Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Recap

Wow, such a busy weekend!  We had lots to do but found downtime here and there, which I am always grateful for.

Friday after work, we had our dinner at home then went to Target.  George's 2 sisters, mom, dad and great Aunt Betty took nieces Lauren and Ally to gymnastics, which in our area.   So we all met up at Target for a little shopping.  

The little ladies helped me shop for my first-cousin once removed, Delaney's 4th birthday.  Ally remembered she got a camera for her 4th birthday (insane memory on this girl) and since she LOVES Delaney (they walked down the aisle together at our wedding), she thought Delaney would love it too.

So we got her the Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera -

And a little photo album.  I hope she loves it!  Ally and Lauren were so happy to help.

On Saturday, we had our early morning meeting at Jenny Craig.  I was only down 2 pounds (I blame the personalized menu... I had too much freedom and NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING!) but George was down ...

I am so jealous proud of him!!  He is down 12 pounds total and you can really see it.  Me, well, I am down 9 pounds and I can feel it in my clothes, which is a good start.

After weigh-in, we went to our church to discuss our pre-cana topic: The Rite of Marriage. 

We are getting excited to do this!  It's a bit intimidating but we have some good tools now to start planning our discussion. 

After that, we came home, ate lunch, wrapped Delaney's gifts, grabbed our dinners and went to the birthday party!

Delaney is on the left, Aundrey is in the middle and Natalie is on the right.  Delaney and Natalie are sisters and Audrey is their cousin.  All are my first cousins once removed... follow that??? :)

The party theme was Tangled so the girls had matching Tangled shirts, tootoos and glitter shoes.  Delaney loved the camera and Natalie requested on for her birthday too. 

This was our first family gathering while being on JC.  And honestly, for a family who is obsessed with food, we did awesome!  We brought our dinners, were mindful of exchanges and didn't snack much at all. 

After the birthday party, George and I came home took on New Direction at regionals...

And The Steffler Sing-sations totally won!  We love karaoke and Glee so it doesn't get much better than this.  Well, Sing Star on Playstation 3 now has Lady Gaga, which might top Glee... haha

Exhausted from channeling Finn and Rachel, we went to bed but not without watching the last episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills..

Haha!!  Talk about a long day!

Now it's Sunday and we have lots of house projects planned and NOTHING ELSE!!!

I hope you all had a great weekend and a restful Sunday. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How to Eat Mama JC's Food

It's not secret, we are on the Jenny Craig program, which I affectionately call Mama JC cause she does all the cooking for me!

And before we started the program, I had wondered, what is the food like?

Being a foodie (which is the reason we are in this mess), food is important.  And not just food but the quality of ingredients, preparation, cooking, seasoning, presentation and taste. The whole experience is fascinating!

So I was worried about this.  I didn't want to eat high sodium, cardboard that I have to rehydrate before eating.

But Mama JC's cooking is really good!  Low sodium, low sugar, perfectly portioned and fairly flavorful. 

So I thought it might be fun to show you how to eat Mama JC's food.

Tonight: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with at least 2 cups of vegetables and Triple Chocolate Cheesecake.

First, heat your broccoli as directed and chopped 2 cloves of garlic, like so ...

With non-fat cooking spray, heat a pan with chopped garlic...

Add the broccoli and stir...

mmm... now heat your tray of Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo...

Combine broccoli and pasta then serve!

Yes, I basically had an entire bag of broccoli to myself but it's a free food!   So we are encouraged to load up on vegetables to keep us satisfied for the night.

Around 8 o'clock, I make a cup of decaf Irish Breakfast tea to have with my cheesecake/cookie/cakes or yogurt with almonds (it rotates between a real dessert and yogurt) and eat them s.l.o.w.l.y.

We try to bump-up all the entrees with broccoli, green beans, pepers and onions, mushrooms, cabbage slaw mix, whatever complements the dish best.

Overall, we really like it!  And almost 10 pounds off in 2.5 weeks isn't too shabby either.

I am sure I will show you another cooking session soon.


