Tag Archives: restaurants

Out to Lunch

5 Feb

Today I had a quick but fun lunch outing with ZB and Kevin. We let our three-year-old pick the place. She picks based on the kind of book or bag her food comes with.

photo (89)Subway won with their Phineas and Ferb bags. I have to be honest Subway is not my favorite place. (Especially after my ordering debacle last week).  Apparently I eat here a good bit for someone who doesn’t really like the food. When you live in a small southern town and are trying to make better food choices your options are LIMITED!

Chopped salad with tuna salad (no cheese or salad dressings)~8 points. I read in the March Runner’s World Magazine an article, Fast Fish,  about getting more fish into your diet and it stressed that canned/pouch fish is just as beneficial as fresh. ( I have to confess I have read this magazine cover to cover at least twice but I am behind in my Daily Bible Reading plan–may need to shift my priorities a bit)

This cute face made the blah meal so much better.

photo (88)She might have figured out how to take self portraits with my phone. I mean really, how great is that face.

To top off the meal I grabbed a cookie when I got home.

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Sugar cookie~2 points plus.

I was planning on making fish tonight for dinner but I may have hit my seafood quota for the day and the other meal I have prepped is a slow cooker meal. Meal plan fail.

No worries.

Do you have a restaurant or a type of food you eat often but you don’t really enjoy?





31 Jan

Dinner was a grab and go kind of thing tonight. CB had scouts. ZB is still recovering from her bug. Kevin was at an all day clergy meeting across town and visited his dad in the assisted living center on his way back home. We grabbed Subway. This was not my first choice but it was what the girls wanted….

I had a ton of points left for dinner tonight and I was eating somewhere I didn’t really want to eat. This is usually a recipe for disaster. I was hungry and I didn’t look up points before I left which led me to underestimate how many points a sandwich I have never ordered had.photo (56)

Chipotle and Chicken Special on Flatbread~19 points plus.

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Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips~6 points plus.

And just like that I blow through my points (and them some).  This is why at WW they drill it into  you to plan, plan, and plan more. One hungry outing with no plan in sight and you’re looking at a surprising number on your tracker.

I hate it when I get blindsided like this. I don’t mind splurging when I mean to because there are times when I really need to treat myself. It is annoying I didn’t even mean to—I just didn’t want to order the same thing I always get and I didn’t take the time to look up something new. I keep hearing Emerald Lagasse, BAAM! ringing in my head.

I don’t have much wiggle room until weigh in on Tuesday so I have to be careful or – BAAM!

I will have to be on top of my planning  or- BAAM!

Well, …BAAM!

Live Well,


Do you like to plan ahead what you will eat? If you wing have you been surprised?

Meatless Monday: The Secret Ingredient Is…

28 Jan

This Monday morning was rough.  Real rough. Occasionally I have bouts of insomnia that come on out the blue and keep me from sleeping well sometimes for days sometimes for weeks. I dragged myself out of bed with just over three hours of ‘sleep’ last night.

Not my favorite way to start the day…

It took a lot of these to even be able to utter complete sentences.


Because I slept late, I only had a few minutes to throw together breakfast. I used the leftover pancakes from yesterday and just added some fruit.

Lite Pancakes

Pancake and one Tbs of maple syrup and fruit~6 points plusPancakes

I used a mix to make the pancakes Sunday morning. I doctor  up the mix by adding a tsp of vanilla and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before I start cooking them up. The extra time allows the mix to activate and the pancakes turn out extra fluffy. I like to make pancakes from scratch but you show my a preacher’s wife who is making from scratch pancakes on a Sunday morning and I will stand in awe.

Several cups of coffee later I was able to yawn my way through preschool today. The kiddos came in ready to play and have fun. I had to really rally to keep up with them! Kevin asked ZB and I out for lunch after we got done with school. One of the perks of us working on the same campus are our occasional lunch dates.


El Toro Loco…


Seven Tortilla Chips~2 points plusKevin and ZB huevos rancheros meal

Lunch portion of huevos rancheros~13 points plus (I didn’t eat the tortillas served with the meal).

Total Point: 15 points plus
huevos rancheros

I shared my meal with ZB as she is never hungry after school. She takes her snack seriously during school and doesn’t  usually eat much lunch. I still counted all the points for the meal because her few bites won’t change much.

diet cokeMy vice…diet coke.  I only drink them when I am out somewhere…maybe one day I can clean these out of my diet. Today is not that day.


I manged to fit in a cat nap while ZB was napping and before CB got home. Zoey claimed the sunny spot so I had to make do but I think we both needed our beauty rest.

Me and ZBPost nap snuggle time.

Meatless Monday Dinner:


Did you spot the secret ingredient? Pumpkin!


