Hey. So first of all, thank you all SO VERY MUCH for the outpouring of love and support with my last post. I was so taken aback that there are still SO many people who read! Honestly, when I said that I thought 2 people read this…I meant it. Wow. Every single one of you – a resounding THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
While I will say that I truly am losing weight for me, I can’t tell you how much it means to have your support! It’s fantastic and I love you for it, so thank you.
It felt really good to get all of that OUT – in the open. An admission of guilt. An apology. And forgiveness – I literally sobbed as I typed that part of the post. But it felt good and so very necessary. The past few weeks have been going pretty darn well. I thought I’d share a bit of what I’m doing that is really working for me right now, and what hasn’t been working at all. It’ll probably be a long post…but it’s intended for me to come back to when I forget what I’m doing. lol
WORKING: WEIGHT WATCHERS
When I had previously mentioned my “false starts” with re-attempting to get my weight loss back on track, I had also re-enrolled as a WW member (at first, online only) which was disastrous. I tracked for MAYBE the first 4-5 days and then stopped tracking – and stopped eating anything that was remotely healthy for me, as well. Then I’d get back on the wagon for 3 days…and binge eat on something totally horrible. Then I gave it up altogether. That was maybe a year or so ago.
“It just wasn’t working for me.” Hmm. Yeah, that happens when you don’t actually follow the program. Dumbass.
I rejoined WW back in November, full-on. Meetings and everything. Then Thanksgiving hit. Oops. Fell off the wagon again. UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS. (Ahem. Pro. Get it together.) Then 2013 hit me smack-dab in the kisser – and by 2013, I mean that’s the number the SCALE was spitting back at me. I’m happy to say that I’ve been pretty consistent with meetings since then. I’m back to really enjoying the meetings. The first time around (3 years ago), I enjoyed the meetings in the beginning but then found them to be repetitive and telling me things I already knew. Now, some of them are repetitive but they’re also good reminders. That and it’s nice to share experiences and gain new food ideas, surrounded by people who are fighting the same daily battles I am. I am so happy that I re-joined and the meetings are back to being a great weekly motivation for me. Tracking what I eat has also returned as a fairly natural routine for me. I eat a lot of the same things, but that’s because they’re tasty, they work (for n0w) for my daily Points Plus target and they’re easy. It’s good to be back.
WORKING: SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS
I can’t really remember how this came about but back when I was REALLY struggling, I had a few friends enlist me as support for THEIR OWN weight loss journey. At first I was like, “Whatttt? Do you see what I’ve done to myself?! How could I possibly help YOU if I can’t get my shit together?” But it was probably their way of reminding me that I needed to get my bum in gear and that we could really support, help and encourage each other. I call them my ACCOUNTABILIBUDDIES (reference from South Park, if you’ve ever seen the Butters ‘Bi-curious’ episode). I won’t share who they are because not everyone wants to be outed while they’re trying to lose weight but it’s been SO GREAT to have my girlfriends along for the ride. We’ve gone so far as to text each other pictures of EVERY SINGLE THING we’re eating, whether it was a good choice or not. Right now one of my ladies and I send each other little voicemails daily through an app as a reminder to make good food choices and that we need to make time for a workout. That works pretty well, I think. It holds me accountable. Something to the effect of, “Well, ok. So if I’m gonna remind her to get her butt in gear and workout, then I gotta do it too!”
NOT WORKING: GETTING SICK
Everyone has been battling some form of CRUD this winter. For part of last week, and most of the week before, I had a REALLY wicked sinus infection. Sinus pressure and headaches. So much boogs (*boogers. Cute, I know). I couldn’t breathe. And I was so zonked out-of-my-head tired, I couldn’t function. I knew that it was a disaster of a week; I couldn’t work out, nothing sounded good to eat and what DID sound good was all really awful stuff. So I still went to my WW meeting last Friday but I didn’t weigh in. It’s part of my routine now, so I didn’t want to break that but I also didn’t want to be discouraged by whatever number was gonna pop its ugly little head. I was really happy with that decision, too. This is the second big “cold” I’ve gotten this winter and both time it’s knocked me clean on my ass. Miserable. I don’t know how to avoid it, but it sure isn’t helping with my goals.
