds I need to lose this month in order to win this diet bet.

So, this final week of the diet bet has been spent trying to play catch-up from all of the weekends of over-indulgence. Too much cake, ice cream, pizza and more. I'm trying to make up for it all! So, I have been keeping track of my water intake and tracking my calories every day. I've been trying to stay on track and focus more on myself this week so I can lose as much weight as I can before the final weigh-in on Sunday! 

Losing weight isn't impossible by any means, it just takes commitment, dedication and focus. I definitely haven't been any of those things this month but, I'm trying to finish out the month as strong as I can despite it all.

Giving up isn't an option!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Beating the Winter Blues

Is it just me, or has January gone by unusually fast? It could just be me. We've had a lot of craziness going on 'round here lately. Between our first home renovation, our diet bet and our daughter turning 3 years old, we've had a lot going on this month!

Having a winter month going by faster than usual is okay in my book. While at times, the slow-down that comes from winter is more than welcome; there was a time there when I was starting to get cabin fever from all of the snowy and chilly days we were experiencing. I don't know about you but, I'll definitely be happy to welcome Spring this year! 

The weather this week hasn't been too bad. Having a few Spring-like days here and there does help beat the winter blues. Really what I struggle with most is the lack of sunshine! It seems like we'd be lucky to have one or two days of sunshine in a week during these winter months! 

Due to the lack of sun and colder weather, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is in full swing over here in Northwest Pennsylvania. I have so many friends that suffer from SAD; myself included!

Since I'm not the only one who struggles with the winter blues or, Seasonal Affective Disorder, I figured I'd share a little list of things that help me overcome the struggle because, ya'll, the struggle is real!

Beating the Winter Blues

Turn on some music! I try to keep music on in the background during our days and, whenever I get the chance, I listen to music with my noise-cancelling headphones on, too. A little bit of music can be so refreshing!
Hot Shower or Bath
A hot shower or bath helps me, especially on the really cold days. Even if I've already taken a shower for the day, sometimes I'll take another one at night, just to feel the heat and relax.
Turn on All of the Lights
The lack of sunshine really makes me tired -- all day long! So, on those extra gloomy days, I light my house up! My electric bill is pretty high in the winter but, it's worth the extra energy boost it gives me!
Turn up the Heat
Some days you'll catch me sitting in front of the heater with my eyes closed and a blanket on. I like to envision myself on a beach and think about previous vacations while I soak up the heat. It may sound silly but, it really works as a great escape!
Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises helps wake me up on a sluggish winter day. Sometimes I'll even stick my head out the door and take a few deep breaths of fresh air. That really gets my heart pumping!
Exercise + Stretching
Truth be told, I don't exercise as much as I should but, when I do, it sure does help! Stretching helps, too. I love a good stretch and, it's something I'm working on doing more often this year to increase my flexibility.
Spending Time with Family + Friends
This is something I've been forcing myself to do more. It's hard to motivate myself to leave the house sometimes, especially when it's cold and yucky outside, but I never regret it when I do.
Our Renovation
Another thing that's been helping me beat the winter blues is the renovation we've been working on. It's a huge distraction and, it's something that keeps us busy and makes us feel productive while being stuck indoors!
If you suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, you aren't alone! The winter blues are real and can be tough to overcome but, it's just a season and, we'll be back outside in no time! We've just got to make the best of winter while it's here! 

Readers: How are you beating the winter blues? Share your tips!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Piper's 3rd Birthday Party

This past weekend our baby, Piper Grace, turned 3 years old.

I couldn't be more proud of the little girl Piper is becoming. I remember wondering what Piper would be like at this age back when I was holding her as an infant and, I can't help but smile now that I know exactly who she is today; at three years old.

Piper is the perfect mix of her father and I. Piper is wild and funny like Nick and, she is often cautious and thoughtful like me.

At three years old, Piper loves monkeys and gorillas; often pretending to be one. She also loves pipes which is convenient since Nick is currently putting new plumbing in our house for the upstairs bathroom renovation. Piper definitely stole a few pieces of pvc pipe to play with last night. Another odd thing she loves is bar soap. She actually has a bar soap in her bed that she's been sleeping with lately. She's so quirky and I love it.

She has the best imagination and, loves to play pretend with us. The scenarios she comes up with are so cute. Nick and I often play her little games with her and she picks out roles for each of us; telling us what we should act like during her game. Her little mind is just the best!

