Saturday, January 26, 2013

Food Project 365: Week 4

Day #19 (1/19): Pizza

Day #19 photo IMAG0620.jpg

Day #20 (1/20): Cheeseburgers and chips

Day #20 photo IMAG0623.jpg

Day #21 (1/21): Red Beans and Rice

Day #21 photo IMAG0626.jpg

Day #22 (1/22): Oven Baked Chicken, macaroni and cheese, and corn on the cob

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Day #23 (1/23): Roast Beef, potatoes and carrots

Day #23 photo IMG_1505_zpsb8f3dcda.jpg 

Day #24 (1/24): Chili and cornbread

Day #24 photo IMG_1507_zps410b5d16.jpg 

Day #25 (1/25): McDonald's

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Food Project 365: Week 3

Day #12 (1/12): Pizza
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Day #13 (1/13): Hamburgers and Pasta Salad
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Day #14 (1/14): Pancakes
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Day #15 (1/15): Cheeseburger Macaroni Skillet and Fruit Cocktail
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Day #16 (1/16): Ranch Porkchops, Bacon Ranch Potatoes and corn
Day 16 photo IMG_1465_zpscec214a0.jpg

Day #17 (1/17): Cheesy Beef Taco Skillet and cornbread
Day 17 photo IMG_1473_zps09b18325.jpg

Day #18 (1/18): McDonald's. I was really bad today. Snowy weather makes me want to eat. A lot.  photo IMAG0617.jpg

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Paging Dr. House!

A week and a half ago, I came down with an awful rash. This rash continually got worse and worse. I couldn't think of much that could've caused it. It wasn't contagious because no one else has it. I tried Benedryl. Didn't work. Tried Cortizone cream. Didn't work. I was beginning to scratch until I was pulling skin and crying from the pain of it afterwards. I continued to deal with it. I searched the Internet to find a picture that looked close to it so I could find out what was wrong. Not a single picture matched my rash. I went to symptom finder on WebMD. They just added anxiety to my list of disorders. They said things from Poison Ivy to AIDS/HIV to cancer to leprosy. Leprosy? Seriously? Then the Plague. What the what? I clicked off the site and finally broke down and went to the Emergency Room.
  Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

The ER tech doing triage looked at it. He said he had never seen it before. He said a Nurse Practitioner was coming in. She came in. She had never seen it before. They decided someone else needed to see it. The next Nurse Practitioner came in. She said she had never seen a rash like this. Again, what the what? No one has seen it? Then where the heck did it come from? She said it's not like any other rash she had ever seen. I could very easily post pictures of it. But, I don't even like looking at it so I won't subject you to it. But, it's full body, red, itchy, and burns like a sunburn. So, without doing any tests and no doctor seeing me, it was decided to give me a nice medicine cocktail for the next 5 days. If it's not gone by then, I am being referred to a dermatologist. 

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App
My daily meds: Prednisone (2 pills once a day), Benedryl (50 mg every 4 hours) and Pepcid (20 mg twice day).

The Pepcid confuses me. I know it's a heartburn medicine so why am I taking it? Well, my research concluded that it helps enhance the benedryl. Ok, whatever. 

So, now I play the waiting game. And I pray it's gone by Monday..... 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Music Monday: Gotta Be Me

This is one of my friends, Drock from Atlanta. This is probably my favorite song he has done {although I do have others}. Check him out on Youtube.

Linked up with:
Miss Angie @ My So Called Chaos

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Social: All About Blogging

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
    My blog is called The Italian Bella Diaries. Italian Bella was a nickname of mine when I was younger. I started my first blog in July 2008. I had a different URL then. My gmail account was hacked in 2010 and I could not get back into it {Thanks, google}. I then started this one; same name, different URL.

2. Why do you blog?
     I honestly ask myself that question often. I started my original blog out as an outlet for my poetry and random feelings. I then used it as an update page for my pregnancy with my son as well as participating in a few different linky parties. Now, I just post what comes to mind whether it is a story about my life, my feelings, a linky, a recipe, a song, a review, anything.

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?
    I honestly can't remember.

4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2012?
    I'm going to go with Reverting Back to Old Ways on 10/17/12.

5. What are your blogging goals for 2013?
     To blog more consistently. My goal was 5 times a week. I have been falling short this week. But, in all honesty, college just started back for me.

6. Top 3 favorite blogs to follow?
    Do I really have to choose? This is like making me choose my favorite child. Uhm.....

I love all the blogs I follow, but since I had to pick 3, there ya go!

