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pumpkin bread recipe

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Pumpkin bread recipe (Yes I know it is not spark certified and feel free to make changes but this is the best pumpkin bread you will ever eat).

Mix dry ingredients together:
3 1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon,cloves, ginger or pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
You can use more of less of the spices at your discretion.

Make a well in the flour mix and add into the hole:
4 eggs
2 cup canned (or fresh) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix but just pumpkin)
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup water
1 cup of walnuts (optional)

Mix well and bake for 1 hour. Makes 2 standard size loaves. Can be made into muffins, mini loaves or mini muffins as well. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
No I dont have the nutritional information and I really dont want to know! lol.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOODIE59 10/10/2011 8:40PM

    I just saw your friend feed where you tell people to ignore your pumpkin bread recipe because SP has said it is one of the four most fattening seasonal foods. I just wanted to tell you that in all my banana bread and apple cake recipes I replace ALL the butter/fat/oil w the same amount of thick apple sauce. Your cake/bread will be a little denser (maybe won't rise as high) but it will still be delicious ... just a thought:)

Happy Halloween!

Comment edited on: 10/10/2011 8:41:42 PM

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/7/2011 7:24PM

    Evil, thy name is pumpkin bread!

I love pumpkin bread and I have half a dozen ripe pumpkins in my backyard waiting to to cooked up into something delicious. I know what I am making this weekend!

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DESERTFLOWER8 10/7/2011 5:58PM

    yummmmmmm..looks like my oven will be seeing some action this weekend..the perfect thing at the perfect time..thx for posting!

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KAMAPERRY 10/7/2011 2:59PM


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BECKYB73 10/7/2011 2:16PM

    I was hoping you'd share this!! Been thinking about those cake pops since yesterday!!!


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JOMAMA99 10/7/2011 11:49AM

    Yum, thanks for sharing, I think I have some pumpkin in the pantry, will make this weekend!

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SARAWALKS 10/7/2011 8:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/7/2011 8:03AM

    Sounds great!

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    Mmmmm...sounds delicious!!! :)

- Michelle

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DAISY443 10/7/2011 5:57AM

    Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

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TERRYT55 10/7/2011 1:15AM

    I LOVE this recipe.........I make the same one! I make a caramel glaze too. Yummy

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JO88BAKO 10/6/2011 11:12PM

    Sounds good and I love pumpkin. Thanks!

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CANNIE50 10/6/2011 11:10PM

    Well, aren't you the busy little sugar-bee? This does sound delicious. PS I mentioned your protein challenge in my status and one of my SPfriends, a new Sparkler, asked me "what's a MamaDwarf". It made me giggle. I told her a MamaDwarf is not a what, she's a who - a VERY popular Sparkler. I linked her to your blog, of course. Let us hope she is not currently doing a sugar-free challenge....... emoticon

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ELSCO55 10/6/2011 11:02PM


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GRACEISENUF 10/6/2011 11:01PM

    I don't want to know the nutritional info. either..that'll ruin the fun of making it and the taste!


Thanks for sharing cuz I LOVE pumpkin.

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Uh oh, guess what I did today?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I did NOT make cake pops but I DID make pumpkin bread pops... Gah! I know. I am such a freak.

I got inspired yesterday when I met Kelly and her friend for coffee and she was eating a pumpkin cream cheese centered muffin. I had a bite and it was fabulous so of course, I had to take it to the next level.

So I came home and baked (the family recipe) pumpkin bread. Then I crumbled it into peices and added cream cheese frosting, rolled it into balls, stuck them in the freezer and today went and got orange candy coating and sprinkles and this is the final product.

Then I took some to 2 of my neighbors, sent a box with Kelly to her boyfriend's family and even took some down to the guys at the Napa Auto parts store that we do business with. I had them in really cute halloween boxes and they are not only adorable, they are crazy delicious. I ate two and stuck the last dozen in the freezer for last minute gifts or for some little kids that may come by in the next few weeks.

