Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cherries & Cream Dump Cake

The past couple of days, I've been trying to recover from my cooking marathon on the weekend, since we had great friends come over to spend Easter with us.  I overdid things, but it was worth it.  But during my downtime, I browsed Pinterest quite a bit. 

I saw a pin for a peaches and cream dump cake in a slow cooker.  The concept sounded great, but I didn't have peach pie filling on hand, and I didn't want to dig out my slow cooker and lose what little counter space I have available for the afternoon.  So I went back to my old faithful dump cake recipe that I've used for years and modified it to come up with this addictive dish.

It comes together quickly, takes less than an hour to bake, and is simply irresistible.  I took two bites out of the corner, you know, for quality control, and to make sure it was fit for my family and friends (and because it smelled so GOOD)!  I ended up having to cover it up with the lid and forcing myself to walk away.

Make this, and your family will thank you, even if your waist and thighs do not.  It's just THAT good. 

Cherries & Cream Dump Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 21oz can cherry pie filling
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350, and spray a 9"x13" baking dish.  Pour pie filling in the bottom, and top with undrained pineapple and spread out evenly.  Cut cream cheese into cubes and place evenly over the top of the fruit.  Mix butter into cake mix in a food processor until you have crumbs, and spread that over the cream cheese.  Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Chicken Piccata Pasta a la Anita's style

Chicken Piccata Pasta

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb chicken tenders, pounded thin & cut into 2" pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c butter, divided
1 c dry white wine
1/3 c chicken broth
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp capers
6 oz marinated artichoke hearts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup roasted peppers, cut into strips
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 8 oz box tricolor rotini


Whisk together flour, pepper, paprika & salt in a bowl.  Dredge chicken in mixture, coating evenly, remove to a plate & set aside.  Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat, and cook garlic for a minute or so, until lightly browned, then remove to a bowl.
Dredge chicken in the flour mixture one more time.  Place 2 Tbsp b

Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

It's been a while since I've posted, almost six years.  I plan to change that.  I keep getting asked for my recipes, and figured I may as well start posting them here, since I've already got a blog set up.  It'll be my own personal recipe book that I can share.  I can't promise I'll post EVERY recipe, but I'll update as often as I can.

Today, I had a brainstorm....  We love jalapeno poppers, and we both love Buffalo chicken dip, so why not combine the two?  Sooo, I went to work.  I poached my chicken and shredded it last night and put it in the fridge to chill so it wouldn't melt the cheese.  Today, I mixed everything else with the chicken and stuffed it in the peppers.  Score!!

This recipe makes a big batch of filling, so I saved back 1 1/2 jalapenos, finely diced them and added them to the filling.  I'll put that in a baking dish, top with a bit more extra sharp cheddar and blue cheeses and bake it until it's browned on top and bubbling and serve it with crackers for a late night snack.


2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 8oz packaged cream cheese, softened
3oz blue cheese crumbles
1 1/2c shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
3/4c Frank's RedHot sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix everything together and set aside.  Halve your jalapenos lengthwise and take out the seeds and veins to reduce the heat.  WEAR GLOVES!  Yeah, that's SUPER important.  If not, you'll hate yourself later.  Trust me, but don't ask how I know!

Fill your jalapeno halves with the filling.  I find that it's easiest to use a spoon, and I cup the jalapeno in my palm and flip the spoon of filling upside down and sort of smoosh it down so it's packed in there.  You want it mounded, but not so full that it runs everywhere when the cheese starts melting.  Bake on a foil lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until the tops start to brown slightly and the cheese is bubbling. 

Allow to cool and devour.

I hope you try this, because it's awesome, even the non-hot-stuff eating people in our house loved these.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Chex Mix

This is my "souped up" version of Chex Mix. I tend to like spicy, savory foods. I can't leave a recipe alone, I always have to tweak it. This is something that Ward and I came up with last Christmas, and loved it. You can also use Greek, Cajun, Italian, or whatever seasoning you like. I use a Moroccan Sea Salt that was offered by http://www.tastefullysimple.com/ a couple of years ago. Don't know what I'm going to do when it's gone... Anyway, here's the recipe!

Spicy Chex Mix

1 stick butter, melted
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Moroccan Seasoning Salt (or your choice of seasoning)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Mix all together well in a large roasting pan or stainless steel bowl that can be put into the oven.

