Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cell phone service on a landline??

Am I the only one who didn't know that there's a way to talk on your cell # through a regular landline handset?! How cool is that?? I'm still not sure HOW it works (Bluetooth, I think?) but I had no idea until I saw this VTech giveaway at MommyPR that such a thing existed. Of course, I had to enter.
Now I just have to be patient to see if I win ~crossing fingers~ and resist buying it until after the giveaway ends!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday!

Reposting this for Tasty Tuesday since I just remembered it (from last year) and it's sooooooo good!

Last night I made my first ever batch of homemade granola! My sister (who used to have the nickname "Granola" because she was a serious tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, no-sugar-eating fanatic!) gave me a few tips, and combined with a basic recipe that I found online...well, I have to say - it's FABULOUS!!! I will never buy pre-made granola in bags/boxes at the grocery store again.

I really wish I'd thought to take pics of the making of the granola, but it was late and I just didn't think about Tasty Tuesday being please forgive me for only having pics of the finished product.
My recipe is a version of the one found here.

I used maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup, ladies!), vanilla extract, canola oil, steel cut oats, thick cut oats, large unsweetened coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries....(you can even some semi-sweet chocolate chips if you like - and who doesn't?!) YUMMMMMY!! And all organic for around $6.00 a batch (and it's a big batch!)! I got my ingredients in the bulk section of Earthfare - I now want to LIVE in that store, btw. No need to get a huge bag, just get what you need for a batch at a time since it's all organic and doesn't have all those nasty preservatives. BTW, I saw some tiny bags of pre-made granola there for $3.89 and up...puhlease! No way! Not when my house can smell that good while it's baking - and the homemade stuff taste SO much better!


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together except for the dried fruit. Set the dried fruit aside.
2. In another bowl mix the sweetener, oil, and extract together.
3. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The liquids will be absorbed and the granola will become darker and shinier.
4. Spread the granola in a shallow baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for ten minutes. Use a spatula and turn the granola on the baking sheet. Place the granola back in the oven and bake for another ten minutes or until fairly dry and starting to brown. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the fruit.


1. Granola will become crispier and crunchier as it cools.
2. Because of the oil, granola will not stay fresh long. Store in an airtight container and use within two weeks. Freeze for longer storage.


Click over to Balancing Beauty & Bedlam for more amazing recipes!

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Mamavation Monday - lists, lists, lists...

Things that I did well last week:

Ate more fruits and veggies
Had no red meat
Tried to get more sleep/to bed earlier each night
Stopped using artificial sweetener
Thumbed through my new Raw Energy book for some new ideas
Got up at 6am on my day off for a killer workout!

Things I shouldn't have done last week:

Ate a Milky Way in bed while watching tv
Drank too much coffee
Drank too little water
Didn't work out enough - only Friday morning
Didn't finish all my Esther Bible study homework :(

Things I need to do this week:

Bible study each day - no matter what!
Drink more water!
Drink much less coffee
Work out more: 4+ days cardio, 2+ days strength training
Get in bed by 10pm and turn the tv OFF when I'm there!
Nail color change and eyebrow waxing (seriously, getting scary here)
Do some yoga a few times this week to help w/hip pain and relaxation

If you've applied to be a Mamavation Mom, leave me a comment with a link to your post!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lipstick Personality Quiz - this is neat!

Did you know that your lipstick can tell a lot about your personality?? Not the color, but the shape after you apply it each day. Well, at least that's what this fun little chart says...

So, what's your lipstick personality??

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mamavation Monday!

Well, I did something I said I wasn't going to do - I got on the scale yesterday morning. Ugh. You'd think I'd learn my lesson after awhile! I did lose 2 lbs, but I was - naturally - hoping for more. Got out the tape measure and I've lost about 1/2 inch on my waist - so I'm happy about that. I can tell my pants aren't quite as tight as they were (translation: I can actually breathe when I wear my jeans again).

So I guess the past 2 weeks haven't been a total waste. I do need to pump it up at the gym, though. I need to become the beast that I was a few years ago - working out until my clothes are soaked and sweat is literally dripping from my head. The other day, I got up to the little droplets running down my neck - so I'm getting there. Does anyone else guage their workouts this way, I wonder? LOL

Ok, off to eat my plain grilled cheese on whole wheat bread!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Mother of Invention - A Kitchen Shortcut!

