Saturday, January 31, 2009
I found this recipe here, but made a few of my own changes. I love eating soup for lunch - first because it's a no brainer in the morning, and second because my morning school doesn't have a lot of heat and soup warms me up!
-1 package of "Soup Mix" beans (soaked overnight)
-6oz carrots (about a cup)
-125g celery (about a cup)
-100g green beans (about a cup)
-2 garlic cloves
-28oz can of tomatoes (and their juice)
-4 cups chicken broth
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ginger
1) Chop up all the veggies and throw them in the crockpot with all of the other ingredients.
2) Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or however long it takes for the beans to soften.
3) Before serving, blend up some of the beans and veggies in the blender, and add them back into the soup to make it creamier.
This made 8 large servings of soup. Each serving is about 245 calories (45g carbs, 14g protein, 0.6g fat). A little higher in carbs than I'd like, but what can ya do! It's definitely not my favourite soup, but it'll do. And sorry, I couldn't seem to take a picture that makes it look appetizing!
Recipe #1: Blueberry Muffins. I looked at a bunch of recipes online and put a few together to make these lovelies.
-3/4 cups skim milk
-1/2 cup applesauce (I mistakenly bought the sweetened kind)
-1/4 egg whites
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal
-1/4 cup sugar
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 cup blueberries
-a splash of vanilla
-a bit of lemon zest
1)Preheat oven 400F degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2)Blend milk, applesauce, egg whites, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
3) Stir flours, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and pour wet ingredients into the well. Stir with a spoon just until the flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until golden brown (mine took 15 min). Immediately remove from pan.
Nutritional Information: This recipe made 13 small muffins. They taste like a healthy muffin, and I'm not very picky, so I think they're pretty good! Give or take a little, they are 100 calories each (20g carbs, 4g protein, and 0.5g fat). Pair these up with some egg whites and oh la la, what a breakfast!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Not to me! This is the set of stairs I run at Extreme Fitness. I snuck my camera in there with me this morning. Actually, I didn't have to sneak at all, because I am usually the only one ever using them. I don't think most people even know they are there because it's down a SHORT hallway, near an emergency exit. Maybe that's why I like it so much - very peaceful. I try to stay on the side where people could potentially see me if I fall and break my legs.
It is indeed very dark - 2 of the lights are on the fritz. There has been a Second Cup cup laying around since November, and the doors let in quite the breeze when it's windy. You can still faintly hear the club music pumping.
This week I have been running 60 sets, and this may seem like a lot to you.. but considering I was doing between 75-100 (in the same amount of time and with less difficulty) before the wedding, it's not that good at all. But it is getting easier already.
Yesterday, I was having lunch with the CYW I worked with last year and was telling her how I started exercising again. She said she was so proud last year when I came to school and announced, "I am Queen of the Stairs!" Well... right now I am no longer Queen, but I will be soon!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Over the weekend M. and I met my parents for lunch in the booming city of Milton. M calls this place a shit hole for some reason.. he really doesn't like it.. something about suburbia taking over.. We were there on Sunday morning and chose a sushi place to go to, but found out it didn't open until 4. Then we tried an Italian place but it was closed on Sundays. So we settled for Kelsey's. There we are! Good times.
Last night I went to watch M. play hockey. Often, before he leaves for his games I say, "Get into a fight for me!" Well, last night he did! And I was there to witness it! That's the first goalie fight I've ever seen. Awesome.
Today I started Level 2 of The Shred. Oh. My. God. It was so hard. It was like doing a million planks, push-ups, and squats. It was quite dreadful actually. I hope it gets better over the next ten days.
And, yup, that's it. Exciting stuff.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I stepped on the scale and haven't seen a number that large for about 4 years. It's not like I didn't watch it happening right in front of my eyes. I just chose to do nothing about it. Why? I have a few ideas, but there's not much I can do about it now.
Here is my plan of attack. Continue The Shred (day 9!) on a daily basis, start running stairs again, go to Extreme at least 4 days a week, and after I've lost a little weight, start strength training. Mike and I started doing the 200 sit-up challenge on the weekend. I am also going to count my calories and aim for 1400 calories a day which is pretty reasonable and I won't starve.
