Mamavation Monday: Yo-yo

December 27, 2010
Bloated again. Better be water weight gain
Back up to 193lbs. I swear I keep losing and gaining the same 5lbs. This would be fine if I was at my goal weight. I'm still very far from my goal. Each week it seems farther away. What I wouldn't give to make it down to 180lbs, my weight at this time last year. I'm still in shock that I have gained 20lbs in the last year. How the heck did that happen??!!??

New goals:
The cardio I've been doing sometimes leaves me wanting more --  feeling incomplete. I used to have pretty good upper body strength and I miss it. I want my arms back, not these granny-flappy things that have replaced them. And the rolls under my bra can get to moving out too.

Chronic back pain in the last decade has had people doing a lot of heavy lifting for me, literally and figuratively. And it shows in my arms, back, torso, etc.  I need to strengthen my core, so that I can lift more weights and strengthen my arms. It's a good thing that I prefer strength training, but I'm never sure how much is too much. There is no point in defeating the purpose if I overdo it, mess up my back, and then can't exercise because of it. Catch-22. (Can someone kick me out of my mental rut?)

My boyfriend has been noticing a smaller stomach (I still see too much muffin top), so he's willing to work with me on getting rid of extra skin around my middle. Hard to believe that I had a flat belly after giving birth both times.

Mamavation Happenings

Apply for Campaign 7 Mamavation Mom (15 December to 5 January)
 Winter Solstice Getaway Giveaway
 P90x in the New Year Discussion

All I want for Christmas

December 23, 2010

You know, the older I get, the less I want, at least around holidays. I like to get gifts throughout the year (who doesn't?!?)

This year, all I really, truly,unequivocally want … I just want my kids to behave. Preferably when they are together, but as singles too.

For one, it won't matter. He's off to NY to visit family. The other ... who knows. It's been a hard few months since August and it feels like more than a year has already passed in the emotional investment arena. I just want a relaxing, temper-tantrum and drama free Christmas. As I write this I feel as if it's wishful thinking.


Though if you insist on getting me something, my Amazon Wishlist is mostly updated.

Apparently, it does rain in Southern California

December 22, 2010

Well, it's STILL raining in SoCal. I forget what day it is. I know it's been raining since last Thursday or Friday. My feet got soaked on Friday. Don't wear boots with "flexible soles" if the weather is inclement. And no heel. Flat and comfortable, but the wet socks and feet weren't worth it.

So, for inspiration, a few melodies through the ages:

IComLeavWe December 2010

December 20, 2010

Welcome IComLeavWe participants. I don't remember how I stumbled across it, but after reading a few of the blogs, I realize I am not in that particular niche. But I am thrilled to be introduced to so many strong, compassionate, and courageous women. Hopefully some of my posts can make you laugh. If you like tech, I write a lot about that and my kids, a teenager and an eight-year old – just so you know what you are getting into.

Mamavation Monday: Soup diet edition

That actually says 191.6, taken yesterday morning before another whirlwind day of errands and Christmas shopping.


I usually weigh in on Monday mornings, but at this moment I am sitting in L.A.X. waiting to see my son off on another cross-country trip. He doesn't really need me here, but he let's me stick around because I think he knows I need it. I get nervous whenever he goes on a trip without me. Does nervous stress burn weight?

I know I'm at the age where stress turns into cortisol and then belly fat. I haven't taken any measurements, but my jeans do seem to be fitting better. I can breath when I slide (slide! Not jump,wriggle, cajole,and suck in my breath) into them.

This past week I seem to have managed to drop five pounds. I have a pretty persistent cold and have been eating Campbell's Healthy Select chicken variety soup (long grain rice and Mexican tortilla if you really want to know). One can (2 servings) has 220 calories and is (pretty) filling. Usually. Snacks have included yogurt and fruit. Not many sweets though I did scrounge a few when a little emotional.

I didn't exercise last week. There were a few days when I had trouble breathing and the idea of sneezing and coughing all over the gym equipment didn't appeal to me.

He's boarding. Gotta go.

