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I can't cook! HELP! Easy recipes WANTED!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Hey all you fellow Sparkies out there in Sparkville! I need your help! I have a huge confession to make and it’s kind of embarrassing….I can’t cook! My mom always tried to teach me but I was never interested in learning. I always told her, I would marry a man who knows how to cook. HA! Who was I kidding?! I’ve gotten really good at using the microwave and the frozen section at the grocery store has been my best friend. But now, I’m trying to eat clean and cut out all this sodium I’ve been consuming. Soo….now that the cat’s out of the bag, who can help? I need some simple and healthy recipes. Recipes that don’t overwhelm me with their list of ingredients and ones whose ingredients all make sense to me. If I don’t know what it is, how am I supposed to find it in the grocery store? This has been the major reason for my lack of recipes. Maybe you can even point me to the right section of the grocery store?? ! Anyways, there it is…my ugly confession. Help!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINNIEVIOLA 1/19/2011 7:05PM

  Let me know what you think about this one-

Albacore Tuna Salad-

2.5 oz of A. Tuna per person
3/4 oz. of light ranch per person
1 cup spinach/romaine mix per person
1/8 cup shredded carrots per person
1/4 cucumber sliced per person

You can add other veggies as desired. Mix the dressing with the tuna. It can be mixed into the salad or served on top as favored. My kids even like this or with leftover pulled chicken breast. I didn't know how many people you are serving.

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PUNZIE73 1/13/2011 7:34PM

    I've got a recipe you'll love IF you want something easy and hearty. It's got tons of protein and fiber and will give you all of your veggies in one sitting if you eat 2 cups of it. Ready? Split Pea Soup.... I know, I know gross right? Before you answer, let me tell you. I don't like peas, NEVER HAVE. This is the only way I eat them. If you're interested, I have a recipe you can practically make in your sleep.

Caution: Because of the very high fiber and protein content, I recommend scaling back on other fiber sources when you have this meal. Trust me, I'm just sayin' and SAYING from experience. E-mail me if ya want it.

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LIBBYFITZ 1/11/2011 6:57PM

    Do you have time to go to the grocery store and just walk around the fresh food isles and get familiar with all the food that is there. It can be overwhelming at first. Keep the meals simple. There are acouple of women who have put out a beek called " a Meal in with 4 ingrediants" i would google easy meals and see what comes up! Good luck! I am currently cooking chicken wings an legs that have been marinating in Sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce and soy sauce. Have made a potato salad to go with it. Jamie Oliver is another good cook who does things simmply. good luck1

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BOMBCHELL23 1/7/2011 6:46AM


I have a public cookbook your welcome to utilize it is called Bombchell23's Cookbook. I use these simple recipes everyday. Granted not all of mine are in there but I keep adding to it. emoticon

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ERIKO1908 1/6/2011 11:22PM

    I'll be the first to admit that I am a cookbook junkie! I can't resist the cooking magazines in the check out aisles of the grocery store. Some good ones that I've found there (or in the magazine section of Target/grocery store) include the family of Taste of Home publications. They've put out titles like the "Busy Family Recipes", "Quick & Easy", and "5 Ingredient Recipes". You have to keep your eyes open for the ones that are simple & easy, but they are out there...and Taste of Home has a great reputation in my eyes as being good tasting recipes. Give me home-cooked over processed frozen any day and it is going to be tons healthier...now I just need to cook more out of all the cookbooks/magazines I own!! Good luck on your cooking journey!!

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JAA3744 1/6/2011 9:48PM

    Crock pot is the way to go!! Here are 2 of our favorites and they are SO easy.

Put 4 frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. Cover them with a drained can of black beans, pkg of taco seasoning and 1 jar of salsa. Cook on low for 6 hours. When the chicken is cooked it will shred apart with a fork. Use it to make tacos or burritos.

Put 4 frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. Cover with 1 can cream of mushroom, 1 can cream of chicken and 1 can rotel. Cook on low for 6 hours. Serve with rice and veggies.

Both are very easy and very tasty.

Get the kids involved and that will help. Avery loves to help cook and it makes it much easier knowing that I am not wasting tons of time in the kitchen by myself and missing valuable family time. Good luck!

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THATS_LOVELY101 1/6/2011 3:08PM

    My Awesome-tastic Baked Chicken:

· Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
· Grease a medium-sized skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil or two one-second sprays Olive Oil Pam and place on medium high heat
· Season 2 chicken breasts with your favorite spices
My favorite is a mixture of 1 tsp dried basil, a pinch of rosemary, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1 tbsp salt. Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of the chicken, using as much or as little as you like.
· Place chicken in the skillet and brown 3 minutes per side
· Grease a glass casserole dish (any size that comfortably fits the amount of chicken you intend to cook. I use a 9x11 for two breasts)
· Place browned chicken in an even layer in the casserole dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
· Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken “springs back” to the touch and liquids run clear when pierced. For more than two breasts, additional cooking time of 2-5 minutes per breast may be added.
· Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes (with foil removed) for moist and delicious chicken!

If desired, cut up your favorite veggies and throw them in the casserole dish in an even layer around the chicken, add spices, and enjoy!

Comment edited on: 1/6/2011 3:50:28 PM

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GRANLUND 1/6/2011 7:32AM

    Two words...crock pot! Search for recipes on Spark Recipes for the crock pot.

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TRANSFORMWE 1/5/2011 11:34PM

    Leslie, I had a whole long response going and I don't know what happened to it. I agree with the advice to look through some cookbooks and choose a basic one that you enjoy. I've learned a lot reading through cookbooks, even if I don't always try the recipes.
One that's on my list to get soon is The Pink Ribbon Diet. It was developed by researchers at Brown University to help breast cancer survivors lose weight and lower their risk of recurrence. Even though that's (thankfully!) not in my family history, the diet itself appeals to me -- lots of veggies, chicken and fish and Extra Virgin Olive Oil as basically the only fat.

