Monday, December 31, 2007

Maple-Balsamic-Glazed Pork Medallions

***I am not happy with this picture - when you're trying to photograph your own hot food, you don't have much time, especially with babycakes wailing in the background waiting to be fed. I also need help in setting up the plate to look nice, but who has the time for that? This is the best picture I got of the pork. You'll notice that I used sliced pork chops, not pork tenderloin like the recipe calls for.
Recipe from Cooking Light:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduce to 1/3 cup (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in mustard.

2. Cut pork crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each pork piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute or until desired degree of doneness, turning pork to coat. Place 2 pork medallions on each of 4 plates; drizzle about 1 tablespoon syrup mixture over each serving. Yield: 1 serving.
Calories: 214; fat: 6.4 g; fiber: 0.1g

Sunday, December 30, 2007

White Christmas

We had a white Christmas in Idaho. I tried to take pictures worthy of the beauty of it, and this is the best I got. I forgot how silent the snow is. It was quite a shock to wake up and find that a bunch of snow had fallen during the night.

I find Christmas lights, snow, and moving objects (such as my child) to be difficult to photograph.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

White Chocolate Dipped Licorice

These goodies are courtesy of Nicole who dropped them off at our house today. Thanks Nicole! And in honor of my food photography theme, I thought I'd take a picture - I hope I've done them justice!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies (wheat free)


I adapted this recipe to make it "lighter"
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup premium cocoa (a special blend of natural and dutched cocoa)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup all-purpose flour (I use wheat free flour)
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 x 2-inch pan. In a medium saucepan melt butter. Remove melted butter from heat, add cocoa, and stir until well blended. Add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Stir in vanilla, flour, and salt. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Fold in nuts. Spread in prepared pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
*This is the first time I've made them with the egg substitute and the Splenda. They turned out pretty good, but I can tell that the consistency is different - but it works for me. I, of course, eat the brownie warm with some peanut butter spread on it - yummo!

Wednesday Weigh-In

I maintained my current weight - no change this week, which again, I'm thankful for (and surprised) that I didn't gain in light of the heavy dinner we had on the weekend (with those biscuits), and the huge tray of cookies my mother-in-law brought over. I seriously think I ate about 15 cookies that night. Then, last night because of my sore throat, I ate three bowls of ice cream - real ice cream, not lactose free, and boy did I pay for it in the middle of the night! I only got about three hours of sleep due to a horrible stomach ache. I guess I've learned my lesson for now - NO DAIRY!! (This should be a "duh" for me after 27 years, but I guess it's like alcoholism - you're never fully cured of it. I will always love dairy products and crave them.) So, in honor of my NO DAIRY stance, I made myself some wheat-free brownies (because I NEED to have some sort of treat!).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sour Cream, Cheddar, and Green Onion Drop Biscuits

Hubby made these biscuits from a "Cooking Light" recipe last night. Here is the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cut fat-free buttermilk
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cheese and onions; toss well. Add buttermilk and sour cream; stir just until moist.
3. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove biscuits from pan; cool on wire racks. Yield: 1 dozen.

***Hubby opted to not use green onions, but instead used garlic powder (like the biscuits at Red Lobster), and he used full-fat cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk - thus taking the "light" out of "Cooking Light." They were very good, of course.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Weigh-In

Well, I didn't post a weigh in last week, but I maintained my weight, and this week I gained half a pound. I guess I should be lucky that that's all I've gained because I've been pounding down the cookies. It didn't help also that we had Gyros last night (hubby's idea), had nachos with real nacho cheese sauce on Sunday (hubby's idea), and went out to Chinese Friday night (again, hubby's idea). Like I said, I'm thankful I didn't gain more.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stained Glass Windows

I made these cookies for the mommies group cookie exchange this week. A photography newsletter I read suggested picking a theme for your photography - something you really like, so I chose food.

Snow

It snowed earlier today, and so I got some more pictures. Here is a picture of the same piece of wood from yesterday's post (but with snow).

And here's a picture of some snow on one of our trees:

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Baby Cakes and I were outside today, and I was running around trying to take pictures of him, I found it easier to take a picture of a stationary object. So here's my picture of some wood from our backyard. (I thought it was kind of pretty.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Susan Wiggs: "Home Before Dark"

I just finished Susan Wiggs' book "Home Before Dark." I enjoyed it, but I found the plot and the characters to be the same as she does in the other two books I've read of hers. The female lead (who has been burned by love before) falls in love with the male lead (who happens to always be perfect and always say the right thing). The three male leads that I've read in her books also are very honest and speak their minds, and they are supremely confident, which the female lead finds very attractive. However, even though the male lead is perfect for her and he wants a relationship, the female lead has secrets that she won't share with him (or some other reason she can't be with him) and therefore, she pushes away from what could be the best relationship of her life. But, by the end of the book, the perfect male lead, despite being turned down many times, has won her over and they live happily ever after. I guess her books are so popular because all woman would hope that a man would fight like this for her.
Don't get me wrong, I actually very much enjoy reading Wiggs' books, but she's no Nicholas Sparks. On to the next book...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Weigh In

I didn't post my weigh in last week, but I did weigh in, and I had gained half a pound. This week, I have lost 2.5 pounds, which I am satisfied with. I've decided that if Oprah has trouble with her weight despite all the money she has which can afford personal trainers, personal chefs, etc., then I shouldn't beat myself up. It was hard to see that I gained half a pound last week despite working out, but I know it is because of my chocolate and peanut butter binges (which have now ended). I have to say that the best part of my workout is picking my little guy up from the Kids' Room - he says, "Mama!" and runs into my arms - heartwarming! I feel so proud when I'm walking out of the gym holding him.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Susan Wiggs

