Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Give Artichokes A Chance!

As I sit here typing, I can smell onion rings. Someone has brought fried onion rings into my personal space and I have to say, I don’t appreciate it. I’m starving right now. It’s weird because I have basically the same routine every day. I especially stick to the same process during the work week. I have the same thing for breakfast and I have lunch at the same time every day. Some days I’m perfectly fine with my routine but some days, I feel like I could gnaw my arm off. Today is one of those days.

This weekend was nice and eventful as usual. I did a lot of cleaning, eating food and hanging out with my family and friends. Luckily, I was able to squeeze in a lot of couch/bed/chill time on Sunday so that was nice. Since Friday, I also made a recipe to discuss…

This yummy dish was Skinny Artichoke Dip. I served it up with the Special K Cracker Chips that I told you about awhile back. You know, artichokes are a funny looking vegetable that most people assume that they don’t like. I have to say…I would never even lay eyes on an artichoke until the hot, cheesy artichoke dips started popping up in restaurants. I figured if something was smothered in different cheeses and mayo and then baked, it couldn’t be bad. This is also how I started eating spinach. Needless to say, my tolerance for artichokes has grown significantly. I wouldn’t say I’m at a place where I would eat them alone but I’ve had them in dips, pasta and on pizza and they add a nice, interesting flavor. Having said all of that, I thought I would try making a low fat version of a hot artichoke dip. This dip couldn’t really be much easier. All you do is mix chopped artichokes and onions with light mayo, non-fat greek yogurt and salt and pepper. You put it in an oven safe dish, top with bread crumbs, spray the top with olive oil non-stick spray and then bake for about 20 minutes. The dip had GREAT flavor but would have been a bit more creamy with all of the fat it normally has mixed in. This dip would be a nice, low-fat alternative for a party…I would definitely recommend it.

I mentioned having the same things every day above and I have to admit, there are many things that I go back to over and over again…bagels, Moe’s, hash browns (the shredded kind are yummy and low in calories if you cook them in a skillet with cooking spray), chicken noodle soup and many other things. I have a lot of “go to” foods because I search for things low in calories that I like and when I find that rare item that tastes good and is good for you, I tend to eat a lot of it. On the other hand though, I go through phases with all of these foods and once I get burned out, I begin the hunt for new foods. There are new, low fat snacks and pre-made meals coming out every day so it’s REALLY important if you are dieting to have variety. When I was on the Atkins diet awhile back, I ate so much turkey and pepper jack cheese that I thought I would vomit in someone’s face if I ever had to have it again. I also went through the same thing with orange Jello and light whipped cream. I know that anyone out there who has ever dieted knows exactly what I mean. So, don’t be afraid to branch out. Take a Saturday morning when you don’t have anywhere to be and really search the aisle’s, look at the label and find new and different things. I always try to share new discoveries so if you ever have a new snack or meal that you would like to share, please feel free to do so. One of the WORST dangers of busting a diet is getting in a rut so make sure that doesn’t happen…try new food, new veggies, new spices!!!

That public service announcement was brought to you by Heather.

Have a nice week! Bye!

“I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” Red-The Shawshank Redemption

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hello Weekend! You look FABULOUS!

Well you guys, evidently St. Patrick’s day needs to come around more often because I had the luck of the Irish on the scale this morning. When I hopped on, I was a bit nervous. I’ve been good the whole week but last weekend (especially last Thursday) I wasn’t as strict as I should’ve been. On the contrary, I think cutting out the cheat meal on Saturday has been very beneficial and also, I am still busting my butt with exercise so it’s not like I’ve been a slacker. The scale showed that I have lost 3.6 pounds this week bringing my total to 95.2 pounds which is INSANE. The second I saw the number, I adjusted my eyes a few times and then got off of it immediately in case it changed its mind. I haven’t lost that much in a week in awhile. I must have some pretty intense momentum going on. I am going to weigh on a different scale later just to compare but I will have to remember that I have clothes on and I will have had food to eat by that point. I am always waiting on the other shoe to drop which is sort of a stressful way to live life. I should be happy about the results the scale showed this morning and not think about anything else but as I usually do, I muck it up with other thoughts. I am SO close to that 100 pound goal and I am way ahead of schedule so if the weight loss does slow down in the next few weeks, that will be fine…I am going to keep on pushing! I can’t WAIT to take that 100 pound picture!

