Chocolate Protein Bagels

I’m writing to you from my vacation home and it is so relaxing here! There is a private pool, hot tub, two massive televisions and one really comfortable bed. We love coming here and using the high pressure shower, baking in one of the double ovens and enjoying the luxuries of space.

Where is my vacation home you ask? (Or, you didn’t ask.) Well, it’s only ten minutes from my regular home and we didn’t pay a thing for it. Ready for the ultimate high school answer? We have my parent’s house to ourselves. One of my husband’s young employees once referred to this as, “having house”.

We are taking care of my parent’s house for them, even if they didn’t really ask us to. Maybe they just knew they could count on us to do so? They did ask us to do a few things, including picking up mail. We are just the type of loving family that goes the extra mile.

Anyhow, lots to report to you all! Let’s start with some muffins.

These healthy, gluten free muffins you see are family friendly, which is almost never the case. They are not super sweet and will work with almost any berry.  I used the fatty blackberries and raspberries we found at the farmer’s market. The official name of these muffins is, “The Best Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins“.

You can find the recipe over in the world of DAMY Health. Remember when I wouldn’t stop chatting you up about the DAMY programs? It isn’t so coincidental that my pants fit much looser at the time of those postings. I’ve let some pounds creep back on and I blame it on my lack of DAMYing.

The biggest and best change that came about through my time doing the DAMY program is how I start my day. I always, always eat a protein pancake for breakfast and sip a glass of iced (black) coffee along side. What I really wish stuck with me is my old exercise routine. Dang! I’ve been back on the health wagon for about 8 hours now, so pray I keep this ball rolling. There’s no special recipe for the veggie soup you see above, but I wanted to let you know that grated cauliflower sauteed in a tablespoon of olive oil can change every meal. Swear.

Alas, there was no better time than earlier this morning to rekindle my DAMY romance. If anyone wants to join me, please do. The reason I fell in love with the program was because it is based on eating whole, real foods. You aren’t asked to buy supplements, other than protein powder (if you want), nor are you even required to belong to a gym. I do all my workouts at home or outside. The cost was a factor as well, as I had just given too much of my own husbands hard earned money away to Weight Watchers. I would lose weight after finding ways to use my points on 100 calorie packs of cookies, but never really felt healthy.

I am now proud to me known as a DAMY ambassador! That means I am going to be sharing my journey with you and will be delving deep into the world of DAMY. The programs are all about loving a healthy lifestyle and yourself. Join me anytime!

These protein muffins shaped into bagels
were inspired by a DAMY recipe. If you’d like to join me in my journey to health, you can do so with the link below. I choose to do the Method program, but there is a Bikini Body plan for those with some loftier goals than my own!

DAMY Method Program

Time to stop ignoring my family and get off the computer. Happy Sunday, friends!


Free Bag? I’m In!

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know I am not afraid of trying new things. Unless those new things include heights, illegal drugs or swimming with finned creatures. Yeah, I’m afraid to swim with dolphins. Don’t judge.

Last year, my neighbor invited me to a card making class and I had a pretty good time. However, when I joined her for her next gathering, where we made Halloween banners, I was hooked on making stuff out of paper.

It was like the magic of learning to make cootie catchers all over again. Do you remember those? If not, you can go ahead and google them, it’s safe. Go figure, right? My five year old is pretty computer savvy. If he did a search on google images for the word, “mommy” he’d get more than he bargained for. Type in something like “cootie catcher” and it’s totally innocent.

I need to take a picture of my fun Halloween banner that says, “Spooky”. Here’s a bad photo of my Thanksgiving banner. I have no clue how to take a good photo of these things, they are just so much nicer in person.

I’ve created a handful of banners, a few cards and a couple of scrapbook layouts. I figured I’d need to keep paying my friend to join in on her banner workshops. Until that is, she told me about a bag.

With a free bag, I jumped on board and will now be holding my own paper crafting workshops for Close To My Heart. Fun, right? Here’s what some friends will get to come make for free next month.

What’s this all got to do with food you ask? Nothing, really. It’s just what has been on my heart and mind for the last 11 days since I’ve blogged. Food has been a bit of a sore spot lately, as my denial over the need to be gluten free is finally gone. I would have never known how bad gluten does in my body if I wouldn’t have taken the challenge to cut it out. No going back now. Last night’s post cake stomachache (wow, that’s a good band name) was the last official slap in the face.

