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I haven't been blogging much lately, but I have been trying something a little different on G+. It started when I saw some awesome bedrooms and decided that in a perfect world, that's where I would want to sleep. Each post was titled "Tuck Me In". Since Collections launched I've been a little more focused and they have evolved into a short recap of my day or my state of mind.

You can follow the collection if you're interested in exotic locations and want to keep getting inside my head. And no, you don't have to get a G+ account to see these gorgeous bedrooms.
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Published 5:31 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Freezer Cleanout

I don't plan on doing much cooking this week since my cupboards look like this:

I'm in the process of packing and this past weekend I pretty much deconstructed my kitchen. I have a few pans left out and salt and pepper for seasoning. Oh, and some Jamaican Jerk seasoning. The fridge looks like my cupboards, except for the ubiquitous condiments that will be (unfortunately for the Depression-era frugal saver portion of my personality) thrown out by this weekend. I plan on eating what's left in my freezer, which isn't much. 

Monday: Turkey burger and sweet potato fries
Tuesday:  Pan-seared lemon pepper tilapia and butternut squash
Wednesday: Bacon and avocado scramble (breakfast for dinner)
Thursday: Grilled or pan-seared Mahi-Mahi with pineapple mango salsa
Friday: Eating out if I have managed to eat everything in the freezer, or leftovers.

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Published 6:05 PM by with 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday: Whole 30 Cleanse

First off, carb withdrawal after a mind-blowing cruise sucks sweaty monkey balls.

Oddly enough, Sunday and yesterday weren't too bad, I think I was just too dehydrated, exhausted and sunburnt to notice. Today is my first day back in the office and I have had more mood swings than a pre-menstrual teenager (Gawd, I hated those days).

Last night's dinner actually hit the spot, but that's probably because I hate a whole avocado instead of caving to the cravings.

So, what do you do when 4-course dinners are not being served to you each night and you realize you really do want to fit into your jeans again? Because you gained at least 8lbs on vacation?
I haven't weighed this much in at least three months
Go back on a strict paleo cleanse, also known as Whole 30. I actually gained over 8, but 8 is a lot easier to lose than 10. At least in my mind. I'm starting with hydration. Between the sunburn and alcohol consumption and just not drinking enough water period, I am parched. I think on Sunday and Monday alone I drank about a gallon of water. I can't seem to get enough, or green tea (thank you Panera for your delicious green tea).

This Week's Menu

Monday:  Improv Kitchen Caribbean Surf-n-Turf Salad
Tuesday: Improv Kitchen Primal Jambalaya (recipe adapted from Mark's Daily Apple)
Wednesday: Improv Kitchen Chile Verde
Thursday: B.L.A.S.T.
Friday: Stuffed Peppers - adapted to be Whole 30 compliant.

Why "Improv Kitchen"? Those are the days when the recipe is just a guideline or I seriously make something up based on ingredients I have on hand.

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Published 9:27 PM by with 0 comment

Do You Believe in Magic?

Map of Disney Magic Cruise
7-Day Western Carribean Cruise on the Disney Magic

It's the night before our latest Disney Cruise and this time we are hitting some new destinations. This makes me very excited. What am I most excited about? Probably the first day at sea where I plan on going on full introvert mode. I haven't had any serious downtime in over a year and the stress of it is showing to those who know how to look. After that, I will probably have enough energy to deal with all the Disney Magic ... on the Magic.

We will be exploring ruins in Cozumel, viewing sea life in Grand Cayman, pretending to be the Jamaican Bobsled team in Jamaica, and then enjoying the day at Castaway Cay. I might need a vacation from my vacation!

Tonight we are just chilling at the Hyatt in MCO. It's an awesome hotel, you don't even hear the airplanes even though we can see them taking off and landing.
View of the control tower from our room

After we had all settled into the room, we headed down to McCoy's for some dinner. Steak, burgers, and sushi. Winning all around. 

Our waiter was Fantabulous! The kitchen got Joy's order either wrong or mixed up with someone else's meal and caught it right before her plate was set down. She's been testing the limits of her intolerances, but we both know she can't have both cheese and chocolate milk in the same sitting. Lactaid just isn't that powerful.

