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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recipe: Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

I decided to make my own bread.  Although we don't eat a ton of bread I thought that if it was healthier it was also probably cheaper so why not give it a go.  I wanted to find a simple bread recipe that would bake in the oven and not have all sorts of special bread machinery and such.  Old school! 

I searched good ole Pintrest and found the perfect recipe!  I tried it last Sunday and it turned out perfect. 
I did forget to grease my pans so the bottom of my bread stayed put but you really would have never known.  One loaf was gone pretty quick as I shared my accomplishment with family members but we are still working on the second loaf. 
I figured that each loaf should make anywhere from 12-16 slices and that equals 204 calories a slice.  This may seem like a lot since the whole wheat bread I currently buy from the grocery store is only about 60 calories a slice. 
The main plus for me is that my recipe is first homemade so the only things in it are what you see below.  Also it is low in saturated fat and also contains ZERO sugar.  It isn't the type of bread that you would want to make a sandwich with everyday but a slice here or there to go with some eggs is perfect.  It is a bit dense and not very fluffy or airy but I feel that comes with the territory of making it myself. 
I plan to search a bit more for some variations of oven made bread to see if I can find a lighter bread but until then this is the perfect thing for us.



The recipe I used came from HERE! I did make a few MINOR adjustments with the ingredients

Ingredients:

7 1/2cups Whole Wheat Flour, Or As Needed To Make A Soft Dough
4 1/2 teaspoons Rapid-rise Yeast (this equals about 2 of the little packages from the store)
2 1/2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1 1/2 cup Milk (we have 2%)
1 1/2 cup Water
1/4 cups Honey
1/4 cups Oil ( I used canola)

Directions:

1. Combine 3-1/2 cups flour, undissolved yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.
2. Heat milk, water, honey and oil until very warm (not boiling—it should just be a bit warmer than lukewarm).
3. Gradually add to the flour mixture; beat 2 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer, scraping the bowl occasionally.
4. Add 1 cup flour; stir until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. With a spoon or clean hands, mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
5. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.
6. Cover kneaded dough and let rest 10 minutes.
7. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at the short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for a jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in 2 greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pans.
8. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 60 minutes.
9. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done.
10. Remove from pans; let cool on wire racks.


Beautiful finished product
 
I think although it looks a bit smashed it looks so yummy and healthy too! 
 
Note: whole wheat flour is hard to find if you are in rural areas such as ours.  I had to get mine from Fresh in Tyler!
 
You should really try this recipe, for bread it isn't that time consuming and it tastes wonderful. 
 
You and your family would love it.
 
 
 
 

Friday, April 10, 2015

New Adjustments

If your behind then you wouldn't know all about me leaving my bank job to go to work for my boyfriend's company but you can check it out HERE and get caught up!

As everyone now should know, I started a new adventure January 1st of 2015 and it meant learning all the ins and outs of my boyfriend's company and his parent's company.  I've been at my new job now for a full quarter and I can say that I'm feeling more and more in the right spot everyday.  The first month was pretty rough.  I had a huge adjustment to make.  I was used to knowing every detail of my job to not knowing the first thing about where the extra toilet paper was!  I was used to being in a glass office all alone in the quiet left to all my general ledger vices....now I'm in an open office with 3 other people.  The noise and craziness that sometimes in-sues will get any one's blood pressure up.  LOL  I spent the first week cleaning and organizing the new space to make room and revamp the area to make it accommodating for more people.

My desk and work space all set, along with my new Mac computer. (more to come...see below)

After I had a spot to work, I was ready to jump in but before I could get into the actual business side I had to audit our big truck fleet and all the paperwork that went along with it.  I went back as far as 2012 and brought it all up to date.  That took me a month and a half and once I was done it was such a relief.  I quickly began working on large projects like financial statements and web design.

Now that I'm back from vacation I have a normal routine of daily tasks along with a  progressing to do list of more big ticket items that take more time and aren't that time sensitive.  I still have a lot to learn before I know this job like the back of my hand just because there are SO many areas to dig into.  I love learning all about it and have come to understand and embrace the craziness of family business!  

Another day at the office
Let's jump to a different topic and talk about my Mac computer.  This was a leap of faith as much as changing jobs was and boy am I glad I took it.  I love my Mac so much.  It is easy, fast, clean cut, and just so freaking awesome.  There's no hunting around for files and programs, it is all right there in front of you so you can literally just jump on and start working.  I will for sure be making a Mac purchase for our home in the next year.  

As far as working with my partner....

On our way to work on a snowy day

It couldn't be better!  I'm in the office and Hendrik is in and out but mainly he's out doing his own work.  We aren't together 24/7 but I love that we are familiar with each other's day and can talk about the business and our goals and what is to come in the future.  We have gotten into maybe 2 heated arguments but they are quickly forgiven and it was mainly due to just a difference in opinion.  We are closer than before and I don't think that the business would ever come between our relationship.  

