Monday, January 30, 2012

So Sick

I've been so sick this week.  It started hitting me on Wednesday and there's been no relief.  My tastebuds are completely out of whack and nothing tastes good.  I'm chalking this week's excellent weightloss to that fact.  Hopefully I'll  feel better soon, I have a couple posts up my sleeve.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oscar Party Planning Committee, Cont.

The Food!

I've actually done the "Oscar Party on a Diet" thing before.  I used "Cook This, Not That" and made the mac and cheese and the chicken tenders.  My chicken tenders did not turn out so well.  I can't remember the mac and cheese but the whole party kind of felt like a dud with my cheesy diet food.  Duds happen, what can I say.  So I want to try again to have a somewhat healthy menu but I'd like to avoid slight of hand recipes like oven baked chicken tenders, oven baked fries, etc -- they just aren't as good as the original.

What I do make is a pretty mean healthy turkey burger.  I use ground turkey breast and add an egg and chopped onion and cook them up.  They are different than burgers but good.  I really like onion so that helps.  Brian has been buying the pre-portioned turkey burgers at Costco and then using a slice of cheese and a piece of bacon.  That works really good too.  I thought sliders would be a good idea.  I don't want to do a "sliders bar" and have fixings and all that, it's too much work.  I think I will make the burger with cheese and bacon, a mixture of our two recipes, and then have mayo, ketchup, and mustard if people want them.  Maybe a slice of pickle.

From pinterest I found loads of ideas and though subject to change I think these are the new things I'm going to try:

Lasagna Cupcake -- use wanton wrappers for the "noodles" and fill with lasagna toppings (I'm going to skip ricotta because I don't like ricotta)

Caprese Salad - I think this is pretty and is not only a salad option but great for the vegetarians who come to our parties.  I usually serve a wedge of brie with cut up baguette (it's one of my favorite things) but I think this will be a better substitute calorie wise).

Fruit Kabob - also pretty but I might have too many tooth pick options and that gets time consuming so we'll see, you can always just throw all this in a bowl and have a fruit salad.


Two Bite Chocolate Cream Pie - This is only like 100 calories each, obviously they are small.  I do not like dessert recipes with weird swaps from Whole Wheat flour to fake sugar, it's just not my thing.  I'd rather go the portion control route.

I also always do tuxedo strawberries for the Oscar and a veggie tray will be imperative.  We also like to get a shrimp cocktail ring thing they sell at grocery stores.  Those are so easy!  I think that's enough food.

PS - Is it weird to do a chocolate pie the year "The Help" is nominated?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yesterday's Weigh In

I lost 2 pounds last week!  I also earned a 10 pound badge!

Man, this is hard.  I especially like the part where I weighed 228 pounds on Saturday morning and then to make certain I'd stay that weight I only ate 1080 calories and then I gained a half pound for weigh in day and I still weigh 228.5 today.  That was a laugh!

If anyone is using for counting calories or whatnot I'd love to add you as a friend.  Leave your email address in the comments or search me on

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oscar Party Planning Committee

I've been using pinterest to help me plan for this year's Oscar party.  Christmas was tight and I wanted to cancel our Christmas party but Brian thought we could pull it off for a couple hundred dollars so we did by cutting back on our menu and asking folks to bring wine.  For the Oscar party I want to jazz it up a little still keeping a tight budget but a little room to spare for decorations.

I get inspiration from the weirdest of places.  One of my favorite nursey design blogs**,Lay Baby Lay, hosted a birthday party for her one year old and two things stuck out for me that I wanted to use for inspiration.

First was the aqua plastic silverware.  I love anything aqua and when I saw these I wondered why I ever went with simple clear plastic ware for my parties.  No more!  Also, I loved the aqua against the black and white tablecloth.  I spent a lot of time looking for a black and white ticking tablecloth, which I could not find, and in the end decided to go a little more Oscar elegant.

Then I saw this photo of a very elegant home decorated for the holidays on I Suwannee.  I fell in love with the black and white dotted tablecloth.

I tried tracking down the original post by the homeowner and she had the tablecloth made.  I searched all over for a tablecloth similar to this one and there just are not many tablecloths with modern prints on them.  I went back and forth about making my own tablecloth.  The fabric has to be very affordable or it's just not worth the effort and my table is kind of wide at 42" and most fabric bolts are 54" for the wider sizes.  Frankly the tablecloth will not be wide enough for a needed 12" drape on each size.  But will it look awesome enough to not matter.  It's a buffet table afterall.  In the end I decided to go for it so I ordered   this fabric to make into a tablecloth.  Not exactly the same but we'll see how it turns out.

