Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Do you have a vice? Mine is coffee. Not fancy flavored coffee with steamed milk (it makes my tummy hurt).

But I like it light and sweet. My perfect cup is regular drip coffee from the Mr. Coffee maker with two packets of Splenda and 2 tsp CoffeeMate creamer...yes the powdered kind. Not classy. Not cool.

This is the way I've been drinking it since college. I've tried to break up with the light and sweet and I am left cranky and turning to diet soda for my fix and it's just not pretty.

The only thing is now that I'm a lady in her 40' teeth have been looking hella yellow. I used to do the Crest whitening strips but my teeth have become sensitive.

So, I should quit. But the thought of not having coffee in the morning is not pretty. What to do?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Annoying Ramblings

Do you roll your eyes when celebrities say that breastfeeding is their secret to getting back their pre-baby weight?

Uuuhhh...I breastfed for 15 months each son and the lowest I saw my weight go was 157 lbs. when Koo was ~6 months and was around 165 lbs. and my feet, knees, and back were hurting so bad I would have to take up to six Advils per day to make it through the day.

I was just visiting a friend who has three beautiful girls from a few months to the oldest a four year-old. She feels embarrassed to not have lost weight or made time to exercise.

Hello!!! I had to give her a reality check that just getting enough sleep and keep your babies safe and loved should top anything else. She is beautiful. She is a nursing mother loving on her kids. She doesn't have to be on tour or be in a bikini for a magazine shoot-take your time and do what you can.

Then I reminded her Koo was three before I even got back volumptuous body if you will to Weight Watchers because I still ate like I was nursing.

We hugged and laughed and I got to hold her delicious baby with the yummiest thighs and cheeks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nerf Board!!!

The boys wanted a target board for their Nerf guns. I made this for them out of felt and baised tape. They are loving it.


Yours Truly ran a 10k race yesterday and guess what? While my friend J aka the Hare and I (the Tort) were waiting for the awards to be announced (she was the top 2 women finisher). She's hella fast.

We were just turning to leave and then they called my name. What the hell? I guess I placed 3rd in my age group of 40-49 (there were eight women in this age group). I finished in 1 hr 3 minutes. This was a small race ~500 participants.

Let me be the first to say I have never gotten a ribbon for running other than what they give every participant. I know this was a smaller race but it was not ever on my radar to place anywhere. I was so surprised, I didn't realize what my friends were screaming about. They started laughing so hard at my shock.

It felt pretty nice and while I know this is not likely to happen again...for this to happen just once is pretty neat-o.

Oh and the second best part was when we asked a gal to take a picture of the Hare and I, she told me she tried but couldn't catch me. ME. So bazarro.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

...and this too shall pass

I tear up when I hear these words. It is so comforting because it means hope to me. As we grow older and more aware of our surroundings, it seems like those around you are going through a tough time...

It was my family last year. Last year this time, I found out I'd had mononucleosis for a couple of months and so did my lovely. This alone would be not be difficult but the fact that it manifested through my skin and causing the most painful, itchy, pussy-looking skin for six months was crazy.

And I would chat in my head at times when I thought I couldn't stand it anymore that IT WILL PASS. I didn't believe it last August. It was a very low, low point. In addition to nutritional supplements, I was taking: (2) Allegra, (8) Benadryl tablets, (4) Clorotabs-per DAY. And I was creaming myself up with every anti-itch creme/lotion 24-7.

Today, I wanted to post a message of hope because I don't have any open sores!!! As long as I stay healthy, my body won't go on attack mode and reve up my immune system to fully arm for war and attack my body.

