Thursday, February 28, 2008

Things that are making me smile today.

Jello's new no-sugar added refrigerator pudding. It is SOOOoooo creamy and thick and yummy, especially the butterscotch one. AND it is only 60 calories per serving!! Love it.

And, at risk of advertising for telus (don't want to do that), I love their newest commercial:

People Watching at the Gym

Wow. I don't know if I've become more observant at the gym or if people watching has gotten more interesting. The last two days I've finished up work and what not a bit later, and have wanted to exercise after dark. Not wanting to go walking/jogging alone at night I've gone to the gym at the local Rec Centre. I forgot how much I like it there....I spent about an hour and a half the first night and an hour and 15 minutes the second night and on both nights I left mostly because I needed to get other things done, but was enjoying myself enough I could have stayed quite a bit longer.

So...they have rearranged the gym, and some of the machines I use are in different locations, namely closer proximity to the weight training area. There are a few interesting characters:
- Super fit girl who works super hard and seems shy and keeps to herself
- Boysterous body builder, who makes lots of noise, asks random people to "spot" him (usually female), and obviously hits on superfit girl at least 2-3 times per hour (based on my 1.25 hour observation). Superfit girl has him on planned ignore. She clearly is irritated by him.
- Crazy, and I mean MAD tiny tiny skinny skinny man who goes so fast on the elliptical (using the handles too) that I seriously am hesitant to walk behind him while he's on the machine, as he looks like at any moment a) he will go flying off the elliptical accross the room, and hit the wall before dropping to the floor, b) he will pass out, or c) I will get hit by projectile sweat dropplets. Seriously, I'm always waiting for the gym monitors to ask him to slow down before the machine breaks. It's like nothing I've every seen before.
- A former philosophy prof of mine. This is, for those of you who have heard the story, the same prof I encountered in the pool area of this rec centre 2 or more years ago. I was swimming laps and came up for air to find myself looking at my philosophy prof, who was in a speedo, JUMPING up and down trying to get water out of his ears or something. lol.
- Amazing woman who rows like 15k on the rowing machine. I was on one next to her and had no idea how long she'd been rowing until she asked me to read her distance/calorie report for her (she is blind). I just about fell off my machine! She's really really nice too.

Anyways...I kind of like that the same people were there (many anyways) both nights and that most people know the gym staff who are really nice and walk around checking in with people and talking to them. I think as soon as I have the money I'll buy a pack of tickets or year long pass again...I really like this gym. And because it's a rec centre, the tickets or pass also give you entrance to the pool etc.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taking up space.

Really I'm just posting a blog, because I'm getting irritated seeing the last one over and over again. Not much to report.

I'm settling in for (BOO!) two weeks by myself, as D. left today to work on the mainland for two weeks.

We had a flurry of socializing this week which was great. We had some frineds over on Thursday to visit and watch some arrested development (always fun!), Friday we used a gift card and went out for dinner at the Keg with a couple from Church, and last night we had friends visiting from up-island. We had good food and a rockin' few games of croquenot. Loved it!

I really really should be studying...I have test tomorrow and another on Tuesday and a busy week...but I'm feeling lazy and blah and having a hard time extricating myself from watching the Oscars...even though I don't think I've seen one of the nominated movies!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who's a nerd?

For some reason, there has always been this mystique around the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Mannual. I've never seen the real thing, but have toiled for hours hunting down information on line and editing my papers and reference lists to meet it's critera.

Well, I had to buy it for a class this semester. Turns out it's only about 30.00. Hmm. I did get that "new textbook" excited feeling though (even though it's not an actual textbook), and there is something very comforting and a little bit exciting about having a copy for myself now. Sigh. Nerd-o. I know.

Growing back into myself.

I've been getting sick constantly, been tired alot, unmotivated, unhealthy. I knew what would help, I knew what would make me healthier, happier and in a better place. Getting around to making the changes I needed to was more difficult.

The first step was to go to Church regularly, and to take steps towards becoming more a part of that community. This has been challenging, as I am so often away for work. Making sure I am there every Sunday I'm healthy and here has made a big difference though.

My next step was to get healthier. I changed a number of habits including eating (all of this is still a work in progress) and have started getting more exercise on a regular basis. I'm remembering how much I enjoy this when I do it, and how much I enjoy cooking. Cooking really is realxing and such therapy for me, but along with socializing it goes out the window when I'm busy.

My wonderful mother, worried about my constantly being sick mailed me a care package including all kinds of vitamins, echinaccia, cold fx etc. I've been taking these regularly, trying to heal from the pneumonia, and prevent this looming cold!

Another big piece of the puzzle for me is that I am the ultimate extrovert, and lately, haven't been socializing at all. Partly due to scheduling, partly due to the effort involved in getting to know new people and making connections in the city I've now lived in for 5 years on and off and have yet to really put roots down in.

So, this week the social time just happened. There are a number of things we've been meaning to do, and people we've been wanting to get together and it's all fallen into place this week for some reason. Last night I had a great long walk and glass of wine with a girl friend. Tomorrow night we're having a few people over to watch a favorite series (arrested development!), hopefully, Friday we'll have dinner with a wonderful couple we don't get to spend time with often, and Saturday some friends are visiting from up-island and we'll hopefully have a great evening of making dinner together, dutch blitz and maybe even some croquenot.

