Menu Plan Monday: Adjustments

September 29, 2014
I was going through a downtime and didn't realize it. S.A.D can affect you even if it's sunny and 90+ degrees outside, because you aren't getting outside... because it's to damn hot! I was only getting maybe 15 minutes of sun and had stopped taking my Vitamin D supplements. All the cues were there -- ennui, lack of interest, no motivation, and I just wanted to sleep. I was blaming the heat. I mean, it's draining when you feel like you're melting! The week before I had been in more humidity than I like. You shouldn't feel like you'lre breathing underweater all the time. Thank goodness for AC.

Anyway, I had gotten off track, no menu planning in weeks, and even though my daughter kept asking me to go to store, I kept putting it off, to the point that I ordered in at least twice last week and cooked just the very basics for her. Oh  yeah, I was emo-eating a lot of chocolate, in any form I could get it.

So Joy took matters into her own hands. We're still adjusting to all of her intolerances, but she has a pretty good idea of what she can eat from Trader Joe'ls since her current best friend also has several food allergies. It'ls made the transition to gluten-, dairy-, soy-free easier for her. That, and Lactaid pills.

Monday: Beef and Bean Chile Verde
Tuesday: Cajun Salmon with stirfry veggies (had to take out the soy beans)
Wednesday: Chicken Chili (lasts for days!)
Thursday: Steak Salad (Ceasar, no cheese for her, lactaid so she can eat ranch dressing. Mildly successful, she couldn't eat as much as she wanted).
Friday: Domino's GF pizza with no cheese. And leftovers.

Did I mention that the chili lasts for days?

Sisterlocks Style: Octopus Bun

How do I know it's time for a re-ti*?

I can barely stand my hair and want to chop it all off! Instead, after much Pinterest searching and YouTube hunting, I came up with a bastardized bun for short to medium locks. A large part of the problem is that on installation day, my hair ranged in length from 8-11 inches and there was no way I was going to have them cut three inches off in various places! So my locks are not a uniform length and ... some days are interesting hair days.I wasn't in the mood for a ponytail and wanted to try something a little more elegant. When I was younger I would do braided or twisted chignons for my grandmother. My first attempt this morning was at a sock bun (I wish it would have worked because then my Tiana hair would be set!) However, that was a total fail. The shortest locks just did not want to get tucked. I also needed at least two more hands.

So I parted my hair down the middle into two high pigtails (because of my ridiculous thickness). I took a large jeweled scrunchy and wrapped that around the pigtails. I tried pinning and tucking again, to messy results. Even when I was in high school and college I never did messy buns. I just don't like the way they look on me. I used to gel my hair (with J.A.M. of course!) to within an inch of its life. Straight edges for me thank you very much.

But I digress ... I  undid the bun and before I started ripping my hair out thought "Hey... let's try that chignon idea." I started parting and twisting and pinning and ended up with abut 4 twists per ponytail. Pinned and tucked to resemble a monkey-bread bun, but not a hair out of place. All the while thinking that I have #Tentacthulhu hair now.

*re-ti: re-tightening.

Throwback Thursday: NYC

September 11, 2014
Helping the economy.

The next day, I went by 1 WTC as it was still under construction.

There Was an Old Lady...

I'm not saying that I am old mind you. I'm barely approaching middle-aged these days, but my children, they insist on aging me prematurely. In trying to decide how to describe my current home life,  I couldn't decide between "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"

or Tom and Jerry.

Why? Because the menagerie now includes a dog, a cat, and two mice. TWO! Because they get depressed and die if there is only one. Or so my daughter informs me. I really don't care as I try to keep each little scream in as she hands tries to get me to pet them. Hmasters and guinea pigs I can deal with. Mice ... are mice. Know what I mean? But at least she isn't allergic to them (yeah, she's allergic to dog and cat dander now too).

I hope no one swallows a fly. I am not buying a bird!

I am NOT a Mac

September 10, 2014
... But, in the last 24 hours I have learned way more about maintenance and repair on a Mac than I ever imagined knowing. Because, they are supposed to just work.

