Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Stitching

I worked on my three little witches this past week.  I managed to get all the white bits stitched with the linen (white) floss that I had.  I think I have two strands about six inches long left over.  I bought two skeins of the carrot (orange) color and it's looking like one skein will do one witch.  I think I have some more carrot in my floss stash.  I'll have to check for it next time I'm at my parents house. (I have stash scattered between my house, my parents house, and my grandmas house.)
I managed to eek out some time to spend working on the Christmas Eve Fun stocking.  I'm thinking that I've got half of the sky done, and maybe a quarter of of the stocking done overall.  I guess I attack the other half of the sky next weekend.
I got a fair amount done on the donkey for my freestanding nativity.  He's mostly done, actually.  I was quite pleased to see that there weren't a lot of color changes like there have been on some of the other figures.  I still have the wise men to do, and they have a ton of color changes for such small figures.
And lastly, I put a few stitches into Crabby All Year.  As soon as I get the three little witches done this one will get moved up to the priority spot.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/27/11

At least I'm consistent with naming things...

Eliptical machine: 65 mintues: Average Speed: 5 mph (I kicked it!). Calories: 680.
Pedometer reading: 9868 steps.

Calories Consumed: 1474.

All in all a good work out day, and tomorrow I get to see Mr. Trainer-Dude and he'll kick my butt working me out on a circuit of some sort.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/26/11

I forgot to post yesterday. Ha ha ha.  I went to the gym and did a bit of stair climber, and then decided to try out the recumbent bike.  I read somewhere to mix it up when working out so that your body doesn't get used to doing what you're doing and become so efficient at it that you don't burn as many calories.  However, I don't think I'll be doing the bike again for a couple of reasons.  1) It doesn't burn as many calories as treadmill or eliptical, and 2) For some reason, my right knee didn't like that motion at all.  I've been babying the knee all day because of it.

Stair Climber: 21 minutes. Average Speed: 3 mph.  Calories: 204.
RecumbentBike: 45 minutes. Average Speed: 10 mph.  Calories: 254.  (See bad calories burned!!)
Pedometer report: 6162 steps.  The darn thing didn't count the stair climber steps, or the peddling on the bike.

Calories Consumed: 2585.  I know what you're thinking.  I'm thinking it too!!! What the heck happened!  I'll tell you.  Six mini pecan pie tarts.  That's right, all six of those things.  I scrimped and saved my calories all day so that I could have one, and what did I do?  I ate the whole cursed package!!!  Crap.  Well... at least they are out of the house now.

And now for today's report-a-roo!

Eliptical Machine: 77 minutes. Average Speed 4.25 mph. Calories Consumed 737.  My right knee complained the whole time, but I pushed on.  I also upped the resistance a little bit so I had to work at it.  That means I worked off two of those dumb pean pie tarts.
Pedometer report: 10096, with an errand to run.

Calories Consumed: 1279.  If I can hold off on a bedtime snack, that's another pecan pie tart compensated for.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/24/11

Ha ha ha, back to the boring, non-stitchy stuff.

Eliptical machine: 43 minutes (I got to the gym late!). Calorie Count: 443.
Weights with Trainer: 30 minutes. Calorie Count: 184.

Pedometer Report: 9713 steps.

Calories Consumed: 1531.  Woo-hoo! Hit the goal today.

A good friend pointed me in the direction of Celestial Seasonings flavored teas.  One of the things I miss most is hot chocolate and shortbread cookies at night.  Well, talk about your massive amounts of wasted calories.  I haven't yet found a good substitute for the cookies, but the flavored teas are doing well for replacing the hot chocolate.  I've gone crazy and picked up a couple of random assortments.  I haven't hit a flavor I don't like yet!

I did wander over to JoAnn's to pick up two flosses that I needed for Crabby All Year. I should be able to work on it some tomorrow.  I don't have anything planned for the evening.  So I guess I did do something stitchy related.  I also went to the library and checked out a couple of dog books by Jon Katz and a casserole cookbook.  All the slow-cooker books had been checked out already.  I'm hopeful to find a few things that look good and aren't full of fat and calories.  Although I'm pretty sure that fat+high calories=casserole.  But never mind.  I like to read cookbooks nearly as much as I like reading novels and such like.