3 C Wheat Chex
3 C Rice Chex
3 C Corn Chex
2 C CheezIts
2 C Cheerio's
2 C pretzels
1 1/2 C pecan halves

Mix everything well to coat the cereal mixture. Bake in a preheated 250* oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool well, then put into zipper bags or airtight container.

Let me know what YOU like in your Chex mix!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saucy Thai Pork Noodles

I read this in a magazine yesterday and decided to make it. It originally called for beef, but I had pork chops on hand. I tweaked the ingredients to make use of what I had on hand. I also made a spur of the moment marinade to make the meat more savory. This turned out well. Even Mom seemed to enjoy it. The leftovers would probably be tasty served cold as well. Let me know if you try it, and if you tweak it, tell me how it turned out. :)

Saucy Thai Pork Noodles
Adapted from Taste of Home July 2011

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1/4 tsp Sriracha

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp red wine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp Sriracha

Main Dish:
7 oz angel hair pasta
1 lb center cut pork chops, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 thinly sliced carrots
1/4 thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly julienned bell peppers, assorted colors
1 12 oz bag Asian style stir-fry veggies, thawed & drained well

2 oz chopped cashews
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Slice pork and place into a gallon zipper bag. Mix marinade ingredients & pour over pork. Seal bag and mix well to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 2 hours, massaging every half hour to make sure pork is evenly coated.

Boil water for pasta, salting it heavily before dropping pasta to cook.

Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add pork, shaking off as much marinade as you can. Cook quickly until pork is no longer pink. Remove pork to a bowl, set aside. Add onions, and cook till almost translucent. Add carrots and cook till almost tender, then add in the peppers. Add vegetables and cook till warmed through, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add meat back in.

Bring milk and peanut butter to a simmer, until peanut butter has melted. Add in remainder of ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Drain pasta, add into vegetable and pork mixture, then pour sauce over the top, and using tongs, toss to mix everything well. Add in cashews and cilantro, tossing again. Serve immediately.

Main instruction: ENJOY!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Veggie Caviar

At the last crop Mom went to, I popped in and our friend Judy had made a black eyed pea salad with corn, onions & bell peppers. I tasted it, and it was scrumptious. I didn't ask for the recipe, but have been craving it for a couple of weeks now, so I came up with my own take on it. I've chosen to call it "caviar", simply because it sounds as good as it tastes! Here's my version...

Veggie Caviar

1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed

1 can whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained

1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped

1 rib celery, finely chopped

1/2 fresh tomato, finely chopped

4 scallions, thinly sliced, including green part

Mix all together in a large bowl and pour viniagrette over it and allow it to marinate.


1/4 cup vinegar (I used roasted garlic rice wine vinegar)

1/2 cup good olive oil

kosher salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

red pepper flakes to taste

herbs (whatever you like - I used an all purpose herb blend)

Pour everything into a pint jar with a lid, screw the lid on tightly and shake, shake, SHAKE!! You can tell when the dressing is well emulsified. This makes more than enough dressing - I only used half on my veggies, and the rest I'll save for the next batch.

This is really wonderful with either corn chip scoops or tortilla chip scoops. Enjoy!!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Mom and I delivered 28 pint boxes of spaghetti Wednesday to the Manna House to help feed the homeless. We do this every other week, and really enjoy feeling useful. Well, they provide some of the ingredients, and often give us other food as a bonus.

This week, we got a huge bunch of bananas that were on their way to being overripe. What better to do than make banana nut bread? Well, I'm a true Southern Girl, and I love peanut butter banana sandwiches. So I did a search online for peanut butter banana bread. I found one on http://www.allrecipes.com/, and the reviews were mixed. I wrote down the recipe for a guideline, but made it my way. And it turned out SO good!!

Enjoy a slice of this bread while its warm with a thick schmear of butter. :)

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
3/4 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
4 bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I omitted, because I used crunchy PB)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two loaf pans with non-stick spray. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg. Add bananas and peanut butter, mixing well and scraping down the bowl. Sift flour and baking soda together, and add a little at a time until it's all incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure there aren't any lumps of flour left. Gently stir in nuts. Divide batter between the loaf pans, and place in the oven. Bake for 55 - 65 minutes. Check with a toothpick or skewer. When it comes out clean, your bread is done. Place on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes, then take out of the pan and let the bread finish cooling on the rack. Enjoy!!

