Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mastering Pasta

If you love pasta, if you love Italian food, and if you love trying new things, I've found the book for you. Mastering Pasta is written by award winning chef, Marc Vetri. This book is stunning to look through. The pictures are great and the step by step instructions for making your own pasta, gnocchi, and risotto are clear and concise. Marc has included 100 recipes that any vegetarian or meat lover would enjoy. There is even a chapter on flavored pastas, such as parsley, lemon, chestnut and mint, to name a few. You will learn about the different flours used to make the most beautiful and tender pastas. Pick up a copy and see for yourself.
I received this book for my honest review and no other compensation.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

21 days on the Road Again

Well, we just got home from our second epic road trip. Last year we did letterboxing all the way across the Midwest. This year I visited quilt shops to participate in the Row by Row Experience. This goes on until Sept. 5th and all 50 states are participating this year. If you go to, you can click on the Start Here button and you will get a page with license plates on it. One for each state. You click on the state you are interested in, and it will bring up a page with the name and address of every quilt shop in the state that is participating in Row by Row. The premise is, you collect a pattern or kit from eight different quilt shops, put them together in a quilt, have it bound, quilted and a label on it and return to any quilt shop with it. If you are the first to bring your quilt in you win 25 fat quarters and if you use the row from the shop you take the quilt into, you usually win a second prize from that shop. Patterns are given out free, kits and licence plates you have to buy. It's a good thing I had been saving my money because I came home with 32 kits and 23 license plates! I can make a really big quilt with those, but I doubt I will have it done by the time the contest is over in September.

We had a really great trip. We took our 14 year old granddaughter with us and had so much fun with her. We drove from Colorado to Michigan in two days and spent a couple of  days with my brother and sister-in-law, then drove to Gladwin, Michigan to spend another 3 days with my dad and mom. After that we drove to Nashville, Tn in one day and spent 9 days with my daughter and her husband and our other two beautiful grandkids.  When we left there we took 5 nights and 6 days to get home to Colorado. We took  Hwy 80 out to Michigan and took Hwy 40 home. We spent some time on the old route 66 and had a blast. I haven't had time to download pictures yet but next week I hope to have another post  about this trip with pictures. In the meantime, look up 2014 Epic Road Trip Day one through Day Twelve.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Lighten up, y'all

I just got a new cookbook, called "Lighten up, y'all-Classic Southern Recipes made Healthy and Wholesome. It's written by Virginia Willis who is a columnist for, a contributing editor to Southern Living, and was named one of the "Seven Food Writers You Need to Know" by the Chicago Tribune.
The photography in this cookbook is suburb. It really made me want to try the recipes. I like the fact that the nutrition facts are with the recipe. I also like Virginia's little stories that she tells throughout the book.
I decided to try the Turkey Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy. It took me about 30 minutes to put this recipe together because of chopping onion, mushrooms, parsley and garlic. I also had to shred carrot. Then everything had to be cooked before I added it to the ground turkey. It took an hour to cook in my oven. I was being kind of lazy and wasn't going to make the gravy until  I took  the meatloaf out of the oven and it looked totally dry and unappetizing. I quickly made the gravy. My husband's reaction was that this is a keeper recipe. Mine, not so much. It didn't really taste bad, it just didn't make me want seconds. The gravy did make it look more appetizing, but I still don't think I want to make this again. I will try some of the other recipes that sound really good, like "Beer Battered Shrimp, Lemon-Basil North Georgia Trout, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or Brown Sugar-Strawberry Shortcakes.

I received this book from "Blogging for Books" for my honest review.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Diabetes Solution

The Diabetes Solution by Jorge E. Rodriguez, MD and Susan Wyler, RDN is a great book for anyone that has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes. The first part of the book is titled "Know Your Enemy." The chapter titles are "Understanding Type 2 Diabetes", "Screening for Type 2 Diabetes", "Understanding Prediabetes", "Complications from Diabetes', "Understanding Medications That Treat Diabetes," Understanding Gestational Diabetes."

Part Two is Manage Your Diabetes. Chapters are: Good Foods, Bad Foods: What you should Eat, The Blood Sugar Budget, The Recipes, Move it or Lose it: How Exercise Can Improve Blood Sugar, How Stress and Sleep Affect Type 2 Diabetes, Bariatric Surgery: When All Else Fails, and The Diabetic Solution.

