Thursday, June 30, 2011

Westie Wednesday

I guess it's officially Thursday now.  I've not gone to sleep yet though, so it's still Wednesday in my world. I'm actually sitting in the Atlanta airport trying to get back to Smalltown, VA.  I've been trying to get home since 11am Wednesday morning.  It's now 5:04am on Thursday.  EGADS!

Louis has been staying with TEN while I've been in Vegas.  I only packed enough food to carry him through today.  That means that he is going to have to have some fresh chicken, and some other tasty things to tide him over.  I can assure you, he is quite pleased :)

Louis always enjoys his time at TEN's.  TEN walks him much more than I do.  I mean really walks him.  To the point that they get home and Louis takes himself directly to bed.

There was also a terrible thunderstorm in Smalltown, VA while I was away.  Louis is not a fan of thunderstorms, and TEN sent me the following photo of Louis post storm:

Poor little guy :(

I can't wait to get home to see what other fabulous things Mr. Louis has been up to this week!  And also to tell you all about Vegas.  I see some sleep in my future, once I finally make it home, and then I'll tell y'all all about it.

Desperately Seeking Sleep,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Passionate Kiss Burns 6.4 Calories Per Minute

(i'm in Vegas pigging out as this posts.  i felt like i probably needed to be honest about that.)

I've never really enjoyed food.  Meals were usually something I took part in for socialization, honestly.  I guess I got hungry at some point, and usually just ate a plain sandwich or something?  I never gave it much thought.  Why would I?  I was always very thin.

Enter cooking class.  Enter my discovery that I actually LIKE to cook.  Enter TEN, who also likes to cook. 

Yea.  Now I like food.  And that's great, I suppose.  But for the first time in my life I am not sure what to do about this pudge I've acquired.  I don't want to quit cooking, and I don't like exercising.  Therein lies the paradox....(any Prep readers out there??)

I Googled "Easiest Way To Lose Weight".  I hadn't a clue what I would find.  I did like the idea of the treadmill/desk contraption.  Although I'm quite sure my company doesn't have any intention of purchasing it for me :(

(treadmill desk - the woman blogging about this says that after just 4 months she lost 14lbs.  now her biggest problem is trying to eat more.  lucky her.)

So, back to the easiest ways to lose weight.  I found a lovely article from Reader's Digest Health.  It lists 50 ways to lose weight.  Pretty good article.  I don't do many of the things it tells me to stop doing, so I gave myself points for that :)  I did learn a few things though.

For example, do you realize how small portion sizes are?  Because this girl didn't.  And I have a feeling that if I followed them more closely I would lose all the weight I need to.  Granted, I'd be hungry & cranky most of the time.  But I'd be skinny.  Here, have a look:

(An ounce (30 gram) of cheese is the size of four dice.)

(A 3-ounce (85 gram) serving of cooked meat is the size of a deck of cards)

(Two tablespoons of salad dressing is the size of a shot glass.)

In T's world a serving size of cheese squares is as many as I can fit on to my plate before the next person in line starts cutting their eyes at me.  This actually happened last Saturday evening.  Seriously. 

In T's world a filet oscar only comes in the 6oz size.  What am I supposed to do?  Only eat 1/2 of my filet?  Psht!  I don't think so. 

And don't even get me started on the Ranch dressing.

Some of the tips I am actually going to try to integrate into my life are:

**When ground beef was swapped out for mushrooms in lasagna, sloppy joes, and chili, adults consumed 400 fewer calories per day, according to a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study. Researchers estimate that if you sub mushrooms for ground meat in one meal every week, you can lose five pounds in a year.


**Once a week, indulge in a high-calorie-tasting, but low-calorie, treat. This should help keep you from feeling deprived and binging on higher-calorie foods. For instance:

•Lobster. Just 83 calories in 3 ounces.
•Shrimp. Just 60 calories in 12 large.
•Smoked salmon. Just 66 calories in two ounces. Sprinkle with capers for an even more elegant treat.
•Whipped cream. Just 8 calories in one tablespoon. Drop a dollop over a bowl of fresh fruit for dessert.

**Walk for 45 minutes a day. The reason we’re suggesting 45 minutes instead of the typical 30 is that a Duke University study found that while 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most relatively sedentary people, exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Burning an additional 300 calories a day with three miles of brisk walking (45 minutes should do it) could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.

**Bring the color blue into your life more often. There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: Believe it or not, the color blue functions as an appetite suppressant. So serve up dinner on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and cover your table with a blue tablecloth. Conversely, avoid red, yellow, and orange in your dining areas. Studies find they encourage eating.

(if this is what wearing blue does, sign me up!)

**Downsize your dinner plates. Studies find that the less food put in front of you, the less food you’ll eat. Conversely, the more food in front of you, the more you’ll eat — regardless of how hungry you are. So instead of using regular dinner plates that range these days from 10-14 inches (making them look forlornly empty if they’re not heaped with food), serve your main course on salad plates (about 7-9 inches wide).

(use the small plate people.  not the big plate. got it?)

**Serve your dinner restaurant style (food on the plates) rather than family style (food served in bowls and on platters on the table). When your plate is empty, you’re finished; there’s no reaching for seconds.

