Friday, March 7, 2008

Cool Site of the Week: Winter Sucks

Ok so this is not a cool site per se... but a hodge podge of sites that help with my feelings of "winter suckiness". I have about had it up to here (here being the giant pile of snow against my house) with winter. So help me God I am getting testy and I am not afraid to grab Mother Nature by the hair and drag her kicking and screaming into Spring.

That said, here are my "enough with this winter crap" links:

This one is another "mommy blog" I found quite by accident, but the photo of her two girls sums up my feelings about snow as well:

In case that wasn't clear enough, here are my true feelings (warning - slightly PG-13)

Sooooo in order to indulge my lust for spring, some great sites to help me get my Spring on. (I'm bringin' Spring back ya'll):

The Hawk-Jovovitch line at Target screams 1970s Spring. Love Love Love:

Where Ryan and I spent our honeymoon... must go back now.... I cannot tell you how great this place is

Could there be anything that screams spring more than Lilacs?? Buy and plant one!

Fun, crazy, silly Spring wear to look forward to at reasonable prices:

Finally, smell spring in the air - in fact BE Spring in the air!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Naughty Naughty

Ok so yesterday I was a naughty, naughty girl. Not in an “I’m a married 34 year old” fun way. In a crash and burn for the first time in 5 weeks on my diet way. (ouch)

I have been sooooo good these past five weeks. I have planned every day, watched my points, tracked every bit of food I’ve eaten, overestimated points when in doubt, and been honest about what I’ve eaten. Until yesterday.

You know when someone mentions a food and it sounds good but you don’t eat it. It stays with you. You start to crave it. You dream about it. It’s all you want to eat. I have now succumbed to that feeling.

Two words people: Cheese Balls.

I couldn’t help it – I’m a weak person. Each day I walk into our cafeteria and see the enemy and each day for five long weeks I’ve avoided temptation. I think that is worthy of sainthood candidacy. But this week the little red guy on my shoulder won out… he made some really good points actually, like the fact that we don’t have a WW meeting next week so I have two weeks to work them off, and that I had been soooo good for sooo long I deserved a treat. The little imp can negotiate.

The little winged dude on the other shoulder is back in control this morning though. I type with V8 in hand (ok not in hand per se but close by) which is all I will be partaking of for breaking my fast. Its only one point, its 3 servings of veggies and its enough to fill me up. Score one for the winged guy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Check the Map Peeps!!!

*doing the happy dance - uh huh uh huh*

I have now been read in *4* Countries.... here are our non U.S. visits:

1) Cananda: 7 visits (6 from Prince George - thanks Bran, and 1 from Burnaby)
2) The UK: 1 visit on March 4th from Iver
3) Saudi Arabia (no joke!!!): 1 visit on Feb 25th from Riyadh! Woah.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Weight Watchers Weigh In: Week Five

Back to the scales I went today. I didn't have a ton of faith in this past week. First I had gotten sick late last week and unlike normal folks, when I get sick I eat! A lot. My body fully adheres to the "feed a cold" philosophy. In addition, I had my monthly Mom's Night Out group on Saturday at the local Cheesecake Factory. I tried to be somewhat reasonable... I had a tuna roll (ok a tempura tuna roll), edamame and 2 glasses of white wine. Oh and cheesecake. C'mon - its the FACTORY of Cheesecake. I can't not have cheesecake. Annnd not just any cheesecake, but cheesecake with caramel, Butterfinger pieces, Reese's PB Cup pieces and brownie crust. I didn't even bother to look up the points - I just quietly gave up my extra 30 weekly points as spent. Period.

On top of everything I was running late and so had to walk in the meeting well after it had started. Afterwards the few of us that had all come from the same late meeting went up to weigh. I lost 1.2lbs and felt pretty good about it. That brings me up to 7.2lbs overall. Not great but not bad. Then my co-worker Lana got on the scale... this was her first week as last week she decided to join on a whim. She lost 5lbs. 5. Seriously. Not cool. After her, Pete got on the scale. Ok Pete doesn't track his points, doesn't particularly try and doesn't work out. 3lbs. I give. Uncle. I will have to start working out (yuck yuck yuck yuck ew).

