Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad news

I gained back at least a pound, maybe two! Argggggggg.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wait for it...

Yesterday I was contemplating buying angus beef patties from Trader Joe's. 2 for I think $5. It seemed too steep to me so I didn't end up getting them. We love burgers though and I like the idea of having stuff in the freezer I can make easily.

Fresh & Easy to the rescue! I got these both:

For $5. 8 patties for $5. Now that's a deal.

I also picked up cherries. 2 pounds for $4 and boneless, skinless chicken breast for $2.49 per pound. Yay!

After my success with the pizza endeavor last night I decided I'm going to make spinach artichoke chicken pizza as an appetizer tomorrow for our little gathering.

Which brings me to why I am still awake at midnight.

First of all I spent most of the evening baking these guys:

The short container is chocolate chip cookies and the tall one is 3/4 full of snickerdoodles. Those are for this weekend.

But for tomorrow (and why I am still awake) we've got these guys:

Red velvet cupcakes! The red velvet cupcakes were actually an afterthought. Before those I crushed up chocolate graham crackers and mixed them with butter. Smooshed 'em down into the bottom of a cupcake liner and baked 'it for 7 minutes. Then I made a "cheesecake" batter and spooned it in. THEN I made a red velvet cake batter and spooned that on top. Tomorrow I'll finish them off with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

The caveat however was I only had enough cheesecake batter to make 12 red velvet-cheesecake-cupcakes but I had enough red velvet batter to make 24! Hence why I baked some up plain. Now they are out of the oven and I am waiting for them to cool so I can put them in a tuppy and go to bed.

I'll finish 'em off with cream cheese frosting tomorrow.

Don't worry, while I did try one each of everything I made, none of it will entice me beyond that. It's all baked with love for others.

AND while I did have quite a bit of sweets tonight (1/2 chocolate chip cookie, 1/2 snickerdoodle cookie, 1/2 red velvet-cheesecake-cupcake, 1 full red velvet cupcake) I also spent the afternoon on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet in my living room. And sweeping. And mopping.

Ugh. That's gotta count for at least half a cookie right?

Okay. Pretty sure those cuppies are cooled enough. I am headed to bed!

Grocery Shopaholic + Trader Joe Love

Last night I heard about a delectable item for sale at Trader Joe's... dark chocolate with salted caramel. I knew I had to pay TJ's a visit even if it was just to get that delicious sounding candy bar.

Of course that's pretty far from being the only thing I got.

In fact I didn't even end up getting that bar because they were sold out. BOO!!

I did get a dark chocolate toffee bar though... It's pretty delicious. But not caramel.

Also I forgot to photograph it, but I did get a nice group shot of everything else I picked up.

(Are you one of those people who likes to peak into other people's shopping carts and see what they're getting? I TOTALLY am.)

A watermelon! We're having people over on Wednesday for a bbq so I thought this would accompany nicely.

Garlic fries. My husband LURVS garlic fries so we're going to give these a shot for the bbq as well.

Frozen strawberries. Just something I always have on hand for smoothie making.

Havarti cheese. My absolute favorite.

Goat cheese (Chevre). Never tried it before but I've heard raves about it so I'm excited.

Tomato and basil hummus. My husband said he liked that flavor so I got it to try. It's pretty good but I think the spicy hummus is better.

Kettle corn. I love this stuff. A snack for this weekend.

Snapea crisps. Never tried them before last night. They're interesting. I don't know why but they taste vaguely like peanut butter.

Chocolate almond milk. LOVE! Chocolate almond milk + frozen banana chunks blended = heaven.

Sea salt. 'Nuff said.

Chile lime dried mango. For my husband. One of his favorite snacks.

Fiberful fruit bar. I heard it tastes like a fruit rollup so I got one to try.

Black figs. I've never tasted figs before. Dried or otherwise. I tried one last night and... I don't know. I don't think I can eat them plain. I'm searching for a good recipe because I'm hoping I'll be more wowed if they are baked/broiled/grilled up. (In fact I read they were good with goat cheese... which I just so happen to have bought.)

