Tuesday, August 20, 2013

cheap and easy..Operation Update the Apartment!

No, not me!!  Get your mind out the gutter!

Seriously, I have been on a mission to freshen up the decor in our home - especially before my surgery.  I want something less khaki and dark wood and more white and everything cohesive.  I am aiming for a chic-cozy-yet fresh kind of vibe.  When I get home and MUST rest, I don't want my mind starting with "I wish I did that before surgery".  I only want to be cozy and rested and heavily medicated....I digress...

Step one in Operation Update the Apartment....

I'm so over the black Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware frames.  Over black frames in general, and the silver frames have all come down too.  I have taken every single frame off the shelves and off the walls. Even the big frames with art, etc have all been taken down.  Some will get updated photos, my favorites will remain.

So after taking them all down, I brought them outside in batches since I only had three cans of my favorite spray paint left and about 30 frames in total.

I was especially excited to get all the leather frames sprayed white!  I want white all white, but I'm thrilled that there will be layers of white and textures.  

 I am going to go nuts and spray paint this cork board frame too.

With all the tarps spread out on my roof.  Let the spraying begin!

 I have a pair of flip flops just for painting...they can get sticky and the occasional wind will ensure some off spray.  $1 flip flops are a must have.

Cool,  right?  It needed many more layers :)

I can't wait till they are dry and filled with new pics!!

Up tomorrow: My girls room!

xoxo Christine

I {heart} Sunday

Hey there and Happy Monday!

I'm going to get right to the highlight of our weekend.....Sunday Family Dinner: Braised short ribs, masked Yukon gold potatoes and gravy with Apple Puff Pasty w/whipped cream for dessert.

I always cook on Sunday, an early "fancy" dinner.  Or at least I but ingredients to buy for Family dinner on Sunday. I really like the way my hubby prepares them, so I just help him set it all up (aka..I went grocery shopping therefore I'm done :) thankyouverymuch.......

He does a French style recipe, braising them in a vegetable broth mixture, wine etc.  They cook for about 5 hours and the longer the better.  Nothing better than meat that cuts like butter with a fork!

And regardless if I make the actual meal (ya know, cause I did the grocery shopping) I will make dessert.  I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman episode yesterday, but I took it a step further:

1. I peeled the apples, this is a no brainer for me.  I don't enjoy skin on my cooked fruit. Like ever.
2. added a bit of vanilla extract.
3. a hearty dash of pumpkin pie spice

Other than that I pretty much followed the cooking time, etc.  It would have been cruel to keep that beautiful apple puff pastry without it's match made in food heaven, homemade whipped cream.

Do you make a special dinner on Sundays?  I feel like that makes up for all the 30 minute or less meals during the week.  Logical!?

Tomorrow I'm showing you one of my tricks for decorating on the cheap.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

better days ahead.....

Well, here's hoping..

Yesterday, I met with the specialized surgeon - surgery scheduled for early September.  Looking forward to this getting taken care of!  In the meantime, he said I could walk - but that is it!  I'll take it. Not working out has been like cutting off a life line!  I miss it so much. I miss my gym, the staff and most of all my trainer, Mac.  

In happier news, we adopted a little kitten two weeks ago.  Minnie is a long haired teeny little thing and is just a sweet little lovey.  Little B is completely obsessed and rarely lets her go!  She even brings her to her food and waits for her at the litter box until she does her business.  I was assuming she would let up a little, but not so much..

...she is a very tolerant kitten.  So happy she is ours - as long as she doesn't forget where the litter box is! I'M KIDDING, NO I'M ACTUALLY NOT!

Tomorrow I'm sharing some cool finds I scored yesterday and my newest crafting obsessions.....:)

Hope you are having a great day, it is gorgeous here and plan on bringing the kids to the beach later. Expect photos!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

i'm back........for now

Hey there!

I fell off the face of the earth.  Well, sort of.

I am having a few complications from my hysterectomy back in April.

They took two months to catch up to me.

When I started this blog, I really truly wanted this to be about my weight loss journey, delicious and easy recipes, crafty stuff and not some blog bitching about hysterectomies and menopause.  Well, as much as I have tried to avoid just that, that is what life keeps throwing back at me.

