Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wonder Wednesdays

Wednesdays seem to be the most awkward day of the week. You kind of have to look at it in a “is the glass half full, or half empty?” kind of way. Do you have a whole half a week left to go? Or is the week already half over? Not only is Wednesday that awkward middle week day but it also leaves you wondering about a lot of things. Is there anything on TV tonight? Did I remember to put the trash out? What does the weekend have in store? Why do people eat ham on Easter when Jesus was a Jew? Are Wonder Wednesdays going to become some sort of regular weekly blogging topic because I am running out of ideas? Yes, and yes. So on that note… I will leave you wondering… why do we find things involving bodily functions so intriguing?

What am I talking about? Well, check out this website for a little Wednesday time killer

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What’s Bugging Me?

There are literally ants crawling out of my keyboard this morning…it is kind of creepy. I am not really sure why they would choose to hide in my computer. I could see why they would like the keyboard to my iMac seeing as there is more food crumbs in it to feed an army…but my laptop is crumb free. Maybe they are trying to type me some sort of secret message… or trying to ask me to please stop using a sealable lid for my cereal.

There is nothing worse than a spoonful of ants in the morning. Maybe I am the only that has made the mistake of getting a little extra protein in my cereal. Ants have a very distinct taste…once you make the mistake of eating them, you will never forget the taste of ant.

What is the grossest thing you have accidently ingested?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meatless Monday


Meat Eating Husbands Love This Shepherds Pie

shepherds pie1

I found this recipe a couple of years ago on a website called vegweb. It stays true to it’s name because it is one of my meat eating husbands favorite meatless recipes. Not only is it meatless but it is really easy and versatile when it comes to using whatever vegetables you have on hand. Over the years I have tried many different versions of this recipe until I came up with one that Eric and I enjoyed the most. So here it is…

4 or 5 russet or yukon  potatoes, peeled and cooked

    2 teaspoons olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 cup mushroom or vegetable broth
    3/4 cup plain hemp milk ( or regular milk works too )
    8 oz. slice mushrooms
    1 head broccoli, chopped or grated, stems and all
    2 carrots, chopped or grated
    2 celery ribs, chopped
    1 cup of corn
1/4 to 1/2 head of green cabbage
1 teaspoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon flour
2 handfuls French fried onions
1. Boil potatoes in large pot until they are easily punctured with a fork. Mash potatoes adding as much milk, butter, salt and pepper to your liking making them creamy enough to be spreadable.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and saute the garlic and onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the cabbage, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, corn and celery and cook until veggies start to wilt.

3. Spray a 8"x8" baking dish with nonstick oil spray and spoon the vegetable mixture onto the bottom. Cover with the potatoes and smooth them down.  Sprinkle the top with French fried onions. Heat in oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or so until top is slightly firm and onions are browned.

This goes great with fresh bread. Enjoy!

I apologize for the different fonts…my blogging program is pretending it is Microsoft Word this morning.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Shoes and Strawberry Pie

Yesterday was a pretty darn good day. My parents and I made our usual farmers market trip and picked up some carrots, coffee, and strawberries ( which I believe are laced with crack because I couldn’t stop eating them ). Then followed by our farmers market trip was lunch at my favorite restaurant Awful Annies. Yum…I didn’t think my Saturday could get much better..but it did.


new shoes1

Here they are, in all their glory. I can’t wait to take them out for a run this morning.

Farmers market, crack berries, new shoes…could it get better? Well everything can be made bigger, and better with a trip to Costco.

I don’t know what it is about Costco, but trips there are always exciting. Maybe it is because they are always switching it up and you find something new every time you go in there…like this MASSIVE TUB OF HUMMUS!


Let me just size this up for you….


Regular grocery store hummus on the left $4.89. Costco size on the right $5.89.  Pure awesomeness.

This is especially exciting  if you put hummus on everything... like I do…this tub will probably be gone in two days.

To end the day we watched the movie The Blindside while I made strawberry pie out of the strawberries  from the farmers market…being that it was made on a whim it wasn’t too bad. I might even share the recipe on my new food blog.

Well, it’s time I get ready to take my new shoes for a test drive. I hope you enjoyed your Saturday, and enjoy your Sunday as well!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Oh Saturday

It’s Sunny out, and it is a brand new day…I don’t have much to say except that I can’t wait to go out and enjoy the sun. I hope you do too! I will leave you with my favorite Saturday song and music video…sorry the quality sucks but the real Coldplay doesn’t want to share and disabled the embeded code.


Friday, March 26, 2010

At The Blink Of An Eye

This week went by crazy fast. TGIF! I am in a particularly great mood today because #1 the cooking class I went to with my mom went really well and I enjoyed every second of it. The best part was that it was a vegetarian cooking class so I could actually taste everything! The menu consisted of…


Chilled Cream Avacado


Rolled zuchinni ribbons with herbed goat cheese, mint, and arugula.

