Gold Medal White Whole Wheat Flour Review

Well the other day I got a big box delivered to my house with some AMAZING goodies inside. The package was from Gold Medal and they had sent me some really neat stuff to try out.

Firstly, they sent me a gorgeous little cookie jar. Also inside the package was a pack of recipe cards and my favorite, a coupon for a free bag of Gold Medal white whole wheat flour, their new stuff!

Once I redeemed the coupon for the flour, I knew it was time. I had to bake something! So I rummaged through the recipe cards and oh-my-YUM! There were lots to choose from and they all looked delicious! Ultimately I was in the chocolate mood so I decided on the recipe for Double-Chocolate Lava Cake.

Doesn’t that just sound divine? Trust me. It really was. I didn’t want to share, but I did, with my whole family and there wasn’t barely bite left on anyone’s plate!

Now back to the actual flour. It honestly tasted just like any other flour. But it’s not. This flour is actually made from a different kind of wheat, it’s made from hard white spring  wheat instead of the traditional hard red spring wheat. By using this type of flour, you’re able to include some whole grain into your baked goods! I love it!

For frozen chocolate chip cookies, here is a simple recipe that Gold Medal gave me that is destined to be amazing. Instead of waiting for them to thaw once you’ve frozen them, here’s a way to eat them almost instantly. It goes like this:

For a β€œfresh-baked” cookie anytime, simply microwave a frozen cookie on a paper towel on Medium-Low (30%) about 1 minute 45 seconds or until the edge of the cookie is heated; then move the cookie and paper towel to the counter to stand about 30 seconds or until the chips are cool enough to eat. (Time may range slightly, depending on the wattage of your microwave.)

My Double-Chocolate Lava Cake – Yummy!

For recipes that depend on the flour for most of its taste (such as pizza crust or bread dough) or other recipes that call for sugar and fat (cookies, muffins, brownies) they advise that you start by substituting this white whole wheat flour for 25-50% of the recipe’s flour.

I am definitely going to be using this flour for my next recipes. I like the fact that you’re getting more whole grains in your sweets, plus I have a whole lot of recipes to try now πŸ™‚

*Disclaimer: I was sent these free products for review by Gold Medal. I was not paid to write this post, and the opinions expressed are completely my own. 

Have you tried Gold Medal’s White Whole Wheat flour yet? What did you think about it?

Hearts!

Ruby

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Party Decor Mania! Mom’s 50th Birthday Party!

Photo courtesy of Hostessblog.com
Photo courtesy of Hostessblog.com

 Welp, I am attempting to plan a 50th birthday party for my mom. I am not the most creative party hostess in the world, although I’d like to be! I think it is so fun to plan a party for someone special and make them feel important in this little way. Plus, who doesn’t love a beautifully prepared party??? I do! Ruby found the most FABULOUS site for all things PARTY!!! It’s called Hostess with the Mostess (CUTE!). They have beautiful ideas for any occasion. I was browsing the site and got inspired… so I figured I would share πŸ™‚

Halloween Party? Great ideas at Hostessblog.com!!!

 Now all I have to do is find the PERFECT decor ideas for my mom’s wine themed 50th Birthday party!!!

And ladies, please please please share some ideas if you have some! I could use all the help I can get πŸ™‚

MODE Groupon! YES!!!

IT’S BACK!!!

Half off at MODE discount designer boutique located in Maple Grove! I love love love this store! They just got a new inventory of home decor… I must check out!

Here it is ladies!!!! $17 for $35 at MODE Maple Grove

Super Woman? Not Quite.

Ok, so I don’t exactly look like this yet πŸ˜‰ But I am on my way!!! So far, so good this week! I have been up early to go to the gym each day this week so far! Unlike Ruby, I have no idea what weight I am starting at (too afraid to look) and will have no idea how much weight I lose. BUT I did take measurements of some key areas and can see improvement that way. I think this is an awesome way to track progress because, let’s admit it…it’s not the weight that bothers us, it’s the size. And if I’m getting smaller, I am accomplishing the goal!

