Month: April 2013

Weighing In! #3

Well, it’s been a crazy span of time in the weight loss department since my last weight in.  Which, I can’t believe was 16 days ago!!

Since that last post, I have been real busy with my family. Took a week off from ‘dieting and exercise’ during the school vacation week, where we spent 3 days on The Cape.  During that trip, we learned of the Marathon Bombings. Which sucked the life out of us.  The rest of vacation week was spent working from home with my girls, and by Friday, we were all glued to the TV on basic lockdown waiting to hear about the suspect. It was a tough week on everyone around here.

Today, I am sorta proud to say I am down another lb.  Just one.  It’s not that big a deal, but it’s something, right?!  I started using myfitnesspal for the first time.  I got the app a long time ago, but never really used it. Finally, Monday, I hunkered down and started logging my food intake.  Which I am glad I did. Cause I am not really that bad of an eater seeing it on the screen.  So we’ll see if this will work as a mental motivator, too.

And I am not seeing many distractions coming up this week/weekend where I’d slip up again.  Two weekends from now starts a stint of family get togethers, birthdays and some parties..so we’ll see how I do then. 😉

Wish me luck!  xoxo

 

 

A Pasta Primavera with Peas, Artichoke Hearts, and Grape Tomatoes

Nothing makes me feel better at the end of a long day than a pasta primavera.  It’s hearty, quick, and DELICIOUS! Even leftover to the next day! Also, the variations of vegetables are endless.   

Pasta with Peas, Artichoke Hearts, and Grape Tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup artichoke hearts (Trader Joe’s sells great frozen ones)
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of tepid water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt n pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

Artichoke hearts and peas

Artichoke hearts and peas- shown here are the frozen organic vegetables they sell at Trader Joe’s.  They are my go to for a lot of my dishes. LOVE THEM.  But. Before using them, run under warm water and let sit a minute.  Drain and use.

halved cherry tomatoes

halved cherry tomatoes

In a large stock pan, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and saute garlic and onions till translucent.

onion and garlic

onion and garlic

Add in the artichoke hearts, and coat with the onion and garlic. Let cook for a minute, while stirring frequently.

Then add in the peas.  Coat with the mixture, let cook 1-2 minutes.

Add in water.

artichokes with peas

artichokes with peas

After 5 minutes of cooking, add in the tomatoes.

add in the tomatoes

add in the tomatoes

With your spoon, smash up the tomatoes as they are simmering.

Let simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.

smash the tomatoes with your spoon as it is simmering together.

smash the tomatoes with your spoon as it is simmering together.

Once the vegetables are tender, salt and pepper to taste, and it is done.

Toss with your favorite cooked pasta and the cheese.

And enjoy!

Toss with pasta.. and DONE!

Toss with pasta.. and DONE!

My List: Pixar Movie Ranking

A ranking of the current 13 movies created by Pixar.

This topic came up in conversation a few days ago. As I listened to opinions on which Pixar film ranked where, I argued some cause the person was obviously out of their ever loving mind, but I was also thinking that this would be a fun topic for me to really look at, think about and to share.  It’s tough to rank a subject you like everything about.  But I did it!

I have been a Pixar geek since seeing Toy Story in the theaters back in 1995. (Yikes, that just made me feel old!!)   I have always liked cartoons/cgi – which cgi wasn’t all that great in the 90s.  But. Something about Toy Story’s storyline and sweet characters stuck with me; watching that movie is when I fell for Pixar. Head over heels.  Since then I (and now we- my husband and two children) haven’t missed any new Pixar movie on the big screen.  EVER.

But, onto my list.

Everyone has their opinion on where their favorite Pixar movies rank, but, this is my list!

