Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week 5 Weigh In and My Week in Review

Well Week 5 has ended and I was highly anticipating what the scale would be telling me. I did a good job tracking all of my calories but I had a few meals out of the house this week, which always makes it more difficult to stay on track. Friday night was especially difficult because I went to Chuy's (a great Tex-Mex restaurant/bar) and the endless baskets of tortilla chips were hard to resist. I don't think I went nuts but I certainty had more than a sensible serving. I worked out with Jillian 3 days this week and completed week 5 of Couch to 5K. On the last day of this week, I was forced to run for 20 solid minutes, which I was DREADING even though only a year ago I could run for over 40 minutes (a lot has changed in the past 12 months). I wanted to get out of the house by 7 to get my run in before it got hot (There was a high of 104 yesterday) but because of the late night on Friday I didn't get started until almost 9.

Good news is I actually ran the whole 20 minutes and didn't pass out. Bad news is I probably exacerbated the sinus issues and sore throat I had been suffering with because by 5 pm yesterday I was running a fever and my throat was on fire and by 7:30 I was sitting at CareNow waiting to see the Dr. A sinusitis diagnosis and a some antibiotics and I am feeling better, not 100%, but way better than even 12 hours ago. But before all the sickness crap, this is what the scale read yesterday morning.
That made a 1.6 pound weight loss for the week! I'm not sure what will happen this week with the medicine (and the 4th of July) but I am really for to try and get down into the 172's so I can go get that body wrap. I am still planning on running the 5K Thursday morning as long as I am feeling better, but I'm not sure what my workout schedule will look like this week (I'm obviously taking today off to rest).

Here are some other things that happened this week:

Look at that boy plank

The newest member of our family. Joe got his man toy Ford Explorer (and I'm an idiot for not noticing it had a third row of seats, even after I test drove it)

Me and K before going to see the Kids Who Care production of Peter Pan. She loved it, but it ran a little late for her (there were LOTS of tears because she was upset when it was over).

E is master of the Bumbo

K decided to dress up as Green Lantern for school on Thursday, just because. Her father couldn't be more proud
I will post after the 5K and let everyone know how it went and I should have a post soon about my Summer "Bucket" List.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal or Why Sometimes the Easy Way isn't the Best Way

As anyone who has read my blog in the past knows, I have a deep and heartfelt love for my Crockpot. I would give up most of my kitchen appliances if forced to over giving up this little kitchen marvel. When I come across appetizing Crockpot recipes I always pin them, hoping to expand my Crockpot repertoire. I came across one for overnight crockpot apple cinnamon oatmeal a few weeks ago and knew that I had to give it a try. The recipe comes from but like many pins the instructions were written in the comment section of the pin. The idea is pretty simple, just skin and cut up two apples and throw them in the bottom of the crockpot, put 1/3 a cup of brown sugar on top of the apples, sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon, two cups of oatmeal, and then 4 cups of water. The instructions say not to stir, then turn the crockpot on low and 8-9 hours later you are *supposed* to get tasty apple cinnamon oatmeal with not required morning effort.

I will admit to not using regular brown sugar but the Splenda blend (I would say it was to cut calories but honestly I didn't have any real brown sugar in the house). I will also admit to cutting the recipe in half because I am the only one in my house who eats oatmeal and two cups of this seemed like a lot. I did still use two apples because I figured it would make it extra appley and they were on the small side.

