Thursday, January 21, 2010

Inspiring Kitchen

I love this kitchen, designed by Margot Austin, and photographed by Donna Griffith. First off, the lantern... I've been looking for the perfect dining room light fixture for over a year now. I think something like this would fit the bill, since I am going to be using traditional, black chairs.

And that kitchen island literally gives me butterflies in my stomach, it is so beautiful. The shape, the grey finish, those casters... yum. I have been putting off painting the legs on my kitchen island, but I think I am motivated again. I think a slightly lighter shade of grey would look good, with a lacquer finish. My "island" is currently at table-height, but some fun casters would raise it to the perfect level.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Drop in the Bucket

Sorry this is a day late. Hot Husband and I were away this weekend, to Los Angeles. We celebrated his great-grandmother's 100th birthday, played with nieces we haven't seen in ages, and hung out with HH's brother-in-law and his new girlfriend. It was a very fun weekend, but very full of unplanned strawberry daiquiris, tacos, MASSIVE cupcakes, and pizza.

That being said, I am happy to report that I lost 4.5 pounds this past week. Not too shabby, with all things considered. Except for a few days this week, I have been doing well with my eating and tracking points. I have not really been exercising so far, which I plan to change very soon. (Does cleaning the house count?)

I'm looking forward to a week full of new recipes and healthy movement. I will have to wait for my state park walk until the sun comes out again. Right now, it is pouring.

Congrats to all those who kicked this week's butt! Let's see what we can do during the next seven days.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Things That Don't Suck...

Let's just start this conversation with me stating that I am pretty much the most skeptical person on the face of the planet when it comes to product promises. I don't believe it when the manufacturer tells me something works, because it is their job to sell it. And I don't believe it when a magazine tells me something works, because it is their job to sell advertising spaces to the manufacturers. Have you ever noticed that a magazine's recommended products often are the same ones who have paid for advertisements in that magazine? I don't think that is a coincidence.

Here are some products that actually work, for me. None of these companies are paying me to say this, and I haven't received any free products. (Though I wouldn't say no if they offered.) I luh-uh-uh-uh-uve these items, because they actually follow through on what they claim to do:

Nivea chapstick is awesome. I have two different kinds, and love them both. They make my lips soft, smooth and feel plumper. I have actually dropped fifty bucks on a lip plumper in the past that hurt like hell and didn't do nearly as much for my lips as this stuff.

Burt's Bees Cuticle Creme is absolutely incredible. I have the nastiest, most-ragged cuticles you have ever seen. They are dry, dry, dry. I got this stuff in a gift basket a couple years ago, slapped it on, and was like, "WHOA." I now have a tin at my desk, in my book bag, my purse and at the house. Apply it once or twice a day, and your nails and cuticles will look like you just got out of a salon.

Smashbox Photo Finish works. I have the oil-free formula, which is nice and light. But this stuff really does make a difference. I use it over moisturizer and under powder, and I think it makes my skin look smoother and younger. It is pretty expensive, but if you are looking for something to make your pores look smaller, this might be the ticket for you. The full-size bottle is pretty expensive, but you can get a travel size for about fifteen dollars. A little goes a long way with this stuff, too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week One: How to Lose Four Pounds and Then Gain Them Back

Alrighty. This past week was a lesson in what not to do to lose weight. The first part of the week, I was great. I ate within my Weight Watchers Points range, and I worked out a bit on the Wii. And then, Gentle Readers.... then, I flew to Washington DC to visit my friend for the weekend.

There was pasta. And tiramisu. And heavens to Betsy if there weren't several coconut cupcakes from Georgetown cupcake. (HIGHLY recommended, if you aren't on a diet.)

I weighed myself before I left for the weekend, and I was down four pounds. I weighed myself this morning, and those four pounds were back.

Moral of the story: I will not be repeating that performance this week. I am more than a little pissed off that I don't get to join in the festivities of celebrating pounds lost this McFatty Monday. Pissed off is actually a great way for me to be when I want something, so I am embracing this state of mind.

Congrats to all those who did a better job than I did this week. And here's a big "I feel ya," to all the ladies that tripped and fell into a cupcake. Let's grab this week by the balls, shall we?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Non-Boring Vegetables- (WW 1-2 points)

You know those people who are like, "Oh, I'm starving. I think I'll have a cup of carrots"?

That is so not me.

Well, maybe... if the carrots are drenched in butter, pureed and then stirred into a cup of cream. And even then, I'm probably going to need a side of steak.

Before recently, I'd never met a dish of vegetables that made me say, "Yum," without a heck of a lot of cheese or butter. But butter and cheese are a bit taboo when one is trying to get rid of cottage-cheese thighs. So, here is a recipe for a truly delicious, healthy vegetable dish.

(Above photo shamelessly stolen from Martha Stewart. 'Cause that's how I roll.)

Vegetable Tian, (adapted from

3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large potatoes
5 medium zucchini
4 large carrots
1 large red onion
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil, (or multiple olive oil sprays)
1 Tablespoon oregano

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel vegetables as needed. Chop into 1/8 inch slices. Try to make the slices fairly uniform in width; I like to use my mandolin slicer. Grab a big casserole dish, like 9x13" or so. Spray the bottom with olive oil cooking spray. Add the onion, garlic and oregano. Toss to coat.

