Friday, January 30, 2009

More surgery for me.......

I went in to see my surgeon for my 6 month post op gastric bypass surgery on Thursday. The great news is that I have lost 143 pounds and all of my lab work (iron level, B12 level, etc.,etc.) came back normal.

The bad news is that my hernia is worse since losing so much weight. The plan was to have it repaired about a year and a half after my surgery so that they could do a tummy tuck at the same time. That isn't going to happen now, my surgeon wants to repair the hernia as soon as possible. He said it is pretty bad and I could get really sick if I don't have it fixed soon. He wanted to schedule it before I left the office....

I am trying to delay it til' March because we have so much going on here, and well, to be honest.....I am not too keen about having to go under the knife once again especially so soon after my last surgery!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

~ I need votes! ~

I am in need of votes for my slogan. I am entered to win some beef. It is a daily vote and all it takes is a click and you are done, you don't have to register. Very simple. I would really appreciate your help!

Viva La Grass-Fed!
Your amazingly, awesome slogan "La Cense Makes Sense! Go Grass Fed!" is now in the mix!!
Forward this to your friends. Go to the link below and cajole them into voting for you.

Thanks for your help!

Grand Prize: A Grass-Fed Party The Grand Prize Winner will receive select cuts of La Cense Beef valued at $500.

Second Prize: $200 Gift Card The Second Prize Winners will be able to feed their entire family for weeks with a $200 La Cense Beef gift card.

Third Prize: $100 Gift Card The Third Prize winners will receive a $100 La Cense Beef gift card.

"Top Banana" Protein Shake

This is my most favorite protein shake recipe. I love the way it tastes!

1 scoop Focus28 Bariatric RX World Class Vanilla Powder
1/2 cup Skim Milk - * may substitute soy milk
1/2 Banana
1 tbsp Sugar Free Torani or Davinci Caramel Syrup

In your Magic Bullet Cup, add skim milk, 1 scoop Focus28 Bariatric RX World Class Vanilla Powder, 1/2 a banana and 1 tbsp of Sugar Free Caramel Syrup. Put the lid on your blending cup and take it for a whirl on the Magic Bullet. Remove lid and enjoy! Ahhhhh it's so good..........

170 Calories 19g Protein 1g Total Fat

Monday, January 26, 2009

Easy & Delicious (or so I am told) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Even though I can no longer eat desserts unless they are sugar free and low carb, I still enjoy baking and making them for family and friends. I am always on the look out for easy, delicious desserts to bring to family parties and cookouts. Over the years, I have become the "dessert queen". I am the one who is always designated to make dessert, oh, and salads too. I make a mean pasta salad, will save that for another post.

While reading on one of my most favorite sites on the internet, I found a link for a blog and there I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies, the recipe can be found on The Betty Crocker website as well.

I made these brownies over the weekend and they got rave reviews. In fact, the pan only lasted one day. They devoured them! I don't know why I tempt myself.......I really, really wanted one. I mean REALLY. Darn head hunger. I am so proud of myself, not even a nibble did I take.

If you want something special to make for your family and friends, the kind that will get you ooohhhhs and ahhhhs this recipe is sure to please. It is so simple too. Hide those Betty Crocker packages and they will never know you didn't make it from scratch!

1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting

Print these coupons...

About Concordance™

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.
2. Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.
3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


It has been a busy two weeks, one filled with changes.....I didn't have any time to blog this past week, well, I guess I had a few opportunities, but, every time I sat down to blog I found myself with "bloggers block". I think it is because I have had so much on my mind that I couldn't focus enough to write.

Lily is wearing her daddy's new work shoes in the picture. My wonderful husband found a full time job, he is working his new job in addition to his part-time job and is gone 60 hours a week. We miss him so much! He is so exhausted working 3am til 330pm he comes home and sleeps. He has the weekends off, which is our family time.

The construction continues in our apartment, the living room is almost complete and it is beautiful! I am loving the new recessed lighting and crown molding. It has been crazy hectic trying to chase Lily while she tries to grab the carpenters tools while they are working.

We made a decision to put Lily in daycare part-time. I am not well enough to watch her full time, and she needs to be out playing and socializing with other children. It was a difficult decision for me to make.We found a great child care center and took her on the tour with us. She was having so much fun with the other kids she cried when we went to leave. A good sign that she likes it!

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. - John F. Kennedy

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Protein Frappuccino Yum, Yum, Yum!!

I made the most wonderful protein Vanilla Frappuccino this morning with the help of Focus28's fabulous protein Cappuccino drink mix, my trusty Magic Bullet and a few other ingredients. It is easy, quick, healthy but most of all it tastes like Heaven in a cup!

