Monday, January 31, 2011

Mimi's Cafe...

...last week, Supper Club went to Mimi's Cafe in Chesterfield. It was myself, Maggie, Angie, Nick, Amy, Alicia and Jen. The outside:

Look at those massive icicles!
First off when we got there, the waitress (who I think was my waitress last time) brought a little bowl of Cherrio's for Nick. What a cute and easy idea! Now on to the food...Angie ordered salmon with asparagus and mashed taters. Seriously, they have the BEST mashed taters, I could eat a bowlful:
Maggie, Alicia and I had the Artichoke Chicken Spedinini-again totally to die for!
Jen had breakfast and it came with this massive muffin! I said too bad those giant blueberries weren't chocolate chips!
We all agreed Mimi's was AMAZING! They have great corn chowder and chocolate mousse. I said hold the raspberry sauce, I don't like mixing fruit and my desserts! If you haven't been here, you should totally make it a must eat place of STL.
Sorry this post is so short, as I type it, Matt's drilling in the kitchen. Therefore, Emma's freaking out and sitting ON me in my chair. Silly puppy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Upcoming Races, ugh...

...I was all gung-ho (is that how you spell that word/phrase?) about losing weight and getting back into running the first of the year. Well, I did good for about two weeks then last week I sucked it up. I tried to start fresh this past Monday and while I've worked out every day, my eating has totally sucked. Let's review, shall we?

Dieting-I am so HUGE right now and it's no one's fault but my own. I know I would be 100% happier if I lost weight. I know I'd enjoy running/exercising more if I lost weight. I know I'd be able to help others better if I'd lost weight. I know I'd be healthier and I want to lose weight before we TTC any more. While I know all this, I am just.not.motivated. I just hate dieting, the same thing every day, worrying about every little thing you put in your mouth, being upset because I'm over my calorie limit. It's just NOT fun!

Exercising-I made this great half marathon training plan for Jen and I. It was a walk-run program, the same one I did for Hospital Hill last year, we just had to repeat a few weeks since we had more than 8 weeks to train. Day 1 and I sucked at it but I kept going. So far I've sucked almost every day. Yes, I really didn't work out from October-December but it's really disheartening when you go from doing a marathon to being barely able to run a mile.

The truth is I really just want to give up but I know I can't. I know I'm not happy, I'm out of shape and I've got races coming up. I'm going to push through and I'm just hoping that it's winter and the cold weather that has me down. Besides, I can't stop working out, even if its barely nothing, because I've got a lot of races coming up between now and June!!! Here's my race calendar:

February 12-Truffle Shuffle 4 Mile Run/Walk (Matt's running this with me & chocolate finishing medals!!!)
March 19-Master the Met Stairclimb-42 flights of stairs
April 30-SCC 10k (I feel like I have to redeem myself from last year but at this point...)
May 1-Delta Gamma 5k
May 7-Indy 500 Half Marathon
June 4-Hospital Hill (still haven't registered so I could always do the 5k or 10k)

Anyways, there's my upcoming races and my Debby Downer attitude. I'm hoping it gets turned around...FAST!!! And by fast, I mean way faster than I run!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Schnuckers Tilapia!!!

...I am NOT a fish person but the Tortilla Crusted Tilapia from Schnucks is to die for! I always remember that I like it but when I take the first bite then I remember that I LOVE it!!! It's so easy too because you put the oven on 400 and throw them in for 15 minutes and voila-dinner's done!!!
Matt and I both love the tilapia and the Texas potatoes from Schnucks so it was a great, stay at home but feel like we're eating out meal!
Sometimes it's nice to splurge and even better to realize you spluged but still saved a TON from eating at home!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Furbabies in the Snow...

...I don't think I've done a furbaby post lately so here one is! And suprise, they're in the snow again!!!

Here's Shad shaking off the white stuff:

Look how high the snow comes up on Emma!

Even though it was FREEZING and it was almost up to Emma's belly, they still took time to play in the snow!
Then they came inside and cuddled with me!!! Don't worry, I made the snow ice cream BEFORE they went out. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snow Ice Cream...

...last Thursday when it snowed, I had this great idea to make snow ice cream! Problem was...we didn't have any milk. So we improvised and it was delish!!! The ingredients: one cup snow, two packets Splenda (or sugar or whatever you use), and creamer-we used Caramel Machiato. Sorry to whoever's this was in the fridge, it wasn't labeled and it wasn't expired so it was fair game!