13.
Cars 2

12. 
A Bug’s Life

11. 
Cars

10.
Toy Story

9.
Toy Story 2

8.
Toy Story 3

7.
Monster’s Inc.

6.
Brave

5.
Finding Nemo

4.
The Incredibles

3.
Up

2.
Ratatouille

1. 
Wall-E

This list will be updated of course!  Pixar has some great movies like Monsters University, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, and Finding Dory, in the pipeline. And, Planes.  ALSO, one thing I am super excited about..some type of a movie with the theme of the DIA DE LOS MUERTOS slated for 2016. (Which, those who know me, know my obsession with the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, is a big one..SUPER EXCITED!) Yes, I am giddy over cartoons.  😉

#BostonStrong – Cape Cod Trip

We left for Cape Cod Monday afternoon. It all started off pretty great. Got to The Cape in record timing. The girls were angels the whole ride down. The sun was shining, and the sky looked like it was painted by Raphael with those perfect wispy clouds. Our hotel for this visit was the Irish […]

Weighing In! #2

*So excited*

I have dropped 3 lbs since my last blog weigh in!  YES!!

Down 7lbs total!  This is with the big Easter dinner, a few get togethers for drinks, and some days I couldn’t make it to the gym in between!  Cleaning the yard all day Sunday helped a great deal though.  I took that as my gym day, for 6 hours.  So, at this point, I am about half way to my first goal of losing 15lbs.

WOW!! That just felt so great to type!

Even though I feel motivated, a part of me is nervous to fail. I try to not listen to that part of me, but it’s hard sometimes. Even more so when I put accountability on myself in public, like through this blog.  The last time I took on a challenge to lose weight, I was going from someone who rarely exercised to someone who exercised 3-4 times a week.  Basically, the weight fell off. The changes were much more evident week by week. This time around, though the scale is moving in the right direction, down!, and my face looks slimmer, I am just nervous I will lose sight cause it may not be the fast results I was used to back 3 years ago.  I am creeping down. Going down a dress size, is different from going down 3.

I should mention, I am somewhat of a Veruca Salt.  The “I want it now” type of girl is within me.. at times.  I know, a terrible quality, but that’s just how I can be sometimes, and not over everything. It’s so unrealistic to think that way in regards to weight loss though. To start-up exercising and changing eating habits to see major results in an instance. So wrong.  I should keep that in my mind.  I am seeing and feeling changes all the time.  Less fat face. A hip bone sticking out here. Defined waist. Less jiggle arms.  hah I just sound beautiful don’t I?  Well, I read an article a few months ago, that was about seeing results.  It just popped into my head when I said I was Veruca. The article was about how YOU may feel results right away, see results in 2 weeks, but FAMILY/FRIENDS don’t usually see them until 4 weeks of progress. Which is true!  I notice this that last time I wanted to lose weight.  I felt great right away.  My scale started to move downwards. My clothes fit and looked better within a couple of weeks. Then everyone started noticing within a few weeks. Funny how that works out isn’t it?

Well, that’s my weigh in for today!

Got to keep positive so I don’t fail.

I AM NOT GOING TO FAIL. Right?

Updated Blog..

I’ve been posting to this site since November 2012, and just as of now, I learned how to use WordPress the way it’s meant to be used!  Oye vay!

I am not usually this slow, seriously. I just never sat down to learn the tools, menus or widgets until recently. Which was something I wanted to learn for the sake of this blog all along!  So, after a few days of learning all the customized components, and, trying multiple theme options …I am done!

I went with the newer theme, Adelle.  Its elegant layout, font, color, and simplicity, just feels better.  Also, I like the pink polka dots. They are so cute!  I decided on a theme change, because I felt like the purpose for my blog was lost with that other layout, TimePiece.  It is real attractive and the home page featured pictures were fun; that was the initial reason for choosing it and holding onto it for so long.  But I felt like my femininity, sweetness and humor was lost somehow.  Which is why I switched it up to Adelle.  It’s clearer with the navigation imo.  Now there is a menu bar to my specific categories at the top, like to my recipes and crafts. Which will allow me to be more specific in my posts.  Widgets on the side bar to my past posts, my other social media and to FOLLOW MY BLOG!  Finally,  I know! Some had asked about that, and I figured out how to pop one on there.  Yah me!

So, browse. Share. And. Let me know what you all think!

A Fun Weekend and Caponata

It was a great weekend!