It was really fun but baking is a bad, bad temptation for me but I did pretty good only eating two and I got them out of the house as fast as possible! I wish I could send one to every one of you guys for halloween. I mean, ONE wouldn't hurt. Right?

PS: Here is the recipe for cake pops. Yes MICHAEL's craft store has all different colored candy coating. If you try to die almond bark, it gets clumpy.

1 baked cake (any flavor) (or I used pumpkinbread. cant have any crispy bits or crunchy things in it or they fall apart)
1 16 oz tub of frosting (any flavor) (you will only use 3/4 of the can)
Chocolate candy melts wafers (available at Michael's craft store or baking supply store) (any flavor)
sprinkles or decor of any kind

Bake a cake (use a box mix or home recipe) according to directions. Let cool about 20 minutes or more.
Crumble it into small, fine crumbs in a large bowl. Use your hands for best results. Pick out any crispy bits.
Add 3/4 of a 16 oz. can of frosting (you made me a bit more).
Mix well. It should be soft enough to form a ball but not sticky.
You can put the mix in the frig for a little bit to make the dough easier to form if desired.
I use a 1" scoop, form the balls with my hands. Then place on a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
When all the balls are formed, put in the freezer for at least 20 minutes or for several hours or days.

When you are ready to coat the balls, take them out of the freezer.
Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave in a fairly deep bowl (a 2 cup glass measuring cup works great). Melt 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. When it is just melted (like you can still see a few small chunks), stir to completly melt. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE CHOCOLATE! Then add 1 tsp of vegetable oil (not olive oil) at a time until the chocolate is fairly thin and runny.
Get the cake pop/candy sucker sticks ready and dip into the chocolate by about 1/2" then stick into each ball. Let dry. (This helps them stay on the stick when you dip them.
One by one, dip the cake balls into the chocolate. Dip all the way into the melted chocolate and try not to twist. Just dunk and lift. If it is too thick, add more oil and stir well.
Lean ball sideways over the bowl and tap stick gently on the bowl to let excess chocolate drip off. Then put ball side down on the waxed paper OR put the stick side down into that green floral styrofoam to dry.

If you want to add sprinkles or candy bits, sprinkle on after the balls have been sitting for a few seconds but not quite dry. You can also add a contrasting drizzle of melted chocolate.

Can be stored on the counter top for 2-3 days or in the freezer for many weeks. I recommend keeping in the freezer. They are really good straight from the freezer, too.The frig does not work well because it makes the pops sweat.

If you GOOGLE cake pops, there are videos that show you how to do it this. The more you do it, the easier it is. It takes a bit of practice but the possibilities and flavor combinations are endless!

Get the skinny lollipop sticks. michaels has them and the chocolate melts too...
also for cute items, get colorful cupcake wrappers. For other ideas for parties or events. my sister swears by "the perfect browinie pan" that is sold all over the place. I gotta say, they are super amazing and you can always frost them. ANother cute thing to do is take regular size marshmallows, put a stick in them and dip them in the chocolate and then roll in sprinkles or nuts. They look fabulous and are super easy and cheap to do. You can also do the long pretzel rods the same way. dip them halfway and then put sprinkles on them. Good luck and have fun!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMIN2GENES 10/12/2011 2:22PM

    emoticon Now I really want some pumpkin bread or muffins!

Thanks for sharing this idea. Cool!

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ANAJAK 10/11/2011 5:25AM

    These are so great and prolly extreme danger zone for AnaJak. On a somewhat related note I really wish we had Halloween here.

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SHERLYN-WILL 10/7/2011 9:21PM

    BACK TO SAY thank you for posting more details! YAY!! THANKS for the heads'up that you did!

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KAMAPERRY 10/7/2011 3:00PM

    Drooling here!

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/7/2011 2:04PM

    Those. Look. Amazing.

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ERIN4771 10/7/2011 8:21AM

    how creative are you?!?! seriously, they look amazing! and i want some emoticon

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    OMG - these sound DELICIOUS!!!!!!! I might have to make some for Christmas this year. Add those with my peanut butter fudge and my entire work gang will be in heaven! :) Thank you so much for sharing - I've been wondering how on earth you made those dang cake pops.

