Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017...Year In Reivew

What a year it has been for our family, like many others there have been ups and downs, here is my journey from this past year.

We survived our first winter here in Texas, we had some very cold day’s but only one day of snow.  The girls were a little sad that none of their “Weather Day’s” were actually used during the winter months, from what we were told by many locals it was a rather mild winter.  

We got to experience our first spring here and all that came with it, grass starting to grow back, trees blooming, plants growing and WEEDS growing.  We have very large flower beds located in the front of our house and we had no idea how many weeds can actually grow at a time.  We did not realize that we needed to cut everything back super small and mulch at the same time so as you can imagine our flower beds were a nightmare all summer long to take care of.  I always love the rain but I would cry when it rained as I would see the weeds growing from the ground right in front of my eyes and I swear they would be laughing at me cause I knew how much work I had ahead of me.  I did enjoy helping Rich with riding the lawn mower and cutting the grass, I found it was very therapeutic after awhile.  I learned quickly that the mornings were best before it got too hot but thank goodness for our pool as we spent most of the summer using that.

April is when the fun really began for us as I flew out to Las Vegas to visit and support my mom who went in for her diverticulitis surgery, I’m still very thankful to my husband and my family for allowing me to be gone for 8 day’s to be with my mom during this rough time.  During this trip I also received the news of my grandmother passing who I was extremely close too, although we knew she had dementia her passing was still unexpected and the worst part is that I was unable to leave and travel to the funeral.  I needed to be with my mom during this time and I was at peace with that, I received a lot of support from my parents and many family and friends during this time which helped.  I also celebrated my birthday in Las Vegas with my brother and step-dad while Mom was recovering in the hospital.  I did get to see some old friends too during this visit, so I had some sad moments but also happy memorable moments from this trip.

As summer approached the girls ended their school year Lindsey had graduated 3rd Grade on Honors Roll and Kaitlyn completed her last year of Pre-Kindergarten.  The girls had completed their first full school year in Texas and what a difference it was in school work load.  We knew it would be an adjustment for the both of them but they both excelled and blew our expectations out of the water.  We were so proud how well they adapted and how much they loved both of their schools.  The best part is that they would be going to the same school and on the same schedule starting in the fall, that meant I would be ALL BY MY SELF during the day’s...that hasn’t happen in ....oh wait before the girls were born..hahaha.  Can you tell I was looking forward to some freedom.

Summer arrived and so did the hot and sticky weather, as I mentioned before we really enjoyed using our pool.  I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did, now I knew why it was so important for us to have a pool when buying a house out here.  This was our first full summer in this crazy Texas heat and I forgot what humidity was like and I was not a fan to be honest.  I felt like I was sweating 24/7 even when I was in the pool or taking a shower and forget using a hair dryer or curling iron I was sweating so bad I just kept my hair in a towel or pony tail most day’s.  We did decided to break up our summer a bit by first visit family and friends in Arizona during the week of July 4th.  It was nice to go back to some dry heat for a week, we got to see some friends during our weekly visit and spent as much time as we could with family, like any vacation the week flew by pretty fast.  Then the girls and I decided to take a trip to Las Vegas to visit some more family and friends.  It was a very nice and relaxing week for us but I have to say it was a little strange to be back on our old stomping grounds that’s for sure. Kaitlyn also took swimming lessons for a few weeks when we were in town, which really helped her with our pool.  Lindsey was rather busy with her soccer team as she officially joined the Liverpool Club Soccer team in July, as part of this club team she attended a 3 day overnight camp with her team which was something new for all of us.  It was a long 3 day’s for both of us but she made it and it was a real bonding experience for her and her new team.  We were also informed that she would be practicing all year around and when it was their off season she would be playing in tournaments on weekends when they were available, this was all new to us but we were ready for the challenge as a family.


