Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fake Fridays


Do Thursdays always feel like Fridays to anyone else? They do here! We got some new furniture today though and that makes this fake Friday all better!

My mother-in-law is coming over tonight so here’s to a quick post … dinner tonight will include these:

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Pre-oven pictures of Smart Chicken breasts marinated with:

  • greek olive hummus
  • no salt added tomato sauce
  • no salt added diced tomatoes
  • minced garlic
  • sesame seeds
  • tomato & basil reduced fat feta
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • Mrs. Dash’s garlic & herb
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • a little Parmesan

Made by Erik. I’ve been working a lot of overtime so thankfully he’s been Betty Homemaker ; )

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And it will also include this:

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This pasta made with rice, quinoa, and amaranth was only fifty cents a box!!! Score.

Speaking of Erik … he got in the mood to paint something and here is his abstract creation. (Sorry, not the best picture but the best I have).

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Now we’re off to eat and enjoy our evening … so glad tomorrow is real Friday! ha ; ) 




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

POM Spiced cider & grass fed beef

I love POM Wonderful! This Spiced POM Cider came in the mail the other day and it smells so good! I can’t wait to try it.

Thanks for always being so generous, POM : )

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Last night we had our grass fed beef that we got at Whole Foods the other day.

We Erik cooked it on the George Foreman (though a regular grill would have been better ; )

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A few random facts and health benefits of grass fed beef vs grain fed:

  • Assuming that you eat a typical amount of beef (66 pounds a year), switching to grass fed beef could save you approximately 18,000 calories a year and if everything else in your diet stayed the same, you'll lose about 6 pounds a year. - Gearld Fry [source]
  • Grass Fed Beef is four to six times lower in fat than grain fed beef and contains only half the saturated fat, making it as lean as poultry and wild game. [source]

There are many more reasons why grass fed beef is superior to grain fed, not only for our own health but for the environment. I plan on writing a more extensive post on this when I have more time.

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The taste of our grass fed beef? Loved it! It’s hard to put it into words but it tasted much cleaner and just had tons of flavor. The best burger I’ve ever had off of the George Foreman times ten!

Now I just wish I had easy access to grass fed beef so I could eat it more!

That’s all folks … have a great night/day/morning! : )



Monday, October 26, 2009

Banana Pumpkin Bread

We made it through Monday!  Actually, Mondays always seem to go by really fast so I don’t mind them at all.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting a lot of baked goods lately  with no recipes. Many of you have asked for the recipes so I’ll gladly oblige and share them : ) First I’ll start with:

Banana Pumpkin Bread

(please pardon the pictures. if you missed it, here is why there are nibbles missing out of it)Picture 59446

I modified Angela’s recipe that is found here.


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/8 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup NuStevia baking blend (or any other type of sugar/sweetener)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Little less than 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas and stir in all other wet ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients excluding the raisins.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir. Add raisins.
  5. Pour mixture into greased 9x5 inch pan and bake for approximately 55 minutes.
  6. And finally, make sure you don’t let it cool on the edge of your counter where your dogs can eat it ; )

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And there it is … we loved it! Perfect fall bread.

Anyone else loving the beautiful leaves all around as much as me? Wonderful fall foliage all around! I also love to step on really crunchy leaves. Does anyone else find themselves going out of your way to step on a really crunchy looking leaf?? Ha, I do : ) I can’t help myself.

Happy fall food and weather!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend wonderings


How was your weekend??  Ours was good. Here’s a randomly bulleted list of some of the things that happened at our household …

  • Got this in the mail to review

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  • Worked some overtime
  • Discovered this really good ice cream … it’s made with coconut milk and is sweetened with agave nectar … love it!