If you have little ones in the house, you can put your bananas in a resealable bag, squeeze out most of the air, and give it to the littles to mash for you. When they're mashed, simply snip a corner of the bag and squeeze out all your banana goo into the bowl. Simple, fun, and easy!! No cleanup!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I got a wild hair this rainy, dreary morning and decided that since Mom made from-scratch waffles for breakfast & served them with her homemade apple jam, that I'd make a pot of beef stew for dinner. It smells absolutely fabulous in the house, and I can't wait to dig in! If it turns out as well as I hope it does, I'll post the recipe later. :)

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made this last week, and had plenty to have later in the week. It just seems to get better and better.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cups chicken, cooked & shredded or diced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced crosswise
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
2 Tbsp butter
8 oz egg noodles
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in large pot. Saute vegetables and garlic until onions become transluceent. Salt & pepper at this point. Add chicken, broth, and water, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, stirring well. Add noodles and cook until they're done. Enjoy!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Easy Peasy Chicken Pie

I adore a good chicken pot pie, but those frozen things you get at the grocer in the frozen foods are simply a waste of money, in my eyes. I decided to experiment and see if I could come up with a great pot pie recipe on my own, and after some trial and error, this is the recipe that I came up with. It does use some convenience products, but it's pretty healthy overall, with the exception of the sour cream. But what's life without butter & sour cream?? Pretty boring, I say!

This recipe calls for a 9x13" baking pan, but if you have a small family, it also fits wonderfully into two 8x8" baking pans so you can enjoy one now and freeze one for later.

Easy Peasy Chicken Pot Pie

2 cups shredded chicken
1 16oz bag frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1/2 onion, diced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup sour cream
Chicken stock (I eyeball it)
Salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you desire
1 package Bisquick cheddar herb biscuit mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet and saute` the potatoes, onion & mushrooms until they're softened a bit, and the onions are translucent.

In a large bowl, mix the soup and sour cream. Add chicken, all the veggies and mix well. If the mixture is too thick, I add chicken stock so it's a little thinner. You don't want it super runny or super thick, just more like a really good gravy consistency. Season as desired. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13" pan and spread out evenly. In another bowl, prepare biscuit mix according to the directions. I add a bit more water to the mix to make it pourable. Pour biscuit batter onto the top of the casserole and spread out evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is slightly browned. I like to pull it out of the oven when it begins to brown and smear butter all over the top and put it back in to finish browning. That step is purely optional!! :)

Please leave me a comment and let me know what your seasoning and herbs of choice would be...

Mexican "Lasagna"

I came across this recipes several years ago, and fell in love with it. During all the changes and upheaval of the past few years, I simply forgot about it. When the ex packed all my stuff, my recipe books were packed as well. I've been SO hungry for this dish lately, so I decided to wing it and try to recreate it on my own. It turned out so well that I've decided it's share worthy.

This is a great use for a rotisserie chicken! If you have a small family, this bakes up beautifully in two 8x8" baking pans so you can freeze one for a quick meal later. It is SO delicious and filling. We enjoy this with a bit of hot sauce too.

Mexican Chicken "Lasagna"

Corn tortillaas
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 onion, diced
1 15oz can corn, drained & rinsed
1 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chunky salsa
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
8 oz cheddar cheese, divided
1 packet taco seasoning mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into strips and evenly cover the bottom of a greased 9x13" baking pan with tortilla strips. in a large bowl, mix taco seasoning, soup and sour cream and stir until well incorporated. Add all the wet ingredients and 1 cup of cheeese. Mix well. Spoon half of wet mixture on top of tortillas and spread into an even layer. Cover completely with more tortilla strips. (You can do this in 1/3 batches and have more layers.) Pour remaining mixture on top of the last layer of tortilla strips, smoothing it out, then top with cheeee. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted.


Crustless Buttermilk Pie

This is one of my all time favorite dishes. It's creamy, custardy, lemony and absolutely decadent!!! If you've never had a buttermilk pie, please try this one. It does NOT taste sour like buttermilk, but it's just simply a great, quick, simple dessert.

