Friday, May 29, 2009

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

We are all about stars around here.

Stars. Planets. Galaxies. Nebulas. Constellations.

Ever since Brian started teaching Astronomy at the college our whole family, especially Ryker, has been immersed in star gazing.

When it rains I worry about getting the yard mowed, Brian worries about the strawberries in the garden rotting and Ryker worries that it'll be too cloudy to see any stars that night.

We have a big telescope and massive binoculars at our house full time and access to the college observatory and all of it's equipment whenever we want. It has been really fun.

We've seen the rings of Saturn and the nebula in Orion's belt. We've all learned a lot.

As a matter of fact when the portable blow up planetarium thingy came to the Elementary School Ryker was so disappointed that they only showed them the basics, like Polaris and the Pleiadies. The second day that he got to attend he couldn't resist himself. He told us that he pointed out Gemini, the twins, to the instructor.

Then we had to have the talk about being a know-it-all, etc.

You may not have access to all of the star gazing equipment that we do but you can still have some fun with the nighttime sky.

One of our favorite things to do is to watch the International Space Station fly over our house. The kids love to spot it and watch it soar across the sky until it disappears. It's easy to find out when it will be over your city.

Go to the NASA website and click on the Shuttle and Station button. Then go to the "See the Station in the Sky" link. This will take you to the "Sightings Page" where you can enter your country and your state, etc. It will tell you what time the space station will appear and from which direction. It will also tell you how long it will be visible (usually around 3 or 4 minutes) and in which direction it will exit your view.

You can do the same thing with Space Shuttle sightings when a shuttle mission is going on. It is a really great opportunity to teach the kids about space exploration. Give it a try this summer.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jon - Kate

Is anyone besides me somewhat heartbroken over the entire Jon and Kate Plus 8 saga?

I just feel terrible for them. I can't imagine what kind of stress and pressure they are under. Raising 8 kids publicly has got to be hard enough but then add a crumbling marriage, tabloid allegations and, most recently family members (Uncle Kevin and Aunt Jody) speaking out against them saying they are exploiting their children.

I was never a die hard fan of the show. I've seen maybe 75% of all the episodes aired. It is a really cute show and they seem to be a great, loving family that has fun together....although I will admit that Kate's treatment of Jon did bother me at times. He seemed a little hen pecked. Now I can barely watch it because it is just so sad.

It isn't like a regular movie or TV drama or sitcom where you can just tell yourself, "Hey, it's just a show. Goose didn't really die when he hit the canopy. Anthony Edwards is still alive and now he's a doctor in Chicago." These are real people with a lot of real anger.....and a lot of real kids that are going to be hurt.....for real.

I don't know who is to blame for the whole mess. The network. The Gosselins. The paparazzi. Jon's alleged affair. Kate's alleged affair. Jon kind of being forced to be a stay-at-home dad. Kate kind of being forced to travel all the time. I'm sure it is a mixture of all of the above.

I'm not sure I can bear to watch the rest of the season if it is going to be like the season opener was. They didn't even sit on the couch together. The tension in the air is just too much. I feel like screaming, "Leave them alone. Give them a chance to work it out."

I know they invited this life on themselves and I understand why they did it. Who can fathom the tremendous financial strain of raising 8 kids. When faced with the simple option of allowing America to watch them do it, all of their worries were gone. The network pays for it all. Neither one of them have to work another job. They have a new beautiful home that has plenty of room for all of them. They get wonderful vacations in great locations all paid for. Their every need is met and they can have a secure financial future because they do this show. It almost seems like an offer too good to pass up. But has the personal cost been too high?

I don't know. My heart just breaks for them and I pray that they can get the help they need to heal emotionally and fix their marriage.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Cup Full of Joy

When you are dieting you have to find food joy where you can.

When bread (the most joyous food of all) is out of the question and so are fat and sugar you have to start looking really hard for another source.

Sure fruit is great and so is a really good salad, but they just don't warm the soul like some of their less healthy cousins.

I've recently found joy in a cup, and it's called Kataluma Chai.

I discovered this little brand of chai on our ski vacation this winter. They have a store in the Denver Mills Mall where I stopped in for a hot drink. The packaging caught my eye even before I tasted the chai. All of their packages have these quirky old black and white photos on them. They are really fun to look at.

Once I got past the adorable packages, I was intrigued by their hundreds of flavors of chai. Not only did I get a venti of Chocolate Covered Strawberry to go, but I also bought a 10 serving package of White Chocolate Raspberry to take home with me.

