Friday, April 29, 2011

With a heavy heart...

Since we last spoke on Tuesday, the city of Tuscaloosa where I live, along with multiple areas of the state of Alabama as well as several other states in the southeast experienced a tornado outbreak that caused more devastation and loss of life than I have ever seen. Wednesday afternoon, many of us around town were leaving work and preparing to batten down the hatches because the threat of tornadoes had been looming since the beginning of the week. When I grew up in Chattanooga, we didn’t really experience tornado threats. It wasn’t until I moved to Alabama that I realized what “tornado alley” really meant. I was petrified of the sirens and warnings and was so disturbed by the damage that tornadoes can cause. Over time though, I’ve learned to watch and respect mother nature but I’ve gained an understanding that there isn’t much we can do and I don’t get AS worried. So, Wednesday seemed like a run of the mill threat of bad weather. I was watching the weather diligently and when I spotted the storm that would violently trudge over four states headed towards my town, I knew things were a little bit different. As usual, I called my family to make sure they were ready and as I was watching TV, the tornado touched down in Tuscaloosa and I was watching it as it gained strength and right as he said it was headed toward Holt and Cottondale (my areas of town), I lost all power and communication. I couldn’t reach anyone so I just got in the hallway, put a pillow over my head and prayed for the best. It’s weird because even though my apartment complex didn’t get hit, I felt my heart sink and heard the wind of what must have been the tornado from a distance. Immediately, I was frantically trying to assess any damage and find my family. There were trees down around the apartment but nothing major. I finally got in touch with Jordan so he could tell me the storm had passed…then I got my parents and I knew we were safe. The past couple of days have been a whirlwind effort to make sure everyone I know is OK.

I’d like to ask for prayers for the Owens family, Wes Webber, Robert Rolston, the Elebash family, all members of the Tuscaloosa, Alberta, Holt, Peterson, Brookwood, Pleasant Grove, Huntsville, Decatur and Cullman areas. There are also multiple areas in eastern Mississippi and other parts of Alabama that I didn’t mention. These areas and people I mentioned that I know personally experienced complete devastation. I am heartbroken by the images and loss of life, especially the areas of Alberta and Holt…these are places that have been a major part of my life for 15 years and they are no longer even figments of what they used to be. Looking at the pictures and maps that show the path of the tornado, I know that my parents and I and my roommate Cassandra were VERY close to having damage or much worse. I feel so incredibly blessed, sad and uplifted by the outpouring of humanity…it’s been a roller coaster for sure. If you’d like to help, there are multiple places and sites to go to. You can go to to find out how to volunteer and donate money or for more local updates and details. At this time, there are so many volunteers that they are sending people away as many of the areas are still dangerous but as of yesterday up until what I imagine will be several months from now, people will need help with clean up, they’ll need money, toiletries, clothes and other things. I had to work today but I plan to find out ways to help soon…so I may have updates for you on that later. I can’t count how many gut wrenching stories I’ve heard. It seems like everyone I know has heard 10 awful tales from other people they can share. If you can’t help, please just keep my town in your prayers. I am confident that we will rebuild and be better than ever but right now, we are all mourning the loss of our city and also the people that unfortunately did not make it.

The events from Wednesday have made focusing on other things difficult. It also seems trite to complain about the lack of power, the money lost in groceries, no cable and water and so I’ve been trying to keep that to a minimum but I am a complainer. We got power back last night and we are on a boil your water advisory from the city but we have our life and shelter so that is what matters. Despite my crazy eating habits on Easter and my substantial stress eating that happened yesterday, I managed to lose 1.2 pounds this week. I feel like that weight will come back at some point because I really don’t expect to just get away with my misgivings.

This weekend I will try to see if I can begin to help. I would also like to wish my parents a happy anniversary. On Sunday, they will have been married 29 years!

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers! Life will start to go on as we all work together! Have a nice weekend!


“Round my hometown
Memories are fresh
Round my hometown
Ooh the people I’ve met

Are the wonders of my world.” Hometown Glory-Adele

“Been torn apart,
got so many scratches and scars,
maybe they won’t all go away,
but they'll fade,
maybe time can mend us together.. again.
It’s not what we've done but, how far we've come.

We will recover
the worst is over, now.
All those fires we've been walking through,
and still we survive, somehow.
We will recover
the worst is behind
and it hurts, but in time, I know that we will recover.” Recover-Natasha Bedingfield

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Major Milestone!

