Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5:2 Update...

Last week was not a good day for 5:2.  Even though I've been fasting my weight has been steadily increasing...just by a couple of pounds, but still moving in the wrong direction.  What I find is that if I decide to go off of 5:2 for several days then my body tends to kick back into burn mode.  So that's exactly what I did!  I had fasted on Monday and I decided to just take off the rest of the week and eat whatever I wanted.  The crazy thing is that the weight started to move back down again, and even went below where I was previously.  I probably wouldn't recommend this method for everyone, but it worked for me.  I'm back to fasting today and feeling good.

I also changed up my days to fast and do the C25k.  My running days are now MWF and fasting is on TTh.  I did this because you're supposed to run the C25k three times a week, so MWF seems appropriate.  The other reason is that on MWF I will be only teaching 1 class on MWF, and therefore can do my run as soon as the class is over.  Works for me!

It's not easy keeping sight of your goals...especially with so many delicious temptations around!  Tonight I am craving Mexican food...anything with corn tortillas!  So with that I am going to close and head to bed to read.  When I do that I forget about food.


Sunday, July 28, 2013


RAWR means I love you in dinosaur.
I say this to my boys all the time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sometimes You Just Gotta....

...have a burger!  And this one from the Arkansas Burger Company hit the spot perfectly!!  It was my first time there, and it won't be my last.  This burger was perfectly juicy and greasy.  LOVED IT!!

I wasn't feeling so good at work today so I left early.  It also didn't help that I was craving a burger, which I haven't had in months.  So glad I fed my craving.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Fat Girl Running...


Today I started the C25k workout with day 1 of week 1...and I feel GREAT!!  Exhausted, but great.  I wanted to start this program a year or so ago, but you know that things come up and you just don't feel like doing it.  Yea, well that was me.  So I put it off and forgot about it.  But now I'm ready and I'd really like to accomplish this.

I haven't run for over 30 years.  And even when I was in the military I hated running, so I avoided it like the plague.  But something is clicking for me and I want to get more fit and healthier, so I decided to go for it today.  I am not going to lie - I was totally terrified and intimidated at the gym today.  Standing in front of the treadmills, talking to the cute girl on the treadmill next to me, was a young man.  I just felt like he stood there and stared as this fat girl tried to run.  But you know what, I thought "to heck with him" and I just did it.  I'm sure my boobs and my butt were just a jiggling along as I ran, but I didn't care.  He left a short time later, thank goodness.  

I didn't run hard, just a steady kind of jog during each of the 8 minutes.  I didn't want to go all out and possibly hurt myself.  I need to lift my feet a little bit higher when I run, but I'm still getting used to this and it's not easy to run at this weight.

Taking the day off tomorrow as per the rules of C25k, but I'll be back at it on Wednesday.  I'd really like to run a 5k!  There's a Color Run coming up in November.  Not sure I'll be up for it yet (will have to see how this running goes...remember, I'm fat and old), but it's my first goal.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Thoughts...

You are beautiful, both inside and outside.
Do not lose sight of your goal.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The First Weekly Saturday Night Losers Club...

The meeting is now officially called to order.  Members attending....me.  *sigh*

Yep, it's another boring Saturday night here.  I'm broke so I really can't afford to go anywhere.  So I stopped at the library earlier and picked up this to watch tonight:

Eating Toscano Soup and buttered toast for dinner.  Yep, my life is very exciting...haha


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Current Favorite Author...

I am an avid reader.  Just look to the left over there and you'll see the list of books I've been reading for the past few years.  I read a lot at work (technical geological papers) so when I come home I want to just read fluff, although sometimes I do choose to read something scientific just for fun.  One day I was searching online for the term "Hot Flash" (best not to ask why...haha) and this author, Nancy Thayer, popped up.  She's written a series of books called the Hot Flash Club.  Intrigued, I went to the library the next day and picked up two of the Hot Flash novels.  I was almost instantaneously hooked!  So far I've read the first two and have the third (in a series of four) on order from the library. 

In the meantime I picked up a few more of her novels.  Yesterday I finished "Moon Shell Beach".  It's a lovely book about friends that drift apart and come back together after changes in their lives.  LOVED IT!!

Today on the way home from school I picked up two more of Nancy's novels.  Set in Nantucket, these easy beach reads will definitely fill the bill.  Can't wait to dive into them tonight.

