Friday, June 28, 2013

Brought to you by the letter "E"

This is going to have to be a short one because now in addition to the "e" having gone out on my laptop, the "t" is going out as well.  Thank God the replacement keyboard comes today because pasting an "e" every time I need one sucks.  (In case you don't feel like counting the "e's" up to this point, I've pasted 33 of them!)

We had a great workout last night, here's proof...

I was a schweaty beast

740 calories burned with a nice at home circuit.  I still have whiplash from the rollercoaster Monday.  I've had a headache everyday from it.  It's official...I'm an old lady.  Sigh.  I would love to take a rest day today but I think we'll just do a fun cardio today.  I'm thinking maybe Dance Dance Revolution.

Here's a few pics of some dinners this week before my camera battery died.

Deconstructed "tacos"  No salt tortilla chips, arugula, ground chicken with enchilada sauce, extra sharp cheddar, green onions and roasted tomatillo salsa.

Mango Chipotle fish taco and a side of brussels with asiago.

We're having some friends over for a double birthday celebration and I'm in full cookout ready mode.  Here's the menu:

My intention is to print it out for the table but I'm almost out of black ink.  Everything is fallin' apart around here I tell ya!

What's on your agenda for this weekend?

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cookout Recipe Round Up

I don't know if you guys are cookout people but if you are, chances are you're looking to start planning your menu for the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend.  (Or next Saturday for those in other countries.  I mean really, do we need a reason to grill out?  I think not!)  If you need some ideas on what to make without breaking the calorie bank, allow me to make a few suggestions!

Tri-Color Potato Salad

Roasted Red Pepper Sloppy Joes

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Lemon Shake Up

BBQ Beef Sliders

Rainbow Kebobs with Mango Chipotle Shrimp

What are some of your favorite cookout foods?

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"It's like buttah!"

One of my favorite things in the summer is grilled corn.  I soak it in water, leave it in the husks and grill 'em up.  As a kid, oh heck even as an adult, the best thing about when it was done was to cover it with buttah and salt.  It just all seemed to go together and don't get me wrong, it still does.  But what do you do when you want to cut back on the table salt but not sacrifice flavor?   Herb butter baby!

For the Mr and I, I use 1/2 tbsp of light butter and chop up some of my favorite herbs from the garden.  In this instance I used chopped basil.  But I've also used chopped rosemary, thyme, chives and even pineapple sage.  It is DELICIOUS!  Put some fresh ground pepper on top as well and holy yum!

What are your healthy summertime cooking/grilling tips?

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Be our guest

We had a wonderful weekend.  My girlfriend came into town to spend the night with us.  It seems when it's just a day visit, the time goes by way too fast so it was nice we'd have her to ourselves.  Overnight guests (or guests in general) bring out the entertainer in me.  My step-grandmother made quite the impression on me as a young girl with her elaborate dishes she would prepare and the care she took in making guests in her home feel special.  Unfortunately things didn't work out for her and my grandpa but her flair for entertaining always inspired me.  When my friend came over, I put together my usual basket I have for overnight guests; things that someone might need to use but may not always want to ask their hosts for.  I made up some cute little tags on Picmonkey to affix to the berry basket.

"Be our case you need to freshen up, plug it up or open it up,we've got you covered."

I had a sample of shampoo and conditioner, a beauty puff with cleanser inside, toothpaste and lotion (freshen up), pad and tampon (plug it up) and a sample Breathe Right strip since she can have sinus issues.  (open it up)  I always like this touch and she mentioned it and said she always feels so cozy when she stays here and she always knows she going to eat well.  Oh yeah.

Entertaining sparks my creative juices in the kitchen.  Of course many of these things I make regularly anyway.  The Mr used to say "I'm glad when company comes because I eat well!"  Not that I didn't make good stuff before but none of it was outstanding by any stretch.  But the more weight we've lost, the more creative I get in the kitchen so that I can make sure we're not "suffering" by not being able to eat out as much on the weekends.  Here are some of our eats from the weekend.