Linked up with:

Sunday Social

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Food Project 365: Days 5 - 11

Day #5 (1/5): McDonald's. I had a Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken and Ranch Dressing.
Day 5

Day #6 (1/6): {Homemade} Lasagna Skillet (it's like Hamburger Helper).
Day 6

Day #7 (1/7): Smothered Porkchops, chicken broth simmered rice and peas.
Day 7

Day #8 (1/8): Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken, Bacon Ranch Potatoes, and corn.
Day 8

Day #9 (1/9): Tuscan Parmesan Tilapia, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables.
Day 9

Day #10 (1/10): Pasta e Fagioli Soup.
Day 10

Day #11 (1/11): McDonald's. I forgot to take a picture, but I am going to be completely honest here. I had a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese and a medium french fries with a bottle of water.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Cajun Pork Chops with Rice

This is the recipe shown on Day 4 of my Food Project 365


  • 8 boneless pork chops
  • 3 cups rice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cans Beef with Mushroom condensed soup
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Cajun seasoning
  1. Cook rice according to package. Pre-heat oven to 350* F.
  2. In a large bowl mix cooked rice, beef broth, beef/mushroom soup, and butter. Pour into 9x13 baking dish.
  3. Season chops with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Lay on top of rice. 
  4. Bake for about 45 - 60 minutes. 

Serves: 8 | Serving size: 1 pork chop and 1 cup cooked rice

Linked up with:

Nap-Time Creations  Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays
Totally Tasty Tuesdays 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Music Monday: King of the Zulus

Yesterday marked Epiphany, or Three Kings Day. In many Gulf coast regions, particularly the New Orleans area, it marks the start of Carnival Season. Now, anyone who knows me knows that Mardi Gras is my most favorite holiday ever. And I mean ever! This is my Christmas, birthday, and everything else rolled into one. I cannot explain, for the life of me, why I love Mardi Gras so much. But, I do.

How else to commemorate the start of Carnival than with some Louis Armstrong? Yes, I am a jazz fan. Especially New Orleans Jazz.

In 1949, Louis Armstrong was the King of the Zulus.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Social: Starting the New Year

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
No. I changed my eating habits in October. I have lost 20 lbs since then. I stay within my calorie limits and treat myself every now and then. 

2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays?
Check out my Pinterest Board: Gettin' Fit  I can't personally vouch for all of these, but they all look good. There's 84 pins on there. 

3. What is your favorite thing you did over the Holidays?
I really did nothing over the holidays. I know, I know. I live such a boring life. I really, really do. I sat at home on Christmas and  New Years Eve. On Christmas, kids opened presents and then we went out to eat. On New Years Eve, we watched the ball drop and then went about my business. 

4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2013 that you did not in 2012?
Several things. First, I started a novel on NaNoWriMo. I didn't finish it. I hope to complete it this year. I also plan to begin another novel this November for NaNoWriMo and hope to complete that one during the required time. Also, I plan to do better school wise. I slacked a lot last year and hope to do better this year. 

5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why.
1- Our vacation to Louisiana. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Louisiana? If everything goes to plan, we will be there for two weeks again including the last week of Mardi Gras. 
2- My kids birthdays. This year, I will have a 15-year old, 11-year old, 2 8-year olds, 2 6-year olds and a 3 year old. Where is the time going?
3- PSY 480: Elements of Clinical Psychology Why, you ask? It's my last class of the year and it means I will only have two classes left before I graduate with my Bachelors in Psychology in 2014! Eeeek!

Sunday Social
Linked up with Ashley's Carnival Ride and A Complete Waste of Makeup 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Food Project 365: Days 1 - 4

I always thought about doing a photo a day for a year. But, I never got around to it. So, when January 1st crept up on me, I was unsure how I was going to do this. My life is completely boring and I don't take many pictures during the day. In fact, the only thing I really take pictures of everyday is my food. So, I decided to do my Project 365 on my dinners, no matter what. Even if it's McDonald's. So, here is Days 1 -4.


Day #1 (1/1): Ham with pineapple, blackeye peas, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread.
Day #2 (1/2): {Homemade} Salisbury Hamburger Skillet (it's like Hamburger Helper) and mixed veggies.
Day #3 (1/3): Parmesan Cajun Tilapia, Cheesy Potatoes, and corn.
Day #4 (1/4): Baked Cajun Porkchops with rice, green beans and rolls. {The porkchop recipe will be coming up soon}

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My 2013 = Perseverance

I've never been one to use a word as motivation for the upcoming year. But, this year I just might. Perseverance: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

I am a college student. In my thirties. While parenting seven kids. Difficult? Absolutely. An obstacle? Most definitely. Discouraging? Sometimes. But, I am determined to persevere and complete this year's classes with good grades. I slacked up a lot last year. Everyone else's needs and wants came before my school work. There were times I was sitting up at 1 in the morning trying to finish a paper before the absolute final deadline. This deadline came with penalties such as 10 or 20% of grade docked a day. I was writing excellent papers. My grades before the penalties were usually perfect or a few points off. But, the penalty dropped my grades low. I would breathe a sigh of relief when I squeaked through the class with a C. But, how can I get into graduate school with those grades? I need to step it up. I need to remember that my classes come before some other things. As a matter of fact, I already have the first paper assignment even though my class doesn't start until Tuesday. As soon as I am done here, I am beginning this paper. {I totally love that some assignments in classes are posted well before the start date} I may even have it done before class even starts.

