She is why I'm busy

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feeling blue.........

I'm feeling just a bit blue today

My daughter is at her Gramms house. When she is home, I'm usually too busy to even 
think about being blue......but with her gone

I feel alone and a little sad.

I don't even know why?????

Monday, May 3, 2010

My niece and nephews prom

My nephew Greg and his date Julie AND my niece Aysia and her date Colin, double dated to the Bonney Lake prom along with about 10 other couples.  It was adorable.  They looked so cute.  Here are some pictures!!!
From Left to Right: Colin, Aysia, Julie and Greg

Julie and Nephew Greg

Colin and Niece Aysia

Colin and Greg looking lovingly into eachother's eyes

My Nephew Greg and my Niece Aysia (No, they weren't eachothers dates)

Colin and Greg love them some flowers!

Aysia and Julie

Colin, Aysia, Julie and Greg

Julie and Aysia getting gardening tips from random guys

The full prom group

Julie and Aysia are just hanging around while

Colin and Greg go to the bathroom

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I had great intentions this week! I started off with a bang; two days in a row of serious workout followed by great eating. And then, I don't know what the hell happened. I couldn't get enough chocolate to save my life. I ate and ate until I couldn't eat another bite, and then ate some more!!!  It didn't help that the house was full of Easter candy either.  But it wasn't just the candy, I ate ice cream cones and fast food too.  Last night, Taylor and I each made individual pizzas (more like a size small at a pizza joint) and I polished mine off in 5 minutes (Taylor ate a normal portion and left the rest of hers for Auntie Trish to polish off) So, it was no wonder that when I did my weekly weigh in, I was 2 POUNDS HEAVIER!  A whole two pounds. Aaarrrggghh.

When I lose control like that, I stop writing my food down, so I totally lose track of what I'm eating AND why.  I have to make sure I write it down and maybe jot down how I'm feeling. That might help me in the future to prevent the total loss of control I experienced this week.

Now, I not only have to get on track, but I have to lose two pounds that I already lost once before. How quickly they find me again!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Feeling a bit better now!

Well, my face is looking better.  I actually think the whole process helped, but it took some time to see the results.  No one really warned me that my face was going to stay puffy for so long!  My red marks are less noticeable, but they certainly have NOT disappeared.  I don't think my face is any firmer and I don't think my pores look any smaller, but I guess I shouldn't have expected a miracle.

I lost 2/10 of a pound this week :-(, but I guess that is better than the 8/10 of a gain last week. It probably would have been a little more of a loss, but the night before weigh in, my husband and I went to see Clash of the Titans and I ate a large buttered popcorn. (really, what do you expect, I love me some movie theater popcorn!!)

I am starting another program called "Making the cut" by Jillian Michaels.  The food pretty much follows the same guidelines as the "feed your face" program, but there are also body and mind exercises.  You're supposed to be able to lose those last 10 to 20 pounds of stubborn weight on this program, so wish me luck! I have 15 more pounds that I would like to lose, so if I can do it in 30 days, well, that would be golden.  I started the food and exercise program yesterday and I have to tell you, the exercises KICKED MY ASS!  I thought I was working pretty hard before, but apparently I was being a pansy ass, because my workouts have been nothing like yesterdays.  If I maintain my commitment, I think I actually should lose 10 - 15 pounds in 30 days. I took my measurements too, so I could see those improvements also.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Niece Aysia

This is my adorable niece Aysia.

She is very smart and received an honor roll award magnet that she bestowed upon me for proud display (see below)

My question is...................How can such a smart and beautiful girl be such a dummy sometimes?? (see Don't be dumb!! and upcoming Aysia's Advice on Livingwelldaily.

My poor, sweet niece...............gotta love her!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Suckish appointment

Well, they just totally blew me off through flattery and comforting words.  Pretty much they told me it was still too soon for the swelling to be totally down, that my face is not off center and that it looked good.  I have another follow up appointment on the 30th with the original doctor who will then review the final results and let me know if there is something else that needs to be done.  So, we will still have to wait and see.  SUCKS

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sooooo Saaaadddd, bad results!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I know I am overdue in my updates, but I have been soooo sooo sad and just couldn't do it.  Clearly, my expectations were WAY TOO HIGH in regards to the results of the hydrafacial.  I don't know exactly what I expected, but it was more than I got.  For all the discomfort of it, you would think I would see some results, but NOOOOOOOOOO!!  I actually think my face looks worse.  Is that possible?  I got a bruise on my left cheek from the procedure, and I still have it.  I totally got swollen and my right side still is.  Wow, really???? One side of my face looks longer and wider than the other.  Not happy at all.  I actually spent yesterday licking my wounds.  It was my first day without my daughter since the procedure, so I finally had the opportunity to mope about it (can't do that when you have an active 5 year old daughter that may not understand!!) So, yesterday, I sat around and ate everything and watched the home and garden channel over and over and over!!  I have four new pimples and my face is splotchier than ever.  I went back on Friday, because I really think the person who did it, did it wrong.  I wanted to speak to her, but she wasn't in and won't be in for two weeks, so I talked to her supervisor.  She was very sympathetic and told me that it was still too soon to be totally back to normal, but she made an appointment for me on Monday with a doctor to check my results.  We'll see.