So, remember that time last Friday when I was pouting like mad that I couldn’t get to the 100 pounds down point? Well, I hope it’s not too late to take it back because when I weighed on Saturday morning, I was down exactly 100 pounds! It’s so funny how that one pound, that silly number on the scale made a world of difference in my attitude on everything. I’d love to say that I will never be obsessed with numbers or that I will never get upset prematurely without allowing my body the time it needs to get to the number I want…but I know me better than that and my depression over my brief plateau won’t be the first or last time I overreact. I am very satisfied with the weight loss I have accomplished so far because I have done it in a healthy and manageable way. For two years, I have gotten progressively better every few months in that I push myself little bits at a time in the exercise I do and the food that I eat. I think the key to sticking with a diet is to basically not be on one…you HAVE to teach yourself how to live and make better choices. If you do decide that you want to lose weight and/or become more healthy, my OPINION (I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist but I do have some experience) is that you should NEVER drastically cut your calories or increase your exercise all at once. I started with a lot of points which meant that I was still eating a good bit but I was making better choices and I was only walking 5-10 minutes 4 or 5 days a week. Now, I have worked out a system where I eat three balanced meals a day and give myself a bit of play room on the weekends but I don’t eat half of what I used to and I exercise every day. It’s all about changing your life forever and I think I have…I definitely have bad days but once you do something for 2 years, it kind of takes root. I’ve said before that my goal for the next month is to not gain more than 5 pounds as I embark on birthdays, vacations and other miscellaneous celebrations. I’ve already marked in my calendar the exact days and meals I am allowed to cheat so I will know to be good the rest of the time. I am very proud of myself and everyone is being so kind and supportive…I am so blessed to have people around me that give me the strength I need. If you don’t have as many people…please know…I am supporting you…even if I don’t know you. If I can do it, you can too! I included my down pictures below and they are also on the side and will stay there for the next 15 or so pounds. I expect things to slow down considerably so it may be awhile before I get a new, 115 down picture…but stay tuned…it WILL happen!

I have what I call a “sort of” recipe to share with you this week. I am showing you in steps with pictures.

I have mentioned more than once before how much I love Moe’s. Well, even though I can go there and have healthier options, my favorite meal to have there is kind of high in points and now that I don’t get as many, my days getting cheese and a tortilla are numbered. It is my opinion that pretty much anything you make at home is going to be better for you. I saw these tortillas and rice and thought I would try my own Moe’s burrito at home. It wasn’t nearly as good and it’s still a work in progress but all I did was take my pre-cooked chicken strips and I heated them with the microwaveable minute rice and some taco sauce and put that mixture in the tortilla, topped it with cheese and because I have seen a Moe’s burrito wrapped no less than 5,000 times, I rolled that thing up and it wasn’t bad! I could make it taste better by cooking everything up in the skillet and possibly using fresh rice and chicken with maybe some Rotel tomatoes but for a 3 minute dinner…it was filling, cheap, tasty, different, healthy and EASY!

I had a great weekend! I ate WAY too much on Easter but I was totally predicting that. If there is a world record for the amount of hard boiled eggs eaten in one day, I might have come close to beating it. Jordan and I had fun seeing Avenue Q on Saturday and Sara Bareilles was AMAZING on Friday night. I know I went in reverse order there but you get the point. It was an extremely busy but fun weekend!!! I included pictures below of some of the activities.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and that you have a great week!

Talk to you soon!


“Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless
All the things I hold in my fist
If I don’t let go, I don’t exist
They’ve become the things that define me
How I look and love, things can buy me
That’s not important anymore
I feel me writhing on the floor
Light as a feather, I’m carefree

I’m weightless
The sky is the limit
And I just wanna flow
Free as a spirit on a journey I’ll go
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless
A million dark balloons heading to the ground
Weight of the world tries to hold us down
Cut the strings and let me go
I’m weightless, I’m weightless.” Weightless-Natasha Bedingfield

Friday, April 22, 2011

And a Good Friday to Y'all!

Hey Everyone-I am in a hostile mood today but I am going to do my absolute BEST to ramble my way out of it. I didn’t lose weight again this week. I am still hovering around 99 pounds. I have to say that I was EXTREMELY bummed out about that this morning. I have really worked hard since Monday to get rid of that extra pound but I am still the same. I know of two incidents this weekend that included poor judgment on my part…I didn’t think they would be significant enough to keep me from losing but I guess they were. I need to tighten everything up on the weekends again. Emotionally, I’m having a difficult time not wanting to stretch the limit. I don’t know what the source of this lack of motivation is but I really wish it would go away. I need to get to that 100 before May 5th because that day will sort of begin the 2 months of extra-curricular, weight-gaining activities…it’d be nice to know I’m down 100 before I go through that time. I think it will motivate me to try to be careful and only cheat on the allotted days and continue to exercise. My goal between May 5th through July 5th is to maintain and/or gain no more than 5 pounds and I can do that if I am strict on the in between days…anyway. I’m feeling a bit better about the weight now because I have other things (gas prices, people in general, keys suddenly not working) going on that are making me angry. It’s been one of those days where everything compounds…starting right this second though…things are going to get better!

