Friday, December 31, 2010

Rest in Peace, "Rosie"

Geraldine Hoff Doyle - July 31, 1924 — December 26, 2010

Geraldine Hoff Doyle, a World War II factory worker whose bandana-wearing image in a wire-service photo is said to have been the model for the woman depicted in the 1942 "We Can Do It!" poster, has died. She was 86. The iconic wartime poster became an enduring symbol of women's power from the Rosie the Riveter era.

Rest in Peace, Ms. Doyle.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post-Yule Blues

Feeling a bit blah today, guess it's the post-holiday blues setting in. Yeah, I know, it's still technically the "season" but once Christmas is over I'm pretty much done with the holidays. *shrug*

How was everyone's Christmas? We all had a fabulous day, filled with family, friends and, of course..presents! Santa brought my whole family Snuggies, now I'm just hoping the weather stays cool enough for us to use them!

After breakfast the kids went off to visit their respective dads and Chip and I headed to the beach. Nothing says Christmas like Mojitos oceanside!

Things have been so busy around here, I forgot to tell you that I lost almost 2 pounds again this past week! I'm less-than-one pound to halfway which means that JC starts weaning me off their food and onto my own. Yikes! I admit to being nervous about this but I'm sure I can handle it, especially since I have 100% support from Jenny through maintenance and beyond. I need the accountability, no doubt in my mind that's the main reason I'm succeeding this time!

I'm going to do some shopping this morning, maybe getting out and spending a few dollars on myself will restore my cheer, what do you think? *wink*

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We spent yesterday afternoon decorating our Ormond Beach house...

We picked up a huge set of this china for $10 at a local thrift store!

Our little "Charlie Brown" tree..

Beren thinks Snowballs & beer are the perfect winter dessert!

After dinner we lit the fire pit..

Basking in the glow...

What I woke up to find this morning..

Hmm...isn't that my seat?

Have a Beauty-Full Sunday,

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the Mend..and in the 50's!

Thank you so much for all of your healing thoughts and cyber-soup, they worked! By Wednesday afternoon I was feeling so much better, was able to participate fully in Kali's birthday celebration!

After spending the morning some quickie housekeeping, I met the Birthday Girl, her beau and my dad for lunch at a wonderful local Cuban restaurant, Las Vegas. Keeping in mind my fragile tummy, I ate a delicious bowl of chicken soup and a piece of plain Cuban bread. Mmmmm..just what the doctor (or nurse) ordered!

I then parted with the family and went shopping for the celebratory feast. Kali requested deli food which in our family means only one thing: Gino's Italian Market. I'm a regular shopper there, try to stop by every week or so to take advantage of their great prices on fresh meat, cheese, and sometimes just to "window shop" in the bakery.

This particular day I spent a good amount of time at the deli counter..Provolone and Salami and ham, oh, my! Along with Italian bean salad, macaroni salad & some fresh loaves of bread, a feast was in the making! The best part of the trip was the special attention I got from the elderly butcher who insisted that I sample everything I purchased and when I protested, accusing him of making me fat, he exclaimed, "I lov-a the way-a you look! Don't worry 'bout it!" God, how I love Italian men..

One last cruise by my favorite area of the store..but nope, no vino for me today..sigh..

Eschewing my Jenny Craig meal just this once, I joined my family in the consumption of our delicious moderation. Small sandwich, bite of bean salad, but when it came to dessert, I was not passing up the Cassata Cake!

I had a small slice that, seriously, was worth the hour on the treadmill it cost me. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff was fantastic!

So, birthday celebration and tummy troubles behind me, I awoke Thursday morning ready to return to work..but first, my JC Consult. I am thrilled to report that I have broken through the 160's and weighed in at 157.6! Yippee!!

Well, dear readers, I really should get off the computer and finish a few things around the house. Beren and I are headed up to our other home for the weekend, am hoping it's nice & chilly up there so that we can light the fire pit and do some serious cuddling.

Have a Beauty-Full Day, TGIF!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Need a Nurse!

Wow, I have really had a streak of bad luck in regards to my health lately! Last week was the UTI, this week it's a stomach flu! It started on Sunday - chills, fever, vomiting, etc..started to let up a bit yesterday afternoon but am still not able to keep anything substantial in my stomach. YUCK!! I have a high pain tolerance and can handle most illness but am not good with tummy troubles, not good at all! The only upside to this whole thing is that I've lost 2 pounds, living on crackers and ginger ale with do that to you. Unfortunately I'm sure that weight will find it's way back to my body once I recover and resume normal eating.

