Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bzz, Bzz, Bzz...

One of the geeky things I do, when not watching Star Trek, for instance, is act as a BzzAgent. It's a really cool deal - you sign up for free, and you get stuff to brag about, essentially. So I figured for Thanksgiving, I'd offer some Bzzz... and a giveaway!

My current Bzz campaign is for Boston Market. We've all eaten there at least once, right? I know my Heartbreaker, for instance, would get IV servings of their mac and cheese - no joke, he gets an order of mac and cheese with mac and cheese as a side dish. Me? If I could find a way to get shipments of their cornbread to my door hourly, I'd be a happy girl.

Now that the holidays are coming up, Boston Market is catering - so when you get all crazy and excited during the holiday season, inviting all your family, friends and coworkers over for a holiday party, only to slap yourself when you get home and realize that you've got 20 people coming over that actually expect to eat something, there's salvation to be found at their catering link. Get a whole spread delivered to you, cornbread included. Nice, right? I have the info if anyone wants, plus a sweet little discount code.

Oh, and the giveaway - I've got five Boston Market magnets, coupons for $3 off any $6 or more purchase, and a free cupcake token. The first 5 posts I get are the lucky recipients of the little prize packages. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I have a good reason.

I know I haven't blogged in over a week, but there is a good reason. Honest.

I am the proud owner of a Wii Fit. My mom gave me an early birthday gift, and HOLY MOSES, this is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have been putting myself through paces and working out every day for at least a half hour, trying to push for an hour, and have managed to get a pound and a half down! Whoooo! Now, I just have to stop bingeing on fruit snacks... emotional eating has been high today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fair isle knitting with 2 yarns in the left hand

Don't know if this posted the first time, so I'll repost and say again, Fair Isle. I must conquer this.

After Christmas.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm No Slouch...

Lest anyone think I've been home either wallowing or sitting on the couch feasting on bon-bons.

I'm pretty sure Jen doesn't read this blog, so I can safely post this - it's another Helena sweater (I did one for Mike's cousin's baby shower a couple of months ago), this time for her daughter.

Here's a scarf for one of Ron & Christine's daughters...

...and a close-up of the pattern for Ron & Christine's other daughter. I took the Elvish Leaves dischloth pattern and turned the pattern stitch into a scarf. I used this pattern to make a lap blanket for Mike's great-aunt last year and she loved it; I love the way it knits up, so I'll just keep on using it. Maybe I'll design a pair of socks next?

My first glove! It wasn't as aggravating as I'd feared. I used the One Skein pattern which I loved; the cabled cuff is adorable. However, I severely underestimated the yarn - and now I have no more to complete a second glove. ::facepalm:: I'll declare this one a stunt glove and call it a day.

Le sock! For me! I used bamboo yarn to make this Clover sock, and I LOVE it. So. Soft. I even gave myself a different toe using a different skein of bamboo. Hee. I can't wait to finish the other sock so I can wear these; I just have to finish up some Christmas goodies first. Delayed gratification...
Baby Steps...

This morning I celebrated another little victory. I have gotten into the (bad) habit lately of not eating breakfast before bringing the boys to school, figuring I'll have a 'real' breakfast when I get home. (And then, of course, noshing on whatever is lying around, swearing I don't have time to cook - seriously, where am I going?) Anyway, today was no exception, so off I went, a mere cup of coffee burning a hole in my stomach.

I got to school, and offered to help our Parent Coordinator set up for a Math workshop she's running this morning. I really didn't have an intention to stay for the workshop; I have been feeling a little achy and wanted to take one day to stay home, lay down, and get some housework done. But I fully intended to help set up - and then she put me in charge of laying out the snacks. I poured myself another cup of coffee and set to work, displaying the myriad blueberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip muffins... and the pound cake. Marble pound cake. I could almost take the buttery goodness.

I almost took a slice, figuring it would be my breakfast and morning snack - it's got that many calories and fat, trust me. I almost did it, until I stopped and thought about it. My inner brat and I know full well that as soon as I got home, I'd be hungry, unsatisfied by the filler crap I just ate, and I'd eat more junk. So I shook it off. I finished setting up, went home, and made an actual breakfast that was far more filling and satisfying. Wow. Baby steps. They actually work.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, and Don't Think I Let It Pass...

Today also happens to be Gab's birthday - so while I search for her phone number so I can call her in the next hour and a half (you've got to be done eating dinner by now, right?), I just want to say grattis pÄ födelsdagen, min venn. (Yes, I know 'min venn' is Norwegian, but doesn't have Svensk.)
It's the Little Victories.

So the day after I declare the I will lose 10 pounds by Christmas, I volunteer to help sort the candy sale packages at the boys' school. And the guy running the business gives us a box of pecan caramel turtles to thank us for our business. Nuts. Chocolate. Caramel. It's one of the combinations that makes this country sing. I slipped.

