weekly wrap up

Weekly wrap up, 2 weeks down with an easy recipe!

Today I am linking up with Holly and Tricia, and I am thankful I keep doing these posts because it keeps me from completely “holing myself up” as my sister (and I) always say.  Because those that know me well, know I tend to go into Super Woman mode when faced with challenges, thinking I can do it all, when really, no matter how strong I think I am-I need help.  Lots of it.  ❤


I started out the week strong, managing 2 workouts.  And then my mini got sick, and then she decided to share her nasty chest cold/cough with me…so our weekend was a bust, only getting out to run mandatory errands yesterday morning.  We got supplies to send my hubby an Easter box, went grocery shopping and gassed up my Jeep.  The rest of the weekend we were watching movies and relaxing for the most part.  I watched “High Fidelity, Silver Linings playbook, and Brooklyn” this weekend.  Friday night and Saturday nights were hard…I was missing my hubby quite a lot, especially because I felt like crap, but more so because the quiet of the house once the kids go to bed is especially lonely.  Thankfully I channeled my energy and got all of my laundry done, and my floors swiffered LOL.  I have issues.

still smiling, despite not feeling well!

I did make this yummy AND easy crockpot chicken parmesan recipe:


1 jar of your favorite sauce. 5 mushrooms sliced. Put both in your crockpot. 6 chicken thighs seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brown chicken on both sides. Add them into your crockpot. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil and cook for 2 hours on high.

How was your week/weekend?  Do you love your crockpot as much as I do?  Tell me something good!

❤ Michelle


weekend wrap up

Weekend wrap up and stuff

Well my writing/running/cooking streak came to an abrupt end when I woke up Thursday with a terrible headache/migraine.  This also sidelined my run, and when this happens a dark cloud likes to hang over my head…such is Midwestern life in the winter, at least for this runner.

Knowing I wasn’t feeling myself, my hubby brought me THESE beauties to cheer me up.

Flowers for no reason?  Yes please...
Flowers for no reason? Yes please…

See, he is leaving (now has left) for the better part of the next 3 weeks which leaves me in charge of not only my job, but managing my kids, the house, the kids activities and my sanity.  No easy feat, let me tell ya…I’ve done it a million times before, but sadly it never gets easier.  Maybe because he really is my best friend, through and through, so being apart from him leaves me feeling low.  I don’t need someone in my life to make me happy, don’t get me wrong…but the select few humans I’ve chosen to keep near are a part of me-people I WANT in my life.  My people…so now that my #1 person is far away, well, let’s just say I saw him off at 4:30 a.m. and several tears were shed.

Also, every time I see him off, I am reminded back to a time when I saw him off to war.  This was a time when war meant you may never see your loved one again.  And every time he walks out the door, I have to swallow the lump in my throat.  My life just doesn’t work without him in it…Ok sorry, babbling over.  He is gone, and time to suck it up…lol

I woke up with yet another headache brought on from tears I am sure, so when I got a text from my virtual RBF Maria asking if I wanted to run, I almost said no.  But I didn’t say no…I drank some water, washed my face, and changed clothes to run on the ‘Mill.  I only ran 2 miles, but it definitely helped turn my morning around.

2.2 miles and my #Plankchallenge to start my day!
2.2 miles and my #Plankchallenge to start my day!

Lastly, I took my mini-persons to see the movie “Into the Woods” today, and we enjoyed it.  A bit drawn out, but I am guessing live this show is amazing.

Aren't we cute?  LOL
Aren’t we cute? LOL

With that, I’ve prepared snacks and helped the kids prepare for the week.  Ballet outfits are washed, school papers signed, and Valentines filled out for my mini-me who has a party this week.  The trash cans are even taken to the curb.  Go me, LOL!

My goal is short term this week, as I pray to just make it through Sunday because I also am working all weekend.  The hubs will be home Saturday afternoon, but turns around and leaves again shortly there after.  Weekend duty is always my nemesis, so wish me luck!


Questions!  How was your weekend?  Does your spouse travel for work/military?  What was the last movie you saw?

Have a great week, y’all!

❤ Michelle

Tagged posts

How well do you know me? 4 things and fun!

4 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know about Me… Or Not

4 names that people call me:
1. Michelle                                                                                                                                                                                              2.  Chelle  Best friend calls me this, as well as some childhood friends.                                                                                      3. Mom                                                                                                                                                                                    4.  My last name…it’s a military thing.

4 jobs that I’ve had:

1. Fry girl at Hardees-my first job nearly 30 years ago                                                                                                                 2. Steak flipper at The Great Steak Escape-I had a mean flip with my spatula, I could also peal potatoes faster than most       3. Airmen (MSgt retired) in the United States Air Force-20 years, and the best job in the entire world!                                        4. Currently-Histology Laboratory Supervisor.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what this means-check it on online.  It’s a pretty cool job.

