Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Projects

The three-day Memorial Day Weekend is almost at an end. I'd like to say I got everything out of it I could but I had really high expectations for myself. I did finish up a bunch of crafting projects, which is good because the dining room needs to be cleaned and reverted back into a dining room for Friday night's Grace Adele party I'm having. So excited about that!

If you don't know what Grace Adele is, you can check out the stuff at my party link. My mother's gonna be sorry she's missing this one!

Anyhoo, here's what got done...

Bridal Shower centerpieces for my friend Diana. This took the majority of my time but I wanted them done and out of my house. I friggin' burn my thumb badly making these things. I hope to never make these miserable b'tards ever again! But aren't they cute?!

I did my cards for the next card swap in June. The theme is "masculine cards." I took that to mean any card that didn't have pink in it. While it's not exactly "masculine" they're definitely not feminine. They would make a good birthday card for a boy. Notice I ran out of the black & white ribbon so I used black & white string instead.

Three scarves! Yep, I'm still making scarves. And still not wearing them. Two of these will be going to charity auctions I've been asked to donate to. I'll include cards and all other kinds of neat stuff from hobbies I've obsessed over in the past. Maybe I'll throw in a book for poops & giggles.

And finally, a bridal shower card that my co-worker Cathy requested. It's the closest I could come to her daughter's wedding gown without me sacrificing a cat to Satan.

So, other than making a Jalapeno Meatloaf (which was so dang yummy!) that's what I did with my weekend.  Hope you enjoyed your too!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Bolognese

This was a new recipe I'd been dying to try. It was so incredibly good.

Slow Cooker Bolognese

1 lb Italian sausage
3 TBSP minced onion flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Cook the sausage in a skillet until browned and crumbly. Put in slow cooker. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve with your favorite pasta or as a baked or mashed potato topper.

Note: I used my 2.5 quart crock pot and had NO problems. Came out amazing!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May's Card Swap

Karen hosted a Stampin' Up workshop yesterday and it was awesome! Not only did she put out a spread of food that I did not want to leave, but we made some great cards yesterday!

The theme for this month's swap was Wedding or Graduation. Here's the spectacular cards we made and swapped.

Mine - made with gold glitter letters and a bottle cap with a heart covered in Crystal Effects
Terrie - made with layered paper doilies
Christie - using felt paper and silver sponged embossed paper (I'm guessing on how you did that.)

Teena - Those are silver stamped bells which looked stunning but didn't photograph well.
Teresa - Again, gold stamped heart which also didn't photograph well.
Jessica - The only brave soul that made a graduation card! 

Stacey - A silver embossed dress. The ribbon has a circle tag with a silver embossed heart on it. That's the shiny thing you can't see.
Karen - Same dress with a tulle bottom and punched edge.
Shirley - A shower card for the bride and groom. Love that color!

I thought the inside of Stacey and Karen's card was worth a photo. Each open differently than a "traditional" card. Karen's has a vellum design tied at the top with the saying stamped on it. Stacey's was stamped in silver, which again, doesn't photograph for poop.

And these are the cards we made at the workshop. Jessica showed us how to use the SU bottle caps on the first card. This will be the second time she's shown off how to make a card using a technique I used for my swap card. It's a huge coincidence. It was fun to see how their bottle caps came out versus the ones I used, which were part of the beer making kits we buy. I use ceramic stopper growlers so I have bottle caps up the ying-yang. I'm shocked I never threw them away. Glad I didn't now!

I loved the lobster card! Not just because I love lobster. It was easy to make and in Midnight Muse blue, which is one of my fave colors.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creamed Corn

This is a recipe I promised a couple people I'd get to them and didn't. I don't even remember who asked for it. Gotta love my memory! Anyhoo, here's the Easter recipe that my family assured me was the bomb!

