Friday, November 21, 2014

Chiro time, thoughtful business practices and what I'm reading this week

Last week was a rough week, culminating in a very bad Sunday in which my Mr patiently let me waste his entire day word barfing.  I was at a low between that mood, lack of faith in society and being overrun by corporate greed and my leg getting progressively worse.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I felt like my leg was super tight and the shooting pain I had in my toe was going to start hindering me.  So after 3 weeks of attempted rehabbing on my own, I called the chiro and he could see me that morning.  Of course my legs were nowhere near 'chiro feelin' up your leg' ready so I baby oil shaved my legs.  (Don't do that)  Then I got out the belt sander and started working on my calloused feet that were like I'd been walking on hardened lava for 10 years.  I slapped on my layers of rose scented lotion on my legs and feet and got on my way.  It was good to see Dr. B again and I was just hoping that the suspected cause hadn't done permanent damage.

Remember when I mentioned in our vacation recap about how I did front toe raises to Potsie singing Pumps Your Blood?  Well, those are the muscles that hurt and I knew within a week after getting back it had done more harm than good.  Dr. B confirmed I gave myself a repetitive motion injury, well, a "tweak" as he called it.   I have micro-tears in the tibialis anterior muscle and while the Mr has been so graciously massaging my calves at my request, it was basically just compensating one area then the other area would over-compensate and no healing could occur.  So I got the calves worked on very lightly and then he had me flip over and he worked on the shin muscle.  It was super tender and then he lasered me all up and down that muscle to loosen any scar tissue that may have formed after waiting a month to come in.  I've been instructed not to do my ankle massages, no foam rolling and no Mr massages on the calves for a minimum of a week.  I can do regular exercise and my light stretching for IT bands and such like we do from the Do Yoga With Me website.   He'll evaluate me again next week, "zap" me and we'll see if I need to go in for more or not the first week of December. I was so thankful to have such a wonderful chiro.  He always gives me such positive reinforcement, teaches me every time I see him and I've actually been able to help the Mr based on things Dr. B has taught me.

When I came home, there was a envelope from Ben and Jerry's in Vermont.  See, my thing is those souvenir pennies you can get at different tourist destinations.  Put in your $.50 and a shiny penny and imprint with a scene.  I'm usually trying to beat away children for the crank rights.  "Age before beauty you little bastards!"  *hip bump*  Well, after we went to the Ben and Jerry's headquarters in Waterbury, I thought I gave my souvenir penny to the Mr because my pocket was too short to hold it without losing it.  He couldn't find it and neither could I.  Now I could totally be remembering it wrong and I was the one who lost it but he's claiming responsibility.  I was bummed but forgot about it.  The Mr wrote them and asked if they could send a picture of the penny machine scenes, he could tell them which one it was and send them $.51 and a SASE.  The manager wrote back that they were so impressed by him knowing "happy wife, happy life" that they would get all of the pennies and send them to him at no charge!  Not only did they do that, they sent us coupons for 2 free pints of Ben and Jerry's!!

I swear I got teary eyed.  How friggin' AWESOME is that of a company in this day and age to do???  I mean to do it at all even with us having to pay for it would've been wonderful but to go above and beyond sending all of them, doing it for free and giving us free Karamel Sutra.  Oh...did I mention I've been frothing at the mouth for that and that's gonna be my choice.  We'll have lots of company over the coming month so we'll get to share their kindness with others.  A big ol' kudos to Ben and Jerry's for this wonderful gesture!

Now, onto the show...

Here's this past week's dinners

Stuffed flounder over thai lime rice with green beans - BBQ chicken tenderloins, garlic parm potatoes and green beans - panko breaded mahi fingers with maple braised brussels and spinach lasagna roll ups.

Here's last weeks exercise wrap up for those who aren't following on Facebook.

Sunday-  WATP Burn 30 570 cals
Monday-  WATP Firm 30 with 15 lb weights 385 cals
Tuesday-  Turbo Fire EZ 945 cals
Wednesday-  WATP Resistance Band/Free weight session 665 cals
Thursday- Turbo Fire 45  1150 cals
Friday-  TBD Cardio

Now that that's out of the way, let's get to...

This Amazing '80s Arcade Is the Best Virtual Reality Trip Yet  (courtesy of the Mr)

Jennifer Lawrence Sang On Letterman And She Was Hilarious, Obviously  (This girl cracks me up!)

3-Year-Old Girl Keeps Santa Claus Company at Indiana Restaurant  (I seriously cried when I saw the picture.  This reminds me of the Santa Clause when the little girl sits on Tim Allen's lap and asks for ballet slippers.  Video starts on landing)

Remember the Smoking Section? 15 Ways Flying Was Totally Different in the '80s  (Okay, I HATED the smoking section but the rest of it was pretty cool.  This guy has the wrong attitude, people meeting you at the gate was awesome.  You felt like a rock star and you knew people loved you enough to show up.  Now?  I couldn't pay someone enough to take us to the airport)

11 Amazing, Time-Saving Thanksgiving Hacks  (I can't believe it's 6 days away!!)

Hawaii lava flow inspires student innovation  (I am awestruck...what a great invention!)

