Watermelon Yogurt Cupcakes

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So, if you have been reading since the beginning you know that I love to read Shay's blog, Mix and Match Mama and one day not too long ago she posted a recipe for Watermelon Cupcakes. I love watermelon and I love cupcakes so this combination is amazing to me! 

Being on Weight Watchers though, I am not making cupcakes the traditional way lately. I am subbing all the fat for a cup of Fat Free Greek Yogurt instead. You can see my Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes recipes here. When I bought the strawberry cake mix, what I really wanted was a watermelon mix, but they did not have one, so when I saw Shay's recipe, I thought, I could add watermelon to my cupcakes and that is what I did! 

If you aren't worried about calories and Weight Watcher points, go check out Shay's recipe, but if you are, check out mine! 

Low Point Watermelon Yogurt Cupcakes

Box White Cake mix
1 Cup Vanilla or Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1 1/4 cup Watermelon puree  *divided
Light Cool Whip

Mix together cake mix, yogurt and 1 cup of Watermelon puree. 

Pour into prepared muffin pan. I sprayed my pan and did not use baking cups. Bake according to box directions. 

While cupcakes cool, add 1/4 cup watermelon puree* to 1 cup of the Cool Whip and pour over the top of each cupcake right before eating.  
*This addition changes the consistency of the cool whip as you can see in the picture. 

Serves 24
2PP+ Each

**A few notes, the cupcakes didn't come out tasting very "watermelony" but the cool whip definitely adds a big watermelon punch! Due to the consistency of the cool whip, I think it is better to pour it over right before eating one, rather than frosting them all ahead! I just kept my extra cool whip mix in a covered container in the refrigerator!  

My kids loved these cupcakes with just a dollop of the plain cool whip on them or you could certainly frost them! 

These are a refreshing summertime treat! 


Weigh in Monday, but Not a Weigh In....

Monday, June 29, 2015

So another week went by, but I didn't go to weigh in and let me tell you, I feel like it was a good thing. I think it might have made me super sad to see a gain and a gain is what it would be. Here are 3 things that I learned when I fell off the wagon this week....

1) After 12 weeks on Weight Watchers, I don't even feel good after eating terrible for a week. 

I mean, I will spare you the TMI, but by Friday, my body was hating me. It was the first week of school vacation. I ate ice cream multiple times, I went out to dinner/lunch 4 times this week and it was Mike's birthday which means I ate cake, and had a few drinks a few times this week. By Friday I went to bed knowing I was going to start eating better and tracking everything I eat again.

2) Starting my day with a morning walk, makes my whole day more productive. 

When I get up early in the morning, work on my blog for a bit to wake up and then head out for a morning walk, it makes my entire day more productive. Last week, some days due to weather and some days due to laziness, I did not get up early and I did not walk. This means, I didn't exercise and I didn't get enough time to blog. While it was nice to sleep (even the kids slept in, we are officially on our summer schedule!) it is time to get back on track or I will get nothing done this summer!

3) I need to follow my own rules every week, or I will not be successful. 

I just posted my, 5 Small Things to Help Your Weight Loss Efforts, but then I totally disregarded my list this past week. Today, I am back at it. I cleaned out the fridge, I made a meal plan, I have lots of cut up fruit, and I am making Yogurt Cupcakes, instead of regular cupcakes for my Dad's birthday! I have a plan this week and I am sticking to it! 

I have not posted a meal plan in a while, so I figured what better way to stay accountable than to post it for you all! 

I was in the mood for inspiration this week and decided to head over to Shay's blog, Mix and Match Mama and find some yummy things to make this week and, boy did I! I will refer to her blog as MMM because I am using so many of her recipes this week and my hands will get tired if I don't shorten it up ;)

Breakfast options
1) My Bacon Guacamole Egg Sandwich, but without the bacon and cheese to save the points (5PP+)
2) My Crunchy Breakfast (5PP+)

Lunch options

1) MMM, Avocado Shrimp Salad (9PP+)
3) Ham, Light Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese and lettuce on a sandwich thin with a side of veggies and chips (9PP+)

Dinner options

1) MMM, Sweet and Sour Grilled Chicken Tacos served with cut up fruit and veggies (8PP+)
2) MMM, Pizza Burgers  (7PP+ for the burger) served on a roll with a side Caprese salad and grilled veggies
3) MMM, Quick Chicken Stir Fry  served with 1/2 cup brown rice (8PP+ I modified the recipe a bit, I cut the chicken down to 1 pound and the sesame seeds to 2 TBSP, to get it to 8 points, otherwise it would be 10PP+)
4) Baked Chicken Parmesan and Pasta (13PP+) served with a side salad 
5) Grilled Pizza - we made these this weekend with Flatout Artisan Thin Pizza crust and they averaged about 6-8PP+ per full pizza depending on toppings. So, so good! I will definitely be posting some of our combos! 