I've been in love with these tassel garlands since they first started making their way around the internet.

I found a DIY site and I'm going to try to recreate the garland.  I went to three stores looking for tissue in adorable colors and I totally struck out.  So I went to the internet and found all the colors I could imagine there and ordered them online.

While I was searching for tissue I found these cute tissue flowers with the black and white polka dots.

I'm trying to decide whether to DIY these as well.  I think I have enough but these are too cute to pass up.  We'll see how that goes.

** I know what you must be thinking.  Why would an infertile girl follow a nursery blog, is she a glutton for punishment?  But I can't help it, I actually find a lot of inspiration in nurseries.  I like cheerful colors often found in nurseries way more than adult neutrals and I love whimsical items often found in nurseries and use both often in my adult house.  This site doesn't talk non-stop about how great motherhood is and how you're a total loser if you are not a mom, I know very little about her kid and what I do know has been very helpful in regular infertile life.  I ordered a toy that her daughter likes for my nephew's birthday.  It's foremost a design blog so it doesn't hurt my feelings or make me feel sad.

Next up, food ideas...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thrownin' My Hands Up (And Getting the Windex)

Places Aidan has thrown up in the last 3 weeks:

On the floor on top of heating grate
On the dining room table
On the dining room chair (not the slipcovered one)
On the old silk curtains
On the new silk curtains
On the bed quilt
On the grout, always on the grout
On the only rug in the house, right at the edge where the fringe is
A secret place my foot might happen to land on in the middle of the night
A secret place my foot might happen to land on returning home from errands

I think that about does it. 

PS - I'm still plateaued at 230.5.  It's a crazy nightmare.  I'm a scientific anomaly.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Depressing Truth

You know, I didn't feel like I was eating all that much before I started dieting and looking at this chart I really feel I was right. I'm going to have an awful hard time losing weight. Granted I did start my period on Saturday but it's not like I'm going to magically drop weight when my period is over and then lose extra to make up for last week and lose weight this week. I've done this too many times to know how all this works. So depressing. My average calories went down in week 2 and yet obviously my weight loss was minimal.
Onward and upwards.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ode to Soft Scrub with Bleach

One of the things I'm really proud of is the cleaning of the bathroom floors. Obviously this first photo was going to look kind of gross, I guess, if you consider the last tenants here had a toddler running around on this very floor that looked just like this. I thought the floor was doomed so even after I painted the walls and trim I threw down some combination of bleach and either wiped it with a rag or used a mop, I considered it clean. Bathroom Floor - Before

But the damn thing kept bugging me. For one thing the bleach lifted the stains ever so slightly. Two, I had always scrubbed the yellow house's tiles with soft scrub with bleach and a brush and it worked pretty good over there and, three, at one point when one of the first tenants left and the floor looked like this in the kitchen I did a patch test in the kitchen with soft scrub with bleach and a brush and the stains started lifting out of the grout. Why have I not at least given this a try? So I used a combination of soft scrub with bleach and clorox cleanup (I recommend wearing very old clothes and removing the cats from the area). I tried 2 deck brushes, a tile brush, and a tooth brush for good measure. I wiped cleaned areas dry with old rags (I don't rinse the floor because I like it to continue seeping in there even when it's dry). I like to make some sort of paste with the soft scrub and add a little clorox cleanup to give it some wetness and bubbles. One of the deck brushes worked much better than the other and I found the toothbrush to be effective in tight spaces. I got most of the stains lifted, some areas are completely white again (!), others including the right side of the toilet and directly in front of the toilet have slight stains despite two separate occasions of me trying this technique. They are good enough. I don't know if it was from my brush agitation or already there but some of the grout towards the front of the bathroom by the door (it actually dips slightly here adding to the tension) started coming out. They make a pre-mixed grout for this purpose, I just haven't purchased it yet. I'm really glad I gave cleaning it a go, the bathroom feels so much cleaner now, I know it's clean now and that's how I like my bathroom to be. Bathroom Floor - After

Diet Check-In

This is my mid-week checkin.  This week is not going as well as last week.  I think my food has been almost perfectly spot on.  As of yesterday I was down a pound, which felt good since my target is a 2 pound a week loss.  But then today after last nights dinner out for Brian's birthday I was up a half pound putting me in line for a 1 pound loss this week.  For week two, being down only a pound with all this effort just isn't going to cut it.  Grrrr.

