Friday, February 17, 2012

In Mah Belleh!: Adventures in Wine

Week 4: I kinda sorta forgot to weigh myself at the gym yesterday (oops!)...If I can remember today I'll come back and edit...
Net Lbs. lost: I dunno...I could say 10 just to impress you all, but I'll take the honest route.
Workouts this week: 4 (tis about average)
Cheez-it bags eaten: 1 (I had a moment of weakness, sue me)

After thinking back, I actually did better workout-wise than I thought I did! I took off Tuesday and Wednesday, but made up for it by some major bad-assery working out over the weekend.

Exercise tip of the week: Make sure to balance out strength training and flexibility with cardio. I can do all the crunches in the world and have the best six pack somwhere in there, but unless I do my cardio and work on the stuffings around them. I will never see them! Also don't forget to stretch, losing flexibility is bad...m'kay?

Hoping for some good results as I did pretty well on diet this week. I typically use Saturday as a reward day for following my menu plan all week. I allow myself to have the snacks and foods I avoid during the week (in moderation of course). Well the funny thing is that this Saturday, I found myself not craving the bad stuff! So strange I know! I ended up with a Subway sannich and a Papa Murphy's veggie Delite pizza (which is wondermous by the way).

Sunday: Baked parmasan crusted chicken, sweet potato rounds and spinach salad.

Tasty and quick for a weekday meal. Just lightly breaded chicken breasts in breadcrumbs and parmasan then baked in the oven. Sweet potato rounds oven baked too with olive oil, lemon pepper and a wee bit of sea salt.

Monday: You know me...leftovers.

Tuesday: Baked salmon in a little lemon garlic butter, with sauteed asparagus

Pretty self explanatory no?

Wednesday: I raided bestie's fridge. Enchiladas...yummmmm

Thursday: And my highlight recipe of the week! Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole

Now, this was my first excursion cooking with wine and we'll just say I won't be surprise to see this end up in a sitcom someday. Shall we play out events as they happened complete with illustrations?(Amy ~linky linky~ can attest to this story's validity. She's a wine connoseur and I ask her questions via text)

When I realized I needed wine for this recipe I decided to finally use a bottle of Chardonnay I got from a client a couple years back as a Christmas gift. I'm all happy go lucky and getting my stuff together, ready for this to go all smoothly. I start the water for the boiling of the noodles and get my bottle of wine out.

Damn....I don't drink wine really and realized I didn't have a corkscrew for said bottle...

Nothing in there is a corkscrew right?

So what's a girl to do? Go to the store and hope they carry corkscrews that you are sorely in need of!

Hi, Store! (Just for visual's sake..I am in my pajamas for this trip)

As I'm perusing the aisles, I have an epiphany. Those bottles of wine were a gift basket and in that gift basket also came this small red twisty thing that is currently sitting right next to my wine rack (more decorative than anything else) at home!

Just short of throwing a small temper tantrum right in the middle of the Huggies, I grabbed some plastic wrap (which I needed anyway) turned around and marched out of the store. (Oh, I did pay first! No worries there!)

I get home and sure enough...

This thingy here? It's a corkscrew! (albeit a pretty weak one)
So ya know, I don't really drink wine. And have never opened up one of these babies by myself before! This should get interesting...In my head I'm thinking "Thank God I'm alone now." I get the corkscrew into the bottle easy peasy. Now what?

I super uberly-cautiously-controlley tug on the corkscrew repeatedly. No budge. Amy: "Pull hard!" Me: "I don't want to get it all over me!" Amy: "It's not pressurized like champagne." Still not budging. I'm cursing this idea the whole time. And saying words that are not for polite company. Next thing I know I'm on the floor of my kitchen (you can kinda see it in the picture above!) with the wine bottle between my legs like some kind of sitcom. Me: "I'm on the damn floor!" After a final struggle...


~takes a swig straight out of the bottle~

Well all the rest ended up going well and here is the finished result!

It actually turned out even better than I expected! Try it for a healthier version of tuna noodle casserole! (I'm so proud of this bitch!)

Let me know what you think or what you've tried recently that you would recommend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts, Cupids, and Such: Perspective of a Single Girl

True Confession #1: I've never had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. (Eek!)

Being single on Valentine's Day, I could sit here and rant and rave on what a crock of a holiday it is. How's it's a ploy by candy and card companies to increase their sales during a blah time of year. But this blog is not about that. Nope, not this year. 