So, I weighed myself yesterday and I gained almost a pound.  Now if you consider that I was losing an average of  2.1 pounds a week, that is like a 3 pound gain, right??  I blame it on the hydrafacial, totally.  It has me depressed and I think I eat more or crave bad foods when I am.  So sad!!  Hopefully, things will be better after my appointment on Monday.  I am hoping they will fix the problem.  Maybe give me another one for free with a better physician.  hmmmmm.......we'll see. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Finished the four week program - YEAH

Today is officially the end of the "4 weeks to gorgeous skin" plan.  I have totally found a life-long program.  Why I waited until almost my mid-forties to start taking care of my body and skin is beyond me.  I looked through the photos and I can't really tell a difference in them, but when I look in the mirror, I can totally see a difference.  Plus, when I put on my make up, it seems to look fresher and more youthful.  My skin is still very oily, but not as bad as before.  I don't think I am going to post the photos on line (do I really want to post all of my imperfections for the world to see, with no make-up to conceal the flaws??), but I will show them to my sisters to get some insight into the improvement of my skin.  I am still going to keep the photo journal for the "before" and "after" when I get the hydrafacial. (This Tuesday and I am so EXCITED!!!) It will be interesting to see.

I lost 8.4 pounds in 4 weeks doing this program.  That averages to 2.1 lbs per week, which is a very healthy weight loss.  This is quite amazing since I had three different servings of ice cream....YESTERDAY, not to mention a bag of popcorn and McDonalds for dinner.  It was a treat filled day, what can I say!

At first, I couldn't figure out why they didn't just have us do all the stuff right at the beginning, rather than wait it out week by week, but now I understand.  Doing everything right from the start would have probably been overwhelming.  I think I needed the week to get accustomed to one thing before introducing something new.  Whatever the reason, it worked and I will continue doing this forever.  I feel better and I think I look better.  So, even if no one else notices, I notice and that is good for my confidence. 

I can't wait to share the results of the hydrafacial.  9am on Tuesday!!!  I will take an immediate photo before and an immediate photo afterwards.  Then, once my face calms a bit, I will take another photo.  These, I may share, depending upon how dreadful I look.  (I don't take a good picture as it is, so imagine how awful it can look with NO makeup)  No matter what, I will show them to the sisters again and see what they say.  I'll let you know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Minimize your Wrinkles - UPDATE

I decided to treat myself to a reward for staying with my skin program for a month, so I scheduled a HydraFacial at a dermatologist's office.  This is the new Microdermabrasion.  It uses a diamond attachment that scrapes off and then sucks up the dead skin cells.  Then, they apply a concentrated face serum.  I wanted to get Fraxel done (basically lasering off the top layers of your face!!) but it costs $3600.00!!!  Yes, I printed that correctly.  Since that was WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET, I sprung for the HydraFacial AND the optional pre-treatments. (A cream I put on my face everyday for a week before the procedure).  This costs a reasonable $165.00 as opposed to the whopping $3600.00.

I went in on the 15th to get the cream and have been applying it generously.  I don't know if it's the cream or the fact that I had to stop the Retinol as of the 12th, but I have 3 new pimples!!  But, the honker in the middle of my eyes is finally looking like a small mole as opposed to the massive growth it once was.

So, my appointment is on the 23rd at 9am and I am SO EXCITED!!!  I know it is not going to give me the results that the Fraxel would, but I do think I should see some improvement.  I have been really good to my face for almost a month, and it should pay off for me.  It's hard to see the improvement when you are looking at it everyday, but the weekly pictures can't lie.  I will have the four photos from the plan and then one after the procedure.  We'll see!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 4 - Minimize your wrinkles

Tough, tough week!  It was so busy that we ended up eating out a lot.  Three times at the fast food restaurants.  Bad, bad me!  Didn't get much exercise in AND two different nights, I fell asleep before washing my face.  But despite being pretty bad this week, I still only got one pimple and lost almost a pound!!  I am down EXACTLY 8 POUNDS for the three weeks.  The new pimple I got is small and I don't think it will develop into a honker, but the huge one that I've had between my eyes for two weeks is worse than ever.  I definitely am going to get back on track this week and start the fourth and final week of the challenge.

By now the only thing left to contend with may be a few pesky lines.  Surprisingly, some of the latest cures come in a bottle - not a syringe - and can be used in the morning and at night in place of your moisturizer or cream.  These are topical solutions that mimic the effects of injectables, albeit not as dramatically.  Dr. Brandt Crease Release ($150; drbandtskincare.com) contains a gamma-aminobutyric acid complex that has the power to relax your facial muscles so they can't contract and form creases; Dr. Loretta Youth Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler ($45; drloretta.com) features potent hydrators, like hyaluronic acid and urea, that draw moisture deep into skin, helping to plump it up; and Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing Wrinkle Treatment ($19; at drugstores) has silicone to fill in and camouflage lines on contact.