My poor introverted husband may collapse before the week is up, but I know I will be energized!

As long as I can keep this cold away and manage to get all my work and studying done despite the socializing it will be a great week :-).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sugar free brownies..mmm

Magnificent M gave me this recipe eons ago, and I hadn't tried it till yesterday. These brownies are actually really quite good. They are, technically 0 pts if you are doing WW, and only 26 calories. Granted, if you divide them into 16 servings, they are very small, but hey, at 26 calories I won't complain, I'll just eat two :-).

2/3 Cup Splenda
1/3 Cup cocoa
1/3 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 Cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 Cup low fat plain yogurt (can substitute 1/4 light or fat free sour creme, or fat free yogurt).

Beat splenda and applesauce until smooth. Mix in egg, yogurt, and vanilla.
Mix cocoa, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and add to wet ingredients.
Mix until just blended.
Bake in an 8x8 baking pan at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Makes 16 small brownies.
Number of Servings: 16

Nutritional Info
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 26.5 Total Fat: 0.7 g Cholesterol: 13.5 mg Sodium: 37.5 mg
Total Carbs: 5.0 g Dietary Fiber: 0.9 g Protein: 1.3 g

Monday, February 18, 2008

I heart Trader Joes

A collegue of D.'s was going to the states and offered to pick us up treats from Trader Joes. So, we made her a shopping list and here's what D. brought home tonight!!

In case you can't see...there are Tamari Wasabi almonds, triple ginger snaps, multigrain pita chips, Chipolte salsa, Tuna in yellow curry sauce (I've been dreaming about this!), mini peanut butter cups, multigrain rice crackers and reduced fat cheesies!! So many of our favorites!!!! Hooray!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spending time wtih a childhood friend

This is the third Saturday in a row I've watch the Padington Bear cartoon. That means this is the third Saturday in a row I've been up at 6 am for something or other. Lame. I am dreaming of next Satruday, as it's the my one weekend off and thus far unbooked. The following weekend it will be off to the mainland again for work on Friday and Sat. and a meeting Friday evening.

So, this is actually a fairly good cartoon. And, few know this now, but growing up I had (and still have somewhere) a Padington Bear doll that slept with me every night. Who, for many years I was convinced a) could hear and understand me talking, b) had feelings that would be hurt if (for example) I placed another stuffed animal in the "prized" spot on the bed; or dropped him on the floor, or packed a different stuffed animal in my suitcase when going on a trip, leaving him behind.

So, I guess, if I'm going to be up at 6am multiple Saturdays in a row, it's good to spend some time with my old friend Paddy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mraz amataz

So whenever my brother and I get together, he ALWAYS has some new music to play me. Despite how different we are in most areas, my brother has this uncanny ability to peg my taste in music like no one else. He always has a list of songs/artists to play me that I will "love." I always do. Jason Mraz was one of those. He played it for me one day while we were driving somewhere, and I loved it, but then forgot about it. BUT - he made me a CD of Jason Mraz's tunes for Christmas. I can't explain to you how much I love this artist. Mraz combines all the things I love about at least 5 different artists. He's phenomenal.

The video in this clip is lame (shaky), but I had to post this song (there are actually two in this clip, but the first one is the one I was looking for). The sound is the better in this one than the other clips though. So good. So so good. I've been grooving to Mr. Mraz for about 3 days straight now :-).

Monday, February 11, 2008

My favorite quick yummy food.

I've made this a few times. Each time it's slightly different. The key ingredients are:

Red peppers, chopped bite-size (were on sale at the small store down the street today.
Chorizo sausage, or hot italian turkey sausage, or some type of hot sausage. If you use non-spicy variety as I did tonight, add red pepper flakes and ground chili to add the heat :-).
Tomato sauce...I like the tall thin jars of it you get at the Italian deli's...simply purred tomatoes.
Olive oil, usually 1-2 tbsp
Lots of garlic (2-4 or more cloves)
Gnocci, usually 1 package.
Salt, to taste.

Sauteed the 3 red bell peppers and 4 turkey-chicken mild italian sausages in the olive oil, with the garlic, red pepper flakes, ground chili and salt.
Added the tomato sauce.
Cooked the gnocci while everything else was cooking.
Mixed the cooked gnocci in with everything else, cooked for another 5 min to let the flavors all "meld."
Topped with chopped fresh basil (came in my SPUD order, have to use!).

Depending on what I have in terms of oil, herbs and spices, and what is on sale/reasonable in terms of meat, this varies slightly. It's good with regular pasta too, but for some reason I like it more with Gnocci.

We had this with the Sumac Ridge Cabernet-Merlot which was on sale at the wine shop up the street. We DID walk to the wine store and to pick up the couple of needed ingredients for dinner.

We came dangerously close to eating out tonight, but opted for this instead. Though not the healthiest meal, it's not too bad, and better than what we would have had eating out. We have managed to keep up our new eating-at-the-table tradition; D. took the time to tidy up the things that had accumulated on the table while I cooked...and is now being wonderful and doing the dishes :-).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The wonderous grain...

