Tuesday, April 26, 2011

counting my calories.

So, since I'm on this whole: eat healthy(er), exercise more, be happy- BIDNESS...I decided to search my droid market for some apps that can help me (what would i do without my smartphone!!??!!). I needed something that can keep track of my calories and my exercise.

A few months before my wedding-a friend of mine joined weight watchers and got a free 3 month trial membership to the online version---which she never used-so she ended up giving me the username and password.  I used the online account to keep track of what i was eating...and surprisingly, i started to really feel a difference in my clothes.  Calorie counting really does work!! (I'm actually not heavy, in any way shape or form...but like i said yesterday, I'm not "content" with my weight--I've gained a total of 14 lbs since my wedding-which by the way, was ONLY 6 MONTHS AGO!!!!) Every time I ate, i would go online (or on my phone) and enter what i ate...and it would calculate how many points (calories) i had left for the day. I was able to see what i was eating...and boy!! If I would've kept this up, maybe i wouldn't have gained the extra weight!!

(((If you don't know anything about calorie intake, check out this blog to help understand.))) 

So basically I know I'm supposed to consume a total of 1200 calories a day, if i want to loose 1 lb every week.  Which in turn, kinda sucks, because i want to loose about 14 lbs a week...but then again, that really isn't healthy or realistic, now is it?

So -back to my app search.  I finally read a bunch of reviews, and stumbled upon: myfitnesspal.
I reallllllllllly love this app!! It keeps track of everything...and the best feature: It has a barcode reader...so you don't have to enter any of the info....it just reads the barcode and tells you exactly how many calories it is!! HOW PERFECT!!!???!!! Because, obviously I'm extremely lazy, and i can't enter in all the info by myself!!

Do any of you use this app? If so...how do you like it? Any cool features that i don't know of yet?? I just started using it yesterday...so I'm still learning.  Any of you use any other apps for calorie counting?? If so, which ones?

Monday, April 25, 2011


I have to do something about this. I'm gaining weight...and i don't like it!  I know it was Easter Weekend, and Obviously...I'm a little bloated (since Aunt Flow should be arriving ANY DAY NOW!)...with all the salt in the ham, macaroni salad, mashed potatoes, etc etc!...BUT!, I'm just not where I want to be...I'm feeling, self conscious about it...and i hate it.

So, I'm going to do something about it.
Last Thursday I decided to get up at 5AM and take Bailey for a walk. I don't live far from my Mom, so i walked all the way to her house (about 20 minute walk) and walked all the way back. It was great!! I actually felt amazing! I even met some of the neighbors!!  They Loved Bailey...because he's always so happy to see people!  When i got home, I was like "SO, WHAT NOW!?! It's ONLY 6AM"!  I just felt accomplished. And I still had an hour and a half to get ready for work-which is more than enough time for me to get ready since i live about 8 minutes away from my job. Obviously, It had to rain the next 3 days, and yesterday was of course Easter...and this morning (due to my sister in law living about an hour away, and us having to drop hubs Mom off---and us not getting home till almost 11, and having to WALK the dogs in the rain!) I'm back to my SLUGGISH SELF.

I need motivation! I'm going to do this. I'm going to actually DO THIS. I even got a pair of headphones that i'm going to use so i can listen to music while walking (at TJ MAXX for only 7.99)...hoping that this really sticks. And, i'm going to STICK to a weekly meal plan! I keep saying I am...but then, i feel like...i fall off again...and it's back to getting take out!  But, i'm hoping with the nicer weather approaching, i will actually be able to do it!  And, Did i ever mention how much i LOOOOVE bbq food? I looove when my hubby grills! It's obviously less work for me in the kitchen, but i really do love eating food that has been burnt a little. I love chicken on the grill, and i love veggies on the grill too (zucchini is my fav!). YUM.
I've decided i'm going to be walking 4 days a week (Monday-Thursday---the days i work) for 1 hour. And i'm going to keep track of what I eat, and use this blog to post it. I'm also going to be posting how much money i'm spending, because i need to go on a Money diet (budget) as well. 
I've been following Linday's blog about her "HAPPY PLAN"...and i've been really intrigued to do something like this. I really love reading about her weekly UPDATES...and i totally stole borrowed her idea!  Although i'm not having trouble with TTC (which, is something that i feel i might have an issue with in my future-but more about that later), I feel like my weight has really caused me to get in some sort of SLUMP (is that even a word?). I used to always blow dry my hair, and get my eyebrows done (bi-weekly), and keep up with weekly manicures, and just basic keep up with MYSELF. I've noticed though, when i gain weight, i start to kind of "loose" myself. I get so disgusted with how i look, that i just feel like, ONE MORE THING wont change how i look, so WHY DO IT?!  I'm going to change this...starting TODAY! (I really wanted to write TOMORROW-but that's just it, I alway say TOMORROW, and TOMORROW never comes!). This really hasn't put a bend on Mr. Cole and My relationship, since he's really into his school work and work the past few weeks...but it's taking a toll on Me, physically and emotionally.  I don't feel attractive! I just feel...BLLLLLAH!