Since I don’t have much to discuss other than my unexpected success on the scale, I wanted to give a shout out to a new CD that I am totally loving right now. Adele’s 21 is amazing and right up my alley. It’s soulful and the writing is awesome…I love it…I have already quoted from it once before but I wanted to give an official promo. If you liked her first CD or you liked Chasing Pavements and you are into that sort of music…you will LOVE 21. Ok…I’m done now…lol.

This weekend is laced with the usual rush of exercise and errands. I also plan to see Jordan, have fun going out and going to the Druid City Arts Festival here in town with my mom. I’m not exactly sure what all the arts festival involves because I haven’t been before but I imagine art will be included…just a guess. Anyway, it’s just something different to do and see.

I will be back with more interesting words next week…or at least I hope so…I have been slacking on the blog a little again. I am feeling pretty confident these days and I am definitely more of an emotional writer. So, in terms of weight loss, it’s been difficult for me to work up unique and worthy things to say. I’ve actually had the hankering to write a lot lately…about things other than losing weight. All I know to do is offer words of encouragement. I know that there are people out there in a rut and my only advice at this point is to never quit. Believe me, I feel like I am on the verge of a burnout at least once a week but I have a mindset now that won’t let me stop. It’s weird, I’ve always felt like the line between being on the wagon and off could be breached at any time…and really…it can but I’ve never felt further from that line. It takes awhile to get to that point though, so keep persevering!!!

I hope you all have a fun, relaxing weekend!

You earned it!


“Have I been on your mind?
You hang on every word I say, lose yourself in time
At the mention of my name, will I ever know
How it feels to hold you close
And have you tell me which ever road I chose you'll go

I don't know why I'm scared, I've been here before
Every feeling every word, I've imagined it all,
You never know if you never tried to forgive your past
And simply be mine

I dare you to let me be your, your one and only
I promise I'm worthy to hold in your arms
So come on and give me the chance

To prove that I'm the one who can
Walk that mile
Until the end starts

I know it ain't easy
Giving up your heart
I know it ain't easy
Giving up your heart

(Nobody's perfect, trust me I've earned it)
I know it ain't easy, giving up your heart
(Nobody's perfect, trust me I've earned it)
I know it ain't easy, giving up your heart.” One and Only-Adele

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meet Waylon & Willie Y'all!

That’s right, those are the baby ducks I mentioned on Friday. Ever since my family and I went to San Diego a few years ago, my dad has wanted a duck. He had the best time while we were at the zoo there watching the ducks swim and land in the pond they had. Well, the day has finally arrived and he is now the proud owner of two adorable ducklings that we’ve named Waylon & Willie (welcome to the south). They are really cute but I feel like they will be all grown before long leaving all of their business all over the back yard. My dad is working on getting them a permanent water source outside so they can be happy…right now though…they are just cute little baby ducks that are fun to play with.

Despite my being under the weather, I had a fun time on St. Patrick’s Day. I love participating in themed holidays where I get to wear festive clothing. I just hung out with friends and enjoyed pretending to be Irish for the afternoon. I’m feeling much better than I was on Friday. I am more than sure that the abundance of pollen that has befallen Tuscaloosa is the reason I got sick in the first place. I felt much better after my two shots and some much needed rest. After I recovered on Friday, I got right back to business on Saturday & Sunday with exercise, errands and other things. As usual I ate too much this weekend (specifically Sunday night) so I’m back to being good as of yesterday and I am nervous to see what the scale will say on Friday.

