Ooohh La La!

My friends, Boise is not exactly known for its diversity.  But if you know where to look–hidden corners of the city, you will find little treasures like The Creperie.

Crepes are made of flour, milk, eggs and often butter and can be made sweet or savory.  I’d been to Crepe de Paris when I had lived in Victoria, but that had been years ago.  I vaguely remember perhaps a banana and nutella crepe?  Mostly I remember the French man who owned the place was annoyed we wanted separate checks (or should I say cheques?  I WAS in Canada.)

In the Edwards theater movie complex is this little French delight owned by a husband and wife.  I met up with my friend, Makaila at this place for lunch, and boy did we leave with happy tummies.

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It was so hard to choose from the menu.  Everything sounded so tasty and you could tell that a lot of thought had been put into the ingredients for each crepe.

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Eventually, I settled on the Parisian which included ham, spinach, onions, mozzarella and topped with a tasty raspberry chipotle sauce.

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Makaila chose the Thai chicken which included chicken, spinach and sweet chili sauce.  It looked equally delicious.

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We also ordered dessert crepes.  But guess what, we wolfed them down without a single picture.  I got the limon (lemon glaze) crepe and Makaila got a chocolate strawberry banana crepe.  It was hard to resist the ones filled with nutella, but nutella is my kryptonite and it’s hard not to go out and buy a Cstco sized jar and eat it with a spoon all afternoon.

Thanks, Makaila for letting me stick my camera between you and your food!

If you’re in the area, stop in!  And if not… be jealous.  😉

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What I Ate

Dang you guys!  I’ve been whipping up a lot of fun and healthy food lately, and I’m sooo behind in telling you all about it.

But first, a rant.

I bought these super cute “glasses” the other week at Costco.

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They’re actually acrylic (plastic).  Do you know why I bought them???  Because I break things.  A lot.

Guess these were no exception.

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Dang it!!

Once, my elbow reached out and swiped a half full bottle of Moroccan Oil off my bathroom counter, smashing it on my bathroom floor.  Not good.  That same week, I also smashed a glass in the kitchen as well.  Apparently, I don’t know my strength.  Or gravity has it out for me.

End rant.

Let’s start with breakfast, shall we?

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Egg whites and spinach with smears of goat cheese on a double fiber english muffin.  Strawberries on the side.

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Egg white and spinach scramble with sweet potato “hashbrowns”.

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Jalapeno cheddar turkey burgers with lettuce, tomato and guac.  I can’t get enough jalapeno lately.

Everything but the kitchen sink salad:
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Tuna, black beans, spinach, romaine, tomato, cucumber, feta, peas and honey mustard dressing.

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I can’t believe I was ever afraid of artichokes.  They are so easy!  Slice up a lemon, trim the stem, boil it with the lemon for about 30 minutes, or until the leaves pull off easily.  Eat with lemon garlic butter or greek yogurt or any other sauce of your choosing.  Then you get to eat the heart… best part. 
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Fresh juice: strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and spinach
Melons.  Lots and lots of melons.

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Turkey meatballs and sauce with fresh grated parmesan, roasted zucchini (omgfavoritefoodrightnow!) brown rice and veggies.

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Stir fry.  Such a tasty way to eat your vegetables.

Even though I’ve been serious about cutting back on sugar, it still makes an appearance now and then.

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Ohhh, coconut bliss.  This really is worthy of raving about.

In other news, I had an AWESOME week last week:

Monday: pilates
Tuesday: 3 mile walk with Hunter
Wednesday: early am BodyPump
Thursday: Gym cardio: 15 min on the stair mill, 30 min hill climb on the elliptical and 15 min on the bike.
Friday: core fit and BodyPump

I felt strong and alive and it felt great!  I wasn’t staying up late snacking because by 10:30, I was ready for bed.  

Dang, if that post didn’t make you hungry, I don’t know what would!

Freedom!