I'll be using the Olay Regenerist in the morning since that is more in my price range.  I will not be using it at night since there is NO WAY I am replacing the Chanel cream until I totally run out and am unable to get new samples.  I have been taking pictures of my face and plan to show the 4 week progression at the end.  Wish me well for this last week!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Make over your medicine cabinet - update

Hard to believe I've stuck with this for almost 3 weeks.  Talk about commitment (for me at least).  I can tell a noticeable difference in everything about me.  I am trimmer, my face is fresher, and my energy is twice what it was.  I'm definitely a convert now.  What is super sweet is that there were NO NEW PIMPLES THIS WEEK so far.  I still have a leftover from last week (and that would be the one right between my eyes, thank you), but no new ones.  I feel very hopeful about that.  Oh, and I LOVE the Chanel Sublimage that I am using in the evenings.  No wonder it's $400.00 a jar.....it is awesome.  I will have to find some disguises so I can keep hitting the Chanel girls for samples each month.  Family members....if you're reading this, help me out.  I want those samples!!!  I will be posting week 4's plan and my pound loss on Saturday.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

MAKE OVER YOUR MEDICINE CABINET - Week 3 - I wanna look like Courtney Cox

First I just have to say how excited I am that I have actually stuck with something for TWO WHOLE WEEKS already!!  Yea for me!!  I'm telling you, I feel like a brand new person.  I have more energy, I feel more confident and I am beginning to care about my looks again.  I went through quite a frumpy stage where I just gave up.  No more of that!  I am down to just one pimple.  All of the others have gone down, but another one left a red mark.  I guess I can't have it all.  So, are you dying to know how much weight I lost doing my face routine for another week???  Well, I have lost another 3 pounds.  YEAH, that's right, 3 pounds!!!  That means my two week total is 7.2 pounds.  And that is without counting calories AND getting healthier skin.  So, do you think I'm going to stop.  NO.  So, as I continue week one's "FEED YOUR FACE" and week two's "TRANSFORM YOUR FACE", I will begin week three's "MAKE OVER YOUR MEDICINE CABINET".  One thing about week 2, however, is I am not going to exfoliate so drastically every day.  I am going to use a gentle exfoliating cleanser each morning and still use the retinol at night.  So, on to week three's directives....

Here's what to stock for daily use:

Cleanser - A mild formula, such as Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream Cleanser ($7; at drugstores), with calming feverfew, is suitable for most skin types, a.m. and p.m.  I'm pretty oily, so I am going to opt for a gentle exfoliating cleanser by Patricia Wexler MD with salicylic acid. 

Sunscreen - The most essential part of any skincare routine is daily, year-round use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.  (Make life easier by choosing a moisturizer that incorporates one.) A really good one is Shiseido Future Solution LX Daytime Protective Cream SPF 15 ($240; macys.com) with hyaluronic acid.  Now, if I could afford this, I would be able to afford some nice facial treatments from a doctor, but since I can't, I am going to use Patricia Wexler Moisturizer SPF 30 or get that sample of Prevage (see below). 

Antioxidants - Even with sunscreen on, some UV rays will still get through.  Having antioxidants on your skin provides an extra level of protection against free radicals.  Layer an antioxidant serum, such as RoC Multi Correxion Skin Renewing Serum ($25; at drugstores), underneath your sunscreen.  Or, for maximum convenience, use a product that does triple duty (moisturizer, sunscreen, and antioxidant), such as Prevage Day Ultra Protection Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 ($125; elizabetharden.com), which contains the free radical fighter idebenone.  I'm going to try the RoC as it seems more in my price range.

Night Cream - The best time to give your skin an extra dose of nourishment?  While you sleep and your body shifts its attention to cellular repair.  Try Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Ultra Firming Night Cream ($165; chanel.com).  I'm going to try to get a sample big enough to last me a couple of weeks, but most likely I'm going to have to use something else.  I'll let you know.

Eye Cream - The skin around the eyes ages faster than the rest of the face because it's thinner and has fewer oil glands to keep it hydrated.  So by the time you hit your 30s, you'll need to add a cream specifically for this area, such as Estee Lauder Time Zone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Eye Creme ($44; esteelauder.com).  I'm going to try and get a sample of this one too.  If I like it, I'll fork out the bucks, otherwise, I'll downgrade to a $20.00 option.

Well good luck with your skin and wish me luck too.  I'll give you a midweek update.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Transform you face - Update

Well, I don't have Cate Blanchett's skin yet....not even close, but I have hope.  The two pimples that I still had from last week are finally disappearing, but one is definitely leaving a red mark.  CRAP!  Plus, I have one new one almost right between my eyebrows, one next to my nose and another at the corner of my mouth.  How lovely is that!! As far as the daily exfoliating goes, I should have bought new pads.  I don't think the ones I had leftover from almost a year ago have the same strength.  They're a little dry, so I wet them with a bit of water before applying each morning.  My face is redder and seems much more sensitive right now.  If I wipe my face too hard, it leaves a red mark for about 10 minutes.  It feels tighter, but not dry.

