So as I am trying to really work the fitness aspect of my journey-I know that I really need to eat better and when I eat better I feel better.  For me that means very low carbs but still good hearty food.  This year I have had an over abundance of zucchini in my garden and sometimes the plants get crazy.  Since I had a few larger zucchinis I decided to make Mexican Stuffed Zucchini boats based on a this recipe from Skinny Taste.  

Ingredient List
-2 Pounds Ground meat (I used half grass feed beef and half ground turkey)
-Two 14oz cans of tomatoes
-Chopped peppers-I used what I had left in my fridge-about 1 cup
-One package of mushrooms
-Chili Powder, Cumin, Fresh Garlic or Garlic Garlic 
-Jar of Salsa of your choice
-One cup of Shredded Cheese of my Choice
-Zucchini for stuffing-for me that was the giant one from the garden

Step One-Brown the Meat.  I chose not to drain mine because there was not a lot of fat in the beef I was using.

Step Two: Season the Beef-I would say a tablespoon of each.  I really like my beef heavily seasoned so I go very heavy on the spices

Step Three:  Add the veggies and salsa-I like chunky veggies but I know for those trying to sneak in veggies if you chop them small-kids might not notice them and pick them out like mine.

Step Four:  While the veggies are cooking down-Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the insides.  Personally I just take those insides and add them back into the pot.  With the giant ones from the garden the seeds are fairly large so I just scoop and toss.  With smaller ones I just use the insides.  

Step Five-Bake the Zucchini for 5-10 minutes just to speed up the cooking of the boat itself. I find that if you don't precook a bigger zucchini sometimes it takes forever to get it cooked

Step Six-Take the cooked mix and stuff the boats and then cover it with cheese of your choice (for me its cheddar)

Step Seven-Bake the Zucchini until the boats are tender and cheese is good and melty 

Hope you like this recipe-for me its a good family recipe that is low in carbs and easy to whip up on a weeknight!


So as I posted awhile back I started to quilting.  I have made four quilts to date with a fifth in the works....I didn't post this one while I was making it because it was gifts so I didn't want to give away what I was making.  So as soon as my first ever quilt was made I decided to start work on a quilt for my niece.  I was inspired by some Eifle Tower fabric. She is obsessed with the tower and loves all things with it on it.  So I found this lovely print in a scrap bin when I first learned to sew.  I didnt know what I was going to make with it but I just bought it. Then over the next six months I bought any and all french fabric I could get my hands on to make the quilt.  As you can see by the photo I may have gotten a little crazy...I think I used about half of this.

I found a pattern I loved then I cut away!

Here is the free pattern I used and then modified.  I didn't love just the one star so I used the design and made my own featuring four stars with my favorite fabrics. This was a great beginning pattern so if you are thinking of starting out this is a great one.  I got it on Craftsy
  Here is the layout-Partially done on the design wall.  Basically I took the layout of the one star pattern and did it in four four parts versus just the center.  Then I added the blue/teal boarder to the edges.

Then the finished product!!!
I hope my niece is using it and loving it she was so excited when she opened it on Christmas Eve.  I think one of the things I have found I loved most about quilting is the playing with the fabric. Organizing it on the wall...seeing the colors work or shifting things for the perfect aesthetic.  

So I will be a bit vague here but for the last day or so I am in cycle of reoccuring feelings and they aren't good or healthy.  I have a deep desire in my heart and being for certain relationships in my life to be different then they are.  This is something that I have struggled with for years.  As an only child and someone who really thrives and gets a lot out of her personal relationships I am very dependent on others-and its not a good thing to tell you the truth.  I have a few relationships in my life-some friendships some familial that I wish were different then they are.  Growing up I had a picture in my head of what my adult friendships and family life would look like and things are very different then that now.  Most times I just realize that I had unrealisitc expectations for those relationships even before they began---almost in the same way I had these idealized versions of marriage and motherhood.  Most times I just tell myself to deal and move on. Other times that longing for something that will never be rests in my heart.  

For me I felt that creeping in lately.  Maybe it was the passing of my grandmother last week (I may post about that later if and when I am ready) and seeing how my dad's brothers struggle to get along that I started to realize that adult relationships are hard.  Familial relationships are hard.  For me as an only child I have always wanted these deep connections to others because I felt that I missed them being an only child and also not having a ton of family because my mom was also an only child.  I think that for me that set me up for failure.  This wanting deep connected relationships with family in particular that I don't really have.  This is in no way suggesting that I am having issues in my family or with my friends--its just I sometimes wish I was closer with some of my family and friends but I don't think those relationships are really meant to be.   I feel that sometimes I try and force a connection that isn't there or get upset when I feel people don't return my "love".  I take things very personally I always have.  What I think I need to focus on is what I do have rather than what I don't have.  I think for me the loss of my dad and then my gram this week has made me realize that I don't really have a lot of these deep connections with family or friends.  Don't get me wrong I do have some great family and some amazing close friends who are like family-but I think I am noticing or wishing there were more.  Perhaps the focus should be on continuing to deepen connections I want and to focus my attention on the good relationships I do have.  I have to realize that some things are out of my control and what I can control is my emotional response to things.  Ok-Ramble done-I just needed to process a bit of this.  


