Should I Get a Flu Shot?

I am really contemplating this question today.  I have been back and forth, and I can’t make up my mind.

Should I take a flu shot? New Blog Post - runandlivehappy.com

Do you take a flu shot?  I’m trying to decide if I should take one or not.  I go through this internal debate every year, and I guess it’s just a gamble that I take.  For as long as I can remember I’ve always gotten a flu shot.  I have asthma and am considered “high risk”, so I have just always gotten the vaccine.  And, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always gotten the flu.  I usually get sick within 48 hours of taking the shot, and then I get the full on flu later in the season.  I even got the H1N1 flu one year after taking both vaccinations.  That was the sickest I have ever been!!  My whole body hurt so bad, I couldn’t even move!

Should I take a flu shot? New Blog Post - runandlivehappy.com

The past 3 years I have not taken a flu shot, and I have not gotten sick, except some respiratory infections.  But, no flu!  People act like I’m crazy when I say I’m not going to take one, and they strongly encourage me too.  But, I feel like I have to do what’s best for me, and history has shown me that I always get the flu when I take the shot.  I don’t know why, or if I’m just healthier now than I was before, but it seems like I fight it off better now.  *Knock on wood*  I’m probably jinxing myself writing this post, but I’m curious what you all think.  Is it a huge deal if I don’t take it, or should I stop gambling with my health and just get vaccinated?

Should I take a flu shot? New Blog Post - runandlivehappy.com

What do you think I should do?

Monday Fun Day!

I had a great start to the week, and I thought I would share with you!  I hope you had a good start too!

Sunday night we watched the eclipse.  I wanted to see it before the eclipse started because the news said it would appear over sized.  They were right, it looked huge!

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The whole eclipse was magical!  I kept going outside about every 10 minutes so I could look at it.  I’m sure sometime in my life I have seen one of these before, but I can’t remember when.  I was completely fascinated!  It was so neat how the moon turned red!

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I took a ton of pictures, but they didn’t turn out that great.  I tried with my phone and with my camera, but neither of them would zoom far enough to make it look as big as it did.  I want a new camera, but I have no idea what to get.  I’ve been looking at Cannons.  If you have any suggestions or advice please email me or leave it in the comments.  I need one that zooms and also one that has a sports setting.

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The moon was still big and bright yesterday morning.  I had to snap a picture of it.  I was trying to drive at the same time, so it’s a little blurry, but it was just so pretty I couldn’t resist.

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Yesterday for lunch, I had the BEST salad!  I don’t know if I was just really hungry (thanks steroids!) or if it was just that good.  But, I fixed a spinach salad with grilled chicken and avocado and mixed it with Skinny Girl Balsamic Vinaigrette.  It was pretty plain, but let me say it was AMAZING!  I could have eaten another one!  I also had a side of hummus with carrots and broccoli.  The salad was so good, I made another one to have for lunch today!  I just love avocado, I think it makes everything better.  And, it’s good for you!

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After lunch, I did a Blogilates ab workout.  It was so hard, but I’m feeling it today, so that’s a good sign.  I’m really getting into this.  My muscles are really stretching, and it feels good.  I used to stretch all the time, but I haven’t in a while, like I should.  So, this is a nice change. I subscribed to the calendar on the app, so I have a different workout every day.

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I also like that I have found a whole community of Blogilates users on instagram.  The pictures that they post are so inspirational, and they are all so supportive of one another.  It’s really fun, and a fun way to change up my workouts.  I’m really missing running.  I am so frustrated by my leg, but I go back this week to see what’s next.  Unfortunately, the steroids haven’t seemed to help any.  I actually think it’s hurting worse now than it was.  I don’t know if this is because before I was pushing through the pain and ignoring it, and now that I’m actually having to sit around, I feel it more.  I don’t know, but it’s really annoying!  Monday Fun Day- New Blog Post - runandlivehappy

Last night, Jeremy cooked dinner for me.  I love when he cooks me dinner, not because I don’t like too, but because it’s nice to have a night off every now and then.  Plus, he is an amazing cook, but he just doesn’t do it often.  So, anytime he offers, I get really excited!  I don’t even mind cleaning up the mess!  I just like to sit in the kitchen and watch him.  When we were dating, he used to cook for me all the time.  I think he was just showing off.  🙂  For dinner, he made ham and cheese omelets and toast, and it was awesome!  He knows how much I like breakfast foods.