I've had a little trouble keeping up with the healthy eating.  I just can't seem to get those vegetables in!!  Plus, it is so darn expensive.  I have to shop about 2 times a week to keep up with the fresh fruit and veggies.  Plus, when I decide to cook a recipe, I almost always have to buy some of the ingredients.  I need to be a bit more organized with my planning and then that part should get easier.

I couldn't help it and ended up weighing myself early.  I won't share the results yet, since weight fluctuates so much from day to day, but lets just say, it looks very promising!!

This next recipe sounds delicious and I am hoping it will help me get those vegetables in.  I'm going to try it tonight!

Feta chicken with Greek vegetables - Serves 4

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 whole bone-in, skinless chicken breasts, split crosswise.
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup crumbled lowfat feta
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 whole-wheat pitas, warmed

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Blanch asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain stalks and plunge in a bowl of ice water.  Drain again and pat dry; set aside.  Heat oil in a 6 - 8 quart heavy-bottomed ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot.  Cover and cook, turning once, until slightly brown, 5 - 8 minutes.  Stir in onion and garlic; replace lid and cook until soft, 4 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and eggplant.  Replace lid, place pot in oven and cook until eggplant is tender, about 18 minutes.  Remove pot from oven and stir in asparagus and spinach; sprinkle with feta.  Replace lid and let rest 15 minutes.  Stir in oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Serve by placing a piece of chicken on top of the vegetables and the pita on the side.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sample menu for "Feed Your Face"

When I started the "Four weeks to Gorgeous skin" program, that was exactly what I wanted....Gorgeous skin.  But, when I lost 4.2 pounds by following the "Feed Your Face" advice for week one, well you can guess that I was pretty excited!!  And apparently, some of you were too.  I was asked by a couple of readers to give a sample menu of the foods I ate for that week, so here is what my family and I ate.  (Please read "Four weeks to Gorgeous Skin - Feed Your Face - for details on the suggested food to eat)

First - What are serving sizes
1 Fruit = a whole medium fruit; 1 cup of berries; or 1/2 cup cut fruit
1 Vegetable = 1/2 cup chopped veggies; 1 cup of greens
1 Whole Grain = Slice of bread; 1/2 cup cereal or grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, whole wheat.
1 Protein = one egg, 3 ounces of fish or meat, 1/2 cup of tofu or beans
1 Fat = 1 tsp Olive oil, six nuts or 1 tblsp ground flaxseed
1 Water = 8 ounces

I want to start by saying that when I started the "Feed Your Face" week, I had decided to try to feed my family mostly organic foods.  All of our eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, bread, and almost everything else was switched to organic.  Anything that we used to eat that contained white flour was off limit.  Since we needed to get whole grains in for the program, we switched all pastas to either brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, quinoa or spelt.  We switched our bread to Rainier Organic Bakery Ezekiel 4:9 and all of our lunch meats, sausages or hot dogs were switched to nitrate/nitrite free, no fillers and no antibiotics used.  Basically, we were trying to go without preservatives or chemicals.  Now imagine trying to shop like that.  HARD!!  Plus, not everyone carries this type of food, so you have to shop around.  Good luck!  Anyway, here's the menu.

Breakfast - I take my supplements with my milk in the morning
Tomato/cheese one egg omelet, toast with real butter, sliced kiwi, 1 cup milk
Boiled egg, slice of ham, blueberries, 1 cup milk
Whole multi grain oatmeal, blueberries, ham, 1 cup milk
Plain yogurt with berries and stevia, toast with real butter, 1 cup milk

Lunch - I get the majority of my water between lunch and dinner and I eat my dessert after lunch instead of after dinner!

Bowl of chili (see recipe), slice of toast with real butter
Ham/cheese/tomato sandwich, apple
Tuna/Cheese/tomato open face sandwich, grapes
Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with tomato soup
Cheeseburger patty with tomato and lettuce, 1/2 cup quinoa

Snacks - Try to go no longer than 4 hours without eating
1/2 cup Bean dip and 20 "Guiltless Gourmet" Corn chips
20 raw walnuts and apple
3 slices of turkey on a whole wheat tortilla
Low fat cheese stick and unlimited blueberries

Dinner - Don't eat ANYTHING after 9pm.....preferably 7pm
Chili, cornbread, salad
4 ounce Chicken Breast, tomato/mozzarella salad, Quinoa
Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, slice of toast
Sesame Noodles and Salmon, steamed broccoli
2 whole wheat fajitas, brown spanish rice, bean dip and "Guiltless Gourmet" tortilla chips

I hope this helps you on your way to the better skin AND slimmer waistline.  I let you know how my second week goes.  Here's another recipe to keep you on track....

