Friday, August 31, 2012

Forgot To Defrost...

It happens to us all -- forgetting to get something out for dinner. Well I forgot yesterday. How do you stay on track when you do that? When you're starving and ordering a pizza or going to McDonalds seems so much easier and faster than trying to figure out what to fix. Cut a stick of string cheese into 4 equal parts, wrap a thin slice of lunch meat around each piece and make that your protein to go along with your big salad -- that's how.

It took a huge amount of willpower not to call for delivery pizza last night. Instead I did a choose your own dinner night for the kids. A freebie in the land of healthy eating. 4ft picked dinosaur chicken, chips, and ketchup. Grumpybutt picked Spagettios w/ meatballs -- and ate ONLY the meatballs because that's how he rolls. I stuck with something healthy. I was very proud.

You can bet first thing this morning I pulled out a couple chicken breasts. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet but hey at least I remembered to get them out.

I've got a yen to do some baking. Not to mention the husbands coworkers are sweating him for delicious baked goods so I'm going to put my willpower to the test this weekend and make Brownie S'mores. Here's hoping I don't dive head first into the baking dish, hork them down, and lick the glass clean. Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Last night I played Wii and did Zumba. Not only was it a workout (I was totally sweating -- no "shine" here) but it was fun. I, of course, looked like a cross between someone getting electrified and dancing the funky chicken with absolutely no rhythm whatsoever. I'm not exaggerating when I say this white girl can't dance. Which is why I'm practicing in the privacy of my own home so I don't look like a complete dork when I'm able to finally go to a class. Hey a girl can hope.

I know I said I was going to try and go to a class but I haven't been able to go this week because the husband has been working late. Tonight he's getting home on time but I have Back To School night to go to so I won't be able to do it tonight either. I'm hoping maybe next week my schedule will loosen up so I can get over there. But in the meantime I've been walking 4ft to and from school pushing heavy kid-laden stroller and now adding Zumba in the evenings after I get the kids in bed. 

Foodwise, there's nothing exciting really going on. On Monday I made a seafood stew with crab, shrimp, and clams. Tuesday I mixed some leftovers into a whole wheat pasta -- but I'm pretty much over it now. I've been doing meatball sandwiches with Mozzarella the last couple of days -- delicious. Tuesday I did barbecue chicken on a stick with a big salad. Last night we had steak and black bean tacos on romaine lettuce. I still eat oatmeal every morning. I did bake an apple in vanilla and cinnamon extract with cinnamon sprinkled on it to mix into my oatmeal. It turned out okay. I need to add a little brown sugar to the baked apple, I think --cooking it really mutes the sweetness of the apple.

Oh, and I've finally finalized the title to my book coming out in November. The Great Gingerbread Goof. I also finished the first illustration and my editor liked it a lot. So that's cool.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

He Did It Again...

The Husband has taken Horrible Movie Monday Night to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL! I'm not sure that's such a good thing. He has embraced the "Horrible" and ran with it. Ran. With. It.

Last night's gem was called The FP.

A moment of silence while I try to form my thoughts into words and actually give a small synopsis of the movie. I'm just telling you now that words can NOT do it justice. To see it is to believe it. Seriously.


The FP is about two rival gangs fighting over Frazier Park in a future post-apocalyptic world by playing Beat-Beat Revelation (which is basically Dance Dance Revolution). Think "8-Mile" type thugs ('cept 85% of the characters are total "white boys") with mouths to match (which is hilarious coming out of some of these actors mouths) and instead of doing rap they do DANCE OFFS. I'm going to let that sink in for a second.

Ready for more?

The "bad" gang won the control of the FP (in the beginning of the movie) and the leader owns the only liquor store -- so they have alcohol under their control. So now alcoholics are turning to Meth and no one can drink without the "bad" gangs permission.

The "good" gang wants to regain control over the FP so alcohol can flow like a river -- because, don't you know, without alcoholics there are no bums, without bums no one is feeding the ducks, and so all the ducks left and "What's a town without ducks?" I kid you not -- almost word for word a line from the movie.

Yes. Feel my pain. But it gets better.

The lead character of the "good" gang looks like Kurt Russell as Snake Pliskin from Escape From New York complete with eye-patch but he wears sequined stars on his back, a belt buckle that flashes his name, and ginormous blue moon-type boots. Oh, and there is a love story too -- such as it is. The guy gets the girl but you're sitting there thinking, "Why would you want her?"

Words fail me. Really. The Husband LAUGHED the entire way through the movie. I sat and mostly got dumber for having watched it.

After the movie was over my husband says, "Ha! Top that!"

I don't know if I can and do I really want too?

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Little Pampering

I believe in giving yourself rewards and being pampered occasionally. So once a month I treat myself to a pedicure. A gift to myself for surviving the month with the kids, various projects, work, and life-style changes. I love getting pedicures. Love them. I get to sit, kid free, in a massage chair while my feet soak in hot water and then on top of it I get a foot and leg massage with yummy smelling oils and lotions. It's heaven.

Look I have polk-a-dots. I have funky looking feet, I know. 

After getting pedicures, my mom and I went shopping. She found this cool nail art stamp deal called Salon Nails Express. It's an "As Seen On TV" type deal and I'm always skeptical of them. Well Mom got her one and then got one for me too. So last night I got home and watched a lot of You Tube videos because I'd never heard of it before and I wanted to make sure I did it right. Well everyone I watched do it said how great it was so I broke open the package and tried it myself. It was totally fun and turned out pretty good with my cheap polish. I'm going to have to invest in some better stuff.

