A few things: Living Room Update etc.

I know I’ve been quiet lately.  I’ve been enjoying SUMMER with a slower schedule and time with my kids.  Here are a few updates.

  1. The hardwood floor in our living room is all finished!  I don’t have baseboards up and I haven’t started on the built ins yet.  But I did move the furniture in place just like it would be with the built ins there.  I want to live with it a little bit before I got through the expense and work of the built ins buy just to make sure I like the arrangement.  So far I really do!  You’ll notice there’s a rug down. It’s the one I bought for Darren’s office.  We are a long ways away from being able to use it for his office and I may pick something else for him then, or move it down and pick something else for the living room.  I love the rug and right now it’s the most affordable option since we already own it ;).  Everything is centered on the room, but the angle I had to stand to take the picture makes it look wonky.

Living Room before 2


Living room during


Living Room afterConcept

(I’m rethinking the whole slip cover thing.  I’ll have to cut the back cushions off my sofa to make it work and it’s going to be a lot of work.  I still want to do it, just much later.)

2. I had a midlife crisis last week and bleached my hair patchwork orange. I don’t have pictures because it was too humiliating.  But it was mostly yellow with squares of orange and brown scattered through it.  My hair stylist’s son was having surgery that day so she couldn’t help me right away.  I wore hats everywhere, even to a wedding shower and denied all requests to take it off.  It was humiliating.  On phase one of the do over, she got rid of the orange and brown and I was GOLD blond all over.  It was horrifying.  The next day I was asked to lead the song service for the all area branch meeting.  I couldn’t say no because my hair was horrifying so I stood up there and sang away like there was nothing crazy on top of my head.  Three days later after multiple keratin and biotin treatments she added ash brown highlights and toned it all over.  We had to get pretty aggressive to get rid of the remaining brassiness and I was a little gray/purple for a few days.  It has settled down a little bit and now I’m REALLY blond, in a good way.  I no longer scream when I see a mirror, which is positive progress.

3. I have been healing up a lot over the last 2 months.  My hair has started to grow.  It has only been a week since the orange hair fiasco and I already have dark roots.  While dark roots aren’t pretty, I’m going to take it and love it since it’s another sign that my health is improving.  I started back to my Fit Yummy Mummy workout program, starting at the introductory level (the step before beginners….) and feel like I’m going to be able to finish this time.  While half my family is away at summer camp and my chores are reduced, I’ve been prepping foods to help with my goals.  I’ve made protein batter for pancakes and keep it in a jug in the fridge so I can cook a few fresh up in the mornings. I also froze protein shakes into popsicles molds.  It’s just almond milk and chocolate flavored protein powder, but having it in a popsicle slows down my eating process and is really fun. And I made a 4 serving recipe of Thai Chicken Salad and divided it into recycled Chic Fil A containers.

Thai Chicken Salad

If I make a family size recipe each time I cook something new, I can eat on it for awhile for no extra work.  When it’s that yummy I don’t mind eating leftovers.

4. My new washer and dryer have been in service for about a week and I love them!  They are HUGE.  One load in the new washer is worth 3 in my old one.  I used to do 3 loads a day and now I’m down to 1.  It’s the same amount of laundry but I can get through it in 1/3 of the time.


Bollstr Water Bottle Holder

I got a new water bottle carrier from Bollstr a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been using it awhile to make sure it’s a good product, and I’m smitten.

The Bollstr

It’s sturdy enough that it doesn’t flop around while I am moving, and has a spot in the back to hold a smartphone with an ear phone eyelet so I can listen to tunes while the phone is zipped safely in place.  No more jogging my phone out of my pocket while I run!  It also has a second pocket to hold an ID or money and a caribiner to clip keys.


It adjusts with velcro straps to hold most water bottles.  Just be careful with fabric on long sleeves that might snag easily.

The Bollstr varieties

They have two varieties, an over the shoulder strap or a waist strap version. The waist strap is more comfortable for my lifestyle, but I was nervous since I’m not a fan of fanny packs.  I was relieved when it came that it doesn’t look like a fanny pack at all, allows full range of motion and is super comfortable to wear, even with a full bottle.  Wearing it a little low on the hips is super comfortable and distributes weight well.

This Bollstr was founded by Tamra Johnson, a friend I met 10 years ago at a training seminar for Spell to Write and Read.  She developed the Bolstr to help her daughter who received a kidney transplant. You can find out more about their story in the video below.

Even though I have 2 healthy kidneys, I still need plenty of water for adrenal support and weight management. I’ve made several water bottle holders from tutorials on pinterest, but none of them are as comfortable or effective as my Bollstr.   If you are looking for a health conscious gift, this is a good one.