I'm going to take another day of rest, am hoping I am fully recovered soon as today is my little girl's birthday - 26 years old! ..shaking head...How is it possible that I have a daughter that old? Happy Birthday, Kali!! xoxoox

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

P.S. Lucifer is doing his best to provide comfort during my "time of need;" there's nothing quite like kitten purrs to heal body & soul, you know!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Presents for Me!

My weigh-in on Thursday wasn't earth-shattering, only lost .50 pound, but as long as the scale continues to move in the right direction, I'll take it! I'm at 160 even now, can't wait to get into the 150's!

Yesterday I took myself shopping, hoping to find a new pair of jeans and maybe a cute top or two. JCPenney had a big sale and while I was unsuccessful in the jeans department, I came away with some great deals on shirts (in a size smaller, thank you very much!) and also visited the lingerie department for some pretty new things. *wink* While I was there I got a bra fitting, as suspected I've gone down a size in that area as well. I'm not complaining, am happy to lose fat wherever it decides to leave me!

In addition to new goodies for myself, I also finished my holiday shopping for everyone else, logging over 10,000 steps in the process! Now I can relax and turn my focus to wrapping, and baking, and cooking, and the multitude of little things that go into making a festive holiday.

Hope all is well with you all and that you're staying strong with all of the sweet temptations out there at this time of year!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day of Rest

Idle Productivity
Leo Daily Horoscope

You may feel particularly lazy and distracted today as you attempt to fulfill your usual obligations. At some point during the course of the day, you will likely recognize the futility of your efforts and put aside your agenda in order to focus on more relaxing pursuits. Your choice to unwind today may prove to be a boon to you where your responsibilities are concerned as it can afford you the time you need to recover your strength and enthusiasm. This can be a wonderful time to focus on activities that allow you to nurture and pamper yourself. Whether your idea of luxury is to settle in with a novel or hike through the woods, you can find ways to make the most of your laid-back mood.

Rest can help us become more productive because it affords us an opportunity to regain our strength and clear our minds of thoughts that distract us from our purpose. As we unwind, our usual energy and enthusiasm return, readying us to face the next round of worldly challenges. Though we may seem to be doing little when we engage in activities that are purely relaxing, we are actually recharging ourselves. And breaks are an important part of the cycle of achievement because without them we would not be able to sustain our enthusiasm for the duties before us. Each time we refresh ourselves, we unconsciously reaffirm our commitment to our aspirations. When you indulge your lazy feelings today by relaxing, you will prepare yourself to prevail over the challenges yet to come.

I stayed home sick yesterday, ended up at the doctor's office with a nasty UTI. Ouch! Sometimes being a girl is not fun! This is not the time of year for such things, either, the hustle & bustle of the holiday season does not allow for illness! As much as I wanted to scurry around and use the day for productive things, my body had other things in mind. So, I took my meds, filled a water bottle and laid on the couch, napping and reading for most of the day. By evening, I felt well enough to take Loki on a short walk and do 40 minutes on my treadmill, albeit at a slower pace than usual.

I'm much better today, thank you antibiotics! I'm still going to take it easy and give myself time to recuperate, sometimes the best thing we can do is just sit down and listen to our bodies.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season

I was on vacation the week of Thanksgiving, returned to work this past Monday. While I stayed mostly on program throughout the holiday and following days, I did get a bit lazy in my eating & exercising so I was concerned about my weigh-in. (I changed the day to Thursday because that works better for my schedule, by the way). Oh, and then there was the nasty time-of-the-month water bloat working against me, ugh!!

I hopped on the scale with trepidation, only to find that the numbers weren't as bad as I expected: 160.8. So, I gained 2 ounces, big deal! Sure, I would rather have lost but I'm not going to complain. According to my bathroom scale, those 2 ounces are already gone so I'm sure to see happier numbers at my consult next week.

The weather has finally cooled off here, it's a brisk 57 degrees here in the tropics. *grin* I know my northern friends want to kill me for writing that, don't ya? Loki and I are enjoying our nightly walks even more though he hasn't quite figured out the whole holiday decorations thing. Lights he can handle, moving figurines really freak him out.