First, I started the mushrooms in a small pat of butter. ( I already had the mushrooms in the pan before I took the ingredient shot- sorry)

spag with pumpkin

I added a jar of spaghetti sauce and one can of pumpkin  I heard about adding pumpkin to sauces to up their nutritional value sometime back and it took me awhile to try it because I am the only one in my family who likes pumpkin. Gasp. I know. I started by adding just a few Tbs. then 1/4, 1/2, and so on because I was convinced you would be able to eventually taste the pumpkin. You can’t!  I added a whole can of pumpkin tonight and no one could tell.

spag with pumpkin  mixed Just stir in the pumpkin. If it thickens your sauce too much you can add stock or just water to get it back to the consistency you like.

pasta spag with pumpkin

I tossed it with whole grain thin spaghetti.spag with pumpkin bowl spag with pumpkin close up

8 points plus for one serving of ‘pumpkin’ spaghetti. (The added fiber of the pumpkin brings down the points value).

It is 8:15 and I am seriously thinking about putting out the THE END sign on this day and call it a night.

Do you have any secret ingredients to help boost the nutritional value of one of your go to meals?

Sharing the Love

25 Jan

Right after school we headed out to get the girls’ hair cut. I love their long locks of beautiful flowing waves but I am DONE with the tears, the fights, and the overall drama my long-haired dears have brought into my life. I realized sometime last week that there was no need for all the stress dealing with long hair. This was a choice and I could make a different one. I told the girls it was time for the hair to go and scheduled an appointment for all three of us. CB was hesitant at first but I reminded her the reason she originally started growing out her hair was to donate it. She was on board and once I convinced ZB it wouldn’t hurt the whole family loaded up and drove to the studio where I always get my hair done.
CB and ZB

Last moments of the long hair.

CB donating her hair

CB had far more than the required eight inches to donate (she ended up donating 12 inches) in four separate pony tails! She has a ton of hair like her mama! She is sending her hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program. My mother passed away from ovarian cancer just after CB’s fourth birthday. She and CB were very close and CB wanted to donate in her honor. She remembers Grammie having ‘hat hair’ or what she called her wig. She like the idea of her hair going to help make someone else a pretty wig like her Grammie had. So sweet.

ZB not sure about hair cutZB was too young to donate her hair but she had just as much cut off. I love her “what you talking about Willis” facial expression here. I am not sure she believed me when I told her it wouldn’t hurt.

ZB short hair CB short hair dinner datesPost haircut celebration at Beef O’ Brady’s.

Beef O Brady's Grilled Chicken


Grilled Chicken Plate with rice and broccoli. I only ate one chicken breast~6 point plus. Broccoli~2 points plus. Seasoned rice~7 points for the portion I ate.

Total points-15 points plus


Greek TCBY


Coffee Espresso TCBY


I made as smart of choices as I could with the yogurt so I could have a few tasty treats in the bowl. I added strawberries, blueberries, five whoppers, and a couple of cheese cake bits~5 points plus for the lot. I am a huge cheesecake fan but these bites were not tasty. I could eat the entire bowl full of whoppers. I love malt candy. I counted out five and then put the spoon down and walked away.

So my whole night out on the town was just over 2o points plus for dinner and dessert. I tried to use as few as possible while staying satisfied so I wouldn’t binge on something later.  I definitely dipped into my weekly allowance today and I know that this week’s trip to the scale will probably be tough (to see why click here).  However, I am trying to make the best choices I can on this day and hopefully those each of these days will add up to something good.

Good Night!


My Kind of Bank

18 Jan

The post is brought to you by color of the day, white and the number 1.

preschool pages snowman donutWhile a lot of the country was digging out from a big snow/ice storm we were making snowman donuts at preschool today. Jealous?

morning coffee green mug

First, came the black cup of coffee. I have to tell you I am still not in love with drinking my coffee black but it does make it much easier. Pour coffee. Walk away. Can you tell by the photographs the sun is out? The sun is out! Finally. This lady needs the sunshine or I start getting a little punchy. It seems like it has been forever since we have had a nice sunny morning! I am very thankful!

breakfast poached egg on muffin

Light English muffin and poached egg~5 points plus.

breakfast blueberries and mandarin organges

Blueberries and peeled mandarin orange ~0 points plus.

I got the rare treat of going out to lunch with Staci, our children’s pastor. She is amazing and we a fun lunch even though we did talk ‘shop’. We went to a local place called Bank Street Cafe. As a cafe it serves sandwiches and salads during lunch. Everything I have ever had there has been good and the prices are very reasonable. The ambiance is cool because it was originally a bank. The vault is still there as well as the pressed tin ceiling. I always like it when old buildings are restored and their usefulness reinvented.

Today I tried something new. I ordered the black bean wrap. It is basically a black bean burger sliced with tomatoes and onions and wrapped in a spinach tortilla.  It was good. The onions were a bit over powering but around here the onions have been hot this season. I should have asked to have them left off. Otherwise, tasty! It came with a bag of chips. They had my favorite kettle cooked Salt and Vinegar. So good!

