Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Motivation is weird

This fall I found my "groove". I was swimming regularly and loving it, doing my thing... Then my brother stopped by, and everything got out of sync. I couldn't get started.

Of course I'm not blaming him, I'm just very much influenced by the inertia law, when I'm moving I keep moving. When I'm stopped... it'd take a tow truck to get me started.

Yesterday I was playing around on Facebook, and I came across somebody I know. He's not close enough to be called a "friend", he's more like "a friend of my ex". I like him though, and always wondered what happened to him. Is he still performing? Did his back ever heal...

The point is though, he's a athlete, an acrobat in fact. I was looking at picture and a lifetime of training as done wonders to him. His body is finely tuned, finely toned.

I will never have an acrobat's body, and it's not my goal, but all of a sudden, I feel the need to move, to get stronger, better. I'm tired of being just "OK". I want to go back to being tuned, toned, I want to be in perfect control of my body.

I won't join any circus, but I'll get myself MOVIN' Darn it!

Thanks Damien for the motivation! hehe

See him at work here: Duo Voltart

Be good n stuff!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

OMG what a day!

Do you ever have one of those days that start as a slow lazy day, with "I have plenty of time to do plenty of things". As the day goes on, things are sort of piling up, but that's OK cause I'll have tomorrow and Friday to get everything done.

Then the phone rings, we need you to work Thursday and Friday. No problem, I need to work, I need the money.

Then you think about it and realize that your mostly short to do list just got a few items added, and your time to do it went from 3 days to a few hours.

I had one of those day.

I spend a big part of the day playing around on Facebook (whoever got me on there should be punished! it's addictive!). Then i had an ingenious idea for a Christmas gift for a loved one, worked on that for a while. Then I got that phone call... By then it was too late to catch up.

I spent the evening working my meeting in Cotati and then stayed around to take out all the 2008 material, and put in, organize the material for 2009.

Food today was horrendous. I ate too many Weight Watchers snacks. I was at the traveler, that's all there was.

Finally my husband brought dinner for me and Cheri (thank god she was there to help me out!) and I had a sandwich, not haute cuisine, but better than a chocolate bar. I like the snacks but really...

I didn't work out, thought I did carry all the boxes by myself.

After everything was said and done, I was ready to go home and crash... I still had to stop by a friend's house in Sebastopol to bring back her keys I had used Monday.

You know when you're so tired that you know you need to go home and crash, but you simply can't move? We talked for a while, I played with the dog, ran around the kitchen island... finally at 10pm, I headed home. 10pm, I usually am ready for bed by 9:30pm, how did I end up on the road that late?

Then of course I think about Facebook and all the old friends I've found on there.

All those people who knew me in my other life. When 10 pm is when I left home to start finding people to go out with. When 5:30 am was the time I would go home, not get up to work out.

Am I who I am now because that's the "real me" that I was avoiding for whatever reason when I was younger? Or am I playing a role because I think that's how I should be?

Maybe as you get older you just change and that's just how it is.

I know people older than me who are still spending the nights out and walking home at 5:30 am slightly offbeat and knowing that they have to get up in 2 hours. Are they still having as much fun as I did at 20 years old? Or are they just caught in a loop?

I don't care really, honestly, I'd rather go to bed early, get up early and not have a hangover. Ah!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Food food food foooooooooooooood!

Hi there!

I'm alive! So, it's blogging day, been almost 2 months. Busy months too! I've had ups and downs (literally) but now I'm on a good trend. I've been "testing" the new Weight Watchers program and am loving it!

I just stopped by to show off a few things that I've been up to. All of a sudden I miss cooking, so expect to see a lot more of it starting in January (after my vacation!).

For now I have a few things to show off:

I went to GNG and bought a pre-made Tandoori marinade. I wasn't too hopeful since I've had many disappointment with those, but that one was DELICIOUS!

I used my oven rack to cook it, so that the air could circulate all around the chicken pieces and the results were wonderful!

I served it with Garam Masala scented bulgur and sauteed red bell pepper and carrot sticks. Here's what my plate looked like:

Since I'm showing off anyway, here's my Thanksgiving table:

Would you believe that's all for just 2 people?

You can see the biscuits/rolls on the right. My husband made those and they were quite tasty. I had only 1 of them, maybe half another actually. hey, it's Thanksgiving!

The longish colorful platter is the roasted vegetables. Red onion, butternut squash, carrots cooked with thyme and rosemary sprigs, salt, pepper and garlic scented oil.