4 movies I’ve watched more than once:

1. Chef-my new found favorite movie. Have you seen it?  If not, it’s a must see for foodies.                                                        2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s-what more can I say?                                                                                                                             3. Pretty Woman-BEST. EVER.  “In case I forget to tell you later, I had a really good time tonight.”                                           4. Ratatouille-My favorite animated movie.

4 books I recommend:

1. The bridge across forever-Richard Bach.  Probably my all time favorite book.  “There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.”                                                                                                         2. A light in the Attic. Shel Silverstein. It’s truly a magical book.                                                                                                   3. A return to love. Marianne Williamson.  This book saw me through many hard times.                                                              4. Care of the Soul. Thomas Moore.  #This

4 places I’ve lived:

1. Duluth Minnesota, (born in St. Cloud MN) where I spent most of my childhood years                                                             2. O’Fallon IL, where I learned true independence.                                                                                                                      3. Various areas in the Washington D.C. area-one of my favorite places I’ve lived, although would never want to raise a family there.                                                                                                                                                                                  4.  Anchorage Alaska-Where I found myself, and in turn met the love of my life.

4 places I’ve been:
1.  Cancun Mexico-9 glorious days spent with my hubby for our honeymoon                                                                    2.  Santa Monica California-a little piece of heaven if you ask me.
3.  Corpus Christi, Texas-our happy place even in the toughest of times while living in Texas
4.  Canadian Borders-God’s Country

4 places I’d rather be now:
1.  Italy
2.  The Beach-any will do
3.  Fiji
4.  Disney World/Land…either would make my heart happy

4 things I don’t eat:
1.  Coconut-the texture kills me
2.  Water Chestnuts-see above reason
3.  Lima beans if I can help it…
4.  …Gosh, I eat most everything…

4 of my favorite foods:
1.  Fresh seafood of any kind
2.  Brussels sprouts (with bacon of course)
3.  Sushi                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Anything salty, to include chips, fries, and anything truly unhealthy.  Darn it.  LOL

4 TV shows I watch: (I don’t have cable anymore, and only get one channel, so anything I see is on HULU besides the Fox network)
1. MasterChef-duh                                                                                                                                                                        2. MasterChef Junior                                                                                                                                                                     3. Chopped                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Iron Chef

4 things I’m looking forward to this year:
1.  Running the Grandma’s marathon (my first time at this race) with my sister!!!                                                                        2.  Visiting my hometown of Duluth MN for the first time in 20 years nearly.                                                                           3.  Planning some sort of trip with my family-somewhere with a beach would be great…                                                     4.  Continuing my decluttering goal as well as working on building my blog and writing more recipes for my cook book.

4 things I’m always saying:
1.  “Huh?” -I get distracted easily and my attention span is shot, sorry guys…
2.  “Good Morning” – I say it at all times of the day, and 99% of the time with a smile                                                                  3.  “I know, right” – I think I may be a born again teen with a 15 yr old daughter.
4.  “That’s what she said”…because it nearly always makes the most innocent statement, well…funny!  😉

So now it’s your turn!!!!

If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!

❤ Michelle

goals, Uncategorized

Weekend wrap up and goals…

With not having much of a break last week, well, no break at all in fact-I realized I’ve been slacking on the blog the last few days. Ack…my bad!

Having had worked New Year’s day, I decided to make the very most of this weekend with my family.  I work next weekend, so we decided to do all the fun family stuffs.  Friday I came home from work to a wonderfully cooked meal of BBQ chicken and veggies by my hubby, as well as to find all of the Christmas decorations had been taken down and put away.  Score.  I was ready to move past the holidays.  Friday night we relaxed and watched the movie, “Big Night” starring Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub.  It is an older film, from 1996, but the story was based on the relationship of two brothers who had moved to the United States from Italy to open their own restaurant.  At first, you think the movie is going to be about food but in reality it’s about their passion FOR Italian food, and the relationship the two brothers share.  Great flick, and I highly recommend it to any food enthusiast, or movie lover alike.

Rated 5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes!
Rated 5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes!

Saturday we decided to take the family to see MockingJay part 1 at the theater (GREAT movie), and have dinner at a place we haven’t tried yet that is located in Geneva, IL.  Local readers, I HIGHLY recommend The Patton house, which is on 2nd street in downtown Geneva.  We had bacon wrapped figs to start, and my entrée was a spicy salmon fillet over a sweet potato puree with a maple demi glaze.  To. Die. For.

1-4pattonhouse 1-4pattonhousefig

Today was my day to go shopping at my favorite consignment shop, Clothes Mentor, with the gift cards I received for Christmas.  This store makes me happy.  What can I say…I showed up with a small bag of clothes (they buy back too!) for which I received 15 dollars, as well as had a 5 dollar coupon.  At the end of my spree, I bought a cute purse, Franco Sarto shoes, and several sweaters, shirts, 2 pairs of pants and a sweater dress all for $225.00.  18 items, at an average of $12.50 cents each, and keep in mind these are all high end brand names…Ann Taylor, BCBG max, White house Black market, Nike (yes, I had to get workout clothes too!) and Banana Republic just to name a few…yup…this girl came out HAPPY as a clam.  I used to love fashion, but found that over the last several years I forgot to pamper myself too…so although I can’t afford these clothes brand new, I sure can bargain shop!


