Vegan is the new black

A good friend of mine who has struggled with losing weight since toddlerhood recently began a low fat, vegetable-based diet. She’s lost a really great amount of weight and left an impression on me. Very soon after talking to her about it, I took my kids to the library and as I was waiting for them to pick out there video games, the book “Clean Protein” almost fell off of the shelf. I checked it out and flew through it. It made so much sense to me. I decided I should really give it a try. After 2 months and 12 pounds lost, I’m really enjoying what I eat and not at all feeling deprived. This recipe was inspired by a side dish my neighbor made at a BBQ fest I recently attended. No animals were killed, milked or laid for any of the ingredients.

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Vegetables

  • 1 pound thick spaghetti, soba or rice noodles
  • Broccoli, red bell peppers, sliced carrots and any other vegetable you want really
  • 1/3 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of chunky peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Green onion, chopped for garnish
  • Cook noodles according to package. Stir fry or steam vegetables. In a small bowl, combine rest of ingredients, minus green onion. Pour over hot noodles and coat. Add the vegetables and toss. Garnish with green onion. Please enjoy with a glass of white wine.
  • Vegetable-based or vegan, call it what you will. It’s delicious!
  • Puttin’ a band-aid on it, but really it’s a spray tan or maybe a face-lift…?

    My dream, hopefully one that comes true, is to put an addition on my house. Therefore when it’s imperative to do something about an ugly, crumbling, out-dated bathroom, the answer, without breaking the bank, is minor plastic surgery done by a not-so-professional doc, moi!

    No we didn’t bathe in this. I just didn’t take pictures before I started demo.The reason for the remodel. Damn you old 1940 faucet that couldn’t take the heat! Actually the cold water spigot was the problem.

    Some tile board from Menards, vinyl tile from Lowes, gobs of saw dust and adhesive, a crap ton of elbow grease and caulk, lots and lots of caulk.


    check out that soap dispenser a little pop of color in the cabinet for yaDid I mention tub paint? Lost some brain cells that day. Please always use a respirator. Safety first, or as an after thought in my case.

    Ok, some finishing touches are still needed. But the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the pièce de résistance…

    Thank you Shark Tank and Illumibowl!

    Always room(s) for improvement: Before, after and everything in between

    I’m slightly manic and slightly ADD-like in my need to constantly change my surroundings. Oh, if I could I would start a new home project every week. But the reality of having young kids and not a ton of dough means these projects are done solely by me and therefore cost less, but take more time.

    My wainscoting project started on December 26 and ended January 15, my 46th birthday. I woke up at 5:00 AM with my 4 year old who wouldn’t go back asleep. I had a couple of cups of coffee, changed into painting clothes and put the final coat of paint on my masterpiece.


    The day after Christmas. An empty house because my hubby took the kids to Wisconsin since I had to work. So what does a mom free of motherly responsibility do?

    Take off base board and molding under windows of course! Fill cracks with Great Stuff (total lives up to it’s name.) Drafts and ants be gone!

    Cut 1/4 plywood sheets then glued and nailed them making sure that two ends butted up at a stile location. Pneumatic tools are not a necessity but are way better than a hammer and nail. Amish I’m not. I dream of owning a table saw and router table. Hey, a girl can dream!

    Paint plywood with one coat of Sherwin Williams Emerald semi-gloss in Extra White. Let’s see how long that hue stays.

    Start building from the bottom up. Just makes sense, right? I used plain 5 1/2 inch primed molding for the base board.

    Base shoe molding, 2 1/2 inch mission style molding for stiles and framing leaving a space between the base molding and lower frame for extra decorative piece.

    Gap filler / decorative piece. Not proud of the miter cut. I’ll fix it later….

    Top trim and fill the nail holes with wood filler. Let dry and sand smooth. An electric sander is best, again not Amish, and hand sanding may leave some fill marks that will look like the gum you find under old school desks. Bleh!

    After two coats of paint…Voila!

    The after photo was truly a motivator. Time to take down Christmas.

    Green Movement

    This will get some movements going. In the spirit of the holidays, the current recount requested by the Green Party and the low carb meal plans out there, here is a delicious detour from diet foods. 

    Mini Spinach “Muffins”


    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 1 lb shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • 7 eggs whisked
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt 
    • 1 bag frozen chopped spinach (thawed and excess water squeezed out)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

    Combine eggs, butter and cheese. Mix well. Add baking powder, salt and spinach.

    Using a scooper, fill 32 parchment muffin cups. 

    These baking cups are AWESOME! Get them at Target.

    Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Enjoy!

    Freeze them and when you are ready to eat, pop them in the microwave about a minute for a high protein, although not low cal snack…or meal if you please. 

    weight loss challenge has it’s challenges

    Well it seems appropriate to restart this blog, after a long break, on the day I start my work weight loss challenge. Needless to say I truly enjoyed my summer but it’s time to get back on the horse.

    Man! That reminds me of how hard it is to get on a damn bike! I have lost all flexibility and can barely lift my leg up and over the bar.

    What’s really crazy about my particular current situation is that I have a degree in Exercise Physiology. I was a damn personal trainer for crying out loud! I used to be fit and strong and a borderline hottie!

    Did I have an attitude in the beginning of summer? Did I make it sound like I didn’t care? Did I throw up my arms and give up? Yes, yes and yes. That’s kind of what happens when you are in denial.

    I do care. And even more, my family cares. My kids have been asking me when I’m going to “not have a fat belly.” I’ve been ignoring them and then pacifying them because I didn’t want to give up my junk food and beer and candy. I wasn’t ready to really look at what I’ve done to myself.  I hadn’t hit rock bottom…until today.