**Use vegetables to bulk up meals. You can eat twice as much pasta salad loaded with veggies like broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes for the same calories as a pasta salad sporting just mayonnaise.

**Take a walk before dinner. You’ll do more than burn calories — you’ll cut your appetite. In a study of 10 obese women conducted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 20 minutes of walking reduced appetite and increased sensations of fullness as effectively as a light meal.

And finally.  The one that I'm pretty darn sure I'm not going to be able to do.  Ever.......

**Pare your portions. Whether you eat at home or in a restaurant, immediately remove one-third of the food on your plate. Arguably the worst food trend of the past few decades has been the explosion in portion sizes on America’s dinner plates (and breakfast and lunch plates). We eat far, far more today than our bodies need. Studies find that if you serve people more food, they’ll eat more food, regardless of their hunger level. The converse is also true: Serve yourself less and you’ll eat less.

One of my favorite "tips" is to sleep more.  People who sleep more consume less calories.  You think?  My guess is because people don't eat when they're sleeping.  Just sayin....
Do you have any great (okay, i mean easy) tips for dropping a few pounds?  Did you have any idea a serving size was less than what your 1 year old neice eats in 1 sitting?  Do you have a desk treadmill? 
Talk to me :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's Coming Up?

I'm off again today.  My last Friday off for quite a while :(  But that's okay, because there is still lots of FUN ahead!

1. Las Vegas for 5 days - I leave tomorrow for Las Vegas!  Sounds exciting, right?  But it's for work.  And my boss is going.  So.....

2.  Lobsters! - I come home from Vegas on Wednesday, and Thursday night we are going to steam lobsters, shrimp and some other seafood mailed directly to us from Maine with another couple (thank you very much Groupon).  Get ready for some WILD pictures, because the lobsters are being delivered.....


And we are cooking them in my kitchen.  And I had a dream that Louis tried to befriend a lobster that somehow escaped and was on the kitchen floor.  Lord help us all!

3. July 4th at the Lake - Friday we leave for the lake for the July 4th long weekend!  We've ordered some very fancy rafts for TEN and I to use this time:

I love how it's like a recliner, and has a drink holder.  I plan to fill a cooler to put at the end of the dock, and I won't be getting out of this chair all day long :)

4. Cooking class is back!!  Although we won't be meeting every Wednesday anymore (summers are just so busy, it's hard to coordinate schedules every week), we will be getting together every few weeks to cook.  Yipppeee!  Marilyn Monroe will be the hostess for this class.  So excited!

So you see...lots to look forward to!  Not to mention a "Night in Cuba" themed birthday, TEN and I pouring wine at a festival for local winery, a long weekend in Charleston to visit The Real Housewife of Charleston & Mr. Housewife & The Real Baby of Charleston, a summer Cocktail Crawl, a beer festival, a bachelorette weekend, a white party and.....A WEDDING!

Stay tuned...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A 3-year Anniversary Celebration!

Last night was the 3-year Anniversary of the first time our little group got together to play bunco!  I can't believe it's only been 3 years.  So much has changed in that time.  Weddings, babies, break ups, new relationships.  It seems like 10 years ago when D sent out that first evite for bunco.  I didn't even know what bunco was at the time :)

Daisy was our 3-year anniversary hostess, and she suggested that we celebrate with another cocktail swap!  So, it was a Bunco/Cocktail Swap Celebration.  Truth be told, we did more cocktail swapping than we did bunco playing :-o

(Daisy made monogrammed martini glasses for everyone)

(she also included a lei, a pink flamingo stirrer & a copy of the cocktail recipes for everyone)

(the girls)

(The Voice of Reason, me & Ms. Bling)

(Louis spent the day at The Klub, so he was already exhausted.  i think all of the estrogen was more than he could handle.)

(Ke$ha & Daisy)

(i <3 this picture for some reason)

(i was the biggest loser last night, and i won a fabulous prize.  Ms. Bling was the biggest winner, and she also won a fabulous prize!)

(in celebration of our 3-year Anniversary)

Tonight TEN and I have been invited to a dinner party where a private chef will be cooking for us in a friend's home.  I'm quite excited.  I do hope he doesn't cook any fish. 

I don't like fish.  I like seafood, of course, but not fish.  Everyone says to me "oooh...but you haven't had MY tuna (or my salmon, or my ________), after you eat that you will LOOOOOOVE fish".  Only it hasn't worked.  And I'm tired of trying.  It tastes too......well.....fishy, actually.  I do like shrimp & lobster & scallops & crab & even things like alligator.  Just not fish.

Anyhoo, if the fancy pants chef cooks fish I'll just try my best to eat it and smile.  Because I know that is the proper thing to do.  Or perhaps I'll smuggle it into my party pocket and bring it home to Louis :-o

Tomorrow I'm off again :)  And the weather for Smalltown, VA is this:

I plan to spend my day at the pool.

Have a lovely weekend friends!  I'm heading out of town for a few days, but I've got a few posts scheduled to let you know what's on my mind :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Westie Wednesday

Louis tried to befriend a possum last night.  But, we'll get to that later.