Chicken Tacos with Drunken Beans - Serves 4

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
3 med slices nitrate free turkey bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 med fresh jalapenos, minced
1 large can refried black beans
1 sm can (14.5) fat free chicken broth
1 bottle Corona Light
1 Cup shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
4 - 6' Ezekiel tortillas

Salt and pepper chicken and grill til done.  Slice or shred and set aside.  Brown bacon.  Add garlic and jalapenos and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add beans, then 1/2 can broth and stir until smooth.  Stir in beer and heat through.  Serve next to the tacos.  YUM

Saturday, February 27, 2010

TRANSFORM YOUR FACE - Week 2 - Can I get Cate Blanchett's skin?

First off, I'll have to tell you a bit about week one.  It took a lot of planning to eat that way, but once the planning and shopping was done, it wasn't too hard.  Expensive, yes, but not terribly difficult.  I wasn't able to cram in all the servings they required each day and only made the full serving of vegetables once.

Bad news - I got 4 new pimples this week.  Good news - they were not as huge as normal and they went away much faster.  Two of them are already gone with no telltale signs and the other two are on their way to disappearing.  Usually, I get a nice little red scar after a pimple (whether I pick at it or not), but these didn't leave any noticeable marks, so another good thing!  Also,  I lost 4.2 pounds doing this!!  WHAT???  I was doing this for the skin improvements!!  Who knew there would be such an awesome side affect!!  So, as I continue the food requirements, I will begin phase 2 of the program.

Transform your face
They say the trick to minimizing splotchiness and brown spots and boosting radiance is to use products that increase cellular turnover.  So, how to do that?  Exfoliating every morning by using a gentle granular scrub or glycolic acid lotion, or at night with a retinoid (a vitamin A derivative), is a good way to slough off dull cells and expose newer, healthier skin.

Suggestions to use - Patricia Wexler M.D. Dermatology Sensitive Skin Gentle Exfoliating Peel ($35; Bathandbodyworks.com), with glycolic acid, or Neutogena 14 Day Skin Rescue ($26; at drugstores), with exfoliating retinol.  I wanted to try a suggestion I received from a reader - Olay Definity 14 day Skin Rehabilitation ($25; at drugstores), to diminish discoloration AND wrinkles with glucosamine - , but since I already had Patricia Wexler's Glycolic pads, I am going to use those for the 7 days.  (I have to save money when I can and I have exactly 7 pads left.)  Another product to help if you have any discoloration, like brown spots or acne scars is Olay Professional Pro-X Discoloration Fighting Concentrate. ($42; at drugstores)

So, I am continuing on my quest for better skin!!  I will keep you updated.  Here is another recipe to help you get those servings in per day.  This one takes a few ingredients, but a lot of them are staples you probably already have in your pantry.

Sesame Noodles with Salmon
5 ounces whole wheat noodles
3 cups small broccoli florets
2 large carrots, cut into thin diagonal slices
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
12 ounces skinned salmon fillet, cut crosswise into slices about 1 1/2' long and 1/3' thick
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons Asian chili-and-garlic sauce
1 1/2 cups julienne-cut hothouse cucumber

Bring a large covered pot of water to boil over high heat.

Add the whole wheat noodles and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.  Add the broccoli and carrots and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes longer, or until the noodles are tender and the vegetables crisp-tender.  Scoop out and reserve about 1/2 cup cooking liquid.  Drain the noodles and vegetables in a colander.

In a large nonstick skillet, stir the oil, scallions, ginger, and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the scallions are wilted.  Transfer half of the mixture to a large salad bowl, leaving the remaining half in the skillet.

Add the salmon to the skillet and sprinkle with the lemon peel.  Cook, stirring gently with a spatula, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just opaque in the thickest part.  Remove from heat.

With a shisk, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, lemon juice, and chili sauce into the scallion mixture in the salad bowl.  Gradually whish in 3 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking liquid until creamy.

Add the noodles, vegetables, and cucumber to the peanut butter mixture and toss to mix well.  Add the salmon and any pan juices and toss gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until ready to serve.  If salad is too dry, add a little more pasta cooking liquid.

A serving of this will give you 2 vegetables, 2 whole grains, 3 proteins and 2 fats - WOW!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feed your face - update

So, I am half way through the first week of the "4 weeks to gorgeous skin" and I think I can already tell a difference!!  Although my face is still very oily, I don't seem to have to sop it up quite as often.  My make up is actually lasting about half the day. (as opposed to 2 hours like before). 

I didn't do well on the food intake the first day.  It was tough getting used to eating that way, plus I still had to do some shopping.  (I know, my house wasn't already filled with fruits and vegetables??)  By day two, I had it down!!  And I have to tell you.....just eating the required food on the list keeps you full all day.  There isn't much room for anything else.  I am pretty sure I am going to lose weight while doing this, which would be a BIG PLUS!!!!  I'll weigh myself at the end of the week and let you know.

Just thought I'd share my progress so far.  Here is a recipe I used this week to help me get in two servings of protein and two servings of vegetables in one meal.  It was all natural and tasted good.  (Plus, super easy!!)

