Best Meatless Meatball EVER (if I do say so myself)

Here’s a great recipe that I was given to try. I was a little skeptical when I read the ingredients, but they turned out amazing!


Walnut Meatballs With Apricot BBQ Sauce

[Makes about 10 servings]

1 1/4 C. Cracker crumbs
3/4 C. Ground walnuts
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Finely chopped small onion
1 1/2 tsp. Sage (I didn’t have this)
3/4 C. Grated colby cheese
2 Pressed garlic cloves
3 Tbsp. Minced parsley
4 Eggs

I used a combination of saltines and ritz crackers. I also added some paprika. I ended up using about 1/4 C. of onion. I threw everything in the food processor to mix well. Roll into walnut sized balls and put them into a casserole dish. Pour on apricot BBQ sauce before baking (covered) for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

-Apricot BBQ Sauce-

1/4 C. Oil
1/4 C. Vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 C. Apricot jam
1/2 C. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Grated onion
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Dash of hot pepper sauce (I don’t like spicy- so this didn’t get added)

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to boil and reduce heat, mix well and pour over meatballs before baking.


Took maybe 15 minutes to do everything up to putting it in the oven.
They honestly tasted like real meatballs! We had them with mashed potatoes and green beans- yum.
I wonder if they would be good with spaghetti, minus the apricot BBQ sauce of course 🙂

I know what I’m making for the next party or potluck I’m going to!

Posted in Yum

Juicy Realization


Thursday night we started a juice fast. After watching ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’ we thought we would give it a try and see what benefits came from it for us. Luckily my mom had a great juicer in storage since she has her VitaMix now. We loaded up on fruits and veggies at the store, cleaned them all, and started making juicy concoctions. Most of them were actually pretty good! Friday we had a version of V8 with lots of tomato juice in it, I have always had a skin reaction to raw tomatoes (an itchy rash wherever they touched me), but I have never had any problem eating them as long as they didn’t touch my lips, and it was in small quantity. Well seeing as I was working a night shift on Friday I took a nap after drinking lunch, I guess I have a little more of a problem with raw tomatoes than I thought because I woke up feeling like my chest, shoulders, and face were badly sunburned (definitely not the case considering it is winter here in Ohio). I was red, hot, and itchy- not how I wanted to start my evening! After a couple of hours, some orange/mango/grapefruit juice, and lots of water it finally went away. Hurdle number one of juicing tackled. What did I learn? No more raw tomatoes for this momma!

I went into work feeling pretty good and drinking some more mixed fruit juice, minus my grogginess from a lack of coffee in my system. When it comes time for ‘dinner’ I got out my kale/carrot/spinach juice and diluted it, pretty tasty if you pretend you are eating a salad and not drinking it! Around 2:00 am I started getting a headache and body aches, my stomach started growling, so I got another large glass of my green juice, it helped a little. Out of no where everything went bad, my head was pounding, my body hurt like I had been going non-stop for days, I felt horrible. I know that this is all part of detoxing, I know that it would have gotten better, but I broke. I had to eat something so I grabbed my bag of frozen green beans that I left in the freezer weeks before and let my discomfort get the best of me, of course after eating I felt sick to my stomach so I ate a pack of saltines to try and settle it a little, then lots and lots of water again. Around 5:00 am I was starting to feel a little better, but all the toxins in my body were still causing me pain.
I made it until 9:00 am on Saturday when I got home before I officially decided I wasn’t going to do it anymore (Eric had already decided this for himself while I was at work). At least not just juice for a while.
I definitely notice a difference, even from the short time I was doing it. I don’t feel as bloated, I’m craving more water instead of randomly eating, and my skin isn’t nearly as dry as it was before.
I think a juice fast is a great idea still, but I need to get used to it a little first.
So what did I take from my day and a half of juicing? Don’t jump straight into it, and make sure you have some down time for those first couple of days while you’re getting used to it.
I do plan to eventually do a 7-10 day juice fast, but not right now.
Have you tried a juice fast or detox before? What was your experience? What would you recommend? I’d love to hear about it 🙂


Life Isn’t Fair, Why Expect It To Be?