I only planned 5 meals because one night I am going out to dinner with a friend and I couldn't decide on next Sunday yet! 

What are you all eating this week? I would love to get some new ideas! It has been a while, but today I am linking up with Mommy Run Fast and I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Tomorrow, I am posting a new cupcake recipe...

You don't want to miss this refreshing summer cupcake! 

Happy Monday! 

What's Up Wednesday

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Linking up with some of my favorite bloggers today to tell you a little of "what is up" in our world this month! 

What We are Eating this Week:

We are eating out this week...a ton! Oh my goodness, it just so happens that I went to lunch with a friend on Monday, Mike and I had a date night, Olivia and I have dinner plans with friends on Thursday night and Friday night we are having dinner with the other Girl Scout leaders and their daughters. Needless to say, there isn't a lot of cooking happening around here this week! 

What I am Reminiscing About:

My babies...

In 2 weeks they are going to be 9 and 5 years old. Where has the time gone?

What I'm Loving:

Summer vacation! Love, love, love not having anything we have to do on the agenda! It feels so good not to get in and out of my car twelve times a day anymore! I am loving this feeling while it lasts!

What We've Been Up To:

The weather hasn't been the best, so yesterday we went to the movies and saw Inside Out! Such a good movie. Super cute and I may have gotten teary eyed once or twice!

Then I went to the movies for a second time with my handsome hubby, to see SPY. Oh my gosh, I love Melissa McCarthy and this movie was no exception!

What I'm Dreading:

Packing my house. This summer, we are putting our second floor on. Nothing is finalized, but we know it is happening soon and we couldn't be more excited, but before we start construction, we need to pack up our entire bedroom and take all the pictures off the walls and shelves in the the whole house. We need to make room for construction as well as keep our things safe. I hate to pack, but I know it will be worth it!

What I'm Working On:

Organizing and taking pictures of the kids artwork!

I am uploading it to the app, Artkive. Anyone used it to make a book? Right now they are just all saved in the app, but I do want to make a book someday. I just haven't decided if I will do one book for each kid, of all their artwork through elementary school or put them together and do a book every couple years? Any suggestions? 

What I'm Excited About:

Olivia is planning to get her ears pierced on Thursday night and I am so excited for her! 

Where did my baby go? 

What I'm Watching/Reading:

Based on a recommendation of another mom at tball, we are currently binge watching Sons of Anarchy. I am not as obsessed with this as I have been with some previous shows, but I do like it and want to know what is going to happen!

I just finished reading The Fringe Hours and now I am on to Emily Giffin, One and Only! I am going to do a book review in July, can't wait to tell you all about the great books I have read!

What I'm Listening To:

I am listening to the kids electronic devices while I work on my blog! Owen is playing a monster truck game on my phone and Olivia is watching a show on Netflix! They have 10 minutes and then we are turning them off, having breakfast and getting ready for our day!

This is not today, but I just loved this photo!
Today, they are in PJ's with bed head :)

What I'm Wearing:

Capri yoga pants and a t-shirt. I went for my morning walk and have not jumped in the shower yet! Believe me, you don't want a picture :)

What I'm Doing this Weekend: 

Planning a going away party for one of my best friends who is moving to Virginia next month and really hoping for no rain, but it isn't looking good. Otherwise, we are just hanging out getting stuff done around the house!

Chance of Rain
Chance of Rain

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

The Taylor Swift concert! Olivia and I are heading to see Taylor Swift in a few weeks and we are both super excited! Honestly, I am not sure who is more excited, her or me! The concert happens to fall on my birthday weekend, what a way to spend my 35th birthday, right??

What Else is New:

This guy is having a birthday today! Happy 35th birthday to my hubby! For exactly one month he is my old man! I will for sure rub it in for the next 30 days, until I join him in the mid thirties!

What We are doing for the 4th of July:

Nothing incredibly exciting! One of my favorite things though....

What are your plans for the 4th?

That's what's up with my family, what's up with yours??

Have a great Wednesday everyone! 

Weigh in Monday...a Little Late

Monday, June 22, 2015

For anyone who is friends with me on Facebook or Instagram you already know the good news of this weekends weigh in, because I couldn't wait to post it! If you don't follow me, and you should, here are the stats this week!

To say that I was pumped to see this weight loss, was an understatement!  