I always use crockpot liners (and was VERY glad I did but I'll get to that in a minute). Here is the apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Oats and water are now in the crockpot, heat is set to low, and timer is on for 9 hours. Now anyone who has Crockpot cooked knows that though the food is usually delicious, its appearance will not be the its strong suit. I have almost never seen anything that has come out of a crockpot be referred to as pretty. This oatmeal was no exception.
This is after 9 hours in the crockpot. The smell was not what I expected, I was expecting some wonderful apple cinnamon goodness and instead was hit by a funky bread smell. My husband likened it to a week cinnamon bread but I think that's being generous. I tried to scoop some out and the top had created a thick skin that was inedible and much of the bottom had burnt to the bag. This made only the middle section edible and taste wise it was bland and texture was awful.
The apples were almost tasteless with maybe just a hint of sweetness and even with all that brown sugar the mixture wasn't sweet at all. I had to add sugar just to make it palatable. I like oatmeal and apple cinnamon oatmeal is one of my favorites but this might possibly rank as the worst oatmeal I have had. I would have rather had a pouch of instant than this. I guess sometimes the easy way isn't always the best way. If anyone has any good crockpot oatmeal recipes I would love to hear them, or if you've tried this and it came out better for you.

Picture on the right from
The picture on the right is the aftermath in the crockpot, now you can see why I am glad I used the liner. I would have been scraping that craziness for days. I obviously threw the rest away and the bottom of the bag was black from all of the burnt oatmeal. A definite Pinterest Fail but it was a win for Reynolds Crockpot liners!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week 4 Weigh In and My Week in Review

Week 4 most definitely presented some challenges in trying to be good and stick to the program. Joe's Father's Day cake was in my house until Wednesday and every time I stepped into the kitchen I could hear it calling to me "I'm so tasty, you know you want a bite". I have realized in my attempts to eat healthier that I have trigger foods, foods that if they are around me I will eat them with little to no control over portion (or good manners). Chocolate is enemy #1, I can not have chocolate bars, chips, or chunks in my house unless I am baking something that day for an event. I have eaten an entire bag of chocolate chips in a few days, sneaking to the pantry for small handfuls throughout the day. Cookies are trigger #2 and cake is #3. I have been known to sneak up to many a cake with a fork, take a bite, and come back an hour later to do it again (with a clean fork of course). Then what seems like a little taste of cake has turned into a huge chunk gone. I was pretty good around this cake but I wasn't innocent (a few forks were dirtied over the course of those few days) and I felt like I won a small victory over one of my food nemeses.

I also went out to one of my favorite restaurants in Fort Worth for dinner on Friday night (Daddy Jacks in Sundance Square) to have a Mommies Night Out dinner. DJ's is a really great seafood restaurant and they have the BEST lobster bisque I have ever had. Knowing that I would be eating out on Friday I ate light at the beginning of the day and ordered the veggie platter with my bisque instead of a full meal. Everything about the dinner was great (company included) and we had a great time after dinner at Pete's Piano Bar. I was a little worried about doing my weigh in Saturday morning after indulging the night before but I have been doing my weigh in's on Saturdays and I didn't want to change up the schedule. I crossed my fingers and prayed for the best.
I had started the Ripped in 30 Jillian Michael's DVD and ran my couch to 5K on Sunday and Thursday. I was thrilled to see a decent drop in the scale, especially with the whole cake residency and indulgent night before. That made a 1.8 pound drop for the week, and only 3.8 pounds to go for my first goal level. I'm going to try and be more straight and narrow this week because I really want to hit that first 10 pound marker ASAP. This does go to show that you can have cheat days and days where you don't count every calorie, as long as its balanced with exercise and mostly healthy eating. My other exciting news for the week is a signed up for my first official 5K.

The Firecracker 5000 is on the morning of the 4th of July here in Fort Worth. I will coincide with my completion of the Couch to 5K program and I figured it would be a great way to celebrate accomplishing that milestone. I don't expect a good time and finishing without passing out is my only goal, that an actually finishing a 5K and not an accidentally running a 10K (see that story here I am excited to do this only 10 weeks after having a baby and really proud of myself for pulling the trigger and signing up. I will definitely post pictures and let everyone know how it went. Here are a few pictures from my week.
Supporting the Rangers in their series against the A's

Excuse me miss, do you know how fast you were going?