So here it is...(well, here is Lindsay's breakdown of the HAPPY PLAN): 1. Exercize 2. Eat better 3. Pamper myself 4. Read More!! (something i NEED to do!) 5. Get dressed daily (I definitely DO this, however...i'm not dressing to impress like i used to...i'm just DRESSING to get out of the house. So this is a MAJOR one for me...I want to just be able to run into anyone, and not feel self conscious about myself. 6. Avoid the negative! (For sure!!) 7. Have someone keep me focused! (Which is always My hubby-since he's always such a positive person, i know this is a no-brainer!)

I've decided to omit the last one, since like i said, at this moment, we're not TTC...but possibly one day in the future.  So I've decided to add this one instead, since it fits my current life: 8. Budget my money wisely!  I'm really hoping this helps me get through this FUNK...because like i said, i'm just NOT MYSELF...

If any of you have not checked out Lindsay's Blog, please do. I really enjoy reading her updates weekly...and i am so happy that i found someone that was able to inspire me to get myself out of this hole i've dug myself in.  Thanks again Lindsay for being my inspiration!! ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My windowsill garden

Two summers ago, i bought a basil plant from Home Depot. I decided to put it in a deep container/pot...and i used basil ALL Summer. I even bought the plant inside in the winter...and put it in my windowsill, and she kept growing...and we enjoyed using her leaves in all (almost all) our meals. I mean, my basil plant was huge. Every time someone came over, and asked about her, I'd rip off a few branches, and send them home with some. I mean, I had basil, coming out of my ears!! I made pesto, put it in my sauce...i did EVERYTHING you could possibly do with basil...and it was lovely! My hubby's mother is Italian, so they use basil in everything, so whenever she needed some, I'd gladly hand her a bunch!!
OK, so i was really surprised that this basil plant survived...after me pruning her ALL year...April came, and i decided, "HEY, IT'S TIME FOR YOU TO GO LIVE OUTSIDE AGAIN"...and boy was I wrong. She was happy for 1 full day, and the next day...it snowed :( She was dead! And i couldn't even revive her.
All of the sudden, I needed basil...for like...EVERY MEAL! :(
So, then i started buying basil at stores like Trader Joe's and the supermarket, but...basil goes bad, really quick :( I would have it in it's package, and within a few days, the leaves would start to wilt! It just wasn't the same. I missed my basil plant.
Fast forward to this year...while shopping at Lowe's we realized that all of the seeds were out, and all of the new planters and plants...since HOORAY-it's finally spring!! So...I thought to myself...why not plant my own basil, cilantro, tomatoes, and parsley!
So that's exactly what I did.

It's SERIOUSLY the easiest thing...in the entire plant. My husband can even do it!
I purchased these cool looking planters from Lowe's called Jiffy Green house planters:
You can get them bigger, but i wanted this to fit on my windowsill, so i got the one that only holds 12 plants.  I also purchased these really cute silver tins from the Dollar section in Target...

First, I followed the Jiffy Greenhouse instructions. There are little flatted looking pellets at the bottom of the planter (in each planter)...and it asks you to fill them with water. It's really cool. Like one of those toys you got as a kid, where it was a face cloth the size of a pill and you put it in water and watched it expand:

Next step is to open these little satchels...and TA DA!! Real dirt:

Now you place 3 or 4 seeds in each little pocket...and push with your finger....to push it into the soil

Then, you just put it on the windowsill!! LOL
Wasn't that hard, right?