I was not perfect for the two weeks, but I think the addition of my morning walk really paid off in counteracting my less than perfect days. I did at least 30 minute walks 5-6 times during the two weeks, so not a ton, but obviously a good amount for me! 

It turns out that I really enjoy my morning walk. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to get up most days, but on the days that I get up at 6am, have a little time to myself and head out the door at 7am, are the most productive days and I am looking forward to keeping it up all summer! How many weeks to make a habit? 3? By the end of July it should be just part of my routine...fingers crossed :)

Now, it is summer and the real challenge begins. Cookouts, beach days, ice cream, beer, no schedule or routine, catching up with friends over lunch and dinner. Oh and birthdays....lots of birthdays! Mike's birthday is Wednesday, then my dad July 1st, Olivia the 7th, Owen the 9th and me the 24th! There will be 6 occasions to have cake and ice cream in the next 4 weeks. Give me strength....

I may have to go two weeks before weighing in again this time, which won't be a bad thing for my motivation because I didn't track this weekend and I really should have thought ahead before eating whatever I wanted this weekend, because I am eating out for dinner 3 times this week and really could have used some extra points for that. So the fact that I don't get to weigh in this weekend is probably for the best and now I know that before not tracking on the weekend I need to look at my schedule for the week! 

I bought lots of fruit and veggies this week and I am going to try to save up some points during the day! I am following all of my simple rules this week and next and hoping for another great weigh in, in 2 weeks! 

Have a great day! 

Week 3: Enjoy the Flavor

Friday, June 19, 2015

When we talk flavor, I think ice cream! Am I alone? 

There is nothing better in the summer than, ice cream. OK, there is the sun, the beach and pools, but I love me some ice cream and I have definitely passed this love onto my kids! This is not going to be good for my weight loss this summer. There is something about going to the beach that makes me want to stop for ice cream on the way home...this wouldn't be a problem if we didn't frequent the beach a few times a week! Anyway, can you tell I am thinking about ice cream?? 

On to the purpose of this post....#ETHANproject, Week 3: Enjoy the Flavor

Here are the details of the challenge..

Because I think about ice cream a lot in the summer and because I am trying to lose weight, I decided that I would buy some ice cream to keep in the freezer. Usually I don't keep ice cream in the freezer, because if I have it in there I will eat it. Well, let's be honest, in the summer I am eating it whether it is in the freezer or not, so I might as well keep it on hand to save us 1) some money and 2) some calories, because if I go to the local ice cream place, chances are good I am not just going to get a kiddie size dish of ice cream. Once I get there everything looks so good! So I went to the store and bought the stuff to make ice cream at home and the first night we had some ice cream sundaes! 

The kids were super excited!! To go with the challenge, I bought my favorite kind to have the kids try something new. Friendly's Watermelon sherbet. Anyone else tried this? I was super psyched to see it at the store and immediately knew that was what I was bringing home! Then I went with vanilla as well, just in case the kids didn't like the sherbet! We had the choice of sugar cone of waffle dish, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles and we all created our own sundaes! 


So what are you going to do this week to ENJOY the FLAVOR? I want to hear all about it! 

Instagram - Let's see your photos, #ETHANproject and tag me!
Check out the ETHANproject facebook group for lots of good ideas! 

Since we talked about one of my favorite ice cream flavors today, I wanted to talk about one more favorite....

This is my chalk board in the entryway because TODAY is the last day of school!! 

Olivia is getting out of school at Noon and we are hitting the beach to celebrate! 

Now I am off to weigh in this morning. Since I didn't go last week, I decided to go today so that we can all sleep in tomorrow! Wish me luck! 

Have a great Friday and an excellent weekend! 
See you all back here Monday for Weigh in Monday

Want to Lose Weight? Do These 5 Things!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I have been on this weight loss journey for a long time, but I finally feel over the last 12 weeks or so that something has changed for me. I am making good food choices 80-90% of the time, when I do make a bad choice is a one time/day deal and not a total diet derailment. You know the kind of derailment I am talking about...it is Wednesday afternoon and you eat a candy bar and a box of macaroni and cheese (not that I have ever done this...wink, wink) and you think "well I messed up the diet, I will start again on Monday" then Thursday through Sunday you eat like it is your last meal because you are starting your diet on Monday! And the cycle continues....but not this time! This time has been different and I am going to share with you the 5 things that have really helped me this time around! 