Caprese: Tomato, mozzarella, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil Avacado, grapefruit, and arugula salad

Main Dish

Asian Marinated Tofu with soba noodles



Passion fruit trifle with strawberries and mascarpone ( we used heavy cream instead due to lack of mascarpone )

Everything tasted great, and my #1 favorite was the marinated tofu. The trifle was pretty darn good as well…So since this class ended up being so enjoyable, my mom and I will be getting a little adventurous and attend the next ‘cooking class’…only we won’t really be cooking because it will be a raw foods class. I don’t have much experience with raw foods so I am definitely looking forward to learning more about it!

A few other reasons for my good mood this morning…well as you might know Fridays are usually my least favorite day of the week because of a certain class that up until today involved what seemed to be Richard Simmons impersonation lessons. To my relief the Aerobics part of the class is over and today we get to move on to spinning. Finally, something I am looking forward to…oh and another good mood factor that I almost forgot about. Next week is SPRING BREAK! There won’t be any crazy nights, hangovers, or travels to Mexico for this old lady though. My idea of a good time is running, relaxing, and cooking.

If you are somewhere near the Newcastle area or are passing through I highly recommend taking a pit stop at Newcastle Produce, or taking a class from Chelsea Federwitz <---check out her blog for more info.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food For Thought

It’s looking like I have a pretty good day ahead of me. Minus the disappearing sunshine and sprinkles of rain. ( Yes, I do in fact melt in the rain ).  I Just have my cooking class at school, and then I get to go to another cooking class with my Mom later tonight. The class is on vegetarian cooking so this makes me extra excited. Onto some more exciting news.. I have decided to turn my other blog into a food blog. I haven’t  really posted much yet and am still brainstorming on the idea but check it out and leave some comments or suggestions if you get a chance.

On another note…with all the media surrounding the infidelity of Tiger Woods, and Jesse James (Sandra Bullocks husband).. I can’t help but mention that not only do I feel incredibly sorry for these Women, but also for the entire male gender. are a few pieces of advice..Don’t cheat on your wives or girlfriends…and don’t cheat on them with 10 different people. I see the reports of these men wanting to save their marriages after repeatedly banging bleach blonde sluts, or tattooed whores and admit that I can’t imagine being able to stay in a marriage if I was in their wives shoes. I don’t know if it takes a strong woman to stay in a marriage after an experience like this, or a strong woman to get out of one.

Either way, I don’t think I could work it out if I found out Eric was sleeping with numerous girls. I couldn’t see myself being able to get past the HUGE trust issue and I don’t believe there is EVER a way to restore trust after something like that. I mean, sure you could try to work it out but things will never be the same. NEVER. I wouldn’t be able to look at my husband the same way, it would be like looking at a different person.

These are just a few random thoughts that were floating through my head this morning.

What do you think? Could your marriage survive an ordeal like Sandra Bullock is going through?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Blogging…blogging..what is it? Well it is something I don’t feel like doing right now. Why? Well..first of all I have nothing exciting to blog… not that I ever do but the day is so bland that I don’t want to type it out, or think about it. I think I am at loss for words because they are all going into my letters to Eric…I think I need some time to brew some fresh thoughts. Until then, enjoy your day readers!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Thankful Tuesday

Tuesdays are great. It is no longer Monday, and it is almost Wednesday…which means that you are half way to Friday and then before you know it, it’s the weekend! Unfortunately the cycle repeats itself and you once again have to experience Monday, or in my case a meatless and commentless Monday. Nothing kills blog comments better than Meatless Mondays. They might be animal cruelty free but they are cruel to my self esteem. There is no blog love here on Mondays.

On another note, I received some sort of love yesterday. I got two letters from Eric. Yea, that’s right TWO! I love getting letters from him, it is almost hard to keep up with writing him back now, but I love it :) It just sucks that they take so long to get there. I keep wanting to text him something and then remember I can only write it in a letter that will take at least 4 days to get there. So this is what life was like before cell phones…

I am still feeling anxious about his graduation. I think it will end up being on May 13 or May 14. Either way those days fall on my Finals for my Thursday and Friday class. Trying to figure out how to go to his graduation and juggle my finals is only one of the hurdles. The lowest price for one round trip ticket to MO is $515. If you want a hotel the lowest is around $572. Then to rent a car..well who knows. I hope I can figure something out.

Anyways..back to why Tuesdays are so awesome. I get to go to my cooking class, I get to cook dinner, and the biggest loser is on tonight and I get to completely ramble on in my blog with absolutely no direction.

Now what to make for dinner…

How was everyone’s weekend?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meatless Monday!

I don’t know about you, but I am thinking it is a Mexican food kind of night. What could be better than tacos? I came across a vegetarian taco recipe that looks amazing. This delicious recipe comes from Michael Natkin. Check it out here.



Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Love Shoes

I love shoes…the title speaks for itself. I am not talking about the latest Sara Jessica Parker inspired heel…or whatever ( I am so not in the know of what is “In” these days, not that I ever was ) but ask me about athletic shoes, or running shoes and I am your go to girl.

