Friday, February 12, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #6

We spent all day yesterday thinking it was Friday...which means today is supposed to be Saturday, dammit!  Sigh.

I am so glad it's stretching day, I don't think I could take more exercise this week.  But enough about our hobbling, sore bods, let's get to...

Science Confirms That Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs (courtesy of the Mr)

This Woman Weightlifts With Her Vagina: Here's Why  (Uh...scuzi?)

12 Nutritionists Share The Top Tips They Give To Clients Trying To Lose Weight  (Good stuff)

This 13-Year-Old Met Her Murderer on a Site Her Mom “Never Even Heard Of”  (For you parents out there)

Here’s why some people drop dead while shoveling snow  (Be careful out there)

How to Pronounce Sur La Table  (I can't count how many times I used to say table)

Wife crashes her own funeral, horrifying her husband, who had paid to have her killed  (How I would've loved to see the look on his face!)

How to Calculate Your BMR (And Why It Matters)  (Good information to give a little direction)

9 Ways to Ensure Your Relationship Is Built to Last  (Reminders for us all)

28 Eating Secrets to Help You Lose Weight (and Save Money Too!)  (An informative read whether you're starting out or need a reminder.)

Second City to open Harold Ramis Film School, a first for comedy moviemaking  (This is flippin' awesome)

Then and Now: The Cast of 'Steel Magnolias'  ("If you can't say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me."​)

You Don't Need More Time, You Just Need to Spend It Doing What Matters  (Tell it like it is)

OKGO Does It Again  (Pretty awesome!)

Watch Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Slam Politically Correct Youth Voters  (NSFW (language).  Look, I know Triumph is crude but the way these kids sit there stone faced, afraid to laugh, afraid to describe someone without searching for PC words is frickin' sad.  Thanks a lot my generation, the future of America is terrified to speak or emote.)

These Deleted ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Scenes Will Make You Reach for the Tissues (VIDEO)  (While I'm glad they left these scenes out, they are very powerful and not just because he's gone.  How I miss that man.)

I've found dream home  (Pack up Mr, we're moving)

You can bet after last Saturday that we will be coming up with a list of potential things to do and places to eat so we can see what sounds good when we wake up.  It's supposed to be like...10 degrees.  TEN.  So being outside for any extended period of time is out.  I'm sure we'll find something to get into.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

I sooo needed that

You ever have a day so awesome you just feel totally refreshed?  Well that's how I felt after having a great afternoon tea with my friend, Annie.

I have always loved the ritual of afternoon tea.  A time to take a break, appreciate the little things and get back to it.  I've gone to some wonderful places for afternoon tea like Crown and Crumpet in San Francisco and The Gryphon Tea Room in Savannah, Georgia.  The spreads at both places were nothing short of amazing and I was inspired to get some fun stuff to be able to throw my own afternoon teas.  So when Annie wanted to meet for lunch, I seized the opportunity to do my first one of the year.

I was so excited to be able break out my vintage teacups I bought a few months ago.  Since the first one I did was at Christmas, these floral cups wouldn't have been appropriate at the time but when paired up with some nice hydrangeas, they look ready to welcome spring!  Since I was able to do most of my prep the day before, I was pretty relaxed before she got here.  I was thankful the Mr helped get my playlist all together so it could help set the ambiance.  The first album was the soundtrack to The Longest Week which is jazzy with great French undertones and Love Letters: The Beegie Adair Romance Collection who is a great pianist that I could listen to forever.  Both are great choices so you can have something playing in the background that is soothing and unobtrusive.  (Also great choices for a Valentines dinner at home!)