Trying my paelo chocolate recipe with Rice Krispies (super yummy, but not so much paelo anymore)

Great seats at Pete's Piano Bar

Hopping crowd after midnight on Friday night

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Coffee Face Scrub or What You Can Do With Your Used K-Cups

I have to admit as much as I have been wanting to try this next pin, I have also been dreading it. The idea is to mix freshly used coffee grounds with lemon juice and honey, scrub it on your face, let it dry for 15 minutes, then wash it away to reveal "amazing, plump & soft" skin. However, the idea of rubbing coffee grounds all over my face grossed me out a little but I figured I couldn't let a little grossing out get in the way of a good pin experiment.
I brewed the K-cup right before I did the pin (like it was still warm when I peeled off the label). You obviously don't have to use a K-cup any freshly used coffee grounds will work. The pin itself had no instructions about amounts and the corresponding blog post had none as well. So I emptied most of the K-cup, the juice from a whole small lemon, and about a tablespoon of honey.
Looks appetizing doesn't it

I thought the coffee smell would be very strong but the lemon scent cut it down quite a bit. The mixture pretty thin (though again the instructions were vague so I may have used too much lemon juice) but I schlepped it on anyway.
The before me (no make-up and bad lighting)

 It was as gritty as I expected it to be and smelled a bit like lemon tea. I spread it around in a circular motion to let the coffee grounds do their exfoliating thing. The hardest part was leaving it on my face for 15 minutes. I decided to re-try my Vinegar and Listerine foot soak while I was waiting (see the pin and update here and read some more of my book (Scarlet by Marissa Meyer in case you were wondering).  After about 5 minutes my face was kind of itchy and I worried that I might be giving myself some kind of coffee induced rash. The itching never got terrible but was annoying, just FYI.
2 pins at one time (such a multi-tasker)
 After 15 minutes I rinsed off my face (with my feet still in the soak since they needed 20 minutes).
This is the aftermath of coffee grounds in my sink
It didn't wash off as easily as the pin had suggested but it wasn't too hard to get everything off (though you can see above it does leave a mess in the sink). I was completely expecting it not to have done anything and calling the pin a fail but I will admit my skin felt a bit tighter and smoother (but I wouldn't say it was amazing or plump but it was softer). You can't tell any difference from the after picture but I will say there was a subtle difference. I'm not sure if this works any better than a store bought exfoliation mask, but it is a heck of a lot cheaper and way more natural than most stuff on the market. It's messy and smells a bit odd (but not bad) and would probably have scared my daughter if she had seen me in it. I will probably do this again because hey its cheap, natural, and works pretty well. If anyone else tries (or has tried) it, please leave a comment. I would love to know what you thought or think about it.
Terrible lighting (like I said you can't see a difference but you can feel one)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Pinterest Style

Pinterest is has plethora of ideas for every major holiday, even those lacking any type of creative ability could stumble upon a great gift idea for the someone(s) in their lives. Father's Day is no exception. I came across some really cute ideas for my husband, and now that our daughter is older she can help make some of them, which makes both of us very happy.

I would like to claim hipster status on the first gift because I have been doing this for the past three years (though I got the idea from a parenting magazine in 2010.) I bought two wooden letter D's and a wooden A from Micheal's and took pictures of K holding each (usually over the course of a few days in different outfits). I bought a picture frame that had space for 3 portrait style 4x6 pictures and put the pictures in the frame spelling out DAD. It is really cool to compare the pictures from one year to the next and when she gets older I plan on making a large collage with them.
Last year versus the year

In the frame
I also decided to get E in on the action and tried something a little different, I hope to make this a yearly gift as well.
I happened to see a Dad questionnaire and pinned it, thinking that K's answers right now would probably be pretty funny and Joe would appreciate seeing how well his daughter (thought she) knew him. I got the questionnaire from and this would also be a cool gift to do for a Dad's birthday as well.
I asked her the questions and wrote them myself, I will definitely do this again next year and see how the answers (and her drawing) change.