There is nothing more I w0uld rather shop for than running shoes. Unfortunately I have not been able to shop for new running shoes for quite some time now and am running in a pair of shoes with such high mileage on them that they are an injury waiting to happen. Here they are…

old_shoesrunrun2  Apparently I have a peg leg on my left side because I seem to drag my left heel a lot more than my right. It seems I land on mostly on my left heel and push off with my right foot. Not really sure why…

Don’t seem to worn out to you? Well let me give you a better picture..

new shoesThis is what the sole used to look like.  ( Why couldn’t I find them in yellow? )

So I am hoping that as soon as I get money from the military I can get new running shoes. Eric even said I could! So I won’t feel too guilty. So here are the pair I am after…

Aren’t they beautiful? Well they are to me. I can’t wait to slip my feet into a pair of these and run without my legs feeling like they are going to fall off. *Drool*.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Everything Seems Better With Sunshine

It’s true, everything seems 100 times better when the sun is shining and for once I am not curled up in a corner somewhere freezing my bum off and I can step outside without 3 layers of clothing on. Now to get rid of my painfully white albino skin…

The sunshine and warm weather is not the only thing making me happy. Yesterday was the last time I will ever have to teach any sort of Aerobic exercise class. I did my final demo of step aerobics and it went unexpectedly smooth. I was going to do my usual act of hide and seek to see how long I could get out of doing it, but I surprised myself and volunteered. Volunteer to take my turn? What? Well, there is a reason to why and how I got myself to volunteer.

There is a lady in our class named Nazarine. We didn’t know it until last week but I guess she is some big time fitness instructor in her home country of Iran. Because of a language barrier and her inability to keep a beat if her life depended on it..we always thought the lights were on but no one was home. ( Although our teacher still talks to her like she is retarded. ) Come to find out she has taught classes as large as 300 people. Way to go Nazarine that is quite impressive…but what is even more impressive is your ability to make me look good.

So back to the reason as to how I got myself to get up and volunteer myself as opposed to being forced up front next week…Reason #1 There was only 5 minutes left in class..which meant I would only have to teach for 5 minutes instead of 8. Reason #2 I got to go after Nazarine which in turn made my performance look nearly flawless. Reason #3 It would just feel good to get it over with.

Before I knew it I was done with my demo and class was over.  To top it off, next week we are moving onto spinning. No more Aerobic exercise demos. I love my life.

Perhaps the best part of the day was getting another letter from Eric. It was the best one yet. I feel like framing it and hanging it on the wall..or locking it up in a safe somewhere so that 20 years from now I can point to it and say “remember when you wrote this!?” I know he is not enjoying bootcamp, and having to be away for so long sucks balls…but I love getting to read his thoughts that I wouldn’t get to otherwise. It makes me feel closer to him even though he is farther away than ever. Bootcamp does have it’s benefits…

Well I better get running. Going to the farmers market today! Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting Back in The Race

I haven’t run a race since last September..which is way too long. But lucky for me the Run Rocklin 12k is coming up which for those of you that don’t know this was the first race I ever participated in ( and took 3rd place in my age group I might add ). 

I have developed a bit of Race fears since the December of 08 when in the middle of a 10k I was struck with the worst side stitch I have ever experienced. I was on track for a PR (personal record) and then BAM. Maybe it was God serving me a piece of humble pie…or I just ate too much pie, I'm not really sure but it hurt like hell and it stopped me in my tracks. I came in a whole 5 minutes slower than my original PR.

I have been experiencing this issue off and on since that day. I am not really sure what it is but I read somewhere that it could have something to do with the ligaments that hold up your liver that can get stretched out and cause it to bounce up and down a little more than it is supposed to causing a cramp. It is a really painful experience but I think I have figured out how to get it to the point where I can keep running if it happens. Painfully..but bearable enough.

The good news is that I haven’t had this side stitch for awhile ( knock on wood ) so I think it is time I get back in the race. So what better race to get back into the game than Run Rocklin?

Besides wanting to get back into road racing, I realize that I live in Auburn. The Endurance Capital of The World ( really it is, just Google it ), and I have never set foot on one of infamous Western States 100mi trails. How can I even call myself a runner? I want more than anything to be part of the Auburn trail runner groupies but I feel like such a newbie…I am so not cool enough. Sure I may run nearly as many miles a week as them but what if I don’t have the “right” equipment to fit in, or know the “lingo” to be part of the click. I just want to run, but I feel like such an outsider.

In the meantime.. I really want to aim for getting a marathon under my belt this year. It’s about freakin time I just do it. I think I will try and do  a few 10k’s to get my confidence back…wish me luck :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Money: Wanted

Besides my personal training certificate I will be receiving from the college in May, I also want to get my ACE certification. The only problem with this is that it costs an arm and a leg…and I have to study on my own, which has proven to be very difficult. It is not that I lack the discipline to study, I just don’t know where to start. They do have online study courses with practice tests ( basically an online class ). I know that this course would finally get my butt in the exam chair so what am I waiting for? Well…see for yourself. Yes, unfortunately it is a whopping $149.00. Considering the exam costs $260.00 to take I suppose it would be worth it…because this is $260.00 you do not want to waste on a fail. You have to pay this fee EVERYTIME you take the having to take the test twice could put a major dent in your bank account.