I wanted to first give a shout out to the book series by Suzanne Collins that I’m reading right now called The Hunger Games. I am currently reading the second book, Catching Fire and these books are AWESOME! My brother actually told me about them and he’s not someone who would usually read for pleasure but he read them at school and was so excited about them…I figured they must be great. My mom read them and so has my friend David…so I borrowed the first one and I have been going ever since. The books are based around a post-America where the country is divided into 12 districts. At one point, the districts had tried to overthrow the capital but they lost and as a punishment, each district is forced to participate in the Hunger Games every year. Each district has to send one boy and one girl into the games and they all battle each other to the death. The books are so detailed and fast paced…I love them. Even if you aren’t typically a reader, I definitely think you could get into these books!

Tonight, I am going to see Sara Bareilles with friends and I could not be MORE EXCITED!!! She is definitely one of my favorites…I have all of her music and know every word. She is an amazing artist and her music makes me happy, contemplative and pumped all at the right times! It should be a fun time and I am very much looking forward to it.

Saturday night, after I dye eggs, Jordan and I are going to see Avenue Q which is basically an adult version of Sesame Street. It’s a traveling show and it’s supposed to be hilarious so I’m also glad to be going with Jordan to see that!

Sunday is Easter and I see Reese eggs, egg salad, ham and other goodies in my future! I have always enjoyed the traditions of Easter including the church ones that involve Passover and the story of resurrection as well as the commercialized fun ones that entail egg hunts and candy! It should be a great weekend!

Be safe everyone, I will probably have picture to share next week!


“You're begging for the truth
So I'm saying it to you
I've been saving your place
And what good does it do?
Now I'm just a basket case.” Basket Case-Sara Bareilles

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Born This Way!

Hey Y’all! I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Sorry I was unable to say much on Friday. I have had a ton of stuff going on since last week but I can tell you about it now. I had another kickball game last Thursday night and I actually scored a run! I seem to be much better at kickball than softball because I always make contact with the ball. My trick is to kick it as lightly as possible to have a chance at making it to base…kind of like a kickball bunt I guess. Also, even though I am right-handed, I apparently kick the ball with my left foot half the time. I thought it was strange but apparently I’m not the only one who does it. Anyway, I’m having fun with kickball and it adds a little more exercise each week which is always helpful. I already told you about my weight…I’m 1 pound away from that 100 pound mark…I’ve been pretty good except for some poor judgment with Doritos on Sunday so hopefully this week will be the week.

Friday afternoon, I left in a hurry to get away from the storms to go to Chattanooga. Unfortunately, I didn’t escape the weather because it was an extremely nasty drive the entire way. I could barely see the car in front of me and the skies were that greenish-black color. Normally, it would take 3 hours to get to Chattanooga from Tuscaloosa but this trip took me well over 4 hours. Luckily, I made it but I was still worried about my people in T-town because it got really bad here. Thank God everyone I know is OK and only a few of my friends had some minor damage which is a pain but I know they are all just happy to be safe. The storms during tornado season can get pretty scary so hopefully we won’t have to deal with it again. I had a great time in Chattanooga attending the Conference on Southern Literature. Thanks again to my Aunt Linda for allowing me to work with her and hear some great authors at this conference and to my Aunt Brenda for allowing me to stay! I'm glad I went. I missed A-Day and my brother's prom but I am still grateful that I got my creative juices flowing!

Somehow, I managed to make a recipe to share with you. This is Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce. This was DELICIOUS! Again, I used my chicken fajita strips instead of the chicken breast strips it calls for…it’s up to you. Basically, I thawed out the chicken, tossed it in a bit of flour and then sautéed it with about half a teaspoon of olive oil, teeny-tiny bit of butter, mushrooms, a lot of minced garlic and about 1/8th cup of white wine. The garlic and wine give it awesome flavor and the little amount of flour and butter give it almost a fried taste. I would recommend making a starch to go with this if you are trying to fill up because it didn’t have much staying power but it was quite tasty.

