Archive for November, 2009

Happy Thanks-Christmas!

Thanks-Christmas is officially over. If you haven’t been following along, my mom’s side of the family combined Thanksgiving and Christmas today because it was the only day we could all get together before the New Year.  We had almost everyone there with the exception of one of my cousins and her kids (she had to work), one of my uncles (he was hunting), and another one of my cousins (he had the flu – but his adorable, always smiling little boy was there!)  It was a lot of fun even and I am so glad that I made it; this morning I wasn’t so sure I would.  I woke up this morning with a killer headache and upset stomach and for a while thought I was going to have to stay home. After taking a shower, taking some drugs (the legal ones, of course), tums, eating some toast, taking a short walk outside and drinking some coke 0 I finally started feeling better and was ready for the 2ish hour drive to Thanks-Christmas.  My headache reappeared later in the day and I took more drugs and sat in a comfy recliner while I talked with some of my aunts and my grandma.

The best thing about being sick when you are at your parent’s house?  Your mommy takes care of you! 🙂 I think that was a big part of my miraculous recovery. 😉  Plus, my dad recommended taking a walk outside which surprisingly (at least to me) actually was what put my over the edge to feeling better.

I’m calling it a night and hoping that I wake up without a headache tomorrow.  Have a good night!


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I had a great Thanksgiving!  I love seeing my family and just hanging out with them and talking and laughing and relaxing.  I was really excited for Thursday – I love spending time with my dad’s parents and my aunt.  My grandma is hilarious and I love her laugh and her sense of humor – I think we are a lot alike in that department!  My grandpa is one of the smartest people I know and he’s had a hard time of it health-wise and I am so thankful to be able to spend another Thanksgiving with him.  My aunt is awesome as well, smart, funny and just a lovely person.  It makes me smile to think of how much fun it was just to sit around the Thanksgiving table with some of my favorite people!

Saturday we are heading up to my mom’s side of the family.  There are so many of us that we are combining Christmas and Thanksgiving on Saturday.  It will be the first time we have done this and I have to say that I am a little sad that we can’t do two holidays, but I understand why.  There are too many people for me to talk about on the blog.  My grandma is a quite woman, she is one of those strong quite types.  I also think I am a lot like her, I can tend to be really quiet and just listen – if I don’t have something to add to the conversation I would rather listen to it than try to hear my own voice.  My grandpa is a jokester and still getting into trouble! 😉 We’ll probably hear my grandma use his full name at some point during the day due to something that he has said or done! 😉

I actually find myself acting a bit different in the two settings.  Do you act different depending on who you are around? With my dad’s side of the family – they lived closer- so I think I ‘ve always been a bit more comfortable and act the most like me.  With my mom’s side of the family they lived a bit further away, there were more people, more kids and I always felt a bit shy, never quite ready to be the same go lucky person I am with my dad’s side of the family.  Of course as I grew older some of these things changed, but my dad’s parents probably know me better and have seen me (both good and bad) than my mom’s parents.  It’s strange because there are people in my life (outside of family) who the same is true of.  Apparently I have a bit of a guard up most of the time and it takes a bit to make me comfortable enough to let it down.  I don’t really know where this guard comes from.  As more than one person can attest to, I am shy when you first get to know me, but if I feel really comfortable around you, you may wish I was shy again just so I wouldn’t talk so much!

I have pics of Thursday, but they are in my dad’s digital camera and I haven’t figured out how to get them on my very old laptop.  Hopefully I can post them soon, if not – well, let’s just say I will have a camera by January 1st!

My dad and I are going shopping this afternoon.  Not sure how much time we will spend shopping, depends how we long we can handle the crowd.  We also might meet up my grandparents and aunt at some point in the afternoon who said they might head into town as well.  By ‘heading into town’ I mean that my parents live in a very small town with no stop lights, one gas station, one cheese store and 2 bars – there are no real ‘stores’ to shop in.  So we head Rockford or Madison (both about 45-60 min away) to do ‘real shopping’. 🙂

I’ve got some butternut squash cooking on the stove and I am going to make roasted butternut squash soup for lunch and then we will be off!

Have a good Black Friday!!

Theory of the Day – Relax and enjoy your time with your family this weekend!

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Organized and Clean

Happy Weekend!

