Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Things I didn't post last year - NC State Fair

I was looking though the posts I started last year and didn't finish because life and everything else got in the way. Well, I had most of these ready to go, including our European Adventure which never made it up. Better late than never, right??

Every year Kev and I go to the NC State Fair because it's full of culinary atrocities and one year I got fondled by a camel, or a llama, whatever that thing is.

The things you'll do for the picture...

Every year, Kev scours the interwebs to see what new foods will make an appearance this year. I'm still waiting for the deep-fried butter but it still hasn't made it to NC yet. A girl can dream. But, there were a few new things this year that Kev had his eye on, and the 1/4 lb bacon on a stick was at the top of his list. 

Just take a look at the other options available...yeas, that's BACON SMORES. I tried, I really did try to get him to take the plunge on that one, but I was shut down. 

This is what 1/4 pounds of bacon on a stick looks like, and a lady who would not move out of the way, no matter how hard I tried.

She was loving that snow cone though.

We walked around and looked at all the things and we wandered into the "penny" candy area. Now, I mentioned it before, but I LOVE me some granny candy. Granny candy being the hard candy that you can't ever seem to find in a store, but always seems to appear at the bottom of your Grandma's / Mom's purse. My chiropractor has a bowl of those candies too. I'll have to ask where they get them...

Strawberry filled hard candy

Butterscotch discs!

Take a good look at the granny candy in there. Bit O' Honey, those sesame things, squirrel Nut Zippers? Yes, yes and yes! Love all of these except those caramels with the nasty cream in them. Those were Kev's.

The one thing he'd been looking forward to was this new creation,

It was basically all the pig you could stuff on a bun. I'll be honest, it didn't disappoint, There was a deep fried pork chop, BBQ, Bacon, slaw, it was all present and accounted for and it was delicious. 

However, this sandwich represented a rare mis-step in Kev's fair food strategy. This bad boy was amazing and filling. Like super filling and he was barely hungry the rest of the evening. Usually He gets things, I take a bite or 2 and we move through the fair. Nope, not this time. He barely had room for dessert after wards.

That meant no deep fried atrocity this year. He was too full to give any of these a whirl.

I had my eye on that bacon wrapped deep fried Reese's cup but I wasn't going for it by myself.

After looking around for a bit, we wandered into the bunny area where I got to pet this cutie.

But that wasn't the best part. LOOK AT THE BUNNY TOES!

OMG, now I remember that I want a bunny.

There was a super cool exhibit of balloon art.

We saw the gigantic pumpkin.

Finally on the way out Kev was hungry and he got some deep fried apple pieces. These always kind of remind me of the old McDonnald's apple pies. Remember, when they used to fry them instead of that BS baking they do now?

These are good but I've had them before. They're no bacon wrapped deep fried Twix.

Finally it was time to go and on the way out we passed the trailer that said it head a bear exhibit. We pass it every year and never go in, Honestly, we weren't convinced that there were actually bears in there. Well, this year we FINALLY went in and guess what?!??? BEARS!!!

I swear, this was the highlight for me. These bears gave 0 Fs and were just... bears. They weren't giant, but could probably eat someone's face if they were pissed enough.
Just sitting like a bear.

This isn't the best angle, but those are 2 bears, one chilling in a tire swing and the other just laying there.

This bear in the swing is everything. 

Better late than never! That's my recap of the 2015 NC State Fair! Next up, I'll FINALLY recap our European adventure.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #5

Happy Memorial Day! I hope everyone is having a safe and relaxing Monday!

Another week, another weigh-in. I knew the less than 1lb losses were coming eventually, I'm always glad to not have a gain. I did have a bit of a heads up on Friday afternoon, I had a doctors appointment and weighed in a few ounces over what my last Jenny weigh-in was, and I always assume the doctor's scale is a slid 1-2 pounds higher than any other scale in the world. I don't know how they do it, they just do....

I've been firmly on the plan for 5 weeks now and I'm down -10.4 pounds. That's a little more than 2 pounds per week! If there's any way to keep up that momentum, I'll take it. 