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by@tribalenergy4u. Two winners of the carnival will win a Tribal Energy Cardio DVD. Mention Tribal Energy Cardio, and link back to their site in your post. Then

 link up to the Mamavation Blogging Carnival here to enter.
SISTAHOOD: If you are interested in pledging to the Mamavation Sistahood, Monday is the time to do it. Please go here for instructions. Invitations are done on Wednesdays over twitter. 

Double Share by Nathan Lowell

December 17, 2010

I have never had to hold in laughs so much, and only because my office is shared and cackling, guffaws, and Mary Poppins-style snorts, giggles, and small laughs are disapproved of on my commuter bus.

What's the cause of all this mirth? Mr. "Call me Ishmael" Wang of the A Trader's Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series. I started Quarter Share months ago, left it, and recently came back. I'm so glad I did! Thank you @PodcastJunky for mentioning it in the first place.

Wordless Wednesday : low mileage

Tea by the Sea

December 16, 2010

On December 2 I had the opportunity to preview Tea by the Sea at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades. Despite being a native Los Angelina, I didn't know that this Getty existed. Like most people, I was only aware of the Getty Center off the 405. Both comprise the Getty Museum.

Join the Getty Villa for Tea by the Sea, a special dining experience and garden tour inspired by the Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, and fruits that grow at the Villa. Tea by the Sea gives you the opportunity to take a vacation to Rome without leaving the city and relax while enjoying exquisite delicacies and panoramic garden views.
Guests will deepen their understanding of ancient Roman Cuisine and will be indulged with a menu that includes Prosciutto and Brie with Fig Jam on Artisan Wheat Bread, Shrimp and Cucumber Tea Sandwich with Tarragon Aioli and the famous Mrs. Garrett’s Original Carrot Cake. The event will take place at the Founder’s Room, an elegant space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Villa.

What a find!! Let me tell you, if you have not been there, the family-friendly Tea by the Sea is an excellent introduction to the art and history of Roman culinary habits. You'll also get an entertaining lesson on the medicinal properties (real and imagined) of many of the plants that we still use today. The Greeks and Romans had a use for everything.

Let's take a walk after dinner
Did you know that you can eat more if you lay on your left side? It's been scientifically proven because your stomach can expand more. Romans didn't sit up and eat as we do, they reclined and ate off of low tables.

Did you know that myrtle berries were used to freshen breath? Nothing close to minty fresh though.

I learned these little tidbits while on a docent-led walk through parts of the museum and through the Mediterranean herb garden.
The herb garden was important in ancient times serving multiple purposes. Formal gardens were used for pleasure and relaxation after dinner. While on the walk you will get an up-close and personal look at the ingredients used in the formal tea.

Mamavation Monday: Plus 4

December 13, 2010
Well, apparently this is what happens when I don't hit the gym at all. Wait, I went on Monday. 1 day out of 7 is really bad. I've missed my weekend sessions completely the last two weeks due to ... lots of stuff now that I think about it. There are just so many other things that need to get taken care of on the weekend and not enough time to get it all done. And I don't think it's a case of my horrible time management skills any more. It may be time to re-evaluate joining Flylady and seeing if I can do it as a working woman.

I really need to do laundry. ALL of my workout clothes need to be washed, in addition to half of my work clothes and I have decided to get rid of all the size 10 clothes that I haven't been able to fit into for over a year. (For reference I'm a 12/14 ... and a lot closer to the 14 than the 12 :( ) Once upon a time I was an 8, but I've decided that's a little too skinny. I look best as a 10/12.

A little part of me is weeping at that, but then again, they were my SAHM clothes and I wasn't that fashionable when I stayed at home. It took nearly 3 years for me to reach this weight. I'm hoping that it won't take another 3 for me to get it off. The past week was really stressful and I think I did okay with not eating (as much) as I am used to, but I did drink a bit more. Those empty calories really sneak up on you! But oh ... the eggnog, and wine, and port, and ... yeah, I need a better stress outlet when I can't exercise.

And once again I will miss tonight's #mamavation activity, it's an EA Sports Active 2 twitter party!
Celebrate with us LIVE during the Give the Gift of Fitness Twitter party sponsored by the EA SPORTS Active 2 on Monday, December 13th from 8-10pm EST. We will be discussing all sorts of ways you can get back into shape this holiday season AND giving away a grip of prizes.