So, as I continue to work through all the resources to get our family meals cooked without losing my sanity, I’ll post any gluten free recipes that don’t taste like bricks with butter. I also need to cut dairy from Dallas’ diet, which ain’t so pretty.

Still funny to me.

A friend had told me at the start of summer, how she wanted to change her family to all go gluten free. I was excited for her and shared what few resources I knew about. She let me know how she was sort of dreading the change, as she didn’t need another big project. I get it now. What a project it is!

So, that’s what is new, tennis shoe! I’m making some chili in the crock pot right now that I’m hoping will turn out blog-worthy! Jy would also like to get back to Movies & Munchies, where we do our monthly movie review. I’ll be posting my most pinned recipes and adding some new photos as soon as we can buy a new camera. If you know of anyone who works for a camera manufacturer, tell them I’m happy to trade one of their cameras for some tacos or oatmeal.

Oh, you’ll be seeing this new blog button on the side of the page from now on. Don’t worry, this will still be a food blog, I won’t be pushing you to scrapbook your great-grandma’s recipes into a beautiful card box. But, my gosh, isn’t that the best idea you’ve ever heard?

***P.P.S. (or is it P.S.S.?) Eight more days until Kindergarten starts and I regain a teensy bit of sanity. As my kids say, Oh-yeah, holla!

The Meal That Set Us Back $1.58 Per Person

 Today’s Shopping Trip

Lollypops 1.32

2 lbs. Black Beans 2.24

1.2 lbs. Chocolate Chips 4.43

.5 lbs. Yogurt Pretzels 1.50

Almond Milk 2.50

3 Dozen Organic Eggs 2.97

Organic/Lactose Free Kefir 3.28

1+ lb. Cheddar Cheese 3.31

18 oz. Peanut Butter 2.50

Org. Agave Nectar (Maple) 2.99

Org. Agave Nectar 2.99

Pork Chops 2.01

8.5 lbs. Chicken Breast 12.29

MRM Whey Protein 27.99


Here’s Where You Need To Start Holding Your Britches

  • 2 lbs. baby carrots 1.98
  • 6.5 lbs. pears 3.20
  • 2.4 lbs. broccoli 1.86
  • 2.17 lbs. cauliflower 1.67
  • 2 celery 1.76
  • 3 cucumber 1.47
  • box grape tomatoes 1.25
  • 1 green bell pepper .34
  • 1 green onion .34
  • 4.3 lbs. nectarines 2.09
  • 2.7 organic bananas 2.70
  • 10 pints of blueberries 15.00
  • red bell pepper .34
  • 2.4 lbs. red seedless grapes 2.38
  • seedless watermelon 3.49
  • 2 sweet onions 1.83
  • 6 lbs. yellow peaches 2.94

Can you believe the produce prices? Thanks to the tips from two beautiful friends (Hi Mary & Jessica!), I am now a Wednesday produce shopper at Sprouts. There are Sprouts in Arizona, California, Texas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and a handful of other states west of the Mississippi. Wednesdays at Sprouts are the days when last week’s produce sales are still good and this week’s sales begin. Can you believe .49 cents a pound for peaches, pears and nectarines?  $1.50 a pint for blueberries? We can totally go through the blueberries, no problem. The peaches, pears and nectarines will be finding their way into baked goods, smoothies and jam.

After a late afternoon shopping trip, I was hardly in the mood to cook dinner. The August heat didn’t help much either. Taking a tip from my Aunt Cindy, I grated up a cauliflower head and threw it in a pan of olive oil.

 If you are wondering how you too can take such great photos, I’m going to share my secret. Use your phone. You’ll be sure to have plenty of blurry photos, just ready to share on Facebook!

Once the cauliflower seemed like it had been fried a bit, I sneaked a pat of butter (a fat pat) into the center of the pan before pouring in 9 whisked eggs and a handful of diced green onions.


Next came the cheese.


A bit of salt and pepper in the pan and voila, thick, gooey, chewy eggs with some depth to them. I scooped the mixture into open bell peppers, hoping to trick my kids into biting into one. Didn’t work, they just looked at the peppers like I had bought some new kiddie bowls at Ikea.


These were more filling that I would have expected. The cauliflower adds the starch that would otherwise be missing from this meal. With a cup of blueberries on the side, this dinner rang in at $1.58 per person. That’s not including the pat of butter, salt and pepper or olive oil. Sorry folks, I never got a grade in math. I don’t want to talk about how many times I took Algebra II.

There is one part of Algebra I get and it’s this joke:

Dear Algebra, Stop asking us to find your X. She’s not coming back.


