First of all - our jackpot is already over the $200 mark!!!! But I still need more people so keep spreading the word! (Now $200 might seem like a measly amount of money but think about going to the mall with an extra $200 to blow on outfits or a cute hand bag or those adorable shoes?!!!! OR ALL THREE?!!! That's enough to make me want to run hard this week!)

So just a few things I want to point out:

1.) Just because today (Monday) is the start date, anybody can sign up at any point - we'll just have a head-start over you. If you missed the sign-up today, then no tears, just sign up tomorrow.

2.) Your LOG:
You are responsible for your log, but here is the info I'm looking for-
-% lost (here is a weight loss calculator)

I'd love it if you would email me your % lost every Monday so I can make posts for the others to see where they're at in the standings. Kind of help keep that competitive edge going all throughout the 8 weeks, you know?

3.) I will soon be posting blog links to those of you who provided them to me where you are tracking your progress. IF YOU DON'T WANT THEM POSTED - if they're your private, family blog, please let me know.

I think that's all for now! Happy Getting Fit! This should be FUN - so if you're not having fun, well, just wipe that look off your face and go have some fun! Get your friends involved and be active!

Feel free to email me any questions!



Not to sound all beggy and stuff, but WE NEED MORE PEOPLE for our fitness challenge! Come on - if it's going to be a challenge, I need more people to beat. {GOSH...} So email me your info by the end of the day on Monday! And Kadie and I have a HUMONGO treat in store for all of you. Okay, well it's not humongo and it's not a treat but it will be fun anyway.

k-go email me!!! (no whining - you KNOW you want to do this)


Okay, okay, I've caved!

So if you're holding out on our fitness challenge because you're deathly afraid of Paypal then go ahead send me an email so I can send you my address so you can send me a check. Make sense?! Good - now get goin'! I need more people!


Spring Fitness Challenge

Hey all! So this is nothing new, people are doing this all over the place, so Kadie and I figgered "WHY NOT?!" The more people who play along, the bigger the prize - so tell all of your friends to get over here and have some good, clean, healthy FUN! You've got nothing to loose except jiggles!

{{Honestly...I deeply, deeply apologize, but the thought of another apron swap is staggering to me so this is my alternative answer to the apron swap requests - maybe in the Fall?}}

So you wanna look HOT just in time for summer and win some cash?!

So here's the nutshell -

*You and a hot pair of sweat pants
*Anybody can join - boys and girls alike
*$10.00 per person to play
*8 weeks
*Weight loss challenge-lose as much as you can in 8 weeks (see rules)
*Jackpot cash prize - winner takes all

(there's nothing like a crappy economy to inspire some weight loss, eh?!)
Sound interested? There are rules in place, so if you wanna play, read on!

OFFICIAL RULES: (may be changed or altered to best fit the needs and demands of anybody smarter than I am...or anybody really mean because the mafia scares me.)

SIGN-UP: March 23rd - March 30th

* YOU CAN'T BE A SKINNY CHICK or DUDE. Sorry. You need to have a minimum of 10-15 pounds to lose. In case you're completely clueless and don't know if you've got extra baggage, here is a site where you can configure your height/weight ratio to see if you can play along. (for the rest of us, the rolls and jiggles pretty much confirm our qualifications...) Oh yeah, and you can't be preggers, either. How 'convenient' if you were to go into labor during our little game here.

* You MUST email me your:
mailing address
email address
beginning weight AND height
"before" photo

NOBODY will see this info except me and, frankly, NOBODY CARES. It's necessary for me to determine the winner and if you've legitimately lost weight.
email address is: featherednestfitness@yahoo.com
You'll also have to track your weekly weigh-ins on your own - details on that below.

* Winner will be determined by percentage weight loss. This makes it fair for EVERYONE and you can have a shot at winning over your husband who can loose pounds just by walking to the mailbox.

* You MUST play fair - no pill-popping, liposuction, starving yourself, false impersonation of a supermodel, cleanse rituals, voodoo, photo editing your face on Heidi Klum's body, or unhealthy dieting thing. You're on your honor here - ONLY HEALTHY DIET AND EXERCISE methods allowed! If you're unsure of what that is, check this website here for a start. (they're my fave!) The key here is HEALTHY.

* You MUST pay your entry fee before your name is on the list. No cheaties! 100% of the entry fee will go to the jackpot - so work hard if you want some money! I have set up a separate Paypal account just for this competition - I'm NOT going to steal your money - it's all there waiting for you! If I get tons and tons of people, I'll break the jackpot up into groups so there's more of a chance to win.

SEND YOUR ENTRY FEE VIA PAYPAL TO: featherednestfitness@yahoo.com
Sorry, only Paypal will be accepted here. If you need to go set up an account, here is a link.

* You MUST use the same scale to weigh yourself each week - EVERY MONDAY. If you're fully dressed on your initial weigh-in, you must be fully dressed during all of your weigh-ins. (no suddenly gettin' nakey for the final weigh-in!) You're on your own to track your weekly progress because (I'm assuming) you're a grown-up and are capable of doing that, which leads me to the final rule:

* You MUST track your weight loss and fitness progress. If you want to win the jackpot, I need to see a WEEKLY LOG! Grab a pen and paper and get goin'! I cannot allow you to win the jackpot without your log - VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

So what are you doing?! Go email me and join us!!!

**If you'd like to track your progress through your own blog, send me the link and I'll post it on the sidebar of my blog.