Since it was mid-week, I made a healthy menu with veggies, light tea sandwiches and desserts of dark chocolate drizzled strawberries and almond stuffed dates.  It was lots of girl talk, life talk, relationship talk and everything in between.  It's also nice because she truly appreciates the effort I put into the meals I make when she comes over.  Her boyfriend said if I was making breakfast, he was calling off work because it was so good when they came over last time.  She's about 10 years younger than me but she's going into her 30's and she relies on me to give my life experiences and I rely on her to give me fresh perspective.  It was kind of funny though listening to her talk about how she and her boyfriend have a nephew who came over while they were watching a childhood VHS and he was calling it a dinosaur and had no clue what it was.  We laughed and said "welcome to the club, it only gets worse from here."  (She stayed for 6 hours so the Mr was there when she told that story.)  I always feel so much better after a visit with her.  She's one of those people that is so positive and so eager to try things.  She once saw a woman in a fitness competition, thought it looked cool and totally trained hard, did a competition and went back to life.  I love her so much, she's truly the little sister I never had.

When she left, we went down and did our workout...cardio and upper body strength.  Dinner was mahi mango tacos and green beans.  We caught up on the DVR a bit.

Have you attended an afternoon tea?  Have you thrown one yourself?

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No rest for the wicked

Oh Lord...we are whooped pups.

Yesterday was a long day.  It finally snowed the first big, fluffy flakes of the season...

Unfortunately, I couldn't pause to enjoy them much.  I had a ton of prep work to do for my afternoon tea today.  I wanted to get everything done ahead of time so all I had to do was assemble today.  I always seem to be running around like a nut job until the second people arrive and am exhausted.

I started the car since it doesn't like the cold while I made all of my main dishes.  I needed to go to Whole Foods for the last few items that I needed to be the freshest.  I ate my lunch and got the car wiped off to leave, went to remote start it and click, click, click.  Are you effing serious!?  I just ran the thing like 3 hours ago and it dies?!  So continues my fantastic week.  The Mr is in training for a few days and I knew he'd be late so this was going to be a longer night.

He got home at 6pm and we went straight to Whole Foods.  I was less than impressed with their offerings on what I thought they had in the past.  I could've gone to the big box grocery store for what I ended up with.  I was going to get pomegranate seeds but the ones there were moldy!  GROSS!  So we ran up the street to Trader Joe's and grabbed some flowers and they had non-grody pom seeds for my salad.  I made the Mr extra of some of the stuff we were going to have so he would feel included even if he wasn't going to be here.

Then of course we had to workout and did day 31 of our Fitness Blender workout which was HIIT and abs.  We're both so toast this week from those and it was only Tuesday.  Then I made dinner real quick which thankfully I prepped as I prepped today's stuff and then it was back to the cleaning/prep grind.

The Mr busted his hump to help me get the place in order and I'm so thankful.  I didn't sit down to type this until 11pm.  My feet hurt, I didn't get to take a shower so that'll be the first thing I do this morning after I enjoy a good night's sleep.  It'll be worth it because the house will be presentable and I'll get to spend more time with my friend due to good preparation.  I'm excited for a relaxing girls day!

Do you prep a lot the day before or make things while talking to guests?

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

And the week keeps getting better

Last night we had a pretty devastating (to me) emotional accident.  I had to get into a box a few days ago so I moved a glass platter I've used every Christmas of my life, on to the dryer.  Last night I was going to move it back but saw the platters I needed to put it with should have a layer of bubble wrap between them because one got chipped last year.  I said to myself I would move it after our workout because we got down later than I wanted to but not before admiring it one more time and thinking of how much it meant to me.  The day before I had the Mr wash our shoes and he dried them on a rack in the dryer.  He got them out so we could work out with them and put the rack up on top of this wire shelving unit we have over the washer and dryer.  When he put a cake carrier on top of the rack, he didn't notice it wasn't on a flat surface and 2 minutes later...


