Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reasonably Healthy Lunch Ideas

My middle daughter, Julia, was 13 last year. She decided that she would NOT carry a lunch box to her co-op. Now since she only went one (full) day a week, I didn't make too much of it. I'd send her some (healthy) peanut butter spread on crackers and a water bottle. Just making sure she had a big breakfast and supper on that day.

This year she is going 3 days a week. All day long. Something had to change. I talked with other mothers and we brainstormed a few things. All are more than agreeable to my middle (and now youngest as well) daughter.

First, there is no need for a lunch box. I pack a small cooler for them both together and put it in the co-op kitchen. Whenever they get hungry between classes, they can just go grab what they want from their personal "refridgerator". And they don't have to lug anything around.

And here is some of the ideas we've come up with to fill it. Bear in mind that the girls only have 15 minutes between each class, so the snacks have to be pretty small.

*Half sandwich (we call these "bendovers" cause you "bend" the bread "over")
(Preferably some type of minimally processed meat on a whole grain bread.)

*Big huge pickle (cut into spears cause the girls have braces now...I buy them in those huge glass jars that they have at Sams)

*Box of raisins

*String cheese

*Whole grain crackers (with or without non hydrogenated peanut butter)

*Fiber One Bars

*Non-sweetened applesauce cups

*Non-sweetened fruit cups



*Organic chocolate milk

*Bottled Water

~~~When the weather turns cooler I plan to put a thermos of something warm as well. Homemade soup or chili. Or even just some hot chocolate.

They do have a use of a microwave at the co-op but there time is so limited that I don't think they'd have time to use it. Especially if there were someone ahead of them. So that's why I've not included things that need to be warmed or heated.

I'd love to hear others ideas!


And The Winner Is...

I'd like to quickly thank you all SO MUCH for participating in my 2 year blogoversary give-a-way. You all made this so fun and really memorable event for me. So thank you.

Unfortunately there could only be one winner. But I do encourage all of you to consider RS Designs when you need a blog makeover. I just can't say enough about their work. And their customer service is top of the line. Thank you Revka. :)

And the winner, chosen by a random number generator, is...

Jana Kelley!

I will be emailing Jana shortly. Should she not respond in 3 days, another winner will be announced.

Thanks again for all the fun. And congratulations Jana!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking News!


Today, on my sweet, precious middle daughter's 14th birthday, I finally got a second wind on my walk/jog.

And I jogged 3/4 mile.


Now back to your regularly scheduled program. :)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Menu-Plan-Monday w/Give-A-Way!

Well, it looks like it will be yet another week of simple foods. And not much home time. A dearly beloved Great Uncle went home to the Lord Saturday night. He had been sick for several months so it was not a shock, but still so very sad. He leaves behind a wife of over 60 years. My mind won't wrap around being with someone for that length of time and then them just suddenly being gone.

We also have several things that we must get done for back to school. And many of the fall activities are starting back up now too. So it would have been a busy week anyway. The loss just adds another element to it.

Monday - Crockpot beef brisket (didn't get to it last week) with vegetables

Tuesday - Will be out at family events

Wednesday - Leftover brisket sandwiches with sweet potato fries

Thursday - Quinoa and Black Beans, salad

Friday - Pizza night! Whole grain crust and as much vegetables as I can pile on top, with homemade pesto! The basil is still going crazy in the garden.

And if you're at all interested in a new, fabulous blog design, don't forget to check out the contest I'm running!

For more menu ideas, be sure to check out Laura's Blog!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Frugal Friday Give-A-Way!

Contest is now over. Winner will be picked and announced soon! Stay tuned. And good luck!

Tell me, what is more frugal than something free?!

I'm so happy to announce a very special give-a-way right here on my little blog.

In celebration of my 2 year blogoversary, Revka of RS Designs has very generously offered to give away a $60 credit toward any of her custom websites or blog designs. That means that if your choice is under $60, it's absolutely FREE! Anything over $60 you simply pay the difference.

I first saw Revka's work during a blog carnival. I didn't win the carnival, but decided to contract with her for the blog design you see here. Revka is very professional. She somehow manages to take care of her family and do this incredible work on the side. She is timely, polite and very helpful to those of us that may not be too computer savy.

I've gotten so many compliments on the blog since Revka got ahold of it. And I'm just thrilled that I now get to participate in one of her give-a-ways!

There is even "free for the takin" (as we say in Tennessee) buttons and badges at her site! And look how pretty!