Piper's third birthday party was very intimate compared to previous years for a few different reasons; mainly because we hosted the party at our house this year. We don't have much room for parking at our house, especially in the winter when people can't park in the yard, so we could only invite so many people.

It was actually quite nice to have a more low-key party this year. It's exactly what Nick and I wanted because, it's what Piper wanted. When given the option to have her party at home or somewhere else, my little home-body chose to have a party here at home and, even though that meant we couldn't invite a lot of people, I was totally happy with that choice!

To Piper, a birthday party means decorating with a lot of balloons, singing around cake and, blowing out candles and so, that is exactly what we did!

To Nick and I, Piper's birthday is always another reminder of how blessed we are to have our baby with us, and for another year! Piper Grace is our biggest blessing of all and, our hearts were so full as we celebrated her turning 3 years old. We couldn't be more proud of the little girl she is today.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A Day in the Life: 3 Years Old

Now that Piper is 3 years old, I figured it would be a good time to share an updated "day in the life" post with you all.

Keep in mind, if it were summer, our days would look fairly different, with a lot of outside play, but; Piper is a winter baby and, we have some cold winters over here. Most of our days are spent inside  lately and so, we've mastered an indoor schedule that works well for our family.

7:00 / 8:00 a.m.

Piper wakes up, we try to use the potty and we feed the fish.

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Piper is a lot like her mama and takes a long time to wake up and get moving. We use this hour to snuggle and slowly wake up with some quiet play, usually accompanied by some music. I try to keep the television off first thing in the morning.

9:00 a.m. 

During this hour, is when we eat breakfast. Sometimes we'll eat breakfast together but, if I want to use this time to be productive {like laundry} and/or Piper asks for it, she can watch a show during breakfast.

10:00 a.m.

I guess I can't speak for Piper but, I'd have to say the 10:00 hour is our favorite hour to spend together. We're both fully awake, fed and ready to do something! Whether it be running errands, going to the gym {child watch for Piper}, going to the library, out for a play date, or staying in with some at-home pre-school; this is time we're ready to get stuff done!

During her at-home preschool days, I've been starting school time out with an active song {like head, shoulders, knees and toes}, followed by some educational play. Whether it be playing with the alphabet or numbers, we keep it fun and light.

11:00 a.m.

Depending on the day, this hour is also used for everything listed above. But, on at-home preschool days, this hour is used for some more free-play.

11:30 a.m. / 12:00 p.m.

When lunch time rolls around, we either eat together or, Piper can eat while watching a show.

1:00 / 1:30 p.m.

Around 1 p.m., I start helping Piper wind down. We usually go upstairs to feed the fish in her bedroom and pick out a couple books to read. I read to her while she lays down in bed and she uses the rest of the time to either "rest" or "nap". Either way, it's quiet time. I use the quiet time to do something productive, whether it be house work, blogging or working for Anything Rustic.

3:00 p.m.

When Piper wakes up from her nap or is finished with her rest, it's time to slowly get going again. We will snuggle for a bit if she's groggy and then, it's free-play time. We usually play together during this time. If she wants, she also gets a snack.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

My husband is usually home sometime between this time and so, most days, he uses this time to play with Piper one-on-one. Sometimes I'll join in for a bit before getting dinner ready, too.

5:00 / 5:30 p.m.

Dinner time!

5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

After dinner, Piper will either get to watch a show or do some more free play. If we need to get out, we'll go shopping as a family or, go to our local high school to walk the halls {a program they offer to the public}. If the weather isn't too bad, sometimes Nick and I will take Piper to the gym with us where she plays with other kids in child watch while we work out, too.

6:30 / 7:00 p.m.

Tubbie time!

7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Around 7:30, we start the bedtime routine. We read some books downstairs, go upstairs to feed the fish and then, read some more books to her while she lays in bed. We sing songs and scratch her back for a bit until it's time to say goodnight.

That's it for our schedule during these winter days with a 3 year old!

In the summer time, I always wonder how we'll get through our days in the winter and, in the winter time, I always wonder how we'll fit everything in during the summer. It always seems to work out, though. As much as my mind tries to wander off to the future, we try to take things one day at a time over here. Especially now that we are under renovation with a second bathroom upstairs. Most of our days lately have been a little crazy but, this schedule helps!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Tomorrow My Baby Turns 3

Today is Piper's last day as a two year old! 

