The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Frozen treats August 31, 2009

And no, tonight I don’t mean a Dairy Queen!  I’ve been enjoying some frozen fruit this week, specifically grapes and now cherries.  Girlfriend and her addiction turned me on to the cherries 😉

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Last week’s produce pact worked out well, and I ran out of fresh goodies on Friday.  Although I ate more fresh produce, I also had too much other food 😦  Overeating at dinner out, throwing in a DQ Blizzard, and drinking a lot probably counteracted the good feelings that eating produce created 😐  Anywho…

This month’s Gourmet Magazine had a great roasted cauliflower recipe.  I didn’t add the kalamata vinaigrette, but all was well 🙂  I don’t like the cauli raw (the man prefers it raw), and roasted is now my favorite.  Give ‘er a try! I like how this recipe called for the cauli to be sliced into big 1″ sections, rather than florets.

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Lily was so cute at dinner tonight!! 

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Since I was a bad girl and didn’t do the rest of my grocery shopping yesterday, I had no lettuce today for lunch.  So, I had a lettuce-less salad of carrot, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, mushroom, and some leftover multi-grain rice from Saturday’s dinner.

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Yesterday was WillaKenzie‘s Day in the Vineyard, a private event for members with wine classes and a wonderful catered lunch at the top of the vineyard.  So gorgeous!  Here’s the spread from the wine & food pairing class.  I didn’t eat but the wild mushroom and chevre tart b/c of the shrimp and fish the other bites contained, and as I ate it the chef casually mentioned it had bacon in it. :shocked: *^%$%$#*&^%*&(*)????!!!!!  Why do ya gotta add bacon??

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Daniel, the vineyard manager, raises longhorn cattle and keeps many of them on the vineyard property.  Here’s Chris getting up close and personal with a friendly cow (she licked his hand!).

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This is the big daddy of the pack—Rodeo Maximus.  His horn span is a whopping 72 inches.  Whoa!!  Better not get too close to that bad boy!

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This little darling was checking her reflection out in the truck.  So cute!  She nosed and licked the truck, and almost took out the mirror with her horn. 

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Lunch was a green and lima (??) bean salad with a citrus vinaigrette, a quinoa salad with squash, tomato, red pepper, onion, a mixed green salad with caramelized hazelnuts and sundried tomatoes, and yummy olive bread.  Not pictured are my four desserts:  two oatmeal raisin cookies, one chocolate-chocolate chip cookie, and one almond biscotti. 

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These two cattle have the optimal longhorns—rather straight out, and possibly a little corkscrew type curvature.  Aren’t they perty!!??

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Speaking of perty…here I am!  We walked up to lunch rather than taking the shuttle van. 

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Compare this pic with the one from last year:

Andrea and her hubby, Chris, had a party Saturday for their 30th birthdays.  I got snuggly with their baby, Basil.  He’s such a sweetie, and so darn cute!!

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Dinner before the party was an inspired creation:  stuffed white acorn squash with multi grain rice, sautéed tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, and garlic, seasoned with s&p, Nature’s Seasons, and Italian herbs.  I roasted the squash for ~45m at 325, scooped out some flesh to make more room, then stuffed it with the cooked filling and baked another 15 minutes.  Sadly the squash itself was rather bland 😦  What can I do to amp it up a bit?

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Lily had a vet appointment in Oregon City Saturday morning, and on the way back we stopped at Spicer Brothers Produce.  They had tons of great items, with about half of them being local and super fresh.  Fresh apples!  FINALLY!  Although none of the items were labeled organic, Andrea had a great point in that many local growers use organic and sustainable methods, they just aren’t certified.  Spicer’s had great prices on most items, and the guys seemed to smile at me a lot.  This sexy bitch got her bananas at the “overripe” price rather than the regular price. That’s what I’m talking about. 😉

I got three new items:  golden delicious apples, white acorn squash, and donut peaches.  After washing everything thoroughly I dug into a peach.  WHOA!  SUPER sweet taste, with only a mild peachiness.  Ideal for mixing in with less sweet fruits, or used in cereal and other applications.  The apples are great!  Might be a new fave of mine.

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I thought Friday’s salad looked especially pretty:

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After hitting up DQ for a Tagalong Blizzard Tuesday night, we treated Lily to a doggy cone again 🙂  She gets excited when we pull in to DQ now cuz she knows what’s coming.  Oops!

