McFatty and Meal Planning Monday

Meal Planning Monday

I again this week gained a pound.  So 192.

I am pretty sure it was due to yesterday (Saturday).

Yesterday was one of those days where I never left the house…or my sweat pants.  It was too easy to say “yes” when Cort suggested McDonald’s for lunch and then Taco Bell for dinner.

I should be glad that only added one pound, yes?  So today?  I am munching a salad while I type this.

Side note:  The Halloween candy is gone.  No more temptations there.

Also, for anyone keeping track, I only have to teach 10 more night classes before I get my evenings back…and hopefully my booty gets on the treadmill and/or to the gym.  I am WAY looking forward to this!

I really, REALLY love teaching at the community college (actually wish that could be my “real” job), but it’s just taking too much time away from my family and my health.  So I am taking next semester off.

This week will be interesting for McFatty.  I teach two night this week and I have Parent/Teacher Conferences the other two nights.  I will either lose massive amounts of weight or gain it.  It is also my “lady week”.  So we would be looking at a trainwreck of a post next week.

Because my week is going to be so crazy, we won’t get any nights to sit down as a family for any meals. However, I still planned a meal that we can all eat all week long that is healthier, say, than this:

apparently Tony's pizzas were 4 for $10 today. Ugg.

Tonight I will be making my mom’s BBQ recipe so that we can have that on buns all week for lunches and dinner.

My mom’s BBQ:

In a big electric frying pan:

I use two pounds of burger, browned with salt, pepper, and a bit of chopped yellow onion.

Then add 2 cans of chicken gumbo soup and two cans of tomato soup

Add about a cup of ketchup and a couple teaspoons of mustard

Simmer for a few minutes.

I serve on wheat buns.

making this tonight for the whole week!

We also stocked the fridge with fresh fruit and the pantry with canned veggies that we rinse and serve to Eddie.  Cortney bought the monster can of yams because that is the only veggie we know Eddie will eat every time it’s served to him.  Weird?  Probably.

Anyway, we will see how this week goes.

*Tomorrow is Top Ten Tuesdays!  I will be making a list of the Top Ten Things that are necessities to me each day. Won’t you join in?

**Also coming to Sluiter Nation are sponsor highlights…just in time for your holiday shopping!  If you are interested in ad space, I have a few spots available…just in time for the holidays! Email me at sluiternation (@) gmail (dot) com for more information!

I Take The Cake…But I Don’t Eat It

I really didn’t feel very well this week.  I was run down, way too tired again, battling a stuffy nose, and most of all?  Way overworked–yet again.  In fact, I went in to work today (Sunday).  Blech.

Right now I am trying to think about what my eating habits have been this week.  I can’t honestly remember.  I know there were some sandwiches in there.  I tried to drink more water.  I made pretty nutritious meals for the family.

But I didn’t record any of it.  I just hoped that it was fine.

And guess what?  I am down two more pounds!  I am at 190 even!

Woo hoo!

This makes me feel like I am on the right track.  I am cleaning up my eating habits.  Although I haven’t worked any regular exercise in yet, but that is coming.

Yes, friends, as of this week, I have officially turned down teaching at the community college for next semester.  I will still have six classes during the day, but my nights will be free to come home and be with my family.

Cortney will still be bowling on Tuesday nights through March, and taking one class in the evening through February (he is also going to be doing an independent study for his wellness credit), so we will have LOTS more family time.

This will also mean I will be able to hit the gym about once a week and hopefully get in some yoga, strengthening or cardio. I really can’t wait!  I know with the habit changes I am making now, once I make the leap to some regular exercise, things will really start moving!

So hooray for those two pounds gone and hooray to only eight more weeks until I get my evenings back!

Also?  This past week?  My post on teen pregnancy “Took the Cake” on Confessions of a Conflicted Mean Girl:

I really tried to get some real cake out of this, but I don’t think that is what Andrea had in mind.  And since I am trying to be LESS of a McFatty, it’s probably better that I don’t get real cake.  Ahem.

Also?  Tomorrow is Top Ten Tuesday!  Tune in for my Top Ten Vacation Memories.  And if you have a Top Ten of your own?  You will be able to link up!  Yay!

Now excuse me while I go have some homemade apple crisp.

What?

I LOST 2 pounds remember?

Celebrating Those Who Serve By Eating a Corndog

So I know I have a whole trip to Indy to tell you about.  And normally on Fridays you get to come and see my flip-offs.  I don’t have flip-offs this week.  Well, maybe to the 102 degree weather in Indy that had sweat rolling down my back and into my…well…anyway.  But other than that?  Nope.  I had a great week.

But of course if you are longing for the satisfaction of reading some flip-offs, definitely do head over to Kludgy Mom and read hers…and link up, if you’re a blogger.