For the Target containers i just purchased Organic soil, and wet it until it was moist, and placed a few seeds in, and topped with some more soil.

Who clearly seems to think the windowsill belongs to him!! But, he's been really good...thankfully.  Since we live on the top floor of a 2 family house...we are able to put these plants on the roof that sticks out of our window on really sunny days. I bring them in every night...so i don't murder them (not yet, at least).
SO FAR MY PLANTS ARE LOOKING SOOO CUTE!! Everyday i get home, i talk to them...and hubby thinks I'm crazy! I can't wait to actually see them grow! It's so exciting!!

 Since i live in a 2 family home, we share the yard, so I'm thinking these plants will live upstairs with me all year round!

Any of you have windowsill gardens?

My new obsession.

My hubby got me my first DSLR camera for my birthday this year.  I am BEYOND thrilled with this new toy….since I’ve been nagging him about getting me one for a long, long time.  He (MEN) just didn’t understand that my little Canon point and shoot, just WASN'T CUTTING IT ANYMORE. Not that there is something wrong with my camera, I loooove my little point and shoot...but i wanted MORE! L (I know, I sound like a spoiled brat)

Recently, since I’ve been stalking everyone’s blogs, I’ve been getting a bit jealous. Everyone has awesome pics, and mine...they were BLAH! They weren't as "crisp" and "clean" looking...they were just, "pictures”.  Then again, I had to also understand, that the funds just aren’t there….due to the fact that we're going through a rough patch right now...since he quit one of his jobs in order to go back to school, therefore, there is not as much money anymore....which means, our gifts (birthday/xmas/anniversaries etc) are not as expensive elaborate anymore.  I’ve been fine with a relaxing evening at home, and a homemade card.  But, the urge was still there: I realllllllllllllllly wanted this camera. Like, Really REALLY!!!  Hubby obviously noticed that…so he decided to please me.  I know, He’s just THAT great!  But, we made a compromise.

I decided to Craigslist it. After all, I'm not a photographer...i'm just a girl that wants to take better pictures....and i honestly have NO idea what all these buttons and gadgets are...so WHY BUY BRAND SPANKIN NEW and spend $600 plus dollars on something i don't even know how to use?  So (in cole fashion), i started checking out reviews for DSLR's that were user friendly...and easy to use...since, clearly...that's what i needed. After hours and hours of research, I decided I knew which camera I wanted.  Now, I just had to find it…at a reasonable price.

 A few days later, after using “CANON” as the Keyword in craigslist, I came across an ad that had a bunch of specs, but the words that stood out to me were "Warranty still intact"(which in fact, was a selling point, due to the fact that I could get home and end up dropping it) and "excellent beginner camera". So, I decided to send them a MSG. To my surprise, the camera belonged to an artist that lived in Brooklyn...and she used this camera to take pictures for most of her art (she takes pictures of things, and then paints them)....and she had the camera for about 2 years, and it was really good to her, she just needed to upgrade.  She was willing to part with the camera for $250 (originally, the price was $350, but I talked her down)! Soooooo that was LESS THAN HALF of a new one, so I we JUMPED ON IT! Aren't i a great WIFE!!!??!!! Ok, well i convinced hubby that i HAD to have this camera, because it was such a good price, and that if i had to eat cup a noodles for a month, then so be it (YES, I'M THAT DRAMATIC).

So, the Sunday after my birthday, we took a drive to Brooklyn to pick up my baby.
She's precious...isn't she?

Well, since then, i've been taking pictures of my food, my dogs, my plants, my grass, my chandelier, my closet, my hands, my feet, my couch, my windows...

My nephew, Kevin.

And here are some other pics, of random things i've been snapping pics of:
My friends took me out to dinner at Benihana for my birthday!

Daffodils that hubby got me!!

Hubby and Kevin (my FAVE pic of them!)

This little monster!! I can't take how CUTE he is!