I started feeling great about 2 weeks after my surgery.  No pain, I was doing my Visalus and started walking about three weeks post surgery.  I continued to feel good, and got back on the elliptical.  Five weeks out I started working out with my trainer again, who avoided any core moves.  I knew my stomach still needed to heal.

Well, heal it did not.  Back in July, I was working out with my trainer and I noticed while I was lifting weights, that my shirt would get caught on my belly.  Now, I have mastered the art of sucking it in for years,  so when I couldn't I was like, start sit ups!!  start working that core!! start running!!  I was committed to getting smaller, no matter what it took. I even participated in a boot camp.  I was an idiot not realizing that while everything else was shrinking, my stomach was growing - duh, Christine something was wrong!!

Speed up to the first week in August, I had started my couch to 5K app and couldn't do it. I would cut my 60 second intervals down to 40 and 50, and it just hurt to run.  I follow a few fitness blogs and everyone says run to lose weight.  I was so mad at myself that I couldn't do this.  If a 280 girl could run, shit, well then a 220 girl should be able to run too.  Here begins the emotional cutting cycle for me.

I started having serious pains across my stomach and above my belly button that were cray cray bad.
My stomach continuted to swell. And it is rock hard!!!  It swelled to the point of me looking seven months round.  AWESOME.

I thought maybe it was an issue with scar tissue.  I had heard one of the doctors back in March say the last thing they wanted was my bowel to be obstructed by scar tissue.  So in my mind = that is what it was.  The first appointment I had was with my gastro who wanted to do a colonoscopy but when he examined my stomach, I said "you don't think this thing I can make bulge out of my belly with a tiny push is a hernia, do you?"  He confirmed it was a large hernia and that I need to see a surgeon....soon.
So I walked to the next office over, and told the girls at the desk what my doc just said.   Okay, two weeks is our soonest appointment!

Fast forward to last Thursday = I had a catscan.  My OB/GYN who did the surgery had his next in line see me immediately that day.  The head guy came in as well, and he said I see your fasha/facia muscle is not healed and that is why you are 1. hurting, 2 looking like you are seven months pregnant.  THANK YOU!

Why does it take so damn long to get an answer!!!  Sunday night I landed in the ER from pains so bad, I was typing all my i love you's on my phone, telling my kids how much I loved them ... I literally thought I was dying.  As it turns out......it was,  um..........gas.  The pain meds they gave me on Thursday - basically shut everything down.  We left and I got gaxX and senekot.  They worked like a charm (wink)!

I am meeting with a new surgeon today that the head OBG/YN said I should see.

Wish me luck............I'll promise to update soon!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Favorites!

Good morning!

It's Friday favorites!!

I'm sharing a recipe that is a favorite recipe of my girls. I took the base of the recipe from Giada de Laurentis and made it my own.  They request them often, and it contains ingredients I use and almost always have on hand.  Simple, quick and scrumptious!  I have even served these as a appetizer for adults and they loved them too!

The B's spaghetti nests:

1 pound of angle hair pasta - cooked
2 eggs
2 tbs milk
1/2 cup shredded basil
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese 
mini mozzarella balls or large ball cut up in to little dices (same size as meatballs)
8-12 meatballs quartered dice
2-3 cups marinara sauce
Olive oil for drizzling
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Butter the bottom and sides of cupcake baking pan.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and 

cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. 

Add the basil, cheese, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss well until the basil is 

wilted. Set aside to cool.

Beat the Parmesan, milk, salt and egg together in a large bowl until smooth. 

Pour the sauce over the spaghetti mixture until well combined. Twirl 1/2 cupfuls

of the spaghetti mixture around tongs or a large fork and transfer to the 

prepared pans. Make an indentation in the middle of each nest of pasta and

drizzle with olive oil. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing the 

sides from the pans. Remove the bottoms of the pans from the nests using a 

thin metal spatula.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce on each of 4 serving plates. 

Place the spaghetti nests on the sauce.

Place the meatballs and mozzarella balls in each nest and serve.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

keeping track

is really hard for me!  I have the best intentions of recording it all, but between the kids, laundry, Facebook did I just admit that??? etc, it ends up not getting fully recorded. 