I'll browse the tweets as I drift off to sleep tonight ...  (I hate my commute)

Fiber TMI

December 11, 2010

We all know fiber is good to "keep things moving" and this does help with weight loss, especially if you are carrying around a bunch of junk that calls for a colon cleanse. Along with water, the proper amount of fiber cleanses you and -- at least in my case -- helps me lose some of my belly fat, or at least the appearance of it.

Since I have started eating as much fruit as I encourage my children to eat as snacks instead of sugary ones (mid-day office slump anyone?), I have had a smaller muffin top. And better fitting work clothes, not to mention the occasional appreciative look from my boyfriend.  I just have to remember to rein in my enthusiasm for fruits and veggies. Some days I look like the Michelin Man -- all round and not at all the hour-glass shape I am striving for due to gas build-up. That's something you need to keep in mind if you are trying to up your fiber intake to the recommended 25-35 grams/day - increase gradually or you may give up due to discomfort.

Speaking of discomfort (here's the TMI part folks) - I suffer from IBS and at first was skeptical of adding more fiber to my diet. I have a love-hate relationship with being regular due to the severity of IBS flare-ups. Part of it is because I love high-fiber, gas producing foods like broccoli. BUT by adding more fiber rich foods like whole grain bread (instead of just wheat) my flare ups are fewer and not nearly as severe (some days I would be out of work for the whole day). Who knew?

But back to fitting fiber into the diet and feeling good about it. On the weekends we like a hot breakfast and I usually cook. It used to be the ritual to have pancakes or waffles. Recently we switched from Krusteaz Buttermilk pancake mix to Coach's Oats MultiGrain Pancake Mix. These are delicious with either pure maple syrup, boysenberry jam, or apple butter. I usually make enough to last the whole week. If they happen to run out I also have weight loss and regular (instant) oatmeal. You really can't go wrong with oatmeal and fiber is easiest for me to stomach in the morning. If I happen to be running really late there is always whole grain toast (again with boysenberry jam or orange marmalade).

Other ways that my family especially likes is baked sweet potatoes. During the holiday season we go through sweet potatoes like nobody's business. Baked, mashed, in a pie (for Thanksgiving and Christmas), sweet potatoes are a staple. I've also recently added butternut squash to the mix. So far the kids haven't complained too much.

*Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the Bookieboo and Coach's Oats Fiber blogging program, making me eligible to win a $50 American Express gift card and free product. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Photo Friday: Tranquil

December 10, 2010

Photo Friday: Tranquil
Originally uploaded by Nannerlady

Yes, I do love desert sunrises. The colors, the sense of peace, the
solitude. In a setting like this, with silence, it's almost completely
possible to quiet my mind.

Pass the coffee please, and leave your worries at the door.

#Mamavation Monday: Minus 1

December 6, 2010
So my actual goal until the end of the year was a lofty -2lbs/week. That would actually require a little more self-discipline than I have exhibited recently (or ever for that matter). This week I am down almost a full pound!

Not bad for a class A slacker, right?

I'm getting a little better at the water intake, especially since I crave water more often. This week we have challenged ourselves to clean out the fridge and freezer and pantry -- because the grocery budget was pretty much blown after Thanksgiving and rent gets paid first. You know how it goes. We did shopping for the basics -- bread, milk, and something for me to take to lunch this week. Soup. The whole can has a calorie count of 220. If I don't lose weight this week it won't be for lack of trying.

Bonus, the bf has noticed that my stomach is looking flatter. I still haven't brought myself to do measurements, but I think I can handle them now.

I'll try to keep up the gym time. It seems to be helping a lot since I know from past experience that calorie cutting alone doesn't seem to help me drop any weight. For a quick minute there I missed the exercise one day. I'm still not consistent enough though. My current self challenge is getting in at least enough steps to equal a mile. I think over the weekend I'll get back to "Burn the Turkey"

Possible sabotage this week -- a corporate lunch at Drago Centro. I love their food! And I don't have to pay this time!