After I ran on Sunday, I spent the day eating, relaxing and preparing for the Lady Gaga concert. As you can see, my parents and brother have pretty much finished the duck pond and it looks really nice! Aside from the mosquitoes, it’s pleasant to sit out there and listen to the water run. My mom, brother and Lisa helped me create some accessories for the Lady Gaga concert I went to last night with Jordan. I included some pics of the costume and the concert below.

The concert was an absolute blast! Lady Gaga is such a diva and the concert was more like a movie, musical and concert rolled into one. She looked fierce in the 50 different costumes she came out in and she is SO talented. She can really sing and play and she’s just so much fun to watch. She’s also someone who makes you feel empowered. Her message against bullying and all the great things she says about being who you are make you feel like you should go out right that second and follow your dreams. I know she’s out there but she seems like a genuine person and I can honestly say it was easily one of the best concerts I’ve EVER seen! Thanks to Jordan for thinking about a year ahead and getting those tickets and thanks for driving last night. It was a late night but it was well worth it. I wasn’t able to get as good as pictures and videos as I would’ve liked but I posted a few so you can see some highlights. I also posted the pictures to Facebook so if you are friends with me, you should be able to see those. I also tried to post the one decent-ish video I was able to get. We were on the floor in the general admission section so it was difficult to get good angles. I apologize if you can’t see the video but hopefully you won’t have problems…also…there is some adult language in the video so if you aren’t into that…I wouldn’t watch it.

I have another concert on Friday night which I am SOOOO excited about! We are going to see Sara Bareilles! I’ll have more on that Friday! Busy, busy, busy!

Have a WONDERFUL week everyone!

Congrats to the Alabama gymnasts for winning the National Championship! Roll Tide!


“Whether life's disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
'Cause baby, you were Born This Way.” Born This Way-Lady Gaga

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the go!

Unfortunately, I have no time to blog today. I will fill you in on everything next week. I am going to a writer’s conference in Chattanooga and I have to leave very soon to try and beat out a bad storm system heading our way. I had a couple different variations on the scale the past couple of days but it seems that I am down about a pound. I’m hoping next week is the week I get to 100…I’m right at 99 now.

I hope you all have a great weekend!


"Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run!" Dixie Chicks-Ready to Run

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No Soup For You! I ate it all...

Welcome to My Life Without Ranch and also, because I left it at home, welcome to My Life Without My iPhone. It is sometimes difficult to understand dependency until you are forced to be without your vice for an entire day. I play music on my phone, check the weather, peruse social media and I do many other things…it’s basically a security blanket. I wasn’t even worried about it this morning when I realized I didn’t have it…that only lasted about 10 minutes…I am just going to do my best to make it through the day and then have a very dramatic reunion with it when I get home…there may be tears.

In other news, I made a recipe as I always do that I’d like to share with you…

This is Turkey Chili Taco Soup. I like making soups because you end up with just one dish and it’s especially convenient when you can just throw everything into a pot and be done with it. All you do here is brown ground turkey, add the onions and corn to sauté and then add tomato sauce, chicken broth, refried beans, Rotel, taco seasoning and kidney beans. There may be a few more ingredients in it so I got it from if you want to look at the specific details. I will say that the only kind of bean I like is a green bean and I absolutely LOATHE kidney beans so I used half a can of black beans instead because they are smaller. I try not to be a baby about beans so at times I will slip in a black bean or a chili bean every once in awhile because they are filling and good for you but I just can’t make myself like them. I think it’s the texture of beans (I also hate ALL peas) that I don’t like. Ick…I can’t even think about it. Anyway, despite the bean-ishness of this soup…I quite enjoyed it. Like I said, it’s chock full of ingredients that stick to your belly and it had nice flavor. You can always add as much or as little spice you want by varying what level of Rotel you get. I’m a baby, so I always go with mild. As you can see, I topped it with some crunched up baked tortilla chips and shredded fat free chips. It makes a lot too…I have already eaten leftovers.

This weekend was a nice one…my parents and brother (with the help one weekend of John Morgan) have been working non-stop building a duck pond and cage for Waylon & Willie…the newest members of the family. They got everything but the aesthetics done and it all looks really great. You can tell it’s almost summer in Alabama because even though I was only sitting outside near the pond a few minutes Sunday night, I am covered in these monstrous mosquito bites. I can’t believe how big the ducks have gotten. I know that baby animals grow really fast but I’ve never seen anything like it. They are still cute though. It’s really pleasant sitting outside with the ducks and the waterfall. I just need to wear some bug spray.