Let's talk about Louis' hair appointment on Friday.  The last time he went he was shaved on the back, almost down to the skin, but they left a very long "skirt" (aka furnishings) below.  I was horrified.  It looked like he had a "dog mullet".  Honestly.  It was horrible.

I took Louis in Friday morning and said the following:

"Hello!  Good morning {big smile}.  Please only use scissors on Louis today, and please don't take anything at all off of his back.  We are working on growing that out a bit {big smile}.  Also, if you could trim his furnishings, legs and head up a bit, as they are all a bit out of control.  Louis loves to go on hikes and to play in the yard, and he's just bringing the outdoors in with him these days {big smile}."

And then I left. 

And I was hopeful.

And I shouldn't have been.

Louis no longer has any furnishings.  There is no modesty for my pup at this point.  His willy is visible to all, and he looks like a small pup again.  Much like he did when we brought him home.  Cute as a button, but just not quite right. 

Did I smile too much?

(they trimmed his tail and got rid of the "poof", thank goodness!)

(yes, mrs.mfc, the christmas door mat is still out again this summer...)

(i think Louis just realized that he was exposing himself, and he is embarrassed)

Last night I told Louis that we needed to take some pictures for the blog, to show everyone his new 'do.  He was busy attacking his toy basket at first, and couldn't be bothered.  Or, perhaps he just wanted action shots?

(the aftermath)

Eventually I told him that I would just skip Westie Wednesday this week.  I would talk about myself or something. 

Then he was all about the pictures, of course.

It wasn't long after this that Louis wanted to go outside to make potty.  So, out the side door he went.  I walked out to make sure it wasn't raining.  It wasn't. 

I heard a scuffle, and for a minute I thought that Louis and Sophie (Louis' BFF pup from next door) were playing.  But I realized Louis was outside of the gate.  And I noticed that whatever Louis was trying to play with was NOT very large. was hissing!  EGADS!  A possum! 

Oh yes.  A baby possum. 

But don't be fooled!  Although you may think it was just a baby, and probably looked a little something like this:

You would be wrong.  Because that baby possum was pissed.  It had no interest in being Louis' friend, and looked more like this:

Louis did not want to give up on their friendship.  He was determined.  So, I did what any mama bear does...I grabbed that puppy by the tail and ran back to the side door with him dangling in the air.  Apparently I was screaming bloody murder, because the neighbors all came out to see what the commotion was.  How embarrassing.

And then there was a bat in my chimney.  But that's another story.

Westie Licks,

T & Louis

Westie Wednesday On Hold - Blame Blogger

Westie Wednesday is on hold at the moment.  Blogger won't allow me to insert pictures into my blog today.

I've heard that many people aren't loving Blogger lately. 

Should we all go elsewhere? 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"If you tickle the earth with a hoe she laughs with a harvest." - Douglas William Jerrold

It all started back in March.  I was out shopping, and I saw this:

I've never been much of a gardener, and I said to TEN "do you think I could do it?  Do you think it would work?"

We decided it was worth a try.  I followed the directions to a T, and didn't expect much to be honest.

After a week or so, I noticed some sprouts:

I wish I hadn't deleted the pictures of what happened next!  I know I took them, but I can't find where I posted them anywhere :(  Basically, the window in my kitchen over the sink is a breeding ground for seeds.  They grow at about 20x the rate they grow in other places.  Seriously! 

Pretty soon it was time to move the plants from the "growing container", as I'm now calling it, into pots.  Why did I not plant them in the ground?  I don't know.  I guess because I never really expected anything to grow to begin with! 

(roma tomatoes, cilantro, cayenne peppers)

I now have more cilantro than I know what to do with.  My roma tomato plants are almost as tall as I am, and there are flowers all over my pepper plant.  BRING ON THE SALSA!

I think I also told you all about my Topsy Turvy tomato plant growing apparatus? 

What a success that has been!  We've already enjoyed THREE tomatoes from that plant:

And, lookie here at what I noticed this morning:

Since the Salsa Garden and the Tospy Turvy were giving me a run for my money, I decided to actually buy a pack of seeds.  You know, the kind that you purchase at True Value for $1? 

I purchased some cucumbers, some snap peas and also some basil.  We planted the cucumbers in the "growing container" first.  Look what we have on the back patio now!

(yes, i have a monster cucumber plant growing out of a pot.  don't you laugh at me!  i have approximately 11 cucumbers growing on it.  see.  not so crazy after all)

Currently the "growing container" is bursting with snap peas that are ready to be planted in a pot.  I plan to do that this evening, and then it's time to plant the basil seeds!

At the expense of sounding like a complete did I not realize how simple this process is?  How did I not realize how inexpensive it was to grow your own vegetables?  I feel like such a heel for shelling out so much money for cucumbers and tomatoes and.......SALSA!

In order to assure that I have an endless amount of vegetables moving forward, I've made some adjustments to the back yard:


But I have decided that my annual bed (which hasn't had annuals planted in it for 2 years) will be the site of my new garden :)   I want to plant carrots and potatoes and corn there.  You know, those vegetables that probably wouldn't flourish in pots.  Or, would they?  Hmmm....