In a random bit of thought, Lauren over at Sassy's Fabbys is doing a special hand dye for the new Halloween Rules that Lizzie*Kate is putting out.  It's super lovely and I really want to buy a piece in the 32 ct. Opalescent Belfast.  I just have to wonder how many other stitchers will be doing the same thing.  Oh well, it will be a full months worth of stitching allowance if I do go ahead and order the special cut.  And I want it so very badly!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Stitching

I didn't stitch at all on the Christmas Eve Fun stocking this weekend.  Saturday was filled up with running up the road with my parents to have lunch with my grandma and two aunts.  Later that afternoon we went over to my Dad's sisters house to help her install a wireless router and get all her computers and printer hooked up to the system.  It was nice to be off with the family.

I finished off the cow for my free standing nativity.  Here he is in all his beaded, glittery glory... Well, almost.  I still need to iron out the hoop mark.

Next up is the donkey.  I put about three stitches into him, not enough to take a picture of.  This is from the Silent Night booklet put out by Mill Hill.

This evening I worked on Crabby All Year by Raise the Roof designs.  I though I had finally acquired all the floss colors that I needed, but found I was missing two as I stitched along.  I guess I'll have to wander over to JoAnn's and pick up the two colors I know I need.  Anyway, here it is:

Being away from my 'normal' food has been disastrous for my calorie count.  I topped out at 2572 calories on Saturday, and at 2105 today.  No matter how much exercise I do, if I can't get my calories under control, the rest of the weight will not come off.  Tomorrow is a new day and a new start.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A few stitches into the 3 witches

I didn't think this would be the "I went to the gym and sweated a lot" blog that it's turned into.  I really meant for it to be more of a stitching blog.  Really I did.  And so, here is the latest progress on Candy Corn by With Thy Needle & Thread.  (The lighting wasn't that great when I took the picture.)

I'm stitching over two on a 30 ct. linen by Weeks Dye Works.  I think the color is Angel Hair.  I'm using the called for Weeks Dye Works flosses.  This week I finished up the flowers, the brooms, and have started on the white bit of the candy corn.  I'm starting to be worried that I don't have enough of the white (linen) floss to finish up all three.  I'll have to get a bit more when February rolls around and I get another $20 to spend on this obession.

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/21/11

Happy Friday!  I made it to the gym five days in a row! Ya-hoo! So I met my go to the gym goal for the week.

Eliptical Machine: 53 minutes. Average Speed: 4.25 mph. Calories Burned: 551.
Weights with Personal Trainer: 30 minutes. Calories Burned: 200.
Pedometer reading: 8476, plus about 1000 because it doesn't read right on the eliptical. Not too shabby overall.

Calories Consumed: 1754.  I tried so hard to stay on goal.  And that worked until I got home to my parents house and found that it was pizza for dinner tonight.  340 calories for a slice of pepperoni, and 250 calories for a slice of hawaiian.  I should have stuck with the hawaiian and skipped the pepperoni all together.

And now I want a snack.  And I know there are peanut m&m's in Dad's office.  But I'm am trying to be good, and ignore the m&m's.  Really, really trying.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/20/11

Four days in row for the gym!  That hasn't happened in months!  Today for a change I hit the stair climber for about 20 minutes (all I can stand before beginning to think that I'm going to die), and then the treadmill.  I need to hit the stair climber a little more often because I have a goal...  I want to be able to do a rim to rim hike of the Grand Canyon in 1 day.  It's just barely under 26 miles.  So basically a marathon with about 7000 ft in elevation change from top to bottom.  I went hiking in September in Arches National Park and learned something.  While I can walk for hours on end on flat ground, add the great outdoors and a bit of elevation change, and I'm completely wiped out!!  So, more stair climber for me... If it doesn't kill me... Which it might.