The white plate left of that is slice of turkey. We roasted a turkey breast, bone and all. Put it on a bed of onions, with thyme, rosemary, garlic oil, salt and pepper. Wrapped the whole thing in an aluminum foil. It turned out delicious. If you plan on eating the skin though, cook it unwrapped some, cause it wasn't "crispy".

Finally the glass bowl has mashed potatoes that my husband made with FF milk and a little butter. They were DELICIOUS.

We had plenty of leftovers, I made a soup the following day, and a curry with the rest of the turkey Saturday!

So that was Thanksgiving. I would have skipped the whole thing, but my dear American born husband looked so sad at the idea of just not having Thanksgiving that I couldn't do it.

Can't have Thanksgiving without dessert now can we?

This is the simplest thing!

Mix together 2 small pack of Jello sugar free vanilla pudding (1 big pack is only 1 1/2 small pack not 2!), 2 cups of Fat free milk, 1 cup of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice mix (to taste, I put 1/2 tsp or so). Once that is well mixed, fold in 1 cup of Fat free Cool Whip.

Then, take a fuffy glass, and alternate a layer of Cool whip (not mixed with anything) and a layer of the pudding/pumpkin mix.

You could decorate with a cinnamon stick, a mint leaf... you know..

Delicious and good looking! AH!

After all that yummy food, and 2 weeks of eating out almost constantly while my brother visited, I was craving home cooked food. I was also sick of chicken!!!

Last night we had salmon thawed out, so I made our favorite salmon dish:

Basically, you season the salmon to taste (I use cumin, salt and pepper), heat up 1 tsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook on medium high heat on one side 4 minutes (do not move it too much), then turn it and cook one minute, then lower the fire and cover, cook an additional 3 minutes or so (until done).

If you wait for your oil to heat up well, it makes a crispy layer on the salmon without overcooking the middle.

I roasted vegetables to go with it, and cooked some mushroom for myself (my husband won't touch those).

Last bragging subject for today (on here that is.. hehe) is this morning's breakfast:

I was hungry, but didn't want to use up my points, so I made myself one of my "Egg white pie":

Sauteed onions, bell pepper strips (had them frozen) and mushrooms. Added 3 egg whites, minced rosemary and thyme, salt pepper. Cooked in the non-stick pan until almost set. Put under the broiler to finish setting the top.

Et voila! Eating healthy delicious foods is so simple!

Find a restaurant that will serve those foods for cheap and have them taste half as good, AH! Good luck finding it!

Be good n stuff!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Overcoming an Emotional Binge

I'm not only a leader at Weight Watchers, first and foremost I'm a member.

I have struggled with my weight for several years, and have found the tools and the inspiration I needed at Weight Watchers.

Since I'm well known in my area, I find it difficult to attend meetings without feeling like a "leader". People look up to me as someone who's got it all figured out. If only it was always true!

Weight Watchers.com has free message boards where the members can exchange tips and ideas and support each others. I have found there a place where I can be a member. The fact that I am a leader is known, but irrelevant. I'm a member like everybody else.

I've found many things on the boards and a lot of inspiration. I wanted to share with you something I've found a while ago, but was re-posted this morning. I don't know who originally wrote it, for that I apologize, if you know, please let me know so I can note it in here!!

3 Minutes to Fight Off an Emotional Eating Binge Right Before it Happens
(Posted by EditorCarol)

Minute 1: Stay Grounded
Emotional eating happens when you lose your connection to your
grounded self. Stress itself is not what makes you reach for something
to eat. In fact, stress is often a good thing and your grounded self
knows this! We need the physical stress of exercise to keep our bodies
in good shape just as we need the stress of intellectual and emotional
challenges to keep our minds healthy.

Nine times out of ten, what really leads to emotional eating is
getting caught in a "mind storm" of worst-case scenarios, projections,
misinterpretations, and all the emotional overreactions that come with
these thoughts. This "storm" turns a manageable challenge into
something that makes you feel helpless, overwhelmed, ashamed or
afraid—and sends you to the kitchen to find something to stuff those
extreme feelings. When you can stay grounded in the moment of stress,
you have many more options.

Here are some simple ideas to keep you grounded when something (or
someone) pushes your buttons and your feelings start to spiral out of

1. Take a few deep breaths. (You can also count to 10, if that helps.)
If the stressful situation involves someone else, take a timeout and
agree to continue the discussion in a few minutes.

