Thursday, December 1, 2011


Here is my workouts log (and points) for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge from Run to the Finish!

11-19 pilates (1)
11-20 20 minutes weight lifting (1)
11-21 2.5 mile run (2.5)
11-22 cardio intervals (4)
11-23 Hip Hop Hustle class (3)
11-24 Turkey Trot 2 mile run (2)
11-25 cardio intervals with upper body weights (3)

11-26 yoga (2)
11-27 2.35 mile run (2.35)
11-28 Zumba (4)
11-29 cardio intervals with weights (2)
11-30 yoga (2)
12-1 Team Strength class (3)
12-2 2.4 mile run (2.4)

12-3 Turbokick class (4)
12-4 upper body weights (3)
12-5 HITT class (4)
12-6 Team Strength class (2)
12-7 Hip Hop Hustle (3)
12-8 2.9 mile run (2.9)
12-9 yoga (2)

12-10 Turbokick (4)
12-11 Team Strength Extreme (3)
12-12 Zumba (3)
12-13 Body Attack (4.5)
12-14 Lower body weights (2)
12-15 yoga (2)
12-16 100 burpees and tabatas on treadmill (3)

12-17 Hip Hop Hustle (3)
12-18 upper body weights (2)
12-19 Zumba (3)
12-20 lower body and abs (2) and folk dancing (1)
12-21 TRX training followed by Zumba (4)
12-22 2 mile runs and intervals for time (3)
12-23 Turbokick (4)

12-24 yoga (3)
12-25 yoga (2)
12-26 Step class (3)
12-27 Body Attack (4)
12-28 upper body (3)
12-29 nothing
12-30 Zumba (3)

12-31 yoga (3)
1-1 Resolution Run 3 miles x2, +blogged +Facebooked (8)
1-2 full body circuits (3)
1-3 Turbokick (3)
1-4 upper body and abs (2)
1-5 yoga (2)
1-6 lower body and abs (2)

Monday, November 28, 2011

101 things to do with Egg Whites

Ok, not really 101. But enough to keep you from dreading eggs for a few days! As a vegetarian attempting Body for Life, I ate around 6 eggs every day and it can get VERY repetitive. But if you aren't afraid to get a little creative, eggs can really turn into a lot of different meals.

1-Egg white oatmeal-cook oatmeal as usual and whisk egg whites into hot oatmeal while it's still on the stove. It turns fluffy and lovely, delicious!

2-Egg white scramble with vegetables-I like to start off my veggies first in a skillet (onion, green pepper, tomato and zuchhini is a favorite mix of mine but even frozen veggies work in a pinch.) then pour egg whites over the sauted veggies and scramble all together.

3-Egg white souffle mini cakes-the trick with these is to cook them long enough so that the egg sets and doesn't completely deflate when you take them out of the oven.

4-Hard boiled egg whites-I eat these with just a little black pepper, or get fancy and put a little dollop of hummus into each one like deviled eggs!

5-Egg white crust pizza-LOVE the texture of the whipped egg whites!

6-Protein pancakes-I experimented with several recipes but the only one I deemed edible was the egg white, oatmeal and cottage cheese version (with NO protein powder). Whiz in blender, fry up in skillet and eat! Also good as waffles!

7-Egg tacos-I do these two ways, either add a bit of taco seasoning while you're scrambling you egg whites OR I like to make some taco-seasoned TVP, then add that the my egg whites while scrambling.

8-Scrambled egg whites in a tortilla or pita-scramble us egg whites with any veggies you like and eat it as a sammich!

9-Fluffy, creamy Egg whites recipe- Whisk 6 egg whites with 1 tablespoon of low fat cottage cheese.

10-Curried Egg Whites-Scramble up some egg whites and add curry powder and any veggies you'd like.

11-Whole wheat pasta with hard boiled egg whites and veggies-I like this cold so I use left-over pasta, add vegetables, chopped egg whites and just a splash of salad dressing or even just a couple of tablespoons of cottage cheese. Kind of like a pasta cobb salad, sans meat.

12-Chocolate Peanut Butter Souffle-haven't tried this yet

13-Huevos Rancheros de Blancos-Cook up some egg whites, add salsa on top and serve on a tortilla. Layer the eggs with salsa and strips or tortilla and bake it (or just heat it in the microwave if you're like me) for chilaquiles!

14-BFL French toast

15-Zucchini and egg fritters- 1 and 1/2 cups grated zucchini (squeezed of liquid and VERY well dried), 3 egg whites, 1 Tbsp baking mix and seasonings of your choice (I like Tony Chachere's salt-free), fry up in non-stick pan and top with greek yogurt

16-Egg white Frittata made with spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti or potatoes

17-Microwave egg whites in a mug (a la Hungry Girl)(and here are a few more)

18-Crustless quiche

19-Large lettuce salad with hard boiled egg whites

20-Poached egg over brown rice

21-Protein Pumpkin Pie Mini-Souffles

22-Egg white salad-instead of mayonnaise,use plain greek yogurt, add in a little chopped pickle and onion, some black pepper and garlic powder, eat over crackers or on bread/tortilla

23-Martha's Egg White and Avocado salad

24-"fried" rice scramble-Saute some veggies, add 1/2 cup cooked rice to the pan and top with egg whites, scrambling together as the eggs cook.

25-Check out Shelly's Bites! She's got over 30 ideas for mini crustless quiche bites!

