Archive for January, 2010

I know I’ve been talking about just about everything other than food for the last month or so, mostly because I’ve been kinda lazy and I have so much else that needs to get out.

Last night I made Honey-orange glazed ham steaks with a black bean, onion and zucchini salad. OMG it was so good! And *damn!* I just remembered I forgot my lunch at home and Garry has the car. ūüė¶

Anyway. This morning Garry woke up in a particularly foul mood. I really think he hates getting up early. Oh well, eventually he needs to get back into the habit of being up and about sooner than 10 minutes before having to leave. (Okay, I know I’m guilty of that too somtimes, but still maybe once a week I’ll do that)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the interior design part of the new apartment lately. I think I’m burnt out on dwelling on finishing the kitchen. There’s nothing else I can do at this point except wait to order everything.

I think that’s the frustrating part – is waiting for the funds to come in, to order the stuff, so we can build it and install it.

So for now, I’ll concentrate on getting the walls fixed (something we can do now) and painted. If we can get the living room¬†walls painted¬†in the next week I’ll be thrilled. Then we can move all of Garry’s stuff from his apartment downstairs and I can start placing furniture (at least in the living room). I’d need to order the wallpaper for the bedroom before we can do anything else.¬† My thoughts are drifting between this gorgeous curvy wallpaper or a more traditional Victorial ceiling tile pattern… the colors will be a dark brownish/purple on the bottom (the wallpaper part – Earth Elements Sweet Bark) with a lighter version of the color on top (Earth Elements Mineral Dust) molding will be white with a chair rail between the wallpaper and the non wallpapered part of the wall. Although I’m open for different colors – Garry doesn’t like green (which sucks because I LOVE green!) otherwise I could do the curvy pattern with green and that would look really cool. My furniture (dressers and nightstand)¬†will be painted black and sealed with a high gloss seal¬†and we’re getting a black wrought iron canopy bed (in the future) that I can drape silky fabric on the rods. Our closet doesn’t have a door (or door frame) so we’re installing a curtain rod and I’m going to add a curtain to “close” the door. My floors are stained Minwax English Chestnut.

I like the subdued purple color because it feels very elegant and sexy. Green could be cheerful and fun.

I had the idea yesterday when I was driving home from the gym to paint the walls in the living room like the sky – the bottom would be light and gradually get darker as I got to the top. Maybe only do one wall like that with a rag and the rest the original color… but I think it would be rather pretty.¬†Garry’s office (right off the living room) is going to be a dark blue (Earth Elements “Old Man River”) and we were planning on painting the living room Earth Elements “Crystal River” which are on the same color “line.” If we have some left over paint from that room we could use it to do an accent wall behind where I’m planning on putting the couch. Could be quite lovely if we do it properly. I would put natural colored slip covers (a very very light khaki) over my couch and chair and have white linen or natural curtains in the living room.

I want to keep the same “idea” of design through the house. The problem is – I like SO many different kinds of design. I gravitate toward traditional, but I love modern as well. Beachy is always nice because we live in the north east where it’s NOT beachy. Garry doesn’t really have a “style” I guess he’s happy so long as it’s not “too girlie”. He loves my living room now, it’s¬†ruby and tan with brown and gold. Very traditional and earthy. I think I’ll do something slightly more cool this time though. I’d like to have the colors flow from room to room and right now I’m having a little bit of a problem with that. I’ve already painted the bathroom (Earth Elements Illusion) which is what I’m also painting the kitchen. The guest room/my sewing room (right off the kitchen)¬†is the last on the list to have a color picked.

The dining room is off the kitchen and I think painting it a lovely shade of grey would be nice. However – it’s grey enough in Binghamton and I’m a little worried about painting it something so subdued becuase of the colors that are going in Garry’s office and the living room. So my big question is what to paint the dining room? It needs to flow from a grey/blue color to a light turquoisy-blue color.

OR… (thanks to the color picker) I can do the kitchen the color I picked (Earth Elements Illusion) and then do the dining room a warm darker taupe color (Earth Elements Autumn Wind) . It’s nice and neutral without being too abrupt. Plus it flows nicely with the colors I (originally) chose for in the bedroom. Now to find curtains for the bedroom… I’d like to find dupioni silk curtains in a color that goes, but who knows if that will happen. (I found some at Target, but I’m not sure if they’re the right color purple) They also carry cheap dupioni silk curtains at Christmas Tree Shop. If I find a color I like I can always adapt the room to that color.