I came home and caught myself starting to munch thoughtlessly, because I was hungry and didn't have anything to warm up. But this time, rather than decide today was a lost day and push it off 'til tomorrow, I decided to make something. I pulled out a copy of Kraft Food & Family (the Fall 2005 issue) and made myself Rice, Broccoli & Cheese cups. Tasty! It's healthy, in that there is broccoli involved, but let's be clear - there's also a 1/4 cup of Ranch dressing (you can use light dressing, I just didn't have it in the fridge), two eggs, and 2/3 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. But you know, I'd rather eat two of these for 240 calories than stuff my face with a bunch of chocolate bars that are easily double that plus all the guilt that follows, not to mention the fact that I'd still be hungry.

All in all, I love the recipe and will save the rest of these to warm up and eat during the week. The next time I make this, I'll make sure to have light Ranch dressing, part skim mozzarella cheese, and low sodium chicken broth in the house, but this was great in a pinch and filling enough to take the edge off my rumby tummy. And I feel good about myself, which is really the big battle these days. I'm thinking about trying this at some point using a vegetable broth (you cook the rice in chicken broth as opposed to water) for my veggie friends, because I think this may be right up Stacey's alley.

I'm so excited that I actually put the junk down rather than let the 'inner brat' dictate otherwise. On this rainy day, it gives me hope.

Back to the second sock for Mike's aunt... or maybe I should take advantage of my newfound energy and work out?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time to Stop Whining...

...about not being able to fit into the pre-pregnancy clothes. I've been home for a week today and have had a few misfires. I am declaring here that by Christmas, I will be down by 10 pounds. And I intend to blog every day of the challenge to keep myself on track.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, I did take a phone snapshot of Obama on Election Night. I texted madly away with Stacey as the realization sunk in - Yes, We Did! - and that I was the only one awake to see it live!
The excitement and the pride were overwhelming, and I couldn't stop myself from tearing up. I was blown away by the class and graciousness of Senator McCain's concession speech, and as one person put it, "He became the John McCain I'd have a beer with again." I have always has the uptmost respect for Senator McCain, and had this been a different time and against a different candidate, he would absolutely have received my vote.
As with many families, this race, and its outcome, have divided my family - those of you who know me know what I'm talking about, and I'll leave it pretty much at that. I love my family, and I hope that the next four years will not be fraught with tension and that we can all play nicely. We'll see how that turns out. It's been a major reason why I normally refuse to discuss politics and why I probably won't discuss them too much going forward. I respect everyone's right to their own opinion, but it does seem that those of us with differing opinions are either expected to keep them to themselves or be ready to defend them at any given time. If I'm proud of the candidate that I voted for, just let me be - I don't ask that you defend your choices, do I?
One last thing - I'd like to express my deep disappointment regarding Prop 8. How we could make such history as a nation one day with President-Elect Obama's win and the next, make history in a completely different direction, is just sad. Love is love, and that really should be that. As far as we've come, we apparently have a long, long way to go.
Anyway. Moving on. My excitement of the day was somewhat dampened the next day when I was laid off. I debated not even mentioning it here, but it's not something to be ashamed of. My company was bought by a bigger one, and apparently I was made 'redundant'. I'm hanging in and trying to find something else. It's a scary time to be unemployed but by no means am I in a minority. I'll hang in there.

I've been getting quite a bit of knitting done, working through Christmas project after Christmas project. I've just gotten one of a pair of socks off the needles for Hubs' great-aunt, and now I'm debating on - shudder - seaming up a sweater for Hubs' cousin's baby-to-be. I don't have to set in sleeves, but I am still world famous for my loathing of seaming. Sigh.
Off to job search and bang out a reader report.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm not a woman known for my patience. To quote a friend of mine, "people in the hills sing songs about your tolerance". I've walked off a line during a huge sale at one of my favorite clothing stores, because I just don't have the patience to wait.

I'm also not a woman known for my enjoyment of rising early. Hubs wakes me up by placing a cup of coffee at my bedside, and backs away slowly. Bless him.

This morning, I was out of my home at 7 a.m. and on the way to vote for Barack Obama. I was prepared for a siege-like wait, armed with a fully loaded iPod, a book, and some holiday knitting. I was ready for the wait, because I was going to be damned if I didn't let my voice be heard today.

In the last election, I voted not so much for John Kerry as for Not-Bush. I was pissed off when we got four more years of Dubya, but I can honestly say I didn't have as much emotional investment in that election. This time around, my heart and my mind are completely wrapped up in this election and this candidate. When he speaks, I believe he will help us find our way back. I have hope, which has been in very short supply these last several months.

My boys are apparently bigger Obama fans than I am - something I've noticed lately; kids LOVE Obama. He's got this great vibe that they totally pick up on. Cutie Pie has informed Hubs, loudly, that if he were to vote McCain, he could still live with us, but he would be angry at Hubs. I think Cutie Pie may be on the shortlist for Obama's Secret Service detail should the election shake out that way.

Regardless of who you vote for, PLEASE VOTE. Make your voice heard.

I've got more to write, but I'll pause here for now. Please - vote.