26-The famous Fudge Protein Muffin

27-BFL Spicy Scrambled Eggs

28-Eggs in a basket-place pieces of pita or tortilla in muffin tin to make little cups for eggs

29-Egg quesadilla-a cracked egg sticks to the tortilla while it cooks!

30-Polenta Egg Casserole

31-Crepes-with a filling of cottage cheese and vegetables, I don't really have a recipe for this, I just go off a regular crepe recipe and add extra egg whites and put in only a few Tablespoons of oat flour or whole wheat flour.

32-Eggs on Hash Skillet

33-Okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza)-go light on the flour, heavy on the egg whites (or call it Egg Foo Young if you'd rather go Chinese)

34-Fruity Oat Frittata-A little strange-sounding but really quite tasty!

35-Pasta Mama-I make this with one serving of pasta and 4 egg whites, SO GOOD!

Need more? Here is a SUPER post with a whole lot more ideas for eggs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little Thing #50

The last day of 50 Days of Little Things. And I've made another list.

Little things making me smile:
-Listening to Christmas music during my runs
-Seeing Christmas movies on tv (I know, it's before Thanksgiving, but I love them ALL YEAR LONG!)
-Being busy at work
-Getting several RSVPs back for my holiday party!
-Thinking about helping plan Liz's baby shower for January
-Not gaining weight back even though Game On! is over

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Little Thing #49

This morning, I was smiling during this JillFit workout. I'm a sucker for an intervals pyramid workout! I loved the treadmill sprints and the last 2 minute push was....KILLER! Bicycle-Flip-Mountain Climbers-Flip-Bicycle-Flip-Mountain Climbers!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little Thing #48

I smiled when I:

played a new game with friends
heard my mom's voice, safe and sound back home after her hip replacement
finished up our 3-week Game On! challenge
got my hair trimmed (it was starting to get in my eyes!)
saw someone I hadn't seen in 8 years and catching up
spent less than $60 on groceries
finished up a large order of corgi costumes and getting them mailed out

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Little Thing #47

We may not have kids but I am by no means a "Childfree" nut who hates children and wishes no one in the world had them. But when you look online for advice and support for those who don't have kids, a lot of what you find are those overzealous children-haters. I really appreciate a few websites that have excellent, non-rant-filled posts about issues regarding having children or not. My favorite is: Have Children or Not? written by a lifecoach named Beth. She posts links to really great articles, talks about experiences with clients who she has helped make the decision to have children or not and offers great advice that is truly unbiased.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Little Thing #46

My little thing today is a warm kitten lap warmer. Now that it's truly getting chilly, it's so nice to have a warm little body to curl up on your lap and make biscuits into the blankets! It makes up for his SUPER-crazy days when he knocks over trash cans, tries to get in the dog treats and eats flower arrangements. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Little Thing #45

A list for today of small things that made my day brighter:
Green veggies
Friendly neighbors
Pens that write smoothly
Clean water

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Thing #44

In grade school I did NOT enjoy being tall. I wanted to be a "normal" height, I would have even settled for shorter than average because short people can blend into a crowd. A tall girl sticks out like a sore thumb. A fat, tall girl gets more than her fair share of negative attention. Most of the time I just wanted to be left alone, so I hunched or sat or stayed to the back.

But now I LOVE my long legs! I would say it was in high school that I started to see the advantages of being taller. It's easier to disguise extra weight when you've got a longer frame to carry it. It's great to be able to reach things on high shelves. In gym you can fake being active more easily because you don't actually have to move as much to keep up with shorter people.

Nowadays, I like how athletic I can be with my long legs. (I love it when Dan calls us Athletes in Body Attack, it's something I never thought of myself as but can almost see it now.) And they don't look too bad in a skirt! But I do have trouble buying pants. I'm fortunate for my tall genes and that I drank my milk as a kid!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Little Thing #43

This is a picture of the white board in the breezeway leading to our basement. I see it each time I head to our home gym and I change the saying frequently. The postcard is from Amanda at Kind Over Matter, it's such a pick-me-up!

Did you know that I have lost nearly 33% (32.64%) of my body weight in the past 6 years? And almost 3/4 of that weight was in the past 2 year! This is a HUGE little thing! This is definitely something for me to keep in mind when the my weight waffles a couple of pounds. I have come a long way, it's been hard work and I've stuck with it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bread-free Dressing

I just wanted to show off a picture of my awesome dinner from the other night. I LOVE dressing!! I love the sage, celery and onion combo. But I wanted to translate that into a healthy meal so I created this acorn squash (steamed in the microwave) stuffed with a bread-free dressing.

It's mainly broccoli stalks (I almost never throw away the stalks, I chop them up and eat them!), celery, onion, sage, garlic, pepper, salt-free seasoning, and two vegetarian sausage patties crumbled up.

I dry roasted the veggies in my cast iron skillet on the stove, then added the sausage patties and stuffed away. Yum! It's everything I love about stuffing without the bread!

Little Thing #42

Here is a list for today:

Last night, our H.I.I.T. instructor was testing out a Body Attack routine on us! Hooray for more Body Attack at our gym! (I requested more Body Attack time slots in the spring schedule.)

Trying to think up a costume for the Turkey Trot this year (I usually make a new turkey hat) I came up with a brilliant plan: Pilgrim woman! I'll post pictures after Turkey Day!

Made these awesome protein muffins last night. They are super moist and do NOT have that weird cooked-whey protein texture that I often encounter when baking with protein powder.