Delicious! This is REALLY good chai.
I like Celestial Seasonings chai and, up until now, Oregon Chai (in the purple and yellow box from Wal-Mart) has been my favorite. But Kataluma Chai surpasses them both.

Needless to say my 10 serving package didn't last long so I got online to order some more. I was overwhelmed with the number of flavors so I ordered a sampler pack. Three days later I got 20 gift wrapped individual servings of chai.

I got flavors like White Chocolate, Green Tea Chai, Raspberry Truffle, Classic Spiced, Sugar Free Spiced and the piece de resistance......Bourbon Vanilla (which is made with vanilla from a region named Bourbon....just so you don't worry about my drinking habits). They have all been really, really good. They even send along a little package of nutmeg and cinnamon to sprinkle on the top of each cup just like they do in the store.

My only complaint is that the servings are only for a 6 oz. cup. I have to drink my chai out of my little tea cups instead of my big mugs that I usually use for hot drinks. I have been known to combine Chocolate Comfort and Cookies and Cream so that I can have a bigger portion....don't tell.
If you love chai you really ought to try Kataluma Chai. You can order online at anytime.

If you've never tried chai and don't even know what it is you really ought to try Kataluma Chai. The best way I can describe it is kind of like pumpkin pie in a mug or warm eggnog with a little kick. It is spicy and creamy and warm and delicious. Similar to hot chocolate but not exactly.

Just try it. You'll like it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long Weekend

I'm back after a long weekend of taking care of Mom and her laundry, cooking and mowing and doing a little relaxing, game playing and shopping with Brian and the boys.

I do not have the promised recipe for Homemade Cheese Crackers today. I haven't had any time to bake this week at all. This is a weigh-in week too, so I am staying as far away from the kitchen as possible anyway.

I do have a couple of recommendations based on our activities this weekend.

#1 Play "Puerto Rico". It is a strategy game based on the settlement of the island of Puerto Rico during colonial times. It is very fast paced and fun. Brian had played it several times before, but Ryker, Cainan and I were new to the game. We played it twice this weekend and we all loved it. (This is where I leave out the part about Ryker beating me both times....and Cainan once.)
#2 Go to "Monkey Joes". This is a Chuck E. Cheeses type of place, but instead of arcade games it features huge inflatables. All three of the kids loved it. For $23 they could play for an unlimited amount of time. Parents are free. The food (pretzels and pizza) is kind of expensive so we ate before we went. Even Kinley could make it up and over and around every inflatable in the place....with a little help from Ryker occasionally. There are special areas for children under 3, but of course she wasn't content to play there after she got a taste of the big time. After we had spent an hour and a half in there they were sweating and exhausted. They slept all the way home.
I'm getting back in to the swing of things now so I'll be posting more regularly this week. I hit two huge fabric sales yesterday so I've got lots of sewing projects that I will be working on and posting about.
I hope everybody is ready for the start of summer. I know I am.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

25 Cents

We've been working on a new project around here for the last couple of days.

Grandma has been saving all of her State Quarters in a big piggy bank. She asked the boys to sort them all and put them in a book that they could keep and then give her back the extras to use as spending money on her vacation.

No problem.

Of course I had to turn it in to an educational event so we are sorting them all by state and then cataloging the total number and the number of Denver mint and Philadelphia mint. After that we put them in the book and set the extras aside.

This has proven to take a very long time.

She had over 40 of some of the Conneticut, Virginia and Nevada.

Still it has been a fun activity for the boys and I.......and Kinley. (After the first evening we decided to wait until she was in bed to continue our project. She shook the table way too much for maintaining 50 piles of quarters.)

As we were sorting them all by state we each took a few states and started piling them in front of us. Since Cainan can't read we had to describe the pictures on the quarters. I would say, "Who has the one with the big eagle (Idaho), or the man riding a horse (Delaware) or the Arch (Missouri)?" The kids would then answer and I would hand them the appropriate quarter to put on their pile. I was collecting piles too so they had to ask me the same questions.

At one point Cainan said, "Who has the Great Wall of China?"

Silence from me.

"Great Wall of China!!!????!!!" from Ryker.

I thought he was probably referring to one of the quarters with mountains on it like Colorado or California or maybe even North Carolina because it has the Wright Brothers bi-plane on it and it really does look kind of like a wall. But, no.

When I looked at the quarter in his hand I saw New York. The Statue of Liberty.

My son confused the Great Wall of China with the Statue of Liberty!!

My son thinks the Great Wall of CHINA is in the United States!

