Baked Donuts anyone?

Because I’m on Weight Watchers, a lot of the time I forego pastries like donuts; but every-now-and-then I have a craving and I’ve stored up enough Fitpoints that I feel comfortable enough to have one.  The weather in the Midwest has been sketchy for the past few weekends and we haven’t been out unless absolutely necessary, and a donut run was not absolutely necessary.  But I do have flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, eggs, butter, and so on.  Oh, and I have donut pans. 

I wanted to keep it as healthy as possible, so I knew it had to be a baked donut and not one that is fried in a pot of oil.  So I got to searching the internet for a recipe for donuts that were baked and not fried.  I knew it would be a cake donut because it was going to be baked, so my search  on Google was “baked cake donuts”. After looking at several results, I found this recipe and decided to use it.  https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/baked-cinnamon-sugar-donuts/

I pulled out all of the ingredients, pulled out my donut pan

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and turned on the oven.

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I couldn’t find my round donut pan, so we were having heart-shaped donuts. 

The recipe gave the ingredient measurements in grams as well as “cups” and I had always wanted to weigh out ingredients instead of measure them.  I recently purchase this gem right here.

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I had been looking for a kitchen scale that was space friendly.  I have a lot of kitchen gadgets and a lot of them take up countertop space.  I don’t need anything else to take up space.  I had rejected several scales because I didn’t want another countertop hog.  I found this beauty at Williams Sonoma one day when I was purchasing seasonings.  Look how small it is.

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You can choose your measurement type, in this case I needed grams.  It opens up like this.

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One of the suggestions for getting the batter into the pan was to use a large food storage bag with the end snipped.  I keep large piping bags in my pantry, that I used in this instance.  I want to tell you a trick that I got years ago, I don’t remember who or where, on the best way to get batter/icing into a piping bag without making a mess.  Take a large cup or glass and place your bag inside, flip the edges over the rim of the cup.  Then put your batter/icing into the bag.  You can pull up the edges of the bag and there you go.

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You cut the tip off

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Begin to pip the batter into the pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. 

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I felt that the batter looked a little thin, so I went back in and put another layer over some of the 1st ones I did.  I baked them until golden.

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But doubling up the batter caused the donuts to rise above the donut hole.

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The next batch I made, I used the regular amount.  These turned out with the “donut holes”.  They turned out great.

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The recipe stated that you should dunk the donuts into melted butter then toss them in cinnamon sugar.  The previous week I made cinnamon streusel muffins that ended up having too much sweet topping on them, so this week I decided to just brush the butter on one side then cover that side with the cinnamon sugar.  

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These donuts looked so good, I had to sample ‘em.

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I would suggest that you head over to Sallysbakingaddiction.com and check out this awesome donut recipe.  Comment below if you would like me to include recipes that I get from other websites.  If it is one of my recipes, I will include it in the post (unless it is a family recipe that I have been asked to keep on the downlow – there’s no hope for those wanting the bread pudding recipe.)  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you again next week.

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One of many goals….

Hello everyone,

At the beginning of the year I mentioned that I had several goals that I would be working on this year; and that I would share what they are at a later date.  Well, the next few post (not including the weekly planner spreads) will discuss what they are and how I’m going to accomplish them.

This week I’m going to talk about my healthy body goal. 

In May of 2018, I joined Weight Watchers. 

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This happened after being a little frustrated with how my body was looking and what I wanted it to look like.  Let me first tell you that in my early 20’s I did some modeling – hence I was a little person.  Not little short, but little thin; I was 5’10.5” and weighed 126 lbs – I was little y’all.  I got married at 28 years old still 126 lbs.  I was super thin and honestly do not want to be that small again, but I want to be smaller than I am now.  I’m not huge, but I’m not at my idea size and not super toned.  I like to eat most healthy things, I’m not a huge snacker (because I’m too lazy most often to go get the snacks), and although I love to bake, I’m not a big sweet eater (because again I’m too lazy to go get the sweets once I’ve finally set down).  My problem folks is portion control.  You know how when you were young, your mother/father told you that you needed to eat everything on your plate?  I haven’t let that go.  So most often when I sit down to eat, I work really hard to finish everything on my plate, even though I’m full.  Weight Watchers was having a special at the perfect time – whatever I had on that day didn’t look as smooth as I wanted it to be and I knew it was because of my weight.  I signed up for the part of the program where I do not attend the meetings but I can still track what I eat and the points I’m assigned that will help me get to my goal weight.  It has really been an eye-opener.  Did you know that smoothies are not point friendly?  All of those “healthy” smoothies that I was drinking each morning made with pineapple, carrots, spinach and coconut water (sometimes mango, strawberries, peaches – but always with spinach and coconut water and carrots) were like half of my daily allotted points!  I haven’t had a smoothie since May. 