Christmas with the Beekman Boys  (I would love to spend Christmas with Brent and Josh especially if that cinnamon honey of theirs was going to be served!  YUM!)

Russell Brand's "Note to Self"  (WAIT!  Don't skip this because you're not a fan!  Matter of fact, this will change you the way it changed me after watching it!)

How to Bounce Back After a Food Binge  (Perfect for the upcoming holiday!)

What Texting Does to Your Spine (ATTENTION ALL TEXTERS!  This will be you!)

What to Say When People Annoyingly Undermine Your Healthy Choices  (You know this is coming this season!)

23 Signs You’re Ichabod Crane From "Sleepy Hollow"  (So sad we're approaching the winter finale, part one of two coming Monday!)

19 Times Ichabod Crane Was Adorably Clueless On "Sleepy Hollow"  (OMG, make my ovaries explode which is good because I'm not using them!  Yes, I posted two Sleepy Hollow links...what?)

Grandma's Smoking Weed for the First Time  (You guys...I can barely catch my breath.  I've watched this 3x!  Sooooo funny.  Not necessarily safe to play loud on the speakers at work especially at 4:30.  This will probably be me in 25 years after the Mr retires.  I'll vlog it for you then or whatever the technology is by then!)

I think we're putting the tree and lights up this weekend.  I need to clean first but yeah, it's going up and we're watching some ball (2nd to last game of the regular season!  I'm kind of ready to have my Mr stop talking as though he's somehow on the team and practically sympathy barfing pre, during and post game!)  I think I may pre-make my apple pie crust for Thanksgiving as well.

What are y'all up to this weekend?

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Glittering Forest Shadow Box

I am in the middle of revamping my Christmas decorations.  I've had the same things pretty much since I got married and I'm ready for a bit of a change.  Unfortunately my wallet can't sustain everything I'd love to buy but it did send me on a mission to see what I could DIY.

I ran across this link for a tree shadow box that I fell in love with.  I was determined to do it so I started checking out the links they gave and by the time I added it all up, it was just under $150!!!  So I went to a few craft stores to see how much shadowboxes were and the ones I found didn't seem deep enough to accommodate the trees.  So I went to my plan B.  A day later, an antique store posted some small drawers they had on their Facebook page so I thought we'd go check it out.  As luck would have it, the dude seriously under priced them because he thought the small drawers were pieces of crap and sold me one for $5.  Score!!  With the main piece out of the way, I began scouring for the other items I needed to make my own...

I already had on hand some Looking Glass spray paint that I never used for another project.

I hopped on Amazon and ordered Dept 56 Village Collections Bag-O-Frosted Topiaries/Trees and 20 Copper Wire LED Lights.  I had some batting on hand as well as clear glitter so those were free to me.

I grabbed my loverly drawer...okay, not so loverly yet.

I went out to the garage workshop and covered the trash can work table with plastic and got ready to spray.

After one gagging coat, I came inside to try to exhale the noxious fumes.  That spray paint is NO JOKE, if you use that particular kind, use a paint mask with filters.

When I was done spray painting and it was dry, I removed the hardware off of the drawer.

I drilled a hole through the back corner to slip the string lights through.

I fired up the lights to make sure they worked before threading it through and taping it in place only to find out there was an issue.

The end of the string lights look like this.  Why does it make me want to lick the end on a dare??

I strung it through the hole I drilled.

Luckily the drawer depth was enough that I'd be able to secure the battery pack without it sticking out.

I taped the wires randomly with invisible tape so they'd stay in place.

Then I started to get an idea of how I wanted to arrange the trees before getting to work.

But before I got down to business, I wanted mine to have a little extra sparkle in the light so I grabbed my mod podge and clear glitter and added some to the trees.

When I got the arrangement in my head, I grabbed some batting and folded it in half for a little fluff and when I knew I wanted a tree, I cut an X with scissors so I could slip the base inside.

Like so.

I repeated it with all of the trees and then I super glued them down giving each one time to dry before moving on with the next one.

All secure and ready to roll!

Then it was time to clean up the ragged edge on the front...

I folded the edge under and super glued it down in sections giving it time to dry in between.

It was time to break out the paint to pretty up the outside of the drawer.

You could use paint or if you want to put scrapbooking paper down on it or gift wrap, I would do that before get started on all of the stuff on the inside.

Because I'm a sucker for the gleam of newly fallen snow that sparkles like diamonds in the light, I put various patches of mod podge down on the batting and sprinkled them with clear glitter.