So, let's talk about dinner last night.  We picked a local seafood restaurant where I knew we could make sensible grilled seafood choices.  Also yesterday I was very careful with my calories.  I had only consumed 418 including breakfast, lunch and snack.  I had a good 800-1000 calories to work with for dinner.  This, plus grilled fish should be enough to not blow it.

We both were pretty hungry but both of us skipped the cheese biscuits given to the table.  We ordered a yellow fin tuna appetizer.  Brian's dad and mom ordered crab dip.  I did not have any crab dip, not even a taste.  Our tuna order was small, I'm counting it as 3 oz portion for my 1/2 - 92 calories.  For our sides we both selected one side to be a salad and we both got balsamic vinaigrette and didn't eat our croutons.  We also did the dip fork method.  Brian used less dressing than me but I counted mine as 1 tablespoon, which is generous on my behalf because it was one of those little plastic cups and I used about 1/4 of it.  For dinner I ordered a blacken grouper with mango salsa.  I went generous with the size counting it as 8 ounces, it may have been more like 6 - calories 268, mango salsa - 60 calories.  For the side I picked mashed potatoes.  I ate 3/4 of it, I should have eat less but I was still hungry (probably from starving myself all day).  Brian selected a grilled seafood combo with shrimp, scallops, and flounder.  He chose rice pilaf for his side.  I thought the calories for our sides would be the same but it turns out rice pilaf is a better option.  Rice pilaf is 180 calories, my mashed potatoes were 375 calories.  Brian also gave me 3 of his shrimp which tacked on another 135 calories (this seems high).  So dinner ran me over 1000 calories making pretty good choices, no bread, no ranch, no croutons, no crab dip, no dessert.

It was a late dinner and I'm trying not to eat past 7 pm.  So we'll just have to see what happens from here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lamp Shade Project

When we moved into the blue house one of the things we decided we wanted was to use the Pax system from Ikea to help us with storage.  One of the downfalls of this decision is those things take up space so Brian lost space for his end table.  There is still space for an end table but it has to be very narrow and I'm still on the look out for that.  Because of that he didn't have space for a table lamp on his side of the bed so I decided to use mounted wall lamps.  I spent a lot of time searching and trying to make the right choice.  I was highly in favor of the Pottery Barn Chelsea swing arm lamp, but I had trouble picking a finish.  I really wanted either black or white, I might consider a shiny metal but antique nickel wasn't doing it for me.  Bronze was too brown and didn't feel modern enough.

So, I kept looking.  I found myself on Lamps Plus and I found a lamp designed by Robert Abbey part of the "Real Simple Collection."

I happen to like Robert Abbey lamps and I like the magazine real simple.  The lamp kind of looks like me, it's all white, the only problem I saw was the shade was paper and I don't really like paper shades.  I couldn't seem to find a white lamp with a white linen shade, the mixture of the Lamps Plus and Pottery Barn lamp for the price that I wanted.  I did find other lamps I liked for $200+ each, that just wasn't in my budget.  I decided to go with the Lamps Plus Lamp (I guess I was tired of spray painting things and really I don't like to spray paint brand new things that cost $100).

(That lump is Andy under the covers)

And I really like them, they are solid and clean and don't feel wobbly against the wall.  But they look so plain.  Oh my god, boring-ville.  I was going to replace the shade but the damn thing is a uno slip shade, the kind that meets at the bottom not the top like a normal lamps and finding replacement shades (in white linen) proved down right impossible.  I did find a place that took special orders for shades, each shade would cost $40 each plus shipping but I've been on the fence about putting more money into this project.

Then I had an idea.  What if I took grosgrain ribbon in a fun color or patter and glued it to the top and bottom of the shade.  Maybe it would give it the extra kick it needs to not look so boring.  So I went to Michaels where finding 3/8 inch aqua or gray grosgrain was not to be found.  I'm stunned by this as a side note.  Maybe they were just out.  So I hit the internet.  I found a place to order ribbon and the ribbon was cheap but the shipping was pretty high so I only ordered two colors, a gray and what they called an antique blue, I was worried her turquoise would be too bright.  When I received the ribbon the gray was more brown and the antique blue obviously wasn't an aqua color.  So I set out again and found a cheaper place where I ordered 3 aqua ribbons and 1 gray ribbon with dots.  I liked them all when they arrived!  I decided to go with the gray.

Today I sat down with my glue gun and gray ribbon and here's the finished product.  I'm so happy with how they turned out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Watch That Muffin Top

On Friday I had a 390 calorie muffin top!  I know this would have more effect with some immediacy to it.  I meant to tweet it on Friday when I found out but then I got bogged down in work.