1 pkt Focus28 Cappuccino
1/2 cup skim milk (may substitute soy milk)
1/2 cup cold coffee
1/2 cup ice (I find using ice chips works best in the Magic Bullet vs. big cubes of ice)
2 tbsp of SF Vanilla Syrup - I use Torani or Davinci sugar free syrup, you can find them in the coffee aisle at the store.
*Optional a dollup of Sugar free Cool Whip

In your Magic Bullet cup, pour in a 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup cold coffee, 2 tbsps Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup, 1/2 cup ice, 1 pkt of Focus28 Bariatric Cappuccino drink mix. Put the lid on your cup and blend for about a minute. Top with a dollup of Sugar Free Cool Whip if you like. This tastes fantastic, I kid you not! Loaded with 23 grams of protein and only 120 calories, it just doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Last week when I went to the store, I found some Christmas clearance which included an Advent Calender that has little chocolates behind each door. I couldn't pass it up for 25 cents. Lily enjoyed her Advent Calender so much in December. My little angel loves chocolate as much as her daddy does, it shows in the picture doesn't it? She got ahold of the calender when I wasn't looking. I swear I need eyes on the back of my head these days!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My weight loss story featured on Focus28 website!!

I have some exciting news to share this evening. A few months ago I discovered the most wonderful healthy products made by a company called Focus28. I am using these products to help me obtain my weight loss goal. They are delicious, nutritious and high in protein. It is really important for weight loss surgery patients, or anyone who is trying to lose weight to make sure your diet high in protein.

My weight loss story including a few pictures are featured on their website blog, and I will be blogging for Focus28 each week with my continued weight loss progress, information and tips.
My blog posting on Focus28 is located at:

I hope that you will check out my blog on Focus28 when you get a chance, and PLEASE leave a comment there for me!

They are also hosting a fantastic giveaway, three lucky winners will receive a BIG basket of their products. You do not need to be a bariatric surgery patient to enjoy these products, they are awesome if you are looking to lose some weight! They also have excellent online tools to help you in to obtain your weight loss goals.

To sign up for the giveaway go to:

Sunshine and Peace ~~ Jen

Thursday, January 15, 2009

~ Happy 100th Blog Post to The Downs Gang! ~

In honor of her 100th post, my friend Lori at The Downs Gang is having a wonderful giveaway! Hurry on over and check out one of my most favorite blogs today.

Happy 100TH post Lori. Looking forward to the next 100. xo Jen

PS One of these days I will learn how to do a hyperlink so that I don't have to post the whole url in my post. LOL

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls Izzy B Designs Giveaway

Frugal Mommy of 2 Girls is hosting a fabulous giveaway for an Elmo dress or Elmo Tee designed by Izzy B Designs. They are adorable! Get on over to Frugal Mommy of 2's blog and check it out for yourself. Don't forget to enter while you are there!

~ Random Acts of Kindness ~

One of my goals for 2009 is to do at least one Random Act of Kindness per week. I truly believe when we do good things for others, that goodness comes back to us.

Even the simplest things make a difference. Whether it be stopping to hold the door open for someone at the store, letting someone pull out ahead of you on a busy street, engaging in conversation with the store clerk and thanking them for their good service, or sending a card to someone who is feeling ill. Your random acts of kindness count and not only make you feel good, but, your recipient will feel good as well. It is a win-win deal!

If we stop and take just a moment to do at least one random act of kindness per week, the world will be a better place! C'mon join me in spreading a little sunshine and happiness, I guarantee you, it will make you smile and feel good inside!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

~ Pita Chips ~

Upon hearing about my love for Kontos SmartCarb Pitas, the Chef at Kontos sent me some of my favorite SmartCarb Pitas this week. I have lots and lots of pitas here! This morning I decided to make some pita chips and they turned out great. They are perfect with a slice of cheese or lunch meat on top or for dipping in your favorite dip. Best of all, they are healthy and delicious!

1 pkg of Kontos SmartCarb Pita Bread
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon season salt
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees
Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, pepper, onion powder, season salt, and garlic salt. Brush both sides of each triangle with oil mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn easily!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What does a Note from Luvey mean?

Some of you might be wondering why my blog is called "A note from Luvey." Well, here goes.......Luvey was and is my yahoo screen name. It is also my screen name on two other forums that I frequent. I picked Luvey from the words in the Steve Miller song "The Joker". "Lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey, lovey-dovey all the time" only I spelled it luvey instead of lovey, not sure was a long time ago! "A Note from Luvey" is a note from me!

I have always considered myself a lovey dovey kind of person. I hate conflict, and am a peace lovin' kind of gal! After all, how many women do you know that are good friends with their ex-husbands? I let my ex-husband stay with us when he was having a hard go of it, and he stays with us once a week when he comes down to visit our son. I try to teach love, peace, tolerance, and acceptance of all others in my children as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thank you Lori!!

A big shout out to my friend Lori for making my blog page so pretty. I couldn't have done it without you my friend. You are so talented! I really appreciate your help. If you haven't checked out Lori's blog get on over to today!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

~ Luvey's Greek Veggie Pitas ~

I haven't made my Greek Veggie Pita Sandwiches in awhile because with my carb restricted diet I wasn't sure how I would be able to eat the pita part of the sandwich. While I was out grocery shopping today I stumbled across Kontos Smart Carb Pitas, boy, was I excited! I LOVE Kontos pitas and flatbreads and couldn't wait to get home to try the SmartCarb Pita because one thing I really miss about this diet is not being able to eat bread. Kontos SmartCarb Pita Bread did not disappoint! It was tasty, fluffy and soft.....ohhhh and healthy too. It just doesn't get much better than that. Without further is the recipe for Luvey's Greek Veggie Pitas.