You know I used to think it was this unavoidable stigma not to have a significant other on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year. Like when I walked around everyone would see and know and judge... Walking around with the word "Single" stamped across my buttocks in big letters like half the pajama pants at Victoria's Secret. This resulted in many a V-day where I was sullen, lonely, sad and tempted to eat my self-hatred out in the form of a whole bag of Fritos.

This was back in a time of my life where I felt I needed others to show me who I was. Needless to say I wasn't in a very good place at the time. But as the years have passed and I've become more comfortable in my own skin than ever before, I've realized that there's no reason to resent Valentine's Day. As long as I'm happy where I am and with who I am, isn't that all that matters?

Now I'm not saying that I am not interested or looking for that comforting and consuming love that we all aspire to find. Some days I want nothing more than a solid body and pair of arms to just hold me. I've just come to find (wait for the hokey after school special music...) that I will never be truly happy with anyone else until I'm happy with myself.

I've spent years trying to come to this point and believe I'm closer than ever. I may not be actively seeking love out for the time being, but I'm confident that if it's meant to happen for me, then it will when the time is right. I've also come to the truth that if it's not meant for me (and sadly it might not be) then I'll be okay too.

In short, a lesson it took me nearly 10 years to deduce...

Being single does not mean there's anything wrong with me!

These revelations I've come across have allowed me to start looking at this holiday with hope and joy instead of loneliness and half a dozen Snickers bars. Today even, the worst I found myself doing was giving someone's flower arrangement the stink eye, out of jealousy. (Hey, I'm a female like any other and am conditioned to want to receive flowers). But even as I did that, I realized that I am in a very different place than I was 10 or more years ago.

So until Mr. Right comes (or doesn't) then I have resolved to just be content in where I am. Enjoy life as is. Do what I want to do. Who knows, maybe in those endeavors to find my passion in life someday, I'll come across someone looking for the same things at the same time.

It may be hokey, and idealistic, but that's just the way I see it.

To all you happily married/dating couples out there! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Enjoy life and every moment. And everyone out there try to dwell on the positive and not so much the negative. Think the world may be a better place if we all did.


Monday, February 13, 2012

I Haz Tags!!

I have a great new buddy. Her name is Brandi and she resides over at His Shabby Her Chic (See what I did there? I linkied that twice!) She recently tagged me for the newest hottest tagging game! Thanks, Brandi! I'm starting to feel a part of the in-crowd now!

So away we go!

Here Are the Rules:
1. You must post the rules. (And link up who tagged you.) (Done and done again)
2. Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag eleven people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

So first we'll start with our Potent Potables ~game show music~ (Translation: fun facts)

1. I haz sister and she is 20 years older than I am. OK so technically she's a half-sister but we just don't think that way ;)

2. I think Colin Firth is sexy.

I snagged the pic from Google and this linky
C'mon he's good looking!

3. I'm a total geek. No, seriously! I grew up watching Star Trek with my parents on Saturday night. Loved it! Watched most of the series that were on...DS9...TNG...Voyager. I'm also into Star Wars and certain comic heros. I even admit to having a World of Warcraft account (I will not pay for it though...)

4. When I was like 5 my favorite song was Kokomo by The Beach Boys.

(Stupid YouTube would't let me embed it so guess we'll just have to put the linky up...and yes that is totally John Stamos playing the bongos back there in a neon pink shirt!)

5. I have battled depression before. Yep, back in college. It was pretty dark times back then until I was wisened up enough to get help. 

6. I am a broccoli fiend! My favorite veggie I do believe.

7. I would love to be a writer. Preferrably sci-fi/fantasy because I can make up my own rules regardless of laws, logic, and physics. I'm actually halfway working on something now...not expecting to ever be published though.

8. I'm a bit of a paranoid. Kid you not, I must check that the door is locked at least twice before I leave. When I go on overnight or longer trips I make sure to unplug every non-essential thing. I carry a nasty-arse pocket knife at almost all times. I'm a freak.

9. I speak quite a bit of Spanish and some minor French and am fluent in Sarcasm. Spanish was my minor in college and I did study a little French (I wanted to try and fool people into thinking I was French) I'm a pretty good mimic with accents and stuff. The sarcasm thing is just natural. ;)

10. I read all three Hunger Games books in like 3 weekends. Seriously could not put down!

11. I have an unintentional green thumb. Right now at my work cube I've got a poinsettia from Christmas (mine) and I managed to inherit another one from a co-worker who put it up for adoption. They both still look great despite my own unintentional attempts to kill them.