Recipe time…

For this week’s recipe, I made Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Fries. I am not a very big sweet potato fan. In fact, I do not like any kind of sweet potato casserole or candied yam or anything like that. The only way I like sweet potatoes usually is if they are fried. I like them fried in tempura batter or fried like a regular French fry. So, in the spirit of some sweet potato fries that I’ve had, I decided to try a baked version. These were very easy to make. You just peel the sweet potato and cut it into fry shaped pieces and then toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground chipotle powder. Now, I’ve never cooked with chipotle before so I went a little overboard because it smelled smoky and sweet but I put too much and they were pretty spicy. Other than the heat, they were actually delicious. I served them with a BBQ sandwich. I wanted to give a shout out to Curly’s Pork BBQ. It comes pre-packaged (in the refrigerator section of the meat department near other pre-packaged dinners) and you can have one serving of it for 2 points. I put it on my 1 point (70 calorie) wheat buns and it’s a nice little BBQ sandwich and it was a perfect addition to the sweet potato fries.

I found out yesterday that one of my poems was picked up for publication in the Broad River Review. This is a print journal so I’m very excited…it’s been awhile since I’ve seen my name in the middle of a book that you can actually hold in your hands. I will let you know when that poem drops as soon as I know the info.

I hope you have a great remainder of your week!

Don’t let the pollen get you too!


"Life’s about changing, nothin’ ever stays the same…” How Can I Help You Say Goodbye-Patty Loveless

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bless Your Little Pea-Pickin' Heart

Short blog today. No frills or pictures...I sort of take on the roll of injured in dramatic fashion. I went to work today but went to the doctor after a couple of hours. My throat has been hurting for a few days and I pushed through because I wanted to make sure I had no excuse not to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Well, my procrastination proved too much because my throat was killing me this morning and I felt icky. I went to the doctor and I had a 100.4 fever which isn't bad but I am not typically someone who runs a fever so my boss made me come home. I got a couple miracle shots in my behind and took some pain medicine/fever reducer and I am already feeling much better. I decided to weigh Thursday morning due to the fact that I may go over my caloric budget on St. Patty's day and also I had a possible case of mild food poisoning from Sonic (that is maybe a premature self-diagnosis but I was pretty sick with a very sour stomach all night and morning). Perfect time to weigh right? Turns out it WAS the perfect time to weigh because I was down 2 pounds!!! That brings my total to over 91 pounds! I was pretty proud of myself. I know I say this every week but because I didn't exercise today and I had more than my share of Irish treats yesterday, the scale may not reflect that nice of a change next week, I'll be lucky not to gain...but that's alright...I plan to be feeling much better tomorrow and ready to start all over again with my exercising every day and my crazy schedule. I think my body was just telling me to chill out. I don't ever make time to do nothing because it's not who I am but every once in awhile, you need to relax. See you next week!

PS. My dad got two ducks and I took some pictures of St. Patrick's day fun so I will have pics and stories to share next week.


"Seacrest Out." Ryan Seacrest

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The obsession that the media (and my Dad) have with Charlie Sheen has thankfully died down a bit due to unfortunate and awful real disasters going on in the world but I have to say that I have a love/hate relationship with the term he coined that has become so popular. Winning. You can’t just say, “winning,” either…there is a tone…that little bit of inflection that someone uses when you can tell that they are impersonating Charlie Sheen. It’s one of those things where it is unclear whether or not the situation or that person is actually, “winning,” or if there is sarcasm. In the past few days, that phrase has taken on multiple layers of meaning that reach from disturbing to funny to awkkwaaaarrrrd. Today, I will use the phrase “WINNING” to describe my weekend and the way I’m feeling right now. Remove any intonation you might be hearing that sounds like Charlie Sheen…I am just feeling confident these days. I got my hair cut Saturday which always helps (just got some bangs and I’m trying to throw in a little curl here and there) and as I stated Friday, I am a mere 5ish ounces from hitting the 90 pound mark so I have a little more pep in my step than usual. Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments of every day that I battle my former self…the person that tries to beat me down and make me feel worthless or bad about the way I look…but the new me is fighting her with a vengeance and each day, I overpower her a bit more. Even if I don’t lose weight this week or the next (which may be possible due to the caloric intake of my weekend), I know I will be OK. I will press forward, it feels good to know that.

