Weight Loss progress

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's that Time Again!

Yep, That's right! It is time for another round of Operation Baking GALS! So, if you'd like to bake then please sign up on the website. It will take a couple of days to get your account approved but after that you are ready to go.

It seems as thought the last few rounds have been pretty thin when it comes to filling the teams. For a while every team had atleast 10-15-20 people. Now the numbers have dwindled to 5-9-15. A lot of teams end up with less than 10 people.

I really want to find a women's biblke study group or something that would host a baking day or baking donation event so we can bombard our deployed military with some home baked love. Anyone out there belong to such a group? Let me know!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 76

This is what I did Friday afternoon. After a trip the the supply store I started baking baking baking! Friday night I braved both the Zumba class and the Biggest Winner Bootcamp at the gym. When I got home I got down to business. Here's the final product:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 75

I've been wanting new couches forever. I've had the same little and old love seat for the last 8 years (it was old when I got it!) and a black leather couch for probably 4 years or so. Both have served their purpose but it was time for them to retire. Jared hated the black couch. He's naturally warm so sitting on a leather couch, even during the winter, made him feel like it was the middle of summer. Poor guy.

My friend, Kristina, kept posting on facebook that they were selling their two couches. I thought about it and thought about it and thought about it. Then talked to Jared. And thought about it some more. I finally decided that the price was too good to be true and I know they are in great condition. So I dove in and bought them.

Jared and Josh loaded them into the van , while I snuggled up to baby Ben, then Jared and I unloaded them and brought them into my apartment. They fit perfectly, match my decor and are so incredibly comfortable!

Kristina warned me that if I lay down on them, there is a 99% chance I would fall asleep. Sure enough Thursday night I fell asleep on the couch until about 1 am. Guess she was right. Thank You Josh and Kristina for my lovely new couches. I love them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 74

She hates him... can't you tell? ;)

Day 73

Seriously, I love this stuff. My hands get sooooooo dry during the winter and lotion just doesn't cut it. A co-worker of mine gave this to me for my birthday and it has been a godsend. It definitelt takes some time to work into your hands so they aren't greasy or what-not but once it is all rubbed in, relief. Give it a try.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tips and Tricks

With as many cake/baking questions I get, you would think I am a professional. I guess I might know more than the average bear when it comes to baking but I am certainly no expert. Basically it is all trial and error along with many many google searches. I've also talked with a lot of people that bake and I follow a ridiculous amount of baking blogs.

Here are a couple of things I've learned along the way...


Ever had a tough time getting brownies and bar type desserts out of the pan? Here's a tip: Parchment paper.

1) Take a piece of parchment paper and cut it to about 4 inches wider than the 13x9in pan.
2) Trim the edges on the 9in sides so it fits right into the pan, leaving the extra hanging over on the 13in side.
3) Lightly spray with cooking spray and pour in the batter. bake as directed.
4) Allow the dish to cool completely. Run a spatula or butter knife along the 9in sides and corners.
5) Grip the parchment paper on the 13in sides and gently lift the whole thing out of the pan, placing it onto a cutting board.
6) Cut into bars.

(I'm not very good at explaining this so here's a picture to help)


To keep it from sticking:

1) Take a piece of parchment paper and lay it out on the counter
2) Place your cake pan (any shape!) face up on the parchment paper.
3) Trace the bottom of the pan using a pen or pencil
4) Cut out the shape
5) Lightly spray the inside of the cake pan
6) Place parchment paper shape into the bottom of the pan (it should lay flat) and lightly spray with cooking spray
7) Pour batter into pan. Bake and cool as directed.

Make it more dense:
Ever have a problem with the cake crumbling when you don't want it to?
1) Add the following to the mix:
    1 Cup Flour
    1 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Sour Cream

This will also add to the volume of batter so you will have a little more than normal. Bake it as directed.

Crumbs Crumbs Crumbs! Too many Crumbs!
Before slapping on the frosting and hoping for a perfectly iced cake, slap a "crumb coat" on.
1) Take a small amount of frosting and frost the cake with a very thin layer.
2) Refrigerate for about 20 minutes (should be slightly crusty/hard)
3) Frost as you normally would
This is especially helpful when you have a chocolate or dark colored cake and using light colored frosting.