Brandi's (oh linky linky) interrogatories:

1. Well...see above about being paranoid. Other than that...hmmm. When I'm trying to remember to do something. I will put something obvious (like car keys) out of place (like on the floor). Then when I see them I remember I was supposed to do something!

2. I love visiting NYC and I would love to go back to Western Europe again. Two of the best vacations eva!

3. My style would probably most accurately be descibed as Italian, apartment chic...I have lots of warmer colors and it's cozy. I will post pictures sometime but I do not currently have them with me..oops!

4. I love me a tiger! (Think if I had a spirit animal, it's probably a cat)

5. I am deathly afraid of tornadoes! I've never been in one, but that first Tornado Watch of the season and I need a new pair of pants...

6. First, pay off all my debts (whoo hoo! Wild!) Second, help out my family and closest friends. Third, buy awesome stuff! Like maybe a house or a new car, or a Harley! Yeah a Harley.... Fourth, give a decent amount to charity. Also put a lot into savings so I never have to work ever again and can live off the interest...

7. A friend, Amy told me to do it. No, just kidding, I had thought about it but needed a little encouragement. Originally it was a movie review blog, then turned into this oddly random monster. I won't lie, it's a bit harder to think up blog topics than I thought it would be!

8. Love deeply, laugh much, and live fully. Oh, and real men leave the toilet seat down.

9. Wish 1: 10 million dollars from question #6
Wish 2: For true happiness for my friends, family and loved ones. (General but hey it's my wish!)
Wish 3: To find my passion in life. (again a tall order but hey it's mine!)

10. I live where the buffalo roam. We do NOT ride horses everywhere here! We do NOT know Toto! We DO have trees!

11. I read, scrapbook, listen to music, write, daydream. (Betcha didn't think my answer would be that normal!)

Questions for my taggees (tagee):

1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

2. You can have coffee with anyone, living or dead. Who and why?

3. What is your most embarassing moment (that you are willing to share)?

4. Who do you think is sexy? (Please do not use your significant other. Don't worry they don't read this blog...)

5. What is your perfect day?

6. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

7. What is your biggest wish right now?

8. Innie or outie?

9. How many tattoos do you have? (That one's just for my tagee ;) )

10. Do you believe in love at first sight?

11. What is your favorite childhood memory?

Annnnnddd last but not TAGEE! (Seriously, I only have one unless I make Brandi do it again.)

There you go, Amy now go do this!! Right now! Get to it!

Thanks for the tag, Brandi! This was fun :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

In Mah Belleh!: The Next Generation

Week 3: Approx 158...bah! (The scale may lie but now I feel obligated to use it since the weight loss would be the same...)

Net Lbs. lost: 0
Workouts this week: 4
Cheez-it bags eaten: 0 (YAY!)

Well...was not extremely happy to see the big fat no change in weight, but oh well at least I didn't gain. And it's not necessarily about the weight for me. Sure I'd like to be a little bit lighter, but the goal is health and fit. I think I'm getting there too! Since I started this little journey to date, I have probably lost a total of 30-40 lbs. (give or take the yoyo-ing)

I managed to get a picture of myself after a kickboxing night. I warn you it's quite dark was dark and not of the best quality being a distance camera phone shot, but it's something to go off of. I preface this by saying I never would have posted a pic like this in the past, but the more I work at it, the happier I'm becoming with my belleh-section. I can't believe I'm even debating getting my first bikini ever this summer! But I we go ~big fearful inhale~

(Please ignore the stack of laundry waiting to be hung up on my dressing table...)

There you go, just like ripping off a band-aid right? I'll try to get a few more here and there for comparison's sake.

Workout wise, was average for me this week. Did my classes and work out extracurricularly too. Didn't get as many weight training sessions in this week, but planning to kick it in on the weights next week when I will miss my Wednesday class for pseudo-nephew sitting. (Which will probably be a workout all it's own)

The diet is where my excuses start coming out to play! My wonderful daddy's birthday was last Thursday so over the weekend he and my wonderful mommy came to celebrate with me. We ate some fabulous but totally unhealthy-for-you BBQ. I told him this was his present because he can never tell me what he wants for his birthday.  There was also some of this:

 (Yes, yes, that is a pink birthday cake that says "Happy Birthday, Dad". I got my dad a pink birthday cake. It was the only one in that smaller size that was white cake and I figured the taste would be more important than the color. I figured maybe that's why they used the blue at the store...try and butch it up a bit? He loved it...real men love pink!)

Sunday: Fat-tastic BBQ with the folks. 