Bedroom Blues

I have absolutely no idea what to do with our bedroom.

Ugh.  I wish I could blame it on the lighting but I can't... it's that blah and white.

As Oprah would say, "Let's get real". 

Okay, let's.

Confession: I was going to copy this picture -

I know! I know!  I promise, I know what you are thinking.  And I don't know what to say.  I am SO lost. 

I have no passion for this room.  I have scoured blogs, and magazine websites.  I have bookmarked a bunch of looks we love.  But I can't seem to get it together on this project.

I ordered the duvet.  We had added chocolate brown, wood blinds to the windows.  We painted the walls white.  I have made efforts.  But I can't seem to figure out how to pull this look together!

I simply don't know what to do.  I don't want to put the duvet on yet so I can go match shams and pillows, so maybe that is the issue?

So I need design advice.  I have even asked some design blogs who do inspiration boards for help. 

I am getting to the point where I am not liking this look anymore.  It's annoying me! haha

Any help/thoughts/input would be GREATLY appreciated!

Have any of you been stumped on a room?  How did you get past the funk?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resoultions 2011 - Update

In my last update, it was just a few days into the new year and I was already making progress on achieving my resolutions.

In recap, the resolutions for 2011 are:

1. Lose weight and get healthy
2. Volunteer
3. Be more aggressive with money (savings, 401k, trim monthly budget. etc.)
4. House projects
5. Travel and have more experiences with Geo (just added this!)

So here is what I got...
1. Lose weight and get healthy
Update: Yep!  George and I have been eating Mama JC's food and, after just 19 days on the program, we are both down 8 pounds!  We haven't been crazy active but that is our next goal to getting the weight off faster.

2. Volunteer
Update: You are looking at  reading the blog of the newest couple to join the Pre-Cana Married Couples Team!  Oh yes, all 8 months of married life wisdom will be passed on from us to engaged couples that are looking to get married in the Catholic church. We loved Pre-Cana and are looking forward to experiencing that connection again.
3. Be more aggressive with money (savings, 401k, trim monthly budget. etc.)
Update: It's a process.  When you get paid every-other week, saving takes time.  But we have cut back here and there so we can afford Mama JC's food, travel and plan for house projects. 

4. House projects
Update: Hoping to put new flooring in the bathroom this weekend and maybe take some doors of the kitchen cabinets to do an exposed shelving look.
5. Travel and have more experiences with Geo
Update: Again, this takes some time but with our tax returns, we are hoping to book Paris and maybe get to NYC or DC for Geo's birthday in March.

Okay, going to eat my Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (yes, that's on the program!).

Our Wandering Jew(ish)

Yes, Wandering Jew is the name of this plant...

(And I have to say the whole word... it's just not right otherwise)

Anyhow, I needed something fresh but not overly springy for our dining room table.  I have this great, white pedestal bowl that my mom gave us as an engagement present.  It's wide and deep so knew I needed something big to go into it. 

I had thought about throwing some dirt and seeds in it and trying to make a wheatgrass centerpiece kind of like this...

I love the look and TOTALLY want to do this around Easter time as a chic alternative to creepy bunnies and technocolor grass.

So when we were at Wegmans last weekend, I stopped at the floral department to see what they had.  I loved the seeded eucalyptus but couldn't figure out how to put that in the bowl.

Then I saw a sale on hanging plants.  And then I saw this perfect plant; with dark green, light green, light purple, deep purple leaves and sprouts.   It was $6.99 and PERFECT!!

Then I read the name: Wandering Jew(ish).  Yep, leave it to me to find the most politically incorrect named plant ever!  But it's cool, cause I have nothing but love for this Wandering Jew(ish).

So I grabbed the plant, came home, cut off the hanger, popped into the white pedestal bowl and vola!


It's a nice way to remind me that spring is just around the corner.  Even though it is -3 with a windchill making it feel like -15 degrees. 

Yes, it's still in the pot it came in.  And yes, those are MacKenzie-Childs salt and pepper shakers - a birthday present from Aaron and Amy!

