So Far, So Good

Monday, August 31, 2009

I had another good night at work last night 🙂

Even though some things could have annoyed me, I just kept a positive attitude and I really did feel better.

I just wish that my foot and leg would behave.  I have been having awful ankle/foot/knee/leg pain–the left side.  I’m not sure if it is the new shoes I got.  I have a bad feeling that the shoes are SLIGHTLY too big and therefore are causing my foot to be positioned weirdly in the shoe and also slosh around, with no support.  I’m so frustrated!   These new shoes cost about $120 total and neither of them are working well.  I might have to look for some different ones ASAP!

My eyes are closing as I write this, so it’s off to bed for me.  Only one more night on and then three GLORIOUS nights off!!!!

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 8:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Day One of Positive Attitude = SUCCESS!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I don’t want to jinx myself but I actually had a good night at work last night!

Even though there were certain things that went wrong, I kept my cool, took a deep breath, and attacked the problem with a smile.

And I felt A LOT BETTER 🙂

I hope my positive attitude continues.  They say it takes a month for a habit to be changed.  Since I only work 12 days a month, that’s almost three months of working to stay positive before I can be fairly certain it will stick!

I’ll do my best!

Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Yesterday, I decided to make a batch of cookies to have for dessert when Kimm’s mom came for lunch and to take for a little treat when we met our friends later in the evening.

I turned to a classic, the Oatmeal Cookie recipe found on the underside of the Quaker Oats Oatmeal package.  You seriously cannot go wrong with these cookies.  They are soft and chewy, subtly sweet, packed with oats, raisins, and brown sugar.  I absolutely love them.  I think there is a reason that Quaker Oats named them the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 🙂

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So without further adieu, here is the recipe… (even though you can see it above…oh well, in case you wear glasses!)

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

4 dozen cookies (I always cut the recipe in half because it would not be good for my waistline to eat that many cookies!)–WHAT FOLLOWS IS THE RECIPE FOR THE FULL BATCH TO MAKE 4 DOZEN

Ingredients:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups Quaker Oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked (I use the old-fashioned)

1 cup raisins

To make:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Blend together butter and sugars until creamy.  I do this by hand of course to work up an appetite for the cookies!

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Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

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Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

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Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.

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Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

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Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Mine take 11 minutes every time!

Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes more.

Enjoy.

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These are all we have left after yesterday 😦

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Don’t worry…we will enjoy every last delicious bite!

Just in case you wanted to know, each cookie has 100 calories.

Tonight starts my three night weekend.  My only goal is to have a positive attitude.  I think I need that more than anything.  I find this quote that a friend posted on Facebook to be completely true…

“The mind is everything.  What you think, you become”–Khurana

I don’t know who this Khurana person is…but I know that lately I’ve been so negative at work, and it’s turning me into a negative, complaining, ungrateful person.  I don’t want to be that person.  So I have to make a conscious effort to think what I want to be…a kind, caring, happy person.  Wish me luck.

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bundled Up!

Friday, August 28, 2009

It’s hard to believe that last week I was drenched in sweat and tonight I am toasty warm (by choice!) in my sweats and fleece jacket 🙂  Can you believe it is 20 degrees cooler than last week!

Around here, the weather changes quickly.

We had a good day today.  Kimm’s mom came over for lunch–leftover lasagna which she wanted to try and now wants the recipe.  And then tonight we got together with old friends that we haven’t seen in over 2 years.  It was nice to reconnect and laugh.

And now, like the old woman that I am, I will find genuine happiness in simply snuggling up in my comfy chair, reading, and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and an oatmeal raisin cookie I made earlier today.  Pure bliss.

Happy Friday night to all.

Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

In the dark…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer is on its way out.  The shortening of days is upon us.

Tonight dusk hit at about 7 pm.  By 8 pm it was pitch dark.

As much as I dislike the hot, humid summers in New England, I really hate to see the days disappear so soon.  There is just something about having it be light out until 9:30 at night that is so nice.