I am actually pretty good at online classes. People say they lack the motivation and forget about them but all the classes I have taken online at Sierra I have gotten an A. Go me…

So anyone feeling generous today? I will give you free personal training sessions for life.  Or a hug?  Donate to the Amber needs her ACE certification ASAP fund?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Nun of Your Business

Yesterday was kind of a strange day…not super strange..but I just saw some  interesting people and got asked some interesting questions.

It all started off like a normal day, and quite honestly I have just about had it with my first class ( English 18 ) I took the class for fun because I love to write..but we are doing a lot less writing and a lot more snoozing in class than I would like…the temptation to drop is overwhelming at this point…but that is a whole other blog.

My second class was enjoyable as always and the most enjoyable part is that I got an A on my test. SCORE…and then we made some awesome breakfast food which consisted of breakfast barley, multi-grain pancakes, and a quiche. Yum..oh and the gluten free thing was definitely destroyed by the food we made in class. I am so over it. I am making bread A.S.A.P. I miss it and no one can stop me! Pizza? Ciabatta or Focaccia anyone?

Anyways…I volunteered to make some gluten free cookies for my parents Bible Study group. ( It was their turn to bring dessert and someone has an intolerance to gluten ). So after school I made my way to the grocery store to pick up my ingredients.

Upon entering, the automatic doors slid open in an obedient fashion and the first thing I saw was two nuns picking out out some bananas in the produce section. I was secretly cracking up inside…the only way this could of been better is if someone was there to laugh with me but as you know I am kind of a loser so all I could do was tweet it…definitely not the same. I passed by them curiously, only seeing a real live Nun once before at Trader Joes. I swear one of them was the one from Sister Act.  We exchanged smiles as I walked by. Nuns are so mysterious…the hidden extrovert in me wanted to stop and ask them a million questions..but that would probably be a hard thing to do for the most outgoing people..let alone for a publicly mute person. Maybe next time…or maybe in heaven…or perhaps purgatory according to their beliefs.

After I gathered myself together from such a unique sight I selected all of my needed items and proceeded to the check out stand. I usually go for the self check out but I guess I was just feeling lazy  and got in line. After waiting a bit and regretting not choosing self checkout it was finally my turn. The middle aged checkout clerk asked me the usual. “How are you?” “Find everything ok?” Good and yes I replied.  I few moments of awkward silence went by and then he asked..

“So what are you up to today?”

“not too much…just getting home from class.”

“Ah so what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Wow…seriously? Did he just say that?

“Um.. a personal trainer.”

“Ah, so being a personal trainer and all that means you gotta be pretty ripped yourself. Gotta live by example right? What is your body fat right now?”

Wow…and what? Really? Did he just ask what my body fat percentage was?

“Um yea…i’m not really sure.”

Like I would tell you if I knew.

“Your not sure? Ah well you have a nice day.”

“Thanks…you too.”


That was quite and awkward check out experience. I think I will be choosing self check from now on no matter what.

Anyone have an awkward grocery store experiences?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brewing Ideas

I think God has an idea…and is slowly revealing it to me. Just maybe. I feel there is something new that is about to develop, or that I am on the right path to something, but it is a path with some diversions..or maybe I am just crazy. I guess that is pretty much the definition of life, but I feel some sort of guidance going on more than ever right now. I am curious to see what this feeling is, or what it will mean for my future.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meatless Monday!

How on earth did the weekend go by so fast? least it is Meatless Monday. Aren’t you excited? Well you should be because I found a recipe on a newly discovered website called Veggie Num Num. 

Today’s Recipe


Fettuccine Florentine



Preparation time: 35mins
Serves 4

  • 250g (8 oz) Fettuccine
  • 1 tbs olive oil or butter
  • 1 fresh red chilli, diced (or 1 tsp diced bottled chilli)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 6 large flat mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup low fat evaporated milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach, roughly chopped (you can use frozen spinach if fresh is unavailable)
  • ½ fresh grated vegetarian parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 5-6 semi-dried tomatoes, diced

Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water to the packet instructions; strain and rinse. Set aside.

Heat about 1 tbs of olive oil or butter in a large heavy based pan; add the chilli and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant.

Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and beautifully brown, about 3-4 minutes. Season with ground sea salt and freshly cracked pepper; toss well.

Reduce heat and add the evaporated milk; slowly stir over low heat until liquid has reduced by about ¾; should take around 5 minutes.

Add the fettuccine, spinach, parmesan, parsley and semi-dried tomatoes.

Toss well until spinach is wilted and fettuccine is well mixed through; season to taste.

Served topped with a little extra parsley and fresh cracked pepper; great with crusty bread or on its own.

Variations: I also do a similar version omitting the mushrooms and semi-dried tomato but top the pasta with a fried free-range egg to serve. Yum!!

