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An online diary of my everyday life featuring tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE {2018}

Just over one week until Father’s Day.  If you’re still looking for ideas, we’ve got them here.  Most can be picked up at local stores or ordered on Amazon Prime so you’ll have not trouble getting dad’s gift on time.  It’s fun to think out of the box for unusual gift ideas dad will appreciate.

 

Pizza Making Dad

Whether it’s in a regular old oven, on the grill or in a pizza oven, these are the essentials dad needs to make perfect New York style pizza.

Click images below to shop:

    

 

 

Drink Loving Dad

For the dad that enjoys trying new cocktails and craft beers.

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Outdoor Dad

If dad enjoys camping, sporting events, or just relaxing outside, these gifts are perfect.

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Party Games Dad

What dad doesn’t enjoy yard games?

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The Handy Dad

Thoughtful gifts for the dad that is always working.

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Sports Dad

For the sports dad who has everything.

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Gadget Dad

Tech-y items dads will love.

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Practical Dad

When dad just wants something practical so he doesn’t have to actually go into a store and shop for himself.

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Funny Dad

Does dad really ever have enough funny shirts or coffee mugs?

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KETO UPDATE + WHAT’S FOR DINNER {JUNE MEAL PLANNER}

Two and a half months on Keto and still at it.  I’m down 22 pounds after a bit of a plateau at two months in.  Nearly every recipe I try is tasty.  My energy level is high.  I no longer experience late afternoon drowsiness or daily headaches.  And the biggest benefit I’ve noticed since starting Keto is naturally waking up earlier.  If you know much about me, you know I have never been an early riser.  Now I wake up at 7:00am or 7:30am ready to start the day.  That is HUGE for me.  So I’m going to continue on my Keto journey and reap the benefits with no final weight loss goal in mind.  (Though I am trying to talk my husband into a nice beach somewhere to celebrate 30 pounds down but I’m not having much luck.)

I’m continuing this month’s dinner ideas with Keto meals.  While I promise, most every recipe I try is delicious, if you don’t want the high fat meals, you can simply use the dinner ideas below and create your own regular/lower fat versions.  If you do want to try Keto meals, the items with a * in the meal calendar below include recipe links.

If you are interested in the Keto diet, I learned the basics by reading the book “Simply Keto”.  It is very good at explaining exactly what Keto entails, what are Keto-friendly foods and is full of great recipes.  You can also learn tons by just googling “Keto diet”, as well.

Without further ado, here is what we are having for dinner this month:

 

A FEW NOTES:

NOTE 1:  The calendar below will change as the month change.  If you are viewing this post after April, just use the < > buttons to click back to April 2018.

NOTE 2:  Items marked with an (*) asterisk on the calendar below have recipe links you can refer to.  Simply click the item and a recipe link will pop up.

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER {MAY MEAL PLANNER} + KETO UPDATE

It’s been seven weeks since I began the Keto diet.  I am the world’s worst dieter.  I’m not the most adventurous eater, I am a sugar addict and I hate to exercise.  So, I didn’t have high hopes this time around, either.  I had thrown around the idea of the keto diet – a high fat, high protein, low carb, no sugar or processed foods diet – because who doesn’t like bacon, heavy cream and meat?  What sealed the deal is when my family jokingly said, “you’ll never stick to it”.  Game on!

I am now seven weeks in and still going strong.  It literally has been the easiest diet I’ve ever tried.  The no sugar thing really hasn’t been a big deal for me.  Over the weeks, I lost 17 pounds with no exercise; just counting my macros and eating keto friendly foods.  I have cheated twice.  On Easter I ate all keto foods for my meal but allowed myself a tiny sliver of dessert.  Then, last week for my daughter’s birthday, I celebrated with her by having a piece of garlic bread and a slice of the Oreo dessert.  Since last week, I had my first weight gain of 2 pounds bringing me back to 15 pounds lost.  I’m not discouraged.  Pair the cheat items with the exercise I started regularly (muscle weighs more than fat) and the fact that women gain weight right before that time of the month (sorry, TMI), I can understand why I gained a few pounds and I’m okay with that.  While the rapid weight loss has slowed down, I’m still continuing the exercise and keto eating.  I’m sticking to it.  And, because they said I wouldn’t, I’m more motivated than ever.

If you are interested in the keto diet, I suggest starting with the book “Simply Keto”.  It is very good at explaining exactly what keto entails, what are keto-friendly foods and is full of great recipes.

I’m continuing this month’s dinner ideas with keto meals.  While I promise, most every recipe I try is delicious, if you don’t want the high fat meals, you can simply use the dinner ideas below and create your own regular/lower fat versions.  If you do want to try keto meals, the items with a * in the meal calendar below include recipe links.  Happy eating!