Perfect Frosting recipe:
I know the stuff in the can is quick and easy but lets face it, it melts (quickly!) when it is hot outside, it doesn't harden up and it is super duper sweet! This here is a perfect frosting recipe. I don't use any others.
2 lbs confectioners sugar

1 1/2 cups Crisco
1/2  Cup Water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons extract of choice (lemon, orange, almond, rum, etc.)
1 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)

Beat Crisco at high speed for 3 minutes. On low speed, add water (or other liquid), and salt. Slowly add sugar and flavorings. Beat on high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Adjust flavorings and liquid if necessary. The end result should be a smooth and light frosting that is easy to spread.

This recipe may be cut in half or doubled.

Smooth Finish:
1) Use the above frosting recipe.
2) Frost the cake as you normally would, smoothing out the best you can
3) Let the cake sit on the counter for approx 30min. It should feel crusty/slightly hardened to the touch.
4) Cut a piece of parchment paper (about 6in) and lightly place the paper against the cake. Using small circular motions, rub your hand lightly against the paper.
5) Flip the paper over or cut a new piece if it starts to stick


Butter vs Margarine
1) There is no substitute for real butter.
2) You're making a cookie or a cake or some type of dessert, just use real butter. You won't regret it!
3) yes, it does taste different

Flat Cookies:
1) Your butter/crisco is too soft.
2) DO NOT microwave the butter! Set it out for an hour or two before you need to use it.
3) You should be able (easily) to leave a finger print in the butter without the whole stick squishing

Hard Cookies:
1) You used too much flour
2) Add about 2 TBSP of milk, that should help

Melting Chocolate:
The microwave method has never worked for me. My go-to method is the double boiler
1) Fill a medium sauce pan with water and place it over med-low heat
2) Find a glass or stainless steel bowl that can sit on top of the pan but does not fall inside
3) Place the chocolate chips in the glass/steel bowl
4) Stir constantly with a spoon or spatula.
5) Hold the bowl with a pot holder (lots of steam will start coming out)
6) Don't let any water get in the bowl with the chocolate

Hope this helps someone out there.

Day 72

My lovely friend, Sarah, did a give away on her blog. With her own money, she was going to buy the winner(s) CamBands. Sarah is a runner and like most of us that work out, had a hard time getting headbands to stay on during her workout. She came across CamBands on ETSY. I entered the give away for fun. I rarely win anything so I planned on ordering my own. Being the sweetheart that she is, Sarah gave away the bands to everyone that entered.

I got mine in the mail on Monday. I have been a little off on my workouts this week so I didn't get to try them out until Thursday. Sure enough, It stayed in place the whole time!! Vigorous Eliptical workout, weights, kettlebells... it didn't budge. Finally something that keeps my hair out of my sweaty face. And they are cute to boot!

These are the two styles I picked out. There are LOTS of different styles to choose from. Follow the link I listed above and check out all of the cambands offered. Maybe orderone or two... or 12.. These are great for every day use also.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 71

I always forget to take pictures of the baby blankets I make. So, before I ship this off to Bakersfield, here is Baby Joel's blankie.

Back in July I mentioned my sweet friend, Desiree, was 21 weeks pregnant. This was a huge triumph because she had already endured atleast 3 heartbreaking miscarriages. You can refresh your memory with this post and that post.

I am happy to say that on December 3, 2010 Des gave birth to an adorable 7lbs 1oz, 20.5 in baby boy: Joel Allen Vigo. I am just dying to meet him! Thank You Lord for this precious miracle! Just for fun.. here's a picture of Joel.

Day 70

Jared and I met up with a couple friends of mine last Saturday. I met Melissa and Eric while I was attending Vanguard University. Melissa lived down the hall from me during my friend year on campus. Eric was the roommate of my good friend, Tom. We've all kept in touch,one way or another, over the last 10 years. Wow.. has it been that long?? Eric lives here in San Diego and Melissa just moved back to Orange County.

I am so thankful these two are still in my life. We met up at Fashion Valley and munch on delicious Cheesecake Factory lunch specials. After lunch we walked around the mall and wandered into Brookstone. Basically it is a store full of random (but very cool) gadgets and such. I am pretty sure Melissa would've stayed there all day had we let her.