Last week was SO busy!  Between finals and other obligations, I barely had any time to spare.  I have to say I enjoyed the business and found myself being quite productive!

Monday: Math final part 1 (my final was too long for the class time so we had to split it into 2 days)

Tuesday: studying all day for math and A&P *sigh*

Wednesday: A&P and math final

Thursday: chasing around town running errands, including picking up my book and face mask for my CPR class, plus babysitting my friend’s son.

Friday: CPR class all day.  Luckily we got out 2 hours early and I am now certified!  This isn’t the first time I’ve done a CPR course, but the last one was several years ago in highschool, so the AHA had made some changes.  Also, I was doggie sitting over the weekend for a friend of mine.  Hunter was more than happy to have someone to play with!

Ta-dahh!  My very first blog video!

Saturday: spent much of the day cleaning house, doing laundry, changing the sheets, scrubbing down the kitchen while I got the lawn mowed.  It had gotten SO long (thanks to my mower being in the repair shop)  I also started planting flowers in the yard.  Still have plenty more to do but since our house is so new, it takes a while to sort out all the rocks and mix in potting soil before I can even think about planting.

Can I just add this?  The weather last week was gorgeous.  Sunshiney and 80 all week.  This week? Rain. That’s just how spring is here, you think it’s finally warming up and then is rains.  Oh well.

I’ve been working pretty hard on my late night snacking habit and I think I’ve only slipped up twice since I started focusing more on preventing it.  Getting enough protein is still tough, but it really seems to make a difference.

I also ran the race for the cure on May 7, and took Hunter along for the experience!

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We met up with Linzi, who I’d done a couple of training runs with.

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I even got a few pink extensions for the occasion!

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We were given these stickers to wear under our eyes to prevent glare, but they were so itchy and uncomfortable, we took them off for the race.  I probably should get a hat for running one of these days…

 Let me tell you, running a race with Hunter was hilarious.  He was a little confused about what was going on with all these people running around him and practically dragged me the first 2 miles.  I think he’d worn himself out after that, because he insisted on walking most of the last mile.  I probably could have gotten a new personal best had I ran the last mile, but I didn’t want Hunter to get injured.  Spectators were cheering him on, which of course he loved.

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But we still finished within 35 minutes and I was one proud doggie mama!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

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My mom is superwoman, even if she takes pictures with one eye open.  (Sorry Mom!)

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And so is my second mom and grandma!  (No eyes open, guess we know where I get that one.)

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And the honorable mention goes to this mom.

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But there’s only one woman who has been there all of my life.  She’s always teaching me good stuff like cooking, baking, gardening and sewing.  I need a little work on the last two.

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She even remembers a stocking for Hunter at Christmas.

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My mom is quite adventurous.

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We are so much alike.

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She has more patience than anyone I know.

And she just celebrated her 28th wedding anniversary.  

Happy Mothers Day.  Love you Mommy!!

Flashback Friday

I’ve been wanting to do one of these for as long as I can remember.  There were two problems: one, many of my growing up pictures are about 480 miles away with my mommy, and two: I tend to think about Flaskback Friday on Tuesday… and it’s long forgotten by Friday.

Alas!  It’s Thursday night and I’m looking at my (oh so adorable, if I say so myself) facebook picture of myself when I’m about two, wondering how many people think I have a baby.  No, no baby.  At least not that I’m aware of!

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This is little Margaret Catherine.  I guess my appreciation for flowers started young.  🙂

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And here I am in my pajamas with feet, enjoying the rocking horse my dad made.

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I LOVED Tinkerbell as a little girl.  But let me tell you how much I HATED that haircut.

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First day of school!  Gotta love the 80’s outfit.

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I know this is kind of dark but the point is pink dress, eating a cookie.  Nothing has changed.

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I love this one of my mom and me.

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My first baking supplies!  Given to me from my Grandma Margaret.  🙂 (Also, please notice my really cool stick-on earrings.)

Well, that was fun.  Early to bed tonight, tomorrow I’m running the race for the cure!

