Friday, April 8, 2016

Pictures and Projects on the Homestead!

      Hello all! Hope ya'll are well! It seems I have more and more to do as the weather warms up here! Sorry I haven't written in awhile! I just sit down randomly and decide to write. That is, of course, after I've taken a series of photos. It is a very sunny, windy day here in the South! It seems the wind hasn't stopped blowing since January! It's not too bad though, since the temperature is in the mid 60's. We've actually had warmer weather before now. It fluctuates from week to week. Sometimes, day to day! We are having the earliest Spring, ever! I had a rosebush to bloom this week! I don't think I remember one blooming until late April! Quite different from last year, when everything was late!

      I have started yet another healthy eating lifestyle! Have ya'll heard of the 21 Day Fix Program? It has been advertised on television and elsewhere. I just stumbled upon it on YouTube. I really like the way it helps me portion out my food. After reading about it and printing lists and tally sheets, I decided to do it. Then I found the container system at Walmart. I decided to purchase them. They are different from the 21 Day in servings and teaspoons. The colors are different; however, the sizes are the same. I like to combine the two programs on most days. I find it very difficult to eat four, five ounce servings of protein everyday! I can't eat eggs, and I'm somewhat sensitive to dairy! That makes it difficult to get in the servings. The Perfect Portions I purchased at Walmart says for my caloric intake that I only need three servings of protein. It also allows me to have more fruit. That is a little difficult to get in too, cause so many fruits are not in season. Strawberries are still a little crunchy; apples are green tasting; watermellon is crunchy. You get the idea. Leaves me with bananas and frozen fruit like berries and mango. I did find some jars of canned pears in the pantry I can eat. I guess canned is better than none? I go by these programs as best as I can. The main thing is portioning out my food correctly. I wasn't eating enough of some things and too much of others! Now I know! Since December, I have lost 10 pounds. I haven't taken my measurements lately, so I don't know how many inches, but my clothes tell me I'm slimming down. Since this is my first week on the containers, I can tell a difference in the way I feel. I am exercising three days a week and walking on the alternate days. One must exercise to tone. Yes, you can lose weight without it, but it's so good for you! I think I'm having sugar withdrawals or carb withdrawals! I get so little carbs now! Plus, I'm trying not to eat carbs after 6:00 P.M. When I say carbs, I mean like tortillas, bread, rice, etc. I didn't think I ate that much before until I used the containers. I think measuring my food with the containers gives me the right perspective on portion size, so I'll know how to eat the rest of my life! I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is concerned about their health, losing weight, or just knowing the correct amount of food for their lifestyle.

      We haven't plowed our garden yet! The reason is because we are going to transplant our grapevines. Randy has been working on getting posts in the ground to hold them up. The grapevines, including muscadines(yay) have itty bitty grapes!!! I'm so excited! I hope transplanting them at this stage won't hurt them! He hasn't finished running the cables to attach to the posts. 

      I hope ya'll enjoyed reading about my weight loss and healthy eating habits as well as what's going on garden-wise! Have a nice day! Blessings from Bama!

My pitiful ponytail before I cut my hair!

After I cut my hair.

My almost final haircut. I went with shorter layers in back.

Baby boy Gavyn and big sister Riley.

Loving my salads!

Getting ready for grilling season!

The beautiful Keria.

The nectarine tree was in full bloom a couple of weeks ago. Now there are nectarines where the blosoms were.

Beautiful red tips were blooming a couple of weeks ago!

The forsythia was so pretty this year!

I never tire of daffodils even though they're long gone.

The peach blossoms look like the nectarine blossoms.

My beautiful great-nieces Easter Sunday!

The irises are blooming now.

The Fugi apple tree has numerous blossoms.

The photo does not do the Spirea justice!

The Japanese maple is so colorful and full!

All of our apple trees have blossoms this year!

The cherry blossoms are lovely!

Muscadine grape vines.

The fennel didn't really die back this year!


Spring view.

The wisteria was so vibrant this year!

Today's yummy salad.

I used this to portion my salad.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Welcoming Spring, 2016!

      I know it's not officially Spring, but our weather says so! If you could take an afternoon stroll with me here on the homestead, you would see it. Plum trees in full bloom, tulip tree blooming out, and all other trees budding! I only have a couple of daffodils blooming, but everything else speaks Spring! The temps are in the upper 70's-lower 80's. The wind is blowing strong gusts, and there's pollen everywhere! I just love this time of year! Is it Spring where you live? I hope so! If not, you seriously need to visit Alabama, if only by a virtual tour!