Bank st bean wrap with chips


Black bean spinach wrap~10 points plus.  Salt and vinegar kettle chips~4 points plus.

All I want to do is curl up under a warm blanket and read but I a few chores to knock off.

This cold weather is making me snugly. I am thinking a cozy fire and turkey chili tonight. The family may have other ideas.

What is your go to meal for cold weather?



I love Sopes

14 Jan

I hope you are having a good evening.

Homework. Done! Every time I get to mark off CB’s agenda from school saying she has done her homework I feel like there should be a soundtrack of Rocky’s music and I should get to dance, wave my arms in the air, and pound my chest. Some days it is that hard.

Second grade. We will own you.

My sister stopped by this evening on her way home from work to drop off CB’s Girl Scouts cookie form. She kindly sold cookies for her niece, the little Brownie, at her office. Since she was around and Kevin was away at a District Meeting for the evening we went out for an early dinner.

Mexican Food– Es muy delicioso!


La Hacienda is a new restaurant that has just recently opened in town. They have refurbished a vacant building downtown and put in this Mexican chain restaurant. However, because of the character of the old building and the location in town it doesn’t have that chain restaurant feel. The food is great with some different menu items than those you always see. We have been there twice and both times we have had great service.IMG_0358 IMG_0357


My dinner dates. They LOVE Mexican food.

IMG_0360I had eight of these chips (yes, I counted them)~2 points plus and Diet Coke.




I had an order of their Mexican Sopes~15 points plus as served. I love Sopes. I know they are just street food in Mexico and it is like raving about a hot dog but I still love them. I scraped off the cheese and sour cream because I don’t really love it and it saves some points. The slice of avocado was creamy enough for me. I calculated my points based on the nutritional information I could find which included these toppings. I count it even if I don’t eat it. I never try to reduce the points value of the food as given. I figure I underestimate in error from time to time and it all comes out in the wash.

So now we are home and the little ones are tucked snug in their beds and this Mama has visions of catching up on Downton Abbey dancing through her head.

Activity Check In before Track it Tuesday tomorrow: 36 activity points for the week.

What is your favorite Mexican dish? How do you make it lighter or do you splurge?




From Coupons to Tagine

2 Jan

Once I had enough coffee in me and my to do list completed and my coupons clipped for my grocery run I was finally able  to face the day.


photo (10)

Poached egg, whole wheat English muffin with light butter, and fruit salad~5 points plus

The girls and I tackled a long list of errands in my attempted to get myself, our house, and our lives organized before school starts back tomorrow. Running errands with young children is in Dante’s Inferno somewhere. I am sure of it. I am exhausted. They are exhausted. I pushed naps back as far as I could and we still didn’t get everything done.

We took a pit stop for lunch…

photo (11)

We hit the local Subway along with everyone else in our small town. After waiting in line and mediating fights over chips, yogurt, and apples this is what I ended up with.  A 6 inch turkey flat bread without cheese and a side of apples~8 points plus.

I am starting a new emeals menu plan this week. I have switched to their Clean Eating Plan. Since almost my entire weekly menu consisted of fresh meat and veggies there was not a lot of deals to be had at the store this week. I save where and when I can so I can buy fresh food.

So on deck for tonight… Moroccan Tagine.  Have I ever made this before? No.  I do love international foods so here’s hoping for the win (ie someone other than me eats Moroccan Tagine for dinner tonight although Kevin requested this  for dinner tonight off our meal plan list).

What is your favorite international food?  How do you go about saving money?



Video Killed the Radio Star

1 Jan


photo (8)

How cute are these Baby Cuties?  0 points plus

They are the perfect size. My girls love them.  I might love them as well.  Moms can eat the snacks we buy for our kids.


We decided to go out to dinner with Kevin’s mom, aka Geemaw, on our way home from our visit. After weeks in hospitals, rehab, and nursing homes dinner was her pick. She picked well. I always love me some Longhorn.

photo (9)


I had a few Wild West Shrimp. I mainly eat the peppers since no one else in my family likes them. 3 points plus

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I had a yummy dinner of 7 oz grilled salmon and seasonal veggies~9 points plus. Plain sweet potato~5 points plus.

On the hour + drive home the girls crashed out in the back seat and Kevin and I talked and listened to the radio. He has Sirius in his truck and we landed on the Lithium 90s grunge and alternative rock, channel.  After a few minutes I realized that we owned the CD of the song they were playing. And then the next. And the next. And next. Nine out of ten we had in our CD collection. Kevin even had one on tape. Yes, tape. We rocked the 90’s hard and apparently we could run our own radio station. If you know Kevin you know he has an uncanny knowledge of music. Perhaps he should moonlight as a DJ? Apparently just shuffle our iTunes and you have a killer 90s mix. Pastor by day/ King of the airwaves by night? Complicated business card but interesting lifestyle.

Football is on. Kids are asleep. All is well.

What is your favorite genre or era of music? What do you rock out to?




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