Monday, August 6, 2012

Post Whole30

Thirty days came and went, quickly.  I'm surprised at how easy the Whole30 turned out to be.  If it was my first foray into Paleo it would have not gone so smoothly, and even following Paleo before I had so much more to look out for on the labels.  Sugars and corn products have sneaky names such as maltodextrin (sugar) and dextrose (corn).  Oh and don't get me started on cellulose!

But, I digress.  I lost 17 pounds without exercise or counting calories, I was never hungry and most of my cravings went away (except chocolate and bacon).  I discovered new ways to cook vegetables.  My favorite happened to be grilled eggplant and served with marinara sauce.  I even had grilled beets!  I since discovered how cheese and milk do not agree with my stomach and how bloated I feel when I have any grains.  Really the only reason I miss bread is because of how easy it is to make a sandwich for lunch (and always makes me think of the the Meat Machine bit from 30 Rock).


So after that Whole30 experience I am super committed to being Paleo.  The real challenge will be when school starts.  I get lunch at school two days a week and it is all LOADED with contraband items like cheese and breads.  But I am confident I can keep this up and I'm sure I will be doing another Whole30 come January (ya know to detox from all the holiday "goodies").

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cheater Guacamole

As some may know I am loosely Paleo, some times much more strict than others.  Right now I am doing a Whole30 challenge so it's super strict.  Whether or not I am eating well (Paleo) or not (Standard American Diet or SAD) my breakfast doesn't change very much.  It's mostly two eggs sometimes with avocado and/or salsa, and fruit.  I am a HUGE avocado lover and while preparing my traditional breakfast I came up with cheater guacamole.  Now, disclaimer, Trader Joe's Avocado's Number Guac is  better but this is a quick, single serving portion.  And now without further ado:


Gather your ingredients:  Half of an avocado, pit removed, duh, and salsa of choice.  I love Herdez salsa!  It's a simple salsa with real ingredients, has no sugar AND is less expensive than other similar salsas that are in all English.  You can use mild, medium or hot, I have mild because G1 isn't into spicy salsa so he can have it mild and if I want it hotter I just add some Frank's Red Hot Sauce.

Keep your avocado in its skin and, using a butter knife, start mashing.  Keep mashing until you get avocado paste consistency.



 You can now scoop the avocado out of the skin and into a bowl and add some salsa.  How much you add depends on how you like your avocado to tomato/onion/cilantro ratio.  Also, use a fork so you get more salsa and not as much juice.  Then stir it up.  You can add salt and pepper to taste.

Now you can add it to your dish, like eggs!



Now you can have guacamole every day without it going all brown on you!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tablet Cover!

I designed this tablet cover for G1's tablet.  I'm super proud of it because I haven't done many crafts, let alone sewing patterns, from scratch.  The tablet is secure and it props up for viewing.  The rigidity is thanks to lightweight yet sturdy foam board.  This is for a Nook Color but will work with any tablet if I have the dimensions and am hoping to get some made up to sell on my lonely Etsy store.

Pay No Attention to the Seven-Year-Old's Fingerprints.
I really should have cleaned the screen before taking these pictures >.<

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Garden Stakes

 Last weekend I got a lot done!  These are some things that G1 and I painted.  I have had the garden stakes for years and have been afraid to paint them because they were so plain!  Where were the eyes going to go?  What about legs, or a mouth?  It was open for me to interpret and it scared me.  Well, trying to live by Yoda's wise words of "Try not.  Do or do not; there is no try" I decided to just start painting and see what happened, like any kid would do and how G1 did paint his butterfly.  Well, I could not be happier with the results!  It's probably the cutest frog since Keroppi!  One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that my frog is not perfect and symmetrical and I'm not bothered by it!

Yes there is also a candy corn there.  It will most likely be part of a Halloween frame.  I don't have said frame, but why wait until then?

*I just got an amazing geeky idea for the back of the stakes.  (Does anyone else think of Buffy when stake is mentioned?) Good thing I have not sealed these yet!*


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pocky Ice Cream

Sunday I rewarded myself for eating very clean during the week by making Pocky ice cream. I love Pocky and fell in love with it many years ago at anime club.  I have now passed on the Pocky love to G1.

I used the recipe from justJenn recipes. I love her recipes and I end up making at least one of them almost every week.

(I had actually planned on making a different Jenn recipe- Hello Kitty oreos but I happened to have a quart of heavy whipping cream that needed to be used.)

I was bad at taking pictures of the any of the process.  I didn't even get a picture of the end results.  But here's my summary anyway: it was amazing!

