January 31, 2012

Ginger Lovers Unite!!

For Christmas this year I got one of the best gifts ever - the Weight Watchers Cookbook!!
 We've been so busy that it's taken almost a month for us to try a new recipe out of it but we finally did and oh boy am I impressed!!

It's a pretty simple recipe and fairly inexpensive if you have most of the ingredients on hand - 

You will need - 
1lb pork tenderloin (this will be the most expensive part), 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, 3 garlic cloves (I used garlic powder), 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (we used our Ginger in a bottle), 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons Asian (dark) sesame oil, and salt!

First I whipped together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and sesame oil.

 Mixed it all together than dumped into a gallon zip lock baggie.

Then I had Chuckles slice open our tenderloin. You cut it lengthwise in half, like opening a book.

Then pound it out until it's about 3/4 inch thick.

Then you place the meat into your zip lock baggie (forgot to take a pic) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. We had it in the fridge for about 4 hours and I made sure to check it 2 hours into it and "rotate" it in the bag. I wanted to make sure it all got coated.
Now the recipe calls for you to grill it but it's January. And while the weather hasn't been too bad in California we didn't feel like pulling the BBQ out of the garage and this is when having  Sous Chef comes in handy! Chuck said - no problem to put it in the oven!!

But first, put foil on a baking sheet, spray with non stick spray, place your meat in the center. I poured the remaining marinade over the top cause you can't go wrong with more seasoning!!

Crank your oven to 375 degrees and let it cook for 25-30 minutes! Then remove from oven and let it stand for 5-10 minutes.

Then get to slicing!! Doesn't that look amazing? It smelled pretty bomb as well!

We cooked up some rice and broccoli and had us an AMAZING dinner. The tenderloin was so flavorful and so moist!! I was in HEAVEN!!
 For you Ginger lovers make sure to try this recipe. I would recommend this to anyone and you really can't go wrong with some broccoli and rice as your sides!!

Total points value = 5 points for two slices of the tenderloin (cut it into 10 slices).

TRY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :o)

January 26, 2012

Fight to the Finish!

I just finished another fabulous book by Mary Kay Andrews called Deep Dish! And of course Ms. Andrews does not disappoint!

This book was true Mary Kay Andrews style and took place in, of course, the South!! It focuses on two local tv chefs, Gina and Tate, who end up in a tough competition against each other for their own big network show.

Of course theirs romance because its Mary Kay Andrews, but it's also filled with foooooooddddd!! Good ol' southern food!! Which now that I think about it, her books always have food as a focus and of course she includes recipes in the back.

This book was super cute, very typical of her style of writing, and of course predictable! But it's fun and cute and totally worth reading. It really would be a great beach or pool book to read as it takes place in the middle of summer in the south!!

Overall grade B+, not my favorite book and I couldn't connect with the characters at all but I still really really enjoyed it!!

January 17, 2012

22 Britannia Road

Sorry for the lapse in blogging. January always slows down for me, well at least when it comes to blogging, because I don't have too much time for crafting or cooking or reading. And since home improvements are still on hold, I am absolutely dying to do some, I don't have much to share!

However I finished up this months book club book last night! We are reading 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson this month!

I was so excited to read this book as I've heard so many good things. In fact I have not heard one bad thing....I guess I'll have to break that. No I'm not looking for anything negative but at the same point I do have one gripe about this novel...okay maybe two...

It is a wonderful historical novel. If you like history and you like reading fictional novels (based on facts - I'm sure) then you will love this book. The writing is wonderful. I really enjoyed the details the author included and I never felt overwhelmed by it. I was thoroughly involved in the story of Silvana, Janusz, and Aurek.

But........there was no big climatic moment. You keep waiting and waiting for something big to happen. Yes there is a huge secret in the book but let me tell you it's pretty damn obvious what it is. Maybe not from the very beginning but definitely about 100 pages in you a light bulb that pops up and you know how it's going to go. The story does not disappoint in that aspect.

I just was hoping for some more excitement from it. Like I said if you really enjoy reading historical fictional novels this would be right up your alley. I guess they just aren't my cup of tea (yup it takes place in Britain) so for me I need a little more excitement and a little less sadness. Yeah yeah, I know what the book description says it's about so how I can say a little less sadness...I don't know exactly what I mean by it either, but the book overall, once I got to the end, was a let down.

Overall grade - B. I got very into it and ended up reading 125 pages last night, stayed up late to finish it, but at the end of the book I felt a little let down.

January 11, 2012

In A Pinch

So far it's been a good start to my 2012 reading list! I just finished reading The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer and it was a super cute and light read.