My cat, Titty (don't judge, that really is his name).

My version of Starbucks Cinnamon dolce latte! (in order to afford this camera, i needed to make some cut-backs on my Starbucks intake)

Sebastian...my old man dog (he's really old, and really moody!).

Tulips hubby got me!

So there you have it...i'm officially, obsessed.
Do any of you have tips on how to use a DSLR. I think i've done a pretty decent job, so far...but OBVIOUSLY, there is always ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
I was thinking of taking a class...Have any of you taken classes for beginners photography!?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's on my phone, Tuesday:

I came across this amazing blog...and i thought it would be super cool to copy her!! ;)
I always have my phone attached to my hip...(By the way, if i don't answer...i usually SEE your call, i just don't want to talk to you at the moment! ;-P )
I'm ALWAYS snapping pics with my phone...so i thought this would be a great way to share little pieces of my week-weekend and a little bit of yesterday too.

Lunch (this was from last Thursday-@ work).  Jasmine Brown Rice with beans and Avocado. YUMMY!!

Sushi Lunch date on Friday.
I loooove spicy tuna rolls. I could probably eat this every single day. I don't know what I'm going to do when I get pregnant!! I heard you can't eat sushi... It's going to be a LONG 9 months!! :(
I really don't know why i snapped this pic...it's a pic of my nightstand (my side, of course)...and it has a bunch of magazines, the movie Valentine's Day (that i always fall asleep 1/2 way through)....and a purple candle that totally doesn't go with the decor, but smells yummy (it's glade, plum).
By the way, my nightstand I created (LOL). it's one of those couch TV trays that i spray painted in white, and an oval mirror. It's obviously temporary...but it's holding up pretty good. :)
I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday...and they had this frame. It's not a great looking frame...but i really liked the quote for some reason (that is the reason i took the picture). You can't really see because obviously the pic is kinda tiny...but here is what it says:
"How long the road is. But, for all the time the journey has already taken, How you have needed every second of it in order to learn what the road passes by."
love it. I didn't buy it :(

I purchased this rug for my living room this weekend (LOOVE IT) from Lowes.
It was marked down to $68.60 from $98.00.
Love it.

Love this mirror...and for ONLY $64.00...it's a bargain!!
You can't really tell, because it's up high on the wall, but the "WOOD" frame is actually plastic....but hey, who's TOUCHING YOUR MIRROR ANYWAYS?!! Right?

And LAST but NOT LEAST: Hubby and I had date night last night, at a bar in RVC (a cute area near our house)...and it was TEN CENT WINGS NIGHT! Yes, that whole entire plate of wings was just $2.00. There is a catch though, there is a 1 drink minimum per person...but honestly...the wings are SO GOOD...and the drink specials are even better!! Who DOESN'T LOOOOOVE BEER AND WINGS ON A MONDAY NIGHT??!!! ;)

Ok, well...that's my take on "WHAT'S ON MY PHONE TUESDAY".
So...what's on your phone?!!

The guidelines.

1. spend the week looking for interesting, funny, cute, special, lovely, ugly, silly, crude (okay maybe not crude), or other worthy pictures. and by that it pretty much means anything.
2. when you find them, snap a shot with your phone.
3. then on tuesday, upload it into your blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Salisbury Steak.

I had no idea what i was going to make for dinner last night (Even though, i've tried the whole "MENU PLANNING" Idea...it's gone out the window for this week! :( )

I had taken out ground beef the day before to make hamburgers, since we were going to have a bbq, Just Hubs and I...however, we were pretty content with just teriyaki chicken...so the ground beef went back in the fridge. I'm TIRED of tacos, tired of meat loaf, hamburgers, meat sauce, meat balls, etc.  I wanted to try something DIFFERENT, and i wanted something FAST (Last night i got home around 6:30 PM--i work 10 hour days...and i was not going to be in the kitchen for 3 hours, to eat at 9, so i needed something quick and easy). I didn't take pics, because quite honestly, i had no idea this was going to come out this great (and it is a little messy on the hands). I really didn't expect to like it as much as i did...i was just making to to make it before it went bad...bc i HATE throwing away food/meat...it's just such a waste of money!! It's like, literally...THROWING money in the garbage, when you think of it.