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And that just about sums up the last week.  I’ve still been a less-than-stellar worker bee and am still having trouble getting back in to busy mode at work.  I’m rather like obstinant-non-worker bee 😐

So, I guess I’ll officially announce that Chris and I are buying my grandmother’s house.  This month we’ll be getting quotes for updating the house (gotta green the place up a bit, repaint some, remove wallpaper, change out carpet, add a fence, ya know).  After family is in town for my grandmother’s Celebration of Life party in late Sept. I think we can clear out the unwanted furniture/etc., and then in October the work can be done.  We anticipate taking possession and moving around Nov. 1.  Holy moley—can’t believe it’s really gonna happen!! It’s kind of surreal, frankly, and rather stressful.  But exciting nonetheless 🙂 

Tata!

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Produce pact August 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:40 pm
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Over the last month or two my produce intake has fallen from a roarin’ presence daily to piddly eatins some days.  My energy, skin, fitness, and mood have suffered.  Granted there are a million factors that could be contributing to these last items, but I really think not taking in as much produce is a huge part of it.  I’m stuck in a vicious cycle of not getting all my nutrients from beautiful produce, suffering from cravings as a result, and eating not-so-great food choices. 

I have committed to increasing my intake this week, and have the fridge full of freshly washed and prepped produce to back me up.  I had betta eat it, cuz I hate throwin it away!

Here’s some of the week’s eats:

Yes, I had another Tagalong Blizzard!  Dangerous!

I managed to get to the gym three times last week, I think…maybe two.  I have GOT to get on the weight training wagon again and focus on abs, ass, triceps, lats, inner thighs.  Now that I’ve lost all the weight I want to, I’d like to get a little more cut and firm. 

The last few weeks I’ve been in a totally poopy mood a lot of the time, but I think the cloud is lifting now 🙂 

Not sure what else to say now so off I go!  Later bloggies!

 

BlogCatalog August 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:51 am

Diet & Nutrition Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

 

Food review: Kardea Cranberry Almond Nutrition Bar August 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 8:47 pm
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Thanks again to the folks at Kardea who were kind enough to send me samples of their Nutrition Bars. 

The facts: 

  • 1-1.4 oz bar contains 150 cals (45 from fat), 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 21g carbs (7g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 7g protein
  • 1g natural plant sterols to assist in cholesterol management
  • 19 ingredients listed, including 4 sweeteners. Top five ingredients are: brown rice syrup, almonds, agave syrup, dried cranberries, and rolled oats

Observations:

  • (+) soft texture was pleasing
  • (+) large pieces of cranberry
  • (+) nice fiber and protein stats to promote satiety
  • (+) love that it only has 150 calories
  • (-) not keen on the fact that it has four sweeteners:  brown rice syrup, agave syrup, evaporated cane juice, and sugar.  Does it really need all of those?
  • (+) At least they are mostly low-glycemic sweeteners
  • (-) almond extract taste was the first thing I noticed, but the bar doesn’t contain extract, just almonds.  Kind of fake-almondy tasting and struck me as odd.
  • (-) not much of a cranberry taste
  • (+) vegetarian (I’d say vegan, but they only claim “vegetarian friendly”)
  • (+) kosher

(Note:  Since I wrote this over a month ago I also had some of the Banana Nut bar.  I noted the same fake-ish almondy taste at first bite.  I also ate another one of the bars, and noticed the same thing.  Not sure what it is, but not quite my bag.)

This spring I upped my fruit and veggie intake, and pretty much stopped eating bars regularly.  I eat them rarely for a super early a.m. pre-workout snack, or in a pinch for an afternoon snack when I don’t have anything else.  Nothing against bars, I have just been trying to eat more fruits and veg!

Given all of this, I liked the product well enough, but would probably not buy them on my own.  If you seek a softer snack bar with good nutritionals give them a try.  Especially if you like the taste of almond extract 😉

 

And Somehow things Improve August 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:33 pm
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Tonight I’m trying out Windows Live Writer; saw it on Miss Bender’s blog and thought is sounded nifty.  Loving it so far!  I really like that while I type the layout looks just like my blog, not just typing in some window without any frame of reference.  It also does spell check while you type!  Only thing I can’t figure out is getting the post to be sticky without having to go in manually on WordPress to do it.

I’ve mentioned a few times how I’ve been in a bit of a funk and listless.  Today was not much better—I slept like shit (undoubtedly from the shit I put in my body yesterday), and was just not in to anything this morning.  But, it all turned around when I took my car in for a service and was given this beauty to drive:

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Amen!  The demons have been exorcised!  Amazing how driving a fun car with the top down on a sunny day improves your spirits 🙂  Yee-haw!  This lil’ beauty is a 2008 BMW 128i, convertible obv.  So fun, so easy, so free spirited.  Just what I needed 😉  I love you Jerry (my Rasmussen Service Advisor)!!!