1. Clean out the Fridge

And I don't just mean, clean out the bad for you, foods. I mean a total overhaul of the refrigerator and the freezer while you are at it. I find that by the end of the week when I have thrown things in quickly or there are tons of leftovers around and the fridge gets messy, I don't make the best choices. This may seem silly, but it is so significant. When I open the fridge and I can see all my choices without having to move things around, I can easily make a good choice. When I have to push things around and look for things, I open the fridge and close it and think, we have nothing to eat! 

2. Make a Meal Plan

This is huge! It is also the thing I really hate to do, but without it, we eat out more than we should! I have to make a plan, it doesn't have to be a daily plan where I plan, Monday we will have this and Tuesday we will have this...it can just be a simple list of 7 meals that you will make during the week and you can choose the days later. I will even sometimes write down that one day we are eating whatever and this doesn't mean that we don't have a plan, it just means your on your own and we are eating whatever we want. On a whatever night, we might do chicken nuggets a frozen meal, the kids will eat cereal a lot, we can heat up soup, just whatever we have on hand and we feel like making! It is the no plan, plan! 

An Example of one of my meal plans! 

3. Drink Lots of Water

This comes as no surprise to people. Drink water! We hear this everywhere. But it really does help to keep you feeling full and just overall makes your body feel better. My secret to drinking more water has been to drink out of a straw. I buy straws and I use them in my glasses at home and it has increased my water intake so much. When I have a straw in my drink I can drink an entire glass of water in just one sip. Really, I will often drink a glass of water down and then refill and drink that one a little more "leisurely." When I don't use the straw, I fill a glass and I take sips. Go away, come back take another sip. I just don't drink a glass as quickly without a straw. Try it! 

Here I am drinking from a straw while I write this post! 

4. Cut up Fruits and Veggies

This one is big! When I take the time to cut up fruits and veggies to have on hand, I am much more likely to eat them as snacks. Cut up cucumbers and bell peppers are a favorite in our house, dip them in some Ranch or hummus and they are a perfect snack. When I have the bowl in the fridge, cut up and ready to go, I can easily grab them as a snack or put them out as our veggie side for dinner. I don't know about your kids, but mine prefer raw veggies so this works great for us. 

Fruit is a great snack especially in the summer! Even if you have to buy it already cut up, it is worth it. When I know I won't have time to cut something up or when I am just feeling lazy, I buy the already cut up fresh fruit. It is a bit more money, but how many times have you bought a cantaloupe and then thrown it out because you never cut it up and it goes bad? I know I have many times. 

I cut up the watermelon but bought the cantaloupe cut up! 

Always have cut up and convenient fruits and vegetables in your neatly organized fridge and see how it makes a difference in your eating! 

5. Find Alternatives to your Cravings

This is a biggie and maybe the biggest or at least the biggest at certain times of the month, if you know what I mean! This time around, I have taken notice of my triggers. When during the month do I normally crave foods, what do I crave and how can I fulfill that craving without derailing my diet. 

Here are some of my triggers and solutions...

I need some crunch with my lunch! Anyone else feel like this? Sometimes a carrot stick doesn't cut it. I found Special K Cracker chips. You can have 25-28 chips depending on the flavor for 3 points. They are delicious and I can fit a whole serving of them into my lunch points on most days. I get my crunch and some yummy flavor to round our my lunch and I am happy! 

Later in the afternoon I will often get hungry and I often want something sweet. The Chocolate Fruit Smoothie has been a lifesaver. It fills me up and has enough sweetness to it, that it holds me over until dinner and calms my sweet tooth! 

I LOVE peanut butter. Peanut butter and chocolate is heaven. I can eat it EVERY day and I would not get sick of it. Most days while dieting, I am eating it, but in a small quantity and that fulfills the craving for me and fits in my points. I found a blog, Drizzle me Skinny and she has mastered the art of drizzling and she has tons of recipes where she melts and then drizzles peanut butter and chocolate over things like apples and bananas and I started to do this and it is perfect. You get a little bit of the peanut butter taste in each bite, so you don't even realize that you only had a 1/2 TBSP! Perfection! 

Now that I have figured out how to control my peanut butter and chocolate craving, what about that week in the month that I want to eat anything and everything sweet I can get my hands on? What I have started to do is find alternatives to the things I love. I love Oreo cookies and cookies and cream ice cream so I make Oreo bites...

When I make these low point snacks, even if I were to eat too many of them I would still be better off than if I ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (24-36 points) or sat and ate a row of Oreo cookies (24 points). Right? 10 Oreo bites would be a lot to eat and it would only be 10 points. 

I love cupcakes so I make Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes....

If I made regular cupcakes with frosting, they would be 5-9 points per cupcake. I could eat 5-9 of the mini cupcakes or 4 regular sized yogurt cupcakes for the same amount of points. Would you eat 4 cupcakes probably not, but if you did wouldn't you be more satisfied during that craving than you would eating just one regular cupcake?? You bet! 

