Friday, February 25, 2011


I lost the 4 ounces!!! In case you don’t remember, I needed to lose 4 ounces this week to go down a point. I actually lost a whole pound, bringing my total to 87.8 pounds!!! Even though I will miss that point and those 30-100 calories every day, it will hopefully give me a little boost in the weight loss. I am moving right along. I am thinking on most Saturdays, I am now going to stop having a cheat meal and just start giving myself regular points and then adding points for activity. That way, instead of a cheat meal both Saturday & Sunday, I will only get one Sunday but I will still get to be a little more loose on Saturday. I think this will also help…if I plan a special dinner or have a party on Saturday, I will use Sunday rules but I think this will be good for momentum. Anyway, the point is, I’m decreasing my food a bit to help out the drive I’ve got going.

On Wednesday night, I went with some friends to Birmingham to see Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. Before we went to the concert, we had dinner at this fancy schmancy place nearby. It was basically a pizza place with a few other dishes…the menu was in Italian and it was dark and narrow and well, it was kind of pretentious. I was happy to go because it was the choice of the birthday girl we were with and as a birthday diva myself, I fully respect the importance of doing what you want to on your birthday. I was mostly bitter because I couldn’t read the menu and they didn’t have a salad to speak of that I could order that didn’t include strictly watercress or arugula (not a fan) so I had to order a cheeseless pizza that I didn’t know how to count. It ended up tasting fine and we were having a good time and THEN...I started to hear chatter at my table about Grace Potter. I must have been in la-la land because it took me forever for me to realize that they were trying to decide if the woman one table down from us was Grace Potter. I jerked my head around, saw her, turned back around and screamed, “OH MY GOSH!” It was definitely Grace! I decided that I would wait for her to get done eating before I accosted her. When she was done and it looked like there was a break in conversation with her and her drummer, I went to her table and asked for a picture. She was really friendly and told me to sit down to make it look like we were having dinner, told me how fun it was to play in Birmingham and then asked if I had any requests. She gave me a hug and I got my picture (it’s below), I was pretty excited! The show was great, even though I had heinous shoe issues because it was a standing room only venue. It was a fun night! Thanks to Nish for the ticket and the ride up!!!

This weekend I don’t have too much planned (other than my usual, I am trying golf again though, I’ll let you know how it goes) so I will skip right to my Sunday night plans. I don’t know if you know this but the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are on this Sunday night. Jordan and I are going over to my friend David’s house to watch and we are VERY EXCITED! As you may remember, Jordan and I have seen all the movies in the major categories (and a couple in the minor ones) so we love to make picks and celebrate as if we are members of the Academy. I wouldn’t be surprised if I give an impromptu Oscar acceptance speech at some point in the night during a commercial. I thought that I would share some picks & faves with you so we can compare how I did next week. In fact, David is requesting we all make picks and then there will be a prize with the one who has the most correct! First, I want to give you pictures of MY TOP 5 FAVORITE movies in order.

Out of all the nominees, I think those are my favorites in order. It was tough to list. The nominations for best picture are: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit & Winter’s Bone. It was hard not to put movies like The King’s Speech and True Grit on my top 5 because they are also great. I also thought about switching The Social Network and 127 Hours because I LOVED 127 Hours, thought it was great but The Social Network edged ahead because I could go the rest of my life and never watch James Franco acting out the scene where he cuts his arm off.

As I stated, those are my personal faves (as in I’d watch them over and over), not the ones I think have the best chance of winning. I also made a list of my favorites that I thought were the whole package of artistic merit, creativity and overall acting. I won’t list all of those but note that I chose Inception first on that list too, followed by The King’s Speech and Black Swan. There is a definite difference between movies that I would want to buy and movies that I think should win Oscars because of how well they were made. I think that the King’s Speech will win for best picture. It’s the clear favorite…however, if there were going to be a surprise, I think The Social Network would win…I thought that The Social Network was great and the writing was stellar but I don’t think it deserves to win…but who knows? It may be the sleeper. I doubt it though.

For Leading Actress, I think Natalie Portman should win JUST BARELY ahead of Annette Bening. Both were amazing in different ways but I felt Natalie Portman totally transformed herself. I also think that Natalie Portman will win the Oscar JUST BARELY ahead of Annette Bening…I may be wrong about this one but I think Natalie Portman will squeak it out. I should say though that Nicole Kidman should get an honorable mention in this category. She was fantastic. Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence just weren’t up to par in comparison to those 3 women.

