Shrink a size

Ok friends, while browsing around this week I found on Prevention, you can shrink a size in 14 days.  I'm always leery about trying these things, but since it's in prevention, it should work, right?  I have quite a few pounds to lose still from the baby, so it's worth a try.  Here is the plan
You can also check it out here.
I'm going to start it on Monday, if you decide to try too, let me know, and how you are doing.  We can keep each other motivated!    Have a beautiful day!

Workout at a Glance

The Strength Plan
What you'll need: 2 sets of dumbbells (2 to 5 and 8 to 10 pounds); a chair.
Week 1: Do the exercise routine 6 days a week, alternating between Workout A (for your chest, back, and abs) and Workout B (for your arms, legs, and butt).
Week 2: Follow the same schedule, but challenge yourself by trying the Make It Harder options.
The Cardio Plan
Weeks 1 & 2: Walk for 30 minutes 6 days a week, alternating between the Speed Ladder interval routine and Power Walk workout.
To rev up results 
Follow a healthy diet of about 1,600 calories a day.
Your 2-Week Turnaround
Day 1 Strength Plan A; Speed Ladder
Day 2 Strength Plan B; Power Walk
Day 3 Strength Plan A; Speed Ladder
Day 4 Strength Plan B; Power Walk
Day 5 Strength Plan A; Speed Ladder
Day 6 Strength Plan B; Power Walk
Day 7 Active rest (no formal workout, but keep moving throughout the day)
Day 8 Strength Plan A with Make It Harder options; Speed Ladder
Day 9 Strength Plan B with Make It Harder options; Power Walk
Day 10 Strength Plan A with Make It Harder options; Speed Ladder
Day 11 Active rest
Day 12 Strength Plan B with Make It Harder options; Power Walk
Day 13 Strength Plan A with Make It Harder options; Speed Ladder
Day 14 Strength Plan B with Make It Harder options; Power Walk
For continued success, repeat or modify to alternate cardio and strength workouts.

The Strength Plan: Workout A

1. Hip drop 
Firms: Front and side abs
Lie facedown, balancing on elbows, forearms, and toes; abs tight.
Slow It Down: Twist to right and lower right hip to floor in 4 counts. (Keep back straight.) Raise to start position in 2 counts. Repeat to left. Do 8 to 10 times each side.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Do 12 to 15 times each side.
2. Beach Ball Hug
Firms: Chest, abs, hips
Lie faceup, dumbbells above chest, elbows slightly bent, palms in. Raise left leg so shin is parallel to floor.
Slow It Down: Lower arms out to sides in 4 counts as you straighten left leg, keeping foot off floor. In 2 counts, pull knee back in and raise arms, squeezing chest muscles as if you're hugging a beach ball. Do 6 times; repeat with right leg.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Raise both feet off floor.
3. Full-body roll-up
Firms: Abs
Lie faceup, legs extended, arms overhead, palms facing each other. Raise arms toward feet; pull abs in; roll head, shoulders, and back off floor; and reach toward toes in 4 counts.
Slow It Down: Roll back down to floor one vertebrae at a time, taking about 6 to 8 counts to lower.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Hold a light weight (2 to 3 pounds) in both hands.

4. Breast stroke 
Firms: Upper and middle back 
Lie facedown, arms extended overhead, palms facing in. Lift head and arms off floor and hold for 2 counts. Lift chest a few inches off floor and swim arms out to sides and down toward legs (thumbs toward floor) in 2 counts. (Keep abs tight, toes on floor.)
Slow It Down: Lower chest and bend arms, bringing them along body back to start position in 4 counts. Do 8 to 10 times.
Make It Harder (Week 2): As you lift chest and swim arms, raise both feet off floor, then lower.

5. Read the paper 
Firms: Front and side abs 
Sit with knees bent, heels on floor, arms in front of body, as if holding a closed newspaper.
Slow It Down: Roll back halfway down to floor and twist to left in 4 counts, as if opening the paper on left side. Pull yourself up to start position in 2 counts. Repeat on right side. Do 8 to 12 times per side.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Hold a light weight (2 to 3 pounds) in each hand.