Of course Ryker got a big laugh out of this. The next time he found Iowa (old school house) he said, "Hey, who's got the pile for the Cistine Chapel?"

Very funny, wise guy.

And while we are on the topic of state quarters let me just vent for a minute.

I started two books in 1999 when the program first for Brian and I and one for Ryker, our only child at the time. This showed very little foresight on my part because I kinda knew I would someday have two other kids and no quarter books to give them, but whatever.

The problem I have is with the lack of foresight on the part of the Treasury or Mint or whoever makes the decisions about what goes on a quarter. My books have holes for 100 quarters, 1 from each mint for each state. When 2008 ended I thought I was done.

Now I find in my wallet a District of Columbia quarter and Puerto Rico quarter! What am I supposed to do with those? How many more quarters are there going to be? U.S. Virgin Islands? I wish back in 1999 they would have decided exactly who was going to get a quarter and given them their own little hole. I guess I'll just be really classy and staple a Ziploc bag with the extra quarters in it on to the back of the books I have.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Morning After

Well, make that the "week" after....after the play that is.

This week and the 2nd week of December are always the busiest of my year. I spend every waking moment rehearsing, building the set, making programs, finding costumes, etc. And then I come home and go to bed and do it all the next day.

After a production there is always a huge sense of relief....especially if it went well, but that feeling only lasts until Monday morning when I wake up and look around my house. I always have a mountain of work at home to catch up on.

This is what my house looks like....the week after.

The recylcing center. (Some additional sorting may be required.)

The toy room. (OK, I admit. This probably wouldn't look any better if I had been home.)

The dining room table. Obviously used for game playing instead of eating since I didn't cook for an entire week.

Piles of clean laundry completely covering my bed. (Obviously taken a couple of days into the recovery week. You can imagine what it looked like before the laundry was washed and folded.)

Piles of laundry on my floor because no more will fit on my bed.

The dishes. Someone obviously decided they needed to eat this week even if I was gone.

Oh well, what else do I have to do all day, right?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Project Homemade: Hamburger Buns

I'm finally starting to get back in to the swing of things around here....including posting more pics and recipes from my Project Homemade series.

A couple of weeks ago I had a big group of people coming over for some grilled pork burgers. (Gotta love it when you get 1/4 of a hog for your birthday.) I didn't have any buns in the house so I decided to save myself the trip to the store and make my own.
I found the recipe for Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns on and set to work. They turned out great! Everyone loved them and the kids were even just eating them as dinner rolls instead of hamburger buns. They were simple and easy to make and much cheaper and healthier than anything I could buy in the store anyway. I will definitely use this recipe again.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

2 cups warm (110 degrees) milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
1/4 cup white sugar or honey
2 pkgs. instant yeast
2 t. salt
3 cups bread flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl stir together the milk, water, butter, sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 mins. or until yeast is dissolved and mixture is bubbly.

Gradually mix in flours and salt until a dough forms. Lightly cover a work surface with flour and roll out dough to 1 1/2 inches thick. Use the ring from a wide mouth canning jar to cut out perfect buns. (Or simply pinch off pieces of dough and roll into a ball the size of the buns you want.) You should be able to make anywhere from 10 to 25 buns depending on the size you like.

Place buns on a greased cookie sheet 2 to 3 inches apart and let rise 20-30 mins in a warm, draft free place. Just let them rise until they are as "poofy" as you want them.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. TaDa! Homemade hamburger buns.

For more great recipes head over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

Tune in here next week for my attempt at making homemade cheese crackers (i.e. Cheezits).

Monday, May 18, 2009

Manic Monday

I'm back after a very looooooooong week with a lot of laaaaaaaaate nights. How come there aren't any demotivators about exhaustion or amateur theatre? Could it be because people who are exhausted and/or involved with amateur theatre are already demotivated enough? Plausible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Incident *UPDATED*

Well, I did have time to watch LOST last night but I don't have time to say much about it other than....

I WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!

It's like the first time I have ever predicted anything correctly on this show. I've been saying all along that Locke was dead. After all the name of that episode when he was reintroduced was "Dead is Dead", and these writers NEVER say anything they don't mean. I didn't suspect that Locke's body was in the box until last night though. When they showed it to Lapidis it just hit me. I knew they were carrying his body around to show everyone that there was an impostor on the island. (You can ask Brian. I was predicting it all night.)

