Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Food Friday #4, a tad late

I know it's Saturday and this is supposed to be New Food FRIDAY, but I have a good excuse.
Yesterday my kids had off from school and we spent ALL freaking day at the museum. We left at 9:30am. and didn't get back until after 4. I thought I'd never get them out of there!

This week I wasn't inspired by any dinner ideas so I changed things up a bit.
I decided to go with a new one by Chocolate Covered Katie. This can be a dessert or snack.

Click here for the Recipe.

The first time I made them, I really tried to get them to look like the picture on Katie's website. I'm not sure how she got them to be so perfect, but mine looked nothing like hers. The important thing is that the kids loved them and asked for more.
My oldest daughter doesn't eat any red meat or dark green veggies, so she tends to be a little low in the iron department. Any time I can sneak some iron in her diet is good.

The second time I made them I decided to just put the batter in my mini-muffin pan and not worry about how they looked.

After the kids devoured the second batch, I decided to let them in on the secret ingredient (Prunes!). Kiddo #1 made a yucky face, but still asked for a muffin at breakfast today. Win!

Two things to note about this recipe...
*I have no idea what Spelt flower is or where to find it, so I used regular flour.
*I found that the batter was too dry to mix so I had to add more liquid than what the recipe calls for.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's That Time Again!

Ten Things Thursday.
Here goes!

1. My kids are off from school tomorrow, so I'm doing the mother of the year thing and taking them to a museum. The odd thing is that they did NOT have Monday off, which was a National Holiday to celebrate the birth of the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What's up with that? While the entire country was celebrating Dr. King, my kids had business as usual. And now they get Friday of for a 'teacher work day'? I'm kinda' having an issue with that logic.

2. Tonight is supposed to be our new recipe night, but we have too many left overs in the fridge, so I'm going with that. Not to worry though, there will be a new recipe posted tomorrow because we tried something earlier this week that the kids loved and begged me to make again. Excited? You'll get to see it tomorrow my dears.

3. I went to my favorite store (The big red bullseye that starts with a T) and man are they having clearance deals! If you need a winter coat, they're 70% off. Too bad I already got 2 new coats for Christmas and couldn't really justify buying another one. I did get dressy wool coats for the girls for $11.98 each. They're hot pink and I think they'll love them. I bought bigger sizes so they'll be put away for next year. Sweaters and pajamas are dirt cheap too, so get out there and get some bargains people!

4. You know how Wally World advertises that they will match any competitors price? Well, we have a super W near here and I do my weekly grocery shopping there, taking advantage of the ad match, which saves me from driving around to 3 different stores in search of the best deals. I've been doing this for many months. I sit down with the local ads every Wednesday evening, make out my lists of who has what on sale, and I go to W to buy all the items in one place.
They have never asked me to see the ads to prove I'm not trying to scam the system. In fact one cashier told me that they're not even allowed to ask for proof, they're supposed to just give it to the customer at the lower price, even if it sounds fishy.
(I always have my ads and the list in my hand, even though they never ask.)

Today I had a TON of ad match items in my cart. I was on a roll, the bargain hunting queen.
Would you believe the darn cashier actually asked me for the ad?
I looked at her and said "I have nearly 100 items in my cart that are all ad match items. Do you really want to flip through every ad for every item to make sure I'm not lying about the price?"
She gave me some nonsense about how it's their policy to check, yatta yatta yatta, and then told me that since I looked honest, she'll let it go this time.
Yeah, next time we'll be calling the manager over. Can't mess with a woman trying to reduce the cost of her weekly grocery bill!

5. Research shows that people who nap live longer. I want to live a long time, so I try to nap every day. The key word here is 'try'. Every day my phone rings during my attempt at napping. Today it was the hubby, yesterday it was my sister, they day before that it was the MIL. I'm not sure why people think 2:30 is the best time of day to call me, but if you have my phone number, please don't call at that time. I'm working at living longer. Thanks.

6. My 7 year old is a very affectionate child. She loves to cuddle, tells us all day long that she loves us, and will literally kiss me 100 times at the bus stop without any concern that her friends might be watching.
I've been wondering when she'll decide she's too old or too cool to do that stuff, and I'm afraid the time may be near.
Yesterday I had to call her while she was at school to ask her a question. At the end of our brief talk, I said "I love you". Her response" "Yeah, bye mom".
She didn't want her school friends to hear her saying "I love you". Stab me in the heart now. I can't deal. At the age of 7, she's already embarrassed by her mama. Insert sad face here.

