Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I went to an AMAZING Latin Jam class. The class was packed. SIX of my friends came to the class. There were at least 30 people there. When the class is that big, the energy changes. Every one pushes a little more, tries a little harder, dances more "balls out".
I like to stand in the front. I can see what the teacher is doing much better than if I was in the back, and I CAN'T slack because the teacher, and everyone else, would notice. Tonight, I sweated so much that the sweat got in my eyes and made my eyes sting!!
The first time I looked up at the clock, half an hour had already gone by. The next time I looked up, 55 minutes had elapsed. To me, that is the PERFECT workout. One where I don't feel like I'm working out. According to multiple websites, Zumba burns about 400-600 calories an hour! I would have to say that these Latin Jam classes burn AT LEAST 500-700 calories an hour!
Afterwords, a couple of us went to Starbucks for coffee/dinner. My "dinner" consisted of a Caramel Machiato, and I was even able to stay away from the pastries.
One day, I will take a video and post it up here. Until then, if you are in the LA area, check out a Latin Jam course.
Monday, June 29, 2009
The recipe was a hit!
Creamy Cajun Shrimp Pasta
Cooking Light – September 2006
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 cup water
1 can fat-free -- (14-ounce) less-sodium chicken broth (I used a low sodium vegetable bouillon cube soaked in 2 cups boiling water)
6 ounces uncooked linguine (I used 1 box of penne)
1 pound medium shrimp -- peeled and deveined (I used 1.5 lbs)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter (I used 2 teaspoons)
1 package presliced mushrooms -- (8-ounce)
1 large red bell pepper -- cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I used 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup half-and-half (I used 1.5 cups of fat free half-and-half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used 1/3 cups)
1 Patty Pan squash and 1 yellow squash
Combine 1 cup water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Break
pasta in half; add to pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat,
and simmer for 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan. Cover and simmer for 3
minutes or until shrimp are done; drain.
Note: I did not drain the liquid since there wasn’t THAT MUCH LIQUID.
I just took out the pasta and shrimp and proceeded in the dutch oven.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, squash and
pepper to pan.
saute 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates. Add flour,
seasoning, and salt to pan; saute 30 seconds. Stir in half-and-half; cook
1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add pasta
mixture and parsley to pan; toss.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items and my additions): 173 Calories; 6g Fat (33.8%
calories from fat); 23g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 184mg
Cholesterol; 401mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1/2
Vegetable; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
This picture is of the leftovers because I forgot to originally take a picture of the finished product. It looked MUCH better than this :)
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The monkeys were swimming and the big one took an awkward jump in to the pool. SHE comes up through the water and yells, "Ow! My nuts!"
The little monkey was talking to the neighbors about their dog. We were saying how the dog was silly, just like her. She says, "I'm not silly. I'm crazy"
We were driving in the car and the older monkey asked me if we were rich. I asked her if she knew what rich was? She said, "It's when you have a lot of money and have a big house". Obviously we are not rich. I asked her if she knew anyone who was rich? She said, "Yes, Riyad. He says they have a big house". I'm sure his mom (a close friend of mine) will be happy to hear that they are suddenly rich :)
Saturday, June 27, 2009
This will be short. I'm at a friends house for girls night. Great food, AMAZING drinks (my friend mixes the most awesome drinks), and now...
There's a pole in the middle of the dance floor.
There will be NO pictures :)
Friday, June 26, 2009
- She agrees to go to the restaurant I want as often as I agree to go to her picks (and MANY times, both of us have the same pic).
- We used to have 3000-4000 calorie meals. We would go to a restaurant, say that we weren't that hungry, or that we were on a diet. Then we would proceed to order 1/2 of the fried or cheesy appetizers on the menu. Not to mention the HUGE margaritas. Now we are both trying to be more mindful of what we eat, and how much we eat. Tonight we had a couple of orders of meat to BBQ (it was a Japanese BBQ place) and called it quits. Before, we would just be starting to eat after that.