Well, it’s been almost a month since we made a major overhaul to the way we are eating in my home. Hubby has continued with the mostly veggie diet, with minimal eggs, fish, and cheese. I have added chicken back in to the dinners about once a week. We have continued to cook at home (we fudged a few times and eaten ‘healthy’ options out) we went from a red meat, potatoes, and veggie family to mostly veggie, grain, and fish family. A drastic change but now that we have done it, it seems relatively normal. In the past few weeks Hubby has dropped over a size and lost 20lbs, me? I have maybe lost 5lbs… Still wearing the same clothes… I’m a little frustrated because it was my idea to do this and he’s getting the results, I know that sounds a little selfish, but it’s true. I’ll give him the fact that he not only cut out meat, but lots of soda from his diet, which is something I have never indulged in. It always seems that men are able to lose weight quicker than women, I wonder why that is? I think I’ll be reading up on it for a later post 🙂

DIY Leather Cleaner/Conditioner

After I got home from work this morning I wasn’t ready to go to sleep, I don’t think I’m the only one who stays in ‘work mode’ after heading home. So after sweeping my floors and doing dishes I saw my leather furniture in the living room was really needing some TLC. After realizing I was all out of Leather New, I did a quick search online on what I could use at home to clean and condition my couch and chairs. Turns out the miracle solution is 2 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar, a few drops of baby wash (I used the lavender scented kind), and a little warm water. You can mix it in a spray bottle, but since I didn’t have an extra one- I whisked it all together in a bowl. Then just use a cloth to buff it into the leather. I will NEVER buy leather cleaner again. I wish I had a before and after picture, we acquired our furniture from a garage sale down the street a couple years ago for $75 (I love bargains!) between the dogs and the sun, the cushions were cracking and dull. But they look 100% better after using this easy cleaner. Everything I read about caring for leather furniture suggested to clean thoroughly and condition about every 3 months.


You should have seen how sad it was before!

Ha. I Was Right Again


A couple of weeks ago we had some very random warm weather in Ohio for this time of year. I was outside with our dogs and faintly smelled natural gas, I asked Hubby if he smelled it too, he said ‘no’ and continued by telling me I was nuts…
Well, today as I was wiping off muddy paws on the porch, I smelled it again. It was very faint, like when someone lights a gas stove, I thought for a second that maybe I am just nuts like hubby suggested, but then decided to call our gas company just in case. They tell me not to turn anything on or off, don’t use my cell phone and that they will end the call from their end of the line. Needless to say, they scared the crap out of me! Five minutes later, a truck pulled up from the gas company and a very calm man asked me where I had smelled the gas, of course I told him where I was when I smelled it and added that I’m probably just crazy. Two hours later after he had random holes in my yard, stuck gizmos in the ground, and waved this wandy stick thing all over the place he came back to the door to talk to me. I apologize for my disaster of a yard (we haven’t done much out there since the Little E was born- oops) and tell him I’m sorry for making him spend two hours poking around the yard… But guess what? I’m not crazy! There was a major gas leak underground against the house! I mean, I know that’s not really something to get excited about, but come on, I got to tell him ‘I told you so!’ and that always feels good 🙂
However, before I thought about this new found reason to be excited, My heart dropped… Is having a new gas line installed something I would have to pay for out of pocket?! How much could it cost? OMG this is just one more thing to add to the list… Well Mr. Calm utility worker informed me that I will have zero cost replacing the line, it should be done tomorrow, and he shut off the gas so everything is safe again! I don’t even want to think of what could have happened if I would have accepted the ‘Caitlin, you’re crazy’ that went through my head today when I smelled it… Thank God for gut feelings, blankets, and electric heaters!