It’s been a busy one of shopping and cleaning.  Now I’m crashing watching the Bears and the AMAs.

I made some really, really good butternut squash soup from cooking light –seriously good.  You know what they say, sometimes simple is simply better – so true here.  I will definitely be making this again.

I also tweaked this recipe from Roni.  I added black beans instead of kidney beans and agave instead of honey and extra lime juice.  I add this to my salads and use a lot less dressing (if any) on my salads.  It is sooo good you could just eat it alone! Which I did for dinner.

My neighbor left me a note asking me not to run my dishwasher after 9 because she can hear it.  I really wish she would talk with me instead of leaving random notes taped to my door.  My schedule is so busy sometimes that the only time I have to run the dishwasher is after 9.  I almost never, ever run it after 10 – I think I have done so once in the 3 years I have lived here.  If I see her I’ll agree to try to not run it after 9:15ish.  It takes about an hour to run so being done running around 10 is probably about the right time.  Have you ever had your neighbor write you a note and ask you NOT to do something? Funny thing is I have been really accommodating to this particular neighbor even letting her share my storage area because hers was too small to keep her bike in.  A simple knock on the door or call on the phone would have sufficed rather than a note.  I guess I am more annoyed at the way she chose to share her complaint more than anything else.

Today has been filled with CLEANING!  My apartment needed some good cleaning sooo badly.  I am still not done, but my living room looks better than it has in months.  Now, if I can only keep it this way!  My bedroom on the other had needs some major help.  That is a work in progress.  I also made a quick stop at Target to get some much needed essentials that I forgot about yesterday.

I am so happy that I am getting my apartment organized again.  I feel so much better when I come home to a clean, organized apartment. When my apartment is unorganized I feel unorganized.  Same goes for my office.  I need and strive for it and often fail to achieve it because there are so many other things that take priority.  It is a constant challenge to make myself a priority.  Not just with keeping the areas that I use day in and day out organized, but especially with health.  It is much easier to spend a weekend having fun or doing nothing than it is to hunt down recipes, organize a shopping list, go shopping, make the recipes, clean the kitchen, clean the fridge, clean the rest of the apartment, etc., etc.  But, in reality although it is always easier to do nothing, I always feel better when I do something. I remember that I enjoy cooking, I enjoy a clean apartment, I even enjoy working out!  Problem is that I don’t always have time or the energy to do everything I enjoy.

Theory of the Day  –  Throw it all away!  If you don’t use it chuck it – or give it to goodwill if it is still in good shape.

PS – It’s 8:50 an my dishwasher is running – does that make me a bad person? 🙂

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Happy Birthday!   It’s someone’s birthday today right?  I’ve started listening to Christmas music and the station in Chicago plays Frosty the Snowman with the ‘Happy Birthday!’ intro I remember for watching it when I was growing up.


I loooooove Christmas music and hopefully this weekend I will be able to get some on my ipod shuffle.  Let’s hope my desktop has enough juice to cooperate with me.  Mayhaps I should also get an external hard drive and transfer some files before the poor computer has to go away to computer heaven.  It will definitely go to heaven because it has been a very good computer!  Its death is only due to natural aging! 😉


Big news!  Google reader is awesome! Wait … you already knew that?  Well, I just discovered it and I am in loooove!  I’ve actually known about it for a while and I had a general idea of what it was and what it did, but I never thought to actually USE it.  Yesterday I plugged in my favorite blogs (ups to this point – I am sure more will have to be added) and like magic when I woke up this morning it told me who had posted since I last read and I was able to have a productive train ride home reading the blogs.  Now, if I could only be productive with my comments!  Sometimes I have a comment and then I read other comments and I think ‘well, someone else already said what I was going to so I guess I shouldn’t comment’ – not that I actually think that a blogger would get upset if I posted a similar thought, but I want to be somewhat original or say something interesting and so I just don’t say anything at all.  I mean, I’m not always that interesting and that is my main problem with writing, I censure myself too much, I don’t think I always find my voice.  They say practice makes perfect, so hopefully I will get better.