I have been introduced to a new-to-me author, Susan Wiggs (thanks Sharon!). I have just finished reading two of her books, Dockside and Table for Five. I really enjoyed both of them, and I look forward to reading more of her books. However, I must say that the main male and female characters in the two books I read have the same character strengths and weaknesses, thus making their actions and situations very predictable. I was still able to really enjoy both books, but I'm eager to see if Wiggs uses the same character qualities for the main male and female characters in all of her books. If so, the predictability of that could get boring - we'll see.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I don't think I'll be able to report what I eat. I am just not able to get into the office to use the computer often enough with the baby. But, I have been doing better as far as not eating so much wheat and dairy. That's it for now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday's Food

Oatmeal with berries
Potatoes and Canadian Bacon
FF Refried beans w/ lite sour cream and ff cheese
Reduced fat Pringles
Kashi bar
Salad w/ FF dressing and lite mozzarella
Pork sirloin
Peas
FF popcorn
SF pudding

Wednesday Weigh In

Miraculously, I did not gain any weight with my unabandoned eating. I stayed the same as last week.

So I didn't post yesterday...

Well, I didn't post what I ate yesterday for several reasons (I was embarrassed by what I ate, and I was out twice during the day and didn't have a lot of time at the computer), but I will say that I am guilty on multiple accounts of eating wheat and dairy. I ate at least 5 pumpkin cheesecake bars that I made for mommies group. I ate one piece of pumpkin cake at mommies group. And I ate some lite mozzarella cheese. Guilty as charged.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wake Up Call

Well, well, well. I have not been counting points (that's not news), but even worse, I have started to eat regular foods, meaning foods loaded with wheat and dairy, which I am allergic to (or have food sensitivities to). So, I'm enlisting my small group of readers to be my accountability partners in not eating wheat or dairy. I want to start recording my food intake again (or else how will I be accountable for not eating wheat and dairy?). I also joined a gym today, and I don't want the precious money I've spent to go to waste because of my eating habits. So, starting tomorrow morning, I'll be recording what I eat (I'm not sure I'm brave enough to commit to counting points yet, because I really don't want to right now; maybe I'll just take things one at a time and work on eliminating wheat and dairy for right now.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

(Late) Wednesday Weigh-In

I forgot to post my Wednesday weigh in! Well, there's not much too report; I maintained my current weight. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Laptop

Our laptop died this past weekend, so I won't be able to do as many posts or to comment as much on other people's blogs. We still have the desktop computer, which we keep in the office, which is not really baby-proofed, hence, I don't get in here as often as I'd like. Just an FYI.

Wednesday Weigh In

I lost 2 pounds, which I'm happy with considering I wasn't really trying to lose weight (based off what I ended up eating). Hubby cooked several meals, which are definitely not WW friendly, and he made us Root Beer floats one night, which means we still have ice cream left that NEEDS to be consumed ( :
So, I obviously didn't stay neck-and-neck with or beat Kae on Biggest Loser, but I'm glad for her that she lost 6 pounds. She is after all working out, and I am not. (Well, I walk about 4 times a week.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Update

I finally got in to see my doctor to get the results of my blood work. I have hypothyroidism, which can (among MANY things) make it hard to lose weight. So, as I go on medication to make my thyroid normal, maybe I'll see some improvement in the weight loss area.

On a brighter note, the nurse measured me at 5'6". I always thought I was 5'5". Being an extra inch taller allows me an extra 5 pounds for WW healthy weight ranges to make lifetime membership!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Weigh In

Well, I don't have good news. I gained 3.5 pounds!!!!!!!!! I shouldn't be surprised though, due to the fact that I've been eating whatever I feel like eating. It is really turning out to be quite difficult to maintain my 30 pound weight loss. How am I supposed to go on and lose 15 more pounds? I must admit though, that at several times during this last week, I really felt disgustingly full after all that I had eaten. So, I definitely don't need or really want to be eating this much. I guess I need to double up my efforts of keeping healthy or low-point snacks in the house.

After watching Biggest Loser last night, I'm appalled and shocked that one of the contestants weighs the same as I do now!!!!!!!! (She must be really short, because I don't think I look as heavy as she does.) I wish I could say I don't want to let her beat me, but given my history of gaining/losing these same three pounds and basically hovering at the same weight, I would have to drastically change my habits to keep up with her, and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. Already this morning I started counting points again, but I got too hungry and got chills, started sweating, and felt dizzy. This is why I hate feeling hungry - I don't want to get the sick feeling I get when I don't eat enough, so it just seems like drastic changes aren't possible (which, if I just follow the WW plan, drastic changes aren't necessary at this point for me). I seem to need to eat a ton of food in the morning to stave off this feeling - hopefully the doctor will have some advice for me when I go see her next week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Book Review: Summer

I just finished reading Summer by Karen Kingsbury. It is one of her series books, and overall I thought she tried to cover to many little stories instead of focusing on one major storyline. I thought some of the time lines for the stories (Katie and Dayne's in particular) were rushed. I think since it is a series book, Kingsbury is so far into some of the stories now and she doesn't want to ignore any of them, but at the same time, it's nice to focus on just one.