I love working with his family also.  We have a very honest relationship and no one tries to tip toe.  It's business as usual but probably better because we all feel comfortable expressing our opinions and talking through to an end decision.  

Lastly lets talk dress code!  THERE IS NONE!  I wore cutoff and high tip sneakers the other day!  I can't wait to bust out my sleeveless shirts when it finally decides to stay hot.

one of my outfits from last week and my working buddy
So long story short I love my new job it is a constant learning process and I love working with Hendrik and his family!  Plus it doesn't hurt I get to ride my bike to work!  I'm adjusting just fine.



Pictures are from Instagram as I hardly ever break out my camera any more :( I think its time for an upgrade!

Spring Bucket List

I'm not even going to give you my Winter bucket list so you can see what all we accomplished because after looking at it I can shamefully say about 1 item would be marked off.  It has been a really busy Winter and although we did enjoy many date nights and relaxing times at home we didn't do hardly any of my items on my list.  FAIL!

Let's hope my Spring bucket list will get some more action.  I have so much going on already and have actually done a few things on this list since I made it a few days ago. We are off to a great start!

 
I love using the canvas function in pic monkey to make my own graphics.  It's the perfect way to make cute lists for the blog.

What are your plans this Spring?



Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Shingles

On January 1st I woke up to a little patch of bumps that itched on my butt cheek.  I chalked it up to poison ivy even though I hadn't had my bare butt out in the woods lately I really had no other idea what it could have been.  I reasoned that the hotness of the bonfire we were at on New Year's Eve made the dormant ivy come forward....sounded good to me.  
It continued to itch and get progressively redder so I started applying my poison ivy cream....it didn't work!  At about a week and half into my "poison ivy" I made an appointment in town with a nurse practitioner to get something a bit more heavy duty and see if maybe this wasn't poison ivy.  She looked me over and said that it was NOT poison ivy but just a histamine rash on my skin and we as humans sometimes get these things for no apparent reason it is just bacteria and fungus that grows on our skin and gets nasty.  
Well that sounds horrible but I left feeling completely dirty and glad to hopefully quit itching my butt.  

Another week passed and my itch had only gotten REDDER and spread into a larger spot.  I called the nurse back and told her what was going on...I'm not getting any better and becoming more miserable by the second. She prescribed me a different yet stronger cream.  I searched on the good ole Internet what the cream was for, since I hadn't heard of it, and come to find out it is used for yeast....
That got me to thinking and thoroughly convinced that I had an overgrowth of yeast on my skin due to my birth control!  
Paging Dr. Megan!  
After my 3rd week of having this and  a week of using my yeast cream I now had 3 patches of "poison ivy turned yeast overgrowth" on my butt.  
I'm crying because I'm so miserable, my undergarments stick to my whatever I have on and make me bleed, it hurts to sit, sleep, stand up... you name it.  

I don't even have a family doctor because I'm not ever sick and I'm sure as hell not giving Mrs. Nurse Practitioner a THIRD shot at fixing my dear butt cheek so I go straight to the top.  

DR. MCKELLAR the man who birthed me!  LOL lets say delivered me.  

He will definitely fix my "overgrowth of yeast" I have and keep it from spreading further on my butt cheek.  He gets me in quickly and I go through the whole shenanigan of creams and poison ivy turned yeast and 2 visits to the nurse practitioner and still no relief.  
He listens intently only to take one peak at my butt cheek and blurt out 

"You have the shingles" 

Like it was nothing out of the ordinary and no big deal!  
I get excited quickly...."but wait are you sure I just KNEW it was yeast and I thought only old people get shingles!"  

Well no come to find out young overly stressed out people who just left their Accounting position and spent 2 months training a new employee to go work for her boyfriend at his family business also get the shingles.  

He gave me herpes medication and topical cream! Shingles are a family member of the chicken pox family which are also herpes.   BOY I was so relieved to not only be properly diagnosed but to get medicine that would keep any more shingles from popping up.  
See the ones that had already started down my nerve line couldn't be helped.  Shingles is a virus and my body would need to build up it's antibodies and take care of the internal bug itself and the external ones would heal as this happened.  The medicine would prevent future "outbreaks".  

I left the office stunned that I HAD THE SHINGLES. My family was stunned as well.  I was sure to ask Dr. McKellar that if I hadn't come to the doctor how long would I have suffered and he said about 6-8 weeks is how long the body takes to build it's antibodies and then they would have started to heal.  
Well folks from start to when they finally started to heal and not bleed and itch/hurt with pain was 
6 weeks!  

Shingles are no joke.  

