Halloween Party Numero Uno

>> Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last Saturday, Jason & went to our friend Cat's house to go to her annual Halloween party. There's usually quite a few people there with yummy food. It's always a good time! I only have one picture of me from the party, but I'll have some more after this weekend. This is not an attractive picture of me, so I don't know why I'm posting it, but here you go:

You may notice that Jason is absent from this picture. That's because he didn't dress up! Wimp! In case you're wondering, I'm a tragic beauty queen. I thought it was going to be colder, so I didn't put on a dress. My sash says "Miss Diagnosed." It fit me like it was meant for someone a little shorter, like maybe someone who was an average height of oh, say, 5'4. And since I'm 5'10, it's a tad on the short side. All the more tragic. I know.........I'm awesome.


Pear update

>> Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seems like our yard pears have disappeared just as Jason said they would. Guess he was right. Who woulda thunk it?


Dinner at last!

After putting our table together on Saturday afternoon, Jason I went to a Halloween party. This meant that we didn't even get to eat dinner at our new table! Strike one for Saturday. On Sunday, we slowly woke up (after Jason practically slept until noon) and ate some breakfast in the living room. Jason moved on to go work on his truck at his parent's house while I stayed home and did some laundry and cleaning. You know, the FUN stuff. When Jason goes to work on his truck, I know to never expect him home until around 10 or 10:30pm. He just gets so into his work that he doesn't think about anything else. So, strike two for Sunday. On Monday, I did my usual grocery shopping and decided what to make for dinner.....yummy pecan crusted chicken. I even bought some fall-ish flowers for our pretty table to set the mood! Jason came home after work, helped me make dinner and then we promptly walked right up the stairs to watch TV. As soon as we sat down, we both realized that we had a dining table that we could actually eat at. Well, we were already upstairs so we just said we'd do it the next day. Strike three. At this point, you'd think we bought a useless piece of furniture. Finally, last night, Jason & I had our dinner at the table. Jason even got out placemats so our plates wouldn't scratch the table. How sweet is that? The funny thing is what I made for our first dinner at the table: turkey loaf. Talk about the most boring possible thing to make! But, it turned out alright and we enjoyed dinner TOGETHER.


Hooray for the little things!

>> Sunday, October 26, 2008

Last week, Jason & I bought a dining room table. Unfortunately, we had to wait a week and a half to get it. The furniture store called me late Tuesday night to tell me that the table was in so I told them we would pick it up on Wednesday after Jason got off work. So I met Jason and we loaded up our table (unassembled) and our 6 chairs (assembled, thankfully) between our two vehicles. Assembling the table had to wait that night since we had a meeting with our insurance agent at our house. That took half the night so we thought we'd do it on Thursday. Long story short, Jason & I couldn't put it together until Saturday. So without further ado (and certainly not much fanfare), I present our dining area before, complete with ugly light fixture from the previous owners, kitty feeding station and Pottery Barn boxes that I keep saying I will use for storage.

And here's the dining room table sans Pottery Barn boxes which are now in the living room. You can't tell from the picture, but the ugly light fixture isn't centered over the table. It really doesn't matter because it will get replaced anyway. It's just nice to finally have a table to eat dinner at. Hooray!


All aboard, bargain shoppers!

>> Thursday, October 23, 2008

Being a true bargain hunter myself, I've found several websites where you can find out lots of great deals. Sadly, no one is paying me to endorse these (I have no idea why....), but out of the goodness of my heart I present these to you "secret" sites to you, my fellow bloggers.

The Bargainist

This is my favorite of them all. They update their site daily, bringing you coupon codes and sales from every store imaginable. It's always a good idea to check them out as often as possible since sometimes the codes don't last more than a day.


This website has a plethora of online coupon codes and sometimes printable coupons. All you need to do is type in the website or store you are looking for and see what coupons pop up. It even has the users label whether the coupon was successful or not, so that you don't waste your time.