See the cute little butterfly? Cheap polish is cheap.

Man, I have old lady looking fingers. Nothing like a close up to show off finger wrinkles. I wonder if my toes are that wrinkly looking?

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I love flowers. I forget how much I love flowers until I get some. They just seem to brighten a room and put a smile on my face every time I look at them. Plus I have this totally awesome Disney vase my Mom got me when 4ft was only a 2ft that I rarely ever get to use -- because I hardly ever get flowers.

Last Monday, my bf, Nikki, got me some flowers because she hearts me. They were beautiful. I stared at them all week and smelled them and had an extra cheerful bounce to my step. Unfortunately as flowers do, they started wilting and dying. So yesterday while I was at Costco I bought another bunch to put in my vase. I decided I deserved it. The husband keeps trying to take credit for them. He bought them blah, blah, blah... Whatever... I picked them out, I put them in the cart, and I swiped my bank card -- not his. I guess technically as he is the main bread winner he DID pay for them but still... He's just trying to take credit for my pretty flowers and the smile they bring to my face. He's a weasel that way.

I was able to save some of the flowers Nikki gave me and add them to the ones I got. Isn't that vase the coolest? I heart me some flowers!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Company Picnic

Meatball sandwich says, "Don't I look delicious? She ate me for lunch yesterday."

Yesterday was the husband's annual summer company picnic, so I packed up Grumpybutt and Snugglebear then snagged 4ft from school and we drove to Redwood City (which is where the hubs works). The weather was great. The boys were excited for the bounce houses and I brought a big blanket and found some shade under the trees and Snugglebear and I played. It was a lot of fun. Of course Snugglebear got a lot of attention because she's so freaking cute.

My family -- aren't they cute? And impossible to get everyone to look at the camera and smile!

How much cookie can I shove in my mouth at once?

Someone is a cheese when the camera's out. I'm not naming any names though!

Snugglebear loves her some Grumpybutt. At this point 4ft is going out of his way to be in pictures but not IN them.

The food was pretty good. There was tri tip, chicken, and hot dogs and then potato salad, mac n cheese, and fresh fruit. Normally they have a green salad but they didn't this year which was a total bummer. So I had a few pieces of tri tip and some chicken, a little helping of potato salad, and some fruit. When we got home, I was so unhappy with the food choices I'd had (I wished they'd had some vegetables or healthier stuff, you know?) that I wanted to eat. Luckily, I don't have any ice cream, cake, or candy bars in the house because that's what I wanted. I battled myself all evening but stayed out of the cupboards.

This morning before I got on the scale (I get on it every morning), I had a pep talk with myself that yesterday was my splurge meal and whatever the scale says, it's not a big deal. This is lifetime. One meal in a lifetime just isn't that big a deal on the grand scheme of things. I stepped on the scale and it was .3 less than it was yesterday. That made me even more proud I'd stayed out of the cupboards last night. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

What I'm Eating.

I haven't been posting much about what I've been eating. Not because I haven't been eating healthy, I have, but mostly because I'm a total creature of habit and will eat the same things over and over again until I move on to something else. As you know I've done a salad kick, a soup kick, a pasta kick, I was doing B(turkey)LT on toasted Ezekiel bread for awhile too. You can only post so much about it, you know? Without feeling like you're becoming super boring (which I already struggle with because I am).

So, I'm working on an "Ode to Oatmeal". I've been trying different combinations to change up the flavor of oatmeal. Since I eat oatmeal every morning because it's quick, easy, and super good for you. But mostly it's quick and easy and when I'm getting three kids ready for school in the morning it's how I make sure I eat with them. You know, I have friends with more kids than me and I tip my hat to them. I don't know how they do it when I can barely remain functioning with my own. Anyway, back to oatmeal. I don't want to get bored so I've been experimenting. When I get the pictography done I'll post them and the recipes.

Yesterday I was craving Mexican food. I had some leftovers so I threw it together and made black bean and steak tacos on Romaine leaf boats. So it looks like a hot mess in the picture but it was so yummy. A little black beans, a little Spanish rice, some chopped up steak, a little salsa, hot sauce, and a little dollop of light sour cream spread out on both. Normally we do tacos at dinner and I forgo the rice -- but at lunch I can totally have some. So I did. I honestly don't miss the tortilla. It tastes pretty much like a taco (after you load up the tortilla how much of it do you really taste anyway?) and I can pick it up like a taco so my brain and belly think its a taco.

I've been craving hummus and pita chips. So I'm going to get some whole wheat pita bread (pre-made pita chips are high in everything as far as I can tell) to make chips and some garbanzo beans for the hummus (pre-made hummus seems to be high in stuff too) and probably eat on that next week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Busy Day

I. Need. A. Routine. I totally didn't get any work done yesterday. I'm really hoping I can get back into the swing of things.

I was a little trepidatious about getting 4ft to school on time after a summer filled with lazy mornings and sloth. But I managed to get all three kids and myself fed, dressed, and out the door on time. Actually a little early which worked out because Grumpybutt took a header down the stairs and I found him screaming face first, face down, halfway down the top flight of our staircase. Scared about 20 years off my life but he just scared himself more than anything. He was bruise, cut, scrape, and blood free when I picked him up and 5 minutes later he'd completely forgotten the whole thing. I also can't even begin to count the false starts we had when I'd realized I'd forgotten something and had to run back upstairs for it.