Happy Friday!

What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?




Eating Well

*Before reading this post, please note that I am not a nutritionist, doctor or any other health professional.  Parts of this post may trigger those who have struggled with eating disorders.  Please do what’s best for you and proceed with caution.  You are welcome to skip to the recipe and the end of this post! 🙂 *


I have a dirty secret:  I have a bad habit of snacking too much at night.  I know my issue is not on the extreme end of the overeating spectrum but I would say it’s not healthy either.  Considering I try to eat three meals a day, it is more of a 4th unnecessary “meal” usually of processed crap.

It feels like kind of an “empty, gnawing feeling no amount of food can fill” (I loosely paraphrased this from Sophia).  I find myself doing it when I’m sad, anxious or stressed.  Or all three.  I don’t know if it’s classified as binging, but people who collect too much crap don’t like to be called hoarders.  So…

Why am I telling you this?  Because it’s a total sabotage to my quest to regain my “happy weight”.  Because I need to be held accountable.  Because it’s something I’m working on.  Because it’s something I can’t solve on my own.  Because somewhere, someone might be able to relate.  Because when you reveal a vulnerability, it seems to not seem like such a threat.  Because they say admitting is the first step to recovery.  And because *dang it!*  this is my blog and I’ll write what I want!

SO.  Here are the things that seem to be working for ME:

1. Eat 3 square meals, at the table.  Instead of mindlessly munching here and there.  Mindlessly munching = many empty calories and no fruits and vegetables.

2.  Get enough protein.  This is one I’m still working on as I tend to associate protein = meat.  I’ve been eating a lot of ground turkey and fish lately.  Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are other go to choices.  Despite my husband’s protest, I have a love affair with beans. Black beans are going to be incorporated into stuffed peppers later this week!

3.  Stick to regular exercise.  This one is kind of tricky because certain exercise namely running or BodyPump can make me RAVENOUS.  I’ve figured out that eating a handful of almonds and a prune or two (yes, I’m eighty) gives me just enough fuel to get through those without feeling like there’s chunks of food jumbling around while I’m trying to exercise.

4.  Get cut down tv time.  This is a big pitfall of mine.  When I do watch tv, I have to be doing something with my hands.  Things that seem to help include: sipping from my water bottle, painting my nails (a little harder to munch when I don’t want to nick my polish), playing games on my iPhone or laptop.

5.  Get off the couch.  I’m too ADD to just sit and stare at the tv.  Plus, too many times, I’m just mindlessly zoning into whatever is on.  Last weekend, I didn’t turn it on once.  I got some deep cleaning done that was overdue.  I finished my latest read (it was excellent by the way), read some magazines, did some organizing, spent time walking Hunter and just enjoying my house and the spring weather.  It was great.

5.  Drink more water.  I don’t know who came up with this, but so often when you think you’re hungry, you’re really dehydrated.  Chugging water can get old, so I add in herbal or green tea (iced or hot) or pull our my juicer attachment for my magic bullet.

6.  Don’t buy crap.  First of all, I’ve been eating healthfully at least 80% of the time my whole life.  My body rebels against me when I eat much junk.  Tastes good for a minute, hurts for an hour.  😦  Sure, I still have Annie’s mac n cheese in the pantry, 10 kinds of cheese in the refrigerator and dark chocolate in the cupboard.  But if it’s not in the house, it makes it a hell of a lot easier not to be tempted.

7.  Choose calories wisely.  In case you haven’t noticed: I bake.  Weekly.  Sometimes twice in one week.  Baked goods are often in supply at my house.  Just yesterday I thought to myself: “I have no baked goods in this house– how did this happen??”  Here’s my logic:  I’d rather eat a homemade baked good than candy or mass produced cookies from the store.  It ALWAYS tastes better if it’s homemade.  Also, giving away extra baked goods is a great way to make friends. 😉

I’m not perfect and I’ll probably still fall off the wagon.  But I’m coming to realize that the only person in my way is myself.  And if I really want to change something, I will.  As my husband loves to tell me “Don’t try: DO.”