For Best Actor, I honestly would be satisfied if ANY of them won. The nominees are James Franco, Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, Jesse Eisenberg and Jeff Bridges. They were all awesome but I chose James Franco as my favorite. Anyone that can carry a movie completely by themselves and make it good and enthralling deserves an award. I chose Javier Bardem and Colin Firth in sort of a tie for second. They were all SO, SO GOOD. I think Colin Firth will win though. It’s his time, he could have easily won last year for A Single Man and he was great in The King’s Speech so, that’s my prediction.

My vote for Supporting Actress is Melissa Leo and I MOSTLY think she’ll win but when I made my official ballot, I chose Hailee Steinfeld. I did this strategically because even though Melissa Leo completely deserve the award, she put a bad taste in the mouths of many fans because she did a little self-promoting and maybe, just maybe they want her to eat a piece of humble pie? She’ll probably win but in case she doesn’t, I’m picking Hailee Steinfeld so I can gain a little ground. She was awesome in True Grit, she’s young, people seem to like her. We will see.

My vote for Supporting Actor is absolutely Christian Bale. I think he will win too. He 100% deserves it…Cute as Mark Ruffalo is, the only person who came anywhere close to being in the same caliber as Christian Bale in The Fighter was Geoffrey Rush.

I won’t bore you with other picks but I think The King’s Speech will be the darling of the Oscars for the most part but there will be a couple surprises in there too. I bet you are SO happy that the Oscar talk will be over (after I do a recap next week) soon! Don’t worry though, it won’t be long before I’m talking too much about American Idol because BOY do I already have opinions on that.

Have a wonderful weekend!


“You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.” Eames-Inception

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yes, I Ate 2 Burgers, What Of It?

I have been a busy bee the past few days. Not only have I been busy at work, I had a very full weekend. I posted pictures below of my visit with my friend Rosemary (which was AMAZING), a couple pictures from the heart walk that Mom and I did (I got my picture made with Big Al), a picture of Jordan and I at his mom’s surprise 50th birthday party, and a picture of me with a golf club. Dad, David and I went out to the driving range Sunday afternoon and I did OK. I have a problem keeping my head down and eye on the ball. I had a really good time though and definitely want to go back this weekend. I am SO SORE on the right side of my body. I could definitely feel it working muscles I never get to. I had a great weekend hanging out with good friends and enjoying yummy food. Here are some pics…

It was a full weekend but I really enjoyed it. Last night was recipe night…

I made Blue Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers. The recipe was ACTUALLY Feta Stuffed Chicken Burgers but they didn’t have ground chicken at the store and I plan on making Blue Cheese dressing soon so I changed it all up. The burgers were delicious. All you do is mix up the ground turkey, blue cheese, oregano & garlic powder and cook it a few minutes on each side in a skillet (you can also grill or broil them). I stuck mine in the oven a few minutes after I browned them on both sides to make sure they got done all the way through. I put them on a reduced calorie wheat bun and added lettuce and sliced black olives to the top of the burger. They were quite tasty and pretty low in calories (which is why I had 2). If you aren’t big on blue cheese, I would definitely go with Feta since it’s less potent. Turkey has a tendency to dry out but I left these alone in the skillet and they stayed nice and moist.

I watched “How to Train Your Dragon” last night which is nominated for Best Animated Film at the Oscars. It was pretty great. It made me cry of course which I think is a prerequisite to children’s movies now…the viewer must be weeping by the end. It was a cute movie. It got me even more excited about the upcoming Oscars. I will definitely be sharing some picks on Friday.

I am going to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals tomorrow in Birmingham. This is my second time to see her and I’m excited! I’m also happy to spend some time with Nish & Jordan…I haven’t seen Nish in FOREVER. Should be a good time!

Enjoy the rest of your week! Bye!

“And he said
He said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
Cause I don't wanna fight this war
It's amazing to see me reading through this scene
Of love and fear and apologies
He said it's crazy
How love stays with me
You know it hurts me
That I didn't figure it out before
And now it's too late for a soliloquy
It's way too late for dignity
It's time for apologies.” Apologies-Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Friday, February 18, 2011

No More Recipe Rut!

It feels great outside again today so I’m excited to experience some outdoors this weekend! I have a friend from graduate school coming into town tonight. I’m so excited to see her! We are going to have dinner and then I guess I will show her around town. Rosemary and I made fast friends at school and I haven’t seen her in a year I guess so it should be fun! Saturday morning, me, my mom, and some others are going to be participating in the Tuscaloosa Heart Walk for the American Heart Association. I couldn’t donate much in terms of money but I’m happy to walk in support of people with heart disease and also for research. I’ve known people with personal experiences and know how important the American Heart Association is for the cause. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to get some exercise! I will also get to see Jordan this weekend so that’s exciting and I still plan on going to the driving range this Sunday to try my hand at golf. There should be a lot for me to report next week!

