Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

This post is for my Nutrisystem friends or those who want to know a healthy way to make a delicious protein filled Pumpkin Pie flavored shake. I suppose any protein or shake mix will work but my favorite Nutrisystem.

Let's face it, we all like a cool refreshing shake any time of the year. Right? Well the weather here in the Carolina's is still on the warm side. We have not pulled out the sweaters and boots yet. Sometimes we skip Fall and jump right into Winter. It's crazy like that here.

Well today I'm going to share with you this delicious Pumpkin Pie Shake using Nutrisystem's turbo vanilla shake mix. It’s packed with protein and fiber plus 22 vitamins and minerals. But wait, It doesn't have that healthy vitamin taste. This shake is so creamy and flavorful, you will think it came straight from your favorite sweet shop. 

Lets get started.

1. Mix your *Nutrisystem vanilla protein shake as directed. 
2. Add in 1 cup of pumpkin puree and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. 
That's it! Now how easy was that?

Oh and did you know, you can actually add all the ingredients into a Mason jar and it will fit right onto your blender? Just screw the blade onto the mouth of the jar. It's ready to go without the mess. 

I’m not a fan of pumpkin spice but this recipe taste like sweet pumpkin pie which is ok with me. I had no idea I would really like it but I did! As you see, I added a tad of whip cream on top. I mean, whats pumpkin pie without the whip topping?  

But hey, If you like pumpkin spice, then just add the spices.


I am not being paid or compensated by Nutrisystem for this post. The opinions are my own. I simply have had lots of success with Nutrisystem and love sharing my ideas and results. 
*You can  purchase Nutrisystem’s protein shake mix and other nutritious foods by visiting Nutrisystem.com 

Crochet Fairy Pumpkins

My plan this season, is to decorate using only things I made added to some old stuff I already had. Blaah! I may toss the old stuff to the road after this year. I hate the smell of old fake floral when it ages. Being in the attic all summer, this is exactly what happens. Now, I know why people burn lots of fragrant candles during the holidays. Ya think?

I have a slew of remnant pieces of yarn left over from other projects. The pieces are too small to make anything useful so I decided to make some tiny pumpkins to use in my Fall decorations. Cute huh?

They call these fairy pumpkins because of the size and the wonky little stems. Sort of  like the ones you see in fairytales. 

I was inspired by THIS PATTERN found at "A Time for all seasons" blog. 
I adusted the rounds a bit to create different sizes and used my own imagination on the stems. 

They were so fun and quick to make that I had to stop myself before they ended up all over the house. 

Meanwhile, I have had some request from family and friends asking me to make them a couple of these cuties, so back to my yarn stash for more pumpkin making. This will be fun to do while I enjoy some Hallmark movies in my recliner. 

A Birthday Weekend

This weekend was my daughters birthday. I blinked and she was 26! How did this happen? I mean wasn’t I just teaching her to walk yesterday?
Every birthday she has is also a special day for me. I was told in early adulthood I would most likely never be able to have a child. I have more faith in the Lord than the words of a doctor. My daughter is proof of that.

We did not have any real plans for her birthday this weekend. We had planned to be out of town and she had plans with friends. Our plans fell through so we called her up to ask if she would like for us to come take her to breakfast. That girl will not turn down food so of course the answer was yes.
We jumped in the car and headed to Charlotte. We let her choose a place. “I know a nice little bakery just a half a mile down the street” she said. 
We wanted to walk since it was such a beautiful day. 

So a few blocks down, we settle into a cozy little bakery. It was small and felt like walking into grandmaws kitchen. It was called Sun flour bakery company

I ordered an egg, cheddar and avacodo on toast. I guess for breakfast it’s called toast, and for lunch it’s called a sandwich. The birthday girl and Nick ordered the cheddar biscuts with bacon and egg. Together we shared a giant cinnimon roll that was out of this world. (It was gone before I could get a photo). The place was a little pricey but the food was worth it. 

Afterwards we headed back to her place where we then gave her a birthday present and her very own cheese cake. Of course Nick had to fix a few things around her apartment because some things have to be fixed by dad. We left in time for her to meet up with the girls for some time around the pool. We will see her again next weekend as we plan to give her a birthday dinner with family.

Wow 26! I wish I could have bottled her up and keeped her little forever. 