2. Remind yourself where you are. Take a look around, noticing and
naming the colors and shapes in the space around you.
Notice the physical sensations you are experiencing. Whether it's a
sinking feeling, turmoil in your stomach, tension in your hands or
jaw, restricted breathing, or heat on the back of your neck, try to
name the feelings that go with the sensation. Is that sinking feeling
fear, or dread? Is the heat a symptom of anger?
The idea here is to stay in your body and in the moment—with what's
real—instead of going inside your mind where all those unreal
scenarios are just waiting to get spun out-of-control.

Minute 2: Reality Check
Once you're calm enough to start thinking productively, put all those
thoughts that are clamoring for attention inside your head through a
quick reality check. Here are several very common thought patterns
that have no place in reality. Do any of these apply to you?
1. All or nothing thinking
Example: You go over your calorie limit or eat something on your
"forbidden" list, and then decide to keep eating because you've
already "blown it" for today. Reality: Weight loss is not a one-day
event. If you stop overeating now, you'll gain less and have less to
re-lose later. That's something to feel good about!

2. Reading your own thoughts into someone else's words
Example: Someone made a mildly critical or unsupportive remark to you,
and you feel completely devastated. Reality: The more bothered you are
by such remarks, the more likely it is that you are being overly
critical of yourself. When you treat yourself with respect, what
others say won't matter nearly so much.

3. Either-Or thinking
Example: You make a mistake or have a bad day and feel like a complete
and hopeless failure. Reality: No one does well all the time. Mistakes
are a necessary and valuable opportunity to learn—if you don't waste
them by getting down on yourself.

4. Taking care of other people's business
Example: Something is going badly for someone you care about, and you
feel responsible, or pressured to fix it. Reality: People need to
learn from their own problems. You aren't doing anyone a favor by
trying to fix things just to make yourself feel better.

Minute 3: Putting Things in Perspective
Most common problems that you face in everyday life are much easier to
handle when you keep them in perspective and avoid making mountains
out of molehills. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make
sure you aren't in the mountain-making business:

1. How big a deal is this, anyway? If I knew I was going to die in a
week, would this be something I would want to spend this minute of my
remaining time on?
Will any bad things happen if I postpone thinking about this until I
have more time to figure things out?

2. Do I have all the information I need to decide how to respond to
this? Do I really know what's going on here, or am I making
assumptions? Am I worrying about things that might not even happen?
What do I need to check out before taking action?

3. Is there anything I can do right now that will change or help this
Am I trying to control something I can't, like what other people
think, say, or do?
Have I really thought through this problem, and broken it down into
manageable pieces I can handle one-at-a-time?

Use this approach whenever your thoughts or situations begin to feel
overwhelming, and you'll quickly find that the mountains that seem
impossible at first can quickly morph into what they really
are—manageable hills that you DO have the ability to climb. All it
takes is three little minutes of your time.

So there you have it, in 3 minutes you can turn around a situation and make it work for you. Only 3 minutes!

Be good n stuff!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm an Auntie!

Would you look at this!!! Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen?

This little thing there is Baby H, the latest addition to the Clan. My little brother is a Daddy!

Look at him, Baby H also got something from his Auntie, he's working out already!

Here's another picture of him:

I'm in love!

Apparently so's the proud Daddy! Look at him!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaw I'm all melting all of a sudden. My little brother is all grown up!

Welcome to the world Baby H! You're one lucky little fellow. You're Mom and Dad are going to be such great parents.

One day, when you're a teenager, and get angry and frustrated, I'll be able to tell you about the joy and pride I heard in your Daddy's voice when he talked about you today.

Welcome to the world, welcome to our family. We love you to pieces already!

Auntie Will~

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finding our way

Woaaah it’s been a while hasn’t it?

September has been a long, stressful month. I pretty much had to put everything aside to go in “survival mode”. I cleaned up my finances, figured out where I stand, made new goals for myself and now I’m ready to get going.

I’ve found that I really need those “wait a minute” moments where I can just step back and rethink where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.

Now that I’ve got my brain in gear, I’m back to the daily grind. You know what though? All of a sudden, we’re having fun again!

Sunday is the first day of my work week, so everything starts on Sunday! That night we had tilapia fish thawed out and I decided to make a stew out of it.I made it up on the spot and it was delicious!