I didn’t do a whole lotta workin’ today.  Instead, I took my tired, yet enthused, ass home early and went for a quick, super sweaty cardio date with the stairmill.  I didn’t eat breakfast today; Skinny Bitch was in my head, telling me to wait until I was really hungry to eat.  That was at 11:30 or so, and was just strawberries and cherries.  I also had a nectarine before I worked out.

Lunch was another story.  I was hungry, but I ate too fast, and had a little heartburn as a result.  It was worth it, tho 😉  1/2 a whole wheat pita stuffed with Romaine, avocado, shredded carrot, sliced grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Nature’s Seasons, and Sabra hummus.  (I would insert a pic, but I’m too lazy to get the camera cord out.  I forgot to put the memory card back in the camera and the pic is on the internal memory.)  Yum!

I followed that up with the other half of the pita, and the rest of the Sabra.  Since the hummus is going fast, I opted to make a batch of it for the week ahead.  Westbrae garbanzos, Nature’s Seasons, cumin seed, toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, ‘zo juice, dash of vinegar, salt, garlic powder and pine nuts.  Mmmmmmy.

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Let’s try out this Windows Live album thing, shall we?

View 8-17-09 convertible fun

Um, yeah, that’s a DQ Blizzard at  the end.  I was driving all over town to have fun in the car, and somehow ended up at DQ.  This time I got a Doggy Cone for Lily, and a Tagalong Blizzard for myself.  Oh. my. god.  That was one helluva treat!  So tasty, so naughty, and so completely unnecessary 😐 

I put that on top of dinner tonight, which was a burrito at Fajitas.  I kind of got sick of burritos awhile back, and now I’m rather sick of everything else, so a burrito sounded good again.  Vegetables, rice, whole beans, verde sauce, olives, jalapenos.

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Hm, what else do I have to share with you?  Yes, that is a trailer full of shitters there in the middle.  Too much to pass up taking a pic!

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Off I go to be a library geek and check the status of my books on hold.  Skinny Bitch only held me over for two days!  What’s a girl to do? 😉

 

Maybe Sabra does have something… August 16, 2009

Awhile back the great folks over at Sabra were kind enough to send me a few coupons for their delights, and Friday night I finally found Sabra products in my local Winco.  (Costco has them, too, but I couldn’t use a coupon there.)

Chris and I tried the variety shown here:

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Overall I quite liked the taste and texture, but there’s something in here that makes my throat tickle/burn a little.  I got over that and consumed a large blob with lunch, and many other unpictured tastes, mostly with cucumber as my dipping agent. 

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This week has been a tough one for me–I was especially unmotivated at work and feel like I just sat there all week doing nothing.  I’ve also been a tad depressed and listless at times 😦  Boo.  

On a positive note I worked out four times!  Monday was a full body weight sesh, Tuesday a hot date with the stairmill, Wednesday a walk/run with Lily, and Saturday a leg workout and stairmill sesh.  I was very happy to get back into the gym and sweat my little heiny off–hurt so good!

I mentioned Winco on Friday night.  I was feeling a little blah, and thought I’d venture out to Walmart (gasp!) to see what the store was like.  I haven’t been to a Walmart in over 5 years, since when I was in Klamath Falls with the ex.  Not my favorite place, but I was curious about their groceries.  I ended up finding a Danskin shirt for $5, and some leggings for $5.  No full-on grocery section, but they did have some things.  I picked up some tuna for Chris, a can of garbonzos, and some baking soda.  Woop-de-doo. 

Not in the mood to go home just yet, I ventured to Winco afterward.  I was saddened by their lack of organic produce, but very impressed by their bulk and organic bulk offerings.  Then I caught sight of the Sabra. Who woulda figured that the discount grocer would have Sabra?!  I also picked up Dreyer’s Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, which I promptly opened up and ate directly from the container when I got home :shocked:.  I totally didn’t need it, but was a bad girl and ate some anyway, only to feel a tad guilty afterward.

Let’s see, what else do I have here…

More of my own hummus and other goodies:

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An avocado tostada, jalapenos fritos, cucumber with lime and jalapenos (grown by the restaurant manager :)), and some of Si Senor’s new salsas from their salsa bar.

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Chinese food!  It had been a long time, but we were craving Chinese the last few weeks.  I should have gone with my intuition and ordered something with veggies as the base, but I’m a sucker for Kung Pao.  Here’s a vegetarian spring roll, Chris’ BBQ pork, and my Kung Pao Fried Bean Curd.  Yes, fried tofu.  I’ve realized I’m not a fan of the taste of tofu, but it was rather good fried–kinda chewy on the outside and soft/melty on the inside.  I forgot to ask for brown rice!