Spicy sriracha chicken tenders on maple chipotle biscuits on a bed of caramelized onions and roasted garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes.  One of the Mr's favorites.

One of my friend's faves is Long John Silvers.  We have one up the street but it's SO greasy and sits heavy. So I made my version of her favorite...chicken planks, a piece of cod, baked fries (which she said tasted like the kind you'd get at an amusement park) and since the Mr was craving them, he ran up the street and got some genuine LJS hush puppies.  It was awesome!

When we all finally drug our butts out of bed, I made my apple french toast cups and an omelet with smoked gouda.
Happy face, happy tummy!

After she was on her way, we did our workout then went out and did a little window shopping, walked a few miles in the scorching heat (something we NEVER would've done a few years ago) and headed to the farmers market and groceries to stock up for the week.  But that doesn't mean the good eats stopped there.  I made pork chops on the grill topped with pineapple and caramelized onions and chipotle cheddar bites.

It was a wonderful weekend and we're trying to figure out some trouble we can get into today before we have company next weekend for a birthday BBQ for our friends.

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Surreal stuff, Reads and Eats

Happy Summer!  92 days until Fall!  My countdown begins now!

Yesterday I was happily doing some activity on the computer when the news came on and I heard a familiar name.  I looked up and staring at me was the older face of the guy I brought home before the Mr in high school.  Now we never officially dated or anything, he told me I was too good for him and knew he'd screw up a great friendship.  But I knew he was broken, tried to show him the good side of life and we evenutally lost touch.  To see this man arrested for a crime just took my breath away.  I had seriously just tried to Facebook stalk him 2 weeks ago to see what he was up to but didn't know it would be 15 to life!  I sat there and cried.  I cried for the man I used to know.  The man I hoped would pull himself out of tragic circumstances and make something of his life instead of getting caught in a cycle of abuse.  I have a pic of us together in high school in parenting class and I hate that I'll never be able to look at that pic again without thinking of this now.  I watch Beyond Scared Straight...good friggin' luck dude.

I have been so bad about taking pics of my dinners consistently and I'm sorry about that.  I do have a few pics though if ya wanna see 'em.

Salmon burger on Hawaiian bun and a side of brussels.

Crab spinach alfredo

Spicy orange roughy over thai lime rice with a side of brussels and 1/4 slice uncured bacon.
I'm excited to go to the farmers market this weekend.  I want to pick up some good produce to grill up this week.  Maybe some zucchini, corn, peppers, etc.  Yum!

If you need some linkage to look at while the boss isn't looking, here's what I've been reading this week:

Nine "Healthy" Foods That Can Fool You
(And nobody likes to be a fool, yo)

How Often to Exercise
(Doesn't matter, still six days a week for us but was still curious)

Three Ways to Make Your Basic Strength Training More Challenging
(Sock it to me)

Why Do Pineapple Enzymes Tenderize Steak...and your tongue?
(Good Lord I hope not, I eat it almost every day!)

Kauai: Hawaii's Paradise
(It's good to know that Blane from Pretty in Pink appreciates our island now)

My Morning Routine: Kelly Slater, Pro Surfer
(I stumbled upon this post while reading a more current one.  I like to know what people eat.)

My Morning Routine: Justin Timberlake
(I told you...I'm nosey!)

Tips for Better Weekend Workouts
(Takin' notes on a few)

Weight Machine Exercises You Should Skip
(I don't know about skip but I'll take their alternatives)

Why Consistency Matters with Exercise
(You betcha!)

Now if you'll excuse me, Maniac by Michael Sembello just came on and I have some leg warmers in the basement.

Have a great weekend all!

Any interesting eats this week?  Read anything good?  Ever have a former crush or classmate go to prison?  Were you surprised or did you say "shocker" dripping with sarcasm?