I secured the battery pack to the back of the drawer in the corner so it would be easy to grab.

It just happened to fill a blank space in our bedroom on the dresser and has been a perfect tranquil scene to look as when we're relaxing after a workout.

The lights are BRIGHT so it would be brighter than a night light but still relaxing and can be used all through the winter, not just Christmas.  I'm going to see if I can find a little retro reindeer to put in there for Christmas.

I know it's not quite as chic as the one I saw but for $24 over $144, I'd call it a success!

Linked up with Blesser House, French Country Cottage, The Shabby Nest,  Tater Tots and Jello

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quick meal: Chicken Parm Arancini

While I'm not one of those people who gripes much about the time change, I must say it makes for horrible lighting conditions when you decide you're going to take an impromptu photo session as you're making dinner.

I'm not the Pioneer Woman or some other blogger with the resources to carefully light each and every shot because this is real life yo.  Not that her life isn't real but yeah, I don't have a ranch with huge windows to let in natural light.  I have a two butt kitchen with one average sized window in the kitchen and a boob light as my other source of illumination after dark.

So if you'll excuse the newbie looking pics, I can show you a super quick recipe for..

I should've just named this Trader Joe's Italian Dish because everything I typically use for it is all procured at the Joe of Traders.

For dinner for two, you'll need:

8 ounces of chicken (either one breast or several tenderloins)
1 cup of TJ's Organic No Salt Added Marinara Sauce
1 box of TJ's Arancini Bites
2 tablespoons of TJ's Parmesan, Romano and Asiago shaved cheese
Various no salt spices

You get 12 arancini's per box.

If you don't know what arancini balls are, they are little balls of rice with fontina cheese in the middle with a breading on the outside.  Baked balls o' heaven.

If you're into recycling like me, the tray they come in are perfect for small gatherings to serve something like cake balls or buckeyes.  Just wash it up, maybe wrap a strip of pretty scrapbooking paper around the edges...DONE.

I like to put them on a rack when I bake them but you don't have to if you don't have one.

I had one whole chicken breast left from another dinner so I used it instead of the tenderloins but I usually use 2-3 of those for this recipe.  I butterflied the chicken breast in half so it was 4 ounces each and added some fresh ground pepper, rosemary and garlic powder.

Then it was time to slap 'em in the skillet.  That's a technical term.

While that was cooking, I was getting the sauce ready.  While I love their low salt marinara, it lacks on the flavor front a bit.  So I add 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning and 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper.

I mix it up and microwave it for about a minute.

The chicken is almost ready for another guest to the party.

I add the sauce to the chicken skillet and turn the heat down to medium low for 5 minutes.

When the arancini is done baking according to manufacturers instruction, arrange half of them in a little triangle.

This isn't just for presentation but to give the chicken a good base to sit on.

Add your chicken breast to the top.

Split the sauce and top the chicken and arancini.

Add a tablespoon of the parm mix to the top and around the edges for garnish.

Add scallions or parsley as well if you want to get fancy pants.  I didn't have any.  *kicks pebble*

Enjoy the cheesy Italian goodness in no more than 20 minutes!

Delicious, filling and at under 550 calories, it totally feels naughty but it's nice!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snowfall, space opera and potential snatch and grab averted

Yesterday was a great hooky day.

Snow always makes me happy.  It makes everything look beautiful especially trees that have lost their fall bling.

I ordered one of my Christmas crush items, the Winter Wonderland pillow from Pottery Barn when I realized I wasn't going to be able to make it to the store in time for the sale.  Of course they were out of the insert until like mid-December so I bought the cover and hoped for the best at the actual store.  When we got there, the pillow was nowhere to be found.  Thankfully they did have the insert in the back so I'll be ready to roll when the cover arrives.  Across from it was the big Christmas tree they put up and I was in heaven...and also without camera.  Sigh.

We were blessed with big Charlie Brown fluffy flakes as we wandered the outdoor shopping plaza.  The snow blanketed the tree with its unlit lights, head sized pine cones, shiny shatterproof bulbs and star on top.  No one was there except us and a few employees here and there that were nowhere near was perfect.  I don't think I could wipe the smile from my face.  I will always be that little kid inside when I see big snowflakes drifting gently to the ground.  It is so relaxing to watch and so fun to play in.

As fate would have it, the Mr wasn't going to get to see Interstellar in IMAX like he'd been looking forward to.  We went to buy tickets and the screen said it was cancelled!  He asked the employee about it and he said they had a power surge that morning and a technician was on their way to fix it.  So we had to see it in 4K, whatever the hell that is, but the picture quality was less than impressive.  I felt bad for him.

It started at noon over the 11am start time we were anticipating but regardless, I packed the bag full.

