Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Can Have PIZZA!

Believe me when I say this is NOT going to become a food blog.  I do not have the patience to write down ingredients, measurements, blah, blah, blah.  However, I do have to say that I am so impressed with my actual ability to make something healthy and yummy to eat & it makes me giddy.

I know. It doesn't take much.

I found this little tip online from another clean eater: make mini-pizzas out of the whole grain thin bread rounds.  We already love a certain brand of these whole grain babies so I smeared on tomato basil Laughing Cow cheese triangles, organic marinara sauce, thinly sliced squash, zucchini, and mushrooms. Then I tossed on some garlic & onion powder and a new Italian seasoning that I freshly ground (I love those McCormick fresh grinders! I feel like I should be in the food network when I twist them!). I drizzled some light olive oil and a few sun-dried tomatoes along with pulling apart low-fat mozzarella string cheese and put them in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 9 minutes and they were so stinkin' great!

I know I am so slow in realizing this, but it feels good to cook and eat food that truly is healthy and tastes fabulous. I DON'T HAVE TO EAT OVER-PROCESSED CRAP. (that was note to self, by the way)

We'll see what will be the next new thing for me to conjure up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthy Treat

I have been going back and forth for a few weeks of trying to eat very clean and healthy, but because I struggle so much with food I really crash often out of years of bad habits and sheer convenience of crap-food.  However, this week I have done very well, feel so good physically and mentally about making a conscious effort to do better.  My family fell in LOVE with this super healthy snack that doesn't even compare to the junk in microwave popcorn bags.  I know, I know.....I have eaten that stuff for YEARS & YEARS, but really if you look, there is trans fat all through the microwave-oh-so-easy-popcorn bags.  This way was sooooooooooooooo easy and just as fast as the microwave and eons better for my family's bodies.  The taste was ADDICTING.

Would you believe I am now into eating hummus, bee pollen, flaxseed and drumroll..........veggies?

Watch out, I might just become healthy.

(Don'tcha just love to two little brown arms?! Day by day we are all adjusting better to having four of us and are truly loving having PandaJOY)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

At Least We Are All Together

First, I must say that I am truly blessed. I am saved from death & hell and eternal separation from my Maker because Jesus is alive and waiting for me in heaven and I know Him personally in my heart!

Second, here is the run down of the last few days.

*PandaJOY is a part of who we are now and we have been so thrilled to have her as a part of our family for Easter, though I still stand FIRM that having a two year old at age 40 is nuts. Maybe it will keep me young. Maybe it's the fountain of youth. Maybe I'm kidding myself. No matter, she is a HUGE blessing and a YES answer to prayer.

*On Friday PandaDoggie got the old snip,snip on his manhood. Awe...poor little guy.

*Also on Friday I was boiling eggs to be dyed on Saturday for my girls. I have always loved dying eggs and this would be a fun treat for PG to show PJ what to do. However, as I started the water boiling I noticed I'd laid the pan's lid down on top of the gas stove in the middle of the two front burners so I proceeded to scream like a girl and then realized I'd seriously burned my hand, ran it under water for 15 minutes while PandaPop got the Aleve, Neosporin and gauze and I cried. Dang it, it hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The medicine did wonders because with the exception of one spot you can hardly tell I was burned. Without the Neosporin I think I'd have a slight scar. That stuff is miraculous. I called PG & PJ over to show them how I was crying and that was WHY we do not touch the hot stove. PJ was very comforting and sweet, told me not to worry and that she wanted to "tiss" my boo-boo.

*PandaDoggie was brought home with The Cone of Shame (must see the movie UP to appreciate that line) He was sooooooo sad and pitiful! Remember, he's deaf so wearing that cone that cuts off his peripheral vision is a killer. He already has NO SENSE of boundaries and runs into things, but with this GIGANTOR cone he's a beast! I didn't even have to shave my legs today because the cone has scraped every sort of hair OFF my legs.