Ok, so it's not really a necessity that I *not* cut potatoes by hand, but it's not something I look forward to doing. But this morning I had a hankerin' for some homemade hashbrowns or "home-fries" (which, for those that don't know are like steak fries, but for breakfast. Steak fries being big ol' fat french fries, for those that don't know that one either). I got out the potatoes and groaned about having to either shred or slice them up. Yes, I dislike dealing with them that much. Plus, I don't want to spend my Saturday morning peeling and chopping taters - sorry Nana!

As I was getting the stove warmed up, I spotted one of my favorite kitchen tools and thought "Hmmm....!" - which my husband will tell you is usually like that joke about rednecks:

How do you know a redneck is about to go to the E.R.?

You hear them yell "Hey y'all! Watch this!!"

My "Hmmm...!" is often the equivalent of the redneck's " this!"

But, I digress.

So I thought I'd try to slice the potatoes in the MOST lazy way possible -

To my surprise - it worked like a charm!! Why I should be surprised at this, I don't know, since it's function IS to cut round food items...

The round piece in the middle was just too cute, too. Round fries - who wouldn't love that?

I did decide to cut the cute round fry in half, just in case it was too big to cook alongside the rest.

I love cooking with coconut oil now, so I fried them up in that and added some chopped onions toward the end. Sadly, there is no "Voila!" picture - as they were all gobbled up too quickly. But I highly encourage using your apple corer for more than apples! In less than 5 minutes, tops, I had 3 big potatoes washed, sliced, and in the pan - getting gorgeously browned and crispy.

Now that I've discovered this trick, I may never buy frozen fries again. These are sooooooo much better, and healthier!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mamavation Monday!

In other news about getting life back in order (see previous post), I recommitted (again!) to getting healthy last week. I worked out a whole two days in a row! At the gym! So proud. I've also eaten really, really well since last Thursday - possibly even since Wednesday. I can tell I've lost something - weight, maybe a 1/4 inch or so... you know how you just feel *lighter* when you eat clean.

One of my motivators has been my online pal ASUJoan - She always has the most thoughtful posts - you should check them out. Her recent ones about her own quest to live healthier have really helped me to step it up on my end. She thinks I never read her blog, but I do! I just forget to comment when I read it... I'm so busy absorbing the great insights she has there. :)

Another thing that really motivated me was one of the success stories at Mamavation. I happened to get it in my email last week and something just ~clicked~ when I read about a lady who has lost 60 lbs in the past year or so. No quick fix: just healthy eating, exercise, the occasional slip-up (because we WILL all have them) - but mostly her amazingly positive attitude. All the Mamas at Mamavation are just awesome, and I'm proud to pledge into their online sorority.

I'm NOT getting on the scale this time. Not for at least a week or more. Heck, maybe I'll NEVER get back on that horrible contraption. I know what I weighed last week (since I had a doctor's appt) and that's all I needed to know. And no - I will never, ever, EVER tell you - so don't think about asking (unless, of course, you have John Mayer tickets for his show tonight, then we can negotiate privately ~doing the "Call me!" sign). Honestly, the number I saw on that scale sickened me. And the sad fact is that it is literally sickening me. And doggonit, I'm too young to feel this old. I do not want to age gracefully - I want to go into my elder years kicking, screaming, and hopefully while dancing to some rockin' tunes. But in order to do that, I need to get back into shape - NOW.

If you're a Mamavation Mama, too, please let me know! If you're not, feel free to leave encouraging comments as often as you wish. I'd love to do the same for you! :)


Decluttering Life & Desk - a Pictorial...

In an effort to regain some semblence of relaxation in my life again, I've decided to pare down, declutter, recycle and yes - sell my Blackberry while I'm at it.

Friday I started with my desk... WARNING: for others with OCD, you may want to avert your eyes from the first picture. Yes, I live with this affliction, as well - which is why I have felt totally CRAZY for the past few weeks...



Is that not beautiful?!?!? I threw out - literally - an entire garbage bag of stuff I don't need, want, or that doesn't make me happy (ok, I couldn't throw out the pile of work I brought home on Thursday - but I would have if I could!)

Next, I put my Beloved on Ebay this morning. If you're interested in a great PDA/phone - check it out: My Blackberry

I feel better just knowing that things are getting into order -


(see, told you I have OCD)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Help me, Tony Horton! And Follow Friday!