The main character Kat discovers her husband might be having an affair with plans to leave her. When she finally consults an attorney it turns out she needs $15,000 just for a retainer. Be a self proclaimed shopper and living in place where shopping is easily accessible she doesn't have a dime. She discovers her husband and her are in an enormous amount of debt thanks to her constant shopping and vows to change her habits. She joins a Penny Pinchers Club and the hilarity ensues!

I couldn't help but love her. She's funny, she's honest, and she completely takes the penny pinching by storm which causes her to end up sitting in the police department. Yup it's funny just trust me and read the book!

Overall Grade - A! I enjoyed this book so much and ended up staying up late two nights then was thanking my lucky stars I was able to finish on my lunch break cause I had spent all morning long thinking about how I couldn't wait to read it LOL!

January 8, 2012

My First 5K - On the Road to My Next 5K!

Well Ladies and Gents I have some very exciting news to share with you!

In the middle of  November I gave the Couch to 5K Program a try using the fabulous KissMyBlackAss.org Podcasts (thanks Seester for reminding me)! I knew that walking was no longer doing it for me and I wanted to up my excercise! However I was terrified of running! I haven't run since high school (aside from on an elliptical) and being overweight I was so embarassed to run and have my fat jiggling all over the damn place.

So how did I overcome that fear? I got up early and started to do the program in the wee hours before work where I knew NO ONE would see me give it a shot! I started the 9 week program on November 13th and knew it was the right choice!

I LOVED the first week. I LOVED the music and I LOVED that I could even run at all! It may seem strange to some people but the high I got from running soley came from the fact that I was ABLE TO RUN! I'm serious. In my mind I never had that confidence that I could ever run even a mile on my own.

After week 5 of the program I stopped. Not because I gave up but because I was running 3 miles without stopping, I no longer needed the interval running to keep me going. I couldn't even fathom that I was able to quit after Week 5 and essentially jump to Week 9 where you run for 30 minutes straight.

Not only that but I decided to challenge myself and I signed up to do a 5K Resolution Run. I kept it a secret from almost everyone because I didn't want to fail. I wanted to succeed but again I was so terrified that I'd fail. Yes I may have been running the 3.10 miles on my own but for some reason it never computed to me that I'd be able to do those same miles in a race.

On January 1, 2012 I woke up and donned my trusty workout clothes and shoes. I'll admit I had nerves and unfortunately being my first race I didn't realize that you really don't need to be there right when they say. We showed up at 9AM and there was no one there but those who were setting up the booths. Needless to say we took a little drive and went to get Chuckles some breakfast.

At 9:20 we parked the car and I walked up the Registration Booth to pick up my Bib Number!

And of course I am going to scrapbook this event that I have NEVER thought would happen in my life!

Because they had such a huge turnout they did 2 "heats". The first "heat" A.K.A Race, was for those who could finish in 20 minutes or less. Nope NOT ME! I ran the second "heat", where we started 10 minutes later. There were quite a few others in the second heat so I felt a little bit better. Still nervous standing there all alone while Chuckles snapped pictures!

At first I got passed up by so many people but I didn't dare look behind me. It didn't matter. I had a goal and I wanted to meet it. I wanted my best time yet which would have been anything less than 36 minutes. I was shooting for 34 minutes.

Here I am in the final stretches of the race.

And here I am crossing the finish line. I'm not even going to lie, once I saw that finish line I sped up. I was ready to be done. I had met my goal!!!!!!! I did the race in 34 minutes and 3 seconds (according to the official time on the website). I wanted to cry because it was such an overwhelming feeling to not only participate but then to meet my goal. I can't even describe how proud I am of myself. And yes I'll toot my own horn on this one.

To know that I worked hard to get to this point only made me more motivated. I have already signed up for two more 5ks this year and I am determined to do a 10k. My next 5k is in May and I want to complete it in less than 30 minutes.

The weight loss journey I experienced last year didn't hit me emotionally until the end of the year. Its a journey I never thought I would lose 53lbs. I never ever imagined I'd go from a size 20 to size 16 (and still shrinking YAY). I never in my life imagined I'd run 3.1 miles because I want to not because I had to.

I never thought I'd run in a 5k race.

Now I can't wait to get off work and go for a run! Yes, I'm running in daylight and damn proud of it.
Now I can't wait for my next two 5ks and I wish they were here already.
Now I can't wait to run in a 10k race.

To all of you who think you can't lose the weight or you can't become athletic.

When I was talking to a friend of mine about being nervous about the race, she asked me why. I said cause I'm not a runner.
Her response - "You go running right? Then You ARE a Runner"!

2011 was an amazing year for me and even as I'm writing this post I'm brought to tears because never in my life did I think I was capable of changing my weight and my health but I did it damnnit and I am so proud of myself!

