Enjoying coffee & working on some writing assignments makes for a productive Sunday morning!
I treated myself to a mani/pedi yesterday, and just as I was finished picking my nail polish colors, someone popped into the salon’s nail room with a fresh delivery from OPI — their new Couture de Minnie collection! How cute, right? I did “Chic from Ears to Tail” on my fingers and “Definite Moust-Have” on my toes.
Last year, I joined Weight Watchers (February 22, 2012 to be specific).
After being laid off in October, I had gotten into some really unhealthy patterns — like staying up until 3 a.m. watching reruns on E! & binge eating. By February, I had ballooned to my heaviest weight and had begun crying each morning when none of my clothes fit. Since I knew that my wedding was approaching and I wouldn’t be able to yell at everyone to not take my photo, I figured I needed to do something.
I had joined WW several times in the past and had always seen results (and had always quit after a few weeks) so I knew they were probably my best option. In passing, I mentioned to my best friend that I planned on joining the following week & she excitedly told me she had just signed up, too. It was the extra boost of motivation I needed and we quickly decided to attend meetings together on Wednesday mornings.
The first month I lost 8 pounds.
In April, Robert and I went down to Florida for a weekend and I indulged in tropical drinks by the pool, Butterbeer at Universal Studios, and hamburgers and nachos at Disney’s ESPN Club at the Boardwalk. When I got home, I went to the gym four days in a row to try and make up for my splurges … and when I weighed in that week, I lost 4.2! WHAT? I could eat amazing food and still lose weight?!
By the time the wedding rolled around in August, I was not only amazed that I had stuck with the program for six months, but I had lost 35 pounds and dropped two pant sizes!!
After a month of celebrating life with friends and family (and eating lots of cake) I got back into the swing of things in September, preparing for the inevitable weight gain. After the bachelorette party, wedding, weekend trip to Disney for our mini honeymoon, and a last minute weekend trip to Block Island, I had gained … POINT TWO! Yes, 0.2 pounds!(?!) I remeber telling the WW leader, “can you tell that to all the cocktails I drank last month?”
With a renewed sense of determination, I continued on with my WW journey. In November I dropped to a size 12 — something that I had never been in my life. On January 26, 2013 I obtained my 50 pound loss WW charm. I am now down 57.8 and a size 10.
I look back at the past year, and I’m astonished at what I’ve accomplished — mostly because I feel like I haven’t been on a diet. I still go out to eat with my husband. I still treat myself to decadent desserts. I still enjoy life. But, somewhere along the line, I learned to take control of my eating habits. If I feel like I’m going to go on a midnight snacking spree, I go to bed!
I haven’t reached my goal yet (75 pounds will put me in my healthy weight bracket), so I will continue my efforts. But, in the mean time, look for more posts about WW in the coming weeks.
I made these adorable chocolate birds’ nests that I found on Pinterest for Easter; they were super easy to put together and really yummy. The recipe only makes 12 nests, but the ingredients purchased supply enough for two batches.
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 oz. butterscotch chips
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 6 oz. chow mein noodles
- Cadbury mini eggs
First, grease the wells of a muffin pan with the butter (you can also use cooking spray, which I tried on the second batch).
Next, combine the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until melted.
Quickly add the peanut butter to the chocolate/butterscotch mixture, and stir until smooth.
In a large bowl combine the chow mein noodles and chocolate sauce using a spatuala. Be gentle, as you only want to coat the noodles … not crush them.
With a spoon, mold the mixture into the muffin pan, being sure to create an indentation in each nest for the eggs to rest.
Then, put the muffin pan into the fridge for about an hour to set; once they’re ready, the nests can be popped out using a butter knife.
Arrange the eggs on top, and voila!
(source: The Curvy Carrot)
Limited edition Kate Spade French macarons from One Girl Cookie in Brooklyn! Stop & Smell the Zinnias (raspberry), Clotted Cream (vanilla bean), Creme de la Berries (strawberries and cream), and Pop Fizz Clink (champagne).
So, Robert and I have decided it’s time to purchase a house.
