It’s Never Too Soon To Start



Par of moving to Arkansas meant joining Pinnacle Country Club.  One of the benefits is that if we make a 6:30 pm tee time, the kids can golf on a real golf course and nobody is playing behind us to complain.  The course is beautiful.  Just last week, the LPGA played here. Image

This is Maya putting. Image

Here is Ethan putting. He had the best shot from the fairway onto the green. ImageThis is Maya’s approach shot on the first hole.  The pictures are a bit out of order. ImageEthan’s tee shoot.  He hit it down the middle.  Thank goodness for the telephoto lens.ImageMaya’s tee shot. ImageProud daddy. ImageThe kids love to ride in the golf cart.  Ethan has his own bag. 


The Quick and Dirty Update


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Where to start?  This has been a crazy year for our family.  I am going to try to get everyone caught up as quickly as possible. Hang in there, the surprise is at the end.

June 2012

  • Moved from Chaska, MN to Victoria, MN.  – It wasn’t a cross-country move, but it was a move just the same.
  • Basement of new rental flooded.

July 2012

  • Visited California for fun!
  • Not so fun visit to California. – My mom unexpectedly passed away just a few weeks after we returned from our visit. So we returned to California, helped plan a memorial service, and had an emergency 6th birthday party for Maya.

September 2012

  • I volunteered to be Maya’s Daisy leader again.

October 2012

  • I turned 35!

November 2012

  • Visited California to family for Thanksgiving.  We also visited my Grandma in her new Elder Care Facility.

February 2013

  • Hosted a sleepover for fourteen 6 & 7-year-old Daisy’s in our basement.

March 2013

  • Sad visit to California – My Grandma passed away after suffering from dementia/Alzheimer’s for many years.

April 2013

  • I wrote a children’s story that I am trying to figure out how to get published.

May 2013

  • Home finding trip to Arkansas.  Yes, that’s right, I said Arkansas.

June 2013

  • I sold my first bag on ETSY.
  • We moved to Arkansas for Andrew’s job! Did I forget to mention that?  It must have slipped my mind with everything else going on!

Well, that seems to be everything.  Now that everyone is on the same page.  I guess I should get back to posting regularly.

We are looking forward to new adventures here in Arkansas.    Stay tuned, I will get some pictures up as soon as possible.

What to do? What to do? Isn’t that always the question?

So last week I posted and then immediately made it “Private.” I guess between insight from my husband and a little bit of personal nervousness I decided it was the right thing to do.  The basic idea was that I have allowed myself to put on more weight than any other time in my life.  As a result my clothes do not fit well, I don’t have the energy that I want, and I am facing high cholesterol.

What to do? What to do? Isn’t that always the question? 

The first thing I did was reach out to the healthy people that I know and find out what they are doing.  The second thing was to commit my brain to making the changes that I knew I needed to make.

You will never guess what I discovered in talking to my healthy friends.  These friends are eating yummy but good for you foods, getting plenty of exercise and lots of good sleep. So I am jumping on the bandwagon.  I am trying to be realistic about what I can and can’t do all at one time.  So I have decided to start with eating better. I will get to the exercise part later.

Based on a very reliable recommendation, I bought a Magic Bullet blender at Target.  Please keep in mind that I am not sponsored by anyone and I don’t get any money for saying nice things. Maybe that means that I am doing this blogging thing all wrong.  Anyway, The Magic Bullet is like a blender on steroids. It breaks down super-foods like

Smoothie Mix - The pretty straws make them taste better.