Happy Summer All!!  Ironically its only three weeks into summer and I am getting around to posting this.   As you know I am a teacher so that means I go from teacher to being a stay at home mom.  I always have visions of grander with summer.  I am going to loose 100 pounds and reinvent my life.  This year my goal was a bit simpler it was to enjoy the time with my kids and get my house deep cleaned.  I wanted to do all that little stuff around the house that I never have time to do.  Sadly three weeks into the summer and I am already behind.  I feel bad about this but then I remember that its summer-That I should use this time to not only recharge me but recharge the family.  The kids love to go to the pool every day so we do that most days.  There are tons of day trips I would have loved to take them on but a lot of the time they just love hanging out at home and going to the pool.  I am hoping to take some time daily to do things for me-but I have been struggling with that.  Now that its all me all the time with the kids-not a lot of stuff for me gets done.  I am still working out daily which I am super proud of.  So here is hoping to make good use of my remaining five weeks!  What are all of your summer plans?

So for those who know me personally know what has been going on with my puppy-but part of why I haven't been blogging has to do with my man.  Ok that and I am sort of lazy.  So about a month and half ago I was picking our guy up to get on the bed because he didn't want to jump and he yelped a bit...over the next few days we noticed he wasn't jumping and seemed a bit off.  By the end of the weekend he was super hunched and clearly in pain.  We took him to the Er and they said back injury rest and meds.  After a bit of not getting better we went to our regular vet....more meds more rest.  Well long story short after many texts to my cousin who is a Vet surgeon in Texas we decided to get in with a neurosurgeon one of the only in the area happens to be where Ryan works.  Well even before we could make our appointment he got much worse so we moved it up.  The day of the appointment we decided to have him stay and get an MRI with possible immediate surgery. Well that is exactly what happened.  Come to find out he had a severely herniated disc and when the doctor went to fix it he noticed lots of scar tissue which means this was an old injury.  We are starting to wonder if this is why he gets so upset if he is stepped on or almost stepped on. As an adopted dog we don't know what happened to him before us but he did come with some scratches and healing wounds.  We are thinking the original injury happened to him as a puppy and now it just finally got so bad.

Thankfully he is healing wonderfully and he barely has a scar at this point.  We aren't healing so easily financially thought.  Between the Er trip, our vet, a sedated xray before the neurosurgeon, and the MRI and surgery, and all the med  this has cost us around 7000.00.  I joke with biscuit that he is the most expensive thing I own so he can bet I am going to be taking good care of him.  My cousin who is hte vet said think of him and his recovery like he is an investment piece you want the most value for the money so make sure he recovers.

For biscuit this is the worse. He always has to be on a leash, no jumping, no couch, no big bed, and until this past week-no walks just outside to pee and poop and thats it.  We are starting to build him up for walks this week and he loves it.  He was so good one week out it was like there was nothing wrong.

We are so happy our furry man is ok.  Both our dogs bring some much joy and love into our lives.  Especially for the kids---one of my favorite things at night is when Dylan gives each dog a kiss on the head on his way into bed...ADORABLE!!!!

Thankfully our furry baby is back on track and we couldn't be happier

Visit post surgery at the vet-he was so happy to see daddy-and daddy was happy to see his man

Daily Pills-Thankfully those are all done-and thankgod for pill pockets

His scar which is much better now that the staples are out 

My man pre surgery you can just see it how sad he is....thankfully no sad puppy-Just a happy one now!
I know its been like 1000 years since I posted but I have been really focusing on myself and my family lately.  I have started a new fitness program that I share more about hopefully later in the week.  This past Saturday was my birthday.  During the end of March I have found that I struggle a bit with missing my Dad.  I was so spoiled that I really miss that-I remember one year I was worried about going somewhere because not everyone would like it-his reply "Screw them-its your birthday you do what you want".    Miss J has her birthday a few days after mine.  My dad worshiped her....There is no way he would ever miss my birthday let alone his baby girls.  It also makes me realize how much he has missed.  This will be the third year he isn't here.  We are getting to the point that she is fastly approaching the time that she will have had more birthday's without him then she had with---that is hard for me to begin to wrap my mind around.  

My birthday was good-I took a quilting class about English Paper Piecing-Here is a great website and video about it. http://melaniekham.com/englishpaperpiecing/. It was a wonderful morning learning this new skill.  Then we headed back to the house and went off to lunch at my favorite Chinese place.  I almost cancelled lunch because our beloved dog biscuit may need surgery and I didn't really want to spend the money but my husband insisted and I was thankful that he did.  Then we headed back for cake and gifts.  I got lots of fun stuff including a new quilt kit and a few nice shirts and some make-up.  It was a nice day.  

Now it is about moving forward.  For the past two months I have been working on incorporating fitness into my life-but now I am going to really try and focus on my nutrition.  I may look into going to see a nutritionist and I am working on a container eating system and recording my calories.   I want to really work on getting as healthy as possible and for the first time in a long time I really feel that this is possible.  I am thankful that as I move into my 37th year things seem much more positive.