- When we get together, we hang out for AT LEAST a couple of hours. And we don't run out of things to talk about. In fact, we hang out by the cars for a while because we each "forgot" some ting "important" to tell the other one.
- We are honest with each other. I can tell her what I think about her love life/work issues/grooming habits (eye brows) and she can do the same for me.
- We laugh more than we talk.
- She is willing to do anything for me, and I for her (except most Sundays - I know not to bother her then (lol)).
I am very lucky that I have a number of friends that fit this bill!
If any of you are out there reading this - THANK YOU!!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Facebook was lite up with status updates about MJs passing - so unexpected and surreal; kind of like he was.
Once again, today we learn that life is unexpected and fleeting. Kiss your loved ones today!
On a different note, I joined twitter today. Now what?? And why??
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- Help a friend transport a bench (I have a Navigator) - she was busy talking to her husband and re-scheduled for tomorrow
- Not eat dinner - I got home and realized I was hungry for the chicken I made last night and it was OMG good!
- Clean out at least one drawer - have been lying on top of my bed since 8:45 pm
- Clean out my closet - have been lying on top of my bed since 8:45 pm
- Look at my stack of mail - have been lying on top of my bed since 8:45 pm
- Come up with a meaningful blog post - have been lying on top of my bed since 8:45 pm and my mind has been a blank
Do you see a pattern emerging?
I have realized that the mot meaningful think that I am going to do before I fall asleep is take a shower since I tend to sweat ALOT during Latin Jam class.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I bought the chicken breast a couple of days ago and they were in the refrigerator. I knew if I didn't use them today, that I would be scared to use them tomorrow and would throw them away.
Before going to Latin Jam tonight I quickly cooked up this recipe (about 10-15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of total cook time). I ended up eating this when I got home from class.
The braised chicken was SO tender. The flavors were rich but not so much that you can't eat a big portion of this. The spice was very mild, and the cayenne pepper can easily be increased if you want SPICY.
I can easily see myself making this meal for company, and will definitely be making this again for just our family.
Braised Chicken in Coconut Milk
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 45 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (5 to 6 oz. each)(I used about 2 lbs. of chicken breasts)
1 teaspoon salad oil (I cooked on a little chicken stock instead, since it was already on the stove)
1 cup thinly sliced onion (I used 1 sweet onion)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I used 1 tsp. ginger powder)
1 can (14 oz.) reduced-fat coconut milk (I only had regular coconut milk, hence me saving on the oil and using more chicken to increase the servings)
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
Thin red or green bell pepper rings (optional)
1. In a small bowl, mix coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and vinegar until smooth.
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Rub spice mixture all over breast halves.
3. Pour oil into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat, swirling to coat bottom. When oil is hot, add chicken and turn as needed to brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to a rimmed plate.
4. Add onion, garlic, and ginger to pan; stir often until onion is lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add coconut milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir often until mixture boils. Add chicken and any accumulated juices, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, turning pieces once, until no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a rimmed platter.
5. Turn heat to high and boil sauce until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 4 minutes. Spoon evenly over chicken. Add more salt to taste, and garnish with pepper rings if desired.
Per serving (without my changes): 253 cal., 30% (76 cal.) from fat; 35 g protein; 8.4 g fat (3.9 g sat.); 10 g carbo (0.8 g fiber); 411 mg sodium; 82 mg chol.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friend - I love your wrap
Me - Thanks
Friend - Where did you get it?
Me - My monkey's ballet studio
Friend - Is it comfortable?
Me - Yes
Friend - What size is it?
Me - Small
Friend - Does it come in extra small?
Me - I don't know
Friend - Where else can you buy it?
Me - I don't know
Friend - What other colors does it come in?
Me - what do I look like to you, a store?
Friend - Stand up, I want to see how it flows
Me - OK
Friend tries it on - How does it look?
Me - Fine
For the record - it looked cute on her. It is pale mauve, long sleeved and warm enough to wear in the office with a tank top underneath. It looks very nice with slacks and looks professional enough.