This site is sort of like a giant outlet mall online. They carry a lot of name brand things at outlet pricing.

Free Shipping
This site carries free shipping codes to over 800 stores. This should come in handy with the holidays coming up!

Now, I know that the true bargain hunters are always out on Black Friday to get the good deals. Personally, I do like to shop on Black Friday, but I refuse to get my arse out of bed to be in line at a store by 4:00am. Just. Too. Early.

But, for all the troopers out there who want in on the deals beforehand, check out these:
http://www.bfads.net and http://www.blackfriday.gottadeal.com

But wait! The fun doesn't end there! Some retailers wait until the Monday after Thanksgiving to cut their prices. Thus, "Cyber Monday" was born. To get the scoop on these deals, go to:
http://www.cybermonday.com or http://www.bestcybermondaysales.com

I hope that these help some of you out! Happy shopping!!!


Dad will be so proud!

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I remember when my parents got a wok to try out some Chinese cooking. Specifically, I remember when Dad went wok-crazy! I swear we had stir-fry at least 4 nights a week for months. (Maybe I'm exaggerating a little here.) But, I do remember that whatever was left in our fridge went into the wok. Everything. As I have previously posted, I was a really picky eater so you can imagine the piles of stuff that was left on my plate. I probably only ate the meat. Anyway, memories of our stir-fry days came back last night when I decided to make some stir-fry myself. Since I'm a much better eater, I didn't have to be as picky about the ingredients. All I did was marinate some chicken in a little olive oil, ginger root, low-sodium soy sauce and garlic for an hour. Then, I threw the chicken, a little garlic, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms and green onions in my pan (sadly, I have no wok......hint, hint) and stir-fried away! The result was this yummy concoction:

So then, we needed some nice brown rice. I popped some in the microwave for 90 seconds and walked away. All of a sudden, there was a loud POP! Jason & I found ourselves on the ground ducking for cover from a drive-by! As we picked ourselves up off the floor, we discover that I just didn't read directions. There's a reason that you are supposed to vent the rice:

If you don't vent your rice, it explodes in your microwave!!! Luckily, I had a spare package of rice to save us and we were able to enjoy our yummy dinner together. Here's to you Dad for inspiring me to stir-fry on my own!


Who knew?

>> Thursday, October 16, 2008

Last night, or should I say all day yesterday, I made a healthy version of lasagna. I've never attempted lasagna before but I figured it couldn't be too hard. I even made the tomato sauce from scratch which included a mixture of roasted tomatos, carrots, sweet potatos, onions and garlic. Surprisingly, it turned out really good. I was a little worried when I had to put cut carrots, celery and mushrooms in the lasagna layers, but it was delish. Jason asked me to please leave out the cut carrots because he likes them crunchy, not mushy. I couldn't care less whether my carrots are crunchy or mushy. Celery, however, needs to be mushy. The whole process took HOURS. It was so worth it.

During the lasagna layering process, I discovered something interesting: I actually like cottage cheese. For years (yes, YEARS) I have turned this stuff away from my mouth because the texture looks gross and plus, who really wants to eat sour milk anyway? Turns out, I do. It was one of those moments that I realize that I have grown up. I'm not a kid anymore that just decides I hate food because it looks yucky. My parents will tell you that I was a very picky eater. Nothing was ever made special-order for me, but Mom always cut the onions really large so I could pick them out. After I was done with dinner, there was always this pile of stuff that I deemed inedible on my plate. Some of the things that I have now decided to eat that I despised as a child are avocados, some onions (provided they aren't raw), pico de gallo, roasted peppers, brussels sprouts and spinach. Now, I can proudly add cottage cheese to my "edible" list. Mom will be so proud.


Yummy banana bread!

>> Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I had some bananas that were getting too old, so I decided to try my hand at banana bread. I found a clean eating version in my new favorite cookbook, The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook. The results were wonderful, if I do say so myself! Here's the recipe for those who are interested:


1 cup all-pupose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour or flour of your choice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 egg whites, beaten until fluffy
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup buttermil or skim milk soured with 1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 Tbsp grated orange zest
Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour.
2. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another medium bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy. Prepare soured milk at this time if using instead of buttermilk. Then pour bananas, buttermilk (or soured milk), applesauce and vanilla into a large bowl.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just blended. Fold in egg whites, then add walnuts, raisins and grated orange zest. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes.

~Makes 10 servings

Nutritional value per serving:
Calories: 211; Calories from Fat: 32; Protein: 5g; Carbs: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 17g; Fat: 3g; Sodium: 34mg

Here's what I used:

I used Oat bran flour for the flour of my choice. I also soured my skim milk rather than buy buttermilk that would never get used. I only had cinnamon applesauce so that went in instead of plain applesauce. It took about 2 bananas to make 1 cup. I think that next time I make this, I will add a little more banana. Although I loved the bread, I think it could use a little more banana flavor. Here's my yummy bread (don't mind my horrible photography skills):


What do you do with 30 rotten pears?

According to Jason, you throw them in the backyard so that birds can feed off them and the remains will naturally mulch our yard. So far, no birds. So our backyard may look like this for awhile:



>> Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jason & I have been looking for a dining room table for a few months now. We found one we really liked back in August, but it couldn't be delivered until mid-October. Plus, they didn't even have a sample of the chairs on the floor. So, we decided to keep looking around for something else. Up to this point, we were interested in a glass-top table, but weren't able to find glass-tops anywhere. After awhile, the pub-height tables caught our eye. I started searching Craig's List and low and behold, we found a table that we could live with! The downside? The table is 40 minutes away, it's 1 year old and the owner wants $900 for it! You've got to be kidding me, right? Rather than go try and bargain with this guy, Jason & I went searching on our own. We found the EXACT SAME table (brand and color!) for $200 less! The icing on the cake? It's just a couple miles down the road! I'll post pictures when it comes in two weeks from now. Hooray for Sunday deals!


Giant redfish disguises itself as bait-sized perch!

Yesterday, J, his brother & his Dad went fishing down in Port O'Connor. Now, some of you may know that I attempted a full day of fishing about two years ago. You may also remember that shortly after catching a hardhead, I proceeded to feed the fish in my own way. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to wait for those fish to show up because I had some serious "sleeping" to do back on land. This year, we decided to do two half-days rather than one long day. I was very nervous for about two weeks. So, I put the patch behind my ear the night before, and I did great Friday afternoon! The day was kind of a bust, though. Instead of catching tons of Redfish, we caught their friends, the Piggy Perch. There were also a few dogfish mixed in for variety. After about 4 hours of fishing, we went back in for some food and sleep. We ate a ton of fried shrimp and got some zzzz's. Then, on Saturday morning, we got back in the boat to try again. The waves were definitely a little rougher. My stomach decided that it didn't like it, but I put that organ in check and told it to stay put! We fished our little hearts out, but alas, no Redfish. I think there were 1 or 2 Redfish caught that day that we knew of. Every guide was stumped, but I had it figured out. The Redfish must have evolved and created some sort of "changeling" property. I believe that all the Perch we caught (and that was quite a bit!) were really Redfish in disguise. Unfortunately, no one wanted to hear that theory. So, after another 4 solid hours of fishing, we boated our happy butts right back to land. No trophys to be had, no fish to eat later on...........NOTHING! And of course, there are no pictures from this grand event since there was really nothing to see. Even though we came back empty-handed, I accomplished something. I made it for 2 half-days without feeding the fish. Now, that's a good reward!


Why Should I Blog?

>> Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I have contemplated blogging for some time now. I always thought it would be a great way to document my life and all my shortcomings and achievements. After reading some interesting blogs, I have decided to give it a go. My goal for this blog is to hold myself accountable for accomplishing all my goals........in fitness, health, clean eating and home improvement! Mostly, this blog will serve as a journey through my everyday life. Have fun reading!


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