.hello. low carb ‘cheese nipz’

I want to have a party. A low carb party where everyone brings something low carb to eat, and I’ll bring these and everyone will go on and on about how great I am and the cheese cracker void I have filled in their lives. I’ve already told you guys about the melt down I had in the cracker isle when first going low carb, but for me the world without crackers is a bleak world I wanted nothing to do with. Then came these. I first saw them on Low Carb Layla’s blog and my first thought was they were too good to be true.  1 ingredient (unless you want to get fancy), 2 minutes, and 16 crackers with a HALF OF A CARB! What?! Not to mention they are delish! A perfect substitute for my 100 calorie packs of cheeze its! *Que angel chorus here*

So ready to go grocery shopping? Here’s what you need!

1 slice of Deluxe American Sliced Cheese (From everything I’ve seen online it has to be deluxe american, none of the others work)
Parchment paper
Fixin’s (totally optional. I used bacon bits on some, garlic powder on others, onion powered and cayane pepper on a few too! It’s totally up to you what flavor you make, they’re fine on their own!)

All you do is cut your slice of cheese into 16 small squares. (Cut in half, then the other way, then half those as well) Line a plate with parchment paper (cut it to the plate so it doesn’t get caught while turning in the microwave) and line your cheese squares along the parchment paper. DON’T NOT USE THE PARCHMENT PAPER! It’s just as important as the cheese here. Nothing else will work. It will stick and you’ll have a mess! Now just pop your cheese squares into the microwave for 45-60 secs. My microwave is nothing to write home about and it actually takes 2 minutes in there for me to get them where I want them so don’t worry if you need to go longer. The longer they’re in the crispier they are. You’ll want them to get a nice golden brown. They’ll bubble up and become round. Your plate will be the temperature of the center of the Earth when it’s done if it’s anything like mine so be aware and keep your fingerprints! Peel them off and enjoy!

Told you, easy peasy and SO good!  You can customize them anyway you want! My hubby likes bacon bits in his, I like garlic salt on mine. What’s your flavor of choice? What would you serve at a low carb party?

.hello. google

Today I had to Google “pet pig pooped in the bathtub”. Really? Yep.
Yesterday I noticed  there was a red/ orange tint to Sawyer’s skin on his head and a little ways down his back down the center.  Of course my first thought is mange mites since every site about potbellies says to look out for them at this age, but I had also started using a new lotion on him so before I took him to the vet I wanted to wash off all dirt and lotion to see how his skin looked. Well, we finally did that bath this morning.  Oh. My. God. Do you know how a smoke alarm sounds? Imagine giving a moving, jumping animal a bath while having a smoke alarm held up to your ear. That’s how loud he was! My ears were ringing for HOURS afterwards!

How can something so small be so loud?!

As we were bathing him (and praying the neighbors didn’t call the cops and tell them that we were murdering an infant) we look down and he was pooping in the tub! WHAT?! Is this really happening right now??? It was. Hence the “pet pit pooped in the bathtub” search. I don’t know what I expected to find, I guess something just to let me know I’m not alone. Surprisingly (and thankfully) I’m not ! Ha! My tub now how to be bleached, but I’ve got a clean pig and he’s mange free! Now let’s all cross our fingers it doesn’t end up being one of those “Found this week on Google” topics. Imagine that one trending! Maybe it would bring traffic to the blog! That would be worth the poo tub! Not really worth the howling we had to go through in the first place though. Ick. This kid’s about to learn how to use a sprinkler and kiddy pool if he doesn’t get on point with the rest of his pig brethren and learn to love baths.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to Google search?

.hello. pig pig!

Meet our newest son! My dream, since I was a small child watching Delta Burke on Designing Women, has been to have a pet pig. I love pigs. They take the number 2 spot on my favorite animal list right under rabbits! I’ve spent the last 2 years trying to convince my husband that a pig is the next step in our parenting lives to add on to 2 dogs and a rabbit. Well, this past week, my dream came true. I found my pig. I just happened to do a random pig search on Craigslist and there he was. A 5 week old miniature pot belly pig named Oliver. I emailed the owner right away and went to see him the next night. We needed to know how he would do with the dogs so she let us bring him home for the night. Of course we couldn’t call him Oliver considering that will be our son’s name once we are blessed with one, so we renamed him Sawyer (all of our boys have SK names so he had to fall in with the pack!) and he’s been the biggest treat of my life!

