This post dedicated to Craig and Cassie who are wishing for snow:
Cassie at Back To Her Roots posted a Confessions… entry the other day and I always like those. There are a few of us in the blogosphere who post Confessions… entries and I rather like the idea, so here are my confessions:
I am re-starting my weight loss journey at 230. I’ve re-gained 15 pounds. I keep placing the blame on my tailspin, but enough of that — the blame rests solely on my shoulders for being to complacent and lazy about my choices. I read a blog entry this morning about
why intentions don’t matter and basically it boils down to the fact that intentions are not actions. I need to put my intentions into action and make better choices if I’m ever going to see One-derland. #epiphany?
2: Snow Removal Policy
When I clear off my car in the winter, I HAVE to get every bit of snow off of the top, too. I see people driving around here with a foot of snow on the roof of their car and think they’re batshit crazy. The confession part of this? I didn’t own a shovel of my own before Monday night. Guess apartment living (and getting dug out by my parents last year) spoiled me…
3: Radio aimed at an older cohort
I listen to talk radio… the trashy kind. I would love to don my hand-knit cowl and higher-than-thou attitude and claim to listen to NPR, but nope! I listen to the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show in the morning and I listen to Lori & Julia or Jason & Alexis from MyTalk107.1 (GOSSIP! AND CELEBRITY “NEWS”) on the way home. What can I say? Music on the radio just hasn’t been appealing to me lately. I can tell that MyTalk isn’t aimed at my generation, though, based on the sheer number of advertisements for divorce attorneys and bladder control solutions.. Jeeze haha.
4: Bad Breakfasts
When I don’t pack a breakfast in the morning, I usually go for one of these guys… Sausage, “NC Egg” = egg whites, and chesse sandwich…. And when I see it spelled like that, I remind myself that it is not CHEESE but processed cheese product. Thus the extra “S,” and try to remind myself to have a better breakfast next time. (I also pronounce it like Dane Cook.. “uhm. Cheesse, some pickles… bun seeds.” google Dane Cook BK Lounge skit if you don’t get it–it’s kinda hilarious.)
Time to get psyched up!
Cassie posted a blog yesterday(ish) about songs that power her through her strength training routine. Well, today, I’m going to post songs that will be playing in my head as I power through the Warrior Dash! Then, please feel free to share YOUR favorite work out songs in the comments below 🙂
1. Imma Be – Black Eyed Peas
This one is going to get some strange looks and a few eye rolls, but I love the lyrics… it’s all about perseverance. “Imma be takin those pics, lookin’ all fly and shhh Imma be the flyest chick (so fly), Imma be spreadin’ my wings, imma be doing my thing (do it, do it) Okay!”
2. Stand Alone – Godsmack
I am the only one who can control what I do, when or how. This song becomes my motivation to do it–get over that obstacle and push your way through. It gives me the feeling of raw power
“I’ll never rest until I can make my own way, I’m not afraid of fading
I stand alone… ”
3. Same in the End – Sublime
Fast paced to power through those sprints.
4. Shake it out – Florence and the Machine
“It’s always darkest before the dawn”
5. Cracks – Freestylers Feat. Belle Humble (Flux Pavillion Remix)
“Leave the past behind, just walk away.
When it’s over, and the heart breaks,
and the cracks begin to show”
No More Pencils, No More Books…
…I would say that there would be no more teacher’s dirty looks, but my online instructor has never met me, and my classroom professor is going to be the officiant in my wedding, so there are no dirty looks to be had.
The above is from the final in my Intro to Business class. This is the type of humour that my professor has demonstrated all semester, and little surprises in the text like this make it easier to keep up and keep reading. I passed my Intro to Business class with an A.
Since this is my 3rd whack at going to college, I really intended to give it my best shot. I took one class online (as above) and another in person to try to get a feel of where my learning style is better suited. I found that I adapt well to either but that the in-person class serves as a reminder that I actually AM in school and that I am not doing this just for funsies. It also builds better connections with my classmates, and for that, there is no replacement. When I consider all that went on this semester, what with my bestie moving, my mom moving, my roommates moving, myself moving–and being involved with all of it, plus a full time (if not more so) job, AND school–I am extremely thankful to say that I passed my English course with a B. It was intense for a while there.
