Sweet & Tangy Chicken and Bacon

Here is a nice little concoction that you are sure to enjoy.  It was one of the recipes I wish I would have made more of.

What you'll need:
2/3 cup Ranch dressing
1/3 cup Yellow mustard
1/3 cup Ketchup
Brown Sugar
4 boneless chicken breasts

Cut your chicken breasts into strips
Mix together ranch and yellow mustard
Reserve 1/3 cup of mixture
Dip Chicken into the ranch and mustard mixture
Wrap with a strip of bacon
Roll in brown sugar
Grill or bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins
With the reserved mixture, add to a small pot with ketchup and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, heat through.  Use as dip for the chicken


A simple kitchen solution

The kitchen always presents itself with ideas where we can make things a little cleaner and simpler looking.  The one that sticks out to me is the dish soap bottle.  We always had a bottle of Dawn sitting on the back of the sink.  It didn’t look good and definitely didn’t fit in with the décor. 
One day things changed when we were given a gift that was a glass bottle.  The glass had a beautiful design and looked good on the sink.  All you do is pour the detergent in the bottle and use an old lotion pump to dispense the soap.  Its quick and easy to use and less of an eye sore.

If you go shopping for one, they could be quite expense depending on your taste, but if you stop and think for a moment, there is a way to make one without having to spend extra money.  Finish that bottle of wine and use that to hold the soap.  Finish off that bottle of lotion or shampoo  and viola, you have a pump for dispensing.   Use your imagination and you will start to see bottles and how to repurpose them.


Repurposed Picture Frame

Here's a little craft, that's was very inexpensive and fun to use. I have seen these Boogie Boards, and thought, why spend the $40 when I can make one for much less.

 I have tons of frames, but I didn't have any light weight frames, so I headed to Walmart and bought a $.95 frame.

What you'll need:
magnetic strip
scrapbook paper
hot glue or gorilla glue
I chose red scrapbook paper for the month of February, each month you can change it out so you don't get bored with it.

Hot glue or gorilla glue the magnetic strip to the back of the mat, not on the wood, you won't get the back off if you put it on the wood.

Let dry, cut the paper to the size of the frame, grab a dry erase marker, and you're done!

An inexpensive note board for your fridge.

Happy Crafting!  Love, BJ


Weight loss tip

One of the biggest weight loss tips I can recommend is using a diet journal.  Anytime I try to lose weight, this has been the key to my big weight loss.  There have been times when I don't use one, and I don't lose weight.  I think that by writing down what I eat, and keep track of the calories, I am accountable for my meals.  Even after a year, knowing what you eat, it's still important to write it down!

My favorite journal is this one.  It has different categories in it to keep track of protein, water, sodium, etc.  They even make it small enough to put in a purse.  In the back, it has different foods with their values you in, making it easy to find.

Of course if you would rather go paperless, you can use My fitness pal, which is a pretty good one too.  This is the one I'm trying to use this time, but am really bad at it.  I don't know if it's because I don't like to type it in after my meals, or if it's because it's not written down in front of me.  Either way, I just haven't been in to it, and haven't lost any weight.  I think the paper book is more for me.

With that being said, next week, I'm going to start fresh.  Get my run in, drink my water, watch what I eat, and WRITE IT DOWN!  If you are in the same boat, share your best tip please.  I'm willing to try almost everything!

Have a Happy Thursday! Love, BJ



FTLOB moved

I know a lot of you not only follow my blog, but were followers of For the Love of Blogs.  Many have been confused and unaware that For the Love of Blogs moved on January 1st.  Not only did it move from Blogger, but it also changed it's name.  That's why you haven't been getting updates in your blogger feed.

If you have been missing all the fabulousness of For The Love of Blogs, head over to iBlog4me, and check it out!  It's all the things you loved about FTLOB, plus more!!!!  Tasty Tuesday is still around, all the wonderful tips and tutorials, the blog frog community, and we've even added It's Pinteresting Monday for all you pinterest-a-holics! Like myself!

So don't be a stranger any more, come over, hang out a bit, and join us for all the hops and things you loved FTLOB for.  We are now iBlog4me!


Light Ice Cream Sandwich

I found this recipe years ago in the Biggest Loser Cookbook, (the original one)  I love it, because it's super easy, they are light, and soooooo tasty!

What you'll need:
Graham Crackers (I like the cinnamon ones, but it's your choice)
Light cool whip

Put the cool whip on the graham cracker, you can eat it this way, or make an entire pack of crackers, put in freezer container or ziplock back and save for later.  My boys love these, they think they are ice cream, but are so many calories less!  Hope you enjoy!

Link up you Tasty Tuesday Recipes here...