Tofu in the George Foreman is awesome! I can't remember where I read about this first but it's super simple and makes is wonderfully textured without frying!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Little Thing #41

I tried some new tasty treats this weekend. We got these Bahlsen Contessa cookies which are soft gingerbread with Dark Chocolate on the bottom. They were quite tasty, an authentic ginger flavor with a really interesting sugar crust on top of the cookies.
And I bought a package of Stroopie Stroopwafels, which are waflle/wafer cookies sandwiched with syrup in between. They taste, to me, like pecan pie! Yum!

Little Thing #40

This weekend I was super-productive and got a LOT of things marked off my to-do list. I am working on an order of four corgi costumes and this weekend I got ahead of schedule on them! They are so time-consuming that I don't have them listed in my Etsy shop regularly because I can get burnt out on them so it's awesome that I am cranking these 4 out at the same time!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recipe Contest: Breakfast Sausage Patties

This is my entry for the November Attune Foods Recipe Contest. The theme is savory dishes. I've been trying to come up with the BEST recipe for vegetarian sausage patties for a while now and I think this might be it! I've tried bulgar-based patties and wasn't really thrilled with the texture but straight seitan can make for a really chewy patty. These are a combination of TVP with just enough seitan (gluten flour) to give them a bit of chew and hold them together nicely.

Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage Patties

1/2 cup textured vegetable protein
1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup gluten flour
1/4 cup Uncle Sam Original cereal
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry onion flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne

1 egg white
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
3 Tbsps soy sauce
1 tsp maple syrup

In a large bowl, add boiling water to TVP and let stand for 5 minutes. Measure all liquid ingredients in a measuring cup and stir to blend. Measure the dry ingredients into the TVP, add liquid mixture and stir to mix, kneading slightly until strands of gluten form.

Divide into 8 equal portions and flatten into patties. You can either cook them over medium heat in an oiled skillet until brown on both sides and firm in the middle or bake them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

Store pre-cooked patties in a plastic bag in the freezer and reheat in microwave or in skillet.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Little Thing #39

After trying and LOVING the Marzipan Torte at Lutz Cafe in Chicago, I have been obsessed with marzipan ANYTHING! But just straight up marzipan hasn't been hitting it for me. So I got a slice of the Princess Cake at Mirabelle in Urbana and it might be a little dangerous to have so close by! At least Lutz is miles and miles away and I won't be making excuses to drive up there, but Urbana is just a short drive (a bike ride even!). But nevertheless, this cake made my day! (Notice how I didn't manage to take a picture of EITHER of these awesome desserts. One track mind, EAT CAKE!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Little Thing #38

Happy 11-11-11!

I'm not sure why but I'm getting really excited about the holidays! Thanksgiving will be interesting as my mom is having hip replacement surgery the week before, but my sister is hosting (as usual) and I have a few surprises up my sleeve. :) Plus the Turkey Trot that morning, cross your fingers for NO RAIN, it seems to rain every year!

We don't even have firm Christmas plans yet, other than bell ringing and working the Angel Tree table, and I have a super-secret party in the works. Here's my only hint so far-it's NOT a cookie exchange since Mike and I have been working hard to loose weight (and so far succeeding!) I am in LOVE with my decor color scheme of blue and white this year and have already made new stockings and ornaments! Any suggestions for what I can do to make our red couches blend in with a blue and white color scheme?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Little Thing #37

For this round of the Game On! Diet, my old habit to break is being sedentary at work. So I wear a watch that beeps at me every hour and I get up, run some stairs or walk around our company. Before I started, I wondered if people would think I was weird, walking around for no reason. BUT! If you walk fast enough and with purpose, people don't even question it! An added bonus of the walking around is that I have been making contact with MANY more coworkers each day than when I just sat at my desk and waited for them to stop for ME! I'm making it happen!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Little Thing #36

Say what you will about Daylight Saving Time (my husband thinks we should completely abolish it) but waking up and being able to walk the dog in SUNSHINE was a fantastic treat! Yes it's completely dark when I get to my car to come home from work. But it's a lot easier to loaf at home when it's dark and I'd rather do my loafing in the evening than the morning!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little Thing #35

I never knew it before but I really like dancing! Recently, I attended an English Country Dance night (and dragged Mike along with me) and had a ton of fun. This weekend I went over to the Folk and Roots Festival and did some Yiddish Dance, Polka, English Country Dancing and Folk Dancing! It was such a good time. I am not big into dancing like people do at clubs or proms or weddings but dancing as a big group is A BLAST!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Thing #34

Yoga can be a real workout, hot and sweaty, working all your muscles and making you breath hard and really stretch yourself. But the other night, yoga was just what I needed it to be, an exercise for my brain. It was so relaxing and I was able to clear my mind and focus on being present and putting thoughts to the side. Sometimes I have trouble with racing thoughts and it really helps when our instructors make suggestions during practice about how to move past that. Joelle uses her calm voice to suggest that if you're troubled with thoughts, just put them aside and don't worry, they'll be waiting for you later. Steve uses the mental image of a veil or curtain in your mind that you draw across those thoughts, they're still there but out of view so that you can focus on other things. I'm so thankful for these teachers and their instruction!

Game On! foods

Very simply, here i what you CAN eat. But what kinds of things that you can buy at the grocery store fit into that? It's not as simple as looking for "No Sugar Added" on the label because that can mean it still has artificial sweeteners like Splenda in it! So here are some products that DO fit in. (And if you know of more, let me know and I'll add them!)

