It’s my birthday!!!

I normally dread birthdays. I’ve not been a big fan of aging and all that comes with it. Weight gain, mood swings, hair loss, aches and pains, and everything in between. But after losing my Sammy last year-I’ve decided to start celebrating life a little more vs. dreading it. Here’s to my 47th trip around the sun!!!

A year ago today…man I miss him.

Cheers!!!

Michelle

47 years young!!

Stuffed Peppers in under 30 minutes

Guys and Gals!!! Who doesn’t like a quick, easy, and healthy weeknight meal?!? I know I DOOOO…especially with our crazy schedules.

Here’s a quick recipe that will leave your family full, and satisfied.

All you’ll need:

1 pepper per serving

1 lb. of ground beef/turkey/pork

1/2 white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Shredded cheese to top the peppers

Green onions for garnish

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried cilantro (1/2 tsp each)

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put your peppers on a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with Pam nostick spray. Drizzle the peppers with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and pop them in the oven.

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While the peppers are cooking in the oven (about 20 minutes), sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 2-3 minutes until tender and translucent. Add in your ground meat, and cook on medium to high heat for about 10 minutes or cooked through. Next, drain the grease from the meat in colander.

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Remove the peppers from the oven, and spoon in the meat mixture all the way to the top.

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Top the peppers with shredded cheese and return to the oven and let cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is all melted. Serve with your favorite side dish, and enjoy!!

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Dinner is served!!

What is your favorite weeknight meal?

Cheers!

Michelle

The power of a smile…pass it on!

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the power of a smile. As someone who suffered from depression many of my young adult/adult years, I can admit smiling wasn’t always easy.

 

But as I ease into my “midlife” years, I’ve made it a point to smile more. While I still have demons many know nothing about, what I have more of is simple gratitude for life. I work in a VA hospital, and as a Veteran myself, I am humbled EVERY. SINGLE. DAY as I walk down the halls. 

 

Yesterday morning I came in to work early, only to find the lock on my door was broken. An hour and two locksmiths later, along with a new handle mechanism being installed, and I was finally ready to start my day. This set me back, though, and I had a hard time regrouping from to simple (and stupid) set back. My run in the evening after work was horrible, and my family was snappy at me. I closed my eyes on my recliner for 20 minutes to regroup, and decided tomorrow would be a better day.

 

I woke up before my second snooze went off this morning and was determined to have a good day. One way I LOVE turning my attitude around, is to pass on kindness to others. I arrived at work almost 25 minutes early, parked my Jeep and decided to go in early to get some work done. I used to DREAD walking in to work every day, and would sit in my Jeep until the last…possible…moment. Not anymore!!!! I love my new job, so coming in early isn’t something that is rare. As I entered the hospital, I greeted our volunteers with a big smile and a “Good Morning!!!!” as I do every single morning. Today I passed several Veterans on the way to my office, and one in particular MADE MY DAY. I smiled at him and wished him a Good morning, to which he responded “Look at that smile, you must love where you work. Thank you, and Good morning to you!!!” I smiled back and thanked him for his service along with assuring him that yes, it’s an honor to serve fellow Veterans.

 

Ah, the power of a smile….:) Pass on a smile to someone…you never know who’s day you might make better!!!

Cheers!!

Michelle

 

 

 

Brief little back story.

Little back story for you all-Running used to be something I truly loved. It was “freeing” me and was my therapy as I transitioned from 20 years of military life to the civilian world. I had a tribe of running friends and it was effortless to run 6-8 miles. Fast forward five years and OOOF. Running is hard. This run didn’t feel good until mile 3. But I’m not going to give up and quit. I may be slow as molasses but praying I find my groove again.

Have you ever had to take a break from something you loved, and had a hard time making a comeback? How did you handle it?

Meet my running friend

Cheers!!

Michelle

Weekend wrap up

Hey gang!! How was your weekend? Friday my hubby and I went on an impromptu date in downtown Tampa. We are at a place called Oak and Ola and it was amazing. I wrote about it on Yelp (Michelle D. in Tampa), but may start writing more restaurant reviews here on the blog again this year.

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Saturday we did some errands and went and saw “Jumanji” and we thought it was really cute and entertaining. We also hit up my favorite consignment shop as I still had money left over on my Christmas gift card.