I figure if I talk about it here, I might be more motivated to actually do it. I will weigh myself every Monday and let you know how it goes!
I also want to climb the CN tower again this April. Last year I climbed it in 21:06 and this year I want to beat that time! Who wants to join me???? It really wasn't as hard as I was expecting! It's on April 18th this year. Come on, you know you want to!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I like going here just to look at all the crazy food, taste some samples, and people watch! Here is what I purchased: Dried apricots, bagels, a butter tart, pierogies, pasta sauce, and fresh pasta. I tried a sample of the pasta and sauce, and oh my, I think it's the best sauce I've ever tasted, so I couldn't resist buying some. The sauce is 3 different kinds - alfredo, pesto, and marinara - and the container used to look pretty, but I took this picture after I had a little taste :)
On the subway coming home, this lady and her dog sat down near me. She proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation with her dog. Seriously, this is how it went...
Nuzzle nuzzle. Oh, you pretty little girl. Don't worry, only 5 more stops! Kiss kiss. You're a good girl, aren't you, aren't you? Eskimo kisses. Oh, look! Pointing. 3 people are getting on the train.. 1, 2, 3... Whispers sweet nothings. Oh, hunny, we're at Lawrence Station now.. L..A..W..R.. and on, and on, and on....
some people need help...
Friday, January 23, 2009
For dinner I made antojitos (appetizer), homemade pizza (entree), and a healthyish version of apple-blueberry crisp (dessert). Yeah, I was pretty proud of myself. We watched the last two episodes of The Office. I think I was a little happy from the wine and couldn't stop howling at the opening scene. Bahahahaha. 31 is the new number! I'm still laughing thinking about it.
We then played a couple of games - Ticket To Ride and Lost Cities. We miss J&L our Euro board gamer friends. But we did think of them and listened to the CD they sent us for Christmas (yay, we got it this week - thanks for resending). Then I started showing M. romantic YouTube videos of my favourite So You Think You Can Dance dances, but he wan't too into that. Anyway, we both ended up winning one game each, and no arguments happened! Sometimes we're a little competitive.
Now, is that an exciting date night, or what?
Now that I am an old married lady, I have good benefits! Yes, I realize that I am very lucky! My work covers $7 per massage (whoopee) but M's covers 80% - so when you put this all together, I end up paying less than $10 for an hour massage. It is so worth it.
If your benefits package covers massage therapy, and you are not taking advantage of it, I will personally come to your house and shake some sense into you. If you don't have benefits, please ignore what I'm saying.
Take for example, my wonderful husband, who is too "busy" to go to the doctors and get a prescription for massages. This would seriously take him about twenty minutes, then the life of massages could be his! I think he is crazy! And for anyone who is thinking they are too busy to go get a massage - it's only an hour, once a month. You are worth it!
Now, I do not normally splurge on things like pedicures, but after taking a look at my toes for the first time since summer, I was very frightened. I found a place close to home that does pedicures for under $30. Is this a good price? The best part though - they make you fresh fruit smoothies while you're sitting there! Yum!
Yup, today was good.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Meet the members of the "Thank God It's Monday" club... well actually that name only lasted once. Then it became the "Thank God It's Tuesday" club when we met on a Tuesday, and today it changed to "Thank God It's Thursday". Either way, it's the best club I am a member of, and not just because it's the only one!
M.S.G. and I worked together for two years - then the dreaded surplus happened - and life at school is so different! Who can I talk to about The Hills now? Where do I drop all of my things when I go sign in at the office? Who can I email my supply notes to? Like, oh my god, like, it's just not the same without her!
P.J.H. is probably the funniest lady alive. You should see this woman dance! She keeps me sane, I swear.
Every time we get together we say we're not going to discuss work, but that never happens now, does it? Next time, ladies, next time...
If you're ever at Second Cup, you must try the Green Tea Latte.. oh so good.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, actually, I hated rancho beans growing up and just started to like them over the last year. M. on the other hand is a big fan. I decided to try and make some tonight. Who knew it was so easy? They definitely don't taste as good as my brother's though (probably because I used ground turkey instead of beef).