We ate at a restaurant near the river Friday night and so I insisted on taking some pictures with the nice scenery. That one is of me and my brother David. I can’t believe how grown up he is. Ugh…I’m such a mess. He is going to be 18 in December…I can’t even believe it. He is one of my best friends and he is such a good person! I’m going to definitely need the waterproof mascara when he graduates next year. Anyway, I thought it was a good picture, so I thought I would share.

I have another kickball game this week and then I am headed out early Friday afternoon to the Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga. My aunt Linda owns a bookstore in Signal Mountain, TN which is right above Chattanooga and she will have a booth at this cool conference with several writers from the South…I will get to meet people and hear lectures and panels. It will be good for me to go…to be in that setting…I need it. I am missing a few things but that’s ok…I am making the right choice in activity.

I wish you all a merry week!


“The time that I've taken
I pray is not wasted…” One Sweet Love-Sara Bareilles

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pity Party For 1, Please

I’ll be up front with you, I’m not in the best mood. Today is not the day that I want to be messed with…I weighed this morning and the scale showed that I was up a pound. I feel very bloated and pudgy and I have felt that way the past couple of days. I know a hundred pounds doesn’t come without a fight…it ain’t easy but I really hope I don’t hover around it for too long. Not only am I 1.8 away (I’m ignoring the number on the scale this morning because I did everything right this week and lowered my caloric intake so I’m pretending that I weigh the same) from losing 100 pounds, I’m also hovering around another number that I’d like to get comfortably away from. The thing is, I want to lose as much as possible by Easter Sunday because that day begins a season in which there will be more cheat days than usual. Easter, Cinco de Mayo, I will cheat for at least 3 or 4 meals during my birthday week, a beach trip and then the whole fat tour of America will end in New York City, a place known for pizza and hot dogs…my favorite foods. I plan on being diligent with my diet in between those slips and as always, I will maintain my regular, rigorous exercise routine so I’m hoping not to gain too much but I want to get down a little more before I enjoy all of that food. Maybe I will miraculously feel extra light again one morning this weekend but if I don’t, I will press forward as usual and try to knock off that 1.8 that is lingering around like the smell of rotten trash. Of course, I am trying to remind myself that I am still ahead of schedule and I have friends and family to encourage me and one week means nothing and blah, blah, blah…I’m just not in the mood. I’d rather soak in all of the disdain…I’d rather just be unpleasant and grumpy…it doesn’t mean I’m going to binge eat or give up like in the past…it just means I will have a furrowed brow all day and look down at my belly in disgust and scold myself…I’m fine with that…I will do my best to be pleasant to others and that’s about the only task I have charged myself with today.

I guess this is the more real side of the weight loss struggle…not every day is a peachy and perfect experience. I tend to overreact to the scale and I bounce back quickly but that doesn’t mean I don’t get downright irritable when I don’t get my way in terms of weight. I think my overreactions are actually quite annoying, especially because I have been fortunate to lose weight most weeks when I am a good girl. When my family and friends feel the urge to roll their eyes and punch me in the face because I’m whining that I didn’t lose another 3 pounds this week, or hit 100, or stayed the same, or when I gain, I hope they remember that I am only pouty because for two years now, I have increased the amount of work I do little by little and I am at the point now where I literally bust my butt. I have never worked harder on a project in my life…I have done a complete 180…I have totally changed my lifestyle and even though I go kicking and screaming sometimes, I miss out on a LOT of food and drinks that I would love to have all for this…to change my body, to become more healthy. So, yes, even though this happens to everyone, this is what it is really like, it isn’t always pleasant and I will ALWAYS be disappointed when I don’t lose…especially when I’ve given a flawless performance. So, take what you will from these words…just know…if you are also at that place…my best advice…don’t fall apart…use this anger and turn it into a fierce competition with your obstacles. That’s what I’m planning on doing. I am in control of the situation, don’t lose control.

I will transition now to a less hostile tone. My friend Amanda convinced me to join an adult kickball league and despite the fact that it was kind of expensive, in Birmingham, and I haven’t played kickball for probably 15 years, I thought I’d give it a try. The first game was last night and even though it was 9 and I didn’t get to bed until almost midnight, I found it to be pretty fun. It’s a coed league and most everyone is in my age range. The atmosphere is really laid back. Of course, because the universe wouldn’t have it any other way, I was shaking hands and introducing myself with a couple of people when I suddenly see fear strike in their eyes because they didn’t know how to protect me from the kickball flying right at my head at 90 miles per hour. One guy did try to stick his hand in front of my head but it was too late. Let me just say, these kickball’s are not the kickball’s that you remember from elementary school. These things are giant, heavy, round balls on a violent mission. The ball hit me right in the side of the head…honestly, I think a few things dislodged in my brain. Luckily, I have a pretty intense skull and I recovered quickly…I was embarrassed but I later found that there were a lot of kickball related injuries. People fell, got hit…it was pretty intense. Luckily, I played second base and I basically played dodge ball rather than kickball while the guys on the team would run to my aid every time a ball got anywhere close to me. I like getting to kick because unlike softball, I always make contact. I didn’t get to base but I got my teammates to other bases my second time up. It’s a fun game…I think I will enjoy the rest of the season. I included a picture below that I’m not crazy about but it’s me and Amanda on the field during the game. Thanks for supporting and taking the pic Jordan!

