Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting there...

One pound at a time - at least this week!
Actually, I was thrilled to lose the pound considering that I fell off the wagon a few times this week due to celebrations and social outings! I had an ahi salad, a piece of bread, five shots of vodka, and a piece of bread pudding. Forgive me Jenny! This week, I am back and really giving it my all. Hope your week is off to a nice start out there.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Please say a prayer

For Tim's sister Erin and her husband Dan and mostly, for our unborn niece. Today should have been a very happy day for all, finding out that they are expecting the long-awaited first girl in the family. The news from the ultrasound wasn't good, and we are hoping for better news from Wednesday's second look.
Erin and Dan, we love you both and we are praying for the best.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Couldn't be happier

"...That's why I couldn't be happier
No, I couldn't be happier
Though it is I admit
The tiniest bit like I anticipated.
But I couldn't be happier
simply couldn't be happier
Well, not simply.
It's strange, but it seems a little - well - complicated.
There's a kind of a sort of...cost
There's a couple of things get...lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn't know you crossed until you've crossed.
Still I couldn't be happier.
Cause happy is what happens when all your dreams come true."
Oh, wicked music - how I love it all.

All is well that ends well

Oh what a week it was! Work really took over my life this week - we had a huge Vice Presidential visit this week and the prep work was truly mind numbing. Jonathan and I really worked around the clock from Monday-Thursday to make all of the magic happen. In addition to getting ready for the visit, we had to make a dozen themed gift baskets for one of our customers who was purchasing them for charity. You should have seen them. They turned out just incredible!! The thing that got Jonathan and I through those long nights was the music from the amazing Wicked Soundtrack. I heart these songs. I can't even tell you how much.
And, in case you were wondering, the visit went off without a hitch. Tammi (the vice president) was thrilled with everything and we had a fabulous visit. And our customer loved her gift baskets and is looking forward to bringing in big dollars with them at her silent auction. Jonathan and I both had a well deserved day off to rest today. As they say, all is well that ends well.

Great Week

So excited to say that I lost four pounds this week (with Jenny's help of course). I couldn't have been happier and I really do feel great.
I thought I would show you a few of my favorite foods from the diet.
French toast with a fresh berry cup

Turkey burger with mesquite bbq sauce

Meatloaf with veggies

Lemon Cake
I do have to make a slightly guilty confession. Tim and I went out to Opah tonight to celebrate a big deal that Tim landed and my fabulous visit with my VP- my first dinner out on Jenny. I ordered an Ahi salad with balsamic dressing. I didn't have lunch or dinner, so I am hoping it won't hurt this week on Tuesday when I go for my weigh in. I also had a moonshine martini (slap on the wrist, I know).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Five year olds ask the darndest questions, don't they? Zack: Aunt Kristin, do you live in this house now?
Me: Yes
Zack: Are you married yet?
We caught up on rest and laundry - a pretty lazy day today. How was your Sunday?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Karate, Cookies and Chaos

Ahhhh...silence. Tim's sister Jamie and her family just left after an evening of fun festivities. Jamie's husband Paul and Tim both love UFC (Championship Fighting) and wanted to watch the big match tonight. We decided to make it a family affair, and Jamie came too - along with her three boys -- Zack (almost 5), Shane (almost 3) and of course, Baby Ryan (just a few weeks old).
It is amazing how fast my clean, orderly little house became toy central - and the messes - enough to push this poor neat freak into a panic. Even poor Rio seemed jostled. Let's just say she got "rubbed the wrong way" literally. I hope she will forgive us.
Little Shane really has me in the palm of his hand though. He is such a sweet boy. He always sits on my lap puts his head under my chin. It is so adorable. And of course, our godson Ryan - who is just a smidge fussy right now - but truly darling just the same.
In honor of the kiddos, I decided to make scratch chocolate chip cookies and Haagen Daas vanilla ice cream. Let's just say, I baked 18 - there are 2 left (any takers?)
and I had ZERO (thanks Jenny Craig).
It's a recipe I would definately recommend. I have also done this recipe adding dried cherries OR using BOTH white and semi-sweet chips - just to spruce it up.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Adjust 2 oven racks to be in the center of the oven. Turn the oven on to 350°F. Generously grease the baking sheets with shortening.Put the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir with the wooden spoon to mix the ingredients. Set the bowl aside.Put the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat until the mixture is well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. (As you beat, turn off the mixer occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.) With the mixer set on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.Drop the dough by very rounded tablespoonfuls onto the greased baking sheets, spacing the mounds about 2 inches apart.Place the baking sheets in the preheated oven. Bake until the cookies are nicely browned, 11 to 15 minutes.Put hot pads and cooling racks on your counter. Using pot holders, remove the baking sheets from the oven and put them on the hot pads. Let the cookies cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully slip a spatula under each cookie and transfer it to a rack. Let the cookies cool completely. Makes about 18 cookies.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Kids Cookies, by Susan Manlin Katzman (Time-Life Books, 1998).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Five on Friday

