Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: Achieve Anything in Just One Year by Jason Harvey

 I rarely have time to actually read many books because of my time limitations, but I recently had the opportunity to read a great motivational book so I thought I would share!

Jason Harvey's Achieve Anything in Just One Year is a step by step manual on how to achieve goals that you have, but have never been able to achieve.  There are literally 365 days worth of small "activities" that gradually lead up to obtaining what you want to in life.

I haven't had the book for a year, so I haven't yet completed all of the projects, but they are simple, and each day includes a motivational quote and activity which builds upon what you learned or did the day before.  Day one's assignment is to purchase a notebook-any kind, and take it everywhere with you for a week.  Each and every dream or desire that pops in your head is to be written down in your book so you can actually see your goals.  The quote is by Martin Luther King, Jr:  "Faith is taking the first step when you don't see the whole staircase!"

By day 30, I am learning about missed opportunities.  Every opportunity is a chance to get in the game and play!  If you miss an opportunity of any size, not only are you missing out on that moment, but you are missing out on something that might change your life forever.  So, don't let any opportunities pass you buy.  Explore them, and see where they lead you!


I have a goal of losing a certain amount of weight which is in my notebook of course.  In the last six weeks alone, I have accepted an opportunity which has helped me to not only visualize weight loss, but to actually lose 18 pounds!  The moral of the story is that this book can definitely help you reach your goals.  You can find this book on Amazon and check out how good it is for yourself!

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.

Week 7 with Nutrisystem #NSNation, #Spon

I have officially been on Nutrisystem for 7 full weeks now.  In some ways it seems much longer, and in some ways it seems like I just started and it can't be 7 weeks already.   My latest favorite snack is low-fat Greek Yogurt.  I am using a brand that boasts 23 whole grams of protein, and if I add about 2 Tablespoons of sugar free pudding mix, it transforms into a decadent mousse-like treat!

I have learned that lots of protein and veggies are the trick to staying full between my meals.  I know it seems impossible to be hungry when you eat six meals a day, but as my metabolism increases, I find I am truly hungry by the time each meal rolls around.  However, I am not hungry for nearly as much food now as I used to be!  A cup of greek yogurt, or 8 whole grain crackers with some veggies quickly fills me up!

I didn't reach my goal of 20 lbs weight loss this week, but I am still down 18 whole lbs!  I currently weight 262.2,  which is less than one lb lost this week, but I have lost a whole lot in terms of my tape measure!  I am down a total of  13.9 inches!  That's a whole lotta less of me!  Yesterday, I was walking down the hall and my pants fell all the way down!  I had to retire all the pants I started this diet in and officially go down a size.  Gotta love that!  Nutrisystem works, and even when I don't see the difference on the scales, my clothes  assure me there is definitely a change for the better!

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

Upper Arms: 13.4
Chest: 46.3
Waist: 49.0
Hips: 54.8
Thighs: 19.8

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.*  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

  I recently shared with you my new favorite canning product:  Tattler Reusable Canning Lids.  If you take care of them properly, they can be used and reused for many years.


Re-usable Canning Lids with Tattler!

I have always felt really great  about our family's way of life because we do a lot of food preservation.  Not only can I feel good about the food that is going into the my family's body, but I feel good because we are reusing jars over and over rather than opening a can which gets tossed in the garbage!  If you are wondering why canning your own food is a great idea, then you can read my 5 Great Reasons To Can Your Own Food post!


Greener Canning?
It doesn't get much "greener" than canning, right?  Actually it does!  I have been trying to reduce the waste in more areas of our life lately, and one thing that bothered me a lot was how many tops we go through a year preserving food.  You see, most tops you can't reuse.  If you do, the lid won't seal right, and the food has a risk of botulism, a sometimes fatal form of bacteria.  Even if you don't die, you might feel like you are for quite sometime if you eat the food.  So, all those lids go in the garbage every year!  As you can see, this is quite a dilemma for a green family.  I have the perfect solution, and I just have to share it!


Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

Tattler Reusable Canning Lids like many companies was born to fill a need.  Apparently there was a canning lid shortage in the 70's so the idea to create a lid you can use forever was born.  Tattler Reusable Canning Lids are a plastic lid with separate rubber rings.  They are washable, and if stored correctly in between uses, they can be used many times.  Rather than using a traditional can opener to open the jars, you simply insert a knife between the plastic lid and rubber to release the seal.  These lids are usable in any form of canning:  water bath, pressure canning, etc.