This is the only Karen Kingsbury book that has made me cry, so it obviously wasn't bad, but it wasn't the same enjoyable reading her other stories have been. I would not recommend reading it if you were pregnant (that's all I can say without ruining the story). In my opinion, this is by far not her best book, but the events that take place are essential to the overarching stories in the series, so it was needed I suppose.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

No points reporting this week

Hubby has to take the laptop with him on a business trip this week, so I won't be able to count my points online (well, I just don't make it into the office often enough where the big computer is because the office is not baby-proofed).
I'm not sure about committing to counting points on paper. I haven't even done it online this last week...we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday's POINTS

GOAL 26 points; Actual = ?



Waffels, peanut butter, and lite syrup (6 points) = 6 points total

potatoes and Canadian Bacon (4 points) = 10 points total

Oat bake (3 points) = 13 points total
Oat bake (3 points) = 16 points total
Peanut Butter (4 points) = 20 points total
Hershey's Kisses (1 point) = 21 points total
Cheese (????)
Homemade Wheat-free pizza (?????) = at least I'm admitting what I ate

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday's Points

GOAL 26 points; Actual = ?
Oat bake (3 points) = 3 points total
Uh...that's pretty much were I stopped counting. Overall, not a good counting week.

Thursday's Points

Goal 26 points; Actual 33 points; 7 of extra 35 used

*Well, we knew there was a storm coming, and our electricity has already been out once for about an hour. Hopefully it will stay on! I prepared for the storm by making sure the laundry and dishes were done, and I made my oat bake, but I did not take the car out of the garage (we have to have priorities!). Hubby told me how to manually release the garage, but since my doctor's office had no power, my appointment was cancelled anyway.

Quinoa cereal (2 points) = 2 points total
Potatoes and Canadian Bacon (3 points) = 5 points total
Salami (1 point) = 6 points total
1 point soup = 7 points total
2 servings of oat bake (6 points) = 13 points total
Peanut butter (8 points) = 21 points (this is where the electricity went out and I convinced myself that I NEEDED peanut butter on my oat bake that I had made just in case the electricity went out. I snuggled up with a book, blanket, and my oat bake coated with peanut butter while baby cakes napped. The peace and quite was nice.)
Salami and lite cheese (1 point) = 22 points
Chicken Marsala (5 points) = 27 points total
Rice and corn (3 points) = 30 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 32 points total
Hershey kisses (1 point) = 33 points total YIKES!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday...

Well, all that talk, and I didn't post my Wednesday points! I was counting, and then, after a play group where we spent an hour and a half on the floor, and for most of that I was up and down chasing Ethan (the room wasn't baby-proofed enough for my offspring), my back was in terrible pain. I had planned to make chicken Marsala for dinner (a very WW friendly meal), but it is actually quite labor intensive. So, I called hubby at work and told him I couldn't make dinner, and he offered to make dinner (which turned out to be pork-fried rice and egg rolls). It was delicious, and I topped it off with 2 brownies....So, another small set back, but on the bright side, I did take a 1.75 mile walk, worth 2 points. It's hard to eat good when I'm in pain, I just want something to feel good, so I turn to food. That being said, I better get started on counting the points for today.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday's Weigh-in

My weigh-in this morning shows I've maintained my 3 pound weight loss from last week, which I am quite happy with considering all that I've eaten and this medication that I'm on. This is definitely encouragement to keep on counting.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where did Monday's and Today's POINTS go?

Well, I actually was counting Monday's points, until they got lost due to Blogger's scheduled outage. Then, today, I did not count points, simply because I didn't want to. I ate lots of peanut butter (on my 3 point oat bars) and it tasted great! But, I must admit, that today's unabashed eating was more in response to emotion and the weather, and that made it bittersweet. I felt icky after eating whatever I wanted to (physically icky - too full, and the sky was still grey - no amount of hot chocolate can change the damp weather).

There's something that frees me from self-loathing when I count points. Even if I've gone over my points goal, it still is so good to keep counting, because I still feel somewhat in control - I have the facts. But, when I let loose and don't count at all, I get upset with myself for eating "so much." I don't like the idea of being calling myself "bad" because of what I've eaten, but I do feel a certain self-loathing for what I've just put into my body - because I ate for the wrong reasons, and I know that it will do me no good.

After today's and yesterday's escapades with food, I am encouraged to keep counting (I was able to buy a smaller-sized shirt than normal at the store today, and I thought I looked pretty good when I saw myself in a full-length mirror).

When I keep counting, then I know the facts, and there's no ambiguity as to whether I've been "bad" or "good" - I just count points. So, here's to counting points - starting tomorrow, right now, I'm enjoying a chocolate chip cookie ( ;

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday's POINTS

Goal = 26 points; Actual = 36; 35 of 35 extra points used

2 Kashi bars (4 points) = 4 points total
Bean dip (6 points) = 10 points total
Waffels, peanut butter and lite syrup (6 points) = 16 points total
Egg rolls and sauce (11 points) = 27 points total
2 brownies (6 points) = 33 points total
Chocolate chip cookie (3 points) = 36 points total
2 Andees mints (?? 1 point ??) = 37 points total
One mile walk (minus one point) = 36 points total

Saturday's POINTS

GOAL 26 points; Actual = 32; 15 of 35 extra points used

Quinoa cereal (2 points) = 2 points total
Potato and ketchup (4 points) = 6 points total (hubby made the potatoes and served me up a HUGE portion. I stopped eating when I wasn't hungry - go me!)
Okay, I ate the rest of the potatoes (3 points) = 9 points total
Waffles, peanut butter, lite syrup (6 points) = 15 points total
Kashi bar (2 points) = 17 points total
Salami and lite swiss cheese (2 points) = 19 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 21 points total
Hershey kisses (2 points) = 23 points total
Bean dip and chips (9 points) = 32 points total

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday's POINTS

I've been put on a medication for the next 2-3 weeks that historically makes me EXTREMEMLY hungry and, therefore, gain weight. So, I am extra challenged to keep counting points and to have lots of zero point foods on hand because I DO NOT like to feel hungry.

