Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bit the bullet

…and posted my weight in a ticker on my page.  I was terrified to do it, I’m still shocked I did it, and I’m so embarrassed about doing it.  But it’s there, and it’s going to keep going down.  Big thanks to Chubby Stubby Kay for the pep talk about posting my weight!

This morning I woke up and was all ready to start my crap-free eating.  I was going to have a Green Monster for brunch, so I waddled down to the kitchen where I discovered that Mom had baked biscuits to accompany my apple and pumpkin butter.  So my plans changed and I ate the two biscuits instead.

DSC08391

Oh and I popped one of these mini-muffins while I was waiting the unbearably long 20 seconds for my biscuits to heat.

DSC08390

Why do I sabotage myself like this?  I had plans, but those plans changed because something more easily accessible and better-tasting was right there at my fingertips.  Granted, if they’re not in the house at all, I can’t eat them.  I think that’s the hugest problem, definitely.  Mom had taken these muffins on her trip this weekend and brought home the leftovers, so it’s not like I bought them to just have on-hand.  The biscuits were the frozen bake-when-you-want type, and they were only in our house because of the spreads I had made…we shouldn’t have gotten them at all, that’s for sure.  Mom and I both need to be more disciplined when it comes to buying “treats” to have at home.

Then when I was thinking what I should eat for lunch (while I was making and eating my biscuity brunch, of course), I opened the fridge to find the sushi I bought last night and totally forgot about!  It’s my favoritest kind that isn’t always available, so when I saw it last night I jumped on it.

DSC08394

It’s not greasy pizza, but it’s not steamed veggies, either.

Then this:

DSC08396

My Kryptonite.

So I “failed” at what I had wanted to do/eat so far…but it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.  I need to keep reminding myself that I’m not as horrible as I make myself out to be sometimes.  However, I did a pretty good thing by GOING TO THE GYM!!  I haven’t been to the gym in over a month (I used to go 3x/week for C25K, and I can’t remember the last time I went and used the machines), so it was daunting to go back.  There is a bank of elliptical machines I like to get on because they’re under fans, but today there were people on almost all of them.  I’m weird about working out next to people – I’m so self-conscious, I gotsta have my space – so I went for a line of machines I’m not comfy with because they’re in the middle of the room and have no fans.  Aaaand it took me about 5 minutes of using one to realize they don’t have the arm pole thingies my favorite ones do…these just have the rails you hold onto, so the workout isn’t as great. 

RAMBLE BITCH MOAN RANT

Sorry.  I did 10 minutes going forward on the elliptical and 10 minutes going backward, all while watching The Colbert Report on the little TV, then I did 10 minutes on the rowing machine while I listened to the iPod.  Dude, after not doing any intense cardiovascular workouts for a month, I could really tell my endurance was waaaay down.  When I was running, I was able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical pretty easily (I say “easily,” but I get bored and listless on the machine and end up looking at the clock way too much, which is terrible for my morale), and today only 20 minutes about killed me.  Plus, it REALLY helps having fans on you…like, night and day difference, so I had that against me today.

Enough about the fans, Katherine.

When I got home, I was in such a great mood and felt good about myself and all that jazz, so I made a Green Monster!!  I put in a cup of almond milk, a couple big handfuls of spinach, a frozen banana, a scoop of protein powder, some ground flaxseed, and a bit of canned pumpkin.

DSC08398

This was pretty flippin’ awesome.

Mom and I ran some errands, so after we got home, I started working on dinner and had a snack…

DSC08402 

DSC08403

This is the Chardonnay from World Market…not bad! (See my Pants in the background?  Yeah, my dog’s nickname is “Pants.”  Her name is Madigan which I shorten to Maddy a lot, so I called her MaddyPants a bit, and now it’s just Pants.  I have issues.)

Here’s the label:

DSC08404

For dinner I made a repeat of the salad I had over the weekend, my apple/gorgonzola/almond/apple vinaigrette salad…

DSC08414

with butternut squash pasta…

DSC08412

DSC08415

I made this a few times last year and didn’t use the same recipe this time…I should’ve made sure it was the EXACT same, because last year’s version was KICKASS…this one was kinda meh.  It’s got butternut squash, cottage cheese (the recipe called for ricotta but I forgot it), parmesan cheese, thyme, garlic, and walnuts all over penne pasta and baked.  Next time I make it, it’ll be up to last year’s standards, definitely.