After dinner, we did some window shopping on the concourse, got dessert, and then back to the room for the resultant food coma. First one in ... like forever. I can't believe I used to feel like this all of the time. Joy recovered first, but she had the motivation of the outdoor pool. So off we trooped to the pool. I watched Hank, Joy, and the lightning show (incredibly hard to get decent photos of, by the way). Cold water and I don't get along.

Last, but not least, what's the point in staying in a good hotel if you can't sample the room service. Apparently swimming had reawakened everyone's appetite.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stack

Crab cake in corn chowder

Flourless Chocolate Tort
And now for the next food coma. I need like a gallon of water. Stat. We have an early morning ahead of us.
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Published 8:00 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Paleo Basics Challenge

Why Paleo works for me:
This week's PaleoLeap newsletter caught my eye and made it even easier to theme this week's menu.
Enter the Paleo Basics challenge.
For 7 days, starting on Monday, April 13, your mission is to get back to the heart of what eating Paleo is:
  • Prepare every meal at home from fresh ingredients. Batch cooking and reheating leftovers is fine. Tossing a can of tuna over lettuce and drizzling it with oil and vinegar is fine. Grabbing a Larabar on the way out the door and calling it “breakfast” is not fine.
  • Fill 80-100% of your plate space with animal protein and vegetables every single time you eat something. Yes, including breakfast and snacks.
  • No Paleo imitation junk food, whether you buy it or make it at home. You can live without Paleo brownies and nacho “cheese” kale chips for one week.

Here is the quick-and-dirty Paleo 101, if you want to review."

My daughter has been fighting her food intolerances and has declared that she's tired of Everything. But a trip to the grocery store showed that she's willing to eat a little bit more like her guinea pigs (lots of Vitamin C rich fruits and veggies).

Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Monday: Vegetable Soup and Chicken Avocado Cobb Salad (inspired by Panera)
Tuesday:  Blackened Chicken with Zoodles and avocado sauce (or I might just make guac) (anyone want to get me this little kitchen gadget?)

Wednesday: Grilled Salmon with pineapple/mango salsa
Thursday: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (using turkey bacon)
Friday: Pecan Crusted Chicken (no breadcrumbs or egg white, ghee instead) with a spinach and cranberry salad. Or this modified Avocado Spinach Strawberry Salad.
Chicken Avocado Spinach Strawberry Salad
Chicken Avocado Spinach Strawberry Salad

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Published 12:12 PM by with 0 comment

App Review: Unclouded

Unclouded app

The revolutionary tool to explore, analyse and clean your cloud storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and BOX).
With this app you will be able to:
1 - See which files or folders are using most of your storage
2 - Know which categories you have the most (images, videos, etc)
3 - Find duplicates
4 - Know which files have been changed and when
5 - Search for files
6 - And much more..
You can also use Unclouded as a regular cloud file explorer.
All of this you can do while offline! You just have to sync the file list, and you're good to go.
Thank you, thank you, thank you +Tony Fleming  for introducing me to Unclouded! My Google Drive thanks you, and I will probably pay and use it on all of my cloud services. I've already freed up a few GBs of space and now that Google+ Photos are being (ever so slowly!) imported into Drive, I will be using it often to clear out dupes...if I can.

I just discovered that G+ renames photos if/when I add them to posts, so not only do I have the original from Auto Backup, but a renamed version from posts. Doing this visually is going to suck monkey balls. Thanks so much +Google Drive and +Google+ Photos . Guess I'll keep using my convoluted way using the desktop version of Picasa.

How do you keep duplicate photos and files under control in cloud storage?
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Published 5:01 PM by with 0 comment

Throwback Thursday: Easter 2007

I found this gem while trying to clean up photos.
Josh and Annette
Before it was uncool to be in a photo with Mom

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Published 4:53 PM by with 2 comments

Menu Plan Monday: I have no idea what to cook

No really, I am drawing a blank. I'm craving carbs like nobody's business, but you know, inflammation. And if I was just cooking for myself, it would be easier than cooking for the both of us.

Last night we had steak salad, IP ate two whole steaks. I think there is a growth spurt on the horizon.
Based on what I have in the freezer and minimal shopping, I think I will go with ... a trip around the world. I have severe wanderlust kicking in.

Monday:  America - Tilapia (for me) Salmon (for her) with green beans and cherry tomatoes.