Crustless Buttermilk Pie

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
3/4 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup biscuit mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, beaten lightly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well until it's slightly frothy. Pour into a greased 9" pie pan and bake for 40 minutes, until the center is set and the top is slightly browned. Cool until room temperature and serve with whipped cream.

Please feel free to leave me a comment!

Cranberry Bliss cookies

I wanted to make some yummy cookies that tasted like the holidays, so I started blog hopping, looking for an easy recipe. I don't especially care for cranberries, but dried fruit is always a hit in my eyes! I found this recipe and it spoke to me, but it was begging for nuts. So I added a cup of chopped walnuts, and OH MY GOODNESS..... It was bliss at first bite for me!! The batter will look pretty runny when you get it done, but be sure to allow it to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts, but pecans or almonds would be great too!)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put all dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Beat in the butter, egg & vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for thirty minutes. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until slightly browned. Cool.

These cookies spread quite a bit. I could only fit 9 on a 1/2 sheet baking pan. Be conservative when dropping cookies. I got a grand total of 18 cookies out of this batch because they spread so much!!

Please leave me a comment here!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Taco Soup

I was going to post a pic, but didn't feel like getting my camera out. So I'm just gonna tell you, this was a GREAT Sunday meal. Or an any-day meal. It made a LOT, so we have 4 quart boxes of this stuff in the fridge. Ward's coming up tomorrow night, so it may not last long. Of course, he'll probably put some Sriracha in it, which can only make it better, IMHO. Love, love, LOVE Sriracha. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it if you like spicy stuff.

Anyway, here's my recipe....

Taco Soup

1.5 lb lean ground beef, cooked, drained & rinsed
3 15oz cans kidney beans, drained & rinses
2 15oz cans whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed
2 15oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups beef broth
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch seasoning
Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a 6 quart slow cooker, layer the meat & veggies. Pour in tomatoes, Rotel & broth. Dump in both packs of seasoning, and worcestershire sauce and salt & pepper, if desired. Mix everything together well. Put the lid on and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

I like to serve this with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese & a few thinly sliced scallions, if I have them on hand. This soup is fabulous over some fresh out of the oven cornbread!!

Please leave me a comment!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bulk cooking

I love convenience foods, but not the preservatives & additives that normally go along with them. I've sorta been making a conscious effort to eat and cook healthier. I just simply feel better when I cook from scratch. One of my favorite ways to have "convenience" food is by bulk cooking chicken.

I try to buy a big family pack of split chicken breasts when they're on sale for $.99/lb. I spray my slow cooker with nonstick spray and put the chicken in, layering them so hey're in a relatively even thickness. I put the lid on. No liquid, no seasoning. Just the chicken. Cook overnight (8 hours or so) on low. When they're all cooked, take them and put them in a baking pan and refrigerate until they're cool enough to handle.

Remove the skin, fat, bones and any gristle and shred the meat. I portion mine into freezer bags in approximately 2 cup portions. Squeeze out as much air from the bag as you can and flatten them out so they stack nicely. Pop into the freezer! That's it.

Now you have shredded chicken to use for whatever you like. Chicken salad, pot pie, casseroles, enchiladas, etc. Just put the bag into the microwave (be sure to open it to vent), and nuke for about 1.5 minutes, and it's thawed and ready to rock & roll.

It does take a bit of work to prepare initially, but it's SO much less expensive than canned or pouched chicken, and because you fix it yourself, you know exactly what's in it! What's NOT to like about that??

If you have a kitchen shortcut, please share in the comments!!

It's mocha weather!!

It's cold here. Bitterly, miserably, blustery cold. I live in Alabama... it's not supposed to be freeze-your-hiney-off-cold this early in the year!!! January, yeah, but it's not even Christmas here, for pete's sake!! But when it gets cold like this, all I wanna do is wrap my cold hands around a steany mug of warm goodness. Usually it's a cup of coffee, herbal tea or cocoa. Yesterday, though, I wanted a mocha. So I started playing with flavors... What I ended up with was the absolute pinnacle of frothy, spicy, sweet yumminess I've ever created in a coffee cup. Sadly, I think I'm addicted now. But if that's the worst of my addictions, I'm perfectly fine. Hello, my name is Anita and I'm a mochaholic...