I'm just glad she didn't ask me to go in to the store, take pictures of what else they had and report back to her.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I decided to make something a bit different for dinner. A couple of days ago I was tooling around the Cooking Light bulletin board and came across a recipe that sounded WONDERFUL. A complete pantry meal (with a little substitution).
Beer-Glazed Black Beans
(Mark Bittman: HTCE, 2008 revised edition)
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes with cooked beans
It's amazing how much flavor you can get from adding beer to black beans. Lagers and wheat beers will produce a lighter, fruitier dish; porters will add richness and stouts a deep, caramelized flavors.
Other beans you can use: pinto, pink or black-eyed peas
2 Tbsp. EVOO (I used 1 tbsp.)
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup beer (I used Sierra Nevada)
3 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained but still moist (I used 1 can black beans and 1 can garbanzo beans because that’s what I had on hand)
1 Tbsp. ground chili powder or ground cumin (I used 2 tsp. each)
1 Tbsp. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Put the oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic, cook for about a minute, then add the remaining ingredients with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.
2. Bring to a steady boil and cook til the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or refrigerate for up to 3 days and reheat.
I added sliced chicken and apple sausage I had in the freezer to the mix as the been mixture was starting to boil.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I came home last night with all the best of intentions to go to the gym and maybe go to the movies. I thought I would rest for about half an hour. At 7pm, I barely got a blog post out before pretty much passing out.
I slept from about 8pm to 8:15am! I think it's been years since I have done that. I guess my body REALLY needed sleep :) 12 hours worth!
Today was back to insanity (two different recital, in different locations, back to back, and then a kids birthday party, with grocery shopping at 9pm) but wow was last night great!
I am hoping to get a little more rest tomorrow afternoon.
I think I should listen to people more often.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I'm curious and anxious to see what this summer brings.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I blogged earlier about loving summer, even though I work full time. Well, tonight illustrated why. I took the little monkey to ballet dress rehearsal. Afterwards, we invited good friends over for dinner (Chinese take-out). After dinner, the monkey's and their friend went out to the front yard to ride scooters and play basketball. The adults stood around talking and playing with the kids.
We had a GREAT time. It was warm outside, the sun was out, and since it is the last week of school, no one had to rush home to do homework.
What a nice beginning to summer vacation. I sincerely hope that he rest of summer is just like this!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This season finale was OFF-THE-HOOK-CRAZY!!
I won't give it away except for the fact that the finale has been teased since before the season began. I will say this:
Jacqueline - The most down to earth housewife of all. You can see that it comes from her parents, who are also down to earth and great. She also tells the truth and won't lie for anyone. Her husband is ALSO amazing - standing up for his wife and backing her up.
Dina - Tries to take the high rode but is so used to hiding behind her sister that it really kind of pissed me off. Also, where the heck is her husband. I don't think we saw him AT ALL.
Danielle - She is truly a shit disturber. She creates as much drama about herself as other people do about her.
Teresa - It's BOOBIES, not BUBBIES!!! That is truly annoying as crap. Also, she is the epitome of an Italian woman cliche when she gets upset.
Caroline - Can you please be my sister?
All that being said - I CAN'T WAIT for the reunion!!!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
You know how I know? I have been laying on a piece of popcorn for the last 20 minutes and never even felt it!! The monkeys and I watched the second half of Bedtime Stories (which we LOVED) in my bed and I allowed them to eat a bowl of popcorn in my bed. Silly me to think that they wouldn't get it all over the place just because I was holding it.
I had a packed weekend (and sadly it doesn't look to be letting up in the next couple of weeks) but today friend's called and asked if I wanted to get a massage. Since my in-laws were over (with the monkeys' cousin) I jumped at the chance (they were going to hang out with the monkeys anyways). I got the most amazing 1.5 hour massage at one of those "foot massage" places. The reason "foot massage" is in quotes is because it is actually a full body massage (get your minds out of the gutter). You are in a big room with many massage sofas and they give you a massage right there. You keep your clothes on (but wear loose clothing) and the massage is over your clothes.
