Monday, October 31, 2011

what I'm making monday: Halloween party time!

DZ Goal #3: Throw my first Halloween Party! Here was the main event:
 "Pieces of Frankenstein": olive and cheese kebabs stuck into a pumpkin,
"Witches Brew": sprite with frozen pomegranite juice hand [juice frozen into a powderless glove]
"Mummified Dogs": Hot dogs wrapped in crescents
"Pumpkin Guts": Orange dyed rice
 "Zombie Eyes": Deviled eggs with food coloring for eyeballs
"Monster Teeth": Apples, quartered and cut open for mouth and slices of almonds for teeth
"Ghost Boogers": grapes
"Goblin Remains": Mr. D's Grandma's chili
"Bat Poop": Darsi's crockpot chicken [super yummy! recipe to follow]
"Graveyard Dirt": Chocolate pudding and cool whip mix with crushed oreos, gummy worms and milano cookies with black food gel pen for "RIP".
Pretty awesome, don't you think? This party was un-officially brought to you by Pinterest :) You better believe I am obsessed. The party Saturday night was a smash hit... with the exception of Biby's little girl getting sick the day of, poor thing, which made it impossible for her and her parents to make it.

Credits go to Biby as my co-hostess who made the dogs, boogers, and kebabs,
The Tias for bringing the rice and punch,
Mr. D for making the bat poop and zombie eyes,
my Mama for making for putting up all the decor, making the dirt and witch's hand,
and of course my daddy-o, for footing the bill and the locale for this little shindig.

Don't forget we had a Costume contest!!
Calvin, Hobbes, Tiger Woods and Mickey Mouse [more on that later]
 Diego [from Go Diego Go], Cindy as herself, Crazyman Tio Daniel; Count Cecil, SWAT guy, Madonna.
 God and Goddess, and Balrog DK
 Winners of the contest by popular vote were DK, Diego, and Madonna :)
And of course Mr. D and little d had to steal the show by showing off their golfing skills :)
Happy Halloween!!

"Bat Poop" Italian Chicken recipe [cook in crockpot 6-8 hours]
4-6 Chicken Breasts + 8 oz packet of cream cheese + 1 can of cream of chicken soup + 1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing = heaven... and the hit of the party!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Fitness Recap #1

Well, I have a confession to make: for the last two months of trying it out on my own, I have realized I am TERRIBLE at working out at home, probably because it fills me with anxiety and puts me in a panic, because, yes, I am that person who can't stand to have her 60 minute workout cut short by any more than 5 minutes. I confess... I am a complete and total GYM RAT. Something I am sure I picked up from all those months of constant unexpected interruptions at home from a little bug :)

So, even with a treadmill at my parent's house, the BOB, and a plethora of workout DVD's, I worked out maybe a total of 12 times in the last two months... this coming from the girl who thinks any less than 5-6 days working out in a week makes one weak. Bible. And SO lame of me.

Thank goodness I got a job at the local gym this past week, I think the combination of a new 24-HOUR gym to attend, the option of child care [I don't love to use it, since I sometimes have to take little d to work with me anyways, but it is there], and a few fun new classes gave me a certain spark and pizzazz to my workout this past week. I think the week before last I had two workouts: both were runs [with the BOB and little d in tow] to the library and back [3 miles, big time to be sure lol]. I think it is safe to say that with the parties behind me for the next month, I am ready to tackle the next month with some healthier eating [no more oreo "dirt"!] and better workouts.

This past week's recap:
Monday: 60 mins elliptical
Tuesday: 2 mile run, 40 mins free weights, leaf raking during every TBL commercial break [yeah.. that's a 2 hour show!]
Wednesday: Hothouse Yoga for 60 minutes. Oh, how I LOVE hot yoga!
Thursday: 55 mins elliptical [yeah, it drives me crazy I was shy 5 minutes but I had to get home in time to watch the office with Mr. D!]
Friday: 30 mins cybex machine [first time!] and 30 mins rotating stairs
Saturday and Sunday: off [my feet have been KILLING me this week from standing all the time for work!]