Saturday - Body Pump
Sunday - Body Flow (yoga)
Monday - Nada
Tuesday - 45 min Spin Class
Wednesday - Nada
Thursday - 45 min Spin Class
Friday - 60 min Spin Class

I'll be honest, it is a little annoying to workout 5 times in a week and only lose .6 pounds. But it's a process, if the scale doesn't reflect it this week, it will next or the week after that. There's some stuff going on personally that's made life a little stressful these last few weeks and I'm sure it's affecting my weight loss. It's OK, it'll pass and I'll keep pushing. 

What I'm Eating this Week
The JC tuna salad  kit gets a lot of flack. It's a shelf stable food, it's strange, blah, blah, blah... I happen to really like it. The chicken salad kit, no  so much but the tuna? I have a special place in my heart for it.

I added some sugar free sweet pickle relish and mustard to it. Salt, pepper, and yum.

I had 2 this week. The dress on the top I bought last year and it fits about the same as it did when I bought it. I do remember it being extremely tight under the armpits. When I wore it this week, it we definitely less tight. it could fit a little better in the chest, but not terrible.

I just really liked the colors of this one

Oh, remember last year I did several of the GYPO style challenges? Several, heck, I did all of them. I didn't really document the winter because it was really fricking warm when the challenge started and big sweaters weren't happening. Any who, the Summer Style is OPEN now! Go here to sign up. You'll get the list of pieces, the 2016 wardrobe, the 2015 wardrobe and an awesome community of fellow fashionistas.  I'm a big fan because it made me use pieces in my closet I hadn't in a very long time and things that I'd never thought to put together. Great experience and you all should do it. ;)

Cheats... Saturday night Kev and I went to the Angus Bran for dinner and I had some prim rib and veggies, and a cosmo. It was yum. Then we went to the movies and I had some JC popcorn that I smuggled in. Since I knew I wanted booze, I skipped my afternoon milk, fruit and fat. I was still probably a few calories over, but not terrible. I think I was pretty hungry that night and had an extra light string cheese as well.

Sunday I went to brunch with a friend and I had a salad with grilled chicken (no cheese) and a mimosa. I swapped out fruit and a fat for the mimosa.

Friday Kev and I went to lunch and again a grilled chicken salad, no cheese, but I did have 1/3 cup of light granola when I got home to make up for the lack of starch in my meal. Again, not terrible, but I prefer to eat my off-plan food earlier in the week and do nothing but plan food for at least the 3 days leading up to my weigh-in.

All in all, I'm happy with my exercise for the week, I probably could have been a little better with the food. But that was last week and a new one has begun, here's to another good week!

Oh, BTW, when I re-branded, I made a Facebook page just for this blog. I'll be posting over there as well and not just re-posting links to this blog, so head on over here and like the page! See you there!

Linking up with BLoved Boston!
Friday, May 27, 2016

Why I Re-Branded my Blog.

Hi all, you might have noticed that things look a bit different around here. Yep, I took down my old blog and replaced it with this one. I did bring over all the posts, so I'm not losing any of the content for the last 2 years.

Instead of a typical "Five Thing Friday" where it's pictures of things I liked this week or memes, I'll summarize the blog name change and re-brand instead. In five bullet points (see what I did there?)

1. I've always thought cookies cardio and clothes was a little long. It never really flowed, and it was difficult to brand on social media. Everyone says  you should have consistency across social media. So, your blog / Insta / Twitter / Pinterest should all be the same. I couldn't do that with the old name because it was too dang long.

2. Let's be honest, I have a "drinking problem". I love beverages and at any point in time there might be 5 bottles/containers around me. I drink coffee most of the morning until I switch to water and/or sparkling water. I don't drink coffee because I need the caffeine or I don't get a restful night's sleep, I just really. really. really like it. Coffee is how I start the day, and if I'm lucky, cosmos are how I end it.

3. I'd purchased the old domain from GoDaddy and it was getting ready to expire. If I was going keep it and renew for another year or 2, I had to decide pretty quickly. I contemplated a few different names and I wanted coffee to be in the title, when I discovered was available, HOLY CRAP! I jumped on it. It was like fate or something.

