Brown Plate Special ~ Week 11

Well I’m happy to say that I was able to increase my activitiy this past week as my back got better day by day. When I stepped on the scale this morning I was down 1.4 pounds. Yippee! Overall for the 11 weeks I am down 6.2 pounds. I’m hoping to get my steps over 10,000 a day this week, Lord willing. I’m going to say again that for me besides the walking, not eating after 6:00 in the evening is key in this sensible plan. Have a wonderful week.

Brown Plate Special ~ Week 10

For the last 2 weeks I have been living a very non-active life due to my back issues. Well if I needed any proof that activity is vital in my life to keep weight off this was the proof. Over these 2 weeks I have gained 4.1 pounds. Yikes! The positive side of this is that from my beginning point I am still down 4.8 pounds.

I am finally able to walk with little pain so I have a good outlook for this week. Today I’m going to the Getty Villa with Willow and Sara another bloggy friend that I get to meet face to face for the first time. I’ll be taking lots of photos as usual so I hope to share them soon.

So I’m putting my pedometer back on and getting serious again. No more pampering myself because of my pain! Have a great day y’all…

My First Calzone Attempt ~


So this was simple and good. You start with the frozen bread dough you find in the grocery store. I thawed one loaf. Then I floured my surface. I separated the loaf into 3 equal parts. Yikes but when I went to roll out my first circle I realized I do not have a rolling pin in my condo kitchen supplies! What to do? Well I’m not a HomeEc major for nothing people. I’ve learned to improvise. The closest thing I could find in my condo that resembled a rolling pin was this…

A muddler! Wasn’t the simplest tool to use to roll out the dough to a seven inch circle but it worked.

I sauteed most of the filling ingredients before adding them to the circle of dough. You can choose whatever filling floats your boat. I chose red onion, mushrooms, green bell-pepper, and chicken sausage. After sauteing these together and getting rid of some of the moisture I spread a little marinara on the dough placed some soft mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce and then added the sauteed ingredients. Egg wash the edges like shown above and then fold it over and seal it. Give the top another egg wash and prick it with a fork. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes. And drum roll please…here’s how it came out.

It was very yummy! Oh and I was so proud that I got it to fit on a smaller plate to fulfill my brown plate challenge…

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

The Ultimate Blog Party ~ March 7th – 14th


Ultimate Blog Party 2008


Welcome to my Blog Party. You have arrived at The Happy Wonderer.  I’m ellen b and I’m so happy to welcome you here. I’ve made a cake for the occassion and I’m sharing the recipe with you. My birthday is March 14th so this is a great week for a party around here. I would like to give you a taste of what my blog is like. I’m posting some regular kind of things you’ll see if you come back to visit. So relax and enjoy as you scroll on down…

Applesauce Spice Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. 4 serving size jello instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all-spice (optional)
1/2 raisins finely chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl of electric mixer and blend then beat at medium for 4 minutes. Pour into well greased and floured 10 inch tube or fluted tube pan. (I’ve used a bundt cake pan and angel food cake pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. DO NOT UNDERBAKE. Cool in pan for 15 min. remove and cool on rack. When the cake has cooled and before I serve it I give it a dusting of powdered sugar.

This goes really well with whipped cream or a good vanilla ice cream, too. This has become a favorite in my house and is requested for birthday cakes very often.

I like to share my recipes and I really enjoy inviting table settings like these…


Special times with family and friends are shared on my blog as well.

I enjoy walking and I share photos from these walks and I’m part of a Bloggy Walking Club. The bloggers who participate keep track of their average steps for a 5-6 day period each week and share their totals. My husband who I call “Dear” on this blog and I walk most every Saturday at Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura, California.


I’m also a Brown Plate Special participant which is a sensible challenge for some of us older bloggers to eat smaller quantities and add more activity in our lives and be accountable to each other.

I participate in a few weekly blog carnivals like ABC Wednesday, Word Filled Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, Sky Watch Fridays and Photo Hunters. I post a Hymn or Worship song on Sunday. Sometimes during the week I’ll share a devotional or a quote from a book I’m reading.

A fun experience I’ve had since I started blogging is meeting a fellow blogger who lives in the same city as me. After meeting we decided to walk together. We try to walk every weekday which has been great. Here’s a photo from the day we met at a local Coffee shop in town.


This is Willow from Willow’s Cottage. I’m the brunette (I think brunette sounds so much better than I’m the old lady on the right with brown hair)

I will also share photos from travels here in the states and abroad.



My sister Lana and I started blogging about the same time. We talk most everyday (mostly about our blogs). It’s fun to have a bosom bloggy buddy who doesn’t get tired of “blog talk”. We laugh all the time. Her blog is called Above the Clouds because she travels weekly by air.

I post a lot,  at least one post a day sometimes 2 to 3 posts a day on bloggy carnival days.

I choose for my blog be an encouraging blog and to honor the Lord so you generally will not hear me ranting and you will not find bad language and things that I find objectionable to my heart and mind here.

Whew! My posts are not this long generally unless it’s all photos (Did I say I’m visual and love photos!?)

Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you come again. Blessings on you…

You can see more blogs that are participating in the party at 5 minutes for Mom. I’ll add the link when they have it up later tonight. Well as soon as 5MFM fixes their site you can click and get there we all crashed it I think. For now you can google Ultimate Blog Party and find some sites!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

Brown Plate Special ~ Week 4

I had to weigh in a day early because of my schedule tomorrow. I am happy to report that my weight remained the same. So to date I’ve lost 6 pounds total. I am feeling changes in my bulk this week even though I didn’t lose any more according to the scale. I’m very content with this eating style and activity level. You might wonder why I’m so excited about this new plan. I’m going to show you a little of what I ate this week and still managed to maintain my weight. Now the added steps in my day are really key here and not eating after 6:00 PM at night or in between meals is important toward my loss and maintenance. I’ve walked one hour a day besides my regular activity steps around the house.


I’d like to invite you back to my blog tomorrow because it’s my One Year bloggy birthday and I’m giving away a gift.

A Hike Yikes and My weigh-in!

Please Scroll Down for Fun Monday… 

It’s Monday morning weigh-in time. After my .3 gain last week I’m down .1 this week. I’m still clinging to the hope and the encouragement that this is an activity level and eating plan I can stick to for the long haul and I’ll decide after 6 months if it’s working well. I’m not doing anything drastic in a diet plan, just eating less and not eating after meals, etc. With this effort I think the numbers are going to change gradually and not drastically. So as they say “time will tell”. In the meantime I am always happy not to have put on an extra 5 pounds…

I have some photos from a hike I took yesterday with someone I met at church last week. She invited me to go on a hike with her and another gal and I said yes. I generally walk on mostly flat surfaces but this was a feel new muscles hike for sure. Here are some sites I saw during my 9394 steps…


This hike was in the Santa Monica Mountains whose north western boundary ends in my own front yard. We went on the Satwiwa short hike up to some falls.


The Santa Monica Mountains are 10 miles across at their widest spot and 50 miles long from Griffith Park to Point Mugu. We really have some amazing places to walk and hike during our stay here in Southern California. We are more and more thankful for the area we live in.  Poison oak grows well here, too, so it’s good to be aware of the danger it poses. Some people (like our oldest son) react quite violently when they come in contact with it. I decided to take a photo to make sure I recognize it.


Because of all our rains and snow in Southern California this year there is more water in the creeks and streams. It is refreshing to come upon this site on a hot uphill hike.


This is what you are treated to at the end of this trail.


The view on the way back to the trail head.

Have a wonderful Monday and week. Keep on walking…

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.