What are you reading lately?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 2013 Birchbox...

I received my July Birchbox today.  I feel like Birchbox is trying to tell me something.  Every other box had some lovely makeup item - lipstick, nail polish, etc.  What did I get?  Face cream...correcting primer...hair stuff....ugh.  I would have enjoyed something with color.  Wait...what's that you say?  You see the "Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow" by Benefit sitting there?  Yea...okay, so it's color.  But here's the rub...it's the darkest shade they make!  This was made for a woman of color.  Now, look at the picture at the top of this page.  I think you'd agree with me that this color is a tad too dark...no?  Well, I can't review that product.  I have sent an email to Birchbox and hopefully they'll be able to send me another sample with a more appropriate shade.

From left to right:

Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect
- smells very nice.  Made my hair very soft.  However, I already have a product that I got in a previous Birchbox that I love, love, LOVE.  Sadly, I won't be buying this one, but I'd recommend it to others.

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow!
- can't really review this one yet.  See rant above. :)

BENTA BERRY G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream
- has a nice scent and a nice feel to it.  The problem is that there seems to be an issue with the product after drying.  It balls up, so you end up with these little white balls on your face.  Makes it look like you're flaking off skin.  Hmm...not the daytime look I'm interested in.  Also, no sunscreen so not a good option for day use...and not thick enough really to be a good nightcream.

Nomaterra Eau de Parfum Fragrance Wipes
- One word....blech!

Pür Minerals Color Correcting Primer
- Felt like silk going on.  Not sure it's doing any correcting though...haha.

So that's my review.  Hopefully I'll get a better box next month.  This one was just off the mark for me.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Italian Beefy Bites...

I love my dog.  Seriously think she's the most adorable creature ever.  I treat her like she's human, and I always want the very best for her.  Last week we headed down to the local farmer's market (she went because she's a very social animal and likes to meet new people) and I spent $6 for a handful of these little balls called "Beefy Bites".  These were homemade by the land selling them, and she had put the ingredient list on the side.  Honor LOVED these beefy bites!!  But at $6 a pop, these things could get quite expensive.  So I decided to see if I could find a recipe online...and I did!!  These things were so easy to make!  You can find the original recipe here.

Now, I cut everything in half because I wanted to be sure Honor was going to eat them before I put a lot of money into them.  I also used my truffle-sized ice cream scoop for these rather than rolling them out by hand.  Here's what they look like and about how many I got out of the half batch

Here is the recipe so you don't have to click over.  Notice - no preservatives or anything else that you couldn't/wouldn't feed to a human.  In fact, I bet these taste pretty darn good.

Italian Beefy Bites

2 cups cooked ground beef (about 2/3 lb. raw)
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
2 large eggs

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 and lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
2.  Brown the ground beef.
3.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beef crumbles to a large mixing bowl.
4.  Add the tomato paste and toss until the beef is coated.
5.  Add the cheese, flour, dry milk and eggs and mix well.  Note:  I used my Kitchenaid mixer and it did a FABULOUS job of mixing these up!
6.  Drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls onto your greased baking sheets.  Note:  These don’t really expand while baking, so drop them onto the sheet in a size that would work best for your dog.
7.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms of the treats are a nice golden brown.
  • Makes 50-60 bite-sized dog treats
  • Store these in the refrigerator
And this is the loving face you'll see when you share these Italian beefy bites with your little bundles of fur!  You have to picture the tail wagging a mile-a-minute for the full effect of excitement Honor exhibited when I asked her if she wanted a beefy bite.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

To inspire us all for the next week...

You are strong.  You are powerful.  You can do this!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chocolate Cherry Cookies...

***Before reading this recipe, you should know the following:  I have a thing for maraschino cherries and almond extract.  I could wear both scents as perfume.  I think it goes back to the original Jergen's lotion scent that my great-grandmother used to wear.  Anyway, I digress.  You must try the following recipe!***

Okay, I have found my new favorite cookie! These things are unbelievably good.  They are also really easy to make.  I found the original recipe here, but of course I tweaked it a little bit to fit more with my tastes.  Here's the recipe.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (this is a very important ingredient!)
  • 1 jar/can/container maraschino cherries (enough for 24ish cookies)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used 2%)