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The wrong time

When we were at the height of our girth, I was 494 lbs and the Mr was 455 lbs.  We were both in 5x tees and believe me when I say finding shirts in that size period was a feat much less finding something fashionable.  Big box discount stores in the men's big and tall or specialty big and tall stores were the only places that would have some various colors of the same plain t-shirt to cover us.

One thing that always scared us was when we would go on vacation.  We made sure we packed at least 3 outfits in our carry on so that God forbid our luggage got lost we would have something to get us through those first few days.  Lord knows that if we were on Kauai and having Wally's and The Big K as our only shopping options, we were going to be screwed.  At that time, they barely went to 4x so we were going to be in serious trouble if something happened to our clothes.  It was a problem that weighed on us for at least four to five trips.  As we lost weight and got closer to "normal" fat sizes, we noticed that even our beloved Crazy Shirts was now carrying an occasional 3x where before they never did.  When I got down to 2x's, we started seeing more 3x's in stores and even a couple of 4x's thrown in.  Now that we're at XL and the occasional large depending on the store, we see 3, 4 and 5x's everywhere!!  Hawaii doesn't have an abundance of shopping choices but they have adjusted with the times (or the obesity epidemic) and you can find those "big kahuna" sizes at your local Hilo Hattie or even a local store like Jungle Rain.

The Mr and I commented on this the more we saw it.  Larger selections of tees for the morbid and even super morbidly obese like we were.  While I admit, I'm glad that people that size aren't getting left out in the cold anymore in being able to partake in proper souvenir buying for themselves or someone they know, we were also a little miffed that while we're close to the smallest we've been in 20 years, that oh nowwwww they accommodate that size.  Just our luck!  I told the Mr that as usual, our timing was off...we even picked the wrong time to be super morbidly obese!  ;-)

Do you see this trend of carrying very large sizes in the local discount store a sign that larger people are now considered the norm and/or being accepted instead of shunned?  

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Who ya gonna watch?

Last night as I was flipping channels, I noticed that The Voice was coming on an hour later for its finale which gave me an hour of time to kill.  I should've been using this time to get some cleaning done but as I was flipping channels, I saw Ghostbusters was on.

It was in the middle of the movie where they were analyzing Rick Moranis' brain as the Key Master and he was coming up as a "dog" on the screen.  I began the annoying habit of reciting lines before they occurred.

"Yes...have some!"
"Yes it's true...this man has no dick."
" will have saved the lives of hundreds of registered voters."
"It smells like barbequed dog hair."

It's one of those movies I can't pass by if nothing else is appealing.  I have a few movies I can do that in the middle.  If we own it, sometimes we'll run down and grab the DVD if it's the way we want to spend our evening.  But if I see Ghostbusters, Grease, My Girl, National Lampoon's Vacation, The Replacements, Pretty Woman, Xanadu, A League of Their Own, Dirty Dancing or either Father of the Bride, I'm in.

What movie(s) can you pick up in the middle because you love it/them so much?

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bust a move

The other day I had The Talk on in the background.  My ears perked up when I heard a workout segment come on with Angela Parker.  I'm always looking for new moves to incorporate into our rotation.  One that caught my attention was this one...

If you want to see it in action, you can click here and watch the whole workout.  This is the last move...Angela's Beach Body Cruncher.  You get in the position below and start with your arm with the small weight in front of you and your leg straight behind you then crunch it to your side so the weight in your hand touches your toe and repeat.

I was kind of excited to show the Mr the move because it seemed hard and something we could throw in pretty easy but it never occurred to me that I couldn't do it.  I kind of did it to demonstrate it but quickly lost my balance.  He just starts busting 'em out like he's been doing them for years.

I wanted to punch him.

He tells me to keep trying and the more I try, the more it goes to hell.  This is how it always goes for me.  I find some awesome move to show him and he excels and I tank.  I swear it's fat distribution.  I still have tree trunk legs and he has solid, fit legs.  Rat bastard.  :-P

I'll master it some day.

What exercise move would you like to improve on?