After school, we had time to get home, unload, and have a quick snack before we were back out again to get haircuts for the boys. Grumpybutt HATES (and that's putting it mildly) getting his haircut. You'd think ever snip bled the way he carries on. I'm proud to say that he didn't scream per usual he just kind of crumpled into me and whimpered. Yeah, I had to hold him, but it was totally worth it. Both boys look so handsome and 4ft got such a big grownup boy haircut. I hate it. Where did my baby go?

I definitely got my workout in yesterday. After all the stair climbing, we walked to school to drop off 4ft with me pushing at least 50lbs worth of stroller. The Grumpybutt weighs 28lbs, the Snugglebear weighs 17lbs, and the stroller easily weighs 5-10lbs being a double stroller. We also walked to pick up 4ft as well. One of the moms at 4ft's school teaches Zumba for only $5 a class in the EVENINGS that I think I'm going to start going to a couple times a week. This girl (me) has white girl written all over her but I love to dance and don't care if I look like I'm doing the funky chicken. I'm assured that I'll fit right in.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stress Eating

I'm an emotional eater. Have always been which is a disastrous cycle of eating because you're depressed/stressed/whatever and then being depressed/stressed/whatever because you're eating. It's vicious and unhealthy and it's my number one offender that I have to work on.

I had a pretty craptastic day yesterday. So much so that I wanted to shovel food in my mouth A LOT of food -- anything chocolate, fattening, sugary, greasy, all things NOT good for me. I found myself staring at the Grumpybutt's leftover Cookie Crisp from that morning (he doesn't eat them in milk so I guess it's better that I didn't have this battle over soggy cereal, right?). You know the cartoons where you have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? I swear I had that moment with myself. Eat it. Don't eat it. Eat it. Don't eat it. You're stressed, the day sucks, you can eat it. It'll make you feel better. No, don't eat it. You'll loathe yourself for it. You're doing so good don't let the stress win. I stood there in a "wanting to binge eat" daze battling myself over that stupid bowl of half eaten cereal. Pathetic right?

I picked up the bowl, forced myself to walk to the garbage, and threw it away. It was empowering and depressing all at the same time. Weird, right? Then I gulped down some water and got the heck out of the kitchen. I grabbed the Grumpybutt and tickled the snot out of him -- he has the most infectious laugh -- and then felt better.

Bad days would be easier if I didn't keep treats in the house, but I'm the one with food issues, not my family, and why should they give up the occasional treat because I have self-control/willpower issues? Plus I don't live in a sterile bubble -- I go out in the world and go past fast food places, bakeries, and ice cream shops so in the long run it's better to have the stuff around because I'm the one that needs to change. Stuff is always going to be around, you know?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Welcome to my life on Horrible Movie Monday Nights.

The husband said, "Cue up the movie while I take a quick shower. It's called Rubber." Then he snickered and said, "You'll never guess what it's about in a million years." And I kid you not, he skipped with GLEE to the bathroom. That right there was my first warning.

So I look it up on Netflix and sure enough it's there. It's a 2010 movie and here is the synopsis: 

"In this inventive twist on low-rent revenge flicks, a car tire named Robert rolls through the desert Southwest, using its strange psychic powers to blow everything up. But when Robert spies a gorgeous woman, he decides to take a chance on love." (This was what I pulled off the Netflix website -- It said something about using it's strange psychic powers to blow up a rabbit on the television menu.)

Have you seen BASEketball? Well it's one of my husband's favorite movies. He especially loves the scene where Trey Parker is driving in his car and hitting all the animals. I swear he giggles like a girl throughout that entire montage. So, really it should come as no surprise to me that my husband found this gem of a movie that mentions animal combusting for Horrible Movie Monday Night. 

But wait... 

It gets better.

The movie opens up with a guy standing in the middle of the desert with his hands filled with binoculars with a bunch of chairs spread out haphazardly on this old paved road. Then a cop car comes down the road and goes out of its way to hit and knock down every single chair. Then a police officer gets out of the trunk holding a glass of water, walks over to the guy with binoculars, and says this:

"In the Steven Spielberg movie E.T., why is the alien brown? No reason. In Love Story, why do the two characters fall madly in love with each other? No reason. In Oliver Stone's JFK, why is the President suddenly assassinated by some stranger? No reason. In the excellent Chain Saw Massacre by Tobe Hooper, why don't we ever see the characters go to the bathroom or wash their hands like people do in real life? Absolutely no reason. Worse, in The Pianist by Polanski, how come this guy has to hide and live like a bum when he plays the piano so well? Once again the answer is, no reason. I could go on for hours with more examples. The list is endless. You probably never gave it a thought, but all great films, without exception, contain an important element of no reason. And you know why? Because life itself is filled with no reason. Why can't we see the air all around us? No reason. Why are we always thinking? No reason. Why do some people love sausages and other people hate sausages? No effing reason (he curses here for real but this is a family blog lets keep it clean). 


Ladies, gentlemen, the film you are about to see today is an homage to the "no reason" - that most powerful element of style." 

He then pours the glass out onto the ground, walks back to the police cruiser, and gets back in the trunk.

Yep, right there sets up the rest of the entire movie. Robert, the tire, does use it's incredible psychic ability to blow up a rabbit, a crow, a glass bottle, a can, and the heads off of several people who have done it wrong. 85 minutes of film just for the sheer purpose of NO REASON! The movie poster tagline says it all: "Are You TIRED of the Expected? And sadly it was not the worse movie to grace our Monday Nights.