Coffee Talk Week 2

Good morning my beautiful friends!  Hope you all have had an amazing week.  Mine is been wonderful, except for the pain, but I'm going to the chiropractor, and hope to have it under control soon!  I hate pain, but I drag it out until I can't stand it anymore!  This weeks vlog is over here.  If you'd like to check it out, head on over.  I'm going to work on a couple craft projects this weekend, so we should have some new fun stuff to do soon!  If you missed Monday's post, it's a good one, spend some time looking around, and we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE comments!  Let me know what you'd like to see more of, or any ideas you might have you'd like us to try: recipes, crafts, simple solutions, wellness/fitness.  We'd love to hear from you!  Have an amazing weekend!  Love, BJ

If you are on Pinterest, head over and check out my boards.  Leave me a comment and I'll head over to check yours out too!

Happy Weekend!


Author spotlight- Piper Faust

I’m Piper Faust, and I wrote the book on bad boys!!!  It’s called Idiots I’ve Seen Naked, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords for the ridiculously low price of $.99 cents!  I’m not bragging or anything, but I’m one hundred percent certain you’ll love, love, love this book if:
  1. You’ve ever had a man give you a hounds-tooth umbrella for Valentines with the price tag still attached!
  2. You’ve ever had a man tell you he wants to have his excess testicle skin removed and made into a pouch that his unborn grandchildren can collect arrowheads in!
  3. You’ve ever had a man tell you he’s a “stupid, fool, idiot” in response to the following question:  “Why won’t you just take me on a date?”
  4. OR…you’re just a good ‘ol gal who likes to laugh and have a good time!!!
          Here’s a brief overview of the insanity you’ll encounter once you download Idiots I’ve Seen Naked:
     I’m Ava Grace McCrory, and I have fun!  I have a house, a car, a job, a Master’s Degree, and fantastic friends!  I’m fun, cute, honest, easy to get along with, and courteous enough to push my Walmart buggy back into the little stall when I’m done shopping.  Even when it’s fourteen degrees outside!  I’m not divorced with ten kids.  I’ve never been to prison, and I’m not a convicted felon.    
     Sadly, I have major issues when it comes to men.  My friends say I’m way too picky.  I say not really!  Everyone deserves to get what they want, and I want a guy who’s at least 6’1 that drives an SUV or a truck.  No cars allowed.  Sorry, it’s just my rule.  Picky has nothing to do with me being single though.  Here’s the problem:  I *heart* JERKS!!!  And just to clarify:  no, I haven’t seen every idiot in this book naked, only three!  Of all the dudes in the world, these are the mental cases I chose to waste the best years of my romantic life on:
      Jax Wilson:  This idiot’s been blowing up my phone for almost ten years!  He’s been deleted, re-entered, and deleted from my contact list countless times.  If I’m really honest with myself, I may still love this guy.  Sadly, he has three strikes:  liar, womanizer, alcoholic!  NEXT!
     Grant Burress:  Without a doubt, the worst mistake of my life!!!  You’ll hear me refer to Grant as trouble-gut, but he’s actually extremely attractive.  He’s also extremely selfish and extremely narcissistic!  Half Grant’s time is spent looking in the mirror flexing his biceps and the other half is spent counting his cash!    
     Briley Mason:  He’s a Good Time Charlie with the emotional maturity of a snail!  On a scale of 1 to 10, Briley is an 80 horny all the time and would make out with his own shadow if it were physically possible.  Oh, and he’s totally a breast man!  One thing he likes more than breasts, though, is breast milk!  And we all know AIN’T NO MILK AS GOOD AS MAMA’S MILK!!!  
     A special shout-out and muchos, muchos gracias to BJ for a cameo spot on the most revered blog this side of the Mississippi!  And Mexico, tooo! 


Black beans and rice

This is one of my favorite quick recipes that's super delish!  I never used to eat black beans until I came across this recipe years ago, but now I can't resist!

Black Beans and Rice

What you'll need:
1 can black beans (and liquid)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (and liquid)
1 tbs oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
black pepper
hot sauce (optional)
1 cup cooked rice
1 tbsp oil/butter

Heat a saucepan slightly, add oil, saute onion until aromatic, then add garlic, don't brown

Turn heat to medium

Dump beans in

Add vinegar, spices, tomato, stir and let simmer covered

Pour desired amount over cooked rice, and enjoy!


Simple Solutions

We are going to change Man-day Monday up a bit and start providing “Simple Solutions” to everyday items we use.  These solutions will provide alternate ideas to re-use items or simply save money. 

Here is an example of a simple solution that will save money and be functional years on down the road.