Tortillas/wraps: La Tortilla Factory tortillas, Kangaroo brand honey wheat pitas, most unflavored rice cakes, Flatout Light (these have maltitol, so depends on how strict you're being about sweeteners)

Cereal: You'd think rice krispies, right? No, sugar is the second ingredient! Here are some with no sugar: Grape Nuts, Fiber One (only the plain "twigs" kind), plain oatmeal/bulgar/brown rice/quinoa (add your own flavors), Uncle Sam Original Cereal, Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Original Cereal, Kashi 7 Whole Grain Cereals Puffs, Nutletts (check your store's bulk bins), Original Shredded Wheat (unfrosted), Shredded Wheat n’ Bran, Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf (a hot cereal), Wheatena Toasted Wheat Cereal

These next few are a bit of a cheat so maybe ok when you're in between games: Nature's Path Corn Flakes (sweetened with fruit juice), Alpen no sugar added muesli (if you're ok with raisins), Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli (contains dried fruit)

Crackers/snacks: Triscuits, Wasa crispbreads (NOT the Crispn'Light type though), whole wheat matzo

Jam: Polaner fruit spreads

Peanut butter: It is SO hard to find a peanut butter without sugar, even the natural kinds almost all have sugar! Meijer Naturals brand is my favorite. Smucker's Natural is also generally available at local grocery stores. Our co-op has freshly ground in bulk, both creamy and crunchy. I wish we had Teddie brand around here. There are a couple of brands like Justin's and Fifty 50 that don't have sweeteners but I also prefer my peanut butter without OILS added! You can always make your own with peanuts and a food processor. :)

Condiments: mustard, some spicy mustards, vinegar, Thai Curry Paste, Tabasco sauce, some jarred salsas, spices (but watch for sugar in spice blends), extracts

Canned items: Most Hunt's tomato products (even seasoned varieties) are sugar-free, some soups from Health Valley, some soups from Imagine, some Ro-Tel tomato products

Other: About Time Whey (sweetened with Stevia), Jay Robb is Protein Powder is also Stevia Sweetened but it's even MORE pricey than About Time!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Little Thing #33

The other day it rained ALL day! It was cold and a bit windy and the rain continued from early morning to well into the night. On my drive to work, I was expecting a dreary day but I noticed the fall leaves, even with the gray shadow over the area and rain beating down, were amazing! Each tree was a different color, orange, yellow, one was bright red! And when I looked at the leaves that the rain had knocked down into the yard, it looked like a picture someone would put on the computer desktop, such bright green grass with yellow and orange leaves dotting it. A special fall day!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Little Thing #32

Christmas catalogs have started arriving! I love looking through catalogs. I also love window shopping online but it's much more cozy to curl up on the couch with a catalog then sit at the desk and shop online. So far, we've gotten some fun ones from puzzle and nick-nack places like What on Earth and Bits and Pieces. And I love making wish lists from the Athleta and L. L. Bean catalogs!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Little Thing #31

image source

Last night at Team Strength Extreme (TSX) our instructor Wendy announced that we could look forward to Christmas TSX! Wow, I can't tell you how excited I am for that! And she asked when she should start, the week of Thanksgiving, the week after? Several of us said "Next week!" Hooray, a whole group of people of my own heart! I listen to my Christmas running playlist all year round. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Little Thing #30

Challenges! I LOVE a challenge, with rules and prizes and scores! And this fall, I've got not one, not two, but THREE to challenge me to my max!

First up is the Game On! Diet Mike and I are doing with Angela and Jessica. There is $200 on the line, so we are taking that baby seriously!

I had already signed up for the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge, which I did last year as well. But then I saw Pile on the Miles posted on Run with Jess and had to sign up for that one too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Thing #29

I don't have any pictures from the dog show this weekend but here's one of Sully being extra cute! (yes, those toys are ALL HIS!)

Sully did a great job, but didn't win any ribbons. He made a major boo-boo on the same exercise twice and so we NQ'd in both Open classes. But I really am happy with his attitude and performance on everything else, he was in such a great mood all weekend and really did a super job! He's such a great dog to live with and train that I can't ever really be upset with him. He never tries to get out of doing what I tell him to. He's never just plain stubborn like some dogs (Corgis in particular). He honestly tries his best to do what he thinks you want from him and the only thing that gets in the way is fear. Sometimes his fear is just bigger than anything else and stops him in his tracks.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Little Thing #28

Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays, but I didn't go overboard with decorations this year since we weren't home all weekend. But I still enjoy seeing all the fun Halloween goodies in the stores and other houses all spooked up. My new haircut inspired my costume-Peter Pan! And something to celebrate-I got through Halloween without gorging myself on candy and caramel apples.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Little Thing #27

Endorphins! This weekend I polished off more cookies and baked goods than I want to admit. I was dreading putting on workout clothes this morning (stretchy and tight-fitting PLUS jumping around=more jiggle than I want to see in floor to ceiling mirrors) BUT after Zumba was over and done, I felt like a million bucks! It felt SO MUCH better than the overly-full, sick feeling you get after eating too much and lasted far longer than the short-lived high that I get when eating sweets. I just have to remember that!