I’m not posting pics tonight.  To be honest it is just too much work with my lack of a digital camera.  Besides, my food hasn’t changed much.  Breakfast cookie for breakfast, green monster (baby spinach, roasted ground flax seed w/ blueberries, banana, ice, and almond milk) for mid-morning snack, salad (chix, roasted peppers, peas, pea sprouts, apple, goddess dressing, salsa and baby spinach) for lunch, nanner and almond butter for afternoon snack, berry chill with POM on train ride home, soy nuggets, veggie burger with ketchup and mustard and a few cashews for din-din.  I decided not to go for five days in a row of chili and quinoa. J


The eats are definitely agreeing with me.  I think the green monster is exactly what I need in between breakfast and lunch, especially since the time period can be up to 7 hours between those two meals!  I need something and if I get too busy and don’t grab something then I just feel tired for the rest of the day no matter when I eat after that window has passed.  Are you like that?  If you miss a snack or a meal do you physically suffer the consequences for the rest of the day?


In case you were wondering, I have NOT worked out!  It is sad.  I realize that part of a healthy life is working out.  I’m trying to cut myself a break.  I don’t know if it is a break or an excuse.  I suppose it is both.  I am trying to be nice to myself – have compassion for myself.  Here’s the deal.  My house is a mess, I need to clean my living room if I want to do an aerobic tape (or any other tape for that matter), I could go to the gym, but I refuse to get less than 7 hours sleep to do so.  So, it just hasn’t worked out for me this week.  This weekend I have NOTHING planned and I am going to make it a productive weekend to catch up on ME.  I had soo much fun last weekend, but now I have to get this apartment organized and get myself organized so I can continue to work on my path to being healthy.  I am one of those people who recharges best at home with a to do list.  How do you Recharge? I also should probably work on the all or nothing attitude….


Paraphrase from Martha Stewart – “But why would I kick myself when there are so many other people who deserve to be kicked”!


Theory of the Day – Sometimes you just have to zip those lips and smile and nod.

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Good morning! How are you?  I’m doing good – I’ve got another busy day to look forward to, but first eats from yesterday.

If you hadn’t already guessed, I am a creature of habit. I can eat the same breakfast for months and months before deciding I need to try something new.  Right now said breakfast is the breakfast cookie!  This one with blueberries, almond butter and roasted ground flax seed with blueberries.

I was so busy that I didn’t have time to get a snack and had a huge salad for lunch around 11:45.

(I really need a new camera!) Said salad contains

baby spinach

roasted peppers

pea sprouts



TJ’s salsa

goddess dressing


It was very good – I love the salsa on it.

I also had a diet coke.  I’ve been trying to avoid pop, but  had a headache and somehow was able to rationalize that I needed the caffeine from the diet coke!  Don’t ask me how my brain works to rationalize that – I have NO idea 🙂

I ended up working later than planned so I had an apple, kiwi and almond butter around 5 for a snack.

It kept me good on food until I got home at about 8:30.

Din-din was leftover chili and quinoa.

With provolone cheese and some TLC crackers.  Dessert was probably about a quarter cup of pomegranate arils and a glass of wine.

No more wine for me until Thanksgiving.  It’s not that I think I am drinking too much, I generally just have a glass maybe two with dinner, but I am just ready for a break from it.  Do you ever feel that way?  Have you ever been ready for a break from one of your favorite things? I generally don’t like having a glass of wine everyday and I’ve been forming this habit over the last few weeks – since I don’t want it to become a habit I need to crush it now and go back to a glass of wine with dinner a couple times a week.

I still have not managed to get any workouts in.  I think I am overwhelming myself with my to do list.  For some reason I think I need to clean my house before I can work out.  It doesn’t really make sense.   Hopefully I can leave work around 6 today and get in a treadmill workout at home and maybe follow it with some nice relaxing yoga.  The problem become figuring out when I am going to eat!  If I leave work at 6 I won’t want to eat dinner before I leave, but that means I get home and I am hungry.  If I have a snack and then workout that means that dinner is as late as 8:30 and bed is about 1-2 hours after that.  Wait … I actually think that will work.  A snack on the train, a workout and then dinner followed by an hour to watch tv or mayhaps clean the house?  It is amazing how a plan can work out if you actually take the time to think it through! Now, let’s see if I can make this happen.  Only issue is will I be able to sleep working out that close to bed time?  I would love to work out in the morning, but so far that is just NOT happening.  Plus, I can’t use the treadmill in the morning because my downstairs neighbor doesn’t like to be woken up by my treadmill which apparently is almost right over her bed.  Perhaps I need to find rearrange some things in my house and find a new home for the treadmill.  I suppose I could go to the gym, but that is a 15 min drive and then I have to deal with other people!  I like people, but that early in the morning I do not like having to deal with other people.  I have people issues! 😉  But, I do miss my beloved Arc Trainer.   Do you go to the gym or workout at home?

