MyFitnessPal

My sister tipped me off to this website, and it is awesome.

It allows you to enter your weight, height, age, and weight goal. It then will give you the number of calories you should eat in each day to help you meet your goal.

I am pretty happy with my current weight, but I love the idea of knowing how much I am eating to know where I am at. It is also nice to have the accountability too. I have noticed myself consciously not eating something because I don’t want to enter it. Or not feeling guilty for eating one extra mini Hershey bar at the end of the day because I still had calories left to eat.

My sister started this in the middle of January, and has lost 11 pounds. She actually had to start eating more to lose weight (she is a nursing mother). Both of my parents are doing it as well, and have both lost weight. The recommended is a pound per week.

I started logging my food yesterday and was amazed at how many things could be found in the search function. Here is my log:

They even have off-brand foods listed, which is great. Also, notice the line with the red dot. Here’s a close-up:

The Lasagna Toss from last night – already programed in! I entered it in the search bar on a whim, and there it was. This seems to be VERY painless, compared to other sites I have seen.

Give it a try! Let me know if you try it, and how it works for you.

LT 6

Lasagna Toss

This is a recipe that I found from Kraft Foods back when they would send their magazine to you for free in the mail. It is one of my favorite lasagna recipes: not only is it tasty, but it is very easy. As in dump-a-bunch-of-stuff-into-a-pot easy.

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef

1 jar spaghetti sauce (around 24 oz.)

1 2/3 c. water

1/4 c. Italian dressing

2 green peppers, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

12 oven-ready lasagna noodles, broken into pieces

1 c. Mozzarella cheese (or other, if desired)

 

Step 1: Brown the beef. Or, usually I will cook up a bunch of beef ahead of time and freeze it in baggies in one pound portions. Then I microwave to defrost and it makes dinner prep all that much faster.

Step 2: Add the spaghetti sauce, water, Italian dressing, green peppers and garlic. Bring to a boil. I actually typically leave out the green peppers out of personal preference, but added about a half of a green pepper this time because we had one in the fridge. The original recipe calls for 2 whole green peppers.

Step 3: Stir in the noodles and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat or until noodles are tender. Stirring occasionally.

Step 4: Remove from heat and add cheese to the top. Recover and allow cheese to melt, about 5 minutes. I used sharp cheddar cheese because that is what we had on hand; both are delicious. I also tend to use maybe 1/2 to 3/4 c. cheese instead. Again, personal preference. The original recipe calls for 1 cup.

Serve up and enjoy! This recipe is a family-pleaser. All three of my kids had seconds. Even my very picky 2-year old.

Happy Eatings!

GS 6

Glasses, Like NEW

My wonderful mother-in-law read my post on the homemade detergent, where I commented that I had hoped that the detergent would magically take the water stains off of my glasses (which it didn’t, sadly), and called and shared a tip with me.

She and I both got our sets of glasses right around the same time. When she bought hers, it was to replace a set that had gotten very badly water stained over the last couple of years. Ours were our first set of true glasses (after 7 years of marriage….). This was a little over two years ago. As a little “after” picture before the “before” picture, here is the good news of how things ended up when I was done cleaning the glasses:

And here is what they looked like BEFORE I was able to get them clean:

Yikes. Hard water is awesome, right? This is why I was hoping the detergent would be magical. This weekend, my mother-in-law decided to try and tinker around with things to see if she could salvage her glasses before buying a new set, and called me with her good news: she’d found it!

Here is all you need: some Lemi Shine and a Magic Eraser.

That’s it. Lemi Shine can be found near your dishwasher detergents at your local Target, Walmart, etc. It runs around $3.77 or so for a container.

Step 1: Fill your sink with water (lukewarm) and sprinkle in some Lemi Shine. I just filled the water up until the Lemi Shine granules I had sprinkled in were all dissolved. It was deep enough to cover maybe a third or half of each glass when laid down on its side.

Step 2: Roll the glass around in the water. I then just took a washcloth and rubbed inside and outside of the glass with the Lemi Shine water. This step alone was enough to get my glasses clean.