Fall was soon approaching as in August we celebrated our 1 year anniversary to moving to Texas and into our house, we couldn't believe how fast this year went, at times it was a blur because of how busy we were.  In early August Rich finally bought his early mid life crises car which was a beautiful black convertible Corvette, he had been looking for a while and came across the one he really wanted.  That has now become his pride and joy and we are all so excited for him.  It sits covered in our garage and is only used during nice sunny day’s.  The funny part is I have yet to drive the car as I’m terrified to get behind the wheel with that much power, one day I will take it out for a spin and really test that baby out.  By the end of August both girls were starting back in school, Lindsey was entering 4th Grade while our little Kaitlyn was going into Kindergarten.  It was a bitter sweet moment as I was ready for her to start Kindergarten but I didn’t realize how much I would miss her during the day, we did have a lot of fun together when she was home as she was my little side kick.  It’s weird to have both my girls in the same school but let me tell you it makes life so much easier for me.  The best part is that I can help out at the school anytime for either teacher.  I have also been lucky enough to attend field trips, class parties and lunch with both of the girls one on one.  Rich's Dad Howie and his step-mom Pat came for a visit during this time, so they got to see both girls attend their first day of school. Lindsey decided she wanted to go out of her comfort zone by joining Choir and Student Council this coming year which was absolutely amazing, we could not have been more proud of her for wanting to try something new.    She has really grown as a young lady and blossomed by getting more involved in her school. 

I was able to go back home to Canada in September to visit family and attend my grandmother’s burial.  It was so wonderful to be back and surrounded by family that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, although many of us stay in touch through social media it’s not the same as being there in person.  It was a very quick trip as I left on a Friday morning and came home Monday.  On top of having four flights with two layovers I also had a 3 hour drive each way up North for the ceremony.  At least I got to spend some quality time with dad in the car for the 6 hours we had together.  I wasn’t sure if I would get any sleep with all the time changes and traveling but honestly I didn’t really care, it was important that I be there and I have no regrets.  As sad as parts of that weekend were, it was also very healing and gave me closure to my grandmother as I was able to be at her resting place.  This trip made me realize that I have been away from home way too long and next summer I would be coming back and bring the whole family with me.  

October flew by as we had a lot going on with both of the girls soccer schedules, school functions  and then Halloween.  My parents came out to visit us during Halloween which was so much fun, we had a lot of laughs, got to spend some quality adult time together and had the pleasure to go trick-or-treating with us.  The girls loved having grandma and grandpa here to spend time with, they know that every moment counts with their grandparents since visits are always fast.

Then we hit the month of November which was absolutely horrible for me and Kaitlyn, we both were very sick for most of the month and both got Strep at the same time, thank goodness it was only us that got it.  We had

thought about traveling to Arizona to visit family for Thanksgiving but our plans fell through for Kona which we decided to stay in town.  We did want to get away for a few day’s and that is when we rented a cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma for a few day’s the week of Thanksgiving which was absolutely wonderful.  I was still sick and miserable but made the best of it.  We were thankful enough to spend Thanksgiving with friends so we didn’t have to be alone and it turned out to be a really great day.  After the holidays I still wasn’t feeling well and was diagnosed with Strep again so you can imagine how mad I was that I had been sick for the whole month.  

Then we heading into the final month of the year, December which I was hoping to be a better month.  Our not so little Lindsey had a very big birthday this year as she reached double digits 10 years old, we couldn’t believe it.  It was a day of mixed emotions for her but we made sure that is was extra special for her.  Then as the weeks counted down for the girls to go on Winter break we discovered that a nasty flu was going around Kaitlyn’s class and she was out 3 of the 4 day’s from school that week.  Once again she caught Strep for the second time in two month's the good news is that she didn’t end up having the flu.

At this point we were thankful we didn’t have to travel with a sick kid and was happy to be home this year.  We did have a quiet Christmas as this was our first Christmas being by ourselves in the 17 years Rich and I have been together, we knew moving here that one year it would happen.  It was a nice quiet day just the 5 of us as we got to relax and enjoy our new items and toys.  