I had a supremely busy weekend, I don’t think I rested at all. I really racked up some physical activity because I ran and cleaned on Saturday and then shopped, golfed and cleaned some more on Sunday. Dad and I went to an event called Suds of the South here in town on Saturday night and we met up with some of my friends and had a fantastic time. I love when there are different things to do in this town. It doesn’t happen as often as it should so you kind of feel like you need to take advantage of it when it does happen. I am hoping that this weekend will include a bit more downtime. Since I won’t blog again until Friday, I wanted to go ahead and wish you an early Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Remember to wear your green on Thursday! In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I made two green recipes that I’d love to tell you about (both from skinnytaste.com…

The first is a recipe called Zucchini Sticks. I think I’ve made something very similar to this before so I made another recipe just to cover my tracks but I love these things. Essentially, you just cut up the zucchini into fry-sized pieces, dip them in egg whites and then a Panko bread crumb mixture that includes spices and bake them. Some people don’t care for the mushy texture of zucchini but these are crisp on the outside and the longer they stay in, the more firm they get so even the pickiest of zucchini eaters will like these. The next recipe is something I’ve definitely never made before…

These are Skinny Baked Jalapeño Poppers. I like Jalapeño’s in moderation and I used to love the fast food Jalapeño Poppers. The only problem with my taste for spicy food is that I am a total wimp so I require some sort of dip that cools the taste. I used to dip everything in ranch but obviously, I can’t do that anymore. I was intimidated by the spiciness of these because I could smell the spice when I was preparing the peppers so, luckily, I had some light sour cream in the refrigerator that I could use. These aren’t hard to make but they are a bit involved. I have discovered that anything that has to be dunked in eggs and then breaded is almost more trouble than it’s worth. You take fresh Jalapeño’s, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and membrane (they recommended you wear gloves but I didn’t have any so just remember to wash your hands a lot and not put your fingers in your eyes because it will hurt) and place them on a plate so they can be stuffed. In a separate bowl, combine light cream cheese, shredded low fat cheddar and scallions and then stuff each Jalapeño with that mixture. After you do that, you dunk each of them in egg whites (I always use egg white Egg Beaters), and then dunk them in a Panko bread crumb mixture using a spoon to cover the top of the Jalapeño with bread crumbs. Place them all on a sprayed cookie sheet and then bake them until they are brown and the cheese is oozing out. These little things were feisty as all get out. As I said before, I am a total sissy when it comes to spicy foods but even my roommate Cassandra who would live off Mexican food thought they were spicy. The tiny Jalapeño’s were worse than the fatter ones which is surprising because the bigger ones are juicier. They really tasted good and I loved the combination of the filling and the crunchy breading. It also helped that I piled sour cream on them but a couple of them made my eyes water…I had to take a couple breaks in between eating them.

I enjoyed both recipes and I look forward to browsing some more on the skinnytaste website!

Have a great weekend everyone!

I hope you are WINNING too!


“Hey, I'm just lookin' for a good time.” Lookin’ For A Good Time-Lady Antebellum

Friday, March 11, 2011

"In this time of great trial..."

I want to first take a moment to send out thoughts, love and prayers to the people of Japan and any other areas affected by this horrible natural disaster. The videos of the earthquake and tsunami are heartbreaking and even though I don’t know how, I hope they are able to pick up the pieces. The images take me back to 9/11 and that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you wonder…how do you fix this? Where do you start? When things like this happen, I feel almost embarrassed to complain or talk about trivial things. I am so immensely blessed that I have never lived in a region where a disaster of such magnitude has taken place, a war zone where you can’t sleep because of gunfire going on in your neighborhood or a country with rampant genocide. I feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness in these situations so the only thing I can do is pray for them and find hope in the fact that the only silver lining in times like these is that people tend to push away all hatred, selfishness, and anger, even if just for a few minutes, to come together and try to help a nation in need.

