Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day 26: Love is responsible

Today’s Dare

Take time to pray through your areas of wrongdoing. As for God’s forgiveness, then humble yourself enough to admit them to your spouse. Do it sincerely and truthfully. Ask your spouse for forgiveness as well. No matter how they respond, make sure you cover your responsibility in love. Even if they respond with criticism, accept it by receiving it as counsel.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 25: Love forgives

Today’s Dare

Whatever you haven’t forgiven in your mate, forgive it today. Let it go. Just as we ask Jesus to “forgive us our debts” each day, we must ask Him to help us “forgive our debtors” each day as well. Unforgiveness has been keeping you and your spouse in prison too long. Say from your heart, “I choose to forgive.”

Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 24: Love vs. Lust

Today’s Dare

End it now. Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it. Single out every lie you’ve swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it. Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom. It must be killed and destroyed – today – and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 23: Love protects

Today’s Dare

Remove anything that is hindering your relationship, any addiction or influence that’s stealing your affections and turning your heart away from your spouse.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 22: Love is faithful

Today's Dare

Love is a choice, not a feeling. It is an initiated action, not a knee-jerk reaction. Choose today to be committed to love even if your spouse has lost most of their interest in receiving it. Say to them today in words similar to these, "I love you. Period. I choose to love you even if you don't love me in return."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 21: Love is Satisfied in God

Today’s Dare

Be intentional today about making time to pray and read your Bible. Try reading a chapter out of Proverbs each day (there are thirty-one – a full month’s supply), or reading a chapter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). As you do, immerse yourself in the love and promises God has for you. This will add to your growth as you walk with Him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ

TODAY’s DARE

Dare to take God at His Word. Dare to trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Dare to pray “Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. But You have shown Your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and You have proven Your power to save me from death by Your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by Your grace.”

Write about what this experience has been like for you. Even if you are only renewing your commitment to receive and express His love, what has He shown you today?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lighter Chicken Francese


Yum. Absolutely or favorite low fat recipe so far and doesn't taste healthy at all. Gina and her amazing blog did it again! This dish could have come out of the kitchen of a 5 star Italian restaurant. We loved it and the sauce would be excellent served over pasta, which is how we will eat it in the future.

Ingredients:
  • 4 (38 0z) (2.4 lbs) chicken breast halves, thinly sliced (I used 3 breast halves and butterflied them to make 6 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup egg whites, beaten
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 can fat free chicken broth
  • Pam cooking spray
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp butter
Directions:
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a bowl, and the beaten egg whites in another bowl.

Heat a very large non stick pan over medium heat. When hot spray with Pam to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.

Lightly flour chicken, then dip in eggs and add to the hot pan a few at a time. Saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. When cooked, transfer onto a plate. Spray the pan again and repeat until all chicken has been cooked.

Once all chicken is cooked, place the chicken broth in the bowl with the remaining flour and whisk. Add to the pan along with the juice of the lemon, white wine, lemon slices, parsley and butter and simmer on low heat for about 2 minutes so it reduces slightly and thickens. Turn off heat. Return chicken to the pan to combine with the sauce. Serve immediately with a nice big salad.

Makes 6 servings, 8 points each

Day 19: Love is impossible

TODAY’S DARE

Look back over the dares from the previous days. Were there some that seemed impossible to you? Have you realized your need for God to change your heart and to give you the ability to love? Ask Him to show you where you stand with Him, and ask for the strength and grace to settle your eternal destination.

What do you believe God is saying to you? Is there a stirring in your heart? What decision have you made in response to this?


Now that this challenge is about half way over, I definitely found that a few of them seemed impossible to accomplish and I did not give my best effort on those days. I think we have seen some definite improvements in the way we handle each other, so I will try my best to see the next 21 days out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 18: Love seeks to understand

Today’s Dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you. The dinner can be as nice as you prefer. Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about. Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 17: Love promotes intimacy

Today’s Dare

Determine to guard your mate’s secrets (unless they are dangerous to them or to you) and to pray for them. Talk with your spouse, and resolve to demonstrate love in spite of these issues. Really listen to them when they share personal thoughts and struggles with you. Make them feel safe.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 16: Love intercedes

Today’s Dare

Begin Praying for your spouse’s heart. Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse’s life and in your marriage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 15: Love is honorable

Today’s Dare

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.



I definitely did something out of the ordinary today, I gave my hubby a haircut and did a great job!



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 14: Love takes delight

Today’s Dare

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they’d really like to work on. Just to be together.


Some of the other dares lately have been harder to do, but this one seems quite simple and enjoyable.








Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 13: Love Fights Fair

Today’s Dare

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to “fight” by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Diet Coke Cupcakes



The idea behind this creation is genius and the outcome is delicious. If you have ever done weight watchers, then you know about baking with diet coke. It results in a low calorie, very moist and tasty treat!