WORKING: A DEDICATED FOODIE CHEAT DAY
So, I didn’t get here by not liking food. Truth. And while I do love Weight Watchers because I can have pretty much anything I want as along as I track it, I try NOT to just…have pretty much anything I want. I know I won’t be successful like that. SO, I let myself have a dedicated day where I can have whatever it is I’ve been jones-ing for that week. Was I craving pizza and (smartly) opted for a salad earlier in the week? PIZZA NIGHT! Did I (wisely) go for a small serving of sugar-free vanilla pudding when all I wanted was some full-fat ice cream? Baby, we’re going to Coldstone! This day for me is usually Friday, since I weigh in on Friday mornings. I don’t go balls-out and have a WHOLE pizza to myself or eat an entire 1/2 gallon of ice cream (don’t you doubt for a second that I could, because I would totally be willing to prove it) but I sensibly allow myself to have normal, delicious food without tracking it or worrying about it.
Now, many people disagree with this. They say that if you calorie-bomb for a meal or two, you just have to work THAT much harder to work all of that off. And to that I say whole-heartedly and emphatically, “Meh.” Through this process I’ve learned that if I COMPLETELY deprive myself of the things I truly like, then I will fail. HARD. So a cheat day is right up my alley. After all, this is what’s working for me, not them
WORKING (SOME DAYS) and NOT WORKING (OTHERS): THE GYM
Boy, how I would love to say that the gym is working for me all day, every day. Nope. I STILL struggle to make it to the gym sometimes. I really want to get back to the point in time where the gym was this AWESOME, inspirational, totally productive place for me. Not there yet. Now there are days that I go and I’m happy to be there and I’m feeling productive, don’t get me wrong. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve even had these wonderful moments where I go and do everything to the Nth degree. I’ll go to a Zumba class, then I’ll hit the elliptical for 35-45 minutes, then I’ll get some lifting in, and finally I’ll stretch. That’s a 3 hour day at 24 Hour Fitness for this girl. And I’m happy to do it.
Then there are other days where it’s 4pm and I’ve done nearly everything else on my to-do list instead of go to the gym. I know I gotta go before it gets all cray-cray with people getting out of work. So I’ll put on my shoes. Make a couple pit stops for errands before the gym (looking for ANY opportunity to NOT go) and once I get there, hit the treadmill for 20 minutes, the elliptical for another 15 and be out…maybe without even really breaking a sweat. These days are becoming less and less…but they still happen. And really, I’ve just decided it’s something I need to work through.
This is where having my ACCOUNTABILIBUDDIES comes in handy. I can’t very well tell her to go work her ass off when I haven’t. That just doesn’t fly here. So I’m trying. Really hard, I’m trying.
NOT WORKING: THIS AWFUL WINTER WEATHER
Can someone let whoever is in charge know that I’m SO TOTALLY OVER this weather? I don’t usually mind winter. I’d rather be cold than hot any day. BUT I can’t hike in this shit and I definitely miss hiking. We were so bad about it last summer. I think I went for two short hikes alone and I’m not even sure that we went on a hike at all together (meaning Jacques and I). Considering that it was a big staple for us when we first started dating and BIG part of my initial weight loss, it’s a real bummer that we missed out on a whole summer. Then I remember that last summer was LITERALLY the hottest summer on record and think, maybe we didn’t really miss much after all. Either way, I’m ready for some effing hiking! Bring on SPRING!
**If you’d like to share whatever is it that is “WORKING” or totally “NOT WORKING” for you, I’d love to hear it. I’m always up to try new things!
Cheers to continued success and working hard to reach our goals!
Something I’ve (honestly) been avoiding. I actually got a message from a ‘secret admirer’ about a week ago encouraging me to come back and write. Since only two people read TheyCallMePro, I’ve wracked my brain about who it could’ve been – I asked the only two people who came to mind, who both deny it – and promptly gave up.
January 14, 2013, 12:14am – ProLover (email@example.com <- I’m sure that’s made up) wrote:
No new posts in a long time. We miss you!
Well played, admirer. Well played. WHO ARE YOU?! hahaha I guess it felt a little nice that someone noticed I wasn’t “here.” So I convinced myself to give TheyCallMePro another “go.”
The truth is that this is a hard place for me to be right now. My blog was such a sacred place for me during a really GREAT time in my life. I was losing weight, getting support from some really great people, tracking progress on the biggest battle I’ve ever been part of: my health. And it worked! I lost over 60 pounds, gained an amazing boyfriend, a profound sense of self-love and was fortunate enough to share that with whoever wanted to read and be part of my journey.
2009 was such a great year. Here we are now…2013. At this point I thought I’d be at goal weight – and would have reached it LONG AGO, really. Happy. Healthy. Dedicated to a new body, a new outlook on life.
Reality: I’m starting over.
I know that I’ve had several “HERE WE GO AGAIN” moments over the past couple years. And at the time, I think I meant it and I certainly wanted it…but I’d lost sight of HOW.
