Showing posts from 2012

Hot Jambalaya!

[It's not actually that hot, but I say it in Mrs. Doubtfire's voice.]

I've been visiting a new Paleo recipe site and this was one of the first recipes I tried. Given that it had snowed and not warmed up above about 45 for almost a week, I was looking for warm comfort food! This was extremely easy and very tasty.

PaleOMG dot com is the site and you really need to get out there if you're looking for recipes. The specific link to this one is

The recipe is straightforward: andouille sausage, chicken breast, onion, green pepper, cauliflower, spices, tomatoes, and chicken stock. You can also use shrimp for more authentic jambalaya, but I didn't want to clean it that night. Maybe next time.

Anyway, the link gives the specific recipe, but here are a few notes from me.
1. I used a bit more (maybe 1/2 cup) chicken stock than the recipe called for. Since the exact amount of meat isn't specified (2 breasts -- is that a pound?), I just thought it…

Snow on Christmas!

I'm back in blogging land after a little while off. Please pardon the randomness of this post.

Christmas was excellent, and yes, we had snow in Texas on Christmas Day! I'm sure it wasn't the first time, but I definitely can't remember a specific time it happened. And COLD. Like 19 degrees cold. I literally sat on the couch all day and watched the traditional Christmas movies: A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th Street, Die Hard... We'd already watched Holiday Inn and White Christmas. I played with my new tablet (!) and completely vegged out. Perfect Christmas day.

I did make a chicken soup that day. I've got a favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe, but I've never converted it to Paleo -- it had corn and beans in it, not to mention the tortillas, sour cream and cheese that tops it. We'd gone to a party where one of the guests brought a soup that was very close to Paleo - it only had a little corn in it. I'd already decided to try it and of course then I…

25 Days of Blogging, part 3

I've not had the slightest idea what to write for the last several days. I've read so many postings on the tragedy of last Friday, and am not sure I can add anything at this point to the words eloquently written by others. I know that losing a child is so devastating that words seem to be completely inadequate. Knowing people care and hurt with you is precious. Honor the memories of the lost, respect the feelings of the survivors, and above all, pray for the strength for all touched by this tragedy.

Maybe I'll have something to say in a few days, but for now, I'm just going to pick up with the Christmas blogging. [I just found out that peanutbutterjenny, who started this challenge, is from Newtown and lives minutes from the elementary school. She's studying to be a teacher.]

15. The best gift you've given.
I don't know if it would be the best, but it's one I was soooo excited about it. Remember back when everything had those two angels on it -- one loo…

25 Days of Blogging, part 2

And now for our second installment of the Christmas Challenge!

10. Favorite holiday scent
I am apparently a very indecisive person. Or schizophrenic. Whatever. Vanilla/sugar cookies, pumpkin, pine. It used to be cinnamon, but now I sort of get itchy if there's too much cinnamon in the air -- does that happen to anyone else? My current favorite candle is spiced apple toddy -- seriously awesome.

11. Favorite Christmas tradition
I already mentioned that I love waking up on Christmas morning in my own bed. But I think my favorite tradition is Christmas Eve -- we put on It's a Wonderful Life, make apple cider, and just hang out together. One present gets opened by the kid just like it did when I was young. Often I'm cooking/baking that evening, so the house smells Christmassy.

12. Wrapping paper or gift bags
It's always a combination. If I've saved wrapping (or shopping for) presents to the last minute, definitely bags. I started earlier this year, so it'll be a good ye…

25 Days of Blogging


I just came across this and thought it might be fun. I'll have to play catch up, but it'll make me blog regularly for a little while! Here we go.

1. Your favorite Christmas movie
Great, I get stuck on the first one. I think I have to go with Holiday Inn. I have so many memories of watching this with my mom every single year.

Runners up: A Christmas Story, It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and Miracle on 34th Street.

2. Your 2012 Christmas wish list
A new tablet and clothes for the cruise in February.

3. When/how did you learn that Santa wasn't real?
I don't understand this question. Santa is real. I first learned that he gets a lot of help from parents when I was 7 and I woke up before my mom was in bed on Christmas Eve. Santa had already been there and she was still in the kitchen. That was the year I got the fabulous Barbie Dream House.

4. Favorite Christmas song
Again with the "favorites." "O Holy Night" is really high on the list - the Cel…

Monday musings, on a Tuesday

Just stuff running through my increasingly taxed brain:

1. I'm trying to find a dress/outfit for our cruise, for the formal dinner night. I do not want to go to the mall, but shopping for clothes by mail is scary. I also have those 10 pounds I really want to lose. I'm sort of between sizes, so I may just have to shop in January to get something that fits right.

2. At work, the goal setting part of annual reviews is going on right now. It somehow seems unprofessional to write "win the lottery" as a goal.

