Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

Work has got me completely swamped these two days so today's post is kind of another cheater. You got to know a little about me and the hubs, so what's next? The story of each and every one of our dates, ours ups and downs, our pros and cons... What? You don't really care? Well then! Pfft on you. I kid, I kid! Instead, maybe you'd like to know about how the hubs proposed? I figured you'd like that one a little better. Check out our proposal story!

How did your Prince Charming sweep you off your feet?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Love-Hate Relationship: Carbs! You have absolutely no idea how much I love carbs!

Rice? Gotta have it. I mean, come.on! I'm Asian!!

 Pizza?  Give me! Give me! Give me!

Pasta? Adding vegetables totally makes it okay right?

I think you know what I'm saying right? Well, in a "small" effort to lose a few pounds and be healthier, that means I need to control my carb intake. This is embarrassing to say, but I could easily consume 200grams of carbs a day, if not more - guilt free. That count doesn't include carbs as a by product of like sugar. *hangs head in total embarrassment* This is probably where all my recent weight gain came from to begin with. Darn you delicious, tasting carbs!! So what am I doing to wean myself off from my love of carbs? Eat more protein and try not to click on any blogs in my blog roll that have teaser photos like this:
Even though I still do and totally jot down the recipe

And just plain ole strong will to say no to carbs! Does it always work? Eh... and who can say no to this in the afternoon with the recent warmer weather (and it doesn't help there's a freaking Starbucks just downstairs of where I work)
At least it's the light version!
Crap! Now I want one... Arg!

After 20 minutes of self-discipline and punishment, my craving usually goes away and I'm so darn proud of myself for not consuming those additional carbs! Yay!! I can totally feel the difference the next day also. Do I give into my cravings and then feel like total crap that I did? Totally! But it's okay. I know that I just need to get back on the bandwagon tomorrow and not do it again. Bad Alice, bad!

Do you have any guilty pleasures? How do you discipline yourself from over doing it?? Now to go discipline myself from not jumping out of my chair to dash to Starbucks and get me a Frappuccino right this sec!

Oh, and I've added a new page! It's a work in progress, but it's something new until I do a lil wedding recap and implement the new blog design. I planned our shindig in a month so there won't be much to share, but I'll try! Yup! I planned our wedding of 300+ in a month. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Recap (Mar 26 & Mar 27)

This package greeted me when I got home on Friday
Who's it from?

Colorband PhotoArtisans??? It's here! It's here! It's finally here!!

Want to know what got me all excited? Unwrap with me to find out (please excuse my messy house)!!
Me: slow and steady and very ladylike
Callie: "Rip it open already!"

Oh eff it! I want the goods NOW

Darn packaging tape is super strong. The
hubs suggested using a sharp tool - small
flat head screw driver was the nearest thing

Sigh... how much of this tape did they use?!

Eep!! I can almost see it!

Double eep! It's our canvas wrap!!!!
Surrounded by more packaging/tape. Ugh!

At least they packaged it well for shipment.
Thanks Colorband PhotoArtisans!
Almost there...

This should do the trick!

Ta da! Completely unwrapped and in my
hands! Muahahaha!

Now let's hang this beauty up!

Apparently, I was so darn proud of myself

Our wall of wedding pictures in the living room with
our fan pulling string making an ugly appearance

On Saturday evening, we attended Farmersville's Chamber of Commerce's Banquet as guests of the City Secretary, Mrs. Edie. She's a super sweet person and great friend of ours. It was such an honor to be invited by her. Theme for the evening: Country!
Mrs. Edie and her husband Ricky

The centerpiece and our own table!

The hubs checking out the silent auction goods

We were super exhausted on Sunday since the banquet ended much later than anticipated which means less time for us to sleep prior to the shop. So we went into hibernation mode after we got home from the shop!

How was your weekend? Happy Monday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Change Is Coming!

A change is coming!! I'm working on giving my blog a face lift thanks to just b.CAUSE design, but am needing some help with a header design! I'm looking to add a cute animated person similar to that in Geek in Heels and Marsh Mellow Goodness, but pertinent to me. Jenny from Geek in Heels was super nice and  showed me the website where I can purchase the image vector and customize it, but I don't have the slightest idea on how to customize it. Insert super sad face. Plus, I don't have the necessary software. They do offer a free trial, but will the trial be sufficient to do what I need it to do?