Here’s what it looked like:

I looked around in my fridge to see what I had to work with. I had all sorts of leftover cut veggies so I used those.

I sautéed 1/2 cup chopped onion, for 2-3 minutes. Then I added 2 garlic cloves (minced) and one red hot pepper, seeded and minced, cooked for about 1 minute.

I then added about 1 cup diced zucchini, cooked 2 minutes, threw in 3/4 cup of small red bell pepper sticks cooked 2 more minutes.

When the veggies were tender crisp, I added salt, pepper and 8 oz of raw tilapia cut in chunks. I cooked that 2 minutes covered, then I turned the fish pieces, added 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes (I quartered small ones that were on the vine), 2 TBSP (more or less) fresh basil in strips and 1 tsp capers. I cooked that about 2-3 minutes, or until the fish was done.

Et voila, fish soup/stew. The fish was still slightly frozen when I started so be careful not to overcook!

Yesterday I made bentos in the morning and was planning on cooking chicken for dinner but a stomach ache kept me out of the kitchen so we had canned soup. I had the healthy Choice chicken and noodle soup.

It was okay… not very tasty at all though. If you like very tasty/spicy food you will need to doctor it up. Next time I will add spices to it.

It's a good base to start with though if you want quick and easy "save me from the drive through" solution and are out of frozen meals.

I'm also enjoying my trusty smoothie every morning. I ran out for a while, and really missed it.

This has been my coffee every morning, 1 packet of the Weight Watchers Creamy Chocolate Smoothie in 2 cups (more or less) of hot coffee. It starts my day the right way.

So we are still eating right, and enjoying it. I’m also working out regularly again which makes a world of difference!

I actually slept all the way through the night last night. Finally! Our kitten has been waking us up on regular basis.

We finally found him a name: Leopold, Leo for short. He is still climbing everywhere, but we’re getting used to him and fortunately he seems to have learned to get lost at night.

Look at him, so cute!

So that’s what’s going on with us. We’re moving ahead, slowly but surely. My husband was looking very good this morning for some reason, very slim. This girl ain’t complaining one bit! ;o)

Be good n stuff!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tuesday's picnic

Last Tuesday we went for a day at the beach. We went to Doran Beach in Bodega Bay. It's a beautiful beach at which, for a few dollars, you can park, use the restroom, even take a shower if you need to.

We fell in love with the place, only problem being that I sunburned pretty badly. So we spent the rest of the week mostly indoors. Oh well.

For that day we had prepared a picnic: two deli meat sandwich on dutch crunch bread, and a tabbouleh. We also had yogurt, and bananas!

I had fun packing up the food, unfortunately the camera didn't cooperate that well. Here's what I salvaged:

Here's the two sandwich with the tabbouleh.

The Tabbouleh is the most simple I've ever made, and actually the most tasty!

I soaked Bulgar, then chopped a big bunch of parsley, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, put in chick peas, lemon juice salt and pepper.

That's it! It was delicious, and it was fresh. Yum! I put it in my glass Lock and lock. With lemon juice, I didn't want to use plastic.

I packed the sandwich in a layer of plastic wrap, but that was ugly, so I wrapped them in a bento cloth just to make them pretty!

So that was our picnic or what I could get out of the camera about it!

I packed the whole thing in my picnic basket, and off we went. We had a totally relaxing day. We brought the dog along, on leash, and though she wasn't used to being on leash at the beach, she did pretty darn good.

We're planning many Saturdays there I think. I'm also looking into a "season pass" for next summer!

Be good n stuff!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A newcomer in my house!

So, I wanted to introduce a newcomer in my family: Monsieur Sans-Nom. Which is a temporary name until I come up with something.

Monsieur Sans-Nom is from the Sonoma County Shelter, and is around 3 months old (that we know of). He's a male short haired tabby kitty with a white belly and white "tips". He's adorable and LOADED with energy.

He's already won over my husband:

Grace, our dog:

And myself of course! I'm just in love with the little guy.

Gaya, our older female cat is less than impressed with him, but for a first meeting it didn't go too bad. He kinda goofed by running straight in her face... TWICE!

He has also explored the whole downstairs.

The Shoe rack:

Under the furniture:

In the trash can:

And of course, the curtains (which he has tried to climb a few times already):

So, Monsieur Sans-Nom has been here about 3 hours, if that, and has already completely overtaken the house. I'm in loooooooooooove isn't he the cutest?

Be good n stuff!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tried something new!