I weighed this morning and I was down 1.2 bringing my total to 86.8! I’m moving right along which is great! I was hoping to lose about 4 ounces more so I could go down a point but that’s OK…that means I really only need to lose 4 ounces this week…surely I can manage that. *Fingers crossed. Honestly, I’m very satisfied with the way things are going. I’ve got momentum and as long as I keep working hard and losing, that’s all that I really care about. I am SO CLOSE to a weight that I’ve been dreaming about for YEARS…I can’t remember the last time I weighed under this amount and so even though I sound like I’m complaining sometimes, I’m not, I’m just itching because that weight is right at my fingertips.

So, I was afraid that I was going to have to come up with something besides doing a recipe every week. I have sort of exhausted the recipes that I like from the Weight Watchers cookbooks I have from the old points system. I like doing the recipe but I can’t just make any recipe, I have to have the points available and it takes a lot of work and math to figure out the points for recipes even if they are low fat…basically…I’m lazy and it’s just easier to have the points in front of me. I did a little research and found this amazing website. For some reason, it never works when I try to insert a link but so I included a picture for

This woman named Gina is a genius! She has probably hundreds of amazing recipes for any occasion and she not only includes the nutrition facts, but she also includes the points for both the old and new Weight Watchers programs! I definitely recommend looking to her site for recipes. She puts my pictures and info about recipes to shame! Her blog is something to strive for in the future. You will definitely be seeing some of her recipes soon…I’ve got one from a Weight Watchers cookbook for next week but after that, I think I will make some of hers. I guess my weekly recipes will continue for the time being since I found such a wonderful resource!

I took a break from Oscar movies this week (even though I’ve seen all the major ones, there are still a few here and there I could watch) and caught up on some TV and watched the movie Red. I think Helen Mirren is a goddess and I adore Mary Louise Parker so I watched it. It has Bruce Willis in it and aside from all of the relentless gun fighting and the occasional cheesy moment, it was a pretty cute movie.

Have a nice weekend everyone!


“Don’t jump the train, just because it’s not moving,
doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong track.” Try-Natasha Bedingfield

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peace Out Winter!

It feels like SPRING IN ALABAMA! Look, I held off as long as could complaining about the cold because I personally loathe the sweltering summers in Alabama but I was getting fed up with the frigid temperatures. Well, the weather seems to be warming up a bit but not too warm…basically it’s perfect. Jordan and I traveled to Atlanta on Saturday (after we stopped at Cheesecake Factory for a cheat lunch that I won’t describe in detail because I’m already hungry and it’s too explicit for a diet blog) to finish our Oscar quest which I will discuss more later. So, on Sunday, when I drove back from Jordan’s in Birmingham, I took FULL advantage of the amazing weather. I sat on my patio and finished a book and then I went to my parents and I was having my dad and brother help me with my golf swing. Aside from mini-golf, I’ve never played golf and in my quest to try new forms of exercise, I’ve been wanting to learn golf. I wasn’t too bad and I could tell it really works out your hips and stomach…something I desperately need. We are going to go to the driving range this Sunday…who knows? Maybe I will like it and get decent enough to even play a round of golf…I’m going to take baby steps though. I’ll have to let you know how the driving range goes. After that, my brother wanted to throw the football and so we did that for awhile and then he goes, “let me throw it to you this time and you run, and I’ll tackle you.” I said, “um, no.” He said, “I promise I won’t lower my shoulder, it won’t hurt.” I hesitated but I went ahead and IT WAS SO FUN. It didn’t hurt, I basically just flew through the air and landed on the grass…it was GREAT exercise…I never could tackle him…he just stood there. Anyway, after about the tenth time I started to feel…broken. I told him I needed to go in. First of all, I’m allergic to grass so I was breaking out in a rash and then as the night progressed, my hip started to feel like someone took an ax to it and my back didn’t feel great either. I still haven’t fully recovered…not my brightest moment…fun though. The other parts of the weekend involved rest and TV watching. I still haven’t seen ALL of the Grammy’s but I saw enough to be SUPER excited for the success of Lady Antebellum! Love them.

Last night was recipe night…

I made a Corn and Bacon Chowder. I’m not gonna lie…this may be gross…but to me this looks like regurgitated prison food but it definitely didn’t taste that way. It was another simple dish…you cut up some turkey bacon and crisp it in a skillet, remove the bacon, sauté onions (and bell peppers if you are into that), add potatoes and chicken stock, bring it to a boil until the potatoes are soft (not until you’ve cooked every ounce of water out of it like I did), add in some corn and let it cook a little more. Then you take about half of the soup out of the pan and puree or blend it and add it back in with a little bit of light cream…cook some more and there you go. You put it all in a bowl and top with your bacon pieces. It had great flavor with the onions and bacon and the potatoes made it a filling dish.