- Michelle

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LUVDOGZ 10/7/2011 6:37AM

    How cute and yummy!!!

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DAISY443 10/7/2011 6:03AM

    Stop it! I can't stand it! You are tempting me! Stop it! They look wonderful! Stop it! Nah, I secretly enjoy your cake pops vicariously! Keep showing us all this wonderful stuff!

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JUNEBUG150 10/7/2011 12:20AM

    They sound wonderful and they look so neat!! I will have to give this one a try. I think my 4 grandchildren would go crazy over them, well actually I think the 5th one, who is 20 years old, would too! Thank you for sharing emoticon

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KKINNEA 10/6/2011 11:12PM

    Sounds so good!!

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LIVE_N_LEARN1 10/6/2011 10:31PM

    cute, but making me want some sweets!! :/

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CANNIE50 10/6/2011 10:23PM

    Mama emoticon making me drool on my computer emoticon. These are mighty cute, I have to say.

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HEALTHYASHLEY 10/6/2011 9:56PM

    Me want. Oh and the pumpkin bread recipe too.

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SHERLYN-WILL 10/6/2011 9:38PM

    OHHHHH you made me think about something cool... one of my relatives is having a shower... these would be so cool at it.. because they are going with a "FALL" theme in decorating.. PUMPKINS/LEAVES/MUMS etc..

These would be cool sticking out of some kind of container...??

TELL me didn't you do a blog on making cake balls??
I will try to find it...

IS there actually ORANGE coating at the stores.. or did you add food coloring to the almond bark coating????

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VAMANOS 10/6/2011 9:37PM

    I'll take a dozen. I'll eat two and share the rest, thanks! emoticon

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CINDYLUFUS 10/6/2011 9:35PM

    I love baking too....but if I make something, it's a huge weakness and I want to eat whatever I make. So I also have to try to give it away. It's so hard!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 10/6/2011 9:33PM

    Need my address?

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GRACEISENUF 10/6/2011 9:26PM

    They are so cute and I WANT ONE!

Trick or treat!

emoticon emoticon

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BIGMAMAT 10/6/2011 9:16PM

    AWWWWW. Pretty! emoticon

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PJBONARRIGO 10/6/2011 9:16PM

    Looks like you have baking under control! Great ideas and lots of fun, thanks for sharing this. I wish I could have one- I'm going to try to make some soon:-) emoticon

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what does your back seat look like?

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Come on. Admit it. You drive along in your car, you drink stuff, you eat stuff. Today I was putting groceries in the back seat of my truck and there were about 20 items back there. I immediatly wondered what you all would think if you saw that.

I would not be embarrased. They were all empty water bottles.
No food wrappers, no candy bars wrappers, just water bottles.
And I even recycle them!

That is not always the way it was. A few years ago, it was filled with McDonalds wrappers, 32 oz. soda cups, candy bar wrappers, diet pepsi cans (cause I used to always drink diet soda cause then, in my mind, I could have cookies) and a bunch of other junk. That was only the things I would admit to. There were many, many other items that I would get rid of before I got home because I didn't want anyone to know exactly how much I was actually eating.

But today, I am proud of how I have changed my life. I can go to the store withouth eating something there or on the way home. I can cook without eating a whole meals worth before I even have dinner. I am not hiding anything anymore. That makes me happy.

The only thing besides water bottles is a bunch of black dog hair from Stitchy from when we go to where we walk at night. I can live with that.

So, truthfully, what is laying around in the back seat of your car?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 10/6/2011 9:30PM

    Two boxes of kleenes. I am a neat freak about my car. lol

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JOMAMA99 10/6/2011 8:37PM

    My back seat has dog hair. My front passenge seat has my gym stuff. I don't usually eat in my truck and my water bottle goes everywhere with me.