A little more in-depth:  I had planned on using chocolate Pocky because I love chocolate, of course, but G1 had slowly eaten all the chocolate Pocky and I was left with strawberry.  I was a bit disappointed and thought about buying some when I went to the store for ice.  I decided against it because regular grocery stores gouge you.  A small box of Pocky at Ralph's was over $2!

The recipe calls for the addition of Pocky during the last 5 minutes.  I don't remember the last time I had used my ice cream maker or how long ice cream would churn until done so I guessed at when the last five minutes would be.  Turns out I was not even close.  I was afraid that the Pocky was going to get soggy being in there so long.  Nobody wants soggy Pocky.

Well, good news, it wasn't soggy AND the ice cream with strawberry Pocky tasted so amazing.  The ice cream base is a perfect vanilla and the crunchy Pocky was the perfect compliment.  I will be making this again some time, but with different flavors of Pocky.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekly Goals June 3 - June 10

Another week come and gone.  It was a short week, but it was busy and productive.  We had our awards night for the daycare and G1 had his school carnival.  I wasn't very excited about going to the carnival but we got dropped off so we didn't have to worry about parking and once G2 started fussing and I sat down with him, G1 went along his merry way and got his fill of blowup slides.  I was very proud at how good G1 was about checking in periodically.

Anywho...my week went well, goal-wise as well.  I ate really clean this week so I homemade a treat.  I know it was supposed to be homemade oreos, but I had some whipping cream that needed to be used so I made Pocky ice cream instead!  It was sooooo delicious!  I forget how easy homemade ice cream can be, I will be making more this summer, that is for certain.  I still have not finished the book-grrrr.  I don't know why it takes me so long to finish a Redwall book.  One reason, though, is I do not get very far when reading before bed.  I really want to get onto another book.  Lined up are the Vaginal Fantasy book Kushiel's Dart, and the Geek Mom's Book Club selection of Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir).  I should have the book done this week!  I did get the crib sheets done, yay!  It obviously means I got my sewing machine (yes, I did and I love it!) G2 now has 5 colorful and soft sheets for his bed.  Sooooo much cheaper than the $15 they want for each one in the store AND those are not colorful with playful designs.  I don't even think I paid $15 for the materials and there is NO way labor costs could justify that kind of price, they're so easy!  I also got some work done on G1's sweater.  If I had known it was going to take me so long I would have just made it a birthday present.  Annnnd, that leaves the flowers.  I got a box for all that.  Ralph's had some sterilite containers half off so I grabbed a couple.  That means 4 out of 5 goals met this week!  I did some painting with G1 which was not a part of a specific goal for the week, but I am trying to something crafty with him every week.

Now on to new goals:

1) Continue to eat clean this week.  It's not that hard to do as long as I'm mindful and prepared.  If I eat clean this week I will reward myself with...

2) Homemade oreos!  As long as nothing else needs to get used from the fridge this will happen this weekend.  I will also be helping out at the VCDD double header this Saturday and either plan on having In-N-Out or a beer, depending on where I end up post-game.

3) Finish the one book and depending on when that happens, seeing how much of the next one I can get through.

4) Go through my miscellaneous box.  This was supposed to be for mending and then it just became a catch-all for crafty things that don't have a home.  I'm pretty sure I can find a home for most of them.  I have wanted that box gone for some time now.  And now is the time.

5) Made a car seat organizer.  Why?  When I think about it I'm not too certain why, because I know G1 is just going to stuff things in it and not keep it clean.  So I try not to think about it and just get it done and deal with the consequences later.  I'm hoping to at least get it cut out and the lining attached by the end of the week.

Possible road bumps in my brilliant plans:

Thursday: G1's last day of school and it's half day.  I plan on taking him out for a treat.  It will be after his lunch but about the time I usually eat so I have to plan to either take him to a place I can eat lunch at or eat lunch before I get him.  I think the former is a better idea because I won't just be watching him eat.

Friday:  I work in the afternoon.  It may put a damper on my plans to make dinner.  I'm planning on making skewers so I can prep them and put them in the refrigerator before going.  That way all I have to do is turn on the grill and cook them and slice up a fruit.

Saturday:  Derby game.  I'm pretty well prepared for after the game.  Depending on who is also there I may want to get a beer, otherwise I'll just pick up In-N-Out on the way home.

Well, that's my week.  I think my shoulder is well so I can go back to working out.  I have until Wednesday to find out.  I'm hoping so!  