      I am still on my weight-loss journey. After following Brad and Jess Gouthro for two months, I have changed to following Tracy Anderson. I am so thankful for the Gouthro's and how they jump started me in the right direction! I would advise almost everyone to try their methods at one time or another! My body needed a change and I noticed that my arms weren't really toning like I thought they should. I scrolled through YouTube and happened on Tracy Anderson. I actually saw her before, but I wasn't in to that sort of workout then, so I kept scrolling. There is a time for everything, and now is the time for my change, so I clicked on her videos. I even tried a couple of them. I am hooked! I love her workouts! I just started last week and I don't even follow them everyday like you're supposed to; and I am noticing a difference in my upper body! I think even in my arms! Who would've thought that just by using three pound weights, you could get into shape? Her exercises remind me of the old fashioned kind like Jane Fonda always did. Do you remember them? I don't follow Tracy's eating plan, as I've heard it is very minimal. I am still eating the way I learned from the Gouthro's, just a little less meat. Kind of Paleo. I have been walking a lot more and am noticing changes in my legs and glutes. I am pleased; but still have a long way to go. Then I will be in maintenance mode. I really am so much happier now than I was this time last year! Amazing what a relationship with the Lord can do! He leads me on the path I need to follow, if I give Him half a chance! Give Jesus a place in your life today, if you haven't already done so. I promise you won't be disappointed!

      I have some photos to share with you below. Thanks for stopping by and enjoying Spring, here on the homestead! Blessings from Bama!

The girls and Randy opening their treasure box. He had a map and everything! It was so neat how excited they were to find a treasure box buried on our homestead, full of golden, chocolate coins!

The photo was taken from a distance. Looks like Lulu was trying to take over the steering wheel. Winterlynne and Yasmine had been running and jumped onto the back.

My delicious oatmeal pancakes! Dried berries on top.

Beautiful Winterlynne growing up so fast!

Cute little Riley is too!

Scrambled eggs and sausage with kale.

Sorry, the sun was in their eyes!

My Dad was driving this day.

Blueberry pancakes with nuts on top.

The tulips on the little tree are opening.

My one and only large daffodil.
These are actually miniature daffodils. They look bigger in the picture.

Randy cut down the dying tree and planted a pecan tree. I love pecans!

I nearly stepped on this dead bat!

A wreath I'm working on. I think I need smaller flowers.

If you could only smell the fragrance coming from this tiny tea olive flower! It is unbelievable!




Monday, February 15, 2016

Learning to Live Lean!

      I hope ya'll had a wonderfull Valentine's weekend! We had a great one! Little Riley spent it with us, so we had a little one on board. She is so dainty and cute! She has a way of reasoning things out to be so young! It's a pleasure having her around! We finally got to go to the first, I believe, Alabama Trader Joe's! It was a very nice store! I am glad to see the prices weren't as bad as I thought they would be. I wished this area would get one! I believe we could support a Trader Joe's! We are getting Panera Bread, so why not? We just recently had a Publix grand opening. They are a very over-priced grocery store, in my opinion. But, they do carry some items you can't get anywhere else in this location.

      Oh yes, back to my title. Living lean: that's what I'm trying to do. I'm not perfect at it and I don't always 'do right', but I sure am trying! I'm loving what I'm doing! Eating more veggies and healthy protein than I thought I could; working out 3-5 times each week; walking outside on pretty days. I love being active and I love to exercise. So, this newer way of living is right up my alley! Yes, I also enjoy cheat meals and treats, but I get right back to eating healthy as soon as possible. I just blended a banana and some strawberry protein powder for an after workout snack. It tasted just like ice cream! I don't care for the strawberry protein powder as much as the vanilla, so next time I'll use that. I eat nuts and dried fruit in between meals, but there's not really much room for them when I'm drinking the protein drinks and/or green juice. Mostly, I stay full. I have also been trying different teas. Trader Joe's has a pretty good selection, so I purchased a ginger pear and a white pomegranite. Both are delicious! I drink them if I get a craving for something sweet, or just whenenver. I also enjoy other teas as well. They seem to work.

      If you want to see who inspired me, check out this channel. He and his wife are so young and cute! Of course I can't do what they do, but I do what I can do! They have several YouTube channels, so look through and see what you can find. I haven't joined them as of yet, but I am thinking about it. It would be nice to have all those dvd's to choose from! Let me know what you think, if you visit them. Oh, and they are expecting their first baby in August!

      We are having a rainy spell today. Looks like clouds for tomorrow! But, the temps are supposed to warm up into the 60's by the weekend! I have been seeing robins lately, and the trees have a sort of red color trying to pop out on the branches. Spring is just around the corner for us! YAY! I hope the weather is pleasant where you live! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings from Bama!

Two grilled chicken patties with a salad. Yum!

My lovely Valentine quiche Randy made for us!

Leftover Carraba's and a healthy salad.

Our first King Cake! It was delicious! I only ate one or two pieces, thankfully!

Oatmeal pancakes with greens and nuts. Yum!

Thai coconut catfish is so yummy!

Leftovers with a salad.

Side selfie. During my weight loss.

My tummy is still poochy.

Our Mardi Gras baby.

If you haven't tried sweet potato chips, they are so easy to make: peel and slice and bake on 400-425 for about 30 minutes. Check about 10 minute intervals until done.

Sweet Riley.

My Valentine's roses and card.

Kale, frozen stir-fry veggies, brussel sprouts, and marinated sliced turkey from Aldi.