We are ending the year on a high note as we decided it was time to retire our 15 year old Toyota Corolla, once the a/c went out, the belt was squeaking and the tint was coming off we knew it was time to say goodbye and move onto something else.  After looking at many different brands and models of cars we found an outstanding deal on the Chevy Malibu, we knew exactly what we wanted and how much we wanted to pay for it.  We went to the dealership test drove the car and made the deal.  We were less than 2 hours in and out of the dealership and came home with nice new reliable family car that has way more cooler options then our old Sally did.  We are extremely blessed and thankful for all the good in our lives and feel very fortunate for everything we have. Say hello to our newest family member...we already love her and can't wait to have many new great memories with her. 

Although 2017 had many ups and downs we are happy it’s coming to an end, we are looking forward to 2018 and all that’s in store for us.  Happy New Year from our family to yours, we hope everyone has a very happy, healthy and joyful 2018. 
Love the Weiss Family!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Weekly Food Menu 11.27.17 to 12.1.17

Weekly Food Menu - Week of November 27th, 2017 

After completing my 30 day personal Fork Over Knives challenge which is a complete Vegan Clean Eating plan, I have decided to continue down that path as I absolutely love their online meal plans.  It's very easy to use, everything is all done for me.  Here is an outline of what this weeks food menu looks like, it's different from my previous meal plan.  Unfortunately I'm not able to share the recipes as they are on my online account and I'm not able to share them.  

Meal Plan, Week Of Nov 26

Breakfast: Apple Pie Oatmeal
Lunch: A-L-T Sammy
Dinner: Broccoli Alfredo
Snack: Trail Mix Cookies

Breakfast: Apple Pie Oatmeal (Leftovers)
Lunch: Broccoli Alfredo (Leftovers)
Dinner: Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
Snack: Trail Mix Cookies

Breakfast: Almond–Buttered Toast
Lunch: Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers (Leftovers)
Snack: Trail Mix Cookies (Leftovers)

Breakfast: Almond–Buttered Toast (Leftovers)
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:Hearty Vegetable Minestrone
Snack: Caramel Dipped Apples

Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats
Lunch: A-L-T Sammy (Leftovers)
Dinner: Hearty Vegetable Minestrone (Leftovers)
Snack: Caramel Dipped Apples

This is my leftover day from the week as I seem to have a lot of stuff sometimes that I don't use during the week and then throw them all together and either make a soup or roast everything in the oven. 

Sunday is a free day to use any leftovers or to celebrate due to special family gatherings or any fun occasion.  Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cabin Rental in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

First off I would like to start with what an amazing weekend we had for our very first time in  
Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  It was a last minute mini vacation we wanted to take as our other plans to head out of town fell through.  Our first thought was to maybe go camping but since we are still fairly new to Texas we weren’t sure where to go and with the weather changing so much I figured renting a cabin was a much safer bet.

Rich and I searched for a few day’s and looked at several different cabin rental companies, since we were looking at the week of Thanksgiving it was rather difficult to find something as most of the cabins were all ready unavailable. I️ finally find a company called Beavers Bend Creative Escape and they were showing two cabins available that were pet friendly and perfect for a family of 4, so I decided to call them up as I had a few questions about them.  The lady I spoke with on the phone was very nice, she answered all my questions.  I still couldn’t decide which one we wanted to rent as they both had the same things and both looked nice and relaxing, the lady recommended we rent Stream Life, she said it was one of her favorites and based on what we were looking for it sounded perfect for us so I booked it. Now I only had two day’s to get all the food ready and pack, plus trying to fight a nasty cold that I have been dealing with for weeks.  Thank goodness for my husband who was a huge help to get everything ready and packed up.