I made more cake pops BUT – DON’T FUSS AT ME YET - I am giving most of them away.  I was trying to practice my technique before making my commissioned batch later this week.  These didn’t have sticks in them, so they were just little cake truffles.  I added shortening to the chocolate candy coating stuff to make it smoother, but it still wasn’t how I’d like it to be.  I shudder to think how much shortening I’ll have to add to make it the pourable consistency I’m looking for. 

DSC08417

Oh yeah, I enjoyed these while I was working on the cake truffles:

DSC08408

DSC08405

I’ll be an SNL fan until the day either it dies or I die.  I don’t care how bad it’s gotten, I’m in love with the format, the history, the legacy…I hope it turns around this season, because it’s painful to see it crashing and burning so bad.  smile_embaressed

I sampled a truffle or two, and then I ran out of the white chocolate coating and melted some Reese’s baking chips to cover two leftover balls (tee hee) for Mom and me, then I topped them with Heath bits.  I definitely like the white chocolate better than this.

DSC08420

So tomorrow WILL be better, eating-wise.  I will eat more whole foods and FEWER CAKE BALLS, DAMN IT.

Oh one other thing – I’ve “joined” a challenge that sounds perfect for me.  The goal is to get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, which is supposed to work out to 2500 minutes by the end of the year (I totally trust TeeTee_71 that the minutes add up…I’m far too lazy to check).  I’ve added a ticker on the right side of the blog layout that counts down my minutes (under my scary horrible terrible weight!!).  I’ve always wanted to try a challenge but for some reason have always been reluctant to join – probably the accountability issue.  It’s difficult to put yourself out there and invite yourself to fail (there I go being a pessimist again) in front of others, but this way it’s not like I’m reporting to anyone directly, so it’s a good way to get my feet wet, in my opinion.

WOW I’m rambling a lot…and I’ve been watching late-night talk shows while I’ve been writing, so hopefully this doesn’t sound too spacy and flighty.  Is anyone else as enamored with John Krasinski as I am?  He is always so funny on talk shows, and tonight’s Conan did not disappoint – he and Conan playing improv marionettes was hilarious!

I’M BORING MYSELF AND FALLING ASLEEP AT THE KEEEEEEYS.  Goodnight, all!  smile_yawn

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mommy’s home!! And some pondering about the blog…

Mom’s been gone this weekend to Asheville with some friends, and I’m so happy she’s home!  She brought me some nifty gifties back from the Biltmore Estate, but I’ll get to those in a mo…

For brunch I tried my pumpkin butter on an Arnold’s thin…I had a small amount that didn’t warrant its own jar, so it slept in the fridge overnight and ended up in my tummy this morning.

DSC08357 
  Maddy wanted some, but sadly she got none.

Verdict: too much ginger.  I followed a recipe I found on allrecipes.com, and while I was making it I thought that 2tsp of ground ginger sounded like a lot, but I went for it anyway.  I should’ve followed my instincts.  It’s not terrible by any means, it’s just got some mad TANG to it.

Lunch was leftover pasta and broccoli…boooring.  I thought I ate half the pasta last night but obviously I had less than half…this is a lot more than I had last night.  I did share a lot with the dog, though.

DSC08358

Then I had an unpictured cake pop, of course.  Sad.  At least I’m being honest!

I did some more cleaning and organizing and had a snack in the early afternoon:

DSC08370

These are amazing!  And not toooo bad, calorie-wise.  Yeah, a plain apple would be even better.  Meh.

I also designed some labels for my apple and pumpkin butters:

DSC08362

DSC08363

These labels have ribbon threaded through them around the jar…super-cute if I do say so myself!

So back to my souvenirs…mom brought back 6 bottles of wine – 3 red and 3 white…

DSC08371

…wine glasses…

DSC08372

DSC08373

…and a few things from World Market I didn’t photograph, including a bottle of Chardonnay on sale, a couple bottles of Halloween wine (because I love that sort of tacky holiday thing), and another container of pumpkin pancake/waffle/muffin mix that I’ll be tearing into tomorrow morning!

