Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Funky Monkee

I just read that Davy Jones has died.  How depressing is that?  I love the Monkees.  In 2008, we went on a cruise and who was the entertainment but Micky Dolenz.

That's him and his sister, Coco.  The show was great.  The next morning, my dad ran into him at breakfast and tried to talk to him and Micky kind of blew him off.  My dad was very upset that a Monkee was not thrilled to meet him, the infamous Jack Wright.  That story illustrates my dad's personality very well.

But anyway, RIP Davy.

Good news: Saw the surgeon today and the incredible increase in pain I've experienced is normal and the result of severe hip inflammation, not me tearing something new.

Bad news:  It sets my recovery back further and I again have at least two weeks of being housebound and down.  And NO COOKING!  I'm hoping my darling sister steps up and follows our menu plan but we shall see.

I know it's boring reading hip updates but trust me, there is very little out there about this surgery so I want to make sure that people who google GLUTEUS MEDIUS TENDON TEAR REPAIR find this blog and email me so I can let them know what's in store for them.

Oh boy would they be in for a treat.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Just Food, Dude

Happy Mardi Gras from my little Wonder Dummy!

Last week was a busy one, especially for a shut-in like me.  I bought a house on Tuesday (no big deal) and then my cousin had surgery on Wednesday (and is thankfully home and doing great).  We only managed to eat TWO of the meals I had planned out so lovingly. Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic Wine Sauce- I made this in a hurry and in a bad mood, so if you're a believer in the "Like Water for Chocolate" school of life, that's why this dish was just okay for me.  My beautiful goddaughter loved it and tried and loved brussels sprouts for the first time.  Success!

Panko Crusted Tilapia- This one was a good one.  I made it with asparagus, baked baby potatoes and SkinnyTaste's fake Red Lobster biscuits.  Kerry refused to eat it because "fish is too watery" (see what I deal with?) but everyone else was a fan.

Yesterday, we had an Oscar party.  Well, really it was just my sisters and Jamie, but we drank sparkling grape juice and indulged in appetizers and desserts.  After seeing them on Stacia's Facebook page, I made mini pretzel bites with cheese sauce.  They were good and a big hit at the party, but they were a pain in the butt to make.  Kerry was not pleased by the number of dishes she had to wash.  We also had Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip which was also a show stopper, Puppy Chow (which I have to get out of my house before I eat the whole darn thing of it) and little S'mores Bites.  A great time was had by all.

I was down 2.5 more pounds this week, meaning I have lost nine pounds.  I'll take it!

This week, it's just me and Kerry at home.  Did I tell you guys she is going to be my roommate when I finally move?  Did I tell you guys I am now moving at the end of April instead of the end of March?  Did I tell you guys how wonderful you all look today?  Anyway, the menu plan is as follows, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday: Creamy Avocado Pasta
Tuesday: Cooking Light Monterey Jack, Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto
Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
Thursday: Cooking Light Sausage-Stuffed Manicotti
Friday: Cooking Light Broccoli Cheese Soup

Lets' hope I can get my lazy sister to go to the grocery store or else we're having cereal and mealy baked potatoes.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quicks from the Quack

  • Remember old friend and BlogHer roommate Kate?  The one who writes this hilarious blog?  She's having a baby and I assumed it'd be a girl because she has a beautiful daughter named Aura and is a Girl Mom.  Guess who's having a baby boy?  This changes my (limited and beginner) knitting plans completely.
  • Did I mention my cousin TC, mother of the baby with the world's most adorable thighs, Audrey, started a blog?  It's called Is That Spit Up On My Stiletto.  Worth it for the baby pictures ALONE!

  • Oh, I bought a house on Tuesday!  This will be a lot more exciting when I actually move in.  But still, the light at the end of the long, dark, terrifying, evil, scary tunnel of living with my parents is moving closer and closer.  
  • The sellers of the house gave me pictures from the 1920's of my new place.  How cool is this? 

  • We've been making a new treat for our infamous Cocktail Hour.  My darling mother and aunt drink large goblets of wine while Jamie, Kerry and I stare in disbelief and count how many times they say "you know what?" in a conversation.  We usually have cheese and crackers but not anymore, thanks to

  • Of course you can depend on me for food photography of the very highest quality.  Please click the link and see how there are SUPPOSED to look like.  They're baked mozzarella cheese sticks and they are incredible.  Seriously better than anything you'd get at a restaurant.  I'm the queen of dip and marinara sauce (one day, if you're good little boys and girls I will show you my crown!) and these didn't need anything.  They are perfect.  Gina at SkinnyTaste is a frickin' genius.  (I just spelled that g-e-n-i-o-u-s which may be a sign that I, myself, am not a genius.)
  • My mom and dad are on their way to Hawaii.  I am jealous, but this means I get to be HOME ALONE for the first time in, oh, fourteen months.  Bring it on, Joe Pesci and Old Kevin Arnold Voice, I'm your worst nightmare.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Classy, Like Lassie

My mom and I have been using a great new hair product.  It smells great and leaves your hair soft and shiny.  We're both big fans.  What is this miracle product, you may ask?

That/s right, dog freshener.  We've hit a new low around these parts.  (It really does smell great though!)

My cousin Jack asked me to talk about him in this blog.  He may be an egomaniac, following in a great family tradition.

Jack is great at annoying me.  On Christmas Eve, he regaled me with fifty minute summaries of thirty minute "South Park" episodes while I screamed for mercy, literally a captive audience stuck in bed at a thirty degree angle.  Then he graphically described every scene of every violent video game he's ever come across.  It was true misery and Jack loved every minute of it.

Jack is in the midst of having four surgeries to correct his scoliosis and yesterday was the first one.  He came through it with flying colors.  It was probably a better experience for him than listening to Jack on Christmas Eve was for me.  Eventually, he'll have a metal rod in his spine.  We are both looking forward to attaching magnets to the metal implants in our bodies and going through metal detectors multiple times together.

 I do love the little weirdo and if you guys could send good wishes his way, I'd appreciate it.

Hopefully he emerges from this with better taste in TV shows and video games.  One can only hope.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cooking Up a Plan

You guys, thank you for all the tips about breakfast.  Every one of you is more creative than me.  I hate breakfast food and usually either skipped it or ate some kind of cereal.  On my good days it wasn't Quaker Oh's (yes, they still make those) or Froot Loops.

After your advice, I made these on Saturday.

Those are Broccoli and Cheese Mini Omelets from the website Skinny Taste.  I'm going to write more about that site later because it's incredible, but back to breakfast.  Those little suckers were good, and that's coming from a lady who doesn't particularly care for eggs.  They keep in the fridge for three days.  I'm going to add them to my rotation.

I'm also going to once again try yogurt.  It's going to be hard.  I'm going to have my mom go light a candle for me at church.  Fingers crossed.

My mom is turning to alternative methods to get through these last five weeks of living with me.

Sorry for the ADD related sidetrack.

So anyway, I weighed myself yesterday and it turns out that I have lost 6.5 pounds since the day of my hip surgery.  This is shocking as I spent six weeks lying in bed eating peach rings.  I am guessing that means since I have started my new exciting weight loss plan, I've lost about ten pounds.  Drop in the bucket, but a great start!

So what am I doing?  I'm being a Stepford Wife, according to my darling drunken mother.  The key to my weight loss in the past has been cooking my own food.  Since I love to cook, this shouldn't be a problem.  Unfortunately I am lazy and once 6 PM rolls around most nights, I'd rather heat up a pizza, go to Chipotle or get take out than figure out what's for dinner.

Three weeks ago, I downloaded an iPad app called Menu Planner.  It was $2.99 and worth every penny.  You can easily import recipes from different websites in just a couple of clicks.  Then it lets you schedule on a calendar what you're having for dinner during the week.  With the press of a button, it generates your grocery list.  How cool is that?

(I am not being paid to rave about this app.  I also still can't grocery shop so I should say "it generates my mother's grocery list" but you guys get what I mean).

Here's our meal plan from last week.

I've been making one light (but delicious) main course and two veggies as side dishes.  So far, the fam has been pleased.

I don't want to make this blog all about weight loss, but I was thinking on Mondays I could post our meal plan for the week and link to recipes, and then maybe review recipes on another day.  Then I'll update on what the scale says once a month.

Because I'm still broken, I can't exercise.  Well, I'm doing little things at rehab, but for a while, the gym is out. It's going to be interesting to see how this whole thing is going to work just concentrating on diet.

One of my biggest motivators on my last trip down the scale was progress pictures.  With that being said, here are my before pictures.  Yes, I'm putting them behind a link.  I am in a red bathing suit so please don't mistake me for Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch days.

And here is the plan for dinner for this week.

MONDAY:  Cooking Light Sausage-Stuffed Manicotti
TUESDAY: Chicken and Mushrooms in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
WEDNESDAY:  Panko Crusted Tilapia
THURSDAY: Cooking Light Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
FRIDAY: Cooking Light Monterey Jack, Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Risotto

Saturday is leftover night and Sunday we eat out usually.

I have a lot more to say about this weight loss stuff in the next couple of days, but right now I have to once again go out furniture shopping because in 28 HOURS I will be a new homeowner!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skip This if You Hate Previews

Good news.  I've finally gotten off my "life isn't fair, I had bad depression followed by fourteen months of hip ickyness so I'm going to eat chocolate covered pretzels and peach rings all day every day" diet.

Bad news:  I've gained quite a bit of weight on my effed up hip odyssey.

Good news: Since I've lost 110 lbs before, I know what to do to lose this NINETY pounds.

Yes, you read that right.  I started this blog and needed to lose forty pounds.  Two years later, it's ninety.  Follow my advice, Internet people!  I am the new Susan Powter!

Bad news:  It was very very very hard to admit that to you guys, Internet People.

Good news:  I did and it's over and done with.

Bad news: I am not going to be able to exercise for a long, long time.

Good news: Most of weight loss is through diet, anyhow.

More good news:  I've lost some weight in the last two weeks.  Not sure how much, but this one pair of pants that looked like they were bike shorts now look normal.

Even more good news:  I'm going to share what I'm doing with you guys, but not until Monday.

BUT... now that I've shocked you all with this news of yo yo dieting and weight gain while on bed rest, I need your help.

Can everyone who reads this please tell me what they eat for breakfast on a normal day?

This is my problem area for sure and I need some ideas.

Good news:  It's warm here and sunny.  I'm sitting on my parents' screen porch.

Bad news:  They have it encased in plastic for the winter so I am having flashbacks to those scenes in ET where the government comes and bubbles up the house.  Oh my gosh I was so terrified of that when I was a kid!

See what I mean?  I am just waiting for Elliott to ride by on a bicycle.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Like Romeo and Juliet

Last year, my dad waxed poetic on how lucky he was to have found my mom.

"I was 30 years old, Tare, and let me tell you, the pickings were slim. I can't believe I met someone so normal."

Thanks, Dad!  Love, your 33 year old single daughter.

Anyway, their love story is an interesting one.  My dad loves to talk about how much he loves my mom, how beautiful she is and how lucky we all are to have her.  He'll interrupt a conversation at dinner to admire my mom's profile.  He's smitten.  This makes him the perfect straight man.

One day, he asked my mom when she knew she was in love with him.  "Hmmm.  Right after Annie was born."

When Dad went on and on and on about how happy he was to be celebrating their 34th anniversary, my mom responded by saying that if she had murdered him, they would've released her by now.

It's all very romantic and inspiring, let me tell you.  It's like living a real life version of "The Notebook."

Yesterday, my dad presented my mom with this homemade Valentine.

My mom asked him where he was hiding the chocolate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Proof That I Fail at Life: Pinterest

For the past month or so, I've been obsessed with Pinterest.  By browsing through this never ending catalog, I've managed to mentally organize every future house I will ever own.  My imaginary children live in gorgeous rooms and have intricate treehouses in our perfectly manicured pretend yard.  I have art projects planned for these children from birth to their teen years.  And I know how to store these projects.  Or laminate them.  No biggie, I'm set.  

Every party I will ever throw is planned, from decorations to appetizers to favors to games to desserts.  Oh, and invitations because for the ladies and gentlemen of Pinterest, Facebook events just doesn't do it.  I know now to present friends turning 40 with a bouquet of lollipops and a card that says "Forty Sucks."  I am a better person all because of Pinterest.


Pinterest has shown me how much I stink at life.  I do pretty well with the organization section.  Nobody labels a box better than me.  Cooking?  Mostly I have that covered.  When I get to the section where people take pictures of their outfits and accessories, though... 

Just to give you guys a visual, I've prepared two pins of outfits I wore last week.

Compare that to a random pin I found.  

Yikes.  I have a long way to go to get to that level of pulling-myself-together-itude.

In my defense, the only time I get out these days is for rehab, but still.  This has been going on since high school where I would wear pajama bottoms to school almost daily.  In college, one of my dorm neighbors threatened to burn the plastic shoes I had purchased at Walgreens and wore almost daily.  This lack of fashion sense is not a new thing.

I'm going to work on it.  I'll keep you guys posted.  Maybe as I start learning to furnish and accessorize my house, I'll figure out how to spruce myself up too.  I don't think it could get much worse.

Oh, but the pet section of Pinterest always makes me feel better.

Um, except I call Cooper forty times before he even turns his head in my direction.  

Curse you, Pinterest!  You're ruining my self-esteem!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Help! I'm Having a Decorating Emergency!

When I told one of my dear cousins that I was no longer buying the short sale house because the bank counter-offered for 20% more than the original asking price, she was appalled.

"Why not?  You have the money... you're obviously not spending it on clothes."


Then, when my offer was accepted on the other house and I texted her, positively giddy with excitement, she wrote back, "Good.  For god's sake, hire a decorator."

Double ouch.  

(Side note:  my cousin isn't a TOTAL bitch.  She is actually just extremely funny and she knows I'm not sensitive). (I think).

So, I can't hire a decorator because I am not currently appearing on "Real Housewives of Suburban Chicago."  The problem is that I am moving from my 800 square foot condo into a five bedroom house.  Not only that, I am the anti-hoarder and my tiny condo wasn't exactly filled to the brim with furniture.

My mom used to say that she had seen hotel rooms with more personality than my condo.  Actually I don't think she said that, but let's go with it.  It sounds very "Mommy Dearest."

So, basically, I've bought some new furniture, but I still need help.  How did you guys furnish your houses/apartments/dorms?  Where did you get stuff like rugs, side tables, and fancy stuff to sit on surfaces and look homey?  How did you figure out what to hang on all the walls?  Did I miss the day in high school where people learned how to coordinate stuff?  I bet it was the same day you guys all learned the Electric Slide.  

(Side note: remember how sick you guys got of me talking about my stupid hip?  You haven't seen ANYTHING yet.  Welcome to House Blog 2012).

The good news is that there are a lot of built-ins in this new house, which makes it a little easier for me.

I just wish the old owners would leave every single stick of furniture and all of their decorating crap behind because I'm overwhelmed.

So in summary, please comment with websites, stores, tips, tricks, links, Pinterest boards, etc etc.  I would appreciate it very much.  I don't want to have to call HGTV and have them send over that one chick who hangs chandeliers in laundry rooms and throws glitter at walls.  My cousin would definitely not approve.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I've Neglected You Again, Internet

Look who beautiful goddaughter Jamie Cakes met at Carsons the other day!  Justin Bieber.  They seemed to get along really well, but my recollection might be slightly tainted by my painkiller-addled brain.

Let's see.  The big house purchase is going as scheduled.  Fingers crossed I will be moving out of my parents' house in seven weeks.  As George Michael would say, "Freedom!"

My sister Kerry surprised the holy heck out of me by purchasing me a couch.  I was completely blown away by this and didn't even know how to thank her.  The next day, that feeling had worn off a little and I asked her to move.  "Uh uh uh, you can't be nasty after I made it rain last night."

She has a way with words.

Cooper looks stoned in this picture.  If he starts hacky-sacking and playing Ultimate Frisbee, I am going to worry about him.

I've been moving much better, barely limping when I walk.  This week I was even cleared to DRIVE!!!  I had one glorious day behind the wheel and then got it ripped away.  I've been in some major pain and the surgeon has decided I should take it easy for a week with no rehab.  I tried to make me go to rehab, they said no, no, no.  (Too soon?)

Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and it'll clear up soon.  I really feel like I've been making great strides.

I've been cooking a lot lately too!  Check these out.

The top is Vegan Sourdough Bread Lasagna and the bottom one is Hasselback potatoes.  They look really pretty and delicious, don't they?  Problem: they weren't.  You can't win them all.

I am also addicted to Pinterest and if you want an invite, just ask me.

I found this on Pinterest this morning and loved it.