Oh hi! I’m just snackin!

I must say, pig parenting is quite different from puppy parenting! I’m used to my boys loving being picked up and held and petted constantly, and Sawyer just isn’t that way. The only time you can really down right pet him is when you are feeding him and he’s fine once he’s in your arms, but he hates being picked up. Momma pigs don’t pick up their babies so they just don’t like it. Strangely I’m okay with this though. We’ve had him exactly a week today and yesterday we went on our first outing with him to Petsmart for a new harness. He wasn’t crazy about the car ride, but he LOVED being in the shopping cart. Not sure if it was because he could lay down and still see out, or if it was because of all the attention he got! Every single person in the store came to see him, pet him, hold him, and just dote all over him. He adored the attention and he was quite the little social show off! I was very impressed! One lady (who apparently raises pigs) had him out of the buggy and into her arms before I even knew she was there! Geeze! But she did help me put on his harness, so I guess no harm done. It is hard not to want to scoop him up and love all over him. He is, after all, the cutest porker on the planet if I do say so myself! 😉

I have felt for a while now that our family has been incomplete. Yes, we’ve been trying for a child, but it was something more than that. It felt like someone was missing. Since Sawyer came into our lives, I no longer feel that way. He was our missing piece. He rounds out our now family of 6 perfectly. Still no human children, but 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a pig make for some good times!
He’s the missing link in finally getting this family on a schedule! We are night owls who don’t go to bed until 3 or 4 in the morning then sleep in. I’ve been wanting to change this for a while, but this little ball of bacon is forcing us to do it! He’s in bed by 11 and up by 8 am, no questions! We get up in the morning and go outside to potty, come in for our morning bottle (being 6 weeks he’s still on formula twice a day. Feeding a baby bottle to a pig has seriously made my life!) and our morning bowl of food and veggies, go back outside for more potty time and play time and he plays with the dogs the rest of the day (in between naps on his giant monkey of course!) and then we start the bottle/food/veggie routine before bed as well. Not exciting for most, a complete joy for me!
We have a long way to go as far as figure this little guy out, but I know we are doing our research and doing everything possible to give him the best life he can have.  I’m not sure how many new PBP parents there are out there, but expect more blogs on pig care 101 as we figure it out for ourselves!
What was your dream pet? Did you ever get to make that dream happen? –

.hello. low carb snacks

Back in April I was diagnosed with PCOS with insulin resistance and told in order for me to get pregnant and maintain a healthy pregnancy would be to cut my sugars and lose weight! Now, I promised this wouldn’t be a pity whoa is me blog with my battle with infertility, but that battle has brought me to a low carb diet. I have lost 11lbs so far since the middle of April. At first I was working really hard at it and I actually lost 7 lbs my first week, since then I’ve discovered french fries again and have been eating them like I’ve never had them before. Due to this I’m feeling icky all the time, my skin is breaking out worse than ever, and my weight loss has stalled. After talking to a friend who was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes I’ve decided to kick the habit once more and hop back on my bandwagon! My hubby has been doing this for years and that boy can decide on Monday he wants to loose weight and by Wednesday he’s 10 lbs lighter. For the rest of us that have to work at it I thought I’d share some snacks making their way around pinterest and my kitchen!
One of the hardest things for me to give up has been crackers and chips. I actually threw a toddler sized temper tantrum on my first low carb shopping trip in the cracker isle, because, as I have found (or not found), there is no low carb/carb free cracker. I LOVE crackers! I love them with chicken salad, tuna salad, pretty much any dip at all. Wandering around on pinterest today I found these fabulous cheese crisps that I think will really step up my happy scale and satisfy my craving for something crunchy! And best of all, who doesn’t love cheese?! I’m so looking forward to trying the colby/chedder/ranch mix combination!  The recipe and details can be found here!