By popular request, I present to you the not so secret recipe:
1 pound of ground beef (I used turkey)
1 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 cans pork and beans
Fry ground beef, onions and salt for 20 minutes. Stir in worcestershire sauce and mustard. Mix in bowl brown sugar and ketchup, add to meat mixture. Add beans to mixture. Mix altogether and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees F.
Oh yes, I was quite the chef tonight and also made hummus. Don't worry, I didn't bake it - it's in the oven simply for beauty of the photo!
Lastly - The Inauguration - I feel nervous for Barack Obama. The Americans seem to be waiting on a miracle. I'm all about hope for a better future, but come on... so much pressure. Isn't it sad how Canadians pay way more attention to American politics than our own?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Okay, here is the story.
On Christmas Eve, M. and I were probably doing something (I can't remember, it was a while ago) and all of a sudden the lights started flickering. Then they went out. Then they stayed out for almost 2 hours.
So... we practiced our Taboo game playing skills by candlelight... ate the food that eventually cooked itself in the still hot oven... twiddled our thumbs... and eventually decided we needed to go somewhere. Vegas, baby!
EEK! I'm so excited!
If you've ever been to Vegas, what are some must sees?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
1) Made blueberry pancakes for my husband.
2) Watched Bride Wars - I think it should have received at least 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, not 12%.
3) Got my ass kicked by Jillian Michaels - Day 1 down, 29 more to go. I hurt.
4) Finished reading "My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands" by Chelsea Handler. Wow, is she ever obnoxious. I do not recommend this book.
4) Learned how to transfer pictures into polaroids using Poladroid. Very easy to use and it's free to download!
A perfectly wonderful Sunday!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We just got back from watching "My Bloody Valentine" - it was my first time watching something in 3D. The story itself was alright but the visuals were excellent and super freaky! I had to partly hide under my coat a few times. Only go see it if you like gory horror flicks. I think those are M's favourite type!
Here M. is, styling his new glasses. I think he really likes them because he even wore them after we got home??
Last night we partied (medium) hard at M's "holiday" work gathering. The 3rd annual dinner and dance - well that we've attended, at least! Talk about the differences in working for the public vs private sectors! At my Christmas party we bought our own dinner at a family restaurant. M's party, on the other hand, was at a nice hotel downtown - fancy dinner, open bar, and a rockin' DJ.
Here is what we had for dinner:
1) A gathering of winter greens with crumbled stilton, dried figs, grapes and toasted pecans in a white balsamic vinaigrette
2) Caramelized onion bisque with sherry and gruyere
3) Seared fillet of beef with "Northern Woods Mushrooms" and armagnac scented sauce. Served with herb roasted potatoes and winter selection of vegetables
4) The King's Festive Tree-O: Chocolate pistachio ribbon cake, Bailey's cheesecake with cinnamon crema, and phyllo wrapped plum pudding with warm rum sauce
5) Lots of booze
I don't know what half of those items on the menu mean, but I do know that it was delicious! Good times had by all!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Okay, enough complaining. Today I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to a book club meeting I found on meetup.com. I've been looking for a book club to join and none of my friends here seem like big readers, so I figured I'd give meetup a try. I'm glad I did! It was fun!
We went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant, had a really good discussion, and I met some nice girls. It's different for me to actually "think" about a book I read. I mean, I think about the story a little bit, then move on. I rarely, if ever, think about the themes, underlying messages, and reasons why I liked the book or not. I usually just think, yeah, that was good.. okay, next! So this was a nice change and I'll definitely go again!
The book, by the way, was called Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan. I thought it started off a little slow, but really picked up. The average rating given was 8/10, so if you're looking for an interesting book, read this one! (1940's, war, poverty, racism).
2) I am excited about this:
I need Jillian Michaels to whip me into shape! I'm going to start this weekend and do the video for 30 days straight. That is how it is recommended to be used. So... that is my new goal. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
That is all!
Wait, one more thing - hypothetically speaking, of course - would you send your five year old child to school with a 2 litre container of orange juice for a snack? Just wondering...
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I'm actually quite excited to read a few of these books, especially:
-The Hour I First Believed, the newest Wally Lamb book
-My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, which my mom bought me
-Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik, which was part of my birthday present from M.