On Monday, last Monday, an employee brought muffins from At.lant.a Br.ead Com.pany.  This was the first day out of the house so hey, let's just jump into some temptation.  Plus she was a new employee so we felt obligated to eat one.  I chose the blueberry muffin.  While I was eating it and looking up the calories online I realized, duh, that hey the muffin tops sure have less calories.  Too bad she didn't bring us muffin tops.  I believe the blueberry muffin top was 250 calories.  The entire muffin was 444 calories.  Big difference.

So when I came in on Friday and there were muffin tops, hey, I'll be smart here and grab a muffin top.  There were no blueberry ones so I got a chocolate chip one.  It wasn't even that big.  Then I realized I had 390 calories and I could have had my breakfast that I brought in, a granola bar AND a banana for 240 calories.  So that was a letdown.

And yet, why complain, I lost 8 pounds.  So there you go, again, posting with some immediacy would have helped get my message across.

Between ABC (oh, A.B.C. I just realized that typing the initials) and TGIF, it's like no one cares how many calories are in their food.  No wonder we're all fat.  Seriously, a muffin top is the pinnacle of hey I'll cut back, I'll just eat the top, WHY is it necessary to shove so many calories in there.

Monday, January 09, 2012

8 Pounds

I lost 8 pounds my first week!  Whoo hoo. I wish I could lose 8 pounds every week, jeez, this would be the easiest diet ever but we all know I just dropped a bunch of water weight. 

I really want to get in the habit of posting more but since I didn't do so great last week, let's recap some of the week.

First, you may recall, my inlaws moved down from NY to live next door to us in our old house (the yellow house) and we renovated and moved into the blue house.  This move was for health reasons so if anything should happen to my husband's parents we'll be right next door to help.  In NY the closest relative was over 6 hours away and when Brian's dad had his heart problem last year, that led to a valve replacement, it was very difficult to get to him and be helpful for the long term journey of getting him healthy again.

When they moved here I was knee deep in a month of renovations that probably needed more like 3 months and I think my weight affected how I was handling renovations, everything was HARD, and maybe it would still be hard at a more healthy weight but everything also HURT and I felt so LAZY, which let's not kid ourselves, I love to be LAZY at any size, but I did manage to paint every room including the trim and I caulked my little heart out and laid an insane amount of tile on a wavy floor on my 40th birthday.  I also hung new curtain rods in every room and supervised and helped with cleanup with all the other stuff going on in the house.  I also dealt with a terrible bug problem and I'm a bug phobic and it was very difficult me emotionally and mentally.  Brian's parents had been here about 4 days and we were eating at Olive Garden and my brain started thinking about how different our lives were with the inlaws next door, and now everything has changed, our ENTIRE DYNAMIC HAS CHANGED, and we're never going to be the same and EVERYTHING WE DO will include the inlaws and I busted out crying right there in Olive Garden waiting for my Chicken Parmesan.  I tried excusing myself to the restroom but Brian took one look at me and followed me to the restroom were he let me talk crazy and right then and there we set up ASSIGNED TIME WITH THE IN LAWS, meaning we'd have dinner every Wednesday night and breakfast/brunch every Sunday and the rest of the week everything stayed the same, our dynamic that I held so dear could stay the same.  Whew.

So this past Wednesday was our first dinner out and Brian chose TGI Fridays.  I was initially very excited about this because on my last big diet I ate at TGI Friday's a lot.  I'd order the grilled chicken sandwich with no mayonnaise and a side of mashed potatoes (and eat half of them).  It was a great treat dinner.  But then I went online to look at their menu and they don't have the plain chicken sandwich anymore.  They have the Jack Daniel's Chicken Sandwich and it has 1140 calories before you even add the sides.  WTF!!!

I tried finding some sort of breakdown somewhere to find out how it was even feasibly possible to make a grilled chicken sandwich have 1140 calories but there was nothing.  I ordered it on Wednesday anyway with no cheese, no bacon, no mayonnaise, no onion straws (no, I didn't feel like a dieter at all).  I broke it down as follows:

Crazy giant bun: 280 calories
Jack Daniel's Glaze: 183 calories
5 oz Chicken Breast: 155
Total: 618

I counted my mashed potatoes as 260 calories.  I did not eat the melted cheese on the potatoes.

I have no idea if I was anywhere near what it should be.  I have a rule of not eating after 7pm, it helps me not sneak in snacks at night and helps get my stomach empty for the next morning's weigh in and we ended up waiting about 40 minutes for our dinner, and I had set aside a gazillion calories for the day so I could eat at this terrible restaurant and I was starving.