Working On Working Out…

Anyone who knows me will understand this- I love to get exercise and have adventures, but the act of getting to that point, that is a whole other story!
You know how it is-  getting over the fact that it’s too hot or cold outside, deciding that being active is better than relaxing on the big comfy couch, finding the other shoe that the dogs deliberately hid from me… Before I got pregnant last year I was well on my way to having the body I was hoping for, then I got to the point where I couldn’t even eat crackers or drink water without getting ‘morning’ sickness all the time and I stopped working out like I had been. Now that I’ve been not pregnant for 4 months I’m ready to lose the rest of this baby weight and get back into some of those skinnier jeans in my closet!
Everyone keeps telling me to join a gym, or take some classes… Well, I don’t want to hear that anymore because I am not allowing myself to get any type of gym membership for a while. ‘But Caitlin, why are you not  allowing yourself to join a gym?’ I’ll tell you why… Several years ago I managed to sign up for a 3 year gym membership for approximately $20 a month… I went 3 times… 2 of those times was to go tanning… Needless to say, until I am more committed to working out and can truly have the dedication to do it, I don’t need a gym membership- because I am the type of person to find excuses to not go ( right now for example, I would say, ‘but I have nothing to wear to the gym’ … Like it actually matters)
I am feeling healthier because of my eating, but I really feel that by not working out I am not maximizing my opportunity to feel amazing… This has to be remedied… I need a plan…
I just have to decide what to do.
I’ve always like the idea of running, but I can’t seem to get beyond 3/4 of a mile before I feel like my lungs are on fire and I’m going to die… Even when I have been in shape in the past I could never run, I could swim a 400 meter individual medley though, and muck 50 horse stalls in about 4 hours… I miss swimming and riding horses – both are such a great total body workout – to bad one requires breathing in irritating chlorine during the winter, and the other is such a financial commitment and hard with wild kids.

I think I will start with my yoga DVDs, nice and low impact, and obviously carrying the 18 pound baby around will help with my strength training 🙂 I guess I’ll set a goal for myself, I am going to try to do yoga 3-4 times a week for the next 3 weeks… When the three weeks are up, I’ll let everyone know how I did, I better be in some of those skinnier jeans by then!

One Thing I Cannot Live Without…

This is my weakness… No matter how many things I decide to take out of our pantry, Velveeta & Shells is one thing that will always be there (maybe). I know that I am disturbed by the fact that I don’t know of any cheese that comes in foil package naturally- but OMG, it just tastes so wonderful! No off brand or alternative can even compare in my opinion… Although I have had some homemade versions that are great in their own way.
Before posting this I decided I’d do a little research on this dinner staple that I keep in my home. What I found isn’t exactly helping me to justify buying it anymore!
Did you know that processed cheese foods (yes, Velveeta included) contain refined/hydrogenated oils? Eh, if you’ve looked at any packaging before you’ve probably noticed most things seem to anyway. What I  Didn’t know before was that these oils are known to cause diabetes- and are also linked to atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), cancers, and auto immune diseases (EEK!). Before 1914 most cooking oils still contained animal fats, before companies transitioned to using complete vegetable oils, this means that people were still receiving at least some of their essential fatty acids (EFA’s are something that we as humans must obtain through diet, our body does not naturally create them) through the oils foods were being cooked in. In the years since 1914 the removal of EFA’s has become standard in order to extend the shelf life of products (Lovely, how they think things through huh?). EFA deficiency is quite common in the United States today, mainly Omega 3- but also Omega 6, these deficiencies are linked to pretty much every serious health problem that we see in people we know & love everyday, and so many people have never even heard of it!  To read into it a little more, this is where I got a lot of it, double checked of course 🙂 – or there is always Google.   I’m really hoping that between the change in diet, exercise, and supplementation that Hubby can get off his blood pressure medicine and we can all live a little better than we used to!
Maybe we will be finding an alternative to my favorite orangey-yellow box after all.

Practice Makes Perfect

It seems for the past 24 hours I’ve been feeling defeated for some reason. I keep telling myself nothing will ever change if I don’t actively do something about it. So I’m going to share a couple if stories that gave me a little hope 🙂

First off is anyone really a born natural at anything?? I mean, it may seem like it, but look closer. My son, Big E, is great with problem solving and excels at reading… He hasn’t always been like that though, he had to learn how to work through problems effectively. He had to learn to recognize and sound out difficult words, he couldn’t just do it. Some of the other kids he plays sports with seem to do them so naturally, but then you find out they have been playing for years… My point is, none of these skills are just born into us.