*Last night got even better. Poor PandaDoggie kept trying to get to his new sore spot and ending up nicking the bruised area that was full of blood (BECAUSE THE RIDICULOUS VET THAT DID THE SURGERY DID A HORRIBLE JOB AND BRUISED OUR SWEET BOY HORRIBLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so what do you think happened? Yes, blood started gushing out everywhere on our carpet and the front foyer tile. PandaPop is trying to be calm, but is really freaking out holding the doggie there while I'm trying to frantically run to the computer in the other room and find an emergency animal clinic because it's about 8:30PM. After a few calls I found a dear friend to come over QUICKLY and drive PP and PD to the animal hospital. I'm CRINGING thinking about how much $$$$$$ that was going to cost and about the pain of the doggie all the while PandaJOY is SCREAMING up stairs because there is a massive wind and lighting storm brewing outside and is about to hit. Can you say FREAKING OUT? I prayed and begged God to please let the little one SHUT UP and that PP would be safe going out in an awful storm and that the dog would die to make our life easier. I know. You think I'm horrible, but in the midst of the crisis that's what I thought. I love that doggie and am so sad that he's in such pain, but I was thinking of what would lessen the load in the moment. I'm better now. The storm caused a blackout at the animal hospital. I"m sure that helped my deaf dog who was in major pain. After a couple hours PP came home with the dog, new pain meds and some sedation meds. They said the clinic we used did a bad job and didn't give the right meds. SO TICKED OFF. I've told you......having him is like having another child because of how much care he takes. Ugh.

*Notice the dark streaks coming from PandaDoggie's eyes. That is NOT normal. He has been in pain and majorly stressed. That breaks my heart for him.

*I didn't even get to attend the Easter church service because I worked in the nursery. I am happy to serve and let families attend the service especially if it is the one day of the year they go. I am blessed to attend all the time, but I was bummed to miss out on that part of the day.

*There is something with a family member that is deeply crushing my heart and that always makes for a difficult time.

*Didn't get to see any extended family today which bums me because I grew up with Easter being a big deal. Instead I made sure our little FOURSOME had a great lunch and a sweet table set up. They loved it which really made me smile. Ham, green bean bundles, seasoned fingerling potatoes, bread, iced tea and strawberry shortcake plus Peeps and chocolate bunnies. Sweet time with my family.

*Let PG put out plastic eggs for PJ out in the yard away from the doggie poo area. PandaDoggie decided it was time to poo. It was nice & smushy, he stumbled because of the meds, the cone and part of his backend smeared the poo in the middle of the egg hunt. Instead of enjoying the egg hunt me and PP got him all cleaned up. Good times.

*Another wind and lightning storm started up RIGHT AS THE GIRLS WERE GOING TO BED. Bedtime delayed.

*The doggie is still taking a TON of work to keep up with and will be like that for two weeks. Lovely. I have had animals all my life and none of the snip,snips have been like this.

There's more to the details of these tidbits, but I am really tired and am hitting the sack. Check out the 365 pics for the brighter side of things.

Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NYC-Bits & Pieces (no pun intended...really)

Just a few random pics......

1. Me and Reckless just starting out in Times Square.

2. Great world traveler pajamas from Tar*get that Reckless picked up for us just for fun!! There was, of course a great NYC place in the print making them practically perfect (a little Mary Poppins tip of the hat there!!). Yes, my thighs are quite a bit larger than hers, but did you have to bring that up?

3. After our spectacular Mary Poppins Broadway musical experience we needed something yummy & sweet hence the ice cream with sprinkles (gag....mine was chocolate and then chocolate dipped!) straight from a street vendor in Times Square.

4. Please do not comment about me being sacrilegious.  I love Jesus deeply and He loves me.  He is my Savior.  However, this very old and probably-famous-somewhere-painting hanging in The Metropolitan Museum of Art cracked. me. up.  Yes, it is a form of flattery when someone tries to paint a picture of what Jesus the Christ might have looked like, but come on.....really?  I am pretty sure this isn't even close.  I just imagine his voice kind of in a high falsetto saying, "Heyyyyyy....check this out!!"

Nuh-uh.  Still makes me giggle.  Maybe He's laughing a bit, too.

5. Ahem....don't laugh. This is art. For the sake of those with junior high humor like myself I had to cover his precious private parts that were really OUT THERE for all to view.  This is Perseus holding Medusa's chopped off head at The Met (duh....The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Get cultured, please).  Eeewwwe...snakes.  Good job P.