I might just have to¬†buy curtains first, and then find what color I want to paint the room. I don’t want it *too* matchy matchy, but I want it to “go”.

Yes. I think that could work. You know, we should get all this nailed down before I change my mind… again.


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I have a working toilet and vanity!!!

Sorry, sometimes I just get so excited.

The only problem is there is an outlet right where the medicine cabinet was¬† going to go – it’s right smack in the way. Damn! Since I need the outlet (you know, for my hair dryer and what not) I figured we could install one of those tilting mirrors instead. That way the outlet is available and it won’t be in the way of the medicine cabinet.

Also – the light fixture is off-center. *grumble* so we’re going to need a different light fixture so everything is centered properly. Damn.

But, the sink and toilet both work. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for much more than that at this point.

I’m just waiting for the dishwasher and sink cabinet to be ordered. I’m hoping it won’t be *too* difficult to install. However my confidence has been lifted greatly by the post on apartmenttherapy.com about IKEA kitchens. Since I’m doing a small, simple kitchen it won’t be very expensive and I’m not expecting it to last forever either (just as long as I live there to be honest… so about 5 years).

I’m going to buy a scale tomorrow. I need to track my weight loss and find out where exactly I am. I weighed myself on Friday (or Saturday?) last week and I was 180. If I’m even at 178 that’s progress!

I really would like a nap right now. Mmmm napping is good.

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I don’t remember ever watching the movie The Jerk all the way through, but there are some fantastic lines from that movie that I use in daily life.

Usually when something that I’ve been waiting to happen for a LONG time to be finished or to arrive I start running around gleefully saying “The new phonebooks are here!” Even if it has nothing to do with phonebooks¬†new or otherwise.

Today Stoney and Garry are reinstalling the toilet and vanity in the bathroom. Which means by the end of today we will have a functioning bathroom!

Also my favorite series is when he’s grabbing things from the house and goes on this rant “…and this lamp… And that’s ALL I NEED!” and then “Okay, this lamp, this book and this pillow and that’s ALL I NEED!” (or something like that, I don’t remember the exact items other than the lamp). That’s how it is when I start making my list for home decor shopping (you know EVERY time I move). “$700 later… and that’s ALL I NEED!”


Last night was our ladies’ night and it was more of a venting session than anything else. There are a multitude of things I could say on this subject, but if it’s one thing I’ve learned over the last nearly 10 years of blogging (in one form or another) people will read it and find out. People will get upset and what you thought was freedom of expression on your blog (so why read it if you’re going to get upset?) still, sometimes those things are best left off the internet and written in a notebook that hidden in your night stand or in a locked Word file. Not out on the internet.

Our group is under duress with the loss of our friend Karl on Friday and people are grieving. For the most part, I’m trying to stay out of that conversation. Death, funerals, memorials and the like… I can’t say I don’t know how to deal with them, I’d just rather grieve and deal on my own. I don’t find anything wrong with that.

Another noted point of yesterday, I found out the dress I’m drooling over at David’s Bridal (okay, so what I know I’m not engaged yet!) is on sale for $250. Now, every instinct in me says “BUY IT!” because where am I going to find a gorgeous dress for $250? Well, the problem is, folks, I’m fat. I’m 180 lbs. There I said it. At best I can hope to be at my goal of 140 by June 10th. Chances are good it will be more like¬†October… or you know… never.

So I went back to this website I¬†found a long time ago that tracked calories and what not, but they moved¬†everything over to www.livestrong.com. If you’re on a diet, or even if you’re not they have some great¬†info on recipes, stress management and general lifestyle management. Right now I’m using the calorie and fitness tracker on the MyPlate section of the site. What I do is fill in what I plan on eating all day (including my work out) and¬†then stick to it. Then if I did something differently then I go back and edit the next morning. Honestly, it makes me feel accountable and instead of trying to remember every crumb of food I’ll just ask myself “Did I put this on MyPlate?” if I don’t know then I’ll hold off.

The best part about MyPlate is that you can type in brands of food (they have a good selection of Wegman’s foods on there which is awesome since I buy all my groceries from there) and it includes not only your calories, but all of the important dietary information as well. I was honestly surprised at how much cholesterol I was eating (I eat a lot of eggs) and how much protien I was eating in a day (almost 200% of the daily recommended amount). In the mean time, my sodium, carbohydrates and fat were all under the target. However, I realized that my Slim Fast bars and shakes contain a LOT of sugar and is what is putting me over the recommended amount every day.