“Oh you can totally lose weight eating pizza once a week, EVERY week.”
“It’s just one cheeseburger. And yeah, I’ll have those fries.”
“I went to the gym TWICE this week, sure I’ll have an extra piece of cake.” (Say WHAT?!)
Really, Pro? Did you learn nothing? Apparently not, because here I am doing it all over again. I carry such an immense sense of pain and guilt with relation to what I gave up. I was well on my way to goal weight. So proud of what I had accomplished and AN ACTUAL source of inspiration to a handful of people who have since met – and exceeded! – their own goals.
What a fraud I am.
Jacques has really been great through this whole journey. As all (2) of you remember, he was my biggest supporter the first time around. And that hasn’t changed. He’s never looked at me any differently. He’s never stopped kissing me and telling me that I’m beautiful. The only thing that’s changed is how I RECEIVE the love he gives me. I often pull away or instead of thanking him for a compliment, I’ll look at him like “Oh yeah, BEAUTIFUL. Psh.” That can’t feel good for him – or for me. I’m terrified that if I keep this up, he’ll stop.
When he and I first started dating, I had just gotten out of a very toxic, abusive relationship. Through some very deep introspection paired with my weight loss, I eventually got to a point that I KNEW that what I deserved was so much better than my ex – I deserved a man who would love me unconditionally, no holds barred. Jacques showed me what that meant and in the beginning, I knew that I was worthy of him, of his love.
I’ve lost that. I threw it in a box and tossed it overboard. Or maybe I smeared it on a cupcake and ate it. Lol
I need it back. I need to get back to that profound sense of self-worth, knowing that his love is not wasted. Happy with my waistline and my ability to not blink twice at a 10-mile hike. On a journey to hopefully looking amazing in a wedding dress (and any dress I want, not just the one that’ll “do” with my unfortunate body type). A healthy mother to my children and a good role model for the importance of caring for your body and mind. A partner that Jacques is proud to have, one that is undaunted by adventure and can fearlessly participate in the amazing life that we’ve planned.
I have got to get this out of the way, first:
I am sorry. I’m so fucking sorry that I let this happen. I lost sight of what I was working toward and when things got hard, I gave up instead of pushing forward. I’m sorry that I didn’t find myself worthy of achieving my goals and that my health didn’t take precedence.
And I forgive myself. I need to let this go, stop punishing myself that this happened and actually FORGIVE. It may prove to be the most difficult part of my journey yet…
Being an impatient person I must remind myself DAILY that this will not be a quick process. That it will take time to lose the weight I have gained and that there will be challenges that may seem impossible to overcome. But I must NEVER GIVE UP.
I WON’T GIVE UP.
So there’s that. Confession. Apology. Forgiveness. Resolution to start fresh.
She’s back, bitches.
Last time I wrote, I’d shared our struggle to find a new rental home in Longmont. The market was AWFUL. Listings were one of three things: 1.) in terrible condition 2.) way overpriced 3.) taken before we could get in. Case in point: there was one home that I was particularly excited about; just the right amount of space, right price, good location. I called and made an appointment to see the place for a Monday afternoon – the first day she would be showing it. I called about an hour before I was going to go see the home which was when the owner told me that she had rented it earlier that morning.
We stayed hopeful, looking at houses just barely out of our price range, smaller or bigger than we needed, and we expanded our search area quite a bit…to no avail.
Our original lease had been up in early April but our landlord (who was really the property manager since the owners of the home actually live somewhere in China) LOVED us and had agreed to go month-to-month until we found something. However our luck ran out at the beginning of June when she called to tell us that the owner of the home was pressuring her to get us to sign a new lease. I asked if they would be willing to do a 6 month lease – and she said they weren’t. We weren’t willing to sign another year long lease there simply because we wanted a yard for Ollie.
I had been very good about taking him for walks nearly every day and taking him to the dog park as often as possible. But he’s getting bigger and we just didn’t think it was fair for him to have such a small place to play and grow.
Jacques and I talked long and hard about it – and while we REALLY want to buy a home – the timing wasn’t right. His work had cut his hours back in March to 4 days a week with NO overtime, which means it was a big pay cut for Jacques since normally he had been working 60-70 hours a week. We figured it wasn’t a smart idea to buy a home when we weren’t sure what was going to happen with his job. I was just sure it was the first step to his company laying a bunch of people off – but I was wrong. Thank goodness! He’s since been put back to 40 hours a week, but still no overtime.
I have also been trying to pretend that we wouldn’t plant roots in Longmont. When I moved there, I thought it was kind of awful and boring. However, I did really enjoy the proximity to Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins. It still isn’t really the place I see us living forever and ever, but if his job allows for it and we end up landing there for a few years I would 100% be ok with it.