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In other news, Jake has decided that he likes to have his food on a paper plate!  He is so funny!  Ever since he was a baby, he has laid down to eat.  When he was little, he would lay in the food bowl and eat.  We have tried to break him of that, but he will go hungry before he will stand up and eat.  Then I feel bad because he will just lay there and stare at his bowl with this sad look on his face, so I have to feed him.  He knows it works on me every time! But, he loves the plate.  It can be right next to his bowl of food, and he will only eat what’s on the plate.  We have tried all kinds of different bowls, but he doesn’t like them.  He’s so weird!

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I know this post was a little bit all over the place, but it was a good start to the week, so I wanted to share.

Question – has anyone upgraded to the Windows 10 yet?  I did it last night, and am figuring it out.  It’s a little different, but at the same time familiar.  Weird.  LOL What do you think of it?

Help me with a camera!! Please??

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun – Weekend Recap

 

Let me just say this was one eventful weekend!  We were on the go all weekend, and it was so much fun! There was Friday night football, hometown festivals, lots of food, and a ton of fun!

We started Friday night with some Friday night football.  We went to the local high school game and it was a great game.  Our team was behind the entire game and scored a touchdown with 17 seconds left to win the game!  I like watching the game, but I also I love hearing the bands and watching the cheerleaders! I just love the whole environment of football games!  And especially hometown games where you get to see literally everyone.Friday Night Football runandlivehappy.com

Saturday morning we got up early and went to our electric company’s customer appreciation day.  We even got a free gift for coming! It is an insulated cup.  This will be handy in the winter for hot cocoa.

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They had vendors and food carts set up everywhere.  Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

There was a big stage with entertainment all day. We walked around and looked at the vendors, and we bought a new paring knife.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

You can’t ever have too many knives!  Jeremy picked it out because he doesn’t like mine, so I hope this means that he’s going to use it.  We didn’t stay here very long because it was packed full of people and you could hardly get through.   I forgot to take pictures because once we got inside, I got a little overwhelmed with the amount of people that were there, and had such a hard time trying to get through the crowd.

We left there and went to an estate auction near our house.  We were just curious about what all they would have; you never know what you might find.  But, this one was pretty much full of junk.  We stayed for a while because they were auctioning off a brand new fifth wheel travel trailer and we wanted to see how much it would go for.  The owner said he paid $104,000 for it, and it sold for $36,000!  I couldn’t believe they let it go for that!  The owners were downsizing, but I thought it must be sad to watch all of their stuff be sold and for not very much.  They didn’t seem to mind though.  Jeremy had his eye on that Jeep Cherokee.  He wanted it to just drive around town, and now especially up and down our road since it is being redone and is a mess.  But, it went for too much.

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I really wanted that canoe.  Not sure what for, but it looked fun.  But, it went for way to much!

After that, we went down town to a festival that was going on.  It was full of food trucks, clothing and jewelry vendors, and musicians.

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I loved all of these cute signs, but I don’t have a place for them anywhere.

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We walked through all the vendors and got some lunch before the bands started.

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Jeremy ordered a corn dog for us to share, and was huge!!

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

He also ordered a cheese on a stick.  Which he thought was going to be like a fried cheese stick, and I guess that’s literally what it was.  It looked disgusting!  I refused to try it, and I didn’t get a picture before he threw it away.  It was just a deep fried glob of cheese.  Yuck!  He tried one bite and tossed it!