We’ve been living in our tiny one-bedroom apartment near downtown Newburyport for over four years now, and we’ve come to the conclusion that we need more space, our own washer and dryer, and a driveway for BOTH of our cars.
I’d also like an office, instead of having to sit on the couch/floor/bed with my laptop, attempting to get work done. And, I’d really appreciate more counter space in the kitchen…
Anyway, over the past few months we’ve looked at several properties in town, all of which had their pros and cons: The first was a ranch with an odd layout, priced well under budget, but I hate ranches. The next was close to town and had a huge driveway, but it was built in 1776 (okay, I’m guessing on the exact date), it had never been updated, and it sold before we could even consider it. Next was a cute cape with an updated kitchen and a walk-out basement, perfect for a “man cave,” but the highway was literally in the backyard. Then we saw a gorgeous two-bedroom with the granite countertops I’ve always dreamed of (black with mica) and a huge backyard, but it was half of a house and I’m really over the whole sharing-a-wall thing.
After debating on the situation for a while, we finally decided to put an offer in on the cape adjacent to Route 95. We figured that although we’d love to stay near the center of town, everything in the vicinity is either a condo/townhouse or double our budget (or was built in the 18th century).
We went in below asking price, and, to our great surprise, the current owners accepted our offer!!
It looks like a home inspection is next, followed by signing the papers, securing the mortgage, closing on the house, and MOVING IN! Let the feelings of being overwhelmed begin!
Last night my husband and I attended a home brewing class // beer tasting at Leary’s Fine Wines in Newburyport. Over the past couple months, Robert has become obsessed with a local craft beer company called Backlash Beer, and the owner & brewer, Helder Pimentel, was hosting the class.
After going over the fundamentals of home brewing, we tasted Backlash’s beer lineup … and I definitely understand why Robert has become such a big fan; each beer was fresh, flavorful, and unique.
My favorites were War — a rye farmhouse ale, dry hopped with hibiscus leaves, which make it a shade of red, and Groundswell — a Belgium style blond ale, featuring citrus notes and Indian coriander.
Robert’s favorites are War and Famine — a single malt, single hop tripel that has Indian coriander and fresh orange zest, making it similar to Blue Moon. He also likes their Belgium style IPA — Declaration, which was too hoppy for my liking.
Check them out at www.backlashbeer.com.
So, I learned a really important lesson this weekend: DO NOT DE-SEED JALAPEÑOS WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. EVER.
For the football game on Sunday I thought it would be fun to make homemade, healthy jalapeño poppers. I’ve cut up jalapeños before to toss onto nachos, but to make the poppers you need to slice the peppers in half & scoop out the seeds to create “boats.”
Well, this is something I’ve never done before … and after mixing up the cream cheese filling, I set to work cutting up eight fresh jalapeños,
Nothing seemed wrong at first. I dug out the seeds from each pepper while standing over the sink. I reminded myself “don’t touch your face!” But, alas, after my jalapeño boats were cut and ready to be filled, each and every finger was burning.
I quickly Google searched “burning jalapeño hands” and read that the oils from the seeds are potent. People had posted that they had given themselves blisters! The first “remedy” was rubbing alcohol, which I tried … to no avail. Then I tried nail polish remover … and, while it felt cool for a split second, the burning returned.
I read that olive oil can break down the oils … no. Milk. Sour cream. Baking soda. Sugar. Soap. Hand sanitizer. Calamine lotion. NOTHING WAS WORKING. I put a cold face cloth over my fingers while watching the football game, and the pain subsided, but when all hope was lost for our team and we turned off the television THE BURNING INTENSIFIED.
I thought I’d go to bed and it would wear off by morning, but the moment I laid down, the burning became UNBEARABLE. I started sobbing uncontrolably, called my mother screaming, and she drove the 20 minutes to my house to bring me to the emergency room — where they basically told me there was nothing they could do.
They sent me home after giving me a large dose of ibuprofen.
In the end, the only thing that worked was several gulps of Nyquil, which eventually knocked me out at about 2 a.m. When I woke up in the morning, the pain was gone.
But, boy, did I learn my lesson.