This just makes me think about winter, when the dark will settle as early as 4 pm 😦

Even so, I do love living in an environment where there are seasons.  And my favorite season is coming up…FALL.  Thinking of it evokes memories of breezy days, the turning of the leaves, apple cider, pumpkin bread, and chilly evenings where a sweatshirt is needed.

Bring it on 🙂

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

August Grocery Goal

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The goal was $300.

We spent $301.43.

Only $1.43 over.  Not too shabby.

Hopefully we can do the same (or better!) during September.

p.s. I’m feeling very discouraged right now.  Work was tough–literally non-stop for 13 hours.  My ankle is killing me–my new yellow sneakers didn’t give enough support or something.  On top of all that, I feel lonely.  I’m just wiped out.   All I can say is that hopefully things will look better after a nice sleep.  Off to bed I go.

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Kaye’s Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kimm is off at jury duty today.  She was up at 7 am and somehow, I got up then too.  Lately both of us have been having a lot of trouble sleeping.  I’m not sure why she is having difficulty, but I know my problems are related to this darn back pain and also waking up with an alarm on my days off.  I think on my next two days on (today and tomorrow) I will not use an alarm and just wake up when my body is ready and see if that makes a difference.

Anyways, in other news, the temperature is finally coming down!  today it is in the 70s and it feels so wonderful.  The house is reading 79 degrees and it is not humid at all.  What a drastic difference!  Loving it.

Since I didn’t sleep too many hours last night I may take a nap this afternoon.  That is why I am posting early today.   It actually feels strange to be writing a post so early in the day 🙂

For breakfast this morning I had a slice of the banana bread I made earlier this week.  We had just one lonely banana that was pretty much black and pure mush inside hanging out on the cupboard making the fruit flies VERY happy.  Since I don’t like to waste food, I decided to make a small loaf of banana bread.  Usually when I make banana bread it will make three small loaves.  So I just cut everything down.

The most AMAZING part…this was a recipe that I just made up!

I have made banana bread for quite a while now and know how the batter should look, and I just decided to do my own thing.  And it turned out GREAT!  Even better than the recipes that I normally use.  So I’m kinda glad that I never posted a banana bread recipe before.  This is THE ONE.  I will be making it frequently.  I especially like how it uses just one banana (of course if you have more bananas to use, just double or triple the recipe).

Kaye’s Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Makes one small loaf (8 slices)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 very ripe banana

4 tablespoons chopped walnuts

To make:

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl–the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.

In a small bowl cream together the butter and sugar.  Add a beaten egg.  Add the banana.  Make sure that all of these ingredients are well mixed.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts.

Pour into a small loaf pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.

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I love the subtle nuttiness that the whole wheat flour gives to this bread.  It’s really delicious for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.  It’s nice when a recipe is versatile!  BTW, 150 calories a slice (which I only know because of the Sparkpeople–it would be less without the walnuts, but they are such a good addition).

I cannot say this enough, but I am so proud of myself for making my own recipe.  I never thought that I would do this.  I’m such a “by the book” kind of gal.  It felt kind of freeing just mixing together stuff.  I think this will give me new confidence to be more creative in the kitchen.

I feel indecisive as to what to do right now.  I haven’t had the house to myself in quite a while.  Maybe a nap?

Published in: on August 25, 2009 at 10:54 am  Leave a Comment  

Alfredo Vegetable Lasagna

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today I made a more complex meal than I normally do–Lasagna!

I LOVE lasagna.

When I gave up eating meat, I thought that I would have to give up eating one of my favorite dishes.   But fortunately, I found a veggie lasagna in Betty Crocker’s Easy Everyday Vegetarian cookbook that I have since adapted to my own liking.  I was making this because Kimm and I were going to have a friend over for dinner that we haven’t seen in a while.  At the last minute she cancelled, so we had our own little special meal by ourselves.   Kimm raved over this dish tonight and so I knew I had to include it in my “recipe” section.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Alfredo Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 8

Ingredients:

12 lasagna noodles

6 cups frozen broccoli florets, cooked

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I use the ones that have the basil, oregano, and garlic flavoring), drained

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce (I use the Classico brand)

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

To make:

First cook your lasagna noodles in a large pot of salted, boiling water.  I break mine in half to make them easier to work with.   Total cooking time for the noodles is about 14 minutes.  Drain the noodles and place to the side.