K wanted to make her Dad a card and I thought we would try a non traditional one I pinned. You just have to trace the child's hands, cut them out, accordion fold a large strip of paper, and a little glue later you have a very cool personal card.
Got to love when my feet make a post appearance
 Lastly K and I decided to make Dad a cake. He is a pretty easy guy to please so he just wanted a simple frosted yellow cake. I chose a bundt cake pan and when I was going to ice it I got lazy. I read on a pin that you can microwave the frosting tubs for 15 seconds and just pour the icing on then spread it. I didn't follow the pins exact advice and it showed. I let K sprinkle the crap out of it with all of the different holiday sprinkles we had left in the cabinet. When we were done we dubbed the cake "Ugly Cake". Taste wise it was your typical boxed cake but it definitely lives up to its name. We decided to make ugly cake a Father's Day tradition. In the end Joe had a great Father's Day and we spent a great Sunday hanging out together. I am excited to see what the kids and I make next year and the awesome memories we will make in the process. Happy belated Father's Day to all those great Dad's and Dad-like figures out there!
Ugly Cake in all its glory!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Week 3 Weigh In, My Week in Review, and Why My Feet are a Pinterest Sensation

This was a pretty awesome week for me, and it was a great kick-off to summer. I ran at 7am this week on Monday and Thursday (Thanks Z for making me get up and going), two evening runs (which were miserable and humid), and one session with Jillian. I spent Tuesday night with some great ladies at Rangers stadium on my first evening out since E was born 8 weeks ago. The Rangers lost and we didn't get a Yu bobblehead (much to a certain 9 year old's dismay) but we had a great time. Thursday night I got to see my absolute favorite author/memorist Jen Lancaster at a book signing in Dallas. This is the second time I have made the pilgrimage to north Dallas in afternoon traffic and she did not disappoint. If you haven't read anything by her I absolutely recommend trying her out, she is wonderfully sarcastic and self deprecating (in the best way possible). When I found out about her book The Tao of Martha last year I was inspired to start this blog, and the book did not disappoint.

So on to the weigh in, as mentioned above I went out both Tuesday and Thursday night and as much as I tried to be good it was a challenge. I knew this week would be interesting at weigh in, but I figured if I could just maintain I could probably consider it a minor win.
.6 pounds is kind of sad, even though I know with all the eating out I did this week I am lucky it wasn't a push or a gain. My husband gave me the muscle vs fat pep talk but only seeing the scale move that much was frustrating. I guess that's what I get for only working with Jillian once this week. I am going to work on eating home more this week and try to get Jillian in at least 3 days this week.

The last part of the post title might be confusing but something pretty cool involving my blog and my feet has been happening the last two week. The vinegar and Listerine blog post has been really popular this week, like REALLY popular. My average post view per week is something 20-30 (more if its a recipe post) but this week alone that post has been viewed over 3,000 times. I've starting getting people to post comments, and more people are following my Pinterest boards and Instagram account. I'm starting to feel like a real blogger and not just someone writing to entertain myself and my friends. The next thing I'm working on is finding a small business owners to donate something for a giveaway so I can start doing those as well. I have a few ideas but any suggestions are appreciated. Below are some great pictures from my awesome week!
Happy me during the 3rd inning

Sad me after the Rangers lost (girl behind me doesn't look happy about it either)

The man eating tarantula I saw on my Wednesday night run

My favorite author reading from her new book The Tao of Martha (seriously you should buy it, she is hilarious)

Getting two of my Jen Lancaster books signed

Just because he's adorable

Friday, June 14, 2013

Apple Pie Smoothies are No Apple Pie (but that doesn't mean they are bad)

As evident from my Chunky Monkey Smoothie blog post, I have become very into healthy smoothies as part of my diet. I have exasperated the spinach laden smoothies and wanted to try something different. I had seen a pin for an apple pie smoothie than sounded interesting, but after perusing my boards I realized I hadn't actually pinned it (rookie mistake). I then started to search for it and came up with a whole mess of recipes for apple pie smoothies, but initially not the one I remembered seeing. Finally after a bit of hunting through lots of not so healthy smoothies and changing my search terms (apple pie smoothie and almonds) I found the one I was looking for. After looking at their recipe I decided to tweak mine a bit, so of course I'll tell you both.