My leg was really bothering me, so we sat and listened to the bands all afternoon.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.comWe watched a couple of local bands and visited with some friends.

I caught him off guard
I caught him off guard

Then Gloriana came on!  They were awesome!  I liked them before, but after hearing them live, I really like them now!

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They really put on a good show.  They were energetic and they really interacted with the crowd.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

And, I got a picture with Rachel, one of the band’s singers.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

When the show was over, we headed down to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner.  We shared some cheese enchiladas and Jeremy got a taco.  The meal came with rice, but neither of us ate it.  I was stuffed when we left!  We always share food when we go out to eat.  This way we don’t eat too much, because portions are always so big!

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On the way home, we stopped and rented a movie.  We watched Aloha and it was pretty good. I wouldn’t really call it a romantic comedy, so I’m not sure what genre it would fall in.  I liked Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams.  Emma Stone’s character was a little different and awkward.  When we got home, I got a picture of the full moon!  It was beautiful!

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

Sunday morning we got up and went to ride the 4 wheelers.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

I didn’t make it very long because the bouncing and vibrations hurt my leg.  I didn’t think about that before we left.  But, it was pretty outside, and I am tired of being in with my leg propped up so I tried to just go slow.  Everything is still really green, but I did see a few leaves starting to turn colors!

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Afterwards, I went home and propped my leg back up and iced it.  I go back to the doctor this week, hopefully something will change!  It’s frustrating to not be able to do my normal activities.

Then we went to feed the horse.  I tried to get a picture with her, but she was more interested in her food.

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And we shot our bows for a little bit.  I was pretty proud of my shots.  There is only 4 days until bow season opens!

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Last night, I made my lunch for today.  I’m having a spinach, chicken, and avocado salad with a side of roasted red pepper hummus and carrots and broccoli.

Football, Festivals, Food, & Fun - New Blog Post runandlivehappy.com

After a weekend of go, go, go, it was finally time to rest.  I sat around last night and worked on the computer and watched TV.  It was such an awesome weekend!

What did you do this weekend?

Just an Ordinary Week

 

How was your week?  Did you do anything fun, or out of the ordinary?  Mine was pretty routine, except for the whole MRI thing on Wednesday.  You can read about that here.

Monday morning sunrise
Monday Morning sunrise

The only thing half way exciting that I did on Monday was paint my toenails.  I’m not sure why, since I’m restricted to tennis shoes.  But I don’t like looking at the polish peeling off, so I redid them.  Oh, and the new Big Bang Theory season started!  I was pumped about that!

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On Tuesday, Jeremy wanted me to go to his game with him.  I think he knew I was really anxious about my MRI, so he didn’t want me to stay at home alone and worry.  He had to umpire softball, so I went and enjoyed the heat.

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I know it won’t be long until it’s gone and it will be cold.  I can always use a tan!  The moon was beautiful that night too!

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After the game, we came home and ate a turkey sandwich for dinner.  Since it was late, I didn’t feel like cooking or eating much.

On Wednesday after I got my good news, I took Jake for a walk.  I love walking in the pecan grove, it’s so shady and breezy.

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Since I’m supposed to be taking it easy, and not overusing my leg, I sat on the grass while Jake checked everything out.  He walked around forever!

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Last night, I went to watch Jeremy umpire baseball.  This game was much better than the softball game. It also was over a lot quicker.

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Since we were home early, I decided to cook dinner.  I made one of Jeremy’s favorite dishes, it’s actually the first thing he ever cooked for me when we were dating.  It’s a taco casserole.  You can find the recipe at Campell’s Kitchen.  Last night I substituted Doritos for the corn tortillas.  It just gives it a different flavor.  It also makes it a little runnier, but it is good.  While I was cooking, I started feeling nauseas and achy.  I started thinking I was coming down with something.  I was also freezing and nothing sounded good to eat.  It hit so fast, and I felt like I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I actually laid on the couch and let Jeremy finish dinner.  I even had him take a picture of it for me and then he fixed me a small plate.