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by @EarthFootwear. One winner of the carnival will win a pair of Earth Footwear.  Mention Earth Footwear, and link back to their site in your post. Then

 link up to the Mamavation Blogging Carnival here to enter.
I really do want a pair. I even added a pair of the Earth Swank boots to my Amazon wishlist (yes, I'm shameless).

Mamavation Monday: Burn the Turkey

November 29, 2010
Operation Burn the Turkey is off to a good start. The day before Thanksgiving I weighed myself and I was 194lbs and change. The day after I was also 194 and change and this morning I was:

1lb lost! (Though it is a 2lb gain from last week). Still, not bad. I figure I could easily be back up to 196lbs. Because yesterday's shenanigans totally threw off my mood (post on that coming soon), I didn't get in my weekend workout. Hiking around Disneyland should count though, right?

One inspiration since Thanksgiving is wearing a pedometer constantly. I actually got in a little over 1000 steps just in my kitchen on Thursday! Now that I am back at work, my mileage is down considerably. I was so out of it yesterday I didn't pack my gym bag for today, so it's a bust. I may get in a walk after dinner though and burn off extra calories trying to keep warm. I need to stop talking myself out of working out. Making excuses and procrastinating. I'm really good at that. I haven't reached the point where exercise feels so good that I miss it.

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by @drlynnanderson. Two winners of the carnival will each win Dr. Lynn's new book Sex Matters so…Get Sexually Healthy the Natural Way.  

I whip my hair...

November 23, 2010

My daughter is joining in all the other little girls that want to be like Willow Smith. Actually, she just wanted braids like me before I took them out and got my hair relaxed.

Mamavation Monday: "Hair loss"

-6 lbs! Woot! I think at least 3 lbs are due to "hair loss". I went from having braids/extensions to getting them all out and my hair trimmed and straightened. I didn't think my braids were that heavy though, so who knows. I did get in a little more movement. The gym here at work doesn't provide towels and the shower area isn't nearly as nice as the one at home, so I have to prep a better bag. We went shopping this weekend and I bought the  Gaiam Metro Gym Bag (Black) (on clearance! -- it was either that or use my son's large gym bag). I need better organization. Currently I bring 3 bags to work - purse, laptop bag, and lunch bag. Adding the gym bag makes it 4. Not easy to navigate on the bus.
Trimmed and straight
With braids
  • Keep up the water intake. Even though my fat percentage (according to my scale) isn't going down, my hydration levels are up.
  • Keep tracking my meals. I think this is the biggest contributor to my weight loss. I'm sticking between 1200 and 1400 calories a day. I rarely reach or go over my targeted 1700 calories today and I am getting fully faster (must be all that fiber).
  • Up exercise to a consistent 3x/week (starting next week). So far my gym days have been the weekend though I did make it to the gym last Thursday and was kinda sore on Friday, so I skipped. Since I have chronic back pain I'm still figuring out what exercises I can do that don't mess me up the next day.
  • Reconsider applying for the L.A. Digital Mom position. Now you have to do a video! I'm a bit camera shy.
  • Get a physical in the next month or so. It's been almost 4 years! I used to be anal-retentive and get one annually, but I stopped paying attention to my health when I moved back to CA. 
Consistency seems to be the major issue for me. I have all these lofty goals, but I still let Life (translation: work and kids and other distractions) and Busyness get in the way of reaching my health goals.

SISTA OF THE WEEK: Yay for Heather (@notdiyheather) for being SOTW two times now!!!  Please congratulate her on twitter and here. The Sista of the Week will receive an EA SPORTS Active 2 for the honor.
BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by @subwayfreshbuzz. One winner of the blogging carnival wins $100 towards the fitness goal of their choice.
Making the Commitment: Have you decided what fitness commitment you're going to take?  Think about what your Commit to Fit Challenge is. It can be anything from running your first 5K to trying out a new class like tai chi or zumba. Let us know what it is and we'll provide you with the funds (up to $100) to help you meet your challenge!
Hrm, that's a good one. I'm interested in getting healthy, but not necessarily becoming an athlete, if that makes any sense. I hate running, sink like a log, and currently walk a fine line between getting my heart rate up into the fat-burning zone and not suffering an anxiety attack (that's another story). Biking is a possibility. I'll have to research clubs.

