Friday, July 29, 2011

A Memory: Jack and Blah Blah

Last night while eating dinner, Gracie seemed to be looking over to her right and talking to someone.  Finally, I asked her who she was talking to and she kind of got embarrassed because it was an imaginary friend.  Kanin started laughing and kind of poking fun of her and I had to stop him and remind him of Jack and Blah Blah.

From about the time Kanin was 3-4 he was obsessed with Power Rangers.  I mean obsessed.  He liked all of the Power Ranger series and his favorite ranger was always the Red Ranger.  In particular, he really liked Jack, the Red Ranger, from Power Rangers SPD.

Jack did everything with Kanin.  They rode by each other, played games all day long and took naps each day.  One day I heard Kanin talking not only to Jack but to Blah Blah, too. 

"Who is Blah Blah?" I asked him and he would just say, "My friend."

For months Jack and Blah Blah went everywhere with us.  We even had to make room for them on the airplane when we flew down to Disney.  We had to tell each of them good night and Kanin insisted that Jack rode all of the rides with him but Blah Blah was too scared.

A month or so after our vacation, we were all sitting in the family room watching TV and one of the Geico commercials came on and Kanin started going crazy.  Jumping up and down and yelling . . .

"There's Blah Blah.  There's Blah Blah.  He's on TV."

Blah Blah was the Geico Gecko!!!

How in the world this little green guy became Blah Blah, I have no idea but for months afterwards we would just laugh and laugh when those commercials came on.

Isn't it funny how you forget things?  I haven't thought about Jack or Blah Blah in a couple of years.  Kanin grew out of them both and has since gone through many phases but I'm glad we got to remind him, and ourselves, of his little 4-year-old imagination last night.

Do your kids have imaginary friends? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Recipe: Grilled Pizzas

I made these last night and they were fantastic.  Thought I'd share.

While I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight, the thought of grilled pizza came to mind.  I knew right away that just one pizza would not feed all of us nor would it satisfy what we all like on our pizzas so I decided to make 3:
Grilled Veggie Pizza (for me)
Pepperoni Pizza (for Scott)
Three-Cheese Pizza (for the kids)
Even though these are pictures of my particular pizzas, you could switch them up and make every type of pizza in the world. 
By the way, a huge thanks to Meg for introducing me to these easy little pizza dough kits!!
Grilled Pizzas
Pizza dough kit
1/2 cup hot water
Toppings of your choice
Directions:  Preheat to low and CLEAN grill.  Mix pizza dough according to the directions.  Roll out or shape into a good-sized pizza.  Put dough on grill for 6-8 minutes or until you get good grill marks.  Turn pizza over, add toppings, and grill for another 6-8 minutes.  Cut and serve.
Here's what you'll need for Grilled Veggie Pizza (or other veggies)
Pepperoni Pizza
Three-Cheese Pizza
For the Veggie Pizza I did not use any pizza/marinara sauce but brushed olive oil and garlic on the dough.
Use a garlic press to press out 2 garlic cloves into some olive oil.  If you do not have a garlic press, chop up the cloves and then smash them up a bit.
Make the dough according to the package directions.  This particular brand just called for 1/2 cup of hot water.
Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to let it rise a bit.
Roll out and shape.
You can do this for all of the pizzas.  Brush on the olive oil and garlic.
Put your chosen veggies on the grill.
Put the pizzas on the grill.  If you are using olive oil/garlic, put the side you just brushed faced-down.
When they have cooked for 6-8 minutes, turn them over and put your toppings on while the bottom side is grilling.  (Also, brush on the other side with olive oil/garlic.
Here's what you'll end up with:
Grilled Veggie Pizza
Three-Cheese Pizza
Pepperoni Pizza
Here is a closer look of the pizza crust that I used.  There are others available (even a gluten-free one).
Our Thoughts:
Bottom line . . . these were FANTASTIC!  The crust was warm and crunchy.  The smoke from the grill seeped into the cheese, pepperoni and vegetables and really added to the flavor.
I did have a couple of issues that kind of stressed me out a bit.
  1. It was a little difficult preparing the 3 different types of pizzas and have them all get finished at the same time so that we could sit down and eat together.  This really came into effect after the first side of the pizzas had cooked and I flipped them.  I then had to pull the grilled veggies off quickly (they were HOT), cut them up and put them on that pizza.  Then, add pizza sauce and cheese to both pizzas and top the third with the pepperoni.  A couple of the edges got darker than what I would have liked (and I made a huge mess both inside/outside) but it was worth it.
  2. I should have put the feta cheese down before I put the grilled veggies on so that it would act kind of like a glue holding the veggies to the crust.  Instead I did the veggies then cheese so when I picked it up to eat, all of the veggies fell off.  It didn't matter, though, I just picked up a fork and ate it anyway!
  The kids absolutely loved this which is always a plus.  Gracie at 3 pieces!!!  I will definitely make this over and over again.  Scott already told me he wants Canadian Bacon and grilled pineapple next.
Hope you enjoy!

