Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy Snacks

Happy 1st snow!  At least here where I live.  Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate as well.  
I've been thinking about health lately and how I can increase my intake of healthy food.  It's tricky if you were not grown up with it but I've learned some things over the past few years.  For one, I've gathered a list of good healthy snacks to eat and I would like to share that with all of you.   
  • String cheese - A good source of calcium.
  • Jello with or without fruit - It has some protein and vitamins if you put fruit in.  I've been told you can't put fresh pineapple in it though b/c it will degrade the gelatin so use canned pineapple.
  • Granola bars - A good source of oats, nuts and fruit.  I actually have a recipe for delicious homemade ones that I may put up some time.
  • Fruit - Cut fruit or whole fruit.  I try to have bananas and apples around b/c they are easy to eat but make sure you change it up by adding some other type of fruit b/c they all have different benefits.
  • Fruit Smoothies - Another good source of vitamins and if you put yogurt in the drink then it is also a good source of calcium.
  • Cereal bars - Another good source of fruit and grains.
  • Dry cereal - Depending on the cereal, this can be healthy.  You can always take a healthy cereal like Cheerios and mix it with dried fruit and nuts to add more taste.
  • Popcorn - Fairly healthy w/o the extra butter.  I use Jolly Time popcorn.  Instead of butter add a spice like one of the ones recommended on their site. Jolly Time healthy recipes
  • Yogurt - Healthy if you do not get the ones that are supposed to take like cream filled pies.  The regular ones are a good source of calcium.  If you get Greek yogurt, it has tons of protein.  You can always get Greek yogurt or the vanilla ones and add your own fresh fruit, dried fruit, honey or granola into the cup.
  • Bagels - I can eat these plain but I know I'm weird.  You can spread jelly that doesn't have a lot of added sugar or you can make homemade jam.  I've put fresh blackberries in a small pot on the stove, mixed it with a bit of honey or agave nectar, cooked them, and smashed up the berries a bit.  You can even some peanut butter on them but don't overdo it. 
  • "Chex" mix - You can take some nuts, dried fruit, and pretzels and make your own mix of handful yumminess.
     Well, that is my list.   I hope this list keeps you from reaching for that candy bar or can of soda.  Remember, these are snacks so they are not going to fill you up but they will temporarily get rid of that hungry feeling which we need to avoid.  Also, when I buy food like fresh fruit, I immediately prepare it when I get home so that I'm encouraged to eat it later.  With a snack like the "Chex" mix, you can always prepare a bunch and put them in little baggies.  Snacks, I feel, are meant to be eaten quickly b/c often you are running out the door or in your car eating so make it easier on yourself by preparing them ahead of time.

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I'm thankful for a roof over my head and the luscious food that will be in front of me later on.  What are you thankful for?

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    What Running Does for Me

    The hat says Chocloholic.  : )
    Hello!  I haven't blogged in a while.  Not much to say but I was thinking of my blog this past weekend on my train ride home from Chicago.  This past weekend I ran the Hot Chocolate race in Chicago.  It was quite delectable.  I ran a 5k (3.2 miles) and then afterward I was given chocolate fondue  and hot chocolate with marshmallows all while being able to see beautiful downtown Chicago.  Combining two of my favorite loves, Chicago and chocolate, made for a good day.  Next year, my goal is to run the 15k (9 miles) for the Hot Chocolate race.  Currently, my goal is to run through the winter outside which is a great challenge in of itself.  I really don't want to lose what I have gained in the past few months.  Right now I am able to run for about an hour (about 6 miles).  I don't want to start all over again.  I have no desire to run a half marathon or a marathon but who knows how I feel as I rack up the miles.  Anyway, the point of talking about this is to tell you how proud I am of myself and my running.  The main reason I decided to run was for the health benefits.  I want to take care of my body.  It's the only one I get.  How about all of you?  Do you take care of your body?  I'm glad to say I do more than most people nowadays.

    Food for thought.  I read that if you expect something to happen a certain way, and then it doesn't, you will no doubt be disappointed.  I've really noticed this lately.  For example, I may expect my husband to do the laundry since it is his day off and then I come home to find he has not, then I get mad.  If I didn't expect it, then I would not be mad.  Of course if he did do the laundry I would be pleasantly surprised.  As a result of reading about this, I've tried not to expect things.  It is a very difficult task b/c I think most of us do this on a daily basis without realizing it.  When it comes to work, we always expect people to do their jobs.  You can remove your expectations but still have consequences for people not doing their job.  Removing your expectations just removes the emotional part. 

    I hope that makes sense.  Au revior!

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Life as of Late

    Hello ladies and gentleman.  I haven't posted lately because I felt I had nothing much to offer.  I feel I need to offer something to make this blog worth your time.  Anyway, on to things I've done lately.