    Actually it really feels like a huge rock hit my huge bottom (and top and middle) when I saw that number on the scale. It’s a big one. One I have really and truly never ever seen under my toes. One that has to go down substantially and has to stay down for the long run. One that was 45 lbs lower just one year ago!

    But what do I do this time that I haven’t tried in the past 30+ years of my struggle? Not sure yet.

    I need a plan that is real to my reality. One that does the job. One that completes the job and has a comprehensive warranty on parts and labor.

    It has to make sense. It has to feel as natural as possible in order for me to truly adapt. It has to speak equally to my mind and body.

    I will do this. It’s attainable. It’s my destiny, not my density that pushes me.

    I need to care about what my kids think. I need to care about myself again. I need to be able to fit in my damn self again.

    Being comfortable in my own self. Isn’t that what really matters anyway?

    getting real, really


    I started this as a kind of outlet for my thoughts, but I was really overthinking each post, I think. I definitely want to be funny in case someone happens upon this, but trying hard to be clever is not what I wanted this type of writing to be, spontaneous and authentic.

    I’m not writing a novel.

    I want to write about what happened that day or possibly tell of my DIY home improvement projects, because I have many. I want to talk about my kids and their craziness or loveliness. I want to share my weight loss battles and successes. I want to rave about my cooking as I am quite a good cook (not the kind to go on a reality show contest though.)

    I will try my best to be witty and entertaining. I will try my hardest to share real thoughts about what’s happening in this crazed life I call my life. I will be me and I hope that is plenty.


    We are all bugs

    cropped-IMG_1202.jpgYes, I am comparing myself to a bug. You are too. Any bug, really, fits the description. I’d like to say I’m a lady bug, but nobody likes them any more because they are annoying…. Hey!

    Thank God I am not a cicada! Stupid things live in the ground until their cotillion age, or something like that. Then they shed, leaving crispy locust casts all over the place, take up flying without proper training, mate with another stupid cicada and become part of a 17 year feast for all things with mouths. Potatoes, taste just like potatoes. Uh huh. No thanks.

    In due time, actually as soon as it hits 50 degrees, we come out buzzing, looking for things to perk up our boring lives. We don’t waste time. We get our yards and decks and coolers ready as we know that soon will be our time to relish, to bask, to… sweat OUR ASSES OFF!

    Crap! How can I forget those gross days of stagnant heat and misery?  Those days you don’t and won’t hang out in nature. You hole up in the basement, which everyone knows is always the coolest room in the house. You can’t wait for the fall when the kids go back to school. You can’t wait for the fall when you can cover up your too high BMI in jeans and sweatshirts.

    But unlike bugs, we complain when the weather is too hot or too cold. When our electric bill is bigger than the bill from labor and delivery of all four kids births. When the days are too long and we can’t get the kids to bed. Or in the fall when the days become too short and we can’t get the kids to bed.

    Who knows? Maybe they complain too. I’ll have to ask the Dweedle Bugs later when I see them in my flower box.

    But I’m still a bug. I will go in when it rains and go out when it’s sunny. I will eat and drink the summer away and hope I had enough fun to last me through the long, hard winter. I will come out again in the spring and let the cycle continue.

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day by the way! I was being a bug and just had a little too much nectar.



    Wardrobe-Induced Depression

    cropped-IMG_1210.jpgIt’s real. It may not be in the DSM-5, but it is real, along with Wardrobe-Induced Euphoria. What sets these two apart is one thing…body fat.

    The former occurs when the seasons change and it’s time to squeeze into skimpier clothes that you can’t hide with a long cardigan. You then resort to wearing capri pants all summer and your husband’s super hero t-shirts, or that In and Out Burger t-shirt from your most recent trip to the West Coast. Oh so delicious. So fresh and yummy and…where were we?

    The latter occurs when you have worked hard at avoiding all delicious foods and replaced them with grass and water. You go shopping for a dress and you excitedly find that every single one you try on looks good! You then feel like you should reward yourself with a grande no foam breve latte with an extra shot but then you realize you’ll will not be able to eat the rest of the day if you do.

    I have experienced both and am currently taking a ride on the happy fat train. And I have an attitude now. You can’t tell me what I CAN or CAN NOT eat or drink! Life is short! You only live once! Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Let me eat cake!

    I will find my way back to that clean eating track, but for now, I will just enjoy my capri pants.

    Tacos and Salsa and Beers, Oh My!


    Ok, Strawberrita’s are not really beers. But like a beer, they are in a can and are just as easy to chug when you’re thirsty.

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! What a great excuse to eat chips and guac and drink in the middle of the week like you’re on vacation. Actually, lately I can find any excuse to drink in the middle of the week, like Taco Tuesday or Over the Hump Wednesday or Almost Friday Thursday or I Finally Got My Driveway Fixed Day. All quite legitimate reasons to partake. Right? No, I do not have a problem. Sheesh.

    I have the pork taco meat stewing in the crock. The avocado’s are ripening to perfection in the brown paper bag on the counter. The ice maker is off duty after filling the reservoir to the brim. Now if only I can figure out a way to tire out the kids so they crash after dinner, get their PJs on without asking and fall asleep in their own beds.

    Who am I kidding? Since I start work at 5:30 AM, Happy Hour really should start at 2:30 PM, therefore the one crashing after dinner with all the kids in my bed will most likely be….

    No! I do not have a problem. Sheesh!