We busted into the World Market Chardonnay at around 4pm…Mom was unwinding from her trip and we were snacking on veggies and crackers, so we decided to christen the new wine glasses.  When I went to pour our 2nd glasses, I said “you realize it’s not even 5pm, right?” and Mom smartly replied, “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!”  Touché, Mama…touché.

DSC08376
(ew, weird vertigo-inducing angle).  BTdubs, that tub contains light veggie dip…only 30 calories for 2Tbls!  Not the best-tasting stuff in the world, but the calorie density outweighs that fact.

DSC08374

Then we opened up a jar each of apple and pumpkin butters:

DSC08378

DSC08379

The pumpkin butter was better this time around, and the apple butter was – HOLYCRAPOHMYGOD – amazing.  Like, smack-your-grandma amazing.

DSC08383

And I followed up the snackfest with another one of these monsters.

The craziest thing happened shortly after this…our power went out for seemingly no reason.  It was pretty blustery today, but not knock-down-powerlines windy.  It was out for almost 2 hours, so during that time I got some work done on my cleaning and organizing.  One of the biggest things I’ve been doing is going through old magazines – I’m a magazine whore and currently subscribe to Self, Shape, Fitness, InStyle, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Weddings, Lucky, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Allure, and Real Simple.  Sometimes I don’t read them right away and they pile up, and several of those titles I keep as resources/cookbooks, so I had a whole bunch stacked up in various places.  With the fitness magazines, I tear out the workouts and keep them in a ginormous binder…and then never touch them again.  This is a huge problem I have – collecting things to use, then never using them (mostly with exercise videos/books/articles).  I digress.  I went through magazines today and tore out useful stuff and threw the rest in a big box to recycle.

After working on this task for awhile, we took the dogs outside for a short walk and to see if our neighbor’s house had power, but of course the power came back on during the 10 minutes we were gone.  When we got back, we got ready to go out for dinner…no need to guess where we went, of course.

DSC08386

Mozzarella & Tomato panini (sans fresh tomatoes…ickypoo) with French onion soup (I doubt I’ll ever go to Panera and NOT get this ever again) and a green tea.  Aaaand carby bread on the side.  Loverly carby bread.  On the way out, Mom and I got pumpkin spice lattes to go!  They’re not as good as Starbucks’, but it was definitely good!

DSC08387

I swear I’m keeping the Harbison Panera in business all by myself.  And they’re keeping the fat in my ass in business too…smile_embaressed

Dessert while we watched the English Office on OnDemand:

DSC08388

I’m really excited that I got my first commissioned order of these – I’ll be making a double batch for a bridal shower co-hosted by my mom’s friend.  I’m such a nerd…I can’t wait to work in the kitchen on these bad boys while the personal DVD player keeps me company.

While that wraps up my day, I wanted to touch on where I’d like to go with the blog…I’d LOVE to get my own domain name and maybe switch over to a hosting company, but I don’t even know where to start.  If anyone reading this has ANY tips or advice on either of these things, PLEASE let me know, even if you’re a lurker.  (Especially if you’re a lurker – I’d like to know who’s reading!)

Also, I’ve kinda started writing some about my history with weight gain and loss which I hope to post within the next week or so.  I don’t want this to be just a “here’s what I ate today” blog, and I’m hoping that will add some depth.  Also, I DESPERATELY need to use this blog for its intended purpose – accountability.  I need to exercise so badly it’s not even funny, and I need this blog to serve as a guilt trip for when I don’t (and a place to celebrate when I do!).  I know other gals do challenges and weekly reports and stuff, so I need to figure out something I can do to push myself both to exercise and to blog about it.  I’d like to report my weight loss (I’m so inspired by Chubby Stubby Kay and her blog weigh-ins!), but I’m SO weird about people knowing my number.  I’m fine with displaying pounds lost, but the number on the scale is a little more powerful for me.  Plus, it’s difficult to know the exact poundage lost because originally I was counting on scales from Weight Watchers meetings which I’m no longer attending (which deserves its own post).  The scale in the bathroom has always been different from the WW scales, so I don’t know exactly what to count from.  Aaaand I’m rambling.