Monday: Leftovers of above mentioned BBQ

Tuesday: Some of my fave enchiladas. Cooked chicken, monterey jack cheese, green chilies, a bit of sour cream rolled and baked in tortillas. With a green tomatillo green chili sauce. For myself, makes about 6-8 enchiladas.


Chicken Enchiladas

In my own healthitizing I used the lightest sour cream I could find and 98% fat free tortillas. Just to save time, instead of cooking the chicken myself, I used pre-grilled strips from the grocery. Could probably save some potential calories by cooking the chicken yourself. Again, not necessarily a super diet healthy recipe but still yummy!

(Sorry the enchiladas didn't make it to the camera phone, but here's a pic of the topping sauce! ~slow applause~)

Wednesday: Leftovas! (Hey, I'm a single girl and recipes rarely make for just one. Leftovers are my life pretty much.)

Thursday: More enchilada goodness!

Friday: Today planning on some baked salmon with lemon and tiny bit of butter paired with asparagus.

Hoping for some better results next week to share with you. Healthifying is not a sprint, it's a marathon...then another marathon after that in my case. 

Shout out with your own tips and tricks!

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Mah Belleh! : Part Deux

Week 2: Approx 158ish ~whispers~ The scale lies!

Net Lbs. lost: -4ish
Workouts this week: 6!! (HA!)
Cheez-it bags eaten: 2 (In my defense they were white cheddar and it is a cardinal sin to resist white cheddar)
So…who’s a bad little blogger chick wannabe? ~points thumbs~ This girl! I told you last week I would be offering up some pics of myself as I progress as sacrifice to the blogging gods, but that just didn’t seem to happen. My apologies and will try to do better next.
This week I was able to log a heapload of gym time. I had a  bug up my craw last Saturday and for some crazy unexplainable reason decided to actually go on a Saturday morning (and work hard!) Logged in 4.3 miles on the elliptical, not to mention a heavy duty weight workout! And aside from my regular kickboxing class on Monday and Wednesday, I’ve been teaming up with my bestie on certain days and we go and hold each other accountable. I’ll just say, the buddy system works! We’ve both been losing.
Exercise word of advice for the week? Strength training! (Well, that’s two words but we’re still going to run with it). Including strength training into your workout will not only help to tone up those saggy and soggy areas (ie: the flags on my underarms…) but the added muscle tissue also help you burn more calories not only while working out but even at rest! Equipment is not necessary, a few pushups here or leg squats and using your own body weight as resistance is a-OK. Common misconception is that it’ll make you bulk up. Total myth! A regular weight training regimen is not going to result in you looking like some half man half woman human hybrid, ladies! Don’t be afraid to partake!
As for foodish? You can’t see me right now, but inside I’m doing a super happy disco dance at myself for keeping up with the menu planning for the 3rd week in a row! All I have to say is thank God for Pinterest for giving me a fount of pretty much endless new ideas for meals. That was always the hardest part for me.
Sunday: Beef Stew: My own concoction! (with a little help from McCormick seasoning packet) No sides because well….beef stew is kind of a one pot meal, duh!
Monday: I am a small, quivering mass after kickboxing so leftovers it was!
Tuesday: Something new! I’m trying to make new best friends with my crockpot and happened to find a recipe on of all things…Pinterest(!) for sesame chicken. So after defrosting the chickie overnight, I whipped up my little dressing of low sodium soy, brown sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder, and ketchup and let it go all day…Voila!

It was falling apart y’all! (I think I may have just channeled Paula Deen) Served that with some roasted broccoli seasoned with just a hint of lemon pepper and sea salt. (Rice would be a good addition, but I was just too lazy to make it) I got the recipe off of Pinterest but here's the follow through link if you're interested in making this yourself!

Crockpot Sesame Chicken
Wednesday: Another quivering mass day so…leftovers!
Thursday: Another new recipe! Cheesy chicken broccoli bake! Voila!

Super easy (Aside: Even though by neglecting to defrost my chicken and broccoli ahead of time I made it a little harder than it should have been, right Amy?) and I tried to healthitize it up a bit more by using lower fat Velveeta. Maybe a little fattier and a little saltier than a girl trying to lose weight should think about going, but when you’re in the mood for comfort food this is very yum! For the full recipe from Kraft, click the link below!

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Bake
Friday(!): Well…today is Friday! Based on the look of that pan above it’s safe to say I did not eat all of that delicious chicken broccoli bake so that will be dinner tonight (and tomorrow and maybe the next day)
Oh the joys of cooking for one! If you’ve got anything good for me to try, let me know! Until next time, this is Sara with ~Scottish accent~ In Mah Belleh! (10 cool points to all who know where this came from)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stuff I Think is Awesome!