Right now I am simply committing to getting more healthful foods into the house and modeling the habits I make my children go through. My daughter is in soccer and about to start softball, my son is into skating, and because of various dietary restrictions for both of them, processed food isn't easy available in our house. I've gotten better at making sure we have more fruit and yogurt for snacks

Of Mice and Mold

November 16, 2010
Of Mice
If you follow me on twitter or facebook you may have seen a few of my tweets about the mice problem we have. I blame Small Town Mommy. Not one week after I read her post on her rodent problem did I see something scamper under the stove in my kitchen. It being September in the High Desert, we still kept the back door open a lot (makes it easier for the dogs to do their thing too). So we hoped it was a lizard. I mean I *really*really*really* hoped it was a lizard.

A few weeks later Hunkito heard something the cupboards. It didn't sound like a lizard. By Halloween it was confirmed. The little beast was pooping in the kitchen, and then had the audacity to gnaw into Joy's backpack and get at her candy. First, we let Zoe stay out. I had hopes that my dog, being part terrier, would be a great mouser. No such luck.She's obviously much more border collie ... except for the digging, but that's another story.

So we bought traps. And after getting into my chocolate stash last night, one was caught. Now we have two more to catch and dispose of.

And Mold
That was this morning. We had also called our rental management company to come fix the dishwasher and microwave. What he opted to fix instead was the hot water heater.

Which has been leaking. For months. We thought maybe Joy was a little too exuberberant in using her skateboard in the house (after I blew a gasket she doesn't any more), but it was actually the hot water heater leaking from the garage softening the drywall in the entry way. This was all discovered after I left home. I have no idea what the living room looks like, but we have been assured that they will fix and repair all of it. I hope so, Josh is allergic to black mold. 

Anyone want some 'shrooms?.....

Katy Perry - Firework

I caved and bought her latest album. Miss Perry has catchy, fun beats (in addition to being freaking GORGEOUS), and a social message. And I can't get her three latest songs out of my head, though that may have more to do with them being on the radio EVERYWHERE. First there was the summer anthem of "California Gurls", then “Teenage Dream” (which I don’t want my daughter singing, but it’s still catchy), and now "Firework". I've had the chorus in my head for about three days now and finally went to watch the video and *really listen* to the lyrics.
Lines like
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards
One blow from caving in

Do you ever feel already buried deep
Six feet under scream
But no one seems to hear a thing


You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
speak to all those times you feel down, stressed out, and ready to give up.  But then she says
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
Cause baby you're a firework
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh!"
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
I admit it's not grand poetry like Shelley and Yates, but the lyrics and images in her video make you want to cheer for all the people who are going through these emotional storms (not to mention being transported back to some stuff myself). I think that if anyone ever dedicated this song to me (and I was in H.S.) they would be my B.F.F. It's just enough encouragement to get you through a bad time.
I don't think I can say that of any other current teen pop-star(let) popular at the moment.


Mamavation Monday: plus 5

November 15, 2010

Well, this can't be good. I haven't added strength training to my routine yet, so I know it's not muscle gain :( .

Goals: I didn't really reach them last week. Not enough water or gym time (as in ZERO, unless you count the 20 on the treadmill I did yesterday), nor did I really get to walk the track during my daughter's soccer practice (her team made the playoffs by the way) which translates to way too many hours on my butt and apparently a five pound weight gain despite cutting calories watching my caloric intake. My only furtive consolation is that it might be water-weight gain. So I am definitely going to be drinking more water this week and may even challenge myself to a liter or 2 of Smart Water.

I forgot that I joined a challenge on Fatsecret -- thinking it was totally doable. And it is, with discipline. And time management. Still working on that. I am a total "go-with-the-flow-maintain-stasis" type of gal ... unless pumped up on Code Red.

I think one thing that I did differently from last week was breakfast. There are some days where I don't get to eat breakfast until 11a.m. ... six hours after I wake up. Back the Breakfast Essentials I go.