Apparently she frequents this store when she is in town. You see, there's this pretty amazing massage chair. You get to sit in it and give it a try. It closes in around you and massages your aching body from head to toe. This can be yours for a measley $3000. 

It was such a fun afternoon with dear friends. I am sure they had a good time but I am pretty sure this was Melissa's favorite part:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Biggest Winner

Just about 2 weeks have passed since I did my inital weigh in for the Biggest Winner Challenge at my gym. I feel so good about my progress. As of last Thursday I've already lost 5lbs. My goal for the 6 week competition is to lose 2 lbs/week. That would put me about halfway to my goal of 30 lbs.

This Challenge is a bit different. We are required to go to 6 Bootcamps and atleast 2 team huddles/seminars/team challenges. It is just one more way to keep people moving and motivated. I love the bootcamps. They push you hard and hurt like crazy but feel oh so good.

I've done pretty good staying on track. The hardest part for me is logging my food/calorie intake on the body bugg website. I still wear my body bugg and I finally got a battery for the digital display. I didn't realize how handy that display was until the battery died. It is basically instant gratification. You can look down and see how many calories you've burned so far. It is nice to know when I need to step it up and get my burn on or if I am on track for the day.

I have been thinking about what I really want to get out of this 6 week program so I thought I would share.

1) Stay consistent: meal planning, logging food/calories, meeting my 2400 calories burned daily
2) Lose 2lbs/week
3) Build up my edurance so I can run faster and longer
4) Push myself beyond what I am used to
5) Tone those pesky trouble areas
6) Enjoy every minute of it
7) Lose 10-15 lbs by my first weigh-in on March 24th
8) Keep the water flowing

I weigh myself once a week to monitor my progress. It is always nice to be rewarded for hard work so I think I am going to treat myself to some fun stuff when I meet  my goals

10lbs lost: Hair Cut (yeah kind of a big prize but I haven't had one since December)
15lbs lost: Pedicure
20lbs lost: New Outfit
25lbs lost: Massage

I am pretty excited about these rewards. All the more reason to work really hard. Oh, and there's this really cute dress I bought to wear for mine and Jared's 2nd Anniversary in July. I've had it for almost a year. I was hoping to wear it for our 1 yr anniversary but it just didn't look the way I wanted it to. I am dying to show it off for him!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Do It Yourself

I've been needing a small dresser for my bedroom. I have acquired quite a few pairs of workout pants, t-shirts etc. I didn't want to spend a fortune on something that would just be holding folded t-shirts so i went to K-Mart to check out their selections. I rarely shop there but I didn't feel like driving all the way to Poway. Lucky me, I found a decent 4- drawer dresser for $40. Not too bad.

I didn't think it would be too difficult to put together. The box was pretty big so I expected bigger pieces and a few screws. I knew it would take me about an hour,tops.

Then I opened the box...

27 Pieces... not including screws/nails.

I thought it would be easier to separate the different types of screws.

Really? That's a bit excessive, don't you think? 150 screws/nails total. Ridiculous.

So after an hour and a half of looking at the directions and attempting to decode the pictures(zero written directions!), I had the frame put together.

It didn't fall over when I sttod it upright so I guess I did something right. I moved onto the drawers. I didn't think that would take very long. A couple of knobs, sides and a back... easy right? Not so much. It is pretty difficult to tighten a screw into a knob when the knob keeps turning. I had to grip it with one hand and tighten the screw with another hand. I felt like layers upon layers of skin was getting ripped off of the hand holding the knob because it kept moving. it took forever.

So 27 pieces, 150 screws/nails, multiple scratches, a smashed toe, missing skin and 3 hours later... I finished the dresser.

Day 69

I got a lot of cleaning and organizing done on Friday. All of my storage/tupperware containers were mis matched and I have very few complete sets. I went to the store and explored my options. The Rubbermaid containers were on sale and they have the "easy find lid system". All of them stack neatly together.

Anyone ever have a bunch of plastic containers and lids that don't stack neatly? It drives me crazy. Especially the lids!!! They just go everywhere and you can't find the one that you need. I must say, I am really enjoying my new Rubbermaid containers. They are so neat, tidy and easy to organize. It makes me happy.