Put the other veggies over the onion mixture in layers. (Mine never looks as pretty as the picture, cause I get bored.) As you layer, crack some black pepper over a couple of the layers, and spray a little olive oil on it. You don't need to spray every layer, and it doesn't have to be much, but do make sure to spray the top layer.

Cover the mixture with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue roasting for about 25 more minutes.

This recipe makes a lot of veggies. If you divided this into six servings, it would be 2 points. If you divide it into 10 servings, it would be 1 point. I made this on Sunday, and we will eat it all week. It is good cold, too.

Skinny Chicken (WW Points-4)

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed this yummy, low-calorie chicken dish. I made this in an enameled, cast-iron frying pan.


4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, all visible fat removed
3/4 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup diced red onion
2 cups baby carrots
2 Tablespoons Spices- greek seasoning and pepper, or chicken spice rub
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat pan over medium heat. Drizzle in olive oil. Add onions. Rub chicken with spices. Put chicken in the pan, and brown both sides of the chicken, to seal in juices. (About 2 minutes per side.) Add carrots over and around chicken, add broth. Put into oven, bake for 25-35 minutes, until chicken is done. 1 serving is a chicken breast and 1/4 vegetables.

Optional: Once cooked, take carrots and onions, and put into a bowl. Blend together with an immersion blender, adding pan juices spoonful by spoonful as necessary. Veggies should be the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fabulous Fat-Ass No More

Look... if you know me, or if you have been hanging around for any length of time, you know that I am pretty comfortable with me. I like me. I'm intelligent. I have a decent sense of humor, (enough to make me laugh, anyways.) I generally forgive myself for my faults, and try to fix them as I go.

I am maybe TOO comfortable with myself. Which might be why I am about 85 pounds overweight. Yeah, I need to lose a fourth grader. Super.


- A couple years ago, I went to the mall, and had the best luck. Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and J.Crew's clearance sections were full of fabulous things in my size. If you are a big girl, you know that never happens. I was exclaiming to my (very, very thin) friend about my good fortune, and a sales-lady overheard me. She smirked and said, "Yes, that's because we are discontinuing those sizes." (Never mind that she was forty-something and working at the mall. She felt superior.)

But, it is true. There is nothing attractive out there in that size anymore. And I like clothes. Really, I do. I like feeling pretty as much as the next girl. Oh, and I like heels. I used to be able to help carry a drunken friend in four-inch stilettos. Now, I'm all about the flats. (Let's not talk about the time I made Hot Husband drive me to the doctor for foot pain, and the hot female doctor had to try to diplomatically tell me, (in front of HH) that maybe I shouldn't be wearing heels anymore, cause I'm too faaaaaaat.)

- The Hot Husband. People, my husband is very attractive. I have high standards, and I'm not making this up. A couple of friends have honestly asked me how I managed to snag him. (In their defense, I don't think they were trying to be offensive; I think they were wanting to know about my secret mad skillz in bed.) I want to look like I belong with him. I am quite sick of the slightly-confused look on people's faces when we are meeting them for the first time. (Um, this is... who? Your fat, adopted sister that you hang out with a lot, perhaps?)

- The Sex. All you seriously overweight peeps know what I'm talking about here. Positions that used to be part of your repertoire slowly become impossible. There are fewer and fewer angles that you feel comfortable being viewed from. And standing-up shower sex? Fogettaboutit.

- Maybe, babies. I don't know for sure that I want to be a mom. I'm on the fence, going back and forth about things. But, I do know that I will be seriously pissed off if I decide that I want a kid and then can't because I'm too overweight. I do not want to get pregnant at this weight; I think it would be irresponsible to the child, and to myself.


- Weight Watchers Online, and honesty. Honesty is very important when you are doing Weight Watchers. Before, I was always trying to cheat the system. I have now realized that there is no cheating the system... there is only cheating myself.

- Cooking. I love to cook, but I rarely do because the cleanup takes effort and time. But I have a list of healthy, potentially-delicious recipes I would like to try. I was a big fan of the pre-packaged food while I was in school, but the sodium levels in that stuff are cah-razy.

- Wii Fit. I got one (accidentally) for Christmas, and actually like using it. My short-term goal is to burn 100-200 calories a day using it. Not much, but I'm going to start slow and ramp it up.

- Walking, (which will hopefully turn into running,) 2-3 times a week, with HH. We have a beautiful state park with many, many trails two miles down our road. It is time we start using it. And if fitness is going to be a big part of my life, I need to be able to do some of this with my husband.

- The Firm workouts, on days when weather prevents me from walking or running.

- Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred. Ok, I've done this before, and it kicked my ass. Which probably means I should keep doing it, right?

- Following the McFatty Monday crowd's progress on Heir to Blair. I'm rooting for all of us!

I did not mean for this post to become a novel. It just helps me to clarify my goals and reasons in writing. Right now, I can't hardly imagine what life would be 85 pounds lighter, but I am SO excited to find out!

Happy After the Holidays!

First and foremost: so sorry that I have been gone for a few days. We had a whirlwind Christmas, seeing every side of the family that there is... like, all eight of them.

Does anyone remember the good old days when you were young and/or single, and you only had two sides of the family to visit? But once you marry a child of a divorce, who has like eighty brothers and sisters, some of which don't chat all that often.... well, the sides multiply exponentially.

And after Christmas, I got sick. I milked that for a good week: PJ's, Grey's Anatomy on DVD, Hot Husband bringing me hot tea... the whole sick bit.

But I am better now! And I am really, really, really looking forward to this year! I have goals, yo!