Next up, for something on the sweet side, Cheesecake stuffed Strawberries! These perked my ears up because I am a HUGE fan of strawberries and my dear hubby could eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting all on his own. It’s his favorite! These look great for a dessert, especially in this Alabama heat! Your carbs here are coming from the natural sugars in fruit, and that is a carb that I don’t really limit myself of. These fabulous little bits only have 1.6 net carbs per serving (assuming 16 strawberries!) so you can’t be that for a filling dessert. I try my best to avoid fake sugars and artificial flavorings, so I’ll probably half the usage of the spelnda simply because I’m not big into the super sweet after taste it has. I like strawberries and cream cheese on their own so I don’t need much sweetening up, but if you do, by all means go for it! 😀The full recipe and details can be found here!

Speaking of fruit, who didn’t love fruit roll ups as a kid? I know between those and gushers I always had to have something gummy and yummy in my lunch box! Now a days Fruit Roll ups (12 carbs per roll) are something my blood sugar just can’t handle not to mention if you are trying to cut out artificial flavorings, well, there is nothing natural in them. This alternative on the other hand is completely all natural and pretty much guilt free!

You can find the details for these yummy all natural snacks right here!

I just bought a can of chickpeas in order to try this next snack. Just like with the crackers, I’m always dying to have something crunchy in my path when I want to snack! I think out of all the recipes I’ve found, I’m most excited about trying these roasted garbanzo beans! At a dollar a can and spices you’d already have in your cabinet you can’t beat the value! Try finding a tasty healthy chip for under a buck! I first saw these on Marlena, the owner and guru of Makeup Geek TV’s channel and she’s dropped 110 lbs in under 2 years! Check out her snack video for inspiration and motivation!
You can find these right over here!

Last, but far far from least is a fabulous dessert from Low Carb Layla! I absolutely adore peanut butter. It is my favorite thing by far. Before low carbing I would have peanut butter shakes until I’d get sick! My current favorite way to get my peanut butter fix is eating peanut butter with apples for an afternoon snack. If I’m wanting something a little sweeter, this is what I’m going to go for next time!  Peanut Butter Pudding! Doesn’t that sound divine? And with only 3 net carbs you can completely indulge!

Find this yummy pudding here and the chocolate mousse recipe that looks equally yummy here!

So, that’s it for now! I’m finding all sorts of wonderful things on the internets opening this diet up far more than I thought it could be so don’t expect this to be the last low carb post! I can’t wait to share with you the Squash Casserole Muffins a dear friend of mine made just this week! I ate 3 and they were totally guilt free!  Also this week our fridge broken and since we had to throw everything in it (yep freezer stuff too) away we used the opportunity to rid our entire kitchen of carbs and unhealthy snacks! Well, mostly. I still have a stash of  chocolate I’m having a hard time parting with, but hopefully with the additions of these snacks and more yummy ones to come, I’ll be able to kick that craving as well! I hope you all enjoyed! What’s your favorite low carb snack?

.hello.grey- A Shades Trilogy Review

Let’s be candid, can we be candid here? Is anyone even reading this? Hm… Well, let’s start by saying this is pg21, no one over the age of 21 needs to read it. There, it’s out there, mature audience only. And no family. None of my family needs to read this.  Oh and SPOILERS! If you haven’t read the books, and you don’t want to know what happens, don’t read this. I’m not planning on going into major plot points but I am covering my thoughts on all 3 books.