Creamed Corn

½ lb bacon
1 sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 bag frozen corn
8 oz cream cheese
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Drain all but 2 TBSP bacon grease from skillet.
2. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno to skillet. Cook until onion begins to soften. Be sure to scrape the brown bits from the pan.
3. Add corn to pan and cook for 7-8 minutes until corn is tender.
4. Reduce heat to low. Break cream cheese into small pieces and add to pan along with heavy cream, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir often until cream cheese has melted.
5. Put creamed corn in serving dish and top with crumbled bacon pieces.

I have no idea how it is as a re-heated leftover. We didn't have any leftovers. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Adventures of Butterball: Stupid, Take Two!

* The Adventures of Butterball are true stories about my *
* trials and tribulations as a stupid fat girl.  Enjoy! *

Hey. Remember me? It's been a while. Almost three weeks since I've done any TapouT XT workout. Almost two weeks since I've kayaked (but that's mostly because of cold, lousy weather). Almost a week since I've eaten a vegetable and only three hours since I've eaten something I shouldn't. And I'm back to publicly announce that I forgive myself...again!...and to declare my renewed interest in getting back into the ring for another fight to get my life back on track. Blah blah blah. Fart jiggle squint.

What happened? What do you think? I came down with a case of idontgiveafuckitis. Symptoms include low self-esteem, lack of enthusiasm and diarrhea. (Although the latter was discovered to be the after-effect of too much coffee. Yay.)

There is some good news. I no longer have an intolerance for wheat, soy, milk and sugar so I can eat almost everything again. The bad news is I CAN EAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND I WILL!!! I was bitter when I couldn't eat lasagna, but now nothing's keeping me from eating the whole damn pan. Except for maybe that slice I'll give Drew. Maybe two if he rubs my feet later.

In my pursuit of good health, great abs, and a mediocre view from behind I've discovered a lot of things. Some good; some bad. Knowledge is a good thing though...usually.

#1 Blogging about the pursuit of your dreams and goals is highly motivating. Mainly because of the fear of having to publicly admit you failed. There were many, many mornings that I did not want to get up and workout but the thought of having to tell people that I didn't do it got my butt out of bed. And in the beginning a lot of people would check on me daily. I did NOT want to say to them, "Oh, I wussed out." I loved shocking them with my workouts.
    Over time I stopped blogging and posting updates on Facebook. Mostly because I had nothing new to say. I figured if it wasn't funny it wasn't worth posting. But when I think about it people were just as supportive when I was just admitting to a new workout benefit, such as increased energy or being able to climb the stairs without dying on the first landing, as the funny bits. I think the most comments I got were about the gloves photo, and I almost didn't post that because it seemed stupid. But stupid is what I do! So I posted away and the negative ignorant soul-sucking life-draining vampires can kiss my big, fat, hairy ass.

#2  I never realized the true extent of the benefits of my workouts. Yes, I had more energy. Yes, I was happier and more emotionally stable. I just never knew how much until now. I'd been pampering myself for my hard work with home spa treatments and splurging on mega-healthy treats that might cost a little more. But those things weren't just rewards and little "thank you's" to myself, they were part of the reason I was doing so much better. Like the rest, little by little they went to the wayside and it wasn't until I hit bottom again that I noticed how much it meant to me.

#3  Exercise + Water + Sleep = the fucking obvious. Oh, who the hell am I kidding! There's no surprises in any of this. The surprise is that I'm going to try this again. Not again, but pick up where I left it off.

I wish I had something mind-blowing to end with or that I could promise you this will never happen again, but I am human. And stupid. And a chronic life-lesson repeater. And still fat. So, let the next lesson begin.

Why don't you just give up this charade and accept who you are? The only people who say "I'm happy with who I am and if people don't like it they can go to hell" are assholes. Really. Think about it. Everyone can use a little improvement. Right now my mother's thinking I should probably stop swearing. I could. If you are who you are, then you're a dick. Fix yourself and you'll be amazed how much around you gets fixed in the process. If nothing else, it'll flesh out your friends from the negative ignorant soul-sucking life-draining vampires faster than I can down a bowl of ice cream.