I also recommend two key pieces of equipment: A crock pot and a rice cooker.

The rice cooker is my newest toy (it was $9 at Target). Besides making PERFECT brown rice, it also does a nice job on other grains and even some beans. I use it to cook barley for chicken soup. I also use it to make rice and lentils - 1/2 Cup of each plus plenty of water to cover = Yummy! Lentils are a kind of dried bean that doesn't require soaking. They are sold in plastic bags in the aisle with dried beans.

If I know I'm going to be hungry but don't have time to cook (like when I come back from picking up the kids from their Dad's) I will put on some brown rice to cook in the rice cooker and add in about 1/4 package of a frozen veggie blend (pepper stir fry is a current fave).

The crock pot became my best friend when my babies were tiny. We were doing low carb back then. I would put a roast beef on (you can even start from frozen). Sprinkle with onion powder and some powdered ginger. Cook on high 4 to 6 hours until the meat falls apart. No added liquid needed! When the meat is close to cooked you can make it into a full meal by adding veggies - baby carrots are a great timesaver-just dump them in. Add some red potatoes and onions to round it out.

Chicken breasts also turn out awesome in the crock pot. There are lots of crock pot recipes on Spark People.

The oven is great too. I love roasted veggies. This is a dish I like to make to have extras to pack for lunch at work. In a large pyrex baking dish add a whole bag (or 2) of whole green and yellow (wax) beans. Add 1/2 bag of butternut squash cubes, and if you like a can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed). Drizzle with some olive oil and place 4 chicken breasts on top of the veggies. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 min to an hour - until the chicken is completely cooked and the veggies are soft and starting to brown.

Good luck and Have Fun!!

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    4 boneless chicken breast
1 Cup rice (I use brown)
1 can mushroom soup
1 can water
Dry Onion Soup Mix (in the soup aisle)

Grease a casserole dish. Mix mushroom soup and water in casserole dish, along with rice. Place chicken breast on top. Sprinkle all with the dry onion soup mix powder. Bake at 350 degrees until chicken no longer runs pink when tested with fork and rice is tender. If you have a crockpot, this can be made in a crockpot as well (my favorite way). Any chicken pieces can be substituted for breast; it's also good with pork chops instead of chicken.

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FLGIRL1234 1/5/2011 8:42PM

    I get a ton of recipes off of SparkPeople that are super easy and great for you. I am an instant kind of girl myself so I thought I would be really challenged trying to make a bunch of dinners but they make it easy. Try some that sound good to you and report back!


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KTMAE2006 1/5/2011 8:17PM

    Ahh!! I can't cook either! Its a goal for 2011 though! I'm going to try a soup that I saw on the today show yesterday morning, if its easy, I'll pass it on!

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RAINBOWFALLS 1/5/2011 7:36PM

    Spark has some good recipes that you can search by the main ingredient you want to cook - like chicken. Also, crockpots are great for a nice hot meal with little cooking effort.

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BURRITAELITA 1/5/2011 6:40PM

    My best advice is to seek help in person--either via a friend who can swap talents with you, or take some basic cooking classes in your area. Since you are starting from the beginning, you could really use an in-person guide to the world of cooking.

However, if you are the kind of person who can learn from reading books, your public library most likely has plenty of books to get you started.

Good luck!

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SMOCKON 1/5/2011 6:01PM

    Stick a sweet potato with a fork or knife 5 or 6 times (you're looking to pierce the skin so it doesn't explode). Microwave on high for about 5 minutes, stick it with a fork to test for doneness. Nuke more if necessary. I can eat these without butter or any seasoning.

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KANSASROSE67 1/5/2011 5:09PM

    We're having beef stew tonight. Just buy a pound of beef stew meat (it's already cut up in chunks). Mix it with 1/4 cup flour, 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon pepper, and salt and other spices if desired. Place in crock pot and stir in about 1 1/2 - 2 cups water and whatever vegetables you like. I use 2-3 potatoes, 2-3 carrots, 2-3 parsnips, 1 turnip, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 large onion. You can adjust the vegetables to use what you like. Cook for 8 hours or so on low and you will have a delicious, hearty, healthy meal when you get home in the evening! I get mine ready the night before in the crock and refridgerate.

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/5/2011 5:07PM

    I like a lot of the recipes on SparkRecipes.com. One of my go-to meals is to put a pot roast in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots, a little water (to help stew the meat) and then whatever seasonings sound good--used to use French onion soup mix (dry) but it has a lot of sodium, so I switched to using dehydrated minced onions, garlic powder and salt/pepper to taste. Hungry Girl has a lot of good recipes, too. There are also cookbooks that literally devoted to 6 ingredients or less--have fun with it and experiment!

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PRYCELESS1 1/5/2011 4:19PM

    Well,you can't go wrong with soup. Stick a load of chopped up veggies in a pan with water,boil,blend,serve. Can't get much easier. Can always stick a bit of pasta or rice in it if you want. I like to play about with different veg or meats added. Roasted butternut squash is one of my current favourites. Oh,and if you make a big pan full,you can portion some out into tupperware and freeze it for another day.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/5/2011 3:00PM

    Well, this doesn't involve cooking... but is my favorite pre-workout recipe:

1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein with 1 1/2 cups water (1/2 protein)
1 Vanilla Protein Tetra Shake (1/2 protein)
1 cup frozen fruit (1 fruit)
1/2 large banana (1 fruit)
1 cup fresh baby leaf spinach (1 veggie)
1 tbsp fresh ground flax seed (1 fat)

Put into blender in that order, and blend, pour, and drink about 1/2 hour before your work out... or if you are like me, on your way to the gym... lol!