5 Favorite Chicken Marinades

bacon wrapped chicken

We eat a lot of chicken because it’s so affordable.  Bone in is nice for all the health benefits of bone especially if you are boiling it for broth or soup.  I like a boneless breast for fast cooking convenience.  It’s hard to admit this but I don’t like bones very much….it’s much harder for me to eat bone in chicken emotionally…..it’s weird.  Just being real.

5 favorite chicken marinade recipes for your freezer

Recently I’ve been struggling with weight gain. Our busy schedule tempts me to grab something that’s unsupportive to my goals and it shows in my waistline.

chicken breast 3 marinades

Last week, I decided to spend 15 minutes and prep ahead marinated chicken for the freezer.  It’s easy to thaw in the microwave then throw on the table top grill.  The breasts cook in just 7 minutes that way! (Since it cooks from both sides at the same time.)   It takes less time to cook these than to go get take out.

Not all chicken breasts are created equal.  My favorite for marinating and grilling are from Costco.  They are the least expensive brand there, but are nice and thin for uniform cookingchicken breast costco thin

Costco isn’t as close to our house as Aldi, so I ran in and grabbed a bag of frozen chicken for a slow cooker meal.  Aldi’s chicken is a few cents more expensive per pound and it’s wonky.  This type of chicken is okay to dice for casseroles, or to cook and shred into soup, but not so good for marinating and grilling.

chicken breast aldi wonky Chicken breast too thick

Marinating for the freezer is the easiest prep ahead meal type. I start by placing 8 breasts (about 2 lbs) of chicken in each freezer bag.  ChickenBreasts marinade

Then mix up the marinades and pour them in.  If you want to grill chicken in the next 3 days you can seal the bags and stick them in the fridge.  If it’s for later than that, throw them in the freezer.  They will still marinate frozen.

Here are 5 of my favorite marinades.  Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comments.  I’d love to try something new.

Honey Lemon Chicken Marinade

1 cup lemon juice (I used from concentrate from Aldi)

1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon dried Rosemary

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon lemon extract or zest

 (I used homemade lemon extract–video at the end.)

Combine all and warm slightly to mix the honey in well.  Pour over chicken and refrigerate overnight.  We grilled ours, but I think slow cooking the chicken in the marinade would be yummy too.

Thyme Chicken Marinade

This one is our favorite!  It’s really good with A1 steak sauce for dipping, but you really don’t need anything to help the flavor.

3/4 cup water or oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vinegar (red wine or rice vinegars are nice)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Fresh Black Pepper

Favorite Fajita Marinade

2 Tablespoons oil

2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup pineapple juice

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground ginger

Instead of buying pineapple juice, I drain it off a can of fruit, then serve the fruit :).

BBQ Chicken Marinade

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup BBQ sauce

2 Tbs Brown Sugar or Truvia with a splash of molasses

1 Tbs yellow mustard

1 tsp salt

Crushed Red Pepper

 If you are curious about making your own extracts, here’s how I do it:



Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

broccoli cauliflower salad

This is my favorite salad.  It’s the fancy enough for potlucks or having company over, but it’s easy enough for weeknight dinners.  It keeps for several days and the leftovers pack nicely for lunch.  Add a grilled chicken breast or salmon filet on the side for a complete meal.

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad


  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into bite sized florets
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (or 6 Tbs real bacon crumbles)
  • 6 green onions, sliced (Or 1 cup diced red onion)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (soaked in warm water to plump and then drained)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup Olive Oil Mayo (or part plain Greek Yogurt)
  • 2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 packets truvia (or 1/4 cup sugar or honey)
  • Pink Himalayan Salt and Fresh black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl combine broccoli, cauliflower, bacon crumbles, raisins, onion, and almonds or sunflower seeds.
  2. Beat together mayo, vinegar, sweetener and salt and pepper. Stir into salad. Serve right away or chill until serving.
We are having a busy week.  My mom decided to have a garage sale at her home and today was opening day.  It’s been 10 years since she had one there, but she had enough stuff it was be easier than hauling it to another sale location.  I filled my 15 passenger van twice and took it over, and I committed to being there as much as I can to help her.  I still have 2 rooms in my house to declutter, so I’ll be hosting my own sale again in the spring.

I did something crazy yesterday.  I called our drywall guy and hired him for Monday, November 16th to do a job I haven’t prepped yet.  That’s enough to light a fire under me!  I’m hoping to earn enough at this garage sale to pay him.  And to carve out 12 hours to prep the job for him.