(okay, just one more pic cause I love the contrast!)

Do you have any house plants?  This is our first.  Here's to hoping I grow a green thumb!

Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simple Sundays

~sigh~ I love our Sundays. George and I sleep in, have a "Sunday" breakfast (which we can still do with JC food), watch Sunday Morning on CBS, look at the ads in the newspaper, do a little cleaning and a lot of resting!

(Google Image...not mine!)

This is the most divine way to send the day before we are back to work on Monday.  We do everything in our power to make the day so slow.  Just keep the day simple; no plans, no fuss, just us.

How are your Sundays?  I hope today was a happy one!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!
Sorry to post so late but better late than never.

My boss was in town this week (she is great but a bit of a tornado that whips through the office, creating a mess, then leaves for a month), I had my company holiday party (which I was the lead of the planning committee... no pressure) and I had my 6-month review today.  So needless to say, sister needed the weekend!

Tonight, George and I made Mama JC's Chicken Carbonara over broccoli, sun dried tomatoes and slivers of fresh garlic.


Then we went to see the King's Speech... and was blown away by how amazing it was!!  I heart Colin Firth -


And since we were in the area, we made a pit-stop at Walmart.  I needed to get some wall anchors to hang the frames art display in our bedroom, a few door stoppers and mascara, naturally!

Now we are going to watch a movie at home and rest for the night :)

Tomorrow is weigh-in, groceries and staying home where it is warm for the rest of the weekend.

Hope you all had a wonderful week and have a AWESOME weekend!!

While George is Away: Part 3

George is leaving next week so you know what that means:  I'm pulling a While-You-Were-Out!

Back in August, George went away on business so I painted the bathroom, brought down our new bathroom stuff from that attic (where we are storing some of our bridal shower/wedding gifts) and surprised him with a little update!

Then a few months ago, I did a bunch of little projects.  Like made and hung art in the living room, bought a new area rug for the living room, rearranged the dining room and put all of our engagement, bridal shower and wedding cards into a scrapbook. 

So he is off again next week and I am planning to keep plugging aways at that bathroom!

I know laminate isn't every one's cup of tea.  But honestly, I think the titles have come a long way... and, well, this isn't out forever house!  It's our starter home.  And I would rather make some cheap but good updates in a few areas (bathroom, master, attic, deck) with one big-ticket update (the kitchen!).

So I am laying laminate next week!!

We will see how this goes. said I need to pull up the baseboard.  Riiiiggghhhttt.
And after reading all I have done, I guess it's time to post some finished project pics ... opps!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Miss Cooking

Yeah, Mama JC (aka Jenny Craig) does give us much of an opportunity to cook. And I miss it.

I miss the smell. I miss the chopping. I miss the dashing and sprinkling and stirring and tasting.
I don't miss the dishes so I guess that's something!

But if I could eat what I want, and cook what I want, and host a fancy-shamancy dinner party, this would be the menu...

First course: Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Figs

Second Course: Seafood Bisque with warm sherry

Third Course:  Seared Sea Scallops

Fourth Course: Herb Roasted Beef Tenderloin with vegetables

Fifth Course: A Cheese and Fruit Plate for sharing

Sixth Course:  Assorted Pastries with coffee and tea

Is it bad that I am thinking about celebrating our weight loss with food?   Yeah, it kind of is.  At least my vision is in portion control :)

But how fun would it be to have a black-tie dinner at home with your friends?  It my dream.  Well, one of my many festive food dreams. 

The lack of grease in my diet must be getting to me! haha

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm a Benevolent Designer

Wow, I visited a new blog and low and behold, there was a link and a recommendation to a personality test! 

I'm not the type to ever turn down a personality test.  And I must say, this is one of the most accurate...

And this is me...

Basically, a compassionate people-pleaser with an eye for all things beautiful and a love for trying something new.
Take this test!

Well, That Was Brief

My last post might have been a bit premature.

I was looking at the stats of this blog and realized most of the traffic was me and George.

