Honey Roasted Carrots

I’ve been working real hard on menu planning.  I have 2 pantries.  One by the kitchen I keep things that we use a lot, and snacks.  The snack part of the pantry is looking rather bare :D  I think the only thing in that part is my 2 lonely packages of cashews and almonds.

The other pantry is where I store our extras and paper goods and it’s still full.  Since I’m slowly transitioning, I’ve decided to pull one meal a week from there until it’s all gone.

I don’t know that it’ll ever be perfect, but I think doing this is another thing that’s keeping me on task, and I don’t feel like I’m wasting money by throwing things away.  I do know there are some things in there that I need to donate.

Only once this past week did I ever feel hungry, and it was because I didn’t plan properly for that day.  We had a lot of outside things going on, and I ended up hitting the drive-thru at Sonic.  In the past I would have gone xlarge, but I ordered medium, felt guilty about it, but shoved those tots down my pie hole anyway. I’ll be honest and say I really, really enjoyed them.

The other meal I had out this week was planned, and I didn’t enjoy it.  Our Taco Bell supports the DBacks and every time they score 6 runs TB offers 3 free tacos with the purchase of a large drink.  We used to take advantage of it every single time, but, in addition to the DBacks having a rough season and not scoring 6 that often, the few times they have we have had other plans.  This past week we did the deal, adding a quesadilla to the order.  I ended up eating only 2 of my tacos and only 2 small pieces of the quesa.

So, all that blather leads to this.  I try to only buy what I know we’ll use up between store visits.  I’m determined not to toss anything because, let’s face it, organic is expensive!

I had some carrots that I bought for another recipe that didn’t happen because I forgot to buy one of the ingredients.  Instead of taking the chance of them not going bad I roasted them, and served them will grilled steaks and a salad.

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Honey Roasted Carrots

Set oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with foil, dull side up.

1 lb carrots. Cut into uniform pieces.
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp local raw honey
1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper

Toss it all in a bowl until carrots are covered.
Spread them all out in your pan being sure none are stacked on top of the other.
Bake 30 minutes, turning pan after 15 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes then serve.

Yep, this is going to leave a mark.

It’s numbers check in day for me, and I have a new weapon.

I know now is not that time, but since I’ve been there, done that so many times, I know there will come a point when the scale will stop moving and I will get discouraged, and that discouragement over the scale will cause me to fail.

Keeping that in mind I’ve decided to add 2 more indicators to my visual arsenal.  The first, obviously, is my scale.  Here’s what it had to say this morning: 257

Last week: 259.4
This week’s loss: -2.4
Total loss to date: -9

Yeah. You see those numbers. I’m baring my soul and putting it all out there. It’s hard, and it’s scary, but it is what it is and no matter if I put it here or not, it’s still there.

So.

My second weapon is a digital tape measure. This one:

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It is taking a bit of playing to get used to the buttons, because it will save your measurements (the saving is the part I’m having trouble with). It’s stupid easy to use just to measure, though, if you want to paper track. It has 8 default measuring areas but I only plan to track my chest, waist, and hips. These 3 will be perfect indicators for progress and figuring out what size clothing I need to be wearing.  It will also measure bicep, thigh, calf, shoulder, and neck.

Here’s what it had to say this morning:

Chest 45.5
Waist 47.8
Hips 54.8

Yeah. Ouch. But, I’m really excited for next Tuesday to get here so I can see what it says.

The third weapon in my arsenal isn’t here yet, drat, so you’re going to have to wait. :D

 

Refrigerator oatmeal

Since I was asked in a comment what refrigerator oatmeal was, I decided to share my recipe.

You can enter “refrigerator oatmeal” into Google, Pinterest, etc., and find a ton of pictures, and recipes, but this is the one that I use since I played with it many times to get it the way Mister and I like it.

I will say that steel-cut oats and chia seeds are not cheap.  I think I paid $6 for my little bag of seeds but I’ve made this I can’t remember how many times and my bag is still over 1/2 full.  They go a very long way.

This is not Paleo since it contains grain.