At the end of the meeting our "host" asked us what new healthy lifestyle choice (of those she had listed) we could commit to implementing this week. I was already doing the water thingy so I glanced over the "menu". More fruits/veggies? Ew - rabbit food. Take the stairs everywhere I go? I work on the 7th floor ya'll. Increase my dairy? Lactose intolerant girl here. Then I saw it - increase my intake of "good" oils - like olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc. Zing - sign me up.

That made me feel pretty good about myself - until I got back to my computer and logged on to track my weight loss. For some reason unknown to me, God and all of the WW message boards, I got ANOTHER daily point taken away. That is *2* now in the 5 little weeks I've been on the program. You are only supposed to have points taken away for every 10lbs you lose (or if you have a milestone b-day). Neither of these things have occurred. Who at WW is messing with me and how do I find them? I was having a hard enough time with 21pts/day... now down to 20 I'm a hurtin unit. Plus of course they dock your points starting on the day you're ON. That means I was down a point I didn't even know about.

Man, this gettin skinny crap is hard.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Face the Facts

Ok, so as I eluded to earlier in the week, at the age of 34 I finally, finally signed on to Facebook. I can't decide whether that is creepy or cool. On one hand I swore I'd never be on FB or MySpace over the age of 30. On the other hand I am having a ridiculous amount of fun.

Now, I'm not finding long lost loves, or my kindergarten best friend, but I am finding a few old friends and classmates that I'd lost touch with. Its really fun to reconnect with folks I haven't talked to since high school or law school days. Oddly enough the first comment most make is "Wow - you married with a kid. Huh." Yeah yeah .. I know I swore neither would ever happen but of course secretly I hoped it would. Float little hope - float!

Annnnyhooters... back to FB. The good part is finding everyone. The bad part is seeing everyone who made it out of dodge and is living in Los Angeles, or Chicago ... NYC or San Diego ... Houston or Boston. And I'm still here. In Iowa. In Des Moines. Where I grew up. yay me. Ok so that's not entirely fair - Iowa, for the most part, gets a bad rap and is actually becoming a pretty fun place (for those over 21 - for you youngens... sucks to be you). But it ain't Manhattan. And as much as I like my life, I can't help but wonder what I'm missing out on in a big city. Of course all those people in glamorous places have day to day problems just like you and me. Some probably even bigger ones. But it still makes me wish a little.

My friend Sarah and I signed up right around the same date (give or take). We have been the biggest FB nerds alive. I have taken every quiz, installed every application, sent out countless bumper stickers, pieces of flare and drinks, and basically spent waaay too much time on this silly website for a woman my age. So lets recap, I'm doing something I swore I'd never do, spending way too much time doing it, and feeling wistful for places I know I'll never live. Why am I doing it again? Oh yeah... because all in all its pretty damn fun. Besides - where else can I kick my husband's butt in Fight Club? See.... totally normal fun.

Just Call Me Heloise

Ok I got an email of "helpful hints" this weekend and normally they are the same ones I've seen a million times (club soda for this, boiling water for that, etc etc) but this one was different, so I've decided to share it here below. Hope it helps out!!
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the! stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double boiler (or microwave!) and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. [as far as I'm concerned melted Snickers over anything has to be good[

Reheat Pizza Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Reheating refrigerated bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Broken Glass: Use a wet cotton ball, Q-tip or paper towel to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. I t will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel Away! To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling: Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and -- ta da! -- static is gone. [oooooo its like a little lightening rod!]

Measuring Cups: Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out. [or spray with Pam]

Foggy Windshield? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Conditioner: Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair...

Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid, mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Stuck on pots/pans: When cooking or baking something that can risk being "stuck on goo" turn a burner on medium (or leave it on if using the stovetop ). Immediately take the empty dish and fill with hot water and a small dab of dishwashing liquid. Turn off the burner but let the dish set on it. The heat will keep the food from sticking while the dishwashing liquid works!

Mission Accomplished!

Check the map peeps!!! We got an "out of the states" hit! My cuz in British Columbia, Canada typed me up and bingo - my goal is now complete! Love that little red dot! Thanks Brandi!!!! I know you've had a LOT on your plate this month so taking the time for something as silly as this was really awesome. (For those of you that may not know Brandi's hubby Darrin just got a brand spankin new kidney a few months ago, but has been having few complications lately. He's back at home now though and rockin his recovery!)

Ok - new goal (yes I'm type A) .... can we get a hit "across the pond" somewhere? Hmmmmm......