I Am Not Here to Preach

I have contemplated writing this blog for a few weeks now but kept putting it off because I did not want to sound as if I were talking down or preaching to you.  Finally, though, after having a discussion with Scott yesterday I decided just to put it out there.

Over the past year I have become a huge Jillian Michaels fan.  My friend, Carrie, introduced me to the 30 Day Shred and I have been obsessed with her workouts ever since.  I've also encouraged other people to start their workout programs with JM and those that have completed it, have had the same type of success that I did. 

So, about a month ago Carrie told me about a Jillian Michaels book that I should read called Master Your Metabolism (available on Amazon for $14.94)

The premise of this book is how hormones effect every aspect of our lives and once you can balance your hormones, then your weight, sex drive, depression, moodiness, etc will also become balanced.  What really grabbed my attention, though, is her references to breast cancer and diabetes.  As you already know, my sister-in-law has breast cancer and my dad is very diabetic.  These two things really stood out to me so I wanted to read more.

The book really goes in to individual hormones and how they effect every aspect of our life.  Admittedly, it does get a little scientific and I did skim some of those terms, but, overall, I was fascinated and couldn't read this book fast enough.

The avenue to which you start doing this is to  . . .
start eating ORGANIC. 

Ah, there I said it. 

I know that "Organic" is a hot topic and can even become a heated topic because it is easy to feel as if someone is speaking down to you when they start telling you that you SHOULD be eating organically.  That is NOT what I want to do.  Instead, I'd just like to share a few things that I learned in this book and then let you make your own decisions.

The #1 thing that made me decide to switch to almost 100% organic . . . let's face it, sometimes I just can't find organic and sometimes it just isn't feasible . . . is this:

Found in Chapter 6, page 286-"Cows that produce organic milk are fed organic grains and are given access to pasture, but, most important, they cannot be treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone, also known as rBGH or rBST (recombinant bovine somatotropin).  And thank God for that!  Traditional dairy farmers feed this horrific synthetic hormone to their cows to boost their milk production, and so far, the USDA still approves them as safe.  (Unlike regulatory agencies in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and twenty-seven countries of the European Union, where rBGH is banned.)

So in common terms, traditional dairy cows are given a hormone that has been banned in over 30 countries except the United States!

Found in Chapter 6, Page 286-rBGH increases the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 or IGF-1.  At normal levels, IGF-1 does good things in the body . . .But IGF-1 has been linked, in hundreds of studies, to increased breast, prostate, uterine, colon, lung, and other cancers in humans.

The #2 reason: 

Found in Chapter 6, Page 277-The FDA currently permits six kinds of steroid hormones to be used in producing cattle and sheep.  Eighty percent of US feedlot cattle are fed or injected with steroid hormones.  Each of these cows gains up to 3 pounds per day.

It makes sense to me if the beef that I am eating is injecting growth hormones, then so am I and so is my family.  I've thought for a few years now that the reason we have seen the start of puberty lowering (haven't you seen little 10 year old girls that have the bodies of a 12 or 13 year old?) is from all of the hormones being put into our beef, pigs, and chickens.