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Enjoy your Meatless Monday!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Phone Call

I just got off the phone with Eric. It was kind of weird…It didn’t really sound like him.  His voice was kind of different…until he insisted I try and find out a way to make it to his graduation. Then his voice became more familiar. Only problem is his graduation falls on the same exact day as my final class. ( May 13 ) I tried to explain I would do all that I could but you can’t exactly make up final exams. All I got was “I would really like you to come so just  figure out a way to make that work. Maybe you can talk to your teacher and take it early.” Well first of all teacher’s don’t usually write final exams early…and half of the exam is a practical test so you physically have to be there. It is hard enough to miss one day of class let alone all of finals week… I am stressing out now. I feel like I would be a horrible, horrible, selfish person if I didn’t go..but I don’t want to fail something I have been working towards for such a long time. Originally he thought he would only have one graduation when it was all over, and that would be in the middle toward the end of July which would be no problem…but now ugh.

He did say that he got stuck in really horrible platoon and there is still chances of being restarted…it might be better if that happened because then school would be over when he graduated…that is probably selfish of me to think about.

Is it ever ok to be selfish? What do I do? If I can work something out with my teachers then I will go, but what if I can’t? What do I do? What would you do? He does have another graduation…

Letter #2

I got another letter from Eric yesterday will post it soon...but I spent the morning writing him back and gotta run!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Daily Bread


Bread Love Minus the bite of lasagna that contained regular wheat  noodles for my cooking class, and soy sauce on my stir fry, I have been nearly gluten free…and let me tell you I miss wheat. I miss making bread that rises and doesn’t come out of the oven all soggy, or that can be formed into a bread masterpiece.

I don’t really feel a difference so either gluten is not a problem for me, or I just haven’t given it enough time. I think it is supposed to take at least two weeks, but I am probably the most impatient person you will ever meet.

I miss baking bread so much. It is such an art form and I have yet to discover a gluten free bread that can look or taste half as good as the beautiful wheat loaf in the picture above.

I suppose I will just have to keep experimenting. I have to remember that it is a good leaning process regardless of the outcome of this little gluten free experiment.

I do admit it feels kind of weird to succumb myself to somewhat of a fad movement. Like for example: The Atkins Diet. For so long carbs were the enemy, they were evil and people began eliminating this vital nutrient from their diet. Of course the gluten free movement is a little different considering it is a real issue for people..but I think it is misunderstood by many.  People seem to think it is some sort new weight loss idea and are eliminating a very nutritious part of a healthy diet without even having an issue with gluten in the first place. Wheat is not the enemy, it is not evil, some people just have problems digesting it.

I just want to make it clear that I have done my research and am not jumping off a cliff because everyone else is doing it. Gluten free does not mean healthy, or  low calorie, low sugar, or etc. It just means gluten free. Simple as that.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Is It Summer Yet?

As I applied some lotion to my hands yesterday a waft of delicious summer coconut scent hit my nostrils. Mmm nothing reminds me more of summer than coconut. Not the taste of coconut…just the smell. I have come to realize that I connect scents to memories more than anything. It brought to mind honeymooning in Mexico, sitting on the beach with no worries or bothers in the world…( except for the lil Mexican dude wearing a sombrero that kept wanting to sell us blankets.)

It also brought to mind our visits to Pismo Beach. It has been quite a long time since I have been to Pismo, which is sad. I always end up freezing my butt off but being only a few steps from the beach totally makes up for it.

I don’t really know what the point of this blog is..but all I know is that I can’t wait for summer. Not only will I be done with school, but I can’t stand being cold and can’t wait for it to warm up. Oh and I miss my summer fruit…nothing beats a Saturday morning at the farmer’s market and then lunch outside at Awful Annies.

Now back to reality. It’s freezing, and I have to go to class. Ugh.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Breathin Easy

I missed my usual blogging time because I was busy studying for a I guess an afternoon blog will have to do..but they never end up going anywhere, are mostly rushed, and not even the least bit interesting…sorry guys my brain is a little more foggy in the afternoon, and especially after a test. I will make it short and painless…maybe.

I keep getting distracted by afternoon Television or maybe it is just Dr. Oz’s freakishly hairy gorilla arms. Someone should as him how to get rid of nasty upper  arm hair to see what he says and then tell him to take his own advice.

I guess I will end by saying that Michael Pollan Author of The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense of Food and his newest book Food Rules, will be on Oprah again today…it is a repeat of his first appearance on Oprah but it is a must see if you haven’t watched it. Then go watch Food Inc. NOW.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Letter!

I got my first letter from Eric yesterday. I was so surprised. I thought it would be awhile until I got anything. The only sad part is that I don’t have an address to send him one back.

erics_letter_3He wrote this in his second day of reception, so there is a pretty big gap between then and now. He said that he was cold and stressed and he was only  in reception at the time.  I am guessing he is probably in basic training now, and that stress level has only gone up. 

Well I suppose I will read err type his letter for you..