I have become more conscience of what I am eating.  I have learned to choose the healthier options for salad dressings or learning to have a salad without so many extras.   This balsamic vinaigrette I’m currently loving is this one….

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I was looking in my olive oil cabinet and found a blood orange balsamic vinegar that I want to make into a vinaigrette after I finish this bottle.

I now make sure my vegetable and lean protein intake covers more of my plate.  I still have some of my favorites, like a homemade biscuit or slice pecan pie; now I have it less often.  I have had to find new snacks when I want something crunchy.  I am still learning how to use peanut butter powder instead of peanut butter – cause I really love peanut butter and I really miss it. I have found the Chobani Savors as a replacement for sour cream.

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One of the lunches I had this week looks like this. 

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Pulled pork with a small side salad (I apologize for that picture, I don’t know why it came out fuzzy), coleslaw made with Chobani Savors, a little, little bit of mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard; and of course my apple, orange and, because I found one this week, pineapple.

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My fruit bowl is always full of grapefruit, lemons, apples and oranges. 

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I have the lemons in my water and grapefruit for breakfast a few days a week.  I try to have an apple (Honeycrisp, please)  and orange each day for lunch.  I add pineapple if I can find it at a great price.

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I think it was helpful over the holidays when Stan and Babydoll became sick with that sinus thing that is going around.

Needless to say I have lost some weight – 23 lbs – and still need another 22 lbs before I get to my first goal weight.  So Yay for me for losing the 23 lbs!!!!

In addition to being a part of WW, our family joined the Y last September.  We had been wanting to join the Y for a while, but we just couldn’t justify the cost at the time. This time, Stan and I were both on a mission to slim down, there was a new Y opening up near our home soon, and we found that my job had an employee discount offered for the Y.  Babydoll has been wanting us to sign up, because she is a swimmer and most Y’s have pools (the location near us did not, but the new one was going to have it). 

Another thing that I had issue with was finding the time to go to the gym.  My schedule is not conducive to me going to the gym after work; I have too much to do.  Plus, by the time I get everything done, I just want to sit down; I do not want to go to a crowded gym and try to find a machine I can use – I have been advised by my Orthopedist to have no part of a treadmill with my knee being a contender for replacement.  I took a careful look at my schedule and made a mental commitment to go 2 days a week as well as walking daily (even in cold weather).

So now, I have three things that I have set a goal to be committed to – Weight Watchers, walking daily unless the weather is not conducive to it (rain, extreme temperatures, or ice would be the only deterrent because I am walking outside), and going to the gym at least 2 days a week.  Then this year, I decided to add challenges.  This month, me and Babydoll  are doing a challenge that truly has been a test….it is a challenge.

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It’s basically the squats, crunches and wall sit that are taking us out.  Oh, I hate the plank too.  You know what, it is all bad.   Next month, we are going to focus on ab and arm work, since they are the parts of my body I really want to have defined by the summer (another goal). 

I hope that I have articulated what my healthy body goal is: there are two goal weights, I want to have definition in my arms and abs, I want to commit to at least two days per week, and walking daily unless the weather is dangerous outside. 

I will tell you about my others goals (financial, spiritual, travel) in the weeks to come. Do you have a healthy body goal?  Do you have a beginners challenge that you want to recommend? Is there a snack or dessert that is healthy you would recommend?  Comment below, I would love to hear from you. 