The original- 5 raw almonds, 1 apple (cored, sliced, but not deskined), a whole banana, 3/4 cup of 0% Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon- Estimated calories 382

Mine- 5 raw almonds, 1 apple (cored, sliced, but not deskined), half a frozen banana, 1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup Light Vanilla soy milk , 1/4 teaspoon(ish) cinnamon- Estimated calories 234

Banana is for visual purposes, mine was frozen

Everything in the blender cup and ready to roll (make sure there are no apple seeds, apparently they have a chemical in them that when metabolized by humans turns into some type of poison, just a scary FYI for you)
Blending (I let it go for awhile since it had to pulverize apple skins and almonds)
After blending (still had bits of apple skins but it didn't affect the taste but it did affect the texture a bit)
Ready to drink

I would give this recipe a C+. I tasted like apple pie, so they were right in giving it that name. The cinnamon and apple flavors really came out in the smoothie and the banana flavor was minimal at best. I know that this smoothie is super healthy and way easier to consume that eating all of the ingredients separately, I just didn't love it. I will say that for a smoothie it was pretty filling, much more so than some of the smoothies I've tried. Also for only 234 calories it makes a great snack or lunch replacement and you could probably add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to up the protein content (but also the calories). I would probably make it again if I was out of my normal smoothie ingredients but it's not high on my list to try again soon. I have found with smoothies though, a lot has to do with personal taste so one person's meh is another person's favorite, so don't let my opinion sway you. If you make it please feel free to comment and let me know what you thought.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week 2 Weigh In and the Pants of Shame

This week I tried Jillian Michael's 6 Week Six Pack DVD and it was killer. I HATE planks and this DVD is full of them. I had to adjust some stuff that I just couldn't do in the DVD and would probably have been in trouble if Jillian had been in my living room, but movement is movement and I tried.
Picture from
I also ran week 2 of Couch to 5K and felt slightly better about my running pace. I love having someone to run the program with because we keep each other moving and motivated (and make each other run big hills we don't want to run). I am bummed she'll be out of town for 3 weeks this summer but it will be awesome when she gets back and we can see how we have improved. If I feel confident enough I may try to convince her (and myself) to run a 5K sooner than the one in September.

I do my weekly weigh ins on Saturday mornings and was really hoping when I stepped on the scale yesterday I would have finally beaten the 180's. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this staring at me:
Suck it 180's. Notice the new toe color :)

I have been tracking my food all week and I think this absolutely key to my success so far. I have been getting used to portion sizes and measuring my food and using a food scale to help me visualize portions. That is one of the hardest parts for me (along with controlling myself around trigger foods) and measuring and weighing help a lot.

This week I was forced to buy the "pants of shame". What are the pants of shame you ask? Well they are the pants you have to buy in a size that you never wanted to be again but circumstances have arisen that force you back into them. Pants of shame sizes can be different depending on the person but everyone has had to buy them at one time or another. I was hoping I could move from my maternity jeans into my bigger sized jeans I already had, but alas even after my weight loss this week my"fat"jeans were still too tight. I reached my breaking point on my maternity jeans and couldn't handle the constant pulling on the elastic panels to keep them from slipping off of me. Plus it's summer in Texas and I needed something a little less covering than jeans. I went to Old Navy and found a pair of jean capri's, unfortunately even with the stretchiness of this particular style I was forced to buy my size of shame...size 16. I spent the majority of my teens in this size and when I finally got down into my 12's and 10's last year I vowed never to return, but here we are. To add insult to injury I had to pay full price as they were not on sale and I really needed them. Oh well, I figure if things keep going well I can wear them with a belt soon and by the end of the summer I can donate them as a symbol of reaching my goals.
These are the pants (or capri's) of shame
Speaking of goals, last week I asked my Facebook friends to help me decide on rewards to give myself for reaching my 10 pound weight loss goals. They couldn't be too expensive (no trips to Vegas unfortunately) but something worth working towards. I got some great suggestions and with a little of my own ideas thrown in this is what I came up with.
10 pounds lost at 172- Body Wrap and Facial
20 pounds lost at 162- Evening at Winstar Casino (looking for friends to join me)
30 pounds lost at 152- A night away from home (sleeping in is key) and a spa day
40 pounds lost at 142- Appointment with a personal stylist to put together outfits and help me buy new clothes