Now, I must admit that I was also wrong. I thought that Jacob was inhabiting Locke's body. Obviously I didn't know that other dude so I didn't suspect him. I really have no idea who he is. Apparently he and Jacob were trapped in the same kind of "I-can't-kill-you-and-you-can't-kill-me" deal that Whidmore and Ben are stuck in. "That other guy" figured out a way to get back on the island (inside a dead body....creepy) and convince someone else to kill Jacob. So I guess next season will be revealing who "that other guy" is and Richard and the statue gang trying to kill Locke.

The questions raised are limitless but the big one for me is....Is Jacob good or bad? I almost get the feeling he is a good guy. He seemed to be traveling around in time to share in major life moments with the Losties. It was like he wanted to get to know the people he was "ruling". He is going to be a very interesting angle to the show now.

Of course the other biggie is.......Who is "that other guy"? I have a feeling that it will be someone we know, or have at least met at some other point in the show. It seems a little late to introduce a new character now, doesn't it? And why did he want to kill Jacob? How long were they on that island together and what did Jacob do that ticked "that other guy" off so much?

Meanwhile on the other side of the space-time continuum......The love quadrangle continues. I'm sorry, but I'm just about sick of it. I think Juliette and Sawyer are perfect for each other (they both enjoy beating people senseless, apparently) and they should just be Dharma the rest of their lives or go be Microsoft tycoons in 1980s USA and be happy. Just move on!!! I just didn't buy the fact that the one little glance from Sawyer to Kate was enough to make Juliette want to NEVER even meet Sawyer in the first place. I felt like that whole tension was a little underdeveloped.

Having said that, I think Juliette made a lot more sense than Jack did. If you lose the one woman you've ever really loved (except for your ex-wife who you also have an undying love for) you punch your fist through a wall, or call her cell phone 215 times a day, or, in extreme cases, drive your car off a cliff....but you do not BLOW UP A HYDROGEN BOMB! Come on! There has got to be more to it than that.

I would have believed Jack if he had lamented all the people that had died and how he could save them all if he just kept the plane from crashing even if it was at a great personal sacrifice to himself and Kate and Sawyer. He's a 'saver', that's his M.O. He may be a lovesick puppy too, but he usually doesn't act on it. He just mopes and finds someone too save to keep his mind off of it. I found that whole "I've lost Kate" line of reasoning ridiculous. Go over there and plant a big kiss on her if you want her....don't blow her back to 2007 where she'll be IMPRISONED FOR LIFE!!!

Don't even get me started on why Kate suddenly agreed with Jack's plan. He didn't explain anything new to her. He just came back bleeding so she said, OK. Weird. I'm not sure what was happening there. They needed to kiss!!! That would have helped the whole scene a lot.

The scene that I thought was perfect was Juliette's death. No, not because I've always disliked her (which I have), but because it was full of angst and deathbed confessions of love and flying metal. (You should have seen Brian's face when she was about to drop down that shaft. Priceless!) I felt really sorry for Sawyer (and even Juliette, a little bit). I really believed that they loved each other and that Sawyer will now be completely lost and Kate the perfect opportunity to fall in love with him again. Missed your chance again Jack.

While the whole "I love you so I wish I'd never met you" story line was a bit blah I thought Juliette detonating that bomb was the PERFECT ENDING to the season. She was saving Sawyer from the pain of ever knowing her....if it worked. I have a firm belief that she will not be dead for long. Maybe just until the series finale when all the dead people are back to life or time is back to before they died and they are still alive.

As for Sayid....I don't know. As I said earlier these writers never say anything they don't mean. So if Sayid says, "Nothing can save me," he's probably right. However if we are suddenly back in 2007 at the beginning of next season....I have no idea what to expect. If he is dead for now then I reassert the opinion mentioned above....he'll be back.

Speaking of back.....Bernard and Rose (and Vincent) FINALLY! It was so good to see them. I'd loved their take on everything. I think it is another example of the writers letting characters say what the viewership is thinking. In this case I think they were speaking for that group of people that can't get on the LOST bandwagon because it is sooooo far fetched and the characters are "always finding another reason to shoot at each other." I think Bernard and Rose's retirement was perfect. Juliette and Sawyer should borrow a chapter from their book. Boy, are they gonna be mad if Jack blasts them back to the present/past/future.

Overall, it was an exciting finale to a great season. I'm already eagerly awaiting next season and the mysteries it will present and the questions it will answer. I'm sure I've left a lot out of this post. I can't remember everything that happened. Please feel free to comment and give me your thoughts. I know there were some laugh out loud lines that I've forgotten to mention. You can also read other theories and recaps over at LOST Books Challenge.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Production Week

Well, if you know me personally you already know that it is production week around here. Our annual dinner theatre play is this weekend, which means that I am spending every waking moment at the church preparing for it. (But never fear I'll find a way to watch the LOST season finale.....even if it's at two in the morning.)