Stair Climber: 20 minutes. Average 'speed': 3 mph. Calories Burned: 196.
Treadmill: 40 minutes. Average speed: 3 mph.  Calories Burned: 378.
Pedometer Reading: 8779 steps.  However, the pedometer doesn't count the steps taken on the stair climber.

Calories consumed:  1961.  What killed me today? 5 slices of chocolate orange: 230 calories.  Sour Cream and onion dip: 134 calories.  The good news is the dip is almost gone, yay!, and the chocolate orange is almost gone, yay!  I have this bad habit of not being able to throw bad food away.  To get rid of it, I have to eat it.  And I'm trying hard to not buy any new bad food.  (Glancing into the kitchen... Oh arrgh!  I bought mini pecan pie tartlets tonight!!! ArrrrRRRrrrRRrrrrRRrrrrrrrrgh! How does this happen? I don't remember throwing those into the basket. Many bad words!)

I think I'm going to go wander up and down my stairs for a few minutes now...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/19/11

Made it to the gym again today.  Three days in a row!  That's a new record!  I forgot to move my pedometer from my jeans to my work-out pants, so I don't have an accurate count on steps for the day.

Eliptical Machine: 60 Minutes. Average Speed 4.25 mph.  Calories Burned: 619.

Calories Consumed:  Right now I'm at 1435.  The girls are coming over for stitchy-crafty night tonight, and I'm sure that after the peanut butter bars and lemon bars it'll be up in the 2000 range.  I have no self control when it comes to baked goods.

Yesterday's final calorie count came in at 1637.  The additional calories arrived in the form of a vanilla cupcake with vanilla cream cheese frosting.  My Aunt brought them home with her (she had a random selection of a half dozen) and shared.  Yummy!  The final step count for yesterday was 10937.  Pretty good!  I'm starting to think I've got the move more part down.  It's the eat less bit that I'm really having a hard time with.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/18/11

I attacked the gym today and kicked the eliptical machines butt.

Eliptical Machine: 65 minutes. Average Speed: 4.75 mph.  Calories burned: 678.

Calories Consumed: 1247 thus far.  I'm definately going to find 300 more calories to eat.  Never let an alloted calorie go uneaten!!

Pedometer Count: 9517 thus far.  I have a few errand to run, so that will go up.

Pedometer Count Yesterday (I forgot to post it.): 12012. Yeeeeee-haw!

I stitched a bit on my three little witches, but I didn't take a picture.  Maybe tomorrow there will be enough progress to warrant a picture.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/17/11

I was a dork and forgot to jot down the total calories expended at the gym today!

Eliptical Trainer: 46 minutes. Average Speed: 4.25 mph.
Treadmill: 25 minutes. Average Speed: 3 mph.
Weights with Trainer: 30 minutes.
According to FitDay, it's a total of 546.  I'm pretty sure that's a low estimate because I usually kill off about 10 calories a minute on the eliptical, and 120-ish with the trainer.  Oh well.  It's my fault for not making a note.

Calories Consumed: 1757.  Two hundred above my goal.  I'm pretty sure it was that lemon bar I ate while preparing dinner.  I need to be better about the whole snacking while cooking thing.

It's home weigh day tomorrow.  I'm thinking it's an even keel all things considered.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Stitching

Another good weekend of stitching.

Here's the update on the Christmas Eve Fun stocking.  I had really hoped I'd get more done on this project this weekend.  But errands and what-not didn't allow that to happen.  But it is some major progress.

Another hour was put into my freestanding nativity.  Mr. Moo has two fully beaded legs now!

And I made a start on Crabby All Year.  This will be a Christmas gift for my Mom this year.  She picked it out, so it won't be too great of a surprise.

I saw the other day a preview of the new Halloween Rules that Lizzie*Kate will be releasing starting early February or so.  It's just darling and I can hardly wait to start it... That is, if that budget will allow it.  I put myself on a $20 a month budget for stitchy stash.  What I really need is for all my beloved designers to take a year or so... hiatus... sabbatical... vacation... from designing so I can have half a chance at catching up!  (Not really, but you know what I mean.)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gym Report 1/14/11

Friday-Friday, and that means another round with Mr. Trainer-Dude.