These additional hormones in our bodies throw off our bodies natural way of digesting food which in turn causes our bodies to store it. 

The #3 reason:

Found in Chapter 6, Page 278-279-"The tomato is grown conventially, (meaning non-organic) and sprayed with up to seven kinds of pesticides.  Then it is picked too early because it must make the long journey across the country-or across the world-from its original location to your supermarket.   . . . The tomato is still green because it was picked too early, so now it is sprayed with argon gas (also used to euthanize dogs) to make it turn red prematurely.  Wow!  We have just taken God's natural medicine and turned it into poison."

So, there you have it.  Those are my top 3 reasons that I have decided to get on the organic bus.  There are countless other studies and figures listed in the book that are all connected to our hormones and what we ingest. 

Food for thought. . .ever wondered why in the last 20 years we have heard more about:
-breast cancer
-etc, etc etc 

When I read this book I went into it with a skeptically open mind, if that is possible, but finished being convinced that there has to be some truth to all of this.  I was also really upset because I know for a fact that I have tried and tried to eat healthfully and to realize that even with all of my efforts, I was still exposing my family to all of these harmful things really ticked me off.

Like I said earlier, this is NOT to be "holier than thou" or to "teach you a lesson" but just to let you know some of the information that I learned through this book.

By the way, if you are like I was then I'm sure I can hear you say,
"Organic foods are SO expensive!"  It is true that they cost a little more but after reading this book I can tell you that my grocery bill HAS GONE DOWN each week because I have stopped buying a lot of things that I bought before.  Did it hurt the first time I bought a $6.04 gallon of milk?  Heck, yeah, it did.  But, as Jillian states in the book, I'd rather pay a bit more for good food now than pay later in medical bills.

Just food for thought.  You know what is best for you and your family. 

I'd love any comments on the whole organic idea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's time for another What I'm Loving Wednesday with Jamie and I have a lot that I am loving this Wednesday.

{1} I'm loving . . .that I finished INSANITY on Friday.  I am so happy that I completed it and I feel proud of myself.  You can read my post about it HERE.

{2} I'm loving . . . that I crossed another thing off of my 101 in 1001 list this week, I got my first facial.  You can read that post HERE

{3} I'm loving . . . that we took our kids to see the Bare Naked Ladies this past Saturday night.  BNL performed as part of Celebrate St. Louis out in a park so we were abe to take chairs and blankets.  If you've never seen them before they put on such a good show.  Gracie is the only one who stayed awake for the whole show, though.  Caleb and Kanin both fell asleep.  LOL

{4} I'm loving . . . that Scott and I have are making a concerted effort to go organic.  It's been about a month and I am sleeping better, feel less bloated, have more energy, and feel like I am actually eating less!

{5} I'm loving . . . Twitter!  It's my new obsession.  You can follow me @aprilhendrix9

{6} I'm loving . . . that we finally decided where we will be going for our 5 year anniversary.  I am so excited and literally get on the site everyday even though we don't leave until Oct!!

We are staying at the Excellence Riviera Cancun

Monday, July 25, 2011

My First Facial

One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list is to get a facial.  Yesterday I crossed that one off the list.

It is really hard for me to ever truly relax because I can't ever turn my mind off.  It is especially hard when I keep telling myself, "Ok, relax.  Enjoy this.  Ah, doesn't this feel good?"

What usually ends up happening is that I have a whole stream of consciousness that starts tumbling around inside my head.  It sounds something like this:

"I am so excited!  I've never had a facial before.  This is going to feel good.  Wonder what this machine does?  Kind of looks like that machine in a dentist's office.  I need to make that dental appointment for myself and Kanin has one next week, I think.  His dentist is on Olive maybe I'll go to Trader Joe's on the way back.  Wonder how much time I have left?  Ok, relax.  Stop thinking about everything and just enjoy it.  Wonder what she is going to do next?  That stuff smells like Sea Breeze that I used to use in high school.  I think it is called an astringent.  That's not good for your skin, is it?  I like that hot towel.  I need to buy some new towels.