We headed out Sunday morning around 11:00am to Broken Bow, Oklahoma ETA was showing about 3 hours 15 mins.  Our actual check in time wasn’t until 3:00pm but we wanted to hit the road early as we knew we might make a few stops along the way.  The drive was pretty once we got out of the city and more into the country and farm area’s.  The roads were not busy at all which was nice so we didn’t have to deal with any major traffic.  After crossing the Oklahoma boarder we were only about 30 minuets out until we reached our destination.  We finally arrived to our cabin around 2:45pm which was perfect timing.

Now it was time to explore the property and the cabin to see if it lived up to it’s expectation and it did.  We walked in and looked around and it was absolutely beautiful.  All the beds were neatly made with fresh linens, the bathrooms were stocked with new rolls of toilet paper, new bars of soap were wrapped and ready to use, the kitchen was stocked with pots and pans, silverware, dishes, towels, and cleaning stuff.  The fridge and freezer were clean and ready for us to use and last but not least they had a bunch of fresh cut wood logs for us to use for the indoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit.  We decided to unpack everything and settle in before doing anything else.  Kona was loving the open space outside in the woods, we were on a few acers so he was able to run free without having to worry to much that he would get lost.

Over the next few day’s we spent a lot of family time together, it had been a long time since we all could just sit back and relax and play family games together.  As many of you know life gets busy and with all the running around we all do it’s hard to stay connected so this was a perfect time for all of us to sit back and take time to breath and remember what family time is all about.  Rich and the girls went hiking a few times at Beaver Bend State Park which was less then a few miles from the cabin, they found some really nice trails that were nice and easy.  I ended up staying back at the cabin with Kona as I was not feeling well and didn’t have the energy to go but it was okay Kona and I rested, did some reading and relaxed by the nice warm fire.  Rich also set up two hammocks one for the girls and one for him as they loved laying outside to enjoy the fresh air, as for me I was not too crazy about the hammocks, too many big spiders.  We saw what looked like a Daddy Long Leg spider which are so creepy, that was enough for me to say peace out and go back into the cabin.  Two of the nights we roasted some marshmallows by the fire as a special treat for all of us, I was able to enjoy them as well as we found some Vegan Marshmallows at Whole Foods before we left.  I planned out a few meals which were a bust, they were very plain and blah so that was disappointing.  My only grip about the cabin was the pots and pans were very old, the Teflon was coming off the bottom of them so anything we made they stuck to them which was not good.  My only recommendation would be to have those pots and pans replaced.  Next time I will either make the meals ahead of time or bring more frozen items to just pop in the oven for quick and easy meals.

Wednesday came fast which was our check out day, we had to check out by 11:00am as the cabin was being rented again that afternoon.  We packed everything up, had a quick breakfast and played one more game before heading out.  We finally left around 10:45am to head home, this time we just drop through without any stops and it took us 3 hours flat.  It was a nice easy ride home, we didn’t hit any traffic either which was nice.  Over all we had a fantastic weekend, it was good for all of us to relax, reconnect and have good quality family time.  We have stayed in several cabins over the years but this was by far our favorite one, we loved the area and all that it had to offer.  We will definitely go back again but next time we would like to try a different cabin as there we’re so many nice ones around that area.

If anyone is looking for a nice weekend getaway that is fairly close I would highly recommend checking Broken Bow out, it’s perfect for families and pets.  It’s not too far away but far enough to enjoy the woods and fresh pine air.

Here is the website we used for the company we rented from in case anyone is interested in checking them out.  They have all their cabins listed with pictures and what’s included and it’s easy to book them right online.  I would definitely use this company again in the future.

Happy Cabin Camping Everyone!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Easy DIY Christmas Center Piece for under $15

It’s that time of year again, when everyone gets busy decorating their homes with Christmas Cheer. I absolutely love this holiday and all that comes with it, especially when it comes to creating and crafting it's right up my ally for sure. Today’s project was working on my Center piece for my dining room table to change things up this year.  

