The Sassy Pear

Finding my way through my forties

You served your purpose well, little buddy — January 15, 2019

You served your purpose well, little buddy

I am so sad. This little guy went kaput on me:

I got him back in 2015 and he was my constant lunch companion for 3 years. I gave him some time off during the summer, but for the rest of the year I could count on him to have my lunch hot and ready every day.

And then I did the unthinkable…I went out to lunch one day at work on a Friday and I thought I had turned him off, but I accidentally left him plugged in at work over the weekend. For 3 days he work his little heart out to keep warm the lunch I would never eat. It completely zapped all his energy and now he has nothing left to give. I may or may not have behaved like this when I realized what I had done:

wilson
So let’s have a moment of silence for my Lil Lunch Buddy. Godspeed my friend, you served your purpose well.
If you would like your own little buddy (aka CrockPot Lunch Crock Deluxe) you can get one here:

https://amzn.to/2RPgUV1

That Harvest Bag Life — April 30, 2018

That Harvest Bag Life

I’ve mentioned here in the blog about my delivery of vegetables and fruits that I receive weekly from a local farm and how much I’ve enjoyed my bounty which I have dubbed The Harvest Bag (that’s not actually what the farm place calls them, but it sounds like it should be called that, right?)

IMG_20180427_092658_282-1.jpg

But I have learned something…there is something a bit dark that you’re not told when you order your first delivery…and it’s this: The Harvest Bag is a commitment. The Harvest Bag is a LIFESTYLE. The Harvest Bag requires attention, otherwise its contents will wither and die, not unlike those tiny digital animal keychains from the 90s (Tamagotchi, anyone?). I hate to admit that some of the produce from my first 2 bags ended up in the trash because I just didn’t understand that I needed to take care of things right away (or at least within the first couple of  days). What can I say? I was unschooled in the ways of vegetation and did not know what I did not know.

BUT when I got my bag last Friday, I was prepared with a plan. After work that evening, almost as soon as I walked in the door, I started taking care of business. I washed, I salad-spun, I chopped, I diced, I roasted, I steamed…I did everything humanly possible that I could to ensure that my produce would not go unused this week, and that it would not suffer the same fate as its Sister Bags had in the weeks before. All told, I spent about 3 hours of my Friday night tending to my little Tamagotchi vegetables. Such triumph! Such a dopamine rush! This morning I thanked my Friday Night Self for taking the time to prepare it all  – making my lunch salad was a breeze because the ingredients were already prepped and chopped and ready to go. It also makes throwing a balanced dinner together a snap.

And now that I know what I need to do, I’m confident that it won’t take me as long to prep the next bag’s contents on Friday night. Although it might help if I were to buy a bigger salad spinner.

 

Food Notes — April 20, 2017

Food Notes

Quick tidbit on food: I’m realizing that the more satisfying my food is, the less I need to finish off a meal with dessert or just a little something sweet. A salad can be good, but it becomes 1000% more delicious and satisfying if I have a boiled egg on it. So satisfying, in fact, that I didn’t even *think* of wanting anything sweet afterwards. That’s a big deal for me.

Hippie Granola FTW!!! — July 26, 2012

Hippie Granola FTW!!!

THANK YOU SHELLEY!!!!  Your granola recipe was EXCELLENT!! I feel like I should send you a prize or something for this recipe!

Heaven in a bowl

After dinner was over and the kitchen was cleaned, I pulled out my ingredients and started my final attempt at homemade granola. I had hope, but I kept that hope stuffed deep down inside in case things didn’t work out. This was my last chance at homemade happiness. My son came into the kitchen and watched me without saying a word. I looked at him and said “third time’s a charm” and he nodded knowingly and walked out (he’s the strong, silent type). Then my daughter Sarah came in and started peppering me with questions “You’re making granola AGAIN? What’s in this one? How is this different from the last times? Why did you burn the last one?” and on and on and on (she is the polar opposite of her brother). I told her that I was going to give it one more shot, because I believe in granola. She stole a couple of almonds and happily skipped out of the kitchen. I mixed it all up, put it in the oven, set the timer and then went to fold some clothes in the laundry room, which has a direct line of sight to my oven. I watched for smoke. I sniffed the air for that too-familiar odor of burning bread. So far, all was well. After 15 minutes, the timer dinged, and I IMMEDIATELY stirred the granola – so far so good. I set the timer for another 10 minutes, finished folding the clothes in the laundry room and was giddy with anticipation. The timer dinged again and I IMMEDIATELY got the pan out of the oven, gave it another stir, and then couldn’t decide if I should put in a for a couple more minutes or if I should just let it sit and hope it would get crisp – I decided to go against my instinct of cooking it longer, so I just let it sit where it magically and perfectly crisped up to granola standard.  That was it! I was done!