The whey protein or shakes can be found at any walmart type places... compare labels to find the most bang for your buck.

Fresh ground flax seed can be found in any grocery store... usually comes in a bag that looks like it's holding fresh ground coffee... I think in the pasta/spice section or somewhere close to that... lol!

The spinach... don't even know it's there... and we all remember Popeye... lol!

Try it, and let me know what you think!

Hugz and Luv!

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GWYNNETHJACK 1/5/2011 2:46PM

    omg! is it our name or what b/c i cant cook for the life of me. part of me is b/c i never had any desire to learn and my ex husband WAS a great cook so i never had to! and the other part is b/c i dont have time (ft work/ft school + kids who are starving after daycare) nor do i have the money to make something and have to throw it away! so i feel for you! i dont really ahve any good recipes i just had to comment b/c it could have been ME writing this blog :-) i will have to steal a few of the sites others recommended for you!


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KANSASROSE67 1/5/2011 2:36PM

    You want want to buy a good basic cookbook. I refer to my mom's standard Betty Crocker cookbook because it's got all the basics and tells you how to do things. Simple & Delicious is a good magazine...most of the recipes use basic ingredients. I HATE having to buy some weird ingredient that I might never use again! Good luck...you can do this and you will be so happy enjoying your own delicious, healthy meals!

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VICKIELC14 1/5/2011 2:36PM

    If you are going to buy a cookbook, you should look for one with a small amount of ingredients. I've seen some with 4 or 5 ingredients only. They will be easy--you really just need to look at recipes as following directions. Easy ones to start out---read through one you want to make and see if anything is confusing, then start there. If there are ingredients you don't know, skip that recipe until you are a more experienced cook. If a recipe that looks good only has one thing you haven't heard of, it will be an easier one than a recipe that has many ingredients you haven't heard of. And you have the internet . . . you can find out info on anything!

Good luck.

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JHADZHIA 1/5/2011 2:31PM

    I am exactly like you. My stove or oven never gets used. I have never cooked anything except a baked potato in the microwave LOL. I even cook my pasta in the microwave LOL But one real healthy treat I like that can be cooked in the microwave is spaghetti squash. Simply cut lengthwise, take out the seedy middle stuff and cook in the nuke for 10-15 (note: get a small one (9 or 10 inches long). Its easy to test for doneness, just take a fork and see if the threads come apart. It looks just like rice noodles, it s FUN food :). It has no real flavor of its on, so you can use any spice you want. I use garlic, parmeson cheese and herb spice sprinkled over it for seasoning, and you can add black beans, snap peas, corn and onions to perk it up the nutrients and make it colorful.
Good luck with it!!! Most grocery stores will have signs telling you what to look for in ripened produce.
Sparks does have great, simple recipes, but a lot of times calls for equipment I don't have like a food processor or a crock pot. So I miss out on trying things..

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-FEMALE- 1/5/2011 2:15PM

    I have 3 favorites to share.

#1: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/reci
(But use ground chicken & any cheese will do - THIS IS MY FAVORITE DINNER!)

#2: I call this 'Slow Cooker Roast Gravy'. I normally have this with mashed potatoes & veggies.
1.8 lbs Beef Roast
- 2 Cans of Cream of mushroom 'Low Fat'
- 1 Package of Dry Onion Soup Mix
- 1.5 Cup of Water
- 1/3 Cup of Flour

Put Roast into the Crockpot. Pour all ingredients EXCEPT flour onto roast. Turn roast over, and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove roast and add 1/3 cups of flour to thicken for gravy. Mix Well. Break roast into pieces while its out of the crockpot with a fork. Then put back into the crockpot for 1/2 hour.


#3: And this is AMAZING!! I like to have this every morning cause its so delicious and high in protein!

-1 scallion, chopped
-Mushrooms, 10 grams
-3/4 cup of egg whites
-Pepper for taste
-Chicken, cooked & cut in small sizes 40 grams
-Mozzarella cheese shredded, 30 grams

First I lightly sprayed the skillet with cooking spray, and cooked the scallions and mushrooms pieces. Then I poured the egg whites that had pepper mixed in, into the pan. After some scrapping and lifting, I put the already cooked chicken in the skillet to re-heat it. Once it all looked done, I placed all of the cheese in at ones and stirred and stirred until it has been all melted. And that's it, absolutely delicious!

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LUMETH 1/5/2011 2:13PM

    I'm right there with you. I'm just learning how much I really do like squash (I hated it as a child) this year. Easiest way to fix an acorn squash? Cut it in half, bake it for 30 to 40 minutes face down, then turn it over, put a tiny bit of butter (and if you simply must, a very light sprinkling of brown sugar) on it. Bake it for another 30 minutes and make half of it a meal. It's not exactly 'speedy' but you can't get much easier than that...

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BNBLYNNE 1/5/2011 2:12PM

    I like these websites:


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MYOWNHERO 1/5/2011 2:08PM

    Cooking is fun! My daughter really likes the Hungry Girl website and cookbooks. The recipes are easy, healthy and tasty.

My advice is just jump in and try things. So what if they don't turn out how you expected? That's the best way to learn.

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    One that I love from Spark is Barbecue Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

Yup as simple as it sounds.Cook boneless chicken breasts until not pink anymore. Drop in a small bowl of barbecue sauce and coat each side. Whole wheat bread, green peppers, cheese (american, swiss or provolone). Layer the bread with chicken, cheese and raw peppers, put top bread on then toast in frying pan. YUMMY! Whole family loved it!