I thought I would document a few things in this post starting with my measurements:

Arms: 13
Waist: 45
Hips: 46
Thighs: 25

When I started this journey back in April, this was what I was starting with:

Arms: 14.5
Waist: 48
Hips: 49
Thighs: 27

Not bad, not as good as I was hoping on my stomach, but the hysterectomy has left me with a bloated feeling and I have to be careful working out my core for another 3-5 weeks.  My awesome trainer, Mac, assures me we will work this hard as soon as I have the okay from my doctor.

Moving on to food,

Here is what a typical day looks like for me:


Visalus shake with almond milk and 4 pieces of frozen pineapple and a few blueberries:

Shake mix: 90 calories
Almond milk: 60 calories
fruit: 50 calories
that equal about 200 calories for breakfast

Then I have a snack either a Think Thin bar at 190 calories or a Greek Yogurt also at 190 calories. I usually need something like a cup of carrots and a Kirby duke quartered with a sprinkling of sea salt. 


Shake mix: 90 calories
Almond milk: 60 calories
Visalus flavor enhancer: 4 calories

Snack: 1/4 Acorn squash 90 
1tbs of organic butter spread 100
1 kirby cuke with sea salt and pepper


Grilled chicken breast or seasoned ground turkey seasoned added to a large (mostly lettuce) salad with a vinegar based dressing.  I try to keep it under 400 calories.

Pinkberry or some other kind of frozen yogurt - no toppings etc.

Water: I am up to drinking 100 ounces a day.  

And there you have it.  My somewhat clean eating under 1500 calories a day eating plan.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge

I have got to get my ass in gear, not feeling well is not an excuse!

I'm up six whole pounds. budumpbum............

I am not giving up and I am re-committing to the 90 day Body by Vi Challenge.  I'm going to lose 45 pounds in the next 90 days.  I KNOW I can do this. I will be taking my measurements tonight and perhaps hang myself afterwards with the measuring tape....I am kind of curious to see how much they have changed since April 10th.

Also, I'm participating in the Jillian Michael's 30 day shred with Holly from

Holly is one of my favorite bloggers and she is so funny!  I love me a girl who tells it like it is.......And her hubby Chris aka Hubby Jack's Blog Attack is one funny dude. Let's not forget he is a great blog designer to boot!

The first workout was harder than I thought it was going to be.  I felt every muscle, and I love that.  I was a sweaty mess after:

Feel free to have a cocktail after that sight, I just may have one too :(

So I was kind of feeling like the worst mother ever guilty after venting about my little B yesterday...That is part of motherhood...ups and downs...Here is an "up" picture the night of her 4th birthday.

I love this girl like crazy and I can suck on that face all day long....when she's being her sweet self!

Stay tuned tomorrow for measurements and then some :)


Monday, July 1, 2013


Yeah, I kind of dropped it like it was hot. Oh wait no, that is a hot flash.

I woke up with the cold from hell last Sunday and when that started to subside, I started getting these constant pains in my stomach.  I am going to see the doctor tomorrow.  Funny when it started hurting and everyone was telling me to see my doctor, I was like "which one?"  my OB/GYN, my family doctor, my gastroenterologist????  shoot me.....

Last week was little B's birthday.  She turned four.

She is GORGEOUS, like cutest kid ever gorgeous, but This cutie is Hell on wheels, and cries ALL.THE.TIME.

I've been desperate for some relief and not just for me but for her.  It is CONSTANT.  She has been evaluated, she's been tested - everything comes back fine and normal.....which is everything you want to hear.  But it's nto, because I would like to know why she has been having these uncontrollable outbursts throughout the day since we brought her home from the hospital.

AT ONE, AT TWO, AT THREE AND NOW.  If she doesn't get her way, well then watch the eff out.  

Last night after her family party, my MIL, suggested she be brought to a priest and baptized right away.  And she wants us all to drink some crazy old Holy water.  I WILL TRY ANYTHING!!!  Seriously, if someone said run naked through the streets, I would not hesitate.  It's that bad..............