I tried to get a picture of her smiling this morning and instead she started posing, rapid fire.

The personality in this kid is just the best! 

Nick and I are so blessed to be her parents, and for 3 years, now. I am so thankful!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Starting Our First Renovation

Happy Thursday! 

If you're a regular reader over here, then you may have noticed that I have been more quiet than usual this week. I try to post here daily, Monday - Friday, but this week has been a little off for our family.

As you may know, my husband has been partially laid-off from work since the week of Christmas. He was getting called-in a lot during that time so, partially laid-off really is the best way to put it. My husband, Nick, was still working an average of 3 days a week for the past few weeks. This week, however, Nick was told on Monday that there wasn't any other work for the rest of the week and so, we decided to take full advantage of his time off!

Being partially laid off is kind of a pain because you never want to really start anything at home since you might get called back in to work at any time but, when we got the news that he'd be off for the rest of this week, we took advantage of that by starting a project we've been talking about for 5 years!

Right now, we are knee deep in our first big home renovation! We are currently working on turning an upstairs closet into a 2nd bathroom!

This renovation was talked about a lot before Piper was born but, honestly, fear kept me from moving forward. Now, with "trust" being one of my focus words for 2018, I've been focusing more on trusting and believing that everything will work out just fine with this renovation. I am just not one for seeing giant holes in our walls and ceiling but, who is, really?!

Of course, when I say "we" are doing this renovation, I mostly mean Nick. We don't have the money to spend on a contractor so, Nick is doing this project all on his own, along with some advice and direction from my grandpa. 

Nick spent the past two days in demo-mode and, he got so much done during that time! All of the walls are torn out, one wall is down completely and the entire ceiling is removed. He is a demo-machine and I'm already so proud of his work on this project!

As for me, my major role in this renovation is easy and fun. I'm mainly helping pick out what will be installed in the end, which, I anticipate won't be for a while. 

Our initial deadline for this project is sometime in Spring but, we haven't even gotten to plumbing yet. The plumbing for this project could take a while, especially when Nick goes back to work and is mostly working on this project on the weekends. 

It will be fine though, there is no rush for this second bathroom which is why this was the perfect time to start the project to begin with. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Fast + Slow Weekend Recap

I meant to post a weekend recap yesterday but, time got away from me.

This past weekend was a nice mix of fast and slow.

One of my favorite parts of our weekends lately is breakfast. Which is unusual for me because I am not a breakfast person. These new little breakfast calzones, however, have me feeling otherwise.

My breakfast calzones are basically just two Pillsbury crescent rolls filled with a half slice of deluxe american cheese, 1 piece of cooked turkey bacon and 1 scrambled egg. I made 4 at a time with one package of crescent rolls and it feeds my whole family. Nick usually eats two. Piper and I each usually only eat one. 

Each calzone is 330 calories. They are a nice warm, buttery, delicious breakfast during these cold winter months. I love to eat mine with a side of hot coffee to sip on. It's absolutely dreamy.

Okay, now to move on past breakfast...

On Saturday, we helped my little brother celebrate his 8th birthday at an arcade. It was so much fun! I had way too much pizza {like 4 slices} and a big slice of cake.

On Sunday, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure because 1. My feet have been so dry lately and, 2. I'm 5 lbs. down since the beginning of the year!

I sent a message to 4 of my girl friends to see if any of them wanted to join me for pedicures and lunch. Two of them decided to join and so we had a spontaneously fun girls afternoon! 

Those kinds of get-togethers are just good for the soul. Not only did my toes feel refreshed but, my soul did too.

And, lunch with the girls... oh my gosh, lunch was so good! 

I had a chicken wing salad which was basically boneless wings tossed in a gochujang mixture {a current favorite of mine} with a side of ranch. This salad was so big that it ended up being lunch and dinner for me.

At the end of the day, Nick, Piper and I ended up visiting my mom's house for my little brother's actual birthday and, had another slice of cake to end the weekend.

Thankfully, despite all of the eating out and cake consumed, I was only up 1 pound from the weekend and it's already gone now that it's Tuesday.

I have 4 pounds left to lose before my diet bet ends in 13 days and I'm determined to lose it while enjoying life lately!