Look at that!!

Step 3: Scrub the Lemi Shine water off with dishsoap and water, and dry with a dish towel. Lemi Shine appears to be made of all-natural ingredients, so you may be okay with skipping this step. I personally don’t mind rinsing and soaping off something that calls itself a dish detergent booster, even with natural ingredients.

They look BRAND NEW!!! Hooray!!! Here is a reminder of what the glasses looked like before, next to what they look like now:

Wow. This is a VERY easy fix to something that was a big problem before.

I have some Pyrex and other glassware that had gotten water stained, but that I have had for almost nine years now and had some more stubborn stains to remove. Here is where the Magic Eraser comes in –

Step 4: While your stubborn glasses/glassware are in the Lemi Shine water, use a Magic Eraser to scrub some of the Lemi Shine water onto the stubborn spots. Here is a ring on the bottom of one of my Pyrex measuring cups. I have tried for YEARS to get this ring gone.

After a dip in the Lemi Shine bath, and a scrub with the Magic Eraser it is………

CLEAN!!!!! I am so happy! Aren’t mothers-in-law wonderful? Thank you so much for the tip!

Handy Paint Containers

This is a tip that I found a couple of years ago from my friend Melissa @ 320*Sycamore. At the time, we were renting a house while going through school, and were not thinking about putting the money into painting something we didn’t own, but I LOVED the idea. So I kept it filed away in my brain, and used it as soon as we started painting things in our house.

It has been great for everyday life moments. Like when your son (who shall remain nameless) decides to use the knob on your bathroom cabinet door to hoist himself onto the counter and does it in just the right way so as to rip one of the hinges clean off of the cabinet. Here is the damage that remained after I re-screwed the hinge on:

Here is the close-up. The screws are one of my favorite parts there. And the dinged up paint.

Looks pretty classy.

BUT, the pain of repair is lessened because I don’t have to drag out my paint can, heave it open, and then debate as to whether I will dip my tiny brush directly into the can, or whether I should go through the pain of dumping the small amount I will need into a dixie cup. No – I know exactly what to do. Just pull my little handy paint container out from my laundry room. Hooray!

All you need are some of the inexpensive Rubbermaid containers, and the paint from your house. These containers are the ones with the lids that screw on so the lid doesn’t pop off if it gets dropped. When you’re ready to use the paint, you can just give it a shake to re-mix the paint, and it is good to go.

That’s all there is to it. When you’re done, you just screw the lid back on and put it back in the laundry room until the next accident occurs, or when you notice a spot that needs a quick touch-up.

Much better! Enjoy!

HBE 9

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

With Easter coming up in just over a week, I thought I would share my tip on how to get the perfect hard-boiled eggs. I had tried various ways to get them “perfect” – no grayish rings; easy to peel; etc. But I could not find something that consistently worked. I tried adding salt, adding vinegar, adding whatever – it did not work for me. So in total frustration one day, I just boiled some water, plopped the eggs in it, boiled, ran in cold water – and to my shock and amazement….they turned out perfectly.

This almost feels like cheating because it is easy, but it works. The shells come off in large pieces instead of in tiny bits; there is no graying; they turn out just right.

Step 1: Boil Water

Step 2: Carefully plop eggs into the water. The only time I have had eggs crack on me is when they crash to the bottom when I first put them in. If I carefully lower them in, they have never broken for me. They may just be well-trained over at our house, though. :)

Step 3: Boil for 13 minutes. This time may vary depending on your altitude. For us, this gets the yolks cooked, but not dried out.

Step 4: Dump out the boiling water and run cold water over the eggs. Do this until the eggs are consistently cool to the touch. You can also just keep the eggs sitting in cold water.

Step 5: Peel your eggs. See the large chunks coming off? That has been my result every time. Easy peasy. No screaming at your eggs because you have to pick off little tiny pieces. Nope. Love it.

There you have it. Nice and straight-forward. Easy. Yummy. Awesome.

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