 

A few notes:

NOTE 1:  The calendar below will change as the month change.  If you are viewing this post after April, just use the < > buttons to click back to April 2018.

NOTE 2:  Items marked with an (*) asterisk on the calendar below have recipe links you can refer to.  Simply click the item and a recipe link will pop up.

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BROOKE {FEATURED SENIOR}

Meet Brooke, a 2018 Christy B senior.  Brooke attends Holden High School and will be graduating in just a few short weeks!  She is a softball lover and will be continuing to play in college.  I first photographed her brother’s senior photos several years ago.  Being a typical guy, I squeezed out maybe an hour of photos with him.  Thankfully, Brooke was a more willing subject and it was so much fun capturing all of her senior images.  (Not that Andrew’s session wasn’t fun.  He was just a little less, shall we say, enthusiastic.)  As we take a look at some of my favs from her senior sessions, let’s learn a little more about Brooke.

Favorite classes and why:  Any history class

Favorite ice cream flavor:  cookie dough

Celebrity crush:  Johnny Depp

Favorite place to hang with your BFF:  the pool

Favorite movie:  A League of Their Own or anything Disney

If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it:  Buy a ’67 Impala and go to Florida to watch my Florida Gators play

Dream career:  Special education / Secondary eduction

Movie you rushed right out to see:  Twilight

You can learn more interesting facts about Brooke and see more of her senior photos on Instagram (@christyBphotography).

It was an honor to be your senior photographer, Brooke!  Best of luck in all you do in the future!!

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER {APRIL MEAL PLANNER}

This month’s meal plan may look a little different than previous months.  Generally, I would pick recipes based on how good they looked, not necessarily for how healthy they were.  For the last three weeks, I have been on the keto diet.  Now I plan meals based on how good they look, if they are keto-friendly and if the rest of my family would eat some form of it.  The meals we’ve tried so far have actually been really good and the family has approved of most of it.  Whether you are on the keto diet or not, this month’s menu is still packed full of yummy recipes and can be used to spur regular dinner ideas for your family.

If you are interested in the keto diet, I suggest you consider purchasing the book “Simply Keto”.  It is very good at explaining exactly what keto entails, keto-friendly foods and is full of great recipes.

Some of the whole family’s favorite recipes have been:

Grilled Chicken & Bacon Ranch Kabobs

Keto Hamburgers with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Breaded Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard

Low Carb Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Chicken


A few notes:

NOTE 1:  The calendar below will change as the month change.  If you are viewing this post after April, just use the < > buttons to click back to April 2018.

NOTE 2:  Items marked with an (*) asterisk on the calendar below have recipe links you can refer to.  Simply click the item and a recipe link will pop up.

NOTE 3:  For my Instant Pot friends, there are several Instant Pot friendly recipes marked with “(Instant Pot)”.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAISY MAE

Not only is it national puppy day, it’s this girl’s first birthday.  One year ago today our sweet Daisy Mae was born.  Technically, she is our son’s dog.  But guess who takes care of her.  I’m not sure she’ll ever be allowed to move from our house.  She’s such a sweetheart.  You can see her “newborn” puppy photos when she came home to live with us HERE.

Any first birthday calls for a special treat and a present.  Daisy Mae loved her gifts.  Happy birthday, sweet girl.

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WHAT’S IN MY CLOSET

I’m a sucker for a cozy sweatshirt and I love this asymmetrical snap popover shirt because it’s different than the typical hoodie.  Wear it unsnapped or stay warm with the neck snapped up.  It sells out quick so grab it while you can.  It’s just long enough that you youngins could pair it with leggings.  I ain’t no youngin so I opted for my busted knee jeans.  And for the most comfortable pair of tennis shoes ever, I wore these Adidas tennies.

*click images below to shop*

        

    

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER {FEBRUARY MEAL PLANNER}

It’s the second month of 2018 and I’m still going strong planning out my monthly meals and doing my shopping online every two weeks.  Pair that with my handy dandy Instant Pot and meals have been a breeze.  Hope these meal ideas and recipes help make your dinners a little easier, too.  If you missed last month’s dinner ideas, just click the left arrow on the calendar below.


A few notes:

NOTE 1:  The calendar below will change as the month change.  If you are viewing this post after Janaury, just use the < > buttons to click back to January 2018.

NOTE 2:  Items marked with an (*) asterisk on the calendar below have recipe links you can refer to.  Simply click the item and a recipe link will pop up.

NOTE 3:  For my Instant Pot friends, there are several Instant Pot friendly recipes marked with “(Instant Pot)”.

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LET'S BE SOCIAL

Everyday life, behind the scenes, tips & tricks, a little bit of everything.

Come on over and join me, won't you?