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I liked how the blueberries nestled with the apple here 😉  Did I tell you I picked a huge bag of blueberries out of my dad’s yard?  He was going out of town so I took the opportunity to be a blueburglar. 

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Thursday was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen; what a fabulous excuse to go get a Blizzard! Of course I didn’t do so well when put on the spot–“What would you like?”  I was like a deer in the headlights!  I should have gone for the Tagalong cookie blizzard, but opted instead for a chocolate base with cookie dough added in.  Not too shabby, but Tagalongs or Reese’s would have been perfect in there.  Chris got the Thin Mint, and was kind enough to flip off the camera when I snapped the pic.  He’s so klassy 😉

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Roar!
Roar!

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 Last night we attended another dinner bonanza at Typhoon! Beaverton.  Our friends Eric and Benny coordinated the evening and got 17 of us around the chef’s table to enjoy like 13 delicacies and tons of wine.  There were quite a few veg options, but I still did have a few non-veg things:  crab pad thai (picked out the crab; didn’t like the flavor of the dish anyway); a green salad with chicken (picked out the chicken); Drunken Noodles with chicken (picked it out) and Bo’s Lemongrass Clam Chowder (holy yum!!).  Other than that, I had Miang Kum sans shrimp, a veggie spring roll, spicy green beans, veggie fried rice, white rice, broccoli, and a few things I’m sure. 

I drank way too much wine, ate way too much rich food, and paid the price with an aching belly for awhile and some digestive repercussions.  I haven’t had meat/seafood/flesh for a long time now, and each time I’ve tried something with flesh in it, I haven’t liked it.  The only exception was the chowder, as that is just liquid crack.  Don’t believe me?  I had three small cups of it :shocked:.

Yesterday I picked up Skinny Bitch at the library and am about halfway through it already.  It has been interesting to read through the chapters and affirm a lot of the changes I’ve already made in my diet, exercise, and health overall the last 8-9 months.  Lately I’ve thought a lot about going vegan, but then I encounter foods I love and think, “No, I don’t want to go vegan, and that’s okay.”  Most of the time I don’t eat animal products, but some egg and cheese products give me great pleasure every once in awhile.  I don’t like milk, but the damn cheese!  And whipped cream, ice cream/froyo, and a few other things.

The book makes a point about the body’s pH, and specifically that being overly acidic causes a myriad of problems, including allergies.  I do love my morning coffee (drinking some now), but I know the acidity is not good for me.  Every time I think of reaching for tea I cry a little inside– no coffee? cup of joe? black gold?  But would it relieve the allergies I get? Joint pain? Skin problems I can’t get over lately?  Garhhhhhh… I will contemplate this further to see if I want to give up my tasty coffee with Silk Creamer.

Thinking more about vegetarianism and tough food encounters, Thanksgiving and Christmas have crossed my mind more the last few weeks.  Specifically, will I choose to eat turkey and gravy?  If there’s a big prime rib for Christmas I can avoid that no problem, but Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite.  What’s a newly vegetarian girl to do?! 

I leave you with a few more pics from last night.  Ciao, bellas!

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Sabra ain’t got nuttin’ on me! August 9, 2009

Inspired by this wonderful blog today, I bought some canned garbonzos at the store and whipped up a quick and easy batch of hummus tonight.  This was my first batch in a real food processor–so easy and the results are great!  I used one can of ‘zos, some of their liquid, olive oil, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, Nature’s Seasons, toasted sesame seeds, and a touch of vinegar (no lemon juice on hand).  Yum-yum-yummy! I ate a small serving with half of a toasted whole wheat pita.100_1029

During dinner outside at Fajitas, I looked up and saw this cloud…it kind of looks like a duck!

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Today I finally got new shoes.  My footsies have been hurting a bit when working out, so I stopped by Portland Running Co. and had the assistance of a knowledgable expert in selecting my new shoes.  Turns out that I overpronate, and these babies are more supportive toward the arch to help prevent that.  The guy also recommended that I go up a half size to allow more room for my feet to expand while working out.  Say what?!  Go up to a size 10?!  Oy vey…watch out for my massive feet! 

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I know it has been a long time since I posted regularly, and there are lots of things I’ve done and eats I’ve had in that time frame.  My eating was off for about two weeks, and has been back to almost “normal” for about a week now.  I’m not consuming as much fruit and veg as I had been, but I think I’ll be back there soon. 

Today’s lunch: egg/eggwhite omelette with broc, carrot, tomato, red bell pepp, avocado, and some cheddar.  The cheese was an impulse add…not necessary.  1/2 of a whole wheat burger bun toasted with some Smart Balance Light.  Excellent!