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LESLIES537 10/6/2011 8:09PM

    That's great stuff right there. Hmmm...ok I'll play. (I'm actually in my car right now on my phone while the kids practice baseball so this is perfect timing.) We got 3 water bottles, a Wendy's empty chili cup, too many toys to count, a pillow pet, a pair of shoes, a clown wig, toilet paper, hair brush, coffee cup, a flag holder?!, plastic army men, and a couple pairs of socks. I guess that's not bad. Hey, you asked! LOL emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 10/6/2011 3:09PM


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BADASSBLONDIE 10/6/2011 12:13PM

    Love this!!!

My passenger seat well always gets more crowded than my back seat. I have things for lab, some healthy emergency food (for class days so I don't hit the vending machine), and granola bar wrappers. :D

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GREENEYES2020 10/6/2011 11:34AM

    Glad it has changed--props to you!

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/6/2011 11:30AM

    I try not to look, my teenagers sit back there and it could be scary lol! My front seat now has empty water bottles, hand towels for the gym or when I run on the rain and my reusable shopping bags. Nothing anymore to be ashamed of. A few years ago it was a lot of fast fod bags and candy wrappers.

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SLFRISBEY 10/6/2011 10:29AM

    I think I have half of the beach on Lake Michigan in the back seat of my car thanks to my dogs! Other than that, most of the junk is from my husband, my contributions on road trips include nuts, water, the occasional soda for caffiene and coffee! :)

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TURTLERASKIN 10/6/2011 10:09AM

    Truth be told -- nothing. I drive a convertible and I learned the hard way that keeping anything in the car is dangerous when the top's down! So I patrol the vehicle every time I get out. But in my old car -- oy!

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DAISY443 10/6/2011 8:36AM

    I checked. Besides 3 empty water bottles, there is a plastic tub with an air pump (my camper tires tend to deflate at inopportune times), my tool box, a yoga mat, my 3 pound weights, a sweat shirt, jumper cables, a phone book, 3 audio books, Daisy dog dishes for food and water, a spare leash, and a partridge in a pear tree (kidding about that!) Now, if we're talking about the passenger seat there is an empty McDonalds bag, but I tracked it and it didn't put me over for the day. I do love McDonalds but just not nearly as often as I used to!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 10/6/2011 8:35AM

    You know I had an affair with popeyes 2 years ago and that was really the extent of my fast food days! I did eat chocolate on the way from the grocery store!!! Now if I buy 1 bar I keep and wait to make coffee and actually enjoy it!!! On My back seat is my gym bag and baby seats emoticon

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    It sure is nice to see just how far we've come. :)

Have a fabulous day - and thank you...

- Michelle

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WATCHMEGO2 10/6/2011 7:38AM

    I am happy to report that there is nothing in my back seat except for my pre-packed gym bag (and some dirt, lol)

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KITHKINCAID 10/6/2011 12:48AM

    Good question. I wish I had a back seat, but I don't drive. However, I did make a rule a while before starting Spark that I would never again consume food on the bus (or any other mode of public transportation). #1 - it's gross and unsanitary, #2 - other people don't need to see me shoving my face full of stuff. So far, so good. A couple of times I've had to break out the emergency granola bar cause I was on my way from A to B with no dinner break between, but I've managed to stick to the rule pretty well. Definitely no more scarfing down fast food fries on the way home to another dinner. Congrats on your change!

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TALLGUY42 10/5/2011 11:10PM

    Funny enough, my back seat is spotless.

I HATE clutter in my truck so my kids know there had better be nothing left behind.

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MELLYBEANS0919 10/5/2011 11:00PM

    Nothing food related, we don't eat in the car.

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PINK-PEONY 10/5/2011 10:53PM

    How telling when we get our lives in order, we get our cars cleaned out, our friends can come by our houses and we don't meet them outside the front door, and even our purses don't have quite as much "stuff" in them. I loved this blog. My car always has tween clothes in it. My gym bag is in the trunk, and a sack hangs on the passenger armrest for junk mail so it never even goes into the house.