Another family fave....
"stir fry steak" (actually labeled that way in meat section because it is cut in strips)
toss in pan with peppers and onions (I use red, orange, and green peppers) then spoon into a tortilla wrapper and sprinkle with cheese! Oooh yummy.

Hope those helped.

I can't cook either but I have a ton of spark recipes that I like so let me know if you need more. :)

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    Leslie, I get most of my recipes from SparkRecipes, but I also use others and add them to SparkRecipes. I never was taught to cook by anyone. I just started getting recipes out and following the directions very closely. If you do what the directions say, just like putting something together, you can usually do a good job! emoticon

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GRAMMACATHY 1/5/2011 1:52PM

    I think getting acquainted with the produce department is a good place to start. I am a big fan of soups and stir fry frozen veggies for quick and easy.

Think of cooking as art. You don't always have to follow a recipe. Just start throwing stuff in the pot.

You will want pepper that you can grind, some sea salt, and some garlic powder or garlic salt. It is also helpful to have some cans of broth on hand. You can fine these in low sodium varieties.

Go to the bean and rice aisle. Choose a couple packages of whatever appeals to you. I like to change it out. I usually get lentils or split peas, some barley, rice, and small white beans. I fill the pot half full of water, let the beans soak overnight. Drain, re-add the water and the rice etc. and a whole chopped onion. Let simmer a couple hours. Add cans of broth, salt, pepper, garlic to season, add carrots and celery, continue to simmer for another couple hours. Now you can anything else that appeals to you such as squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc. After this has cooked another hour or so, check and add more seasonings that appeal to you such as chile powder, keep sampling and adding till you are happy.

This is my Dad's recipe for "Everything and the Kitchen Sink Soup". He generally cooked it to almost a mush. He usually added whatever left over meat he could find. He also liked to throw in ham hocks. After six to eight hours of simmering, most of it was cooked to a mush and was delicious and healthy. I use more veggies, no pork, experiment with seasonings and don't cook to a mush. This is great with turkey leftovers, or with no meat. Freeze in meal size portions and you have quick lunches for a month.

It will give you confidence to start experimenting with recipes.
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AZURELITE 1/5/2011 1:34PM

    I bought my son "30 Minute Rookie Cook" a few years ago. As I recall, it had the basics and the recipes sounded good (and simple).

You can do it!

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KAMAPERRY 1/5/2011 1:30PM

    I use SP recipes and most of them are pretty easy! emoticon

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DUSTYGIRL25 1/5/2011 1:28PM

    I know how you feel! When my children were young I had no idea how to cook anything. I started out with boxed meals that were really easy. Then I thought, if they can make it for a box then maybe I can make it myself. My kids loved the Kraft macaroni and cheese in the box, but I didn't like the powder cheese. So I bought a bag of macaroni and a block of cheddar cheese and made it from scratch, I even boiled hot dogs, cut them up and added them to the dish. So much better. After, I started doing that with everything, just figuring out how I could make the box stuff without the box. I'm still learning and improving all the time. Now my husband is just happy that I cook anything and he eats whatever I make.
I'm sure you will do Great at anything you Make!
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MOMOF2TONI 1/5/2011 1:22PM

    I am actually Team Leader of a group called JoAnna Lund's Recipes. I am not a great cook but I love the JoAnna Lund Cookbooks, especially the CrockPot books. Some people do not care for her recipes because she uses a lot of sugar-free products (artificial sweeteners) but they work for hubby and me. I like recipes with ingredients that I recognize and usually have in my kitchen.

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    How about this emoticon

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ELLFIN3 1/5/2011 1:10PM

    I can go you one better on the confessions!! Since it is just DH and me, we eat out most of the time! When I do cook, I cook simple!! Beans and corn bread in the crock pot! Crock pot meals are good for those of us who work! I hope you find the solution to the problem!!!!! Enjoy your day!!! emoticon

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SPALM01 1/5/2011 1:07PM

    LOL, I have to laugh because I'm the girl who once made Tuna casserole and forgot the Tuna!!!

I'm actually a really good cook now, but it took a lot of patience to get there. My first recommendation would be to pick up one new fresh fruit/veggie each time you shop. One that you have no idea what it is. Then take it home and find out about it online. I know this will be very scary; you're talking to the person who's friends still laugh at her because of the day I got so excited in the store when I realized you could actually buy the leaf lettuce they serve in restaurants at your market.

I've found so many new healthy foods by doing this and many of them don't need a lot of prep work or to be cooked very much. A good place to start is experimenting with different kinds of salads. There are so many flavors and taste you can combine; you'll have great varity and get to learn about some new veggies. I have a great recipe for a Harvest Chicken Salad that is just fresh spinach, chopped apples, diced red onion, diced celery, dried cranberries, pecans, and mandarian oranges. Put some grilled chicken on top (or you can leave it off.) For the dressing I use 2 cups fresh orange juice, salt and pepper, 2 T dijion mustard 1 t. sugar - and that's it. Just mix and pour over. Best of luck.

Comment edited on: 1/5/2011 1:10:34 PM

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 1/5/2011 1:06PM

    Leslie, I would do some websearches on learning to cook. Or finding some really good recipe sites like Taste of Home and SparkRecipes. Also, you could search for 5 ingredient recipes. I've seen sites like that. Let me see if I can find one. I just found one: http://busycooks.about.com/library/
>Here is another one:



Love, Susan

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    no biggie - but it will definitely help you to learn (less sodium, way more control over your nutrition). I don't know what sort of things you tend to like so am not sure what you recommend. but a good start is soup - hard to mess up a good bowl of soup, and it is super easy to make. another awesomely tasty & easy thing to make is roasted veggies. I also have a great black beans & rice recipe - let me know if you'd like it. Mike and I are vegans but if you'd like, look at my food tracker - I'd be glad to share recipes for any of the stuff.