Theory of the Day – Sometimes you just have to plow through your to do list like there is no tomorrow!


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Good evening everyone!

Quick recap on eats for the day:

Lunch was a huge salad with baby spinach, apples, pico de gallo, cilantro, provolone cheese, chicken and tomatoes.

I was hungry a bit later and had a green monster.

Later I had my carrot and rasion quinoa.

Sorry for the dark pic!  Maybe santa will bring me a new camera for Christams?

Din-din was leftover chili – it was even better than yesterday!  I added some provolone cheese and crackers.

I was STILL hungry!  I don’t know why, but my sweet tooth is acting up.  I tried making chocolate cake in the cup without any oil, with wheat flour, 3/4 egg, coaco powder and carob chips.

I didn’t really like it.  I probably ate about half of it and only to dig out the carob chips.  I’m going to have a glass of wine and close the kitchen!

Today was on of those ‘eh’ days.  Not bad, not good, just ‘eh’, I didn’t have as much energy, I felt like I was getting sick and I don’t know, something just seemed off today.  But, oh well, tomorrow is a new day!

I am going to get in some exercise tomorrow morning!  Not the gym, I will have to slowly work my way back to that.  Definitely a dvd of some sort, either step aerobics or a strength video.  I feel like part of the reason I have these off days is because although I am eating much more healthier, I am not giving my body the exercise it needs to be healthy.

All in all, for a blah day, it was relaxing!  Have a good night and let me know what do you think I should do in the morning? Aerobics or strength?

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I’m baaaak! 🙂 Two posts in one day  (and hopefully a third to come)!

Sunday was cooking day!  I made chili and carrots and raison quinoa.  Both turned out beautifully.

I had a breakfast cookie for breakfast and coffee.  I started cooking a little after one and wasn’t too hungry so I made a green monster with kale, naner, ground flax seed with blueberries and ice cubes.  It wasn’t as smooth as the one made with baby spinach, but it was still really good.

2009-11-15 green monster

Next I made chili from a recipe in The Vegan table.  I switched it up a bit and added a bit of veggie stock and some quinoa and a Trader joe’s mix of quinoa and some other good things!

2009-11-15 chili

The carrot and raison quinoa was from allrecipes.com – I switched this up and added a 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp oil.  I also bought pre-shredded carrots and used those instead of shredding my own  – nice and convenient!

2009-11-15 onion carrots raisons

Cooking on the stove

2009-11-15 quiona carrots finished

Finished product plated

I, obviously, had a late lunch and when dinner time rolled around I was exhausted!  So I had a veggie burger with provolone cheese (no bread) with yellow mustard and ketchup.  I wanted something sweet so I made some oats with cocoa powder, carobs and pomegranates.  I put them in the fridge to let the oats soften and it was soo good yummy!  Also, I had some more of the lovely shiraz from Trader Joes.

2009-11-15 desser

I enjoy cooking – I love the process of seeing the ingredients come together and the smell of everything cooking is like heaven, but I hate cleaning up afterwards!  My kitchen still needs a good scrub, but all the dishes went in the dishwasher (and out and in – 3 loads!).

Yay!  We are all caught up to today!  Here’s a pic of my breakfast cookie from this morn – it was a chocolate one.  Probably won’t make another one like it because I only like chocolate in my coffee  mug in the morn, not in my food!

2009-11-16 choc bfast cookie

Do you like the holiday plate!  I’m soo excited next week is Thanksgiving!  I need some major family time.  There is simply nothing like spending the day with your family.  My parents house is the one place where I can truly just relax and be me! They still live in the same house I grew up in, so although things have definitely changed since I moved out (my room is my dad’s computer room/guest room and my sister’s room is my mom’s computer room/guest room) – it is still ‘home’, ya know?

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