Oh yeah babe...a full lunch of a peanut butter and apple butter sandwich, apple slices tossed in lemon juice and cheese slices.

And two bags of TJ's lite kettle corn.

An interesting story to relay.  When the Mr was taking my pillow insert out to the car, I was hanging around a Christmas kiosk to wait for him  As I was approaching the ornament kiosk, I saw a kid in the 18-22 range walking toward the same area.  I got there first and I noticed his trajectory wasn't changing.  Matter of fact, he was going to walk straight into me.  I realized he would have the perfect opportunity to bump me, grab the purse and run.  This isn't uncommon this time of year in this place either.  As he was two steps away from hitting me, I switched my purse to the other side, put a death grip on it and without even looking at him said "I will END you."  He diverted and walked the other way.  I almost said 'don't even think about it' but I wanted to say something that would convey I knew what he was up to and I would fight.  Then I thought about how funny it would be if he thought he was getting a purse full of money and credit cards only to open it to see two people's healthy lunches they were smuggling into the theater with no wallet inside.  If I hadn't looked half the world over to find a purse I liked, I would've let him take it just to giggle my ass off at the look on his face.

Anyhoo...regarding the movie.  I must first relay that I'm not a huge fan of Mr Southern Draw.  I've seen some good interviews with him that make me like him as a person but as far as listening to him at length...almost three hours, it was a little much.  Couple him with that heinous score they did and my ears doth protest too much.  The first hour was completely overdone with little payoff.  It could've been 15 minutes for all of the information gleaned.  Any time I saw him in a truck, I thought he was about to sell me a Lincoln.  As my eyes were glazing over, I decided it was time to break into lunch to keep me from going into a coma.  It picked up the second hour.  The third hour was a seemingly good payoff when it brought some plot issues from the first hour into a bow.  But then the last 15 minutes happened and I gave the Mr the look. When a movie leaves me with more questions than answers to the point and you keep talking about it like "and what about when this happened?  How could that possibly be?" or when a major character croaks and you can't understand a word they're saying and you want to run up and rewind the movie or turn on closed captioning.  It just ends up irritating me.   I was glad he got to see it.  He claims he wants to own it.  Once was enough for me.

We grabbed some fruits and veggies for the rest of the week and headed home.  We did a 35 minute strength session then it was dinner time.

Stuffed flounder, thai lime rice and green beans.

How long is too long for you to sit through a movie?

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Kitty, demons and a winner

Well, that was a weekend.

We hit an antique store and found this nugget.  She was taking a snooze after being held by some woman dressed as a goth Sasquatch in a vintage fur coat which she may have initially mistaken for a sister or mother until she realized she was being held against her will.  Finally the woman put her down and she retreated to this stool where she could relax in peace.

Well, until we started petting her.  But we didn't pick her up.  My friend tried picking her up once.  She's a cat person and so all cat people think they can pick up other cats and they will automatically love them.  This kitty will let you pet her but she's not keen on the pick up artist and she dug her claws into my friends flesh until she screamed for us to help her.  We kind of couldn't stop laughing.

The Mr found this game from our past.

Remember, you would wind up the bowling ball and it would hop down the lane?  Sadly the ball wouldn't wind anymore or I might've just bought it.

We roamed around town and took our seats for the light show.  For 30 minutes we got the 'pleasure' of listening to screaming children whose parents had checked out.  My favorite was Mrs. "I thought being a parent would be fun and now I'm trying not to spill my latte on my patterned spandex jeggings I wore in 30 degree weather and haphazardly grab my demon girl with the other where the hell is my husband!?!?!"


I was ready to leave but we hung in and got 10 minutes of peace when the weather got too cold for them before the next batch of heathens came in.  I'm thinking that might be the last time for that one for a few Christmases.  On the way home, we stopped at Denny's so the Mr could get his annual super bird.

Sunday was a day of deep thoughts and conversations after a sleepless night that had me out of bed and watching To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar until 4am.  You know how they say you should never lay in bed if you can't sleep and "they" are right.  So when I was done, I went back to bed and thankfully fell asleep quickly.

Then it was time to do the drawing for the souvenir giveaway.  I like to go old school so I put everyone's name on paper and put it in an old French biscuit tin.

And the winner is....

So Dupster, drop me an email with your mailing address and I'll get the goodies out to you!  Congrats!

We're getting hit with snow today and the new tradition is the first snow of the year, the Mr takes off.  So we're going to see Interstellar and settle in for that 3 hour saga.  Between that and seeing Gone Girl on our last day of vacation, we're really pushing the 2 1/2 to 3 hour sagas.  Not my cup of tea when I'm not in the comfort of my own home or a theater with those big ol recliner seats.  I think we're going to have to sneak in lunch since it starts at 11am.  Big purse, it is!

What did you guys do this weekend?  Is it snowing in your neck of the woods?

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