ANDREAG89   24,450
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ANDREAG89's Recent Blog Entries

A Quick Fall Lower-Cal Dessert Recipe

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A friend gave me a recipe for pumpkin muffins that is super easy. She said it was a Weight Watchers recipe. I modified it then entered it into the calorie counter I use. Give either a try - you may want to enter the ingredients into your own calorie counter just to make sure they are correct.

Original Recipe
One box of reduced-sugar yellow or white cake mix
One can of pumpkin (15 oz)
1/2 c water
1/2 bag of cinnamon chips
This is a Weight Watchers recipe that makes 24 muffins. 2 muffins = 3 points.

My recipe
One box of spice cake mix
One can of pumpkin (15 oz)
1/2 c water
My daughter was able to get 20 muffins out of this recipe. The calculation (if I did it correctly) gives it 81 calories per muffin (like I said, maybe enter these yourself).

For both recipes: Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KONRAD695 10/21/2014 7:14PM

    I love you Andrea, but If I see one more recipe on Spark with pumpkin in it- I'll puke up a squash. emoticon

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68ANNE 10/16/2014 5:55PM

    mmm muummmm sounds delish

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ABAKER34 10/16/2014 2:07PM

    I love that recipe! I make those all of the time (I'm bad though, I will have two of them breakfast when I have my sweet craving).... emoticon

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Your water, infused

Monday, August 04, 2014

On impulse, I bought a water bottle based on a spot I saw on Good Morning America's "Deals and Steals." It is a personal water bottle that allows you to have flavor-infused water.

My water flavor of the day is cucumber cilantro. My sister first used hers with a blueberry basil infusion.

The bottle was designed by a teenager who wanted to have different flavors of water. This way no sugar or artificial stuff is needed - just fruit, herbs, veggies, whatever.

I thought you might be interested being as we're all doing what we can to get more hydration. I've seen some blogs here where people have made some tasty waters. Here is a site that has several recipes, too.

Stay hydrated, my friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITINGRUNNER 8/16/2014 8:02AM

    That does look good! I hope you are having a great summer xx

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68ANNE 8/6/2014 12:31PM

    I love the idea but do not have one of them

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KONRAD695 8/4/2014 10:58PM

    I'm too cheap, but I have to say- That looks pretty cool!. It has to beat my constant lemon water.

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RIDLEYRIDER 8/4/2014 7:03PM

  Anything that gets folks to drink more water is a good thing! Thanks for the tip!

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A Little Inspiration

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Read this on my LinkedIn account today (if you have an account, you probably saw it, too):

"Stay committed to your dreams and you'll see them reflected in your future."

and the image that came with it - very cute...

Have a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITINGRUNNER 7/20/2014 9:41PM

    Love this. It's such a shame it takes so many of us so long to realize it! Xx

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68ANNE 7/15/2014 6:43PM

    Look at that smile.....great!

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LYNN-I-CAN2 7/11/2014 2:41AM

    That is so true... We have to stay positive and focused on everything that we do.
If we don't, then we will stumble with everything we do.
so, I love-love this share.
Thank You!
Very positive!

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KONRAD695 7/10/2014 11:12PM

    PMA- positive mental attitude

have this in yourself and everything will be achieved.

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Me & Mom Time

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Since putting my then 66-year-old father in a nursing home full-time last year due to his Alzheimer's disease, my mother has not had a break -

* She remodeled the basement of her home, which was 'almost' an apartment, to make it into a livable apartment.
* She moved into said apartment (still being worked on), getting rid of most of her furniture, boxing up everything, painting, etc., and is still surrounded by boxes
* She cleaned out her closet and struggles with getting rid of Dad's stuff
* My brother and family moved in to the main part of the house, so now she's sort of laughing about being "the mother that lives in the basement"
* She has a half-empty bed where her husband lied with her for nearly 48 years
* Her life revolves around when to go see Dad, making sure he's being taken care of, that his medications are right, etc. She has taken only a few nights off from seeing him for nearly a whole year but hasn't left home for a single night, making sure to eat dinner with him every night and spending most of all day on each Saturday and Sunday at the nursing home with him.