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Planner Spread for week of 1/21/2019

I hope that everyone had a great Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  We have had a couple days of with snow and frigid temperatures, so I wanted to reflect that in my spread this week.  I’m still struggling with this new layout.  I think the thing I’m having issues with is the blocks that are colored on the left side, it seems to limit my color options.

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Like I said, I’m going to stick it out for at least the first month.  Comment below, to tell me if you think, I’m successful  with decorating the spread.

Have a good rest of your week.

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After Christmas Haul

The other day, I had to pick up some things from the grocery store that I forgot to purchase – Babydoll was returning to school and I had forgotten some lunch essentials.  My first thought was to go to Meijer, but that wasn’t really in the area that I was in; Walmart was.  I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but I’m not a huge fan of Walmart.  Oh don’t get it twisted, I shop there (I’ll have to talk at a later time about Christmas lay-a-way); but it is NEVER my first place to go and if someone tells me they got something from Walmart that I want, I groan long and loud. 

Ok, so I went in Walmart and I parked on the “Home” side – there was less traffic on that side.  I remembered that I needed to look for a replacement straw for my ThermoFlask cup so headed to that area.  It just so happened that the Clearance section is over in that area also and I never not look at the clearance area of any store I step into.  That day began the 90% off sale for all Christmas related items.  There were ladies over there going through stuff that had multiple –yes I said multiple – carts.  I took my cart over and looked at what Walmart had.  I had already purchased several rolls of wrapping paper and felt I didn’t needed any more.  But gift bags – I could always use those.  I looked for bags that were neutral enough to be able to be used for other occasions besides Christmas.  I also picked up the gift boxes and some tassels (not shown). 

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Then I kept perusing all of the Clearance aisles.  I found some white lights (for Babydolls white tree) and stocking stuffers that would be great for my husband next year (I won’t show those in case he stumbles across this page – of course he could forget by next Christmas but I don’t want to chance it).

Then I stumbled across the aisle that had kitchen gadgets.  I didn’t lose my mind, but I was able to score some great finds. 

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It was early (I had just dropped of Babydoll at school) and I really didn’t want to wake my mother because they are retired and are no longer early risers.  But stuff was 90% off!  I had to call to see if she needed anything.  I picked up some things for my mom after talking to her; she needed most of the same things I got, but she didn’t get the rolling pin (they didn’t have anymore of them) and she also got two 2-packs of tongs with her colors being navy blue and red.

Finally I went to get the things that I came into the store for and headed to the register.  They only had 1 lane that was manned by a cashier and the line was long, so I went to the U-Scan lane.  I was able to purchase the items that I came in for with no problem, but the clearance items were not ringing up discounted.  I ended up going to a cashiered lane (along with some other people who were having the same issue that I was) and this is where the excitement happened.  First, I need to tell you that the ladies that had multiple carts were in their own lanes and it was comical how they were ringing up all of the items they had acquired.  New registers were opened up because it was going to take a while to ring up all of their stuff.   I let someone go ahead of me who only had a couple of 4 foot trees, some extension cords, and lights – that ladies got those trees for $2 each.

I was able to purchase all of my mothers items for $1.28.  Let’s marinate in that for a moment.  I got 2 sets of tongs, a stainless steel colander, silicon oven mitts, and zester for $1.28

My total for all of the bags, the stocking stuffers (they are not cheesy gifts either), the kitchen utensils, white lights, the gift boxes and some decorative tassels was $17.25.  Yep…$17.25!

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I’m not a fan of Walmart, but moments like this keep me coming back (but only very early in the day before people really start to show up. Smile)

Have you had any great after Christmas hauls?  Let me know in the comments section below.  See you guys next week.

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Planner Spread this week

Happy Humpday!

Here is my planner spread for this week.  I am using the SuperMom planner currently and I’m not sure if I’m going to continue.  It’s the dashboard layout and not very easy to make pretty.  I’m struggling with how to decorate it.  I plan on sticking with it until at least the end of the month.

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What do you think…should I continue or switch to the standard horizontal layout?  Comment below with your thoughts.