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Monday, June 17, 2013

An unexpected walk, pork and movies

 Hope y'all had a nice weekend!

We had a busy one.  We made it down to the farmers market a little late so a lot of booths were out of their stuff but luckily the one farm still had the Mr's lettuce.  It was HUGE!  It looked like a pom pom.  I asked if the vegan bakery we were getting our sweet from was within walking distance and we decided to give it a go.  We kept saying, "I think it's just past this bush"...nope..."it's right around this corner, right?"...nope.  It turned out it was a mile away aka 2 miles round trip or 28 city blocks total.  I was actually proud of us for walking it and I think we burned off most of the cinnamon roll with 90 minutes of walking.  We had lunch by a babbling brook, took a drive in the country, stopped by a friend's house who lives in east Bufu but they weren't home, went to an antique store in their podunk town then to a pet store on the other side of town and loved on a little chihuahua.

We also picked up a nice freebie...

I can't remember how I found out about it but I signed up with Honeybaked Ham to get a voucher for a free pound of ham and voila, they sent one a few days later!  I've been wanting to make chicken cordon bleu so this came at the perfect time!  Based on the price, we saved $12.08.  Score!  We had a nice ham sandwich on Hawaiian bread Saturday night.  Yum!

Our plans fell through for Sunday and we went to a few open houses after we worked out.  I got in a nice 1000+ calorie burn.  We bought our produce refuel for the week and whilst at Trader Joe's I spotted some good frenched pork chops and since that reminded me of the weird dream I had with James Van Der Beek, I decided it was a sign and we had them for dinner.

I have to say, these were some of the best pork chops I've ever had!  I usually stay away from pork chops because I overcook them but I got those babies spot on and got a chair sink from the Mr so I might just get those once or twice a month.  I doctored up a tablespoon of BBQ sauce with some pineapple preserves and the baked beans?  Homemade.  BOOM!  It was my first real go at those.  I'll tweak the recipe a bit and post it.  

I found some obscure on demand channel and we watched The Rage: Carrie 2.  Oy.  On a good note, the night before we watched "Here Comes the Boom" with Kevin James.  I know, I thought the same thing but I think this movie actually got saddled down with a bad title because it was actually pretty good!  Nice when you can be pleasantly surprised.  At least they both were free!  :-)

What did you do this weekend?

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Flora, Workout Change Up and Info Nuggets

Happy Aloha Friday all!  

Let me first do the equivalent of putting flowers on my desk at work and post the flowers the Mr got me the other night.  Aren't they purty?

Yes, I put them in a big ol' mason jar.  I kind of like the way it looks too.  :-)  Thanks honey!

Last night, I was physically unable to workout.  I mean, I couldn't lift my arm to grab the remote control without feeling like I was going to cry from the previous night's Total Trainer session.  The Mr and I both struggled through that session and we don't know why.  It's not like we just started strength training again or something so I don't know why the Total Trainer in particular would kick our asses into the ground.  I considered taking a rest day but decided I could muster a nice walk around the water as long as I didn't have to raise my arms for anything.  So off we went...

We enjoyed the wildflowers, the windsurfers out taking advantage of the gusts and the birds chillin' or hunting.  It was a nice walk and I'm so glad I remembered the sunscreen was in the car because I'd be a nice shade of red without it.  It wasn't a massive calorie burner for me at 580 calories but put me over my calorie burn goal for the week so I won't have to bust my hump on today's workout.

Here's some links to what I've been reading online this week:

Bird Nerds Unite!
(Yes, I'm a total bird nerd.  What of it?)