ANYWAY…this post?  This post is about something that was a LONG time coming for me.

I’m talking about the Coast Guard Festival.

I live less than 30 minutes from Grand Haven, MI where the annual Coast Guard Festival is held.  It’s kind of a big deal.  There is much festival-ness about it, and for good reason!  The Coast Guard is a very important part of our Armed Forces!  And here in Michigan, living on the lake, we rely on them for search and rescue, but nationally the protect our waters!  They are a REALLY big deal, so it’s pretty awesome that we have this festival right here on our own turf to honor them.

And I?  Had never been to the festival.

My friend Missy–you know, my super fantastic talented beautiful friend, Missy?  This one right here? Yup, her family lives in Grand Haven and goes annually.  She decided Sluiter Nation must…MUST…attend the festival this year.

So we did.

On Friday morning we headed out into the pleasant weather to first visit the Craft Show.  I had never been to a craft show either (I know, I know…I am gradually coming out from under the rock), and I was pretty impressed!

There were tons of really cool local crafts.  If it wasn’t so dang busy (meaning if we could actually PUSH OUR STROLLERS through the paths, we would have stayed). But it was too crowded for the whole family to move comfortably.

So…we moved on to the FOOD!

The best food booths were right along the water.  So we strolled through Grand Haven and down to the shore.  This?  Is where I found a delightful corn dog and the best invention ever…butterfly fries.  Freshly cut potatoes in swirly formation and deep fried.  They were like chips, but yummier.  WAY yummier.

And I ate them too fast to take a picture.  Sorry.

Eddie and his BFF, Ethan, had a great time enjoying fruit and fried food from the comfort of the strollers.

And what would going to Coast Guard Festival be without touring an actual vessel?  So we walked to the boats.

And the boats?  They are big.

But the guys and kids toured them.  Because that is what boys and kids like to do.

The mommas and the babies sat and chatted.  and maybe got a sun burned part.  It’s NOT dandruff, people!  It’s pealing!

Ahem.

By the time the guys and kids were done touring the big boat, the rides were open.  Missy was determined to get me on a ride.  I generally do NOT love carnival rides, but Missy wanted me to and I love her, so I went on the ride.

Please notice that we sat near the middle because that is supposed to be the least scary spot.  Also notice the small girl sitting next to me?  Yeah, stay tuned about her.

So now you can see that I was holding on for my life.  This?  was terrifying.  It was high.  I don’t like heights.  I screamed.  A lot.  And that sweet looking girl next to me?  She MOCKED me.

Me:  ARGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Tiny Girl:  Wait.  Are you SCARED?

Me:  It’s SO HIGH!!!!

Tiny Girl:  Really?  This ride is really not scary.  You should go on the ZIPPER!  That is scary!

Me:  ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! (because I can clearly NOT have this conversation right now while the pirate ship is trying to kill me).

Oh that Zipper ride that Tiny Girl was talking about?  This was it.  This was what Jeff (Missy’s bearded hubby) wanted to ride.  With Cort.

As they were standing there in line, I almost vomited just watching the thing squeal and turn.  And Missy told me that Jeff was all excited because NO ONE that they ever take to Coast Guard will go on this thing with him.  Oh boy.

So they get put in this cage thing, see?  And that cage…can totally spin around WHILE the ride is ALSO spinning.

How is vomit NOT going to occur?  I just don’t know. Especially after those corn dogs.  Oh those corn dogs.

That?  Is Cort and Jeff.  Those are their hands holding on for dear life.  I had to stop taking pictures because my stomach was turning.

And yet?  All happy with no puke!  In fact…Cort said he would GLADLY go on again with Jeff.

Yes, we are officially their Coast Guard Festival buddies from now on.  Just based on the Zipper.

Of course, Eddie needed to ride a ride too.  The only thing he could really go on was the carousel.  But he loved it.  I know he’s got his straight face on, but that is what he does when he is taking it all in.  Those little piggies were clamped tight to the horsey and he was holding tight to the pole.

When it was over?  He fussed.  He wanted more.

Although he was also very, very tired. So tired he couldn’t get it together for one last shot with his BFF and his momma’s bestie.

And so, we traveled home.

But we will be back.  Because the Coast Guard?  Is important.  And when they have a Festival?  They serve great corn dogs.

Oh Hey…Another Guest Post:  
So I am over at Tie a Little Ribbon today.  Krystal is all kinds of cool and funny and hilarious and when she asked me to guest post, I just couldn’t say no.  It’s fitting that she runs this post today, after I have been a guest this week.  So head over, leave me a comment over there, and show Krystal some Sluiter Nation love. 

I’m a Bloggy Mom!