Since renting hadn’t been working out for us, and buying a house just wasn’t in the cards, we had to make a decision. So I called my mom and asked if we could move in. I have always known that my mom will always keep a place for me in her home, at any point in my life…I just wanted to make sure that bringing my dog and boyfriend would be okay too. The timing ended up being perfect. She had been looking for some help with my little sister – taking her to and from sports practices and hanging out with her during the day, ensuring that she’s not watching “trashy tv.” It does mean a long commute for Jacques (about 30 minutes in the morning, 40 minutes in the afternoon) – we’ve been spoiled, I know many people consider this an “average” commute but we’ve both always lived within 15-20 minutes of our workplace AT MOST.
All in all, it’s doable. Not ideal, certainly. We’re paying a bit of rent to help with extra costs of 2 more people but this will allow us to save a TON of money. The ideal end result being that hopefully in 6-8 months we’ll feel more comfortable about buying a home…wherever that may be.
So here we are. We moved July 1 into my mother’s unfinished basement. There is plenty of room (for everything actually which means we didn’t have to spend more money on a storage unit) and we’re finally starting to make it feel like home. Jacques built us a “closet” which I think is just great. We’re making it work and while it’s challenging, if we can save some money, I think we can deal with this for a few months.
The goal is to not be here longer than 9 months. Ideally we’ll be ready to move sooner than that.
In the mean time, I’m working hard to lose this weight. I’ve been consistently counting calories with MFP and was SO GOOD about going to the gym this week! I even have a free personal training session on Saturday morning…hopefully it will teach me a few new things. I’m really excited and will continue to post progress.
So cheers, to being BACK in Fort Collins, making good financial decisions, and working on fitness!! Woop!
…just some thoughts while at the gym today…
Phew. I made it.
Let’s get started, I guess.
Whoa, I’m already sweating.
Oooh, I want that girl’s legs. And that one’s ass. Yup, I’m here so one day my ass might look like THAT.
I wonder if all the people on the machines behind me are like “Oooh, I’m here so my ass never looks like THAT.” lol Oh well. At least I’m here.
Ok, I’ve been on here a while, that must have been at LEAST 15 minutes. Nope, OH GOD. 4 minutes down. 41 to go. Holy hell.
Why is it so hot in my gym? Let’s crank up the A/C folks.
Still sweating. I’m so cute.
OH MY GOD – why the HELL is the FOOD NETWORK on at the gym right now? Paula Deen just added 2 sticks of butter to that…here I am trying to get thin and all I want to do right now is eat whatever Paula is making.
Avert eyes. Oh look, House is on. I can get down with that.
Have we hit 15 minutes yet? NO?! Only at 11. Save me.
Dang, that Australian actor that plays Chase is FINE. Oooh and Olivia Wilde.
I’m definitely at the gym to look like Olivia Wilde. Bam.
I should do a group class this week. Wait, maybe not. Those people look RIDICULOUS.
Lift legs today? Sure. Why not?
15 minutes yet?? YUP!! 25 minutes down…WOO! That went fast.
Thank you, House.
I really should start covering up the time. This sucks.
Everything is jiggling. So not cute.
I’m here so my ass can look like that girls, so I can look like Olivia Wilde, and that maybe someday everything might not be jiggly.
Yoga when I get home; it’s happening.
Wow, gym and yoga. Way to go, Pro!
That guy is working out in JEAN SHORTS. Really, guy? Really.
Alright almost 500 calories burned…44 minutes down…one more to go.
I have been very successful at tracking all of my meals and workouts on MFP. I was down 3 pounds two weeks ago and gained a bit back last week…a very big thank you to Mother Nature’s Monthly Gift for that one. This week I’m just THAT more determined to hit the gym harder, track everything I eat and lose what I gained last week and then some. I’m FINALLY doing this.
Lots of freckles – eeeesh – and REAL SWEAT, folks. If you’re still cute at the end of your workout, you’re doing it wrong.
Cheers to making this week a good one.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with Pinterest…and if you’re not – WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! (you can find my Pinterest here). Many people aren’t sure what it’s all about but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it too. Collect recipes, decorating inspiration, fun DIY projects – the sky is the limit. Need an “invite”? Just ask!