-and Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, just because I want to know what the hype is all about
I am also attending my first Book Club meeting this week about the book Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan, and I'm only on page 50 of 300! Eek! I gotta go read!
Okay, but the real reason for this post was to tell you about the Goodreads website. This is a website to track the books you've read, get recommendations from friends (pretty hard when you don't have any), read reviews, rate books, etc. I always wanted a way to keep track of the books I read, and this is perfect! It's really easy to sign up. Come on, let's be friends. Please? Don't let my mother be my only friend!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sorry if you can't read it - it says: Pioneers are very boring. They always make shoes. They cut down trees. They live in wooden houses. Pioneers are sometimes fun. They squash lots of corns. They also build forts. This is the pioneer life.
2) Okay, now, I know the two of you who are reading this are wondering about my progress for 36 in 365. Oh no, you weren't?
Well... so far so good. This month I have started putting together the birthday calendar, began a grateful journal, flossed and washed my face every night since the 4th, organized wedding stuff to begin a scrapbook, bought lots of scrapbook goodies, and almost finished a honeymoon album (thanks to M's help). Oh, and this, which I am very proud of:Yay! I have two new plants, and repotted them tonight in the pots that have been sitting empty for a year. Pray for their survival.
One more thing - does anyone actually FLOSS every single night? It's such a pain in the ass. I really want to make a new goal of flossing everyday for a year, rather than a month, just to see if I can do it.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
First, the most common way I got on top of Wanalee was to give the command, "Song Soong". This made Wanalee lift and bend her leg, so I could put my foot on it, grab her ear, and pull myself up. Believe me, this was hard, especially since my shoes were often wet and slippery. M. actually dislocated his shoulder doing this once!
You can also take a running jump and hope for the best! This was so fun!
Next, if you want your elephant to walk, kick its sides gently and say "Bai" over and over again. The ride was very bumpy but by the end I was saying, "Look mom, no hands!"
Elephants like to be in water. It keeps them cool when it's hot, and it keeps them clean. They get very dirty after being in the forest because they throw mud on their backs to keep cool and to keep bugs away. Wanalee's trainer actually uses his knife to get the mud off and a huge leaf to swat at her back. Anyway, to give an elephant a bath, roll your pants up A LOT and stand up. I think I failed at that part.
Elephants are incredibly smart animals and are used to help humans do work. For example, if you drop something, you can say "Geb Bon" and they will pick it up and pass it to you.
This also works if you drop your hat.
You might now be thinking, once you're up, how do you get down? Well again, there are many ways, but I liked to bounce my feet on Wanalee's forehead and say "Tag Long" so that she would bow her head and I could slide right off!
After all this hard work, give your elephant a hug and a bunch of bananas, not just one, you silly tourists! Good work!
Thank you to Supat, who is a wonderful photographer and took all of these pictures, plus the other thousand I didn't post! Go to Thailand, just to do this, please. Book it now. You will remember it forever and want to go back a hundred more times.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I hadn't heard this story on the news, but maybe you had? In August, Stephanie and her husband were in a plane crash. About 80% of her body was burned, and 30% of her husband's. She was an avid blogger - I know, because I read back through a lot of her archives - and a mom to 4 little kids.
After the crash happened, their entire family pulled together to raise money and look after the kids. One of Stephanie's sisters kept a blog to make updates about their progress and to talk about how the kids were doing. It's a heartbreaking and heartwarming story, and really puts life into perspective.
The good news is that Stephanie was sent home from the hospital just a few days ago (her husband was released after 2 or 3 months). She is also going to begin blogging again next week. I can't wait to read what she has to say, it's going to be very interesting.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I love pizza. I love hot dogs too. What I love the most though, is when you put the two together!
When M. and I were in Thailand this summer, we were really craving something to eat other than rice and some mystery sauce. We decided to look for a pizza place, and found the best invention ever made!
STUFFED CRUST HOT DOG PIZZA!
Who would have thought such a thing existed?! Not only do you get your delicious Hawaiian pizza, but you get a little mini hot dog in each crust too! They even sent us ketchup!
