Healthy in 2017: The Everyday Way

A few days I shared with all of you, my year in review – quite a big year… I wasn’t lying! But, now that Baby K is here, the wedding is over and the holidays will be over soon too, I’m left with zero excuses. So, tis’ the season to make a change.

Every year I make a resolution to workout and be skinny again, but I’m over it. Instead, my new year’s resolution is to be happy and to be the best momma and wife that I can be. We all know that our overall health plays a gigantic part in our everyday life – something as simple as only a couple of hours of sleep one night can totally mess up your entire week. It can make you irritable, grouchy and short. It can leave you unable to focus and literally have you begging for the end of the week, missing all of the little things in between or rushing through some of the best things, like bathtime, bedtime, or just even quiet time. So, in an effort to help myself, I’m going to start with resetting my whole self. I’m going to try to be less hard myself.

They say that it takes a minimum of 21 days to start forming a habit, but that it can actually take months before it starts to feel automatic. Some of us are just averse to change, while others seem to make their transitions seamlessly. I haven’t decided where I fall yet, but I think it depends mostly on the change. Nutrition wasn’t something I grew up with a focus on. I hide behind my lack of knowledge to stifle my new beginnings in this area. In other words, it’s like the math test that I used to sit down to – it was a no fail, psych out. I’d sit down with confidence, flip the page over and then suddenly every number turned into a little cyclone and scrambled themselves all over the page. How on earth do you reign that in?! {I still HATE numbers.} So, every time I restart this process the same dang thing happens. I don’t know what that label means, I don’t even know how to read it! {Except, I know there’s caffeine in there… give. me. the. caffeine.} I don’t know a good carb from a bad carb, I just know that I like carbs! And seriously, first I don’t have the means to pay someone to tell me what to do every day and second, I hate the thought of hanging out in a gym and being judged about my lack of knowledge or my small amount of sit-ups before I’m just stuck lying there. Also, I have a life and I want to live it – I do not, I repeat, I do not want to feel bad if I miss a day… But when I get home, the idea of having a beer {or a giant glass of wine} and sitting on the couch sounds way more amazing than gasping for air for thirty minutes and for real, supper is going to be another two hours because I forgot to thaw the meat… ooh, chips! So, there’s that.

And here lies my adventure. Every time I try to restart this process, I turn to the internet for a well thought out plan for those of us who lack the knowledge to make good decisions. {I was so excited that we moved from rice to couscous, and then I found out that couscous is still considered a pasta and it only sounds like it’s actually good for you… what!? Low blow, life.} Without fail, I only ever come across bits and pieces. I’m a tough customer. I don’t want to spend millions more at the grocery store, nor do I want to buy two separate meals or make Mr feel like he has to suffer with me. So, I’ve decided to begin working with a nutritional coach and start a relationship with my macronutrients and flexible dieting, which isn’t even a diet at all! More like a reset button, or a good habit maker if you will.

What the heck is “Flexible Dieting”? It’s not a diet! It is an assessment of caloric needs specific to one person – your person. Those caloric needs are divided into the appropriate amount of macronutrients the individual’s nutrition needs and body composition goals. Flexible dieting allows you to eat for a life that allows for living. In other words, you know you’re going to travel, celebrate birthdays and weddings, go on vacations and even run out of “healthy” food once in a while… And, that’s okay. DO NOT let it stress you out. Having a slice of pizza or a bowl of ice cream isn’t going to derail your progress – you don’t need to go into “I blew it anyway” mode. In fact, treating yourself might just help you keep your sanity. Okay, so what gives? IIFYM – If It Fits Your Macros. This is my new mantra. It is used when referring to the food and meal choices that I’m starting to make. Think grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. If the cookie’s macros fit within my numbers for the day, then it is perfectly fine for me to eat said cookie. Keeping my diet flexible isn’t supposed to make me feel restricted; instead, it’s supposed to help me balance my day and help me plan for when life does happen.

Please note that health truly is an all around effort – it does include BOTH a healthy diet and exercise… even if you’re not the crazy lady who might as well sell her house and pay rent at the gym. I know that I’m headed for a learning curve, but I have no choice but to find a way to succeed… because this is what I want for me and for my family.

Here we go!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!