We ran over and there on the dryer sat the last shred of Christmas past I had left...shattered in pieces. A cake carrier he'd just put back, slid off and fell onto the dryer, shattering it into a zillion pieces.   I burst into tears and sobbed.  I mean sobbed.  I didn't blame him completely because I should've just put it back when I got what I needed.  If it meant that much to me, I shouldn't have procrastinated.  Now I had to pay the price for my carelessness.  It wasn't just the platter, it was truly one of those "five things you would grab in a fire" items for me.  When I was little it was like this fancy looking platter and when I got married and was going through the basement, I asked my mom if she was going to use it and she told me to take it if I wanted it.  Last Christmas when I had cookies on it for Christmas Eve, she laughed and said she couldn't believe I still had it.  We didn't have many actual items that were left after the flood that ruined all of my childhood Christmas stuff but this platter was one of the me and my mom.  It was the last thing I still had left from Christmas pasts and with everything I feel I've lost over the past few years including my grandma who was the glue of Christmas for me and how horrible gatherings have been since that happened, it just felt like the final nail in Christmas coffin for me hence the sobbing.  I know this has to sound incredibly stupid to people especially if you're not a sentimental kind of person but I am and now it just feels like I have nothing left from that time.  (Probably because I don't.)  Sigh.  Just felt like a metaphor for my life lately.

The Mr asked if I wanted to be alone and I didn't because what could be done at that point.  He felt bad, I felt bad, we needed to work out so we just got on with it.  It was a nice, horrible upper body burn out that left my right hand and shoulder totally fubar'd afterward.  (I have to say we're both getting a little ticked that we've only lost 3 lbs in a month with this Fitness Blender program.  We've both felt so beat by week's end, look forward to the stretching day on Friday and rest day on Saturday because they whip our butts so bad.  We're trying to be patient but crap man!)

I made a rare dinner...a healthier knock off of a dish we like at Bubba Gumps.

It was supposed to be "I'm Stuffed" Shrimp over TJ's Rice Medley.  It was okay but the oil I used was bad and the shrimp ended up rubbery.  I will not follow the tip to use precooked shrimp next time especially since I had raw shrimp when I started.  The Mr liked it, that's all that mattered.  Oh and in case you're giving the dinner a bit of side eye after my Fitness Blender rant, I know it looks decadent but when I say knock off, it was nowhere NEAR the calorie count of Bubba Gumps.  It was made with a piece of light bread for the crumbs, no salt, 1 tsp of olive oil and a split serving of light cheese.  It was well within our calorie range...the calorie range that time and time again we are told is too low for the exercise we do but the thought of going into the mid 2000's is terrifying to both of us.  We've been under 2000 for years and it plain does not work for us yet it's so drilled into our heads to be in the mid to lower 1000's that anything higher seems like it would make us gain.  Since we're trying out FB's exercise program, we should probably take their eating advice as well.

I did get a majority of the house cleaned on the lower level.  I also went through the lazy susan and got out some stuff taking up room to donate.  I cleaned everything. put it back all nice and neat and I hope it stays that way.  Today I have to do as much prep as I can ahead of time and make a run over to the grocery for fresh greens and strawberries for my lunch date tomorrow with a friend.  Then Thursday I will start on the office.  Ugh.

Have you ever lost/broke a sentimental piece?

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Well, that was ugly

Happy Monday all!

I'm glad this weekend is over.  Twas not harmonious.  So I will post the best thing about Saturday...

Don't let the smile fool you...10 minutes later the Mr & I were hissing at each other like cats and dogs.
Saturday night was a pretty intense, serious 3 1/2 hour slobberknocker of a "discussion" until 3am.  I am hopeful things will get better and sometimes you have to just go to the ugly, dark places to come through to the light.  Movin' forward to being better people than we were two days ago.

Yesterday wasn't full of as much progress on my end for cleaning but the Mr stepped up like a champ.  I made brunch, our usual Sunday tradition.

Brings new meaning to 'sunny side up!'
It was grocery haul weekend so the fridge is full.  The Mr got tired so I didn't hold him the Sunday night veggie cutting.  He's teleworking today so he can do it sometime today and I'll eat the older veggies.  He earned a little down time.  It was leg day and because I was an idiot and wore boots with heels the day before, I was in bad shape before the workout and I should be heartily limping like Keyser Soze.

Today I need to get my part done.  I already feel some stress lifting by the house's lower level looking almost acceptable for company and now I need to work on the upper level.  I need to breathe and the clutter is stifling not just on a stress level but on a creativity level.  It needs to stop.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, February 5, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #5

The end of a nerve wracking week is finally here.  