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January goals: Back to the Basics!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's back to the basics for January! I have to admit, I let my nutrition go this last month and the scale finally told me about it. I can blame it the holidays, my birthday, emotional stress, or any number of things, but when it comes down to it, I have no one to blame but myself! It's time to get back on track! I'm going back to the basics...recommitting myself to old goals--goals that I reached but have since slacked on. Goals that I know have gotten the results before....goals that WILL bring me success again! emoticon

1. Drink my 90 ounces of water a day! No excuses, JUST DO IT! emoticon

2. Eat more fruits and veggies. emoticon emoticon emoticon

3. Get moving! There's no excuse to not exercise AT LEAST 10 minutes a day! emoticon

4. Pack snacks and stay away from that devil they call chocolate! emoticon emoticon emoticon

5. Eat clean. No fast food, less boxed food, and more fresh produce! If it doesn't go bad, it's bad for you. Simple as that. emoticon

6. Try new recipes. emoticon

7. Pack kids backpacks and make sure homework is done EVERY night! emoticon

8. Play the Wii with my kids! emoticon

9. Keep up the house and laundry. It ain't cleanin itself! emoticon

10. Live healthy! If I want to be healthy, I need to LIVE healthy...in ALL aspects of my life! emoticon

2011 is going to be my year to SHINE! NO more excuses! I'm JUST DOIN IT! WHO'S WITH ME?!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 1/7/2011 9:19PM

    Sound, achievable goals. One pound at a time. emoticon -- Lou

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HEALTHYME229 1/6/2011 8:31AM

    These are awesome goals and a great way to start the new year. once the basics are under control, the rest is so much easier to manage. emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 1/5/2011 7:58PM

    I'm with you! emoticon

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LZY0108 1/5/2011 4:42PM


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MYOWNHERO 1/5/2011 2:09PM

    I'm with you!

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KAMAPERRY 1/5/2011 12:41PM

    I know you can do it! emoticon

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GRANLUND 1/5/2011 11:59AM

    Don't mind me...I'm just here stealing your list! So many of those could have been written by me right now!

Good luck!

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KNITNYAK 1/5/2011 9:31AM

    Thanks for posting...a good wake up call for each one of us to re-focus!

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BEACHMOMMY87 1/5/2011 8:48AM

    You'll do great! I'm with you! I gotta get back to the basics myself. :) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 1/5/2011 8:05AM

    You are a warrior. Of course, you will do it! emoticon

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GRAMMACATHY 1/5/2011 1:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HICKOK-HALEY 1/5/2011 1:35AM

    I slipped a bit too, but back on board with ya. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 1/5/2011 12:39AM

    I like that too, if it doesn't go bad it isn't good for you :) As my diet consists mostly of fresh fruits and veggies, I can sure relate to that.
Sounds like you have a great plan and the best attitude to make it work for you!!
You go girl!!
This is me cheering you on!!
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    Leslie, I loved your list! I really liked what you said on #5! If it doesn't go bad, it's bad for you!

Leslie, you have come so far, and grown so much in your tragedies and trials! You ARE a warrior woman... a WINNER, and I'm so glad you know the source of your strength! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLGIRL1234 1/4/2011 10:39PM

    I'm with you! WHoo hoo! You got a great plan....you know what works and you are going to rock it!


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MOBEANZ 1/4/2011 10:32PM

    Im with you! Those are fantastic goals!

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MTLHEAD86 1/4/2011 9:58PM

    Oh Hell Yeah, look at the warrior princess! I'm with you 110%!!


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MOMOF2TONI 1/4/2011 9:54PM

    Love your energy and enthusiasm! I know you will do it. No, make that WE will do it. ALL of us!! I know we can. I'm with ya!

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RUN2MYDREAMS 1/4/2011 9:42PM

    I'm with you now and always, Leslie! Let's show 2011 who's boss and ROCK this year girl emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/4/2011 9:35PM

    Great goals!

No never excuses, just acceptance that we aren't perfect... and that you did! Way to BE Leslie! Glad you are finding re-newed energy and vigor.

Hugz and Luv!

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KTMAE2006 1/4/2011 9:31PM

    Woohoo! I love "if it doesn't go bad, its bad for you" such a great concept!

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TRANSFORMWE 1/4/2011 9:18PM

    I'm right there with you!

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YW84FRIDAY 1/4/2011 9:17PM

  You go girl! I need to do that too. I gained 6 pounds over the last 2 months. Now I have to start all over again.


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    HELL YEAH GIRL!! LOVE IT!! I'm feeling you too, While I've done pretty good this holiday season, I've slacked on my exercise, and it just needs to be a staple in my life! I did struggle with my lovely husband filling my stocking with Chocolate! OH BLESS HIM! LOL but it's all gone and no more temptations....SOooooo...I joined the 28 day bootcamp challenge, 10 mins a day, and whatever else I can add in, I can do it! AND SO CAN YOU!!! We know how to make it happen and we will! Drop that Nicotine, and Exercise through the cravings....it really helps! I quit again last March and was so worried that I was going to put it on cause of not smoking, but I exercised through it and was able to drop it easier than I ever had before! GO GIRL GO!! This is YOUR year!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REDRUNNERMOM713 1/4/2011 9:13PM

    Great goals!! I need to get back to basics too, so I'm with ya girlfriend!! Like I always say...us redheads need to stick together! Lol Let's ROCK this new year!!!