Brandon and Grant's Room Gray rugby stripe

If you saw it on Facebook over the summer, I’ve been making plans to redo our shared boy’s room.  The ceiling has water damage and popcorn texture.  I plan to scrape off the popcorn and have it professionally skim coated.  Then paint, hang curtains and fluff.  This is what I’m hoping it will look like.  The opposite side of the room will be an art/lego station with toy storage and display areas.  It feels like an overwhelming project, but the boys are anxious for me to get it done.  With holiday season coming, I’m not going to stress about doing it in a week or anything crazy like that.  We’ll just take it one step at a time.

So that’s a quick update on us.  What are you up to?




Brownie Mix

Brownies…..savor the thought for a minute.  They are the perfect accent for unexpected company, potluck suppers, afterschool snacks….any time really.  Had a baby?  Here’s a brownie.  Experienced loss? I’ll bring a whole pan. I can’t think of a time a brownie isn’t appropriate.

If you are gluten free, you can substitute all purpose gluten free flour blend for the flour as long as the mix contains xanthan gum.  In theory, xylitol will work instead of sugar in the mix and almond flour instead of all-purose flour for those on a fitness kick. (I’d be tempted to try 1/3 almond flour, 1/3 flax meal, and 1/3 oat fiber.) I haven’t tested these variations yet, so try it in a smaller batch the first time and report back how it went.

This mix can also be used for creative Pinterest recipes that call for brownie mix. 4 1/2 cups mix = a box mix that makes a 9×13 family size pan of brownies.

brownie mix

Read more

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Freezing Spinach

the lazy girls guide to freezing spinach

I love buying spinach at Costco in the 40 oz bags.  It’s good quality and cheap, and it’s a LOT of spinach.  I use it in my eggs, salads, lasagna, smoothies, stir fries, you name it.  Sometimes I still can’t get through the whole bag before it spoils.


While the official method for freezing spinach involves blanching it.  I’ve had really good luck, just throwing the bag in the freezer.  (I just toss it in when I’m tired of eating spinach.) Once it’s frozen I mash the bag to break the leaves into pieces. Then it’s easy to throw into a recipe.

The idea behind blanching Spinach is to kill the enzymes that continue the ripening process. Freezing slows down but doesn’t stop or kill the enzyme process.  As long as you use it up within a couple of months and don’t try to store it for years, you’ll be fine.

The benefit besides the ease, is that it PRESERVES the enzymes that aid in the digestion process.  Now toss that into your morning smoothie :).

Some Cool Things

Today is a busy day.  This week I’ve gone through all my fabric (roughly 12 big tubs worth) and am letting it all go.  Well, almost all of it.  I’ve kept back just enough to fill 3 Sterilite tubs.  The rest needs to be cleaned, straightened, measured and marked for the craft show this weekend.  It’s supposed to snow!!!! I hope we have a good turn out anyway.

The idea is selling my fabric will help me reclaim my office and get us a little closer to baby step #3 (again.) At the rate we are going it will take us 7 years, but I have a goal to be done by this time next year.

Painting classes 4 kids

There are going to be some amazing vendors at the craft show, including my cousin who is offering $10 art sessions for kids while you shop.  If you are local, this is a must.

Before I run off to my sea of fabric, I wanted to share a couple of things with you.

I’ve been a crazy Facebook posting monkey.  If you haven’t liked me on facebook, you are missing out.  You should click like>>over there.  Then check out all the great frugal gift ideas that you have missed. (Plus we’ve talked about the best way to do winter Light Therapy; how to store silicone baking mats; and whether Pinterest ideas really make us feel inadequate–they don’t.)


This app. Food logging couldn’t be easier or more fun.  I’m only upset I didn’t find it sooner.

I’m healthy enough to exercise now!  I’ve been walking for a couple of weeks, and now that my baseline of fitness has come up a bit, I’m starting in with the beginner exercises in this series.

I’m still eating the FYM way, but I’m also adding some recipes from this. I have an amazing recipe for skinny chocolate, and yes, it’s as good as it sounds.  If you twist my arm, I might share it.

Have you discovered anything cool lately?

Plexus Giveaway

Have you been hearing about an amazing pink drink?  I was curious about the reports of energy, weight loss and better sleep from those taking it, so when Laurell offered me a trial week’s supply in exchange for a review, I was pumped.

When she gave me the sample I was in a downward health spiral into adrenal fatigue from stress.  I volunteered for too much this summer right after a very stressful school year.  My body just couldn’t handle it.  I gained 6 pounds in 10 days at the height of the problem.  I was so exhausted I spent 18-20 hours a day in bed and was constantly sick.