Before the last two months I have never really had a problem being motivated to work out [um hello because I love it], but eating without being extreme [oreos followed by a handful of carrots, out of guilt] is something I am working on. Balance. If I want to hit one of my major DZ [secret] goals in the next 30 days, I need to find that balance. Sort of how you can be on the Biggest Loser, workout 6+ hours a day, and still manage to gain 5 pounds in a week. It's all about the math and it HAS to be balanced or you will gain weight [like I did] even if you are still working out. It's not a big deal, I am not stressing over it, but after I hit my target weight and stopped nursing, I gained weight [even though I was still working out!] because I continue[d] to eat the same, even though I was not still burning the extra 300 cals a days. Lesson learned, Mother Nature.

Something I learned from one of my favorite books, as a general rule of thumb, is that whatever weight you don't lose from #1 by the time you get preggo with #2 is your offical "new" pre-pregnancy weight. Augh. Don't want that. You pack on 5 extra pounds with each kid and 4 kids later... well, that's just not the kind of thing I want to lug around. Nuff said.

Accountability. That's what it's all about, right? The key to motivation. Mostly, being accountable to myself. But also feeling the need to be accountable to someone else. The other nice thing about having a gym is having an accurate scale... I could finally weigh myself after months of speculation and [gasp] have 9 pounds to lose. Easier said than done. Now that my workouts are back on track [the running, however, is on pause until I can get my hands on a good pair of new running shoes so I don't get injured like I almost did pre-august half marathon], I am getting back to more water and produce this week to get that 9 down to at least an 8, 7 if I am lucky.

Sundays are always my day of evaluation and planning for the week ahead. Make it a great week or not.... the choice is yours :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

my little animal lover

Little d has always loved animals, and I think that's probably because we are around them all the time!!
Like getting to dogsit Jen & David's puppies and play fetch with them:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

we've got ears it's time for cheers

If by "ears" you mean "jobs" and by
"cheers" you mean "cupcakes" then yes we do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Mr. D's Making Monday: Grandma Pat's Chili

Aunt Jamie posted this recipe on her blog awhile back, and Mr. D and I have been looking for an excuse to try it out... good thing our ward had a Chili cookoff at the halloween party last weekend! We made a minor adjustment to the chili recipe [Mr. D's Grandma Pat was a SERIOUS good little cook] by using ground Jennie-o turkey instead of hamburger. Yes, those shameless Biggest Loser grocery plugs work all too well on me. Don't get me started on how marvelous I think the new Yoplait Light Velvet Cake yogurt it.

Anyways, it must have done the trick because Mr. D got honorable mention on his chili!!!
Mmm delish. Super easy recipe that we are using again this upcoming weekend!

[source: Jamie's Blog]
My mother was a very excellent cook.  I don't know what makes someone a Gourmet Cook but she was that to me and many people called her that.  She was also good a doctoring up recipes she would find and making them better.  This chili recipe she made is simple and most excellent.

1-15 oz. can Hot Chili (Nalley's) with beans
1-15 oz. can regular Chili with beans
1 pound Hamburger browned and drained
1-8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
1-12 oz. can V-8 juice (Spicy is good or use original)
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Chili Powder
Garlic Salt, Onion Salt and Pepper to taste
Only a few more days till the trick or treating begins!!
Oh, and I started work today... parttime childcare at a gym 1 mile away. I guess you can say its back to the workday grind for me! :) But a little easier to do 20 rather than 40 hours a week away from my pumpkin! 
[and the perk of a free gym pass is more awesome than I can even say!]

Sunday, October 23, 2011

PetSmart Howl-o-ween, Year 4

This has been a family tradition ever since the Year of the Kevs [you know, when he was born]
2008: Year 1
2009: Year 2
2010: Year 3
Oh. Em. Gee. I even splurged this year and bought the $5 picture they take because even with my mad camera skills I got nothing remotely close to as good as this money shot [with my dad and DK]:
Calvin and Hobbes, round 2! I know I should have been more original than reusing costumes from last year, but little d did have the perfect look for Calvin [and he actually had hair this year, unlike last!].
 No prizes won this year, but an ensemble of sesame street [complete with Oscar the Grouch in a trash can!] took the win, with the Incredible Hulk [huge dog food colored green wearing shorts!] taking second and a Jack Sparrow taking third. All dogs of course. :) I would have taken pictures of the victors but our hands were a little full. Kevs was a good sport as usual, so we let him stay home and Wausau bear took his place in the Ward halloween party:
 Little d went to business with the trunk or treating and made out with some serious loot... including his first lollipop and a stash of M&M's [long gone now]. After a crazy day, we all went home happy...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