Despite the somber tone across the world, other things are happening. Each individual person has a story and things to say and even though my words today are more trivial than ever, I am going to try and lighten the tone and go about my normal Friday blog.

I weighed this morning and I was down 1.4 pounds bringing my total loss to 89.6 pounds! This was surprising considering the enormous cheeseburger I had Sunday but I’m not going to lie, I’ve been working my behind off and by taking away my cheat meal on most Saturday’s, I’ve taken away several hundred calories on the weekend so that is definitely helpful. I am so close to that 100 pound goal, I can taste it! It is certainly motivation. I really want to get there before my birthday week in May because I know I will gain weight for a couple weeks in the middle of May because I have about 10 birthday meals and then I am going to the beach the weekend of the 19th. I will have some work to do after all that but it will be worth it! I am so excited about my April, May and June! April is concert month, May is birthday and beach month and June is NEW YORK CITY month. Basically, after the second week in May, I may not lose any weight until July…but I’m going to have fun in the process!

I have a jam-packed weekend ahead of me that includes cleaning, shopping, exercising and a festival called Suds of the South with my dad. I am also getting my hair cut and having lunch Saturday with the glowing Jordan Pittman…jeez…my cup may overflow…that’s a lot to have going on but…whatever…rest is for the weak right? I wanted to tell you about a new snack…

These Special K Cracker Chips are 110 calories for 30 and they are crispy, potato-y, salty goodness! They are light kind of like a rice or popcorn chip but they feel a bit more filling because of the potato taste. They also come in Sour Cream & Onion but I’ve only had Sea Salt and I am definitely on board with this new treat!

I wanted to briefly discuss American Idol. I included a picture of my favorite so far below. Her name is Pia Toscano. For me, I think she is the total package. She’s a pretty girl and she can totally break it down when she sings. She sang a Celine song this week and I was worried because for the most part, I don’t think contestants should EVER sing Celine, Mariah or Whitney because they usually don’t even come close to the original and it just goes very bad. Pia actually nailed the song and her voice is very strong! I also like Paul McDonald. He’s got this hot, raspy voice. He’s different than the other contestants. I’m not sure he’s perfect for American Idol but he’s a musician and if he put a CD out today, I would totally buy it. He seems to be right up my alley even though he could have done better this week. I think he was nervous. Also, he’s from Alabama so that’s cool. I also like Lauren Alaina. She is the young girl that everyone thought was the winner but her dull performance of Shania Twain proved that she needs some work. Honestly, I’ve never heard her go off key…she can sing…but can she perform? She’s good, but she needs to kick it up a notch. Also, she has a really annoying personality. She is only 16 but what she thinks is a humble comment is coming across as obnoxious. She has the long, country twangs and she pouts and seems kind of dumb. I’m not saying she is…I think it’s more of an attempt at attention than anything but I will be fast forwarding her comments from now on so I can be more objective. Lastly, I kind of like Casey Abrams. He’s the quirky bearded dude that always plays that big bass. He sang Joe Cocker (who I love) and he sang it well…he’s a little loony and he needs to trim that beard but I like him. On a technical note…what’s up with the band being off to the side and the cheesy pictures in the background? Also, why aren’t any of the contestants playing their instruments? If someone is a musician, LET THEM PLAY! Just some thoughts.

I hope that you all have a great weekend and again, please keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers.

Love you all!


“If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own . . . how much kinder, how much gentler he would be.” William Allen White

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.” JFK

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fat (Slightly Overweight) Tuesday!