Cooking 101 - Hand Pie for Dinner

Okay, so to sidetrack for a sec - I know I've been A.W.O.L. lately but who can blame me?! We've had gorgeous weather and all I've wanted to do is go outside......and play TRACK BALL. Kadie and I are going to start up a "Hot-Moms-Track-Ball-League" and so far there's only two - it's just us - um, so we're looking for more.

Anyway...back to dinner. Gimme a hand...a hand pie. {haha!} You know, sometimes I don't know how I come up with this stuff.... These are also called Empanadas by our Latin friends, but I call them hand pies because people hear me say "Empanada" and go, "what?", so - it's pretty much a language barrier thing.

{Anyway...} So these are FAST, easy, and everybody loves them - even the little picky eaters. If you've got leftovers of anything, make a filling with it and bake it in a hand pie. You just can't go wrong with melted cheese and sour cream, ladies. Got some leftover turkey dinner? Throw it all in a hand pie! Stroganoff? Tuna Noodle Casserole? You got it...hand pie. (um...I hope by now that you know I'm totally kidding about the tuna noodle stuff - that's just gross.)

Now I'm mostly doing this for my sake because you know how you'll make something really yummy and and then go, "how did I make that???" later? So here's my filling that I used the other night, as well as a recipe for a Mexian style filling, because I'm going to have to come back to this site again when I can't remember what I did last time. OH - and you can freeze these and whip out a quick dinner when you're not in the mood to feed people.

4 1/2 c. Bisquick baking mix
1 c. boiling water

Stir with a fork to incorporate, then use hands for the rest and knead the dough for a few minutes. Roll into 8-10 balls, cover and set aside.

Abby's Random Chicken Filling:

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 Tbsp. chopped onion
2-3 Tbsp. chopped green chili
1/4 c. - 1/2 c. Salsa
1 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Red curry powder (I know, weird, but it was SO good)
3 c. chopped, grilled chicken
Mexican rice - 1 box of Mexican rice and only use about half of it. (I only added this because I had some left over from a previous dinner - and it made the filling taste great)
Shredded Cheese

In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil and toss in the garlic, onion, green chili, salsa, and cumin. Brown until onion and garlic are soft. Add everything else and saute for a few minutes until everything is heated through and well incorporated.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees; spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Roll out a little dough ball until it is about 6-8 inches round. You don't want your dough to be too thin so try to keep it just a little thicker than a pie crust.

Spoon about 1/4 c. of the mixture onto half of your dough, add some shredded cheese on top, fold over dough and pinch edges closed while pushing the edges towards the middle to create some thickness. Crimp the dough shut with a fork, poke a few slits in the top for vent, and transfer to the cookie sheet. Repeat until dough and/or mixture is gone. Freeze any leftover filling to use later.

Bake hand pies for about 10-12 minutes or until they're golden brown. Serve warm with your fave garnishes like shredded lettuce, tomatoes, guac, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Abby's Random Mexican Filling:

Looking at my recipe, it became obvious to me that I don't measure anything, so just add reasonable amounts of whatever is listed. When in doubt just use about 1/2 tsp each.

2 lbs. Ground beef or ground turkey
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, finely diced
Chili powder
Nutmeg (just a dash)
Cilantro - chopped fresh or 1/2 t. dried
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
2 small cans chopped green chilies
Diced tomatoes (optional)

Brown ground beef, drain; add seasonings and simmer about 5-10 minutes until cooked through.


Hat Cookies

So this is a fun idea I found somewhere - probably Family Fun (I can't remember) - and we used this for a "Hats Off" church event. You could make these cookies for a springtime party, though, or any occasion you want.

So you use those fudge stripe cookies, peanut butter cups, and colored frosting. KIDS can do this! Put a big blob of frosting on the peanut butter cup, press it down onto the cookie and let it smoosh out the sides. (smoosh is TOTALLY a word) That's your "ribbon" for the brim of the hat. Then pipe on a bow with frosting using a round cake decorating tip, and top it off with a flower blob-thing with the "star" decorating tip. Flower blobs aren't hard to do and if you were to play with the frosting on some waxed paper for a minute, you'd figure out how you want your flower to look.

You don't have to be a pro - just do enough to get by in order for your cookies to look edible! And, seriously, folks - how can you mess up a fudge cookie, peanut butter cups and FROSTING?! You just can't go wrong here.

Still Kickin'

Oh my goodness - you guys are the BEST!!! Seriously! I've been getting so many concerned emails from you darling girls from my last pathetic post! (sheesh - I must have made it seem like I was in really bad shape...too bad you all don't live near me so I could take advantage of your niceness and you could bring me comfort food...) Anyway - all is well, the sickies are gone, I've been extremely busy, and I'm beyond ecstatic that winter is pretty much over! {aaahhh!!!} {that was a scream} I realize we still have a few cold days left, but the worst is over and I'm sorry but no amount of sadness can make me sad right now. You could try but I'll just have to clap right through it! {I've been getting a little too much sunshine, can you tell?!}

AND! Remember when I ordered this fabric for my birthday pretty much A YEAR AGO...from that co-op...well, I finally got it last week and if I wasn't so mad about the way it all went down I'd be having convulsions from the excitement. Maybe that's a good thing.

Anyway - WHAT TO DO WITH IT?! My friends all keep asking me what I'm going to make and I give them this horrified, aghast expression whilst hugging my fabric to my chest, stroking it like a child. {the nerve some people have, really} YOU DON'T CUT THIS STUFF - you just hold it and look at it. It's totally not for cutting up...that would be insane. (But if I ever decide to use it, I'll be sure and let you know.)

I love you! Thanks for the emails! You ROCK!