And yes my husband giggled like a school girl when the rabbit and the crow exploded.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Amazing Mr. Grumpybutt and the Fabulous 4ft of Fun

So...after I had to go back to Costco to get the baby formula I forgot on Saturday, the husband and I took the boys to Barnes and Noble. They love it there -- both of them. The Snugglebear liked it too but she wanted to chew on everything (I keep telling her she can't read by diffusion -- inner science geek showing -- but she doesn't listen). First we hit the Lego table, then we play with the Thomas trains and train table, and then we start reading books.

The Grumpybutt LOVES reading. He always has. I can remember when 4ft of Fun was only 2ft and he would never sit still for an entire book. There was always too much type per page and I learned how to speed read and hit the highlights before he could turn the page. The Grumpybutt has NEVER done that. No book is too long. No book has too many words. And he will get book after book after book for you to read for him for as long as you'll read them.

So we picked a stack of board books, the Grumpybutt and I, (that way he can't hurt them and then I have to buy them even if I don't want to) and we sat down on the stage together and started reading. A little girl wearing a pink tutu had already been following Grumpybutt around (much to his dismay cuz she kept wanting to touch him and he HATES that and her skirt kept touching him when she stood near him and he really can't stand that either -- he has OCD issues) so she came to the stage too to see what he was doing with her mom in tow. The mother watched Grumpybutt and I read book after book, sometimes her little girl watching (I'm not Grumpybutt. I don't mind it when other kids come sit with us and read with us), but mostly she was just trying to touch Grumpybutt's hair (apparently his blonde silk tresses are like a moth to a flame to little girls  because we run into this problem a lot).

Finally the mother asked, "How old is your little boy?"

I told her he was 2 1/2 and then politely asked how old her little girl was. I don't know, it always seems like you're supposed to when someone asks you. The little girl turned 2 that day so she wasn't that much younger.

"How long has your son sat there and read like that? Mine won't sit still for a single page let alone five books."

Cuz yes, we had read just finished the stack of books and were getting up to put them back and pick some more -- which we did -- which he sat and read but then he couldn't ignore the siren's call anymore and the allure of jumping off the stage and off the benches became too much for him and he gave in and started jumping. That kid lives for jumping off of things. LIVES FOR IT! Which in the end is going to kill me I think.

"He always has," I said proudly.

"That's amazing. You're very lucky."

Truer words were never spoke. No, I'm not proud of my kids. Not at all.

I'm also proud to announce that 4ft mastered tying his shoes yesterday. We tried in kindergarten but he just couldn't get it and would break down in tears in frustration. Nothing is worth that. So we tried again in first grade and again he was too hard on himself when he couldn't get it. We tried again yesterday. He got it on his SECOND try. The look of joy on that boy's face almost brought a tear to my eye. He was glowing in pride. He wore those shoes around the house for the rest of the day (his brand new school shoes so he doesn't get to wear them outside until Wednesday on the first day of school) and took them off right before bed, tying and untying them all evening. Then first thing this morning he put them back on and tied them again AND then he called his Nana and Papa (my mom and dad) at 6:30am to tell them he'd done it and show them (he called them on my iPad with Facetime).

And I let him because I'm evil and I'd been up since pretty much 3:30ish when Snugglebear thought she was dying of starvation and then when she was beating my face after my husband put her in bed with me. Why should I be the only one to suffer?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Androids and Husbands

It's all their fault that I didn't blog yesterday.

After getting up at the crack of dawn -- actually I lie, the sun was NOT even up yet -- and getting some stuff down around the house, the husband and I loaded up our brood for some shopping. (Hooray for spending money! It's one of my most favorite things -- well that and drawing Granny Panties).

I made the husband buy me a rolling filing bin and a shelf for over my computer desk so I could clean off and organize it since I'm going to be needing it so much more with all the projects I have going on. When it's normal webdesign and coding work I can work around the mountain of clutter no problem but I actually require a surface when drawing -- I know crazy right? And we won't even mention that the husband has been harassing me for MONTHS to do something about the monstrosity. (Thank goodness I didn't have the forethought to take pictures of before -- cuz then I'd feel compelled to share my embarrassment.)

After our Target excursion, we went over to Costco and got distracted by the Cell Phone Kiosk and the shiny Androids. We were eligible for an upgrade and after you say the magic, "Buy one Get one Free" words we were sold. So excited were we, that I actually forgot to buy formula *YIKES*. So I get to go back to Costco today and buy some. It's worth the trip because it's so much cheaper than anywhere else and that Snugglebear will go through a can in a week and a half.

Can you believe the tenacity of my husband building my shelf and hanging it so I actually really HAD to clean off my desk yesterday? So between playing with my new phone, scaling my desk, and watching Hunger Games, I totally spaced blogging yesterday. Is it bad that 4ft said, "I didn't know you bought a new desk today, Mama." when he saw it cleaned off?

Oh, and I'm excited to say that while I was shopping at Safeway yesterday I almost lost my shorts (and the key word is ALMOST), because they're getting that too big. To date I've lost 29 lbs.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Death By Meatball...

I swear the meatball was out to get me. I nearly died. Over dramatic much? Nooooo......not me. Never.

That one! That one right there! (I think) It's the culprit!

I made some garlic wheat pasta with sauteed mushrooms and tossed in some chicken meatballs (they're soooo much more yummier than turkey ones because they don't dry out and get tough like turkey ones do) and finished it off with a few grates of fresh Parmesan (which is sooooo much yummier than Kraft Parmesan just FYI). I sat down to eat my delicious pasta creation (because yes I'm still on a pasta kick) and nearly choked to death on my third bite.