So, this week I will:
  • Buy a spare set of headphones for when I forget mine at home
  • Continue tracking what I eat
  • Get my butt off my chair and downstairs to the gym (and not worry what anyone thinks and don't psych myself out)
  • Debate with myself and family about applying to be the L.A. Mamavation Mom. Lancaster is in L.A. county....
  • And drink more water. I need to get up to that magic formula of half my body weight in water.

SISTA OF THE WEEK: Congrats to @MMScarlett for being the Sista of the Week!

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Patricia Friberg. Two winners of the blogging carnival get a copy of Belly Beautiful Workout.

More on the L.A. Mamvation mom

Mamavation is looking for Digital Moms in the greater Los Angeles region to participate in the Mamavation campaign from January 17th to March 4th, 2011. One mom will be chosen without having to campaign for the position. (Which means NO voting.) She will be given free products, a nutritional plan, training plan & weekly coaching to help lose weight and change her life. She will also be joined by 2 other Mamavation Moms across the country for extra support and camaraderie.
But this mom MUST be willing to be videotaped. Constantly. Cameras will be set up inside the home and a weekly crew will come to her house to interview her. Her struggle will be turned into a professional 3-5 minute video. That video will then be hosted here to describe visually what the campaign is about. This mother will also be given a copy of the video as a personal memento and short documentary of her boot camp.

Wordless Wednesday: Wine

November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Wine
Originally uploaded by Nannerlady

Mamavation Monday 2

November 8, 2010

I lost another 2 pounds woot!

I was so surprised, I was actually expecting to gain. Last week was *that* week of the month, I was bloated, and grumpy, and indulged my chocolate cravings. I also stopped tracking my food intake about Wednesday when I went out to lunch with a friend and had a huge BLT. Thursday, Friday and Saturday didn't fare much better. I got back on track yesterday. I've also made a commitment to try No Eating Out in November
which I first read about on Budgets are Sexy.

Focusing on losing weight and getting healthy is impacting all sorts of areas in my life. (Un)fortunately, both of my kids are at stages and ages where they need fat (the healthy kind), so I am doing what I never hoped to do, be a short-order cook. Of sorts. The kids get what they are used to for breakfast and lunch and dinner is as healthy and appetizing as possible. My daughter is eating less at meal times and sneaking snacks more. Any ideas on how to combat *that*?


  • Continue tracking what I eat
  • Get moving for 20-30 minutes each day (theoretically easier since I brought work-out clothes to work and there's a gym in my building)
  • Get more water into me (still hard, but I'm working on it)
Congrats to @OnlyLaila for being the Sista of the Week

BLOGGING CARNIVAL: This week’s blogging carnival is sponsored by Earth Footwear. The winner of the blogging carnival gets a pair of Earth Footwear. Just mention Earth Footwear in your post and link back to their site. Link up to the Mamavation Blogging Carnival here.

I would love to win a pair, but I'm usually commuting during the show time-slot. C'est la vie.

Photo Friday: Dark

November 5, 2010

Photo Friday: Dark
Originally uploaded by Nannerlady

Last night I was playing with the different cameras available in the retro camera app and caught this one of my daughter at soccer practice. She loves being goalie. Luckily everyone else was at the other end of the field.

Walk 600 Miles - Phase I - 1st 150

November 3, 2010

Walk 600 Miles - Phase I - 1st 150: "Walk 600 Miles - Phase I - 1st 150"
According to the math, this is 2mi./day. I think I can walk that no problem. I better not be setting myself up for failure....

Mamavation Monday: 200

November 1, 2010

feet-scale-tapemeasure-de 200 is a number I never wanted to see on my scale. And a few weeks ago I saw it.  Black and white. Re-calibrating my scale didn't change the fact that I was now 50+ pounds overweight for my height and frame. Time to get serious. That, and now my blouses are starting to not fit in addition to my pants. And I really don't like wearing skirts. Or shape wear.

Over the summer I tried a few things, but couldn't stick with them. I'm sleep deprived enough. And not all that self-disciplined when it comes to working out. I used to have a more active lifestyle, and I was the girl you loved to hate because I could eat like a horse and the weight would. not. stick. At one point my grandmother threatened to put me in the hospital because I was losing weight for no apparent reason (it was stress related to finals) but I had dropped back down to 115 (I'm 5'9"). I want to get back to the weight I was at 25 – a fairly healthy 135-140. My current weight is maintaining at 195 for the last two weeks. I fluctuate between 195.6 and 195.4. At least I haven't gone back up.