So as my husband and kids are camping (I'm more "indoorsy") I told Mom to come stay with me for a few days or as long as she wants. She lives 2 hours from me, so it's not like a quick jaunt around the corner. She took me up on it (surprisingly!!!).

Tuesday - I met her at an outlet mall then we had lunch. She followed me home.
Tuesday night - I took her out for tapas at a Spanish restaurant. She claims it was the best sangria she ever had.
Tuesday late night - watched and "slept-watched" the movie "Young Frankenstein" on DVD, a favorite of ours.
Wednesday - up and drank coffee and chatted for about 2 hours. Went and got spa manicures & I got a pedicure too (FABULOUS!!!!), with my fingers painted "Ruby Slipper." Wandered around the shopping area and bought a few things. Had lunch at Brio.
--BTW, I rarely do my nails. It felt so good I wanted to melt. I told Mom I was inches away from getting a designated driver home I was so relaxed. :-)

Wednesday night - as I attended a funeral, she simply relaxed (with my dog :-) and read while laying down for the few hours I was gone. When I got home we had some semi home-made stir fry then watched the movie "Easy A" - I love it, but because I'm a John Hughes fan (child of the '80's). The movie is a fantastic tribute to John Hughes (Ferris Bueller, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Can't Buy Me Love, Say Anything...) but definitely with a 2000's vibe with cell phones and more liberal language.
This morning - went to the local market which has gourmet foods, a coffee bar, etc., and had a 2 hour breakfast. She's driving home right now.

Hard habit to break, enjoying food. And not just with her, anytime. If I only enjoyed food on our few visits together, that would be different. :-
Regardless, she said she slept really well, which is what I was hoping for. I really hope she felt relaxed and like she's finally had some time just to get away and re-energized a bit because of it. Even though we've asked her on vacation with us this summer, she doesn't feel right going without Dad. I certainly understand.

She's amazing. You know when you don't FEEL strong but when other people see you as strong you're surprised? I think she lives her entire life that way. She just does what needs to be done then later looks back and wonders how she got through it. She's a faithful woman, so she knows God gets her through everything, but from the human side, she still wonders how she doesn't just break down sometimes.

I was thrilled to have time with her. I'm more happy that I felt like she really had a little vacation of "me" time for her, that she was able to relax without being surrounded with reminders of all the things she has to get done.

I already miss her.

Hug your loved ones.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOMANWITHGRIT 7/15/2014 12:38PM

    Thanks for writing relationship with my mother has been challenging - but she 88 this year. I need to find some way to spend time with her.

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68ANNE 7/7/2014 6:40PM

    What a wonderful time spent together. I can tell that both of you had a blast. The time was what mattered not the food! You both are very strong!

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ABAKER34 7/7/2014 8:08AM

    Love the nails! So happy you were able to spend some one on one time with your mother, sounds like she loved it! Thanks for the blog and for the reminder to not forget to take time out with our loved ones!

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ICEDEMETER 7/3/2014 1:36PM

    Like Mother, like Daughter... strength that you don't see yourself.

I'm so glad that both you and your Mom had such an enjoyable break, and that you each spent some time pampering yourselves. Even a couple of days can be completely rejuvenating.

She's only a couple of hours away - maybe a fortnightly or monthly mani/pedi together might be something to think about as regular "Andrea and Mom time".

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ALOOGOBI 7/3/2014 1:06PM

    What a wonderful thing to plan such a nice mini-vacation for your mom. I am sure she had a lovely time and it sounds like you did, too. I hope she takes you up on such an offer again, being a caretaker, even remotely, is very stressful.
Good luck on your Spark journey! emoticon

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The Difference

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I watched an episode of "Extreme Weight Loss" tonight, quite by accident. I'm traveling, and was flipping through channels in my hotel room as I sit at my computer. I came across it, and watched.

And cried, of course.

I'm learning what the difference is between a person on "Extreme Weight Loss" and others of you out there who have lost 10 lbs, 20, 30, 40, 80, or whatever amount of weight, and me. The difference between all of you and me?