Hubby is a big MEAT eater.  We have to have meat for every meal (Yes, even including breakfast, he loves his bacon-and more recently, we've been eating turkey bacon, to substitue-because i'm no fan of my house smelling like bacon for 5 days to follow, along with the obvious health benefits). He loves Steak! And although, this isn't technically a steak...it's a little different than a meatloaf or a meatball.

I got home, and googled "Easy ground beef recipes"...and this was one of the top few searches...so i clicked. I checked out the ingredients portion and looks like i had pretty much everything. I always buy campells cream soups, because they are FAST and EASY sauces for chicken or beef...so i had the cream of mushroom. Not to mention, they were on sale for 2 for $1 at my local supermarket (Score!).

I did a little tweeking to the recipe, so here is what they asked for...and here is what i used.


  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or 25% Less Sodium)---i used the low sodium Cream of Mushroom
  • 1 pound ground beef---I always buy the 93/7 grade---it has less fat, and can be a little dry...but with the other ingredients this recipe calls for, it's quite moist, and if you are concerned about your cholesterol, or if you have a health condition which requires watching the amount of fat you eat, a leaner grade of ground beef is going to be the choice for you ( i googled that)
  • 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs---I found the new seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs in my bread crumb aisle this weekend...so i just HAD to try them out....Plus, if you're not big into whole wheat, you can't really taste it since this is added to the meat.
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil --- I ommited this, since i baked it, took a little longer than usual, but i didn't want to use oil, so instead, i sprayed the cookie sheet with PAM Olive Oil which is Low Fat
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms---i didn't have mushrooms, but if i did, i would've added them.


  1. Mix thoroughly 1/4 cup soup, beef, bread crumbs, onion and egg. Shape firmly into 4 patties, 1/2 inch thick. Kinda like you're making hambergers/meatballs-except i shaped mine more oval....i don't know why i did it! LOL
  2. Heat oil in skillet. Cook patties until browned. Pour off fat. I oiled my cookie sheet with PAM, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 1/2 hour (unitl brown/they sortof look like hambergers, and the bottoms will be a little burnt)
  3. Add remaining soup and mushrooms.This was for the last 10 minutes, i used the rest of the soup, and put a dollop on top of each patty...just enough to cover...and put back in the oven for an extra 10 minutes. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes or until done.
All the while this was baking...i was preparing the rest of the meal. I made a huge salad and i made fresh steamed string beans and Asparagus (My hubby hates asapargus, so MORE for me!).

It was really delicious, and the meat was really full of flavor...since the soup made the meat nice and moist.
Hope you all have a great evening.  Any recipes you guys like to share?!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Perfume dilemma

I'm searching for a new spring/summer scent.
I've never been the type of girl that has a SET SCENT (say that 9 times fast!)...you know, a signature scent.  There is a lady i work with...that wears a certain perfume (i believe it's CK Obsession)...and i always know if she's in the building (even if i don't see her), because i can just smell her...cubicles away.  Do you know of someone like that?
I've always dabbled in a little bit of everything.  I usually go to the department store, and have the lady spray me down...and i usually end up buying something...and use it a few times, and end up HATING IT. Some perfumes give me headaches...and some, just smell like old lady.
Well, about 2 years ago...i found THE ONE. I found, Gucci Rush.

This has been my scent for sometime now, but now...we're almost hitting summer time...and i want something, fresh...something, Happy. Not that Gucci Rush isn't fun or happy...but i want something light, something...not so, overdone. Do any of you have any fun, summer scents they'd like to share??!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend project

This weekend, i feel like i've got a few things checked off my "TO DO" list.
I've finally tackled my closet...and i'm really proud of myself. I was able to donate about 1/3 of my stuff!! I really wasn't holding back this time. I kept saying to myself, "Did i wear this in the past 5 months? No? Ok. Time to let go!"...and in it went in the "DONATION PILE".
I was really proud of myself for doing it...but i still have lots more to do. I have yet to hit up my jeans and t-shirt drawer. That's where it's going to get hard. Lots of stuff in my closet are work clothes (dressy pants/tops/dresses/formal wear)...so that wasn't so hard to just toss, next up...my everyday apparel...which is really hard, because i lovvvvvve jeans and i loooove my comfy Tees!! And, i really do loove all of my tank tops i've accumulated over the years. But, i'm looking on the bright side...i get to start over...and start buying some new pieces to add to my collection...so that will make it a little easier to let go! hehe.