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I’m a planner babe

I am a planner and have been one since college, no strike that since high school.  I graduated from a notebook or journal book to a Franklin Covey planner about 22 years ago.  I have always written down my life to make sure that I get it done. 

I’ve also wanted my planner pages to be pretty and would spend hours going over the Franklin Covey catalog (then later website) to find the perfect design for the year.  I spent time in Franklin Covey stores purchasing covers and accessories, anything to make my planner not only functional, but stylish as well.

A few years ago, Franklin Covey’s pretty designs seemed to go to the wayside with the influx of smartphones and I was left trying to figure out what to do.  I needed my planner, but I liked to look at the pretty.  A conversation with my sister told me about the Arc planner at Staples.  I looked into it and fell in love with the possibilities.  I could customize my pages to include the looks that I wanted as well as have the types of inserts that I knew I used everyday.  I was hooked, and spent a year designing inserts and daily pages, budget pages, you name it.  I was online looking for tools to help with my designs, info on how to print pages correctly, where to go to buy accessories, all of that.

The next year, my sister told me about Erin Condren. 

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It looked beautiful (I REALLY like my pretty), but it was spiral-bound and I liked the arc-bound systems because I could add and take away pages with ease.  Then she said that I might be interested in the MAMBI system. 

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I got my first Happy Planner and I’ve been a MAMBI user ever since….I LOVE MY HAPPY PLANNER. 

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Initially I struggled with the layout because I was such a fan of daily pages.  I bought the daily page inserts and try that for a while, but I wasn’t able to make it as pretty as I wanted.  There were days when I didn’t need a daily page and then felt that I was adding bulk to planner.  About a year ago, I decided to switch to a weekly spread and then I began to play with stickers (that’s what a friend calls it).

I can’t begin to tell you how much I have become a fan of decorating my weekly spread.  The amount of money that I have spent on stickers and washi tape is nothing to sneeze at.  I have bought extension packs and accessories – a hole punch, hard covers, paper punches, and dashboards to name a few.  I have become a viewer of YouTube videos that show different decorated layouts and tips on how to use the planner.  I’ve even attended a meeting for the local group of planners and crafters (and I’m going to go again).

As a result of this planner love that has evolved over the years, one of the new things that I am adding to the blog with be the weekly planner spread.  I may not give a detailed description every week, it may just be a photo; and I can almost guarantee that it will not show up until around Tuesday, but I’ll post the pic.  I encourage you to share you pages too because I can always use some inspiration.   I’ll share sticker book  and accessory purchases and all things planner that I use or hope to use. 

Here is the spread for this past week. 

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Another view once I had began to fill in with the pen.

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I’m not an expert at decorating like some that I see on YouTube or Instagram, but it makes me happy.  I hope you enjoy this new addition to the site and hope to see you soon. 

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Happy New Beginnings!!!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that you and your family had a safe and restful holiday season.  And now it’s time to get started on this new year running.  This is the first year that I have decided to actually have goals that I’m not just going to say in my head, but write them down and actively make moves to accomplish them.  I’ve written them down so that I can visually see them and I’ve already begun working on them.   I’m calling these goals and not resolutions, because in my mind a goal is something you work towards and a resolution is something that you resolve to do.  To me a goal is a process that can grow and evolve and I want meet my goals and then let them evolve to something more.  So I have set goals and not resolutions.  I will do goal check in’s to see how I am progressing, see if I need to modify my roadmap, or something else.   

One of the first goals that I have is to actually use this awesome blog.  I have had this blog for over six years, and initially I was consistent in my post; but over the years it seems that life has gotten the best of me and my post have come a screeching halt.  In 2019 that ends.  My goal is to post at least weekly. 

I titled this post Happy New Beginnings because I am going to add some new things to the site.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share what my goals are and how I plan to move forward to accomplish them as well as share some of the new things I’m adding to the site.  Please check-in weekly to see the changes and additions.

Comment below to let me know what things you would love to see in the blog.  Or just comment to let me know you’re keeping me accountable.  What goals have you set for 2019 and how do you plan accomplish them.  Let’s be each others goal checkers.  We can hold each other accountable.  Thanks for checking my out and I’ll see you soon.

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