Monday, November 29, 2021

It’s back to the grind today for most of us, right? Today I am linking up with Heather, etc. here for Hello Monday.

I had a nice 5 days off. My hopes were time with family and friends, time to read and relax, time off from the computer, not to eat too horribly – lol, and that’s about it. I did not do Christmas decor and I didn’t do much shopping and that’s perfectly alright with me.

I love a slow morning. I took the time each day to light a candle and read blogs or my books.

I made a vegetable soup to have for lunch before the big Thanksgiving meal. This is zero points for me and I am also bringing this with some turkey sausage (2 points worth) for our lunch today. I am doing 3 lunches this week and Erica is doing 2. I am doing chicken enchiladas one day and either Greek bowls or egg roll in a bowl on the other day. I weighed Wednesday morning and achieved my lowest weight to date! I won’t weigh again until this Friday morning, December 4th.

Wednesday I had to try out my fall sangria. I used this Trader Joe’s spiced cider and I love the extra bite it gives.

It was pretty cold all 5 days here, but I did manage to sit outside a couple of times.

I had a cider mimosa the next morning, too!

I finished this cute Hallmarky book. The end – or really most of it – was super predictable but it was just what I needed.

I started this and I am liking it so far! I love to get in the mood for the season with my reading!

These are so fun and the perfect little sweet treat – 2 WW points each – lol. I made some to take to both of our celebrations.

On Thursday around 2:00 we went across town to Tom’s sister’s house. I made this caramel cake using a yellow box mix (add an extra egg for a true homemade taste) and homemade, real deal icing – lots of butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar and milk. You have to cook the icing, too, and it is amazing.

My sis-in-law requested that I made mashed sweet potatoes and OMG – I will be doing this again. I roasted the sweet potatoes in my oven at 400 for a long time – like 1.5 hours. You let cool, scoop out the innards, and then mash and add a touch of milk, butter, and brown sugar along with some spices. The roasted aspect makes them not require much.

My 22 year old niece Morgan and I. She was my first niece and I am so proud of her. She is a nurse now and works the night shift.

My second niece, Brooke, is almost a nurse, too! She just got a paid internship with a big hospital group.

Tom and Mason – awww

Jack and Tom’s mom – love that I caught her looking at him like that!

The feast – It was so nice after taking last year off. We had a great meal and a nice day.

On Friday it was time for round 2 with my family and again, this would be our first Thanksgiving since 2019. My mom lives an hour away so we headed there around 11.

I made mashed potatoes,

WW friendly buffalo chicken dip to snack on,

and roasted potatoes that my mom loves.

My sister Kate and I:

Nieces Nora and Samira playing Scrabble with Jack and Mason after our meal:

My nephew Silas was hard to get a photo of because he was busy!

We had a really nice day, but it was also a bummer because my other sister’s family was quarantined. My brother in law tested positive for Covid on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and then my sister Molly tested positive on Monday. They were both pretty sick and the whole family had to stay home, of course. Prayers that we can be together for Christmas if you don’t mind?

The sky on our drive home was beautiful!

Jack and Mason really just wanted to be at home, sleep in, lounge in pjs, and do a bit of homework. It was so nice to have them home. They only have a few more days of classes until Winter Break. It’s hard to believe they are almost halfway done with college. College really does go by faster than high school and that seemed so fast to me, too.

One of my besties, Heather and I cooked up a plan to do “Shop Small Business Saturday” but it really just turned into a boozy brunch and one store. I love one on one time because I feel like we can really talk, ya know? We ended up at Wild Eggs which is in a small shopping center with all locally owned places.

We had a pomegranate mimosa…OMG! This would be great for Christmas! You can’t tell at all that I love a mimosa, can you?

I stuck with my regular farmer’s market skillet!

I’m trying to get better at always asking to take photos!

Tom got invited by his brother-in-law to go to the big rivalry football game between University of Louisville and University of Kentucky. I tagged along to tailgate with my sister-in-law. The game didn’t start until 7:30 and both of us are not late night people. Plus, the tailgate is the best part, ya know?

Proof that we were there…

Jessica, my sister-in-law and I…

And, Sunday was a lazy day at home that also included meal prepping for the week.

I went to the store at 8:30 Saturday morning to stock back up on the healthy foods! Post coming tomorrow about what I’ve been eating/meal ideas. I do plan to buckle down for the next 3 weeks or so. I’m still learning the new WW Personal Points plan. I re-took the assessment and now I have 22 points a day. I was only getting 16 a day on WW Purple. I think I like the new program? I walked one day and did an exercise video indoors one day.

Erica (my co-worker and meal prep partner) hates the cold but I am hoping we can walk at least 2 days a week until the break. I am also trying to start Epic Heat on YouTube, which is free. I don’t think I’m in good enough shape to do the whole thing, but maybe I can work up to it. Any other suggestions are welcome! I do believe it’s about 80% diet, 20% exercise or something like that. I am trying to drink more water and eat more lean protein, too. I tried hard to stay dedicated without being obsessive. I hope you don’t think I talk about it too much here, either.

How was your Thanksgiving Break? I hope you were happy and healthy!


23 thoughts on “Hello Monday

  1. It’s so helpful and encouraging for you to share your health journey. Thank you! One question, what’s the biggest difference between now and before you starting regarding your eating habits? What’s making the most difference? Better food choices? The tracking? All of the above? Have a great week!


    1. Aww, thank you Paige! I think one of the biggest differences is the “eating while standing”, mindless eating, “tasting” I did while cooking – that kind of thing. I just had no idea how much I was eating. So, I would say all of the above. My post tomorrow is pretty long so I am probably telling you way more than you want to know! Lol!
      Are you on a health journey? I have found Instagram really helpful too – just putting in WW and seeing who comes up is really cool!