I've been doing a little more cooking lately, trying to match the family meal with my JC entrees. If I have pasta, so do they, etc. I'm also doctoring my Jenny food a bit, adding handfuls of veggies here & there, dashes of spices to change the flavor. I also tried a new entree the other day - chicken fajitas! This required some actual stovetop cooking, not just pushing buttons on the microwave, fun! Valerie gave me good ideas for additional veggies to add next time:

Prepackaged Jenny Craig Chicken Fajitas (with vegetables, white meat chicken and flour tortillas with seasoning packet)

Add Your favorite veggies! Here are the ones Valerie and Tom used:

o Mushrooms
o Onions
o Red, yellow and orange peppers
o Jalapeno peppers
o Pico de galo
o Cilantro
o Diced Tomatoes

Other Vegetables could include:

o Asparagus
o Zucchini
o Eggplant
o Squash
o Broccoli

Lightly coat the skillet with non-stick vegetable spay and heat pan 30 seconds on high. Add the prepackaged Jenny Craig Chicken Fajitas, and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Incorporate the extra veggies into the skillet and stir for an additional few minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Sprinkle on fajita seasoning, and stir for 30 seconds. Serve immediately in tortillas and top with cilantro and pico de galo to make a Jenny Craig Volumetrics healthy and satisfying Chicken Fajita!

Has anyone started holiday baking, and if not, do you plan to? I'm going to make cupcakes and a couple batches of cookies, am thinking (hoping) I'm strong enough to resist the goodies and that the joy of baking outweighs the misery of temptation!

Hope all is well, have a beauty-full day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I had my JC consult this morning and am pleased to report that I am down another 1.6 pounds! I wanted to be at 160 for Thanksgiving and I'm just about there - 160.6. Very pleased and motivated to keep on going! I can't wait to get down into the 150's, isn't it funny how those numbers are so depressing when they're going up but fantastic when they're headed down?

What's everyone cooking for Turkey Day? I'd already decided to eat my JC Turkey & Gravy because it is so delicious, I truly don't feel deprived, but will be cooking the traditional dinner for my family. I will have a couple glasses of wine and "volumize" my meal with lots of veggies, and will have a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert. Not the usual 400-calorie pie, though; instead I'll be making this one courtesy of Hungry Girl:

HG's Too-Good-To-Deny Pumpkin Pie


For Crust
2 cups Fiber One bran cereal (original)
1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown); melted & mixed with 1 oz. water
3 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, granulated
1 tsp. cinnamon

For Filling
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
One 12-oz. can evaporated fat-free milk
3/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, granulated
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1/4 cup sugar-free maple syrup
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
Optional Topping: Fat Free Reddi-wip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a blender or food processor, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Combine crumbs with all other crust ingredients. Stir until mixed well. In an oven-safe 9-inch pie dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray, evenly distribute mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust. Press it into the edges and up along the sides of the dish. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling. Mix well. Pour mixture into pie crust. (Filling may be taller than the crust -- trust us, this is okay!) Bake pie in the oven for 45 minutes, and then remove it and allow to cool. Chill in the fridge for several hours (for best results, chill overnight). Cut into 8 slices, and if you like, top with Reddi-wip before serving! MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 1 slice
Calories: 133
Fat: 3g
Sodium: 236mg
Carbs: 28g
Fiber: 9g
Sugars: 8g
Protein: 6g

POINTS® value 2*

The nutritional content is similar to the JC desserts so I can easily substitute, guilt-free. Now, that's something to be thankful for!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sun Funnies: Size 8

Remember when a Size 8 was an acceptable goal? When 0, 2 and 4 were rare and not necessarily sought after? Kinda makes you think, doesn't it?

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

High Expectations

I thought my horoscope today might resonate with some of you, it certainly did with me.

November 20, 2010
High Expectations
Leo Daily Horoscope

Your high expectations of success may have you feeling apprehensive today. You may have concerns that the goal you had aimed for is out of your reach, leaving you feeling nervous and unsure of yourself. Our goals point the way, but when we have done our work, we must release them like balloons to float out into the world and do their work. We can have hopes for our goals, but ultimately detachment from their outcome will allow us to do what is ours to do and move forward knowing we have done our part. Holding on to expectations and becoming upset when they don't appear exactly as planned means we do not trust that the universe knows better than we might. When we trust in the wisdom of the universe today, we can trust that our dreams and goals, released to its care, will find their perfect places in the world.