Some measurements I started out with:Β 
1. Upper arm (measured half way between shoulder and elbow)
2. Bust (measured right through the middle of the chest)
3. Waist (measured at the height of the belly button)
4. Hips (measured at the roundest part of the bum)
5. Thighs (largest part of thigh)
5. Calf (largest part of calf)

Then of course I wrote the numbers in code and hid it where no one would find it! Hehe

My workout routine has left me sore, which I am thankful for. I love being sore after a workout. It makes me feel like I’ve done something! So far my routing looks like this:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Weight lifting routine using 25 lb, 15 lb and 8 lb weights. I learned the specific routine from my Fit Moms For Life DVD.
Tuesday, Thursday: Burst cardio. I do high impact cardio for short periods of time (minutes) and then take a short breather. Then repeat. Man is this type of workout brutal, but it feels like it is working!

I just wanted to post a quick update for you guys… Now, I must hit the sack so I can get up early and hit the gym tomorrow πŸ™‚

‘Til next time,
Macy

P.S. I should mention a common myth is that if a woman lifts heavy weights she will bulk up. I thought that exact thing! But it’s not true (unless you are taking testosterone supplements)! It builds muscle, but not bulk. Meanwhile all that muscle is a calorie/fat-eating machine!!! Score!

P.P.S. You may or may not remember our post about a Free Woman’s Day subscription? I just got mine in the mail!!! Double Score! πŸ™‚

Please Send Chocolate

Image by EuroMagic on Flickr

Oh boy, today is one of those days! All day I’ve been craving chocolate and I just can’t let myself go get some! My diet has been going so well, I’ve lost over 10 pounds now. Healthy food only with only occasional slip-ups and yesterday I had a treat so today – no treats. Oofta.

Sooo, instead of indulging in chocolate ice cream, chocolate bars, *drool* and other goodies, I’m indulging in my favorite shows in straight sequence. Just as good right!? I’m absolutely pooped today so I’m not sure if the gym is in my near future but it’s not completely out – yet…

I’ve never really been someone who likes to work out. In fact, I hated working out. But when it came down to it, I realized that what I really hated was running because it’s boring and you have time to constantly focus on how much you hate it. So instead of running, I’ve been doing classes at my gym! I’ve been able to do yoga, body flow, zumba, hip hop, turbo kickm step aerobics, water aerobics and more. They’re a great way to trick myself into working out and it’s a great way to get some cardio into my life. If you are having a hard time getting yourself to work out, I would strongly recommend doing it in class-style. It motivates you to keep up the pace with everyone else, and keep up your heart rate.

DH also decided lately that we need a new car. It was kind of a random thought, but the more that we thought about it, the more it makes sense. So tonight – we’re going car shopping! Exciting, right? I’m pumped to find a good deal on one – naturally. I’m all about those good deals!!

Speaking of good deals, anyone know of any good freebies this week? πŸ™‚

Until next time. Hearts!

Ruby

Baby Fat :-\

And I’m not talking about the kind you lose when you go through puberty. I’m talking about the fat that is retained after having a baby! Ugh! FYI, this is purely a rant post…

I figured I would retain a little weight after having the baby and things wouldn’t look quite like they did before, but I never imagined it would be this bad. I look in the mirror and cringe. This is a feeling that I will never get used to and have decided I’m not going to try to get used to it. Instead, I am going to work my booty off! Literally! I have been making excuses for the last 4 months, ever since I started back at dental school. “I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired after a long day.” “I need to relax a little bit.” “I should be spending this time with my baby instead.” The list goes on. At this point, I am done making excuses. There are no excuses for me to be this size. So excuses over. Tomorrow I am dropping Bean off at the nanny’s at 6:30, driving to school, working out for 1 hour at the rec center, then starting clinic at 9:00. Done. And Tuesday, I will do it again.

My Goals:
1. Fit back into the majority of my jeans from pre-pregnancy.
2. Fit back into my smaller size scrubs.
3. Have my wedding band + engagement ring fit the way they used to.
4. Fit back into some of my smaller shirts.