some good books

I've read a few good books in the last few months, and figured I would share my thoughts on them in case anyone hasn't read them. Because all of these books I have read are pretty brilliant. And it's not that I'm a slow reader... just about all these books I read within 72 if not 48 hours of starting them [sure I lost a bit of sleep in the process, but what can I say? I love a good book.]. UMM made me realize how silly it is for me to be intimidated by the marathon. I mean, this guy runs regular 100 and 150 miler races? No big deal. I'll put it on my next DZ list to meet him. Some people may call him a selllout but I loved getting the chance to peek into a world I would otherwise never know about. Ironic that it's called confessions of an all night runner... because I literally stayed up all night to finish reading the book. The man is a great writer and a bomb runner. Didn't get me thrilled about running ultra's but definitely got me excited for my first marathon. To see a man's journey from drunk and overweight and how he transforms himself into a pavement pounder...unreal.
 This is the book that sparked a whole lot of "barefoot running" debate. My take? The book is brilliant and I see why barefoot running is important. Gradually and in small doses. And I do try to be barefoot as much as I can when I'm not traipsing through the acorn and branch covered minefield that is my backyard. But the most important thing I got from this book was being taken into a wonderful, adventurous story [as long as you can make it past the first two chapters of background info] of a tribe that nobody really knows exists because they like it that way and they run for the pure joy of running. There is something so incredible and honest about that. I'm working my way there.

 Kara's book was given to me by my inlaws since Mr. D's dad got a copy [one of my favorite perks of him being a sports reporter... free books!] and it was perfect timing for me, since the book is divided into small chapters that are easy to get through and bolded headings help out even the most time crunched [like when I was working full time, training for a half marathon, mommying and wifeing and somehow sleeping all within 24 hours a day]. It took me awhile to get through this book because of said time crunch but it was really enjoyable. Most of the information I knew already [I read a LOT of magazines, especially running and health related ones] but it was good to get a refresher.
Oh where to begin with the Hunger Games... well, I devoured book 1 just as quickly as a Potter or Twilight. Unfortunately I got it at the library so no idea how I will get #2 [Surah has #3 that she left here thank goodness] so I may be spending a few evenings at Barnes and Noble. Terrifying and yet a grippingly brilliant book. I hated the ending a little bit but only because it made me feel the way I felt after watching Pirates 2: it had potential to shock me, amaze me, anything, and it was a bit... disappointing. Like it fell short of the remainder of the storytelling. But that was just one page in over 375 so it still scored really well in my book. If you haven't read it, you really should.

Well, that's it. Not a tremendous amount of reading [still too many books in the "TBR" or "currently reading pile" for my liking] but I suppose there are more important things to do for the time being. Like the Hot Dog dance :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

taking care of all those wild animals set loose in ohio

Not to worry, Jack Hanna. While you were off working in Texas, little D took care of all those wild cats, bears, and tigers let loose by that crazy man just an hour from here. Little d was just as mad as Jungle Jack about the whole situation, so he decided he had to help.
First he caught a couple of bears... made sure they knew who was boss.
Mostly by showing off his scary teeth.
Then we went on to the tigers and caught one... but he was worried it might already be dying!
Phew! What a relief to find not one, but TWO live, healthy tigers!

Jack Hanna would be proud. Now onto the wrangling of the fiercest of wild animals... the panther.
First you have to outsmart him. Give him a hard math problem to think about, like Algebra. "x + y =?"
Good. He's stunned.
 Quick, grab him by the teeth!
 Great. Now that you have his trust, make him follow you to the safety of the woods so he can be free.
 Perfect job, little d! 
He saved a panther, two tigers, and a half dozen bears from the wily traps of the crazy Ohioans.
Editor's note: No animals or small children were harmed in the making of this [blog] story ... 
the Kevs only pretend bites and has never actually hurt little d, or baby d for that matter :)

let me help you help me [borrowed from Merrick]

Merrick, an old friend from a BYU painting class, had this wonderful post I hope she doesn't mind me sharing with you [you should check out her blog, it has so much in the way of fashion and other lovely things!]. In a nutshell, for those of you who do leave me a comment, it makes it much easier for me to respond. While I don't have quite as much traffic as she does, I do like responding to comments, so please take about 10 seconds [I'm looking at my sisters and favorite blogger commenters!!] and do this for me. :)

Along with all this new traffic, I'm also getting many new commenters. While this is very exciting and fun, it's also frustrating because I like to respond individually to each comment via email, and so, so, so many of you new commenters do not have your email hooked up to your blogger profile.