Do We Have "Sexual Peaks?"
(Inquiring minds (and libidos) want to know)

Fitness Blender
(Awesome website for free fitness vids)

Still Tasty- Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide

How Quick and Intense Workouts Can Help You Get More Fit

How to Grill:  Avoiding the Most Common Grilling Mistakes
(Because sometimes the "King of the Grill" is actually a queen!  Just ask my grill)

Foods That Keep You Feeling Full
(I'm down with that)

Style Mistakes That Age You
(FYI- this has a vid that starts automatically if you're at work and don't wanna be busted by the boss)

The Ultimate Guide to Healthier Baking (Infographic)

You Can Be Allergic to Water
(This includes me.  When we stay in Poipu on Kauai, after a few days, I break out in a rash especially on my arms but also a little on my legs.  As soon as we move over to Wailua, it goes away.  It happens no matter where we stay in Poipu.  Weird!)

Still waiting to hear back from a friend to see if we're road trippin' this weekend or not so no clue what our plans are for the weekend.

What are you doing this weekend?

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

When we were on Kauai, we had the Food Network on in the background while eating dinner one night.  This lady made some kind of tomatillo marinade for her ribs and it intrigued me.  We were slacking at our "try something new at each grocery visit" rule and I thought I would try to use them somehow when we got home.  I initially roasted them, pureed them, added some spices and used it as a marinade on fish.  The Mr gave the thumbs up so I thought I'd incorporate them into a summertime favorite...salsa.

I love using my herb garden to make fun, fresh things and salsa is always a favorite especially when a Mexican food night is coming up.  So I grabbed some items from the lanai, got what I needed and got down to business.  Here's what you'll need:

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
(makes five 1/4 cup servings)

2 large tomatoes
3 medium tomatillos
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno (or preferred pepper)
1 head of garlic
2 tbsp fresh cilantro
3 leaves basil
4 sprigs thyme, stripped
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch salt  (I used half of my 1/8 tsp measuring spoon)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Grab your ingredients...hola amigos!

Cut the top off of your garlic head, wrap it in foil and roast for 30 minutes.

Tomatillos come in an inedible husk.  When you buy them at the store, make sure you check underneath so you don't buy a bruised or rotten one.  The husks leave a bit of a sticky film behind so after you peel off the husk, give them a good wash.

Give a light spray of cooking spray in a pan and put them in the oven for 15 minutes.  When they're cooking, your house will smell like chips and salsa.  This is the base for most green sauces in Mexican restaurants (along with chiles).  After they're roasted, set them aside as the liquid inside will be boiling hot.

Cut the tops off of your tomatoes.  Do what I call the "de-grodifying" process of removing the seeds and slime from the middle of the tomato.

Scoop out the innards not digging too deep into the flesh on the sides.  Make sure you remove that nubbin on the bottom.  Bleck.  Cut into strips or chunks.

Time for the jalapeno and onion to get in on the action.  Dice them up.

Flip the tomatillos over where the dent is and cut around it.  The seed pod should come out easily and try to retain any of the liquid in the tomatillo if possible.

Get your roasted garlic ready for the party as well.  When it's lukewarm, squeeze the garlic from the bottom. It will come out like toothpaste from a tube.  Sooo good!

In a food processor, put in all of the ingredients except the spices.

Give it a few pulses to the consistency of your choice.  I like mine with no tomato chunks but a little chunky on the onions and pepper.

This is taste time.  Taste the salsa at this point and if you're good with the milder taste, you're done!  If you want a bit of kick, add the rest of the spices.  (Salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika or any of your preferred salt free spices)

Grab some salt free tortilla chips (my favorite are Garden of Eatin's No Salt Added Blue Chips) and dig in baby!

This is the perfect thing to bring to that family cookout or can it up and give it as a hostess gift for the next summer BBQ you attend!

You'll find varying schools of thought on freezing but according to you can keep this for 5-7 days fresh or freeze it airtight for 1-2 months.  If it is kept at 0 degrees it says indefinitely but I'd say 6 months, so break out the chips and salsa during a blizzard if ya want!