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HGSGUY 10/5/2011 10:19PM

    There was a time in my life when the back seat looked like a dumpster! Well, actually, the whole care looked like a dumpster. Now I keep it clean! I don't eat at drive through windows (when I am at home) or generally eat food in my car. My water bottle is a refillable type, so I keep it with me. Today however, i finished a diet soda on my way home, put the top on it and tossed it to the very back of the van. I thought "who will know"? I guess you did, and wrote this blog!

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    ...I have a lot of clothes and shoes in mine...and papers...and water bottles!! An occasional soda bottle...but really my biggest pile-up in my car is the clothes. I'm not really sure why....
I, too, can remember when it was filled with fast food bags...because darnit, I love me some fast food....but I've curbed that love and only end up there when there is NO other option!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 10/5/2011 10:05PM

    Recycling and a case of water! Not eating everywhere I went was a very tough habit to break for me.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 10/5/2011 9:57PM

    My bf and I share a car and we keep it pretty tidy. But when I had my own car, boy oh boy was I living like an animal! I would have kinds of crazy and questionable things back there. But one thing I can say, and proudly, is that when I got on the healthy train I made a vow never to eat on the go. And that meant while driving. Occasionally I will eat in front of the tube but only on certain occasions. Now I try to eat mindfully and enjoy my food and company, instead of scarfing down some fat from a no good drive-thru!

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CELLISTA1 10/5/2011 9:55PM

    Car-seats for the two little grand-daughters, even though they only come here a couple of times a year. Having the seats there makes me feel good.

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CANNIE50 10/5/2011 9:34PM

    Errands and papers I need to tend to. I did go to the Post Office today so I got a couple things off my guilt list, but I need to just hitch up my Sparkly big girl pants and DEAL WITH the stuff in my car that is there precisely because I need to deal with it. Because, procrastination, for me, leads to overeating because I am an anxiety-eater. So, thank you for the reminder. PS I take full credit for this blog because I was thinking about you and wishing I could hear from you and VOILA, there was a notice about your blog. Yup, it's all about me, Mama.

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IMIN2GENES 10/5/2011 9:29PM

    Nothing!! I make sure we clean it all out daily... LOL! But, notably missing are the candy wrappers, soda cans. It's so much better! Congrats to you with only water bottles.

PS - I'm good on my protein so far!

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CHELEMIA 10/5/2011 9:28PM

    Carls jr turkey burger wrapper, water, water bottles, toys(garage sales) and hand weights.

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Today I put my big girl pants on

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

It was cold so I had to put jeans on today. I havent worn jeans in at least 2 or 3 months. I am in shorts as long as possible (since I live in california, its pretty easy) but today, I had to bring out the jeans.
I have 2 sizes in my drawer. 20's (from last winter) and a brand new pair of 18's that I got on sale when I bought my summer shorts. I put on my 20 jeans. They are kinda big but they fit. I put on the 18's. Um. No.

They buttoned and zipped but I had a muffin top going on that was not to be denied. I could not possibly wear those pants so I went into the living room in my bra and my way too tight jeans to get my camera to take a motivating (look how far I have come since I could wear those those pants and now I can blog, that I was gonna write in the near future). I heard the front door open and in walks my daughters boyfriend (they had gone out for a jog) and I yelled, "dont look! shut the door!" He shut that door so

So I ran into my room and Kady came in and was like "Mother! what are you doing?" (when I am "mother" I am either being dumb or in trouble)... I told her I was gonna take a picture of my too tight jeans and she told me how good they looked (except for the tummy) and that I would be in them properly soon. And she took my picture for me.

I will post that photo and the one where they fit soon. Very soon. I am sure of it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 10/6/2011 9:32PM

    Sounds like something I would do and get caught at too! LMAO!

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JITZUROE 10/5/2011 9:01PM

    How embarrassing yet completely hysterical! If your daughter said you looked good in those jeans, then darn it, you DID. And the tummy 'stuff' will fall into place soon.

You WILL do it!

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LUVDOGZ 10/5/2011 2:59PM

    WooHoo! Great story, and you will be in them comfortably very soon!!!

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JOMAMA99 10/5/2011 12:38PM

    Aww, how sweet of your daughter, I bet you are rocking those jeans soon!