Cinnamon Honey Mochalisciousness

Put the following into a coffee cup:
1 packet instant cocoa mix
1 tsp coffee creamer
sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of honey

Add hot coffee to fill the cup and stir well. This is awesome with a bit of whipped cream or marshmallows on top. You can adjust the cinnamon & honey to your tastes.


New life, New direction...

Up till now, this blog has been about me. My struggles, triumphs, all the ups and downs, and everything in between. My life has changed drastically, and I'm blessed to have my life partner share my interests. One of our main passions is food. Glorious, freshly prepared, ooey-gooey, crisp, crunchy, chewy, silken, you name it, and we're into it. Lately, I have noticed that I've been creating my own recipes and variations more than using someone else's recipes. I've always been that way, to a point, but now, it's all about freshness, nutrition and overall, TASTE!!

Having said that, I'm going to start posting about my successes (and failures) in the kitchen. I'll share my recipes and any tips I may discover. I'll post about new things we try. I'll still share the important events and going-ons in my life, but I truly have a passion for food, and since a lot of my friends seem to like my foodie Facebook updates, I'll just expand my posts here. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. And if there's anything special you need a good recipe for or a kitchen tip you'd like to know about, LET ME KNOW!! :)

Much love & hugs!! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Just noticed it's been almost a year since I updated this blog. A LOT has changed since then. I'm still living with Mom, still working for Home Instead Senior Care, and still struggling. But I've got the most supportive, wonderful friends anyone could ask for.

I've also met someone who is absolutely the love of my life. He's been through the past 175 lbs or so that I've lost, has supported me and loved me unconditionally throughout. For my birthday in July, he put the prettiest ring on my finger as a promise of his love, fidelity and committment to me. Someday, when the time is right, he plans to replace it with a wedding band. Don'tknow when that day will come, but Im looking forward to spending my life with him.

My sweetheart, Ward

Seafood Feast 2010

I'm down to a size 13/14 Juniors size now, and that's pretty amazing. My life has changed so incredibly much. I'm able to do all sorts of things I've never been able to do before. I don't mean just when I was fat, but EVER!! I can run (sorta), I can kneel down, I can play frisbee, and go walking whenever and whereever I please. I can't swim, or even float anymore. Funnily enough, my fat always helped me stay afloat, and without that fat, I simply sink like a stone!

It's a good life, and I'm the happiest I have ever been before. I'm happy with my weight, my life, my friends, and myself. Now I just need to find a good job that pays well....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's been a LONG time!

So much has changed this past year. This blog has been the last on my list of priorities during all the changes. First, I had gastric bypass surgery on November 10, 2008. I became very sick, had all sorts of weird food issues, and didn;t have any energy.

Then my husband decided he didn't want to be married any longer. Despite all my efforts to salvage my marriage, I finally had to come to terms with his decision. You can't make someone else change their nind when they have made a decision. I didn't want to see my marriage end, but had absolutely no choice in the matter.

In April 2009, I went back to work full time as a care giver for Home Instead Senior Care. I began to meet new people and make new friends. In June, I filed for a divorce, although we were both living in the house at the time.

On July 27, 2009, the divorce papers were served to him while I was at work, and upon my homecoming that evening, it was obvious that I had to leave the home. I moved in with my Mom. I am so very blessed to have such a wonderful Mom to allow me to move in again at the age of 40.

In September, we went to court & I gave up the house rather than try to fight for it. In October, I was finally able to get my belongings out of the house.

In the meantime, I met new friends in Birmingham and began to spend a lot of my time there. They're truly a God-send. They help me see thiungs clearly & I'm learning to live my life in peace, joy & harmony.

During this process, I've had a lot of sick days due to the surgery, and as of yesterdy morning when I stepped on the scales, I've lost around 225 lbs! Right now, I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life. It feels good to be independent, to know that I can make it on my own, and to know that my life is mine to live. I don't have to answer to anyone, I don't have to pretend to be someone I'm not any longer, and I am living the best life I can live.

Here's a current photo of me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

It's been a long time....

Sorry I never got my 5 month photos posted. I will have new ones taken for my six month surgiversary in a few weeks and will make sure to post those. I don't have internet access at home at the moment, but will try to update when I can. Things are still strained at my home. Let's just say that life isn't always fun, and sometimes you wonder how much you're supposed to take. But anyway, I'm sitting at a sweet little coffee shop enjoying a cup of decaf and had a biscotti for dinner while I'm checking in on my online friends. :) Have a good one!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Four months!!