As I've posted a few...~ahem~... times here at Frugal Grace, I'm really wanting to get in great shape again. Sadly, the motivation to do so keeps eluding me.

That's why I'm really hoping I win this Tony Horton One-on-One video series. I love the P90X commercials - I could sit and watch them (while eating chips) all day long! LOL But, it's time to get off the couch and moving this bum.

Maybe you wanna enter too? If so, just clicky on over:

One on One with Tony Horton (Beachbody) Review & Giveaway

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Great Giveaway at RaisingLittleWomen!

My sweet friend, Michelle, over at has an awesome giveaway going on right now! You can win your choice of a brand new crock-pot or a 12-inch cast iron skillet. I'm hoping for the skillet! Love, love cooking on cast iron. :)

Enter to win here!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Post-Friday Fill Ins

Yeah, yeah, I'm usual!

1. Why are you making me angry? You wouldn't like me when I'm angry...(anyone remember that??)

2. I want you to take a chance and enter my giveaways! :)

3. If I want to do something, then it will be on my terms.

4. Smile at a stranger and see what happens.

5. I could use a nap right about now.

6. Posting this and then going to do some cleaning.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to possibly going to see Menopause, the Musical, tomorrow my plans include church in the morning and then a nap - missed it last week because we were at church from 7:45am - after 6pm!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Please take my POLL! And some Caffeinated Randomness Friday

Chilly but SUNNY day in NC today! Supposed to warm up to around 50 today, maybe 60 by Sunday - I can't wait! I need to clean up the deck and yard in a bad way. Or just sit outside and read. :)

Or take a walk! Yes! I want to take a walk with my pups and not freeze half to death. I bought the best invention ever (well, for people with dogs) several months ago and finally got to test it out on the last warmish day we had. A double dog leash - it's wonderful!! No more am I getting tangled up trying to hold two leashes when I take the pups out for a long walk. I highly recommend it if you have more than one pooch.

In other randomness: I'm trying to lose weight. Really, I am. But the stupid scale keeps going up and down the same. two. pounds. every other day and it's frankly bumming me out. Like, totally. :( I think I'm just going to stay off of it for a month or so because inevitably, I get on it and see that it's gone down a bit, get excited, then get on it the next day and it's gone up again, get bummed out and think "Forget it! This will never happen!" I've been going back & forth trying to decide whether to do Body For Life or Weight Watchers. I got in the best shape of my life doing Body For Life several years ago. Then gained 30 lbs due to some medication I had to go on for 10 months. Ugh. And I haven't been able to get it back off again. BfL is INTENSE, and I was eating basically nothing but chicken, brown rice, oatmeal and cottage cheese - which I like, btw - and I was a beast at the gym - working out about 10-12 hours a week - HARD! But I have several friends who have lost, and kept off, tons of weight using Weight Watchers.

So, question: what do you think I should do?? BfL or WW? This is an informal poll and I really do want to hear what you have to say. Please tell me if you've done either, and what your results were with the program!

That out of the way, I think I'll log off now and go do a Walk Away The Pounds DVD. Actually, there are some awesome success stories with WATP, too. So let's add that to the poll, too! Do you do these workouts? If you've lost pounds and inches with it, tell me about it!

So here are the options:
Body for Life
Weight Watchers
Walk Away the Pounds

What say ye, readers??

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

CUTE address labels !

If you're tired of using all those bland, generic address labels - check out the cute designs here and put your own flair into your family's return labels! I ordered some just to put in my books in case I leave them somewhere or loan them out. :)

Oh, and they are FREE with only a $3 shipping charge! <3

Print FREE Grocery Coupons at Home

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Balancing Act

Since I have yet another crazy-busy week going on, my blogging is suffering yet again... But! Have no fear, I have my Exemplify post to share with you from a couple of weeks ago. I think I forgot to link up to it here before, so here goes...

I love how God tells me what to write about. I literally sat down to write my Weekly Wednesday Whatever and had NO idea what to put on the paper (errr...on the screen). So I did what I knew would work - prayed! And sure enough, within a minute or so, the idea for Balancing Act started forming. I hope you'll enjoy it, comment on it, and link up to it for your readers! Be sure to check out the rest of Exemplify while you're there - it's an amazing site for Christian women!

Print FREE Grocery Coupons at Home