Can y'all offer me some ideas on how I can make a cute animated icon, me? I would really, really appreciate it! I'll even buy you some coffee (or tea or some sort of dessert you like). Like for real. Seriously!

Here's a lil sneak peak as to what's to come. Nothing too exciting, but who doesn't love new things right?

created by just b.CAUSE design

Another change is I'm adding new pages to cover the hubs and I proposal and wedding so look for those changes next week. I planned our big day in a month so I'm still debating on whether if I should blog about the planning process or just have a page recap of our big day. What do you think? I know, I asked y'all lots of questions that require major thinking for a Friday! Sorry!

On the other hand, Happy Friday everyone. Have an awesome weekend!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Soup for the Soul

No, not this Chicken Soup for the Soul:
Although I remember those inspirational books being uber popular during grade school days. I'm talking about this chicken soup for the soul:

You see, I was craving something brothy (is that a word??) the other night (why? I have no idea. I just did!) and it got me drooling thinking about all the different soups my dad used to make for dinner. It made a nightly appearance at dinner, no matter what. Soup just gives off that special warm, fuzzy feeling. *snuggle*

I previously mentioned my dad is the most awesome chef - ever! Unfortunately, the seasoning in his (non-existent) recipes consist of one thing - "you just taste it", and I can't cook anything without a written down, precisely measured recipe!

Ladies and gentleman, embrace yourself because I made my dad's chicken soup last night, without a recipe! I seasoned it by "just taste it" and it actually turned out good! Not great, but good (it was a little on the sweet side and I overcooked the chicken because I didn't turn the pot off in time. wah wah waaaah).

The following recipe requires a trip to the Asian market. On the other hand, you can pick up a lot of stuff while you're there and it's usually a little cheaper than regular grocery stores. Especially in the vegetables department! Just don't mind the grimy floors and the potential bumping and pushing of other patrons with their shopping carts... Have I already turned you away from making this recipe?? Oops! You could always order stuff via the internet! That's what we all do now days any way right??

Recipe was adapted from my dad!

Cornish hen
2 handfuls of Dried lycium fruits*
8 pieces of Rhieong Dioscoreae*
3-4 pieces of Codonopsis pilosula root*
1 tsp Monosodium glutamate

Note: Normally, it's cooked in a regular pot for 50 minutes, but I didn't want to wait that long after I get home from work so I stuck it in a crockpot!

1. Rinse off your hen. If you prefer lean soup, remove all the skin from the hen. Place the hen into the crockpot and fill with water about 3/4 full. Add the dried lycium, rhieong dioscoreae, and codonopsis pilosula root into the crockpot.** Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

2. Season with sugar, salt, and very, very little MSG to your liking. Spoon out the chicken and broth into a bowl and serve with rice. And since I forgot to take a picture of it plated last night, here's a pic from my lunch leftovers!

I like to combine my rice and soup, but you can serve
each item separately to avoid "cross contamination"

And that's it! Comfort food in mah belly!! What's your favorite comfort food? Are there any recipes your parents used to make that you (would) replicate?

Oh! and while I was prepping dinner, this is what the two girls we're doing:

They make baby dog-sitting a breeze!

*At the Asian market, these can be found packaged together in the spice aisle. The pre-packaged ones also include additional spices, but I find them unnecessary. I prefer to buy the spices individually to avoid waste and have plenty for next time!

**If you don't mind waiting or normally have a later dinner, cook the hen and spices in a regular pot on high until it begins to boil. Turn the temperature down to medium-low, and cook for 50 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

And me coming back for more!! But it wasn't always that way...

Apples were never my thing. Asian pears, strawberries, mangoes, sure! Apples - not so much. Even smothered in peanut butter (which I could eat by the spoonfuls) couldn't tempt me to give it any consideration. One weekend, my parents were in town to visit us (it's like a quarterly review being performed to make sure we were still operating effectively. Apparently work is getting to me since I just made an analogy of parental visit to something I "test" for at work. Ew!), they had bought a sack of apples to consume, but never did and left them in my fridge. Upon my discovery of them, I grunted in disapproval, "Who's going to eat them? Definitely not me! Ugh". But being the cheapo I am, I didn't want them to go to waste so I said, "What the heck." and packed them with my lunch one day as an afternoon snack.