So try to find the foods you tend to go to and find a healthier alternative to it. Find a way to satisfy your cravings without hurting your diet. This makes the chances of you running to the store for Ben and Jerry's much less likely and that is key to helping you lose weight! 

I am by no means perfect, and I am no expert, but these things have been so helpful for me that I had to share! Have a great day :)

Weigh In Monday

Monday, June 15, 2015

I was not thinking last week when I posted, that I wouldn't be able to weigh in on Saturday morning this week because I had not one, but two conflicts!

First I slept at the Children's Museum of Maine on Friday night with my Girl Scout troop. This involved watching 7 girls have fun and play, then sleeping on the floor of the museum. I started on the floor outside of the fire truck exhibit while all of our girls slept inside, but by 11:30pm we had played musical beds and I ended up inside the fire truck with Olivia! After a few attempts at a selfie in the pitch black, we went to sleep together.

These were the best I could do! We were having fun! 

I should say, she went to sleep and I tossed and turned for maybe an hour before I finally was comfortable enough to fall asleep. Then what seemed like no time at all, or about 5 hours later I was woken up by a bunch of giggling girls playing Truth or Dare! Oh boy! At least at 8 and 9, the extent of their dares were to do things like slide down the fire pole :)

After all the girls were picked up from the museum all of the leaders had other children at closing ceremonies for tee ball, so we went straight to the field. My little guy got a medal for his first year of tee ball and we took some pictures, had some snacks and headed home.

I thought about weighing in on Sunday, but honestly Saturday wasn't the best eating day. When I woke up on Sunday and felt refreshed after a good nights sleep, I remembered how I had researched the correlation between sleep and weight loss a while back in my journey and boy did it ring true Saturday. I wanted to eat ALL day. I lacked energy to make anything and to count points.

Needless to say, I didn't feel weighing in Sunday would have been the best idea for my motivation! I will wait another week! Yesterday I stayed within my points and today I am up and ready to go on my morning walk! I can't wait to see how the addition of walking plays out on the scale!

This week, you want to come back for...

5 small things to help with weigh loss, WIAW and #ETHANproject: Enjoy the Flavor

Have a great Monday Everyone! 

Week 2: Enjoy the view

Friday, June 12, 2015

How is everyone doing Enjoying the Here and Now?? 

I know I met my goal this week! I scheduled in all the dinners with friends that I wanted to. I thought about my schedule for the summer and which days I will be hitting the beach and I will be inviting my friends along when we go, and I spent time with some of my friends! You can't beat that! 

Now I am ready to tackle week 2! Enjoy the view challenge, read about it below....

In Maine, we are not on summer vacation yet. My little guy is done with school, but my daughter still has another week after this one, so getting to the beach or doing something big during the week hasn't happened yet. You can't beat the view at the beach, right? 

But another place, that I just love the view is on my very own street. This is no kidding. I have a love/hate relationship with my house, but my neighborhood is the best! In the summer and fall when I pull onto my street and start driving up the hill, I feel so blessed. The trees with their leaves on them and then when they start to change colors is just so beautiful. 

I am so happy to live in a beautiful neighborhood where we can walk along the pretty streets or take our walk into the woods. There are trails that can lead us down to a beautiful river and waterfall less than 3 miles in. We can enjoy the view at our doorstep and for that I am lucky! 

So this week, we have already done some walking around the neighborhood. Sunday, Owen and I took a walk together while Olivia and Mike took a walk in the opposite direction. Tuesday we walked down to get Olivia from school even though it was sprinkling out. Starting Wednesday I got out each morning and took a walk! 

I have enjoyed lots of time out in the yard with my favorite little guy
...and this view tops them all...

This weekend, if we have some hot weather, we are going to head to the beach and if it stays cool, we are going to head somewhere for a hike. Maybe Bradbury Mountain which is within a half and hour of our house. The hike options are easy enough to do with the kids and when you finish....

You get a beautiful view. 

But my favorite view of all, is these faces...

And when they play and laugh together it tops everything else...because we all know that this rarely doesn't always happen...#justkeepinitreal

I got caught snapping pictures! Love those smiles!

What are you going to do this week to enjoy the view?? Let me hear your ideas and let me see what you are doing! Show me on Instagram #ETHANproject and don't forget to tag me! Need or want some ideas? Check out the ETHANproject Facebook group or the link up at Grounded and Surrounded. 

Get out there and ENJOY the HERE and NOW! 
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