Saturday, September 8, 2012

Ally's Mocha Brownie

A while back I shared with you my award winning Brownie Recipe, and with the Fall season here and Holidays right around the corner, now is a great time to share this again!  As you know, I pride myself on taking recipes and using the best whole food ingredients and make them healthier by using whole wheat, sweeteners such as Agave or Splenda, Organic foods, etc. Not this recipe.  It is completely decadent, so rich and good, and in no way healthy for you.  However, it is SO worth the extra calories, sugar, and every thing else in it because it is so yummy.  This is the perfect recipe for every family gathering, party, or even the social gatherings or buffet.

Ally's Mocha Brownie:

1 Box of Brownie Mix
1 Package of Oreo Cookies crushed
1 cup strongly brewed coffee or espresso
2 containers of Truwhip
Caramel syrup or Chocolate Syrup
1 cup of miniature Chocolate Chips

Bake Brownie mix as directed on the package in a 9x13" pan and let cool
Poke the top of the brownie with a fork
Pour Coffee/espresso over the entire top of the brownie and allow to soak in
Evenly spread the crushed Oreo Cookies over the top of the brownie
Top with two containers of Truwhip
Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips
Garnish with caramel or chocolate drizzle

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Week Four Nutrisystem #NSNation!

This week has been another fly by the seat of your pants insane week, but I have had a great week with my Nutrisystem.  I received my second shipment of Nutrisystem cabinet foods, and I will receive my frozen food today or tomorrow.  We had grandparents Saturday through Monday and picked up a different Grandma from the airport on Tuesday, but I am dieting strong!


I started off at 280 lbs and have lost down to 267 lbs even.  That is only a 1.2 lb loss in the last week, but my body (well parts of it) are literally melting away!  I know the key to seeing the scales move is more exercise which I just haven't had time for this last week unless daily cleaning my house for company counts, but I love seeing the difference on my tape measure too.  Sadly, I am seeing a real difference in my bras, so I think I will be bra shopping next Friday since I am tired of how big it has gotten on me.  If I could just switch that with my hip weight loss, life would be almost perfect!

In all seriousness, this is the easiest diet I have been on, ever.  Sure, there are times it's tough, and I want to eat homemade meatballs or cheesecake, but my Nutrisystem brownie is a lifesaver, and we keep trucking!  On a side note, we went to IHOP to eat this week while running errands one day, and I found that something on the lite menu wasn't too far off from Nutrisystem.  I managed to eat some eggbeaters with a side of whole grain pancakes and only eat 500 calories.  I felt really good about myself knowing I did what was good for my body, and it actually tasted good too!

My Beginning Measurements:  

Upper Arms: 15.0
Chest: 49.8
Waist: 54.0
Hips: 59.0
Thighs: 23.6

Current Measurements:

Upper Arms: 14.4
Chest: 47.0
Waist: 51.3
Hips: 57.0
Thighs: 21.0

That's a total of 1.4 inches lost in my upper arms, 2.8 inches lost in my chest, 2.7 inches lost in my waist, 2 inches lost in my hips and 2.6 inches lost in my thighs!  I call that Success!  Irony?  No way, since I am on the Nutrisystem Success program!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting Nutrisystem

*Nutrisystem is providing me with 4 months of free food and support service as part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger program. In exchange, I will be posting each week with my progress. All thoughts expressed are my own, and my experience using the system may vary from that of other participants.*  

Back to School Party with Jolly Time!

One of my favorite snacks growing up was Popcorn.  My mother had (still has) an old iron pot that she would heat oil in before adding in the kernels popping the most wonderful tasting popcorn you can imagine.  I can almost taste it as I am writing about it, remembering fondly sharing a big bowl before bedtime.  This is a tradition I definitely want to share with my children, but I have discovered a much easier way to share this tradition:  Jiffy Pop.

 Jiffy Pop is the perfect snack for family movie night, like last night when we watched The Hunger Games-AGAIN, or for a light after school snack to fill hungry tummies!  I love the Jiffy Pop individual sized bags with 100 calories.  The kids can enjoy everything from Kettle Corn to Butter Flavored, and while they think they are getting a truly yummy treat, I feel great knowing they are snacking on something so low in calories!


We had a super fun back to school party complete with Jiffy Pop, lots of music and dancing while we had all this company.  The kids had a blast, and as of last night are still asking if they can make their "own bag of popcorn."  These bags are so easy to make that even my 8 year old can pop her own.  Just pop in the microwave for 2 minutes and viola! Tasty popcorn!  My personal favorite is the Kettle Corn 100 Calorie bags, because this fits with my requirements for the diet that I am on, and I get a salty AND sweet snack all in one!  Now that is what I can a win:win situation any day!

You can find some these and more products on the Jolly Time site, Facebook and Twitter.  You can also try one or more of these fabulous looking recipes!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Update on Max

Last week I shared with you how sick my oldest son Max has been, and we went back to the doctor today so I wanted to give you a quick update.  If you didn't catch the first post, you can read what's going on in the original post.  

Max's ear started oozing again on Saturday, but I knew he was on the strongest antibiotics they can give him without an iv, so we waited until his appointment today since the office was closed for the Holiday anyways.

Dr. Winslow had a chance to view the Cat Scan since last week, had it confirmed (along with the cultures) by several other doctors, and my son definitely has a staff infection in the bone behind his ear which is in his skull.  In the almost 3 years I have been seeing Dr. Winslow with four kids which is at least twice a month, I have never heard him express concern about something.  Normally I get the "it's no big deal if you treat it properly" response from him which I love.  He's no nonsense, tells me what's wrong, how to treat, and reassures that it's normal, no big deal.