Thank you to my family and friends who reassured me and supported me throughout the last year and who I know will continue to support and be on my side throughout the rest of this journey!

A huge thank you to my Chuckles. He has been the most supportive and reassured me constantly that I can do this and has reminded me constantly of how much I've already done!

To my readers I hope you've made it through this long post. I know it's different from a lot of my other posts and it's a lot longer but I appreciate your time and your support as well!

Happy 2012!! May it be the best year for everyone!!

January 7, 2012

2012 Book List Edits!

I know, I know - I just posted my 2012 Book List and I'm already making edits! But good edits! I completely forgot to add 4 books I had sitting on my shelf that I bought during the summer last year. I've been patiently waiting for 2012 to roll around so I can read them! AND I totally forgot about the rest of the years Book Club Books!!

So the grand total for my 2012 book list is actually 40 books and it's stopping there! I don't want to stress myself out and I like a nice even number!!

So here are the 6 additions (plus 6 more after our Book Club picks the remainder of years novels)

  1. Running in Heels by Anna Maxted
  2. Clearing the Aisle by Karen Schwartz
  3. The Book Club by Mary Alice Monroe
  4. Morning Glory by Diana Peterfreund
  5. The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer
  6. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

And that's it folks! No more additions and hopefully no subtractions this year! I feel very confident that I'll enjoy all of these books!

January 5, 2012

Nothing Like A Nicholas Sparks Novel to Start the Year Off

Even though I just posted my 2012 Book List don't think I hadn't already started reading from day one :)

I just finished reading Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and if you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks or even familiar with his many heart wrenching novels then you already know how this review is going to go :)

In case you never saw the movie trailer or read the book this story is about young love. Who woulda thunk it right? Mr Sparks is notoriously known for his tear jerker novels turned blockbuster sensations!

This novel revolves around a young man named....you guessed it....John. He's on leave from the army and of course like all good summer romances he meets girl, rescues her (well her bag) and they fall in love during the few weeks he's home. When he heads back off to Germany where he is stationed the young woman, Savannah, promises to write him letters and they count down the days til his next leave. A year later they are reunited but as you can imagine time changes everything.

I won't say much more because I truly believe you should read this book. Yes I caught myself wiping away a few tears but you'll be suprised to know it wasn't because of love lost, it was because of the enormous amount of love that comes in so many different forms in this novel. It pulls at your heart strings because you truly feel like you know these characters.

This has to be my favorite Nicholas Sparks novels yet, even beating out The Notebook, because it's so much more than just a love story between a man and woman. It's about unconditional love for a Father that is misunderstood, loving someone so much you only care about their happiness, and of course about first loves, cause who doesn't like reading about those :)

I fully intend on renting this movie tomorrow and at some point locking myself in the bedroom with a box of kleenex and my dog Roxy to bawl my eyes out (without Chuckles seeing of course) but I know I won't be left feeling sad, I will be left feeling the enormous amount of Love people can feel and can give.

Read the book before the movie. Without having seen the movie yet I already know it can't possibly touch how heartfelt the novel is.

2012 Reading List Is Here!

Here it is folks my 2012 Reading List!

  1. 22 Brittania Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
  2. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosney
  3. Little Chapel on the River by Gwendolyn Bounds
  4. Life is So Good by George Dawson
  5. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
  6. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West
  7. The Imperfectionist by Tom Rachman
  8. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  9. Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson
  10. Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
  11. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
  12. The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel & Nancy Garfinkel
  13. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
  14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  15. Malachi by Jacob Emery
  16. There's a Spouse in my House by Peter Scott
  17. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
  18. Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler
  19. Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
  20. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
  21. Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
  22. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  23. The Girl With No Shadow by JoAnne Harris
  24. There are Things I Want You to Know About Stiegg Larsson by Eva Gabriellson
  25. I Remember You by Harriet Evans
  26. Deep Dish: A Novel by Mary Kay Andrews
  27. A Mile in My Flip Flops by Melody Carlson
  28. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
As you can see a few of them are carried over from last year cause I'm still excited to read them! Speaking of last year I read a total of 49 books and 16879 pages!! The page number is so cool to track so you better believe I'll be tracking for 2012!!

Who else has a 2012 book list?

January 4, 2012

2012 Goals

This year is going to be absolutely crazy, nuts, busy, and a whole lot of fun! To start this year off with a bang here are my 2012 Goals!

1. Read my 2012 book list! After my 2011 list I'm scaling back so it's less stressful! Stay tuned...it's coming soon!
2. Lose an additional 40lbs and meet my healthy weight range!
3. Run 4 days out of the week.
4. Complete my 5K race in May in under 30 minutes.
5. Participate in a 10K race.
6. Create and stay on track with a weekly chore list!
7. Scrapbook two layouts a month.
8. Celebrate our Anniversary - This is very important to us!
9. Complete my Hawaii, 2008 and 2009 Scrapbook Albums.
10. Leave more spare time to relax! Meaning scheduling in free time and weekends on my calendar!