That evil little meatball tried to excavate my wind pipe. It was going to boldly go where no food has ever gone before and it was determined to make it so. Never fear I hacked and coughed and sputtered and survived the whole ordeal but it totally ruined the rest of my meal and my throat was weird feeling for HOURS afterwards. HOURS! Stoopid meatball. I showed it though. I swallowed that bad boy and digested it. That'll teach that meatball to mess with me! Meatballs around the world live in fear of my belly!!! 

On a less life-threatening note: I went out and bought a timer to put on my desk to set for the individual projects I have going so I don't get sucked into one thing (like facebook) and get hardly anything else done that day. So we're going to see how that works today -- as soon as I get it out of the Target bag, open the packaging, and find some place on my cluttered, messy, can't see the wood desk to put it on. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012


It's not very often that I get a craving for something -- well unless its like dessert or chocolate. Okay so I always have cravings but it's not often I get one for regular food. Yesterday, I was totally craving shrimp and BubbaGumps. It's a total tourist trap of a restaurant (they have one in San Francisco and Monterey -- not sure if its anywhere else) but the food is delicious and its worth the Forrest Gump ambiance to go. Anyways -- back to my cravings.

They have this appetizer called "Hush Pups" (it might have a character name in it like Jenny's Hush Pups or something, I'm not sure) and its basically a fried corn meal ball with like crab and corn in it and they serve it on a mound of sliced cabbage and with an almost 1000 Island like sauce. Normally, I eat like one, (and I only stop at one because we're sharing one order with the whole family which is like 4-5 of us who eat them and they're consumed FAST because they're delicious) and then I start dipping the cabbage in the sauce. I really love cabbage and the sauce is yummy.

Unless it's fat free Italian, I always eat my dressing on the side so I can control how much of it I eat.

So yesterday I made a garlic shrimp and Parmesan pasta and then I sliced up some cabbage and dipped it in Light 1000 Island. It was so delicious and the cabbage totally satisfied my craving for BubbaGumps without all the fat and a spendy trip out to The City.

The pasta turned out so awesome it tasted like it should've been bad for me -- but totally not. I bought a big bag of peeled and cooked shrimp from Costco (I love that place) and I use it for when I need a quick protein and I'd forgotten to get something out. So I pulled out like 10 and marinated them in grated garlic, a little rosemary, onion powder, pepper, and parsley, and when the pasta was almost done I threw them in a hot pan sprayed with olive oil from my Misto (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets) and heated them up and then tossed the pasta with a little of the starchy water. Then I grated fresh Parmesan over the top. Soooo delicious. I definitely recommend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chicken on a Stick

Used to be when I made chicken on a stick I would cut the chicken really thin and then marinate it in teriyaki sauce for at least 24 hours which made the chicken tender and delicious and all I had to do was skewer it on the sticks and grill it. Well, teriyaki sauce has a crazy high sugar count (I know, I'm shocked too. Something that delicious be bad for you? No way.) and all that sugar soaks into the chicken. So it is pretty much a no no anytime but certainly a total no way for dinner.

So instead, I cut the chicken really thin rub grated garlic onto it (this is awesome -- when you use a microplane on garlic it makes it a mush that really spreads and gives a great garlic flavor), skewered it on the sticks, seasoned it with a little poultry seasoning and pepper, and then throw it on my cast iron grill pan (the closest I can get to barbecue at home). And then I brush on a light coating of barbecue sauce (yeah, I know it has a lot of sugar too but I stretch 2 tbs of sauce on 2 chicken breasts worth of chicken on a stick and a lot of it burns to the grill). It's just enough sauce to help give it a barbecued flavor.

I don't play around with salad -- Bob says you can "Harpersize It" and I take him at his word!

Add a large salad of romaine hearts with some fat free Italian dressing and pepper and there's dinner! And the kids especially like it because it's fun to eat. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Epic Blonde Fail

So I made Deconstructed Enchilada Chicken -- basically so I could have all the flavor of an enchilada without the tortilla because I don't do processed carbs at night. Lean and Green. It's a rule. Ask Bob, he'll tell you.

Wow, it looks pretty precariously placed on my table -- didn't notice.

Anyways -- it turned out pretty good however it probably would've ACTUALLY tasted like enchilada chicken if I had used the taco seasoning to season the chicken instead of season all salt. Yep, I have big Costco containers of both and genius me didn't actually read the label before applying. I didn't figure it out until after I had the chicken in the oven melting the cheese and was getting out the seasoning to put on the onions I was grilling to put on top. So while it had melty cheese and enchilada sauce -- it didn't really taste like it. *sigh* I'll have to try it again sometime but hopefully without the epic blonde moment.

I'm still on my pasta kick.  Here are two of my latest creations:

Zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, turkey meatballs, grated garlic, and twirly wheat pasta! Delicious!

Cabbage, zucchini, mushroom, onions, grated garlic, shrimp, and twirly wheat pasta in a Cajun sauce! Super Delicious.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Yesterday I finished my "Sugar and Spice" Christmas story and sent it to my editor. My editor. I love the way that sounds. (Eventually I promise I'll be more cool about this, I swear.) This morning I heard from my editor. She loved it. Sure she had some minor tweaks, a few deletes, and a couple add-ins, but all in all she thought it was a solid story. So I tweaked, deleted, and added in and the story is much better now! I love the editing process. So because I'm a freak, and excited, and because it's a children's story so it's not a TON of words. I was able to send it back to her today with the edits. Here's hoping we're gold so I can start drawing. I really want to bring it to life!