GOAL 26 points; Actual = 31 ; 9 of 35 extra used

Quinoa cereal (2 points) = 2 points total
Kashi bar (2 points) = 4 points total
SmartOnes frozen lunch (3 points) = 7 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 9 points total
apple (2 points) = 11 points total
salami and laughing cow lite cheese (2 points) = 13 points
Kashi bar (2 points) = 15 points
WF Spaghetti w/ meat sauce (9 points) = 24 points total
one piece of bread (1 point ??) = 25 points
Spumoni ice cream (my guess, 6 points ??) = 31 points total

Hubby and I dropped the little guy off at Grandma and Grandpa's house while we went to the Home Show and then out to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory afterwards. I have to say that I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking with the meat sauce instead of choosing the Myzithra and browned butter, which would have been 24.5 points total. It really helps to be armed with the points information ahead of time. Dotti's didn't list Spumoni ice cream, so I had to take a guess.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 points; Actual = 26 points; 3 of 35 extra points used

Quinoa cereal (2 points) = 2 points total
Potato and Canadian Bacon (2 points) = 4 points total
Waffles, peanut butter and syrup (6 points) = 10 points total
Kashi bar (2 points) = 12 points total
Steak (9 points) = 21 points total
Corn (2 points) = 23 points
Popcorn (2 points) = 25 points
Hershey Kisses (1 point) = 26 points total

Wednesday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 Points; Actual 29 points; 3 of 35 extra points used

Kashi bar (2 points) = 2 points total
Potato and canadian bacon (5 points) = 7 points total
Salami w/ cheese (2 points) = 9 points total
Samples at Costco (2 points, guess) = 11 points
Quesadilla (3 points) = 14 pointsKashi Bar (2 points) = 16 points
Chicken Marsala (5 points) = 21 points total
rice (4 points) = 25 points total
corn (2 points) = 27 points total
popcorn (2 points) = 29 points total

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Weigh In

Today's weigh in showed that I have lost 3 pounds. I hope this is true and that it is not a fluke. I'm very encouraged to see this number.

As you can see, I didn't count Tuesday's points like I said I would. I did eat, however, 12 points worth of brownies (oops). So, hopefully that doesn't catch up with me and show up on next week's weigh in. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It's Already Tuesday?

So, I know I challenged myself to a week of counting points online, and I guess I did that, but in my mind I did expect that I would count Sunday's points online, but I obviously didn't. We went to a church function where dinner was provided, so I have no clue about the points. I did enjoy a huge chocolate chip cookie - it was yummy! I am going to try to keep counting points online because otherwise I don't do it at all. Tomorrow is my official home weigh-in, so we'll see then how I'm doing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 points

Quinoa cereal (2 points) = 2 points total
Oat bake (3 points) = 5 points total
Macaroni and cheese (11 points) = 16 points total (Hubby tricked me into eating this)
Chocolate chips (6 points) = 22 points (Hubby tricked me into eating these)
sf pudding (1 point) = 23 points
Zero point soup = 24 points
Popcorn (2 points) = 26 points

Okay, I'll admit it. Hubby did not trick me, rather he tempted me, and I ate. What more is there to say?

Friday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 points

Oat bake (3 points) = 3 points total
Potato and Canadian bacon (4 points) = 7 points total
FF refried beans (3.5 points) = 10.5 points total
Lite sour cream and ff cheese (2 points) = 12.5 points total
Walk (plus 1 point) = 11.5 points total
sf apple cider (0 points) = 11.5 points total
Kashi bar (2 points) = 13.5 points total
A few bites of baby cake's chicken and polenta (1 point) = 14.5 (trying to be honest here)
Rice spaghetti noodles (4 points) = 18.5 points total
Spaghetti sauce (4 points - rough guess) = 22.5 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 24.5 points total
hershey kisses (1 point) = 25.5 points total
Zero point fudgsicle = 25.5 points total

I really wanted to 'throw in the towel' and just not count points this afternoon. I just wanted to put food in my mouth and not worry about points, but knowing I said I would post them on my blog has kept me true. It's hard to keep up counting when you don't see immediate results on the scale. I'm reminded of the woman who was kicked off "Biggest Loser" this last week. Her trainer had commented on how tough being a mom was (I think she's a single mom?) and that it was so tough that it made her weigh 280 pounds. I think the pressures of life are what make me want to eat. I tend to think, well, if every thing's going to be difficult, then I want to at least enjoy one thing, and that is food. So, I'm inspired by her because she kept losing after she was sent home. If she can do it, so can I.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday's POINTS

*I realize it's a little late to be publishing Thursday's points, but here it goes:

GOAL = 26 points; 4 of 35 extra points used, plus nuts and crusts (see below)

waffles, lite syrup, peanut butter (6 points) = 6 points total
Oat bake (3 points) = 9 points total
Salami with lite swiss cheese (1.5 point) = 10.5 points total
Potato w/ Canadian bacon (4 points) = 14.5 points total
Zero point soup = 14.5 points total
frozen dinner (3 points) = 17.5 points total
Quesadilla (spelling?) (3 points) = 21.5 points total
Egg roll and sweet and sour sauce (6 points) = 27.5 points total
Hershey's kisses (1 point) = 28.5 points total
Zero point fudgsicle = 28.5 points total

