Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tools for the job

Sometimes its all about the tools, knitting is like that. You all know that some needles are meant for speed, some to slow you down, some pointy for lace and its p7tog maneuvers, and clickers for counting and markers for guidance.

Meet my 5:15 am wake up call tools. Yup, walking sneakers. Ive always worn cross trainers or running shoes, but I decided to trust New Balance and get walking specific kicks. And you know what? Sometimes the right tools help. Day 4, 1.2 miles in 23 minutes and jeans that button just a bit easier.

My second tool? PC. He's been my secondary alarm each day, reminding me that I need to get up and do this for my health.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

South Beach Shuffle

I've restarted on the South Beach shuffle (see the reason for walking: PCOS and weight gain), with a steady Phase 1.5 planned until July 16 (then we leave for vacation). So, if I can manage no grains, but fruit, veggies and protein until then, let's see how I do. I'm limiting my fruit intake to 2 servings per day (max).

Tuesday's lunch was one for the recipe file: Curried Beef. :)


  • · 2 lbs stew beef (or any other cheap cut of beef in 2 inch cubes, example: this would be good with round steak)
  • · 2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • · 3 tbsp curry powder ( I use 4, 2 hot, 2 sweet)
  • · 2tsp onion powder (or 1 whole chopped onion)
  • · 2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 1 tsp of Penzey's chicken stock paste)
  • · 1 tsp salt
  • · 2 tsp black pepper
  • · 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • · 2 tsp ground ginger
  • · ½ bag frozen peas


  1. Spray insert of crock pot w/ non-stick spray.
  2. 2. Combine tomato sauce through ginger from ingredient list and whisk together
  3. 3. Add to slow cooker with stew beef
  4. 4. Cook on low for 8 hours (high for 4), add frozen peas, stir in and cook for an additional 40 minutes on high.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ten on tuesday

10 ways to save at the grocery store:

1. go with a list. I spend WAY too much when I go without one. I take PC with me to the store, but I've noticed I spend less without him there. I tend to peruse the meats aisle, etc. more carefully.
2. Store brands, if possible. We don't eat canned veggies (well, I do, but only for breakfast and that's another post), but we do eat frozen, so I stock up when it's 10/$10 sales... usually by buying 2-3 bags.
3. beans. We eat bean-heavy meals once a week. Wait, that's wrong. I make a bean-heavy meal once a week: we eat for at least 3-4 additional meals.
4. limit ziplock bags. We use tupperware for lot of things, like lunches, and I prefer to use glass reusables, so our "plastic" dollars go further.
5. Buy meats in bulk. I buy everything meat related in bulk. If bottom round roasts are on sales for less than $1.99/lb, I will buy the biggest one and cut it into 2-3 smaller roasts. Simply wrap in butcher paper and freeze.
6. Skip the boneless skinless chicken breasts (unless on sale- Stop & Shop is really good for this). I know they are healthier, but it's cheaper and tastier to buy bone-in chicken and remove the skin yourself. Result? Delish chicken, less cost per meal. We also eat a lot of chicken thighs and drumsticks; simply buy in bulk and split into "meal sizes" and freeze (for this, I use ziplock bags).
7. skip the 100 calorie packs. When I was single (or even pre-move in with PC), I used to get home with my groceries and divvy up the servings. Yup, into little snack bags with 1 serving per bag. Then I'd put the bags back into the original container. If you wanted Cheezits at my mom's house, you would reach into the box and get an individual serving.
8. Use coupons and store cards to add up the savings.
9. Shop the flyer. Know what's on sale and for how long. If it's not there, get a rain check. I think the rain check is the most under-utilized component of a grocery store.
10. Bring your bags! Not only is it environmentally responsible, but now most stores give a $0.05-$0.10 per bag credit. A big 2 week shopping order with 10 bags? That's $0.50-$1.00 off your order, just for not using flimsy plastic bags. Win-win.

Today was day 2 of walking. Today hurt more, anyone tell me why? Still did my 1.2 miles.. 24 minutes. My healthy lunch of the day: curried beef with peas, salad, green beans and 2 pieces of Kavli... yum.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Left, Right...

It's not much, but it's a start. Sandy (and some excess Easter candy enjoyment) inspired me to start a walking program this morning. Our neighborhood is easily walkable and very safe; this morning's walk took me just over 24 minutes and 1.1 miles. My goal is to walk this route this week and each week add one more block to my "loop."

As some of you know, I've battled PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) for years (before it had a name!) and part of this is a pre-diabetic state called insulin resistance. Well, in order to get that pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes, I've got to shed some weight. And, my 2 year old nephew showed me yesterday that Auntie's a bit slow in the "run" department. He and I have a date at the zoo this summer and I'd like to NOT get winded when we venture from Christopher the lion to the monkey house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mom's sick

Pumpkin here, well, I prefer to be called P'kin but mom and dad say I'm going through a " phase". Like when they threw out my catnip. is sick which means its been quiet here. And messy. Yup, just me and PC in charge of it all.  So I thought I would show how cool I am by blogging for mom. And telling you to send me cookies.

And maybe you could help me. Which photo should I use for my profile?

a) Direct. This is who I am
B) playful and flirty
C) coy but knows what she wants kinda girl?

Let me know!  Oh and if you could not tell mom, that would be totally cool...she will think its a phase, like getting my microchip bedazzled.

Peace, love and catnip,
P'kin out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ten on tuesday

Top 10 Snacks

1. popcorn. I could live on hot, buttered popcorn. Or cheesey popcorn. Or caramel corn... or spicy popcorn....
2. cucumbers with salt. LOVE.
3. Pepperoni & cheese on crackers. Pepperoni must be Carando brand, cheese must be extra sharp cheddar and I love me a Sociable or Triscuit. I buy presliced 'roni now, but I have a fondness for the hard stick you had to cut (that was MY job as a kid) and the thin, papery skin of the pepperoni.
4. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbert.... anything cold and scoopable. I've tried full fat, low fat, fat free, sugar free, all natural, tofu, rice, soy...
5. hummus and veggies
6. nachos... I make the best nachos!
7. pretzels. Especially pretzel rods, for some unknown reason, but I remember getting 2 of them in my lunch as a kid and thinking it was the BEST part of the day (besides my assemble-yourself tuna fish sandwich kit from my mom--- more about this later)
8. peanut butter and apples. LOVE.
9. pudding. Jello sugar free, fat free pudding. it's a south beach "must have"
10. ice pops. The ones in the tube? it's pure sugar and probably caused my pre-diabetic state, but I love them. I have been known to have to limit myself to 20 per day. Yup, it's a problem!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

First Five get something "crafty"

The idea?
Create something for the first 5 people who comment on this post and send it to them until the end of 2011.
It can be whatever you want it to be - something sewed, something painted, something felted, a photography, just anything you like.

Are you in?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Project planning

This is not a great project to plan, but its needed... a chemotherapy cap. Yup, the project that means so much but hurts so much to knit. A friend' s sister-in-law has stage 4 breast cancer. A very stylish woman, fighting hard, needs a chic hat, no?

Some knitting math required: reducing the smallest size by 26 stitches to accommodate a gauge change ( thicker yarn than the required  dk weight).

Yarn is Sublime cashmere merino silk in a chi- chi gray. Very on trend.

Think good thoughts with me while I knit this cap.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Travelling woman

This knit single handedly brought back my knitting mojo. I love.the end result and knitting it was pure pleasure.

Sock yarn, cormo blend
Size 6 bamboo needles
Total time: 2.5 days ( about 12 hours)