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  • Made some cookies with a bunch of random ingredients including: pumpkin, agave, peanut butter, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, etc, etc … they turned out great!
  • Got annoyed at my dogs some more: Adrian won’t stop digging herself out of the yard, ugh!  And Bubba did his business in the house on the rug and let me tell you he’s 150 lbs, it wasn’t just a little bit :s Thankfully, he never usually does that!
  • Took a picture of myself on the way to Nebraska Furniture Mart (though you can barely see my face because this picture is so bright, haha).

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  • Got some new furniture … it will be here on Thursday … hooray!
  • Got to eat at Whole Foods (we don’t go there very often so it’s always really exciting and tastes so stinkin’ good!!)
  • While at Whole Foods we picked up some grass fed beef and grass fed eye of round … I’m excited to try it! We don’t have that readily available unless we want to drive an hour.
  • Was a bad blogger and took hardly any pictures this weekend. Oh well.

And that’s a wrap … hope your weekend was a good one : )



Thursday, October 22, 2009

A doggie story

Hey everyone!!

Since I’ve been slightly MIA the past few days, I thought I’d stop by with a doggie story. Well, the other day I was going to bring banana pumpkin bread to work because we were having a “food” day where we all brought something. 

So, I got it all baked and set it on some foil to cool some more.  Meanwhile  we let the dogs in and were watching some TV. I got up and saw Adrian in the kitchen drinking some water and she looked very guilty. However, I didn’t see anything obviously out of place so I didn’t think anything of it.

A little bit later I went back to put the bread away and I found this

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my freshly baked bread half gone and full of dog nibbles. Ha, I was so mad at her but I couldn’t help but laugh at the same time. Needless to say, I didn’t bring anything to work with me :p

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Gotta love those dogs …

Does anybody else have any dog/kitchen stories?? Ha, I love the hear them.

I have several e-mails asking for my chewy oatmeal raison cookie recipe so I’ll be posting that soon when I get it all written down. Hope your week has been going great : )



Monday, October 19, 2009

Stevia baking blend

Hello, Monday.

I stayed up late last night watching a movie with Erik and I had a very tired day because of it.  Tonight my goal is to go to bed on time! I didn’t even do my cardio this morning because sleep was more important.

NuNaturals: Stevia Baking Blend

This weekend I made chewy oatmeal raison cookies.

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I would show you the recipe I used but I forgot to bookmark it and I don’t feel like searching for it right now. Ha. But basically, instead of sugar I used this Stevia Baking Blend.

I love this stuff! I typically use agave nectar instead of sugar in recipes but find it’s not quite as sweet.  But this baking blend was very sweet.  I put as much Stevia Baking Blend as it called for sugar and I thought if anything, these cookies were too sweet. (But not quite ; )

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They were firm on the outside and chewy and moist on the inside. Yum!!

I also used the Singing Dog vanilla NuNaturals sent me.

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I’ve been using some other NuNatural products so there is more to come. So far, I’m loving it all.  The baking blend just might be one of my favorite products so far though.

Now I’m off to eat some cottage cheese with almonds, take a shower, relax a little and go to bed early so I actually get up to cardio in the morning! Ha.

How was your weekend??




Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday Night

Happy Weekend!! : )

Here is what my Friday night looked like …

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I spent the evening with hot tea, a book, and a baked apple.

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In the Dungeon: Shoulders

Last night in the dungeon was shoulders. Ha, we had fun working out.

Erik was being a complete weirdo with blared music and in between sets he was dancing around and singing. I even videoed him but decided against posting that, haha.

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There is no good lighting in the dungeon that is our basement and every picture was making me look like a ghost, so I opted out of posting any of them. 

On the agenda for the day … folding tons of laundry that I’ve been putting off, baking, picking up the house, getting some groceries, etc.

Have a great weekend!



Friday, October 16, 2009

New hair & daycare food

Happy almost weekend : )

On the debate of coffee or tea in the morning it seems that the general consensus is coffee in the morning and tea at night. Thanks for your thoughts. I’m partial to tea both morning and night! ; ) Picture 552

And mostly for my mom to see, here’s my new hair. Ha, she’ll hate it! She doesn’t like it when my sister or I have really dark hair. But as she said yesterday morning, “Oh well, I know you’ll just change it again”. Aaaand I will. I felt like doing something different and got some purple highlights in front.