7. For about 5 minutes, I had myself convinced that I could give up my gym membership and just do exercise DVD's at home. Then I remembered I was talking about me, who would rather lay in bed than try to convince myself to go to the basement and sweat. It was a nice thought while it lasted, but I'm pretty sure I need group fitness in my life.

8. While shopping today there was a woman doing her shopping from one of those motorized scooter carts. That made me think of a post by Holly at 300 pounds down.
This woman wasn't stuck in the store with a dead battery like the woman in Holly's story, but she was morbidly obese and I'm sure would not be able to shop without the scooter.
I made a point to make sure she knew she was not invisible. I smiled at her. Then when I kept seeing her in every aisle, I started making funny comments about how we were on the same shopping schedule, or that one of us must be stalking the other. We both got a few laughs.
I guess the point is that I didn't look at her with disgust or shame. I let her know, just for a few minutes of her day, that she is a human worthy of having a human conversation. Is that so hard? I don't think so, but I can tell you that I was the only person in the store who interacted with her today. Sad, but true.

9. Remember when I did the Dr. O three day cleanse and lost 6 pounds? Remember I plugged the info into MFP and found that even with the optional 4th shake and my added protein powder, I was still at just barely 1,000 calories for the day?
I forgot to mention that MFP tells me that if I keep eating like that for 5 weeks, I'll lost 10 pounds. Really?
You mean all I have to do to lose 10 pounds is drink veggies and fruit all day, keep my calories at less than 1,000,don't chew anything, and have very little protein? That's it?
Well, forgive me for not wanting to sign up for that program, EVER. Doing that for 5 weeks would be considered a starvation diet, and since starving doesn't exactly sound like fun, I'm not doing it.

10. Hubby informed me that it's only 4 1/2 months until our Myrtle Beach vacation. I am so ready for some sun and sand. COUNTING THE DAYS until I don't have to freeze, or look at snow. Counting. The. Days.

That's it for today my loves.
See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 18, 2013

New Food Friday #3

So all day yesterday I was at a loss for what to make for our new recipe night.
I had spent the better part of Wednesday trolling the net for something inspiring, but came up short. I had found a couple recipes using Tortellini, and that sounded good since we all like that, but how to prepare it was the great mystery.
I had run across a recipe for Tomato Tortellini soup, but when I tried to find it again, it was gone.
So, I decided to wing it. That's pretty risky since I'm really a recipe person, not at all a fly by the seat of your pants person.

Here's what I did.
I cooked a large package of Tortellini according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile I heated up a can of tomato soup, made with milk, and about 1/4C parmesan cheese.
Once the Tortellini was done, I drained it and dumped it into the soup mixture.
I let it simmer for another 5 minutes, and served it like this...

As you can see I used the bi-color tortellini, and added some fresh Parmesan on top.
I also made broccoli and cauliflower, which of course the kids won't eat,, but daughter #2 won .25 for trying one tiny piece (bribery at its best).
We had strawberries and grapes for dessert.

All 4 family members gave this a thumbs-up. Daughter #1 went back for seconds and thirds.

Not exactly the best home cookin' around, but it worked for our family.

Have a great and healthy weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy Thursday!
Here are my 10 random things...

1. I was off the sugar and carbs completely for 6 whole days. Doing great, feeling great. Then today I had some cereal (my old friend). After the cereal I've been wanting to eat all afternoon. I'm doing a good job of reeling it in, reminding myself of how good I felt when I was off carbs and sugar, but I'm still hating myself for giving in. Ugh!

2. When I showed up to work Monday after my 3 day cleanse, this is what I saw in the break room (a partial list):
3 kinds of M&M's
3 kinds of crackers
several bowls of miniature chocolate bars
Cheez Ballz
Ice cream
candy corn
gummy bears
Reeses Pieces
peppermint patties
3 kinds of cookies
granola bars
hot chocolate

I'm sure there was more that I'm forgetting, but you get the picture. In fact, I'd love to take a real picture of the break room just to show you what I have to deal with on a daily basis, but I work for a Federal company and the really don't appreciate cameras in the work place! Dumb rules.