4. I started the old blog to be about "healthy living" and maintaining a 50 pound weight loss. But I didn't. I didn't maintain, I just gained most of it back. It's never been a healthy living blog, I might have posted some pictures about running and shopping, but there were far more pictures of food and tasty beverages. Hell, I looked at my Insta and its nothing but pictures of coffee and booze. I'm not going to pretend to be something I'm not. I'm never posting pictures of Kale smoothies and acai bowls. This blog is keeping it real.

5. The biggest reason was for privacy. I know the internet is a big place and that anyone can find anyone and what they post. I get it. You'll never see me write something about my political or religious views, because that's not what this space is for. I will express my frustrations about work and life, because this is my corner of the interwebs to do that. I've never mentioned were I currently work, names of people I work with, nothing.I purposely keep things very vague because I am a firm believer in my work and personal life being separate. I engage with very few co-workers on social media and have never mentioned my blog at work. But, it happens, people discover your private space and they make it awkward. So fine, I'll take it away.

This blog is not for them, it's for me. If you know me professionally and you happen to find my blog and read things I didn't share in the office, it's because it wasn't any of your business. If we had that sort of relationship, I would have told you. They made it bad, my old space wasn't safe anymore, so I found a new one.

To whom it may concern, don't be a douche and ruin this one too.

Linking Up - Meet At The Barre

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bloglovin Stuff

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Changing Things Up

Alrighty, new blog name, new branding, new all the things.

I always felt that the last name was a little too long, it didn't really roll off the tongue. So I decided to switch it up. I like alliteration, as you can see.

Same content, same me, same all the things. I just did a complete re-brand. It'll probably f the stats but what can you do? The old blog will re-direct to this one for a few weeks and then I'll shut it down.

I think the new name is more "me". It feels right.
Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #4

That's right, four pounds! I'm not exaggerating when I tell you I teared up a little bit when I saw 4 pounds down on the scale. I had really expected to see a loss somewhere in the fours the first week and when I didn't, and didn't again and again, I started to think that this time it was just going to take longer and I started to settle in. 

There's something about the 10lb mark that makes me think that this is going to work out. In the past I've lost 5 pounds, then the next week gained back 2, then 1 down the next week and the next thing you know it's been a month and you've been gaining and losing the same 2 pounds for a month. I'm not complacent, but I know that I've made a dent in my goal and that's a good thing,

I know the closer I get to my goal the harder it'll be to lose, so I'll take these 4 pound weeks now. The -.8 and -.5 weeks are coming, like it our not,

Saturday - Nada, I spent 5 hours prepping for the brunch. There was a lot of standing and baking and chopping and cooking.
Sunday - Still nada, the brunch started at 1pm, lasted until 245ish and afterwards we need to clean up and still had to go out and get groceries for the week.
Monday - Nope. I ended up spending the day training at work and did three 90 minutes classes over the course of the day. After that and the weekend, I was done.
Tuesday - 45 min Spin Class 
Wednesday - Nothing, went to the mall?
Thursday - 45 min Spin Class
Friday - 60 min Spin Class

I was talking to my counselor about what was different. I can't replicate the brunch and training each week, but it might not be the worst idea for me to go out for a walk each afternoon. I generally drive to get my 2nd coffee of the day, and I could easily walk. There's a Starbucks and a Bruegger's near my office. I can get some steps in and actually take a break.

 What I'm eating this Week
It's so good.

I had 2 servings which is a LOT of ice cream, and only 130ish calories for dessert on Thursday. It was glorious. 

Here's the weekly picture for documentation purposes.

I don't have a lot of full body pictures from when I was at my lowest, but Facebook keeps finding some memories from 4 and 5 years ago. Thanks Facebook.

iPhone pictures have gotten better in the last 4 years

The picture on the right is from 4 years ago. I was probably within 5 pounds of my goal weight here, If I had to guess, there's a 30-33 pound difference between the right and left picture. I know the stripped shirt is a Medium and the pants are a Limited size 10. It's going to be really interesting to see what I look like 30 pounds from now. 