I HAD MADE GRANOLA!!

This is how I felt:

 

I finally got that cinnamon-y scent wafting through my kitchen, not a burnt toast odor to be found anywhere!  The only changes I made were that I left out the coconut (I didn’t have any on hand, but will add it next time) and I had to swap almonds for the pecans, but other than that I stuck to the recipe as written. I foresee myself making this stuff at least once a week from now until I die.

Yay! I have a new addiction!!  🙂

 

 

I just binged. — March 3, 2010

I just binged.

I did. I totally binged a few minutes ago. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it was only after I wiped my face that I realized: “wow, that was like a binge“.

I got a little hungry so I pulled my snacks from my lunch bag. I opened the ziplock bag and from the first bite, I knew this was going to be fun. And it was, oh it was lovely.

Fresh, crisp, red pepper strips, a sliced zuchini, and small container of hummus.  

It. Was. Glorious!!!!!

I licked the last of hummus off my fingers after I had scraped the bottom of the container to get the final bit of creamy smoothness. That’s when I thought to myself, “This is what I used to do with a can of frosting.”

And I remember thinking, “Dang. I wish I had some more pepper strips because those were gooo-oood!”

I don’t believe I’ve ever attacked veggies and hummus with such passion before. And don’t get me started on what I did to an orange a few minutes ago. California oranges = Yummy Sweetness. That’s the way, uh huh, I like it.

So is it still a binge if the food is super good and good for you?  Honestly at this point I don’t really care. I’m still licking the juice that trickled down my forearm.   🙂

Just one more post before I go… — August 9, 2009

Just one more post before I go…

Okay I know I said I wouldn’t post anymore until I got back, but I just had this one thought in my head I needed to get out:  I’ve been eating a lot of crud lately. Food that I used to adore, like KFC and Doritos (and lots of other stuff I can’t think of right now) has been finding its way into my mouth, and much to my surprise – it just doesn’t taste good.  Food that used to make me melt with delight no longer even makes me moan. At all.  So I think I’m done. Really. It’s taken about two weeks of eating like this to make me realize that I don’t want to eat like this (I’m a slow learner).  Shawn and I had to go buy groceries for the trip last night and he wanted to stop in to KFC and get something to eat.  I swear, the food had no taste. It tasted so bland – totally not worth the calories.  When we got home I popped a cherry tomato from our garden in my mouth and WOW! the flavor and juice and pure awesomeness that flowed forth from said tomato was simply amazing.  So I think I’m just going to stop giving the crud food second (and third and fourth) chances in hopes it will taste better this time, and stick to the foods that I know are going to be full of flavor and be good for me as well.  We bought lots of good food for the trip last night – nuts, yogurt, fruit, cheese – so I’m ready to give crapfoods the boot.

Okay, that’s all. Just wanted to put that one out there.  Dangit the buzzer on the dryer just sounded, so it’s back to work. Almost done with laundry, and then the joy of packing begins. Oh joy.

Later gang!

A new hobby and a new recipe — April 30, 2009

A new hobby and a new recipe

Hey kids!!!
I gotta tell ya, this whole eating-dinner-earlier-in-the-evening-thing is really working out for me. Suddenly it seems I have oodles of extra time in the evening for things like laundry and cleaning and oh yeah, working out. Okay well last night I didn’t work out but that’s because we had church and I don’t like getting all sweaty before hand and then being worried about whether it’s me or the pre-pubescent boys who smell the worst.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, extra time in the evenings…anyway, with all this extra time (having even just one extra hour feels like having three) I’ve decided that now is a good time to pick up a hobby. What’s that you say? Why don’t I already have a hobby? Because I have spent the last 13 years raising kids and a husband and working and cooking and cleaning and feeling guilty when I spend any amount of time or money on myself, but I say NO MORE!! Now is the time to liberate the once-creative person who lives inside me. MizFit had a link to this site a few days ago and I decided I would ask it what hobby I should take up. The answer is: knitting. Which is funny because I was already thinking the maybe knitting would be a good fit for me, but I wasn’t sure, so this just validates what I kind of already knew.