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    I'm with ya!!! All the way! emoticon emoticon

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A Birfday WOO HOO blog! :D

Friday, December 31, 2010

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And for a minute there I thought no one would remember my birthday! Silly me! You guys are WAAYYY too awesome for that! Thank you SOOO much for all of my wonderful birthday wishes! Have I told you lately how much YOU ROCK?!!

My kids are super excited about it being my birthday. My son was the 1st to wake up this morning so that he could make sure to turn on the Christmas/”Birthday” lights for me and wish me a happy birthday! It’s so sweet to hear your kid say, “Have a wonderful birfday, Mommy!”

So in honor of my ‘birfday’ I’m going to make a list of “woo-hoos” to celebrate! Why? Cuz it’s my birfday and I can! LOL

1. I got 2 pairs of MEDIUM pajama pants for Christmas and by golly, THEY FIT! WOO HOO!

2. I got my first bruise on my hip bone the other day because it actually sticks out a bit now! I was like, OUCH, WHOA.. COOL! LOL I’m so proud of my first hip-bone injury! WOO HOO!

3. I actually have a STERNUM! I think I’ve been able to feel it before but the other day as I undressed in front of the mirror I was like, “What’s that line on my chest?! I felt it and examined it and by golly, I have a sternum TOO….that SHOWS! WOO HOO! Lol

4. I finally bought myself a reward I’ve been wanting---a HOT pair of jeans with beads and cute finishings on the booty…and guess what?! They’re size 8! I was completely satisfied in my size 12’s, which USED to be my skinny pants size. But now…size 12’s are my fat pants! That’s insanely awesome!! SIZE EIGHTS BABBYYY! WOO HOO!

AND…I got the best gifts for Christmas and my birthday! When my parents asked me what I wanted I said anything in the fitness aisle at Target or Walmart…that aisle is like heaven to me, lol! I got a yoga ball, a yoga mat, and a Wii Fit!!! AWESOME!

2011…you better watch out, I’m gonna OWN YOU!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 1/5/2011 7:54PM

    Happy Birthday, hot stuff.

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GOGOMAMA 1/4/2011 8:49PM

    Wonderful accomplishments!!! Love those sweet moments with our kids! Birthday blessings!

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BYEFATNANNY 1/4/2011 3:17PM

    Great job on showing some bone! LOL. Size 8's are my goal, I'm in a 10 so I'm sure I'll see 8 in 2011. Woo hoo for you!!! emoticon oh and happy belated birthday

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 3:23:53 PM

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BTRTHANEVA 1/4/2011 8:15AM

    'm I baaaad...

Happy Belated (or VERY early) Birfday wishes to the person who brings sunshine emoticon into my life each time I read your messages and blogs.


And CONGRATS on your weight loss journey. You are truly a PHENOMINAL WOMAN!!!

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TRANSFORMWE 1/4/2011 12:19AM

    Happy Birfday!! Thanks for sharing your list of successes. Your blogs always touch me somehow. Love the reaction to the hipbone injury!!
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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/3/2011 11:52PM

    So proud of you! Those are great successes! And Happy Birthday again.

I have a bit of a similar story... my Mom bought me pajama pants 2 Christmas' ago, that I wouldn't wear, because they looked horrible. I put them on this Christmas... and all I heard was, wow Mom, you look skinny, and I like your pajama pants... lol!

Yayyy us! LOL!

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CHOESCH 1/3/2011 5:13PM

    Sorry...I've been AOL with all of the partying! LOL! So here is a belated birthday wish...
Happy BIRTHDAY to an amazing woman - who has found herself and her confidence to start a not only a new 2011 but a new birth year as well and will ROCK IT! CONGRATULATIONS my friend - you are AWESOME!!!! I love that your kids were so excited for your birthday - they are such an amazing blessing! I also love that you are finding happiness and joy in the simple things that life has to offer. You give me such hope as I watch you overcome some of your difficulties - thanks so much for being willing to share your heart with all of us.

Happy, Happy Birthday and New Year!
Love ya!!!

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CULACCINA 1/3/2011 7:50AM

    Oh, girl!!! I didn't know it was your birthday!!!!
Hope you had a lot of fun :)
I'll be waiting for the FB update with loads of pictures of you unwrapping presents :P

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LUNADRAGON 1/2/2011 7:20PM

    Way to go with all the real cool birthday treats! You rock!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 1/1/2011 9:11PM

    Better late than never. Happy Belated Birthday!!!!!

You are awesome and I always feel sooooo much better after reading one of your blogs, oh and I smile when I am reading your blogs. Keep up the good spirits!!!!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 1/1/2011 9:18AM

    A Belated Happy Birthday to you! Mine is right before Christmas and I asked for a BOSU and I love it. Who would have thought exercise equipment would make us so happy!

It sounds like you have done a Fantastic job this last year! emoticon

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LBIMAMMA 1/1/2011 8:36AM

    Happy Birthday---and loved your post!

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REJ7777 1/1/2011 8:28AM

    Your dynamic blog made me laugh... your enthusiasm is catchy! emoticon

Here's to a GREAT 2011! emoticon emoticon

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DUSTYGIRL25 1/1/2011 6:17AM

    HAPPY BIRFDAY!!!! Hope it was wonderfully fun. Thats a lot of Woo Hoo! Enjoy!!
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KKP4673 1/1/2011 4:41AM

    Happy Birthday!! AND I am just so excited for you AND your new body!! Way to go!! You are truly an inspiration!! Thank you for being my Sparkpeople friend!!

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1COUNTRY_GAL 1/1/2011 12:12AM

    I did miss your Birthday.Happy belated Birthday and hope it was special for you! Big Birthday emoticonDiana emoticon

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MPALMER15 12/31/2010 10:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday! And congrats on your size 8's!