Today Eddie is at daycare.  Yes, two of us are home this summer and in order to get the house cleaned and get any REAL stuff done around here, we still send Eddie to Miss Amy.  He loves it because he loves Miss Amy and he loves his friends.  They are more fun than we are, apparently.

Anyway, Cort and I will be cleaning and organizing and finding stuff for our BIG garage sale that we are having on August 14 to help bring Eddie’s cousin(s) home from Ethiopia.

I will also be making a lemon cake for a get together tonight.  I am being all kinds of domestic today.

Anyway, while I am all busy, you can go read a post I wrote for a Back to School series on Tiffany’s blog, A Bloggy Mom.  Lots of my twitter friends helped me decide what to write about…and I think they will like the results.  At least I hope so.

So, you go read.  Let me know what you think.  I am going to go get elbow-deep in lemon curd.

Also, please don’t forget that tomorrow night at 6pm EST, the online auction to support my sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s adoption goes live here.  There are LOTS of great items to bid on!  You’ll want to check it out!

Wordless Wednesday

summer lovin’…watermelon style

I link up my Wordless Wednesday with…
Head over there to see more Wordless Wednesday posts!

Hungry? For a Giveaway?

Remember how I said I wanted to buy more locally?  Well, one of my family’s FAVORITE–locally owned–places to eat lately is Zoup!  Holland JUST opened a Zoup! franchise this spring and we have been completely addicted.  Seriously?  We go about once a week minimum.  I know it’s a franchise, but it’s locally owned by a super cool family.*

*this family just happens to be related to me, but I would eat there if it was a different family too.  Just sayin’.

Usually we use their super-convenient online ordering.  We can order AND pay online and just skip the long lines at the store and pick it up.  And there ARE long lines…because it’s so dang good!

The staff is SUPER friendly!  They are starting to remember us and that we are usually online order customers.  Which is funny because they get a really confused look when we just stop in to eat.

And even though we usually take our order and eat at home, the restaurant is so clean and open!  We ate in yesterday and they had high chairs that were clean (we all know most places have a hard time with this), floors that we let Eddie walk on, a table we felt fine putting his food directly on, and a super friendly staff.

For anyone unfamiliar with the whole concept behind Zoup!, it’s most famous for his (addictingly) yummy soups.  They offer up to 12 different soups every day, and the best part?  They TOTALLY encourage taste-testing!  I mean, you could ask to taste EACH soup and not only do they let you?  They WANT you to!  My favorites so far are the lobster bisque (which they have every day) and the crab corn chowder.

They also have super yummy sandwiches (Cort’s favorite thing to pair with soup) and WAY yum salads (I like to get the Asian Chicken salad with my soup).  You also get fresh bread.

Cortney and I could not love this place anymore than we do.  Seriously.  You NEED to try it.  So, we (Sluiter Nation and Zoup! of Holland) have a Giveaway!!!

Win a $20 gift certificate to Zoup!
to the Holland, Michigan Zoup! only.  Sorry non-locals.
 This?  Is a super great prize.  Cort and I usually both eat for under $20!  So it’s at LEAST two meals…free!
Mandatory Entry:
Head over to Zoup! of Holland’s facebook page, “like” them, AND then tell them what you love about Zoup!   (If you’ve never been to Zoup!, tell them why you are excited to try it!)  
Make sure to tell them you’re from Sluiter Nation.  Then come back here and leave a comment that you did your entry (only entries left in my comments can be counted in the draw for the gift card.)  This is worth ONE entry.
For all you overachieving Zoup! Lovers:
To earn EXTRA entries you can do each of the following.  But make sure you leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry you do.  Each comment is an entry!
1. “like” Zoup! on FB and come back here and tell me you “like” them.
2. follow Sluiter Nation using Google Friend Connect, Networked Blogs, or Feedburner and then tell me you did in the comments.
3. “like” Sluiter Nation on FB and then come back and tell me you do in the comments.
That is it!  Four chances to win $20 to eat some YUM Zoup!
Wait…need another way to win some free Zoup?  Once you “like” Zoup! of Holland on facebook, you can get clues to the Zoup! Rocks Rock.  What is that?

The Zoup! Rock is hidden somewhere in the Holland/Zeeland area.  Zoup! of Holland leaves clues on their facebook page and if YOU find it and return it to the store?  You get a free meal (up to $10)!  Crazy great deal!  Every time someone finds it, they re-hide it.  ALL SUMMER!

So what are you waiting for?  Enter this giveaway, support local business, and eat some ZOUP!

