Thursday, December 31, 2009

Highlights of 2009, blogiversary

Happy New Year!

Not only are we at the close of 2009 and at the beginning of a new year, but Lesley Lifting Life (which used to be Lesley Living Life) is just a little over one year old today : )

I had no idea I would still be blogging a year later. I was simply googling/surfing the web for healthy recipes/nutrition articles and I came across the wonderful Itzy’s Kitchen. I’d never been a blog reader but I saw Erica sharing her delicious healthy recipes, talking about Body Attack, etc and I thought, “Fun!” Haha. Shortly after, I started my own blog and discovered there was endless amounts of blogs out there!!

I started my blog late December of ‘08, so …. HAPPY 1 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY to Lesley Lifting Life! ;)

I thought it’d be fun to share some highlights of this past year so here goes …

  • Erik and I made numerous trips to the Big City (KC) and discovered we love it there. We’re very thankful it’s just 45 minutes away!





  • Started working out at home and built up a home gym. (We’re currently redoing our basement workout room … pictures to follow soon!)


  • I discovered my love for lifting and realized I’m much more tough than I thought.


  • Got a new “old” dog and we can’t help but love him! (Bubba is my father-in-law’s dog but we’ve had him since August)


  • Got a blog makeover by Mommy Doodles (she comes highly recommended by me!! :)


  • We decided to start a new business venture, Originally Organic Vending. Our machines should be launched the beginning of 2010!

All in all, it has been a great year and  I’m looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring!! : ) Thank you, each and every one of you, for reading!! : )

Have a great time celebrating the new year and be safe!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A better plate of food

A little bit after I got home from work Erik said that he was really hungry and wanted a burger. Since it’s close, and for the sake of quickness we got Carside to go. We don’t really love Applebee’s buuuut every once in awhile it’s okay. 

I decided to take this opportunity to share some things I do to choose a healthy restaurant items.

  • I typically stick with chicken, fish, lean meats, or veggie based meals Tonight, I chose the chicken and mushroom portabella sandwich on a whole wheat bun.
  • If eating bread, choose wheat instead of white.  Most every restaurant will have a wheat or whole grain option and will be happy to switch buns.


  • In place of fries, I get veggies or fruit. With my dinner tonight I ordered steamed broccoli with no butter (remember to say no butter and save yourself a lot of calories and fat ; )


  • I watch out for sauces and dressings. This sandwich typically comes with a marinara sauce and I ate it sans marinara. There can be a lot of added fat, calories, and sodium hiddin’ in sauces and dressings.
  • Order dressings and sauces on the side. You can easily save calories and fat by simply putting on half of the dressing or sauces, rather than all of it.

Erik decided on a quesadilla burger without the Mexi-ranch sauce and with no bacon served with steamed veggies rather than fries.AAA

  • Whenever possible, I get online ahead of time to check out my options. Looking at a menu ahead of time prevents diet disasters and it helps knowing what healthy options are available.
  • I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask for what I want. Typically, restaurants are more than happy to cook your meal the way you want it; without butter, on different bread, with no sauce, etc. Just ask!
  • Drink a lot of water. Not only will the water make you feel fuller, but it will help your body burn fat faster.

While most restaurant options are very high in sodium, it’s possible to get a much healthier option at just about every restaurant and cuisine.   

What are some things you do when eating out to choose a healthier option??


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New art, new food, quick & lazy dinner

Hey friends!

I was gone from the blog world yesterday but I’m back tonight. I’ve been tired since I got home from work and I’m not sure why. It was a bit of a nerve wracking day for reasons I won’t mention at the moment (but hopefully I’ll be able to mention it soon ; ) 

Anyways … here’s a few things happening in my life the past few days …

New art, new food

One of the things we brought home with us from our Nebraska Christmas weekend was this painting. My dad painted it years ago and it’s hung up in my grandma’s basement for years and years and she said that we could have it. So it’s now hanging in its new home that is our dining room : ) A

If you remember, I recently tried coconut milk kefir and didn’t care for it unless it was in my oats. So I decided to try regular kefir milk. Thus far, it’s much better than the coconut milk kefir! The flavor is very sweet and tangy and it’s thick like plain yogurt. I’m excited to try it in other forms!IMG_1937 AAA

Erik has recently taken a liking to these babies … and I think it’s both good and bad that they’re in my house. When cookies are around, I eat them! Ha. But they’re so good! I really like that they’re so small because I don’t feel like I’m going overboard with them.AAAAA


Being how I’m tired and feeling lazy tonight, dinner was quick and very easy. I threw some Smart Chicken breasts in the oven with some Mrs. Dash garlic and herb, sea salt, a chili powder.AAAA  Served with peas and carrots …A … and leftover Christmas couscous. Yum! IMG_1945    

What did you have for dinner?

The new year is almost here!  I’m very excited for what it will bring. I plan on starting it with a long term fitness challenge that I’m still quite nervous about!!  More details to come …


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wii made it back

Hey bloggies!

Well, we are officially back home in Missouri after our extended holiday in Nebraska. We’re  glad we ended up staying a day late, though I’m not thrilled about not having a break to get my home back in order before having to go to work. Oh well!