I told my boss (a fellow Bandster) that she's really trying to kill me with all the food. Her response was "That's why I never go in there!".
They try to keep us happy and fed since we're pretty much tied to our phones all day long and have very short breaks. I get it.
But, it's not a safe place for a food addict like me!
I'm proud to say that the cleanse helped me to walk away and not eat a single morsel of that crap.
One day at a time.

3. Thursday night is adult beverage night for me and the hubs. Aren't we cute?

4. There's a serious cold snap rolling through Wisconsin this week. We're talking single digits on Sunday. I just want to stay inside and bake yummy treats all day with my kiddos. I'm no fan of winter weather.

5. I'm pretty sure my daughter, who is 5, is a genius. I know I'm her Mom and I'm biased, but for real. Here's an example.
I have 2 email accounts. I told her my password to one of the accounts a long time ago because she wanted to write a note to her grandmother. She has remembered that password and now signs on to my account, finds my other email address in the contacts list, and sends me emails at my other account!
Granted, it's often notes about how mean I am that I won't give her what she wants, but still, genius in the making.

6. I was really at a loss for what to make for today's new recipe dinner, so I just came up with my own thing on the fly. Let's hope it's good. Last night wasn't even a new dinner and there were tears at the table!

7. Anybody else have homework drama with their kids? My first grader is a mess every night, full on tears, over home work. What's in store for the higher grades?!

8. I have a drama headache. Between home work and bed time, I'm ready for a beer!

9. I'm only working one day next week. Do you know how clean my house will be? I just might organize the storage room. Halleluliah!

10. I can't think of a tenth thing right now, so I'm calling it a night and joining my hubs for that adult beverage.

Have a great night everyone! See ya' tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stick With What Ya' Know!

So I was reading LapBandGal yesterday and she wrote about how she doesn't often rely on protein shakes for nutrition. She prefers to actually chew her food.

Well, I've been having protein shakes for breakfast for a very long time. I tend to have 'morning band', so it just seemed to make sense for me.
But after reading her post I figured, what the heck, why not give some food a try in the morning. I only have 3.25CC in my 14CC band so maybe it would work.

I started my morning with a serving of oatmeal. That's it, just very runny oatmeal.
Then about an hour later I took my vitamins and went to the gym.
The whole time at the gym I kept burping up oatmeal. Each time I tried to take a sip of my water, the oatmeal threatened to come back up on me.

After running a bunch of errands, and 6 hours later, that oatmeal was just sitting there, refusing to go down.
Finally after I got home I hopped in the shower (that's how busy my days are!). I bent over to pick up my razor and guess what happened? My B-12 vitamin came up. Completely whole, and surrounded by a smattering of undigested oatmeal!
Well that felt better.

So, the moral of the story?

Stick with what you know. Nothing wrong with having my protein shake every morning. It gives me the nutrition I need to get through my busy days, and it doesn't come back up on me!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Update on the 3 Day Cleanse

So, I'm doing this three day cleanse, touted by the famous Dr. O.
I'm on day 2.

Let me start by saying that I really hate it when people say they try a certain diet or plan and it doesn't work. Then you hear them talk about all the changes they made to the plan. Well, that might be why it didn't work, ya' think!
With that being said, I made some changes to this plan. I couldn't help it. I had to.

First of all, I couldn't find raspberries or kale anywhere. I live in a rural farming community, and this is winter. I guess I could have driven a half hour away to a health food store, but I'm not that motivated. I substituted blueberries and baby spinach.

Also, I've been using soy  milk instead of the prescribed almond milk. I always use soy milk because it has way more protein that almond milk. I'm not sure why the great doctor uses almond instead of soy, but I'm not willing to change to something that offers less nutrition.

OK, one more modification. I'm not doing the nightly bath. Seriously, I never take a bath. I'm a mother of 2 small children, I barely have time to bathe them, let alone myself. Soaking in a salt bath is not on my to do list. I'm skipping it and I'm sure I'll be just fine.

At the end of day 2, here's what I think so far...