Well, today I had anticipated giving you an introduction to the furry little man in my life, my cat Asher (cue “Crazy Cat Lady” jokes) But for the second day in a row I have neglected to remember my camera camera (not my phone camera) which houses most of the pictures in my shrine of Asher.  Another day…
So instead I shall possibly bore regale you with my first entry in “Stuff I Think is Awesome!”
As a young girl, I wasn’t particularly taken with dollies and Barbies (even though I had them) what always enraptured my mind was the Lego. I would sit and play for hours, enacting scenes in my head with the little lego men. Subterranean cultures mining for gold, building ridiculously unflightworthy aircraft that, in my imagination, never failed to get the job done. You name it. So when my mom mentioned an exhibit coming to our local museum (you know those places where you can look at stuff but no touchie?) that featured artwork completely constructed with Lego bricks; I of course had to go see for myself.
That is when I discovered that Nathan Sawaya is awesome!
Anyone who can do this…

Out of a children's play thing is pretty OK in my book.

Some people might consider his style kinda creepy, but to me it’s creepy in a good way! He can create such powerful images (especially the everyman ones) with a simple block. It’s so different. More than just putting brush to canvas. Love it.

So creepy cool!

Freaky, but still cool!

Ha! Thought it was a photo or painting, did you? Noooppe! Lego!

Been there, my friend...

Bodies were life sized!

Planets!!! For the geek in me.

So if you ever get the chance to check out some of his stuff I would strongly suggest you do. It boggles the mind!

Check him out!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progress Report (AKA: In Mah Belleh!): Week 1

Yesterday, my good buddy Amy over at Buffalo Roam (Go see her! She misses you!) suggested that I start a segment where I highlight new healthy recipes I’ve been trying with my newborn healthy lifestyle. In a moment of Bridget Jones-like genius I’ve decided to go that extra mile and do progress reports (hopefully each week) of my…well…progress.
                                 ~stands awkwardly~                                
So here we go…
Week 1: Approx 160 lbs. (according to the scale at the gym. Which I say lies…)
Net Lbs. lost: -2
Workouts this week: 4
Cheez-it bags eaten: ~mumbles~ 2
This week, c’est difficile. Babysitting for my best friend and impromptu girls’ night took the place of my regularly scheduled kickboxing class and Tuesday night weight routine. While chasing a most adorable 7 year old boy truly constitutes exercise. I didn’t get nearly the workouts in that I have been. Even going tonight, the rest of my body says yes but my head says “Skiiiipppp it!” The battle is ongoing and we have yet to know the victor.
Meal-wise we are in the “Could’ve been worse but not great or creative” range.
Sunday: Spaghetti and meat sauce with spinach side salad. Pretty normal and not that creative. Moving on!
Monday: Raided bestie’s fridge for something resembling healthy that she said was in there, turns out I ended up eating her husband’s fried rice. Oops!
Tuesday: Girls night! Papa Murphy’s makes a meeeaaannn Veggie Delite pizza. I tell you that. I kinda want one now just thinking about it. ~salivates a bit~
Wednesday: Well, kinda copped out by just doing tuna salad sammich. Creativity points to me though for cutting up some sweet potato rounds and lightly seasoning them with olive oil, lemon pepper, and sea salt and baking them in the oven. Rather tasty.
Thursday: Another semi-cop out day. Frozen chicken teriyaki breast with the creativity points again going to the side dish. Roasted cabbage quarters seasoned with olive oil and spices. (Psst…it tastes even better wrapped in bacon, but I didn’t have any nor did I need it probably)
Friday: Hmmm yet to be decided. Still have a piece of chicken teriyaki however also have half a sub sammich leftover from lunch. I forsee me eating them both at some point tonight…~le sigh~
Saturdays have been reserved for splurges and treats (not too extreme) and we start all over again with another meal plan this weekend! I’m hoping to delve a little deeper into recipes too when I get more creative, this week was just mostly for ease and lack of time.
So there you have it. My own personal health confessional. Hoping that as we go the numbers start getting even better. Will try to get some pics of (gulp) me, as we go too. It’s just hard to take picksures of myself! Expect some cheesy phone/mirror shots (common of teenage girls) minus the stupid lip pucker and booty tooching. (Eeh, maybe if you’re good I’ll give you one someday)
If you’ve got any great ideas about recipes and whatnot, give a shoutout!