I'll be back in full blogging mode next week. Until then enjoy some of my favorite blogs:

Sewing: Homemade By Jill and Sew Mama Sew

Baking: King Arthur Flour and Confections of a Foodie Bride

Funny: We Are THAT Family and Rocks in My Dryer

Couponing and Freebies: Saves For Six and The Centsible Sawyer

Crafting: Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, May 11, 2009

Manic Monday

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Follow The Leader

My random thoughts on last night's episode:

Someone on the show (Ben) finally acknowledged Richard's immortality. Yes! Now if they'd only clear up the eyeliner issue we'd be all set.

It was ironic that the tables turned on Sawyer and Rudinzsky and Phil got to beat him to a pulp. I was proud of Sawyer for not telling them least not until he could get something valuable (a sub ride) in return. Hey, and an added bonus....Juliette got her clocked cleaned too. Can't say I didn't smile a little at that.

I think the funniest part of the whole episode was when Dr. Chang is trying to trip up Hurley...not too difficult. When Hurley claims to be 46 years old and that there is no such thing as the Korean War I was laughing so hard. Then Hurley's apology to Miles and Jin is funny too, it's almost like "Sorry dudes, but you knew I wasn't smart enough to pull that off."

Good old Sayid. He's always ready to pop out of the jungle and kill some people just when you need it most. I guess he's just been sneaking around waiting for a chance to save someone. Kate's lucky he didn't shoot her when she told him that she had saved Ben's life.

When is Jack going to wake up and realize that Kate does not benefit from this "the plane will never crash" plan?!?! She'll never fall in love with Jack, she'll never get to be a mother to Aaron, and she'll likely rot in prison for the rest of her life. Why does Jack persist in this idiotic idea? What does he have to go back to anyway? His life before the crash was misery anyway. Misery on a beautiful tropical island or misery in Los Angeles, what difference does it make?

I really do believe that the island is communicating with John very clearly. Think about it. When he got shot in the leg and Richard removed the bullet, John was bouncing around through time every 30 seconds or so. There is no way John could have figured out when he was so that Richard could help him without some kind of supernatural guidance. Don't ask me what else the island is telling him, because I have no clue.

I've been involved in a couple of love triangles in my (teenage) days. They usually involved a lot of avoiding each other and leaving nasty notes in each other's lockers, but never were the three of us handcuffed together in the bottom of a submarine together. Poor Sawyer and Juliette. They just can't escape Kate. How and why do they get off that sub? Go please, just go!!!!

So now what is Jack's big plan for the bomb? He's just gonna follow the diagrams in Daniel's journal and set it off....after moving it to The Swan? Or maybe he is just going to set it off right where it is and blow up everything in Dharmaville? I really don't understand why he thinks this is a great idea.
Wasn't it sooooo gratifying to see Ben standing there in complete shock and confusion when John announced he was going to kill Jacob? Ah, how the tide has turned.

In the scenes from next week:

I'm excited that Juliette and Sawyer finally have the big blow up over Kate. I'm also glad to find out what is in that big box Ilana and the goons are hauling around the beach. Another encounter with Jacob ought to be interesting too. Are they going to shoot Jack to keep him from detonating that bomb? I wouldn't put it past Sawyer, Juliette or Kate. (Sawyer and Juliette will never meet if he suceeds either.)

What I am now confused about:

Time travel. (duh!) Specifically....why did future John have to tell future Richard to go pull the bullet out of past John's leg and tell him to die in order to bring the Losties back to the island? Future John wasn't there the first time Richard pulled the bullet out of John's leg right? Or was he? How can that be? Do I even want to burn the brain cells to try to figure it out? Probably not.

Jacob. Was John trying to insinuate that there is no Jacob and that Richard has just been using the facade of Jacob to influence the "leaders" (Whidmore, Ben) that he advises? Or does John really believe that he will be able to see Jacob when no one else has ever been able to? Did he see him in the cabin? (He didn't have a DVR or screen capture so I don't see how he could have.) And what does killing Jacob accomplish anyway? If my "dead is dead" theory is right and John is dead and acting as a host for Jacob (aka the Smoke Monster) then what will John have to do to kill Jacob? Remember when Jacob asked John to help him? Maybe this is it. Jacob is tired of being a smokey parasite and wants out of the whole thing. He (the island, whatever) has told John how to kill him (Jacob). I don't know. We'll see I guess.