Step 1: Get snow: Step two: Pour in packets of sugar:
Step 3: Pour in creamer and mix until desired taste:
It was pretty flippin' good if I do say so myself. Of course, the big boss couldn't believe we were doing that with all the pollutants in the air but oh well, you only live once, right? It was a nice treat on a snowy day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yeah, We Got a Little Snow... 8 inches!!! Here's the proof:

That pic was actually taken about 8:30am, by noon we were up to 9 inches. Here's some pics of the snow I got at the house. Snow on the bird feeders:
Snow on the neighbor's car, I guess he's not going anwhere!
Yeah, I also don't think the trashman ever made it either!
FYI-I got the knee of my jeans wet to take these pictures so I hope you appreciate them! I was really shocked we got so much snow, it was so high when you'd scoop the driveway and could see the difference. I feel bad for the furbabies since their hinnies are stuck in snow to go to the bathroom. Matt was supposed to be at 2am to go to work at 3am but he didn't set his alarm so I woke him up at 2:45am saying, "Hey, I think you need to get up, it's 2:45am." He jumped out of bed freaking out!

I slept a few more hours then headed to work. I had to return a DVD at a RedBox and happened to go by the new bakery store that was open. I didn't want them to be open for no reason so I stopped and got some donut holes-yeah, my diet isn't so much working this week! When I got to work, everyone was wearing jeans (when we're really only supposed to wear them on Friday). I shared my thought process of jeans on snow days: If there's a chance I'm going to bust it, I would prefer to be in thick, denim fabric then in my flimsy, thin khakis. All agreed and then everything was right in the world!
I'll be posting some more pics next week, along with how we made snow ice cream! Happy Friday All!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

"You Have a Direct Line!?!"

...yeah, my hubs just realized after 4 years of being together that I have a direct line at work. Here's the story...

Last Thursday, I was trying to call my work and no one was picking up, not even the "operator" (you know the automated message). Our convo that followed:

Hubs: Yeah, that happens all the time.
Me: Really?
Hubs: Yeah, that's why I'm never calling you at work again. I'll just call your cell. It's ridiculous I have to talk to three different people to get through to you.
Me: Why don't you just call my direct line?
Hubs (with big eyes of disbelief): WHAT?! You have a direct line!!! That would have been useful to know...FOUR YEARS AGO!!!

Opps! I guess I just assumed he knew I did. Guess I need to go reprogram his phone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CSN Product Review...

...I get to do a product review for CSN! I'm so excited and couldn't wait to tell you all (I just found out yesterday)! I always see you fabulous bloggers doing product reviews and giveaways for CSN so now I get to join the Cool Kids Club!

If you don't know what CSN is, then where have you been??? CSN is comprised of over 200 websites, including everything from luggage stores to furniture and fashion. My head is just spinning from all the options to pick from.

I thought about new luggage but only because it's so cold here and luggage makes me think of a trip to a beach. I got really excited when I saw they had treadmills but then Matt told me I probably wouldn't use it, he's right. I asked what he thought about a fire pit and he told me we had a burn barrel (hoosier!). Long story short, I'm still trying to decide!

Please head over to CSN Stores and leave me a comment with your suggestion what I should try out. I can't wait to share with what I decide on!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

American Lung Association Trivia Night...

...Saturday night my Master the Met, Stairway to Heaving, hosted a Trivia Night to raise money for the American Lung Association! WHEW! Trivia nights are hard work!!! I used to go to trivia nights and think, oh I could do this-it would be easy. Now that I've done one I realized that boy was I wrong!!!

First things first, we had beer donated from O'Fallon Brewery. Matt picked them up on Friday for me and Saturday morning we set them up in the snow outside the house to chill. He's such an outside-the-box thinker sometimes!
Yah!!! Thank you bloggy friends for coming out and supporting me!!! Bloggy friends include Aimee, Maggie, Cece, Jen and their respective spouses.
My husband was in charge of the beer. He made $43 in tips (all went to ALA) and he was a talker. As you can see here, he wouldn't even stop talking to take the picture as Amy's hand motions indicate!
Here are the registration girls with the money we raised. At the end of the night, we raised $3,923!!! How awesome is that!!!
We also did a "Wheelbarrow of Cheer." Each teammate donated some type of alcohol and we stored it all in the wheelbarrow. You could buy raffle tickets to win a chance. The tickets cost $20 for your wingspan....fingertip to fingertip. My friend's fiance, Chris, won!!! He was so excited and really he just wanted the wheelbarrow!
So overall, I would say successful night for American Lung Association. I did spend the last part of my evening digging through the trash with my boss, councilman and mayor looking for the mayor's wife's checkbook she accidentally threw away. Winner, winner! I was the lucky one to find it!!! Whew-it was a fun event but I'm glad it's over, I'm exhausted! Now I have to focus on running my stairs so I can beat last year's time. We're looking for more teammates so feel free to join our team!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby Cakes...