I saw lots and lots and lots of boo*bies and other private parts while observing the fine art here.  I loved the museum for about the first hour and then I was like a four year old who'd had enough and would rather go play at McDonald's.  My Reckless friend studied art a good bit in college.  She was in hog-heaven and I really wanted bless her so I was a good girl, well pretty good, and stayed to appreciate the art (where else was I gonna go?).   I thought I was going to die when she said we were headed to. the. second. floor.  Oh freak!!  It was all good and a great experience overall.

6.  Cute I ♥ NY mug I got for my girls.  They are actually about 1/3 the size of a regular coffee mug.  So cute.  They eat candy out of them.

7. I am so ticked that I didn't get a pics inside FAO Schwarz.  It was so cute! Terribly crowded.  We both had our pictures made into puzzles: hers was perfect as she posed as a cast member of all the Star Wars main characters for her son who is the hugest fan on the planet. Mine makes me very happy.  I have always said that if I could live anywhere else it would be The Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh!!!) so my pic is me sitting at a table with Pooh, Tigger and Piglet having some lemonade.  Delightful. (Just for the record if The Hundred Acre Wood is full I'll be headed to Rivendell where the Elves live in Lord of the Rings and then if by some chance they aren't taking newbies then I'll be just as happy in Pixie Hollow with Tinkerbell and her friends......just in case you were wondering).

8. Crumbs Cupcakes.  Oh my.  Tons of calories and scrumdillyumptious flavor!! We each got a huge cupcake to celebrate our birthdays.  I can't remember what Reckless got, but I devoured my cookie dough cupcake filled with chocolate fudge in the center.....while sitting in Central Park.  Lovely.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrity Life

Central park held various new sights and experiences for me.  After walking for...EVER....we searched out the typical street vendor for a NY hot dog.  It was no spectacular event, but was so fun to sit on a bench just outside the walls of the park to down our dogs.  Reckless was able to snap this pic just after having to look at her phone messages and noticing that there were many, many, many missed calls from her husband.  I looked at my phone at the same time seeing that PandaPop had called me EIGHT times! I thought there was some horrible emergency, called him and let him explain that Reckless' phone was purse-dialing her hubby a million times and staying on allowing them to hear lots of our jabbering throughout the park! All was ok and we returned to our pilgrimage with renewed sustenance.

We saw a couple of different sets of people with large video cameras and mics filming some kind of independent epic.  The one that made me roll eyes and want to rescue the star of the show was when I saw a beautiful brown cat with a ginormous collar on his neck, a large leash held by a man in a black pin-striped suit and fancy shoes, a college aged girl with a handheld device like Captain Kirk would hold and another college aged looking guy trotting alongside the trio holding the camera capturing every move of the kitty.  

I am a cat lover and have always had one or two of the little snoots.  I will tell you....that cat was not happy with his contract and was a bit ticked that no one was listening to his needs.  How do I know this?  He was struggling to get to the fence line where he proceeded to try and scrape the huge collar thing off, his tail was flipping back & forth in the "I'm ticked!!!!" mode and when he was drug along for more fun his whole demeanor screamed that he was NOT having the time of his life in Central Park like I was.  I am the kind of person to talk to strangers with no problem.  Curiosity was about to kill this cat-lover so I approached the girl and asked what they were doing.  Zoot Suit Man told me that this particular cat was well known and even famous in Central Park and on Columbus Avenue.  Well, well.....who knew we were in the presence of stardom?  The large contraption on the cat's collar was actually a camera so that they could record the journey from the cat's point of view. Hmph.  I wonder if they had a camera to document his contempt at the whole affair?  As I do with anything that I like, I asked very nicely if I could take a picture of him and was promptly told by Zoot that indeed NOT, but he handed me his business card and said that I could email him and he'd send one back to me.  Gee thanks, George Lucas.

I lost the important business card and goo*gled it instead.  Sad to say that nothing popped up when I entered "famous cat in central park"....or Columbus Ave.

People are crazy.

Including me.