Having been diagnosed with Prediabetes, I feel this is a great book to read and learn about your condition. The doctor is very clear in explaining how you can take charge and manage your diabetes. Getting this diagnoses can be scary and at first you just don't know what to do. I found myself going into denial for about three months before I could do anything. If my doctor had suggested this book, I think I would have been able to get right on managing my disease. The diet Dr. Rodriguez suggests seems to me to be a cross between The Mediterranean Diet and Weight Watchers. It's not impossible to follow and it's good for you.  Knowing that exercise, sleep and managing stress will help you control your diabetes is great, too. I would recommend this book for anyone that just got diagnosed with diabetes or has had it a long time and needs a refresher course on how to live healthy and manage your disease.

I received this book from "Blogging for Books" for my review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Power of Unstoppable Faith

This "book" turned out to be a 55 page booklet but I think there is an actual book. The Power of Unstoppable Faith is written by Nick Vujicic. He was born without limbs and if anyone would have a reason to feel sorry for himself it would be him. He does not waste time feeling sorry for himself. He is upbeat and knows God put him here for a reason. He is a motivational speaker and shares his faith through "Life Without Limbs", an organization that helps share the message of the hope in Christ to the entire globe. This booklet made me want to read the real book plus other books he's  written.
I received this book from Blogging For Books and received no other payment for my review.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Elk Visit at McGregor Mountain Lodge Estes Park, Colorado 10-25-2014 tak...

We went up to Estes Park this past weekend for a stay at McGregor Mountain Lodge. We took one of our daughters and her family with us and had a really great time. I took this video of this elk right outside our cabin. What a thrill! It was only about 6:30am and I thought I would go out and sit on the patio with my coffee. I remembered what the innkeeper said about looking around before going outside, especially if it was dark. I looked to my left, nothing there. I looked to my right and about six feet away from the door was this big fella. I quickly woke my granddaughter up and we grabbed our cameras and started snapping away. I finally had the good sense to turn on the video portion and got this video. Hope you like it. I'll post some pictures when I get them downloaded.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pre-Diabetes and Weight Loss

In January I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. It was a big shock. I went to the doctor for my physical after getting my new health insurance. I hadn't been to a regular doctor for two years. I had taken myself off my statin drug for cholesterol because I didn't like the side effects I was having. I had been off the drug for a year when I saw the doctor. I fully expected to hear the doctor say that my cholesterol was  sky high and I needed to start taking the statin drug again. Imagine my surprise when she said my cholesterol was fine but my A1C test was 6.2 which meant I had pre-diabetes. She wanted to put me on metformin but I said no. I think I went into deep denial. I said I would diet and exercise and I went home and proceeded to do nothing. I guess I really didn't believe her or I thought magical thinking would cure me. I went in for another A1C the end of April and found out my results were now 6.4.  You are considered a diabetic at 6.5. That shook me out of my complacency! I immediately started metformin and I took a diabetes education class. I cut as much sugar out of my diet as possible and got an app for my smart phone called Healthediabetes from Calorie King. I limited myself to 1200-1500 calories a day, tracked my blood sugar and started walking. I had my A1C checked  again the end of August and it was 6.1. I want to see it back in the normal range of 3.5-5.6 and to that end I've taken off 22 lbs. I have another 50 to go but I'm determined to get it off and keep it off this time. My life depends on it.

I'm not going to tell  you that I never have sweets anymore because that would be a lie. I will tell you that I allow myself a bite or two but not every day. I'm trying to live by everything in moderation and to cut out what triggers me to eat more.
One of the tools I'm using to make sure I get my exercise is a Fit Bit Flex. I wear it on my wrist 24/7 and it tracks every step I take and how I'm sleeping at night. Since I started using it, I've walked everyday and each day  I've progressed. This week I got 44,089 steps. That's great for someone that three weeks ago got 8,876 for the whole week. I'm ultimately reaching for the goal of 10,000 steps a day and I know I will get there.

Yesterday I broke down and went clothes shopping. I hate to shop for clothes but was delighted to find out I had gone down a bra size, a pants size and a  shirt size. Yippee. I think I'm going  to save for a nice pair of cowgirl boots next!