3. Christmas shopping is hard this year. No one needs anything, and most of the wants are not things I want to buy! Shop for yourself, people, and just put my name on it.

4. Speaking of Christmas, what am I supposed to do for all those people who would usually get baked goods from me? Do I just suck it up and do it anyway, knowing that it'll just make me want junk food I really shouldn't have? And for that matter, giving away stuff that really doesn't do gr…

Decorating and delirium.

It has been crazy busy around here, and I realized that with all the fun stuff, I took NOT A SINGLE picture! We had family visiting, lots of food, kid party, choir performance, just to name a few ... and it might as well have happened in my head since I have basically no documentation of it. Fail.

When I realized this, it ticked me off so much I just decided not to write anything at all. But that's not the least bit helpful, so here's a recap.

Bug's Choir performance at the Bass Hall:
On the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, most of our family converged on the house in order to attend the school district's choir and theater program at the Bass Hall. For those of you not from Fort Worth, this is the Bass Hall:

I worked downtown when the Hall was being built. We've been there for concerts and plays, and it's just incredible. That my daughter got to perform on that stage is mind-blowing. The 3 district high school varsity choirs and 5 middle school choirs performed a co…


Happy Thanksgiving! Yeah, I'm late. Sue me.

We had a great time off, and went to the bro- and sis-in law's new house. It's lovely, the food was awesome, and the company was great. I stayed mostly Paleo (couple bites of pie) and I lost a pound. Go figure. :-) Now I'm back to my highest total loss, and rather happy about that.

Which is the actual point of this post -- I have the best possible incentive to get the next 10 pounds off...

We booked our anniversary vacation for February! Whoot!

We finally settled on a cruise. We'd looked at all-inclusives, blah blah, and honestly couldn't decide. Once we started thinking about cruises (we've done that before, and kinda wanted something new), it didn't take us long to remember how much we like them. We are going for a longer period of time, which means a bigger ship, and we're upgrading our room to a mini-suite with balcony! Never done that, so it should feel pretty special.

Then the fun continues. RDub menti…


SERIOUSLY stuck -- stuck at this weight, stuck in a routine I won't break to get caught up on blog entries...I am MAKING myself sit here and write (and it still took three days). For a while it was that I didn't think I had anything to say for the moment. Now it's more like I just won't write...lots of topics, enough time to write if I wanted to, pictures to share...blah blah blah.

So what shall we talk about today? How about my excellent running week? I actually made it out three times (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) for over 2 miles each time. The difference? I've started taking the 140-pound Rottweiler on the runs with me. Something about having him along makes me not walk -- I'll stop to give him water, but that's it. Of course, it's more than a little embarrassing that a "run" for me is barely more than a fast walk for him...until we hit two miles. He hasn't gotten over that mental wall and doesn't believe he can do it. Case in poin…

What's in my pantry?

In the last two weeks, I've had quite a few conversations with friends about this Paleo thing we're doing and it occurred to me I could save myself (and them) a lot of time if I'd just condense it all into one place. This is that place. This is also a really long post, so feel free to skip to the stuff you're interested in.

When you've been doing something for 6 months, there's a lot of information as well as practical experience to draw on. I've already posted on why we're doing this, and there are awesome sites out there with a huge amount of detail on what to eat, why to eat, blah blah... so that's not what I'm doing here.

But I think I'm pretty mainstream when it comes to what I was accustomed to eating, and what I'm willing to put into my mouth. Liver doesn't make the cut. Tongue? No, thank you. I'm really not going to go into veal or lamb -- not because it isn't good, but because it's not been a part of my diet and I…

Not the posting I expected to write.

I'd started a completely different posting, ran into photo issues, and just gave it up for now. Maybe next time.

In the last two weeks, we've had three birthdays in our house.

My baby girl turned 17. S E V E N T E E N. How on earth did that happen? THIS is my baby.

And yet, somehow this child is driving, working, making great grades, making my life joyful just by being in it...

Ten days after that, I have a birthday. It's very easy to remember my own age, because, while I may forget many things, I always remember my age when she was born. And that's enough about that.

And Halloween would have been our son's 28th birthday. It's such a weird time of year -- celebrate, celebrate, Halloween parties, and then the memories are just right there. This is the tenth Halloween/birthday since we lost him, and some years it just seems so much more tender than others. I can't really get into Halloween decorating - it just feels rude somehow.

Anyone who has lost someone close…

So many topics, so little time...

I've got approximately 47 blog posts running around in my head. There's no telling what I'm about to write. Maybe a numbered list for now, then I'll come back later and actually write them. Yay! That sounds like a plan.

1. I'm back from my conference in Orlando. It was an excellent conference, as usual, and I love seeing my colleagues. We all work remotely, so actually being face to face is rare. They're funny, and irreverent, and curmudgeonly, and smart, and it's so easy to forget that when you only talk on IM or phone.