There you have it folks! I think this year I'll print these out and tape them to my bathroom wall to keep me motivated! I am so excited to get started on my goals!

Who else has 2012 Goals or Resolutions!

January 3, 2012

2011 Wrap Up

Boy oh boy did the last couple weeks of December fly by! I couldn't even make time to post but I'm back and ready to start 2012 off with a bang! First things first - lets do a recap of my 2011 Goals.

1. Dress up for work 4 days out of the week. (We have a pretty lax dress code but I want to start dressing more business casual instead of jeans everyday) - FAILED! I tried but then I shrunk out of my pants and have been waiting to buy new work slacks. When you don't need them for work it's hard to justify spending the money on new work pants. Plus I realized I'm very lucky to get to go comfy to work so I am taking advantage. Point in fact - today I'm in sneakers, jeans, and a sweatshirt!

2. Work 40 hour workweeks!! I am sick of working extra hours so this year it's 40 hour work weeks (Overtime ONLY when absolutely NEEDED and NEVER on a Friday) - ACCOMPLISHED! This year I only worked a few hours of overtime when it was absolutely needed! I wish I could say I never did on a Friday but it turns out Fridays are the best times for me to work overtime. I accomplish way more and then I get to go home and veg with the honey!

3. Lose 2 dress sizes by Summer (3 by Christmas) - Somewhat Accomplish/Somewhat Failed - I lost 2 dress sizes but not until October. I am almost down one more but alas, I did not meet the goal by the end of the year. However - I lost 53 lbs this year and started excercising 3-4 days out of the week! That to me makes up for the dress size.

4. Read 2011 Book List - ACCOMPLISHED! Yes the side tracker says I didn't but if you notice my original 2011 Book List was 46 books and I read 49 this year!!

5. Clean the house top to bottom every week! - HAHAHAHA FAIL!! This was definitely a wishful thinking goal. We just got so darn busy that it didn't happen. I will say though we have a new cleaning goal for 2012 that is totally attainable! Stay tuned...

6. Take Buster to Camp Bow Wow twice a month - Half Fail/Half Accomplished! This one is half and half because we did take him twice a month and then I started excercising and started taking Buster 3 days outo f the week. The Camp Bow Wow was to give him some excercise but once I started walking him we stopped taking him twice a month. He still goes but since it's expensive we cut back!

7. Finish my bookkeeping certificate - ACCOMPLISHED!!

8. Finish up the Home Improvements (List coming soon) - With the wedding planning (and saving) we did very minimal work on the house, which I knew would happen. In case you forget I made my goals before our engagement, which definitely put a damper on some goals, but hey there's always this year right....or next year :)

9. Scrapbook 2 layouts a month - ACCOMPLISHED! I successfully scrapbooked at least 2 layouts a month!

10. Finish my Hawaii album - FAILED!! I completely forgot this was a goal until yesterday. Where I spent all afternoon working on it, with only one layout left to do I am positive it will be finished before the end of January.

11. Spend more time with friends - ACCOMPLISHED! In fact I overbooked myself too much in 2011 and started hating making plans. While I love spending time with friends I found myself overly stressed over life and committments so this year my friends - Yes we will spend oodles of time together but I'm going to say No a lot more to give myself some downtime!!

12. Date night EVERY week! - FAILED!! We were extremely good at this until Chuckle's got his new job, now it's like date night every single night and weekend!! Plus when the weather got cold we wanted to stay home! But we always make sure to do something on date night, whether its playing games at home or at least going out to eat.

13. Take a FUN vacation - like Hawaii, Vegas, Disneyland, or a Cruise - This got put on the back burner due to our engagement. But we PLANNED our Honeymoon for this year so I think it counts!!

14. Go camping at least 4 times - Again with the engagement we decided to cut back costs and we lost quite a few weekends, BUT we went 2 TIMES!! So I deem this an accomplishment! Once just us two for our big vacation and then once for the Annual Campfest! Both times were so much fun! 

15. Celebrate our Anniversay (we never do cause I am so not into those things) - ACCOMPLISHED! We went to the Melting Pot and had a great experience! So great we are going again this year! WOOHOO!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 2011, a Safe New Years, and most of all that you completed your goals you set out to complete!

For this year I am going a little more specific and probably a few less with the weddings (yup my Seester is getting married this year too) taking up all our time :)

Happy New Years Everyone!

A Bit Of This, A Dash Of That Template by Ipietoon Cute Blog Design and Bukit Gambang