I know giving in is only going to hurt her, but her screaming and crying at the top of her lungs is on my last nerve.

So after talking with my awesome SIL and bff, I have decided to bring her to the family doctor with taped "episodes" of little B's behavior.  I went to a health/supplement store today and got some lemon balm and kids fish oil gummies.  They are both supposed to help.  We shall see.

I know this is not a fun witty post, but I said I wanted this to be a real blog, and right now, this is real and have been solely focused on this issue with little B.

So if you have any suggestions at all for her or me, please leave them.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

The day I tied the knot......

I'm linking up here with Holly and Melanie!


Well, here we go:

Location-- May 2, 1999 - At an old mill from the 1700's in Weston, CT.   We were married outside.  It was the perfect day and as we were saying our vows, two large Swan's swam by.  Truth! We had about 75-80 people and I liked knowing every single person there.   We were originally going to get married on 10/10/99 - but we found out that our wedding at the first place we booked, was being torn down the day after our wedding!!!  We thought that was a sign to have it somewhere else and sooner.  Then we found the Cobb's Mill and the rest is history. The entire wedding was planned in five months.

Bridal Party-- We had a a mixed bag.  There are the BFF's and of course the obligatory family that have a total shit fest when they aren't asked. So you ask them.  

Colors-- My bridesmaids wore lilac, long floor length dresses with lilac bouquets. They looked so pretty!

First Dance-- Was Shania Twain's From this Moment.  Not the single version, the duet.  Later, my hubby had the DJ play True Companion by Marc Cohn.  I felt like I was floating the entire song. 

What Would I Change?--
The first thing I would have done is NOT go to Miami the week before my wedding on business and get 1st degree sunburn while working over lunch (and in bikinis without lotion). My milk white skin was RED PURPLE and I went into convulsions after a shower.  I was pretty much medicated until I flew home.  My bridesmaids were scrubbing the dead skin off my arms the morning of our wedding!  

Honeymoon-- St. Martin, the French West Indies. But the story is, we paid for our wedding ourselves so we were basically broke after the wedding.  We opened the gifts and cards that night and called a travel agent the next day.   We went for five days and loved every minute of it. Especially the topless sunbathing..because clearly I didn't learn my lesson in Miami!!!

And there you have it!

a little thing called a hot flash

Someone shoot me.  I had a complete abdominal hysterectomy on April 22nd. The week before I turned the big 40!

The doctors did tell me that after the surgery, I would at some point go into menopause.
They said it might be months.
Possibly even years.


Not even a month after my surgery, I was sitting at the computer when I swear something happened I could have never 1. anticipated and 2. control.  It was a hot flash!

Let me try explain what a hot flash feels like...if that is even remotely possible.

Out of nowwhere, you feel like someone turned on a hair dryer on the inside of your body. For me it starts on the inside of my chest and it feels like i'm going to burn from the inside out.  Drinking water doesn't help, fanning yourself seems to make it hotter and for a few minutes you contemplate moving everything you own to Alaska.  I wish I were lying.

And...they are not considerate of when they happen.  Like when your at church with no a/c on, or at your daughter's school during a rehersal, or at night when you are trying to sleep.  Instead I am flipping the covers on and flipping the covers off - flipping on...flipping off.......all.night.long.

Here is the upside.  I don't think I have had one while I've been doing the elliptical or working out.  Hmmm, maybe I should work out more :)

Here is what I did at the gym today:

704 calories in an hour...not bad..i'll take that!!!

and I looked like this after

pretty, huh!?  My head was soaked as was my t-shirt.  I love that!  That bic-band I'm wearing not only keeps my hair back but the sweat too, not to mention it's chevron :)

Well, thanks for coming back - you are out there right ?!?!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

perhaps the best give a way EVER!

Found this today when I was checking in on Mama Laughlin's blog.

Seriously, I may have screeched a wee bit..
I would DIE to win this since this is very, very new to me.

Check it out on any of these posts!!

I love finding new blogs, check them out and enter!!