DIY Cotton Stems

Happy Fall yall!
Gosh that was hard to say. I’m a sunshine and Summer gal.
We were suppose to head to the beach this weekend but the campground has no vacancies. This has never happened to us before. I’m thinking it’s due to all the Florida folks in for higher ground. Uggh!!! We will just have to wait a couple weeks. The beach in October is still good. It may be a chill in the air but it is what it is. So,with that being said, I went ahead and put summer behind me and got busy creating a few decorations to go with the season.

Today I’m going to share my latest craft I have been itching for months to make. “Cotton stems”.
For the record, there were no farmers, slaves, immigrants, maw maws, paw paws or kids used in making this decoration. It's just the work of my own two hands and maybe Johnson and Johnson. 

My husband has pretty much stopped asking “why?” when I mention needing certain random things. I may get “the look” but he knows by now that I have a craft idea in mind and when that happens, there is no stopping me. I'm sure he appreciates this more than if I were to go on a shopping spree to Hobby Lobby. 

I pulled out a bag of cotton balls from the cabinet and a glue gun from the craft room. I asked my husband to pick me up two pine cones on his morning walk. I snapped a few dry twigs from a Crape Myrtle. That's all I needed for this project. 

I cut off several spikes from the pine cones and glued them onto the hand puffed cotton balls to look like the pods. 

With another dab of hot glue to the middle of the pods, I slid the end of the branches into the cotton. I wish I would have stuck to the darker pine shell. It gives it a better look.
Once finished, I put them in a vase, or jar to make the perfect natural decoration for the season.

I always admire the cotton fields we pass in South Carolina on our beach trips. My creation looks almost like the real thing minus the beetles.

Question: Just how long is a cotton picken minute?
My Answer: As long as it took daddy to fix something.
I've heard it many times "Just give me a cotton picken minute!"

Lemon Seeds

I had no idea I could actually grow a lemon tree. I read on the Internet that you can actually grow a lemon tree from lemon seeds. Really? Ha! Okay, I knew that but wasn't sure it would work for me.

I read that the seeds need to be from a fresh organic lemon. My lemons were NOT organic. In fact, they had also been in the fridge for a week.
The truth is, I rarely buy anything organic unless its on sale and that's only because of the price. I’m not a big believer in the whole organic craze. Organic to me is right out of my garden. I call bull on any of the organic claimed items in the store. Personally I’d rather have my foods grown protected from insects and diseases. But that's just my thoughts.

Ok, back to the lemon seeds. 
While cutting up a lemon for Nicks water, I managed to scoop out some seeds. I didn't follow the instructions on how to get them ready to plant. I just stuck them in some dirt. Two weeks later, I had lemon sprigs! 

I was tickled. I did read that once they have a couple leaves to them, I can transport them to a larger pot, so I did and they have mature just a bit.

Now I wait. The weathers is going to turn cold soon so I plan to bring the plant inside and keep it by the bay window for sun. I really hope it continues to grow.

Rustic Bundt Pan Wreath

It's September. I hate to see Summer go but I do like the smell of Autumn. I enjoy the colors its brings. I like flannel and fire pits. It's that time for falling leaves, football games, bonfires and Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING hits the selves. I have a confession: Pumpkin flavor is not my favorite. Pumpkin Pie is ok if its loaded with whip topping.

I'm ready to bring out my Fall decorations but we don't want to rush it. We want to get one more beach trip in first, so I'll wait until its officially Fall. 

Meanwhile I had this bright idea to make a fall wreath. We do not have much money so I'm always thrifty. When I say thrifty, im talking thrift store or dollar store thrifty. Today we made a trip to the dollar store for some cookies. They have a kind I like and they are only a dollar!

I never go to the dollar store without leaving with a handfull of "things". 
Today I grabbed a spool of seasonal ribbon and a floral stem. 
My husband just gave me a look. "I have a plan", I exclaimed. He just nodded and said "well, ok".

Once we got home, I had an hour to waste before meeting my brother-in-laws for dinner. My husband was resting on the sofa. I quietly pulled out my old rustic and stained bundt pan from the cabanet while my craft idea was still fresh in my head. I cut the ribbon and twisted the floral stem until the idea became reality. 

I created a fall wreath to hang in my kitchen. It took me all of two dollars and two minutes to create. 
The bundt cakes will have to wait till Winter. 

Three Months is Too Long

Ok here I go complaining again. I told myself I would not post this whiney stuff anymore but I honestly do not have anything else to talk about today. Sad huh.

Despite the smile on my face, and fun in my heart, I'm still in physical pain. This all started the first week of July. I started getting chest pains that felt like a heart attack. They would come and go and woke me during the night. It was even accompanied by sweating, racing heartbeat and shortness of breath.