Eliptical Machine: 48 minutes.  Average Speed 4.75 mph. Calories: 503.
Weights with Trainer: 30 minutes. Calories: 216. Discussion Topic: Politics.

Day end pedometer reading: 9964.  So close to that 10,00 steps I need.  Maybe I'll go walk up and down the hall a few times.

Calories Consumed: 1526.  (Goooooooooooooooooal!)

I had intended to work on my Christmas Eve Fun stocking this evening, but instead I went with my Dad to check out wireless routers for his older sister and laser printers for his office.  Good times.

I'm really excited to say that Grandma and I have worked out a plan so that I can get to the gym in the middle of the day (when I prefer to go) and she won't be too worried about being alone for an hour or so.  Hurrah!  I really don't like going at 8 at night.  Too many people and not much on TV that I want to watch.  (But really there's not a ton of stuff on at 2 in the afternoon either.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'd like to think I can cook.

But sometimes, it just doesn't turn out well.  And sometimes I suspect that I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to cooking.  However, in my little heart of hearts I want to be a good cook.  To whip up some tasty, and nutritious dinners on a whim.  So I read cookbooks and the occasional cooking magazine.  Right now I'm on a total America's Test Kitchen kick.  I picked up their book The Best Simple Recipes. (I'm not too crazy, I know I still need kitchen training wheels.)  America's Test Kitchen are also the people behind Cooks Illustrated and Cooks Country magazines.  I saw the January/February Issue of Cooks Illustrated at the store the other day and picked it up.

Over the Christmas break, when I went down to Arizona with my parents to visit the extended family, I read Best Simple Recipes book.  I also read the magazine.  And somewhere in there, two different recipes fused into one in my brain...  First up was Sausage and Tortellini Soup with Spinach from the Best Simple Recipes.  Second was Spaghetti al Limone from Cooks Illustrated.  And somewhere in there, the called for tortellini turned into gnocchi and the spaghetti got lost all together (along with the sausage).

After spending the day with Grandma, I set off to Target to get the ingredients I knew I needed.  First mistake, going with out a list.  I got the gnocchi, shredded parmesan cheese, a bag of frozen peas, and was very pleased with myself since I had everything else at home. Ha ha ha.

Now the peas need a bit of an explanation.  I was leary of dumping spinach into my pasta.  I'm not a big spinach fan.  I like the baby spinach, in moderation, in salads.  As soon as you heat that stuff up and wilt it down a bit, I have absolutely no interest in it.  I initially decided that broccoli florets would be a good substitution but I couldn't find a small enough bag that didn't contain cauliflower and squash too.  Cauliflower, fine.  Squash, no thanks.  So I got a small bag of peas.  I like peas, and hey, they're the same color as spinach and broccoli, so it's all good.

Home I come, through the start of a snow storm, unpack everything and get out The Best Simple Recipes, flip over to the soup, and hmmm.... I've forgotten, hot italian sausage, onion, cheese tortellini, and chicken broth.  Over to Cooks Illustrated and the spaghetti al limone and hmm... I've forgotten shallots, spaghetti noodles, lemons, and fresh basil.  Drat.  And where does the gnocchi come in!?!?  (I still haven't figure out where I got the idea for gnocchi...)  And it's snowing out there.  I'm not going back out to get the rest of the stuff I need for either recipe.  Looking over the recipes, I have more of the things for spaghetti al limone, or gnocchi al limone, so that is what I'll make.

Things went well for a while.  Boil the gnocchi, save out the pasta water, mix up the saved pasta water and heavy cream... And here's where things start to unravel.  I had a bit of cream left over from Christmas baking, and it was still good (yay!) but I had kept it in the door of the fridge.  So every time I opened and closed the door, the cream got a little shake, and a little more of a shake, and a little more of a shake... and "What the heck!?  There's a layer of butter on top of my cream!!"  I made a hole in the butter and poured out some of the cream and managed to do the reduction as instructed.