Some sugared mixed nuts also found their way into my mouth (one handful); I don't feel like looking up the points. I also ate 2 pieces of crust from hubby's pizza (he doesn't eat the crusts). I obviously had some need to snack in the evening. I also have really been craving a dinner that I don't have to cook. Hubby has been working late this week, so I haven't been making dinners, but on the other hand, I want some real food. But I really need him home to keep baby cakes from clinging to my legs as I try to move about the kitchen. So, not a good night for recording all my points. I'll attribute my nuts and 2 pieces of pizza crusts toward my 35.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday's POINTS

GOAL= 26 Points

Extra points: 4 of 35 used

Quinoa cereal with stevia (2 points) = 2 points total

Salami (1 point) = 3 points total

Turkey chili (8 points) = 11 points total

lite sour cream (1 points) = 12 points total
ff cheese (1 points) = 13 points total
popcorn (2 points) = 15 points total
Kashi bar (2 points) = 17 points total
Walking (plus 1 point) = 16 points total
Chicken (3 points) = 19 points total
Polenta (1 points) = 20 points total
peas (2 points) = 22 points total
Zero point fudgsicle = 22 points total
Oat bake (3 points) = 25 points total

Wednesday is my weigh in day, and to my dismay, I've gained 1.5 pounds since last week. But I did think that last week's reading was exceptionally low, so maybe it's just evening out now. The fact still remains that in the month of September I gain 4 pounds, and I still have those 4 pounds to lose. It will be hard with all the rain and not being able to walk every day. I'm still troubled by my knee, but for mine and Ethan's sake, if it's not raining, we go walking.

Correction: Monday's chocolate and peanut butter escapade should be 4 points higher than I reported it, so I'll just put those 4 extra points toward my 35 extra for the week.

Tuesday's POINTS

For some reason, it would not let me post last night, but here are the numbers:

GOAL = 26 points
Waffles, peanut butter, and lite syrup (6 points) = 6 points total
Potato, Canadian bacon (3 points) = 9 points total
Luna bar (3 points) = 12 points total
Zero point soup = 12 points total
Salami (1 point) = 13 points total
Frozen dinner (7 points) = 20 points total
sf pudding (1 point) = 21 points total
Salami (1 point) = 22 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 24 points total
Hershey's kisses (1 point) = 25 points total

Monday, October 1, 2007

My Vote's For Jane

My mom had recently told me that Netflix has the series "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." I LOVED this series and watched it growing up. My mom also told me that Netflix has the two made-for-TV movies that were made after the series ended. I don't think I've seen the movies, but I wanted to start at season one and watch all the way through before watching the movies. So, last Monday, I was watching a Dr. Quinn episode, but had to turn it off because "Dancing With the Stars" was starting. I am so delighted to see that Jane Seymore is competing! How exciting! I tend to favor the women stars in this show because I think they have a MUCH harder job than the men stars. I'm also proud of her for being the oldest female contestant. I hope she stays in the competition for a while. Go Jane!

Monday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 points

Quinoa cereal w/ flax seed and Stevia (2 points) = 2 points
Potato and 60% less fat salami (2.5 points) = 4.5 points
Banana 1/4 (.5 points) = 5 points total
30 minute walk (plus 2 points) = 3 points
Polenta and broccoli (2 points) = 5 points total
Rye cracker with lite Laughing Cow swiss cheese and salami (2 points) = 7 points total
sf pudding (1 point) = 8 points total
Pork (5 points) = 13 points total
Sweet potato (3 points) = 16 points total
Mandarin oranges (1 point) = 17 points total
Peanut butter and chocolate melted together (6 points) = 23 points total
Popcorn (2 points) = 25 points total

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday's POINTS

GOAL = 26 points

Waffles, peanut butter and sf syrup (4 points) = 4 points total
Potato, Canadian bacon (2 points) = 6 points total
Refried beans 3 servings (3 points) = 9 points total
Lite sour cream (1 point) = 10 points total
FF cheese (1 point) = 11 points total
Pork Sirloin (13 points) = 24 points total
94% ff popcorn (2 points) = 26 points total

Confessional: it was REALLY hard not to eat Ethan's extra food as I prepared it for him and fed it to him. I really badly wanted to slip a little piece of cheese into my mouth, but I didn't!!!Mantra: "If you bite it, write it."


WW Challenge

I'm enlisting the help of my online community. I need accountability with counting my Weight Watcher points. I started attending WW meetings on January 18 and quit attending meetings on July 18. In that 6 months I lost 30 pounds, which put me at my pre-pregnancy weight. This month, however, I have gained 4 of those pounds back. With turning 27 years old, I lost a point. And then with weaning Ethan back to two nursings instead of four, I lost two points there. In addition to losing these three points this month, I've had a knee injury that kept me from walking for a while. We also had 2 birthdays this month that left A LOT of cake and ice cream at our house, which I felt obliged to eat. I keep saying I need to start counting points again, but I never do. So enough of my excuses, my challenge is to count points for this next coming week and report them each evening. I thought the accountabilty would help me, so here it goes. My immediate goal is to lose the 4 pounds I just gained back. After that, I want to lose 10 more pounds, then re-join WW, then lose 5 more pounds at which point I'll be at an acceptable healthy weight to qualify for WW lifetime membership. And I want to qualify for lifetime before I get pregnant again.

My points goal is 26 (which seems like hardly any at all when I got to start at 39 points because I was nursing full-time). How can I survive on 26?!!

Mantra for today (maybe for the week): "Fresh fat is easier to lose than old fat."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Moms are the Best!