Corn tortillas. Gonna make tacos today.

Seaweed snack. Always saw this package and thought it was interesting. Last night I was in an experimental mood so I finally just bought them. They remind me of sushi. I like them. My husband loves them infinitely more.

Reduced Guilt Pita chips. I love these. Had to have them for my hummus.

Also there is an empty bag of garlic(?) and herb pizza dough.

It's empty because shortly after I got home I made this.

Mmmmmm it was delicious. I've never made pizza before. Dough scares the crap out of me. If a recipe requires kneading or rising or cutting butter in I will most likely ruin it. But this was easy, the dough was already made! So I just rolled it out and topped with tomato sauce, mozzerella and dollops of TJ's bruschetta (From an earlier trip... also delicious. Originally got it to slather inside of grilled cheese sammiches).

After TJ's we went to Whole Foods and bought mini Brioche buns for Wednesday's bbq. I hope they are good because they were $7 for 8 little buns!! >.O I need to find a local bakery that sells artisan breads for a little less...

Then Target. I was thinking I had seen a dark chocolate caramel sea salt bar there but to no avail.

I did however find shoes for $7.50.


Then the regular grocery store for tri-tip, a pizza pan, muenster cheese, a bag of spinach, a portobello mushroom cap, mozzarella cheese, a bag of sour punch straw bites, and beer.

I didn't make it to the gym because I didn't get home until 10:30 pm. If I can get some food prep work for this weekend done (mostly making chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies) then maybe I will get to go tonight!


Monday, July 18, 2011

I Love Sundays

My eating over the weekend was not incredibly awesome. I keep succumbing to the evil temptress that is dessert. (More specifically vanilla bean ice cream watered down with milk and topped with whipped cream... mini-milkshake)

Also my picnic hike went GREAT... except for the fact that we did not actually go. Instead we lazed about. Had dinner with my parents.

On Saturday I turned my crab/shrimp dip into "pasta" by boiling spaghetti noodles and heaping a few heated globs on top and then stirring it around. My husband thought it was amazing.

The only leftovers I like are pizza and lasagna. Everything else... Mehhhh. I get sick of it.

I now have to figure out what to do with the spinach and artichoke dip. Smear it on a pizza crust and add some other toppings? With chicken in a wrap? A layer inside of a lasagna? I have yet to decide but I need to incorporate it into a meal by tomorrow or I fear it will never be eaten.


I also made an angel food cake. It was wayyyyy too sweet for my liking. It used powdered sugar AND regular sugar in the recipe. I think it would have been good with one or the other. Everyone who is not freakish like me liked it though. Especially with sliced strawberries and whipped cream on top.

Yesterday the husband took me out on a mini-afternoon-adventure. Magically the only shorts I have left have become a little too loose. I've been having to wear extra long shirts with them so people don't get an unwelcome view of my fanny crack. I wanted to find a pair of well-fitting shorts (cuz hello it's 100 degrees outside!) but to no avail. I did get a gold banana republic pencil skirt with a paisley pattern for $3 though. It's a little too big but it was too beautiful to pass up. Maybe I'll have it taken in when I lose a little more weight. (Yes I love it that much!)

I also got a HUGE colorful painting to hang above my couch in the living room. Me and that painting are soul mates. I have been in the market for gigantic artwork to hang in my living room but everything that is the size I wanted was $100+. Uh (my favorite flower) daisies? Painted in colors that just so happen to match my living room? The jumbo size I wanted? For $5? YES!!

While I was browsing clothing my husband wandered off and returned 20 minutes later with a book in hand. "The Good Husband" by Lisa Gardner. "Did you already read this... or did you tell me you wanted to read it?" I read the back and quickly determined it wasn't something I had already read. "Never read it." Upon inspecting the inside cover we determined that I had read a different Lisa Gardner book and that's what he had been thinking of. It was $2, which is more than I usually pay for paperbacks, but he really wanted to get it for me. He was all excited to find something I'd like on his own.

