Atkins

The hubs and I are still Atkins strong! We are down 30lbs total (together). Here are some of the yummy eats we have enjoyed recently!

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Today’s Low-Carb Grub!

The Atkins diet has been going well for me so far. The cravings for carbs have finally diminished a bit too! Today for lunch I made shrimp and guacamole salad. It was miiiiighty tasty and only 5 carbs!

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For dinner I have made cheesy bacon deviled eggs for an appetizer at 0 carbs, then mini pizzas with low carb tortillas! I’m pumped!

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NOM, NOM, NOM!

It has been awhile.

I feel like it has been quite some time since I devoted a few minutes to really writing to the blog community. My WEM’s have been consistent and faithful, but I myself haven’t spent much time writing recently. So today, after some long overdue meditation, I have decided to actually post something lengthier than an image!

Mother’s Day weekend I traveled to the QC area to visit with my family and friends. It was nice seeing family members that I haven’t seen in some time and being able to celebrate the Mother’s Day holiday with my mother and mother-in-law. Overall the weekend went well. I arrived in early Saturday morning and my sister, mother, and I all went to the Farmer’s Market. The one in the QC is really huge and has a lot of neat vendors. So, needless to say it was a great time! After perusing through multiple vendors and purchasing bread, cheese, and soap bars, the three of us went to a near by location for lunch. I ordered a blue cheese and chicken salad. It was absolutely delicious and hit the spot in so many ways.

Following lunch the three of us headed back to the IL side and I went over to my sister’s place since my mom had to head to work. My sister and I both were pooped, so once her son was down for a nap we also took one. Sitting in a recliner with a cool breeze coming through and the sun ever so slight with its warmth coming through the window as well, it took me no time to fall asleep. We both took about a 2hr nap. Afterwards we brought Sawyer (my nephew) to a sitter and came back to the apartment to start our night. We opened up the tomato and basil bread and the tomato and basil goat cheese spread, a bottle of wine, and dived into all the goodness. The bread and cheese combo was so stinkin’ tasty, and of the course the wine was wine, so it was also great.

One of my sis and I’s close girlfriends came over and joined us in the fun. We went out later and had a great time letting loose. By Sunday morning all three of us were feeling terrible, but even still my sis and I headed to my mom’s house and I made biscuits and gravy and enjoyed Mother’s Day morning. Later my sister and I assisted my mom with planting a few things, and afterwards both decided we desperately needed to wash off the night before and get ready for the day. The rest of the afternoon my sister and I just hung out and played with Sawyer. It was leisurely and simple, but good.

Come Sunday afternoon I had a photography shoot for my beautiful cousin’s senior session part 2. This session focused on some softball pics. We alllmoooost got rained out, but fortunately it passed through pretty quickly. The shoot we great, and I was excited with the images I captured in a short amount of time. Some samples are below:

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She is certainly one stunningly young lady! 

 

I am proud that she is such a level headed, spirited, and strong young women. Our family has faced a lot lately, and she has always maintained a warmth about her. She will also be the second person in our family to attend college. I am proud of her for pursuing her dreams, and hope she knows she can come to me whenever college life seems too much or gets her down. 

Stupendous Saturday

This Saturday was a great follow up to Friday. At 11am I met up with my friend Kaycie for brunch and maternity pics part two! She made us some deeelicious waffles from scratch with strawberry toppings and whipped cream. It was truly delightful!

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While we enjoyed our waffles Kaycie showed me some ideas on Pinterest of some shots she wanted from our shoot that afternoon. After our food settled and our plotting of pics was through we got started on our shoot! This was our second maternity shoot together, and it was neat to see the progress of her beautiful belly! Here is a little sample.

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They are such a good looking couple, and Kaycie has just become more and more radiant throughout her pregnancy! Needless to say, the shoot was quite effortless!

After our pics I headed home to be with my hubby. We had some lunch and relaxed for bit watching some television and I began editing the pictures. In the evening we headed to an event at a local wine store here in town. We spent the rest of the night enjoying a few drinks and socializing with some friends.