Ladies and gentleman, cue the choir of angels because that's seriously what happened when I took a bite of said apple. This wasn't what I remembered apples tasting like!! Slice after slice, I was actually enjoying this previously despised upon fruit. To make sure it wasn't a fluke, I took another one to work the following day. And the next. And the one after that. Verdict? I still like these apples!!

I sent my dad a text and inquired the type. Yes, I sent my dad a text. Let's just say my dad got an iPhone way before I did. His response - Fuji. *scratches head* I've heard of green, red, and granny smith apples, but not Fuji. So my response to him was "where do you get them at?" Dumb, I know, but for some reason my brain told me to.

Ever since then, I've gotten Fuji apples and eat about one a day, if not two! I also have TMJ so I have to cut them up prior to consumption. My weapon of choice:

a plastic Solo knife - booyah!

Have you ever tried cutting a steak with a plastic knife. It's something like that, but it did the job. Not without it first splattering my entire cube with apple juice which now requires me to have a stash of Clorox Disinfecting wipes on standby. You're probably asking why I didn't bring a paring knife from home to make my life hecka lot easier. About that... Yea... I don't have an answer for you. *hangs head in embarassement*

During our shopping escapade last weekend, the hubby bought me one of these bad boys:
An apple slicer!

Of course, cutting into an apple for me just isn't right without some splattering, therefore, upon the initial press down, I always get a face full of apple juice. Ugh. But when I get results like this in 10 seconds versus 15 minutes, it makes it all worth it! Maybe I should look into face beauty regimens that involve fresh apple juice...

It's. so. beautiful.  *sniff*

Y'all, I can't tell you how excited I am about my new apple slicer! Have you ever discovered something that's super useful and makes your life helluva a lot easier??

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ITS RANDOM MAN!! - Kidd Kraddick in the Morning

I love starting my day by listening to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. They're totally off topic and absolutely hi-larious. I only listen to 106.1 KISS FM because of them, but after they sign off at 10am, it's country music for me!

Any way, this post is completely random and probably TMI, but I'm quite bothered. Ha!

I get a ton and a half of "symptoms" the week prior to Aunt Flo's visit such as an intense chocolate craving (I normally don't like chocolate so feel free to pull my woman card for the 8th time. I'm used to it now. In fact, I have it readily in hand for y'all most of the time because I'm so lame), but mainly a warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie... *drool*

Oh man, I can just taste the gooeyness

and an appetite large enough to take down the Big Texan with both hands behind my back. For real y'all, I can eat and eat and eat, and still be hungry!!

I also have these random "cravings", but I'm not sure they classify as such since I have absolutely no idea what it is I'm craving. Something sweet? Salty? Bitter? Tart? I have no idea, but the sensation doesn't go away and I have no idea how to satiate it! Or these painful canker sores that prevent any oral movement or consumption of food! *winces in pain* Sigh...

Then, when AF does visit, I completely lose my appetite and don't crave anything. If I didn't pay attention to the clock and associate certain digits with eating, I could probably go all day without eating OR drinking! Hmph!

Anybody else experience frustrating symptoms prior to our favorite person of the month's visit??

Battle of the Weeds!

As you (may or may not) recall, I was dressed in a Tomb Raider outfit a couple weekends ago to tell the damn weeds who's boss on the house grounds. What? You're calling my bluff on the weeds? Oh. You mean the Tomb Raider outfit? Fine fine fine. So I wasn't, but why you always gotta be bustin mah bubble?!

Any way, I mentioned how the broad leaf weeds started wilting shortly after the spraying rampage, but the clover looking ones stood their grounds and was ready to battle it out with me. I also mentioned I'd go back and hose it down some more, but I never got around to doing that. Oops! While pulling into our driveway, I noticed the ugly green foliage was missing. I did a double take when I got out of my car, and sure enough, they're dead! O.M.G y'all - I literally did a happy dance right then and there. Wanna see? Wanna see? Wanna see? Okay! See!