After the thrifting he really wanted Five Guys... so that's what we had. There was a frozen yogurt place next door that I'd never tried and I will not even lie... I had to get one. I got original tart (my favorite), passion dragon fruit, and red velvet cake for funsies. All of the flavors were delicious... In fact... I would so go there again tonight.


Then we went to my brother's work, a specialty tea shop. Like Starbucks, but with tea. I ordered "Love Blend" which had rose, cream earl grey and a tea called buddha's choice. Sweetened and with cream. It was delicious. I'm fairly certain buddha's choice is a green tea, but prepared a certain way. It almost tastes... roasted and nutty. Similar in taste, I think, to soy nuts.

Then we went home and I read the book my husband picked out by Lisa Gardner. Mmmmm I don't know if I'll read something by her again. It read more like a romance novel than a thriller and was all kinds of sexed-up. Not really my thing. Women who are all "SAVEEE MEEEEE big strong man!!" annoy me.

I got my huge stockpile of books on Thursday and since then have consumed one book per day. My rate will definitely slow down now. I'm going to be insanely busy this week so I'll be lucky if I finish one book.

I'm going out of town on Thursday which, I already know, is going to be bad news for my eating habits. We don't have a lot of money to spend on food which means I'll be eating mostly from places like Chick-Fil-A and In n Out. Still I am determined to be calorie-conscious and limit my portions. We'll see how it goes.

As for today, I'm doing pretty well. My husband woke me up and had scrambled two eggs for me with salt and pepper. I sleepily shoved them into my mouth. A few hours ago I ate roasted zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms and maybe 1/2 an ounce of roasted chicken. Started feeling woozy and decided it was carby-sugar time. Had a bagel that I smeared with a 1/2 tbsp of accidental homemade cheese spread.

(After my failed 4 attempts at making cheese crisps I took my anger out on the sharp cheddar cheese and pepper jack I had grated and left sitting on the counter for 20 minutes. It smashed into a ball. I thinned it with sour cream. It became a delicious cheese spread. Now I am already thinking of a mozzarella-oregano-sun dried tomato combo.)

Beverage wise I had a cinnamon via with vanilla bean latte powder added in. I usually don't have sugar in my coffee (both products have sugar added) but my work place is out of creamer and I can't drink coffee black. Now I'm sipping on Joy tea.

The plan for dinner is kale, salmon (either lemon butter or spicy orange maple glazed... haven't decided) and jasmine rice.

I realize I haven't eaten any fruit today so after I go to the gym (*crosses fingers*) I'll blend frozen banana chunks with chocolate almond milk and call the day a success.

Friday, July 15, 2011


I spent yesterday evening making everything for today's picnic lunch amongst the trees. Husband decided that spinach artichoke dip sounded delicious so instead of lettuce wraps I made the aforementioned dip as well as a crab and shrimp dip and a cheese spread.

I toasted up pieces of french bread to accompany the spreads.


I am all healthy.

I also chopped up radish, cucumber and carrot to dip into the cheese/cream/fat based food I have prepared.

Crisis averted!

I wish I had some kind of fresh fruit to take but I don't.

I do however have angel food cake and a sauce I made with frozen strawberries.

I also made spicy cream chai tea to drink.

Want to know the really sucky part of my day though?

It's just after 5:30 am. This morning I woke up at 4:15 to take my husband to work by 4:30. Then I came home, did dishes, put plates and utensils into a bag for our picnic.

I was all happy with my brilliant plan of being to work by 5:30 so I could get out by 9:30 and pick up my husband, who is off work at 9:15.

Except as I am 30 feet away from work 15 minutes ago I realize that I do not have my keys so I cannot actually get in the building.

Okay... so I could just get my keys...

Except they are not in my car or my house so I am pretty certain they are locked inside of the building that I want to enter.


So I can't get into work until 7:30 am, when someone else shows up (with keys).

Lame sauce.

I was all excited to have an early jump on my day.

Also what the heck am I going to do for the next hour and forty-five minutes?

Also also I am out of half and half so I cannot even have coffee.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nothing You Ever Wanted To Know and MORE

Soooo yeah... For lunch today?

I had this.