I’ve never knitted anything in my life, but I love to sew – I just don’t have room to keep a sewing machine set up at all times. When I do sew, I have to set up my 30 year old, garage sale sewing machine on the kitchen table until I’m finished with whatever project I happen to be working on (the last one was the Jedi costume for Matthew at Halloween). I asked the wonderfully talented Debby to give me some advice on what I need to get started knitting and she gave me a beginner’s list of items that I am going to purchase today after work. Does anyone else out there knit? Feel free to throw some advice/suggestions/warnings/websites my way if you happen to be feeling generous!

So really you may be asking why knitting and why now? Or you may not be asking and really couldn’t care less, but I’ll tell you anyway: because my hobby for the last few years has been Obsessing About My Weight, and I would really like to be able to talk about something else for a change. Also, I think that if I have something to look forward to doing that I won’t think about the vanilla sandwich cookies in the pantry that Shawn always seems to buy. It’s kinda hard to eat cookies and knit at the same time, isn’t it? Please tell me it is!

So yeah, anyway that’s what’s going on with me these days. I’m still on track with my caloriess and working out, so when I weigh in on Saturday morning, I really hope there will be a small drop on the scale. Or maybe I’ll be so busy knitting, that I’ll forget to weigh in – wouldn’t that be a nice change?! 🙂

OH!! I also wanted to tell you all about the pork chops I made for dinner last night – they were so freakin easy that I had to share this:

Autumn Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
2 cups apple juice
1 tsp cinnamon (I’m pretty sure I used more than 1 tsp, put in however much you like)

Lay pork chops in slow cooker
Pour apple juice over chops
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Cook on low 10 hours

That’s it! They smelled so good and were so tender you just would not believe it. I served potatoes, black eyed peas, corn, and applesauce with them and it was a really satisfying meal for not a lot of calories (I kept my portions pretty small). It would be a great way to make bbq sandwiches too – just shred the pork chops and pour bbq sauce on them. You could also probably use the meat in a stir fry as well – so many possibilities!! I got the recipe out of the Fix It and Forget Recipes for Entertaining cookbook that my MIL got me for Christmas – there are some good recipes in there if you are looking for slow cooker recipes.

 That’s all I got for today.  Peace out!

Happy SPAM Day, Y’all!! — February 10, 2009

Happy SPAM Day, Y’all!!

I can’t believe I forgot to wish everyone a Happy SPAM Day yesterday! No, not the kind of spam that informs you have won the Nigerian Lottery, or invites you to try a free 30 day trial of Viagra; the kind of spam that comes in handy pop top can, silly!! Of course in my defense, I didn’t know it was SPAM day until I got home and smelled the SPiced hAM aroma wafting from the kitchen. I was late getting home due to the hour and a half long Parent/Teacher conferences (total face time with 5 different teachers: 20 minutes. Total wait time to see teachers: 70 minutes), so the hubs went ahead and started dinner, God love him. He somehow managed to find the can o’ SPAM in the very back corner of the cabinet where I had it hidden, and so the 13th Annual SPAM Dinner began at the SassyPear household. And of course he cooked the usual accompaniments: fried potatoes and homemade mac n cheese. Yes it was a real Grease Fest at our home last night and cause for much celebration for my husband! He loves SPAM, and the kids love SPAM, I however, loathe it, which is why we only have it once a year – seriously. It makes me gag and the only way I can eat it is to SLATHER ketchup on it, but I was starving by the time I got home and so I ate it, not a lot of it, but still I ate the chunky mess. I will admit that the fried potatoes were awesome (the hubs is a whiz with fried foods) and I ate more of those than I should have. And what, you may ask, is the dessert that always follows the Annual SPAM Dinner? Why, Pepto Bismol, of course!! A good time was had by all (except me, but that’s okay, I was just happy that I didn’t have to cook).So after all that grease you better believe I wanted to workout and sweat all that Spiced Ham out of my system. Yes I sure did want to…a good workout would have been wonderful…however, I, um… didn’t work out. Instead I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30 and woke up only long enough to get the kids in bed before I got myself into bed. I was just.so.tired. and could not make myself do anything except go to bed. I’d like to tell you that I will for sure get in a work out tonight, but tonight we have Soup Supper at my daughter’s preschool: the kids help make the soup and it’s a big deal for everyone to go and eat The Soup, so we have that on the agenda for tonight. We should get back early enough that I’ll have time to workout – I hope. This is going to be a busy week, so I’ll really have to work hard at fitting in the 30DS. Send me all your good organizational vibes, would you? Thanks, that’d be great.