I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted last week since it was a week off from Game On!/BOdy for Life. But it got a LITTLE out of control. So this week Mike and I are playing as a team against another couple! With real stakes (money!) so this is serious for real! Go Team Z!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Little Things #26

I'm not the bravest person in the world but we had a couple of family workdays where we painted the trim around our house's flat roof and I'm the ladder-climber of the family. Our house looks 100 times better now! But I couldn't have done it without my husband's cheer leading. He was the hander-upper, so he handed me paint, brushes and all that, moved the ladder and did a great job cleaning the brushes and steadying my nerves. We got it all done before the cold, wet weather rolled in and now we're set for winter!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cookie Decorating

I hosted my very first Drop In & Decorate event at my house! Usually I organize them at work, we get together in a conference room and enjoy some down time decorating cookies. But this month is CRAZY at work so I decided to host it at home and invite friends and neighbors in addition to my work buddies.
In total, we decorated over 200 cookies! We donate our cookies to the TIMES Center, which is a shelter and soup kitchen here in town.
I am always amazed at the creativity that everyone shows. I love getting a group together for anything creative because everyone has different ideas and talents!
Here's an action shot of creativity as it is happening.
We made short work of many dozens of cookies, and got them all decorated in about 2 hours.
After they dried, I stacked them up on big deli trays that I have our workplace save from company events. Thanks everyone for an awesome night, it was tons of fun and we churned out TONS of great looking cookies!

Little Thing #25

I made a batch of these awesome protein granola bars to take and eat while traveling this week. They turned out perfect, one of the rare times that baking with whey has turned out well for me! Thanks to Becca over at Ridiculously Healthy for posting the recipe!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Thing #24

1981Coming up on Halloween, so let me share some fun with you! If you haven't already seen this picture on Facebook, it's my very first Halloween costume. You can see nearly every costume I've ever worn in this flickr gallery. No picture of this year's costume yet, you'll have to wait for me to get back from the Corgi show. :) So, my little thing? I'm happy today to still have my fun, child-like spirit but to have gotten over caring what anyone else thinks! It makes costumes MUCH more fun! You can see in the gallery that in high school, there are no pictures because I was "too cool" for costumes AND I was worried about what everyone else thought of me. Not anymore!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Thing #23

Hooray for Halloween! Today's little thing is Halloween goodies, but not the edible kind. I'm talking about all the fun little goodies online like the Spooky Workout at Tone It Up, the fun decorating ideas like the ones on my Pinterest board and all the awesome links to Halloween crafts over at One Pretty Thing, one of my most favorite sites ever!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall trip pictures

Some pictures from our fall day! First we went to several church craft and bake sales around town. It seemed like Saturday was THE DAY for churches in town to have their fund raisers! I got this awesome brownie with candy skeleton parts in the frosting and cake crumb dirt!Then we went out the Pumpkin Patch. You can decide for yourself if these displays are worth the $5 admission fee (per person) just to look at.
A giant mound of pumpkins and gourds.
They had a TON of mums for sale, and a couple of these quilts made of mums set up around the place.
And of course a lot of little shops where you could buy things. You know, pay $5 to get in and then BUY MORE STUFF!

Had to take a picture of this hay bale turkey. It needed repainted badly but still, it's a turkey and I love my turkies!

Little Thing #22

Yesterday, I had a LOT to do before taking three days off from work. I wasn't sure it would all get done, but now I am really looking forward to a few days off from trying to keep things on track in my office! And I am really thankful for the people at work who are such good sports and can always be counted on to get the job done! Sometimes I need to remember to ask for help, but other times I don't even have to ask, the look on my face says it all. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Thing #21

Mike took this week off and it's SO NICE to see him when I wake up in the morning AND when I come home at night! It's like one really long weekends! (He is normally in bed by the time I get home from work since he gets up very early. Then he comes home for his break and we have breakfast together (it's really his lunch, but my breakfast).)

We'll be taking off on Thursday to the Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi specialty and will be back Saturday. So he decided to take a week of well-earned vacation.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Thing #20

I love fall and this weekend was particularly lovely fall weather! We went to The Great Pumpkin Patch and my suggestion for you is DO NOT waste your time on that place. The pumpkin patch is a rip-off at $5 a person to get in! And the only thing to do there is spend money!

The best part about it was the giant sugar cookie I got at the bakery and that was OUTSIDE the farm, so I didn't even have to pay admission to get in there! I was most excited about seeing their 300+ varieties of pumpkins and gourds and sell the seeds but they come in TINY bottles for $5 a pop! I did NOT end up buying any. They may have been featured on Martha Stewart, but we will NOT be making this a yearly tradition. There are so many great pumpkin patches that don't charge admission, why would you pay to go here?

So, what's my little thing? The awesome Family Health Foods Store just up the road from the pumpkin patch. They had all SORTS of odd things from flours and sugars, flavorings, tons of organic and gluten free products, supplements and cures and even produce and frozen items. I picked up bargain-priced oats, protein shake packets, sea salt and mejool dates.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Little Thing #19

Ok, this little thing is from a few weeks ago but it made me smile. And it made me think. I was at an outing and had brought my own lunch. The group I was with asked me about my meal (kale and butter bean skillet toss with 2 string cheese sticks and some celery/cucumber/carrots with hummus). Of course they asked if I was vegetarian and I said yes, since I was in high school. One of the ladies said "So, you've always been thin then." And I looked at her, stunned. And I asked if she thought I was thin. I realize now that was a dumb question but I couldn't really believe that she thought that, that she didn't see the old me or even the new me AS the new me, a prior fat person. And it made me think that there are now people I know that did not ever know me at a 200+ pound person.