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GRAMMACATHY 12/31/2010 9:25PM

    What wonderful birthday gifts. You are awesome!
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You were apparently a last minute tax deduction for your parents too.

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ELLFIN3 12/31/2010 8:14PM

    emoticon I am proud of you and your awesome attitude!!! Enjoy the rest of you BD!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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    Leslie, somehow, I didn't remember that your birthday is today! I am not even sure I knew! My dad's 88 years old today! I am so glad your birthday has been wonderful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IUHRYTR 12/31/2010 6:17PM

    waiting for pics of the new jeans with a big smile on your face. Your hard work and dedication has paid off but don't give up now. Begin the new year strong and determined and push on daily toward the ultimate you. -- Lou

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ABB698 12/31/2010 6:07PM

    May your birfday be nothing less than fabulous, just as you are!!!
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BELLALUCIA 12/31/2010 6:01PM

    Rock it hot Mama!

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LOOZINITNOW 12/31/2010 5:18PM

    What a fantastic birthday! Rock those size 8 jeans!

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KTMAE2006 12/31/2010 5:17PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Way to go! You are doing soo great!

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LEXIE63 12/31/2010 5:08PM

    Happy Birthday!
Lex xxx
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HEALTHY4ME 12/31/2010 5:06PM

    Happy birthday I guess we share the day! Glad you had a good day and hope it continues into the evening.

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ASHLEYKAT 12/31/2010 4:25PM

    Have an awesome birthday!

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NANCYANDRA 12/31/2010 4:05PM

    Happy Birthday - it sounds AWESOME!!!

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REDRUNNERMOM713 12/31/2010 4:01PM

    Happy Birthday girlfriend!! What an AWESOME Woo-Hoo list!!! I'm so happy and proud of you! I hope you have a totally Rockin day! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/31/2010 3:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You rock!!

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KAMAPERRY 12/31/2010 3:42PM

    Happy Birthday and isn't the self discovery cool!! emoticon

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RUN2MYDREAMS 12/31/2010 3:20PM

    You go girl and ROCK your bday into da New Year! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Heaven DONE got another Angel!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My heart is heavy today knowing that Shannon (TANSHAN1) has lost her battle with cancer. I've been reading over her page and just can't get over how inspiring she was. I became friends with her shortly after I came to Spark and loved her from the second I found her page. She lived like she was living, NOT like she was dying. She had a passion for life and was an awesome leader of The DONE Being the Fat Girl team. Her presence here on Spark touched hundreds of people and has inpsired the lives of many. She said that it "was all about the ATTITUDE" and she couldn't have been more right. Her awesome attitude was contagious, and still is! A lot of you already know her, but for those of you who didn't, stop by her page and check it out. You will leave there a better person.

I'm going to copy and paste the Spark email that I was sent by one of Shannon's best friends:

I think it would be grand if everyone that will, will send out a thoughtful card to Shannon's family. An outpouring of love is what this family needs right now.
There will be a memorial service, (they have not made the arrangements yet). Shannon told me that she wanted to be cremated. I am sure that they will respect her wishes.

Shannon was very close to her Father & sister Melinda.
Please keep them in you thoughts & prayers,

Her address is:
Shannon Buck
270 Baffle Lane
Bismarck, AR 71929

Her Father's name is Bruce Buck if you address it to him in "C/O" he will open it. Also, her older sister's name is Melinda Smith if you would like to "C/O" her.

RIP Shannon --May you be as influential in heaven as you were on earth.

Heaven DONE got another angel today.

Here is a link to her page and an amazing blog of hers:

emoticon www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TA


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORRIS1989 12/31/2010 10:32AM

    You are right heaven does have another angel two exactly. May Shannon and Mrs. Bailey rest in the LORD. What a nice tribute to Shannon. Sending prayers to her family. emoticon

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55TUCKER 12/31/2010 7:07AM

    Sorry to hear of this loss. I agree, too, Leslie, that you posted a lovely tribute and your compassion is showing through, loud and clear. Peace and Blessings to her family and also to you.

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RAINBOWFALLS 12/30/2010 10:19AM

    So sad to lose someone so inspiring. emoticon

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PRYCELESS1 12/30/2010 2:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CANADAUAE 12/30/2010 1:11AM

    Ohhh :( this is so heartbreaking to hear! I didn't know her but it still tugs at my heartstrings :( A little Spark Friend lost...so sad! Hope her family is doing alright. What a great idea to send cards.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 12/30/2010 12:34AM

    My thoughts and prayers are with Shannon's family. So sorry for your loss, Leslie. Your blog is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful and inspirational lady!!! She is truly and has always been an angel and actually LIVED life to the fullest. RIP, Shannon.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 12/29/2010 11:41PM


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CASILAYNE 12/29/2010 11:37PM

    Absolutely heartbreaking. I've been praying for her family.

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KAMAPERRY 12/29/2010 11:07PM

    I am so sorry to hear of this. Heaven got another angel. God bless you for your loving heart. emoticon

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ELLFIN3 12/29/2010 9:05PM

    Sorry about her passing!!! She is in heaven watching over us! A brand new Angel!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/29/2010 8:59PM

    I read Shannon"s lengthy medical story on her page step by step, she was truly a fighter who never gave up right until the end. She did have an amazing attitude!! I am sorry I never 'met' her..
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-FEMALE- 12/29/2010 8:58PM

    I am so sorry to hear about her loss. And thank you for sharing her address, I will be sending the family a card. She seemed like an amazing person.

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ABB698 12/29/2010 8:52PM

    emoticonLeslie for the beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. I was in tears most of the morning after reading Linda's update. Her legacy will certainly live on, and I am dedicating the remainder of my DONE journey in her honor. She will continue to inspire me from Heaven! emoticon

Now "lets put on our big girl panties and be DONE"!