It's funny. The story that got me where I am, Pumpkin Pizza (dedicated to 4ft, of course), is coming out 5th, for sure, possibly 6th in the series (if I can get my butt in gear and get ahead of my publishing schedule and we can work another one in). But it needed a major rewrite to be for Thanksgiving -- and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to rewrite and illustrate so we decided a Christmas story would be better to give me more time to get things done. The great thing about this series is that you can really read them in any order so that is awesome too.

I had two splurge meals this week. I'm such a bad egg. Yesterday, we had to pick up 4ft from my parents' (he stayed with them over the weekend to have some one-on-one time with them) and we went to dinner with them. We went to Olive Garden. I had like a piece and a half of Chianti Beef -- which was okay but would probably never order again -- and a lot of salad. Did the dressing on the side and didn't eat a lot of it. The upside and the downside of it is the scale didn't budge -- but that's okay too.

I'm going to make deconstructed Chicken Enchilada for dinner tonight. I'll post pics and how it was tomorrow.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Glorious Splurge Meal

Normally my splurge meals are going to Chili's or BJ's and getting their house salad and a bowl of Chicken Enchilada Soup (Chili's) or Chicken Tortilla Soup (BJ's). The splurge I guess comes in the fact I always forget to bring my own salad dressing (I love me some light 1000 Island Dressing or Fat Free Italian) so I end up having to get the full fat versions. I always get it on the side as I like to dip my fork in dressing and then stab salad -- you eat less dressing that way -- and I don't even eat half of the portion of dressing they bring me. I've never actually looked up the nutritional info for the soups either, come to think of it, but then I don't count calories anymore. I just make smart choices, eat til I'm full and then stop. Amazing concept, right? So, I don't gain weight but I don't lose any that day either.

Yeah, I get on the scale every freaking morning. I'm a slave. But that's okay. Bob said it was. This way I know if I'm on track or not. I have a healthier outlook about the pesky number it reveals (or at least I try too), it's just a number to judge what foods work better with my body than others. I'm happy eating healthy. My body loves it and my disposition does too. When I eat healthy I don't suffer as much depression crap as when I don't.

Anyway, I digress (I know, my normal habit -- no one is surprised anymore)... Back to my splurge. I've been craving pizza. I figured why not? I could get it with 1/2 the cheese, Canadian bacon (a lean meat), zucchini, fresh garlic, and mushrooms. So yesterday that's just what I did! They have "personal pizzas" that feed one. I don't know who their "one" is, they're pretty big so I only ate half of it. And let me tell you I savored every freaking bite. I love LOVE pizza and that was the first one I'd had since July 10th when I got fed up with my bad eating habits and how I felt. Again.

So I jumped on the scale this morning to see how the pizza affected me. Well, I didn't lose any weight but then again I didn't gain any either. The number was the same as yesterday and it was immensely more satisfying for my splurge meal to be PIZZA than SOUP and SALAD, you know?

I've been eating healthy since July 10th and as of today August 12th, I've lost 25.2 lbs. I haven't been working out like a maniac -- I can't ever seem to find the time and I can't find a gym I like yet -- but I've been doing crunches, push ups, stretches, and whatever else I can do sitting on the floor with the Snugglebear or being climbed on by 4ft and Grumpybutt.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pasta FTW!


A couple weeks ago I went through a soup phase. All soups all the time at lunch. Did a Veggie Chili soup that I ate on for like a week, then did an Italian Wedding Soup, then a Stir-fry soup.

Lately it's been all about the pasta for lunch. I've got some whole grain noodles and I measure out a half cup and throw on whatever leftovers I have on top of them. One night I had leftover shrimp, yellow squash, and zucchini. So for lunch I tossed that on the noodles, added some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and TA DA a delicious pasta.

I also had leftover meatballs a different night. So I sauteed some spinach with garlic and tossed that with some whole wheat pasta. Added the meatballs and some fresh grated Parm and it was epically delicious!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sugar and Spice

There are so many ways I could be cool about my recent turn of events and I am failing at them all 100%.

So just in case you've missed my gushing on Facebook let me fill you in on what I've been up to the last couple of days:

On Wednesday, I was in talks with Musa Publishing about my children's book series "A Sugar and Spice Cook-It-Yourself Tale" and they LOVED it! So my brand new editor (enter squeal here) and I came up with a 5 book proposal for the upcoming year (not a fiscal year) with the side note that I had even more ideas to fill up next year as well. It was very exciting and a great learning process. I'm having so much fun with this.

So you can expect to see the first installment of Sugar in Spice in time for Christmas! Yay! I think it'd make a great gift -- hint hint. Okay okay I'll stop the shameless pimping!

On top of that awesomeness -- I was already in talks with a big time agent (I kept it hush hush cuz I didn't want to jinx it) and she's totally MINE now! (I still don't bring it up much because I'm afraid I'll wake up and it won't be true)! I know I still have a long way to go to get my writing career where I want it but I really feel like I'm walking in the right direction and now have a foot in the door. Hmm how many other cliche's can I throw into this.

So wish me luck because now, not only am I juggling three kids, a husband, housework, web design, and cover artist, I'm also now throwing in a writing and illustrating children's book ball into the air. Won't it be fun to watch them all boink me on the head when I drop them? I'd say, "Please send chocolate." but I don't really eat it anymore.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

4ft is a BOY!

Has been since he was born -- I swear. He looks like a boy, sounds like a boy, and hurts me constantly with his boy-like behavior.