That sounds really clothes driven, but I guess it is the best way for me to measure my progress. And obviously, if all those goals are accomplished I will be in better shape as well. I know that this won’t get me back to my pre-pregnancy body because, let’s be honest, some things will never look the same without some plastic surgery. I think I can handle that though. I suppose my beautiful baby girl was a decent trade-off πŸ˜‰

Every goal needs a deadline, and mine is December 15th. Why that date? Welllllllll….I’m thinking we might possibly start trying for another baby in December. I want to be in good shape before I get pregnant again and NOT gain a ton of weight like I did with my first pregnancy.

Game Plan:
Weights, weights and more weights!!! I have a friend from college that teaches momma fitness. Unfortunately he is still in Madison, WI and I cannot take his classes. BUT I have signed up to receive his DVDs. They teach me a new workout routine every month using dumbbell weights, which I can use at the rec center (for FREE!). He also includes great (evidence based) education on nutrition and how different types of exercise effect your body differently. I really believe it will work!!! It better! πŸ˜‰ So more weights and more protein here I come! (Find out more at Dustin Maher Fitness).

Ready. Go!

Love,
Macy

House Hunters – Not as Easy as the Show!

I don’t know how many of you have been following my ‘house hunters’ posts, but here is another! When I began the house hunting process with my husband, I had thought things would be somewhat like the show on HGTV. We would see some houses, narrow it down to our three favorites and then choose the perfect house for us! Ummmm… yeah. Not so much.

I know we haven’t been looking for very long, but normally things happen much quicker than this in my life! I mean, take having a baby. Within a 2 month time period I had decided I was ready for a baby, convinced my hubby it was good timing and was seeing the two pink lines on the pregnancy test. Easy-peasy, right??? I thought house hunting would be similar. But, on the positive side, I have learned a lot along the way so far.


What I’ve learned as a first-time home buyer:

1. Finances change. We started out the process thinking we would be able to afford a house about $50,000 more than what we can actually afford. The restrictions on brokers in this economy is much more strict than they used to be. Brokers used to be able to finagle things a little to get you into the house you wanted. Not so much now. They can only go so high with your pre-approval and that’s it. Until your debt (monthly payments going out) goes down, or your income goes up, your pre-approval amount is not going to change. In our situation, DH is relatively new to his job and has gone through a raise (that ended up being lower than expected) and has another raise coming up in about 2 months. Then, I will be done with school and have additional income come May. Our finances are ever-changing.

2. There are different types of financing. For first-time home buyers, there are a few different financing options. We can go FHA, where we would put about 3.5% down on our house. This is available to first-time home buyers only. There is also the USDA Rural Development program. This is available to home buyers purchasing a home in a designated “rural” area. Several cities we have looked at have fallen in this category. This option requires 0% down and no mortgage insurance. This is a pretty sweet deal!

Well, then we considered building a home because we weren’t quite finding what we wanted. This is a whole new financing story. If you build with a smaller company, it is likely they would not be able to carry the construction loan for you. This means you need to get a construction loan through your broker, which will require between 10-20% down. Yikes! We do not have that. If you do find a builder that can carry your construction loan, you are in much better shape. They will most likely require much less $$ down, which they will give back/roll into your end loan finances after the house is built. Whoa! If your head isn’t spinning by now, I’m impressed. Because mine certainly was!!!

3. There are just soooo many home options! I had no idea I would be looking at so many types of homes! And I’m not talking about the style of the home. There are traditional sales, short sales, homes in foreclosure and lender-owned homes and lots. All these different options work in different ways. Traditional sales are obviously the easiest and most straight forward. You find a house you like, make an offer, agree on a price and choose a close date for the house. Nice and easy! Short sales are the most complicated. You make an offer, the seller generally doesn’t care what the offer is and sends it straight to the bank or banks (depending on number of mortgages the seller has). The bank takes their precious time (2-5 months) to decide whether or not they are going to accept your offer. If they do accept your offer, you have a limited time frame to close. These are the two I have experience with so far. But…we are going to see a promising foreclosure tomorrow. I’ll have to let you know how that goes πŸ™‚

Gosh, I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of our house hunting adventure… but I will continue to post updates as they happen!!!

‘Til Next Time,
Macy