The nutrition calculator helps me make smarter decisions on what low-calorie foods to eat.

There is also the option of entering your own calories if something doesn’t come up on the list. That is helpful for some homemade meals that you don’t really know all the nutritional content of.

My biggest problem is guesstimating my calories for dinner. As much as I love Rachael Ray, I would love her even more if she included this information in her recipes either on her website or in her cookbooks. It would make a lot less work for me. At this point I’m relegated to just adding the ingredients to MyPlate and seeing what comes it from that.

I’ve also learned that ladies’ night is dangerous. WAAAY too much tempting yummies and no time to go to the gym. Granted, I make up for it the rest of the week, but still. Ugh. I need to get to 140 lbs.

I made Lion’s Head on Sunday and Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops on Monday and both were fantastic. I’m so bad about posting at home (you know, where I have the cookbook) so I’m sorry I don’t have photos/recipes up yet. I promise! This is still (mostly) a cooking blog!

Here’s the Lion’s Head. Doesn’t that look yummy? They’re basically meatballs with soy sauce cooked over cabbage. The recipe called for Napa cabbage, but there was already red cabbage shredded at the store so I decided to go with that instead. Plus, I like purple. ūüėÄ

Tonight I’m making Chicken Cutlets in Warm Cranberry Salsa. I think they should’ve been turkey cutlets, but they apprently don’t have turkey cutlets at Wegman’s so I¬†picked up some chicken ones instead. Should be tasty though! I love a good tasty chicken!

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This weekend didn’t start off so great. I went to football practice to help run drills (at that time our new team didn’t have coaches lined up yet) and the practice went well, I felt needed – although it makes me feel even worse about not being able to play. The ladies said they want to raise enough sponsors so I (and others who don’t have the cash flow) can play, but I’m still seeing it as doubtful.

On the way home I got an email on my blackberry that my friend Karl passed away. He had been in the hospital for a few months after who-knows-what happend. The only thing I heard is that he was attacked in his home.

For the last week or so I’ve had this gut feeling that Karl wouldn’t make it. Maybe it was just my way of preparing myself for the worst if it were to happen. Well now that it has, I am still¬†mournful, but better equipped to deal.

There won’t be a funeral, but I never do well at those anyway. I think for my own sake, privately, I will do my own thing.

Karl was one of those people that you met that always gave good hugs. He was always very kind and sweet – even if he was hitting on me all the time. He was part of the Full Moon group I attended for a few years and the first time I went to the land where we held our community rituals I ran into Karl a few minutes after arriving. I was so excited to be there and he decided to show me around.

We walked through the woods to the different camp sites and lastly we sat on this wooden bridge that traversed a little creek.

We talked for a while, he told me how him and a few other people built that bridge a few years ago and he was very proud of it. He told me I was absolutely glowing, that I was a beautiful person and if only he was¬†a little younger…

Karl was a good man. He always gave good hugs. I only wish I would’ve given him one last one.

I called Garry after practice to let him know, he was at a planning meeting for Beltane and let the group know of our friend’s passing. I couldn’t say much when I got there when they asked if I wanted to add anything. What could I say? I shrugged my shoulders and asked where we were with the meeting.

Saturday we got a lot done in the apartment. We put another coat of poly on the floors and finished up most of the wall painting in the bathroom. Garry still has to fix part of the wall we had to tear apart next to the shower before I can wallpaper and paint, but otherwise it’s getting there.


You can see that bottom part of the wall that needs to be replaced. Yeah. That’ll be fun. But the walls look awesome! I still need to sand down the cabinet next to the window and paint that, replace the shelves in there with some sturdy plywood and lastly, fix and rehang the door. Whew! There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in there, but by the end of the week I should have a “functional” bathroom.¬†

Next project? Getting the walls patched and painted in the living room, bedroom and kitchen. Thankfully we’ll be ordering some of our new cabinets (and dishwasher) in two weeks. That makes me a happy girl.

We should be able to move by the end of February if all goes well.

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A week of madness

Wow, I haven’t posted in almost a week – I know. Things have been kind of busy at the office (where I do most of my posting on my lunch break) and I’ve been bogged down with this, that and the other.

Mainly my annual doctor’s visit.