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That was probably not the best meal to eat when I felt sick, but I knew I had to eat something because I had to take my dreaded steroids.  I ate a little bit and went straight to bed.  At 1 am, I woke up and was completely drenched!  I guess I had a fever and it broke, and I felt so much better!

This morning I woke up at 5 am wide awake and I felt great!!  I usually lay in bed and sleep as long as I can before my alarm rings at 6, but not today.  I knew if I laid there, I would doze back off and then I wouldn’t want to get up at all.  I got up and stretched for a little while.  Then I checked some emails and got ready for the day.  I really like getting up early, but I’m just not good at going to bed early, so it makes the getting up part hard.  At least I have it figured out, I just don’t do anything to fix it!  I also woke up starving.  Those little devil pills are really making me hungry!  I could tell a difference after the first dose!  They better make my leg heal!  So, in order to deal with the constant growling in my stomach, I have been drinking TONS of extra water!  I keep telling myself that it is just 7 days, and hopefully it will work.   But, today, which is 2 days in, I have hurt bad all day.  I guess we’ll just have to see how the next week goes.  Since I am so hungry, I am craving all kinds of food that I know I don’t need.  This morning, I really wanted a donut.  But, I tried a Yoplait Greek yogurt instead.  It was Pumpkin Cheesecake flavor and it was gross!  It had a strong pumpkin flavor, but it also had a really strong artificial sweetener flavor as well.  The sweetener flavor was way too overpowering, so I couldn’t eat it. I settled for a granola bar instead.

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Since I was up two hours before the sunrise, I got to see it. It was beautiful!  The sky was so pink.

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And, I saw 3 deer on my way into town.  Jeremy is always telling me to watch for them, so I just stopped in the road and took their picture.

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Now I’m home doing some work and having a snack that Jake really wants.  Look at his sad face.  He thinks he needs it.

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I am eating a Butterball Turkey Jerky stick.  They are really good, and there is only 60 calories per 3 sticks.  I figured this would be a good filling snack to hopefully hush my stomach.  So far, it hasn’t worked!

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Overall, it’s been a pretty uneventful week, but I have actually have an exciting weekend planned.  So, I’ll catch up with you on Monday!  I hope you have a great weekend.

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Hello Fall!

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Wednesday was the first official day of fall!  I celebrated by looking at all of the pumpkin goodies that I don’t need!  I am all about everything pumpkin!!  I wait all year for pumpkin season!  Pumpkin Goodies runandlivehappy.com

(I didn’t actually all of these – just the yogurt!)

I don’t know about you, but once the weather starts changing and summer is over, I go into full on FALL MODE.  I really enjoy everything fall – leaves, pumpkins, decorations, holidays, and the World Series!

fall decorations runandlivehappy.com

fall decorations runandlivehappy.com

I can’t wait for Halloween and Thanksgiving to get here.  I’m even getting excited for Christmas already.  I’m telling you today that I plan on getting my Christmas shopping done early this year.  I say that every year, but it always seems like I’m shopping the week before!  So, we’ll see how it goes this year.  I’ll talk more about these holidays as they get closer, but I’m so excited that I can’t wait any longer to talk about them.

I have always loved Halloween.  I love dressing up!  I don’t go all out and spend a ton of money on costumes though.  I am pretty low key and usually try to put something together.  Depending on where we are going, sometimes I will just wear some kind of headband (halo, bunny ears, cat ears).  But, I love seeing everyone else dressed up.  I do dress up some years though, and it’s always a lot of fun.  Last year I was a pirate.  This year, I am planning on being a Rockford Peach from A League of Their Own.  Fall Post runandlvehappy.com

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays because we host it at our house.  I love all the preparation leading up to the big day.  The shopping, baking, and getting everything organized is so fun.  I love hosting and having my house full of people.  I enjoy everyone coming over and watching the parade and football all day.  I also love having my entire family gather around our table.  This is a tradition that we started a few years ago, and it makes me feel all grown up.  Lol  What’s really ironic is that I am not a huge fan of Thanksgiving foods.  I like turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin and pecan pie, but I can do without everything else.runandlivehappy.com

My grandma gave me that centerpiece last year at Thanksgiving!