(But minus the onions and tomatoes because that's just disgusting.)

I also had these.

(Except I asked for them "well done" which means they deep fry them longer so they get all crispy and grease filled.)

Probably not, ya know, conducive to losing that pesky 25 pounds or so hanging out on my wobbly thighs of death and horribleness.

I'm probably going to have salad for dinner.

Cuz salad for dinner makes all other food choices made throughout the day seem reasonable.

So there you go. I am all about the balanced eating over here, apparently.


When I started trying to lose weight I weighed 150 pounds. I am now clinging firmly to 129.

Admittedly, as you could probably tell by my lunch, I haven't really been trying that hard. I haven't been counting calories. I've been having dessert every night. 2 desserts even, sometimes. (Most of the time.) I haven't been to the gym since... oh I don't know... the week I signed up?

Really I'm surprised I haven't gained any weight.

I am not happy though. I feel like my body looks exactly the same way it did 20 pounds ago. I am still full of jiggliness. My stomach still sticks out. I am nowhere near toned or strong or... fit.

My body sucks at making me feel awesome right now.

So I'm thinking... Probably I should hop back up onto the wagon. Exercise. Give a crap. Stop slipping slowly back into the awful habits that got me up to 150 and the accompanying double chin.

I'm gonna get right on that.


Also? There is one way that I know I lost 20 pounds. I tried on some pants the other day and literally my butt could not hold them up. I was lookin' like a fool with my pants on the ground.

So I threw them away. Along with a bunch of other stuff that is too big or stained or ripped or irreparable.

It was time.

This month is kind of tight for us financially but my husband took a look at the heap of clothing I had to get rid of and was all "Okay you really need some clothes. Please buy some clothes."

My husband has never begged me to buy clothing before... So I knew this had to be serious.

Possibly life or death?

Okay probably not.

But still.

However, like I said, things are tight. I also really do want to lose that last 20-25 pounds. If I stop being so lame sauce, it could be gone by the end of the year... What's the point of buying shiny new clothes if I won't even be able to wear them in 3-6 months?

No point I says.

I knew I needed some transitional pieces... but I also didn't want to spend a bunch of money.

So I went to 3 of my favorite local thrift stores! Yay!

I wasn't very optimistic about actually finding anything but... after 4 hours and $50... I think I came out a winner.

I got 6 shirts, a tank top, 2 skirts and 2 dresses.

I absolutely love the whole "banded at the bottom" trend in shirts and the more loose/flowy styles. My stomach is not all cute and flat yet and I like having something to hide my rolls behind. I managed to find 3 casual shirts that are loose or banded in black/navy/dark teal.

I also found a sheer black blouse with a victorian-esque ruffle down the front. It still had the tag on it. I totally dig the uber girly victorian style.

One reason I love thrift stores is because I like to dress a little bit quirky. Some of the "old lady stuff" is my absolute favorite. This time I paid homage to my grandma style by getting a satin collared shirt with a soft watercolor floral print. It sort of looks like the upholstery you'd find in a whimsical white victorian cottage. I freaking love it.

Another thing I love looking for at thrift stores is lingerie. The old school lingerie is actually really modest. I've found 2 pieces in the past that I now wear as dresses. (Seriously, they go down to my ankles.) And this time I found a crimson red satin top with black lace. With a black tank top underneath the soft fabric and lace look more feminine than sexy. I love wearing de-sexified grandma lingerie in the day time. Oh yeah.

Major score in the shirt department.

But that's not even the best part.

I found a black strapless a-line cotton dress. For TWO DOLLARS. I'm pretty sure black strapless a-line cotton dresses are the most functional and multi-purpose garments in the entire world. Thanks GAP.

I also found a vintage gold formal dress with a nice fat bow that ties at the chest. (Not exactly practical for every day, but I have a special event coming up!) Oh how I love bows! And gold! And vintage! And maternity wear! Wait... what? Yeah. The dress was made for pregnant ladies. In general though? I love maternity clothes. Which would be way less weird if I was actually pregnant or ever planning to be.... But I'm not. Still. Maternity wear fits amazingly well if you have a J. Lo booty. Seriously. Try it on. They use extra material to accommodate a bump. (My bump just happens to be in the back instead of the front.)