If you are participating in Mardi Gras festivities today (or the past few weeks), I am very jealous but I hope everyone is having a fun, safe time. New Orleans is probably my favorite city to visit just for a weekend trip, I’ve done that several times and each time, I have a blast (with the exception of the time we went to watch Alabama lose in the Sugar Bowl). New Orleans is like our version of a European City, you can tour churches and museums during the day and well…I think we all know what kind of goings on happen at night. Even though I am at work and I have no great plans of eating Cajun cuisine or trying to find a Hurricane at a bar somewhere tonight, I am in New Orleans in spirit…hopefully, I will get to go back soon. My mom did make a King Cake from scratch on Sunday which was delicious so I included a picture of that as well.

Also, Happy International Women’s Day! If I’m being totally honest, I had no idea that it was International Women’s Day until Jordan told me this morning. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m far more aware of Mardi Gras than the 100 year anniversary of a day that celebrates women but I hope I’m not doing too much damage to the cause. The truth is, I think it’s great that there is a day that cherishes women and all that they contribute to society but as a society we can always do more. Women have come a long way but they still aren’t paid as much or respected as much as men so I hope we all keep working toward that goal. I will do my part by marking International Women’s Day in my calendar for next year so I don’t forget.

There wasn’t too much going on this weekend to report. I relaxed a little, shopped a little, worked on my teaching portfolio (I’m trying to pick up a couple night classes to teach and I need to put together a ton of things in preparation) and saw some family and friends. It wasn’t very eventful so I will go ahead and discuss the weekly recipe.

It’s been kind of dreary around here the past few days so I made Baked Potato Soup. I got this recipe from skinnytaste.com and it was all kinds of YUM. The base of the soup is potatoes, cauliflower, fat free chicken stock and I think there was also fat free milk in it. Basically, you microwave the potato first (peel it after), then mix it with the already steamed cauliflower and then add the liquids. You boil all that together and then you use an immersion blender to mix it up so it becomes smooth. I don’t know what an immersion blender is but I can tell you what it ISN’T…It definitely is NOT a hand mixer. The goal was to puree the stuff in the pot so it wasn’t lumpy and I didn’t have an immersion blender so I stuck the hand mixer right into the pot. After I wiped the hot, potato substance off my face and clothes, I realized that I wasn’t using the proper equipment. Unfortunately, all I had was the hand mixer, so I carefully pulsed at the soup until I got what I determined was a “good enough” version of the puree the recipe called for…Once all of that boils and simmers together for a little while, you are basically done. You just put it in a bowl and then top it with chives (which you can also mix in the actual soup), low fat cheese and crumbled bacon (or if you are lazy like me, Bacos). I was able to have a lot of it so I was extremely full when I got done. It was super flavorful because I added salt, pepper and garlic and an overall great recipe. That’s it! Have a great week! Bye!

“Don't underestimate the things that I will do.
There's a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark…” Rolling in the Deep-Adele

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is it cool to swim in my mumu y'all?

I’m going to skip the pleasantries and just say that I somehow managed to lose .4 pounds this week (pushing me over 88 pounds) despite some major bloating issues that go beyond anything I should discuss in a public forum. Let’s just say, I’m going to weigh again tomorrow morning before I make anything official for the week in case I’m able to release any hypothetical demons that have been living inside my belly since last Sunday morning. I’m hoping to feel lighter and more ready for the scale tomorrow…if not…I may need to seek professional help soon…that’s all I’ll say about that. 88 pounds down is not a bad way to start off a Friday.