Let me share my pain.

4ft's school district has it's enrollment paperwork online. Which is cool in one way that it's mostly filled out and you just have to update a few things like address, medical stuff, and who is allowed to take your kid from school if you can't for the year then you hit submit and you're all done. No paper, no tiny print and little boxes, no having to try and find a pen because your kids always snag them and then they're gone FOREVER. It has ONE GLARING problem in the fact that the pre-filled information can NOT be changed when some joker in district inputs the child's sex WRONG you can't click the box and change the F to M.

This happened last year. I called the district -- they said it had to be done at the school. I called the school they "fixed" it. I get the enrollment link to re-enroll 4ft in school and sure enough it's labeled my BOY a girl... AGAIN. I called the school and she told me she could change it in the school records (which said girl) but not the district. I mentioned that district said it had to be fixed at school level and I'd had this problem last year as well and the school had "fixed" it then. She explained that they use two different programs and the district is the "parent" program so even though they change it in the school's program the "parent" program comes along and corrects it. So district has to fix it on their end too.

So, then I called up district. They again told me that it had to be done at the school. So, I calmly told them what the school had told me. So it didn't matter how many times the school fixed it, after school starts, the parent program "fixes" all the data so it matches on the school's program which makes my handsome little BOY into a girl. Now this isn't a huge deal unless they give him something that says girl but when he hits middle school and high school if he gets enrolled in girls' PE I'm going to be bent sideways (even if 4ft wasn't -- naked girls! Score!). She chuckled. Apparently I'm funny. So she said, let's see what we can do and after a half an hour on the phone she finally found the magic box that said edit and changed the F to an M.

This took a couple days of leaving messages and going back in forth between the school and the district. All for one shmucky little box. Naturally 4ft was over my shoulder when I was filling out the enrollment form and asked me what the F meant. So he was pretty bitter they were calling him a girl. I also made sure to mention that 4ft was understandably upset (it matters when you're 7 1/2) with the typo. I was understanding last year. I get data entry typos happen, although with something as important as this you'd make sure you had it right, but when it was supposedly "fixed" and then to have to do the whole dance again -- I was a little bitter.

*crossing fingers* Here's hoping that I don't have to go through this again next summer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I swear my kids live to distract me from things I mean to do. I had to have sat down 10 times yesterday to blog and every single time before I could even load up blogger one of my kids pulled me away. Grumpybutt is especially accomplished at this. Add that to the fact he was up before 5 am yesterday and he got rid of his naps 100 years ago (at least it feels like it) he was a NIGHTMARE by 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Everything was a meltdown. Everything. It's a testament to my love for him that I still have all my hair and he's still breathing (I jest of course, for those who might take that statement seriously. I'm not really a child abuser.).

I was so excited to see the Husband walk up our stairs I can't begin to describe it. Then words failed me when he walked in the door and said, "I have a migraine. It started in the car on the way home." Are you kidding me? 2/3 of our children had been cranky (The Snugglebear didn't nap for very long yesterday. She stirred -- probably looking for her fingers -- and 4ft jumped up and said, "Baby sister is awake," and ran into the room. Hmmm it's probably a testament to how much I love all my kids that we all survived yesterday) and I'd been counting down the minutes until his punk butt came home and he came home INCAPACITATED!?!?!?! I'm glad it's not yesterday anymore. By the time I'd gotten the house cleaned up, everyone in bed, and finished the work the kids didn't let me do during the day I was too tired to do anything but veg on the couch. The husband found me there, sleeping, at 11pm and told me to go to bed. So I did.

I made steak tacos for dinner last night. I fried up some flour tortillas like my grandma used to do (this is the Husbands particular favorite way for the shells -- not that it mattered because he didn't really even eat -- stoopid migraine), used steak leftovers from the night before (I love me some dinner twofers), made black beans, and some Spanish rice. I did not eat any fried tortillas or the rice. I pulled a couple leafs off a romaine heart and loaded up the "boats" with my taco filling -- a little black beans, a little steak, a dollop of light sour cream, tomato, onion, and avocado slices, with a liberal dash of hot sauce. You know? I didn't even miss the shell. And really after you load up a shell with all your favorite taco fillings how much do you taste the tortilla anyway?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Barbecues, Starbucks, Mc Donalds... Oh my!

Yesterday, the Hubs and I loaded up the chillens and headed to a State Park that is like 6 miles from our house to hang out, play, and barbecue. I realized that 4ft had never in his entire life roasted a marshmallow. Sure I'd made microwave s'mores -- it's not like he'd never had melted ones -- but there is something more awesome about roasting them on fire. So we planned the picnic -- took some hot dogs, chicken on a stick (for me), salad, chips, drinks, and marshmallows.

We got there early so we could pick our spot and then Daddy played with Snugglebear (he doesn't get to much during the week because of work) and I played ball and Frisbee with the boys. That lasted about 20 minutes before Grumpybutt decided he'd had enough nature and wanted to go home. While he tried to pull my bag towards the car (he was adamant) he saw 4ft's DS and then all was well with the world. He parked on the blanket next to his sister and played DS while 4ft and I ran around and played.

I had sliced a chicken breast thin and stuck the strips on sticks that way the chicken would cook as fast as the hot dogs. They turned out so good. I had them with a green salad while the boys had chips and hot dogs. I love barbecue hot dogs, but I love roasted marshmallows more (they have a siren's call -- don't tell me I'm the only one who hears it!) which is why I opted for the chicken and salad. Yes, I had roasted marshmallows (hey! I'm human after all.) but I only had 4. I wanted more. I mean I really really wanted more but I limited myself to 4 and I spaced them out by roasting some for the Husband too. Let me tell you I savored every. single. bite.

