Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm working from home this week. This means I'm saving gas, seeing A a lot more, and not being very productive. While I do dislike the 40+ minute drive to work, I sort of prefer being in the office. Maybe someday I'll have a planning job close to where I live...someday...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

fighting bugs with bugs




We bought 1500 lady bugs today, and released them into our garden, hoping the holes in our leafy greens will decrease. I took some pictures, but it was hard since those little spotted bugs move fast and are very tiny. Then I took some pictures of my flowers just for fun.

postcard from coalville

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

my mansion

Those of you who may follow me on facebook in addition to reading this blog may notice that there is frequently some overlap in what I post. This is no exception.



Yesterday I went to Coalville for work. It is a little town just past Park City, surrounded by green rolling hills, a backdrop of yellow cliffs, and cozied up next to Echo Reservoir. While there, I came across a spectacular Victorian that has been completely updated on the inside. Supposedly, it was the mansion of one of the first mayors of Coalville. Look at the pictures of the inside, it has an amazing fireplace and is just downright cool. I'm trying to convince A to buy this place up and turn it into a bed and breakfast. He is not convinced. When you think about it, this location could attract the Sundance crowd, reservoir patrons, and I think they have some sort of festival up there too, for pigs maybe? The house has been up for two years, and has come down from 500 thousand. Maybe they would take a low-ball offer. Anyone want to be an investor or partner in this with me?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fidelity

Please watch this. It is only a minute and thirty-eight seconds, and you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ensalada


Weeks and weeks ago we went to Sage's cafe, a vegan place downtown. Here's a picture of the salad I had. From what I remember, it had mushrooms, mango, candied nuts of some sort, and lots of other vegetables. It was swell.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

lazy days

This weekend was supposed to be jamb-packed with fun. It would maybe involve Lagoon, another Demolition Derby, campfire in the mountains, Desert Star, and other things. Here's how it turned out:

Friday:

Slept in, then took the BMW to be inspected for safety and emissions.
Went to A's sister's house where he looked over animations for work and I chatted with his sister while she and the boys had lunch.
Had Vietnamese baguette sandwiches for lunch.
Took a nap.
Toured the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple, had cookies there.
Went to McGrath's for dinner. I had halibut, A had salmon. (We are running out of cheap ti mid-priced restaurants that serve healthy food outside of downtown, can you tell?)
Came home and had a relaxing night of exercising, catching up on SYTYCD, and getting into the show Mumbai Calling.

Saturday:

Slept in again, went to the first week of the Farmer's Market downtown, then checked out the KCPW Rummage Sale. Only purchase was birthday present, mostly because we were not going straight home and didn't want to have fresh produce go bad in the car.
Had lunch at Rubio's. They have a good grilled vegetable burrito and a Healthmex burrito that is also decent.
Headed to the Gateway to meet up with my sister M's kiddos at the Children's Museum, where we played and played.
Ran through the rain and got soaked, 2-year-old R got scared of the dinosaurs, which was really some loud thunder.
Got two Sbarro balloons.
Lost one.
Bought one crisp bean burrito from Taco Time, one lemonade, and one McDonald's hot fudge sunday.
Went to the Clark Planetarium.
Went home.
Made healthy pancakes, which involve wheat flour, cottage cheese, and yogurt, with blueberry compote on top.
Rehearsed with nephew B to sing at a care center.
Checked out The Da Vinci Code from Redbox and grocery shopped.
Ate a giant bowl of watermelon while watching The Da Vinci Code.
Went to sleep far too late.

So nothing too special, but fun! I am definitely looking forward to some great vacations later in the summer and fall, and some more lazy weekends.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

craft

Today I stumbled upon a few craft blogs today. That may be an understatement. As a result, I feel the need to create. Who is with me?
In my craft blog time wasting, I came across this. What a great idea! So I want to start a craft club. If you are interested, I suggest reading the description of the craft club in the link above, and also checking out the following craft blogs. If the prospective craft clubbers came to the first meeting with ideas and pictures of what they want, we could plan out the next year! So, check these out:

http://kari-youcanmakeit.blogspot.com/
http://www.inspiremecrafts.com/inspireme_crafts/
http://crapivemade.blogspot.com/
http://www.sayyestohoboken.com/
http://ohsohappytogether.blogspot.com/

That is just a start, and I've found that craft blogs reference each other frequently, providing endless hours of craft blog entertainment. If you are interested in joining the club, leave a comment or email me! If there is enough interest, maybe we could get it going in June or July.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

something you may (or may not) know

A chain note went around the facebook world a few months ago, requiring a list of 25 random things. I participated, but I think my list was rather boring and unimaginative. I should have made something up. I think about this sometimes, wondering what random fact would provide some small entertainment for the 4 people who read this.

Mostly I can't think of anything or I forget, so here is something random and completely uninteresting: I can't stand when people (ahem, A!) squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube. I was taught to not only squeeze from the bottom, but to lay the tube on the counter and force the toothpaste to the top by scraping the tube with the handle of my toothbrush.

If you also participate in this ritual, you will know what I mean by this terrible description. If you don't, ask someone like me for a better description. Usually hand motions are involved, which I cannot give you in this post.

So, there you go. Something totally random and completely uninteresting you probably didn't know about me. Here's an idea, leave a comment and we'll see how many middle squeezers vs. toothpaste scrimpers there are out there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PS

I lost another pound, making a total of three! Small steps to skinniness, to fitting into favorite pants, to confidence in a swimmingsuit. I think the six meals is really making a difference. Cottage cheese with plain yogurt(both fat free), casaba melon, and agave has now become a staple for me, along with oatmeal, Healthy Choice frozen meals, and whole wheat pita sandwiches. It's nice to be able to eat whenever you feel hungry, it's all about portion control. No more Clean Plate Club for me!

best of times, worst of times. it's a little too ironic.