1 package of Kontos SmartCarb Pita or Pre-oiled Greek Bread
1 package of Fresh Spinach - washed and drained
1/2 of a seedless cucumber - peeled and diced
1/2 of a red onion - diced
2 Roma Tomatoes - diced
1 can of sliced black olives *You may substitute greek olives
1 package of feta cheese
Greek Vinagrette Salad Dressing

In a medium sized bowl (I use a small tupperware container w/a lid to save leftovers)
Mix together diced cucumber, diced Roma tomatoes, diced red onion and sliced black olives, add 1/4 cup of Greek Vinagrette Dressing and lightly toss.

Lightly warm your pita bread. I put them in the microwave one at a time for about 15 seconds. It makes them easier to fold.

On your warm pita bread, add a thin layer of fresh spinach and top with the veggie mixture, then add some crumbled Feta cheese on top. Add a bit more Greek Vinagrette if you like. Fold and eat! Soooooo simple and sooooooo yummy!

My Heart & Soul

Cody is such a good big brother to his baby sister Lily. I am incredibly proud of him! I remember when I first told him I was pregnant, he was so angry and upset. Not because after being an only child for 18 years he knew that was going to was because he was in shock and scared. Scared that with all of my health issues that I wouldn't survive my pregnancy. His concerns were justified, I nearly died and was in the hospital for 35 days. That was a big turning point in my life. I realized I had to try to get healthy for not only my sake, but the sake of my children.........they are my heart & soul.

Better late than never.........

I figured a good way to move forward into the new year would be to post my accomplishments for 2008 and my goals for 2009. I had planned to post this on the first day of the new year, but, somehow was side tracked.

Highlights for 2008

In July, my wonderful Canadian husband was finally granted a work permit through INS. Although he has not been able to secure full time employment yet due to the terrible economy, he is working part-time and we are one step closer to him obtaining his green card. I never imagined that this process would be so expensive and lengthy.

On July 31st I had my guts resectioned in an attempt to lose weight. The surgery is known as Laproscopic RNY Gastric Bypass. It was a big decision to have the surgery done, but, I knew with my excess weight I was dying a little bit each day. I have had a few small complications but great success! On my 5 month surgiversary on Dec. 31st,2008 I had lost 128 pounds. When you think about it, that is a whole person! WoW!

With the weight loss I have had a big increase in energy and rightly so. I am not carrying such a heavy load on my heart. I started crafting again in the Fall and creating makes me feel so good! I can escape from my pain and worries when I am working on a project. In November & December I sold 10 pieces that I made and that makes me feel great!

On November 3rd my niece Mallory had a beautiful little girl named Skylar Jean. She is such a little angel.

On December 5th my niece Sarah had a beautiful little boy named Connor Seamus. I am looking forward to seeing them and holding Connor soon. I love it when our family grows!

Our Christmas was the best ever due to the kindness of complete strangers. 2008 was a struggle for us financially and people reached out to my family and helped in ways that I will never forget. I have never felt such overwhelming love and my heart is full with love and gratitude. It was a Christmas that will be in our memories forever. I can't wait until we are back up on our feet and I can pay it forward.

2008 brought me many new friends who I hold near and dear to my heart. I am so blessed to have found them!


Goals for 2009

In 2007 I became an ordained minister (non-denominational) with the idea that once I start feeling better I would be able to officiate weddings. I am hoping now that I have increased energy that I will be able to do just that! Carl will be making me a wedding website and I hope by the summer to start booking dates to officiate weddings. I am very much looking forward to doing this.

I am also going to be working on more arts & crafts projects, I have some awesome ideas in my head waiting to be worked out.

My goal is to lose 90 more pounds. The weight is still coming off at an average of 4-5 pounds per week. It shouldn't take me too long to make my goal.

Another goal is to start feeling better!! I want to get off all of these medications and my c-pap this year.

As always, my number one goal each year is to be the best mom I can be to my kids. They are my life!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ham & Potatoes Augratin

When ever I make baked ham, the following day I make this casserole with the leftover ham. It is a favorite at our place. It is pretty easy and tastes sooooooo good!

2 Cups ham cut into small pieces
6 Medium sized potatoes peeled and sliced very thinly
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup *
1 Can Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
1 Container Sour Cream
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese - shredded

Preheat oven to 375. In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix together soups, sour cream and sharp cheddar cheese, add ham and potatoes. Mix well. Cover casserole dish and bake at 375 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until potatoes are soft.

*If you don't care for cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken can be substituted.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

~ Win a Wii Fit ~

Today is the day of resolutions and my annual list of goals. On the top of my list is to start getting in shape. I really need to tone up! After losing 128 pounds in the past 5 months, I am very jiggly and saggy! I also have quite a bit more weight to lose. I have heard such great things about Wii Fit that I am dying to try it out. I need to make exercise fun, if it isn't, I am just not doing it. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away two Wii Fits in the month of January! To sign up for this wonderful giveaway get on over to

Happy New Year Friends!!