Archive for December, 2009

27
Dec
09

and i’m spent

Christmas continued today with multiple visits with friends and family that we haven’t seen in ages!  On another happy note, it was the first full day that Steve and I have spent completely together in a while.  Good times for all!

We met Danes & her new hubby, Henry (that’s me giving the toast at their wedding!)

 for lunch at The Broken Egg (aka the best breakfast joint in the Tidewater area!).  I haven’t seen Danes since the wedding so it was nice to catch up on the goings-on in each others lives.  I love this girl more than words can say.

Anyhoo, lunch was followed by a painful brief furniture shopping trip.  Steve spent Saturday putting our new TV stand together and it definitely does not match our outdated decor.  Our current sofas and tables have made the rounds – my parents house, my old apartment, back to my parents house, out to our first apartment and now to our current condo.  It’s seen better days, so we are hunting for new stuff.  I like looking at furniture, but only when the GIANT stores actually have stuff that is both comfy and attractive.

Steve’s sister and her man arrived from their long trip from Denver, so we headed to see them at the in-laws.  Here’s Patti & Bill at our wedding:

Bill had picked up his 2 children so the house was full and lively and way too cute for words.  Something about seeing kids and their joy when “Santa” comes to visit is priceless!  We’re looking forward to spending more time with them on Tuesday.

Tomorrow, reality returns and it’s back to work for Steve!  I hate that holidays end too quickly..

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26
Dec
09

It’s like being a kid!

No, it’s not really like that at all.  You know how, when you’re younger, Christmas takes FOREVER to arrive.  Then, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.  Nowadays, Christmas comes and goes before you can take a breath. 

Despite the haste, it was such an enjoyable weekend spent with family.  We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at my parents house with my aunt (mom’s sis) and uncle, Omah and Steve’s parents.  We had a smorgasbord to enjoy! 

Veggies, red pepper dip with crackers, pineapple and traditional stuffings, my own sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, collard greens, HG’s Kickin Cranberry Sauce and a huge Dad-carved turkey.  For dessert – cheesecake galore, triple layer pumpkin mousse pie, and fudgy brownies!  I was good, but I still felt like I needed to be rolled out of the house!  I think I ate my weight in collards! 

I’ve been doggy watching and had to hit the road soon after dinner.  We headed back to mom’s house for breakfast.  I attempted Overnight Steel Cut Oats (courtesy of my fave Food Network star, Alton Brown) to take and I must say I have not had a better bowl of oatmeal to date.  My mom usually makes scrambled eggs, fried bread, grits and a variety of cooked meats, so I made an egg white puff.  A few family members questioned my oatmeal and egg whites, which made me increasingly uncomfortable.  I love my family dearly, but I honestly want to scream when they question my eating habits.  I would LOVE to tell them that it’s the only way I can keep off the 30 lbs. that I worked so hard to lose, but hubby encourages me to simply ignore it – so I do.

After breakfast, it was gift time!  We always seem to create a mound of gifts, and we always agree to cut back the following year.  Sadly, we never do.  It was a big year for technology in our house – Uncle Ken became a “Mac Man:”

Omah got a new TV:

Dad got a new Blu-Ray and Norris helped us to open it all:

Steve & I were celebrating our first Christmas and we enjoyed every second of it!

We all went to dinner tonight (courtesy of Omah) at Aldo’s Ristorante.  Steve & I will be going back.  It was delicious!  We had to say our farewells to my aunt and uncle (another reason Christmas comes and goes to soon) since they will head back to GA tomorrow morning. 

On the brighter side, my Christmas continues tomorrow when Steve & I meet with Dana and Henry for lunch!  I haven’t seen her since the wedding and am so excited! 

Until tomorrow..

21
Dec
09

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

CHRISTMAS!  I can’t even wrap my brain around the fact that it’s 4 days away.  I keep adding to my “to-do” list and it isn’t getting any shorter!  I think I’ll ask Santa for more hours in my day!

I spent all day Saturday with my Mom for our annual Baking Day – a day devoted to stocking the kitchen with sugary goodness.  We added a few new items to this year’s list and they all turned out to be so yummy!  There was Double Chocolate Biscotti

And chewy ginger cookies for Daddy..

The darker cookies resulted from a darker, more-seasoned pan.  They were quite a bit crispier!

We had delicious chocolate fudge..

.. which has whole marshmallows in it this year, because they just wouldn’t melt!

A new addition: Chocolate-covered pretzels with peppermint, pecans and peanuts

Coconut-Date Balls

And the cookies that went un-photographed included Brownie Crackles, Walnut Lemon Bars (which I think overtook my dad’s #1 favorite cookie spot), Peanut Butter Blossoms and Ginger Lemon Pinwheels.  Most of these cookies, if there is a just God, will walk out of our door on plates for the neighbors.  I have a terrible weakness for cookies!  I “healthified” the biscotti by subbing Splenda for sugar and they still taste amazing, so I don’t feel so bad about those!