One memory I have about Thanksgiving is that for several years in a row when I was a teenager, I had the flu or pneumonia.   So I didn’t get to eat with everyone, and I didn’t even feel like visiting with them.  Plus, they didn’t want my germs.  Not fun!

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday.  I feel so nostalgic during this time of year.  There really is something magical about it.  I love decorating my house and decorating a tree.  I love buying gifts for everyone.  I love how cheerful most people are, and there is a sense of good will in the air.  I love seeing light displays and houses lit up.  One of my favorite things is white Christmas lights.  For our wedding, I wanted them everywhere!!  Everything about Christmas makes me happy.  I love when it snows on Christmas Day, and I love hot chocolate, warm blankets, Christmas music, and Christmas movies.  I also love the Christmas service at church.  We sing Christmas songs and the church is decorated in poinsettias.  I know I’m getting way ahead of myself because I have a while until Christmas, but I’m already excited!

The trees are already out!
The trees are already out!

 

What is your favorite thing about fall?

 

Good News & Bad News

GOOD NEWS!!  I don’t have a stress fracture!! Yay!!  Yippee!!  Hooray!!  I’m so happy!!  I was really worried about that.  I didn’t want to have to be off for a long time, and I didn’t want to have to worry about it coming right back.  So, I am really relieved.

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I went in this morning for my MRI and I was really nervous.  I don’t know why.  It wasn’t a big deal, and I have done one before.  I think it was just that I was so worried about the results.

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They asked me a ton of questions, and then put me on a small metal bed that slid me into the machine.  They had to Velcro my legs together so I wouldn’t move them.  That just made me want to move them even more.  Once they started it, it took a little over an hour.  I had a really hard time being still.  When I lay down, especially to go to sleep, my muscles start twitching.  The longer I laid there the more they were twitching.  I couldn’t stop them!

Good News / Bad News runandlivehappy.com

 

Bad News – Now we have to figure out what is causing all of the pain, and how long it will be until I can run again. I have been really nervous that an MRI wouldn’t show anything, that’s one reason why I’ve put it off so long.  And, that’s exactly what happened!  All it showed was a lot of inflammation. (I think they made a mistake on my medicine!)

Good News / Bad News runandlivehappy.com

So, we are going to try some steroids and the doctor is going to get me some insoles.  I still can’t run for a few weeks, but it’s not near as bad as what I was thinking it might be.  We are hoping that if I continue to stay off of it, and give the steroids a chance to work, then it will totally heal.

I was talking to a friend today, and I told her I feel like I’m on edge all the time and she pointed out that I haven’t been able to run for a couple of weeks.  I realized that’s exactly what it is!  I feel so good when I’m running, and I am really hating this that I have to sit all the time!

Hopefully in a few more weeks, I can get back to posting about running! ( I miss it!!)

run love runandlivehappy.com

 

 

Healthy Oven Baked Fajitas

Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

Last night, I was in the mood for Mexican!  I had found some Carne Asada steak on sale this weekend, and I knew Jeremy would love fajitas.  So, I picked up some chicken to go with it.Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

I know there are a ton of different recipes for oven baked fajitas floating around Pinterest and the internet.  I found one a while ago, and I can’t remember whose I used.  But, I have made some changes and made it my own.  Plus, it’s so easy that I don’t have to look up the recipe every time I want to make it.  Last year, I was making this pretty regularly because it was an easy dish to make on Sunday afternoon and then have for lunch all week.  I would eat it without tortillas or toppings – just the chicken, peppers, and onions.  I also would dice it all up and throw it all together in a salad.  I have played with the spice combinations to see what I like, and have added in some of my own.  One time, I accidentally added in way to much chili powder and it was so spicy that I had to throw it all out. #epicfail