After my morning shake on day 1 I had serious stomach cramps and I even threw up. Twice. There was nothing in the shake that I hadn't had before, so I'm pretty sure it was the citrus. There's lemon in the morning tea and lemon again in the morning shake. Too much for my sensitive system.
The good news is I wasn't at all hungry until it was time for my lunch shake.
I didn't like the lunch shake at all. Very odd taste, but not so bad that I couldn't get it down.
The dinner shake was the best, even though I had forgotten to buy avocado.

I was feeling weak by mid afternoon so I did end up adding a Tablespoon of my favorite protein powder to the 3rd and 4th shakes (doh! Another modification).

I used MFP to calculate the calories of the shakes throughout the day. Even though I had the 'optional' 4th shake and added the protein powder, the calories for the day came in just slightly over 1,000.
Whoa! Imagine if I'd opted to not have the extra shake. That's crazy low for a daily intake.

I was down 2 pounds this morning.

Today is day 2 and I'm still doing fine on the plan. I remembered the avocado today which made the evening shake even better, giving it a creamy texture.
I didn't have the optional 4th shake today but I did have some of our banana fake-out 'ice cream' (which is really just frozen bananas, blended until it looks like ice cream).
Bananas are on the cleanse menu so I figured it wasn't really cheating.

I've been peeing like crazy and my rings are loose. I'm sure the 2 pounds are water weight, but that's sort of the point, right? To cleanse the system.

Every review or comment I've read about this cleanse says something about being grumpy by day 2. I'm not finding that with me. I think it's because I'm just so used to doing liquids because of my band, that it's not really affecting me that way. Of course I'll be happy to eat real food again, but this really is no biggie. I even made pizza for my kids tonight and wasn't even tempted to take a bite.

So, that's my take on the cleanse. I guess it's doing what it's supposed to do, and helping me shed those extra couple pounds that had snuck up on me.
Try it if you feel you need it. Or not.

Have a great night everyone!

Friday, January 11, 2013

New Food Recipe #2/52

It's new food Friday. Time to tell you about the recipe I tried last night.

This weeks recipe came from a FB friend who had posted this link...

The kids decided that it would be much cooler to put the meatloaf in a muffin tin so that we'd have individual serving sizes. Hey, who am I to argue, sounded like a good idea to me!

We sat down to eat dinner last night, and had already begun tearing into the food when I realized I hadn't taken a picture. Doh! I grabbed a quick shot before it was all gone, so sorry that it doesn't look very appealing.

So here's the scoop.
I used ground turkey instead of ground chicken because I prefer the texture of turkey.
It was super easy to make. I popped them in the oven as soon as the kids got off the bus since they take about 45 min. to make.
I cooked a little bit of spinach pasta to go on the side, for the pasta lovers in the family.
I made a green salad too.

The verdict? Meatballs. This concoction tasted exactly like meatballs. I should have known that because I've made meatballs a zillion times and the ingredients are pretty much the same.
The good news? My family likes meatballs so as soon as we stopped calling this 'meat loaf', they all ate like champs. Even the daughter who only just recently started eating meat.
Of the 12 I made there were only 3 left over and hubby ate those today for lunch.

So, if you like the taste of meatballs, go ahead and make this meat loaf, Italian style!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Here are my ten random things for this Thursday.

1. You people are too damn fast. I was completely caught up on ALL blogs yesterday afternoon. Today I open up blogger and BAM! I have a gazillion more to read. Probably not getting to that today, so for the love of Pete, slow down!

2. Years ago I saw an interview with a woman who was morbidly obese. She talked about how she had been naturally thin for most of her life. Then she landed in the hospital for 6+ months with some sort of infection (meningitis?) where she was given only clear liquids and IV fluids for the entire time. She was so sick, she nearly died and weighed just 80 pounds.
When she got out of the hospital and was able to eat real food again, she couldn't stop. She had been deprived of the satisfaction of chewing and eating real food for so long, she just went crazy and gained something like 200 pounds. I don't remember how the interview ended or if she got help for her food addiction. I just bring it up because I know first hand that deprivation is a real Bitch.

No, I've never been deprived of food for 6 months, but for 2 weeks out of every month I'm not able to eat anything solid. If I try, I puke. End of story.
It starts about 3 days before my period, and lasts for at least a week after the period. It's crazy. Then, when the restriction finally lets up, I eat. And eat and eat and eat. It's that whole deprivation mind set.
Unfortunately right now I'm in the wide open, eat anything you want time period and the scale showed it this morning. I'm not happy.
So, to add insult to injury, I'm going on a 3 day liquid cleanse. Call me crazy, but I need to do something.
At the very least I need to rid my body of sugar and carbs (once again!).
I hate liquid diets as much as the rest of you, but I feel this is something I need to do.
Wish me luck!