I couldn't imagine if I wasn't in as good as health because that only makes them worse.  I also was told that I had them in a "good" place as most people have them across their back and even down the side of their face.  YIKES!  I still sport 3 scar patches from my shingles and I think they will probably fade away in the next few years but no time soon, I'm glad my bathing suit covers the majority.  

Things to know about shingles:

* Shingles are brought out mainly by low immune systems and stress
* They follow main nerve lines that is why they are only on one side of your body (one side of your spine)
*  Seeing that the outbreak follows one main nerve line is also the reason that they shingles show up in a line or row
* Dont' scratch not only will it cause more itching but the nerve is aggravated and it will hurt miserably and make other places itch...almost like you have allergies
*  The MAIN thing to know about shingles is just pray you never get them!

Monday, April 6, 2015

April Meal Planning



I've been hard at meal planning the last few months even though I haven't posted it!  The month of April I plan on making a bit different though because I hope to make more of my own food like bread, yogurt, oatmeal muffins and such.  I have a post coming up on why so I won't get into all that here and now. 

I was down to the wire on March 31st when I finally sat down in my auditing class and planned our meals for this month.  I think it turned out nice seeing we are only eating leftovers on Monday's, which are night class days.  I even threw in a few ideas from our travels and plan on making some Dutch recipes.

Per usual my breakfasts, lunches, and snacks are prepared on the Sunday of each week and we eat variety and goodness at our night meal.  I've also toned down how much I'm cooking quiet a bit since we don't eat leftovers any more.  Now there is just enough food cooked for the supper of the night.  I hate wasting food and last week was a wasteful week.  I wore myself out in the garden the entire weekend and my meal prep went to hell in a hand basket.  I only got my fish cooked and didn't have time to put the rest together which left us unprepared and eating out a lot.  So organization and being prepared is always the best route in life and ESPECIALLY in meal planning/ meal prep!




April's Menu

1st Breakfast
Muffins, muffins, muffins, and pigs!

This meal is always the easiest because it is for Hendrik as I just eat fruit and supplements before the gym to get me going.  I can always be a bit more lax on the healthiness of this meal.  This month I plan on changing that a bit with homemade oatmeal muffins that have different toppings on them. Recipe to come!

2nd Breakfast
Eggs and toast with homemade wheat bread
Breakfast burritos
Oatmeal
Cold Cereal- our go to is always Cheerios which is low in sugar and not as refined as other cereals
Eggs and toast with homemade wheat bread

Lunch
Chicken taco salads
Fish, sweet potatoes, and black beans
Chicken, broccoli, and brown rice
Beef patty, quinoa, and cauliflower
Chicken, sweet potato, and broccoli

My lunch meal prep has doubled now that Hendrik is on the band wagon.  I have to do a few varieties to his meals but so far it is going good.

Dinner
Stuffed bell peppers
Chicken and dumplings
Grilled pork chops, sweet potatoes, and corn
Shrimp etouffe
Hamburgers and sweet potato fries
Salmon fillet, herbed brown rice, and green beans
Stompot and meatballs (Dutch)
Grilled chicken salad
Beans and cornbread
Grilled chicken, baked potato, and corn on the cob
Cajun dirty rice
Tacos
Cajun chicken pasta
Fish fillets, quinoa, and broccoli
Homemade pizza
Steaks, baked potato, okra
American Chinese
Nasi (Dutch)
Enchiladas
Roast, potatoes, and carrots
BBQ sandwiches
Honey sriracha chicken and rice
Hamburgers and sweet potato fries
Chicken spaghetti
Fish, quinoa, cauliflower
Chicken fried steak, macaroni and cheese, and green beans

Snacks
Hard boiled eggs
rice cakes
frozen fruit bowls
almonds
protein shakes



Tips:

  • Meal planning is only the first step in being prepared and staying healthy.  You also need to prepare your grocery list and ensure that your are prepared to make your meals.
  • Sunday afternoon = meal prep day----- a good portion of every Sunday is spent at the gym doing a killer full body workout and then Sunday afternoon I make muffins, bread, bake chicken and cook vegetables for our week's worth of lunches.  I also end up boiling eggs and such to ensure my snacks are in order.
  • I've found that when I don't or can't meal prep on Sunday's I fall off my wagon and it's hard to stick to my healthy diet.  With all my other commitments and obligations time doesn't make itself available during the week until it is too late.. i.e. Thursday or Friday...and by this time the week is over.
  • Use a calculator and have a budget.  If you have your list and are prepared with what ingredients you need there is no reason that you can't stay within your budget.  I also love playing a little game with myself to see how close I can get between my calculations and the cash register. ;)
I hope you've gotten some good meal ideas and good tips to help along your meal planning in the coming months.