This makes 4 servings

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Into each container dump:

1/4  cup uncooked steel-cut oats
1 1/2 tsp chia seeds

Into a large mixing container (I use a measuring pitcher to make it easier to pour)

2 individual serving containers of 0% fat plain Chobani Greek yogurt
1 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

Wisk then add:

1 1/2 tsp real vanilla
6 tbsp agave or honey

Wisk, but don’t go crazy or it’ll get frothy. Pour 3/4 cup into ONE oats/chia mixture and immediately stir (it will start sticking if you pour it into all 4 bowls and then go back to stir). You can add some fruit to it at this point, but I don’t.  Put a lid on it, stick it in the refrigerator and wait until the morning.

In the morning, give it a stir and add whatever fruit you want and enjoy. Yep, you eat it cold. I know someone who nukes it a teeny bit, but I’ve never tried it that way.  I’ve had it with fresh bananas, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, and mango.  They’ve all been yummy!

Mister wants to eat it everyday. I don’t because of the grain issue (remember, no bread for me), so we eat it 2 days in a row, then have a couple of days of something else, then this again.

Conquering my quilting problem

This post might get cut short since I’m waiting on the Direct TV person to show up and switch us over.  Just in time for Outlander!

I have a quilting problem.  Right.  It’s a problem, said no one honestly ever!

I managed to update my Quilting WIPs page to the best of my memory, calendared classes, and the dates on photos I could find.  I’m going to focus on the first 6 items, except Son’s quilt will be first up.  Two of the items on that list are going to go away.  The Tumbler quilt and the slippers.

No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t like the tumber quilt.  It wasn’t the tumbler pieces, it was the fabric choices.  I’ve already cut them all, and sewn some rows together, but I’m going to deconstruct the rows and put the cut pieces into my stash buckets.  They’ll be perfect for cutting down into some “Bonnie” quilts I have on my quilting bucket list (which I need to start a page for in the very near future).

The other item is the slippers I started at quilt camp I attended this past June.  I should never have started them but you know how peer pressure can be!  I didn’t get very far in the process since my fabric was tone on tone white and you could see through them to the foam we were using.  I had thought to come home and use some plain white as a second layer but then I got to thinking about the 2 pair of unopened slippers I have (one a present from Son this past Christmas).  I wear slippers maybe 2 months out of the year here.  I don’t need a 3rd pair of slippers.  So what I’ve stitched on those will also be deconstructed and put into my stash.

The other items — with the exception of the first item, my beginner sampler quilt, I really love them all and am anxious to get some plan in place to work on them.

Cha, cha, cha, changes!

or, Change No. 1

First, there was me, and since there’s so much of me, this is going to be a huge post.  No pictures, tho.

Four months ago at my semi-annual checkup I had a discussion with my doctor about how my blood sugar levels were continually creeping higher and higher by tiny, tiny increments.  I told her that I didn’t want them to get to the point where I was desperate, but looking back today, I think I was already there.

(Let me take a minute and say that I have really liked my doctor because she never rushes me out, always takes care of something that’s come up between the time I’ve scheduled my appointment, and my actual appointment, and she always thoroughly discusses the many options she gives me to take care of whatever reason I’m there.  I just found out yesterday that she’s leaving and I’m crushed.)

So one of the things we discussed was my taking, for 3 months, 1 daily dose of the oral anti-diabetic drug Metformin.  I. HATED. IT.  It really threw my body for a loop.  I had super low-blood sugar days where I constantly felt like my head was a balloon.  I had a few days where I almost fell over in a faint.  I had days where I had no energy no matter what I did.  I had nose-bleeds that scared Mister.  I hated that I was taking a pill.  I stopped taking it a month ago and I cannot believe the difference in how I feel now that I’m not taking it anymore.

Also during that time I read and read and read and read books about diabetes.  I spent so much time online researching tons of things (many so conflicting!), that I didn’t feel like being on the computer to do anything else – which is another reason my blog has suffered.

It was depressing!  I wasn’t stitching, I wasn’t quilting, and I wasn’t reading – except about diabetes.

Then something happened.  Someone I know mentioned doing Whole30.  Since I’d never heard of it before, and as I’m prone to do, I switched my reading to that.  I read a new word, but it got filed away in my head. After reading all about it, I decided it wasn’t for me because I wouldn’t be “allowed” to eat so many things that I felt were good for me.