I need to pull them out so they don't grow back

Yay for no more weeds in the back! Now onto the front...

When I walked into the house, I found these two cuties chillaxing in our guest bedroom. Apparently, I didn't lock Callie and Scout's crate well when I left for work yesterday morning.
No damage was done unless you call relaxing a crime!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Recap (Mar 19 & Mar 20)

One thing I absolutely love about my corporate job - my manager is super flexible! When I ask my manager if I can leave work a few hours early here and there, it's never been an issue. Last week was Spring Break, so the bride-to-be, Hany, her MOH, and other bridesmaid took advantage of the open schedule and drove up to Dallas from Houston to go wedding dress shopping!!! I asked my manager if it was cool to take off around 2pm on Friday and he said, go for it! No questions asked. Sweeeet!

Thankfully, the bridal salon Hany picked to check out was only 2 train station stops and a 10 minute walk away! Once everyone arrived, we got to work on pulling dresses and finding The One for our bride. The bridal consultant was completely useless. Sorry! She never came to help us pull dresses off the rack and put them in the dressing room, never the less help us identify dresses we were looking for and help the bride in and out the dresses. Um, I know my wedding wasn't that long ago, and I'm pretty sure that's part of their job! Hany tried on about 12 dresses in less than an hour and has a major contender for The One. Yay! 3 bridesmaids and 1 bride make things super efficient! :) This was the first planning event I was able to participate in so I was super stoked! Simple mind, simple pleasures, I know.

After wedding dress shopping, we decided the shopping extravaganza shouldn't stop so we headed a mile North to Northpark Mall to grab a bite at La Madeleine (I totally heart this chain French Cafe).

Top left and clockwise:
Chicken Friand, Potato Galette, Croissant with Chicken
Salad and a side of pasta salad, and Spinach Pochette

After burning some calories at the mall, we headed over to Krispy Kreme. Lilli has major love for this donut place. The girl shrieks when she sees this sign lit up half a mile away for goodness sakes! haha! And yet, she still skinny as a stick! Totally jealous.

Saturday morning was working at the shop and since I was still on a shopping high from the previous day, the hubby was kind enough to take me to Allen Premium Outlets on the way home. Normally, we only hit up 2-3 stores (4 max) because we're so darn tired after a grueling 10 hour shift at the shop, but we took advantage of the gorgeous weather (85 degrees) and walked the entire mall. Best purchase: a pair of jeans and three shirts at Banana Republic for $25, for the win! WOOT WOOT!! I also stopped by BCBG Max Azria in hopes of picking up a dress for a wedding we're attending in April, but that was a fail. :(  The hubby did pick out a really nice dress, but my not so nice body denied it with a quickness. Super sad!!

Me sucking in hardcore to see "what if"
I lost enough weight by then... It was
still exposing all the wrong curves! Fail.

Meanwhile, this shopper was also checking out dresses at BCBG:
Tshirt with running shorts, panty hose/tights
with Ugg boots? I know I'm not fashionably
inclined, but does anybody else think this is
a fashion breach?!

Sunday was more working at the shop in the morning then a dinner fiasco at a Hibachi and Sushi buffet since I didn't have lunch (I woke up STARVING and that rarely ever happens). I've been on a sushi kick lately despite what I've recently learned about the potentially deceiving wasabi being served! Oh well! Hi Serena from Big Apple Nosh!
Pigging out - wasabi and all! Ha!

They serve shaved ice here! Unfortunately,
the complimenting condiments were eh.

Papaya! Totally good for your digestion
and moving things along if you're um
struggling in that particular area!

Chocolate fondue with an assortment of
fruits. Tomorrow - back on the healthy
wagon I go!

We're also dogging sitting for my former colleague for the next 10 days. Say hello to sisters, Calle and Scout, y'all!

How was your weekend?

P.S. I get to wear my contacts again today. I can't flipping wait!! Eeeep! No more glasses suckas!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pour some shuga on meeee: Part Dos!

March 1, 2011 at oh five hundred, I embarked on a strenuous and quite possibly an impossible mission of - dum dum dummmmm, Mission: Get Fit and Lose Some Weight! What?!