Okay, well I’m going to go hunt down some more Pepto Bismol because my stomach still hurts from ingesting so much grease. Thank goodness SPAM day only comes around once a year. 😉

Working out in my red dress, eating raisins — February 4, 2009

Working out in my red dress, eating raisins

Hey Gang!Okay, so how’s the workout going? I have to say I am in LOVE with this workout.  It’s fast, it’s effective, and there are no silly girlie aerobic dance moves involved, which is a good thing because I don’t think repeatedly tripping over one’s own feet is a good form of exercise.  Since I started the work out a day early, on Monday I was S-O-R-E.  I was really afraid that Monday night’s workout would do me in, but I found it to be easier than the day before and during last night’s workout, though still tough, I was already able to keep up a little better than before.  I was still sore yesterday, but not really in a wimpering-because-it-hurts-to-blink kind of way, more of an I KICKED ASS AND IT HURTS SO GOOD kind of way.  Today, I gotta admit, I’m really not very sore at all.  I’ll most likely have to skip today’s workout, unless I can rearrange some things, but I should be on track for the rest of the week.  What do you guys think so far?  Love it?  Hate it?  Love to hate it?

 

Remember these guys?

Turns out they are still at it promoting the wrinkly little fruit we all know and love. They have their own website and personal trainer and are looking to get fit and healthy in 2009. And hey, just like almost everyone else in the world, they have a Facebook page! I checked out their website and it’s very pretty.  Go see!

Follow this link to find:

• Six simple ways to get in shape without breaking the bank
• Video of Valerie Waters sharing wise choices for 2009
• Healthy and fast breakfast ideas
• Audio summary headline
• High resolution images for use on your blog or Web site

Visit http://www.loveyourraisins.com for even more information including:

• Follow-along fitness videos and at-home workout routines from Valerie Waters
• Healthy living tips from Waters
• Delicious and healthy recipes from California Raisins

About California Raisins:

• Just ¼ cup of raisins provides one fruit serving
• Raisins are fat and cholesterol free and low in sodium
• California Raisins are a convenient and portable source of all-natural energy

About Valerie Waters:

• Seventeen years of experience working with celebrities including Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Kim Raver and Matt Dillion to name a few.
• Called “Hollywood’s Hot Trainer” by US Weekly, Waters is known as the go-to trainer called by Hollywood’s elite when they need to get in shape and stay that way.
• Has appeared on E! News, Good Morning America, VH1 and CNN and is regularly featured in top publications including Glamour, Vanity Fair, In Style, Fitness and Shape.

 

Myself, I prefer to eat my raisins with something (peanut butter and celery, I’m looking at you) instead of just by themselves. My hands get all sticky when I eat them alone, because unlike my 3 year old, I don’t eat them one at a time, I grab a clump and shove it into my pie hole because I like the chewy-ness of several raisins all together. I also like to throw a handful in with my oatmeal. Yummy!

Okay enough raisin talk. Let’s talk about the heart for a minute, k?  I’m seeing a lot of Go Red for Women ads lately and even though I’m all for educating women about heart disease, I feel like our guys are getting left out.  I know that for years and years heart disease in women has been largely ignored, but don’t our men deserve some fun and fancy educating too?  I would like to see an initiative that is geared toward men, the way Go Red has been geared toward women.  I know my husband doesn’t really connect that what he eats affects his heart, and working out for him is all about “the guns” (kind of like how my workouts are all about “the buns”), not so much about having a healthy heart. They could have some red boxer shorts as their logo, like women have the red dress (although that would make the Wear Red campaign mighty awkward in the work place).  I want my husband around for a long time and if it takes some Go Red Power Tools or Go Red Fishing Tackle for him to get the message, then I say bring it on.  What say you? Does men’s heart health deserve the same attention as women’s health?  Are women just more receptive to these kinds of campaigns?  I don’t know, you tell me.