...last Friday, my friend Stevie and I went to the grand opening of Baby Cakes. The place was packed!!! I've been to quite a few ribbon cuttings and this one was by far the best attended, there was standing room only! First things first, we hopped in line to buy some PB cupcakes-they had chunks of Reese's on top so I was VERY happy. Some pics of our outing, the inside of the store:

Their flier about the grand opening and my mini PB cupcake:

They had a white chocolate fountain that was tinted pink. You could dip pretzels and marshmallows-YUM!!!
Then we met Harriet who runs "Goody Sax." She partners with the owner of Baby Cakes and she was giving away samples of this caramel, chocolate popcorn mix-YUM!!! I also bought a chocolate heart filled with PB that she made. It was kind of odd to me though that the grand opening was for Baby Cakes but all the free samples to eat were made by Harriet. Her contact in case you're interested (I really took this pic so I'd remember the name of her business!):

Now the main reason we went is because they were raffling off a free wedding cake. Yes, I know I'm already married but Stevie won't be hitched until April 2012! So I met her there so she'd have two entries BUT we didn't win. Get this though-I was ticket 609, she was ticket 610 and the winner was 608! Bummer!!! Oh well, at least we got a PB cupcake out of it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rosalita's Catina...

...right before Christmas, I ordered a deck of cards for $18. WHAT?!? Well, it wasn't your typical deck of cards. It was a deck with 56 cards to 56 different restaurants around the St. Louis area. Each card was for $10 off a purchase of $25. Check it out here if you're interested. I figured it we used it three times then we'd get our money back, right? Some of the places were restaurants we've visited before and frequently, others were ones I'd never heard of so I figured it would give us a reason to try out a new place, right?

This past Sunday, we headed down to America's Center for a landscaping exhibit. I know it doesn't sound fun but Matt's boss invited him AND me, and his wife and daughter and granddaughter went so I was pretty excited to get the invite. This was kind of like the first "real" time I've been invited to Matt's work stuff. Anyways, since we were downtown, I suggested that we use one of the cards on a new restaurant. Our choice was Rosalita's Catina:

So Matt ordered a beer ($5 which doesn't go towards the $25) and a burrito ($10). I ordered chicken tacos ($9) which only totaled us to $19. So even though I though it was ABSURD to pay $9.50 for cheese dip, we went ahead and ordered it so we'd be over $25. I must admit the $9.50 cheese dip was pretty fab!!! It was cheese dip with chunks of steak in it and sour cream and guacamole on top-yum!!! My tacos, well first they came out with beef, so they had to be exchanged but I thought the chicken and beef were mediocre, definitely not worth $9...they were pretty small to for that price. Matt only ate about half his because it was SO HUGE!!! We both agreed that it was good but nothing that we'd be like, "Let's drive all the way downtown for that!" Our bill after the coupon and with tax ended up being like $31. The cheese dip alone was worth blowing my diet for the day though!

It was sooo cold, I didn't have a coat on but it was Matt that was complaining how cold it was when we walked the three blocks back to the truck. How funny is that!!! As we got back to the parking lot, there were no attendants around. Matt was like, I think we got scammed and that's when I said, no-there they are. Here's a picture of the two parking attendants, sleeping in their car!!! If you look closely, the guy on the right has his mouth open!

So there's my restaurant review and a pic of our parking attendants!!! It was actually a pretty fun day and good quality time with hubs!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bloggy Friends...

...okay so today I want your opinion on blog friends and meeting people off the Internet? First I'll tell you why I'm asking then I'll tell you my opinion.

Everytime I mention that I'm doing something with my "blog friends," I get this double take and the typical, "So you've never met them?" or "You met them through your blog." Then on NYE, when we went to the Blues game, Matt asked, "So you met all these people online?" It's not so much the words that people say as the way they say them. What they're really thinking is, "OMG! You're meeting someone that you've never before in real life?! You're going to get your head cut off!"