Right now I am just tracking my weight, exercise, and food intake using a combination of tools available on my phone. I use Calorie Counter for food and weight, CardioTrainer for exercise (and sometimes DailyMile).  Now to get my hydration levels up (I drink between 16.9 oz – 20oz/day) and a little more movement other than typing and fidgeting in my seat.

Follow my progress on FatSecret.

Review: Rachel Ray Chillout Insulated Bags

Good morning! I hope your milk is still cold. Mine certainly stayed that way after 6 hours of running errands yesterday!

I've been on the hunt for a new lunch bag and always stop in that aisle at Costco (a few months ago they had some really nice "designer purse" looking lunch totes). This time, next to the beach chairs and umbrellas they had these 2-piece tote sets! My favorite color is blue, but I didn't like the treatment the bag had been given (multi-colored stripes) and the red/brown just wasn't my style. This green/brown one fit the bill perfectly ($15.99 at Costco). That's about what I was going to pay for one small "designer" lunch tote. For the same price I got a very large insulated tote and a medium-sized lunch tote. Very large! I fit 4 gallons of milk and a box of Healthy Choice chocolate ice cream bars. I couldn't believe that the milk was still cold and even better, the ice cream bars were still frozen!

At the beginning of summer I bought another insulated tote from Costco and it gets used there and at other grocery stores (and soccer games), but I think the Rachael Ray one will get used more if I know I am going to be out for hours and hours. I am so glad it didn't fail it's first test. I usually make grocery shopping my last errand, but there was so much going on yesterday that it ended up being first. Everything else bought was ok being in the car for a few hours except the milk and ice cream. This one is definitely a keeper.


*This is NOT a paid or endorsed review. I was just really impressed by the quality of the bag.

Photo Friday: Fluffy

October 30, 2010

"Fluffy" did not elicit images of puppies and kittens (though there are plenty of those in the participants), but clouds and flower petals. Which reminds me, I need to update my flickr clouds set.

Get Ready ...

October 27, 2010

I know that I am not the only one stoked for Tron: Legacy (soundtrack by Daft Punk available Dec. 7, movie opening on December 17) so here is a little sneak peek of a video and scenes from the movie along with a new Daft Punk video.

The 2010 Women's Conference

October 26, 2010

Watch live streaming video from twc2010 at
I was lucky enough to be able to watch most of the day at work. The panel that really caught my attention was "What Happens When Women Lead"
What makes a good leader?
Innovative Spirit - are you willing to be the catalyst to make the change?
Inspire people to follow you. You earn the right to be a leader because the people who follow you want you to lead them.
Courage - willingness to step out into the unknown and challenge others. Being able to take a risk.
"You can learn to manage, you can't learn to lead" --Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Inc.
It's Time to Talk About What Happens When Women Lead
Host: Blair Christie, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Cisco
Moderator: Campbell Brown, Anchor
Carol Bartz, CEO, Yahoo! Inc.
Anne Mulcahy, Former Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, President, Disney/ABC Television Group
The qualities of successful leadership – courage, vision, strength, empowerment – don’t change whether you run a media conglomerate, a non-profit, an Internet search engine or a church. What does change is the challenges each leader faces and the strategies used to solve them. Do women use different strategies that men don’t? Are women different kinds of leaders?

Photo Friday: Architecture

October 22, 2010
The Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles

Wordless Wednesday: Dinner with Friends

October 20, 2010
"How can one make friends without exquisite dishes!  It is mainly through the table that one governs!"
~ Jean-Jacques Regis de Cambaceres, French politician (1713-1824)

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire 

You can read all about the gastronomical adventures in "Ganging up at Drago Centro"

Bullying Needs to Stop NOW

I almost didn't wear purple today. It's one of my favorite colors, and I have plenty of it, but today has been organized as Spirit Day. Today, wearing purple has a meaning.