Somewhere through all that, though, I managed to make it to the 100th Entry here at WordPress:
I have really enjoyed getting to use the WordPress tools and blogging to an audience unknown. Concurrently, I host a blog at http://www.bloopdiary.com. There, I know that I have an audience of about 8-12 people. I can see exactly who they are and I can read their blogs in turn. Bloop is in the same genre of websites as WordPress, but the two could not be more different when it comes to content. Bloop is where I write the personal things, the things that I want to get out or share, but not necessarily with the world. It’s comfortable. It’s where I’ve written for neigh on 9 years.
But WordPress… Oh WordPress. I stumbled upon this gem when Cassie from BackToHerRoots came over here from http://www.sparkpeople.com. What I knew was that WordPress made it easy to post entries that included photos. I hadn’t been able to do that very easily at all either on Spark People or on Bloop. I am a very visually-driven person, and so to have the ease of the Gallery Tools here on WordPress is awesome.
The content here at WordPress helps me (I hope) to become a better writer too. Some of my favorite bloggers include Minnesota Transplant, The Ranting Chef, and FamilyHaikus. There are more that I subscribe to, but these three light up my e-mail inbox and I look forward to reading what they have to write. I don’t just glaze over it. That type of excitement over entries makes me want to strive to make *MY* entries ones that are worthwhile as well. So, hats off to you–you’re in my inspiration.
Along the lines of inspiration and growth, I also wanted to give thanks to BTHR and The Ranting Chef for including awesome food photography. Although mine will never really be on par because my love is for food (and eating it) and not photography, I try to toggle the settings on my camera phone to at least make my food pictures palatable. Thanks for the influence.
And thanks to you, the reader, who obligates me to come back again and again.
Menu Monday + Light Box Test Case
So, recently, Cassie at Back To Her Roots posted a blog about how to build a light box, and tonight, I totally took advantage of it. Go check out her entry, with a tutorial from Craig HERE and then go make your own light box 🙂 I guarantee you, your winter pictures will be 100% better. I’m stoked. Even putting my figurine in the box and using the flash helped the light bounce around and improve the quality already… Here, see for yourself:
Monday Motivation: Reflections on quotes from BTHR
First and foremost, I’m going to give a big ole shout out to Cassie at Backtoherroots.com for posting today’s Monday Motivation. She captures great quotes and posts them right when I need to be reading them. Today’s quote was as follows:
Bloom where you are planted.
This is a very good proverb to keep in mind. You cannot always control the lot that life has given you but you can seek the sun and bloom anyway. I didn’t know it at the time, but I really took this to heart over the last year in my career. I was getting stagnant in my current position and yearned for change. The positions I was applying for, though, were ones that I was simply not qualified for yet–I didn’t have the experience I needed to do the job. So what did I do? Well.. first I pouted for a little bit.. then I sulked.. and then I realized that I was only making things worse and I picked myself up and dusted my hands and said “You know what? If I don’t have enough experience to get out of this position, then I am going to be the BEST person in this position–and I will raise my hand when the opportunity presents itself and I will go GET the experience I need to move on.” And once I changed my attitude, it really worked. That brings me to another (great and timely) Motivation Monday that Cassie posted:
If you don’t like something – change it. If you can’t change it – change your attitude. ~Maya Angelou
Word. I have spent the last year and more changing my attitude–being more humble at work, more open to feedback, more willing to bend, to change, to grow. I have sought opportunities and volunteered where I had no experience. I kept telling myself “This is the year.” and I’ve made it come true! I started a new position today at work. It’s a promotion with a raise, and it’s a new challenge to pursue. It’s exciting and challenging and just… !!! I can’t believe it’s true. I’m still training for it, but I keep hearing that I have such a good base. They are impressed with how fast that we are getting through the materials because I already know quite a bit of the functions. I would shine my nails on the shoulder of my shirt at this point if it weren’t for all that becoming humble business I’ve been practicing… So yes. I have bloomed where I have been planted.
Head on over to backtoherroots.com to subscribe to Cassie’s blog, or if you like, you can just visit her Etsy shop to purchase professional prints of the images associated with the quotes and many more Monday Motivations.
Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls
Goat Cheese, Lentil and Brown Rice Rolls by Giada De Laurentiis featured on Giada at Home on the Food Network.
Woo hoo! I’m continuing my adventures in new food with Goat Cheese, Lentils and Mint. I think I’m going to add Brown Rice to my list of new foods because I hadn’t had it before the healthy eating program started at work last year… yep yep yep!