The Strength Plan: Workout B

1. Plie with biceps curl
Firms: Biceps, glutes, quads, inner thighs
Stand with feet wide, toes out, dumbbells by thighs, palms forward. Bend knees and lower for 2 counts, as you curl weights toward shoulders. Slow It Down: Squeeze glutes and inner thighs as you stand up and straighten arms in 4 counts. Do 8 to 12 times.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Use heavier weights.
2. Forward Lunge and Raise the Roof
Firms: Shoulders, core, butt, quads
Stand with feet together, dumbbells overhead, palms forward.
Slow It Down: Step right foot forward and bend both knees as you lower weights toward shoulders in 4 counts. (Keep right knee over ankle.) Stand up to start position, pressing weights overhead in 2 counts. Do 8 to 12 times; switch legs.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Swing left knee forward to hip height as you stand up.
3. Squat With Straight-Arm Pressback
Firms: Shoulders, arms, glutes, quads
Stand with feet about 4 inches apart, dumbbells at sides, palms facing behind you.
Slow It Down: Sit back, keeping weight over heels, as arms swing forward toward knees for 4 counts. Stand up in 2 counts while pressing weights behind you. Do 8 to 12 times.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Lift left leg back and squeeze glutes as you stand; switch legs halfway through set.

4. Tip it Over
Firms: Arms, butt, hamstrings
Stand with dumbbell in left hand at side, right hand on chair for balance.
Slow It Down: Keeping spine straight and abs tight, lean forward in 4 counts, and lower left arm while lifting left leg. Stand up in 2 counts, while doing a biceps curl and raising left knee in front. Do 8 times; switch sides.
Make It Harder (Week 2): Use a heavier weight and skip the chair.

5. Curtsy Lat Raise
Firms: Shoulders, butt, outer thighs, quads
Stand with feet together, dumbbells at sides, palms in.
Slow It Down: Cross right leg behind left, bend knees, and lower as you raise right arm out to side in 4 counts. (Keep left knee over ankle and facing forward.) Stand up to start position and lower arm in 2 counts. Do 8 to 12 times; switch sides.
Make It Harder (Week 2): As you stand up, lift right leg out to side.

The Cardio Plans

Speed Ladder
This challenging exercise routine features intervals that get increasingly harder but shorter, followed by brief recovery periods.
 Activity (Speed*)
How It Feels
Warm-up (3.0 mph)
Breathing harder; can speak in full sentences
Moderate walk (3.5 mph)
Slightly breathless; can still speak in full sentences
Brisk walk (3.75 mph)
Somewhat breathless; can speak in short sentences only
Moderate walk (3.5 mph)
Power walk (4.0 mph)
Mostly breathless; can speak in phrases only
Moderate walk (3.5 mph)
Fast walk (4.5 mph)
Breathless; can speak just a few words at a time
Moderate walk (3.5 mph)
Speed walk or jog (5.0 mph)
Very breathless; can't speak
Cool-down (3.0 mph)
Breathing slows
*These are suggested speeds only and may not be appropriate for everyone. The right speed for you should be based on intensity recommendations and how you feel.
**Based on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being as easy as lounging on the couch and 10 as hard as sprinting to catch a bus as it pulls away
Power Walk
This cardio routine is a great way to build endurance while burning calories.
 Activity (Speed*)
How It Feels
Warm-up (3.0 mph)
Breathing harder; can speak in full sentences
Power walk (3.5-4.0 mph)
Somewhat breathless; can speak in short sentences only
Cool-down (3.0 mph)
Breathing slows
*These are suggested speeds only and may not be appropriate for everyone. The right speed for you should be based on intensity recommendations and how you feel.
**Based on a 1-to-10 scale, with 1 being as easy as lounging on the couch and 10 as hard as sprinting to catch a bus as it pulls away


Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Yep, that what I said, Irish coffee, cupcakes.  How can you go wrong?  It's two of my favorite things, coffee and cupcakes.
For The Cupcakes
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
    • 1/4 cup whole milk
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
  • For The Frosting

    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tablespoon whiskey
    • Instant-espresso powder, for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour water over espresso powder; let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).
  2. Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.
  3. Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.
  4. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.


Leprechaun Punch

I thought I would start sharing some St. Patrick Day treats!  Today's is super Simple!

Leprechaun Punch

Lime Sherbet
maraschino cherries
lime slices

Put contents of sherbet and sprite in glass bowl, add cherries and lime slices for looks, enjoy!

Your little Leprechauns are sure to love this treat!


Wellness Wednesday

Sorry I've been missing for a week or so, but I've been cleaning up one sickness or another since last Sunday, from one person or another and woke up this morning finding out it continues.  (Yes, we have ALL been sick with something)

I have cleaned EVERY possible surface in this house at least twice, if not more, but it still lingers.  I'm about at my wits end, but just keep praying for good health for all tomorrow.  

I hope you all are staying well and have a Well Wednesday!