Then something else happened.  Someone else I know has a mother, who was close to my age, change her lifestyle and she went Paleo.  There was that word!  So I jumped online and started reading some more, and I bought a book that explained why eating Paleo is good for you, instead of just being told to do it and look good in a bathing suit (which, at my age, I don’t care about anymore).

Here’s how I basically define Paleo = grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free, modern vegetable oil-free, refined sugar-free, and processed food-free.

Now, before anyone rolls their eyes, and leaves, let me say my blog is not turning into one of those paleo-fanatic, don’t talk about anything else, blogs.  I just need somewhere to write down how this is working for me.  Would it be great to get some support, sure, but that’s not why I’m sharing this.

Ok, now for the last thing that happened that pushed me over the edge to just go for it.  MISTER IS TRAINING FOR TRIATHLONS AGAIN.

Yep.  I’m back to cooking for an athlete again.  I know I should have started this for me, but if his training is the nudge I needed to do this, then I’ll take it.

I read about so many ways to get started.  From throw everything in your pantry away and go cold turkey to slowly transition into it.  I didn’t want to overwhelm me or my pocketbook so I decided to ease into it.

About 3 weeks ago I had some oral surgery. Since I knew 1/4 of my mouth would be full of stitches I decided that day was the day to start.  Nope, it wasn’t the 1st day of the month, and it wasn’t on a Monday.  Isn’t that always when we begin these things?  Since I had decided to do this one step at a time, I made the decision to cut out bread from my diet.

The first week, instead of eating bread 2x a day almost every day, I had bread once.  I also had some saltines at the beginning of the week because the pain meds I was taking from my surgery made me nauseous and that helped.

Does this mean I’ll never eat bread again?  Nope.  I love me a Diamondbacks Hot Dog.  I love a good hamburger out with friends.  Pasta. Enchiladas. I love “bread.” What this means is that I am going to do my utmost to not eat bread except for special occasions.  We grilled burgers the other night and I made mine the exact same way I always have, except I ate it with a fork and knife because it wasn’t between two halves of a bun.  I now buy bread that I don’t care for, but Mister likes, and I keep things like burger buns in the freezer and thaw 1 or 2 out for Mister. We had dinner out with friends a few days ago and they served biscuits. I had half of one. It wasn’t good enough for me to finish the other half.

Bread is not the only change I’ve made.  As things run out I have either stopped buying them completely, or I’ve changed over to a “whole food” or “organic” variety.  I just now realized I haven’t had a potato chip in all this time, and I love potato chips.  I know there are some in the cabinet (lunch size bags), but I have no craving for them.  I’ve switched from half-and-half in my coffee to unsweetened almond milk.  I honestly cannot taste the difference.  Which brings me to my next thought.

I try to never say “never.”  LOL  I’m not going to say I’ll never give up dairy.  I love milk, and cheese, but I have eaten less of it over the past couple of weeks, without trying.  I’m not going to say I’ll never give up grains.  Right now I’m making refrigerator oatmeal a couple of times a week.  I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m not going to be anal about it. I’m just going to go with this and see where it takes me.  I will say there are some things in my pantry that have never been there before (ghee, coconut oil, chia seeds) and I’m eating things like spinach and kale for breakfast.  The only hard part so far is not being lazy with the cooking because we’re in the 115 degree days here in Arizona, but I’m trying to make things that will last 3 meals or so, like Crock Pot Pulled Pork.

Even as things slowly change I know there are certain things I need to seriously consider giving up.  Right now I’m contemplating artificial sweetener.   This one will seriously impact my life.  I love Starbucks’ Skinny Vanilla Lattes.  Starbucks does not serve almond milk (and I’ve tried soy with a yuck outcome) and their skinny sweeteners are made with artificial sweetener.  So for now when I get a Starbucks it’s just their shaken black tea, no classic ;)  I do have some of the Torani Sugar-Free French Vanilla that I use at home.  I used to be a 3-pump girl, now I’m a 2-pump girl.  I have one more bottle in my pantry, and I’ll switch to 1-pump when I open that one, and then none.  That seems so impossible to me now.