Living Life the Everyday Way

Well, hey gang! It seems that I’ve fallen from the blogging bandwagon and disappeared into the abyss of life for a whole year! I’ll start by saying I’m sorry, but seriously, just wait until you read about the year that I’ve had while I’ve been away… The house on the hill has had the best year ever! img_3462-1

When I left you last November, we were getting ready to welcome a new hunting pup into our home – Enter, Deeks. This guy is all leg and he thinks he’s the fastest dog in the world. He’s also a snuggler with the personality of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. {You’re laughing but I’m for real!} He’s been hunting a handful of times this year and he’s getting better each time he goes – Needless to say, Mr is pretty proud of him!

Shortly after we brought Deeks home (literally like a day later), Mr and I found out that we’d also be welcoming our very own, very human, bundle of joy to the house on the hill! Little miss Baby K arrived in July img_5217and she’s been quite  an adventure. I simply can’t even imagine our world without her anymore. She’s healthy, learning, growing and changing every day. She’s a smart little cookie and she’s as curious as they come. She has a smile that will melt your heart and a sweet little voice that I love to listen to when she’s babbling away. She was one of three babies born on my mom’s side of the family this year! Her cousin Baby boy R is 7 weeks older than her and Baby girl R is 3 months younger! Christmas 2017 in Minnesota is going to be quite the experience.  I’m so very excited for these little nuggets to grow-up together. There was absolutely nothing better than sharing my childhood with my cousins, except for sharing my adulthood with them too! kiss1

In September my brother married the love of his life and in October, after eight years, Mr and I finally tied the knot too! I told you it’s been big! I knew that Mr was the one for me eight years ago, when somehow my guard fell down and my heart started tripping all over
itself. I’d been waiting for these days, but even in my dreams I don’t think that I could have ever imagined all that’s happened for us in these last eight years. I’m so very excited for our forever after!


In November we got to take a last minute trip, our honeymoon, to the southern half of our Nation – we enjoyed a quick trip to Kentucky, where we checked out some cattle and then we made our way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and spent a couple of days in a beautiful little cabin, nestled among the Great Smoky Mountains. I might speak for myself, but I most definitely cannot wait to do it again some day! img_6465

And, here we are today. December 14, 2016 – Now that I’m a momma, it’s become super important to me that we start some new traditions and keep some others alive for our sweet little Baby K. And, we simply can’t make them a tradition if we don’t start them now! So, we started by taking her on our annual trip to the tree farm and we accomplished our real tree tradition… in record time I’m pretty sure! We got the tree home and in it’s place and suddenly I realized, we need a tree skirt! So, I’ve finally finished that darn skirt that I started last year too… not to shabby!

Uffda! Now that’s a year in review… a big year! The best year ever at this point. But, now that our little girlie is here, weddings are done and the holidays will soon be over, I’m left without excuses. So, tis’ the season to make a change. Stay tuned for a new adventure! Details coming soon!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!

Everyday Random Thoughts

Remember when I told you guys that I was working on a project and that I’d post some pictures as I made progress? Well, I haven’t made any progress. Although my vacation is almost completely gone, I’ve still had a little bit of time to climb into the stand, and I even traded my bow for some heels and glitter when I joined my co-workers at a charity gala! I also got to spend some pretty quality time with family and with my girlfriends. I’ve even started my annual holiday hours at our local dairy farm and with that, I’ve been looking at the calendar and it’s occurred to me that the holiday season is officially here and it’s not going anywhere! Where on earth have my weekends gone?! Umm… I’m still crossing my fingers to have the skirt done before Christmas and preferably, not long after we get our tree!

Speaking of a tree… A long time ago, I’m talking like 5 years ago, I was super excited to decorate the house on the hill for Christmas (I wasn’t officially a resident yet!), and I had made some fantastic progress that night too! Usually it takes me 8 hours and another day to decorate our tree, because I just can’t settle for empty spaces and un-even lights; but that year, everything seemed to work out perfectly… until my Mr got home. I was so excited to share it with him, and although he told me that it looked good, he also said it had to go. What! Go where? Apparently there was a rule at the house on the hill, and that rule was ‘no fake Christmas trees’… ever. He said he didn’t make the rules, he just followed them. So, it quickly became our little tradition to bear the weather and find ourselves the perfect, very real tree. I’m surprised this guy still likes me – for as long as it takes me to decorate, it takes me as equally long (if not longer) to finally pick a tree! I like them tall and round, with no empty spaces… you wouldn’t believe how difficult it can be sometimes! (P.S. if you’re reading this, I’m so very thankful for those patience of yours!)