The best part - it's $20/hour!!! Today's was pretty darn awesome. Afterwards we went to Pho next door. This was the best 3 hours I've spent in a while - a great massage and then laughs with friends!!
I'm still exhausted but a little more mentally awake.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thank you everyone for not making me feel like an insane person about the testing situation.
I'm still pissed - but now I feel like I am correct in my outrage. I've reached out to a couple of people so hopefully within the next couple of weeks I can figure out how to independently get her tested.
Right now I am EXHAUSTED thinking about the past week and about how crazy my weekend is going to be!
A friend of mine on Facebook posted an update asking if they still made Calgon. If they do:
Calgon take me away!!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Today, I was thoroughly dismissed by the big monkey's teacher. She sent about a 1/3 of the class to be tested for the gifted program and my monkey was not one of those kids. When I called to ask her about it, she basically told me that she didn't think that she would do well on the test. According to her, it was primarily a math test.
Now, this is the same teacher who just last week told me that she was doing REALLY well in math and reading and that she just needed to work on comprehension. This was in response ot me asking what the monkey could work on in the summer to do well in 2nd grade.
She also spewed some BS about it being a "spacial" test but couldn't explain to me what that meant! Then she pretty much dismissed me.
I'm PISSED OFF!! I wouldn't be pissed if my monkey didn't do well on the test and was found out not to be gifted. I am PISSED OFF that she dismissed me by giving me a BS answer.
I think I'm going to get her independently tested. This is not because I think that she "MUST BE" gifted - it's because you CAN'T tell me "no" to something that involves my monkey's future and expect me to take your word for it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I am taking every minute as it comes. Hopefully, I won't fall asleep right here with my workout clothes still on, on top of my bed.
I wish I could snap my fingers and be showered and energized.
That's not likely.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Like a typical parent, being home sick still means that I go to the grocery store, go to the bank, pick up the kids, etc... The only reason I wasn't at work (which would have been less exhausting) was that it would have been hard to look at the computer screen all day long.
After picking up the big monkey from school, I decided to make strawberry bread. With all the amazing summer fruit, it's time to take advantage of it. Everything went fine until I realized that we were about to be late for Taekwondo, approximately 40 minutes in to baking the bread (ugh!). So I turned off the oven and left the bread in it while we were gone.
The bread was SUPER EASY and quick to make.
1 1/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 c. sugar, divided (used 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of Splenda)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (used Whole Wheat White flour)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup butter melted
Preheat oven 350. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
Sprinkle strawberrries with 1/2 of the sugar and set aside.
Combine dry ingredients including sugar.
Beat eggs until froathy. Add vanilla and melted butter.
Combine with dry ingredients. Put in strawberries and stir until mixed in.
Bake 60 to 70 minutes until a toothpick comes clean.
The bread finished cooking but wasn't as light and fluffy as it would have probably been had I baked it the whole time.
That's why I don't have a picture of the finished product.
However, it is quite tasty.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I was so brain dead, I picked up like 4 or 5 different items than I had coupons for, gave coupons that I didn't buy the product and totally lost track of my items for the buy 10, get $5 off promotion.
Oh well, I got home in one piece. I will try to make up for the gym later this week.
I am so excited for the summer - although I am not sure why, since I am still working full time. May be it is the thought of not doing homework with the big monkey for a couple of months. Maybe it's the thought of getting together with out family friends and not rushing to get home on Sunday night.
It's probably also just the thought of endless possibilities, even if the road stays untaken.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Last Weekend - Pictures
Wednesday and Thursday - Dress Rehearsal
This Weekend - Recital
The monkey's were ADORABLE, they danced very well, remembered their routines, and want to do it again.
I, on the other hand, am exhausted!!
