Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I got started!!!

These past couple of weeks have been kind of CRAZY to say the least so the Goals I set for myself to complete in 2013 have gone to the back of my mind and I haven't been working hard to get them completed. 

But Last night... I Got started!

I got out my New Cookbook and decided I would just go ahead and just get after it. While flipping through the pages I noticed that some of the ingredients might get pricey, just like any fresh food, so I needed to coordinate my cooking with the grocery store specials to get the best bang for my buck. I remembered that Kroger had a pretty good deal on salmon this week so thats what I went with. 

  Along with the Bikini Season Baked Salmon I decided to make some Gingery Green Beans from the cook book as well as our favorite side dish roasted Sweet Potatoes. I won't share the recipes for everything because my friends over at Glamour might not appreciate it but I will share Ms. Melanie's roasted sweet potato recipe because I don't think she'll mind... she probably doesn't even remember she told me how to cook them over the phone at the prompting of her oldest son several years ago!

Look for a separate post this weekend on that!

This meal was GREAT!! It had some flavors that were a little fancier than our southern pallets are used to but it was really yummy, and it was a big ol' piece of fish! I was thinking last night on my way back to the dorm that I was amazed that I wasn't hungry or craving anything like I usually do on my ride back, which is FANTASTIC!! The only criticism was that the skin was really lemony on the salmon,  but I really think that that was just a personal "not a big fan of lemony flavor" thing of one of my tasters, because he sure did finish off that big ol' piece of fish.

So thats 2 of my 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.

Here comes number 3!

We aren't big drinkers but in this cookbook here there are several drink recipes and for the sake of completing the WHOLE cookbook I have to make and taste each of them, even if I don't drink it all , The point is to make it and Try it instead of just disregarding it because It doesn't sound like my cup of tea... So we went ahead and made the least delicious sounding drink to go ahead and get it over. So we did. I whipped up the Thanks for Helping Me Move Michelada. 

When I was reading the ingredients out to Sierra and we were pulling them out of the refrigerator she just laughed and said with disgust "This Can't Be good!" and while it wasn't as awful as we thought it would be, it wasn't one we'll put on our list to try again. I'm sure that with the right food in the right setting it would have been a little tastier but judging from the looks on these faces..

Now, While I was finishing up the meal Sierra asked me how I was going to keep track of what I had cooked and what I hadn't so I came up with the plan listed in the photo below so I can keep up with it and so when I go back to cook something from this book again I can remember what the likes/dislikes were and how I varied the recipe (like adding a little butter to the green beans) to make it fit our tastes a little more.. A little butter always makes it better!!

Also You'll see a lot of Ben's opinion. He is my bestie's husband and will be completely honest with me because he's more like a brother than anyone ever has been, also... he's a really horrible liar. He was amazed last night when we told him we could tell when he didn't like something we cooked. We all had a good laugh about it.

Well there you go. A little peak into my progress on achieving my goals and working toward checking off some of those things on my 30 before 30 list.

Until Next Time!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Preparation Under Pressure

Isn't it funny how God prepares us for things and we don't even know it! He's just constantly acting in our lives and many times its through the things that are so aggravating to us. But... we if push through and listen to our gut those are the experiences we look back on and are so thankful that He ordered our steps in that way to prepare us for the here and now.

This has become very evident in my life this busy busy weekend. I'm sitting here in the dark typing this post on my phone. It's almost 2 am on Tuesday morning and my mom is sleeping since its my shift to stand watch over my grandmother who is in the hospital as they are checking her out after a fall this past Sunday.

But ... My amazement starts back on Saturday morning.

If you're my Facebook friend you know we had a couple of dear friends get hitched this weekend and the baking bride and I were helping run the show. I decorated, and did hair and just about any of the forgotten tasks that needed to get done (ex. Covering the ugly black planters and downloading the exit song while the mothers were being seated) while She did such an awesome job coordinating the people and the plan side of things. Anyways, Friday I had a lot of stuff I had to get done so my mind wouldn't stop so I was up after just 5 hours of sleep. We worked until 12:15 am sat getting ready then finally got in bed around 1 am and set the alarm for 7:42( this time allows for 2 snoozes before 8 am actual wake up time) but alas the mind wouldn't stop once I half woke up to turn the pillow to the cold side at 5:30 am. After about 45 mins I decided I'd just get up, get ready, and get a head start. So at 8:15 I loaded my bag in the car and headed to the church where I was the lucky one to discover a default in the alarm(it has since been fixed so don't go trying to break in the church ... You WILL regret it!) after an hour and a half of our earsplitting alarm the techs made it out and fixed us up. At some point in there I realized how gracious God was in letting me get an early start so that satan didn't have the opportunity to steal ANY of the bride's joy or stress her out. They got most of it fixed before she even arrived and we were able to laugh about it while rolling her hair instead of sitting in the car and crying together.