I got a new cookbook yesterday: World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. It's a wonderful book that I surely use a lot.

As always when I get a cool book, I trot out all my other cool cookbook and start looking around in them. I have well over 170 cookbooks so...

Today I used The complete Middle East Cookbook. I've had it for a while, used it some, but hadn't looked at it for some time.

In there I cam across a recipe for Nivik which is chickpeas cooked with spinach. I had never tasted it and had no idea what to expect, but it DID look good!

I cut the recipe in half and used canned chickpeas instead of cooking dry ones, here's what it looked like:

I served it along with roasted chicken but honestly it would have been fine on it's own with a salad, or a naan. The chicken was really overkill.

It was simply delicious, I'm planning on doing it again, starting with dry chickpeas this time, and having it as my main dish. My husband really liked it also, so that's a step in the "putting it on the regular list" direction.

The more I explore vegetarian far, the less appealing meat is. I'll never be a real vegetarian, even less a vegan, but I do understand how it is possible to be completely satisfied living as a vegetarian. There's so much to explore!

We're still on vacation, walked non-stop the last two days in Berkley and San Francisco, tomorrow we're heading to the farmer's market in Sebastopol. Other than that, we're taking a vacation from planning! AH!

Be good n stuff!

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Vacation!

We're on vacation (well, my husband is, I'm not quite on vacation at this point!) so there isn't much Internet time really.

I still had to stop and brag a little. We have a new cookbook out at Weight Watchers, and tonight my husband cooked dinner all out of Best Eats.

He made a Home-Style Meatloaf (p. 66) that he served with Tuscan Potato and Pepper Packets (p. 159). It was delicious!

It's very cool to see my husband have fun experimenting in the kitchen. Two mad scientist in the same kitchen. What's out!

Here's what dinner looked like:

The plate is HUGE, which makes the portions look tiny, but the portions were plenty since I had a substantial lunch. Both the meatloaf and the potatoes were tasty and very "comfort food" like.

Absolutely going to become regular fare in my kitchen, both recipes!

I'll be kind of busy for the next week or two due to vacation and an intense need to GET OUT!

So by the 8th of September my husband will be back to work, and I'll hook back up to my routine!

Be good n stuff!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Food is good!

Ok, I still have to work on being active again, I do move a lot, but not as much as I'd like to.

We're eating good though!

Last night we were tired from our Embarcadero expedition, so we decided to keep it simple. My husband grilled chicken thighs and summer squash.

He's really doing a good job at the grill and it was simple but delicious. We ate that with leftover couscous, and a quick tomato salad that I made with our new fresh tomatoes, and some fresh lettuce I had left over from last weekend. Here's what it looked like:

Neat huh? Simple, no fuss, mismatched dishes, welcome to my world! AH! ;op

After such an eventful day yesterday, I was feeling a little let down and lonely this morning. I felt like I needed to treat myself, but I didn't want to eat stuff I shouldn't. What to do?


Doesn't it look fuffy? I had more fun making it than I did eating it!

Left to right:

1- I have 1 hard boiled egg that I sliced with my super egg slicer (from Ichiban Kan). Between the egg slices I put a cucumber slice on which I have spread a LITTLE bit of homemade hummus.

2- I have leftover lettuce mixes with carrot sticks I made out of my yummy yellow carrots I got at the Embarcadero. On top of that, I put some fresh tomatoes on cutsy little skewer I have for my bento boxes.

3- I have a sliced plus, just one.

The whole thing was very filling, low calories, and fun to make!

I have a lot of time on my hands right now, and I find that to be very difficult. Rather than sitting around feeling depressed, I'm playing with food. And it's even healthy! How cool is that?

Things are changing for me and it's a good thing. I feel much more able to "deal with life" and face things than I did just a month ago and that brings me to share this:

This is an entire different topic, and I guess should be the topic of an entirely new post, but after being on Depo Provera for several years, I finally stopped using it and went for Mirena instead.

I'm not saying Mirena is for everybody, I'm saying if you're using Depo Provera and are finding yourself to be moody, anxious, depressed for no reason, look into a new birth control.

Since I was new to the country, I thought it was the "adaptation process" and that I was just going crazy as I got older.. wouldn't you know it? It was just my body not liking that stuff!!! I'm me again!

Just thought I would share, please don't let yourself down, react and "make things better" for yourself when needed!