I want to thank everyone for your support with my mammogram call back story and for sharing some of your own experiences.  It can be a very isolating experience being frozen in anxiety and a whirl of negative thoughts.   People who you think will support you in the way you need may not.  Even when I used my all clear as a reminder to get checked yearly on my personal social media, all I really got were a few "likes." Three people did leave comments which I greatly appreciated but I won't lie, it made me sad.  No one messaged me privately including people who had been through the same situation and biopsies or even cancer themselves to acknowledge that even if it turned out okay, it's still scary to go through.  Maybe I'm overly sensitive, I've been there for people in the same situation but there you have it.  If you find yourself going through the same thing, pick a girlfriend you know you will understand your concerns and who will listen to you.

But enough about all of that, lets get to...

The 8 Daily Habits of Wildly-Happy Couples   (Good things to remember!)

6 Things That Happen When You Don't Drink Enough Water  (Haven't had that problem this week...pee machine!)

How to Know If You Actually Got a Good Workout  (Yep, getting in some good ones lately)

The 10 Best Stretches For Better Flexibility  (Don't skip stretching!)

Why "Living in the Moment" Is Bad Advice  (This is some deep shiznit)

9 of the Craziest Behind-the-Scenes Secrets From Chain Restaurants  (Oh my Lord, this is why I don't eat out much)

Speedy Recovery: 10 Ways to Ease Sore Muscles  (Sooo doing this today)

15 Trader Joe's Grocery Staples For Busy People  (Yo Joe!)

Watching These River Otters Sliding Around In the Snow Is Pure Joy  (I. HEART. OTTERS!)

9 Things Your Fingernails Reveal About Your Health  (Good to know)

This Man's Beautiful Memorial Museum to His Late Wife Is the Definition of True Love  (Oh you sweet, sweet nugget)

The Paraglider Who Got to Float Among the Northern Lights is the Luckiest Person  (This is so beautiful, I just sat there and bawled.  How beautiful is the world we live in?)

We've got some cleaning to get done.  I've got an afternoon tea planned with a girlfriend the middle of next week and I don't want to be stressed out with a bunch of cleaning in addition to shopping for and making everything.  We're both trying to be good so I'm going to make some healthy nibbles.  I don't want to throw off my efforts mid week so it'll be fun to challenge myself.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sas(sy) squash

I don't know why but I've always been intimidated by spaghetti squash.  Since I've moved into the world of zucchini hybrid spaghetti dinners in the summer time, I figured I'd grab a good spaghetti squash when I saw one at the store.  How different could they be?

Way different!

As in, more awesome.

Please excuse the bad pics, these winter hours of no daylight are not conducive to very pretty pics when your kitchen is a cave!

I did a little research on the quickest way to prepare them and you can nuke microwave them at 6 minutes per pound.  Since I had about a 1 1/2 pound one, I poked a paring knife through the skin three times and put it on for 9 minutes.  Then I cut off the stem area and split it in half.

As you can see the seeds still needed to be removed but some of the spaghetti stringing had already begun during cooking.

I removed the seeds and got to shredding with a fork.

It shredded so easily and had a great sweetish smell from the steam but no overabundance of water like you get with zucchini.

This is what it would look like if you wanted to go for it in a big way on a salad plate.

You can see you wouldn't be lacking for bulk and it's only about 60 calories for that whole heap undressed compared to 200 calories for 2 ounces of pasta.

Because it's pretty much a blank slate on the flavor scale, I roasted a head of garlic and added black pepper and italian seasoning to soak in the fridge while I waited for the Mr to come home for dinner.

When it was dinner time, I added 2 ounces of whole wheat spaghetti to half of the spaghetti squash so I could compare it to the zucchini version.

As you can see, you can barely tell the difference between the two especially once you add the sauce.

That night I was making a chicken parm type dish so I split the pot and topped with some chicken breast and shredded gruyere.

I saved 180 calories by using the spaghetti squash than if I'd had two portions of whole wheat spaghetti.  Now I know many people will use all spaghetti squash but we're not down with the complete removal of pasta so this is a great compromise.

I'll definitely be making it again!

Do you eat spaghetti squash?  What are some of your favorite ways to use it?

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