As humans, we seek to control everything. As spiritual beings, however, we know that we are cocreators with the universe. When we can accept that we don't have ultimate control, we become willing to work with what life brings us with our best intentions. It can be difficult to release our hopes to the unknown, but the unknown is also full of possibilities we cannot imagine. We may think of only two possible outcomes for any scenario, but there are infinite possibilities in every moment. When we release our expectations, we open ourselves to the best possibility for us right now, today.

Beren and I some errands to run today, then there's housekeeping and holiday prep but in between I'll be logging some treadmill time as well.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Slow & Steady...

First off, I didn't have a chance to post yesterday but I did have my JC consult and weigh-in, lost 1.2 pounds last week. So I am now down almost 12 pounds in 7 weeks. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there!

I had a couple of victories in the past couple of days, mostly regarding clothing. While I'm not yet able to officially go down a size, I believe that's because my clothes were much too tight in the first place and they are just now fitting properly. *blush* The new, expensive jeans I bought before we went to NY are loose, though, and won't be fitting for much longer. I'm considering doing a blog giveaway for them, hate to spend $200 on jeans and donate to the Goodwill, you know? Are there any size 12Ps out there who might be interested? Also, I treated myself to some new workout shirts in a size smaller (M), put one on this morning and lo and behold, it fits! I can see more definition in my waist, my breasts are definitely smaller (sorry, Beren!), stomach is a little bit flatter but my hips are hanging in there. I guess I'm destined for the pin-up body, just might need the help of a Miracle Bra pretty soon. *wink*

Has anyone heard of the book called 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle? There's a lot of talk about it on various diet forums and blogs so I checked it out from my local library. Basically it's a 100 day "program" to accompany any weight loss program of your choices. It's not a diet or nutrition book per se, it's all about your head, not your body. The program requires daily exercises and journaling so I thought I might do some of that "aloud" here. Anyone interested in joining me? If so, grab a copy of the book and join right in! I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'll start reading/journaling this afternoon or evening.

Until then, have a Beauty-Full Day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Way to a Man's Heart...

I haven't been spending as much time in the kitchen since calling Jenny, and I miss it! Cooking is not just a necessary means to an end (getting food into the body), it's therapy for me. I love donning an apron and tuning out the rest of the world while I slice, dice, bake & simmer! Under the right conditions, it becomes a downright magical experience!

So, today I decided to make something special for Beren, figure he might like a change from the frozen pizza and fried shrimp he's been feeding himself lately. ..rolling eyes... I pulled out this fantastic thrift store find, a Betty Crocker recipe box, circa 1971! I remember my mom having the exact same one so this brought back fond childhood memories for me. (Can't you just see this in Samantha Steven's avocado kitchen??)

Now, I've often written about my man's less-than-healthy food choices at times and you've seen the potato chips he loves so much, so when I found this recipe I knew I had to make it for him:

Yes, those are potato chips topping that meaty, cheesy mess! Welcome to the early 1970's, folks! I console myself with the fact that at least we rode our bikes to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients(about 4 miles).

Now, I admit that I made Beren the original version of the casserole because he wouldn't have it any other way, but I also cleaned it up a bit for those of you who would like a hearty retro-style meal but without the possible heart attack! I couldn't think of a tasty alternative to the potato chips so I lightened them up, but if you have another suggestion I'd love to hear it.

Zippy Beef Casserole

-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound ground beef
4 ounces elbow macaroni -- uncooked
10 1/2 ounces cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup catsup
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup crushed potato chips

Heat oven to 350. Cook and stir meat until brown. Drain off fat. Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, mix all ingredients except potato chips.

Cover; bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with potato chips and bake 5 minutes longer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 484 Calories; 31g Fat (57.3% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 79mg Cholesterol; 1083mg Sodium.

Zippy "Beef" Casserole Redux

-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 serving Boca Ground Crumbles
4 ounces whole wheat pasta -- elbow shaped, uncooked
10 1/2 ounces Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup skim milk
2/3 cup catsup
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 cup light potato chips

Heat oven to 350. Cook and stir Boca crumbles until thawed. Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, mix all ingredients except potato chips.

Cover; bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with potato chips and bake 5 minutes longer.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 253 Calories; 11g Fat (37.6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 560mg Sodium.

Ok, I have never seen Beren enjoy a meal quite as much as he did this one! He scarfed down two huge servings and had to refrain from grabbing a third, praising me all the while. *grin* I guess those retro housewives knew how to please their men, huh? *wink*