Tuesday:  Mexico - Lettuce Wrapped Tacos (hey, it's Tuesday)
Taco fixings

Wednesday: India - Chicken Curry (yes, I add peas and carrots to my curry).
Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry

Thursday: Caribbean - Jerk Chicken - sweet potato for me, mixed veggies for her. And maybe some plantains. Nom.
Jerk Chicken on Sweet potato
Jerk chicken on sweet potato

Friday: England - Roasted Cornish Game Hens with roast veggies.
Cornish hen with veggies
Cornish hens with squash and sweet potato

Saturday: Leftovers, if there are any. When she likes something, she really likes it. Unless a miracle happens and we go to WonderCon.
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Published 4:16 PM by with 0 comment

Sisterlocks Update

March 2014 - Wow, a year ago they were nowhere near collar bone length!
Back then, I don't remember complaining about the thickness or being too hot every day either.
Hey, look! It's late March. I can't believe it's been a year since my last update. Time sure does fly when I am not obsessing about my hair. Well, only occasionally obsessing about it. I can only see real change in the length of it on wash and henna days, otherwise, it's still shrinking 50-75%.
I've played with different styles and tried curling with both Flexi-Rods and Bantu knots. I finally resorted to just using a curling iron to save time and some of my sanity. The curls still fall by the end of the day. My loctitian suggested Lottabody, and the next time I am able to have a Saturday or Sunday as wash day, I will be curling my hair. I also need to purchase a bonnet style hair dryer to make that particular experiment work. I now know from experience that it takes my hair two days to dry when I use Flexi-Rods or Bantu knots. It just looks better at this stage styled in some way.

Because I have multiple textures, some of my ends are raggedy. I'm almost fully locked in the back and middle, but my front, which is more like Amer-Indian hair, is taking forever (as in still in the coil phase and not budding).

Hunting down the photos took some time, so these are all unedited. Hope I don't break your screen!

April 2014 - Just a little fun at Clockwork Couture. I opted not to post the one of me trying on a waist-cincher.

This counts as collar length, right?

Middle of April and it was cold enough for my peacoat. 

May 2014 -  Definitely collar length now. Still thin enough that I could use the hair jewelry that I mentioned in last year's post.

Volume is not an issue for me.

 #FridayFace Crown - I was trying out a new style because HOT!
Gotta get these locks off of my neck.

And I even survived Detroit over the Memorial Day Weekend.

June 2014 -  I think I see some length now.
Amazingly, he doesn't want to play with my hair.

Good enough for LinkedIn

July 2014 -  The awesome thing about Sisterlocks is that I don't have to carry a ton of products when I travel.

Sun's out guns out. This was taken at Fort Warren in MA.

This is just one of my favorite photos from last year.

August 2014 - LOCAVERSARY!
 I decided to celebrate by buying Flexi-rods and seeing what would happen. You can read all about it during one of my first Blogs of August posts.
Big, fat juicy curls. Not exactly what I was aiming for.

'Nuff said.

More experimentation. I was trying for a braided crown,
but it got super chunky halfway through.

September 2014

Still doing great with water sports.

October 2014 -  There are these, and then there is the Octopus Bun.
I think I have discovered the perfect recipe for my henna.

There's a con a'coming and I need to stretch the hat,
otherwise, I will have a monster headache.

Past my chin, awesome.

A little wild after a long day at work.
At least it's not standing up on end.

November 2014 -  Nerdvember really stretched my creativity, not only with clothing choices, but with what I could do with my hair.
Hello, Sweetie.

Browncoats unite!

Aimed for 1940's look for Veteran's Day.

Mrs. Doubtfire

December 2014 - This is the only one I could find that I liked.

January 2015 -  This was the month I discovered some ridiculously long locks. Some of them are almost 20" long! I just wish it was more uniform. And I haven't fully locked, so I can't even get a decent trim.

Fresh henna

I still need to write my review of this stuff
I twist a lot to keep it off my face.
Ponytail holders just don't work anymore.

February 2015
I clean up well.

Big hair...

March 2015 - Finally long enough to use one of those donut bun makers, but it took longer to tuck and get it to look right than to take my shower and dress! Not worth it, though I was complimented enough that I will probably pull it out for special occasions. You can also see the results of curling my bangs with a curling iron.
Fresh re-ti and my hair loves to fly in the wind.

This was using  a large bun maker.
I couldn't fit all of my hair into it
and had to leave about 1/4 out.
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