I had a left over red container from last year that was used for a gift I received and instead of throwing it out I decided to keep it and reuse it, I wasn't sure what to use it for but I thought it might come in handy one day.  I took it out of the closet the other day and decided it would be perfect to use for this year’s Christmas center piece.  I ended up finding some red ribbon and white tissue paper to use along with it.  I did purchase the flowers and pine cone arrangements from the Dollar Store to help keep costs low and to make it simple. 

I started by laying out all the materials to see what I had and then started piecing it together, it was very easy once I got started.  Then I used the white tissue paper to stuff in the middle to hide the white foam and the stems, then I took the red ribbon and wrapped the inside just to add a little more decoration.  From far away no one may notice it but as you get closer it adds a nice touch to it.  I was all finished in less then 10 mins, it was really that easy and cost me less then $15.00.  I absolutely loved how it turned out and it fit perfectly on my dining room table.   Happy Holiday Crafting Everyone!!!

The Final Product

My center piece all done and on display. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Weekly Food Menu - 10.9.17 to 10.15.17

Weekly Food Menu - Week of October 9th, 2017   

Monday 10/9/17

Breakfast - Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack - Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake -
Lunch - Avocado Blake Bean Burgers -
PM Snack - Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner - Going out to Dinner 

Tuesday 10/10/17
Breakfast - Mermaid Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack -
Lunch - Avocado Black Bean Burgers -
PM Snack -Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner -  Hearty White Bean Vegetable Soup -

Wednesday 10/11/17
Breakfast - Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack - Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake -
Lunch – Going out for lunch with a friend
PM Snack - Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner -  Vegan Chow Mein -

Thursday 10/12/17
Breakfast - Mermaid Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack - Fresh Fruit or Apple with Peanut Butter
Lunch –  Leftover Vegan Chow Mein
PM Snack - Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner - One-Pot Vegan Spaghetti -

Friday 10/13/17
Breakfast - Mermaid Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack - Meeting a friend for coffee
Lunch – Leftover One-Pot Vegan Spaghetti or Mixed Green Salad
PM Snack - Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner - Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad -

Saturday 10/14/17
Breakfast - Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl -
AM Snack - Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake -
Lunch - Leftover Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad or Leftover Avocado Blake Bean Burgers -
PM Snack - Fresh Fruit Bowl or Apple and Peanut Butter
Dinner - Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joe's -

Sunday is a free day to use any leftovers or to celebrate due to special family gatherings or any fun occasion.  Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rover - Dog Boarding and Day Care

After moving to Texas we had to start all over with a new doggie place for our four legged fury baby. We decided to take our first family vacation and was in search of a good place to bring our Kona.  We checked out a local dog boarding place as it was rated pretty good, but with our dog having such high energy we thought it was not best for him.  So I went back online and kept looking round for another place.  I found another one which I called them to find out that they were all booked for the week that we were going away.  Once again I was back to the computer looking around again, at this point I was getting very frustrated with trying to find a good place for an active dog.  Then my husband came home that night and I explained that I was stressed out trying to find a place for Kona.  He told me that someone he works with recommended Rover which was an in home dog boarding and day care.  At first I was a little unsure about sending my crazy dog to some one's house but thought why not check it out at least and see how it all works.

My husband did inform me that everyone on this site has 5 starts or better which means they all had to be good.  I downloaded the app on my phone and went searching for someone in our area, I found a few people in our town that I considered until I came across a family in Roanoke who had two dogs. When I was looking through their pictures of the dogs they have watched I came across a few pictures of vizsla's which made me very happy.  I decided to reach out to them and see if we could do a meet and greet.  A few day's later we drop our family and Kona to meet this family and their dogs.  I was extremely nervous as this was all new to us.  Kona was very confused at first walking into someone else's house and having new smells and new things to see.  After meeting the family we decided to introduce their dogs with Kona.  They all smelt each other like any dog would and then started running around in the backyard.  Kona was interested for all of 3 seconds, he just wanted to play ball at this point he didn't care who was outside with him.  All of our questions were answered, the meet and greet went well and I felt much better seeing the house, meeting the family and talking about the process of how it all works.  I was even more excited that they had also worked with another client who was a Vizsla, so they were familiar with this breed and absolutely loved working with them.