I also learned a handy tip. A lot of times when I cook, I will need like 1 tablespoon of some random ingredient that I don’t normally use. A lot of times, these ingredients go to waste even though I try really hard to find uses for them. I needed 1/8th of a cup of light cream for the chowder…but in my cookbook it gave me a tip. You put the remaining cream in an ice cube tray, freeze it and then put them in a baggie or container and you have little 1 to 2 tablespoon cubes of cream in case you need it for soup or something in the future. I thought it was a cool suggestion…so I did it…I HATE wasting food.

Now, to the subject of movies…

The first movie we saw was Another Year. This movie is nominated for screenplay and that’s it I think. It’s a British film about a happy couple who has a 30 year old unmarried son and some very unhealthy (mentally and physically) friends…there was one in particular that the movie sort of centered around. The movie is divided into seasons, so there are four long scenes for each season. The movie has a couple of pleasant memories but overall, I thought it was long, boring, and pointless. There were a ton of characters in this movie that were NEVER developed. There was no conclusion that eases the mind of the viewer which I might be OK with if there had been a plot. If you are going to leave questions, that’s fine but if there are GAPING holes in the storyline and a movie doesn’t have the centuries old basic plot scheme, it can turn into a disaster. I just don’t understand…maybe it was above my head but overall, I didn’t enjoy it.

Biutiful was a COMPLETELY different cinematic experience. This is another movie that I thought was great but I probably won’t watch it again. Javier Bardem gave an amazing performance. I don’t think it’s possible to give a brief synopsis of this movie so I won’t try. This movie was EXTREMELY complex. The movie made me feel physically ill several times. Javier Bardem’s character is very sick and he and his children are also poor so there are a lot of gross scenes involving those aspects. His jobs in the movie and the parenting skills of his wife are also highly disturbing. Like I said, there is layer upon layer in this movie and it’s highly thought provoking and sad. I will warn you that there are subtitles in the film though. I am not a huge fan of reading subtitles because I get easily distracted but the movie was so good that I was able to get lost in it and reading the words didn’t bother me. I would definitely recommend watching it at least once.

We are all done with the major categories and we still have almost two weeks before the Oscars come on so that’s REALLY ahead of the game. There are some minor movies that I may watch leisurely on Netflix but we got to all the major ones! I will make sure to share my predictions closer to the show.

I can’t wait for the Oscars now! It takes a lot of money and energy to watch all of them but it really is worth it in the end…it makes the show MUCH more enjoyable when you’ve seen the movies and pick favorites. This is the third year we’ve done it and each year there has been amazing movies…I think my favorite year was 2009 because EVERY movie we saw was great. The past two years were awesome but there were at least one or two in some categories that were undeserving (in my opinion) and that just wasn’t the case in 2009 (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Milk,” “The Reader,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” I could go on). Anyway, I have a feeling you will all be glad when the Oscars are over.

I posted two more pictures below…the first is the picture Jordan and I took after our triumphant Oscar finish. The second is a picture I took of the adorable Valentine’s Day napkins my mom had at her house. I cropped my face out of it…lol…the lighting and long weekend were not kind to my face in that picture.

Have a great week!

Enjoy the weather if it’s great where you are!


“Today is where your book begins,
The rest is still unwritten.” Unwritten-Natasha Bedingfield (I’ve probably used this song before but I don’t care.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Moving Right Along Y'all!

I finally made it to 85 pounds this morning! I changed my picture but I’m not 100% satisfied with so it may change in the future. I actually lost 1.4 bringing my total to 85.6! I was surprised but not complaining in ANY way! I hope this means I have momentum! I need to lose a little over 2 more pounds and I will go down a point which should speed the process along. I worked really hard this week and it paid off. It has been a CRAZY, busy day so I am ready for the weekend. Jordan and I are heading to Atlanta tomorrow to have a friendly celebration of Valentine’s Day and to watch our remaining two movies! We are coming back to Birmingham tomorrow night and I will spend the night up there. Once we see these two movies, that’s it! We will be done with all of the major categories. I have been watching some here and there that are nominated for other, less significant categories as well. I watched Alice in Wonderland this week and it was pretty good…very colorful. I plan on resting some on Sunday and getting ready to start another week.