Terms: Giveaway will run from Thursday, July 1st until July 8 at 6pm EST.  A winner will be drawn using Random.org and announced on Friday, July 9 at 8:00 am. Anyone who is local or can be local to the Holland Zoup! is eligible to win this giveaway. You must have a valid email address to enter.  Do not leave anonymous comments without somehow identifying yourself.  Spam, inappropriate, or anonymous comments will be deleted.  Incorrectly done entries will also be deleted.  PLEASE FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!
Disclaimer stuff:  Zoup! bought my family and me lunch to discuss this giveaway and are provided the gift cards.  My lunch was delicious.  I recommend getting the veggie chips.  They are gluten free!

Keeping Our Business Local

This past week I blogged about how Cort and I just purchased our gear for running from Gazelle Sports in Holland.  Lately we’ve been making more of a concerted effort to shop more locally.  We have some of the greatest unique shopping downtown Holland, and it’s ridiculous that we don’t spend more time down there. 

So today Eddie and I packed up the stroller, grabbed my mom, and headed downtown to the Farmer’s Market.

We got there just before 10:00am, which seemed to be the best time.  Lemonjellos (a GREAT local coffee joint) had a nice little booth at the “beginning” of our journey. (that is my mom pushing Ed up there on the right, by the way.  you’re welcome, mom).  It wasn’t too busy when we got there, so pushing Eddie through the crowd was pretty easy.

Right away there were TONS of beautiful perennials for sale.  Had I known I could have such a variety to pick from at such a low price, I would have waited to get mine!  Next year for SURE!

And then there was the yummy produce….it pretty much speaks for itself….

those strawberries and asparagus totally came home with me.  YUM!

Did I mention the GORGEOUS flowers?  I have to admit, I think coming home with a fresh bouquet might just be my favorite part of the Farmer’s Market.

And of course they sell other things too…like smoked meats, maple syrup, jewelry, dried flower arrangements…

…and wooden outdoor furniture (see it in the back behind the pointing baby?).  Eddie loved looking at it ALL and chatted it up with anyone who would listen (which was usually cute old ladies).

My mom and I also stopped to buy Dutch Bros. bread.  I got the Dutch Crust Bread.  Um…YUM!!!!  Sandwiches for lunch this week!

They even had a cooking show going on.  I don’t know what these guys were making, but it looked great!  Every week they have a different “demo” going on by someone.

And there are street performers, of course (hopefully I will be doing a post on Holland’s Street Performer series soon!  Stay tuned…stilts are sometimes involved!)

Eddie and I had a great time with my mom a the market (see my sweet flowers?)  We will definitely be going back again…soon!

By the time we were getting ready to leave, it was getting pretty crowded and it was hard not to completely take someone out with the stroller.  Cort had given me $20 to spend and I bought strawberries, asparagus, shucked peas, and flowers, and still came home with 50 cents!

Now, if I could get myself off “spending lock down”, I could take you, my readers, to more cute places in Downtown Holland.  But for now, I hope you can enjoy the Farmer’s Market!  I know we did!

And Then There Was Broccoli

My son loves broccoli and hates mango.
Go figure.
And I just realized I need to move the camera AWAY from the dining room.

Eating is Getting Messy

I get that the little guy needs to explore new foods.  He loves sweet things–mostly fruit, although a certain aunt gave him oreo bites today–but he will eat pretty much anything.

The problem comes in when it’s time to eat the baby food.  He wants to scarf down, but he also wants to feel it.  So in go the fingers and soon we have squash in his hair, ears, pants, and if you look closely enough at this picture, the back of the high chair AND on the blinds.  sigh.

It seems the messier the food, the more Eddie loves it.  Even bananas keep getting found in his pockets!  Today he got so messy with these banana chunks he had to go pant-less after lunch.

And what is momma doing through it all?  Snapping pictures.  Sometimes, you just have to let things get dirty and enjoy the process.

Christmas Cookies…Before Thanksgiving?

We know it’s a little early, but we couldn’t resist making Christmas cookies with Jack today. After a morning of Christmas shopping, my mom, Chris, and Jack decided it was time to bake some cookies. So Mike and Ashley and I came over to help. As usual, it was a non-stop laugh-a-thon!

Chris and Mike gave Jack the lesson that there is NO such thing as TOO much candy on a Christmas cookie, and proceeded to chastise Ashley and me for putting to few items on our cookies. So I gave up and helped mom frost.
I think Ashly was amused at how much Mike could fit on his cookie. I am pretty sure he got one of EVERYTHING on it!

Mike and Chris both ate almost half of what they decorated. From where mom and were in the kitchen, we kept hearing, “I think I’ll eat this one.” Then, of course, Chris complained that we didn’t make enough cookies. Good grief!
I just know Jack had a GREAT time! He certainly learned to load on the candy. I think he’s got WAY more blue sprinkles than that cookie can hold! He’s a quick learner!
Hopefully we will have time at least one more time before Christmas to do this again!

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