On our extra free day at my parent’s, we hung out with my sister and her husband playing Wii and being entertained by her dogs.AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
While playing Wii, we snacked on frozen grapes. I had never tried grapes frozen but they were so good! Erik and I are definitely going to have to freeze some grapes of our own to snack on … the purple ones were the best!

Have you ever had frozen grapes? If not, you should serious try it … they’re surprisingly delicious ;)AAAAAAA
For the rest of our lazy day, we hung out at my parent’s house doing just about nothing. (Ha, that can be both really nice and really boring at the same time).A AA   AAA AAAA

We finally left Sunday morning to head home. We figured the roads would have some bad patches and sure enough, they did! Here’s the worst of it …  AAAAAAAAAA Several cars were in ditches and we drove by an accident probably seconds after it had happened but we made it home safe. Thankfully, the sun came out and the roads melted more and more as the day went on.

We came home to find that we had to dig ourselves into the garage and into our house, ha. Here’s what Erik’s Jeep looks like …AAAAAAAAAAAA

And now it’s back to reality and another work week is upon us. Then we’ll begin a whole new year! : )

Exciting things are in store for 2010!

Have a great Monday!!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas dinner menu


Was anyone else affected by the bad weather this holiday season? We’re in Nebraska, have to travel through Kansas, and live in Missouri. All three states got quite a storm and it’s definitely affected our traveling. We left to come a day early and we’re staying a day later than planned. It’s actually kind of nice to do nothing for another day.

But we’ve got plenty of delicious Christmas dinner leftovers to polish off as we’re stuck another day!

In case you missed it, Erik and I did most of the cooking this year at my mom’s house just because we felt like it. The menu was as follows:

  • An organic turkey. This was my first experience cooking a whole turkey. We ended up cooking it just a little longer than I would have preferred but it was still tasty.


  • Cold couscous salad. It contained couscous, sliced almonds, assorted dried berries, feta cheese, olives, sliced grapes, orange juice, agave nectar, apple sauce, onion & herb seasonings, sea salt, and olive oil.

My family didn’t know what couscous was but they didn’t mind it. The feta cheese threw my parents off because they don’t like feta. Erik and I have plenty of leftovers and we don’t mind, ha. Though, we discovered this salad tastes better warm.


  • Mashed red potatoes.  The mashed potatoes included our “secret ingredient” of light laughing cow cheese wedges. Yum!!


  • Mashed sweet potatoes. Erik was in charge of potatoes and he made the best mashed sweet potatoes I’ve ever tasted. So good!!


  • Roasted veggies.  We smoked these on my parents’ Traeger grill and they came out amazing! I was in veggie heaven! It included Brussels, green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, sweet onions, zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes.


Along with that, my sister contributed a cold salad and corn, my mom made her famous rolls, my grandma made dressing (no one can make dressing like grandmas can ;), and banana cream pie.

For my dessert contribution, I made “Nikki’s Healthy Cookies Recipe” from 101 Cookbooks.B

It was dinner for seven that included my parents, my grandma, my sister and her husband, and Erik and I. Needless to say, we were all stuffed!

Karmon and Erik took a dorky table picture …ironically they both just randomly posed not knowing what the other one was doing. It worked out well ; )BBBBBBBBBB

While cleaning up, I fed all five dogs some scraps. It was interesting, ha. But they were all pretty good and took turns very well, considering.BBBBBBBBBBB BBBBBBBBBBBB We will be thoroughly enjoying our leftovers today and will probably do some juicing on my new juicer! : )

What was the best part of your Christmas meal?


Friday, December 25, 2009

To grandmother’s house we go, change of plans


I hope everyone had a great Christmas full of family and good food! I stuffed my belly FULL today! Ha, but I stuffed it full of tasty, healthy food so it was happy ; )

But first … a mini recap of Christmas Eve …

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Yesterday, Erik and I went to my grandma’s house to visit her for awhile. While there, we had our own little photo shoot just for fun … mostly of fruit and of ourselves, ha.A AA  AAAAAAAAAAAA

Note: all paintings seen in background were painted by my dad ;)AAAAAAAAAAAA

When evening rolled around, we went to a Christmas Eve candlelight church service with my sister and her husband. (My sister likes to make faces similar to this while having her picture taken). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA And after church, we ventured off to my other grandma’s house to open presents.

My cousin, Nina, and I … AAAAAAAAAAA

The most exciting part (as far as presents are concerned) was getting our new juicer … yay!  I already LOVE it and I’m positive you will all hear more about it later!

I can’t seem to stop taking pictures of dogs

Ha, you are probably all sick of seeing dogs on Lesley Lifting Life but with the many cute doggie (and cat) faces around, I can’t resist! Here are some cute ones I couldn’t help but share … I especially love all the action shots!AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAdr ArOCK

Change of Plans

Erik and I were planning on going back to Missouri Saturday morning but with all the snowing/ice/bad weather that’s been going on we decided it might be in our best driving interests to stay here another day. I normally don’t like having to go to work right away when getting back from being gone but at least the next work week will be a shorter one also!

I’ll be back later with our Christmas dinner recap that was full of delicious, easy to make, and healthy food!


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