Sometimes at the gym I still feel the need to mention that I was quite a bit larger, that I've lost a lot and am working on loosing more. Usually I say this to other larger ladies, so they don't see me as "the other". I'm one of you! I was fat, and sometimes I still feel fat inside!

But in normal everyday situations, I realized that people probably have no real clue. It's not written on my shirt that I was fat. It was freeing to think that there are now people I know that have no reason to say "You look great, how much have you lost?" Because sometimes it's nice to hear how great you look and talk about your weight loss, but sometimes it just makes you think "Boy, was I a super ugly fatty for a long time and NO ONE SAID A WORD!??"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Little Thing #18

I LOVE Music Choice channels! I've been trying to watch less tv and have the tv on less as background noise so I've started turning it to the music channels. (Yes, somehow this IS better than just having the tv on! It just feels better! And it leads to me sitting down and zoning out MUCH less, so I get things done, like reading books, cleaning the shower and getting birthday cards mailed out!) My favorite for working out is Party Favorites. That channel rocks, such a great mix of eras and styles! My favorites for chilling are Singers and Swing, Stage and Screen and (don't laugh) Soundscapes. Yes, soothing yoga class music!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Little Thing #17

We have a walnut tree in our backyard. It's a nice enough tree, very old and tall and gives good shade. But then there are the walnuts! Well, the past two years have been very bad years for the tree's walnut production. This is a good thing! A very good thing! One year we had to rake and bag over 10 bags of walnuts. I remember I was out there past dark for several nights, trying to get them all raked up before the last yard waste pick-up day! This year we are at around 3 and it looks like it's almost done shedding it's big, green gifts. :) Thanks walnut tree and near-drought conditions this summer!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Little Thing #16

Our Body Attack instructor, Dan, is a machine! I tend to think of him as more than human, which helps me not compare my version of the moves with his. If I needed to get something impossible done, I think I'd want him there coaching me. But just one "get those knees higher" or "push it, this is for YOU!" and I'm nearly puking and sprinting across the room and back. But don't get me wrong, I'm not at all attracted to him, he's more like a peppy fitness robot who I'm afraid to disappoint. And for that, I thank him!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Little Thing #15

The Broad Ripple Brew Pub in Broad Ripple, IN posts their trivia questions each week and I print them out (when I remember) and Mike and I have trivia night. I've been saving them up for a few weeks so we can have trivia in the car on the way to and from the Lakeshore Specialty coming up. I'm not sure why I keep going back to theirs (other than that place is AWESOME!) but it always has a good mix of different topics, so check it out if you like trivia!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Little Thing #13

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer

This was the Unison Chalise Lighting group reading at church on Sunday and it really spoke to me. I'm keeping it in my purse and trying to remember to not only be grateful for these people but also to let them KNOW I'm grateful!

Little Thing #14

I'll start by saying I LOVE getting up and working out in the morning. It gets me going, gets the blood flowing and makes me feel like I'm accomplished even before 7 am! But today I really enjoyed not getting up and rushing around to feed the pets, get dressed, take the dog out and get to the gym by 6. Sometimes taking an evening class is fun in two ways-the class itself and the morning off it gives me. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Little Thing #12

Size 10 jeans! Yes, they are Simply Vera with a touch of spandex. Yes, they are from a garage sale and are pre-worn in. Yes, I'm a modern woman and jean size should not even factor in to my mood. But it does! And it's making me happy today!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Little Thing #11

Today I got that "special day" feeling. Some days I wake up, take the dog out into the yard and I'm hit with the feeling that today is a special day. The moon hits the bushes with a special glittering (yes, the sun isn't up yet when I get up). Sounds are especially clear and soothing. I'm reminded of years ago, waking early to prepare for a horse show. Or my muggy, moonlit morning runs of last year's Disney vacation. And even though today isn't particularly important, it feels like I have places to be or things to do that are exciting and this one calm moment in the morning moonlight is my sanctuary! Does this ever happen to you? Maybe it's just me, it only happens every once in a while but it's nice when it does, when the world takes on a special glow and hum and your normal surroundings seem new and special like a vacation retreat or Christmas morning!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Little Thing #10

I am so happy for my tenacity in my garden this year. Usually I slack off around mid-July and my garden suffers but this year I stuck to it and watered a bit and kept it going. I harvested EVERYTHING, nothing went to waste! My garden is still putting out some red tomatoes, and Kale out the wazoo. I love kale! I particularly like dinosaur kale (more then the standard red Russian). I've been going out to pick handfuls and sticking it in everything from curry to butter bean bake to salads. I still have carrots and kohlrabi and even a few yellow squash waiting to be picked at just the right moment. And the herb garden needs to be cleaned out before frost comes, so I'll have dried herbs to use this winter. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Little Thing #9

I just discovered the newest flavor of La Croix sparkling water-coconut! It is SO TASTY! There's a coupon on their facebook page for 75 cents off a twelve pack so go pick some up! (I think coconut might be "the next thing" in response to my other post. After Mars came out with Coconut M&M’s and Coconut Twix, they're now bringing out a 3 Musketeers Coconut bar.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Little Thing #8

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
I've heard there was a good pumpkin harvest this year. So there will NOT be a shortage of pumpkin as in previous years! No more stocking up and hoarding cans of pumpkin while we can. This probably explains why every store and their MOTHER is jumping on the pumpkin bandwagon and bringing out pumpkin smoothies, lattes, baked goods, lip gloss, donuts and who knows what else. Can you tell I'm a little tired of all the pumpkin hype? It's time to move on to the next thing. (I'd better move on myself before this post about Little Things that Make Me Happy turns into a Pet Peeve post) Anway, I'm glad to have a ready supply to eat in pumpkin oatmeal and mix into protein muffins!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Little Thing #7