So now for my thoughts...
1. How is finding people you have things in common with any different than picking up a guy/girl at the bar or going to a local runners/tennis/book club and meeting people you've never met before?
2. I don't see any harm in making bloggy friends if you're smart about it. I mean I'm not going to give out my address on my blog and make an open invitation for you all to come over then again, I don't even invite over my IRL friends!
3. I call my "blog friends" my "blog friends" but in reality, they're just my friends now, its just easier to "group" them together that way. I love my bloggy friends and I'm so happy I've met you. I feel like each of you, whether I've met you or not, has come into my life for a reason either to help me with weight loss, offer me advice, listen to my stories about my "nemisis" or just to give me some good laughs! If I didn't have bloggy friends then my social calendar would be pretty empty.

So anyways, I just wanted to say thanks to my bloggy friends for being awesome and to find out what your thoughts were.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More G-Cards...

..What? Are you surprised? It's a new season at Michael's which means new G-cards!!! Click here to read about my obsession. I'm not really feeling these to much but they've got a G on them so I have to have them. I think they'll be okay for bridal/baby shower cards to stick with a gift.
The ones on the left are Mary Engelbreit-everyone ooo and ahhh now! And just to clarify, other than the note cards, I only have a G flag outside the house but no other monogrammed stuff. Just wanted to share the latest and greatest G-cards!

And even though it's not the first of the month, today is 1-11-11 so I think that allows for a "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jumping on the Bandwagon...

...well, I've joined all the New Year's fun with the whole weight loss thing. Last week, I did pretty well on my diet with my big splurge being a Starbucks hot chocolate and I did *decent* on my exercise. I exercised all the days I was supposed to, just didn't put in all the miles I should have. But hey, I figure after 3 months off, I don't mind taking some time to get back into the swing of things. To be honest though, I'm trying not to weigh myself. I jumped on the scale the first day just to see where I was, I don't even know an exact number, just an, "Hmm...about this." Hopefully I'll be able to see the scale go down and be able to keep it off!

Anyways, so what's my game plan? Well, nothing really in particular, just trying to cut back on sweets and eat lots of fruits and veggies. Amazing how 10 baby carrots will fill you up but sigh, they just aren't the same as a candy bar-nor as many calories!!! I'm just taking things one week at a time and last week, I didn't have any good dinner-mainly just giant salads. So this week, I did some research and found some recipes on Kraft in their healthy section.

Saturday, Matt had to work all day and we missed the last of the Christmas get-togethers. I must say, I was a little upset but really glad I wouldn't be tempted by all the food. I took Shadow to the park he was working at and did some walking. I also brought him lunch, a salad with a can of tuna to mix in-he was less than happy about this lunch, sorry pretty-just trying to make you healthy too (and get rid of the salad before it goes bad!). I decided I would try out one of the recipes I'd found. Here it is:

Sicilian Sausage & Peppers Rigatoni

What You Need
1 lb. turkey Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 large green peppers, cut into strips
3 cups rigatoni, uncooked
1 jar (24 oz.) chunky spaghetti sauce
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Italian* Mozzarella-Parmesan Cheese Blend

Make It
HEAT oven to 375°F.

PLACE sausage and peppers in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

BAKE 15 to 20 min. or until sausage is done. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package.

DRAIN pasta. Add to baking dish with spaghetti sauce; stir. Bake 15 to 20 min. or until heated through. Top with cheese; bake 2 to 3 min. or until melted.
Final product!

Okay, so now for my changes.
1. Matt ate all the sausage in the freezer without telling me so I changed that to deer steak.
2. I only used one pepper. We're not huge pepper people plus I made this in a smaller dish since it was only for the two of us.
3. I had half a jar of Ragu left so I just used that. It wasn't chunky sauce and it coated everything just enough so there wasn't a ton of sauce left over.

According to the Kraft website, this is just 390 calories per serving. One thing I hate about their website is that they never say how big a serving is.

The verdict:
Matt thought it was good, too many peppers and as always, he added lots of ranch! In my opinion, I thought it was a little bland, maybe because it was supposed to be sausage? Either way, for only 390 calories it was pretty tasty and definitely feeling.

Be prepared for more posts like this and feel free to share any of your favorite healthy, low-cal dinners!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Changes to "Huck Finn"... my English teacher friend posted on FB that "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" had been revised. First off, this always happened to me. I can't tell you the last time I thought of Huck Finn then last night I was surfing the net for "Must Read" lists and came across the title then today, it's controversy!