That same year we bought a [real] Christmas tree and we went couch shopping, and the very next day, I found out that I was finally getting a puppy (the puppy I’d been begging for, for years) for Christmas! Today, my puppy has grown into the sweetest, easiest, 85 lb, golden, lap dog! Neither of us could have asked for a better boy – we have been pretty spoiled! This year, we’ll repeat the tradition; only I’m positive that our couch is fine and I’m not actually sure when we’ll get to hunting down the perfect tree… but, in just a few short days, we’ll be welcoming yet another pup into our home! That’s right, somehow I was talked into a hunting dog as our mutually agreed upon gift to each other this year… #PheasantForDays!

It’s going to be a pretty exciting month as we rehash our puppy training days and both travel to and host Christmas’ as we do so! Please keep us in your thoughts!

Ugh, so back to that project of mine… Umm… I’m still crossing my fingers to have it done before Christmas…

Just me, living my life the everday way.

It’s been a day… or two…

Hello, word world! It’s been a day or two since I was last able to share with you! When we last spoke, I wrote you a letter from the tree… I’ve since blown most of my vacation to sit and as luck would have it, I’m still a 2015 tag holder. No worries though, I have until December 4!

Aside from chasing deer, I’ve been busy with work and living my life the everyday way. I was recently lucky enough to enjoy a trip to the Center Grove Orchard, where I brought home some of the cutest pumpkins and 2 pecks of their Chieftan apples. With the pumpkins, I decided to get festive and dress up our corner a little! And, with the apples, I decided that it was time to try my hand at some homemade apple goodies! I found some delicious recipes for both applesauce and apple butter! I’m totally biased, but I didn’t think I did too bad! (Hopefully, the neighbors were all okay with it too!)

 For my next project, I’ve decided to start a no-sew burlap tree skirt! I decided it was time to get brave – I’ve been drooling over these skirts since I first saw one, probably 3 years ago. They go for $100 or more! I really want one, but not that much I guess… so, for $40 I’ve decided to start my own. I’ve found a couple of helpful tutorials online, which I will post later with the final product! Please pray for my finger tips and patience as I embark on this adventure! So far I’ve gathered my supplies and I’ve cut down my painters cloth to the size I’m going to need! Perhaps on Sunday, I will make some more progress!

   Well friends, I’m off to find some noodles and a little HGTV! Until next time!

Just me, living my life the everyday way.

Vittles the Everyday Way: Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pull-Apart Quiche Crossover

Whoa! That’s a huge title – Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pull-Apart Quiche Crossover! But size doesn’t matter, or does it? Just kidding!

This happy accident was born last night, when all I wanted to do was use up the last of my diced ham (from the Ham & Cheese Tortellini that I made the other night) and while I was looking for a recipe worthy enough of my ham, I ended up coming across ‘like’ ten of them that sounded delicious! So I made a couple of mental notes and pinned a couple of them, so that I could refer to them later at the grocery store and this is what happened…


Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Pull-Apart Quiche Crossover

1 tube Pillsbury Grands Original Flaky Biscuits, quartered
3 cups Ham, diced
2 cups Broccoli, chopped
1 cup Green Onion, chopped
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
Granulated Garlic, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Cheese (I’m a cheesehead at heart, so I sprinkled on two flavors, Pizza Blend & Monterrey Jack)

1.  Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

2. Arrange quartered biscuits in the bottom of a greased 11×13 dish.

3. Layer ham, broccoli and green onion over the biscuits. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs. And, sparingly pour over biscuits… making sure to get a little in every nook and cranny. (I whisked/poured just 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk first and then added the second. To achieve the “nook and cranny” pour, I just put the mixture on in a zig-zag pattern.)

5. Sprinkle on your cheese!

6. Bake for 40 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through and cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

It smelled so good that I could hardly even wait until it was out of the oven! Somewhere I think that there was an original concept of pull-apart breads or some sort of bubble bake, but then I saw some quiche recipes and decided that broccoli was too good to pass up (and, I like having a vegetable with my meal… annnd, I may have a small broccoli problem. So what!).

Okay so, now all of the sudden there’s so much goodness going on, on top of my biscuits that there’s no real “bubble” to be baked or pull-apart anything, and I’ve also added an extra egg and more milk so it’s turned into something that’s very quiche-like… hence the crazy long “Ham & Broccoli Pull-Apart Quiche Crossover”. At this point, any real definition is beside the point… it seriously was scrumptious!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!