I got to have my mom in town for a week and a half and it was wonderful! Among many things she did for me and my family, she bought some flowers so we could plant them in my front planter in time for baby cake's party. Then, instead of me helping plant them, I took a nap, and she planted them for me! My mom is such a giving person, and I hope to be more like her. I miss you Mommy!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mommy's in Town

My Mommy flew in from Hawaii for baby cake's birthday this week (lucky me!). So, I might not be posting too much this week...just thought I'd let my faithful readers know ( :
I don't have any valid excuses for not posting last week, sorry.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It's a Crazy World Out There

Today I went to Costco, or shall I say I tried to go to Costco. The gas light in my car was on, so I thought that going to Costco to do my shopping and stopping by Costco gas was a great idea. I pulled in to get my gas first, and my Costco card was not reading at the pump. I flagged down the attendant who said the magnetic reader might be finicky, and he used his card so that I could get gas. I inserted my debit card, entered my PIN when prompted, and was told my PIN was invalid. I tried a couple more times only to be told the PIN was invalid a couple more times. I realized that when hubby helped me change my PIN a few weeks ago, something must have gone wrong. I had to cancel the whole transaction, flag down the attendant again so I could use his Costco card so I could use a different debit card (I told him I had "forgot" my PIN number so he wouldn't think I had been denied or anything). The second debit card worked, and I got the gas pumping. I got back in my car to wait as it filled up. I toyed with the idea of calling hubby to tell him of all my troubles, but decided that such a call would need more than a minute, and I know you're not supposed to use cell phones while pumping. I heard the pump shut off shortly after and realized that it only gave me $19 worth of gas. I knew that I was on empty and that my bill should be in the upper $30s. I couldn't start pumping again without flagging down the Costco attendant to use his card, so I just decided that two-thirds of a tank would have to do.

After searching for a while to find a parking spot (this should have been my first sign), I went into Costco to find that the lines to check out were a quarter of the way back through the store. With baby in tow, I knew we would not have a happy shopping time, so I had to walk half way into the store to get around the lines to use the restroom and then leave. What is going on? Do I have to shop at the most odd times in order to shop with just regular crowds, not the super-sized crowds? Where did all these people come from? Shouldn't they be back at the new WinCo?

What a waste of a trip! But little baby really does well if I get back to the house by 1p for him to take his nap, and I know staying to shop at Costco would've interfered. We did stop by the pet store on the way home though, which baby cakes really enjoyed, so I was able to salvage our trip.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Kelley's Summer Book Review

Okay, I should admit that for this review, my summer started in February.

Here's a brief review of each of the books I've read this summer (I'm aware that summer technically lasts another month, but I felt like doing this now).

In no particular order:

-Dear John by Nicholas Sparks: I discovered Nicholas Sparks this summer and read all his books. All are page-turners that I read in about 36 hours each. Having said that, it's quite obvious that I like all of Sparks' books, but beyond that, Dear John was an upsetting ending. I felt the title character made stupid choices, which led to the sad ending; so it was hard to conjure up enough emotion to care about the sad situation he put himself in.

-True Believer by Nicholas Sparks: loved it and was inspired by the main character's bold actions based on love.

-At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks: this is the follow-up novel to True Believer; it's a good read, and has the typical Sparks tragic ending.

-Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks: TOTALLY loved this non-fiction biography of Sparks’ life. I recommend reading Sparks' novels before reading his biography.

-The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks: probably one of Sparks’ most famous works because of the movie; I was very inspired by the two main characters.

-The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks: this is the follow-up to The Notebook and is very enjoyable. The Wedding is one of two of Sparks' fiction works that does not end in tragedy.

-The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks: this novel has the classic Sparks love story, plus the added suspense of being a thriller; most definitely a page-turner.

-Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks: classic love story by Sparks; this book is currently being made into a movie. I plan on seeing it.

-A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks: this novel has the classic Sparks love story as well as a "who done it" plot.

-A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks: probably widely known by the movie (which I saw in 2004); VERY SAD in both the book and the movie, but none-the-less, was a page turner.

-Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks: also widely known by the movie made out of it; I enjoyed the book more than the movie because I could "see" into the character's thoughts better than what Kevin Costner was able to display on film. This is another story where I had a hard time working up enough empathy for a character who put himself in his own difficult position.

-The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks: the other non-tragic ending novel of Sparks'. I actually read this last summer, and found it to be a good read (but, note that I was not enthralled enough by the book to seek out other Sparks’ books like I was with True Believer which was the first Sparks book I read this summer).

-The Handyman by Linda Nichols; this was Nichols' first published work, and she definitely doesn't have the ease of story-telling that Sparks does. The story was cute, but disjointed. I heard that the rights to the story for making it into a movie were bought, and that is how the book reads, like a movie. There wasn't enough of the appropriate detail you expect in a book.

-Sam's Letters for Jennifer by James Patterson: this and the following book are what I believe to be Patterson's attempt to break into the Nicholas Sparks’ genre. Although, both these books would not be classified by Sparks as being love stories (those require a tragic ending), this was a good page-turner and inspiration to those who wish to write.

-Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson: again, a good page-turner that inspires the notion of keeping a diary or some written record for loved ones to read once you pass.

-The Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan: I only read this because there was nothing else by Sparks left to read, and I had already read the only two “love” stories that Patterson has written. This story is more typical of Patterson's genre. It was a page-turner, but is not the kind of stuff I really need to be filling my mind with (a murderous wife, scandalous sex, etc.). I probably won't pick up another Patterson book to read again unless I'm really desperate and on a 17-hour flight to Hong Kong.

-Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: this was the first science fiction book I have read. It is hubby’s favorite book of all time, so I thought, hey, it can’t be that bad, and it wasn’t. I was very much enthralled in the story and cared about the characters. This too, was a page-turner for me. The main character is a little boy, and there are some aliens in the book, but they have a very minor role. What made this an enjoyable book for me is that is focused on the little boy and his relations with his brother and sister and his teachers. It wasn’t just a bunch of space battles with aliens with bumpy foreheads.

-I read many books by Karen Kingsbury (too many for me to briefly describe each). Kingsbury is one of the few Christian fiction authors who can write a good story without pushing the salvation story on the reader. Kingsbury’s stories have strong characters that the reader cares about; hence, most of her books are page-turners for me. She writes a lot of series, so if you pick up one of her books, make sure you start at the beginning of a series.

Those are all the books I remember reading...

Friday, August 31, 2007

We Came, and We Conquered

On Wednesday, a friend suggested that we go to WinCo later in the evening without the kiddos. We went, were easily able to find a parking spot, and only had to wait in regular grocery store-length lines. Shopping without a baby sitting directly in front of me in the cart was wonderful, and I enjoyed getting to be with my friend in my favorite grocery store. I loved the familiarity of the store and felt like I was at home. Even though I've lived here for a year now, I still have trouble finding things in the grocery stores I used to shop in and never got into a grove. I guess I could title this post, "How Kelley Got Her Groove Back."

Monday, August 27, 2007

We're Not in Moscow Anymore (read previous post first)


WinCo opened at 9am this morning. Baby and I showed up at the parking lot of WinCo at 11:20am and waited 20 minutes for one of the five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred parking spaces. Well, whatever, I told myself. At least we were in the AC and I was getting baby out of the house. We got to the front entrance of WinCo where the managers gave us a WinCo bakery hat (pictured) and told me that it was an HOUR WAIT at the check-out lines. HOLY COW!!! I'm SO glad they told me this (they weren't telling everyone, I think they just told me because they saw I had a baby). I would have been BOILING to find such a long wait at check-out after collecting my groceries. I was pretty sure that baby had missed his morning nap, and therefore, decided that we would just take a stroll through the store. Babies and long waits don't mix.

What are all these people doing at MY WinCo? Doesn't the management know I'm a veteran WinCo shopper? Can't they move me to the head of the line? I have a baby! Being the loyal WinCo shopper that I am, I felt the adrenaline rush through my veins to see that the set-up of the store was very similar to my WinCo back in Moscow. I would know where everything is. The price tags have the same font as they always have. It even seems as if the same person was hired to do their hand-written sale signs. And, WinCo still has the best prices, without having to cut coupons or use a club card. "I'll be back," I told my new WinCo. "It may be at 6am in the morning, but I'll be back."

The Day I've Been Waiting For

Today a new WinCo food store is opening in my neighborhood!!! I used to shop exclusively at WinCo when I lived in Moscow. It is where I learned to shop for food, plan meals, and spend money from my first days as a college student, to my first days as a married woman and beyond. I have many memories there. We actually had to ban hubby from going there because we would end up spending too much money (he's the impulse buyer, while I ONLY buy what's on the list). Both of these spending habits have their cons (for example, I would plan for us to eat fish sticks for dinner, and hubby would say, did you get tartar sauce? No...it wasn't on the list.) We've learned from each other, and I've learned now what sauces (and which brand of sauce) hubby needs for which meals, and we usually have them in stock in the pantry now.

Since moving here, I've had to shop at Fred Meyer (too expensive) and at the new Super Wal-Mart (too expansive). Shopping at the Super Wal-Mart was very overwhelming because if I forgot to pick up toothpaste, it was about a mile away at the other end of the store. It was also overwhelming because they had more than just food there, and I would be tempted to shop for too much at once, and baby did not like this. I can only feed him so many crackers before his timer goes off.

Well, it has been an hour since I put baby down for his nap, and he's still awake. He just played and kept himself occupied...hmm...I guess we'll get going. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

She'll Live on in my Dreams

Yesterday I received a call from my aunt saying that her husband drove past my old house in Idaho to find that it was gone! The manufactured home my mother put on our 5 acres was gone and the new owners are building a house. I don't really feel sad about this; the property really did deserve a "real" house. After all, my step dad built a nice shop a couple of years before we sold the property that was WAY bigger than our manufactured home, so a nice stick-built house will go well. I should mention that the shop is still standing.

When I do dream, I most often dream about this house and the town we lived in. The dreams that involve the house are not nightmares, but I usually am being chased by a bad man and am sneaking around the house trying to outwit the bad man. I should say that I think I probably dream this way because I spent a fair amount of time at the house by myself wondering what I would do if a bad person were on the premises trying to get me. Of course, I've watched my fair share of Oprah and learned to NEVER open the door to strangers. Once, I didn't even let my Grammy in the door. She had recently bought a new car, which I had never seen before. When I spotted this unknown car coming down the driveway, I automatically assumed it was a stranger, and of course, did not answer the door when she knocked. I only learned later when she got back home and called me that it was her (this was in the days before everyone had a cell phone).
Of course, thinking about my memories of this house prompted a new dream last night. The school bus dropped me off a little ways down the road from my driveway. I could hear the snow crunching under my nice black dress shoes (I frequently dressed up in my high school days) as I walked down our long driveway. When I got to the front door, I found that it was not fully closed. I considered my options (which included talking to my mother to make sure she would close the door all the way in the future) and decided to barge in. Everything looked fine in the living room, and then I wandered into the kitchen...upon which I woke up. I should explain that this dream closely mirrors an instance which happened in real life (which is a whole other story for another day).