Maybe one of these days I’ll nut up and start putting my actual weight on here…that would definitely make me more accountable than just saying “I ate good/bad stuff today and did/did not exercise.” 

Anyone still reading deserves a virtual cake pop.  Pick your fave.

DSC08294

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Martha Friggin’ Stewart

…ain’t got nothin’ on me.

OK yeah, she* could wipe the floor with me, both in crafty homemaker skills and prison-acquired street skillz.

But I’m proud of myself, because I successfully finished the apple butter AND whipped up a quick pumpkin butter and CANNED BOTH!!!  By “canned” of course, I mean “jarred,” but that’s not the word you use…dunno why.

Here’s a refresher…my two bags of apples looked like this yesterday morning:

DSC08324

After a million hours in the crock pot, several hours in the fridge overnight (I’m a wuss and didn’t want to leave the crock pot plugged in overnight), and a billion more crock pot hours today, here’s how it looked in the end:

DSC08348

I made it with Splenda so it’s lower in calories, and of course there are bunches of spices in there that made the house smell frickin’ amazing (sidenote – anyone watch SNL last night and see one of the new girls drop the F-bomb?  Ha!).  It didn’t yield as much as I’d hoped, and it definitely wouldn’t fill all 12 jars I bought today, so I looked up a quick pumpkin butter recipe.  I haven’t been able to find pumpkin ANYWHERE around here for over a month (save for a couple of cans of too-expensive organic pumpkin – which we bought anyway), but over the past 3 days I found it in two different places, so I had 3 of the big cans on hand, one of which I used in this recipe.

DSC08347

Here’s the pumpkin butter (it only took ~45 minutes on the stove).  I also made it with Splenda…the little smidge I tasted was nowhere near as good as the big jar of Amish pumpkin butter I got last fall, but I’ll give myself credit and admit it’s not bad!

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of the canning process!  Grrr!  I was so scared the jars were going to explode and I’d die of glass and metal shrapnel to the face alone in my kitchen.  I’m dramatic.  I’m trying to think of cute ways to label the jars and have a few ideas I’ll have to tinker with.  I’ll definitely take a picture of the final product tomorrow.

Holly Homemaker stuff aside, I ate today, too.  smile_wink  I’m trying to eat fewer processed foods and more fruits/veggies, and while I’m not doing a stellar job at it, I did eat better than I have been recently.
Breakfast was an egg-cheese-fake sausage sandwich with fruit:

DSC08340

Late morning snack was a pumpkin latte (which I’m convinced contained 2% milk even though I asked for skim…I can’t drink scalding hot coffee like others can, so I didn’t even discover the problem until I was halfway home).

DSC08341

Yeah, that’s Spongebob in the background.  Deal with it.

I had stuff to do around the house all day and was a little surprised that I wasn’t hungry for lunch, though often when I drink lattes, they fill me up for awhile.  In the late afternoon, I made a salad with homemade apple vinaigrette dressing (!!!!), Granny Smith apples, gorgonzola crumbles, and honey slivered almonds:

DSC08349

This salad was the tits, yo! (I’ve been saying that to myself way too much lately, in Cartman’s voice, of course)  It’s no Panera Fuji Apple salad, but nothing could ever compare to the real thing.  This recipe called for fresh parsley and fresh basil (both of which I thought were weird), but sadly I only had dried herbs on hand.  I think it made a difference, because it tasted a bit funny.  Don’t get me wrong though, it was still A-mazing.

The weird thing was, I wasn’t very hungry before I ate the salad.  Then I ate the salad and was hungry for fatty sugary snacky foods.  I hate a couple pieces of chocolate and a 100-calorie pack of Hostess strawberry cupcakes.  What’s wrong with me?  The salad should’ve filled me up and been enough…

DSC08353

A little while later, this just jumped into my mouth when I was looking the other direction…I had no control over it.

After more errands and tasks, dinner was simple – semi-pesto pasta (I only had a small amount left) and frozen steamed broccoli, both topped with parmesan cheese, of course.

DSC08354

I had a glass of some shiraz-y type wine on the side, but I forgot to take a picture.  This, however, I did not forget to photograph:

DSC08356

It will be bittersweet when these bad boys are all gone.  On the one hand, they’re really not doing me any favors, but on the other hand, OH MY GOD THEY’RE AMAZING.

* This is a classic case of “I’m making fun of her because I’m secretly jealous and want to be her.”  Martha is my idol.  The bedazzled shrine in the back of my closet proves it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lazy weekend

I’ll start with Thursday since that’s when I left off….

On Thursday while I was running errands, I got lunch out…any guesses where? 

DSC08281

Panera, of course!!

French onion soup, mozzarella tomato panini, whole grain baguette, and green tea. On a Saucony box on my bed.  Sigh.

I spent the afternoon cleaning the kitchen and beginning to make Bakerella’s cake pops for a friend of my mom.  Step 1 of making these cake pops is baking a cake, so of course I had a smidge with icing to make sure it was alright.  smile_wink

DSC08283

And later that night, Mom and I split my leftovers from the hibachi place the night before.   Dad ate Mom’s leftovers when he got off the nightshift early Thursday morning, but my leftovers were MORE than plenty for both of us to share for dinner.

DSC08284

Yeah, that’s half of my LEFTOVERS.  Too. Much. Food.

And I had a pumpkin pie ice cream cone for dessert:

DSC08291

The next morning I had that weird “I’m-hungry-but-I’m-not-and-nothing-sounds-good” thing going on that I’m plagued with so often.  I ended up with an Arnold’s thin/banana/honey/white chocolate peanut butter sandwich with chai + skim:

DSC08293

Then I spent an hour or two finishing the cake pops:

DSC08294

DSC08301

Here’s my sample made with leftover sprinkles…mucho amazing!

DSC08306

Lunch was some leftover homemade pizza I found in the back of the fridge.  Very unglamorous, I know, but it looked and smelled ok, and I didn’t get sick, so I guess it was ok to eat…

DSC08308

Here’s my basket of finished cake pops, all bagged and ready to go!

DSC08309

Mom and I ran errands last night and got dinner while we were out…I had my Moe’s regular: vegetarian Art Vandelay

DSC08312

Dang, dude…after looking over the past couple days through this post, I realize I haven’t had many vegetables at all…what few I’ve had were snuck in under carby fatty things.  Grooooossssss.

I FINALLY fixed my wireless last night…it’s been plaguing me for like a month…it would say it was connected to the internet, but the internet wouldn’t work.  Other wireless devices could function on the network, just not my laptop.  It was frustrating, and I’ve been tethered to the desk through my ethernet cord for the past few weeks.  But last night I finally took the time to sit down and investigate the problem, and I FIXED IT!!

I finally got to move the computer out to the great room where I hooked up the computer to the big screen TV so Mom and I could watch something on Netflix…I’ve got some audio cable kinks to work out, but it was cool to watch stuff from my computer on the TV!

While we watched the show, I made us a treat – I bought a couple of little individual hot chocolate packets at Michaels on Thursday…

DSC08321

I was expecting chocolate hot chocolate with orange flavoring, but instead it was…

DSC08319

…actually orange!  I think it was white chocolate-flavored…there wasn’t much orange to it.  It was cute though!  Mom’s such a stinker – she’s going to Asheville for the weekend for her friend’s birthday and leaving me at home.  As she was packing last night, she called for me to come into her room…I thought something was wrong until I saw this sight:

DSC08314

Lucky.  In a drawer.  He’s never done this before, so it was pretty funny for us (I know other cats do that stuff all the time, though).

I went back to reading blogs (my Google Reader had been up to 1000+, so I had some major skimming to do), and I finally crashed at like 3:30am which sucks because I had to get up early to run errands for Mom and Dad.  Luckily this morning after I ran said errands, I got a raspberry white chocolate scone and a nonfat pumpkin latte at a local coffee shop (the coffee was horrible though…I came home and tried to doctor it up without much success).

DSC08323

Today I’m trying to make slow-cooker apple butter to surprise my mom…it smells pretty good, so I’m hoping it’ll work out like it’s supposed to.  Here’s the before picture, after coring and peeling and chopping for a long-ass time.  Stay tuned for the final product!

DSC08325