Go – Bake – Enjoy! 

Letters from the Tree: Night #1

  As I sit here tonight, finally back up in a tree, I find myself all over the place with my thoughts. 

Sometimes I’m worried enough or excited enough to perseverate on one thing, but not tonight. Tonight’s thoughts aren’t complicated, no, not at all. In fact, they’re very simple things that I think, I sometimes easily forget. 

Who got me here? My dad, for allowing me the opportunity to explore the world of archery and hunting. My brother for being such an awesome teacher. My mom for being such a great cheerleader. My Mr for not only supporting me, but allowing me multiple opportunities to get after it and encouraging me to do so! (Thank you, guys!) 

Being a treestand sitter allows me the perfect opportunity to slow things down, climb up into the tree and smell the harvest! I mean that’s the point… I literally dress to disappear and sit quiet and still, like I’m not even there. (Err… I’m supposed to. I can be quiet but I do get fidgety!) I’m allowed to become one with the world around me. I get to turn down all of the noises of every day life and dial into all of the practically forgotten life around me, zeroing in on specific sounds. (Crickets definitely don’t belong in my house, but darn if they aren’t perfect out here!)

And you know how sometimes, as you get older, you see a child who’s face absolutely just lights up in surprise or glee and you end up sitting there and just giving yourself a pep talk, like “Come on girl, you got this. Just because you’re stuck working and paying bills now, doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a game of hide-n-seek every now and then! Don’t be boring and old.” And then suddenly you know you’re far from old because you about drop your heart from your rear as two rambunctious squirrels go flying by, and you didn’t suffer from heart failure of any kind! Oh yeah, there’s the kid in you – now you’re laughing at such a scare! (Dumb squirrels!

Oh well, I’m alive and I’m lucky enough to get to sit up here in my personal treehouse and ponder it all! 

Shhh… I think I hear something… 

Just me, living my life the everyday way. 

Vittles the Everyday Way: Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla

And, recipe #2!

Harvest has just started and every year I sit and rack my brain for things that will be quick, in case it’s late or easy, for transporting; and every year I forget what I did the year before. Sandwiches will get boring and supper is supper! While on my quest to pin harvest happy recipes, I found this guy… really it’s a very original concept and I don’t know why I’ve never thought of it on my own, but I’m really glad I stumbled upon it!

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla
Flour Tortillas
2 Green Peppers, diced
1 Onion, sliced
3 tb Butter, divided
1 lb Roast Beef, deli sliced and cut into strips
Shredded Cheese (We used Monterrey Jack and a Pizza Blend!)

1. Melt 1 tb butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook until onions are golden and tender.

2. Add roast beef and saute until it’s browned and then set aside.

3. Melt 1 tb butter in skillet, over medium-high heat. Add one tortilla. Using one half of the tortilla, add a handful of cheese, a layer of the onion, pepper and beef mixture and top with another handful of cheese – it will help it all stick! Fold your empty half over the layers and let it sit on the heat until melted; then flip it over and do the same to other side.

4. Plate. Eat. Enjoy!
*Note: I chose to eat mine plain, but my Mr topped his with some salsa!

*Original recipe from Little Dairy on the Prairie

I haven’t enjoyed any of our leftovers yet but I’m pretty excited to dive in again… especially now that I’m talking about it!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!


Vittles the Everyday Way: Ham & Cheese Tortellini

As I promised yesterday, recipe #1!

Okay, so yesterday I explained how living in our cyclical world can also make us pretty predictable at the same time and honestly, I hate being predictable. Life is about being on an adventure and trying new and scary things, simply because they are new and scary!

Occasionally, I just have to press the “STOP” button and reevaluate what’s going on the menu, because as human’s we gravitate to comforting things and it’s super easy for us to start eating variations of the same things week in and week out and sometimes it’s just time for a change up! Luckily, I got lucky with my Mr – he’s not a picky eater and over time, he’s also decided that he might be Guy Fieri’s brother! (Just so we’re clear, neither of these things bother me. In fact, I love them both!) That means that it’s not only easy for me to find new recipes to put in the mix, but that he’s going to help me make them better at the same time! This is where Pinterest comes in!