I have been eating this for breakfast every day. If you haven’t tried it yet, please (as my mom would say) “Do yourself a favor” and make it. 

Back From Summer Vacay

What a summer it has been!
We have traveled the world, met celebrities, I wrote a novel and now to top it all off, I have been chosen as a contestant for this season’s Dancing With the Stars!

You think I’m kidding? That’s good, because if you even believed me a little bit, I’d feel sad for you. Here’s some photo proof of how we have spent our low-key pre-Kindergarten summer:

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Let me tell you about these photos and some of the summer events that took place.

1. I came to grips (after photographic evidence) that I am no longer in high school and wearing makeup is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

2. Maxwell had his first dentist visit and it was not pretty. Genes matter, people.

3. The tried and true best brownie ever still tastes fantastic. There is a photo showing Max smuggling a brownie while I’m trying to snap photos.

4. Dallas was totally moody during his preschool graduation. He apologized two months later.

5. Dallas and his cousin had a blast at summer camp.

6. Max eats like a monkey. When I asked him why he doesn’t use his fork, he told me, “I use my hands.”

7. I can’t eat gluten anymore. There’s no photo of that, but I needed to share.

8. Michelle Obama before the Olympics. Had to snap her. Love her.

I have more photos to share, but we can’t find our camera, which is most likely in our van. We just took a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I asked Dallas to take of photo of me and Jy and he dropped our camera. Oops! It’s almost Black Friday, right?


Hoping to eat some cold butternut squash soup, I sauteed and pureed squash before cooking it in a pot of buttery, sauteed onions, chunky applesauce, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. I ate the soup before it ever stood a chance at chilling. Either way, the realization that fall is on it’s way was enough to scare me into stocking up and freezing some summer fruits!

Here are my boys having lunch with their cousins Angelo and Gio. You’ll see plenty of boxes in these photos, as my Grandma just set her backyard up to be little kid heaven. My Grandma just celebrated her 79th birthday. How awesome is that to have a Grandma that pimps out her backyard for the two months of summer weather that are left, just to keep her great-grandkids happy?

In an effort to shade her cemented back patio area, my Grandma grabbed one of her two large camping style canopies. As she tried to pull the second from one of her storage sheds, she arranged Christmas decorations to be out of the way. As she moved some of her holiday boxes, I reached in and pulled out the bulk of the canopy. When I did, my Grandma told me, “Aye, yay-yay, Mejah, I was going to lift that for you. It’s so heavy.” Then she told me how strong I was. Um yeah Grandma, 35 year olds are supposed to be stronger than their Grandma who is nearing 80!




This is the other major story in our home.

That’s my husband’s hand, not mine.

Many of my Fantasy Football years have been guided by my naming guru, Travis. My first year of holing a girls Fantasy Football league, he came up with the name, Farve Dollar Footlong. Last year I didn’t use his help in choosing Housewife of Niner County and looking bad, I should have.  Another name of mine, Brady GaGa.

This year, I’m stumped. When mentioning to Travis that I thought of the name, So Right it’s Gronk, he topped it with asking, “How about Badonka-Gronk?” See why he’s my guru?

I’d love to incorporate Erhmagerd, but Ermagronk just doesn’t work. You know about Ermagherd, right?


Ermahgerd (also known as “Gersberms” and “Berks”), a lisped pronunciation of “oh my god,” is an image macro series featuring a photo of a young woman holding several books from the children’s horror fiction series Goosebumps. The phonetically written captions are meant to sound like a speech impediment caused by the use of an orthodontic retainer, often using the snowclone template “Ermahgerd X.”


On March 14th, 2012, a post titled “Just a book owners smile…” was submitted to the /r/funny[9] subreddit with a photo of a young girl posing with three Goosebumps books and her mouth agape in excitement. A comment posted by Redditor plantlife[10] linked to a Quickmeme submission of the photo with the caption “Gersberms / Mah fravrit berks.” The same day, the image macro was submitted in a post titled “BERKS!”[1] which reached the front page of Reddit accumulating over 17,000 up votes within two weeks.

– Know Your Meme


So, Ermah, open for suggestions?

It’s good to be back! Three weeks left until Kindergarten starts and I’m hoping to have a little more free-blogging time then. You’ll probably be noticing a bunch of glutenless stuff coming your way. I’m climbing my way out of gluten intolerance denial, it’s right there next to the real Nile, just closer to the olive trees than the wheat fields.

As they say, le sigh.

Well, at least as they said five or six years ago, when that was popular.