Started off Saturday with hanging out with new friends, which was a lot of fun. We met this family through the girls’ dancing school. We’ve actually met 4 years ago, gingerly talking in the waiting room of the school every weekend during dance sessions. Just some of the few people I’ll talk to in there..since I am not a dance mom, and the other women in there with us are..let’s just say… uhm, ugly and annoying. Then a few weeks ago this family asked us to come over for an afternoon. We spent a handful of hours together laughing, talking about every topic, and the kids had a blast. So glad they were fun, normal people! We are going to set a counter ‘date’ at the end of May or early June, after all of our lives slow down a bit. A little fun in the sun, barbecuing at our house. I’m looking forward to seeing them next week to set it up. Then we ended the day by stuffing our faces with Belgian waffles at Ihop, which I forget how delicious their waffles are sometimes..and then we made a stop into the Home Depot to buy some outdoor stuff- ant spray, weed spray, grass seed, then a few lavender and rosemary plants.

Then today I woke up feeling energetic, and we spent the whole day in the yard dethatching the lawn, raking needles / leaves, and, cleaning up the past season’s debris. We haven’t done this much yard work since before the kids were born! I had a lot of fun, cause I haven’t been outside much since the Spring started, and I needed to clear my head by breathing some fresh air and getting my hands dirty and calloused. It is true, doing yard work is cathartic… feel so great right now! We spent about 6 hours together chugging along with each chore. We have almost an acre of yard, front and back, which is a lot to maintain, but we did a great job. And had a lot of fun. We took a break with the girls to play some football, which was a perfect way to take the load off from working so hard. Sounds like it would be opposite right? But when you’re laughing and running around, it’s less fatiguing somehow.
20130407-193151.jpg

A view of our backyard from the patio after we were done.

Us after a whole day cleaning the yard  :)

Us after a whole day cleaning the yard 🙂

 

Then after all that work, decided to cook my all time favorite comfort food, Caponata. A ratatouille if you will.  I grew up with this dish, and it’s a dish that reminds me of my childhood.  You know that scene in the movie Ratatouille where the critic, Anton Ego, eats Remi’s ratatouille dish, and is immediately transported to his childhood when his mother made it for him?  It’s exactly that for me, too.  My Mom’s version is a vegetarian stew; made of eggplant, potatoes, zucchini and summer squash. Cooked together with tomato till it’s a rich stew. This dish is easy and satisfying. There is no vinegar added as with most jarred/antipasto caponata. This is served hot with a side of crunchy bread. It’s earthy, creamy, warm, and delicious. A perfect way to end a chilly day outdoors working hard for sure.

Sicilian Caponata
1 large eggplant, washed and cubed
2 zucchini, washed and cubed
2 summer squash, washed and cubed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of tepid water
1/2 can of tomato paste
S&P to taste

All the vegetables you need

All the vegetables you need

Heat up the oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot.

Add in the garlic, sauteing for 5 seconds, then adding in the onions and letting sweat till translucent.

First add in the potatoes. Mix well to coat in the oil. Let cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Then add in the summer squash, mix. Then add in the zucchini and mix well.

All the vegetables in the pot.

Most of the vegetables in the pot.

Add in the 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil

Once boiling, turn heat down to a medium heat. Add in the eggplant. Cover the pot and let cook for 5 minutes.

Add in the tomato paste, and stir till all melted and the stock of the stew is red.

Add in a half can of tomato paste to a boiling pot.

Add in a half can of tomato paste to a boiling pot.

After stirring in the paste

After stirring in the paste

Turn the heat down to a low/simmer, and let cook for 25 minutes. Stirring infrequently.

Add in the s&p to taste. Let simmer another 5 minutes uncovered.

Simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the eggplant has basically melted into the dish.

Simmer for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the eggplant has basically melted into the dish.

Done! The potatoes should be fork soft, the squashes should be reduced in size, and the eggplant should be melted into the stock.

Dish is DONE! Caponata with a nice slice of bread.

Dish is DONE! Caponata with a nice slice of bread.

Ok, well I gotta jet off to get ready for tonight’s two hour premiere of MadMen! I am terribly excited! I have missed my Don Draper and Roger Sterling!!