Actual Use

Since Tattler Reusable Canning Lids are especially great for use with high acid foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers, etc, I had planned to use these to make spaghetti sauce.  However, the neighbor gave us two bushels of apples, so we canned applesauce and Crock Pot Apple Butter instead.  I was very pleased with how easy these lids and rings are to use.  I let them soak in boiling water to sterilize them (you should always sterilize everything you use during food preservation to prevent food spoiling).  Every single jar sealed within minutes after taking the jars out of the boiling water bath!


A package of 12 metal canning lids costs me around $3.50 a package which can add up if you do a lot of canning like we do.  Up front, the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids are a little more pricey at $27.95 for 3 dozen regular lids and $29.95 for wide mouth lids.  However, you purchase them once and they last a life time.  So when you take into consideration that I use a minimum of 12 dozen lids a year which is a very low number for us, the Tattler lids pay for themselves within no time!


As with most products, the more you purchase, the more you save, so go ahead and check out the sizes and prices of the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter so you don't miss any current promotions!

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Tattler Reusable Canning Lids  for the product I received to try. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Please do your own due diligence when deciding to purchase!  

5 Great Reasons to Can Your Own Food!

Benefits of Canning/Food Preservation

* Cost:  I planted about a fourth of a package of cucumber seeds this year which cost $.99, and I yielded at least 150 cucumbers.  I pickled many which would cost me $3-$4 a jar at the market!

*It's healthier food!  I don't add preservatives to my jars, so I am keeping all that junk out of our bodies.  Plus, it takes we are what we eat to a whole new level.  I say, we eat what we grow!

Deer tips, apple sauce, apple butter, strawberry preserves, pickles, spaghetti sauce, and many more I did't photogrpah!
*You can enjoy fresh vegetables even in the off season!  You know how when you walk through the produce aisle during peak strawberry or peach season, and it smells so mouth-watering good in there? They taste so good when you buy them.  If you buy them in the winter, not only are they very expensive, they are almost tasteless.  If you can, you can enjoy fresh peaches or berries year round!

*For us gardeners, it is the best way to keep from wasting food.  No matter how fast we ate this summer, there was no way we were eating 150 cucumbers, and there are six of us!  Pickles will be a wonderful treat for the next year, and I didn't waste a single cucumber!

*Home canned products make wonderful gifts.  That's right, add some beautiful cloth under the ring, or buy some beautiful jars geared towards gifting or displaying and you have a much appreciated present to give someone!  I have "presents" on hand year round!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Allyson's Corntastic Corn Dog Recipe!

For anyone who thinks that my family is always perfect, always eats organic foods that contains no sugar, no bad fats, and is never junk food-you are right.  Okay, so you're not right.  I am what you might refer to as a bad health food example.  Sure, I try to mostly eat healthy food, and I do feed my family mostly healthy foods.  But at least once every two weeks, we let our hair hand completely hang down!

I think the key to success in eating healthy is to have those fun meals on occasion, especially if you have children.  Not only is it fun, but it makes it much easier to eat healthy most of the time.  For example, I am much more apt to want to eat my spinach if I know I am going to get  a yummy dessert.  Of course, I can't bribe the kids daily, so we meet in the middle and we do our version of what many consider un-healthy meals on occasion.  

Today is one of those days that we are enjoying two fun meals, and I want to share with you my recipe for our lunch meal.

Allyson's Corntastic Corn Dog Recipe

Frying oil (everyone has their own special blend of oil for frying.  I used a Corn/Canola Blend)

2 cups Self Rising Cornmeal
1/2 tsp Sea Salt (you can use more if you prefer saltier, but we watch our salt intake)
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper *optional
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced *optional
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 3/4 cup of Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of skim milk
  • 1/4 cup of corn starch for dredging hot dogs
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 4 skewers cut in half
1.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2.  Mix together the corn, yogurt, milk egg and jalapeno pepper.
3.  Fill a large drinking glass with batter for dipping the hot dogs.  
4.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Insert skewers in hot dogs, dredge in corn starch, and coat completely with batter, shaking off any excess.
5.  Fry in hot oil at 375 degrees until they are golden brown.
6.  Cool and serve with condiments of choice!

Come Join It's in the Bag Blog Hop!

It's in the Bag

It's in the Bag will be hosted by Life With Two Boys and With Our Best! This is a "what's in your purse?" themed giveaway hop and will feature any item that you can potentially carry in your purse.  You can be as creative as you want to be with this!

This is a completely free hop to join, and you can read more about the requirements and join the hop HERE!