I mean SERIOUSLY, how ridiculous could I be?  That is exactly what happened during my facial yesterday.  I couldn't totally enjoy it because I couldn't turn my mind off and just be. 

Here is what I liked about the facial:

I didn't really know what to expect except everyone kept telling me how relaxing facials are and they were right.  It felt great to have my face massaged and different lotions and sprays rubbed on.

My favorite part of the facial was when she painted on a mud mask. 

I also liked when she wrapped my face in the hot towel.

While she was letting the mud set, she gave me an arm and hand massage and then wrapped both in hot towels.

I loved all of those parts about it.  I didn't even mind the extractions (where she picks the blackheads/blemishes).

This is the part that I hated:

The part I couldn't stand, though, was that steamer. 

I felt like I was going to suffocate.  I was just praying for that part to be over.  I am a mouth breather but I was trying to breathe in and out of my nose because this lady is right over my face and I was afraid I had bad breath. 

So, overall, I'm not really sure that I would go get another facial anytime soon.  I thought it was just OK.  I don't know if I just had it built up in my mind or if it was because I didn't really know what to expect.  I will say that my face feels great today, though.

Have you had a facial before?  Loved it?  Hated it?

4 Coupons to Quiznos

In honor of Quiznos 30th Anniversary, they are offering 4 coupons.

- Free Chip or Cookie and Regular Fountain Drink

- Free Sub or Regular Salad
- 2 Meals For $9.99
- $1 Off Regular Sub or $2 Off Large Sub

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Well, I did it!  I finished the INSANITY workout.  As I've said before, it is by far the most physically demanding workout that I have ever done.  The first 30 days consists of mostly cardio with a few push-ups thrown in here and there while the last 30 days works in more core, push-ups, and planks with the cardio.  I have never, and I mean NEVER, sweat so much in my life as I did during one of the workouts. 

Now, full disclosure, I did not do the 60 days in a row.  After finishing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, I just did not want to be tied down to doing the same workout everyday.  So instead of finishing INSANITY in 60 days it probably took me closer to 70.  I ran on some of the Recovery and Off days and I was out of town for a couple of weekends.  Overall, though, I stuck to the workout and felt awesome when I could check off the box each day.

I finished this past Friday and I can't tell you how proud I was of myself.  I hopped out of bed bright and early to do those last 2 dvd's.  It was kind of cool because Scott was home, along with the kids, so they were all here when I did the last stretch.  My kids have become so used to me putting on workout clothes and every, single day would ask, "Are you going to do INSANITY now?" 

So, how much did I lose?  Did it work?  Can I see a difference? 

Yes, I can definitely see a difference in my body especially my legs.  My legs are toner and leaner.  My arms and shoulders have more definition.  I lost weight in my face. 

What about my stomach?  Well, I definitely lost and toned up in my abs because I can now wear some of my clothes that I haven't worn since before Gracie was born BUT I don't have defined abs . . . yet.  Having 2 babies in 2 years put a hurt on my body so I realize that it is going to take a while to firm up that part of my body but I'm ok with that.  I know that I look better than I did when I started this whole thing.

Here are some pics.  I did not have the best photographer in the world (Kanin) so I chose the ones that I thought would best show the progress.  Most of the pics Kanin was looking up at me so I looked like a giant.  LOL

So, what's next?  I am definitely going to move on to ASYLUM but I am also going to try to run a little more (if this heat ever lets up), probably put some Jillian back into the routine and continue to throw some of the INSANITY videos in, as well.

Have any of you attempted or completed INSANITY?  Any suggestions for a hard core video series I could do next.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Here are some fantastic FREE samples available right now.

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Purex Complete with Zout

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OB Tampons
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Garnier Moisture Rescue
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And a coupon for free Oscar Meyer Hotdogs.  Click HERE

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Dresses

I know that many of bloggers out there know some fantastic sites from which to order cute dresses.  Could you share a few with me?  I'm not wanting to spend an arm and a leg but just need to stock up on some.