I did quite a bit of weight lifting over the last 4 years. 4 years ago it was mostly cardio. Kickboxing, running and spin class. I know I have some muscle under my fluff, time to find it.

Saturday I hosted a brunch and made a TON of food. I didn't actually eat anything I made. Instead I had my breakfast scramble in the morning and a normal JC lunch after everyone left. Did I lick the bowl, take a little pinch and a bite here and there? Yep.

Saturday night Kev's acapella group had a concert in Chapel Hill and afterwards everyone went out. I had a cosmo and a few of Kev's loaded fries and a bite of his bread pudding. To counter balance it, I skipped my dessert and the afternoon fat serving.

Sunday was brunch. I didn't eat it, but plenty of licks, tastes and bites of things.

Towards the end of the week I got pretty hungry but managed to stay on track. The only non-JC food I ate was over the weekend or the Halo Top ice cream. All in all, not bad!

I'll take the loss and hope for another next week!

Linking up with BLoved Boston!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Confessions?

I was all set to make this a Wednesday Confessions post, then people wanted things from me and I had to take on a project I hadn't anticipated. So pretend that Thursday Confessions are a thing.

Tuesday I needed to come home in the morning and pick up some fans. We were doing some training and the room got super hot. We were going to send the interns to WalMart to get a fan, but I have several at home, so I headed home to get some.

There are several deer in my neighborhood. It's a nice place, plenty of stuff to eat and no one to kill them. It's just a matter of time before someone hits them. Well, I did coming back to get a fan.

I was only going 20ish miles an hour when I saw the deer cross the road, I slowed way down and he ran back across the road to the side where he started. By then I was going 5ish miles an hour, I got parallel with the deer and HE RAN IN FRONT OF ME. He bounced off my bumper, fell down, got back up and ran away. I pulled over to the side of the road and there was zero damage to my car. I didn't think there would be, I didn't hear that horrible crunch. There was a tuft of hair on the bumper and that was it. I swear the deer had a death wish.

When I told my brother, he said he saw a deer in the same place running  back and forth across the road. I learned that deer are assholes who just want to fuck with your car.

Confession #2, I'm considering going back to the evil empire.

A few months ago, ATT Uverse came to my neighborhood and brought high speed internet. HUZZAH! I as finally able to get rid of our last TWC internet service. It was beautiful and I got such satisfaction from it. Yay.

Then it slowly started to be less awesome. Connectivity issues, the internet dropping, the outside box went down, the fiber to the house stopped working, the inside modem has been replaced 3 times.

I call and they insist on walking me through all of the BS troubleshooting. Reboot the modem, restart the computer, push the reset button, reboot the modem again. 30 minutes later grudgingly agree to send out a technician. 

In my great frustration I called Time Warner Cable to price their internet. I can get twice as much internet as I have now for $15 more than I pay now. But I sell my soul to the devil. It's something I said I'd never do but when you're tired of my 600 pound life stopping every 5 minutes, you make some tough choices. 

3. I dislike Minions. I don't think they're cute or funny. There, I said it. I tried, I really did. I even tried to watch the Minions movie on the flight back from Paris. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. 

4. I ate chili for the first time ever yesterday. Really, the first time ever. I don't really like beans, well, I said I didn't like beans but I do now. Beans are delicious. I did have Jenny Craig turkey chili so I'm sure there are better, more tasty chili. Apparently I like beans now. I eat beans.

I'd post a picture of my lunch but the internet sucks and I can't upload the pictures from my phone to Dropbox. 

5. This is really strange, but I mentioned before that I have an issue with soy and some things make my stomach hurt, a lot. Like anything fried or chocolate. I started having the problem when I went off Jenny Craig the first time. But JC food never bothered me. 

I asked the gastroenterologist why Jenny food didn't bother me and he said "It's not like Jenny Craig has magic fairy dust in there". I told him that apparently it did and he needed to figure out what was up. He didn't sigh...