This is a very simple one dish meal.  Plus, you can serve it however you want, and add any toppings that you want as well.Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

 

I have cooked the beef and chicken together before, but I have found that the beef doesn’t need to cook as long, so it made it tough.  You can really do this any way you want, and you can add whatever vegetables you want to it.  This time I added 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, and 1 green bell pepper.  I forgot to pick up onions, so I was missing that.Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

 

For the chicken fajitas you will need:  1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 can (10oz) of Rotel (tomatoes with green chilies), 1-2 bell peppers, 1 small onion, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tbs olive oil.

Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and grease a 13×9 glass baking dish.

Cut up your chicken and lay the strips in the greased dish.  (When I can find them, I buy the chicken strips so they are already cut for me.)Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

In a small bowl mix all of the spices and olive oil.

2015-0Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Stir together and drizzle over the chicken.

Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Stir the chicken to make sure it is all coated in the spice mixture.

Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Cut your bell peppers and onions into slices and throw in with the chicken.  Stir to combine.

Pour a can of Rotel on top ( do not drain) and stir to combine.

Cook this for 30-35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.  The time depends on how many vegetables you put in the dish.Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

 

You can serve this with any number of toppings, or you can eat it just like it is.  It makes good leftovers, and I can eat on it all week long.  The liquid in the Rotel keeps the chicken moist.  When I store the leftovers, I make sure to include all of the liquid.

Healthy Oven Baked Faitas #ontheblog runandlivehappy.com

The Best 6 Books

The Best 6 BooksI promised that I would do a post on my favorite books, so here they are!  They are all series or trilogies.  I love reading, so the more I get to read on one story, the better! 