Other posts of interest about binging:
Nuts on Bingeing– Burp and Slurp
Are You a Binge Eater Part 1– The Healthy Apron
Are You a Binge Eater Part 2– The Healthy Apron

This wasn’t intended to be a heavy post so here comes the fun stuff.  I got this excellent recipe from the May issue of Glamour and it is supposed to improve your skin.  Either way, it’s a tasty homemade soup packed with vitamins and all that good-for-you stuff.

I’m always not a fan of pureed, one consistency soup, especially store bought stuff.  It reminds me of baby food.  However, once in a while, I come across a recipe that is too good to pass up.  Or makes me curious enough to test it out.




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Gather your ingredients.

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Chop your vegetables.  Preferably before you turn on the stove.  I always forget this step and end up rushing.  Oops.

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Also, chopping 2.5 lbs of carrots takes a while.

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Cook your garlic and onions for a while, then add the spices and lemongrass.  Yeah, I was questioning the outcome at this point too.  Hang in there, it’s all uphill from here.

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Add some some water and all those carrots and simmer for a while.  Then add vegetable broth.  Yup! this recipe is vegetarian.

This is the fun part.  Get out your blender/food processor/Magic Bullet.  Don’t forget to remove that lemongrass before going to town.   After you’ve blended all the soup, return it to the pot and add orange juice and sour cream.  Heat for a few minutes if you want to serve it nice and hot.

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Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and anything green from your fridge. 😉

Complexion Soup
(from Glamour)

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped or half of one jumbo onion
3 tbsp. minced fresh ginger or ground ginger from a jar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces or zest from one lemon (unless you have other plans for lemongrass or can buy only 2 stalks, I’d go with the zest.  I currently have the remaining lemongrass rotting in my fridge)
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 1/2 lbs. carrots, chopped
3 1/2 c. water
4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. light sour cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  In a large stockpot, heat the oil and butter over high heat.  Add the garlic, onion, ginger, lemongrass (or zest), coriander, cumin and cinnamon.  Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the onions soften, being careful not to let the mixture burn.

2.  Increase the heat to moderately high.  Add the carrots and 2 cups water to the pot and cook, covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are softened.

3. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes.

4.  Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.  Remove and discard the pieces of lemon grass.  Working in two batches, ladle the soup into a blender or food processor and puree.

5. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot.  Add the orange juice, 1 1/2 c. water, and sour cream.  Stir until well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Heat the mixture for 3 or 4 minutes over medium-low heat; you can also serve it cold.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish.

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Got any dirty secrets/bad habits you want to share?


Aaand if not, what’s the best thing you’ve cooked lately?

On Appearances

Wednesday, I went to the dermatologist.

There’s a lot of TMI in here.  Just a heads up.

I had a few moles I wanted to get checked out.

There was one in particular that I’ve had for my whole life, at least as far as I can remember.  It’s on my cheek right next to my left ear and it’s easily disguised by my hair.  I bet most of you haven’t even noticed it.  I don’t ever purposely to post pictures that hide it because 99% of the time, I forget it is there.  However, when my hair is back, I suppose it’s quite noticeable.  And I do wear my hair back quite a bit.  It’s brown, raised and about 1 cm in diameter and I admit if I saw it on someone else, it would be hard to ignore.  While junior high mean girls had caused me grief over having moles, or the occasional child asking about it, it didn’t bother me much.

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Still…

Once in a while, it did get caught or irritated and yes, made me feel insecure and possibly ugly.  When I was in high school, I’d had it looked at before and considered getting it removed.  In the end, I sort of made a decision by not making a decision.  I never ended up removing it because the thought of scarring and a bandaid on my face seemed worse.