I know I’ve gained some weight since last summer (well since football season was over) and it’s been getting to me a lot lately. Well going to the doctor didn’t help and instead of remaining blissfully unaware of how much I weigh I heard the cold hard truth – I’ve gained 25 lbs since last summer.

The worst part about this – I’ve been down this road before. I’ve been nearly 200 lbs and lost 40 lbs to get somewhere near in the shape I should be in and I basically threw all that work out the window.

I could sit here and blame other people, I could blame my coaches for not starting practice in September like we originally planned. I could blame Garry for tempting me with goodies and wine or I could just be truthful and take complete responsibility for it myself. It was no one’s fault but my own. No one force fed me or forbid me to go to a gym.

For the last week I’ve been beating myself up over this whole thing. Being 180 lbs is better than 200 lbs, but I’m still rather upset with myself over letting it get this bad. I mean 5lbs is one thing, but 25….

I haven’t been wanting to cook (or eat) as much as usual either. I’ve been taking pictures of the progress on our apartment instead of food and over all I’m pretty miserable.

I feel bad for Garry in all of this as he has to deal with th bulk of my insecurities and crazy moments. He knows that every time I’ve gained a lot of weight while I was with someone they ended up cheating on me and leaving me (which makes this particularly difficult baggage) and I’m sure it’s not just because my physical shape has changed, but because I am emotionally unstable over it and tend to close myself off to everyone.

I know he wants to help and somehow say something to make it all better, but talking about it or complimenting it makes it worse. I don’t want to be “okay” with how I look now because it will never get better. Maybe it’s society’s perception of what is attractive and perfect – and no matter how many episodes of “How to Look Good Naked” I watch, I still feel like they’re mocking me.

Mostly because I don’t have a budget to go clothes shopping. I don’t have $50 to blow every month on clothing or accessories. How can you feel good about yourself if all you have are clothes that are too small and you can’t afford to go out and buy new (and it’s too cold to wear any of your dresses that DO fit).

So off to the gym I’ll be going. I still plan on cooking a lot, but between Garry and I we need to wrangle this weight problem (he’s gained some weight too in the fall and winter months) and get back on track.

Yesterday I still had a headache and Garry cooked instead. He made Rachel Ray’s 3 Beans and Some Chicken for dinner. It was delicious! Very lemony and fresh tasting. I love beans – we had wax, green and cannellini beans in the dish. The chicken was just cooked in a pan with lemon and a few spices. The beans were cooked with veggie stock, lemon juice, spices and a few pieces of pancetta. I think it would’ve been just fine without the pancetta though.

I felt a lot better after eating dinner. Afterwards we shared a bowl of popcorn with just a little seasoning (no butter or anything) which was just fine. We watched Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow which is a movie I’ve been wanting to see for a long time. LOVED it. It was just a beautiful movie. I loved the texture and lighting they used and how everything was so art deco. Odd as it was, it was comforting.

So yeah, I think my camera is at our new apartment so I won’t be able to upload photos until I get it back. Sorry, I know you’re dying to see the photos of paint drying.

In the meantime I’m going to work this out as best as I can. I’m just tired of this battle with my body. There is this fit, healthy person inside me that desperately wants to be uncovered. I just need to dig.

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I know I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, it’s been a little¬†crazy at my place lately. Not saying that it’s an excuse, but I haven’t felt much like cooking.

Yesterday I was planning on making Taco Chili Mac and Cheese but, I realized when I got home, there wasn’t enough macaroni (I had some the night before and totally forgot to get some at the store) so then¬†I was going to make chicken breasts and baked potatoes, but I got really hungry waiting for the chicken to thaw so I ate the left over macaroni and was good for the night. (Or at least I told myself I was).

For some stupid reason I was absolutely freezing. So Garry turned the heat up and I took a hot shower. Oh, and apparently a friend of his was coming over (last minute) that he was friends with when he lived in California and “Can he crash on our couch…?”

Fine. Although I know how this goes. Garry hangs out with friends and he drinks. *sigh* He brought home a 6-pack and a small bottle of Jameson. I am so tired of it. Granted he doesn’t drink all the time, but for the last few weeks we’ve (both) drank more than we should. Mostly because we’ve been going out to do stuff with other people. But it needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets worse.

So after his friend leaves tomorrow (yeah he’s not leaving until tomorrow apparently). I’m going to sit down with Garry and show him exactly how much we’ve spent on beer/wine and the like over the last month. It’s STAGGERING! Granted some of it is wine I took to my girl’s night so it was meant for other people too, but still… we shouldn’t be spending¬†over $150 on alcohol over any given month regardless of how many parties we go to. That’s what rye bread and dip is for!