Nutritional Information per serving (makes five 1/4 cup servings):  Calories 44  Total Fat 1g  Sodium 38mg  Potassium 284mg  Total Carbs 9g  Fiber 2g  Sugars 1g  Protein 2g  Vitamin A 12%  Vitamin C 24%  Calcium 2%  Iron 4%

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

King Kelly does it again

I was so excited to watch Kelly Slater win the 2013 Fiji Pro in Tavarua, Fiji. 

For those who don't follow surfing, Kelly is a 41 year old surfer who is still schooling the younger up and comers even though by surfing standards he's considered the "old man" of the bunch.  He's pretty consistently in the top five and watching him is like watching a true master at work.  While the other guys were all taking a break after their heats two days ago, Kelly went out and surfed because he loves surfing whether he's competing or not.  His dedication, physical conditioning, mental confidence, leadership and letting age be a number and not a boundary, keep me coming back to watch him do what he does best.  He's a true inspiration to not only stay active but to keep doing the things you love.

Do you admire a particular athlete?  Do they inspire you to keep your fitness goals in check?

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Restaurant success

We went out for a family dinner last night and it was at a notoriously sodium laden restaurant.  Thankfully it has an online menu so I could make the best decision like I do every time we go here.  I had myself all set on the fire grilled tilapia and they told me they were out of it.  Blarg!  Wrench.  I asked what else they had and I knew the salmon would put me over where I wanted to be and they said they had mahi mahi so I got that with no sauce or added salt.  I could tell The Mr was really struggling with what to get.  He knew what he should get but he kept asking what a few other dishes had in them sodium wise and I knew the ones he was asking about were sodium bombs.  It's almost like when we're with other people, he gets a little tempted to veer off path because everyone else is ordering crap.

I used to gently remind him of what we discussed before we came to keep him on track.  Then it was almost like people were listening for it and I've even had things said to me like "oh he can have what he wants, leave him alone!" or "you're no fun!"  I stopped doing it because if he wants to blow his sodium out of the water or screw up his calories, that's his business.  I was no longer going to be viewed by my family as some taskmaster that cracks the culinary whip to keep him on track.  He can make those decisions for himself.  We make a plan going in and if one of us sticks to it and the other doesn't, then it's on the person who strays from plan to not gripe about it come weigh in day.

I was very proud of him for making the right choice and sticking to the plan of wood fired fish.  He got the baked potato with sour cream which calorie wise was moderate but at 730mg of sodium, I'll stick with my asparagus with no added salt.  (I always make sure to ask them to tell the cook not to salt my fish and veggies or else they just dump it on and I'd be bloated for three days.  He is completely unaffected by salt...poophead.)  They brought the fish on rice pilaf for both of us and we didn't have a single grain.  I knew one taste would cause me to slam my face into it.  It's so good but such a salt lick.  Stuffed mushrooms were ordered and he passed them up.  I was proud of him because I know he likes those but again, not alloted for and he stuck with the plan.  I was proud of myself too because those garlic cheddar biscuits were especially good this time but I stuck to the one I allowed myself and never thought about them again.  We drank 2 big ol' glasses of water that was probably about 35 oz of water which would've equaled one of the water bottles I drink the second half of the day.  Score.

All in all, restaurant success!

Do you stick to your plan when you eat out or are you tempted to veer off track when you're around others?

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Monday, June 10, 2013

German, Asian and weekend eats

Guten morgen!  (No idea why I lapsed into German, sorry 'bout that)

Our plans got cancelled for Saturday since one of our friends was sick.  I'm glad we have at least one set of friends that are considerate enough to and I quote "not be a dick and come over and spread my germs."  So since we found ourselves free, we wasted most of the morning then went looking for garage sales way too late in the day.  We did go in to a tag sale but I think stuff was picked over by the time we got there.  We've never been to one before so it felt kind of weird.  We're pretty sure the lady died and it was like "here, let's rifle through her stuff before the relatives get here."  If I had room anywhere I almost talked myself into a bookshelf for $12 that I would've repainted and distressed but I have nowhere to use it and no one I know needs one so had to pass that up.  We went shopping a bit too.  We headed to this Japanese market I've been wanting to check out.

