Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

iPhone ShakeitPhoto app.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday. again!

1. Had another really great weekend. I love that I can say that over and over and it never gets old. Whether we stay at home or go off on an adventure, being together doesn't seem to get old to me. I spent so many weekends over the last 4 years alone. Well, with just me and the kids--since Pete was always at the ranch. I absolutely love that we're all together so much more now. And bonus: our weekends are always three days long. Pete gets Friday's off. ♥♥♥

2. Saturday I was able to go off on my own though. I went and visited with some of the girls I used to work with. It was fun to see everyone again. But sort of odd too, since I'm the only one who doesn't work outside the home. It's weird because it's like I still fit in....but then again I don't. Hard to explain I guess.

3. My friend Christine, who hosted the party, has lost over 150 lbs!! For serious! All on her own. She looks amazing. If her voice didn't come out of her face, I would hardly know it was her. I hadn't seen her in about a year, except for an occasional pic on Facebook. But there's nothing like 'in person'. Wow! She is just truly an inspiration. She has worked so hard and proved so many people wrong in so many ways. I really love her and I'm so glad she is living a much more healthy life.

4. I have met my weight loss goals too. Well, actually, I've exceeded them by about 20 lbs. I've had many people say "I didn't know you had that much to lose!" Heck, I didn't either. I didn't even think it was possible. But here I am...the same weight I was when I got married. I can hardly believe it myself. I don't mean this to be boastful, but I can not tell you how good it feels to put clothes on and they Without feeling like I'm about to burst. Or without worrying about my muffin top (wait, lets be honest here: huge inner-tube spare tire) hanging out the top of my jeans. I finally feel like me again. Which is weird and probably only I understand that statement. I don't have any formal before and afters, but this one here on the left is me about a week into my weight loss and on the right is me about a week ago.

I need to get back into working out though. I haven't made it a priority since moving. There just seems to be other things to do. I'm very good at putting off the stuff I don't like. And even after 6 months of working out every single day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. I still don't like it! But it is important and if I want to keep myself looking this way I'm going to need to make it a priority again.

5. Ok so this one SO does not belong right after I just told you all how I lost all kindsa weight and want to be health and all, but it's too good not to mention. For your next gathering you MUST make this dip. For reals. If you're married already, your husband will propose to you again. If your single, someone is bound to propose to you after they eat this. I'm not kidding, it's so good!

Jalapeno Popper Dip (tastes just like a jalapeno popper!):
(adapted from Annie's Eats)

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeƱo peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeƱos, and shredded cheeses. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined. Spread the mixture into a baking dish (approximately 9 x 9-inches).

In a second bowl, combine the Panko and Parmesan and stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture in the baking dish. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is golden. Serve warm with baguette slices, vegetables, etc. as desired.

I made this for our party Saturday. It was a huge hit. I used LOW FAT everything and no one, not even Pete who notices everything, noticed. If you can control yourself, it's really not all that bad for you. But it's really, really hard to control yourself with this stuff. I had to walk away.

6. We're still truckin' along on this homeschool thing. I am still liking it, and I think Jake is liking it more too. We've been writing and essay on Jamestown (the first settlement here in America). So far he has three pages written! I have guided him some in paragraph structure. I still think he could not do that on his own. But all the sentences are his. He's very proud of himself. He said, "the 2nd graders at my old school would never write this much!". And he said it with a big smile on his face. :)

7. Oh! here's another really good, super simple, very frugal recipe! See that's the thing about Weight Watchers: it totally makes you obsess about food way more than you ever did before. you think about it constantly. at least I did...but it's getting better...maybe.
Take a package of lean, boneless pork chops; sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper and then stick em in the crockpot. Cover the chops with about a cup-cup and a half of salsa verde (the green stuff) not the green enchilada sauce, but actual green salsa. Just enough till they're covered. Stick the lid on and turn the crockpot on low for....i dunno...all day. Right before you're ready to eat, take em out and shred the chops, then stick the meat back in the juices. Then, make tacos or burritos or whatever. It's so yummy! And healthy! And Cheap!

8. I know I wrote this on Facebook the other day but it's still so funny to me: The fact that Megan calls the cat's litter box the "glitter box". It makes me laugh every time. Yesterday she informed me that Miss Kitty had "no food, no water, but a wheely clean glitter box!".

9. Confession: I like all the shows on the CW network. Really. One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, yes even 90210 and that silly Hellcats show. I can't help it.

10. Halloween camping THIS weekend! YAY! praying it doesn't's supposed to :(

Friday, October 22, 2010

The littlest pumpkin.

Last weekend we went to see my dad. We hadn't been up there in a while and we were due a visit. A few months ago my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. IE: Cancer. *ugh*
I haven't said anything about because, frankly, I just didn't know what to say. He's my dad and I'm his little girl. And he's one of the biggest, strongest man I've ever known. So to see him go through see him weak? Well, it's kind of tough. I will say though, that he's actually doing really well. He's finished his chemo for now. It was supposed to be 6 rounds, but it was reduced to 4 when the doctor saw marked improvements just after 3. So that is good. He's still recovering, but seems to be getting his strength back. It was good we went to see him. He said he did more that weekend than he'd done in 3 months. Grandkids will do that to you, I think. ;)
So while we were visiting we took a little drive down to the smallest pumpkin patch in the world. Actually, it wasn't really even a pumpkin patch at all. It was a few pallets spread out on the lawn by the fire station with a few pumpkins, some scarecrows and an old truck. My dad was lured by the old truck. ;)

Anyway, the kids picked out a few pumpkins. Megan took her time looking for just the right one. She wanted the littlest one she could find. Because we'd just read The Littlest Pumpkin and she didn't want any here at this patch to feel left out.