So admittedly, I’m a foodie. You should all know this by now A girl doesn’t end up with THIS backside by NOT loving food; I mean, really. I “pin” a lot of good recipes – healthy and otherwise. My girlfriend Kaity (who can be found at Kaitlyn’s Ambitions) and I have been busy admiring – and repinning! – each others great recipes and DIY projects when an idea hit us:
Brilliant, right?! Girl’s night in while exploring some of these fab ideas! While we couldn’t decide on a DIY project (which will be amended for the NEXT Pinterest Night), we had no problem deciding on a few recipes to try!! After taking our pups to the dog park, we indulged in a night of tequila, sugar and a girly movie! SQUEEEEEEEE!!!
So first we made a liquor run – and may I say that we got some GOOD STUFF!
This recipe was our inspiration: PINK GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITAS! So delicious. Might be one of my new faves. The store we went to didn’t have pink grapefruit juice, but regular worked just as well!
Next were the TREATS!
Muddy buddies? Puppy chow? Whatever it’s called this was our recipe for tasty Cake Batter Puppy Chow!
All things considered, we were actually pretty good. I’d say we MOST indulged with the margaritas! We each ate probably 3 cake pops and didn’t go overboard. Good thing too, because we both woke up…totally on the same page the next morning with a plan and a goal. Healthy. Pinterest Night was the last hoorah.
She’s my accountabilibuddy – yup, read it out loud – it’s awesome. We’re checking in with each other on a DAILY basis and tracking food on an app that we can both see (MyFitnessPal). I’ll tell you what, knowing that she can see my progress on that app makes me think twice about what I’m putting in my mouth! Yesterday morning we started off on a new, very healthy foot:
Sidenote: egg whites by themselves make me GAG. EW.
It was a healthy breakfast and we’re off to a good start. In fact, I even worked out today with my mom – despite the fact my tummy didn’t feel very well – and I ended the day under my calorie goal. GO ME!
Hope everyone had a great weekend. Cheers to getting back on the bandwagon!! Again…
So last night I had a “moment.” Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Those moments that we’re embarrassed to share with anyone who wasn’t there…because well, saying it out loud just sounds ridiculous.
BEHOLD: MY moment.
Jacques and I were sitting on the couch after dinner last night watching tv and relaxing. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something small move. I looked a bit harder and realized that it was a spider…one that moved VERY quickly.
Before we continue, you should know a couple things about me.
1.) I never overreact. Okay ALMOST never. Okay so I overreact all the time.
2.) Nor do I ever grossly overexaggerate…EVER. Alright that was a lie.
3.) I’ve had this irrational fear of spiders since I was very young. A cousin of mine once told me that they crawl into your ears while you’re sleeping and lay their eggs. Oh my god, are you scared of spiders now too?! RIGHT?!?! Anyway, I don’t know if that’s true or not. It’s probably happened one time in the history of forever, but I’m one of the most gullible people I know. I also know that we swallow a couple each year while we sleep; there are probably hundreds in our houses that we don’t know about – but it’s the brave ones that show themselves that freak me out…those and the ones that don’t look like “normal spiders.” This one was NOT a normal spider.
Let’s move on. So, I calmly told Jacques – and when I say “calmly told” of course I mean “loudly demanded” – that he come over, look at the spider and kill it.
At this point the spider was HAULING ASS around the edge of the coffee table and I was afraid we were going to lose it. It pretty much matched our carpet. Let’s talk about this spider for a moment: it was a whiteish-grey color and LARGE. Even Jacques admits that it was a pretty big spider…
How I imagined the spider:
What the spider was ACTUALLY like:
Anyway, so the spider was doing its creepy crawly spider thing and all eight legs were moving SO FAST… and I was
screaming my head off staying calm demanding that Jacques KILL THE GODDAMN SPIDER ALREADY! *ahem* I really freaked out when we “lost” it – it went under the lip of the coffee table and we couldn’t see it. For like a whole minute before it HAULED ASS to the other side of the coffee table. Ummm, yeah. EEEEEK.
At this point, I started crying. Just a few tears at first. Then like, bawling. So here I was sobbing that Jacques kill the spider NOW and I’m close to full-blown panic mode here. Ollie was running around trying to figure out what the commotion was all about and I was afraid that this freak of an arachnid was going to hop onto him and suck his blood so I kept trying to get Ollie to “SIT! NO, STAY! SIT…OMG OLLIE STAY!!!!” All the while Jacques was busying laughing at me for my ridiculousness AND stalking the spider while I was crying in the corner and finally….
Jacques smushed it. He crushed it. Like *WHAM*thatsadeadspider. Then that’s when the tears really started…I’m not even kidding. I had been so scared of this spider and then MAD at Jacques for laughing at me instead of just killing it – that I cried even harder. I whined about how I needed him to just step up and be my “knight” instead of laughing at me. I knew I was overreacting about the spider…but…
I really should just stop there. I overreacted about the spider. Then I cried because it wasn’t dead. Then I SOBBED because it was dead…but it took too long.