I started taking the drink and the accelerator the week I taught music at Bible school.  I was expecting it to be like a protein shake, but it isn’t at all.  It’s more like a Crystal light packet that you pour into a bottle of water, except it is sweetened with stevia and colored with beet juice, nothing artificial.  It tasted fabulous like pomegranate juice and had a slight aftertaste of chocolate.

The first day, I didn’t notice much.  The second day, I noticed a significant decrease in my morning appetite.  The Bible school staff brought me MM trail mix for snacks, and I didn’t care much about it.  That was a definite change in normal behavior.  My afternoon appetite was still pretty strong and I felt like a second pink drink would have helped with that.  The company does say it’s ok to take a second drink then if you need it.

I finished the whole week sample without any weight loss to report.  That’s not abnormal since it can take more than one week to see results, and my body was fighting a major system error that was blocking weight loss anyway.  It is going to have to heal before it will be willing to let go of fat.

BUT the next week after taking Plexus I went outside with a chainsaw and cleared a forest out of the last 20 feet of my backyard.

From this:

Backyard before

To this:

Clearing brush

That was significant.

Would you like to try it for a week yourself?  Laurell is giving that opportunity away to one lucky reader.  You can enter through rafflecopter below.  If you are too excited to wait on the 7 day trial, you can Sign up as a preferred customer here and order the plexus slim. Then you will be entered into an extra giveaway to win a month supply of plexus boost or accelerator to accompany it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s Laurell’s personal story.

Ogle family

This is my Plexus story – I’m going to step WAY outside my comfort zone and share about how I’m feeling. It’s not really my cup of tea but here it goes… I got stuck, I lost the baby weight and stopped losing weight. I added in some awesome workouts and tracked my food and still nothing, the scale would not budge more than 3 lbs one way or another. To be honest, it’s been this way forever. I weighed this after getting married, before getting pregnant with baby #1, lost all that baby weight (55lbs) but got stuck at this weight, repeated that process with baby #2 and stayed stuck at this weight. I also felt constantly tired and irritable and kind of sad – I chalked that up to having a baby who got up 6+ times a night and a mommy who never got a full night’s sleep but once 9 months hit, that sweet little boy started sleeping through the night but this mommy didn’t feel any better. So I drank more coffee and still felt exhausted and then I read an article on The Better Mom called “I don’t want to be an angry mom, so I threw away my coffee pot”, so for no real good reason other than I read an article about a mom that threw away her coffee pot.

Fast forward a couple weeks, a friend from High School posted on her facebook about Plexus, it wasn’t a meal replacement or a miracle pill (I don’t believe it those anyways), it was a drink that helped stabilize blood sugar levels, helped decrease sugar cravings, and helped people have more energy and lose weight, so I thought sign me up!! Okay, so not really – I was actually very skeptical, we had really changed our diet over the past year and I did not want to go back to artificial fake stuff so I did a little reading on it because I felt like I was at a point of desperation with feeling stuck and I read literally hundreds of personal experiences, read some independent studies, went through the ingredient list and thought so what do I have to lose? And I decided I’m going to make my husband take it with me and give it a try (I made my husband take it because I read a handful of testimonies where it helped people with pain and inflammation – He will come home at night from a 12 hour shift and be limping from wearing 30 lbs of gear on his waist and his knee and joints will hurt) so we decided to take plexus slim and the accelerator (to speed up weight loss) and in two weeks, I was down about 6 lbs, which is amazing because I had been stuck here for almost 6 months with no scale changes! So to see those numbers on the scale move was huge! But – bigger than that is the way I feel. I can’t even put it into words but I felt like a new person (and a better mom). My biggest testimony to plexus is that I feel like myself again, happy, healthy, and full of energy. I’m even sleeping better at night and waking up refreshed in the morning and feeling fantastic. But my favorite part of all of this was that husband’s chronic pain was significantly reduced within 3 days. In all seriousness, three days into drinking plexus – he said, “I don’t hurt at the end of my shifts”. This is a guy that was in constant pain that pain relievers, ice and oils didn’t help much (and I LOVE my essential oils) I have NEVER seen anything work like this for him before.

So this is me being real – I wanted to share because it has literally made me feel like a new person. And I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in a “skinny pill” and I believe that health and weight loss are achieved through a healthy lifestyle including good food, exercise and…now plexus. And I am excited about it, just plain excited because we are real testimonies to how Plexus has helped us feel better!