My dear, sweet husband isn’t a baker, so he spent Baking Day bonding with Jack.  I haven’t decided which of the 2 is cuter..

I had to fit some normal food in the day somewhere.  Enter a Sun-dried Tomato Flat Out wrap with spinach, laughing cow and grilled chicken, with a Gala for good measure:

After an exhausting Baking Day, the weather was supposed to get ugly, so we headed home.  While some of my close friends in Northern VA got blasted by a blizzard, we got a light dusting.  Our first snow..

It may not be a blanket, but it sure is pretty!  I captured the beauty on my way out the door to the gym on Sunday morning.  Since our front porch gets very little sun, it was still there by night time.

The rest of my weekend was spent relaxing and movie watching with hubby.  We went to see Invictus and I was very impressed.  We seem to be on a roll with good movies recently and I am very much looking forward to seeing It’s Complicated or Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Day with Steve & his parents.  It’s their annual tradition and I am eager to take part this year!

The next few days promise to be VERY busy.  I have a lot to get done prior to my surgery on Wednesday and the arrival of my Aunt Cin & Uncle Ken from Georgia.  I also plan to spend this evening getting ready for an interview tomorrow with Dominion Pathology.  They have a position for a grossing lab tech and I am SO ready to have a salaried job with regular hours!  Crossing my fingers.  It’s studying time 🙂

18
Dec
09

Back, back, back it up.

Happy Flashback Friday.  In keeping with last week’s Christmas theme, I had to find another old Christmas picture.

The holidays, apparently, have always been exhausting.  My mom was putting on a good show,  huh?  Fast forward about 15 years..

I venture to say I was about 17 or 18 in this picture (judging only by mom’s hairstyle).  The activity got to Frisky too.  He crashed right along with us.  It will be unusual this year to not have Frisk with us, playing with his new catnip toy on Christmas morning, but he’ll be watching over everything from the tree..

Today has been extremely productive – and it’s only noon!  I woke up at 6:30 to hit the gym.  I made an AMAZING pre-workout snack.  I have fallen in love with Laughing Cow wedges and spread one on a light sun-dried tomato Flat Out Wrap.

Such a nice switch from the TLC Kashi bar I eat every morning.  I got in a good 20 minute run before hitting shoulders:

  1. Lateral raise with 10# dumbells: 10 reps x 2
  2. Front raise with 10# dumbells: 10 reps x 2
  3. Lateral raise with 12# dumbells: 10 reps
  4. Front raise with 12# dumbells: 10 reps
  5. Upright row with 20# dumbells: 10 reps x 3
  6. Bent over lateral raise with 10# dumbells: 10 reps x 3
  7. Seated shoulder press with 15# dumbells: 10 reps x 3

Another 10 minutes on the elliptical and I was pooped!  Homeward bound to make a yummy apple protein pancake breakfast.

These apples were perfectly crisp with just a hint of tartness.  I love Gala’s!!  Now, off to make a batch of double chocolate biscotti for our Christmas cookie trays then it’s a night at work.  I wish I could bottle the energy that I currently feel and sell it!

16
Dec
09

Out of power.

I am too lazy to hunt for my charging cord and plug in my camera, so recent meals have gone without being photographed.  Sad.. I know.  Until I find that cord (tonight, I swear!), this post will be short and sweet.

I made a trip to The Fresh Market this morning.  TFM tends to be a little costly for my taste, so I only make infrequent trips, but I did find some goodies today including;

100 calories, 12g of fiber and 9 g of protein per wrap.  It made for a yummy wrap lunch with sliced grilled chicken, spinach and a laughing cow wedge!

I never realized how much protein (and how little sugar) could be found in Greek yogurt.  I followed my fellow bloggers and am looking forward to some yogurt goodness tomorrow morning!

And these were the best find.  In fact, I munched in the car on the way home and had to fight to keep from eating the entire bag!  They were so good!

These suckers are dangerous, but at least they’re good for you!

On tonight’s menu?  Mexican.  I need some good comfort food tonight.  After an appointment with my plastic surgeon (Not as in “nose job” plastic surgeon.. as in “abnormal mole removal” surgeon), he found another spot on my back that he will be taking off on Wednesday.  Granted, I’m completely annoyed at having surgery 2 days before Christmas, but I feel better having anything suspicious removed.  After being diagnosed with melanoma, any small abnormality just needs to be cut off!!

I don’t usually rely on food to make me feel better.  I’m more looking forward to a night out to dinner with Steve.  The food is just icing on the cake.  Maybe I’ll find that charging cord so that you can see how I try to “healthify” my Mexican.  Check out how Susan healthifies her favorite foods too!  She’s got some great inspirational ideas!

I’m on the charging cord hunt..

13
Dec
09

Lazy weekend? Check!