Serendipity.....the my all-time favorite chick-flick.  In my opinion the kiss between Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack is THE best screen kiss of all time.  M-m-mmm.  The movie ranks up there with You've Got Mail (which by the way my Reckless friend has.never.seen.  So sad for her!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't even GET it when I saw a dog just like Brinkley running through the park!) and Sweet Home Alabama. of my goals in NYC was to visit Serendipity 3.  No, it's not the third store site they own.  There is some story on the website that explains why it's named that, but it escapes me at the present.  The place it tiny, but decorated in a fun, funky way.  We didn't even have to wait.  After the movie came out years ago I remember reading of three hour waits and reservation musts. Crowded, but we made it in after we downed THE BEST white pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and fresh basil across the street at  Patsy's Coal Oven Pizza house that's been around since 1933.  I don't know if the pizza was really the best ever or if it was the fact that it was my first meal in New York City.  I was in heaven.

Below are pics from the world famous Carnegie Deli.  So famous that I'd never even heard of it, but my sweet friend who gave me her NYC tour book and map told me it was a must for us.  Apparently it IS famous because it was jam-packed and the walls were COVERED in signed celebrity photos.  I was hoping to spot someone famous but instead we had a French couple sit beside us who'd just flown in that day and were first timers to the USA and then beside them was the British family who were so giddy to be here that I had to giggle.  I get giddy over many small and giant things.  The large British man beside me in the baby blue rugby shirt was like a child in a toy store and couldn't contain his precious appreciation for a good pastrami sandwich.

Pastrami.  PAH-STRAH-MEEE.

The sweet French couple couldn't speak English.  Well, the guy could get out a few words, but the misses just sat there doe-eyed and mumbling things.  Clearly by the way they were ping-ponging their heads from our table to the Brits' they weren't sure what to order.  We were told what to order by a local from the street when we were a bit lost in trying to find the deli.  He said we HAD to have the pastrami on rye and the Matzah ball soup, but to split it because it was so freaking huge.

I thought I'd help in my sweet Texan way.

According to Reckless I was doing the get louder with my voice thing when trying to get Miss Frenchy to understand what exactly she should order from our Chinese waiter who clearly spoke New York.

It was a delightful time of international communing.  And I loved every second of it.

The brightly colored pickled was my first time to taste a half-pickle-half-cucumber, but it was so yummy along with the PAH-STRAH-MEEEE.

What great New York moments!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last Hurrah for the Big 40

I do believe I am tired of celebrating turning 40. My birthday was in September and I have celebrated a few times since then. I had a wonderful time back in January with my college girlfriends. I still revel in that perfect weekend.

Forty has been so challenging for me!!! Some deep personal struggles along with adding in the crazy deaf dog that is like having another child and the addition of PandaJOY with all the stress that came with her and PandaGirl adjusting to life with a time-demanding sibling. I am worn out. OUT.

This trip to NYC was so fun and I loved all of it!!! Central Park was a huge surprise to me because I had no idea that I'd fall in love with it. We decided to walk instead of take a pedi-cab for $80 though Tao and Hussein, the drivers trying to make their daily quotas of tourists' sightseeing, tried everything in the book to get us up in their little pumpkins. Reckless and I made sure to wear the most comfortable shoes we own and walked for the entire day. My legs felt like noodles and my joints were dangly, but I wouldn't trade it at all.

The stunning architecture, masonry, stone carvings, woodwork and sheer craftsmanship throughout the park were breathtaking to me. The spring foliage had not yet arrived, but even still that place was magnificent to me. I loved seeing and hearing several musicians playing in the park. I bought two CDs from a group of guys playing early jazz. I am a smooth-jazz kinda girl and to hear early American jazz being played for The Old Rugged Cross put me over the top. I was giddy about putting my $20 bill in the instrument case and taking my two discs while the guys continued playing. Ask Reckless.....I'm sure she got tired of me squealing and clapping for joy over my purchases in the park.

There were more happenings along the way like stopping for a vendor hot dog and talking with the cat with dog tendencies, but I'll save those for tomorrow....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NYC-Part 1

I have a few minutes to post this pic and to say that NYC's Central Park was my most favorite part of the trip!!! I loved it!

I had no idea that there was so much beautiful architecture, stone work and masonry throughout the whole thing. Stunning craftsmanship and artistry was everywhere alongside the beautiful foliage that was just about ready to bloom. I would love to go back in about three weeks when all of the cherry blossom trees and all the green leaves are in full force. I'm sure it will be breath-taking!!

I will elaborate on our walk through Central Park in the next post. For now just enjoy the collage and anticipate the stories that will come with them...