I read Fifty Shades of Grey (and Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, once you pop, right?) . I am not less of a woman. I have not demeaned my sex, and I’m pretty sure my religion wasn’t affected. Now that I think of it, no, it wasn’t.  In fact, I had fun, and I giggled, and I actually felt pretty and sexual for the first time in years. Yep, I read smutty trash and I feel like a better woman for it.
When I heard all these talks of Fifty Shades of Grey, at first I rolled my eyes (which now gets me excited, giggly, and a bit twitterpated if you will. *teehee*) and thought that an erotic novel, ESPECIALLY one about BDSM would never be for me. I love to read but I’m also very frugal so instead of spending $16 plus tax to jump right into the genre, I decided to test the waters online when I found The Claiming Of Sleeping Beauty which I heard was much more well written and a better story and GASP it was about a fairytale character! I love fairytale characters; actually children’s lit is my preferred reading of choice, so that would be perfect right? It is also a BDSM novel so this would give me the chance to see what it was all about. OH NO! I got 2 chapters in and I was thoroughly overwhelmed and uncomfortable. Pony play. That’s all I’ll say. Eeep! That ended my desire to know any more about BDSM, much less read any books about it. It was simply too much for me. I’m sure there are plenty that would interested in that book, and from its amazon book reviews, for its genre it’s genius, for me, it was scary. A friend of mine started reading Fifty and when I asked her to clarify she said, while she blushed a lot, and put her Kindle down even more, it wasn’t too rough for her. So, being the kind of person I am, if she can do it, I can do it! I went out to Books a Million on a Monday, sold out. What?! I suppose that has something to say for the book though. They told me it would be back in on Wednesday when they got their next shipment, so on Wednesday I went back, still no books until later that night. Wednesday night I went back and I finally achieved my goal. Book in hand, I set home to read and find out what all the fuss was about, and find out I did! I stayed up all night reading and was well over half way done by Thursday.  I will say EL James is no literary genius, but she does know how to get you to turn a page, in fact I finished book 1 Friday morning at around 7:30am and I waited in the Books A Million parking lot until 9am when they opened to get the second (and I went ahead and bought the third just in case). * Just a recommendation, the first ends with a cliffhanger, go ahead and get the first two so you aren’t stuck like I was!*  And today exactly one week and one day since I got the first book, I finished the third, and I can’t help but feeling sad and wanting for more. I actually would have finished much earlier, but I had a company over the weekend and my husband has been fighting the flu for 5 days or so now.  So, now that you know the back story, let me actually review the book and tell you what it’s done for me.

Like I said, EL James is not going to be the next JK Rowling, she’s no Jane Austen, but she gets you turning a page. Well, she did me anyway. The read was easy and breezy and although I did have to pull out the dictionary a couple of times (no judgments!!) the books were fast to get through and I could get wrapped up in the story line.  If you took out all the sexual activity, there is still a plot, and they’d still love each other in the end. I like that.
In case you haven’t heard, it’s based off Twilight Fanfiction. Yep. That was a total turn off to me at first because I didn’t want to perceive the characters and ones I’d seen before. I wanted new people to fall in love with and I didn’t want to ‘precast’ in my head. Now, I’m not knocking fanfiction. One of my best friends is a fanfiction writer, and I dare say she’s the best of the best.  Could she change out some names and publish a book from her work? Absafreakinglutely! She’s good. She’s great! (Go check out her stories, and if you like True Blood, read Blood of my Blood. She wrote it for me, so it’s kinda really my favorite!) So I know my fanfiction about as well as anyone who doesn’t write it can know it. The one thing I love about fanfiction is the thing I love about this book, what you want to happen… HAPPENS! You want them to fall madly in love!  You want them to be together forever! You want them to have a family and a normal life! AND THEY DO! It’s a happy ending! The great thing about fanfiction is that you don’t have to have conflict just for the sake of moving the plot, but this book did have conflict (a lot of conflict!), and the plot still moved forward, but you got your happy ending! Hooray!  She didn’t change the characters a great deal. I could still pick out every character in her book in relation to the character in the twilight books (accept Bella, thank GOD Ana was different enough from Bella for me to actually like her. She had girl balls. I respect that.) but she did put her own spin on them. Honestly, if she hadn’t being confined to the Twilight characters, she probably could have had more wiggle room and done more with the characters she created.
That being said, as far as Christian and Ana go, I loved them. It sounds odd, but when I wasn’t reading, I missed them, wondering what was going to happen with them next. I personally found a connection with them. It’s nothing new for me to get emotionally attached to characters though. The rest of the characters were strained to me, but the main two had a flow that was perfection. My one HUGE complaint, these two should never be able to name children. Seriously. Their baby names. Ugh. Personal opinion of course, but ugh.

As far as was it a good BDSM book? Well, I really don’t know, as I know nothing of the subject, but I do know it was starkly different from the Sleeping Beauty book and that was well known BDSM. Maybe it was BDSM lite? Diet BDSM? He was sweet and gentle with her too and didn’t do much of anything I probably wouldn’t try with my husband (okay, that’s not true, but I’m much braver in blog than I am in real life!). Was it a good erotic novel? Well, I can’t really help you out much there either. The closest I’ve ever come to erotic novels was that wedding planning series by Nora Roberts, and who didn’t love those? They really got my goose. (Is that even a phrase? Pretty sure I just made that up.)