 Picture 530Picture 537

Here’s my little big tired buddy about to fall asleep.

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And last but not least, I ran across this article the other day and thought it was interesting.

Day care next frontier in fighting kids obesity 

I worked at a daycare a couple years ago and most of that food was definitely not healthy :s. A couple quotes highlighted from the article:

“New Harvard research shows few states require that child-care providers take specific nutrition and physical activity steps considered key to keeping the under-5 crowd fit.”

“This isn't about putting youngsters on a diet. It's about teaching them early, before bad habits form, how being active and eating healthy can be the norm - and that junk food, including the chicken nuggets-type fare that we call "kid food" - should be a rare treat.”

I like the point that it’s about teaching kids that being active and eating healthy can be the norm.  That’s all for now … any exciting weekend plans?



Thursday, October 15, 2009

A cup of green tea & the treadmill

Good morning : )

I started off my day with a cup of green tea and the treadmill. After taking Bubba outside this morning in the cold a nice warm green tea was sounding very good.Picture 527

I haven’t said much about NuNaturals just yet because I haven’t gotten a chance to try everything I got in the mail. One thing I have been using is the sweetener packets.

Picture 523

My thoughts?

  • It’s slightly sweeter and stronger than Stevia in the Raw and Truvia.
  • I’ve found I really only need one packet of NuStevia when I would normally use two of another sweetener.
  • The taste was good with no bitterness and honestly I can’t tell much of a difference between it and Stevia in the Raw other than how strong it is.
  • Though I like it, I honestly still like Stevia in the Raw better  for my day-to-day sweetener if no other reason than it’s cheaper and Erik likes the taste a little bit better.

I plan on doing some baking this weekend for stuff I need to bring to work so more on NuNaturals to come!

Now I’m off to get ready, eat breakfast, and off to work. Tonight I’m getting I’m hair done and I’m excited ; )

And for a random question on this cold morning … are you a morning coffee or tea person?



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wonderful husband, getting to three digits

Happy Tuesday :)

I must start off this post bragging about my husband. He’s been off work the past two days and on Monday, I came home to find our whole entire bedroom freshly painted, rearranged and totally organized. And then today I came home to the whole house looking spotless! I was one happy camper!! I have the best husband in the world!! : )

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POM Veggies & Eggs

Last night for our veggies I tried somethin’ different. I sautéed yellow and green zucchini in one of the newest flavors of POM. I picked the Kiwi Pomegranate flavor.

Picture 496

I figured it would either taste really gross or really good. Ha, but it was neither. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. Really, I only included a dash or two of the juice along with regular spices such as Mrs. Dash, pepper and sea salt to tame it a little. It gave it a different flavor but wasn’t too overpowering. The only thing I was sad about was how big the seeds were in the yellow ones! Oh well.

Another exciting thing as of recent are these babies …

Picture 508

My mother-in-law now has chickens!! We’re pretty excited about that. Her husband knows just about everything about chickens so they decided to get some. Now I have “farm fresh” eggs to eat from my mother-in-law’s house! : )

Lifting: Chest Night

After coming home from work and telling my husband how stinkin’ happy I was to see that he cleaned the whole house, we worked out.

Tonight was chest. If you remember last week, I benched 95 lbs which was my best thus far.  Tonight I’m happy to report 100!! There was just something about getting to three digits that made me really happy. I’m not satisfied yet though ; ) I know I could have done more if I was more mentally with it.

My current goal is to reach my body weight so I’ve got about 35 more lbs to go!

It’s now time for din-din and then Biggest Loser.  Have a great evening!!



Monday, October 12, 2009

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

Happy Columbus Day and Thanksgiving (to those in Canada)!