So pretty much, I seriously, completely and so thoroughly embarrassed myself – that I thought “Why not share this with the internet?!”
You’re so welcome.
So I think traditionally butternut squash is used in the fall – in fact, I think most of the squash family’s “prime” season is the fall. However, it’s spring and squash is still delicious and tasty.
We recently made acorn squash with dinner – which was delicious!! Baked in the oven with a tiny bit of butter and brown sugar…delightful. We’ve made homemade butternut squash risotto (recipe found here) a couple times and it was very tasty. We’ve also made a lighter version of of homestyle mac and cheese which cuts out a lot of fat by using butternut squash to make it creamy – and that was a big hit (recipe found here).
As I was looking around for recipes to use some of the leftover squash from the last time we made risotto, I found a recipe for butternut squash pasta sauce. After reading through the ingredients, we decided to give it a try. Here is the recipe, along with some (kind of awful) pics. If you’re a fan of butternut squash, I highly recommend giving this a shot! No tomatoes, chicken broth based with only a bit of milk and cheese. VERY TASTY!!
- 2 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 apple, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup Italian cheese blend (Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place the squash into a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer the squash until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain excess water. Cooked squash should equal 2 cups.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, and cook the onion, garlic, and apple, stirring frequently, until softened and brown, about 15 minutes. Add butternut squash and chicken broth, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat just to a simmer, and stir in the milk and cheese blend. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce has reached desired thickness, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- ***OUR ADJUSTMENTS: We read through some of the reviews of the original recipe (found here) and found that some people had left the “chunks” without using a food processor or mashing it up of any kind. Some people liked the texture, and others didn’t…so we met in the middle. We decided NOT to use a food processor, but rather used a potato masher to mash up most of the chunks. We purposefully left some of them…which we both actually really liked. Also, we both tend to like things with more flavor and a bit more “heat” so we added some cumin, red pepper flakes and a pinch of cayenne pepper. It turned out really good! It’s GREAT leftover as well – in fact, I think I almost enjoyed it MORE the second day. If you read through the reviews, some people made it a sweet sauce (which sounds totally gross to me) by adding brown sugar…but as pasta sauce?! REALLY?! Ick. Also, just really focus on the texture of the sauce as you boil it / come to the end. Some people prefer thicker sauce and some prefer a thinner sauce…the nice thing is that you can simmer it down (or not) to your liking!! Have fun and enjoy
And since it’s been a while since I updated AT ALL…here are a couple gratuitous pics of that Ollie Dog. He’s 5 months now and we just started Intermediate Puppy Class (he was the star student in the Puppy Beginners Class!). He’s getting so big!
As previously mentioned, Jacques and I celebrated Valentine’s Day (more like Valentine’s Weekend) early since he was going to be traveling. Sushi, making a delicious lobster dinner together, homemade creme brulee, flowers and lots of LOVE – in photos:
Whether you celebrated it with your significant other, good friends, family or happily alone – I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s Day and was told how much they mean to they people in their lives <3
I’m back to a point where blogging isn’t really a priority for me. I just don’t think to write about…well, anything really.
Life has been pretty uneventful (except for Ollie of course). Jacques is still traveling. I spend a lot of time at home. I’m working on being more social, I promise!
Jacques got home Thursday night and he’s only staying until Monday – then he’s leaving again for Tennessee for 5 more days. When he’s away, he lives very simply. Lots of frozen dinners, soups, salads, cereal. While he’s home this time, I wanted to make him some really good food (that way, he’ll always want to come home to me!). lol
Yesterday morning, I made a VERY delicious breakfast: Cinnamon-Swirl French Toast! Ooooh it was so good. I got the cinnamon burst bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. and omg, it was cinnamon-y and sooo delicious!
Last night we went to dinner at The Med in Boulder (sooo good) with some really great friends. I had more fun last night than I can remember in a LONG TIME.
Today we’re going to spend a relaxing day at home together, make some homemade marinana sauce and enjoy some lobster and pasta for dinner – oooh, and I think we’re going to use our new creme brulee kit this evening too!!
Tomorrow we will be celebrating our Valentine’s Day since he’ll be gone for the ACTUAL day. He already bought me some delightful roses and I think we’ve got reservations Sunday evening at a French restaurant called L’Atelier – never been but have heard AMAZING things about it. I’m excited…and I’m so happy that Jacques and I get to spend our THIRD Valentine’s Day together.