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°. 
  2. Cut maraschino cherries in half and put aside.
  3. Mix the flour baking powder and salt together. 
  4. In a separate bowl cream the sugar and butter.  Beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract. 
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, while mixing. If your batter seems dry you can add a spoonful of milk to soften it up a bit… I did.
  7. Roll the dough into 1 ½ inch diameter cookie balls. I like to poke an imprint into the center with my thumb, insert the cherry, and pinch off the opening to seal the deal. Do it however you like. 
  8. Place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet, with at least 2 inches of growing room between them. 
  9. Cook for about 11 minutes, remove and let cool completely (patience is a virtue… or something). 
  10. Allow cookies to cool for about 15 minutes.
  11. For the chocolate coating, place your butter, milk, and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 20 seconds, mix well. 
  12. Repeat that microwaving/mixing process in 20 second intervals a few more times until it’s just melted. 
  13. When the cookies are cold, dip them in the chocolate sauce upside down to give them a lovely chocolate Yamaka.
  14. If your patience pot is empty, eat away. Otherwise, wait until the chocolate hardens and THEN eat your heart out.  I could not wait until the chocolate hardened.  These were just too good!!
I tried the cookies with the chocolate coating and without.  Definitely do the coating. It adds so much to the flavor!

Try these.  You won't be disappointed!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Washcloth with Crochet Edge...

**If you click on the pictures they should give you a larger version so that you can see detail**

Many years ago Gramma Floyd taught me how to make pretty crocheted washclothes.  She said that they were a really nice, quick gift for someone.  She made several for me over the years and I still have two that I received for my wedding that I have never used.  Sadly, Gramma Floyd passed away in 1997.  However, I've never forgotten how to make these pretty items, and make them quite often for my guest bathroom  Let me show you the steps and what you'll need.

Start off with a washcloth, a size 1 crochet hook, and some crochet thread.  Here I chose a variegated purple and green.

 The crochet is easy - the only two stitches you use are single and double crochet.  Start by inserting the crochet hook into the washcloth creating a single crochet.  Do three single crochet in the same hole.  Now, move approximately 1/4 inch and do the same thing.  Repeat this until you have gone all the way around the washcloth.  Here is a sample with the first few sets of stitches completed.

 Now you'll be on the second row.  Insert the crochet hook through the top of the loop on the stitches on the first row.  Do five single crochet this way, with only one single crochet per loop.  Next do five double crochet in the same fashion.  Repeat the pattern with five single and then five double crochet.  When you do this you'll end up with a pattern like below.

Now, when you get close to the first corner you'll switch up the pattern just a bit.  Instead of putting one single or double crochet per loop, you'll do the following:  in the first loop do a single crochet.  In the next loop do three double crochet in the same loop.  Then, repeat that pattern around the corner.  Your corner should look like the picture below:

After you complete the corner, return to the same pattern as before with five single crochet followed by five double crochet.  When you reach the corner, repeat the instructions above for the corner.


These washcloths take me about 2 hours per cloth to complete and they look so pretty when completed.  The combinations are endless!  One of my favorites was a brown washcloth with white crochet border.  I also did brown cloth with turquoise border.  I gave three of each to a friend for her bathroom as a Christmas gift.  She loved them!

The other good thing about working on these is that it keeps my hands busy so that I don't want to eat on my fast days.  Today, for some reason, I'm starving...and yet, I finished another cloth and now I'm preparing for bed.  Another successful fast day done!!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and give these pretty cloths a try.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The 5:2 Fasting Way of Life...

About 3 months ago I happened to catch a show on PBS called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" that was an experimental idea by Michael Mosley, a doctor in the UK.  There was nothing else on so I watched it.  The premise of this video was that through fasting we decrease bad cholesterol levels, decrease blood glucose, and also decrease the potential for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and dementia.  Having a history of heart disease and diabetes in my family, as well as being a university professor that wants to keep her mind intact, this was fascinating to me.  I looked up a few forums online through My Fitness Pal and the 5:2 book website.  I have said for many, many years that I want to live a very long time, so I figured I would give it a shot.  It seemed pretty straightforward and I figured I had nothing to lose.

Now, the fasting might not be what you are thinking.  The way that this works is that you fast 2 days per week and eat normally the other 5 days per week.  On fasting days (you choose the days), you eat  less than 500 calories (women) and 600 calories (men).  It's not as difficult as it might seem.