I also have many real memories from that house: my mother and I planting tree seedlings that have turned into very large trees over the years; our MANY animals throughout the years. My mother worked very hard on our house; she had two decks, a garage, and a patio out back added to the house. She created and kept up the landscaping. I'll never forget her mowing the lawn on the riding lawn mower. We were very blessed to get the riding lawn mower. Before that, we had an electric mower, and so the area that was mowed was limited to the reaches of our extension cords. (I should mention that I was exempt from mowing because of horrendous grass allergies.) I have many memories of snowmobiling on our property, climbing onto the roof to shovel off snow, my mother treading thigh-deep in snow to check the level of the propane tank behind the house, getting stuck in our driveway because of the snow, etc.

So, where did they take our home? Where is she now? Did they gut her and tear her down right there and haul her off in scraps and pieces? Did they donate the home to a needy family? Did they haul it away in two separate pieces just like it came to us? Well, enough nostalia for now; the house will live on in my dreams.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Whole New World


The other day for one of the Mommy and baby groups I attend, I made Cooking Light's Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (pictured). I was very proud of it (hence my need to take a picture of it). At the mom's group, I admittedly ate about 2 1/2 pieces of it because it is SO good. While I was at the mom's group, my sense of smell returned briefly. This meant I could taste the pie better (without the sense of smell, I can only taste what the taste buds can detect: salty, sweet, bitter, and sour). Some other blessed mom brought chocolate chip cookie bars. How did she know that I have been jonesing for a chocolate chip cookie? I ate four of them (Weight Watchers, eat your heart out!). I thoroughly enjoyed this whole new world of smelling and tasting, and think it strange that my sense of smell briefly came back while I was eating everything I am allergic to. I've nicknamed this Chocolate Peanut Butter pie, "Allergy Pie." It contains milk, peanuts, egg whites, and wheat. By the time I got into the car to go home, I could no longer smell. However, this morning while baby and I took a walk, I could smell again. I smelled the sunscreen I had applied, my cherry chap stick, the evergreens in someone's yard, along with the smell of weeds. The last smell I remember is burning wood. Someone, somewhere, must have been burning a wood stove (in August??). Ironically enough, I am highly allergic to the wood smoke, and haven't smelled since. But, thanks to God for a brief whiff into a whole new world. Being able to smell is truly amazing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Dumping Ground

Our office has stayed wonderfully clean, much to the happiness of my husband. I like it too. Although, to keep it clean, I feel I need to stay out of there. Actually, a dumping ground of sorts has developed just outside the door to the office. It currently consists of 3 shopping bags from Wal-Mart. Some of the items even belong in the office, but I fear taking them in there, because once I set them on my desk, they might stay there and ruin the harmony that our office currently has. So, instead of my desk being the catch-all or the dumping ground, the floor outside the office door has volunteered for that position. So far hubby hasn't said anything about it. I think he is still living off the high of having a clean office, and, for right now, is overlooking what he has to step over to get there.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Come and Gone

The mail finally came on Thursday and by Friday morning I had finished watching disc 2 of season 2 of Grey's Anatomy. Husband had to work late on Thursday night so I had plenty of time to watch all 5 episodes. By Friday morning, I had packaged up the disc to put in the mail. Then, over the course of Friday night and Saturday morning, husband and I had finished watching all 4 episodes on the Firefly disc, and it was picked up today. It's amazing how much I look forward to receiving the episodes in the mail, but after I watch them, I have no desire to watch them again. This amazes me because I used to be able to watch things over and over and over again. I guess I would just have something on while I was doing chores or cooking dinner. Now, I attend to a baby and don't want to introduce that much TV watching to him. Really, though, I don't find I have a need to have myself distracted when I'm with my baby. He's enough as it is.
Husband and I sat in our hot tub last night, and just as I said I needed to go inside because I was turning into a prune, he spotted a shooting star. August is the season for shooting stars, so we sat a little longer to see what we could see. I saw 2 shooting stars, and he saw 2 more. Husband shared (to my shock) that he had never seen a satellite before. I pointed out 2 as we continued to soak. I'm glad we have our hot tub in our backyard, and that we live far enough away from big lights so that we can see the starry sky, even though husband pays for it with a long commute every day to work. We don't know where we'll eventually end up, but we do want to stay put once the kids start school. For now, we're content with where we are.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Waiting for the mail

My mother just gave us a six-month gift subscription to Netflix. We do not subscribe to any cable or satellite service, so the idea of having new movies or TV shows to watch is very exciting. Today, I find myself anxiously waiting for the mail woman to come. It seems that on days when I am not expecting any new movies, but rather, I have something that needs to be mailed, she comes by 10am. However, when I am expecting my Netflix, I'm lucky if she delivers by 2:30pm. I tell myself that it's okay that she's 4 hours late, because maybe she was waiting for my Netflix movies to ensure that they would be delivered today and not tomorrow. This thought calms me down, but I still find myself looking out the window every 10 minutes or so to she if she's come. Today, I'm lucky because someone else has put something in their mailbox to be picked up, and so the little red flag on their mailbox is standing at attention announcing that the mail is still not here. If it were not for that little red flag, I'm sure I would be toting my baby out to the mailbox every half hour just to check the mail. I NEED to see the next episode of Grey's Anatomy!! I started watching the series on TV (we have an antenna that gets the 3 network channels) this past season (season 3). Now, I am going back to watch seasons 1 and 2. I am in the middle of season 2. My husband is waiting for the next episode of Firefly to come, and we're both waiting for the movie Breach. I'll let you know how we like each movie/show in upcoming posts.