My monkeys are the bird and the purple Scooby girl on the right.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
My in-laws offered to cart the kids around to their activities today. I took that opportunity to:
- Go to the farmers market by myself at 9am. I even took some pictures for a future blog post.
- Pick up two friends and head down to Melrose where we hit the Penguin sale and the Ed Hardy store closing.
- Went to the Grove and picked up some "evil eye bracelets", had lunch, shopped the Anthropologie and Banana Republic sales.
- Came home, spent some time with the kids, who had recently come home, forgotten that I needed tights for the big monkey for her recital, sped off and picked up the tights.
The I came back home, picked up the kids and off we went to the recital.
Got home at 9pm!!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Also, I am catching up with my Millionaire Matchmaker episodes. Wow! What can I say. The men are misogynistic pigs. But then again, they have been trained that they can be, just like Pavlov's dogs. If they pull out the wad of cash, the 10s will come. They all say that they want "TRUE LOVE" but that they just can't find it. What they don't understand is that while women only "LOVE" them for their money, they only "LOVE" the women who are HOT!
How is it that these "entrepreneurs" that are pretty darn smart in their respective fields, are so dumb that they can't see the true problem?!?! They want a wife that is willing to love them for who they are as long as she is perfect in every way. If you've ever been married, you know that that is IMPOSSIBLE.
Patti, the host, CRACKS ME UP!!! In this episode she is talking about the petite little "spinner" - who spins on a guys lap. She must have said that phrase at least 10 times. Man, is that woman FUNNY!!
If you've never seen the show, give it a shot. In between the bouts of moral outrage and nausea most people feel upon first watching the show, you will probably find it pretty hilarious.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I came home and ate a fairly healthy dinner. Of course, after dinner I ate two dark chocolate Russian candies (sigh).
It's so difficult to be good! No matter what it is we are talking about ;)
Last night I was thinking about cycles, you know, the ebb and flow of things.
As a kid, we play repetitive games - and we play them repetitively. Oddly enough, these games do teach us about life.
Red Rover, Red Rover - that teaches us about being picked for your strengths or weaknesses. About being able to penetrate a seemingly immovable force.
Dodge Ball - that game is too cliche to even mention (yet here I am, mentioning it).
Even jump rope songs tell us about who we love and what life is "sure" to bring us.
Life is one big series of ins and outs, back and forths, teaching us the "same" lesson over and over again. There are times when we are in a good place, and a day later we are in a bad place. Then we are in a good place again, thinking "Wow, I have finally got this under control". And then the next day we are out of it again.
My blog is Sometimes Lucid. Apparently, today is not one of those days ;)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I am too tired to write anything meaningful, so I will leave you with this:
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I also took a shower as soon as I got home, I went through some clot my mother-in-law gave me and laid down earlier than usual.
Even though my work day SUCKED, I'm trying to stay on the right path :)
Monday, June 1, 2009
For some reason, today has been a day of reflection. Today is the beginning of a new month. I have been slacking in MANY areas recently. I have been cooking less, working out minimum days instead of striving for more, not eating as healthy, letting things slide (like blog posts and coupon shopping).
I am choosing today to recommit. I do not know if I will keep up my dedication (I already had a small piece of cake today) but if I don't try, I have already failed (yes, that's way too deep).
Tonight I worked out a little harder that I have in recent months. I came home and found the file I was looking for. I went through the mail piled up from the last couple of days and threw away the junk mail. These were all tiny steps, but ones I'm hoping to build on.
I tend to get complacent, and then wonder why....
- Why am I gaining weight...while I have cake several days a week and am only exercising a minimum number of days.
- Why am I not cooking as often...as I get lazy and lay in bed instead.
- Why can I not get control over my mail...as I let it pile up for weeks.
- Why are certain facets of my life not moving forward...as I struggle to make some difficult choices.
So, I hope to make a dent in some of these issues in the next 30 days. I want to look back and feel like these next 30 have made a difference. Hopefully, this momentum will carry me past June, in to July and beyond.
Please remind me to post updates on some of my goals and wants.