Are we ever going to see Rose and Bernard and the gang again? Where are they and what are they doing? Maybe we never see them because they are in a different time than Locke and Jack' s crew. I hope they have some kind of interesting storyline when they finally do return to the show. And what about Claire? Kate is supposedly trying to find her. I guess we won't get that until next season.

Only one episode left! Bring on the incredible cliffhangers!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fitness Freebie

If you are bored with your current workout or not getting the results you would like, you might want to try a killer workout put together by Jillian Michaels, the big bully trainer in a 100 pound body on "The Biggest Loser". You can get a free one week trial of her fitness program.

All you have to do is go to her website and sign up for the FREE Weight Loss Plan. You'll have to fill out a short survey with some personal information. When you get to the end of the process you will find out that the 3 little paragraphs telling you to eat less and workout more were your "FREE Weight Loss Plan", and then you will be asked to provide your credit card number and pay $4 per week in order to get the customized workouts, etc. Don't do it. Just leave the site. In about 2 days you will get an email offering you a free one week trial of the complete program.....and this time it really is free.

When you start your free trial you will have to enter your payment info but you will not be charged until your free week is over. As long as you cancel before your week is up you are free and clear. On the program you will receive access to a weight tracker, customized circuit training workouts for 7 full days and menus and meal plans. You can also get a preview of "next week's workout". So you actually get 2 full weeks of workouts for free.

The biggest advantage to the site is a section called "The Moves". This section has detailed descriptions of every exercise that Jillian recommends. It also has pictures of Jillian doing every move. All of this is printable. I went through and printed off a picture of Jillian doing every single move (close to 50 different exercises). Now when my two weeks of workouts are up I can create my own new ones using other moves from Jillian's database. I've already introduced some of the ab moves to my TurboKick class and they really liked them.

These are great workouts, but I'll warn you....they are tough. I'm only on level two (out of three) and I'm supposed to be doing 3 sets of 15 push ups where you push yourself up so high that you can clap your hands together before you come back down. Yeah, right. I'm not a Navy SEAL. I just do plain push ups and consider that good enough. If you haven't been working out regularly you will definitely want to go with level one.
My original plan was to add the Jillian workouts on to my 2 mile run days. No way! Those workouts are enough in themselves. So now I have an alternative to running on the days I don't do TurboKick. I'll let you know how it goes on June 1st.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Project Homemade: Salad Dressing

I've found my new favorite salad dressing....and I can make it myself in just a few minutes any time I want some.

This salad dressing comes from the "Simply Salad" cookbook by Jennifer Chandler. It actually doesn't have a name but it tastes a lot like French or Russian salad dressing but it is a much lighter consistency.

Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing

1/4 c. vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. sugar (or Splenda)
1 T. ketchup
salt and pepper

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, and ketchup until the sugar has dissolved. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.
For more great recipes head over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Manic Monday

Friday, May 1, 2009

Month Two

Well it's May 1st which means it is weigh-in day for our local Biggest Loser competition. Last month I lost 9 lbs so I was looking for equal or better results this month.


This month I lost a grand total of .............................2 pounds.
T-W-O. 2, as in almost 1.

Ridiculous! I followed the same routine as last month almost exactly. I'm still working out 6 days a week, sometimes 7. I'm still eating based on the same Weight Watchers guidelines as I used before. The only difference I can see is that I didn't consistently drink my 64 oz. of water everyday like I did last month. Could that really be 7 pounds worth of weight? Maybe.

I'm also at that magic number where my body thinks it belongs. Every time I hit this point with my weight my body stops. It never wants to go any lower than it is right now. I have no idea why. There is still plenty of room for improvement. I'm still 15 pounds from my goal. I have a feeling if I can just get over this hump I'll be home free.

Oh well. This is a new month. I'm having pork burgers on homemade whole wheat buns, bean bake and carmelitas with my family tonight and then back on the band wagon. I'm going to try shaking up my routine a little bit and hitting the water hard.

My goals for May are:

1. Lose 10 pounds.
2. Drink a minimum of 64 oz. of water per day.
3. TurboKick 3 days a week.
4. Jogging 2 miles 3 days a week.
5. Walking 3 miles 2 days a week.
6. Add Jillian Michaels workouts 2 days a week. (*new*)
7. Add weight lifting routine 2 days a week. (*new*)

We'll see what happens.