Here’s what the book did for me. It made me feel pretty again. Confident. Much like Ana’s character, the further the books went on, the better I felt about myself and the more self assured I got. You see, Christian gloats on her throughout the book. We get to see how attracted he is to her, see the sweet things he tell her that make her feel more attractive, to let her know he wanted her. I’ve heard those very same things from my husband. In fact, there were several things in the book that Christian did or said that I can very clearly hear my husband saying, see my husband doing, and it made me realize- I have that affect over someone too. I move someone like that as well. It was a glorious feeling. It made me want to be better for him. To be more attractive for him. To try harder. And I have. And he’s noticed. 😉

I’m not going to lie or sugar coat this. My life in the bedroom has most always been strained. This is by no fault my husbands. Unfortunately, due to health and body issues beyond my control, I just can’t do what other girls do without being in a severe amount of pain, and it sucks. When it’s always painful or when you can never relax or when you feel so self conscious about what you can and can’t do, you begin to degrade yourself to not want to do it at all. Let me just say, I started reading this series one week ago and I lost count after our 11th time by Friday. Yep. Sorry for the TMI, sorry for my candor, but yep. And I’m pretty darn proud of myself! J My husband asked if these kinds of books made women more adventurous. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say I feel like it gives women a safe place to explore. We can read in detail about a specific act, see how it affects a character we’ve grown attached to, roll it around in our brains for a bit and decide if it’s a right fit for us or if it’s something we’d be willing to try.  There were things in the book that after I read it, I knew straight away I wouldn’t want to do, and then there were things I’d never thought to explore and those perked my ears up. The benefit was that I got to read what to expect and know if the outcome was something I’d be interested in. That is how I see it anyway.

Just a quick little “this can’t be normal, but it’s my life” moment- My Mother in Law told me she hoped this book got me pregnant and I should only read it when my husband was home from work. Yep. Said it. To my face. This automatically makes my mother in law better than anyone else’s. But we have been trying for 2 years and she is obviously ready for grandkids so maybe this will happen-

So anyway, I personally give this book 2 thumbs up, not for having perfect writing or being the masterpiece of our generation, but because it was a fun, flirty novel that gave me a wonderful week of adventure and promise of ‘more’. If you want to try it out I say, borrow it, read the first 8 chapters, then decide. You’ll know after that if you’re going to like it or not. I’ve been recommending it to all of my friends. I’d love to know what you thought about it, good or bad! Was there anything Christian did that you decided you wanted to try yourself? Leave it in the comments! Laters, baby! 😉

.hello. world

What can I say? I’m LJ. I’m a 25 year old married girl from Alabama who has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. I talk too much and I ramble on and on. I’m dramatic to a fault. I love to read and I love to write. Hence the blog. Now this is not my first rodeo (should I start making Southern quips and appropriated times? We’re known for that, right?), I actually have a few blogs. If you want to read about my life as a wife and homeowner you can pop over to my dead blog I run with my hubby who never posts Keeping up with the Johnsons. If you want to hear my sad tale of infertility due to PCOS and our 2 year (so far) fight to become parents you can sit down with a cup of coffee and read Journey to a Little Johnson. If you just want to get to know me, just me, then stay right here. Yes I’m a wife, and a mother in waiting, but I’m also just a twentysomething girl that likes to share her life.

I think I’m funny. If I’m not funny then I’m just amusingly awkward which is fine by me. I have a quirk about me that I’ve been told is charming. I hope it is, otherwise I’m sure you’ll bore with me soon enough. I love to read. I have select TV shows that I DO NOT miss (okay, I hulu them). I’m a photographer and I run my own business. I love thrift store shopping. I love DIY projects though I usually end up with a bigger mess than I do with an end result. I like to stay busy and I’m a wreck if I have too much time on my hands. I’m a worrier and I fret over everything. I hope those closest to me find it endearing, if not, I’m sure it annoys them to death. I have fabulous friends, I’m married to an amazing man, I have 2 dogs, a rabbit, and if I had my way we’d fill the house with even more animals (a pig and a goat to be exact).
I’m not sure where this blog will lead, but I’d love for you to follow me down this rabbit hole.