Thursday, July 29, 2010

Asparagus Pesto

I just discovered this recipe in the March issue of Southern Living magazine, and I couldn't wait to try it! Yes, I said March. That's how long it takes me to get through a whole magazine. I can now move on to April. Anyway, this pesto sounded yummy to me, but I was a little leery of how many calories would be in it. I entered it into the calorie calculator and was pleasantly surprised, so I picked up the ingredients at the store this morning.

Asparagus Pesto
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I cheated and used pre-shredded)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp. lemon juice (As I typed this I realized that I left this out. Oops! It still tastes good.)
3/4 tsp. salt

1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Chop into 2-inch pieces. Cook in boiling water to cover 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.
2. Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop cooking; drain.
3. Process asparagus and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Voila! Asparagus pesto. The recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups, so I figured that's about 10 servings at 1/4 cup each. According to the calorie calculator, that's a grand total of 174 calories for the pesto. I added it to a serving of penne pasta for a grand total of 384 for my lunch. (I can't help you if you need to know things like fat grams and fiber and protein and all that mess. I've just been focusing on calories.)

It's good! I promise. Well, you'll like it if you like the taste of asparagus, that is. That little jar doesn't stand a chance in my fridge. It will all be eaten soon. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New 'Do

I got my hair done today for the first time in ages. And I think I finally look like a grown-up again for the first time in ages. Of course, Photo Booth snapped this just moments after Neely stopped saying, "Cheese!"in a big, toothy grin kind of way. Ah, well.

When Aidan saw I had Photo Booth open, he had to take a picture...and choose the effect. Neely doesn't look good in either of these pictures, so here's another one of her that I took this morning.

She's starting to look a little shaggy, too. I'm afraid I won't be able to put off the first haircut too much longer. I can't believe she's getting so big! Stay tuned for more on that, because her big-girl bed arrived today. Once we get the mattress for it and get her room arranged, I'll be sharing some photos of that, of course. *sigh* My little five pound, seven ounce baby is almost two, needs a haircut, and has a big-girl bed. What next?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend in Enid

We spent the weekend in Oklahoma visiting family. I got to meet my niece for the first time. I can hardly believe she's five months old already. She's a sweet, sweet baby, and I think she knew she could wrap her Auntie Dra around her little finger by giving me lots of smiles and giggles. Of course, it helped that I caught a cold and my voice sounded hilarious even to me. Here she is! I forgot how difficult it is to get a clear picture of a wiggly baby.

In the meantime, Aidan and Neely were wrestling on the sofa.

This is when Uncle John realized that he and Ellyce have the same haircut.

We made a valid attempt at getting a good picture of all three cousins together. Even harder than getting a good picture of a wiggly baby is getting a good one of three squirmy kids. I think we were as successful as is possible.

...but this one's my favorite. My kiddos love their Lycie. :D

Neely took her Saturday afternoon nap in the big bed. It must be as comfortable as it looks, because she slept forever!

Almost everybody piled on the couch. Neely decided to keep her Uncle Mikey. (Sorry, dude. She just climbed into my lap and started calling you that as I typed your name. It was meant to be.)

As is usual with weekend trips, the time went by too quickly. Hopefully we won't wait so long to see you guys again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I did it! I lost 17 pounds! My goal was actually 15, and after last week’s weigh-in, I only had a pound to lose. I went a little overboard last week, because I was so close that I almost just didn’t care if I made that last pound or not. “Why not have three slices of pizza for lunch today?” “Why not eat an extra half-portion of barbecue tonight?” “I want popcorn. I’ve almost met my goal. I’m eating popcorn.”

Needless to say, I was pleasantly shocked when I stepped on the scale yesterday and had lost three pounds! I’ll take it. Now, I’ve moved on to the maintenance phase. The calorie counting program I’ve been using tells me I can now have twice as many calories in a day as I was eating…and I can’t do it. I split the difference and fell about 500 shy yesterday, and I felt like I was grossly overeating all day.

All I really changed was that I added healthy snacks between meals – almonds, low fat string cheese, Kashi fruit bar. I’ll get used to it soon, I’m sure. I just want to be sure that I’m not adding unhealthy foods back in to fill that calorie quota. And I’m going to keep up my exercise routine so everything doesn’t turn back to fat this time around. I’ve still got a ways to go as far as toning, anyway. I’ll be switching my focus from that all-important number to what my body looks like.

I know I’ve still got work to do to make sure that all of these changes become habits. In the past, when circumstances change, I quit exercising, make excuses and give up my diet. I think the biggest transition – even though it’s still two months away – will be when the kids go back to school. Hopefully by then, it will be so ingrained in me to go to the gym in the morning that I won’t choose running errands and grocery shopping over working out.