On our drive home we received news of an engagement by a close family member, which was an even more perfect way to end the night! My hubby and I are very excited for them and are looking forward to celebrating with them throughout the whole wedding process! It was a great great day and I am very blessed to have such awesome days in a row.

 

Wining and Whining and Dining

Last night my co-worker and I needed some vino and cheese. It has been quite the semester, and it was also quite the Tuesday. The students and the teachers alike are ready for break!

So my friend and I went to Sun Singer in Champaign and enjoyed some wine together and got our whine on. Every once in awhile you just need to vent about life, work, and people in order to stay sane.

We shared a bottle of Cabernet, a cheese spread platter, and a cheese tray. The cheese spread platter had a blue cheese, pesto cheese, and a Parmesan and artichoke cheese spread. The cheese tray had a basil and garlic Gouda, a sage cheese, and a cheese with a rosemary rine. Tassssssssssty!

It was a great way to unwind and indulge ourselves!

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The Rest of Our Weekend

Saturday morning I woke at 4:30am wide awake. I just couldn’t get back to sleep. So I came out to the living room, turned on the TV and opened up my computer to start blogging. By 5:30am my sister was also awake and I had someone to hang out with. We got a pot of coffee going and just talked and hung out until my mom, nephew, and husband were all awake as well.

Once everyone was up and ready for the day we headed to the Gabby Goat for breakfast. Gabby Goat is a pub here in town that has some good food as it is, but it also is open for breakfast. Although they offer a very minimal breakfast menu, the food is great! And so are their bloody marys! We all were very happy with what we ordered and left with very full bellies.

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After breakfast we headed to the grocery store to get some groceries for dinner and Easter Sunday. Post grocery trip we headed to Tuscan Hills Winery. My mother and sister have visited me a few times but still had not yet been to the Winery, so I was excited to bring them there to check it out! My husband kindly watched our nephew while we spent part of the afternoon there. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere there is really neat. My sister and I got some major sun while sitting outside enjoying the wine. I don’t know how my mom avoided getting burnt, but she sure wasn’t as red as we were after we left.

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There is my sissy in the background!

We enjoyed two bottles of wine before heading back to the house.

My sister and mother both set up a tarot reading with Kaycie in the afternoon. I was excited for them to meet her and they loved her as much as I knew they would! And so did my pup Arlo! My sister was pumped and had no reservations about doing the reading. My mother however did have a few reservations about it all, but ended up really loving it! She was impressed with how accurate everything was, and I was happy she tried something new and out of her comfort zone. Both of them really enjoyed the experienced and walked away with guidance and affirmations.

After the readings we hung out for a bit before my sister and I headed to the Village Wine Shop to meet up with a few friends there. I was happy to see so many people I wanted to introduce to her. We hung out for a short bit before heading back to the house for dinner.

Just as Friday was, Saturday was also a beautiful day! It was a perfect night for hanging outside, having some friends over, and grilling up some food. We had a huge veggie tray that was devoured quickly, some cheese and crackers, and grilled up some burgers.

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The rest of the evening was spent just hanging out with friends and enjoying the outdoors.

 

Sunday we got up and started getting the house and meal ready for Easter Sunday! Sawyer even helped with vacuuming 🙂 My mom and I headed to the store for a few items we forgot the day before and while I was there I grabbed some eggs to do an Easter egg hunt with Soybean when we got back. While the food was cooking I went outside to hide the eggs around the backyard. Afterwards, Sawyer, my mom and sis all came out to watch him begin the hunt. He did well!

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After the egg hunt we came back inside and finished cooking up the food. The meal was extensive! We had ham, cheesy potatoes, two quiches, green bean casserole, and some pineapple. Needless to say my husband and I have some mad leftovers! As you can see from an earlier post, I’ve already enjoyed some leftover quiche for breakfast.

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The rest of Sunday we hung out and enjoyed being outside. My mom and sister left around 2:30pm. Overall, it was a very successful trip and we all had a lot of fun together! Once they left my husband, pup, and I all relaxed for bit before getting on the task of picking up the house post visit. We were all pretty pooped the rest of the evening and Arlo and I took a solid nap on the couch in the afternoon.