Take the time to take care of your body. I hope whatever you are going through shall pass. Today, I am grateful and I will not be critical of the body God gave me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I went to the big city near our little town about 2 hours away and bought some thai basil from an Asian market. I was planning to make Thai curry and adding some to make the dish complete.
However, I realized only I liked Thai curry and since I can't eat it right now, I was going to waste $1.50 in delicious basil.
I turned to the internet to find out how I can make my basil last until this weekend when I'm making pho-a Vietnamese beef soup dish that is my lovely's favorite meal.
Here's what I did: trim any leaves at the bottom. Clip the end of the stem (1/2 inch). Place in 1/2 inch water in a mason jar. Prick a clean bag with a toothpick (~10-15 holes).
Cover the leaves and place on your counter. Change water daily. I should have taken a before picture of my wilting leaves which have now perked up. Let's hope this will last until the weekend.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well looky here...

So excited. Look what I found in excellent condition at the Salvation Army?! A Singer Overlock/serger!!!
The best thing, it was $24.50!!! Sergers are very hard to find used. Everyone had a sewing machine but if you had extra money back in the day, you'd pair it up with a serger. A serger makes your fabric not fray. It pretties it up. I have only come across a serger twice (until today) in all my thrifting and it was $245 at a thrift store.
I just have to clean her up, lube her, and get to projects. Gem of a find.

Sight Words

Big brother helping Baby brother with his Kinder sight words. Very patient. Very encouraging. Tears to my eyes.
Sight words are words Kinders should recognize by the end of the school year. Big brother wanted to make sure Baby brother will make it to 1st grade.

Simply Fudgy Brownies

This recipe rocks!!! According to my boys. They loved it. I haven't tried it because 1) I break out if I eat chocolate 2) I gain weight just smelling it...
Now here's why I heart this recipe, it doesn't require 2 sticks of butter. There's a lot of brownie recipes out there but I don't make it much because it takes a ton of butter.
But, it's really easy. So easy, Koo put most of this together (I still do the eggs because I figured most folks don't like shells in their brownies). 'Nough said. Here's the recipe:
Simply Fudgy Brownies (adapted from Cooking Cooking Book 2003...yes, same book I got for $0.50).
1/4 baking cocoa
1/2 cup oil (we used canola)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (but we used 3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
ground nuts (optional)
or whatever topping you like (we put a little sprinkle of toffee bits in this batch)
In a small bowl: baking cocoa & oil. Mix well.
In a big bowl: whisk eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, flour, salt, and the above cocoa/oil mixture. Mix it all together until fully blended.
Now is the time to fold in your bling. I didn't. Pour into 8" x 8" greased baking pan. (We sprinkle minichips and toffee bits on top).
Bake at 325F for 27-32 minutes depending on if you like it gooey or crunchy. We took it out right at 30 minutes.
On a "keep it up" moment, I woke up so sore and thought about hitting the Advil so I don't look like an even older lady, I almost bailed out on working out.

Bob's Kettlebell workout yesterday followed by a 30 minute hills run outside did me in. I was planning on doing the workout again but I was so sore (as before mentioned) I told myself "just run for 30 minutes" any style. I was thinking if I lived in the Biggest Loser house, would Bob let me off of exercise the next day after his last chance workout? NO. WAY.

I popped onto and got my "Bachelor: After the Show" show dish and got my run on for 30 minutes. So proud of myself. It actually made my soreness feel better.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Potato Rolls

What do you do when you have mashed potato leftover and not enough gravy left?

Dig through your recipes and discover you have everything for potato dinner rolls. Wanna make some so you have afterschool treats for your kids? Here's there recipe (adapted from Country Cooking 2003 book I got from a garage sale from $0.50).

7 to 8 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 heaping TBSP instant yeast (SAF brand)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening or butter
2 cups very hot milk
1/2 cup very hot water
1 cup warmed mashed potatoes
2 eggs

Mix everything together in Kitchen-Aid mixer with hook attachment. Adjust flour or water depending on if the dough looks dry or too wet. Mix for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic looking.

Remove hook and scrape any dough from sides to form a big dough ball at the bottom. Spray with Pam cooking spray and cover with cloth and leave it alone for 1 hour or double in size. Oh yeah, and don't put somewhere near a draft i.e. open window.

Punch down dough and roll into balls and place in greased baking dish. The size of the rolls depends on how big your balls are. I like mine to fit all nicely in a 15 x 10" pan so I make them big.
Cover and raise for 40-60 minutes. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve these baby up with your favorite jam.