I have one word to describe how I feel about Pia getting kicked off of American Idol last night and that word is ASSININE. I voted for her multiple times so it’s not my fault but there is no justifiable reason that she should’ve gone home. I worry about her career since she finished so low and she’s not exactly unique in terms of female pop stars…she has an AMAZING voice but there isn’t much to set her apart from the other women out there right now who also have great voices…I hope she makes it though. I have this unsettling feeling that Scotty will win and I just don’t know…I don’t get it…he’s not for me but evidently, I’m in the minority.

Got another busy weekend coming up. Lots of errands and tasks to get accomplished.

Hope yours is awesome!


“What have I done? I wish I could run
Away from this ship goin' under
Just tryin' to help, hurt everyone
Now I feel the weight of the world is
On my shoulders
What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow
But how many it times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right.” Get It Right-Glee Cast

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Up and Down, Up and Down, Up

I had quite an emotional roller coaster this weekend. I reached a pretty low point on the way back from a wonderful trip to Birmingham Saturday morning. My car is known for being very smooth and there have been many times that I’ve looked down and been speeding like crazy without knowing it. While I was driving Saturday, I looked down and noticed that I was going way too fast so I started to ease off the breaks because I said to myself, “You CAN NOT get a ticket, that is the last thing you need.” I guess I didn’t slow down fast enough because in less than 3 minutes I was being pulled over by a state trooper. I was going 87, he said. I didn’t even look at him, I just sort of flung my license and insurance out the window and waited for the inevitable…I’ve heard a few stories here and there but for the most part, there is no getting out of a ticket from a state trooper…that’s their whole job…writing tickets. I drove off heaving in tears. There is nothing worse than a ticket because a) you know it’s your own fault and b) you might as well take $150-$200 and blow your nose on it and then set it on fire. As my mother pointed out, there is never a GOOD time to get a ticket but this is an especially BAD time to get one. I am struggling right now and I’m trying to save up for my New York trip…I basically just wasted a Broadway ticket. It bummed me out pretty bad…I am not making excuses but I have the WORST luck with cops…I get one or two tickets a year and I know people that speed way worse than I do that never get pulled over. I’ve gotten out of two…one I cried and the other was just a miracle. It deflated the happy morning I was having because of the fun time I had with Jordan Friday night. Luckily, my Grandma and Brenda were in from Chattanooga and they took me shopping and retail therapy ALWAYS makes things better. Thanks Grandma!

I know I complain a lot about money and then many times in the same breath talk about my trip to Paris last spring or my upcoming trip to New York this summer. I have needed a new computer awhile and someone told me that if I stopped taking so many trips, I could get one. Unfortunately, I will be paying for all my trips awhile. The thing is, even though I always feel broke, I wouldn’t trade the trips I have taken. First, I’m responsible about it…I save MOST of the money it takes to go places and YES I could pay off some bills early or get a new computer but I’ve never heard anyone say that they regretted the places they’ve gotten to see. In fact, aside from my parents who’ve always allowed us to experience different and unique places, most people I know are filled with regret as they get older because they didn’t get to see and do everything they wanted. I don’t want to end up like that. By July of this year, I will have been to 26 states, France, Germany and Mexico. There aren’t many people that can say that. I am SO privileged to have the ability to do all that. I will say though that because I’ve crammed so much in the past couple of years, the New York trip will probably be my last major trip for awhile…I’ve got to get my stuff together. Up until now, my spending hasn’t hurt anyone or caused anyone extra money and I don’t want that to change…I have a great family and wonderful friends who all offer to help and they already are in several ways but I don’t want to be “that girl,” so I plan on coming up with ways to make extra money and start chipping away at the remnants of travel, clothes and everything else in between. I’m pretty responsible so I am confident (pending my student loans don’t start blowing up in my face even more) I can get back to a good place soon-ish.

