She is why I'm busy

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.