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Solid weekend!

 

 

 

Color and Cut

Yesterday my mother, sister, and nephew arrived at around 12:30pm. I had lunch waiting for them when they got in and after the ritual greeting and kissing my sweet nephew on his plump little cheeks we sat and enjoyed some food! This past Thursday my sister texted me and asked if I could set up a hair appointment for her while she was down here. Evidently she needed a cut STAT. Ironically (it must be the twin-ness in us) I needed one desperately too. So I called my usual salon and got us both in for 2pm. The salon ended up calling and asking if they could push back our appointment a half hour yesterday which-so-happened to make things more convenient as my sister had brought a blonde box dye that she wanted to complete before getting her cut.

So, after lunch my sister began the process of dying her hair. She uttered concerns of the results before beginning the process, but continued on anyways.While her hair was processing it was evident that the blonde she had hoped for was turning into more of a strawberry blonde color the likes of her son’s hair when he was born. What she was hoping for was the warm blonde tones he currently has as 18months! Sure enough after the conditioning, rinse out, and blow dry, the color was a strawberry blonde. At that point her gut instincts were mocking her decision while my mother and I were outwardly chuckling. Not that it actually looked that bad, but we knew it certainly wasn’t the color she was aiming for.

As we headed to the hair salon my sister started asking me if they’d be able to correct the color. I certainly didn’t know as per I am not a hair stylist or colorist, but my guess was they would most likely be able to do something at some point this weekend. I was called over first and informed the stylist that I wanted chunky layers put in and a smidge off the bottom layer. (I am currently in the aggravating and impatient process of attempting to grow my hair out after 10 years of having it super short) My sister got in with another stylist while my hair was being started. The stylist did a great job with mine and I love having some more layers put in. My fine thin hair needs all the help and trickery it can get to seem voluminous. The results are below!

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Once I was done with my cut I checked in with my sister. Her cut was also looking very cute! And, sure enough, she was able to get her color fixed after her cut. It ended up taking til’ dinner time, but it certainly looked significantly better when she was all done! While she stayed back to get the color done I headed back to the house with my mom and nephew. They ran around town while my sis and I were getting our cuts done, and while out my mom picked up a bubble mower for Sawyer to play with in the yard. So, when we got back to the house we busted out the mower and Sawyer had some fun in the yard watching the bubbles come out as he “mowed.” With the sun out in full force it began feeling really hot out! Poor Sawyer had a long sleeve shirt on so we took it off of him the last few minutes outside while playing with his mower. I couldn’t help but crack up watching him mow the yard shirtless like a real southern boy!

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As dinner time approached we all began brainstorming what we would like to do for supper. With the weather being impeccable my husband and I suggest a place called Abigail’s nearby. It is a restaurant on the lake where you can BYOB and sit outside watching the boats dock and the sun set. So, we packed a cooler and headed that way. It truly couldn’t have been a more perfect evening to sit outside and enjoy a meal. The temperature was perfect, the breeze not overbearing, the sun setting, the smell of bonfire wafting in the air, and a delicious meal awaiting. We shared a very tasty appetizer to begin with, and then our meals to follow. It was perfect. Beers, lakeside, and dinner–can’t beat it! 

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I enjoyed a chicken bacon ranch pita and some potato salad!

We headed back to the house after our meal and relaxed hanging out and catching up some more.

Unfortunately, in the midst of hanging out we received the news that our long time neighbor had passed away the night before. She had just lost her husband last year, and unfortunately her life also came to an end far too soon. A perfect night turned into one of grieving and reminiscing about how great of neighbors they were to our family all while growing up. It is painful to lose loved ones and those you know for such a long time. However, I find solace in knowing that she is now with her husband healthy and well again. It is my hopes that even with such news my mother, sister, and I can still find a way to enjoy the remaining time of their visit here while in town. In the meanwhile, I pray for Jane’s family and friends and hope they find the comfort they need during this difficult time.