I do have a bunch of jeans i've had since i was 16 or 17...DON'T JUDGE! I think it might be "time" to let them go!!! I'm so ready for the challenge!!!

And, to top it off...i was also able to get rid of some unwanted crap in my entrance/living room (part of my "30 Items in 30 Days" April challenge).

 I didn't really take before and after pics...but...i swear, i really did THROW THEM IN THE TRASH FINALLY! purge them! I got rid of some really disgusting dusty old candles i've had sitting in my living room...and i got rid of some plants in my entrance...that were really, just dying. Poor things looked so terrible. I felt really bad throwing them in the trash, but i have big plans. I was thinking, Succulents!! I really love the way they look, and they are LOW MAINTENCE...that's SOOOO Me!! ;) I started googling easy plants (Because i'm the WORST Plant grower, ever!)...and this is what they say about succulents: "Succulents are not only easy to grow, they are forgiving of neglent and absence"....THAT'S MEEEEEE!

So...did any of you guys "PURGE" this weekend?? What did you end up throwing away/donating??? It really does feel great...i feel really motivated to tackle some other areas of the house now! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paint swatches, Oh MY!

OK, i must admit it...every single time i go to Lowe's or Home Depot, i stop by the Paint Department...just to check out the different colors. For some reason...i know the colors have been the same for years now...but I'm drawn to the wall of paint swatches like a bug drawn to light. I stand there for about 45 minutes envisioning every room in my house a different color....and then...i do the unthinkable. I decide...to take a swatch from EVERY SINGLE COLOR...for NO REASON AT ALL. I put them in my purse...and NEVER LOOK AT THEM AGAIN (Well, until i decided it's time to clean out my purse---which is usually like once a month...and usually by this time I've made about 9 trips to Home Depot and Lowe's...therefore, i have about a gazillion little swatches, floating around in there! Please tell me I'm not alone here!!!

I was checking out some blogs, and i found this idea...that is super cute...especially since Easter is the around the corner...and also, i thought...you can totally use this for a kids party too....I'm sure it will look pretty cool.

You can find it here.

Just thought I'd share that with you. Hope everyone has a fabulous Thursday!! Anyone else have any ideas with paint swatches?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

DMV blues.

So, I’ve decided that Friday (THIS FRIDAY)...I am going to actually take the dreaded trip to the DMV and get my address/name change!!
I've been putting this off for some time now (I’ve been married almost 6 MONTHS!!)...BECAUSE I ABSOLUTELY DETEST THE DMV...and especially the one in my area...it's probably the worst place in the world. No seriously...I’d rather PAY someone to go there for me!

Unfortunately...you can't pay someone to CHANGE YOUR NAME---and they don't offer this service on their website either!!! If only things were THAT easy, right? (Hey, maybe that would be a good business proposal, a DMV correspondent?!)

Another reason why I absolutely have to go, is because my registration is up in May...so I guess, we can kill 3 birds with 1 stone. We need to hand in our old plates for new ones- and did I mention that NY State has issued NEW license plates!!??!!!  AND-they are HIDEOUS!!!!

this is the old plate:
and the new:

Aren't they awful? I mean, seriously...I love mustard and navy, but on a license plate? Really?  GROSS!! Although, it does look a little vintage...and I like vintage!! LOL.

Here is the dilemma:
I’m actually a little torn. I haven't really put much thought into this...but, am i going to hyphenate my last name? I'm actually a little torn here. All my life, I’ve hated my last name...and now, I have the chance to actually ERASE it...and start over, with a NEW, NORMAL SOUNDING last name...and I’m actually having second thoughts =(  Should I stay, or should I go?

Did any of you feel torn when changing your last name? Any thoughts? I could really use some advice girls! :) 

To hyphenate, or not to hyphenate: THAT IS THE QUESTION!