Be good n stuff!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Embarcadero adventure today part 2

This morning we took off to the Embarcadero Farmer's market. We drove to Larkspur and from there took the ferry across, just for the fun of it. We had a great time! You can read and look at the first part of our adventure in the Part 1 of this post by clicking here.

Here's the second part of our adventure in pictures:

So as I said in the first part of this story, I was very careful not to buy stuff that I didn't need or that I could get cheaper back in Sonoma County. Here's what I got (obviously I took those pictures after getting home):

Those tomatoes were beautiful AND tasty. Not only that but they are tiny which makes them perfect for my bento lunches.

These French green beans are very thin, and tasty. I'm planning on serving them as a side dish with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, lemon and whatever herbs will fit.

These are great! Being so small, they are perfect for roasting and you could smell them from almost across the market! I'm not sure my husband will like them since they are a bit strong, but I sure will!

This is what that salesman was having me taste as I mentioned in the first part of this story. Those fruits are different "members" of the same family, peaches, plums, pluots (apricot-plum hybrid) and such. They are tasty! I had one of each sliced for dessert (for both of us) after lunch. Oh my!

All good things must come to an end, and we finally took the ferry back to Larkspur.

The Embarcadero building (Ferry Building I should say, sorry!) looks imposing from the bay doesn't it? Even with the Financial District buildings all around it.

Would you look at that handsome man? He has always looked good to me, but he's looking really really hot there isn't he? He's mine girls! Back off!

It was windy out there! Woaahhh!

So we made it home, and it was just past lunchtime! It feels like we've been out all day, but actually it was just a few hours. We were hungry after all that so we made ourselves sandwiches. I had with that left over couscous and made a little tomato salad with my new tiny tomatoes, a little bit of garlic olive oil, salt and pepper. It was delicious!

Tonight we're BBQing, but I'm not sure how hungry we'll be. We had lunch around 2pm...

So that's our Embarcadero adventure, we sure had a lot of fun, met a lot of extremely friendly people and tasted many good (if sometimes strange) fruits.

Our next adventure will be the San Rafael market I think. Haven't been to that street party in a long long time!

Be good n stuff!

Our Embarcadero adventure today part 1

This morning we took off to the Embarcadero Farmer's market. We drove to Larkspur and from there took the ferry across, just for the fun of it. We had a great time!

Here's our adventure in pictures:

First part is our Ferry trip from Larkspur to San Francisco. I grew up on boats and am much more at ease on the water than I am on land. I just love the feeling of the rocking ship, the smell of the sea, even the smell of the fuel burning brings me back to my childhood!

Larkspur's Ferry terminal! We're off!

"Huh Husband, is that Angel Island? Or Sausalito? Or what?"

You'll notice that there's nothing like sea wind to redo your hairdo!

"Ooooh would you look down there!"

After we got back on land, we stopped by Peet's for a coffee and a muffin before hitting the market.

Yes it's only coffee in there! I swear!

Finally, the market! It wasn't as big as the Saturday one, but it was also a lot less crowded. It was fun to talk to the vendors and taste so many fruits!

"Ooooh so many fruits!"

Would you look at my husband? You'd think he owns the place, too cute!

The hardest part is to decide what is worth buying, and what I can get cheaper (much cheaper) in Sonoma County. I was very careful because the prices are pretty high there. You do pay for quality, but still...

That guy could sell a fridge to Esquimos! He's super nice, had me tasting like 8 different fruits. I ended up buying some of each too! He even got my husband to taste stuff!

I was so focused on what to buy and not buy, and on having pictures for the blog, that when the guy working that booth offered to take our picture, my first answer was "No, I'm ok". My husband was like "Why?"

Cause I didn't think it through!! Sorry!!! We did get that picture, one of the very few we have!

Those are ALL peppers! Different shapes, different colors and it was huge!

In the Part two of "Our Embarcadero adventure today" There'll be pictures of our trip back and what I got! :o)
(To read the second part of this adventure click here)

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Busy day, but successful

Today was a busy day, but a really good one! You know, one of those days that you get a lot accomplished that will help you get a lot accomplished in the coming days?

We had planned our day last night to clean up the house, catch up with the paperwork, the clutter and just do all the things we always say "Aww, next week!"

So we had planned to clean and declutter in the morning, take a break and go have lunch at Aram's Cafe in Petaluma. It's a little Mediterranean-Middle Eastern place that has great food, friendly service, and is right across the street from Copperfield's Bookstore! What else can you ask for?