Hope this gives you all something to think about today!  Have a good one! 🙂

Focus, Jill, Focus! — December 30, 2008

Focus, Jill, Focus!

I am eating the biggest, sweetest, juiciest orange right now – yum! (That has nothing to do with today’s topic, but a good sweet orange is one small thing that makes me really happy!)So much to blog about but having trouble getting my thoughts in order, which incidentally is what I want to blog about: Focus, or lack thereof.

I don’t remember why the thought popped into my head, but I just remember thinking a couple of days ago, “I’ve been so focused on Christmas and all it’s preparations that I have let everything else slip by the wayside.” And that’s when, my a-ha moment hit me – my focus determines whether or not I succeed. I have not been focused on losing weight since October. I have not been focused on exercising since then either, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I have gained a few pounds since then. I haven’t gained a lot – maybe 6 pounds, but I know 6 pounds can turn into 12 pounds very easily, unless I am focused on reducing those original six. For me, it has nothing to do with motivation or will power, it’s all about focus. When I was losing weight so steadily at the end of the summer and beginning of autumn, I was single minded about the kinds of foods I was eating and how much I was walking. Since then, eh not so much, and it’s starting to show. Also gone is my weekly weigh in with the Nurse Nazi – that was very motivating! I think to replace that, I will start posting my weight here for you all to see. Probably not the actual number, but I’ll post what Mary Lou says on a certain day of the week, let’s say Wednesdays (so don’t let me forget!). When I got The Platform I recorded my starting weight the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, so of course it was higher than normal, but I got to 8.5 pounds below my starting weight, which is I think what my normal weight really is (around 153). This morning Mary Lou said I was only 2 pounds below my starting weight, which would put me at about 160 approx. I know I can get it back down fairly quickly just by getting on the treadmill and drinking lots of water (duh), so I’m not worried yet. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes.

And speaking of the treadmill, my poor motorized friend is feeling neglected lately, so I am going to make a pact with you all that I will walk for 30 minutes tonight at 5pm CST. (I was going to add at least 4 times this week, but let’s take it one day at a time, shall we?) Here’s what I need from you all – I need a consequence to face if I don’t walk. Yeah, yeah, I know the obvious ones – lack of energy, tighter pants, etc; but what I want is something like push ups or scrubbing the toilet or some unfun thing. So fire away and hit me with your best shot – I need to know there will be unpleasantness in my future if I don’t abide by the pact. Desperate times call for desperate measures, people!

I am also considering logging my food into an online journal. Seeing what I eat in print may be enough shock to make me leave Candy Land, but logging food tends to bring The Crazy out in me, so I don’t know. Maybe I should just start with an old fashioned notebook and just record the foods (and not their calories and nutritional content)? Still mulling this one over – may have to mull a little longer. What do you think?

(Abrupt subject change in 3…2…1) And speaking of cooking (what? Weren’t we?) I made the best pita pizza last night for dinner. I had a multigrain pita with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni, black olives and mushrooms. Oh Sweet Gouda it was so good! I may have to have another one tonight. I think one thing that will make me a better cook is to have a stocked pantry – it’s really hard to cook when all you have is a can of peaches and one can of tomato paste in the cabinet. It has never occurred to me to buy ingredients, I just usually buy prepackaged or pre-made foods, but I know that’s not good to rely on those things so much, so I went to the store last night and bought a few things like chicken and beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, olive oil, canned beans- just a few things to get started. I hope to add to these things again this weekend so that I’ll have enough ingredients on hand when I find a recipe I want to try. Anyone have any other ingredients that you can’t live without?

That’s all I got – have a good day gang!!  🙂

ETA – I did it!!  I got on the treadmill for 42 minutes – woo!  Sorry Laura, I’ll never tell my most embarrassing secret!!!  😉

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