1. I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait to entertain outdoors this summer. Tim and I are shopping for outdoor furniture - I think this is fun - but maybe a little touch over the top - what do you think? 2. I'm on day five of my diet. I ate my way through Chicago, came home, and decided to make some big changes with my eating. I joined the big JC (Jenny Craig) and am really starting to enjoy it. Nothing is as empowering as self-control and will power. I'll be going on Tuesday for my first weigh in. Valerie Bertanelli lost nearly six pounds her first week! That would be incredible, huh? Be sure to check back on Tuesday to see how I did!

3. I have corporate executives in town on Thursday! It's crunch time!

4. I got to see my adorable nephew Nick on Wednesday which was so fun. I discovered his ticklish spot under his arms (shhh...don't tell, but it's my ticklish spot too!) I love to watch him laugh - he is such a joy. I also got to spend some time with my mom which was nice. Sometimes I think the reason she and I fight so much is because we are such similar people - willful, strong headed, picky, quick to judge. She would never admit to being any of these things. She is also loving, kind, and moral. Just ask her, she'll tell you. :) But truly, she is a one of a kind. I need to try harder to bring us together and tell her I love her more often.

5. We've been trying out some different chocolate chip recipes at the store and it is amazing how many variances there are on the same type of cookie! Everyone has their own "best recipe." Tim invited his sister and her fam over to watch the UFC fight tomorrow, so I am going to bake some of my own. I will let you know how they turn out!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods on this fine Friday.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Kind of Town...

We just got back from Chicago this evening, and I had to take a moment to share some of my memories. We had an absolute blast...
Tim's mom Marsha and I went shopping, shopping, shopping! We went to all of her favorite shops - and had a blast. I bought a bunch of fun things, and Tim bought me an amazing canister set with French labels for my kitchen. We had it shipped, so I will post pics when it comes.
Here is a picture of Marsha with a crown I made her put on at Hobby Lobby.
On Wednesday night, all four of us went to see Wicked. The tickets had been a Christmas gift from Marsha and her husband Mike. The O'Malley Theatre in Chicago is incredibly beautiful - so ornate and gorgeous inside. The play was amazing beyond words - if you haven't seen it, you don't know what you are missing. My friend Jonathan said I had a little GA-Linda in me. What do you think?

We journeyed into downtown - we went to see the sights on Michigan Avenue. These pictures were taken in Millenium Park - home of the "bean." Tim's mom - "loving the bean."

The bean in all of its glory.

Tim and I taking our "bean" photo op.

What a fun week we had! Being the "foodies" we are, we definately enjoyed the culinary offerings in the Windy City. We ate at Mortons, Keifers, Claddaugh Pub, Jilley's, and Capri - home of one of the funniest and endearing Italian families I've ever met. The son Andy charmed us all with his signature saying "Fah-get-about-it." There is even an item on the menu "Veal Fah-get-about-it" named in honor of Andy. We had desserts at the top of the John Hancock building overlooking the entire city.
And don't even get me started on the wine we had. Bottles of Silver Oak and Opus One were definately a highlight. As Andy would say "Fah-get-about-it"
We were wined and dined, toured the city, and shopped our hearts out. But, as Dorothy would agree, there is truly no place like home.

So honored...

To be this little guy's Godmother!
The Foster's chose Tim and I to be Baby Ryan's Godparents and we are so excited.
Tim has quite a few Godchildren but this is my very first and I couldn't be more proud or honored to play such an important role in Ryan's life. His christening will be in late June and I offered to host the reception at our house. Tim's family has really welcomed me into their lives in so many ways and this, well, just simply takes the cake.
Ryan, we love you and are proud to be your Godparents.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Much ado about...

WEDDINGS!! Just when I thought I was done with weddings for a few months, I found out that I am going to be working as a Bridal Consultant (on behalf of Williams-Sonoma) at the big bridal expo in Orange County later this month. I will be sure and take a ton of pictures so you can see my handy work and my booth.
Wish me luck!