So we did just that. Once there though, we realized we weren't really that hungry. Instead of each ordering a plate, we shared. We ordered one sandwich, the Lule Kebab pita, which is a whole pita cut in 2 and filled with a Lule Kebab, Hummus and Tabbouleh (I think). We also ordered only one side, the Roasted Red Potato Salad, which is YUMMY! It was plenty of food for both of us, it was very tasty, and we got lunch for both of us for about $11!

After lunch we stopped by Copperfield's, of course, and I didn't even buy a cookbook. I am beyond proud of myself!

We came back home, finished the declutter mission and moved the furniture around. The house is so calm and relaxing now. I've added candles, organized my things, thrown away a lot of stuff I didn't need. Ah! I just love doing this, I can breathe!

For dinner, my husband and I had planned to do a recipe for BBQ chicken we had done before. It's in the Weight Watchers Short Cut cookbook. The recipe calls for precooked chicken strips that you buy in packets, but instead we just cooked chicken breasts and used that. It's cheaper, and much healthier I think, since it cuts down on the "unknown chemicals" put in prepackaged food. It also ended up tasting better, so it's a win on all sides!

The recipe calls for a bun since it's a BBQ chicken sandwich, and that's what my husband did. For myself I took my serving of chicken and spread it over a salad. Here's what it looked like:

It was delicious! Spicy, but tasty also!

This time we doubled the recipe and I used my vacuum sealer to package the leftovers for the freezer.

So that's our day. I really think that a decluttered house helps having a decluttered mind. When things are chaotic around you, you can't focus and everything becomes more complicated.

The other thing is that if you want to do something that will take a lot of time and effort, planning something fun right in the middle of it makes it much easier.

As always, a little planning goes a long way!

Be good n stuff!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dog Therapy

You know what is really a moodiness buster? Spending an hour or two with doggies!

Today we did just that! I was out on the road, running errands, looking for places to walk with my dog, Grace. We went to Sebastopol, but it was a lot hotter outside than I thought, so we cut our walk short.

I remembered that I was supposed to stop by my friend's house to pick up a few supplies for my meeting in Cotati. Once there, we saw to business and then my friend asked if I wanted to stick around to let our dogs play together. We had talked about it many times, but it just never happened before.

Grace is well socialized, she goes to doggie daycare and to the dog park regularly, she knows how to act with other dogs. I was working at the vet office when I got her and I knew I wanted to take her to work, so I made a lot of effort toward socializing her with humans AND dogs. I don't work there anymore, but my husband takes her regularly to work where she has to deal with people and dogs alike.

Bruno, my friend's dog, is totally well taken care of, but he's more of a "house dog". He's not so "well traveled". He is also much younger, 9 months old. Grace, at 4 years old, has lost the "puppiness" that makes them over react sometimes. I was keeping an eye on things for this reason.

He acted like a pro! Eager to play, but not at all obnoxious. They had fun together, and once Grace made it clear that she would not take shit from this pup, the two hit it off just fine!

Here's some pictures of the two out in my friend's backyard:

Grace is laying on my feet here, trying to look intimidating from a submissive position. Bruno is trying to look intimidating, but being very careful not to look at Grace in the eye.

Bruno says: "Please play with me!" And Grace is asking me "Am I supposed to play with him?"

And off they went, running around, peeing on each other's pee, and all around enjoying themselves!

After a little while of playing in the heat, Grace decided it was break time. She took ownership of a very comfy long chair (after I made sure it was ok with my friend, Grace is not permitted on furniture at home) leaving Bruno to beg for a spot.

Finally they made a compromise and that was that!

I think that Grace was tired when we came home. Doesn't she look tired?

While Grace was resting, Gaya got some attention. Yes, the picture is the right side up, the cat isn't though.

I think that playing with animals should be part of the Weight Watchers program, or any "healthy lifestyle" for that matter. It's relaxing, it's funny, and when you think you've seen it all, they find a new way to look goofy!

I was telling my friend, and this is true, that I had promised myself I would never get that close to a dog again.

Pets are pets, animals, they come into your life, and go, and that's just how it is. Their life is short, so getting attached to them is just asking for pain really.

Honestly though, I look at Grace, and at Gaya and I just can't help but melt a little inside. I love my furbabies, they are just the best there is! Yeah, they will go one day, until then, I'm gonna cuddle them until they turn blue!!

Be good n stuff!