I’m sure I’ll post about the rest of our weekend soon.
A puppy. I have wanted one since we moved into our townhouse in Longmont. Well, I’ve wanted one since BEFORE that…but it became a real option when we moved here. It was a conversation that was held as our furniture was being placed…and then was repeated probably every month since then.
Jacques was the nay-sayer. Don’t get me wrong…he is an ANIMAL lover. And ALL animals love him. Not kidding – this man could team up with The Dog Whisperer and they’d be one heck of a team. No, it’s not that he didn’t want one…he’s just very – hmmm, practical.
He kept reminding me how much WORK a puppy takes. How much MONEY a puppy costs. YeahYeahYeahSureWorkMoney. I’m sorry…did you just say “PUPPY”…TWICE?! Ahem.
He’s also been traveling. Like, A LOT. He’s been in Tennessee for the better part of the last 8 weeks. I’ve been trying hard to stay busy – working out (at home) here and there. Planning lady dates with some of my favorite girls. I’ve seen my mother quite a bit…
Then I had a break down. I was sad. I was so lonely. I missed my boyfriend. Oh, and my period was about to start so the world seemed to be ENDING. Jacques was supposed to come home on a Friday (after being gone for 2 weeks straight) and he called me the day before to tell me that it was going to be another 6 days before he was going to come home. A few tears were shed – I wasn’t trying to make Jacques feel bad. I knew that he’d rather be here than there…but the more time he spends there, the sooner he can stay home for GOOD. After a long conversation, of apologizing and reminding me how much he loves me…assuring me it won’t be like this forever…he said those magical words:
“This weekend, we can look for a puppy.”
The clouds opened up and angels sang. Of course, Jacques meant that we can start our hunt for a puppy – to me it sounded like this: “This weekend, we’ll bring home a puppy.” Yup. Just like that.
I researched…we didn’t know what kind of puppy we wanted. A great dane? A lab? A mutt? I was kind of going by the theory that “When you find the right puppy, you’ll know.” So I looked at breeders, I looked at puppy rescue adoption events and found out there was going to be a big one at the Petco in South Denver on Saturday morning. I even pre-screened the puppies and fell in love with an 8 week old lab mix – she was brown, fluffy and adorable.
We got down there early and put our name on the list…I think we were 10th maybe? By the time we returned for the event 2 hours later, there were probably 60+ people there, also on the list. I thought for sure we’d be leaving with my little brown fluffball. HOWEVER, she was actually the 3rd puppy to be adopted, right behind possibly the two cutest golden retriever puppies I’ve ever seen. When it was our turn, since she was gone, we hung out with her sister, a little black lab mix…also a fluffball. She was very nervous. It was loud. There were so many people. She didn’t seem too concerned or interested in us. The adoption event holders let us know that our 15 minutes was up and Jacques looked at me and said, “I don’t think this is the right puppy for us.”
I was heart broken. I couldn’t say that I disagreed with him…we didn’t have that right kind of connection with her that I was hoping we’d have. I was just so sad to be leaving without a puppy – but Jacques was definitely right. She wasn’t the right pup for us. However, I have no doubt that she went home with a family that day – and I hope they’re the right family for her.
When we got home, I had an email from one of the breeders I had seen online – …
Yes, a breeder. Let’s address this for a minute. I’ve been hesitant to tell people where we got our Ollie because people are SO opinionated about rescue dogs. The thing is – we tried. I wanted to rescue a dog – bring home an animal who might not find a loving home otherwise. BUT. We drove for an hour an a half to a rescue event and fought 60-70 people…and it didn’t work out for us. Yes, I could have waited longer – chased adoption events all over the state of Colorado – and beyond. I didn’t want to. There are a multitude of reasons I’m happy that we got him from a breeder. I got to meet BOTH his mom and his dad – both of which were well-tempered, loving, BEAUTIFUL animals. I wasn’t rushed with a 15-minute time limit to decide on the pet we will bring into our family and love forever and ever and ever. I know what kind of dog he is – definitively. I have his AKC certification papers meaning that I know that he doesn’t have hip dysplasia, elbow problems or eye issues in his bloodlines. And not that I would ever, EVER give him back, but they guarantee their dogs. I got to meet the people who have been caring for him and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has been well-fed, well-loved and well-cared for. They asked questions to find out what kind of puppy parents we were going to be – I know they care for their animals. So no, we did not “rescue” Ollie…but regardless of where we got him, we love him and he is the right pup for us.