Not gonna lie, I’m jealous of you all that had the day off! But I hope you enjoyed your day; )

Bigger, Stronger, Faster

As I mentioned yesterday, Erik and I watched the documentary, Bigger, Stronger, Faster this past weekend.

It talked about the use of anabolic steroids as performance-enhancing drugs in the US and how it relates to the American Dream.

And copying the synopsis from Wikipedia, “The documentary examines the steroid use of the director Christopher Bell and his two brothers, Mark and Mike Bell,[5] who all grew up idolizing Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hulk Hogan, and Sylvester Stallone, and also features professional athletes, medical experts, fitness center members, and US Congressmen talking about the issue of anabolic steroids.

Beyond the basic issue of anabolic steroid use, Bigger, Stronger, Faster* examines the lack of consistency in how America views drugs, cheating, and the lengths people go to achieve success.

The film looks beyond the steroid issue to such topics as Tiger Woods' laser eye correction to 20/15 vision, professional musicians use of anxiety reducing drugs, or athletes' dependence on cortisone shots, which are a legal steroid. It takes a skeptical view of the health risks of steroids and is critical of the legal health supplement industry.”

My thoughts from the movie:

  • It was a big reminder and wake-up call on how America is all about being the best, the bigger, the winner at just about any cost.
  • It reminded me of how stuck we are on body imagine. Everyone in magazines look absolutely perfect, but it’s not reality and that’s what aids to eating disorders and the monster of never having enough self worth.
  • At one point in the documentary, there was a photographer saying that literally 80-90% of what’s seen in magazines is completely untrue. For example, here is a before and after picture of the director of the documentary taken on the same day!


image credit

Near the end of the movie the director, Chris Bell’s dad was responding to his son talking about how it seems as though all the great people in the US, all the winners, all the best people seem to have cheated to get there.

The heart of the matter

Part of his dad’s response really got to me. He started out by talking about some of the best presidents having affairs, and exampled many people who have done great things that have also royally screwed up and he concluded by saying,

“Every man is fallible and even the people who were the prime examples of how to run your life in the Bible … screwed up. They all screwed up. So people need to get off their self righteous, uh, soap boxes and start lovin’ each other.”

I totally agree. That is truly what is important. I’m all screwed up and I need to get off my self righteous soap box and start lovin’ people.  It’s really not about who’s doing whatever wrong, because we’re ALL doing things very wrong.  But loving each other? … That will get us somewhere!

Long story short … I highly recommend this documentary!




Sunday, October 11, 2009

Way too lazy & lovin’ the pumpkin

Hi everyone! How was your weekend?

Mine was good, but I was way too lazy and I was feelin’ it by Sunday afternoon! (By that I mean I had a headache, didn’t workout, didn’t drink enough water, and ate too much = ugh! – though I finally redeemed myself a little and lifted tonight ; )

Here’s about how it went:

Saturday: We did just about absolutely nothing! We were up late on Friday watching Bigger, Faster, Stronger (really good documentary) and so we slept in much later than normal. We had fun just doing nothing together but we did nothing for way too long!

Sunday:  Went to church and listened to a really good sermon, ate at my MIL’s house and then went to KC to do some clothes shopping.

Along with that, I’ve been eating a lot of pumpkin (still). It seems like pumpkin goes good with everything, ha.  What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Picture 459

I’ve had it in a smoothie, my oats, on a piece of toasted bread, etc, etc. Yum! : )

Besides all that … it’s been cold! Is it extra freezing anywhere else?? I’m not sure what to think about that :s.

That’s all. Hope you’ve had a great weekend!!



“Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives you satisfaction.” –anne frank-


Thursday, October 8, 2009

New POM flavors & ready for the weekend


I was “gone” yesterday. Erik and I had a busy night and my MIL and MIL’s husband came over to try to help us fix our furnace (it mysteriously won’t turn on). And still … nothing. The furnace guy is coming over tomorrow and hopefully it’s just something simple!