There are not enough words to express how much I like a weekend consisting of 2 completely work-free days.  I believe it was a weekend that was well-balanced in laziness, productivity and fun – I’d say a good 2:1:2 ratio is appropriate for such a weekend. 

Yesterday started on the right foot when I slept in until 9:30, made a fabulous egg breakfast for the hubby and met my dear friend, Jennie, for a viewing on New Moon.  I was so glad that she wanted someone to see it with.  Lord knows, I would never be able to drag Steve there.  Call me crazy, but I prefer 2 hours of this  more than my husband..

I knew that a movie trip would involve a small, plain popcorn, so I went straight to the gym after the movie.  I got in an amazing leg workout along with 45 minutes of cardio and headed home to prepare a yummy meal for Steve.  It was the least I could do after leaving him home for a good part of the day.

On the menu?  Stuffed bell peppers with a nice side of carrots (for me, anyway).  They’re incredibly easy.

  • 2 large bell peppers, tops and seeds/ribs removed
  • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can diced (low-sodium) tomatoes
  • White/Brown rice
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Shredded cheese (optional)

Brown turkey.  Add in onion, tomatoes, rice and sauce and cook another 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook peppers in preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.   Remove them and stuff with the mixture.  Top with cheese if you so desire and bake another 5 minutes until cheese is nice and bubbly.

Looks a bit like this.  I only put cheese on Steve’s pepper.

I also mixed in some diced pepper that was left from my removing the “tops”.  Waste not, want not!  I had a big bowl of cinnamon carrots along with my pepper – super yummy and filling!

Today started a bit earlier – up at 7:45 to get to the gym when it opened.  I literally beat myself up today – 60 minutes of elliptical with an average HR of 142 and max HR of 163 and a bit of abs.  I convinced myself to take a weight-training break today.  I think my body will thank me, but not for a few days.  My legs are seriously hurting from yesterday’s beating.  I fear that I will not walk well tomorrow..

I got back from the gym to find Steve was STILL sleeping, so I finished up the Christmas cards and fixed him some crepes (protein pancakes for me) when he woke up.  I find that, no matter what kind of meal I fix, I end up making 2 versions of 1 dish to appease him.  Do you find that you have to feed 2 completely different tastes as well?  It’s only a bit of extra work, but I think it’s worth it to give my love a happy tummy!

Lunch was a Light Flat Out Wrap with leftovers – another amazing Recipezaar recipe that can be found here.  I just make the mixture and ignore the sour cream/guac/cheese.  It ends up being so saucy and tasty that it really needs nothing else.

It may not be the prettiest meal, but it sure does taste really incredible!  This is probably one of my favorite recipes because

  1. It’s so easy to make.
  2. It’s super healthy.
  3. It makes a lot of leftovers that actually taste better when they’re reheated!

I have intentions to get up early for the gym, so it’s bed time for this tired chick.  Night!

11
Dec
09

14 days and counting..

Am I the only one who REALLY can’t believe Christmas is in 2 weeks?!  Where did this year go?  I suppose wedding planning/execution/job changes/moving/family emergencies/health issues made it go by so quickly… but more on those when I look back on 2009.

Other than my sinuses dealing with the ups and downs in temperature (70 one day, 40 the next), it’s been a great week for some of the following reasons:

  1. Perhaps the most amazing reason – my parents!  Not having a full-time job since graduating and marrying in May has taken a HUGE toll on my finances.  My savings was depleted and I managed to rack my credit card up higher than ever before.  Thanks to my wonderfully generous parents, that is not a stress – at least for a while!  I still need to find that full-time gig, but I need not worry as much.
  2. My very first “Flashback Friday” – inspired by Brie & Susan.  I think since this is my inaugural “Flashback Friday”, I’ll take it way back.. .. to my very first Christmas.  This was taken with my great Aunt Doris and great Uncle Albert at my Omah’s (mom’s mother) house.  Clearly, I was a very, very fat baby and spoiled rotten – especially by Uncle Albert.  He was more like a grandfather to me than an Uncle.
  3. Amazing new food finds including some ginormous Gala apples and oranges and Light Flat Out Wraps, which made for an awesome dinner at work. And they’re high in fiber and protein.  Score!

 

4. The discovery of the awesomeness that is very early workouts!  I have been setting the alarm to get to the gym by 7am which is good for 2 reasons – the rest of my day is wide open and the gym is completely empty!  I don’t have to deal with smelly, obnoxious men in the weight room or with  having every piece of cardio equipment occupied.  That doesn’t happen until about 8:30 or 9. 

5. Delicious breakfasts to look forward to after my workouts

I am such a sucker for a good egg white pillow and some toast with melty Better N Peanut Butter.  I wish they were paying me for all of the word-of-mouth advertising that I am giving them.

Well, I’m off to try and complete some Christmas shopping!  Toodles!




Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!