Time for Game of Thrones!  What will I do until season 3 starts? *sob*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekly Goals May 27 to June 2

It's time for a recap of last week's goals.  I want to do these on Sunday, but I was up at my mom's and am a little behind.  Well, to sum it up I failed on most all of the goals I set for myself.  The only one I actually accomplished was organize the papers.  I did go above and beyond that organizational goal and organized my junk drawer.  That is an amazing feat, honestly.  I wish I had pictures to prove how amazing it is.  Ah well.

So, to round out the rest of the list that I didn't get done: I didn't read even close enough to reach one of the milestones in one book and there are a couple of reasons this didn't get done.  One is I didn't get to bed early (which was one of my goals) and two I started watching One Piece again and did that while I was feeding Grant, my usual book reading time.  So, how many pages does reading subtitles count for?

I also didn't walk G1 to school.  When he is out of school, though, I will schedule, as in write it on the calendar a day that we will walk to work.  More specifically I will walk and G1 will ride his bike.  It is a 6 mile round trip and I am almost certain that he will have no problem doing it.  

Nor did I get the crib sheets finished.  I did work on them and they are close but I gave my mom her machine back and have to wait until my machine gets here (I'm getting a new one!!) to finish them.  I have been working on a cross stitching project and hopefully that will get done soon.  I can't wait to share it (the x-stich project and the sewing machine)

Ok, now to my goals for this week:

1) Eat really clean this week.  I have my dinner menus planned and I'm very consistent on breakfast so my only hangup is lunch (and Nutella, but we're out of it).  I need to think about lunch early and eat when I get hungry, not an hour later.  If I stick to it I am going to...


3) Finish Mariel of Redwall.  I can do it this time!

4) Finish the crib sheets, providing my machine comes and I can get it working.  Alternatively, (though I will be working on it until I get my machine) get through 2 colors on the cross stitch.

5)  Organize my flower craft supplies.  I have a drawer that I WANT them to go in, but I think it has fabric in there for projects I planned on working on before G2 got here.  That means I may just put it in a bag for now, but at least they will be contained in one place.

Possible road bumps in my brilliant plans: 

Thursday:  end of the year picnic.  I will be bringing chicken wings and broccoli salad so I can stick to my clean eating.  There is bound to be a fruit and veggie plate to nosh on as well.  

Friday:  I may work in the morning.  It may only change a possible workout for that morning.  That evening is Summerfest at G1's school.  It's an end of the year fundraising carnival.  I will be there possibly for a couple of hours and do not plan on eating there...actually I will state it here: I will not be eating there.  I will bring some snacks and possibly revise dinner plans that night and change it to a crockpot dish.

Oh, an G2 is teething...so who knows what kind of wrench that is going to throw into my week...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hello Kitty Stocking

Here's last week's craft.  It's (obviously) a Hello Kitty stocking.  I know it's early even for Christmas in July but it was sitting in a stack of fabric I wanted to get through before Grant came.  Well, almost 5 months later I did it.  I have to say, that's pretty quick.  We'll just look over the fact I've had this for years.  It is a panel and was meant to make one stocking with the inside and outside looking the same.  Why do that that when you can line it with something else and have two?
I also took the extra time and made it look more authentically quilted.  After I attached the fleece it I used invisible thread and stitched along the lines.  I'm actually surprised at how well it turned out.  Now for the wait until I can use it.  But believe me I can wait for December, it will be here soon enough.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happiness List

I started setting little goals for myself to accomplish every week.  This week's goals were:
1) finish Pilgrim of the Sky
2) organize instruction manuals and cards
3) make Hello Kitty stockings
4) craft with G1
5) Walk G1to school 3 times
6) Lemon cupcakes

I came up with an idea a month or two ago about making a happiness list.  it's like a chore list but listing things that would make me happier if I did them.  I was spending too much time on the regular cleaning chores and not getting the fun stuff done and accumulating a pile of crafts I wanted to do and books I wanted to read. It was a great idea and worked well, but I quickly forgot about it.  How can you forget about being happy?  Sad how things in life go that way.