I don’t have much to report other than the weight loss, so I wanted to share three new snacks that I’ve been enjoying…

Sometimes, I get the WORST craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I don’t know where it comes from but it’s very overwhelming and I guess I could have one but peanut butter is really high in fat and you have to get out the bread, measure the peanut butter and jelly, you don’t get that much and it’s sort of a hassle. Also, I don't get the cravings all the time so buying a whole jar of peanut butter doesn't make sense for one tiny sandwich. Well, I was walking down the freezer isle and I noticed the Uncrustables. I had never had these before but took a look at the nutrition facts and it wasn’t terrible…they are roughly 200 calories and they are 4 points. I get the kind with whole wheat bread. I LOVE these things…all I have to do is take them out of the freezer, let them thaw awhile and eat them…YUMMY!

I am a Wheat Thin addict. In fact, putting a box of Wheat Thins in front of me is dangerous so I thought I would try these Wheat Thin Stix…you get seven of them for 1 point. It’s a nice little afternoon snack. I have only tried the Honey Wheat but to me they taste just like the cracker. I would definitely recommend them.

Finally, I love chips but the kinds I usually love are too high in fat and calories to eat as a light snack during the day. My mother told me about these Chip’ins and I found them on sale at Wal-Mart and you can have 9 or 10 of them for one point. They are just chips made from popcorn. I’ve had the White Cheddar and Buffalo Hot Wing and both of them are delicious. I especially love the hot wing because it’s spicy and it makes you feel like you are getting more to eat. I bought the Jalapeno Ranch but I haven’t tried it yet.

That’s all I had today…I am going to be good this weekend (except for my allotted cheat times) and work really hard next week…

Keep on pushing!

I wish the Alabama Gymnastics team luck tonight!

Roll Tide!

Bye everyone!

“Jumpstart my kaleidoscope heart, love to watch the colors fade…” Uncharted-Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All Grown Up!

Greetings Y’all. I hope your Tuesday (otherwise known as Monday’s obnoxious twin) is treating you well. Boy did I take advantage of the words “cheat meal,” this weekend. I went over to a friend’s house who had made buffalo chicken dip with Fritos and pizza. If I have access to an unlimited amount of pizza and/or Fritos (two huge weaknesses for me), it always gets ugly. Saturday night was living proof to anyone who ever tells me to just have a bite of something, that I simply can’t do that. Technically, I did nothing wrong because that was my cheat meal but because of my gluttony I felt mental and physical anguish for the 24 following hours after the incident. Hopefully, it will not cause any lasting damage…I will be lucky to get rid of that pesky .8 pounds that I need for the 85 I’ve been working so hard for but that’s what I get though. Oh well, the food I ate this weekend was worth it because I had fun with family and friends. I would talk about the super bowl if I cared anything about it but I really don’t, I saw all the commercials and some were good, I thought every musical performance had some serious issues technically and I enjoyed the tailgate themed meal my mom prepared…that’s pretty much the only thoughts I have about it. The only thing it does for me is signify that football season is officially over and I don’t get to see college ball for a long time…which is devastating.

I made a recipe last night that was so good, it was worthy of TWO pictures.

I made a pork roast last night and for some reason, making something like a roast made me feel really grown up. I get really intimidated by 3 things in cooking. The first is making anything that requires soft or hard peaks. I had a bad experience with a soft peak one time when making an angel food cake for my Dad…these terms freak me out and I think it will be awhile before I try again. The second is cooking rice. I have NEVER, and I repeat NEVER made a pot of rice that didn’t make me pull out the jaws of life to clean the pan because the rice has nestled deep into the fibers of the pan, never to come off again. I don’t know why, but I have a total complex and I cannot cook rice without ruining it. I need to invest in a rice cooker but I fear I would mess that up too. The third fear is making dry meat. My mother has a wonderful ability to always serve moist chicken, steak, pork, anything and sometimes, when I make things…they turn out dry. It is for this reason that I have stayed away from things like roasts and chicken breasts because I am scared I will dry them out but last night, I put myself out there, got a Weight Watchers recipe and attacked a pork roast head on.

It’s pretty simple, you preheat the oven to 400, take an extra lean pork roast, rub it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then rub a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme and really whatever herbs you like (I didn’t have thyme but used Parsley and a tad of chili powder to give it some kick) all over it and pop it in a spray coated roasting pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. It came out perfect! It was juicy and DELICIOUS. I served it with green beans and a potato side dish from Stauffer’s. I will warn you about the Stauffer’s dish. You may already know this but I was dumb and didn’t. I was looking in the frozen isle and noticed the Stauffer’s cheddar potato bacon bake thing and even though those things are extremely high in fat, I took a glance at it because I thought it may go well with my roast and not be that bad. The package is LITERALLY no bigger than the tiniest lean cuisine so I assumed it was one serving. There was approximately 270 calories and 14 grams of fat for a total of 6 points. That wasn’t terrible so I decided to have it with the roast last night. Thank goodness I looked at the nutrition facts again because it turns out, it was 2 servings. That is ridiculous…it’s less than I’d say half a cup per serving…if you eat the whole thing it was about 540 calories and over 30 grams of fat. I don’t understand why companies do this, why they package something that clearly looks like a single serving but it has more than one. Anyway, I was able to eat the whole thing because the pork was so lean and the green beans aren’t bad but I couldn’t do my normal snack and dessert. I didn’t let it deter me from feeling all adult-sophisticated-like because I had successfully made a roast…something I could serve to a kid…if there were one around…my mom will be proud! Maybe I can make it for them one time.