Sunday I slept in which I always allow myself to do when I’m not training for anything, because I have to get up early enough every day for work. I also decided to meal prep for the week, as this is where my diet/exercise regime have gone to crap over the last six months. I made some egg muffins for the week, as well as a big pot of Chicken Soup. (Click the link for the basic recipes but feel free to change up whatever protein/veggies sound good to you!!!)

Tonight after dinner I went for a nice walk with my neighbor, and did my plank. I’ve been planking since October 1st, and haven’t missed a day yet. I did this back in 2016 when my husband was deployed, and managed to plank for an entire year straight.

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How was your weekend? Does cooking ahead of time help you? Any tips for burning belly fat?

Have a great week, everyone!!

Cheers,

Michelle

2019 recap

Looking back on 2019, I can say it was one of the hardest years of my life to start out, but that it ended well.

I started out 2019 with a wretched case of Bronchitis that lasted over 6 weeks long. Literally, day ONE of 2019 and I was down for the count. I had a half marathon to train for, and couldn’t take a breath. Needless to say, the Gasparilla half marathon in February was one of my worst times to date…BUT, I ran it pain free and I have Novorenew to thank for it. No knee pain, no ITB pain, nada…just long…slow…miles.

In March we visited my folks in Arizona, and it was our first trip out to see their new house. We had a great time, enjoying great food and learning all about the different climate that they live in and enjoying all of the things they love about Arizona!!!

Shortly thereafter, on April 17, I lost my best friend, 4 legged companion, my therapy dog, my HEART. They say time heals all wounds, but I’ll be honest…THEY are liars. While I can say I don’t ugly cry on the daily anymore, the physical ache in my chest really hasn’t lessoned. The months that followed were tremendously hard, and my running/working out pretty much came to a halt. I drank all the drinks and ate all the food and am still paying for it to this day….

May brought a last minute visit to Chicago to see my nephew graduate, and it was SOOOOO nice to be home with family. Our one thing missing here in Florida is being close to our family and friends. We haven’t made bonds like the ones we had in Chicago yet here in Florida.

The summer is beyond hot here which is not conducive to running, but I did my best to walk in the evenings, and continued to do so thankfully to taking Novorenew on a daily basis. I continue to promote this wonderful product, not only because of the amazing benefits of the 8 all natural ingredients, but also because it’s such a game changer for all active folks. Check it out, HERE.

June came…and with it some amazing opportunities. I was selected to be the Administrative Officer of the Laboratory I work in, and to say I was elated is an understatement. This was the move (although lateral in pay) that I had been dreaming about!!!

I started said job in July, and it’s been going GREAT. Every day I am feeling more comfortable and learning new things all the time!

My sister and her family came for a week over the summer, and it was SOOO nice to share my happy place (THE BEACH) with them, along with just spending good quality time together!!!!

My daughter came to visit in August, and we made it back to Chicago for another quick visit for our best friend’s daughter’s baby shower in October. I haven’t written a whole lot this fall/winter, but I am slowing getting back in to the routine of working out AND eating better. You will no longer catch me hiding in the pantry snacking on my daughter’s snack packs of chips…I may or may not have gone through three bags in one sitting.

November my hubby and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary with a simple trip to Orlando to get away for an evening. It was wonderful to have time for just us. I also had a lovely weekend get away with one of my Air Force best friends that I am blessed to have living just 40 minutes away from us!! 24 hours of fun in the sun, enjoying quality time away in Orlando was perfect!!!

We had an untraditional Thanksgiving, and escaped to Disney Springs to let someone else do the cooking. It was glorious.

December has been filled with more efforts to work out more and eat better, even despite celebrating Christmas. I only cheated, a little….I’ve lost 1.5 of many lbs. left to lose…so there’s that.

I don’t do resolutions, so January will be my reset, my restart, and my continued journey to live life the very best I can. I’ve got 8-10 lbs. to lose (I blame the chips and wine, sadly) and I know with hard work I can get it off…Menopause I am sure isn’t helping, not lack of sleep, but I am determined to do what I can to feel better about myself.

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How was your 2019? Any big goals or resolutions for 2020?

Happy New Year!!
Cheers!

Blog-anniversary!!!

Happy six year anniversary to my blog!!! Here’s to making more time for writing. Thanks for all is you who’ve been a part of this journey!!!

Cheers!!!

Michelle

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