Until then, I'm excited that I've met my goal. Five years later, I'm finally back where I was before I got pregnant with Aidan. I think I'll reward myself with a pair of jeans that actually fit...once I've saved up for them. :) 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Where I've been

I know. It seems like I've dropped off the face of the blogging earth lately. Don't worry. The kids are still happy and healthy and doing fun things. Aidan is bearing with the swimming lessons. He's the only one in his class now, so the last couple of weeks have been pretty awesome. Neely has started saying, "I love you," and she's decided that "Peter Pan" is her favorite movie. "Here we gooooooo!"

A couple weeks ago, I made up my mind (pretty much) to do a booth at a local craft fair this fall. I went through my fabric stash and started making as many things as possible to start collecting for the fair. I've been making myself put in a few hours a day sewing and working on new things so that I have enough to fill a booth. I have a few months, but I don't want to be stuck pulling all-nighters come October.

I have a small army of skirts hanging in the closet, waiting to be finished.

A few new numbers to try.

And this is the small army of Bella pants that I took to Beautiful Bowtique last week. I'm trying to collect things for the show, plus keep up with my regular orders, plus try and do enough extra in the in between to be able to afford supplies for everything. It's a little nuts right now. My blogging has taken a backseat until I get balanced back out. If you don't hear from me again until next week, it'll be because we're taking a little trip to Oklahoma this weekend to meet my sweet niece, Ellyce. (Thanks, Mike and Jamie, for turning me into a rhymer.) I'm sure I won't be able to resist sharing pictures of her when we return. I love me a baby! :D

Friday, July 16, 2010

Question and Answer

This exchange happened as I prepared breakfast this morning.

Me: (making coffee)
Aidan: What are you doing?
Me: Making coffee.
Aidan: Why do you do that every day?
Me: Because I like it.
Aidan: What's coffee?
Me: A drink.
Aidan: Is coffee for when you cough or not?
Me: (laughing) No, it's not.
Aidan: But it has cough in it!

No matter how many answers I give, he always has another question. This time, however, the result was pretty funny.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pickled Okra

Yesterday evening, I tried my hand at pickling for the first time. It was so easy! Now that I've gotten the hang of the canning process, I was able to whip these out in about half an hour. What did I pickle? Okra. Don't worry, Stef. Two of these jars have your name on them. I've even taste tested them already, and they are good!

I didn't really photo-chronicle this canning adventure, since I was also preparing to fix dinner. If anybody's interested in the recipe, you can e-mail me. The cookbook says you can substitute green beans if you're not into okra. I may have to try that out, for curiosity's sake.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was asked a few weeks ago how I keep myself motivated to eat healthier and exercise while losing weight at a snail’s pace – two pounds a week. At the time, my biggest motivation was watching that number slowly decrease. What helps me stay on track best? Not weighing myself daily.

John and I have very different approaches to the weigh-in. He has always been a little obsessive-compulsive about it. Even when we aren’t dieting, if there is a scale around, he’s on it. Some days, it seems like he weighs himself two or three times. In actuality, it’s probably only once, it just seems frequent to me and my once a week turn on the scale.

Weighing daily discourages me, because sometimes that number doesn’t budge. Sometimes it even goes up! I’ve picked one day a week, first thing in the morning, to weigh myself. It’s like Christmas morning. I rush to the bathroom, step on the scale, and surprise! Two more pounds are gone.

Until this week. I didn’t lose a thing this week, because we took a mini-vacation for the Fourth of July and I ate without abandon. I heeded none of our dieting rules and paid no regard to portions, but it’s okay. We got right back to it as soon as we returned home. I’d like to think of the weekend as a reward for a job well done. I’m confident that I didn’t overdo it too badly, because I at least did not gain weight.

Numbers not your thing? The next best motivation for me is accountability. John and I are doing this together. We keep one another on track, comparing notes about our meals and how much exercise we’re getting. If you don’t have a spouse, or yours has no need or desire to diet with you, find a friend. Start going to the gym together. It’s easier to make yourself go if someone else is counting on you to be there, and some of my closest friends were workout buddies first.

Start there. Start exercising more, and chances are, you won’t want to go home and blow all your hard work by eating an entire large pizza, or a whole bag of Oreos, or whatever. Partner up! Accountability works!

In a few more weeks, as I reach my goal and begin to maintain, my motivation will shift. My goal will be to stay healthy. I’m trying to set a good example for my kids. I’m also trying to make sure that I can keep up with them. I’ve been given one body. I’m blessed that it all functions properly, and I need to take good care of it.