      1. I am on a healthy journey as well! I lost about 15 lbs before covid and then everything kind of stalled out. I have quite a bit to go. I want to eat well for life. I’m 42 and want to be mobile and feel good for as long as possible. I think my biggest issues are portion sizes. I’m working on one helping on small plate. No seconds!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same – for life! My friend who has lost a lot on WW said she didn’t think I was eating enough! I do think using a smaller plate is a great idea. Our plate sizes have increased so much since the 50s!


  2. That pic of Jack and Tom’s mom is priceless. So sweet. All your food looks amazing and so do your drinks! Yum. You are doing so amazing. I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s post! I’m glad you had a great break with your boys & prayers for your sister’s family.


    1. Thank you! I hope you like tomorrow’s post. You will probably think I have a boring diet. Ha! I would love to hear more about what you eat, too, and how you are doing! Do you like Personal Points? I am still floundering a bit!


      1. I’m still trying to figure it all out. I’m doing ok…I made as good of choices as I could while traveling…glad to be back on track this week. I try to keep in simple during the day with toast or eggs for breakfast, fruit/veg/protein shake for lunch, small snack and then try to eat the best I can at dinner. My dang sweet tooth is what sometimes does me in!


      2. I’m glad I’m not the only one. It’s a bit tricky. I hear that – I need to figure out some sweet options. I might be making my greek yogurt cake tonight! I need something!


  3. Hi Amy! Your break sounds just perfect. A nice mix of fun + rest. You’ve given me a great idea to make cider mimosas – never thought about doing that! You mentioned that on slow mornings you like to read your blogs. Will you please share what some of your favorite blogs are and why? One of the reasons I love your blog is that it reminds me of the “old school” days of blogging – just sharing your life with the reader and keeping it real. There aren’t many these days that still do that; now it’s all shilling and sponsored stuff 😦 so I am looking for some similar to yours. I appreciate your writing style and how you seem so down to earth. And have been very inspired by your health journey so thanks for that! (btw I don’t think you talk about it too much – it’s great to learn from you. please keep it up, you’re an inspiration!). Thanks and happy Monday!


    1. Thank you Kathryn! I think I like cider and different juices more than OJ. Have you ever tried pineapple juice or a mixture of pineapple and oj? I just love a mimosa.
      I have really been thinking about a blog post about blogs but I don’t want to come off as snarky. I am so disappointed in so many blogs lately. Ugh! I want fashion, recipes, life, tips, etc. I don’t want to click your links! I guess it’s the way of the world now.
      I appreciate your kind words and I will try to do a post next week without coming off as witchy. I read some blogs just out of habit. Some have gone so downhill. I need recs, too!


  4. What a great idea to weigh in before thanksgiving and then give yourself a full week to “recover” so to speak. I made the mistake of weighing in this morning and even though I had planned to really stick to my plan for the next few weeks I’m actually trying to only eat the points given to me each day and not use any “added” for the time being. I love all these family photos and hope that you can all be together for Christmas!


    1. Thank you! I am too scared to get on the scale right now! Lol! We fluctuate so much but it does really discourage us, you know?
      I don’t eat any added points for exercise. I feel weird about getting the water and veg points!
      Thank you so much!


  5. your thanksgiving break sounds just perfect! lots of family time and good food and relaxation built in. i look forward to tomorrow’s post. i don’t think you talk about your ww journey too much. in fact, i look forward to reading those posts and i generally learn something or get a good idea about a recipe. i did mashed sweet potatoes as well but i added some chipotle for a little southwest flavor and they were delicious! i am curious about the first sweet treat you showed that looks like little pretzel bites with toppings and i am hoping you give details on that tomorrow as well.
    as a retired nurse i am proud that you have 2 nieces entering into the profession. we need them!


    1. Thank you, Rita! I hope you do like tomorrow’s post! Your sweet potatoes sound amazing! I can’t wait to roast some more.
      Here is the rolo pretzel treat:
      get the waffle pretzels and put them on a cookie sheet
      unwrap Rolos and place on top
      “Cook” for 5 min. in a 350 oven
      gently press the m and m on top
      put in fridge to cool
      I like to change up the colors of the m and ms for each holiday or the sports team color if we are watching a game
      I have so much respect for nurses! I am so happy they went that route!
      Thanks Rita!


  6. What a great break you had! I enjoyed having my boys home and really stayed off the internet – which was pretty nice. I cannot wait until Christmas break.
    Too bad about your sister and her husband having Covid – I’ll definitely add them to my prayer list.


  7. Share away as much as you like. If people dont want to read about they can skip ahead! You are doing so great and I am so proud of you. This is the hardest part of your journey. Learning to enjoy without all the guilt. Let me know when you figure it out- I have been Lifetime with WW for over 4 years and haven’t gotten there yet. I have been not good at all but its ok. Patience and I know that there will be times like this. We had a fun and easy thanksgiving. I feel like its alot of prep and then BAM its over in 30 minutes. I really would like to order in for Christmas Day but I know Tay and Tony will veto that so my plan is to make a lasagna ahead of time, then pop in oven on Christmas Day. Garlic bread, Cesar salad and some good wine. Have a good week back . Soon it will be Christmas break!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww thanks friend! This new plan is really different. I am on a Facebook group that is all over the place. Some are losing more and some are gaining a lot!
      That is true about Thanksgiving dinner! I think your lasagna plan sounds fab!


  8. It looks like you had a great Thanksgiving weekend! I’m sorry your sister and her family couldn’t bet with you for Thanksgiving. I hope they are feeling better soon! I love that your shopping day turned into a boozy brunch – perfect! Have a great week!


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