Love, BJ


Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Good Morning all!  Happy Fat Tuesday!  How many of you are giving something up for Lent? I know I am, I'm just not sure what quite yet.

Being that Lent does begin tomorrow, I thought I would share a delicious recipe that is light and yummy!
It is similar to Panera's Pesto Chicken Sandwich, but a little different, found in Whole Living Magazine.  So, here it goes.
Smoky Bell Pepper Pesto on Grilled Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 large roasted red bell peppers, stem and seeds removed
1 jarred chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp raw almonds, toasted
1 tsp fresh oregano
8 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
4 leaves escarole
4 slices sharp cheddar

1. Preheat grill to medium-high.  Season Chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.  Grill chicken until cooked through, 5 to6 minutes per side.  Let stand 5 minutes, then slice.
2.  Pulse bell peppers, chipotle pepper, garlic, almonds, and oregano in a food processor until coarsely chopped.  Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp oil and process until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.
3.  Spread each slice of bread with pesto.  Layer with sliced chicken, escarole, and cheddar.

If you like this recipe, head over to wholeliving.com and check out more delicious, light recipes.

Hope you have a fabulous day!


Hotty Toddy

Sorry I've been MIA this week, I've been sick since Sunday, and today is the first day I've even remotely felt like sitting in front of the computer.  I'm not better, but at least I feel like sitting up.  Thankfully I have two little guys that will cuddle up next to me and watch movies.

 I thought I would share a recipe for those of you that have ever had a sore throat or bronchitis, that is supposed to help soothe the throat.    For all of you Ole Miss fans, it just a staple for game days down in the Grove!

Hotty Toddy

1 tsp honey
2 oz water
1 oz whiskey
1 tsp lemon juice
cinnamon stick or nutmeg

Water needs to be warm or heat all in coffee cup

Recipe via my wonderful friend, straight out of Mississippi Kim!  Thanks and I love ya!


Valentine's Love

Wishing you a day filled with Love and Happiness.  I've never been a big fan of today, but I vowed last year that I would try my best for my boys and would have to say I'm on the right track.  I made these yummy treats for my special guys, and have heart shaped food planned all day.

I don't believe we need one day to show someone how much we love them, but we could use today to do a few more special things for those we love.

Happy Valentine's Day! Love, BJ


Simple Solution for Little Lego Men/Women

We are always looking for solutions to store toys that our boys acquire.  A couple of weeks ago, we offered a simple solution for storing matchbox cars in a fishing tackle box.  If you missed it, you can read it here

This week, we need to talk about Lego's.  More specifically, Lego men and women.  Sure it's easy to throw them in the box or bin with the rest of the pieces, but it is more fun to display and keep their accessories with them.  A simple solution to this is using a Plano Double Sided Clear Organizer. Yes, this is something else used for fishing but works perfectly for organizing these little Lego's.  This organizer can be found at any store that sells fishing supplies.  This one in particular was found at Walmart for under $3.00.

This case can hold a total of 20 Lego men/women which is 10 on each side.  There are little dividers that come with the case that need to be set up by you.  Here it is with a few our Lego people.


When the kids are finished playing, the Lego's can be put away ready for the next time.  This is also a quick thing that you grab on your way out the door if you need something to entertain your little one when going on a shopping trip or to the doctors office. 

Hope you enjoy!!!!



♥y Punch

Here's a nice little punch recipe for that Valentine's party or just as a treat!

What you'll need:
1-12 oz. can lemonade concentrate
1-12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
3-4 ripe bananas
2 cups frozen sweetened strawberries

(if you want it to be a little more adult, add some rum, and have some fun!)

1. Prepare lemonade and orange juice according to package directions
2.  Blend reconstituted juices, bananas and strawberries in blender in 2 cup batches.  Blend thoroughly
3. Enjoy

Easy and delicious!  Hope you enjoy and have a beautiful day!



I've struggled this week on the treadmill.  I can't get past the mental block in my head.  My body isn't saying stop or slowdown, my head is saying, oh, just walk.  It's truly on my nerves.  I really need Jillian Michaels in my face telling me to push through it.  So I found a couple signs I need to print out to put in front of my face to keep me going, and I thought I would share them.

Let me know what you do to get past the mental block.  At this rate, I don't know how mentally I'll be able to do 13.1.  I haven't even got back to 3.1, and that's a big difference!

Good luck and keep working hard, you can do it!


Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

On cold winter days, I love to have a good bowl of chicken noodle soup.  Many years ago I learned to make my own, and it's pretty easy.