3. Because of the surprise on the scale this morning, I took a step in the right direction today and stuck with protein all day. I haven't had a friggin' carb except for the fruit in my protein shake. Detox, detox, detox!

4. This week I've been in clearance shopping heaven January is my favorite time of year (except for the snow and cold). I've hit up all the major retailers and scored major deals at all of them. I've picked up Valentines' day gifts, b-day gifts, and even a couple things for next Christmas. I loooooove a good sale!

5. I've been on a great exercise kick this week. I did Insanity on Sunday and Wednesday, Body Pump on Tuesday and today, and will either do kick boxing or Insanity again tomorrow.
Only six months to bathing suit weather people. SIX months!

6. My husband has convinced me to sign up for a 10K. He's running the half marathon on the same day and thought it would be cool for us to both run. It's not until September so at least I have the whole summer to train and run outside. But still, did I ever mention that I don't love running? I'll do it though, because I know it's good for me, gives me something to train for, and because I love that man. God help me.

7. Tonight is our new recipe night. It's meatloaf with a twist. I'll be sure to post about it tomorrow, and since several of you asked for pics, I'll make sure to post some. Fingers crossed for another success tonight.

8. I wish I had more energy. Seriously, I think I could go to bed right now and stay there all night. Must be all that clearance shopping I've been doing.

9. Quick update on the hubby: He's lost a total of 9 pounds since the doc asked him to try to lose a little weight to improve his BP. He's training for that half marathon, which has helped. His BP is back in the normal range so it looks like no medication needed. So proud.

10. My kids just came home from school and the little one announced "I do NOT like meat loaf, and I am NOT eating dinner with you tonight". I told her to go ask the  neighbors what they're having, and she could eat with them. She didn't like that answer one bit.

Have a great night people. Be healthy and happy.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Food Friday

As I mentioned in my last post, our family decided to try 52 new recipes in the new year. I'd like to keep track of what we tried and how it went, so I'll be blogging about it on Friday each week.

Last night was our first new recipe. Now that everyone in our family eats chicken (my oldest daughter was a hard sell until recently), I figured we'd start out with that.

Here's the recipe I made...Chicken Pillows, along with a green salad on the side.

Since I can't eat bread products, I reserved some of the filling and baked it in a ramekin for me.
Also, the hubby doesn't eat cream cheese so I used 3 wedges of Laughing Cow instead.

My first observation was that the pillows were HUGE from using 2 biscuits. On the last one I just rolled out one biscuit, filled it, and folded it over like a calzone. That one was a much more reasonable size and definitely how I'll make them next time.

The reviews?

Daughter #1 (the very picky eater) loved them and asked for more. She also said she'd like to have them again tomorrow night.

Daughter #2 used the word "disgusting" and asked why I didn't just make plain biscuits with no filling.

Hubby said it was good but being carb conscious as he is, didn't eat much of the biscuit.

I loved my little casserole portion without the biscuit, although I was secretly wishing I could have one!

So, with the exception of my little one, they were a hit.
I would consider week 1 a success in our house.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Hooray, it's my favorite day of the week...Ten Things Thursday.
Here's what I've got for ya' today.

1. Do you remember your word from last year? I didn't so I had to go back and look. Turns out my word was COMMITMENT.
I chose that word because this lap band life is a commitment. A lifelong change. I vowed I would not lose a bunch of weight, just to turn around and gain it all back again, like so many times before.
Commitment is the reason I was willing to pay out of pocked for an Upper GI just to make sure Phil was still in place and doing what he is supposed to do. I like my word from 2012. This year I plan to stay committed to this journey.

2. I think my new word for 2013 should be SELF. As a mother and wife I tend to put everyone else before myself. I need to remind myself that I am worth it. I'm worth taking time out to go to the gym. I'm worth the cost of good quality food. I'm worth the time it takes to take care of me. So, for this year my word is SELF.