Next will come the physical part.  Stitching, quilting, reading, they’re all so sedentary and I have no intention of giving up any of them.  I have a membership at our local YMCA and next Tuesday after I have my follow-up dental appointment – and hopefully all the stitches are removed – I’m headed over there to talk to a personal trainer.

So how is all of this going to impact my blog.  I’ll be posting numbers and recipes, and the occasional photo.  Sort of like this :D

Crock Pot Pulled Pork recipe.

7/8/14 0/0
7/15/14 -4/-4
7/22/14 -2.6/-6.6

If anyone asks me a question, I’ll gladly answer it, but you aren’t going to find a ton of “this is what I ate today” posts here, or tons of “food” photos. Who wants to see a bunch of photos of sliced organic tomatoes, steamed veggies, salad, meat, day in and day out. Unless it’s a recipe, you won’t be hearing about what I’m eating, except when I maybe share something I’m changing or giving up.

I promise my next post will be more “fun.” I’ve updated my quilt page at the top, and written down all of my WIPs. I’ll be talking about a few of them.

Is there anybody out there?

Singing in my best Roger Waters voice ;)

I’m back.  I’ve made some changes.  I’ll be sharing.

You’ve been warned :D

Sunday Stash Report

Before I get to the down and dirty, and yeah, it’s sort of bad, this was a great week for me.  Still not up to 100% but I had to really think about it to see how I’m doing.  Almost there.

The only bad part of my week is the flat tire I ended up with Thursday after work.  Mister thinks I got the screw in the parking lot at work since it wasn’t all the way in my tire, nor was it dented up very much.  Of course this created the need to search for a new tire on Friday and the closest one we could find is in Louisiana.  I ended up getting the tire patched and we’re waiting to see what’s happening with a new tire.  This led me to cancel my trip to California in a couple of weeks.  The deadline to get my deposit back – and to mail the balance due – was Friday and I just couldn’t take the chance that the new tire would make it here, or to chance driving there and back on my patch.  I’d already dodged one bullet on my last trip (as a friend so eloquently reminded me) and didn’t feel comfortable taking that chance right now.

On the stitching front, I did work on Elizabeth Sheffield 2-3 times this week.  I’ve been lazy though and haven’t taken a new progress photo.  Need to remedy that before next weekend.

On the quilting front:

*  Son’s Tumbling charms – still waiting on black batting. I need to pick out what quilting design I want to do and see if my friend already has a similar pattern.

*  Tumbler quilt – didn’t touch it this week.

* Civil War Club – tablerunner – didn’t touch it.  That will be remedied after this posts.

*  Celtic Solstice – As mentioned in my last post, I’m participating in Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice mystery quilt (starts Friday after Thanksgiving).  I pulled my stash out and hauled my choices into work since I had 3 oranges and 3 yellows I thought would work.  I bought 1 blue, and several yellow and orange FQs and am happy with what I have to work with.  I’m excited to see how I’m going to be cutting it up.  Many of the blues I’ve had in my stash forever and what I don’t use in this quilt will be cut up for a future nephew quilt, from one of Bonnie’s books.

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* Future DIL’s quilt – bought an 8-yard bolt of fabric this week for background (and possibly backing).

* Scrappy Irish Chain – for me.  Bought 5 yards of the background fabric.

* Camille Bag – this is one of the classes that I’ve signed up for.  I found the perfect focus fabric but am waiting a bit for the lining and straps.

In addition to the project purchases I also added a couple of cuts of neutrals, one cut of red, and – woooo boy! – 1/2-yard cuts of all of Pam Buda’s American Gothic fabrics (link is to her blog post).

Fabric added this week :   29  1/8
Fabric out this week :  0
Fabric added this year (April – present):  178  7/8
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

Move along, nothing to see here

My life has been blessedly boring of late!

My first half-day back to work about killed me, but not near as much as my first full-day back.  I was so tired that night I almost cried.  But the next morning when I got up I was fine, so I knew I was going to eventually get over it.  The second full-day back I realized about 2 hours from closing that I was just then getting tired.  Next day, no problems at all.  Yay for recovery!  I still have a couple of sore “spots” but they’re slowly going away.