Basic Chili - Serves 6 to 8

1 pound ground meat, browned and drained
4 (15 ounce) cans organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 large (29-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 ounce) can organic tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 whole jalapeno peppers

Use a 6-quart slow cooker.  Put the browned meat, beans, onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  DO NOT CUT JALAPENOS, but instead place them on top of the beans and meat for a nice mellow smoky heat.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 6 hours.  EASY!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

4 weeks to Gorgeous skin - anyone say Kristen Bell

As an older mother, I shouldn't have acne and sagging skin, right? WRONG.  That is exactly what I have.  I get acne....STILL.  I also have very oily skin and I have lost a lot of my elasticity.  I don't have many wrinkles (except around my eyes when I smile), but my sagging skin and oily complexion keeps me frustrated!  So, when I saw a step-by-step plan guaranteed to reveal gorgeous skin in 4 weeks......well, I was on it.  Here is the plan for the first week, which I plan to follow EXACTLY!!  (well, we'll see at the end of the week).  So, follow me on my journey for the next four weeks.  Maybe you, too, will find your way to gorgeous skin!

There is nothing that is going to change your skin overnight.  To really see a major difference, you need about four weeks.  It takes that long for your skin cells to completely turn over.  So, let the countdown begin.....

1 ) Fruits and vegetables - three or more servings of fruit, five or more of vegetables: one serving equals a whole, medium fruit; 1 cup of berries; half a cup of cut fruit; half a cup of chopped veggies; or 1 cup of greens:  They're loaded with skin-protective antioxidants as well as water, which helps keep your skin hydrated.
2 ) Whole grains - four to eight servings; one serving equals a slice of bread or half a cup of cereal or grains:  Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, and whole wheat, contain nutrients in their shell that help the body produce glycosaminoglycans, which assist in building firming collagen and elastin fibers.
3 ) Protein -  four to six servings; one serving equals one egg, 3 ounces of fish or meat, or half a cup of tofu or beans:  Protein-rich foods are also critical to the production of collagen and elastin.  Eggs, in particular, contain lecithin, which helps strengthen cell membranes, making them better able to withstand environmental assault.
4 ) Fats - three to four servings; one serving equals 1 teaspoon of oil, six nuts, or 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed:  Get plenty of healthy unsaturated fat by including olive or flaxseed oil and nuts, such as pistachios and walnuts, in your meals.  They help keep skin sof and supple.
5 ) Water - eight 8-ounce glasses: Bottoms up.  Hydrating the body from the inside plumps lines and wrinkles on the outside.
6 ) Supplements - taking a multivitamin ensures your skin gets what it needs.  Try one with nourishing amino acids and antioxidants.

I will keep track and post my daily results while following the plan this week.  At the end of the week, I will post week 2's suggestions and my week one results.  Wish me luck!!

Here's a recipe that will help me get some of these nutrients in me all at once!  It does seem like a lot of servings to try and fit in each day.

Breakfast Burrito - Serves 4

Nonstick spray
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups prewashed spinach -
2 large eggs
6 large egg whites
red pepper to taste
4 - 6 inch whole wheat tortillas
3 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup grated low fat pepper jack cheese

Spray non-stick spray in skillet and heat on medium.  Add garlic and spinach and cook til soft.  In a separate skillet, cook eggs with pepper.  Layer spinach, eggs, tomato and cheese in each tortilla and serve.

One of these suckers gives me 2 proteins, 1 grain, 1 fat, 2 veggies.  A good start!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sean and Helena

This is my son Sean and his wife Helena.  They have given me my first grandchild!!  I now have a grandson named Tegan and he is PERFECT!!

Are they not the cutest couple you've seen.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I was so excited when I heard about Adderall.  It seemed the PERFECT answer to my lagging energy and slow and steady weight gain.  On paper and in theory it sounded so good.  I'd have energy, I would focus on tasks and I would lose my appetite and thus, lose weight.  But so far, after five days, the experiment is a bust!!  I know, five days doesn't really constitute a very good experiment, but when you're a busy mother, and something doesn't work, you have to move on to something else.

Day 1 - Seemed like I had a bit more energy.  At first, it felt like nervous energy, but it got better.  My focus, however, was NOT any better.  When I talked I felt like I was stumbling over my words and couldn't get my thoughts out.  I felt foggy and even more unfocused than usual.  I was able to organize my on line photos, which was a project I had been putting off, but besides that, I didn't accomplish anything out of the usual.  I didn't go to bed until about midnight (I'm usually asleep by 10) and I didn't sleep well at all.  I kept waking throughout the night and then woke up at about 4:30am and couldn't fall back asleep.

Day 2 - This was the best day in terms of energy.  I got a bit more accomplished than I think I would have normally, but the focus was still weak and my speech was embarrassing.  I could barely communicate when I needed to, unable to get a single thought out in a clear manner.  That night, I barely slept at all.  I kept tossing and turning and had a few vivid dreams.  I finally woke up at 3:00am and couldn't fall back asleep.