3. On the first day of the new year my husband found a dead mouse in the basement. I LOATHE all things rodent. I have an unreasonable phobia. I've already told hubby if I ever find a dead mouse while he's traveling, I will pay a handy man $50 to come over and dispose of it. Seriously. Even though it's already dead. My children will never be able to have a pet hamster, gerbil, ferret, guinea pig, or anything of the sort. I can't do it. I bought a case load of rat poisoning today.
What a way to start out the new year.

4. For the first time since having kids, we went out on New Year's Eve.
We were invited over to the home of the President of hubby's company. Let's just say I now want a movie theater and sauna in my basement. Just sayin'. It would be nice.

5. Our family goal (like a resolution) for the new year is to try 52 new recipes. One for each week. Our new recipe night will be Thursday but I will post about it on Friday so that I can report on how well the family liked the meal. I figure blogging about it will be a good way to keep track of what we tried and what we liked. Stay tuned!

6. I decided to see what all the fuss was about and watched the first episode of Downton Abbey. I can totally see how people are addicted to that show and can't wait to watch more. The only problem is that there are only 7 episodes of season 1 and then I have to wait until next year for season 2 to become available. So not cool.

7. My MIL bought me 2 pair of pajamas for Christmas. One pair are flannel, the other are fleece footie pajamas! I am always cold, so these are great for me. My husband has other ideas. He hates them. I told him to stop his whining and go out and buy me what he would like to see me wearing. He wonders why he never thought of that before (because he's a man!).
I can't wait to see what type of dental floss he's going to get me for Valentine's Day!

8. I started my post-Christmas clearance shopping today. Tar-get was a big disappointment. I usually hit the jackpot there, but not this year. At the big W I scored on a bunch of potential kiddie birthday gifts since my kids tend to get invited to a lot of parties.
In years past I've actually been able to start my Christmas shopping by hitting the January sales. I think this year is slim picking.

9. I was super excited about the new season of Biggest Loser until I saw that they're including kids this year. How do you feel about that? I think I'll still watch, at least the first episode, just to see how it's going to work. But, I don't think the BL is a place for kids. The lifestyle they expect form their contestants has proven over and over again to be too tough for adults to handle when they go back to the real world. Imagine what it's going to be like for a teenager. Crazy.

10. Back to the gym tomorrow after 2 weeks off for the holidays. We did Insanity at home a couple of times, and I've done the elliptical, but the gym is different. It requires a whole different mind set to get there. Wish me luck!

Have a nice night everyone. Stay well!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm Back, and Happy New Year

Hi Folks.
I'm back from our week in NY.. The ride there was perfect. The kids were great, the weather was great, we couldn't have asked for anything more.

The ride back was riddled with bad weather and bad road conditions. Once again we found ourselves saying "Next year we'll fly". Somehow that never happens. Maybe over the course of a year we forget how awful it is to drive 11 hours, with two kids, in winter weather!

The week was crazy busy but filled with fun, family, friends, and love. We had a fantastic visit. My kids were showered with affection from the NY people, and they loved every minute of it.
I even got to re-connect with a nephew who had been traveling down a very scary path in life, and seems to be finding his way back. That was the Christmas gift our family needed this year.

We had a little 50th birthday celebration for my sister which was awesome. I'm pretty sure she was surprised, even though we had it at her house. I'm such a nice sister I made her host her own surprise party!

On a sad note...I saw my brother, and that just makes me sad. He is heavier than I've ever seen him in my life. He just looks so uncomfortable in his own skin. He's not taking care of himself AT ALL and it scares me. He's raising his daughter alone, so if anything happens to him, she goes back to an un-fit mother. Obviously we have a family history of obesity, but add to that the prevalence of high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and he's a time bomb. The whole situation is sad no matter how you look at it.

In band related news...I was PMSing so wasn't able to eat much during the last few days of the trip. That means another Christmas miracle happened. I did NOT gain weight this holiday. In fact, I lost almost 2 pounds from when we left last Sunday. Big thanks to Phil.

Today was a stay home in our pajamas kind of day for my family. The tree and most of the decorations are down and put away. Tomorrow it's back to school and work for all of us.

I read most of the blog posts from today and yesterday, but I just can't go back a whole week people. That's too much reading even for me!

So, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (or other winter holiday) and a safe, healthy New Year's Eve.
Stay well and good night!