Please share in the comments:)

The Naughty Spot

On July 3, Caleb turned 2.  2 is such a rough age for them and for us.  One of the big things about turning 2 is that my kids get introduced to the Naughty Spot.  Yesterday was Caleb's first experience with the Naughty Spot and it just about broke my heart.  Up until now, he has always gone and sat by Gracie or Kanin when they were made to sit down but this was the first time on his own.

This morning, he got sent again.  I know that this will be the first of many times but I had to snap some pics of this pitiful face.

Monday, July 18, 2011

All of Your Ducks In a Row

Tonight Scott was grilling and when he went outside to check on the meat, he started yelling for us to come outside. 
This is what we saw . . .

She was really close to the deck but with all of the chaos of me and the three kids coming outside, she went down toward the fence.

I tried to throw out pieces of a hot dog bun and put some water out but she was a little freaked out and just wanted to get away from the people.  I don't know where they were headed but I hope they are ok.

It was really cool seeing the Mommy and her two babies.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Family Day of Bowling

This week we decided to take the kids bowling.  Kanin has been several times at different birthday parties but this was Caleb and Gracie's first time.

If you haven't been bowling in a while with a little one, they have these really cool ramps that you can set the ball and then the little one can push it off.  Caleb loved it! 

Of course, Kanin's competitive spirit came out because he wanted to beat Mommy and Daddy.

We had a fun day and the kids can't wait to do it again!

2 Offers from Home Depot

Have you heard of the Home Depot Garden Club?  The Home Depot Garden Club gives you access to a community of gardeners to exchange questions and ideas.  It offers advice, offers and special savings and you get a personalized Garden journal.

Click HERE to check it out.

The Home Depot is also offering to send you product innovations and savings straight to your email.  Click HERE to sign up to have the most up-to-date products and product changes sent directly to your email.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baring It All

As most of you know from reading my blog, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer back in February.  I have another friend, Marcy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago as a very young, vibrant mom.

Marcy has been featured in a new series on the Style network called Exposed.  Her episode of Exposed is Baring It All.  This episode featured the SCAR Project.  This Pulitzer Prize winning photography exhibit captures the lives of 4 young women who have dealt with breast cancer and the scars that followed.

Marcy, is one of the ladies in this documentary.  The last airing of Exposed:  Baring It All will air tomorrow (Friday), July 14 at 9am CST on the Style Network.  I urge and beg you to watch it!!  (Check your local listings).  After this last airing, it will be available on Amazon at a later date.

The SCAR Project by photographer David Jay will also be shown at selected cities across the country.  If you get a chance to go see it, I encourage you to do it.  I hope that it comes to St. Louis! 

I will be honest with you and say that this documentary is not an easy thing to watch.  It is raw, it is ugly, and it is real.  You will definitely need a box of tissues handy but I promise you that you will be inspired by these 4 women and you will be PROUD to be a woman.  We come from the same stock and to see our sisters fight like these women have and still are doing, you will have such a sense of pride for each of them.

Here is a trailer of my friend, Marcy's, story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It has been a while since I participated in a What I'm Loving Wednesday with Jamie so I thought I'd list some things today.

#1 I'm loving . . . that my sister-in-law, Debbie, completed her last chemotherapy last Thursday.  Next up is 6 weeks of radiation.

#2 I'm loving . . . Jillian Michael's book Master Your Metabolism.  It is truly life-changing and makes you look at food in a whole different way.

#3 I'm loving . . . that I only have 7 more workouts until I am finished with INSANITY!

#4 I'm loving . . . that I ran 4.17 miles this morning.  Since starting INSANITY I have decreased my running so I was proud of myself this morning.

#5 I'm loving . . . that we are in the middle of planning a 5 year anniversary trip.  We skipped a honeymoon so that we could go to al of the games in the 2006 World Series.  I am happy to have gotten to experience it.

But for our 5 year anniversary/late honeymoon, I'll be "knee deep in the water somewhere"

#6 Finally, I'm loving . . . this song by Zac Brown with Jimmy Buffett.  It goes with the picture above. It's not the official video but I like it better.