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Peach marionberry pie from Lee Farms after dinner at my dad’s last night.  Mmmmmm.   I visited the Lee Farms store with my daddy-o and also got some marionberry doughnuts :0 

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This past Wednesday I was fortunate enough to attend a blogger meet up with Andrea, Sarah, and Nate.  So much fun!  We all had a blast talking about food, life, blogs, and more.  Considering I’d never met Sarah or Nate we all chatted like chums and shared a great evening together.  Thanks, guys!  Lookin forward to more blogger misbehavin! 🙂

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(L to R: Andrea, Nate, Sarah)

At one point Sarah said something that struck me–she pictured that I was not as fit/healthy as I am from the way I speak about myself on the blog.  This confirmed for me that my negative body image comes out more than I realize, and that I need to be more positive about the progress I’ve made.  I’m glad she said something, cuz otherwise I probably would have continued being a negative nelly.  Thanks for being so honest and open, Sarah!  I appreciate it greatly 🙂 

I finally tried banana soft serve yesterday.  It was good, but for some reason I pictured it not tasting so banana-y.  Yeah, I know, it’s made from bananas, but still.  Good stuff, tho!  I bought some super dark chocolate and thought of mixing in some gratings next time.

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Pancakes!  Don’t get too excited, I’m using up a box of Bisquick.  I doctored up the mix with ground flaxseed, and cinnamon, then topped ’em with a little SB Light and real maple syrup.

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About a week earlier I enjoyed the blueberry version of these:

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While Erin was in town I had all sorts of drama going on, but we finally managed to have a lunch date at Blossoming Lotus.  I enjoyed a Mediterranean wrap with cashew hummus, cucumber, kalamata olives, lettuce, tomato, and I had them add avocado.  So good!  I think Erin was jealous of my burrito butt 😉  Hehe!

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If you ever get the chance to hang out with Erin–DO IT!  This wonderful lady has been a glowing presence in my life for over ten years, and I don’t know where I’d be without her.  Seriously.  She is such a good listener, counselor, partner in silly crime, domestic diva, and a hundred other fabu things.  And she’s gorgeous 😉 I love her to death!  Miss you love pie!

While my aunt was in town I made a yummy dessert inspired by June’s Gourmet Magazine.  I cooked some blueberries and maple syrup together, stirred in a little lemon juice, whipped up some cream with more maple syrup, and crushed some ginger snaps.  Those were all layered in some cute dishes and topped with some fresh blues.  Yum!

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Let’s see…what else shall I post for you…

My bee house has residents!  See the blocked holes?  A bee carefully sealed those holes and someday soon I’m sure we’ll see baby bees emerge.  (I actually have no idea what will happen…this is the first year I’ve had a bee house.)

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On the way to the blogger meetup the other night I popped into Dave’ Killer Bread Healthy Bread Store to pick up some surprise goodies for us all.  I picked up Sin Dawgs and Ginger Meltaway Cookies.  Oh. So. Good.  Turns out Andrea also stopped by there on the way!  Great minds think alike 😉  We all made out like bandits with Dave’s goodies that night, and I’m still working on the Sin Dawg (pictured below).

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Whoa, this season of Real Housewives of Atlanta looks intense!  Lots of fights and yelling.  May be too much d-d-d-drama for me!

Since this blog isn’t exactly a progressive sensical stream of thoughts, let’s review some other random goodness:

-The Food Network has a show called “What Would Brian Boitano Make” coming out soon.  Does this call up crazy South Park memories for anyone!?  “What would Brian Boitano do…” (sing it!)

-Velveeta was invented by Kraft in 1928 as a convenient way to have “cheese” when most people didn’t have iceboxes.  In 1953 they created Cheez Whiz, and in 1966 EZ Cheese came on the scene.  Aren’t you glad you know these facts now?!  Some people make brownies with Velveeta in them (a moistening secret).  Ew. 

-Did you spill your glass of cola on the floor?  No worries, just grab the Smart Mop, clean it up, and “in these tough times wring it back into the glass and it’s ready to drink all over again.”  How economical!

-I might be moving!  Finally!  Don’t want to jinx anything, but I’ll keep you posted as details develop.  I hate living in the SE Portland metro area, and yearn to be back in SW Portland like none other.

-The IKEA catalog arrived in the mail yesterday.  It’s the paper form of crack, I tell ya.

-I only get B.O. when exposed to sunlight for prolonged periods of time.  No amount of working out or sweating releases the odor, but the sun does it 100% of the time, deodorant or no.  Have you noticed this before? 

-This post is getting long.  Time to wrap it up!

Later!