Everyone kept telling me it would get easier, but I had a hard time believing it when I was so very sick, but here we are. I'm actually able to go out to eat and enjoy myself, and had a Chik-Fil-A wrap the other day. Of course, it made three meals for me, but it was GOOD!! So just thought I'd share my 4-month photos. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A new milestone!!

Wow, I've been making myself eat lately because you just don't lose weight if you don't eat enough. Odd, but so very true. I had gotten into a bad habit of not eating regular meals for a few weeks and my weight loss stalled out. So my phone has a handy dandy alarm feature on it, and I set it to go off every 3 hours during the day, starting at 8am and ending at 11pm. Since then, I've been making a concerted effort to eat, focusing on protein. I've also incorporated at least one, but try for two protein drinks a day as well.

So tonight, even after eating my meals, drinking several cups of coffee and working on my protein drink, I stepped on the scales, and the number that popped up was astonishing to me. It is the lowest I've been in many, many years. It was lower than my lowest weight when I was in Weight Watchers a few years ago!! I couldn't do anything but start hollering! I am SO excited!!

I pulled out one of Florabeth's pre-WLS shirts the other day, and it fit! The arms are a little tight, but not so bad that it was uncomfortable. :) I am also wearing clothes that I haven't been able to wear in several years. I'm thinking I may have to go through my closet and purge my clothes that fit me 100 lbs ago. I've been procrastinating about that, but really need to do it so I can put other clothes in there that actually fit me.

I am so thrilled about my surgery, even when I have ukky days, it's still the best thing I've ever done!! Thanks to those of you who give me support - it helps more than you know.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

3 Month Update

I knew it had been a while since I've updated, but wowsa!! Didn't realize it has been THIS long! It's been 3 months since my surgery, and it's the best thing I've ever done for myself. Not that it's been easy, it's been anything BUT easy, but I am so satisfied with my decision. At this point, I'm down over 100#, and I feel like an entirely different person. Just wanted to share some photos so you can see the progress I've made in just a few short months. :)

July 2008 - at my very highest weight

November 2008 - two days before surgery

February 2009 - almost 3 months after surgery

I'm back in clothes I haven't been able to wear in years. I no longer wear socks & tennies everywhere, I actually wear stockings & cute shoes 95% of the time now. I went and got my hair cut and styled, and put makeup on whenever I go out. I feel feminine and pretty for the first time in many years, and man, is it an awesome feeling!! :)

Please leave me a comment if you've made it all the way down here. Thanks!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Wow, seems like just yesterday we were entering the new Millineum, and now here we are almost a decade in!! It's hard to believe that time's flying by so quickly, but then, I have lost so much time in my depression and obesity in the past few years, it's just sad. I've lost a good chunk of my life but am determined to make up for it!

I'm amazed at the way this surgery has altered not only my body, but my outlook on life. I'm a lot more active now and am discovering that there are a lot of things that I can do on my own, which I depended on others for. I'm on the road going to Mom's, out shopping, to the grocery store, visiting family, at least 4 or 5 days a week now. Before, I may not have left the house for over a week!! I'm dressed almost every day, down to my knee-high nylons and earrings, when before, I may have stayed in jammies or a gown for the whole week!

Since my husband works all the time, I've also discovered I don't have to have someone go with me, either. In the past 5 or 6 years, it's been rare for me to go anywhere alone!! I went to Hartselle twice in the past week by myself (well, I had Hannah), and even went up to Gilbert's just to visit! Haven't been up there since August, which is just sad. I have also made plans to go do my own thing this weekend, and am looking forward to hanging out with my girlfriends and spend the weekend scrapbooking!! Haven't seen them in over a year now, and it's so exciting to me. Not to mention that scrapbooking has been the last thing on my mind for many months now!!

Anyway, here's to a wonderful, prosperous, happy, healthy and love-filled 2009.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So it's been about 1.5 months now. Some interesting things have been happening to me.

First, a week or two ago, I came into the office and put my foot up in the chair and sat down. Yes, folks, for the first time in literally YEARS, I was able to sit on my foot. And it was comfortable!! Can't remember when I did that the last time.