    Over the weekend I went to the Morton Arboretum with my friend.  The weather was perfect and made for some of the best pictures I've had in a while.  Here's a bit of a feast for the eyes.  I love the bright blue sky in the background of this picture.  I also love how you can see that trees seem to change color from the top down.  The leaves need sun to change so I think that is part of the reason.
     I love this photo b/c I simply just love pictures of bodies of water.

     I love all the green in this photo.  So much green for fall.  You wouldn't even know it were fall in this photo if you were to just glance at this one.
     I love how I captured the way the sun was lighting up the leaves.  Very bright.
    Lastly, I had to take a picture of my favorite tree the Ginkgo.  I love it just because it has very unique leaves.  I like this picture particularly because of the detail you see in the leaf.

    This past week I also finished my tote bag that I sewed. I think it is super cute and summery.  I like it because I put lining and an inner pocket inside.  I think I will use it as a knitting bag to put a project in.  I've recently taken up sewing and I decided I'm going to make my own Halloween costume.  I just hope I get it done.

    Well, lastly, I want to offer something to all of you.  I was looking at Yahoo! and I came across this article.
    I knew some of the things mentioned.  I would also like to add that you can take your ink cartridges to Best Buy and to some libraries.  Some cartridges even come with an envelope so that you can send your old one back to the company.  I love when things are made easier.  With that article this website will help too.  It gives you further information on recycling hazardous materials.  Well, have a lovely day.  Enjoy the sunny days while they are still here.

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010


    Here is a topic I need to address: voting.  I voted for the primaries and the final elections in 2008.  I did some research on the candidates and voted accordingly.  This November is another election for some of the Senate seats.  People are really trying to encourage younger voters to vote.  I think that is a good idea and I would vote except for one fact.  I know nothing about the people in the Senate.  I'll admit, I ignore the news a lot of the time because it's boring and depressing usually but I don't feel comfortable voting unless I know what or who I am voting for.  How can you encourage people to vote when most people in this country are pretty clueless as to what certain people do in the goverment?  The only time people are fully aware of anyone is if they do something bad i.e. Blagovich.  Now you can try to do some research.  I've done that but I still felt uneasy.  All I read about was what the media puts out there or what was on the person's website which, in my opinion, are really skewed sometimes.  It also helps if you have some core beliefs that you feel need to be a part of the person you're voting for. 
    So I am curious.  Does anyone else feel uneasy about voting?  How do you figure who you want to vote for?  Maybe I haven't thought of something yet. 

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Music, sewing, running and learning from our mistakes

    Hello!  I hope everyone had a wonderful fall weekend.  I talked to my sister on Skype for free and she's in Australia.  If you don't know how to use this, you should learn how.  It's awesome being able to literally see my family when they are so far away.  The distance between us doesn't seem so bad then.

    I also listened to a lot of music this weekend.  Well, honestly, I always do.  I listen to music through Pandora and I have several different stations.  I have a swing station, Michael Buble station, 3 Doors Down Station, Nature station and a Teen Pop station.  What I am doing and what type of mood I am in helps me choose which station I want to listen to.

    On Saturday I was really proud of myself because I ran an hour.  I've been struggling with my running so I was even happier when I didn't have any problems.  My goal is to run a 10k on Halloween.  If I have another run like that I won't have any problems.  Perhaps the cooler weather is helping or perhaps my body is finally use to running.  Whatever the reason, I am happy.

    I love crafts and I want to learn to sew.  Unfortunately, the only sewing machine I inherited was a 1930's Singer sewing machine that has one stitch that only goes forward.  It's cool but you can't do anything fancy with it.  Luckily, my sister-in-law has one she doesn't use.  Yea!  Now I need to stop knitting somehow and make time for sewing.  Hmmm....

    Over the weekend I was sitting in my apartment reading my Popular Mechanics magazine and I came across an article about BP's oil spill.  It was a really good read and a good eye opener.  I didn't really know much about this incident.  All I kept hearing was how BP meant to do it and it was all of their fault and they took too long to fix the problem.  The only opinion I had on it was, "I don't know a thing about oil rigs so how can I possibly criticize?"  This article was good because it explained the timeline, the details of an oil rig and it explained it in simple terminology.  The article pretty much said it was many, many people's fault, not just BP's, and that part of the reason it happened was b/c the quicker they got the oil rig working, the less money it would cost.  They started off being 3 months late to begin with so there was added pressure from the very start.   They ignored warning signs which people had done previously with other oil rigs because they never had problems before.  The U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) was supposed to make sure they did everything safely and they didn't.  Several people were involved with making sure everything was safe.  The article compared it to Chernobyl or the space shuttle Challenger.  Those were also incidents that could have been prevented.  People got lax about safety precautions b/c there were no accidents and there was little chance of one happening and it blew up in there face.  Well, since then, MMS has been disbanded and made into a new organization and BP has lost billions of dollars.  The best thing you can do from mistakes is learn from them.  Unfortunately, it costs the lives of 11 people and many sea creatures. 