[Actually, many of you old commenters don't either, but I've been able to track down your emails through your blogs, or facebook, or some of you are my old friends or family members so I already have your email address -- but that doesn't excuse you from following this tutorial and fixing it now].

So when I go to reply to your very nice comment to answer your very kind questions, it looks like this: 

See? That <> means your email address is not hooked up to the blogger profile you're using to comment, and that means I can't reply. So, would you be so kind as to check your blogger profile right now and see if your email address is viewable? It literally takes five seconds. 

Just go to your blogger profile and click the Edit Profile button: 

 Then click the little box that says "Show my email address." 

And that's it! Now we can be friends and I don't have to hunt down your email address, or type it in myself, or just let your very nice comment/question float around in the void forever. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

15 months

Funny how much has happened in the last month. 
Little D went from toothless wonder to a jack-o-lantern.
He's still just as crazy as can be, rocking on his rocking horse and humming little songs to himself.
[though not at the same time.. because that would mean he is crazy or something]
 Little known fact: when I was little, every time someone would take a photo of me, I would put my hand[s] on my head. Nobody knew why. I love that my parents captured little d doing the same.
 We spend about 99% of little d's waking hours outside. We usually start out the day hitting wiffle balls in the backyard and eventually work our way to the front yard, playing with every size and style of ball along the way. And most days, even in the pouring rain like it's been lately, we go for walks. Or runs :) To the park, the library, the Kroger, everywhere and anywhere. And he has that goofy smile the whole time, saying "hi!" to every dog, squirrel, or person who crosses our path.
 Oh, and we got our BOB again. The 2011 this time. I'm pretty sure there is nothing else they can do to make it better, it is AWE.SOME. Can you tell we are so so excited?!?!
Funniest thing to me is that even though we have a cat of our own [and a very patient and loving one at that], little d insists on going to visit TC ["the cat"], our neighbor's cat [across the street], every time he sees her in their yard. He'll say "awww, mew??" and bend down to her level before he goes careening straight at her. And he gets VERY insulted if she ignores him. Like this pic... denied! I'm pretty sure she is the only cat on the planet that meows more than the Kevs.
Sleeping has been... interesting. We are still fluctuating between one [mostly on Sundays due to church from 9-noon] and two naps. Teething has brought with it inconsolable, ear-piercing screams from about 3 or 4 to 6am about once every 4 to 8 days. Not cool, but I know it's not his fault and try to make sure he is properly Orajeled and Tylenoled when I know he is teething. I think he is up to five and a half teeth now? Thanks to eliminating bottles, bedtime routine is much more efficient and he goes down to bed quicker at naptime and at night [8pm]. We're working our way through a cold so he wakes up caked in mucus, poor thing. TMI?
 Eating has been pretty fun this last month. Little d wants to do everything we do, which includes attempting to use my mascara and eyelash curler, but interestingly enough also means wanting to sit in a kitchen chair to eat his hummus and carrots, or PB&J, or raisins. That kid cannot get enough raisins ever. It still cracks me up that they look the same coming out as they do coming in :)
Mickey Mouse clubhouse songs [or just dancing in general], using "help" signs ALL THE TIME to the point that its making him lazy, volleyballing with balloons, screams of "ba-aaaall!" "more!" "no!" "yeah yeah", and overall hand gestures with "five little monkeys" "itsy bitsy spider" and "wheels on the bus" have made little d into quite an entertaining child to play with and really very pleasant to be around. I love that he tucks his stuffed puppy into the nook of his arm when he falls asleep snuggling in my arms, he sings when he wakes up [and before he goes to sleep... usually a song that goes "no no no baaaaaalll no no no noooo"] and MAN he is just so so stinking cute. I love this kid so much more with each passing day.
Happy 15 months, little bugaboo!!
Thanks for making my the happiest mommy there is!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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