And that's okay!  Sure, it kind of stinks to think no one is reading my words, thoughts and ideas but I didn't start blogging for readership; I started so I could be creative again. 

I honestly do not have the most stimulating job.  It's actually quite redundant.  And kind of boring.  And not very fulfilling.  But, it pays the bills!  It allows me to lead a comfy lifestyle for my age!  It keeps me marketable to other employers!  It gets me interacting with co-workers, clients and vendors!  And come on, what else am I going to do with my days!

Writing here gets me out of the corporate mindset and into a comfortable space where I can offer a narrative of my life.

So I am going to keep blogging.  And maybe someday someone will read it and tell a friend.  Or maybe I will just keep writing for myself and dropping present hints to George (let me just say, he did awesome this Christmas!).

So I guess what I am trying to say is, intermission is over and let the show begin!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I started blogging when I wanted to share ideas on bringing back cocktail hour.  You know, like 1950's housewife style.  With martini shakers, highball glasses, pigs-in-a-blanket, red lipstick and a full skirt dress. 

Then I really got into blogging when George and I got engaged. Then I slowed down.  Waaaaay down. 

Then I started again, going full-speed ahead after we were married.  And now, here we are.

I guess it was a release at first.  But now, it's kind of a source of defeat.  So I think I am going to stop for a while until I have something Great, Wonderful, EXCITING to report about. 

Maybe it will be our Paris trip and 1 year anniversary in May.  Or maybe the laundry list of house repairs we have this summer.  Or maybe it will be when we finally get to start a family.

But right now, I guess not much is going on of interest to anyone.  So I guess I will take an intermission.   A pause, if you will. 

So if you stummble on this blog, and like what you read, I hope you come back soon and see me.

Thanks for reading, George!  I love so you much...avec toi.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dieting Sucks...

... but, it coud be worse!  George and I started Jenny Craig 5 days ago.  All in all, it's really good! 

The food is good... my favorites are the french toast, blueberry mini loaf (like a muffin), turkey panini, the turkey buger, fish and chips and turkey and gravy dinner.  Oh, and the triple chocolate cheesecake and bruschetta veggie chips.

And we are eating a ton of fruits and veggies, which was never really a problem for us... we strive for five! haha

We noticed right off the bat that we didn't "think" about food.  Like we planned meals, almost always went with healthy options but we didn't think about portions, when we ate, how we prepared it, etc.

When I cook, I usually just wing it!  No measuring.  No recipe.  Just chopping, mixing, stirring, sauteing, grilling, etc. I would use too much oil and didn't know.  Or cook 4 servings for just the two of us.

JC takes over the majority of portion control for you so you can recognize what is a healthy portion.  We do measure some things, like our daiy 1 tsp of oil and 2 cups of salad greens, to get us ready for when we take over cooking.

But 5 days in and so far so VERY good!  But still, dieting sucks.  I feel guilty for having a glass of red wine tonight but come on... sister needed a drink!

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's coming! It's coming! The 100th post is coming!

I should probably give something away. I should probably give away something good.  And something I like too.  I will have to think about this....

In the meantime, HAPPY ALMOST FRIDAY!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fur baby

There's reason to believe that I am kind of stubborn. 

I kind of eventually get what I want.  And I may or may not employ such tactics as being over dramatic (throw a tantrum?), slightly pout (crying?), lingering quiet (silent treatment?) and PowerPoint presentations.  

I kid, I kid (or do I?)!    

But I do bring a PowerPoint into the situation should I need to get my point across and grab my audience's (cough, cough, Geo) attention.  I've only resorted to a PowerPoint for one, very important topic close to my heart: A Fur Baby.

Now, I offer my presentation to you.

First, I had George hook the computer up to the TV.  Then I introduced myself and the reason for today's presentation -

Next, I listed the reasons as to why we needed a dog.

Reason 1: Man and woman's best friend.  I could use a companion since Geo travels, has night/weekend activities and works late some nights.

Reason 2: Building a family (yes, that is JT and Jess).  I am ready to start expanding our family.  We have had each other for 5 years now and I am ready for the next step.  He is too... even more so than me.  And we can learn to take care of another being.