Do you ever shop at Big Lots? I most often find myself there around the holidays, looking for gifts. But sometimes I stop in randomly and find a good deal or two. Recently, they've had a really large selection of Bob's Red Mill products! On my most recent trip I picked up Wasa crackers, whole wheat pasta, edamame snacks, and puffed brown rice and puffed wheat cereals (hooray for cereals with NO SUGAR!). Whole grains at bargain prices! You just have to avoid the candy and cookies at bargain prices while you're there. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Little Thing #6

Microwave Potato Chips! We made these this weekend and they are SO GOOD! Nothing but a potato, sliced super thin (I used our food processor) and then nuked until they're brown and crisp. I used this website for basic instructions, but it's mainly just turning the microwave on, flipping them a couple of times and watching closely.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Little Thing #5

Originally uploaded by Corgipants
I LOVE that my car only needs filled up with gas every 3 or 4 weeks! I find standing at the pump tedious so I thankful that it doesn't require me to always be monitoring gas levels and filling it up.

Little Things #4

Moss and little feet
Originally uploaded by Corgipants
Sully has been really excellent lately! We are gearing up for fall shows where we'll be entering Open and during our practice sessions he has been SPOT ON! And he's even been doing well on the car ride to and from the training club!

Little Thing #3

Originally uploaded by Corgipants
We picked up a new cat toy for Stewart and all weekend he's been looking less like this picture and more like a wild animal! He plays so well by himself, he volleys it around and has yet to get it stuck somewhere he can't get it himself. His favorite thing is to drop it into a shoe and then bat the shoe around until it pops out!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Little Things

Savvy Eats has invited everyone to post one little thing in your life that made your day better every day for 50 days, ending on Thanksgiving. We'll see if I can remember to post here each and every day.

Since I missed the very first day yesterday, today I'll be posting two!

Little Thing #1-All the hair love at work. Everyone keeps telling me they love the new 'do! A surprising number of people thought I was a new employee!

Little Thing #2-I did an awesome shoulder stand this morning during my stretch/yoga session after my workout. It was all tight abs-straight legs and pretty stable! An accomplishment!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Drink your Oats! 2 more variations of Warm Cream of Oat Pudding

More porridgey pudding goodness! And this time with varying protein sources! You can vary the consistency of your pudding based on your "splash" of milk. If you want to eat with a spoon more like pudding then go with 1-2 Tbsp. If you want to drinkable oatmeal, go for about 1/4 cup.

Please note that I realize I am the blogosphere WORST food photographer. These taste WAY better than my photos! (And yes, this is my really trying to take nice photos! With the tools I have at hand: no natural light, my point and shoot camera and positively no skills.)

Don't miss the original Chocolate Peanut Butter recipe here.

Maple Pecan Cream of Oat Pudding (with egg whites)

1/3 cup oats (either quick or old fashioned, nutritionally they are exactly the same)
1 1/3 cup water
2-3 egg whites
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chopped pecans
a splash of skim milk

The night before:
Combine oats and water in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stick it in the fridge overnight so the oats soak up the water.

At breakfast:
Take out your bowl of oats and microwave for 2 minutes until the oats get creamy and gloppy, then quickly stir in the egg whites and microwave for another minute. Plop into blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blend smooth. Serve warm in a mug or bowl, you're choice!

I left out the stevia because the maple syrup is already sweet enough.

Cinn-a-Spice Cream of Oat Pudding

1/3 cup oats (either quick or old fashioned, nutritionally they are exactly the same)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 package silken tofu (4 ounces of firm, soft, whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp cinnamon (I like this roasted cinnamon)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend (or 6-8 drops of liquid stevia)
a splash of skim milk**

The night before:
Combine oats and water in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stick it in the fridge overnight so the oats soak up the water.

At breakfast:
Take out your bowl of oats and microwave for 2-3 minutes until the oats get creamy and gloppy. Plop into blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blend smooth. Serve warm in a mug or bowl, you're choice!

** Replace the milk with water and this one is Vegan Cream of Oat Pudding.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Warm Cream of Oat Pudding

I swear, no one else remembers this but me but maybe 6 or 7 years ago Smoothie King used to have hot oat-based smoothies called Heaterz. The manager of the one by my house gave me the ingredient list (for the chocolate peanut butter cup variety, the one I was most addicted to): water, oat bran, peanut butter, non fat milk, Turbinado, chocolate protein blend (egg, soy, & whey) and chocolate whey protein. They also came in Banana Nut, Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin, and Coconut. Did I mention I was sort of addicted? They were so tasty! I always had in my mind to try and replicate them but I was nervous that it wouldn't be any good and I'd waste perfectly good oats! (I know, OATS, they're just sooooo expensive, the caviar of breakfast. NOT! Like I couldn't spare 1/3 cup oats on an experiment this important?!) So I took Katie's Voluminous Oats idea and combined it with her idea of adding tofu to oatmeal. I used tofu because I have NEVER had good luck adding protein powder to oats, every time it turns out INEDIBLE! The tofu made it super creamy. I learned all about guar gum and xantham gum from Deb and now I use my little secret ingredient* whenever I blend up a creamy delight.So here it is! My version of the chocolate peanut butter cup Heaterz. And it is DELISH! And so creamy and warm and satisfying! I think I'm going to call it Cream of Oat Pudding though, because Heaterz is kind of a dumb name. Eat it with a spoon, drink it from a mug or with a straw! It's a smoothie, it's a bowl of oats, it's like hot chocolate but more filling!Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream of Oat Pudding

1/3 cup oats (either quick or old fashioned, nutritionally they are exactly the same)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 package silken tofu (4 ounces of firm, soft, whatever you have on hand)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tsp MoreFiber Stevia Baking Blend* (or 6-8 drops of liquid stevia)
a splash of skim milk**

The night before:
Combine oats and water in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then stick it in the fridge overnight so the oats soak up the water.