Ingredients:
Box of cake mix
Can of diet soda
Container of lite cool whip
Sprinkles if desired


Directions:
Combine any flavor cake mix (I used fudge) with a can of diet soda (I used diet coke). Mix well, and pour into 24 cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. You can also make a cake instead, just use the time according to the pan size. Top each cupcake with a heaping tbsp of cool whip and decorate with sprinkles.

Serves 24, 3 points each (2 without any topping on the cake)

Day 12: Love lets the other win

Today’s Dare

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.


I don't think I did the best job with this today, but I did my best! It was in regards to a life altering decision, so it was a little hard for me to totally given in.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 11: Love is cherished

Today’s Dare

What need does your spouse have that could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or foot massage? Is there housework you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, “I cherish you” and do it with a smile.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 10: Love is Unconditional

Today’s Dare

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse --- something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.


I brought home a huge meat lover's pizza from Casola's for my hubby to enjoy. That was definite love since I am not eating any meat and couldn't enjoy it!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 9: Love makes good impressions

Today’s Dare

Think of a specific way you’d like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.


Hubby is on his way home so I am ready for this one!

Coleslaw, a lost favorite



Coleslaw is a new favorite of mine. I used to despise it all my life actually. I am thinking it's because I never had any of the the good fattening kind like you get at BBQ restaurants. I would say maybe in the past 6 months I have taken an interest in it. Well I looked over a few recipes and I figured I could cut out a lot of fat and calories so here is a recipe I came up with and it is my absolute favorite new thing, I could eat it for dessert because of the sweet tangy flavor.

Ingredients
16 oz. bag fresh coleslaw mix (I used Publix brand but Dole is great, too.)
3/4 cup Light Miracle Whip
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp poppy seeds

Directions
1. Mix everything together. That is really pretty much it. To be more organized, I made the dressing first which was everything except the coleslaw mix and I whisked it around for a bit, then tossed in the coleslaw mix.

Makes 8 servings, 2 Points per serving

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chocolate Banana Souffl├ęs



These didn't photograph too well but they were definitely a yummy treat. Also another great recipe from Gina's blog. The key to making these look pretty is using the right size ramekins.

Ingredients
2 mashed bananas, the riper the better
2 tsp constarch
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
Pam spray


Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray ramekins. Place on baking sheet or pan.
2. Mash bananas with vanilla in large bowl. Add cornstarch and cocoa and blend well.
3. In another bowl, beat egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 of the mixture to the banana mixture. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
4. Pour into ramekins. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Serve immediately or they will fall (we served ours with lite cool whip on top.)

4 servings , 2.5 Weight Watchers points per serving

Day 8: Love is not jealous

Today’s Dare

Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. To help set your heart on your spouse and focus on their achievements, take yesterday’s list of negative attributes and discreetly burn it. Then share with your spouse how glad you are about a success he or she recently enjoyed.


I love today's dare and cannot wait to go home and talk!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 7: Love believes the best

Today’s Dare

For today’s dare, get two sheets of paper. On the first one, spend a few minutes writing out positive things about your spouse. Then do the same with negative things on the second sheet. Place both sheets in a secret place for another day. There is a different purpose and plan for each. At some point during the remainder of the day, pick a positive attribute from the first list and thank your spouse for having this characteristic.



This will be my little project on my lunch break. Doesn't sound too hard!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 6: Love is not irritable

-TODAY'S DARE-
Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your
marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.
Begin by making a list of areas where you need to
add margin to your schedule. Then list any
wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.
I will try my best with this one, I really will.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken

Another one of Gina's fabulous recipes which I made some changes to. A hot thick dish like this was perfect for the 40 degree weather we have been having. Quite chilly for a South Florida winter, I believe it's the coldest winter on record so far. It also gave me a different way to enjoy chicken, since I am not eating beef or pork till April. Anyway, here's what we had for dinner:



Ingredients for Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken:

1.5 lbs chicken breast
1 can of Rotel, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
8 oz frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used a tsp of the cilantro in the spice jar)
2 cups chicken broth (use one can or make it with bullion like I did)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1-2 tsp chili powder (your preference)
salt to taste

Combine all but the chicken in the crockpot. Lay the chicken breasts on top and season with salt. Cook on low 10 hours or high 6 hours. Before serving, remove chicken and shred with a fork, then return to the crockpot (I didn't do this, I serve the large chicken chunks because I was lazy.) Serve over rice (count the extra points though.)

Serves 8, 4 Weight Watchers Points

Day 5: Love is not rude

Today’s Dare

Ask your spouse to tell you three
things that cause him or her to be
uncomfortable or irritated with you.
You must do so without attacking them
or justifying your behavior. This is
from their perspective only.