While the noodles are cooking, get your veggies ready.  Dice the two peppers.  Drain the diced tomatoes.  Cook the broccoli and then chop into smaller florets.  Then mix all the veggies together.

In a small bowl, mix the egg and ricotta cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you layer the lasagna.

The layering is fun in my opinion 🙂  In a 9 x 13 inch glass pan first place a bit of the Alfredo sauce.  Then place 6 of the 1/2 noodles to cover the base of the pan.  Then spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture.  Then 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Then 1/3 of the remaining Alfredo sauce.  Then 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Then repeat layers:

–6 of the 1/2 noodles

–1/2 of the remaining ricotta cheese mixture

–1/2 of the remaining veggie mixture

–1/3 of the remaining Alfredo sauce

–1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

Repeat again…

6 more noodles, the rest of the ricotta cheese mixture, the rest of the veggie mixture, 1/2 of the remaining Alfredo sauce, and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Now the last layer–the last 6 noodles, the remaining Alfredo sauce, and the last 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Now place in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.  It usually takes only 45 minutes for me.

Remove from oven and let “REST” for 15 minutes so all the layers set.  Then cut and serve.

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Fresh out of the oven!

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Tonight we had ours with some homemade garlic bread…yummm.

We even had strawberry shortcake for dessert!

Usually I don’t have this meal too much in the summer because I don’t want to run the oven for an hour.  But it was SO worth it.  Totally delicious. And I’m psyched that we have leftovers.

I don’t know what it is but I’m completely exhausted tonight.  I took a little nap before writing this post.  And I may take another one before bed!

Kimm has jury duty tomorrow.  I wonder what time she will return home at.  Every time I have ever had jury duty, I was sent home by noon time.

Summer is slowly coming to an end.  It was pitch dark out by 8 pm tonight 😦

In other news, Madeline found a little bag in the basement that was holding some of her extra toys and managed to empty it and roll around in all the toys…she was having fun!

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“I’m not guilty”

Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm  Comments (1)  

Counting Calories

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I got on the scale this morning and was NOT happy with the results.  I’m pretty much back up to the weight where I had started at last year when I did “The Biggest Loser” at work (but thankfully not higher!)

So I decided to use Sparkpeople again.  So that means back to counting calories.

I generally don’t like to count calories.  It’s time consuming and irritating because you always think you can have more to eat than the calories allow!  But it helps you to realize what are proper portion sizes.

So I will do it again.  But I’m not going to beat myself up mentally if I don’t meet the goals every day.  I need to realize that some days that will entail more calories than others.  If I go over, I will just move on and continue fresh the next day.

Today I went way over my allowance because we went to the movies and of course got some popcorn/soda.  I don’t want to deprive myself (because that is usually which gets me to stop a diet altogether), so I ate what I normally do but just counted the calories.  When I saw how much it was (estimated), I was shocked.  So next time I think we’ll get the medium to share instead of the large.  And then maybe eventually we’ll be able to share a small.  It’s all about the small changes.

I’m hoping that by losing some weight, my back problems will go away.  I know it is part of the problem.  It’s difficult for the body to carry so much extra weight all the time.

Well, that’s all I’ll say about that.  I just wanted to put it in writing so I can be more accountable to myself.

Well one more thing.  I don’t really want to consider this to be a DIET.  I’ve been on more diets than I can think of.  And I just keep losing and gaining the same old weight.  It’s frustrating.  So instead, I just want to eat with a more healthy focus in mind.   I think I owe it to myself to take care of my body.

GO ME!

Published in: on August 23, 2009 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Can I just say…

Saturday, August 22, 2009

…I HATE the humidity.

I’ve felt so lethargic and tired today.

And I really didn’t do that much.

I slept.  I ate.  I went grocery shopping.  I checked out my blogs.

THAT’S IT.

And I’m about to go back to bed.

I REALLY hope that the humidity is less this upcoming week.   I don’t think I can take another week like this one.

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment