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Monthly Archive for March, 2010

ohhh my

I went to my first Passover Seder dinner Monday night, and it was such an awesome experience. I’ve always treasured tradition, and sought a personal form of worship for a few years both for that feeling of community, but also that pride that comes with tradition. Judaism is such an interesting religion with an amazing history.

I got to hear the story of Passover, and I had my first matzo ball soup, bitter herbs, Gefilte fish, and some amazing roasted chicken. Oh, and matzo with caramel on it! Yum.

Though I had so much fun I’ve been stressed since because I have no idea how many points are in all of that! I guess I probably used up my “extra” points for the week which I don’t normally do, and on top of being tired… I just feel BLAH. I’m trying to stay motivated though by eating my accurate number of points today, and drinking water. Where is that water bottle?

Oh…and in really good news…Nathan and I are “this” close to booking our Honeymoon trip. Yay!

the great outdoors

I’ve had an itch to get out again. It comes once a month at least. Saying goodbye to the concrete and the people and the noise for an hour or two can do wonders.

it's in the small things

We spent a few hours out of the city this past Saturday in Lake County at one of Illinois’ many forest preserves. Tucker also got to tag along which made him the happiest camper of us all, I think. Our boy has some weight to lose (20 pounds!… I feel bad that his life has changed so drastically since moving here from Florida). And, I am on a mission to get him healthier in the next year. We have decreased his food intake by 30%, and we have him on a walking schedule. Every weekend Nathan and I will take him for an extra long walk (1 hour+) and then Tuesdays and Thursdays I will take him for a long walk/jog. The other days he will get basic walks. And, of course play time. I hope it works. It’s so hard to encourage a big dog to lose weight, and Labrador’s are so susceptible anyways.

We had a great time in the woods though. Nathan found some treasures, I took some pictures, and Tucker left exhausted.

it's in the small things

it's in the small things

it's in the small things
go tuck go!

it's in the small things

friday lunches and happy newlyweds

There is something about small cafes, coffee, brick walls, and homemade sandwiches that make me happy. A small little place with just that opened up last year down the street from us called Birchwood Kitchen, and I’ve been meaning to go since then. Friday, Nathan and I finally walked over and it was so good.

I had a BSLT (Bacon Squash Lettuce and Tomato sandwich) served with a pickle and potato chips. The servings were just the right size, the coffee cup just the right weight, the Tomato Bisque just rich enough, and the service was friendly and quirky. I loved it.

friday afternoon wonder

friday afternoon wonder

friday afternoon wonder

And, I left very happy.

bmi what?

In health news I’ve lost 14 lbs!
Just writing down 14 sounds so amazing. 14 …wow!
My clothes fit better (my favorite jeans are just about loose now), and I can wear a lot of those dresses I haven’t been able to in a year or so. It’s funny thinking back to how I justified how tight a dress felt on me, but never admitted to gaining weight. The good news is I’m on a roll.

I’ve had moments of oh my god all i want to do is eat everything! Well really just pizza. But I have done a good job of breathing, focusing, and making a better decision like whole wheat spaghetti with homemade meat sauce instead (this is what I made last night).

I am 3 pounds away from my first goal I set for myself when I started this 8 weeks ago. After that I will be on to my next goal. This probably sounds crazy but I really want to have a normal BMI. I mean who even really knows or cares what a BMI is but I want mine to be nomal. Not overweight! So once I hit my next 3 lbs I will set myself up to that goal which equates to another 14 lbs. I would weigh 158 pounds!

A part of me feels guilty for being so obsessed with weight loss and health and the number on the scale, but I know I am doing it in a healthy way, and that ultimately it is good for me. I think I have to be obsessed to a certain point to keep going, right?

Oh, and I found the most amazing ice cream bars!

Delicious!! And, only one point.


I need to start de-stressing before bed. The past few nights I haven’t been sleeping well, and I have been extremely tense. I don’t think I had any time to relax all weekend (Tucker went missing, the Jeep battery died, the craft show, it was the designated shopping weekend (groceries, household, etc) and I’m just tired.

I want to treat myself to something.
A weekend trip.
A pedicure.
A massage.
A Zumba class.

Or I just need to cry.
Or take a midol.

Bobble Head10
me not feeling so blah Saturday morning before my buttons were pushed.

Family Dinner’s are back!

I am so excited! When I first moved to Chicago a lot of my friends accidently followed. Aron moved up, then AJ and Shea, then Ryan, then Stephen…am I forgetting anyone? And for the first year we would have “family dinners” just about every Monday. We’d all gather, and eat, play games, laugh, enjoy a drink, and most of all each other. Slowly we all scattered apart – whether out of state (AJ and Shea are now in California) or just north (Aron and John) or just out (me).

As life has taken place over the years we all find ways to get together, but not in family dinner form. In this could be last summer in Chicago together I am determined to bring back the gathering. This Saturday we are going to start a potluck family dinner. Each month one of us will host family dinner, and offer a theme. Then we will each bring a dish that goes along with that theme.

My theme of course is …. SPRING!
March 20th officially begins spring, and I couldn’t be more excited.

photo from Janet


A few months ago Nathan was in creative overdrive. It can be really inspiring and all together frustrating at times because I love all of his ideas but I also have this killer maternal instinct that wants nothing more than for him to SUCCEED. The thing with the kind of art Nathan inspires depends on people, and people’s interaction. And, the people were missing in the equation. So….

What’s a good wife to do?
Sign him up for a craft show? Yup! That’s right. That’s what I did.

The Handmade Market at the Empty Bottle was this past Saturday. They host it every second Saturday of the month except May through July. It was an awesome success! We set up our little 4 foot booth (using my sewing table) with Nathan’s Lump illustrations, and just hung out for a little bit. We each had a Jameson on the rocks for lunch, and then I followed that up with an amazing Bloody Mary. Johnny and Aron stopped by, and were our honorary first customers (though we had a few nibblers before that)! And, all of a sudden people were flocking to our table!!

It was great to see Nathan so happy, and confident in his art. And, it was a lot of fun to be around creative people, mingling, and enjoying each other.

You can check out Nathan’s art and other prints at his etsy shop, too if you weren’t able to make it to the craft show! Dummypress

Handmade Market, Empty Bottle

Handmade Market, Empty Bottle

Handmade Market, Empty Bottle

what a weekend…

I am spent!
so spent i can’t find a picture to go with this post.

sleeping now.

food diary

The key to feeling in control and aware of your food intake is making your own food. I know that I shouldn’t deny myself the “treat” of eating lunch out or dinner out on occasion, but it actually stresses me out now. I mean, what is in this sandwich I’m paying $13.50 for?! Really? Or this basil chicken with brown rice?!

I guess the second key is portion control which I feel as though I have a much better understanding of with weight watchers. I actually know how much I should be eating, when, and how to prepare it which is a satisfying feeling.

I’ve been making my lunches pretty regularly for the past month. I’ve saved money and have lost weight! It does take a bit of extra energy to prepare my lunch the night before (like right now I should be making it, but I am blogging about it instead while watching the new show Parenthood (it’s good!). This week I am lowering my intake of food (weight watchers points) so I’m having to adapt for 0 point foods in to my diet during meals. I normally snack on those during the day.

Basic Day

Breakfast (5 am)
1 cup of raisin bran or special k or heart to heart
1 cup of fat free milk
tall coffee

Snack (930 am)
Red peppers or an apple or grapefruit or celery

Lunch (12 pm)
Greens with peppers/tomatoes/mushrooms
sugar free balsamic vinegarette
leftovers from dinner (usually not carb based)

Snack (430 pm)
Apple or 1/2 cup of Cottage Cheese

Dinner (630 pm)
WW recipe – my favorites are Cashew Chicken Stirfry, Turkey Chili, Turkey burgers, Talapia with veggies

Fudge Pop

It looks like I snack a lot because it is a slight habit. I don’t know if I am really HUNGRY when I get home from work but I want a snack. Celery and carrots really take care of the crunch that is so satisfying with snacking.

So far 11 lbs is gone!
Let’s see what I can do next!

Calendar of events

Nathan and I are purchasing a calendar today so that we can write down some appointments! Yeah – for fun things! There is a lot we want to do this summer, and we have learned that if we don’t plan for these things they just won’t happen. Life always seems to get in the way.

A few things we want to do this summer:

Take a road trip
Camp (a lot – we already have our first trip planned for May 7th in WI)
Baseball game (cubs or sox either will work)
Architecture river boat cruise (i love these!!)
BBQ Saturdays
Canoe trip
and of course our “honeymoon”

Yesterday we went to the Shedd Aquarium but the line was so long we would have only had an hour to see everything! So we decided to walk around the lake and head on over to the Adler Planetarium. They have this really cool collection about space travel and astronauts (for free!). It was a nice day.

sunny day at the museum
The Moon!

sunny day at the museum
Spring has sprung! I love ducks.

sunny day at the museum
Me and my Mister in front of beautiful Chicago

sunny day at the museum
The line in to the Shedd