My most useful find was a plain black pencil skirt. I have one already but it is 2 sizes bigger than the one I bought and if I lose another 5 pounds it will be completely falling off... So updating was necessary. And $5 for a black pencil skirt that fits well and still has the tags on? Well. Duh.

And my FAVORITE find... which was also my MOST EXPENSIVE find... Costing me $13 out of the $50 total I spent... A beaaauuuuttiiffullll straight black skirt with black lace overlay. It is just gorgeous. It also still has the tags on. I'm pretty sure some fancy lady bought it back in the early 90s and never touched it. Now it's mine ALL MIIINEEE and I will be touching it all inappropriately as much as I possibly can.

I love lace. And sheen. And softness. And ruffles. And bows. And pretty much all other things sickeningly girly.

Can ya tell?

So one thing I did not get at all was pants or shorts. I have one pair of just-above-the-knee-length black "walking shorts" that still fit, 2 pairs of trousers and 2 pairs of jeans.

I didn't feel like buying anything else.

I have saved a pair of size 5 jeans from "the old days" and once I fit into those, I'll know it's time to buy a few more bottoms. In the meantime my size 10s seem to be fitting the new size 8 me decently well.

Okay so now that I ranted and raved about Tuesday's thrifting adventures I'll tell you about today's.

My mother-in-law purchased two groupons good towards $30 worth of stuff at Neighborhood Thrift maannyyyy moons ago. Turns out they were going to expire soon so Tuesday she went and used one up. She then graciously gifted the second one to me.


Neighborhood Thrift has a TERRIBLE collection of clothing. Seriously. It's just gross. But they are redeemed because on Thursdays they sell their books for half price. And they have the biggest collection of books I've ever seen at any thrift stores around here.

And guess what I have been desperately wanting lately?

Yeah. You got it! Books!

I absolutely looooveeee thriller/crime/suspense/murder mystery books. You know. Dean Koontz. Sue Grafton. James Patterson. Michael Connelly. Yep. I eat that stuff up.

Not just those authors though. I'm really not picky about the author. If I look at the back and it says someone died, then I want to read it. Pretty much. I know that's kind of awful. But that is how I roll. I am all about the murder and intrigue over here.

Anyways, I can and usually do read those types of books in about a day. Maybe two. They don't last me long.

And I've been "out" of books to read for... oh... 3 weeks now. But no longer. Cuz I bought 28 books today.

Yeah. Twenty plus eight more.

So... I should be good for awhile.

Because I went on their half price day the books only ended up costing $11.

So I also bought a bundt cake pan, two ceramic air-tight storage containers for my kitchen, two foldable cloth cubes, a fancy wooden pepper mill and a glass beverage dispenser painted with sunflowers.

My husband loooveesss angel food cake but I didn't have the right kind of pan to make it. Problem solved. I love freshly ground pepper but didn't have a way to grind it. Problem solved. I needed 2 bins of some sort to organize my tupperware drawer. Now I have cubes. Problem solved. I have been dying to make sun tea but don't have any glass jars. Problem. Freaking. SOLVED.

The only thing I didn't actually need were the storage containers. But they were lovely and chocolate brown and air-tight and beautiful and match my kitchen colors. Plus I am a baker. I am sure I can find some use for them. (Cake flour? Whole wheat flour? Bread flour? See. I am already coming up with stuff. I knew they were a smart buy!)

Okay enough about how cheap material stuff makes me happy.

Tomorrow I am going hiking.


I have been DYING to get out of town.

I am going STIR CRAZY!

But we just don't really have the money to stay overnight somewhere.

So an afternoon hike... in the Sequoias... with a picnic lunch?

Sounds like the perfect plan.

Plus also? There will be exercise. That does not even feel like exercise! So that is awesome.

However now I am tasked with trying to decide what to make for lunch.

Plain old turkey sandwiches will just not do I am afraid.

I'm thinking...


So excited.