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REJ7777 12/29/2010 6:55PM

    That's very sad news. I didn't realize that Shannon had passed away. Thank you for letting us know. And thank you for that beautiful blog you wrote about that dynamic woman. emoticon

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RUN2MYDREAMS 12/29/2010 6:46PM

    I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend! I know that her spirit lives on you Leslie! emoticon

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BTRTHANEVA 12/29/2010 6:31PM

    Hi Leslie ~
I just stopped by Shannon's page and gave her a set of wings. Thanks for sharing her story and reminding us that we only have moments to live ~ so use them wisely!

Take good care,

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MISSM66 12/29/2010 6:20PM

    I am so sorry to learn of Shannon Death may her soul Rest in peace,I will surely send the family a card thanks for letting us know. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/29/2010 6:20:22 PM

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GRAMMACATHY 12/29/2010 5:39PM

    You are such a kind and loving person. I am sorry you lost your Spark Friend. I too have become very close to many people on this website. They touch your lives in so many special and important ways.

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Guess they made the good list =)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa was here!!

...and he brought lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh!

Here's Montana and AnnaBelle (Chris's kids) sporting new clothes and the new hat I got her. They really liked their gifts too!

I really tried to go all out this year for Christmas. We even did lights on the house and had Christmas decorations galore! My kids told me that this was the best Christmas ever...which is really what I was going for. My heart smiled. emoticon emoticon

I hope Santa was good to you guys too! I've missed you and will get caught up on my Sparking when I go back to work tomorrow...just don't tell the boss! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAMAPERRY 12/29/2010 11:03PM

    Sweet!! emoticon

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CHRISTYD921 12/29/2010 1:31PM

    great pics!!! the smiles say it all

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 12/29/2010 10:54AM

    Hi Leslie, I know what you mean about giving to the kids. I was the same way, its a mom thing. Now mine are big with jobs, yes that day will come for you as well. Christmas for kids is way better than boots for yourself. For now, you have those amazing little people to love. Victoria

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LUNADRAGON 12/29/2010 12:08AM


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TRANSFORMWE 12/28/2010 11:23PM

    Great pictures!! Beautiful kids, Great Job Mom!! emoticon

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MOBEANZ 12/28/2010 4:26PM

    Lucky Lucky kids!!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 12/28/2010 4:18PM

    Thats awesome!!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/28/2010 4:11PM

    "best Christmas ever..." Awww.... Hugs.


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VBA2009 12/28/2010 12:21PM

    Love the pictures! Your family looks like they had a great Christmas!

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AZURELITE 12/28/2010 8:13AM

    Glad you had a great Christmas, Leslie! All the best in 2011!

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CHOESCH 12/27/2010 4:58PM

    First of all thanks so much for your sweet Christmas wishes and kind words on my blog - I too am grateful for you! It looks like you had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS - seeing those smiles and getting that reaction from your kids makes all the work and effort totally worth it! I'm sure they were glad to see you smiling too - that was probably the BEST gift of all! You have all been through a lot these past few years - I'm so glad that you had some extra happiness this Christmas! I'm sure Chris is proud of you! Keep smiling and looking forward to a GREAT 2011! You my dear can accomplish anything and I know you will!

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GRAMMACATHY 12/27/2010 12:59PM

    You are such a wise woman. I loved the pictures. Thank you for sharing.

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55TUCKER 12/27/2010 12:28PM

    Hi Leslie. I really enjoyed the pictures, as your kids look so happy and had a wonderful day of new Christmas memories. You are a rockin Mom!

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TEMPEST272002 12/27/2010 10:00AM

    It looks like you guys had a wonderful, love-filled Christmas! What wonderful memories you're creating.

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 12/27/2010 9:27AM

    Loved the pictures...you can't make up the excitement seen on their faces! God bless you for making happy Christmas memories for them and for yourself

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RAINBOWFALLS 12/27/2010 8:12AM

    It looks like everyone enjoyed themselves

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CASILAYNE 12/27/2010 8:03AM

    Your Christmas looks wonderful! Your kids are absolutely beautiful!
Happy New Year week :)

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ABB698 12/27/2010 1:22AM

    Santa was sure good to them. But then they have the most awesome Mom anyhow, so why wouldn't they get anything but the best!! emoticon

Glad you had happiness this Christmas!

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HICKOK-HALEY 12/27/2010 12:21AM

    I'm glad you and your family had a great time. It's great to see such big smiles on your kids faces.

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BTRTHANEVA 12/26/2010 11:22PM

    All those toothless grins are as precious as you are, Leslie!

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-FEMALE- 12/26/2010 10:39PM

    Awesome pictures!! Your gorgeous kids look so happy!! Well done mom!!

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SHERRY257 12/26/2010 10:03PM

    Wow! I bet this Christmas will be remembered for ever! You are a super mom. I am glad you were so blessed this Christmas. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/26/2010 9:58PM

    I am so glad your children loved their Christmas!! Those mile wide smiles tell the story!! You are a rocking Momma!!
LOVED these photos, just warms the heart!!
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MCSNYDER1 12/26/2010 9:15PM

    Wow! Makes me want to be one of your kids!!!

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KAMAPERRY 12/26/2010 9:07PM

    Awesome pics! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 12/26/2010 8:35PM

    It sure looks like everyone had a Grand Christmas!

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ZANDASMOM1 12/26/2010 8:05PM

    Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas!!!!! I love the pics!!! emoticon

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BELLALUCIA 12/26/2010 8:01PM

    You are a great Momma!

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ELLFIN3 12/26/2010 7:56PM

    Great pics!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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