After the tiniest pumpkin patch in the universe we went to the local grave yard. It's just something we do occasionally and it seemed to fit the season (Halloween and all). And it's not just your typical grave yard...These are old. Been around since the Gold Rush days. It's kinda cool to see how old the headstones are. Some of them actually say what they died of, or you can tell if there was some sort of mining accident because several people died on the same day. I dunno, call me crazy, but I think it's interesting. And when I die I want to be buried in one of these cemeteries. I just think they're cool, and much better than some fancy green lawn somewhere in suburbia.
Anyway, so that is that. It was a nice visit with my dad and I'm glad we went.
Today is misty and gloomy. Pete lit a fire for me first thing this morning and it's been going all day. I love it! I have pot roast in the oven and I made pumpkin cream pies for dessert. Which aren't really pies at all. They're more like little cakes with cinnamon flavored cream cheese frosting in the middle. Supper yummy. Supper fall-ish. Pretty much perfect.
I hoping that all the rain gets rained out this weekend so that next weekend it's nice and sunny. Next weekend is Halloween camping!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten on Tuesday.

1. all of a sudden my WiFi on my iPhone is working like a dream. It hasn't worked in months and I could never figure it out. Then all of a sudden today it's working perfect...even out and about like at the library. I wonder if it has anything to do with the power going off (switching off my wireless network)??
2. I really believe that after a certain age all drivers MUST take an actual driving test, not a written test, to receive a new drivers license. Old people going 40 MPH on the freeway is just not safe. Old ladies driving 1972 Buick Skylarks driving 15 MPH down a city street (weaving all over the place) is not safe. I realize that not ALL old people do this, but so many do. Please give me a driving test when I'm 80. And please refer me back to this internet post when I get all crotchety and bent out of shape about it.
3. The library is awesome. Seriously, why did it take me having to homeschool my kids to realize what a wonderful place it is? The library will entertain my kids for at least an hour each week. Probably more, if I went more. Plus (and this is the best part) it's completely silent in the car on the way home. Like completely. They both sit and read all the way home. It might be my favorite part of the day.
4. We had a really fun, but somehow really exhausting weekend. Friday night the kids were up past 11. Then we got up early Saturday and went to a local harvest festival. It was really fun. The kids got to pick corn straight out of the field. We got a bag full of beautiful Indian corn. I'd never quite seen some like this. Bright reds and blues. Really, really neat. They also had an entire field of popcorn. Like corn for popping. They said you let it dry out for 2 months and then stick it in a paper bag in the microwave for 3 minutes and it pops right off the cob. For some reason I think this is SO COOL! I can't wait to try it. Anyway, we were at the harvest fest ALL. DAY.

Then we were invited to our friends for dinner. We showed up at 6 and stayed till 10:30. That's late for us! But it was so much fun. The kids rode motorcycles and played outside all night. Sunday was church and then we ended up going to another friends house for dessert after lunch. Yesterday by 2 o'clock I was done. Jake was reading his lesson to me and I about fell asleep! I could not keep my eyes open. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30. I don't remember anything else.
5. Our friends that had us over for dinner had the best food. Oh my gosh! I LOVE Mexican food. In fact, I could probably eat it every day as long as you threw in a pizza every now and then. Anyway, she went to the Mexican market and got fresh corn tortillas (so fresh they were still steaming in the bag), salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, chips and carne asada. Why don't I go to the Mexican market? Seriously...I have been missing out! This food was incredible. She sent me home with some left over salsas and the corn tortillas. I made chicken enchiladas last night. YUM again!
6. We are just about 2 weeks out from our Halloween camping trip. I'm getting excited! What are your kids dressing up as this year? Meg is going to be Tinkerbell. Jake is going to be a pirate again. Pete is going to be the same scary mask guy he was last year and I think I'm going to be a butterfly.
7. I can not believe how fast time is flying. How is it already mid-October??
8. But that also means it's less than 30 days until our Disneyland trip!! I am beyond excited. I mean, I even have dreams about it. I found this really cool FREE app for my iPhone called MouseWait. It's supposed to have pretty accurate wait times for all the rides in Disneyland and California Adventure. It also has a list of restaurants in DL, CA and Downtown Disney with menus and prices. It will even use your GPS location to tell you which rides/restaurants/bathrooms are nearest to you and give you a map (not that i need one) as to how to get there from where you are. There's also a list of hidden Mickey's that you can check off as you find them throughout the park. I am totally GEEKED OUT.
9. Speaking of technology and friend is totally addicted to her phone. Really badly. The other day we're driving to a park that we'd both driven by together many times and even been to together before. Yet here she was driving down the freeway with one hand, and staring at the GPS on her phone in the other hand trying to navigate by a little screen to tell her where to go. All while we are passing up HUGE signs on the road that tell us EXACTLY where to go. I finally told her: why don't you try putting the phone down and following the actual signs on the actual road?!! It sounds snarkey now that I read it back, but really it was a funny moment. We laughed. Have we really gotten that dependent that we can't even look at the signs on the road to tell us where to go?
10. Oh Tuesday, I like you so much better than Monday. At least this week I do. :)
*bonus!* 11. Why oh WHY are the tabloids making these girls from 16 and Pregnant/Teen Mom into stars?? I understand (sort of) the point of these shows on MTV that show that it's not so easy to be a teen mom. That pregnancy is hard, that labor is not easy, that being a mom when you're 17 is scary as hell. I do understand the 'reality' of it, if you will. But every time I go to the grocery store, I stand in line and see these girls and their kids plastered all over People and US Weekly making them look like some kind of teen hero/superstar. I'm sorry, but this is NOT what we should teach our children to look up to. Well, neither is any of the other crap the plaster on those mags BUT *anyway.....* it irritates me.