After all of my cleaning and organizing on Friday, I made a fantastic dinner for Jared and I. Yes, I just called my own cooking fantastic. It was.
I made a roasted tri tip and twice baked potatoes. truth be told, I have always been hesitant to cook any type of beef other than ground beef. It just doesn't turn out the way I want. I went out on a limb and did it. I used recipes out of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. It actually wasn't difficult and the tri tip turned out a perfect medium. I wish I would've taken a picture of it but I was blinded by my hunger. Sorry you are stuck with the picture of my Rubbermaid containers. :)

Friday was a great day; cleaning, organizing, tri tip, twice baked potatoes, and my love... it doesn't get much better than that.

Day 68

Thursday evening I decided to look through some of my cupboards to see what needed cleaning out and organizing. I knew I would have lots of time to clean on Friday and I wanted a game plan to accomplish as much as possible.

There's always that one cupboard or drawer in your home that drives you absolutely batty. Mine happens to be the one where I keep serving trays/pitchers/storage containers. So much mis-matched and just not neat.

I opened the cupboard then walked out the the room for a few minutes. My cat, Hunny, decided that was a good time to practice her monkey skills.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 67

Homemade Mint Milano Cookies... yes please! When I saw this recipe I had to give it a try! I l.o.v.e. Pepperidge Farms Mint Milano Cookies. A little bit of shortbread, chocolate and the a touch of mint. So tasty! I've never made shortbread cookies. i honestly never realized how incredibly easy they are!

Mint Milano Cookies:

2 Stick Butter, softened
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1 3/4 C Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract

1)Preheat Oven to 350
2) Cream together Butter and Sugar
3) Add the Flour, Salt, Vanilla. Mix until a soft dough forms
4) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
5) After chilling, roll dough into a log (approx 8 in long) and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6) Bake 20 minutes or until edges start to brown
7) Remove from oven and let cool completely
After cookies are completely cool:
8) Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in a microwave (heat 30 sec at a time, stirring in between) or using a double boiler. Do not add oil/butter/shortening to the chocolate chips!! It won't dry properly
9) Add mint extract to melted chocolate
10) Spread a small amount of chocolate on one cookie and place a second cookie on top, forming a sandwich. Allow the chocolate to cool completely.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 66

I picked these up at the run on Saturday. I never realized how pretty and cheerful sun flowers are. Don't you think so?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 65

When I got home from work this morning I noticed this in my bedroom:

That box of pictures had been in the top of my closet. There were only 2 things that could have gotten it down from there. One is white and she was at my heels the whole time I was cleaning it up. The other is a tan-orange color and she sat silently watching from the living room. When I looked back at her she would divert her eyes, look at the wall, the ceiling, the floor. Any guesses on which cat was the culprit?

Day 64

We finally had our Fantasy Football League awards "ceremony".  The top 3 places get a trophy as does last place. The last place trophy is... special. Different. Last year my team, Ghostriders, came in last. I took the trophy and have displayed it proudly over the last year.

I was hopeful this year. I had some good players on my team. I knew this was going to be my year. Then the season started. One by one my best players got hurt. I did my best to trade people, pick up new players, change things up every week. Sadly, it did no good. My trophy from 2009 now has a brother. The last place trophy for 2010...

Atleast they match.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Finished Chelsea's Run!

My first 5K race. I was nervous, to say the least. Training was hard. I've never been a runner. Never thought I could be a runner. I'm still not sure if I can qualify as a "runner".

When my friend, Michelle, told me about the 5K run in memory of Chelsea King I couldn't say no. I remember, viveldy, the search for her and the many many prayers for her. The sadness on the day her body was found and the blue ribbons tied on just about everything in the Poway/Rancho Bernardo area.

Getting to the event area was an adventure. I met Michelle and Preston in the Zoo parking lot and we were on our way. Preston said he knew how to get there so we followed. Maybe not such a good idea. He walked us down a road that was basically a dead end. He said we would get to the bridge then go up the hill. What he didn't mention is that it was a dirt hill, more like a very tall embankment. It also happened to be surrounded by a fence to which Preston replied " huh. that fence wasn't on google earth". So we turned around and weant a different way. We walked along the 163 freeway (it was closed for the event) then climbed an embankment and proceeded up a steep (paved) hill. As we were walking up said steep hill, Preston mentioned this was part of the race route. A hill? I didn't sign up for a hill.