Not this time.  He told me this concerns him a lot, wants to get him to the ENT as soon as possible, and personally spoke to the receptionist about getting this appointment worked soon.  He also wants his EEG moved up if possible, but I am a little unsure why unless the seizure could be caused by the infection in a weird way.  Oh, yes, and the infection is so bad it has ruptured his ear drum, and his ear "looks worse now than it did when you brought him in a month ago."

On a side note, Max's sugar is no longer under control and in the past year has tested high 5 out of 6 times.  He said he really thinks Max has Type 1 Diabetes, but wants to do one more fasting test in a month so that his body isn't under stress from this sickness before he puts him on medication.

All in all it's just a little scary thinking about my son having an infection in his skull which may take months to cure, and which has likely already caused permanent hearing loss per the doctor.  Max is a little scared, because at 13 I can only sugar coat some of what he heard the doctor say first hand.  If I were a less strong person with a less strong man here going through this with me, I would be a hot mess. I'm alright, but I would lie if I said I wasn't worried.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Thankful Heart and a Beautiful Smile: Operation Smiles!

If you polled a hundred pregnant women, and asked them what their wishes are for their unborn child, you will hear a wide variety of answers.  However, the one wish that each and every mother will have in common is that their children be born healthy, and I was no different.

I was blessed with four children, each born healthy, and I cannot imagine my child being born with something that causes physical pain, problems eating or swallowing, social issues, and possibly eventually emotional issues.  Yet every day babies around the globe are born with an issue that fits in each of these categories:  Cleft Palate.

Cleft Palate

Cleft Palate is a congenital deformity that is caused during development of the face during pregnancy.  It is a gap where two plates in the skull which are supposed to form the roof of the mouth aren't joined. A Cleft Palate has many problems associated with it including feeding issues, fluid build up in the ear, hearing issues, dental abnormalities, speech issues, and social issues.  The hard palate prevents fluids from entering the nasal cavity, so problems are especially difficult for babies since even simple sucking is difficult without the hard palate being complete.  The physical  and social pain are bad enough, but it is magnified if there is no health insurance to cover repairing the palate, or if there is no money to do so.

Operation Smiles

Operation Smiles is an organization that boasts over 5,000 medical professionals who donate their time and expertise to help out babies around the world born with a Cleft Palate!  For a mere $240 dollars, they can transform a beautiful smile into an even more beautiful smile that is pain free!  I can't think of many greater causes than this, and it warms my heart to know there is an organization of thousands of professionals who dedicate time, effort and resources into this!

Many thanks to  all of the donors who make Operation Smiles possible including Campus Book Rentals!  What are we waiting for?  Head on over to Operation Smiles and find out many different ways you can jump on board and support the cause!

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post, and I received compensation for my work.  However, all opinions expressed are truthful, and in no way affected by said compensation.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sometimes I feel a little Nutty: Nutty Guys Giveaway 9/16!

Since my husband and I began our path to getting in shape a month ago, I have been learning how to incorporate healthy, yet tasty snacks into our separate diets.  My husband is a heavy lifter, and he is eating lots of protein along with his diet, and I am trying to lose weight, so I too am adding healthy protein to my diet too.  I try to utilize low fat proteins as much as possible, but there are some "healthy fats" that are essential to our bodies that are actually good to snack on in moderation.  One of those snacks are nuts.  Combine them with fruit, and you have a double whammy with healthy carbs and protein.  Add a little chocolate for an indulgent treat!


The Company:

Today I want to share a new company I discovered with you:  Nutty Guys.  If you haven't heard about Nutty Guys before, the company was started in 1999 when two college buddies were selling potatoes and other fresh produce door to door and discovered that the majority of people wanted fresh nuts.  They quickly focused on this, and now carry over 300 nuts, seeds, butters, fruit, etc which they roast in house.  They pride themselves on fresh products, and refuse to keep a large quantity stocked.  They dip the nuts in chocolate on Monday to be sold on Friday!  The end result is satisfied customers who always get quality, fresh products!

My Thoughts:

I was thrilled to receive a Four Compartment Nut Try from Nutty Guys to facilitate my review.  My compartments contained Salted Pistachios in the shell, Cashews, Mixed Nuts, and Cinnamon Toffee Almonds.  My two personal favorites were the cashews and the pecans-yes, I picked the pecans out of the mixed nuts.  Hey, I was saving my son's life since he is deathly allergic to Pecans!  Okay, so I didn't let him eat any of the nuts since they obviously process pecans at Nutty Guys, but I had to have a good reason to eat all the pecans out of the mixed nuts.  My husband made quick work of the Cinnamon Toffee Almonds and the rest of the Cashews, and the 3 youngest kids loved all of the pistachios.  We really enjoyed the nuts, and my husband just yesterday requested to look at the website so he can pick out the nuts we buy next!


Also, with the Holiday Season coming up, I will definitely be using Nutty Guys nuts in my "candy dishes" for people to snack on at our parties and gatherings.  I think these would also make great stocking stuffer gifts, or even a nice gift for a co-worker, teacher, extended family member, or whoever you want to get a gift for!

Save on purchases now:

These were such a hit at our house, and I can feel great about the fact that I am giving my family a healthy snack rather than junk food to fuel their bodies.  You can find these and more nuts, fruit, seeds and much more at Nutty Guys Online.  You can also get a great discount through September 30 just for being my blog readers!  You can buy the same Four Compartment Nut Tray at 50% off for entering coupon code below.

Coupon Code:  mywildcrazylife for 50%  discount


Win Some:

Also, one of my super lucky winners is going to win some nuts of their very own.  Just jump on my Rafflecopter and get your entries in to be eligible to win!  Don't forget to check out their Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their latest promotions and happenings!