2. General Colin Powell was the keynote speaker on Monday. What an amazing, dynamic man. He's 76 and could easily pass for 56. He used no notes or prompter, and spoke for about 45 minutes. His resume alone is enough to blow your mind, and then he speaks and you realize he has earned absolutely every accolade he's ever been given. My favorite quote: "Being a leader is all about the followers." What a transforming thought whe…

A nice problem to have.

Over the weekend, I went through my closet. I have a business conference next week, and I have no idea what I'm going to wear. Since I work from home, my usual wardrobe is shorts or yoga pants (depending on the weather), t-shirts, and flip flops. I dress on the weekends for errands or church, but that's about it. I have good clothes, but there's a serious problem - I'm short and I refuse to pay someone to hem my dress pants.

That means all my pants require heels. I love heels. I love shoes, period. What I don't love is hiking around a Disney resort conference center in said heels. Been there, done that, had the blisters to prove it.

So on Saturday, I thought I'd better figure out what I even have to choose from in the wardrobe department and then decide if new shoes (or pant alterations) would be necessary.

I spent most of the summer in skirts and shorts, so I pulled out pants I haven't worn since spring. None. of. them. fit. And that's in a good way -- t…

Scorecard and menu stuff.

How fun is this? Bug found one of these on Pinterest and hounded me until we made one. I have such a newfound respect for those people who create entire months' worth of menus at once -- I feel completely accomplished if I get one week done!

This is actually what we're doing this week. I've gotten chicken and beef out of the freezer in time to thaw without the microwave! Win!

The cards are mostly color-coded -- red for beef, blue for fish...pretty much like those flexible cutting boards sold in a pack. The orange circle means I need to do some prework -- in the case of Monday's menu item, it was actually the side dish that needed to start early. Gray circle means grill -- R Dub is involved, requires preheating the grill.

The little boxes hold blank cards, and the ones with other items to choose. For this week, R Dub picked through for his preferences, Bug added her input, then I made the decision -- total democracy.

I do so much better when I have a plan -- with the foo…

Where do I go from here?

I'm so embarrassed I only had four posts in September! What is wrong with me? Work has been crazy busy, so maybe that's my excuse. I think it's more about not feeling I had anything new to share.

People with toddlers are way funnier bloggers.

Anyway, today I start again with the weekly weigh ins. Last week was actually the end of my 30-day (abandoned) experiment, but I did manage to (mostly) stay off the scale. Right now, I feel fat -- but that's temporary, I'm sure.

Here's the deal. I'm not counting calories or points, so I can't report on how I've done with that. I eat Paleo -- that's either a do or a not-do thing. I need to reset my expectations - for this blog, for what I measure -- because otherwise I'll never have anything to write about.

What I have done:

Tried some awesome new recipes -- Paleo baked apples, zucchini noodles, salmon patties, bacon-wrapped meatloaves, butternut squash,  and homemade creamer for my coffee, to name a few.S…

At long last...a run and updated goals!

I don't call myself a runner. I'm a person who, mostly in the interest of getting rid of weight, runs from time to time. I don't dislike it as much as I used to, but it still takes some serious mental talking to get me out the door.

When I hurt my knee in July and had to stop for a while, I tried to be disappointed. Mostly I was concerned about stalling my weight loss or gaining because I was going from 3-4 workouts a week to not much. It was a hot summer, so running outside wasn't really an option. I can't say that I missed it all that much.

Here it is two months later, and today, I went for a run. I had no idea what to expect -- I set the 2 mile route and figured I just see what happened.

Started with a .1m warmup walk. When I first started the run, I was worried - I could feel the knee and the muscles around it tensing up. But after about 30 steps, it stopped. I went about 1/2 mile and took a short walk break to get a drink (and get up the hill). My first mile w…

I have obviously lost my mind.

The day started out so normal. Bug had a thing to do and was gone by 7am, I laid around until 8, then I had coffee with my homemade Paleo creamer! This was the first cup of coffee I'd had in three weeks, and it was lovely. Sat on the back porch in mid-60s weather, reading the paper, drinking my coffee, planning the rest of the day.

I hate grocery shopping on the weekend, but it happens that way more than not. I didn't start on my menu planning until Friday, so there was no choice that today would involve a trip to some store. Hey, while I'm out, I'll run by Hobby Lobby and pick up a few autumn accessories. Great idea.

Until we got to the shopping center and saw white tents set up. Guess what was in them? Pets from various shelters available for adoption.

Don't get ahead of me.

As we drove up, I'm saying out loud, "We do NOT need another dog. We do NOT. Do NOT ask me for another dog." By the way, this is only being said to my husband, not a child, like yo…