The only purchase I’ve made the past couple of weeks was a new-to-me book.  Scrap-Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.  I was at the shop yesterday looking over the upcoming classes list and meeting a friend for lunch.  A new quilt had been put up since I worked on Thursday and it was from this book.  There are 18 quilts in it and they’re all from 2 1/2″ strips.

So the numbers from my last Sunday Stash Report remain the same.

Fabric added this week :  0
Fabric out this week :  0
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

I’m waiting on backordered black batting for Son’s Quilt.  I added one more row to Niece’s tumbler quilt.  I got the hourglass blocks sewn together last Saturday, but discovered, while looking at a photo I took, that one row is wrong so I’ll be unsewing and fixing that.  I still haven’t cut the fabric for future-DIL’s quilt, or my own!  I do have fabric on hold for the background of my quilt, so next week I’ll be adding fabric to my stash report.

But I’ll also be pulling fabric since I’ve decided to participate in Bonnie Hunter’s upcoming mystery.  I went to Lowe’s Friday and pulled her paint chips but I also pulled some in the same colorway but darker in tone since that’s more me.  I’m keeping her orange, though.  Nothing dreary.  I figure this will probably be a perfect quilt for one of the nephews.

I need to get busy!  I’m headed back to Cali in a couple of weeks for a needlework retreat and trying to decide whether or not I want to bring my machine, the tumbler quilt, and maybe a JMLW project or 3.  Decisions, decisions.  I’ll be visiting with Son for 3 days prior to that so everything would be in the trunk of my car during then and I don’t know if I feel safe leaving it there.  LOL

 

Sunday Sewing and Stash Report

I had my post-op appointment with the surgeon this week.  I’ve pretty much been released to do whatever I want as long as I listen to my body and rest during the day.  Woohoo!  There won’t be any problem with the listening portion since I can tell when it’s time to rest and have had no problem taking a nap.  I sort of immediately nod off when it’s time ;)  Tomorrow is another doctor appointment and hopefully I’ll be on the track to normal again after that one.  I do get to start back to work, part-time, on Tuesday.

I also sewed this past week.  I had a Tumbler Quilt class on Thursday evening and went in early to buy the fleece for my design wall and get it cut and sewn together.  I used it that evening too, and it’s currently rolled up with the beginnings of the Tumbler Quilt.  I was exhausted when I got home since it’s the first time I’ve bent over that much (it was all spread out on the floor and the shop owner did the majority of the moving around for me since I still can’t get down that far.  LOL).  Mister is out of school Monday and Tuesday and I’m hoping he can help me get it hung up.  Here’s what the quilt looks like so far (it will be going to my niece):

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I also attended my first Civil War Club meeting on Friday morning.  We are working on the majority of the items in The Blue and The Grey and our first project is a tablerunner.  Most of the other ladies left after noon, but since I had my machine set up (still there from Thursday evening) I finished sewing all my hourglass blocks together.  I was worn out when I got home.

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This weekend is my Virtual Quilting Retreat (email me if you’re interested) and I have so far spent the time squaring up the hourglass blocks and have started sewing them into rows, and then those rows being pieced together.

Here are a few of the blocks on one of the border fabrics.

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If this gets finished I’ll be working more on the tumblers.

I did purchase fabric this week, but only the border fabric for the tablerunner :D

Fabric added this week :  1/3
Fabric out this week :  7  3/8
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/4
Fabric out this year (April – present):  51  1/2

Last, but not least, here’s a progress photo of my Elizabeth Sheffield reproduction sampler.  Still loving her, and working on her most evenings.

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Sunday Stash Report

Fabric added numbers for this report are kinda scary.  ;)  It should back off some again though.  Hopefully I’m able to start sewing again tomorrow, and since I’m probably going to have another week (or maybe two) before my surgeon releases me, I’ll get Son’s flimsy done and can start cutting on my niece’s (and FDIL’s?) quilt).

Fabric added 9/2 – 9/27 :  45  1/8
Fabric out 9/2 – 9/27 :  2  1/4
Fabric added this year (April – present):  149  3/8
Fabric out this year (April – present):  44  1/8

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