This is getting a little long so I'll write more about the week later.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


I think I had gotten to a point where I really just wanted to accept myself.  My body always seems to fail me and between infertility and weight gain, I was just tired of expecting anything from myself.  Plus I had been a size 20 (2X) for years, probably about 5 years and I was used to my wardrobe of black yoga pants on casual days and dresses with tights (or without, depending on the heat) when I was attempting pretty or going to work.  But then a couple things happened.

One: we moved into the house next door and I found myself renovating again and it was so HARD.  Oh my god my body ached all over.  My knee got so bad it would hurt doing normal activities like shopping in the grocery store or going down a couple of steps.  I thought, maybe it's my age, afterall I'm 40 years old now and the last time I was doing this stuff I was like 33.

Two: the bar Christmas party.  I donned my favorite dress and got excited about all the delicious foods and we got there and everything was great and then all the hot female attorneys started showing up.  Everyone one of them had a short cocktail dress, stilettos, and sleek hair.  I was the exact opposite with a maxi dress, ballet shoes, and I let my hair curl that night.  I was embarrassed to do anything, talk, flirt with my husband, dance, I felt completely out of place.  I looked around for another girl who looked like me, is there anyone here who's 40 years old and doesn't look like Carrie Underwood??

There was not.  I have to interject here for any potential readers and remind you that I like in a beach town not in the midwest.  I was watching this work related video with my husband the other day and it was filmed in the town I grew up in 2 hours away from the Ocean and I turned to him and said, "Why don't our attorney's look like that?"  Normal women with a little flab, a little need of a stylist and a bad perm, come on, normal stuff!  It's just what it is around here.

And as I was watching one of the attorney's freak dance with another girl on the stage for the amusement of her husband I couldn't help but think about frumpy I felt and how unsexy I felt near my husband.  And my feet hurt, can't we sit down.

I thought long and hard about plus sized clothes.  I can't believe they can't do a better job.  I'd be happy to go over to Old Navy and show them if they made their stupid t-shirts a couple inches longer they would be SO much more flattering to the plus sized gal.  And even when I did find something I liked and felt cute in, pictures would show a different story or I'd just be trumped by the hot attorneys.  Sigh. 

I'm just tired of it.  I'm tired of stumbling to the bathroom like I have 2 broken feet just because I spent the day taking down a Christmas tree or painted a bedroom.  It's insanity being like this.  I'm somewhere between I need to help my body who physically can no longer handle this weight and man, I wanna be hot like her.  And I'm realistic in my endeavor.  I'm not seeking a size 6 this time.  I know I'm not going to match the 20somethings (and 30somethings and a couple approaching 40somethings), that's not my goal.  I want to be a size 12 or a size 10.  I want to wear pretty clothes and take pretty pictures.  I want to feel strong and healthy in my body.  I don't want my feet to hurt any more.  I want to be able to go out on that dance floor and feel proud of myself and not feel so small while being so large.

And so it begins.  I weighed in at 240 pounds on Thursday, the first of January.  I lost 3 pounds the first day and one pound yesterday.  I'm weighing myself every day.  It's what all the folks do who lost a bunch of weight and kept it off.  If they do it and it works for them, I'm going to do it too.

I'm also utilizing 3 iphone apps to help in my journey.  Two I consider for fun and one is my calorie tracker.  I'm using Bang Bang, which essentially your record your weight every day and it tells you to eat normally or eat light based on how your weight for that day places you in your goal.  The problem with this app is everyone loses water weight the first week so you're already ahead before you start so it takes a while to catch up.  I'm using it anyway because I like plugging my weigh in everyday, seeing the chart (I love charts) and seeing where I am on my chart and where I should be.  I'm also using Paper Weight, a fun little app where everyday you record your new weight by virtually ripping off post it notes (each one has 1/2 pound).  So you can see how fun it was the first day to rip off 6 virtual post it notes, very exciting indeed.  And third, everyone's favorite, Lose it.  I'm a big fan of counting calories so this is the app for me.  It's attractive and easy to use, I like it.

My initial goal is, of course, Onederland.  Losing 2 pounds a week puts me at 199 pounds the last week of May so that's my first goal.  My second goal is 160 pounds, and I'll reassess from there, but for now I'm focused on my first goal.  I like the idea of breaking it up because a) onederland in it's self a huge goal from someone who hasn't been under 200 since before my wedding in 2005, and b) jeez, 80 pounds sounds like a terrible amount of weight and a bit overwhelming so I'll just break it up into more manageable bits.

Ok, well, I guess that's a start.  More to come later.