Given all of the time invested, maybe I should have taken +Robert Partridge's suggestion and installed Linux, but I'm sure K12 would pitch a fit at that (see friendly banter below).

They recommend Chrome, but not Chromebooks.

I'm so very grateful for the Mac forums and one friend who completely understood what I was seeing and experiencing from some badly articulated grunts, curses and huffs of frustration. Do you have any idea how hard it is to make me inarticulate???

Now I know about Spotlight and that Disk Utility is just as useful as on a PC and a few more keyboard commands that saved my sanity. Mostly. Three hours to repair permissions. Can you believe it? Oh, and the disk had to be repaired too.

I started composing this when I thought I was practically done and only needed to install Google Drive ... I was wrong. Now the WiFi is acting up. As in timing out even though I have not changed anything with my network in at least 6 months.

It is my express goal to get this Mac mini working again, otherwise, my daughter will end up inheriting my laptop, and we can't have that, at least not until I have my Pixel.

Shakeology Day 1 Refresh

September 7, 2014
Here goes. I'm starting at 171 lbs. Sigh

At least being pear shaped means I am at less risk for all the diseases that have me wanting to lose weight in the first place.

I used SparkPeople to help me get my measurements, because in all honesty, I have never taken them before and I wanted to make sure I was measuring the right areas.

Result:Estimated Health Risk:Estimated Body Shape:
0.80 or belowLowPear

Since storing excessive fat in the abdominal region (known as the "apple" shape) is correlated with an increased disease risk, this test is one way to measure your risk for lifestyle and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and more. Storing fat in your lower half, known as a "Pear" shape, is actually a healthier site for fat accumulation. The less common "avocado" shape is somewhere between an apple and a pear, with health risks higher than a pear-shaped person, but somewhat lower than a true apple-shaped person. 

App Review: Videostream for Google Chromecast™

September 3, 2014
Two nights ago I nearly had a minor mental breakdown/temper tantrum because I just wanted to watch a movie in my room on my Chromecast (instead of passing out on the couch watching the DVR'd version. Redundancy people). But it was in .mkv format and VLC still hasn't released a Chromecast-enabled Android app, and casting the tab from my laptop didn't send the audio either.

For a minute I was baffled. I considered rebooting my Chromecast. Then I decided to use Google. Guess what? It's a well-known issue. I finally stopped looking for a solution, none of which that I felt like implementing since the majority involved some sort of media server like Plex. Making a Plex server is on my to-do list, but not last night. I finally opened Handbrake to convert to mp4 format and then, like the heavens opening up ....

I changed my search parameter one more time and was presented with Videostream for Google Chromecast™ - a Chrome extension that does the conversion for me (and anyone else too lazy or non-technical to do it any other the other ways). Temper tantrum averted (wouldn't have been pretty. I am guessing I was over-tired). The only thing missing was fudge ice cream. There will be much more non-Netflix/Hulu viewing in my room now.

Bonus: There's a remote app available

Menu Plan Monday: Dietary Restrictions and a Picky Eater

September 2, 2014
My daughter is a picky eater. In the last three months she has developed intolerances to wheat, dairy, and soy. Just need nuts and seafood to be complete (knock on wood).

Creating menus each week just got more interesting. Luckily, she can eat just about anything from El Pollo Loco, but we have both gotten tired of that in the last month.

Cooking from scratch in 30 minutes or less (most nights)...

Monday: Beef and Broccoli - minus the soy sauce and water, so I guess it was more of a stir fry, but she had multiple servings.
Tuesday: Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Wednesday: Beef & Bean Chile Verde - I make mine with Fresh and Easy Salsa Verde

Thursday: Chicken Avocado Salad Wraps
Friday: Primal Jambalaya - minus the cauliflower rice
Saturday: Paleo Avocado Turkey Burgers - reminds me of the burgers at the District Pub (also much cheaper to make at home).

Menu Plan Monday hosted by:

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