I previously told you I have a killer sweet tooth and it's holding on with a vengeance. 18 days later, well, I still have a killer sweet tooth, but I digress. In that post, I also introduced you to my workout partner - EA Sports Active: More Workouts and my acceptance to take on its 6 Week Challenge, head on. Working out totally balances out the crazy amount of insulin I'm injecting into my system right?

Today marks the half way point of the challenge. How am I doing you ask? I'll let my workout partner fill you in:

I skipped yesterday, but made it up today since I'm
scheduled to only workout 4 days a week.

So what all does that equate to? Minus 2lbs and I feel better about myself (even though my jeans are still snug. Sad face)! I have to give myself a 5 minute pep talk while in bed at 4:45am as to why it's better to get my ass out of bed and workout instead of getting an extra hour of beauty sleep. I really do give myself a pep talk every single morning. How lame am I, but it works (so far). Ha! Now if I could only give up the insulin producing foods I'm consuming, I'm sure I'd make better progress! Why is it so difficult now when I could have easily rejected the temptation before?? Ugh!

How's your workout regimen going for you? Fantastic job if you're still going strong, and keep it up! Happy Friday everyone!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Love-Hate Relationship: Chicken

To prepare yourself, let's all stand up and do the chicken dance! Why? Because I think it's an awesome idea and who doesn't love a little exercise? Here, I'll even include the soundtrack so you don't have any excuse to not participate mkay!

All warmed up? Good! Zumba's got nothing on you honey! Oh, who am I kidding. Only I was lame enough to google blogger (can I use Google as a verb when web searching within other applications??) on how to embed a song in a post, then test it out by playing the entire song and performing the chicken dance to the best of my ability prior to settling down in sweat to finish this post. Phew! Talk about a l o n g sentence. It probably isn't grammatically correct either. My grade school English teachers would be so disappointed. Tsk tsk.

Um, wow! That was quite an intro to today's (eh) post, so if you wanna leave now while I'm still ahead of the game - cool! If not, proceed with caution (why, I'm not sure...)!

Chicken. I probably eat this meat way too often. Don't get me wrong, I love me some chicken and it can be prepped in so many ways, but chicken is, well, chicken. It can get boring so I took a small break from it beginning of February. Last week, I started having chicken withdrawls. So chicken for dinner it is! Super easy peasy new recipe too? Even better!

Hoisin Five-Spice Chicken
Recipe adapted from Elly Says Opa! who adapted it from Cathy's Kitchen Journey who adapted it from Epicurious. Check out Elly's blog to get the full story.

4-6 chicken drumsticks (I used chicken breasts instead)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Amount of red pepper flakes to your liking

Step 1 - combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let the chicken marinate overnight in the fridge (30 minutes should be sufficient as well if you leave it out at room temperature, but you know how marinating goes, the longer, the better!)

It looks like a heart (to me)! I sent this
picture to the hubby, but he said it looked
like something else...

Step 2 - I had this with rice so if you want to as well, I would start that now. If not, then skip this step, of course and proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 - Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinate and place it into a baking dish. I also drizzled the leftover marinade into the baking dish. This may or may not make cleaning more difficult afterwards. Since you're smarter than me, you probably lined your baking dish with something and made clean up a snap. Yea, I definitely didn't. Thank goodness we're internet friends so I don't have to hear you laughing hysterically at me. :) 

When the oven beeps to let you know it's ready for your chicken, slide the baking dish into the top third of the oven and cook for about 25 minutes (or when it's cooked through). Since the hubby wasn't home, it means veggies for me! Sweet! I made some stir fry baby bok choy with oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Step 4 - When the oven beeps again to notify you its job is complete, remove the baking dish, plate the chicken, scoop some rice over, and add the bok choy.

TA DA! Easy peasy winner winner chicken dinner!

Chicken, hope you've forgiven me for abandonening you for so long. I mean, you got an entire post dedicated to you today so we're cool now right?

What's your take on chicken? Any (simple) yummy chicken recipes to share?

P.S. Why am I talking to chicken breasts like it's human and has feelings? Skurry!


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