After booking our flights I reached out to the owner to book dates for Kona. It was such an easy process, I went back into my app selected the dates and hit "book" and then checked out.  The day arrived for us to drop Kona off and I have to say I was so stressed out as this was my first time leaving him at someone's house.  Although I knew he would be fine it was just weird for me.  I brought his food, treats, toys, favorite blanket and his bed with us.  We stayed with him for a few minutes to make sure he was okay before leaving him.  He seemed to be fine as he was walking all around the house checking things out.  I did leave detailed instructions to help make the stay easier for him.

I received daily updates along with photo's of him, which was great.  It made me feel much better that he was being well taken care of and enjoying his time playing ball and hanging out with a nice family.  Now I"m afraid he won't want to come back to home when we get home.

I highly recommend Rover and will be using them in the future when we need to travel.  Knowing our Kona is safe and having a great time is all that matters to us.  For anyone interested in using Rover for their pets while they are travelling, here is the website:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Weekly Food Menu - 9.4.17 to 9.9.17

Weekly Food Menu - Week of September 4th, 2017   

Monday 9/4/17

Breakfast - Eggs and Turkey Bacon with avocado and coffee
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch - Leftovers or a big green salad
PM Snack -Organic Greek Yogurt with Berries  
Dinner - Grilled Chicken Breast with Loaded "Faux-Tato" Skins - Low Carb CB pg 75

Tuesday 9/5/17

Breakfast - Spinach Quiche - Crust less Quiche with Spinach and Swiss Cheese - Low Carb CB pg 63
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch - Going out for lunch with a friend
PM Snack - Organic Greek Yogurt with Berries
Dinner - Crockpot Maple Dijon Drumsticks - with Light and Easy Cauliflower Gratin -

Wednesday 9/6/17
Breakfast - Spinach Quiche - Crust less Quiche with Spinach and Swiss Cheese - Low Carb CB pg 63
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch – Leftover Crockpot Maple Dijon Drumsticks and Light and Easy Cauliflower Gratin  
PM Snack - Organic Cottage Cheese with Berries
Dinner -  Jerk Chicken Legs - Low Carb CB pg 98 with Summer Squash Sauté - Low Carb CB pg 155

Thursday 9/7/17
Breakfast - Spinach Quiche - Crust less Quiche with Spinach and Swiss Cheese - Low Carb CB pg 63
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch – Leftover Jerk Chicken Legs with Summer Squash Sauté
PM Snack - Organic Cottage Cheese with Berries
Dinner - Ultimate Mock Mac and Cheese Casserole with Broccoli, Chicken and Bacon - Low Carb CB pg 53

Friday 9/8/17
Breakfast -Spinach Quiche - Crust less Quiche with Spinach and Swiss Cheese - Low Carb CB pg 63
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch – Leftover Ultimate Mock Mac and Cheese Casserole
PM Snack - Organic Cottage Cheese with Berries
Dinner - Marinara & Mozzarella Meatloaf  - Low Carb CB pg 111 with sautéed green beans

Saturday 9/9/17
Breakfast - Spinach Quiche - Crust less Quiche with Spinach and Swiss Cheese - Low Carb CB pg 63
AM Snack - 2 Hard Boiled Eggs with 12 raw nuts and or an apple
Lunch - Leftover Marinara & Mozzarella Meatloaf and green beans
PM Snack - Organic Cottage Cheese with Berries
Dinner - Use up any leftovers from the week

Sunday is a free day to use any leftovers or to celebrate due to special family gatherings or any fun occasion.  Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY week. 

2017...Year In Reivew

What a year it has been for our family, like many others there have been ups and downs, here is my journey from this past year. We sur...