*Plexus update – So here is another BIG step outside my comfort zone! Not a big fan of personal pictures but here is the difference in me from April to June…I’ve lost pounds and inches but some the most important things are what you can’t see on the outside which is that I feel amazing! I have lots of energy with no crash! I’m getting up in the mornings to work out and sleeping better than I have in years! I don’t have these crazy sugar cravings anymore, the awful “mommy brain” or brain fog I used to get is so much better and for the first time in forever I have clear skin (and that’s what happens when you get your gut healthy) I am loving this journey I’m on!

What is Plexus Slim?

Plexus Slim is a drink mix that was originally designed to help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar. When it was originally being tested it was noted that all the subjects also lost weight and had significant improvements in other areas of health. The pink powdered drink mix comes in individual serving packages. You mix it in a glass or bottle of water, drink it once a day and that’s it! This is something that can be a snowball to good health. There are no stimulants or addictive factors in Slim.


What does Plexus Slim do?

Plexus Slim is the most natural, healthy solution to help you lose weight and inches by burning fat, no muscle. Slim also helps keep blood sugar, cholesterol and lipids at healthy levels. In addition, Slim helps reduce binge eating and increases your willpower over food. Simply pour into a bottle of water 30 minutes before a meal, drink, and enjoy the results!


Who have I observed that seems to benefit the most from Plexus Slim?

*Those with blood sugar control problems (diabetics and pre-diabetics)

*Attention/focus problems

*Those with fatigue (very connected to blood sugar balance)

*Folks who want to lose weight

*People with low energy

*Anyone with inflammation issues

*Ladies with low thyroid issues

*People who want help with cholesterol and blood pressure issues


What is in Plexus Slim?

Proprietary health blend consisting of: Chlorogenic Acid (plant extract), Citrin K (Garcinia Cambodia), Alpha Lipoic Acid, Chromium (Amino Nicotinate GTF), Polydextrose, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors (pomegranate), Beet Root and Grape Skin Extract, Stevia Extract, Lo Han Extract.

Plexus Slim has no added caffeine and other stimulants.


60 day money back guarantee! So, you have nothing to lose by trying 2 months’ supply of Slim. On the other hand, you have everything to gain! You and YOUR health are worth it! Just visit my website to order. In addition, Plexus offers a few other products to promote good health. You can learn more on my website. Feel free to call, email, or text me with any questions! I am here to help you improve your health.

Laurell Ogle

Independent Plexus Ambassador #264707








Chocolate Eclair Cake

chocolate eclair cake

It’s time for a little recipe around here.  And this one is totally inappropriate, since simultaneously I am waking up my CentsablyFit blog.  After 3 months of illness and getting totally out of shape, I’m super excited for Holly’s new challenge that starts on Monday. This recipe doesn’t fit in that plan (unless it’s one of the Planned Indulgences.)  But it can be lighter by using skim milk and sugar free pudding mix.


If you want to use almond milk with instant pudding mix, you’ll be disappointed; it just doesn’t get thick.  Unless you add a tsp of glucomannan powder with it.  Have you ever heard of glucomannan?  It’s the dried ground up root of the konjac plant.  It’s pure fiber (so calorie free)  and is a great instant thickener for cold or hot foods.  It adds a bit of slick texture of it’s own that is something to get used to.  But I’ve used it to make broth gravy, pudding, jam, and thicker smoothies. When I make fitness food with it, it makes me feel fuller faster and longer.  I buy mine in bulk from netrition.com.  It also comes in capsules, but why swallow a pill when you can eat food?!

DSC_2837 DSC_2836It’s make a weird face….DSC_2835

Lick your spoon, good.

And easy.  Embarrassingly easy.  If someone asks you for the recipe, change the subject, if you have any pride at all.

I have no shame…so I’m sharing.

This recipe makes a 10×15 pan.  You could make a smaller batch, but why?

Chocolate Eclair Cake

Chocolate Eclair Cake


  • 1 box honey graham crackers (ooh, or chocolate graham crackers--that would be yummy.)
  • 2 packages chocolate pudding (any flavor is yummy)
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 2-8 oz tubs of whipped topping, thawed


  1. Line the bottom of your pan with a single layer of graham crackers. Break the crackers as needed to fit.
  2. Combine milk with pudding mixes in a blender or with a whisk and blend just until it starts to thicken. Fold in one tub of whipped topping.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the pudding mixture over the graham cracker layer and spread it around until it is even.
  4. Repeat the graham cracker/pudding layers 2 more times.
  5. Top the whole thing with the second tub of whipped topping.
  6. Then chill for awhile, like overnight.
  7. You can eat this right away, but the longer it chills, the more the crackers soak up the pudding and taste more like an eclair.

If you are curious about Fit Yummy Mummy’s Spring Choose Your Challenge.  Pop over to Centsably Fit and find out more.