If you have boys (sorry everyone, but this first one is about boys since we have 3) you probably own a “few” matchbox cars.  We own no less than 100 at this point.  The problem is, where do you keep them?  Yes, Toys-r-Us makes Matchbox carriers like these:

But they can be quite expense.  They are also limited to 72 cars and have flimsy latches.  This one pictured runs $15.99.  At this point I would have to buy 2 and the larger vehicles don't fit very well.
A simple solution that struck me one day, was to use a fishing tackle box.  They come in many sizes and already have dividers so the cars can be separated.  The bottom area has a large opening that can accommodate the larger or taller vehicles.

Here is what our boys currently use:

Sure its not as "cute" as the Matchbox wheel, but it is much more functional and practical.  There are spots / dividers for a numerous amount of cars.

Here it is with the top open. 

Fold out the trays and there are dividers / slots for approximately 95 cars.

There is also a large storage space at the bottom for larger items. 

There is plenty of room for well over 125 cars.  This tackle box cost $14.99 and I had to only buy one.  Plus in the future as the boys grow and out grow the cars, one of them can use this for their fishing tackle. 

Well this is our start at "Simple Solutions", I hope you enjoyed and start thinking of creative ideas and alternate uses for items.  If you have any ideas that you would like to leave, please pass them along so others can enjoy.

Happy Monday!!!



Coffee Talk week 1

Good day pretty people! So I'm trying out vlogging.  You know I'm not a big fan of the camera, and I look terrible,  but I did it anyway, and hope it gets better as the weeks go by,  we shall see.  If you'd like to partake in the vlog questions, head over to iBlog4me and check out the community, you can ask questions and answer them, then link up your vlog!  Go check it out.


Mountaineer Cocktail

To celebrate West Virginia's Win over Clemson last week, I thought I would share a cocktail in honor of my beloved Mountaineers!

A Mountaineer on Acid 

1 oz Jagermeister
1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Pineapple Juice

Cheers, and Congrats WVU on your massive win!


10 running/walking must haves

Running has become something that I do.  I might not always like it, but I know that it's good for me, and it helps clear the mind.  I've come up with a list of 10 things that I can't live without.  Somethings you won't need at all, where others are a MUST!

1. Garmin 405- If you want to be a serious runner/walker, I would highly recommend some sort of running watch with heart rate monitor.  I LOVE mine!  It keeps me on pace, has a virtual partner, and lets me know how many calories I've burned.  All and all, this watch is amazing!

2. Running shoes- Not all running shoes are the same, just like our feet.  I would recommend going to a running store if your have one in your area, and have them help you find what would be best for your foot.  Some people only like one brand or another, I like what feels good.  I've owned and loved Asics and Adidas, they are comfy and feel good while running.  Don't have your heart set on just one brand because they might not be the best for you.

3.  Nursing sports bra- Of course this is only necessary if you're nursing, but having a good one is important!  I know Motherhood Maternity carries them, and a few other places on line.

4.  iPhone/iPod loaded with my favorite get going music in my lifeproof case! Okay, so if you have kids, are outside a lot, drop your phone often or like to ski or be in the rain, I would HIGHLY recommend a Lifepoof case, they are amazing!  They can actually be dropped into a pool or water of any kind, and be completely safe. HONEST!  Steve videoed D swimming this past summer, and not only did the video look good, but the phone was dry as can be.

5.  Hanky/tissue-  if your are getting a good run or walk in, your nose is sure to run, so it's always nice to have on you.

6.  water to stay hydrated!

7.  running skort/shorts and a running tank- I say running ones because they help keep you feeling a little dryer than regular shorts and tanks.  It always feels a little better when you are finished to not be dripping wet! YUCK!  Many companies make the dry fit materials, and they may cost a little more but they are worth it! You can even buy running gear at TJ Maxx and Old Navy!

8.  sunglasses- When it's sunny out, it's nice to have a pair of shades so that you don't have to squint.  Be sure that they fit tightly enough so that you don't have to keep pushing them up on your face.

9.  Goodys headbands- One of my huge pet peeves is my hair falling into my face while I'm exercising.  Goody's makes a slip proof headband that's pretty great!

10.  running stroller- of course for all you running/walking mommies and daddies, a good stroller is a must!  I know I don't have the convenience of having someone watching the little guys while I go for my run/walk so I have to have a running stroller to bring them along.  Good thing they love it, it actually puts them to sleep, so I have a peaceful run!


Chicken pasta salad

Good morning friends!  It's been a heck of a couple days.  I lost the photos on my posts, and have no idea how to fix it, if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear. I would love to get them back up!  Anyway, I thought I would share a tasty light treat with you.  I hope you enjoy!

What you'll need:
1 1/2 cup rotini
1 1/2 cup cut green beans
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup dressing- made as follows:
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs oil
1 tbs water
2 tbs chopped sundried tomato packed in oil
1 tbs fresh basil
1 tbs chopped red onion

Combine and enjoy!


Here's to 2012!