Damn. I could really go for a 5-Scoop Reese' Pieces Sundae with Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream right now.

Drew! How late is Friendly's open?!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Adventures of Butterball: The Great Race XXXVI

* The Adventures of Butterball are true stories about my *
* trials and tribulations as a stupid fat girl.  Enjoy! *

This week wasn't a great week for me. My back was hurting so much that I made the decision to put off the workouts, hoping the soreness would heal. It didn't. So not only did I not workout this week but my back is still incredibly sore and my diet went all the heck also. 

I'm not gonna whine about it or make up excuses. The fact was I felt like crap and decided to give it a break. The fact that my doctor told me not to expect to see significant changed for MONTHS, did not help. But she was uber supportive and encouraged me to keep doing it because there are obvious benefits to it.

Oh, and my yearly labwork came back normal. Completely normal. As in, cholesterol was good, thyroid was good, sugar was good. Everything = good. No fat diseases. No not-fat diseases. I'm sure that would come as a huge shock to anyone who's ever seen me. I'm sure they're thinking, "Come on! You at least have to be pre-diabetic." Nope. Not even close. So shove it, racist.

There's not weigh-in for this week, not because I was being lazy, but Thursday night I went out with my co-workers to Spaghetti Warehouse for the Murder Mystery Dinner. It was a lot of fun! So glad we went. But it meant not going to the church for my weekly meeting and missing out on getting weighed in. I'll weigh-in next week.

But not to worry. I'll be back on it next week, repeating the week I partially skipped. No big deal.

Meanwhile, it's time to do something stupid. Like...join a Great Race team. 

Some of you might remember that I kayaked in Great Race XXXIII. The other members of my team were Drew on bike and Jason was our runner. This year is Great Race XXXVI and Kate will be on bike and Jason again will be the runner. We're very excited about it. I won't reveal our team name yet as it does require the cartoon logo for full appreciation and we've yet to create it.

This morning Drew took the new CRV to Honda to have a roof rack installed. Then we hooked up the new kayak racks I got on good sale at Amazon. And Tada!!! Two kayaks to go. Mine still has my Great Race XXXIII stickers on it!

We went out today about noon. The weather was near perfect for kayaking. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze. There was only one other person on the lake and that was a woman who admitted she'd just dragged her kayak out from under the deck to give it a test run.

We did 2 miles in 35 minutes. When I did the race in 2010, it took me 44 minutes. It's worth pointing out that it was an extremely windy day on the lake that year, creating choppy waters. So bad that they cut the long course of four miles down to two. I actually finished 310 out of 389. Not bad for a drowning fat chick. Last year, 310th place finished in 37 minutes. That's just shows how awful the water was in 2010. Most racers said it was the worst weather they'd ever competed in.

I think 35 minutes is a good start. By the time we were done, my shoulders were a bit sore but my arms and core were doing great. I even stopped once to let Drew catch up. Yes, Drew was dying out there. (I've got a big frickin' grin right now.) My goal is to get under 30 minutes. That should put me in the middle of the pack.

So I guess the workouts really do make all the difference in the world. Hoping to go out tomorrow kayaking as well, then a little bit of jogging on the treadmill. Monday morning more jogging. Monday night is yoga class. Then Tuesday I'm back into TapouT XT with kayaking after work, weather permitting. And so on and so forth. Gotta get back into shape. I part of a team now and I don't want to let anyone down. Especially myself.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Halfway To Halloween Day!

In the spirit of Halfway to Halloween Day, I made some cards.

I just love making dress cards and couldn't wait to make these.

Also, for those of you who love both Halloween and a bargain, Buy Costumes is having a $10 sale on a ton of costumes.  I'm thinking about going as Fat Sailor Moon just for the sheer horror of it.

Hell, for ten bucks you can buy yourself a new wardrobe. Especially handy if you're a hooker.