In addition to my private, now public, stomach issues, I have one more physical ailment that I’d like to heap upon my tens of readers today. This past Sunday, I was trying to make a piece of peanut butter toast. I was reading the calories on the side of the brand new, unopened, 2 LB jar of peanut butter when it rolled off the table and landed directly on the tip of my big toe. Without going into detail, let’s just say that I lost every sense of religion I had for about 30 minutes while I hopped around, cried and cleaned up the blood from the broken skin. All in all, once all the dust settled, the injury wasn’t that bad, it was the drama of it all that really shook me up. The only problem was that when I ran that day, I was redistributing my weight in places other than my toe and in turn, I got myself a nice little shin splint. I’ve had the shin splint since Sunday but I haven’t really let up in the exercise department because it hasn’t been that bad. It flared up a bit when I worked out but it wasn’t until after my run yesterday that it reared its ugly head. I am limping something serious and can’t seem to shake the pain. I elevated and iced it yesterday but it’s still extremely painful. I am not scheduled to run again until Sunday so I’m going to try and go a little easier on it when I exercise the next couple of days. I’ve tried recommended stretches and pills but I guess it’s just going to have to work itself out…I just wish it would hurry.

I miss when bathing suits looked like that…when it was acceptable to wear a flat out dress in the water. Sure, I could get a bathing dress now but I have to say, there isn’t much charm to a round-ish 20-something traipsing around in a mini dress to swim in. I had a skirt last year which was ok but it kind of got in the way. I have never really had a cute bathing suit…I don’t want to reveal too much…I’m not ready, but I don’t want to be reduced to wearing a wet suit either. Summertime is fast approaching in Alabama and I do not own a bathing suit…at all. I got rid of mine from last year because it was WAY too big and didn’t bother buying one because I didn’t know what size I’d be. I am going to the beach in May and really, the only way it’s bearable to be outside in the summer in Alabama is if you are half naked outside in a pool. I knew that the inevitable day would come when I needed to purchase these satanic water swimming devices so I attempted to look for one last weekend. I don’t know about anyone else but trying on bathing suits makes me want to scream and cry, run out of the mall and straight into the road. It didn’t help that I went with Cassandra, she could see the devastation in my face which mirrored in hers. Luckily, she’s very supportive and prevented me from a major melt down. I’ve worked very hard but there are still some problem areas that just won’t go away, they won’t smooth out. On top of that, the product of major weight loss is extra skin which, trust me, is the opposite of attractive when it’s stuffed into the confines of a rubber swimsuit. I can’t have immediate satisfaction in this department but I have started doing specific stretches to try and get everything a little more tightened than it is now. Anyway, I will eventually just have to bite the bullet but every time I think about it, all I can hear is that scary, stabbing music from Psycho.

In order to make myself feel a little better about the swimsuit shopping tragedy of 2011, I went shopping at Old Navy where I can always find something in a size I didn’t think I could wear. Thank you Old Navy for making your clothes too big. That helped a little and then I also created the pictures below. I have all of my before and after pictures in a document so I thought it’d be cool to have them lumped together. I made two. I made a progression picture and then one that will feature my before picture and a current after picture. Once I saw that, it made me feel better about the raging craters and waves of cottage cheese populating my thighs. Now, when I’m uncomfortably thinking about how I will be trying to cover up every problem area while in a bathing suit, I can look to these pictures and see that even though I’m not exactly in bikini shape, I’ve come a long way!

Well, more golfing this weekend and I also have lots of things I need to get done that aren’t fun. I am trying to put a portfolio together so I can attempt to get a night class to teach. I’d love the experience. Anyway, I have a lot of stuff I need to do. In Idol news, I’m pretty satisfied with the top 13. I do hate that they feel like they have to fill certain demographics so they cut someone because they haven’t been as good as the other person that sings similarly. Everyone that should have definitely made it in did though and I’m happy about that. I will discuss it more when I finally learn their names instead of constantly saying, “That country boy,” or “That girl from Georgia,” “Or that Adam Lambert dude…”

Have a good weekend everyone! Bye!

“I like it better when you were on my side.” The Story Of Us-Taylor Swift

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

And the Oscar went to...