Best Books to read

  1.  Divergent – This is my favorite book series ever!  This series is by Veronica Roth. It is set in the future and the society is divided into five factions based on character traits.  The main character takes the government test to determine what faction she should be a part of, and she is found to be Divergent, meaning that she doesn’t fit into just one.  The entire series is about her trying to take down the government.  It’s a great action story, and it also has a sweet romance in it as well.  I was completely hooked on this book from the very beginning and had a really hard time putting it down.  The series is made up of Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. You can find it here.Best 6 Books - New Blog Post, check out my favorites on Good Reads
  2. Matched Trilogy– This series is by Ally Condie. It is a dystopian society story.  The main character is a young girl who the society has matched with her best possible mate.  The mate turns out to be her best friend, which is completely unheard of.  But, she figures out that he isn’t her real match, it’s someone else that she knows, and that the society is trying to cover up their mistake and keep her away from the one she is supposed to be with.  The whole series is about her fighting for what she believes in, and standing up to the government.  There is not any descriptive violence, and it makes you think about relationships and control.  It has a great coming-of-age story line, and teaches readers to stand up for themselves.  The series is made up of Matched, Crossed, and Reached. You can find this trilogy hereBest 6 Books - New Blog Post, check out my favorites on Good Reads
  3. Delirium – This series is by Lauren Oliver. This story is set in a dystopian society where love is forbidden.  The government believes that love is a disease and forces everyone to get cured.  The main character does not want the cure and fights the government to show everyone what they are doing.  There is a lot of action in this story.  Of course there is a love story, since the whole plot is about forbidden love.  This series is a nail bitter, you never knew what was going to happen!   This trilogy is made up of Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem.  It also has novellas in between each main book.  They are written from the perspective of one of the characters and shed some light into what all is going on. You can find this series here.Best 6 Books - New Blog Post, check out my favorites on Good Reads
  4. Fallen Series – This series is about angels and demons. I am not usually a fan of this type of genre, but a friend kept pushing me to read this.  I’m glad I finally listened, because I loved it!  It’s a love story that has been going on for 5,000 years.  The characters are supposed to be together, but Luce doesn’t know it.  Daniel has followed her through time to keep her safe and be with her.  She doesn’t know why she is drawn to him, and she never has any memory of her life before.  It’s a passionate love story and the series is addictive!  The books in this series are: Fallen, Torment, Passion, Fallen in Love, Rapture, Unforgiven. You can find the complete set here.Best 6 Books - New Blog Post, check out my favorites on Good Reads
  5. Hunger Games – This is the first series that I have seen where the movie completely follows the book. The movie was straight out of the book, which I loved because the books were amazing!  This series is by Suzanne Collins.  It was set in a post-apocalyptic country that is divided into 12 districts.  Each district must send one boy and one girl to fight to the death.  Katniss goes in place of her sister and is able to survive.  After the first Hunger Games, there is a rebellion, and Katniss is the head of it.  When everything around her is destroyed by the government, she is still determined to survive and save the ones she loves.  In the process, she fights the government to save everyone.  The books in this triology are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. You can find this trilogy here.Best 6 Books - Check out my favorites at Good Reads
  6. Slated – This is a trilogy written by Teri Terry. The main character, Kyla has been slated.  The government says she was a terrorist, and they have erased her memory to give her a second chance.  But, she starts remembering things, and she has to figure out who to trust, and if she can trust herself.  She becomes desperate to fill in the gaps in her memories and to figure out who she really is.  The more she sees, the more she wants to find out and fight back.  Her journey to find the truth is filled with plot twists that keep you hooked.  There is a little romance, but the main story is about finding the truth.  I read this whole trilogy in two days!  It was that good that I could not put it down. The books in this trilogy are Slated, Shattered, and Fractured. Find this trilogy here.Best 6 Books - New Blog Post, check out my favorites on Good Reads

What are your favorite books? 

 

Awesome Weekend Adventures

 

This weekend was pretty fun!  I heard on the radio that it was the last weekend of summer.  I guess technically it was, but To me, summer feels like it’s over after Labor Day.  On Friday night, I went to my sister’s birthday dinner.  My family is big on celebrating birthdays.  We always get together and have dinner and cake and ice cream.  We all went to Applebee’s for dinner.  I absolutely HATE Applebee’s!  But, at least we always know what to expect.  The service is always awful!!  The food is not very good.  There is really nothing there that I particularly like.  But good news, just like always, they were at least consistent.  LOL  There were seven of us, and we were in there for almost two hours.  We had to wait a long time on the food, and then we sat for almost a half an hour after we were finished eating just waiting for our check.  All of us, except one ordered a salad.  I ordered a side Caesar salad.

Weekend Fun

But, as you can see it was completely drowned in dressing so I didn’t eat much of it.  While we were sitting there, we watched the manager bring out food to a table.  He sat it down and they told him it wasn’t theirs.  He picked it up and served it to another table.  After we were finished eating, (with dirty dishes setting all over the table) he tried to set someone else’s on our table.  We told him it wasn’t ours, so he served it to the older couple next to us.  They started eating it and then realized it wasn’t theirs!  We had a good laugh about that!

After dinner, we went over to my mom’s so my sister could open presents.  We also had birthday pie; my sister doesn’t like cake.  We had chocolate meringue pie and homemade Oreo ice cream.  I took a bite of the ice cream and it was delicious!

Weekend Fun

Jeremy had to work, so wrapped him up a piece of pie and on my way home I stopped and picked him up some barbeque.

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping.  I had a pretty long list of things to get for the house, so it took me a while.  In Walmart, I was picking up some Zyrtec and I saw this lady sleeping on a bench. Literally, she was out!

Weekend Fun

I have never seen that there before.  It made me wonder if she was sick, or homeless, or if she was really ok.  I guess you never know about people.