I have had several test. I had two EKGs, blood test, chest xrays and a nuclear stress test. Nothing wrong with my heart. So we move on to possible gallbladder problems. An ultra sound and hida scan later, nothing seems wrong there either. I've had to wait a week between each test and thats annoying. I want a solution. I guess the 25 years of paying thousands of dollars for insurance is finally gonna benifit me, but I doubt it. 

The pains get worst by the day. I'm feeling sick now. Pains are now pretty consistant instead of comming and going. They are from my lower sternum to my collar bone and upper back. I'm so uncomfortable. At times I feel as if a 600 lb. bear is hugging me. I have shortness of breath, I can't enjoy exercise though I try every day. I toss and turn with chest and back pains during the night and it grinds all day long. 

The doctor has now gone back to his first instinct and thinks it's acid reflux or Gerd. I'm not really feeling that, but I do have some symptoms that suggest this could be possible. However, I wouldn't think Gerd would feel like I've been kicked in the chest by a kung fu fighter.

As a last resort, I'm scheduled for an endoscopy in two weeks! Uugh the wait!!! I'm on the list if they get any cancelations to see me sooner. He thinks I could also have a hiatal hernia or esophageal damage. Fingers crossed they find something thats nothing and I can get this taken care of. I'm miserable. Three months has been too long! 

On a good note. I have another beach trip planned this month before the test. Salt air heals everything, right? 

Speaking of salt healing, has anyone ever used the salt lamps? They are really pretty but do they really work to enhance lung and brain function, or is this some kind of weird gypsy belief? 

Note: please keep all comments on this post here or by email instead of facebook. Thanks.

We Survived

Last night while laying in bed we could hear the winds ripping across the house. The attic creeked and popped withstanding the wind gust. We could hear the bushes whipping the shutters then drifted off to sleep. 

The winds were just gusty and I think the strongest was 30mph winds. Not enough to tear a roof off but enough to clean the dead branches out of the tall pin oaks in the neighborhood. 

Our lawn is free of trees except a dogwood out back and a butterfly bush that is now leaning even more than it was. I'll go out and straighten it later. I usually cut it way back in the Winter anyway. 

One neighbor was not so lucky as Hurricane Irma toppled a tree on his property. No one was hurt but it was a site for the neighbors. We may gather up and help with the debris and may need to have a chain saw party. 

Below is a photo of the damages. 

We are survivors.

Note: Yes im taking this as a joke but remember there are many that are devistated with damages. Keep
Praying for those lost and damaged by this storm.

Irma Feeling It

After a night of tossing and turning I awoke as usual. Sneezing and sniffing as my allergies awaken with me. I dragged myself into the kitchen feeling like I only had maybe two hours of sleep. I have a lot on my mind. I worried more than normal last night.

I poured myself a cup of coffee and popped a couple waffles into the toaster. I walked over to the bay window and could see the trees blowing in the wind. I stepped outside and I could feel the cool air and wind as Irma was brewing a couple states below me. She is headed our way later this afternoon but we will not be getting the worst of it. I think we will just have lots of wind and rain.

My daughter was home, so I made a pan of can buscuits for her but I ended up burning them. I forgot I had them in the oven as I don't usually make biscuits anymore. So she opt for waffles too as she pulls her computer up to begin working remote from home today. 

I rushed off to work for a couple hours before I headed back home. Then we all rode up to church. My sister in law lost her battle with cancer last week and today was her funeral. She was only 40. She left behind a loving husband and 4 little boys. My family is heart broken but relived that her 9 month battle is over.

I'm now back at work. Customers are not calling. The air feels eerie as hurricane Irma is moving in. It feels like Fall. I'm concerned about a few blogging friends down in Florida. McWheeler and Dina are in the Tampa Area. Hope they are safe. I'm glad Jack over at Shipslog is here in NC for the time being, but his son is riding the storm out down in Florida. I'm fixing to head to his blog and check on things.  

I pray for all those in the line of this storm. My thoughts are also with the surviors and families of the tragic 9/11 attacks that we will never forget. 

I hope my heart doesn't feel so heavy and my worries turn small as I lay back down to sleep tonight. But first..I better get back to work.

Are You Weight Ready For Fall?

We lost our weight so we could finally enjoy a fun summer of feeling great about ourselves. We flaunted the flat tummy at the beach, and enjoyed thoses shorts and tank top at cookouts.