“Well it’s my second night here… oh my Lord what did I get myself into!!! It is so crazy! I haven’t been yelled at but my stress level is at max and I’m only in reception lol. OH YAH AND I MISS YOU SOOOO MUCH!!! I started getting teary eyed when I read your letter. ( I wrote him a letter to open on the plane ). Now that I am actually here it has really set in that I am going to be away from you for 5 months!!! <---( He likes his explanation marks…I think the Drill Seargants are starting to get to him ). I love you so much. I am just counting the days until I get to see you again. The lifestyle here is so strict and structured that the only escape I have is thinking about you. I have so little time to do anything that I am actually writing this letter with a flashlight under the covers. Oh ya and by the way there would be no way that you would be able to get through basic being a vegetarian, NO WAY! You literally have about 5 mins to eat so chewing is prohibited lol.

I hope that it just goes by fast because it’s freezing, im tired and I miss you so much! It feels so crazy not being albe to see you or talk to you. I wish I could give you an address to write me back but won’t get that until basic. I hope everything is going good, just try and keep busy and know that I am thinking about you all the time. I love you so much sweetie and you don’t know how much I want to hug and kiss you but I guess a 5 month wait will make it that much better. well i guess I’d better get to bed… before I do get yelled at lol”

Love, Eric

AKA your Hubby

His letter was really sweet and it made me smile when I read it. It is kind of nice getting letters because it is so much more heart felt. He says he has such little time but It seems like he put more time, effort, and thought into that letter than any word he has ever spoken to me, or any gift he has ever given to me.  I guess it is true what the say…absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Moment of Fame

I got my moment of fame this morning…well I got my e-mail read on the news at 5am so maybe 3 of 5 people watching it might of heard it. Regardless of who heard it or not, it lifted my mood a bit to hear my words read on the air by my favorite morning news crew. Wow I have a favorite morning news crew…that’s just sad. I am 23, going on 75. 

On another note…I got a text at work yesterday from my mother in-law telling me that they got a phone call from Eric on Sunday. What? I wasn’t expecting him to be able to make a call at all for like 3 weeks. I feel kind of selfish saying this but I wish that phone call was to me. I wish I could of heard his voice, but instead I just got a synopsis of his phone call.

His Dad said he sounded pretty homesick and not enjoying himself so much, and that he thinks this is the reason he didn’t call me. Like he didn’t want me to hear him upset in fear that it would upset me or something..but I think I am more upset getting second hand news. I think he underestimates my strength sometimes…and apparently over-estimates his own.

I have been writing Eric letters pretty much everyday, even though I have no address to send them too. I was going to write him one last night but all I could get on paper was “Why didn’t you call me?” I hope I at least get the first letter from him. Sigh.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Not Bad…

I previously blogged about the possibility of going gluten free… well I am still debating that because I love my whole wheat ( it may not love me though ). Going gluten free is a bit daunting to me still, but I am a little happier after a few discoveries yesterday.

Yesterday my Mom and I made a trip to Whole Foods in search of some good gluten free products. I was on a search for two specific things…a yummy gluten free breakfast cereal, and gluten free baking goods.

Whole Foods is like a toy store to my mom and I, we had fun browsing the aisles until we made our way to the breakfast cereals and made a selection.

NP-MapleSunrise_US-RGB_0I would say we made the right choice. I just had this cereal for breakfast and It was delicious. The maple flavor is great. It was like eating a bowl of pancakes. Yum. Operation breakfast cereal complete.

After browsing around a little bit more we finally came across the gluten free baking supplies where I found gluten free all purpose flour, and chocolate chips…oh yes I was definitely making cookies. I was curious as to how the cookies would turn out, and vowed that if they sucked I was giving up the gluten free trial immediately.

After dinner I started my search for some gluten free cookie recipes. I found a couple and decided to try them both. ( Hey why not right? ) The recipes I found were for Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, and just regular chocolate chip cookies. Here is the final product…

Gluten Free CookiesI was pleasantly surprised that they actually tasted pretty good. Not bad for gluten free, or for my first gluten free baking experience. Maybe I won’t miss gluten as much as I thought? I am not going to lie I am still hoping that I don’t have a problem with gluten but this is all a good learning experience and can better help me in the future if I have a client down the road with a gluten intolerance. Doesn’t hurt to learn something new!

Now onto my next baking adventure…bread. Eeek.

Wish me luck…

Oh and Happy Meatless Monday by the way, I guess my cookie recipes will have to be the Meatless Monday recipes as well…but check back because Wheatless Wednesdays are coming soon!

Let me know if you want the recipes :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gluten Free?