Today I got a fantastic phone call. A called to tell me that he bought a car. For me. A 1999 BMW 328i. I was speechless, which doesn't happen very often. It does need a little work, which is perfect since A is a mechanical genius, so we were going to have it towed tonight. I got so excited I almost couldn't focus on work. Almost.

So, with great excitement, I hopped in my 1992 white Eagle Summit, the two door hatchback I got when I turned 16, and headed for home. (The picture is not my actual car, but similar.) On the freeway, about in Woods Cross, I noticed a faint racket, like a card in the spokes of a bicycle. I was blasting NPR and eating an apple, so I turned down the radio and set down my drive-home snack to get a better listen. Sure enough, when I stepped on the gas, card in bicycle spokes. If I let off, it went away. By chance I happened to chance at my temperature gauge, and it was on H. H is for HOT.

I was halfway to the next exit, so I tried not to touch the gas but still hurry off, since the freeway shoulder was about as wide as a sidewalk. The light at the end of the off ramp was red, so I stopped, and so did my car. Completely. It died. I put on my flashers, but people still honked, as if honking would make my car start again. Some wonderfully nice people pushed me around the corner and out of traffic, yelling at me through cigarette to put it in gear and put the key in, things I didn't know since I've never had a car die before. I called A, and he came to my rescue. Long story short, he hooked it up to a battery charger, added almost an entire bottle of coolant, and we slowly drove it to the shop. After, we went to Subway for dinner, and finally got home around 9:00 pm. I left the house this morning at 8, and got home at 9. What a day.

Isn't it ironic that on the day I get a new car Ol' Faithful decided to die? We now own 5 cars, or at least we will tomorrow when we get the BMW. There's the Eagle Summit, the Mitsubishi Eclipse, the red Mitsubishi Mirage we got for the AC and other parts, A's Toyota truck, and the soon to come BMW. Luckily, the red car will be going to the car cemetary tomorrow.

I am very excited to have a car I'm not embarassed to get into or pull up in, that has power locks and windows, a sun roof, and has 5 speeds. Automatic will also be nice, since I'm frequently stuck in traffic and my foot gets awefully tired of holding down the clutch. I'm excited for four doors, and for a smooth quite ride. Very excited.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baked Chicken Parm


As requested, here is the recipe! This chicken parmesan is delicious, and so much healthier than the standard because it is baked. Unlike other baked recipes, the entire piece of chicken gets crispy and delicious, because you layer a wire rack on top of your  baking sheet and lightly spray the breaded chicken with cooking spray (no soggy bottom where the chicken meets the pan, and the benefit of a little oil without being fried).

It is not so delicious leftover, since the breading gets a little soggy when reheated, so I highly recommend having 6 people for dinner if you make this, or reserve the extra cutlets and have it again later in the week. Though, soft breading didn't stop me from eating it leftover.

Ingredients:


1 1/2 cups panko Japanese-style bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko from Sunflower Market, and needed more than the recipe called for to cover my cutlets.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)plus extra for serving
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and black pepper
3 large egg whites (I only used two, since that is all I had, and had exactly enough)
1 tablespoon water
Vegetable oil spray
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat and sliced into cutlets (see how here)
Your favorite tomato sauce (I used 2 small cans of plain, and added dried basil, oregano, salt, and pepper), warmed
3 ounces low-fat mozzarella, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (I didn't have this, and it was still good.)

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish (pie pans work extremely well) and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.

In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.

Lin a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top (I used a cookie cooling rack), and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Cooking the chicken on a rack will create that crisp you would get from a deep fried crust without the frying part, which cuts the fat.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. (NOTE: the patting dry is vital! The flour will then stick without getting gummy.) Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites. Use tongs when dipping the cutlets in the egg mixture, taking care to coat them thoroughly and allowing the excess to drip back into the dish to ensure a very thing coating. Using tongs will keep the egg from coating your fingers. Finally, coat with the bread crumbs, pressing the crumbs firmly into the cutlet with your fingers to form an even, cohesive coat. Place the breaded cutlets in a single layer on the wire rack/pan combo previously prepared.

Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.


I served this with steamed broccoli, and A had some whole wheat pasta on the side. It sounds like a lot of work, but is delicious and fun to make! The night we had this, we were thinking about going out to dinner, but did this instead. Perfect for a stay at home date night. I also highly recommend the book this recipe is from. It has great step-by-step instructions of how to do things, like make cutlets, and explanations of how they made the recipes healthier while keeping and sometimes improving the flavor. Check it out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

hungry

I go to bed hungry, I wake up hungry, I get hungry for lunch at 9:30, and for dinner at 3:00. I am eating, 3 meals in fact. I'm still hungry, and the scale is still saying the same thing. Blah.

Meanwhile, I am trying to drink more water, and push more when I run/bike/elliptical. I also am going to try (starting tomorrow) to eat more veggies and less fruit, or at least more veggies. Fruit is good, I probably get 5 or more servings (half a banana, berries, casaba melon, grapes, apple... that's an average day for me)but it also contains a lot of sugar, which is not good for losing weight.

I'm trying to cut calories mostly, because 3500 calories makes one pound. So if I cut 3500 calories a week, which is only 500 calories a day, technically I should lose one pound a week, right? So, my goal is to eat between 1200 and 1700 calories per day, 1200 being the minimum amount for women recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine. This plus my daily exercise regime should be working. I'm still waiting on that one.

Sorry this has turned into a blog about me trying to lose 15 pounds. It's probably boring, but I'm loving the advice!
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