Before I go, I wanted to briefly discuss the movie Animal Kingdom (pictured above). This isn’t a best picture nominee but Jacki Weaver is a nominee for Best Supporting Actress. This is an Australian movie (which is code for, I didn’t understand a dang word they said) about a boy who has to go live with his grandmother and four bank-robbing uncles because his mother dies and they get him roped into all kinds of trouble turning him kind of crazy in the end. The movie was…weird. It was violent and in my opinion, it wasn’t good enough to justify the violence. What I mean is, if I have to see folks getting shot, I’d like the movie to be awesome (The Departed, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas etc)…I’m kind of over watching movies (which are so realistic now) where people get shot in the face. I can see why Jacki Weaver is nominated though…she did a great job playing a creepy grandmother, obsessed (in a gross way at times) with her children.

Only two more movies left to see…Jordan and I are having a hard time finding them but we are bound and determined to see them by the end of this weekend.

I am sort of geeking out about making lists and predictions for the Oscars…sad I know.

Oh well, have a nice week!

Until Friday!


“I feel lovely
Just the way that I am
Yes I feel lovely
The way that I am.” Lovely-Sara Haze

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thanks, But No Thanks!

Longest. Week. Ever. I don’t know why but this week has gone by VERY slowly…maybe I’m still in holiday mode…I know it’s been a month already but it still feels like I should be working 4 day weeks. Anyway, I have much less to digest in this blog as the one on Tuesday. First, I weighed this morning and I was down another pound bringing my total weight loss to 84.2 pounds! I will be working hard from now until next Friday to try and get that last .8 down so I can change my picture and officially say I’ve lost 85 pounds! Wish me luck! I am very satisfied with the 1 pound loss, it’s much better than the half a pound from last week. I think I decided I will change around my cheat plan on Saturdays on a case by case basis. If I have plans on Saturday that involve a pre-planned dinner, then I will probably still have one cheat meal. If I don’t have major plans (which I do for the next 3 weeks), then I think I will take away my Saturday cheat meal on those days…that won’t be for a few weeks though so I will stick with what I’m doing. A pound a week will be fine with me…though I know that’s not something I can count on every week.

I have one pet peeve that I wanted to discuss before I go over the two Oscar movies that I’ve seen this week. Lately, it seems that everywhere I go that people are going to be eating and/or drinking things that aren’t on my diet, they give me a really hard time. This happens at work, around friends and sometimes around family. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for people who you consider friends or family, to not support you in your weight loss. Most of the time, the abuse comes from a place that isn’t evil. People will offer you drinks, food that they’ve prepared, and they will want you to go out to eat with them for lunch or dinner. These are all perfectly innocent actions that I do not take offense to. However, when I politely say, “no, thank you,” that should be the end of the conversation. I won’t even get offended if I’m offered a second time…it’s the third, fourth and fifth times that I start to get angry. Everyone that knows me in pretty much any capacity, knows that I’m on a diet. Yes, there are times when I cheat or make exceptions but in each case, it is something that I have meticulously planned out, I don’t just decide one Tuesday night that I will cheat once and go to Taco Casa…NO…I cheat 1 meal Saturday and 1 meal Sunday…most of the time, these are carefully chosen meals that I have decided WAY ahead of time…and I don’t stray from that. People don’t just politely offer me things, they are rude. They get belligerent. I have had people call me a party pooper, rude and other worse things. People throw their hands in frustration at me, yell at me and say that they don’t understand. It’s funny, because a big percentage of the people doing this are the ones who are inclined to place judgment on what bigger people eat. So, which is it? Do you want me to eat everything in sight or do you want me to be thinner? You can’t have it both ways. In other cases, people honestly don’t think they are doing anything wrong so to those of you who have potential of not being a jerk, remember: one, “no thank you,” should be a sufficient answer. The people on the other end are having a hard enough time resisting temptation without people shoving delicious food and drink down their throat. Ok…that’s all on that.