I was hoping maybe they'd carry my roasted green tea for when I run out but no such luck.  I always like perusing Asian markets, it makes me feel like I'm in Hawaii.  Since we were the only crackers in the joint, the Mr looked like a scared tourist and I told him to stop holding his hands together like he's new to the experience.  So funny...he's whiter than white sometimes.  

Here's a peek of some of our eats this weekend.  

I did a hybrid of my spicy chicken and pancakes and maple chipotle biscuits and gravy and made spicy chicken biscuits for us.  I was craving Stouffers mac and cheese bad and this felt like naughty KFC.  It was more calories than a typical day but we crafted our calorie bank around them so it's all good.

Sunday we had filet mignon on the grill and twice baked potato half with chipotle cheddar.  Got it in just before the rain hit.

The Mr likes his like this.

I do not.  Mine was a little over done, I like medium well but you cut into it and blood comes out and I'll yak.  Bleh.  He seemed to love it though.

I nailed the water this weekend.  I really wanted to do well with that since I slacked last weekend and I did so woo hoo me!

We've got a dinner out tonight...I hate when you have to go somewhere at a sodium bomb restaurant and choose the least "bomby" of their offerings.  But I have the calories and sodium as controlled as I can with the rest of my meals today.

That's about it on my end.

What did you do this weekend?  How do you like your steak, if you imbibe in the occasional moo cow?

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Frantic cleaning and impending refreshment

You know, it happens every year, we come back from our trip and June bombards us with gatherings making us feel like we haven't had a vacation by the end of the month.  Don't get me wrong, they're all good gatherings...a birthday dinner and a get together with friends every weekend of the month.  I misunderstood one friend as to the get together date and when looking at our schedule and theirs, it seemed this weekend would be the only time we'd have to hook up without going out like 6 weeks.  So last night we busted ass and cleaned up.  The only problem with living in a small house is a little clutter looks like a lot and a lot of clutter looks like a bomb.  We were at a middle ground.  We still have some work to do today, especially outside and little things like wiping down cabinets and the bathroom.  As much as cleaning sucks, it takes a load off of your mental plate.  I know I feel a lot more stress when the house is a mess.

Dinner last night was fish tacos (applewood smoked mahi, arugula, hummus) and grilled zucchini.

My shave ice machine should arrive today. (affiliate link) 
I'm looking forward to giving it a spin and see if the syrup takes to that better than the food processed one I did.  It was so bad I threw half of it away.  If this doesn't work out then I'll send it back and use the syrups to make freezer pops or something.  Fingers crossed it works.  It'd be a nice addition to a few of the gatherings this month and for the summer.

We did well on workouts this week.  We switched up the order of our workouts.  I hope the scale is down with that.  I've done pretty good on my water, maybe missing my minimum 2 days.  I still need to step up on the weekends water wise, I'm slacking and I think it's messing me, "system wise" all week.  Calories have been spot on.  I'll be honest, I've had a lot of sweets cravings this week...none of them acted on of course but I'll enjoy that bit of sweet treat tomorrow a little more than usual.

Got any plans for the weekend?  What's the condition of your home right now?  White glove clean, a quick pick up required or call in the hazmat crew?

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

What I'm Reading This Week

It's almost Friday.  You might be restless at work or bored at home and need some stuff to fill your time.  Here's what's been filling my time when I'm not hanging out with you guys...

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning (on TV)  please read this one if you don't read any others!

Read anything good online this week?

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dinner experimentation and movie night

Last night I experimented with a Long John Silver's knock off batter for when my friend comes to visit.  She LOVES that place and I want her to enjoy it but don't want to feel pressured to eat there too.  So I figured I'd try my hand at it along with chipotle potato bites instead of proper "chips."  I left the salt out to see how it would was decent but it needs it.  The texture was pretty spot on though.

That's right, I busted out a diner basket and liner just like a fish n' chips joint.