As I stood at the start line, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Chelsea's parents and younger brother were at the podium during the opening ceremony. They each said a few words and I was blown away by the strength in each of them. They poured out love and thanks to everyone (over 6000!) running/walking. About 2 minutes before the race started, the MC asked us all to shout out "We love you Chelsea". I couldn't say it. I barely whispered it. Tears were in my eyes, my throat was tight and I was struggling not to sob. As we said that, I looked at Chelsea's mom. She put her hands over her mouth and even from a distance I could see tears in her eyes. I think this was the most memorable part of the day for me.

The race started and I was on my way. 30 seconds later the cord to my ear phones got stuck on a cone and I was tugged backwards. Luckily the guy behind me saw it and unhooked me before I stumbled. Stumbling at the front of a race with 6,000 participants isn't the safest thing to do. Mile #1 went by pretty quickly. I felt really good going into Mile #2.

The second Mile felt like it took forever to complete. We were running, running, running and I just prayed I would see the giant 2 soon. Around 2 1/2 miles I noticed a guy dressed in a banana suit. He was running along with everyone else. About a minute later I saw someone in a Gorilla suit, running after the banana. Michelle and I looked at eachother like "Well, that's something you don't see every day".

Mile #3 was killed. Remember that hill I mentioned? Yeah... it was the last 1/4 of mile 3. When I say steep hill, I mean steep. For those of you familiar with Mt Woodson...it was that steep. Running it felt like we were running in place. I didn't think it would end. The last tenth of a mile was a straight away. I kept a good pace but drank in the sight. Hundreds of people lining the path, cheering, celebrating. I couldn't help but smile as we crossed the finish line.

I only has 2 real goals for this race.
1) Run the whole thing
2) Beat my other times from my practice races

I accomplished both. My official race time was 35 minutes 58 seconds. 2 Minutes faster than my practice runs.

It really is an amazing feeling when you accomplish something like this. Pushing yourself physically to do things you never thought you could, being part of something so much bigger than yourself and having a small part in making a difference in some else's life. I am so thankful for this experience and for everyone that has encouraged me along the way.

My dear friend, Kari, and I after the race

Michelle and Preston

That's me signing the Inspiration Wall

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 63

Here are the dear friends that ran with me in the 5K today. More to come!

Michelle, Preston, Kari and I after the race

Day 62

We celebrated Katie's 28th birthday Friday night. We had a great time full of friends, family and food. I love our little get togethers. They are always so much fun. We have a close family and we just don't get to see each other very much. I cherish the times we are together.

I can't say it enough, I am so very thankful for both of my sis in laws! They are true blessings. Katie was brave and sported her birthday crown for a bit during the festivities. She's a good sport.
Happy Birthday Katie!

Day 61

I spent the day creating this for my sis-in-law's birthday. I made a neopolitan cake. I got the idea from a post my bestie put up. I also took a picture of it when we finally cut it friday night. I love the way the inside looks!

That's Strawberry cake, chocolate cake, vanilla cake, then more strawberry cake and finished off with more chocolate cake. It smelled divine!

Day 60

On Wednesday Jared and I tagged along with Brian, Katie and Peyton to Disneyland. Jared and I took Peyton for a while so Mommy and Daddy could ride some of the big kid rides.

We had a lot of fun with the munchkin. She wasn't too excited about the Snow White ride before we got on it but loved it once it was over. We waited an hour to meet Tinker Bell and rode two different carousels.
We also met the Fairy God Mother, Mary Poppins, Goofy, Minnie, Silver Mist (from Tink movies) and Goofy.

Little Miss Peyton Charmed a whole bowl of cherries out of our waiter and was over the moon excited about the Toy Story ride.

We also learned you're never too old to be goofy...

Day 59

I picked up my racing bib for my first 5K Race. VERY exciting!

Day 58

I noticed the fog rolling in on my way to work. I thought it looked kind of neat. I've never seen fog like that before.