Smoothie Mix – The pretty straws make them taste better.

kale, spinach, blueberries, and chia seeds into such small bits that you can mix with  fruits and water to make amazingly delicious smoothies.  I am picky when it comes to the colors and textures of my foods, so when fruit and veggie smoothies were first suggested to me, I decided that it was not a good option.  However, after visiting a good friend and trying a smoothie, I changed my tune.  She threw in spinach, half a banana, strawberries, pineapple, almonds, orange slices and a handful of blueberries. I think the blueberries were the key for me.   The blueberries kept the smoothie from turning green.  Instead, the smoothie stayed a beautiful purple color and it tasted good too.  Andrew and I are learning to use Goji berries, chia seeds, flax seeds, power greens, and all kinds of other goodies in our smoothies to make sure that we are getting all of the nutrients and healthy stuff we need.  The whole family seems to be enjoying the DSC_0453smoothies. Ethan is really the only hold out.  He is not so interested in drinking his fruits and veggies.  However, I did make him a milkshake the other day that he really enjoyed.  I used chocolate almond milk, plain greek yogurt, half a banana, and ground flax seed. We are using these smoothies to enhance our breakfast routine and replace some of our unhealthy snacks.The other thing that I have been doing this past week, is tracking my food using an app called MyFitnessPal.  This app resides on my cell phone so it is always easy to get to.  However, it’s also accessible on my laptop as well with additional features. This app has a gigantic database of different foods including restaurant dishes and private label items. You can add items to the database if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Sauteed Swiss Chard, Farro, Chicken, Pecorino Ramano

Sauteed Swiss Chard, Farro, Chicken, Pecorino Ramano

In all fairness, I have to give credit to my dear husband, who has used this program in the past and encouraged me to try it earlier.  I wasn’t ready at that time.  Now, after using this program for a week, I’m more conscious about where the fats and cholesterol are in my meals and I can see exactly how many calories I am taking in.

Green Swiss Chard

Green Swiss Chard

The last thing that we have done this week with our diet is to start using Kale and Swiss Chard in our cooking.   We are sautéing the greens with onions and garlic and adding them to meals like eggs, pasta, and chicken.

The good news is that I have lost about 4 pounds this week. I would like to lose another 40 pounds.  Slow and steady!  The bad news is that I have not started exercising yet. Actually, I just haven’t gotten that far yet.

Minnesota Girl Scouts Should Sell Cookies in the Summer


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This year I am leading Maya’s Daisy troop. Girl Scouts is an amazing organization for girls of all ages.  Today kicked off the much awaited cookie season.  Having been a leader and a scout in the past, I knew better than to volunteer to be the Cookie Chairperson.  Thankfully, we have two Supermoms in the troop that have taken on this task.  One of which, until last weekend had 1,600 boxes of cookies sitting in tall stacks in her Living Room.

Anyway, the goal for each girl in our troop is to sell 70 boxes of cookies.  In the past, we have always taken preorders and delivered them when they arrived.  This year however, we were given the cookies ahead of time so that we could hand them to people instead of making two trips.  This seemed like a really good plan.  That is, unless you live in the Arctic Tundra and have to pull said cookies around your neighborhood in a little red wagon with snow and ice on the ground and snow still falling.  Did I mention that we were also practicing counting change and trying to keep Ethan from doing the penguin slide down every icy driveway? He seems to think it is hysterical! Oh yeah, and the high temp today was right around 10 degrees. Thankfully, no wind.

Maya, Ethan, and I started out on our street.  We made a loop around the cul-de-sac behind our house and then came home to warm up for a bit.  Andrew made us some hot chocolate and helped us get warm.  When we had totally defrosted, we ditched Ethan (the penguin slider) and Maya and I headed back out.  It was actually peaceful. There were very light sparkly snowflakes starting to fall and our neighborhood is generally pretty quiet.

All the drama aside, it really wasn’t so bad.  We made good use of our snow gear and it felt good to get out of the house and take a walk for a change.  Being from the warmer corner of the country, we have not yet bought into the typical winter sports and the love of all things frozen and cold. Maya,

Overall, I think we sold about 35 boxes of cookies today and Maya had fun with Mom,  which is always a bonus.  In addition, we got a tiny bit of much-needed exercise and she sold enough cookies to earn her patch. We all know that’s really all that matters.