Apparently, a Mark Twain scholar decided it was time to update the book. The new edition replaced the N-word, it was used 219 times, with the word "slave." I think the jury is out on whether this is the "right" or "wrong" thing to do. Some say go for it if it'll get this classic back in schools, others say its "censorship in a good way" while others argue that when the author, Twain wrote this story, that the N-word had a whole different meaning and it was a different period of time.

So what do you think? Should they let it be and truly represent that time period? Is it a good choice so that more kids can read the classic? Please share your opinions!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Break...

...well, people, I'm back and I owe you an explanation. Remember this post back on Thanksgiving? I know I said I wouldn't talk about infertility here and our treatments and everything but if you can't tell, it effects my every day life! December was an exciting month for Matt and I as we went through our first IVF cycle. Unfortunately, 60+ shots later and three days before Christmas, we found out that it failed...our first two "babies" we "made" were gone. My heart was broken. For the first time in my life, I didn't know how to pick up the pieces and move forward.

I took the past couple weeks to try to figure it out. I won't lie and say it was easy, it was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with my entire life. Luckily, I have awesome friends and family that pulled me through. Matt and I are grieving together and putting together a game plan for where we go from here. Come on, people, you should know me well enough by now to know that I have to have to plan to move forward! My boss was very happy today when I showed her my 22 week half marathon training plan. She said it was a sign to her that I was moving forward.

I apologize for the abrupt departure but hopefully you understand and forgive me. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year's. This is the first Christmas in YEARS that I don't have ANY pictures! I'm working on making 2011 WAY BETTER than 2010!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Day Grub...

...actual New Year's Day, I slept in until about 11. Like I said yesterday, I had a major slinger hangover-oye! Once I finally got up and moving, I decided to make some homemade chocolate chip cookies. With all the cookies baking in the past few weeks, I wasn't able to eat any of the dough well guess what-I think I ate more dough than cookies! The cookies were yummy because I put in too many chocolate chips!!!
Our NY Day traditions (from my family, Matt's got none): Hog jowl and black eyed peas and if Matt asks me one more time if I put a silver dime in it, I swear...Anyways, no silver dime since it was just the two of us and I didn't have one anyways. Hog jowl, I ate my one piece and Matt ate the rest. The black eyed peas-actually tastey this year if I do say so myself!
Also on the menu, mashed potatoes (I cheated and got the microwave kind), green bean casserole, and pecan encrusted chicken from the meat counter at Schnucks. Matt and I both agreed-too much encrusting!!!
My full plate!
Yep, so all we did on NY Day was lounge and eat! Sunday we got up and headed to church to start the year off right (another post about that later), realized my sticker for my license plate renewal fell off my plate (fill out a form, get it notarized and then pay $12 for another one) and to be honest, I was uber crabby! I'm hoping 2011 starts to look up!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

NYE-Let's Go Blues!!!

...well, people, I'm back. I'll post more later about my hiatus. For now, let's focus on the awesome New Year's we had!!! Jen had this great idea to head to the Blues game for NYE. I was pumped because you know what that meant? Jeans and a tshirt were the appropriate attire-woohoo!!! I'm always game for a good time out in comfy clothes.

The Blues won 4-3 and Jen showed us how to do the Power Play dance:

The McDurbins joined us for the evening too. Ang got stuck in the bathroom had her hub Goose McDurbin had to come save her.

The hubs and I heading to the after party in the Bud Light Zone after the game. Aren't we cute in our blue?

Our "package" included seats to the game and the after party. At the after party, you got drinks and food. Oh the food, it was wonderful and a great way to send out 2010. Here's the "slinger" which included a hamburger, hashbrowns, fried egg, chili and cheese...I ate the top half and felt like crap all the next day. Forget the alcohol hangover, I had a major slinger hangover!!! OH! And those cookies...yeah, they were like the best cookies EVER!!!

Cece and her hubby joined us too. Here they are being...gansta?

One of my favorite quotes of the night, aside from Jen discussing "floppy nipples," would have to be when Ang and Cece were telling Jen that Ang is married to Cece's ex. Angie said, "It's like a garage person's trash is another person's treasure!" I was near tears on that one, kids!
I hope you had a good New Year's and that 2011 is an awesome year for everyone!!!