When I poured the gnocchi back into the pot, I realized that I had more sauce and not enough gnocchi!  I guess 1 pound of spaghetti cooks up bigger than 1 pound of gnocchi.  I carried on and added the olive oil, and Parmesan cheese, but had to go rummaging around my fridge to find my bottle of lemon juice.  And then my mind failed to preform math correctly.  All of my 1/4 cup measuring cups were dirty by now, so I grabbed a 1/3 cup measuring cup thinking "It's smaller" filled it up with lemon juice and then added a bit more into the pot to make up for the difference in size.  Dried basil, I had, so in it went, along with some called for pepper.  Stir, Stir, Stir.

 The sauce was still pretty thin, but I figured I'd better have a taste.  Holy Lemon, Batman!!!  Can you say pucker power?  I knew you could.  I stirred my pot, looking despondently at the sour mess I'd made.  I didn't want to throw it out, that was good food in there.  I wasn't sure if I could save it though...  There was still way too much sauce to pasta...  I grabbed my bag of frozen peas, opened it up and poured it in.  Now the sauce to stuff ratio was better, but still too lemony.  I stirred and though for a while.  I did remember that I had tuna in the pantry.  Lemon + Tuna? ... Well... you put lemon on fish, so why not?

Why not indeed.  I opened that can of tuna, drained it, and dumped into my pot.  A big pot of yellow and green...  Just like the Oregon school's colors.  Go Ducks.  Too bad they lost the other day...  I stirred the pot and thought for a few minutes.  I tasted the concoction...  Still a bit too lemony.  I eyed the rest of my butter/cream.  I poured the rest of the cream into the pot.  I stirred.  The sauce thickened.  It still smelled really lemony.  But I had given up.  Cooking had defeated me once more.

Dejected I scooped some more out into a bowl and added a bit of green salad to the side.  Heaven only knows how many calories are in this mess.  My count for the day was going so well.  Here is my dinner, Gnocchi al Limone with Green Peas and Tuna:

It's certainly not the most appetizing thing I've ever met.  But I knew I could come along and whine about my disaster as I ate.  And you want to know something odd?  The longer it sat as I wrote, the less intense the lemon flavor was.  By the end of the bowl (mostly peas, by the way) I was thinking that I wouldn't have any trouble eating up the rest of the pot.  It's not baaad, but it's certainly not something I think was the best thing I ever ate either.  Next time, I'll make a list... and measure correctly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More work on the 3 witches

I worked all afternoon on the three witches.  It's hard to see the progress on the aprons, but easy to see the addition of the flower stems and flowers.  It's nice to see chunks of progress as I go along.  I'm not really looking forward to stitching the orange candy corn bottom on the things.  I hope I don't loose my momentum when I get to that point.  I already know I'm going to run out of the black.  I think I'll sub in a different maker (Simply Shaker instead of Weeks) black as needed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Calorie Count and Gym Report - 1/11/11

Calories consumed: 1703.  203 above my goal, but much better than yesterday.  Tomorrow will be better.  I've about managed to eat all the chocolate in the house.

Now for the gym report.  I was a lazy lazy bum and didn't go.  Technically, I can still go, but it's January.  And all the new year resolutioners are out.  And the gym is going to be crowded.  I hate a crowded gym.  It won't be until February when the gym returns to it's normal level of calm.  I'll go tomorrow.  No really, I will.

Pedometer count: 1897.  That is bad, very bad.

3 Little Witches

I worked all afternoon on my little candy corn witches while at Grandma's house.  I added more blue, black, grey, flesh, and am in the middle of the white.  Here they are all lined up.  I might get to more done on these tomorrow.  Or I might get sidetracked...

In the pictures it doesn't look like I've got anything done on her apron.  The apron is all done on the left, half way done in the middle, and not at all started on the right.  ...  I need to learn how to better size these pictures.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gym Report 1/10/11

Here we go...

Eliptical Machine: 48 minutes.  Average Speed: 4.25 mph.  Calories: 500.
Treadmill: 25 minutes.  Average Speed: 3 mph.  Calories: 168.
Weights with Personal Trainer: 30 minutes.  Calories 223.
Pedometer Reading: 11,207.

Calorie Intake: approx. 2000.  That's 500 more than I'm supposed to have.  There's still a few chocolates from my Christmas stocking.  That's what put me over today.  I need to be better at eating one and not 5.

Tomorrow will be a better day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Weekend Stitching

I decided that in 2011 I'll get back to stitching on my Christmas stockings for the members of the family.  The last time I stitched on this one was back in April of 2010.  Here's where I left it.

I worked on this on Friday and Saturday.  I got tired of all the color changes on the house, so I attacked the trees and what-not behind the house.  Here's where I left off Saturday evening.

Yay!  Progress!
On Sunday, I worked a little bit on what will eventually be a nativity of cross stitched pieces.  I'm working on the Cow.  I usually only get an hour or so on this a week.  Slow but steady progress.  Here is Mr. Moo.

And just for fun, here's a picture of my stitching chair at my parents house.  I've laid claim to the smallest bedroom of their house for me when I visit them.  I even have a bit of stitchy stash there!  The chair is great!  It swivels and rocks.  There's an ottoman underneath my pattern where I spread out the flosses and what-not for what I'm working on.
It's a nice little corner.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gym Report 1/7/11

I don't know if I really want to do this or not...  Perhaps in a few months I'll be saying "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

Eliptical Machine:  48 minutes.  5 mph average speed.  503 calories.
Weights w/ Physical Trainer:  30 minutes.  229 calories.
Gym Scale: 203.8 lbs.
 Pedometer:  8391 steps.  However, I know that is low as it has a hard time keeping track of 'steps' when I'm on the eliptical machine.

Tonight I'm going to try to reverse engineer an Excel spreadsheet that my first trainer used to keep track of the weights and measurements for my current trainer.  That is.  If I can find one of those old sheets!

Three Starts

I've got an early start on the Christmas stitching this year.  For my sisters-in-law I've started on Candy Corn by With thy Needle & Thread.  They love Halloween more than Christmas.  This past Christmas I gave both of them a jack-o-lantern ornament and they both loved it.  As the shampoo bottle reads: Lather, rinse, repeat.

Here are my little starts, one for each sister-in-law, and one for me.
I'm stitching them over 2 on 30 ct. linen that I think is the color "Angel Hair' by Weeks Dye Works.  I'm using the called for flosses as well.  They're turning out very nicely so far.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh where, oh where, can that Crock Pot be.

With the new year, I've decided to do what most of us decide to do.  Loose some weight.  For me part of the plan includes actually cooking.  Instead of eating crackers and cheese for dinner.  I figured that digging out the crock pot would help me with this endeavor.  I went into the storage room to retreive my crock pot, but was surprised to not find it.  Off I went to the loft closet to pull it off the shelves in there.  Still not there.  Closet under the stairs?  Nope.  Guest room closet?  Nope. 

Well I guess the only thing left to do is to wander over to Target and pick up a new one.  I love Target.  And I had a gift card from Christmas burning a hole in my wallet.  I wandered up and down the aisles, looked at all the options and selected "Big Red."  Here he is, all nice and still packaged up:

Home I came, and now time to find a place in the house for Big Red to live.  The most logical place would be the cupboard where the popcorn popper and blender live.  I'm sure they'd like to have a new neighbor.  Off I went to the cupboard with Red in tow.  And what's this?  What is this in here with the popper and blender?  Why it's old "Whitey"!

He's still in his box even!  So now I've got two crock pots and only one place for them to live.  I suppose I could take Big Red back... but he's red!  and oval! and 1 quart larger!  I think I'll go read some cookbooks and think about it.  But really, no one is going back to the store.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

TUSAL - Jan 4, 2011

I decided to join in with Daffycat's Totally Useless Stitch-a-long.  It's a simple idea.  Save your ORT's, put them in a jar, take a picture, and post it on your blog.  So I had to start a blog!!  Here is my jar for the year:

Now I need to figure out how to link back and post the little image thingy in my side bar.  That might turn out to be too much technology for one days for me.