We rented two movies last night.  Warm Bodies and Identity Thief(affiliate links) 

Let me be the first to say I think zombie stuff is...well, boring.  I don't get the whole zombie apocalypse thing, the current obsession with them, etc and we were both afraid we'd been "trailer duped."  I wanted to watch it first to get it over with.  But I have to say, this movie was pretty good!  I went in expecting nothing and got a decent comedy, love story and even the little bit of the scary jolt one would expect in a zombie flick.  (Without the gore!  Bonus!  I refuse to watch zombie movies because of the gratuitous gore they feel they need to add.  This proves you can get the point across without being gore-tastic.)  The soundtrack was actually awesome.  Lots of 80's songs.  I looked for a soundtrack but there's only the score...BOO!  I have to say this is such a rarity when it happens that it gives me hope that Hollywood has a speck of originality left.  (Though I think it was based on a book so I guess it's the literary world that has the originality.)  But still, when a zombie flick makes me tear up and it's not that time of the month, I call that a good way to spend 90 minutes.  Nicholas Hoult is going to the next Johnny Depp in terms of being able to express extreme emotion and conflict facially.  He's amazing!  If you're open minded to something a little different, give it a rent, it's only a buck or so.

Identity Thief.  I need to preface this by saying I'm not a Mike and Molly fan so not real big on Melissa McCarthy but I love Jason Bateman so it had to be rented.  Well you know how we thought we were trailer duped by the first one? was this one.  Jason Bateman was funny but it wasn't enough to save it from the annoying, tired gags that were Melissa's character.  Of course it can't be gags the whole time but it still wasn't enough to save it for me even with the schmaltz.  The Mr checked out about halfway through.  I could physically feel his annoyed demeanor without even looking at him.  I think a lot of our disgruntled 'tude has to do with we know people who have gone through some serious crap with identity theft and it's hard to make light of that knowing what it can do to people.  I poopers.  There are some genres I/we just shouldn't watch, no matter how satirical.  (Same thing with somewhat realistic apocalyptic films.  You put me in front of Deep Impact and I'm bawling by the middle to the end and ready to stock up on Spam.)  They even failed on the gag reel.  That's the best part of any movie and you couldn't even give us 60 seconds?  It was like a gag clip.  Barely.

What movies have you rented lately?

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A walk in the park and grilled goodness

Yesterday was the perfect weather day.  A little cloudy with bursts of sun, a little breeze and a sassy 65-68 degrees.  This is MY kind of summer.  I'd be perfectly happy to have 2 hot days for the people that are into that kind of thing, 2 days of rain to water my plants because I'm lazy and 3 days of low to mid 70's with a light breeze.  Last year we were in triple digits for more days than I'd ever like to see again so hopefully this summer can be nice and mild.  The Mr and I decided to go walking at the state park 5 minutes away.  

The last time we walked this trail was the Fall since it's not hooked up to our cross country skiing trails.  It was almost weird when we pulled in I was actually surprised by all of the foliage and green because the last time we were there it was all bare and white with snow.  I'm aware it's June but still my brain was jolted.  As we hit the stairs, the Mr had to bound up them as usual.

Have at it cracker...I'll see you in 60 seconds as I take my moderate walking pace.  Of course at the top is where I usually suck wind but there was a couple up there so I couldn't partake in my 30 second recovery.  Oh the things we do to make ourselves not look like out of shape doofs in front of others.  (Please, don't you runners out there tell me you don't pick up your pace a bit when you see you're going to cross paths with another runner.)  ;-)  I burned about 540 calories which isn't a record breaker or anything but a good burn for being out with my honey enjoying the weather.  Gotta have some varie-tah from time to time.

When we got home it was time to get dinner together.  I grilled some chicken then grilled the quesadillas and brussels and we ate on the lanai.

I love seeing real grill marks!

What variety do you like to throw into your workouts seasonally?  Do you ever pick up the pace of your workouts when you're with or pass another person?

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