I watched two movies this week…

Winter’s Bone is a movie about mountain people…like…the scary kind from Deliverance. I think that it’s set in the mountain area near Arkansas and Kentucky…somewhere in the Ozark region. The people in the movie are really creepy. The main character is not creepy but she has a lot on her plate. She is a 17 year old girl who is trying to find her father, a drug maker and addict, who is on the run and if he doesn’t show up for his court date, the girl, her little brother and sister and her mentally ill mother will lose their house. Despite the short run time of the movie, it still seemed really long. I think the director was shooting for more of an artistic film than an entertaining one. There were lots of slow parts with shots of scenery. This is not to say the movie was terrible. There were a couple of sad and disturbing parts which made it at least interesting. Jennifer Lawrence & John Hawkes were both nominated for acting awards and I thought they did fine jobs. Honestly though, I think I would have replaced John Hawkes with Aaron Eckhart from Rabbit Hole and I would have switched Winter’s Bone for Rabbit Hole for best movie too. That’s just my opinion. The movie was a good little independent film (I didn’t mean that in the condescending way that it sounded) but in its efforts to be a gritty, powerful story…it fell a bit short.

The other movie I watched was The Social Network. I loved this movie. I think this is the Oscar nominated movie that is for “the masses.” It’s funny, the writing is amazing but I’m not surprised by that…Aaron Sorkin (also wrote the West Wing) is a genius. I have total envy of him as a writer. Jesse Eisenberg really seemed to transform into Mark Zuckerberg…or the fictional charcter Mark Zuckerberg…inspired by Mark Zuckerberg. The movie is funny and an interesting look into the world of social networking. I don’t think the movie as a whole deserves best picture but I wouldn’t be mad if it won. I think my ONLY complaint if it won would be that I think there should be a timeless element to Oscar movies. If they are on a high caliber, we should expect impactful movies that someone 50 years from now would watch to learn something…the information I learned in The Social Network was sort of static, meaning because it doesn’t claim to be 100% true, I can’t rely on it as a source for who Mark Zuckerberg is and how the Facebook began…basically…I would watch it again but it made no impact on my life. All that seems sort of silly considering that there are millions of starving children in the world and multiple countries that are in war zones but movies provide an escape…sometimes all they are is an escape…but sometimes…they are more than that. Oscar movies should allow you to escape for two hours and then after that, they should have provoked you to delve further into the information they’ve given you (Inception, The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan, The Fighter, 127 Hours). It is also safe to say that these opinions vary depending on the person…so then it all becomes irrelevant because to some, The Social Network may have been a turning point in their life. Lol. I’m TOTALLY rambling…if you don’t get my point by now, I’ve done a poor job of explaining it.

I am going to watch Animal Kingdom tonight and then there are only two left. Jordan and I are planning to see those other two next by the end of next weekend by whatever means necessary and once we’ve seen them all, I will make a list of predictions and a list of who I think should win…they are usually different.

I have lots of cleaning and errands to do tomorrow including buying a vacuum, taking my dog to the vet and of course, shopping for groceries. I am going to a friend’s house for dinner tomorrow night and then Sunday, after I run, I plan on catching up on TV all day. Because of the movie watching, I am terribly behind on TV…I am excited to get the chance to rest one day…that will be nice.

Have a nice weekend!


“I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you're down and out
When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I'll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.” Bridge Over Troubled Water-Paul Simon

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Movies And More Movies

We have A LOT to go over so I will jump right in. I hope you all had a nice weekend. I had a very busy but productive and pleasant weekend. I started out the weekend going to a coupon party at Whitney’s house. These are all the rage right now…people will come to your house and work and teach you how to save a TON of money using coupons. It sounds like a lot of work and I am not usually a fan of being that annoying person in line at the grocery store but I learned a lot of information and I’m definitely going to start taking advantage of some of the deals…I just don’t know how much I will get into it. After that, I spent the afternoon and night Saturday seeing Oscar movies with Jordan. I spent the night in Birmingham and went to Chattanooga to see my family for lunch…then we saw another movie…then I drove back to Tuscaloosa and had dinner with my folks. I was exhausted after all that but we made a boatload of progress on our Oscar journey.

Before I go over the movies I saw, I wanted to show a couple of “recipes.”

I say “recipes” because these are sort of thrown together recipes that I created based on the ideas of others and also my need to always have snack and/or junk food. The first picture is of what I call a Chicken Tostada. All you do is pop two small corn tortillas (ones that are soft that haven’t been pre-fried or anything) in the oven or toaster oven until they start to puff and brown a little bit, take them out and top them with the pre-made chicken fajita strips (that you’ve heated up), lettuce, salsa and fat free cheese. These are way more filling than you think and you get two of them for 5 points. If you wanted to add something else, you could add beans or onions or anything you want. I LOVE this new discovery…I’ve had them several times.