But recently, a sweet little 3 year old in my Sunday school class asked about it.  A little embarrassed despite the fact that it was a harmless question, I explained that I was born with it.  But it did give me pause and again I realized how other people probably do notice it.

Despite the fact that we aren’t supposed to “care what other people think”, we all do to a certain extent.  I do.  A lot of the time I don’t, but everyone has their weak spots.  I didn’t want a mole to be what people remembered about me.  I doubt that people (who matter) remembered me for that reason but it was an insecurity.

I really did have a few darker moles I was concerned about for health reasons since I admittedly use tanning beds occasionally.  (*insert groans/scolding here*)  The more I thought about it, the more I figured I could kill two birds with one stone.

And I decided.

I was certain this time, there was no changing my mind.

Wednesday I showed up for my appointment.  I was surprised at how nervous I was.  I got a full body mole check and was given a clean bill of health.  Yay!  Then we talked about THE mole.  They told me the risks involved: it could grow back, infection, scarring. The physicians assistant explained that they simply slice the mole clean off with a scalpel, no stitches needed.

I said yes, I’m ready to remove it.

I was terrified I was going to feel pain.  The anticipation is almost always worse isn’t it?  At this point, the nurse had me lay down and injected the anesthetic into the side of my face.  I wondered how many nerves are in that area, because I barely felt anything.  When she was done, I couldn’t even feel any pressure.  Whew.

Then I lay there for what seemed like forever, agonizing over the physicians assistant coming back into the examining room and removing THE mole.  I considered making a break for it… kind of.  Finally, he and the nurse returned.

No going back now.

And just like that, I saw him hand something to the nurse.  He placed a bandaid gently on my cheek and said cheerfully “All done!”

That was it?

It was over in about 10 seconds.  I didn’t feel ANYTHING.  I mean duh, that’s what the anesthetic was for, and I’m pretty sensitive to the stuff.  I realized how silly I was so be so fearful.

The nurse explained to me how to take care of the “biopsy site” to ensure little to no scarring and I was sent on my way.

While at a stoplight on my way home, I peeked into the rearview mirror at the place next to my ear where the bandaid was.  I felt like I didn’t recognize myself.  It was strange not to see a mole there, and know that there was no longer a mole there.  As silly as it sounds, I kind of felt like I had kind of lost a part of myself.  I guess that I had.  But “loss” is the wrong word.  But that’s what I had wanted.  Yes, I confirmed, I was 100% sure I had wanted the mole removed.

I called my mom.

Besides the fact that she’s my mom, she’d had a mole removed from her chin a few years back.  I wondered if she’d had that same strange feeling.  It went to voicemail and I left a rambling message.  (We did talk later that night.)

Then, I wondered to myself: how to people get cosmetic surgery??  This was such a tiny change to my image, I wondered how people felt after something more serious, like a nose job or a breast enhancement.  You know, a much larger, noticeable change.

I started to understand.  This mole had bothered me for years and years more than I may have realized.  Despite the fact that I was glad it was gone, it made me feel a little silly, a little vain.  It was only a mole after all.

The change, to me, was worth it.

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Yup, the slightly random bandaid on the face.

It was a quite achy the first night but no pain since.  I have to clean it twice a day, and apply antibacterial ointment to prevent a scab that would cause scarring.  Looking at it that first time was scary.  I’m getting used to it though.  It’s not as gross as I thought it would be.

Even though confidence is supposed to start from within, there’s something to be said about confidence in the way you look.  Like it or not it’s kind of the world we live in.  And maybe it’s just me, but I tend to judge myself a lot harder than other people.

The moral of the story is that looks aren’t everything and we shouldn’t judge those who opt to change them.  I know that seems a little contradictory, but  I think understand why some people change their appearance.  Sometimes people become obsessed in negative ways, but a lot of the time, they’re just looking for acceptance.  Probably from themselves.

Update:  As I figured, the mole came back benign (no cancer) but it was a good reminder to take care of my skin and protect it from the sun!

Have you ever change anything about your appearance?  Would you?