Day 3 - I felt like a zombie.  Two days without sleep was not a good start.  I decided to take half a dosage because I had to be able to get some sleep.  I knew another night without sleep was going to be BAD.  I ate like a cow that day.(So much for loss of appetite) and with little energy.  I craved ice cream and ended up eating two ice cream cones and a blizzard.  I did get to sleep at a decent hour, but it was still a very light sleep.  I woke up at 5:00, but still felt a bit more rested than before.

Day 4 - I was still feeling tired, but decided to still only take a half dosage to avoid another night of restless sleep.  I had so many things to do today and was really hoping to have some extra energy, but to no avail.  The nervousness seemed to have gone away, but the inability to have a normal conversation and tiredness remained!!!  My appetite still seemed out of control. How is this possible.  I am sure I am the only person able to eat and eat while taking this.  I craved bread and ice cream.  We ended up having pizza and blizzards again.  I am sure that I have gained 5 pounds.  Worse yet, I hadn't worked out a single day while taking the Adderall.  I went to sleep at a decent hour and actually slept pretty well.  I woke up at 5:30 (pretty standard) and felt ready for the day.

Day 5 - I actually worked out this morning.  It felt good to be at the gym again.  I almost didn't take the half dosage today because I felt so good without it, but I did anyways.  It worked out pretty good.  I had energy in which I actually accomplished something.  Today was the first day in five days that my house was actually clean.  I got my shopping done and I ate like a normal human being.  I am guessing that I will probably sleep well tonight too. 

Despite having a pretty good fifth day, I think this is the end of my Adderall experiment.  The pros do not seem to outweigh the cons and I can't afford to bring on additional cons in my life.  I did however, eat three of these Choco-Coconut Brownie Bars during my experiment and found out that they are EXCELLENT!

Choco-Coconut Brownie Bars
2 tubes (18 ounces each) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough with walnuts
2 eggs
1 box (19 1/2 ounces) traditional brownie mix
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup sweetened flake coconut

1. Heat oven to 350 F.  Coat 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Press cookie dough evenly into bottom of prepared baking pan.  Stir eggs, brownie mix, 1/4 cup water and 1/3 cup vegetable oil together until well blended. Spoon brownie batter over cookie dough.  Sprinkle walnuts and coconut over top of brownie batter.
3. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes.  Cool completely.  To serve, cut into 36 individual bars. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

ADDERALL - ADD Drug or Mother's Little Helper?

Whoever thought that "Mother's Little Helper" was a Valium or a pain killer was sorely mistaken.  If I wanted to chill my mind and relax, I would......well, chill and relax.  You know, maybe actually sit and watch a show.  What a concept!  NO, leave the Valium to those who could use it: Teachers and Politicians.  What I need is something that will help me focus, give me the energy to accomplish the thousand things on my "MUST DO" list and...well, lets face it, help me lose 10 lbs and look kick ass! in my jeans.

What is going to do all of that you ask?  Hellllooooooo Adderall!  Sure, it might be made to control ADD in children, but it should be marketed as an energy boost for aging parents who no longer produce energy naturally.  Call it Doitall for adults.  And where can you get this miracle drug you might ask?  Well, unless you have a child with ADD from whom you can snatch a pill or two, (not advisable and just bad parenting) you're going to have to be creative and ask for it yourself.  Just MAKE SURE you have the appropriate symptoms to justify a prescription from your doc.  Do the research, but it may just be worth the extra effort.

In the "Drug Information" sheet it states that it may help increase the ability to pay attention and stay focused.  It also states that this product is a combination of stimulants (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain.  One of the side effects is loss of appetite and weight loss.  Hmmmmm.  How can anything that has those side effects not be worth taking the extra effort to look into?  Now, am I saying this should be a lifestyle?  I don't know, maybe? Maybe not?  But what I am saying is that in today's "lifestyles of the bitch and shameless", we no longer live in a time where moms just want to go into a coma and shut out their lives.  Parents are now OVER-INVOLVED and it takes a frickin' lot of work to be and stay that involved.  We could use a little help here.

Well, at least here is a good recipe that won't add too much to that butt of yours.  It's only 289 Calories per serving and has a whole 35.6 grams of protein.  YUM.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avacado Salsa

2 tblsp minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tblsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tblsp olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp salt
cooking spray

1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 tblsp finely chopped onion
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped

1. To prepare chicken, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss and let stand 3 minutes.  Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.   Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt.  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
2. To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a medium bowl.  Add avocado; stir gently to combine.  Serve salsa over chicken and serve with saffron rice.  

Easy, tasty and very fresh.  You'll like it, it will fill you up and it won't fill out your ass!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker is UGLY!!!!