Also, I'm having to dig into my clothes bins to find clothes to wear. The standards I've been wearing are just wayyy too baggy. That's pretty awesome! :)

Another thing is that I can drive now without a seat belt extender, and also my tummy don't touch the wheel. That's just too cool (although I like the extender because I'm short and it keeps the belt from choking me).

I have started cooking again, in an attempt to find foods that actually like me. Yeah, I've been having some tummy issues, but that's to be expected. :(

I've also started going out and about more, and have actually been shopping on my own a few times. Granted, it was the shoe store, the grocery store and Harbor Freight, but hey - it's a start, right??

I have also discovered that I can stand up and talk for quite a while without my back going into spasms. That's a VERY nice change!

My mood is usually quite positive, and I can feel myself pulling out of my shell.

We went to Kathryn's for Cookie Day on Saturday, and I didn't nibble ONE time. I did eat some cheese, but that's it. Not one tiny taste of any of the sweets and treats that were around. Yay, me!

Oh, and in my last post I mentioned I wanted to start cleaning house. Well, I can now say that my kitchen is looking WAY better. It's taking me a while, and will take a while longer, but then again, I haven't been physically able to do a lot of cleaning for the past 3 or so years, so I'm not complaining.

And finally, I'm down around 85# from my highest weight in July. :)

Anyway, just wanted to post an update.

Hope you all have a wonderfully happy Christmas. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Month and Counting...

Wow, what a difference a month makes!! It's had its' ups and downs, setbacks and milestones, but here I am. A lot of trial and error, but I finally am feeling the difference and am amazed. Just looking at these photos, I am overwhelmed. I can definately tell a difference. I can feel the change in myself, both physically, emotionally and psychologically. It's awesome! I know that's a word that's thrown around so meaninglessly, however, in this case, it's a fact.

A year ago, I wouldn't have dreamed being at the point I am at. I am off all medications, including my antidepressants. The only "pills" I take are my daily vitamins, iron & B-12. That's IT!!! Wow, just a few months ago, my Dr. doubled my antidepressant meds just so I could function, and then just barely. Now, I'm happy 99% of the time. You know, sometimes a woman has to shed a few tears just because. It's a womans' prerogative, right?

Anyway, just wanted to share some photos of my ongoing journey. It's just beginning, but WOW, what a beginning it is! :)

November 8, 2 days before WLS

November 27, Thanksgiving Day

December 12 - my 1 Month Surgiversary Pic
(And no, Peter didn't tell me my hair was messed up!! LOL)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hola, mi amigos!

Wow, it's been a while, huh? Can't say the time has flown, and it certainly hasn't been fun, but hey - life goes on, right? Don't know if anyone still reads this blog, but thought if anyone does, I should really update!

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. November 10, I had surgery, which is the best thing I've ever done for myself. I'm changing daily, and my attitude is completely different. I feel much better about life in general, and my temperament is generally sunny these days. Wow, never saw THAT coming!! :D

After years of trying it on my own, I finally made the life-changing decision to have weight loss surgery. Contrary to my mistaken beliefs, this is NOT the easy way out. It's one of the hardest, most challenging and at times frustrating thing I've ever done. My body has changed in ways I couldn't ever have dreamed. These changes aren't always fun, but are necessary.

The oddest change has been that I am no longer dependant on antidepressant medications. Matter of fact, I'm not on any meds at all anymore. Instead of literally sitting up all night, and sleeping all day, I now go to bed anywhere between 7:30pm and 11:30pm and am up no later than 7:30am EVERY morning. All my life I've been a night owl, and have dealt with insomnia for years, but these issues are thankfully no longer in the equation!! How stinkin' cool is THAT??

I'm down between 60 & 70 lbs from my highest (super depreesed state) back in the summer. I can do really cool things I have NEVER been able to do. I can now sit in my chair with my feet on the floor and my laptop on my LAP!!! That's a REALLY cool first!! My clothes are starting to fall off me, and I've got to start going through clothes that Florabeth gave me to start pulling together a new wardrobe.

I'm hoping to start working out again aftr the first of the year, as soon as my incisions fully heal. My ultimate goal is to buy a Wii and Wii Fit and start using that. It looks like a LOT of fun. I'm looking forward to going walking in my neighborhood, which is something I've never done in the 5 years we've lived here.