Also the running on just a few hours of sleep the past few nights prepared me so much for this hospital experience being that we were in the emergency room at 2 different hospitals for 14 hours Sunday night. My mom, aunt and I took turns sitting with Mamaw Dot and sleeping while the other kept guard over our stuff. We all got just about an hour total of sleep in that waiting room but it kept us going. If my body wouldn't have been conditioned to the lack of sleep it would have been a much harder task to stay awake and in good spirits.

And finally ... without too much detail... There were several skills I learned last year teaching little ones that have come in handy while caring for Dot that the weak stomachs of my mom and aunt haven't been forced to handle in 10-15 years!!

This fact that God is constantly at work in our lives is one I really needed to experientially learn here lately. The "Why me?" and "Why not me?" questions come to my lips far too often.  God has given this realization to me as encouragement to me to press on through some unpleasant (and they are simply that.. just not as pleasant as I would like...not awful or dreadful or even hard) things right now so I'm better prepared and can handle things in high stress situations later on down the road. Also it's further proof that everything happens for a reason, and although a situation may really stink while I'm living through it, all things work together for those who love Him. And I do! :)

Grace and peace to each and every one of you. Take time to thank God for the experiences in your life that have done some sharpening to make you a better more efficient tool to further his kingdom, and be open to the spirit's work in and around you so you can be a useful tool as well.

Until next time!
Chelsea Lou

A blog I found the night after I wrote this post. It is kinda long the same lines and has a very encouraging video there at the end. Check It out!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My new Cookbook!

I found it!

The cookbook I will cook through as part of my 30 before 30 mission. 

Take a look:

So it looks like I'm going to have to shoot for around 2 recipes per week to be done by the end of the year, but that won't be too difficult to accomplish. 
I am probably going to start with the things that call for no sugar  or flour and go from there since I'm getting started back on my low-carb / gluten free way of life.
I'll try to post a photo of each recipe as I cook it along with our opinions of the dish and any variations I made to the recipe. I will not be posting the recipe for you because I'm sure the ladies and gentleman over at Glamor wouldn't appreciate that!

Also if you're feeling brave and would like to be a taster for me, just let me know! I'm sure we could arrange a dinner party! 

I've got to go plan my first meal!
Until Next time!!

Goals for 2013

So... This is my first  post of the new year.

I have a feeling that this year is going to be another full of change for ole Chelsea Lou. But change is good and I'm looking forward to see what the changes are going to be this year.

Unlike every other year in my past I'm actually going to set some specific goals and work to reach them. In the years past I've made general resolutions like "This year I will be healthier" and the like. But I've come to realize I need to put some actual tangible goals to work towards that will lead to that overall resolution of "Healthier".

2013 Goals:
1. Stick to and Finish my year without soda. 
(October 15, 2013!!) I'm already almost 3 solid months into this 30 before 30 goal of mine. 

2. Cook through my new cookbook. 
(Will make a post about this later in the afternoon)

3. Save 2 months worth of pay by June.
 I'm not sure of my job situation after May, but I will get paid through July (perks of working for a school) and to have 2 extra months saved up before then will put me in good shape regardless of the outcome.

4. Pay off my credit cards and quit using them. 
I'm not crazy in debt with these things and I really only use them for gas and other things like that, but its added up quickly and I don't like that number I see on  my bills

5. Be in this beautiful dress that I bought at JCrew when I was skinny back in 2010.
 It almost fit then but was just a little snug, and I'm at least 25 lbs heavier now soooo... needless to say... it doesn't fit. I would like to wear it to my friend's rehearsal dinner on May 31. 

I think 5 goals is a good place to start.

Please encourage me while I'm working towards these goals. I need all the support I can get because I love eating and shopping, and those two things work against my reaching most of these goals.

Have a Happy 2013!
Chelsea Lou

Total Weight Loss: 4 lbs
Total Loss To-Go: 104 lbs
Days without soda: 74 of 365