So about 3 months ago I started this.  I fast on Monday and Thursday, and I try to make my fast days as simple as possible.  You see, I tend to obsess on food.  I love food, hence the reason I weigh so much.  So on fast days my food looks like this:

2 cups coffee with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 cup milk
1 chobani yogurt (I like the black cherry flavor) with 1/2 cup berries on top
1 calcet calcium chew

1 cup chicken bullion
Diet soda (I prefer diet ginger ale)

1 chobani yogurt with 1/2 cup berries on top
black tea

That comes in at right at 500 calories.  Best part is that I don't have to think about any other food - my meals are set.  Now you might be thinking "blimey hell, eating only 500 calories a day, I'll starve!"  But here's what's so great about this - today you stick to the 500 calories, but tomorrow you get to eat whatever you want.  For me, this somehow makes it so much more doable than the 1200 calories per day.  I only have to pay attention for 2 out of 7 days.  I can stick with it just knowing the next day (with no guilt) I can have whatever I'm craving on my feast day.  Not only that, but I'm not hungry all day.  I get hungry a little bit around 5pm while I'm waiting for dinner at 6pm, but otherwise, I'm good to go.

Now, here's the other good part.  In these past 3 months I've lost 24 pounds!!  You might not think that's a big deal, but I have tried repeatedly to lose weight and I just stay stuck at the same weight over and over no matter what diet I try.  This fasting way of life broke through that barrier and I am now 24 pounds lighter.  Do not misunderstand, I have a long way to go (about another 80 pounds), but I'm as pleased as punch about the weight loss already!  I also want to say that typical weight loss is about 1 pound per week.

If you're at all interested in the way this works, here's a link to the one hour video by Mosley.  You can find it here.  I have no idea how long the link will work because they've already taken the video down off of PBS.

I'll keep everyone updated on the progress of this way of life.  I'll also try to post some recipes in case you want to eat differently than my way.


Tuesday, July 09, 2013

How to get in an extra mile...

I've been trying to lose some weight and get a bit more healthy.  I'll talk more about the process tomorrow.  One of the ways I've been trying to sneak in a bit of extra exercise is by walking at the dog park.  This is my dog, Honor, walking in front of me.  She runs and plays while I walk around the perimeter of the park.  I've paced it and six times around is a mile.  She gets exercise while I get exercise.  What's so funny is that she likes to lead me on the trail, as you can see.  We've put in many a mile at this dog park!  You've got to sneak it in when you can.


Monday, July 08, 2013

Mom's Fresh Cucumber Pickles

Ah, summer. My mom used to make the most fabulous pickles every summer.  It was torture waiting for the cucumbers to become pickled, and once they were ready I devoured them.  I finally asked my mom for the recipe a few years ago and I make these now year round.  These are almost as easy to make as ice cubes!  Here's what you need:


2 cloves garlic, peeled and placed in jar
2 cucumbers, sliced and placed in jar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water

Yes, those are all the ingredients.  Peel the garlic and put into a jar.  I happen to use mason jars that came from other things I've purchased in the past, but any clean jar will work. Wash the cucumbers, slice into pickle shapes, and put in jar (forgive the lowly 1/2 cucumber in the picture above.  I forgot to take a picture of all the ingredients before I cut up the cucumbers...DOH).  In a bowl or other container, mix the remaining ingredients.  Pour this liquid over the cucumbers.  When done, this is what you'll have...

Place your jars into the refrigerator and wait 2 days before eating (if you can...seriously, they are that good).  My mom's instructions say they stay good for up to 2 weeks, but I've made big batches with lots of jars and they stay good for over a month.  These are so easy you'll never buy dill pickles again.  Enjoy!!


Sunday, July 07, 2013

A new journey...

With education comes wisdom and self-sufficiency.  I embark upon this new journey to better myself, to seek greater happiness, and become even more self-sustaining.  I'll be updating my blog daily with new posts about things that make me happy and inspire me.  Bear with me while I iron out a few of the details, but for now my ideas are as follows:

Monday - Make-it Monday (recipe day)
Tuesday - Tutorial day
Wednesday -Weigh-in Wednesday (I do the 5:2 intermittent fasting)
Thursday - Craft Day
Friday - Pinterest Day (where I try something I've pinned on Pinterest)
Saturday - Miscellaneous
Sunday - Thoughts for the Journey

I hope you'll join me along the way.