I was taught "Love the sinner, not the sin". Despite my religious beliefs (more evangelical Christian than Sunday Christian) I know that everyone is deserving of love, respect, and compassion. We need to teach our children that bullying, bigotry, sexism, and racism are not acceptable. Adults need to take responsibility and stop the bullying when they see it. It's not funny. It's not "kids being kids". It is most definitely not something to be ignored.

You would think that as reputably the highest species on the planet (and created in the image of our Maker) that we would have come to a place intellectually and emotionally to be past all this.

Two of the suicides were 13 years old! Caleb wasn't gay, but was bullied anyway. This is absolutely heart-breaking.

Teach your children empathy. Teach your children to be kind, thoughtful, understanding, and loving. It's time to stop the bullying.

Tyler Clementi
Seth Walsh
Justin Aaberg
Raymond Chase
Cody J. Barker
Harrison Chase Brown
Caleb Nolt
Billy Lucas
Jeanine Blanchette, and Chantal Dube and the many others who have felt that suicide was the only way out because of bullying.

Lancaster lightening storm

I just had to try out the video camera on my Vibrant. It caught the lightening pretty amazingly well for no other light source. It started to hail as I filmed, so I took cover on my porch. The tree in my front yard makes a good shadow.

I also played at getting some lightening shots with my D-SLR but haven't had time to upload those yet.

Do you ever brave the weather to get an amazing shot of nature in action?

Thank You Patriot!

October 18, 2010

Holy Cow!! I won! I found out about the contest when I was filling out a rebate form for a 16GB Class 10 SDHC card that I bought for my Nikon (all those soccer pictures of Joy take up a  lot of space). I followed both accounts, and tweeted, just once I think, and found out that I won. Not such a bad Monday after all. Can't wait to check the mail. I wonder how long it will take them to ship it.

African Sweet Potato Soup

1 small onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 quart chicken stock
1 sweet potato (or yam depending on where you live) - peeled and cubed
1 potato - skin on, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes (15oz)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sea (or kosher) salt.
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter.

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil.
  2. Add the chicken stock, sweet potato, potato, diced tomatoes, spices and peanut butter.
  3. Simmer 10-12 minutes.  (You can end the cooking here or proceed to step 4)
  4. (This is where it exploded on me. The consistency didn't look right and I knew my kids would not eat sweet potatoes looking the way they did.)Take 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup and blend in a blender. May also work if you have a potato masher to mash the potatoes and give the soup a thicker consistency. Mix with remaining soup.

Serve with whole wheat rolls and a salad.
Serves 3 as is. I added 2 extra cups of water to make enough for my family of 4 and have enough for lunch leftovers. Even with wasting about 3 cups due to blender failure, there was still plenty and it's very filling. Blending it creates a thicker consistency.

Mouthwatering Mamavation Monday

In the interest of killing two birds with one stone, I am combining A Southern Fairytales' Mouthwatering Mondays with Mamavation Monday. Why? Because I miss posting delicious recipes on Mondays for your enjoyment, and two, I am going to try to pledge to the sistahood. Delicious and healthy can be done. Even for a carb addict like myself.
Regarding the Sistahood, I can't do everything they want a pledge to do because of my work and commute schedule, but I can do my best to get moving. And in fact did this past weekend (oh boy my arms!). Remembering to post pictures will be hard, but I can do that tonight. I got in 60 of the proposed 100 minutes of movement yesterday.explodingdinner Come to think of it, I walked on Tuesday and Thursday, so I think I went over the 100, woot! Thank goodness for CardioTrainer.
Last week I actually had time to menu plan, and all the new recipes went over swimmingly, even the one that exploded in my face. There have been no complaints about having to eat leftovers on the weekend.
Now to the good stuff.
Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup)
I found this recipe when I was menu planning on the Albertson's website. Since I was home that day I boiled the chicken first and shredded while the rest of the ingredients cooked in the crockpot. Then I added the chicken to the mixture and set it on high for 4 hours. This chili freezes well and is one of those meals that tastes better the next day. Serve with cornbread. I also used the Homemade Gourmet Southwest Seasoning instead of taco seasoning.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.Chicken Chili

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