The second two pictures are different angles of the “Reduced Fat Franks In A Blanket” that I made. I’ve heard of lower fat versions of Pigs in a Blanket and I’ve had a couple that I liked so I decided to whip up some of my own. It was very simple to put together. All I did was buy the Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls that come in a can and a pack of the 97% Fat Free Hebrew National Franks. All you do is take the franks (8) and cut each of them into four equal pieces, then take out all of the rolls and cut each of them into equal fourths and wrap the franks in the rolls. After you got them looking all like your typical Pigs in a Blanket, you pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes and they are all done. You can have several of them for not very many points and dunk them in mustard. They would be great if you were hosting a party and you were trying to save on the calories.

I wanted to give you a tiny synopsis on the movies we saw…I will post a picture from the movie and then a silly picture that Jordan and I took to try and represent each movie. I think we were delirious but we had fun!

The first one we saw was 127 Hours. The picture we took is Jordan being concerned that my arm is going to have to be cut off and me getting sick thinking about it. If you haven’t heard, this is the movie with James Franco about the man who was trapped alone in the desert with his hand pinned under a rock for over five days. The movie chronicles what he went through during that time and how he cut his arm off to release himself from the rock and then climb out to safety. I didn’t have high expectations for this movie for some reason. I was worried it would be gratuitous but it wasn’t at all. I actually thought the movie was great. I had a hard time watching some portions of it…it was especially tough when he finally cuts the arm off…everyone in the theatre was totally squirming in their seats. I thought James Franco did an amazing job!

The next movie was Blue Valentine. As you can see, Jordan and I were trying to make a heart with our hands and a sad face…making a blue valentine…get it? Anyway, this is probably one of my bottom two that I’ve seen so far. The movie is about a family struggling to stay together…the premise was pretty simple…it was how the couple met, and also the trials they are facing in the present. The first hour of it was pretty great…there were a couple of cute, nice and tear-jerking moments but then the movie just sort of tapered off. It was way too long in my opinion because it didn’t keep my attention and it didn’t really make sense in a couple of places (specifically the end). I thought both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling did a fine job but the movie as a whole just didn’t really come together for me.

The last one we saw Saturday night was The Fighter (I think the picture is self-explanatory). This movie is based on the true story of two boxing brothers, one whose time has passed and is struggling with drug addiction and the other is younger but going through a rough patch and he is dealing with his controlling family on one end and controlling girlfriend on the other. I despise boxing but there are some movies about boxing that are really good despite my disinterest in the sport and The Fighter is DEFINITELY one of those exceptions. This was a great movie. Christian Bale gave one of THE best performances I’ve seen so far this year, Mark Wahlberg is hot, Melissa Leo does an amazing transformation and Amy Adams (who I normally think is overrated and gets on my nerves) also does a great job. The movie was directed really well and the story seemed really genuine.

Sunday, we saw the movie Rabbit Hole. The only picture Jordan and I could think to take was one that expressed true devastation. This movie is set 8 months after a couple has lost their 4 year old son after he was run over by a 16 year old boy that just “wished he had gone down another street that day.” This movie was a fantastic portrayal of the many levels and sides of grief that people experience. It doesn’t seem to take sides and it doesn’t provide a solid answer to those who may be struggling with a similar situation…because there isn’t one. Having said all of that, I will probably NEVER watch it again. The movie made me want to lay down in bed and experience a four hour heaving crying session. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart both gave powerful performances and if there weren’t such awesome people also nominated for Best Actor, I would say that Aaron Eckhart got snubbed. My only complaint about Nicole Kidman was that all of her attempts in plastic surgery to make her look younger, have made her look a bit like a clown and it was hard to get past at first…also…I noticed her Australian accent shining through several times…other than that, I thought she was great. It was kind of a bad one to end on though…I’d seen four movies in one weekend, hadn’t had much sleep, watched one of the most depressing movies I’ve seen and then I had to drive three hours back to Alabama. It was rough. I had Jordan though so that made it fun.

Friday I will talk about Winter’s Bone and The Social Network…those are the goals of this week. Luckily, that was our first and only ‘4 movies in one weekend rush’ this season…we are WAY ahead of the game. By tomorrow night, I will have seen ALL of the best picture nominations and all but 3 of the movies in other major categories. We have lots of time, we are just having trouble finding Biutiful and Another Year anywhere somewhat close…if you all hear of anything, let me know.

That is all for now…back on Friday!


“I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.” The Story Of Us-Taylor Swift