The breeder confirmed that they had 3 male chocolate lab puppies, all ready to go home. One was 8 weeks old and the other 2 were 11 weeks old, all from different litters. Their moms are sisters…so they’re – cousins? Anyway, I made a definite connection with the youngest puppy and Jacques fell in love with one of the 11 weeks old. Both were very friendly, but calm. The third was hyper and playful and didn’t seem to like either of us too much. In the end Jacques left the decision up to me and I decided on the 8 week old.
We stopped by Petsmart on the way home and I gave Jacques the list of puppy names I had been considering. After we were done shopping and before we even got home, we discovered that we had both settled on the same name – Ollie. Perfection!
Meet our little brown boy!
He’s the best!! We couldn’t be happier.
We pretty much just made up the recipe on the fly – and it turned out SO WELL! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…
- Whole wheat crust or uncooked whole wheat dough (we used uncooked dough that was in the refrigerated pasta section of the grocery store but I’m sure boboli would work okay too)
- green enchilada sauce, canned
- 1 large chicken breast, chopped into approx 1″ cubes
- 3-5 peeled, de-seeded, and chopped hatch roasted green chiles (we used med-hot)
- 3 heaping tbsp canned yellow corn
- 2 tbsp chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or quartered
- 2 medium sized roma tomatoes
- 1/2 cup mexican cheese
- 1/4 cup queso fresco
-if you bought uncooked dough let it sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes; then shape dough and put on a pizza baking pan
-preheat the oven to 450* or whatever temp your dough says to do
-season and brown the chicken (only cook partially since it will cook in the oven too) – we used all kinds of seasonings – wing it!
-set chicken aside when finished
-once the oven is preheated, cook un-topped dough partially to avoid soggy crust (the crust we bought had a recommended total cook time of 12-15 minutes so we precooked for about 6)
-while crust is precooking, chop the following: chiles, onions, garlic – we sliced the tomatoes much like you would for an italian pizza but we think we might try chopping them next time…give it a shot!
-in same pan as chicken, slightly sautee onion and garlic…set aside when finished
-when ready, top the pizza:
green enchilada sauce
garlic and onion mixture
-cook for remaining time as directed by your crust instructions
***alternate suggestions: you could also try red enchilada sauce instead of green…another idea would be to put avocado on top of the pizza before serving
-then enjoy!! Woo!
If we ignore a few (minor) details, 2011 was pretty darn great.
Jacques and I moved in together, we have built a home together. We celebrated our 2 year anniversary. We both celebrated our 26th year of life.
I *still* have a job – and while, at times, I cannot stand it…I am able to pay my bills. I have good benefits. I have job security.
In 2011, I showed very little interest in my physical health. Since becoming a work-at-home employee, I have gained only a couple pounds…overall I would say I have close-to maintained my weight. This is better than a big gain – PHEW. But it’s not awesome. In the beginning of the year, I was good about going to the gym but I still ate complete crap. Toward the end of the year, I had another short-lived stint in which I gave P90X a shot. That fizzled quickly.
Sidenote: Tony Horton can suck it.
My mental health is a whole different story. I finally sought the talk-therapy I think I’ve needed for a long time. I’m not sure if I’ve found the right therapist – but she provokes thought and challenges me (most of the time). I think this is something I will continue in 2012.
My self-esteem is in the shitter. Pretty sure “shitter” is a technical term. This is something that I think is directly related to my weight…and needs to be addressed this year. I’m pretty sure last year’s first post was me VOWING to do better in 2011…wooops.
This time I mean it. This time I HAVE to mean it.
Gym. Portion control. Continued mental health care. Positive self-talk (I swear, it makes a difference). I don’t know if goal-weight (145 pounds) is attainable this year…but I would like to get close. I’m going to spend the rest of this week making a solid plan. One that is written down. One that I can be held accountable for. Jacques will hold me accountable. Amanda and Capella will hold me accountable. Kaity and Lindsi will hold me accountable. My mother will hold me accountable.
Maybe that should be 2012′s word: ACCOUNTABILITY. Most importantly, *I* will hold me accountable. This year, I have to mean it.
Jacques is gone for the next 2 weeks (again) so I have a jump start on getting healthy food in the house. I will clean – I like to feel good about my home. I will join a gym. I will re-visit the important nutrition I learned from Weight Watchers – and maybe even rejoin WW for weekly meetings.
This is the year. This is my year. It has to be.
NEW YEAR’S EVE this year was great. We went out to a great little restaurant in Cherry Creek: Piatti’s. Our good friends Claire and Wade joined us. We ate good food, drank great wine…and stayed up past midnight. OMG, right?! It was wonderful.
I took some really great pictures of our NYE but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to get them into the blog (new camera, new process) – so it’ll just have to wait!!