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/5/2011 12:10PM

    WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!

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KKINNEA 10/5/2011 11:50AM

    Love it - you will work those smaller jeans before you know it!

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REBECCAMA 10/5/2011 9:50AM

  LOL! Sounds like a great daughter! :-)

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HARTLEYO 10/5/2011 9:50AM

    Hang in there I know you will make it. It is so nice to hear about everday events that make life special.


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OJIBWEEQUAY 10/5/2011 9:40AM

    I cannot wait!!!!!!!!! MOTHER! LOLOLOL! I am Denise when I am in for it, not momma(by the hubs)! YAY for the jeans! emoticon

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KRAWRS 10/5/2011 9:10AM

    That story is hilarious! :p "When I am Mother I am either being dumb or in trouble." LOL! I have no doubt you will be in those jeans lookin fine in no time!

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SARAWALKS 10/5/2011 8:46AM

    Sweeeet! We can't wait! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Ha - I could totally see that whole scene play out. Too funny! At any rate - you go on with your bad self and I can't wait to see the pic of the jeans-fitting-perfectly!!! YOU CAN DO IT! :)

- Michelle

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DAISY443 10/5/2011 5:23AM

    Oh, the "Motherrrrrrr" word, I know it well! And when I was a kid, I knew I was in trouble when my middle name was added to my first name. Seems like I am in trouble a lot! And enjoy every minute of it like I believe you do!!!!!!!!

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TERRYT55 10/5/2011 12:37AM

    This blog is sending me to bed with a smile on my face! I can't wait to see pictures!

Take care..........

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SNW1126 10/4/2011 11:54PM


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CANNIE50 10/4/2011 11:39PM

    Oh, your story made me laugh, especially the part about the muffin top that would not be denied, and again when I imagined the look on the boyfriend's face when you yelled at him like that - I bet you got his heart rate up more than the run! My son is Nicholas Gabriel. WHen he was little, and he got mad at me, he would call me Mommy Gabriel (and even our last name if he was really upset). He didn't know Gabriel was his middle name, he thought it was a "you are in trouble" name. I love your daughter's response about the pants. She will do the honors when that muffin top has been eliminated and you will post the great photo that she will be taking. emoticon emoticon SP has no muffins so the beer will have to do.

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LUVMYCRAZYKIDS 10/4/2011 11:03PM

    AWESOME MOTIVATION!!! LOL! and Great story!

My name becomes two syllables when I'm being stupid or in might recognize it! It goes like this:

Can't wait to see your updated pics! YOU GO GIRL!!


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STEPPYSUE 10/4/2011 10:52PM


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My birthday and race weekend (lots of pictures)

Monday, October 03, 2011

So I know you guys want to know how my birthday went. First I want to thank you ALL for your birthday wishes and goodies etc...I had a great birthday!!

I had to work that day but planned to go to dinner with Frank and my girls and my sister. When I got to restaurant, this is what I saw:

A bunch of my friends and family! Frank had planned a suprise party for me with about 30 people, including my best girlfriend, Lisa, whom I have known since we were 9 years old.
This is a picture of me, her and her hubby.

This is my daughter, Kelly

and my daughter Kady

Me and my neice, Sami, tasting the cake

and one last picture of me and lisa (she looks the same as when we were teenagers. I hate her). lol

Then Thursday morning, we headed to the race track, got the tent up,
set up the trailers, unloaded all the food, the trophies, the raffle prizes and cooked dinner for the masses (about 125 people). Big costco hotdogs, nachos and chili and birthday cake! So many people brought me gifts and cards, it was overwhelming. But the best present was Frank got one of our drivers (he does Elvis weddings) to dress up for me for my birthday!!

Then the party began and Kady came and made adult smoothies for everyone

ANd this was my friend, Spanky. Lucky it wasn't me!!

Here are some of the raffle prizes and trophies....

Friday we cooked over 200 peices of chicken, cut it all up and put in pans with BBQ sauce and served over buns, potato salad, green beans with onions for 250 people.
Saturday, we cooked 180 pounds of tri tip, Baked beans, green salad and rolls for 300 people!