Bob Harper's Kettlebell Workout

I know you are tired of hearing about Bob Harper. I feel slightly like one of the contestants last season "Jennifer" who was obsessed with Bob Harper.

I recently got a 10 lb. kettlebell at Walmart. It's been the BEST single exercise equipment I have ever bought (thanks to a gift card!!).

As I was going through Target yesterday, I stumbled on Bob Harper's Kettlebell workout. It was like peanut butter and jelly. My kettlebell paired with my favorite trainer. And it was on sale for $6.48 (down from $12.99). Even better right? But wait, at check out, it rang up $3.88!!

I just finished the 50 minute workout and it was wonderful. It's hard but very dynamic and it didn't feel like 50 minutes. I highly recommend you getting a kettlebell and coming over and workout with me. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

At one point, I kept thinking about the Saturday Night Live skit where Christopher Walkins kept asking for more cowbells in a musical jam session. But I kept saying "more kettlebell...I need more kettlebell". Don't know this skit? Go to You Tube and bust a gut. I would link it here but my arms are tired from swinging kettlebell for 50 minutes.

Get your kettlebell on folks.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am sadden by all the folks around our country struggling to make ends meet. I just watched a story on Yahoo! about a family of six struggling to make ends meet after the husband gets laid off.

Piles of bills. Not enough money coming in to pay the bills. Growing up my story is not different from this family. Except we did not have bills.

I've written about growing up poor. Here's the recap: Immigrant parents with little to know grasp of the English language and five little kids about a year apart. We lived in cramped apartments until I was in 7th grade when we moved into a 900-square foot little house (which I still love and have dreams about still living in to this day).

Tiny. Little. Rooms. Here's what my parents did. My mom worked as a seamstress for a mom and pop operation with no health insurance at minimum wage (~$3/hour). My dad worked as an outboard mechanic for $4/hour (he drove an hour each way to get to this job). At nights, my dad would clean two laundramats from 11pm to 1am. Most nights, my older sister and I would rotate going to help my dad depending on our homework load. I would be tired at school the next day.

In addition to all this, my parents cleaned a huge restaurant and bar at 5am on the weekends and take us with them. I remember being really good at vacuuming underneath the booths. Messy and gross under there. In addition, my older sister and I would be watching our younger siblings.

We always had enough to eat. We didn't feel insecure about our place in helping our family. When winter would come, my folks take a few nights out to the month of November to go squid fishing off the pier. We would freeze and eat squid during the winter months. I still can not get excited about squid to this day having to eat so much squid as a child.

But, we all pitched in. We struggled but we had no debt. Where am I going with all this? Back to the story, it just reminded me of how hard my folks worked just for us to survive. They still work as a seamstress and a boat mechanic, but they have saved up. They own their own home- free and clear, drive safe paid-for cars, and they get to travel. I am proud of them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I have a Mondo Headache. Jaw ache. Check.

Forehead throbbing. Check check.

My eyes hurt because if it. Don't you hate it when a migrane stops your day?

I'm going to take two Advils and crawl on the couch.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Trip Around the World Quilt

I made this yesterday morning. Cut, sewed, and binded in about five hours. Not a difficult quilt. I do not do any fancy quilting. I basically stitch-in-the-ditch around the border. This is for my friend Ro's baby on the way. I'm so excited for her. I still have to get burp cloths, bibs, and pillow done.
Back to the quilt, it's a really easy pattern from the "Quilt in a Day" by Eleanor Burns series. This is my fourth I've ever made so it definitely gets easier. I like square designs. I don't sweat being perfect, in fact I ran out of green fabric so I had to sub in a different green. I'm a huge believer in getting done, not being perfect.
I really hope her baby will enjoy laying on it, drooling on it, or the ultimate, if it becomes his favorite stinky blankies. My boys still drag along their stinkies (why stinky? Because it's a sad day when they actually let you wash it and by then it's been two weeks overdue-eeewwwhh).