I still can’t run as my thumb is still on the mend, but am praying one more week and I’ll be cleared to run.  Starting now, since my marathon training starts in about 6 weeks I will be eating A LOT healthier, and cutting back on my wine intake…scary, I know…but it’s needed.  I am going back to my high protein diet, as it truly made me feel healthier and stronger.  I’ve fallen off the wagon and have been eating far too much rice/rice pasta.  I’ll still have these yummy things once or twice a week…just not daily.  I was however able to cook Sunday supper tonight, which tasted great, but didn’t look very pretty…my meal prep looks much nicer…LOL!

My friend posted this on my time line today…LOL

My friends know my weakness all too well!
My friends know my weakness all too well!
Salad!  yum!
Salad! yum!
Prime Rib with my red pepper and carrot puree!  Plating is sloppy, but hey I only have 9 fingers.  LOL
Prime Rib with my red pepper and carrot puree! Plating is sloppy, but hey I only have 9 fingers. LOL
Meal prep for tomorrow's breakfast and lunch
Meal prep for tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch


With no true resolutions this year, I can say I have lofty goals of branching out, somehow…in my career, and in my life.  What that means?  I’m not 100% sure yet…

What are your goals for the year?? Do you make resolutions? Do you shop consignment?

Have a great week, gang!

❤ Michelle


dedication, food, moving forward, running

Weekend wrap up

I haven’t ran at all this week. I did manage to get two nice walks in, but haven’t ran at all…hmmm, I believe a pattern has been developing this winter, and I am SOOO over the dark (YAY DST), the cold, and the snow. It was pretty the first couple months of winter, and I admit there is a serene beauty in the air after a snow fall.
But it’s March 9th. It needs to be GONE. Who agrees? Sorry Kim, if you are reading this I know you feel completely opposite of me! 🙂
We’re still waiting to hear about the job I interviewed for last week, and I’ve been on pins and needles with anxiety. We stayed close to home this weekend, and watched the movie, Gravity on Friday night. Still on the fence as to how I feel about it. The plot lacked, characters were sparse, and the ending left me wanting more…
Saturday we cleaned house, did laundry and ran errands picking up our weekly items from Target and Caputos (local grocery store I LOVE). My oldest had a sleep over Saturday, so I cooked a nice roast and we all watched the movie Catching Fire. GREAT movie, that left me totally stoked for the 3rd one to come out. I may even have to read the book because I just don’t want to wait. LOL
Today was run day, coupled with cooking not only for my husband’s work tomorrow, but a yummy meal for our family dinner. Many have asked for my Polish Sausage soup recipe, so here it is!

Polish Sausage Soup
Polish Sausage Soup

Michelle’s Polish Sausage and Potato soup
1 package of polish sausage
1 ½ boxes of low sodium stock
1-2 cans diced tomatoes (low salt) (keep juice)
1 can kidney beans-rinsed and drained
1 can black beans-rinsed and drained
1 green, red, and yellow pepper-chopped
1 head of garlic-minced
2 large (or 4 small) red potatoes, chopped
2 stocks of celery, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 teaspoons-herbs de Provence.
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Cumin (save one for right before serving)
1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of dry cilantro
Couple dashes of Hot Sauce (whichever brand you prefer)
A couple splashes of liquid smoke
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Cook ALL ingredients in your crock pot, and cook on high for 4 hours, turn on low for the last two hours.
Just before serving, I give a couple dashes of Cumin and stir well.
Serve with yummy crusty bread, and ENJOY!!

I threw all this into the crock pot and headed out for my run. I had a 5K in my head as far as distance goals, but really wanted to push myself. Here is my recap from dailymile.com
I’ve lost my running mojo recently; I think it was misplaced during the second or third rash of Polar Vortex’ish weather…
So today despite 17 mph head winds, I laced up my shoes (because I said I would!) and ran…the first mile was tough (as it always is for me) but my goal to keep under 10 minute miles was successful clocking my first mile at 9:31. My second mile started to feel better, but the wind was making it tough to keep my breathing steady…managed to squeak by a negative split with a 9:30 second mile. Third mile I began to forget I was running…oh that glorious feeling I normally only get on the trails when that euphoric bliss comes over you and it’s almost as if you are flying…another negative split with a 9:13 third mile. I started to run out of gas in the 4th mile but wasn’t going to quit now…”Overcomer” by Mandisa came on my IPod, and it was just what I needed to give me that extra push. Forth mile clocked at…wait for it…8:48!!!!!!!! My fasted mile this winter! Last .4 averaged a 8:44, and I am quite pleased I didn’t listen to those voices in my head that said “stay in your jammies.”
I finished with an average 9:13 pace, which is darn amazing for my lack of running this winter.

Hope you all had an amazing weekend!