Eek, not looking forward to asking this one! Don't think I will be reporting back what he says either!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 4: Love is thoughtful

Today’s Dare

Contact your spouse sometime during
the business of the day. Have no agenda
other than asking how he or she
is doing and if there is anything
you could do for them.

I don't know why they came up with this one for a Saturday, but it was easy enough to accomplish since my hubby was at a meeting today and I was at a bridal shower.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 3: Selflessness

Today’s Dare

Whatever you put your time, energy, and
money into will become more important
to you. It’s hard to care for something
you are not investing in. Along with
restraining from negative comments,
buy your spouse something that says,
“I was thinking of you today.”

Yesterday I cooked my hubby a turkey dinner and brought it to him to enjoy in front of the TV while the BCS game is on. Today I think I will go to the store to bring him his favorite beer since we didn't have any yesterday for the game.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day 2: Love is Kind

Today’s Dare

In addition to saying nothing
negative to your spouse again today,
do at least one unexpected gesture
as an act of kindness.

I didn't realize they were going to build on one another, this is definitely going to be a challenge by the time day 20 comes along!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Love Dare begins.. Day 1: Patience.

Is any relationship truly fireproof? If you have seen the movie, then you know what kind of challenge the Love Dare is all about. The Love Dare is a 40 day journey in which you make concious decisions to treat yourself with respect and love, while doing daily devotionals.The nesties are going to implement the love dare and reflect on it together, so I thought would join them and I could see how it affects my relationship with my husband. Since the challenge ends on Valentine's day, it's the perfect time to smooth any rough waters. You can follow along with KLove as they announce the different dares each day. So today begins Day 1- Patience.

Today's Dare

The first part of this dare is fairly
simple. Although love is communicated
in a number of ways, our words often
reflect the condition of our heart. For
the next day, resolve to demonstrate
patience and to say nothing negative
to your spouse at all. If the temptation
arises, choose not to say anything. It’s
better to hold your tongue than to say
something you’ll regret.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

I spent a long time on Ginas' blog about Weight Watchers recipes, and I will be trying tons of them out. This soup is very rich, flavorful, and best of all, only 1 point per serving!



Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, broken into pieces
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan, and then add the flour. Stir until it becomes a roux.
2. Add the broth, boil.
3. Throw in onions and cauliflower, boil about 10 minutes until soft.
4. Blend in immersion blender. Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings, 1 point each.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Avena- healthy oatmeal drink



I have been drinking this for breakfast on the way to work in the mornings and I love it. I got this recipe from Gina's blog which I only skimmed through for a few minutes, but I know I will be spending lots of time on there in the future because her weight watchers recipes look awesome and she has tons of them.

Avena Ingredients
1/2 old fashioned or quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup 1% milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups water

1. Prepare oatmeal according to package. Typically I microwave 1/2 cup oats and 1 cup of water for 5 minutes.
2. Blend the prepared oatmeal and all other ingredients in blender.
3. Chill for a few hours or blend with ice.

Makes 4 services, 2 Weight Watchers Points each

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Green Monster



This is the ultimate health drink to me. You get a serving of dairy, veggies, fruit, and healthy fat all in one shake. And it was delicious and filling. The best thing about the Green Monster shake is you can swap ingredients to fit your likes, and I may play around with what I like, but this is the one I made today.

A handful of spinach
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp honey

Blend it all together, sip and repeat! 7 Weight Watchers points for the whole recipe.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Zesty Chicken Meatloaf

I am working on Goal 43 for my bucket list, I am pretty sure I can find way more than 52 new recipes this year, more like 80 or so. We shall see! I am also working on #47, which is no red meat or pork for the next 90 days. Look out for tons of chicken and turkey recipes for the next little bit, hehe. Also working on #45 simultaneously.

So here we go with my latest creation (adapted from allrecipes.com)



Zesty Chicken Meatloaf

Ingredients:
1 pound ground chicken
2 eggs
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 packet meatloaf seasoning (taco seasoning is probably also yummy)
3 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp ranch dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven at 350. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, knead with hands and then shape into a loaf form and put in a loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.

Makes 8 servings
5 Weight Watchers Points (sour cream extra)

We ate this with steamed rice, corn, and a slice of lime, definitely a mexican vibe to this dish. Hubby loved it and thought it was made with ground beef!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

Instead of making new year's resolutions that never seem to happen, I decided to give myself some extra time. 1001 days in fact. There are many bloggers out there who have participated in this challenge and I decided to try it as well. You can check out the Day Zero Project for more information. I have created a Bucket List of goals I would like to accomplish.... 101 goals in 1001 days. I figure if I make the list public and blog about my experiences, then there is a stronger sense of accountability and more motivation to actually follow through. Who knows how many things I will actually accomplish, but I'll have fun trying. I am keeping an updated list linked to this blog in the right column, but I will post it here as well for a quick glance. Hopefully some of the goals I have listed will become habits that continue for a lifetime. Wish me luck, and if you get inspired to write your own list, let me know so I can cross off number 67!