In my schoolwork, I will have perseverance!

I began my weight loss journey in October 2012. I weighed 228 lbs. I immediately cut out all soda. I immediately stopped eating fatty fast foods, opting for their grilled chicken or salad options. I stopped eating large portions of food, especially carbs. I traded in high calorie snacks for rice cakes and 100 calorie packs. Almost 3 months later, I am down 19 lbs. I intend to continue this lifestyle. I do occasionally slip up. Every now and then, I want a McDonald's burger. And I get one. Just a regular cheeseburger and a salad. I still drink primarily water. Occasionally I use Crystal Light packs in it. I treat myself once a week or less with a diet Dr Pepper. My goal weight is 140 lbs. But, in 2013 my goal is to lose 60 lbs. This is 5 lbs a month and puts me 9 lbs away from my goal. Can I do it? I believe I can. Will I succeed? I believe I will. On my current pace, I could lose 80 lbs, but I only have 69 lbs more to go. I got this!

When it comes to weight loss, I will have perseverance!

In November, I signed up for NaNoWriMo. The purpose of this is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. I went into this project blind. I had no research, no notes, no outline, nothing. All I had was a basic idea. I started to write. Finding time to write the required word count daily was a struggle. I was stopping and researching in order to finish writing. I will participate in NaNoWriMo again in November. I will select an idea from my growing list and do research prior to the start of the actual writing. But, in the meantime, I have this wonderful book began and it has great potential. I love my characters. I love the storyline. And I will finish it. Before September. {Ha! That's ironic considering what part of the storyline was about.} I have 42,000 words left to go.

When it comes to finishing my novel, I will have perseverance!

So, in order to accomplish these three simple goals for myself, I will have perseverance! I will remain focused in my course of action. I will overcome the obstacles and difficulties presented to me in the course of accomplishing these goals.

My 2013 = Perseverance.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Recap and 2013 Aspirations


2012 Recap

I have tried writing this several times, but sadly I have realized that my life is extremely boring. No, really. I am serious. Completely and utterly boring! In January, I became a junior at the University of Phoenix. I am in the bachelors of psychology program. I also bought myself a Kindle Fire as a reward for my first 4.0 semester in Psychology. In February, we took a two week vacation back home to Louisiana. We celebrated Mardi Gras there.
I met Danielle and Margaret for the first time. CJ also turned 2 while we were there. 


We left Louisiana in March and I met Denise for the first time when we left. Chris and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. In April, Chris turned 33 years old. We also took a day trip to Pilot Mountain. 


In May, Tina turned 14 years old. Chris and I celebrated our 16 years of being together. In July, I celebrated my 34th birthday. In September, Carly turned 10. In October, Chey Chey and Courky turned 5. I then began a "diet" to change my outer image. Caitie and Charlee turned 7. My grandmother came for a weekend and took the kids to Build-A-Bear (what an adventure! May have to post about that!).


Chris lost his job (the whole reason we even moved here). In December, Chris began a new job (I was ready for him to leave by that point. Longest month of my life!) 

And official count for weight loss since October: 19 lbs.

2013 Aspirations

I really hate making resolutions. I never, ever, ever keep them. So, instead I just make a list of my aspirations. 

  • Lose 60+ lbs. {Yes, you heard that right! I'm going to be honest though and say that I don't look as big as the scale says I do.} 
  • Be more timely with my schoolwork. Again, honesty here. There were several times that I would've had a perfect score on a paper, but had a certain percentage deducted because it was late. I need to turn in all my assignments on time in every class!
  • Blog more consistently. Ideally, I want to blog here at least 5 times a week. My sports blog, I am not too worried about since the only sport I truly watch is football. And, well, my team's season is done.
  • Go on vacation to Louisiana. I am already planning. Hotel is already booked. So, I guess I better get on the ball with more planning.
  • Cook more. I already cook 4-5 times a week. I want to cook about 6 days a week. 
  • Do 12 Pinterest crafts/projects. I figured one a month would be realistic. 
  • Finish the novel I am writing. 
  • Read 24 non-school related books.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Goals

December Recap
  1. Do better with time management for my school work. FAIL
  2. Write 21,500 words of my novel.  FAIL
  3. Lose 12 pounds. FAIL {However I did lose 3}
  4. Start saving money again for emergencies. FAIL
  5. Try one new recipe a week. SEMI FAIL
  6. Blog more consistently. FAIL

January Goals

  1. Better time management for school.
  2. Write 21,500 words of my novel.
  3. Lose 9 pounds.
  4. Plan and finalize vacation plans.
  5. Try one new recipe a week.
  6. Blog more consistently.
  7. Formulate and begin the traditions I want to begin within my family.