Lessee… Mr. and Mrs. Roomie sorted out the lentils… had them cleaned and rinsed and simmering before I got home from work. When I got home, I teamed up with Mrs. Roomie to finish up the rest of the meal. The chard (‘nother new food!) that I bought on Sunday, though, was all limp and sad looking. Awwe… poutface. My grandma taught me a trick, though, that you can re-crisp greens by putting them in ice water. I went one step further and put them in ice water and then into the freezer while we took care of the other greens. Mrs. Roomie chopped up the arugula and I chopped upthe mint. Gosh! It calls for half-cup of chopped mint and I honestly think it was way too much… Also–I think I bought brown lentils instead of green ones. Not sure what the difference is…
We mixed everything up in the bowl then pulled the chard out of the freezer… removed the center stem, sliced them in half, filled them with the mixture and rolled them up. Popped them into the oven for about 30 minutes or so… and then stared at the mess of mixture that we had left over.
We used the ratios that were mentioned in the recipe, but we went wrong some where because we only had enough chard for 6 rolls but we had enough mix for about 2-3 more batches than the one we made. I tried to get creative by putting cheese on top and then popping that in the oven for a bit… but really, it didn’t work. Mr. Roomie followed a waste-not-want-not idea and used the left over mixture as a chip-dip. Hey! Whatever floats your boat, right? Now our house smells like a high-end Italian restaurant.. Yep–we’re the ones stinking up the building’s hallways. Guilty as charged and unashamed! It was a delicious meal! 3 out of 4 roomies liked it. Mrs. Roomie bought dinner from the gas station.
Meatless Monday! P1W2D1 ST + Veggie Chili
I feel as if the more I do that is ‘mature’ or ‘adult’, the more I feel matured and like an adult, and the easier it is to do those things. As an example, I made the menu for our household yesterday and got the grocery shopping done. Originally, we were going to have stuffed peppers for dinner tonight but when I realized that I wasn’t going to be home this evening (Gotta get my Warrior training in!), I switched things up.
Before I even changed out of my pajamas this morning, I was in the kitchen loading up the crock pot for vegetarian chili. It is such an easy thing to do… open up 10 cans of various types of beans and sauces, add chili powder, add veggies, cook for 10 hrs on low. 🙂 Note to self: 6 Quarts of Chili is probably too much for 4 adults. Since I wasn’t going to be home to cook dinner, I got it cooking before I even left the house. Aren’t I nice? 😛
I thought that the chili had really good flavor. I’d mix it up a little and add probably twice as many mushrooms next time and half as many black beans. Total cost for this recipe was only around $20, though, and it makes 24 1-cup servings. Not a bad deal!
3 16oz cans Bush’s Best Chili Beans (Hot Sauce)
3 16oz cans Bush’s Best Dark Red Kidney Beans (Rinsed Well)
3 16oz cans Goya Black Beans (Rinsed Well)
1-2 pounds white mushrooms (Quartered)
46 oz Campbell’s Tomato Juice from Concentrate
Chili Powder to taste
Toss it all in a crock pot and cook for 10 hrs on low.
I tried to take a picture of it, but honestly, the lighting was not great and it was not so visually appealing. I think this might even be a vegan dish if you skip the sour cream or cheese on top, but I don’t know enough about vegetarian- or vegan-ism to know for sure. If you know, please chime in!
The rest of the day went really well as far as my eating goes. I only had 1 “slip up” where I bought a pack of Sour Patch Kids, but the rest of my food was on-par. I had my oatmeal for breakfast, an apple and peanut butter for snack, 1/2 sandwich and cottage cheese for lunch, sour patch kids in the afternoon, HELLIFIED WORKOUT!, banana, apple, 1.5 cups vegetarian chili.
Feels so good. Now about that hellified work out… This is the 3rd round of strength training so far. Just starting Phase 1, Week 2, Day 1 and I’m using the same methods as we were working on last week. This time I made it all the way through the workout and didn’t skip any sets. The gym was closing by the time I was done, though, so stretching and hitting the showers was kind of out of the question. When I came home, I approached Rah-rah and asked if I could have a “Nice big sweaty hug!” and he said “Sure!” and swung his arms open for me. Then he retracted and said “Uh.. how about you go through the shower first?” I didn’t notice, but apparently I had a big line of sweat on my front and a big patch of sweat on my back. Are you workin’ hard or hardly workin’?
After I cleaned up, it was time for dinner (8pm by now) and I listened to my roomie’s reviews of dinner. They missed meat and commented about throwing in some beef or bacon and a stick of butter next time. They’re tolerant of my cooking adventures, but they definitely have their preferences in place. I hate to admit how appetizing bacon chili sounds…
All in all, it wasn’t too bad at all!