Tonight I tried a new recipe from my Moosewood cookbook. I made the Cormeal pancakes. I've realized I love everything cornmeal- cornbread, corn muffins, polenta, all of it! These pancakes are very yummy, filling and a bit more on the savory side than typical pancakes, with a cornbread type consistency. We had them with turkey sausages and a spinach salad. We had maple syrup and/or sour cream on them; both recommendations from the book. The book suggests adding corn and cumin to the basic recipe for a variation...may be yummy, will have to try another day. Here's the recipe:

Cormeal Pancakes (Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home).

Fill with grated cheese, or serve with salsa and avacado, or top with sour cream, yogurt, applesauce or maple syrup.

1.5 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1.25 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
2 Tbsp butter or margarine1 tablespoon maple syrup

Combine milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, cornmeal, flour, butter or margarine, and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and whirl for about 30 seconds, until well blendd. You may need to stop the blender or processor and scrape th sides of the container with a rubber spatula to be sure no dry ingredients are sticking. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet. our the batter onto the skillet to make several pancakes about 4 inches in diametr. When the pancakes puff up and begin to form bubbles, flip them over and brown the other side. Remove them on to a plate and keep tehm warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining batches. You may need to add a little oil to the skillet wit subsequent batches. Serve Hot. Makes 20 4 inch pancakes. One serving= 4-5 4 inch pancakes. Number of Servings: 5
Note: If you prefer to mix the batter with a whisk or electric mixer, melt the butter or margarine first.
From the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home book.

Hmm...this blog is becoming more of a food blog lately, isn't it? I think it's just because I've been trying new foods lately...and maybe have made a bit more time in my day to cook.

Crazy for roasted red pepper purree

I found another use for it. Now, this will sound weird, I know, but here's my lunch today:

Spinach with left over shredded red cabbage (from fish tacos last night), with lime juice squeezed on and a bit of Annies Goddess Dressing.

A (yes) cream cheese and roasted red pepper purree sandwich. I know. It sounds weird and a bit gross. But it was good. Cream cheese on each piece of bread, and a think layer of the purree between.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

How well do you know your Seinfeld?

I'm watching a hysterical episode of Seinfeld, and felt a need to share these few gems. Can you name the context and/or episode? Laugh hard and out loud.....

“It’s good cape weather..breezy, sunny.” – Jerry to Elaine

“If I like their race, it’s not racist.” – Jerry to Elaine

“My boys need a house” –Kramer to Jerry, Elaine and George

“So why are you seeing her again?” - Elaine
“Well, she is a woman.” – Jerry

“There’s nothing holding me in place! I’m flippin’ I’m floppin’.” - Kramer to Jerry, Elaine and George.

Work at home day...sweet!

I haven't had a complete work at home day for a long time. I love work at home days. I can clean the house/make healthy lunches and dinners while I work, or as a break from work. I can get caught up on work, get caught up on school, and all those other miscilanious work/school related things. I can go for a walk as a break and get some exercise in for the day. On the menu today is:

- Tidy house (dishes/tidy rooms/maybe start laundry).
- Program writing
- Start my next units for school (just had tests)
- Hash out thesis ideas and try to decide my topic for this semesters papers (this course is *theoretically* supposed to be the one in which you start some of the ground work for your thesis...of course that means you need to a) know what you want to do and b) know you'll have access to the clients you need to run it when you actually run it a year from now).
- Re-analyze data from practicum project (it will never end) in preperation for submission to another journal (rejected from the last one!). Note, I do not mean "Re-analyze; wink wink, nudge nudge" the data. The reviewers suggested we re-analyze the data an additional way, to make a better argument for why we chose a particular procedure. So, just so we're clear. No data-fudging happening here.
- Cook the spaghetti squash sitting in my fridge and figure out a way to eat it for
- Meet with a collegue at 1pm to finish preparations for a workshop we're teaching this weekend.
- Tackle invoices
- Start to look at what I need to get together for taxes (UG). At least this year I just have to pull it all together and get it to the accountant.

That's enough for now. I know it sounds like a lot, but ...I get to do it all from home in my lululemon pants and fleece socks. Which makes it managable.

Now, I'd better get to work. lol.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Red Pepper eggs

I just made scrambled eggs with purreed roasted red peppers mixed into them. They are SO tasty! This purreed red pepper is one of the best finds I've made in a long time. I purchased it at a little italian deli/market called Ambrosio. It is so nice to add to sphagetti sauce, pizzas, and apparently eggs! Mmmm...

Monday, February 04, 2008


I just realized that my statistics exams are all OPEN-BOOK. Text book and notes. Now, normally I'm actually not a fan of open-book tests, as usually I do better with closed book. BUT, I have double the needed time to write these tests (b/c they always over estimate it), and most of the material is stuff I did in my undergrad stats class, and in that class I had to write the exams with nothing!

So...that being the case, I'm going to bed. At 9:30pm. I know. But I'm exhausted and my brain is not working. So better to sleep now, get up early and study.