I was happy to see these new POM flavors at my door today. Thanks, POM! The new flavors are Pomegranate Kiwi and Pomegranate Nectarine.

Picture 469

Erik and I have both taken a sip of each of them and we love both flavors … can’t wait to drink more!  I’d take these over POMx tea any day!

Tonight Erik and I did bis and tris and I’ve been flipping through the latest Oxygen magazine.

Picture 472

I’m so excited the weekend is practically here!

It’s supposed to be really rainy here and hopefully I have some time to do a lot of nothing at least for a little bit! ; )

And even though this post is rather random and meaningless, I just wanted to drop in since I was MIA yesterday.

Have a great Friday, all!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Goji berry tea & resting muscles

Happy Tuesday!! To start out … here’s some random …


Today I rekindled a love with Stash’s goji berry green tea … I drank A LOT of it last winter and picked some up the other day when I was in the grocery store.

Picture 455

I had forgotten how much I love this stuff! 

I also just discovered this lovely new Fiesta Lime Mrs. Dash seasoning (okay, so I don't know how “new” it is but I just discovered it … I’m using it tonight so I’ll have to report back on how I like it) … But I’m typically always a big fan of Mrs. Dash!

Picture 466

And tonight called for a big pot of brown rice making. We were out.

I tell ya’, if you eat rice (or any other similar grain) very often you really should try making a really large stock pot full to last you for the week. It’s so easy and convenient and can be included in tons of different meals!

Picture 462


Today in the fitness realm of life, I just stuck to my morning cardio. I did 40 minutes on the treadmill at around 3.8 on incline. Other than that, my muscles get a rest tonight.

Erik and I are off to watch Biggest Loser now … yay! ; )




Monday, October 5, 2009

Stevia in the raw winners

And the random winners of the Stevia in the Raw samples and coupons are:

Congrats!! You can e-mail me your addresses and your samples/coupons will be on their way! : )

Erik was off work today and when I came home from lunch he surprised me with this …

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Isn’t he good? He makes food look much more aesthetically pleasing than me. I don’t think of things like that.  He’s the best! :)


Tonight was leg day … ugh! My workout consisted of 3 sets of 12-15 reps (excluding calf raises) of each of the following:

  • Squats w/ 10 lb dumb bells
  • Lunges w/ 15 lb dumb bells (3 sets per leg)
  • Romanian Deadlifts w/ 30 lb dumb bells
  • Stair Calf Raises w/ 25 lb dumb bells  (3 sets per leg; 20 reps in each set)

Tomorrow I will officially be sore all over. My chest and upper arms are already super sore from yesterday and will hurt ever more tomorrow. But it’s okay … I like being sore all over as long as it’s that kind of sore ; )

That’s all for tonight. Erik and I are ready for Biggest Loser to be on already, ha … this is the first season we’ve watched it and we’re hooked!

Until later …




Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin cravings & breaking a personal best

Happy end of the weekend!!

It was a good one but it went by too fast. In my last post, I talked about how I would probably be talking about fitness more, specifically lifting because Erik and I are back on track. But before that … a few random foods from the weekend.


First off, more Portobello crust pizza. (I’m LOVING this … it’s a mushroom lover’s dream!)

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And for a slightly strange snack … I was in a pumpkin mood (hello cold fall weather!) so I had a toasted slice of Ezekiel bread with pumpkin, cinnamon, and Stevia in the Raw on top. It was pretty tasty!

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The last time I got to really do chest was August 1st. If you remember, I had then reached a personal best on the bench press of 90 lbs.  (The reason I hadn’t done it for 2 months was due to the fact that I didn’t have my lifting partner to spot me so I could never really go at it).  

The past few months I’ve worked my chest but not as hard I would have liked to so I was a little anxious today to see what I could do.Picture 445

Very excitedly, I was able to lift 95 lbs … woo hoo! For practically not benching for 2 whole months, I was VERY happy to have improved my record by 5 lbs! And I plan to just keep on improving it ; )

(Erik wasn’t sure I could do it, ha, but I told him I was going to and so I did!) Honestly, lifting is very much a mind game and I see that more and more.