So, how did I do on this week's goals?  Surprisingly well!  I feel I kept them fairly realistic and cut down on my hours of mindless internet browsing.  The things that didn't get checked off the list were crafting with G1 and walking G1 to school.  I opted to have a picnic dinner at the park so we could see the eclipse in exchange for the crafting.  But I guess I could count the pinhole camera we made for the eclipse as a craft, so, yay!.  As far as walking no one, including G1 and G2 woke up early enough to walk this whole week.  I got a good kettlebell workout in and ate really well, though.  I also got some things done that weren't on the list that made me feel good such as signing G1 up for soccer, planting stuff and visiting the farmer's market!
G1 using the pinhole camera

Looking forward to next week my goals are:
1) Read half of Primal Blueprint (7% a day (kindle edition))and half of what I have left of Mariel of Redwall (109 pages or 16 pages a day)
2) get to bed by 10:30
3) make the rest of the crib sheets (I think I have 3 to do)
4) Walk G1 to school 2 times
5) organize the papers in my desk and bookshelf

I feel this is a light list but it will take me a while to complete the sheets (at least the first one and the others will probably go faster) and I'm going to my mom's for Memorial Day weekend and I usually don't get much done up there.  Hopefully some reading and possibly some cross stitching.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dirty 30

Disclaimer: I am getting over being sick so I may be having trouble with the words and getting them into sentences.

Today begins my trial version of the Whole 30. It's supposed to be 30 days but with my wedding coming up I know I can't go the whole month without straying. I will be strict about it, though, until my bridal shower which is in less than two weeks. I plan to be back on after that until my wedding dinner on May 4th. I say plan because we will be in Las Vegas and I don't know how much Whole 30 food I can find.

I am eating close to the W30 plan as it is (when I am eating right). I've already taken out dairy, grains, and most sugars and processed foods. The foods I am giving up now are coffee and the almond milk and splenda that go in it, and bacon...sweet delicious bacon... It's funny how I'm more upset about cutting out bacon than I am about chocolate. Guess it's just evidence that I traded one food addiction for another.

In addition to changing my eating habits I am going to start working out regularly. I had started to walk Glenn to school in the morning several days a week; a round trip of just under 4.5 miles. I am also going to start kettlebell training this week. I miss swinging the bells so much. I'm even contemplating training for competitions, but I'm getting ahead of myself. And a boot camp/fit club once a week. Yay, variety!

So, in summary:
Whole 30 until my bridal shower
Whole 30 for 30 days after my wedding
Walk Glenn to school at least 2 days a week
KB training 2 days a week
Boot camp Sundays
Kick ASS!

I'd say wish me luck, but I am confident I can do it this time.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Back On Track

At the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 I lost quite a bit of weight before finding out I was pregnant. Along with working out 6 days a week I loosely followed a paleo diet. I won't get into many details here but it is based on the notion that we as humans have not evolved enough to eat much differently than our ancient ancestors ate; which means no dairy, grain or processed foods. Now that Grant is here I am ready to get into shape so I'm back to paleo.

There are several things I have noticed since switching back.

First: I am more mindful at how I will feel after eating certain foods. I had done Weight Watchers in the past and lost some weight and felt good, but I was always prone to overeating and cheating and always regretting it after. I would try to reason with myself that I would feel like crap after, but the instant satisfaction of eating the cupcake was too powerful.

Second: My meals are so much more colorful and fun just to look at! When I have made some SAD meals they just look so bland. Chicken breast, rice, noodles, corn, potatoes, bread and even pears or apples when put on a plate together just look gray and blah. Not like this plate of amazingness:
It just looks amazing visually and tastes just as good. So that is how I have been planning my meals, by color and when they are so pleasing to the eye and the taste buds, you cannot go wrong.

Here's to many more tasty, colorful and healthy meals!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Year's Baby

Well things have been a bit busy with me, going to school, working, being a mom, a girlfriend. Then the holidays hit and of course I over extend myself a little bit making gifts. I was actually not as bad this year as years past. I also became much more efficient in the kitchen (who would have guessed?) and did a bunch of baking and was able to use that as gifts to family and friends. Oh and there's the little matter of giving birth. Oh boy was my pregnancy full of twists and turns. But in the end I was rewarded with this little miracle:
That's Grant Shawn, born January 1st, 3:01 pm. Little bugger didn't want to share a birthday with Daddy or to be the first one born on New Year's. A little explanation on the name: Grant was what Brian and I agreed on, basically. I wanted Malcolm but Brian wouldn't have it, but after Grant was born, I was too tired to argue my point, plus he didn't look like a Mal anyway. And Shawn; for my good friend that passed away 2-and-a-half years ago due to complications from muscular dystrophy. I always regretted not spending more time with him or that Glenn didn't get to know him. But having Shawn as a middle name will be a reminder of what a great person Shawn was and to not take things for granted.

Well, as I alluded to I did lots of crafting and baking so I will be getting those posted in the near future! So happy new year and happy Valentine's day!