We did a special memorial for Frank's dad and his whole family came and we gave his mom a plaque. 66 dwarf cars lined up on the track. It was really cool.

All in all it was a great weekend, I am loving being 50 but I have had enough distraction from myself and I am ready to get back to taking care of myself. I have had a lot of events, a lot of cake, a lot of alcohol.
Now it is time to get strong, prepare for the upcoming holiday and food eating situations that derail me.
It is time to get solid
It is time to get strong
It is time to get fit(ter)
It is time to quit messing around.

I am posting some mini challenges for anyone who needs a little help getting back on the rails, who needs a little spark in their spark and a reminder and some support for those of us who may have strayed a bit from our path.

This week is about hitting our nutrtional goals for protein. This is not a balls to the wall challenge. This is about basic strategies that work and a gentle nudge in the right direction. This is about friends and reminders and a tentative foothold on which to build. Everyone is welcome and it is completely informal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEISENUF 10/6/2011 9:37PM

    I LOVE YOUR BIRTHDAY BLOG! Wish I could have been all looks like a blast.

Love you birthday "soulmate". LOL! Don't ya just love the 28th? :)

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 10/5/2011 9:52PM

    You were certainly shining bright on your big day. It's lovely that you were surrounded by people who absolutely love and adore you and getting even more loving vibes from all your cyber friends! Cheers to you and this milestone birthday!

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CANNIE50 10/4/2011 8:47PM

    Can I just say I breathed a sigh of relief at the idea of you having my back, or holding my hand, through my first Sparkly holiday season? I keep reminding myself they are holiDAYS not holiMONTHS. Thanks for sharing the photos. Yes, your friend looks remarkable and you are looking quite sizzly yourself, Mama. I am hoping after all the excitement you have had, that you actually have kind of a mundane month so you have less obstacles with fitness and nutrition. I am glad you are back. We have been quite generous sharing you with your family and friends and cruise passengers and drivers and race-fans and Spanky and Elvis, but now we Sparklers want you all to ourselves for awhile. Understood? Good.

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DIFROMWYOMING 10/4/2011 8:46PM

    Happy belated Birthday and you look beautiful! Glad you had such a good weekend.

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DEBBIE19580 10/4/2011 4:56PM

    Happy Birthday Jan!!! I'm happy you had a awesome time. Loved seeing pics!! emoticon emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 10/4/2011 3:11PM


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    Loved, loved, loved the pictures!!! :)

Sounds like a fabulous birthday and weekend. GO YOU!

- Michelle

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TURTLERASKIN 10/4/2011 1:25PM

    Great pictures -- so glad you had a fun birthday. Who wouldn't love Elvis??

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    emoticon to hubby for the surprise party. Love all the photo's! It looks like you had a blast!

Happy Belated Birthday!

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KKINNEA 10/4/2011 12:44PM

    Looks like so much fun!

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TEENY_BIKINI 10/4/2011 12:13PM

    Love it!! Happy belated birthday, gorgeous. You look stunning.


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BADASSBLONDIE 10/4/2011 12:11PM

    Love this!!!!! :D

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OJIBWEEQUAY 10/4/2011 8:28AM

    You are the hottest 50 year old around! No kidding!!! LOVE that birthday outfit! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 8:28:46 AM

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/4/2011 7:07AM

    What an awesome weekend!

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DAISY443 10/4/2011 6:31AM

    Wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing! You make me smile!

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ERIN4771 10/4/2011 6:11AM

    what an awesome birthday weekend my friend!!! love all the pictures, and definitely glad that was spanky and not you emoticon....
loving the new mini challenges you have set up as well!! you got this my friend!! emoticon

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LESLIES537 10/4/2011 12:32AM

    Sounds like you had quite the celebration! What a great hubby for throwing you that surprise party. Loved the pics and love your new goals and determination. I'm in. Adding protein as my first baby step to getting back on track. Let's DO THIS!


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