I had Erik take a picture of me, mostly for my own “records”. It’s fun to see how I improve in time and what better way to see it than pictures? So here I am today.

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I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!!!

On Tuesday I will announce the winners of the Stevia in the Raw coupons and samples!



Friday, October 2, 2009

Motivation boost

Entered my giveaway yet?

Good news …  I didn’t e-mail someone else yesterday like I thought I did when I was trying to e-mail myself, haha.  (If that confused you, just don’t worry about it!)

It’s cold out today! It’s been cloudy and windy all day and I plan on reading a lot of this over the weekend while cuddled up in warmness.Picture 425

Getting Excited …

In other news … I'm getting excited about lifting again!

After a change in my husband's work schedule (less hours, thank you, Jesus!), he actually has time to work out now so my lifting partner is back! He's been understandably "off" for a good two months now. After his dad's cancer diagnosis, it got put on the back burner with his 50+ work hours and time with his dad. I kept it up but also didn't have as much time and just wasn't very excited about it anymore.

Now that it appears as though we're back in business, my motivation has sky rocketed, ha. And I love that!

While I'm still a newbie at lifting, I absolutely love it. Though I'm slightly bias, I'm pretty sure I have the best trainer there is ; ) Erik's able to motivate me, push me to do more when I don't think I can, and show me how to maximize my lifting by using proper form, etc. (And I can always tell me I'm doing it "right" because I can feel it SO much more).

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again…

I never thought I'd enjoy it so much. I used to HATE it. It was too hard, I feel like a wimp, I lost focus and wanted to quit at the beginning of a workout and I even thought I might get too bulky, ha. I thought it would just make my arms bigger, my legs bigger, etc and that I'd look even bigger than before.  But I quickly learned that the more you gain muscle, the more calories you burn and the more fat you loose.

And let me tell you, I like being able to eat more! My diet definitely feels the most balanced and most satisfying when I'm regularly lifting along with my cardio. When I'm just doing cardio, I seem to be a bit of a food fiend and can never get enough.

All that being said, I might be talking about lifting more these days because it's what I'm currently most excited about in the fitness realm of my life ; )  I'd love to share some of my lifting journey as I learn more, lift more, and see the results of all that hard work.  Let the pumping of iron begin!!



-Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, I didn’t have any more to use! Ha. If you still read it, thanks ; )

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Swimming in sweetener


If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to enter for your chance at winning some FREE STEVIA IN THE RAW SAMPLES AND COUPONS ; )

Aaand now for more sweetener talk! Okay, I did have a totally different post written for tonight and I e-mailed it to myself earlier from work. So I get home aaaaand it’s not there. I’m now wondering if I e-mailed it someone else?? Haha.  So that post will be postponed.  (Hopefully I’m not the only one who e-mails myself?? :s)

Thankfully, a sweet (literally) package saved the day.Picture 410

Talk about a lot of stuff! Wow. NuNaturals very generously sent me tons of their products to review.  Honestly, I don’t know what to do with half of this stuff, it’s like a science experiment. Ha, I’m going to have to read up on some of it.

Much of it is for use in baking though and I’m exiting about that. They have a “NuStevia Sweetener Stevia Baking Blend” among many other things.

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I’m also excited about these guys … I’ve never bought vanilla beans because they seem so expensive. Now that I have some, I’m going to really have to think of what to use them in. Any vanilla bean use suggestions??

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Erik made dinner tonight.  I was in sweetener shock looking at everything I got and reading the papers sent along with them that I was sort of in a daze for a little while, ha. Thanks, Erik! : )

Delicious green beans, my favorite brown rice and some pork chops (mixin’ things up a little)Picture

That’s it for tonight … I’ll be  back with my originally planned post eventually ; )



“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”
-Helen Keller

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