In a bit of good news (thanks for sticking with me while I vented), I woke up Sunday morning feeling lighter. I don’t know if anyone else knows this feeling but I felt like I had lost a little weight. As of Friday, I was about the same as I was the week before and even though I was a bit disappointed, I really was fine with waiting but for some reason, something was telling me to weigh. My instincts were DEAD ON because it had me down 3 pounds! I saw a weight on the scale that I truly don’t remember seeing in probably 10 or so years. I honestly don’t remember what I weighed in high school. I thought I was really fat, mostly because there were several gems that made me aware of it every day but I wasn’t obsessed with trying to lose weight. I was pre-occupied with other things going in my life…all things that were part of my effort to get a scholarship to college. So, I don’t really know what I weighed in high school but looking at pictures…I’m either there or getting really close to what I weighed then. I was SO pleased. I stepped off the scale and then got back on just to make sure it wasn’t kidding. This was also a number that allowed me to knock off another point so I am losing up to 100 calories a day…yet another boost…although I am truly mourning the loss of that point. I am 1.8 pounds from hitting the 100 mark…I can’t even believe it.

Before I ramble for too much longer, I wanted to share my recipes for this week-

I made Turkey Cutlets with Parmesan Crust and Roasted Broccoli with Smashed Garlic. Both of these things were easy to make and delicious! The turkey is just dropped in some egg whites and then breaded with a mix of Panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. After you do that, sauté it in just a very small amount (as little as 1/8 tbsp if you are only making one) of butter and olive oil for a couple minutes on each side. Once it’s browned up nicely, put it on top of a piece of aluminum foil and pop it in a toaster oven on 250 degrees if you need it to keep warm while you make the broccoli (I did because the broccoli goes 20 minutes and has to be on 450), if you don’t need it to keep warm, then you can go ahead and eat it. It was SO moist and tasty and even just the tiny bit of butter made so much difference. I know broccoli is just broccoli but I wanted to let you know that roasting it makes it taste so much better (my mom got me started on this)! I have always liked broccoli in any capacity but if you aren’t a big fan but need to eat more veggies with fiber and you like garlic…try this…microwave some frozen broccoli a few minutes to soften it and then mix it with about a teaspoon of olive oil (if you use a whole bag of broccoli), salt, pepper and a TON of minced or smashed garlic and roast it at 450 for 15-20 minutes. It softens up the broccoli and it has that garlic-y roasted flavor. YUM!

I was very wordy today so if you made it this far, thanks and kudos!

Hope you all have a nice week!


“But how do you wait for heaven
And who has that much time
And how do you keep your feet on the ground
When you know, that you were born, you were born to fly

My daddy, he's grounded like the oak tree
My momma, she is steady as the sun
Oh you know I love my folks
But I keep starin' down the road
Just lookin' for my one chance to run

Yeah, 'cause I will soar away like the blackbird
I will blow in the wind like a sea
I will plant my heart in the garden of my dreams
And I will grow up where I'll wander wild and free

Oh, how do you wait for heaven
And who has that much time
And how do you keep your feet on the ground
When you know, that you were born
You were born yeah
You were born to fly.” Born To Fly-Sara Evans

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back Off Debbie Downer!

My luck ran out this morning as far as the scale goes because I didn’t lose any weight at all this week. Actually, it showed me up a few ounces. Even though I totally count it as a loss when I’m down a few ounces, I tend to say that I weigh “about the same” when it shows up a bit higher. If it’s anything less than a pound, I just act like I stayed the same. I can’t pretend that I’m not disappointed but I am honestly not surprised. Even though I can’t think of any red flags from this week that would justify my lackluster week, I have to remember that I lost 3.6 pounds last week. It’s almost like my body realized it got ahead of itself and decided it would spread the unusual 3 pound loss over two weeks. I also need to remember that there will be weeks on the weight loss journey where you don’t lose weight and sometimes…on the most evil days…you might even gain…for no reason at all.