As I was getting my meal plan ready for the week, I ran across this gem… and it was totally worth it! Remember a second ago when I was gloating about my not-so-picky Mr? Well I take it back, kind of. He doesn’t like peas and he refuses to eat Tator-Tot Hotdish, but that’s a traumatic childhood experience we’ll have to save for another day! WARNING: this recipe does contain peas, but they make the dish! And, my Mr even went back for seconds! #Winning

Ham & Cheese Tortellini
1 tb Butter
2 cup Diced Onion
12 oz Ham, Diced
1 cup Chicken Broth, low sodium
9 oz Tortellini (We used frozen!)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup Sweet Peas, frozen
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Shredded Cheese (We used a pizza blend!)

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet, using medium-high heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add onion and cook until golden brown and tender. Add ham and cooked until browned.

2. Add chicken broth, tortellini and salt and pepper. Combine well and bring to a boil.

3. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for approximately 12 minutes, or until the tortellini is tender.

4. Take skillet off of the heat and stir in peas, cream and 1/2 cup of cheese. Top the mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and place it under the broiler, until cheese is a melted pile of golden goodness! (Approximately 3 minutes!

*Original recipe from Kevin & Amanda

It was super quick and easy and it was delicious! It even heated up like I had just made it, so it’s perfect for leftovers!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!


Vittles the Everyday Way: Menu Planning

Our little life on the hill is by definition cyclical, and therefore also pretty predictable. The new year arrives and calving begins, spring hits and planting starts, summer arrives and race season is on in full force, fall shows up and brings both bow season for her and harvest for him… you’re right, most of that is all about my Mr, but come April through December, this girl has plenty of things to do and menu making isn’t always at the top of the list.

When I was living by myself, grocery shopping was an almost daily occurrence. Hey! Be nice – I had to have something to look forward to before going home to hanging out all alone! Needless to say, that is not my Mr’s definition of entertainment and he either got sick of answering my daily question of “what sounds good tonight?” or annoyed with me for saying “well, I’ll have to run to the store…”. If he could, he’d pay the Schwan’s man to stop and grab him TP and Miller Lite on his way over! (Seriously, that has come out of his mouth more than once!) Since he finally shared with me that he thought my methods were ridiculous, I’ve tried really hard to come up with a meal plan that gets us through two weeks at a time. I’m not religious with it, in fact I just cheated and only did one week for Monday’s menu; but the point is that I’m trying!

When I decided to give menu planning a go, I just did a quick Google search on menu planning freebies and I found The Eat Sheet at Design Finch. It works perfect for me! I’ve found that I can easily fit two meals per day, plus my grocery list too. See a sample below!

eatsheetI suppose that there are both pro’s and con’s to menu planning, just as there are with many things; but I can’t really think of one right now. I mean, sure sometimes I forget to thaw something or I forget a main ingredient or sometimes I just decide I’m not in the mood for what I’m seeing… but then there are always other options! It’s an easy fix, every time. And, I love walking in and knowing exactly what I want and walking out with crossed off items!

Tomorrow, I’ll update my recipes with two of the newest additions to our box of options! Pinterest wins… that’s what we call those!

Just me, living my life the everyday way!


Not just today, but every day…

As long as there are people roaming this earth, there will be historical events that change the shape of their world as they know it. For my generation it will be September 11, 2001. On that day we huddled in our schools, our offices and our homes, and as one nation we grieved for our neighbors and the terror they were living. On that day, the United States of America and the history for which it represents had never resonated louder. For every ounce of our nation that was fought for and founded… it was as clear as day in that moment.

Today, I struggle to understand. For one day we allowed ourselves to be as one, to ring our liberty bell and hold hands with our neighbors; even atheists prayed! For one day. Does anyone see where I’m going with this? For one day, the United States of America and the republic for which it stands, stood as one nation under God. There is so much wrong with our world. There is so much wrong on our own soil.

Instead of using a #hashtag today, I wish everyone from the very tippy-top of our Government, to all of the blue collars of the souls like myself, would just sit down and take a moment to read their US History books; the real ones if there even still available. I wish they’d all take moment to educate themselves on what America means and what we as American’s stand for.

Before I can end my blog today, I need to leave you with a couple of things – Please read them slowly, understand them, soak them in and most importantly, never forget them.

I’ve chosen for you a small portion of the great Gettysburg Address:
“…It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1963

And lastly, I’ve also chosen an oldie but a goodie. Please repeat after me…  “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United State of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

…not just today my friends, but every day.

Never Forget. God Bless and Godspeed.