I wonder if in Colin Firth’s head, he’s been all Charlie Sheen being like, “Duh, I’m tired of pretending like I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending like I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars. Winner.” Somehow I doubt it because his speech was very humble and cute…I just sort of wished everyone provided the same psychotic entertainment Charlie Sheen has been giving out lately. I don’t know if everyone watched but in case you didn’t, as predicted, The King’s Speech was the big winner of the night. Not only did it win for Best Picture, Colin Firth also received the award for Best Actor. I think both of those awards were deserved but not really exciting seeing as how that is what everyone predicted. In fact, aside from a couple awards (and even those weren’t major surprises), there were no unexpected wins. I usually anticipate one award that sort of makes everyone go…wow…I didn’t expect that. I predicted most of the major categories correctly except for the few that I went out on a limb on in case there was a surprise. As far as the other categories, I totally bombed. Oh well, I enjoyed the show and it is so nice to watch when you’ve seen all the movies. I also want to praise James Franco and Anne Hathaway. I thought they did a great job. People are being so hateful about them and I’m not exactly sure what people were looking for…James Franco was a bit aloof at times but a) that seems to be who he is and b) he was nominated for best actor…he was probably nervous. I thought Anne Hathaway was gorgeous, funny, gracious and cute! I don’t know what people expected but the intro to the show was awesome I thought and the show ended on a very touching note. Anyway, the Oscar talk is over for now, until next year!

Last night was recipe night and both recipes came from skinnytaste.com which is the site I told you about last week. I will probably make a lot of recipes from there from now on…I love this site!

The first recipe is called Zucchini Pizza Bites. All you do is slice a zucchini into about a quarter inch thick slices, broil the slices on a greased pan in the oven for a few minutes on each side and then top each slice with a little pizza sauce and part-skim mozzarella cheese. Broil it long enough to melt the cheese and you are done. This was SO tasty! The zucchini is essentially a vessel for the yummy, salty cheese and pizza sauce. It’s a nice snack or side dish to have readily available and it’s super easy.

The second picture may look like just a salad but see that white dressing on top? That’s the real star of the night. I made my own blue cheese dressing last night! I don’t know about you but diet dressing makes me pretty much disgusted. I usually suck it up and put it on my salads but I get a different Italian or Vinaigrette every time because I can’t ever find ones I like. I saw this recipe on skinnytaste.com and it looked less involved than most of the blue cheese dressing recipes I’ve seen and there was nothing sweet in the ingredients…I detest a sweet dressing. All you do is mash together half cup blue cheese and 6 ounces of non-fat Greek yogurt. After those are blended well together, add a tablespoon of light mayo, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and garlic powder (I put a little more garlic than it’s called for). Then, you add some salt & pepper and you are done. This dressing is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! It is BY FAR the best low fat dressing I’ve EVER had!!! The best part is that it has the same points as all the yucky fat free or low fat Italian & Vinaigrette dressings. I made 8 servings of it and it is definitely a recipe that I will keep in the front of my cookbooks to make all the time. It’s not expensive to make, especially since aside from the blue cheese and yogurt, you can make multiple batches from the ingredients you already bought. It was creamy and the blue cheese was potent and with the yogurt and garlic, it almost tasted like I was eating a regular dressing. I give this recipe 10 out of 10!

In addition to the Oscars this weekend in which I enjoyed WAY too much good food (there were appetizers galore), I went to the driving range again with my Dad. I’m really enjoying going…I think I get better and better and not only am I finding it fun and a good opportunity to spend time with my Dad, it’s been great exercise. I can feel my stomach muscles moving around with every swing. My biggest problem is that I can’t remember every step I need to take before I swing. It never fails that I forget to line up my feet right, bend my knees, keep my head down and so on. When I actually do remember all of those steps, I don’t do too bad. I definitely want to keep going back. I expanded my golf wardrobe this weekend, I got a collared shirt, a glove, a driver and some tees. My mom even bought me two more really cute collared shirts yesterday. Maybe one day in the next few months, I can actually try and play a couple holes…I’ve got a little bit to go before that happens though.

Have a nice week everyone! Bye!

“Who doesn't long for someone to hold
Who knows how to love you without being told
Somebody tell me why I'm on my own
If there's a soul mate for everyone.” Soulmate-Natasha Bedingfield