It's always a sad day when I have to take my Christmas tree and decorations down.  Well, today was the day.  I really would probably leave it up all year round, but then people would A.) think I was crazy, or B.)  Think I was lazy, neither of which is true.  I just love Christmas, and my tree and the whole happy feeling during that time of year.  It's seems the house is full of warmth and love, not saying it's not full of those things any other time, but it's especially true during the time the tree goes up, to the time comes down.

Our beautiful bare tree with the last ornament to come off

The final ornament from the most amazing vacation with my family so far!
2011 was really an amazing year, and am thankful for everyone and everything that filled it!

Here's praying that 2012 be just as amazing!



Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

While surfing the net for a little something to warm the bones, I found this yummy recipe!  We all know I'm a coffeeaholic, but this little gem is something that will be made often!

1 1/4 cups hot water 
5 tablespoons French Vanilla Flavor NESTLÉ COFFEE-MATE Powdered Coffee Creamer 
3 tablespoons NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa 
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur 
2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur 
Whipped cream (optional) 
COMBINE water, Coffee-mate and cocoa in pitcher; stir until dissolved. Stir in coffee liqueur and hazelnut liqueur. Divide between 2 mugs; top with whipped cream.

Thank you coffeemate for this yummy recipe!


Walking to running a 5K

It's a new year, and like tons of others, I thought I would start my year off right losing the baby weight and getting back to running.  I would like to share with you all the program I used before and am using again to run.  I figure it worked once, I know it can work again.  If you are going to try it, Do it 3 to 4 times per week.  Don't forget to warm up and cool down.  Be sure to stretch and don't be afraid to take time off if injured or sick.

Week      Workout
1              Walk 30 minutes
2              Walk 5.5 minutes        Run 30 seconds     Repeat 5 times
3              Walk 5 minutes           Run 1 minute         Repeat 5 times
4              Walk 4 minutes           Run 2 minutes        Repeat 5 times
5              Walk 2 minutes           Run 4 minutes        Repeat 5 times
6              Walk 1.5 minutes        Run 6 minutes        Repeat 4 times
7              Walk 2 minutes           Run 8 minutes        Repeat 3 times
8              Walk 1 minute            Run 9 minutes         Repeat 3 times
9              Walk 1 minute            Run 14 minutes       Repeat 2 times
10            Run 30 minutes           Congratulations!

I would say to run at your pace, what feels good to you.

The best thing about running is all you need are shoes and the road, but a treadmill is handy in the winter!

Leave a comment with a link back to your running tips so that we can all help each other.

Good luck and have a Happy Humpday!



Edible Playdoh

Here is recipe for those little hands that they can make, play with and eat!  It's super simple, and they'll love it!

What you'll need:
2 cups powered milk
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup honey
bowl, spoon

Combine all, and play!

Simple, right?

Of course you can add food coloring to make different colors for them, but this is one they are sure to love!

Enjoy! BJ


Child Proofing

What exactly does this mean and what age does it work for?  There are many products out there that claim to work but have seemed to fall short of working properly for us. Here are a few items that we needed to change.

Obviously when a baby starts to crawl, anything with a sharp edge (like a fireplace or glass table) needs to be secured.  Instead of buying the bumpers at many stores, one could simply buy a "noodle" like the ones used in swimming pools.  There much cheaper and work just as well.

Next, outlet plugs.  They work good until your toddler is about 2 if your lucky.  Once they figure out they can get their little finger nails behind the plastic, its over.  The ones that fully cover both outlets have a similar life line in my house as my 2 year old just beats on it until it breaks or falls off.

See, cover gone.

Another scary area is the kitchen.  Many chemicals and other dangers are always present.  The oven knobs present challenges because once your toddler can reach them, they like to try and turn them.  Instead of buying covers at your local baby store, simply remove them and put them up in a cabinet.  Install locks on all drawers and cabinets below the counter line so they can not be opened by a toddler or visiting relative.

Simply remove knobs.

In my house the refrigerator and pantry get locks too.  The reason why is because our 2 year old likes to climb.  He also likes to get up a 5:30 am and go downstairs with his 5 year old brother.  Obviously these two together can be mischievous and not exactly eat the proper food.  One morning we came downstairs and they were eating a bag of M&M's, not exactly breakfast food.  He can reach the fridge and pantry doors and pull them open.  So I decided to install a Fort Knox type of lock on the pantry.  This is only locked when we go to bed and unlocked when we get up.  This way there is no junk food eating before 6 am.

Possibly overkill, but no more M&M breakfasts.
Before wasting money and child proofing everything, contact friends who have toddlers and see what tricks they are using or have used, or shoot us an email at datssocute@gmail.com We'll be glad to try and answer your questions.  We are by no means experts, but we have years of experience.  You will save money and have a safe house hold for your little one or ones to run around.  But be careful because they like to watch and study what you are doing and before you know it, they will figure it out.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!