Friday, February 21, 2014

A Year Ago today - the first time I found out I was cancer free

A year ago today (on Friday the 15th), I found out I was cancer free...then I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Sounds pretty anti-climatic but there was a reason for it.  That morning, I had an CT scan with contrast, which means drinking that terrible tasting drink and then getting injected with dye to light everything up.  The early morning appointment, the waiting and the stress of it all left me feeling exhausted.  I was glad I'd taken the day off from work. I didn't want to get my hopes up or stress about it, so when we got home Mike and I turned on Netflix and hit the couch.

Due to the wonders of technology, the CT was emailed to the oncologist's office and my awesome NP Lisa checked it out right away.  In the middle of my snooze, I got a text from her - "CTs just came across my desk.  You are a clean machine."  I was thrilled but not quite ready to believe it.  I had a follow up appointment for Wednesday the 20th and I wanted to wait until then to really look at things and move forward.

So I rolled over and went back to sleep, content that all the difficult times had paid off and that there was good news and health on the horizon!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Pantry and Freezer Clean Out - Lazy Girl Chilli

When you spend your entire grocery budget on beer and an epic Pinterest Fail for Super Bowl Sunday, its time for a pantry and freezer clean out! What Pinterest Fail you ask....oh just this one -

You can follow that and other debacles by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

I actually enjoy the challenge of looking into the pantry and freezer and coming up with a pretty good meal.  In my twenties in Philly, the food budget was small and so was the storage space so we did that just about every night. On Wednesday, the day most people were snowed in here under a NY State of Emergency, I made some pretty killer chili I'd like to call "Lazy Girl Snow Day Chili." Its a great pantry buster because anything can be thrown in.  It's "Lazy" because I basically used this to do the work for me -

I figured the roasted red pepper and tomato soup with be a good base, and the Latin Style black bean soup was half full after my husband deemed it pretty hot the first time he tried it.  So I figured this would add some kick but not too much spice.

I also wanted some hearty bread for this but was out of flour but still had one last "beer bread" mix on the shelf.  I pulled out a Coors Light that no one in this house is going to drink, mixed it, baked it, devoured it.

I served the soup in my awesome crocks with some chopped green onions on top.

You might wonder how I got some fresh green onions on a pantry clean out and the answer is because this little trick ACTUALLY works!

I know, I was shocked too!  Pretty Awesome.

So now that I've taken enough of your time.  Without further adieu -

Lazy Girl Chili - 

1 Dutch Oven Pot
1lb of ground turkey (or whatever meat you like)
1 box of a tomato based soup
1/2 box of Latin Style black bean soup (or other chili type thing you have on hand)
red onions
3 cans of beans
red, green or orange peppers (if you have any)
spices, hot sauce, etc

1.  Dice onions and saute in the dutch oven on medium high with oil or butter until translucent.
2.  Add ground turkey and brown until completely cooked.
3. Add peppers if you have them.
4. Add tomato based soup and black bean soup
5. Open cans and drain beans, add to mix.
6. Spice it up with anything else you might like - spices, hot sauce, a bay leaf whatever!
7. Turn heat down to low and simmer until you are ready to eat.
8. Ladle into bowls, top with green onions, cheese, sour cream, whatever you have on hand.
9 Enjoy!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Did You Make it to February?

It's February 1st...the beginning of that short month full of long, cold days.  If you live somewhere cold like I do, you may have let some of those January goals fall by the wayside and the multiple layers hide so much and the cold and darkness just sucks the life out of any other goal you may have had.  Now is as good a time as ever to check in on how things are going.  If you've let some goals fall by the wayside, pick them back up.  Take a minute to think of or list out your accomplishments.  Maybe you didn't do everything but I guarantee you did something.  Celebrate that and move forward.  I mean, what else is there to do in February anyway?

Goal 1# - Why wait?  
January Accomplishments - I did pretty well in the "why wait" category.  Things went back where they needed to go, I returned phone calls, RSVPed and wrote letters and cards while I thought of it.  I also did a little patch job on a pair of gloves that I'd been delaying.  Seriously, I spent hours with a cold left hand when it took less than 5 minutes to sew it up....

I mean seriously, why wait?
February Goals - I will continue to force myself to do things when I think of them, clean up after myself, and take risks I've been avoiding.

Goal #2 - Make fitness and healthy eating a routine

January Accomplishments -  I made it to 4 Sundays of Spinning, even the one that Brie wasn't at!  An unexpected outcome is that its become a family affair.  My mother joins me for spinning and my father comes afterward and I "train" him for an hour.  Its a great workout for me and such awesome time with my parents!  I've been "scheduling" workouts on my calendar and highlight the ones that I actually do.  I've got at least three highlights for every week and thats a pretty awesome accomplishment.  I've also completed the 24 day Advocare challenge which has me down 9 inches and 4 pounds.  My husband is on board with healthy eating and we've worked together to plan healthy meals!
February Goals - Continue to work out 3 times a week.  Plan exercise in on the two weekends I am out of town.  Continue the healthy eating and measure in again at the end of the month!

Goal #3 - Have a home that is ready for guests and invite them over!

January Accomplishments - The hubs and I have made some major strides in the house, despite some set backs.  We've been battling with our plumbing and a leak that just won't go away.  We also had one zone of our heater "air locked."  Among all those set backs we've cleaned and organized the den, reorganized the wires around our entertainment center, kept the bathroom and kitchen clean, reorganized the pantry, and I even tackled the yarn corner!  We had family over for a get together after a funeral.  While it was a sad reason to have people over, it was nice to be the place they could all gather together.
February Goals - Have friends over for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, have a few friends over to do some crafting one night.  Donate the couch and reupholster  the chair I have waiting to replace it.  Get the plumbing fiasco figured out so that the guest room stop being a storage area.

Goal # 4 - Read and write more, watch TV less. 

January Accomplishments- I managed to write 7 blog posts this month, which is higher than the 1 per week average I strive for.  I've been in front of the TV quite a bit, but I've been a baby hat making factory so I justify it in that way.  We having been toying with the idea of canceling the cable and I think we are getting closer to doing just that.  On the book front, I finished and sent my January book earlier this week.  However, that knitting book club I was so excited about got closed out.  Hopefully it will open on soon!
February Goals - Return on the 6-8pm quiet block.  For awhile Mike and I would keep the TV off for those two hours abad read, write or study during that time.  There is nothing good on at that time and often we'd keep the tube off for the rest of the night.  Make plan for canceling cable - will we purchase a Roku or Apple TV? Subscribe to Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime? What will we do with an extra 100 bucks (at least) a month? Read the February book in the allotted time.