Ok, I said it and I'll say it again.....Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly.  I just recently stumbled upon another picture of SJP looking "glamorous" and was reminded how unattractive she is.  Now, before you start sending me hate mail, really LOOK at her!!!!  I'm not saying she is not nice.  I mean, come on, she's married to Ferris Bueller, she has to be pretty cool.  But pretty? I don't think so.  SJP has become a fashion icon since Sex in the City.  And I understand that sometimes a person gets associated with their character, but don't tell me she's pretty.  People continue to associate her with beauty and I don't get it.  Sometimes you see someone often enough and their features begin to soften.  They are either not as cute or not as ugly as your first impression registered and I think this is what has happened with her.  But, paint a little green stuff on her face and what does she look like?  Yea, you know it's true.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Finally, LOST has started up again!!  But, did I get to watch it last night? NOOOOO.  Thank goodness for DVR or I wouldn't get to watch a single TV show.  Until I watch the shows, I will have to keep my radio off and warn people in advance, otherwise, I am sure to hear some interesting fact about the season opener that I don't want to hear!

To save on money, we reduced our DVR sets to only one.  I mean really, do you need more than that?  SOMETIMES!!  I only get a chance to watch one of "my" shows after Taylor (my 5 year old daughter) goes to sleep.  Well, my husband is home by then and we have certain shows that are "our" shows.  LOST is not one of them.  So, by the time I get to watch TV, my husband is home and we watch one of "our" shows.  I don't feel right having him sit through "my" shows, just like he doesn't make me sit through one of "his" shows. He stays up way later than me, so alas, no LOST.  Don't comment me what happened cause I don't want to know.

Next time you're going to sit down for your favorite show, make up some BACON-WRAPPED Shrimp!! Super yummy and not that hard.


24 medium-size shrimp (about 1 pound) shelled and deveined
1/3 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette
12 slices bacon
24 pickled jalapeno slices
24 wood toothpicks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tblsp chili sauce
1 tblsp sweet pickle relish
1 tblsp minced sweet red pepper

1. Place shrimp and vinaigrette into a large resealable plastic bag: refrigerate for 15 minutes
2. Microwave bacon for 1 minute on HIGH.  Cut slices in half crosswise (for a total of 24 pieces) and let cool.
3. Heat broiler.  Coat a large broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade.  Put one piece of bacon on work surface.  Place a shrimp at one end; tuck a jalapeno slice into curl of shrimp.  Roll bacon up tightly to enclose filling, securing with toothpick.  Repeat using all bacon, shrimp and jalapenos (I know, obvious)
5. Stir together mayonnaise, chili sauce, pickle relish, red pepper and 1 tblsp water in small bowl.
6. Place shrimp rolls on prepared pan.  Brush with reserved marinade.  Broil 3 minutes.  Turn, brush with marinade and broil 2 minutes more.  Swerve with sauce for dipping.

Now tell me, will you not LOVE these. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

First blog!!!

I have always wanted to blog, but had no idea how to do it.  I am not a child of the techno age.  I am a 43 year old who just missed the age of computer laptops and ipods.  (I now have both, thank you, and am doing quite well).  So, doing a blog was actually difficult for me and I put it off like so many other things that interest me.  Today, my sister Lila sent me a link to her blog,  http://journeyoftheincessantdieter.blogspot.com/ and I was inspired.  How frickin' cool that she did it, so now I am too.  

As I said before, I am 43 years old.  What I didn't mention is I have a 23 year old son named Sean AND a 5 year old daughter named Taylor.  Yea, 18 years apart!!!  What the hell was I thinking????  Wouldn't change it for the world, but there are a lot of challenges in being an "OLD" mom.  I had all the energy in the world when I had my son at the ripe old age of 20, but that energy is certainly lacking now that I'm twice that age with a child in kindergarten.  So, I have raised a child at both ends of the spectrum: young mom, old mom.  They are as different as night and day.  

I hope that you will follow me on my motherhood journey.  I will be adding recipes and some time saving techniques along the way.  I'll share with you where I find the great deals and what has totally SUCKED.  I'm short on time today, so I will just share with you my new favorite (and easy) recipe.  My husband LOVES it and is always soooo sweet every time I cook it and Taylor thinks its great. 

Puff Pastry Chicken 2 boneless chicken breasts
1 puff pastry sheet (like Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
Cheddar Cheese
Pepper Jelly
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dried Rosemary

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut Chicken breasts in half.  Season one side of chicken with salt, pepper and rosemary.  Put EVOO in skillet and heat to Med - High.  Place seasoned side of chicken down and cook for 2 minutes.  Season other side and then cook that side for 2 minutes.  While you are doing that, unroll pastry and hand stretch.  Cut in 4 equal squares.  In the middle of each square, place 2 slices of cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly.  Place one piece of chicken on top and fold over and seal with water.  Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Beat one egg and a tblsp on water.  Place egg wash over each pasty and place in oven for 20 minutes.  YUM YUM, you will love this.

This recipe is way easier than it might sound.  I am NOT a good cook, but my food ends up tasting good.  Does that make sense??  I look for the easy and go from there.  Good luck.

Follow my blog for other great recipes and to hear the fun.