3 Chicken breasts (unless you like a lot of meat)
64 oz of chicken broth
bay leaves
egg noodles

In a large pot boil chicken breast, usually about an hour to cook through.
In a wok or skillet, cut up vegetables and saute them with butter until soft.  This gives them a little flavor once mixed in the soup.
After chicken has boiled about an hour, remove and shred on a cutting board.(you can cut it up in cubes if you prefer, I like mine shredded)

Do not pour out all of the water, just a little less than half.

Put Shredded Chicken, vegetables and 64 ounces of chicken broth back into the remaining water.

I like Aldi's chicken broth, but what ever you use, I'm sure if fine.
Once everything is in the pot, add parsley, a little basil, 2 bay leaves and pepper.  I don't add salt since everyone likes different amounts, I feel they can add their own.
Once your broth with chicken has cooked for about an hour, you can add the egg noodles.  If you prefer a lot of broth in your soup, don't put your noodles in.  Cook the noodles separate, then add the chicken and broth over your noodles.  If you put it in the soup, the noodles suck up all the broth.  

Another yummy tip is, use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store that has been already cooked.  Just pull it off the bone and add the other steps, it is super yummy and gives it a different taste.  

Either way, enjoy and keep warm!


Earbud wrap-Simple Soultion

It seems as though almost everyone has an iPod, iPhone or some sort of MP3 musical device.  With this comes a pair of ear buds and a cord that becomes a tangled nightmare.  I’m not sure why, but the rubber coating seems to act magnetic and help tie itself in knots.  I don’t know how many times I have taken them out of a pocket or bag and they are all twisted up like this…..

A simple solution to avoid this mess is to wrap the cord with friendship string or a strong embroidery thread.   This should take you back a few years (or decade or two in my case) to when everyone made bracelets out of friendship string.  It is a little time consuming to complete, but the end result is well worth it.  Here I picked 3 colors that gave a camouflage pattern effect.

We bought a pack of the friendship string at Wal-Mart for under $5.  There were numerous color choices in the package.  Pick at least two colors, but you can choose as many as you want, to personalize your tastes in colors and alternate the pattern as you wish.  The package also has directions on how to perform each pattern. 

We hope you enjoy and try it out.  It will make untangling your ear buds a thing of the past. 



A Toast to all the Lady Survivors!

I would like today's cocktails be Pink for all the ladies out there that are survivors of Breast Cancer, are battling this disease, but continue to fight!  You are all strong, amazing women that I personally look up to!  

A very special friend of mine is having surgery tomorrow to remove her cancer.  I can't imagine what she is going through, but know that she's a fighter and will not give up easily!  She is an amazing woman and I love her dearly!  
If you would please say a prayer, send a good thought, whatever you believe in to her and all the ladies that are battling this disease, I'm sure they would all appreciate it!  Thank you!

Today we raise a glass to all you fighters!  Continue to fight, and never give up, you are loved by us all!  

A few coctails I found, enjoy!

1 oz Chambord
1.5 oz honey vodka
.5 oz lime juice
3-4 raspberries
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass or crushed ice-filled rocks glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish with raspberries.
2 oz rum
.5 oz Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
6-8 fresh mint leaves
2 lime wedges
1/2 tsp sugar
club soda
Add sugar, mint leaves, lime wedges and a splash of club soda to a tall glass. Muddle until sugar is dissolved. Add ice to glass. Add rum and Chambord. Stir to mix. Top with a splash of soda.

Frozen Pink Lemonade

1 1/2 oz Stoli Citrus-infused Vodka
1 tbs sugar
1/2 juice of lemon
1/8-1/4 oz grenadine

Blend all ingredients with ice

ENJOY!  Have a beautiful day! Love, BJ


simple water drinking tip

Here's just a quick water tip that I learned when losing weight the first time I successfully did it.

Take your weight, divide it by 2 and that is the amount of water in ounces you should drink in a day.

Example: if you weight 180 pounds

180\2= 90 ounces

150\2= 75 ounces

Get the drift?  Simple right?!

I took my favorite cup, poured water in it, dumped it in a measuring cup to see how much it held.
Since it holds 2 cups of water(16 ounces), I know how many times I have to fill it to get enough water, in ounces for the day.

There are days it's easy for me to get all my water in, and there are days I struggle.  I just have to remember that it's good for me, and will help me to lose the weight.

Like Bob Harper said: "Don't drink your Calories"  Why waste your calories on soda?  Unless it's a treat, stay strong, and drink your water.

Good Luck!  Have a Happy Humpday!