Reason 3: Dog vs. Baby.  And speaking of taking care of another being, a dog would allow us to satisfy our "baby itch" yet be cheaper, easier to care for and can offer us comfort/security. Since we live in the city, and close to a not-so-great area, security is big!

Reason 4: Dogs and Health.  I offered a few additional links of interest for him to consider. All are related to health issues that we face.  I mean come on, science is backing me up!!

So I convinced him to get a dog but we haven't gone for it.  I think what does hold us back is the noon-time potty time and the traveling we will be doing.

At least the presentation worked!  I opened his eyes to the benefits.  Now it's just a matter of timing.

Okay, be real with me here: is it that hard raise a dog?  Discuss...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pack it up. Pack it in. Let me begin.

As I mentioned here and here, we have a lot of plans for 2011.  And I have no idea why I have this mindset, but I will not start resolutions until January 1st of any given year.

In recap, the resolutions for 2011 are:
1. Lose weight and get healthy
2. Volunteer
3. Be more aggressive with money (savings, 401k, trim monthly budget. etc.)
4. House projects
5. Travel and have more experiences with Geo  (just added this!)

So, it's time to begin tackling that list!  Here we go... I am going to list efforts for my list... because I love lists.

Goal 1: Lose weight and get healthy
- Joined Jenny Craig today (can't wait to tell you about this process... the food better be good!)
- Taking a daily pre-natal vitamin
- Cleaned out our kitchen cabinets of holiday foods and snacks
- Purchased Zumba for the Xbox 306 Kinect

Goal 2: Volunteer
- Looking into run/walk events for a cause that I support and can raise money for and participate in
- I suck.  I need to do more here but it's only 3 days into the new year.

Goal 3: Be more aggressive with money
- Purchased a copy of SmartMoney magazine... haha!  yes, that's an effort :)
- Looking into better life and disability insurance policies

Goal 4: House Projects
- Christmas is put away
- Basement is reorganized
- Kitchen cabinets are cleaned out

Goal 5: Travel and have more experiences with Geo 
- We are going on Jenny Craig together, which will be one heck of an experience!
- Paris in May '11
- NYC or Toronto in late summer early spring for a Yankees game

Not bad for 3 days in, ay?

I think January 15th is the national Resoultions Lost day so we will see how I am doing then :)

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Always Feel Like Someone's Watching Me...

... cause our bedroom has sheers!

Yes, currently our bedroom has sheer curtains. 

And I'm not sure why I haven't gotten around to switching them out sooner, but I haven't.  Maybe it's because over the summer, they looked fresh and airy?  Maybe it's the overall lack of decor in that room?  Maybe my subconscious likes to show my goods to the neighborhood?  Who knows!

But with out new bedding coming (any freakin' day now, UPS), I'm ready to kick our bedroom makeover into high gear.  Next on our to-do list comes window treatments. 

We are keeping it basic and sticking with faux wood blinds in mahogany. In the fall, we bought these faux wood blinds for the living room...

(Ugh, sorry for the poor lighting!)

I stumbled onto and decided to make the purchase, even though I had never heard of the site before. 

OMG!  We LOVE them!  They are dark, classic, custom made to our window specifications and super easy to install (huh, Geo?!). 

Oh and they seem to ALWAYS be having a sale (doing my happy cheap-o dance!).

And today was no exceptions. We ordered two sets of faux wood blinds, made to our weird window sizes, for $96.  But wait, that's not all!  And with today's 30% off coupon they post right on their site (no need to Google for a code), that is two sets of blinds for $68!  And it's 2 days to process and free 2-day shipping.

Thank you!  I heart you.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011!

Last night, I said farewell to 2010 and hello to 2011 with some good food...

My mom and sister...

And that little man I call my husband...

It was mellow and simple and exactly what I needed after a long holiday season.

And yes, some pics are blurry.  This is me trying to figure out my camera.  I'll keep working on it!

But for now, Happy 2011 ... we are going shopping!!