I found these awesome pumpkin wax melts!  I’m so excited about everything pumpkin!  I came straight home and put one in my warmers, and they smell incredible.

Weekend Fun

I unloaded all of the groceries – I got a bunch of stuff.  We try to do our grocery shopping on the weekends, so that way we have everything we need for all our meals during the week.  We very rarely eat out during the week.  Usually, we just eat out on Friday and Saturday nights.  Friday night is our “date night” and Saturday night is with friends.

Weekend Fun Grocery Shopping Meal Prep

After putting up the groceries, I quickly made some brownies for game night with our friends!  I forgot to get a picture before everyone got into them.

Weekend Fun Game Night

We went to dinner with some friends, and we ate Mexican, which is my favorite!  The restaurant we went to has the best cheese dip!!  I’m pretty sure it’s goat cheese, but it is so good!  I ordered the Pollo Loco.  It’s two grilled chicken breasts covered with grilled onions.  It comes with rice and beans and a small scoop of guacamole.  I don’t eat rice and beans.  I ate one chicken breast and onions, and Jeremy ate the other one.  I love grilled onions!

Weekend Fun Dinner

After dinner, we all came back to our house and played Wahoo.  I finally won a game!  I was so excited!!

Weekend Fun

Our friends went home pretty early, and we went straight to bed.  We were really tired.  I woke up at 7 am on Sunday morning.  It was thundering really loudly so I laid there and listened to the storm for a while.  It rained all day!  We got up and ran into town to get Jake some vitamins and new toys.  We also went to The Pumpkin Patch.

Weekend Fun

Just kidding – it was at the store where we get the vitamins.  I dug through the whole bin looking for some epic pumpkins to put on my front porch, but there weren’t any good ones.  I’ll check back in a week or two.

When we came home, I got to work prepping my lunches for the week.  I got tired of salads last week and ended up just eating the chicken and veggies off of them.  So, this week I decided to just make chicken and veggie bowls.  I cut up some bell peppers, squash, and zucchini and grilled them.  I also threw in some of the roasted okra that I made yesterday.

Weekend Fun Grilled Veggies Meal Prep

I bought a rotisserie chicken on Saturday, so I cut it up and filled my bowls.  I also added in a little bit of avocado on the top.

Weekend Fun Meal Prep

Then we spent the rest of the day and night being lazy and watching football, the Yankees and Mets game,

Epic Weekend Adventures

and playing with Jake and his new toys.

Weekend Fun

What did you do this weekend?

Oven Roasted Okra

Oven Roasted Okra

My grandma gave me a TON of fresh okra, and I wanted to cook it before it went bad.  I love okra, but it’s not healthy fried and I can’t handle all grease.  So, I found a recipe several years ago for roasted okra.  I tried it and fell in love with it! Anytime I have fresh okra, I roast it.  I have tried it before with frozen okra, but it doesn’t really taste the same.  It’s very simple and doesn’t require many ingredients.  You will need okra, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I cut up the okra into small pieces and put them in a bowl.

Oven Roasted Okra

Then, I drizzle olive oil on them and sprinkle salt and pepper.  I stir them to make sure they are all coated.  I don’t know how much olive oil I use.  I just start with a little bit and when you stir them, you can tell if you need more.  You don’t want them drowned in it.

Oven Roasted Okra

I cover a baking sheet in foil, so they don’t stick to the pan.  I spread them out in a single layer.

Oven Roasted Okra

I roast them in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.  The time depends on how crispy you want them.  I like mine done and black, so mine usually take closer to 40 minutes. Oven Roasted Okra

Every 10 minutes I pull them out and stir them around to make sure they aren’t sticking and that all sides are cooking.

Oven Roasted Okra

These taste just like fried okra, but they are so much healthier for you.  Plus, they are easier to make and you don’t have a huge mess to clean up!

Oven Roasted Okra