Published 3:49 PM by with 0 comment

Breaking Things Again

Allrighty then. Here we go. After watching this:

and this:


I've decided to refocus certain things in my life, starting with paying attention to my creative outlets. Especially my blog. It's my main creative outlet and I need to core dump more often. Are y'all ready for that? Of course, I don't expect any of you new readers to be, but there are some of you who have been with me since the beginning. Ideally, I'll get back to more me, less fluff.

Last night I spent hours moving things over to Squarespace and playing around with templates and customizing things and well, in the end it looked like crap. Largely due to my inconsistent photography and boring content and just ... well, I was horrified. And then I thought "I could just close this down and start over", but I have had this blog for over a decade. It's just going to have to keep growing and changing with me. So maybe I am not truly ready to move out of my comfort zone, but I am ready to change a few things.


This is your warning. The look around here will probably go through a few changes as I find something that fits who I am now, instead of trying to fit into something I'm not. Hope you keep coming back for the content. If you don't want to deal with all of the construction mess, you can always subscribe.
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Published 1:25 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Using the Whole30 Cookbook

The chores never end, even when you work from home. The Man asked if he could help with anything, so I handed him the cookbooks and said "Pick a few recipes".

Going back to strict Whole30 is helping him, I'm supplementing my mood with raw honey and dark chocolate. Trust me, it's needed. And with the <insert expletive> heat and humidity in Houston, I'm ok with not losing weight the way I was in California. I figure I'll hit goal weight eventually. It's taken over a month for me to get back on a regular walking schedule, that's good enough for now.

In no particular order this week:

Sunday: Tilapia with Green beans and Cherry tomatoes

Monday: Shrimp with Romescu sauce and Zoodles (definitely a favorite)
Garlic Shrimp with Romescu Sauce
Garlic Shrimp with Romescu Sauce and Zoodles

Tuesday: Grilled Steak & Avocado with Garlic Shallot puree (pg 216) and mandarin strawberry salad
Image Source: Amazon

Wednesday: Kitchen Sink Scrambled Eggs (pg 202) - which oddly enough, I do a kitchen sink omelette, so it might turn into that.
Kitchen Sink Omelette
Kitchen Sink Omelette

Kitchen Sink Omelette ingredients

Thursday: Chicken Hash (pg 228) - I hope I find the cheese grater in time.
Friday: Thai Chicken Mango Pineapple Salad - I need a little more flavor and summer type foods.

What's on your plate this week?

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Published 7:26 PM by with 0 comment

Bantu Knot-Out (FAIL)

So, unintended consequences of having all that exposed scalp? SUNBURN!!!! Yay. A sunburned scalp is a very uncomfortable thing. Guess I'll be wearing it down anyway, or at least half up and half down.


And my hair still can't figure out how to hold a wave or curl even after being in Bantu knots for three days. The front kind of waved, but it fell by the end of the day. These were taken right after letting them all down. 


The back didn't wave or curl at all. And the sides, forget it. They were just confused. My ends ... they are still doing their own thing. I am about at my wits end about what to do with my hair in this freaking humidity! I can't even get it into a bun that looks respectable. And I still managed to get dog hair in my hair. Sigh.

I really need to figure out a summer hairstyle that is easy and quick and fairly humidity proof. My length during my installation was between 8"-11" and I haven't gotten everything cut to an even length yet because some sections are not fully locked. I'm now much longer than that. It's a really weird feeling for me to put my hair in a low ponytail and feel it brushing my back. With all the Houston bugs, I often mistake it for flies landing on me. Though it could be that too.

Any ideas or products to help me out?


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Published 4:35 PM by with 0 comment

Summer Style: Bantu Knots


 OK, Houston, you win. I can't take it anymore. After this morning's walk, I was once again drenched in sweat. I think my hair gained a pound or two between myself and the ambient humidity. And there is so much hair. I had barely gotten my hair contained into something one could very loosely call a ponytail (seriously, it was a grocery store rubber band holding my hair off my face. I couldn't even wrap it around twice).
Nailed it, right?

So after washing my hair I opted to bantu knot it. No more dog hair (hopefully), air flow on my scalp and hopefully less weight gain due my hair's amazing ability to absorb all the moisture from the air or from sweat. I just wish I could have gotten them to lay nice and flat. Not all of my ends wanted to be tucked, so the back doesn't look quite as good, but at least it's off my neck!
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Published 3:46 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Something Fishy Going on Around Here

Yes, that is the absolute best I could do for a title at the moment. Mainly because of the first two meals this week and a lot of tuna consumption.

I'm finally on the mend from the plague, so I have the energy to not only menu plan, but also go grocery shopping and cook. I'm actually looking forward to feeding my face this week.

Sunday: Grilled salmon and chicken kabobs (he had chicken, I had salmon).
Monday: Jerk Cod with GF Cornbread and veggies or salad.
Tuesday: Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles (it was pretty tasty the last time I made it).
Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles
Romescu Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles
Wednesday: Whole 30 Harvest Grilled Chicken Salad (pg. 232).
Thursday: Whole30 Chicken Primavera over Spaghetti Squash or Zoodles (pg. 338).
Friday: Modified Primal Jambalaya
Primal Jambalaya with Okra
Primal Jambalaya with Okra

Saturday: Happy 4th of July! BBQ meat! Lots of meat! And sweet potatoes! And maybe some corn, because... tradition.


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Published 12:55 PM by with 0 comment

Menu Plan Monday: Aiming Towards Goal Weight

Well, we made it to Houston last Thursday afternoon without getting caught in too much weather and no floods, at least in this part of Houston. I cooked last night and it was pretty damn tasty.
Steak Fajita Spinach Salad
Steak Fajita Spinach Salad
I'm hoping I can be somewhat creative and inspired this week. I know a lot of people get inspired by Whole 30, but I'm not there yet. Yes, I am cooking Whole 30 because some people in my life need extremes. I'm still having my raw honey in my coffee every morning. You can't take that away from me!!!! Gawd, I can't wait for my stuff to get here, I need my Keurig.

Breakfast

Eggs and Turkey or Beef Bacon, Paleo Banana Bread Muffins or Mini Sweet Potato Souffles.

Lunch

Aiming for leftovers, otherwise, tuna and avocado or BLTs with extra lettuce instead of bread.

Dinner

Sunday: Pineapple Turkey Burgers with either arugula salad or sweet potato fries. Or both. Or maybe I'll splurge on some bison. It's awfully dangerous living less than a block from a Whole Paycheck Foods Market now.
Image Credit: GreenLiteBites - Pineapple Bun

Monday: Chicken Cacciatore
Tuesday: Bacon (Cheddar) Apple Fritatta. Leave out the cheese and use ghee to make it paleo/Whole 30.
Wednesday: Romescu Garlic Shrimp and Zoodles
Thursday: Grilled Chicken with roasted brussels sprouts and (turkey or beef) bacon
Friday: Grilled Salmon with pineapple-mango salsa

No Menu Plan Monday next week, I'll be at a conference.
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Published 10:48 PM by with 0 comment

Nightcaps

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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