– noun
1. habitual or customary way of doing something
2. the action of doing something
3. repeated performance to acquire skill
-verb (used without object)-ticed-ticing
to do something repeatedly to acquire skill

At the hospital I work at respiratory therapists intubate (intubating is when we put a breathing tube into someone’s trachea to protect their airway or help them breathe when they can’t), intubation is something that doesn’t always get covered in depth for us RT’s in school, and it’s not something that every hospital expects us to do. Alright, on with the story- one of my dearest friends is going through her operating room rotation to get ‘checked off’ on intubating. She got really shook up one day about missing a couple of attempts to get the tube into a patient (don’t worry, there was an anesthesiologist there with her!), she kept saying how she should ‘be able to do it’ and ‘what if she just can’t do it’… Another RT had some very eye opening words for her, hopefully I can do it justice on here- “You know how the Super Bowl is this Sunday? Those are two of the best teams in the country (supposedly). Do you know what they are doing this week before the game? They’re practicing… They are supposed to be the best of the best, yet they are still practicing… What happens with baseball? They have their multiple games a week, but they are always practicing.”

So I guess what I have gotten from these thoughts and stories is that anyone who is a true professional at something will always be practicing, no matter how great they are at what they do.

This Could be THE Longest Night Ever…

I’m not sure if it’s because of the full(ish) moon or if it is because of it being a Sunday, but this feels like the longest night ever… So far I have taken care of all of my patients in the Intensive Care Unit (including some new ones), tweezed my eyebrows, got my taxes done (minus the info for the HSA, don’t know when it will ever come…), did a survey of Ohio Shoppers opinion (or something like that…), ate that darn brownie, and now I’m here 🙂
And it’s only 2:00 AM… I have 5 more hours here… This is why I don’t want to have to work, I love my job and everything, but it would be wonderful if it were optional!
something different-
If you aren’t from Ohio consider yourself lucky, everything here is confused by the weather this year- flowers, wardrobes, asthmatics… We keep getting these 50 degree days, followed by ice storms and freezing temperatures, then it’s warm and rainy… It’s a mess. I don’t know if I will ever have clean floors again because my dogs are either tracking in mud or snow and it is nearly impossible to keep up… Although the Soggy Doggy does look like a promising alternative to using old towels, and the price is comparable with most other door mats. That’s going on my ‘list’ for sure, especially before spring!

Not So Super Bowl Sunday

I was unable to get my shift covered tonight, so I couldn’t watch the Super Bowl with my family…  Let’s be honest, I really wanted to watch the commercials with my family. I woke up early because I couldn’t stay asleep listening to my adorable 4 month old Little E giggle with my husband, it seemed that as soon as I started to fall asleep he found something hilariously entertaining- which is fine, because as stated before it was adorable! When my boys left to go to a friend’s Super Bowl party I was left at home with 2 whole hours before I had to leave for work… Not enough time to sleep, but when you’re all ready for work it seems kind of strange to have that extra time.

So I decided to get a jump start on my organizational promise to myself, I went through our mail. To most people this may not sound so daunting, but trust me, in our house it is a very serious thing… I was honestly afraid I may lose my 60 lb dog in the pile of ‘junk’ mail, then there was the equally large pile of bills (which I’m not sure why I get multiples of the same bill, and why I keep them when I actually track everything online…).
We keep our mail in a hanging closet organizer (the kind you would use for sweaters if you were a normal family). I usually will pick out important things and set down the rest, which drives my hubby absolutely nuts! He inevitably comes along and collects the remaining mail, and stuffs it into our ‘organizer’, which must be some type of black hole… Seriously…
Every couple of months I get up the courage to go through it, sometimes out of desperation to find a certain coupon or insurance cards (ha, it’s sad but true), and you would not believe what I find in their- random hats, toothbrushes (what the!?), it is absolute insanity.
I WILL  keep our mail ‘organizer’ under control after this, I’m tired of having nightmares about banking specials, dental offers, and timeshares sneaking out of the closet in droves!

Once I had gone through all the junk mail, regular mail, and bills, I decided I may as well finish paying bills for our first chunk of the month so I can go ahead and get rid of those bills too!  It is sad when you can almost feel your bank account cry due to the sudden drop in the balance, kind of like the dizzy spins you get when your blood sugar or blood pressure drop. Poor Bank.  I feel your pain. Glad it’s over with now because I know what is left- leading me into another goal… Pay the bills when I get paid- no more procrastination (my true weakness…)

The healthy is still going great! Haven’t tried anymore new recipes yet, but a coworkers wife gave me some very intriguing ones that I will have to share 🙂
I have to admit to everyone- I did have a brownie tonight… I’m only human and it is Super Bowl Sunday after all