After we got back from the park I hooked up with my BF, Nikki (yeah the evil one who brought all the cake stuff over to my house) and we went to get our girl time pedicures. As with tradition we went to Starbucks before we soaked our feet and instead of the Caramel Frappaccino with extra caramel and chocolate drizzle with whipped cream I used to get, I got a iced coffee w/ a shot of sugar free vanilla, and mixed with soy milk with no whip. It was pretty delicious.

Then to finish up the trifecta of temptation we went to Mc Donalds for dinner. The pedicures took for-ev-er (2 1/2 hours) because they were short handed and crazy busy -- but they are soooo worth the wait. But because I was gone so long, everyone was hungry and I didn't have time to make dinner plus we had to go to Costco (we needed Coke -- the Husband is E-V-I-L without his caffeine fix). So quick and easy was the play called -- I got a Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. Look at me stand in the face of temptation and only eat 4 roasted marshmallows!

This is the end of week 4 and so far to date I've lost 22 lbs! That includes 5 days in San Diego and a roasted marshmallow barbecue. Here's hoping the next month is just as fabulous!

Friday, August 3, 2012

What Happened to Thursday?

Another fail. I can't even say I was all that busy. I did think a time or two, "I need to blog," but then I'd get distracted by something shiny. Yeah it was that kind of day yesterday.

The Snugglebear had her 6 month Well Baby appointment yesterday. Can you believe it's been 6 months already? Where does the time go? Next thing you know 4ft will be in college. Sheesh. Anyway, the doctor confirmed what the Husband and I already knew, she's perfect. She is now 26 inches long, 16lbs 12oz, and is perfectly proportioned weight to height and is in the 50th percentile. She's also a little advanced in her fine motor skills and the little booger is already trying to army crawl. Someone tell that girl she's ONLY 6 months old. I'm not ready to chase her down yet. I still have to chase the Grumpybutt.

So to make my life easier and cuz she loves me (or maybe she didn't want to listen to me whine anymore), my mom came up with my sister in tow and kept the boys for me so I could just run Snugglebear over and wouldn't have to battle the Grumpybutt while trying to do the baby girl's doc appointment. After I got home we loaded up everyone in my awesome van that I still love even though I have like 50 more car payments to make on it, and went out to BJ's for lunch. My absolute favorite thing to get there is the pulled pork barbecue sandwich and extra crispy thin fries (um please just add the fat to my butt and thighs, k thanx bye). But what I got was soup (chicken tortilla -- so yummy) and salad. Hooray for healthy eating choices.

Then to celebrate Snugglebear's awesome check up and commiserate her three shots we went over to Babies "R" Us and got her an exersaucer, a new outfit, and a infant toothbrush (you wear it over your finger and brush their teeth) -- cuz yes, Snugglebear's got her two bottom teeth in. The exersaucer came in a box that said, "Some adult assembly required" -- it lied.  There was A LOT of adult assembly required. Between 4ft, the Grumpybutt, and I we finally got it put together (It might have been easier if I'd done it myself but where's the "fun" in that?).

Totally worth it -- she loves it!
Last night for dinner I made Blackened Tilapia. OMG! It might be my new favorite way to cook fish. I mixed together: 1 tbs onion powder, 1 tsp season-all salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbs paprika, 1 1/2 tbs chili powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, and 1 tsp oregano in a dish. I sprayed the fish with olive oil from my Misto (the most awesome gadget ever created. Okay maybe not the most awesome but I totally love it) and then liberally coated the fish in the seasoning (I put the extra in a Ziploc bag to use again -- it made a lot). Put it in my toaster oven on Broil for 20 minutes. Let it rest for about 5, then squeezed lemon juice on it. 

Heaven on a plate!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Caaa-razy Days

I did NOT forget about blogging and I did NOT fall off the healthy wagon (which is usually the case when I remain silent for too long), I have just been crazy busy. I kept saying I need to blog, I'll do it in a minute and then it would be the next day. Bad Lisa.

I had a TON of work to catch up on since I so casually frolicked off to San Diego to gain a pound at SeaWorld (bitter? me? Noooooooo.) And hooray for me that I caught up to my usual -- harried still have stuff pending -- it feels great to not be buried.

I started some new DIY projects because it's an addiction -- once you catch the bug you just CAN NOT stop! Add in my ADD and you have a LOT of unfinished projects going. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to paint on my paint stick spice shelves. And when 4ft got a bird feeder kit to build and paint (he caught the bug too and the ADD because it's not finished yet), I got a couple of plain wooden frames (three) and sun catchers (three) to which I'm painting them, putting a picture of each munchkin in them and putting them up. I couldn't resist. Oh and I got another pair of shoes to bling out too.

Last night I decided to make eggplant casserole or lasagna probably would be more apt as I built it as one. Layer of marinara, eggplant (that I grilled with a little olive oil and salt and pepper), a little ricotta (which I'd probably omit the next time I make it), and real Parmesan cheese mixed with some Mozzarella (not a lot just a sprinkling -- maybe a cup total for the whole dish). Times this by 3 layers in an 8x8 glass square dish and you've got deliciousness that is totally good for you too. I definitely recommend.

Crazy busy is working for me. I'm so busy staring new projects and digging myself out of my avalanche of work I don't have time to boredom eat. So that's a total check in the win column, right?