Summer brought gardens full of fresh veggies and meals were light. We traded ice cream for smoothies and protien bars after a workout. Water was a necessity and we drank it alot due to the heat.

It wasn't easy. We struggled with the scales as we saw our weight shift up and down a couple pounds, but we we managed to keep our weight in that safe range.

But beware. Fall is coming. Are you weight ready? Do you have room to gain a few pounds without gaining to much? Fall will bring cool temperatures and out come the sweat shirts and baggy clothes.

The body we worked so hard for will soon go hidden behind large sweaters and jackets. We could easily lose focus on the body we worked so hard to acheive.

Holidays, ballgames and staying inside more will bring on munchies. It's ok, those big baggy warm clothes will still fit next week and probably all Winter long. Soon spring will come around again and the next thing you know those cute little clothes no longer fit over those cute little muffin tops. 

Strive to keep up healthy eating habits as the temeratures drop and physical activities slow down. Dont stop exercising. When it's too cold to be outside, come up with indoor activities besides lifting a spoon. Enjoy the comfort of food but control the baking. While snacking, stay in the kitchen instead of taking it to the bed or couch. Limit eating in front of the tv, this leads to over eating. Remember portion contol is important.

Opt for the tight jeans when you shop and the spandex leggings when you workout. Dont hide the body you worked so hard to get or you might forget where you put it.

Calm Before The Storm

It's pretty calm right now, but we are expecting some bad weather here in the carolinas come Monday or Tuesday. Though we live 200 miles from the coast, we are in the line of hurricane Irma thats going to make land fall unless she takes a sharp turn back into the Atlantic. 

In 1998 we lived through the devistating hurricane Hugo which made land fall and hit the carolinas like wrecking ball. We were out of power, water and ice for days. Since then, people around here get worried when we see the threat of a hurricane. 

Me and Nick got ahead of the game and took a trip to Walmart on Wednesday night. We picked up a couple cases of water, some staple foods, snacks and instant coffee (because what worst can happen if the power goes out right?). We already have batteries for the flash lights and I grabbed a pack of candles. I love candles anyway so any excuse to get some is a win for me.

The store was calm, there was still bread on the shelves, and plenty of water in stock. I told Nick it was the calm before the storm. I was right. The stores were hit hard on Thursday. People are now having trouble finding the simple necessities such as water and bread. The storm is not here yet and I'm sure the store shelves will be restocked again before the storm hits, but the state is still in a panic. 
Here is what we are expecting where I am.

We have been keeping an eye on this storm as it will wiggle East and West. We are also concerned about our camper stored on the coast of SC (in the orange). 

Latest Update as I type, "Irma just shifted again and we may be out of danger as it moves more West. 

Looks like Florida will get the worst of it. Hotels have waived pet bans and airlines have cut flight prices.
So if your in the red, get out or hunker down

Prayers for everyone in the path of this storm.


 Isn't this just the cutest pillow? Found at TwoPeachesDesign 

Kitten Rescue

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day. We did not do anything special. I had to work. However, the boss did allow me to leave early if I wished. So I completed the important stuff and was out quicker than a fat kid in a dodge ball game.

As I was getting into my car I heard a loud kitten sound. I stopped and listened for a minute just to make sure I wasn't hearing a squirrel in distress. The cry was consistant and loud. "But where is it coming from?" I thought. That's when my attention was drawn to a storm drain on the side of the road across from the parking lot.

I skipped across the road making sure no traffic was coming. The cries got louder. I got down on my knees and peered through the leafy garbage piled on top of the grait. 

Looking back at me was a cute little white kitten. It looked so excited to see me. It would climb up the wall of the drain as far as it could, then flip back to the bottom. It was rather pitiful. Thats when I began talking to it as if it understood me. "Hang on little buddy and ill get you out somehow". 

I reached down as far as I could and the kitten climbed as high as it could. It latched on to four of my fingers as I slowly scooped her to the top and brough her out. She was someones missing pet as she was wearing a tiny flea collar. I'm guessing she was around 6 to 8 weeks old. There are no houses in this industrial park so she may have wondered a good distance.

I immediatly cupped the kitten in my hands as I brought her close to my chest. It fell limp and looked up at me as it purred. She was ok. Just tired. I brought her into the office and cut her little flea collar off just incase I had to let her go stray again. I didnt want her out growing it and choke. 

I offered a free kitten to anyone who would be interested. I could not take her and we are not ready to house an office cat. No one wanted it. Finally one employee caved and ended up taking it home to his girlfriend.

We named her "Drain-o"