    Lastily, the hubby and I are going to start looking for a house even though I don't have a full-time job.  First off, we could get a house that would be about the same as our rent.  Secondly, our house would probably go up in value over the next two years so we could make money off of it and get a bigger and better house later.  Third, we just want to get out of where we are now.  We are sick of loud college students and being cramped up in our apartment right now.  I want a place that is quieter and where I can sit outside and enjoy the weather.  I want to be able to have outdoor plants and not worry about some drunk college student knocking it over b/c he thinks it is funny.  So hopefully this goes well.  I am looking for another part-time job and I am hoping to get another before we start talking to a bank.  We'll see.  Good luck to us. 

    Have a wonderful day.  Remember when you make a mistake, the best thing you can do is just learn from it. 

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Happy Fall Equinox

    Today was a wonderful day.  It's the first day of autumn.  My husband and I went to the apple orchard and got all sorts of wonderful goodies.  Fall is definitely my favorite time of year b/c of the harvest.  It is one of the reasons why I like being in the Midwest.  I wouldn't be able to celebrate the harvest the way I do now.  I love seeing the combines harvest the corn and soy.  I love going to the pumpkin patch and orchard.  I love corn mazes.  I love the smell of the corn fields.  Yes, they have a smell.  One of the best smells in the world.  Anyway, I love the area I live and I wish people would appreciate all of those things more rather than focus on the cold weather that we go through.  Yes, it's kind of a pain, especially if you drive in it, but I have found that if you dress for the weather, it's not so bad and I don't mind knitting myself up a scarf to keep warm.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Yummy breakfast

    This morning I made one of A Charmed Wife's breakfast ideas.  I made toast with peanut butter and slices of banana on top; although, I think she suggests almond butter.  That was so yummy.  I will definitely make that in the future.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Want a book?

    I have three useful websites for books. - For a fairly cheap price you can download audio books.  I like this b/c I like to run and knit while I listen. - You can exchange books for free with other people.  Every time you give a book to someone, you get a point.  Anytime you receive a book, you lose a point.  You do have to pay for shipping but the idea is that it will be made up when someone ships a book to you.

    Lastly, your local library website.  You can get audio books, regular books, movies, and music all for free.  Often you can reserve a copy, look for items in the online database and renew your checkout on the website.  Even if a library does not have a book you can have it shipped from another library.  I know on my libary's website I can even download audio books online.  I'm trying to get into the habit of using them more often b/c it will save me lots of money so make sure you support your local library because it is a great resource.

    One tip this morning

    Leave a sponge or brush in your shower so that you can clean it while you are showering.  I've been doing this everyday for the last week and I love how clean my shower looks.  I usually wait until I need to take a bath, which isn't often, or I wait until the dirt starts to really bug me.  I really can't take the credit for this.  A Charmed Wife gave me the idea.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010


    On Friday I went up to my brother's.  We made homemade tomato sauce which wasn't too difficult.  The most time consuming part was getting the tomatoes prepared but I learned how to peal tomatoes.  Apparently you put them in boiling water for about 45 seconds and then plunge them in ice water.  It works pretty well.  
    We also had a snack with Camembert cheese that had a bbq/peach preserve/raspberry sauce on top with Thyme sprinkled on top of that.  Then we took the cheese and grilled it until the center was soft.  We cut into it and it oozed out.  Yummy.

    Today I have my knitting group to see.  Every Sunday we get together and chat about whatever crazy stuff is on our minds.  I believe today we have a friend coming in from out of town.  She works on a cruise ship as a stage manager.  Apparently I am doing something wrong b/c I would love to have a job that required me to travel.  Anyway, I've been knitting for awhile now so if you have any questions feel free to ask me. 

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    About this blog

    I'm not sure how this blog is going to go but I'm just going to go with what I feel right now.  Right now I want to talk about the internet.  I love the internet.  There is just so much information out there.  One of my favorite things to do is read the articles on Yahoo!'s homepage.  The articles often have information that is just handy to know.  For example:

    Or sometimes there is just a story that gets me feeling a tad emotional like this one:
    Gamers Lend Support to Widow It makes me realize that people can be very helpful and loving to one another.

    Today I found one of my greatest discoveries through Yahoo! articles.  Well, I think it is a great discovery.
    It's blog by a woman who is 28 years old so instantly I felt a connection but she is a housewife.  She is full of great ideas of how to stay organized or how to clean more efficiently.  I love reading her blog and I've already done a couple of things she suggested doing such as boiling water and vinegar in your microwave so that it is easier to clean.  Her blog reminded me of something my husband said.  He said he read an article about how you can put your sponges in the microwave to kill off germs so I found an article on that.
    I love handy tips and there are so many out there.  I will probably continue to post handy articles I've read on the web as well as talk about the daily activities in my life so I hope you enjoy this.  Au revoir!