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple challenges such as New Year's resolutions or a 'Bucket List'. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

Items in GREEN have been completed, ORANGE are in progress

MY BUCKET LIST

MONEY MATTERS

1. Pay off my student loans

2. Pay off my hubby's truck

3. Become first time homeowners

4. Transfer entire tax return into savings

5. Transfer $10 to my savings account as I complete each task (0/101)

6. Donate $10 to charity for each task not completed

7. Create a will (just in case!)

8. Establish a savings account for my future children

9. Pay off all credit cards

10. Get a raise at work

11. Buy a new car

12. Leave a 100% tip

13. Sell something I made

14. Buy formal dining room furniture

15. Spend $100 at a casino

16. Give $20 to a homeless person

17. Buy new living room furniture

18. Create a monthly budget

RELATIONSHIPS

19. Send random gifts to 5 friends (0/5)

20. Adopt another kitten or a puppy

21. Make a baby

22. Have a reunion with all of my UF friends

23. Exchange letters with a pen pal

24. Write a letter to my husband on each wedding anniversary (0/3)

25. Attend 4 Nestie GTGs in one year (0/4)

26. Write letters to 5 people expressing what they mean to me (0/5)

27. Send Christmas cards to 100 people one year

28. Call my NJ relatives twice a month for a year (0/12)

29. Have a date night with my husband once a month for a year (0/12)

TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

30. Las Vegas

31. Take an international vacation

32. Tennessee to visit Yvonne

33. New Jersey to visit my family

34. Minnesota to visit my husband's family

35. Shout from the top of a mountain

36. St. Augustine, the spot where we got engaged

37. North Carolina

38. Go on a cruise

39. Update passport with new last name

40. Allow my husband to fly us somewhere without another pilot

41. Go Para sailing

HEALTH & FITNESS

42. Complete Couch to 5K program

43. Try a new healthy recipe once a week for a year (0/52)

44. Bring lunch to work every day for a month (0/20)

45. Lose 50 pounds (0/50)

46. Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred every day for 30 days (0/30)

47. No red meat or pork for 90 days (0/90)

48. Record every calorie consumed for 30 days (0/30)

49. 50 crunches a day for 50 days (0/50)

50. Take a Zumba class

51. Get a professional massage

52. Drink only water every day for one month (0/30)

53. No eating after 8 PM every day for a month (0/30)


FASHION & BEAUTY

54. Buy a pair of jeans that costs more than $100

55. Dye my hair

56. Wear a different pair of shoes to work every day for a month (0/20)

57. Donate hair to locks of love

58. Take boudoir pictures

59. Straighten my hair and wear make up every day for a month (0/30)

60. Get laser hair removal on my legs

61. Wear a bikini in public

62. Get a makeover

63. Refrain from purchasing any clothes or accessories for 2 months


HOBBIES & ENTERTAINMENT

64. Take a cake decorating class

65. Learn how to create floral arrangements

66. Compose a blog entry every day for one month (0/30)

67. Inspire someone to begin a 101 in 1001 list

68. Read one new book each month for a year (0/12)

69. Watch a new movie that begins with each letter of the alphabet (0/26)

70. Take a picture with a celebrity or get an autograph

71. See a psychic

72. Attend a convention

73. Be a guest blogger on someone's blog

74. See a movie on opening night

75. Host a house party

76. See a live production

77. Create 10 DIY projects for our house (0/10)

78. Buy an original piece of art

79. Try 10 new restaurants (0/10)

80. Plan a surprise party


JUST FOR FUN

81. Send a postcard to PostSecret

82. No facebook for one week

83. Buy dinner for a stranger

84. Leave 25 post-its for Operation Beautiful (0/25)

85. Make a snow angel

86. Buy a real Christmas tree

87. Write a letter to my state senator

88. Write 3 letters of praise for a great product or service (0/3)

89. Donate 101 items (0/101)

90. Learn to drive a stick shift car

91. Create my own cookbook

92. Write a letter to my 16 year old self

93. List 100 things I am thankful for

94. Stay home from work one day for no reason at all

95. Execute an April Fool's Day joke

96. Use reusable grocery bags for one month

97. Win a bet

98. Take an IQ test

99. Rearrange all of the furniture in the house

100. Write a new list of 101 things

101. Reflect on this challenge