Good luck!

determination and.......Garden Pesto Chicken

So Sunday, I was preparing the recipe below and as I was cleaning up, I dropped a GINORMUS, freshly sharpened kitchen knife on my foot.  It looked like someone was stabbed to death on my kitchen floor.  I called 911 because there was so much blood and I was thinking I hit an artery.  I didn't.  It probably needs stitches but, since I just had a complete abdominal hysterectomy - I'm avoiding needles and hospitals like the plague.  The wonderful EMS people wrapped it up like this:

So when I woke up Monday it hurt, a little.  The hubs put steri-strips and a large bandage and I limped most of the day.  I had a workout scheduled with my trainer and all those dang voices in my head started "don't workout, it might  make your foot start bleeding, your sore from boot camp, take another day off.  I told the voices to basically, eff off, got my stuff on went - with kids in toe.

And I killed it.  1/2 hour on the elliptical then 1/2 hour working triceps and biceps then rolling out my muscles on legs and 100 stomach crunches.  I was sore and felt awesome when I was done.   To top it off, I did a Kris Freytag sexy abs workout for 39 minutes after dinner.

Never listen to those voices. Do the exact opposite of whatever they are saying.   I'm slowly learning not too!

After that workout, I came home and prepared dinner...a Garden Pesto Chicken and Ravioli (for the girls).

I have a pretty small, but plentiful herb and tomato garden.  I was craving pesto, but not all the calories that are tucked away in traditional pesto.  I used it as a marinade overnight for chicken breast.


Garden Pesto

2 cups basil ( I used a variety of basils i.e. Italian basil, Thai basil, purple basis, bush basil)
bunch/handful of cilantro
bunch/handful of flat leaf parsley
couple of oregano leaves
couple of tarragon leaves
a few pinches of lemon thyme
a few pinches of spicy Mexican oregano (that is what we happen to have)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper for taste
4 cloves of garlic or more depending on your preference
juice from 1 lemon
dash of Mrs. Dash lemon pepper

Wash herbs.  Put all ingredients into a food processor and puree until everything is saucy like this:

If I was serving this as a meal - I would just add hot pasta to it, add some grated cheese and serve.

I'm used this as a marinade for my chicken breast so I added in chicken, stirred it all together, covered it and put it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400.

In a baking pan, line it with a long enough piece of parchment paper to make a package.  Lay all the chicken in like this:

and wrap it up like this:

Cook for 25 minutes.

Discard any unused pesto - you cannot reuse this!!

I served this along with handmade spinach ravioli and it was AAAAAhhhhMMAAAAZZZzing!

This is what it looks like when it is all cooked. The girls couldn't get enough.

The marinade got into all the nooks and crannies!

Next time I make it I am going to prepare a great pasta salad with whole wheat pasta,  fresh mozzarella, fresh zucchini, white beans and sun dried tomatoes and bring it to the beach!  This beats a greasy burger and frozen french fries any day!!

Have a great Wednesday!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

hello there...

Hey there!  My name is Christine.  Those that know and love me call me Chris.

I'm a 40 year old wife, a mom to two girls, Big B and Little B, an Aunt, Sister and friend to many. 

Both of my girls names begin with B.  This is Big B!

 and this is little B!

This is my very own little piece of the Internet.

I plan on sharing my weight loss journey, recipes, DIY/crafts and will post many pictures of my ridiculously gorgeous children.  I have also just had a complete hysterectomy a week after I turned 40 and will be sharing my accounts with hot flashes from hell....thank.you.very.much!!!  Also some random life bits  as I see fit :)

I am an opinionated optimist and guess what, I am not perfect!  I may cuss so consider yourself warned.  I promise to try....and  keep it classy but mostly I want this to be REAL blog. 

As of today i am down 35 pounds since December 2012.  21 of those pounds have come off since I made myself a promise to get my act together on March 13 of this year.  Since then I have been working out and busting my ass till I'm dripping at least 4-5 days a week.   I am going to lose 90 pounds.  I have 55 left to go!!  

I'm attending my first boot camp class today.  So far the weather is cooperating and I am scared and excited at the same time.  

Well, here goes!  And don't forget to grab my button :) and come back soon!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Under Construction

This site is currently under construction with Hubby Jack Blog Designs.

Thank you for your patience.