Proud Mommy Blogger

Proud Blogger

RS designs - custom designs at affordable prices
(Ohhh, I'm keeping this one!)

They even have free templates sometimes!

Red Tape:

To enter:

1. Just go to Revka's site and look around, come back here and tell me something you love in the comment section of this post. It's that easy.


2. Sign up for her newsletter on her website (and let me know in the comment section that you have done so). That way even if you don't win, you'll be kept up on other give-a-ways and discounts. It's a win/win!


3. Write your own post about this give-a-way and link back here to this post, letting me know in the comments that you've done so.

Do one of these things for one entry. Two for two entries. Or all 3 for 3 entries in this contest! Remember, you have to mention it in the comment of this post for it to "count" toward an entry. How else will I know you've done it?

Contest open to anyone with a blogging platform that allows you to customize your template yourself. Contest runs from blog posting time (ie- now!)on August 15, 2008 thru noon EST August 29, 2008.

Winner will be chosen at random by Saturday August 30 and notified by email (so please be sure to leave a valid email address or blog address that has your email listed). Winner has 3 days to respond to email after which a new winner will be selected.

Good luck to all of you!

For more frugal fun, be sure to check out!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Running, Eating and Aging, Oh My!

I've been blogging here for a little over 2 years and I suppose over the course of time things just naturally change.

I don't feel old. Truly. But the harsh truth is...I'm not getting any younger. And I feel almost as if I'm at a crossroads in my life. It seems that people my age either start to really kick it up a notch as far as health and lifestyle are concerned, or they get old.

Yes, yes I realize that the years go by either way. But there is a difference in growing older and getting old. At least to me there is.

I want to be as healthy and active as possible for as long as possible.

So my husband and I started walking a couple of months ago. As a side note, I don't recommend STARTING a walking program in the middle of summer in the South. To say that it's hot, even late in the evening, is an understatement. To put it mildly. But we* started out strolling and pretty quickly picked it up to a fairly fast walk. An 18 minute mile is a fast walk, right? Don't laugh.

We go 1½ - 2 miles total. Now we're* up to running a third of it. Any google search turns up many "Couch to 5K in 8-9 weeks" programs online. I'm taking it a little slower. But I do plan to do it eventually. And truthfully, I'm proud of what I've accomplished.

The thing is, I ran in high school. So I FEEL like a runner. But I just not anymore. I hope to be again. But right now, no.

But we* are trying. And that's a step in the right direction. Pun intended.

We're still eating the green smoothies almost every day. I just don't think there is any argument about the nutrition in them. The other foods that we eat are pretty simple. But the goal is to try to make each bit as nutrient dense as possible. We fair at this sometimes. But it's a journey. And one that I feel blessed to be undertaking.

*Please note that when I say "we" or "we're" I'm talking about me. My husband can run circles around me. But it feels better to say "we".


Monday, August 11, 2008

Menu Plan Monday w/give-a-way teaser!

Just when I think I'm busy, life kicks into high gear and I know what "busy" means! We, like most others, are getting our back to school gear in order. With a high-schooler this has new significance for us homeschoolers. Or maybe just for me. :) Lots more organization and paperwork. And I really need to find time to get it all together this week. The sooner the better.

The garden is also coming in so I'm processing (and by that I mean cooking or freezing, I don't can) lots of delicious foods.

We're still working on eating very healthy, though we did kinda blow it last week as it was my BABY'S *11th* birthday. Unbelievable. So we had too much junk food and cookie cake and I know this week will be harder to settle back into with the nutritious foods.

We're also still walking/jogging. I will do a separate post about that. I think it deserves it's own spot.

OH! And I also want to encourage all of you to check back here this coming Friday (the 15th). I'm going to have a pretty sweet give-a-way in celebration of my 2 years of blogging here. I'm not going to say what it is, but I will tell you that it's something that many of you would LOVE to win.

With this flurry of excitement going on, the menu is going to be as simple as I can possibly make it.

Monday - Tilapia, big garden salad

Tuesday - Fish sandwiches on sprouted wheat bread. Sauteed sweet potatoes

Wednesday - Quinoa and Black Beans, salad

Thursday - Crockpot brisket with vegetables.

Friday - Pizza night! Whole grain crust and as much vegetables as I can pile on top, with homemade pesto! The basil is going crazy in the garden.

I hope to put up pictures of the pesto, but it's not my recipe. I found the one that we love the most on


I usually make at least a double batch. We eat it on everything.

For more menu ideas, be sure to check out Laura's Blog!