I'm obviously saving up for the last one, but I have wanted to do that forever and I think it will be a great motivator for me. I have heard from a few of my friends about my posts motivating them to get moving and reach their goals and that makes me feel awesome. That alone keeps me motivated to stick to it (but my reward goals don't hurt either). Have a great week everybody, I would love to hear from anyone who is working on their weight loss goals as well!

Coconut Oil Paelo Chocolate

I haven't done a coconut oil pin in awhile and I have been wanting to try this one so when I got a little bit of down time (not much with a 7 week old) I thought I would give it a shot. I LOVE chocolate and it is most definitely one of my trigger foods (hence the need for my weekly weigh ins) but this is supposed to be low calorie healthy chocolate so if I eat this instead of Hershey bars I'll have my "chocolate" and eat it too (yeah that phrase sounds way better with cake).
 The recipe comes from and can be easily adjusted to taste. This is what I used because it's what I had in my pantry.
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil (melted)
  • NuNatural vanilla stevia drops to taste (If you’d prefer to use a liquid sweetener, such as agave or pure maple syrup, use this ratio instead: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 tbsp of your liquid sweetener.) (I used the 1/4 cup recipe since I was using the agave)
  • optional: extracts, cocoa nibs, or other add-ins
  • optional: 1 extra tbsp oil or water, if it needs to be thinner
Combine coconut oil with the liquid sweetener or stevia drops. (For the stevia version, I recommend NuNaturals because I find other brands to have an aftertaste.) Stir, then add cocoa powder. Stir stir stir! Stir until it gets thick. Pour into any flat container (or candy molds or smush between layers of wax paper or in ziploc bags). Freeze until solid, and store in the freezer.

 I have a Wilton chocolate melter (totally worth the $20 at Walmart) so I used that that, but you can obviously use a pan on the stove too.

 In goes the chocolate powder
 Stir until the powder is dissolved
 I poured onto wax paper, but next time I would try a silicon mold or something a bit fancier
 Poured and about to go in the freezer
 Out of the freezer after about an hour
 Broken off chunk
So here is my review. Making the chocolate was easy, way easier than working with and melting traditional chocolate. I used dark chocolate powder so I knew this would probably taste like very dark chocolate and I was right. Because of the powder and only having one tablespoon of sweetener it was like a very very dark chocolate, and at first I wasn't a fan. I thought for a moment I would throw it out but I tried a little more (and a little more) and the taste grew on me. It melts very easy and leaves your fingers and teeth very chocolatey. The whole batch comes in around 580 calories, which for as much chocolate as you get is pretty good. The husband refused to try it (no sense of adventure) and the kiddo tried it and didn't like it (more for me!). This batch lasted two days and now I'm plotting how I'm going to make it next. I want to buy regular cocoa powder, and I will probably add a bit more sweetener. I would also like to experiment with add ins like almonds or Rice Krispies or maybe a little sea salt. I shouldn't make it too often though, as is apparent from the picture below.

Addendum 6/22/13 : Made this recipe again the other night. Same amounts but regular cocoa powder instead of dark. we added in about  3/4 cup of Rice Krispies and left in in the freezer to cool. It was very good and tasted like a Crunch bar and dark chocolate had a delicious baby. It's not like store bought chocolate and has a bit of a coconut oil flavor but me and the kiddo enjoyed it (still no daddy though).