The good news is that for 2 years, I haven’t let one subpar week deter me from continuing right along. I will trudge through the next week as I always do. I did think of two things that I observed this week that I need to make sure to keep a watch on. The first is my Moe’s addiction. Moe’s isn’t the problem, I am. When I get Moe’s to go, they give me a ridiculous amount of chips and my procedure used to be to count out 15 chips and that be the only chips I eat…well over the past few weeks, I think I have eaten way too many chips with my burrito. I know me and when I have a limitless supply of food, I’m going to take advantage of that. So, this week, I found myself just dipping into the bag over and over without counting and I counted the chips as if I only ate 15…that may have played a tiny part. It will be back to counting out my chips next week. Portion control is one of the most important factors in weight loss…which brings me to the other observation I made this week. I’m not a big fan of Chinese food. I love P.F. Chang’s and I enjoy Chinese food that is hot and fresh from time to time but most places around this town aren’t great in my opinion and I am generally in no mood to partake. Somehow, despite my disdain, I had Chinese food 3 times in the month of March…really it was all in the past couple of weeks. Chinese food isn’t terrible for you…I can get one serving of steamed rice, one serving of Beef & Broccoli and a cup of egg drop soup for 7 points. The key part of that, however, is that you are only supposed to have one serving. I am sure you know that there are approximately zero restaurants in this world that give you one serving of something. The portion sizes at Chinese restaurants are enormous and I tend to conveniently “forget” that little fact and eat as if I’m a bottomless pit. That’s what I had for lunch yesterday, so I’m sure that didn’t help much either. These are things that I know but that’s what happens when you become too comfortable in your diet…little by little, you revert back to habits you used to have. The silver lining is that I notice it every time that happens and I know now to reel it in.

I have a brief bit of TV discussion I want to run by you. First, I was VERY pleased with the Idol results from last night. I know everyone gives Paul a hard time but I like his unique voice and think he could definitely cut a record that I would buy…plus he’s adorable so I’m very pleased I get to see him for at least one more week. I also was not a fan of Naima or Thia so I’m glad they got voted off. I do not understand AT ALL why people are so enamored with Scotty McCreery or Jacob Lusk but to each their own I guess. Casey Abrams is my ABSOLUTE favorite but I also really like Pia and Lauren is cool too. Also, I watched Grey’s Anatomy last night and it was the musical that everyone has been talking about. I have seen a LOT of negative reviews…mostly relating to the campy way the songs were presented. As someone who loves musicals I will say this, all musicals come with an overload of drama…that is their nature…if you aren’t a fan of musicals, I can see why you wouldn’t have liked this Grey’s. I loved it! Musicals literally make me happy…that’s why…if you were to watch me when Glee is on, I have a smile on my face the ENTIRE time. Grey’s Anatomy is and always has been very dramatic and the music has always been great…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve downloaded music because I heard it on Grey’s. If I had my way, there would be music playing around me all the time…at the mall…movies…wherever…I’d love to have theme music. Anyway, aside from Kevin McKidd (Owen) not being the best singer, I thought it was awesome and I thought Sara Ramirez (Callie) was wonderful…she sings beautifully!

All of the characters above (Eeyore, Debbie Downer and the villains from Harry Potter, especially the death eaters) are fictional but each and every one of them represent someone that we know personally. Sometimes, these characters are so extreme that they are a caricature of the people that they remind you of…it’s either funny or over the top or cute. There are some instances however, when a fictional character is a PERFECT representation of someone that you know. I know someone who is an exact match of all of these characters mixed together. Do you know someone who literally sucks the life out of you? I do. I am sure I’ve talked about this before but it’s really been bugging me. The ideal solution if you have one of these people in your life would be to remove yourself from the situation. What do you do if you are stuck with them. The annoying answer people give is that you should rise above and try not to let that person get under your skin. In general, that plan is squashed within 5 minutes because this type of person never changes. They are soul suckers which means they are selfish diseases whose goal in life is to penetrate their nastiness into your skin and filter through to your brain and pop any happiness bubbles that you have up there (I didn’t learn much in anatomy in high school so just go with it). I’m pretty good at laughing things off and starting fresh every day…I’m also very talented at pretending but some days, when you have stress in your own life going on and the toxins of the death eater come your way…it’s almost too much to handle. I no longer have unhealthy vices to turn to…I can’t eat chocolate or a bucket of fried chicken…I don’t smoke and I’m very limited in the amount of liquid therapy that I can have…mostly…I just bite my nails, pout and press forward. Honestly, that’s my only strategy. I’m just putting this out there in the ether to see if anyone can relate? Any suggestions? One friend told me to pray for this person to have prosperity because their happiness may affect their attitude…I tried…I wasn’t very good at it…maybe I’ll give it another shot.

The only thing keeping a smile on my face today is that it is Friday and right after work I am going to Birmingham to spend the night with Jordan! It should be a carefree, fun night! That is exactly what I need. The rest of the weekend should be nice too…I don’t have a lot going on but I should get to see my grandmother and aunt Brenda (they are supposed to be coming down to help with the ducks)…which is always fun. I wish you all a fun and safe weekend! Bye!

I think I’ve used this before but it’s fitting today- “You could write a book on how to ruin someone's perfect day…” Tell Me Why-Taylor Swift