Since coming back to JC, I've had 0 and I do mean 0 stomach aches. I've eaten gluten and soy and chocolate. Seriously, wtf? A month ago I ate 3 peanut M&Ms and had pain. Chocolate lava cake? Nada. Chocolate Smores bar? Chocolate Cheesecake? BROWNIE??? Nothing! I mean it's totally cool that I can eat this chocolate, but completely confusing.  Dumb.

So dumb.

Linking Up!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Tale of Ninja Ham. Or When I Made Too Much Brunch

It's that time of year again, Choir Brunch! I can't believe this is the 3rd year I've recapped the brunch and something like the 10th year we've done it. 
Check out the 2015 recap

As usual, it went off without a hitch, everything was great but I made too damn much brunch and I had errant ham, but I'll talk about that in a minute.

I expected 25-30 people, that's how many RSVPd, and about 18-20 showed up. On top of that. I made too much of a few things. 

I have a lot of food left. Like, a LOT. Good news is, I have a team made up mostly of 20ish year old guys and they'll eat all the things. 

So, what did I make?
Aunt Neet's Cheesey Potatoes

I made this the last 2 years and it went insanely fast. Of all the things I have left over, there is NONE of this. It is pretty flipping amazing, even though I had 0 tastes. I had 0 tastes of all the things and ate my Jenny Craig like a good weight loss blogger. Yes, it's all about balance and all that shit, but you know what? I want to wear my pants again. I can make batches of any of this food after I'm closer to my goal. Bud I digress.

While I was prepping the potatoes the day before, I had a conundrum that I was unable to solve. 

Potatoes and ham and cheese all go together EXCEPT I don't know where the heck the ham came from. Seriously, I searched everything and there's  NO REASON for errant ham.

I used frozen TJs potatoes, sour cream, onions, cheese, cream of chicken soup (really) and butter. NONE of those things have ham hiding in them. I looked at all the bags/containers and NONE had ham. My pan was clean too, that's not leftover Easter ham bits. it's real fricking ninja ham. 

I left it in there, because the dish is already not vegetarian and yum, ham.

Parmesan Cheese dip with Crab. I had a pack of a Tastefully Simple dip in the pantry and a can of crab meat, and some chips and easy yummy dip.

I put it in the broiler until it was golden brown

Raspberry Jam Bars

Mini Pecan Pie Muffins - Does anyone remember Homemade Gourmet from back in the day? It was a direct sale company that sold delicious mixes. They got bought buy Tastefully Simple a few years ago and since then the former founder has put out a line of cookbooks with the old recipes. The Mini Pecan Pie Muffins were one of the best sellers and they're sooooo good. The recipe is totally on point and tastes just like they used to.

Blueberry Muffin Bread - Kev wants this every year and this is one of the things I made too much of. The folks at work killed an entire tray in less than 25 minutes.

Fruit -  Watermelon, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls - For Christmas I tried my hand at real cinnamon rolls. Like I used yeast and didn't kill it, and it rose overnight and in the morning I had beautiful Cinnamon Rolls. Well, I made 2 batches, and instead of 12 teach batch made 16, and then I had 32 Cinnamon Rolls which was far too many. (They destroyed a pan of these at work Monday too.)

And I cut them in half... 64.

Apple Upside down French Toast - This is Kev's favorite and I make it every year.

Veggie Egg Bake - EVERY year this is the first to go. This time, I have 3/4 of the pan left. My brother has plenty of egg bake to eat. There were 21 eggs in here, spinach, mixed blend cheese, peppers, onions and broccoli.

Sausage Egg Bake - Again, 21 Eggs, cooked sausage, green peppers, onions and cheddar cheese. There was only 1 serving of this left and Kev ate it for breakfast the next day.

Bacon! Need I say more?

Kev went to the Whole Foods Breakfast bar that morning and filled up a box of cooked bacon from the bar. You have to be kinda stealthy about it, because they don't really want you to fill a box with bacon, but you totally can.

We kept it in the warming drawer. Kev wants to have the warming drawer full of bacon all the time. It's not a terrible idea... And yea, that was all eaten.

That's all for me! Have a great Tuesday!

Garay Treasures