Due to many years of stomach issues I am debating whether this whole gluten free rave that is going around might actually be beneficial to me. This is incredibly sad to me though and would be such a bittersweet feeling if I found gluten to be the cause of my problems…

It is hard for me to even think about giving up gluten but I am willing to try it. The biggest problem is that I love to bake. I know that going gluten free doesn’t mean I can’t bake anymore, I will just have to get more creative…it is almost like going vegetarian in the grain world. Anyone else have any gluten free success stories? Or Gluten free baking recipes?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

10 Minutes in Hell

I finally lost the game of Russian roulette that I was playing with my group exercise class. Yes, this means I had to get up in front of class and teach for 10 minutes. Ten whole excruciating minutes. I guess if you think about it, I didn’t really lose, but more like surrendered. I could of gotten out of it again if I wanted to, but I felt that I needed to do it; not only for the sake of my grade, but for the sake of being able to say I did it and overcame one of my greatest nightmares. She passed around a sheet of paper for those of us that had not yet done our aerobic demo. We were to sign our names so she knew who was left to go. I watched the piece of paper slowly get passed from person to person, until I finally saw it reached the guy next to me. ( I swear he is Fogell from Superbad ). I was next. Should I sign it? I could get out of this if I don’t sign it. She would never know.

I saw McLovin sign his name on the paper and then look at me and say “do you need to sign it?” “Yes”, I said hesitantly as I grabbed the piece of paper and pencil. Hands shaking, and sweat pooling I signed my name at the bottom of the list. I felt as though I had just signed myself up for a voluntary beheading.

The teacher continued her usual morning blabbering until she finally ran out of things to say and we got to doing our demos. One after one, people went and I could feel that my turn was getting closer and closer. My head began to ache, and my muscles were so tense I felt like I was being squeezed by a python. 

Finally it was McLovins turn and I was next. I was really going to have to do it this time. There was no escaping. Why did I sign that piece of paper?! What do I do? Pass out? Play dead? Pretend I already went and signed the paper on accident? Hmmm no I suck at lying that won’t work. My only option was to just do it. <---insert Nike product placement here. Just do it.

The teacher blew her whistle signaling McLovin that his 10 minutes was up and then shouted my name over the music. My heart was beating so hard that I probably could of just used it for a beat instead of the music. I walked over to my backpack, grabbed my trusty Tune Belt and headed up to the front to get fitted with the microphone.

The instructor quickly handed me the microphone while she babbled on about the time and other various subjects. It was surprisingly calming though because she was so non-shalant about the whole ordeal. When she saw that I was struggling to figure out how the microphone was supposed to go she asked

“Haven’t you used it before?”

“No.” I said with a nervous laugh.

“OH! That’s right, your one of the ones that cheated!”


Darn she knew the whole time?

She continued to fit me with the microphone, awkwardly pulling at my belt getting a little closer than I would of liked. “Alright, go for it. Don’t freak out.”

I slowly walked to the front of class, looking in the mirror making sure the microphone was properly positioned on my head. I remembered that I had a dream like this before…only this time I had clothes on so that was a good start. Here goes nothing.

Hi, my name is Amber…can you please start the music?”

The teacher cheerfully started the music and I began my demo. After I got moving, and nestled my way into a grove it ended up being a lot easier than I thought, and it didn’t even seem like the longest 10 minutes of my life. All the guys ( I am only 1 of 3 girls ) were really supportive and started clapping half way through. They knew I was hating life at the moment and was really thankful for their support.

Finally I heard the sweet sound of the teacher’s whistle. My time was up. I did it. It was over. I walked over to the teacher and she gave me my review. To my surprise she said that I actually did pretty good. That I counted in all the right places, that she could hear me clearly, ( which no one ever says…I suppose the microphone helped me out in this area ), and that the class was able to follow me really well.

I was on cloud 9 when it was over. I couldn’t believe I actually did that…not to mention I have been dreading that experience from the first day of class. Unfortunately that won’t be my last time having to do that…now on to step aerobics…Ugh.

Wow this is a long post. My apologies…

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wish Upon a Star

I don’t feel like doing step aerobics today…nor do I feel like “practice” teaching it. I can’t get over how much I hate this Friday class. It wouldn’t be so bad if our teacher actually gave us time to learn things, or just understand that not everyone devotes every second of our days thinking about group exercise classes.

Potentially I could see myself teaching a class, just not in these circumstances. My instructor thinks modern aerobic exercise classes are the best thing ever invented…or that she invented it because apparently she is the best teacher in the universe that refuses to go by any name other than “Star”. Yes..she really does want you to call her that. ( her real name is Judith ).  Come on Judith, not even Richard Simmons is vain enough to want to be called “Star”.

So Star, if you are so good at what you do, why are half of your students sick most of the time? Is there some mysterious strain of swine flue going around that only affects those attending your class? Why do I see people sneaking out the gym door not even half way through your class? Well, there are two reasons for this one.. #1 your class blows, and #2 you are too crazy to notice.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wanted: Sleep

I spent most of my morning creating an avatar for an army version of Second Life…who knew that existed right? Well it does..and I couldn’t help myself. I suppose it thinks all army wives are sluts though because the female avatar starts out with size DD boobs and a short polka-dot skirt. I spent nearly an hour and a half just trying to tone down my whorrish avatar only to find out there is a glitch that makes it so you must forever wear a pink polka-dot skirt and high-heels regardless if you are wearing pants or not.


avatar whore_001 

                            My Avatar is a whore

I hate wearing skirts so much that I couldn’t even stand to watch my avatar wear one and quickly exited the program…maybe I will try again later. Who knows though, maybe I should buy myself a pink polka-dot skirt to wear over my jeans.