You don't quit.

Despite all the obstacles, the rough schedules, the emotions, the personal challenges, the wanting to slide back into bad behaviors, you simply DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.

You don't lose sight of your goal.
You don't give yourself reasons to eat mass amounts of 'comfort' food.
You don't make excuses for not moving.
You don't make excuses for not tracking.
You don't make excuses for not eating right.
You go at the weight loss like a job: whether you like it or not, you show up.
Day in and day out, you commit, and you don't lose sight of your goal.
You don't give up on yourself.

The fact is, I am choosing to be an undisciplined mess, eating sh*t whenever I want, and ultimately sliding back down.

No need to try to pick me back up. I go here way too often, and if you look at my January blog, you'll see that I've done it for the past 5 years I've been on this web site (and far longer than that). I just am not sure why I give up on myself when I clearly see and feel results when I do the right thing for myself.

I'll let you know when I decide to get my head out of my "I don't give a sh*t" funk. It will probably take some photos of myself to really see my reality, to recognize that what I see in a photo is not what is what I see in the mirror (a trick mirror where I decide I look thin when I'm not). Photos show the harsh reality.

The difference is simple. You don't give up (so why do I?)

Good night Sparkers. You are awesome.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOMANWITHGRIT 7/15/2014 12:40PM

    You are on this road here and now. Be kind to yourself.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 6/25/2014 10:40PM

Now, you may not be totally on may be hanging on by a string, but you are have not given up.
And you are not are among good strong company (me included)!
So, keep hanging on, with one hand, then two, then pull yourself up, and you will get on board and move forward!
Love & Hugs,
P.s. Reread when necessary!

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68ANNE 6/25/2014 5:58PM

    I know there are many people here, including myself, who could have written this

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ICEDEMETER 6/25/2014 11:07AM

    Since you have kept coming back here for so long, I'd have to say that there is absolute proof that you don't ever fully "give up on yourself" --- you just change focus for a while and then come back. Quite honestly, that you have kept coming back here is really inspiring - it totally shows that you haven't quit, but will keep trying until you find what works for you.

Try not to let comparisons to others get to you - everyone has their own challenges, and TV shows and blogs are usually edited to show only the successes and not the failures. Those who you've seen in the "success stories" have often been there many times (and quite likely will be there again, after their success succumbs to life).

A ton of business travel is highly stressful, and I can say from years of experience with it that it can get really hard to keep any kind of focus on yourself and your needs --- every trip has so many demands that you try to take care of while you're there, that it's too easy to just lose yourself in it. Try to remember that this will pass, and just get through what you need to do for now. Sometimes "survival" is the priority, and "thriving" just has to wait...

Set up an appointment for yourself the next time that you're home to just sit down and think about what kind of lifestyle that you really, really want. Forget about what the scale says, what a "healthy" life is *supposed* to be, and just think about what makes you happy. Think about what activities you enjoy, what routines make your life easier, and what stressful things you can ditch. Figure out one thing that you want to add - maybe a morning yoga stretch, or an evening walk, or a fruit smoothie in the afternoon, or a glass of wine with some really good cheese after dinner - and then make sure that you do that every day for yourself. Once you've got that in your routine, then add something else.

Don't worry about the scale or anything else for a while - just do one little thing at a time to keep your focus on *you* and what makes you feel good. Just keep in mind that you truly have to be the priority, since you can't take care of anyone or anything else if you are not taken care of first.

You really are an inspiration, and there are many who read your blogs and see your honesty who get new motivation from sharing your journey. I'm looking forward to hearing about your next steps, and where you've chosen to go from here.

Strong thoughts!

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ABAKER34 6/25/2014 10:15AM

    emoticon You are awesome too, make sure you remember that.

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KONRAD695 6/24/2014 11:07PM

    I don't think it is a matter of giving up. It's a feeling of being worth it. You have value as a mom, a friend, and as yourself. Now treat yourself as a valuable object.

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ALICE_TENNIS 6/24/2014 10:50PM

    You are worth every effort you make. emoticon

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