Friday, April 3, 2015

DIY & Recipe: Homemade Taco Seasoning

I don't know about you but in our house a quick, healthy, and easy meal I turn to on busy nights is tacos.  We can mix and match ingredients and make our own the way we want but one thing that you always need is seasoning.  I've always bought McCormick taco seasoning or something similar but the salt and preservatives that's in the package seasoning is really unneeded.  To not only save on my grocery bill (however small it may be saving is still saving...right)  but to make a more natural and salt free option for Hendrik and I.  This is so easy!  I had all the items I needed at home right down to the extra unused mason jar and left over label.
 
 
 
What you'll need:
 
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Red Pepper
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder


Directions:
  • Either in a mixing bowl or directly in the jar measure out your ingredients.
Tip:  I use the measurements listed above and just multiply by usually 8 to get a good amount in my jar to last through a couple months
  • Once your ingredients are measured out put in mason jar and shake to mix.  You may need to stir a bit to make sure the mixture is well mixed throughout.
  • Seal with lid
  • Write the above 1 serving recipe on your label and stick on your mason jar to use for future mixings.
  • Store in spice rack
See I told you it was easy!

Now when you are making tacos you can simply sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of your homemade seasoning.  I use this for an type of meat. 

I hope you enjoy!



Insta Dump #12

WHEW!! I'm caught up on my Instagram posting...here is March's activity!
 
awesome fortune// we are ready// picking outfits for vacation// abs are really coming out// squatting a new personal record 225// Castle De Haar, Holland// I have broccoli// mocha cappuccino protein bedtime snack// my honey and his hoe// Red Light District, Amsterdam// back to the grind// Eiffel Tower, Paris

Insta Dump #11

February Insta Dump
 
audit class brainstorm// Little Women of LA// deadlifts keep me company// last supplement of the night// Serial Podcast// zucchini spaghetti// nice day to study outside// crazy socks// another day at the office// university selfie// planting broccoli// date night// pretty eggs// sushi date// Hoss chillin'// homemade taco seasoning// Mom turns 50// snow day// I always burn the bread// Hoss taking a nap on me// super arm pump// meal prep Sunday// date night outfit// quad seperation

Insta Dump #10

January according to my Instagram account!  It was a good month.
 
First day of the year non-bank outfit// new work space// never ending laundry// Sunday Funday afternoon date// Sunday morning coffee// 2015 calendar// dreft bath to cure my shingles// Ab check// denim mani// maxed out at Dick's last resort// deadlift// new gym shirt

Insta Dump #9

Better late than never....here is my December Insta Dump!
 
 Hoss looking pretty// Fall finals// shredded back action// Sunday meal prep// does your reindeer squat// booty pump// Saturday reading//new high top sneaks// patching Hendrik's waiters// sweet baby Jett// Merry Christmas

Grad School Update

I'm in my second semester of grad school and it is going great! Besides my normal life of maintaining a relationship, house, meal prep, bodybuilding, and 50 hours plus a week at my full time job I also am currently taking 15 hours of grad school...that is 5 classes people!  

Much to my surprise my semester is chugging along I have only 5 weeks left until finals and I've only gotten 1 research paper assigned and the work load is pretty minimal but the reading is not.  (how about that run-on sentence....I'm no English major) I've been managing my school really well with all my other responsibilities, or so I feel.




I've even already enrolled in THE REMAINDER of my grad school classes.  

I'm taking 2 online classes in Summer 1 and I have a break for July just to go back and finish my degree in the Fall!
  I will have one more online class and two classes in Dallas on consecutive days.  
I am beyond excited that I officially have no more classes to enroll in and also that I've completed my Masters in ONE year.  I'll start studying for the CPA exam in January and take my first portion of that mid March or so....tentatively.  

Whew! Onward to graduation!

Book Review: Wild






A friend of mine lent me their copy of Wild to read before the movie hit theaters. Our plan was to both read the book and then have a date night with our honeys to see the movie.  I finished the book and unfortunately we never had a date night because theaters up to 100 miles away weren't showing the movie!  Weird....so I recently saw it on the airplane on the way home from Europe.  It was really good but I liked the book better.  The book was more detailed and told more of Cheryl's story.  Ok so enough about the movie and lets review the book!


I loved the book although the beginning when she talked and described so well about the loss and the feelings she had of her mom passing really effected me.  It was so down and just desperate I felt her pain like it was my own.  I even had a heart-to-heart with my mom making sure she knew just how much I loved her.  Whew!! After I got past that the book was really good.  I felt it drug at times but overall I loved the feeling like I was going through the journey with her. The book is great for women and anyone looking for themselves.  I have been there and although I didn't hike 1000 miles in all sorts of severe conditions and terrains I did live 8000 miles away from home for 3 years and it was the perfect time to help me discover who Megan was/is.

If you haven't read Wild DO IT!!!

Amazon Synopsis:
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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