[Edit: Cassie at BTHR is doing a give-away! She opened a new online shop. Check it out, show some love, get some swag: http://backtoherroots.com/2011/09/19/bthr-on-your-sleeve-giveaway/]
Week 2: A Menu in Review
Just to forewarn you, this entry will be severly lacking in pictures. I seem to have lost my own memory card and I can’t keep borrowing Mr. and Mrs. Roomie’s card. I promise to go out and buy one after work today 🙂
When last I wrote (on Sunday,) I was regaling the tale of UV Cake and dancing like Sam B. with Mrs. Roomie. It was a good time! Sunday though was far less productive than I would’ve liked. I got our patio cleaned up–I disposed of all of the failed gardening evidence, put the bike tires over the rail to save space, stacked the coolers and arranged a 4-person seating area with the surviving plants on a small table in the middle. It’s quite serene! I’m happy with it. While that was an accomplishment for me, I never did do anything further to prep for dinner for the week.
The weekly dinner menu is something that I’ve fallen into the habit of making. I do not like to rush home from work only to get home and have 3 people standing around trying to figure out what to cook before they look at me for ideas or pick up the phone to order a pizza. Before I started making the menu, we would have chicken + Lipton side + mixed veg from the freezer. Done and done. It’s still a staple, but now we’ve got more of a variety. Although it can still change, and we still fall back on chicken + pasta + veg as a back-up plan, we’re spending less money on take out.
This week’s menu looks like this:
Monday: Cassie’s Buffalo Chicken Bites (second attempt to get this on the menu! It fell through last week)
Tuesday: Roast, slow cooked with carrots, russet potatoes and sweet potatoes. (Sweet deal at the grocery store… Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, Onion for something like $15? There will be plenty of left-overs)
Wednesday: Chicken, Pasta, Veg – one pot wonder (Mr. Roomie is cooking and will season this up to taste pretty good. We have all of the ingredients on hand so it didn’t make sense to waste money on a new recipe.)
Thursday: Baked “Fried” Chicken (We’ve got all of the ingredients for this as well. I’ll probably serve it with either salad or mixed veggies or fruit)
Friday: Salad with Lasagna! (I listed it in this order because I think it’s important that the salad be the main course and the Lasagna be the side–it’s loaded with sauce and cheese and starch… not the healthiest item, but perhaps the tastiest.)
I never really plan meals for the weekend because our plans change so frequently. I may be a spontaneous person, but for the most part, when I make plans I don’t like to change them or miss out on them. I get all flustered and a little out-of-sorts for a little bit *sheepish grin*
So, last night, instead of making the bites, Mrs. Roomie used the oven to make Banana Bread. That meant that the oven was not available for me to use for the bites. I’m a pretty quick thinker, though, so I decided to cut the chicken into small pieces and set it to cook in a skillet. While that was cooking, I diced up the red and green bell peppers and onion that were left over from another recipe. We had sweet corn on the cob that was just waiting to be cooked, so I shucked that and removed the kernels from the cob and added it to the diced veg. I had 3 chicken breasts to feed 4 adults and so to up the ante, so to speak, I opened up a can of black beans (and rinsed the bajeezus out of them) and added it to the mix. I let all that simmer in a pan over medium heat until it was hot and then added lime juice. I split the home-made salsa into 2 bowls and to 1 bowl, I added 2 chopped jalepeños. I omitted the seeds, but Rah-rah said it was pretty mild, so I might include some seed next time. When the chicken was almost done I added lime juice to that too and seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic powder. I served up the chicken + salsa on 8″ tortillas with shredded cheddar cheese. 1 was filling enough for a meal! There is no chicken left over, but there’s plenty of salsa and cheese left. I am thinking about tossing it in with some scrambled eggs to make a breakfast loaf…
What is on your dinner menu this week? Do you have a back-up plan? If so, what is it?
BTHR: Cranberry Orange Wheat Breakfast Muffins!
In case you couldn’t tell… I whipped up a batch of muffins this weekend. They came together quickly (~15 minutes) and baked up nicely. I had one for breakfast this morning at about 9am and it tided me over until about 11:30! Not bad staying power for a little muffin. 🙂 Head on over to Cassie’s blog to check out the recipe and some of the other great content that she posts: http://backtoherroots.com/2011/03/27/sunday-brunch-cranberry-orange-whole-wheat-muffins/