At breakfast:
Take out your bowl of oats and microwave for 2-3 minutes until the oats get creamy and gloppy. Plop into blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blend smooth. Serve warm in a mug or bowl, you're choice!

*This is my little smoothie helper, it functions as both sweetener AND the guar gum and xantham gum to make it smoothie-like. But it would be just as tasty with plain stevia (or whatever sweetener you like).

** Replace the milk with water and it's Vegan Cream of Oat Pudding.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: the whole thang
Calories 310
Calories from Fat 125
Total Fat 13.9g
Saturated Fat 3.1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 59mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.6g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 16.0g

Note: For those who don't plan ahead the night before, you CAN just use quick oats, add the amount of water given in the recipe and microwave as instructed but the oats won't be quite as creamy. So no worries if you just can't be bothered to overthink your breakfast. :)

Come back next week for a post with a few more variations! Don't like tofu? One of them is made with egg whites.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Body for Life Wrap-Up

12 weeks is up and my first Body for Life Challenge is coming to an end. I am the exact same weight I started at (168.8), my before and after pictures look exactly the same (I'm sparing you pictures of my in my underwear), but I definitely have increased upper body strength. I'm not yet doing a full chin-up, which was one of my goals but I'm going to keep working on that. I won't be going right into another 12 weeks but there are things I'll be keeping and things I'll be dropping from the program.


small meals throughout the day-I really liked this approach and it seems to be what ALL the articles and websites tell you to do!

protein at each meal-This was a struggle with 6 vegetarian meals a day, but I think it's really helped my muscle retention.

more veggies at each meal, and whole grains-BFL made me focus on the composition of each of those 6 meals so I really concentrated on getting in those whole grains and veggies. Now I'm doing it without even thinking!

increased water intake-This is another thing that almost EVERYONE says is good for you so I'll be keeping up my water bottle habit.

planning meals for the week every Sunday-LOVED pre-planning. No thinking at meals means no bad choices!

weight lifting-I'll definitely be keeping 2-3 days of strength training each week, just not strict BFL style (because those workouts were getting BORING!)

nighttime "snack" meal before bed-I used to live by the "no food after dark" rule. But this experiment proved to me that a bedtime snack (high protein, low fat) will NOT pile on the pounds!

New recipes-I fell in love with several new foods that I never would have tried before BFL (egg white oatmeal, overnight greek yogurt oats, egg muffin cakes)

Not Keeping:

strict limit on cardio-I love my classes at the gym and I missed them terribly. I've already gone back!

SO much protein (especially dairy) at every meal-I'm ok with a protein/carb like beans and soy foods so I'll be a little more relaxed with what I consider acceptable protein.

6 meals- I'm dropping down to 5 per the Game On Diet. I'm keeping my afternoon snack and my bedtime snack!

1 splurge day per week-I put way too much pressure to get it all in. I tended to go overboard, trying to fit in everything that I had wanted that week into one day/meal, leading to horrible food hangovers and that's probably why I weight the exact same, I lost and gained the same 2 pounds for 12 weeks! I'm going to splurge a LITTLE when I want to and not put so much stock in one "cheat" meal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Scrapbooking Software Giveaway

If you're a scrapbooker (paper or digital), you'll want to check out my review and giveaway blog! I just posted a really awesome giveaway!

Garden structures at Conner Prairie

We visited Conner Prairie a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it! I loved all the gardens best of all, each house in this historic reenactment village has a garden with plants that reflect the owner's heritage and occupation and each one has a different design. There was a four-square garden like mine, as well as more rustic designs and some that were very tidy rows. Some had flowers and herbs as well as vegetables, most of them had a great variety of different items and each had at least a couple of the heritage varieties that they sell seeds for at the gift shop. Next year I want to grow Mouse Melons and ground cherries! I was really taken with this garden structure, which is located in the garden of the loom house. Isn't it a lovely shape?
It's all tied together with twine. I'm sure they have to reconstruct it each year.
I loved how tidy the corners were!
And here are some of their trellises, made in the same fashion. I love twig structures in a garden!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


See that? I got a rather drastic haircut! It's the shortest hair I've EVER had and I'm loving it! So quick to dry, so fast to fix up with a little bit of pomade! I was going for Gennifer Goodwin but my hair has so much flippy wave that I ended up more Tamsin Greig. Which is fine by me!

This haircut is part of my Fall 2011 Take Back the Year plan! I just made that up but I really am taking back 2011, which has been all sorts of crappy so far. But THIS is going to be my season! I WILL do a chin-up! And the dog and I WILL proceed in competing in Open level obedience! And our family WILL get the trim on our house repainted before it snows!

Here's a before and after side-by-side:

And today I think I'm giving off a distinctly Peter Pan vibe. In a good way, though.