On another note..I am having the hardest time sleeping. Not necessarily falling asleep..I am still compared to a 95 year old in that sense. ( by that I mean not being able to keep my eyes open past 9:30). I am just having trouble with quality of sleep. I wake up at 3:00 and have to force myself to sleep in until 4:00am. This hour from 3:00-4:00 is usually filled with me waking up every 10 minutes. Then by 4:00am I am up..and most of the time with a headache. Wah Wah hear me whine. Tired of it yet? I am tired of hearing myself whine. Sorry guys.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blogging? Anyone?

I am not particularly in the blogging mood…so why am I writing this? Probably because I will feel lost if I don’t, and the world might just come crashing down. Okay maybe not your world, but possibly mine. This whole blogging thing has become part of my routine and my fingers can’t help but tip tap at the keyboard robotically every morning. I don’t really even have anything particularly interesting to blog about.. but yet I am continuing to type, and you are continuing to read… my advice would be to stop reading or just skim through the rest of this and try to leave a relevant comment in hopes that maybe someone will check out your blog and then pass on the deed..but no one really reads this so unfortunately you may be S.O.L. but hey it’s worth a try. Maybe I should just give something away to earn some reader love. If you read my blog I will give you candy? Jewelry? A new car? An invitation to my birthday party?

On another note, I got my “I am here safe, everything's fine, I gotta go, love you bye.” phone call from Eric last night so he has officially arrived at bootcamp…I can’t help but wonder what he is doing right now. Whatever it is, I know it’s not sleeping like he would be if he was at home right now. In fact he is probably freezing his ass off out in the middle of no where Missouri. I feel bad for him, but I will admit, some of me wants to laugh. I know, what an evil, evil, wife I am, but picturing Eric running outside in the snow at 5:00am is quite humorous if you know him.

I do miss him though, it is weird not having to put the toilet seat down in the morning, find hidden candy wrappers in the bed, ( I swear he is a closet fat kid ) or see the bedroom floor littered with dirty underwear…Sigh.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Five Months to Forever

I  ended up being able to say goodbye to Eric one more time last night before he flies out to Missouri this morning. I went back to the hotel he was staying at after he got done with the medical checks and etc. yesterday. We went to dinner at Chipotle, enjoyed some good food and then said our last goodbyes. It really is such a weird feeling to hug someone, or just physically be in their presence for the last time in 5 months. I’m kind of at loss for words…but I know it’ is not forever, it just seems like it right now.

Have you had to be away from a  loved one for a long time? How did you keep your mind off of it?

Monday, March 1, 2010

It’s Meatless Monday!

I know you are excited, so excited you can barely restrain yourself right? Well, probably not but I am! So now for your Meatless Monday recipes. The first one sounds particularly delicious…I can’t wait to try it, however if you are a little short on time, the second recipe might be more what you are looking for…or if you just feel like a little latin flavor.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

ingredient list

Serves 6

Sweet Potato Topping

  • 1-2 medium sweet potatos, peeled and diced (1/4 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk or plain soymilk
  • 1 Tbs. nonhydrogenated margarine or butter
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 leek, white part thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 turnips, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 carrot, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (2 tsp.)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or water
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbs. shredded Parmesan cheese, optional


To make Sweet Potato Topping:

1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potato, cover, and boil 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to pot. Mash with milk, margarine, cinnamon, and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.

To make Filling:

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and leek, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until leek is soft. Add turnips, carrot, thyme, and rosemary; cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until carrot begins to soften.

3. Add wine, and cook 30 seconds to deglaze pan. Stir in beans and broth. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes, or until carrots and turnips are soft. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

4. Remove thyme sprigs from Filling, and discard. Pour Filling into 2- or 3-qt. casserole dish. Spread Sweet Potato Topping over Filling. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

5. Place casserole on baking pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling bubbles and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

6. Frozen cooking instructions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover casserole, and place on baking sheet. Bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until filling bubbles and top is golden. Remove foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Chimichangas with Fresh Tomato Salsa


ingredient list

6 servings

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fat-free ground soy "meat"
  • 14.5-oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. chopped roasted jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 6 medium (7 1/2-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat baking sheet once with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Coat large skillet with cooking spray and place over low heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds.
  3. Add soy "meat," breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Stir in tomatoes, roasted jalapeno, chili powder and cumin. Mix well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, stack tortillas, wrap in foil and bake until warm and pliable, 8 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, using tongs, heat each tortilla over an open flame.)
  5. Place tortillas on work surface and spoon about 3/4 cup "meat" filling in center of each. Fold in sides and roll up, jelly-roll style. Place on prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Bake until chimichangas are lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Serve hot with salsa.


What did you cook this weekend? Anything yummy?