Mmm, what a meal!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
M. also did his homework and fixed up his resume so we can go to faraway places next year. If you were going away for a year, where would you like to go?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! xoxo
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Many years ago, my sista from another mutha, S.T. told me she wrote in a "Grateful Journal" everyday. I did it for a while too and I liked it, so I'm going to start it again. It's also on my list of goals to do.
I think she actually got the idea from Oprah, who says, "List five things that happened this day that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life. If you can learn to focus on what you have, you will always see that the universe is abundant; you will have more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never have enough."
Blah, blah, blah, but sure, I'll try it.
I also have the perfect new book for it. This was a Christmas gift from a boy I teach this year. He told me he picked out something really special for me, and even wrote a message on the first page! I thought it was cute. Now I will never forget what data means.
Friday, January 2, 2009
I just loved watching the Slovakian team celebrate their win against USA. Almost brought a tear to my eye.
Here is my friend, also known as Hi Ho Silver. I've never seen such a beautiful head of hair. He sits in front of us every game. He has a big head. Really. Look at it compared to the man beside him. And it's really, really silver.
I won't miss him.
One word. Mouse Trap. Wait, that's two words, but wow, what a great game!
Last night was an intense game night with the newly engaged C and R. I wish I had taken a closeup of the ring, it is absolutely beautiful! I am so excited for this crazy couple and their destination wedding next year!
We played games for a solid six hours, it was quite the night. We warmed up with Scattergories, followed by some intense rounds of Taboo. Clearly R and I would have won if the boys hadn't been cheating. You tell me. Is jelly fish the same as jelly??? I thought not. Next, we built Mouse Trap, and what started off as a slow game became quite the fight to the finish. Ah, you gotta love the malfunctioning pieces that saved my poor mousy another round! Then the all time fave - Cranium, and a nice cool down with Yahtzee. I swear, who gets three yahtzees in one round? Geez.
All in all, a great night with great friends! Why couldn't we live closer to each other?
In other news, M. found out this morning that he passed half of his exam, so he gets a bonus and raise! But.. still has to rewrite it next November. Bah.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
BUT don't fresh, new starts feel so good? Full of hope. 2009 is going to be a good one, I can just feel it.
This year, I have goals. Not resolutions because I never keep those, but goals. I am going to make something of myself this year. For sure. I will call it "36 in 365". I started listing some things I want to achieve this year and came up with 36 of them. So far. I will bold them when they're complete. Here they are:
1. Take a wine tasting class.
2. Take a cooking class (Close enough - I start one in January).
3. Read five non-fiction books (5/5): The Film Club, Against Medical Advice, Multiple Blessings, Up Till Now, sTORI Telling
4. Reread the entire Harry Potter series before the next movie (7/7).
5. Read Jane Eyre.
6. Make a homemade cherry pie (Does apple count?).
7. Play a Euro boardgame with M. once a month (4/12).
8. Write in a greatful journal everyday for a month.
9. Put together a birthday/anniversary calendar.
10. Print pictures and put them in frames.
11. Get two plants for my pots and keep them alive (2/2).
12. Make a wedding scrapbook.
13. Create a Blurb honeymoon album.
14. Send a postcard to Post Secret.
15. Send 6 cards via snail mail for no particular reason (0/6).
16. Write an email to a friend once per week (5/52).
17. Pay 12 strangers compliments (0/12).
18. Pay for someone in the drive thru behind me.
19. Send flowers to someone anonymously.
20. Floss my teeth every day for a month (and try to continue it).
21. Wash my face before bed every day for a month (and try to continue it).
22. Complete the couch to 5k program.
23. Run a 5k race and not get lost.
24. Learn how to skate.
25. Complete the 100 pushup challenge.
26. Go rock climbing.
27. Break my bathroom habit.
28. Take a completely random and spontaneous road trip. (Camping!)
29. Go on a picnic.
30. Try Ethiopian food.
31. Go to a drive-in movie.
32. See a Cirque du Soleil show.
33. Go to the Grand Canyon.
34. Go on a hike.
35. Go to the Toronto Islands.
36. Check out the Beaches.
What do you think? Anyone want to join me with their own list?