I am going to employ some sort of rule because it’s starting to get out of hand. If he doesn’t like it, well… he knows where to go. I don’t want to go back to where I was three years ago, depressed and drinking 3 martini’s a night plus a few smokes to get through the evening.

Sometimes I feel bad and that I’m acting like his mother, but he’s so damn stubborn sometimes and I need to put my foot down. I’m tired of being wishy washy and just letting boyfriends do as they will and not even try to better themselves. I just need to get it in his head that he doesn’t need to buy a 6 pack of beer 2 or 3 times a week. Once a week is fine – no more than that. And it should last a whole week instead of an evening. That annoys me more than anything. Of course a lot of this is reflecting on the frustration¬†I have with myself, but I think at the end of the day I have more restraint than him.

Okay, enough about that…

I made Sausages Braised in Onions the other night, unfortunately Rachael Ray doesn’t have the recipe on the site and since I’m not at home I don’t have my cookbook. But¬†– you can drool over the photo!


All that steamy goodness! We used turkey sausages and honestly – we could hardly tell the difference! I noticed they were a bit lighter than regular pork sausage and I liked them a lot more to be honest. I think from now on we’ll stick with those.

I have no idea if I’ll be cooking tonight either. Garry and his friend are probably going to go straight to their gaming night after he gets out of work. (Yes, my boyfriend is one of those gamer-geeks) ¬†So maybe I’ll come home to an empty house where the laundry is done. I could make an herbed chicken breast in the pan and a baked potato with some feta. On the brighter side – today is pay day! Tomorrow I plan on getting the wallpaper fixings. Sunday my floors will be sanded and Saturday maybe I’ll get some cleaning done because our current dwelling space… mess. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll just watch movies and play computer games or whatever.

I don’t really feel like doing anything – we’re in that state of kind of moving, but not really (so boxes everywhere and a general state of chaos). We can’t start *really* moving until the floors are finished in at least one bedroom and the carpets¬†we are leaving in are shampooed (which I’m reluctant to do since there isn’t a mattress pad underneath¬†the carpet and the floors aren’t treated properly) I think¬†I just need to go away for a week and all the stuff is finished and moved in and¬†just how I want it (or damn close) and then everything will be better.¬†Of course it doesn’t help that my hormones are raging and I am completely unmotivated to do anything productive at home.

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Your moment of grr.

Just giving you guys some warning here, but I’m more than a little pissed off about a few things and need to let out a little steam (and I can’t get to the gym until 3:30 today).

1. I still am coming to terms with why the people who renovated the apartment we’re moving into had to do a half-ass job. I mean even 3/4, or even 5/8 of an ass would be infinately better! I understand that doing a good job of something is frustrating and time consuming, but here’s my opinion on it – if you’re going to be a landlord, TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUILDINGS! I’m tired of cleaning up after slum lords.

2. If you’re a tenant in an apartment owned by a slum lord, that still doesn’t give you the right to trash the place. People do have to move in there after you are long gone. So don’t punch holes in the walls or doors and if you do tell someone so it can get fixed. Don’t just hang a drawing your youngest of 4 (from 3 different daddies) over a hole one of your baby daddies punched in the wall because he was pissed he had to pay you child support and now he can’t afford to go rollin’ with his bro’s on his McDonald’s salary. It’s not cute, or funny or clever.

3. If you steal money from an organization… and directly from me and other people… well… I really don’t even have words for that yet¬†– I’m still pretty upset over it.

I just don’t understand why someone would do that? I mean steal from your own organization? Where you had dozens of people who looked up to you and gave you money hand over fist so they could do something that for many years they only dreamed about and worked so¬†hard and made sacrifices to make¬†that money flow?¬†How can you do that? What a way to make those people bitter and distrusting of any kind of organization like that.

So that’s my frustration. This weekend I’m going to wallpaper my bathroom. It would be nice to have my money back so I can buy the wallpaper (and Joe’s beer and pizza bribe) and cabinets (right now it looks like it’s just going to be wallpaper/Joe this weekend). You know… just because it would make my life infinately easier.

On a brighter note – Garry’s Jeep will be fixed *hopefully* by the end of this week. Don’t you just love coming out of Mercury Retrograde? I know I do!

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