The weirdest thing I'm looking forward to doing is cleaning my house. Yep, you heard right. It's been in a continual state of limbo for years now, since I got so anemic a few years ago that I was virtually on death's door. Somehow I never recovered my strength and it's just been here since then. Not good.

I'm hoping to be able to eventually go back to work part time. Not sure what I want to do, but whenever this economic crisis is over, I'd love to go back to college. Maybe something to do with advocacy of some sort. Don't really want to go back to healthcare, but we'll see.

Finally, I haven't shared this news with anyone but my family and close friends, but it's made such a difference in the few short weeks that I feel it's important to share. Maybe it's not for everyone, but my objective is to become healthy, not skinny. It's a tool, a gift I've been given, and if you're leaning toward taking this step, all I can say is to research, research, research. It can truly be the best thing you've ever done for yourself.

Much love to those of you who have been my steady cheerleaders. Thank you - you totally rock! Muahhhhh!!!

At my highest weight, July 2008 - I look miserable.

Beth, Lori and I on Thanksgiving 2008. About 2 1/2 weeks after WLS. My face and neck is the most obvious change. I look and feel so much better!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mom's Birthday Celebration

To celebrate Mom's birthday, the family gathered at Cracker Barrel on Saturday for lunch. All of her children were there, except Harvey, and all of the spouses, except for Poppi's Queen. They were missed, but we managed to have a quite enjoyable time.

After playing musical tables, we finally were all seated at one large table, with Jay & Aby, and Meg and Hannah sitting in booths right by the table. There was lots of laughter, lots of catching up was done, and games were played by the little ones.

Mom, hope you enjoyed your family celebration!! Love you!

The birthday "girl" with her Sarah Palin glasses on...

Savannah had such a good time playing this game.

The "Annah's" (Hannah-Banana and Savannah-BoBanna) playing a quick game of checkers.

Two of my most favorite people. Love these girls!!

Miss Aby strikes a pose! Work it!!

My beloved older brother, you just don't quite fit. :( Maybe you should try the adult size?

All the pretty maids (and one little gent) sitting in a row, pretty as a pocket full of posies...

Aren't they simply adorable?

John & Linny's family. First time I've gotten to take a pic of them all together in a long time.

Kathryn & David having a laugh - he might have goosed her to get that smile, I'm just not sure. Poppi was interested in something at the other end of the table.

Tim & Amy - Smile, Tim!!

Savannah and Hannah - they just love each other!

John, Linny & Ryan. Looks like Aby was trying to get out of the way, but I got her anyway!!

Oma/Aunt Beth with her girls - Lilly and Savannah

Sisters cheezin' it up!! Great pic, girls!!

Laura - I'm so glad you're hanging out with us again - we missed you!!

And finally, just because.... Peter & Beth hamming it up. This one DEFINATELY goes into my scrapbook!!!

Now after taking tons of photos, when we got out to the van to come home, I realized that there wasn't even one of me in the bunch. Guess that's what I get for being a good scrapbooker, huh? Even more sad is the fact that I was the only one who even brought their camera to the gathering! LOL

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Wow - just plain WOW!

This is a commercial made by a veteran in NW Indiana. McCain didn't pay to have this made - he didn't even know it was going to be made.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Wanna see what I've been up to?? Here ya go!

This is Punkin. We took a short day trip to Macon last Sunday and came home with her! She's Peter's great-neice, and she's visiting us for a couple/three weeks. I'm having loads of fun with her, and she's just the sweetest little thing. Took her a while to adjust - the first few days she wouldn't go to anyone but me. She's loosening up a little. It's sure an adventure having a tiny one here 24/7. I feel almost too old for this! LOL Not sure when we're taking her home, but we'll enjoy her while she's here.

My other news is that Hannah has officially started school. She started on Wednesday, and when I got her on Friday, it seemed that she'd grown 6" and gained 10lbs! Couldn't believe how "grown" she seemed. Too bad we can't keep them little forever. I'm looking forward to sharing my love of reading with her. She's already reading a little, but with all the books we've got around here, she could read for a year and not read them all.

Anyway, my sweetheart should be home any minute, and I've got a 6mo baby boy arriving at 7am to babysit, so I gotta head to bed. Yeah, sleep's WAY overrated! NOT!!